A 39-year-old suspected cultist, Ikechukwu Monye, has told the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Lagos that he was arrested while he was planning his wedding.
The suspect claimed he had no hands in the lingering cult war at Ilupeju area of Lagos State.
The suspected Eiye leader, who claimed to be a graduate of Yaba College of Technology, was being chased by the SARS operatives when a stray bullet from the police hit a sweeper, Francis Idum, on Monday, July 15, 2019 at Ajisegiri Street.
The state Commissioner of Police, Muazu Zubairu, in a statement after the incident, said his men went into the community where the victim was killed to restore normalcy over the lingering war between rival cult groups in the area.
Zubairu said his men moved into area when they got information about some of the armed cultists terrorising the residents of the area and its environs while Monye was fingered as the leader of Eiye confraternity at Ilupeju.
Monye was traced to Ilupeju where he was arrested.
The suspect told the police during investigation that he had renounced his membership of the cult group four years ago. Thereafter, he led a team of SARS operatives from Ladipo to Ilupeju, on August 15, to effect the arrest of those fomenting trouble in the area.
Briefing journalists recently over the killing of Idum, the National President, Path of Peace Initiative, Dandy Eze, described it as an act of callousness.
He explained that Idum was killed when he was going about his work at Ajisegiri Street, while the policemen were chasing some hoodlums.
A few minutes after Idum was killed, the policemen returned to the area in a Toyota Corolla with registration number TAB 725 AP, accompanied by a senior police officer from Area ‘F’ and took the victim’s body to mortuary without contacting his family.
Eze said after the policemen evacuated the corpse, residents of the area were able to pick the bullet shells used to by the policemen.
But Monye, who spoke with our correspondent, stated that there was no shootout between the police team and cultists when he led the team there.
He said: “I was arrested at Bode Thomas. But I told the police I had long renounced membership of Eiye. They went to my house to conduct a search but did not find any incriminating thing, except a scissors. From there, I led them to a place where cultists usually assemble at Ilupeju. By the time we got there, there were many of them (cultists) and the police had to withdraw, saying they were going for reinforcement.
“I was in the detention when I heard that someone was killed. But there was no shootout between the police and cultists when we visited. Some of the cultists even fled on sighting the police because they recognised the police team leader.
The suspect, who became emotional, wondered if he would still be in police custody when his pregnant wife-to-be is delivered of a baby.
He said: “Unfortunately, I was preparing for my wedding when I was picked by the police. It was true I was once a member of Eiye confraternity. But I’m no longer a member. I beg to be released, so as to go home to see my wife-to-be. I want to be there when my first child is born.
“I joined cultism at the age of 22, while I was a student of Yaba Technical College. I thought it was a gathering where we wore good clothes, party and club because that was all we were doing then. But when I discovered they wanted to start fighting, I renounced my membership. Then, I was the third in command. I never did anything dirty. When they noticed my quality, I was elected the secretary because I was intelligent. I did not even finish my tenure as the group’s secretary when I renounced my membership. It was after I left that they started fighting in the area.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Elkana Bala, confirmed Monye’s arrest.
Elkana said the suspect would be charged to court soon.
The PPRO added that detectives at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, were also investigating the incident that led to the death of Idum at Ilupeju.
Three kidnappers of Oba of Iba bag death sentences
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo (Mrs) of an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos Wednesday sentenced three men, who kidnapped the traditional ruler of Iba in Lagos State, Oba Goriola Oseni, to both life imprisonment and death by hanging.
Justice Tawio convicted and sentenced the three men: Duba Furejo, Reuben Anthony and Yerin Fresh on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and kidnapping.
The trio, alongside one Ododomo Isaiah (now late), abducted the 74-year-old monarch in his palace at Iba around 8pm on July 16, 2015.
The convicts also shot dead two people – a palace guard, Sunday Okanlawon and a commercial motorcyclist, Joseph Okeke.
The prosecution team, led by the Solicitor General of Lagos State, Titilayo Shitta-Bey, said that the convicts also attempted to murder Abosede Oseni, wife of the Oba and took away her cell phone.
Shitta-Bey said that the offences contravened Sections 223, 230, 297, 299, 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
According to the judgement of the court, the trio are to serve a total prison sentence of 153 years: 30 years each for conspiracy to commit murder, armed robbery and kidnapping, while 21 years each was slammed for kidnapping.
The convicts were further sentenced to life imprisonment for both attempted murder and armed robbery.
While pronouncing her judgement, Justice Taiwo said the defendants, who appeared to be first time offenders, clearly understood the gravity of the offences and the consequences of their actions.
Kwara holds open bid for construction of 26 urban roads
At least 134 local contractors on Wednesday participated in an open bid held for the construction/rehabilitation of 26 urban roads recently advertised by Kwara State Government, conforming to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s insistence that contract awards would be made only after a transparent process.
Yusuf Garba Manjo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, said the bids were the first phase of the exercise because roads for consideration under the phase 2 are still being compiled and are scheduled for execution in the first and second quarters of 2020.
“The present administration under the leadership of AbdulRazaq is committed to ensuring that construction works are given to competent contractors,” he said. “In furtherance of this, the ministry shall follow due process to ensure qualified contractors are awarded the projects to ensure quality service delivery to the people. We shall ensure strict compliance with the Public Procurement Act.”
He said this road construction/rehabilitation is part of the urban renewal programme of the new administration.
The formal bidding saw the ministry’s officials opening and reading out the figures and other details of the bid, including the technical and financial parts of the proposals, with Manjo saying successful bidders would be communicated after the exhaustive processes have been followed.
Some of the contractors, who spoke with newsmen, commended the state government for the transparency employed in the bidding process which the contractors said was the first in past years.
The 26 roads in the first phase, which had earlier been advertised in the newspapers, included Ipata Market Internal Road network; Emir’s Road Patigi; College of Education Road linking Unilorin Mini campus; townhall/station road, Erin Ile; Market Junction-Emir’s Palace Gwanara; Tsaragi-Market Batakpan road; Museum Road, Esie; Adeta Primary School Road, Kuntu; Queen Elizabeth School Internal Road; Tipper Garage Junction Amuyo-Adesoye College Offa; Shao Township Road; Osi Township Road; Oro-Ago-Oyate Road; Sobi Specialist Hospital—Gaa-Osiris-Medina Road Ilorin; Awolowo Road Tanke-Danialu Primary School; Asadam Lower Road by Railway; and Gberia Township Road Kaiama, among others.
LASU student, 5 alleged cultist arraigned for armed robbery, shooting off man’s penis
A student of the Lagos State University (LASU), Shittu Saheed, was on Wednesday arraigned alongside five suspected cult members of the Aiye confraternity (Black Axe Movement) for armed robbery and allegedly shooting one Oke Oscar (m) on his penis with a locally made pistol.
The 25-year-old student was charged before an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos alongside five alleged cultists namely; Victor Otobo, 28, Suleiman Musa, 34, Ibrahim Kolade, 33, Ayinla Muiz, 30, Lateef Alonwole, 21.
The six defendants were docked on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit robbery, armed robbery, attempted murder and causing of grievous harm.
According to the State Prosecutor, Mr Olakunle Ligali, the defendants committed the offences at different times and locations within pipeline area of Okokomaiko, Lagos in 2018.
Ligali told the court that the offences were allegedly committed sometime on September 14 at 2040hours around pipeline (PPL) area, within the LASU premises and also on October 2 and 4 at 9pm on Ahiawu Apeke Street, pipeline Okokomaiko.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 299, 297(2)(a), 230(a), 245 of the Criminal Law, CH. C. 17 Vol. 3 Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Gunmen kill 3 policemen in Kaduna
Three Policemen serving at Fadan Karshi Outpost in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State were on Tuesday gunned down by unknown gunmen at a check point between Fadan Karshi and Sabon Gida village.
Alhaji Abubakar Abba, the Vice Chairman Sanga Local Government Council, confirmed the incident to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday.
He added that the bodies have been deposited at the Gwantu General Hospital.
“Two Policemen died on the spot and the third one died on the way to the hospital.
Meanwhile, investigation had commenced as security agents have swung into action while members of the community have been urged to be calm he said.
He decried the increase in the wave of crime in the area and appealed to relevant security agencies to rise up to the challenge.
The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer of Kaduna State Command, ASP Suleiman Abubakar, confirmed the incident.
He said that a statement would soon be issued on the development.
#Free Sowore: DSS shoots at protesters, assaults journalists
peratives of the Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday dispersed protesters the Aso Drive area of Abuja, calling for the release of the convener of #Revolution Now, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.
Reports say the operatives, who arrived in their numbers, had allegedly fired tear gas canisters, forcing the protesters to scamper in different directions.
Security within and around the headquarters of the secret service (Yellow House), was said to have been beefed up, to avoid any untoward situation.
DSS officials reportedly attacked rights activists and journalists with live ammunition.
A Guardian Newspaper reporter, Oludare Richards, was also assaulted by the masked and heavily armed operatives.
The leader of the protesters, Deji Adeyanju, said the DSS operatives fired live ammunition at the protesters for demanding that the agency should obey court order.
He said: “We were attacked in a barbaric manner. This can only happen in a nation where the rule of law means nothing.”
Adeyanju, in a previous statement he issued, had accused the DSS of playing to the gallery for refusing to obey valid court order to release Sowore.
He said: “For the umpteenth time, the DSS has failed to release Mr. Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare despite two valid court orders served on them to do so.
“Despite the embarrassing and unprofessional statement credited to the DSS, Nigerians, comprising of activists, lawyers, families, friends and citizens came out on Saturday morning to receive the duo. As expected, but quite unfortunate, the DSS yet again failed to release them, under the excuse that we came on a weekend.”
Sowore, who is also the publisher of Sahara Reporters, is facing a seven-count charge bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering.
The protesters wanted Sowore released from the custody of the DSS, based on an order made by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The DSS had disclosed that steps were being taken to comply with the order; even as it also expressed concerns that nobody had come forward to take Sowore.
The DSS Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dr. Peter Afunanya, said in statement that nobody had come for Sowore.
He said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to confirm that it has received the court order for the release of Omoyele Sowore.
“It is important that the public notes that since the receipt of the order, no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him. This becomes imperative for reasons of accountability.
“The court has been properly briefed on this development and the steps being taken to ensure compliance with its order.”
The DSS did not respond to request to confirm the dispersal of the protesters.
Shootout as police foil robbers’ attack on CBN
olicemen yesterday foiled attempt by armed robbers to raid the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Benin, Edo State.
The robbers had attempted to break into the CBN when a bullion van carrying cash to a commercial bank was about leaving the CBN premises.
The robbers were, however, repelled by the superior fire power of the armed police security team at the bank during an exchange of gun fire.
Residents, pedestrians and motorists on the busy Akpakpava Road were forced to scamper into safety as guns boomed endlessly.
At the end of the exchange of gun fire, which lasted for a few minutes, the robbers took to their heels.
No casualty was recorded in the attempted raid on the apex bank.
As at the time of filing this report, more security agents have been drafted from the state police command to beef up security at the CBN.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not speak on the matter.
The PPRO said he was in Abuja for an official duty.
Noise pollution: Shut hotels, religious centres need residents’ associations’ approval
agos State government yesterday told owners of hotels, night clubs, leisure homes and religious centres shut for noise pollution to get approval from the Residents Associations of their host communities before they could be reopened.
It was learnt that with the new development, any night club bar, karaoke centre, church and mosque in the state shut owing to noise pollution will henceforth not be reopened until a letter of guarantee is issued on their behalf by the residents’ association of such area.
This is in addition to the other penalties and sanctions the shut centre must have been slammed with by the relevant agencies.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, said in a statement that the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) had been mandated to apply the full weight of the law on those engaged in noise pollution.
Bello said that on a continuous basis, LASEPA officials would be going round such centres/homes and anyone found to have exceeded the allowed level of sound output would be closed down and the appropriate sanctions applied.
He added that the action became imperative because his office had been inundated with complaints and petitions from many residents and residents’ associations all over the state about the obnoxious noise levels of many of the leisure centres and religious homes.
The commissioner explained that it was also discovered that many of such leisure centres/religious homes, after being reopened, usually go back to the same noise pollution for which they were earlier axed.
This, according to him, prompted the involvement of residents’ associations.
The commissioner advised the affected leisure centres to procure soundproof equipment which would lessen the decibel of sound going out when such leisure or religious homes engaged in business.
Bello emphasised that government would not allow any business concern to put the wellbeing of the residents at peril because it wanted to operate or be in business.
SARS arrests Sharia Court judge for officiating wedding
fficials of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Kaduna State, have reportedly arrested a Sharia Court judge, Murtala Nasir, for officiating a wedding.
Also arrested along with the judge were a former Chairman of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (PAN), Alhaji Sani Dauda, who is the father of the bride, and his son, Shehu Dauda.
While Sani was arrested for giving out his daughter, Nasiba Dauda, for marriage after an alleged failed marriage, the judge’s offence was conducting a new marriage between Nasiba and Abdullahi Kaluma.
They were all being detained at the SARS office.
The new marriage took place on Saturday, at the Magajin Gari Sharia Court in Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.
Trouble started when Nasiba’s former husband, Abubakar Musa Abubakar, allegedly ordered the arrest of the judge, the former PAN chairman and son.
But Nasir said he followed due process in line with Islamic laws and the Nigerian Constitution while joining the new couple.
Besides, he noted that there was no existing order restraining Nasiba or her family from conducting a new marriage after her first marriage with Abubakar failed.
He said: “The marriage between Nasiba, the daughter of Alhaji Sani Dauda, the chairman of ASD Motors and her former husband, Abubakar Musa Abubakar, ended since January 5, 2018.
“Since then, there was no problem or was there any existing order restraining her or her family from conducting a new marriage.
“So, on Saturday, November 9, I conducted a new marriage between Nasiba and her new husband, Abdullahi Kullama.
“Surprisingly, on Monday, November 11, about 4p.m., I was with Alhaji Sani Dauda and many others at his compound when police operatives surrounded his compound, saying they were there to arrest us.
“The officers invited us verbally to the police command headquarters without any warrant of arrest.
“Later on, we were transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) office where we were detained.”
Meanwhile, addressing journalists on Tuesday, lawyer to the former chairman of PAN, Sani Katu, alleged that his client’s arrest was masterminded by Abubakar.
On his part, the bride’s father, Sani, explained that he gave out his daughter to her new husband after she had officially divorced her first husband, Abubakar, since January 2018.
The state Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Yakubu Sabo, did not pick his calls to react to the arrest.
Fire breaks out in Niger Govt House
ire, believed to have resulted from electrical faults, yesterday gutted a section of the Niger State Government House, Minna.
The fire outbreak, which occurred about 12.30p.m., in the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Government House, which has been under renovation, was swiftly put out by men of the state Fire Service.
However, it took the firefighters over 15 minutes to arrive Government House to put out the fire which had already burnt most of the office equipment and sensitive documents.
It was learnt that there was no single fire fighting truck stationed at the Government House as it took the firefighters over 30 minutes to bring the situation under control.
Speaking with journalists, Deputy Controller of the state Fire Service, Mallam Salihu Bello, said that the intervention of the firefighters reduced the level of damage.
Bello, however, spoke on why there were no fire fighting vans at the Government House.
He said: “We have our personnel stationed here to respond to any emergency.
“The reason why there is no fire fighting truck stationed at the Government House is as a result of government policies, but arrangements are being made to have a fire fighting truck here.”
Bello added that the fire fighting trucks used to combat the fire was brought from the Fire Service from various stations within Minna.
Also, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje, in a statement, hailed men of the State Fire Service who mobilised three fire fighting vans to the scene within 15 minutes of the fire outbreak.
Traders protest demolition of Lagos market
undreds of traders yesterday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly to protest the demolition of the Ikosi/Isheri produce market in Lagos.
The protesters, mostly women, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), arrived at the Assembly en masse, chanting different songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions.
The inscriptions on their placards included: “Re-modeling is a political coined language to sell our market, we say no to it,” “Nigerians of conscience should come to our help,” “Governor Sanwo-Olu, please help us.”
The leader of the protest, Mrs. Adebukola Adejuwonbi, said the market was being destroyed without proper notification from the appropriate body.
Adejuwonbi indicted the Chairman, Ikosi/Isheri Local Council Development Area, Mr. Abdulfatai Oyesanya, as the prime mover of the demolition of the market.
She said: “We came from Ikosi/Isheri fruit market. I am one of the sellers at the market. On Friday morning, caterpillars came to demolish our market without any notice.”
Another trader, Mrs. Yemisi Balogun, urged government to come to their aid by helping them to get their market back.
Balogun said that their livelihood depended largely on the market to cater for the needs of their children and households.
Responding, Mr. Rotimi Olowo, representing Somolu Constituency 1, expressed dissatisfaction with the demolition allegedly without due process.
Olowo, however, assured the protesters that the House Leader had directed the council chairman to stop the demolition.
He said: “I am assuring you that the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, and other colleagues, will be interested in this case and they will call the chairman.
“We have told the chairman to stop the demolition and I am sure we are going to resolve it.”
I know you will get justice.
“If we want to move Lagos forward by doing it in a modern way, we have to do it methodologically, we cannot just rush into it.
“Even if that market is to be used for housing purposes, it behoves on the local government chairman and the state to have understanding with you.”
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