Court strikes out fraud charge having Diezani’s name

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, struck out one of the nine counts of $1.6bn crude oil fraud instituted against businessman, Jide Omokore, and five others.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in a ruling, struck out the eighth count after hearing an application by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who had alleged that she was indicted in the particular count without an opportunity to defend herself.

The six, named as defendants in the case, include Omokore, his two companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.


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The other defendants are a former managing director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Victor Briggs; a former group executive director, Exploration and Production of NNPC, Abiye Membere; and a former manager, at the NNPC, David Mbanefo.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had preferred nine counts of criminal diversion of about $1.6bn, alleged to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government, against the six defendants.

Alison-Madueke, who was said to be currently in the United Kingdom facing some legal proceedings, was not listed among the existing six defendants in the case to defend the charge, but she was, together with Briggs, Membere and Mbanefo, in count eight, accused of aiding Omokore in the commission of money laundering offence.

The offence she and others were accused of was said to be contrary to section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

But the former minister, through her lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), on September 18, filed an application seeking among other prayers, an order directing an amendment to the charges, by adding her name as the seventh defendant to enable her to defend herself with respect to the eighth count.

Arguing the application on Wednesday, Ikpeazu said, “Count 8 having been brought against the applicant, can the applicant be validly kept out of this trial having regard to the nature of the count?  We ask the court to answer in the negative.”

But opposing the motion, the EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. M. S Abubakar, said the applicant was by her application “impliedly raising the issue of proper parties before the court”, he said, “does not arise in criminal trial.”

In his ruling, Justice Dimgba noted that the argument canvassed by the EFCC was credible but expressed concern about why the prosecution chose to include the former minister’s name  as a defendant in the eighth count, yet refused to have her named as a party on the charges “to enable her appear to clear and defend her name.”

He asked, “How can she appear to clear her name to a count when her name by the deliberate action of the prosecution has been left out of the charge?”

Ruling further, he said the position that met the justice of the case was to strike out the eighth count in order to preserve the rights of the prosecution, the defence and the former minister.

He ruled, “That solution lies in striking out count number eight entirely from the amended charge dated August 4, 2017, and I therefore accordingly strike out count number eight from the amended charge.”

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Man stabs self, plunges into well in Kano

Ted Odogwu,  Kano

Tragedy struck in Kano on Tuesday as a 49-year-old man, Balarabe Adamu, reportedly stabbed himself before plunging into a well in the Rijiya Zaki quarters of the Ugogo Local Government Area of the state.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the victim’s neighbours raised the alarm and alerted officials of the state fire service to the incident.

The Director of the Kano State Fire Service, Alhaji Rilwan Mustapha, said as soon as the nearest fire station was alerted, a rescue team was deployed in the scene of the incident at about 5pm.


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He explained that Adamu was recovered from the well and rushed to the Murtala Muhammed Specialists Hospital, where he was confirmed died.

He advised members of the public to put their trust in God, rather than commit suicide.

As of the time of filing this report, it could not be established what informed the decision of Adamu to commit suicide.

In another development, the state fire service on Wednesday said no fewer than 167 lives were saved, while goods worth N100m were salvaged from 22 fire incidents in the state in August.

Mustapha said nine lives were lost during the incident, urging members of the public to always be careful when using electrical appliances. He added that storing of petrol in houses and shops should be avoided.

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Lesson to learn from IPOB

for the record, I do not have any shred of sympathy for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra. I agree that the Igbo people of South-East Nigeria have been served the short end of the stick for too long. One should be honest enough though, to admit that Nigeria has been unfair to so many of its constituent ethnic nationalities that a serious country should really contemplate a need to revisit and talk around its dysfunctional governance structure. Had we not become a people adept at denying their reality, we would realise that the common people of Nigeria swim in the same pool of poverty, lack, disease and disillusionment and rather than turn on  our helpless selves, issuing ultimatums and threats that promote divisions, we would collectively engage our leaders on how to make the best of today and collectively move into a future of shared prosperity and security. But that is a topic for another day.  The point here is that the Igbo have every right and reason to agitate for improved treatment in this country under God.

 However, Kanu, from the way he has carried on lately, is the least qualified to lead such an agitation. The mildest mental disposition which the United Kingdom returnee presents is that of a narcissist- haughty, self-centred, manipulative, and demanding. Kanu betrays a worrisome sense of grandeur about his own importance and intelligence and seems to live with incredible sense of entitlement. Those who lead causes of the nature that the Igbo currently need, do not throw calls for arms that they are not prepared for. The South-East, as the entire nation, will gain more from an intellectual war, dotted by conservations which show respect for the dignity of all components of the country rather than the reckless emotive outbursts that marked Kanu’s times.

But what did Nigeria contribute to making Kanu the irritant that he had become before the terrorist label was sewn on IPOB’s garment by the Nigerian Army and the eventual proscription of the South-East governors days later?

Pretty much like his own tempestuous disposition, drivers of the nation’s affairs have allowed themselves to be governed by emotions and impulse. Imagine how much of Kanu’s shenanigans we would have been spared had the country allowed him return to his UK base when he visited in October 2016. On the contrary, we seized him and left him to grow in influence in spite of legal orders permitting his release, until April 2017 when his arrest had attracted global attention and consideration for him and his cloudy motive and method had become widespread.


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The declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation and the succeeding ban by the governors, also follow this imprudent, knee-jerk behaviour of our leaders. Nigerians, leaders and the led, have grown in the habit of treating symptoms rather than ailments. When that happens, the symptoms abate for a while but soon assail with much more debilitation than ever.

One can feel a palpable sense of satisfaction across the land on the immediate peace that the actions of our leaders precipitated in the South-East and across the country. But the question I cannot stop asking is whether this set of actions are enough to permanently terminate agitations for self-determination, not only in Igboland but across the country.

I think not, as even history does not lend credence to such optimism. Without going too far away from the South-East Nigeria that we are currently discussing, we should recall that just a couple of years back, there was an organisation known as the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra led by one Ralph Uwazuruike.

Although MASSOB still exists, it is now a shadow of its old nature. In its hey days, this group was as widespread as Kanu’s IPOB. Uwazurike, a graduate of Political Science and Law from two Indian universities, professed the non-violent posture of India’s Mahatma Gandhi and America’s Martin Luther King Jr, but he incurred the wrath of the Nigerian government without end. At some point, he was not only charged with treason but remained in jail for about 24 months while his bail hearing took forever. This was in 2005 under the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

To cut a long story short, the Nigerian state seemed to have succeeded in breaking Uwazuruike’s spirit such that he lost the vigour which got the validation of the late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, upon whose death, the younger man was named successor and crowned Ezeigbo. But has the idea of the secession and sovereignty of Eastern Nigeria which he preached diminished in anyway? The answer is, of course, no.

Even though MASSOB has now taken a back seat in the pursuit of the goal they set for themselves, it has an offspring, which has pushed the frontiers of the campaign a little bit further through Kanu and his followers.

And this is what a country gets when, rather than face issues squarely and address them once and for all, it pushes them under the carpet or devise authoritarian strategies to suppress dissent and stifle conversation. The truth is, no matter how we try, bodies like MASSOB and IPOB, will resurface in the South-East and other parts of Nigeria if we do not initiate a follow-up plan which will engender conversations around the issues that elicit disaffection amongst us.

I do not want to join the raging debate about whether the government has the right to take the decisions that it has taken on IPOB. For two reasons, I consider such to be unnecessary energy dissipation. The first is that, having already taken the decision, it is not in the character of Nigerian governments to reverse themselves. And secondly, the citizens themselves have, in conformity with the plague that has hit us since the 2015 elections, been unable to agree on what is good or bad, no matter how plain the issues are! As a result, this decision should be seen as a finality.

So, since there is nothing we can do about the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation and the proscription by the South-East governors, I suggest that the nation takes two steps to forestall the definite recurrence of situations similar to those that MASSOB and IPOB have recently put us if not worse situations like the Boko Haram insurgency.

The first is that in spite of all our aversion to discussing the way in which Nigerians want to live together, we must sincerely talk about these issues. Rather than turn guns and roll out tanks against their people, governments interested in the unity of their countries and the happiness of their people encourage honest conversations in which the unity of national unions are negotiated. To get the one indivisible country that President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his administration profess, we must quickly shed the toga of the non-negotiability of Nigeria’s oneness, lest this false impression be the harbinger of the very thing that we fear most- disintegration!

Most importantly, the Federal Government should initiate a national plan that would ensure that we reduce the burden of out-of-school children in Nigeria and work towards providing more opportunities for our young ones to get educated. If children do not get formal placements, we must provide alternatives for them. A serious attention also needs to be paid to providing gainful employment for the youths especially as the country is mouthing the diversification of its economy. What about exploiting the massive opportunities in agriculture, entertainment and sports? Nigeria must also deliberately re-orientate its youths by discouraging the get-rich-quick-by-all-means mentality that has possessed the soul of our nation. If there were not so many jobless, hungry and hopeless people in the land, folks like Kanu will find it difficult to get recruits into their self-serving ventures. Nigeria must take care of its children and youths or consider its future mortgaged.

These are not things that will change Nigeria in one day, but visionary leadership thinks more about the future and set to work in the immediate. I do not see this as a sole Federal Government project, but it must lead the initiative and encourage state governments, irrespective of party affiliations, to work together to save the country from the evil that an uneducated, un-catered for young population portends. If we do not do that, proclamations on and proscriptions of self-determination groups are futile as the word goes!

Twitter: @niranadedokun

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I wrote Striking Expressions to assist scholars — Prof Duro Oni

By Dayo Adesulu

lagos—THE immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management), University of Lagos, UNILAG, Professor Duro Oni has said that the need to assist researchers and scholars informed his decision to write the book entitled: Striking Expressions.

He said this yesterday, at the public presentation of the book which attracted people from diverse backgrounds.

His words: ‘’In the academia, you get to write  quite a number of articles, you get to give lectures and present papers. ‘Some of them are published. Some of them are just there on our laptops.

File: From left: Dean, Faculty of Arts and Chairman, Faculty Board, Unilag, Prof.(Mrs) Mopelola.O. Omoegun, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Management, Unilag, Prof. Duro Oni and Lagos Regional Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Osinowo exchanging pleasantries at the official commissioning of Airtel’s Service Point at the University of Lagos, Akoka on Thursday.

Sometimes when you have research students, they are looking for your published works and they are looking for these work in other various outlets. We now decided to put together works of my 25 papers into one book.

‘’Some of them have been previously published. Some of them have never seen the light of the day. So, I put them together for researchers and scholars to look at and make some necessary quotations from them. Otherwise, it is impossible for you to see a journal published 20 years ago, the journal is no longer available, it is not online. But now they have access to a lot of these works.

‘’You can see the enthusiasm of students in the Creative Arts in the Faculty of Arts and the university generally. This has been my most wonderful day and I am very happy that all our special guests were able to make it.”

Those in attendance include the Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Professor Rahamon Bello, represented by Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Professor Ebun Clark, Professor Olu Obafemi, Professor Abraham Osinubi and Professor Segun Awonusi, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II, Professor Sunday Edodo,  Dr Rruben Abati, Dr. Dele Ashiru and Dr. Dakuku Peterside, represented by Mr. Abdusalam Suleiman.

In his remarks,  Ogundipe said: ‘’We are celebrating a scholar and a teacher who has been in the field of academic for 41 years.

On his part, Osinubi said: ‘’Oni is a teacher and publisher of books.

Also,  Ododo said: ‘’Oni is an asset in any given enterprise because he is well endowed. Buy a copy of  Striking Expressions”

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Why Buhari, Court okayed IPOB ban

•Federal High Court grants order declaring IPOB activities as acts of terrorism, illegality

•Grants order proscribing existence of IPOB in any part of Nigeria, especially S-East, S-South
•Restrains any person or group of persons from participating in IPOB activities

•IPOB’s HQ is France – FG; adds proscription has removed its funding oxygen

•Peace critical to Nigeria’s unity, Igbo, Arewa groups insist; Ameh Ebute writes UN

•Biafra, other agitations products of govt failure – Peter Obi; Saraki tasks South East Senators

By Chioma Gabriel, Soni Daniel, Clifford Ndujihe, Henry Umoru, Vincent Ujumadu & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA — EFFORTS of the Federal Government to declare the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB a terrorist organisation and proscribe its activities, yesterday, bore fruits. A Federal High Court in Abuja granted an order declaring the activities of IPOB as “acts of terrorism and illegality.”

IPOB members

The order, which followed an ex-parte motion filed by Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/871?2017, also proscribed the existence of IPOB throughout Nigeria, with particular attention paid to the South-East and South-South regions. The motion was filed yesterday and the order granted same day by Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati.

Vanguard had reported exclusively two days ago that the Federal Government had initiated a legal process to proscribe the group.

The four grounds were: “An order of the court to declare that the activities of the respondent (IPOB) in any part of Nigeria, especially in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria amount to acts of terrorism and illegality.

“An order of the court proscribing the existence of IPOB in any part of Nigeria, particularly, in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria, either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called and publishing same in the official gazette and two national newspapers.

“An order restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of IPOB under any other name of platform however called or described. And for any such further or other orders as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this case.’’

The Justice Minister backed his application with a sworn affidavit deposed to by Corporal Kolawole Matthew of the Nigerian Army and a written address in compliance with Section 84 of the Evidence Act of 2011.

Malami approached the judge in company of Dayo Akpata, Solicitor-General of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Maimuna Shiru, Acting Director of Civil Litigations, T.A. Garali and Oyin Koleosho.

After listening to the applicants, the Acting Chief Judge of the FHC, Justice Abdu Kafarati, granted all the orders and proscribed IPOB.

The judge ruled: “That the application by the AGF is granted as prayed.
“That an order declaring the activities of the respondents (IPOB) in any part of Nigeria especially in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria amount to acts of terrorism and illegality is granted.

“That an order proscribing the existence of the respondent (IPOB) in any part of Nigeria especially in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called and publishing same in the official gazette and two national newspapers is granted.

“That an order restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of IPOB under any other name of platform however called or described is granted.

Issued at Abuja under the seal of the Court and the hand of the presiding judge this 20th day of September, 2017.

It was accompanied by a Certified True Copy signed by the Ben Molokwu, the Registrar and another Registrar, Prince Babatunde Adejoro Ashada.

IPOB headquarters is France — FG

Before the order, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed , told State House correspondents at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, that President
Buhari had approved the process for proscribing IPOB.

He said that IPOB is a contraption against the administration of President Buhari and that the group is being sponsored by some foreign countries.

Mohammed said he would not join the debate over the legality or otherwise of the proscription of the group, saying “for those who are fixated with legality, I have good news for them: President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the process of proscribing IPOB, and the procedure is on as I speak.”

Continuing he said, “But I ask, if the President had been overly concerned with legality, where would Nigeria have been today? If attacks in the South-East had attracted reprisals elsewhere in the country, what would have happened?

“But for the quick action of state governors in the South-East and and the North, there would have been a conflagration of immense proportions.”

He said the activities of IPOB, if not for the timely intervention of some leaders from the North, especially governors from the zone and their counterpart from the South-East, the country would have been engulfed in serious crisis.

He commended the South-East governors for being proactive by “making it clear to IPOB that it has no support for its violent campaign.

“By its action, the Governors have cut off the oxygen that IPOB needs to survive. If the elected Governors of all the states in the South-East have banned the activities of IPOB, who then is the organization fighting for?

“IPOB is a contraption against the Buhari Administration, and is being sponsored by those “I call the Coalition of the Politically-Disgruntled and the Treasury Looters.

“I stand by that statement despite the noise emanating from the usual suspects.

“Finally, IPOB has decided to externalize its campaign. It has written to governments and parliaments in the West, alleging genocide in the South-East. Even a dictionary definition of ‘genocide’ does not support that claim. IPOB has also engaged in using highly-emotive videos of killings, which it harvested from other lands and doctored to hoodwink the international community.”

On why government decided to consider IPOB as a terrorist organization when its members do not bear arms, Mohammed said, “I think anybody who has watched Nnamdi Kanu’s videos anywhere he goes to he openly solicits for arms and for funds.

“I have a lot of quotations from him as to the violence intention of IPOB, in one of his videos he said if he is arrested his boys should burn down the country. The same Kanu went on television a few days ago saying he was sleeping at about 4:30pm in his house in Umuahia and then some solders were making noises; they were disturbing his sleep and his boys stopped them.

“I ask him: Which country in the world would tolerate this? Unfortunately Nigerians have short memories at times, or we tend to be very mischievous because this thing is being turned into “oh the North is persecuting the South-East or muslims persecuting christians. We have forgotten that in 1983 there was a group called Maitatsine in Kano.

It was crushed by the Shagari government; they were Muslims and Northerners…

“Honestly Nigeria has been very lucky. Last week there would have been massive bloodshed if reprisals had taken place outside the South-East and it didn’t take place because our traditional rulers, governors and other leaders went out to pacify people and the kind of stories that has been trending on the social media has not helped things.

“As a matter of fact there was one stating that a major-general had been killed, not knowing that it was a retired major that was killed in Benue State over land matters.

That would have set the entire country ablaze.

“As cosmopolitan as Abuja is, it took the FCT minister to mobilise all the 17 graded traditional chiefs and emirs in Abuja to really hold meetings with all the stakeholders.

“To pacify the situation and they think its a joke, you can imagine what would have happened if the people of Kano or Kaduna started retaliating. So we are in a very dangerous situation and actually we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder. The peace that you are seeing is deceptive; we must continue to work on it and we must continue to counter this very untrue narrative.

Why Buhari okayed ban on IPOB

The Minister who explained why President Buhari approved the proscription, said, “There is a procedure for proscription, the President must sign the proclamation after which the Attorney General will follow the procedure which he is doing.

“But for me do you want the President to wait for this to be put into law before you take action and stop looting or killing? Where will Nigeria be today if there is conflagration in Lagos or Kano? Like the Governor of Abia said yesterday, there are about 11million Igbos living outside the South-East. That is not a small number, its not a joke.”

Asked to name those funding IPOB following the government pronouncement that it had discovered those behind its financing, he said, “I think this is not rocket science, any treasury looter would do everything possible to distract government. If by any act, God forbid it, Nigeria is today engulfed in war, and Nigeria is now involved in trying to quell unrest, will the courts be spared?

“What would be the first priority of government? It will be to quell that riot, so its a way of distraction to ensure that government is not focused, so its not rocket science that a person today who has a case in court or almost going to jail will try and cause confusion, he would go and support IPOB.

IPOB’s financial HQ is in France

“We have the records, we know IPOB collects money from many people from diaspora, they collect money from many people in Nigeria; they collect money from some foreign countries; this is clear.

“Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know. You have to block the sources of finance, that is what I said recently.

“It is incontrovertible that some people in diaspora contribute money to IPOB; where does he get his money from? We know this as a fact, again there are a few very naughty diplomatic issues which you need to skip.

“For instance, who does not know that the IPOB internal radio is located in London, we know the diplomatic moves we have been taking and approaching the UK, all the damages it’s done but they don’t see it that way, for them it’s about freedom of expression.

“If we have a person in Nigeria openly soliciting arms to come and fight the UK, what would you think of, would you consider that freedom of expression?

“We know for a fact where the funding is coming from and we are going to stop them but it’s difficult to stop them and we have been working on it and we will not stop.”

Read more on Address marginalization of Igbo now, Senators, Reps tell Buhari

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Union Bank’s N50bn Rights Issue opens for subscription

By Peter Egwuatu

UNION Bank Nigeria Plc’s N50 billion Rights Issue opened for subscription, yesterday, just as Forte Oil Plc has put on hold its proposed N20 billion capital raising after receiving the approval of Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.

Union Bank is offering 12.1 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N4.10 per share to the existing shareholders on the basis of five new shares for every seven shares held as at August 21, 2017. The Bank had kicked off a road show to sensitize shareholders at an event held in Enugu last week.

Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, said: “With the commencement of the Rights Issue subscription, we have now officially entered a new phase of our transformation where we will be focused on accelerating business growth to deliver on our objective of becoming one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions.”

He further disclosed that shareholders’ forum will also hold in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja this month. The Issuing Houses involved in the transaction are Chapel Hill Advisory Partners Limited as the Lead Issuing House with Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and FSDH Merchant Bank Limited as joint issuing houses.

Meanwhile, Forte Oil, in a statement sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE, yesterday, said: “The board has taken a strategic decision to put the offering on hold pending the conclusion of an ongoing corporate restructuring with respect to maximising emerging opportunities in the Nigerian energy sector which will be to the ultimate benefit of all our stakeholders.”

In August, Forte Oil said it was in talks with a major refinery to form a strategic partnership for local refining of petroleum products.

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SARS releases suspected burglar who stole N1.5m phones

Samson Folarin

A phone dealer, Toyin Shokefun, has faulted the release of a suspected burglar, identified only as Omotola, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Lagos State Police Command, saying the officers were compromised.

Shokefun alleged that Omotola was let off the hook after the Investigating Police Officer, Omoniyi, aka Omo, was given money by “gang members” of the suspect.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Shokefun’s shop on Bankole Street, Agege, was burgled on August 12, 2017, from where 52 phones valued at N1.5m were stolen.


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According to the 28-year-old, while some of the phones were new, others were brought to her for repairs. Also stolen were a laptop and a camera.

The Remo, Ogun State indigene said she invited policemen from the Alabo Police Station to the scene, who took photographs and promised to get back to her.

“A friend, however, advised me that instead of waiting for the police, I should check those displaying phones for sales along the railway line in the community. She said most of their phones were usually stolen.

“We were both checking around when we came across the table of Omotola, who had five of the phones we were looking for.

“We quietly returned to the police station and reported our findings. Some policemen were detailed to follow us and we arrested the man,” she added.

Shokefun said she immediately observed familiarity between the policemen and the suspect, adding that they might have had dealings in the past.

She said she later became uncomfortable with the way the policemen at the station were handling the case and asked for a transfer.

The matter was said to have been taken to the SARS office in Ikeja, where the suspect was detained and some of the exhibits recovered.

Shokefun said, “The SARS men promised to investigate the matter, but first demanded a deposit of N50,000 for the job. I begged them and gave a deposit of N20,000.

“After they grilled the man, he said he was not the one that broke into my shop, but two members of his gang did the job. He said they only brought part of the phones for him to sell.

“By the time we returned to the SARS office, we learnt that he had given the police the names of the two accomplices. The IPO, Omoniyi, promised to arrest the accomplices.”

The complainant said she observed that anytime she called for an update on the case, the IPO would shun her, saying he had other cases to attend to.

She said two weeks after the matter got to SARS, she called Omoniyi and he asked her to stop bothering him.

“Another time when I called, he said he had released the suspect. He said the man did not talk about paying for my stolen phones and he would charge the case to court later. But he had earlier told us that he knew members of the gang and they were powerful robbers. I was surprised he said he had released the man,” Shokefun added.

The victim said a lawyer friend, whom she approached for assistance to compel Omoniyi to do the right thing, said the policeman was notorious for such behaviour.

 After reportedly going to the SARS office several times without any success, the lawyer gave up.

 “He dribbled the lawyer several times. The lawyer said when he went to see him at the state command, Omoniyi mocked him. The lawyer said he didn’t want to write a petition against him because of their friendship.

“I was told that the IPO could decide to arraign the suspect on light charges just to get rid of the case. I want the police to reopen the case, arrest the suspect and his accomplices and get back my stolen property or its value.

“I just started selling phones; I have been repairing phones for the past 10 years and the owners of some of the stolen phones have not allowed me to rest. I have only been asking for their understanding and saying the case is still at SARS,” she said.

The Officer-in-Charge of SARS, Muhammed Sanusi, while frowning on the incident, which he said was against the ethics of the Force, asked to see the complainant.

He said, “I will never allow that under my watch. Please ask the woman to see me. I will look into the case expeditiously.”

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Ayade demands prosecution of Abuja businessman for murder

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has demanded the arrest and prosecution of an Abuja-based businessman, Alhaji Usman Adamu, for the alleged murder of an undergraduate, Joy Odama.

The 200-level student of Mass Communication at the Cross River State University of Science died in mysterious circumstances in Adamu’s guesthouse in Karmo, Abuja, in December 2016.

The governor called for Adamu’s arrest within 24 hours and his arraignment in a court of law for his alleged crime.


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Ayade, who was represented by the Director-General, Due Process and Intelligence Unit, Dr Alphonsus Eba, at a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja said the suspect was being shielded from prosecution by the police.

The governor said he had directed the Cross River State Attorney-General to collaborate with a former AGF, Kanu Agabi, SAN, and the Federal Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to ensure that Adamu did not escape justice.

 The governor said he would write a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the refusal of the police to prosecute the suspect, promising that he would not rest until justice was done in the matter.

“We call on the police to immediately arrest Adamu within 24 hours and prosecute him for the murder of Joy Odama. No matter how slow the wheel of justice may be, whether the governor is in power for four or eight years, this case would be pursued to the Supreme Court,” Ayade said.

He stated that his government had provided money for a toxicology test on Joy’s corpse, adding that additional N10m had been earmarked for the education of Joy’s siblings, while her parents would be cared for by the state Ministry of Social Development.

He disclosed that the remains would be taken to her village in the Iyala Local Government Area of Cross River State on Tuesday and interred the next day.

The Basic Right Enlightenment Foundation, which had championed justice for Odama family, said the murder suspect had been walking free “and has been emboldened by the police refusal to arrest him, leaving him to continue his nefarious activity of luring innocent girls to their doom.”

The President of the foundation, Augustine Okechukwu, threatened to embark on a protest if the police failed to prosecute Adamu within seven days.

The Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, denied that the police were protecting Adamu, adding that the investigation into the murder had been concluded and the case file forwarded to the Ministry of Justice for legal advice.

“We are waiting for legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions. It is not true that we are shielding the suspect; that allegation is baseless,” he said.

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Handcuffed passenger: Police accuse monarch of mischief

Femi Makinde,  Osogbo

The Commissioner of Police in Osun State, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, has accused the traditional ruler of Itapa Ijesa, Dr Olapade Agoro, of concocting lies against the command to escape being taken to court for some alleged criminal and traffic offences.

Agoro had accused some policemen from the Osun State Police Command of handcuffing a bus passenger to a police patrol van in Itapa and extorting money from him following the escape of the driver of the bus from a police checkpoint.

But the police commissioner on Tuesday said he was sure that the Hilux patrol van, which the passenger was allegedly handcuffed to, did not belong to the Osun State Police Command.


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He said Agoro was earlier charged to court by the police command for using an unauthorised number plate, which he said was a traffic offence.

The CP, who said that he inherited petitions written by the people of Erinmo against Agoro, said charges had been prepared by the police against the monarch, but the magistrate had risen before the policemen got to court on the day he was to be arraigned.

The CP said, “We don’t treat petitions and complaints against any policeman with levity. We will not sweep any allegation against our men under the carpet; we will probe the allegation.

“All vehicles used on highways in Osun State are Nissan products. We don’t have a Toyota Hilux and I can say that the picture he circulated was not taken in Osun State, if he took the picture at all.

“I am not defending any policeman, but there is mischief in the photo and his allegations. He is doing this to attack the police in order to escape being prosecuted.

“The charges against him include conduct likely to cause breach of public peace by firing gunshot. He will be prosecuted by the grace of God.”

But Agoro said it was not the first time the bribe-collecting  police team would mount a checkpoint at the place and extort money from motorists.

He said, “I stand by the entire story published on Tuesday. To debunk the false story of Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, the Commissioner of Police, I will like him to be informed that I have at my disposal too many witnesses to confirm the story, but at a neutral venue than the headquarters of the Osun State Police Command.  A neutral venue like the NUJ Iyanganku, Ibadan, Oyo State, or Abuja will be okay.

“There was never a time that I was indicted and charged by the Osun State Police Command for any offence, either illegal possession of firearms or shooting or any other offence. Mr. Fimihan Adeoye is hereby challenged to come out with evidence of who I shot and when.

“Let it be on record that I have been a licensed gun owner since 1972 and with unblemished record.”

Agoro also said that he was the traditional ruler of Itapa Ijesa by the judgment of an Ilesa High Court, adding that the appeal over the case was pending before the Court of Appeal, Akure.

“As far as I am concerned, they have nothing against me and if they do, let them prove it. Let them also deny that they didn’t try to extort N1m from me.

“We just left church that day when I saw what they did (the torture). That was not the first time policemen would come to that spot to extort money from motorists,” he added.

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One-on-one approach system key to learning – Sunnydale Director

By Dayo Adesulu

THE Director of Sunnydale School, Ikeja, Mrs. Folake Osisanya has said that one-on-one approach system is key to learning in elementary schools. Osisanya, who spoke in Lagos during during a press briefing to announce activities to mark the the school’s 20th anniversary said a child is not taught in abstract terms to make learning permanent but one on one learning system.

She said:“At Sunnydale School, any student who scores below 70 per cent is not promoted to the next class.” What the school does is to identify and sort out children with low learning deficiency at the beginning of the session and allocate a teacher to them on one-on-one basis.”

With this method adopted, she maintained that within few months such children catch up with others. She said, “when a child is confronted with a challenge, the school assigns a teacher to him, however, we ensure that no teacher has more than four students.” With that approach, she noted that many children who were below average before they came to the school became academic stars before they left.

Speaking in the same vein, head of school, Mr. Adegboyega Fadare, pointed out that as a result of the special handling of the children in the school, four of students had represented the school in a national competition and one of them emerged best. He said in Sunnydale, they do not have twenty students in a class, stressing that with the few students in a class, it gives a teacher the opportunity to know the students one on one. “Teachers should be able to address every child by name, know his needs and meet them,” he said.

Meanwhile, teachers in the school have shared secrets on how the school grew from 15 to 300 students. They said that the school which began with three play group children, two nursery one children, four nursery two children, three primary one and three primary three children  in 1997 has within two decades grown to over 300 while maintaining quality and academic standard at the same time.

Explaining why many of the teachers remain with the school for years, many of them who spoke with Vanguard said that they were comfortable with the working conditions of the school. They said the teachers’ children pay only 15 per cent of the fees, adding that they have medical insurance, and were given opportunity for overseas all expenses paid trip for training.

On security issue, Mrs. Ade Fakoya who has taught for over a decade said the organised security of the school makes parents proud of Sunnydale School. She said that apart from the presence of the Police and other security agencies, the head security of the school knows all students and those who come to pick them after school.

She said that as a matter of principle, only the registered vehicle and drivers are allowed to pick children, adding, “If a parent changes the vehicle that picks the student after school, we will not allow him to pick the child except he registers such vehicle with us. Our school buses are safe wherever they are because we have a way of monitoring them. Even in the school, we have our CCTV.”

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