Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Extra-judicial killing: Grief, anger, tension, as police kill apprentice

Grief, anger, tension and uncertainty aptly captured the mood in Epetedo, Lagos Island, when Daily Sun visited the area on Monday, March 28, 2011. This is as a result of the killing of a 22-year-old man, Abiodun Adeniji, by policemen from Area ‘A’, Lion Building, on Friday, March 25, 2011.

After the victim, an apprentice, was shot by a police officer simply identified as Elegbede, his corpse was dumped in the compound where he was killed. Irked by the action of the police, some angry women and youths carried his corpse to the Central Police Station, Adeniji Adele also on the island. The protesting women and youths, who were teargassed by the police, dropped the body at the police station and left.

Few minutes after they were dispersed, a team of policemen came to the area and arrested many youths in a raid. Daily Sun gathered that about 50 persons were detained and the police have continued to clamp down on the youths.

On March 23, a young boy, Taiwo Jatto was shot dead by some hoodlums during a clash.
It was on the basis of the clash between some youths from Lafiaji and Epetedo, which resulted in the death of Taiwo, that police carried out the raid which resulted Abiodun’s killing. The supremacy battle between the two factions of the hoodlums had been going on since December last year.

The problem started when one Kabiaru Jubril wanted to become the Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), which those in support of one Michael, opposed. A source said since the leadership tussle started some months ago, it had been one harvest of clashes. It was also gathered that efforts by some prominent people in the area, especially, politicians, to reconcile the two factions had always met a brickwall. On that fateful Wednesday, some armed hoodlums from Lafiaji were said to have taken the battle to Epetedo and in the process, killed Taiwo, who just finished his Senior Secondary Certificate Examination and was waiting for his result.

Giving insight into the crisis in the area, the Publicity Secretary of Epetedo Elders, Alhaji Rasheed Aro, admitted that the problem between the youths in Lafiaji and Epetedo had been on for quite some months.
He explained that after Abiodun was killed, some angry and concerned women took to the streets half-naked and marched alongside the youths, who were taking the body of the victim to the police station.
Another resident, who identified himself as Lukman Ajagun, lamented the raid on the area and the arrest of some innocent youths by the police.

He put the number of persons arrested by the police, including the councillor representing the area and an Estate developer, at over 50. He, however, disclosed that some of them had been released.
Abiodun’s brother-in-law, Prince Segun Adams, disclosed that he was killed at about 7 am. He narrated how the victim earlier told his sister to assist him to wash his jeans trousers before he went to visit his friend at Elemele Court, off Beecroft Street, before his tragic death.

When the policemen came for the raid, people, including Abiodun, were seen running helter-sketer, to avoid arrest. The fear-stricken Abiodun was said to have run into a compound, where the policemen went and shot him dead. “They did not find any cutlass, gun or any arm on him, but they still shot him. The policemen regretted their action but there was no way they will admit their mistake publicly,” he said.
He disclosed that Abiodun’s mother, Mrs. Abibat was taken away to Ikorodu, to enable her recover from the shock.

One of the elderly women in the community, who marched to the police station, Mrs. Airat Alapini, said they organized the protest because it was clear that the victim (Abiodun) did not commit any crime to warrant his killing by the police. She explained that when the victim saw the policemen and ran into the compound, they went after him and he raised his hands, an indication that he was armless and harmless. “As they were taking him away, Elegbede shot him.” she said.

Mrs. Alapini explained that another reason for dumping the body at the station was to tell the police to take the corpse of the innocent person they killed, instead of abandoning it to the family.
She said it is only justice that can heal the wound inflicted on the family by the police.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paid in full

A friend of mine pasted this on my wall. A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, d young man awaited signs that his father had purchased d car. Finally, on d morning of his graduatn, his father called him into his private study. He told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, how much he loved him. He handed him a beautifully wrapped gift box.
Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with his name embossed in gold. Angry, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all ur money, u give me a Bible?" and stormed out of d house.

Many years passed and d young man was very successful in biz. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed on, and willed all of his possessions to him, He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.
When he arrived at his father's house, a sudden feeling of sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still gift-wrapped Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened d Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, MATT. 7:11; "And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Hime?"

As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It has a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On d tag was d date of his graduation and d words PAID IN FULL.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jimoh Ibrahim’s mother kidnapped •Senator escapes death, ADC killed •Gunmen kill FRSC staff, injure another in Owerri


THE mother of the billionaire business mogul and chairman of NICON Group, Jimoh Ibrahim, was, on Sunday night, kidnapped by unknown gunmen from her residence at Igbotako, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The 70-year-old woman, Mafe Jimoh, was forcibly taken away to an unknown destination by four heavily armed men.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the people came to the one-storey building in the town on the pretext that they wanted to buy locally made mats being sold by the woman.
It was further learnt that the woman was in one of the rooms upstairs when the people arrived at the house and demanded to see her.
The people were said to have pretended to be her long-standing customers, as they came in a vehicle to the building.
A security guard on duty in the house, Donatus Ekuma, who recounted the incident to newsmen said: “Four of them came in a vehicle. Two of them came down from the car and demanded to see Mama. They claimed to be her customers and that they wanted to buy some mats.
“I told them that Mama was resting upstairs but they insisted on seeing her personally and making their purchase and I obliged them.
“But it was a different story when the old woman came out to meet her ‘customers’ only to be held with force and dragged into their waiting vehicle. I immediately raised the alarm but the gunmen pointed their guns at me and other domestic staff on duty, ordering us to lie, face-down.”
He said the people thereafter escaped with the billionaire’s mother on top speed, having scared the people around with guns.
However, no contact had been made with the woman as at press time and the kidnappers were yet to contact any of the family members to demand for ransom.
The woman was said to have left her phone in her room before coming out to see the people, as she might not be able to recall any of her relatives’ number.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Aremu Adeniran, said the incident was reported at the Igbotako police station around 11.30 p.m, on Sunday.
He, however, said men of the command had commenced full investigation into the matter, to ensure that the woman was released unhurt.
Reacting, Mr Ibrahim, speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, said the kidnap had since been reported to the police and security agencies.
He lamented recent incidents in the area, including the burning of the house of the former Olugbo, killing of his wife and grandchildren, as well as the kidnap of other notable Nigerians in the state.
Meanwhile, Gunmen suspected to be hired assassins, late on Sunday, attacked the convoy of the senator representing Edo South senatorial district, Ehigie Uzamere, killing his aide-de-camp (ADC) and injuring his driver.
Uzamere, who is also the Edo South senatorial candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the April elections and his convoy were attacked at Zabayo Street, off Stadium Road in Benin City, at about 8.00 p.m.
Senator Uzamere escaped unhurt, while his driver was reported to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
However, policemen in the convoy of Senator Uzamere were said to have responded to the gunfire of the assailants, killing one of them. Two other suspects were arrested by the operatives of the state’s Joint Military Task Force.
In a related development, a road marshal, Mr Francis Iwuji, attached to the Njaba unit command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Owerri, Imo State, has been shot and killed by unknown gunmen, while another has been hospitalised with serious injuries.
Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of FRSC, Mr Osita Chidoka, condemned the killing of the officer while discharging his duties, while also commiserating with his family.
Details of the incident, as released in Abuja, on Monday, by the FRSC headquarters, indicated that the patrol team noticed suspicious movements in a nearby bush, but as they moved towards the bush, they were felled by gunshots.

EFCC recovers $9bn – Waziri

The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, has rated her commission high for being able to recover over $9bn in less than three years.

The Head, Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said in a statement that the commission’s efforts under Waziri “have led to the recovery of over $9b USD in less than three years; a conviction record of over 150; 1,500 cases charged to court including over 60 high profile ones within the same period.”

The EFCC made this disclosure at a conference against money laundering and economic crime in London, United Kingdom. She called for more global actions against the scourge of money laundering across the world.

Waziri stated that the two-fold approach adopted by EFCC in its fight against the menace of corruption namely, preventive and detective and enforcement strategies had yielded positive results.

She noted that corruption was yet to reduce drastically in Africa due to “ double standard approach of developed nations.”

While urging developed economies to do more in tackling money laundering in their respective nations, she added that the countries (developed nations) had provided safe havens for looted funds from developing countries.


Salami, Katsina-Alu sit apart at tribunal swearing-in •Court of Appeal president dragged to court over election tribunals

lami, Katsina-Alu sit apart at tribunal swearing-in •Court of Appeal president dragged to court over election tribunals
THE swearing-in of members of the election petition tribunals for the forthcoming April polls on Monday
did not go without its drama as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, alone sat on the high table that should have been traditionally shared by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami, pointing to the deepening of the feud between the duo.
Nigerian Tribune had exclusively reported the inauguration of the tribunals at the Supreme Court on Monday, with the event expected to continue today.
A lingering crisis of confidence between the duo appears to have led to a strain in their relationship.
Salami, who has the constitutional right to empanel the tribunals, had emerged from the inner chambers of the justices of the apex court with two justices of the Court of Appeal in tow and made straight for one of the seats where visitors are allowed to sit, taking the front row, moments before Katsina-Alu made his lone entry.
Nigerian Tribune had inquired from a highly-placed source within the system if he had paid the CJN the usual visit before such events, with a negative coming from the source.
The source added that he was also not coming from the office of the CJN, even though he emerged from the justices inner chambers.
Katsina-Alu made his way into the courtroom alone and occupied a seat placed below the normal bench that justices of the court occupy during proceedings, without either of them looking in each other’s direction.
The brief ceremony kicked off immediately the CJN was seated, with the tribunal members taking their oath in front of him in batches.
The court rose immediately after his speech, without any exchange of pleasantries again between him and Salami.
In his speech, Justice Katsina-Alu read the riot act to the members of the tribunals, vowing that the corrupt would be severely dealt with.
According to him: “Any substantiated complaint of impropriety against you will go before the National Judicial Council and you will pay dearly for such. I want to warn you, the chairmen and members of the election tribunals, that you are under the scrutiny of the eyes of the litigants that will come before you, as well as the members of the general public. You have a very heavy responsibility on your shoulders and the earlier you appreciate this, the better for the nation and the image of the judiciary.
“Election petitions, just like the ordinary day-to-day civil cases, are intended to be dealt with by tribunals consistently, fairly, without bias or impartiality.”
Meanwhile, Justice Katsina-Alu, on Monday, warned judges against corruption, adding that any judge found to be corrupt would be dealt with appropriately.
Katsina-Alu stated this on Monday at the opening of a five-day refresher course for judges and khadis at the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja.
The CJN, who was represented by Justice Aloma Mukhtar, urged judicial officers to handle cases without fear or favour to sustain democratic institutions, adding that the enormity of the responsibility, which the democratic governance had placed on the judiciary, demanded that the courts must rise to their constitutional responsibilities.
According to him: “Remember that the continued relevance of our work as judges depends, to a great extent, on public confidence. We must collectively avoid anything that will compromise the preservation of the rule of law.
“Bear in mind at all times that all parties, plaintiffs and defendants, prosecutors and accused appearing before you are not all likely to be satisfied with your rulings and judgments.
“The National Judicial Council would not hesitate to deal as appropriate with any erring member of the Bench in event of proven act of misconduct.”
Earlier, in his address, the administrator of the National Judicial Institute, Justice Umaru Eri, viewed the course as an integral part of the continuing Judicial Education Programme aimed essentially at improving the skills of judicial officers and to apprise them of new ideas and developments in the discharge of their adjudicatory duties.
Justice Eri stressed that the belief that the judiciary was the only hope of the helpless could be validated through strict adherence to the dictates of pure justice and judicial integrity.
The theme of this year’s course is “Ensuring Efficiency in the Administration of Justice.”
Meanwhile, Justice Salami has been dragged before a Federal High Court, for empanelling new election petition tribunals for the forthcoming general election.
In a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, the court was being asked to restrain him from performing that constitutional role, given the avalanche of probe he was facing for alleged corruption in the performance of same role on the 2007 general election.
Salami is being probed by the Department of the State Security Service (SSS), police, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and a probe panel set up by the National Judicial Council (NJC) headed by his predecessor-in-office, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, over alleged corrupt practices in the determination of gubernatorial election appeals in Osun, Ekiti and Sokoto states.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would also be stepping into the probe this week, when the investigating team from the judiciary would be meeting with its leadership.
Commission’s spokesperson, Mr Femi Babafemi, confirmed that the meeting, which was cancelled at the last minute last week, would take place this week, though he did not give the exact day of the planned meeting.
The party asked the court to restrain Salami from performing his function of office, pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Joined as defendants in the case were the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), NJC and the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
In a motion on notice filed by the party counsel, Mr Segun Ilori, the party wanted the court to also restrain the AGF, NJC and the FJSC from admitting, recognising or treating Justice Salami as the president of the Court of Appeal, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive case before the court.
The party said his continued exercise of powers of president of the Court of Appeal might prejudice the outcome of the investigation.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

EFCC takes over Igbinedion’s assets

click to expand image
A property belonging to a former Edo State governor, Lucky Igbinedion, at No 7, Justice Fatai Wuilliams, Asokoro, Abuja, sealed off by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ... on Tuesday. Inset: EFCC operatives sealing the property.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday began the enforcement of a court order to take over the assets and property of a former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, in different locations in the country.

Operatives of the EFCC began the enforcement in Abuja based on the order of Justice M.B Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Two or the 11 property, located in Abuja, were the first to be taken over by EFCC operatives. Eight others are located in Benin City, Edo State and Victoria Island, Lagos.

Another house, located at 29 Sheldon Avenue, Highgate, London, was also listed among the property to be forfeited to the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Justice Idris had on February 28 ordered that Igbinedion’s assets be forfeited to the government pending the determination of the charge in suit number FHC/B/11C/2011.

Other property the EFCC took over on Tuesday included a block of four flats at 43 Etete Road, Benin; Chicken Republic on Sapele Road, Benin City; a parcel of land at 3, Boundary Road, Benin City; a building covered by approved plan number 2041/2004 at 20B Etete Road, Benin City; a building known as White House located along Ugbor Police Station Road and a mighty house at the neighbourhood of Etete and Ugbor Layout, Benin City.

The property to be forfeited in Lagos is located at 55C, Adebisi Close, Off Samauel Adedoyin Street, Victoria Island, Lagos while those in Abuja are landed properties at 5, Danube Crescent, Maitama and 7, Justice Fatai Williams Street, off Justice Sowemimo Street, Abuja.

Igbinedion, who was governor of Edo State between 1999 and 2003, is facing charges of alleged unlawful conversion and criminal diversion of fund by the EFCC.

The former governor and six others are facing a 66-count-charge on money laundering and mismanagement of public funds amounting to about N3.2bn.

The other accused persons are Patrick Eboigbodin; Michael Igbinedion and four firms: Gava Corporation Limited; Romrig Nigeria Limited, PML Securities Limited and PML (Nigeria) Limited.


Monday, March 7, 2011

$180m Halliburton scam: Dick Cheney’s court papers missing

A suit by a legal practitioner, Mr. Osuagwu Ugochukwu, before an Abuja High Court against a former Vice President of United States, Mr. Dick Cheney, on Monday suffered another setback as the case file, which had earlier been declared missing, by the court was found.

But copies of processes to be served by bailiffs on the defendants were declared missing.

The plaintiff had filed the action and named the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri, and Cheney as co-defendants to the suit.

Ugochukwu had asked the court to declare as null and void the withdrawal of criminal charges against Cheney through plea bargaining without complying with the provision of the 1999 constitution.

The plaintiff had specifically said that the plea bargaining violated section 6(1)(2)(5) and (6) of the 1999 Constitution, adding that by virtue of section 14(2) EFCC (Establishment Act 2004), the EFCC could not afford to enter into plea bargaining with Cheney without first arraigning him before a court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria.

When the plaintiff, who appeared on behalf of himself, moved an ex parte order for substituted service on Cheney using his last known address in Nigeria as the then Head of Halliburton worldwide, the court declined his request.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko said the application was not meritorious.

In an attempt to find out whether Ugochukwu had served the defendants the originating summons, the court discovered that the bailiff did not deliver the processes and the said documents could not be found.

Ugochuwku had, in the 17-paragraph affidavit deposed to by him alleged, thus, “That Cheney is a former Vice-President of the United State and was Head/Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton Incorporated between August 1995 and August 2000. That on December 7, 2010, the 2nd Defendant at the instance of the first defendant filed a 16- count charge at the Federal High Court against the third defendant and eight others over acts of corruption and bribery to secure a $6bn Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas project in Bonny.”

The case has been adjourned till May 11.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Victims of Suleja Bomb Blast

Is this just religion or politics? How long can we endure this? The answer is in your hands?

Corrupt Enrichment: EFCC traces N12b to directors' accounts


Join The Discussion On Okoawo BlueGate & Co.


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