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333 Katsina schoolboys still missing, says Governor Masari as parents protest

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Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has said 333 students are still missing after an attack on Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in the state.

He gave the number when a Federal Government delegation led by National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, visited him on Sunday.

Gunmen had invaded the school on Friday night, shooting into the air to scare away people in the area, giving them the opportunity to abduct many students.

Some people including parents of the abducted students took to protest on Sunday over the abduction and demanded immediate rescue of their children.

This came as Northern Governors Forum (NGF) condemned the Saturday’s attack by bandits on the school, describing the development as “unfortunate, regrettable and intolerable”.

The school is said to have a population of around 800 students. The police said when the gunmen attacked the school; some of the students scaled the fence to escape.

Spokesman for the Katsina Police Command, Isah Gambo, had earlier said 200 students were rescued as of Saturday morning.

On Saturday evening, Spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, said the armed forces had located the hideout of the bandits in a forest.

The president directed the security agencies to ensure the rescue of the abducted students and urged parents whose children fled home during the attack to notify the school.

The protesters in Katsina on Sunday demanded the immediate rescue of students abducted by bandits.

The protest was led by a woman who identified herself as one of the mothers of the abducted students.

They went around the school’s premises and some parts of the town with placards showing messages such as ‘Government must speak out’, ‘We want our children back’ and ‘We want security in Kankara’.

The Northern Governors Forum also condemned the attack and said through their Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, in a statement signed by his Director of Press, Dr Simon Macham, that they remained solidly behind the security agencies in the pursuit of the bandits to ensure that normalcy was restored and the abducted students rescued.

They appreciated the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the security forces to deploy every available resource needed to deal with the situation.

They also expressed solidarity with the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, the government and people of the state and urged that everything possible should be done to ensure that no student was left behind in the bandits’ captivity or harmed

Lalong said the prayers of the forum were with the families of the students, the school authorities and called on the citizens to volunteer useful information to the security agencies and relevant government bodies to assist in the quick arrest of the situation.

Coalition of Northern Groups had earlier threatened to mobilise students and youths to go on protest in if the abducted students were not rescued on time.

Chairman of the North-West zone of the group, Jamiu Aliyu, who addressed a press conference in Katsina, said, “We condemn in totality this barbaric act and call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the culprits, we equally stress the inability of the government to protect those young, innocent, vibrant students from this horrible attack as uncalled for.

“Failure of the government to rescue the missing students within a shortest period of time, CNG will not hesitate to mobilize hundreds of thousands on the streets of Katsina state for a continuous protest, until the students are fully rescued, even if it’s going to cost our lives.”

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of additional forces to Katsina to assist in the rescue operations.

“The deployment, which includes personnel from the Police Tactical Squads and crack detectives from the Force Intelligence Bureau, will provide investigative support to the Katsina State Police Command,” a statement by the Police spokesman, Frank Mba, said.

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Police tortured me to lie about having affair with millionaire’s wife — Uber driver

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Thirty-three-year-old Bright Izedomni almost choked on emotion as he recalled and narrated his ordeal in the hands of policemen and women at the Ajiwe Police Station under the Lagos State Police Command last year December. The Uber driver trembled in remembered fear as the words tumbled out of his memory, finding release from his mouth. This was an ordeal Izedomni has kept buried for months inside of him, leading to him quitting his job as a Uber driver and running away from Lagos.

He narrated his encounter with a millionaire, Ikechukwu David Onwukwe; his wife, Mrs. Adeola Onwukwe; and the Police at Ajiwe Police Station and how fear had become his constant companion. He looked unkempt, hungry, and harried. He has been in hiding and looking over his shoulders for weeks and months. He trusts nobody and worries that Ikechukwu will unleash the police or his boys on him.

Tears shimmered in Izedomni’s eyes. And even as he fought them to stay put, they defeated him and streamed down his cheeks. He sniffed and wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt.

He said: “I have never been so afraid in my life. Policemen and women tortured me with a cutlass, bottle and batons. I was slapped repeatedly and punched. They tied my hands and legs behind me and used the cutlass to beat me. The pain was unbearable for me.

“This happened in December, but till now I’m still having back pain and pains in different parts of my body. And while torturing me, the police kept shouting at me to confess that I had sex with Adeola and video-recorded everything.

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“I cried and screamed in pain. I wrote a statement, and they wrote another statement, appended my name to it, saying all sorts of lies against me. It was when I saw the indicting statement written by the police that I decided to admit to the lies. I lied that I had an affair with Mrs. Adeola. I didn’t want to die. I needed to leave that police station.”

Izedomni is the Uber driver accused by Ikechukwu, a multimillionaire of having an affair with his wife, Adeola. However, the case between Adeola and Ikechukwu is the custody of their four children. Ikechukwu took the children and relocated with them to Owerri in Imo State without recourse to the Child Rights Law and without his wife’s consent.

According to Adeola, there was no sexual relationship between her and Izedomni. It will be recalled that Adeola repeatedly stated she never had a sexual relationship with Izedomni and had even demanded that her husband and his lawyer, Chimezie Onwuama, provide the evidence they claimed to have of the affair. How the fight for custody of four children between Ikechukwu and Adeola became a case of extramarital liaison is yet unclear.

Izedomni, petrified out of his wits, had bravely stepped out of his hiding to tell his side of the story to our reporter. He came out of hiding after finding out that members of the Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network have stepped into the matter, fighting for justice for Adeola. He also demanded justice, further asking for protection.

This was even as he admitted to making sexual advances at Adeola, but she had told him that she was a married woman and has had five children. He had immediately stopped making further moves.

Recalling how he met Adeola, Izedomni said it was at Shoprite in the Sangotedo area of Lekki, Lagos State in December 2022. It was at midnight. And he noticed her walking dejectedly. He followed her, wondering where she was going at that hour. She initially ignored him, but later responded that she was going to church.

He recounted: “I asked her why she didn’t take an Uber. I am an Uber driver and most of us drivers used to park at that Shoprite for passengers. She said that she didn’t like driving far distances. I quickly sensed I could make money and told her that she could hire me to drive her anywhere. It was a good business sense. We exchanged phone numbers and we started having conversations.

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“She would later tell me that she was going to church that night to pray because her husband secretly married another woman and had a child without telling her. She said that they started their relationship in a one-room apartment before the man started making money. The thought of her husband marrying another woman was just too much for her to handle.”

Izedomni said the first time Adeola called him to come and pick her at home, she did not allow him into her house. She asked him to wait at the estate gate. He said that the house was close to the gate and he noticed that the fence was low, thus was able to notice that the house had CCTV everywhere.

He said: “On that first day, she instructed me to take her to Alagbon Police in Obalende, where her husband’s brother’s wife was detained. The woman’s husband was wanted for defrauding a company and when police couldn’t get him, they arrested his wife.

“She was detained. Ikechukwu then sent N500,000 to Adeola to get the woman out of police detention. Adeola told me all this, but when we got there, it didn’t work out because there was no available guarantor. On that day, she paid me N15,000. And because she used to call me for car hire, I discovered that Mrs. Adeola’s movements were usually to hospital, Ajah Market and Shoprite.”

One day, Adeola felt she needed further prayers and a cleric intervention in her wobbling marriage. She asked Izedomni if he knew of any powerful pastor. He called a friend, who then linked Adeola to a woman attending a Celestial Church of Christ.

Izedomni, who said that he did not know what Adeola discussed with the woman after connecting them through his friend, further explained that soon, he received a call from his best friend asking him to come and take him to Ikeja. He drove down to meet his friend at an agreed venue.

He did not know that Police tracked his phone, got his friend’s phone number, and then arrested him. He would be used as bait to catch him.

He said: “When I got there, my friend entered the car and just as I was about to drive off, he said I should wait, that his brother was coming. That was how three men entered the car, saying that the car was a stolen one. I told them that it was a lie! I had been driving that car for long and it belonged to a company.

“I didn’t know they were policemen. They were not in uniform. They could have been thieves or kidnappers. I started shouting thief! Thief! One of them brought out his identity card, saying that they were policemen from Ajiwe Police Station. I wondered why policemen from Ajiwe Police Station came all the way to Ibeju Lekki to make frivolous allegations. It was Rapid Response Squad operatives that were driving past that intervened and asked me to go with the policemen to Ajiwe.

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“When we got there, they took me to the back of the station and started hitting me with sticks. One of them told me that I was arrested because I slept with someone’s wife. I said it was not true. They asked me if I knew Chief David, and I said no. They asked if I knew Mrs. Adeola, I said yes.”

Izedomni said that he was tortured for days. He was arrested on December 18, 2022 and was not allowed to go home until December 24, 2022. The long detention of Izedomni without charging him to court and without a detention warrant are also against the law.

Izedomni recalled that the policemen and women used to bring him out to torture him.  The police collected his car documents and his phone and refused to allow him to make a call to anyone.

He said that after days of being in detention, Ikechukwu finally came to Ajiwe Police Station. Izedomni felt that the police detained him for that long because they were waiting for the arrival of Ikechukwu.

He stated: “There’s a small room the police used to keep me. On the day Ikechukwu arrived, he came to ask me if I was Bright. I said yes. He punched me in my mouth in the presence of one of my Investigating Police Officers and blood started gushing out. Yes, I have two IPOs. One is called Inspector Abiola Williams, the other is called Alhaja. Those women used to beat and slap me.

“There is a policeman, who is a tracker. When Ikechukwu came, they brought Adeola. Ikechukwu collected Adeola’s phone and mine and handed them over to the tracker. Adeola’s husband slapped her in the presence of the police, and nothing was done about the abuse.

“Ikechukwu came back to me. He said: ‘My brother you see at this police station, I’m spending naira. When we get to court, I will spend dollars.’ There was a man that was detained in the cell with me, someone came to visit him. He told me that he saw Ikechukwu throwing money around at the police people.

“This detainee told me to do anything to ensure I leave that police station immediately, that they had ‘finished my matter.’ The family of Adeola and of Ikechukwu came to see the Divisional Police Officer of Ajiwe Police Station. Adeola’s family members were mostly women, while Ikechukwu’s family were men.”

Izedomni was brought out of the cell and taken to the DPO’s office, where the confab was being held. He was made to stand right in front of the DPO’s desk, with his case file opened on the desk.

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He glanced at the file and discovered that someone had rewritten his statement, putting lies as confessions that did not emanate from him. The DPO then asked the gathered people to tell their stories. Kemi, Adeola’s elder sister, decided to go first.

Izedomni added: “But the DPO shouted at her and ordered her to go out, that she was too forward. Right there in the DPO’s office, my IPOs and the tracker started slapping and hitting me, telling me to confess. The slaps were coming from different directions, and they were video recording me.

“When I saw the statement with my name, but not my words, I knew I was in deeper trouble. It was then and there I decided to lie that I had a sexual affair with Mrs. Adeola. I even lied that it was once, and they kept video recording me. Ikechukwu made more accusations against me, saying that he sent Adeola N5 million and she used it to buy a Toyota Camry car for me.

“He also accused me that I used to enter his wife’s bedroom. His house has CCTV everywhere, let him and the police bring the CCTV to prove I was ever there.

“I was still in detention when policemen went to Ikechukwu’s house, used Adeola’s car to pack her things out of her matrimonial home, and brought them to the station. Police also made me sign an undertaken.”

Izedomni said that after his release, Ikechukwu called him, asking for receipts of the hotels he and Adeola used to go to have sexual liaisons, adding: “I asked him what hotel receipts. I told him that I didn’t have time for his nonsense. He now said he would give me N2 million if I cooperated. I told him I was not interested. My wife and pastor bailed me with N40,000 and it was money I wanted to use to buy Christmas wear for my child.

“When Ikechukwu came to the station, about 10 young men came with him. They were his boys, and they all wore white. It was scary. He has boys everywhere. I don’t think I am safe, so I returned the car I was using for Uber because the police snapped it and its plate number. They could snatch it on the road. Anything was possible.

“I destroyed my SIM card and ran away from Lagos because Ikechukwu and Police have my house address. I ran away because I didn’t and couldn’t have a rest of my mind. Everything and every noise startle me. Incidentally, I was not the only driver arrested because of Adeola. There are two other drivers that were arrested before me.

“The funny thing is that one of my IPOs said that Ikechukwu still owed them money. Ikechukwu told me at the Police station that for years he has been looking for a way to divorce Adeola. Presently I am jobless, and my wife is pregnant. I don’t even know how we will manage with the coming baby.”

Izedomni had to borrow money for transportation fare from people in the Oshodi area in order to go back to where he had been hiding outside of Lagos State.

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Court summons Emefiele over $53m debt arising from Paris Club refund

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Godwin Emefiele

Court summons Emefiele over $53m debt arising from Paris Club refund

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to appear before it on July 19 over a 53 million dollar-judgment debt arising from the Pars Club refund.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, who gave the order during the hearing of a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1193/2017, insisted that the court would not hear Emefiele’s motion for stay until he appeared in court.

Justice Ekwo had, on Oct. 20, 2022, ordered the CBN governor to appear in court on Jan. 18 over his alleged refusal to obey the order of the court for the payment of the judgment debt in favour of a legal practitioner, Joe Agi, SAN.

However, on the Jan. 18, proceedings could not go on as scheduled when the matter was called, prompting the court to subsequently adjourned the case till March 20.

Mr Agi had dragged Linas International Ltd, Minister of Finance and CBN to court as 1st to 3rd judgment debtors respectively, following an application for garnishee made by him as judgment creditor in the case.

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Upon resumed hearing on Tuesday, Agi’s counsel, Ayodele Arotiowa, informed that on the last adjourned date, the court made an order that Mr Emefiele should appear in court on the next date and that the order had not been obeyed.

Audu Anuga, SAN, who appeared for Emefiele and CBN, reminded that the court did not sit on the last adjourned date.

“There is an intervening circumstance which we have brought to the attention of the court by filing of affidavit of fact,” he said.

The judge then asked when the appeal was filed by Mr Anuga.

“The appeal was filed on the 28th day of October, 2022,” the lawyer responded.

He said besides the appeal, they also filed a motion for stay.

Mr Anuga, who said that the appeal had been entered, said that was why they filed affidavit of fact.

Arotiowa said though they had been served with the processes, they had also responded.

Mr Anuga told the court that they had pending application to set aside those order nisi.

Justice Ekwo then said that it was because of the order he made that Mr Emefiele should appear in court that prompted them to go on appeal “so that he does not appear in this court.”

“That is exactly what you have done. So, we, the trial court cannot do our job?

“I am not going to hear you on any application until Mr Godwin Emefiele appears in court.

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“Therefore, I am going to give a date for you to report to the court in the compliance with the order of the court.

“Upon being aware that the motion for stay of execution is a live matter in this court, this court shall not hear that application unless and until Mr Godwin Emefiele who has been ordered to appear in court appears in court,” the judge declared.

He adjourned the matter until July 19 for report.

NAN reports that the dispute stemmed from an alleged $70 million judgment against Linas International Ltd for the lawyer’s (Joe Agi) assistance with the Paris Club refund.

Emefiele was said to have only released $17 million, leaving an unpaid balance of $53 million.

The court had on Jan. 23, 2020, ruled that Emefiele must appear “to be examined on oath, since the date of the said garnishee order absolute, to pay the balance of 53 million dollars now due and payable under the said garnishee order absolute and also show cause why you should not be committed to prison for default in payment of the said sum”.

In October 2022, Agi through his counsel Isaac Ekpa and Chinonso Obasi, filed another application against Linas International, Minister of Finance and the CBN.

He sought for an order directing the Inspector-General of Police to arrest Mr Emefiele and bring him to court alongside his lawyers, Damian Dodo, Audu Anuga, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria, and Ginika Ezeoke, Jessica Iyoke, Abdullahi Afolayan, and Olayemi Afolayan.”

Court summons Emefiele over $53m debt arising from Paris Club refund

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Fuel: Edo joins Kwara, reduces work days to three

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Fuel: Edo joins Kwara, reduces work days to three

Edo State Government has announced the reduction of work days from five to three to cushion the effects of the petrol subsidy removal on civil servants.

This was came through a statement on Tuesday by the state governor, Godwin Obaseki.

With the policy, Edo has joined Kwara State, which earlier declared that all its workers would work for only three days in a week as part of measures to ease the burden of rising transport fares due to the fuel subsidy removal.

Governor Obaseki said his government shared the pains of the people, stressing that his administration would stand with them “in these very challenging times”.

“In the wake of fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government, fuel prices have increased astronomically leading to a rise in prices of goods and services and overall cost of living,” he said.

As a proactive government, we have since taken the step to increase the minimum wage paid to workers in Edo state from the approved N30,000 to N40,000, the highest in the country today.

“We want to assure you that we will continue to pay this amount, while we hope to increase it even further if more allocation accrues to our state from the federal government in view of the expected savings occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy.”

He also said, “Edo state government is hereby reducing the number of work days that civil and public servants will have to commute to their workplaces from five days a week to three days a week till further notice. Workers will now work from home two days every week.”

He also added that the state is also working on deepening EdoBEST@Home initiative to create more virtual classes, thereby reducing the cost of commuting by parents, teachers and pupils to school.

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