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Breaking: DSS denies journalists access from covering Kanu’s court case

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The Department of State Services, DSS, has again, denied journalists access to the court room where trial of detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, is expected to resume today.

Kanu, who was re-arraigned before trial Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, is facing a seven-count amended treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him.

As a early as 6am when this reporter arrived at the court which is adjacent the Federal Ministry of Justice, heavily armed operatives of the DSS ordered him to turn back.

The hooded operatives, who barricaded all routes leading to the court, equally barred both print and broadcast Journalists from major media organizations from entering the court premises.

“We are working on instruction. We can’t let you people in”, one of the operatives told newsmen

As at 8:23am when this report was filed in, the operatives had yet to allow any Journalist to gain access to the court premises.

Similarly, some lawyers and Igbo traditional rulers that arrived the court around 7am, were also turned back.

Other security agents on ground to ensure that no journalist is allowed into the court, were drawn from the Nigerian Police Force, and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

Officials of the court had after a meeting it held with leaders of the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents, NAJUC, on Tuesday, disclosed that Justice Nyako insisted that she would only allow five journalists into the courtroom.

Sequel to their instruction, a five-man list, comparising of journalists from the Print, Television, Radio and Online news outlets, among whom included this reporter, was submitted to the court.

However, upon arrival at court on Wednesday, DSS operatives, refused to allow any journalists in.

Effort to persuade the security agents to bulge is still ongoing.

FG had in the amended charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, which was signed by a team of government lawyers led by the Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mr. M. B. Abubakar, alleged that Kanu had in furtherance of an act of terrorism, issued a deadly threat that anyone that flouted his sit-at-home order should write his or her will.

FG alleged that as a result of Kanu’s directive, banks, schools, markets, shopping malls, fuel stations were not opened for businesses, with vehicular movements grounded in the South East region of the country.

It said the action amounted to an offence contrary to and punishable under 1(2) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.

FG alleged that Kanu had “on or about the 28th April, 2015 in London, United Kingdom did in a broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, Enugu state and other parts of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, referred to Major General Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a paedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil, knowing same to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C. 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.

He was alleged to have committed treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria

He was alleged to had between 2018 and 2021, through Radio Biafra, professed to be a member of IPOB, a proscribed organization in Nigeria, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16 of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.

In count five of the charge, FG alleged that Kanu had on April 22, 2021, in London, United Kingdom, on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu and other parts of Nigeria, did an act of terrorism “in that you incite the other members (followers) of the Indegenious People of Biafra (IPOB), a proscribed organization in Nigeria, to look for security personnel, their family members through a Radio Biafra on 102.1FM monitored through the IPOB Community Radio, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 1 (2) (h) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.

Attached in support of the amended charge dated October 14, included a seven-paragraphed affidavit of completion of investigation deposed to by one Loveme Odubo, a prosecutor in the Federal Ministry of Justice.

FG equally lined up five witnesses to testify in the matter, among whom are officials of the DSS and one Ronald S. who was identified as the manager of a Hotel in Lagos.

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Updated: Gunmen rape, kill polytechnic beauty queen in Ogun

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A student of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Happiness Odeh, has been murdered after winning Miss MAPOLY on August 3.

The victim, an ND II student of Mass Communication, was reportedly kidnapped while on her way to Ipara, in Ode Remo of Ogun State, on Tuesday evening, by some gunmen who allegedly raped her before killing her.

The MAPOLY Students Union President, Sodiq Ajani, on Saturday confirmed the incident in Abeokuta.

Ajani in a statement he signed with the Public Relations Officer, Joy Okolie, said the deceased was kidnapped while she was going to visit a movie location.

“Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Students Union (MAPSU) announces the untimely death of Miss Happiness Odeh, a Mass Communication student of MAPOLY.

“According to reports, she was abducted along Iperu road to her destination. The deceased left Abeokuta three days ago to visit a movie location at Ipara, Ode-Remo, with the consent of her parents.

“Contrary to the rumours flying around, her death is not related to her status as the new Miss MAPOLY. She won the award on the 3rd of August and the movie location she attended has nothing to do with the beauty pageantry on campus.

“We commiserate with her family, friends and colleagues. May Almighty God grant us all the fortitude to bear this painful loss. Continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord,” the statement read.

The union president added that the murderers took away the victim’s phone.

The police, he said, had commenced investigations into the matter.

Ajani also said the body of the slain student had been deposited at the morgue of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu.

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Akwa Ibom Monarch Sentenced To Death

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The Village Head of Efen Ibom in Ika LGA in Akwa Ibom State, Chief Essien Matthew Odiong, has been sentenced to death by hanging.

The monarch, who stood trial on four counts of conspiracy, was convicted for the murder of one Udoma Udo Ubom.

According to the verdict delivered by Justice Edem Akpan of the Akwa Ibom State High Court, the monarch was found guilty of murder after the deceased was injected with a chemical substance which led to his death on the 26th of April, 2017.

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The events leading to his death were preceded by the late Ubom, being accused of wizardry by his brothers, who was then ordered by the Village Head to take an oath to swear in order to prove his innocence.

The court held that, “Having sensed the consequences of his criminal activity, the monarch escaped from the village in 2017 and returned in 2019, when he was arrested by the Police.”

According to the court, the chemical substance administered via syringe on the deceased buttocks was his cause of death.

The judge sentenced the monarch, 82, to death by hanging for murder, seven years imprisonment with hard labor for overseeing an unlawful trial by ordeal and three years imprisonment for conspiracy with others who are yet to be apprehended by the authorities.

Odiong has 60 children with his 12 wives.

Daily Trust

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We Are Not Going On Strike, IPMAN Counters Threat By Southeast Faction

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged Nigerians to disregard the threat by some marketers in the South-East zone of shutting down depots in Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

Mr Edet Umana, IPMAN Chairman, Cross River, made this known in a statement on Saturday.

Umana denounced the purported threat of shutting down the depots due to alleged police harassment by some marketers in the zone.

He maintained that IPMAN members in the zone were not interested in causing further disruption in the supply of petroleum products following the challenges faced recently across the country.

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Umana said: “The leadership issue of IPMAN has been settled by a Supreme Court judgement delivered in Abuja on Dec. 14, 2018.

“The judgment read by Justice Musa Muhammad in suit No. SC15/2015 recognised Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and Alhaji Danladi Pasali as National President and Secretary of IPMAN respectively.”

According to him, acting on this judgment, the police has invited some persons in the Southeast claiming to be a faction of IPMAN for a meeting over the issue.

Umana said the move which was directed by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Baba, was aimed at finding a lasting solution to the leadership tussle.

He said their failure to obey the judgment of the court prompted the intervention of the police based on the advice of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami.

Umana enjoined IPMAN members to go about their respective businesses without any fear of intimidation.

He said the association would continue to support efforts of the Federal Government to ensure smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country. (NAN)

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