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Fresh treason charges force shift of Nnamdi Kanu’s trial

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Nnamdi Kanu

The re-arraignment of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu on amended terrorism charges was stalled yesterday before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

New lead defence counsel, Dr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), sought time to enable him to study the amended 15-count charge filed by the prosecution on January 17.

The SAN argued that the defence was ambushed with the fresh charge.

He claimed that the proof of evidence served on the defence by the prosecution was not legible enough to enable them to know what constitutes the fresh charge.

“My Lord, as I am talking now, the defendant does not know the charge yet. He is just interacting with me.

“He cannot be made to take his plea in relation to a charge he has not seen.

“The principle of fair hearing is just being violated by the Federal Government.

“The frail-looking defendant standing in the dock there has not been allowed to access his family as directed by this Honourable Court.

“I went to DSS to see him and I was almost stripped naked before I could see him.

“We pray that the arraignment is adjourned till tomorrow (today) to enable his lawyers to study the new charge along with him in the interest of justice,” Ozekhome said.
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Lead prosecuting lawyer, Magaji Labaran, faulted the defence’s claim that the amended charge was an ambush.

He also faulted the defence’s claim of Kanu not being properly fed, allowed to practice his religion and allowed free access to his family members.

He, however, did not object to the defence’s request for an adjournment.

Justice Binta Nyako adjourned till January 19 for arraignment on the amended charge.

Before adjourning, Justice Binta Nyako ordered that the defendant and his lawyers be allowed to interact within the courtroom for a while before being taken away.

On the defendant’s complaints, the judge ordered that he be allowed to change his clothes.

“I don’t want to see him in this clothe again. This one is almost off-white. Also, make sure that you allow him to exercise,” the judge said.

Justice Nyako however reminded the defendant that a detention facility is not a 5-Star hotel.

She declined the defendant’s oral request that a foreign lawyer, Bruce Fein, be allowed into the courtroom to observe proceedings.

The judge said the request would be allowed upon a written application and approval by the Chief Judge.

Operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) brought Kanu

into the courtroom at about 9.50 am.

He exchanged pleasantries with some of his family members and his lawyers.

Earlier, one of Kanu’s lawyers, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told our correspondent that the defence beefed up its legal team by engaging some senior lawyers, among whom is Ozekhome.

Ejiofor was, however, silent on the identity of the others.

Some supporters of Kanu, who stormed the court premises in large numbers, clashed with security operatives.

They chanted “Holy Holy Holy, Nnamdi Kanu is another Saviour”.

The IPOB supporters were at the other end of the Ministry of Justice when the security agents tried to disperse them.

The supporters refused, arguing that the security operatives gave free access to a pro-government group who were drumming and singing.

This resulted in a face-off between the supporters and security operatives who later called for reinforcement.

Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, said there was no clash of any sort.

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How Hoodlums Attacked, Destroyed Fire Station to Prevent Officers From Stopping Inferno At Abuja Market + Video

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More facts have emerged how hoodlums on Wednesday attacked the Federal Fire Station situated at the Abuja International Building Materials Market, located at the Dei-Dei Market, Abuja.
Hoodlums had set building materials worth billions on fire after a clash between okada riders and traders in the market.
An okada rider was accused of putting his passenger, an Igbo woman o the harms way by running under a moving trailer which ended up crushing the woman’s head.
The issue had led to the okada riders attacking traders and setting the building materials on fire.
The hoodlums had allegedly prevented Fire Service officials from carrying out their duty to allow the goods to burn.

The Federal Fire Service has condemned the attack on Dei-Dei area fire station in Abuja by angry mob, following the unrest at building material market on Wednesday.
The FFS Public Relation’s Officer, Mr. Paul Abraham, said the attack by the hoodlums led to the destruction of several parts of the station and the station’s firefighting trucks.
Dei-Dei International Building Material Market, experienced a civil unrest at the early hours of Wednesday which led to the destruction of property.
FCT Minister Mohammad Bello, had also ordered the indefinite closure of the market, following a clash between commercial motorcyclists and the traders.

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Abraham said that FFS Controller General, Abdulganiyu Jaji, had decried the attack emphasising that men of the service were determined to save lives and property.
“Firefighters have a statutory duty to protect lives and property even in the face of danger.
“It is on this note that it is unacceptable and inexcusable to attack gallant men who at the expense of their lives turned out to put under control the self induced fire.
“ No Nigerian has the right to take laws into his or her hands talk more of vandalizing firefighting equipment, threatening firemen as well as tampering with private property,” he said.
The PRO said that the Dei-Dei command received a distressed call from the market association chairman regarding the arson ongoing in the market.
He explained that men of the service said that they would only turn out to the scene of fire if they were protected by security operatives who were yet to be on ground at that time.
He said that while the firemen were on standby waiting for the arrival of security operatives, a mob approached the fire station and began attacking firefighters who were ready to be deployed.
He said that the firemen eventually turned out to the chaotic scene to put the fire under control with the presence of security operatives.
The spokesman said that the CG commended the gallant firefighters for their act of bravery which went a long way in saving lives and property worth billions of naira from the inferno.
Jaji also sympathised with persons who got injured during the crisis.

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How my mum’s boyfriend defiled me – Six-year-old

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A six-year-old girl has narrated how she was allegedly defiled by an herbal doctor, Sangosanya Boluwatife, in the Igbogbo, Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

Boluwatife is standing trial before Justice Abiola Soladoye of the Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court.

He was arraigned before the court in September 2020 for defilement, which contravened Section 137 of the Criminal Law, C.17 Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The charge read, “Sangosanya Boluwatife, on or about June 6, 2020, at Oreta, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos, in the Ikeja judicial division, defiled one (name withheld) aged six, by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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The prosecution presented two witnesses, who testified against Boluwatife.

During the Monday sitting, the prosecuting counsel, A.R Abolade, led the victim through her account of the incident.

She said, “I stay with my grandma, but my mummy usually takes me to stay with the defendant.

“On a particular day when we were alone in the defendant’s apartment, there was no electric power and the defendant asked me to pull off my clothes and pants. He said that I would like what he was about to do to me and later, I couldn’t hear what he was saying as he was talking very low.

“He put his hand in my private parts and after a while, he asked me to go and have my bath. I didn’t tell my mummy when she came to pick me up afterwards, but I told my grandma and she informed my mum.”

The defence counsel, O.A. Lawal, while cross-examining the child, said, “Has anyone ever touched your private parts before and was it painful?”

The victim answered in the negative.

 “That means you enjoyed it,” Lawal added.

Justice Soladoye objected to the question and urged the counsel to be sensitive.

“Did you like what the defendant did or shout while he did it to you?” he queried.

The victim again replied in the negative.

The judge adjourned further hearing till June 4, 2022.

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Man sells son N600,000, sends wife to Mali for prostitution

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Kingsley Essien

The police have arrested a 36-year-old man, Kingsley Essien, for allegedly selling his two-year-old son for N600,000.

The suspect was also accused of trafficking his wife to Mali for prostitution.

The Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the suspect was arrested following the report lodged at Agbara divisional headquarters by the suspect’s wife, Bright Essien.

Oyeyemi said the wife told the police that her husband informed her of securing a job for her in Bamako, Mali, last October.

She said she did not suspect any foul play because the man had assisted many people to that country for before.

She said it was when she got to Mali she discovered that she had been sold to a human trafficking cartel headed by a woman at the rate of N1.4 million.

“While in Mali, she was forced into prostitution, but later found her way to the Nigerian embassy in Bamako where she was assisted back to Nigeria.

“On getting to Nigeria, she discovered that her two-year-old son in care of her husband was nowhere to be found,” Oyeyemi quoted her as saying.

He said following the report, the DPO Agbara division, SP Abiodun Salau, detailed detectives to go after the suspect, and he was arrested.

“On interrogation, the suspect confessed to crime. He confessed further that he sold his son to somebody at the rate of six hundred thousand naira,” he said.

Oyeyemi said the Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, had ordered the transfer of the suspect to anti-human trafficking and child labour unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation.

He also ordered that the buyer of the son be traced and arrested in order to recover the stolen child.

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