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Mechanic union ex-chairman assaults two Lagos panel beaters, victims go dumb

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Matthew Idowu and Sunday Olowolaiyemo

There was pandemonium in the Amule area of Ayobo, Lagos State, on Saturday, when members of the Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association, Ayobo unit, reportedly engaged in a fight over land.

PUNCH Metro gathered that a former chairman of the unit allegedly assaulted two panel beaters, Matthew Idowu, and Sunday Olowolaiyemo, over the land allocated to another member of the union.

The victims were reported to have become dumb and were rushed to different hospitals for treatment.

A witness, Peter Funsho, explained that the present executive members of the union and their chairman went to inspect the land to officially hand it over to their member.

However, the ex-chairman reportedly led another group to the site, as the two parties engaged in an argument over rights to the land.

Funsho said, “The former chairman said no construction would be done on the land because he still had authority over it.

“A panel beater, Idowu, responded that the land had long been sold and besides, the man was no longer the chairman of the union.

“Their argument resulted in a fight and the ex-chairman threw punches at Idowu, who was supported by another panel beater, Olowolaiyemo.

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“The former chairman brought out a ring and hit them; they fell and could not get up. Co-mechanics rushed at the victims and tried to help them, but they looked pale with their eyes wide open. They could not talk or respond to questions.

“Idowu was rushed to a church and a prophet prayed for him. After a while, he was a bit fine, but could still not talk as he was demonstrating with his hands. So, his family was informed about the incident and they requested that he should be brought to their village in the Oja-Odan area of Ogun State.

“The ex-chairman and others were arrested by policemen from the Ayobo Police Station. He was later released and he’s back in the community.”

One of the victims, Idowu, who spoke to PUNCH Metro, said his partner who tried to save him from being beaten up by the ex-chairman, was also assaulted.

He said, “The present chairman asked me to accompany him to the site because he wanted to apportion land to a member of the association. While we were measuring the land with a tape rule (tape measure), the ex-chairman came in to stop us.

“They pounced on me, gave me some punches and when I refused to give them the tape rule, another member of their team tried to break my hands in other to collect the tape by force. One of our members, who tried to rescue me, was beaten with a charm and he fell to the ground and couldn’t get up. Then, the ex-chairman beat me as well with the charm and I didn’t know what happened afterwards.

“I landed in a hospital and was receiving the second drip when I managed to tell them to take me to my village at Oja-Odan, Ogun State, for treatment.

“They thought I was pretending.  Eventually, I was transferred to my village, where I was treated. I am better now and I have resumed back to work.”

The second victim, Olowolayemo, also alleged that he was hit with a charm while trying to separate the fight.

He said, “The land dispute has been on for a while and the past excos had been insincere in their dealings on land.

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“After the argument which resulted in a fight, we had to stop our chairman from getting involved because of his position as the head of the unit and I stepped in to separate those fighting.

“The former chairman rushed into a nearby shop and brought out a ring which he used to hit Idowu and myself and we both fell to the ground. I was initially rushed to the Ifo area of Ogun State for treatment because I couldn’t eat or sleep. Later, I was transferred to Oja-Odan, where Idowu was being treated and already recuperating.”

A senior official of the union, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Ayobo unit was fined N180,000 by the state branch for reporting the case to the police.

He lamented that the state branch imposed fines on them without caring about those assaulted.

The former chairman said the matter had been resolved and declined further comment.

“The issue has been resolved by the state (branch) and there is no need for any further comment by me,” he added.

The Lagos State Chairman of the Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association, Egberongbe Morufu, who confirmed the incident, said decisions made were exclusive only to members of the union.

He said, “Yes, the incident is true and the matter has been resolved. Decisions made and actions taken remain and do not concern non-members.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said some suspects were arrested for assault and later released on bail.

He said, “The leadership of the association of mechanics and all parties involved in the matter approached the Divisional Police Officer to resolve the dispute under the Alternative Dispute Resolution. The DPO consented to their resolution and granted the suspects bail.

“If either of the parties no longer agrees with the ADR and reports to the police, the suspects granted bail will be summoned back to the station and the legal process will be applied as it should be.”

A professor of African Traditional Religion and Director, School of Part-Time Studies, Lagos State University, Ojo, Danoye Oguntola-Laguda, said such incidents do happen.

He said, “I have witnessed many of such incidents. After being beaten with a charm, the victim will continue to roll on the floor until consciousness is lost, and others will continue to drink water abnormally and so on.

“It is difficult to explain scientifically because science is about evidence and exhibition. You should be able to test and repeat it for it to be scientific.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to repeat.

“The important thing is the philosophy of evidence. There are thousands of people who can tell you they witnessed such and how it happened. The issue of whether it is real or not is not what you want to subject to a test. Africans, Nigerians and the Yoruba in particular believe in it and it works for them.”

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Brazilian Returnee Arrested With Cocaine In Private Part, NDLEA Seizes London-Bound Consignment

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a Brazilian returnee, Uche Benson Igwedum
Igwedum was nabbed at the arrival hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos with pellets of cocaine concealed in his private part, NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi said.
The NDLEA spokesman in a statement on Sunday noted that Igwedum was nabbed at the Lagos airport on Monday 20th June upon his arrival on Ethiopian Airlines from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa.
“Preliminary investigations reveal the suspect had swallowed 50 wraps of cocaine before departing Brazil and excreted 48 pellets in Addis Ababa where he handed them over to another person,” the statement read.
“He, however, claimed he was unable to excrete the remaining two wraps at the hotel room in Addis Ababa before boarding his flight but later excreted them in the aircraft restroom during the flight from Ethiopia to Lagos.”
Similarly, NDLEA operatives apprehended a drug kingpin, Onyekachi Chukwuma MacDonald, after three weeks of painstaking investigation and tracking.
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He is accused of being behind attempts to export 40 parcels of Methamphetamine popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri locally to London, United Kingdom through the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport.
MacDonald was arrested at Manacola Estate, Alakuko area of Lagos at the weekend, three weeks after his Mkpuru Mmiri consignment weighing 2.05 kilograms was intercepted at the airport and his freight agent, Peter Christopher Anikan arrested on 7th June.
“During his interview, the suspect said he’s from Ahiazu, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state and had lived in Dubai, UAE for 10 years before returning to Nigeria in 2019.
“He stated that after his return to Nigeria, he opened a phone accessories shop in Sango Otta, Ogun State but the business collapsed. He then started sending cigarettes to London and decided to conceal the illicit drug in the consignment after advice from a friend.
“Closely related is the seizure of another consignment of 2kg Mkpuru Mmiri at a courier house in Owerri, Imo state. The cargo seized on Wednesday 22nd June had ankara and lace fabrics in which two cylindrical cellophanes containing the drug heading to Hong Kong were concealed,” the statement added.
Also at the Lagos airport, NDLEA operatives on Friday 24th June intercepted 500,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg packed in 10 cartons and labelled Tramaking imported from Karachi, Pakistan on Emirates Airline. The consignment weighing 407.60kg was seized during a joint examination with Customs and NAFDAC officials.
The same day, a Dubai, UAE-bound passenger, Alegbeleye Taiwo was arrested at the departure hall of the MMIA with 40 ampoules of pentazocine injection. The 21-year-old suspect claims he’s from Osun state.
Meanwhile, two kingpins behind the importation of two recent drug consignments from Canada concealed in vehicle containers through the Tincan seaport in Apapa, Lagos have been arrested by NDLEA operatives.
One of them, Gboyega Ayoola Elegbeji was arrested at his house, 14 Bakare Street, Idi Araba, Lagos on Wednesday 22nd June, for importing a 40ft container TRHU7874497 containing 33 parcels of cannabis indica (Colorado) weighing16.5kg.
The second suspect, Sunday Joe Oyebola, (aka Otunba) was arrested on Thursday 23rd June. He’s linked to the importation of a 40ft container MEDU4389887 containing four vehicles used to conceal 290 parcels weighing 145kg cannabis indica (Colorado) from Montreal, Canada. He had been on the run since March and had in the course of the investigation attempted to bribe officers with N10million to influence the case.
In his response, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Tincan, and Imo state Commands of the Agency for the drug seizures and arrests, especially of those who thought they could evade the long arm of the law. He encouraged them and their compatriots across other formations to intensify their efforts toward achieving set goals.
HERALD
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Bauchi man lures teenager to farm, plucks out eyes for ritual

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The Bauchi State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a suspected ritualist, Isaac Ezekiel, for allegedly plucking the eyes of a 16-year-old boy, Uzairu Salisu.

Two accomplices, Nensok Bawa, 38, and Yohana Luka, aka Doctor Samu, 52, were also arrested in connection with the crime, which happened at Yelwa community, in the Bauchi area of the state.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the incident happened around 9am on June 24 when Ezekiel lured Salisu to do a casual job for him on a farm in the community.

Salisu was said to be doing the job when the suspect allegedly used a wire to strangulate him till he lost consciousness.

Afterwards, the 32-year-old reportedly used a knife to pluck out the two eyes of the minor and abandoned him on the farm.

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The ward head, Mohammed Lawal, who was among the people who found the minor writhing in pain, alerted the police to the incident.

The victim was said to have identified Ezekiel as the culprit, leading to his arrest.

In a statement on Monday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ahmed Wakil, said Ezekiel and his accomplices had been arrested, adding that the victim’s eyeballs were also recovered.

He said, “Sequel to the case of a suspected ritualist who plucked the eyes of a minor, the suspect, Isaac Ezekiel, 32, of Rafin Zurfi, Yelwa, Bauchi metropolitan, has been arrested, and he voluntarily confessed to the crime.

“A prompt search of his house by the police led to the recovery of Uzairu Salisu’s eyeballs. Exhibits recovered from the suspect are the two human eyeballs in a calabash, the cable wire used in perpetrating the heinous act and a travelling bag containing some native medicine.”

Noting that Bawa and Luka connived with Ezekiel to perpetrate the crime, the PPRO said all the suspects would be prosecuted at the completion of investigation.

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Make Judicial Reform Your First Task, NBA President Urges Acting CJN Ariwoola

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Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has called on the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to reform the nation’s judiciary and restore public confidence in the third arm of government.
Mr Akpata made the call on Monday in a statement while reacting to the resignation of the former CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.
He reiterated the need for urgent reforms in the judiciary, urging the incoming chief justice to make judicial reform and the restoration of public confidence in the judiciary his first task upon assuming office.
The NBA president pledged the readiness of the Bar to work together with Justice Ariwoola in cleansing “the Augean stable and addressing the ills that have continued to plague not just the judiciary but the entire legal profession”.
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He also thanked the outgone chief justice for the cordial working relationship between the bar and the bench during his tenure and wished him a quick recovery and well-deserved peaceful retirement.
“It is, however, impossible to consider his lordship’s retirement in isolation of the recent unprecedented developments at the Supreme Court where 14 justices of the court censured the outgone Chief Justice of Nigeria over his lordship’s handling of their welfare and related issues,” said Akpata.
President Muhammadu Buhari had sworn in Justice Ariwoola to replace Justice Muhammad who resigned as the CJN on Sunday night on grounds of ill-health.
News of Muhammad’s resignation broke barely a week after 14 justices of the Supreme Court wrote to him to lament the dilapidated state of affairs in the apex court.
In a leaked letter, the justices alleged that Justice Muhammad failed to address the issues raised despite drawing his attention to them, among other claims.
But these allegations were denied by an aide to the former CJN.
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