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Ohanaeze, IPOB kick against court dismissal of Kanu’s bail application

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu in court

Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Indigenous People of Biafra have condemned court rejection of a fresh bail application sought by the IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu.

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed the application for bail by the detained IPOB leader on the grounds that it was an abuse of court process, having being previously rejected.

Both Ohanaeze and IPOB attributed the court’s verdict to Buhari’s recent statement.

They in seperate interviews said the development was due to the body language of the President, who they claimed had ruled out bail option for the IPOB leader during his (Buhari) recent visit to Kigali, Rwanda.

The fresh bail application was filed pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge against him by the Federal Government.

Kanu, who is currently facing seven-count, had in the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), also challenged the revocation of the bail the court earlier granted to him.

He asked the court to set aside the order it made on March 28, 2019, which not only issued a bench warrant for his arrest, but also gave the Federal Government the nod to try him in absentia.

Dismissing the bail request on Tuesday, the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, said she was not satisfied with the reason the IPOB leader gave for his failure to appear in court for continuation of his trial.

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While delivering her ruling in a motion on notice asking for revocation of the arrest warrant upon his re-arrest, Justice Nyako held that the motion lacked merit because Kanu had not explained his whereabouts for over two years when he jumped bail.

The judge dismissed Kanu’s claims that he was denied fair hearing because the order for his arrest was issued in his absence.

Justice Nyako held that Kanu was adequately represented in court when the Federal Government applied for the warrant of arrest and that his surety, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, was also in court.

The court said Kanu who jumped bail granted him on health ground cannot turn around to make allegations of lack of fair hearing.

Justice Nyako while dismissing the motion upheld the arrest warrant against the self and IPOB leader.

In an interview with The PUNCH after the court ruling, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the group was not surprised, having seen outcome through the President’s body language and utterances.

He said Buhari’s comment on the matter in Kigali was aimed at intimidating the judge to dismiss the bail application.

He said, “Buhari’s recent statement in Kigali, Rwanda was a testament that he has lost focus because he said he won’t interfere in the judicial process on Nnamdi Kanu, but was talking with both sides of his mouth.

“IPOB understands the body language of Buhari and his Federal Government that they will influence Justice Binta Nyako to drop bail applications for Nnamdi Kanu’s freedom.

“But we are ready to wait for them. We want to use this medium to inform humanity, particularly Biafrans to stay calm and that victory must come to us.”

The Secretary, South-East Zone of Ohanaeze, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, also attributed the court’s verdict to Buhari’s statement.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Okeke-Ogene said, “If you assess the President’s comments and utterances before today’s court sitting, you will understand that he was not interested in releasing the young man because he knows that doing so will bring happiness to the people of the South-East, who are longing for his release.

“Although, the court has adjourned the matter, but Buhari’s recent utterances in the build up to the court sitting greatly influenced the decision of the court and the President knows that keeping Kanu means that the insecurity in the South-East will continue because the people see him as their idol and they want him released.”

Also, the Coalition of South- East Youth Leaders has also expressed its displeasure over the court’s ruling.

The group’s President General, Goodluck Ibem, made its position known in a statement made available to The PUNCH.

The statement read in part, “The verdict of Justice Binta Njako is the same statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, June 23, 2022 during a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, at the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kagali, Rwanda.

“When did the statement of the President become the verdict or judgment of the court?  Are we running a democratic government or a unitary system of government were only one man determines the fate of millions of Nigerians even when it is unconstitutional, undemocratic and inhuman?”

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Ritual: Pastor, accomplice to die for beheading seven-year-old

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Pastor, Erinmole Adetokunbo, and his accomplice, Adedoyin Oyekanmi

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting at Ikeja, on Tuesday, sentenced a pastor, Erinmole Adetokunbo, and his accomplice, Adedoyin Oyekanmi, to death for killing a seven-year-old boy in the Ikorodu area of the state.

Justice Taiwo gave the verdict after the defendants changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty.

The men were arraigned on October 30, 2017, before the Lagos State High Court on two counts bordering on conspiracy and murder.

According to the charge sheet, Oyekanmi and Adetokunbo, on June 7, 2017, on Oke Oniburokun Street, Odokekere, Ikorodu, conspired to murder a seven-year-old boy, Kazeem Rafiu.

They were said to have beheaded Rafiu and buried the head around the church’s altar, while the body was kept in a canal.

Adetokunbo was later apprehended by residents. He was said to have confessed to the crime, naming Oyekanmi as his accomplice.

The duo led a team of policemen to the church, where the victim’s remains were recovered.

After four years of being remanded in prison, the state re-arraigned the convicts before the special offences court on September 21, 2021, as the trial commenced.

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At the resumption of trial for the prosecutor to present another witness to prove the allegations against the convicts, the court was informed by the state counsel, Mrs O. A. Bajulaiye, and the defence counsel, Ms Anthonia Otsokwa, that the men had decided to change their pleas.

Subsequently, the judge ordered their pleas to be taken.

The charges were read to them in Yoruba and they pleaded guilty to the two counts.

The state counsel, Mrs O. A. Bajulaiye, thereafter reviewed the facts of the case and urged the court to convict them accordingly.

While begging for mercy, the defence counsel, Ms Anthonia Otsokwa, told the court that the convicts had realised their offence and were remorseful for the death of the child.

In her judgement, Justice Taiwo noted that the case was a pathetic one as the defendants conspired and killed a child by cutting off his head for ritual purposes.

The judge said, “These defendants have committed a heinous crime and deserve no mercy. They have cruelly and intentionally killed a seven-year-old boy, depriving him and his family of a bright destiny.

“Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State imposes the death penalty for premeditated murder and I have no hesitation in imposing the said punishment.

“I hereby sentence Adedoyin Oyekanmi and Erinwole Adetokunbo to death for killing Kazeem Rafiu. May God have mercy on your souls.”

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Fake Ekiti doctor defrauds 25 PoS operators

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Ekiti State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, John Fayemi

Men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ekiti State, have arrested a 36-year-old man, Ayodeji Ademiluyi, for allegedly parading himself as a medical doctor and defrauding Point-of-Sale operators in the state capital.

The state Commandant of the agency, Mr John Fayemi, said the suspect defrauded the operators by sending fake alerts after collecting cash from them.

He said the suspect used an application on his phone, which also triggered a call from his fake hospital that a patient needed his attention.

“The PoS operator will then consider his status as a doctor and allow him to go. Later, the PoS operator will discover that he or she has been duped,” Fayemi added.

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The state NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Tolulope Afolabi, in a statement, said the commandant spoke in Ado Ekiti while parading Ademiluyi and another suspected fraudster, Innocent Ekpako, 26, who was arrested in Cross River State for allegedly defrauding his boss.

The commandant, who said Ademiluyi had been perpetrating the act within the Ado Ekiti metropolis, said, “The suspect had defrauded over 25 PoS operators before men of the Counter-Terrorism Unit launched a manhunt for him with their dragnet, which paid off when he was arrested yesterday (Monday). Preliminary investigation shows that he is not a doctor but an okada rider.”

Fayemi said Ekpako, who was arrested in Ikom, Cross River State, ran away with a huge sum of money belonging to his master in Ado Ekiti.

He said, “The suspect is a former employee of a store in Ado Ekiti where he worked as a sales representative before he was sent on an errand with some money which he did not return. He disappeared into thin air until he was tracked, traced and arrested in Cross River State. The two suspects have confessed to the crime.”

The commandant cautioned PoS operators and shop owners in the state to be careful of their workers and customers as the state command had been inundated with complaints bordering on PoS fraud and stealing.

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Kwara cultists gun down two during August celebration

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Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ajayi Okasanmi

At least two people were killed on Monday during a celebration by suspected cult members in the Olunlade area, Ilorin, Kwara State.

Every August 8, cult members in the area celebrate what they term 8/8, usually marked with attacks on rivals.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ajayi Okasanmi, said two people were killed.

He said, “You know that yesterday (Monday) was August 8 and the different cult groups were celebrating the day in many places in the town; we don’t know what might have triggered the crisis among them at Olunlade, but we gathered that the crisis was not unconnected to the rivalry among them. We gathered from an intelligence report that the crisis broke out and the rival cult members started shooting sporadically to attack each other.

“Two people were killed in the 8/8 celebration and not four as being peddled around by some people. One person died on the spot of the crisis at Olunlade, while the other was reported to have died later in a hospital.”

Okasanmi noted that the situation had been brought under control.

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However, a worker in a government establishment in the area, who did not want his name in print for security reasons, claimed that four people died.

He said the crisis started on Monday at a local pub in the community.

According to the worker, some members of a cult trailed a man to the joint, adding that the target, who regularly patronised the pub, suddenly took to his heels as the hoodlums opened fire on him.

“The bullets fired by the cult members hit two people, including the son of the local gin seller. They continued to chase their target and later got him and shot him in the head,” he added.

Another resident, who identified himself simply as Abdulmojeed for security reasons, said two people were killed by the cultists, while two others sustained bullet wounds.

He said, “I don’t know if the son of the local gin seller who was shot survived but majority of us scampered for safety when they started shooting. God saved us that the bullets did not hit some of us when they started shooting.”

Abdulmojeed said the police came to the area on Tuesday to restore normalcy, adding that he was not sure if any arrest was made.

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