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Ondo Amotekun rescues 3 remaining travellers from kidnappers

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Operatives of Ondo State Security Network Agency, code-named Amotekun, have rescued the remaining three people who were kidnapped last Wednesday in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victims were travelling to Lagos from Ifira-Akoko in Akoko South-East Local Government Area of the state when they were kidnapped by gunmen.

The incident occurred at the bad portion of Idoani-Ifira road in Akoko South-East council area.

NAN also reports that the Amotekun corps had gone after the kidnappers and rescued nine victims on Thursday.

The State Commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, on Saturday in Akure told newsmen that the remaining three victims had now been freed.

Adeleye said that the victims would be reunited with their family members later today (Saturday).

He said that his men responded to a distress call from concerned citizens.
“I can confirm to you that we have rescued the three remaining victims and they will be reunited with their families today,” he said.

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Lagos developers defraud 70 house seekers, victims faint

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Two developers, Oluwasegun Adewara, and one Okeowo, have gone into hiding after allegedly defrauding no fewer than 70 prospective tenants at Lawanson, in the Surulere area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the prospective tenants visited the building, which was under construction, to inspect its premises and afterwards made payments to the developers.

After confirming the payments, it was learnt that the suspects issued receipts to the victims and set aside separate dates for them to take ownership of the apartments.

Things, however, took another turn when the people got to the house on 16, Zamba Street, Lawason, on the specified dates given by the developers but discovered that the number of prospective tenants outnumbered the apartments in the one-storey building.

One of the victims, Jacob Dunya, said the house had just 14 flats, adding that 120 prospective tenants paid to the developers, who disappeared after their fraudulent acts were uncovered.

The Plateau State indigene said, “I paid N600,000 for a mini-flat for a year directly to the account of the developer, Oluwasegun Olanrewaju Adewara, on April 26, 2022. When I visited the house, I noticed that the work at the site was less as it was left for them to fix only the doors and the windows.

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“So, they gave last Monday to collect keys to my apartment. But when I got there, the developer told me the place was not ready and said I should return on Monday, June 20, 2022. When I got there, I saw them fixing the keys to the doors and I was told to come back again this week Tuesday.

“I never knew that last Thursday and Friday, people had come around to fight them to access their apartments. I quickly rushed down on Friday and noticed that there were hoodlums around asking people to pay N100,000 so they could break down the padlocks used in locking some of the doors so they could have access to the apartments.

“The developers are nowhere to be found and we have yet to hear from the owners of the land and their lawyers. Over 120 people paid for the 14 flats in this building and more people are still coming. The money people paid will be about N60m because some people made advance payments for five years. They also gave us receipts. The matter was reported at the Itire Police Station.”

Another victim, Jenifer Ihemeje, while lamenting the incident, said some prospective tenants cried and fainted out of shock.

The entrepreneur said, “I paid N650,000 in April to Mr Okeowo and others, but they kept postponing till June 14, 2022, when I sent a text message to threaten them. It was another person who also paid for a flat that informed me that about 10 people paid for a single flat.

“The person said a lot of people gathered at the house on Friday over the incident. So, I rushed down there on Saturday and met people crying, shouting and some people even fainted.”

A widow, Love Chidi, said she paid N250,000 for a single room in January and left for her husband’s burial in Abia State.

“But when I returned, the developers said they had not completed work on the building. My husband died in December and we were sent out of the house we were staying because the building had cracked and was likely to collapse. So, I came here, paid the developer and left for the burial only to return to face this war. There are over 117 people stranded here,” she added.

The receipts of some of the aggrieved house seekers seen by our correspondent indicated that the developers operated with a business name, Sheedison Construction Co.

A screenshot confirming payment into Oluwasegun Adewara’s Access Bank account was also seen by our correspondent.

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The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the incident, said the command had launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspects.

“But they are not 120; they are 70 people. The developer collected money for 15 flats and absconded,” he added.

In 2021, a developer, Ahmed Ayinde, was arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly defrauding no fewer than 100 prospective tenants of about N500m in the Olowo Ira area of the state.

Similarly, in 2019, over 66 prospective tenants got stranded as a landlord, Olatunji Joseph, in connivance with a developer, Aderonke Olaleye, allegedly swindled them out of over N16m paid for rents for five flats in a newly-constructed one-storey building on Abeni Close, Asa Estate, in the Gbagada area of the state.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said, “We have the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority Law 2022. The matter is described under that law and it is a very serious offence for anybody to collect money from people and deny them accommodation.

“But the problem is that our people don’t make enquiries; anybody who puts a board outside to say ‘To let’ or to say that he is a developer, people will just gather money and give him and the person will disappear. There are some of them who have no addresses but only telephone numbers, so this law makes it compulsory for anybody who wants to practise in that space to register as a practitioner. And once you register with the agency, should you collect money from anybody, it will be very easy to grab you.

“Now, we have a team that is going round on enforcement. Many people have faced the law for duping people of their hard-earned money and the agency has recovered money for people and resolved many disputes.”

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Two herders arrested for killing Lagos resident over crushed cow + photo

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Two yet-to-be-identified cattle herders on Monday reportedly stabbed a man to death in protest against the killing of a cow around Agemowo, in the Badagry area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the herders were crossing the expressway with their cattle when a commercial bus crushed the cow to death.

Angered by the development, the herders accosted the driver and demanded payment for the dead cow.

The killed conductor

It was learnt that the request for payment led to an argument that degenerated into a fight, as the herders allegedly stabbed the victim to death.

An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the victim’s death led to a clash between the herders and motorists in the area.

He said, “I live close to the bus-stop where the incident happened and witnessed the event from afar, but I couldn’t move close as a result of the clash between the Fulani herders and motorists in the area.

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“The herders held down the driver and insisted that he pay for the dead cow and the driver agreed to pay a sum of N500,000.

“But other motorists who stopped insisted that the incident was not the bus driver’s fault and that he shouldn’t pay, that the Fulani will pay if the matter gets to court. This led to heated argument between the Fulani herders and motorists and it degenerated into a fight. A bus conductor died in the process.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the incident, adding that two suspects were in custody.

He said, “A commercial vehicle ran into two cows this morning at Agemowo, Badagry, killing one of the cows. The two cattle herders attacked someone they mistook for the bus conductor, resulting in his death. Angry residents blocked the highway in protest of the killing.

“The DPO, Morogbo division, assisted by soldiers from the 243 Recce Battalion, Badagry, successfully cleared the obstruction. Normalcy has since returned to the area. It is entirely false that the victim was turned back when he sought refuge in a police station.

“He did not make it out of the accident scene, let alone reach the station. Meanwhile, the two herders have been arrested. Investigation is ongoing. Updates will be provided subsequently.”

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Zamfara: Irabor faults governor for asking citizens to bear arms

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Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Lucky Irabor

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Monday, faulted the call by Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara to people of the state to bear arms to defend themselves against bandits.

Irabor said the call was not right, as the armed forces and other security agencies were there to handle the challenges.

The CDS spoke to newsmen on the matter at the opening of the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, code named “Exercise Grand Nationale,” in Abuja.

Irabor said he was yet to understand the basis for asking the citizens of Zamfara to bear arms.

He, however, said it was the responsibility of the Attorney General of the Federation to look at the constitution and the laws to see whether the governor had such powers.

“I believe that, in my view, it is not the right way to go.

“Of course, there are actions that members of the security agencies and the armed forces, in particular, the police and other security agencies, are doing to address insecurity in Zamfara and environs.

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“Beyond that, of course, there are other legal issues, other issues of governance, issues that the government could have addressed using the instrumentality of the law that are available for him to bring greater peace and security.

“But like I said, I do not intend to say much about it, but I believe that the Federal Government, using the Attorney General, will look at the details of that press release and give further instruction.

“If what I read is true, I do not also think that the governor has the power to instruct the commissioner of police to issue licenses, because the commissioner of police does not have the powers to issue licences.”

Irabor said the armed forces was only an instrument of policy implementation, adding that it did not take instructions from state governments.

He said the constitution gave rights and powers only to the Commander-in-Chief for the use of the armed forces.

“I believe that what we are doing in Zamfara and of course, across the states of the federation, is in deference to the provisions of the constitution.

“So, we are there because we are there to give support to the civil authority, in this case, the police.

“We do not need to restate what the issues are that have led to the deployment of military across the country but then, like I said, we are doing the very best to ensure that peace returns to every part of the country,” he said.

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