The trial within trial in the case of alleged rape and murder of the 300 level student of the University of Ilorin, Olajide Omowumi Blessing, commenced on Tuesday in an Ilorin High Court amid claims and counter-claims by the defence counsels and prosecuting operative of the Department of State Security, DSS.
The trial judge, Justice lbrahim Yusuf, had on Monday adjourned till Tuesday for the commencement of trial within trial in the case.
Barrister Shina Ibiyemi, defence counsel for the first defendant, Abdulazeez Ismail, accused the DSS of using an electronic device and horsewhip on the defendant to extract confessional statements from him under duress.
Reacting, the DSS operative, Femi Babalola, swiftly denied the allegation as false, explaining that the defendants volunteered their confessional statements without any intimidation.
He said, ” At no point in time, did any operative of the department manhandled any of the suspects in order to extract confessional statements from them,” adding that ” torture and harassment are against the law.”
Babalola, said that, ” It was Abdulazeez who volunteered the statement verbally and was asked to write it under cautionary law which he obliged without torture whatsoever.
” He said Abdulazeez claimed that he is not fluent in English, hence he asked the operative to rather write the statement for him, which was afterwards read to him word for word, and was affirmed by him that it is exactly what he said, then signed and dated the document,” Babalola added.
On his part, Barrister Jimoh Lawal, counsel for the 4th and 5th defendants, Abdulkareem Shuaib and Abdulkareem Rasheed, respectively, also accused the DSS of using a taser, an electronic device on the 5th defendant, Rasheed in a bid to extract a statement from him, which Babalola also denied.
The defence counsel, further alleged that the mother of the two brothers was prevented from seeing her children which the DSS operative again dismissed, maintaining that the mother did not come to the DSS office.
Another defence counsel, Barrister Saka Ishola, like other defence counsels, also alleged that his client, Ajala Timileyin’s face was swollen in the video evidence tagged exhibit 61b, which the DSS officer affirmed.
Barrister Lukman Bello said the 6th defendant, Abdullateef Abdulrahman requested access to a lawyer but was allegedly rebuffed, therefore denying him the right to an attorney at that moment.
The DSS operative, Babalola, again denied the allegation, claiming that the DSS operatives asked if he had a legal representative but answered ‘no’.
Barrister Bello, further alleged that the statement credited to the 8th defendant, Akande Oladoja, was not written by him.
Babalola, rejected the claim, asserting that he volunteered to write it by himself since he could write properly.
Defence counsel to Daud Bashir, the 7th defendant, Barrister Imam Ayegbami, claimed that his client stated that he was not aware that the Samsung phone was a stolen item until he got to the DSS office, a fact that was missing in the statement presented by the prosecution.
The trial judge adjourned the case till September 23rd and 24th, 2021 for further hearing.
Late Blessing was allegedly raped and murdered at the off-campus residence of her elder sister in the Tanke area of Ilorin.
Eight suspects are facing trial in the case being handled by the DSS.
Makinde approves recruitment of additional 500 Amotekun corps
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has approved the recruitment of additional 500 corps into the state Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed Amotekun.
This is contained in a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, on Sunday in Ibadan.
The statement indicated that Makinde announced the approval during the monthly security meeting with chairmen of local government areas, heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the state.
The governor said recruiting new corps would enhance Amotekun’s performance and further deepen the security architecture of the state.
Makinde said the meeting, held at the House of Parliament within the premises of the State House of Assembly, was part of his administration’s efforts to enhance the security of lives and property in the state.
He added that the meeting was to get the situation report from various quarters on security as well as to dialogue on what to do as stakeholders and finetune necessary steps.
The governor said the outcome would help the government to put necessary machinery in place for a safer environment.
He emphasised that security issue was a collective responsibility, “therefore all hands must be on deck in order to curtail insecurity facing the country, in which Oyo State is not exempted.
“Security is everyone’s business and if we all play our parts well, we will have a safer and more secured environment.
“Though the security of lives and property is a paramount responsibility of government, but the government cannot do it alone except with cooperation of the entire citizenry.”
Makinde used the occasion to appreciate the security agencies in the state for their unrelenting support towards making peaceful co-existence among the people of the state possible.
He urged them to keep the up pace in order to allow for more influx of investments and commercial growth.
In his remarks, a former governor of the state, Senator Rasheed Ladoja, commended Makinde for being proactive in the area of security which has greatly helped the state.
Ladoja urged all stakeholders and members of the public to be vigilant and ensure the safety of their lives. (NAN)
Buy guns to defend yourselves against terrorists, Zamfara govt tells residents
Zamfara State Government has asked residents of the state to buy guns to defend themselves against terrorists that have been attacking the people of the state for the past few years.
The state government said this in a statement by the Commissioner for Information,
Dosara said the Zamfara government had also “directed the state commissioner of police to issue (gun) licence” to people who are qualified and willing.
Zamfara is not the first to issue such advice to its residents.
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina had earlier called on residents of his state to arm themselves against the gunmen in the state.
Zamfara and Katsina are two of the states most affected by the activities of terrorists, locally called bandits, whose actions have led to the deaths of hundreds of people and the kidnap of thousands of others.
Flood Washes Away 30 Shops in Anambra Market
Many traders have recorded heavy losses at the Relief Market in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra as flood at the weekend, washed away shops, electric poles and cables in the market.
There had been a heavy downpour on Saturday.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the market, Mr. David Obidike, disclosed this during a tour of the affected areas, while taking members of his executive and newsmen round the portions on Saturday.
“On one of the nights few days ago, the Chief Security Officer of the market called me and told me that devastating flood from Awada Area, has carried the market as the flood entered under the Sakamori (drainage) system in the market and uprooted it, thereby wrecking havoc in the market.
“The damage was much, about 10 shops were washed away with the wares in them, the electric armoured cables, big water borne pipe and telephone cables buried underground were all exhumed and damaged by the flood.
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“As I talk now we have not gotten power supply for a month now since the rainy season started, and you can’t make a call, the market is in blackout and traders are using electricity generators.
“Our market is now in danger because it is situated in the notorious Upper Iweka axis, these hoodlums can easily come into the market through the damaged portions caused by the erosion menace,” he said.
He said the only saving grace of the traders from theft has been that it had a team of dedicated security men.
He pleaded with Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra, and other relevant authorities for assistance as the extent of damage done was beyond their financial capability.
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