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Alleged murder of Oluwabamise: Gridlock stalls BRT driver’s trial

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By Ridwan Adekunle

Gridlock on Wednesday stalled the trial of Andrew Ominnikoron, driver of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), charged with rape and murder of a 22-year-old fashion designer, Miss Oluwabamise Ayanwole.

Ominnikoron’s counsel Abayomi Omotubora was held up in heavy traffic and could not be in court in time.

He arrived at the court premises after the court had risen and told journalists that he was held up in gridlock.

Ominnikoron, 47, is charged before a Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

He is standing trial on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, rape and murder.

The charge was brought against him by the Lagos State Government.

As reported by NAN, on the last adjourned date, July 7, the case was equally stalled due to Omotubora’s absence.

Omotubora has been absent from court on several occasions.

This compelled the court to direct the defendant to get a new counsel for continuation of his trial.

On Wednesday, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Babajide Martins, announced appearance and informed the court that the defendant’s counsel, Omotubora, and a Legal Aid Counsel (LAC) were absent.

“I want the court to have it on record that we have four witnesses in court, and unfortunately the defendant’s counsel and the Legal Aid Counsel for defence are absent,” Martins said.

He said that the LAC was contacted to take up the driver’s defence if his counsel would not be in court.

Justice Sherifat Sonaike adjourned the case until Sept. 29 for trial.

The prosecution alleged that the driver committed the offences on Feb. 26 at 7.00 p.m. on Lekki-Ajah Expressway and Carter Bridge, both in Lagos State.

Lagos State Government alleged that the defendant raped and murdered Ayanwole in contravention of Sections 165, 223, 260 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the five counts.

 

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Crime

EFCC arraigns 5 for illegal crude oil deal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, charged five defendants before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over an illegal deal in petroleum products.

The defendants are: Mt Vinnalaris (a vessel), Azeez Abubakar, Wisdom Borborley, Samuel Akpan and Freedom Otuagoma

They appeared before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on two counts bordering on unlawful deal in petroleum products.
After the charge was read to them, they pleaded guilty.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Mr R.A. Abdurasheed, informed the court that the prosecution had filed the plea bargain agreement with the defendants, before the court.

Consequently, the court adjourned the case until April 25, for adoption of plea bargain agreement.
The court, however, ordered that the defendants remain in custody of the prosecution till then.

In the charge, the defendants were said to have committed the offence sometime in 2023, while on the Nigerian maritime domain.

They were alleged to have dealt in 515.8 litres of crude oil without lawful authority.
The offence contravenes the provisions of Section 1(17) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Law of the Federation 2004.

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Crime

Tragedy: Teenager fatally stabs friend in Adamawa, another fakes kidnap in Delta

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The Adamawa Police Command has announced that it is preparing to arrest an 18-year-old suspect for fatally stabbing and killing his friend during a fight.

This was disclosed in a statement the command shared on Sunday, according to the command, both persons were brought to the hospital following a knife fight, with one being confirmed dead.

The Adamawa Police Command confirmed the grim development, revealing that the confrontation culminated in both individuals being rushed to the hospital with knife-inflicted injuries.

Tragically, one of them, Usman Abubakar, did not survive his wounds, while his friend, Usman Umar, now battles severe injuries, including head trauma, and awaits arrest for culpable homicide.

The motive behind the altercation, described as a “minor argument,” underscores the fragility of human interactions and the dire consequences of unchecked aggression.

The Command’s spokeswoman, SP Suleiman Nguroje, while commenting on the incident urged restraint and patience in resolving conflicts.

“Stop fighting amongst yourselves and be patient,” she implored, echoing the sentiments of a community reeling from the senseless loss of young life.

As police detectives delve deeper into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, questions linger about the underlying factors contributing to such violence among adolescents.

Meanwhile, in Delta State, a different form of deception unfolded as authorities uncovered the elaborate hoax orchestrated by a 17-year-old boy in the Agbor area.

The teenager, whose identity is withheld, staged his own kidnapping, setting off a chain of events that would ultimately unravel his deceit.

Commissioner of Police Abaniwonda Olufemi, addressing the media during the parade of suspects, revealed the extent of the teenager’s deception, disclosing that he had squandered the ransom paid before his apprehension.

The brazen act of fabricating a kidnapping not only squandered valuable law enforcement resources but also eroded trust within the community, underscoring the importance of accountability and integrity.

As these communities grapple with the aftermath of these incidents, there is a pressing need for introspection and proactive measures to address the root causes of such behavior among youth.

Beyond law enforcement interventions, stakeholders must prioritize education, mental health support, and conflict resolution strategies to foster a culture of peace and understanding among the next generation.

In the face of tragedy and deception, the resilience of these communities will be tested, but through collective action and unwavering commitment to justice, they can strive towards a safer and more harmonious future.

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Crime

Abductors of wife to former CoS of Ortom, cook demand N100m ransom

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…As Benue Governor orders security agencies to fish out kidnappers

By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The gunmen who attacked former Chief of Staff to the ex- Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Honourable Terwase Orbunde, on Friday evening and abducted his wife and cook have demanded N100 million ransom for their release.

In a statement signed by Tahav Agerzua made available to Nigerian NewsDirect, Honourable Orbunde, who is being treated for gunshot injuries in hospital at Makurdi said the abductors spoke to him at about 8:30am on Saturday themselves and through the captives.

The former Chief of Staff said his wife and cook were very calm when they spoke with him.

He further revealed that during the attack which took place at about 6pm on Friday the gunmen spoke Fulani among themselves and communicated with him in Hausa saying they would contact him on phone.

The former Chief of Staff said they told him that he should be prepared to send money to them and that if he failed to do that they would kill his wife and cook.

It could be recalled that on Friday April 12 gunmen attacked Honourable Orbunde when he went to supervise work on his farm between Genocide Cemetery and Angus Memorial College, along Mobile Barracks-Welfare Quarters Road in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The former Chief of Staff was shot on the forearm while his wife, Mrs Abigail Kashimana Orbunde, and cook, Patience Ogute, were abducted and taken to an unknown destination.

Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has directed security agencies in the state to ensure criminal elements disrupting the peace of the state are fished out and brought to justice.

He said that he is ready and willing to continue to provide the necessary support needed by the security agencies to ensure the state is cleaned of all nefarious activities.

The Governor gave the directives when he received a briefing concerning the attack on Mr. Terwase Orbunde, former Chief of Staff  to former Governor Samuel Ortom, and the subsequent abduction of his wife and housemaid by unknown gunmen.

He condemned in strong terms the unfortunate incident, saying, “I am shocked and dismayed by this barbaric act.”

“I have said this, and I must keep saying it. Security should, and must be everyone’s concern. The law enforcement agencies and the government need information. Make it a culture that anytime you see something, you say something”, he said.

He pointed out that while insecurity has become a global issue and is not peculiar to Benue alone, he will continue working round the clock to secure every life and property in the state.

He assured all Benue residents that security is a top priority in his administration, and that matters of insecurity will soon be a thing of the past.

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