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Court orders arrest of Fubara’s Chief of Staff, five others

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…As Ehie gets Port Harcourt court nod to prevent arrest

Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Edison Ehie and five others have been ordered to be arrested by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice Emeka Nwite, equally ordered the arrest of five other persons who were accused of complicity in the alleged invasion, vandalisation and burning down of the Rivers State House of Assembly complex.

However, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has granted a motion ex-parte filed by the Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Government House, Edison Ehie, against the Nigerian Police.

Ehie had gone to the court to restrain the police or other security agencies from arresting, detaining and harassing him over his alleged involvement in the invasion of the recent Rivers State House of Assembly.

Aside from Ehie the Federal High court in Abuja also ordered the arrest of Jinjiri Bala, Happy Benedict, Progress Joseph, Adokiye Oyagiri and Chibuike Peter a.k.a Rambo.

The order followed an ex-parte application that was brought before the court by the Inspector General of Police, IGP.

The application was predicated on sections 37, 113, 114, 84 and 184 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 and section 35 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as section 32 of the Police Act 2020.

A Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Mr. Simon Lough who moved the application on Wednesday, told the court that the six defendants are currently at large.

The court held that it was persuaded by submissions of the police lawyer as well as an affidavit that was attached in support of the application marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/12/2024.

Consequently, Justice Nwite, aside from declaring the defendants wanted, ordered that upon their arrest and investigation, they should be brought before the court for trial.

It will be recalled that the court had on January 25, remanded five men in prison custody over their alleged involvement in the burning down of the Rivers State House of Assembly complex.

The defendants; Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald and Ochueja Thankgod, who were docked before trial Justice Bolaji Olajuwon, pleaded not guilty to a seven-count terrorism charge that was preferred against them by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

Crime

Five suspects remanded for armed robbery in Ibadan

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Five men were remanded in a detention facility by the Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan on Tuesday over allegations of armed robbery.

The suspects identified as Abiodun Solomon (24), Abdulahi Alejolowo (26), Emmanuel Ayobami (31), Kazeem Saka (37), and Taofeek Lawal (35), with undisclosed addresses, are accused of conspiracy and armed robbery.

According to the prosecutor, Insp Olalekan Adegbite, the defendants allegedly committed the offense around 2 a.m. on January 8 in the Olode neighborhood of Ibadan. Adegbite stated that the defendants assaulted individuals in the neighborhood using weapons and proceeded to rob them of their cell phones, jewelry, electrical gadgets, cash, and other valuables.

The prosecutor said that these actions contravened Sections 6(B) and 1(2) of Nigeria’s Robbery and Firearms Laws of 2004.

However, Magistrate Oluwabusayo Osho declined to accept the defendants’ plea due to jurisdictional limitations and instructed that the case file be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal guidance. The matter was adjourned until April 29 for mention.

This incident follows a similar case reported  last Friday, where the Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court remanded three men – Jiya Adams (44), Joseph Abidoye (39), and Femi Adetunji (40) – on allegations of kidnapping. The accused individuals, also without disclosed addresses, faced charges of conspiracy, armed robbery, and abduction.

Magistrate Olaolu Olanipekun adjoined the case till May 13 for further hearing after directing the prosecution to duplicate the case file and send it to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.

The prosecution counsel, ASP Anthony Igori, alleged that the defendants, along with others, attacked an expatriate and proprietor of Saco Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Mohammed Il-Saheed, stole his Samsung cell phone valued at N800,000, and abducted him, collecting a N35 million ransom before releasing him after six days in captivity.

These incidents underscore the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to address criminal activities in Ibadan and uphold the rule of law.

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Three internet fraudsters convicted, jailed in Ilorin

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Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, Monday, April 15, convicted and sentenced three individuals involved in internet fraud, following their arrest and arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The three convicts, Qudus Temitope Ismail, Kolade Adetola Toheeb, and Abdulmalik Timileyin Khalid pleaded guilty to charges related to online scams.

Toheeb, accused of impersonation, deceived a victim by posing as a football match forecaster named Throndsen Waylen. Using a fake Telegram account and the phone number +23481260084504, he tricked Jake Cooper into sending $200 via PayPal in July 2023. Consequently, Toheeb violated Section 321 of the Penal Code, leading to his conviction under Section 324.

After pleading guilty, the EFCC’s counsel, Mustapha Kaigama, presented the case facts and the defendants’ statements, along with recovered items from their possession at the time of arrest.

Justice Abdulgafar sentenced each defendant to six months’ suspended imprisonment and ordered the forfeiture of phones, laptops, €100, and $200USD recovered from Toheeb to the Federal Government.

The trio’s arrest and subsequent conviction underscore the EFCC’s commitment to combating cybercrime and upholding justice in Nigeria. With this verdict, the court sends a clear message on the consequences of engaging in fraudulent activities online.

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Lagos: Dispatch riders face charges for theft of valuable items

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Dispatch riders in Lagos have recently found themselves embroiled in criminal cases over alleged thefts of valuable items entrusted to them for delivery.

29-year-old Chigaemezu Kingsley, a dispatch rider residing at No. 8, Muyiwa Close, Off Ajayi Road, Ikeja Lagos, was brought before the Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for the said offence.

He faces charges of acquiring by false pretense and theft; he is accused of stealing gold jewelry worth N2.7 million. The alleged theft occurred on April 2 in Aguda, Lagos Magisterial District, where Chigaemezu purportedly absconded with a parcel containing the jewelry intended for delivery to a client in Sangotedo Ajah.

In a separate incident, Matthew Odah, a 27-year-old dispatch rider known as Mr. Lemon, was apprehended by the Lagos Rapid Response Squad (RRS) after eight months on the run. Odah stands accused of selling three iPhones worth N1.7 million entrusted to him for delivery.

The iPhones, including an iPhone 14 ProMax (128 GB) and two iPhone 11 models (128 and 68 GB), were meant for delivery to a client in Lekki on August 23, 2023.

Odah’s arrest took place at Alpha Beach, Lagos, where one of the iPhones was recovered. During interrogation, Odah admitted to selling the iPhones in Obalende for N300,000.

These cases underscore the importance of stringent measures to vet and monitor delivery personnel to prevent theft and ensure the safe delivery of valuable items in Lagos.

The legal proceedings highlight the need for accountability and adherence to ethical conduct among individuals entrusted with the responsibility of delivering goods to customers.

As the cases progress through the judicial system, they serve as a reminder of the challenges faced in maintaining the integrity of delivery services amidst concerns of theft and misappropriation of entrusted items.

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