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How dismissed Kwara officers extorted suspect of N1.1m — Police

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By Ibiyemi Mathew

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has revealed how two dismissed police officers, Sergeant Shola Akano and Corporal Babatunde Glorious, from the Kwara State Police Command extorted a suspect of N1.1m.

The Police in a statement to clarify the facts on the dismissal of the officers narrated that: “According to findings by the Special Investigation Unit, Force Criminal Investigations Department, Abuja, detailed to review their case, the duo of Sgt. Shola Akano and Corporal Babatunde Glorious were attached to the Public Complaint Bureau, Office of the Public Relations Officer, Kwara State Police Command, where their primary duty was to handle complaints brought forward by members of the public bordering on police unprofessionalism and misconduct.

“Unfortunately, during the course of investigating a case of conspiracy and advance fee fraud in February 2020, they engaged in misconduct that warranted their dismissal from the Nigeria Police Force. In the cause of investigating the case, the duo arrested two suspects – one Fatai Ridwan Olarewaju and one Awogbemi Samuel Olayinka, a student of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State.

“On 7th February 2020, the officers booked and took one of the suspects, Fatai Ridwan Olarewaju, from the police cell where he was detained to a Zenith Bank branch at Unity Road, Ilorin where they coerced the suspect into withdrawing the sum of One Million, One Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira (N1,190,000.00) from his account, which was collected by Corporal Glorious.

“Following this, the suspect was returned to the cell, and later released on administrative bail on the same day while the withdrawn sum, two mobile phones, and other personal effects were not released to him.

“Rather than following proper procedure, Sgt. Shola Akano and Corporal Babatunde Glorious continued to demand more money from the suspect to close the case, thus engaging in further acts of extortion.

“These actions were in direct violation of their duties and code of conduct as police officers, and it prompted Mr. Fatai to report the matter to the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP X-Squad for investigation. Subsequently, verifiable evidence, including the conversion of one of the mobile phones, an iPhone 11 Pro, for personal use by Corporal Glorious, was presented during their trial.”

The Force also clarified that the video and publication making rounds regarding the dismissed officers alleging that their dismissal from the Nigeria Police was wrongful and a result of their refusal to receive a bribe to compromise a matter they were investigating is false.

CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force PRO in a statement noted that the panel that reviewed the case has recommended prosecution for conspiracy, theft, false and malicious publications against NPF for the dismissed officers.

He noted that after “a thorough examination of the evidence and the testimonies of all parties involved, the duo were found guilty and dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force.”

The Force reiterated its committment to ensuring discipline, accountability, and professionalism within its ranks while condemning any form of misconduct.

The Police also assured the public that necessary actions will always be taken to maintain the trust reposed in the Police adding that the dismissal of the officers underscore its commitment to weeding out bad elements from the Force and upholding the values of justice and fairness.

Crime

Navy impounds illicit drugs, nabs 3 suspects in A’Ibom

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The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Akwa Ibom, says it has impounded some illicit drugs and arrested three suspected drug dealers in the state.

The Commanding Officer, Capt. Uche Aneke, disclosed this in Ibaka on Thursday while handing over the suspects to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

Aneke said that the suspects were tracked and arrested at about 10.00a.m on Tuesday, following reliable intelligence from a member of the public.
He said that they were caught on a fibre boat carrying about 4,320 ampoules of Pethidine 100mg/2ml injection solution, a controlled synthetic opioid substance with high addiction potential.
”The intended receiver is located in Nigeria. So they wanted to smuggle the substances from Cameroon to Nigeria.
The commanding officer said that the navy was strongly committed to ridding the waterways of all manner of criminal activities.
”We shall continue to deploy advanced technologies to detect criminal activities along the waterways,” he said.
Receiving the suspects, Emmanuel Okon, Chief Superintendent of Narcotics, NDLEA command in Akwa Ibom, said that a thorough investigation would carried out on the matter.
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Crime

Alleged $9.6bn P&ID scam: Hearing in EFCC’s suit against fleeing Briton stalled

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Hearing in two separate money laundering suits filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against British national, James Nolan, could not proceed on Wednesday at a Federal High Court, Abuja.

The matter, which was scheduled for adoption of final written addresses of parties by Justice Donatus Okorowo, suffered setback due to failure of Nolan’s counsel, Michael Ajara, to file and serve his processes on the EFCC”s lawyer, Bala Sanga.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Okorowo had, on Nov. 20, 2023, fixed today for adoption of the final addresses after Nolan, who jumped bail and fled Nigeria in the alleged 9.6 billion dollars Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Ltd scandal, opened his defence in absentia without calling any witness.

Ajara had told the judge that he did not intend to call any witness upon resumed hearing in the matter in the last adjourned date.

He said after his evaluation of the EFCC’s evidence, he would rely on the case of the prosecution and Sanga did not object, upon which the matter was fixed for today.

When the matter was called on Wednesday, Ajara had not filed their final written address.

The lawyer prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him do the needful.

The anti-graft agency’s lawyer, Christie Makar, who held Sanga’s brief, did not oppose the oral application.

Justice Okorowo consequently adjourned the matter until May 6 for adoption of final written addresses.

NAN reports that the EFCC is prosecuting Trinity Biotech Nigeria Limited and Nolan in the charged marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/272/2022 as 1st and 2nd defendants in the case.

Also, the commission is also prosecuting the sister case marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/273/2022 filed against Resorts Express Concept Nigeria Ltd, another company, and Corrado Fantoli as 1st and 2nd defendants respectively before Okorowo.

Fantoli, also a foreigner and an associate of Nolan, was one of the suspects behind the alleged $9.6 billion P&ID fraud.

The suspect, said to be at large, alongside the company, was arraigned in absentia on Nov. 25, 2022, on eight-count money laundering charge.

He was not present in court or represented by a lawyer when they were arraigned.

The court also declared him wanted and ordered for his arrest anywhere he is sighted after Sanga made application to the effect.

Fantoli and Giovanna Beccarelli, who had also been declared wanted and an arrest warrant issued against her, were said to be directors and signatories to the company’s Guaranty Trust Bank account number: 0123849451.

Resorts Express Concept Nigeria Ltd and Trinity Biotech Nigeria Limited are two of the over 30 companies associated with the $9.6 billion scam.

NAN reports that other cases linked to the scandal are currently before Justice Ahmed Mohammed, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, Justice Zainab Abubakar of FHC, Abuja, besides other charges at FCT High Courts.

A Business and Property Court in London presided over by Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales had, in October, quashed the 11 billion dollars awarded against Nigeria in a case filed by the P&ID.

Judge Knowles held that the award was obtained by fraud and that what had happened in the case was contrary to public policy.

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Crime

NAF bombs terrorists hideouts in Borno

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The Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, OPHK, and the Nigerien Air Force on Tuesday eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their hideouts in Damasak and Mobbar local government areas of Borno State.

A statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information of NAF, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the interdictions were under the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF.

Gabkwet said the terrorists had attempted to attack troops of Sector 4 of the MNJTF at Lada, a border town between Niger Republic and Nigeria, and subsequently fled across the border into Nigeria.

According to him, the fleeing terrorists who were on eight motorcycles were later tracked to two locations in Zarri village, about 28 kilometers east of Damasak and Mala Alide in Mobbar areas of Borno.

He further stated that they were observed hibernating in the village with their motorcycles hidden under trees.

“Subsequently, airstrikes from the Air Component of OPHK and Nigerien Air Force, under the watchful eye of Niger’s Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, struck the terrorists’ locations.

“Real-time ISR footage later confirmed numerous terrorists were eliminated and several structures within the targeted areas destroyed.

“Collaborative efforts of this nature have continued to yield positive outcomes on both sides of the border.

“It has also led to the reduction in terrorism and other forms of cross-border crimes perpetrated by criminals crisis-crossing the borders to evade justice,” he added.

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