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EFCC Finally Breaks Silence, Says ‘We Have Not Dropped Charges Against Diezani, Others’

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC)  on Wednesday said it attention has  been drawn to reports currently circulating in the social media, purporting that the Commission had dropped the criminal charge against a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and other persons indicted for money laundering.

The EFCC also enjoined members of the public to disregard the report which it described as false and misleading.  It added that , “at no time did the Commission withdraw the charge, which is still before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

“The only development was that the Commission took a prosecutorial decision to split the initial 14-count charge to enable separate arraignment of the defendants following a spate of adjournments that prevented the arraignment of the defendants more than one year after the case was listed.

“The charges were first filed on November 28, 2018. Since then, every attempt to arraign the defendants had been frustrated by one excuse or the other. In more than four times that the matter was called for arraignment, it was either that Lanre Adesanya was sick and bedridden in a London Hospital or Nnamdi Okonkwo was hypertensive and on admission in a hospital or StanleyLawson had had a domestic accident and could not appear in court.

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“It was clear that these recurring excuses were ploys to frustrate the arraignment. To get around this, the Commission took a deliberate decision, which was disclosed in open court, to separately prosecute the defendants in different courts. This explains why the four-count amended charge brought against Dauda Lawal, a former executive director of First Bank, did not include other defendants, except the two who are at large( Diezani Alison-Madueke and Ben Otti). And the ingredients of the offence stated therein only pertains to Lawal’s involvement in the alleged crime, which is the receipt of $25million from the $153million 2015 Peoples Democratic Party presidential election slush fund.

“The non-inclusion of other defendants in the original charge in the amended four-count charge does not mean that they have been exonerated by the Commission of any criminal allegation”, EFCC explained via its official twitter handle

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Crime & Court

Oyo govt, police vow to fish out killers of raped student, pregnant woman in Ibadan

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The government of Oyo State and the State Police Command have vowed to work harmoniously to ensure the arrest of killers of a pregnant woman, Azeezat Shomuyiwa and an 18-year-old student of Federal College of Animal Health and Production, Barakat Bello, who was raped and killed  in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Special Adviser to the governor on Security Matters,  Fatai Owoseni, a retired Commissioner of Police and the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Enwonwu  Nwachukwu made the vow while paying condolence visit to the families of the two victims on Friday.

The duo were unanimous in condemning the incidents, noting that the security agencies would soon fish out the perpetrators.

Barely three days after young Barakat Bello was reportedly killed at Kara Area of Akinyele Local Government, another incident occurred in Ijefun near L. Adisa Quarry off Moniya-Oyo road, where Shomuyiwa, a postgraduate student of the University of Ibadan was killed by yet-to-be-identified persons.

Owoseni and and the Commissioner of Police were told by members of the community that the late Shomuyiwa was hit with a big stone while inside her room.

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Residents also stated that the woman only returned from Kano in February, where her husband had just secured employment after completing his NYSC programme.

The commissioner of police, Nwachukwu and the Owoseni assured families of the deceased that the perpetrators  would be brought to justice.

The trio of CP Nwachukwu, retired COMPOL Owoseni as well as the Executive Assistant to Governor Makinde on Security,  Sunday Odukoya, also visited Akinyele where 18-year-old Barakat  was reportedly killed by unknown persons on Monday.

They urged residents of the two communities to be security-conscious and to report any suspicious movement to the police for safety of lives and property.

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Man arrested in Niger over alleged rape of 85-year-old woman

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The Niger state Police Command  has arrested one Peter Ayemoba, of Rafin Sanyi area in Suleja Local Government Area, for allegedly having carnal knowledge of his two daughters.

The police also announced the arrest of another suspect who allegedly raped an 85-year-old woman.

According to ASP Wasiu Abiodun, the Command Public Relation Officer (PPRO), who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Minna on Thursday, Ayemoba had sexually assaulted his daughters, now aged 20 and 23, between 2013 and 2019 respectively.

“Investigation revealed that the suspect usually threatened to kill them and commit suicide if they denied him carnal knowledge,” the PPRO said.

He also revealed that police detectives attached to Kagara division in Rafi Local Government Area have arrested one Ezekiel Yonana, 25, for raping an 85-year-old woman in Tukunguna village.

Abiodun said the incident occurred on May 23 at about 23:00 am while the old woman was asleep.

According to the PPRO, the suspect, a resident of Unguwar Ya’u Tunguna village criminally trespassed into her room and threatened to kidnap her or paid him some money.

“The suspect forcefully had canal knowledge of the 85-year-old before she was rescued by her grandson.”

Abiodun said that the two suspects had confessed to the crime and would be charged to court.

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The Police, however appealed to residents to volunteer information about suspected criminal elements in their midst.

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Edo: NDLEA foils criminal attempt, detects cannabis inside sacks of garri

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Amidst  COVID-19 lockdown, officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Edo State have foiled a criminal attempt to smuggle eighty-three (83) kilograms of cannabis sativa concealed inside sacks of garri out of the state.

The dried weeds that tested positive for cannabis was intercepted at Aviele trailer park, Etsako West Local Government Area of the State.

NDLEA Edo State Commander, Mr. Buba Wakawa who announced the operational breakthrough in Benin City also lauded operatives of the Auchi Area command for the spectacular drug seizure.

He said, “officers attached to the Auchi Area command acting on intelligence report raided the popular trailer park at Aviele where the dried weeds of cannabis hidden inside eight (8) sacks of garri were intercepted while preparing to smuggle the drugs out of the State. This is a very successful operation and I commend the officers for their commitment and ingenuity”.

The commander who described the mode of concealment as “cunning”, added that preliminary investigation had revealed that a local cannabis snuggling cartel in the area is behind the cannabis consignment.

Also, in a similar operation which took place at Uzebba forest, the command recovered twenty (20) kilogrammes of cannabis seeds and thirteen (13) kilogrammes of dried weeds that tested positive for cannabis.

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The commander, however , warned that drug traffickers in the State must quit the criminal act or be prepared for the legal consequences.

“The early detection of the drugs despite the mode of concealment is a clear signal that the activities of cannabis cartels cannot escape our strict supervision.

“We are prepared to remain proactive in our counter- narcotics efforts.

“This way,  we will continue to subject drug traffickers to the laws of the country to serve as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to indulge in drug trafficking”

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