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Herdsmen took turns to rape me in my farm

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A 72-year-old grandmother, Victoria Akinseye, was in tears as she displayed the torn under wears she wore the day suspected herdsmen took turns to rape her on her farm in Ore, Odigbo council area of Ondo State.

Victoria said the herdsmen had done the unthinkable and would reap the fruit of their wickedness to her. Actually two women were raped same day at different farms and times in the agrarian community by suspected herdsmen. The other victim, Ebun Olarewaju, is much younger.

Early this month, a farmer, identified as Orimisan Omowole, was also hacked to death by suspected herdsmen in the town. Narrating her ordeal, Akinseye said, “I was working on my farm when two men attacked me from behind, held my neck such that I couldn’t ask for help.

They tore my clothes and took turns to rape me.” According to her, a fellow farmer who was on his way to his farm later that day saw her where the herdsmen had abandoned her after the rape and took her home. She said her life had not remained the same since after the rape. ‘“When we reported the incident to our monarch, we were told I must do a sacrifice, to prevent any bad occurrence in my family.

I even had to beg for money to buy items for the ritual. My life is in ruins”. The septuagenarian farmer said she had however cursed those who raped her for their wickedness to “an old woman who could have been of the same age with their mothers.” Disturbed by the latest development, youths and farmers across the 18 council areas of the state marched through the streets of Akure, the state capital, protesting the menace of herdsmen. For hours, the protesters disrupted business and commercial activities.

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The protesters, acting under the auspices of Ondo State Youth Coalition, OSYC, threatened “to take the law into their hands if the state government failed to address the issue immediately”. They described herdsmen’s activities as dangerous and a signal of imminent crisis in Ondo State. Their spokesperson, Olusola Adekanmbi, said herdsmen had “not only raped and destroyed farms in the state, they had also resorted to killing, terrorising and kidnapping farmers on their farmlands”.

He went on: “One of the farmers, Orimisan Omowole, was murdered in his farm in Odigbo local government area of the state. “After killing him, they took out his heart and placed it on his chest “We are not against cattle rearing or saying cattle rearing should be banned but we want free grazing of cattle in our farms at our expense with wanton destruction of our crops and means of livelihood to be stopped forthwith. “Cattle-rearing is a legitimate and profitable business. “But it is not acceptable for cattle-rearers to do their business at our expense and even at the expense of our lives and security.

“We believe the herdsmen have refused to do what civilised herdsmen do worldwide by confining their cattle to ranches and similar enclosure because to do so would mean their having to bear the cost of feeding their cattle”. The protesters pleaded with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the state House of Assembly to enact a law to stop incessant attacks by herdsmen in order to protect farmers and their farms and to ensure security of lives.

“The herdsmen are trying to make farming impossible for our people who are now afraid to go to their farms”, the OSYC leader said. “The Fulani herdsmen have become terrorists who attack, kill, maim and rape our women and even burn their farms. “They are taking advantage of our civilised way of life for cowardice but if we are pushed beyond our tolerant threshold, we can be militant as the other groups and they should take notice that terror breeds terror.” Meanwhile, the state government is said to be proposing an anti – open grazing bill to curtail herdsmen’s attacks in Ondo. Sources close to government said cases of destruction of farmlands, incessant attacks and killing of farmers and rape of women in the last three weeks was worrisome.

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Speaking with Sunday Vanguard, the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Agriculture, Mr. Akin Olotu, said the menace of herdsmen was getting out of hand, saying no fewer than four farmers were killed in the last three weeks by suspected herdsmen. Apart from this, Olotu said about ten hectares of cassava farmland was destroyed by suspected herdsmen and their cattle in Owo while some farmers were injured during the attack. He said the activities of herdsmen were not limited to a particular area in the state but across the state.

“The state government is worried about this development. Though herdsmen are doing their business, they have been using their business to destroy other businesses. “The destruction of farmlands has been a source of concern to farmers in the state, while those who are just embracing farming, as a source of livelihood, have been discouraged. “Farmers have lost a lot of money to these destructions after obtaining loans from bank to finance farm projects. Farm produce cannot be stored in the barn any longer”.

According to him, ponds and apiary worth millions of Naira were destroyed by cattle and herdsmen in a particular location in the state, saying the fishes were harvested while the honey comb was stolen by the invading herdsmen. He hinted that the state government was proposing anti-open grazing bill to stem down the menace of herdsmen while herdsmen operating in the state and their cows would be registered with codes to identify them.

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Olotu, who advocated for the modern method of rearing cattle in the country, called on security agencies and stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state. Ondo State Police Command confirmed the arrest of some suspects in connection with the killing of the farmer in Ore.

Its image maker Femi Joseph said the command was not folding its hands but working to ensure that the people of the state sleep with their two eyes closed. Joseph promised hard times for criminals in Ondo, advising them to either repent from their evil ways or relocate from the state.

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Crime & Court

#EndSARS: Makinde Frees 6 Suspects Arrested At Ogbomoso’s Protest

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No fewer than six suspects arrested in connection with the crisis that visited the protest against police brutality at Ogbomoso recently have been freed by the court as prayed by Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

The suspects include Olaoluwa Busayo, Olagoke David, Olusola Matthew, Amole Adebayo, Adedokun Segun and Ganiyu Saheed.

The protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) had led to vandalization of the palace of Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade on Sunday 10th of October, 2020 while the six suspects were apprehended by the police as being part of those responsible for the attack on the palace.

A statement issued by the State Ministry of Justice, titled ‘Re-unconditional Release of the 6 Suspects Arrested In Ogbomoso in Connection with Ongoing National Protest’ and signed by the Director Public Prosecution, Mr Nathaniel Okeniyi on Tuesday and made available to the press said, upon the visit of the State governor to Ogbomoso immediately after the incident after which the governor visited the palace and later addressed protesters, he promised to set the arrested individuals free as demanded by the protesters.

“Sequel to the promise of his Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde at Ogbomoso to effect the release of the suspects arrested in connection with the protest, today, being 19th October, 2020, the Chief Magistrate Court 2, Iyaganku Ibadan, on application of Attorney General has discharged and withdrawn the charge filed against the suspects forthwith.”

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Recall that governor Seyi Makinde gave his support to peaceful protest which he said was borne out of high level of youths’ unemployment and poverty in the land, he called on the police to take the back sit in the protest while the men of ‘Operation Burst’ should give the protesters adequate protection and avert its being hijacked by hoodlums.

 

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Crime & Court

Ibadan: EFCC Secures Conviction of Fraudsters, Arraigns Three

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Justice Sherifat Adeyemi of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, on Wednesday, sentenced one Balaji Salami to prison for fraud.

The convict was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on amended one-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence, contrary to Section 419 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State 2000.

The charge read: “That you Bolaji Salami sometime in March, 2020, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained various gift cards, worth the sum of USD$150 (One Hundred and Fifty United States Dollars) from one Smith Johnson, a white male American citizen, when you falsely represented to him that you are a white female American by name Angelina James, that you are in love with him and wanted to marry him, which representations you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence.”

He pleaded guilty to the offence following which the judge pronounced him guilty as charged and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with effect from his June 30, 2020 date of arrest.

Apart from his prison term, he would restitute his victim, the sum of $150 USD (One Hundred and Fifty United States of American Dollars) and forfeit his iPhone X Max, Itel mobile phones and HP laptop computer to the federal government.

Similarly, Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Wednesday, October 14, sentenced one Olanrewaju Isaac Olatunji (a.k.a. Mia Cruz) to one year imprisonment for fraud. He was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission on amended one-count charge of criminal impersonation.

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The charge read: “That you Olanrewaju Isaac Olatunji (a.k.a. Mia Cruz) sometime in May 2019 at Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, knowingly impersonated one Mia Cruz, a white female, when you falsely represented yourself to Abigail Mccaroll, in order to gain advantage for yourself, contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (ii) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015, and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) of the same Act.”

He pleaded guilty to the charge upon which prosecution counsel, Mabas Mabur asked the court to sentence and convict him accordingly.

The judge sentenced him to one year imprisonment with effect from February 13, 2020, day of his arrest. His is also to restitute the sum of $1600 (One Thousand Six Hundred United States Dollars) to his victim through the EFCC, and forfeit his Honda Crosstour and other items recovered from him to the federal government.

Meanwhile, the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission also yesterday, arraigned the trio of Adedapo Olayiwola, Adebola Aderonke Adesina and her company, Kestrel Travels and Tour Limited, before Justice Sherifat Adeyemi.

Olayiwola is being prosecuted on a five-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence, contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

He is alleged to have fraudulently obtained over N4 million (Four Million Naira) from different victims on the pretence that he has plots of land to sell to them.

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However, the victims, with time, discovered that the said plots of land did not belong to him.

“That you Olayiwola Adedapo sometime in 2016, in Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N1,400,000 (One Million Four Hundred Thousand Naira) from one Monsuru Watiu Adekunle under the pretext that it is the purchase price for two acres of land, situated at Oyigun Village, Akinyele, Ibadan which you claimed belong to you, which representations you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, upon which prosecution counsel, Murtala Usman asked the court for a commencement date of trial and for him to be remanded in prison custody.

Justice Adeyemi admitted Olayiwola to bail in the sum of N5million and two sureties in like sum. The sureties are to provide a valid means of identification, verified by the EFCC. He was given seven days to comply with the bail conditions or be returned to EFCC’s custody. The case was adjourned till December 2, 2020.

Adesina, on her part, was arraigned alongside her company on one-count charge of stealing, contrary to Section 390 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

She was alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N2,400,000 (Two Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira) from one Adeniyi Taiwo Dauda through her company on the pretence that she could help him procure visas for some of his clients. She, however, failed to deliver on her promise and refused to refund the money to her victim.

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The charge read, “That you, Adesina Adebola Aderonke and Kestrel Travels and Tours Limited sometime in February, 2019 at Ibadan, within the Ibadan Judicial Division of this honourable court, did commit an illegal act, to wit: stealing of the sum of N2,400,000.00 (Two Million and Four Hundred Thousand Naira) only, property of Adeniyi Taiwo Dauda.”

She pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting prosecution counsel, Murtala Usman to ask the court for a commencement date of trial and for the defendant to be remanded in prison custody.

The court ordered that she be remanded in EFCC’s custody, pending an application for her bail and adjourned the matter till October 20, 2020 for hearing.

 

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Crime & Court

Court Jails Five Internet Fraudsters in Abeokuta

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan Zonal Office, on Thursday secured the conviction of five internet fraudsters in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.


The convicts are, Babalola Kehinde Omogbolohan; Adekoya Abayomi Peter; Stephen Ogbebor Damilare; Opeogun Temitope Felix and Sodiq Sanni (a.k.a Alan Anderson).

Having pleaded guilty to amended one-count charge of fraudulent impersonation, Justice Ibrahim Watilat of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta Division convicted and sentenced Omogbolohan, Damilare and Felix to five months in prison each, while Peter bagged four months for the crime.

Omogbolohan and Peter were given N100,000 option of fine each, while Felix and Damilare were handed N400,000 and N300,000 option of fine respectively.

Sanni (a.k.a Alan Anderson) was prosecuted before Justice Muhammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court of the same Abeokuta Judicial Division on amended one-count charge of fraudulent impersonation and having pleaded guilty, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment without an option of fine. All the convicts are to restitute their victims the sums of money they fraudulently obtained from them and forfeit all the items recovered from them to the federal government.

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