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Crime & Court

Kaduna Govt Reacts, Says Court Will Decide El-Zakzaky’s Fate

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The Kaduna State government has disclosed that the fate of the embattled leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) is in the hands of the court.

This was disclosed by the Attorney General of Kaduna State and Commissioner for Justice, Aisha Dikko.

Dikko disclosed that the ongoing legal processes should not be the subject of a media campaign or pressure of any kind, affirming that the Kaduna State Government has no intention to withdraw the charges and would rather leave it to the court to decide the case.

Contained in a statement issued in Kaduna, the state capital, Dikko said both Ibrahim El Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat are facing an eight-count charge, which includes culpable homicide punishable with death, before the High Court of Kaduna State.

The Attorney General recalled that the court had earlier refused the accused persons’ application for bail following their arraignment in August 2018.

According to her, “At its last sitting on December 5, 2019, the court adjourned hearing in the matter to February 6, 2020, and ordered the transfer of the couple from DSS facilities to the Kaduna Correctional Centre for the duration of the trial.

“It is the High Court that will decide the case, and the rule of law demands respect for the prerogatives of the court and the ongoing legal process”.

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She added  that like any other person facing a criminal trial, El-Zakzaky and his wife have been accorded due process and are being represented by their lawyers.

“There is no court order pending against the Kaduna State Government on the matter. Rulings and orders that were secured against the Federal Government do not have any bearing against the Kaduna State Government which was not a party to those proceedings and against whom no orders were made.

“Any issues regarding compliance or non-compliance with a court order by the DSS or the Federal Government cannot be used to vitiate the judicial proceedings the Kaduna State Government has commenced against the El-Zakzakys,’’ she argued.

An eight-count charge was filed against some accused persons on April 19, 2018, including El Zakzaky and his wife, after months of painstaking investigation, which covered a period of about three decades.

According to the commissioner, persons who were accused alongside El-Zakzaky include Yakubu Yahaya Katsina and Sanusi Abdulkadir Koki and they were charged to court for alleged criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide punishable with death and unlawful assembly.

They were also charged with alleged wrongful restraint, disturbance of public peace; voluntarily causing grievous hurt; inciting disturbance, and breach of Public Peace.

The Attorney General informed that these charges arose following the Zaria clashes of December 12th-24 2015 between the Nigerian Army and El-Zakzaky’s movement.’

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“It was the tragic Nadir of the more than 30 years of oppression that Zaria residents had endured at the hands of a movement that had grown accustomed to disregarding the law, disrespecting the human rights of other citizens and inconveniencing members of the public.

“A Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the Zaria clashes was constituted on 29th January 2016.

“Members of the IMN owe absolute loyalty to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. He, therefore, bears responsibility for all the acts of lawlessness committed by the organization and should, therefore, be held responsible, fully investigated and prosecuted.”

The Kaduna State Government then accepted the findings of the Inquiry and commenced the processes for prosecuting  El-Zakzaky and the leadership of his movement.

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Crime & Court

Court jails two internet fraudsters, convicts another

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan Zonal Office has secured the conviction of two internet fraudsters, namely: Rasak Olayinka Balogun and Ayodeji Oluwaseun Olatona, who all pleaded guilty to separate one-count charge of criminal impersonation.

The offence runs contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.

 

While Balogun was sentenced to seven months jail term by Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Olatona had his date with Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, who sentenced him to six months imprisonment.

Apart from his jail term, Balogun was ordered to restitute $4,000 (Four Thousand United States Dollars) to his victim, one Mantonia Duncan, and also forfeit his laptop, Samsung Galaxy S8 phone and iPhone 11 Pro Max to the federal government, while Olatona will restitute $500 (Five Hundred United State Dollars) to his victim and forfeit his iPhone 7 to the Federal government.

In a similar development, Justice Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, convicted one Timilehin Awojoodu of criminal impersonation, but reserved his sentence till July 21, 2020. Besides the conviction, the judge ordered Awojoodu to restitute the sum of $2,500 (Two Thousand, Five Hundred United States Dollars) to his victim and forfeit his iPhone 7 and Infinix Hot 7 phone to the government.

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Crime & Court

Buhari okays Magu’s suspension, Umar now chairs EFCC

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Niheria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has on Friday confirmed the suspension of Mr Ibrahim Magu as acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Magu’s suspension by the President, which takes immediate effect, was announced in a statement from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

The minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, who signed the statement explained that the presidential directive was to allow unhindered inquiry by the Presidential Investigation Panel under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws.

He disclosed further  that President Buhari has directed the EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, to take charge and oversee the activities of the commission.

Umar will oversee EFCC’s activities pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation and further directives in that regard.

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Crime & Court

South-east governors absent as FG inaugurates zone 13 police headquarters in Anambra.

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IGP Adamu

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu on Wednesday inaugurated the Zone 13 Nigeria Police Headquarters at Ukpo, near Awka in Anambra.

Ukpo is housed by Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra. The newly-created zone covers the three South-East states of Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra.

Interestingly, the governors in the zone were conspicuously absent. The governors who were not present at the event, were Willie Obiano of Anambra state; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state and their Ebonyi state counterpart, Dave Umahi.

It will be recalled that Ebonyi was previously under Zone 6 in Calabar, while Enugu and Anambra were under Zone 9 with headquarters in Umuahia.

In a message read on his behalf by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Mr Celestine Okoye, Adamu noted that in Ukpo that siting the zonal headquarters in Anambra would boost the operations of the police in the South-East.

He disclosed that the process of locating the zonal headquarters at Ukpo was not easy, thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for approving Ukpo community as zone 13 headquarters.

The IGP also hinted that the police authorities would soon inaugurate a Mobile Police Base in Nsugbe in the Anambra East Local Government Area.

He lauded Mr Arthur Eze, an indigene of Ukpo for his contributions toward the location of the zonal headquarters at Ukpo.

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Eze, a philanthropist said he was thankful to Buhari and the police high command for their choice of his community as the headquarters of zone 13.

“Buhari has shown love and interest in the development of the South-East since he took over as the nation’s president.

“He is currently rehabilitating the Enugu-Onitsha highway, constructing the 2nd Niger Bridge and has approved this new police zone 13 for our people.

“We cannot thank him enough, and as a leader from the zone, I must say that we the Igbo people are happy with President Buhari and will continue to support his people-oriented programmes”.

Eze, who later handed over the key of the complex to the Okoye, said that policemen deployed to the zone would have a fruitful working experience.

A former Commissioner of Police in Enugu and Edo States, AIG. Danmallam Mohammed, has since assumed duties as the pioneer officer in-charge of the new zone.

The inauguration ceremony was well attended by scores of traditional rulers, business executives and politicians from the three states in the zone.

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