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Policemen batter lady for tattooing her body

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A woman, Chioma Pius, has accused men of the Rivers State Police Command of assaulting her for having tattoos on her body.

Pius, who claimed to be travelling in a cab from Bayelsa to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, said she was stopped by the policemen at Elebrada Junction, Emohua, Rivers State.

She alleged that after introducing herself to the policemen, the head of the patrol team accused her of being rude.

She claimed that the officers subsequently pounced on her and pummelled her.

“I experienced the worst day of my life on Monday. I was brutalised by some police officers in the Emohua area of Rivers State; at a highway leading to Bayelsa State.

“My crime was that I tattooed my body. A police officer asked me to step down from the taxi I was travelling in from Bayelsa to Port Harcourt. I asked to know why; he ignored my question and asked again that I should step out of the car, so I got out of the car.

“He asked to know who I was and what I did for a living because of the tattoo on my body. I gladly introduced myself with a big smile on my face. My phone rang, but I couldn’t answer (the call). The policeman told me to identify myself to his superior, which I found funny. I was just looking at the guy when he said I should be detained; that I didn’t have manners and that I was a cult member, prostitute and armed robber. There was no disgusting name those men didn’t call me.

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“I just laughed the insults off and told them I would not enter their mobile cell. They seized my phone, so I couldn’t record them. They searched my purse and when they couldn’t find any money, they got angry and said I didn’t even have money, and I was showing off.

“Before I knew it, one of the officers grabbed my trousers and pushed me into the van, while the other guy slapped and punched me repeatedly. I asked why they were beating me up, but their leader used the butt of his gun to hit me on my thighs. He went away and came back with a cane and flogged me. He pushed me into their mobile cell,” she said in a post on Facebook.

She claimed that she lost her engagement ring in the scuffle, adding that while the drama lasted, other policemen were busy extorting money from other motorists and letting them go without a search.

Pius, who claimed that passersby watched helplessly as she was harassed, vowed to get justice.

A series of photos by the victim showed that she sustained injuries in her hands and legs.

She also posted a blurred video which revealed the patrol’s vehicle tag number as …XU P/H.

A sibling of the victim, Annastacia Anyaoha, claimed that the tattoo was a remembrance for their late brother, as she abused those who questioned Pius’ dressing and means of livelihood.

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Personal enquiries made to the sisters by PUNCH Metro were not replied to as of press time.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Omoni Nnamdi, asked the victim to identify the policemen or their patrol van.

He promised that the command would investigate the harassment if the policemen were identified.

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Crime & Court

51 suspects on trial for kidnapping, other offences in Oke-Ogun, Ibarapa – Oyo govt. reveals

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Oyo state government on Sunday revealed that no fewer than 51 suspected criminals linked to kidnapping and other crimes committed in Oke – Ogun and Ibarapa areas of the state are already in Police net.

The government disclosed further that some are already charged to court, while others would soon have their days in court.

The Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni (rtd), who led the government’s delegation, alongside the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko to the trouble spots of Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun areas where they conducted on-the-spot assessment of the tenson-soaked communities, also assured that the government would ensure justice prevails in the cases involving the arrested lot, adding, however, that the people must remain vigilant.

Communities visited include, Igangan, Tede and Ago-Are.

Owoseni, who debunked insinuations that the Seyi Makinde -led administration has abandoned the people to their fate, disclosed that government has been working closely with the Police to fish out criminal elements in the state.

He urged the people to be vigilant and ensure they identify the criminal elements among them for prosecution by the Police, declaring that no one should take laws into their hands.

“If you see something, say something,” Owoseni advised residents of the visited communities.

The delegation also visited the razed home of the Seriki Fulani in Igangan, where it assessed the extent of damage and promised thorough investigation.

“Let us put sentiment and politics aside, from what we heard, it is not as if the Ibarapa community is against one ethnic group. What they are claiming and the allegation they have made is that a particular person, who they are now seeing to symbolise an entire ethnic group, has been misbehaving. It is just like what the governor has been saying; that there is trust-deficit between the people and the government, mistrust between the people and law enforcement agencies.

“If you look at the catalogue of what has been said, they feel they have not been given justice and they feel that someone has been stalling justice.

“They feel that someone has been dropping names in order to oppress the community. I believe that with the steps that have been taken to mend all these gaps and with the assurance that the Commissioner of Police has given that they will look at all the cases again, there will be a change”, he said.

Speaking specifically on investigations and arrests, the retired Police Commissioner said: “There are a lot of narratives that have not been given out.

“Everybody believes that kidnapping, assasination had taken place in Igangan and it seems the government was not doing anything.

“Truth is, 51 suspects have been in detention for various offences that bother on this kidnapping.

“Arrests were made. Some have been arraigned in court. Some are awaiting trial. For some, investigation are still ongoing, which we made them know.

“Everyone will learn lessons, especially the police officer that was accused of complicity in some of these cases.

“The CP has given that assurance that every victim will get justice and all the allegations they have made as to the Seriki colluding with criminals, will be looked into”, the former Commissioner of Police submitted.

Owoseni added that it was wrong for anyone to take laws into his hands, adding that the people must learn to trust security agencies to achieve peace in their areas.

He said of the communal clash between Tede and Ago Are: “This is an evidence of what the governor is doing on the security situation in the state. While the crisis in Igangan was brewing, that was when we heard that these two communities – Tede and Ago-Are – were also at war.

“The purpose of coming here today is to nip in the bud this communal fight. There is an immediate and remote cause but in order to quickly make it not to fester, we are here.”

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Osogbo: 32-year-old Man Jailed 14 Months for Defrauding American of N19.6m

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Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of one Oteyowo Akinkunmi Samuel over internet-related fraud.

Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State pronounced the 32-year-old, who claimed to be a graduate of civil engineering, guilty of a one-count amended charge of criminal impersonation on Monday, and handed him fourteen months custodial sentence.

The crime offends Section 22(2) (b) (ii) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the same Act.

He was charged for defrauding one Warren Doht, an American, of a total sum of N19,664,128.50 (Nineteen Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Eight Naira, Fifty Kobo).

The convict had, however, approached the Commission for a plea bargain agreement which formed the basis for the amended charge with which he was arraigned and convicted of on Monday.

After pleading guilty to the amended charge, prosecution counsel Murtala Usman urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Apart from the jail term, the court also ordered Oteyowo to restitute the N19,664,128.50 to the victim of his crime.

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#EndSARS: Oyo judicial panel to begin public sitting next week Tuesday

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The 12-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to look into petitions of police brutality and victimisation in the state will begin public hearing next week Tuesday.

The Panel, after concluding preliminary analysis of complaints/petitions submitted by victims of police brutality/victimisation, will begin the public hearing on Tuesday, 26 January, 2021 at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan from 9.00 a.m. daily. 

According to a public notice signed by the Secretary to the Panel, Mr. H.T. Salami, all petitioners and respondents had been served with hearing notices and they are expected to appear before the Panel on the date contained in their respective hearing notices.

The panel, which warned members of the public coming to the hearing to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, asked members of the public who might have enquiries to direct same to the The Secretary of the Panel through Phone Number 07014868686 or via email address: [email protected]

The notice read: “The general public is hereby informed that His Excellency, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has graciously approved the constitution of a twelve (12)-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry to look at the petitions submitted by victims of police brutality and victimization in the State.

“The Governor inaugurated the Commission on Tuesday , 10th November, 2020 with the following Terms of Reference: to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extrajudicial killings; to evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; to recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.

“The Panel has, therefore, concluded the preliminary analysis of the submitted complaints/petitions and the public hearing of the Panel will commence on Tuesday, 26 January, 2021, at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan from 9.00 a.m. daily. 

“All the petitioners and the respondents have been served with hearing notices and are expected to appear before the Panel on the date contained in the respective hearing notices.

“All enquiries are to be directed to the The Secretary of the Panel through Phone Number 07014868686 or via email address: [email protected]

“Please, note that all members of the public coming to the hearing are expected to adhere strictly with the COVID-19 pandemic protocols and guidelines.”

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