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Alleged N3bn fraud: ICPC arraigns NDDC director, FCT official

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), on Tuesday, arraigned a director with Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Solomon Okpa Ita for the alleged diversion of N45 million.

The ICPC also arraigned Gabriel  Nathaniel, a staff in the Accounts  Department of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) over allegations bordering on the diversion of about N3 billion from his office.

They were arraigned separately before Justice Zainab Abubakar of a Federal High Court, Abuja, and pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.

The newsmen report that Ita, a director in the Department of Community and Rural Development of NDDC, was arraigned on a four-count charge while Nathaniel was arraigned on a 14-count charge.

In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/110/2022, filed by the ICPC, through its lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimsingha, Ita was said to have diverted part of the funds paid for a contract awarded to a group, Radiant Women Association.

In count one, Ita was accused to have, sometime in September 2018 or thereabout, indirectly taken possession of the sum of N22,400,000. 00. through his First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Account Number: 0542393012, received from the Zenith Bank account of one Solomon Eyarebe & Ebikebina.

The money was said to form part of the payment of the N45,000,000. 00 made to Radiant Women Association for a purported contract to wit: “Workshop for Youth Restiveness in Cross River State” awarded by NDDC through the Department of Community & Rural Development was made.

In the count, he was alleged to have committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2)(d) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).

Also in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/CR/168/2022 filed against Nathaniel, he was accused of committing the alleged offence between 2015 and 2019.

After their not guilty plea, Justice Abubakar granted N50million bail to Ita with one surety who must own a property within Abuja.

The judge ruled that the certificate of occupancy of the property, which should be verified by the registrar, would be deposited at the court registry.

Abubakar ordered that Ita be remanded in the custody of the ICPC pending when he meets the bail condition and adjourned the matter until Oct. 25 for trial.

However, the judge fixed the hearing of Nathaniel’s bail plea for Wednesday and ordered him to be remanded at the commission’s custody.

 

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INSECURITY: Gunmen Kidnap Traditional Ruler in Ondo State; Shoot scores in Delta Mosque

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Gunmen kidnap traditional ruler in Ondo State

…Police says only 11 worshippers injured in attack***

 Gunmen have abducted a 66-year-old traditional ruler, Oba Clement Olukotun, the Oloso of Oso, at Ajowa-Akoko, in Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State.

The abductors allegedly stormed the traditional ruler’s residence at about 10.15 p.m. on Thursday and whisked him away to an unknown destination.

A family source revealed that the gunmen shot sporadically and destroyed the palace’s main door to gain access into his residential area before perpetrating the act.

According to the source, the gunmen knocked on the door and asked the occupants to open the door.

“But when the assailants realised that the occupants were not ready to obey their command, they shot at the main door and destroyed it.

The source, which explained that the gunshot pellets pierced the door and wall into the living room, said that none of the occupants was hit or injured.

“When they came, they surrounded the building and started ordering the king and other occupants to open the door and surrender willingly, but nobody answered. At this point, they started shooting.

“They destroyed the main door and entered. They terrorised Kabiyesi and his family members before dragging him out and taking him away.

“As at this morning, none of the family members had been contacted, but we knew they were kidnappers,” he said.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Ondo State Command, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, confirmed the incident.

“It is true but the details of the incident are still not clear.

“However, police from the Divisional Police headquarters at Oke-Agbe, headquarters office Akoko Northwest Local Government Area of Ondo State, have been deployed in the town to launch investigation into the incident,” Odunlami said.

In another development, Unidentified gunmen early Friday morning, attacked a mosque in Ughelli, Delta state, leaving 11 worshippers injured.

A resident who spoke on the attack said it took place at about 6.47 am when some Muslim faithful were holding their morning prayers at the Central Mosque, located along Okoroda street in Ughelli.

The resident who gave his name simply as Larry, said many residents were jolted from their sleep by gunshots followed by loud cries from people inside the mosque.

Senate-President-Ahmed-Lawan

“My name is Larry, I am a commercial vehicle driver here in Ughelli. I live very close to the central mosque, so this morning at about 6.45 am we heard a shooting at the mosque.

“Because of fear, many people in my compound were frightened and we remained inside only peeping through our windows.

“As the shooting lasted, we heard loud cries from some worshippers inside the mosque,” Larry said.

According to him, after the invaders left, many residents thronged to the mosque in their numbers to see what happened.

He said residents helped to evacuate injured worshippers, adding that those that survived the attack suffered severe injuries.

Larry said that some of the worshippers told residents that three of their fellow worshippers were taken away by the gunmen.

When contacted, the Delta police spokesperson, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the attack to NAN but said that only 11 worshippers were injured in the attack.

He, however, did not confirm the abduction of three worshippers.

“I just called the DPO at Ughelli and he confirmed to me that 11 persons were injured in the attack at the mosque.

“However, the police have commenced investigation into the incident and we will update you as we work to unravel the culprits.

“For now, no arrest has been made but I can assure you that we will get those involved,” Edafe said.

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Editor’s Pick: Man, 50 jailed 4 months for stealing chewing gums

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Editor's Pick: Man, 50 jailed 4 months for stealing chewing gums

A 50-year-old man, Adamu Habib was on Tuesday sentenced to four months imprisonment by an Upper Area Court, Karu, Abuja for stealing two packs of ”Orbit” gum, worth N12,840.

The convict, who resides in Garki Village, pleaded guilty to theft.

Delivering judgment, the judge, Malam Ishaq Hassan gave the convict an option of N10,000 fine and warned him to desist from committing crime.

Hassan also ordered the convict to pay N12,840 in compensation.

The Prosecution Counsel, Mr. Olarewaju Osho, told the court that the complainant, Joseph Sunday of “Faxx Supermarket, Abuja, reported the matter at the Durumi Police Station on Nov. 7.

Osho said on Oct. 18, the convict stole two packs of ”Orbit” gum, worth N12,840.

He said that during routine police investigation, the convict admitted to committing the offence.

The offense, he said, contravened the provisions of Section 287 of the Penal Code.

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Police Arrest 30 Suspected Railway Vandals

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Police in Katsina State arrest producer of bandits’ bulletproof charms

The Railway Police Command on Monday said that 30 suspected railway vandals were arrested between September and October 2022.

This is contained in a statement issued by CP Yetunde Longe, the Commissioner of Police for the Command.

President Muhammadu Buhari had given directives to all service chiefs and Nigeria Police Force to safeguard the railway infrastructure across the federation.

“Following the directives from the President, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, directed the Railway Police Command to engage the Direct Action Response Tactics (DART), to effectively protect the railway corridors from vandals.

“The command recorded big success on Sept.8, acting upon credible information, as men of the Railway Police Command swooped on some criminal elements that had been involved in recurrent vandalism and theft of railway iron sleepers at the section KM 1086 Sheme Town in Faskari LGA of Kastina State; leading to the arrest of 14 suspects.

“It was gathered that the suspects after their exchange of fire with the policemen abandoned a trailer truck with Reg. No. Nasarawa LFA 307XB and a Sharon car.

“However, further relentless combing of the crime scene led to the arrest of the suspects on Sept. 10,” she said.

The CP identified the suspects as Muhammed Lawan, 35; Umar Garba, 28; Sahana iliyasu, 22; Bashiru Abdulrahaman, 20; Dauda Musa, 27; Ahmad Sani  21; Muhammed Haruna 20.

Others are Gaddafi Bala, 21; Ali Umar, 25; Wudeama Tahiru, 23; John Jaccob, 22; Ezekiel Gumeret, 26; and Sulaimon Musa, 20.

“Similarly, on Sept. 26, 2022, the Rigasa Railway Divisional Police Headquarters arrested five suspects in connection with the vandalism of some window frames at Gidan Buse substation,” she said.

Longe identified the suspects as Sadi Mohammed, 26; Nasiru Yakubu, 35; Yau Ibrahim 26; while two others: Buhari Samlia, 25;  and Aliyu Abdulahi, 24 were also arrested for the same crime on Oct.17, 2022.

The police commissioner said that the police officers at the Funtua Railway Police Division, Katsina State.

The commissioner added that her men also raided the hideout of some  notorious railway vandals and arrested four suspected vandals  who were in possession of 100  railway iron sleepers and 60 cut-to-size triangular iron pieces belonging to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC)

The CP said that on Nov. 4 and 14, “Men of the Kafanchan Railway Police Division and the men of the Nigerian Army School of Artillery intercepted two trucks with Registration numbers: MJB-367XA & DAL-754ZX.

“The trucks were loaded with 45 and 37-long rail irons respectively. Three suspects each: Adamu Lawal,32; Tajudeen Yusuf,27; Sulieman Lawal,19; Abdulkadir Idris  45; Garba Sule,37; and Bilyaminu Ahmadu,37; were arrested in connection with the crime,” she said.

The CP said that the Bauchi Divisional Headquarters upon a credible tip-off also intercepted a J5 bus with registration number XC318BAU.

“The suspects in the bus upon sighting the policemen fled, abandoning the bus loaded with 50 pieces of Railway sleepers concealed with firewood.

“The bus and exhibits have been taken into police custody, while investigations to apprehend the suspects continue.

“Recently, Port Harcourt Railway Police Division also made an arrest of one suspect at the Port Harcourt Railway station.

“The suspect, James Wisdom, 25; was caught stealing some seats of first-class train coaches parked at the railway station,” Longe said.

The commissioner of police said that investigations would be swiftly concluded and the culprits would be duly charged to court.

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