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Chef jailed 28 years for killing lawyer in Lagos hotel

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Wife, 3 others arrested over hotelier’s death in Lagos

…As Surrendered terrorists regret actions, urge colleagues to come out ***

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday sentenced a 23-year-old chef, Joshua Usulor,  to 28 years’ imprisonment for killing a 34-year-old lawyer, Mrs Feyisayo Obot.

The chef killed the lawyer on Jan. 26, 2019 at the Citiheights Hotel, Opebi, Lagos, where both of them lodged in different rooms.

Usulor murdered Obot, an Abuja-based mother of two, by slitting her throat while robbing her in her hotel room.

The newsmen report that Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced Usulor after he approached the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for a plea bargain agreement in which he would plead guilty to the crime.

The DPP had in the agreement, approved a term of 21 years’ imprisonment which would begin from the date of Usulor’s remand.

However, during Tuesday’s proceedings, the judge rejected the proposed prison term, saying that it was too lenient.

The judge said she would exercise the power conferred on her by Section 75 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law to increase the prison term to 30 years.

Also read: Court remands Masquerade custodian, 3 others for alleged murder in Osun

She eventually reduced Usulor’s prison sentence to 28 years, following allocutus (plea for leniency) by his counsel, Mr Spurgeon Ataene.

In the allocutus, Ataene told the court to temper justice with mercy.

He submitted that Usulor was remorseful, adding that he was a young man with a promising future.

While sentencing Usulor, Taiwo asked why he killed the lawyer.

“It was a mistake, I didn’t know what got into me,” he responded.

“Your mistake has cost someone her life,” the judge said.

Newsmen report that the prosecution led by Mrs O.A. Bajulaiye-Bishi had said that Usulor, a resident of No. 30, Fadiya St., Ketu, Lagos,  went into Obot’s hotel room to rob her in order to offset his outstanding hotel bills.

Obot, an employee of an Abuja-based non-governmental organisation –  Save the Children – was in Lagos to write a project management examination.

She was killed on the day she was due to checkout of the hotel.

The prosecution was still presenting witnesses in the case when Usulor proposed a plea bargain agreement.

Prosecution witnesses who testified so far are – the hotel receptionist, Ms Lateefat Adebayo; the hotel Operations Manager, Mr Olabanji Ibitunde;  brother of the deceased, Mr Ige Afolabi; and the Investigating Police Officer, Insp John Babalola.

Usulor was arraigned on a count charge of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2015.

The law prescribes death sentence for any individual found guilty of murder.

In the same vein,  Some repentant Boko Haram terrorists have expressed regrets for taking up arms against the state, killing of fellow citizens and destruction of properties in the North East.

They made this known during a media tour to one of the holding and screening facilities for the surrendered terrorists in Borno on Tuesday.

One of the repentant fighters, (nana withheld) said he and other surrendered colleagues realised that their commanders lied to them on why they were recruited.

He added that they also realised that they could not continue to live in the bush and continue to run from the military onslaught.

He said that they would have surrendered a long time ago but for fear of being captured and killed by the military.

According to him, surrendering is the best thing to do, urging his colleagues who are yet to surrender to do so.

“We were afraid that we would be killed if we come out but it is not so because we were received without attacking us and we are also being treated humanely since we came out.

“I want to urge my colleagues who are still in the bush to come out and surrender because they will be accepted,” he said.

He disclosed that he had spent about six years fighting the war but later realised that they were not fighting any just cause.

The Commander, 21 Special Armoured Brigade Bama, Brig.-Gen. Adewale Adekeye, said that thousands of Boko Haram fighters, their families and supporters had been received since July.

Adekeye said the theatre command was aware of the fears and apprehension that the recent event had generated among the civilian populace in Borno and the nation at large.

He explained that surrendering was a normal practice in the annals of the history of warfare, saying it had been a time honoured event.

According to him, even in the law of war, when somebody surrenders to you, there are things you are expected to do and that are what the army has been doing.

“The number of insurgents that have surrendered is quite large but, however, most of them have been processed and moved down to the holding facility organised by Borno State Government in Maiduguri.

“But we are the first point of call for these insurgents coming down from the bush and therefore, many responsibilities are bestowed on us being the first contact to profiling them,” he said.

The Brigade Commander said the surrendering events had been taking place within Bama Local Government Area of Borno given its large size and proximity to Sambisa Forest.

He added that all units had been instructed on how to receive the surrendering terrorists, process them and evacuate them to Bama main holding cell for further processes, saying the exercise had been going on since July.

He, however, denied insinuation that the surrendered terrorists were being housed in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp anywhere in the state.

“We don’t mix them with the IDPs and of course, you know that the IDPs camp Bama is one of the oldest camps in Borno State.

“Population in the camp has reduced due to the resettlement of the IDPs back to their ancestral homes but the IDPS camp is a separate thing and it is not under my command but the state emergency management agency,” he said.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said that the recent surrender had depleted the strength of the Boko Haram terrorists to a great extent.

Nwachukwu said that there were concerns over the surrender of the terrorists, hence the need to inform the public that their surrendering was genuine.

“We have seen quite a large abandonment of the illicit activities of Boko Haram terrorists and that is the more reason why we decided to come to the theatre of operation to see for ourselves.

“How these insurgents are surrendering to our troops and to allay the fears and apprehension of members of the public with regard to these issues,” he said.

He commended the commander and troops for their vigilance and gallantry that had led to the mass surrender of the terrorists in their area of responsibility.

 

 

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LASG Apprehends 10 Fake Enforcement Officials At Cele/ Itire Axis

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LASG Apprehends 10 Fake Enforcement Officials At Cele/ Itire Axis

…urges citizens to report illegal activities to the Ministry

The Lagos State Government has apprehended 10 fake enforcement officials at Cele/Itire axis of the state. 

The apprehended persons; Ojo Oluwaseun, Rafiu Agbabiaka, Babatunde Ibrahim, Abiodun Olusegun, Daniel Olanrewaju, Aweda Kabiru, Olufowobi Michael, Olamilekan Olasupo, Bunmi James and Iyiola Shola(female) were caught carrying out unauthorized enforcement earlier today using different fake ID cards. 

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Olawale Musa while addressing the Press, revealed that the arrest was made in response to complaints registered at the Ministry by concerned citizens. 

Mr Musa stressed that the suspects are not members of staff of the Ministry, adding that they will be made to face the full wrath of the law. 

He also disclosed that the tow trucks, Identification cards and other equipment owned by these people have been confiscated by the State Government. 

Expatiating on this, the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Bolanle Ogunlola echoes the Ministry’s position which urged members of the public to report every illegality promptly, through the Ministry of Transportation’s designated phone lines;  09020004000 and   09020009000

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Police Intercept Bags Of Indian Hemp At Lagos Jetty

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Police Intercept Bags Of Indian Hemp At Lagos Jetty

Police in Lagos State have intercepted some bags of substances, suspected to be Indian Hemp, at a Jetty in Ojo area of Lagos and arrested a suspect.

The spokesperson for the police in Lagos State, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the development to the Newsmen on Friday.

Hundeyin said that detectives from the tactical squad, Ijaniki, intercepted the substances on Wednesday at about 4.30 a.m. while on morning patrol around Ajangbadi area.

He said the tactical team trailed one white Mercedes Benz mini truck to Ilufe Waterside Jetty, Alaba International, Ojo.

The image maker said that the operatives discovered that a large quantity of substances suspected to be Indian Hemp in sacks were being offloaded from a flying boat.

“One suspect (43, with name withheld), alleged to be the truck’s driver, was arrested. A total of 1,040 wraps of substances suspected to be Indian Hemp in 30 sacks were recovered.

“The suspect alleged that one man, identified as Ifeanyi, contacted him to convey the substances from Waterside Jetty to Alaba International Market, Ojo, in Lagos.

“Investigation is ongoing and effort is on to track and arrest the said Ifeanyi,” he said.

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Alleged N150m Bribe: Court Admits Documents In Evidence Against Oil Magnate, Akindele

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Alleged N150m Bribe: Court Admits Documents In Evidence Against Oil Magnate, Akindele

…Akindele is standing trial on one-count charge of bribing police official to compromise investigation

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday, admitted three documents in evidence in the bribery trial of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Duport Midstream Company Limited, Mr Akintoye Akindele.

Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi admitted the documents and marked them as exhibits accordingly during the cross-examination of the 1st prosecution witness (PW1), Mr Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini, a Superintendent of Police (SP).

The documents included a petition to the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police by Summit Oil International Ltd, the original statement made by Akindele to the police and a motion filed before a Nasarawa State High Court.

They were admitted and marked as Exhibits A2, A3 and A4, respectively.

The judge had, on Feb. 28, adjourned for the continuation of cross-examination of SP Sini by the defendant (Akindele)’s lawyer, Mrs Funmi Quadri, SAN.

 Akindele is standing trial on a one-count charge of bribing a police official in order to compromise his investigation on the alleged diversion of the sum of $5,636,397.01, belonging to Summit Oil International Ltd.

When the matter was called on Wednesday, Quadri confronted the witness with the petition showing that the indebtedness of her client, according to the petitioner, is $5.6 million and N73 million.

While the $5.6 million is said to be the debt owed, the N73 million is said to be reimbursement expenses.

The senior lawyer alleged that while in custody, Sini and his team had several meetings with the defendant and on one of the occasions, Akindele was asked how he intended to liquidate his debt to Summit Oil.

But the witnesses said: “I can’t remember.”

Sini also denied that the defendant used a computer belonging to the police to write a letter undertaking to repay the debt.

Quadri then went ahead to tender the original statement Akindele made to the I-G, wherein the defendant claimed that the money he had transferred to an account provided by Sini was to demonstrate his willingness to pay part of the $5.6 million and N73 million owed the petitioner (Summit Oil International Ltd).

She said Akindele in the statement said, “the N50 million he transferred to Blissdon Nigeria Ltd, an account said to have been provided by Sini, was to demonstrate his willingness to pay the alleged debt of $5.6 million and N73 million.”

Meanwhile, Sini denied that the police had set up a different panel to investigate the alleged N50 million bribe because he was found complicit.

According to the witness, since he was the one accusing Akindele of bribery, “we can not be a judge in our case”.

At the end of cross-examination, Justice Osho-Adebiyi, adjourned to April 18 for the police to call their next witness.

In the charge marked: CR/595/2023, count one alleged that between 5th and 9th August 2023 in Abuja, Akindele, while being investigated by SP Sini and his team on a petition submitted by Summit Oil International Ltd on allegation of diversion of the sum of debt of USD 5,636,397.01 Million and N73,543,763.25, offered gratification of N150 million.

Akindele was alleged to have made a partial payment of N50 million to Sini, a public servant, to allow him to escape abroad and to write a report in his favour.

The offence is punishable under Section 118 of the Penal Code Law.

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