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RevolutionNow: Court orders immediate release of Sowore by DSS

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Court gives DSS 24 hours to release Sowore

…As Court acquits 2 NAHCO officials of $5700 fraud***

The Federal High Court on Tuesday,ordered the immediate release of Mr Omoleye Sowore, convener of the RevolutionNow movement, from the custody of the Department of State Service.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sowore was arrested Aug. 3 for convening a nationwide protest, themed #RevolutionNow.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered that Sowore’s International passport be submitted to the chief registrar of the court with 48 hours of judgment.

Justice Taiwo said that since the 45 days detention order had elapsed and not been renewed, also in view of the motion ex-parte earlier withdrawn,there was no extant order for Sowore’s continuous detention.

He however said that although there was an information filed to the court on Sept. 23, deposed to by one Mr Tanko Musa, the information was not before him yet.

The Judge also ordered that Sowore’s lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, must  be responsible for him, once there is a formal charge against him in court.

Earlier, Falana , noted that the order issued by the court on Aug. 8, permitting the DSS to hold the activist for 45 days, expired on Sept.  21.

He urged the court to issue a consequential order releasing the publisher of SaharaReporters from custody.

But responding, DSS counsel, G.O Agbadua, said that since the charges had been filed against the activist on Sept. 20, it was lawful to continue to keep until arraignment.

But Falana said, “Filing of charges cannot metamorphose into a detention order.

“A citizen cannot detain a citizen in anticipation of arraignment.”

Also read:  Court refuses to grant Sowore’s application challenging detention by DSS

In the meantime, an Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday acquitted two officials of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Gbolahan Majekodunmi and Gbenga Omowaiyeola, of defrauding an American woman of 5,700 dollars.

Delivering judgment, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) case against the defendants was based on “mere suspicion”.

She held that the anti-graft agency was however able to prove the allegations of fraud against two other defendants- Emmanuel Olufemi and Oladayo Ajileye who had already jumped bail.

The judge held that there was no evidence that the first defendant (Majekodunmi) communicated with Janice Perkins (the complainant) and knew of the transaction.

She also noted that there was no evidence that incriminating emails were found in the possession of the first defendant.

She said: “The prosecution’s case against the defendants is based on mere suspicion.

“All the evidences point to the fact that the two men, now at large, committed these offences. The name of the recipient on the package was Oladayo Ajileye.

“I am satisfied that the prosecution has proved the allegations against the two defendants who jumped bail.

“I believe the first and second defendants were conscripted by the defendants on the run the get the package when they had previously failed.

“The prosecution has failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt, their case is based on mere suspicion and mere suspicion cannot hold a charge.

“The defendants are acquitted of the charges and the prosecutor is urged to arrest the two defendants who are at large.”

Justice Taiwo in the judgment held that one Mrs Bola Kehinde, a retired NAHCO official swore to a  deposition which was tendered as evidence to the court by the defence.

In the deposition, Kehinde said that she was asked by a friend of her brother to help him trace a package at the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) and that she had requested Majekodunmi, a NAHCO staff to help her trace the package.

She said that on Sept. 25, 2013, Majekodunmi went to pick up the package at NIPOST and Omowaiyeola another staff of NAHCO had driven Majekodunmi to retrieve the package.

The judge also noted that the statements of the defendants to the EFCC were not confessional in nature.

“The deposition sworn by Kehinde supports the statement of the first defendant and the prosecution did not oppose the tendering of the affidavit into evidence.

“Having considered the statements of the defendants, it is not confessional in nature. It is not endorsed by a superior police officer and it is not direct in nature.

“The statements are not strong enough to convict the defendants. The second defendant in his statement said he went to pick up the package as a driver for financial gain,” the judge said.

Following the judgment, Mr W. G. Abiodun, the defence counsel gladly thanked the judge.

“I thank My Lord for this judgment, the defendants have always been victims of circumstance,” he said.

NAN reports that Majekodunmi and Omowaiyeola were charged with two counts of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences and obtaining money by false pretences.

According to the EFCC prosecutor, Emeka Omewa, the defendants in September 2013 in Lagos, allegedly fraudulently obtained 5,700 dollars from one Janice Perkins, ab American.

The funds were received under the pretext that it was for transportation and other logistics for a project being undertaken by her fiancé.

 

 

Health and Safety

Troops Neutralise 192 Terrorists, Apprehend 341 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

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Troops Neutralise 192 Terrorists, Apprehend 341 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters says troops have in the last one week neutralised 192 terrorists, apprehended 341 others and rescued 62 kidnapped hostages.

It also said a total of 122 ISWAP/JAS terrorists surrendered with their families.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba said this at a news briefing on operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria across the country on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also recovered 211 assorted weapons and 6,288 assorted ammunition within the week.

He said the recovered items comprised 128 AK.47 rifles, 26 Dane guns, 1,301 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 3,260 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,325 live cartridges, and 140 rounds of 9mm ammunition among other items.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 71 terrorists, arrested 143 suspects and rescued 58  kidnapped hostages during the week.

He added that the air component conducted air strikes on ISWAP/JAS terrorists’ hideouts and logistics hub, including their food processing unit in Kolleram village, along Lake Chad.

According to him, the Battle Damage Assessment revealed that over 30 terrorists, including senior commanders; Ali Dawud, Bakura Fallujah and Mallam Ari, were neutralised as well as their logistics were destroyed as a result of the strike.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 29 insurgents, arrested 53 violent extremists and rescued eight kidnapped hostages.

In the North West, he said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised 62 terrorists, arrested 49 terrorists and rescued 36 kidnapped hostages.

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Punch arrested 14 criminals and recovered cache of arms and ammunition as well as military accoutrements.

According to him, other items recovered are 620 parcels of substances suspected to be marijuana, 10 Yoruba Nation flags, eight mobile phones, and four handheld radios, among other items.

In the South-South, Buba said the troops of Operation Delta Safe had maintained momentum against activities of crude oil theft and recovered 792,660 litres of stolen crude oil and 117,070 litres of illegally refined AGO.

He added that troops discovered and destroyed 31 illegal refining sites with 99 dugout pits, 11 boats, 29 storage tanks, 192 cooking ovens and nine vehicles.

According to him, troops apprehended 27 suspected oil thieves and other violent extremists, recovering five weapons and 162 assorted ammunition.

In the South-East, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operation UDOKA neutralised nine terrorists, arrested 11 violent extremists, rescued 17 kidnapped hostages and recovered weapons. 

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Health and Safety

Joint Security Team Rescues 2 Kidnapped Victims in Kebbi

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Joint Security Team Rescues 2 Kidnapped Victims in Kebbi

A joint security team deployed to Suru and Maiyama local government areas of Kebbi on Tuesday rescued two persons abducted by suspected bandits in the areas.

The operation was conducted by operatives of the Nigerian Army, NSCDC, DSS and vigilante groups.

Confirming the story to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, the Director in charge of the Security Service, Cabinet Office, AbdulRahman Zagga, attributed the success to the support of Gov. Nasir Idris in providing all the necessary tools to the agencies.

“Following the consistent efforts of the Kebbi Governor, Dr Nasir Idris in supporting the security agencies operating in the state, a joint team of security operatives on Tuesday successfully rescued two kidnapped victims.

“The operation was successful; we were able to follow the bandits from Giro forest to Boma and down to Zugu Liba forest where the victims were rescued,” he said.

The director said that the kidnappers could no longer withstand the security pressure, thereby, abandoning the kidnapped victims.

He explained that the rescued victims were handed over to the village head and the vigilante chairman of Zugu Liba village for them to be reunited with their families.

He called on the people to support the security operatives with useful information that would assist in effectively discharging their duty of curtailing the challenges of insecurity in the state. 

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Health and Safety

NDLEA Destroys 304,436kg, 40,042 Litres of Drugs in Lagos, Ogun

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NDLEA destroys 304,436kg, 40,042 litres of drugs in Lagos, Ogun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday in Ibereko Badagry, Lagos, destroyed 304,436 kg and 40,042 litres of illicit substances seized from parts of Lagos and Ogun States.

The Chairman of the Agency, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), said the open destruction of the seized illicit drugs was in adherence with court orders.

Marwa called for more public support for the ongoing efforts by the NDLEA and other stakeholders to curb the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

“Though a routine exercise and an established process of removing dangerous substances from our society, the public destruction of confiscated illicit drugs is usually conducted at the end of their related cases in court, “ the NDLEA boss said.

The chairman noted that the exhibits being destroyed were of mixed types.

According to him, they include illicit drugs in solid and liquid states, as well as in various classes such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and tramadol, among others.

He said the drugs were seized by NDLEA operatives across different formations of the agency in Lagos and Ogun states, from January 2022 till date, especially at the Lagos seaports, airports, and land borders.

“To be destroyed here today on the order of the court are solid drugs, weighing 304,436.055kg and 40, 042. 621 litres of liquid drugs.

“The sheer volume of the drug haul speaks volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld,” he noted.

Marwa appreciated the traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the clergy, members of NGOs and CSOs, as well as other stakeholders, who witnessed the ceremony.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Chairman, Badagry West Local Government, Mr Olusegun Onilude, expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the NDLEA in tackling the scourge of illicit drugs in the country.

“Almost all crimes and criminalities are fueled by illicit drugs, so the Lagos State Government appreciates the NDLEA and its leadership in their resolute fight against illicit drugs.

“The volume of illicit drugs being destroyed here today speak volume and every right-thinking person should be worried,” he stated.

Sanwo-Olu also commended the agency for taking the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) social advocacy campaign to schools and communities across the state.

“No doubt, NDLEA is working, and the state will continue to collaborate with the agency and its leadership,” he assured.

It was reported that Marwa on Monday in Lagos, announced that 50,901 drug offenders, including 46 barons, have been arrested in the last three years.

He also said that within the period, the agency successfully prosecuted and convicted 9,034 of them, as well as seized over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances.

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