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3 bag 120 years imprisonment over conspiracy, illegal possession of arms in Ibadan

An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the state capital on Wednesday sentenced three men to 40 years (each) in prison for conspiracy and illegal possession of firearms.

The trio: Femi Olasupo, Musbau Oloyede and Ahmed Akinsanya were in 2011 arrested by men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) after some neighbours of Femi Olasupo reported him to the security agents claiming that he had no source of livelihood and was harbouring people of questionable character who were terrorising residents of the area.

According to the prosecution in the suit marked I/1786/2012 heard before Justice Adegboye Gbolagunte of the Ring Road High Court 7, the first accused person was in March 2011 arrested and upon investigation, he led the security agents to an uncompleted building behind Mr Bigg’s eatery at Iwo Road, Ibadan, where four barrel guns were recovered.

Olasupo’s arrest led to the arrest of Oloyede in whose possession, some illegal firearms were also recovered at another uncompleted building around Iwo Road area of Ibadan.

Evidence from the prosecution witness revealed to the court that the trio had earlier been jailed together at the Ilesa, Osun State Prison from where they were released around the same time, only to form a gang operating around Iwo Road of Ibadan.

According to the prosecution, the trio made confessional statements, although in their defence evidence, they alleged that they were tortured by men of SARS and that they were forced to sign the statements.

Their counsel Oluwole Olukole had argued before the court that the accused persons were not arrested at any crime scene, and that no forensic test was conducted on the firearms to link the accused persons. He had therefore prayed that they be discharged and acquitted.

After the trial-within-trial conducted to establish the accused persons’ culpability in the crime, the court, however, found them guilty based on circumstantial evidence led by the prosecution.

The Judge found them guilty of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, as well as, illegal possession of firearms recovered from them which corroborated the allegation of illegal possession contrary to the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Laws of the Federation.

As part of his decision, the Judge said, “In my view, the recovery of firearms in possession of the accused persons is sufficient to justify their guilt. It was my decision after the trial-within-trial that the accused persons fell guilty of conspiracy. They were jailed together at Ilesa Prison and released at about the same time. Count 1 is well founded and sustained in this case. I therefore hold that the accused persons are guilty of the offences as charged,” he said.

Before handing down the sentence, the Judge asked for allocutus from each of the accused persons since their counsel was absent from court to plead on their behalf, and they individually begged that the Judge should temper justice with mercy.

In his judgment, Gbolagunte relied on Section 2(3) and 6 (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) and accordingly sentenced the three accused persons to “20 years on count 1 of conspiracy, and 20 years on count 2 of illegal possession of firearms. The sentences are to run concurrently with the time they have spent in custody after the arrest deducted from the sentence.

“I therefore make an order that the exhibits recovered from the convicts be seized and destroyed by the state”.

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Law

‘Yahoo Yahoo’ – Naira Marley remanded in prison pending ruling on bail application

Nigerian musician, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley was, on Monday, arraigned at the Federal High Court in Lagos over an alleged credit card fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged him with 11-counts of the offence before Justice Nicolas Oweibo.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to him.

The judge then adjourned the case until May 30 for the hearing of his bail application.

Justice Oweibo ordered that the musician be remanded in prison until his bail application is determined.

Marley risks seven years in jail if found guilty in accordance with Section 33 (2) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.

EFCC had arrested Naira Marley in connection with an alleged advance fee fraud known as ‘yahoo yahoo’ in the Nigerian parlance.

Following his arrest, the anti-graft agency filed an 11-count charge against him.

The charges with suit number FHC/L/178C/19 were filed before a Lagos High Court.

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Arewa

Nigerian newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Monday morning

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. A former Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo to say more things he knows about Boko Haram, killer herdsmen and the alleged plot to Islamise Nigeria. He said Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger Nigeria is in and what lies ahead. He also attacked former Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido, for attacking Obasanjo and defending President Muhammadu Buhari.

2. The Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, on Sunday, slammed the minister of transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi over his declaration that Ndigbo should forget 2023. In a statement by its National Secretary, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, the OYC said Amaechi was now the chief promoter of injustice. Okwu said it was an insult of the highest order for Amaechi to arrogate to himself the powers he does not have.

3. Former Governor of Jigawa state and Peoples Democratic party chieftain in the country, Sule Lamido has tackle former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent statements on insecurity in the country. Lamido while responding to the statement said Obasanjo was becoming a bigot due to his disappointment against the sitting president.

4. Staff and students of Kwara State Polytechnic have threatened to stage a peaceful protest over the appointment of a new Rector by the outgoing administration in the state. Mr. Kayode Rafiu, the leader of the students, said this in a statement issued in Ilorin on Sunday. Rafiu said the protest would commence on Tuesday, May 21. He said the protest became necessary due to the alleged “shabby process in the appointment of a new rector for the institution by the outgoing administration.’’

5. Nigeria international striker, Asisat Oshoala has become the first African to score in a UEFA Women’s Champion League final. The Super Falcons attacker came in as an 87th-minute substitute in Saturday’s final. With Lluis Cortes’ side trailing 4-0, the 25-year-old scored in the 89th minute. Her goal was, however, not enough to inspire her team’s fight back.

6. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday reacted to claim by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed that its 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was plotting to overthrow the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government. However, spokesperson of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said the claim was a sign of desperation by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to hold onto power. Ologbondiyan alleged that APC was plotting to fabricate security accusations against the PDP and Atiku.

7. A senior Pastor of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Dankade, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Rev. Zakariah Ido has been kidnapped. Reports claim that the Pastor and 16 others among whom were his daughter and son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church, were seized by gunmen within the church premises during service on Sunday.

8. At least, fifteen persons have been allegedly killed and some beheaded by suspected cultists in Kono Bo-ue community in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State in a fresh cult clash in the area. Rampaging armed cultists invaded the community, raiding the home of rival cult members, and killing at random.

9. The Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed DanMallam, on Sunday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers. DanMallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izebeokhai, was killed in an attempt to escape when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.

10. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has assured that the additional four Emirates have come to stay, insisting that, they were created in good faith without any disdainful treatment to anybody or group of individuals. He said this on Sunday while insisting that the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi is no longer the only first-class monarch in the state.

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Arewa

Gov. Tambuwal blows hot over ‘plot to stop his second term inauguration’

The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has vowed to resist any attempt to stop his inauguration for second term in office.

In a statement yesterday by his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Alhaji Yusuf Dingyadi, the governor alleged of plots to cause political chaos in the state.

He said that certain individuals were spreading lies and creating confusion that the court was going to remove him from office and give power to the APC.

Tambuwal added that his posters along Birnin Kebbi Road, Maiduguri Road, Airport Road and some other areas within the metropolis had been removed and replaced with those of the APC governorship candidate.

Tambuwal stressed that only legal means could stop his government.

The statement reads, “Election is over, we have won the election and we have offered a hand of fellowship, we asked them to come so that we develop Sokoto State, they refused and went to court, why can’t they allow the court to pass its verdict?

“You can’t take your case to court and start making political noise and telling people lies when even the court has not started its own assignment.

“We are still in the process of pre-hearing, we didn’t even get to the time witnesses are called to testify on the election manipulation they alleged, yet they have started going round telling people lies, especially in the rural areas, they want to show that government is coming to them.”

The governor advised the opposition to allow the court to their work.

He continued, “PDP in Sokoto is not looking for any backdoor judgement. You allow the court to do what is needful, we have confidence in court because we won election with divine intervention.”

He called on law enforcement agencies in Sokoto to stop what he described as political rascality in Sokoto State.

“We don’t want any political crisis, we don’t want any tension in Sokoto, Sokoto people are peace-loving, we call on security agents to investigate and find out the sponsors of the political rascality in the state,” he said.

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