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Appeal Court Judge denies assaulting RCCG pastors, accuses church of bullying

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Justice Folayemi Omoleye of the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, has denied claims that she assaulted Pastors and worshippers of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Glory Tabernacle Parish, Ijapo-Estate, Akure.

In a statement by Justice Omoleye’s lawyer, Okedinachi Nelson, she accused the church of “campaign of calumny against her with attempt to bully her.”

Recall that the church had accused the judge of allegedly disrupting its mid-week service, “Divine Encounter” on Wednesday after she was said to have slapped a 68-year-old Assistant Pastor, Mrs Felicia Akindurojoye and another parish Pastor, Felix Solomon.

According to the statement, Justice Omoleye emphasized that, it was members of the church who assaulted her when she decided to take pictures of wares displayed for sale on her property.

She maintained that several steps had been taken towards cautioning the noise pollution usually caused by the church, adding that the church is illegally built on a canal right beside her residence

The statement read in part, “The church in question is illegally built on a canal right beside the residence of the Honourable Justice where she has been living since 1984 before the foundation of the church was laid. Ever since the emergence of the said Redeemed Church in Ijapo Estate, which is largely a residential estate, it has constituted unabated nuisance to the annoyance of the entire neighbourhood.

“The honourable Justice through her solicitors in a letter dated 22nd of May, 2019 and addressed to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, complained about the noise and environmental nuisance constituted by the church.

“The said letter unequivocally stated that such noise amounted to a breach of the honourable Justice’s right to quiet possession/ enjoyment of her property. The said judge, who is a widow of almost 30 years, has had continued engagements with the church (which is situated on an illegally acquired plot beside her property) in relation to the constant disturbance of peace both during the daytime and at nighttime every day of the week. Despite various attempts to mediate peace terms with the church, the church failed severally to keep its side of agreements made.

“The Justice’s lawyer informed the church of the court action initiated against them on the public disturbance issue, and hence the church Pastorate and Members have been jittery.

“In response to the her Lordship’s Solicitors letter, Pastor Dele Oyesola, Pastor-in-Charge of the RCCG, Ondo Province wrote a letter delivered on 6th of June, 2019 at the office of His Lordship’s Solicitors requested for date, time and venue for a meeting between the Church and the said Solicitors in respect of the acts of nuisance complained of. It is pertinent to note that in the letter written on behalf of the church, no reference was made to any of the allegations contained in the fake news being circulated by the church.

“On the day in question, the Honourable Justice intended to have a peaceful stay at home but the usual nuisance and uncontrolled noise from the church would not allow her. On the instruction of her lawyer and in furtherance of her intention to gather evidence to present to Pastor Dele Oyesola, Pastor-in-Charge of the RCCG, Ondo Province at the meeting he proposed, the Honourable Justice, decided to take pictures of wares displayed for sale along and on her property , suddenly, one of the church members attacked her from behind, punched her and broke her phone. It took the intervention of her orderly to prevent them from injuring her. The other members came out in their troops cursing her and threatening to attack her.

“It is unfortunate that a renowned church like the RCCG would go to extent to sponsor fake news against a sitting Justice of the Court of Appeal who has done nothing wrong but to ask that she be allowed to live in peace. We are all not oblivious of the nuisance that churches and other places of worship constitute in residential areas. This fake story gained traction simply because the church is all out to harass and bully her.

“Rather than continue in this campaign of calumny against her, the RCCG should purge itself of the unabated nuisance particularly because the entire Ijapo Estate residents are tired.”

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Arewa

Morning review: 10 things you need to know this Friday morning

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

1. Rivers State police command, on Thursday, announced that it has arrested a suspected serial killer of young women, Gracious David West, who allegedly lures his victims to low budget hotels in Port-Harcourt, the state capital. The police had earlier said that David West’s victims since July are no fewer than eight ladies. However, a statement on Thursday night by the Nigeria Police Public Relations Officer, ACP Frank Mba, said the alleged serial killer, who is also a cultist, was nabbed on his way to Uyo, Akwa Ibom from Port-Harcourt.

2. The Federal Government, States and Local Government Areas (LGAs) on Thursday shared N740.88 billion as federal allocation for the month of August. This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting and signed by Mr Ahmed Idris, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), in Abuja. The communique said that the gross statutory revenue of N631.79 billion received for August was lower than the N674.36 billion received in the previous month by N42.56 billion.

3. The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has condemned the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa where many non-nationals, including Nigerians lost their lives and properties. They also condemned the reprisals in Nigeria and called on the governments of both countries to resolve the issue. CBCN, however, commended the South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) for their condemnation of the attacks and urged the government to take decisive steps to end it.

4. A group known as Customary Government of the Indigenous People of Biafra, CG-IPOB, has dragged former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon, rtd, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Attorney-General of the Federation to a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu. In their suit, the pro-Biafra group wants the court to decide on issues relating to self-determination, regional autonomy, and roles the respondents played during the civil war, referendum, among other things.

5. The Theatre Command, Operation LAFIYA DOLE on Thursday accused global humanitarian organisatoon, Action Against Hunger of sabotage against Nigeria’s anti-terrorism war. The Command accused the organisation of engaging in notorious activities despite several warnings to desist from aiding and abetting terrorists and their atrocities. The army alleged that the Command had, on many occasions, raised the alarm over the issue during meetings with the NGOs operating in the North East Theater of Operation.

6. President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja directed security chiefs to bring an end cases of crude oil theft in the country. The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, said the President gave the challenge when he met behind closed doors with security chiefs, at the State House, Abuja.

7. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, on Thursday, disclosed that issues concerning the Biafran people were before the various arms and agencies of the United Nations, adding that Biafra’s case would no longer be swept under the carpet. Kanu demanded from the UN an urgent action against the numerous rights abuses inflicted daily upon Biafra agitators by the government of the day and the need to support the undeniable right of Biafrans to self-determination as enshrined in law, statute and various UN conventions.

8. The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, on Thursday affirmed the victory of Gov. Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party in the March 9, general elections. Nsima Ekere of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had filed a petition challenging the result of the election. However, delivering judgment, the three-member tribunal headed by Justice A.M Yakuba, dismissed the case filed by Ekete, on grounds that the petition lacked merit.

9. A Federal High Court in Abuja, Thursday, ordered the forfeiture of all assets belonging to Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) limited to the federal government. This development followed the conviction of the involved firms on 11-count charge bordering on economic sabotage, money laundering, tax evasion amongst others preferred against them by the federal government. Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo premised the order on the admission of guilt by the firm and its officials in the criminal charges against them.

10. The Presidency has dismissed claims that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been sidelined following President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration of an Economic Advisory Team (EAC) to replace the Economic Management Team (EMT). While the EMT was headed by Osinbajo, the newly constituted EAC will report directly to President Buhari. The Presidency said all that the president had done particularly this week was just to tweak governance and get the best for Nigerians.

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$9.6bn fine: We don’t know persons Malami, EFCC arraigned in Nigeria – P&ID mocks Buhari govt

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Process and Industrial Development Ltd (P&ID) has reacted to the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja forfeiting its assets in Nigeria over charges of fraud and tax evasion.

The judgement was delivered by Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, arraigned those it said were linked to a controversial oil contract.

The Nigerian government had vowed to probe the gas pipeline deal between the previous administration and the Irish firm, which triggered the decision of a United Kingdom court to ask the company to seize $9.6bn in Nigerian asset.

In a statement in reaction, P&ID mocked Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami and the EFCC for producing false evidence.

The company also said it was not aware that Nigeria conducted any investigation that led to the court hearing.

P&ID said: “Today’s sham trial in Nigeria is entirely illegitimate, and follows a systematic campaign of harassment, intimidation and illegal detention of a number of individuals associated with P&ID or the GSPA contract.

“The individuals detained have not been afforded due process and have instead been pressured and intimidated by the government into making false statements.

“Nigeria’s Attorney General Abubakar Malami has publicly acknowledged that his aim is to provoke global opposition against P&ID, by undertaking this EFCC ‘investigation’.

“None of the individuals involved are current employees or representatives of P&ID. P&ID itself has received no communication from any Nigerian authority about the investigation or today’s hearing. There has been no evidence produced, no defence allowed, no charges laid, no due process followed.

“The EFCC’s investigation is an attempt to produce false evidence, and is being conducted in blatant disregard of basic human rights and the rule of law. P&ID calls on the Government of Nigeria to accept its responsibilities under the law and to cease this sham investigation.”

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Court remands ATM fraudsters in Jigawa

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Magistrate court II sitting in Dutse has remanded two people who specialized in defrauding innocent people of their Automatic Teller Machine card in Jigawa State.

Those remanded include Abba Abubakar of Unguwar Mu’azu quarters in Kaduna State and Mohammed Mohammed of Unguwa Uku in Kano State.

Presenting the culprits to the court, the Prosecutor narrated that, the suspects were arrested in one of the Bank premises with 24 different ATM cards and 150 thousand Naira in their possession.

He said that the suspects were defrauding people that are unable to withdraw their money by exchanging the victims’ ATM card with the fake one after they have helped them.

The suspects admitted to have been defrauding people in Dutse, the capital city of the state.

Magistrate Muhammad Lamin Usman said the suspects were charged for conspiracy and fraud.

He ordered the suspects to be remanded in prison for one week for the final hearing of the case.

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