Month: June 2019

Okada riders protest alleged extortion in Ogun community

Commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders, on Friday, protested the alleged extortion of its members by the executives of its association at Ibafo, Ogun State.

Ayuba Olaniran, the spokesman for the riders, said the extortion has become unbearable as the union executives collect N500 daily from its members in the area.

He said, “The union collects N500 from us every day. We do not know what they do with this money. We don’t have any welfare neither do they protect us from area boys, so why are they collecting the money?”

Olaniran also bemoaned the arrest of its members by policemen from the Ibafo Police Station over a protest by its members on Thursday.

“The Police (in Ibafo) arrested our members who protested yesterday and when we got there to secure their release, we were asked to pay N70,000.

“The union at Mowe, Magbaro and the other areas have stopped issuing tickets to Okada riders. We want an end to it too in Ibafo,” Olaniran said.

The spokesman said they want the release of their three colleagues in police custody unconditionally and an end to the levy.

Also speaking, Ahmed Ismail, a.k.a Small Awual, accused the police of conniving with the chairman of the Okada riders association, Bale Folurunsho, to make life unbearable for the riders in the area.

He said, “Bale and the policemen in Ibafo have agreed to torment Okada riders. They seize our bikes and arrest us over the non-payment of the levy. And when that happens, we pay N10,000 to get our bikes back.

“We have begged them to release our colleagues in detention but they said we should bring N70,000.

“Our chairman said our ordeal is not his business. We have contributed to paying for their release but they have not released our colleagues.

“We want people to help us.”


LEDAP calls for Stakeholders’ Collaboration Towards The effective implementation of the Anti-Torture Act.

On this year’s United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project- LEDAP calls on the federal government and other relevant stakeholders to work towards the effective implementation of the Anti-Torture Act 2017.

As much as we commend Nigeria for being one of the first 15 countries in the world to have passed a legislation that criminalizes torture, we must state however that a law is only as good as its implementation and impact on the society. We are particularly concerned that irrespective of the increase in reported cases of torture, which is a direct result of sensitization and awareness created by CSOs, no person has been charged for offences under the Act. This we note is a lacuna that needs to be addressed by the office of the Attorney General of the federation to achieve justice for victims and also serve as deterrence to law enforcement and security agents.  

We cannot overemphasize the need for engagement of law enforcement and security agencies to move away from torture as a means of investigation to forensic method of investigation in line with international standards and best practices. To this end, we must continue to create awareness on the provisions of the Act and scale up the discussion on torture, while still focusing on community mobilization against torture, which has the objective of curbing the systemic use of torture in policing by law enforcement and security agents.

We must also stress that as much as the Federal government has a mandatory duty under section 1 of the Act to ensure that the rights of all persons are respected at all times regardless of whether they are being investigated or have been convicted for crimes, it is pertinent that CSOs and the media become more involved towards achieving the aims of the Act.

LEDAP had in April 2019 at a roundtable dialogue it hosted for stakeholders, charged participants to proffer workable strategies for the prevention of torture, which strategies we hope will form part of the National working plan for the implementation of the Act. We believe that this, being a concerted effort of key stakeholders, will be instrumental towards effective implementation of the Act.

For: LEDAP- Legal Defence and Assistance Project.

Chino Obiagwu SAN,

National Coordinator.

Dismissed policeman kills fiancée’s mother over cancelled wedding

An ex-policeman, Ogwu Christian, has been arrested for allegedly killing his fiancée’s mother, Veronica Obiejieogo, over the cancellation of their wedding date.

Christian reportedly shot the 45-year-old woman dead at short range while she was walking along a street in her village in Delta State. He thereafter fled the scene on a motorcycle.

It was learnt that his wedding to Obiejieogo’s daughter, Blessing, had been fixed for December 27, 2018.

He had reportedly given Blessing money to buy clothes and some other items they would use on that day.

Few days to the ceremony, it was learnt that 39-year-old Christian noticed that Blessing was evasive as he no longer got updates on the wedding plans from her.

We gathered that when it became clear that the wedding would not hold as scheduled, Christian went to Blessing’s village in Otolokpo and killed her mother, whom he accused of cancelling the event.

He relocated to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, afterwards.

Our correspondent learnt that operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team went after Christian following a petition to the IGP, Mohammed Adamu, on the incident.

After months of tracking him, the suspect was arrested recently in Port Harcourt, while he allegedly was about to carry out a fraudulent deal.

The police said Christian, who was dismissed from the Force in 2005, had been parading himself as a senior officer to defraud members of the public and policemen seeking promotion.

In an interview with our correspondent during the week, the native of Afor in the Ndukwa East Local Government area of Delta State, confessed to the murder of his fiancée’s mother, adding that he believed the victim discouraged her daughter from marrying him.

He stated that he was frustrated and felt betrayed after he had planned big for the wedding.

He recalled, “I met Blessing at Ogwuachukwu Polytechnic, Delta State, where she was a student. She told me she was single and we started a relationship. In the process, she became pregnant but she aborted it. She said she could not have a child for me because I wasn’t known to her family.

“In April 2018, I went for a formal introduction and her family asked me to come back for a more elaborate ‘introduction ceremony.’ On September 7, 2018, I went back with my family for the ceremony and they gave us the list of things required for the marriage. In October, Blessing informed me that she was pregnant. We then fixed the wedding for December 27, 2018 and I gave her money to buy clothes that we would use for the marriage.

“On December 5, 2018, she called me and said she was on her way to Asaba, where I resided and after waiting for her for a long time, I called her, but she didn’t pick up her calls. One of her brothers known as Friday informed me that she had a miscarriage and was at the hospital in Asaba with her mother. I went to the hospital but I was not allowed to see Blessing and her mother.

“Some days later, I called her to know what was going on. She told me she was in her friend’s place in Asaba. I went there but I didn’t see her after waiting all day.

“On December 21, 2018, she told me on the phone that she had travelled to Lagos. I became very angry and met with one of my friends known as Steven.”

The ex-policeman explained that he rented a gun with two live cartridges from Steven for N10,000 and headed for his fiancée’s village on December 26, 2018 – the eve of the thwarted wedding.

He said shortly before he killed Obiejieogo, he took some alcohol and drugs to toughen up.

He added, “I went to a shop close to my fiancée’s house and bought a bottle of dry gin and Tramadol. I took them at once to get inspiration so that I would not change my mind. While I was at the shop, I sighted her mother and her younger brother walking towards my direction. I went to them, brought out my gun and shot the woman. I then zoomed off on a motorcycle and relocated to Rivers State.”

But a police source disclosed to our correspondent that the deceased discouraged her daughter from marrying Christian after she discovered he was a fraudster.

“The incident that got the deceased angry was when Christian defrauded two residents of her community, whom he had offered to help secure jobs at the Federal Road Safety Commission. He collected N25,000 each from the victims, but he didn’t get them the jobs as promised,” the source added.

Narrating his escapades as a fraudster, Christian said he joined a gang after he was dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force over a gun allegedly snatched away from him by some armed robbers at a checkpoint.

He said, “I attended training at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos. I was posted to the Edo State Police Command, where I served for five years before I was dismissed. I joined a fraud syndicate operating in Asaba. The man who initiated me into the syndicate taught me all the tricks.

“I started using my police experience to defraud people. I adopted the rank of an Assistant Superintendent of Police and people started coming to me for assistance.

“Some policemen, who wanted promotion, paid me to help them because I told them I was working in the IGP’s office in Abuja. People who wanted to get recruited into the police also came to me and I usually collected N150,000 per person.

“Those applying for Cadet ASP, paid me N400,000 each. In some cases, I succeeded in helping them, using my connections.”


Rape: NGO seeks domestication of Child’s Rights Act in Gombe

An NGO, Save the Children Community Engagement and Advocacy, has called on the Gombe state government to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act, to tackle increasing cases of rape in the state.

Mr Akpan Effiong, the Co-ordinator of the NGO, made the call on Tuesday in an interview with NAN in Gombe.

According to Effiong, increasing cases of rape has made it necessary for the state government to look into the speedy domestication of the act.

He also said that most people were taking advantage of the non-domestication of the act in the state to perpetuate their heinous act.

“The state government should, as a matter of urgency, domesticate the child rights act to tackle the increasing menace of rape and other child abuses.

“Culprits are aware of the non-domestication status of the act.

“Most of them perpetuate their heinous act because they know there is no concrete law to pin them down and when they are arrested, before you know it, they are back to business.

“We have a new administration in Gombe state. The child rights act bill should be speedily worked on to protect the Nigerian child from rape, hawking, out-of-school and other harsh menace.

“Today, we have over 450, 000 out-of-school children in Gombe state and this is worrisome.

“The right of our children to good education and other rights of life must not be denied them,’’ he said.

Corroborating Effiong, Mrs Suuda Mustapha, the Chairperson, Better Life for Girls Group in Gombe, stressed that the psychological effects of rape on girl-child often takes time to be worked on.

Mustapha said that children in the state deserved better life and adequate protection against any kind of torture or assault, adding that when such is done, the potential of children would be enhanced.

“The only way to realising the dreams of children in the state is the domesticating of the act in Gombe.“

According to her, when that is settled, rape will drop because the law will protect the children better.

The United Nations General Assembly had on Nov. 20, 1989 adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Shortly afterward, in July 1990, the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted the African Union Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (CRWC).

Nigeria signed both international instruments and ratified them in 1991 and 2000, respectively. The principles enshrined were adopted in Nigeria as the Child’s Rights Act (CRA) in 2003.


Man allegedly kills, shaves pubic hair of 18-year-old girlfriend in Delta

There was tension on Friday in Abraka, Delta State, following the reported killing of an 18-year-old girl identified as Favour Ogheneyenrohwo.

It was alleged that the girl was a victim of ritual killing, which had become a trend in the university community in recent times.

Our correspondent gathered that the 18-year-old was strangled to death and her remains kept in a sack by her killer suspected to be her boyfriend.

The young man has been on the run since her murder, various sources alleged when our correspondent visited the community.

Her corpse was found on Thursday with her pubic hairs allegedly shaved off by her killers, it was believed.

Violent marks indicating strangulation were said to have been found on the body of the deceased.

Confirming the incident, a relation of the deceased, Maureen Sunday, explained that on that fateful day, her sister left with a boy on a motorcycle while on her way to the market but never returned home.

Sunday contended that the deceased had received a call from a man at about 10:00 am, requesting that they meet at Abraka Park.

A police source in the area, who confirmed the incident, said the said caller later met the deceased along the way and they left for the place together.

The Delta State Police Commissioner, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, confirmed the development when contacted on Friday.

Adeleke said, “The lady in question was with the sister and got a call. When she wanted to leave, she told her sister that it was her boyfriend that she wanted to go and see.

“After sometime, she disappeared, they did not see her. The’ next day they saw her body tied in a sack in a banana plantation and her boyfriend had ran away.

“So it is not a ritual, but a murder case. The physical signs on her body shows in the neck that she was strangulated.

“Maybe somebody tampered with her neck and threw her body into the bush and now the boyfriend has disappeared. He is on the run.

“If he had nothing to do with what happened, why did he disappear? Why is he on the run? That is exactly what happened.

“It is not ritual killing but a case of murder. Her body has been taken to the mortuary.”


DPO, girlfriend arrested over home help’s death in Katsina

The Katsina State Police Command has arrested a Divisional Police Officer attached to Mashi Local Government, Mr Garba Talawai, and his girlfriend, Sadiyya Alhaji Danyaya, over the death of their 16-year-old home help.

The command said this in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, and made available to newsmen on Saturday in Katsina.

“A councillor in Mashi Local Government Area, Abubakar Haruna, reported to the DPO Garba Talawai that a corpse was seen at a bush path in Mashi.

“The DPO and his team went to the place and evacuated the corpse which was deposited at Mashi Primary Healthcare Centre.

“Later, the corpse was identified as that of Rabi Abdullahi, 16, a housemaid to one Sadiyya Alhaji Danyaya, a girlfriend of the DPO.

“Some health personnel on duty also identified the corpse as having been brought the previous day to the health facility by the DPO and another policeman.

The PPRO said that the commissioner of police had already directed a thorough, meticulous and comprehensive investigation into the matter.

He further said that both the DPO and his girlfriend were helping detectives to unravel the circumstances surrounding the young girl’s death.

He said that another DPO had already been posted to the area as his replacement.

“The commissioner of police, Sanusi Buba, assures the parents of the deceased and the public that the command will not leave any stone unturned until justice is done in the matter,” he said.


Man allegedly rapes 11-year-old niece in Bauchi

A 25-year-old man, Bashar Haruna, has been arrested for allegedly raping his 11-year-old niece in Bauchi.

Also arrested for raping the same primary four pupil victim was a 55-year-old man.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Kamal Abubakar, confirmed the incident as well as the arrest of the two suspects in Bauchi on Sunday.

He said the police received information about the crime on June 16, 2019, and swung into action and successfully arrested the suspects.

Abubakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said, “Yes, I can confirm to you that the incident is true.

“On June 16, 2019, around 1.55pm, we received information from a complainant, one Abubakar Haruna, 43, of the Sabuwar Kasuwa area of Bauchi metropolis that on the said date, around 10am, he left his shop for his house.

“On reaching his house, he found his younger brother, Bashar Haruna, 25, and his niece in a suspicious setting. Upon interrogation, he discovered that Bashar had molested his niece.”

The PPRO said upon receipt of the report, the police swung into action and arrested the said Bashar.

According to him, further investigations led to the arrest of one Isah Sule, 55, of Sabuwar Kasuwa, “who the girl alleged had sexually harassed her on several occasions.”

He added that the case was still under investigation after which the suspects would be charged to court.


Businessman, captain, marine engineers lament nine months’ detention by Nigerian Navy

An oil and gas mogul, Akpoviri Ebbah, has lamented his nine months’ detention by the Nigerian Navy at the NNS BEECROFT, an operations base of the Western Naval Command on Harbour Road in the Ijora area of the Apapa Local Government of Lagos State.

Ebbah’s workers, including his company’s representative, Graham Brown; a captain, Ifeanyi Osadinizu; two marine engineers, Matthew Epiagolo and Taiwo Ayodele, have also condemned their nine months’ incarceration by the Nigerian Navy at the NNS Wey, a maintenance unit of the Western Naval Command at the Navy Town in the Alakija area of the Ojo Local Government Area of the state.

We gathered that a Cameroonian company, Narresa, had through a lease arrangement, asked Ebbah’s company, Akiz Synergy Limited, to handle its vessel, MV Morgan, after it had disengaged another firm, Ubadon Maritimes, owned by one Oboso Abednego, from handling the vessel.

Our correspondent learnt that Oboso’s refusal to relinquish the vessel to Ebbah led to disagreements that necessitated the involvement of some naval personnel, allegedly including the former Commanding Officer, NNS BEECROFT, one Commodore Eyo, and Lt. Cdr. Yakubu Yahaya, in efforts to broker peace between the parties.

Ebbah, while speaking to our correspondent, said ever since he attended a follow-up meeting involving Oboso, Yakubu and a yet-to-be-identified base operational officer on Sunday, September 23, 2018, at the NNS BEECROFT, he had been in detention.

The 38-year-old lamented that despite being a civilian, the naval authorities had detained him for nine months based on hearsay and without proper investigation.

He said, “The former Commanding Officer, NNS BEECROFT, Eyo, was the one who handed us over to Yakubu when Narresa’s representatives visited Nigeria to settle the issue of Oboso’s refusal to give up its vessel after his contract was terminated.

“So, to resolve the matter, Yakubu invited Oboso to Lagos and we had a meeting at the NNS BEECROFT. I was surprised when Yakubu said the meeting was not about the vessel as Oboso had alleged that I was involved in illegal dealings called Konja, that is, buying of stolen products.

“I quickly denied Oboso’s allegation, but when Yakubu asked if I knew two of the people they were investigating for the Konja business, I said they were popular in the oil and gas industry, but I had not seen them for over eight years. I was shocked when Yakubu said I would have to be in their custody for three days to investigate if I had any dealings with them.

“So, while conducting a search on me at the detention centre, the officers saw my police identification card, which I received from the police training centre in Ikeja. They also saw that my car had a customised number plate, SPY, which I acquired from the police headquarters in Abuja.

“On the second day, Yakubu asked if I was a policeman and I told him to hand me over to the police if that was the reason I was being detained, but he said I should exercise patience and that in less than seven days, he would be done with his investigation.

“On the seventh day, Yakubu told me that I had no dealings with the suspects, but said he couldn’t set me free because of my police ID card and the number plate. He gave an assurance that he was going to hand me over to the police, but he has refused to do so by keeping me here since then. I later discovered that my workers, Brown, Osadinizu, Epiagolo and Ayodele were also arrested and were being detained at the NNS Wey.”

Brown, who also spoke to our correspondent, said he and his colleagues were working on the vessel when Oboso allegedly mobilised naval officers to arrest them.

The Rivers State indigene said, “On September 20, 2018, I got a call from my boss that two engineers, Epiagolo and Ayodele, and the captain, Osadinizu, would be coming on-board to overhaul the vessel’s engine and generator. They were working on the vessel when Oboso came on-board to stop the work and left on a speed boat.

“I informed Ebbah, who ordered us to continue working because he had informed Yakubu of the overhauling. Oboso came back on Sunday morning with armed naval officers, led by Yakubu, to arrest us.”

After the arrest, Ifeanyi said, “We were tortured with sticks, asked to do frogmarch and tied together without telling us what we did,” adding that they had yet to be interrogated despite being in custody for nine months.

Epiagolo, who condemned the naval authorities for subjecting civilians to inhumane treatment, said he was the one who paid for his medical treatment when he fainted while in detention.

“You need to see the way they treated me when I fainted. I was chained to the bed while on admission at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital. In fact, I was the one who paid for my treatment; I don’t know what we did for them to make us go through such a treatment,” the 35-year-old marine engineer said.

Christopher, while appealing to the Federal Government and the naval authorities to intervene in the matter, said he and his colleagues were suffering for no justifiable reason.

When contacted, Oboso denied mobilising naval personnel to arrest Ebbah’s workers on-board the vessel, adding that he was at the naval base when their arrest was made.

“I did not follow the naval officers to arrest them on-board; my captain and I were told to wait at the naval office. After they were arrested, the officers brought them to the NNS BEECROFT,” he stated.

When contacted, the Nigerian Navy spokesman, Commodore Suleiman Dahun, who said the navy had been forbidden from interfering in civil matters, added that he was going to investigate if any civilians were being detained and get back to our correspondent.

Dahun said, “I will love to investigate and get back to you, because this is a matter involving civilians, so what is the concern of the navy in it? The families (of the detainees) can make false allegations. I am not aware of any such detention, because these are purely civil matters and we are expressly forbidden from interfering in such matters.

“So, I doubt the veracity of these claims. But notwithstanding, I will find out if we have any civilian in our detention and get back to you.”

He had yet to get back as of the time of going to press.