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Police Confirm 70-year-old Man’s kidnapping in Ogun




The Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Abiodun Alamutu, on Tuesday in Abeokuta confirmed the abduction of a 70-year-old man on Dec. 31.

Alamutu said that the man, Adeife Ifelaja, is an Elder at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Ijebu Igbo.

Reports says that Ifelaja was kidnapped on while on his way to his church’s Cross-over service held on the New Year eve.

The Commissioner of Police assured that operatives of the command were leaving nothing to chance to ensure that the elderly man was reunited with his family.

“I can confirm that this person in question was actually kidnapped on the eve of the new year, but up till now we have not been able to secure his rescue.

“But we have been relating with his family members who they (the kidnappers) have been calling.

“Honestly, the Police have been working to get the man released. We are on it.

”Even when the kidnappers have been trying to mislead us about their location, we are on their trail and very soon we shall achieve success,” he said.(NAN)


Alleged N4bn Fraud: Court Hears Obiano’s Motion Challenging Jurisdiction March 7




The Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed March 7 to hear a motion filed by former Anambra Governor, Willie Obiano.

Obiano is challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the alleged N4 billion fraud charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Reports says that the former Anambra governor was arraigned on Jan.

24 on a nine-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering to the tune of N4 billion.

The former governor, however, pleaded not guilty to all counts when the charge was read to him.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, counsel to Obiano, Mr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, informed the court that he had filed a motion challenging its jurisdiction on behalf of his client.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Sylvanus Tahir, SAN, however, said that he had yet to file a reply because he was served the motion on Monday morning in court.

Tahir also said that the issue on jurisdiction had been settled by the Supreme Court that once the charge bordered on money laundering, the Federal High Court had inherent jurisdiction to try it.

The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo advised the prosecutor to do his part by filing his response to the motion.

“It is not for you to tell the court the Supreme Court’s decision on the issue. Respond to the motion and leave the court to decide”, Ekwo said.

Reports says that Obiano, who was governor between March 2014 and March 2022, is said to have allegedly diverted the money from the state’s account dedicated to security funds in his last five years in office.

He allegedly directed the diversion of the funds from the state’s account between April 2017 and March 2022, and spent the money for purposes unconnected to the security affairs of the state.

The funds, according to the EFCC, were diverted through companies that had no business relationship with the Anambra government, converted to dollars and handed over to the former governor in dollars.

Reports also said that the case, filed by the EFCC detailed the nine companies allegedly used for diverting the funds from the state government’s security vote account.

Reports says that each of the nine counts disclosed the amount a company received and the period it received it from the state government’s account.

In count one of the charges, the EFCC alleged that between Feb. 16, and March 9, 2018, an aggregate sum of N223, 371,000 was paid from the security vote account into the account of Connought International Services Limited.

The anti-graft agency alleged in count 2 that from between Oct. 30, and Nov. 13 2018, a total sum of N95 million was paid from the security vote account into the bank account of S.Y. Panda Enterprises.

In Count 3, EFCC alleged that from between April 11, 2017 and June 21, 2019, a total of N416, 000,000 was diverted from security vote account into the account of Zirga Zirga Trading Company Limited. (NAN)

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PDP Constitutes Edo State Post-Primary Election Reconciliation Committee




By Johnson Eyiangho, Abuja

National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set up 11-member Edo State Post-Primary Election Reconciliation Committee after the governorship primaries.

The PDP explained in a statement over the weekend that the committee was constituted pursuant to the provisions of its Constitution and Guidelines.

Also, the PDP Candidate in the February 25, 2023 Presidential Election, Atiku Abubakar, has pleaded with other aspirants and aggrieved stakeholders to reconcile and negotiate to make sure that Edo remains a PDP state after the emergence of Ighodalo in the governorship primaries.

The Edo State governorship primary election was conducted on February 22, 2024, where Dr.

Asuerinme Ighodalo, said to be the preferred candidate of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, picked the PDP ticket. Also, at a parallel primaries on same date, the state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, emerged as another candidate.

It will be recalled that the PDP issued Certificate of Return to Dr. Asuerinme Ighodalo on February 26, 2024, while Shaibu stormed the party secretariat the following day to demand for his Certificate of Return.

According to the PDP statement, the committee is charged with the responsibility of reconciling all critical stakeholders and all party members in Edo State ahead of the September 21, 2024 Governorship Election in the State.

Members of the committee are the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, Chairman, former Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, member, former Bayelsa State Governor, Sen. Seriake Dickson, member, Sen. Tunde Ogheha , member and Sen. Mrs Stella Omu, member.

Others are Dr. Esther Uduehi, member, Sen. Olalere Oyewunmi, member, Prof. Sen. Sandy Onor, member, Alh. Isiaka Sola Gold, member, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem, SAN, Secretary, while, Barr. Jacob Otorkpa will serve as the Administrative Secretary

The NWC urged all critical stakeholders and members of the PDP in Edo State to remain steadfast and continue to work hard for the success of the party and Governorship Candidate, Dr. Asuerinme Ighodalo.

Meanwhile, Atiku has lauded the Edo State Chapter of the PDP for the conduct of what he described as “an amazing primary election that produced the quality of candidate (Ighodalo) to fly the flag” of the party in the September 21, 2024 governorship election.

In a post on his X handle at the weekend, Atiku said, “The party has made a choice, and it is not in dispute that the choice is a good one.”

According to him, the election of a thorough bred technocrat by the PDP as the party’s candidate in Edo State signposts the urgency that the PDP gives to ensuring that the next governor of Edo State is a round peg in a round hole.

“It is, therefore, on this note that I plead with all other aspirants and aggrieved stakeholders to reconcile and negotiate to make sure that Edo remains a PDP state.

“Dr @Aighodalo, apart from being a brilliant mind, in whose hands the affairs of Edo State will steer on stable waters, is also a fine gentleman.

“I believe that our candidate has what it takes to bring everyone willing to work for the interest of the PDP under the huge umbrella of our party.”

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Abuja Residents Criticise Motorcycle Crushing, Suggest Auctioning, Fines




Some Abuja residents have kicked against the incessant crushing of motorcycles impounded by the Federal Capital Territory Authority(FCTA) and security forces.

Reports says that the authorities have consistently crushed  motorcycles seized from traffic offenders, especially those caught in areas the bikes are banned.

Records from the FCTA show that hundreds of thousands of motorcycles have been destroyed in the last two years alone.

The residents, while reacting to the recent round of destruction, said this in a separate interviews in Abuja on Sunday that the destruction should be replaced with stiffer fines or the auctioning of the motorcycles for use in areas they are not banned.

Some opined that the heavy fines would discourage riders from veering into areas where their presence was outlawed.

They argued that the practice of crushing vehicles and motorcycles was rather “extreme” and could potentially result into an escalation of crime rates, particularly due to the potential loss of jobs in the nation’s capital.

While noting the FCT Directorate for Road Traffic Services’ claim that scraps from crushed bikes are recycled and the proceeds used to fund social services, they pointed out that crushing them had not deterred the riders, hence the need for a different approach. 

A civil servant, Mr Joseph Edeh, wondered why the FCTA would resort to crushing the items, saying that they were the main source of income for the owners.

According to him, imposing stiffer penalties and huge fines would go a long way to discourage those disobeying the traffic laws in the nation’s capital.

Edeh said that many vehicle or motorcycle seizures had affected the disproportionately low income families, with many left in hunger and economic hardship.

“Owners of seized vehicles and motorcycles should be forced to choose between paying a higher fine or forfeiting their property. 

“We all know that the hardship of the land affects every person, crushing these items is too extreme.”

A journalist, Uche Annune, spoke in the same vein.

“Auctioning and imposing stiff penalties will be more appropriate than crushing these items. Government must operate with a ‘human face.”

According to him, government must be considerate by putting the people first in all its policies and decisions.

“The best way to promote inclusive development is to consider the plight of the desperate poor. Anything outside that can lead to chaos.”

A lawyer, Ms Emilo Atana, also expressed reservations over the crushing of impounded vehicles.

“It is not economically good to destroy social assets like cars or motorcycles. They may be banned in Abuja, but they are very useful in the rural settlements.

“My suggestion is that the impounded could be taken to rural hospitals or schools. There is no doubt that they will be very useful there,” he said.

Offering a divergent perspective, however, a public Servant, Mr Gregory Maduakolam, expressed support for FCTA’s decision to crush all impounded vehicles and motorcycles.

He deemed the action timely, especially considering the ongoing challenges associated with the perpetuation of insecurity involving motorcyclists.

Maduakolam said, “I support the crushing of impounded vehicles and motorcycles because the menace that they cause in the city centre is worrisome.

“Many of the crimes committed here are carried out on bikes; something must be done to prevent these crimes from happening,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Dr Abdulateef Bello, the Director of the Department of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), has said that plans are underway to crush more than 130 impounded vehicles that failed integrity tests.

He revealed that the vehicles would undergo standard verification with those below minimum standards crushed, while the owners could face mobile courts and penalties in accordance with the law.

He said that some vehicles, deemed unfit for the road, would be crushed after inviting owners to retrieve valuable belongings.

“Those arrested for crimes committed under the guise of commercial operations will also be prosecuted,” he said. 

According to him, the impounding, conducted during evening raids in the last two weeks, aims to combat criminal activities carried out by vehicles pretending to be engaged in legitimate commercial activities.

“The DRTS, aligning with the administration’s vision of zero tolerance for insecurity in the FCT, plans to continue operations until all substandard vehicles involved in criminal activities are removed from the city.

“Efforts have also been made to reduce criminality associated with ‘one chance’ incidents, with a focus on ensuring that taxi operators conduct their businesses within authorised parks rather than on the roads.

“Residents are advised against patronising vehicles outside authorised parks to enhance safety and security.”

Reacting also, Mr Kalu Emetu, the spokesperson of DRTS, called on motorists in the nation’s capital to comply with all traffic laws and vehicle registration requirements, dispelling any notion of animosity between them.

He said that stiff measures were being taken to address the lackadaisical attitude many motorists had adopted that were hurting the country and its policies.

He noted that the DRTS operates under the mandate of the Transport Secretariat of the FCTA, and affirmed the agency’s commitment to contributing to road safety efforts.

He highlighted the crucial role of the task force in maintaining order in the city, lamenting that Nigerians often found it challenging to obey traffic laws.

According to Emetu, the demonstration of patriotism for the country should include timely renewal of vehicle registration papers and viewing the DRTS as collaborative partners in ensuring compliance with regulations.

The PRO disclosed that 13,719 vehicles have been impounded from January 2023 to date for various traffic offenses.

“That is why we call on all motorists to obey traffic rules and renew their vehicle registration on time.

“People drive cars and buy fuel daily, why is it difficult to be patriotic and renew vehicle papers? Why should they wait until they are apprehended?

“Motorists are our key stakeholders; without them, we would not have work, so, we treat them with respect, we will only encourage people, Nigerians to be bold, we don’t kill anybody, we don’t kill people.

“We don’t have power to arrest any human being, we can arrest your vehicle, but not you. You will only drive it to where you will park it and leave it, when you settle whatever you need to settle, you take the vehicle.”

Emetu noted that the task force, despite not being based in DRTS, functions under the purview of the FCT Minister’s office and has diverse uniformed organisations in it.

He outlined the primary functions of DRTS which included ensuring the free flow of traffic, handling vehicle administration such as registration and renewal of documents, and generating revenue for the FCT.

Responding to allegations, Emetu encouraged the public to report any misconduct by DRTS personnel, assuring that such cases would be thoroughly investigated.

He reiterated the importance of public collaboration, emphasising that motorists are key stakeholders and treated with respect.

Responding to suggestions that fines be increased instead of crushing impounded vehicles, Emetu emphasised that fines were already being implemented within the legal framework.

He pointed out that the effectiveness of fines had been limited, with many traffic violators failing to comply.

The spokesperson emphasised the commitment of DRTS to its primary goal of ensuring safety on the roads and urged the public to engage constructively with the agency to address concerns.

On allegations of corruption and misconduct of its personnel, Emetu acknowledged that enforcement entities often face public skepticism.

He encouraged the public to report concerns about staff behavior instead of confronting them, highlighting the readiness of the office to address public inquiries through its SERVICOM channel. (NAN)

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