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DEFENCE

Update on court Marshal: Court Strikes Out Otiki’s Objections For Lack Of Merits

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By Gom Mirian, Abuja.

The General Court Martial convened to try former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto, Major General Hakeem Otiki, has struck out his objections for lack of merit.

General Otiki is standing trial for alleged N400 million stolen by soldiers under his command.

The five soldiers who were declared wanted by the Nigerian Army disappeared after they were instructed to deliver the money to an important personality in Kaduna State.

Otiki had at the inauguration of the court marshal on Tuesday objected to the retention of the Army Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt General Lamidi Adeosun, as the president of the court on the ground that he was an interested party and would not be fair to the accused during the trial.

Otiki’s counsel, Major Femi Oyebanjo (rtd) had predicated his objections on the ground that Lt General Adeosun bore a grudge against Otiki, whom he claimed joined the army before him.

He also claimed that the soldiers, who absconded with N400 million were security personnel inherited from General Adeosun, who was then Army Director of Operations.

Otiki insisted that the wanted soldiers were Adeosun’s aides and inner security inherited by him.

Since the missing money and the soldiers were the issues for deliberation at the court martial and having inherited them from Adeosun, the defence counsel posited that for the sake of justice, Adeosun should step aside as the president of the court marshal.

Daily Asset gathered that the court struck out Otiki’s objections for lack of merit. It said his objections were “emotional”.

On the inherited soldiers and security personnel, the court ruled that Major General Otiki was at liberty to “reject his security” and call for replacement but choose to retain them until they stole the money and absconded.

On the issue of joining the army before Adeosun, the court maintained that seniority in the army is determined by rank. It held that as it stands, Adeosun is a Lt General while Otiki is a Major General.

The court martial, therefore, struck out Otiki’s objections for lack of merit.

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DEFENCE

Nasarawa: Police Arrest 10 for Allegedly Stealing 45 Children, Recover 6 

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The Police Command in Nasarawa State has arrested 10 suspected members of a child theft and sale syndicate, who allegedly stole no fewer than 45 children.

The Commissioner of Police, Shehu Nadada, made the disclosure while parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Lafia, on Friday.

According to the commissioner, police operatives attached to Keffi Division on routine patrol on Jan.

10,  rescued a man from mob action and upon enquiry discovered that he allegedly abducted a five-year-old boy in Keffi.

He said that the suspect later confessed to being a member of a syndicate that specialised in child theft and sale of same to the highest bidder.

Nadada said that further investigation led to the arrest of nine other members of the syndicate.

He said that further analysis on their mobile phones indicated that they had stolen and sold 45 children, who have been illegally adopted by unsuspecting member of the public across the country.

The commissioner, who did not state the period when the children were stolen, said that most of them were stolen from Abuja, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Niger states.

He said that six of the children had been recovered from Abuja, Ondo and Lagos State, while effort was ongoing to arrest more accomplices and recover more of the stolen children.

He further said that the suspects confessed to selling off many children at different prices, from N350,000 to N1.5 million depending on their age and gender.

Nadada disclosed that the suspects usually conspire with some social welfare officers to produce fake documents that facilitated the sale of the children to willing buyers.

The commissioner charged parents to pay more attention to their wards while calling on those seeking to adopt children to be  wary of criminals.(NAN)

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DEFENCE

Police Arrest Car Theft Syndicate Member in Ogun

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The Police Command in Lagos State said it had arrested a suspected member of a car theft syndicate, stealing cars parked anywhere in Ogun and selling them off in Lagos.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest to the newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

Hundeyin said that police operatives from Elere Division, who were on stop and search foot patrol on Friday, at about 6.

00 p.
m., along Agege Motor Road, carried out the arrest.

He said that during a stop and search, the officers intercepted a Sienna Space Bus, with four men in it.

The image maker said that while the officers were questioning the occupants, the four suddenly jumped down from the vehicle and took to their heels.

“They were pursued and one of them, simply identified as John, 28 years, was arrested, while others escaped.

“The suspect claimed he was contracted by one of the fleeing suspects, whose name he claimed he did not know, to drive the vehicle from Abeokuta, Ogun Capital to Ijora in Lagos.

“The suspect also claimed that two of the suspects at Large joined the vehicle on their way to Lagos before the police interception,” he said.

Hundeyin said that preliminary investigation revealed that the said vehicle was removed from where it was parked at Kemta in Ogun.

He said that the suspect and the vehicle were in their custody, while efforts were on to arrest the fleeing members of the syndicate. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

LASRERA Collaborates with EFCC to Curb Real Estate Fraudulent Practices in Lagos

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The Lagos Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) says it has collaborated with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to curb real estate fraudulent practices in the state.
The Special Adviser on Housing to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Barakat Odunuga-Bakare said this in a statement in Lagos on Friday.


Odunuga-Bakare stated that the collaboration was part of the decisions reached when LASRERA’s management paid a courtesy visit to EFCC.

She added that the partnership was a response to the growing concerns surrounding real estate activities in the state.
The governor’s aide said the collaboration between the two organisations would enhance regulation and enforcement of ethical standards within the real estate industry.

According to her, the initiative will promote a transparent environment for both buyers and sellers of property as well as secure the interests of both investors and the general public.
“LASRERA and EFCC will work closely to investigate and prosecute individuals and organisations involved in fraudulent practices such as impersonation, property flipping and document forgery.
“By leveraging their respective expertise and resources, the two bodies will strengthen the legal framework and enforcement mechanisms in tackling real estate fraud effectively.
“Real estate fraud not only undermines the integrity of the sector but also poses serious financial risks to individuals and the economy as a whole.
“By teaming up with EFCC, we are sending a strong message that such inimical practices would not be tolerated as perpetrators will be held accountable,’’ she said.
The governor’s aide expressed optimism that EFCC would put its expertise and experience in unraveling erring individuals and groups who commits fraud in the sector.
According to her, the commission’s mandate aligns with LASRERA’s mission in regulating and promoting ethical practices in the real estate industry.
She implored the EFCC, Lagos Zonal offices to always confirm the registration status of any individual or organisation who engages for real estate-related activities through LASRERA’s registration portal.
According to her, this will help the commission to know if the person or organisation is genuine or not.
Responding, Zonal Commander, EFCC Lagos Zonal Command, Mr Michael Wetkas, lauded LASRERA’s management for approaching the commission, noting that this would further assist the Commission in investigating corrupt cases related to real estate transactions.
Wetkas said that real estate investment-related issues constitute the major part of complaints received by the commission recently.
The commander said that the partnership between LASRERA and the EFCC would rekindle investors’ confidence in Lagos state’ real estate sector.
According to him, the collaborative effort is expected to have a far-reaching impact on the real estate sector and restore confidence and trust among stakeholders.
Wetkas urged the public to report any suspicious activities related to real estate transactions to the appropriate authorities. (NAN)

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