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No fewer than 22 candidates, who contested the July 22 Lagos State Council polls, have appealed the decisions of the Lagos State Local Government Election Petition Tribunals at the Appeal Tribunal. Justice G. M. Onyeabo, the Cchairperson of the 2017 Local Government Election Petitions Appeal Tribunal, announced this on Wednesday at the tribunal’s inaugural sitting. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Onyeabo and four other justices — O. Kasali, A. Onigbanjo, O. A. Dabiri and K. A. Jose — made up the panel. The tribunal, which was inaugurated on Oct. 23, will hear and determine the appeals within 21 days. The judge said: “Accordingly, therefore, any application for enlargement of time for the doing of an act or taking a step shall not be granted in such a manner as to extend the time for the determination of the appeal beyond the 21 days prescribed. “To this end, the tribunal solicits the maximum cooperation from the bar to avoid needless time wasting applications. “The parties and learned counsel should be rest assured that this panel will be fair to all the parties and follow the rules strictly. We will have to modify our sitting because of time constraint. “We also appeal to all that there should be no hobnobbing with members of the panel and tribunal staff to allow us concentrate and perform this duty to the society to the best of our endeavour.”

Members of the family of Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, have accused the Buhari administration of betraying their son after inviting him to join the Change Agenda of the government. The Maina family at a press conference in Kaduna on Wednesday revealed that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration begged the former pension boss to join the change agenda, with the assurance of security protection. They added that their son is not a fraudster but a messiah who brought reforms into the pension scheme. The spokesman of the family, Aliyu Maina said based on his “sterling record” at the scheme, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to Maina to key into the “change agenda”. Aliyu wondered why government officials were denying his brother, especially when the Department of State Services (DSS) provided security for him. “It is on record that Abdulrasheed Maina’s reform put to a stop the fraudulent withdrawal of huge sums from both the Nigerian Pension Board, the Nigerian Police Pension Board, etc. Perhaps it is his noble efforts that made him enviable to the present administration when they came into power to convince him to come back and assist in its ‘CHANGE’ agenda,” he said. “Abdulrasheed was in fact invited by this administration and he was promised security to come and clean up the mess and generate more revenue to government by blocking leakages. “He succumbed to the present administration and came back to Nigeria. He has been working with the DSS for quite some time and he was given necessary security. “There is a letter from the Attorney-General of the Federation where he gave his own legal opinion regarding the court verdict which was submitted to the Civil Service Commission and the head of service respectively. So, one wonders why all the agencies and various individuals responsible for his return are now denying.”

An Osun State Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo, the State capital has ordered that three men be remanded in Ilesha prisons over alleged murder as well as for defrauding innocent citizens. The three accused persons identified as Jimoh Serif aged 20, Seidu Aliu 25 and Yusuf Taofeek 21 were arraigned on a five counts charge bordering on murder, conspiracy, felony and fraud. The prosecutor Inspector Elisha Olusegun told the court that the three accused and others at large conspired to commit felony to wit murder sometimes in the month of May and September 20th. 2017 at Ifon in Osogbo. Inspector Olusegun said the suspects also conspired and unlawfully beheaded one Sanusi Isiaka. Speaking further, Inspector Olusegun said the accused were found in possession of incriminating objects like charms and a shrine where they perpetrate their evil deeds. He further explained that the suspects attempted to commit felony to wit obtaining money under false pretence from innocent citizens of Osogbo. He argued that the offense committed by the suspects contravene Section 324, 319(1) 516, 213 and Section 4 and punishable under Section 509 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Volume 11 Laws of Osun State 2002. The three accused persons were represent by their lawyer, Taiwo Ayokunle and their plea were not taken due to the criminal nature of their offence. While delivering judgment, the magistrate, Ashiru Ayeni ordered the accused to be remanded in Ilesha prison custody. He, thereafter, adjourned the case till December 21 for mention.

The Ogun State Police Command has arrested a prophet of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church and his accomplice for allegedly killing a woman for money-making rituals. The prophet, Darasimi Rotimi and his accomplice, Ibikunle Sunday were paraded on Tuesday before newsmen at the state police headquarters Eleweran, Abeokuta, by the state commissioner of police Iliyasu Ahmed. The suspects allegedly killed one Sara Olowokere at Ijoko, Sango and removed her body parts including head, wrist, heart, breast and private part for money-making rituals. Ahmed told newsmen that the suspects killed her and “dissected her body before burying her remains at Alafia street, off Alagbole, Ijoko. The second suspect, Sunday, a 40-year old Okada rider, confessed to our reporter that he killed the victim by hitting a plank of wood on her head. “I hit a plank of wood on her head. When she died, we now shared her parts. I took her head to Ogo-eri and Darasimi (referring to the Prophet) took the other parts of the body away. They said the parts are essential ingredients for money-making rituals,” he confessed. He added that the deceased was the girlfriend of the third suspect who is still on the run. But the prophet from Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Ijoko, denied involvement in the act. “Don’t mind him. He is just lying. If you commit an offence and confess your sin, God will definitely forgive you. I regret my action. I hope the government will temper justice with mercy,” Prophet Darasimi pleaded. “I don’t know anything about the incident. I am ready to die,” he added. Also paraded were three women, Abibat Oyesanya, Morenike Shittu, Olubunmi Funke arrested for child stealing and kidnapping. Funke who confessed to have sold her three-year old daughter for N280,000, said the money was used to off set her debt. “I gave out my three-year old daughter to Abibat Oyesanya who is into local adoption business. She promised to allow me to visit my daughter once in three months. “I am a prostitute. I started prostitution after my first husband sent me packing. So, I decided to give out my daughter to a woman who gave me N280,000. I used the money to offset my debt. “The woman also requested for more children due to the increase in requests by those adopting children. ”That is why I kidnapped the baby girl in Bodija, Ojurin, Ibadan, and brought her to the buyer,” she narrated. The state police commissioner said his command was poised to flush out criminals in the state. He said the suspects were arrested as part of “ember months mop-up operations of the command.” Also paraded were 10 suspected armed robbers, including a female robbery suspected arrested for allegedly terrorising Mowe-Ibafo. The suspects were identified as Abiodun Rasaq, Saheed Adebayo, Omisore Kayode, Oyemomi Rasaq, Ridwan Moruf, Mohammed Adefemi, Bala Idris, Abeeb Rasheed, Fatai Abiodun and Bosede Oguntoye (female). A pastor identified as Olotu Oluwakayode who allegedly diverted N17.8 million belonging to a complainant into his bank account, was also paraded..

A renowned wrestler, John Eke Uti a.k.a. Power Uti, was on Tuesday brought before an Ebute Meta Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly killing his wife, Toyin. Uti, 55, was arraigned before Magistrate Bola Folarin-Williams on a two-count of murder and disrespect of corpse. After going through the case file, Magistrate Folarin-Williams said she did not see anything both in the accused’s statement and in the police investigations to show that the accused killed his wife and quashed the remand application brought by the police. She, therefore, admitted the accused to a bail of N500,000 with two responsible sureties in like sum, who must be blood relations and also work with reputable organisations. She directed that the case file should be duplicated and a copy forwarded to the State Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice. Earlier, Sgt. Jimah Iseghede, the prosecutor, had told the court that the accused committed the offences on Oct. 10 about 10.25 p.m. at No. 17, Oremeji St., Ilupeju, Lagos. He alleged that the accused beat his wife, Toyin, 38, to death and abandoned the corpse in a room to decompose. John Eke Uti, a former world wrestling champion, was first taken to Ilupeju Police Station before being transferred to the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department for further investigation. The offences contravened Sections 165(a) and 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. NAN reports that if found guilty, the accused faces a death sentence. The case has been adjourned until Nov. 15.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday held that former President Goodluck Jonathan must appear before the court on Oct.25 as a defendant witness in compliance with court order. The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Oct.3 granted an application filed by Olisa Metuh, to compel the ex-president to testify in the N400 million fraud charge brought against the applicant. Justice Okon Abang held that the ex-president was mandated by the decision of the appellate court to appear before him (Abang) to testify in the criminal suit. Abang, however, said that Jonathan was yet to be served with the decision of the appellate court. He said the ex-president must appear before the trial court if a proof of service to that effect was presented to the court in the next 24 hours. The judge also said that retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser (NSA), was billed to appear in the matter on the same date as a defendant witness. The N400million was alleged to have been disbursed from the Office of the National Security Adviser. Abang held that both Jonathan and Dasuki were issued subpoena by the court on the order of the appeal court to act as defendant’s witnesses to Metuh. However, the judge adjourned ruling on the motion filed by Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), counsel to Dasuki, challenging the propriety of the subpoena compelling his client to testify in Metuh’s trial. Abang said the subpoena mandating both Jonathan and Dasuki to appear in the court on Oct.25, must be complied with even as a motion against it was yet to be decided. “I have taken note of arguments of parties on the motion challenging the appearance of Dasuki in this matter as a defendant witness. “I need time to consider all the arguments because my library is in Asaba, where I now base. In the light of this, the ruling is adjourned until Oct.25,’’ he held. Raji, counsel for Dasuki, had approached the trial court for it to set aside the subpoena aimed at compelling his client to act as defendant witness in Metuh’s fraud trial. He argued that the move was unjust, adding that his client was not in the right frame of mind to perform such role. Raji further said Dasuki had been in detention for about two years over similar allegations framed against Metuh, adding that it amounted to “state torture’’ to force him to testify in the case. Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), and Mr Sylvester Tahir, counsel for Metuh and EFCC respectively objected to the application, as according to them, both Dasuki and Jonathan are competent witnesses in the matter. Ikpeazu said: “it is about time everything was placed on the table.’’ On his part, Tahir said nobody was above the law, adding that the defendant and not the prosecution had sought the appearance of both Dasuki and Jonathan in the matter. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Metuh has said the N400 million traced to him by EFCC was not a proceed of fraud. He said the fund was duly assigned to the office of the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, which he headed as expenditure for ex-president Jonathan’s presidential campaign in 2015.

A Customary Court in Mapo, Ibadan, on Tuesday dissolved a 21 year-old marriage between one Ibrahim Tajudeen and his wife Idowu over laziness and irresponsibility. The President of the court Mr Ademola Odunade, who granted Idowu’s request for dissolution of the marriage, said a peaceful coexistence between husband and wife was necessary in any marriage. “It is our duty as a court to ensure peace wherever there is trouble. “The union between Idowu and Ibrahim has ceased to be henceforth. “Custody of the three children produced by the union is awarded to Ibrahim,” Odunade said. Narrating her case, Idowu, a mother of three, told the court that Ibrahim was a lazy and irresponsible man. “My lord, Ibrahim is so lazy to the extent that even when I took it upon myself to get him a job, he chose to be lazy. “I have tried times without number to ensure that he is productively engaged, but Ibrahim kept telling me that he is not strong. “Besides, he is so troublesome that I can no more cope with his troubles. “Worst still, I have been reduced to almost nothing because Ibrahim does not give the children and I any form of care. He neither clothes our nakedness nor does he provide for our food, we are just there. “I am principally responsible for the children’s education and other needs.” She said she was also responsible for the payment of the house rent since 2016. “There is no more love between us, please, separate us,” Idowu pleaded. However, Ibrahim denied all the allegations against him and rejected the divorce suit. “My Lord, I have a well established car wash service and so it is not true that I am lazy. “I provide Idowu’s needs according to my capability. “I have been responsible for everything in the house and I will continue to perform my duty,” Ibrahim said.

Controversy surrounding the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina into the country’s civil service is getting messier by the day as the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, has denied reports that she approved the reinstatement of the wanted former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms. In her reply to a query issued her by the presidency over the reinstatement of Maina, Oyo-Ita on Monday dismissed reports that she approved the reinstatement and subsequent posting of Maina to the Ministry of Interior. Oyo-Ita’s refutal was contained in a statement by her Assistant Director, Media Relations, Mohammed Manga. The Head of Service maintained that Maina’s restatement and posting did not emanate from her office. The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau who had earlier exonerated himself from complicity in the matter, said Maina was posted to his ministry by the Head of Service. The Minister, on October 22, had confirmed the resumption of duty by Abdulrasheed Maina, as an Acting Director in his ministry. The confirmation came in a statement issued by the Press Secretary to the minister, Mr Ehisienmen Osaigbovo. Maina was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairman of the task force in 2010 to check the corruption in the country’s pension system. In 2012, the Nigeria Police accused him of misappropriating N100 billion pension funds in connivance with others. The Civil Service Commission reportedly dismissed him for “absconding from duty’’. Maina was arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which declared him wanted in 2015. Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman of the anti-graft agency in a statement on Saturday, said Maina remained on the commission’s wanted list. A presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Monday confirmed that the report of the circumstances of Maina’s recall and posting to the Ministry of Interior had been submitted to the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari. President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, in a memo to Oyo-Ita, directed the immediate disengagement from service of Maina. The President equally demanded a full report of the circumstances of Maina’s recall and posting to the Ministry of Interior, saying the report must be submitted to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, before the end of work today. Adesina, in a television interview on Monday night, confirmed that Oyo-Ita had submitted the report to the office of the Chief of Staff as demanded by the President.

A former Governor of Jigawa state Sule Lamido, has written a letter to members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to express his interest on the party’s presidential ticket in the 2019 general elections. Lamido, in the letter dated Oct. 22 and made available to newsmen on Monday, shared some of his thoughts and concerns about PDP and Nigeria. He said the country’s founding fathers shared the dream of a united, strong and prosperous independent Sovereign Federation. “This being the case, what our founding fathers believed firmly was that Nigeria would not be a federation of North, West, East or South. “Not a federation of lslam, Christianity or Atheism or a federation of Hausa, Yoruba, Fulani, igbo, Ijaw or any of the more than 300 Nigerian languages; or federation of customs, or traditions. “What was and is and must federate is the human beings in Nigeria. That was what they bequeathed to us, and this we must uphold and defend. “Our human essence must be the object of development where honor, dignity and decency must define our humanity.” He expressed concerns that Nigeria at 57 years with its natural endowment and human capacity was yet to demonstrate its ability and capacity to meet domestic, regional and global challenges. Lamido said that while the clamour now for restructuring rages, addressing the Nigerian economy by creating prosperity would make the debate less emotional and sentimental. He expressed the belief that it is just a question of “PDP taking over power in 2019 and continuing where we stopped”. He added that PDP would and must lead that change and lead the nation into bright, progressive, productive and innovative future. “The PDP must rekindle in Nigeria a new hope, a nation at united people with a common and assured destiny.” He said that to the world, Nigerians must demonstrate their confidence, tenacity in their ability and capacity to address their domestic regional and global challenges that confront us. “We have more than new talents in the PDP to drive the process. “It is against this background that l offer myself to vie for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019 if my party find me worthy to fly its flag. “I am by no means claiming to be the only capable material, any PDP member given the trust and support can fly our flag.” Lamido added that he expected that many more aspirants would express the desire to run. He expressed hope and prayed all the processes would be open, fair, transparent and credible “to give Nigerians a candidate who would lead the party and the country in 2019. “This is because there is no alternative to PDP in 2019, It will be a defining moment in the Nigerian political evolution.”

The Southern State Governors’ Forum on Monday in Lagos restated its commitment to a united and indivisible Nigeria, while also backing the campaign for true federalism and devolution of power. The governors, in a communique at the end of their meeting read by the host, Akinwunmi Ambode, resolved to collaborate with one another for the growth and development of their economies. The governors emphasised priority on security of lives and property of citizens, while also resolving to work on effective linkage on good infrastructure across the 17 states in the region.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the meeting, Ambode was unanimously appointed as the Chairman of the forum while Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and David Umahi of Ebonyi States were appointed as Co- Chairmen . The forum scheduled the next meeting for Port Harcourt, on a yet to be announced date. Aside Ambode, governors present include Gov. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti , Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun ; Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu; Osun State governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola and Oyo State governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi. Also present were the Governors of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike; Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki; Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu; Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Akwa Ibom State, Mr Emmanuel Udom and Ebonyi State, David Umahi . The Deputy Governors of Anambra, Dr Nkem Okeke , and Cross River State, Prof. Ivara Esu were also present at the event. However, Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State was absent.

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