Archive | Crime

Robbers invade Murtala Muhammed Airport •Raid Bureau de Change, kill 2, injure many

Written by  Shola Adekola

 

 

 

THAT the Murtala Muhammed International Airport is  porous  was on Wednesday night again confirmed, as deadly looking  robbers, numbering over 10, beat the airport security network to unleash terror on the entire airport. Two people were feared dead.

According to an eyewitness,  the armed robbers had entered the airport through the terminal zero, proceeded to the arrival hall and penetrated the departure hall of the terminal.

The incident, which occurred around 8.00 p.m. took the various security officials stationed at the airport by surprise with most of them  scampering  for safety due to the superior deadly weapons  the robbers paraded.

The eyewitness who works within the airport terminal building, explained further that on entering the terminal, the armed robbers ordered all the users of the airport to lie down while those who refused to comply were shot at.

In the process, a protocol officer of Addax Oil Company simply identified as Chike was shot and reportedly taken to a hospital through an ambulance after the armed robbers had left the airport.

The reason for the attack on the airport and the extent of damage could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, but another source who works with one of the agencies at the airport explained that the attack showed porosity of the entire airport.

However, information gathered indicated that the robbers were not able to penetrate into the central search of the airport.

The Nigerian Tribune however gathered that some people lost their lives following the manner the robbers shot sporadically while trying to find their ways to the terminal building.

As at the time of filing this report, it could not be ascertained the number of casualties but in responding,  the Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Yakubu Dati confirmed the incident, but said that the men of the Nigerian Police attached to the airport foiled an attempted robbery attack at the airport.

Dati explained that there was an exchange of fire, which resulted in the death of one of the robbers, stressing that the level of casualty was still being ascertained as at press time.

He, however, said that the robbers might have come to the airport to attack some of the bureau de change operators within the premises.

He added, “The situation has since been brought under control by the swift intervention of joint security force. They were apparently attempting to rob a bureau de change operator near the airport. Normal operations and flight have not been affected by the incident.”

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Nigerian teacher arraigned for raping schoolgirl in UK

A Nigerian science teacher who groomed a 14-year-old pupil before repeatedly raping her has been told he faces “a very long time” in prison, Guardian.co.uk reported on Wednesday.

Keith Ogunsola, lured his victim to hotels around the country pretending he was going to give her extra science tuition.

Croydon Crown Court heard the 47-year-old started his abuse in January 2001.

When giving the victim a lift, he told her he really fancied her and tried to kiss her.

A month later, he met the student at the former Aerodrome Hotel, in Purley Way, Croydon, where he took her virginity by raping her.

The court heard he then embarked on a three-year secret affair with her, telling his victim to wear skirts with no underwear when they met so it was easier to have sex with her.

The court heard he also booked stays at the Premier Inn and Hilton hotel in Purley Way.

Prosecutor, Hanna Llewellyn-Waters, said, “She was manoeuvred into a position where she did not tell anyone, believing her word would not be believed against a teacher and the defendant told her what to do, say and wear.

“When she wanted to have a boyfriend he became jealous and when she refused to have sex with the defendant, he ripped her clothes off and raped her again.”

On Friday, May 18, a jury took two-and-a-half-hours to find the married father-of-three guilty of rape, indecent assault and engaging in sexual activity while in a position of trust.

The court heard Ogunsola, who taught in Sutton between 1998 and 2001, avoided jail in 2009 after being convicted of kissing one of his pupils in Ilford, Essex.

Remanding Ogunsola in custody, Judge Jeff Blackett said, “I have a pretty good idea in my own mind what the sentence is going to be.”

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Lagos arrests 86 persons for having no address, work

 written  by Sesan Olufowobi

Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit has arrested 86 suspected illegal squatters, food vendors and aliens in Ikoyi area of the state for not having definite residential address and means of livelihood.

It was learnt that the arrest was in response to complaints by residents of the area about the presence of illegal squatters in uncompleted buildings and makeshift shops.

It was also learnt that the report of a security investigations conducted by policemen did not favour the squatters, as they were classified as security risk.

Task Force Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman, subsequently led policemen that raided the area between 11pm and 1am on Wednesday.

Sulaiman said those arrested were found in abandoned houses, shops and were food vendors and aliens. He said some of them were suspected to be part of criminal gangs terrorising Ikoyi residents.

The Chairman said, “They were arrested at Lugard Street, Bedwell Street, Glover Street and three different spots in Parkview Estate.

“Those arrested were those selling and living in shanties and those living in uncompleted buildings.”

Sulaiman explained that the food vendors were arrested because they usually sell food to suspected criminals squatting in uncompleted buildings.

He said the raid would continue because government wanted criminals out of the state. He added that the government would no longer tolerate people living in uncompleted buildings, saying a large number of them were criminals.

Sulaiman said, “Those arrested will be further investigated and charged to court.”

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Security agencies monitor influx of aliens into Lagos •Army, air force ban use of military stickers

 

Lagos State
Security agencies in Lagos State are monitoring illegal aliens in the state and may soon clamp down on them.

The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Umar Manko, disclosed this after the State Security Council meeting chaired by Governor Babatunde Fashola at the Lagos House, Marina.

According to the police boss, security agencies including the immigration are collaborating on this and will take action in accordance with Nigerian laws.

He urged residents to remain vigilant and law abiding and pass useful information to security agents.

On how the police intend to maintain security in the state, despite the banning of checkpoints, Manko said what the Inspector-General of Police directed was that they should remove barriers on the road and not necessarily police presence.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Commandant of the air force Base, Ikeja, Air Commodore Tony Omenyi, said following the abuse of Nigeria Airforce stickers, the use of the stickers had been banned.

He said henceforth, the police had been empowered to remove the air force stickers on any car that it was affixed on; adding that all those who had it on their cars should remove them immediately.

“I am appealing to Lagosians to avoid confrontation with the military and remove air force stickers from their cars. And this affects air force personnel too. Nobody is allowed to have air force stickers on their cars,” he said.

Speaking on the same issue, the Nigerian Army Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Pat Aken, said the ban was not restricted to stickers but anything that created a false impression of belonging to the force.

“Anything that creates the impression that one belongs to the army is banned, even for serving personnel. Lagosians should note that anybody parading himself with a sticker is a fraud and would be sanctioned accordingly,” he said.

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Reverend arraigned in UK for conducting fake marriages

Two Church of England vicars conducted “hundreds” of sham marriages to help illegal immigrants stay in Britain, a court heard on Wednesday.

The Reverend Elwon John, 44, and Reverend Brian Shipsides, 55, performed the sham wedding ceremonies at All Saints Church in Forest Gate, east London, jurors were told.

Once wed, there were a “strikingly high proportion” who then made applications to the Home Office for the right to remain in the country.

In some cases, EU nationals were even flown into Britain just so the marriages could take place before being flown straight out again, Inner London crown court heard.

According to the prosecution, 31-year-old “fixer” Amdudalat Ladipo – herself an illegal immigrant – arranged the weddings between mainly Nigerian and EU nationals.

It was not until officers from the Metropolitan Police and UK Border Agency caught wind of the scam that the trio were finally rumbled on July 31, 2010.

All three are now charged with conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration. Shipsides has already pleaded guilty. Ladipo and John deny the charges.

David Walbank, prosecuting, said, “This case involves a massive and systematic immigration fraud.

“At the centre of this fraud is one particular parish church in the east of London, All Saints Church in Forest Gate.

“The Crown’s case is that there took place in that church over a two-and-a-half year period a very large number indeed of sham marriages entered in to for the purpose of immigration.

“Most of the so-called couples participated in these marriage ceremonies were not actually couples at all.

“They were married in that church not because they wished to spend their lives together and wanted the blessing of the church, most of the persons married there for a very different reason.

‘Their ultimate purpose was to obtain enhanced rights to enter and live in the United Kingdom.” Mr. Walbank told jurors the majority of the marriages which took place were between Nigerians and nationals from the European Economic Area, mainly from Portugal and the Netherlands.

He added, “The fraud, the Crown suggest, wasn’t confined to one or two, or even a couple of dozen of ceremonies. We are concerned in this case with hundreds of sham marriages.

“On some occasions, EEA nationals were flown into the UK specially for marriages to take place and then flown back out again.”

 

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Police investigate alleged exam fraud by lawmaker

GEORGE OPARA

Chetachi Obi, an aide to Hon. Nkiruka Onyejiocha Chidubem, representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, has said her arrest last week for allegedly writing the Nov/Dec NABTEB examinations for her boss was a set up by political opponents of the lawmaker. Meanwhile, the Abia State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has said investigation into the matter is on going as a team of police officers have been dispatched to Benin office of NABTEB to find out among other things, if the legislator was registered for the examination or not.

This is consequent upon denial by Obi that she was writing examinations as at time she was arrested by the police as her boss did not have need for such documents, having already obtained diploma and masters degrees from recognised educational institutions. Police source revealed that since the examination body has no office in Abia, it dispatched a team to Benin, Edo State, to cross-check facts regarding the allegations against Obi even as she has been released on bail. “We don’t want to be seen to be trading words with the suspect. This is not the first paper she is writing in the examination. You know politicians; they are only trying to launder their image. We are still investigating the matter. NABTEB has no office in the state. We are going to Benin to carry on with investigations”, it said.

Meanwhile, Obi has denied allegation of writing examination for her boss, stating that she was a victim of bitter political intrigues. She claimed an unknown person had earlier called her on phone to come to Unique Comprehensive High School, Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, venue of the examination where she was subsequently arrested by policemen who took her to the state CID Umuahia, even as she said those who witnessed the event thought she had been kidnapped. “What happened was very unfortunate. The incident revealed the length some people who are desperate for political power can go. I was at Abia State University to complete the registration for my admission into the law faculty, when someone called that I should come to Unique Comprehensive High School for an urgent message from my boss.

When I got there, someone came out from the exam hall and asked me to wait for the message. Later, some police officers came and in threatening manner asked for my car key, which I gave to them. They drove me in a white Mercedes Benz car to Umunneochi Police Station and then to the state CID in Umuahia, where I was shown a letter from the Police Commissioner, purportedly written by some indigenes of Isuochi against my boss. When I asked to see the petitioner, they refused, saying it was a fight between two elephants and I am the grass,” Obi narrated. Asked why she answered a call from an unknown person, Obi said she usually receives calls from all manner of persons given the nature of her job in the constituency, even as she denied that her boss entered for NABTEB examinations, having obtained WASC, diploma, and masters degrees from Imo State University.

“Her first degree was on religious study, after obtaining a diploma that qualified her for direct entry for the degree programme” she said. The political aide said she was shown a petition at the state CID allegedly written by a ‘Concerned Citizens’ of Umunneochi, even as it bore no names and signatures, blaming it as handiwork of the lawmaker’s political enemies. She alleged the examination admission card with the name and photograph of the law maker was fake, saying as a public figure, the lawmaker’s photographs can easily be obtainable.

On close examination, it was discovered the lawmaker obtained only a pass in English Language and failed Mathematics when she sat for the West African School Certificate Examinations WAEC, in 1984 at Ovim Girls Secondary School, Afikpo,Abia State. However, investigations revealed that the, ‘Candidate Photo Card’ had names and passport photo of one Onyejiocha Nkiruka Chidubem , suspected to be those of the lawmaker, who entered for the Nov/Dec examination at the centre code 01060, with Candidate Number, 01060085 at Unique Comprehensive High School Isuochi, while other subjects for the examination are, 413-Office Practice, 001-English Language, 002-Mathematics, and five others.

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Imo State Deputy Governor on US Wanted List

written by Abiodun Oluwarotimi

The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) has confirmed that the deputy governor of Imo State, Mr. Jude Ikechi Agbaso is still in the country’s wanted list.

Confirming this in an electronic mail sent to our correspondent, Mrs Hannah Lewis, an official of the US Department of Justice, said that the US still maintains and upholds the arrest warrant issued on December 30, 1994 against the Imo State deputy governor, and that no Nigerian court can quash the warrant of arrest.

The Mineola County Court in New York, on December 30, 1994 issued a warrant of arrest with registration number 861 against Jude Agbaso when he jumped bail on a 17-count charge before the court.

Earlier, a source at the Department of Justice had confirmed to the reporter on phone that the United States government still regrets ever granting a bail to Mr. Agbaso who currently serves as a deputy governor in Nigeria.

The source added that Mr. Jude Ikechi Agbaso, who last resided at Number 112 Front Street, New York before he jumped the bail granted him after he was being arraigned on a 17-count charge of forgery, still remains a criminal in spite of his political immunity in Nigeria, stressing that the US government will do everything to get him arraigned anytime he comes to America.

Hear him: “If it was possible for the United Kingdom government to get former Governor James Ibori back to London to face criminal charges made against him despite his power and influence, then it will be easy for us to make Mr. Agbaso face all the charges against him when the time comes”.
He further confirmed that there were criminal charges against Agbaso, noting that the warrant of arrest with registration number 861 issued against him by the New York court was still existing in the database of the Justice Department.

Also, checks at the United States Immigration department further confirmed that Agbaso, born on the 23rd January, 1958 was and is still the owner of the Social Security Card with Numbers 108761794.

Although, it was clear that the United States Department of Justice may not make any move to extradite Agbaso back to New York at the moment as a result of the immunity he enjoys as a deputy governor of a state in Nigeria, but our correspondent gathered that his name is already on the security watch list that will surely notify the American government anytime he enters the country.

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Lagos Court okays extradition of Nigerian accused of defrauding 70 US law firms

By Eric Ikhilae

•To stand trial on three-count charge

A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday granted an application by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, for the extradition of a Canada-based Nigerian, Emmanuel Ekhator, who is wanted in the United States for alleged criminal conducts.

Ekhator is wanted in the US over his alleged link with a group that defrauded some US law firms of about $29 million.Justice Fatimat Nyako held that with the evidence provided by the prosecution, the court was convinced that Ekhator should be extradited to the US to stand trial on charges against him at the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.The court ordered the US Embassy and the Federal Government to perfect his travel arrangement and ensure his extradition within 15 days.

The three-count charge marked 10-244 was part of documents from the US Department of State exhibited before the court by the prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Islam Hassan of the Federal Ministry of Justice.Ekhator, who is said to be a member of a syndicate that specialises in internet fraud, is accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, involvement in mail and wire frauds and money laundering. Most of the offences are said to attract a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

He was said to have evaded arrest in the US last year and escaped to Nigeria. The US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was said to have placed him on its watch list.He was found in Benin, Edo State, where he was arrested earlier this year by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).EFCC, in a supporting affidavit to the extradition application, said Ekhator, who holds a Masters degree from the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, resided in Canada with his wife, Nkechi.

The commission described Ekhator as the arrowhead of a ring of fraudsters operating between Canada, US and the Asian Peninsular, that had defrauded some law firms of $29 milliom.Ekhator and his gang were alleged to have, between August 2008 and August 2010 fleeced about 70 US law of over $29 million.EFCC said its investigation revealed that Ekhator and his gang simply contacts law firms through e-mails, posing as potential clients, claiming to be representatives of foreign companies, seeking legal representation to help negotiate and collect, on their behalf, claims and settlement in cases like real estate transaction, divorce or torts.

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Police officer jailed over N10,000 bribe

Written by Lanre Adewole

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has upheld the two-year jail term without an option of fine imposed on a police officer, Corporal Akingbola Johnson, by the Abuja High Court for demanding and receiving N10,000 bribe for bail.

A statement issued in Abuja, on Tuesday, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) by its spokesperson, Mr Folu Olamiti, stated that it arraigned the convict in 2005 over the offence.

The statement read: “A police officer Corporal Akingbola Johnson, is to spend the next two years in prison for demanding bribe from suspects in police custody.

“Mr Akingbola on 16th June, 2011 lost his appeal against a judgement of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court which had convicted him to two years imprisonment without option of fine.

“Justice Lawan Garba of the Federal Court of Appeal in Abuja upheld the earlier judgement.

“The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had on 31st May, 2005 arraigned Mr Akingbola before the FCT High Court in Abuja for demanding and receiving bribe of N10,000.00 before granting bail to two suspects, an offence contrary to section 8 (i) (a) and punishable under section 8(i)(b)(ii) of the ICPC Act, 2000.

“The suspects, Chiduban Nwaogo and Victor Uzor, were arrested on suspicion of being in possession of Marijuana and were detained at the Utako Police Station. When one Mr Okwudili Isielu, who claimed to be the brother to the suspects requested for the bail of the suspects, the police officer demanded for N10,000.00k(ten thousand naira).

“Okwudili complained to his lawyer, who advised him to petition the ICPC, intimating it of the request by the policeman. Consequent upon this petition, operatives of the ICPC mapped out strategies and had him arrested after he had collected from Mr Isielu N10,00 marked money.

“In his judgement, Justice Garba said the court was not convinced with the defence of the accused, more so, when he was caught red handed.”

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London based Nigerian businessman shot dead in Lagos

written by Christopher Oji

Yemisi Sanda, widow of London-based Nigerian, Kole, who was shot dead by suspected armed robbers at a filling station in Lekki, Lagos, has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Hafiz Ringim to fish out her husband’s killers.

Sanda was shot dead few days on arrival from London, when he went to a filling station in company of his cousin, Gbade Amao to buy fuel for his generator. Yemisi said the only thing that would heal her pains was for the IGP to fish out her husband’s killers and bring them to justice.

Yemisi, who was still not in terms with the reality that her husband who left her few days ago had been shot dead, said she was on her way to the mortuary to see if really it was his corpse.
A tearful Yemisi said: “But I believe it is really true because, he can no longer pick his phone calls. My husband could not stay two hours without calling me or his children. It is true, it is true.”
She said her life crashed the day she received the shocking news that her husband, who left her and the children hale and healthy had been killed in a most horrendous manner.
“My husband was shot like a common criminal. He was a very responsible and hardworking man who had been contributing to the economy of the country. Why should he be killed like a common criminal in his own country?”

She said that if her husband had been sick, she may not have been as shocked as she was.
However, a family member, who simply identified herself as Nike, also wants the police to fish out Sanda’s killers. She revealed that the deceased had concluded plans with some expatriates to establish a company in Lagos. She said: “Now, the dream is over. When I discussed with my brother last time he came, he told me that he wanted to contribute in reducing unemployment in the country as the company would have employed about 500 workers.”

Nike berated the security lapses in the country especially in Lagos, alleging that the robbers operated in the filling station for over two hours unchallenged by the police. “The robbers also shot other persons who may have died like my brother.” She said the most painful aspect was that “my brother was pleading with the gunmen to allow him go for treatment as he was bleeding excessively, but the robbers would not let him go as they even warned him not to dare them further. He later bled to death.”

She wants the police to review their security strategies to seeing that more lives were not wasted the way and manner her brother was brutally killed.“If this type of untimely death should continue unabated, it would discourage Nigerian in Diaspora from coming home. It will also discourage investors from coming to invest in Nigeria,” she noted.

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Nigerian baby farm raided: 32 pregnant girls rescued

Nigerian police have raided an alleged “baby farm” where teenage mothers were forced to give up their newborns for sale to human traffickers.

Thirty-two pregnant girls were rescued from a maternity home run by a trafficking ring in the southern city of Aba, police said.

The girls, mostly of school age, were allegedly locked up at the Cross Foundation clinic so they could produce babies to be sold for illegal adoption or for use in ritual witchcraft.

Bala Hassan, the Abia state police commissioner, said: “We stormed the premises of the Cross Foundation in Aba three days ago following a report that pregnant girls aged between 15 and 17 are being made to make babies for the proprietor.

“We rescued 32 pregnant girls and arrested the proprietor, who is undergoing interrogation over allegations that he normally sells the babies to people who may use them for rituals or other purposes.”

Hassan added that four babies, already sold in an alleged deal but not yet collected, were also recovered in the raid.

Estimates of the girls’ ages varied. Geoffrey Ogbonna, another police spokesman, was quoted by CNN: “There are about 30 pregnant young ladies; the eldest was 20 years old. Some belong in secondary, even in primary school.”

A doctor arrested at the clinic said the babies had been handed over to social welfare for adoption.

Some of the rescued girls told police that the hospital owner gave them $192 (£118) for newborn boys and $161 for newborn girls after they were sold.

Dr Hyacinth Orikara, proprietor of the Cross Foundation, is likely to face charges of child abuse and human trafficking, police said. Buying or selling babies can carry a 14-year jail sentence.

Orikara, reportedly a university graduate and employee of the Abia state health management board, denied the allegations, claiming the home was a foundation to help teenagers with unwanted pregnancies.

Human trafficking is ranked the third most common crime in Nigeria – after financial fraud and drug trafficking – according to Unesco’s report on human trafficking in Nigeria. At least 10 children are sold every day across the country, according to the UN. Traffickers are seldom caught.

Babies are sold for up to $6,400 each, depending on the sex, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons says. Teenagers with unplanned pregnancies are sometimes lured to clinics and then forced to hand over their babies.

The children are often put up for illegal adoption or, in some parts of the country, killed as part of witchcraft rituals because they are thought to make charms more powerful.

The police carried out similar raids on such clinics in neighbouring Enugu state in 2008.

A Nigerian woman was jailed in Britain three years ago for trying to smuggle a baby into the country in order to get on the list for a council flat.

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Osun Police Alert Public On New Robbery technique

Written by Tunde Oyekola,

THE Osun State police command has advised residents of the state to be wary of kidnappers and robbers, who have deviced new method of using small children to carry out their nefarious activities.

The command, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olugbemileke Olumide Taiwo (ASP), said that it has come across some text messages recently in circulation, which were alerting members of the public about a new wave of crime whereby small children holding  pieces of paper, and crying by the roadside are being used by criminals.

He said that while the child, who would be holding a piece of paper showing his or her home address would be crying and asking for assistance to be taken home, the criminals would be waiting at the said address to rob and kidnap the unsuspecting ‘good samaritan’.

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