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I offered kidnappers N1bn for my freedom, Chairman of G. U. O. Motors reveals


The Chairman of G. U. O. Motors Limited, Chief Godwin Okeke, has revealed he offered kidnappers N1bn instead of N100m asked for as ransom after they abducted him at the church premises and kept him in captivity.

Chief Okeke commenced his evidence-in-chief at an Onitsha High Court in Anambra State, presided over by Justice Chudi Nwankwo, over his abduction by kidnappers in Onitsha on Sunday, August 23, 2009.

Okeke spoke under oath after the Court granted a motion to file and serve additional prove of evidence with respect to one of the suspected kidnappers, Alexander Onyinanya, filed by the prosecution counsel, Chris Ajugwe with Mrs N. D. Wilcox.

He narrated his encounter with the kidnappers at the All Saints Anglican Church Cathedral, Onitsha when he went for a Sunday worship with his wife, driver and some family members.

However, counsel to the first and third accused persons, O. U. Uduma and J. N. Okongwu, did not object to the prosecution counsel’s motion to file and serve additional prove of evidence with respect to the third accused, Onyinanya.

How I was abducted:

Led in the evidence by his counsel, Okeke stated that he went for 7 a.m. service which ended at about 10 a.m, adding that between 10.30 and 11 a.m., his wife mounted the steering of his Nissan Amanda Spots Utility Van and was driving towards the Church gate when suddenly, gunmen blocked the car with a bus in front and a Mercedes Benz car at the rear.

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Okeke told the Court that before he could ask questions, the gunmen started shooting sporadically, adding that even though he managed to disarm one or two of them, they shattered his left leg, over-powered him, drove away from his wife and family members before bundling him into his SUV and zoomed off with the abductors’ vehicles following.

He further told the Court that they passed through Awka Road and at Limca Road, they met a traffic gridlock but his abductors shot sporadically into the air to scare the commuters before they continued their movement up to Nkpor junction where he said they met some Policemen, exchanged fire with the Police and escaped.

He said:

“At Umuoji Road, my abductors discovered that their tyres were deflated during the exchange of fire with the Policemen and they quickly jumped out of the vehicles, blocked the road, snatched two other vehicles from their unsuspecting owners and transferred their arms and ammunition, including 9 AK 47 rifles, rocket launchers, machine guns and a big Ghana-must-go bag filled with loaded magazines and live cartridges into the snatched vehicles.

“They continued their journey and drove through Alor, Adazi-Ani and Adazi-Enu. On getting somewhere between Adazi-Enu and Neni communities in Anaocha Local Government Area of the State, they drove into a bungalow, rounded up the occupants, who were mainly children, locked them up in one of the rooms and kept me inside the living room.

“I removed my shirt and tied my bleeding leg as part of measures to control the blood gushing out from the bullet wound. At a stage, I became thirsty and requested them to give me water to drink. Two of the abductors, Emeka Eze and Anthony Ifeanyi Okafor, were with me while others were outside monitoring movements.”

He said the duo with him advised him not to drink water because of his bullet wound but he insisted on drinking and eventually they gave him the water which he drank.

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He said:

“I overheard those outside asking the detained children where they kept oil, salt and other condiments because at that point, they had started cooking breadfruit meal for lunch.

He said after cooking, they presented the food and he ate with them.

He said among those outside, two of them, a tall and short one wore masks, adding that he could discover that the tall one, Alexander Onyinanya, the third accused with mask was his former employee

“I could identify Onyinanya because he limps as a result of an accident he had when he was working for me. I was the one who paid his hospital bills when he had the accident.

“After eating the breadfruit meal, they praised me for my courage and for accepting their food, unlike other victims who usually refused to eat during their captivity.”

He said they now asked him to get ready for negotiation to which he paid attention.

“They told me that Chief Paul Okonkwo, Managing Director of Pokobros Group West Africa Limited, paid them N70 million as ransom when they kidnapped him, while Chief Anthony Enukeme, Managing Director of Tonimas Oil Limited, paid them N80 million during his own time and told me to pay them N100 million.

“I replied them promptly that Okonkwo and Enukeme are millionaires, while I am a billionaire, and offered them N1 billion, instead of N100 million.

“The offer gave them special joy as they now dropped their weapons by the side, relaxed and asked me how and when the money would get to them to which I told them that the money was in the bank.”

At this stage, Justice Nwankwo ordered him to stop for the day until the next adjourned date.

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The Court now adjourned the matter to November 14, 26, 27, 28, December 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9, this year for accelerated hearing and possible dispensation.


Police arraign man, 26, over alleged fraud



The police on Friday arraigned a 26-year-old man, Ilesanmi Ojo, before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged fraud.

The defendant of no fixed address is standing trial on a count charge of the alleged fraud.

The prosecutor, Insp. Oriyomi Akinwale told the court that the defendant committed the offense sometimes in the month of Dec. 2019 at Onala area in Ado-Ekiti.

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He alleged that the defendant, a mechanic, fraudulently obtained the sum of N155,000 from one Pastor Olusegun Olufowose to repair his Sienna vehicle.

Akinwale also alleged that the defendant duplicated the key of a Nissan Pathfinder Jeep with Reg. No. WWW 852 AE, belonging to the complainant without his consent.

He said the offenses contravened Sections 421 and 508 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

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The prosecutor asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to study the case file and assemble his witnesses.

The defendant pleaded not guilty.

His counsel, Mr. Olarewaju Oluwasola, urged the court to grant his client bail, with a promise that he would not jump bail.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Olanike Adegoke, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum.

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She adjourned the case until June 24 for hearing.

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You have case to answer, court tells mechanic accused of manslaughter



An Ikeja High Court on Friday told a mechanic, Taiwo Adeyemi, accused of killing a colleague during a physical scuffle, that he had to defend the manslaughter charge filed against him by the Lagos State Government.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi, delivering a ruling on a no-case submission filed by defence counsel, Mr Adetokunbo Agoro, said the prosecution for the state had presented sufficient evidence before the court to warrant Adeyemi putting up a defence.

According to reports the ruling on the no-case submission was originally slated to have been delivered on May 4 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delivering the ruling online, Justice Oshodi said: “From the evidence laid before the court by the prosecution, there has been no evidence that has been discredited by the defence.

“There is, however, ample evidence on the face of the court’s record which is legally admissible, that links the defendant to the deceased.

“There cannot be any dispute that death occurred after a fight. The defendant is said to be the other party of the fight.

“From the written submission of the defence counsel, he believes that there is no documentary and prima facie case laid out by the prosecution and that the evidence of the first and second prosecution witnesses are hearsay.

“To the court, the prosecution has made out a prima facie case for the defendant to face. Accordingly, the defendant is now called upon to open his defence.”

Following the ruling, the judge adjourned the case until July 27 for defence.

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Reports have it that Adeyemi is charged with manslaughter contrary to Section 227 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.

He was arraigned at the High Court on June 5, 2017.

According to the prosecution led by Mr M.T. Adewoye, the defendant committed the offence at 1.00 p.m. on April 4, 2014, at a mechanic’s shed, located at Ashade Market, Mangoro, Agege, Lagos.

“The defendant had an argument with the deceased, Sikiru Oladeinde; during the scuffle, he hit the deceased with a plank that had nails attached to it.

“Oladeinde sustained some injuries and passed away some days later in hospital,” the prosecutor said.

During the trial, three witnesses testified on behalf of the prosecution — a welder and co-worker of the deceased, Mr Olujimi Ogunleye; the brother of the deceased, Mr Kehinde Oladeinde; and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Sgt. Felix Osunbu.

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Man, girlfriend, bag jail time for stealing 64 chickens



Five women arraigned for allegedly smoking marijuana in public

A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kafanchan, Kaduna State has jailed a 35-year-old man, Abdullahi Sani, and his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sarah Paul, for stealing 64 chickens.

The police charged Sani and Paul with criminal conspiracy, housebreaking, theft and mischief, contrary to sections 58, 332, 270 and 312 of the Kaduna State Penal Code.

In his ruling, Magistrate Michael Bawa sentenced Sani to 38 months in a correctional facility and Paul bagged 13 months for her role in the crime.

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Bawa also ordered the first convict to pay N600, 000 while the second convict will pay N200, 000 as compensation to the complainant as applied by the prosecution.

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Insp. Esther Bishen, told the court that one Hilary Garba reported the matter on May 21.

Bishen said the complainant alleged that the convicts broke into his house at night and stole 64 layers valued at N781, 970.

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The prosecution said that Paul was arrested while cooking some of the chickens.

She noted that the police recovered cell phones, a television set, generator, mattresses, amplifier, rug carpets from the convicts suspected to have been stolen.

When the charges were read to them, they both pleaded guilty and begged the court for leniency.

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The prosecutor thereafter prayed the court to try them summarily in line with section 125 (8) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.


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