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Kidnappers reduce ransom demand for nine Ondo travellers from N100m to N10m

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Gunmen, who abducted nine travellers on Ifira Akoko – Ido Ani Expressway in Ondo State, have reduced their ransom demands to N10m.

WuzupNigeria reports that the kidnappers had earlier demanded N100m for their release.

The victims were said to be travelling in a Toyota Sienna bus to Lagos State from Abuja when they were abducted. However, one of them escaped from the den of the kidnappers but the whereabouts of the remaining victims were yet unknown.

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The Divisional Police Officer for Isua Division, Mr Olowoyo Akinbode, confirmed the development, said that the abandoned Sienna bus had been removed from the scene of the incident and now in their custody.

The police officer said that his “men in conjunction with local vigilante and local hunters in the area had been combing the forest to rescue the victims from the den of kidnappers.”

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Akinbode, who expressed assurance that the victims would be rescued, appealed to people with useful information to share with the police as to make the arrest of the miscreants possible.

In his own reaction to the matter, the Chairman of Akoko South East Council Area, Mr Yomi Babatunde described the incident as unfortunate, declaring that the volunteer residents of the area were ready to join security agents to rescue the kidnapped travellers.

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Crime

Police arrest 16 for armed robbery, homicide, others

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Police Command says it has arrested 26 suspects for armed robbery, culpable homicide, cultism, and car theft, among others.

A statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, on Wednesday revealed that four locally made pistols, five rounds of live ammunition and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects.

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Also recovered from them were six cars, N40,000, one mobile phone, and military camouflage.

“The Commissioner of Police FCT, CP Bala Ciroma, assures members of the public, especially FCT residents of the Command’s commitment to the protection of lives and property in FCT. He also commended FCT residents for partnering with the Command in its on-going fight against crime,” the statement read.

He said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are concluded

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Crime

N50m bribe: Court adjourns EFCC suit against Chinese businessmen

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The Sokoto State Zonal Head of Operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdullahi Lawal, at the resumed hearing on a case of bribery against two Chinese, Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuai, narrated how he coordinated the sting operation, leading to the arrest of the suspects, who offered him a bribe of N50 million naira.

The bribe according to him, was allegedly offered by the duo on behalf of China Zhounghao Nigeria Limited, a construction company, to compromise investigation by the EFCC over contracts it was awarded by the Zamfara State Government, in the sum of over N60, 000,000,000.00 between 2012 and 2019.

Lawal, the 2nd prosecution witness in the matter, was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, S.H Sa’ad, at the Sokoto High Court, presided over by Justice Muhammad Sifawa

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The EFCC boss told the court:

“On May 8, 2020, while in my office at No. 7 Super Quarters, off Sama Road, Sokoto, the 1st defendant, Mr Meng Wei Kum called me and informed me that he was in Sokoto for the purpose of arranging N100 million for me, and everything will be ready by Monday, being May 11, 2020.

“On Monday, at about 3pm, the 1st defendant called and informed me that the money was ready and that he was only able to raise N50 million due to the lockdown and that a balance of N50million will be given at a later date. I said okay, no problem. He now informed me that I should come for the money in the night, at their office near Sokoto State University, along airport road, Kasarawa Village. I said I didn’t know the office. The 1st defendant said he will wait for me at Sokoto State University gate. Immediately after the discussion, I arranged a group of operatives and kept them on standby.

“Around 9pm, he sent me a text message that they were already there. In order to test how serious he was, I sent him a text message that he should leave it until tomorrow. He replied that I should come that the money was with them in cash and they didn’t want the money to sleep with them overnight for security reasons.

“I called the officers that I arranged for the operation to come and meet me. They came in two vehicles and met me along Airport Road. I told them I will first go, and after 15-20 minutes, they should come and meet me at their office where the money will be given.”

He further told the court how his team arrested the duo with the funds.

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At the hearing, the defence counsel, A.T Hassan, however, did not oppose the proceedings. All the exhibits tendered by the prosecution through Lawal (PW2), were admitted by the court.

While ruling that the money be kept in the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sokoto for safekeeping, Justice Sifawa adjourned continuation of trial on the case to August 10, 11 and 12, 2020.

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Crime

Woman, 40, docked over alleged N6m fraud

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A 40-year-old woman, Abosede Popoola, on Thursday appeared before a Magistrates’ Court in Isabo, Abeokuta, for allegedly obtaining the sum of N6 million under false pretence.

Popoola, whose address was not provided, was arraigned on a three count-charge of obtaining money under false pretence, fraudulent conversation and stealing.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Olu-Balogun Lawrence told the court that the defendant committed the offences sometime in 2019 in Abeokuta.

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Lawrence said that she collected N6 million from the complainant, Mr Bakare Adedoyin, who resided in the United States, with an agreement that she would assist him to buy land and build a house in Abeokuta.

“The defendant collected the sum of N6 million from the complainant through her GTB bank account, under the pretence that she would buy land and build a house for the complainant,” he said.

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The prosecutor told the court that the defendant failed to buy the land and build the house as agreed, but converted the money to her personal use.

Lawrence said that the offences contravened Sections 419, 383 and 390(9) of the Criminal Law of Ogun, 2006.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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The Magistrate, Mr Olakunleyin Oke, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Oke said the sureties should be gainfully employed and provide evidence of tax payment to the Ogun Government.

He adjourned the case until July 27, for hearing.

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