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We sold three cars to secure my dad’s release from kidnappers – Archbishop Joesph Masin’s son

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Three cars were sold to raise the ransom for abducted Nasarawa State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN], Archbishop Joseph Masin.

This was disclosed by the archbishop’s first son, Bishop Miracle Masin, on Tuesday.

According to Bishop Miracle, he sold the cars belonging to him, his wife and his father’s before he could raise the ransom to secure his father’s release. He added that some wellwisher also contributed funds to secure his father’s release.

WuzupNigeria reports that Archbishop Joseph was abducted at his residence in Bukan-Sidi, Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The cleric decried the harsh treatment meted to his father, who is also the General Overseer, Word of God Worldwide Gospel City.

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The Bishop, however, refused to disclose the amount paid by the family.

He explained that they started negotiations with the kidnapers from N45m, noting that when the kidnappers checked his father’s contacts on his phone and saw the calibre of persons there, they jacked up the ransom to N50m.

He said,

“Millions of naira was paid but we are not ready to disclose it now. The pressure was so much but we thank God for everything. The negotiations began from the day he was kidnapped till he was released on Saturday, May 30 around 11.45pm. He got home on Sunday around 4am.”

Miracle noted that the entire family was delighted to have his father back in good condition.

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He added,

“My father didn’t even know where he was until he met some people, who were running away from him until one of them was bold to come close and ask him what happened. They later took him to a place where we met him in.”

While describing the kidnappers as beasts, he said his father was left in a bush and was sleeping on stones with his shorts.

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He added,

“For those days, my father couldn’t eat. They were bringing food but he couldn’t eat because he was not sure of what was in the food and he didn’t trust them.

“They released him along Eggon but the ransom was actually paid in Obi.”

While expressing his gratitude to Governor Abdullahi Sule, his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, and the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Bola Longe, Miracle pointed out that the state government was not involved in the payment of the ransom.

He called on the government to boost security across the state to tackle the issue of kidnapping in the state.

Crime

Gov. Sule approves establishment of mobile court to handle rape cases

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Abdullahi Sule

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has approved the establishment of mobile court to handle cases of rape and other forms of violence against women across the state.

He gave the approval during interactive session with women groups on Friday in Lafia.

He said that issues concerning women and youths remained topmost in his agenda.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari “for taking appropriate measures to ensure peace reigns in the North Central and the country at large.”

He urged women and youths to take advantage of the windows of opportunities coming into the state as investors set up businesses to improve their status.

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The state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Halima Jabiru, who thanked the governor for approving the establishment of the mobile court, expressed concern over the increasing rate of rape in the state and many parts of the country.

Jabiru said the court would help in bringing perpetrators to book.

She explained that the Ministry of Justice would help to produce a draft bill to be presented to the state House of Assembly.

The commissioner decried increased violation of women and girl’s rights and urged the judiciary to ensure that perpetrators of such heinous crimes, face quick and stringent penalties to serve as a deterrent to others.

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She also called for the establishment of a scheme to address the issue of girl child education in the state, noting that with added support to women through the Ministry of Women Affairs, there would be improvement through multiplier effects on families and the entire society.

Mrs Aisha Isa Idoma, the Chairperson of the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) in the state, commended the governor for completing projects initiated by his predecessors.

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Idoma, who described the governor as a man of his words, commended him for carrying women along in his administration, especially with the appointment of Jabiru as Commissioner for Women Affairs.

She, however, said that the NCWS in the state, the umbrella body for all women organisations, is handicapped because it has no office to operate.

APC Woman Leader in the state, Mrs Elsie Monday, also thanked the governor for carrying women along in all political activities.

NAN

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Crime

Two face trial over alleged N924, 000 rice theft

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Two men, Rafiu Lawal and Taiwo Olaniyi, on Friday, appeared before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly stealing 33 bags of rice worth N924, 000.

Lawal, 32, a resident of No. 2, Ogunfayo St., Eputu, Ibeju-Lekki, and Olaniyi, 42, who resides at Jakande area of Lagos, are facing a four-count charge of shop breaking, stealing, attempted murder, grievous harm, and malicious damage.

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They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Insp. Ingobo Emby told the court that the defendants committed the offenses on July 10, at 2:00 a.m, at Ologunfe area of Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

Emby said that the defendants broke into the shop of the complainant, Mr. Emmanuel Okolie, and stole the bags of rice.

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“The defendants hit an iron rod on the complainant’s head in other to kill him while stealing the bags of rice.

“The duo used an Opel car with registration No.LSD 203 GE to cart away the items,” Emby said.

He said that the offenses contravened Sections 230(1), 287, 310, 339(1), and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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The Newsmen reports that Section 287 stipulates three years of jail term for stealing.

The Magistrate, Miss M.O. Ope-Agbe granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two sureties in like sum.

Ope-Agbe adjourned the case until Aug. 20 for mention.

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Crime

FBI ‘kidnapped’ Hushpuppi from Dubai- Lawyer alleges

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Hushpuppi

A Nigerian man accused of multimillion-dollar fraud and money laundering by the United States was kidnapped by the FBI from Dubai, his lawyer says.

Ramon Olorunwa Abbas – known to his 2.5 million Instagram followers as Ray Hushpuppi – and another cyber-heist suspect Olalekan Jacob Ponle (aka Mr Woodberry) were arrested in Dubai, where they lived, in June.

They then appeared in a Chicago court on 3 July.

The United Arab Emirates has no extradition treaty with the United States but Dubai police said they had been extradited to the US.

Mr Abbas’ lawyer Gal Pissetzky told the BBC that his client, who posts on Instagram about his extravagant lifestyle, was not a criminal and had made his money legitimately.

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“He is a social media influencer with millions of followers, with millions of people that respect and loved him, and he loved them, and that’s what he did. In today’s society, that’s a business,” he said.

Mr Pissetzky admits that he is not “100% familiar” with social media and his children consider him too old but he knows “that’s how people make money today”.

The Chicago defence lawyer’s argument that Hushpuppi was paid by designer brands for promotion has set the stage for what promises to be a long trial in American courts.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accuses Mr Abbas, 37, of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from frauds known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and other scams.

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It is the latest high-profile fraud case involving a Nigerian national in the United States but his lawyer says the US had no authority to transport him from Dubai.

“In my opinion, the FBI and the government here acted illegally when they kidnapped him from Dubai without any legal process to do so,” Mr Pissetzky told the BBC.

There was no extradition, there were no legal steps taken, there were no court documents filed, it was simply a call to the FBI. He is not a citizen of the United States, the US had absolutely no authority to take him,” his lawyer says.

But the Dubai police said in a Facebook post that the FBI director had thanked them for extraditing the two men.

“You’ll have to ask them about why they called it extradition,” the US Department of Justice (DoJ) spokesman responded in an email.

In a statement about Mr Abbas’ initial court appearance, the DoJ said “FBI special agents earlier this week obtained custody of Abbas and brought him to the United States” without giving any further details.

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Mr. Pissetzky is not convinced.

“If Dubai wanted to expel him, they should have expelled him back to Nigeria. I’ve never heard of anything like that. That is the real story here.”

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