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Currency Racketeer Bags Jail Terms in Lagos

The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, secured the conviction and sentencing of one Yusuf Isiaka, before Justice Ayokunle Faji of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Isiaka was arraigned on one-count charge bordering on Naira racketeering under Section 21(4) of the CBN Act.

The charge reads: “That you, Yusuf Isiaka on the 17th of February 2024, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court engaged in hawking the total sum of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand naira) in N500 naira note denomination, ‘serial number: B/49 934847 to B/49 934849, B/49 934628 B/49 934629’ issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (4) and punishable under Section 21 (1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2007.”

Isiaka pleaded “guilty” to the charge when it was read to him.

In view of his guilty plea, prosecuting counsel, A.S. Wara, applied to review the facts of the case through the investigating officer, Wodi Abdulhamid. He told the court that the Isiaka was arrested on February 17, 2024 in response to intelligence received by the Commission on the activities of some persons involved in the mutilation of the Naira notes in the Lagos Island area of Lagos.

“The defendant was picked up while he was selling new Naira notes at Water Front event Center, Oregon, Lagos,” he said.

He testified further that a total sum of N100,000.00 was recovered from him. “In his statements under words of caution, he confessed to the selling of Naira notes,” he said.

Wara, thereafter, sought to tender, in evidence, the said statements, the sum of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) and the POS machine.

Justice Faji admitted and marked them as exhibits. Thereafter, the trial judge declared him guilty as charged.

Defence counsel, Kolapo Gbadamosi, prayed the court for leniency.

He appealed to the court to give the defendant the money, so he could return to the rightful owner. “He is also a first-time offender and he has expressed sincere remorse over his actions,” he said.

Justice Faji sentenced him to four months imprisonment and a fine of N20,000. The judge also held that the N100,000 and the POS machine were instruments of the crime, and so ordered that they be forfeited to the Federal Government.

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Lagos clampdown on illegal estate development

The Lagos State Government has clamped down on illegal estate developments around the Epe corridor of the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, said this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

He stated that he led a special joint exercise to the axis on Thursday and Friday, based on the directive of the state executive council.

He mentioned some of the areas covered during the exercise to include: Alaro City, Okorisan, Igbodu, Molajoye, Shaala, Ketu, and Epe.

Olumide said notices were also served on estate developments such as Patriot Bay Estate, Smart City Estate, the Legend and Hilton Royal Garden.

Others are Greenland Estate, Legacy City, Isinmi Lagos, Dominion City, Topview Estate, and Ibi Alafia, among others.

He pointed out that erring estate developers were requested to visit relevant authorities to perfect their documents.

According to him, under no circumstances should any developer go ahead to start the development of estates without obtaining layout approval, planning permit, and fencing permit as may be required.

The commissioner added that the requirements were necessary to ensure the attainment of an organised, livable and sustainable built environment.

Olumide explained that layout approval was required for proper arrangement of the estate to give room for appropriate services and infrastructure, while the planning permit addressed the planning requirements on individual plots in the estate.

He urged property up-takers and buyers to be wary of investing in estates without approval, to avoid needless embarrassment from government officials.

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Police detain ADC to Fmr. Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

The aide-de-camp (ADC) to former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has been arrested and detained by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The Female police officer and others were arrested days after the former governor evaded arrest by EFCC operatives on Wednesday, April 17.

The officers were taken into custody on suspicion of aiding and abetting Bello’s escape from EFCC operatives.

The anti-graft agency had stormed Bello’s house to arrest him over allegations of money laundering and financial misconduct while in office.

The Nigeria Police Force has yet to release an official statement regarding the arrests, but police sources say the officers could face charges related to obstruction of justice or conspiracy to hinder a law enforcement operation.

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Zamfara govt suspends commandant state security outfit over allegations of poor funding

The Zamfara State Government has suspended the Commandant of the local security outfit, Community Protection Guards, CPG, Colonel Rabiu Garba (retd).

This is contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mallam Abubakar Nakwadahe and made available to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital.

The statement said in part, “This is to inform the general public that, Zamfara State government has suspended Colonel Rabiu Garba as Commandant of the state Community Protection Guards”.

“The suspension takes immediate effect”.

According to DAILY POST no reason for his suspension was given but it was gathered that the suspension may not be unconnected with the radio live program he granted where he accused the state government of poor funding of the Community Protection Guards.

In a radio live program at the Vision FM radio Gusau, Colonel Garba said the state government has failed to give financial support to the Protection Guards.

He lamented that since their inauguration, the state government has not provided them with any takeoff grant.

Garba also said the officials of the protection guards were paid their salary only once since they were appointed four months ago.

He said members of the Community Protection Guards have been suffering from poor funding from the state government, a situation which he said has been crippling their activities in the fight against banditry.

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