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Met police drop investigation into Prince Andrew in Virginia Giuffre case

Virginia Giuffre

Met police drop investigation into Prince Andrew in Virginia Giuffre case

The Metropolitan police are taking no further action after a review prompted by Virginia Giuffre, who is taking legal action against Prince Andrew.

Met officers made the decision to drop their investigation on Sunday, after reviewing several documents, including one relating to an ongoing US civil lawsuit concerning Giuffre, who alleges she was forced to have sex with the prince when she was 17 years old.

In an interview in August, after Giuffre filed the lawsuit, the Met commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, said “no one is above the law” and that she had “asked my team to have another look at the material”.

The Sunday Times reported that Met officers had since questioned Giuffre, who now lives in Australia, about the allegations. It said it was unclear whether they had taken a formal statement from her.

The Met said while its review is “complete”, it will continue to “liaise with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein”.

The lawsuit accuses Andrew of sexually abusing Giuffre at the home of the socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in London and at properties owned by Epstein, the disgraced financier who died in prison in 2019 while facing charges of sex trafficking.

The prince has “absolutely and categorically” denied having sex with Giuffre and Buckingham Palace has called the claims “false and without foundation”.

Dick said in August that there had already been two previous reviews of the case. She said matters for consideration included whether there was evidence of a crime and whether the UK was the right jurisdiction for the case to be dealt with.

A now notorious photo of Andrew with an arm around Giuffre’s waist is said to have been taken by Epstein at the home of his friend Maxwell during a visit to London in 2001, when Giuffre was about 17. Sources said to be close to the prince have suggested the photo was faked – a claim vehemently denied by his accuser – while Andrew has said he has “no recollection” of meeting her.

Giuffre’s US lawyer, Sigrid McCawley, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, told the Sunday Times: “Given the clear and compelling evidence implicating Prince Andrew, the Metropolitan police should reopen its investigation and stand by their statement that no one is above the law.”

In a statement a Met spokesperson said: “We would not confirm who we may or may not have spoken to.”

Giuffre claims in the lawsuit that she was “lent out for sexual purposes” by Epstein, a registered sex offender, including when she was a minor under US law. The prince faces a deadline of 29 October to formally respond to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

In August it was reported that Andrew was considered a “person of interest” in the investigation into Epstein and Maxwell.

The phrase “person of interest” is used by law enforcement to refer to someone who has not been arrested or formally accused of any crime, but can refer to someone who may have information that would assist the investigation.

Maxwell, who is facing trial in New York in November, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges regarding her alleged involvement with Epstein.

Andrew, 61, stepped back from royal duties in 2019 in the aftermath of a disastrous interview with Emily Maitlis for BBC’s Newsnight. He told Maitlis that he could not have had sex with Giuffre at Maxwell’s London home on the date in question because he was at home after attending a children’s party at Pizza Express in Woking.

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Ondo Govt reacts to court judgement declaring new LCDAs ‘illegal’

The Ondo State Government says necessary legal action will be taken on the judgement nullifying the creation of the 33 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

The government’s reaction is contained in a statement by the Attorney General of Ondo State, Mr Kayode Ajulo SAN, made available to  newsmen on Friday in Akure.

Justice A.O Adebusuoye of the state High Court had in a judgement on Thursday described the creation of the LCDAs as unlawful.

The court said it was illegal for a governor to sign a law outside the State.

The court said that the Local Government Creation Law 2023 signed by the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ibadan was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

The statement said the government has taken cognizance of Ondo State High Court’s judgement and had requested for a Certified True Copy of it.

Ajulo said after it was studied and analysed, a legal opinion would be presented to the state government.

“Subsequently, all necessary measures, in accordance with our laws, will be taken to safeguard the interests of our citizens, foster peaceful coexistence, and uphold the rule of law.

“The Attorney General remains steadfast in his commitment to prioritizing the well-being and welfare of our citizens, working tirelessly to ensure that justice and the law are served,” the statement said.

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LASTMA impounds 40 vehicles in Oyingbo, ijora, idumota axis

The  Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has impounded another 25 commercial and 15 private vehicles operating illegal garages and causing serious road obstructions around Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota areas of  Lagos.

Mr Taofiq Adebayo, Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Adebayo said impounding the vehicles at these areas was a decisive move by LASTMA to restore order and ensure the free flow of traffic.

He said the operation was led by LASTMA Head of Enforcement, Mr Kayode Odunuga, under the directives of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Sola Giwa.

Adebayo that they were specifically directed to target illegal garages that had been a persistent source of congestion and inconvenience for residents and commuters.

He said the impoundment, which began in recent weeks, was part of a broader initiative by the  Lagos State Government to enhance the efficiency of the city’s transportation network.

He quoted Giwa as emphasising that government is committed to maintaining law and order on the roads, ensuring that all traffic regulations are strictly enforced.

“illegal garages have been a significant challenge in our quest to maintain a seamless traffic flow in Lagos.

“These impoundments send a strong message to all offenders that the state will not tolerate activities that disrupt public order and endanger the lives of our citizens.

“Our goal is to create a safe and orderly environment for all road users and this action is a crucial step in that direction,” Giwa said.

He noted that the targeted areas, Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota, are known hotspots for traffic congestion due to unauthorised parking and the establishment of makeshift garages.

He said that these activities not only obstruct the free movement of vehicles but also pose safety risks to pedestrians.

“LASTMA’s intervention aims to clear these bottlenecks and enhance the overall traffic situation in these critical areas.

“Residents and business owners have expressed their support for the government’s action, noting the positive impact it will have on their daily activities.

“LASTMA has also assured the public that the operation will be sustained and extended to other parts of the city where illegal garages and related activities are prevalent,” he quoted Giwa as saying.

He urged all vehicle owners and operators to adhere to the state’s traffic regulations and cooperate with authorities to avoid sanctions.

He reiterated that the government’s primary objective was to create a better and more livable Lagos for everyone.

He also urged motorists to take ownership of the roads and to promptly inform LASTMA of any broken down or abandoned trailers or trucks via the Agency’s hotlines: 0810056586008129928503.

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Emir of Ilorin commiserates with Saraki over mother’s death

Nigeria in very bad shape, only PDP can rebuild it —Saraki

Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has commiserated with a former Senate President,  Dr Bukola Saraki, over the death of his mother, Mrs Florence Saraki.

This is contained in a condolence message issued by the emir’s Spokesman, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, on Wednesday in Ilorin.

Mrs Saraki died on Tuesday at the age of 89.

Sulu-Gambari described the deceased as a wonderful mother, great philanthropist and virtuous wife to  Dr Olusola Saraki, the late Waziri of Ilorin, whose contributions to humanity would forever be remembered.

According to him, the deceased lived a fulfilled life, with numerous accomplishments.

The royal father urged Saraki, a two-term governor of Kwara, and his siblings to be strong in heart over the demise of their beloved mother.

Sulu-Gambari, who is also the Chairman of Kwara Traditional Rulers’ Council, extended his condolences to both the immediate and extended family members of the Saraki dynasty.

“I pray that Almighty Allah grants the family and friends the fortitude to bear the great loss,” he said.

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