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Police inspector To Pay N5m damages over unlawful arrest of keke rider

An Akwa Ibom State High Court has ordered a Policewoman in the State Police Command, Inspector Iniobong Umoren to pay a tricyclist, Jeremiah Sunday Udo N5m for his unlawful arrest and impoundment of his tricycle, which he bought on hire purchase for the sum of N1.9m.

The Court, however, extricated the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Mr. Olatoye Durosinmi who was joined in the suit as the third respondent, but advised him to warn his officers and men to always carry out their duties within the ambit and purview of the law.

The tricyclist, who is a resident of Ifa Ikot Idang in Uyo, had told the Court that he has been fulfilling the hire purchase agreement with the owner of the keke, Mr Udoka David from his neighbouring village in Ikono to pay him N20,000 every week until last year when the Naira policy crippled the economy resulting in him owing a week returns of N20,000.

He said he was surprised to be ambushed and arrested on the 12th of February, 2023, after he had so far paid eight hundred and eighty-five thousand Naira (N885,000) out of the N1.9m agreed in the hire purchase for full recovery of the tricycle.

Justice Ntong in a one-hour judgement wondered why “Inspector Iniobong Umoren quickly impounded the tricycle and handed it over to the first respondent without an order of court which has the power to interpret the terms of hire purchase agreements between parties and enforce its terms and conditions.”

He said, “The first respondent, Mr. Udoka David took the law into his hands and lured the Policewoman, who also allowed herself to be led into jettisoning the rule of law using the name of Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police to authenticate her unlawful act” which the Court described as “satanic, nefarious and unwholesome antics against the applicant.”

Justice Ntong said, “Because of greed, Inspector Iniobong Umoren usurped the role of the Court and became a law unto herself, having encroached on the fundamental rights of the keke man, the law is there to protect the tricyclist from heartless people like Inspector Iniobong Umoren and Mr Udoka David.”

The judge said he “read all the processes filed by the parties and discovered that the evidence and documents including the bail bond, the petition and the statements exhibited by the first and second respondents, are doctored and fabricated to mislead the Court.”

The Court therefore ordered “Inspector Iniobong Umoren and Mr. Udoka David in the name of God Almighty, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Inspector General of Police to release forthwith, the applicant’s tricycle pending when a Court of competent jurisdiction will order otherwise under the hire purchase agreement”.

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EFCC investigates more celebrities for naira abuse

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said it is investigating several celebrities suspected of abusing the Naira.

This was revealed in a statement signed by EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, on Sunday.

“On the issue of the works of the Commission against Naira abuse, dollarization of the economy and the enforcement of all extant laws relating to them, the EFCC appreciates the avalanche of public awakening, support and involvement demonstrated so far.

“Increasingly, members of the public are drawing the attention of the Commission to video recording of abuse of the Naira by Nigerians from all walks of life.

“These gestures amply demonstrate rising consciousness of the public to the sanctity of our national currency and the need for collaborative engagement to sustain the tempo.

“To this end, the Commission will always investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the abuse of the Naira.

“Old videos being exhumed and flying around for the attention of the Commission are noted as the Commission is sensitive to the fact that its Special Task Force against Naira Abuse and Dollarization of the economy commenced operations on February 7, 2024. However, going forward, new videos of such infractions will be investigated and prosecuted.

“At the moment, the Commission is investigating several celebrities involved in Naira abuse. Many of them have made useful statements to the Commission and many more have been invited by investigators working on the matter.

“The EFCC will not relent in its no-sacred-cow mode of operations and the public should be wary of running afoul of laws against the crime.”

Recall that popular cross-dresser Idris Okuneye aka Bobrisky was sentenced to six months imprisonment for abusing the Naira.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro handed down the sentence without an option of fine.

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No one has been cleared in humanitarian ministry fraud investigation- EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it has not cleared anyone involved in the ongoing fraud investigation in the humanitarian affairs ministry.

Spokesperson of the commission, Dele Oyewale stated this in a statement tagged ‘Setting the Records Straight on Investigations of Humanitarian Ministry’ on Sunday.

According to him,  ongoing investigation have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid -19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate.

The statement read;

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has noticed the rising tide of commentaries, opinions, assumptions and insinuations concerning its progressive investigations into the alleged financial misappropriation in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“At the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the Humanitarian Ministry were invited by the Commission and investigations into the alleged fraud involving them have yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far.

“Discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid -19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate.

“Investigations have also linked several interdicted and suspended officials of the Ministry to the alleged financial malfeasance.

“It is instructive to stress that the Commission’s investigations are not about individuals. The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices.

“Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing Directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions.

“Those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly. Additionally, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily.

“The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary.”

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Junior Pope: NSIB launches investigation, sends team to accident site

The Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has launched an investigation into the boat accident that claimed the lives of Nollywood actor, Paul Odonwodo, popularly known as Junior Pope; Abigail Frederick; Precious Oforum, and Joseph Anointing, while returning from a movie location.

THN reported that the boat accident involved a commercial speedboat and a fishing canoe on the Anam River in Anambra State on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

The boat carrying 12 film crew members and a boat operator reportedly crashed into the canoe, resulting in the loss of five lives.

Tthe director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, Bimbo Oladeji in a statement on Sundat, said the Bureau has dispatched an investigation team to the accident site.

According to Oladeji, examination of the wreckage from both boats involved in the collision, interviews with surviving crew members, eyewitnesses, and a review of operational procedures for the commercial speed boat would be analysed, among others.

“The NSIB extends its deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this heartbreaking accident.

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“Also, the director general of NSIB, Capt. Alex Badeh Jr, share in your grief and NSIB is fully committed to conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of this tragedy and prevent similar occurrence in the future.

“An investigation team has been dispatched to the accident site, and inquiry has begun. The investigation scope includes, but is not limited to: examination of the wreckage from both vessels involved in the collision, interviews with surviving crew members, and eyewitnesses, review of operational procedures for the commercial speed boat, analysis of weather and environmental conditions at the time of the accident, and assessment of compliance with relevant safety standards and regulations for inland waterway transportation,” NSIB spokesperson said.

Oladeji further assured Nigerians that the Bureau will release the preliminary reports of the investigation to the public.

“NSIB will collaborate with relevant authorities, including the Marine Police section of the Anambra State Police Command, maritime authorities, and industry experts during the investigation.

“The bureau will release its findings in a preliminary report, followed by a final report upon the investigation’s conclusion. These reports aim to enhance safety by providing recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future.Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims affected by the Anam boat mishap,” she added.

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