By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
A Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja has discharged and acquitted two kidnap and robbery suspects, Harrison Orubabe and Justice Yakubu, over contradictory evidence provided by the prosecution.
Justice I.A. Jamil of the State High Court who delivered the judgment in the criminal trial of the accused on Wednesday in Lokoja said the prosecution could not discharge the onus of proof that the accused committed the alleged offences.
He rather blamed the prosecution counsels led by P.B. Daudu Esq. for creating doubts in the mind of the court hence the discharge and acquittal of the suspects.
The prosecution counsels had arraigned Orubabe and Yakubu on Jan 19, before Justice Jamil on three count charge of conspiracy, kidnapping and robbery contrary to sections 97(1), 48(a)(b) and 298(a) of Kogi Penal Code Law 2019 respectively.
The prosecution had presented confessional statements purportedly made by the accused upon which further investigation revealed that the suspects kidnapped one Prosper Obanla, on February. 28, 2022 at Obajana in Kogi and took him to Warri in Delta State.
It further claimed that the suspects also asked for a ransom of N1000,000 from the victim’s father, Chief Olusegun Obanla threatening that his failure to pay would only make them to hill his son.
During cross examinations of the victim by the defence Counsels, Barrister Martin Atojoko and Philip Idiok, the victim asserted that he had never been to Warri as claimed by the prosecution.
Atojoko also revealed another contradiction, where the purported confessional statements of the two accused clearly showed that the alleged victim sought the assistance of the accused to staged his own kidnap to get some money from his rich father to buy a “good phone.”
Atojoko said that the Police had claimed that in his confessional statements, Yakubu claimed that he and the victim went to Itape Train Station in Kogi, where he (Victim) boarded a train to Warri, Delta adding that the victim gave him N1,000 to return to Obajana.
The planned kidnap, he said, indeed paid off as they got N200,000 ransom paid by the supposed kidnap victims (Prosper’s) father, Chief Olusegun Obanla.
In his judgement, Justice Jamil held that there was a conflict or contradiction of evidence in relation to the consent or otherwise of the supposed victim in relation to the kidnap.
“The absence and consent of the victim is a material ingredients in proving an offence of kidnap, when properly defined.
“This court is in serious doubt as to whether PW3 (victim) was taken away into confinement by the accused persons without his consent or with his consent.
“Where a court is in doubt of a material fact necessary to establish a commission of a crime by the defendant, the court can’t convict or same.
“Similarly, where PW3 (victim) refused to agree to have gone to Warri just as the IPO PW2) in his witness statement said Investigations revealed that the two defendants took him to Warri, it’s difficult for this court to accept one version of the evidences.
“Again, the victim himself said that it wasn’t a kidnapping case as it was staged in order for him to get some money from his father. These set of evidences came from the prosecution.
“You, the prosecution, has put this court in doubt of what you are claiming such that I can’t accept one version and refuse the other.
“This is so because the prosecution could not prove what actually happened on Feb. 28, 2022 beyond reasonable doubt.
“On the whole, the prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt any or all of the count charges labeled against the two suspects.
“Consequently, the two defendants are hereby discharged and acquitted,” the judge declared. (Ends)
Abuja Drug Lord rearrested by NDLEA after 7yrs jailbreak from Kuje Prison
Notorious major distributor of illicit drugs within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Ibrahim Momoh has bee rearrested by operativez of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
seven years after jailbreak from Kuje prison
The NDLEA disclosed that Ibrahim Momoh also popularly known as Ibrahim Bendel, was re-arrested during a raid of his hideout at Filin Dabo, Dei-Dei area of the FCT.
In a statement on Sunday Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, indicated that Ibrahim Momoh was first arrested on 27th November, 2014 with cannabis sativa weighing 385.1kgs, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on 22nd July 2015.
He said Ibrahim Momoh escaped from prison custody on 16th May, 2016 while serving his jail term at Kuje Custodial Centre.
The NDLEA operatives on 20th November 2022 following credible intelligence, stormed the warehouse of the fleeing ex-convict, Ibrahim Momoh, and recovered 81 jumbo bags of cannabis weighing 1,278kgs.
“The store was located within his poultry farm in Dei-Dei area of the FCT.
“Though, Momoh was not around at the time, his warehouse manager, 55-year-old Ghanaian, Richard Forson Gordon was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to two years in jail.
“The Agency thereafter declared Ibrahim Momoh wanted.
“The manhunt for the drug lord paid off on 5th November 2023 when operatives again raided his hideout at Filin Dabo, Dei-Dei area of Abuja where he was arrested with 56.9kgs of cannabis sativa and 42.7 grams of Diazepam,” the agency said
The NDLEA also said another raid carried out by its operatives in the same area of the FCT on Monday 13th November, led to the arrest of a 27-year old Yusufa Ibrahim, 27, who was arrested with 75.3kgs of cannabis.
“Meanwhile, a massive operation in the forest of Efon Alaye in Efon local government area of Ekiti State on Saturday, 18th November, 2023 has led to the destruction of 52,500 kilograms of cannabis sativa covering over 21 hectares of farmland while a total of ninety two bags of same substance weighing 1,380 kilograms were recovered and another 250 bags weighing 3,000kgs stored in different huts on the farm were also burnt.
“No fewer than 15 suspects were arrested on the farm during the operation.
“They include: Okikiri Julius, 27; Ozoemene Friday Efajemu, 31; Tosin Ibrahim, 18; Israel Samuel, 25; Godwin David, 39; Friday Isaac, 19; Ayomide Igbekele, 18; Joshua Daniel, 27; Emmanuel Nwachukwu, 19; Emeka Onyeama, 31; Ani Augustine, 27; Obasi Ogbu, 32; Orsusue Peter, 23; Daniel Emmanuel, 18; and Yinusa James, 22.
“In Ondo State, five persons including another wanted drug kingpin, Christopher Onyebuchi, 40, were arrested at New Bridge Compound, Idoani on Wednesday 15th November and a total of 1,945 kilograms of cannabis recovered from them.
“Others include : Olorunda Ojo, 52; Femi Tomoye, 22; Abdurahman Salahu, 29; and Momoh Jimoh, 31. Onyebuchi had earlier been arrested by NDLEA on 25th March 2022 with 89kgs of same substance but jumped bail after he was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Akure.
“Operatives in the state also on Sunday 12th Nov raided Upemen village in Owo where they recovered 1,834kgs of same substance with 273kgs also seized the previous day, Saturday 11th Nov at Ipesi Akoko.
”While NDLEA officers in Sokoto recovered 290kgs of cannabis from a female suspect, Fatima Salmanu, 20, at Gangaren Tashar, Illela Sokoto in Sokoto North LGA on Thursday 16th Nov, their colleagues in Edo State evacuated 808kgs of the same psychoactive substance stored in a forest at Igueben on Monday 13th Nov.
“Not less than 231kgs of cannabis were recovered and five suspects arrested in a joint raid between NDLEA operatives and soldiers in Kwande council area of Benue State on Monday 13th Nov.
“Those arrested include: Denen Terhemba, 25; Liambee Iorhuna, 36; Iorhuna Sughnen, 20; Aboh Sonter, 23; and Msendoo Tyokaa, 36.
“While operatives in Ogun State on Tuesday 14th Nov arrested a suspect, Tony Jonah at Abule Iroko, with cannabis sativa weighing 67kgs, those in Lagos arrested Chike Agu at Ago Palace way, Isolo with 364.3kgs of Loud, a variant of cannabis.
” In Imo State, NDLEA operatives on patrol along Owerri -Onitsha expressway on Monday 13th Nov intercepted a truck marked XS 669KRD driven by one Orji Ifeanyi, 33.
“A search of the truck led to the seizure of 82,320 pills of opioids including Tramadol 225mg, and Diazepam as well as 32.5 litres of codeine cough syrup and 100 pieces of Molly weighing 49.62 grams,” Babafemi stated.
According to the statement, the agency’s War Against Drug Abuse, (WADA) advocacy campaign continued in equal measure in schools, markets, worship centres and other places across the country in the past week.
“Some of them include: WADA advocacy lecture for Muslim faithful at Badagry Central Mosque, Badagry, Lagos; WADA sensitisation lecture for students of Government Science College, Wase, Plateau State; WADA sensitisation lecture for students of Anglican Girls Secondary School, Ogidi, Anambra State; WADA advocacy lecture at St. Thomas Grammar School, Otan Aiyegbaju, Osun State; WADA advocacy lecture for students and staff of Government Junior Arabic Secondary School, Maigatari, Jigawa State as well as students and staff of Mainland Technical College, Oron, Akwa Ibom state,” he said.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, retired Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa, commended the officers and men of the FCT, Ekiti, Ondo, Sokoto, Lagos, Edo, Benue, Ogun and Imo Commands for the arrests and seizures.
Marwa urged them and their compatriots across all formations of the agency to sustain the offensive action against drug cartels .
As the yuletide season approaches, Marwa also urged them to maintain a balance with their drug demand reduction efforts. (vitalnewsngr.com)
Eagle eyed security operatives thwart attempt to kidnap INEC officials in Imo
Attempts by political thugs to abduct the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State has been thwarted by eagle eyed security operatives
The thugs had stormed a registration Area Centre in Amaimo, Ikeduru Local Government Area of the state, with the plan to cart away election materials.
However as they attempted to whisk away the INEC officials into their waiting vehicle the security operatives deployed in the centre repelled them
It was gathered that the armed security operatives fired into the air from a distance, when voters in the area raised an alarm over the presence of the thugs.
The thugs quickly retreated into their bus and sped off on hearing the sound of the gun.
There was heavy presence of security personnel on major roads in Imo.
In Owerri, the state capital, and its environs, armed security operatives mounted checkpoints at strategic locations as early as 6am to enforce restriction on movements.
Heavily armed soldiers were seen at different entry points into the city, stopping and searching vehicles, as well as interrogating the drivers and passengers before allowing them to go.
EFCC arrests vote buyers, confiscates N11m Cash
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) opeeativez have confirmed the arrest of 14 suspected vote buyers in Otueke, Adawari playgrounds in Bayelsa and at various polling units in Imo and Kogi States
The Spokesperson of the antigraft agency, Dele Oyewale made the disclosure through a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
According to him, the suspects were arrested on Saturday in intelligence-driven operations that commenced several days before the ongoing governorship elections in the three states.
“Also, a total sum of N11,040,000, comprising N9,310,00 intercepted from suspected vote buyers and sellers in Bayelsa, and N1,730,000 intercepted from electoral fraud suspects across Imo State, were recovered from them.
“Also, two vehicles were intercepted from the suspects. They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” he said.
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