Baale of Shangisha in Magodo, Chief Yusuf Ogundare, was yesterday paraded by the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, for allegedly faking his own abduction.
Also yesterday, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode approved Ogundare’s immediate suspension and directed him to stop parading himself henceforth as the Baale of Shangisha till further notice.
The suspended monarch was accused of faking his kidnap on July 5 on the Centre for Management Development (CMD) Road in Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
The governor, in a memo with reference number OLGAS.83/S./Vol.1 dated July 13, addressed to the Sole Administrator of Ikosi-Isheri LCDA and signed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Teslim Folami, directed Ogundare to stop parading himself henceforth as the Baale of the community.
Folami said: “I am directed to convey the approval of His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, of the suspension of Chief Yusuf Ogundare, Baale of Shangisha with immediate effect in accordance with Section 38, sub-section 1 of the Obas and Chiefs Law of Lagos State which states that “the governor may suspend or depose any Oba or chief whether appointed or after commencement of this law, if he is satisfied that such suspension of disposition is required according to customary law or is necessary in the interest of peace and good government.
“You are to communicate the decision to the chieftain to stop parading himself as Baale of Shangisha with immediate effect.”
Ogundare’s suspension was approved by the governor moments after the Lagos State Police Command paraded him alongside his younger brother, Mohammed Adams, for conspiring to fake the alleged kidnap.
It was learnt that Adams, on the fateful day, reported the alleged kidnap to the police.
Speaking while parading the two suspects at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, Owoseni said the command, on July 5, received the report of Ogundare’s alleged kidnap, and immediately swung into action in collaboration with other security agencies especially the Department of State Services (DSS).
According to Owoseni, luck ran out on Ogundare when he was apprehended by men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) at Alausa area on July 11 after he was dropped in a suspicious manner by a car which sped off immediately.
He said: “On July 11 about 10p.m., a team of RRS patrol officers working around Alausa had sighted a vehicle drop a male adult in a suspicious manner close by Shoprite on the Secretariat Road. The speed with which that car drove off attracted them to that spot and fortunately before they got to the spot, the car had taken off and a quick enquiry revealed that it was the Baale that was allegedly kidnapped.
“Immediately after while Ogundare was being debriefed, he sold a dummy that the kidnappers dropped him off but unknown to him, it had been found out that on the 5th of July, the day he was allegedly kidnapped in Lagos, investigation had revealed that he was driving in Ibadan around Ashi; he went to Ilorin, he went to Iwo, he was just on a frolic.
“And unknown to him as well that because of information that had gotten to security services that his younger brother and his wife were being questioned and were actually in custody because of some discrepancies that were noticed in the interaction they had with security agencies, and in furtherance of the synergy existing between the police and DSS, we jointly compared notes and our findings were such that the act of the chief was despicable and amounted to crying wolf where there is none.”
Owoseni said while making reports, Adams had told security agencies that he was with the Baale at CMD Hotel when some people who claimed they wanted to buy land whisked them away and later dropped him, but investigation revealed that he (Adams) was not at any time in the hotel with the Baale but was only at the restaurant of the hotel, and after some minutes, he left, and the wife of the Baale actually drove the Venza car allegedly used to abduct the supposed victim into the hotel.
The commissioner added that after the suspects were confronted with the indisputable facts, they had no choice than to confess faking the kidnap.
Owoseni added that immediately after Ogundare was allegedly kidnapped, Adams went to the community and called the town crier to order the whole community to close shops and that markets should not open, an action aimed at inciting members of the community against government.
He said the objective of the suspects was to falsely accuse the Oba of Shangisha as the brain behind the kidnapping, which they indeed did, as a vengeance to him being installed the Oba instead of Ogundare, and also embarrassed government and as well as security agencies for arresting him (Ogundare) when he falsely displayed the number plate of Oba of Shangisha on his car.
Gunmen abduct businessman, kill masquerade, two others
Armed men have kidnapped the Chairman and Chief Executive of Always Petroleum and Gas, Alhaji Otinau Momohjimoh. The oil mogul, who is in his early 40s, was abducted about 8p.m. on Sunday opposite Okene Central Mosque, kogi State, where he often spend time with friends and business associates.
A witness said the gunmen, whose numbers could not be ascertained because it was dark, stormed the place and started shooting sporadically to scare people away. The witness, who identified himself as Usman Ishaq, added that as people were scampering into safety, two of the gunmen held Momohjimoh’s hands and dragged him into their Toyota Camry car and sped away. Ishaq said that the kidnappers were yet to contact the family of the oil magnate and that no ransom had been placed on him.
In a related development, two people and a masquerade were killed at Inoziomi quarters in Adavi Local Government Area during the Ebe festival. The incident, it was learnt, occurred on Saturday between 9p.m. and 10p.m. when gunmen ridding on a motorcycle suddenly opened fire and killed a masquerade and two people on the spot while several others were seriously wounded.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. William Aya, confirmed the killing of the masquerade, but said Momohjimoh’s abduction had not been reported to the command. Aya promised that the perpetrators of the heinous act would be apprehended to face the wrath of the law.
Man impregnates, weds teenage sister in Anambra church
Just like a fairy tale, a 25-year-old man, Mr. Chiadi Ezeibekwe, said he impregnated his 17-year-old younger sister. As if that was not enough, he wedded her at a church at their Agba village in Ekwulobia, Anambra State. Agba youths, who saw the marriage as “an abomination,” burnt down the church where the wedding was consummated.
It was learnt that the wedding was conducted by Chiadi’s elder brother, Mr. Chijioke Ezeibekwe, a Shepherd of Dwelling Fullness of God Church, Agba. Chiadi quoted Deuteronomy 36: 6, which, according to him, permits marriage between brothers and ssters of the same parents. However, a member of the church, who spoke on condition of anonymity, countered that. He referred the brothers to Leviticus 18:9, which clearly speaks against marriage between brother and sister.
A source noted that immediately their eldest brother, Mr. Emeka Ezeibekwe, heard of the “incestuous marriage,” he alerted the clan head, who summoned the family to an emergency meeting. When their father, popularly, known as “Luisco,” was contacted for comments, he said that his concern was a way out of the situation, since according to him, “what has happened, has happened’’.
Addressing the crowd which gathered on their premises, their mother claimed that his son’s action was biblical, saying Chiadi paid her the bride price. Further enquiries showed that Chiadi and some members of the family were baptised into the Adventist Church after leaving their former church in August 2016.
“Since they were baptised into the church, they have been engaged in weird and rebellious behaviour as well as false teachings,’’ said Mr. Onyeka, a member of the Adventist Church in Ekwulobia. “Because of their rebellious attitude and false teachings, the Seventh Day Adventist Church expelled them since May 2017.
Not long after that, Mr. Chijioke Ezeibekwe started his own church,” Onyeka added. It was also learnt that their grandmother passed away a few days after she found out about the marriage. The Igwe-in-Cabinet had since summoned the family for interrogation.
Police probe ex-speaker’s brother’s killing
Police yesterday commenced investigation into the murder of a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a ward rally in Nwofe Primary School, Agbaja, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The victim, Elias Nwankwegu popularly known as Okarika, who is younger brother of former Speaker of the state House of Assembly and Attorney-General, Chief Augustine Nwankwegu, was at the weekend shot dead by suspected thugs during a political gathering.
A man, Emmanuel Nwofe, has been arrested in connection with the killing. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Loveth Odah, confirmed Nwofe’s arrest to our correspondent.
Elias’ body has been deposited at the mortuary of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA 2). Odah said the suspect, Emmanuel, in his statement, denied having a hand in Elias’ killing.
She said: “He is being accused of knowing the killers but he denied the allegation in his statement. He said he heard noises in the classroom and went there to find out what was happening. He said that some people there slapped him and kicked him to the ground and collected his phones.
“Then, shortly after that, he heard a gunshot and he took to his heels. He said he did not know his assailants as they were not from the area.” Odah said the command had also decided to invite other persons at the event for questioning in a bid to find out what actually happened.
She appealed to politicians in the state to always inform the police before carrying out any rally so that the police could deploy officers to the area to ensure safety of lives and property. “When we are not informed, we may not deploy our officers to such event and that is when such things may happen. We were not officially informed of the event,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru, has denied having a hand in Elias’ killing. He was reacting to allegations that the killers were some boys loyal to his faction of the PDP in the area.
The Speaker and former Speaker, Augustine Nwankwegu, have been having a running battle in the constituency since Nwifuru defeated Augustine in the party’s primaries in 2010. Spokesman for the speaker, Mr. Tony Nwizi, exonerated his boss from Elias’ death. Nwizi said that the gathering was a ward meeting not a rally in support of the speaker’s re-election bid as claimed in some quarters.
He said: “What happened is that the party was supposed to hold a ward meeting there. The ward is not even Mr Speaker’s ward but the current Attorney General Cletus Ofoke, who is from the ward called Mr Speaker and begged him to come attend.”
Nwizi said Nwifuru decided to make a brief stop at the meeting on his way to Ikwo Local Government Area for a burial before the incident occurred. Nwizi noted that the victim was Nwifuru’s staunch supporter so the speaker or any of his supporters had no reason to attack one of their allies in the ward.
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