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Herdsmen invade Ondo, sack LG secretariat

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Couples abandon wedding ceremonies, workers flee

Our people may result to self-help –Monarch

 

LLike a scene from Hollywood movie, armed men believed to be Fulani herdsmen yesterday invaded Akure South Local Government Secretariat in Akure, the Ondo State capital, sacked the workers and paralysed activities.

This came as the paramount ruler of Akure, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call his men to order to prevent reprisal by his subjects. Civil servants, political appointees and guests took to their heels on seeing about 30 machete-wielding herdsmen who invaded the secretariat through a bush path. Some about-to-wed couples abandoned the engagement ceremonies and ran for safety on seeing the herdsmen who stormed the secretariat with different dangerous weapons. The grooms and brides ran in different directions and abandoned the venue of the wedding ceremonies that were taking place in one of the halls in the secretariat.

The officiating ministers and the cultural troupe ran helterskelter on seeing the herdsmen in the secretariat. The herdsmen invaded the council secretariat from the back gate that leads to a swampy area being cultivated by some workers of the local government.

The crisis, according to workers, started when a worker in the Agriculture Department, Mr. Simon Johnson, resisted grazing on his vegetable farm behind the council secretariat. Johnson was said to have told one of the herders grazing on his farm to leave and move to another place.

The source said: “This led to an argument between them. The Fulani herdsman left the scene to mobilise his friends to attack the council. In the process, the herdsmen attacked two of the workers with machetes.”

While running into safety, several workers, guests of the couples and political office holders sustained various degrees of injury.

Workers who fled their respective offices vowed not to return until their security can be guaranteed. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, who led policemen to the secretariat to assess the situation, said no arrest had been made.

Adeyanju also led the Commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr. Pedro Awili Ideba, to curtail the situation.

The Local Government Chairman, Mrs. Margret Atere, who confirmed the story, described the incident as unfortunate as Fulani herdsmen had been grazing in the area for a while. She, however, said the local government secretariat would not be closed because of the incident.

The chairman said the workers only marched to the gate to protest what happened and work would resume immediately. Atere, however, called for dialogue between the herdsmen and the officials of the council to give room for peace and to avoid fur ther occurrence of the incident. She commended the security agencies over their prompt response to the herdsmen’s invasion.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mrs. Bosede Daramola, said the workers would return to their workplace if their safety was guaranteed. According to her, some workers were injured in the process of running into safety and since there was water and vegetables in the area, the herdsmen would always return.

Mr. Oluwasegun Ajiboye, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said the governor had summoned security meeting to access the security in the state. Oba Aladelusi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Michael Adeyeye, said any other attack might incur the wrath of the people.

Reacting to the invasion of Akure South Local Government Area secretariat, the monarch condemned the activities of the herdsmen who overran the council and equally destroyed the farm belonging to the council.

Aladelusi described the invasion as barbaric, provocative and an attempt to stir up trouble in the peaceful city of Akure. The traditional ruler wondered why the herdsmen would have chosen to lead their cattle to graze on the farmland belonging to the council if not an attempt to create crisis in town.

He said: “The herdsmen went as far as injuring workers of the council who had made frantic efforts to prevent the wanton destruction carried out on the farm. “It is sad to say that no major arrest or prosecution had been made by the police since the attack on Chief Olu Falae’s farm, now the arsonists who parade themselves as herdsmen target the local government as their next port of call.” Adeyeye said: “His Majesty wishes to call on President Buhari not to treat the issue of these notorious herdsmen with kid gloves as their activities are becoming worrisome and unbearable. Akure people can no longer tolerate the excesses of these herdsmen who are now making live unbearable with their nefarious attitudes.

“Oba Aladetoyinbo wishes to make passionate appeal to the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who is the Chief Security Officer of the state, to take proactive measure in curbing the menace. “His Majesty wishes to call on the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police and all the security agencies to take more decisive action and ensure that the arsonists are brought to justice. “It is important to act now to avoid self-defence by our people once we are left with no option.”

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Metro and Crime

Court dissolves 18-year-old marriage over abandonment

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An Idi-Ogungun Customary Court, Agodi, in Ibadan, on Friday dissolved the 18-year-old marriage between one Fatimo Taiwo, 35, and her husband, Lukman, on ground of abandonment.

The President of the court, Chief Mukaila Balogun, said the court was left with no option than to dissolve the marriage since the defendant had urged the court to uphold the divorce request of his wife.

Balogun said that failure of the husband to defend the allegations brought before the court further proved that he had made up his mind to end the union.

He, therefore, dissolved the marriage and gave custody of the only child of the union to the plaintiff.

The president ordered the defendant to pay N4,000 monthly allowance for the upkeep of the child.

Fatimo had prayed the court to order her husband to be responsible for the upkeep of the only child of the union.

In her testimony before the court on Friday, the plaintiff alleged that her husband was insensitive to her welfare.

“He preferred spending his money on other women so, I urge the court to separate us and direct him to perform his role as a father of the only child between us,” the plaintiff pleaded.

Responding, Lukman, 39, said he would not say anything regarding the allegations leveled against him, but urged the court to uphold the request of his wife. (NAN).

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Metro and Crime

8 men in court for allegedly causing public nuisance

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Eight men were arraigned in a Karu Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, for allegedly causing public nuisance within Karu, Abuja.

The defendants: Friday Ochonu, Mike Ogbole, Michael Chukwuma, Charles Eze, Mohammed Sani, Mose Ikeh, Henry Akpata and Michael Ebuka, all denied committing the offence.

The prosecutor, Vincent Osuji, told the court that the defendants, ages ranging from 19 years to 37 years, were arrested on May 16.

He said that they were arrested by a team of policemen, led by SP. Pinder Yinusa, the Area Crime Officer, attached to Karu Area Command.

According to him, following intelligent reports on criminal activities within the area; at about 11p.m. the team raided a black-spot at Ugo West, in Karu.

The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 198 of the Penal Code.

The judge, Hassan Ishaq, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N10, 000 each, with one surety each in like sum and adjourned the case until June 4, for hearing. (NAN)

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Metro and Crime

Soldiers, naval rating, others arrested for robbery, rape, abduction

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  • Suspect: We rape, record video for fun

Police in Oyo State yesterday paraded two military personnel and another, who deserted the Army, for criminal activities at the Police Command Headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, Oyo State. They were among 49 suspects paraded by the Police Commissioner, Mr. Abiodun Odude. Private Azeez Olaide (22) serving in 202 Battalion, Bama, Maiduguri, Borno State and Ibrahim Lawal (22), who deserted from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, Kaduna State in 2004 were nabbed for kidnapping, robbery and rape. But a naval rating, Lance Corporal Jimoh Adesoye (28), was arrested for armed robbery, using his uniform to transport vehicles snatched by his gang to dispose them off. Adesoye confessed that he bought two vehicles which he knew were stolen.

Speaking with journalists, Odude said that the 49 suspects were arrested for sundry offences including armed robbery, conspiracy, kidnapping, impersonation, and obtaining money by false pretence. Exhibits recovered from them include 12 arms, 123 ammunition, five vehicles, nine motorcycles, military camouflage, cutlasses, jewellery, mobile phones, criminal charms generating set, and cash.

Olaide along with his accomplices, Ibrahim Lawal and Kehinde Adeniji (29) who were arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Oyo State Police Command with four pairs of military camouflage, a pair of military desert boots and a fake military identification card, were armed with guns, Jack knife and other dangerous weapons and abducted a man, Rasak Michael, and his girlfriend, Rashidat, at Mobil area, Oluyole, Ibadan April 31 about 5p.m.

“They took the victims to a hotel where they were kept till the next day. While in captivity, the suspects took turns to rape the female victim and videotaped the sexual escapade for purpose of blackmail in future,” the commissioner said. He also said that the victims were defrauded of large sums of money through their ATM cards, the PIN numbers of which the suspects had forcibly obtained. Olaide said: “It happened that we raped a girl and collected her money worth N145,000 and I transferred the money into my account.

We arrested a guy and his girlfriend and took them to the KSA Hotel in New Garrage where we raped his girlfriend and we recorded it. We just did it for fun; we did not mean to do anything with the video in the future.

It was myself and Ibrahim that raped the girl. I am a serving soldier and I am the one that usually give my friends soldier camouflage to use during our operations.” In his account, Adesoye confessed that he received two snatched vehicles from his accomplices and helped disposed them off. He said: “I knew the vehicles were stolen before I bought and resold them.

I know what I did was wrong, but it was Satan that led me into it.” Some of the suspects are Lateef Isa (25); Taiwo and Kehinde Yekini (23); the gang leader, Tunji Ismail (21 and Adeyemo Babajide (23). Others are Saka Jamiu (20), Akin Akin Gbade (35, the gang’s armourer from who a pump action was recovered), Mudashiru Abdullahi (29), Rasheed Adeniran (26), Lukman Jimoh (35), Dauda Lamidi (24) and Waheed Ganiyu (30), who was last December released on bail from the Abolongo Prison, Oyo. Adesoye said: “I am from Ogun State. I am a seaman in the Nigerian Navy.

What led to my arrest was that I bought two stolen vehicles from these robbery suspects. It was one of my friends who introduced me to them. When I told him that I needed a car, the man said he was an importer and exporter.

I asked my friend who bought a new car if I can get one as well. That was why he introduced me to those guys. “Though I have my personal car that I am using, I said I wanted to change it and my friend said he would connect me with a man that sold him his car. A few days later they called me that the car was ready. I have two cars from the gang and I was later aware that the cars were stolen ones. “Though I know it is not right for me to buy such cars, I am so sorry. I realise now that I am at fault on this matter.”

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