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POLICE SHOOT OSUN PRINCE TO DEATH, HOODLUMS BURN PALACE

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Tragedy struck on Wednesday when policemen allegedly shot a prince, Lukman Olatunji, to death during a scuffle at the entrance to the Akinrun of Ikirun palace, in the Ikirun area of Osun State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the palace had been locked since the new Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Olalekan Akadiri, became the monarch of the town.

In a bid to enable the monarch gain entry into the palace, the armed policemen reportedly stormed the premises to open it.

The situation created unrest as the policemen, while opening fire to scare hoodlums protesting against their action in the community, allegedly shot Olatunji dead.

No fewer than four other persons reportedly sustained bullet wounds when policemen invaded the premises of the palace.

Angered by the development, youths in the community set a building in the palace ablaze and residents scampered to safety due to the tension in the area.

Narrating how the incident happened, a resident in the community, Gboyega Adebayo, said he was on his way to purchase something in the area when he saw policemen storming the palace, adding that a stray bullet from one of the policemen claimed the life of the prince.

He said, “I was on my way to the Oja-Oba area to buy an herbal product. I saw four policemen walking towards the palace. Few minutes later, two vehicles carrying more policemen arrived at the scene.

“They started firing teargas and gunshots into the air around the palace gate. Everyone near the premises ran in different directions to avoid being shot. It was a bullet from their gun that hit a man’s (Olatunji) head. He died on the spot.

“The policemen then brought a welder to help them open the locked gate of the palace. They (police) were shooting to scare people away. Bullets also hit about four other people. Those ones are not dead yet.”

Olatunji’s elder brother, Tajudeen Gboleru, during a telephone conversation with our correspondent, said the policemen were attempting to enter the palace when they shot his brother dead, adding that someone led the policemen to the palace.

He said, “A person trying to enter the palace came to the area with a lot of policemen and soldiers. One of the security men must have fired the shot that hit him.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that men of the state Fire Service were alerted to put out the fire but the angry mob attacked them with charms.

The mob also vandalised the fire truck as the firemen fled the scene for their safety.

However, three firemen reportedly sustained varying degrees of injury and were rushed to hospital for treatment.

Contacted, the spokesperson for Fire Service in the state, Ibrahim Adekunle, confirmed the attack on the firemen.

“They attacked our men. Three of them are still in the hospital receiving treatment. Our fire truck was also vandalised. Our men had to abandon it and run to safety after they were attacked. It was the police that invited us to put out the fire and the mob attacked us,” Adekunle said.

Reacting to the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola, denied killing the deceased, adding that the policemen visited the palace to protect those renovating the building.

Opalola said, “The Commissioner of Police wishes to debunk the news making the rounds that policemen shot at people in Ikirun.

“The true picture of the event is that, while some policemen were at Akinrun palace to protect those renovating it, some armed hoodlums shot at the policemen mobilised to the palace, injuring one Inspector, Obajobi Adedokun and Inspector Raji Abiodun.

“They were rushed to hospital for treatment. They (hoodlums) set the palace ablaze and also attacked the fire brigade personnel and injured one Orunwumi Roseline and Abel Olayinka and attacked their truck while on their way to the palace to put out the fire.

“The CP, therefore, charged parents and guardians to warn their wards to stop this uncivilised act of violence and toe the path of peace. He sternly warned that, anyone found culpable in this unwarranted violence/attack will face the full wrath of the law.”

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BUHARI BRANDS GOVS THIEVES OVER LG FUNDS

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President Muhammadu Buhari

•Accuses them of stealing councils’ funds, remitting half of allocations, stifling rural development

President Muhammadu Buhari has again knocked governors, accusing them of stealing local government funds and stifling development of rural communities.

The criticism came barely 24 hours after the Minister for State Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba had blamed the state executives for the high rate of poverty in the country by investing in the construction of flyovers and airports rather than improving conditions of rural dwellers.

President Buhari, who spoke after delivering his speech at an event hosted for members of the Senior Executive Course 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, flayed governors who collected money on behalf of council areas in their states only to remit half of such funds to council chairmen.

The president said he spoke from personal experience involving a governor he declined to name. He connected the vice to the issue of lack of integrity in many people holding positions like governorship and council chairmanship. He said such behaviour was reprehensible and spoke to the height of corruption in the country.

“I found it necessary to digress after reading my speech and this digression is as a result of my personal experience. What they did, this is my personal experience, if the money from the Federation Account to the state is about N100 million, N50 million will be sent to the chairman but he will sign that he received N100 million. The governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wants to share it with.

“And then the chairman of the local government must see how much he must pay in salaries and to hell with development. When he pays the salaries of the big man, the balance he will put in his pocket. This is what’s happening. This is Nigeria. It’s a terrible thing; you cannot say the person who was doing this is not educated.”

The president urged public office holders to be guided by their conscience and personal integrity on their beats. He pledged that the recommendations contained in the presentation of SEC 44 would be painstakingly studied by with a view to implementing its recommendations.

Declaring that his administration has done so much in building trust between the government and the people, het noted that the report would largely assist in the provision of good governance to the people at the grassroots and by extension win back their trust in government.

“It is obvious that government cannot afford to pay lip-service to the recommendations contained in this report. I assure you that the report will be treated with the seriousness and urgency it deserves. Government will study the report with the view to implementing the carefully detailed recommendations,” he said.

Commending the quality of the report and the commitment and dedication that went into it, President Buhari said the National Institute can always be trusted to deliver on critical and sensitive assignments of national importance. He expressed delight that the Institute has been exceptional in handling several assignments, and the current submission is a commendable improvement on the existing standards.

“The quality of the presentation, and the confidence with which they were made strongly attests to the quality of training the participants received during the course. I congratulate you for justifying the confidence and trust reposed in each and everyone of you by your respective nominations.

He added that he was convinced that they were all now well equipped for the strategic tasks, increased responsibilities, and positions of authority of trust.

“I challenge you to go back to your various establishments, units, posts, beats, departments, directorates, Ministries, Parastatals, commissions, commands, agencies to revitalise, reinvigorate, reform and rejig your various platforms and spheres of influence, responsibility and leadership,” he said.

After listening to some demands by the leadership of NIPSS, President Buhari promised to look into some of the challenges facing the Institute, adding that no government establishment exists without challenges.

He assured them that his administration is poised to complete the review and passage of the NIPSS establishment act and condition of service before handover in May 2023.

To this extent, the President directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation to take all necessary steps to its actualisation.

Director-General of NIPSS, Prof Ayo Omotayo, said the Course participants undertook study tours of 14 States of the Federation, six African countries and six countries outside Africa.

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OGUN POLICE NAB TWO BROTHERS FOR CAR THEFT

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Ogun-State-Map

The Ogun State Police Command has arrested two brothers who reportedly stole a Toyota Camry in Lagos.

The suspects were arrested on Wednesday by its officers on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway while trying to escape with the stolen car to Imo State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Oyeyemi explained that the suspects, who worked at a car wash, stole the car from a customer who took his car to them for a service.

He said, “Police in Ogun State on the 30th of November 2022 arrested two brothers, Emanuel Nwachukwu 28 years. and Sunday Nwachukwu 24 years, for stealing a Toyota Camry with registration number JJJ 661 GJ while on their way taking the said vehicle to Imo state.

“The two suspects were arrested by men of the Federal Highway patrol, who were on a stop-and-search duty along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

“The vehicle was stopped by the policemen for routine check at about 11:30 pm, but while the officers were asking questions from one of them who drove the car, the two brothers who were the occupants suddenly abandoned the car and took to their heels.

“They were hotly chased and apprehended by the policemen, who there and then took them to the Ewu-Oliwo divisional headquarters for proper interrogation.

“On interrogation, the two brothers who live at No 2, Onifade street, Fagba Lagos confessed to stealing the car from one Bello Muyideen Kolawole of Arobaba street, Idimu Lagos.

“Upon their confession, the DPO Ewu-Oliwo division, CSP Toyosi Bello, quickly got in touch with the said owner, who confirmed that the two brothers were working at a car wash very close to his shop, and that he took the car to the place for wash, only for the two brothers to run away with it.”

The PPRO, however, said the Commissioner of Police, CP Lanre Bankole, had directed that the two suspects be transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department for onward transfer to the Lagos State Command, where the crime was originally committed.

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POLICE ARRAIGN CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKETER OVER ALLEGED N51.7M FRAUD

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Cryptocurrency

The Lagos State Police have arraigned a cryptocurrency marketer, Temitope Longe, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for allegedly obtaining the sum of N51,789,222 by false pretence and fraud.

Longe was docked before Justice Tijjani Ringim on the alleged offences by the officers of the Police Special Fraud Unit Ikoyi, Lagos.

The PSFU’s prosecutor, Mr Justin Enang, told the court that the cryptocurrency operator and others now at large, committed the offences in Lagos sometimes in 2017.

Enang told the court that the defendant fraudulently obtained the sum of N25,894,711 from one Dr. Abiodun Adefunrin with false pretence of investing same in cryptocurrencies and forex trading.

He further told the court that the defendant fraudulently obtained the sum of  N25,894,711 property of Francis Aremu, and converted same to his personal use.

According to the prosecutor, the offences committed contravened Sections 8(a) and 1(1){a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

He also told the court that the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as Amended in 2012.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the allegations levelled against him.

Following the defendant’s plea, the prosecutor asked for a trial date and also urged the court to remand him in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services until the determination of the charges against him.

But the defendant through his counsel pleaded with the court to admit him to bail in the most liberal terms.

His counsel told the court that his client was a first-time offender and that charges against him were bailable ones.

Justice Ringim, after listening to the counsels’ submissions, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.

The Judge further ordered that one of the sureties must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 14, among others.

Justice Ringim ordered that the defendant be remanded in NCS custody until when he is able to meet the bail conditions, and adjourned the case to March 30, 2023, for trial.

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