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BIG STORY

Deji Ogunsakin Deny Involvement In Ekiti State #EndSARS Protest

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Deji Ogunsakin, a former Ado-Ekiti Local Government Chairman and running mate to Prof. Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate on July 14, 2019 governorship election in Ekiti State has denied sponsoring the ongoing #EndSARS protest in the state.

Read his full statement below:

My attention has been drawn to a misleading and malicious news report alleging my involvement in the violence that erupted in Ekiti State during the protest by Ekiti youths demanding an end to police brutality.

For the records, let me state equivocally that I am completely in support of these peaceful protests against police brutality and the proscription of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) among other pertinent demands by Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.

Every democratically-elected government is answerable to the people and the people will always demand from them the dividends of democracy whenever the need arises. Most importantly, young people have a right to protest and demand a better country in an orderly and reasonable manner. In my Lagos base, I have joined the #EndSARS protest a few times and I have pictures to back this up.

I, therefore, find it very shocking and worrisome to have been linked with one Moyin, who was said to have been arrested in Ado-Ekiti today, for being the mastermind of the disturbance in the state capital.

Though the reported arrest in itself is still in the realm of rumour, as it has not been confirmed by the police authority in Ekiti State, I must state clearly that I have never met or spoken to the said Moyin.

I have also made far-reaching inquiries among our party members and leaders and nobody, as yet, can identify him.

Therefore, how he allegedly came up with my name and that of my leader, His Excellency, Dr. Ayodele Fayose, the former Governor of Ekiti State, as his sponsors, as circulated by agents of the APC in Ekiti State is still a mystery I am yet to unravel.

It is important to say however that the people of Ekiti are well informed about the thugs who went about unleashing terror on the protesters and innocent residents of Ado today. The gun-wielding thugs and their sponsors are known.

It is also not hidden that a bus branded in the name of one of the former governorship aspirants of APC was used by the armed today.

Personally, I have no hidden agenda, no enemy to fight, and absolutely no need to sponsor thugs to aid a protest that I have openly participated in here in Lagos.

I urge the people to fully cooperate with the police as they investigate this matter.

I have equally informed my lawyers to immediately file charges against the peddlers of the fake news.

I remain committed to the peace and unity of my state and dear country but truth be told, we must all “Soro Soke” for a better Nigeria.

Hon. Deji Ogunsakin
Former Deputy Governorship candidate, People’s Democratic Party, PDP
Ekiti State

BIG STORY

Six Foreigners, Nigerian Jailed Seven Years For Oil Theft In Rivers [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced six foreigners and a Nigerian to seven years imprisonment for oil theft.

Justice Kolawole Omotosho gave the sentence yesterday after three years of prosecution of the convicts by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They include Mohammed Ejaz and Nasser Khan – Pakistanis; Oleksandr Nazarenko and Oleksandr Kashernvi – Ukrainians; Romeo Annang – Ghanaian, Fredrik Omenu – Indonesian; and David Otuohi – Nigerian.

The convicts were arraigned for oil theft alongside four other persons – Victor Mikpayi (Beninois), Francis Ahorlu and Kwesi Attah (Ghanaians), and Victor Azebiri (Nigerian).

But the four others were discharged and acquitted by the court.

They were all docked alongside a company – Asztral Shipping Corporation SA, and a Vessel, MT. TECNE (also known as MT STAR), on four counts of conspiracy, dealing in petroleum products without a license, and tampering with oil pipelines.

When the charges were read to them, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to them.

Their pleas prepared grounds for their trial that lasted three years during which the EFCC presented evidence and witnesses who testified against the defendants in court.

In his judgment yesterday, Justice Omotosho found the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eleventh defendants guilty of all the four charges and sentenced them to seven years imprisonment, with an option of a fine of N2 million each.

According to the court, the sentences run concurrently from their date of arraignment.

On the other hand, the first, eighth, ninth, and tenth defendants were discharged and acquitted on the ground that “they were not linked to the commission of the crime”.

The company involved in the crime – Asztral Shipping Corporation SA – was wound up by the court while the vessel carrying the offensive crude oil was forfeited to the Federal Government.

The suspected oil thieves ran into troubled waters when their ship was intercepted by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) DELTA on April 25, 2017, at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Afremo ‘A’ Terminal, South East of Escravos in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

The ship was seized for illegal loading of petroleum products suspected to be crude oil.

Members of the crew, according to the EFCC, connived with Victor Azeberi, one Peter Ala, and David Ogoma (who is at large), to siphon about 1905.836 cubic liters of crude oil.

The ship had no clearance from relevant Nigerian maritime agencies to navigate in Nigerian waters and all the foreign crew on board the ship had no valid documents to enter the country.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Court Orders Arrest Of Maina’s Son, Summons Surety

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday revoked the bail granted Faisal Maina, the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, and ordered his arrest for jumping bail in his trial on money laundering charges.

Justice Okon Abang also ordered that his trial on money laundering charges would proceed in absentia pending when the security agencies would be able to arrest and produce him in court.

The judge also summoned his surety, a member of the House of Representatives, Sani Umar Dangaladima, representing the Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, to appear in court to show cause why he should not forfeit the N60m bail bond which he signed for Faisal.

The order for Faisal’s arrest came barely six days after the same court, on November 18, issued a similar order against his father, Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, who is facing separate N2.1bn money laundering charges before the court.

On Monday, Justice Okon Abang, sent Maina’s surety, Senator Ali Ndume, to jail for his inability to produce the fleeing defendant in court.

Earlier on Tuesday, following the judge’s November 18 ruling, Maina’s trial held in his absence with three prosecution witnesses testifying behind him and his legal team.

At the resumed hearing of Faisal’s trial on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, said both the defendant and his surety had not attended court since June 24, 2020.

Neither Faisal, his surety, nor his lawyer was present at the Tuesday’s proceedings.

Abubakar, therefore, applied the revocation of his bail and his arrest citing section 184 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act.
The prosecution also applied for the court to order his trial in absentia as provided by 352(4) of ACJA.

“My third application is for the issuance of summons on the surety, and for him to show cause why he should not forfeit the bail bond,” Abubakar added.

The judge granted the prayers and adjourned till Wednesday.

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#EndSARS: CNN Dares Nigerian Govt, Releases Second Report On Lekki Shootings [VIDEO]

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Amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government over its investigative report on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests, CNN has released a second report on the incident.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week described CNN’s report on the Lekki shootings as poor journalism, adding that the network deserved to be sanctioned.

Mohammed also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of CNN in Atlanta.

However, the network on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.

The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig. Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.

The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig. Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.

The fresh report also shows protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.

The National Broadcasting Commission, which is overseen by the information minister, had last month slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.

The Federal Government has been receiving flak from members of the United Kingdom Parliament and Amnesty International over the killing of protesters.

 

Video Credit: CNN

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