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EFCC Officials Allegedly Tortured Lagos Clubgoers, Forced Out Naked Couple

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Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have been accused by the customers and workers at the Lakers Lounge Hotel and Bar, Ikorodu, Lagos State, of subjecting them to torture during a raid on the facility.

It was gathered that the workers were attending to customers at the club when the armed officials invaded the premises around 11.30 pm on Friday, June 3.

The officials, who were said to have presented no warrant, also allegedly removed the closed-circuit television in the course of the operation.

They allegedly ordered customers and workers to lie on the floor and beat up those who protested against the raid.

A customer, Oladapo Ogunyinka, said the EFCC officials seized peoples’ phones, adding that he had yet to recover his seized property.

He said, “I left Ikeja with two guests to have fun at the club. We were upstairs when the EFCC operatives invaded the premises with guns and sticks. One of them, Olumide, approached our direction with a gun, seized my iPhone PRO Max 13 and Samsung Galaxy A22 valued at N900,000, and ordered us to go down.

“When we got down, the operatives told us to lie down flat. Immediately, the official that seized my phones started doing a video record. The officials went to the hotel attached to the club, broke the doors, and brought lodgers outside. There was a particular couple that came out; the man was wearing only boxers, and the lady, a pair of pants and a bra.

“There was a lady that started convulsing due to the shock of the incident and one of the officers still beat her with a stick and said she was pretending. They treated people like animals; if I am lying, they have the CCTV footage with them, and they should play it.

“They tied us in pairs of two; I explained to one of the operatives that I was a realtor that just came to the club to have fun and he informed the officer that led the operation from Ibadan, Chris Odofin, and I was untied. But they did not release my phones.”

Ogunyinka said the operatives instructed him to visit the EFCC office at Ibadan, Oyo State, to ask for one Momoh to claim his phones, adding that despite visiting the office, he had yet to retrieve his property.

“I had nothing incriminating on my phones, so I visited their office, asked for Momoh, who took me to where the seized phones were kept, but I didn’t see my phones. I became angry and started shouting and luckily, I was able to identify the person that seized my phones and Momoh also saw the officer.

“So, their boss had to intervene and told Momoh to call the officer. Their boss, who is a woman, gave them 72 hours to produce my phones, but till date, they have yet to produce them. It is surprising that I gave my phones to an EFCC official and he stole my phones instead of tendering them as exhibits.

“The incident was a nightmare. They harassed customers and workers at the club and didn’t even interview most people. I explained everything to their boss in Ibadan and she was just apologizing,” he added.

The Human Resources Manager at the club, Ajoke Quadri, said the EFCC officials presented no warrant, adding that business activities at the club had been paralyzed after the raid.

She said, “The EFCC officials destroyed the club’s property; they burst into my office and the safe where I keep staff documents. They also destroyed the camera room, took all the DVR and hard drive, and cut the wires connecting the CCTV.

“We also have a hotel attached to the club. They took the master card from our receptionist, went to the hotel’s rooms and the rooms where the master card wasn’t letting them gain entry, they broke down the doors, raised the beds up and brought out lodgers.

“About 105 people work with us; but those operatives harassed my staff, including Gloria Nwankwo, and one of my supervisors, among others on duty. We had to rush the supervisor to a hospital as he could not hear properly after the attack.

“They also burst into my boss’ office, took away three tablets used to punch in sales; they took two phones we used for receiving company transfer alerts. All staff and customers’ phones were taken; most of my staff had to go to Ibadan to retrieve their phones.

“I had to also go to Ibadan to retrieve some of our property. It was when I got to Ibadan that I was able to assist some of the people, including a nurse that was arrested at De Butler’s club but had no money to return to Lagos.”

It was earlier reported that officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency recently raided the club and allegedly brutalized customers and damaged some property.

CCTV installed on the club premises revealed as the NDLEA operatives ordered customers to raise their hands while they searched their pockets, bags, and purses one after the other.

As seen in the video clip, customers, who resisted the search, were beaten and forcefully dragged from the club during the raid.

In 2019, men of the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command also invaded the club and seized from its customers and workers valuables and cash running into several millions of naira.

The management of the club had sought redress over the incident as the Lagos State Police Command arrested 13 of the 19 police operatives for professional misconduct.

Counsel for the club, Femi Martins, lamented the constant raids on the club by security agents, noting that some rivals were trying to perpetrate unfair actions to run the club out of business.

A rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said a lot of victims had been wrongly arrested and stigmatized in the guise of searching for Internet fraudsters, adding that those whose rights were violated should seek redress in court.

He said, “EFCC in recent times has become arbitrary in the way its operatives go about the discharge of their functions. There have been several allegations about the highhandedness of the commission in handling cases regarding cybercrime.

“In their attempt to go after the so-called Yahoo boys, they continuously violate the rights of innocent people. It is expected that before such an operation takes place, a proper search warrant would have been obtained to enable the commission to have legal access to the private property of citizens whether it is built for business or residential purposes.

“And a search warrant has to be targeted at a specific property and individual. Before a search warrant is issued under the administration of the criminal justice act, there has to be reasonable suspicion.

“In a situation where they just invade premises and pick people indiscriminately, and begin to scout for evidence implicating the people that they have arrested, it is not a lawful way of enforcing the law.”

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, had in a statement said the commission arrested 140 suspects in separate sting operations at popular hotels, including Lakers Lounge Hotel and Bar and De Butlers, following credible intelligence on their involvement in internet-related fraud.

“Items recovered from the suspects include exotic cars, electronic devices, laptop computers, and mobile phones. The suspects will be charged to court as soon as the investigations are concluded,” the statement said.

Contacted for a follow-up reaction, Uwujaren said, “There is nothing to add to the statement that we issued.”

BIG STORY

‘Obidients’ Threatening To Burn Down Afrika Shrine – Femi Kuti

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Afrobeat singer Femi Kuti has alleged that some people threatened to burn down the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja over reports that he called supporters of Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi ‘zombies’.

The 60-year-old said this in a video posted on Instagram on Friday night, where he insisted he never called Mr Obi’s supporters ‘zombies’.

On Friday, reports that he described the LP candidate’s supporters as zombies emerged.

The singer immediately debunked the report, describing it as misleading.

In a performance at the Afrika Shrine on Thursday night, Mr Kuti said that at 60, he could not be obedient.

Supporters of the LP candidate refer to themselves as ‘Obidients’.

The threat
Despite clearing the air, the singer said he woke up to a barrage of insults and abuses by people whom he described as Mr Obi’s supporters.

He said, “I woke up today to insults abusing me, my family and my children, threatening that they will burn the shrine because they said I said Peter Obi’s supporters are zombies.”

Clearing the air, Mr Kuti said that he was too angry, too sad, and depressed to be obedient.

“How can anybody come up with that term? I cannot be ‘Obedient’ in this country with END SARS killings, my grandmother was killed, my father’s house burnt, and I’m supposed to be obedient.

“Did I call Peter Obi supporters zombies? Did I say that? No. What does ‘obedient’ mean? I wouldn’t say I like that terminology for myself and will never use it.

“Nothing can make me obedient. I’m too angry, too sad, too depressed to be. Stop threatening to burn the shrine, stop threatening my children, stop that rubbish,” he said.

He went on to express his reservations about Mr Obi’s candidacy.

He said, “Obi went to greet Obasanjo. That makes me sceptical. Obi went to meet Babangida. Who? Me? My family believes these people are a part of the problem in this country.

“Well, some people will say no. That is your business; you have the right to think like that if that is what you believe is good for you. But you, too, cannot tell me how to think.

“I have my reservations. I do. You cannot tell me not to have reservations.”

What transpired
An online publication reported his speech at the Afrika Shrine with the headline, ‘Femi Kuti says Obidients are zombies’.

In its report, the publication likened the Grammy nominee’s speech to his Father’s 1976 acclaimed song, ‘Zombie’.

The publication quoted the ‘Sorry Sorry’ crooner said, “You know what obedience means? Stand up, sit down, sit there — zombie.”

In his response, Mr Kuti said that the publication took his words out of context.

“You are such liars. What benefit is it to the people when you take my words out of context like this?”

He further added that he also gave his reasons for not trusting anyone else too in the present Nigerian political arena.

What actually happened
From the clip posted by People’s Gazette on YouTube, it appeared that Mr Kuti had paused a performance to talk about the 2023 presidential election.

He said, “At 60, why am I obedient? All my life, I don’t even remember a good time.

“I fear for my children; you say I should be obedient. Sit down. Be peaceful. That’s the meaning of obedience. ‘Obedient’, that was the Vice President of Atiku?

“Are you all ok in this country? Be obedient to who? Dem don suffer my life, make I come still dey stand up, obedient.”

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Akwa Ibom Monarch To Die By Hanging For Murder

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Akwa Ibom State High Court presided by Justice Edem Akpan, has sentenced 82-year-old Village Head of Efen Ibom in Ika Local Government Area of the State, Chief Essien Matthew Odiong, to death by hanging for murder.

The monarch, married to 12 wives and has 60 children, was standing trial on four counts of conspiracy, directing unlawful trial by ordeal, stealing of the motorcycle, and murder of the owner, one Udoma Udo Ubom.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Akpan said the court found the accused guilty of the murder of the deceased by injecting some chemical substance on him, leading to his death on 26th April 2017.

According to the judgment, the late Ubom was accused by his brothers of being a wizard and was reported to the Village Head, who brought him before the Council, where the deceased was administered an oath to swear and prove his innocence.

The court held, “Having sensed the consequences of his criminal activity, the monarch escaped from the Village since 2017 and returned in 2019 when he was arrested by the Police.”

Justice Akpan stated, “The accused had voluntarily admitted that he sat at Efen Clan Council with five other village heads and members of the Clan Council to try the deceased on the allegation of witchcraft, and the law has relieved the prosecution of the burden to prove the offense of conspiracy.”

The court further held, “The admission of the process of trial and the decision of Efen Clan Council to administer oath on the deceased, has logically brought to the conclusion that a plastic bath on the head of the late Udoma Akpan Udo Ubom and injecting some chemical substance through a syringe into his buttocks by the village head, caused the death of the deceased.”

Justice Edem Akpan sentenced the Village Head to death by hanging for murder, seven years imprisonment with hard labor for directing unlawful trial by ordeal, and three years imprisonment for conspiracy with others now at large.

However, before the sentence was announced, the convicted Village Head, popularly known as ‘Kill and Bury’ pleaded for leniency, asking the Court to temper justice with mercy.

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”It’s Totally False And Malicious”, 2Face Debunks Rumour He Got A Banker Pregnant

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Nigerian singer, 2face Idibia has debunked reports he got a banker pregnant.

His manager, Efe Omorogbe released a statement debunking the rumor this afternoon, August 13.

Recall that few days ago, 2face came on social media to apologize to his wife, Annie Idibia, for being a “Shitty husband”.

Shortly after he shared his apology post, some social media users claimed he apologized publicly because he got a banker pregnant.

The singer has now debunked the report.

Read the statement below…

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