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Left: Ariket, Who Is On The Run, and Mrs. Oduyemi On The Day of Her Arrest

Nine houses belonging to Funmilola Arike Ogbuaya, a Lagos socialite, have been forfeited to the federal government over allegations of drug dealing.

According to NewsMakers, an online medium, this followed the order of a federal high court in Lagos over the weekend.

Known in social circles as Ariket, Ogbuaya will “temporarily” forfeit the identified property to the federal government.

The newspaper said the court order followed a motion ex-parte marked FHC/L/124c/3017, filed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at its sitting on Friday.

Her property listed to be temporarily forfeited include house number 146, Idimu Road, Alimosho, Lagos; 235, Ikotun-Idimu Road, Ikotun, Lagos; 18, Olayiwola Shittu Street, Abaranje, Ikotun, and 13b, Ladipo Kuku, Off Allen Avenue, Ikeja.

Others are: 8, Olufemi Avenue, Omiasoro, Ilesa, Ilesa east LGA, Osun state; 6, Hakeem-One, Momoh Close, Governor’s Road, Ikotun; a plot of land at council area, Cele Bus stop, Idimu-Ikotun, and a plot of land along Papalanto-Shagamu Road, Omu-Penpe Village, Obafemi-Owode LGA, Ogun state.

The medium said Ogbuaya, who is linked to several drug deals, was accused of dealing in narcotic drugs and money laundering.

Also known as Funmilola Ogundipe, she is currently at large.

At the court sitting, Abu Ibrahim, the NDLEA counsel, urged the court to grant the ex-parte application.

He said the application was brought pursuant to section 44(2)(k) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended in 2011), section 3(1)(a)(c), 33(1)(a), 2 and 3, 36(b) of the National Drugs Laws Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and under inherent jurisdiction of the federal high court.

Ibrahim also urged the court “to permit or authorise his agency to place the listed property under seal, pending the arrest and prosecution of Ogbuaya.”

On hearing the submission of the NDLEA counsel, Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari, the presiding judge, granted the motion ex-parte.

The judge ordered that all the listed property belonging to Ariket should be temporarily forfeited to the federal government, pending her arrest and prosecution.

Rabiu-Shagari also ordered Ariket’s alleged accomplice, 57-year-old Morayo Omolara Oduyemi, to be remanded in prison custody, pending ruling on her bail application.

Oduyemi was arraigned during the sitting on a three-count charge of conspiracy, attempts to unlawfully export 1.595 kg of cocaine to Saudi Arabia, and unlawful dealing in narcotic.

She was arrested with the drug by NDLEA operatives on February 23 at Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos.

She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

BIG STORY

Lagos Taskforce Carries Out Late Night Raids In Ikeja, Goes All Out On Street Trading

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In the interest of environmental decorum and maintenance of Lagos State’s Mega City  status, the Lagos State Taskforce has expelled illegal Street traders from Alade Avenue, Orishe Street and Johnson Street, off Obafemi Awolowo Way which had been converted to mini markets and restautarants thereby causing serious human/vehicular traffic obstructions and serious environmental pollution along those routes and adjoining streets.
The two-days raid which was led by the Chairman of the Agency, CSP Adetayo Akerele took place at dusk which it usually the period when the illegal street traders erect make shift shops and place barricades which occupy parts of the road and cause traffic impediments to vehicles trying to access those roads. Their activities have also been noticed to seriously flout laid down environmental laws of the State through indiscriminate disposal of waste and solid materials into the gutters which end up clogging up canals and drainage systems in the Metropolis.
CSP Akerele described the raids which will be a continous exercise as a step made in the interest of the citizenry who have longed for solutions to the menace of street trading which also encourages criminality. Some of these locations serve as safe haven for criminals and they enjoy the proceeds of their criminal activities there. The flooding experienced in some parts of the State is also a result of improper disposal of waste that end up clogging the drainage channels.
“The activities of street traders at Johnson Street, especially at night is repugnant at all levels. They sell drugs indiscriminately there which is counter-productive to the society and they also contribute immensely to traffic build-up on Awolowo Road during rush hour at night when workers who have spent all day at work still shave to spend hours in traffic on Awolowo road just to get home. It is unfair to residents of this area and we will ensure that it is reduced to the barest minimum.”
Akerele reiterated the stand of the State Government on Street Trading and assured that all hands will be on deck to ensure that street trading is a thing of the past. He disclosed that the Agency is collaborating with other sister Agencies to ensure that the environment is preserved as prescribed in the THEMES PLUS agenda of the State Government.
The Chairman appealed to all other recalcitrant street traders and vendors to relocate their stores to designated outlets designed for trading and vacate the streets and inner roads. He assured them that the Agency will visit every nook and cranny where activities of street traders have impeded the flow of traffic and inconvenienced residents one way or the other.
He urged residents who have useful tips concerning street blockages by illegal traders or any other useful information on illegal environmental activities to contact the Agency through thee  social media handles or come forth with them to the Headquarters of the Agency at Bolade Oshodi.
“We will continue to do our job in line with THEMES PLUS agenda of the State Government and the directives of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade  mni, psc.”
All suspects arrested were carefully screened and those with genuine business were allowed to go while others will be charged to court.

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BIG STORY

Appeal Court Affirms Dethroned Magodo Monarch’s Jail Term Over Fake Kidnap

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The Court of Appeal in Lagos has upheld the conviction of Mutiu Ogundare, the former Baale of Shangisha in Magodo, Lagos State, for staging his own abduction.

On September 27, 2022, Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja sentenced Ogundare to 15 years in prison. However, Ogundare appealed the decision, seeking to overturn the conviction.

On Monday, the Court of Appeal heard the case, with Mr. Jubril Kareem representing the respondent and Mr. Kayode Ojo representing the appellant. In a judgment delivered by the lead Justice, Peter Bassi, the three-man panel upheld the lower court’s decision on counts one and two but overturned count three. The other justices on the panel, Bayero and Folashade Ojo, concurred with the lead justice.

While the appeal was partially successful, the court reduced Ogundare’s sentence from 15 years to 12 years. This means that Ogundare will serve a reduced term for his role in faking his own abduction.

The court, however, held, “The appellant is to serve 10 years imprisonment, for count one and two years for counts two, respectively.”

On the third count, the court upturned the sentence in respect of false representation to release a kidnapped person.

The convict was first remanded on July 16, 2017, in Kirikiri Prison, by an Ogba Magistrate’s Court, for allegedly faking his kidnap.

Ogundare was prosecuted alongside his wife, Abolanle and brother, Opeyemi Mohammed.

They were arraigned on three counts bordering on conspiracy, breach of peace and fake kidnapping, preferred against them by the Lagos State government.

Justice Oshodi, on June 15, 2022, convicted Ogundare and his brother Opeyemi Mohammed and reserved judgment till September 27, 2022.

Before their conviction, Ogundare’s  counsel Olarewaju Ajanaku, in his allocutus pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.

Ajanaku told the court that the convict had turned a new leaf and that he did not think through his actions when he committed the offence.

The second defence counsel, Dr. Olayinka Owoeye, also in his allocutus prayed the court to temper justice with mercy adding that the convict (Mohammed),had learnt his lessons.

The said kidnap took place on July 5, 2017, but Ogundare later confessed to security services that he staged the kidnap to blackmail the state government.

He was allegedly abducted by three men along the Centre for Management Development Road, Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area.

The Baale was said to have received a phone call from alleged developers, who had indicated an interest in a landed property within his domain.

The callers told him where to meet them, prompting Ogundare to drive to the address with one of his brothers, Mohammed.

On arriving at the location, the three men appealed to the Baale and his brother to join them in their White Toyota Venza so that they could go and see the land.

It was stated that on their way, the Baale’s brother noticed one of the men had a gun with him and he raised alarm and the suspected kidnapper pushed the Baale’s brother out of the vehicle and sped off with the Baale.

In the same month, the former governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, ordered the removal of Ogundare as the baale of Shangisha.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: CBN Raises Interest Rate To 26.75% Amid Soaring Inflation

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has once again increased the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), a key indicator of interest rates, by 50 basis points.

The MPR has risen from 26.25% to 26.75%, a move aimed at tackling the escalating inflation and surging food prices in the country.

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, made the announcement following the 296th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.

This decision reflects the CBN’s efforts to curb the rising cost of living and stabilize the economy, as inflation continues to pose a significant challenge to the country’s economic growth.

 

More to come…

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