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Court Declares Men Not Guilty Of Murder Charge After Spending 36 Years In Prison

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Three men in Baltimore, United States, who spent 36 years in prison were found innocent on Monday, November 25, of the 1983 murder of a teenage boy who was shot dead over a jacket.

Alfred Chestnut, Andrew Stewart and Ransom Watkins were serving life sentences for the shooting of DeWitt Duckett, a 14-year-old student at Harlem Park Junior High School in West Baltimore.

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Duckett was shot in the neck inside his school and had his Georgetown University jacket stolen. It was the first fatal shooting of a student in a Baltimore public school and drew widespread press attention at the time.

“These three men were convicted, as children, because of police and prosecutorial misconduct,” Baltimore state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, said after the three were formally exonerated by a city circuit court judge and released from prison.

“What the state, my office, did to them is wrong,” Mosby said. “They deserve so much more than an apology. We owe them real compensation — and I plan to fight for it.”

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In a statement, the state’s attorney office said “detectives targeted the three men, all 16-year-old Black boys, using coaching and coercion of other teenage witnesses to make their case.”

According to the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP), which worked to secure the release of the “Harlem Park Three,” four teenage witnesses identified Chestnut, Stewart and Watkins at their trial but later recanted their testimony.

The witnesses initially said one person committed the shooting but identified the three as the assailants under pressure from police, the MAIP said in a statement

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Chestnut was later seen wearing a Georgetown jacket but his mother produced a receipt for the jacket of the university made popular by its basketball team.

At a press conference following the release of the three, Watkins said “this should have never happened.”

“Somebody’s got to pay for this,” he said. “You can’t just leave this like this.

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“This fight is not over,” Watkins said. “You all will hear from us again.”

The exoneration of the three men followed a joint investigation by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, MAIP and other groups.

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Abducted Ondo Monarch Regains Freedom

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The monarch of Oso Ajowa Akoko in in Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Clement Jimoh, who was kidnapped, has regained freedom.

The traditional ruler, who was abducted in his palace, was set free by the bandits after he had spent seven days in their den.

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According to a family source, the monarch was freed on Wednesday evening and he had been taken to the hospital where he was receiving treatment.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Ondo Monarch, Police Launch Probe

Kabiyesi regained freedom yesterday (Wednesday) evening but he has been taken to the hospital for treatment,” the source stated.

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Details later…

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Withdrawal Limits: Senate Raises Concerns, To Debate New CBN

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A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

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The Senate has raised concerns about the latest Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy on cash withdrawals.

Senate Minority Leader Phillip Aduda in a point of order during plenary on Wednesday called the attention of his colleagues to the new policy and demanded for caution as it will affect many Nigerians, especially small business owners.

In his response, Senate President Ahmad Lawan cautions the CBN not to approach the policy by jumping into it at once as many Nigerians will be affected.

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He further noted that there is a need to engage the CBN in discussions to get more details of the policy and he directs the committee on banking to discuss this matter during the screening of the CBN Deputy Governors expected to hold before next week.

The Senate has set next Tuesday to debate the new CBN policy.

Under the new withdrawal policy, the CBN restricted the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week to N100,000 and N500,000 respectively.

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READ ALSO: CBN’s New Policy Will Lead To More Job Losses, Disorganize Businesses – University Don

The CBN stated, however, that withdrawals above the thresholds would attract processing fees of 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively for individuals and corporate entities going forward.

In addition, third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for OTC payment while extant limits of N10 million on clearing cheques still remain.

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The new withdrawal regime further pegged the maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated teller Machine (ATM) at N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.

 

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IGP Launches Portal To Report Stolen Vehicles

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As precautionary measures to tackle vehicle theft, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has launched a platform for Nigerians to report cases of stolen vehicles.

Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, said the digitalized platform – Central Motor Registry (CMR) – successfully completed and commissioned by the IGP is situated at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

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He said the platform launch followed the “IGP’s quest to ensure a digital environment for policing the country for robust and more proactive measures in crime prevention, investigation, and prosecution.”

“The newly digitalized Central Motor Registry Command Centre will make it possible for members of the public to report vehicles stolen from as far back as 1st January, 2018, and yet-to-be-recovered to input the vehicle details on the online platform to serve as a reliable data point for the possible recovery of the vehicle,” he stated.

“The platform will also process motor vehicle information to support police operations and efforts toward enhancing national security.”

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READ ALSO: APC, PDP, LP Chieftains In Heated Debate Over Nigeria’s Economic Woes

With the CMR having two Command Centres in Abuja and Lagos, Adejobi said 37 Information Centres are located across the Country and in the Federal Capital Territory, with 200 e-Enforcement Operational Patrol Vehicles with automatic number plate recognition on each vehicle as part of the first batch.

He also asked Nigerians and other residents in the country to take advantage of the platform at https://reportcmr.npf.gov.ng to upload their vehicle information on the website with effect from today 7th December, 2022, as a security step for preventing it from being stolen and re-registered.

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