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Four Docked Over journalist’s Murder



A Slovak businessman and three others appeared in court for the first time on Thursday to face charges over the murder of an investigative journalist and his fiancée , a case that triggered mass protests against corruption.

Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova , both 27 , were gunned down in their house outside the capital Bratislava in 2018.

As she arrived in court , Zlatica Kusnirova ’ s mother demanded that Kuciak ’ s unfinished investigations be resolved.

Prosecutors say entrepreneur Marian Kocner , a subject of Kuciak’ s reporting on fraud cases involving politically -connected businessmen , had contracted his killing .

The murders stoked public anger over perceived corruption in Slovakia , forcing Prime Minister Robert to resign .

His Smer party will face a tight election on February 29.

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The case is a test of Slovak police and judicial independence given that the investigation exposed business and personal links between Kocner , the police , and public officials.

“ We will be satisfied only when all the cases Kuciak wrote about are solved.

“ Then their deaths will make at least some sense.

“ It’ s not enough to convict the murderers , ” Kusnirova ’ s mother told newsmen as she entered the Special Criminal Court in Pezinok near the capital Bratislava.

At Thursday ’ s hearing, judges will either set the date for the trial or ask prosecutors to submit more evidence.

At the start of the hearing , the prosecutor and all defendants – including two men who allegedly carried out the murder and a woman accused of being an intermediary said no when asked by the judge if they wanted a deal for a reduced sentence in exchange for a confession.

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Alena Zsuzsova, who prosecutors say was an intermediary , said : “ I am not interested, I am innocent . ”
They will all face up to life in prison if convicted .

The court may impose a reduced sentence if they confess during the main trial.

Slovak media and Kuciak’ s family lawyer have said one the defendants had admitted during the investigation to be the shooter.

A fifth man has confessed to facilitating the killing and has made a plea deal with prosecutors to act as a witness .

Prosecutors said in August they had extracted tens of thousands of messages from Kocner ’ s phone containing communication with “representatives of state bodies and the justice system ” .

The revelations caused several senior officials to resign .

Slovakia ’ s former chief prosecutor was charged with abuse of power in a case also involving Kocner .

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( Reuters /NAN via Punch )



Police Declare Man Wanted Over Homos*xual Act



A 50-years old man, Edo Omusi, has been declared wanted by the police in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, for disappearing after being ‘caught’ in a same s*x act in Ogiso community.

A source close to the police in the state, told our correspondent that the suspect, and one of his male friends, whose name was not given, were sighted at an undisclosed location by some youths as they were comitting the act.

Under Nigerian Laws, any person caught in the gay act is liable to 14 years in prison and if found by the community could be killed.

The duo were said to have been deeply engrossed in the act when they were found but before the person who saw them in the , “sinful and abominable act”, went for back up, they had escaped the location.

The incident which occurred on 25/4/23 at Ogiso area of the town almost threw the community into a turmoil as irate youths welding sticks and cudgels rampaged the community in search of the duo to lynch them.

It was also learnt that worried by the trend the youths in the community had to set up a surveillance team to monitor his movements. It was on one of the surveillance trips that he was reportedly caught on the fateful day, with the unidentified male partner.

It was gathered since the community reported the incident to the police, the whereabouts of the suspect, Edo Omusi has since remained unknown by all and sundry.

Speaking on the development, a top Police official confirmed the matter and explained that the Crime Investigation Department of the command is working round the clock to arrest the suspect, having declared him a wanted person.

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Man, 41, Sent To Prison For Groping Woman’s Breast



A Badagry Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, on Friday, ordered the remand of a 41-year-old man, Ibrahim Lemo, for groping the breast of a woman.

The court heard that Lemo beat up his victim, Zainab Babalola, when she demanded he stopped the unlawful act

Chief Magistrate Fadahunsi Adefioye remanded Lemo after he pleaded guilty to a two count bordering on assault.

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Adefioye ordered that the defendant should be remanded in Awhajigoh Correctional Centre, Badagry.

He adjourned the case until April 14 for facts and sentencing.

Earlier, the prosecutor, ASP. Clément Okuoimose, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on April 6 at 2.30 p.m. at Badagry Roundabout shopping complex, Badagry, Lagos.

Okuoimose said Lemo without lawful excuse pressed the breast of the complainant, Zainab Babalola.

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He said the defendant also hit the complainant on her left eye and caused her harm after she asked him not to touch her again.

The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 134 and 170 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.


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Hushpuppi’s Associate, Woodberry, Pleads Guilty, Forfeits $8m, Assets



Olalekan Jacob Ponle, known as Mr Woodberry, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

He also agreed to forfeit $8 million in proceeds of wire fraud as well as luxury cars and watches to the foreign government.

Woodberry, a known associate of the now-imprisoned internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, recently in a plea declaration submitted at the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on April 6, pleaded guilty to count one of the indictments, the Peoples Gazette reports.

According to his plea agreement, he is required to pay back the sum of $8 million he fraudulently received from the seven companies that he scammed.

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“Defendant understands that by pleading guilty, he will subject to forfeiture to the United States all right, title, and interest that he has in any property constituting or derived from proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of the offence,” stated the document containing Mr Ponle’s signed plea declaration.

Woodberry was also asked to waive his rights to the luxury cars, and designer watches he had stashed in Dubai.

The high-end automobiles include Rolls Royce Cullinan with vehicle no J9153, Lamborghini Urus (N4973) and Mercedes-Benz G-class (G68816).

Other items seized are four Rolex watches, one Patek Philippe watch, three Audemars Piguet watches, three gold and diamond-studded earrings, and six gold neck chains.

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Last year, he forfeited 151.8 Bitcoin to the American government.

On June 10, 2020, Woodberry was arrested in Dubai alongside Ramon Hushpuppi Abbas, who is currently serving an 11-year sentence for a similar fraud charge.

Prior to his arrest, Woodberry was known for rocking and flaunting expensive designer wear and showing off his illicit wealth to his massive Instagram followers, the majority of whom had no idea his luxury lifestyle was funded by cybercrime.

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