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Herdsmen Sack Kogi Community, Kill 19, Burn Houses

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No fewer than 19 people were killed in the early hours of Friday when some gunmen suspected to be killer herdsmen invaded Tawari community in Kotonkarfe local government area of Kogi State.

The rampaging herdsmen also razed down buildings, including places of worship.

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Administrator of the local government, Hon. Musa Tanko Mohammed who spoke on phone confirmed that 19 persons were killed.

Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Police Command, Mr Williams Anya, also confirmed the development in an interview in Lokoja on Friday.

Giving further update, the Police Command also disclosed that about 28 houses and vehicles were razed by the attackers in Tawari community among other destruction.

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Anya said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ede Ayuba Ekpeji, had visited the community for on the spot assessment.

He also said that the Commissioner of Police had deployed Special Police Force and Police Tactical Squad, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, to immediately unravel those behind the heinous act with a view to bringing them to book.

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The king of Tawari, Chief Idris Yusuf, who also spoke on telephone, confirmed the incident, saying it was the first time the community was experiencing such attack.

This is the first time we are witnessing such deadly attack in our community. Our community has been very peaceful.” Yusuf, who is the Aguma of Tawari, said that he would provide details on the development as he was busy attending to sympathisers”, he added.

A resident of Tawari community, Mrs Comfort Solomon, who survived the attack, said the gunmen, numbering about 100 invaded the community late on Thursday.

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She said the gunmen came in their numbers on motorcycles and descended on the village, killing and burning buildings until the early hours of Friday.

Solomon said that many places of worship, including the palace of the Akuma of Tawari were burnt down by the invaders.

The gunmen were up to 100 in number. They came into the community with motorcycles around 11:15 p.m. when villagers were sleeping. They entered selected houses, packed foodstuff and motorcycles and burnt selected houses, including homes of clerics. They killed more than 15 men. The attackers were communicating with each other in Hausa language,” Solomon stated, weeping profusely.

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It was gathered that the attack is a reprisal attack by the herdsmen have been having running battles with the community.

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The killing of four suspected herdsmen, alleged to be kidnappers along Lokoja Abuja federal highway on December 30 by security agencies, following a tip off by vigilantes from Tawari community, was alleged to be what angered the militia to attack the community.

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A source also said that one of the herdsmen was killed sometimes last year and his body mutilated by suspected ritualists, a crime for which the victim’s colleagues hold the Tawari community responsible and threatened a reprisal.

But following persistent persuasion by the community head, Alhaji Yahaya Tawari, against a reprisal, the herdsmen lived in the community with their hosts in peace until few days ago when they started moving out en masse.

While efforts were made to find out their reason for the mass movement, the herdsmen said their movement was a way of life, assuring that they had no ulterior motives.

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Meanwhile, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has directed the security agencies in the state to fish out perpetrators of Tawari attack for justice.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Onogwu Muhammed, Bello said the security agencies should swing into action and ensure that those who carried out the dastardly act face the law.

The governor, who condemned the attack and warned that anyone nursing the ambition of causing crisis in the state would have himself or herself to blame, assured that his administration would do everything possible to protect life and property of the people of the state.

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He urged the people to be calm and law abiding, assuring them that his administration was determined to flush out bandits and criminals out of the state.

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Nigerian Jailed 235 years For N525m, €64,000 Fraud, Loses Lekki Houses

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Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, has convicted and sentenced Scales Olatunji.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) labelled him “a notorious international fraudster”.

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The convict bagged 235 years imprisonment for internet fraud and money laundering.

Olatunji pleaded “not guilty” after arraignment in July 2019 on 45-count charges.

One reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola “M”, Meraiyebu Charles “M”(at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga “M”(at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele “M”(at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin “M”(at large), between January 2017 to October 2018 converted N525,172,580”.

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The theft of the funds, which formed part of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: fraud (Business E-mail Compromise and Identity Theft), violated Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Also, Olatunji on or about May 15, 2018, sent electronic messages (email) using emailoffice01@aol.com to one Monica Goulmoen of the Charity Association for providing girls and boys in Kobane with a football pitch.

He impersonated Per Ravn Omdal, a former Norwegian Football Association President, demanded and received €64,000.

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The offence negates offence contrary to Section 22 (3)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.

Delivering judgment, Justice Okeke convicted Olatunji on all the 45- counts preferred against him by the EFCC.

The judge said the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were consistent and the prosecution established his guilt.

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READ ALSO: N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term

The prosecution was also able to establish the offence of cybercrime as it relates to count six to forty five of the charges.

The judge sentenced Olatunji to seven years imprisonment on counts one to five, and five years imprisonment on counts six to forty-five.

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The sentence shall run from the date of arrest. The money in his account will be sent to the affected Norwegian citizens through the EFCC.

Olatunji’s properties in Lekki: House No. 6, Road 2 West-end Estate in Ikota and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate are to be sold and the proceeds restituted to the victims.

The EFCC commenced a probe after the convict was caught on March 20, 2019 at his Ikota residence. The action followed a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway.

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N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Thursday affirmed the conviction of former Managing Director of defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, for N25.7bn fraud but reduced his sentence of 12 years to six years.

The court also affirmed the conviction of Atuche’s co-convict Ugo Anyanwu, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the lower court for stealing and conspiracy to steal.

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Anyanwu’s jail term was also reduced to eight years.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting at Ikeja had on June 16, 2021, sentenced Atuche, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N25.7bn fraud in the bank.

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While his former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for stealing and conspiracy to steal and Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth, was discharged and acquitted.

But dissatisfied with the judgement of the lower court, Atuche approached the court of Appeal to challenge the judgment.

Details later…

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Crime

Warri Chief Docked, Remanded In Edo Prison

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The police in Edo on Tuesday arraigned 54-year-old Chief Johnson Asteruleghe the Iyesere of Warri, before a Benin High Court, over alleged assault, malicious damage in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.

The defendant, Johnson Asteruleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri, is being tried on a seven -count charge of assault and malicious damage with charge No:B/Co 126/22

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Police Prosecutor, DPP, Okunbor Orobosa Esq. told the court that the defendant committed the offence on the 2nd day of February, 2022, at Ologbo in the Benin Judicial Division.

According to him, “You did conspire amongst yourselves to carry on warlike undertaking malicious damage, punishable under section 517 of the Criminal Code, cap.48.vol.11. laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976 as applicable in Edo state.”

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Okunbor urged the court not to grant the defendant bail, maintaining that he is fond of fermenting trouble when granted bail, citing previous criminal cases of murder against the defendant in which he was granted bail before he committed these offences.

The defendant’s Counsel, Eghedosa Imhandegbelo (SAN) in his oral bail application urged the court to grant the defendant bail.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

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The presiding judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba adjourned the case to 27th of June 2022 for hearing of application for bail.

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