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JUST IN: Try Me In Kogi, Yahaya Bello Writes Court

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The immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, who was absent for his scheduled arraignment and plea bargain, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, wrote the court a letter that he would prefer to be tried in his state.

Bello, in the letter he wrote through his team of lawyers led by Abdulwahab Mohammed, claimed that only the Kogi High Court in Lokoja has the territorial jurisdiction to preside over the allegations that were brought against him.

Adeola Adedipe, one of the lawyers in Bello’s team, told the court about the letter.

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Addressing the court, Adedipe said after the close of the last sitting, he reported back to his team what transpired in court and he was informed that a letter had been written on behalf of the defendant to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Stops Yahaya Bello’s Contempt Proceedings Against EFCC

“Requesting in substance, that this matter be administratively transferred to the Federal High Court, Lokoja Judicial Division, which we believe has territorial jurisdiction to handle this matter.

“That letter was received at the Chief Judge’s Chambers and the office of the honourable CJ. We wrote the prosecution team through Mr Iseoluwa Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, on June 13, notifying him that administrative steps had been activated, whereof he was directed to provide a response to the request for transfer of the matter,” Adedipe said.

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He, however, noted that he wasn’t aware that there had been a response by the prosecution team in compliance with the directive of the CJ.

We are also not in receipt of any decision that has been made on this request by the CJ,” he said.

He further added that they have filed an affidavit to this effect and attached two documents referencing the same.

READ ALSO: How Yahaya Bello Moved $720,000 From State Coffers To Pay Child’s School Fees — EFCC

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He told the court that he isn’t urging anything from the court at the moment although his duty is to the court.

He added that he just wanted to present the facts as they were.

The prosecution counsel, Kemi Pinhero, asked the court to compel the defence lawyer to say why the defendant was not in court, despite an undertaking he made on June 13, to ensure his presence in court for his scheduled arraignment which has been adjourned multiple times.

Pinehero contended that the letter to the CJ did not discharge the undertaking made by Bello’s counsel at the previous sitting.

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He said a situation where a petition is forwarded against a judge to the National Judicial Council, does not stop proceedings on cases pending before the judge.

READ ALSO: Yahaya Bello: Abuja American School Refunds $760,000 To EFCC

He said the court should invite Bello’s counsels to show cause why they should not be dealt with for contemptuous conduct.

He urged the trial judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, to dismiss the tales of the defence lawyer as “dilatory and a further attempt to treat this court with scorn.”

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Bello is facing charges bordering on money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of about N80.2bn brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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Edo: Police Arrest Three For Cultism, Recover Arms

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The Edo State Police Command has paraded three suspected cultists in Benin City alleged to be members of the Maphite confraternity.

According to a statement by a media aide to the governor, Crusoe Osagie, on Friday, the police commissioner, Funsho Adegboye, paraded the suspects, identified as Eyefia Godbless (30), Imuetiyan Ewemade (30), and Emeka Okpaja (22).

The trio were reportedly apprehended at Ubiaza Community, Off Sapele Road in Benin City, where they were allegedly planning to avenge the killing of a fellow member.

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READ ALSO: UPDATED: Scores Killed, About 200 Students Trapped In Jos Collapsed School Building

We have the full backing of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun on the fight against cultism and we are not joking with it,” Adegboye was quoted stating.

He added that Governor Godwin Obaseki and his executive team are also supporting the initiative to rid the state of cultism and criminality.

The police recovered several items from the suspects, including an automatic pump action gun, 11 live carriages, three green berets, and a Maphite constitution.

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According to the Commissioner, the suspects made confessional statements affirming their membership in the cult group.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Man With Skull In Abuja

Adegboye emphasized the dangerous nature of the weapons seized, stating, “This is an automatic pump action gun which is as deadly as AK 47 which has a bullet that can kill several people, unlike AK-47 which can kill just one person. According to the suspects, the gun was purchased for about N700,000.”

The Commissioner used the opportunity to appeal to the youth, urging them to gainfully engage themselves in profitable and positive activities adding that crime, cultism, and internet fraud do not pay.

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In addition to the three cultists, the police reported other recent arrests. These include five suspects apprehended at a cultist hideout along Siluko road, where two pump action guns, two locally made single barrel guns, and 20 live cartridges were recovered.

In a separate incident, one Osayande Tony was arrested with a pump action gun and two cartridges while driving a Mercedes Benz C300 Saloon car.

READ ALSO: Four Female Niger Delta Teen App Developers For World Tech Summit In USA

The police also have in custody one Apalobi Daniel from Powerline, Ugbiyokho, Benin City, who allegedly strangled his wife to death during an argument. The suspect is expected to be charged in court soon.

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“At same Siluko road, Rapid Response Squad intercepted one Mercedes Benz C300 Saloon car with registration number YAB 389 BG, driven by Osayande Tony ‘M’ 48 years and was arrested with one pump action gun and two cartridges,” Adegboye added.

Adegboye further reiterated the commitment of the Edo State Government and the police, in collaboration with other security agencies and the press, to continue sensitising the public about the dangers of cult groups and criminal activities.

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UPDATED: Scores Killed, About 200 Students Trapped In Jos Collapsed School Building

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Plateau Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Musa Ashoms, has confirmed that about 200 students were trapped in the Jos school building that collapsed in Jos.

The News Agency of Nigeria, the Saints Academy, a secondary school in Jos, collapsed on Friday, while students were writing their third term examination.

Ashoms, who visited the scene in the company of other commissioners, including that of secondary education, said that the school had a total population of about 400.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: Scores Injured As School Building Collapses In Plateau

The commissioner said that part of the school that collapsed was accommodating about 200 students.

”The collapsed building has resulted in casualties, and injured students are still being evacuated to hospitals.

”We cannot, however, ascertain the exact number of casualties until the evacuation is completed

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“The emergency workers are doing a lot in the rescue efforts.

“The Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has urged the medical personnel in the hospitals to ensure that they save the lives of survivors.

“They should not ask for money or anything because this is an emergency situation,” he said.

READ ALSO: FEC Steps Down Projects From Past Govts For Review

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The commissioner however, said that the incident had underscored the imperative of order 003 of the state government, which was meant to enforce the implementation of the Greater Jos Master Plan, to prevent such unfortunate incidences.

According to him, the collapsed school building, which is was built on a waterlogged area, clearly did not meet construction standards.

Ashoms said that the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) would ensure that faulty buildings were brought down, while ongoing constructions would henceforth conform to standards

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BREAKING: Corp Members Escape Death As NYSC Hostel Collapses In Ekiti

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Some Corps members deployed to Ekiti State narrowly escaped death on Friday morning when the wall of the female hostel of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp collapsed on them.

The corp members recuperating in the clinic inside the orientation camp were said to have been rescued by their male counterparts who retrieved them from the rubbles.

One of the sources said: ”Yes the wall of one of the female hostels collapsed this morning (Friday) . It was the bathroom wall which caved in when they were planning to take their bath.

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” But thank God, people rushed down there to retrieve them from the rubbles. They have been stabilized at the clinic and they will get further medical treatments.”

READ ALSO:BREAKING: Scores Injured As School Building Collapses In Plateau

An official of the NYSC who spoke on anonymity confirmed the incident, saying only two corps members were affected and recuperating in the camp’s clinic.

He said there have been persistent calls by the leadership of NYSC in Ekiti State for the renovation of the dilapidated hostels but all the calls proved abortive

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He called on parents and guardians not to panic over the incident, adding that it had no serious negative impact on the corps members.

The corps members are in the camp for the three-week compulsory orientation camp for those posted to the State.

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