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Falana Knocks Army For ‘illegal’ Take Over Of Property Owned By Jonathan’s Cousin

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Femi-FalanaHuman rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr. Femi Falana, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call to order, soldiers who took over a property owned by Robert Azibaola in Abuja.

The soldiers had last Saturday sealed off the construction site of Kakarta Civil Engineering Limited, owned by Mr. Azibaola, a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Although the Nigerian Army is yet to formally react to the sealing off of the site, which shares boundary with the Lungui Barracks along the Kubwa-Asokoro expressway, Abuja, a military source said the move was borne out of security concerns.

According to the source who spoke in confidence, the land was allocated to Mr. Azibaola by the last administration on strong recommendations by the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, in spite of security concerns expressed by the military that the construction site, which houses explosives used in blasting rocks, could serve as a launch pad for attacks on the nearby Army Barracks.

RELATED POST: Soldiers Take Over Jonathan Cousin’s Construction Site In Abuja Over Alleged Security Breach

But Mr. Falana, in a statement on Sunday, described the soldiers’ occupation of the premises of the construction company, as illegal.

“The troops, who were reported to have driven away the workers in the premises, have since seized the property without a court order”, he said.

“Sequel to the illegal action of the army of occupation, the innocent workers in the company have been dispatched to the unemployment market”, the senior lawyer noted.

Mr. Azibaola is currently facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the diversion of $40 million through One-Plus Holdings, a sister company of Kakarta Civil Engineering Limited, meant for securing oil pipelines contract.

Mr. Azibaola had pleaded not guilty to the charge and is currently on bail.

Falana stressed that the implication of the not guilty plea is that the former president’s cousin is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the prosecution.

“Therefore, if the Nigerian military authorities had wanted to dispossess him of the property in question they ought to have applied for a court order.

“But by taking over the property under the pretext that it constitutes a threat to a nearby military barracks, the military authorities took the law into their hands.

“The forceful seizure of the property should not be tolerated in a civilized society which operates under the rule of law”, the statement said.

Mr. Falana, therefore, called on the federal government to stop members of the armed forces from violating the rights of criminal suspects accused of engaging in the looting of the public treasury.

“By allowing the security forces to adopt Gestapo tactics in the recovery of the loot, the Buhari administration stands the risk of winning undeserved sympathy for the criminal suspects who are standing trial”, he said.

“Indeed, the security forces are unwittingly colluding with corruption to fight back”, the SAN added.

He also accused the army of usurping the functions of the police to maintain law and order in the society, adding that “power drunk military officers” now declare civilians wanted.

“Even under the defunct military junta, the courts never condoned the forceful seizure of the assets of citizens by armed troops,” said Mr. Falana.

“Since the seizure and the illegal occupation of Mr. Azibaola’s property cannot be justified in law, the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai should order the immediate withdrawal of the armed troops and sanction the officers who have exposed the nation to ridicule in the circumstance.

“Having regard to the massive infringements of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people by armed soldiers, President Buhari should order the Army to stop interfering in the police duty of maintaining law and order in the country”, Falana stated.

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Unknown Gunmen Kill Ondo Traditional Ruler, Olufon Of Ifon

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Unknown Gunmen Kill Ondo Traditional Ruler, Olufon Of Ifon

Olufon of Ifon

Oba Adegoke Adeusi, the Olufon of Ifon under Ose Local Government Area Ondo State, has been murdered by unknown gunmen suspected to be bandits.

Oba Adeusi was reportedly killed on Thursday evening at a spot around the Elegbeka axis of the town.

According to reports, the monarch was initially kidnapped before he was eventually killed.

Also Read: Shehu Sani Raises Alarm As Bandits Allegedly Kidnap Scores On Kaduna-Abuja Road

The monarch reportedly died at the Federal Medical Centre in Owo, as a result of gunshots he sustained during the attack.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Tee Leo-Ikoro, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

Describing the event as an unfortunate one, the Police spokesman in the state also revealed that two people in the monarch’s convoy were kidnapped.

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No Pardon For Rapists, Says Sanwo-Olu

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No Pardon For Rapists, Says Sanwo-Olu

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed that there is no pardon for people indicted in reported cases of rape and gender-based violence.

The governor made this remark on Thursday when he received a 54-page compendium on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence compiled by the Stakeholders’ Committee set up by this wife, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

The Committee was set up to give recommendations on how the fight against sexual and gender-based violence can be won.

Speaking at the occasion, Sanwo-Olu, restated his commitment to protecting the vulnerable demographics and getting justice for victims violated.

Also Read: Don’t Allow Conspiracy Theorists Undermine Lagos Security, Sanwo-Olu Tells Residents

The governor said, “I am delighted by the work done by the Stakeholders’ Committee to bring attention to the problems facing voiceless adults and children in our society. Through your efforts, vulnerable people are building the courage to speak out on offences of sexual violence and heal their wounds.

“We will bring people, who have been perpetrating these crimes, knowingly or unknowingly, to book. We will ensure they never walk freely without the full wrath of the law brought upon them. It is part of our responsibility to ensure that the vulnerable members of our society have a voice and have access to where they can get justice when their rights are violated.”

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Vendor’s Widow Disowns Family Over N500m Lawsuit Against Gbajabiamila

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Vendor’s Widow Disowns Family Over N500m Lawsuit Against Gbajabiamila

Femi Gbajabiamila

Josephine Okereke, wife of the Abuja-based vendor killed by a security aide of Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, has rejected the family’s demand of N500 million compensation.

Okereke while speaking to newsmen on Thursday stated that what she wants is justice for her late husband, and not the compensation being sought by his family.

Recall that some days ago, Ifeanyi, her husband, was shot by Abdullahi Hassan, a Department of State Services (DSS) operative attached to the speaker.

Also Read: Family Of Slain Vendor Demands N500m Compensation From Gbajabiamila, Threatens Legal Action

Days after the Speaker promised to ensure justice, the family of the slain vendor wrote the speaker, demanding a N500 million compensation.

Okereke, however, told journalists in Abuja that she was not privy to the N500 million compensation requested by the family.

“I was in my house when within 10 minutes my father-in-law came from Abia, he went out along with his other son and the next day I heard that my husband’s people are demanding N500 million as compensation,” she said.

“I was shocked and asked how will they be doing that and how will the speaker help the children again with such demand. All I want now is that the person that killed my husband to face justice.”

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