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Drug trafficking: Don’t send me to prison – Abba Kyari begs court

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The former head of the Nigeria Police Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abba Kyari, on Monday urged an Abuja Federal High Court not to remand him in prison custody.

Kyari made the appeal through his lawyer, Kanu Agabi, who prayed the court to allow him to remain in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), pending the hearing and determination of his fresh application for bail.

The suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, who is facing a drug trafficking charge, made the appeal after he pleaded not guilty to an eight-count charge the NDLEA preferred against him and six others.

Kyari was docked before Justice Emeka Nwike, alongside four other police officers, ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu.

Two alleged drug traffickers that were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne were also docked alongside Kyari.

Whereas Kyari, dressed in blue native attire, and his police co-defendants, pleaded not guilty to the charge, the 6th and 7th defendants, Umeibe and Ezenwanne, pleaded guilty to allegations against them.

Shortly after the defendants entered their plea, the NDLEA, through its Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Joseph Sunday, applied for a trial date and for review of facts in respect of the Defendants that pleaded guilty to the charge.

The NDLEA equally told the court that it filed a counter-affidavit to oppose the release of Kyari and the other four former members of the Police IRT, on bail.

But Agabi, while arguing that the charge against his clients were bailable offences, he urged the court not to accede to request for facts in respect of Umeibe and Ezenwanne.

Agabi argued that it will be prejudicial to his client for facts of the case to be reviewed and a decision reached, while the trial is still subsisting.

“It is not in the interest of justice for the facts to be reviewed while the trial is still ongoing”, he said.

He noted that both Umeibe and Ezenwanne were also mentioned in some counts in the charge that involved Kyari and the others.

Addressing the court, the Prosecution counsel, Sunday, maintained that reviewing the facts of the case would not prejudice DCP Kyari and the others.

“My lord, this sort of application by the Defence is to undermine the capacity of this court.

“This case to be considered on the basis of the evidence before the court. I do not see how the 1st to 5th Defendants will be prejudiced since we are going to confront them with evidence against them.

“The most proper thing is to dispose of the case against the 6th and 7th Defendants.

“It will be unjust and unfair to keep the two defendants in custody while waiting for the conclusion of the trial of the others.

“It is better for them to be convicted to enable them to start serving their sentence”, the Prosecution added.

After he had listened to oral arguments from both sides, trial Justice Nwite said he would want the parties to formally address the court on the issue next Monday.

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2023: Buhari may meet Osinbajo, Tinubu, Amaechi, others

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President Muhammadu Buhari would this week meet with all the preidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The meeting was called with a view to reducing the number of presidential hopefuls and also ensuring that all of them pledge to accept the outcome of the primary as was done during the APC presidential primary in 2014.

“The President will meet with the aspirants a few days to the primary with a view to ensuring that there is unity and harmony. He will also meet with the governors separately. The date is not fixed yet, but it should be this week if INEC doesn’t extend the deadline for the primary as we are all hoping,” said an APC chieftain who wished to remain anonymous.

“The President has a candidate. How to present the idea to the likes of Tinubu will be the challenge,” he added.

Buhari’s most senior spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, had said last week that the President indeed had a preferred candidate.

He stated, “In a previous interview when the President was asked whether he had a favourite candidate, he answered yes; but he will not mention him because mischief may happen to that person.

“That shows you that the President himself is interested in the process and he has a preferred candidate; but whether he will impose his candidate is what you cannot determine at the moment.”

When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was not aware of any meeting the President would be having with the aspirants.

“I am not aware of any meeting as of now,” he said.

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Gunmen behead abducted Anambra lawmaker from Governor Soludo’s constituency, hang head in motor park

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Gunmen who abducted a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okey Okoye, have beheaded him.

After beheading him, his head was reportedly displayed at a motor park in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

The incident, which happened on Saturday, created panic in the community, which had been witnessing a series of violent killings since last year.

Sources added that his body was not there and indications were that the killers removed the body.

“The Anambra lawmaker representing Soludo’s constituency, Okechukwu Okoye who was earlier kidnapped, has been beheaded by gunmen; the late lawmaker’s head was mounted at Chisco Park in Amichi community,” a military source said on Saturday.

Gunmen had last Sunday abducted the lawmaker who was representing Aguata II state constituency in Aguata alongside Cyril Chiegboka, his campaign director.

Governor Charles Soludo had said during the week that efforts were ongoing to rescue the Anambra lawmaker from his abductors.

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MC Oluomo allegedly demands N100million to support re-election of Oshodi Rep member

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Chairman of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo, is allegedly demanding N100 million to support the re-election of the member representing Oshodi Federal Constituency 1 in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bashiru Dawodu.

Dawodu, a medical doctor, rode on the back of MC Oluomo to win the election in 2019 after series of attempts in the past.

Dawodu presenting his Certificate of Return to MC Oluomo

Both, however, fell apart few months after Dawodu was elected due to irreconcilable differences .

MC Oluomo is said to be angry with Dawodu for not honouring agreements he (Dawodu) had with him prior to his victory in 2019.

MC Oluomo, who is seen as de-facto leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oshodi was said to have vowed to work against Dawodu’s re-election in 2023.

He is believed to be working for the emergence of a former Chairman of Oshodi/Isolo Local Government, Afeez Ipesa Balogun to emerge as the APC’s candidate for the House of Representatives election in the constituency.

However, party leaders in the local government including the Chairman of the council, Kehinde Oloyede Almoof had appealed to MC Oluomo to tone down his opposition to Dawodu and support his re-election.

It was gathered that MC Oluomo did not turn down the fence-mending approach because he said he did the same with Oloyede who was his former arch-enemy.

It was further gathered that MC Oluomo demanded N100 million from Dawodu before he gets his support.

The money according to MC Oluomo is to settle his aides and loyalists, who supported Dawodu in 2019 but were abandoned by the Rep member.

According to sources at the various fence-mending meeting, appeals to MC Oluomo to reduce the amount were rebuffed.

Another dimension has, however, been added to the involvement of Oloyede in the matter.

The sources revealed that the council chairman, Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own interest.

Oloyede has been eyeing the Rep seat before his election as the council chairman.

Oloyede’s calculation according to the sources is that should Dawood gets the second term, it would be easy for him (Oloyede) to contest for the seat in 2027.

One of the sources who does not want his name in print because of backlash said : “Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own personal interest. He believes supporting Dawood may work for him in 2027.

Continuing, the source noted that Oloyede would rather support Dawodu over any other candidates because others eyeing the seat are first timers, who may want to seek for re-election in 2027.

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