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Another Nigerian arrested in Saudi for alleged drug trafficking

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Another Nigerian has been arrested in Jeddah airport, Saudi Arabia for allegedly smuggling about 1,138g of cocaine, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said on Friday.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa in an interview with journalists in Abuja expressed disappointment that this was coming shortly after a Nigerian lady was executed in the same country for a related offence.

“The sad thing is that in the midst of talking of about 20 Nigerians on death roll, even as eight had been executed, just yesterday another Nigerian, Wahid Somade, was arrested at Jeddah airport with about 1.138g of cocaine.

“The latest one would be added to those that could be executed.

”We keep appealing to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure the trial is fair,” Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said.

On the execution of a Nigerian for drug-related offences on Monday, the presidential aide appealed to Nigerians to obey the laws of countries they go.

“After informing her family, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially released the name of the lady that was executed in Saudi Arabia a few days ago and her name is Kudirat Afolabi, a widow and a mother of two.

“We pay our condolence to the family and keep begging Nigerians to obey the laws of other countries and Saudi has replied us officially, saying their law is their law.

“However, diplomatic engagement will continue at the highest level.

“It does not matter where you come from, you hold a green passport. Do not let a few people denigrate every one of us,” she said.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, however, stressed on the need to celebrate the success stories of Nigerians in the diaspora.

“We have Nigerians doing great things all over the world; we are going to focus on them,” she said.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa also called on concerted efforts on compulsory baggage identification at airports as well as more security surveillance and cameras at screening points at the airports.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja clarified that all legal and judicial procedures were followed regarding the accused person.

The embassy stated that death sentence is only carried out after all proofs and legal evidence have been exhausted regarding the accused.

Specifically on Ms Afolabi, the Saudi Embassy reaffirmed that all legal and judicial procedures were followed regarding the accused person and she was accorded every legal right before the death sentence was carried out on her.

“The death sentence is only carried out in the Kingdom after all proofs and legal evidence have been exhausted regarding the accused, and the process goes through various legal stages until the allegations against the detained persons have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

“Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs was always in consultation with foreign embassies and consulates in the kingdom and facilitated visits from nationals of detainees,” the statement read in part.

The embassy also reiterated that the penalty for drug trafficking is death sentence and applied on all persons convicted without any exceptions.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not neglect the enforcement of penalties in terms of matters of drug trafficking and is determined to apply the law on any person against whom evidence is established in order to combat drug trafficking and protect its citizens from this dangerous menace.”

(NAN)

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Crime

Alleged Gang-rape: Court Denies Babcock Varsity student Bail

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Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court has denied bail to a student of Babcock University, James Aguedo, accused of involvement in gang-rape of a student of the University of Lagos, Unilag.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Soladoye in a ruling on Thursday said Aguedo, 20, did not provide compelling circumstances as to why the court should grant him bail.

“The essence of bail is to ensure the defendant’s attendance at trial. In deciding an application for bail, certain factors must be taken into consideration such as the nature of the charge and the evidence adduced.

“Grant of bail of a defendant in a criminal offence is not automatic, it is at the discretion of the court.

“I am, therefore, of the view that the application before the court has not shown any compelling or exceptional circumstances to warrant the court exercising its discretion in favour of the applicant.

“The application for bail is hereby refused, and the court shall give this case accelerated trial; I so hold,” the judge said.

NAN reports that Aguedo’s counsel, Mr Lawal Pedro, SAN, had on March 25 prayed the court to grant him bail to enable him to write examination at the Babcock University in April.

He also submitted that the undergraduate suffered from ill-health and needed constant medical attention.

“He has a recurring back ailment. We brought not just a medical report but the history, because he has been attending an orthopaedic hospital.

“The prison facility is not conducive for him,” the SAN said.

Pedro had attached Aguedo’s school identity card and admission letter to the bail application dated March 13.

Also attached were a National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Yaba, Lagos, appointment card, history of medical examination and a St Dominic’s Catholic Church’s letter of recommendation.

NAN reports that the student is standing trial alongside Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19 and Osemeka Josephine, 20.

The defendants were charged with serial gang-rape of a Unilag student (name withheld).

According to prosecution counsel, Mrs Fehinti Ogbemudia, the defendants committed the gang rape sometime in 2017 within the premises of Unilag.

The alleged victim had on Feb. 26 testified that she was lured by Nwankama who was her roommate to High Rise, a staff quarters hostel, in Unilag.

She said she was gang-raped at High Rise by eight students, and that the sexual assault was video- taped.

According to the alleged victim, she was also blackmailed with the video and further gang-raped on other occasions by the defendants and their accomplices who are now at large.

The five defendants have been remanded in the Kirikiri Prisons since Feb. 26, when they were arraigned.

The case has been adjourned until May 2 for continuation of trial.

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Mother weeps profusely in court as suspected killers of her first class daughter plead not guilty

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It was a somber mood in the Asaba High Court in Delta state yesterday April 17th as the Mother of the slain Miss Elozino Ogege, the first class 300 level student of Mass Communication, Delta State University (DELSU) who was gruesomely murdered sometime in November 2018 by suspected ritualists, wept profusely as the suspected murderers pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge preferred against them by the state Attorney-General.

The body of Elozino Ogege, who was declared missing on November 15th 2018, was reportedly found with her tongue and breasts chopped off. She had reportedly gone on a search for a new accomodation when she met her killers who stole her Tecno phone and then killed her. The suspects who earlier confessed to the crime, said they wanted to use her for Yahoo Yahoo money ritual. Read initial story here and here.

At the trial of the suspected killers yesterday, Mrs. Elizabeth Ogege, who was in court to observe proceedings, bursted into uncontrollable tears demanding for justice immediately the suspects pleaded not guilty in court. She refused to be consoled by the Director of Sexual Offences/Domestic Violence, Uche Akamagwuna, and other sympathizers as she wept profusely, saying “God will avenge the blood of my innocent daughter whose life was cut down in her prime.”

The accused persons identified as Macaulay Desmond Oghenemaro, Ojokojo Robinson Obajero, Nwosisi Benedict Uche and Enaike Onoriode, took their plea after the charges were read to them by the Court Registrar, and pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The charge sheet in part read

“That you, Macaulay Desmond Oghenemaro (m), Ojokojo Robinson Obajero (m), Nwosisi Benedict Uche (m) Enaike Onoriode (m) and one Emese Emudiaga Kelvin now deceased, on or about the 15th day of November, 2018 at Abraka, within the Sapele Criminal Division murdered one Elozino Joshualia Ogege, punishable under Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Law Cap C21, Volume 1, Laws of Delta State 2006.”

Other charges contained in the information filed against the defendants include conspiracy to commit a felony to wit: kidnapping punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C21, Volume 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria 2006.

The accused persons, according to the charge, robbed one Elozino Joshualia Ogege (f) of her Tecno K7 Mobile phone while armed with a knife and other weapons.

The matter was adjourned to April 30 and May 15 respectively for hearing.

Meanwhile, a few days ago, Mrs. Ogege had cried out to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa a few days ago to keep to his earlier promise of speedy justice for her daughter.

In a letter entitled ‘An Open Letter To The Governor Of Delta State From The Mother Of Late Miss. Elozino Ogege’, addressed to Okowa and obtained by SaharaReporters, she lamented the “slow and unfair proceedings so far from the court handling the matter” and appealed to the Governor to find time and pay a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.

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Crime

CCT convicts Onnoghen, sacks him as CJN after declaring him guilty of false assets declaration and bans him from holding public office for 10 years

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has convicted the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen and has banned him from holding any public office for 10 years.  

Onnoghen will be removed from office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).  

In Today’s ruling, the CCT also directed that all monies in the account will be seized and fortified to the Federal Government based on the fact that he failed to show the tribunal how he acquired the monies in the account.

The tribunal ordered the forfeiture of the five accounts which the defendant failed to declare as part of his assets and also ordered the forfeiture of the money in the five accounts which Onnoghen allegedly failed to declare to the Federal Government.

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