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Super Cop, DIG Taiwo Lakanu Radiates Joy At 60th Birthday Celebration

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It was fun galore recently as Nigeria’s top police officer, DIG Taiwo Lakanu, who recently retired from the police force after 33 years of meritorious service, celebrated his 60th birthday.

The Akogun of Lagos was full of smiles as he was obviously grateful to his beloved family and friends as he savoured the joy of the special day.

Friends and family members of the Lakanus trooped out on this special day to honour an exemplary police officer with felicitations.

They were all happy to celebrate with this man of integrity and patriotic public officer at the prestigious Red Carpet Hall, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos –and no one could dispute the fact that this accomplished police officer deserved such honour.

The reason is not farfetched; Akogun Lakanu carved a niche in the public and social spaces, a super cop with enviable achievements.

His place in the comity of Nigeria’s most successful policemen is undoubtedly assured by the impact of his performances.

As he joined the retirees, the gracious policeman enjoyed the unquantifiable love and goodwill of friends, family and business associates.

So as this man of means and character clocked 60, his wife and children, threw a big bash for him.

It was an expensive event with the creme of Nigeria’s high society in attendance.

There were enough food and expensive drinks to go round as the celebrant evinced joy and gladness at the colourful ceremony.

It was a great party and an undeniable testament to the celebrant’s worth as a true man of the people and a public officer with untainted records.

Politicians exchanged pleasantries with industrialists, top bankers embraced top celebrities, former governors and incumbent governors laughed together, and everyone wore a happy smile as they ate and drank to their satisfaction at the lavish event.

All through the party that was filled with fun, and good music, Lakanu wore a permanent smile as he intermittently discussed with guests, while having a good time.

Every guest was given a royal treatment as they were all treated to the choicest brands of champagne; from Ace of spade, Don-Perignon, Crystal and Cognac to Moet & Chandon.

Apart from the assorted liquor, beer and fruit juices, the guests were also treated to delicious finger foods and dessert that sufficiently wet their palates and sated them.

At the background, a soulful medley of very old and contemporary music wafted from well-appointed woofers causing the guests to sway, shuffle and waltz as much as the music moved them and transported them to euphoric cusps.

However, the centre of attraction that night was no other person than the beautiful wife of the celebrant, Omowunmi who attracted the attention of everyone at the event with her infectious charisma as she serenaded her husband with beautiful love songs.

Those, who know her well never got tired of paying tributes to her over her humility, and for being a good wife indeed.

In appreciation, Lakanu beamed with smiles and heartily hobnobbed with dignitaries and friends at his star-studded birthday.

And despite being loved and treasured by anyone, Akogun succeeded in turning generosity, excellence and humaneness into an art form.

The event proved that it pays to undertake one’s assignment with a reality that there would be a day of reckoning or an occasion to recall the person’s performances.

The event, which had Tee A as Compere, was graced by the likes of: Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, Oba of Ikate-Elegushi, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Dr. Oba Otudeko, Olorogun (Dr) Sonny Kuku, Oba Muraina Adedini, The Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Olusola Alao & wife, Olori Olusola Adedoyin, and Dr. Taiwo Afolabi.

Others at the event included Ayodele Subair, Toyin Pinheiro, SAN, Hon. Shina Peller, Aare Gani Adams, Onikate of Ikate, Oba Atanda Abiodun Adams, Lagos State White Cap Chiefs, Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, and Sir. & Lady Olu Okeowo.

Also at the shindig were Adesegun Ajibola (SAN), Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Aremo Segun Oniru, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, Fola Tinubu, Mr. Mayor Akinpelu, Dr. & Mrs. Abati, Mr. Kola Abiola, Barr. & Hon. (Mrs) Tunde Oshinowo, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, and Princess Adebowale Odutola.

The rest are Mr. Tope Abere, Mr. Bayo Fatunsi, Mr. Biodun Faari, Otunba Lai Oriowo, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Barr. Bolaji Ayorinde, Barr. Muize Banire SAN, Prince & Princess. Haastrup, Mr. Tayo Ayeni, Chief (Mrs.) Joko Oni, Alhaja Tai Elemosho-Okesanjo and many distinguished personalities.

For the records, Taiwo Lakanu was born on October 12, 1959, in Lagos Island, Lagos State.

Lakanu holds B.A. (Hons) Philosophy and LL.B. (Hons) from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State, and Master in Law from Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, United Kingdom.

He attended several courses within and outside the country, including Crime Investigation Course at the Police Staff College, Jos, and Developmental Course at Kofi Annan Centre for Peace Keeping, Accra, Ghana. He is also a fellow of National Defence College, Abuja.Furthermore, before his recent elevation as DIG, Lakanu had served in various capacities in the service as AIG Federal Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja; Commissioner of Police in Imo and Ekiti States; Commissioner of Police Airport Command, Lagos; Principal Staff Officer to the IG (Force Headquarters Annex, Lagos), among others.

He was also the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7 Headquarters, Abuja, comprising the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Niger and Kaduna States.A celebrated crime fighter, Lakanu, who is also the Akogun of Lagos State and the Onwa Na Etiri Oha (the moon that shines) and Agu-na-echemba (the lion that guides the town) of Imo State was once described by his host governor in Imo, Chief Rochas Okorocha, as the long-awaited divine messenger sent by providence to rid the state of criminals.It was also learnt that wherever he finds himself, Lakanu has done his best to restore the lost glory of the police.

From the time he enlisted as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in 1986, he has risen through the ranks, holding positions in operations, investigations and administration. Lakanu was a leading member of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that ended the reign of the dreaded bandit, Shina Rambo in the 80s. He served as a Personal Staff Officer (PSO) to an Inspector General of Police. He was recently celebrated at an award ceremony organised by Security Watch Africa in Houston, Texas, USA. He was named as the Most Outstanding Crime Fighter in West and Sub-Saharan Africa. Lakanu is loved by the people as well as Journalists.

His accomplishments in the Nigeria Police Force are unrivalled and these gave him popularity all over the nation.

Some of these include; leading Special Forces to Kaduna where he quelled the crisis, which earned him commendation from the governor, Malam el Rufai, who praised his leadership qualities and operational experience.

This man of integrity and action was in Ekiti and survived the holocaust there.

In Imo State, he excelled and the high point of it was the supervision of the killing of the most notorious kidnapper in the South-east and beyond, Vampire.

This singular act led to his being nicknamed as the “messiah” and he was bestowed with two chieftaincy titles as “Onwa natili oha of Igboland” and “Agu-na-echemba” of Imo State.

Today, DIG Taiwo Lakanu (rtd.) stands talk among his contemporaries as an achiever and a good example that the Nigeria Police Force is not as bad as some people have painted it after all.

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Society News

Pastor who embarked on 40 days dry fasting dies in Imo

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Evangelist Chidi Eke, a 46 year old clergyman, who was fasting to seek God’s face as he plans to open his own ministry, has died while fasting for 40 days and nights in Eziala Nguru in Ngor Okpala council area of Imo State.

Eke who reportedly left his wife and children in Lagos after he claimed he got the call from God asking him to go into minsitry, relocated to Imo state where he said he would be seeking the face and power of God inside the ”Wilderness”. He had successfully concluded a 21 days fast and decided to go ahead to do a 40-days dry fast.

“During the first and second week of his fast, people who had gone to their farms heard him singing and praying loudly. But after the third week nobody heard his voice again and most people thought that perhaps he must have gone deep into meditation. But one of his church members, one Cyriacus Opara who became worried and insisted that he needed to visit him at the forest.

“When Opara approached the family that he wanted to visit Chidi Eke in the “Wilderness”, they told him that they don’t actually know the exact location where he was and that Eke had earlier issued a stern warning that he did not want any visitors because he had left his phone and money at home and had only gone with his Bible and gown.” a resident of the village told The Nation

Opara was told to contact one Cajethan Nwaneri as the only person who knew the location of the “Wilderness” since he had assisted the deceased evangelist in clearing it. Nwaneri led Opara to the place where they found out Eke had long died.

“Eke had abandoned his wife and two children, a boy and girl in Lagos and returned back to the village saying that he has come to answer the call of God. His corpse was discovered by one of his members who had gone to check on him in the bush where he had gone. Eke is the only son of his mother. In fact it was members of the community under the leadership of Tochukwu Ekeh (Angle 90) who are going to bear the burden of burying him” a relative said

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Society News

COZA: Busola Dakolo Vows To Appeal Court judgement

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Following the Federal Capital Territory High Court ruling on the rape case filed by Busola Dakolo against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly COZA, the celebrity photographer has vowed to appeal the court judgement.

It was earlier reported that Justice O. A. Musa of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja threw out the case against the popular pastor, saying it was a total waste of time for the court and she was fined 1,000,000 naira.

Reacting to the court judgement, Busola’s lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi said, “We have received several calls after the ruling of the high court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Bwari this morning seeking our view on the decision of the court, hence, this statement.

“The court ruled that the matter is statute-barred because the events that crystallised to the cause of action took place 16 years ago and that the claimant Mrs Busola Dakolo has only six years within which to seek redress in court in line with the statute of limitation.

“We are mindful of the decision as delivered by the court, presided over by the Hon. Justice A.O Musa. We are equally observant of the fact that the Court omitted to address the cause of action, the subject matter of the suit in determining whether it has jurisdiction to entertain the said matter.

“While we acknowledge the time of the court, we know in accordance with the Nigerian judicial system that the Court’s decision is not final as it is glaringly contestable.

“For all intent and purposes, having seen several sponsored misleading news reports in the media, we are duty-bound to state that the court has not and did not exonerate Biodun Fatoyinbo. As it stands, the substance of the matter has not received any judicial attention.

“Biodun Fatoyinbo through his lawyers have only argued that the court should not allow the matter to proceed to trial because it is an event that occurred long ago and hence out of time.

“We shall therefore in this circumstance approach a superior court to intervene for a better appreciation, and take a more expansive view of the suit considering that the subject matter is one that is novel in our clime.”

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Crime

Temitope Ayeni Olaiya Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Fraud Schemes

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A Nigerian woman pleaded guilty today to leading a conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine, as well as to her role in a separate bank fraud scheme, and to making false statements relating to fraudulent claims submitted to Medicaid for reimbursement.

“Tammy Olaiya is a ‘triple threat’ of criminality – drug trafficker, a fraudster, and a liar,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Olaiya, a Nigerian immigrant who has spent the last two decades with the privilege of living in the United States as lawful permanent resident, clearly has zero respect for American laws pertaining to our borders, controlled substances, our financial system, or our health care system.”

According to court documents, Temitope Ayoni Olaiya, aka “Tammy”, 40, a Nigerian national residing in Hyattsville, Maryland, recruited men from the greater Washington, D.C. area to act as drug courier; i.e., to travel to foreign countries to obtain drugs to bring back into the United States.  Olaiya opened bank accounts in the couriers’ names, assisted them in obtaining passports and visas, and booked their travel arrangements. The couriers that Olaiya recruited traveled primarily to São Paulo, Brazil, where they picked up kilogram quantities of cocaine hidden in the lining of soft-sided briefcases or attaché cases. Altogether, law enforcement seized nearly seven kilograms of cocaine at three different U.S. airports from three separate couriers recruited by Olaiya.

“Every single Medicaid dollar is precious and must be carefully guarded,” said Maureen R. Dixon, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Accordingly we will continue working with all our law enforcement partners to preserve these vital funds.”

In addition to the cocaine importation scheme, Olaiya also submitted falsified and fraudulent claims to the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), a health care benefit program funded by Medicaid. Olaiya worked as a personal care aide for various home health agencies in the Washington D.C. area, and in order to receive payment for services rendered, Olaiya was required to submit timesheets signed by her clients documenting the services rendered. Instead of submitting time sheets for time actually worked providing health care services, Olaiya recruited Medicaid recipients to act as her “patients” and to sign her falsified timesheets in return for a small amount of money as a kickback. On at least two occasions, Olaiya billed DHCF for home health services she claimed to have provided while she was out of the country.

Separate and apart from the cocaine importation and the home health services scheme, Olaiya also used her African goods business in Maryland to carry out a bank fraud. Olaiya used accounts with payment platforms Square and Stripe to make fraudulent charges on stolen credit card numbers. Between June and December 2017, Olaiya submitted, or caused to be submitted, $381,500 in fraudulent credit card charges to the Stripe account. Thereafter, Olaiya switched over to Square, and in the course of about two months, racked up more than $100,000 in fraudulent charges. When Square informed Olaiya that the true account holder had challenged the transaction, Olaiya created handwritten, falsified invoices documenting items purportedly purchased by the account holder, and provided the fake invoices to Square.

Olaiya pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import five kilograms or more of cocaine, bank fraud, and making false statements relating to health care matters. She faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison for the cocaine importation charge when sentenced on Feb. 28, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was prosecuted as part of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation Girl From Ipanema. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Rumbaugh is prosecuting the case.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the DC Office of Inspector General provided significant assistance with the investigation.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-294 and 1:19-cr-323.

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