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Billionaire kidnap kingpin: Evans loses in court

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The Court of Appeal in Lagos has dismissed three appeals by suspected billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, seeking to stop his trial at two high courts in Lagos State.

Evans had approached the appellate court to challenge the jurisdiction of the lower courts in the State to continue his trial.

However, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Jummai Sankey held that Evans’ appeals against the Ikeja High Court were without merit.

Other Justices on the panel were: Justice Philomena Ekpe and Justice Muhammed Mustapha.

In the three appeals, the suspected kidnapper challenged the High Courts’ jurisdiction and sought to strike out and quash the kidnap, attempted murder and murder charges filed by the government against him.

In the first appeal against the ruling of Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja High Court, the first to fourth respondents were: the Lagos State Government and Evans’ co-defendants; Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Upong

Justice Taiwo, on November 10, 2017, dismissed Evans’ application seeking to quash an amended seven-count charge against him, dated October 26, 2017.

The applicant also challenged the Ikeja High Court’s jurisdiction in the second appeal, where the respondents were the same.

The appellate court consolidated both appeals as Justice Sankey held: “The appeals are hereby dismissed. The ruling of the lower court is affirmed. I hold that the lower court has jurisdiction to continue with the trial and to entertain all the counts of the charge.”

In the third appeal, the first to fifth respondents were Lagos State and Evans’ co-defendants: Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba.

Evans claimed that Justice Hakeem Oshodi erred in law when he held that the amended information/charge dated October 19, 2017, filed by the first respondent, was incompetent without an accompanying or attached proof of evidence as required by law.

But Justice Philomena Ekpe, who read the lead judgment, dismissed the appeal as being unmeritorious.

Justice Ekpe held: “Accordingly, this appeal is adjudged unmeritorious. It fails and is therefore dismissed in its entirety. The ruling delivered by the lower court by Justice Oshodi on November 3, 2017, in suit NO ID/5970C/2017, is upheld. I make no order as to cost, appeal dismissed.”

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

The Punch

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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