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Subsidy Removal, Hardship Drove Me into Armed Robbery, e-Hailing Driver Confesses



By Eric Elezuo

The Police in Lagos have arrested and paraded 29-year-old bolt driver, Adeniran Jeremiah, for alleged armed robbery, who confessed that the increase in fuel pump prices caused by Fuel Subsidy removal was responsible for his joining a gang of armed robbers.

Jeremiah was arrested by the Lagos State Police Command following the launch of Operation Flush by the Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, to mitigate poockets of crime in the metropolis. Team lead of a three-man gang of robbers who specialised in robbing night crawlers, especially ladies, Jeremiah blamed his woes on hardships caused by fuel subsidy removal.

His waterloo occurred during their last operation on a lady, who was disposed of a huge amount of money, phones, and other personal effects on her way to the popular Afrika Shrine.

However, luck ran against Jerimiah, when he was recognised by the victim, who met him while shopping in a mini supermarket and raised an alarm.

Jeremiah, during his parade at the Police Headquarters, Ikeja, explained how he got into the business of robbery to members of the press.

The suspect responded as follows to various questions posed by press:

“I am an accounting graduate from North American University, Cotonou, the Republic of Benin. I took to Bolt driving because of a lack of jobs, but I was able to take care of my bills, making about 15 trips daily, until the recent removal of fuel subsidy and the rise in fuel pump prices made life unbearable.

“After things became hard and unbearable for me, I decided to join another company called Rider. Thinking I would get relief from the rider company, yet the increase in fuel pump price continued to soar from N400 to almost N600, so I was working hand to mouth.

“It was then that I started thinking of different approaches to business to alleviate my suffering. It was while I was thinking about what to do to meet up with my daily target that the devil sold me the idea of robbing passengers. I contacted two of my friends and told them my idea, and they agreed with me that the idea was beautiful.

“We strategized on how we would carry out our operations. My gang members would pose as passengers in the vehicle, while I would pretend as if I didn’t know them. So when we arrived at a lonely place, I would pretend that I had a flat tyre, so I would alight from the car, pretending to be checking the faulty tyre, and then my guys, who were armed, would order me to go to the back of the vehicle. They would also do the same to our victim, but when the victim resisted, I would join hands with my guys to force the victim to submission. We started robbery operations one month ago, and we have made up to N2.1 million because we have so far shared N700,000 each.

We used to collect expensive phones and other personal effects.

“We don’t rob any person we see on the road; we size up our targets, and the most vulnerable are the ladies, who visit clubs at night. On the fateful day I was arrested, I narrowly escaped being lynched if not for the divine intervention of good Nigerians, who pleaded that I should be handed over to the police. I went shopping in a mini supermarket in Ikotun, where a female victim we robbed penultimate Friday recognized me and raised the alarm that I was among the people who robbed her.

I was not masked during the robbery operation, so she recognized me, and I couldn’t deny it, but God saved my life as I was immediately taken to the police station.

“My regret is that I was impatient, as I was in the fast lane to beat the economic hardship imposed on us by the fuel subsidy removal. My advice to the youths is that they should be patient to see if the government will give us palliative, but to be candid, taxi drivers, especially Uber, Bolt, and Riders, are not finding the fuel subsidy removal funny as we don’t make gains and we can’t take care of our daily needs.”

The Lagos State Police Commissioner, who spoke through the Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Benjamin Hundeyin, however, warned passengers to be careful of the kind of vehicle they board at night, as robbers masquerade as drivers.

“Once a driver stops at a lonely place at night and begins to tell stories of vehicle breakdown, know that danger may be lurking around and know whether it is possible to raise the alarm. Ensure to insist that they stop at the next checkpoint or where there are people,” he said.

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Kaduna: Tribunal Affirms Sani’s Election, Dismisses PDP’s Petition




The Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna has dismissed petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2023 election, Isah Ashiru, against the victory of Governor Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, in a dissenting judgment of two against one, delivered on Thursday, a three-member panel headed by Justice Victor Oviawie dismissed the petition on the ground that the pre-hearing notice was filed out of time, and therefore deemed to be abandoned.

The tribunal chairman and another member held that the appeal brought by PDP and Ashiru against the dismissal of their petition at the preliminary stage by the first and second defendants was not meritorious because the filing of the pre-hearing notice was abandoned and out of time, and therefore had dealt the entire petition a fatal blow.

The tribunal, however, noted that if the petition had not been dismissed for lack of merit, it would have ordered a supplementary election in 22 polling units within 90 days in the substantive judgment.

Senator Sani, during the election polled a total of 730,001 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ashiru of the PDP, who scored 719, 196 votes.

The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Jonathan Asake, came third with 58,283 votes, while Suleiman Hunkuyi of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) scored 21,405 votes.

While the Labour Party and NNPP accepted the outcome of the election, the PDP and its candidate rejected the results, alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the wrong candidate winner of the election.

Besides, the PDP and Ashiru alleged that there were massive irregularities and manipulation of results in favour of Governor Ubah in some local governments by INEC. According to them, the APC candidate did not score the highest number of valid votes cast in the election and ought not to have been returned winner of the election by INEC.

In June 2023, PDP and Ashiru, however, filed a petition at the election petition tribunal to challenge the election of Governor Uba.

At the last sitting of the court on September 3rd, all parties presented their final written addresses before the tribunal, with APC’s legal team led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bayo Ojo (SAN), arguing that the petitioners had helped in proving he won the election free and fair, pointing in particular to the admission of a star witness for the petitioner, Bonett Gwazah, a senior system analyst in the VR/ICT department of INEC in Kaduna State.

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NiMET Alerts FCT, Edo, 23 States of 48-Hour Downpour




The Nigerian Meteorological Agency has notified the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Edo, Kwara, and 22 other states of 48-hour downpour beginning on Thursday.

In its weekly heavy rainfall forecast bulletin released on Wednesday, the agency told the residents to also expect flash floods.
Other states listed are Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Delta, Bayelsa, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, and Benue.

The bulletin reads: “Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected within the forecast period (Thursday 28th and Friday 29th, September 2023) over parts of Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa.

Other States are: “Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory.”

On the likely impact of the rains, NiMet warned: “The expected moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to cause some flash flooding over their areas of occurrence.

“Strong winds should accompany the rains with the strongest winds expected over parts of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi State.”

The agency cautioned residents against driving through surface runoff waters, as they have strong undercurrents.

It identified slippery road surfaces and reduced visibility as other hazards that may be triggered by the downpour.

The Punch

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Chicago Academic Record: Atiku Plans Fresh Suit Against Tinubu




The legal team of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is planning to file a motion to challenge President Bola Tinubu’s plea for Chicago State University not to release privileged documents in his academic records.

The Special Adviser to Atiku on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, told The Punch that the legal team had up to 48 hours to respond to the motion in the US court.

Atiku had earlier secured an order for CSU to make the president’s academic records available to his legal team.

A magistrate, Jeffrey Gilbert, had last week ordered Tinubu’s alma mater to provide all relevant and non-privileged documents to the applicant within two days.

Atiku is currently challenging the victory of the former Lagos State governor at the 2023 presidential poll and his recent affirmation by an election petition court in Nigeria.

The documents sought by the PDP candidate, through his counsel, Angela Liu, include the record of admission and acceptance at the university, dates of attendance including degrees, awards, and honors attained by the former governor of Lagos State at the university, among others.

But as the deadline given by Gilbert drew nearer on Thursday, Tinubu’s lawyers approached Maldonado, arguing that the earlier decision by Gilbert needed to be reviewed by a district judge.

The request for a review and delay of the order till Monday was eventually granted by the US district judge.

Tinubu’s application, filed by his lawyers, Oluwole Afolabi and Christopher Charmichael, advanced two reasons.

First was that his academic records in issue are not useful in Nigerian courts as claimed by Atiku because the Nigerian election proceedings and the Nigerian courts have explicitly been unreceptive to the discovery.

The second reason given was that Atiku’s request is unduly intrusive because it allows Applicant (Atiku) to conduct a fishing expedition into intervenor’s private, confidential, and protected educational records.

When asked on Wednesday to confirm if Atiku has filed the suit as he earlier threatened in Monday, Shaibu reassured that the former vice president would submit the motion before midnight.

He said, “I am sure you have seen his application. We are working on our response. We have up till midnight today (Wednesday) to respond to them. And we will.”

On when they expect the court to rule over the matter, Shaibu stated that “It is after we have responded to the court, that it will fix the date and inform the parties.”

When contacted for reaction, Coordinator of Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, Babatunde Ogala, who spoke via phone from his base in the United States told The Punch he would rather not speak on the development.

“As I told you earlier, I am still on vacation,” he said.

The Punch

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