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Defendant Death Forced Adjournment of Arraignment of OAGFZA Staff



A new drama, a new twist was introduced to the planned arraignment of two senior staff members of the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over allegations bordering on forgery and falsification of official documents, on Tuesday, (10 October), when the defence counsel, casually informed the court the first defendant is deceased.

The two defendants: Mr. Wasiu Sule, the Head of Legal Services and Secretary to the Board, and Mr. Alenju Ngofa, the Head of Human Resources of OGFZA.

The Defendants’ Counsel for the first time informed the court orally, when the magistrate, Mr. Emmanuel Iyanna, called for the arraignment of the defendants, that the first Defendant is late and also that the second Defendant was also physically indisposed, and so could not be present in the court to answer charges.
The plaintiff counsel objected to the defence counsel’s oral application and insisted that he should present documentary evidence to the effect of the first Defendant’s death. The Court sustained the objection.

The Defendant’s Counsel however, promised to present an Affidavit to support his oral evidence/application in the next adjourned date.
The Court also insisted that the second Defendant should appear before the court on the next adjourned date.
The matter was adjourned to the 1st of November, 2023 for the arraignment of the second Defendant.
The two OGFZA officials, Mr. Wasiu Sule, the Head of Legal Services and Secretary to OGFZA’s Board, and Mr. Alenju Ngofa, the Head of Human Resources of the organisation, who are the first and second defendants, are accused of forgery and falsification of official documents.

When the matter came up on Tuesday at the magistrate Court 2, Zone 6, Abuja, for arraignment, the court was informed of the demise of the first defendant.
Therefore, in view of the development, the court adjourned the matter till November 1, 2023 for mention and arraignment.
OGFZA and the nominal complainant, Olufunmilayo David Omosule, had been locked in a legal battle over the legality or otherwise of his suspension following his petition against some management staff of the agency over alleged corruption over the sale of the organisation’s generating set worth over one hundred million naira.
Thereafter, the plaintiff submitted his academic credentials to the defendants for processing for promotion exercise. But the documents were declared missing when the Board conducting the promotion exercise sat.

Omosule therefore, alleged that the defendants wilfully and maliciously distorted his official records “to appear as though he does not possess any requisite qualification to be employed at OGFZA or any qualification at all to be considered for promotion.”
The agency had, via a letter dated April 18, 2011, suspended Omosule as the manager of its Abuja office on the grounds that he refused to comply with its letter dated December 3, 2010, which had directed him to present the originals of his credentials for verification.

Omosule, however, refuted the claim of the authority, stating that he made available to the organisation Certified True Copies (CTCs) of his educational certificates and credentials, including GCE ‘O Level and degree certificates, as instructed.
He had claimed that the originals of his credentials were misplaced in untraceable circumstances as at 2010 when the request to submit them was made, and averred that the CTCs of his certificates submitted to the agency were certified by the issuing institutions, which included the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the University of Ado-Ekiti, then Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti, respectively.

The claimant therefore approached the National Industrial Court of Arbitration, (NIC) Abuja, seeking a declaration that he was still a staff member of the organisation and entitled to all the rights, privileges, and benefits due to him because of his employment.
He prayed the court for an order directing the defendants to reinstate him to the position of a director on grade level 17, a position he claimed his contemporaries were currently in, as well as an order directing the agency to pay all his outstanding salaries, benefits, and entitlements since 2011.
The NIC in its judgement in May, 2023 in its judgement ordered the OAGFZA to re-absorbed the plaintiff and calculate all his salaries and emoluments from April, 11 2011 to date and pay him. He was also to be restored back into his employment. The OAGFZA was ordered to pay a fine of five hundred naira to the plaintiff, Mr. Funmi Omosule.

Subsequently, the two officials who were responsible for the mishandling of the plaintiff’s documents, Mr. Wasiu Sule and Mr. Alenju Ngofa were dragged before the Magistrate Court 2, Zone 6, Wuse, Abuja for forgery and falsification of official document. The case has been dragging since 2021, suffering various setbacks, that have prevented the arraignment of the two staff members.
Now that Mr. Wasiu Sule is said to be late, it remains only Mr. Alenju Ngofa, the Head of Human resources of OAGFZA, Abuja to explain to the court, the circumstances surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the plaintiff’s academic records submitted to them.

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Amuwo Odofin Affirms Rabiu Ijaoye as Baale, warns Trouble Shooters



By Wura Oyinlola

The Amuwo Odofin community in Amuwo Odofin Local Government area of Lagos State have cried out to all peace lovers in the State to prevail on those hell-bent on truncating the peace of the community.

A community leader, Alhaji Isiaka Rabiu, alleged that some members of the community are planning to disrupt the peace of the community over their agitation for the uncalled-for deposition of the traditional ruler of the community, Akeem Rabiu Ijaoye.

Alhaji Isiaka reminded the leader of the group, Alhaji Mutiu Bashorun that Akeem Ijaoye was properly installed some ten years ago, and as a “State where Law and Order reigns supreme, there are laid down processes to install and depose (if the need arises) a Monarch. The responsibility of carrying out such responsibility lies solely in the constituted authority which in this Case is the Government of Lagos State”.

He called the attention of all relevant authorities to the disruptive activities of Alhaji Mutiu Bashorun in the community.

Alhaji Isiaka stated that “this attempt to disrupt public peace according to information available to the family is just a means to achieve a bigger plan of conducting a Palace coup which is aimed at overthrowing the sitting Baale of Amuwo Odofin Community who was by the existing Chieftaincy law of Lagos State duly installed as the Monarch of this Ancient community 10years ago”.

According to him, “therefore, whatever seems to be the motivation for Alhaji Bashorun and his cohorts to appropriate the right and responsibility of a State Government to themselves remains unknown”.

The community leader believed that “as it will always be in any human endeavour, disagreements is inevitable. It is the ability to sit at a round table to discuss and subsequently resolve differences that stands us out as matured and civilised human beings”. investigations revealed that Baale of Amuwo Odofin, Chief Akeem Rabiu Ijaoye, had on many instances made attempts to make peace with Alhaji Bashorun on the disagreements between them, but all to no avail.

The Baale was said to have gone further to the extent of making concessions in order to allow peace reign in the community.

Sources told that relevant bodies and institutions, specifically the Muslim leaders in Morkaz, Lagos State Command of the Nigeria Police and the Lagos State House of Assembly have made several attempts to resolve this issue and to also make Alhaji Bashorun soft-pedalled but all efforts were fruitless. (C2022)

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Soludo cries out for help, as floods ravage communities



As floods and more floods keep ravaging communities across Delta, Kogi and Anambra States, Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra has cried to public spirited individuals and corporate bodies to join in providing needed succour to the displaced, promising his government would not abandon them.
The Governor in a cryptic message lamented that the “floods have risen again to destroy the livelihoods of our people”.

The floods have ravaged five local governments in Anambra State, while also not showing any mercy to communities in sister States of Delta and Kogi.
The Governor lamented that the past week has been devastating for his people.
According to him, “emergency holding camps are set up in the nearest highlands, as we have been evacuating hundreds of internally displaced people from affected areas”.
He disclosed that scores of other displaced people are thronging in daily to seek shelter, food and healthcare.
He said as a “government we are committed to alleviating the sufferings of our people with resources available to us”.

He called upon public spirited individuals and corporate bodies to join us in providing the needed succour to our displaced brethren.
He disclosed that he had visited the IDP camps to get a feel and have personal assessment of the conditions, promising he would not abandon them to their fate.
“This is another reason we must take issues of the environment seriously, and work to stop all human activities that aggravate this condition”, he urged the people. recalled that Kogi and Anambra States have been particularly worst hit by floods in the past few weeks, causing many damages, while displacing several thousands from their homes.

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#EndSars Remembrance: Police battle-ready, warns organisers



In October 2021, tens of hundreds of youngsters took to the streets to protest unbridled police brutalities and high-handedness, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police. After days of brutal destruction of public and private properties, the major plank of the public support withdrew the support, while the government was forced to intervene, thus leading to the unfortunate loss of lives. The most memorable of the clashes was the Lekki Toll Gate clash between some soldiers and the protesters. There were claims and counter-claims about the numbers of casualties of the clash.

Since the emergence of Mr. Peter Obi as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), the remnants of the #EndSARS Movement have moved to join up a support group of the party. The group had planned to hold a remembrance rally in memory of the victims of the clash at Lekki Toll Gate.

The group, now under the Obidient Movement has scheduled the Lagos March for Peter Obi for Lekki Toll Gate. It was also planned for the remembrance of the #Endsars crisis.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Command says the command is battle-ready to thwart any protest in and around the Lekki Toll Gate axis.

Already, a detachment of fierce-looking combat mobile policemen has been deployed to the area. This is sequel to the court ruling restraining the organisers from holding the rally. reported that ten plaintiffs including nine lawyers had asked the court to restrain the LP, Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, the party’s national chairman, Julius Abure, and their supporters from holding the rally.

But Obi’s supporters known as the ‘Obidients’ have been marching in various cities in the country including Jos, Abuja, Ibadan, Umuahia, and Jalingo. However, the 10 plaintiffs’ lawyers in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1729/2022, filed an ex parte motion against the Lagos march.

The plaintiffs are Adedotun Ajulo, Salamatu Lewi, Hakeem Ijaduola, Ogunbona Akinpelu, Owolabi Oluwasegun, Mogbojuri Kayode, Wuyep Nadom, Dimimu Mabel, Kolawole Salami, and Wale Lawrence. The action was granted late Thursday (29 September).

Lagos Police Command has now warned the organisers “that no form of rally whatsoever will be allowed at the Lekki Toll gate tomorrow, October 1”.

According to Benjamin Hundeyin Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), “this emphasis has become necessary to enlighten Nigerians that might be misled into converging on the toll gate”.

He added that a “court of competent jurisdiction has ruled that no person is allowed to converge on the Lekki Toll gate for whatever reason”.

He assured residents that the Lagos State Police Command under the leadership of Abiodun Alabi will leave no stone unturned in ensuring total compliance with the court order and an emplacement of adequate security in the state.

He argued that “while the Command is not averse to the peoples’ right to freedom of assembly and association; and expression, the Command will equally live up to its mandate of ensuring that no person or group of persons is allowed to infringe on the fundamental human rights of others, especially the rights to freedom of movement and right to dignity of human persons, especially under the guise of rally or procession”.

Hundeyin sent a note of warning to the organisers. “The warning, therefore, goes that anyone found flouting the court order or infringing on the rights of other Nigerians will be dealt with in accordance with the law”.

Alabi enjoined all peace-loving persons to go about their lawful duties without fear of harassment or intimidation, reiterating that adequate security assets have been strategically deployed to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians at designated rally venues and across the state at large. (C 2022)

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