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Chiefs Council Demands Customary Rent From Andoni Communities

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The chiefs and people of Bonny Kingdom in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State have demanded the payment of customary rent from their neighbouring Andoni communities. To this end ,it has  given the people of Andoni a 30-day ultimatum to pay tribute to them over parcels of land they occupied as their customary tenancy .
According to a statement by the principal partners to the people of Bonny Kingdom, A.A. Olusegun and Associates, said the refusal of the Andonis to acknowledge and pay the said tribute to them at the Palace of His Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, Perkule XI within the stipulated time frame will  be considered a misconduct and an affront to the people of Bonny.
“As you know, this is actionable against you for forfeiture in the court of law”, it stated, and explained that a Judgement by a Supreme Court in Abuja presided over by Justice M.J. Abbot in a suit No.P/79/1956 had laid to rest the dispute between the Bonnys and the Andonis.
It further stated that the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Appeal filed by the Defendant, Judgement debtors, the Andonis was dismissed by the Apex Court.
“In fact the Supreme Court affirmed the Judgement of the lower court of Appeal No. F.S.C. 86/1958 between Chief Benjamin of Agama and 13 others, for themselves and on behalf of the Chiefs and people of Alabie and Ngo who are the appellants and Chief F.D.F Banigo and Anor, for themselves and on behalf of the Chiefs and people of Bonny as respondent.”
According to the statement, it is only proper, right and in the interest of good relationship that the tenants and occupiers of their land know without any doubt that the Bonny people are their landlords, and that to think or act otherwise against the Bonny Kingdom who are the customary Landlords of the settlements will be tantamount to a challenge to the overlords title of their clients in the settlements.
It should be noted that Asarama-Toru is the same as Opobo channel and they are all in Bonny LGA.
The statement  sited a case of Olugbode against Sangodeyi (1996) 4 NWLR (Pt.444) 500 S.C that “A customary tenant who turns around to challenge the title of his Landlord has committed a gross misconduct. The misconduct is aggravated where there is a subsisting decision of the court that he is nothing but a tenant. In such a case, he automatically forfeits his right to possession, should the landlord claim it”.
The statement also noted that the Supreme Court judgement was not just the declaration of title in favour of the Bonny Kingdom or the order of injunction against the Andonis, but the fact that the court found and held that the Bonny territory and the Andoni territory is separated from Andoni by the Andoni River, adding that the Andoni River is the natural boundary between the Bonnys and the Andonis
The suit by the Chiefs of Bonny against the Chiefs and people of Andoni (Agama, Alabie and Ngo) was for declaration of title over the parcels of Land known and called Ifoko, Epellematubo, Foropaka, Mumokiri, Egelebie, Nanabie, Opunanabie, Otolomabibi, Efere Wari and Opuasaramatoru, and the Judgement was in favour of the Chiefs and people of Bonny Kingdom.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Crime/Justice

Court Rules On Dagogo’s Application, Friday

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The embattled governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State and a member of Federal House of Representatives representing Degema /Bonny federal constituency, Hon Farah Dagogo has pleaded not guilty to the two counts charge of cultism and felony.
He was alleged to have attempted the disruption of screening exercise of PDP in the state in the charge filed against him by Rivers state government at the state High Court in Port Harcourt, Monday.
The embattled federal lawmaker was properly arraigned at the state High Court presided over by Justice Chinwendu Nworgu where he took his plea on the two-count charge on cultism and disruption of PDP screening exercise in Port Harcourt ,recently .
The charge sheet read before the court, that “you Farah Dagogo and others now at large are alleged to have on the 27th of April, 2022 invaded PDP party secretariat on Aba Road with firearms causing panic with intention to disrupt screening exercise of the party”.
However, when the charges were read out, the accused, Hon Farah Dagogo who was brought to the court on wheelchair pleaded not guilty and thereafter, his Counsel informed the court of his bail application and cited some sections of the Rivers State law High Court rule and practice which authorises the court to grant bail to his client after withdrawing preliminary objection on the jurisdiction of the court to entertain and hear the matter.
Opposing the motion, the prosecution counsels led by the Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice, Hon Zacheaus Adango (SAN) in his response, objected to the application, saying that bail application could not be tendered.
He argued that there was a pending motion on preliminary objection on the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter which must be determined first and therefore asked the court to dismiss the bail application motion.
Trial Judge, Justice Chinwendu Nworgu after listening to the various arguments from both the defending and prosecution counsels adjourned the matter to Friday, 20th of May, 2022 for consideration of bail application and possible commencement of proper trial, of the matter and directed that the accused be remanded in correctional centre, while also advised that he should be taken back to Rivers State University Teaching Hospital where he is taking medical attention.
Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, the Attorney General, Zaccheaus Adango, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, explained what transpired in court, saying that the state opposed the bail application of the defendant.
On his own part, one of the Counsels to Farah Dagogo, Emmanuel Rukani, expressed concern that despite the fact that their client was brought to court on wheelchair, the court still adjourned his bail application but expressed hope that the court would look at the process before it and do justice to the matter on the next adjourned date.

By: Amadi Akujobi

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Crime/Justice

N6.9bn Fraud: Absence Of Witnesses Stalls Fayose’s Trial

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, adjourned until July 4, the continuation of trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, who was charged with money laundering and fraud.
The trial, which was earlier scheduled for continuation, was adjourned due to unavailability of prosecution witnesses.
Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for N6.9billion fraud and money laundering.
When the case was called, yesterday, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), announced appearance for prosecution.
Messrs U.U. Njoku and Olalekan Ojo (SAN) announced appearance for Fayose (first defendant) and his company, Spotlight Investment Ltd. which is the second defendant.
Jacobs told the court that two prosecution witnesses, billed to testify, yesterday, were unavailable.
According to him, prosecution’s 12th witness was unavailable due to political party’s primary election while the other witness was occupied with another matter.
He prayed the court to grant an adjournment, saying that he had already informed the defence team of the development.
Both defence counsel did not object to the request for adjournment.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke consequently adjourned the case for continuation of trial.
Fayose was first arraigned on October 22, 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun, alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd. on an 11-count charge.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail on October 24, 2018, in the sum of N50million with sureties in like sum.
The former governor was, however, re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on July 2, 2019, after the case was withdrawn from Justice Olatoregun, following EFCC’s petition.
He also pleaded not guilty before Aneke, and was allowed to continue on the earlier bail.
At the last adjourned date in December 2021, EFCC called its 11th witness, Mrs Joanne Tolulope, who narrated how Abiodun Agbele, an associate of Fayose, allegedly illegally bought property worth several millions of Naira.
During the trial before Olatoregun, EFCC called witnesses from several commercial banks, as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro.
According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and Agbele illegally took possession of N1.2billion for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti.
Fayose allegedly received cash payment of $5million (about N1.8billion) from Obanikoro without going through any financial institution.
He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300million in his account and illegally took control of the aggregate sum of about N622million.
Fayose was also alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd. and Still Earth Ltd. to unlawfully retain the aggregate sum of N851million
Besides, the defendant was alleged to have illegally used about N1.6billion to acquire property in Lagos and Abuja.
He was also alleged to have used the sum of N200million to acquire a property in Abuja in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also formed crime proceeds.
The alleged offences contravene the provisions of Sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

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Crime/Justice

Landlord Butchers Female Tenant, Fiancee In PH

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A landlord and owner of a compound at Ekwulobia Street Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt has allegedly butchered his female tenant, Miss Comfort Nwagadi and her fiancee, Mr Stanley Nwagadi for dating each other, saying that his tenant was dating a man she reportedly takes care of.
Speaking with our reporter at her hospital bed, Comfort Nwagadi said the incident happened on Saturday night.
She was rushed to hospital Sunday morning when her health condition was deterrioting after the landlord attacked her.
Speaking from her admission bed, the victim of the attack said, she washed and spread her clothes on the rope on that fateful day and the landlord of the compound who is also residing in the compound removed her washed clothes where she had spread them and they fell down on the ground.
She averred that when she went to pick up the clothe, her landlord started abusing her that she was keeping a man she feed and takes care of adding that in the wake of the abuse, her fiancee came in and heard the utterances from the landlord popularly called Alabo, and both had exchange of words.
Comfort stated that she and her fiancee left after the exchange of words with the landlord but
unknown to them that the said landlord had sharpened a machete and was already waiting for them.
The moment she walked into the compound as she came back with her fiancee from where they went to, the landlord rushed her with a machete and started cutting her.
Her fiancee who ran to save her on hearing her scream, was also cut twice on his head and hand before the landlord ran away.
Also speaking, Mr Stanley Nwagadi told our reporter that he rushed to save his fiancee when she was screaming from the machete cuts she received from their landlord and called for justice on the matter.
Our correspondent who visited the intending couple at hospital reports that Comfort had four machete cuts on the head, three at her fingers while the fiancee Stanley had two machete cuts on the head and left hand.
Police Officers from Azikiwe Police Division, Iloabuchi Mile 2 Diobu who spoke undercover said he had also visited the intending couple at the hospital where they were receiving treatment.
However, when contacted on phone, the acting spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Grace Iringe Koko said she was yet to be briefed on the matter.

By: Amadi Akujobi

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