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30 Police detectives storm Lagos to unravel gruesome murder of  Police officer, abduction of others

Usman Alkali Baba, IGP

Exclusive by Owolola Adebola 

No fewer than thirty carefully selected homicide detectives drawn from the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) arrived in Lagos Monday to investigate the remote causes of blood-letting activities that led to the loss of life of a police officer who died in the line of duty during an unprovoked attack by some heartless social miscreants at Elegbin community in Lagos.
The blood-thirsty hounds were also said to have been responsible for the sudden disappearance of twelve others whose whereabouts remain a mystery.
The arrival of the top-rated police officers was said to have the blessings of the Inspector General of Police who mandated the officers to carry out a discreet investigation with the view to fishing out those who were responsible for the dastardly act.
The office of the IGP  had earlier received a flurry of petitions in connection with the heart-shattering incident which occurred weeks back.
It was initially suspected that the casualty-ridden incident was the handiwork of some hoodlums who disguised as land grabbers.
Week-long checks by our correspondent revealed that some yet to be identified gangsters who were said to have armed themselves with guns, machetes, axes, charms and other dangerous weapons, penultimate week, pounced on some duty policemen stationed in the community to see to the smooth possession of a disputed land by one Adeoku family after which a competent court declared the family as the rightful owner of the landed property.
The clash was said to have raised unprecedented dust as people ran helter-skelter.
It was learnt that when the dust finally settled, the attackers, who reportedly rode in a convoy of unmarked vehicles,  reportedly killed a mobile police sergeant, identified as  Edison Fulman, with Force Number 500314.
Eye witness accounts have it that, the unsuspecting police officer was not only dispossessed of his rifle but as well made to pay with his life.
As his lifeless body was openly displayed on the street, his other colleagues who accompanied him to the scene were not equally spared as they sustained varying degrees of life-threatening injuries.
 “The colleagues of the slain policeman, numbering sixteen, were later placed on emergency admission from where they have since been recuperating”.
One of the petitioners to the office of the IGP, Chief Morof  Owonla,.during our investigation disclosed that over  13 of his workers were, against their wish, abducted by the hoodlums and ferried away through a deep sea to an unknown destination.
According to the visibly agitated businessman, the missing workers include the following: Ganiyu Ogunbakinde; Olumide Omoakin; Jamiu Osama; Azeez Oloye; Akeem; Taiwo; Dayo, Wasiu, whose surnames are not known.
He however added that others who escaped death by the whiskers were macheted by the unprovoked attackers.
“The others who were wounded in the clash were promptly rescued by men of the policemen attached to Ajangbadi Division.
It was feared that those said to have been abducted by the criminal elements may have been killed as some fishermen reportedly sighted headless bodies floating in the area.
Further checks revealed that one, Mrs. Omowunmi Adewale, a local caterer was caught unawares by the hoodlums who attempted to hack her to death.
Adewale told our correspondent that she works as a caterer at the site only for her to be suddenly attacked by armed thugs who were chanting war songs.

“One of them attempted hacking me with a cutlass. It was mother luck which saved my life for as some policemen arrived from a nearby division which made my attackers flee”.

In-depth investigations revealed that there had been a lingering tussle between one Adeoku family and another family over the legal ownership of hectares of land in the community.

The matter was adjudicated upon by Justice O. Oshodi of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, who, after listening to the two parties, delivered judgment in favour of the Adeoku Family.
That was in the year  2013 which consequently led to a  possession order given by the court.
A pile of documents made available to our correspondent also indicated that a certificate of warrant of possession otherwise called Form ‘O’ was consequentially issued to the family of Adeoku to take legally, the possession of the expanse of land.
Subsequently, a team of 17 policemen drafted from the Zone 2 Police Headquarters, Lagos and the court sheriffs executed the warrant of possession on February 11, 2022.
It was in the course of taking repossession of the landed property by the victorious family that a spurious alarm signal was sent to the state authorities informing them that some persons suspected to be land grabbers had illegally stormed the quiet  Elegbin community to foment trouble.
The unsuspecting state government, it was gathered, wasted little or no time in dispatching a delegation led by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, to Etegbin with the view to confirming, assessing, and report back their findings of the alleged invasion by hoodlums with the view to averting a breakdown of law and order.
Also on the entourage was the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Cornelius Ojelabi,
who, during the visit, had suggested that the parties to the tussle would be invited to a roundtable to resolve the matter amicably.
A concerned resident in the community had earlier hinted that some persons behind the bloody attack had actually raised the false signal to the state government after the possession of the landed property was taken on February 11, 2021, for which the State government officials visited.
The visitation made by the delegation was said to have apparently provided a leeway for the hoodlums to raise the bar of violence against the police officers and other law-abiding citizens, just as both economic and social activities were paralysed for several hours.
” The bloody clash took place after the delegates had departed”, a source revealed.
The gun-totting hoodlums, according to some residents who pleaded for anonymity, destroyed multi-million naira properties in the wake of the mayhem.
‘Some of the properties include hotels and filling stations, as they (the hoodlums) moved around the community with other dangerous weapons to harass and intimidate law-abiding residents and people perceived to be related to the victorious family.
Meanwhile,  a leading petitioner to the office of the Inspector General of Police, whose petition was routed through the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Alagbon, Lagos, Chief Owonla and who claimed his workers were illegally abducted and injured by the rampaging hoodlums, had pleaded with the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of the investigative department to order a high-level investigation into the incident with a view to arresting the perpetrators and their sponsors by bringing them to justice.
Owonla, in a chat with our correspondent, said he got ownership of his property through the judgment given in favour of his landlords, the Adeoku Family.
According to him:“It was quite a pathetic situation and with a heavy heart to lay my complaint concerning what happened to my workers and manager at Etegbin and the event that led to the gruesome murder of Sergeant Edison Fulman and so many of my workers that are missing and yet to be confirmed dead.
“The fact in issue was that my landlord from whom I derived my title to Etegbin property got a judgment in their favour which was fully guaranteed and confirmed with a certificate of warrant of possession, Form ‘O’ given in favour of  Adeoku Family of Etegbin in suit no ID/2370/94; CA/L/415/03  and BDM /6M/2009 dated 8th September 2013 and revalidation of possession to give credence to the judgment for the second time was carried out on Friday, February 11, 2022.
“Immediately after the possession, peace and tranquillity pervaded the village without let or hindrance and we have started enjoying peaceful possession since then.
“On Monday, February 14, 2022, my manager, who was at my gas station to oversee my real estate property, equally at Etegbin, briefed me adequately about the dastardly destruction of lives and properties and arson which took place that day in a high-level conspiracy and scheming orchestrated and executed by hired armed hoodlums led by the suspects, despite the peaceful possession given to us by a court of competent jurisdiction as the judgment creditors, to enjoy the fruit of our lawful possession.”
He added: ”The moment the suspects came into the village with hired armed thugs and hoodlums (including) dreaded cultists, they started shooting sporadically in scaring tactics to create panic and confusion in the relatively peaceful village and began to terrorise our workers and standby policemen from Zone 2 Police Command.`
“In the process, Sergeant Edison Fulman from Zone 2 Command dropped dead while many of our workers were missing but yet to be confirmed dead, and these among others include Ganiyu Ogunbakinde; Olumide Omoakin; Jamiu Osama; Azeez Oloye; Akeem; Taiwo; Dayo and Wasiu.”
Owonla claimed that one Shakiru and over 50 others were complicit in the matter, urging the police to “apprehend the culprits via conducting a wide-angle investigation into this report to know the degree of their complicity in crime and notoriety in criminality, lawlessness, extra-judicial conducts, conspiracy over time and to allow me unfettered access to my gas station and real estate property at Etegbin devoid of hired hoodlums attack, intimidation and harassment whatsoever”

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Headlines

IMO tasks Mobereola to sustain NIMASA’s leadership role in regional maritime industry

—– hails his appointment as DG
The Eyewitness Reporter
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has lauded the leadership role of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the maritime industry within the West African sub-region which it said has stabilized maritime administration in the region.
In his congratulatory letter to Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the new NIMASA DG, the Secretary General of IMO Arsenio Dominguez, observed with satisfaction the collaborative efforts of NIMASA that have brought relative peace to the troubled Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
He therefore charged Mobereola to sustain the tempo of activities that will keep the momentum going in the areas of safety, security and building of strong maritime institutions.
In a conveyance letter personally signed by him, the IMO Secretary-General recognized the strides of the Agency in building a robust maritime sector in Nigeria, adding that the IMO commends the significant effort, initiatives, and investment that Nigeria has made in strengthening its maritime institutions.

In the words of Dominguez, “The focus on strengthening maritime law enforcement and security architecture has been welcomed by seafarers and flag States.

“The Deep Blue project and the C4i Centre as well as maritime piracy laws under the SPOMO Act are just some of the many investments that have set a new gold standard in the region in maritime security capacity building”.

“IMO has long supported the regional role of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and its Member States in strengthening maritime security and law enforcement.

” In this respect, we have been greatly encouraged with the continuation of this regional ownership with the formation and work of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum and Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GoG-MCF/SHADE) in 2021”.

He commended the Agency’s partnership with the various regional bodies and expressed the readiness of the IMO to work with Nigeria and other member states on many maritime issues with the aim of jointly tackling these issues.

“NIMASA’s partnership with the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) and the collaboration with the shipping industry, navies and the Yaoundé architecture has been instrumental in suppressing the threat of piracy to merchant vessels and seafarers in line with UN Security Council resolution 2634 (2022) on piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea and IMO Assembly resolution A.1159 (32)”.

” I look forward to working with you and your colleagues on many of the maritime issues that we are jointly tackling and hope to welcome you in person at the IMO, he said.

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Headlines

Eastern shippers, freight forwarders on collision course with Shippers’ Council over increase in haulage rate

Akutah Pius Ukeyima, ES, NSC
The Eyewitness Reporter
Importers, Exporters and freight forwarders playing their trade in the South East region of the country have rejected the recent 200 percent hike in haulage rate by the Nigerian Shippers’Council.
They described the increase as “outrageous, arbitrary, and unacceptable.”
In a press conference called by the aggrieved shippers in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, they claimed that if the hike was not reversed, it would bring them on a collision course with the Shippers’ Council.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the aggrieved group, Joshua Ahuama, Zonal Coordinator of the Association of Nigerian Customs Licenced Agents (ANLCA), claimed that the rate will not only lead to spiral inflation but also in contravention of the provisions of the NSC Act.
He disclosed that the group shall give the Shippers’Council a seven-day ultimatum to reverse to status quo or face withdrawal of their services at the Eastern ports.
He accused the council of not consulting concerned stakeholders before arriving at the decision, saying consultations are an integral part of the NSC Act.
 “Recently, the NSC approved a 200 percent increment in haulage rate for transport owners and drivers operating under the Maritime Union of Nigeria.
“To this end, importers and freight forwarders associations in the eastern zone have unanimously disputed the new rate because it is outrageous, arbitrary, and unacceptable to all stakeholders in the zone.
“We have, however, resolved to adopt all peaceful efforts. We started this move on March 14 by calling on the NSC to ensure proper stakeholder engagement and renegotiation.

” These measures are also expected to help all parties to reach a benchmark that would be in the interest of all stakeholders in the maritime value chain,” Ahuama noted.

 “We also urge the NSC to return to the status quo by suspending the implementation of the disputed rate, pending proper renegotiation covering the interest of all stakeholders.

“We are not on a selfish course. Our demands are in the interest of Nigerians because any slight increase in the haulage rate will reflect on the prices of goods in the open market.

“A businessman incorporates total logistic costs into the prices of goods.”

However, the group said they might be constrained to take drastic measures, including suspending all declarations of goods and payments of customs duties, which could negatively affect national revenue and economic output.

Some members of the import and export associations present at the meeting included the Nigeria Shippers Association, the Aba International Traders Association, the Ultimate Importers Association, the POP Importers Association, the Nnewi Importers Association, and the Onitsha Importers Association.

However, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has said that the new approved rate took into consideration the cost, moderation and other cargo transport issues.
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Customs

Performance of Apapa Customs scanning officers excites Comptroller Jaiyeoba

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Area Controller of Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba has lauded the uncompromising attitude of the officers of the Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology Unit (NIITU) which he said has been invaluable to the overall success of the command.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba, who was on an unscheduled visit to the scanner site, reminded the officers of the importance of teamwork as a strong basis to sustain the gains of compliance and revenue collection recently recorded by the command.
He thanked Deputy Comptroller Salamatu Atuluku, the Officer in charge of the scanning site and encouraged the unit not to be deterred by complaints coming from persons who were made to pay accurate duties to the government after issuance of demand notices
According to him, no business person who is made to part with money will be happy with officers who refused to compromise the ethics of their job
” The main reason for me coming here is to appreciate you. I may not see you but I have seen your work and I won’t keep quiet about what I have seen about your work.
“You are doing very well. I just want to encourage you to work as a team. If you don’t work as a team, you give room for outsiders to come in and when they come in, they divide you and when they divide you,  achieving success will be very difficult
” Do your work without blemish. Once you keep your arm straight, you can stand before anybody. Your work as a customs officer is to ensure that you do the correct thing
” For those of you doing an intervention in the form of Demand Notice(DN), there is no body who part with money that will be happy with you.
“They will want to play intelligent by hiding somewhere. When you fetch them from their hiding place, they become your enemy. Whatever they write about anybody here will still come down to me and if anybody works well, the onus on me is to defend such a person.
“Just have it at the back of your mind that you owe yourself the duty of doing your work diligently whether anyone comes around as a friend or enemy.
“It is not enough for you to rest. The reward for hard work is more work. These demands require sacrifice so that you can maintain the status” he said.
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