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Army rescues 46 captives, destroys another camp in Sambisa

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Troops of the Nigerian Army have rescued 46 captives and destroyed a “highly fortified” Boko Haram camp inside Sambisa forest in Borno state.

Onyeama Nwachukwu, deputy director, army public relations, “Operation Lafiya Dole”, disclosed this in a statement issued in Maiduguri.

Nwachukwu said the troops under “Operation Deep Punch II” penetrated deep into the forest and cleared all known insurgents’ enclaves.

He said the troops neutralised several insurgents, destroyed various makeshift accommodation and recovered high calibre ammunition.

“On Monday February 12, 2018 the troops dislodged Boko Haram terrorists from one of their highly fortified hideouts around S-Shape part of the Sambisa forest close to Sabil Huda, believed to be one of their prized hideouts,” the statement read.

“During the fierce offensive supported by Nigerian Air Force, the resilient troops neutralised quite a number of Boko Haram terrorists and captured major armaments including two Spartan Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), one truck and one laptop computer belonging to the insurgents.

“The gallant troops also destroyed 8 gun trucks; several tents, rescued 19 women and 27 children from the enclave.”

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Judge declares Innoson motors chief, Innocent Chukwuma, wanted

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A judge of the Ikeja Special Offences Court, Mojisola Dada, has declared Innocent Chukwuma, the chief executive officer of Innoson Nigeria Limited, wanted for failing to appear before the court for arraignment.
The judge made the declaration after turning down a request to hear a pending application brought by counsel to the Innoson boss, George Uwechue, challenging the court’s jurisdiction.
The Innoson boss had previously failed to make an appearance in court for his arraignment on January 17, February 9, March 14 and April 25. A bench warrant had been issued against him the third time he refused to appear before the court for arraignment, a decision his counsel said had been put before the Court of Appeal.
It was the fifth time Mr Chukwuma failed to attend the court’s proceedings, according to Anselm Ozioko, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“The learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria representing the second defendant (Innoson) is still insisting on taking his application without ensuring the defendant is physically present in court,” Mr Ozioko said.
“The question is where is the second defendant? Is he too big for the court? Is he too big for the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Is he too big because he has money? Where is he
“What my learned friend, the defence counsel, are doing is contemptuous. We shall be applying for an order to declare the second defendant wanted.”
Responding to Mr Ozioko’s request, the judge said, “The second defendant is hereby declared wanted and the case adjourned until June 22 for possible arraignment.”
Earlier, Mr Uwechue, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had requested that the court hear his application despite the judge’s declaration that no application would be heard until Innoson is physically present in court.
“At the last hearing, the court maintained its position that it will not take its pending application unless the first defendant be arraigned,” Mr Uwechue said.
“We were about to cite our position regarding the court’s declaration but we were interrupted by the prosecuting counsel and that interruption led to today’s proceedings.
“Whatever we did that day, we sincerely apologise, we urge this court to allow us to continue our presentation.”
J. N Mbadugha, representing Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd, in his submission told the court that he had an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court..
Mr Mbadugha also informed the court that he had made an appeal at the Court of Appeal over the case.
The judge, however, maintained her position that the applications of the defence would not be heard until Innoson is physically present in court.
Mr Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd., are to be arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, obtaining property by false pretenses, stealing and forgery.
According to the charge sheet, the defendants committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.
The EFCC alleged that defendants with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain by false pretenses containers of motorcycle, spare parts and raw materials, property of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) from Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Apapa, Lagos.
They are alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them via their clearing agents the goods which were imported from China in the name of GTB by falsely pretending that they were authorised by the bank to clear the goods.
The prosecution claimed that the defendants in order to facilitate the fraud forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mutsui O.S.K Lines by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank staff.
The alleged forgery was in order that the forged documents be used or acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person within Lagos or elsewhere.
The offences contravened Sections 1(1)(b), 1(3), and 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2016 and Secti

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Herdsmen hit Benue again, kill residents returning from mass burial

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Herdsmen hit Benue State again on Tuesday killing people returning from mass burial.
Sources hinted that the deceased met their untimely death along the Makurdi-Naka road
It was gathered that the attackers ambushed their victims and slaughtered them along Naka-Makurdi road.
Among the victims were Ayange Tyoban, Ukeyima Azonngu and Ajuju Torgbende.

A source told our reporter that the victims, who were on a motorcycle, were slaughtered while coming back from Makurdi, after the burial of the two Catholic priests and 17 others worshippers killed last month by the same herdsmen.

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Court orders Metuh’s trial in absentia over misconduct

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The Federal High Court Abuja, has ordered that the ongoing trial of former National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh will be conducted in his absence because of his misconduct.
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang gave the order on Wednesday in Abuja while ruling on an application by Metuh’s counsel, Mr Emeka Etiaba, (SAN) that the matter be adjourned to allow Metuh recuperate.
It will be recalled that the prosecutor, Mr Sylvanus Tahir on Tuesday, following Metuh’s absence in court and in spite of Etiaba’s application for an adjournment, prayed the court to proceed with the matter.
Tahir told the court that although the law said defendants in criminal matters must be present in court, there was an exception to the rule where a misconduct was established.
The prosecutor maintained that the circumstances that led to Metuh’s fall on May 21, resulting in his absence in court were a clear disregard for the orders of court and constituted a misconduct.
Justice Abang in his ruling said that he agreed with the submission of the prosecution that Metuh will fully disobeyed court directives.
“I entirely agree with the submission of Tahir that what transpired in the court room amounts to a misconduct by willfully failing to abide by the directives of the court to remain on his seat.
“The court had directed the defendant to remain on his seat because in my view, he wanted to give the impression that he could not walk properly since he was using a walking aid.
“The defendant ignored the directive of the court and headed for the dock then he fell which made the court to adjourn for 29 minutes.
“When the court reconvened, I saw the court’s doctor, Adaora Ikezor in the court room, she approached the bench and told the court that the defendant needed to be taken to the hospital.
“I notice that the defendant was on the floor and the people around him did not make an attempt to lift him up,” Abang said.
According to Abang, Metuh was whispering loudly and groaning intermittently, giving the impression that he was in pain, making the temple of justice appear like an accident scene.
The judge added that the doctor had no business being in court since he was not sure under whose authority she came into the court saying it was not under the court’s directives.
“In a normal situation, if there is an emergency in the court room, anybody can call a medical doctor to attend to the situation.
“But where the issue involves a defendant in a criminal trial, and the proceedings are ongoing, not adjourned, a medical doctor cannot attend to the defendant that purportedly needs medical attention without the permission of the court.
“This is because looking at the checkered history of this case, the court doctor cannot just on her own decide to attend to the defendant without the knowledge and permission of the court.”
He added that since there was no material placed by the defendant in court explaining his condition, it could not be presumed the court was aware of the state or condition he was in.
The judge held that Metuh had jumped bail by failing to attend court on May 22 without any reasonable explanation for his absence.
He said that under Section 266(a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the court was entitled to proceed with the trial of the case in the absence of the defendant.
He judge opined that if Metuh did not intend to frustrate the trial, why had he not appealed the three previous ruling of the court that refused to order the release of his international passport.
The judge also ordered the General Manager of Channels Television and one of its presenters to appear in court on May 25.
They were to appear and show cause why an order should not be made to compel them to produce the tape of a programme aired on May 22 where prejudicial comments were made.

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