Court Sentences Falae’s Kidnappers To Life Imprisonment

Court Sentences Falae's Kidnappers To Life ImprisonmentAn Ondo State High Court has sentenced the seven persons accused of kidnapping a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Olu Falae, to life imprisonment.

Mr Falae was kidnapped on September 21, 2015, at his farm in Ilado, a rural agrarian settlement near Akure, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

He was later released by his captors after spending four days with them.

Speaking to reporters, the prosecution counsel, Mrs Adesola Adeyemi-Tuki, said that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence.

“Part of the ransom were found inside his (the first defendant) vehicle at Minna where he was tracked to. Also, some of them made confessional statements and there were other evidences that corroborated their statements,” Adeyemi-Tuki said.

The lead counsel to the accused, Abdulrahman Yusuf, however noted that his team would study the judgement to know the next step to take.

“We were able to knock out armed robbery and conspiracy, so they were left with kidnapping and the judgement for kidnapping is life imprisonment. They were convicted for kidnapping and thereby sentenced to life imprisonment, each of them,” he said.

Ondo Speaker, Deputy, Two Others Defect To APC

Ondo Speaker, Three Others Leave PDP For APCFour members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, including the newly elected Speaker have decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The lawmakers are: the new Speaker, Bamidele Oleyeloogun; Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji; former Deputy Speaker, Ayodeji Arowele and Segun Ajimotokin.

Speaking to reporters at the Governor’s office in Akure, the state’s capital, Honourable Oleyeloogun informed that the remaining PDP members of the Assembly will soon join the ruling party.

He assured the people of Ondo State that the lawmakers are ready to work with the executive arm of government to move the state forward.

“We are here to signify our intention to join the ruling party, the APC. The remaining ceremony will be carried out on the floor of the House of Assembly, but let me give you the assurance that our remaining colleagues are also on their way coming to this ruling party.

” I’m giving the people of Ondo, the assurance that all necessary things to be carried out in this state will be done when needed. I assure you that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is ready to work for the state and the legislative arm of government is ready to support him,” the Speaker said.

Dividends Of Democracy

Honourable Ogundeji, on his part, said the decision of the lawmakers to defect to APC was based on the fact that it is the platform where people of the state can enjoy the dividends of democracy.

“Our intention to decamp to the ruling party is not because of any other thing, but because of the fact that we know that it is only APC that can deliver the good dividends of democracy to our people.

“The interest of all of us here is the interest of the people that voted us into office, we don’t have any interest that we are representing here other than the interest of the people of Ondo State.

“The party that the people of Ondo State want is the APC and we believe that the only party that we can belong to that can make the dividends of democracy get to the people of Ondo State is the APC,” the Deputy Speaker explained.

The Secretary to the State Government, Honourable Ifedayo Abegunde, who received the defectors into the APC, pointed out that the development was in the best interest of the state.

“This is a welcome development and is a signal that APC is increasing in number and we are getting popular, and this I believe and I’m sure will translate to good governance in Ondo State.

“The more we are, the more confident our Governor is going to be, and the more we will be able to move Ondo State forward. I did this on behalf of my Governor, Olurotimi Akeredolu,” he said.

With the defection, the number of APC members in the House has risen to nine, while the remaining 17 members belong to the PDP.

Appeal Court Nullifies Impeachment Of Former Ondo Deputy Governor

Appeal Court Nullifies Impeachment Of Former Ondo Deputy GovernorThe Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital has nullified the impeachment of a former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Ali Olanusi.

The court held that Honourable Olanusi’s impeachment in 2015 by the Ondo State House of Assembly was not done in accordance with the provisions of the law.

In his ruling, Justice Muhammed Danjuma, said Olanusi was wrongfully impeached, and that he was not accorded fair hearing before he was impeached by the State Assembly.

Justice Danjuma ordered the restoration of all the rights and benefits due to the former Deputy Governor from the time of his impeachment from office to the period his tenure ended.

Speaking to reporters on the ruling, Olanusi’s Counsel, Richard Alade, said the releases sought by his client from the lower court have been granted by the Appellate Court.

He commended the industry and effort put into the judgement which he said resulted in a sound idea.

Mr Alade described the judgment as a fantastic one and a victory for the Nigerian people and the constitutional system of the country.

“The Appellate Court has given judgment and the judgment is sound enough and it’s touching on all aspects of law that bother on constitutionality and means to uphold the tenets of justice and legality. This is what has been in place as the justice system must not be brutalised by the powers that be.

“By the grace of God, all the releases being sought by the appellant from the lower court have been granted. Anybody that has the reason to listen to that judgment will be appreciative of the industry and efforts put into it for it to become a sound idea. I will best refer to it as fantastic and a victory for the Nigerian people and the constitutional system of Nigeria,” he said.

The former Deputy Governor, on his part, thanked God and the judiciary, as well as the people of Ondo State who stood by him during the legal battle.

He noted that despite all the charges brought against him, there was no impeachable offence traceable to him.

“We have cause to thank God and we have to thank the judiciary too, judiciary is improving in Nigeria. In a civilised country, such a thing can never happen. They did not see any file where I committed an impeachable offence.

“At last, the truth has prevailed and I’m happy. I have to thank God, the judiciary and the people of Ondo State, they stood by me,” Olanusi said.

He defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress shortly before the 2015 general elections.

Consequently, Mr Olanusi was impeached as deputy to former Governor Olusegun Mimiko by the Ondo State House of Assembly on allegations of corruption and abuse of office.

South West Leaders Meet, Insist On Restructuring Of Nigeria

South West Leaders Meet, Insist On Restructuring Of Nigeria
A Yoruba leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo

The leaders of the Yoruba race in South West Nigeria have resolved to push harder for the restructuring of the country before the next general elections.

This, they intend to achieve by setting up a high powered committee to rouse the people to network with other people of like minds across the country.

The plan was one of the major resolutions of the meeting of the leaders of the group known as the Afenifere in Akure, Ondo State, country home of its National Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

The meeting which had the theme ‘Yoruba Rise For Restructuring’, was well attended by Yoruba leaders with the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, also in attendance.

At the end of the meeting which lasted for about four hours, the Publicity Secretary of the organization, Yinka Odumakin read the communique.

The leaders expressed worry by the mass killings going on in Southern Kaduna, Oke-Ogun, Oyo State, among the Igbos and all over Nigeria.

The meeting also cautioned that there is urgency to insist that the country must be restructured before going into another election as it cannot continue to slide dangerously the way along the path of anarchy and total disintegration.

Also, the leaders unanimously agreed to get all hands on deck for mobilisation towards the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference.

The roll call of leaders present at the meeting are: former Secretary to Federal Government, Olu Falae; Secretary General of Afenifere, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa; former Senators Adegbenga Kaka and Iyiola Omisore.

Others include Chief Bode George, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Pa Cornelius Adebayo and Chief Kole Omololu.

Two of the leaders who spoke to newsmen; Prof. Banji Akintoye and Chief Bode George, also emphasized empowerment, restructuring as well as the implementation of the 2014 national conference recommendations.

The meeting also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm the appointment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen and equally commended the outgoing governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko for good governance in the state.

Cleric Advises Akeredolu To Run Government Like Awolowo, Ajasin

Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, Sam Olu-Alo, Obafemi Awolowo, Adekunle AjasinThe Ondo State Governor-elect, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has been advised to follow the steps of some past leaders in ensuring good governance.

The Coordinator of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Oke Erio, Ekiti State and founder of CAC Grace of Mercy Prayer Mountain (GMPM), Prophet Sam Olu-Alo, asked Mr Rotimi to take a cue from the late Premier of Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, and late former Governor of Ondo State, Adekunle Ajasin.

Prophet Olu-Alo, who said the two late elder statesmen executed life-transforming projects, programmes and policies that people still benefit from, tasked the awaiting governor not to fall short of such when he assumes office in February.

The cleric made the call during the three-year anniversary thanksgiving of CAC GMPM (Adamimogo Outreach) in Akure, the Ondo State capital which climaxed its nine-day ‘open air crusade’ at the GMPM grounds.

He urged Nigerians irrespective of class and status to embrace God with a view to getting Nigeria out of its present condition.

The clergyman also tasked President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 state governors to execute people-oriented projects that would outlive them.

Put God First

“They should implement projects and policies that (would have) positive impact on the land and people which will speak for them long after they might have left office or even dead.

“That is how they can always be remembered and fulfil the purpose (for which) God put them in office.

“The Governor-elect of Ondo State should come to office with that mind and work for the good of the people.

“He should put God first and do the will of God who made his electoral victory possible. He should embrace all without discrimination,” Prophet Olu-Alo said.

Nigeria Needs Prayers

The cleric said CAC GMPM Adamimogo Outreach came into being to ensure restoration of the souls that had wandered away from God, to deliver the oppressed, to reveal God’s mind to human beings and let them know that God still answers prayers.

He urged Nigerians of all classes and status to be determined to return to God.

“For instance, when you look at America; it is not as if the people don’t (commit) sin but they fear God. They value human lives.

But here (in Nigeria), there is no value for human lives; even murderers are being celebrated.

“There is no fear of God; there is need for repentance, then prayers and love. Nigeria needs prayers.

“This is why I still reiterated the need for a day to be set aside for men of God across different denominations to gather to pray for the country”.

SSANU Condemns Alleged Assault Of FUTA Members By Police

SSANU, Police, FUTAThe Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has condemned the alleged attack of its members at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

The Western Zonal Chairman of SSANU, Alfred Jimoh, made the position of the organisation known during an interview with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

As the warning strike embarked upon by the senior staff members in FUTA entered the fourth day, Mr Jimoh insisted that the purported brutalisation of their members is unacceptable.

He claimed that the employees were on peaceful demonstration before Police descended on them, saying at least 20 members of the union have been arrested.

The zonal chairman accused the Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Biyi Daramola, of masterminding the attack on the SSANU members who he said were protesting peacefully without any breach of the law.

He alleged that some members of the union in FUTA were seriously injured and have been hospitalised.

SSANU has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter with a view to calling the Police to order, maintaining that they have no moral right to molest and brutalise innocent citizens.

The union also appealed to the Inspector General of Police and all the relevant authorities of the Police high command to wade into the crisis to encourage whistle blowing on corruption.

They asked the government to beam its searchlight on activities of some vice chancellors and prosecute those found wanting.

The VCs identified are: Professor Daramola, Professor Bamidele Oyewole of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Professor Michael Adikwu of the University of Abuja.

Ondo: Akeredolu Inaugurates Committees For Proper Administration

Committees, Ondo, Rotimi AkeredoluOndo State Governor-elect, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has inaugurated a 158-member Strategic Development and Policy Implementation Committee (SDPIC) to develop a blueprint that would guide his administration’s activities.

Mr Akeredolu also set up a transition, as well as inauguration ceremonies committees ahead of the taking over of the administration of the state on February 24, 2017.

Inaugurating the committees in Akure, the incoming governor explained that the major responsibility of the SDPIC was to develop a detailed sectoral policy and programme document which would be called ‘A Blueprint to Progress in Ondo State (2017 – 2021)’.

He was optimistic that members of the committees were men and women that have distinguished themselves as the very best in their fields of endeavours.

The Governor-elect noted that the vision and mission of his administration was to lead a patriotic, highly inspired and competent team to rescue the ship of the state.

He added that by God’s grace, he intended to help rebuild the state’s economy, resuscitate damaged infrastructure, as well as restore hope and return Ondo State to a free and prosperous land.

Mr Akeredolu also revealed that he has invited some of the very best hands within the state and beyond to help develop the state.

He said the SDPIC is expected to submit its report by February 14, 2017 while the transition and inauguration ceremonies committees would submit theirs as and when due.

The SDPIC is chaired by a former Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Funso Kupolokun.

Mr Kupolokun assured the incoming governor that that the committee would deliver a solid blueprint for the government.

He stressed that the state needed a new thinking to generate revenue in a substantial manner on its own and ensure sustainable development, while it does not depend on the monthly allocation from the Federal Government.

Abductors Release Wife Of Fagbemi, Anglican Church Secretary

Abductors Release Wife Of Fagbemi, Anglican Church SecretaryThree days after her abduction, Ebunoluwa Fagbemi, the wife of the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Venerable Ayodeji Fagbemi has been released.

The 48-year-old woman was said to have been released by her abductors in Ikire, the headquarters of the Irewole Local Government Area of Osun State on Thursday.

Mrs Fagbemi, a teacher in one of the public secondary schools in Akure, was kidnapped on Monday night at her residence at Oba Ile Akure in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State.

A source close to the family disclosed that a ransom was paid before the victim was released.

But the husband of the victim, Venerable Fagbemi had earlier informed that the kidnappers contacted the family on the telephone and demanded for a sum of 20million Naira as ransom and the family had no such money.

According to the source, the abductors released the victim but they were yet to release the Toyota Jeep in which the victim was taken away.

The source said, “Mrs Fagbemi has been released in Ikire. I know a ransom was paid but I can’t tell you the amount that was paid as ransom. The family members had gone to bring her down to Akure.

“Though the woman has been released but the Toyota Jeep that was taken away with her has not been released. The kidnappers told the family that they would release it at a Police station. But up till now (Thursday), the jeep is still with them. ”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Femi Joseph confirmed the release of the woman but said he was yet to get the details of the matter as at the press time.

Joseph said: “We learnt that she has been released but we are still after the hoodlums, releasing the victim has not stopped us from getting the abductors. But we are yet to arrest anybody for now.”

All efforts to contact the husband, Venerable Fagbemi failed as his telephone line was switched off as at the time of filing this report.

Abductors Of Anglican Clergy’s Wife In Akure Demand 20m Naira Ransom

Gunmen Kill Final Year Student Of Imo State UniversityThe abductors of the wife of Venerable Ayodeji Fagbemi, the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Ebunoluwa Fagbemi, are demanding for 20 million Naira as ransom.

Mrs Fagbemi, a teacher in one of the public secondary schools in Akure, was abducted by some armed men who invaded her residence at Oba-Ile, Akure in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State on Monday night.

Police investigations revealed that the armed abductors gained entrance into the residence of the victim through the window and took the woman away with her vehicle, a Toyota Jeep, to an unknown destination.

The husband of the victim told Channels Television that the abductors had contacted the family, demanding a 20-million Naira ransom.

He, however, declared that the family had no such money.

The Anglican clergyman, who was a former Provost of Bishop Vining College of Theology, Akure said: “Everybody is traumatised and we are all praying for her safe return to us. Again there is a very outrageous expectation, the abductors demanded for 20 million Naira which I don’t think anybody can afford. But at the moment we are really praying”.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr Femi Joseph said that the command had commenced investigation into the incident.

“Our men have already commenced the search for the woman, but you know we can’t disclosed the method we are using to the media now but we shall surely ensure that the victim would be released unhurt,” he added.

Mimiko Commends Sunshine Stars For Preseason Soccer Tournament Victory

Mimiko Commends Sunshine Stars For Preseason Soccer Tournament VictoryOndo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has commended the state-owned football club, Sunshine Stars of Akure for winning the just concluded maiden South West Pre-Season Soccer Tournament in Lagos.

Governor Mimiko, while reacting to the development in Akure lauded the players and officials for the feat. He described the victory as a ‘very sweet victory’ not only for the players, but the soccer-loving people of the state.

He said that the team’s victory at the pre-season tournament is an indication that it would have a successful new season and urged the players and officials to ensure that the pre-season tournament trophy counts by winning the league title.

Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr Kayode Akinmade, who described the victory as  deserving, said the Dr Olusegun Mimiko led government has been able to raise the bar in the state, in sports generally, and football in particular.

He stressed that over the years, the state has produced indigenes who have become successful coaches, adding that the list of Ondo State indigenes who are certified coaches rose drastically since the incumbent administration assumed power in 2009.

“Before then, the number of certified coaches who are indigenes of Ondo State was very low, but today, reverse is now the case as the state can now boast of over 100 certified coaches who are indigenes of the state, the highest in the history of our darling state.”

He said that Governor Mimiko never hid his intention to take football development to the next level in the state, hence the birth of the only football agency in Nigeria, the Ondo State Football Agency, (ODSFA) shortly after his administration took off in 2009.

“The Governor also always stresses the importance of human capacity development which recognised the need for indigenous coaches to be produced as they acquire knowledge on different fronts.

“The investment is now yielding results as the present composition of Sunshine Stars Technical Crew is 100% indigenous.” Akinmade said.

Akure Monarch Orders Foodstuff Sellers To Reduce Prices

Akure Monarch Orders Foodstuff Sellers To Reduce PricesThe Paramount Ruler of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi alongside the Deji-in-Council has asked foodstuff sellers in Akure to immediately cut down the high cost of foodstuff in Akure and its environs or risk their shop being closed down.

The Deji ordered the slash in prices of these commodities at his palace after an exhaustive meeting with the leadership of the various groups of foodstuff sellers in Akure.

This was sequel to a recent market survey of some foodstuff like rice, palm oil, groundnut oil, garri among others across major towns like Osogbo, Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Ile-Ife, Ilesha, Ado-Ekiti, and Lagos in the south west.

The palace found out that the prices obtained in these communities were at variance with what is sold in Akure. The prices of rice, garri, palm oil was too exorbitant when compared with other cities, making it almost the highest in the whole of south-west.

Oba Ogunlade expressed displeasure at the astronomical rate at which foodstuff is being sold in Akure compared with other neighboring towns.

He said: “It is so sad that the prices of commodities had been unnecessarily hiked in Akure with no justifiable reason. This is unfair and totally unacceptable.

“Considering the present economic hardship in the country, we cannot continue to watch our people die in hunger and pains due to needless hike in price of the basic need of life which is food.”

Oba Aladetoyinbo said that with the market survey carried out by the palace, it is glaring that the situation in Akure is becoming unbearable for families and things may go worse if not quickly tackled.

“I wonder why a bag of rice will be sold for between N21,000 and N23,000, 20 litres of palm oil now sells for between N20,000 and N21,500, a rubber of garri now sells for N200, when other communities sells for N16,000, N10,000 and N100 respectively,” he said.

“We are watching the market situation in other towns and I will ensure a downward review of the price as situation may demand to be at par with other neighboring towns,” he vowed.

The Monarch then ordered an immediate reduction in the price of rice which is being sold at an average of N21, 000 to N19, 000.

After much plea from the palm oil and garri sellers in the city, the Deji gave them one week to revert the prices of their commodities to N11, 000 and N100 respectively.

Oba Aladetoyinbo, however, expressed appreciation to the market men and women who agreed with him on the need for the splash in prices, considering the economic realities in the country.

He thanked them for their cooperation and understanding over the matter.

Meanwhile, Oba Aladetoyinbo has set up a task force to monitor the situation and ensure strict compliance with the new prices. He also vowed to close down the shop of any defiant seller.

The monarch, however, prayed for the quick recovery of the nation’s economy.

Sunshine Stars Begin Training Ahead Of League Season

sunshine stars of akureAs the commencement of the 2016-2017 Nigeria Professional Football League Soccer season draws near, Ondo State representatives, Sunshine Stars of Akure have started a close camping at Ile-Oluji the headquarters of Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of the State.

The darling team of Ondo State is expected to use the camping exercise to prepare for the new season tactically and technically.

Led by Coach Kayode Olujoungbe, members of the team could not hide their joy, as they intensified preparations for the fast approaching soccer season.

Addressing the team before departure, President of the Club, Prince Dapo Ajibade, stressed the need for the players and coaches to be dedicated and committed to the task ahead.

Prince Ajibade, who is also the Chairman of the Ondo State Football Agency, urged the players not to engage in acts capable of distracting them, highlighting that total concentration is needed at this point.

He said: “We like to thank God Almighty for this moment. We also appreciate the commitments of the players.

“It is very important for all of us to work in harmony to achieve our aims. The coaches must do their best while the players must also not be left out. If all of us do our jobs diligently, with high level of determination and commitment in addition to the blessings of God, the sky will be the starting point”.

Prince Ajibade added that the club management would work hard to provide the enabling environment for the team to succeed in the new season.

Meanwhile, the Sunshine Stars feeders team that took part in the Gold Cup Pre Season Soccer Tournament in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State is expected back to Akure.

The young team led by Coach Banjo Adepoju was the toast of all fans and spectators, as they displayed high level of soccer artistry to the admiration of some top coaches at the tournament.

The team recorded two losses and two draws to end the tournament in a decent fashion.

The defeats came against MFM and FC Ebeide, while former Nigerian Champions, Kano Pillars and Niger Tornadoes could not break down the young boys from Akure.

The match against Tornadoes ended 1-1 while the tie against Kano Pillars ended 0-0.