Two policemen have been killed by armed robbers who attacked a commercial bank in Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State.
The robbers – numbering about 20 – who came in about four vehicles also attacked the Divisional Police Headquarters in Iragbiji.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Opalola Olawoyin, confirmed the attack in a statement on Wednesday.
She identified those killed as Inspector Ogunbiyi Ahmed and Inspector Odeyemi Ayinla, saying they were killed while chasing the fleeing criminals.
“The gunmen invaded the Police Divisional Headquarters and a bank with sporadic shooting and launching of explosive devices in an attempt to disorganise, incapacitate and destabilise the police who were in a fierce gun battle with them, while robbing the bank simultaneously,” said Olawoyin.
“As a result, some parts of the Divisional Police Headquarters were damaged. The daredevils also shot at Police Armoured Personnel Carrier tyres with explosive devices.”
The assailants gained entry into the bank by blowing off its security door with a stick of dynamite and subsequently destroyed an ATM machine there.
But an attempt to break into the bank’s strong room was foiled.
Upon sighting the policemen, the robbers reportedly engaged them in a fight, but later fled the scene, abandoning their unused explosives and two of their vehicles.
According to Olawoyinm, police officers in collaboration with local security outfits are already combing the bushes in a bid to arrest the robbers said to have escaped with multiple injuries.
On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Osun, Olawale Olokode, asked residents to cooperate with the police.
He asked them to provide prompt and useful information about anybody seen with gunshot wounds, in a bid to nip in the bud all criminal activities in the state.
The fear of an imminent attack has forced banks and shops to shut down in the Ijebu-Ode area of Ogun State.
Channels Television gathered that commercial banks and shops have closed since Monday following letters allegedly sent to some of them by suspected armed robbers.
This situation has left some residents and customers stranded which has been seen as a proactive measure by the banks to forestall the alleged threat.
Despite this incident, the banks maintained that they would only resume operations if the Ogun State Government assists the police with Armoured Personnel Carriers to be mounted close to their branches.
Reacting to the development, some residents of Ijebu-Ode lamented that they have been travelling to places like Sagamu, Abeokuta, and others to deposit or withdraw money.
But the Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said there is no reason for fear of attacks, saying the police had assured the banks and residents of their safety.
“They are just entertaining fear where there is none; even the Area Commander and the DPOs have assured them that there is no need to fear,” he said.
“Why should they be afraid because there are no Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC)? Even if the APCs are working, is it not the police that will operate them?
“The police are on the ground to provide adequate security of lives and properties; they are the ones that know why they are entertaining fear. We have assured them of their protection and our presence everywhere in Ijebu-Ode and everywhere in Ogun State. There is no reason to be panicking.
“Despite all these assurances, they still doubt the sincerity of the police, I don’t know the motive behind this,” he added.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed March 9 to rule on whether to discharge the interim ex-parte order it granted freezing the bank accounts of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 20 commercial banks.
On the same day, the court will also rule on whether it has the jurisdiction to even entertain the suit and another seeking to commit to prison the banks and its officials who were said to have disobeyed the interim ex-parte order.
Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo had granted the order at the instance of AITEO Eastern E&P Company Ltd. who is seeking to recover the cash value of “more than 16 million barrels of crude oil” allegedly diverted by Shell.
At Tuesday’s proceedings, the judge listened to arguments from lawyers to AITEO Eastern E&P Company Ltd., SPDC, the banks, and lawyer to four Shell subsidiaries all involved in the matter.
Arguing the application for committal, counsel to Aiteo Eastern E&P, Kemi Pinheiro, said that it was “necessary that the named persons in committal proceedings (the bank officials) be present in court” because the proceedings “attached to their person”.
He said the alleged contemnors had been served with the court processes but had not filed a response.
AITEO had specifically said two banks and their officials disobeyed the courts interim ex-parte order.
The banks and its officials were listed as Citi Bank Ltd., its Company Secretary Sola Fagbure, and Chief Financial Officer, Sharaf Mohammed, as well as United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, its Company Secretary, Bill Odum, and Chief Financial Officer, Ebenezer Kolawole.
In opposing the application, counsel to the banks, Olawale Akoni, acknowledged that they were served with the court papers on February 24 and 25, but said they were still within the time limit to file a response.
He indicated that the banks intended to challenge the competence and validity of AITEO’s application.
The lawyer also asked the court to make an order vacating the ex-parte order freezing the accounts because according to him, it lapsed 14 days after it was made.
Adewale Atake, who represented Shell, aligned himself with Akoni’s argument on vacating the ex-parte order.
Chukwuka Ikwuazom, also who represented the Shell subsidiaries, made a similar submission and drew the court’s attention to a pending application before the court challenging its jurisdiction to hear the matter.
He asked the judge to declare that the ex-parte order was spent.
Pinheiro, however, countered by arguing among others that the court made the order to last pending the hearing of the motion and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed before it by AITEO.
He described the defendants’ arguments as “premature, unfair, and time-wasting.”
In her response, Justice Oguntoyinbo held, “The avalanche of submissions cannot be wished away. The court owes all parties the duty of careful consideration of all authorities cited.”
She adjourned till next Tuesday for the ruling.
In the case, AITEO Eastern E&P Company Ltd. is the plaintiff/applicants while SPDC Ltd. is the first defendant.
The subsidiaries Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Shell Western Supply and Trading Ltd., Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd., and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd. are listed as second, third, fourth, and fifth defendants.
On January 25, Justice Oguntoyinbo directed the banks to “ring-fence any cash, bonds, deposits, all forms of negotiable instruments to the value of $2.7 billion and pay all standing credits to the Shell companies up to the value into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court.”
The Chief Registrar was to “hold the funds in trust,” pending the hearing of the motion and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed before the court by AITEO.
This followed an application by AITEO Eastern E&P, in its bid to recover the cash value of its “more than 16 million barrels of crude oil” allegedly diverted by Shell.
The defendants subsequently filed an application seeking to discharge the order while AITEO initiated committal proceedings against two banks and their officials for allegedly “interfering, obstructing and/or frustrating compliance with the interim Mareva orders”.
On Thursday last week, the judge adjourned to consider whether to first entertain a motion challenging its jurisdiction or to consider contempt proceedings.
While the 3rd Defendant (Danjuma Ocholi) was sentenced to 12months in jail and the 4th Defendant (Agnes Ebubedike) was sentenced to six months of community service.
The convicts were first arraigned in 2011 before Justice Okunnu, but the Court of Appeal had on November 21, 2013 quashed the charge brought against them by the EFCC and set them free.
The EFCC however, appealed to the Supreme Court, which upheld the appeal and ordered Nwosu and others to return to the high court for their trial.
They were subsequently re-arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 26-count charge of stealing and illegal conversion.
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Court Jails Ex-Finbank MD, Nwosu, Three Others
Justice Lateefa A. Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, convicted and sentenced Okey Nwosu, a former Managing Director, Finbank Plc, to three years imprisonment for over 10m fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned Nwosu alongside Dayo Famuroti, Agnes Ebubedike and Danjuma Ocholi on a 26-count amended charge bordering on stealing and illegal conversion to the tune of N10,934,704,402.
The defendants, who perpetrated the fraud while they were directors of the bank, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their full trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs , SAN, called witnesses and also tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence against the defendants.
Delivering her judgment, the Judge found the defendants guilty and sentenced the first and second defendants, Nwosu and Famoroti, to three years imprisonment each.
The Judge also sentenced the third defendant, Ocholi, to 12 months imprisonment and slammed a six- month community service on the fourth defendant, Ebubedike.
The case had, suffered a setback as the defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the trial court up to the Supreme Court. While the court maintained its jurisdiction to try the defendants, Nwosu approached the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal which in November 2013 struck out the charge against the banker.
The appellate court ruled that the Lagos High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the charges because they emanated from capital market transactions, which should be handled by the Federal High Court.
Following the appeal court ruling, Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike approached the Lagos High Court to dismiss the charges preferred against them.
But Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, counsel to EFCC had asked the court to adjourn the matter indefinitely pending the determination of its appeal at the Supreme Court
Justice Okunnu upheld the prayers of Jacobs and adjourned the matter sine die to allow the Supreme Court rule on the matter.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment, upheld EFCC’s appeal.
In a unanimous judgment, a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court faulted the argument of the Court of Appeal that the decision by the EFCC to charge Nwosu and the other directors for stealing before the Lagos High Court, while it maintained a charge of money laundering against them, would amount to double jeopardy.
The Supreme Court directed Nwosu and co- defendants to submit themselves for trial before the Lagos High Court.
The Ekiti State Police Command has declared one Samuel Omotoyinbo wanted following the recent bank robbery that took place in Iyin Ekiti last week.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abutu Sunday.
According to the statement, the police authorities called on anyone with a clue that could lead to his arrest to notify the nearest police station.
Omotoyinbo with the nicknames Badoo and Eleven (11) was first declared wanted by the state Police Command some three weeks back for similar allegations.
EKITI STATE POLICE COMMAND
The Ekiti State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that one Omotoyinbo Samuel has again been declared wanted by the Nigeria Police. He is suspected to have led the gang of armed Robbers who recently attacked the branch of WEMA Bank in Iyin-Ekiti.
Our Investigation so far has revealed how Omotoyinbo Samuel actively participated in the Bank robbery as mastermind and other robberies, kidnapping and murder incidents in Ekiti State and Ondo State.
His real name is Omotoyinbo Samuel but popularly called ELEVEN(11) in Ekiti State and BADO in Ondo State. He is an indigene of iyin Ekiti, Ekiti State where the recent bank robbery incident took place.
The Command implores any person with useful information that could lead to his arrest to please contact the nearest Police Station or the SARS Department on 07031620186 or the PPRO on 09064050086.
Gunmen on Friday attacked a new generation bank in Iyin Ekiti area of Ekiti State.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a phone call.
He said no casualty has been confirmed, adding that the police team is working to launch a manhunt for the criminal gang.
Sources said the armed robbers, numbering close to 10, carted away large sums of money after blowing up the security door to gain access.
Residents of the town and travellers in transit reportedly scampered for safety following the sporadic gunshots that accompanied the arrival of the gang.
The operation was said to have lasted for at least 40 minutes without any police interruption, raising questions about the absence of security operatives despite the presence of a police station in the town and the nearness of other police stations in bordering towns.
Just a few days ago, the State Police Command had asked residents to be cautious, warning of the presence of suspected armed hoodlums planning to cause panic.
The police authorities, however, gave the assurance that the Force is committed to saving lives and properties.
Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked the First Bank branch in Kagara, a community in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
Eyewitnesses said scores of armed men riding on motorcycles stormed the area at about 6pm on Wednesday and started shooting into the air before heading for the bank.
They added that many residents in the area sustained varying degrees of injury from gunshots and a yet-to-be-ascertained number of people were feared killed.
A traditional title holder in Kagara told Channels Television that members of the local vigilante group in the area had attempted to combat the assailants, but they were overpowered by the gunmen.
He started hearing the gunshots a short while after returning home, initially believing they were from the vigilante group in the area.
But when the shots persisted he suspected something was amiss. A phone call he received not long after confirmed what was going on.
Asked about the reaction of the police to the attack, and the situation around 8pm, he said, “The personnel we have cannot confront them (the attackers) as a matter of fact. Apart from the fact that they are many, they have more weapons.”
In addition to the firepower the attackers had, he said they positioned themselves in strategic locations and acted in an organised manner.
The source said details about the casualty figures were not clear but they were casualties on both side.
“I think one (of the attackers) was even captured alive,” he said. “I know of four people that were shot but not fatally… one on the arm, one on the leg, but the other two, I can’t tell where they were shot.”
He said a fighter jet from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had helped to repel the attack.
“When it started, we made some calls and an Air Force jet came. So that rattled them,” he said. If we have been having this kind of support as we have with the Air Force, I am telling you this thing (the attacks) would be a thing of the past.”
A message from a missionary in the area during the attack said a police station was also attacked.
“Sir, this evening at 6pm, bandits attacked Kagara town, killed six people in the bank, and attacked a police station.
“Please pray and ask our brethren to also pray for us. My family is in the bush now,” the message read.
It is unclear how much was stolen from the bank by the attackers and efforts to speak with the police authorities in Niger were unsuccessful.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Wasiu, did not pick his calls or respond to messages sent to his phone.
In recent times, Kagara and many other communities in Rafi LGA have come under serious security threats by bandits.
Most equities rose again on Wednesday as investors grew increasingly, but cautiously, hopeful that the worst of the coronavirus had passed and as countries begin to slowly open up from lockdown.
While a string of data highlighted the calamity visited upon the global economy by COVID-19, a slowdown in both infections and deaths in some nations is allowing them to ease restrictions that have kept half the planet stuck at home.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida provided an upbeat outlook, saying the US economy could see positive growth in the second half of the year, though tempered that by saying it was dependent on containment of the virus.
“Risk sentiment continues to be buoyed on news of more countries/states rolling back containment measures, followed by reports of more companies re-opening operations,” said Tapas Strickland of National Australia Bank.
“That is giving hope that rollback will allow economic activity to resume and that we may be passed the trough in economic activity.”
Hong Kong and Seoul rose more than one percent, while Shanghai put on 0.6 percent and Wellington added 0.8 percent. Taipei was flat but Sydney slipped slightly.
Singapore put on one percent, with Singapore Airlines surging as much as 21 percent at one point on hopes for a pick-up in business thanks to the easing lockdown measures. It pared the gains to sit around 10 percent higher in late trade.
In early trade, London was slightly higher but Paris and Frankfurt were slightly lower.
Mumbai soared more than one percent on stimulus hopes following data showing India’s factory and services activity collapsed in April.
The services purchasing managers index crashed 43.9 points to 5.4 in April — putting it in single digits for the first time — according to IHS Markit.
Anything below 50 in the gauge points to contraction and with the sector making up more than half of India’s gross domestic product, the group warned the economy likely shrunk 15 percent in the month.
– Fears of jobs horror show –
Fears of a second virus wave as the lockdown eases were keeping traders on their toes.
“It is absolutely dependent on what happens with respect to infection rates and whether there is the so-called second wave,” Andrew Wilson, at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV.
“So as we ease these lockdowns there remains the risk that of course you then have to tighten up the controls. That’s why governments around the world are going to be relatively cautious about how they ease these lockdowns.”
Observers are also keeping tabs on China-US relations after President Donald Trump hit out at Beijing over its handling of the pandemic, sparking fears of a renewal of the economic superpowers’ trade war that hit markets last year.
“Worries that China could retaliate against the US virus and trade accusations are real,” said OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley. “If anything can undermine a peak virus rally, a US-China trade war would do the job nicely.”
Friday sees the much-anticipated release of US jobs data for April, with consensus forecasts that unemployment has surged to an incredible 16.2 percent — the highest since 1948 — from 4.4 percent. However, some economists expect it to rise even higher.
Oil markets were flat, having doubled since last Tuesday fuelled by hopes that demand will begin to pick up as people start going back out and start spending after the long-running lockdown in key economies.
“With economies reopening around the world and the market rebalancing in full swing, traders are positioning for a multi-staged pick-up in demand initially led by gasoline demand at the pump as consumers emerge from lockdowns,” said AxiCorp’s Stephen Innes.
He pointed out that as China emerges from its lockdown, figures showed traffic in the country’s big cities was higher than pre-virus levels, suggesting people were opting for private travel rather than public transport, which would be good for petrol demand.
– Key figures around 0810 GMT –
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.1 percent at 24,137.48 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 2,878.14 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 5,857.02
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.7 percent at $24.39 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.1 percent at $31.00 per barrel
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0830 from $1.0834 at 2045 GMT
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 106.29 yen from 106.53 yen
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2434 from $1.2435
Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.09 pence from 87.11 pence
New York – Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 23,883.09 (close).
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned the fraud trial of former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
The former governor is standing trial alongside his company, Spotless Investment Limited, on an 11-count bordering on fraud and money laundering to the tune of N2.2 billion.
At Friday’s sitting, a prosecution witness and a former employee of Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Plc), Olugboyega Falaye, gave his testimony before the trial judge.
He told the court how the bank had sold a property on 44, Plot 1214, Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja for N200 million sometime in 2016.
Falaye, who worked in the Real Estate Department of the bank, told the court that the property in question was put up for sale among other properties by the bank, after the approval granted by the Board, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said the list of the properties to be sold was given to a property agent.
The witness stated, “Thereafter, Skye Bank got a contact with a letter from Philtech Properties Limited in respect of the property in question. Philtech Properties Limited was represented by one Mrs. Titilayo and she made an offer for the property for the sum of N200 million.
“Skye Bank countered for N300 million, but we later agreed to sell the property for N200 million. We came up with all necessary documents for the transaction and the property was sold out.”
Falaye also told the court that the documents for the transaction with some attachments were submitted to the EFCC.
He said, “The attachments are ‘letter of offer’ from Skye Bank to Signature Integrated Limited (the principal to Philtech Properties Limited); letter from Philtech in response to Skye Bank’s letter making a counter-offer of N200 million to Skye bank; an email to confirm the office address of Philtech and the list of assets that was approved for sale by Skye Bank.”
Under cross-examination by counsel to the defendants and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), Ola Olanipekun and Olalekan Ojo, Falaye admitted that Skye Bank issued receipts of payment to Signature Integrated Limited.
He, however, told the court that he was not aware of any transaction between Still Earth and Signature Integrated.
The witness, during further cross-examination, told the court that the valuation of the property was carried out before the sale.
“There was nothing unusual about the transaction because the transaction went through the normal process,” he said.
Falaye, however, told the court that he did not know the individual who bought the property.
After listening to the testimony of the witness, Justice Aneke adjourned the case until May 18, 19 and 20, 2020 for the continuation of trial.
The suspects were said to have gained entry into the banking hall after shooting sporadically into the air to scare people away.
This attracted the attention of many residents in the area who came out to witness what looked like a robbery scene out of a movie.
The assailants, however, came to the end of the road in the bid to carry out a successful and well-planned operation as they were trapped inside the bank.
This was as a result of the prompt response by security operatives made up of men of the Nigeria Police Forces, Nigerian Army, and the Department of State Services (DSS) who positioned themselves strategically in the area.
The suspects, thereafter, engaged the security team in gunfire, resulting in the death of one of the attackers while four others were arrested.
Armed Robbers have invaded a commercial bank in Oye Ekiti.
The robbers who launched their operation around the closing hour of the bank blew the entrance door with a dynamite.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed the incident to Channels Television but could not ascertain if there were casualties.
Eyewitness pictures sent to Channels Television also showed a police van on the road that had allegedly been set ablaze by the criminals as well as two yet to be identified persons, lying in a pool of blood.