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Erisco vs Customer: Police Charge Chioma with cybercrime as Her Lawyer seeks Transfer of the case to Lagos

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Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has sought the permission of the court to move a lawsuit filed by Erisco Foods Limited against Mrs Chioma Edoka Okoli, a female customer who was previously arrested for reviewing the tomato product of the company.

Inibehe Effiong, who is the female customer’s counsel, made this known on Friday via his verified X handle, said the step was to save on the costs of travelling and accommodation.

He said, “We were at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, 29th February 2024 for the “cybercrime” charge filed by the Inspector General of Police against Chioma.

“Without going into too much detail, we have filed an application seeking the transfer of the case from Abuja to Lagos where the events leading to the charge took place and where the two parties are based.

“The police as of yesterday were yet to serve Chioma with the charge sheet.

“The police claimed they could not serve her despite that no attempt was made to serve her. They filed a motion for leave (permission) to serve her through her counsel (us). Since they couldn’t provide evidence of effort made to serve her personally, they had to withdraw their motion.

“However, we informed the court that we did not want the court’s time to be wasted further because of the failure of the police to serve her with the charge sheet and that it was in furtherance of this decision that we had applied for and obtained the charge on our own.

“We also informed the court about our pending Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to hear the case and praying that the charge should either be dismissed or be transferred to the Lagos Division.

“His Lordship therefore adjourned the case to the 18th day of April 2024 for possible arraignment or hearing of the pending application(s)/objection.

“Chioma was not in court on Thursday because the police did not serve her with the charge. I however led her defence team and represented her in the proceedings.

“She will be present in court on April 18 being the next adjourned date.

“I spent about N400,000 for my trip to Abuja for yesterday’s proceedings (flight tickets and hotel accommodation). You can imagine what the cost implication will be when Chioma joins me in the court on April 18.

“You can also imagine what it’ll cost if we have to be travelling to Abuja every time the matter comes up for hearing.

“It is important to mention the financial implication because we are mindful of the willingness of some spirited Nigerians to help and support her cause.

“This is exactly why the IGP decided to file the case in Abuja. We will allow the Honourable Court to determine whether Abuja is the appropriate forum to try the case or whether it should be tried in Lagos.

“For emphasis, our determination to seek justice is unshakable. No degree of boasting, arrogance or intimidation will make us to give up. We are not going to yield to threats. Those advising us to beg should keep stop wasting their energy.

“We are more than ready to confront and face Erisco and Chief Eric Umeofia in the court.

“For those who may want to know, we’re doing this on a pro bono basis. We have not charged Chioma professional fees for any of the cases in court. Whatever support she gets goes to support the cost of logistics. The support given to her isn’t even close to what’s required for travels alone.”

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Police Officer Caught Collecting Bribe On Camera Demoted

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The Imo State Police Command says its officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, who was caught on camera collecting bribes from motorists along the Owerri-Onitsha express road, has been demoted.

This was disclosed in a statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Henry Okoye, shared on X on Monday.

The video which went viral on Monday, showed the officer collecting money from drivers plying the road. He could also be seen handing them change whenever the need arises.

According to the statement, Osudueh, who was attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit, Owerri, has been reduced in rank after facing disciplinary action. At the same time, the supervising officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.

The statement said, “The Imo State Police Command is issuing this statement in response to a viral video making the rounds on social media where a Police officer was seen extorting money from motorists along Owerri-Onitsha express road.

“The erring officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Owerri, has been recommended for a reduction in rank after the necessary orderly room proceedings, for exhibiting such a shameful and unprofessional act, while the supervisory officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.”

The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, had earlier condemned the officer’s actions as “bad and shameful” and confirmed his arrest and disciplinary action.

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Two Die, Others Arrested In okada Riders’ Attack On Lagos Police Station

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The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed that two individuals were fatally injured and some others arrested during an attack by motorcycle riders on its Ipaja Division on Monday.

Panic had earlier ensued in a section of Lagos State when more than 100 hoodlums stormed the Ipaja Police Station.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, revealed in a statement that the attack stemmed from the enforcement of the existing ban on motorcycles in the state.

He also revealed that over 200 motorcycles were impounded and one locally made firearm retrieved from the attackers.

He wrote, “Officers of Ipaja Police Division have successfully repelled an early morning attack on their division by motorcycle operators.

“The attack came after police officers commenced the day’s enforcement of the existing ban on motorcycles in Lagos State.

“The attackers, who came in their hundreds, stormed the station with dangerous weapons, shooting at the officers and attempting to overrun the station.”

Hundeyin further disclosed that officers at the division defended themselves until reinforcements from the Area Command and the Rapid Response Squad arrived.

He added, “While officers and men of the division held their ground, reinforcement came from the Area Command and the Rapid Response Squad. Two of the attackers were fatally injured during the attack.

“However, this did not deter the officers from accomplishing their mandate, as over two hundred motorcycles were impounded and some of the attackers arrested, with one locally made firearm retrieved.”

He also emphasised that the command “will not be cowed into abdicating its responsibilities of enforcement of all duly passed laws and maintenance of law and order within the society.”

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Gov Otti Abolishes ‘State Of Origin’ Dichotomy In Abia State

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has said there will be no division in Abia under his watch as indigenes and non indigenes resident in the state will be treated equally.

He said that his administration does not care where a resident of Abia comes from but was only interested in the competence and what the person can offer the state in service.

Otti said this at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Umuahia on Sunday during the thanksgiving service to mark his one year in office. “I think what is most important is also that this administration does not discriminate, we don’t even want to know what part of Abia you’re coming from.

“We don’t even want to know what part of Igboland you come from. Once you reside here (in Abia), you are a part of us.

“That is why today, we have for the first time a Permanent Secretary, who does not come from Abia State, who does not come from any state in the South East but comes from Edo state,” Governor Otti stated.

Otti, who said that his administration refused to throw a celebration party for his one year in office, announced that a multi-billion naira terminal project which would have all motor parks and a railway station in one place, would be flagged off by his administration in Umuahia on Tuesday. According to him, the city of Umuahia, which he described in the past as a glorified village, would witness a total infrastructural turnaround in the next one year with railway coming from Aba

He appealed for more prayers and support from Abia citizens, saying that his administration would continue to do the right thing no matter the criticism from the opposition. Preaching a sermon at the thanksgiving service, Rev Uma Onwunta of the Presbyterian Church, said God expects thanksgiving from his people.

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