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Alleged Murder: The true story behind my arrest two years ago – Delta Ex PDP Chieftain Narrates

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Alleged Murder: The true story behind my arrest two years ago - Delta Ex PDP Chieftain Narrates
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Alleged Murder: The true story behind my arrest two years ago – Delta Ex PDP Chieftain Narrates

The immediate past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, Chief (Dr.) Kings Okpako popularly known as Kuti, who hails from Erho-Abraka, was arrested two years ago in connection with the murder of an indigene of Abraka.

Recently, he spoke with journalists two years and four months after he was set free by the police, just as he celebrated the anniversary of his freedom.

According to him, he was found innocent and released by the Nigerian police that held him in detention for four months.

The politician who stormed Ebenezer Church, Erho Abraka for the oath-taking said he was set-up.

His words: “I came this day to take an oath before the Lord Almighty as Samuel and Abraham did in the scripture. I come before the altar of God. If I deceive the whole world can I deceive my God?”

“There is the insinuation that I tied someone in the bush that I wanted to use to bury my mother; that I belong to a secret society.”

According to him, he took the oath because he is bitter.

Recounting some of his ordeal as a politician, he recalled how he was kidnapped on the 29th of January, 2013.

In his words, “I was kidnapped in Asaba on my way from Benizia Hotel where I went for Okowa’s first tenure as the Chairman of the party in Ethiope East. For 6 days I was in the forest. Friends and some political allies paid the ransom which led to my release. Some said “Kuti went to hide himself in bush so government can give him money.”

“April 14, 2007, my house was burnt during the gubernatorial election that brought Uduaghan in. My cousin and his pregnant wife were murdered in my house. The insinuation was that “Kingsley Okpako used them for money ritual”. It’s laughable. Thank God the fresh bodies were met instantly right there.

“Then January 28, 2019, when a young illustrious female of this soil was killed, an agreement was dubbed against me. It was insinuated that Kings knows about it and I was arrested to Abraka Police Station. I was beaten up like an armed robber, like a dog left, right and center. I was taken to Obiaruku, then the next day to Asaba. An interview was conducted by the Commissioner; he came to see that I was innocent. In a bid to release me, SARS and IRT said no to the CP. They drew me back again, slapped me and smuggled me to Abuja where I was incarcerated for 4 months. At the end, I was taken to court and vindicated.

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“I was not even in town that day and I knew nothing about it. Thank God for today that the mother of that sane girl is now confessing that she is the one that manipulated her daughter to join the secret cult in Abraka for ladies called Jezebel. She was tortured during her initiation and she died and was dumped at the Isoko park. That vindication is not yet known. I’m not here to speak on that alone. Four months of incarceration for a man that lives in an air conditioned house and car? I was made to sleep on the bare floor for four good months from on the 28th of June to the 28th day of October.

He continued: “As the then Chairman of my party in the local government, I was in Abuja in Transcorp Hotel after we went to the field where we were voting in Jonathan’s second tenure which he won in grandstyle. I began to receive phone calls from different quarters. Those that don’t even know me began to call me. Where you dey? I said I’m in Abuja and I dey field dey vote. Some said the situation is this, some say he done die, some say they cut my hand. What happened?

“Some said I dey come from witch for night, nai I fall for Ogboru  compound, I kon dey confess witch say na me nor dey make Ogboru win elections for Ethiope East and Delta State so that I’m a witch and that anywhere they see me, they should mob me.

“There have been stories of people wanting me to be murdered in this place for reasons I don’t know. Is it jealousy, blackmail, envy, I don’t know. What have I really achieved in life? I’m the only child, one seed of corn does not get lost in fire.

“Right now they are confessing with their mouth one after the other. Those involved in this blackmail in Abraka and beyond, if they don’t repent from their act, they will die in penury one after the other. I thank God for the oath I have taken this morning.

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“I make bold to say that nobody has assisted Great Ogboru in Delta State than me. You can ask those working with him. I sponsored his rally in Benbo Game Village with my 4 Lexus car in 2003… there was no blackmail then. Because I left them and said enough is enough, then I became an enemy of them all. But I thank God for my confidant who has been there for me…for those who stood by me in thick and thin. If I lie before the whole world, I won’t lie in the temple of God.”

Speaking further, he disclosed that he has taken an oath before God and expressed pains over the insinuations about him by his kinsmen, saying he is innocent of all the allegations.

“People were responsible to tag this person on Facebook and Google that I’m a ritualist and I kill people to make money in my community. I have offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Aba, Warri, Onitsha. I have never been a ritualist there. It’s only in my community that this tag is on me.”

During his oath-taking at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Erho which he was instrumental to building, his prayer was thus: “Sir my Lord, this egg will stand as a witness, vengeance to fight that cause. The battle is not of me but of you my creator. If I know about all these, may my life shatter like these raw eggs. If I know nothing about all these Lord, then call them to question and they won’t confess, the rest is left to you my Lord. This is my witness.

“I’m not here this day to exhibit my academic know how or financial prosperity but I’m here to prove to God why he should put an end to this cause. More than 15 years ago, I singlehandedly built this church. I started the building of this church… then tell me why God won’t be with in my life? The plan of the devil against my life will not stand. When this mayhem started on the 28th of June 2019, my political friends and family abandoned me. My friends from the palace where I’m a Chief abandoned me. My Elite members in Lagos where I was the President abandoned me. In fact till this day they suspended because of what they saw online on Google. Thank God for technology.

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“But I’m here today to take an oath that if I knew anything about all these, may I die like these raw eggs. May I be shattered in my life. But if I’m not, anybody that typed that message on Google to ruin me down politically, socially, mentally God will answer them. If I can roof a house before God, why can’t God roof my life? He will always roof my life and I present it today as a challenge to him that God, go and fight this battle. As you stood for me, from the beginning of this case to the ending, fight this battle with anyone connected with this blackmail about me. I give them two weeks and fourteen days, Father go and fight this battle. Let them confess and die. Majority of them sat in the canteen to type what will ruin me but thank God. You are not just my creator, but you rescued me. You took me to the promised land. You know the purpose why You brought me to this community. I have been a philanthropist here for the less privileged and the widows. So long as I am, that is the cause they are fighting. They will never stand. God this battle is of You and not me. You said many are the afflictions of the righteous but you God, you stand for us in time of need. You make an edge and that edge is what I’m asking of you today. Among the fruits of the spirit, I like one indicated there- Long Suffering.

“Lord I have suffered enough. You said you will not give us temptation that we will be unable to bear. Lord I have bared enough. Lord if I am guilty may I pay with my blood and may I die in penury. May my dreams be shattered! But if I’m not, Father go and fight this cause. My God, Jehovah Shammah, Jireh, Nissi go and fight this battle because the battle is of you and not of me. Let them drink of their own blood. I rest my case.”

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₦17 Billion Paris Club Refund Landed Obiano On EFCC’s Watch List

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₦17 Billion Paris Club Refund Landed Obiano On EFCC’s Watch List
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₦17 Billion Paris Club Refund Landed Obiano On EFCC’s Watch List

Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, was placed on a watchlist by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly mismanaging over N17 billion Paris Club refund and security vote, investigations by Saturday PUNCH have revealed.

Our correspondent gathered that the governor who is presently out of the country had been under investigation for carrying out various white elephant, including the Umueri International Airport project which cost was believed to be inflated.

It was learnt that the EFCC had earlier invited some commissioners and principal officers over the alleged mismanagement of the state funds.

The Federal Government had shared N388.3bn among the 36 states and the Federal Capital as part of the reimbursement for the over-deduction on the Paris Club loan in December 2016.

Seven states reportedly got above N14bn, four states got over N13bn, two states received above N11bn and five other states were given amounts above N10bn while the remaining 11 states got less than N10bn each.

Anambra State was said to have received N11.3bn.

The state governments had submitted their claims of over-deductions for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002 to the Federal Government due to the First Line Charge deductions from Federation Account Allocation Committee allocations.

The debt service deductions concern the Paris Club, London Club and multilateral debts of the Federal Government and the states.

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Many of the states reportedly shared their portions with their local governments mostly to settle the backlog of salaries and some of the state debts.

The FG subsequently released the second tranche of the Paris Club refund totalling N243.7bn which was shared to the states and the Federal Capital Territory following the approval of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on May 4, 2017.

Anambra State reportedly got over N6bn from the fund which was said to have been misappropriated.

The state’s loan burden under Obiano was also said to have ballooned to $111.48million. The facility was taken from China, India and other international organisations.

Many citizens of Anambra State were said to have petitioned the EFCC, accusing the governor of allegedly frittering away the huge sums of money left behind by his predecessor, Mr Peter Obi.

They also accused the governor of burdening the state with debts without much to show for it.

The anti-graft agency had in a letter dated November 15, 2021 placed the outgoing governor on its watchlist and directed the Nigeria Immigration Service to stop him from leaving the nation through any of the international airports in the country.

The commission was said to have commenced a discreet investigation of the governor and possibly have intelligence that he plans to escape after he hands over power to his successor, Prof Charles Soludo, in March.

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Obi reportedly left billions of naira in the state’s coffers for his predecessor while handing over in 2014.

During a face-off with Obiano, the former People’s Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate in the 2019 elections claimed he left N2.1bn in First Bank account no. 2018779464 for Oko erosion; N4.9bn in Sure-P Diamond account 0026290200; N1.7bn in Universal Basic Education Commission 1 Diamond account 0023484282; N2.1bn in UBEC 2 Diamond account 0031151473; over N4bn in many MDG accounts one of which was the N3.048bn in Fidelity Bank 5030047097 and over N35bn cash (set aside funds added) in all the banks.

Obiano also reportedly inherited $156 million in Fidelity Bank, $50m in Diamond Bank and another $50m in Access Bank, which sources said was mismanaged.

The Governor was also accused of not developing the state as residents complained of bad roads and the absence of infrastructure.

A source said, “Take the Umueri international airport, which was being built at N16 billion. The state government initially budgeted N6billion for the project in its 2020 budget. In the 2022 budget, it allocated an additional N10bn for the same project which was located in his hometown.

“Investigators believe the project was being used to launder and siphon money from the state coffers. Apart from this, the governor is expected to explain how he utilised the Paris Club funds, the security vote and other allocations when he meets with our investigators because the money he spent doesn’t seem to be commensurate with the projects on the ground.”

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But the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba, claimed that the EFCC’s move against his boss was politically motivated by the All Progressives Congress.

Speaking on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television on Thursday, he stated, “Nobody invited him (the governor) to interrogate him or hear his side of the story. No petition was presented to him. He did not make any comments. But all of a sudden, the EFCC announced rather secretly…using the media as a third party…to announce that he is being watched. That is very surprising.

“There is absolutely no reason for that. And worse, the EFCC gave the impression that the governor wants to bolt away when he has a whole four months to remain in office.

“It is unimaginable that a governor will abandon a state a whole four months to the end of his tenure. That is surprising. It just does not make sense to anyone simply because the whole exercise is politically motivated.”

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, declined to comment on Adinuba’s allegations when contacted on Friday. “I don’t comment on such things,” he said on the phone.

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Garba Shehu: Buhari Deserves Credit For Tackling Insecurity

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Garba Shehu: Buhari Deserves Credit For Tackling Insecurity
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Garba Shehu: Buhari Deserves Credit For Tackling Insecurity

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammad Buhari on Media and Publicity, said the president deserves credit for tackling insecurity, especially Boko Haram and farmer/herder crisis

Shehu made this claim on Friday while presenting a paper, tagged ‘Fake news: Challenges of information management’, at the 10th anniversary of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA), in Katsina State.

“It is a fact that the Buhari administration is the only government of Nigeria that has put forward a workable solution to the herder-farmer challenge in all the years since independence.

“The threat to civilians and peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and religious groups from farmer-herders clashes, banditry and land disputes are of serious concern to the Buhari government.

“It is incorrect, however, to assert that the government has or is doing nothing to address the threats.

“Firstly, there are ongoing efforts for the establishment of cattle ranches to prevent or curtail open grazing, the practice that brings herders and farmers into conflict.

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“This is an age-old problem facing Nigerian Governments since the colonial days. However, matters of land distribution are dealt with at the state level.

“This means willingness has to be shown by state governors to drive the process forward. The Federal government launched a plan last year to work with states to address these issues together.

“Unfortunately, this has been lacking in some states, and with regards to the long and determined battle waged against Boko Haram, Nigerians are aware of the efforts made by this Government.

“When the government came to power, the terrorist group held and administered an area the size of Belgium. Now they hold none. The terrorists are hiding out amongst remote forests and across borders.

“This makes it difficult to extinguish the final flames of the insurgency, and the government has no illusions of the potent threat still posed.

“Recent statistics have shown that over 14,500 Boko haram members have voluntarily surrendered.

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“However, the progress made cannot be denied. In the face of rising crime and insecurity, the government’s new community policing initiative was launched.

“Some 10,000 new constables were recruited and the process is on for another 10,000 to be recruited from the areas they will safeguard as opposed to past practice.

“The government hopes this will bring policing closer to local communities. N13 billion was earmarked for the initial initiative. Going by the plan, every year will see an additional 10,000 policemen.

“It is an opinion that the president’s comments on IPOB, which led the banning of Twitter in Nigeria was controversial. For many, it was not.

“President Buhari has therefore been warning against social media disruptive and divisive influences, and the government’s action is not a knee-jerk reaction to Twitter’s preposterous deletion of his tweet which should have been read in full.

“The tweet was not a threat, but a statement of fact. As a terrorist organisation, IPOB poses a significant threat to the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.

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“When the President said that they will be treated “in a language they understand,” he merely reiterated that their force shall be met with force. It is a basic principle of security services response world over.

“This is not a promotion of hate, but a pledge to uphold citizens’ right to freedom from harm. The government cannot be expected to capitulate to terrorists,” according to Shehu.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu-Bichi, said it is a great pleasure to witness a decade of existence of the institution.

“It is not an easy task to develop an institution from the scratch to its present level, saying it is the best among other universities FUDMA was established together with.

He also narrated the challenges the university’s management has passed through in the past 10 years before it attained its present status.

The university, during the event, rewarded some of its staff for their commitments and dedication to duty.

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Sheikh Gumi: Declaration Of Bandits As Terrorists Won’t Change Anything

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Sheikh Gumi: Declaration Of Bandits As Terrorists Won’t Change Anything
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Sheikh Gumi: Declaration Of Bandits As Terrorists Won’t Change Anything

Declaring bandits as terrorists is just a decision taken for political expediency, renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has said.

According to him, “I think the Federal Government has succumbed to media blackmail by a section of the country.

“It will not have any practical value because even before the declaration they are being fought and treated as terrorists.”

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had declared proscribed bandit groups as terrorists.

Specifically, the court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, held that activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups, constitute acts of terrorism.

In a statement issued by Malam Tukur Mamu ,the Dan-Iyan Fika and Media Consultant to Sheikh Gumi, the Muslim scholar said: “So it’s just a nomenclature which I believe will not change the dynamics on ground.

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“If you can remember, IPOB was also declared a terrorist organisation. The declaration was even backed by the order of the Court, but as you can see even the international community did not recognise FG’s declaration on IPOB.

“So it has failed to be effective or to achieve the desired results.

“They have not been banned from travelling to other countries, while their citizenship remains intact; it has not been denounced. “So what type of declaration is that?

“I sincerely hope that Nigerians will not take the herdsmen as terrorists, but should regard the criminality of the few among them against innocent people as acts of terrorism just as we see IPOB and their attacks on security agencies and other northern citizens as acts of terrorism.

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“Very few herdsmen are bandits if you go through their population.

“I hope this declaration will not give the licence to people to be profiling herdsmen in general as terrorists and taking laws into their hands against them.

“It will cause more mayhem. The declaration will not change anything, it will not change the dynamics. Already the military is engaging them.

“It didn’t stop them from kidnappings and killings. The declaration will not end their aggression against the society.

‘It is a socio-political problem’
“The Fulani banditry is a socio-economic problem. We have seen it, we interacted widely with them.

“We told the federal government the way out. It can only be won through engagement, dialogue and justice.

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“That is why today there is relative peace in the Niger Delta because government have accepted the painful reality of rehabilitating and empowering them.

“There has to be equitable distribution of wealth in Nigeria and justice for every one.

“People don’t want to accept it. Before the issue of banditry that now affects all of us, the Fulani have suffered so much.

“They have lost their legitimate means of livelihood; I mean their cows through cattle rustling and extortion by security agencies.

“That has to be addressed as a means of genuine reconciliation and integration. They should have sense of belonging,” Gumi said.

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