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114 Escaped Kogi Inmates Recaptured, 126 Still Missing – Official Discloses

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The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) says it has recaptured 114 escapees of its Kabba custodial centre who were among the 240 inmates set free on September 12.

The NCoS spokesperson, Francis Enobore, confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kabba, Kogi, was attacked by gunmen.

NCoS Controller-General, Haliru Nababa, had since directed the activation of the immediate recapture procedure and detailed investigation to be carried out on the jailbreak.

“Following the swift intervention of the controller-general, 114 escapees have been recaptured,” Spokesperson Enobore said in the statement.

“The controller-general, who personally led a team to the custodial centre for on-the-spot assessment, directed immediate search party response team to go after the escapees.

“This was even as security has been beefed up through the deployment of additional armed squad personnel to fortify the facility,” he added.

He quoted the controller-general as commending the collaboration and support extended to the service by sister security agencies including the vigilante groups which assisted in recapturing the fleeing inmates.

He advised the remaining escapees to turn in themselves within the next 24 hours or risk prosecution if rearrested.

The statement noted that it would be of no use for them to keep hiding since their photographs and biometrics have been captured.

He assured the public of their safety, stating that no effort would be spared in smoking out the fugitives from hiding.

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Buhari Sympathises With Victims Of Market Fire Incident In Onitsha

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President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with victims of the fire incident at Main Market and Relief Market in Onitsha, Anambra State.

This was contained in a statement by the president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Friday in Abuja.

Recall that firefighters on Friday battle to put out a raging fire caused by a fallen petrol tanker in the state.

The fire reportedly destroyed several goods.

According to report, the fire started after a petrol tanker conveying fuel fell around Obodoukwu road, along the Onitsha-Owerri road in the commercial city.

Reacting, Buhari directed Federal Government agencies working with the Anambra government to give the necessary succour to victims.

He also urged public-spirited individuals and corporate organisations to assist those whose means of livelihood had been affected by the unfortunate incident.

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Senator Teslim Folarin’s Wife Is Dead

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Angela Nwaka Folarin, wife of Oyo Central Senator Teslim Folarin, is dead.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senator, YSO Olaniyi, confirmed the death in a statement on Friday.

The statement read, “With total submission to the will of Almighty Allah, we announce the death of our wife, mother and sister, Chief (Barr.) Angela Nwaka Folarin.

“The wife of Oyo Central Senator was confirmed dead on Friday afternoon. She breathed her last in the UK.

“The deceased was hale and hearty until the angel of death knocked the door.

“May Almighty God Comfort us and Grant Late Angela an eternal rest.”

Details later…


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Alleged N544m Contract Scam: Again, High Court Rejects EFCC’s Exhibit Against Ex-SGF, Lawal

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EFCC: Court Fixes July 6 For Babachir’s Trial

For the second time, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT on Friday rejected computer-generated exhibits sought to be tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Dr Babachir Lawal in his trial on alleged N544m contract scam.

The court held that the exhibits extracted from an iPhone 7 belonging to one Musa Bulani, an associate of the former SGF failed the admissibility test as conditions precedent stipulated by law for their admission were not met by the anti-graft agency.

EFCC had on January 24, 2021, suffered the same fate following the rejection of its computer-generated forensic report by the same court on the same grounds.

Ruling in an objection by Babachir Lawal against a set of computer-generated exhibits, Justice Charles Agbaza threw out the exhibits on the reason that the provisions of the Evidence Act on such documents admissibility were not met.

The computer-generated documents were sought to be tendered by the EFCC through its 8th witness, Mr Dare Folarin, an EFCC operative who had in his evidence in chief informed the court of how the documents were shown to him when he was invited to a laboratory during their analysis.

Counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mr Ofem Uket had applied to tender the exhibits but the application was vehemently opposed by Chief Akin Olujimi SAN on various grounds.

Olujimi asked the court to reject the exhibits on the ground that what the EFCC wanted to do through Folarin was to smuggle into the court, exhibits earlier rejected by the same court when it ruled against admitting a Compact Disc on the said iPhone.

The senior lawyer informed the court that EFCC had already filed an appeal against the ruling of the court on the rejection of the computer-generated exhibits at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

However, in his ruling, Justice Agbaza agreed that his court had last year rejected similar exhibits and that the EFCC was only attempting to bring into the court records, exhibits already marked rejected.

Apart from the exhibit not conforming with law, the Judge held that any oral evidence of EFCC’s witness will amount to hearsay since he was not the maker and did not sign them.

“I have carefully examined the foundation of arguments for and against the admissibility of the exhibits in dispute and found only two issues for determination.

“The first issue is on whether the evidence of the prosecution witness falls on hearsay in respect of the exhibits while the second issue is on whether this court has once rejected the exhibits sought to be tendered.

“On issue one, the witness on his own informed the court of how he was invited into the EFCC laboratory and was shown information extracted from an iPhone 7.

“On this, I am satisfied that the witness is not the maker of the exhibits in dispute. They were only shown to him according to his oral evidence here.

“Therefore, anything said or to be said by the witness is nothing but hearsay and for this reason, I resolve this issue in favour of the defendants.

“On the second issue, there is no dispute that the exhibits were earlier sought to be tendered but they were turned down and marked rejected and even, the rejection is a subject of appeal at the Court of Appeal.

“For this reason, I agree that the exhibits cannot be admitted having been earlier rejected and marked rejected.

However, the trial of the defendants could not proceed as the EFCC counsel told the court that his witness, Dare Folarin was indisposed and could not make it to court and applied for an adjustment.

Due to no objection from the defence team, Justice Agbaza fixed February 16 and 17 for the continuation of trial.

The former SGF is facing a 10-count charge the EFCC filed against him but pleaded not guilty.

The charge borders on alleged diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy, and official corruption.

Those standing trial alongside the SGF are his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday, and two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant.

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