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UPDATE: Missing Octogenarian Found In Ikorodu After Sahara Reporters Story

Fri, 2019-08-30 16:16


 

Amosa Bakare, an octogenarian, who went missing on August 21, 2019 after boarding a bus going to Oshodi from her residence in Mushin, has been found after a Sahara Reporters story.

She was found under a bridge at Ikorodu in Lagos.

A family member, who spoke to Sahara Reporters said, “We want to inform the general public that she has been found at Ogolonto in Ikorodu.

“The search began after a call came through informing us that she was found at Ketu Market. Some members of the family went there all to no avail while others went beyond Ketu on Tuesday and Wednesday in search for her.

“Fortunately enough for us, she was found around ogolonto in Ikorodu at about 6:00pm on Wednesday.

“We use this medium to thank the media for coming through especially Sahara Reporters for their prompt intervention in displaying professionalism.”

In the course of the search for the octogenarian, her family members revealed that a mischievous person took advantage of publicity around the matter to demand for N3m in ransom.

They called on Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper and desist from fraudulent activities

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BREAKING: Lawmaker Abducted In Kaduna

Fri, 2019-08-30 16:11


 

A lawmaker from Kaduna State has been reportedly kidnapped in the state, according to a report by PUNCH.

It was gathered that the kidnap took place along the Kaduna-Zaria Road.

As of the time of filing this report, the identity of the lawmaker is still unknown.

Details later…

 

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Seun Kuti To Yemi Osinbajo: 'Poverty You All Created' Causing Nigeria's Problem

Fri, 2019-08-30 15:08


 

Popular Afrobeat singer and son of the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Seun Kuti has called out Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo over his statement regarding conflicts currently afflicting Nigeria.

Osinbajo had tweeted: “The great conflict of our time is not between Islam and Christianity. It is between extremism and human solidarity, between forces of hate and intolerance and those of empathy. I challenge you to live up to the tenets of your faith and live up to the best values of humankind.”

"I shared this and more today at the National Muslim and Christian Youth Summit. As young men and women, leadership extends to being champions of peace, unity, tolerance, and understanding. We must build bridges, fight discrimination and encourage love and unity."

However, Seun Kuti fired back at the vice president, tweeting: “Oga, poverty (Okonjonomics) ‘poverty of d stomach + poverty of d mind’, wey una dey create na im dey cause all dis wahala, and until una sabi wetin una dey do for government, na so our life go dey roll like one yeye ball wey one yeye wind dey blow for one yeye corner.”

Other Twitter users also chided VP Osinbajo over the insecurity and incessant killings in the country.

One user said: “Better build a bridge that can close the gap between the poor and the wealthy. We need a government that listens to the cry of the poor masses. How will there be peace in a country where people die everyday without our government asking questions or taking any action."

Another user tweeted: “This year, my friend was denied federal work because he was a Christian and bears a southern name, he came back vowing to change his name to a northern name. When we stop lying to ourselves as stated above we will make proper laws that will guide against such. Not speeches.”

One said: “Continue deceiving yourself. How many Imams have been killed by Christians anywhere in the world? Almost every week a priest/pastor is killed somewhere in Nigeria, yet you're here playing political correctness, trying hard to please your Fulani masters. Stop this insult. Shame!”

Another tweeted: “Oga, not with Christians like you unable to defend Christianity. Every day we hear of the killing of priests and yet your focus is on bogus Tradermoni. Never forget after power there is judgment. The great conflict of our time is the poverty your government plunged Nigeria into.”

 

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Access Bank Accuses Banker Of Stealing N11 Million

Fri, 2019-08-30 15:05


 

A 34-year-old banker, Ramon Rilwon-Olayiwola, yesterday appeared at a Tinubu Chief Magistrate’s Court in Lagos for allegedly stealing N11 million from bank customers’ accounts.

Rilwon-Olayiwola is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

Prosecuting Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Edet Okoi told the court that the defendant committed the offences on July 22, at about 7:20 pm, at Access Bank head office in Lagos.

He alleged that the defendant, an employee of Access Bank Plc while working at the bank’s Contact Centre Executive Unit, used his position to fraudulently access customers’ details and withdrew money from their accounts, TheNation reports.

Okoi alleged that the defendant withdrew N11 million from customers’ accounts.

“The defendant conspired with some other employees to change some customers’ details on the system and made unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts without the customers’ consent.

“During an internal investigation, which the bank carried out, the CCTV footage showed that it was only the defendant that used the system for accessing customers’ details on the said date,” he said.

Rilwon-Olayiwola, however, pleaded not guilty.
Chief Magistrate Tajudeen Elias granted the defendant N5 million bail with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case until September 29.

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SERAP Seeks Expeditious Hearing Of Sowore’s Application, Writes Chief Judge

Fri, 2019-08-30 15:03


Omoyele Sowore

Omoyele Sowore SaharaReporters Media

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-governmental organisation, has urged Justice John Tsoho, acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, to ensure expeditious hearing of Omoyele Sowore’s application.

The organisation noted that the continued delay in the hearing of Sowore’s application raised serious issues about his right to a fair trial and access to justice, particularly the right to have his application heard expeditiously, fairly and impartially.

SERAP, in a letter dated August 29, 2019 and signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Continuing delay in the hearing of Sowore’s application raises serious issues about his right to a fair trial and access to justice, particularly the right to have his application heard expeditiously, fairly and impartially."

The organisation urged Justice Tsoho to show that “under your leadership of the Federal High Court, no one, not even those accused of an alleged serious offence, will be denied the right to simple justice and expeditious hearing".

SERAP’s letter added: “We are concerned that while Sowore was arrested on August 2, 2019, by the SSS, his application before the court has yet to be heard. The Federal High Court should not be seen as forgetting justice and disregarding the wholesome restraints of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).

“Justice is based on respect for the human rights of every individual. Continuing delay in the hearing Sowore’s application raises issues as to his right to an effective defence and to a fair trial before an independent, impartial judiciary – something, which is recognized as a fundamental right under the Nigerian Constitution and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party."

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja refused to grant the motion filed by Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow protests, challenging his detention Department of State Services. 

Justice Nkeonye Maya declined all applications by Sowore and sent the case back to Justice Taiwo Taiwo for further hearing.

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From Construction To Farming: Exciting Tale Of Nigerian Lady Giving Hope To The Unemployed By Senami Kojah

Fri, 2019-08-30 14:57






Unfulfilled in the concrete jungle, Ruth Suberu wriggled her way out of the construction industry to wake up surrounded by shrunken brown huts, towering plants, and chirping birds. Now in her mid-30s, the soft-spoken lady is an example of young Nigerians quitting their corporate experiences to wander into the country’s fertile fields to take up farming. In a recent encounter with Sahara Reporters, the Kogi State indigene disclosed how her journey into vegetable farming and other crops started in the thick forests of Oluwo Village, an agrarian settlement in the heart of Ogun State.

Fresh Experience

She said, “I studied History and International Studies in 2002 and worked in a construction firm because I did not have that passion for sitting at a spot.

“One day, an idea came to my mind and thought to myself that I could create something by exploring a new area.

“I love plants, I love animals and one thing led to the other and I started sourcing for land.”

Nigeria's unemployment rate in 2018 rose by 23.1 per cent, which implies that 16 million out of 200 million people in the country are out of work. Of this number, very few young Nigerians are seeking jobs that leave their hands temporarily soiled with dirt and in the long term, money. Suberu utilised the social media to secure training in the basics of starting a farm after quitting her job. Luckily for her, the training she received set her on the path to owning her first cucumber farm. From that point on, the beautiful young lady has not looked back.

“Someone helped me to get some acres of land around Owode/Idiroko area of Ogun State and that was how I started farming. 

“I started with maize and cassava but had to switch to vegetables following the long period one had to wait to harvest these crops.

“I saw an advert on Facebook by a lady for training on vegetable farming, so I reached out to her, made payments and went for that training somewhere around Saki in Oyo State.

“It was a one-month training and immediately I came back, I started a cucumber farm,” she said.

However, like many farmers across the country, Suberu had to deal with a whole lot of environmental issues largely occasioned by climate change. Increases in temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, changes in extreme weather events, and reductions in water availability all made farming quite tough for her. But like the genius that she is, the young lady had to find a way to surmount the challenge and fulfill her desire of becoming a successful farmer.

She said, “There were days I felt like giving up on farming but the inner strength inside me kept telling to go ahead because I was on the right path.

“One day, I left Lagos for a village in Ogun State where there is a river. The place isn’t safe during the rainy season but because I love nature, I had to source for a farm around that place.

“Since I didn’t have funds to sink a borehole, I needed to look for a place where there was a river.

“So, it was the river that brought me to where my farm is now between Lagos, Ibadan, and Abeokuta.

“I decided to move here fully and once I harvest, I take the produce to Lagos or a local market because I am already building a customer network across cities.

“This year has been my best year yet even though there haven’t been much rains. However, I have had to put in extra work.

“I use irrigation to water the farms by connecting a hose to the river and distributing to individual plants. Even though it has not been easy, I have managed to keep the farm flourishing to yield maximum harvest.”

But beyond carving a niche for herself in agriculture, Suberu has invested time and resources to extend her knowledge to other Nigerians willing to pluck fortunes from farming. Through her non-profit organisation, she has been able to give new lives to ex-convicts and other categories of unemployed Nigerians. For her, it is a fulfilment of a dream even as a child.

She added, “Through my NGO founded last year, I have been able to train a lot of people including ex-convicts on how to farm.

“There is always a stigma around people who have committed a crime and just stepping out of prison. Our training has given these people a new life and this makes me immensely happy. 

“I want to help more people who need to start afresh but the only challenge I have at the moment is accommodation.

“If I can get support in this area, I’ll be able to train more Nigerians and help reduce unemployment in the country. This is my biggest goal at the moment.”

 

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How Former President Jonathan's Aide Floored EFCC

Fri, 2019-08-30 11:34


The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, on Thursday, discharged and acquitted Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former Senior Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, of the 22 counts money laundering charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

Justice Mohammad Idris, the presiding judge, upheld that the failure of the anti-graft agency to call some vital witnesses restricted the agency’s ability to prove the allegations against Dudafa and Joseph Iwuejo, a banker and the second defendant in the case.

 

The judge said the prosecution ought to have called Somprei Omiebi; Sambo Dasuki, the then National Security Adviser; S. A. Salisu, the then Director of Finance and Administration at the office of the NSA; as witnesses. Failure to do so, he said, scuttled the prosecution’s case. The judge opined that the presence of these individuals could have cleared all suspicion.

 

He said, although, the commission was able to show that there was reasonable doubt to suspect financial impropriety on the part of the defendant, it failed to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

However, the judge held: “Criminal allegations, by the strict dictates of our law, is proved and decided upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Suspicions and conjectures have no place at all in our criminal jurisprudence.”

 

The judge distilled the issues for determination and concluded that the allegations to be considered are conspiracy, forgery and money laundering related offences.

 

The judge also said the commission failed to establish during the course of its argument what constituted an unlawful act with which the funds in contention were proceeds of

 

The judge ruled on the 22 counts as follow:

 

Count 1

 

The EFCC alleged in count one that the defendants conspired to launder the sum of N1, 627,162, 800. The judge held that the EFCC failed to prove that there was a meeting of the minds as it is required to prove the allegation of conspiracy.

 

He stated that the defendants in their confessional statements, which was relied upon by the EFCC to prove the case, did mention that they never conspire, adding that the defendants made it clear that they did not know each other until the time of their arrest.

 

He said: “The first defendant stated that for the purpose of the safe-keeping of the funds, he brought one Somprei Omiebi, who is a family friend of the first family (Goodluck Jonathan) who brought the company’s account for the safe-keeping of the funds.

 

“The second defendant said the same Sompre Omiebi instructed him. The question that comes to mind, since the first and second defendant have both made reference to a particular person by the name Sompre Omiebi as the person who owned and operated the accounts where the funds in this charge were lodged, why did the prosecution fail to call this person as a witness.”

 

He stated further that there was no evidence before the court to show that Omiebi is dead or incapacitated to give evidence, as a vital witness, adding that Sompre was the only link between the two defendants and failure to bring him greatly harmed the prosecution’s case.

 

The judge said the defendants were able to prove that the funds in questions were proceeds from the launch of a charity organization. “The prosecution did not make an attempt to puncture the evidence of the defense neither did it provide its evidence to counter the evidence of the defendants", the judge noted.

 

There, the judged ruled that the prosecution failed to discharge its duty to prove the guilt of the defendants

 

 

Count 2 – 9

 

In the charges, the EFCC accused the defendants of concealing funds they reasonably ought to know are proceeds of an unlawful act.

 

The commission said the defendants allegedly concealed the funds in the accounts of A.B. Wise Resources Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Rotato Interlink Service Limited, Pluto Property and Services Limited, and De-jakes fast food and Restaurant Limited.

 

In proving the charges, the prosecution relied solely on the extrajudicial stamen of the defendants, which the court held that the prosecution failed to corroborate with other evidence.

 

It could be recalled that during the trial, the defendants did claim that the statements were extracted from them under duress. Although the contention was dismissed by the court, the judge held that the confessional statement of the defendants is not enough evidence to secure a conviction.

 

The judge also noted that the prosecution failed to establish the unlawful act with which the funds were proceeds of.

 

Justice Idris said: “The prosecution now gone ahead to show that the defendant used his position as a public officer to confer an unfair advantage upon himself. Also going by the evidence of PW (Prosecution Witness) 7, it was stated that the first defendant received bags which he claimed not to know the content of. The Prosecution has tried to show that the content of the bags was united states dollars which were removed from the central band.

 

“Did the prosecution call any official of the central bank of Nigeria to show that the money was removed from their office? Looking at exhibit M, the letter was written to the central bank of Nigeria and signed by Dasuki, who was the National Security Adviser to the former president Goodluck Jonathan, therein authorizing one Salihu to sign and collect the sum of $47 million. I could not see any part of the letter where the name of the defendants was mentioned. Also, I do not see any evidence indicating that the same funds were released by the central bank of Nigeria. To my mind, the prosecution has not sufficiently linked exhibit M to the supposed bags carried by the first defendant. There is no nexus at all that the funds in exhibit M were issued at all.”

 

The judge said he agreed with the prosecution that the burden of proof is on the defence when the funds available to him far outweighed his income. He, however, said the defendant was able to show that the funds were proceeds from a fundraiser.

 

He therefore said he cannot hold the defendants guilty of count 2 – 9.

 

Count 10 – 11

 

As it relates to counts 10 and 11, the prosecution argued that the defendants made a cash payment of the sum of $69,000 on May 4, 2015, and $400,000 in June 2015, in contravention of money laundering prohibition act.

 

The prosecution relied on some text messages from the Dudafa to some bureau de change operatives, asking for the exchange rate of dollars. The prosecution also relied on the testimony of Dudafa that he instructed the bureau de change to pay the naira equivalent into the account of one Muritala Bashiru.

 

“Here, the question to ask is does the prosecution actually expect the court to believe that the act of giving money to a staff of the state house counts as payment envisaged [by the money laundering act]”

 

The judge said the money exchanged did not count as payment. He said the mere exchange of money did not constitute an office.

 

Count 12 – 13

 

The commission said the defendants made certain transfers and purchased property with the proceed of an unlawful act. The EFCC also relied on the statement made by Dudafa without corroborating it with any other evidence.

 

“I have looked through all the evidence relied upon by the prosecutor and I have critically reviewed the argument which was made by the first defendant and I have come to the conclusion that the only evidence that actually linked the first defendant to the transaction is exhibit G9,“ he stated.

 

He held that it is hard to link the defendant to the companies in the transaction, having not been a signatory to the accounts or a director in the companies.

 

He restated that the failure to have called Omeibi to successfully link Dudafa to Iwuejo, the account officer who operated the accounts of the companies.  

 

The judge also stated that the statement in the confessional statement of the defendant does not amount to an admission of guilt.

 

“In the light of the above, the question that comes down to the weight attached to exhibit G9 (the confessional statement) The court must look at other evidence to determine what weight to attach to the statement. I have found that apart from the testimony, none of the other evidence corroborated the claims in G9 which was written more than a month since the defendant has been in custody.

 

On this ground, he also does not find the defendant guilty of the two charges in count 12 and 13.

 

Count 14 – 15

 

The EFCC accused the defendants of forgery. The commission said the defendant forged bank documents with the intention for the documents to be passed off as the real one. They also claimed that the signature on the bank document, which happened to be the Iwuejo’s signature, were forged by Iwuejo himself.

 

However, the court held that the commission failed to provide the original copy of the document forged to use as a cross check for the alleged forged document. He added that forgery or any criminal charge at that can only be proven with sufficient evidence failure with which requires the accused to be discharged.

 

“Even though the prosecution has tried to prove that Ebeneza is the same person as the second defendant, they have not been successful at this. And even if they have been successful, can a person be said to forge his own signature?” the court asked.

 

He said there was no evidence to prove that the second defendants appeared under different names. He pointed out the contradiction in the prosecution’s argument wherein it tried to prove that the second defendant impersonated different identity and at the same time accused the defendant of forging the signature of the identities which prosecution claimed to be him.

 

He held that for forgery to be proven two documents must be presented to the court, that is the forged document and the original document. “the prosecution produced only the alleged forged cheques,” the court held.

 

Count 16 – 22

 

Dudafa and Iwuejo also floored the EFCC on the last 8 counts of the charges wherein they were accused of carrying out a transaction that contravened the EFCC act.

 

In the counts, EFCC said monies in certain companies belonged to the Dudafa but failed to prove how, giving that Dedafa is not a director in any of the companies. The judge also concluded that because a person deposited money into these companies’ accounts does not show that the deposited money was a proceed of a crime.

 

“To me, there seems to be no way to link the money in the accounts of companies which the first defendant is not a director. The first defendant is not a signatory to the account or a shareholder in the companies.”

 

The commission also accused Dudafa of intentionally failing to declare his assets but the court held that the commission failed that the act of omission was intentional.

 

Having considered all the shreds of evidence and argument of the prosecution in proving the offences, the judge said EFCC failed to prove its case judiciously.

 

“I do not find anything that suggests that the criminal offence as charged has been committed. The prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these are proceeds of unlawful acts,” he stated.

 

 

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How Former President Jonathan's Aide Floored EFCC

Fri, 2019-08-30 11:34


The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, on Thursday, discharged and acquitted Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former Senior Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, of the 22 counts money laundering charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

Justice Mohammad Idris, the presiding judge, upheld that the failure of the anti-graft agency to call some vital witnesses restricted the agency’s ability to prove the allegations against Dudafa and Joseph Iwuejo, a banker and the second defendant in the case.

 

The judge said the prosecution ought to have called Somprei Omiebi; Sambo Dasuki, the then National Security Adviser; S. A. Salisu, the then Director of Finance and Administration at the office of the NSA; as witnesses. Failure to do so, he said, scuttled the prosecution’s case. The judge opined that the presence of these individuals could have cleared all suspicion.

 

He said, although, the commission was able to show that there was reasonable doubt to suspect financial impropriety on the part of the defendant, it failed to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

However, the judge held: “Criminal allegations, by the strict dictates of our law, is proved and decided upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Suspicions and conjectures have no place at all in our criminal jurisprudence.”

 

The judge distilled the issues for determination and concluded that the allegations to be considered are conspiracy, forgery and money laundering related offences.

 

The judge also said the commission failed to establish during the course of its argument what constituted an unlawful act with which the funds in contention were proceeds of

 

The judge ruled on the 22 counts as follow:

 

Count 1

 

The EFCC alleged in count one that the defendants conspired to launder the sum of N1, 627,162, 800. The judge held that the EFCC failed to prove that there was a meeting of the minds as it is required to prove the allegation of conspiracy.

 

He stated that the defendants in their confessional statements, which was relied upon by the EFCC to prove the case, did mention that they never conspire, adding that the defendants made it clear that they did not know each other until the time of their arrest.

 

He said: “The first defendant stated that for the purpose of the safe-keeping of the funds, he brought one Somprei Omiebi, who is a family friend of the first family (Goodluck Jonathan) who brought the company’s account for the safe-keeping of the funds.

 

“The second defendant said the same Sompre Omiebi instructed him. The question that comes to mind, since the first and second defendant have both made reference to a particular person by the name Sompre Omiebi as the person who owned and operated the accounts where the funds in this charge were lodged, why did the prosecution fail to call this person as a witness.”

 

He stated further that there was no evidence before the court to show that Omiebi is dead or incapacitated to give evidence, as a vital witness, adding that Sompre was the only link between the two defendants and failure to bring him greatly harmed the prosecution’s case.

 

The judge said the defendants were able to prove that the funds in questions were proceeds from the launch of a charity organization. “The prosecution did not make an attempt to puncture the evidence of the defense neither did it provide its evidence to counter the evidence of the defendants", the judge noted.

 

There, the judged ruled that the prosecution failed to discharge its duty to prove the guilt of the defendants

 

 

Count 2 – 9

 

In the charges, the EFCC accused the defendants of concealing funds they reasonably ought to know are proceeds of an unlawful act.

 

The commission said the defendants allegedly concealed the funds in the accounts of A.B. Wise Resources Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Rotato Interlink Service Limited, Pluto Property and Services Limited, and De-jakes fast food and Restaurant Limited.

 

In proving the charges, the prosecution relied solely on the extrajudicial stamen of the defendants, which the court held that the prosecution failed to corroborate with other evidence.

 

It could be recalled that during the trial, the defendants did claim that the statements were extracted from them under duress. Although the contention was dismissed by the court, the judge held that the confessional statement of the defendants is not enough evidence to secure a conviction.

 

The judge also noted that the prosecution failed to establish the unlawful act with which the funds were proceeds of.

 

Justice Idris said: “The prosecution now gone ahead to show that the defendant used his position as a public officer to confer an unfair advantage upon himself. Also going by the evidence of PW (Prosecution Witness) 7, it was stated that the first defendant received bags which he claimed not to know the content of. The Prosecution has tried to show that the content of the bags was united states dollars which were removed from the central band.

 

“Did the prosecution call any official of the central bank of Nigeria to show that the money was removed from their office? Looking at exhibit M, the letter was written to the central bank of Nigeria and signed by Dasuki, who was the National Security Adviser to the former president Goodluck Jonathan, therein authorizing one Salihu to sign and collect the sum of $47 million. I could not see any part of the letter where the name of the defendants was mentioned. Also, I do not see any evidence indicating that the same funds were released by the central bank of Nigeria. To my mind, the prosecution has not sufficiently linked exhibit M to the supposed bags carried by the first defendant. There is no nexus at all that the funds in exhibit M were issued at all.”

 

The judge said he agreed with the prosecution that the burden of proof is on the defence when the funds available to him far outweighed his income. He, however, said the defendant was able to show that the funds were proceeds from a fundraiser.

 

He therefore said he cannot hold the defendants guilty of count 2 – 9.

 

Count 10 – 11

 

As it relates to counts 10 and 11, the prosecution argued that the defendants made a cash payment of the sum of $69,000 on May 4, 2015, and $400,000 in June 2015, in contravention of money laundering prohibition act.

 

The prosecution relied on some text messages from the Dudafa to some bureau de change operatives, asking for the exchange rate of dollars. The prosecution also relied on the testimony of Dudafa that he instructed the bureau de change to pay the naira equivalent into the account of one Muritala Bashiru.

 

“Here, the question to ask is does the prosecution actually expect the court to believe that the act of giving money to a staff of the state house counts as payment envisaged [by the money laundering act]”

 

The judge said the money exchanged did not count as payment. He said the mere exchange of money did not constitute an office.

 

Count 12 – 13

 

The commission said the defendants made certain transfers and purchased property with the proceed of an unlawful act. The EFCC also relied on the statement made by Dudafa without corroborating it with any other evidence.

 

“I have looked through all the evidence relied upon by the prosecutor and I have critically reviewed the argument which was made by the first defendant and I have come to the conclusion that the only evidence that actually linked the first defendant to the transaction is exhibit G9,“ he stated.

 

He held that it is hard to link the defendant to the companies in the transaction, having not been a signatory to the accounts or a director in the companies.

 

He restated that the failure to have called Omeibi to successfully link Dudafa to Iwuejo, the account officer who operated the accounts of the companies.  

 

The judge also stated that the statement in the confessional statement of the defendant does not amount to an admission of guilt.

 

“In the light of the above, the question that comes down to the weight attached to exhibit G9 (the confessional statement) The court must look at other evidence to determine what weight to attach to the statement. I have found that apart from the testimony, none of the other evidence corroborated the claims in G9 which was written more than a month since the defendant has been in custody.

 

On this ground, he also does not find the defendant guilty of the two charges in count 12 and 13.

 

Count 14 – 15

 

The EFCC accused the defendants of forgery. The commission said the defendant forged bank documents with the intention for the documents to be passed off as the real one. They also claimed that the signature on the bank document, which happened to be the Iwuejo’s signature, were forged by Iwuejo himself.

 

However, the court held that the commission failed to provide the original copy of the document forged to use as a cross check for the alleged forged document. He added that forgery or any criminal charge at that can only be proven with sufficient evidence failure with which requires the accused to be discharged.

 

“Even though the prosecution has tried to prove that Ebeneza is the same person as the second defendant, they have not been successful at this. And even if they have been successful, can a person be said to forge his own signature?” the court asked.

 

He said there was no evidence to prove that the second defendants appeared under different names. He pointed out the contradiction in the prosecution’s argument wherein it tried to prove that the second defendant impersonated different identity and at the same time accused the defendant of forging the signature of the identities which prosecution claimed to be him.

 

He held that for forgery to be proven two documents must be presented to the court, that is the forged document and the original document. “the prosecution produced only the alleged forged cheques,” the court held.

 

Count 16 – 22

 

Dudafa and Iwuejo also floored the EFCC on the last 8 counts of the charges wherein they were accused of carrying out a transaction that contravened the EFCC act.

 

In the counts, EFCC said monies in certain companies belonged to the Dudafa but failed to prove how, giving that Dedafa is not a director in any of the companies. The judge also concluded that because a person deposited money into these companies’ accounts does not show that the deposited money was a proceed of a crime.

 

“To me, there seems to be no way to link the money in the accounts of companies which the first defendant is not a director. The first defendant is not a signatory to the account or a shareholder in the companies.”

 

The commission also accused Dudafa of intentionally failing to declare his assets but the court held that the commission failed that the act of omission was intentional.

 

Having considered all the shreds of evidence and argument of the prosecution in proving the offences, the judge said EFCC failed to prove its case judiciously.

 

“I do not find anything that suggests that the criminal offence as charged has been committed. The prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these are proceeds of unlawful acts,” he stated.

 

 

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#FreeJalingoNow: Enforced Disappearances And The Cross River Narrative By Jonathan Abang

Fri, 2019-08-30 11:19



August 30th of every year is set aside to mark the International Day of the Disappeared. 
The day is created to draw attention to the fate of those who have been abducted, imprisoned or detained for no just cause and to highlight the work of Amnesty International, International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Disappearance has been a tool used by the powerful to oppress the weak. Governments, dictatorships, monarchies, International organizations among others have consistently deployed this tool over the years.
Whether it has been a tool for the ruling class in Cross River State remains a debate for another day.
However, the continuous illegal detention of the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch.com, Comrade Agba Jalingo for eight days after what has been termed his “criminal abduction” in Lagos remains a mystery as the Police authorities have remained mute on the matter.
One can only imagine what would have happened if Jalingo’s wife was not around when the Police came knocking at his residence?
How about the trip from Lagos to Calabar that was done by road with tales of the policemen missing their way beginning to emanate?
A journey of 25 hours! One can only imagine what exactly the plan was! 
If the Police Command in Cross River State has remained mute and Jalingo is in their custody in a place where the vast majority of the populace does not know, one can only wonder what would have been his fate if the wife returned home to meet the door to his home ajar, and the husband not responding to phone calls and text messages?
This calls for a rethink by those who have been sitting on the fence. The rhetoric that he is been held for an alleged crime that is jurisdictional is an insult to the collective intelligence of Cross Riverians. Or, can you take the elections of the Governor of Lagos State to hold in Cross River State? Let those behind his ordeal be smarter, please.
As we call for his unconditional release or for him to be charged to Court, my heart goes to the family of PeterTex ‘GodFada’ Etim; ace journalist and broadcaster who was kidnapped on January 11, 2019, on his way to work.
No one knows the fate that has befallen him and Police authorities say they can’t confirm if he is dead or alive!
These two are just but a small percentage of those who have suffered a similar fate.
We can’t pretend all is well! No! We have to raise our voices against disappearances because today it has happened to Jalingo and Godfada; it happened to me too! Tomorrow, who knows? It may be you!
When it rains, it does not pour only on one roof or head, a word is enough to stoke a fire in the minds of the wise.
Join hands and speak against enforced disappearances.
A Luta Continua... Vitoria É Certa
I am Jonathan OA Abang Ugbal and I rest my case for now
#1368DaysToGo
#FreeJalingoNow
#FreePress
#FreeSpeech
#AyadeMustSucceed
#AyadeMustWork
#FollowTheMoney
#FollowOurMoney
#HoldYourLeadersAccountable
#100DaysInSecondTerm
#CrossRiverMustWork
#PressFreedom
#JournalismIsNotACrime
#OnlyDespotsFearThePress
#YouCantSilenceThePress
#NoDemocracyWithoutCriticalPress
 

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Ogoni 9: Saro-Wiwa, Others Buried In One Pit, Corpses Dissolved By Acid, Says Ibrahim Abdullahi, An Eyewitness

Fri, 2019-08-30 10:33


 

An eyewitness, Ibrahim Abdullahi, who was a prisoner when the murdered environmental rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, was killed in 1995 by the dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, on Thursday, gave his account of how the late Ogoni leader and eight others were killed and buried.

Abdullahi, who was granted a state pardon last June by Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, told journalists, “I was in the cell one day in 1995 when they brought the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (retd.), Senator Shehu Sani and Sanusi Mato. 

"Sani and Mato were transferred to Aba and Owerri prisons respectively on the following day but they left Yar’Adua in Port Harcourt."

“One day in 1995," he continued, "soldiers brought Saro-Wiwa and three others from the military barracks and chased away everybody who was not a prisoner.

“Saro-Wiwa, who was chained in the legs and hands, was marched to the condemned cell which was directly opposite the gallows where he and others would be hanged. They met the five others who were already in the cell."

Explaining further what happened, Abdullahi said, “One Major Obi, who led the operation, made sure that no warder witnessed the execution. They serviced the gallows which could execute two people at a time. The attorney-general of Rivers State then came with a file which contained the charges preferred against the Ogoni leaders.

“The AG went straight to their cell and read the charges to them and went back. One of them, a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, was crying, lamenting that his wife had just given birth to a new baby and that he was observing a dry fast on that day.

“Saro-Wiwa maintained that he did not ask anybody to kill anyone but that the federal military government just wanted to kill him. He then said there would never be peace in Ogoni land forever because of the innocent souls that Abacha wanted to sacrifice. After this, the soldiers marched him to the gallows."

After their execution, Abdullahi said of Saro-Wiwa, “They brought out his corpse and put him in a slab and they invited a medical doctor who certified him dead. They called four of us to take his corpse.

“That was how they executed them one after the other. One of them was even calling the name of Jesus until he was pushed to the gallows.

“After the execution, Major Obi collected the films of the hanging from the photographer and the tape from the video man and asked us to put all the corpses inside a tipper which was used to covey them and four of us to the bush where they were buried.

“The soldiers then poured acid on Saro-Wiwa and others when we got to the place called Bolokiri and their bodies melted instantly inside a single pit where they put all of them.”

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Nigeria Has 30 Veterinary Officers To Man More Than 50 Border Posts -Quarantine Service

Fri, 2019-08-30 10:29


 

The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has expressed concern over inadequate manpower and funding to carry out its operations.

Dr. Abiodun Akinjo, the Director of Animal Quarantine told News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja that the agency had only 30 veterinary officers among other personnel to man at least 52 border posts across the country.

According to him, the number is grossly inadequate, and the gap is greatly impeding on the agency’s operations.

“There is an urgent need for the appropriate authorities to come to the aid of the agency.

“We have over 52 border stations all over the country but we cannot meet up with the number because we have to seek the approval to go ahead and employ more.

“Therefore, we have a serious need for more veterinary doctors.

“We cannot adequately cover these areas but what we are doing at the moment is to make sure that every entry and exit points have at least a veterinary doctor and other personnel like animal husbandry and livestock development officers among others.

“However, there is a need for veterinary doctors to oversee all these categories of officers who are not also sufficient.

“We operate 24/7 services through morning, afternoon and night shifts, but to be able to do this effectively we need adequate manpower,” Akinjo said.

The director specifically cited a scenario where the Nigerian Immigration Service on opening new borders wrote to the agency requesting for equivalent personnel to man the areas.

Akinjo said that the agency was unable to meet the demand due to lack of adequate manpower.

“Being a new agency, we are hopeful that government will approve or give us consideration to employing more hands so that we can meet up with the challenges ahead of us, employment is very crucial,” he stated.

Akinjo appealed to the Federal Government to prioritize adequate budgetary allocation to the agency in order to procure standard equipment and official vehicles for its field workers.

“We should be funded properly which is key; adequate and timely provision of funds will assist the agency to respond quickly,” Akinjo said.

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Oil Theft: Nigeria Lost 22 Million Barrels Of Crude Oil In 6 Months, Says Governor Obaseki

Fri, 2019-08-30 10:15


 

Edo Governor,  Godwin Obaseki said the nation lost about 22 million barrels of its crude oil production to oil theft between January and June 2019.

Obaseki disclosed this in a statement issued by Ndu Ughamadu, the Spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation( NNPC) on Thursday.

He said that if nothing was done to curtail the ugly trend, the figure could double by the end of the year.

The governor, also chairman of the ad hoc committee of the National Economic Council on Crude Oil Theft spoke at a stakeholders meeting held at the NNPC Towers.

He said the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism were beginning to pose a threat to the national economy.

The governor called on stakeholders to join forces and work toward eradicating the menace of crude oil theft that was currently on an upward swing in the country.

The NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for June revealed a 77 percent rise in cases of oil pipeline vandalization across its network of pipeline infrastructure.

According to the report, 106 pipeline points were breached, representing an alarming increase from the 60 points vandalized in May 2019.

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Nigerians Storm Country's South Africa High Commission In Pretoria

Fri, 2019-08-30 10:10


 

A group of Nigerians on Thursday staged a protest at the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital.

The protesters, mostly victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa said they are angered by the recent massive looting of foreign-owned shops in the city by some South Africans.

Many of the protesters lamented that they had lost goods and business investments to the looting which occurred on Wednesday at Pretoria business district.

The protesters in separate interviews told ChannelsTV that the protest was needed because they are now feeling unsafe in the foreign country.

They claimed that Nigerian representatives in South Africa were slow in responding to their plight.

“They came to my shop and burnt everything to zero,” one of the victims told ChannelsTV.

“We are appealing to our consulate via the high commission here to please intervene in this whole situation. We are so unsafe in this country,” another victim lamented.

However, Defence Adviser, Nigerian High Commission in South Africa, Abubakar Mustapha, condemned the protesters for venting anger on the commission by destroying some properties.

“The way they went about it (the protest) was quite unfortunate, they scaled the fence and almost destroyed the gate,” Mustapha said, adding that the quick intervention of security officers curtailed the incident.

Nigeria High Commission officers later visited the scenes of the looting to see the level of destruction on shops owned by Nigerians.

The acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Umar Bako, later assured those who came to complain of their losses that quick actions will be taken to intervene in the matter.

Violence was recorded on Tuesday in Pretoria Business district as South African indigenes who were apparently angered by the death of a taxi operator by a yet-to-be-identified man on Tuesday resorted to looting shops owned by foreigners in their country.

South Africa police said it had since arrested 17 people in connection with the looting spree, ChannelsTV reports.

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We're Nigerians, We're Not Internet Fraudsters -DG, National Information Technology Development Agency

Fri, 2019-08-30 10:03


 

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has condemned the labelling of many hardworking Nigerians in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector as criminals.

Kashifu Inuwa, the NITDA Director-General, stated this in a statement on Thursday, while reacting to recent indictments of some Nigerians for cyber frauds by the United States government and some other countries.

Obinwanne Okeke, the Chief Executive Officer of Invictus Group, was arrested on August16 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for conspiracy to commit cyber fraud of over $11 million.

Okeke, however, in the course of interrogation, indicted other Nigerians as accomplices, syndicate to the crime.

“The attention of NITDA has been drawn to reports in international media indicting scores of Nigerians for cybercrimes in the United States.

“We also note a recent publication of a foreign-owned software company hitherto operating in Nigeria indicting its Nigerian employees for lack of integrity and duplicity.

“NITDA is resolute that the action of a few individuals does not represent thousands of hardworking professional Nigerians with exemplary careers in Information Technology.

“Nigerian technology entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups, and mid-sized companies have continued to blaze the trail in innovation and service provisioning in Africa and the world.

“We also celebrate thousands of Nigerian professionals who currently work and contribute to the development of innovation and IT in leading multinationals operating globally,’’ Inuwa said.

The director-general also expressed fear that the outcome of the allegations might result in unfair treatment of Nigerians in the Diaspora.

“The poor treatment and denial of certain financial services may hamper economic growth, frustrate investments into Nigerian companies, especially start-ups who need investments to sustain innovation.

“It is grossly unfair to taint an entire nation with a single brush for the alleged crimes of a few,’’ he said.

Inuwa called on international friends of Nigeria to caution their local authorities against treating innocent Nigerians traveling or living in other countries in a derogatory manner, denying Nigerians services without proof of any crime. 

“The agency will in the coming weeks summon a critical stakeholder session of all stakeholders to assess our collective performance in preventing cybercrimes.

“This will be in view at proposing ideas and policies to combat this scorching menace of cybercrimes.

“We urge all stakeholders to prepare proposals and ideas to improve preventive measures to curtail cybercrimes,’’ Inuwa added.

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'Zero Day Attack': NCC Warns Nigerians Against Using Substandard Phones, Tablets

Fri, 2019-08-30 09:30


 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned Nigerians that using substandard telecom devices could adversely affect their health.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, said at a sensitisation workshop, 'Hazardous Effect of Non Type Approved Handsets and E-Waste: Impact on Quality of Service and E-Waste', for stakeholders that using substandard and counterfeit telecom devices was dangerous to human health and safety.

He said substandard devices also increased cyber security-related threats such as 'Zero Day attack', adding that the NCC is working to evolve ways of curbing the menace of substandard and counterfeit devices.

Danbattta further stated that using fake devices would have negative impacts on the quality of services given to telecom service consumers.

“Using genuine handsets and other devices will help consumers to prevent economic losses and associated ailments. As a commission, we are not relenting in efforts to ensure that Nigeria is saved from the hazardous effects of using fake devices,” he explained.

In a paper, 'The Socio-Economic Effects of Counterfeit Devices', Chukuma Nwaiwo of NCC’s Technical Standard and Network Integrity Department, said the proliferation of fake devices was having negative effects on Nigerians.

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Barcelona Former Manager Enrique Loses 9-Year-Old Daughter To Cancer

Fri, 2019-08-30 09:25


 

Former Barcelona manager, Luis Enrique has lost his nine-year-old daughter to osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that affects the bone.

Enrique, 49, confirmed his daughter Xana’s death on Thursday afternoon, saying she had fought osteosarcoma – or bone cancer – for “five intense months”.

Enrique wrote on his twitter page: “Our daughter Xana passed away this afternoon at the age of 9, after fighting for 5 intense months against an osteosarcoma.

“We will miss you lots but we will remember you every day of our lives, with the hope that in the future we’ll meet each other again. You’ll be the star that guides our family. Rest dear Xana.”

Enrique, who quit as Spain’s manager in June, thanked those who had sent well wishes over recent months for their “discretion and understanding”.

He also thanked the medical team who treated his daughter “for their dedication and treatment”.

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez was among those to pay tribute to Xana, writing on Twitter: “There are no words that that can go along with this pain.

“My heartfelt wishes to Luis Enrique and all his family, after the loss of his little Xana.”

Enrique’s former club Barcelona also posted on Twitter: “Our condolences and all our sympathy for @luisenrique21 and his family at this very difficult time. RIP Xana.”

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez tweeted: “A moment of great pain and sadness. Rest in peace, little Xana.”

Spain and Manchester United goalkeeper, David de Gea added: “Speechless. A big hug for you and your family.”

Enrique, who played for Real Madrid and Barcelona during his football career, stepped down as Spain’s manager in June after 11 months in charge, News Agency of Nigeria reports.

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Taraba: Catholic Father David Tanko Killed On His Way To Attend Peace Meeting -LG Chairman

Fri, 2019-08-30 09:19


 

The chairman of the Kufai Adamu local government, Shiban Tikari, has confirmed the killing of a Catholic priest, barely 24 hours after gunmen raided villages in Taraba.

Tikari who identified the deceased as Reverend Father David Tanko, also confirmed that the gunmen set him and his car ablaze.

He was ambushed at Kufai Amadu in Takum local government area of the state.

The cleric was said to be on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the lingering Tiv, Jukun crisis when he was killed.

Tikari, alleged that the attack was carried out by Tiv militias and also blamed several other attacks that had claimed lives and property in southern Taraba on the group, noting that the reason for the attacks is still unknown.

Taraba has witnessed series of attacks lately with the most recent one in Wukari local government areas of the state.

Two persons were killed while a police officer was injured in the attack.

In Donga Local Government Area (LGA), a student of ECWA Seminary School, was in the early hours of Wednesday killed on his farm.

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2 Die, Others Injured In Zamfara Governor Matawalle Convoy Crash

Fri, 2019-08-30 09:12


 

An auto crash involving the convoy of Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, has claimed the lives of two policemen attached to the governor.

Yusuf Idris, the Director-General on Press Affairs to the governor, confirmed the incident in a press statement on Thursday in Gusau.

According to Idris, the crash occurred along Funtua/Gusau road on Thursday, disclosing that a police inspector, Aminu Usman and a sergeant, Nura Mohammed, were killed on the spot.

The statement noted that the policemen had escorted the governor to Abuja on a five-day official trip.

The governor's spokesman said further that while they were returning from Abuja, one of the vehicles in the convoy broke down in Zaria, Kaduna State.

“The two policemen were among the seven persons left behind to oversee the repairs of the broken down vehicle before coming to Gusau.

“About two hours later, however, the sad news was brought to the governor that those left behind were involved in the crash while driving in a heavy downpour and that the two policemen had died.

“Amidst tears, the governor directed the evacuation of the wounded persons from Funtua General Hospital where they were receiving treatment to a referral hospital for better care under the supervision of the governor’s personal physician.

"The doctor was also directed to update the governor on the progress of the treatment,” the statement said.

Idris went on to explain that while one of the victims survived the crash unhurt, the remaining four sustained varying degree of injuries.

He added that the governor had condoled with the families of the deceased and said the state government would pay all medical bill of those hospitalized.

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Yahaya Bello Wins Kogi APC Governorship Ticket

Fri, 2019-08-30 08:51


Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Thursday emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 16 governorship election.

Bello emerged winner by polling 3,369 votes to beat eight other aspirants who contested the governorship primaries conducted by the APC in Lokoja.

Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru,  who was the chairman of the electoral panel that conducted the process, said Babatunde Irukera came second with 109 votes while Hassan Bewa came third with 44 votes.

According to him, Yahaya Audu got 10 votes while Sani Abdulahi polled seven votes and Abubakar Bashir got three votes.

Badaru added that Mrs. Blessing Ekele, Mrs Hadiza Ibrahim, Yakubu Mohammed and Danlami Mohammed did not get any votes.

According to the Jigawa governor, 3,596 accredited delegates voted during the primaries out of which 54 votes were declared invalid.

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Fulani Herdsmen Most Hard-working Nigerians, Have Reasons To Be Hostile -Prof. Ango Abdullahi

Fri, 2019-08-30 08:48


Prof Ango Abdullahi

Prof Ango Abdullahi

 

Prof. Ango Abdullahi, a chieftain of the Northern Elders Forum, says
Fulani herdsmen are the most hard-working Nigerians though accused as
being responsible for insecurity in Nigeria.

Speaking on Wednesday with journalists in Bauchi, he said, “They have
now become an object of politics, for every bad thing that happens in
the country, now it is Fulani herdsmen. They have forgotten that the
Fulani herdsmen get nothing from the government.

“The Fulani herdsman was better off when the British were here. The
British created track roads for Fulani herdsmen created veterinary
clinics for them, created cattle markets and so on for them having
realized that they contributed significantly to Nigeria’s economy
particularly in the agricultural sector and livestock production.

“Look at subsidies that are going to our farmers, you go and check if
you will find out what subsidy goes to the herdsmen, nothing. You are
having subsidy for electricity, you are having subsidy for water, you
are having subsidy for roads, yet the Fulani herdsman has no subsidy
whatsoever and he is the most hard-working Nigerian today but he is
now being maligned as the cause of insecurity.

“His animals had been stolen and sold in the city, so when you
deprived him of his animals what do you want him to do? He will be
hostile.

“We should revive all the abandoned cattle routes from Niger
downwards. There are 600 neglected grazing reserves in northern
Nigeria alone. What you need to do is to rehabilitate them. I think
this is the little you can do for the herdsmen.”

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