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Molestation Scandal: Police Arraign Seven Deeper Life High School Suspects

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The Akwa Ibom State Police Command said on Wednesday that seven suspects connected to the Deeper Life High School child molestation scandal had been charged.

The suspects, including 45-year-old Ndidi Solomon and four others, were arraigned before a magistrates’ court, while two students mentioned were arraigned at a juvenile court.

The command said in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, said the arraignment followed a petition from one Mrs Deborah Archibong to the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme.

The statement titled: ‘Suspects connected to the Deeper Life High School crisis charged to court’, read in part, “Consequent upon a petition from one Mrs Deborah Okezie Archibong to the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State, Andrew Amiengheme, and upon the commissioner’s directive for a discreet investigation into the issues contained therein, one Mrs Ndidi Solomon, aged 45, and four other staff (members), including two students, whose actions or inactions negated extant laws have been today (Wednesday) charged to court.

“While Mrs Ndidi Solomon and four others were charged to the magistrates’ court, the two students were charged to the Juvenile Court.”

The CP, while noting that it was only expedient for matters of this nature to be quickly investigated and the courts allowed to decide on the merits, called on school authorities to take the welfare and discipline of their students seriously.

However, contrary to the police statement, the four suspects, who were meant to be arraigned before the Uyo Magistrates’ Court could not be arraigned due to the absence of the magistrate.

Counsel for the defendants, Fidelis Igwe, said, “The police brought seven accused persons, five were staff members of the school and two of them were students and minors.

“They were not arraigned because we were informed that the chief magistrate was not around, but that she would be around tomorrow (Thursday).”

Igwe accused the police of keeping the court in the dark even to the point of arraignment.

He stated, “The police have not told us what these people are to be charged for. They just called them out and asked them to come to court. They have neither briefed their lawyers nor the management of the school.

“We have been going there (police station) for introduction and interrogation, but when we got there yesterday (Tuesday), after interviewing them  the police said they were going to detain them, but they told us nothing thereafter.”

Counsel for the claimant, David Okokon, explained that the reason why the court did not sit was an administrative issue, saying that the police and the court did not have the same modalities.

Okokon accused the medical doctor, who was indicted in the matter, of engaging in crude practice, adding that he would petition the Nigerian Medical Association.

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Pastor Lands in Jail for Lying Against Colleague in Ondo

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The Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday sentenced a pastor, John Abiodun, to two years’ imprisonment for false allegation against a church founder.

Abiodun was arrested in 2019 for lying against the founder of Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, that seven placentas were planted on the church’s altar.

The church is located in the Shasha area of Akure.

The convict, who was a former member of the church, swore an affidavit before the commissioner for oaths on the matter.

Abiodun and a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University,  Akungba Akoko, Prof. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, were later arraigned on eight counts bordering on conspiracy, publication of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence, among others.

The second defendant (Olu-Adeyemi) was the admin of a WhatsApp group on which the false accusation was published.

During a series of court proceedings on the matter, witnesses were called by both the prosecutor and the defence counsel.

The trial judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe, found Abiodun guilty of count five of the charge.

He said the convict contradicted himself while giving evidence in the allegation against him, which included the use of different church WhatsApp platforms and other social media to malign, carry out false publication and wrongly accuse the founder of the church.

The court said Abiodun was guilty of perjury, an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ondo State.

The judge also held that in law, anybody found guilty of perjury was liable to life or 14 years’ imprisonment, but due to the plea by the defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Adesanmi, he would reduce the jail term to two years.

“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to two years’ imprisonment,” the judge ruled.

The second defendant was discharged and acquitted as the court said the investigation conducted by the police on his involvement in the matter was shoddy.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Kayode Dare, expressed satisfaction with the judgement, saying the court had vindicated Akinbiyi and other members of his church.

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Accident in Katsina Claims 13 Lives, 70 Injured

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Thirteen people died while 70 others sustained injuries in a motor accident along Kaita/Dankama Highway, Katsina State on Thursday night.

Although details of the circumstances surrounding the accident were still sketchy by Friday morning, it was learnt that a majority of the passengers inside the truck were from the neighbouring Niger Republic.

The witnesses added that 70 sheep were also killed in the accident.

The PUNCH learnt that those who sustained injuries have been taken to the Federal Medical centre, Katsina General hospital and Amadi Rimi Orthopaedic Hospital, all in Katsina, for treatment.

However, the Katsina State Government sent a delegation to attend the funeral prayers and burial of the deceased on Thursday night at Dantakum graveyard located within Katsina metropolis.

The delegation included Commissioners of Local Governments, Alhaji Ya’u -Umar Gwajo-Gwajo and that of Sports and Social Development, Alhaji Sani Danlami, as well as Governor Aminu Masari’s Senior Special Assistant on Restoration Alhaji Sabo Musa and Head of Kaita Local Government Administration among others.

The government delegation also visited the injured at the hospitals on Thursday night.

The spokesman for the Katsina police command, SP Gambo Isah, was yet to react to the accident as of the time of filing this report.

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Katsina VP Pays Student N300-N500 to Have Sex with Her, Arrested

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The Vice-Principal of the Kadandani Community School in the Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Ibrahim Tukur, who allegedly raped and impregnated a student of the school, has explained the circumstances surrounding the development.

He made the explanation in Hausa language to journalists at the police headquarters in Katsina, where he and other suspects were paraded on Wednesday.

Tukur stated, “I am being accused of committing rape and it’s true I committed the crime. I have been having affairs with the girl for eight months ago now. I used to take her to my house and offer her the sum of N300 of N500; some other times, I would give her N200 to have sex with her.

“Information reaching me right now is that the girl has been delivered of a baby boy for me. I have three wives.”

Tukur and the other suspects were arrested between January 9 and 14, 2021.

The spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah, told journalists during the parade that the vice-principal was arrested on January 9, 2021 following a formal report at the Rimi Divisional Police Headquarters by one Ibrahim Sani.

Isah said Tukur took advantage of the victim to impregnate her.

“The vice-principal, who is married to three wives, used to take the girl from the school to his house, where he had serial sex with her. As a result, he got the girl pregnant and she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section.”

Other suspects paraded included Auwal Hamzat and Sulaiman Abubakar, who were alleged to have sodomised three boys, who were children of their neighbours.

The neighbours reported the incident to the police, leading to the suspects’ arrest.

One Ishiaku Sani, 25, was also paraded for a similar offence.

Sani was alleged to have also sodomised the six-year-old son of his neighbour, who reported the incident to the police on January 10.

Also paraded was a 61-year-old man, Lawan Sani, who was alleged to have molested a six-year-old girl, whose mother reported the incident at the Central Police Station, Katsina, on January 14.

Similarly, one Jamilu Salisu was paraded for the alleged molestation of a five-year-old girl in Funtua on January 11.

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