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Murder of OAU post-graduate student: Court decides fate of Adedoyin, six others next month

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Anxious Nigerians would, in a month’s time, know the thinking of the law on the fate of Rahmon Adedoyin and six of his staff currently standing trial for the murder of Timothy Adegoke, the post-graduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), who was found stone-dead on November 6 2021 in his hotel room.

Justice Oyebola Ojo, of the Osun State High Court  sitting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital fixed the date for judgement in the matter, which jolted the entire nation and beyond, following the manner of his death and the stories surrounding it.

The latest development is coming at the conclusion of address by the prosecution and defence on Thursday, ending months of legal back and forth and investigative hiccups involving the incident.

Before adjourning the matter in which Adedoyin, owner of Hilton Hotel Ile-Ife, is the principal suspect, the court had heard a tough exchange from both parties on the propriety of Femi Falana, human rights activist comining in for the prosecution, which was stridently opposed.

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Others standing trial in the 18-count charge of conspiracy, murder, felony, indecent interference of the corpse, alteration and cancellation of receipt and oath-taking to prevent justice, include Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem Adebayo Kunle and Adedeji Adesola.

Lawyer to Adedoyin, Yusuf Alli, in challenging the locus of Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told the court that it was not in agreement with the law and the fiat granted to him to prosecute Adedoyin and other staff was not properly obtained, and therefore prayed that he be prohibited from participating in the case as prosecutor.

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But Falana, who stated he was properly introduced by the counsel from the Osun State Ministry of Justice to take over the matter, maintained that no law made it compulsory for him to produce the fiat granted to him by the ministry to prosecute the matter before the court, urging that the prayer of the defence be dismissed as not doing so,  could set the trial back.

Pronouncing on the issue, Ojo held that the ruling on arguments of fiat, would be delivered alongside the final judgement of the case, which she adjourned to May.

Alli who had in his defence of Adedoyin, maintained that evidence by the prosecution witnesses were based on speculations and he urged the court to discharge him and the six staff.

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Arguing further that there was no direct evidence against any of the defendants linking them to the death of the late Adegoke, he said going by the account of the pathologist, Adegoke died either late on 5th or early on 6th of November 2021, adding that the entire case was based on suspicion.

Stressing that the court should discharge the defendants on conspiracy to murder and murder, he argued that the only connection Adedoyin had with the matter was simply because he is owner of the hotel where the death occurred, adding that there was no other vicarious liability in law connected him to the incident.

But Falana insisted that Adegoke was killed and dumped in the bush and efforts were made to obliterate the act by those involved, who took oath of secrecy.

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Based on the evidence led, he urged the court to ensure justice. He said even if heaven will fall, if any of the defendant is found guilty, punishment should be melted.

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Tough economy: Trouble in APC, as staff plan strike

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A loud grumbling has enveloped the 40 Blantyre Crescent, Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), where staff across different departments are threatening to down tools in protest of poor welfare and biting economic hardship.

Daily Trust, is reporting that the staff are specifically asking the party’s top echelon to make provision for their housing and other allowances, stressing that the economic situation of the country had become quite unfavourable to them.

The paper quoted one of the staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the party’s executive members had left them to suffer, while taking home humongous amounts of money as salaries and allowances.

Though Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the party, is said to have commenced payment of N35,000 provisional wage award to them in January 2024, they argued that the largesse would in June, and they would be back to square one and therefore, they needed more stable welfare packages.

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In a swift riposte, Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, was quoted as dismissing the agitation, saying: “Those matters I don’t really discuss them. As you can see, there are many important things to discuss; at the national level, in Edo State. We are battling with all that. So, any in-house matters are not my focus right now.”

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BREAKING: Davido ups the ante, doles out N300million to orphanages

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David Adeleke Nigerian music sensation, otherwise known as Davido is stamping his giant feet with which he has mesmerised his audience across the world in the arena of philanthropy, with an announcement of a fresh donation of a whopping N300million to some orphanages across the country.

The latest is an increase of N63million up from the N237million the popular singer, who disclosed the largesse in a statement on his social media accounts on Tuesday, dolled out last year as part of the gesture in what is now turning out a yearly programme since it started a few years ago.

The gesture is coming at a time Nigeria is under an intense weather of deprivation and poverty, with the prices of food and other commodities hitting the roof and citizens, unable to afford basic items mostly going to bed on empty stomachs as a result.

In recent weeks, demonstrations had erupted in many parts of the country, including Niger, Kano, Ogun and Oyo States, where residents trooped into the streets to demand an end to the parlous situation, which they blamed on the insensitive policies of the government of Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian President.

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The singer, who first gave out N250m to 292 orphanages in October 2022, said the this year’s donation would be done through The David Adeleke Foundation (DAF), adding: “I and my foundation pledge the sum of 300 million Naira to orphanages around Nigeria … as my yearly contribution to the nation. Details of disbursement tomorrow.”

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BREAKING: Tinubu set to probe Buhari’s N23trillion Ways and Means debt

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At last, President Bola Tinubu, may be going through the N23trillion Ways and Means debt obtained by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with a fine comb to determine what the funds, which is attributed to a major part of the current debt overhang in the country, went into.

The Nation, quoted Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as revealing this much to participants at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Besides, the Minister reportedly said the Federal Government would also present a bill to the National Assembly, soon to authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system, as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

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It was also on the same day that the Minister explained that Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, but emphasised the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Outlining the measures government was taking in tackling the situation, he revealed that, the government had released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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