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Outrage Over Demolition Of 12 Churches In Lagos

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Outrage Over Demolition Of 12 Churches In Lagos
Image used for illustrative purpose

There has been outrage over the demolition of 12 churches on 2nd Avenue, FESTAC Town, Lagos State, by officials of the Federal Housing Authority.

It was gathered that a market and a car mart were also affected in the exercise carried out on Sunday.

The demolition started around 5am and continued till around 3pm.

The leader of the Gate of Righteousness Evangelical International Church, Pastor Joshua Obong said he started his ministry in the community 18 years ago and wondered why his church was targeted for demolition.

He said, “The officials first came last week and started marking our buildings. After they were done, they left and returned two days later. That was when they gave us a seven-day notice, which expired last Wednesday.

“On Sunday morning, around 5am, we suddenly saw bulldozers at the First Gate, FESTAC Town. They got to my church at exactly 11am; they demolished all the churches along the road, except the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Communion Chapel and CPM, which they spared. All other churches were brought down.”

Obong said there was no other warning prior to the seven-day notice.

He claimed that the government took advantage of the strike action by judicial workers, adding that nobody could approach the court for injunctions to stop the demolition.

“We wrote to them, seeking extension of time, but the letter was not even acknowledged,” he added.

One of the demolished buildings

The Overseer of Christ Gospel Church International, Pastor William Ehiorenren, said a senior government official had advised them to send a lawyer to Abuja to sort out the matter.

He stated, “He promised that they would not touch any church till the lawyer returned. Our lawyer was still in Abuja when they came on Sunday, a day of service, and demolished our churches. The lawyer called all their staff members, but they switched off their phones.

“We heard that they want to re-allocate the land and sell to moneybags and make millions. I have not seen where seven days would be given for people to vacate their property.

“We have been in that area for years and we spent millions of naira in building our churches. They could not even give us time to move, because they had mapped out their evil plan to sell the land to people.”

Ehiorenren said his church usually paid tenancy rates to landlords, who he claimed had legal claims to the land.

The cleric accused the government of leaving certain churches because their leaders had political connections.

He explained that his church was not served any notice of demolition.

The Deputy Director, Social Security and Intergovernmental Relations, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Lagos State, Pastor Barnabas Otoibhi, said 12 churches were demolished by the government.

He explained that the owners of the churches cleared a swamp and built their structures, adding that the affected worship centres had been in the community for between 13 and 20 years.

According to him, the government accused the pastors of “encroachment and erecting illegal structures.”

Otoibhi, however, queried why the demolition was carried out without adequate notice and while some of the occupants were asleep.

He said, “We are wondering why the government would do this on a Sunday. Are they now working on Sundays? Is it the government that is doing this or somebody that is powerful in government or a politician is behind this?

“The notice they sent to them, they called it final notice, without serving them any previous letter. We asked that they should be given time. We were discussing this when the bulldozers came in on Sunday morning. The first church was pulled down at exactly 5.45am. Aside from the churches, they also cleared those selling cars in that line. Only a few buildings were spared.”

The cleric said a protest was planned for today (Tuesday) to kick against the “shabby manner” in which the churches were treated.

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Hushpuppi: Fani-Kayode Throws Weight Behind Abba Kyari

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Hushpuppi: Fani-Kayode Throws Weight Behind Abba Kyari

Former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has thrown his weight behind Abba Kyari, a Police Commissioner, whom infamous cybercriminal Hushpuppi, alleged that he paid bribes to, from the proceeds of a $1.1 million scam deal.

Reacting to the allegation, Fani-Kayode said that there is a deep conspiracy against Kyari, describing the allegations as crazy.

The former minister’s statement read: “A super cop that has risked his life protecting us from kidnappers, murderers & terrorists all these years& that has arrested more criminals than any other is accused of taking bribes from a yahoo boy & scammer all the way from America & we are expected to believe it? Not me!

“Abba is one of the bravest, brightest and best cops in Nigeria and I will not believe these crazy allegations levelled against him or condemn him unless I see any evidence to the contrary.

“He has proved himself over and over again when it comes to catching criminals and I do not believe that he is one himself. If he were he would not have such an excellent record in combating crime.

“Nigerians seem to take delight in believing and assuming the worse about their best. That is part of our problem: we love and celebrate the evil but we despise, hate and seek to pull down the righteous and good. As far as I am concerned there are as many crooked, bent & killer cops all over the world as there are good ones & America has its fair share of both. The only people that ought to take pleasure in reading this crap about Abba are the kidnappers and terrorists in our country.

“Allegations are a dime a dozen and an indictment does not amount to a conviction: show me the evidence or keep your mouth shut forever. I urge Abba to continue the good work he has been doing and not allow himself to be distracted by his numerous detractors.

“This is a deep conspiracy to destroy his career and it will not work.”

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REVEALED: Why Hushpuppi’s Wire Fraud, Other Charges May Be Dismissed

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REVEALED: Why Hushpuppi's Wire Fraud, Other Charges May Be Dismissed

Some charges levelled against infamous cybercriminal, Hushpuppi, may be dismissed. This is according to the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for Central District of California, who made this known in a mail chat with Newsrand.

The charges, which are likely to be dropped, are -wire fraud, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud.

Newsrand understands that federal authorities in the United States, have been probing Hushpuppi since his arrest last year (2020).

Arrested in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), and subsequently extradited to the United States (U.S.), where most of the victims of his alleged fraudulent activities are based, Hushpuppi has spent the last one year in custody maintaining his innocence.

However, Hushpuppi is now exploring a plea bargain agreement with the U.S. government in the hope of getting a lighter punishment.

When asked on what ground would the charges be dismissed, the USAO explained that if only the fraud suspect abides by his plea agreement.

Published court documents revealed that Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to this crime on April 20, 2021, and according to his plea agreement with the USAO, prosecutors have “agreed to not further criminally prosecute defendant for conspiracy to engage in money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud, wire fraud; bank fraud, money laundering; engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity); aggravated identity theft.”

Spokesperson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Thom Mrozek, however, explained that “those charges are technically still pending.”

“If Abbas abides by the terms of his plea agreement, we have agreed to dismiss those additional charges that are contained in the information when the case concludes, which would be after his sentencing,” he clarified.

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Police To Probe Kyari As FBI Seeks Cop’s Arrest

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Police To Probe Kyari As US Court Issues Arrest Warrant

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), on Wednesday, July 29, 2021, set up an inhouse panel to investigate Abba Kyari, one of its most decorated officers, whom Hushpuppi alleged took a bribe from him.

Newsrand reported that Hushpuppi, an Instagram celebrity, who has been under probe in the United States (U.S.) since last year (2020), for cybercrime offenses, confessed to bribing Kyari following the conclusion of a $1.1 million scam deal.

Hushpuppi disclosed during interrogation that he paid bribes to Kyari.

Although, Kyari has denied the allegation, the police force, according to sources, is probing the matter.

A senior officer who spoke on a condition of anonymity said the police hierarchy would first take an “in-house action” before any extradition process can be discussed.

“The police headquarters will set up a high-powered panel to probe the allegations against him before we decide on what to do next,” the officer was quoted as saying.

Arrested in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), and subsequently extradited to the United States (U.S.), where most of the victims of his alleged fraudulent activities are based, Hushpuppi has spent the last one year in custody maintaining his innocence.

Meanwhile, following an arrest warrant issued by a U.S. court against Kyari, the FBI has contacted Nigeria police, but there is yet no official confirmation and the details are still sketchy.

An international warrant of arrest can be executed through INTERPOL, but there still has to be a judicial pronouncement before Nigeria can hand over Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police, to the FBI for trial in the US.

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