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I Didn’t Commit Fraud On American Soil — Obinwanne Okeke Tells US Court

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32-year-old CEO of Invictus Group and Forbes-rated young Nigerian billionaire, Obinwanne Okeke who is facing two counts of computer and wire fraud in the United States has filed a preliminary objection to the charges.

Obinwanne Okeke stated that the American authorities lacked jurisdiction to charge him for fraud as he did not commit the offence he is being accused of in America, neither was any American companies or individuals defrauded at the time of his indictment.

The businessman’s lawyers who asked for the case to be struck out as the arrest should have never happened, pointed out that prosecutors only stated in the indictment that he swindled Unatrac, a subsidiary of American equipment manufacturer ‘Caterpillar’ of $11 million. They also cited multiple previous authorities to back their argument.

FBI prosecutors however stated Obinwanne’s lawyers were wrong to argue that no American companies or individuals were defrauded on the basis of the indictment. The prosecutors averred that the indictment was to show probable cause to secure an arrest warrant for Mr Okeke who travelled to the U.S. in the course of the fraud. They also disclosed that in the course of the trial, more victims of American citizenship and residency will be introduced.

The Invictus Group CEO’s lawyers also accused FBI agents of accessing his mobile phones and laptops illegally, an act they claimed was enough to get the charges dismissed.

FBI agents who arrested the businessman were accused of searching and seizing his phones without proper procedure. They were also accused of telling him to unlock his iPhone and Macbook Pro without first reading him his Miranda rights which involves telling him he has the right to remain silent and not cooperate with authorities, especially when a suspect has not contacted a lawyer.

Prosecutors however insisted that Obinwanne Okeke was told he could remain silent, but he willingly agreed to let authorities search his devices by providing passwords to them. They also affirmed that even without reading him his Miranda rights as his lawyers claimed, the evidence collected from his phone cannot be dismissed because they only corroborated evidence already collected in the year-long investigation into his alleged involvement in the $11 million fraud.

The FBI prosecutors concluded by stating that it cannot be argued that Obinwanne did not know the implication of submitting his passwords for federal agents to collect information, as he is an educated adult with both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and has also travelled extensively across the world over the years.

Though February 18 was initially fixed for the commencement of trial, the defence team’s preliminary objections to get the matter dismissed and for Mr Okeke to return to Nigeria led to the adjournment of commencement of trial to a date that would later be determined by both parties.

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12-Year-Old Gang-Raped By Four Masked Men In Lagos

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A 12-year-old girl has allegedly been gang-raped by four masked men in the Ajah area in Lagos state. Punch reports that the victim simply identified as Blessing, was raped at her residence on Thursday, May 4.

Recounting what happened, her distraught mother who gave her name as Anthonia, said

“I went to the office and was called (on the phone) and told that my daughter was raped in our house. I learnt she was having her online class when suddenly, there was a power outage. My husband rushed out to get fuel at a filling station so that she could participate in the class seamlessly.

Blessing told us that while she was in the compound, four masked men jumped into the house through the fence. They took her inside and took turns to have sex with her, leaving her with multiple injuries.

Immediately I received the call, I became so mad. I headed for the hospital where my daughter was rushed to. When I got there, I was told she suffered ‘vaginal trauma’. The underneath of her clitoris was bruised and she had a deep tear that made her bleed severely.

She could have passed out if not that her dad got back home early. She lost a lot of blood. The bleeding stopped after the tear was stitched; although, she is still experiencing very severe pain.

I don’t think we are secure anymore because it seems like we are being monitored. They perpetuated their evil within the few minutes it took my husband to buy fuel.

They could not enter through the gate because of an ongoing construction at a building opposite ours. The site was crowded and that made them avoid entering through the front door. They scaled the fence. Some policemen followed us to the house and saw how the attackers scattered our things around.” she said

Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of the state police command, Bala Elkana, said the police are currently on the trail of the suspects.

“The police have been duly informed of the atrocity and have commenced investigation into the case. We are on the trail of the culprits. It’s a bit complicated because those guys wore face masks, which makes us suspect the culprits are people close to them. They probably covered their faces to conceal their identities.” Bala said

This incident comes a few days after an 18-year-old student, Barakat Bello, was gang-raped and stabbed to death by unknown persons in Ibadan, Oyo state.

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Nigerian Doctor Defends Igbo Parents Who Stop Their Children From Marrying Outside Their Ethnic Group

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A Nigerian doctor identified as @urchilla01 on Twitter has come to the defence of Igbo parents who stop their children from marrying outside their ethnic group.

This come after a Twitter influencer ignited a conversation after she disclosed how the mother of her Igbo boyfriend, crashed their plan of getting married.

Reacting to the Twitter influencer’s disclosure, the young man said these parents are not to be blamed for rejecting inter-tribal marriages because they grew up in the deep hatred & divide that followed the war, fostered by other tribes.

He also pointed out that there is a lot of difference in traditional beliefs and practices between the different tribes in Nigeria.

He tweeted;

“I’m tired of seeing people express disgust when they read stories about igbo parents rejecting marriages for their children to other tribes! I’m really tired of it! These parents are the ones that experienced the civil war! These parents are the ones that grew up in the deep hatred & divide that followed the war, fostered by other tribes!

Stop blaming them for rejecting inter-tribal marriages! They have the right to the paranoia that they express! If you’re lucky to have an igbo person whose parents don’t mind, or who’s strong enough to fight for both of you, then thank God for you; but by all means stop blaming these parents!

Again, it’s obvious there’s a lot of difference in traditional beliefs & practices between the different tribes of Nigeria! The way marriage is patterned in Nigeria, you’re not only getting married to your spouse, you’re also getting married into or to their family!

Don’t blame them for taking care to ensure they have in-laws who have the same values as them! Please dead this criticism, it’s all so cliche now! Also, if you’re dating someone, discuss these things!

Don’t wait till after 6 years of courtship & realise the family don’t want another tribe! Stop shooting yourselves in the damn foot! Urrggghh!

A lot of comments here just show that you people don’t understand that marriage is an “institution”. You think it’s just to find one person your heart is doing kikum kikum for & rush to altar E go shock you”

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#JusticeforUwa: My Daughter Was Blindfolded, Tied Like A Criminal — Distraught Mother

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22 year-old female student of University of Benin, Uwaila Omozuwa, was raped and killed in a church last week and her mother reveals she was blindfolded, “tied like a criminal”.

Uwa’s mother, Mrs Joy Omozuwa who has been thrown into mourning, alongside her entire family and friends of Uwa narrated death of Uwaila, how she was reportedly gang-raped and beaten by her assailants who inflicted deep head injuries on her and left her for death.

According to reports, the church security guard was said to have found her when he went to collect the keys to the church and was told that somebody had earlier come to collect the key and was inside the church which was about five minutes walk from her residence.

Uwa is said to have been using the hall of the Redeemed Christian Church of God situated at Osa-Amadasun Street, Ohovbe Quarters which she attended as her reading house for the past 5 years until May 27th, when she was raped and murdered.

According to Mrs Omozuwa a church member called her that there was an emergency in their church only to rush down to see the mangled body of her daughter in the hospital.

Speaking to Saturday Vanguard Mrs Omozuwa said:

“She is my second child, the most gentle of all my children and was always interested in her book. What happened to my daughter is so painful; I never knew this was how she will die. On that fateful day, May 27th, I left home with her and she went to the church to read. For over five years now, she had been going to the church to read, so, that day she did the same thing. When the schools were shut as a result of COVID 19 pandemic, she had been going there to study because she said she didn’t want to have any carry over in her examination. I waited till in the evening when I normally called her if it was getting late although she didn’t have a fixed time that she would come. Sometimes she came home 5 pm, sometimes 6 pm or 2 pm depending on her mood.

“By 5 pm, I tried to call her but her line was not going through. There was a boy who was also a member of the church staying near the church whom she said sometimes came around and she had told me that I should not panic if I didn’t see her on time but unfortunately, I didn’t have the boy’s number so I was becoming worried. I saw off a member of our church who came to visit me and by the time I returned, I missed three calls from Mrs Osula who is also a member of the church and stayed close to the church. She asked to come to the church quickly and when I got there, I was told that Uwa had been rushed to the hospital.

“They said they met her with her eyes blindfolded, her mouth tied and her hands tied behind her like a criminal. She was untied and when they noticed that she moved her hand, they quickly took her to Enoma hospital. When I saw my daughter, there was blood all over her body, the white top she wore had turned red with her blood; I looked at her ear, there was blood coming out of it as well as her nose while she had a swollen eye. There was a very big cut on one part of her head and another deep cut close to one of her eyes. She was also raped. So, I had to sum up courage, I started cleaning the blood from her body and they were giving her drip while she was breathing intermittently and at times she would stretch her body.

“My husband came and said he had gone to the scene of the incident and that the blood stain was too much, so we had to move her to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH. When we got there, the doctors told us that it was 50-50 chance for her to survive because the injury was much but that they would try their best. But she did not make it and she died on Saturday.”

Uwaila’s father, Elder Johnson Omozuwa was unhappy with the slow response of the police when he reported the matter at the station. He said; “I want the authorities and security agencies to dig into the root of this matter, I don’t want my daughter to die in vain. I went to report the matter at the police station that night but police refused to go with me to the scene of the incident till the following day. I saw my daughter in a pool of blood and I ran to the police but the police refused to go with me. A neutral team should be sent by the police to investigate this matter.

“I will remember my daughter as a disciplined child. She wrote UTME three times and she never scored below 240, she wanted to read medicine and the third time she chose nursing but she was given Microbiology. She didn’t want to take it but I advised her to take it being a brilliant girl.” 

Nigerians have called for justice for Uwa with the hashtag #JusticeforUwa via their social media platforms

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