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Late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan’s son sentenced to death over the killing of late mother’s friend

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Adewale, son of Adeyinka Oyekan, a former oba, who died on March 1, 2003, was sentenced alongside Lateef Balogun, a former domestic servant.

The prince hired Balogun for N6,000 to murder Ekun, according to the prosecution.

The convicts, who have been in custody for seven years, were said to have murdered Ekun by strangling her and throwing her corpse in a 1,000-feet well in her home.

In a two-hour judgment, Raliatu Adebiyi, the presiding judge, held that the prosecution proved the charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder beyond reasonable doubt.

She said: “The circumstantial evidence was strong and cogent; the act of the defendants in killing the deceased was intentional and premeditated.

“The court finds that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the offences of conspiracy and murder, and the defendants are accordingly found guilty of the two-count charge.

“Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, stipulates the punishment for the offence of murder as follows.

“Subject to the provisions of any other law, a person who commits the offence of murder shall be sentenced to death.

“Same is the punishment for conspiracy to commit murder as contained in Section 231 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

“The above cited provisions of the law does not give the court any discretion whatsoever in sentencing the defendants.

“For this reason, the first and second defendants are hereby sentenced on each of counts one and two, to death by hanging. May God, the giver of life, have mercy on your souls.”

According to the prosecution led by Akin George, the convicts committed the offences at 1am on October 17, 2012, at the home of the deceased located at 5, Babatunde Lalega street, Omole Phase One, Lagos.

The prosecution said that the deceased knew Oyekan due to her friendship with his late mother.

“To render assistance to the prince, Mrs Ekun employed him as the manager of her restaurant,” George said.

“Balogun, the second defendant, was a former domestic staff of Ekun, who was employed by her to take care of her elderly father.”

He submitted that Balogun’s employment was, however, terminated following a dispute with Ekun.

“The convicts conspired, killed the deceased and threw her corpse in a well within the premises of her home, and took over her businesses and property including a bus which was sold for N170,000,” he said.

“When any inquiry was made by family and friends about her whereabouts, Mr Oyekan informed them that she travelled to Abuja for the Ileya (Eid-el Kabir) festival. He passed this information by sending a text message from Mrs Ekun’s mobile phone.

“Following worry from members of Mrs Ekun’s family, and after an extensive search, her corpse was found two months later, in December 2012, by well diggers and firefighters.

“The convicts had placed a generator, a gas cylinder and other household items on the corpse to conceal it in the 1,000 feet well.”

The trial at the high court began on April 14, 2015.

Five witnesses, including two police officers, a nephew of the deceased, Iyiola Olaniyi; and the only child of the deceased, Folashade Amurun, testified for the prosecution.

Oyekan and Balogun testified for the defence.

While testifying, the convicts both denied knowing each other, saying that they met for the first time at a police station. They also denied committing the offences.

Oyekan said that he met Ekun, who was a friend of his mother at a PDP rally in 2011, after he returned from the US where he obtained a degree in architecture.

He said he met the deceased thereafter at her home where she offered to assist him by employing him to manage her restaurant.

Earlier, before the sentence was passed, defence counsel, O. C. Onwumerie, did not plead for mercy on behalf of his clients.

“I will be leaving sentencing to the hands of the court,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 50-year-old Prince, who committed the offence at age 45, was docked alongside his accomplice, Lateef Balogun, 20, for allegedly stranguling the 62-year-old woman in her bedroom.

Prince Oyekan had earlier stated in his police statement that he connived with Balogun, who had initially planned the murder, in order to take over her businesses and sell off her properties.

According to Oyekan statement, “I met Alhaja (the deceased) at a PDP rally at Ikeja after returning from the United States of America in 2003 following the death of my father. I was born in December 12, 1968 and my father is the late Oba of Lagos, Oba-Adeyinka Oyekan of Lagos. My mother is one Subulade Oyekan but she died in 2001 in USA.

“Alhaja invited me to her house at Omole and after we talked, she accepted to help me by employing me to work in her restaurant. She wasn’t really paying me any money as salary since I ate and was sheltered in her house.

“Balogun had also lived and worked for Alhaja but left after they both had a misunderstanding. It was during one of their confrontations that Balogun threatened to deal with Alhaja.

“I and Balogun began planning on how to kill her and seize her properties. I have been having dialogue with Balogun on how to kill Alhaja before October 17 but we eventually executed the plan on that day before Ileya: that is Edil-kabir celebration.

“On that day, I sneaked in Balogun into the building and hide him inside the toilet so that we can kill her around 1am. Alhaja’s Dad was the only person at home but he wasn’t feeling too well. So I turned on the generator in order to increase the noise and signalled Balogun to go kill Alhaja in her room.

“Balogun strangled her and both of us carried her dead body and dumped it inside a well in the compound so that no one would find her. We also used the kitchen utensils and some heavy loads to suppress the body inside a 1,000 feet well in order to prevent it from floating,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, an Estate manager, Isibor Paul, who testified in evidence before Justice Raliat Adebiyi, said that he met Oyekan at the late Ekun’s house where he was working as an employee in her restaurant.

Paul told the court that he was also an employee of Ekun, just like Oyekan, but in the full capacity of a manager where he executed contracts awarded to his boss by the PDP party, at the time.

He said that he had travelled to PortHarcourt in Rivers State for a wedding on the day his boss was murdered but was later briefed on the outcome of the police investigations in unraveling the killer of his boss.

The witness testified that he returned to Lagos only to be informed by the prince that his boss had travelled as a result of an unknown sickness.

“I was shocked when I heard that Madame had travelled without informing me, at least she wasn’t sick before I travelled. But what was more strange was the fact that I couldn’t find any of her cars or kitchen utensils when I arrived her apartment.

“I had thought that she was angry with me for not staying back in Lagos to celebrate the Muslim festival with her as it was her habit of killing a ram and celebrating with her staff members.

He said, “On October 26 Prince Oyekan called my number and asked why I didn’t come to see Alhaja and that she was sick.

“I went to her compound, on getting there I didn’t see her Sienna and Rav 4, when I asked about the vehicles, Prince said Alhaja asked some people to come and pick them.

“All the while when I was asking questions, someone was texting me with Alhaja’s number.

He added that for the 14 years he had worked with the deceased, she never sent him any SMS messages.

The witness informed the court further that when he received the 17th text, also not having seen or heard from his boss, he asked the suspect about her cooking utensils which were missing from her house.

He said he could not understand his explanations hence he traced the deceased family house in Fadeyi to find out about her.

He said the family queried him about his boss’ whereabouts and subsequently reported to the police leading to the arrest and investigation of Oyekan and other suspected persons; himself, Michael Scott, Funke another staff of the deceased whom the witness claimed police found Alhaja’s catering utensils with and two men who said they bought the vehicles from Prince Oyekan.

According to him, he said it was at this point that at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti that the defendants were separated from other suspects.

During cross-examination, the defendant’s counsel, Mr. O. C Onwumere argued that the witness could have been lying to the court stressing that he had not told the police during investigation that one Engineer Tunde had also come to the home of the deceased for the Sallah celebration.

He also argued that the witness could not have known the findings of the police from his detention but was relating to the court what could be described as hearsay or fables.

The witness replied, “When Engineer Tunde called me to know whether we had seen her, I told him, no and that I have not heard anything from Alhaja, I did not tell police about Engineer Tunde’s visit to the house.”

Source: Global Excellence

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Disparaging Dangote Uncalled For, Creating Bad Waves For Nigeria – AFDB President, Adesina

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The president of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, has spoken out in defence of the Dangote Refinery, addressing concerns about potential monopolistic practices.

In a statement shared by businessman Femi Otedola on Tuesday via X, Adesina expressed his shock at the controversy surrounding Dangote’s operations, warning that it is “creating bad waves for Nigeria globally.”

According to Otedola’s post, Adesina argued that monopolies often arise in industries with high entry barriers or capital costs, citing railways and large-scale refineries as examples.

He was quoted as saying, “Monopoly often exists where there are high barriers to entry or high capital costs. How many individuals or companies can do railways? How many can do refineries of the scale of Dangote Refineries? In a nation that has been importing refined petroleum products for several decades, the abnormal simply became very normal.”

The AfDB President emphasised the significant investment made by Dangote, stating, “No smart investor would make a $19.5 billion investment and want it to be undermined by importers.”

He highlighted manufacturing challenges in Nigeria, describing the business environment as fraught with policy uncertainties and reversals.

“To manufacture is extremely expensive and risky. This is even more so in Nigeria, given the very challenging business and economic environment, fraught with policy uncertainties and policy reversals, and where the self-defeating default mode of “simply import it” is always so easily rationalized and chorused to solve any problem,” he said.

Addressing concerns about anti-competitive practices, Adesina said, “Competition is good for everyone. But is Dangote refineries anti-competitive? What is the evidence? Has Dangote Refineries prevented any other company from setting up refineries? Why have others not done so? How come they have not done so for several decades?

“Was it Dangote that held them back? But Dangote refineries surely cannot be asked to ‘compete’ with importers of petroleum products. That is not competition. Let the importers set up local refineries and compete by refining in Nigeria. That is fair and justified competition.”

Adesina stressed the broader economic implications of the refinery, stating, “We cannot and must not undermine, disparage or kill local industries, talk less of one that is of this scale — a jewel of industrialisation in Nigeria. It is more than simply delivering the cheapest product to the market.

“It is about domestic supply security, driving (and yes, protecting) globally competitive industries, maximising forward and backward linkages in the local economy, job creation, reducing forex expenses and shoring up the Naira. We must not be myopic.

“This whole disparaging of Dangote is uncalled for. It is self-defeating. And it is very bad for Nigeria. Who will want to come and invest in a country that disparages and undermines its own largest investor? Investing is tough. Pettiness is easy. It sadly sends a signal that the price for sacrificing for Nigeria is to get sacrificed.”

 

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BBC To Cut 500 Jobs As It Attempts To Save £200m For ‘Transformation’ Of The Corporation

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The BBC has announced plans to cut 500 jobs as it attempts to save £200 million to drive the “transformation” of the corporation.

Chief operating adviser, Leigh Tavaziva said it is making the changes to improve its premium video offering and digital capabilities.

It comes as the BBC is already attempting to save £500 million as part of a plan announced two years ago.

Tavaziva said “significant activity” is already underway to make the corporation “more flexible”.

She said: “In March this year we announced a requirement for an additional £200 million of savings and reinvestment plans to drive the continued transformation of the BBC.

“This will support greater investment into premium video content and further develop our digital capabilities.”

She added: “To further build our digital capabilities, whilst targeting efficiencies, over the next two years we will continue to close and transfer roles in some areas and create new roles in growth areas.

“This will result in a forecast net reduction of 500 roles in the public service by March 26, with further growth in targeted areas planned in our commercial group.

“To support these changes we will today be launching a new voluntary redundancy scheme for staff.

“Our priority remains to protect and champion the BBC’s fighting role as the UK’s public service broadcaster, for all our audiences both local and global.

“I would like to thank all colleagues for their continued efforts and commitments over the past 12 months.

“I am immensely proud of the exceptional content creativity, delivery, and innovation that our teams both provide and support every day.”

The BBC announced in March 2023 that it was to cut 1,000 hours of TV in order to save money, with half of that coming from sport.

In the same year, the corporation announced it was scrapping its in-house chamber choir, the BBC Singers, and reducing salaried orchestral posts across the BBC English Orchestras by around 20%.

In December 2022 it said that it was making £11m worth of cuts in local radio, which saw its 39 stations required to share content and broadcast less localised content.

Back in 2016, the BBC said it needed to cut £800m worth of costs, with £80m of that coming from news.

The move saw the Andrew Neil Show axed in 2020, along with 450 jobs in English regional TV news and current affairs, local radio and online news.

 

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I Have No Blending Plant Outside Nigeria, NNPC Boss Kyari Replies Dangote

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The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari has said he does not own a blending plant outside Nigeria.

Kyari stated this on Tuesday, July 23, while reacting to claims that some officials of the NNPC have blending plants in Malta.

Reacting in a post on his X handle (formerly Twitter), Kyari said he had been inundated with calls from family members and friends, asking if he truly owns a blending plant in Malta.

Kyari stated that he does not own or operate any business directly or by proxy anywhere in the world except a local mini-agricultural venture.

He also said he is not aware of any employee of the NNPC that owns or operates a blending plant in Malta or anywhere else in the world.

“I am inundated by enquiries from family members, friends and associates on the public declaration by the President of Dangote Group that some NNPC workers have established a blending plant in Malta thereby impeding procurements from local production of Petroleum products.

“To clarify the allegations regarding the blending plant, I do not own or operate any business directly or by proxy anywhere in the world with the exception of a local mini Agric venture, neither am I aware of any employee of the NNPC, that owns or operates a blending plant in Malta or anywhere else in the world.

“A blending plant in Malta or any part of the world has no influence over NNPC’s business operations and strategic actions.”

The NNPC boss threatened to sanction any official of the NNPC involved in such acts if they truly exist.

 

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