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ECOBANK MANAGER LINKED WITH PLANS BY IMPOSTER TO USE DEAD MAN’S PROPERTY AS LOAN COLLATERAL

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Police detectives have foiled the alleged plans by the Manager of Ecobank PLC, Oke Afa branch, Ejigbo area of Lagos, to use the property of a late elderly man, who died and was buried in 2018 as collateral by an imposter.

At the time the alleged scam happened, the family stated that elder James Oladipo Sodehinde had died since the 3rd day of September, 2018 and was buried on the 26th day of October 2018 at the African Church Cathedral, Owu, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

However, the scam got exposed and the family has now instituted legal action against Ecobank and one Gregory Odutayo said to have conspired with the Bank Manager to use the house documents as collateral in order to secure a loan.

In the suit filed by the family’s Counsel, Barrister Adejumo Omobolaji Jubril, before Lagos Court, the family is asking for N10m general damages for the trauma the defendants made the complainants to suffer during the period to secure their property back.

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Pa James Sodeinde, the late customer

In the suit filed by Olurotimi Sodehinde on his behalf and that of the children of their late father, Pa James Sodeinde, seeks to establish that the defendants wrongly and negligently placed wrong encumbrance on the claimant’s property at the land registry in Ibadan, Oyo State. And N10m damages jointly and severally against the defendants for legal fees, emotional pains and anxiety the claimants suffered over wrong encumbrance place on the property heredited by the claimants.

In the statement of claims on the suit with number MCL/577/2022, the claimant stated as follows:

The claimant and their family had appointed D-P Dupe Ogunbosi & Co Estate Surveyors & Valuers as their agent to sell the said hereditament.

That the 2nd Defendant had earlier shown interest to purchase the said hereditament situate at SW8/1285 Sodehinde Street, off Antani Road, Ring Road, Ibadan, Oyo state.

Photocopies of the title document were given to the 2nd Defendant thereafter he stopped contacting the claimant family or their agent.
On or about the 10th day of June 2021 another prospective buyer, Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited, contacted the 1st claimant’s agent with respect to the said property.

The said prospective buyer conducted a search at the land’s registry and thereafter called off the transaction, he however informed the claimant’s agent that the property is encumbered.

The said prospective buyer brought a report which among other things shows that:

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The property is located at Plot 6 Ring Road, South West Ibadan, Oyo State.

Conveyance dated 5/08/1963 by Olu Ayoola to Akanni Olaosebikan registered as 34/34/687 dated 31/10/1969 and later transferred to Sodehinde registered 22/22/1163.

Certified true copy of the conveyance was issued to Dele Olomola & Co on behalf of ECOBANK Nigeria Ltd for perfection of legal mortgage dated 22/01/2021.

The 1st Defendant by an email emanating from Okereke Vanessa (chokereke@ecobank.com) of the legal and regulatory unit of the 1st defendant bank instructed the law firm of Dele Olomola & Company to conduct a search on the Claimant hereditament without any legal basis or need.

That towards perfecting the brief the said Dele Olomola on behalf of the bank deposed to an affidavit dated the 14th day of January 2021.

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That the said Dele Olomola on behalf of the 1st Defendant made averments to the effect that Mr. Ladipo James Sodehinde the grantee and holder of the land situateat plot 6 femi ayoola layout ring road Ibadan was at the bank to negotiate legal mortgage and has submitted a copy of the title document to the 1st defendant for legal search and verification.

That at all times material of this action elder James Oladipo Sodehinde had died and he had since died since the 3rd day of September 2018 and had been buried since the 26th day of October 2018 at the African Church Cathedral, Owu, Abeokuta.

The claimant will contend at the trial of this suit that the 2nd Defendant acting in concert with staffs of the 1st Defendant Bank at its Oke-Afa branch, whose identifies are unknown to claimant and who are acting under the control and direction of the 1st Defendant in the performance or purported performance of their duties criminally misrepresented to the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development of Oyo State that the deceased Elder Sodehinde approach the 1st Defendant for a loan.

That acting in reliance on the application of Dele Olomola & Company and the affidavit in support of application for application for CTC on behalf of the 1st Defendant and not otherwise the Ministry of lands, housing & urban development issued to the 1st Defendant a Certified True Copy of the Claimant’s property and proceeded to enter same in their record books thus constituting caveat against the sale of the property.

Further to the above a CTC of the document was issued to the 1st Defendant.

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The issuance of CTC to the 1st Defendant constitutes an encumbrance on the land.

That it was not until the police opened investigation into the matter following complaint by the Claimant that the 1st Defendant returned to the land’s registry the CTC of the title document it had fraudulently and/or illegally processed and obtained.

The Claimant avers that he cannot come to the true and full knowledge as to the joint and several responsibilities of the Defendants except by discovery.

By a letter dated the 22nd day of June 2021 and addressed to the branch Manager Ecobank-Nigeria Ltd, SEARCH PROCESS, REPORT AND SUBSEQUENT DEVELOPMENT, the 2nd Defendant admitted using the claimant’s hereditament in connection with a mortgage facility as approved by the 1st defendant.

Consequent upon the issuance of the Certified True Copy of the title document of the property situate at SW8/1285 consisting of a storey building and a bungalow registered as No 22 at page 22 in volume 1163 of the Lands Registry, Ibadan to the 1st Defendant for the purpose of a legal mortgage the Claimant had not being able to sell the property precipitating a loss of value.

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The Claimant will at the trial of this suit contend that the 1st Defendant was negligent in it’s dealings with the 2nd Defendant by ignoring the canons of lending thereby injuring the Claimant.

By reason of the facts set out above the claimants faced the fear and anxiety of losing their hereditament.

The Claimant is entitled to and claims aggravated and exemplary damages.

It is the contention of the Claimant that even though there was no privity of contract between them and the Defendants, the defendants owed to them jointly and severally a duty of care to make sure the Claimants were not hurt by their actions or inactions.

That the Defendants breached this duty of care they owed to the Claimants.

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That the Claimants were hurt as a consequence and have suffered pain and injury and sustained loss and damages.

The matter has been assigned to Igbosere Magistrate Court 10 sitting as Court 2 Yaba, Lagos State.

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Crime

Nigerian Navy investigates civilian worker’s death

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The Nigerian Navy (NN) says it has begun investigation on how one of its civilian staff members, Mr Ifeanyi Onumaegbu, died.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, announced this in Lagos on Thursday.

He explained that Onumaegbu died at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital (NNRH) Ojo, Lagos, where he worked.

He explained further that the deceased was a civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence attached to the Laboratory Department of the NNRH since 2009.

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”The navy is deeply saddened by the demise of Mr Ifeanyi Onumaegbu and the circumstances surrounding his death.

”On March 31, he was found lifeless in his office at NNRH.

“A preliminary investigation revealed that on March 26, the deceased was involved in an altercation with a civilian lady and some NN personnel in Navy Town Barracks,” he said.

Ogalla said that all suspected personnel and the civilian lady involved in the previous altercation had been identified and “are currently under close custody”.

He also said that NN had facilitated the movement of the deceased’s body to a reputable government hospital in Lagos based on the request of the family for an autopsy.

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“The NN further wishes to assure his family and the public that all necessary measures are being taken to unravel the cause of his death.

“Any person found culpable would be prosecuted according to extant laws,” he said.

Theheute recalls that the Joint Executive Council of Ministry of Defence embarked on a peaceful mourning protest on April 8 against the death of Onumaegbu

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The protest was held across all the civilian personnel units of the Ministry of Defence.

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Hardship: Prophet Fufeyin Donates N30m To Less-privileged Nigerians

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Billionaire prophet and General Overseer of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry in Warri, Delta State, Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin, has given out over N30 million in charity to reduce the current economic crisis faced by the masses.

In a viral video on social media, Fufeyin, known for his philanthropic gestures, was seen giving out wads of cash to church members to ameliorate the rising price of food items in the country.

The humanitarian effort has caught the attention of netizens, capturing the hearts of many amid the current challenging times.

Fufeyin has emerged as a beacon of hope by extending a remarkable gesture of kindness towards struggling church members even as he stressed the need for well-meaning Nigerians to help assuage the challenges of the masses.

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This spontaneous and substantial donation not only alleviated immediate concerns but also underscored Fufeyin’s deep empathy for those affected by economic hardship.

The response to Fufeyin’s act of benevolence has been overwhelmingly positive, with Nigerians taking to social media platforms to commend his compassion and selflessness. Amidst a climate of economic uncertainty and rising living costs, Fufeyin’s initiative has resonated deeply, sparking discussions about the importance of generosity and communal support during trying times.
Fufeyin expressed his motivation for the donation, citing a desire to alleviate the suffering of his church members and fellow Nigerians in tangible ways.

He emphasised the necessity of collective action in addressing societal challenges and urged others, particularly those in positions of influence, to contribute towards uplifting the less fortunate.
The impact of Fufeyin’s philanthropy extends beyond financial assistance, serving as a powerful reminder of the potential for positive change when individuals leverage their resources for the greater good of all.

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Crime

39 lecturers indicted for sexual harassment in five years – Report

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No fewer than 39 lecturers in the nation’s tertiary institutions have been indicted and dismissed over sexual misconduct in the past five years, analysis of media reports by Theheute has revealed.

Sexual harassment has been recurring in Nigerian higher educational institutions with a survey conducted in 2018 by the World Bank Group’s Women revealing that 70 per cent of female graduates from tertiary institutions in the country were sexually harassed in school, with the main perpetrators being classmates and lecturers.

Although the Senate had in 2021 passed a bill stipulating 21 years imprisonment for randy lecturers, Theheute reports that most of the lecturers indicted and found guilty after the bill was passed were simply sacked.

In April 2018, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, announced the indefinite suspension of a professor of Accounting, Richard Oladele, over sexual harassment.

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In 2021, the university also dismissed three lecturers from the Departments of English Language, International Relations and Accounting over sexual harassment.

In February 2020, the institution also announced the suspension of a lecturer at the Centre for Distance Learning, Monday Omo-Etan, for sexually molesting a 19-year-old female student.

In 2019, Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, announced the suspension of an associate professor, Monday Igbafen, over allegations bordering on sexual harassment of female students.

Igbafen, who was the chairman of the AAU branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the time, had accused the vice-chancellor of the institution of trying to frame him.

The senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the university, in a letter written to the school by his lawyers, Osahon Irebhude & Co, demanded a written apology from the school.

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In September 2020, the management of the Imo State University announced the suspension of two lecturers, who were alleged to have been involved in sexual misconduct with female students.

In February 2021, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, announced the suspension of a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Tourism, Dr Chigozie Odum, over allegations bordering on sexual misconduct.

The Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, similarly suspended a lecturer in the Department of Media and Theatre Arts in June 2021 for sexual misconduct.

In the same month, the management of the University of Lagos announced the dismissal of two lecturers over similar offences.

In August of that year, the University of Port Harcourt announced the dismissal of a lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature for sexual misconduct.

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In October 2021, the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, also announced the dismissal of two lecturers from the departments of Nutrition/Dietetics and General Studies over sexual misconduct.

A lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education was dismissed for impregnating a female student.

In December 2021, the Kwara State University, Malete, announced the dismissal of a lecturer for harassing a student in the Department of Pure and Applied Sciences.

In January 2022, the Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rivers State, announced the dismissal of a lecturer for harassing a female student.

In April 2022, OAU again launched a probe into allegations of sexual harassment against a professor in the Department of Linguistics and African Studies. So far, two professors have been affected in the institution.

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In June 2022, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof Abdul-Raheed Na’allah, announced the dismissal of two lecturers for sexual misconduct. Both of them are professors.

Earlier in 2023, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission arraigned Dr. Balogun Olaniran of the Tai Solarin University of Education, who was said to have allegedly demanded sexual gratification from a female student to alter her results in 2021.

In March 2023, a lecturer at the Kogi State Polytechnic, Abutu Thompson, was dismissed on account of sexual harassment and victimisation of a female student in the Department of Computer Science.

In May, the management of the Ambrose Alli University in Edo State reportedly dismissed an unnamed lecturer over allegations bordering sexual harassment.

Reports noted that the lecturer was dismissed on the recommendations of the institution’s Staff Disciplinary Committee, which found him guilty of the offence.

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According to AAU’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Asomwan Adagbonyin, the dismissed lecturer had claimed to only make advances, yet he went to the girl’s church to plead for forgiveness.

In July 2023, the VC of UNIABUJA, Na’allah, said two lecturers were dismissed following allegations of sexual harassment.

In August, the management of the University of Calabar suspended the embattled Dean, Faculty of Law, Prof. Cyril Ndifon, over allegations of sexual harassment. Ndifon is currently being held by security operatives.

On September 7, 2023, the University of Lagos suspended a lecturer, Kadri Babalola, who was accused of raping a 21-year-old student.

Similarly, in October 2023, the Federal College of Forestry, Plateau state announced the suspension of four lecturers over allegations bordering sexual harassment of female students.

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Speaking with our correspondents on the matter, the Director of Programmes, Reform Education Nigeria, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, urged President Bola Tinubu to sign the sexual harassment bill into law.

Oluwatoyin said, “The President signing the bill will be a game-changer. We need to make schools safe for our students. The most unfortunate part of the issue is that some of these students even when harassed are scared to come out in the open for fear of victimisation and other issues.”

Former Programme Manager, Gender Justice at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon, urged institutions to prevent survivors from being further victimised into silence and provide safe anonymous pathways for them to report such incidents.

Atiku-Adejuwon also called for the building of a system of trust between university management and the student population.

“The response system has to be survivour-centred and holistic; mental and physical health concerns must be taken seriously. The response system shouldn’t be created to make the university look good; it should be to take care of the survivors,” she added.

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