Premium Times (Abuja)

Nigeria: Top 10 Newsmakers in Lagos in 2013

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3. Lagos State Police Command

In the early hours of one Wednesday in March, a group of police officers opened fire at fellow security officials - men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, on their way back from arresting some pipeline vandals in Ikorodu, Lagos.

Two NSCDC officers were killed.

But the state police command quickly absolved its officers of wrongdoing in the incident, instead, insisting that the NSCDC officers disarmed and arrested its officers.

In June 2013, a secretly recorded video where a police officer was soliciting for a N25,000 bribe from a motorist was uploaded to the web. The video went viral within minutes. Days later, the culprit, Sergeant Chris Omeleze, was dismissed from the Force.

The public were ecstatic.

A month later, another secretly taped video surfaced, this time involving two female police corporals demanding for a bribe from another bus driver.

Again, the officers were promptly shown the door.

The public were delirious.

And so in November, when some police officers who were harassing a commercial bus driver noticed Abragahou Aminu filming them with his camera phone; the hapless French language teacher was made to pay for the sins of the previous camera men.

First, he was given the beating of his life, and then locked up at Ketu Police Station. And then he was transferred to Area F Police Command, later to the State Anti-Robbery Squad. In the end he spent 7 days in various police cells and the police filed a "breach of public peace" charge against him at the Magistrate court.

Also, in June, a police officer identified as Corporal Azukah, in a hurry to get his superior's mistress to catch her flight, drove against traffic on a one way road and knocked down Taskirat Anjolaiya, a nursing mother, and her newborn baby. After depositing an initial N70,000 for treatment, the officer disappeared.

4. Fred Ajudua

Watching Fred Chijindu Ajudua standing in the dock alongside his co-accused, Charles Orie, evokes an uncanny image of the Philistine's Goliath standing, blank-faced, side by side with the diminutive David the giantslayer. Except that this time the characters were in a court room in Lagos facing criminal charges of allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen of $1.69 million.

After performing the most daring vanishing act the EFCC had seen since its establishment, Mr. Ajudua resurfaced early this year, after a seven year hiatus, to resume his trial before Justice Olubunmi Oyewole.

At every court sitting, the duo would stand in the dock, with Mr. Orie's clean-shaven head periodically bumping against Mr. Ajudua's beefy arm.

As the year 2013 wore on, Mr. Ajudua's huge frame became a common sight at the Ikeja high court. If he was not before Justice Oyewole denying the fraud allegations against him, he was filing a bail application before Justice Ganiyu Safari. By the eighth month of the year, his only surviving kidney had collapsed and he was rushed to the prison clinic and thereafter to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

While Mr. Ajudua was recuperating in the hospital, the EFCC began filing, before Justice Atinuke Ipaye, a fresh set of fraud charges masterminded by him. The commission said that he duped Ishaya Bamaiyi, a retired army Lieutenant-General, of US$8.395 million between November 2004 and June 2005 while both were incarcerated at the Kirikiri Prisons.

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