Point Blank

June 8, 2009

The lies of www.pointblanknews.com: Police Report on Blackmailer Steve Chinuwa Ogwu and others

Pointblanknews.com,the blackmailers’ online publishing company which had been running a most scurrilous smear campaign against the person of Vanguard newspaper publisher, Sam Amuka, his wife, Oyindamola and the Nigerian Police authorities yesterday went overboard, mis-representing the Ikeja Magistrate Court 19, presided over by Magistrate A.Y Omoyele who stood in for Magistrate Badejo Okunsanya.

In its malicious and false report, www.pointblanknews.com lied that court ordered the prosecution ‘to produce its proof of evidence or the case against Mr. Steve Chinua-Ugwu would be struck out.’ That was lie No 1.  The Presiding Magistrate A.Y Omoyele did not and could not have threatened to ‘throw out the case’  since she was not the one handling it. She only asked the prosecution to forward the proof of evidence to the defence lawyers to enable them prepare their defence.

Lie No 2: the blackmailers online publishers, www.pointblanknews.com alleged that Sam Amuka’s son assaulted him (Steve) in the court premises. It was another fiction that www.pointblanknews.com manufactured to justify their vicious campaign. The fact was that Giwa-Amu, in his desperate search for fame was posing for photo-journalists, expecting headline treatment the day after. Unfortunately for him, the media is  professional enough to know that this hawker of lies and hatred was not deserving of hero’s treatment. He got contempt from his vicious attempt to mislead the police. Giwa Amu practices law more through petition writing than arguing law before a court of competent jurisdiction. He has a  notorious record indeed.

Lie No3: Giwa Amu has written tonnes of lies, disparaging the police authorities, alleging the worst form of corruption in a futile attempt at  blackmailing them to do his evil bidding and perhaps provide cheap copy for lazy and dubious publishers of, Pointblanknews.com agent accused of defrauding Mrs. Oyindamola Amuka, wife of Vanguard Newspaper Publisher, coming out of the court after the court proceedings at Ikeja Magistrate Court. Photo: Lamidi Bamidele.

www.pointblanknews.com. Till date, Amu and his offshore publishers have failed. They have hawked their lies and even offered monetary inducement to local publishers who had seen through their blackmail and refused their bait. www.pointblanknews.com fabricates stories, publishes falsehood, acts above the law in the belief that from their offshore base in Washington, they have licence to do evil. Their writers in Nigeria are faceless and cannot be reached to be sued. Their stories do not carry bylines. Fraudsters cannot be more dubious. They have nothing to lose because their worth is their lies.

For the benefit of the reading public and to debunk the tissue of lies published by the blackmailers’ publishers, www.pointblanknews.com major issues from the days proceedings are published as follows.

After the announcement of the appearance of the prosecuting police officer, Mr R. Inuigbe, the defence counsel, including Mr A.G Giwa Amu and Mr Olu Okunuyi who appeared for the first and second defendants announced their own appearances. The counsel to the second defendant (Alhaji Alayande) stood up and said he had a medical report showing that his client was sick. He said “We apologize for the absence of the 2nd defendant, he is ill and he is recuperating in the hospital. Your honour, we have a medical record to support our claim. We seek to tender this from the Bar.”

After, the prosecution announced that he had his witnesses in court, indicating his preparation to start the trial. “Your honour, we intend to call our witnesses today. Two of them are in court and the remaining witnesses, three police officers are on their way upstair. Sir we also have an application on an issue which we want the court to know. After the last adjourned date, we received a publication from one on-line reporter turning upside the proceedings of this court. If something is not done it would not only affect the case before the court, it will mislead the court as well as the general public.

“If the press is permitted by the law to publish, it should not quote the court out of context or misrepresent the court. The report, your honour went as far as presenting that this matter came up before another Magistrate and that it ordered the appearance of the Inspector General of Police, which was not true. What we are applying for is that the court should ensure that it is only the proceedings of the court that is reported.”

At this juncture, the prosecutor sent a copy of the said publication to the presiding Magistrate.

In his respond, Mr Giwa Amu said “ I want to tell this court that a day after the last proceeding, the Vanguard newspaper and other news papers went to town to publish the story of the day’s proceedings indicating that the first defendant was not a journalist. The face of the second defendant was boldly published with the caption, The face of Blackmailer.

“The Vanguard, which is owned by the husband of the complainant, also published that I was docked with my photograph boldly used. We have already filed a libel suit of N40 bn against them.  Also, I want to say that we filed and served the commissioner of police with a writ dated April 20 to supply us with the proof of evidence, up till now we have not received anything from them. Also, we personally served the office of the IGP on April 21, up till now we have not received any reply. I want to say they have refused to comply.

“We humbly apply that the police be compelled to served us with the proof of evidence. The attitude to me is very unbecoming of the police.”

However, not comfortable with the position made by the counsel, the Police prosecutor, Mr Inuigbe stood up and countered the argument. He said “As I am talking to you we are yet to receive any application or summon. Though, he is entitled to the proof of evidence, but we are not in position to photocopy these for them.  All these are mere story. The court is the proper place where to make an application , if he does that it would be given to him, I cannot start running to his office to submit the papers.”

Awaiting the ruling of the court, the prosecutor asked for an adjournment to enable him serve the defence with the papers.

In her short ruling, the court held “ It is hereby ordered that the prosecution (Police) make available the copies of the proof of evidence to the defendants. The parties are also  hereby restrained from publishing anything that would jeopardize the proceedings of this the court pending the determination of the substantive case.”

She subsequently adjourned the matter till June 24, 2009.

PS: Please find below the Police Report on the 419 case against Steve Chinua-ogwu, friend and client of Giwa-Amu and agent of www.pointblanknews.com

The police report on 419 case by Steve Chunuwa Ogwu, friend of Giwa-Amu and agent of www.pointblanknews.com

Introduction:- This deals with a case of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences and extortion which was initially reported at Kirikiri Police Station, Lagos, by one Sam Amuka, Publisher of Vanguard Newspaper situated at Kirikiri Canal, Apapa. The case was later transferred to the State CID (SCID) Panti, Yaba, for detailed investigation. It was initially incidented as conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace at Kirikiri Police Station, but had to be vided to reflect the true nature of the offence.

FACTS OF THE CASE: – On 20/7/2007, the complainant who is the publisher of Vanguard Newspapers reported at Kirikiri Police Station that about the first week of July, 2007, the 8th suspect Steve Ogwu-Chuniwa (Steve) called to say that he had a story concerning his wife Oyindamola (Oyin) and her KIA Jeep and demanded to see him at his Vanguard office on 20/7/2007, The said Steve actually visited on 20/7/2007 and alleged that his wife was involved in a ritual murder in a bush at Ikorodu, Lagos.

He showed him pictures he claimed he took himself showing his wife Oyin in handcuff, wearing white cloth and carrying the head of a young boy. Steve also played to his hearing a tape in which Oyin was grieving over her sick son in London. He demanded money from him to stop the publication and disclose the identities of the blackmailers. Mr. Amuka recalled that few days before Steve’s call, he had received a call from one Sally, his wife’s friend in London, that his wife Oyin was in distress.

That Oyin had with her in London some horrible pictures taken in a shrine in Nigeria where she was forced to carry the head of a young boy. That she had been threatened to pay a huge sum of money and if she failed to do so, the photographs would be published, preparatory to charging her with murder. Consequently his wife emptied her account in London and paid a huge ransom to the criminal group, and ran back to London. The complainant stated further that the coincidence of his meeting with Steve and Sally’s telephone conversation made him to believe that Steve and his group were out for blackmail, hence his report.

INVESTIGATION:- Voluntary statements were taken from the complainant Sam Amuka and his wife Mrs. Oyindamola Amuka (Oyin). The suspects were arrested at different dates, charged and cautioned before volunteering statements. The 8th suspect was picked from the Vanguard office of Sam Amuka at Kirikiri, Lagos, where Lagos, where (Steve) had gone to show him the alleged ritual murder pictures of his wife (Oyin).

Other suspects including some policemen were subsequently arrested. The SCID concluded its investigation and forwarded the case file to the Lagos State DPP for legal advice while the suspects including the officers were released on bail. The legal advice was being awaited, when Mr. Amuka discovered that Steve had gone ahead to publish the story and the pictures on the internet knowing same to be false.

Following his fresh complaint, Steve and Alayande were rearrested. Detectives also visited the shrine, a mud building, located in a bush at Igbolu, Iyede, in Ikorodu areaof Lagos. Searches were conducted in
the offices and premises of the suspects, and all confessional statements were duly attested.

FINDINGS:- Police investigation revealed that:-

(i) Sometime in June, 2007 Mrs. Oyindamola Amuka (Oyin) met one Lola in England from whom she sought  spiritual assistance for her sick son.

(ii) The said Lola later introduced her to a syndicate of fraudsters (419) comprising the 5th – 8th suspects with operational bases in Ibadan and Lagos.

(iii) The fraudsters took Mrs.  Oyin  through  stage-managed ritual murder processes in search of the spiritual    solution for her son’s illness at a shrine (mud house) in  a bush at Igbolu area of Iyede, Ikorodu, Lagos.

(iv) The  photographs taken at the scene were later given special effects falsely presenting  Oyin  as  having  been involved   in   ritual  murder.  One  of the  pictures  was  a headless body of a young man (10th suspect) while the. other is a bodiless head also of the 10th suspect. Another showed Oyin raising a knife over the head of a young lad (10th suspect); all suggesting falsely that she had actually murdered him.

(v) The person in the headless body and bodiless head pictures (10th suspect) is the son of one of the principal suspects (5th suspect) and a JSS III student, whom he deceived into believing that they were out with Oyin acting a film.

(vi)  After the first round of the purported rituals, the 5th, 6th, and 7th suspects went to the office of 1st suspect Supt. Babatunde who was then O/C Monitoring Unit (D13) at the State CID, Panti, confided in him that they had a case of ritual murder which they wanted his office to handle andthat their aim was to extort money from the victim  Mrs Oyin Amuka.

(vii) Supt. Babatunde also intimated Steve Chinuwa who on 13/7/2007 led a team of detectives detailed by him to effect Mrs. Oyin Amuka’s arrest at a filling station in Ikorodu from where she was again taken to a shrine (a mud house) also in Ikorodu.

(viii) At the shrine, Oyin was forced to go through the same ritual processes while Steve videoed and took pictures.

(ix) Supt. Babatunde and team in his office at the SCID Panti, demanded and received the sum of N4 million, threatening to notify the complainant Mr. Amuka (Oyin’s husband) and publish the photographs if he failed to pay the amount.

(x) Supt.   Babatunde  shared the N4 million 50-50; that is: N2 million  to  him  and  his  policemen  and  N2 million to Rasheed Alayande and his group which included Steve, and thereafter destroyed the case file, ritual pictures    and video tapes.

(xi) Supt.  Babatunde shared the money with  his men and gave N100,000.00 to Steve Chinuwa.

(xii) Steve Chinuwa also collected the sum of N100,000.00k  from Rasheed Alayande and N150,000.00k from Ganiyu Ishola. Supt. Babatunde also gave him   additional N100,000.00k when he complained that he was not fairly treated by his group. While Steve   confirmed receiving the

N100, 000.00k from Supt. Tunde which he returned in  the course  of investigation,  he denied  knowledge of other amounts.

(xiii) In a bid to make more money off the Amukas, Steve reprinted the ritual pictures from his Motorola phone and presented them on 27/7/2007 to Mr. Amuka in his Vanguard office at Kirikiri, Lagos, and demanded for another sum of money, again threatening to publish the photographs if his demand was not met. It was at this juncture that he was arrested by the Police.

(xiv)   That Steve actually carried out his threat when Mr. Amuka did not pay him the money by publishing the photographs he took at the shrine on-website www.pointblanknews.com anchoring it with concocted   and malicious story about the incident. This led to his re-arrest on 14/2/2009 and subsequent arraignment CONCLUSION:- The suspects have been arraigned in court with the exception of Supt. Babatunde Jonathan ‘m’ and three other NCOs who have long absconded from their duty post obviously asa result of their direct involvement in these unprofessional and scandalous conduct. It is strongly recommended that the officers be declared wanted while their stopped without further delay, please.