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Daily Archives: May 7, 2019

Another container falls on Ojuelegba bridge

A container has fallen on the bridge in the Ojuelegba area of Lagos state.

Different containers have been involved in accidents on the bridge, the last being in April when at least seven vehicles were destroyed.

Saheed Olatunji, chairman of Ojuelegba NNAMORAL zone, a unit of Road Transport Employment Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), said that Tuesday’s incident resulted in gridlock.

“It happened around barracks, from where you will climb the Ojuelegba bridge. It is still there now causing traffic jam,” he said.

Security operatives at the scene

A security operative at the location said that the container truck had more load than its capacity, which led to its crash.

“The load is too much for the body, so as it was climbing the bridge, it was rolling down. It is 40 feet longl,” he said.

A police officer at the location said there was no casualty in the incident.

“There is no casualty, this is just a minor accident,” the security operative said.

Speaking with , the driver narrated how the container fell off the bridge.

“As I was climbing the bridge, a bus overtook me and I had to stop. When I set out after the bus left, the gear dragged me back and the container turned and fell.

“It is not because of the break. There is no casualty. I was not the only one in the truck, we were three in number, but nothing happened to any of us.”

Kidnapped OAU prof says herdsmen collected N5m before releasing him

Olayinka Adegbehingbe, the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), professor who was abducted on Sunday, said N5.045m was paid to secure his release.

Adegbehingbe disclosed this in an interview with NAN.

A lecturer at the department of orthopaedic surgery of the university, Adegbehingbe attributed his release to the power of God.

He said the kidnappers, whom he described as herdsmen, had initially demanded N30 million but later collected N5.045m after negotiation.

Speaking on the high level of insecurity across the country, he said many jobless youths have resorted to crime.

He called for community policing as well as provision of employment for the youths, saying “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.’’

“The federal government needs to invest more in security; we need to know the identity of people coming in and going out of the town, state and the country at large,” he said.

“The people who abducted me were herdsmen and they had four guns and multiple rounds of ammunition as well as different dangerous weapons.

“I also thank the security operatives, the entire OAU and OAUTHC communities, our families, church members and all other well wishers for their prayers and other support rendered.”

Oluwole Komolafe, president of the Nigeria Medical Association in Osun state, also expressed gratitude to God for the release of Adegbehingbe.

“The federal government should look into the issue of security across the country so that citizens would have rest of mind,’’ he said.

I gave N10m to Kwara CP from N450m collected in 2015 – Belgore

Dele Belgore, a Senior Advocate Of Nigerian (SAN), who is currently being prosecuted for allegedly laundering N450m in the build-up to the 2015 general election has disclosed how he spent part of the money.

He made the disclosure on Monday at the Federal High Court in Lagos during cross-examination by Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Belgore told the court that he gave N10m out of the money to the then Commissioner of Police in Kwara State, whose name he simply gave as Garba.

Belgore is being prosecuted alongside Prof Abubakar Suleiman, a former Minister of National Planning.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission claimed that they collected N450m out of the $115.01m, which a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, allegedly doled out to manipulate the 2015 presidential election.

Belgore and Suleiman were accused of handling the money without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

But the two defendants have denied the allegations.

They maintained that though they were invited on March 26, 2015 – two days to the 2015 presidential election – by the manager of a Fidelity Bank branch in Ilorin to collect the N450m, they ended up not leaving the bank premises with the money despite that they signed for its collection.

Belgore also maintained that he had never met Diezani, adding that the N450m that he and Suleiman signed for came from the headquarters of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation in Abuja.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa adjourned till May 15 for the continuation of cross-examination.

Obasanjo sues Punch columnist, newspaper for libel…demands N1bn

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has sued The Punch newspaper and Sonala Olumhense, a syndicated columnist, over an article they published on January 27, 2019.

In the article, “This is the best contribution Obasanjo can make,” Mr. Olumhense recalled previous articles he had written about the two-time Nigeria leader, explaining that because of Obasanjo’s “persistent efforts to distort Nigeria’s history and colour it in his own image,” he occasionally writes to remind Nigerians “he is not the saint or patriot or doer he pretends to be.”

But Obasanjo is claiming one billion naira as general damages, describing the article as “false, malicious, unjustified, injurious, scornful, distasteful, unsavoury” and exposing him to “public odium, ridicule and disdain.”

Mr. Olumhense is also principally syndicated on Sundays by Daily Trust, but the Abuja-based newspaper was not joined in the suit.

In addition to riches, Obasanjo is also seeking retraction of the already published complaint in two national newspapers within three days of the judgement of the court, and an order to restrain the defendants and others from publishing the same or similar words.

In an earlier article, on January 27, 2008, Olumhense called on the Umaru Yar’Adua administration “To Probe the Emperor,” giving 10 reasons.

“If Obasanjo gets away without being investigated, the bigger loser will not be Obasanjo, but this nation,” he wrote. “What Obasanjo did in office, and the reason that people are calling for him to be probed was done with arrogance, indiscipline and impunity. Not to probe him is to protect him. To protect him is to betray the constitution and the people of Nigeria in favor of yet another privileged citizen.”

Olumhense recalled that on June 23, 2004, Obasanjo himself publicly admitted that Nigerian leaders had failed Nigerians, and argued that a probe would be his chance to prove he is not one of the leaders he had criticized.

The columnist further recalled, on that occasion, that four years earlier Obasanjo had told the BBC that any Nigerian who was not prepared to die for the nation did not deserve to be a Nigerian citizen. “Probing him would give him the opportunity to stand by those words, and for Nigerians to see who he really was, as a president,” Olumhense observed.

In another article on August 18, 2013, he described Obasanjo as “Nigeria’s First ‘419’ President,” drawing attention to a speech Obasanjo had given that month at the University of Ibadan in which he excoriated other Nigerian leaders as not being good enough.

“And then he dismissed Nigerians for not finding him to be exceptional,” the columnist noted. “If Nigerians were yet to find a leader worthy of commendation after 53 years of independence [Obasanjo] declared, “’Then we are jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell.’”

Commented the writer, “No, Chief, I humbly disagree. Only dishonest and unpatriotic leaders qualify for perdition.”
He asserted that Obasanjo knew he was Nigeria’s first ‘419’ leader. “But he is counting on the Nigerian people, especially the youth, remaining too distracted or too scared to rise to their feet and say, emphatically and in unison: “NO,” “ENOUGH” and “NONSENSE.”

“It is time,” Olumhense declared. “Our mumu don do!”

When the trial opens in the suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, The Punch is expected to be represented by a battery of lawyers.

Olumhense will be represented by the fiery legal luminary, Femi Falana (SAN).

Kidnapped OAU prof released

Yinka Adegbehingbe, a professor at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has been freed by his abductors.

Adegbehingbe, a lecturer at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the university, was kidnapped on the Ife-Ibadan expressway around 9pm on Sunday.

Moses Olafare, director of media, ooni of Ife’s palace, and Abiodun Olarewaju, public relations officer of OAU, confirmed that the lecturer has been released.

Olafare had earlier told reporters of how Adegbehingbe was abducted.

“I received a call from one of the passengers who witnessed the abduction of prof Yinka Adegbehingbe. Immediately I received that information, I called OAU PRO. I also called Ife area commander of Nigeria Police Force and later the Commissioner of Police,” he had said.

“CP told me she was aware of the incident and requested for more details from our end and we gave that. I later spoke to the wife of Prof. Adegbehingbe. She was in a police station around Apomu when I spoke to her.”

The police are yet to confirm whether any ransom was paid for his release.

CBN moves to revive textile industry

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has kicked off the distribution of cotton seeds and other farming inputs, a major strategy to revive the nation’s moribund cotton, textile and garment sector.

The revival of the sector is a bold step to stop the $4 billion spent from scarce foreign exchange in importation of textiles and ready-made clothing.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor kicked off the programme in Katsina on Monday with the distribution of the inputs to 100,000 farmers for 2019 farming season.

The programme is on the platform of CBN-Anchor Borrower Programme,

Emefiele, noted that the past 20 years had been very difficult for the cotton, textile and garment sector resulting in the collapse of 130 firms.

In order to sanitise the system, he threatened to blacklist individuals, banks and companies involved in illegal textile importation.

The whole essence is for the local players to survive and remain in business.

“Farmers and processors have had to deal with low-quality seeds, rising operating cost and weak sales due to high energy cost of running factories, smuggling of textile goods and poor access to finance. Smuggling of textile goods alone is also estimated to have cost the nation over $2.2billion.’’

“Nigeria was home to African largest textile industry with over 180 textiles mills in operation, which employed close to 250,000 people but only 25 textile factories are operating today, and the workforce stands at less than 20, 000 people.”

Royal Baby: World congratulates Harry and Meghan

Congratulations have poured in from around the world following the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son.

The newborn was delivered at 05:26 BST on Monday, with Prince Harry saying the baby boy was “absolutely to-die-for”.

Kensington Palace said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were “delighted” and “looking forward” to meeting him.

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, was said to be “overjoyed”, while former US First Lady Michelle Obama said she and Barack were “thrilled”.

The baby, who has not been named yet, is seventh in line to the throne, behind the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and his children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – and Prince Harry.

Speaking after the birth, Harry said he planned to make an announcement in two days’ time “so everyone can see the baby”.

He said Meghan and the baby were doing “incredibly well”, adding that they were still thinking about names for the infant.

Arthur – a traditional royal name that is among the middle names of the baby’s grandfather, the Prince of Wales, and his uncle the Duke of Cambridge – is the favourite with many of the bookies, while Alexander and James are also popular.

Buckingham Palace said the baby weighed 7lbs 3oz (3.2kg), and that the duke was present for the birth.

In a statement the Palace said that the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were all “delighted” with the news.

It added that Meghan’s mother was “overjoyed at the arrival of her first grandchild” and was with her daughter at Frogmore Cottage – the Sussexes’ home on the Windsor Estate.

Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon were among the politicians to offer their congratulations to the royal couple on Twitter.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who married the couple in May last year, said: “May God bless the new family with love, health and happiness.”

Congratulations also came from celebrities and famous figures in the United States, where Meghan was born.

Patrick J Adams, who starred alongside Meghan in the US legal drama Suits, wrote on Twitter: “Just heard that the world just got heavier by 7 pounds and 3 ounces. Much love to him and his incredible parents.”

The baby is a dual citizen, having automatically acquired US citizenship, via Meghan, at birth.

Speaking to the Sun from his home in Mexico, Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, said he was “proud” his grandson was born into the British royal family and he was “sure that he would grow up to serve the crown and the people of Britain with grace, dignity, and honour.”

Meanwhile New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a donation will be made to a group which prepares baby boxes for families in need, and 10 native trees will be planted in New Zealand in honour of the royal baby.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also sent his “huge congratulations” to the couple.

IGP appears before senate over insecurity

Mohammed Adamu, acting inspector-general of police (IGP), has appeared before the senate to brief lawmakers on insecurity in the country.

The upper legislative chamber of the national assembly summoned him last week.

At plenary on Tuesday, Ahmad Lawan, senate leader, moved a motion for the senators to usher the police chief into the chamber.

Mohammed Adamu arriving at the Senate Chamber

Thereafter, Senate President Bukola Saraki announced that the meeting would hold “behind close-door because of the sensitivity of the issue”.

Adamu was summoned Adamu following the killing of Faye Mooney, an official of Mercy Corps Nigeria, and Matthew Oguche, her partner, at the Kajuru Castle in Kaduna state.

They both died after they were caught in a cross fire between police officers guarding the castle and suspected bandits.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, chatting with Mohammed Adamu, acting IGP.

Recently, kidnappers and bandits have wreaked havoc across the country, particularly in Zamfara and Kaduna.

During a sitting last week, Saraki had said “structural approach” was needed to address security challenge.

He had also urged the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.

Ibrahim Idris, Adamu’s predecessor, had shunned summons of the senate repeatedly after falling out with the lawmakers.

Angry villagers block Osinbajo’s convoy in Abuja

Aggrieved protesters blocked the convoy of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo along Umaru Musa Yar’Adua expressway in Abuja on Tuesday morning.

The vice-president was heading to the airport when his convoy ran into a barricade at the Goza village axis of the road.

Residents of Gbagyi village had converged on the spot, which is the major road connecting the airport to the city, to protest the alleged invasion of their land by the military.

The security aides of the vice-president tried to appease the protesters but failed, forcing Osinbajo to alight from his car.

Some of the protesters hailed the vice-president as he approached them.

Osinbajo sued for calm, assuring the protesters that their grievances would be addressed.

Apparently convinced by his intervention, the people allowed his convoy to pass but denied access to other vehicles.

Below are some pictures from the scene:

Osinbajo in midst of the crowd

Security aides of the vice-president taking charge of the situation

Other vehicles affected by the barricade

The vice-president’s convoy leaving the spot

Containers, tankers start movement with rail

Beginning from today (Tuesday) containers and oil tankers would start moving goods from Lagos ports through the newly acquired Railway wagons to the north.

The goods would move to the dry port in Kaduna in the North.

The transport minister Rotimi Amaechi had ordered some wagons for the Lagos-Ibadan railway for the purpose.

This measure was designed to ease traffic and gridlocks caused by heavy duty vehicles from Lagos and roads.

The move to curb the perennial traffic jam in Apapa axis, the Nigeria Railway Corporation resolved to deploy the eighteen newly imported wagons for haulage from Apapa sea port.

The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, Engineer Fidet Okhiria, disclosed that the newly acquired 18 wagons are to boost the inland container dry port business by moving cargos from Apapa sea port to dry ports in Kaduna and other states.

The NRC has the capacity to evacuate 20 footer and 40 footer containers from Apapa port to, Ijoko and Abeokuta, both in Ogun state and Omi-Adio railway depots, in Oyo state, for onward transfer by parked trucks.

The trucks would evacuate the containers by road to their various destinations which most often is either the inland dry port in Kaduna or Kano.

Anglican church honours Ambode, tips him for federal job

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), diocese of Lagos, has presented a special episcopal award to Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, for his “monumental achievements” in all sectors and sections of the state in the last four years.

The church also tipped the governor for federal appointment in the President Muhammad Buhari incoming team, after his four-year term as Lagos governor.

The award presentation held at Our Saviours Church, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, on Monday.

Speaking during the presentation, Humphrey Olumakaiye, the diocesan bishop, described Ambode as an administrator with a patriotic drive who, through hard work and grace, rose to become distinguished among his peers.

He said the governor deserved to be appreciated for excellent performance and selfless service to God and humanity. He commended Ambode for always identifying with the church, saying it was an eloquent indication of his love and undying passion for God and humanity.

“We are very proud of you for taking Lagos state much higher. You have proved beyond doubts that there is great hope for a better Nigeria through your transformational touch in this state,” Olumakaiye said.

“You are a man of courage who believes in possibilities against all odds; a man of focus and dignity. We are indeed very proud of you and we pray that God will grant your heart desires and take you to the next level of your political career.

“Today, we have decided to honour you in due recognition of your exceptional achievements as our governor.”

On his part, Adebola Ademowo, immediate past bishop of the diocese,  said Ambode’s name was already written in gold.

“I want to congratulate our Governor for a very successful tenure. Your name has been written in gold and I do hope that Abuja will do something,” Ademowo said.

Responding, Ambode thanked residents and faith-based organizations for cooperating with his administration to maintain law and order, saying it is on record that there was no single religious conflict in the state in the last four years.

The governor said he was particularly proud of the relationship and massive support extended to him by religious leaders which, according to him, resulted in peaceful co-existence and progress of the State.

“To our Fathers in the Lord and clergymen, I thank you for all you have done to move Lagos forward in the past four years of my administration. I am proud of the relationship and support that has yielded the peaceful co-existence and atmosphere of love and brotherhood. For me, this is the strongest plank upon which the progress we have achieved rests,” Ambode said.

“It is also on record that no single religious conflict was recorded in the last four years. The peaceful co-existence of all religious sects is a testimony of our collective heritage in the state.

“As our administration makes way for another, I ask for your continued support and prayers for the incoming government, the governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team.”

Adeleke charged with certificate forgery, granted N2m bail

An Abuja magistrate’s court has granted bail to Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Osun state governorship election.

The court granted him N2 million bail after his arraignment on Tuesday.

Adeleke, who currently represents Osun west senatorial district, was charged to court for alleged certificate forgery.

The police had said they have fresh evidence against the senator, prompting his detention on Monday.

In the charge filed at the magistrate’s court, the police accused Adeleke of forging a letter of attestation and result from Mustlim Grammar School, Ede Osun state.

He was said to have submitted the “forged” documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before contesting in the governorship election.

The charge is similar to the one the police is prosecuting Adeleke for before the federal high court in Abuja.

The senator pleaded not guilty, after which Muhammed Suberu, a magistrate, granted him bail with one surety who “must reside within the jurisdiction of the court”.

The PDP had accused the police of plotting to prevent Adeleke’s swearing in as governor of Osun state, having been declared winner of the election by the tribunal.