Friday 1 December 2023

Gúnmen Attáck Kogi REC’s Residence

Gúnmen Attáck Kogi REC’s Residence


Unidentified gúnmen have reportedly attàcked the residence of the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Hale Gabriel Longpet at GRA, Lokoja.

Daily Trust gathered that the REC was not at home as of the time of the attáck Thursday night.

But men of the army, police and vigilante were said to have repelled the attáck around 3 am.

A car was said to have been set abláze and búrnt to ashes by the invading gúnmen during the attáck.

“For over 30 minutes, we kept hearing the sound of gúnshots from the flank of GRA. We learnt this morning that some miscreants attàcked the house of the state REC,” said a resident who spoke on condition of anonimity.

However, the whereabouts of the REC is still unknown, as some of his aides said his lines were switched off.

Meanwhile, there is tension in the area as security operatives have condoned off the vicinity from members of the public.

The Kogi State Police Command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP William Aya, could not be reached on the phone for comments on the incident and he had yet to respond to a text message sent to his line as of the time of filing this report.

All Women Are Wítches, Manipulators – Ooni

All Women Are Wítches, Manipulators – Ooni


The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ọjájá II, says he believes all women are wítches and manipulators.

He stated this on Thursday while hosting the cast of reality show, “Real Housewives of Lagos”.

In a video shared on Instagram, prominent cast members including Iyabo Ojo, Chioma Ikokwu, and Tania Omotayo were seen engaging with the monarch in his palace.

In the video, Ooni’s queen, Aderonke Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi, extended a warm welcome to the guests and provided guidance on how to address the king as he entered the palace.

During the interaction, the Ooni of Ife shared insights with the Real Housewives of Lagos cast, delving into the topic of witchcráft.

He expressed the belief that all women possess a spirit of witchcráft, emphasizing that this spirit is associated with manipulation.

“Every woman has that witchcráft spirit in them but you know people just probably think it is a negative thing, but witchcráft is all about manipulation.

“If you know how to manipulate very well, that’s the power of a woman. You have natural manipulative spirit and you should manipulate in a very positive way,” the monarch said.

Responding, Iyabo Ojo sought clarification, asking whether the king meant that all women were witches.

In response, the king affirmed this but swiftly added that they are “good wītches.”

FG Pays N585m Fines, Begins Nationwide Prisons Decongestion

FG Pays N585m Fines, Begins Nationwide Prisons Decongestion


The Federal Government, on Thursday, said it had raised N585m towards the settlement of fines for inmates in a bid to decongest correctional centres across the country.

The Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, represented by an Assistant Director in the ministry, Dr Anayo Romanus-Nzekwe, disclosed this on Thursday in Kano, during the release of 150 inmates, whose fines were settled by the Federal Government.

The PUNCH reports that the interior minister had repeatedly lamented that no fewer than 4,000 inmates were languishing in detention over their inability to pay fines.

Tunji-Ojo had promised that the Federal Government would clear the fines, estimated at about N500m, and free the inmates.

On Thursday, 150 inmates were freed from the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Janguza in Kano State.

The minister, speaking through Romanus-Nzekwe, said the 150 inmates were among the 4,068 nationwide that the government intended to free in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

“The Federal Government wants to decongest custodial centres and make them humane for proper reformation and rehabilitation of offenders to take place.

“The released inmates were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment with the option of fine and compensation and could not afford to pay their fines and are languishing in custody.

“The sum of N13.4m was spent in Kano State out of the N585m raised by philanthropic individuals, groups and corporate bodies, as part of their corporate social responsibility, for this purpose nationwide.’’

He explained that all inmates in the custodial centres who have fines and compensation not exceeding N1m were qualified to benefit from the gesture.

“We have given the inmates requisite training aimed at impacting their lives functionally and equipping them with the knowledge and skills for their self-reliance upon discharge,” he added.

Each of the freed inmates was given N10,000 to enable them to return to their various homes and villages.

The minister commended the Controller-General of Corrections and the staff of the Nigerian Correctional Service for providing the needed platform and mechanisms towards the safe and humane custody of inmates.

He called on the public, and communities to receive the returning inmates with open arms and refrain from stigmatising them as it could drive them back to committing crimes, which would further endanger society.

He urged the inmates to see the initiative as a second chance to make things right again.

“Stay off crimes and join hands with our father, President Bola Tinubu, to make Nigeria a great nation.

“Abide by the instructions and training you have received while in custody and be good ambassadors in your communities,” he said.

In his remarks, the Controller General of Corrections, Mr Halliru Nababa, commended the minister for securing the release of 150 inmates.

The CG, who was represented by the Controller of Corrections, Kano State Command, Suleiman Inuwa, said the gesture made a significant impact on the lives of numerous inmates across the country.

Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of Gombe State, Justice Halima Mohammed, also on Thursday pardoned and freed 185 inmates in five custodial facilities across the state.

The CJ said the release of the inmates followed the recommendation of the Criminal Justice Reform Committee.

Speaking on Thursday after three days of working visit to custodial facilities in the state, Justice Mohammed, said, “A total of 141 inmates were released from the Gombe Minimum Custodial Centre.

At the Billiri Custodial Centre, 10 inmates were released, 20 were released on bail, and 11 others were released because they were found to be of good behaviour. Making a total of 41 inmates to be released from Billiri Custodial Centre. At the end of the exercise, across five custodial centres in the state, a total of 182 inmates were released through the Criminal Justice Reform Committee.”

She, urged the ex-inmates to be of good character, in order to benefit from the good gesture of the criminal justice reform committee, calling those awaiting trial to be patient and be of good behaviour while waiting for their sentencing by the courts.

“Criminal Justice Reform Committee commends the Gombe State Government for supporting the committee’s exercise, which is geared towards decongesting the custodial centres,” the CJ said.

The Comptroller of the Gombe State Command of NCoS, Lawan Gusau, lauded the Chief Judge and the Criminal Justice Reform Committee.

“We are grateful for this exercise, and it is the first time a total of 182 inmates are being released because of the compassion and service delivery of Justice Halima Mohammed,” he said.

Military Helicopter Crashlands In Port Harcourt

Military Helicopter Crashlands In Port Harcourt


A Nigerian Air Force helicopter, on Friday, crashlanded and exploded at the NAF Base, Port Harcourt.

Though what led to the crash could not be immediately ascertained, it was learnt that the incident occurred around 7.50am.

A source said, “I was inside my apartment when I heard this thunderous sound at the NAF Base.

“The next thing I saw was a thick flame. I don’t know if there are casualties because I can’t go close to the scene for now. But I heard a blast twice. ”

Confirming the crash in a statement, the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the NAF MI-35P had taken off to embark on an operation against oil thieves in Rivers State.

He added that five persons on board survived with minor injuries.

The statement read, “A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-35P helicopter has crashed at Port Harcourt today, December 1, 2023. The unfortunate incident occurred at about 7.45 am shortly after the aircraft took off for an operation against economic saboteurs in Rivers State.

” Fortunately, the entire crew of five survived the crash with very minor injuries and are currently being attended to at NAF Medical Centre Port Harcourt.’

He said the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, is on his way to the scene to assess the situation.

“The Chief of Air Staff is currently en route to Port Harcourt to assess the situation for himself, see to the wellbeing of the crew, and give further directives.

“An incident of this nature is yet again a grim reminder of the dangers associated with military flying and the risks NAF pilots and technicians experience in their onerous tasks of defending our nation and deterring criminal elements from their nefarious activities, ” the statement added.

The Punch 

LASTMA Arraigns 12 Officials For Corruption

LASTMA Arraigns 12 Officials For Corruption

 Authorities of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority have arraigned 12 officials for corrupt practices and absenteeism.

The agency’s Public Relations Officer, Adebayo Taofiq, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists on Friday

According to the statement, While 11 officers were found guilty of the allegations brought against them,  one officer was cleared by the disciplinary panel.

Taofiq quoted the agency’s acting General Manager, Bakare Oki, as saying that the panel suggested a number of sanctions, including immediate termination of appointment, rank reduction, and dismissal.

Bakare added that severe punishment will be meted out to officers who beat the law, adding that the public should desist from offering LASTMA officials bribes.

The statement partly reads, “Operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority on Thursday,  November 30, 2023, arraigned 12 officers before the disciplinary panel for various offenses bothering on corrupt practices and absenteeism in line with the extant rules as guided by the Lagos State Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

“Mr. Bakare Oki confirmed that the panel recommended various punishments ranging from dismissal, reduction in rank, and immediate termination of appointment from the State Public Service.

“The acting General Manager who was equally part of the disciplinary panel confirmed that while 11 officers were found guilty of corrupt practices leveled against them, only one officer was exonerated with the report of the panel.

“We hereby call on residents especially the motoring public to support the agency in the ongoing restructuring by promptly reporting any errant Officers via any of the agency’s complaints hotlines with proof of evidence.

“The General Manager hereby warned all officers of the agency to always carry out their duties without fear or favour by the stipulated laws guiding the authority as any operative caught in the process of bringing the Agency or the Government into disrepute shall equally face the consequence.

“While commending LASTMA officials for their dedication, dutifulness, diligence, and professionalism, Bakare Oki however, warned the motoring public to stop inducing traffic personnel with bribes to avoid being prosecuted as the law frowned on both the ‘giver and the receiver.”

Thursday 30 November 2023

Court Jails Ogun Monarch Six Months For Impersonation

Court Jails Ogun Monarch Six Months For Impersonation


A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, Ogun State, has sentenced the Osolo of Ado-Odo, Muftau Dosunmu, to six months in prison for presenting himself as an Oba.

The Osolo title, which is one of the high chiefs in Ado-Odo, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, was upgraded to a coronet Oba by the past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, among 74 others across the state.

But, the Governor Dapo Abiodun administration has since its assumption of office reversed the upgrade of all 75 Obas.

Though the monarchs claimed they had secured a high court judgement against the state, the government had insisted that they should stop parading themselves as traditional rulers.

In his case, the Osolo was dragged to court for alleged impersonation and disturbance of peace within the Ado-Odo magisterial district.

He was accused of parading himself as an Oba, donning regalia and a beaded crown, despite lacking the rightful title, thereby violating Section 23(2)(c) of the Obas and Chiefs Law of Ogun State.

Dosunmu was said to have installed one Alabi Afizu as Babaloja of Ado-Odo in March 2022, contravening Section 249(1)(d) of the Criminal Code Law.

Dosunmu was additionally charged for instructing a town crier to announce movement restrictions due to spiritual rites between April 2022 and August 2022, leading to charges under Section 249(1)(d) and 200 of the Criminal Code Law.

Another count stated that Dosunmu identified himself as the Olofin of Ado-Odo and paraded himself as the Osolo of Ado-Odo, a kingmaker, between April 2022 and July 2023.

The prosecution counsel, Adebayo Adesanya, had informed the court that his actions were punishable offences under Section 249(1)(d) and punishable under Section 249(3) of the Criminal Code Law.

Dosunmu was also charged for parading himself as a kingmaker without the traditional council’s approval, a violation of Section 41 of the Chief’s Law of Ogun State, 2021, punishable under Section 41(6) of the Obas and Chiefs Law.

In her ruling, Chief Magistrate E. O. Idowu declared that Dosunmu was found guilty of six counts and sentenced him to six months imprisonment.

“The convict is sentenced to one-month imprisonment on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th counts of the charge, with an option of a fine of N50,000 on each count for which he has been convicted. The sentences shall run consecutively from today, 28th November 2023,” the court ruled.

Speaking with PUNCH Metro on Wednesday, Dosunmu said he was being persecuted by some individuals over the installation of the next of Olofin Ado-Odo, following the demise of Oba Lateef Adeniran on January 7, 2022.

In a phone conversation, Osolo said, “I got a letter of upgrading as a coronet Oba and I waited till we won a case filed before Justice Adeyemi of the State High Court before I did my traditional rites. We have a High Court judgement clearing the 75 Obas. I was joined in the case, even though I wasn’t a party initially. I didn’t do anything wrong after my traditional rites, I was only awarded honorary titles. That’s where the problem started with a few people in the town, who cooked lies against me.

“These people threatened me with the police. I was dragged to Zone 2 Police headquarters in Lagos, but the police said I didn’t do anything wrong. They returned to Ogun to continue with the police threat. But my lawyer told them that they could not be victimising a man who had a high court judgement. So, they filed a suit against me at the magistrate’s court.”

The Osolo said he tendered all necessary documents before the court, saying the written addresses were also adopted.

However, he said he was suddenly accused of lying before the court and was thereafter arrested by policemen from the Ogun State Police headquarters in Eleweran, Abeokuta.

He spoke further, “So, yesterday the court read a ruling against me. I was asked to pay N300,000, which I did. But, immediately, another suit was filed against me at Court 3. My lawyer said this is not done anywhere. I have returned to Ado-Odo after paying the fine. I am going to appeal that judgment without further delay.”

Meanwhile, Dosunmu told our correspondent that the Ado-Odo community was almost in chaos when news broke out that he was convicted.

“Crisis almost broke out this morning when people got the information. I had to go out in my car, wound down to placate the people not to fight anybody,” he stated.

Asked to state what he felt could be responsible for the crisis, the Osolo said it was as a result of who becomes the next Oba of Ado-Odo.

He explained, “They think I am the one disturbing the installation of the next Olofin of Ado-Odo because I am the Chairman of the Kingmakers; which is not true. I am not disturbing the installation of anybody as the Olofin.”

However, he kicked against the interference of external forces in the selection of the new first-class monarch, saying “I don’t how the Ministry (of Chieftaincy Affairs) or the Yewa Traditional Council will be installing unqualified persons as kingmakers. This is the time the whole of Nigeria will hear about this matter.”

It could be recalled that the late Olofin of Ado-Odo, Adeniran was in April 2013 attàcked by some angry youths of the town.

The royal father was in his SUV when he was flagged down by some angry youths. He was beaten and stripped naked by the people, who were said to have earlier invaded his palace to vândalise cars and torch his house.

It was gathered that the youths at the time were protesting a Supreme Court judgment of January 12, 2009, which validated Adeniran’s appointment as the Oba of Ado-Odo.

Since 2013, the decéased Osolo has been in exile in Abeokuta. He returned to Ado-Odo in December 2020.

Róbbers Kíll Ogun State Finance Director In Bullion Van Ambùsh

Róbbers Kíll Ogun State Finance Director In Bullion Van Ambùsh


The Commissioner of Police for Ogun State, Abiodun Alamutu, on Wednesday, night confirmed the kîlling of  Mr Taiwo Oyekanmi, the Director of Finance and Accounts attached to the office of  Governor Dapo Abiodun at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Alamutu told The PUNCH that Oyekanmi was gúnned down while returning from the bank where he had taken a bullion van to withdraw some funds for the state.

The CP said the incident happened on the NNPC Bridge, near Kuto, Abeokuta.

He Oyekanmi was rushed to the state hospital, Ijaye, where he was pronounced deãd.

The police commissioner said, “This afternoon,  the Director of Finance with a driver and one other person left for Fidelity Bank to make some withdrawal. They went with a homemade bullion van. They were supposed to have a police escort, but for certain reasons, the person (policeman) was permitted to travel to attend to some issues. So, he was not part of the movement today.

 “According to the story, after making the withdrawal, and on their way back to the office, they were accosted. A vehicle blocked them on top of the bridge, five occupants of the vehicle came down, shót at the director and from their vehicle, they brought out a sledgehammer to force the receptacle where the money was kept open and they left with the money.

“As of that time, there was no information because the police escort was not with the team; so, the robbers sped off.

“The driver claimed to have trailed them up to the Conference Hotel where he lost sight of them.

“The director that was shót was thereafter taken to Ijaye hospital where he eventually gave up the ghost.”

Alamutu said he had demanded the CCTV footage from the bank to aid police investigation.

“For our investigation, I have directed the area commander to get to the bank and request the CCTV footage which will give us an insight into the vehicle in question and the possibility of identifying the culprits if they ever ventured to step out of the vehicle or maybe they just maintained their position in the vehicle.

“I have reached out to Lagos and everywhere in the command to block all the exits out of the state while we are trying to identify them because they said they were five and they wore hoods.”

Governor Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary to the Governor,  Lekan Adeniran, described the incident as a rude shock to him, as he called for prayers for the immediate family of the late director.

 “I was devastated and extremely shocked upon receiving news of the cold-bloōded múrder of Oyekanmi, in the hands of criminal elements and enemies of our state.

“It is indeed a colossal loss for our administration to have lost such a dedicated, truthful, and diligent official. His assailants have múrdered sleep and will be flushed out immediately from wherever they might be hiding.

“I have directed all security agencies in the state to smoke the críminals out instantly and make them face the full wrath of the law.

“I, therefore,  want to assure the entire workforce and residents in the state that never will such calamity befall our dear state again.

“I pray for the repose of his soul and for God’s protection over the family he left behind. Obviously,  he is going to be sorely missed by his relatives, colleagues and the government he meritoriously served till death.”

Lagos Engages Arewa’s Help To End Street Begging

Lagos Engages Arewa’s Help To End Street Begging


The Lagos State Government and the Arewa community in the state are partnering to end the menace of street begging in the state.

This was as the state’s Ministry of Youth and Social Development held a one-day stakeholders’ meeting with representatives of the Arewa community on Tuesday in Alausa in a bid to find an enduring solution to the menace.

A statement on Wednesday said the Lagos State Government and the Arewa community reached a consensus at the meeting that street begging must not be allowed anywhere in the state.

Addressing the meeting, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Mobolaji Ogunlende, stressed that street begging had been banned in Lagos in line with the state’s Environmental Law and the Child Rights Law.

He said the stakeholders’ meeting was necessitated by the resurgence of street begging in the state, which, according to him, was detrimental to the state’s socioeconomic development.

Ogunlende said, “As a responsible and responsive government, we have decided to hold this meeting as part of our collaborative approach towards eradicating street begging in the state. It has become a nuisance that we cannot afford to close our eyes to.”

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu, condemned the act of using children to solicit alms, saying it violates the fundamental human rights of children as enshrined in the Child Rights Law which the state government was signatory to.

“It is disheartening to see children being used to beg for alms on our streets. It becomes more worrisome when you consider the fact that the future of some of the children who are of school age is being jeopardised by this group of people who indulge in this unwholesome act just because of money,” she said.

The Chairman, Lagos State Council of Arewa Chiefs, Alhaji Ali Kabir, and the Chairman, Arewa Community, Alhaji Yusuf Dandare, said they would support the government in eradicating street begging by discouraging those in their communities from engaging in it.

Federal Hospital CEOs Diverting Drug Funds, PSN Alleges

Federal Hospital CEOs Diverting Drug Funds, PSN Alleges

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to probe alleged corrupt cases made against some of the Chief Executive Officers of the Federal Health Institutions.

A communique of the 96th annual national conference of the PSN, titled, ‘Jewel City 2023,’ also raised alarm over the unregistered two million drug sellers in the country.

The communique, signed by the President, PSN, Prof. Cyril Usifoh, and National Secretary, Mr Garfa Madehin, noted that the conference was held between October 30 and November 4 at Gombe International Conference Centre, Bauchi Road, Gombe State, Nigeria.

“The conference called for the probe of corruption against some of the CEOs of the FHIs, whom empirical data confirms, indulge in the procurement of drugs through their proxies in addition to diverting Drug Revolving Funds accruable to identifiable bank accounts that are not official accounts in their institutions.

“The conference called for a special retreat to resuscitate GRF by bringing together the HODs of Pharmacy and the CEOs of all the FHIs with a caveat to mandate the PSN National Executive Council to sponsor the same if the Federal Ministry of Health is interested in such collaboration,” the communique read.

The PSN also warned that the mortality rate in the health system would surpass the all-time high of 10.8 per cent recorded in 1998 if the funding of the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria was neglected.

It read, “The conference highlighted the unfavourable status quo of over two million unregistered drug sellers, 35 open markets, fake drug syndrome with a high incidence rate of 16 per cent  to 48 per cent  based on various national and international studies in the last 25 years, the unacceptably high rate of drug abuse involving the use of narcotics and controlled drugs even when the government embarks on what has always been described as insufficient funding of agencies involved with drug distribution in Nigeria.”

The PSN, in the communique, called for proactiveness in dealing with emerging diseases and also appealed to the Federal Government to fund research-based pharmacists in pharmaceutical institutions.

“The conference called for proactiveness in dealing with emerging diseases, including Lassa fever, Ebola, coronavirus, Monkeypox, Buruli ulcer, diphtheria, and other related diseases.

“The conference encouraged government at all levels to make funds available to research-based pharmacists in research institutes, drug research and production units, centre for drug discovery and the pharmacy schools to identify, research, and produce drugs of choice for use in our peculiar environment. This is the only way to actualise the concept of universal health coverage with pharmacists as the pivotal point persons,” it added.


Wednesday 29 November 2023

Crooked Judicial Officers To Be Punished Over Controversial Kano Gov'ship Judgement

Crooked Judicial Officers To Be Punished Over Controversial Kano Gov'ship Judgement


The National Judicial Council (NJC) is set to investigate the issues surrounding the certified true copy (CTC) of the Kano State governorship election appeal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

Officials of the NJC disclosed this yesterday during a visit to the headquarters of the Media Trust Ltd in Abuja.

There has been confusion and widespread condemnation of the CTC of the judgment of the Friday, November 17 judgment of the appellate court which sacked Governor Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Yusuf Gawuna on the ground of not being a member of the party.

However, the Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Umar Mohammed Bangari, in a statement on Wednesday, November 17 admitted clerical errors in the document, while insisting that the court’s judgment remains valid.

But speaking with Daily Trust, the leader of the delegation disclosed that petitions have been received, adding that the council will treat them according to the rules.

“The petitions that have been written would not be taken immediately, they would have to go through the preliminary complaint assessment, those people would look at it, then send to the plenary, then plenary would look at it and they would set up a committee to look into and the judge and the petitioner would come with their lawyers,” he said.

The senior official said although counsel to Governor Yusuf had opted to make the CTC part of the subjects of the appeal before the Supreme Court that would not prevent the NJC’s investigation.

FG: Airlines Must Pay Compensation For Delayed, Cancelled Flights

FG: Airlines Must Pay Compensation For Delayed, Cancelled Flights


The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, defaulting airlines must pay compensations for flight cancelations and delays.

He said this in Abuja yesterday during a meeting with the heads of agencies under the ministry.

“We are not deaf to the cries of Nigerians about delays and canceled flights. The law is there and we are looking at how to enforce those laws for compensation of Nigerians who bear the brunt of cancellation of flights and disrupting the activities.

“The process of grounding the airline or taking the airlines to court will create more problems. So if the reason for the delay and cancellation of flight is their fault they must pay compensation. And what I am suggesting is that if they don’t get cash back they must get some rebate when they buy next ticket.

“I have set up a committee to look into it such that they can generate a code that they can use when they want to purchase the next ticket.

“We are concerned about the passenger satisfaction and the safety of the air travelers,” he said. The minister directed the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to prepare a weekly catalogue of canceled flights.

He also directed the Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau to conclude all incidents of air accidents and mishaps in the next 10 days.

He said: “For the recent incidents that happened recently, some minor, and others classified as serious incidents although there were no fatalities. The NSIB is investigating these incidents and I have directed them that within 10 days from today they must submit their report of the incidents and what actually transpired.