The absence of a defence lawyer, Mr Worer Ogbugbaka, Wednesday stalled the trial of a 30-year-old man, Chikere Paul Anobi, accused of defiling a six-year-old girl at his fiancée’s apartment.
Anobi is standing trial before Justice Sybil Nwaka of an Ikeja Special Offences and Domestic Violence Court, Lagos on a one-count of child defilement.
The defendant, a labourer, allegedly had sexual intercourse with the child when he visited his fiancée’s apartment on April 24, 2015.
According to the State Prosecutor, B.T. Boye, the defendant committed the offence at Abraham Bashida street, Olugunfe Ibeji, Ajah, Lagos.
However, proceedings could not go on as a result of the defence lawyer’s absence, despite the presence of the six-year-old victim, her mother and a medical doctor, who were in court to testify against Anobi.
Meanwhile, in her police statement, the victim said that Anobi comes to their compound regularly to visit his fiancée, one Aunty Sandra.
Auto dealers threaten to sue Customs CG, over shops’ closure
An auto dealers group has vowed to sue the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) Col. Hammed Alli (rtd), for illegally closing their offices and shops for almost two months.
Speaking at the a Joint Action Committee (JAC) meeting, at the weekend in Lagos, the Interim National Coordinator of the Professional Platform of Automobile, Amobi Moghalu, said that the group has tried everything possible to resolve the issue to no avail.
He added: “There is a lot that is wrong with the Nigerian Customs and Excise Department. We had thought, with the coming of the CG Hanmed Alli to the agency being a retired military man, that sanity would have been restored and that transparency would have become the benchmark upon which the activity of the customs will conducted. But, we have been disappointed.”
Moghalu added that the members have been pushed into poverty due to the closure of their businesses.
Also speaking, the Interim Secretary, Ben Chijioke said that suing the Customs is a last solution to their problem.
“It is not the first time out shops have been locked but it is time to say no. We are tired of feeding those who do not care for us. These cars came out of the port and were cleared by the agency; if there was a fraud they should ask their staffers and not shop owners.
They (Customs) can lock up a shop for a year without providing any reason for it at the end of the day and nobody will ask questions. We are always at the losing end at all times,” he stated.
Barrister Joe Eboigbe, who was also present at the meeting, told newsmen that suing the Customs is still within the law.
“I advise the Customs to solve the problem because they have already committed an error and suing them should be the last result,” he insisted.
Noise Pollution: Lagos goes tough on hotels, clubs, religious centres
The Lagos State Government Tuesday read the riot act to owners of hotels, night clubs, leisure homes and religious centres shut for noise pollution, saying that they must get guaranteed from the Residents Associations from their host communities before they would be reopened.
New Telegraph learnt that with the new development, any night clubs’ bar, karaoke centre, churches and mosques in the state shut down due to noise pollution will henceforth not be reopened until a letter of guarantee is issued on their behalf by the residents association of such area.
This is will be in addition to the other penalties and sanctions the shut centre must have gone through after the closure by the relevant agencies.
The government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, stated that the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has been mandated to apply the full weight of the law in this wise.
He added that on a continuous basis, LASEPA officials will be going round such centres/homes and anyone found to have exceeded the allowed level of sound output will be closed down and the appropriate sanctions applied.
He added that the action became imperative because his office has been inundated with complaints and petitions from many residents and residents associations all over the state about the obnoxious noise levels of many of the leisure centres and religious homes.
Lunatic breaks into school, burns 51 kids, 3 teachers with chemicals
A man scaled the wall of a school building in China and sprayed a corrosive substance on the kindergartners inside — burning 51 kids and three teachers, according to news reports.
The 23-year-old suspect, only identified by his surname, Kong, cut wires and climbed over a wall into the Dongcheng Kindergarten in Kaiyuan, Yunnan province, where he sprayed sodium hydroxide on children and staff around 3:30 p.m. Monday, the South China Morning Post reported.
About 40 minutes later, Kong — who authorities believe was acting alone — was taken into custody, according to the report. Local police believe he carried out the attack “as a revenge on society,” the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
The dozens of students and their teachers were taken to local hospitals — where two of the injuries are considered serious, but non-life-threatening, reports the New York Post.
Kong bought the caustic soda online, the Kaiyuan municipal government said in a statement obtained by the Morning Post.
Exposure to sodium hydroxide can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucous membrane, as well as an allergic reaction, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Eye and skin burns, as well as temporary hair loss, can also occur.
This isn’t the first time grade school students have been targeted in China in recent years.
Back in March, a kindergarten teacher in the eastern part of the country was arrested on charges of deliberately poisoning 23 students’ food with sodium nitrite.
In January, a 49-year-old former employee at a Beijing school injured 20 children with a hammer.
Last November, a car ploughed into a crowd of children outside a primary school in north-eastern China on Thursday, killing five people and injuring 18.
And in October 2018, a knife-wielding 39-year-old woman injured 14 children at a kindergarten in the western Chinese city of Chongqing.
Disaster averted as fire guts office at Niger Govt House
Disaster was averted on Tuesday when a section of the Niger State Government House, Minna was gutted by fire following a spark from an electrical fault.
The fire incident, which occurred around 12:30 pm at the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Government House that has been under renovation, was, however, swiftly put out by men of the state Fire Service.
However, it was learnt that, it took fire-fighters over 15 minutes to get to the Government House, by then the fire had already burnt most of the office equipment and sensitive documents beyond recognition.
Our Correspondent gathered that there is no single fire fighting truck stationed at the Government House, while it took personnel from the state Fire Service over 30 minutes to bring the situation under control.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mrs Mary Noel Berje, in a statement, hailed men of the state Fire Service who mobilised three fire fighting trucks to the scene within 15 minutes of the fire outbreak.
Buhari, APC, Lawan mourn passage of Tam David-West
- Buhari, Lawan, others mourn
Renowned Professor of Virology and former Minister of Petroleum in the administration of President Ibrahim Babangida, Tam David-West, is dead. He was aged 83.
Confirming his death, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University College Hospital (UCH), where the social commentator breathed his last, Mr. Toye Akinrinlola, told New Telegraph yesterday that the don died at exactly 11.05a.m.
He said: “Professor Tam David-West was brought in here over a week ago and was admitted to the private suite of this hospital. He died at 11.05a.m. today (yesterday).”
The remains of the former minister have been deposited at the hospital’s morgue.
It was learnt that David-West lived in a hotel until his death.
A family member, who took the deceased to the hospital, spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity.
He said: “We took Baba to UCH precisely 11 days ago. The deceased had spent 11 days at UCH before he breathed his last. He was rushed to UCH when he fell sick. His children are already on their way to Ibadan.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have expressed sadness over David-West’s demise.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said David-West was a man he usually “calls the indomitable”.
Buhari said David-West was a consultant virologist of national and international standing.
“He served as Commissioner for Education in the old Rivers State, Minister of Petroleum and Energy under the Muhammadu Buhari military regime, and Minister of Mines, Power and Steel under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime.
“He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own,” Buhari said.
The President commiserated with the David-West family, the people of Buguma, Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, the academic and all those who loved “the forthright Tam David-West.”
In a statement by Ola Awoniyi, Special Adviser to the President of the Senate on Media and Publicity, Lawan said David-West contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria as a teacher and political office holder.
He said: “Professor Tam David-West was a vocal social critic who lived what he preached and never compromised his principles all through his lifetime.”
Lawan said that David-West would be missed for his deep and frank analysis of social challenges.
Also, Omo-Agege said David-West was a great patriot Nigeria had.
He said: “Even now that he has passed on to eternal realms, Professor Tamunoemi Sokari David-West will forever be remembered as a great patriot and intellectual of formidable standing at home and abroad.”
APC mourned David-West in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu,.
“Indeed, Nigeria has lost a progressive voice and social critic who spoke truth to power. An erudite scholar, the late Tam David-West always held our leaders to account on issues of good governance.
“We recall his strong advocacy for oil sector reforms, particularly the passage of a mutually-beneficial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), fixing moribund refineries and ending the fuel subsidy racket that was a drain pipe on the country’s resources before the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“While the death of the late patriot is painful and a sad loss, we take solace with the fact that he lived an accomplished and impactful life. In death, we remember and celebrate a man who served the country diligently and championed the cause of the poor and underprivileged.”
“The party condoles with the late Tam David-West family members, friends, colleagues, the people and government of Rivers State. We pray the Almighty God gives them the strength to bear the loss,” the party said.
Camera nails policeman collecting N15,000 bribe
Police on Sunday announced that they had arrested a mobile policeman, Sergeant Onuh Makedomu, caught on a viral video, demanding N15,000 from a motorist.
Makedomu did not only collect N15,000 from the driver, but also begged him to tell other policemen on the road with him, that it was only N5,000, he collected from him.
The police hierarchy has identified him as a non-commissioned officer, with Force No 431625, Makedomu, attached to 49 PMF, but presently on special duty with the Safer Highways Patrol, in Lagos State.
In the four minute-video, Makedomu pretended to be calling another policeman, after which he told the motorist, who was secretly video-recording the transaction, that the person he just called would collect N10,000 out of the N15,000. He urged the driver to make the money N20,000.
The driver responded: “Oga, I can’t lie to you, please consider me. How much am I collecting? Please just consider me. I have been begging you for over 30 minutes, we are going somewhere. I begged you for N5,000, before making it N15,000.”
Beginning to thaw, Makedomu said: “Start driving, but not too fast. I know that you borrowed this money. I have already called that man; what I’m telling you now is a secret. I have been telling you to complete it, but you didn’t. You’ll remove N10,000 from that money and give me, you hold N5,000. When you get to where my colleagues are, if they ask you, tell them that it was N5,000 you gave me.”
The driver, in compliance with Makedomu’s directives, shared the money into two and handed N10,000 to the policeman.
Makedomu later made another call, saying: “What are we going to do about this guy? He has been begging seriously. He has no money. It was his boss that is behind, that he went to speak with, that gave him money.”
He said, “all right’ and then hung up. After a while, he got out of the car.
The video was later uploaded on the Internet and had been shared several times.
The Force, reacting to the video on its twitter handle, said: “The police officer caught on video collecting bribe from an innocent Nigerian has since been identified and arrested. The non-commissioned officer, Force No. 431625, Sergeant Onuh Makedomu, attached to 49 PMF, but presently on special duty with the Safer Highways Patrol, Lagos is currently undergoing Orderly Room trial on a two-count charge of Discreditable Conduct and Corrupt Practices at the Provost Department of the Lagos State Police Command.
“Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, IGP M. A. Adamu, has enjoined the good citizen, who courageously brought the inglorious act of the officer to the public domain, to meet with the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Lagos State Command, to recover the money extorted from him by the delinquent officer.”
Explosion rocks Lagos as vandals breach fuel pipeline
Lagos was saved from another tragedy as an explosion occurred yesterday when some vandals raptured a pipeline at the Ipaja area of Lagos.
The explosion, which occurred about 2a.m. behind Honeyland School, Abesan Estate, Ipaja, threw the whole community into panic.
The explosion occurred when the vandals’ truck came in contact with an electric pole which ignited fire.
The vandals were there with two tankers, two buses and several jerry cans to siphon fuel.
It was learnt that the oil thieves took advantage of the public holiday yesterday, believing that the policemen stationed in the area would not be around.
When our correspondent visited the scene, one of the tankers was still burning while several burnt jerry cans littered the ground.
A resident, Mr. Abayomi Idowu, whose house is close to the pipeline, said it was not the first time such incident had occurred in area.
He said: “I was about to sleep when the vandals brought the two trucks and the buses. When I saw them I thought they were refused collectors, but I couldn’t come out at that time of the night for fear of being attacked.
“A few hours later, I saw one of the trucks and the two buses moving out of the community. The next thing I heard was a loud explosion from the pipeline area, followed by fire. I immediately called the fire fighters’ emergency number but they couldn’t come at that time of the night.
“Our fear is that the fire might spread to some houses. But luckily for us, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and the state Fire Service arrived to combat the fire.”
Another resident, Mr. Ibidapo Adejumo, told our correspondent that three vehicles were completely burnt.
He said: “Thank God no life is lost in the explosion. It took the quick intervention of the firefighters to put out the fire. Government should take decisive action against the vandals, because the last time it was in Ijegun now it is in our own turn.”
The Director-General (DG), Femi Oke- Osanyintolu, said following the alert of the explosion, the agency’s Dolphin Squad, Lagos West (Ipaja/Ogando) was drafted to the scene about 8.15a.m.
According to him, when LASEMA officials got to the scene, they learnt that a tanker conveying stolen petroleum product from a vandalised pipeline came in contact with an electric pole which resulted into a fire outbreak.
He said: “No casualties were recorded; no any injuries were also recorded as residents of the area supported the agency to control the fire.
“On arrival at the scene, the residents readily gave way for the combined response team of LASEMA and Lagos Fire Service to perform their duties.
“We were able to put out the fire, while the blanketing process of the entire area began. We are also conducting a post-disaster assessment of the area.”
Meanwhile, those on ground were officials of LASEMA, policemen, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), as well as officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC).
The agencies were helping in the trans-loading/recovery of the remaining Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol in the tanker of the vandals.
The rescue and recovery operations were still ongoing at press time.
Boko Haram frees Winners’ pastor, teenage girl
A pastor of the Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapel, Moses Oyeleke, who was abducted by Boko Haram members on Bama Road while on his way to Chibok early this year, has regained his freedom.
Oyeleke regained his freedom alongside a 14-year-old girl, Ndagilaya Ibrahim, who was kidnapped at her village in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
The state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Kafafur, who received the victims at the Government House, Maiduguri, yesterday, expressed government’s appreciation to the Kaltum Foundation for securing the release of the pastor and the teenage girl.
He said: “We welcome you back home. Borno State government will ensure that you are well taken care of.
“The Borno State government will continue to partner with Kaltum Foundation and other partners to ensure peace is fully restored back to the state. We will continue to dialogue until peace is completely restored.”
Also speaking in an interview with journalists at the Government House, Maiduguri, the facilitator of the released, Kalthum Umar Rabiu, said their release was as a result of hectic and long process.
He said: “Thank God today they have been release. We are following it step by step. Our first concern is to secure the release of all those in their captivity. Then, we will continue to dialogue with them until peace is fully restored.”
When asked whether ransom was paid or not, Rabiu said “we have not paid any ransom, but a continued dialogue. I thank all Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), security agencies and other stakeholders that in one way or the other helped in the success of their release”.
Speaking shortly after he was reunited with his family, Oyeleke expressed appreciation to God.
He said: “I am highly elated, because we came out from darkness to light. I am here in the midst of my friends and family. I am happy because I have been finally reunited with my family and friends.
“I thank Almighty God, the Borno State government, the security agencies, NGOs and all those that contributed and prayed for our release.”
Oyeleke also narrated his ordeal.
He said: “We were abducted on our way to Chibok, a few metres away from the filling station near Bama Bridge, from where they took us into Sambiza forest.
“We were abducted alongside with my colleague who is still in custody of the Boko Haram though they promised to release him and the sister of this girl (Ndagilaya). We really thank God Almighty, the Kaltum Foundation, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Borno State government, media and all other people that contributed to our release in one way or the other.
“They treated me with care. They were preaching to me on a daily basis and even asked me to join Islam. I kept on fasting and praying for my release. I thank God and all those who have been praying for my release. I am really happy and appreciative to all.”
Also narrating her ordeal, Ibrahim said she and her elder sister were abducted eight months ago, but her sister was still in captivity but I pray that she too get her freedom soon.
She said: “I was in school in our village before our abduction by the Boko Haram insurgents. We thank God for our release. I thank Borno State government, Kalthum Foundation, NGOs and all those that worked for out release.”
Lagos community groans over five-month blackout, seeks NERC’s intervention
Residents of Abule Taylor, Lagos have appealed to the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Abuja, to intervene in the five months power blackout in the area.
The residents under the Alhaji Onokhua DT Substation in Akowonjo Business Unit accused the management of Ikeja Electric Distribution Company of refusing to restore the refurbished transformer at Abule Taylor.
The Chairman, Community Development Area (CDA) of Abule Taylor, Dr. Victor Omodara, said in a statement that the management of Ikeja Electric Distribution Company had intentionally kept the residents of the area in darkness for five months.
This, according to Omodara, is against the rules and regulations guiding the operations of the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in the country.
The chairman explained that the community had been without electricity supply since May, owing to faulty transformer.
According to him, the refurbished Alhaji Onokhua distribution transformer was taken away by Ikeja Electric on May 26 with the intention of fixing it back, only for them to receive a notice of list of debtors from the management of electric company.
He said the residents were told to pay two months’ cumulative bills each (called 1+1 policy) before a new transformer would be given to them.
Omodara added that because of the list of debtors, the firm held several meetings with residents and an agreement was reached on how to collect the debt.
But instead of the Ikeja Electric Distribution Company to return the repaired transformer, it refused all appeals from the CDA.
This, according to Omodara, has resulted to innocent customers to remain in perpetual darkness.
He said: “We appeal to the regulatory body, NERC, to please intervene in this matter and give us the protection we duly deserve because Ikeja Electric has a service agreement with all its customers and they cannot be the accuser and the judge in their own case.
“Our refurbished Alhaji Onokhua distribution transformer under Abule Taylor in Akowonjo Business Unit got faulty and it was taken away by Ikeja Electric on May 26, 2019…
“Five months down the line, the response has not been encouraging because of distrust. But the CDA has not relented in encouraging them to settle their electricity bills.”
“The crux of the matter is those of us who are using prepaid meters (about half the population of Ikeja Electric customers) are being punished unnecessarily even in spite of the various appeals made to Ikeja Electric top management.
“Ikeja Electric management has told us, the prepaid meter users, that if takes the debtors one or two years to pay the stated two months bills, the entire community will remain in darkness. This is the dilemma. How can those of us who do not owe are made to suffer such injustice?”
Gunmen kill NNPC mega station’s security guard
Armed robbers yesterday killed a security guard attached to one of the mega stations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Akure, Ondo State.
The guard, identified as Moses, was said to be sleeping when the armed men stormed the filling station in the early hours yesterday.
The incident occurred at Onyearugbulem Junction, Shagari Village area within the metropolis.
Sources said the armed robbers initially attacked Moses with a machete before they shot him dead.
One of the sources, an attendant in the filling station, said the amount of money the robbers stole was yet to be ascertained.
The attendant also said that the robbers destroyed the CCTV camera attached to the filling station alongside other property.
He said: “We just came to work as usual this morning, only for us to see that some people have burgled our filling station by forcibly gaining entrance.
“We also noticed blood by the side of the station and saw the security guard (Moses) already dead and with his touch light, so, we quickly raised the alarm.
“The robbers broke the office of the manager and destroyed the things inside. While looking for money, they ransacked everywhere in the office.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, said that investigations had begun to unravel those behind the crime.
Meanwhile, policemen from the Homicide Department have evacuated the victim’s body to the State Specialists Hospital in Akure.
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