The atmosphere was thick with despair and silent weeping yesterday at the homes of pupils and others who died in the collapsed building at Ita-Faji, Lagos Island on Wednesday. Many appeared to have accepted their fates and had already started burying their children amidst tears. Parents, relatives and sympathisers were too distraught to comment on the tragic incident. Some of them seemed hostile, especially towards journalists. Many of them declined to speak on the incident. Those who managed to speak broke up in mid-sentence, giving way to tears.
This was the reflection of what was happening at No 1, Faji Street, which is about 30 metres away from the scene of the incident. In this particular family, three of their children, Basit, Ayomide, and Mubarak, were involved in the tragic incident. According to residents, Basit died shortly after he was rushed to the hospital. As at the time of filling this report, the family members were making frantic efforts to save the lives of the remaining children. A resident, who simply identified herself as Iya Segun blamed the state government for the collapse of the building. She said:
“The building had been marked for demolition over three times, but the agency refused to do anything on it until it eventually collapsed. We heard that officials of building agencies took bribes from owners of the structure and other distressed buildings around the area.”
Iya Segun, who was fuming over many issues, also blamed health workers for the death of a lad. She said: “Most of the children rescued were abandoned in the hospital and left to die. The victims at Massey Children Hospital survived, but those taken to General Hospital died.” Iya Segun explained that Basit was alive when he was brought out from the rubble. “We ran after the ambulance that conveyed him to the General Hospital. Both his father and I were denied access to him. We were not comfortable with the kind of treatment given to him. “Perhaps if they had allowed his father to take him to a private hospital, he would not have died. But Basit eventually died. He was buried this morning according to Islamic rites,” Iya Segun said while crying profusely.
Also narrating her own ordeal, Mrs. Nafisat Adejumo said her sister’s son,Mubarak Olayinka, nine, sustained severe head injury in the incident. According to her, medical workers at the General Hospital only gave analgesic for such a severe injury. She added: “As we speak, Mubarak has been taken to General Hospital in Ikorodu. We were asked to look for money for the X-ray. We don’t know how to get that kind of money. Mubarak is under the care of his grandmother. His mother died when he was still just an infant. “Most of the children wouldn’t have died if oxygen had been provided. Ambulance staff seemed to be too overwhelmed by the number of pupils gasping for breath when they were removed from the rubble.”
5 burnt to death,10 injured in Lagos-Ibadan Expressway crash
No fewer than five persons were on Friday burnt to death and 10 others sustained injuries in an accident involving a white Mazda bus at Onigaari, on Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Mr Clement Oladele, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), confirmed the incident to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abeokuta.
Oladele said that the accident which occurred around 8:49 a.m. was caused by speed and loss of control.
The sector commander said that the crash involved 18 passengers comprising 17 male adults and one female adult.
The FRSC boss said that 10 males sustained injuries from the crash while five of the passengers comprising of four males and one female died from the crash.
“The lone crash involved a commercial bus that travelled all the way from Sokoto State but stopped briefly in Ibadan to pick other passengers.
“The white coloured Mazda bus with registration number WWD 302 CB, was heading to Lagos before it lost control at Onigaari due to speed and collided with the road median and upturn,” he said.
Oladele said that the injured victims were taken to Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, while the dead bodies were deposited at the mortuary of the same hospital.
The sector commander reminded motorists of the need to drive cautiously on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, saying the road was still undergoing rehabilitation.
Oladele said that the recommended speed at construction areas was 50 kilometres per hour.
25 LAUTECH students arrested for Internet fraud
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested 25 students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Oyo State, for alleged fraud.
The students were apprehended by the Advance Fee Fraud Unit of the EFCC, Abuja Headquarters, for alleged involvement in various forms of cybercrime.
Their alleged offences include romance scam, love scam, possession of forged documents, and obtaining money by false pretence.
Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, who made the disclosure in a statement yesterday, said the suspects were apprehended upon intelligence report of their alleged suspicious activities.
According to Uwujaren, the arrests followed a three-day raid operation at the students’ off-campus hostels.
He said: “The students, who are aged between 18 and 29 years old, were arrested at their off-campus hostels, following a three-day raid carried out between September 16 and 19, 2019. Operatives acted on intelligence report, which was investigated using sophisticated equipment.”
Uwujaren gave the names of the suspects as Pelumi Adigun (18), Umaru Frederick (21), Damilola Emmanuel (22), Tomiwa Oyewole (29), Adeleke Owolabi (24), Oladosu Abdullahi (23), Abdulmusaq Ismail (25), Isajimi Joshua (23), Olaniyan Tunde (22) and Ebosele Francis (28).
Others include Oladejo Ibrahim (26), Oluwadamilare Abimbola (25), Orimoloye Joshua (23), Alfred Samuel (22), Bayewu Ishola (23), Abiola Gbenga (25), Alfred Daniel (20), Agboola Solomon (21), Arolewola Damilola (25) and Amoo Tunmise (23).
The remaining are Akeem Taiwo (25), Segun Ajibola (25), Hassan Segun (24), Onicha Joel (23) and Tafa Bassit (25).
Uwujaren said in the course of executing the search, Ismail, who confessed to being involved in internet fraud, took operatives round hostels, leading to the arrest of many of the culprits.
He added: “Some of the suspects, who jumped over the fence to escape arrest, were nabbed in the process.
“Some of the items recovered from them, which are believed to be the proceeds of their illegal activities online, include a 4matic Benz, a Toyota Camry, a Toyota Corolla, two Macbook computers, two iPads, two iPhones and many other documents, which will be subjected to forensic analysis.”
The EFCC spokesman said the suspects would soon be charged to court.
Flood: Be ready to vacate your homes, Lagos tells residents
Lagos State government yesterday warned residents of flood-prone areas to be ready to vacate their homes for safety reasons.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, and the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, who gave the warning, said flooding could not be completely eradicated in the state owing to its geographical location.
This was as some residents in areas like Itire, Idi-Araba, Obafemi Awolowo Way in Ikeja called on government to urgently intervene in the persistent flooding in their communities.
The residents said their properties and lives were constantly being threatened by flood.
But Bello and Igbokwe allayed fear on the intense downpour, saying measures were already in place to address the challenges posed by incessant rainfall as witnessed in the state in the last three days.
They said efforts were being made to continue to clean and maintain the drainage channels.
Residents and commuters at Itire, especially those close to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, are usually threatened by rainfall.
But allaying their fear, Bello and Igbokwe said residents should be assured that irrespective of the volume of the rainfall, it would flow through the drains to discharge into the various channels.
Bello said that while relevant government agencies were on red alert for any unforeseen incident, residents must be vigilant and promptly report cases of indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drainage channels and unauthorised places as well as other incidents of drainage blockage to the relevant agencies.
The commissioner also advised Lagosians to be safety conscious during this period, urging them to take some safety measures such as to avoid going out during the rains except when absolutely necessary and be conscious when driving and not over-speed.
On his part, Igbokwe advised Lagosians to remain calm and not panic as the rainfall currently being experienced in the state was a natural outcome of climate change and had been predicted by the Nigerian Metrological Services (NIMET).
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Mrs. Idowu Mohammed, has affirmed the readiness of the agency to implement all the relevant laws aimed at achieving a cleaner, hygienic, aesthetically respondent environment through total conformity in line with the Lagos State Environmental Protection Law 2017.
She said that part of the function of LAGESC was to monitor and maintain surveillances along the highway, streets and public amenities as well as to report regularly any breach of the provisions of the Environmental Laws to the appropriate enforcement authorities.
Mohammed added that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was passionate about the safety of lives and cleanliness of environment.
Hence, he directed the LAGESC officials reposed with the mandate to effectively clamp down on all violators of environmental sanitation laws in the state to adequately protect the lives and the environment at large.
The executive secretary also emphasised the risks associated with neglecting the use of pedestrian bridges.
This, according to her, impedes free flow of traffic as well as unnecessary loss of lives as a result of hit-and-run by the motorists.
Mohammed noted that the distance from the pedestrian bridges where arrests could be made by LAGESC officers against erring pedestrians crossing the highway was pegged at 200 metres.
Two phone snatchers nabbed in Niger
Police have apprehended two men for specialising in snatching mobile phones from unsuspecting members of the public in Minna, Niger State.
The suspects, Yusuf Ibrahim (32), who lives behind Central Mosque, Minna and Abbas Sabiu (20) of Angwan Daji area, Minna, were arrested by policemen from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) while on surveillance around Obasanjo Shopping Complex and Kasuwan Gwari.
It was learnt yesterday that the suspects had snatched two phones from Zulkibulu of Kasuwan Gwari and Musa Badamasi of Dutsen-kura Hausa, Minna.
The suspects earned their living by dispossessing innocent members of the public of their handsets and other valuables.
The suspects, according to the police, used dangerous weapons while operating.
One of the suspects, Ibrahim, their victims hardly refused to surrender their phones on a lonely road knowing that nobody would come to their rescue.
He said: “They always give us their phones without stress and quietly walk away from us.
“We have been in this act for more than two years, and we have been succeeding in snatching people’s phones and selling them at giveaway prices.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muhammad Abubakar, said the suspects confessed to the crime.
Abubakar said the operatives recovered from them, one Vivo handset and one Itel phone.
He added that the matter would be charged to court soon.
Ekiti: Mother, two children, die after amala meal
A mother and her two children have died after eating yam flour (amala) at Odo-Ayedun Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The head of the family was rushed to the hospital where doctors were still battling to save his life.
But the family’s two dogs who ate out of the meal also died.
The lawmaker representing Ikole Constituency 2 in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Steven Aribasoye, disclosed this yesterday to journalists.
Aribasoye, who had earlier raised the issue at the plenary of the House where he called for sympathy and investigation into the matter, explained that the flour, which was procured by the husband, was prepared by his wife on Saturday and was served as dinner for the family.
He added that after eating the meal, the mother and her two children complained of stomach ache but died one after the other while the father was currently at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti.
According to him, the cause of the incident is still unknown as members of the community are still in shock.
Aribasoye, however, lamented the poor state of health facilities in the community.
The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, condoled with Aribasoye and the entire people of his constituency for the tragic incident.
Afuye ordered the House Committee on Health to begin investigation into the matter.
Wife arraigned for taking husband’s photograph without permission
A 33-year-old woman, Adeola Anofojie, was yesterday arraigned before an Ogudu Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos for allegedly taking photographs of her husband without his permission.
Adeola is facing charges of causing breach of peace and disorderliness.
The police prosecutor, Inspector Donjour Perezi, said that the defendant committed the offences on May 23 on the court premises.
Perezi told the court that Adeola, who had sued her husband, Alexander Anofojie, for a different matter, on May 23, instructed a man, Akinola Olusegun, to take the pictures of Anofojie on the court premises.
The prosecutor, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the offences contravened Sections 168 (1) (d) and 412 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).
Section 168(2) stipulates a fine of N15,000 for the first offender and N40,000 for subsequent offences., while disorderliness attracts a three-month jail term for an offender.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Chief Magistrate, Ejiro Kubeinje, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Kubeinje said that one of the sureties must be a clergyman, a community leader or a traditional title holder.
He adjourned the case till October 2 for mention.
Man drugs, robs victim, jailed 44 months
An Oredo Magistrates’ Court sitting in Benin, Edo State has sentenced a 39-year-old man, David Onyema, to 44 months imprisonment for drugging and robbing a man, Egbon Omonigho Khalim.
Onyema d had pleaded guilty to the two-count charge levelled against him in court.
He was found guilty of causing harm through drug and stealing.
The convict met Khalim at the Iyare Motor Park located on busy Iyaro area of Benin on May 25, 2019.
Onyema posed as a good friend and in the process of their meeting for the first time, gave Khalim food laced with drugs and stole his property.
The police prosecutor, Patrick Agbonifo, told the court that the convict pretended to make friends with Khalim and gave him food laced with drugs.
Agbonifo said Khalim fell asleep and Onyema stole his belongings worth N715,000.
He said the offences were punishable under Sections 337 and 390 of the Criminal Code, Vol II, Laws of the defunct Bendel State now applicable to Edo State.
The magistrate, I. A. Osayande, sentenced Onyema to 44 months imprisonment without an option of fine.
Bandits kill deputy Imam of Sokoto community
Gunmen have attacked Dantasakko community in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State and killed the Deputy Imam of the town’s Central Mosque, Malam Isa Labaran.
The sole administrator of the local government, Alhaji Jelani Danbuga, confirmed the incident.
He said the gunmen, who rode on motorcycles, stormed the village in the late hours of Wednesday with dangerous weapons and forced the villagers to flee to nearby river for safety.
Danbuga also said a Nigerian soldier, who was reported missing during an encounter with bandits last Monday in Sabon Birni Local Government Area, had been found.
The sole administrator said the soldier was found to be psychologically traumatised but physically healthy.
Danbuga said he could not give the actual number of those killed.
He, however, said that following the recent attack, a team of armed soldiers had been drafted to the area to provide security.
The sole administrator added that the bandits, who were said to be part of the earlier negotiations, stormed the village in hundreds and went straight to the deputy Imam’s house, said to be the commandant of the vigilantes in the community, and shot him dead.
He said the state government had secured from the 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto, the deployment of 100 armed soldiers with motorcycles and personnel carriers to the area.
Danbuga said since the signing of peace agreement in Zamfara and Katsina states with the bandits, villages in the eastern part of Sabon Birni Local Government Area had not known peace owing to incessant attacks.
The sole administrator said the only solution to remedy the situation was the construction of a road from Gurbin Baure in Zamfara State to Sabon Birni with an established permanent Army base in the area.
According to him, the bandits are not ready for peace with the Sokoto State government, considering their constant attacks.
He said the bandits used the area to lunch attacks and escape through the thick forest in Zamfara and Katsina states.
Danbuga said, the bandits have been operating without hindrance in all villages in eastern Sabon Birni Local Government for a long time.
He, however, said that with the recent deployment of armed soldiers, farmers were able to harvest their crops.
He called on the Federal Government to immediately construct a road that will link the area with Zamfara State to provide access for military and police vehicles in the event of attack.
He said the area was densely forested and could only be assessed by motorcycles which gave the bandits room to operate as such the soldiers should also be supplied with motorcycles.
Help! I’m in pains, cries man shot by policeman
CP: We’ll investigate
What happens when a law enforcement officer paid to protect lives and property turns his gun against a tax payer?
That is the puzzle a welder and resident of Lugbe, a suburb of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Obi Etuk, is trying to solve, as he writhes in pain at the Trauma Centre of the National Hospital in Abuja.
Etuk’s is just one of the many cases of abuse of privilege by some police personnel across the country, many of whom have been punished by authorities.
Tuesday, September 3, seemed like a normal day for the welder, until the shooting incident that now threatens his life.
Speaking with New Telegraph on his sick bed, Etuk narrated how a gun-wielding policeman, whom he could not identify, trailed and shot him right in front of his shop.
Etuk claimed that the shooting was witnessed by some neighbours, who were not available to corroborate the claim.
Coincidentally, the incident occurred on the day riot mobile policemen were deployed to frustrate attempts by some protesters to attack Shoprite in Lugbe, in the wake of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
He said: “I’m staying on Airport Road in Lugbe. I’m a welder. A customer called me on Tuesday September 3, to come and collect money. So, when I got to his shop, the man did transfer the money to me. I was sitting by the side of my shop with my friends when I decided to go to the market, to buy the materials needed for the job.
“As soon as I got to the junction where to board a cab, I heard a gunshot, and I saw people running. In the ensuing commotion, I decided to return to my shop. As I was returning to the shop, I saw a policeman following me. As I entered the fence through the right hand side, the policeman was still following me.
“I stood by the side of my shop, as people were still passing to know what the policeman was up to. The next thing that followed was a gunshot on my left leg, and as I was trying to hold the leg, the policeman also shot my right leg.
“As a result of the gunshot I couldn’t move anymore I fell down, and people started running towards me and some neighbours came around and offered to carry me. They took me to the roadside in a wheelbarrow. Even by the roadside where I was, I was still hearing gunshots.
“That was how they brought me to the hospital, where I am receiving treatment. I was immediately placed on blood transfusion, which saved my life.”
Asked what may have led to the shooting, he said: “I heard that some boys went to rob Shoprite at Lugbe. But I wondered why I was shot, because where it happened was my shop, and I did not carry any weapon on me, not even at the Shoprite venue where the police claimed some people went to rob.
“The unfortunate incident occurred about 2p.m. on that Tuesday. My shop to Shoprite is a long distance.”
On what his demand was, as a result of the incident, he said: “I want government to identify the policeman and bring him to justice. Even as I speak with you now I can’t identify the policeman.”
However, Etuk commended the management of the hospital for not insisting on police report, before treating him.
Meanwhile, the National Hospital said it had complied with the directives by the Federal Government on gunshot cases.
The spokesperson for the hospital, Dr. Tayo Haastrop, who spoke with our correspondent during the visit to the facility, enjoined the patient’s family to report the case to the authorities of the police, for assessment and action.
He said: “The victim’s relatives should be able to trace the policeman and make a report so that they can get justice for their brother.
“The family should make a report to the highest authority of the police for them to come and assess the situation. We have complied with the Federal Government directives on gunshot incidents, to save lives.”
But the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Mr. Bala Ciroma, promised to get to the root of the matter.
He said: “I think you brought information to me. You should allow me verify.”
I was arrested while planning my wedding –Eiye leader
A 39-year-old suspected cultist, Ikechukwu Monye, has told the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Lagos that he was arrested while he was planning his wedding.
The suspect claimed he had no hands in the lingering cult war at Ilupeju area of Lagos State.
The suspected Eiye leader, who claimed to be a graduate of Yaba College of Technology, was being chased by the SARS operatives when a stray bullet from the police hit a sweeper, Francis Idum, on Monday, July 15, 2019 at Ajisegiri Street.
The state Commissioner of Police, Muazu Zubairu, in a statement after the incident, said his men went into the community where the victim was killed to restore normalcy over the lingering war between rival cult groups in the area.
Zubairu said his men moved into area when they got information about some of the armed cultists terrorising the residents of the area and its environs while Monye was fingered as the leader of Eiye confraternity at Ilupeju.
Monye was traced to Ilupeju where he was arrested.
The suspect told the police during investigation that he had renounced his membership of the cult group four years ago. Thereafter, he led a team of SARS operatives from Ladipo to Ilupeju, on August 15, to effect the arrest of those fomenting trouble in the area.
Briefing journalists recently over the killing of Idum, the National President, Path of Peace Initiative, Dandy Eze, described it as an act of callousness.
He explained that Idum was killed when he was going about his work at Ajisegiri Street, while the policemen were chasing some hoodlums.
A few minutes after Idum was killed, the policemen returned to the area in a Toyota Corolla with registration number TAB 725 AP, accompanied by a senior police officer from Area ‘F’ and took the victim’s body to mortuary without contacting his family.
Eze said after the policemen evacuated the corpse, residents of the area were able to pick the bullet shells used to by the policemen.
But Monye, who spoke with our correspondent, stated that there was no shootout between the police team and cultists when he led the team there.
He said: “I was arrested at Bode Thomas. But I told the police I had long renounced membership of Eiye. They went to my house to conduct a search but did not find any incriminating thing, except a scissors. From there, I led them to a place where cultists usually assemble at Ilupeju. By the time we got there, there were many of them (cultists) and the police had to withdraw, saying they were going for reinforcement.
“I was in the detention when I heard that someone was killed. But there was no shootout between the police and cultists when we visited. Some of the cultists even fled on sighting the police because they recognised the police team leader.
The suspect, who became emotional, wondered if he would still be in police custody when his pregnant wife-to-be is delivered of a baby.
He said: “Unfortunately, I was preparing for my wedding when I was picked by the police. It was true I was once a member of Eiye confraternity. But I’m no longer a member. I beg to be released, so as to go home to see my wife-to-be. I want to be there when my first child is born.
“I joined cultism at the age of 22, while I was a student of Yaba Technical College. I thought it was a gathering where we wore good clothes, party and club because that was all we were doing then. But when I discovered they wanted to start fighting, I renounced my membership. Then, I was the third in command. I never did anything dirty. When they noticed my quality, I was elected the secretary because I was intelligent. I did not even finish my tenure as the group’s secretary when I renounced my membership. It was after I left that they started fighting in the area.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Elkana Bala, confirmed Monye’s arrest.
Elkana said the suspect would be charged to court soon.
The PPRO added that detectives at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, were also investigating the incident that led to the death of Idum at Ilupeju.
Metro and Crime15 hours ago
I was arrested while planning my wedding –Eiye leader
News12 hours ago
Xenophobia: Low traffic from Nigeria hurts S’African Airways
Metro and Crime15 hours ago
Flood: Be ready to vacate your homes, Lagos tells residents
News24 hours ago
Ebonyi indigenes kick against Umahi’s planned airport
News12 hours ago
N-Delta Affairs’ Ministry: South-East youths seek Akpabio’s help for Abia, Imo
News13 hours ago
Lagos to flood-prone residents: Be ready to vacate your homes
Metro and Crime15 hours ago
Bandits kill deputy Imam of Sokoto community
Politics24 hours ago
Reconciliation: APC forms 39-man steering c’ttee for Adamawa