Floods occasioned by heavy rainfall that began from Wednesday afternoon till evening wreaked havoc in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, leaving traders and residents in the city counting their losses with eyes filled with tears. The flood sacked most residents from their homes around the Ndiegoro, Eziukwu, Aba-Ukwu and Uratta, while traders at the Ariaria International Market, Ahia-Ohuru, Eziukwu Market and Eke-Oha (shopping centre) lost goods worth millions. The rain got traders trapped in their shops at the Ariaria International Market on Wednesday while trying to secure their good with their efforts, however ending in futility.
They resumed for the day’s trade on Thursday morning with painful evacuation exercise which has to do with the goods they spent huge amount of funds to bring in. Most of them who left before or during the rain found their shops in a pool of water, with most of their goods either floating or totally destroyed. Some traders who deal in cosmetics at B-line particularly the weave-on line were moved to tears as flood soaked their shops which were packed full with the product. All efforts made to reach the leadership of the markets failed as at the time of filing this report, but some of the traders said the extent of damage cannot exactly be quantified in monetary terms, as the the losses came individually which makes it difficult to ascertain.
They however said that if what is being sold from A-Line, B-Line and other major areas in Ariaria, Ahia-Ohuru, Eziukwu and Eke- Oha are to be considered then, one should be talking about hundreds of millions. Mr. Onyema Promise, a medicine dealer told Saturday Telegraph that he lost goods worth millions which has put him in a serious mess.
Promise who was still evacuating and cleaning his shop as at the time our correspondent spoke to him lamented that everyone in their line is angry and blamed the situation on the company handling the project who has failed to do the right thing. “Anytime there is heavy downpour in Aba, this place is a problem. We all lost huge amount of money here. I can’t even estimate what I lost until I’m through, but it is above a million. “A friend of mine called Onyekachi lost huge number of packet shirts he just brought. My neighbour here, Uncle Joe Isiguzo, lost over N2,000, 000 including others that are too numerous to mention.
“Honestly people are suffering here. It will take us up to two weeks to clean up this place. I don’t actually blame the government. “It’s the company that is not doing its job well. The governor has good intentions by bringing back company they thought will do well, but they are not trying at all.” Mr. Ugochukwu Agu, a trader at B-LINE, narrated how he lost almost everything he had in his shop filled with weave-on.
“Honestly, I lost a lot. My whole shops were destroyed. I’m not happy and I can’t speak too much my brother. The pain is too much as I just filled my shops with goods.” Meanwhile, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) called on the governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senator representing Abia South and Hon. Ossy Prestige, member representing Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency, to come to the aid of the traders.
COSEYL in a statement issued by its President General, Chief Goodluck Egwu Ibem, sympathized with traders in Ahia-Ohuru, Ariaria and Eziukwu markets over the destruction of their goods by flood. “We call on the state government and the market authorities to as a matter of urgency clear the refuse that has blocked the drainage channels inside the market like Ahia- Ohuru which led to the unfortunate incident. “We also call on the state governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the member representing Aba north and south federal constituent Hon. Ossy prestige, Senator representing Abia south senatorial zone Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Nma Aha Ndigbo) and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of this traders.”
Fulani herdsmen threaten court action over Oyo’s anti-grazing bill
Hundreds of Fulani herdsmen from various parts of Oyo State Wednesday converged on Igangan, an agrarian community in Ibarapa North Local Government area, resolving to employ legal means to stop the state’s Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill 2019 which has already passed second reading at the House of Assembly.
The bill, which was jointly sponsored by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin and his deputy, Hon. Abiodun Fadeyi, was recently criticised by the Fulani led by the National Chairman of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sale Bayari, who in an 18-page position paper presented at that forum, stated that “it is impossible in our country for any peasant small scale herdsman to go into ranching”.
According to Bayari, the bill if passed into law, it would punish poor herders.
At their Igangan meeting held at the popular Kara Market in Igangan, presided over by the Sarkin Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abduk-Kadir, it described the Oyo State Anti-Open Grazing Bill as “too draconian” and targeted at crippling Fulani herdsmen from practising their age-long cattle rearing activities across the state.
Poised to checkmate the Bill, the group said: “We will go to court. We will seek legal redress if Oyo State government insists on imposing this Bill on us. The implementation of the Bill as it is, will cause commotion. If we are pushed to the wall, we know the next level. Our next level is to seek legal option. We will go to the court of law over the matter.”
Police arrest 16 randy men who slept with 3 minors
The Police in Niger State on Wednesday paraded 16 men who allegedly sexually abused three minors between the ages of 12 and 13 in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state.
Parading the suspects at the Command’s headquarters, the Police Public Relations Officer Muhammad Abubakar told Journalists that, the 16 suspects were arrested for unlawful sexual intercourse with three minors at separate occasions following a tip off.
Abubakar said one of the suspects lured the 13-year-old girl who hawks egg with N200 into a bakery room in Kontagora where he sexually abused her.
Further investigation led to the arrest of the 15 others of Chadan Daji Arra of Kontagora who had abused the two other minors.
The eldest of the suspects, Bello Sardauna, 49, told our Correspondent that he had sexual intercourse with one of the girls eight months ago when the she visited him requesting for N200.
According to Bello, a father of five boys and a girl: “I was arrested eight months after I had forgotten about her. She is 13 years old, I didn’t rape her, she requested for sex in exchange for N200.”
While regretting his actions, Bello said: “It is the devil’s work, what I did is wrong. I know my family and friends will be highly disappointed in me. I feel so ashamed.”
JUST IN: Multiple accident grounds traffic on Otedola Bridge, many trapped — LATSMA
A multiple auto accident involving 10 vehicles occurred Wednesday morning on Otedola Bridge inward Berger, with many people trapped, causing traffic build up in the congested along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Announcing the incident, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LATSMA), said the “accident involved a containerized truck, a pickup and a high capacity bus as well as several cars.”
According to the Lagos traffic agency: “The accident is said to involve up to 10 vehicles,” while it advised motorists to “use CMD road from Secretariat towards Otedola for now as we await more updates on this situation.”
LATSMA in a post on its Twitterhandle, @followlatsma said “Casualties still trapped in the pickup. The road is totally blocked for now. Emergency agencies are on ground.”
LATSMA said as a result of the accident, “the backlog of traffic now extended to Ojota Bridge for those going inbetween Berger, while the backlog for those going inbetween Tollgate have merged with the traffic from Kara.”
‘I smuggled N100m cocaine because of my traditional wedding’
36-year-old man, Ibeh Augustine Chukwuma, told the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) he smuggled cocaine worth N100 million into Nigeria because he desperately wanted to raise money for his forthcoming traditional wedding.
Chukwuma’s attempt to smuggle the cocaine into Nigeria was truncated by the anti-narcotic agents just as he was arriving at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport via Ethiopian Airline, with a maximum ECOLAC bag which was found to contain the illicit drug consignment.
The NDLEA spokesman, Jonah Achema, confirmed the arrest.
He said: “Chukwuma has been a resident of Sao Palo, Brazil, where he worked in a construction company since 2011. According to him, he had approached another Nigerian living in Brazil for financial support for his forthcoming traditional marriage in Nigeria and was promised N500,000 if he could deliver the drug consignment to an unknown person who will receive him at the airport in Abuja.”
Chukwuma, a primary school leaver, who said his two parents are aged, admitted that he was fully aware of the content of the bag but offered to carry it because of the pressing financial need.
“His name is Emmanuel Paul. He deals in food stuff along with operating a restaurant. He is my friend. I asked him for financial assistance for my marriage and he said he cannot give me the money until I carry the cocaine. He actually told me that it is drug but I had no choice,” Chukwuma told his interrogators.
The suspect’s arrest came on the heels of aapprehension of Udeagwu Emmanuel Ugwuchukwu at the Abuja Airport with 3.1 kilograms of cocaine from the same Sao Polo, Brazil aboard Ethiopian Airline. The substance was concealed in home theatre musical equipment.
The Commander, NDLEA, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Hamisu Lawan, said: “Five kilograms of pure cocaine is a huge seizure knowing that if adulterated is worth a N100 million. Overtime, we have seen a decrease in the volume of interceptions, but we are surprised that this quantity is coming again.
“Our interactions with some suspicious passengers indicate urgent need to have closer link with Ethiopian counter-narcotic officials because intelligence indicates that the place is being used for warehousing of drugs or relay purposes for drug trafficking.”
EFCC arrests social media celebrity, Mustapha, for money laundering
conomic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it arrested a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha aka Mompha, for alleged money laundering and fraud.
Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujarem, who disclosed this yesterday, said Mustapha was arrested last weekend, while trying to fly to Dubai, through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Uwujarem said the suspect was apprehended by operatives of the Lagos zonal office.
According to Uwujarem, the suspect’s arrest was consequent upon “actionable intelligence” of organised transnational cyber fraud and associated offence.
He said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, has arrested a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha, for alleged involvement in internet-related fraud and money laundering.
“The suspect was arrested on Friday 18 October, 2019 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on his way to Dubai, United Arab Emirate following series of actionable intelligence reports linking him to organised transnational cyber fraud and money laundering.
“Ismaila allegedly perpetrates his fraudulent activities under the cover of being a Bureau de Change operator, to launder his proceeds of crime.
“However, the suspect has volunteered useful information while investigation continues.
“At the point of arrest, five wristwatches with a total value of N20,000,000 was recovered from him.
“The suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.”
Uwujarem added that the suspect would be charged to court as soon as investigation was concluded.
Kaduna: Three die, 11 rescued in new torture centres
igeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kaduna State Command yesterday raided two torture homes in Zaria, Zaria Local Government Area.
Three persons were said to have died at one of the centres from what the NSCDC officials said was because of the unbearable and dilapidated condition of the home.
At the centres, 11 inmates – men and children – were rescued.
The two centres are located at Limanchi Corner and Marmara, both in Zaria Local Government Area.
Unlike the two previous centres discovered in Kaduna, Malam Niga Rehabilitation Centre and another managed by Malam Ismaila Abubakar, raided recently in Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area, the Zaria rehabilitation centre has no female inmate.
Parading the operators of the home, the state NSCDC Deputy Commandant, Mr. Nnegha Aloysious Onyema, disclosed that three inmates died as result of unbearable conditions at the centre.
He said all the inmates were in leg and hand chains.
The NSCDC boss said the 11 inmates were rescued following an intelligence report gathered by the corps.
Onyema added that the inmates were between the ages of 11 and 40 years.
He said: “We busted two of the centres, Limanchi Corner and Marmara Centres, all in Zaria. We evacuated 11 inmates ranging from 11 to 40 years of age from the two centres. One other centre had released their inmates following information that other centres have been busted but we arrested the operator.”
The state Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, in company with the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, and the Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajia Hafsat Baba, were at the state NSCDC Headquarters to inspect the rescued victims.
They all condemned the inhuman treatment meted out to the victims in the name of rehabilitation.
The deputy governor told journalists that government would take necessary actions against the operators while the victims would be provided necessary medical care before handing them over to their parents.
She urged parents to desist from taking their children to such centres else they would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
One of the victims, Abdullahi Ishola (30), from Osun State told journalists that he was lured to the centre by a family member.
He said: “A family member just took me there and all of a sudden I found myself in chains.
“I was chained in the leg and hands and ever since then, I have been under unbearable inhuman treatment. I was beaten regularly and denied foods for several days.”
Ishola, a National Diploma holder in Mass Communications from Ire Polytechnic in Osun State, thanked the NSCDC that they were finally rescued.
One of the operators of the centres, Muktar Aliyu, claimed that the inmates were brought to the centres by their parents and also denied maltreating them.
The operators, however, claimed that the inmates were brought to them by their parents for help which they do, but denied beating them.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai had led some policemen to the raid the ‘Malam Rehabilitation Centre in Rigasa Local Government Area where 147 inmates – 125 males and 22 females – were rescued.
Four of the inmates were said to be foreigners from Cameroon and Niger Republics.
This came less than a month when the police raided and rescued 300 inmates from the same Rigasa area of the state.
Grinding machine plucks off teenage student’s testicles
elt of a grinding machine yesterday accidentally plucked-off the two testicles of a 14-year-old Junior Secondary School (JSS) student in Bauchi, Bashir Salisu.
Bashir, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), is a student of Government Day Secondary School, Tudun Salmanu area of Bauchi metropolis, who sat for his JSS examination (junior WAEC), preparatory to seeking admission to Senior Secondary School.
He engages in the grinding of grains under the tutelage of a man at the Muda Lawal market, Bauchi.
Narrating his ordeal in pains at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBU-TH), Bauchi, Bashir said the sad event occurred about 10a.m. on Friday, when, in the course of running the engine, the rotating belt mistakenly got in contact with his baggy trousers and pulled him.
“When my trousers got entangled as a result of the fast rotating belt, it instantly severed my testicles and inflicted grave injuries on my private part.
“The pain was unbearable and I was rushed to the hospital, where medical personnel started treating me.
“Unfortunately, the testicles had gone and can no longer be replaced; the doctors confirmed that the situation is irredeemable,” Bashir said in tears.
The victim said he engaged in grinding to learn trade which he could rely on as jobs were not easy to come by these days.
He added: “I engage in the trade after school hours and during holidays to enable me become self-reliant during and after my studies as white collar jobs are not easy to come by.
“My parents are poor and I need to prepare myself, not only to be self-employed, but also help them and my younger brothers and sisters.”
Bashir’s father, Malam Salisu Mohammed, a farmer, said when the accident occurred, he had to struggle to contain himself.
He said: “I felt highly disturbed initially but was able to collect myself later, believing that tragedies are ordained by God and must, therefore, be accepted when they happen.
“We have intensified prayers for his quick recovery, even though we have been made to understand by medical experts that his testicles are gone for good.
“We thank God that he survived the accident; he could have been dead by now and we must appreciate such luck.
“Our major challenge now is footing the bill of his treatment; we are therefore seizing this opportunity to appeal for assistance from government, individuals and organisations.”
On her part, Bashir’s mother, Mrs. Aisha Salisu, said she was traumatised by the ordeal of her son.
She said: “He had been weeping all through until now that he was able to collect himself. Seeing him wept profusely touched me a lot and made me to express some emotions, but thank God, he is now calm.”
A Consultant Urologist at the ATBU-TH, Dr. Liman Usman, said the student sustained injuries on his scrotum and testicles caused by the belt of a grinding machine.
He said: “His trousers got entangled in the belt of a grinding machine, leading to the complete abortion of the testicles and scrotum; both testicles were severed.
“He had lacerations on his private part but these were just bruises; the inner shaft was intact.”
The consultant said it was not possible to transplant the testicles because of their complex nature, adding that efforts should be geared towards making the student to psychologically accept the situation as it is.
Usman, however, said what could be done to address the psychological feeling of the boy, was to make provision for plastic scrotum, which could only be done in hospitals abroad.
He added: “What can be done is to attach plastic scrotum so that when he feels it, he will have the impression that he had his testicles intact.
“This is good for his psychological development, but this cannot be done in Nigeria, except overseas.”
Lagos impounds 4,477 motorcycles, 18 vehicles
bout 4,477 motorcycles and 18 vehicles of traffic offenders have been impounded in the last six months for flouting road traffic law in Lagos.
This was as the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, led the prosecution of 37 alleged traffic offenders arraigned before the Special Offenses (mobile) Court, Oshodi.
Shortly after assuming office, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu signed an executive order for the immediate prosecution of traffic offenders through the state-owned mobile courts.
The Chairman, Lagos State Task Force, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, confirmed that about 4,477 motorcycles and 18 vehicles of traffic offenders were impounded in the last six months.
Egbeyemi noted that the task force would continue to apprehend offenders of the state traffic rules and regulations.
Meanwhile, those arraigned yesterday were prosecuted for offences ranging from driving against traffic, illegal driving on BRT corridor and illegal plying of highway with motorcycles as well as other unsafe habits which endanger the lives of other road users.
Leading the prosecution of the 37 offenders, Onigbanjo urged the court, presided over by Magistrate Omobola Salawu, to convict the defendants as charged.
Salawu convicted the defendants to 100 days community service and fines of N15,000 to N20,000 depending on the offense committed.
Briefing journalists, the Attorney-General said the state would continue to prosecute traffic offenders until sanity was completely restored on Lagos roads and law-abiding citizens were allowed to enjoy the roads without being assaulted by defaulters.
Cult war claims seven in C’River
t least, seven people have died after some cultists and Okunde community in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State engaged in a supremacy war.
It was learnt that owing to the activities of cultists in Okunde, the entire Osokom community under Okunde held a meeting to check their activities.
However, the plan leaked to the cultists and they infiltrated the community. They killed a man, Joseph Bukie Bankong.
The cultists allegedly camped in the Apostolic Church in Okunde, close to Boki Boys’ Secondary School, before striking on Monday night.
Bankong was said to have been opposed to the activities of cult groups before he was hacked to death on Monday night, as he spoke vehemently against their activities.
On Tuesday, the community rose up in search of the cultists and ended up killing six people. They include Alphonsus Etta Ewung, Otu Agbor Edum (Chief Paulinus Otu’s son).
In the resulting fight, several houses and property worth millions of naira were destroyed between Monday and Tuesday.
In a telephone interview, the state Police Commissioner, Austin Agbonlahor, confirmed the cult war.
However, he said the police have been mobilized to the area to maintain peace.
Serial killer pleads guilty to nine ladies’ murder
…says ‘I don’t tell lies as a child of God’
uspected serial killer, Gracious David West, was yesterday arraigned before a Rivers State High Court, pleading guilty to killing nine women in different hotel rooms in Port Harcourt.
West, sporting a white T-shirt and black jeans, was brought into the courtroom by heavily armed personnel of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) a day after he appeared in court without a counsel, which prompted the presiding judge, Adolphus Enebeli, to adjourn for him to secure a legal representative.
Before the trial commenced yesterday, the judge had asked West if he was okay with the choice of a counsel assigned to him for representation, since he was entitled to one considering that the penalty for each of the nine counts brought against him carries the death penalty.
“The law requires that he should be represented. The law gives him the prior right to elect a lawyer of his choice. Who do you want to represent you? Do you want him (Mr. Vincent Chukwu) to represent you? Any decision you take now will be binding on you,” Enebeli said.
West replied, “yes sir, I want him to represent me”.
When the nine charges were read to him, West pleaded guilty to each of them.
When asked: “Are you guilty or not guilty?”
He simply replied: “I am.”
When the 10th charge of the attempted murder of another lady, Benita Etim, on September 18, 2019 was being read, West interrupted, indicating that he had something to say on the incident.
The accused said he never had the thought of killing Etim. According to him, he tied her to a chair, left the hotel room and did not take any further action that could have led to her death.
West said: “Sir I have something to say on that. I never had the thought of killing her. I only tied her to the chair and left the hotel. That is all. I don’t tell lies as a child of God.”
After West had pleaded guilty to the charges, the counsel to the prosecutor (the Nigeria Police), Mrs. Gladys Imegwu, asked the court to record it. According to her, the offence to which he pleaded guilty carries the death penalty.
Again, West raised his hand that he wanted to say something, after which he appealed to the court that he was not in control of himself when he carried out the murders.
He said: “I want to beg the court on what happened to me. I wasn’t myself when I did them. That is why I spoke the truth.”
The accuse also complained to the judge that the police had not given him the N60,000 which he had at the time of his arrest, as well as his wristwatch and necklace.
The judge, however, told him that it had not reached the stage for him to make plea for leniency since the trial would play out in the courtroom.
Midway into the session, the Attorney-General through the Principal Counsel in the Rivers State Ministry of Justice, Chidi Boniface Ekeh, sought the court’s permission to take over the case from the prosecution (the Nigeria Police), explaining that it was particularly interested in the case because of the nature of the crime.
The prosecutor said the police would not object to the request, while stressing that it did not mean the police did not have the resources to prosecute the defendant.
Justice Enebeli urged both parties to cooperate, noting that “because of the gravity of the offence it should be brought to trial”. He also adjourned the matter till November 18, 2019.
Meanwhile, a mild-drama played out in the courtroom shortly before the trial commenced when West called the attention of the judge that his legs were being changed in the courtroom.
He told the judge that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives who escorted him to the court said they forgot to bring the key.
Upon the judge’s inquiry of the true situation, the SARS operatives said that someone had gone to get the key.
Much earlier, while being led into the court, West threatened to destroy the arrays of cameras pointed at him by cameramen and others who had positioned themselves with smart phones for shots.
The state Principal Counsel, Ekeh, spoke with journalists after the proceedings.
He said: “We consider the crime a serious one that the state has to rise to the occasion. The state wants to know why he killed them. We want justice for the state and the families of the victims.
“The state wants to prosecute the case to its logical conclusion.”
Also, West’s counsel, Chukwu, said that despite the suspect pleading guilty to the charges, “the prosecution should prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution should go ahead and prove their case”.
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