Residents of Iga-Onitolo, Elegbata community on the Lagos Island, have been plunged into mourning following the drowning of four youths in the lagoon.
The residents said the death of the four boys was caused by operatives of the Anti-Cultism Unit, Lagos State Police Command. The incident occurred on Wednesday last week.
Our correspondent, who went to the grieving community, was told that 10 youths jumped into the lagoon to escape policemen chasing them. Four of the boys died, while six survived. Among the four, only two bodies have been retrieved, while two are still missing. The six survivors were fished out of the lagoon by fishermen.
On that fateful October 9, residents were rudely awakened from their sleep by sounds of gunshots. The time was 1a.m. Witnesses claimed that 20 of the armed policemen wore uniform, while four men with them were in mufti. Residents insisted that the policemen stormed the community at that ungodly hour in order to raid some youths.
One of the survivors, Toheeb Jumat, recollected that when the policemen came, he and other youths were sleeping. He said it was a normal scene on the Lagos Island for youths to start running after sighting policemen.
He said: “Immediately we sighted the policemen coming towards where we were sleeping, we all ran in different directions. Ten of us went towards the lagoon, with the hope that they wouldn’t follow us. Unfortunately, they followed us. When we got to the bank of the lagoon, some of us hid near an abandoned Marine Police speedboat, hoping that they wouldn’t come after us. But shockingly, the boys in mufti who followed the policemen came after us. That was how we started jumping into the lagoon to evade arrest.
“We held the bar of the bridge, so that the current wouldn’t carry us away. While we were holding the bar, those in mufti brought out scissors and started stabbing us. They meant to kill us. When the policemen reached the water, they started shooting directly into the water. Thank God I survived. It was some fishermen, who were going for a fishing expedition that rescued six of us after the policemen had gone. Unfortunately, four of our friends didn’t survive.”
The story of another survivor, Mr. Happy Peter, was similar to what Jumat said.
He said: “We were chased into the lagoon. We’re not criminals. We’re law-abiding citizens of Nigeria. I don’t know why they wanted to kill us. While trying to hide from the policemen near the river, one of the policemen came to where I was hiding and dragged me out. He then pushed me into the lagoon. Before I knew what was happening, he started shooting in my direction. I quickly swam away from the spot he focused his shots. The police mission was to kill all of us. But they succeeded in killing four of us.
“After the policemen had left, I tried to come out of the lagoon, but one of the civilian boys that came with them, hit me with an object immediately I placed my hands on the bridge railing. I fell back into the lagoon.
“When one of the bodies was brought out of the lagoon, there were marks on his neck and his head, indicating that he was stabbed. We went through a lot. It was when we were calling for help that the fishermen, who were going for fishing, came to rescue us.”
Other survivors are Samuel, Damola Wale, Yinka, and Fuad. The two men brought out dead were identified as Femi and David.
A 75-year-old resident, who identified himself simply as Freeman, said he was sleeping outside the compound when the policemen arrived.
He added: “Before I knew what was happening, they started shooting. Immediately I heard the gunshots, I stood up from where I was sleeping to find out what was happening. It was then I saw the policemen and four other civilians who accompanied them. The policemen were not familiar with our area. We believe that the four civilians led the policemen to our community.
“When the policemen saw me, two of them came to where I was standing. They demanded to know what I was doing. I told them that I came outside when I heard the gunshots. I believe it was because of my age that they ordered me to return to my room.
“Unfortunately, a 15 year-old-boy, Samuel, who was sleeping beside me, was whisked away. Five other boys were also picked from their apartments where they were sleeping. The boys were bundled into the police van. The harassment from the police is becoming unbearable. Even if they want to arrest the hoodlums, I don’t see the reason for chasing them into the lagoon.”
It was also learnt that in an attempt to arrest another youth, two policemen scaled a fence to gain access into his apartment. Unfortunately, the person they were looking for was not at home.
The lucky boy’s mother, who gave her name simply as Iya Bose, explained that she was sleeping with her physically-challenged son when the policemen scaled the fence and landed in her compound. They then forced their way into her apartment.
She recalled: “Immediately the two policemen entered my apartment, they started shouting the name of my son. They shouted that he should come out from wherever he was hiding. It was when I came out that I saw Azeez, who lives at Onala; he was directing and instructing the policemen on what to do. When they eventually saw my physically-challenged son, the policemen thought it was the one they were looking. Without asking questions, they pounced and started beating him. I screamed and begged them to leave him. I told them that he was not the person they were looking for. Before I realised what was happening, they had injured him. When Azeez realised that the policemen were beating the wrong person, he urged them to leave.”
The woman said that like other residents, she was also tired of constant harassments from policemen.
She added: “My son is not a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). What I heard the following day was that the policemen came to our community on the instructions of a member of the NURTW on the Island. I want the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to come to our aid. We’re suffering in the hands of policemen on this island.”
A trader in the community, Mr. Ademola Adetunji, described the death of the four youths as unfortunate. He said that most youths in the community were gainfully employed. This is even as he stressed that the youth were not members of the NURTW.
He said: “I just don’t know what the policemen want the parents of the dead boys to do now. We’re still waiting for the remaining two bodies to be washed up so that we can give them befitting burials. The deceased were sleeping after the day’s work when the policemen stormed the community. About 25 youths were arrested.
“We also heard that they were charged to Yaba Magistrates’ Court on Monday. This is an injustice. We’re all Nigerians. I don’t understand why they are maltreating us as if we are second class citizens. We know what to do, but we didn’t want to take the law into our hands.
Adetunji said at a time some bad boys, selling Indian hemp, infiltrated the community residents partnered with the police and chased them out away.
He said: “We did that to prevent break down of law and order in our community. Most of the youth in Elegbata are gainfully employed. Whenever we noticed strangers among the youth, we call the person. We tell him the dos and don’ts of our community.
“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should come to our rescue. The policemen have turned us to Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Whenever they arrest someone, they demand between N100,000 and N200,000 for bail. We want peace on the Island, especially in Elegbata. We are not trouble-makers. We mind our businesses. Police should stop disturbing us.”
One of the youth in the community, Shamsideen Owolayo, said they had been subjected to a series of harassment because they didn’t support a member of the NURTW at Onala area of Idumota.
He said: “This member vied for the state chairmanship of the union in the last election.”
Owolayo added that the civilians who accompanied the policemen to the community were working for the NURTW branch chairman.
Owolayo explained that last Sunday, before the Wednesday invasion by the policemen, one of their friends, Bayo, was shot dead by the Onala boys in Idumota. After the incident, they were warned not to take laws into their hands.
He added: “If truly the policemen were sent by their boss, I expected them to report to the nearest police station or area commander, alerting them that they want to carry out an operation. Unfortunately, they didn’t make any formal report to any of the police stations near here. It shows that someone sent them. It was like war on that fateful day. Those who were sleeping in their vehicles were also arrested.
“Some of our friends were chased into the lagoon by the police. The boys were running to evade arrest even though they didn’t commit any crime. Some of them were stabbed with scissors in different parts of their bodies while inside the lagoon. Even the two corpses that were brought out of the river had deep cuts on their bodies. That shows that the policemen came with a mission, not only to arrest, but to kill.”
Another youth in the community, Mr. Hafeez Adio, said that the policemen came with a plan. He noted that it was suspicious that the policemen allowed everyone to be in bed before storming the community at an ungodly hour.
While in the community, our correspondent learnt that on September 1, a boy called Junior was hacked to death by boys from Onala area of Idumota, on a football pitch at Ebute-Ero area. Also, on September 15, another person was killed at the entrance of Elegbata. Adio disclosed that all those killed were from Elegbata, but those of them at Elegbata refused to take laws into their hands. They didn’t retaliate.
He said: “Unfortunately, those who were chased into the lagoon were sleeping outside when the policemen came. Immediately they saw the policemen, the boys took off. The policemen, instead of allowing them to go, went after them. The policemen pursued the youth until they jumped into the lagoon and four drowned. Before the policemen came to Elegbata, they had already been to Balogun area to carry out raids. When the policemen got to the Balogun area, they also scaled a fence and got into the compound of a woman. It was after they left Balogun that they came to Elegbata to continue their raid.
“The raid by the police led to the death of our friends. We have being living in fear since then. Some of our colleagues, who escaped the police arrest, have relocated from the community. Those of us who stayed back, stayed because of our goods. If we leave our goods, the police will loot them. The majority of us depended on loan to do our businesses. We want the Lagos State government to call the policemen to order.”
Another resident of Elegbata, who identified himself simply as Taofeek, said that even before the latest invasion, the police had always come on a daily basis to extort them.
“I don’t know what our offences are,” said Taofeek mournfully.
A son of the Oba of the community, Chief Isiaka Olumegbon, said that the police came to raid following a minor clash between two youths from Elegbata and Onala, in the Idumota area of the Island.
He said: “Two persons were killed in Elegbata area and one person was also killed in retaliation by the Elegbata boys. Had it been elders from the two communities had risen to settle the issue, it wouldn’t have escalated to the extent that policemen would invade the community, leading to the death of four boys.
“I was told that it was the Onala boys that first attacked Elegbata boys. It was later that the issue of NURTW came into the matter. The Onala boys also came sometimes in October to rob Alhaja Owoniran of her bag, which contained dollars and phones. In order to fight Elegbata boys, the Onala boys went to Ijora to hire more boys to assist them. Unfortunately, on September 10, one boy was shot to death during masquerade festival. After killing the boy, his assailants smashed his head. It was as a result of the killing that Ofin boys decided to support the Elegbata boys to the fight against the Onala boys. That was how the clash escalated.”
Olumegbon also spoke on the recent invasion of the community by the police.
He said: “The policemen came about 1a.m. on September 9. When they stormed the community, they started shooting sporadically. When I heard the gunshots, I came out to check where the gunshots were coming from. It was then I saw the policemen. I approached them to find out their mission. The policemen were about 20 and had four civilians with them. The civilians were armed with sticks. One of them told me that they came on an operation. After I spoke with the policemen, I left and went inside the palace to sleep.
“It was after I had entered the palace that the policemen picked my sister’s son, Samuel. Immediately I was informed, I came outside, but the policemen had already left. I believe it was after they left the palace that they went to chase the 10 youth that ran into the lagoon.
“The boy that led the policemen into our community is residing on Elegbata before he went to join the Onala boys. Whenever the Onala boys want to talk, they would say the Elegbata boys are dealing in drugs and cocaine. I abhor such a thing in the palace. I don’t want people to discredit the palace because it’s a sacred place.
“The boy that led the policemen to arrest our youths in Elegbata has escaped from the Island. Even his parents also called him on the phone to come and explain what he knows about the incident, he denied partaking in it. On Saturday last week, when the corpses of the deceased were evacuated from the lagoon, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) from Lion Building, Bode Ojajuni, was on ground. He promised to get to the root of the matter. What we’re demanding is peace on the Island.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana, neither picked his calls nor responded to a text message sent to his phone line to confirm the incident.
Court jails two internet fraudsters in Ilorin
Barely 24 hours after two High Court Judges sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, convicted and sentenced five internet fraudsters prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Commission has again secured the conviction of two other persons charged for internet fraud and other fraud related offences.
The new convicts, Emezue Onyedikachi Joseph and Ibrahim Abdulqadir Omotowo, were charged before the court presided over by Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar on separate charges that border on internet fraud.
The charge against Omotowo stated: “That you, Ibrahim Abdulqadir Omotowo sometime in October, 2019, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did cheat by impersonation when you pretended to be one Kate Williams a white female with gmail account firstname.lastname@example.org, and fraudulently deceived one Bernard Shannon an American citizen, to send $150 (one hundred and fifty dollars) to you through gift card after you made him believe you were a girl in love with him and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 321 of the penal Code and punishable under section 324 of the same penal Code.”
For Joseph, the charge against him stated: “That you, Emezue Onyedikachi Joseph sometime in October 2019, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did cheat by impersonation when you pretended to be one Serah James a white female with gmail account email@example.com, and fraudulently deceived one Sampson with phone number +1424001470 an American citizen, to send $170 (one hundred and seventy dollars) to you through gift card after you made him believe you were a gift in love with him and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 321 of the penal code and punishable under section 324 of the same penal code.”
They both pleaded guilty to the charges, making the prosecuting counsel, Sessan Ola, to urge the court to convict and sentence the defendants according to their plea bargain agreements.
Ambode’s call for restraining order on probe incompetent, Lagos lawmakers tells court
Lawmakers probing former Governor of Lagos, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode over the purchase of 820 buses as part of the Bus Reform Project of the Lagos State Government, Wednesday told the court that the civil case filed against them by the former governor is “incompetent”.
The lawmakers, represented by Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), said that the Ikeja High Court, where the matter has been instituted, did also not have jurisdiction to hear the suit.
Ambode had instituted the civil suit against the State House of Assembly, its Speaker Mr Mudashiru Obasa and the House Clerk, Mr A.A Sanni.
Other respondents to the suit are Mr Fatai Mojeed, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee set up by the House to probe the procurement of the buses and eight members of the Committee.
The members of the Ad-hoc committee are; Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, Mr A.A Yusuf, Mr Yinka Ogundimu, Mrs Mojisola Meranda, Mr M.L Makinde, Mr Kehinde Joseph, Mr Temitope Adewale and Mr Olanrewaju Afinni.
The lawmakers, however, opposed the injunction by Ambode seeking to restrain them from probing him.
Addressing the court, Pedro said: “We have filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection highlighting the incompetence of this suit we are well challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.
“We also filed a counter-affidavit and a written address for the claimant’s (Ambode) Motion for Interlocutory Injunction.”
Pedro noted that Ambode’s lawyer, Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), had filed a written reply on points of law to the respondent’s (lawmakers) motion challenging the Injunction and a Written Address in opposition to the Preliminary Objection of the respondents.
Responding, Oyetibo confirmed receiving all the processes served on the claimant by the respondents. He said that the claimant has also responded to the processes.
Otedola Bridge: LASEMA averts another disaster, recovers fallen tanker
Another possible fire disaster was averted in Lagos early Wednesday morning when the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, (LASEMA) recovered an oil tanker laden with 44,000 litres of Aviation fuel (Jet A1) which was involved in a lone accident on the Otedola Bridge inward Berger, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
In the operation, LASEMA team’s preliminary investigations revealed that the fully loaded oil tanker, with registration number EKY 814 XX, lost it’s cargo as the content detached fully from the engine due to over speeding and reckless driving on the part of the tanker driver.
The recovery team explained that when the incident occurred, the tanker, due to the dead weight of it’s 44,000 litres cargo, pulled off from it’s truck head, fell on its side, and started spilling it’s content from the ruptured parts of the tanker when it hit the ground.
However, no injuries, fatalities or deaths were recorded in the incident.
The very real danger of fuel ignition, explosion and fire, was fully averted due to the timely intervention, activities and collaborative efforts of LASEMA and the Lagos State Fire Service teams that doused the gushing flow of fuel from its oil spilling source, averting any probable ignition during it’s journey through the drains to the canal.
Though the spilt fuel had been doused and blanketed, the LASEMA response team, as well as that of the Fire Service, remained on the ground to mitigate against any probable hazard that could result from trans loading of remnant fuel or recovery of the truck head from the deep gorge where it had fallen.
Speaking on the fatal lone accident and collaboration with other first responders, the Director-General, LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke–Osanyintolu, attributed the smooth operations to the short response time of his teams whom he said were very efficient and excellent in saving the situation in collaboration with other emergency responders at incident scene who were able to bring emergency situations under control with minimum stress.
Early this year the same bridge was the scene of massive carnage following a fire outbreak after a tanker explosed which engulfed about 50 vehicles and killed a number of people.
Victim: Five policemen collected N700,000 from me via POS
r Kareem Damilari Jamiu, an Estate Agent, has accused five policemen allegedly from the Inspector-General of Police Special Tactical Squad (IGP STS), Lagos State Police Command, of forcibly collecting almost N700,000 from him on Monday.
According to the victim, the policemen, who claimed to be from the Lagos State Police Command, were already searching his Sagamu, Ogun State residence, without a warrant, with his shocked wife watching, when he suddenly returned home to pick his phone, which he had earlier forgotten.
When the policemen saw him, they pulled a gun on him and accused him of being a suspected ‘Cultist and Yahoo boy.’ They marched him into their vehicle and on the way to the command, allegedly demanded for N5million for his bail. During negotiations, the money was reduced to N100, 000.
Jamiu, however, became uneasy when the policemen, rather than take him to Police Headquarter in Ikeja, veered into the Ikeja Primary School, which was directly opposite the police command. He was taken to a restaurant inside the school premises and ordered to write a statement.
The victim said that he was picked at about 11am and released by 9pm. Before he left, they had made him to transfer money totalling close to N700,000 to them.
Jamiu recounted: “It happened on Monday. I had earlier forgotten my phone at home, I returned home to pick it and found the five policemen, searching my house without a search warrant. They wore reflective jackets and written at the back is the ‘IGP STS.’ They found a black soap, which I used to bath because I used to be sickly and accused me of being a ‘yahoo boy.’ They showed my Voters’ card, saying they had been looking for me. I wondered how they got my card.”
He further narrated: “They bundled me into their vehicle and asked me to pay N5million, so that they could release me. When I asked my offence, they said I was a yahoo boy and a cultist, that I was scamming women overseas. I explained to them that I have a wife overseas, that I could call her immediately in their presence via video call for them to verify, but they refused to listen.”
Jamiu stated that when they got into the primary school premises, he was asked to write a statement, while they dictated to him what to write.
He added: “We finally agreed on N100, 000 for my release. I didn’t even have such amount of money, so I started making calls to friends. My mother even came to join us at the primary school.”
The victim was later taken to a filling station close to the Police Command, popularly known as AP Filling Station, where a lady handling POS, provided the money, while Jamiu transferred N100 , 000 to her. After collecting the N100,000, they asked for another N5000, which he gave them.
He said: “They took me back to the school and then demanded to check my phone that they wanted to know the balance in my account. They forced me to use my fingerprint to unlock my password. When they saw the balance, they started beating me, angry that I had such an amount of money in my account. But the truth is that the money was not mine. I did a N200,000 transfer twice and they still took me down to the POS to withdraw another one again, this makes a total of N715,000. In fact, the owner of the money is now asking for it. What those policemen did to me was pure robbery. I have all proofs of the transaction.”
Friends and family members, who heard the encounter of Jamiu with the policemen were worried and outraged. One of them convinced him to seek redress through Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), a nongovernmental organisation.
When the Executive Director of RULAAC, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, was briefed of the incident, he called one of the policemen on phone number, 08136465902 and urged him to return the money to Jamiu. He also promised him that he would write a petition to the IGP, on the conduct of the policemen.
A few minutes after Nwanguma concluded his conversation with him, the policeman called Jamiu’s mother, threatening fire and brimstone. He didn’t know the phone was on automatic record.
The voice record started with the policeman’s voice, “We collected his ATM card and withdrew his money. The lawyer wants to write a petition to the Police Headquarters at Abuja. I told him that he should go-ahead to write the petition. I’m not scared, because if what he (Jamiu) is doing is contrary to the law of the nation, he is going to live in that house. So if he likes, he should report to Abuja, I’m less concerned. There is trouble already. I’m expecting the petition the lawyer wants to write; your son wants to prove he is connected. If he doesn’t leave Nigeria, he should call me a bastard! Who gave the lawyer my number, is it you? But your son wasn’t there when I gave you my number. Your son has gone ahead to give someone my contact, if I receive any call, if he doesn’t regret his actions, let him call me a bastard. If he doesn’t sell that house away from Nigeria, there will be trouble.”
Addressing a petition yesterday to the IGP, Mohammed Adamu, Nwanguma urged the IG to do everything within the ambit of the law to, “identify the rogue officers and bring them to justice.”
Nwanguma said: “I called the number, 08136465902 and the officer spoke to me, admitting that he was in the team that came to arrest the young man, but denied using Jamiu’s ATM to withdraw money via a POS. Shortly after I spoke with the officer, Jamiu called me and reported that the officer called his mother and threatened to deal with her son for reporting them to a lawyer.”
Nwanguma requested Adamu to order a prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigation to identify the officers responsible for the rogue activities, which he said was akin to kidnapping, hostage taking and robbery.
“They should be made to refund the whole money they robbed from the victim and be subjected to appropriate disciplinary actions in accordance with the Police Act and other relevant laws,” said Nwanguma.
Protest in Delta over boundary dispute, demolition
esidents of Ogbeowele New-layout in Okpanam, Oshimili North council area of Delta State, yesterday, protested along the ever busy Benin-Asaba-Onitsha Expressway following the demolition of their houses in a boundary crisis between Ibusa and Okpanam youths. The protesters, comprising landlords, landladies, tenants and developers in the locality, earnestly appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to intervene in the dispute before it escalated into a bloodbath.
Ibusa youths from Umudafe Quarters had few days ago, embarked on demolition of houses and parameter fences with caterpillars, parading a State High Court order, ceding the controversial area to them.
But the protesters, numbering close to 120, threatened to take their destinies into their hands if the governor, the state’s Ministries of Lands and Survey, Urban and Regional Planning, Justice and the Governor’s Office on Conflict Resolution turned deaf ears.
They carried placards of various headlines as they matched to reject harassment and intimidation by land speculators.
The chairman of the demolished area, Mr Joseph Obi, supported by a Board of Trustee (BoT) member in the area, Mr Fabian Okiah, said they have survey plans and Certificates of Occupancy (CoO). They also maintained that they had built and occupied the area for over 15 years.
Obi said: “Youths from Ibusa, led by Jerry Nkemweshe, a.k.a Babies, took the law into their hands, destroying propertyworth billions of naira. We call on the state government to swiftly intervene. If we had retaliated, lives would have been lost.”
Navy nabs 20 smugglers, impounds 1,425 bags of rice
he Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base, Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State, has arrested 20 suspects and seized 1,425 bags of smuggled rice from them within six days.
The command said the arrests were made in four different operations between November 12 and 18, 2019. The command added that four wooden boats, used to carry the smuggled rice have also been seized.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Captain Peter Yilme, said Navy gunboats during patrols, seized the boats on Effiat Waterways, carrying 50kg bags of rice brought in from the Republic of Cameroon.
Dismissed Inspector remanded for killing South African returnee
n Ikeja High Court, Lagos, yesterday, remanded a dismissed police inspector, Ogunyemi Olalekan, at the Ikoyi Prisons over the alleged murder of 35-year-old Kolade Johnson, a South African returnee, at a viewing centre in Lagos.
The 45-year-old policeman, who pleaded not guilty, was arraigned on a one count charge of murder.
According to Mr Yhaqub Oshoala, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the police officer, before his dismissal, was working with the Special Anti-Cultism Squad (SACS) of the Lagos State Police Command.
Oshoala said that the defendant committed the offence at about 5.10pm on March 31, at Onipetesi Estate, Mangoro area of Lagos.
Oshoala further stated: “The former police inspector unlawfully killed Johnson by shooting him with an AK47 rifle in his lower abdomen. The offence contravenes Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.”
However, following Olalekan’s not guilty plea, the DPP requested that the defendant, who has since been incarcerated after his arrest, remains in prison custody pending the determination of the case.
“We ask that the defendant continue to be detained in prison custody before the trial date. Our witnesses are available and we are ready to commence,” Oshoala said.
Justice A. J Coker thereafter told the defence counsel, Mr Ike Ezekwen, to ensure he explains the option of a plea bargain agreement, before trial commences, to Olalekan.
The judge added: “This case is adjourned to January 15, 2020 for trial. The defendant is further remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Facility.”
12 corpses burnt as fire razes OAU mortuary
n early morning fire, yesterday, burnt 12 corpses among 102 bodies kept in the mortuary of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
The fire, which damaged a lot of equipment in the hospital, started at about 3:00am yesterday. The fire was believed to have been caused by power surge. It affected a section of the morgue, leading to the burning of the 12 corpses.
It was further gathered that the prompt intervention of the authorities of the institution, led to the prevention of the fire from escalating.
The Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, said: “It could have resulted into a major fire outbreak in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, but was averted by the combined efforts of the Security and Fire Services Unit of the University. The fire, which broke out at around 3:00am, was caused by electricity surge, which affected a section of the morgue, where corpses are kept. Out of about 102 bodies that were kept in the morgue, 12 were affected by the fire. Accordingly, the Department has made detailed arrangements to duly and adequately inform people, whose corpses were affected.”
He, however, hinted that the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, led other principal officers of the establishment to assess the level of damage and instructed immediate repairs to be carried out.
Olanrewaju added that the VC had also constituted a three-member committee to look into the immediate and remote causes of the fire outbreak. He added that academic and administrative activities have since resumed.
Post-election violence: Political thugs burn PDP Woman Leader to death
60-year-old Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs Acheju Salome Abuh, was on Monday burnt to death by alleged political thugs celebrating the victory of Governor Yahaya Bello as Kogi State governor-elect for second term. The incident took place at Achadamu community in Ofu Local Government Area.
Eye witnesses claimed that the jubilant thugs moved to the late Mrs Abuh’s home. They allegedly locked her inside the apartment and then set it on fire, leaving her to burn to death.
Abuh was the Woman Leader of Wada Aro Campaign Council, Ochadamu Ward.
The spokesman, Wada/Aro Campaign Council, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, said: “The jubilant thugs were chanting GYB 4+4, the thugs, shooting sporadically, arrived Abuh’s house at about 2pm and surrounded the house, bolting every exit. They then poured petrol on the building and set it on fire as other terrorised villagers watched from hiding. Abuh attempted to escape through a window, but was prevented by the burglary proof and bullets rained in her direction. The blood-thirsty thugs waited, shooting and watching with relish while Abuh cried from inside the inferno until her voice died out. They only left after the entire house of Abuh had been burnt to ashes. There are fears that the killing spree may escalate over the night.”
Faruk said that he and others of like minds were calling on people with good conscience to immediately help the people of Kogi State, to appeal to the Inspector-General of Police, to rein in Bello’s thugs and protect citizens of the state.
The Kogi State Police Command confirmed the incident through its Police Public Relations Officer, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr William Aya.
Aya, in a statement, said: “Musa Ety of Ochadamu, Ofu Local Government Area reported at the station that, at about 10: 30am of same date, there was a misunderstanding between Awolu Zekeri, 35, a member of APC and Gowon Simeon, a member of
Court remands Ex- Banker, wife over N377m money laundering
An Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos on Tuesday remanded an ex-banker, Rowley Isioro and his wife, Mrs. Ovuomarhoni Naomi Isioro over allegations of laundering the sum of N377 million.
The couple were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, receiving fraudulently obtained property, transfer of criminal proceed to nominee and money laundering to the tune of $975,424.
The duo, who pleaded not guilty, were docked alongside alongside their companies, Multaid Plus Limited and Global Investment Network.
The EFCC prosecutor, Mohammed K. Bashir, the defendants allegedly received monies from illegal activities carried out by one Michael Uziewe (at large), a Nigerian who is based in the United States of America, with the aim of assisting him bring the proceeds into Nigeria.
Bashir told the court that the defendants allegedly used their companies, with a corporate accounts domiciled in the bank where the second defendant, Rowley Isioro, was an Assistant General Manager to launder the above mentioned amount for Michael Uziewe.
According to the charges: “That you Naomi Isidoro, Rowley Isioro, Marhoni General Services Limited, Multaid Plus Limited, Michael Uziewe (at large) and Global Investment Network sometime in 2016 in Lagos, did conspire amongst yourselves to launder money which represents proceeds of illegal activities of Uziewe in the United States of America.”
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