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Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Lagos records 14 suicide cases as Police arrests 159 kidnappers, others

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

The Nigerian Police Force has confirmed an upsurge in suicide cases in Lagos, disclosing that no fewer than 14 suicide and attempted suicide cases were recorded in the state in the last four months.

Also, 159 armed robbery, kidnapping and cultism suspects were apprehended by the law enforcement agency for engaging in the acts within the state.

During the arrest, 127 arms and ammunition were recovered and over 80 armed robbery attacks were also foiled during the period under review.

Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, who disclosed the statistics on Thursday at the launch of Launch of Operation Puff Adder at the command headquarters, Ikeja, assured residents of interfiled security operation in the state.

According to him, of great concern to the operation were cases of cultism, traffic robbery, youth gangsterism and murder.

He said: “We are today launching a special operation introduced by the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, code name ‘Operation Puff Adder’ aimed at re-dominating and reclaiming the public space from heinous criminal element that are bent on threatening the nation’s internal security order.”

The Guild gathered that Officers and Men for the operations were drawn from Police Mobile Force, Tactical units, Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Criminal Investigation Department, Rapid Response Squad, Taskforce and conventional policemen.

Abubakar charged his officers to ensure zero tolerance to all form of criminality and deal decisively with criminal elements in Lagos state.

“Tough times indeed await those who choose the path of crime in the state. We will take the battle to their door steps. Lagosians have a right to a more peaceful and orderly state and with the support of the good people of Lagos state we will rid the state off criminal elements,” the commissioner added.

Following a targeted, intelligence driven operation carried out by the Command’s Anti-cultism unit which lasted for four weeks, from 20th April, 2019 to 19th May, 2019 at identified cultists hideouts in Ayobo, Shogunle, Oshodi, Ajegunle, Apapa, Ikorodu, Ketu and Alapere , the following members of  AIYE and EIYE confraternity were arrested: Faruk Olaiya ‘M’ Aged 19yrs from Oyo State; Ayomide Joseph ‘M’ Aged 32yrs from Oyo State; Aliyu Mohammed ‘M’ Aged 23yrs from Kwara State; Shittu Abu ‘M’ Aged 29yrs From Oyo State; Victor Asuquo ‘M’ Aged 23yrs from Delta State; Bolaji Ogunniyi ‘M’ Aged 23yrs from Ogun State; Adeyemi Samson ‘M’ Aged 35yrs from Osun State; Samuel Hensaw ‘M’ Aged 18yrs from Ebonyi; Michael Nwaba ‘M’ Aged 37yrs from Enugu; Kabiru Ishola ‘M’ Aged 21yrs from Lagos; Alaka Yusuf ‘M’ Aged 22yrs from Lagos; Juwon Somade ‘M’ Aged 26yrs from Lagos; Divine Enu ‘M’ Aged 28yrs from Cross River; Godwin Adebona ‘M’ Aged 22yrs from Osun State; Salami Lasisi ‘M’ Aged 20yrs from Lagos; Tunde Akinbu ‘M’ Aged 28yrs from Ondo State; Ayomide Akinfolarin ‘M’ Aged 26yrs from Lagos State. All the suspects were charged to court.

BW foods apologises for wrongly labeling pork as Halal

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

A Lagos based frozen food company, BW Foods, has apologised to its customers over mixed up on standard of quality experienced on one of its product, Pork Pack.

The firm apology came following consumers complain over the inscription of Halal Brand on the product, which consumption was prohibited for Muslims.

In a statement made available to The Guild, the Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Babatunde Wilkey, stressed that BW Foods understand the huge consideration Muslims give to products with the Halal stamp, saying, we sincerely apologies for this huge error on our part.

“This was a printer error on our template design and we take full responsibility because it has never occurred before since we ventured into the business over a decade.”

Wilkey explained that Pork was not on their usual menu except on specific request from persons, store or hotel that had need for it.

“At B W Foods, we know the importance of Halal foods to our esteem Muslim clients and we have maintained a high level of compliance to ensure all our products meets the standard.”

Understanding the stance of Islam on the product, the CEO noted that the firm had over the years respect the tenets of the religion and adhere strictly to it.

“We have maintained long standing relationship, and of best practice with our Muslim brothers and sisters.

“We regret this error and in the spirit of Ramadan solicit for your forgiveness and understanding on this matter.

“We assure you that we have investigated the matter and taken all the necessary precaution and measures to prevent such future occurrence.

“We will continue to maintain a high standard of quality product and respect our numerous customers’ need.”

We didn’t experience flooding on Lagos metropolis-GOVT

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Lagos State Government has debunked claims that several parts of the metropolis was heavily flooded, saying, what was experienced across Lagos was just flash-flooding.

It was gathered that floods stay longer than flash-flooding which disappear few hours after the rain subsided.

The state government on Monday assured residents that it had put in place necessary measures to address challenges posed by heavy rainfall, as rainy season intensified across the state.

In a joint statement released in Alausa by Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Fola Adeyemi and his Ministry of the Environment counterpart, Mr Abiodun Bamgboye, disclosed that Drainage Services Department, the State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency LASPARK, had been put on red alert to respond to any unforeseen occurrences.

The government urged Lagosians to remain calm as the unpredictable pattern of rainfall currently being experienced is a natural outcome of climate change.

It stated that it was not unusual to occasionally experience flash-floods, especially in a coastal State like Lagos, “as well as during rainy season as it occurred today (yesterday), but in a matter of time, they will all disappear and be contained by the drainages.”

According to the statement: “Sometimes when it rains, we are likely to have flash-floods on our roads as it sometimes happens in other parts of the world, but the relief here is that the flash-floods will disappear in a couple of hours”.

The Government appealed to Lagosians to desist from the act of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drains as well as erecting structures on drainages and their alignments as these acts are capable of precipitating flooding.

“The general public is urged to 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 government agencies” the statement added.

Lagos State Government also advised Lagosians and motorists to be safety conscious during this period, urging them to take some safety measures like remaining indoors during the rains except when it is absolutely necessary,  and avoid over-speeding, when driving.

It also advised drivers to ensure their vehicles are in good condition and avoid driving through flooded areas that their depths might be difficult to ascertain.

While advising Lagosians resident along flood plains and low-lands to be alert and safety conscious, the State Government assured that it will continue to intensify efforts at containing the flood, stressing that it had and will continue to painstakingly maintain all primary and secondary channels during and after the rainy season.

Pupils, traders escape death as flood wreck havoc across Lagos

By Olawale Abdul-fatah

Hundreds of All Saint Primary School, Iju and traders escaped death when three high-tension poles collapsed on a section of their school, destroying property worth millions of Naira.

The Guild gathered that the poles collapsed on a section of the school and on Iju road when the heavy rainfall recorded within the community resulted into heavy flooding that took over several parts of the community.

When our correspondent visited the axis on Monday, it was learned that scores of the pupils were already in their classrooms when the poles came down on their school; while those just resuming were quickly rescued by their teachers.

READ ALSO: We didn’t experience flooding on Lagos metropolis-GOVT

Eyewitness told The Guild that some of the petty traders that had already spread their wares beside the school escaped by whisker.

On Iju road, the road linking the school, hundreds of commuters were seen wading across the flooded and vehicles also had torrid time navigating the roads.

While vehicle that could not withstand the water pressure parked on the road waiting for the water to subside.

A trader, Mrs. Abigail Igwe, in an interview with The Guild, said “we are happy that the poles did not fell on us or the pupils, what do you think would have happened. It will have been a sad tales. But we are happy that such disaster did not happen.”

Meanwhile, a resident, Kazeem Olaosebikan, blamed the flood on poor drainage system, saying, you can see that the drains are already blocked and the government has failed to embark on desilting exercise.

“We have complained over the issue at different forum but the government has failed to listen to us. So what do we do; all we can do is hope that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration will correct all this,” he added.

Also on Agege motor road, some sections of the road was taken over by flood, reducing the three lanes road to single land.

On the road, it was observed that the drains were already filled with sachet water, plastic bottles and other disposables.

Also on Alfred Rewane in Victoria Island, several vehicles were destroyed when trees fell on them, disrupting movement on the road.

Foundation fêtes, cloths 500 Kano indigent children

By Abubakar Zaharadden, Kano

In the spirit of Ramadan, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Abba Boss Foundation, has fetes and cloths no fewer than 500 indigent children in Kano State.

The Guild observed that the Foundation spent over N11 million feeding and clothing indigent’s children in Nassarawa Local Government, Kano State.

According to the foundation, the aim was to ensure that the children also be at par with children of the rich in the society.

While distributing the clothes and food items to orphans, less privilege and students of Qudus Islamiyya, Chairman of Abba Boss Foundation, Aminu Adamu popularly called Abba boss, urged Nigerians to also embark on such gesture.

Adamu, who was represented by the Foundation’s Executive Secretary, Usman Ashafalala, disclosed that the items distributed to the 500 children, who were below the age of 12, includes rice and yards of fashionable materials.

He, however, urged Nigerians to extend the humanitarian gesture beyond the holy month of Ramadan, saying, this is will assist positively to impact on live of children in the society.

Responding, parents of the beneficiaries commended the foundation for the gesture extended to their children.

Fashola releases names of corrupt contractors

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has released names of contractors that alleged received funds from the Federal Government through the Ministry of Power to complete projects but refused to fulfil their agreements.

The release came weeks after Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), challenged Fashola to name the list ot the corrupt contractors that have not delivered on their project promises to the Federal Government.

Fashola, in a letter with reference number FMP/LU/R2K/2016/T/40, sent to SERAP, invited the organization to “inspect a compendium of verified and paid/outstanding liabilities of contractors, kept at the offices of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited/GTE.”

In the letter signed on behalf of Fashola by Permanent Secretary (Power) Louis Edozien, and sent to SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, who revealed it on Sunday.
The content of the letter revealed that: “Pow Technologies Limited, an Abuja based company, was in 2014 awarded a contract for the supply and installation of test and maintenance equipment relays, etc to various NAPTIN regional training centers (RTCs) (LOT15), with the total contract sum of N87,763,302.40, out of which N79,404,892.66 was paid to Pow Technologies Limited.”

According to the Ministry’s letter, although the contract was awarded in 2014, only 13 of the 19 items have so far been supplied, with 6 items outstanding. The details of the six items that Pow Technologies Limited has allegedly failed to supply are not provided by the Ministry but the letter indicates some of the action the Ministry said it has taken to ensure: “completion of the project, address criminal breach of contract and take remedial action.”

The Ministry said that while the contractors undertook to take remedial action, they have failed to complete the project for which funds have been released.

It also pointed out that it submitted a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Abuja on 13th January 2016, and that the police instituted a case for the prosecution of Messrs Pow at the Upper Area Court.

The Ministry also said it has sought and received legal advice to pursue a civil action at the FCT High Court while a report of criminal breach of contract has been made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Reacting over the letter’content, SERAP said: “We welcome Fashola’s latest response and the information regarding Pow Technologies Limited. But we need details of names of other contractors that have collected public funds yet failed to execute power projects.

“We will continue to push the Ministry and its agencies to reveal more details of alleged corrupt contractors and companies, as contained in our FOI request. We will continue to pursue our FOI suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos,before Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, a Professor of Law, who has granted an order for leave in the case.”

The letter to SERAP reads in part: “I write with respect to the Ministry’s letter regarding details of alleged corrupt contractors and to forward the attached responses from some of the Ministry’s Agencies namely: National Bulk Electricity Trading Plc; National Power Training Institute of Nigeria and Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited/GTE for your information.”

It would be recalled that Mr Fashola had earlier said in response to SERAP’s FOI request that: “the Ministry has searched for the requested information on details of alleged contractors and companies that collected money for electricity projects and failed to executive any projects, but we could not find it from our records.”

However, SERAP disagreed with the response, saying: “The public expectation is that government information, when in the hands of any public institutions and agencies, should be available to the public, as prescribed by the FOI Act. The FOI Act should always be used as an authority for disclosing information rather than withholding it.”

Fashola in a follow-up letter dated 4thMarch, 2019, to SERAP’s reaction promised to: “refer the request for details of alleged contractors and companies that collected money for electricity projects and failed to executive any projects to the Ministry’s agencies for necessary action and appropriate response. There may be instances of part-payment against certification of commensurate value for materials and services in achieved contract milestone even though the entire contract is not 100% performed.”

Fashola’s initial response followed SERAP’s FOI request and suit number FHC/L/CS/105/19 filed in February at the Federal High Court, Lagos. The suit is seeking “an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling Mr Fashola to provide specific details on the names and whereabouts of the contractors who collected public funds meant for electricity projects but disappeared with the money without executing any projects.”

Protesters storm Lagos Assembly over 2000 marked Agidingbi buildings for demolition

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Hundreds of residents and Business owners in Agidingbi community, Ikeja, stormed Lagos State House of Assembly protesting against planned demolition over 2000 buildings on Lateef Jakande Road, Acme Road, Fagba Close, and other streets around the area.

Some of the buildings marked for the demolition, according to the protesters, include Daily Times Newspaper, Coca-Cola bottling company premises, Addas Mall, banks, and others.

The buildings sited on 398 acres of landed was awarded to traditional land-owning family, Akinole-Oshiun, by a Supreme Court judgement which the family enforced last Friday, marking the entire structures.

The protesters, who marched from Agidingbi to House of Assembly complex in Alausa, on Thursday, said Akinole-Oshiun family, which is the judgment-creditor in the case, had already given them seven days ultimatum to vacate their houses, urging the government to quickly intervene to avert bloodshed.

They were armed with placard with various inscriptions such as “There is no ancestral link between Akinole and Agidingbi Land, Land Grabbers are enemies of Lagos State,” among others.

According to the protesters, the State Government should urgently activate the provisions of the Land Grabbers Law and prevent the matter from degenerating into a full blown crisis.

Leader of Ojodu Legislative Arm, Wasiu Bolaji-Seidu who is also a community leader in Agidingbi said the news of the possession order came to the community as a big surprise as no one from the community was served court process before the court gave its verdict.

He said: “On Friday, they (judgment-creditor) brought a judgment and placed it on our houses and said they have taken over the entire Agidingbi land. The issue is Agidingbi was not mentioned in the judgment; nobody from Agidingbi was part of the case and I don’t know how you will enforce a judgment against a person that was never part of the case.

“Agidingbi has been in existence for over 200 years ago. I was born and bred in Agidingbi; my forefathers were born and bred in Agidingbi and I don’t see any reason why somebody will just wake up and say they are the owner of the community.

“I am over 50 years; my father lived for over 90 years in this community before he died; my great grand-father died at the age of 150 years and I don’t know where Akinole is coming from and we have people like Habibatu Mogaji who was the Yeye-Oba of Agidingbi; we have Femi Okunnu who is our father in the community and we don’t know where Akin-ole came from.”

“To the best of my knowledge, I know that Lagos State has enacted a law duly signed by the Governor prohibiting land grabbing in the State because this is a clear example of such case. That is why we are here to call on the Lagos State House of Assembly to look into it and find a lasting solution, failure of which there will be bloodshed,” Bolaji-Seidu said.

Also speaking, Baale of Agidingbi, Chief Ganiyu Haruna, said they were embarking on the peaceful protest to call the attention of government to the silent crisis that is brewing in the community.

Haruna said: “On Friday last week, we woke up to see people posting possession order on our property and we don’t know these people. We have been living here for several years and the issue is we don’t know this family that is laying claim to ownership of our land.

“We have never heard any relationship with this Akinole family and so it is surprising to us. Nobody knew anything about the court case. I mean how can you enforce court judgment against a party that was never part of the case?  We are peaceful people and we are urging the Lagos State Government especially Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the House of Assembly to intervene urgently in this matter because we don’t want bloodshed in our community.”

An 83-year old resident, who also doubles as Iyalode of Agidingbi, Dorcas Faworaja, argued that her great grand-parents were born in the area, therefore the claimant cannot just come from anywhere and lay claim to the community.

Responding to the plea of the protesters, the House Deputy Majority Leader, Olumuyiwa Jimoh, commended the protesters for conducting themselves peacefully, assuring that the House would look into their case.

“Let me assure you that we are going to look into your petition without any fear or favour and I can assure you also that you will receive judgment at the end of the day,” Jimoh added.

EFCC arraigns four Kwara officials over money laundering

By News desk

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Office, on Thursday, arraigned four officials of the Kwara State Government at a Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin on a two-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Those arraigned before Justice Babangana Ashigar include: Abubakar Ishiak, Permanent Secretary; Shina Mudasir Akorede, Director of Administration and Finance; Rasaq Momonu, Controller Finance and Account, and Hafees Yusuf, Cashier.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Abubakar Ishiak, being the Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Government House, Shina Mudasir Akorede, being the Director of Administration and Finance, Rasaq Momonu, being the Controller of Finance and Account, Kwara State Government House, and Hafees Yusuf, being the Cashier of Kwara State Government House on or about the 14th day of February 2019 at Ilorin, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did make a cash payment of N20,300,000 to one Energy Multi-Trade Unique Interbiz Limited through the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jimoh Sarafadeen Kolade for services rendered to Kwara State Government House, which cash sum exceeded the limitation of N10 million payable to a body corporate and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (b) and Punishable under section 16 of the same Act.”

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges brought against them by the anti-graft agency.

Based on their plea, prosecuting counsel, Christopher Mschelia, prayed the court for a date for trial to commence as the EFCC was prepared to prove its case against them.

“We are asking your lordship to order that they should be remanded in prison,” Mschelia added.

Lead defence counsel, Abdulwahab Bamidele, however made an oral application for bail. But Mschelia urged the Court not to grant the request, insisting that “the substantive bail application is not ripe for hearing”.

Justice Ashigar in his ruling refused the oral application for bail, and ordered the defendants to be remanded in EFCC custody.

The case has been adjourned to May 8, 2019 for hearing of the formal bail application, while the trial is to commence on June 6, 2019.

100,000 Lagos residents embrace health insurance scheme

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Lagos State Government has disclosed that over 100,000 residents have so far registered for the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme, LSHS.

The State Government added that 100 health insurance ambassadors were also currently been trained to assist in expanding the health insurance net launched last December.

General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency, LASHMA, Dr. Peju Adenusi disclosed the statistics on Monday while flagging off a four-day training for LSHS Wellness Ambassadors, in Magodo.

Adenusi said under the scheme, a family of six would have to pay a token of N40,000 per annum to enjoy affordable healthcare in primary and common ailments ranging from maternal and child health care, malaria, tuberculosis, cesarean surgery, general wellness of the body, among others.

The general manager explained that since LASHMA was only a regulatory agency, it had to solicit the services of agents to propagate the message for the populace to be informed of the good package to be derived on subscription to the LSHS.

“In this part of the world, insurance is not as widely understood as other part of the world. We need people to pass the message and explain it to the informal sector which is the large chunk of the populace. We need the foot soldiers to help in educating the populace.

“This training, therefore, involves the health insurance scheme agents, they are our foot soldiers to let the people know that with N40,000 a family of six can enjoy adequate healthcare per annum and individuals can also register for the scheme with just N8000 per annum,” she stated.

According to Adenusi, people were not to pay money in cash to the agents, but that they could pay in all banks and through POS given to the agents to register for the scheme.

She charged the wellness ambassadors to ensure that they carried the people along through proper packaging of the health insurance scheme, saying that they must be pacesetters of the scheme.

Adenusi appealed to Lagosians to make use of the opportunity afforded them to register for the scheme in their own interest as they would spend less on health coverage.

Lagos last PDP lawmaker defects, apologies to colleagues

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Last Peoples Democratic Party, PDP lawmaker at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Dipo Olorunrinu, has formally defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Olorunrinu’s defection was announced on the floor of the House on Monday in a letter read by the Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni.

To ensure he defects, some of the PDP leaders from Olorunrinu’s constituency who were at the plenary included, ward chairman, Hassan Yusuf, Moses Inuha, Ikechukwu Ikenna among others.

In the letter which was titled, “Letter of defection from PDP to APC,” the lawmaker apologized for his late defection, saying “I sincerely apologize that the defection is coming now. I ask for mercy.”

Olorunrinu who is representing Amuwo Odofin I, stated that he had now seen reasons to join his other colleagues from PDP who had dumped the party for APC, saying “As a young progressives minded politician, I realign with APC.”

He expressed delight over the leadership qualities of the National leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and a senior member of the House who is a Senator-elect, Sikiru Osinowo.

In his comments on the floor, Olorunrinu who requested for a handshake from the Speaker as it was done in the past, said “Once upon a time, we had eight of us from PDP in 2015, I said to myself I must join the progressives.”

He described PDP as a party that lacks structure and vision, adding that “I said to myself I must join the progressive which is the ruling party, APC.

“I decided to align with APC being the winning train and party that will take Lagos to the next level, I also thank the leadership of the House for providing me with all the tools to work for greater development of my people despite being in opposition all this while”, Olorunrinu said.

While commending Olorunrinu for the bold step, the Speaker said, “the best party in Lagos is APC, there is nothing to gain in PDP.

“At last we have the only man standing who has now joined those who are standing. We welcome you. You have always been with us, only that you refused to dump the leaking umbrella,” Obasa said.