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Scores injured as explosion rocks Abia’s Catholic Church

By News desk

Scores of worshippers were injured on Tuesday when an explosion rocked the Diocesan Headquarters of Umuahia Catholic Archdiocese, popularly Mater Dei Catholic Church on Azikiwe road in Umuahia, Abia State.

It was gathered the explosion, which occurred in the church premises at about 2:45pm, caused pandemonium in the area as residents who were taken by surprise scampered for safety.

It was gathered that the cathedral revealed the explosion was caused by an old abandoned petrol tank, which had been buried and long forgotten.

The church gardener, after his routine cleanup was said to have unknowingly set fire on heap of refuse collected while cleaning the compound directly where the tank was buried

The heat from the fire was said to have triggered the explosion, which affected roofs of houses around the cathedral.

No life was said to however been affected during the incident.

Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, disclosed that personnel of the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) of the State Command have been deployed to the scene of the incident.

“A cleaner in the church, after sweeping the compound set fire on the debris and the debris spread to a disused underground fuel tank and exploded, bringing down part of a nearby fence and shattering a vehicle parked in the next compound.

“As I speak to you, the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) of the Police; the Bomb Disposal Unit has been moved to the place to make all assurance that there is nothing much more than the facts that we know now.

“By tomorrow, when they come out with their scientific report, I will also update members of the public,” he added.

Adamawa Governor signs three laws on citizen protection

By Newsdesk

Governor of Adamawa State, Mohammed Jibrilla, has signed three new laws aimed at protecting the rights of citizens of the state.

Jibrila stated that the laws, the Penal Code Law, the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, were targeted at addressing needs of the common man in the state.

The governor, signed the three laws on Tuesday while declaring open the 2018 Law Week in Yola, argued that the laws would ensures that citizens were not detained arbitrarily.

According to him, with these laws, citizens will be given a fair hearing, while the third, is the Proceeds of Criminal Law.

He assured members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) that his government will continue to support the Judiciary in ensuring that justice is served.

Woman dies, husband hospitalised after phone explodes

By News desk

A 45-year-old woman has died in Kenya after a mobile phone she was charging with solar power suddenly exploded in her bedroom.

The woman identified as Mary Akinyi died on the spot after sustaining serious injuries on her face and head when the phone that was being charged exploded.

Her husband, Patrick Yala, sustained severe injury and was rushed to Ndiru Health Centre for medication.

It was gathered that the accident in Kadiburo Village, Kagan, Rangwe sub county of the country occurred on Sunday night.

Though the phone model was unknown but there had been reports of mobile phones catching fire in the past and people have often been warned to keep away from their ears, the mobile gadgets when being charged.

According to Nathaniel Ochieng’, the deceased’s brother in law, the mobile phone exploded after lightning struck a solar panel on the roof.

“The mobile phone was charging in the bedroom where the couple was sleeping during a heavy downpour in the area.”

Ochieng’ hinted that electronic devices connected to solar power in the house were also destroyed.

“Efforts of family members to rescue Akinyi proved futile since she was already overwhelmed by the burns. It was an unprecedented incident in this area,” Ochieng’ said.

Dancun Ngicho, Medical officer in charge of Ndiru health centre, disclosed that Yala sustained a serious shock in the incident.

He said the patient was vomiting blood which put him in a critical condition.

Ngicho said Yala developed general body weakness and had some glass cuts on his face.

Police arrests six Sahara Reporters publisher’s campaign members for vandalizing posters

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

As part of the effort to prevent breakdown of law and order, the Nigerian Police has arrested six members of African Action Congress (AAC) allegedly caught vandalizing campaign posters in Lagos State.

The suspects identified as Olagokun Odunayo, Kool-kloud Henry, Ugaju Joseph, Damilola Omidiji, Michael Kate and Banwo Olagokun, were arrested while removing other candidates poster and replaced them with theirs.

The following exhibits, according to Police, were recovered from the suspects : a poster bearing the picture of the presidential candidate of the AAC, Omoyele Sowore, brush, buckets containing gums and turn off posters of other political parties .

The arrest of the six came barely a week after Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi, outlawed campaign poster vandalism in the state.

In a statement on Sunday, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO),Chike Oti, said that the suspects under the code name ‘Take It Back movement, added that their action further negates Lagos State Sinage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) laws that forbade advertisers from pasting posters at no other hour than during the day.

Oti stated that the commissioner has directed that the suspects be charged to court on Monday for malicious damage and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace to serve as a deterrent to others.

Recall that an agreement was reached to the effect that no political party should undertake the defacing of campaign posters of other political parties nor the destruction of their billboards, at a meeting recently held at the Police Officers Mess, GRA, Ikeja, tagged Security and Stakeholders meeting involving the Independent National Electoral Commissioning (INEC), Chairmen of all political parties in the state and their flag bearers, chaired by Imohimi.

128 passengers perish, 2, 254 others sustain injuries in road crashes

By Newsdesk

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has disclosed that no fewer than 128 persons perished and 2, 254 others sustained severe injuries during in 673 road crashes across the country in September.

In the figure released by the Corps, there was a 31 per cent and 17 per cent reduction in crashes and fatality cases recorded respectively as against the statistics gathered during the previous month.

FRSC disclosed the statistics on Sunday in its monthly Road Traffic Crash (RTC) Report signed by the Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

According to the report, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had highest number of crashes and fatality cases in September, recording 81 crashes and 22 fatalities.

The report added that Kaduna, Niger, Ogun, Yobe and Oyo trailed FCT in order of magnitude.

Analysis based on crash-prone routes revealed that Kaduna-Abuja road recorded the highest number of crashes in the month under review.

“Lagos-Ibadan road followed with 48 cases and Abuja-Lokoja road recorded 37 cases,’’ the report said.

It also revealed that speed violation accounted for 359 cases or 51 per cent of the total road accidents in the month under review.

“Out of the total of 1,099 vehicles involved in road crashes in September, cars accounted for 366 representing 33 per cent.

“Mini buses followed with 224 representing 20 per cent while motorcycle with 209 represented 11 per cent,’’ it stated.

It said further that the number of crashes in September when compared with that of the corresponding month in 2017 showed two per cent reduction in fatality.

The report also showed 11 per cent increase in crashes and 15 per cent increase in the number of persons injured.

It however noted that road crash injuries could be prevented through a holistic involvement and synergy from multiple sectors such as transport and police, among others.

The report urged the Federal Government to take steps to ensure that the National Assembly provided an effective legislation capable of ensuring safety on roads.

“This is as our existing traffic laws do not reflect contemporary safety needs of the public,’’ the report said.

18 LASTMA officers killed in 2018-Ambode

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday disclosed that no fewer than 18 officers of the State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA were mowed down or shot while managing traffic in the state this year.

Ambode also disclosed that atleast 24 officers have been rendered incapacitated over time by reckless drivers who often disobeyed the State 2012 road traffic law.
The governor disclosed these after a closed door meeting at the LASTMA Headquarters which was attended by the traffic officers, Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi, Lagos Sector Commander,  Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Hyginus Omeje and members of his cabinet.

It was gathered that over 10 LASTMA officers were mowed down last year by recalcitrant drivers while managing traffic within the state.

While disclosing the crux of their deliberation, Ambode stated that it serve as a means to commiserate with the traffic managers over death of their colleague, Rotimi Adeyemo, who was shot by a policeman attached to Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad, FSARS, Olukunle Olonade, at Iyana-Ipaja roundabout in Alimosho axis.

“As at today, we have lost 18 LASTMA officers in the line of duty, just because they were performing their civic duty. I also have 24 LASTMA officers that are permanently incapacitated in various hospitals this year alone,” the governor added.

He hinted that the statistics were kept over time in order not to cause any panic or chaos in Lagos but Adeyemo’s death barely two weeks ago compelled them to release the data recorded over time.

“We have not been churning out this data, just because we believe Lagosians will understand that this men and women we put on the line of duty, are harmless and have nothing to protect themselves, except the traffic laws they tend to protect and regulate vehicle movement in the state.

“This is a sober moment for us, but again, I need to encourage and further appeal to all our other law enforcement officers, that the State Government is with them and would do everything to protect their lives and create a conducive atmosphere for them to work.”

.Orders creation of 15 mobile courts

Worried by the persistent attack, Ambode ordered that more mobile courts be established to prosecute any motorist found violating traffic law in the state.

He stressed that the state government cannot fold its arms anymore and allows drivers or anyone kill personnel working for Lagos growth and development.

According to him, we have directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to immediately increase the number of mobile courts from five to 20 and traffic offenders will be tried instantly on the spot.

“Government will not continue to fold its arms and allow traffic officers to be in danger.

First I appeal to all you, that we must obey traffic laws, secondly, we cannot turn the state into a state of lawlessness.

“So from this moment onwards, all our security agencies and also all officers concerned to discipline any traffic offender that is arrested. Government will go down and deal squarely with any traffic offender henceforth.

We cannot allow people continue to commit offences for which we need to discipline them for. We will not allow traffic offenders to go scot-free anymore.

“The State Government does not want people to take advantage of the yuletide or because election is fast approaching we have majority of our people to protect and ensure they use the road safely,” he added.

Assuring residents that the government has intensified efforts towards boosting security, the governor disclosed that number of policemen deployed to streets have been increased basically to crime in the state.

“We assure everybody that we will enjoy a crime-scene holiday and election.

Police officers have been told to complement efforts of traffic officers and ensure that the streets are safe and that every law abiding resident goes about without fear and molestation.”

.announces N10m compensation to Adeyemo’s family

The governor disclosed that N10 million would be paid to family of the slain LASTMA officer as compensation to the family over the loss they suffered.

Earlier, Imohimi assured residents that they would synergize with other agencies within the state to restore sanity on Lagos roads.

Police deploys 500 crime combat personnel ahead Davido, RCCG, Shiloh concerts

By Maryam Haruna

In a bid to reduce travel time and prevent crime, Lagos State Police Command on Friday deployed additional five hundred policemen to various routes on the Lagos Island with special focus on Apogbon, TBS, Eko Hotels and environs .

This was sequel to the several events holding within the axis including The Experience, Adekunle Gold Concert and the Davido Concert.

Also factored in the strategy were people who could be embarking on religious pilgrimage to Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Holy Ghost Congress at Redeem Camp and Shiloh at the Winners’ Chapel.

According to the police, the deployment was done  to boost the number of personnel already at various points in the area.

“Expectedly, the aforementioned events will lead to surge in vehicular and human traffic thereby bringing additional pressure to the already strained traffic situation in the commercial city resulting in gridlock.”

To ameliorate the foreseen situation, the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, has warned criminals who might want to take advantage of the upcoming events to stay away from the Island and indeed the state as anyone caught will be summarily dealt with.

Imohimi, in a statement by Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chike Oti, hinted that the command will be collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other relevant traffic management agencies to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the state.

He assures of peaceful yuletide season and enjoins Lagosians to enjoy moderately during the festive period.

Inmates floor INEC as court orders registration ahead 2019 election

By Newsdesk

A Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo State, on Friday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure inmates were included on the National Voters’ Register for 2019 election.

Justice Samuel Oseji gave the directive while delivering a judgment in an appeal filed by four inmates at the Benin Prisons for themselves and on behalf of other inmates across the country.

Oseji, while delivering his judgement, accepted seven other prayers by the applicants which were earlier granted in the matter by Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Benin City four years ago.

Among the issues brought for determination by the applicants when the case first commenced in 2014 was whether the plaintiffs are not entitled to be registered as voters by the first defendant which is INEC.

They based their argument on the provisions of section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended in 2011, and section 12 sub-section 1 of the Electoral Act 2010.

Oseji then ordered INEC to liaise with the Nigerian Prisons Service in order to update and include the names of inmates on the voters’ register.

He explained that this was necessary to ensure that the inmates can exercise their franchise in the coming general elections and subsequent ones, as enshrined in the Constitution.

Addressing reporters after the judgment, counsel to the applicants President Aigbokhan commended the ruling of the court, saying, the judgement has made Nigeria second in Africa to allow inmates vote.

Courts sends three human traffickers to jail

By Newsdesk

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has disclosed that it secured three convictions in two weeks.

NAPTIP’s spokesman, Adekoya Vincent, who disclosed the conviction in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, said that a 25-year-old trafficker, Eric David, was on Thursday (Dec. 6) sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

He explained that the conviction came two weeks after another two traffickers were sent to prison for similar offence.

“The war against human trafficking is very effective and we are making some progress.

“Just yesterday (Thursday) one Eric David, a 25-year-old man was sentenced to seven years imprisonment by Justice Oguntoyibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

“The convict was found guilty of trafficking a 19-year-old girl (name withheld) to Mali for sexual exploitation,” he added.

The spokesman stated that the convicts had earlier trafficked some of his victims to Mali for prostitution and returned to Nigeria to recruit more girls before he was arrested.

“The latest conviction comes barely one week after another Court in Lagos sent two other traffickers to prison for trafficking some girls abroad for prostitution.”

It noted that the prosecution and conviction of traffickers would serve as a motivation for NAPTIP and its operatives to do more.

Aregbe engages 300 young entrepreneurs, entertainers, to chart Lagos developments strategy

By Maryam Haruna
As part of measure to ensure Lagos State continue to evolve in spheres, the Youth Organizing Secretary, the state chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC), Idris Aregebe, has concluded plans to build a youth platform that provides innovative ideas and prompt solutions to any challenges confronting the state.
Aregbe hinted that no fewer than 300 youth influencers, entertainment exponents and young entrepreneurs from each council in the state would be engaged on platform.
Through a statement issued on Friday by his office, the organizing secretary stated that the platform will commence with a two-day roundtable discussion themed ‘Entertainment As Tool For Nation Building,’ at the La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Akodo, Ibeju–Lekki, Lagos.
Aregbe, who also doubled as convener of ‘ Our Lagos, Your Lagos initiative,’ stressed that the object of the platform was to build formidable youth platform where ideas and strategies could be adopted in pushing the boundaries of innovation, growth and development of Lagos.
“Entertainment has become a viable tool of communication to reach both the young and old, hence it will seem appropriate to explore the vast opportunities of this profession to engage the youths on the importance of nation building.”
According to him, some of Nigeria’s prominent and award-winning entertainers have expressed their committed interest in participating in this historic event.
Aside entertainment, Aregbe disclosed that the platform would further explore benefits of youth participation in politics, saying, the Nigerian youths are yet to look beyond the optics of the present times and heed clarion call of governance as the nation’s beacon of hope.
He emphasized that his office would not desist from exploring avenues to engage and increase youth participation in politics, even as assistance would often be given to youths with laudable initiatives, basically for individual growth and development in Lagos State.