Woman, husband sell their six-hour-old baby for N850,000

Woman, husband sell their six-hour-old baby for N850,000

Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri

OPERATIVES of the Imo State Police Command have apprehended five members of a child trafficking syndicate who allegedly sold a six-hour-old baby for N850,000 shortly after he was born.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Rabiu Ladodo, who paraded the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Owerri on Saturday, described the crime as “absurd and irritating.”

Ladodo said the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigation.

The CP noted that it was unbelievable that the mother of the newborn, Chinonye Oparaocha, 23, conspired with the other suspects to trade the child after delivery.

The other suspects are Confidence Anyanwu, 28; Duru Christian, 38; George Iyowuna, 38, and William Cynthia, 44.

Ladodo said the mother of the baby conspired with a nurse at the hospital where she was delivered of the baby to take the child to Rivers State, where he was trafficked for N850,000.

According to him, it took coordinated intelligence from his men for the baby to be recovered and the suspects arrested.

The CP said, “On February 8, 2019, at an undisclosed clinic on Nekede Road in the Owerri West LGA, one Chinonye Oparaocha was delivered of a baby boy.

“The woman immediately conspired with one Confidence Anyanwu, a nurse and native of Umuhu Okwuato in the Aboh Mbaise LGA, in company with her husband, Amanze Anyanwu (at large), and carried the six hours old baby to Port Harcourt in Rivers State, where one Duru Christian, was standing by.”

The CP explained that at Port Harcourt, Christian in company with Iyowuna, met them and took custody of the baby.

Ladodo said, “George Iyowuna met them at their hideout, took the baby boy and handed him over to a prospective buyer, William Cynthia and her husband, who eventually paid the sum of N850,000.

Driver steals company’s vehicle over threat of sacking
“On April 13, operatives of the Scorpion Squad of the command, after diligent investigation, arrested these five suspects, including the mother of the baby and the nurse, who delivered her of the baby.”

The CP said the suspects had given useful information to the police, adding that efforts were ongoing to arrest other fleeing members of the gang.

Third Mainland Bridge is safe – Works ministry

Third Mainland Bridge is safe – Works ministry

The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, on Sunday said that the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos was safe for use, contrary to a Facebook posting spreading fears about the bridge.

The Ministry in a statement signed by Mr Hakeem Bello, Special Adviser, Communications, to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, added that the expansion joints being speculated to be dangerous was among those slated for repairs.

“The General Public is hereby informed that the expansion joint shown in a Facebook video clip, is one of those slated for change during repairs on the Third Mainland Bridge which will commence soon.

“It is still functioning and our engineers and consultants have advised that it does not pose any structural danger to the bridge and it is safe for use.

“Commuters and Lagos residents will recall that the Third Mainland Bridge was shut down for a 3-day Investigative Maintenance in August 2018.

“Tests done on the expansion joints then — called static and dynamic load tests — were to check functionality. A number of expansion joints were identified for replacement then.

“More recently, in March this year, underwater confirmatory tests preceding the repair works to be done on the Bridge, were carried out on the piles to determine if there is further deterioration or not on the piles from that done in 2013.

“However, all the tests done preparatory to closure of the Bridge to commence comprehensive Maintenance works indicate that the integrity of the Bridge is intact.

“Therefore, the Third Mainland Bridge is safe for use, and people should desist from spreading or sharing false information about the Bridge on Social Media platforms.

“The expansion joints to be replaced are part of a regular bridge maintenance programme that has been neglected for decades, which the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is now addressing frontally, on many bridges nationwide.

“Such maintenance works include resurfacing of the Bridge, along with several others, which this administration is also undertaking as the bridge users will attest to a better driving surface,’’ it stated.

The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland; the others are the Eko Bridge and the Carter Bridge.

(NAN)

Father, son remanded for raping, impregnating teenager

Father, son remanded for raping, impregnating teenager

• Home video seller nabbed for molesting minor in Lagos
Deji Lambo

Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested one Kabiru Oke, and his son, Faruq, for allegedly raping and impregnating the daughter of the sister to Kabiru’s wife in the Egbeda area of the state.

The suspects were alleged to have taken advantage of the fact that the victim lived with them by having carnal knowledge of her and threatened to kill her if she revealed the molestation to anyone.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, in a statement on Sunday, said the suspects were exposed after the victim’s mother suspected some changes in her, which led to the discovery that she was pregnant.

He stated that the personnel of the command arrested the suspects after receiving a complaint from the victim’s mother, adding that both Kabiru and Faruq had been charged to court for molestation.

Elkana said, “On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the command’s Gender Unit received a complaint of molestation of a minor reported by the mother of the minor against the husband of her elder sister, Kabiru Oke, 44, and his son, Faruq Oke, 19, at No 1 Olatikupo Street, Egbeda.

“The victim has lived with the perpetrators for a couple of years. The unholy affair between the minor and the first suspect started on Saturday, October 20, 2018, with the suspect having constant sexual intercourse with the victim. The second suspect, being the son of the first suspect, started having unlawful carnal knowledge of the same minor on Thursday, January 10, 2019. The suspects had constantly threatened to kill the victim if she ever told anyone about the affairs.

“The victim exposed them when her mother noticed some changes in her and discovered that she was pregnant. The victim was taken to the Mirabel Centre by our Gender Unit for medical examination. The two suspects were arrested and charged to Magistrates’ Court 2, Ogba, for molestation. The case was adjourned till Monday, May 13, 2019, while the suspects were remanded in the Kirikiri Prison.”

Similarly, one Alfred Marainerume, 45, has been arrested by the command for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl around Oke Itunu Church Close in the Ejigbo area of the state.

Elkana said whenever the victim was coming back from school, Alfred usually lured her into his shop to have sex with her, adding that the victim’s grandmother, after perceiving some unusual odour on the victim’s body, subjected her to questioning that made her to reveal how the suspect had been having carnal knowledge of her inside his shop.

The PPRO stated that Alfred usually gave the victim some drugs after sex to prevent her from getting pregnant, adding that in his statement to the police, the suspect revealed that he turned the victim into his sex partner after he divorced from his wife in May 2018.

He said, “The matter was reported to our Gender Unit by the mother of the victim. The complainant stated that they live on the same street with the suspect and that the suspect usually called the victim into his shop while on her way back from school along Iyana Ejigbo Road, Lagos, were he sells Nigerian home videos, and have unlawful sexual intercourse with her in the shop.

“The crime began in May 2018 up to Wednesday, March 27, 2019. The suspect, in his statement to the police, said that he turned the victim into his sex partner after he divorced his wife in May 2018. The matter was discovered on Saturday, March 27, 2019, around 2pm, by the victim’s grandmother, who perceived some odour on the body of the victim, when she returned home, and subjected her to questioning.

“The victim opened up to her grandmother and narrated the whole story. She further stated that the suspect threatened that she would die if she ever disclosed it to her parents and that he usually gave her some drugs to take and equally mixed salt and water for her to take after sex to prevent her from getting pregnant. Investigation is ongoing and the suspect will be charged to court for molestation.”

How our father defiled, raped us, two sisters tell court

How our father defiled, raped us, 2 sisters tell court

Two sisters on Monday told an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Special Offences Court, how their father, Gabriel Ogbar, allegedly defiled and raped them at their residence at Oke-Ogbe, Atura area of Badagry, Lagos State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two sisters (names withheld) made the revelation at the ongoing trial of Ogbar, a middle-aged driver, for defiling and raping his three daughters.

Sister A (23) told the court that she endured sexual abuse from her father for five-years from the age of 12 until she was 18-years-old.

She said in her testimony: “When I was 12-years-old, I was living with my mum and dad, my mum is not always around because she is a businesswoman and my father was a driver at the time.

“Whenever my mother is not around, he comes to me at night with a knife or screwdriver or something harmful to threaten me to open up to sleep with me, because I was scared at the time, I gave in to his requests to sleep with me.

“It continued for a very long time, I could not tell anyone about it because I was scared. When I got to the age of 18-years, there was a night he came to me but I ran to my mum’s pastor who is Mrs Ochiegbu and I reported the event to her.

“I hid in her church and my dad came and was saying that I should start coming home but unknown to him, I had explained everything to them at church, I waited at the church till my mother returned and I went home with her.

“The next day, the pastor called my mother and told her everything I told her, she was upset and did not know what to do.”

Sister A said that her father continued to ask her for sex and she had to run away from home for a year, she said she had thought the abuse at home had stopped until her older sister (Sister B) caught their father defiling their 13-year-old sister.

“I and my older sister (Sister B) went for a vigil, my father did not allow our younger sister to go for the vigil, my older sister said she had a funny feeling and needed to go home to check on our younger sister.

“When she got home everywhere was quiet and being suspicious, she went to the window to peep and she saw my dad trying to rape our younger sister, he had just finished fingering her.

“My older sister shouted and ran back to the church to report what happened, I and my older sister went back to the house to get our younger sister out of the house.

“He started attacking us and we started fighting him too, our younger sister ran out and we told her to go to the church until my mum came because she comes late.

“We reported to our mum and asked our younger sister how long it had been going on and she explained that it had been a very long time he had been doing it to her and that she told her uncle at school,” she said.

Sister A said that the abuse was reported to Andrew Ogbar, the defendant’s brother who threatened them that they should not testify against their father.

Sister B who is 25-years-old while giving her testimony, told the court that the sexual abuse from their father started when she was 10-years-old.

She said that nobody believed her when she reported the abuse to the police.

“When it started, he threatened that he will kill me if I told anyone, because he used to scare me, I used to run away from home to stay with my friends and my mum never knew about it.

“One day he was beating and threatening me, I could not take it anymore and I again ran away from home. He was pursuing me and I ran to the police station at Iba.

“The police asked me what happened and I told them what happened, the police thought I was lying because my father was pursuing me.

“The police caught him, he denied my allegations and said that it is because I ran away from home, that is why I made up the allegations, the police believed him,” Sister B said.

She said the family moved to Atura in Badagry and the sexual abuse continued. Sister B also gave insight into the night she caught her father defiling her 13-year-old sister.

“I looked through the window and saw my father sleeping with my little sister. I went into the house and caught my father coming out of the room he shares with my mum.

“I saw my little sister shaking and crying and my father ran out immediately he saw me asking me why I was back home from the vigil and I thought to myself that this man thinks I don’t know what is going on.

“I asked my younger sister what happened and she said that daddy just finished sleeping with her, I was angry and provoked, I shouted because I wanted the whole street to know what was going on,” Sister B said.

Sister B said that following the revelation that their father was also defiling the youngest sister, their father became aggressive, threatening the sisters and their mother.

“The threats were too much, my father hit my mother with a stick and wanted to burn her alive with fuel.

“We reported him to the Marogbo Police Station but he kept evading arrest until the police caught him.

“When the police saw the injuries on my mum’s hand from my father, they believed us and that is when we were taken from one court to another,” she said.

While being cross-examined by Mr Peter Odoeme, Sister B noted that she caught her father defiling their 13-year-old sister in July 2015.

NAN reports that on Feb. 25, the youngest sister (name withheld) had privately given evidence in court about the alleged defilement.

The press and members of the public were asked to leave the courtroom during the third sister’s testimony because she was a minor.

Following the testimony of the sisters, Justice Abiola Soladoye adjourned the case until May 23 for continuation of trial. (NAN)

18 die, 41 injured in Lagos Island building collapse

18 die, 41 injured in Lagos Island building collapse

by Tajudeen Adebanjo, Olatunde Odebiyi and Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

No fewer than 18 persons died yesterday when a four-storey building collapsed on Lagos Island. Forty-one others were injured.

The incident occurred at No 14, Massey Street, Opposite Oja, Ita-Faaji.

The building, housing Ohen Private Nursery and Primary School on its third floor, caved in at about 10:20am, trapping scores of pupils.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, who confirmed the casualty figure, said many of the rescued were taken to Lagos Island General Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), among others.

The Nation learnt that the large number of casualties sparked a shortage of blood with the general hospital calling for donors.

Idris said rescue efforts will continue today.

According to Lagos State Emergency management Agency (LASEMA) General Manager Adeshina Tiamiyu, over 41 people were rescued from the rubble of the building, which had been marked for demolition since 2014.

An eyewitness, Abayomi Olaniyan, said he was among those rescuing the victims before the official rescue team came.

Olaniyan, said: “Some were rescued alive, some dead. One of the teachers still called shortly that she was on the ground floor of the collapsed building, trapped with 20 pupils.

“Something similar happened around here last year. The issue of building collapse is common here and government must do something about it. Houses will be marked and due for demolition but they will not demolish it; they will renovate it. So many houses here are weak; they are meant to be demolished but they will tell you they are renovating it; they will only paint it.”

An eyewitness, Bola Ogunyemi, said: “The pupils were already lined up from their third floor classes when the school owner noticed that the building was cracking. Before the kids could be arranged from their classes, the building had collapsed”. The school owner and some kids have been taken to the hospital.”

Some youths who are resident in the area were complaining that the rescue efforts were slow.

Since they were told to leave the scene, nobody was removed for about 30 minutes, they said at about 5p.m.

The officers and LASEMA officials, the boys said, were not doing enough.

Some of the boys were recalled to the scene.

The casualties

The school owner was among the first casualties.

She was taken to the General Hospital, where she died after efforts by the medicals to save her proved abortive.

A distraught mother of two victims urged the rescuers to help bring out her son, Luqman, from the rubble.

The woman’s daughter, Tobi, had earlier been rescued.

Among the victims is a woman, who called his brother that she was still trapped.

She told her brother that the caterpillar was on their floor, pleading that it should be moved back

“I am under the caterpillar. Help tell the driver to move back,” the victim under the rubble told her troubled brother.

An expectant woman was among those that were pulled out of the rubble alive. A man, who was trapped in the building, was said to have come home to eat. He was yet to be rescued as at press time.

A man, Bashiru Alagbala, who came to visit his wife, was brought out dead.

A family of four – father, mother, son and grandson – was also trapped. Father, mother and grandson were rescued but the son was said to be still under the rubble.

A source told The Nation that one of the dead was a pupil, who turned 10 yesterday.

The source said: “Today (yesterday) is his birthday and it is unfortunate that he died today. I learnt that he told his mother that he did not want to go to school today (yesterday). His mother must have seen him as a lazy boy. Sometimes, these little children see what we adults do not see. His mother should have talked about why he did not want to go to school, but I learnt his mother forced him to go and he died. She must be regretting that now.”

Another source said a pair of twin brothers was also trapped in the building. One was said to have died; the other was rescued alive with serious injuries.

A woman, who refused to be named, said her daughter, Azeezat, was still trapped in the rubble. She said she had been to all the hospitals but did not find her.

A former teacher in the school, Bukola Salami, said the building had been shaking since last year.

“I worked in the school for six months and I resigned last December because the building was shaking. When I was in the school, I used to hear sounds as if someone was throwing stones from the walls. The building cracks and the walls shake at times. I told the school owner about my observations, I told her to relocate the school elsewhere, but she said there was no money for the school to be relocated. I resigned last year because of the fear that someday the building might collapse.”

Where are the victims?

A nurse at Massey Street Children Hospital, Lagos Island, told The Nation that some of the victims brought to the hospital were given first aid and transferred to other hospitals for proper medical care.

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Titi Gonclaves, told reporters at the Lagos Island General Hospital that five of the 20 early casualties were transferred to other hospitals after being attended to.

At the entrance of the hospital was pasted 41 names of the stable survivors: 22 females, 17 males. Two were unidentified.

Crowd hampered rescue, says Health Commissioner

Commissioner for Health Jide Idris confirmed the casualty figures of 18 deaths and 41 injured.

He lamented that the large number of spectators slowed down rescue efforts and he could not give a definite casualty figure until today.

Idris said: “Our doctors and nurses are working round the clock. A lot of them were mobilised from different hospitals down here. Doctors from federal institutions are also assisting because of the seriousness of this incident.

“We will not be able to give full information now until tomorrow (today) morning. Some have been taken to LASUTH, LUTH and we don’t know if more people will be rescued.

“The state of things now is getting calm than earlier because there were a lot of emotions.

The medical teams have done their best. It would have been done better and faster but for the crowd.

“So far all we care is to bring people out alive.”

General Hospital seeks blood donors

The Lagos Island General Hospital was last night calling for voluntary blood donors.

The hospital’s Blood Donor Clinic said it had received 50 pints of blood at press time, with more people responding to the call.

An official at the clinic, Akin, thanked the donors.

“Most of the victims brought here today (yesterday) are casualties and most of the blood donated here are majorly used for casualties.

“We screen for our donors, we check for TTI and PCV, then we check to know if the donor is fit.

The minimum requirement for a female donor is 38 percent at least, while male is 40 percent upwards. Then we also check if the female donor is not on her period, we check for malaria and other tests; if they are fit, we start the procedure.

“Blood is life, we thank the blood donors for coming out en masse to support the hospital and the government,” Olojo told The Nation.

Ambode orders probe, takes over victims’ medical expenses

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode commiserated with families of the victims and promise to pay the victims’ medical bills.

Ambode, who visited the scene of the incident at about 2:42pm, described the incident as “unfortunate”.

He urged residents to allow rescuers space to carry out their operations.

Ambode said: “I want to commiserate with the families of those that lost their lives in this collapsed building. I want to quickly let Lagosians know that this is quite an unfortunate incident. All we are trying to do is to scale up this rescue operation.

“Our response units are already here; we are getting additional cranes to be able to go deeper than where we are now to rescue more lives.

“I just want to appeal to people that when we are doing this kind of rescue operation, yes, sympathisers will naturally come, but I want to appeal that they should give the rescue workers the chance to save more lives.”

The Governor said his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, was visiting hospitals where some of the victims rescued had been taken to.

“The Deputy Governor is in the hospital actually taking care of those that were rescued and taken to the hospital, most especially the children. We will immediately take care of whatever it is that we can do, including the hospital bills.

“All we are interested in now is to save more lives and also see how those that have been rescued are put in proper place and proper care,” Ambode said.

‘Several buildings marked for demolition’

Ambode said he had received information that the building was residential, with the school operating illegally within the premises.

He said most of the buildings in the area had been marked for demolition but that some property owners defied such notices. Structurally defective buildings would be demolished, he stressed, adding:

“The first observation is that this is an old building and it is only the penthouse and the other floors that we have been able to use to rescue people.

“So far, from what I have been briefed, we have rescued about 25 people and some already dead but we were earlier informed that it was a school; the building is not technically a school; it is a residential building that was actually accommodating an illegal school, so to speak, on the second floor.

“Like we have said, we have been carrying out a lot if integrity tests on the buildings in this neighborhood and, as you can see, some of them have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from landlords, but we must continue to save lives and we would intensify our efforts to see that those that have failed our integrity test, we would ensure that they are quickly evacuated and we’ll bring the structures down,” he said.

Ambode also said a probe would be carried out immediately rescue operations are concluded. Those found culpable, he promised, will be dealt with in accordance with the laws.

“This is unfortunate but we will investigate what has happened and also see the punishment for whoever are the culprits.

‘’That is the secondary level but the most important thing right now is to save lives and I just appeal to people that they should give us the chance to save more lives,” he said.

Responding to a concern raised by a resident on the increase in illegal schools in the area, Ambode said all schools that fall within that category would be closed down.

‘Why LASEMA couldn’t bring in heavy equipment’

LASEMA General Manager Adeshina Tiamiyu said the environment did not allow the agency to bring in bigger equipment.

He said: “So far, over 40 people have been rescued by joint efforts of the community. They had rescued many people and we came and joined them with the efforts of other agencies.

“The work we have done here today has been by the help of this community and those of us in the official rescue team. They had been rescuing people before we came. We are trying to decide where to rescue them from. But we are doing our best.

“We must get to the bottom of the building, and account for everybody that they claim is in the building.”

Private owners disown school

Two main private school associations – the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) and the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) – denied any link with the collapsed school.

The National President of AFED, the umbrella group of private schools for low-income earners, Mr Emmanuel Orji, said the group had no records of the school’s membership.

“We have tried searching for information about the school. I don’t think it is one of our members,” he told The Nation on phone.

In the past, the government had clamped down on AFED schools for not being registered or operating according to laid down rules and regulations.

Orji said the space constraints in the densely populated area where the collapsed school was located may have limited the choice of properties available to use for schools.

SOME OF THE SURVIVORS

Rasheed Lasbat (f)
Ogunsanwo Olumide (m)
Adeyemo Kehinde (f)
Adedoyin Rukayat (f)
Sanusi Rukayat (f)
Sulaimon Baraka (f)
Rasheed Shukurat (f)
Komolafe Saidat (f)
Unknown (f)
Unknown (m)
Unknown (m)
Hassan Omotolani (f)
Abimbola Faruq (m)
Alabi Qayum (m)
Afolabi Rodiat (f)
Olawusi Rokibat (f)
Alawu Tayibat (f)
Adedoyin Kehinde
Unknown
Rasheed Labat (f)
Noimot Tise (f)
Alabi Kabiru (m)
Shasore Kabiru (m)
Ogunsanwo Daniel (m)
Owolabi Ayomide (m)
Ayeni Faruq (m)
Amoo Khalid (m)
Unknown (Iya Ope) (f)
Johnson Esther (f)
Hassan Jamiu (m)
Ajibade Saratu (f)
Unknown (f)
Samuel Esther (f)
Adesegiri Kemi (f)
Wasiu Segun (m)
Ayeni Asabi (f)
Alabi Kabiru (m)
Mubarak Olayinka (m)
Hassan Jamiu (m)
Ayanbola Demola (m)
Afolabi Samiat (f)

Source: The Nation

No public holiday on Friday – LASG

No public holiday on Friday – LASG

…Says All Public, Private Schools To Observe Mid-term Break Thursday, Friday

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday clarified reports making the rounds that it had declared Friday, March 8 as Public Holiday for Civil Servants, saying the information was untrue.

A report currently circulating on social media platforms had suggested that the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had declared Friday as public holiday to enable Lagosians prepare for the March 9 Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

But in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, the Government said that civil servants are expected to be at their various duty posts on Friday, and disregard any information to the contrary.

Bamigbetan reiterated that just as earlier announced by the State’s Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Idiat Adebule, all public and private schools in the State are expected to proceed on the 2nd Mid-Term Break on Thursday, 7 and Friday 8 March, 2019 and resume academic activities on Monday, March 11, 2019 in accordance with the revised School Calendar for 2018/2019 Academic Year.

Lagos State Govt Pays Family of Slain LASTMA Officer Compensation

Family of slain LASTMA officer gets compensation

Rotimi Adeyemo

The family of late Adeyemo Rotimi Oke, a traffic officer with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority traffic officer, who was killed by a policeman, while on duty, has received the ten million Naira compensation, promised by the Lagos State Government.

In a statement signed by LASTMA’s Head, Public Affairs, Mamud Hassan, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Taiwo Salam, presented the cheque on Friday to the family of the deceased at their Ipaja residence.

Adeyemo Rotimi Oke, was murdered by a policeman, Olukunle Olonade on December 2018 at Iyana Ipaja while he was controlling traffic.

While presenting the cheque, Salam paid tribute to the late Adeyemo, He described him as a dedicated, loyal and committed traffic officer and employee of the state government that would not be forgotten for a very long time.

Salam said Adeyemo’s death on duty showed his commitment to restoring law and order to Lagos roads and in the process, paid the supreme price.

While praying for the repose of his soul, the Permanent Secretary enjoined his family to put his children’s education and future on the front burner, when making decisions.

In his comments, the General Manager of the agency, Mr. Olawale Musa described Adeyemo as a hero and someone who lost his life in the service of God and humanity.

Musa said the agency in appreciation of his contribution to reducing lawlessness, chaos and impunity on Lagos roads has instituted a merit award to reward hard-working staff.

“The award tagged Bakare -Adeyemo Merit Award was instituted two weeks ago to keep his memory alive and that of Late Siraj Bakare who was killed in similar circumstances green in the hearts of colleagues.”

He assured that these gallant officers have not died in vain as their good work will continue to be valued by the agency forever.

The head of the family thanked the state government and Governor Akinwumi Ambode for living up to his word and that the family will not forget his swift response and compensation in their time of needs and that the money will be invested to the benefit and future of his family.

It would be recalled that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had promised the sum of ten million Naira to the family of the deceased after he was killed.

Lagos pipeline fire: Residents plea for assistance as police move to arrest culprits

Pipeline fire: Police intensify battle to arrest suspects

Posted By Precious Igbonwelundu

•Residents plead for help

The police in Lagos have intensified moves to arrest suspected pipeline vandals, whose activities resulted in Tuesday’s fire outbreak that razed vehicles and buildings in Abule Egba and Agege, The Nation learnt yesterday.

It was gathered that the police have received actionable intelligence on the whereabouts and other information about the group that siphoned Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from the pipelines at 4, Segun Akinola Street, opposite Tiper Garage, near Awori bus stop, Abule Egba, which caused the fire.

The Nation gathered that a joint security investigative team has been constituted and its mission is to arrest the suspects and their accomplices in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

This is just as more residents, including a 78-year-old landlord, Adio Salako, whose building was destroyed, have appealed to the government for succour.

Salako, who has been ill for sometime and was in his country home, Abeokuta, Ogun State, said he was called around 4am and told his property had been razed.

“I was called around 4am on Wednesday that my house has been destroyed by fire. I almost died from the shock, but I had to take my mind off it. I thank God that nobody died in the fire. I will appreciate it if the government can help us get back on our feet,” he said.

An auto-mechanic, Suru Oguntoyinbo, whose workshop was razed and 10 vehicles burnt, said some of the owners have visited the scene of the inferno and have accepted their fate, while others were yet to come.

He said some of the vehicles were repaired and kept for their owners to pick them up before the unfortunate incident.

Oguntoyinbo said: “Some of my customers have been informed about the incident. Some of them did not say anything. I believe they are confused or do not know what to say.

“The government is to blame for this disaster. If the government had secured the pipelines very well, this would not have happened.”

An evangelist, who said he forgot his aged mother in their apartment when he ran with his family, told reporters that as soon as his wife reminded him of her, he ran back to the house without thinking.

Adojo Osagie was thankful to God that he was able to save all members of his family and some of his properties from the inferno, saying the first thing he did was to remove the gas cylinder in their kitchen.

He said: “I am living with my four kids, wife and aged mother. My mother cannot walk without the help of someone. That day, after our night prayer, I slept off and around 2am, one of my daughters started shouting, fire! fire! I woke up and behold, there was fire.

“I opened my door to see if I could find out where the fire was coming from. I went to the kitchen and the fire was not coming from there. I removed the gas cylinder and I saw that the fire was heavy in other flats. I quickly came into the apartment, woke up my wife and children. We ran away forgetting my aged mother.

“I was confused. It was my wife who asked of my mother. I shouted and ran inside the apartment; I carried my aged mother, because she cannot walk without someone assisting her.”

Osagie pleaded with the state and federal governments to assist those who have lost their properties, noting that it was no fault of theirs.

He said it was God who saved him and his family from the destruction, adding that his neighbours usually complained he was disturbing them with prayers.

A community leader, Fatima Mohammed, who said she brought food for some of the victims, wondered why they were yet to be given relief materials.

She said it was bad that no government agency or official had visited to take stock of the damages and give succour to the victims.

Source: The Nation