Eye witnesses recount tragic last moments of Adewura Bello

‘We couldn’t save her because the flood was massive’ — man who witnessed Adewura Bello’s last moment speaks

Taiwo Adebulu

When Adewura Lateefat Bello left her place of work in Ikeja, Lagos, on May 15, she never knew that she would neither get home safely nor return there the next day but fate dealt a crushing blow on her, leaving her siblings and those who knew the young, beautiful, smart and reserved lady with memories.

It was a rainy day and the rain came with flood. The 26-year-old chartered accountant was rushing home to break the Ramadan fast with her family but just less than five minutes to her destination, she went into the journey of no return and the rest, as they say, is history.

HER LAST CONVERSATION

Around 7pm on that day, she told her sister, Fadesola, on phone, that she was around Cement bus stop, a distance of two kilometers from Gowon estate, Egbeda where her family lived. When she didn’t show up on time, Fadesola called her again; the phone rang but she did not pick. Fadesola might have assumed that it was because of the rain but when the day slipped into midnight, it dawned on the family that something was amiss but they probably didn’t know the depth of the situation. The search commenced immediately. After several hours of fruitless search, family and friends took to the social media to declare her missing, appealing to those who had information on her whereabouts to reach out but that also did not help in bringing her back.

Her corpse was said to have been found at a canal in Abule Odu in Alimosho local government area of Lagos. She was reportedly recognised thorugh the shirt she wore last and a birthmark as her face had been badly damaged.

On Sunday, Benjamin, Bello’s cousin, took to Twitter to announce that her body had been found in a canal.

“Thank you all for the search. Adewura is Dead. Her Body found in a canal. Heaven has gained an angel. We depart to meet again till we Meet again Adewura. Forever in our Heart. God, I am in pains but who am I the question you. Rip,” he tweeted.

‘WE WARNED THE MOTORCYCLE RIDER’

The manhole where Bello was believed to have slipped into. This metal fence wasn’t there when she fell

When TheCable visited the scene of the incident opposite Shagari estate, Ipaja, on Monday, the manhole was still open but had been guided with an iron fence. Residents had rallied round to prevent a recurrence of tragedy in the area.

According to witnesses, the victim had boarded a motorcycle behind the estate to take her home. As usual, the rain had wrecked havoc and flooded the street few meters away from a popular fast food restaurant. The motorcycle rider was warned not to pass through a flooded area, but he ignored the warning.

Bello was cut down in her prime

While meandering his way through the flowing water, the motorcycle tripped and fell. He was able to save himself and the motorcycle but Bello, however, was unlucky. The flood swept her away into the manhole that leads to a bigger canal.

“We warned the rider not to pass through the flood but he didn’t listen to us,” a mechanic, who didn’t want his identity disclosed, told TheCable.

“He rode near the manhole saying he could make his way through the flood to the other side. But he fell and he struggled for himself and the motorcycles. The lady was washed inside the hole. We couldn’t save her because the flood was massive.

“The driver was taken to Mosalasi police station and detained but he was later released.

“Anytime it rains, this whole place is usually covered up with high volume of water and it extends to the third street after Havana hotel. All the water from Shagari Estate, Mosan and other places around were diverted here. That’s why the whole street is bad. We always warn people not to pass there any time there’s flood.”

When asked why the manhole wasn’t covered, he said: “We had to open it anytime it rains so that the flood can pass through to the canal. If not, this place will become an ocean and destroy our properties. When we cover it, scavengers will remove it at night to sell to scrap dealers. So, it’s always open.”

An elderly man, who simply identified himself as Baba Segun, said the incident was unfortunate and avoidable. “Even as the manhole looks small, the canal is very big. Once my dog fell inside, I went inside and realised I was walking as though in subway. I think the canal terminates at a central sewage in Gemade estate.”

He added that after the flood subsided the next day, residents engaged two men to go inside the canal in search of Bello but they couldn’t get her.

“After the incident, we had to contribute money around here to put a metal fence around the manhole since we never can tell who the next victim could be, as we are in the raining season. Since we work here, we contribute money every year to buy truckloads of sand to fill the street to make it accessible for vehicles,” he said.

No policeman at Mosalasi police station was willing to speak. They insisted that only Bala Elkana, spokesman of the Lagos state police command, could comment on the issue. TheCable had demanded update on the the motorcycle rider who was arrested in connection with the incident. Elkana did not answer calls and is yet to reply text messages sent to him since Monday evening.

A SMART AND DEVOUT MUSLIM

Speaking with TheCable, Deolu Akinsanya, a school administrator who knew certain things about the deceased, described Bello, who hailed from Lagos Island, as a brilliant lady and a devout Muslim.

“I met her October 2018 when we both sat for an international English exam. She sat beside me. We have been friends since then and I call her at least once in two weeks,” Akinsanya said.

“She was based in Kigali, Rwanda where she worked with Deloitte before coming back to Nigeria. She’s special, kindhearted, gentle, smart and very down to earth. Also a devout Muslim.”

According to him, Adewura was born on March 3, 1993, second of three children and graduated from the department of accounting, University of Lagos (UNILAG) in 2013. He said she lost her father just six months ago.

When contacted, an elder brother of the deceased declined to comment on the matter. There are reports that Bello was buried at a cemetery in the Agege area of the state on Monday but TheCable cannot independently verify this.

The death of Bello has sparked a debate among Nigerians while some blame government not living up to its responsibilities, others attributed the tragic incident to the carelessness of residents. TheCable launched a campaign for her on Monday and many have been pouring out their minds.

Credit: TheCable

Taiwo Ogunjobi, Former-NFF Secretary General, is dead

Taiwo Ogunjobi, Ex-NFF Secretary General, is dead

Taiwo Ogunjobi

Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, former Secretary General of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is dead.

Ogunjobi, who before his demise was the Chairman of Osun Football Association, was confirmed dead by his Media aide, Mr Tunde Shamsudeen.

Shamsudeen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Osogbo, that Ogunjobi passed on in the early hours of Monday at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

He said the former NFF Secretary General was admitted at the hospital three days ago.

Shamudeen did not disclose the nature of the ailment that took Ogunjobi to the hospital, but said he would provide further details later. (NAN)

UNILAG Mourns As Prof Sophie Oluwole Dies At 83

UNILAG Mourns As Prof Sophie Oluwole Dies At 83

By Tunbosun Ogundare –

Prof Sophie Oluwole, the first Nigerian female doctorate degree holder in philosophy and a former Dean of Students’ Affiars, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, is dead.

She died on Monday at the aged of 83.

Confirming her death to TribuneOnline, the deputy Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG in charge of Academics and Research, Prof. Oluwole Familoni, said it was the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe had informed him and others of the demise of the woman earlier in the day.

He said the university community received the news with heavy heart, noting that the woman whom he described as a sound and workaholic lecturer was a thorough African philosopher.

According to him, the late professor was our former Dean of Students’ Affairs and she took her philosophical studies very seriously.

“Without a doubt, University of Lagos will miss her,” Prof Familoni added.

Prof Oluwole from Igbara-oke, Ondo State, studied history, geography and philosophy at UNILAG and retired from the department of history of the university 18 years ago.

She produced several books on philosophy including Ifa and Orunmila which aimed at correcting the Western philosophies on Africans.

Credit: Tribune

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

Tragedy: 19 drown in Kwara boat mishap

Boat mishap: 19 drown in Kwara boat mishap

No fewer than 19 children have been reportedly drowned in a boat mishap on Saturday in Lafiagi, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara.

The boat,newsmen learnt, was conveying the victims across River Niger for a programme at a traditional wedding ceremony in a community in Niger.

The boat, conveying about 22 people mostly children, capsized while crossing the river.

A source said that while two of the passengers were rescued, the 19 others drowned and died.

According to him, all effort to rescue other passengers proved abortive.

“As at yesterday evening, four corpses have been recovered from the river.

“Effort would resume this morning again to ensure that others also are found.

“Both men of the Nigeria Police and the State Fire Service were there yesterday in the rescue mission.

“Unfortunately only two of them survived,” the source told newsmen on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Sulyman Aliyu, the Secretary of the Lafiagi Traditional Council, has confirmed the incident.

Aliyu told newsmen that the number of the victims could not be ascertained yet, noting that there was a conflict in the number.

“Definitely they are up to 12. The figure is between 12 and that 19 that you said ” he said.

The secretary also confirmed that four corpses were recovered on Saturday and that efforts to remove others would continue on Sunday.

The Public Relations Officer of the Kwara Police Command, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, also confirmed the incident.

He told newsmen that the officers of the force and other security agencies had joined the local government council to recover the corpses.

He, however, said that the number of the passengers and the victims could not yet be ascertained as the recovery exercise was still ongoing.