All publications of Isaac Olamikan . Lagos , Nigeria


Murder of NBA member in Benin: Principal suspects give conflicting accounts

A mild drama ensued today, Monday, June 8, 2020, at the Edo State Police Command headquarters in Benin City as two principal suspects in the abduction and murder of a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch, Barrister Omon Iyoha Osobase, were being paraded before newsmen.

The duo, Osasu Osadolor and Emmanuel David, gave a different version of who murdered the lawyer. While Osasu claimed that the whole thing was a mistake resulting from 'two fighting' when Emmanuel hit the lawyer on the head with a plank, Emmanuel denied it saying that he was not the one who killed the lawyer.

Emmanuel insisted that he only learnt of the lawyer's death while in police custody after his arrest some days later.

Meanwhile, while parading the suspects made up of kidnappers, murderers and armed robbers amongst many others, the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, promised to make the state safe for law-abiding citizens, adding that he would build on the successes recorded by his predecessor and ensure policing of the state with integrity.

"We will encourage community participation in policing in Edo State because this of course will be in total agreement with the current community policing philosophy of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu," Kokumo stated.

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I am a bonafide APC member, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu

The frontline aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has dismissed claims that he is not a member of the party saying those disputing his membership of the party are only engaging in fruitless exercise.

He was reacting to a statement credited to some persons who claimed to be Chairmen of the 18 LGAs of Edo state purportedly challenging his membership of the party on the grounds that it fell short of the party's constitutional requirements.

In a statement signed by Mr. John Mayaki, the Director of Communication and Media to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation said: "Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was one of those who not only formed the APC but drafted the constitution of the APC. It is quite unfortunate that many of these people don't read; they have not sat down to even read the APC constitution."

"The APC apart from being a progressive party was deliberately formed to be a mass organisation and one of the things those who drafted the APC constitution (including Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu) did was to make it easy for Nigerians, irrespective of who they are, to be able to join the party like the APC without people like these renegades trying to put hurdles in their way - politics is a game of number. Ideally, you would want to welcome people to your party."

"If you look at the constitution of the APC, article 9, you will find out that, unknown to them, you can go to your ward and register or you can even do online registration - the essence of this is to ensure that nobody is deprived."

"When Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu among others were putting the party together, the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki was not there and nowhere to be found; so how do you expect a man who should be a beneficiary of a house that he helped to build be stopped from gaining access into the house?

"However, knowing the rules, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu went to his ward chairman, Mr. Ogbebor in Ugboko ward in Orhiomwon to say himself among his teaming followers were coming back home, and he was given the party card. The party chairman brought him a party card and the day he was declaring, he raised up his card and said 'gentlemen, what I am doing is just a mere ceremony' but the truth about it is that he has actually gone to his ward to register, he openly tenderer his party card and they were shocked."

"What these people don't understand is that in the APC constitution, there is even an alternative - the online option and so, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu applied - nobody can quarrel with the online registration; he has the slip, the registration number, his name is on the portal of the party. Again, unknown to these renegades, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu does not really need to rely on that card because with his online registration, nobody can challenge his membership of the party. What they are doing is an exercise in futility."

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COVID-19: Irregular migrants face greater risks - Group

Thousands of irregular migrants are facing severe humanitarian conditions, due to the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, said the Migrant Project.

Over 300 migrants are stranded on the Mediterranean sea, after several European countries shut their ports against migrants in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus, said the group in a statement issued on Wednesday.

According to the group, thousands of Europe-bound irregular migrants from Africa are stranded in transit countries like Niger, Algeria and Libya living in unhealthy and overcrowded spaces without food, water and basic hygiene.

"The reality of the global pandemic leaves both regular and irregular migrants stranded, however, the burden is heavier on irregular migrants, especially those en route," said Tayo Elegbede, Media Lead, The Migrant Project.

He noted that migrants who had embarked on irregular journeys before the COVID-19 era are trapped in appalling conditions in unpleasant locations with no hope in sight given the limited humanitarian interventions for irregular migrants.

Elegbede expressed concern that the pandemic will lead to gross desperation to migrate irregularly due to the economic and social impact of the virus. The desperation, according to him, will lead to a rise in criminal acts, human smuggling, trafficking of persons and exploitation.

"COVID-19 has changed everything, migration inclusive. Countries have and will continue to redefine migration policies and pacts. Online and offline, criminal networks will devise and present new statics to swindle, smuggle and traffick unsuspecting potential migrants, particularly, the desperate ones. Hence, we urge Nigerians to be cautious of their migration decisions at the moment and post COVID-19," Elegbede said.

The Migrant Project (TMP) is an awareness-raising campaign focusing on irregular migration in Nigeria. Launched in March 2018, the aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and fill information gaps among the Nigerian population in order to enable Nigerians to make informed decisions about the risks and realities of irregular migration.

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