All user posts 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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Godswill Akpabio is after my life - Publisher cries out

Publisher/Editor in Chief of Daily Watch, Cletus Opukeme, has raised the alarm that his life is under threat by the Minister of Nigeria Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

In a statement he signed, Opukeme said: "My attention has been drawn to a clandestine move by Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godwill Akpabio, who is the supervising minister of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) using crooked Inspector General Police (IGP) Boys to abduct me and do whatever thing they were instructed to do to me over Daily Watch exposes of the monumental fraud in NDDC running to billions of naira that had attracted the Senate and House of Representatives to set up various committees to probe the commission's Interim Management Committee(IMC).

"Yesterday, the IGP boys from Abuja traced me from Abuja to the office of the Nigerian Union of Journalists(NUJ) in Warri, Delta State and in a commando like manner abducted Mr. Matthew Omonigho who later called that he was dumped at Area Commander office in Warri.

"The Union leadership sent a delegation to the police station to know why he was arrested without reason for his arrest and bundled like a common criminal and manhandled.

"The police instead of listening to the NUJ delegation confisticated all their phones and detained them also telling them that they were a special squad sent from Abuja to arrest Mr. Cletus Opukeme, the Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief of Daily Watch.

"I want to categorically warn that the so called crooked IGP paid boys and other security operatives should stay away from Daily Watch Publications. That if Senator Godswill Akpabio or any other person feel aggrieved by our published storis. They know the right option which is to seek for redress as the court is there for them to sue Daily Watch publisher and allow the judiciary to determine if our publication is libelous and defamatiory. It is not the place of DSS, the IGP boys or any other security operatives to be used to intimidate Daily Watch over our genuine investigations which first exposed large scale of financial missapproriation in NDDC. Senator Akpabio has turned NDDC to a cash cow looting the common wealth of the people of Niger Delta and intimidation or arrest by IGP Boys /DSS cannot frighten us from doing what we know how to do best by informing the public the right information.

"The invasion of Warri NUJ office by the crooked IGP TEAM to arrest a journalist is an embarrassment to democracy in the country as journalists have freedom of expression enshrined on the nation's constitution.

"If Akpabio is aggrieved by our publications for exposing his massive looting, he should go to court and stop intimidating me with the police and ex-militants to gag the press from doing our constitutional duties

"The said IG squad member who identified himself as Reuben called one of the arrested journalists to direct them to Cletus Opukeme's residence with the following mobile phone number:08116912068.

"Quoting the reporter 'One Mr. Reuben just called now requesting to know if I have been able to see Cletus. I told him that he only called me this morning wherein I asked him to be at the Area Command with me in solidarity and he refused. Again, he asked if I know any link with which they could get him and I said No. He later cut the call.'

"Therefore, I am calling the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu to hold Niger Delta Affairs minister, Godswill Akpabio and the members of the NDDC Interim Management Committee responsible, if anything happens to my life and that of members of my immediate family.

"Similar threats were being made by unidentified members over campaign against Akpabio's massive looting by Izanzan which after a protest was made against Akpabio and his NDDC IMC within a week assassins shot dead the vibrant and resourceful spokesman, Comrade Famous Believe on the 18th May, 2020, and which the police is investigating the murderers till now."

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Edo 2020: We are not like them - PDP mocks APC

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has mocked it's archival, the All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the forthcoming guber poll in the state.

In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikare, the PDP said:"We are not like them!

"The sight of allegedly sophisticated politicians in Edo APC parroting complete tripe, trivializing and demeaning its government is dreadful. But then, we live in interesting times.

"For their misbehavior to have no end in sight tells us they have run out of ideas and legitimacy to seek reelection. But then, we live in interesting times.

"Their crisis prone party and negative effect on governance we know and acknowledge will play a significant part in public disillusionment not just with APC, but with politicians. But then, we live in interesting times.

"Absurd as the situation is, political arrogance on display, Edo APC thinks they are popular and have the audacity to think they will win the governorship election in September.

"Their chances of producing the next governor is as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or PMB scoring the winning goal for Nigeria in the next FIFA World Cup.

"What we worry about is that people are losing confidence in politicians, losing energy discussing a useless quarrel, losing enthusiasm in what government can do and achieve.

"We just want Edo people to know, we are not like them! PDP is not like them.

"We promise to run the most open, peaceful and transparent administration ever in Edo State."

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Nnamdi Kanu is a fugitive outcast - BRACED Union

Leader of the BRACED Union(BU), High Chief Monday Wehere, has replied the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, over his comment that there is nothing like Niger Delta or South-South, asking him to shut his mouth.

Wehere who described Kanu as a fugitive outcast, said he is suffering from loss of memory and may be needing someone to write him an essay on Niger Delta.

The BU President affirmed that the position of the people of Niger Delta on Biafra was not negotiable, adding that Niger Delta is not part of Biafra and can never be.

"Why would anybody take Nnamdi Kanu seriously when he had often appeared as though he suffers from uncontrollable amnesia.

"The IPOB leader doesn't even know the States and people that make up Biafra in the first place. He is busy including every State and ethnic nationality into the Biafran map. So how would he know of the existence of Niger Delta or South-South?

"He is not in a position to know of the existence of Niger Delta and South-South. He is only wallowing in ignorance and outright dementia," Wehere said.

He therefore called on BRACED people of South-South to discountenance the inconsistent statements of Nnamdi Kanu and concentrate on building a virile economic, cultural and political structure that would emancipate the Niger Delta people from the woes of Nigeria.

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Benin monarch congratulates Muslims on Eid-el-fitri celebration

His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin has

felicitated with Muslim clerics and their faithfuls on the occasion of this year’s Eid-El-Fitri celebration.

In a statement signed by his acting Chief Secretary, Victor Ogiemwanre, the Oba "congratulated the entire Muslims for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast, and urges them to use the period to reflect on the tenets of the Islamic religion as handed to them by Prophet Mohammed.

"His Royal Majesty expressed hope that the fast will help in the eradication of coronavirus pandemic across the globe.

"The Benin Monarch calls on leaders of Muslim communities in the state in particular and Nigeria in general to always preach what will promote unity and peace in Nigeria.

"His Royal Majesty, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin advises Muslims to use the period of Eid-El-Fitri to pray for the nation’s leaders, so that they will continue to pilot the affairs of the country in the fear of Allah.

"Oba Ewuare II said that the world is full of sins and therefore urged

Muslims to pray for Allah to have mercies on mankind.

"The Omo N’Oba wishes all Muslims a happy Eld-El-Fitri celebrations."

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Ex-soccer star wants Nigeria to stop employing foreign coaches

Ex-Nigeria soccer star, Tony Emedofu, has joined those clamouring for the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) to do away with Gernot Rohr and other foreign coaches.

In an exclusive chat, Emedofu, who made his mark mostly as a junior international player in the U-17 and the Flying Eagles, said the idea of employing foreign coaches to handle our national teams should be stopped immediately as it is very wasteful.

He believes that the idea of hiring foreign coaches is beneficial to some officials of the sports ministry and the NFF hence the reason they have always advocated for it.

"The idea of hiring foreign coaches for our national teams is too expensive. Those clamouring for it in the sports ministry and the NFF are only doing that because of the financial gains accruing to them in such deals.

"Our homegrown coaches will do much better with a much lower remuneration if given the kind of support that the foreign coaches get from our football administrators.

"While the foreign coaches only come into Nigeria from their foreign base a few weeks to match day, the homegrown coaches are resident here all they need is airfare a few weeks to a match day to travel around the world and monitor the condition of our players abroad so as to know which of them to invite for a match," he stated.

On the effect of the lockdown on sporting activities on the nation's football leagues as a result of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, Emedofu said: "I think it will be reasonable if the Nigeria football league season is postponed to early next year when all things would have been properly put in place and the players are fully ready to play good football.

"As it is now majority of the players are match rusty having been inactive for months. This would affect their performance and as such affect the standard of the league.

"Most of the players are also looking very heavy and overweight at the moment. For that reason you can't expect to get the best from them on the field of play."

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Edo leaders, former commissioners fault findings of inquiry panel on Benin Specialist Hospital

Senior members of the Oshiomhole-administration, including former Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, have brushed off the findings of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Edo State Government to investigate the construction of the Specialist Hospital in Benin.

The Commission accused Oshiomhole of contravening the state’s procurement law, but the former officials have disputed the claim through a statement released today.

They described the investigation process and its findings as lopsided revisionism devoid of facts, particularly because the present administration had earlier on vetted and recognized the same project as duly completed without blemish.

They said: “To cast magnifying light on the blurry element of this case, it is imperative to state that the 75% upfront payment was used for the purpose of the equipment, and they were delivered completely, to the newly built hospital. Even, the same Governor Godwin Obaseki who instituted a commission of inquiry received and acknowledged, on the 11th day of September 2018, GOODS COMPLETION CERTIFICATE from Vamed Engineering.

“The certificate, by its arrival and reception, conveyed the comprehensive "supply & installation of medical equipment to the new accident and emergency unit and 200-bed ward complex at the five-star central hospital." This certificate was received by Obaseki's government and had the provision of its statement supervised, verified, and commended as of then, by Obaseki's government. One may ask: what has changed?

“All these lapses create doubts and worry in our minds and leads us into onerous contemplation. Is Governor Godwin Obaseki, arising from his inability to forcefully get Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to support his 2nd term ambition, trying to stir the waters and abortively soil the names and reputations of his former colleagues? Is he trying to wrong a right or draw a red herring across the trail just to enact chaos and ride it in his favor?

“What of the officials, like him, and others who were in the previous government, who played a role in the project contract he is trying to criminalize, and who are equally currently in his government? Have they been anointed with the oil of innocence and forgiveness because they are in the current government and in support of his second term bid?

“Most importantly, Governor Godwin Obaseki should note that the hopeless case he wants to doctor into existence can only come to a logical conclusion by indicting him, the current Governor, who was the Chairman, Economic Team, that advised on the 75% upfront payment. If this Judicial Commission of Inquiry is upright in character, and have really found material of substantial accusation, then its indictment must begin and end with Governor Godwin Obaseki.”

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NUJ, NBA give police five days ultimatum to discipline erring personnels in Edo

Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) Edo State Council and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Benin branch have given the Nigeria Police Force(NPF) five days ultimatum to discipline two of its personnel, one DSP Imokhueme Isa and one Woman Police Sergeant Agatha, for their bestial act of a physical assault on members of the bar and the press.

While reacting to the molestation of their members by the aforementioned policeman and woman both attached to the State Taskforce Team on Covid-19 Regulation Enforcement and Monitoring of Human Right Abuse, who paid an unscheduled visit to the Urhokpota Hall, Benin, venue of the Mobile Court two weeks ago, the duo of Sir Roland Osakue,

Chairman, NUJ,

Edo State Council and Prince Collins Ogiegbaen, Chairman of NBA

Benin Branch called on the State Commissioner of Police, Lawan Jimeta, to take disciplinary action against the duo latest by next Tuesday, May 26, 2020, or else other means of redressing the issue would be adopted.

Going further, the duo said: "it is important at this juncture to bring to the attention of the relevant authorities the criminal activities that has become the hallmark of these duo, in the guise of enforcement of the Covid-19 regulations in Benin City.

"DSP Imokhueme has been conducting and supervising raids on peasant traders and carting away their foodstuff ranging from yams, chicken, tomatoes, drinks, fish, crayfish etc, without arresting any human suspected violators to answer to any charge or allegation against them. The food is eventually shared between DSP Imokhueme Isa and his team of enforcer as booties from their unlawful raids.

"This criminal acts of the notorious DSP Imokhueme and his partner, Agatha, was challenged by the NBA Benin Branch Taskforce Team on Covid-19 Regulation Enforcement and Monitoring of Human Right Abuse.

"The Taskforce led by Matthew Edaghese Esq called the attention of the Edo State Attorney General to the ugly and unacceptable development of raids on food items by DSP Imokhueme and his men, the Attorney General frowned at the conduct of the DSP who could not produce the owners of the seized food items upon request by the AG, the Attorney General demanded the immediate release and return of the food items to their owners, wherever they are; a repeat visit of the NBA Taskforce Team during the week, exposed more atrocious conduct of DSP Imokhueme and Agatha, besides conducting raids on food items as usual, Agatha and Imokhueme launched a physical attack on a journalist, attached to the NBA taskforce team and damaged his medicated eye glasses why trying to seize his mobile phone, this was after a pandemonium ensued as a result of the exchanges between a State Counsel, Mrs. Agatha and DSP Imoekhueme, as she tried to call the DSP to order by checking his excesses in making indiscriminate arrests and raids on food items against the Attorney General's earlier warning against it."

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