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Land Crisis: Magbon Alade Community begs government to intervene

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Indicts Hon. Raimi Kazeem
 

The ongoing land dispute in Magbon Alade town in Ibeju Lekki Local Government area has been on for some years.

However, in recent time, the situation has worsen with attacks, bloodletting and even deaths taking center stage.

The cold seaside town which used to be known for its peace and serenity has now turned a war zone with residents and indigenous land owners being attacked randomly.

Recently, an attack alleged to have been sponsored and carried out by some cultists led to the death of a woman identified as Asidatu Muibi, while many others suffered various degrees of injuries.

Our investigation revealed that on the fateful day of the attack, the now deceased Muibi’s son identified as Rasheed was chased home by some assailants.

As he sought solace in the comfort of his house, the assailants tried to gain access to the apartment, but his mother shielded them off, asking what her son had done wrong.

Unfortunately, she became the subject of their attack, as she died the following day after receiving the beating of her life from her attackers.

As if that was not bad enough, another recent attack saw Thompson Sola, a middle aged man and cab driver being attacked with a machete.

Speaking, Sola wondered how a once serene community had now turned into a killing zone. According to him, the attacks were sponsored, while the perpetrators were well paid. Asked if there could have been a reason why he was attacked and Sola answers thus “I operate a car hire service. Coincidentally, I am the one who drives one of the parties involved in the dispute. So, my sin was simply that I am the one driving them around town.”

Further, Sola, revealed that the conversation between him and his attackers before his attacked saw them accusing him of being the person who brought the duo of Shitta and Salami to Alagbon Police Station the day they were arrest. “Some of these boy had been earlier arrested before they were granted bail. On the day of the attack, they were asking me if I was from the community, and what was my business with the land dispute. Before I could reply, they started beating and using their Machete me,” Sola toldwww.theoctopusnews.com, adding that his attack was indeed a reprisal attack.

Lawyer to the Salami Family and Chairman Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Epe Branch, Sunday Abimbola Sunday of Opada Chambers said “This is not the first time these people would be attacked. Their houses were demolished without a court order and with a case still subsisting in court. Hon. Raimi Kazeem is directly involved in this matter. He is the one leading the other boys, he is their financier. It is a shame that an Honourable of the Lagos House of Assembly would descend so low.

He has shown total disregard for law and order and is insulting the constitution by not allowing the case in court to be decided. When you take a case to court, you allow the court to decide the outcome,” he said.

Investigation by this medium revealed how one Pastor Olusegun Awe’s hectares of land in Magbon Alade was sold to another person identified as Paschal Ofia for N120, 000, 000 by Hon. Kazeem. Speaking with us, Awe said that he had it on good authority that the Honourable had been paid N25, 000,000 and wanted to collect his balance which is yet to be paid to him due to the issues surrounding the land. “With the election coming, Hon. Kazeem is doing everything to make sure that I abandon my land because he wants to collect his balance to facilitate his election.”

“There is nothing that they have not tried to do to me. I have been beaten, I have been molested, there have threats to my life and my contractor was beaten and labeled a member of the Badoo cult group all in a bid to make us leave our investment. How is that possible? You will be surprised that even the father of Hon. Kazeem asked me if I was ready to die for the land. We have cases in several police stations, but the honourable always uses his influence as a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly to influence the out. I am sure he was the one who arranged for Task Force to come and arrest me and my staffs on our site, it was when we were being interrogated that we found out that we were alleged to have been mining on the said land.”

“When we were arrested, I told the leader of the team to do an on the spot inspection and show me any sign of mining of the land, but he couldn’t. I was beaten and pushed into the truck on the day, it was a shame, all because someone who is not even a wants to forcefully takeover my property.”

This dispute did not start yesterday, as there have been petition written and cases filled as far back as 2009.

A case instituted on the disputed land was struck out by Hon. Justice Shitta-Bay on 10 November 2009.

A petition by Adebowale Azeez & Co. dated 31 July 2018, and addressed to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, The Nigerian Police Force, FCIID Complex Area 10 Garki, Abuja confirms the fact that dispute on the Magbon Alade land is something that the police is aware of.

The petition with head Petition Against Hon. Raimi Kazeem, Ogunbiyi Samodu, Ogunbiyi Basut, Ogunbiyi Rotimi, Ogunbiyi Shuaibu, Lawal Deinde, Odunaja Tajudeen, Otugada Akeem, Shitta Idowu, Shitta Oluwadare, Kazeem Ekundayo, Odunaya Tunde, Otugada Wasiu, Igara Abiodun, Otugada Shakiru, Arogundade Saidi, Arogundade Suluka and others alleged intimidation, harassment, murder, robbery and threat to life.

Interestingly, Hon. Raimi Kazeem, one of the people alleged in the petition is a sitting member of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA).

Ismaila Salami and Bariyu Shitta, the former being the family head of the Salami Family of Magbon Alade indicted Hon. Kazeem in the matter at hand. According to him, “Kazeem is the leader of the people who want to forcefully steal our land. He is the leader of the other group of people, he can’t deny it.”

Our reporter sought out Hon. Kazeem to speak on his involvement in the land dispute to no avail.

A text message sent to his mobile phone was not replied.

Presently, the safety of the lives of those living in the community remains unguaranteed, as they continue to dread the presence of unknown faces in their community.

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THE NATION

Enugu State Gaming Commission commences enforcement of Signage and Good-Cause fee

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In compliance with the established regulations and rules that govern the activities of the gaming, betting, lotto and pool sector in Enugu state, the regulatory agency in the state has finalized arrangements to commence the full implementation of the rules on identification and operations in the sector in all the local governments of the state.

The agency, Enugu State Gaming and Lotto Commission (ESGC) made this pronouncement penultimate week in a message from the office of the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Francis Nwankwo, where he reiterated the commitment of the Commission in ensuring that all laid down rules of the agency is carried out to the letter. His words: “on the orders of the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in pursuant to the Gaming and Lotto laws of Enugu State, it is now mandatory that all Gaming (Lotto, Sports Betting, Raffle and Pool staking) outlets in the state must adhere to all the rules and regulations of the laws guiding the commission”.

According to him, some of these conditions include the following:

(1) All Gaming merchant locations MUST be identified with an ESGC approval outdoor signage bearing their allocated Serial Identification Number and must be displayed within the proximity of the said shop. This signage MUST be obtained from the offices of ESGC, and it is at the cost of N12,500.00(twelve thousand five naira only)

(2) All Gaming outlets MUST NOT be located within visible distance from ANY primary or secondary school in the State.

(3) All mandatory Good-Cause fees as stipulated in the Enugu State Gaming Laws MUST be settled within the said period.

(4) All gaming outlets MUST NOT entertain anyone below the age of 18yrs.

 

Mr. Nwankwo explained that this enforcement exercise, which will take off simultaneously in all 17 local government areas of the state, was earlier scheduled to commence on the 28th of Febuary, but postponed as a result of the elections. He explained that, “we had earlier informed all gaming outfits operating in Enugu State, to regularize their operations since November 2018, and followed it up with massive publicity on radio and other media. “We are embarking on this enforcement drive to show that we have the capacity to enforce the gaming regulations in the state” he said.

The Enugu State gaming commission, which currently uses state-of-the-art technology platform from CWG Plc to power its operations, alsoreiterated the fact that failure to adhere to any or all of the above-mentioned regulations will be met with outright sealing of the said offending outlet or total ban of the brand in Enugu State. The exercise commences on the 18th of March 2019.

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THE NATION

Nigerian passenger dies on Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Lagos

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A Nigerian passenger travelling on Delta Air Lines Flight DL54 from Atlanta, USA was on Monday afternoon found unresponsive before landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).

The 54-year-old (names withheld), who was ill before boarding the flight, died three minutes before the aircraft touched down at the airport.

Spokesperson for the MMIA Police Command, Lagos, DSP Joseph Alabi, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Mr Alabi said the command was notified of the development after the aircraft landed at the airport by the airline officials.

Delta Air Lines also confirmed the development in a statement issued by its media consultant, Mohammed Abdullahi.

“A passenger on Delta Flight DL54 travelling from Atlanta to Lagos today (March 11), was found unresponsive before landing.

“Local medical professionals met the plane upon arrival and confirmed the passenger had sadly passed away.

“Delta extends its deepest condolences to the family at this sad time. As a matter of passenger privacy, Delta will not release additional information,” the airline said.

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THE NATION

Okupe received N702m from ONSA for doing nothing –Witness

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday narrated to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, how former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, allegedly collected the sum of N702m from the Office of the National Security Adviser for doing nothing.

Okupe was arraigned on a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702m.

The first prosecution witness, Osas Azonabor, an operative of the commission, while being led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Ibrahim Audu, told the court that sometime in 2016, the agency got an intelligence report that some individuals were paid by the ONSA for doing nothing.

He said when investigations began, it was discovered that the first defendant, Okupe, was one of the beneficiaries.

Azonabor told the court that the EFCC wrote to the ONSA, demanding the vouchers of the payments made to Okupe.

According to him, after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that the sum of N50m was paid into Okupe’s account, as stated in a voucher dated April 8, 2014.

He also said another cash payment of N6m was found to have been made to Okupe on April 2, 2014, adding that there were series of payments in multiples of N10m made to the defendant between 2012 and 2014.

The witness further told the court that EFCC’s investigation found that N50m was paid into the Zenith Bank account of Value Trust Investment Ltd, a company in which Okupe is a director.  He added that another N35m was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig. Ltd. to which Okupe is a signatory.

Azonabor said, “Okupe said he was paid N10m monthly for 24 months by ONSA and the money was reduced to N5m monthly from January 2015 to May 2015.

“He said the money was for special services. When asked to explain what he meant by ‘special services’, he said that part of the money was used to sponsor ‘Insight’, a programme aired on NTA.”

The witness explained that when a letter was written to NTA to confirm the authenticity of the document that emanated from the station, it said the programme was aired free-of-charge.

The EFCC operative further informed the court that Okupe claimed that part of the money collected from ONSA was used to pay workers. “But when asked to show proof of payment, he simply tendered a list of names on a piece of paper.

“There was no payment voucher, receipt or pay slip to show evidence of payment and when we asked him to produce the staff he paid to, he couldn’t produce any”, Azonabor said.

The acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, in a statement, said that the Corporate Affairs Commission documents of the Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abraham Telecoms Nig Ltd, and a letter of response from ONSA to the EFCC Acting Chairman and statements of the defendants were all admitted in evidence.

The Judge adjourned the case to February 28 (today) for cross examination and presentation of other witnesses.

-PUNCH

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