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Officials escape death as fire guts EFCC office

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At least two persons escaped death while equipment worth millions of naira was damaged after a fire incident at the  old head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja on Monday.

Although the cause of the fire could not be ascertained as of press time, it was learnt that the fire started from the ICT department which formerly served as the newsroom.

The EFCC said in a statement by its acting spokesman, Mr. Tony Orilade, that the damage would have been worse if not for the timely arrival of men of the Federal Fire Service.

The firefighters led by the Sector Commander, Melone Onyekachi, arrived at the scene when the service was alerted to  the fire by the Incident Duty Officer of the commission, Kayode Oyetunde,  at 7pm .

The statement read in part, “The fire started at the former newsroom, which now serves as storage for ICT equipment that were retrieved from the commission’s former offices scattered across Abuja.

“The former newsroom is  in the Costa Hall,  which was inaugurated by Dr. Antonio Costa in 2007. The building currently houses the Data Centre and the Combined Inter Agency Task Force.”

When asked what could have caused  the fire, Onyekachi said, “Our duty is to put out  fire; that we have successfully done. There is another department that will come and ascertain the cause of the fire.”

According to the statement, two officers attached to the Combined Inter-Agency Task Force who were trapped on the second floor of the building were  rescued before the fire was eventually subdued. The extent of the damage would be ascertained after stock-taking.

The Commission’s Chief Security Officer, Nasir Abdullahi, immediately after the fire was stopped, went to the Maitama Police Station to report.

-PUNCH

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Tribunal sack: Dino Melaye reacts, says no cause for alarm

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The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district, Dino Melaye, has reacted to the nullification of his victory in the March 22 election and ordering of a fresh election by the Kogi West National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Lokoja on Friday.

Melaye, in a statememt, said the judgment is a miscarriage of justice and therefore, no cause of alarm.

The PDP chieftain further said that his legal team was already studying the judgement, adding that he would appeal it.

He said he was confident that the Appeal Court would upturn the judgement of the lower tribunal.

According to him, the judgement was full of importation of information that was alien to the case.

Melaye said, “I, however, commend the courage and moral strength of the chairman of the tribunal for resisting evil and standing on the part of justice?”

“I have confidence in the Appeal Court to right the wrongs as contained in the pronouncements of the judgement.”

He added, “I also want to tell those jubilating that their jubilation will be short-lived while appealing to my teeming supporters to remain calm as their mandate is safe and secure and cannot be taken through any mischievous means.

“However, our legal team is already working on appealing the judgment and I assure all that justice will prevail.”

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BREAKING: Tribunal sacks Dino Melaye as Kogi west senator

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The Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has quashed the victory of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial district.

Melaye (PDP) was declared winner in the February election by INEC but Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC) approached the tribunal, challenging INEC declaration on three grounds of irregularities, over voting and non compliance with the electoral acts.

The three man panel led by Justice A. O. Chijioke in a unanimous judgment on Friday accepted Adeyemi’s ground and order for reelection into the senatorial axis.

…More details shortly

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Sylva assumes duty as minister of state for petroleum …As NNPC, others welcome him

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The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has assumed duties with a pledge to reposition and chart a way forward for the Nigerian petroleum sector.

A press release Wednesday by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Chief Sylva pledged to work with the experts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the other departments and agencies under the Ministry to move the sector forward.

In a welcome ceremony for Chief Sylva at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who was accompanied by his wife, Alanyingi Sylva, stated that with the calibre of workforce in the Ministry, he was sure that the nation’s oil and gas sector would move to the next level.

Chief Sylva, who is a former Governor of Bayelsa State brings on the job several years of cognate experience in the petroleum sector.

The new Minister of State contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, reassured Chief Sylva of the readiness of all members of staff in the Ministry to support him to succeed in the onerous task of transforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the good of all stakeholders.

On hand to welcome the Minister at the brief ceremony were the Group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau; and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, amongst others.

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