The dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram said on Tuesday that it was behind the graveyard attacks in Plateau state last Sunday that killed at least 22 people including a Senator and a member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, but security forces blamed the violence on localised ethnic clashes. “We praise God in this war for Prophet Mohammed, we (Boko Haram) thank Allah for the successful attack in … Plateau state on Christians and security men,” an email from the group’s spokesman Abul Qaqa said.
“We will continue to hunt for government officials wherever they are; they will have no peace again,” said the statement from the Islamist group that has carried out waves of assaults in the North.
The email was sent to reporters in Maiduguri from an address previously used by Qaqa.
The Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, MacJohn Nwaobiala has said that residents of the Okun Alfa Community should not expect an immediate solution to the flooding problems threatening to sack them from their homes.
Speaking to Channels Television’s reporter, Mr Nwaobiala acknowledged that the problem at the community and the Alfa Beach area is ‘huge’. He however said “You don’t expect solutions immediately.”
The Permanent Secretary said that there studies are being carried out and that the government is conducting negotiations and technical evaluations in order to proffer lasting solution to the problem.
The environmental degradation going on at Alpha Beach and Okun-Alfa is increasing rapidly and yet nothing has been done. The increasing rainfalls in Lagos has led to increasing flooding which have displaced many families from their homes.
Flooding resulting from the increasing rainfall in Lagos couple with the Ocean surge has partially sacked residents from the Okun Alfa community. The community health centre has been completely destroyed and the electric lines are broken.
Environmentalist, Desmond Majekodunmi said that the ocean surge is a result of the shipwreck that has not been cleared from the shorelines.
“Unfortunately, because of the shipwrecks that have been abandoned just downstream from Alfa Beach, all the beach shores protecting Alfa from the sea has been totally eroded,” he said.
A renowned Niger Delta activist and founder of Agape Birthright, Annkio Briggs on Monday said that the current bribery allegations against the suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee that probed the management of the fuel subsidy fund, Farouk Lawan is a ploy by those indicted by the committee to distract Nigerians from the corruption in the oil sector.
The Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas, Femi Otedola blew the whistle that Mr Lawan had demanded $3 million from him in order to remove his company from the list of companies indicted by his committee to have received foreign exchange without using the money for fuel importation. Mr Lawan was alleged to have received $500, 000 part payment while the former Secretary of the committee, Boniface Emenalo allegedly received $120, 000 from the oil merchant.
Mrs Briggs, while responding to questions from the hosts of Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily said the bribery scandal is a set up to make Nigerian look the other way of the subsidy probe report.
A legal practitioner, Idris Faro on Monday said that the argument put forward by the counsel to Farouk Lawan that his client’s voice was doctored in the audio conversation between him and Femi Otedola was doctored.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Faro said that he believes that the audio clip is enough evidence to prosecute Mr Lawan.
“It is left for the prosecution to prove that the voice on the audio conversation is Farouk’s by calling voice experts. I don’t agree that there isn’t enough evidence to charge Honourable Farouk Lawan to court,” he said.
Former Minister of Work, Adeseye Ogunlewe on Monday said that the $3 million bribe allegations involving the suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee that probed the management of the subsidy fund, Farouk Lawan and the Chairman of Zenon oil and Gas, Femi otedola is not a sting operation.
Mr Ogunlewe was speaking while responding to questions from Channels Television Sunrise Daily’s presenters.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday ordered security agencies to fish out the killers of a federal Senator, Gyang Dantong. Mr Dantong, who represented Plateau North constituency and the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani were on Sunday killed along with over 20 people during an attack by some gunmen.
The incident followed the earlier gruesome discovery of 50 corpses in a church in the area. They were the corpses of members of a church said to have fled an onslaught by Fulani herdsmen.
President Jonathan, speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, described the killing as cruel and regrettable.
Mr Abati said that the President had directed security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation to ensure that the culprits are apprehended and brought to justice in due course.
He further said “President Jonathan commiserates with the government and people of Plateau State and members and the leadership of the Senate on the incident.”
“The Federal Government is working hard to ensure that there is a check on impunity.
“That much was demonstrated with the recent changes made in the top echelon of our security architecture, especially with the appointment of the new National Security Adviser.
“We shall continue to re- invigorate our fight against terrorism and impunity and we are already taking concrete steps. The President further assured citizens of their safety wherever they live,” Mr Abati said.
The Plateau State Government on Sunday imposed a 24-hour curfew in some parts of the state and also deployed soldiers to the affected areas, following the violent clash between Fulani herdsmen and community dwellers which led to the death of a federal Senator and a state lawmaker. The late Senators, Gyang Dantong, who represented Plateau North, and Majority Leader of Plateau House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani were killed on Sunday while attending the mass burial of villagers murdered on Saturday by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Pam Ayuba, spokesman for the Plateau state’s governor who confirmed the incident, said Misters Dantong and Fulani among several others were gunned down by fulani herdsmen shortly after attending the mass burial for the victims of Saturday’s raid.
After the burial, the officials went to a reception at the home of another local leader in the state’s Gashis district, roughly 90 kilometres (56 miles) from the capital Jos, Mr Ayuba said.
“The Fulani herdsmen raided the house…they shot (the politicians) and some others but the key people who lost their lives are the senator and the majority leader,” he said.
Mr Ayuba said that he did not know the total number of casualties.
Another federal lawmaker “escaped death by a whisker,” he added.
The local government affected by the curfew are Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Jos North and Jos South.
The death of the politicians is reported to have led to reprisal killings along Barkin Lardi Riyom expressway, where motorists were caught unawares. Several commuters were reportedly killed by mobs.
In Jos, the state capital, at least four people were killed in reprisal attacks in front of Senator Dantong’s home on St-Finbarrs road.
The Minister of State for Works, Bashir Yuguda on Friday said that the repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge which was suspended indefinitely by the Lagos state government will be begin on Friday. The Minister disclosed this while inaugurating the repair of eight expansion joints on the Third Mainland Bridge.
According to Mr Yuguda, the repair of the longest bridge in Africa will cost N1.055 billion and is being handled by Messrs Borini Prono & Co (Nig.) Limited.
The contract will run from July 6, 2012 to November 5, 2012.
According to the contract papers, the first phase of the replacement of expansion joints will begin on the inward Lagos side between Ebute Meta Interchange and Adeniji Adele. This section will be shut for the duration of the repair work.
The second phase if on the outward Lagos side between Adeniji Adele and Ebute Meta Interchange.
The Supreme Court on Friday declared Margaret Chuba-Okadigbo, widow of former Senate President, Chuba Okadigbo, as the duly elected senator for Anambra North Mrs Okadigbo had been locked in a three-way battle with Alphonsus Igbeke and John Emeka over who of the trio should occupy the seat, won by the Peoples Democratic Party in the April 2011 election.
None of the trio had occupied the seat since.
Her late husband was elected to the seat in 1999 and went on to become Senate president.
The senatorial district had not had any form of representation at the upper legislative arm of the National Assembly owing to the series of controversies that trailed the conduct of primary election for the selection of the PDP’s candidate by various factions of the highly fractured party in the state.
The Supreme Court panel led by Justice Chukwuma Eneh held that Mrs Okadigbo emerged winner of the primaries conducted by the legally recorgnised faction of the party.
The court also held that the appellant, Mr Emeka who brought the suit before it does not have the locus to have instituted the appeal challenging the Court of Appeal’s decision which returned Mrs Okadigbo since he did not participate in the primary.
However the court decline to order for the swearing of Mrs Okadigbo on the grounds that it was not part of the reliefs sought by Mrs Okadigbo.
The apex court advised Mrs Okadigbo’s lawyers to file further processes to obtain such an order.