The Edo State High Court has sentenced one Dominion Okoro to death by hanging for the murder of one Maria Oredola Igbinedion in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The convict, dominion, was at the time of the offence working as a maid to Madam Oredola, mother of a former governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion at Adolor Street off Water Resources in Ugbor, Government Residential Area of the state capital.
Justice Efe Ikponmwoba who delivered the judgement convicted Dominion on the three-count charge of murder, administering sedatives and robbery with violence filed against her.
The convict had confessed to drugging Madam Oredola and killing her with a stool on or about December 2, 2021, she also robbed the victim of N100,000 and made away with two wrist watches and jewellery.
She had subsequently escaped from the house and called her sister – Patience Okoro – who was later charged as the second defendant on a count of accessory after the fact to murder.
Justice Ikponmwoba discharged and acquitted the second defendant.
The Edo State Government has suspended the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and other unions across all state-owned institutions of higher learning.
This followed the strike by students of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, over the lingering strike embarked upon by ASUU, a statement issued on Wednesday by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, said.
Ogie stated that the decision was reached after the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House in Benin City.
“By this notice, academic activities are to resume in all state-owned institutions and all cadre of staff are directed to report to their duty posts immediately,” he said.
“Students across all state-owned tertiary institutions are expected to resume lectures as necessary measures have been taken to ensure resumption of academic and non-academic activities.
“Management of the affected institutions have been mandated to pay all outstanding salaries immediately.
“The management of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, is hereby directed to implement a no-work-no-pay policy, declare vacant and advertise the position of any staff that refuses to resume work in line with this directive.”
In fulfilment of the new minimum wage regime announced on Workers’ Day, Governor Godwin Obaseki has paid the Workers’ May salaries and pension, reflecting the new wage increase.
The Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, disclosed this via a statement issued on Thursday.
“The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has approved the payment of retirees’ pension and workers’ salaries for the month of May, reflecting the new N40,000 minimum wage,” the statement read in part.
“This is in fulfillment of the statutory obligations to workers and also a reflection of the governor’s expert and judicious management of the state’s resources.”
Obaseki had on May 1 announced the increment of the minimum wage in the state from N30,000 to N40,000. He noted that the increase was necessary to help workers overcome the country’s overbearing economic challenges, which have caused galloping inflation among other socio-economic dislocations.
A cross-section of workers, who spoke with journalists after the payment of the new minimum wage, expressed excitement about the development, praising the governor for keeping to his word.
“I can’t contain my joy. In all my years in the civil service, no governor has done as much as Governor Obaseki, a civil servant, Mr. Jeremiah Igbinosa, said. “He has shattered all records. I am in awe of his financial acumen.”
Another public servant, Mrs. Ose Okosodo, said the governor has proven to be the darling of workers not only in Edo but in Nigeria. According to him, workers across Nigeria, who had been calling to confirm the governor’s announcement earlier in the month, now have evidence to prove that the Governor is a promise keeper.
“We are lucky in Edo. There is no doubt,” he said. “This is happening when other governors are making excuses for why they are not able to pay workers.”
The Police have arrested an illegal dealer of explosives and recovered explosive devices in Edo State.
The Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, CP Abutu Yaro, in a statement assured residents of reducing crime to the barest minimum.
He directed all area Commanders, tactical heads, and Divisional Police Officers to engage in intelligence gathering, bush combing in their areas of jurisdictions, and hideout of criminals have since started yielding positive results.
“On the 18/05/2022 at about 1400hrs, operatives of the Command attached to Fugar Divisional headquarters while on routine patrol along Auchi/Aghenebode Road, intercepted a Sienna bus en route Aghenebode with ten (10) passengers, on the spot search was conducted on the vehicle and items suspected to be explosive devices were found in a bag of one of the passengers, Michael Akhigbe ‘M’ (46) a native of Iyuku Uzairue, Auchi in Etsako West LGA of Edo State”.
The item recovered from the suspect bag were five high explosive 60mm and 50 supreme card relay.
He noted that the suspect is cooperating with police investigation while further investigation led to the arrest of two more suspects namely; Yesufu Blessing ‘M’ (45) a native of Iyuku Uzairue resident in Auchi a quarry blaster and Haruna Braimah ‘M’ (35) a tipper driver also a native of Iyuku Uzairue and resident in Auchi also
The police commissioner further directed the command’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit (EOD) to take over the recovered explosive devices for technical analysis while the investigation continues and assured the residents to be calm and go about their lawful businesses.
An irate mob has set a robbery suspect ablaze in Auchi, the headquarters of Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.
Police authorities in the state confirmed the incident in a statement by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Kontongs Bello, on Saturday in Benin City, the state capital.
However, they did not disclose the identity of the suspect or the date of the incident. Angered by the action of the mob, the Commissioner of Police in Edo, Abutu Yaro, ordered a thorough investigation into the incident.
He described the killing of the suspect as a barbaric and dehumanising act of jungle justice by youths masquerading as vigilantes in Auchi.
“The Commissioner of Police while reacting to the ugly incident, frowned at the action of the vigilantes, who instead of taking the suspect to the police for proper investigation and prosecution, aided the irate mob to burn the suspect allegedly arrested for stealing to death without any recourse to the law,” said the statement.
“CP Abutu Yaro, fdc who described the act as barbaric and inimical to the law governing our dear country, warned Edo State indigenes that the command under his watch will not allow disgruntled elements in the society to take laws into their hands by killing suspects arrested for alleged crimes in such a dehumanising and unlawful manner.”
The police commissioner also warned that nobody has the right to treat suspects in such a manner, adding that it was wrong for anyone to assume the position of a law enforcement agency.
According to him, suspects apprehended in connection with any crime should be immediately handed over to the police or any law enforcement agency constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting such persons.
Yaro, however, appealed to the residents to be calm, saying the command was already mopping up those responsible for the killing for possible prosecution.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Sunday approved N40,000 as the new minimum wage for workers in the state in commemoration of 2022 Workers’ Day.
Obaseki, who made the announcement in Benin while delivering his 2022 Workers’ Day speech, said his government will continue to prioritise the welfare of Edo workers, equipping them with the capacity and environment to deliver efficient and quality service to the people.
1. I announced that we have reviewed the minimum wage for Edo workers from N30,000 to N40,000 a month. Although we would have loved to pay more, we hope that this little adjustment will enable us to cushion the impact of the inflation that we are faced with. pic.twitter.com/6KGVjpcXjX
“As we all know, the minimum of N30,000 can barely sustain a family. It will be immoral and mindless of us to continue to pretend that we do not know that our workers are suffering,” he said.
“The government of Edo has now decided to review the minimum for Edo workers from N30,000 to N40,000 a month. Undoubtedly, Edo is the first state since the current outbreak of coronavirus to take this initiative.
“Even though we would have loved to pay more, we hope that this little adjustment would enable us to cushion the impact of the inflation that we are faced with. There is no doubt that the financial implications will be heavy and put another burden on the government.
“But as a government, we are prepared to make the sacrifices so that the workers can live a better life. Your welfare is our number one priority.”
While reassuring his government’s relentless support to senior citizens in the state, Obaseki lamented the hardship experienced by pensioners and other senior citizens because of the rising cost of food and other items.
“I am particularly interested in our senior citizens because they are one of the most vulnerable in our society. We took interest in payments of outstanding pensions to our pensioners although these pensions were held by the previous administration.
“In view of the prevailing economic circumstances, I have now approved, effective this May, the agreement we reached with the Union of Pensioners that the harmonized amount would be paid from May 2022.
“Government is aware of the difficulties faced by the pensioners due to the non-payment of pension and gratuities to pensioners by previous governments. This responsibility is huge, and it will require a substantial part of our resources to settle them.
“However, we are not a government that is known for running away from challenges; we will look for a way to tackle these challenges,” the governor added.
Obaseki however urged workers in the state to take advantage of opportunities offered by his administration in the agricultural sector to increase food production in the country.
Earlier in his address, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Odion Olaye, charged the Federal Government to step up efforts to tackle the high rate of insecurity, unemployment, and hunger in the country.
The Edo State Police Command has said its operatives on Wednesday killed six kidnap suspects along the Benin-Lagos Bypass.
A statement by the command said the suspects were in the process of kidnapping passengers of an 18-seater bus en route to the eastern part of the country from Lagos.
The statement explained that the police operatives were on investigation activities around the area when they detected the suspects believed to have been part of a notorious gang terrorising the Benin-Lagos Expressway.
It said the team of operatives, on sighting the suspected kidnappers, engaged them in a gun duel, injuring six (6) of the suspects who were subsequently arrested and taken to the hospital. They were reportedly confirmed dead by the medical practitioner on duty.
Other members of the gang allegedly fled in different directions with various degrees of bullet injuries during the gun battle. One pump action was recovered from the scene. Bush combing is said to be ongoing to arrest the fleeing gang members.
Meanwhile, all the passengers on board were reportedly rescued unhurt, profiled, and asked to continue their journey.
The Edo State government says it has yet to ban open grazing in any part of the state as such an action is still a work in progress.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie, gave the clarification in a statement on Monday in Benin City, the state capital.
He explained that members of the State House of Assembly have yet to conclude legislation on the bill seeking to criminalise open grazing.
As such, the bill has not become law while concerned individuals and groups can go ahead to make their contributions before it is passed by the lawmakers.
“The State’s Anti-Open Grazing Bill is still undergoing legislation at the Edo State House of Assembly and has not been passed into law neither is it a state policy,” Ogie said in the statement.
“Members of the public who are concerned about parts of the bill can make input before its passage by the House. Civil society groups who are raising concerns about sections of the bill can constructively engage with the Assembly and not resort to acts that could cause a breakdown of law and order in the state.”
The SSG called on those who have reservations about any section of the bill to channel their grievances in lawful ways and make their contribution.
According to him, the legislation process comprises a comprehensive assessment of a bill before its passage and there is no need to resort to actions that can lead to the breakdown of law and order.
“The law-making process is one that involves a comprehensive assessment of a bill before passage, and it is refreshing that the conversation on the bill is generating public interest, but this must not degenerate to civil disturbances capable of being hijacked by unscrupulous elements,” Ogie warned.
“We hereby call on all those who have reservations about sections of the bill to explore the statutory provisions of the law in making their contribution.”
The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, on Monday said contrary to speculations, he won’t dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
After falling out with his erstwhile political godfather and former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Shaibu, and his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki were forced to leave the APC for the PDP to secure a second-term ticket Respite came for the duo who were re-elected for another four-year term after emerging winner of the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state.
But nearly two years after, Shaibu dismissed rumours of him nursing plans to return to the APC.
“For me as Philip Shaibu, I have no plans now to leave. But for Philip Shaibu and his followers and the followers of Obaseki, that left APC to the PDP, they all plan to leave PDP, but to where I don’t know,” he said.
“We feel not accepted in PDP and that is the reason we are actually thinking that it is time to just throw the curtain to leave.
“The truth is that the governor has been appealing and you can see that from yesterday’s meeting. Some of us are not happy with the governor’s statement saying he is not leaving the PDP. For some of us, we felt we left APC because of the governor not because we wanted to join PDP.
“We left APC because of the oppression the APC National Chairman meted on the governor. For some of us that hate oppression, we decided to jettison our relationship even with the then godfather and other persons to follow the governor to the PDP that the leadership asked that the governor should go.”
“One of the major crises that we have in Nigeria today, apart from the very weak bureaucracy, is our budgeting process. Our budgeting, I am sorry to use a very harsh word, is almost fraudulent. Why do I say so?”
“As an entity, whether federal, state, or local government, you know how much you can earn. Assuming you can only earn N100 in a year with all the evidence right before you, of course, you know it’s going to be N100,” he said.
“By the time you are preparing the budget and you are giving certain agencies envelopes to put this and that in the budget, you will end up putting up a budget of N200, and you are only going to receive N100. That is where the fraud begins.
“By the time you take that document to the House, the various representatives there have various promises they made to their constituents and the things they want to put in for themselves, and they add N50 to it.
“It will now be a budget of N250, and meanwhile, you have only N100. From that N100, maybe you have said that N100 will be for recurrent expenditures, to pay for the running of the government and N50 will be for capital. The recurrent expenditure is the first-line charge.”
He continued: “You have to pay salaries before you do anything. Now, you have a budget of N250 and have increased your recurrent expenditure in that proportional sum, so what happens year-in-year-out is that the buck of the money in your budget goes to the first-line charge.
“So, there is little or nothing left on things that affect the people, including building schools, roads, hospitals, and other infrastructure for the people.”
The governor, who reiterated the need for citizens’ budgeting, noted: “for us in Edo, preparing a citizens’ budget is not negotiable. At least for me as governor, it is non-negotiable. That is why I want more of our DFAs to be here.
“At the political level, we are doing what we can to change our politics and make political players realize that when they come out to serve, they are not there to serve themselves. Government is not a business where you make money, it’s where you come and serve.”
Earlier, the resource person for the programme, Mr. David Agu, said citizens’ output has become a huge resource for policymaking and implementation, including the budget.
Agu said popular participation, accountability, transparency, simplification, accessibility, and citizens’ feedback lead to a peoples’ budget that will enhance service delivery, improve good governance and bring about development.
In her remarks, the Edo State Commissioner Budget and Economic Planning, Princess Otse Momoh-Omorogbe, said the event would help chart a new direction for the state’s budgeting process.
Troops of 4 Brigade Nigerian Army(NA) acting on credible intelligence have taken out three kidnappers, who are believed to be part of the notorious kidnap/robbery gang terrorizing the ever-busy Auchi-Benin road in Edo State.
The kidnappers met their waterloo on Wednesday while on their nefarious operation along the axis. They ran out of luck when the vigilant troops swooped in on them, engaging them in a gun duel that led to the elimination of three members of the gang, while others fled in different directions.
Army spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, explained in a brief statement that the gallant troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, one Pump Action Shotgun, and other dangerous weapons.
Meanwhile, efforts are ongoing to track the fleeing criminals and free up that corridor from all forms of violent crime. The army through its spokesman, enjoined the general public, particularly the people of Edo State, to continue to expose criminal elements in their localities to law enforcement agencies.
They were also urged to go about their normal activities without panic, as efforts are in place to ensure seamless security.
Gunmen have kidnapped three lawyers around the Ehor axis of the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Abuja road, the Nigerian Bar Association confirmed on Wednesday.
The victims – Fred Aburu, Israel Unurierume, and Eda Gbejule – were on their way from Warri, Delta State to Sabo-Gidda Ora High Court with their driver, Kome Esike, when they were abducted.
In a statement, the NBA Benin bar issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Edo State Police Command to rescue the lawyers unharmed and unscathed. They also tasked other security agencies to do everything within their constitutional powers and duty to see to the safe return of the four victims.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command has disclosed that three suspected kidnappers were killed on Wednesday morning along the Ehor axis of the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Abuja highway following a gun battle between the suspects and security operatives.
The command in a statement said at it received information from the vigilante network chairman, Irrua early on Wednesday that a black Toyota Venza car with Reg. NO SKL 394 TD, coming from Benin to Ekpoma, was fired at from the bush by suspected hoodlums, and the yet-to-be-identified driver/occupants were suspected to have been kidnapped into the bush.
According to the police spokesman, Bello Kontongs, the DPO Ehor Division, CSP Benefa Benjamin swiftly mobilized and led combined teams of police, military, and local vigilantes on bush combing and about 1134hrs, ASP Obaro Samuel, attached to state Highway Patrol Ebute, together with the military sighted the armed hoodlums who immediately open fire.
He explained that in the ensuing gun duel, the superior firepower of the team of operatives hit three of the hoodlums who were fatally injured and were rushed to Iruekpen General Hospital where they were confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.
On searching them, the following items were recovered from the kidnappers: one AK-47 rifle with 14 live ammunition, one English Pump action gun with 18 live cartridges, one ATM card, two wristwatches, and cash of N1,500.