Fuel Tanker Explodes, Kills Three In Kogi

A file photo of the scene of a tanker explosion.

 

At least three persons were killed on Monday night when a tanker conveying diesel exploded in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

The incident, according to reports, occurred some minutes past 8 pm around the Felele axis of the ever-busy Lokoja-Abuja highway when the brake of the fully-loaded tanker failed.

The tanker was said to be descending the sloppy section of the road and as a result of the failure of its brake, the tanker rammed into another truck parked on the roadside.

In an attempt by the driver to halt the vehicle, the apparent force of the collision caused the tanker to burst into flames, leaving three persons burnt beyond recognition.

The incident also left many travellers and motorists on the axis stranded on that part of the road.

The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Stephen Dawulung, also confirmed the incident to reporters on Tuesday in Lokoja.

He added that two other persons were rescued with burns and taken to the Federal Medical Centre in the state capital for treatment while the bodies of the victims were deposited at the morgue.

“The crash resulted from dangerous driving by the driver who suddenly lost control,” said Dawuling. “The tanker was totally burnt.

“The Dyna pick-up van that was parked by the roadside and two other vehicles were also affected by the fire.”

According to him, FRSC officials deployed at the scene were only able to conduct traffic control to decongest the gridlock that ensued after the inferno had subsided.

The FRSC official cautioned drivers of articulated vehicles, especially those carrying flammable substances to always be careful and drive within the regulated speed limit.

He stressed the need to maintain all vehicle safety protocols such as the use of safety valves to prevent spillages of content in the event of a crash.

Kogi Govt Condemns Attack On Police Station, Vows Not To Spare Criminals

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

The Kogi State government has condemned the attack on Eika-Ohizenyi Police Station in Okehi Local Government Area of the state.

In a statement dated June 25, the Commissioner for Information and Communications in Kogi, Kingsley Fanwo, confirmed that one person was killed during the attack on midnight of Thursday.

“We commend the gallantry of the security operatives who resisted the attack with utmost bravery and professionalism to reduce the level of casualties,” Fanwo stated. “We shall wait for the Kogi State Police Command to release official reports.

“Meanwhile, interim reports available to us show there was one casualty recorded at the scene of the attack which was foiled by security agents.

“The Executive Governor of Kogi State has directed the office of the State Security Adviser to mobilise adequate security personnel and equipment to the affected area to ensure watertight security and restore confidence in the citizens, as the state government implements an effective action plan to avert reoccurrence, while also working closely with the security chiefs in the state as well as the people in the affected area.”

READ ALSO: Again, Gunmen Attack Eika Police Station In Kogi, Kill Officer

Fanwo appealed to residents of Okehi to cooperate with the security agencies, saying necessary measures would be put in place to curb violent crimes in the area and to flush out the criminals.

The government, he stated, has directed all the broadcast stations of the state to publicise the curfew imposed for public awareness.

According to the commissioner, the government relies on credible intelligence from residents that will lead to the arrest of the criminals.

“The State Government will also take full responsibility for the medical treatment of those injured in the unfortunate attack. We wish to assure the people of Kogi State that normalcy has returned to Okehi after the state government-led efforts at restoring peace with the full cooperation of our conventional and local law enforcement agents.

“Be confident to go about your normal activities as the government will do everything to keep you safe. And to the criminals, Kogi State will not shirk its responsibility by passing the buck. We will go after all criminal elements and bring them to justice,” he said.

Again, Gunmen Attack Eika Police Station In Kogi, Kill Officer

A destroyed section of the police station.

 

Gunmen early Friday attacked a Police Area Command office at Eika-Ohizenyi in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State, killing an officer Mr Jibril popularly known as Yellow.

The Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, Edward Egbuka, who visited the scene of the attack for an on-the-spot assessment, immediately ordered the deployment of additional operational assets consisting of operatives of the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, Quick Response Unit, State Intelligence Bureau in synergy with other security agencies to restore normalcy to the area.

The visit was contained in a statement issued by the command’s Public Relations Officer, William Aya, in Lokoja on Friday.

The statement mentioned that part of the Area Command Office was razed by dynamite used by the attackers and Jibril, a Police Inspector, died in the exchange of fire with the hoodlums.

The Commissioner of Police, however, assured that the Command is committed to working in synergy with other security agencies as well as patriotic stakeholders to make the State safe and secure.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap, Behead Ex-Anambra Lawmaker Nelson Achukwu

Call For Help

A resident of the area, Mallam Momoh Abubakar, told Channels Television that the attackers invaded the station at 12:15 a.m, saying the first bomb they threw into the station made a heavy sound that woke many residents.

According to him, the second bomb brought down part of the station’s building. He added that the attackers had a field day as they operated for over two hours without interference either from security agents or the community.

Abubakar explained the only operational vehicle in the police station was also destroyed. The resident also said during the attack, bullets perforated the windows of the Eika Community Central Mosque and a Catholic church near the police station.

“I am using this medium to appeal to security agents to be proactive and respond quickly to this type of incident because the gunmen spent more than two hours operating freely without interference.

“The first attack on the station occurred on Friday and this second one, which happened after five years also took place on Friday, and to our surprise, nobody has been arrested in connection to the attack.

“As I am talking to you now, there is serious fear and apprehension in Eika community as people remained indoors for fear of being attacked by gunmen. We are appealing to the government to beam its searchlight on this area because the attack is becoming unbearable,” he said

Meanwhile, the corpse of the slain policeman has been taken to the Obangede General Hospital mortuary.

The police station was first attacked in February 2017, leading to the death of two officers attached to the station. The Eika community leader Mallam Sadiq Orbom was also killed by the assailant in his house after they successfully ravaged the police station.

Yahaya Bello Vows To Relaunch Presidential Ambition In Near Future

In this file photo, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello briefs State House reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on June 7, 2022.

 

Governor of Kogi State and former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has hinted that he will relaunch his presidential ambition in the near future.

He made the declaration in a chat with State House correspondents on Wednesday after he met with the President in his office.

Governor Bello, who was at the Villa on a ‘thank you’ visit to the President for allowing him to contest in the presidential exercise, said that what he did with the presidential race is test his might, promising that his next attempt will be supersonic.

READ ALSOChoice Of Running Mate Lies With Tinubu, Not APC Governors – Uzodimma

The Kogi State Governor further, who urged his followers to support the ruling party across the board in the upcoming elections, appealed to them not to be disillusioned by the loss.

On the possibility of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, having a Muslim running mate, the governor stated that religion or region should not be a factor for political office.

2023 Presidency: Yahaya Bello Vows To Mobilise Youths For Tinubu’s Victory

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has pledged to mobilise youths for the presidential ambition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer Bola Tinubu.

He made the pledge on Friday when the former Lagos state governor visited him in Abuja

“The exercise (APC convention/primary) has come and gone. I am telling you that I will be that general that will be on the field to command the younger generation – because they believe in me in their numbers – that will lead them to the polling units in every nooks and cranny of the country to make sure that we win resoundingly,” the governor said, days after the Tinubu beat him and several others to win the APC presidential ticket. “Never again will PDP lead this country.”

READ ALSO: APC Must Unite Behind Tinubu – Buhari

Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with Yahaya Bello on June 10, 2022.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with Yahaya Bello on June 10, 2022.

 

He also hailed the Tinubu for his contributions to democracy in Nigeria, saying the APC chieftain’s experience sets him apart from the rest. The governor also donated his campaign office to Tinubu.

“Today, I have collapsed my Presidential Campaign Organisation. I am donating my campaign organisation’s secretariat to you,” he said.

“I’ve learnt a lot from the little lecture you gave to us. What elders see when they’re in the valley, the younger ones won’t see it.”

On his part, Tinubu appreciated the gesture and promised to work for the party and the country’s unity. He described the governor as a “son” and commended him for contesting for the APC presidential ticket despite his youthfulness.

“Thank you, all members of Yahaya Bello Campaign Organisation,” Tinubu said.  “You all made a mark, you were resolute. But there’s a difference between a tiger and a lion.”

Tinubu’s visit to the governor is part of moves to reconcile members of the party following the primary election. He was accompanied by a former National Chairman of the APC Adams Oshiomhole.

Headmaster, Two Others Regain Freedom In Kogi

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

The headmaster of Kingdom Heritage School, Egbe, in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State, Abiodun Adeyemi, and two others abducted two weeks ago, have regained their freedom.

The three victims were abducted while on their way to a burial ceremony at Kabba but regained freedom on Sunday night after the payment of N1.5 million ransom to the abductors.

A family source disclosed that the headmaster, who sustained body bruises as a result of the torture he received from the kidnappers, came home around 8 pm and was taken to hospital for medical treatment in Egbe. But the female victim among them was taken to a hospital in Ilorin.

The spokesman, Kogi State Police Command William Aya, confirmed their release on Monday and stated that the victims have been reunited with their family members.

Recalled that on Sunday the abductors of elder Statesman Isah Ozi-Salami demanded a ransom of N120m to enable the HYPPADEC Board member to regain freedom.

Also, the Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Christopher Onotu, who was kidnapped by gunmen last Saturday night from his Church in Obangede, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State, still remained in captivity without any demand for ransom.

Gunmen Abduct Hydroelectric Power Governing Council Member In Kogi

Suspected terrorists abducted an unspecified number of traders travelling along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road
A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Isah Ozi-Salami, a governing council member of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), in Kogi State has been abducted by gunmen.

The victim according to a family source was kidnapped early morning of Thursday on his way to the mosque in his country home Ogaminana, Adavi local government area of Kogi state.

Confirming the incident, the Kogi State Police Command disclosed that the Board member of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, (HYPPADEC) had been kidnapped by gunmen.

The family source added that the kidnappers came with a vehicle parked opposite the victim’s residence and seized him around 5 a.m. while a young man who struggled to rescue the elder statesman was shot by the kidnappers and died three hours later.

Ozi-Salami was said to have commissioned a water project in Adavi local government on Wednesday before he was kidnapped the next day.

Gov. Bello Mourns Senator Nzeribe, Describes Him As A True Patriot

Senator Arthur Nzeribe died in his country home in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State on May 8, 2022. Photo: [email protected]

 

Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has mourned the demise of the former and longest-serving senator from Imo State Arthur Nzeribe who died on Saturday at the age of 83.

Governor Bello in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammed Onogwu on Sunday condoled the people and government of Imo State while describing the deceased as a true patriot and a dedicated public servant.

He noted that Chief Arthur Nzeribe not only distinguished himself in service but also contributed his meaningful quota to, first the senatorial district, which he represented for many years, and by extension his state and the nation.

Senator Nzeribe was also remarkably remembered as a major player in the country’s financial sector as early as 22 before he rose to become one of Nigeria’s most powerful and influential politicians, who in 1999, was elected to the Senate to represent Orlu.

While condoling with the families, friends, and associates of the late astute politician, Governor Bello prayed for God to grant the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the painful loss.

2023: Buhari Has Laid A Foundation I Can Build Upon – Yahaya Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello is accusing the PDP of doing little to develop infrastructure in the country.

 

Governor Yahaya Bello has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his infrastructure drive and efforts at tackling insecurity. The Kogi State leader says he will build on such a legacy if elected as Nigeria’s president. 

The governor said this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.  He accused the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of failure to build infrastructure in the country.

“Today, I am running to build on the successes of President Muhammadu Buhari because of his performance,” the governor said during the current affairs show.

“In 2015, I dare not because there was no foundation whatsoever to build upon. But today under APC, President Muhammadu Buhari has been able to lay the foundation that I can build upon.”


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Governor Bello is one of the serving politicians who have declared interest in running for the presidential seat. He officially declared for the post on Saturday, promising to give hope to Nigerians, transform the economy and raise 20 million millionaires in seven years if elected.

“I mean every bit of it,” the governor re-echoed as he called on Nigerians to look inward for solutions to the problems affecting the country.

The governor referenced the apprenticeship system in the southeast, maintaining that for every challenge facing Nigeria, solutions abound if the nation looks inward.

“Why can’t we in this country develop homegrown solutions to our own problems?” he asked.

He also spoke about the management of resources in the north-central state and dismissed claims that workers are being owed.

According to him, salaries are being paid within the limits of resources available to the government. He maintained that if workers are owed, they would have said so.

Bello Approves Payment Of N30,000 Minimum Wage For Kogi Workers

A file photo of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has approved the implementation of N30,000 as minimum wage for the workers in the state.

The Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Arike Ayoade disclosed this on Tuesday after an extensive meeting with the organised labour in Lokoja.

She blamed the delay in the implementation on the inability for the committee to meet regularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has been overcome.

The SSG equally commended the organised labour for their understanding and patience, which she said  has resulted into the signing of the implementation of the new minimum wage.

In his remark, the Deputy Governor, Chief Edward Onoja hailed the organized labour for their understanding and commitment at reaching the agreement amicably without resorting to strike action.

He described Governor Bello as a leader who is passionate about the welfare of civil servants and would continue to give priority attention to its workforce.

Also, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka said Kogi State civil servants have been brought to the same level as their counterparts in other states already implementing the new minimum wage.

One Killed As Police Foil Attack On Command Post In Kogi

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

An attack on the Police Area Command in the Okene area of Kogi State has been repelled.

The assailants, numbering 30 on motorcycles, stormed the area on Sunday according to eyewitnesses.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, said local hunters, men of the state vigilante service collaborated with other security operatives to foil the attack.

The statement disclosed that no innocent life was lost but “one of the gunmen was gunned down while others ran away with various degrees of gun wounds.

“Two of their motorcycles were recovered as well as various arms and ammunition. Also, explosives meant to shatter the command were immediately detonated by experts”.

This is the second time in less than two months that such an attack has occurred in the state after some criminals were killed in an attack on Yagba West LGA in December.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Catholic Priest, Kill Cook In Kaduna

The commissioner called on “traditional medical homes and other medical facilities to report anyone with gun wounds to the nearest security formation as our local hunters are giving them a run for their money in the bush right now.

“We shall keep you updated on developments.

“The Governor, Yahaya Bello wishes to assure all Kogites and residents of the state that he will do everything humanly possible to secure their lives and property.”

Kogi Court Sentences Man To Death By Hanging For Stabbing Colleague

Logo of a court gavel

 

Kogi State High Court of Justice in Lokoja, on Thursday, sentenced one Muritala Dare to death by hanging for stabbing his colleague with a broken bottle.

Justice Josiah Majebi, who presides over High Court 2, Lokoja, found the defendant guilty after considering his involvement in an incident that occurred on August 16, 2021, around the NUJ area of the Lokoja metropolis.

The defendant was charged for the offence of Culpable Homicide punishable with death under Section 221 (a) and (b) of the Kogi State Penal Code just as the charge stated that he “caused the death of one Lukman Karim by doing an act to wit, stabbing him on the neck and hand with a broken bottle with the intention of causing his death and thereby committed an offence.”

To prove that the defendant committed the offence, the prosecutor called three witnesses and tendered seven exhibits which included the defendant’s confessional statement, a Coroners Ordinance (Chapter) Report of Medical Practitioners, and a Nigeria Police Post Mortem Examination report dated 19th August 2020.

READ ALSO: Bello Orders Immediate Removal Of Illegal Roadblocks In Kogi

While giving evidence, the principal witness, who is attached to the Quick Response Unit of the Kogi State Police Command, said the condemned defendant was apprehended from his hideout after committing the crime while the deceased, who died at the scene of the incident, was confirmed dead at the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja where the corpse was later deposited.

Upon examination of the evidence presented before the court and particularly relying on the confessional statement made by the defendant, Justice Majebi averred that “a confession is an admission at any time by a person charged with a crime stating or suggesting that he committed the crime”

He noted that “it is well settled that in a criminal trial (that) an issue may be proved by direct evidence (evidence of an eye witness) confession or admission voluntarily made by the Defendant and circumstantial evidence”.

Thus while concluding that the entire case of the prosecution was built on the confessional statement of the defendant, which though he tried effortlessly to deny during the trial, the statements he made during the course of investigating the matter were adequate to rely upon in passing the judgment according to the Judge.

According to the trial judge, “it is trite law that a valid voluntary statement entered without objection and admitted in evidence is good evidence and no amount of subsequent argument against it or retraction will vitiate its admissibility and potency as a voluntary statement and the mere denial by the defendant will not be a good reason for rejecting it.

“It is only desirable to have some evidence of circumstances which make it probable that the confession was truly confessional, as in Exhibit P1 in the instant case.”

“I have carefully perused and considered Exhibit P1. It is confessional in nature. I am compelled to consider the legal propriety/status of the said Exhibits P1 & P P6 in view of the fact that their admissibility is being challenged by the learned counsel for the defendant under issue two of his issues for determination and more importantly, that as earlier stated, the entire case by the prosecution herein is built on them particularly Exhibit P1,” he added.

Elaborating further, he said there were sufficient reasons to arrive at the conclusion that the evidence contained in the statements made by the defendant were convincing enough even outside his confessional statement.

“I am of the view that there is sufficient evidence outside the confessional statement of the defendant to make it probable that the statement is true. Aside from the admission of the defendant that he stabbed the deceased to death with a broken bottle, his averments in Exhibits P6 are materially the same as his averments in Exhibit P1,” he said.

“Hence, his averments in Exhibits P6 corroborate his averments in Exhibit P1.”

In the two exhibits, the defendant averred that he knew the deceased.

In Exhibits P6, the defendant stated that he worked with the deceased at the same place under high tension, and in Exhibit P1, he stated that he had issues with the deceased after they were sacked from their former shop. According to him, on the 16th day of August 2020, he had a fight with some persons including the deceased.

While in Exhibit P6, he stated that he removed the broken bottle he had earlier kept in his pocket and stabbed the deceased with it on his neck and left hand leading to his death”.

The court, therefore, held that the stated evidence of circumstances made it possible that the statement made by the defendant and contained in Exhibit P1 was “truly confessional” while noting that for the prosecution to succeed in a charge of Culpable Homicide, under Section 221 (a) of the said Penal Code, it must have the ingredients of the death of a deceased resulting from the act of a defendant whose act would have been done with the intention to cause death or that the defendant knew or had a reason or know that death would be the probable and not only likely consequence of his act.

He therefore concluded that all these essential ingredients were already manifest in the matter and supported by other evidences.

“I have carefully looked and considered Exhibit P1 and I am satisfied that it is direct, positive and admits the essential elements of the offence of Culpable Homicide as stated against the Defendant….There is a nexus between the act of the Defendant and the death of the deceased. The fact that the deceased died on the 16th day of August, 2020 is not in dispute between the prosecution and the Defence. The substance of the case, established by the evidence adduced is that the deceased was killed by the Defendant.” And there was “no Scintilla of evidence from the Defendant both in Exhibit P1 and his oral evidence to show that the killing of the deceased was in Self-Defence or Provocation” as was canvassed by his counsel.

In conclusion, his lordship found the Defendant guilty of the charge of Culpable Homicide against him and convicted him accordingly.

“Premised on the above findings, I hold that the prosecution has proved all the ingredients of the charge against the Defendant and thereby raising the presumption of guilt against him in respect of the charge.

“That, you, Dare Murtala, is hereby sentenced to death for the offence of Culpable Homicide for which you are convicted. The sentence of this Court upon you is that you will be hanged by neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy upon your soul,” he pronounced.