At Least Three Killed, 13 Injured As Gas Tanker Explodes In Lagos

A screengrab taken on June 18, 2021, captures the scene of the explosion.

 

No fewer than three persons have been confirmed killed in a gas tanker explosion in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.

Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, a spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), disclosed this in a telephone interview with Channels Television on Friday.

The incident occurred on Thursday night after a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanker exploded at Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, affecting a plaza housing dozens of organisations.

“The latest is that we just recovered three dead bodies this morning, which was beyond our expectation,” said Farinloye while giving an update on the incident on Sunrise Daily.

He added, “Yesterday, we made a headcount and management officials of the plaza were around, officials of all the organisations using the plaza were around; only one boy was claimed to be missing and unfortunately, we could not trace the boy yesterday night.

“Unfortunately, when we got there this morning, we saw three dead – one Mr Balogun who was the manager of the Chinese restaurant. He was recovered with two other personnel of the restaurant.”

 

The NEMA spokesman noted that the victims seemed to have made an attempt to escape from the building when the incident occurred.

He explained that this possibly led to their death, while the boy said to be missing since Thursday night had yet to be found.

The explosion, said to have been caused by a leakage while the LPG tanker was in motion, threw the environment into panic as a result of the huge fire that ensued.

This also left some people wounded with four of them taken to the Trauma and Burns Centre at the General Hospital, Gbagada.

Farinloye noted that the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, led a team of policemen to the scene on Friday in a bid to restore normalcy in the area.

“Recovery effort will continue this morning. Thirteen people sustained injury – four women and nine men. 25 vehicles were destroyed completely.

“The police personnel were left behind to take care of the whole situation. The whole situation is under control,” he said.

At Least Three Judges Sit In Lagos As Courts Resume Activities

A file photo of a court.

 

At least three judges of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja sat to hear proceedings on Tuesday following the resumption of judicial activities in courts across the country.

Court staff, lawyers, and litigants arrived at the court premises, some as early as 8am while most of the courtrooms were open with parties seen moving in and out.

Hearings could, however, not fully commence in earnest as most of the cause lists were yet to be updated.

This was because the dates for hearings had been overtaken by the industrial action by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

Although Channels Television’s camera could not go into the courtrooms, the crew observed that many lawyers were liaising with court officials with a view to getting new hearing dates for their matters.

But the cause list at the court presided by Justice Mojisola Dada was up to date and the judge sat to hear some cases.

Similarly, Justice Josephine Oyefeso and Justice Sherifat Solebo sat to hear matters in their respective courtrooms.

Elsewhere at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, activities were on low-key with only one judge sitting when the crew monitored proceedings.

In an interview with Channels Television outside the courtroom, a lawyer, Ikechukwu Chiaha, commended the judiciary workers for the industrial action.

JUSUN embarked on a nationwide strike on April 6 to demand the implementation of the financial autonomy of the judiciary.

Two months later, the strike was suspended on Wednesday last week following a meeting between officials of the union and the National Judicial Council (NJC) led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

Buhari To Visit Lagos On Thursday

File Photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected in Lagos on Thursday for the inauguration of the 157 kilometre Lagos-Ibadan standard rail project at the Mobolaji Johnson railway station in Ebutte Metta.

Thereafter, the President is expected to proceed to the Energy Nature Light Terminal of the Apapa Port to further commission the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project.

READ ALSO: Buhari Congratulates NASS On Second Anniversary

Presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad had on Tuesday noted that his principal will be in the nation’s commercial capital for the commissioning.

“Construction started in March 2017, and test-running commenced in December 2020,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

“The Ebute Metta Station, known as the Mobolaji Johnson Station, is the largest railway station in West Africa with a holding capacity of 6000 passengers.

“President Buhari is committed to developing a modern national railway network that will connect every part of Nigeria, and promote trade, travel, tourism, commerce, and national integration.”

Buhari is expected back at the State House later on Thursday after the inauguration of the projects.

The 156km Lagos—Ibadan standard gauge railway line in Lagos is the first double-track standard gauge rail in West Africa,

It is also the first Nigerian railway line to be started and finished by the same government, since 1960.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had earlier explained that the projects primarily aim at ensuring the seamless movement of cargoes from the Apapa Seaport via train to further decongest the ports.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Commission Projects In Lagos

President Buhari commissioned projects at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital during his visit to Lagos in 2019.

 

Buhari had visited Lagos in April 2019 to commission several projects including the reconstructed Oshodi International Airport Road, Oshodi Transport Interchange, 820 mass transit buses, an ultra-modern 170- bed Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist hospital located within the premises of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja and The Eko Theatre.

Falana, Falz Join CSOs To Protest Insecurity, Unemployment

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana speaks during a protest at the Lagos State Government House, Ikeja on May 31, 2021.

 

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana and his son, Falz on Monday joined civil society organisations, labour unions and youth bodies to protest against insecurity, unemployment, mass poverty and bad governance.

Bearing placards with different inscriptions, the groups took the peaceful protest which had the theme “National Day Of Action Against Insecurity in Nigeria” to the Lagos State Government House in Alausa, Ikeja.

They were received by members of the State House of Assembly.

Falana told the lawmakers that there was a need to provide for the poor so that peace could be guaranteed in the country.

He called on states that had not adopted the Child Rights Act to urgently do so and take all the children off the streets so that they could get an education.

READ ALSO: IPOB Cannot Give Sit-At-Home Order In Rivers – Wike

“South-West has 54 universities, graduates are being churned out daily and nobody is planning for their future,” he said.

“We are asking you because Lagos is where everybody comes to. This is the home of every Nigerian and we are asking you to intensify your efforts and increase the budget of the poor so that there will be peace.

“It is now clear in our country that without peace for the poor, there cannot be peace for the rich. For those who want to fight banditry and terrorism, we must put all our children in school.”

The protesters, which included trade unions, civil society, students, farmers and peasants, were led by Jaye Gaskiya, a foremost activist.

Gaskiya said the protest was organised to express displeasure over how badly the country had degenerated.

He expressed worry that Nigeria, characterised by extreme poverty, arms proliferation, religious intolerance, the rise of hate and ethnic nationalism is moving towards social upheavals due to exploitation of the people, greed and avarice of a spineless political class that has reached its end.

Lagos Judicial Panel Issues Bench Warrant On LCDA Chairman

Justice Doris Okuwobi and other members of the Lagos Judicial panel during a sitting on April 30, 2021.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS has issued a bench warrant to summon Hon. Rasaq Ajala, the Chairman of Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi issued the warrant on Tuesday at the instance of the police counsel, Cyril Ajiofor who told the panel that the Chairman had again failed to honour the summons issued to him to appear.

Today’s proceeding makes it the third time, that Hon Ajala would be ignoring the summons of the panel.

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At previous sittings, the panel had summoned the LCDA Chairman to assist with information in the petition filed by the family of late Adeshina Adeosun against the Nigerian police.

Adeosun, a taxi driver was allegedly shot by officers of the Nigerian police force, Olosan division on October 20, 2020.

His family claims that his body is still with the police. They are therefore seeking the help of the panel to retrieve the body. The family is also seeking compensation for his extra judicial Killing.

The police are however challenging the facts as put forward by the family. Through their counsel, Cyril Ajiofor, they had asked the panel to summon the Chairman of Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye LCDA who they say is seized of the incident and has personal information that can assist the panel in its fact finding.

But the chairman has consistently failed to appear. Before the bench warrant was issued, the police counsel had first made an application asking the panel to nominate a few lawyers to meet with the Chairman ‘in camera’ to get the necessary information from him, a move which the petitioners counsel and the panel strongly opposed.

I Have No Preferred Candidate In Lagos LG Poll – Tinubu

A file photo of APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu.

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has denied the claim that he has endorsed any candidate for the forthcoming local government election in Lagos State.

In a statement on Sunday, he faulted the allegations of a plot to influence the party’s primaries, saying they were targeted to hurt the party.

Tinubu noted that the APC Governance Advisory Council in Lagos met on Friday last week to discuss ways to ensure the fairness of the primaries for the poll.

“Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would like it to be known, by way of this statement, that he has no preferred candidates for the upcoming local government primaries.

“He has no intention to endorse any of the people contesting for the party nomination in any election, whether for chairmanship or councillorship positions,” the statement said.

It added, “On this matter, Asiwaju believes he can speak for the rest of the GAC regarding their belief in the impartiality and transparency of the internal party process.

“Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the other GAC leaders seek a free, fair, and transparent process in which the candidates who emerge are those who gather the most support among the party rank and file. Only in this manner, do we best prepare ourselves for the general election.”

According to Tinubu, the integrity of the primary process is of the highest priority for the APC and all efforts must be geared towards the realisation of a free, fair, and transparent process.

To this end, he said party officials were obligated to establish the necessary arrangements to ensure orderly, peaceful, free, and fair primaries.

The APC leader added that the officials have been empowered to deal appropriately with any who might attempt to undermine or otherwise try to inject impair the party primaries, stressing the need for the party to adopt a policy of no tolerance.

He advised aspirants to embrace consensus wherever possible in order to reduce tension and avoid discord and in-fighting within the party.

“However, where consensus is not possible, fair and clean primaries must be held so that party members have a chance to choose the candidate they want from among the competing aspirants.

“All aspirants, however, must realise that only one person can win any given contest. While we encourage everyone to compete with zeal and energy, we encourage all aspirants and party members to respect the results of our primaries,” the statement said.

It added, “Once the primaries end, we must unite as a party so that we win the general elections thereby ensuring the continuity of progressive governance at the local government level throughout the state.

“In this vein, Asiwaju appeals to party leaders in all the local governments to allow democracy to flourish. He urges them to do everything humanly possible to protect and promote the democratic process.”

Lagos Set To Replace Igbosere High Court With New Ikoyi Court

 

 

The Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Moyosore Onigbanjo has disclosed that the property at Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, proposed by the Lagos State Government for the relocation of Igbosere High Court, will be ready by end of May 2021.

Justice Onigbanjo stated this on May 19 at the state’s Ministry of Justice 2021 Ministerial Press Briefing tagged ‘Our journey between April 2020 and April 2021’.

Onigbanjo explained that this and ongoing state-wide construction and renovation of courts is part of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s efforts to enhance access to justice.

The AG also revealed that the digitalisation of 10 of the state’s courts is ongoing, adding that six of the fully digitalised courts will be ready by October.

The facilities will provide “real-time transcripts solution services and fully-automated courts” Onigbanjo said.

This, he noted, will complement the launch of an online platform for checking the status of legal advice and certified true copy of legal advice.

He disclosed further that there is also an ongoing upgrade of the Ministry of Justice website and social media handles, as well as the introduction of Case Management Systems within the MoJ to improve efficiency.

Onigbanjo highlighted the MoJ’s efforts to boost law enforcement agencies’ performance by building statement recording/interrogation rooms for the police to enhance prosecution of cases.

The Igbosere High Court, the country’s oldest and most recognisable judicial building, was attacked on October 22 by hoodlums under the guise of the #EndSARS protest.

The criminals spent hours looting and vandalising vehicles, furniture, refrigerators, air conditioners, office equipment among others, before burning the entire court complex to the ground.

NDLEA Arrests Ex-LG Vice Chairman With Cocaine At Lagos Airport

The suspect and a former Vice Chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, Asekun Kehinde Sakiru paraded by the NDLEA in Lagos on May 12, 2021.

 

 A former Vice Chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, Asekun Kehinde Sakiru, has been arrested with cocaine.

He was nabbed by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi, confirmed on Wednesday via a statement.

The anti-narcotics agency said the suspect had been on its wanted list following the recent arrest of some traffickers and drug seizures linked to him.

“The long arm of the law however caught up with the wanted baron at about 9.40 pm on Friday 7th May 2021 while trying to board a Virgin Atlantic airline flight to London, the United Kingdom at the Lagos airport,” the statement partly read.

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“At the point of his arrest, Asekun was caught with a kilogramme of cocaine concealed in five pairs of palm slippers packed inside his suitcase.

“He has been on the wanted list of the MMIA Command of the Agency in connection to a case involving one Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, who was arrested with 6.45kg of cocaine in December 2020.”

According to the agency, preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect London-based suspected drug baron is a seasoned politician.

He was at different times between 2004 and 2014 the vice-chairman of Lagos Island East LCDA. He had also contested and lost elections for the House of Representatives in 2007 and Lagos State House of Assembly in 2015.

NDLEA added, “Although he claims to be an international businessman who deals in automobiles, the investigation is yet to confirm that to be the source of his acquired wealth.

“In the course of tracking him, the sum of N131million was seized from his account and another N14 million also blocked in the account of one of his traffickers, Azeez Adeniyi Ibrahim, bringing the total sum so far recovered from him to N145 million.”

Reacting to the arrest, NDLEA Chairman, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA Command of the Agency for resilience and dedication to duty.

He is also confident that with the support of all stakeholders, the problem of drug trafficking and abuse in Nigeria will be drastically reduced very soon.

“This arrest is yet another message and red alert to those still in this criminal trade whether as barons or traffickers that they will soon enter the dragnet of the Agency, daily being spread across the country,” he said.

“If they fail to back out especially now that we are moving all out for the barons and the big cartels, we will continue to reign in the traffickers.”

Pelumi Onifade: Lagos Govt. Challenges Jurisdiction Of Panel To Hear Petition

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu attends the Eko Educators Webinar Performance Series 3.3 hosted by the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission. Sept 8.
File photo of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

 

The Lagos State Government has raised objections to the hearing of the petition brought by the family of the late journalist, Pelumi Onifade before the Lagos judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS abuses and other matters.

Twenty-year-old Pelumi was allegedly killed by police officers attached to the Lagos State Task Force on October 25, 2020 and his body dumped at the mortuary of the state’s general hospital, Ikorodu.

On November 6, 2020, his family had submitted a petition before the Lagos judicial panel with the hope of getting justice.

But when the panel moved to hear the petition, the lead counsel to the Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) told members that there was a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the panel to hear it.

“We have personal and specific instruction as regards this matter,” Owonikoko said.

READ ALSO: Lagos Panel Awards ₦13.5m Compensation To Three Victims Of Police Brutality

In a five-page preliminary objection dated the 10th of April, the state government listed three grounds of objection namely;

(a) That the subject matter of the petition as presently constituted does not fall within the terms of reference upon which the panel was constituted and as such the panel lacked the justification to entertain the petition

(b) That it is ultra vires the jurisdiction of the panel to entertain the person as the unfortunate events recounted therein were not alleged to be perpetrated by the disbanded SARS.

(c) That the unfortunate incident in the petition allegedly occurred on the 25th day of Oct 2020 long after the SARS had been disbanded and the amended instrument establishing the panel of inquiry was promulgated.

In a written address in support, the government stated that the petition suffered from double disqualification in line with the terms of reference of the panel, as the alleged incident was not perpetrated by SARS and it also occurred outside the time frame within which SARS was active.

Owonikoko said: “It is crystal clear that the totality of the petitioner’s petition before this honourable panel bears out irrefutable and without any equivocation that the petition is against the men of the Nigeria Police Force attached to the Lagos State Environmental Task Force and not against the activities of the men of the disbanded SARS.”

The government, therefore, urged the panel to dismiss the petition, refer the petitioner to the regular court and to hold among other things that the panel is not instituted to hear all matters relating to the police but specifically to the activities of men of the disbanded SARS.

Lagos Panel Shown Live Bullet Extracted From Victim Of Extra-Judicial Killing

Petitioners counsel, Adebola Lemo holds the bullet after the Chief Medical Examiner tendered it before the Lagos Judicial Panel on May 11, 2021.

 

 

The acting Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, Dr.  Sunday Soyemi today testified before the judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses.

He showed the panel a bullet he extracted from a victim of an extrajudicial killing, Charles Otoo.

At a previous proceeding, the panel had summoned the doctor to shed more light on the cause of death of the late Charles Otoo.

In a petition put before the panel by his widow, Victoria, the late Charles was said to have been shot on Oct 21, 2020, at about 6 pm by men of the Nigerian Police Force, Divisional Headquarters, Ojodu.

According to the widow, a policewoman simply identified as Chinyere allegedly shot the gun which hit the late Charles Otoo by the side of his head. He reportedly lost a lot of blood and eventually died at about 8 pm at the hospital where he was rushed.

At the proceedings today, Dr Soyemi, a lecturer in the college of medicine, Lasuth and a pathologist of 17 years, testified that “the cause of death was a severe injury to the brain following a gunshot to the skull”.

The pathologist who also signed the post mortem report of the deceased showed the panel the bullet he extracted from the late Charles Otto in the course of examining him.

He said the bullet would still need to undergo ballistic examination before the coroner’s court.

After sighting the bullet, the panel admitted photographs of it in evidence and returned the bullet back to the doctor to enable it to undergo the necessary examinations and analysis.

The panel also admitted the post mortem report as evidence.

The panel then listened to a police witness who testified that contrary to the evidence of Mrs Victoria Otoo, the police had nothing to do with the death of the late Charles.

The police witness, Lukeman Sowemimo, who claimed he was the station officer at the Ojodu police station at the time denied that his station had any female officer named Chinyere.

He narrated how some #EndSARS protesters allegedly set part of the police station ablaze on the 22nd of Oct., 2020 but insisted that the officers stayed back in the station to protect it and themselves and did not go out for any patrol.

READ ALSO: Hoodlums Attack NDLEA Office In Abia

When shown the bullet brought by the pathologist, and asked if he could identify it, the witness said from his experience, the bullet came from a pistol.”

“The difference between a pistol and a rifle is that pistol can only kill at a close range while a rifle can kill from any distance. I am not a ballistician, but with my experience as a mobile man, if I see pistol ammunition, I can differentiate it from an AK 47 ammunition,” he said.

Under cross-examination by counsel to the petitioner, Mr Adebola Lema, the witness admitted that police officers sometimes carry pistols.

On the question of the maximum range of an AK 47 when shot? The witness put the range at 40metres and said that even at that range it can still do maximum damage if it hits someone.

On further cross-examination by counsel to the Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), the counsel asked the witness; “We had a General (from the Nigerian Army) testify before the panel that the AK 47 could cause damage even up to 350m? Do you agree?

The witness answered in the affirmative.

The Petitioner’s counsel, Adebola Lema has adopted his final written address and asked the panel to take note of the inconsistency in the answer given by the witness as to the maximum range of the Ak 47.

 

 

 

 

Lagos Panel Awards ₦13.5m Compensation To Three Victims Of Police Brutality

Justice Doris Okuwobi and other members of the Lagos Judicial panel during a sitting on April 30, 2021.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses has awarded the sum of ₦13.5m to 3 victims of police brutality.

A 34-year-old trader, Ndukwe Ekekwe was awarded the sum of ₦7.5m for the harrowing ordeal meted on him by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Ekekwe, who had shops at Alaba International Market where he sold accessories and other general items, had told the panel that he was arrested on February 16, 2018, for crimes he did not commit.

He also told the panel that he “was tortured, brutalised and thrown down the two-storey building of the shopping complex which housed his shops.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: FG Has Capacity To Crush Terrorists, Bandits – Lai Mohammed

In reaching its decision on his petition, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi held that there was a clear violation of his fundamental rights as guaranteed under Section 34 of the constitution.

The panel also recommended that the police investigate and fish out its officers who brutalised Ekekwe with a view to sanctioning them accordingly.

In his immediate reaction, Ekekwe expressed displeasure with the amount awarded by the panel. He and his mother who had been taking care of him since the incident happened lamented that they had spent over N30m at the hospitals and wondered what they would do with the “mere ₦7.5m awarded by the panel”.

Two other petitioners, Andrew Okoh and Isaac Adeshina who suffered grievous body harm after they were shot in the leg by a police officer were compensated with the sum of ₦3m each.

Lagos To Launch Buses To Replace Motorcycles, Tricycles

 

The Lagos State Government has announced that it would launch buses to replace motorcycles popularly known as Okada and tricycles known as Keke to ply inner roads in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Monday during a security stakeholder’s town hall meeting in Ikeja, adding that over 500 minibusses would be deployed next week.

He said the move is to alleviate the pain residents of the state go through following the restriction of motorcycle and tricycle operations.

“We are excited to announce that next week, we will be launching what we term the ‘Last Mile Buses’ that will ply inner roads and safely get commercial passengers to their final destinations,” he said.

READ ALSO: FG Reintroduces COVID-19 Restrictions, Shuts Bars, Recreational Centres, Limits Public Gatherings

“We envisage deploying over 500 of these buses to alleviate the pain associated with the restriction of motorcycle and tricycle operations.

“We also envisage that this initiative will also generate employment opportunities for Lagosians, including the commercial motorcyclist operators, who will be employed as operators of the Last Mile Buses.”

The governor said his administration would relaunch the State Residents Card very soon, to ensure that the database of Lagos residents is kept up to date.

According to him, the database will form a critical part of the state’s security architecture, noting that it will ensure that the government knows who is who, at any point in time.

On cultism-related activities, Sanwo-Olu recalled that he “recently signed into law the Prohibition of Unlawful Societies and Cultism Act of 2021.”

He said the move was necessitated by the fact that criminal gangs have been unleashing violence and causing mayhem in and around the state.

He added, “The law prescribes a 21-year jail term for convicted cultists. The new law strengthens the penalties applicable to cultists, and expands coverage to the entire society, unlike the old law which was restricted to cultism by students of tertiary institutions.

“With the passage of this new law, it will help in widening the dragnet in the hunt and prosecution of these nefarious gangs intent on sowing fear and chaos in the State.”