Pipeline explosion at Arepo…fire rages for two days

A raging fire has been reported at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines located at Arepo along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

According to officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the fire started at about 10PM  Wednesday night following a gun battle between NNPC security men and some unidentified individuals suspected to be pipeline vandals.

An official of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, explained to Channels Television that the agency did not receive information regarding the incident until Thursday.

However, efforts by the NEMA officials to get to the scene of the incident to ascertain the extent of damage done has been hampered by the swampy nature of the area which has made access to the place difficult.

Mr Farinloye, however stated that the agency has been able to work-out the plan on how a canoe can reach the raging spot.

He also gave the assurance that officers of the fire service will on Friday be able to make their way through to quenching the raging fire.

 

Unexploded bomb discovered in another church in Kogi

A bomb has been discovered at the Revival Church in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi state.

Our correspondent in the state says that gunshots could also be heard in the town.

This development comes a day after the attack on the Deeper Life Church in Okene in which 19 people were killed, including the Church’s Pastor.

The Church which is located at Eika Adagu in Okehi Local Government Area is now surrounded by officers of the Nigeria Police Force and soldiers as family members of the deceased are coming around in tears, to identify their bodies.

It is still unclear how many people were wounded in the attack Monday night as a number of the church members sustained various degrees of injuries.

According to the Military spokesman, Lt. Col. Gabriel Olorunyomi, the gunmen surrounded the church in the middle of a worship service and opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles on the worshippers.

Soldiers searched for gunmen through the night, but have made no arrests as of this morning.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesperson Yushau Shuaib said his agency has dispatched rescuers to the area.

Anglican Primate condemns attack

The Primate of the Anglican Church, Reverend Nicholas Okoh has condemned yesterday’s attack on a church in Okene, Kogi state which claimed the lives of sixteen people.

Reverend Okoh who spoke with journalists in Abuja said that securing places of worship should not be left in the hands of the church alone.

He called on government to expedite action to secure the lives of its citizenry.

Responding to the call for the resignation of the president by members of the Boko Haram sect, the Anglican Primate said that the sect members are not responsible for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s election and should therefore not call for his resignation.

 

Dana Air crash: Coroner issues arrest warrant on Red Cross, Conoil, and Total

The Coroner of Alimosho District in Lagos state, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, who is conducting an inquest into the recent Dana Air crash, on Thursday, issued a bench warrant on some oil companies and emergency relief agencies, compelling them to appear before him on Monday.

Dana Air crash site in iju ishaga

Those who the bench warrants were issued on include Red Cross Society of Nigeria, Conoil Plc, and Total Nigeria Limited.

The Lagos Coroner gave the order while responding to a submission made by Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) whose law firm, Falana and Falana Chambers, petitioned the Lagos State Chief Coroner, Justice Lateefat Okunnu, for an inquiry into the air crash.

At the resumed sitting of the inquest on Thursday, Mr Falana reminded the Coroner that some oil companies and emergency agencies that have been served with summons are yet to appear before it.

The human rights lawyer also suggested that the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force should be ordered to investigate the deaths of people that died on the ground, emphasizing that it is not the responsibility of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

He noted that the AIB is only to investigate the causes of the crash of ill-fated Dana airline.

Dana Air Flight 0992 crashed into a residential building in the densely populated Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos on the 3rd of June, 2012, killing all 153 passengers and crew on board and nine people also lost their lives in the affected building.

Magistrate Komolafe and other interested parties also agreed to schedule appearance of more witnesses following the submission of the counsel to the Nigerian Airspace Management, Mr. Obi Okwusogu (SAN).

The Magistrate also directed that any of the witnesses who are submitting deposition should forward it to the court two days before the day they would give evidence.

Video Clips

According to the schedule, Channels Television and AIT are to appear on Monday to show the clips of the crash on the day it happened.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) and Julius Berger, who had earlier been summoned but failed to show up, are scheduled for Tuesday along with National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The AIB which was represented by its counsel, Maureen Tsenongo at the hearing where she told the Coroner that she intends to submit a written deposition and requested to make appearance on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 to enable her bring its witness.

The Coroner also granted the request of the counsel to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Mr. Babatunde Irukera and his Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), C. Chiwete to appear on Thursday, August 2, 2012 and Monday, August 6, 2012 respectively.

The court proceeding with the Coroner was then adjourned to Monday, July 30, 2012.

Four killed in Port Harcourt vessel explosion-NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the death of four persons in the vessel explosion at Abuloma Jetty in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Two other persons were injured in the jetty explosion that rattled the oil rich state.

The South-South Coordinator of the Nigerian Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), Mr. Umesi Emenike, confirmed the figure in a statement on Saturday.

Mr. Emenike stated that a fishing boat, one tug boat and two barges were damaged by the explosion.

He also revealed that the vessel was still burning as at the time of filing this report, adding that efforts were on to put off the fire.

The coordinator noted that efforts are also being made to remove the burning vessel from the waterways to avoid further accidents.

The blast at Abuloma occurred about 9.30AM and it is reported to have occurred as a result of the maintenance work being carried out in the vessel by welders.

Fire ravages Port-Harcourt

Series of fire outbreak and explosions  ravaged different parts of Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital on Friday, claiming yet to be confirmed number of lives.

The first incident happened after a barge carrying fuel exploded at the Abuloma jetty.

The blast at Abuloma occurred about 9.30AM and it is reported to have occurred as a result of the maintenance work being carried out in the vessel by welders.

A resident of Abuloma, Mr. James Israel, who witnessed the incident, told a news agency that “the welders were trying to seal an opening to block a leakage on the deck of the vessel’s fuel tank and in the process, the vessel exploded.”

“The welders died, but we cannot ascertain how many people died inside the vessel,” Israel added.

Atali on Rumuokwurusi-Igwuruta road in the oil-rich state was also engulfed by massive fumes on the same day after officers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the state, set five tankers, suspected to be loaded with illegally refined oil ablaze.

The JTF officers impounded the tankers in the area on Thursday night after which the tankers were driven into the bush in Agali, where they were set ablaze.

Spokesperson for the JTF, Operation Pulo Shield, Captain Sunday Samuel, said the tankers were involved in illegal bunkering, adding that the mandate of the JTF was to destroy products seized from illegal bunkerers.”

The Captain further added that six people were arrested as the tankers were impounded, adding that the suspects would be handed over to appropriate authorities for further investigation and prosecution.

Spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the agency has mobilised first responders to both scenes to put out the fire.

Another inferno was recorded at the building of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation where property worth millions of Naira was destroyed as fire gutted the second floor of The Tide Newspaper building, on Ikwerre Road of the city.

Also the Engineering Department of Sliverbird Rhythm FM was razed by an early morning fire that led to the privately owned station, go off air.

The series of inferno that led to unrest in the state is coming barely a week after the state government conducted mass burial for over 100 victims that died in an oil tanker explosion.

Economic Council orders establishment of state and local disaster management units

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been directed by the National Economic Council (NEC) to help state and local governments put in place emergency management units to manage disaster before the arrival NEMA.

Governor of Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi, made this known while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the monthly meeting of the council in Abuja.

He said the directive was prompted by a presentation made by the Director-General of NEMA,  Mohammed Sani Sidi on the need to decentralize the functions of the agency to local and state governments.

Fayemi, however, maintained that the establishment of SEMA and Local Emergency Committees (LEMCs) by state and local governments respectively would provide effective and speedy disaster management in the country.

“The Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) briefed Council on steps that are being taken to provide effective and speedy disaster management in Nigeria and the role and relationship between NEMA and various State Emergency Management Agencies, particularly in terms of clarifying the laws backing State Emergency Agencies and ensuring that all States are encouraged to set up structures and institutions that would enable them response to emergencies in a speedy and efficient manner.

“NEMA also was asked to provide technical support, not just disaster relief after the facts, but technical support for these emergencies at the local level and necessary training to aid the States establish the State SEMA and then the Local Government Emergency Management Committees.”

According to him, the council also directed the Federal Ministry of Finance and state commissioners of finance to discuss details of the government’s Ecological Fund allocations to states to provide enough funding for SEMA and LEMCs.

Fayemi also stressed the need for the country to develop a “Disaster Management Protocol” to raise the level of awareness of the people on the implication of emergency situations.

Lagos and Bauchi states already have the proposed state controlled emergency management units but will have to go a step further in creating local units.

No blast at NYSC camp in Bauchi – NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday said there was no bomb blast in the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp in Bauchi.

Punch Newspaper reported that the NEMA spokesman, Yushau Shuaibu, said in an SMS that the reported killing of over 50 corps members in a blast was untrue.

“NEMA wishes to inform the public that there wasn’t any explosion in Bauchi today as has been speculated,” he said.

Explosion rocks Jos amidst Easter celebrations

An explosion hit Nigeria’s central town of Jos on Sunday, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said, hours after a car bomb 200 kilometres northwest in Kaduna killed at least 16 people.

“NEMA confirms that an hour ago an explosion occurred in Tudun Wada area of Jos. Security personnel moved to the scene as injured are being evacuated,” a spokesman for the national emergency management agency (NEMA) said.

Jos sits on the dividing line between Nigeria’s mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south and religious and ethnic clashes regularly flare up.

Earlier on Sunday a bomb exploded in the northern town of Kaduna after security officers stopped the vehicle carrying it from approaching a church, witnesses and police said.

At least 16 people were killed but the final death toll is likely to be higher, an emergency agency spokesman said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the Kaduna attack, but the apparent targeting of a Christian place of worship will stir memories of a string of deadly assaults by Islamist militants Boko Haram on Christmas Day last year.