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News & Announcements

There Are Documents To Defend EndSARS Panel Report —Adegboruwa

One of the members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), has said there are documents to defend the report submitted by the panel to the state government.

  The reports were submitted to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday after a year of sitting by the panel members.

In the report, it is stated that 11 people were killed at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos by security operatives on October 20, 2020.

However, days after it was submitted, counsel for the Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko, stated that the report contains at least 40 discrepancies. This is as he questioned the integrity of the panel members.

“The mistake made by the government was not setting up an entirely different panel to look into the Lekki incident because there are some members of the panel that is protagonists in the case against the Police. They were not supposed to be a part of it,” Owonikoko told Arise TV.

Adegboruwa, in a statement personally signed and titled, ‘EndSARS Panel: I Acted On The Mandate Of The Governor,’ said it is uncharitable for the government to be talking about discrepancies.

He urged the state government to focus on the recommendations in the report instead of seeking to demonize panel members or to evade responsibility.

The statement read, “I have listened to the narratives of the Lagos State Government through one of its Learned Senior Counsel at the #EndSARS Panel, to the effect that Nigerians should reject the report of the Panel because I signed it since I was not present at some of the sittings of the Panel.

“I served on the Panel on the mandate of the Governor of Lagos State, who told me on the telephone that I was chosen to represent CIVIL SOCIETY. I requested for and approval was granted in writing, that my appointment was on a part-time basis. Furthermore, the Governor told me that two members were chosen to represent civil society on the Panel so that one of us would always be present at the Panel to excuse the absence of the other. I accepted the appointment in good faith, to serve the people, to calm frayed nerves at the time, and also to restore normalcy to Lagos State. So, at all times, I functioned in partnership with my colleague from civil society, and there was no major sitting of the Panel in which both of us were absent.

“I also served on the Panel free of charge, from October 19, 2020, when the Panel was inaugurated till November 15, 2021, when the Panel submitted its report. The government was well aware of my identity, my perspectives, my philosophies, and my general convictions, at least since my university days, before it nominated me into the Panel, that I will always say things the way they are. All Panel members acted in good faith, independently, and in the fear of God Almighty.

  “My principled struggles in respect of toll fee collection started way back from 2011, almost nine years before the Panel was inaugurated. Indeed, the Governor said that these were the factors that favored my selection as a member of the Panel. Will I then deny myself, forfeit my reputation and discredit my constituency, my colleagues in the Nigerian Bar Association, and comrades in civil society, in order to please anybody or cover up the truth? NEVER!

“It is therefore improper for Lagos State Government, through its lawyer that appeared before the Panel and other sponsored agents, to subject the report of the Panel and indeed the integrity of Panel members to media trials and attacks, all in the bid to build up the contents of its White Paper, which we can now reasonably foretell, from these sponsored media attacks.

“It is indeed uncharitable for the same government that urged the Panel not to be held down by strict rules of technicalities of law in order to unravel the real truth about the Lekki Toll Gate Incident, to now through its counsel, talk about alleged legal discrepancies, to frustrate the good work of the Panel that it set up.

“There are documents to back up and defend the report submitted to the Governor by the Panel but I have chosen to defer to His Excellency and to await the White Paper as promised because I believe that the Governor meant well in setting up the Panel and giving us free hand to operate. I appeal to His Excellency to continue in that note of sincerity.

“There is no minority report from the Panel as the report submitted to the Governor on November 15, 2021, was unanimously endorsed by all members of the Panel, who worked tirelessly, day and night, to serve the government and the people, even at great risks to their health, personal safety, career and family obligations, and their general well-being.

“I’m very sure that Panel members would have been lionized to the highest heavens if we had bought into the narrative of the government before the Panel that it was criminals, cultists, hoodlums, and unknown gunmen that operated at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

“I urge the government to focus on the findings and far-reaching recommendations contained in the report, in order to pursue the laudable objectives of setting up the Panel to achieve true healing and reconciliation, instead of seeking to demonize Panel members and their report or to evade responsibility. God bless Nigeria.”

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South Africa Hit By Fourth COVID Wave Driven By Omicron

South Africa is being hit by the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant which has been detected in seven of the country’s nine provinces, Health Minister, Joe Phaahla said on Friday.
Omicron, which has raised global fears of a surge in infections, was first detected in southern Africa last month and has prompted governments across continents to impose travel curbs and take other measures to contain it, reports Reuters.

Phaahla told a media briefing that he hoped that the variant could be managed without causing too many deaths.
He urged South Africans to get fully vaccinated, adding that the country could manage the fourth wave without stricter lockdown restrictions over Christmas.
“We can still manage this in a manner where the government doesn’t have to invoke serious restrictions over the next few days if we all just do our basic duties of the safety measures, but also if more and more of us who are eligible … approach their nearest vaccination sites,” Phaahla said.

 Top scientist Michelle Groome of South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said at the briefing the country was facing an “unprecedented rise” in infections over a short time due to Omicron.
The infections were also moving from the younger age cohort into older people, she said.
It was important for surge preparedness to include pediatric beds and staff as there have been increased admissions among children under four, she said.
Omicron has been listed as a “variant of concern” by the WHO and scientists are still gathering data to establish how contagious Omicron is, and the severity of the illness it causes.

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EFCC Places Anambra Gov Obiano On Watch List

Ahead of the March 16, 2022 change of government in Anambra State, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has placed the outgoing governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano, on its watch list.

In a letter to the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service dated November 15, 2021, the commission requested the service to place the governor on a watch list and inform it anytime he is traveling out of the country from any of the international airports and other points of entry and exit.

It is not clear why the anti-graft agency placed the governor on security watch but sources said the move is an indication that the agency may have been discreetly investigating Obiano and possibly have intelligence that he plans to escape after he hands over power to his successor, Prof Charles Soludo.

Sitting governors in Nigeria have immunity from criminal prosecution while in office.
It was further gathered on Wednesday that Obiano is one of several Governors being investigated for graft and money laundering.
The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for comment on the issue.

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Popular activist And Critic, Tony Uranta Is Dead 
Popular activist and fierce critic, Tony Uranta has died after a long battle with ill-health. He died at the age of 57.
Sources closed to the deceased said Uranta died after a serious battle with an undisclosed ailment.

On-Air Personality Jimi Disu confirmed the death of Uranta on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
Also, activist Wale Okunniyi confirmed Uranta’s death.
More so, a statement by his family read thus: “We announce the passage of Tony Uranta (TIU) at 1:32 pm this afternoon.

“Tony has gone home to rest, after a long medical battle. He fought a good fight while here, but we believe God needs him now, to continue from the other side, and to perhaps conquer on his strong belief in Justice, Equity, Peace and Unity for Nigeria.“Burial will be announced by the family.”
The news of his demise was also shared by his associate and labour activist, Denja Yacub, and veteran Nollywood actress, Regina Askia on Facebook this afternoon.

“Our ranks have been depleted again! A good friend and great patriot of inestimable essence, Comrade Tony Uranta has gone home. Soft-spoken, great mobilizer, highly committed pro-democracy activist, a passionate advocate of good governance he was. This is very painful and a great loss. May his soul rest well in eternal peace. May God provides his family with all they require to cope with his eternal absence,” Yacub said.

“The LION sleeps!! Good night to a great man, a champion for equity and justice. Thank you for your excellent service to the Nigerian nation,” Askia wrote.
It would be recalled that Uranta suffered a partial stroke last year.
In 2019, Uranta said he had been sick for over five months semi-comatose and paralyzed in First Cardiologists Clinic, Ikoyi, and expressed optimism that he would walk again.

Urana was a member of, Federal Government’s Technical Committee on Niger Delta; Executive Secretary, Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), and the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria National Summit Group (NNSG).
He attended the University of Ibadan between 1972-1976. Uranta is survived by his wife Baarong Uranta, a sports analyst with Channels Television.

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Alleged fraud: Fani-Kayode denies arrest, says he was granted bail after an invitation to EFCC

 Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, has denied reports that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC arrested him on Tuesday.
Recall that it had been reported that Fani Kayode was nabbed over alleged manipulation and forgery.

The EFCC Spokesman Wilson Uwujaren had confirmed to newsmen that he was indeed arrested even though he did not give details.
But Fani-Kayode on his Twitter page said, he was only invited by the commission and has since been granted bail.

He wrote, “Just arrived at the George Hotel for dinner. I was never arrested by the EFCC. I was invited & I flew down to Lagos to see them. I arrived in their office at 2.00 pm & left at 8.30 pm.
“I was granted bail on self-recognition. They were very polite & professional. Thanks be to God.”

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Family Cries Out Over Whereabout of Businessman Allegedly Arrested by Military Personnel

The Family of a businessman in Oyo town, Alhaji Azeez Maruf Akintunde, allegedly arrested by military personnel has cried out over his whereabouts, demanding his release.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that Akintunde was allegedly arrested by Operation Burst personnel on Thursday in his residence at Alhaja Sara Street, Cele, in Oyo town at about 6.00 am and talking to an unknown destination.

NAN reports that Operation Burst is a security outfit set up by the Oyo State Government consisting of personnel of the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to tackle crimes in the state
Speaking to NAN on Tuesday in Ibadan, one of Akintunde’s sons, Mr. Akbar Azeez, said that his father was allegedly taken away on Thursday by Operation Burst personnel in Army uniform and in mufti.
“My father was putting on a towel when Operation Burst personnel came to arrest him in his house at about 6.15 a.m on Thursday and we the family have to beg them before they allow him to put on his cloth.
“Some of the personnel that came for the arrest wore Army uniform while some are in mufti, my father challenges them to produce arrest warrant but they were unable to produce it.

”They later took him away without telling us his offense, if at all he commit any offense they should let us know and let us know his whereabouts.

“He was, first of all, taken to Operation Burst Office in Oyo town and a few minutes later he was blindfolded and taken out of operation burst office to an unknown location.
”Since then we have not heard from him or the Army of his whereabout and offense,” Akbar said.

He said that his father was a hypertensive patient and his health condition might worsen if not allowed to take his drug regularly or eat his prescribed type of food.

Akbar said that they have been to 2 Division Nigerian Army Headquarters, Ibadan, Mokola Police station, and other police stations in the state and they were told that he was not in their custody.
Also speaking, Adebayo Azeez, another son, said the Army that came to arrest his father came with a Gulf car and three military vehicles with the inscription “Operation Burst” and led by Maj.Idris Moses from Ibadan office.

He said that the armed personnel numbering about 50 also came back around 11.00 p.m on that Thursday with their father to pick up his phone and since then the family doesn’t know his whereabouts.
“We have been to Operation Burst office in Oyo town and what they told us was that they don’t know his whereabouts and that they only received signal from Abuja to provide logistics for the arrest.
“We appeal to Operation to tell us the whereabouts of our father, we don’t know is an allegation or his whereabouts since the arrest, they should please release him,” he said.

An official of Operation Burst in Oyo State, who preferred not to be named, said Akintunde was not in their custody and not aware of the arrest.
The source said that if truly Akintunde was arrested by Operation Burst personnel in Oyo town he would definitely be transferred to their Ibadan office. (NAN)

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EFCC Arrests Femi Fani-Kayode

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently interrogating a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.
Officials of the anti-graft agency confirmed this to Channels Television on Monday in Lagos.
The former minister was invited to answer questions relating to the forgery of a medical report which he allegedly procured to evade his trial before a Federal High Court in Lagos, the sources said.

Fani-Kayode was said to have arrived at the Lagos Office of the commission in the company of his lawyer at about 1 pm.
He is still answering questions from the EFCC investigators at the time of this report.
The commission said it would give an update on the interrogation later when it concludes its investigations.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial on an alleged N4.6 billion fraud before Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
The EFCC had charged him alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman, and two others on 17 counts of conspiracy, money laundering, and fraud.
At the last sitting of the court on October 13, the judge had imposed a cost of N200,000 on him due to his failure to appear before the court for his re-arraignment following the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

He was ordered to pay the fine or stand the risk of having his bail revoked after he failed to appear before the court for his re-arraignment.
Instead of appearing for his re-arraignment, the former minister had sent a letter to the court, claiming that his doctors had placed him on bed rest.
Counsel to the EFCC, Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari had informed the court that the letters by the second defendant had become numerous and had also become an excuse for him to evade trial.

“This is the third time he will be writing this type of letter from the same hospital,” she said. “Whenever he doesn’t want to attend court, this is the type of letter we get.”
But Fani-Kayode’s counsel, Bobo Fred-Ajudua, cut in and informed the judge that although his client’s illness was a recurring one, he had attended court regularly, and this could be shown from the court’s records.

He, thereafter, asked the court to grant an adjournment in favour of his client. At that point, the trial judge decided to go through the court’s file and after searching, he discovered that the second defendant had actually sought a similar medical excuse five times.
The court then asked the defense counsel to take one of two options which were to either revoke the bail of the second defendant or to impose a fine of N200,000 to be paid before the next trial date.

“From my records, the second defendant had written the court five times excusing his trial on medical grounds. February 1, 2018; May 30, 2019; November 24, 2020; March 21, 2021, and today’s letter dated October 9, 2021.
“The second defendant is to pay a cost of N200,000 before the next adjourned date, as the recurring medical excuses have been a pattern that slows down this trial,” the judge held.

The defence counsel chose the latter option.
Justice Osaigor then adjourned the case until November 30 for re-arraignment of all the defendants.

In counts one to seven, the defendants were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.
In counts eight to 14, the defendants were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.

Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke who is said to be at large, in counts 15 to 17, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million – over the amount allowed by law, without going through a financial institution.
All the offenses were said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

Meanwhile, Glamtush reports that the former Minister’s ordeal is coming barely 67 days after he dumped PDP and defected to the ruling All Progressive Congress.

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Igboho Under Extradition Procedure Back To Nigeria —DSS

Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho is currently under extradition procedure back to Nigeria.
It had been reported that Igboho after a raid on his Ibadan home by operatives of the Department of State Services had escaped to Cotonou in the Benin Republic.

In a series of court affidavits declared and signed on behalf of the DSS by one of its operatives, Johnson Oluwole, and presented before the High Court in Ibadan on Monday, November 22, 2021, the DSS stated that the Yoruba Nation leader was currently undergoing extradition procedure to bring him back to Nigeria.
The affidavit titled “Applicants affidavit in support of its motion on notice for a stay of execution of a judgment of this suit No/M/435/2021 and an injunction pending the determination of the pending appeal” partly reads, “That it is a fact that the applicant Chief Sunday Igboho has been declared a fugitive by the Nigerian Police Force sometimes in the month of June 2021.

“That it is a notorious fact that the applicant was arrested on the 19th of July 2021 and is currently in the custody of the Beninese security agents undergoing extradition procedure back to Nigeria.
“That it is fact that the applicant is under investigation by the security agents for a treasonable act that is inimical to the cooperate existence of the country.

“That it is a fact that it will be inequitable for this Honorable Court to refuse this application for Stay against the background that the applicant is a fugitive undergoing extradition processing in the Benin Republic.”

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I Won’t Sacrifice My Career For Marriage To Lateef Adedimeji –Adebimpe Oyebade

Popular actress, Adebimpe Oyebade, popularly known as Mo’Bimpe, has said that she is not ready to put her career on hold for marriage to fellow actor, Lateef Adedimeji.

Recall that the lovebirds had been dogged by rumours that they were dating but had vehemently denied it. However, some weeks ago, they finally came out to admit what many already suspected that they were in a relationship and would get married in December.

In an interview with Saturday Beats, Oyebade said, “Why should a woman put her career on hold for marriage? One does not affect the other. There is no need for one person to put their career on hold for the other because they can both work together.”

Mo’Bimpe also maintained that getting married to her colleague would not affect her career. She said, “I don’t think getting married to a fellow entertainer would affect my career. I will make my marriage work and last long by being cautious. I will also keep praying.”

The actress also stated that she was not dating Adedimeji at the times she publicly denied being in a relationship with him. She said, “I don’t think I should come on social media and talk about my relationship. I don’t see a need for that because I am a very private person and almost everyone knows that. I don’t exhibit my personal life on social media. That is the kind of person I have always been. In the interview where I said I was not dating Lateef Adedimeji, I was actually not dating him at that time.”

Revealing plans for the forthcoming wedding, which is being anticipated by many of their fans, Oyebade said, “We are not having a low-key wedding because we (have) already invited people for it. A lot of people already know about the wedding. Members of the press are also invited.”

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LASG Presents N1m, Furnished Apartment To Family Of Stray Bullet Victim, Jumoke Oyeleke

The Lagos State Government has gifted N1 million and a furnished two-bedroom apartment to the family of late Jumoke Oyeleke.
25-year-old Jumoke, a salesgirl, was killed by a police stray bullet during the Yoruba Nation rally in Lagos on July 3.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who presented the keys to the new apartment in the Ikorodu area of the state, said the government has been following the matter and that the first in the line of intervention was to relocate the family from its former abode to a decent apartment. The governor was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Administration, Mrs Titi Oshodi.

“We are in the new place of the family of the victim of Yoruba Nation Rally which took place a few months ago,” Oshodi said.
“We have been to her initial place of abode, we have been in touch with the mother of the deceased, Mrs Ifeoluwa Oyeleke since the time of the incident, following up her state in every ramification to find out how she is doing, economically.

‘’Due to the compassionate nature of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in ameliorating their suffering as much as possible, he felt if it is not possible to bring back the dead, we can at least ameliorate the suffering of the family of the deceased.
“So, here we are at the place of abode for Mrs Ifeoluwa Oyeleke with her three children and effectively present these keys to her and present a little bit of a token of N1 million from the governor to help fit into the next phase of life.”

In her remark, Mrs Oyeleke commended the state government for the kind gesture to her family, recalling how her late daughter, Jumoke, was working as a shop assistant when she was hit by a stray bullet.
She equally appealed to Governor Sanwo-Olu to assist her with permanent employment for her to be able to take adequate care of herself and the children.

“Our former house was a rented apartment, but we left because the house was sold to a developer and since I couldn’t afford another house, we moved to a shanty where we have been staying for about a year before Jumoke died. It was a church member who allowed us to stay in the shanty,” she said.

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