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THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER ˾͹͸˜ͺ͸͹Ͷ

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NEWS

In Brief DPR Seals Stations in Sokoto, Kebbi

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Sokoto zone, has sealed 14 filling stations in Sokoto and Kebbi states for selling fuel above pump price. This is as DPR, Eastern zone has sealed and fined one filling station appropriatelyinOwerrimetropolis,capitalofImoStateforunderdispensing premium motor spirit (PMS) product, while five others were cautioned for sellingabovegovernmentregulatedpumppriceofN145perlitrewhichwas laterforcedtosellatgovernmentrate.TheSokotoZonalOperationsController, Alhaji Mohammed Makera, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Sokoto on Friday. He said six of the filling stations were located in Sokoto whiletheremainingsevenwereinKebbiState.Hemaintainedthat owners ofthesealedfillingstationswould payafineof N100,000perpump.Makera notedthatthefillingstationthatdivertedfuelwouldremainsealeduntilthey bringbackthecommodity.Heemphasised thatthetwostateshadreceived a total of 40 trucks from last Monday to date.While giving the breakdown ofthesupplies,heexplainedthatSokoto received14truckswhilekebbiand environs received26trucks."Ourprayeristogetmoresuppliesthesecoming days to be able to stabilise the situation. Thank God there is a noticeable improvement for now," he said. He assured the public that the Department would not relent in its efforts in ensuring that all the filling stations in the two states comply with the government approved price of N145 per litre.

HONING FINANCIAL SKILLS ... L-R: Head, Global Markets, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr. Sam Ocheho; Head, Group Research, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Edward George; Deputy Director, Central Bank of Nigeria, Ola Vincent;and Head, Client Access, Transactional Products & Services, Stanbic IBTC, Temitope Nwarache; at the 2018 West Africa Trade and Export Finance Conference in Lagos recently PHOTO: ETOP UKUTT

'My Life is in Danger, IBB Spokesman, Afegbua, Cries Out Paul Obi in Abuja

The Spokesman to former President Ibrahim Babangida, Mr. Kassim Afegbua yesterday said his life was under threat following a statement he issued and authorised by IBB. This is as human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr. Femi Falana said that the Department of Security Services, DSS lacked the power to invite Afegbua since the said statement had not caused any threat to the internal security of the country. Kassim who had earlier submitted himself to the Nigerian Police after the Police declared wanted also honoured the invitation by the Department of State Service (DSS) yesterday in Abuja. According to him, "in the last six days, I have gone through traumatic experience when I was declared

wanted by the Nigeria Police. "By the strength of that unprofessional declaration, I was treated like a common criminal and fugitive until I showed up at the Police Headquarters Abuja to physically present myself. "After what the Police termed a no case issue, they were apologetic and I took my leave. In the evening of that day, Wednesday 7th February, 2018, I got a phone call inviting me to the Headquarters of the Directorate of State Security (DSS). "I honoured the invitation on Thursday and spent seven hours waiting for attention. I left the office at 6.50pm when it became clear nobody was ready to tell me what the invitation was meant for. I was informed to report back on Friday 9th February, 2018 at 11am. On arrival on Friday, having spent 2 hours, I was attended to by the Director of Operations and two others who interrogated me on the said

statement I issued." He said: "My interrogation was recorded electronically and was made to write a statement affirming the issued statement, having collected all my personal details; house address, account number, international passport number and other information. "I find this whole episode quite nauseating and utterly condemnable. I cannot rationalise why just a statement would amount to subjecting me to rigorous interrogation especially when there was no complainant. "The action of the Nigeria Police coupled with that of the State Security Service is at best that of a meddlesome interloper and sheer bullying, leaving serious developmental issues to chasing shadows with a view to intimidate, harass and embarrass me. "Let me state at this point that my life is in danger as we speak. I have been receiving series of unknown

phone calls from people threatening me and my family. "But I am resolute in the true spirit of a free born, that threats, intimidation, harassment and psychological torturing has never and will not stop me from exercising my right of free speech as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; as well as carrying out my professional responsibility. "I will not submit to intimidation, harassment and threats. Certainly not. I have just a life to live and no one under God will live forever. "Let me use this opportunity to thank my principal, General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR and members of his family who were constantly in touch with me to share in my tribulations. General Ibrahim Babangida's words of encouragement and assurances further bolstered my resolve to soldier on.

Kidnappers Target Igbo Traders 16 Die in Edo, Ogun, Niger in Calabar, 5 Kidnapped Road Crashes BasseyInyanginCalabar

Kidnappers in Cross River State appear to have targeted businessmen of Igbo extraction as no fewer than five of them have been kidnapped within weeks. Those kidnapped within the period include one Ifeanyi, and one Lazarus, both spare parts dealers, and an electrical parts’ dealer and contractor popularly known as “But Why”. While Ifeanyi and Lazarus were kidnapped about two weeks ago, at their shops located at Victor Akan Street, Calabar South, “But Why” was allegedly whisked away from his shop on Monday. According to several sources, the three kidnapped persons were released after they paid ransom of several millions of naira. However, no sooner than the trio were released than a popular dealer in spare parts of Japanese vehicles, Mr. Paulinus Obi, popularly known as “Matata”, and another business man , Emmanuel Ozokwu, a contractor were abducted this week by kidnappers. The kidnap of Matata and

Ozokwu, is causing panic, and confusion among members of the Igbo community in Calabar, and the business community within the Bedwell Street, Target Streets, and Victor Akan Street. While Obi was kidnapped on Wednesday at Bedwell Street, Ozokwu was abducted on Thursday at Target Street. An eye witness account by one Chukwuemeka Okoli has it that Obi was abducted at about 7:00pm on Wednesday, February 7, in front of his shop. “We were sitting out in front of Matata’s shop about 7:00pm having a drink and two young men wearing black all through walked up to Matata and excused him. “As soon as he stood up another stern looking masked man came out from a parked old blue Audi 80 with AK 47 riffled and jerked Matata up and threw him into the car. Immediately the Audi 80 drove off with the three other persons, another Camry car parked down Bedwell by White House Street followed them and they zoomed off to unknown destination.

OkonBasseyinUyo AdibeEmenyonuinBeninCity, LaleyeDipoinMinnaandFemi OgbonnikaninAbeokuta

No fewer than 16 persons have reportedly died in various road accidents across three states at the weekend where others survived with various degrees of injuries. While eight persons reportedly died in a multiple accident involving two utility vehicles and a Honda Civic car which occurred at Izom town of Niger State on Thursday night, eyewitnesses said all the passengers in the Honda Civic car lost their lives while the three others believed to be the motor boys of the utility vehicle trapped in the vehicles also died. The crash in Edo which claimed four lives happened at Agbede, Etsako West Local Government Area when three articulated trucks rammed into some persons while eight others sustained injuries and were hospitalised. In Ogun State, at least, four persons reportedly died while two others were injured in a ghastly auto crash which occurred on the Kara Bridge, a few meters

to Lagos State boundary, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Friday. The accident involved a Sino truck laden with container and a Faragon commercial bus. Eyewitnesses in the Niger State crash said three of the deceased were burnt beyond recognition while the remains of the other victims were deposited at the Suleija General Hospital mortuary. It could not be confirmed how the accident occurred but it was learnt that due to the poor state of the road, the utility vehicle carrying containers with combustible items overturned on the car and consequently burst into flames. Villagers and workers of a construction company close to the point of the incident were said to have struggled to no avail to save the lives of the victims, they were however able to put off the inferno after about one hour. When contacted the Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Malam Ahmed Ibrahim Inga confirmed the story on Friday adding that five bodies were deposited at the Suleija General Hospital Mortuary.

Passengers Commend Air Peace Crew

PassengersonLagos-AbujaFlight7138onThursdayeveningcommended thePilotinCommand,Capt.AdesolaArasiandcrewfortakingprecautionary safety measures in the flight when it was noticed that the cargo hold of the aircraftwastamperedwithbyunauthorisedpersons.Eye-witnessaccount said the pilot took immediate action when he saw the cargo compartment lightflashinthecockpit,meaningthatallwasnotwell. Theaircraftwasatthe holdingpointoftherunway18R(A1)oftheMurtalaMuhammedAirport,Lagos at about 7.35pm, waiting for the directive from the traffic control to take off when the cargo hold light in the cockpit flashed for 15 seconds, sending the pilot’s mind racing and he directed the cabin crew to check the cargo hold door. They checked and found out that there was an attempt to open it. So the Pilot decided to delay the flight until further investigations were madetoensurethatthosewhoattemptedtoopenthecargocompartment did not put incendiary device or any other dangerous object in the aircraft. Safetycheckwascarriedoutsafetyandengineeringteamandwhenthepilot wassurethattherewasnothingthatcouldcompromisesafety,hetookoff.

Police Batter Guardian Reporter in Yenagoa

In a seeming show of extreme crudity, some policemen in Igbogene, at the outskirts of Yenagoa, have brutalised a correspondent with the Guardian newspaper,JuliusOsahon. ItwasgatheredthatoneofthePolicesergeants attached to the state security outfit, 'DOO AKPO' , operating around the Bayelsagateway, IdusEmmanuel,withpolicevehiclenumber082, slapped the journalist several times before threatening to shoot and kill him. In a petition copied the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Boma Spero-Jack and the Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, Osahon, who was treated and discharged by a private hospital urged the authorities to make sure the cops atone for their indiscretion. Narrating his ordeal in the letter,thejournalistsaidhewasmolestedandbrutalisdbythepower-drunk policesergeantatabout1:30pm. "IwascomingfromBenincitywhereIhad gonetoseemyfamilywhentheincidenttookplaceanditwasinthefullglare ofpassengers. Hepointedthegunatmeandorderedme toliedown.Itried tofindoutwhyheaskedmetoliedownandheangrilybarkedatmethatIwas refusingalawfulorder.Itwasatthatpointthathestartedgivingmesomeslaps.

Hubmart Unveils Lekki Outlet

An indigenous retail shopping giant, Hubmart Stores Limited yesterday unveiledanewretailoutletinLekki,therebymakingitthirdoutletitwouldopen in Lagos State under three years. At the inauguration, the firm’s Managing Director, Mr. Murat Bekhtaslar said at least 54 persons were employed in its Lekki outlet alone, though over 200 had been employed since the firm began operation three years ago. He said: “We believe we are the ultimate service provider to our customers. Our customers are utmost in our minds in whatever we do’. Murat further communicated that the brand intends to openotheroutletswithintheLekkiaxisandthreemoremallsbeforetheyears runsout. MuratexplainedtheeconomicimportanceofHubmart’sactivities anditscontributiontoeconomicgrowth,notingthateachoutlet“increased thenumberofpeoplegainfullyemployedandthenumberofvendorswithin our system and the number of people who offer support services.

‘Church Leaders Encouraging Illegal Migration’

The Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, has called on church leaders to help discourage illegal migration and trafficking of youths, saying available reports had indicated that some church leaders instead of dicouraging the act, had continued to encourage the crime. Oba Ewuare II while pointing out that his palace would continue to align with government to eradicate the menace in the society, regretted thatinspiteoftheproliferationofchurchesinthecountry,thereseemstobe nofearofGodinthepeople.TheObawhoalsodeploredincreasedcasesof crimeandotheranti-socialvicesinthesociety,statedthiswhentheSpiritual LeaderandGeneralOverseerofSpiritandLifeFamilyBibleChurch,Apostle (Mrs.) Deborah Gordon-Osagiede paid him a courtesy visit in his Palace in Benin City. He commended the Federal Government and International Organisations on migration for their efforts at exposing the illicit trade and rescue Nigerians subjected to inhuman treatment in Libya.

Onu for Africa Science Forum

TheMinisterofScienceandTechnology,Dr.ObgonnayaOnuisinCairoEgypt, to attend the third Edition of African Forum on Science, Technology and InnovationinAfrica.The3-DayConferenceisexpectedtosharpenperspectivesinImprovedKnowledgeonScience.TechnologyandInnovationstatus in Africa, and enhance a high level of public awareness on its performance. TheForumwhichisexpectedtocommenceonSaturday(today)isexpected to trigger robust dialogue among Ministers of African nations in charge of Higher Education, Science and Technology and other development cooperation stakeholders in the science, Technology and Innovation sector in the continent.

Saturday 10th February 2018  
Saturday 10th February 2018  
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