The Lagos State Police Command on Thursday arraigned 83 persons who allegedly participated in the attack and looting of South African-owned mall, Shoprite.
The looters ostensibly engaged in the act in protest against continued killings of Nigerians in South Africa.
The defendants were arraigned before the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court at Yaba on six counts bordering on conspiracy, riotous assembly, arson, stealing, malicious damage, unlawful destruction of property and conduct likely to cause the breach of peace.
The Police told the court that the defendants attacked the Shoprite Malls at Surulere and Sangotedo and allegedly stole and damaged properties estimated at N500m.
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Okada Gradually Resurfaces In Lagos One Month After Sanwo-Olu’s Ban
By Augustine Akhilomen
One month after the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu enforced the ban on Okada riders in the state, it appears the ban has failed to achieve its purpose as they are gradually resurfacing their ugly heads in some of the eyebrow areas.
Recall that on June 1, the state commenced ‘operation clean okada’ in six Local Governments areas of the state. The local governments and local council development areas affected by the ban are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa.
The ban was meant to sanitise the streets of Lagos from the chaos being caused by the Okada riders coupled with the level of insecurity and the gruesome killing of a sound engineer, David Imoh, allegedly by commercial motorcyclists in the Lekki axis of the state.
No doubt, there was a sigh of relief for most Lagosians and motorists within the first few weeks when the Lagos Task Force embarked on a thorough arrest and confiscation of okadas in the state.
Recall that more than 2,228 motorcycles, popularly called Okada seized in areas where their operations have been proscribed have been crushed by the Task Force, a move worth commendable.
It has also curbed and reduced the rate of fatal accidents and criminal activities perpetrated by them.
However, since the beginning of the week, Thepledge have observed some lapses as it appears the streets of Lagos is gradually painted with the return of okadas in areas such as Surulere, Oshodi, Berger, Okota, Apapa, Ikeja, others despite the ban enforcement.
The presence of police in some traffic light sections doesn’t create any sort of panic from the Okada riders as they calmly make their way with their passengers.
Besides, a few of the okada riders who spoke to Thepledge said that they are taking the risk because they have family to feed and there are no alternative jobs for them.
One Mr Boniface stated that he understands the danger of plying routes that govt said they should not pass but that he has no choice because of his family.
“The ban on okada riders has seriously affected me a lot and I can’t continue to stay at home since I have a family to cater for. So I decided to take the risk of passing through those places that govt said we should not pass.”
Another okada rider who doesn’t want his name to be mentioned told Thepledge that he has to wait for some weeks in order to walk the streets of Lagos. .
“I know for sure that this ban will only last for some weeks so I decided to park my okada for some time before starting my okada business again. Everything in life is time and I know the government will relax a bit soon.”
Also, a middle aged man told Thepledge that the government is also losing from the money they generate from them through the use of tickets.
‘The truth is that the state govt are one way or the other losing lots of money from tickets that they issue to us everyday. We know quite alright that the ban was for the safety and security of our lives but then, its implementation should not be to the detriment of our daily bread.”
Some are of the belief that with the 2023 election gradually winding down, the government has decided to relax the rules in a bid to win the ‘sympathy’ of the okada riders through their votes.
Recently, Sanwo-Olu noted that the decision to ban ‘Okada’ in the state was not easy while seeking re-election
While explaining the purpose of the ban, he said such a critical decision was only made for the benefit of the people and not a political action.
“It’s not too easy. When in a political terrain, especially when you’re going for re-election and like I said, you are jumping up and down. You have to make a decision that is so critical like that, and stay within because indeed a lot of people believe that everything that politicians do must have a political meaning but sometimes, we stay with our words and indeed believe the need to ensure that you know that people benefit from it greatly.”
” When we took the initiative to say we also wanted to ban okada a couple of weeks ago, people never believed that it was meant to happen. It was going to be a thing that we can do. I want to thank all of you for the support we’ve recorded so far.”
Could this be a sign of early panic from the Governor? Or a sign of setting the record straight as par the achievement recorded with the ban?
With just eight months to the 2023 election, It is yet to be seen how far the Sanwo-Olu can go on this crucial Okada ban, knowing fully that they may also rely on the votes of some of the okada riders.
Beyond this however is the fear that if the ban is not properly enforced the effects on crime rate in the state will always put the government at the receiving end.
“The governor should be ready to bear the blame if there is an increase in crime rate and other things that are inimical to the peace and progress of the state. The people are watching closely to see if Sanwo-Olu will match his words with action”, says Tunde Omilani, a Lagos based lawyer.
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Niger Govt Declares Two-Day Holiday For PVC Registration, Collection
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has declared Thursday, 30th June 2022, and Friday, 1st July 2022 as state-wide public holidays to enable the people of Niger State to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
The governor made the declaration in a press statement signed on Thursday by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane in Minna.
The holiday, he said, is to enable civil servants, public office holders, and citizens of the State who have attained the age of 18 years or lost their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) or even changed their locations to take advantage of the ongoing INEC Continuous Voters Registration Exercise and obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs).
Governor Bello equally directed all Commissioners, Special Advisers, and top government officials to proceed to their respective Local Governments to sensitize and mobilize the general public to come out en-mass to register and obtain their Voter Cards before the closing date announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“At the end of the exercise, Commissioners and Special Advisers are expected to render reports on the outcome of the exercise in their Local Government Areas, the statement stressed. Voters Card remains the only tool that allows people to elect credible candidates of their choice,” the statement read.
While asking everyone to come out in large numbers to obtain their voter cards, the governor then tasked every political Appointee to submit reports on the outcome of the exercise in their local government areas.
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Money Laundry Trial: Permit Me To Travel Abroad For Medical Treatment – Okorocha Begs Court
Senator Rochas Okorocha has sought an order of a Federal High Court, Abuja, granting him leave to travel to the United States (U.S.) for medical treatment.
Okorocha, through his lawyer, Daniel Alumun, made this known on Thursday when the matter came up before Justice Inyang Ekwo, NAN reports.
Alumun, however, informed the court shortly after his case was mentioned, that he was unable to serve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the complainant, respondent motion.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC counsel was not in court.
Justice Ekwo consequently adjourned the matter until July 6 for a hearing of the motion.
In a motion on notice marked: FHC /ABJ/CS/28/2022 dated June 22 and filed June 27 by Okey Amaechi, SAN, Okorocha sought an order granting him leave to travel outside Nigeria for medical treatment; and return before Nov. 7, being the next adjourned date for his trial.
The senator representing Imo West Senatorial District also sought a consequential order for the release of his Nigerian international travel passport booklet, which was deposited with the court registrar in partial fulfilment of the conditions for the bail granted to him.
He further sought for “a consequential order that reliefs(1} and (2) above be communicated by the registrar of this honourable court to the Nigerian Immigration Service, to facilitate the passage of the applicant.
“An order directing the 1st defendant/applicant to return his international passport to the registrar of the honourable court upon his return to Nigeria.”
The lawmaker, who gave three grounds why the reliefs sought should be granted, said he was admitted to bail pending trial in charge number, FHC/ABJ/28/2022.
He said he has duly complied with all the terms of the bail including depositing his travel documents with the registrar of the court.
He said prior to his arraignment, he had “undergone medical surgery at the Ambulatory Surgery Centre, Texas, in the US for distal femur fracture, which he sustained in an accident.”
Okorocha said he has been on regular/scheduled care and treatment at the same Ambulatory Surgery Center, where he has been scheduled for further medical tests, observation and treatment on July 19, 2022, or immediately thereafter.
The former governor is being tried for alleged money laundry during his time as Imo helmsman.
Others arraigned alongside Okorocha are Anyim Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited as 2nd to 7th defendants respectively
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