24 Suspected Boko Haram Members Arrested In Edo

The Nigerian Army has arrested 24 suspected Boko Haram members, this was announced by His Royal Highness, Alhaji Aliru H. Momoh, the Otaru of Auchi Kingdom, in Edo.

The monarch disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in his palace at Auchi, headquarters of the Estako-West local government area of the state.

He said the commandant of the Nigeria Army School of Engineering, NICOHO, near Auchi, informed him of the arrest of the suspected insurgents in his palace.

Shortly before you came, I had an audience with the commandant.

“He informed me about what they are doing and the arrest of some 24 suspected members of Boko Haram operating under the guise of Fulani herdsmen in the community,’’ he said.

The Otaru said: “the commandant also informed me that the suspects would be transferred to Benin’’.

He commended the commandant for taking proactive steps to have taken the fight to the suspected insurgents in the forest, saying that the “issue of security needs careful planning and execution’’.

The Otaru, who described the activities of the herdsmen in the area as worrisome, said “we have asked farmers, especially the women, to stop going to the farms for now.

“We gave them some grants to enable them to engage in petty trading in the mean time, to avoid the incessant attacks on them.

“The traditional council is collaborating with the army, security agencies, and some vigilance groups, and we have recently incorporated the hunters to help to evolve lasting solutions to the problem,’’ he added.

Court Of Appeal Upholds Obaseki’s Election

In September 2016 Ize Iyamu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the September 2016 governorship election, had challenged Obaseki’s victory at the polls.

Ruling on the matter, Monica Dongba-Mensen, president of the panel, said that the appeal lacked merit because the election could not be invalidated on the allegation that the judges at the tribunal compromised their duties.

Dongba-Mensen also dismissed claims that the PDP and its candidates were not given ample time to carry out their vote recount, which exceeded the 14 days allowed by law.

The election of Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki has been upheld today Friday, by the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, Edo state.

 

 

Edo State Denies Spending N70m On Okpekpe Race

The organisers of the 5th Okpekpe 10km International Road Race have denied in strong terms speculations in a section of the sporting media that the Edo State Government spent N70million to instigate the one-day race a fortnight ago.

Yesterday, CEO of Pamodzi Sports Marketing, the franchise owner of the race, Mr Mike Itemuagbor, said in a statement that Edo State government did not bankroll the race as was been erroneously speculated.

The 2017 edition of the IAAF Bronze labelled race was dominated as usual by road runners from East Africa with Ethiopian trio of Luel Gebrasilasis (29mins 28 secs), Jima Bekele (29.34), and Dawit Fikadu (32.22) making a clean sweep in the male category. Another Ethiopian, Gebru Azemra ran 33. 59 to win the women’s event.

“The 2017 edition of the Okpekpe 10km International Road Race was not bankrolled by Edo State Government. I don’t know where the reporter who wrote that report got his fact before rushing to the press to misinform people. The 2017 edition was sponsored by Pamodzi Sports Marketing and its partners. This is the fact of the matter which is well known by everyone connected with the road race,” observed Itemuagbor in the statement.

While thanking Governor Godwin Obaseki for sustaining the involvement of the state in the race, Itemuagbor revealed that the Edo State government only offered to pay the prize money for the only IAAF and AIMS certified road race in the whole of West Africa.

“Edo State government is only involved with the payment of the prize money to the winners which is not anywhere in the region of N70million erroneously reported,” the Pamodzi chief executive clarified.

Despite the plaudits received by the organisers for the quality manner the 2017 edition was professionally handled, Itemuagbor insisted that the next edition promises to be better.

“Our target is to make the Okpekpe race an IAAF gold labelled event. We want to make Okpekpe race the preferred destination for the world’s best road runners just like what the London, Berlin, Boston and New York marathons have become today,” concludes the foremost sports marketer in the country.

The 5th edition which was better packaged by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, the franchise owners of the IAAF bronze label race. It lived up to the billing with Veronica Maina (34.19) and Alice Timbili (34.39) winning the second and third positions to complete an East African clean sweep. The top three finishers got $15,000, $10,000 and $7,000 in both the male and female categories.

Obaseki Gets Commendation From New York, Presidency

The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has garnered local and international acclaim; after commissioning Nigeria’s first pavilion at the 57th Venice Art Biennale.
Applauding him were Nigerian-born international journalist resident in the United States of America, Mr. Tunji Lardner and Head of President Muhammadu Buhari’s digital communication team, Mr. Tolu Ogunlesi, who, on Wednesday, commended the governor for his achievements in office and promoting Nigeria internationally.
Ogunlesi, a Nigerian journalist, poet, photographer, fiction writer, blogger, one of Nigeria’s most active Twitter users, tweeted at Governor Obaseki: “Thank you, governor; mighty proud of what you are doing.”

“Thank you, governor,; mighty proud of what you are doing.”
This was in response to the governor’s tweet on Wednesday:

“Yesterday, I commissioned Nigeria’s first ever pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, which was the first time Nigeria would have a pavilion at the historical art biennale.” With over 331,000 twitter followers, Ogunlesi was appointed to the role of special assistant on Digital/New Media by President Buhari on February 18, 2016.
Lardner, an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism, resident in New York, said: “Your Excellency, I throwey salute o! Well done so far… we hail una o! God bless!”

Edo Deputy Governor And Pupils Train For Physical And Mental Development Challenge

Edo’s Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, on Thursday in Iyamu joined school pupils from Edo North in training in preparation for the 10-kilometre Okpekpe marathon race scheduled for Saturday.

Shaibu was joined by a former governor of Edo, Adams Oshiomhole, in the exercise tagged “Let’s Play”

While addressing the 1,100 pupils from 45 schools at the Edo University Iyamu sports complex, Shaibu encouraged the pupils to engage in all kinds of sports for their physical and mental development.

He described sports as a sector which keeps children busy and away from negative vices, urging teachers to always encourage their pupils to engage in sports activities.

 Shaibu stated that government was currently working out a plan of providing facilities in all primary schools as well as all wards of the state to regenerate sports at the grassroots.

Speaking with newsmen, Oshiomhole explained that he instituted the Okpekpe road race to bring government’s presence to the surrounding communities.

He said the move was also to help take advantage of the natural landscaping of the area.

The former governor described the “Let’s Play” initiative as a well thought-out plan to encourage the development of sports at the grassroots.

On his part, one of the event’s organisers and ex-international, Victor Ikpeba, said the “Let’s Play’’ initiative came along with the Okpekpe race to expose children to different kinds of sports.

Ikpeba said it was also meant to encourage children to engage in physical training to keep them fit.

 One of the pupils, Aliu Nurudeen, who spoke on behalf of other students, thanked the organisers and the state government for the opportunity, describing it as a good way to keep fit.

The pupils later participated in a mini-football match, in which former governor Oshiomhole led the male team to defeat the female team led by his wife Iara and the deputy governor 2-0.

Edo Govt. Begins Demolition In Benin

The Edo Waste Management Board, in conjunction with the State Task Force Committee on Environment, on Monday demolished about 1,000 makeshift shops and shanties located within the King’s square in Benin.

Mr Aiyamenkhue Akonofua, the General-Manager of the board disclosed this while speaking with newsmen.

He said the activities of traders in the city centre had undermined the beautification policy of the state government.

Akonofua said the exercise was in line with the government’s determination to keep the state clean and eradicate street trading.

He explained that the traders were hindering the free flow of human and vehicular traffic, adding that the area had become a haven for criminally-minded persons.

“Besides hindering the free flow of human and vehicular movements, the traders have made the areas untidy.

“We are going to demolish all makeshift shops and shanties located within the ever busy Lagos street, Mission road, Ibiwe and Ekenhuan road.

“This is purely aimed at easing the free flow of human and vehicular movements in the city,’’

Akonofua said the traders were earlier notified of the intention of the government to clear the areas.

He, therefore, said it would amount to `treachery’ for anyone to describe the action as anti-people.

“We had announced the plans at stakeholders’ meetings where the leadership of the traders’ associations were present.

“We had also embarked on awareness campaigns to the various markets on government’s plans to evacuate traders from the walkways,’’

Akonofua noted that the Gov. Godwin Obaseki-led government was determined to sustain the state government beautification policy and eradicate street trading.

However, a cross section of the traders described the action as inimical to the growth of small-scale businesses in the state.

They said that demolitions were strange as according to them, city managers around the world had always allowed room for corner shops.

On his part, Emeka Igwe, whose shop was demolished, described the action as anti-people.

Igwe said those 1,000 shops that were destroyed had negatively affected many families in the state.

Osas Ogbebor expressed dissatisfaction in the manner the government went about the demolition without alternative measures.

“We were not given the opportunity to evacuate our goods,’’ Ogbebor said.

APC, Edo State Governor File Cross Appeal Against Edo Tribunal Ruling

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress (APC), have filed a four ground of Cross Appeal against part of the judgment of the tribunal that upheld the result of the gubernatorial election in the state.

The APC and Obaseki are the 2nd and 3rd Respondents in the appeal filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Court of Appeal.

Obaseki and the APC are challenging the ruling of Justice Ahmed Badamasi refusing to strike out the offensive paragraphs and or the petition based on the two applications.

In its four grounds of cross-appeal, Governor Obaseki and the APC contended that the trial tribunal erred in law when it held that “the whole essence of the application is to defeat the intendment of the petition through technical process, it is premature at this stage to consider striking out paragraph 17 – 753 and we so hold ”

Among the reliefs sought by the Cross-Appellants are an order of the appellate court to allow the cross-appeal, an order granting their motion on notice dated and filed on ,30th November 2016 by striking out paragraph 16(1) of the petition touching on corrupt practices and all other paragraphs of the petition; in which allegations of corrupt practices are pleaded including paragraphs 17 – 753.

They are contending that the tribunal breached the Cross-Appellants’ constitutional right to a fair hearing when it failed to adequately consider all the issues raised and submitted before it.

The Cross-Appellants also said that the trial tribunal erred in law when it held at page 35 of the judgement as follows: “A careful perusal of paragraph 4 – 501 of the 3rd Respondent’s reply to the petition, one will see new issues raised by the 3rd respondent which are not contained in the petition”

They also submitted that the trial tribunal erred in law and breached the Cross-Appellants’ right to fair hearing when it held on page, 36 of the judgement as follows “There is no law prohibiting the petitioners from filing additional statement on oath of the Petitioners in response to the 3rd respondent’s reply to the petition”.

 

 

Source: Nation

Edo to Build Clinics, Crèches in Markets

Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said during an on-the-spot assessment of facilities at the Oba Market in Benin on Friday, that his administration would build clinics and crèches in markets in the state.

He said “The provision of clinics in markets will help to take healthcare closer to traders who spend most of their time in the markets.

“I have seen and inspected a space designed for clinic in Oba market; I will clean up the space and put a primary healthcare clinic to cater for the health needs of traders and their children.

“I will also establish crèches to allow for proper care of children who accompany their mothers, who are traders to the market’’, he said.

Mother Of 7 Bags 6 Years For Human Trafficking

Edo State High Court, Benin, has sentenced a 58-year-old mother of seven, Mrs. Joy Raji, to six years imprisonment for human trafficking.
She was arraigned on a three-count charge of deceitful inducement, forced labour and slave dealings, contrary to the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2013, as amended. She was alleged to have trafficked an 18-year-old-girl who worked as an artist designer in Benin City to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, for exploitative purposes.

She was alleged to have trafficked an 18-year-old-girl who worked as an artist designer in Benin City to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, for exploitative purposes.
She was also alleged to have collaborated with her brother, Evans Aghahowa (now at large), and introduced to the victim the idea of travelling to Kuwait for supposed better living.
Various sums of money were said to have been collected from the victim’s mother, Mrs. Mary Osula, who is a trader, to facilitate the trip.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against her.
At the trial, prosecutor for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffickng in Persons called three witnesses and tendered exhibits, including a slave uniform passport, travel tickets and bank teller, to prove its case.
According to the victim, who testified in court, she was sold from one person to another without proper care in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
She said  in Kuwait, “a certain man took me to a 20-storey building and I was locked up inside. I was not given food; I ate from remnants I could find. When I complained, the man told me that he paid 750 Kuwait dinar to purchase me.”
The victim was later resold to a woman in Saudi Arabia, who kept giving her work to do without food and not letting her go out of the house. She was held in bondage in two countries and her life and liberty were under the absolute control of her ‘Oga’ and ‘Madam.’ She ran away once to the police in Kuwait but was returned to the madam who purchased her.

Edo State Delivering judgment, Justice Alero Edodo Eruaga found the accused guilty and sentenced her to four years imprisonment on the first count and two years imprisonment on count two without the option of fine.  The sentences are to run concurrently.
NAPTIP had last month secured the conviction of three human traffickers in Edo State, who were sentenced to two years imprisonment each, for trafficking two female secondary school students, aged 16 and 18 years, to Cote d’Ivoire for prostitution, contrary to the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act.

Source: SunNews

Edo To Get Modular Refinery

A modular refinery that can produce 80,000 barrels of refined petroleum is to be established in Eghudu in Ovia North East Local government area of Edo state by the United States of America based Nigerian businessman, Mr. Charles Ihaza.
Already, about 453.9 hectares of land has been provided for the take-off of the project by the community.

Ihaza, while speaking at an Open Forum on Environmental Impact Accessment (EIA) on the Eghudu Refinery in Benin on Thursday said the project was expected to cost over $2 billion.

He told the forum that with his vast experience in one of the largest refineries in the United States of America and with no fewer than 100 engineers under him, he knew all about the refinery processes and was already discussing with relevant Federal government agencies for the immediate take-off of the project.

He said, “I choose to site the refinery in Eghudu so as to help our people back home in Nigeria. I am very passionate about this project. You know that investors are not easy to come by when you mention the name Nigeria, but my pedigree as a Chemical Engineer in one of the world leading refineries had opened the door for me.

” I have got a consortium of bankers and investors for the project and the phase one of is ongoing. As part of our social corporate responsibilities to the communities that will be affected by the project, we are going to construct roads, build satellite clinics, a standard primary and secondary schools and a functional international market ”

He, therefore, sued for the cooperation of the communities and appealed to them to work with the site Engineers and other workers for the successful take- off of the project saying, “we want to start work now”.

Earlier, presenting the EIA Report on behalf of the consultants, Vokosen Ltd, Prof. Larry Edosomwan, said the report has captured all the social economic need of the communities.

“We have looked at the positive social and economic needs of the communities, the aquatic environment, drainage and sewage management, treatment of effluents, forests will not be destroyed and where it happened, we will plant trees. We have ensured that we meet the requirements of the Ministry of Environment and the DPR. We will mitigate against all negative environmental impacts “, he said.

A spokesman for the Minister for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril, Mr Joshua Taiwo, said he was happy that the project was named after the community, saying that when completed, the project will provide jobs for the people and improve the social economic lives of the communities around it.

Source: Nigerian Tribune

APC Crisis: ‘There’s need for discipline in Edo APC’

What is your position on the APC crisis in Edo State?
There is noo crisis whatsoever. The party is more organised and peaceful today. We are in a good mood, having won at the tribunal. We are more focused on how to move the state forward.

Some party members are saying that Governor Obaseki must interfere in the crisis and the suspension of members….
Those people are political jobbers. They do not know what they are saying. The party is autonomous and not tied to the government. If the founding fathers want the party to be under the government, they would have spelt it so in the party constitution. The constitution made it clear you can not hold double offices. That excludes the government from the party administration. The president is far removed from the party. In the case of the defunct UPN, its constitution made Chief Awolowo, who was the Presidential aspirant, the National Chairman of the party. It made late Prof. Ambrose Alli the leader of the party in the State. The NPN did not allow that in their constitution. The APC clearly states that anybody holding government offices can not be party officials. Anyone holding party office cannot hold

That excludes the government from the party administration. The president is far removed from the party. In the case of the defunct UPN, its constitution made Chief Awolowo, who was the Presidential aspirant, the National Chairman of the party. It made late Prof. Ambrose Alli the leader of the party in the State. The NPN did not allow that in their constitution. The APC clearly states that anybody holding government offices can not be party officials. Anyone holding party office cannot hold

The APC clearly states that anybody holding government offices can not be party officials. Anyone holding party office cannot hold a government position. Those are people who are indiscipline party members making such insinuations that the governor should be the leader of the party and directs affairs of the party. What we have in the party constitution is the caucus, there is nothing like a leader in the APC constitution. It is unserious minded for people to say that.

You were accused of unilaterally ratifying the suspension of members….
Whoever said that should have his head re-examined. The constitution is very clear. If the party at the Ward level made allegations, you are bound to respond to the allegations. The extant case is that of Hon Samson Osagie and other members. They were suspended by their local government executives and their Ward members. The local government was duly informed. They constituted an investigative panel but these fellows refused to appear. There was no written response to the accusation. We still kept cool thinking that they will subscribe to law and order. The party informed the local government executive. The local government executives set up a committee to look into the allegations but these members felt they were too superior to appear before the committees. We were merely informed. We directed the local government to give another invitation and instead of obeying to explain themselves, they wanted to deal with the State executives directly. And we don’t have that power. It got to a point, the man that is alleging now was not invited to the State Caucus meeting but he came. At the meeting, the party chairman reminded him that he was on suspension yet he did not go back to appear before the committee. When the Governor in his magnanimity asked the party from various levels to nominate people to be appointed, the party got the guidelines and sent same through the party hierarchy to the local government level.

The extant case is that of Hon Samson Osagie and other members. They were suspended by their local government executives and their Ward members. The local government was duly informed. They constituted an investigative panel but these fellows refused to appear. There was no written response to the accusation. We still kept cool thinking that they will subscribe to law and order.

The party informed the local government executive. The local government executives set up a committee to look into the allegations but these members felt they were too superior to appear before the committees. We were merely informed. We directed the local government to give another invitation and instead of obeying to explain themselves, they wanted to deal with the State executives directly. And we don’t have that power. It got to a point, the man that is alleging now was not invited to the State Caucus meeting but he came.

At the meeting, the party chairman reminded him that he was on suspension yet he did not go back to appear before the committee. When the Governor in his magnanimity asked the party from various levels to nominate people to be appointed, the party got the guidelines and sent same through the party hierarchy to the local government level.

Osagie did not go to the party but he drew his own list of nominees and sent to the Governor directly. That is when we realised that the impunity was getting out of hand. It was at that stage we affirmed their suspension. He should go back to the party at the Ward level to go and restitution-te. Nobody is pursuing him.

People from other local government also protested the process of selecting the nominees…
Have they appointed anybody? Did they see those appointed? Have they made any announcement? There is a huge population of liars in this political game. People just wake up and fabricate stories. If people at the local government level felt cheated, they should complain to the state. As we speak, no one person has been appointed. How did they know who to be

People just wake up and fabricate stories. If people at the local government level felt cheated, they should complain to the state. As we speak, no one person has been appointed. How did they know who to be appointed? Governor Obaseki constitutes a panel headed by Professor Dennis Agbonlahor tô look at complaints after receiving some protest letters against list presented. It is dirty individuals playing politics that makes it dirty.

There are still complaints that certain individuals are hijacking the party due to the governor’s stand on not interfering in partisan politics…
The party is not under the governor in any way. Are you saying the party at the National level is under President Buhari? The party runs itself. The governor is a member of the party. He

He subscribes to the party. The party produces the governor. It already existed before the governor. Are you saying that the governor should give directives on how the party is run? I am not a government appointee. I went to Congress and was elected. If the governor finds me fit and proper to be appointed, I will resign my position. He who pays dictates the tune. A governor is a civilised man. He has no time for these gimmicks. These are people who yesterday screamed party supremacy. Now, they have been caught in their web of intrigues, they are now saying the governor should be in charge of the party. Why should we now erode the supremacy of the party?

Hon. Osagie said the APC risk plunging into crisis over actions of some leaders.
Maybe he has his own APC that will plunge into a crisis, not the one I belong to. The one I belong to does not tolerate indiscipline.
Is there any move to recall the suspended members?

We are not saying anybody should leave the party. It is not my business to suspend anybody. Mine is to affirm. Let those affected go to their constituencies and appear before the constituted authorities at that level. It is not the state or National APC that will absolve them of the blame. They should go to their Ward executives and explain to them. By the time, they take a decision and you felt that the local executive is biased, we will look into any abnormalities. It is not a situation when the local executives will call them, they will say they are too small. In this party, we are all equals. They cannot use the social media to blackmail the APC. It is not for me to impose them on their people.

They should go to their Ward executives and explain to them. By the time, they take a decision and you felt that the local executive is biased, we will look into any abnormalities. It is not a situation when the local executives will call them, they will say they are too small. In this party, we are all equals. They cannot use the social media to blackmail the APC. It is not for me to impose them on their people.

Some have alleged that they were victims of the fallout of the party primaries. What is your view?That is a layman excuse. Did Barr. Ogie not attempt to contest the election. Did he not have supporters? Is he not the SSG today? General Charles Airhiavbere contested and he is a key player in the State. Odubu now attend state functions of the party. Other leaders of the party that supported Odubu are attending meetings. Are they the only once that supported Odubu? We have since moved beyond the primaries.

 

 

Source: The Nation