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Return to Lagos roads, Sanwo-Olu begs police

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  • Says, we feel your absence
  • Unfolds new welfare package, modern police stations, life insurance

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has pleaded with the police to return to the roads to restore sanity to the nation’s economic capital’s highways, saying Lagosians feel the absence of the police.

Many people have in the last few days been continuously trapped in gridlock for hours as traffic police and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority officers stay away from major traffic points, either for fear of being attacked by hoodlums or protesting the killing of some of their colleagues and burning of a number of their police stations during last week’s unrest that followed the #EndSARS protest.

While the gridlock persists, some transport union members and other volunteer battle to free the roads of the heavy traffic.

And to encourage the police to return, Governor Sanwo-Olu has unveiled a new welfare package that will engender a lease of life for serving police and families of the recently killed cops while on duty.

He said the new welfare package including a life insurance cover, modern working environment and health facilities would serve as a morale booster for those still in service and stressed that their absence on the Lagos roads was felt.

The governor said all policemen killed in the violence resulting from the nationwide protests against police brutality will not die in vain, adding that their children would be given scholarship awards to ensure that they would not suffer unduly as a result of the demise of their fathers.

Sanwo-Olu has therefore directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board to award scholarships to the children to the university level.

Twenty-nine Divisional Police Stations and 17 police posts were razed by hoodlums, who disguised as protesters.

Also, six police officers were lynched, 36 critically injured, while 71 police operational vehicles were torched.

The governor made the offer when he visited the Lagos Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja.

He said the state government would also be compensating family members of the officers killed in the violence and take care of the burial arrangement of the slain officers, adding that the state would be picking up the hospital bills of those injured in the mayhem.

He said the measures were meant to boost the morale of officers, following the demoralising events of the past week in which police officers and their stations were targeted by hoodlums.

Sanwo-Olu said the statutory duties of the police could not be wished away because of the actions of a few bad eggs.

He said the state must put the event of the past week behind it and move on to restore peace.

To achieve this, police officers, he said, must regain their confidence.

He said “Commissioner of Police has come forward with a number of requests, which we will need to address to boost the morale of officers after last week’s event. As your governor, I have come here to take full responsibility for the loss you have suffered in terms of logistics. From tomorrow (Thursday), we will start implementing these requests.

“Through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), we will be replacing the police operational vehicles burnt in the violence. We have a bigger plan for all the police stations burnt down. We will look for the funds and build befitting stations that will set the standard of what police stations should be.

“The most important request is to offer scholarship to the children of officers that died. I have directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board under the Special Adviser on Education to immediately award scholarship to the children of the slain officers.”

The governor directed the Executive Secretary of LSSTF, Dr Rasaq Balogun, to establish the modality with the police leadership in the state.

The governor also approved the request to upgrade Police Cottage Hospital in Ikeja, directing the Commissioner for Health to inspect the facility for the required upgrade.

In addition to donating two 150KVa generating sets to the police, Sanwo-Olu said the command headquarters would be connected to the state’s Independent Power Project (IPP) for constant power supply.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, said the manner with which the slain officers were murdered brought down morale in the command.

He said the police officers remained committed to their statutory responsibilities, thanking the governor for approving their requests.

The governor’s gesture, the police boss said, would restore confidence in the state’s police workforce.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of Research and Planning, Leye Oyebade, said the police took away valuable lessons from the EndSARS protest, noting that there was no better time to fully implement the community policing than now.

He said the protest had ended and it was time for the police to win back citizens’ confidence and trust.

“As police officers, we must now go back to the drawing board and cultivate the goodwill of the communities in which we operate. I’m particularly charging divisional police headquarters to devise strategies tailored toward your local realities and employ digital tools,” he said.

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Court grants 12 Igboho’s associates bail

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An Abuja Federal High Court has granted bail to detained 12 associates of Yoruba nation advocate Sunday Igboho.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a ruling a moment ago, granted eight of them, whose bail application was not challenged by the Department of State Services (DSS) bail at N5 million each.
Justice Egwuatu granted bail at N10 million each for the other four, whose application was challenged by the DSS.
The judge also ordered each of the detainees to produce two sureties and asked them to remain in the custody of the DSS until they were able to meet the bail conditions.

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Igboho supporters granted bail after one month in detention

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A federal high court in Abuja has granted bail to 12 supporters of Sunday Igboho who were arrested in Oyo state.

 

Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had on July 1 raided Igboho’s residence in Oyo and arrested 12 of his supporters.

 

The arrested persons were subsequently moved to the federal capital territory (FCT) where they have been in detention.

 

Subsequently, the suspects through their lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, filed an application asking the court to “inquire into the circumstances constituting grounds of their arrest and detention since July 2, 2021, and where it deems fit admit applicants on bail”.

 

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Olajengbesi, counsel to the applicants, asked the court to admit his clients to bail.

 

“There is no need to continue to keep them with the respondents,” he said.

 

Commenting on the bail application, David Awo, DSS counsel, had said he was not opposed to bail for the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 11th applicants.

 

He told the court that the remaining four applicants (2nd, 12th, 5th, and 6th) were still being investigated.

 

Ruling on the bail application, Obiora Egwatu, the presiding judge, said it is clear that no charge has been preferred against the applicants and that they have been in detention since they were arrested.

 

He said the applicants have a right to liberty and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

 

He admitted the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10 and 11th applicants to bail in the sum of N5 million and two sureties each.

 

The judge said the sureties must be residents of Abuja with an acceptable means of identification and passport photographs. They must also provide evidence of tax payment of two years and swear to an affidavit of means. The residence of the sureties shall also be verified by the court.

 

“For the 2nd, 5th, 6th and 12 applicants, since no charge has been preferred against them, bail is equally granted to them in the sum of N10 million and two sureties in like sum,” the judge ruled.

 

“The sureties shall be resident in Abuja, provide means of identification, passport photograph, evidence of tax payment within 2 years and depose to an affidavit of means.

 

“One of the surety must be a civil servant in the employ of the federal government or any of its agencies on level 12 and above. He shall provide the original of his employment letter and promotion letter. The residence of the sureties shall be verified.

 

“Each of the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th applicants, shall report at the office of the respondents every first Monday the month, commencing from the first Monday in September 2021.”

 

At the initial court session which was held on Monday, officials of the DSS had barred journalists from covering the trial.

 

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) subsequently described the action as a threat to the rule of law and democracy.

 

Emmanuel Ogbeche, chairman of the FCT NUJ, had called on “relevant authorities” to take “necessary measures to protect and ensure journalists’ safety on duty”.

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COVID-19

Anxiety in NYSC camps as COVID-19 cases hit 109

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There are fears among young graduates currently at the various camps of the National Youth Service Corps across the country, as at least 109 prospective corps members are said to have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The NYSC orientation camps were opened at the weekend for Batch B, Stream 1 of this year’s season of the national youth service.

The cases were detected following mandatory COVID-19 tests conducted on reporting corps members. The identified cases, our reporters gathered, have been moved to isolation centres in the respective states.

The NYSC officials at the states level have constituted COVID-19 Vanguard, a team to aid enforce compliance to health protocols on the camps.

The Federal Government on Monday raised the alarm over the spread of the contagious Delta variant of the virus to more states, as authorities mull fresh lockdown for the worst-hit states.

Data obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control shows a sharp spike in incidences with 851 cases recorded in the first two days of August.

The agency’s statistics indicate that 11 persons died from COVID-19 complications on the second day of the month.

In Edo State, for instance, 17 corps members tested positive for the virus at the point of registration.

It was gathered that all the corps members were tested for the virus before being admitted into the camp.

The state NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Abiodun Olubukola, had during the swearing-in ceremony inaugurated COVID-19 Vanguard as part of efforts to ensure strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol.

The Chief Medical Director, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Edo State, Dr Osagie Ebomwonyi disclosed that 17 corps members in the state were currently receiving COVID-19 treatment at the hospital’s isolation centre.

The personal assistant to the state NYSC Coordinator, Mr Ozeto Waheed, confirmed the development.

An employee of NYSC at the orientation camp in the Mangu Local Government Area said the camp had recorded 26 cases since the commencement of the orientation exercise.

In Gombe State, the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has called on corps members posted to the state to avail themselves at the testing centre to know their COVID-19 status.

The NYSC DG was in Amada Temporary Orientation Camp following the recently reported COVID-19 cases, where 25 corps members posted to the state tested positive for the disease.

He said that it is mandatory for every corps member to get tested and adhere to the rules, adding that they must comply with the non-pharmaceutical rules to stay safe and return to their parents healthy.

 

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