The Federal Government has announced a 72-hour total closure of the Third Mainland Bridge after celebration, with effect from 12 midnight of December 25.
According to the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, the closure is meant to give the contractor handling the bridge repair the required quietness to fix three expansion joints.
He also said the MFM-Magboro section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway would be closed for 48 hours for installation of cross beams on a flyover project.
Popoola said the construction work on the Third Mainland Bridge had reached the stage for casting of concrete on three expansion joints.
He said, “There is going to be a total closure of Third Mainland Bridge in order to allow for the casting of three expansion joints on the Island-bound lane
“The effective date of the closure will be from 12:00 midnight on 25th of December. So, people will be allowed to use the Third Mainland Bridge to celebrate Christmas.
“By the time the Christmas is winding down which is 12:00 midnight, we are going to close it so that we will be able to cast the concrete on Saturday the 26th and 27th.
“And we need about 72 hours for this concrete to set. Therefore, the opening will be on December 28th midnight – that is 72-hour closure.
“This is to prevent vibration of the bridge. If we allow vehicles to be moving on one lane, there is going to be vibrations and the concrete will not set properly.”
The controller said that all the alternative routes are in good condition and traffic regulatory agencies would be deployed to effectively divert and manage traffic.
He appealed to road users to cooperate with traffic regulatory agencies.
Popoola said the 48-hour partial closure of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway would commence December 28 and end December 29.
He said, “The contractor, Messers Julius Berger, wants to install cross beams at Kilometre 16, that is, around MFM.
“That area will be cordoned off; there will be closure within that section from 12 noon on 28th of December and it will be opened to traffic by 5am the following day.
“200 metres to get to that particular location, we have diversion and another diversion 200 metres away from that place; one lane will be opened to traffic; it is only one lane we are closing to traffic at a time.
“The first lane that we are going to close is outward Lagos, which is the Ibadan-bound carriageway. We will close it on the 28th.
“Then the second day, which is 29th, we are moving to the other lane, which is inward Lagos. The same 12 noon to 5am.”
He appealed for patience and understanding of road users, saying that the construction was part of the progress that the Federal Government had achieved on the project.
“We regret all the inconveniences and hardship this might have created,” he said.
He said that all the construction zones had been cleared and the highway had been opened to traffic which was responsible for the seamless movement on the road.
The Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos has been partially shut since July 24 for another round of rehabilitation work.
The repair expected to last six months was extended by one month due to the recent #EndSARS protests, extending the completion date from January 2021 to February.
The 11.8km bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
Constructed in 1990, the bridge was adjudged as the longest in Africa until 1996 when the October 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt was completed.
The reconstruction/rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on the other hand was flagged off in 2013 by former President Goodluck Jonathan and was awarded to two firms.
Julius Berger is constructing section one which spans from Ojota in Lagos to the Sagamu Interchange while the RCC is working from the Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan.
Customs intercepts PMS, expired drugs worth N723.3m in Ogun, Oyo
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized 856 Jerrycan of PMS at 25 litres each and contraband products worth over N723.3 million between September and October 2021.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos on Friday, the acting customs area controller, Zone A, ag. Compt. Hussein Ejibunu, said the contraband was intercepted at Igbo-Ora, Oyo State.
He said, ” I welcome to you all to the Headquarters of FOU ‘A’, Ikeja, for another round of my Press briefing today, Friday 22nd October, 2021, barely a month after the maiden edition on assumption of office.
According to Ejibunu, “the mandate of FOU ‘A’ as a critical enforcement arm of the Service, particularly in the South West Zone, cannot be overemphasized.
“Besides stemming the tide of smuggling in the Zone, the Unit stands as a Police providing the much needed security to other Customs Area Commands across the Zone, there is also the implementation of Government Fiscal Policies, Facilitation of Legitimate Trade and inter Agency function.
Ejibunu further revealed that the aforementioned seizures were effected at different flash points in the Zone prominent among them being Ado-Odo, Idogo, Sokoto-Ijoun, Ohunbe, Ilaro, Atan, Abeokuta/Sagamu Interchange, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, Iseyin, Igboora, Igbeti in Oyo State, Gbaji, Agbara in Ogun State and of course the creeks.
“Here is the list of 28 seizures made in the last three weeks which include 8,000 bags of smuggled rice of 50kg, 1,419 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 1,301 bales and 128 sacks of secondhand clothing, 233 bundles of wrapper, 621 cartons of expired medicaments, 635 cartons of wine, and 1,046 pieces of used tyres.
“Others are 21 cartons of cutlasses at 60 pieces each, 531 pieces of used compressor, 986 cartons of chocolate biscuit , 229 wraps (114.5kg) of Cannabis sativa (indian hemp) 8561errycan of PMS at 25 litres each, 1,516 cartons of frozen poultry products, 751 pieces of AAA cartridges (70MM) of live ammunition 18 units of motorcycles and inclusive of 80 means of conveyance. All with a duty paid value (DPV) of N 723,288,244.75,” he added.
His words, there is a disturbing new trend of smuggling deployed by smugglers and that has to do with massive use of motorcycles to smuggle parboiled rice at 50kg each using bush paths not accessible to vehicles.
“Another challenge that has remained unabated is the issue of ambush attacks of officers unprovoked. Just on Saturday 16th October, 2021, my patrol team ran into a convoy of more than 24 vehicles laden with smuggled rice and they were able to intercept 12 along Abeokuta/Sagamu Interchange.
As the officers made their way to Lagos, over 300 smugglers and hoodlums had mobilized and attacked the officers with pump-action rifles as well as cutlasses, pebbles and bottles.
In the process, the patrol vehicle was riddled with bullets wounds while the windscreen was shattered. The aftermath of the attack was the forceful retrieval of 8 of the 12 intercepted vehicles and injuring of 2 officers. You can now see what we face every other day.
One thing is very certain; we remain undaunted in the pursuit of our mandate no matter the level of attacks on my operations in the field.
He added that “Let me sound a note of warning to smugglers. No man has the monopoly of violence. We have the backing of the law to bear arms; and to that extent, we will not hesitate to deploy the Rules of Engagement in such dangerous circumstances. Parents should warn their wards on the dangers of smuggling.
‘Within the period under review, we had a total of 37 suspects arrested for various offences. Six of the suspects are already charged to Court, 12 on Administrative Bail while 19 are still in our custody either waiting to be charged to Court or be released through Bail.
“The activities of the Unit are not restricted to the borders alone, searchlight is equally beamed on the seaports in a bid to stamp out or minimize certain sharp practices credited to certain unscrupulous elements at the ports.
On the 7th of October, 2021, the Unit intercepted 1x40ft container no. TGBU 6748844 along Amuwo Odofin in Ojo LGA of Lagos State being transloaded into two trucks with Reg. nos. FKJ621XA and Scania FST331YD. As at the time of interception, 248 bales of secondhand clothing had been transloaded into DAF truck no. FKJ621XA, 240 bales into Scania truck no. FST331YD while 216 bales were still remaining in the container.
Both the container and the two trucks were brought to FOU ‘A’ and converted to seizure. Investigation which is ongoing has so far revealed that the container left APMT Apapa on Transire to Fano Bonded Terminal.
It was further revealed that the containers were 3 in number on one single declaration. We are on the trail of the remaining 2 and of course those behind the dastardly act will not be spared as some people are already in the Cell helping in our investigation.
Release Nnamdi Kanu before November 4 or… – IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has given the Federal government a November 4th deadline to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu or risk a week-long lockdown in the entire Biafra land.
The ultimatum was given in a statement by Media and Publicity Secretary for IPOB, Emma Powerful following the adjournment of Kanu’s court case to November 10th by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The move, according to him, is to achieve a better purpose in the collective interest of Biafrans.
It reads: “Following the adjournment of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s court case to 10th of November 2021, by the Federal High Court Abuja, we the great movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), wish to inform Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom that IPOB will lock down Biafra land from 5th of November to 10th of November except Sunday, November 7th, a day our people worship the Almighty God, Chukwu Okike Abiama, if the Nigeria Government fails to release our leader unconditionally before 4th of November 2021.
“Our leader, onyendu Mazi Nnamdi MUST be released UNCONDITIONALLY on or before November 4, 2021 because he has not committed any offense known to any law.
“Failure to release our leader onyendu Mazi Nnamdi KANU on or before November 4, 2021, our one week Sit-At-Home begins on November 5, 2021 till November 10.
Emma Powerful in the statement accused the Federal government of not being sincere and on a mission to humiliate the IPOB leader.
“Although we quite understand the pains and adverse effects of this option on our people, we are compelled to take it to achieve a better purpose in the collective interest of Biafrans. We have taken time to analyse what transpired on October 21 when our Leader was arraigned in court and discovered that the federal government is not sincere and only wants to humiliate him and keep him perpetually in DSS custody to rot there.” The statement continued
“We all saw how lawyers, journalists, Igbo delegates and respected traditional rulers and other people who came from all around the world to witness his court case were restricted and denied access into the court premises by security agents who kept them outside under the scorching heat of the sun. What a humiliation and wickedness!
“We cannot accept that anymore. We can never allow our leader onyendu Mazi Nnamdi KANU to be tried SECRETLY and we can never also allow him to be tried under SHARIA law under any guise. NIGERIA must follow International laws in handling our leader.
“Mazi Nnamdi KANU is in DSS dungeon today because of his passion for Biafra independence, and we must sacrifice all we can to ensure that he regains his freedom. He has sacrificed so much for us all, so we must be prepared to sacrifice little for him.
“Unless the federal government releases him unconditionally before November 4, we shall sacrifice one week for him as a warning protest to convey to our oppressors that Nnamdi Kanu represents over 70 million Biafrans. He is innocent of all the charges preferred against him. As long as he is in detention our individual businesses do not matter so much because he is suffering for us all and we can’t abandon him.
“We seriously regret the inconveniences this may cause our people but it’s a necessary sacrifice we need to make until we have our full independence. Nobody resident in Biafra land is expected to flout this directive as doing so amounts to challenging the will of the people on the Biafra project.
“This one week sit-at-home is also to let our oppressors understand that we are not going to tolerate any plan to torment or abandon our leader in DSS custody through frivolous court adjournments. Any plans to subject him to trauma in detention through long adjournments while real terrorists and mass murderers are having fun across the country cannot fly. Nnamdi Kanu must be freed because he committed no crime. Asking for referendum so that Biafrans will decide whether or not they want to continue as part of Nigeria is no crime. He should not suffer for seeking justice for his people.
“We have been enslaved and caged enough by the Fulani controlled federal government of Nigeria and its allies. If we shut down Biafra land just for one week to secure our permanent freedom, it is worth the sacrifice. Everybody should brace up for this sacrifice.”
Three suspected kidnappers nabbed with arms, PoS machine in Kogi
The Police in Kogi State have arrested three suspects believed to belong to a gang of kidnappers terrorising motorists on Itobe-Anyigba highway.
They are Danlami Shauibu, Kabiru Amodu and Adejoh Tijani, all of Adumu village in Ofu Local Government Area.
They are suspected to be responsible for series of kidnappings in the area.
A statement by DSP William Ovye Aya, Kogi State Police Command Public Relations Officer, on Saturday in Lokoja, said the suspects were arrested by operatives attached to Itobe Police Division in Ajaokuta Area Command.
Aya said Danlami Shauibu and Kabiru Amodu were initially arrested on October 16 by a Police team following an intelligence-led operation.
He said the operation was conducted to curb criminal activities, especially high volume of kidnappings in Itobe and its environs, particularly the Itobe-Anyigba highway.
The PPRO revealed that during preliminary investigations, one of the suspects gave useful information that led to the arrest of the third suspect, Adejoh Tijani, of the same address on October 22 at about 8:30am.
The Kogi State Police Command’s image maker said upon a search of their houses, the police recovered one cut to size single barrel gun and a locally made pistol.
Other items recovered, according to him, were one Point of Sale machine, one battle axe, a face mask, five live cartridges and assorted charms.
He said efforts were being made to arrest other members of the gang and that the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.
To this end, he said, the state Commissioner of Police, Idrisu Dauda Dabban, has commended the officers for their thoroughness and the breakthrough, while assuring members of the public of the Command’s determination in synergy with other security agencies in the state to ensure adequate security of lives and property.
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