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Fear grips Lagos, Ogun residents over Oyan Dam water release

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Many residents of flood-prone areas in Lagos and Ogun states, especially those along river banks are now living with fear over the release of water from the Oyan Dam as a result of heavy rains making the dam water to overflow.

Already, the Lagos State Government has alerted residents in areas contiguous to the Ogun River about the steady release of water from the Oyan Dam, urging everyone to standby in case there is a need to move from their locations.

Ogun River is a big river cutting across three states with more than 20 tributaries, one of which is Oyan Dam.

Scores of houses are usually submerged each time the dam water is released as flood takes over the whole environment, leaving hundreds of residents in the affected areas homeless. Many have had to resort to using canoes to get out of the flooded streets.

A statement on Tuesday signed by the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, said officials of the state had been monitoring the release, which was earlier announced through an advisory.

He listed areas where the release of water could be felt as Isheri North, Kara, Itowolo, Ajegunle, Majidun and Ogolonto, stressing that the intensity of rainfall recorded in Lagos and flow of connecting rivers determines the level of water that would be released by the Oyan Dam authorities.

He added that within the last week, the volume of water released had increased from 15,000 to 21,000 millilitres but reduced to 17,000 millilitres on Monday.

Bello stated that more water would be released from Oyan Dam and is expected to reach the peak in October, advising residents in low-lying areas to be on standby to move to higher grounds.

“Specifically, residents who live in the downstream of Isheri Olofin up to part of Agboyi will experience flooding as earlier predicted,” the commissioner said.

Bello similarly stressed that the Onikoyi/Agelete Community at IBA New Town in IBA Local Council Development Area could also experience flooding due to the proximity to Yewa River.

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Organ Harvesting: Ekweremadu, wife drag Immigration, others to court

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Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice

Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, who are currently detained in the United Kingdom, have dragged the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, to court over the controversy surrounding the real age of David Ukpo, who accused them of sponsoring his trip abroad for the purpose of harvesting his organ.

Cited as Defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022, are the Comptroller General of the NIS, the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, two Nigerian banks and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc.

Specifically, the plaintiffs are praying the court for an order directing the NIMC to supply them with the Certified True Copy, CTC, of the biodata information of David Nwamini Ukpo.

They maintained that Ukpo’s National Identification Number, NIN, with No:19438077110, which is in the possession of NIMC, should be produced for the purpose of facilitating the criminal investigation as well as tendering same to establish their innocence with respect to the age of the alleged victim, in the criminal charge pending against them before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court.

Both Ekweremadu and his wife, through their lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, equally sought an order, directing the Immigration boss, to supply them with documents and application form of David Nwamini Ukpo, which was presented for the issuance of his International passport with No. BO0569974.

More so, they sought an order of court directing one of the banks to supply the applicants with the CTC of mandate card and account opening package of account No. 0032551834 maintained by its customer, Ukpo, with Bank Verification Number 22509616391 in the custody of the bank, for the purpose of tendering same to establish the innocence of the applicants with respect to his age in the criminal charges filed against the applicants;

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As well as an order of court directing UBA to supply the applicants with the CTC of mandate card and account opening package of account No. 2195739574 maintained by Ukpo with Bank Verification Number 22509616391 in the custody of the bank, for the purpose of tendering same to establish the innocence of the applicants.

The applicants raised 20 grounds they urged the court to consider before granting their request.

Ekweremadu, through his lawyer, averred that he is a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Enugu West Senatorial District, adding that the 2nd applicant, his wife, is a chartered accountant and civil servant.

“The applicants have a daughter named Sonia Ekweremadu, who is suffering from kidney failure and the applicants have been managing it for about five years.

“The said daughter of the applicants urgently needed kidney transplant to save her life.

“David Nwamini Ukpo, offered to donate one of his kidneys for the daughter of the applicants if his kidney is compatible with that of Miss Sonia Ekweremadu.

“David Nwamini Ukpo informed the applicants that he is twenty-one (21) years of age having being born in the year 2000.

“The 1st applicant supported the visa application of David Nwamini Ukpo to the United Kingdom with a letter to the British High Commission in Nigeria, explaining the purpose of the visit i.e to enable him undergo medical examination in the United Kingdom so that the donor and Sonia Ekweremadu get the best of medical attention.

“After conducting various medical tests, the Royal Free Hospital in London decided that the said David Nwamini Ukpo was not a suitable donor because his kidney is not compatible with that of Sonia Ekweremadu,” the applicants added.

They told the court that Ukpo was asked to return to Nigeria, but rather than do so, he approached the authorities in the United Kingdom for protection from being returned to Nigeria.

“David Nwamini Ukpo told the United Kingdom police that he is fifteen years of age contrary to the information supplied to the applicants by the same David Nwamini Ukpo.

“The applicants verily believe that Ukpo was actually 21 or more having regards to the public records in the custody of the respondents.

“The applicants were arrested by the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom on June 21 for the allegation that they brought a 15-year-old child (a minor) to the UK to harvest his organs.

“The applicants were charged before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, United Kingdom on the 23rd of June 2022 for offences of conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

“The court denied them bail and they are presently in the custody of UK authorities.

“The applicants require documents from the respondents to assist in the fair criminal investigation and as facts in their defence to establish their innocence of the allegation in the charge and to prove that David Nwamini Ukpo is not a minor and indeed consented to the medical examination in the United Kingdom.

“The said David Nwamini Ukpo is presently in care in the custody of British Authorities and he cannot be accessed by the applicants.

“The documents being sought to be handed over to the applicants will support the applicants in their defence and establish their innocence of the charges brought against them.”

Ekweremadu’s elder brother, Bright, who deposed to the affidavit, told the court that Ukpo had informed the detained couple that he was 21 years old and expressed his willingness to held their daughter, Sonia.

Meanwhile, the matter has been assigned to Justice Inyang Ewko who has accordingly fixed it for hearing on July 1.

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Why We Killed Gulak, Suspect Opens Up

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Ahmed Gulak

Anosike Chimobi, one of the suspects arrested over the murder of Ahmad Gulak, has confessed committing the crime.

Chimobi, who hails from Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state, was paraded by the police on Monday.

Gulak, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was murdered on May 30, 2021, at Obiangwu along Aba-Owerri road in Imo State, while on his way to the airport, apparently to board a flight to Abuja.

The deceased was a political adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Parading the suspects, Public Relations Officer of the Imo State Police Command, Mr Mike Abattam, said Chimobi had been on the radar of the command since the killing of Gulak.

He said the suspect escaped during a gun battle between police personnel and his gang members at Aboh Mbaise shortly after they murdered Gulak.

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However, he said five of the suspects were killed.

Speaking to newsmen, Chimobi, who claimed to be a commercial bus driver, said he was not a member of the criminal gang.

According to him, Gulak’s killers had approached him to convey them in his vehicle to a spot but he attempted to resist.

He said he later succumbed they threatened to kill him.

He, however, admitted that he drove the criminals to the spot and blocked Gulak’s vehicle which was on its way to the airport.

Giving an account of how Gulak was killed, Chimaobi said they shot the APC chieftain after he resisted the demand by the gunmen to alight from the vehicle.

According to Chimobi, the hoodlums later ran into a team of security operatives who shot repeatedly at the other vehicle conveying them until it somersaulted and caught fire.

Abattam said some of the items recovered from the suspects paraded by the police include guns of different calibre, assorted charms, and live ammunition.

DAILY TRUST

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Lagos developers defraud 70 house seekers, victims faint

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Two developers, Oluwasegun Adewara, and one Okeowo, have gone into hiding after allegedly defrauding no fewer than 70 prospective tenants at Lawanson, in the Surulere area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the prospective tenants visited the building, which was under construction, to inspect its premises and afterwards made payments to the developers.

After confirming the payments, it was learnt that the suspects issued receipts to the victims and set aside separate dates for them to take ownership of the apartments.

Things, however, took another turn when the people got to the house on 16, Zamba Street, Lawason, on the specified dates given by the developers but discovered that the number of prospective tenants outnumbered the apartments in the one-storey building.

One of the victims, Jacob Dunya, said the house had just 14 flats, adding that 120 prospective tenants paid to the developers, who disappeared after their fraudulent acts were uncovered.

The Plateau State indigene said, “I paid N600,000 for a mini-flat for a year directly to the account of the developer, Oluwasegun Olanrewaju Adewara, on April 26, 2022. When I visited the house, I noticed that the work at the site was less as it was left for them to fix only the doors and the windows.

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“So, they gave last Monday to collect keys to my apartment. But when I got there, the developer told me the place was not ready and said I should return on Monday, June 20, 2022. When I got there, I saw them fixing the keys to the doors and I was told to come back again this week Tuesday.

“I never knew that last Thursday and Friday, people had come around to fight them to access their apartments. I quickly rushed down on Friday and noticed that there were hoodlums around asking people to pay N100,000 so they could break down the padlocks used in locking some of the doors so they could have access to the apartments.

“The developers are nowhere to be found and we have yet to hear from the owners of the land and their lawyers. Over 120 people paid for the 14 flats in this building and more people are still coming. The money people paid will be about N60m because some people made advance payments for five years. They also gave us receipts. The matter was reported at the Itire Police Station.”

Another victim, Jenifer Ihemeje, while lamenting the incident, said some prospective tenants cried and fainted out of shock.

The entrepreneur said, “I paid N650,000 in April to Mr Okeowo and others, but they kept postponing till June 14, 2022, when I sent a text message to threaten them. It was another person who also paid for a flat that informed me that about 10 people paid for a single flat.

“The person said a lot of people gathered at the house on Friday over the incident. So, I rushed down there on Saturday and met people crying, shouting and some people even fainted.”

A widow, Love Chidi, said she paid N250,000 for a single room in January and left for her husband’s burial in Abia State.

“But when I returned, the developers said they had not completed work on the building. My husband died in December and we were sent out of the house we were staying because the building had cracked and was likely to collapse. So, I came here, paid the developer and left for the burial only to return to face this war. There are over 117 people stranded here,” she added.

The receipts of some of the aggrieved house seekers seen by our correspondent indicated that the developers operated with a business name, Sheedison Construction Co.

A screenshot confirming payment into Oluwasegun Adewara’s Access Bank account was also seen by our correspondent.

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The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the incident, said the command had launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspects.

“But they are not 120; they are 70 people. The developer collected money for 15 flats and absconded,” he added.

In 2021, a developer, Ahmed Ayinde, was arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly defrauding no fewer than 100 prospective tenants of about N500m in the Olowo Ira area of the state.

Similarly, in 2019, over 66 prospective tenants got stranded as a landlord, Olatunji Joseph, in connivance with a developer, Aderonke Olaleye, allegedly swindled them out of over N16m paid for rents for five flats in a newly-constructed one-storey building on Abeni Close, Asa Estate, in the Gbagada area of the state.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said, “We have the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority Law 2022. The matter is described under that law and it is a very serious offence for anybody to collect money from people and deny them accommodation.

“But the problem is that our people don’t make enquiries; anybody who puts a board outside to say ‘To let’ or to say that he is a developer, people will just gather money and give him and the person will disappear. There are some of them who have no addresses but only telephone numbers, so this law makes it compulsory for anybody who wants to practise in that space to register as a practitioner. And once you register with the agency, should you collect money from anybody, it will be very easy to grab you.

“Now, we have a team that is going round on enforcement. Many people have faced the law for duping people of their hard-earned money and the agency has recovered money for people and resolved many disputes.”

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