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Stampede, deaths: Customs suspends sales of seized edibles

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Stampede, deaths: Customs suspends sales of seized edibles

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has suspended its food disposal initiative following a stampede that claimed seven lives on Feb. 23. The unfortunate incident was during the distribution of 25Kg bags of rice at its Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos State

The service announced the suspension in a statement by its National Public Relations Officer, Mr Abdullahi Maiwada, on Monday. Maiwada said that the suspension was part of the service’s resolve to ensure the safety of Nigerians and to enable it to properly articulate its next line of action, in order not to defeat the vision of the initiative.

Nigeria Customs had announced on Feb. 20 that it would facilitate the direct disposal of food items forfeited to the Federal Government. The initiative was in response to the current challenges of food security in Nigeria and the increasingly high costs of essential food items.

It also targeted an improvement in the lives of indigents. The distribution of 25kg of rice, thus, commenced on Feb. 23 at the discounted price of N10,000 in Lagos. The service said that the exercise would be managed to ensure that the benefits reach the needy.

According to the service spokesperson, the bags of rice were out of stock during the pilot distribution, which led to heightened desperation among the crowd. “Unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome.

“The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded.

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“Considering the recent unfortunate event, we regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024,” he said. He said that an internal investigation had been initiated to understand the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate event.

The service commiserated with the families of the deceased and assured them of its unwavering support. NCS is working with hospital authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families regarding their next steps,” he said.

In a similar development, the Spokesperson, in an interview with NAN, said that the process of selling the rice was in line with its regulations. He said that the money collected from the sales was going directly into the federation account.

This was in reaction to critics who had argued that the bag of rice sold at N10,000 was supposed to be given free to the vulnerable in the society. He said that the items had monetary value and were sold at that amount to generate revenue for the government.

“Even though the amount of revenue collected through this scheme is inconsequential compared to what we collect as revenue, we need to recoup the value of duty that would have been collected on those items if they were imported into Nigeria,” he said. According to him, the price of the rice was discounted to enable indigents afford it.

“But it was later given out for free because of the mammoth crowd at the distribution centre,”

Stampede, deaths: Customs suspends sales of seized edibles

Education

Oromoni’s death natural but avoidable, coroner rules

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Oromoni’s death natural but avoidable, coroner rules 

Sylvester Oromoni died of a natural cause and not due to any action by his school, Down College, or accused five students of the college.

This is the verdict of a coroner, Mikhail Kadiri, who presided over the matter on Monday during a seven-hour magistrate court sitting in Ogba, Lagos.

The judgement coming after a two-year inquiry, affirmed that the 12-year-old died of sepsis emanating from an infection of the lungs and kidney due to an ankle injury.

The coroner however said his death was an avoidable case of parents and medical team’s negligence.

Sylvester Oromoni Junior who was a student of Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos, died on November 30, 2021.

The coroner cleared the five students of the college accused in the case, ruling that they played no part in the death of Sylvester and should not have been involved in the matter.

He also advised parents not to take their children’s health with levity.

The magistrate also called for better cooperation between the police and medical team and that the police must exercise caution before making arrests in the future.

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Ekpa offers to strengthen Israeli army with 15,000 IPOB ‘troops’

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Simon Ekpa

Ekpa offers to strengthen Israeli army with 15,000 IPOB ‘troops’

A factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Simon Ekpa, has offered military support to the Israeli government in its fight against Hamas militants and Iran.

Ekpa, in a statement on his verified X page on Sunday, noted that no fewer than 15000 well-trained Biafran Liberation troops are ready to support Israel “if need be.”

Ekpa’s statement comes after Iran fired missiles at Israel in retaliation for the attack on its embassy without an adequate response from the United Nations Security Council.

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Reacting to Iran’s attack on Israel, Ekpa stated that “the Biafran government is ready to help Israel with ground forces if needed, up to 15,000 well-trained Biafran Liberation troops. The Biafran government will also offer maximum protection to @IsrealinNigeria within 4 hours of notice.”

It will be recalled that the factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra has been declared wanted by the Defense Headquarters over terrorism.

Newstrends reports that he was declared wanted by the DHQ along with no fewer than 96 people. They include terrorists and rebels, wanted for their involvement in terrorism in the country.

Ekpa offers to strengthen Israeli army with 15,000 IPOB ‘troops’

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Drunk driver crushes 3 sisters to death in Nasarawa

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An accident Scene (File photo)

Drunk driver crushes 3 sisters to death in Nasarawa

Suleiman Ozakwo’s family in Anguwar Baiyi, Toto LGA, Nasarawa State, was devastated when a drunk man, Ya Zakari, drove a Toyota Corolla and crushed three of their daughters.

A family member, Saidu Alhassan, told City & Crime that the event occurred on Friday at 4 p.m.

He added that the three teenage sisters, Nusaiba, Maryam, and Rumaisa, were crushed after they left their home as usual to pay Sallah visit to their uncle’s wife, a few meters from the ohinoyi’s palace.

He said, “They were walking on the shoulder of the road while coming back from their uncle’s place when a drunk man on speed ran into them with his car, killing them on the spot.”

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He further said that the suspect was apprehended and taken to the police station, but that later a mob asked the police for the vehicle he drove which they set ablaze.

The father of the deceased children, Suleiman Ozakwo, who also spoke with our reporter, described their death as untimely, even as he said he could not challenge God for the tragedy and asked people to join in praying for the souls of his daughters to continue to rest in peace.

When City & Crime visited the police station, a police officer who preferred anonymity, said, “The man was arrested as he was drunk when he crashed his car into the three teenage girls and killed them on the spot. He will be arraigned in court on Monday.”

Drunk driver crushes 3 sisters to death in Nasarawa

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