Two persons including a five-year-old boy were killed and six others sustained gunshot wounds when gunmen invaded the Afor Awo Market in the Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State.
The invasion, which took place on Wednesday, threw the community into panic as the gunmen were said to be looking for one of their members on the run.
Panic-stricken traders and residents of the adjoining villages hurriedly closed their shops.
Sources said that there was a quarrel among the gunmen in relation with sharing of booty.
According to the sources, the three hoodlums had a kidnap operation early this year but one of them ran away with the ransom cash, said to be in millions.
He was said to have used part of the money to buy a Lexus car, started building a house and was living large in the village.
His gang members reportedly traced him to the village, but upon sitting them, he sought safety among traders at Afor Awo Market.
The gang members saw him and started chasing him all the way from Ubachima village, shooting.
He ran into the market and that was when the bullets hit some people in the area.
Police spokesman, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the incident.
DSS intercepts syndicates selling new currency notes
The Department of State Services (DSS) said it has intercepted some syndicates in parts of the country for their involvement in selling the new redesigned Naira notes.
The service disclosed this in a statement on Monday by its spokesman,Dr Peter Afunanya saying that the syndicates were intercepted by operatives of the service during an operation.
“Investigation has also shown that some Commercial Bank officials were aiding the economic malfeasance.
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“Consequently, the Service warns the currency racketeers to desist from this ignoble act.
“Appropriate regulatory authorities are, in this same vein,urged to step up monitoring and supervisory activities to expeditiously address the emerging trends,”he said.
He said the DSS has ordered its commands and formations to further ensure that all persons and groups engaged in the illegal sale of the notes were identified.
The DSS spokesman, therefore, urged anyone with useful information relating to the sales of the new currency to pass the same to relevant authorities.
Accidents: FRSC boss recommends truck barrier on Ojuelegba Bridge, warns against ‘one-way’ driving
The Federal Road Safety Corps has recommended the construction of a truck barrier on Ojuelegba Bridge in the Surulere area of Lagos to prevent articulated vehicles especially trucks carrying containers from using the bridge and falling on other vehicles.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, made the recommendation while reacting to an accident around the bridge on Sunday in which a container-carrying truck fell on a passenger bus, killing nine people including two children.
A statement by the Corps Public Education Officer of the FRSC, Bisi Kazeem reported the corps marshal as expressing deep concerns over the fatal accident, which he noted was becoming a regular occurrence.
Biu also spoke on another accident recorded on Sunday that claimed 11 lives on Soka Bridge on the Lagos-Benin Highway and warned against excessive speeding and driving against the traffic popularly called one-way.
The statement said, “Whilst his concerns stem from the reoccurring container crashes on Ojuelegba bridge that has claimed several lives, the Corps Marshal recommends the construction of barricades against articulated vehicles (tankers, trucks, trailers and other heavy duty vehicles) on Ojuelegba Bridge as a permanent solution to the reoccurring crashes.”
The corps marshal who frowned on the incident explained the importance of barricading the bridge against articulated vehicles citing some of the dangers that come with their continuous use of the bridge as he called for efforts to be made towards expanding the connecting roads under the bridge to accommodate all articulated vehicles.
He revealed that FRSC rescue teams in collaboration with other Emergency Management Agencies had cleared obstructions from the crash scenes for ease of movement while the driver of the Mack truck had been arrested and handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The corps marshal also reiterated the need for the enactment of laws that will bring justice to victims of these crashes and where such laws already exist, efforts should be made to activate them so that justice will be served accordingly to both the drivers and the victims.
It stated that a preliminary investigation conducted into the fatal crashes revealed that the Ojuelegba crash involved a Mack Truck with a 40ft container with the registration number KJA 380 KD, who apart from engaging in excessive speed, also indulged in an act of wrongful overtaking and a Suzuki mini bus registered as KTU 921 YD; while the Soka avoidable menace involved a truck driven against the traffic and a Macopolo bus.
The statement said, “The container mounted on the Mack truck at Ojuelegba, according to our operatives, fell off the truck and landed on the Suzuki mini bus filled up with passengers which obviously led to the death of 9 of the passengers.
“As at the time of this statement, 11 victims were burnt beyond recognition at the Soka Bridge while the Ojuelegba crash involved 13 people comprising of nine males and four females. Out of the 13 people, nine were killed comprising five male adults, one male child, one female child and two female adults.
“Out of the four victims who survived the Ojuelegba crash, two were rescued without injuries while the remaining two sustained various degrees of injuries.
He urged the public to always use the FRSC toll free line 122 and the National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM which are always available for all road users to report emergencies at any given time.
Oyinlola threatens to sue IG over non-release of report on MTN
A former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has threatened to sue the Inspector General (IG) of Police, for allegedly refusing to release the IG Monitoring Team Report in respect of his petition against MTN Nigeria and others.
Oyinlola in a letter dated January 27, 2023, addressed to the Inspector General of Police, said he had no other choice than to commence the legal action as the refusal of the force to release the said report creates the impression of a cover up.
The expected report which dates as far back as 2013, bordered on investigation of a case of conspiracy, forgery and perversion of the course of justice by MTN Nigeria Ltd.
According to Oyinlola, the police after its investigation had advised that MTN Nigeria be prosecuted in line with Section 167(8) of the Evidence Act, for an attempt to suppress evidence in the case.
Oyinlola had in his petition to the police in 2012, alleged of an unholy relationship between then Justice Ayo Salami and some chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to pervert the course of justice when Justice Salami presided at the Osun State governorship election petition tribunal involving the ACN and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
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He had claimed that there was a telephone interaction between and among ACN chieftains, its lawyers, Justice Ayo Salami (now retired) and his bosom friend, Tunji Ijaiya, which MTN desperately tried to cover up from the NJC’s Special Investigative Panel.
Amongst the phone numbers the petitioner believed to have held discussions with the then presiding Justice of the election tribunal were 08034240000 and 0802240104, “both numbers, I am certain are/were being used by Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The latter is registered in the name of MTN Director, Tunde Folawiyo. The former is registered in the name of Gbadegesin Ademola, who is Tinubu’s Personal Assistant.
“MTN officials. All four individuals ought to be invited by the police to disclose at what point, ownership of the two subscriber lines changed,” Oyinlola argued.
He added that, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Gbadegesin Ademola (Tinubu’s aide), Justice Ayo Salami, Tunde Folawiyo, Tunji Ijaiya and Rotimi Odusola must appear before the police, “to narrate their roles in the grand scheme to pervert the course of justice.”
However, Oyinlola claimed that the police has since 2013 failed to supply him with the said report after several requests.
The former governor in the January 27, letter titled: ‘Re: Protest at the Refusal of the Nigerian Police Force to Release Report of Investigation Carried Out By IGP Monitoring Team in Respect of Petitions against MTN Nigeria Communications, Certain Staff of The Nigerian Communications Commission and One Simon Egede (REF: CR3000/IGPSEC/ABJ/VOL. 103/603) and signed by his aide, Mr Adeolu Oyinlola stated that, “Given that the police establishment is unwilling to release the said report for reasons we find difficult to fathom, we are now left with no choice than to approach the courts for intervention.”
Before the January 27 letter, the petitioners had written similar protest letters dated January 4 and 26, 2023, and December 20, 2022, wherein they had registered their “surprise and disappointment at the refusal of the police to release to us the report of investigation carried out by the IGP Monitoring Team in respect of petitions” written by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
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“Having written more than 10 letters requesting the release of the aforementioned report in the intervening period of eight years (and counting) acknowledged copies of four of which letters are attached to this correspondence, we have good reason to believe that a cover-up has patently been hatched and is being overtly executed by certain persons in the Nigerian Police Force”, the letter dated December 20, 2022 read in part.
Oyinlola, who claimed to be the only witness during the investigation submitted that there was a manipulation of the Call Detail Records (CDRs) forwarded to the police by MTN at the behest of the National Judicial Council (NJC) sometime in 2013 which necessitated the initial complaint.
According to him, “only the Originating (Outgoing) components were made available, while the Terminating (Incoming) components were witheld in order to conceal the identity of callers.
“The implication of the foregoing is that MTN can (and did) manipulate the Call Detail Records of persons being investigated by law enforcement and security agencies,” he added.
While the letter appealed to the police “to be conscious of the verdict of history and mindful of the judgment of posterity; it implored the IG to use his good office “to cause the release of the report in question to us without further delay.”
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