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Four occupants found dead in Delta apartment, another in coma

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Tragedy struck in Asaba, the Delta State capital where the lifeless bodies of four persons; three males and a female, were found at the living room of a two-bedroom apartment.

The incident occurred at Rich Man Garden Estate, behind Anglican Girls Grammar School, Asaba. A fifth victim simply identified as Maxwell was unconscious as at the time the door of the room was opened by the police.

As at the time of filing this report, Maxwell was yet to be revived at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba but was placed on oxygen. The identities of the deceased victims were still unknown, as they were said to have packed into the apartment on Tuesday.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa confirmed the incident, saying that investigation was in progress. Inuwa told Saturday Sun that if the unconscious victim survives, he will assist operatives to unravel the cause of the deaths, adding that autopsy will be conducted on the evacuated corpses.

When our correspondent visited the estate, residents expressed shock over the incident, saying that a power generating set worked from Tuesday night to about noon on Wednesday when it went off on its own at the apartment.

The generator was however placed at the balcony of the apartment, according to one of the neighbours who claimed to have assisted in evacuating the corpses.

“I went in there to assist in the evacuation and I counted five persons, four boys and one girl. One of the boys was still alive but in critical condition. I did not find drugs or related substances. All of them were sitting in the parlour at the time we entered,” the source said.

Another concerned resident said they were worried that after over 24 hours, nobody came out of the apartment, adding that the generator was not turned on the following evening.

“This created suspicion. So at dawn, we invited the police to come and check what was amiss. It was when the police opened the door that we found the lifeless bodies of four persons,” he said.

Another neighbour who identified himself as Odogwu, said other occupants of the building raised concerns over the well being of the new tenants who had not come out of their flat even when rains had soaked their belongings.

“At night, we discovered that even when it rained on their properties, they did not come out and then we knew all was not well because no sane person will leave his properties under the rain when he can take them inside.

“This morning we became worried that they did not care for their properties and that was why we invited the police so that we can ascertain if all was well behind a closed door,” Odogwu said.

Reacting to the incident, landlord of the building, Onuoha Okonji said he was surprised to discover that four more persons had joined the original tenant who he identified as Maxwell from Ozoro, adding that he was baffled when he got a distress call about the tragedy.

Okonji said Maxwell was introduced to him by an agent, adding that they concluded transactions before he moved in. Chairman of the estate, Clement Okafor suspected that the victims may have died due to prolonged inhaling of carbon monoxide from the generator.

Okafor called on the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to activate the electricity transformer in the estate which has been without public power supply for over two years.

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NIGERIA

Gov. Ugwuanyi appoints Dr. Ezugwu as Chief of Protocol

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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Monday, appointed Dr. Barth Ezugwu as the Chief of Protocol, Government House, Enugu.

Dr. Ezugwu is the immediate past Transition Committee Chairman of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area and a former Commissioner for Transport in the state.

He also served as a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Youths Mobilization and Empowerment as well as the Administrator of Adada Development Area in Uzo-Uwani LGA.

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NIGERIA

NUPENG meets Lagos Govt, calls off strike

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The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called off its strike which started in the early hours of Monday after a meeting with Lagos State Government officials.

A communique jointly signed by Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olalere Odusote and Deputy National President of NUPENG, Mr. Solomon O. Kilanko, stated both parties agreed the government will meet with heads of all security agencies to prevent further disturbance of vehicles conveying petroleum products.

The two sides agreed the issue of “area boys” will be addressed by the State.

“A dedicated phone number will be established within one week to enable petroleum product transporters gain prompt access to security agencies.”

While assuring the allegation of extra-ordinary levies charged by a particular local government will be investigated promptly, the communique further reads: “The State government will continue to relate with all road users in the planning and execution of road works in the State”.

NUPENG also made a commitment all tankers will not exceed the loading capacity of trucks as provided in the regulations and in compliance with directives of the Department of Petroleum Resources.

Disclosing Lagos will review the timing restriction on movement of petroleum tankers within the next one week, Odusote said recommendations will be put forward to the government on ways to ease access of petroleum tankers to tank farms.

“Lagos State Government will immediately set up a standing committee to relate with the Union on an ongoing basis to address any issues as they arise,” the parties agreed.

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NIGERIA

Kano singer sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy

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A Kano Upper Shari’a Court on Monday sentenced the 22-year-old singer to death by hanging for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.

The Presiding Judge, Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani, gave the judgement after finding Yahaya Sharif-Aminu guilty as charged.

Sharif-Aminu, a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, was accused of committing blasphemy against the Prophet in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.

After the incident, protesters burned down the singer’s family home and led a procession to the Kano Hisbah Command’s headquarters in protest against the singer’s action.

The court also sentenced one Umar Farouq of Sharada quarters in Kano metropolis to 10-year imprisonment for making “derogatory statements concerning the Almighty Allah in a public argument.”

Aggrieved youths on March 4 staged a protest on the premises of the Kano Hisbah office, over what they described as an alleged blasphemous song against Prophet Muhammad.

While addressing the protesters, the Kano Hisbah Commander, Harun Ibn-Sina, said officials in the state were on top of the situation and that the man’s parents had been arrested and were under Police custody.

The protesters alleged that the nonchalant attitude of the government and the security agents in the state over the issue informed their decision to embark on the protest.

The convener of the protest, Idris Ibrahim (popularly known as Baba Idris), said, “Our mission is to alert the government to do the needful; otherwise, we will take the law into our own hands.”

Idris, who said similar incidents had occurred in the state without any action from the relevant authorities, warned that they would not allow Sharif-Aminu’s case to go unpunished.

Sharif-Aminu had composed a song containing alleged derogatory verses against Prophet Muhammad, which ignited violence against his family members.

But the family house of the singer, located at Sharifai quarters in the Kano Municipal Local Government Area, was set ablaze by irate youths who described the song as blasphemous.

Investigations revealed that the singer, said to be a follower of the Tijjaniya sect, is a member of Faidha group, who are known for their preference of Ibrahim Nyass (a famous Senegalese Islamic scholar), over Prophet Muhammad.

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