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Two die in APC campaign convoy crash

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Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called off his rally at Usen, following a crash.

An accident on Tuesday occurred near Oluku junction, as a trailer ran into the campaign entourage of top chieftains of the APC, killing two policemen. Two others were injured.

A statement signed by the Chairman of the APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, said the party had suspended the scheduled event, to honour the dead.

On behalf of Ize-Iyamu and the APC, Mayaki condoled with the bereaved families, saying they were not alone in their grief.

He said the party would ameliorate their grief.

The campaign council said the policemen involved in the crash would never be forgotten for their sacrifice.

It urged everyone to pray for the repose of the soul of the dead, adding that they should also pray against the recurrence of such tragedies.

Mr. Victor Oshioke, the media aide to the former national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, last night narrated how his boss narrowly escaped death in the convoy accident, on his way to the party’s campaign venue.

Oshioke said Oshiomhole was on his way to Usen in Ovia Southwest Local Government in continuation of the campaigns of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.

He said in a statement: “Some minutes past 12 pm today (yesterday), there was an accident involving the convoy of Comrade Oshiomhole along Benin-Lagos By-pass, before Oluku junction. The convoy was heading for Usen, where Comrade Oshiomhole was expected to appear at a campaign, alongside Pastor Ize-Iyamu, when a trailer driving in the same direction veered off its course, hit the back-up Toyota Hilux carrying seven policemen, forcing it off the road, into the bush and rammed into the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) carrying Comrade Oshiomhole, causing substantial damage.

“We are sad to report that two police personnel in the Toyota Hilux lost their lives, while two others are in critical condition and are receiving treatment at a hospital in Edo State.

“Comrade Oshiomhole and other persons in the convoy, apart from those indicated above, did not sustain any injury.

“It is pertinent to state, without fear of contradiction that the convoy of Comrade Oshiomhole was maintaining legal speed limit when the accident occurred.

“While we pray for the quick recovery of the injured policemen, we extend our condolences to the families of the departed.

“Comrade Oshiomhole has visited the injured policemen in the hospital. He has deployed some of his aides to be on standby at the hospital to ensure that the injured policemen are given the best medical attention possible.”

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, and members of the party in Edo have commiserated with the APC and its governorship candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, over the accident.

They described it as very unfortunate.

Aziegbemi and other members of PDP in a statement by the Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, sympathized with the families of the victims.

They prayed that God would grant the members of the families of the deceased policemen the fortitude to bear the losses and grant the victims eternal rest

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NIGERIA

EFCC arraigns ex-poly director for N27m contract scam in Anambra

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned a former Director of Physical Planning, and currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, Pius Ezeokafor before Justice O. Ezeoke of the State High Court sitting in Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.

He was arraigned on Tuesday, on three counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and gratification to the tune of N27 million.

One of the charges read, “That you, Arc. Pius Ugochukwu Ezeokafor sometime between the year 2011 and 2012 at Oko, Aguata Local Government Area within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Anambra State, did commit felony to wit: with intent to defraud, obtained by false pretence the sum of N27m from one Emerson Associates Ltd. and Dr Okechukwu Enemuo (being Managing Director of Emerson Associates Limited), when you represented to them that you would help them get a contract of N1 billion upon payment of facilitation fee, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence.”

A statement by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said the defendant allegedly met the petitioners on site at the polytechnic where they were executing two construction contracts and offered to use his office as director of physical planning to swing the contract for them if they would pay him N27m facilitation fee.

“After receiving the payment, the defendant neither facilitated the promised contract nor refund their money.

“Upon arraignment, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the three counts preferred against him by the EFCC,” the statement said.

It said the prosecution counsel, Fortune Asemebo, asked for a trial date while the defence counsel, Lucius Ogbuagu moved a motion for the bail of the defendant.

Justice Ezeoke, after hearing from both counsel, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10m with one surety in like sum who must have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

The surety must be recommended by a legal practitioner or town union president and must show evidence of tax clearance for the past three years.

The court adjourned the matter till October 14, 21, and November 5 for trial.

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NIGERIA

NAICOM to stay action in suit against insurance recapitalisation

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The National Insurance Commission, on Tuesday, pledged to stay action on its planned recapitalization of insurance and reinsurance companies in the country.

NAICOM gave the assurance through its lawyer, Mr Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), when the suit challenging the process resumed before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The incorporated trustees of the Standard Shareholders Association of Nigeria and Mr Godwin Anono had jointly sued NAICOM as the sole defendant in the suit.

The plaintiffs are by their suit challenging the legality of the recapitalization process.

NAICOM had via its circulars issued on May 20, 2019, July 23, 2019, and December 30, 2019, directed all insurance and reinsurance companies in the country to increase their “minimum paid-up share capital “not later than September 30, 2021.

But, the plaintiffs had through their lawyer, Ayodele Akintunde (SAN), instituted their suit to challenge the recapitalization policy, which they argued was commenced by the regulatory body without compliance with the requirements of the law.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Justice Mohammed noted that there was no situation warranting an urgent hearing of the case.

He added that his time as a vacation judge would end on September 25, hence, he would have to send the case file to the Chief Judge of the court for re-assignment to another judge.

But the plaintiff’s lawyer, Akintunde, expressed fear that if a restraining order was not issued against NAICOM by the court, the agency might go ahead with the recapitalisation process while waiting for the matter to be heard and determined.

Responding, however, NAICOM’s lawyer, Ume restated his earlier pledge that his client would not continue with the recapitalisation process until the determination of the suit.

“Since we have been coming in the last three weeks, nothing has changed. Everything has remained. My lord, it can never happen,” he said.

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NIGERIA

Enforce Public Procurement Laws – CSOs tells Buhari

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Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center CISLAC has called for the enforcement of public procurement laws in all contract bidding especially one that has to do with international organisations.

Citing the Process and Industrial Developments Limited P&ID case, the agency said the international scam would not have been possible if due diligence was followed and public officials, patriotic and honest.

The agency also decried the connivance by Nigeria public officers with foreign companies to defraud the country of monies that could be spent on providing basic amenities for the citizens.

While lamenting the non interest of National Assembly in the case, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa expressed regrets over efforts by the lawyers representing the country to frustrate the case.

The CSO commended the proposed Database for recovered assets, but however called on the government clarify if the database will be accessible to the ordinary citizens.

CISLAC therefore called on citizens to continue to hold public officers accountable.

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