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Fire Guts Shops At Edo Market Building



An early morning fire incident on Thursday razed a commercial building in Benin City, Edo State and destroyed goods said to be worth over N50m.

The inferno reportedly occurred at about at the building on Second East Circular Road, opposite New Market in Benin City, the state capital.

The PUNCH gathered that a majority of shopowners in the building traded used clothes and foodstuffs.

A couple identified simply as Ndidi and Blessing who operated two shops in the building, were said to have lost goods worth N10m.

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“We have lost goods worth N10m and our source of livelihood. The government should please come to our aid,” Ndidi lamented.

The fire started after repeated electric sparks from a wire connected to an electricity pole in front of one of the shops and spread to other stalls, threatening the surrounding buildings.

The timely arrival of firefighters from the Edo State Fire Service was said to have saved the situation from degenerating.

However, a trader simply identified as Madam Grace who was said to have lost over N40 million worth of goods alleged foul play and said that she was the target.

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She said, “I went to market to buy goods and returned to the shop by and there was power outage at the time.

“I took my goods into the shops and went to my house. By 5am, I was informed on the telephone that my shop was on fire. I have prayed for those responsible for the inferno. I have lost N40m worth of goods,” she added.

“Apart from Madam Grace, Ndidi and his wife, other traders were said to have lost good worth about N30m,” an eyewitness told our correspondent.

However, when contacted, Edo State Fire Service official in the control room, who identified herself simply as Faith, Thursday night, she said those who were on duty when the fire started were called and promptly went to the scene to put out the fire and prevented it from affecting houses close to the shops.

“Yes, our officials were called when the fire started and the fire was put out. They were also able to prevent the fire from spreading to houses close by,” she added.



RCCG Pastor Arraigned For Allegedly Raping Daughter




A Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Emmanuel Orekoya, was on Tuesday arraigned before the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court for allegedly raping and impregnating his 17- year-old daughter.

The defendant is facing two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and sexual assault preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.

It was also gathered that the defendant in the process of having sexual intercourse with his daughter, allegedly impregnated her.

The state’s prosecution counsel, Mrs Abimbola Abolade, told the court that the defendant committed the offences sometime in 2017 at Jacob Adeleye Street, Odoeran, Itire area of the state.

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The prosecutor also told the court that Orekoya sexually assaulted the victim, by inserting his finger inside her vagina and inserting his penis inside her mouth.

According to the prosecutor, the offences Orekoya committed contravened Section 137 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges pressed against him.

Justice Soladoye adjourned the case till April 17, 2024, for the commencement of trial.

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27 Year Old Kills Father, Removes His Eye In Abia




A 27-year-old man, identified as Chinalu Ogbonna, has allegedly killed his father, Maduka Ogbonna, and removed his left eye.

Vanguard gathered that the incident happened at midnight on Monday at a compound opposite Junior Secondary School, Amuzukwu in Umuahia North council.

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Though the cause of the incident is still sketchy, Vanguard learnt that the suspect who was arrested by the youths of the area confessed to have wanted to use his father for ritual.

Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Abia State Command, ASP Maureen Chinaka,was yet to respond to a text message and calls placed on her mobile number.

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Troops Rescue 10 Kidnap Victims In Kogi




Troops of the Nigerian Army on Monday, rescued 10 passengers onboard a Peace Mass Transit Bus, who were kidnapped while traveling from Calabar to Abuja.

The passengers were rescued in Kogi.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Army Public relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Nwachukwu said the rescue operation took place at Ogugu Community, along Enugu-Kogi Road in Olamaboro Local Government Area of the state.

He said the troops swiftly mobilised to the scene of the kidnap incident in response to a distress call where the kidnappers had demobilised the bus, abducted the passengers and moved them into the nearby Ette forest.

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According to him, the gallant troops diligently tracked and engaged the armed gang in a fire fight, compelling them to relinquish their hostages.

“The swift and decisive action of the troops led to the successful rescue of the passengers,” he said.

Nwachukwu also said that army troops, in another operation, raided IPOB/ESN Enclaves in Egbuoma/Osiam in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo on Monday.

He said the operation resulted in the neutralisation of one terrorist and recovery of one Mercedes Benz 350 4matic from their camp.

The Army spokesman said the troops in Nasarawa on Monday, quelled an attack on Katakpa village in Toto Local Government Area of the state, following a distress call.

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He said that an armed group identified as the Bassa militia group had invaded the village and annihilated the Sarkin Katakpa.

According to him, the troops acting on a distress call, embarked on a fighting patrol to the community and successfully repelled the attackers.

“During the incident, troops recovered two AK 47 Rifles, two AK 47 Magazines, two G3 Rifles, two G3 Rifle Magazines, 41 Cartridges of 39mm ball special ammunition and 45 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.

“Troops have dominated the general area and continued further exploits to nab the assailants.

“The Nigerian army remains committed to ensuring safety and security of citizens and will continue to conduct operations to sanitise troubled areas and maintain peace and stability in the country,” he added.

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