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Lagos Removes Illegal Shops, Shanties On Lagos Island

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The Lagos State Building Control Agency has begun the removal of shops and shanties built on roads and setbacks within the Lagos Island Business District.

According to a statement on the Lagos State official website, the exercise was aimed at creating easy access to high-rise buildings and offices in the area, especially during emergency periods, and also creating link roads for vehicle movement to decongest traffic situations in the area.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Oluyinka Olumide, who spoke to journalists in Alausa on the exercise on Tuesday, noted that it was long overdue for the state government to open up access roads and streets within the Lagos Island Business District for easy access by rescue operators during emergencies.

He stated that the removal of shanties and illegal shops built on access points leading to high-rise buildings, and offices which were a continuous exercise would be extended to other parts of the State in line with the mega city status as envisaged by Mr. Governor.

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He said, “Shanties and makeshift shops have no place in the THEMES+ agenda of Mr Governor and therefore are not allowed anymore in markets as the government has provided designated markets, shops, and outlets for traders to do their business instead of coming onto the roads. All corridors leading to commercial and residential high-rise buildings across the state have to be cleared to allow for emergency services at all times”.

Olumide further disclosed that the state government was fully committed to the total regeneration and renewal of urban areas to meet the mega status of Lagos State, adding that the Mandilas building gutted by fire over the weekend would have to undergo a structure integrity test to ascertain its habitable status before it could be re-opened for public use.

Speaking also on the removal exercise, the General Manager of LASBCA, Gbolahan Oki, decried the negative impact the age-long practice of blocking roads and streets by traders has on the easy movement of vehicles and the inability of emergency services deployed during critical situations to function and have easy access to where they are needed.

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He noted with dismay the situation that continuously plays out whenever there are fire outbreaks within the markets on the island business district as fire trucks find it extremely difficult to get to their target to deploy firefighting equipment in those areas.

“Unfortunately, traders and shop owners have taken over major roads and streets blocking the easy movement of vehicles within the markets, we cannot fold our alms and allow this ugly situation to go unchecked.

“Lagos State Government is taking the bull by the horns by removing all shops and shanties impeding the free flow of vehicular movement within these axes. We are giving shop owners in other adjoining streets to the Mandilas Building one week grace period to salvage their wares and goods from such offending shops as the State Government has resolved to clean up the area”, he stated.

Oki, while noting that several warnings earlier given by the government to owners of shops erected on streets and roads had not been obeyed, advised the owners to take advantage of the grace period given to remove their wares.

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JUST IN: One Missing, 15 Rescued In Boat Accident 

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Not less than 15 people were rescued this evening from the scene of a boat accident in Lagos, where a passenger ferry collided with an unexpected shoreline concrete at a construction site near the power line corridor at the Lekki Ikoyi Link Bridge.

Although one person was still missing as of the time the report was filed.

In a statement by the management of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), one of the passengers was said to have sustained an injury, while another is yet to be accounted for.

In a statement signed by Wuraola Alake of the Public Relations Unit of LASWA, said officers from the Search and Rescue Unit of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, the Marine Unit of the Nigerian Police Force and other relevant agencies were still at the incident location carrying out further rescue Operations.

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Part of the statement reads: “At about 6.50pm today Wednesday 21, 2024, an Ibeshe bound passenger ferry named Tee Ben having departed from Addax jetty, had a collusion with an unforeseen shoreline concrete at a construction site around the power line corridor at the Lekki Ikoyi Link Bridge.

“About 15 out of the 17 passengers said to be on board this boat have been rescued, with one casualty confirmed, while rescue efforts are still ongoing as at the time of writing this statement.

“Officers from the Search and Rescue Unit of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, the Marine Unit of the Nigerian Police Force and other relevant agencies were still at the incident location carrying out further rescue operations.”

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Pastor, Five Others To Die By Hanging For Robbery

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An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital has sentenced six persons to death over their involvement in bank robberies which took place in Akure and Idanre in 2011.

The convicts include a pastor, Adewale Adelu, and five others – Ikechuckwu Maduagwu, Fayemi Olubusuyi, Ropo Adeleye, Dele Otopka, and Bayo Omotosho.

They were found guilty of robbing two commercial banks in Akure and Idanre on November 19 and December 8, 2011 in Akure and Idanre respectively.

They were arrested by the men of the state police command and were charged to court.

READ ALSO: Court Remands Anambra Lawyer For Brutalising Maid

The court delivered the judgement on Tuesday.

When the trial began, the convicts were arraigned before the court on four-count charge bothering on conspiracy, armed robbery, and illegal possession of firearms and were later remanded in Olokuta Correctional Centre.

The prosecuting counsel, F.K Salami, told the court that the convicts and others were “armed with AK 47 guns, dynamite, and other weapons at Oyemekun Road, Akure, conspired to attack and robbed a branch of Diamond Bank Plc, after which they went away with a sum of N30million and different brand of phones, including other valuable property.

“The convicts on December 8, 2011, at 2 pm, were also alleged to have robbed First Bank Plc at Yaba Road, Idanre, where they carted away another sum of N4million.”

According to the prosecution, “the offences contravene Sections 6b, 1 2a, and b of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R11, Vol. 14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

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There were arguments from both the prosecuting and defence counsel at various court proceedings on the matter while witnesses were also invited to the court to testify.

In the judgment of Justice Yemi Fasanmi, on Tuesday, the court held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The judge also said the defendants were unanimous in their confessions and the role each of them played in the robberies.

To this end, Justice Fasanmi “sentenced all the defendants to death by hanging in each of the counts.”

A Court in Akure had earlier sentenced a man, Gbenga Akintola, to 21 years imprisonment for involvement in robbery.

Akintola was apprehended by the Amotekun command and the police in Ondo town in 2021 for using dangerous weapons such as cutlasses to rob three individuals of their money and valuables.

He was later charged and brought before the court on five counts, including conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery.

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Court Remands Anambra Lawyer For Brutalising Maid

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The Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court sitting at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Awka, has remanded a lawyer, Adachukwu Okafor, at the State Criminal and Investigative Department custody in Awka, for allegedly inflicting physical injuries on the body of her 11-year-old housekeeper.

Okafor, who resides at Chris Igwilo Street Akapka GRA, 3-3 Onitsha of Anambra State, was arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court presided by Genevieve Osakwe, in Awka, on Wednesday on two counts.

Okafor allegedly used various objects like a broken bottle, knife, and electric iron to harm her house help in response to an incident involving her daughter.

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The two-count borders mainly on willful infliction of physical injuries on the body of one Happiness Nwafor, an offence punishable under Section 4(1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition and Protection) Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 2017.

The charge was read and interpreted to the defendant to the court’s satisfaction; the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Okafor, who was reportedly said to be on the run, surrendered herself to the Anambra Police Command in Awka, after the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, had placed an N2m bounty on anyone who knew her whereabouts.

Meanwhile, a bail application was made by the defendant’s counsel, Chijioke Nwankwo, but the bail was denied by the court and the matter was adjourned till February 28, 2024, for ruling.

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Speaking to journalists after the court’s session, the defendant’s counsel, Chijioke Nwankwo, when asked why it took his client time to report to the police, stated that he was unaware of any bounty placed on Okafor.

He explained that he was only contacted for the job and he immediately took the defendant to the police.

He, however, complained that the state Ministry of Women and Social Welfare is already doing trial by ordeal, which he noted is not in the best interest of the case.

The victim, an 11-year-old, had since been discharged from the hospital and made an appearance in court too.

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Reacting to the development, the Anambra State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, stated that she trusts the court to do justice.

Obinabo also revealed that her ministry would soon embark on media sensitisation programme, during which Anambra residents would be educated and fully enlightened about the dangers and negative consequences of child abuse.

She said, “We advise members of the public to shun all forms of social vices in the society, especially, those vices that endanger the life of a child; and we called on everyone to be agents of positive social change.”

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