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Market Relocation: Rescue Us From Exploiters, Market Women Cry Out To Obaseki

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…Revenue Collectors From Egor LG

Market women in Evbuotubu market, Egor Local Government Area of Edo State have cried out to governor of the state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to urgently rescue them from a set of persons who collect revenue from them everyday.

The market women who made the call when INFO DAILY visited the market which has been relocated to Evbuotubu Secondary School, said these revenue collectors visit each shop in such a violent way that anyone who resist them such person’s goods would be taken away.

According to a market woman, Mrs Jude (not real name), these revenue collectors came in the morning, gave them a receipt bearing ₦50 but collect this amount and another ₦100, which does not have record.

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She noted that they claimed the ₦50 is for the space they occupied while the₦100 is for security, noting that this has continued for each day since the market was relocated to the school.

She said, “They come here every day to collect money from each market woman. First, they collect ₦50 and another ₦100, making it ₦150. And Anyone who refuses to pay they will carry the person market (goods) away. I think this is illegal because I believe the state government has stopped revenue collection for now. And if the state government has stopped this, where are they coming from.

“But as you can see, this receipt carries Egor, but why? Is Egor standing alone? Can a state government make an order and a local government flout it or do another thing contrary to the initial order? I think the state government should Investigate this and bring all involved to book.”

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A close look by INFO DAILY reporter to the receipt given to these market women by these revenue collectors, it was observed the receipt with ₦50 written on it bears Egor local government council.

The said receipt from Egor local government council

Recall, Edo State government, while giving the order for market relocation, mandated security personnel and the Edo State Public Volunteer Work Force to guard markets in their new locations and maintain orderliness until they are relocatd to their original location.

Consequently, INFO DAILY reached out on phone to Edo State Chief Security Officer (CSO), as no security personnel was around as at when visited and to know why the revenue collection.

He asked if any security personnel was on sight but our reporter told him none, so he promised to do something after asking location of the market which was given.

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It was later that some security personnel emerged with their pickup van in the market.

INFO DAILY reporter later sighted Public Volunteer Work Force and EDMSA personnel in a corner they were sitted.

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They were approached and hinted of this development but they said they were not aware of any revenue collectors.

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Effort to speak with Egor council boss proved abortive as the phone number was not going through.

This is a developing story that more details would be unveiled in the future.

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Metro

NSCDC Busts Major Bunkering Operation In Rivers, Arrests Three

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The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps said its operatives busted and dismantled a massive illegal refinery site and arrested three suspects in the Odagwa community, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The security outfit said the operation which lasted for several hours, led to a site in the forest where the illegal siphoning of crude oil was taking place after the criminals destroyed the manifold of a multinational oil company.

The NSCDC Commandant, Rivers State Command, Basil Igwebueze disclosed this while speaking to newsmen at the scene in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Monday.

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Igwebueze, who was represented by the corps’ spokesperson in the state, SP Olufemi Ayodele, said the operation was conducted by the Special Intelligence Squad codenamed ‘SIS’ of the NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar.

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He said the CG emphasised the need to step up the operational and intelligence mechanism in the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure across the country.

He equally noted that Abubakar has an unwavering determination in waging continuous war against illegal dealings in petroleum products, oil theft, vandalism of oil pipelines, and all forms of economic sabotage, saying, “Within a very short period, the CG’s SIS has dismantled over 350 illegal bunkering sites in the Niger Delta area while hundreds of suspects have been arrested and prosecuted in the court of competent jurisdiction.”

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He stated that “today, the Commandant-General’s Special Intelligence Squad swung into action and arrested three suspects while others took to their heels, manoeuvring the forest due to the terrain.”

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He narrated how a large multinational’s manifold was invaded through a broken fence, and large industrial hoses were used to siphon crude oil and transmitted through numerous metal galvanised pipes to cooking pots and further stored in reservoirs for onward loading to would-be buyers. The massive illegal bunkering site was dismantled.

“Having walked through this thick forest, you have practically seen how the manifold and oil wellhead was vandalised by unscrupulous elements.

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“They tapped into the source and buried the hoses and pipes underground, waiting for the multinationals to pump the crude. Immediately the pumping starts, they commence their nefarious operations through illegal local refining of crude to derive Automotive Gas Oil, DPK, and other products,” the state commandant said.

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While answering questions on the reason for the continuous rebuilding of some illegal bunkering sites after being dismantled by security agencies, he said that the fight against illegal bunkering is a strategic war that must be fought with a collective will and consciousness, especially with the fact that such acts cause environmental degradation, pollination, and health hazard.

“To eradicate black soot, the locals and all stakeholders must come to terms to say no to the operation of illegal local refineries and other activities which cause more harm to the people and the environment as well.

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“On this note, I wish to reiterate the words of the NSCDC boss that the fight against oil theft, vandalism, and illegal dealings in petroleum products is non-negotiable as the NSCDC is fully committed to its statutory mandate of safeguarding all critical national assets and infrastructure.

“We will do this relentlessly and without compromise,” Igwebueze added.

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Court Sentences 29-year-old To Death By Hanging

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An Ekiti State High Court, Ado Ekiti Division has sentenced 29-year-old Adedayo Olawole to death by hanging for the murder of one Chukwudi Joseph.

The court on Monday also sentenced him to seven years imprisonment for conspiracy in the murder of the deceased person.

He was arraigned on 29th March 2023 on two-count charges bordering on conspiracy and murder.

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The charge read, “That Adedayo Olawole and others now at large at Eporo in Emure Ekiti did conspire to murder one Chukwudi Joseph.

“The offences are contrary to Sections 244 and 243 of the Criminal Law of Ekiti State Nigeria, 2021.”

One of the eyewitnesses, a cousin to the deceased, in his testimony before the court, said that he saw the defendant and some other boys hit the deceased with planks and later one of the defendant’s gang stabbed him in the left side of his chest, he fell and died before some people could get there for the rescue.

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The prosecutor, Ibironke Odetola, called six witnesses and tendered the defendant’s statements, pictures of the deceased and other supporting documents as exhibits.

The defendant spoke in his defence through his lawyer, M.A. Daramola, and called one witness.

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In the judgment, Justice Jubril Aladejana said that assaulting the deceased with planks before being stabbed in the left part of his chest showed that the assailants intended to cause him grievous, bodily harm or his death.

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The judge, who said that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant and others at large conspired to commit the felony of murder at Eporo Ekiti on December 10, 2021, said, “Consequently, the sole issue for determination is resolved in favour of the prosecution.

“On count one (Conspiracy), the defendant is sentenced to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine;

“On Count two (Murder), the sentence of this court upon Adedayo Olawole is that you shall be hanged by the neck until you be dead, may God have mercy on your soul,” the judge declared.

In March 2024, an Ekiti State High Court, Ado Ekiti Division, sentenced a 28-year-old man, Ayodeji Alomoge, to death by hanging for killing a man having affairs with his wife.

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UPDATED: Two Die, Others Arrested In okada Riders’ Attack On Lagos Police Station

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The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed that two individuals were fatally injured and some others arrested during an attack by motorcycle riders on its Ipaja Division on Monday.

Panic had earlier ensued in a section of Lagos State when more than 100 hoodlums stormed the Ipaja Police Station.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, revealed in a statement that the attack stemmed from the enforcement of the existing ban on motorcycles in the state.

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He also revealed that over 200 motorcycles were impounded and one locally made firearm retrieved from the attackers.

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He wrote, “Officers of Ipaja Police Division have successfully repelled an early morning attack on their division by motorcycle operators.

“The attack came after police officers commenced the day’s enforcement of the existing ban on motorcycles in Lagos State.

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“The attackers, who came in their hundreds, stormed the station with dangerous weapons, shooting at the officers and attempting to overrun the station.”

Hundeyin further disclosed that officers at the division defended themselves until reinforcements from the Area Command and the Rapid Response Squad arrived.

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He added, “While officers and men of the division held their ground, reinforcement came from the Area Command and the Rapid Response Squad. Two of the attackers were fatally injured during the attack.

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“However, this did not deter the officers from accomplishing their mandate, as over two hundred motorcycles were impounded and some of the attackers arrested, with one locally made firearm retrieved.”

He also emphasised that the command “will not be cowed into abdicating its responsibilities of enforcement of all duly passed laws and maintenance of law and order within the society.”

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