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Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu’s Aides In Verbal War Over Alleged N20b Loan

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Special Adviser to the Edo State governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, and Chairman, Edo State APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, have exchanged tough words over the former’s principal (Obaseki) alleged plan to obtain N20b loan from the nation’s capital market.

Group known as Joint Forces for the Defence of Democracy (JOFDEkS) had Monday, July 14, protested the government plan to obtain N20b (Twenty billion naira) from the Nigeria Capital Market.

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The group also alleged that the Godwin Obaseki-led government intends to obtain another $100Million and $150m loan from the World Bank respectively, just as it described the act as ” reckless, irresponsible and ignominious for the Obaseki-led state government to obtain another loan.”

READ ALSO: N20b Loan: Group Protests, Rolls Out State’s Indebtedness

However, reacting to the allegation, Cruseo alleged that the protesters were sponsored by governorship candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

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He alleged that it was calculated attempt by the APC governorship candidate to distract Edo people from his (Ize-Iyamu) N700m fraud allegation.

“In a bid to distract Edo people from his ongoing trial in court for a N700 million fraud allegation, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has resorted to sponsoring protests over non-existent issues.

READ ALSO: The Land Of Shameless Leaders (III)

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The SSA claimed that there’s no plan by the Obaseki-led government in the state to obtain loan from any quarter.

“There is no such thing as N20 billion debt proposal by the Edo State Government, and Edo people cannot be distracted by such wild claim,” Osagie said.

Responding to Crusoe’s allegation, Chairman, Edo State APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, said it’s insulting to the people of Edo independence of thought for Crusoe to have attributed their protest and expression of anger to a sponsored one.

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While stating that his principal did not sponsor any protest or any group of person, Mayaki questioned Crusoe if youths of the state have no right to read news, interpret it to their own understanding and react.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re Committed To Relieving Obaseki Of His Office’- Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation

“It is ludicrous and insulting to the people of Edo State who are known for their agency and independence of thought, for Crusoe Osagie to suggest that the anger they expressed today on the streets of Benin over the 20 billion naira loan Obaseki is trying to obtain for his collapsing campaign was done at the behest of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

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” Is Crusoe suggesting that Edo youths cannot read the news, interpret it, and understand the implications of a failed government seeking loans toward the end of its tenure?.

” We do not sponsor protest and we do not claim to control the minds of the people. If Obaseki and his aides have such an arrangement through which they channel funds to people to protest on the streets, they should come out and tell the world as that is not part of the APC modus operandi.” Mayaki said.

The Chairman, State APC Campaign Media Council, said for the governor’s aide to have shifted blame rather than attending to the allegation was an attempt to distract Edo people’s attention from the proposed N20b loan.

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He noted, ” What’s interesting here and journalists ought to focus on, is Crusoe, and implicitly the Edo State Government, refusing to directly speak to the reports on the loan acquisition. There has been no one to state categorically and on the record that no such plans exist.

READ ALSO: Just In: Buhari Speaks On Magu’s Probe, Suspension (Full Speech)

” Once again, Crusoe Osagie and the government he serves are trying to deflect attention and distract the people and the press from the real issues. Are you obtaining a loan or not? What is the loan for? Why are you seeking a 20 billion naira loan during the heat of an election you are already guaranteed of losing? Those are the issues that need answers.”

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Fake LASTMA Officer Jailed Two Years

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The Lagos State Special Offences (Mobile) Court sitting at Bolade, Oshodi on Monday, 27 March, 2023 sentenced a fake Lagos State Traffic Management Authority Officer, Omotutu Bamidele, to a 2- year jail term for impersonating and extorting money from motorists across Lagos.

The convicted fake LASTMA officer was arraigned by LASTMA on a 2-count charge of impersonating as a public officer by claiming to be a staff of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (S.78 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015)” and obtaining money by fraudulent trick (Sec. 323 of the Criminal Law, Lagos State) before the court.

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The PUNCH reports that Bamidele was arrested a few days ago on Olu Holloway Road, around the Alfred Rewane area of Ikoyi by a LASTMA Monitoring/Surveillance team led by the Zonal Head, Ashafa Moyosore.

In a press statement released by the Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, Mr. Adebayo Taofiq said Magistrate Kehinde Ogundare sentenced Omotutu Bamidele to a 2-year jail term without any option of fine after he pleaded guilty to the 2- count charges levelled against him.

Magistrate Ogundare emphasized that the convict should serve the jail term without any option fine due to the gravity of the offences committed.

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READ ALSO: We Make N35,000 Daily, Fake LASTMA Officer Confesses

The Court Prosecutor Barr. Olufemi Adekunle stated that both offences levied against the convict contravened Criminal Law of Lagos State (2015).

In his reaction to the judgement, the General Manager of LASTMA Mr Bolaji Oreagba said the judgement was a welcome development as it would serve as a deterrent to others who are still extorting money from innocent members of the public under false pretence.

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Oreagba also noted that the “Our (LASTMA) Monitoring and Surveillance Unit which has now been fully restructured would continue to hunt for other bad elements disturbing the peace of the society”

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Ahmed Musa Equals Zidane’s Record, Surpasses Viera, Lampard

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Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, has become the most capped Nigerian player after his appearance in the second leg of Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Guinea-Bissau.

The Nigerian national team defeated the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau 1-0 at the Estadio 24 de Setembro.

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However, Musa, who made his Eagles debut in 2010, and was also part of the 2013 Nations Cup-winning side, earned 108 caps – setting a new record for Nigeria.

With his feat, he has equaled France’s midfielder Zinedine Zidane, German’s Jurgen Klinsmann, and England’s Tim Cahill’s 108 national caps.

READ ALSO: Jump King! Osimhen Breaks Ronaldo’s Serie A Record

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Also, the 30-year-old Super Eagles captain surpassed Patrick Vieira’s 107 international caps for France, and Frank Lampard’s 106 caps for the Three Lions of England.

Since his debut, the Nigerian forward has scored 16 goals for the national team. He is Nigeria’s highest scorer in the World Cup with four goals.

He also has 92 club goals and 65 assists.

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NGO Trains Delta Community On Tools For Environmental Justice

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The Connected Advocacy, a Benin-based NGO, on Monday trained the residents of Owa/Alidinma community in Agbor, Delta State, on strengthening local movement and demand spaces for environmental justice.

The training featured sessions on environmental monitoring, smart advocacy tools for environmental justice and how to build a non-violent environmental justice movement.

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The Director of the NGO, Mr Israel Orekha, said the capacity building was aimed to enable local communities to advocate for and demand freedom from pollution, environmental degradation and exploitation.

READ ALSO: Pollution: Respect For Human, Environmental Rights Take Centre Stage As NGO Organises Capacity Building In Delta Community

Orekha said the training was due to the impact of oil exploration in the community, which include crises, environmental degradation, diversion of monetary benefits, intimidation from the traditional rulers and non-compliance with environmental multilateral agreements, among others.

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“The imperative of smart advocacy tools for environmental justice are evidence-based collective efforts or strategies targeting decision-makers and polluters.

“The training focuses on influencing the actions, programmes and policies of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and governments toward environmentally friendly interventions, fulfilling the agreement for the protection of the earth, people and planets.”

Taking the participants on environmental monitoring tools, Cadmus Atake-Enade, said the devices were effective for mitigating the danger of fossil-fuel extraction in the local communities.

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He encouraged participants to monitor their environment through air, water and soil pollution, and biodiversity issues.

READ ALSO: NGO Inaugurates GBV Clubs In Bauchi Secondary Schools

Atake-Enade listed tools for monitoring the physical environment like pens, pencils, cameras and whistles, saying the need to document the findings or monitor the evidence cannot be over-emphasised.

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The training concluded with the reconciliation of the Traditional Community Council and Host Community Network operating in the community.

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