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Pandemonium As Fleeing Bus Driver Hits Wheelbarrow-Pusher In Benin



There was pandemonium at the Ring Road axis of Benin City, the Edo State capital, Tuesday as a commercial bus driver fleeing from Edo State Public Work Volunteers (POWOV) hits a 25 years old wheelbarrow-pusher.

The Driver, identified as Ali, was said to be picking passengers from Sokponba Road axis of the Ring Road when he sighted members of the POWOV Taskforce and started fleeing, while the Taskforce went after him.

The bus registration number is BEN 804 YE.

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According to an eye witness who is a friend of the victim, the wheelbarrow-pusher was carrying  his wheelbarrow with birds he wanted to deliver to his costumer at Ekiosa market when the Driver hit him.

His friend, named Bala, further disclosed that the bus driver was trying to escape from the POWOV men when he hit him and dragged him to more than three polls.

The wheelbarrow of the young man.

He said his friend was quickly rushed to Central Hospital, Benin by good samaritans for quick medical attention.

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The victim was seen being attended to by doctors and other health workers on duty at the Central Hospital when our crew visited emergency unit of the hospital.

Reacting, the chairman, POWOV, Mr Murtari Bello- Osaigie, said the  bus driver was picking passengers at the prohibited Sokponba Road Junction, when he sighted the POWOV Taskforce and started fleeing, which led to hitting the young man.

He noted that members of the Taskforce did not go after the driver.

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“What happened was that the Driver of the bus was picking passengers at the Sakponba Road Junction, when he sighted the members of the Taskforce he started running and ran into the wheelbarrow-pusher.The boy is receiving treatment and will soon be discharged,” he concluded



Boko Haram Members Behead 11 Loggers In Borno




Suspected Boko Haram members who were riding on camels have ambushed no fewer than 11 local wood-loggers and beheaded them.

The killing, The PUNCH gathered, occurred in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.

A reliable source who works as a member of the vigilante group in the area and availed our correspondent with the information via the phone disclosed further that the incident occurred on Monday near Bale, a remote village in Damboa LGA.

According to the local vigilante source, the dismembered bodies of the victims were recovered at the scene around 5 pm.

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“We found six bodies of the wood loggers who were butchered by the Boko Haram people from the location on Monday evening.

“We do not think any of them survived the attack. Their bodies were badly dismembered, and we found them in a pool of blood as all parts of their bodies were cut into pieces.

“We immediately organised ourselves to bury what remains of them in the evening according to Islamic rites. Although five people are still missing, we are praying that those five should escape, and maybe when tension calms down, they will return to us to narrate what really happened. But for now, we don’t know if they escaped or were abducted too,” the source stated.

It was learnt from another member of the vigilante group that, “the loggers were working at their charcoal site when they were suddenly rounded up by the terrorists who refused all pleas for mercy from their victims but went ahead to kill the six persons instantly.”

He added, “We learnt that they came on camels and surrounded the victims. We saw the footprints of the carmels. We counted about 15 carmel foot prints.

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“Although we learnt that some of the lucky loggers ran as fast as they could, though they were pursued by the l Boko Haram members.

“Why we also believe the others escaped is because carmels don’t run as fast as horses, and more importantly, the victims are familiar with the terrain; that’s why we’re praying that they escape.

“It was later, we were informed about the situation of things there that we mobilised and went to the scene only to find the six bodies dismembered and abandoned at the site but we haven’t heared from the other five persons.

“This morning, additional five bodies were recovered, so we have a total of 11 corpses so far. But the soldiers, alongside the vigilantes, are currently in the area and also combing the woods.”


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Passengers Recount Ordeal As Lagos-Abuja Bound Flight Lands In Delta




Some passengers who boarded a plane from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos have recounted their ordeals after the plane which was meant to carry the passengers to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, landed at the Asaba Airport in Delta State.

The incident which happened on Sunday threw many passengers into confusion as some of them said upon landing at the Asaba airport, the crew still announced to them that they had arrived at Abuja.

One of the passengers, who gave her name simply as Thelma, said she thought she was dreaming and had to take pictures of the airport as evidence.

In an interview with The PUNCH late Sunday, Thelma said the pilot of the United Airlines flight apologised to passengers that he got the wrong flight plan.

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Thelma said, “We were surprised and shocked, especially when one of the crew members announced that we had arrived in Abuja. Some of the passengers had walked towards the front to know what was happ13ening. Some even wondered if the plane had been hijacked. We were there for about 15 minutes when the pilot said he got the wrong flight plan. He said we would fly to Abuja shortly.”

Thelma said when the flight took off in Lagos, she suspected that it might be going the wrong route because “it was flying by the coastline” which she noted was unusual.

It was making sense until I found out that we were in Asaba,” she added.

A Kano politician, Dawisu Yakasai, who was also on the plane, said it was obvious the pilot was given the wrong plan from Lagos.

“Nigeria my country. We departed Lagos about an hour ago on @flyunitedng to Abuja, and upon arrival, the cabin crew confidently announced that we’d arrived Abuja, only for us to realise that we landed in Asaba. Apparently, our pilot was given the wrong flight plan from Lagos,” Dawisu wrote on his X handle, @Dawisu.

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Other passengers who were also on the flight took to social media to narrate their experiences with some sharing videos and pictures of when they were on the flight.

Thelma who had earlier posted about the incident on X via @Tesidorth, later told PUNCH Metro that the plane eventually left for Abuja and they got there later in the evening.

But reacting in a statement signed by its head, Corporate Communications, Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, on Sunday night, the United Nigeria Airlines said its flight, NUA 0504, operating from Lagos en route Abuja on Sunday was “temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport due to poor destination weather.”

The airline said the pilot was at all material times aware of the diversion and was properly briefed.

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However, a wrong announcement was made by the cabin crew upon landing safely in Asaba, creating confusion among the passengers,” the statement partly read.

In another development, however, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, on Monday, summoned heads of aviation regulatory agencies over safety concerns in the sector.

The minister said a thorough assessment of recent incidents would be carried out during the meeting.

“Due to safety concerns in the aviation sector expressed by members of the public, I have summoned the heads of the regulatory agencies to my office later today to review the incidents that are the causes of these concerns and to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to forestall future occurrence and to apply sanctions, where necessary, regarding the past incidents,” he tweeted on X.

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Panic As Fire Guts Gas Plant In Rivers




A gas plant located in the Rumukurusi axis of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, went up in flames early on Tuesday, causing panic among residents and business owners in the area.

It was gathered that the incident occurred at about 5 am when most people were still asleep.

Residents said they woke after hearing people shouting from the location of the gas facility owned by Hydropet Oil Services Limited.

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A shop owner in the area who simply gave her name as Grace, said she saw the fire when she woke up around 5:20 am

She stated, “So I quickly came out to the road leading to Eneka, lo and behold it was Hydropet gas plant that was on fire. The fire was huge. I was so afraid because My shop is close to that place.”

The PUNCH correspondent who visited the scene at about 9 am saw men of the Federal Fire Service trying to put out the fire.

A resident told our reporter that it was the Shell fire service that extinguished the fire which lasted for about four hours.

Imagine from Artillery to Eleme Junction there is no fire station. Even when the Federal Fire Service came within a short time they ran out of water.

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“Thank God for the Shell Fire Services because we don’t know maybe the tank would have exploded.”

Meanwhile, many residents and business owners thronged out to catch a glimpse of the fire, while some expressed worry over a possible explosion.

Scores of policemen and the fire service team cordoned off the area with red lights and prevented vehicles from further accessing the road.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she would find out from the police division and get back to our correspondent.

She had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report on Tuesday morning.



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