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‘Ritual Den’: Obaseki Issues Seven Days Ultimatum To Police 

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As the controversy over the discovery of twenty mummified bodies in a private facility in Benin City, Edo State capital continues, Governor Godwin Obaseki, has given the Edo State Police Command seven days ultimatum to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the purposes and ownership of the facility.

Obaseki stated this at a joint press conference with the police at the headquarters of the Edo State Police Command on Friday.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki, while calling for calm among citizens of the state, said the public would continuously be briefed on the progress of the investigations.

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READ ALSO: Police, Respondents Differ Over Uncovered ‘Ritual Den’ In Benin

He said: “We want to call for calm from the public; we don’t want to preempt the outcome of police investigation, but as the police is actively doing their investigations, there are a lot of speculations going around; some people suspect that the place is a quack morgue, it could be for ritual purposes, and we are giving that to the police. People have been apprehended and they are undergoing questioning, some people are still being looked for.

“The governor has given seven days for them to come back to us with the details of what they have found out, was it just a morgue or is there any ritual involved? No conclusions have been reached yet, so police will be allowed to do their work.

“We are going to continuously brief the public and we are also taking measures through the Ministry of Health to ensure that there is no public health crisis in that area. Edo is safe and there is no evidence yet that anything ritual is involved until the police are through with their investigations.”

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On his part, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, Olawore Oluwole who is handling the investigation assured that the police would do a thorough job.

He said: “Based on credible intelligence, a bungalow located at Asoro area and in that bungalow we found some dried bodies and some items like generator, gas cylinder, oxygen cylinder. 

READ ALSO: B-I-Z-A-R-R-E! Police Uncover Ritual Shrine, Find 20 Corpses, Arrest 3 In Edo

“while investigation is in progress, we have arrested  five suspects and they are Chimaobi Okoewu and Samuel Okoh both from Ebonyi State, Gideon Sunday from Akwa-Ibom, Victor Obeche from Anambra and Yusuf Lawal from Katsina state. So far, we are still looking for one of the suspects and efforts are being made to get him and his name is Otu Chukwu who is alleged to be the owner of the bungalow and soonest he will be apprehended. 

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“I want to appeal to members of the public to remain calm as the Command is assuring that everything will be done to ensure that all hidden facts are unraveled.”

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Full List: Review Of Nigeria’s Minimum Wage From 1981 To 2024

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Minimum wages are the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer is required to pay wage earners for the work performed during a given period. It is set by law or a government authority to ensure that workers receive a basic standard of living and to prevent exploitation.

The specific amount of the minimum wage can vary significantly between countries and regions, and it can also be adjusted periodically to account for factors such as inflation and changes in the cost of living.

Minimum wages exist in more than 90 per cent of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) member States, including Nigeria.

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In January 2024, the Federal Government inaugurated a 37-member tripartite committee to review the National Minimum Wage.

READ ALSO: Why We Accepted Tinubu’s New Minimum Wage – Labour

However, yesterday, July 18, President Bola Tinubu approved a new minimum wage of N70,000 for Nigerian workers and pledged to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

Nigeria has reviewed its national minimum wage a total of four times after its initial establishment in 1981. The significant changes occurred in the following years:

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The first national minimum wage in Nigeria was established at N125 per month in 1981 by Ex-President Shehu Shagari.

READ ALSO: Three Nigerians sentenced To 235 Years In US Prison

This introduction was influenced by the advocacy of the Nigerian Labour Congress, which sought improved worker welfare during that period.

In 2011, it was raised during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s regime from N7,500 to N18,000.

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In 2019, the minimum wage was further increased during the regime of former president, Muhammadu Buhari, from N18,000 to N30,000 per month.

Most recently, in July 2024, President Bola Tinubu approved a new minimum wage of N70,000 and promised to review the minimum wage law every three years moving forward.

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Reps Laud NEDC On Bridges, Roads Construction In Bauchi

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The House Committee on North East Development Commission (NEDC) has commended the Commission for the construction of some major bridges and roads in Bauchi State.

The Chairman, House Committee on NEDC, Hon. Usman Zanna, made the commendation on behalf of the committee in Bara community of Kirfi Local Government Area while on project inspection on Thursday.

According to him, the projects would boost the economic development of the region, adding that the road linking Bauchi to Gombe also connected to other North Eastern in the region as well as Niger and Chad.

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READ ALSO: NEDC Committed To Ensuring Maintenance Of Projects – Says MD

“The media has been carrying reports that the NEDC is working and we have to commend the management team for this wonderful work because these are critical infrastructure which the Northeast wants.

“I would like to say Weldon to the Managing Director and we hope that this kind of project will also continue in the other parts of the state. Thank you very much for a job well done,” he said.

The lawmakers also commended the pace of work on the road despite the rainy season.

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READ ALSO::Building Collapse: Experts Advocates Punishment Law For Defaulters

Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NEDC, Mohammed Alkali, said that the Commission decided to intervene on the roads as commuters suffered loss of lives and property yearly especially, during the rainy season.

He explained that the commission approached the Federal Ministry of Works to intervene in some portions of the roads, saying that the road was awarded eight years ago.

“We are agencies of the federal government and this is a federal road, we are doing this as a Commission to ease the pain of our people,” he said.

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NEDC Committed To Ensuring Maintenance Of Projects – Says MD

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The Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) says the commission was working round the clock to ensure that all projects executed were properly maintained across the zone.

He stated this in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi on Friday while on projects inspection tour at a nearly completed mega school in the state.

Alkali, who was on the projects inspection tour with members of the House Committee on North-East Development Commission, said strategies would be put in place between the commission and state governors to ensure effective maintenance of all its projects

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“We are going to put in place strategies on how this project would be maintained and not only here in Bauchi, but across the Northeast.

READ ALSO: Why We Accepted Tinubu’s New Minimum Wage – Labour

“There may be some kind of MoU between NEDC and the state governments so that if there is the need for us to come again to intervene, we should do that,” he said.

He said that the mega school was almost 80 per cent completed in terms of physical structure but only needed finished touches.

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The MD also assured that the project would be handed over to the state government within the next three months.

Also speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on NEDC, Hon. Usman Zanna, said most of the projects embarked upon by the commission were those that would have direct impact on the lives of the people of the region.

He however, commended the commission for not skewing project execution toward a particular state over others in the region.

READ ALSO: Building Collapse: Experts Advocates Punishment Law For Defaulters

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“I want to make it clear an insinuation that the MD and the NEDC are only doing jobs in a particular place of the zone because by seeing all the projects we saw in Bauchi state, we have to make it clear that the commission is working with all his team in all the states across the zone.

“I call on the MD and the management to collaborate with the federal House of Representative to look for more funding outside the government intervention.

“We have to think outside the box to look for more funds from the United Nations and other international agencies or development partners.

“When we get to Abuja, we will sit with the MD and the management to decide on where and how to look for more funds to continue this good work that you are doing,” he said.

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