Three people were on Tuesday shot dead just as over 20 trucks laden with petroleum products and granites were set ablaze by angry youths at Otovwodo, in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State as the anti-EFCC protest embarked upon by some irate youths turned bloody.
The protesting youths who alleged their incessant arrest by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission had earlier barricaded the Otovwodo axis of the East/West road thus disrupting vehicular movement and economic activities.
It was gathered that the Ughelli protest was ongoing just at the same time as scores of other placard-carrying protesters besieged Effurun roundabout near Warri as they showed grievances against the arrest and detention of some youths in the state by the EFCC operatives.
The protesters who had mobilised as early as 8 o’clock in the morning were calling for the scrapping of EFCC alleging that operatives of the anti-graft agency had virtually turned themselves into vendetta mafia.
One of the Ughelli protesters who identified himself simply as Johnson stated that even though they want peace in Nigeria, “they are using EFCC to disorganise and prevent the youths from voting at the 2023 general elections and we will not accept it from anyone.”
Another protester who gave his name as Christian decried what he tagged as the overbearing posture of EFCC officials.
He said, “The activities of EFCC are becoming too much. We do not have good roads, schools are on strike, even after graduating, no jobs and they are here chasing shadows.
“After which, one old man will shake into position and tell us rats ran away with monies. Tomorrow, another will enter and tell us that mosquitoes fly away with monies. Is their money missing, or is it their fathers’ money?”
Also speaking with journalists, one of the protesters at Effurun Roundabout who would not want his name in print alleged that the EFCC operatives were “demanding as much as N2million each from any of the youths captured.
“Those who cannot afford the money, his or her assets such as car will be seized,” he further alleged.
The protesters further accused EFCC of “illegally entering Ughelli doing the same to youths since the 2nd of October, 2022 without proper investigation of what these youths do for a living.”
Recall that EFCC operatives stormed Warri last week, and reportedly arrested no fewer than 95 suspected internet fraudsters during a sting operation carried out by personnel of the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the anti-graft agency on Thursday, September 29, 2022.
The suspects who were reportedly nabbed at Adesa Ughonton and Jedda axis of Warri for suspected fraudulent internet-related activities were later remanded in EFCC custody.
The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujeren, stated that phones of different brands, laptops and 15 vehicles of different brands were among the items recovered from the arrested suspects just as he explained that they would be charged to court once investigations are concluded in their respective matters.
The Police Public Relations Officer for Delta State Command, DSP Bright Edafe, could not be reached for comments on the incident as of the time of filing this report as repeated calls to his phone were not answered.
UNILORIN Extends POST-UTME Registration
The University of Ilorin, Unilorin, has approved an extension of POST-UTME registration by one week to cater for days of technical hitches.
This is contained in a statement issued in Ilorin on Sunday by Mr Mansur Alfanla, the Registrar of the university.
He announced that the new deadline for registration is Dec. 17, 2023.
It would be recalled that the deadline of the POST-UTME registration was December 10, before the extension.
The registrar therefore advised intending candidates to register within the extended period as there would not be further extension.
Disclose How Much Oil Nigeria Produces, Exports Daily, SERAP Tells NNPC
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged Mele Kolo Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Limited to disclose how much oil Nigeria produces and exports daily within seven working days.
SERAP alleged that the NNPCL had failed to disclose the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports according to information at its disposal.
The organization also asked Kyari “to disclose how much of the revenues generated from oil have been remitted to the public treasury since the removal of subsidy on petrol.”
This was disclosed in a letter signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, noting there was a legitimate public interest in disclosing the information sought.
“Nigerians are entitled to the right to receive information without any interference or distortion, and the enjoyment of this right should be based on the principle of maximum disclosure, and a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions.”
“By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on the details of barrels of oil Nigeria produces and exports every day and the total amounts of revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury.”
SERAP argued that the “Opacity in the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports daily, the revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury would have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens and the public interest.”
The organization said it would consider appropriate legal actions to compel the NNPCL to comply with the requests in the public interest, if it did not get any response within seven days.
SERAP recalled that the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had last week alleged that “the NNPCL is failing to remit enough foreign exchange into the treasury despite the removal of fuel subsidy.”
According to the organization the NNPCL has a legal responsibility to promote transparency and accountability in barrels of oil the country produces and exports every day.
Foundation Trains 50 Women Farmers In Bauchi
A Bauchi based Non Governmental Organisation known as Al-Muhibah Foundation, has conducted a three-day training for 50 women farmers on fonio farming in the state.
The founder of the foundation, Hajiya Aisha Mohammed who is also the wife of Gov. Bala Mohammed, stated this at the end of the training for the women on Sunday.
According to her, the project was funded by the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) and aimed at empowering women in the area of farming fonio locally called acher.
She explained that 25 women were selected from Alkaleri and 25 from Tafawa Balewa local government areas of the state respectively.
She said the decision to settle for fonio acher farming training was as a result of its nutritional value, adding that Bauchi state was among the states facing malnutrition problems due to the lack of adequate nutrition diet for children.
“It is on this basis that looking at the nutritional value of Acha fonio, are the opportunities in helping to reduce the cases of or curb severe malnutrition.
“We also key into the Islamic Development Bank policy to learn how to empower women through interventions that improve health, food security, economic opportunities, education, access to technology which would enhance women’s financial literacy and business skills.
“Today, the 50 women farmers have received farming tools, insecticide, fertilisers, farmland, seedlings, capacity building training as well as 20 water pumping machines to each of the two LGAs,” she said.
The governor’s wife further explained that the project was to also ensure that the productivity, sustainability and profitability of the Fonio-Acha value chains were sustained, developed and expanded in the two benefiting LGAs by empowering women groups in the local production of the crop.
Earlier, the Finance and Administration Officer of the Foundation, Mr Stephen Goyit, explained that ISDB sponsored 70 per cent and Al-Muhibah Foundation sponsored 30 per cent of the project.
He said based on the project design, the 40 water pumping machines and accessories were distributed to the women farmers in a cluster for easy monitoring.
Goyit added that a total sum of N30,000 was given to each of the beneficiaries for feeding and transportation allowances.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Grace Yohana who expressed happiness to have received the training, appreciated Al-Muhibah Foundation for the ‘kind gesture’.
“I’m very happy about this intervention. They gave us N30,000, we learned many things about fonio farming and the state Ministry of Agriculture has also promised to give each of us one bag of fertilizer,” she said.
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