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Traders displaced as Soludo demolishes over 2,000 shops in Onitsha

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Following the building collapse that occurred on Saturday, the Anambra State Government on Monday demolished no fewer than 2,000 shops in Onitsha.

The building collapse occurred on Basden Street, Fegge, in Onitsha, but on Monday, the state government demolished shops located on Niger Street in Fegge, Onitsha South Local Government Area, Anambra State.

The shops located by the bank of the River Niger were mostly owned by members of the Sand Miners Association of Anambra State, who use them as equipment and operational offices, while some are occupied by petty traders who serviced them.

The illegal structures were said to have been built by traders who allegedly got the approval of the National Inland Water Ways, but the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, stated during a visit to the area last week that NIWA does not have the right to build or allocate spaces to traders on Anambra land.

Soludo, during the inspection of roads constructed by his administration, ordered the Onitsha South Local Government Chairman, Chief Emeka Orji, to demolish all the illegal structures, noting that the land belongs to Anambra State and not NIWA.

“The code or bye-laws establishing NIWA gave the organisation 100 metres from the banks of the River Niger as right of easement but what we are seeing here are illegal structures and should be demolished,” the governor said.

This development is coming as the state government has declared war on illegal structures following the collapse of a five-storey building at Fegge in the same community.

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Correspondent, who was at the scene of the demolition, observed that the exercise displaced over 4,000 people, and multimillion naira worth of goods were damaged in the exercise.

The Chairman of Onitsha South Local Government Area, Emeka Orji, who supervised the demolition, told journalists and the displaced victims that he was acting on the orders of the state governor following the incessant building collapse in the area.

Orji said, “A notice was issued as regards the demolition and it was followed by series of follow up notices but they disobeyed.

“Then last week, Mr Governor came here and told them that this place is not for shops or markets and ordered me to demolish the area but I gave them another one week notice which ended today.”

The area according to Orji, would be barricaded and cleared for the establishment of a Sea Side Resort which would have green park areas with umbrella trees for relaxation and amusement.

He said, “Most buildings currently under construction would be subjected to integrity test which includes material test, qualify test.

“Everywhere cannot be market in Onitsha and we have declared war on illegal structures and we shall ensure that the right thing is done about building collapse in Onitsha South local government area.”

While the demolition was going on, the affected victims were seen trying to salvage some of their equipment and goods, according to them, there was no prior information about the demolition.

One of the victims, Mrs Ekeoma Okafor, said, “We were not given any notice as regards the demolition. It is a vindictive one targeted at us because we refused to settle some government officials. We pay appropriate taxes and levies to the state government, and we don’t cut corners or pay to illegal revenue collectors or government agents who shortchange the state.”

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Other displaced victims who spoke to journalists, described the exercise as “wicked,” wondering why a state government would embark on such an exercise during this period of economic uncertainty, without allowing people to remove their machines and goods.

The Manager of Lake Petroleum Limited, one of the owners of sand beaches and shops, Chief Okechukwu Okoye, said that they lost over 130 shops and equipment worth millions of naira, saying that there was no prior information over the demolition.

Okoye said, “We are law-abiding in everything we are doing here, we are properly licensed and registered with the Federal Ministry of Environment and National Inland Waterways Authority. We pay all the necessary taxes and levies to NIWA and Anambra State government; we have even paid the necessary 2025 levies and taxes to Anambra State government, and we don’t have any problems with NIWA, so we don’t know the reason for the demolition of our offices.

“We did not erect any illegal structures here; all the structures were legally registered and approved by the relevant government agencies and the appropriate payment made. It is therefore a surprise to us when they stormed the place and started demolishing without any prior notice.”

When contacted, the NIWA Area Manager, Suleiman Nicholas, said the state government cannot take action on the NIWA Right of Way without informing the agency.

Nicholas said, “If there is any illegal structure on NIWA Right of Way, the state government should write us and we will take action against any of our customers involved. But we did not receive any complaint from the state government about such obstruction and therefore, there is no reason for such demolition to take place.”

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Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over misappropriation of funds

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Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over alleged misappropriation of funds

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution for the detention of top officials of West African Examination Council (WAEC) for failing to account for the funds appropriated to the organisation.

The resolution was pass d during an investigative hearing carried out by the House Committee on Basic Examination Bodies, chaired by Hon. Oforji Oboku.

The officials are: Amos Josiah Dangut, Head of National Office, WAEC Nigeria, who represented the Registrar; Angus Okeleze, Senior Deputy Registrar; Victor Odu, Acting Director of Finance; Segun Jerumeh, Deputy Director of Finance.

The motion for the arrest of the four WAEC officers was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo, during an investigative hearing, after the officials failed to answer their questions to their satisfaction.

The lawmakers during the hearing were in heated arguments with the WAEC officials whether the examination body was accountable to Parliament or not.

Dangut had earlier in his presentation to the Committee argued that WAEC was not an agency of government, hence not accountable as other agencies.

But the lawmakers insisted that WAEC Nigeria was a creation of an Act of the National Assembly, hence must account for all their activities to them.

The lawmakers also pointed out that WAEC’s convention dictates that they must submit to the legislation of any of its member countries.

Following the arguments, Hon. Okonkwo said: “I will like to move a motion that while pending the investigation to look into the activities of WAEC Nigeria, the invited Guests before should be taken into custody and held at the Police Post while we seek for solutions for these issues they are bringing upon Nigerians.”

READ ALSO  Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians

Meanwhile, there was mild drama at the venue of the investigative hearing as one of the WAEC officials kept shouting at the lawmakers that it was being unfair to them.

Thereafter the WAEC officials were taken away by members of the Sergeant at Arms of the National Assembly where they were detained in one of the member’s office for about 15 minutes.

However, after a brief closed door session, the Committee resolved to allow them go and come back at a later date with relevant documents demanded of them.

In his intervention, Oboku who presided over the session, directed the WAEC management to bring the audited statement of accounts of the examinations body from 2018 till date.

He also directed that the delegation to present relevant documents in respect to a N5 billion loan that the Organisation secured in 2022 to buy a customised calculator among others.

The Chairman said WAEC cannot operate outside the supervision of the National Assembly.

He insisted the WAEC officials bring the requested documents, else there would be sanctions.

Source: Authorrity Nigeria

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EFCC’s failure to file processes stalls Kwankwaso’s rights enforcement suit

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Military capable of ending security challenges, says Kwankwaso

The inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to file processes before a Kano High Court on Tuesday stalled hearing in a fundamental rights suit filed by the 2023 presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso and seven others.

The other applicants are the NNPP, Dr Ajuji Ahmed, Dipo Olayanku, Ahmed Balewa, Chief Clement Anele, Folashade Aliu, and Buba Galadima.

When the matter came up for hearing,
Counsel to the EFCC , Mr Idris Ibrahim-Haruna, told the court he was not ready and sought for an adjournment to enable him file responses.

“My lord service was effected in Abuja. We are very sorry for the inconveniences and seek for another date to enable us file our responses.”

Responding, Counsel to the applicants, Mr Robert Hon, told the court that he was ready to proceed with the hearing.

He urged the court to dismiss the application by the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment for not giving the court a genuine reason for not filing their responses.

“My lord we served the respondent with all the court processes on June 10, and by the rules of this court they have five days to file their responses.”

He urged the court to adjourn the case for definite hearing.
Justice Yusuf Ubale, ordered the EFCC counsel to file his responses and adjourned the matter until October 24, for definite hearing.

The court had on June 10, granted an Interim order stopping the EFCC from arresting Kwankwaso and the seven responders.

READ ALSO  Amnesty International warns Tinubu’s govt against threatening protesters

 

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Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians

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Don’t devalue naira after implementing new national minimum wage – Workers tell Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians to shelve planned protests against bad governance in the country, slated for next month.

The appeal was made known by Information Minister Mohammed Idris, who briefed State House correspondents after a meeting with the President on Tuesday.

Idris said Tinubu urged the organisers of the protest to shelve the plan and await the President’s response to their complaints.

“The issue of the planned protest, Mr President does not see any need for that. He’s asked them to shelve that plan. He’s asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas,” the minister said.

The protest against economic hardship, which is gaining traction on social media, has been scheduled to hold across all states of the Federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, starting from August 1.

DAILY POST reports that the prices of food and basic commodities have gone through the roof in the last months.

Many Nigerians currently are battling one of the country’s worst inflation and economic crisis sparked by the government’s twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and unification of forex windows.

Source: Daily Post

READ ALSO  Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians
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Amnesty International warns Tinubu’s govt against threatening protesters

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Presidency: Obi’s supporters behind planned protests

Global human rights movement, Amnesty International has berated the Bola Tinubu-led government for threatening protesters.

AI was reacting to comments made by Tinubu’s media aide, Dada Olusegun, who said those planning the nationwide protests in the country will “meet the strongest resistance of your lives.”

In a post on X, the organisation stated:

”Threatening peaceful protesters is unlawful. It is a clear attack on freedom of assembly — which is guaranteed by international law and Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution:

”Nigerians must not be denied the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed right to peaceful protest; through veiled threats of violence and false insinuations.”

Source: Naija news

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Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill

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The Senate on Tuesday speedily passed the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 (Amendment Bill). The bill, which scaled first, second

The Senate on Tuesday speedily passed the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 (Amendment Bill).

The bill, which scaled first, second and third readings, just minutes after it was transmitted by President Bola Tinubu, was instantly passed by the upper chamber.

In a unanimous vote after a clause consideration in the Committee of the Whole, the National Minimum Wage Bill scaled third reading and was passed.

Earlier on Tuesday, the President transmitted the National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.

The President separately wrote the Senate and the House of Representatives requesting expedited consideration of a bill for an Act to amend the National Minimum Wage Act, 2019 to increase the National Minimum Wage from ₦30,000 to ₦70,000.

The President also asked the lawmakers to reduce the time for periodic review of the national minimum wage from five years to three years and related matters.

Last Thursday, Tinubu and the leadership of the Organised Labour agreed on ₦70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The truce between the government and labour sides followed a series of talks between labour leaders and the President in the last few weeks after months of failed talks between labour organs and a tripartite committee on minimum wage constituted by the President in January.

The committee, which comprised state and federal governments and the Organised Private Sector, had proposed ₦62,000 while labour insisted on ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage for workers who currently earn ₦30,000 as minimum wage.

READ ALSO  Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill

Labour had said ₦30,000 was unsustainable for any worker going by the economic vagaries of inflation and high cost of living which followed the removal of petrol subsidy by the President.

Despite its initial insistence on ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage, Labour accepted the President’s offer of ₦70,000 last Thursday.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, said Labour accepted ₦70,000 and rejected a proposal by President Bola Tinubu to pay ₦250,000 minimum wage on a condition to increase petrol prices.

He also said Labour agreed to the ₦70,000 offer because minimum wage won’t be reviewed once in five years anymore but once every three years.

The transmission of the wage bill came about six weeks after the President said in his Democracy Day speech on June 12, 2024, that an executive bill on the new national minimum wage for workers would be sent to the National Assembly for passage.

 

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Crime

Robbers rape two female students of Tai Solarin University

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Armed robbers have raped two female students of the Ogun State-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode.

Armed robbers have raped two female students of the Ogun State-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode.

It was gathered that the two first-year female students of the institution were raped by robbers on Monday.

The incident reportedly occurred around 12:30 am when the robbers invaded students’ apartments.

A source at the school disclosed that the suspects, armed with guns, forced the students to surrender their phones and other belongings before leading them to an uncompleted building where they took turns to rape them.

Police spokesperson in the state Omolola Odutola confirmed the incident in Abeokuta, the state capital.

“The incident was reported at the Igbeba Police Division at about 10 am. Our operatives immediately combed the area in search of the suspects. Efforts are in top gear to arrest everyone involved in the crime.

“In the meantime, the survivors have been taken to the school clinic for treatment,” she said.

-Channelstv

 

READ ALSO  Amnesty International warns Tinubu’s govt against threatening protesters
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