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President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has lauded the decision of the Federal Government to reconstruct the failed Apapa Wharf road as its grim state serves as both an embarrassment to the country and a huge financial loss to the government on a weekly basis.

Dangote who spoke on Tuesday said “The economy loses more than 20 billion daily and it affects all businesses across the country. All our operations in the hinterland in Ilorin, in Kano are operating at 40 per cent maximum capacity”

Lamenting the state of road infrastructure in the country, Dangote said: “Today there is no linkage road going from South West to the North. You have to go all the way through Ajaokuta, Obajana, lokoja and you have to go by the uncompleted road Obasanjo started 13years ago.”

Commenting on his resolve to personally get involved in the Apapa Wharf road reconstruction, he said: “Because it is very embarrassing! We can’t just sit and have a road like that in the heart of trade in Nigeria. More than 60 per cent of our country’s import and exports come through the port and we leave it un-attended. That is why we started on our own. Flour mills said they will join us, but now government changed the design because they want all the cables and pipes underground and to have a more robust solution.”

Commenting on why he is personally involved in the Apapa Wharf road reconstruction, he said: “Because it is very embarrassing! We can’t just sit and have a road like that in the heart of trade in Nigeria. More than 60 per cent of our country’s import and exports come through the port and we cannot leave it un-attended. That is why we are invested in this project. The government also changed the design because they want all the cables and pipes underground and to have a more robust and sustainable solution to this problem.”

To help in bringing the cost down, he explained that he forced his company to do it at zero profit. According to him, “We will be spending 2.5billion and also Flour Mills for reconstructing 2km double lane in Apapa on each side making a total of 4km” He further explained that “the biggest job is drainage because that is what is destroying the road. We will make sure this problem is sorted out once and for all. This thing should not be allowed to happen. We started discussion with the government over 1year and we are happy that we have been given the opportunity to finally fix it.”

It would be recalled that the FG last weekend handed over the troubled road to Dangote Industries Limited and Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) for immediate reconstruction with concrete overlay.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the construction of the road was signed by the FG, DIL, NPA and the FMN.

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, signed the agreement for the handover of the road, on behalf of the Federal Government, while Hadiza Usman, managing director, NPA, and Joseph Makoju, honorary advisor to Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, and Gbedebo, signed for their respective organisations. The three organisations are embarking on the project as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to Apapa, where they all do business.

The construction work to be handled by AG Dangote, a civil construction company, and joint venture between Dangote Group and AG of Brazil, would utilise concrete slabs as against asphalt, common with road construction in this part of the world.

AG Dangote is not new to road construction, they have successfully constructed concrete roads in Ibese, Ogun State and currently working on roads in Obajana, Kogi State and also in Benin City, Edo state.

Managing director and chief executive of AG Dangote, Ashif Jumar in a chat with the media also said: “We are building a four kilometer concrete dual carriage road that has a life span of over 40years. It is a rigid pavement road of 250 millimeters thickness with solid underlying materials… We have already mobilized to site, but our major challenge is the chaotic Apapa traffic and the inclement rainy season. I appeal for patience and cooperation.”

Speaking at the MOU signing ceremony held at the Conference Hall of Area B Command of the Nigeria Police, Apapa, Honorary Adviser to the President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Engineer Joseph Makoju said the Group is moved by the deplorable state of the road which informed the need to look for like-thinking partners to effect repairs and salvage the road.

According to him, the deplorable state of the road has impacted negatively on businesses, activities and lives of people within the locality. He explained that the state of the road crippled economic activities as people spend whole days in traffic losing precious work hours. Makoju opined that the two kilometer road to the gate of Apapa is vital to the nation’s economy and described it as the national economy’s artery.
He commended the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, who he said put in extra efforts to ensure the handing over of the road for reconstruction as the project has been on ground for over a year. The new road, he said will be concrete based in contrast to laterite base and has a life span of between 30 years to 50 years.

He described the road reconstruction as a higher form of corporate social responsibility as Dangote Group is not asking for tax rebates. According to him, businesses need to engage with host communities through corporate social responsibility projects to ensure sustainability.
He said, “…here at Dangote, we have built houses, new towns, hospitals, schools, roads, markets and awarded scholarships in the communities where we have our operations but this is a higher form of corporate social responsibility. This project is a higher form of intervention on a national level, intervening in provision of critical infrastructure.”

However, he tasked government to do more in terms of providing a conducive and enabling business environment for businesses to thrive stressing that If the environment is conducive and right, businesses will thrive and do more in terms of interventions in national infrastructure.

BIG STORY

Police Questioned My Wife And Myself For Over Six Hours, But Fatoyinbo Yet To Be Invited — Dakolo Tells Journalists

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Soul singer, Timi Dakolo, has said he is shocked that the police sent another invitation to himself and his wife, Busola Dakolo, over the rape allegation against the Global Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Ministries, Biodun Fatoyinbo, when they had been quizzed for about six hours before now.

Dakolo revealed this on Sunday when he addressed a news conference following Saturday’s invitation by the police for another round of questioning in Abuja.

He said he is surprised that nothing has been heard yet from the police in terms of questioning Fatoyinbo.

He said: “On June 27, my wife, through her legal representative, wrote a petition on rape against Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo. The petition was filed at the Office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Alagbon, Ikoyi.

“We had four meetings and about six hours at the police station. The IG personally assigned the file and immediately asked for action on the case but we deliberately decided not to publicize it because we believed the law would be followed through.

“We had filed the petition before the release of the interview that had been recorded three weeks before. The interview was published on June 28. We have on several occasions met with the police in the course of the investigation. We were therefore shocked by the invitation to Abuja when no visible action was taken to interview Mr. Fatoyinbo.”

Dakolo expressed shock and sadness over the invasion of his Lagos home on Saturday just to serve the letter of invitation on him.

The full text of his statement to the press reads:
Gentlemen of the Press –
My wife and I have called this press conference because, as a man, I have done what I am supposed to do – I stood by my wife when she decided to go public with her truth. It was not an easy decision but I was raised by my Grandmother – I saw that woman go to heaven and back for me – she used to trek kilometers to go to church to pray for me and sold everything to make sure we ate. From loving my Grandmother, I have a deep respect for women; I took the decision boldly as a man should. I stood for her when she came under attacks from the ill-intentioned members of society. I have fought for her even when I have been abused, lied against and accused of unspeakable things.

As a Father, however, I could not have foreseen the events of yesterday when an attempt was made to abduct myself and my wife – FOR TELLING HER TRUTH.

All we have asked is for this matter to be duly investigated. I did not expect that our residential address – where our children live – will be released to the public AND SINCE THEN, I have noted with increasing alarm, how my life, my wife’s life and the lives of our children have been put at risk by unscrupulous persons. We have been followed, our home has been watched, people have been standing in corners pointing fingers at our home – we have been unable to do any work; the children have had to be explained to several times why they cannot go outside and play.

As a Father and as the protector of my home under God, I have decided to come out and speak publicly against the harassment, bullying, and maliciousness we have received as law-abiding citizens of Nigeria – BECAUSE my wife decided to tell her truth and I decided that I trust her, I believe her and stand by her. I will never leave her side now and I will do my best to protect her. However, the good people of Nigeria, who have shown us so much love, deserve to know what has been happening.
On behalf of my family, I would like to share a few highlights, especially about the attempted abduction of yesterday, Saturday, July 20th, 2019:

HIGHLIGHTS

• On Thursday, June 27th, my wife, through her Legal Representative filed a petition with the police in Lagos State about Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) raping her as a minor. The Petition was filed at the Office of the Assistant General of Police, Alagbon, Ikoyi. We had 4 meetings spanning over 6 hours at the Police Station on that day and afterward, the A.I.G himself personally assigned the file immediately and asked for an expedited action to investigate the case. We decided not to publicize the fact that a case had been filed, as we believed that the law should be allowed to run its full course, undisturbed.

• We intentionally filed the police case, following the due process of the law before agreeing for the release of the interview that had been recorded many weeks before. The interview was then released with my wife’s permission, on Friday, June 28th, 2019 by Y!TV.

• We have since been to the Police Station in Lagos several times on invite by the Police to respond to various questions in the course of their investigations. WE WERE THEREFORE SHOCKED TO BE INVITED TO ABUJA – WHEN NO VISIBLE ACTION HAD BEEN TAKEN TO INTERVIEW MR. FATOYINBO.

• On Thursday, July 4th, Y!TV published another video with a former employee of COZA alleging that Pastor Biodun also raped her. My wife broke down crying as she listened to her interview “There are other women – this recent?!” she kept saying as she cried. What surprised us was how Modele Fatoyinbo, who asked my wife to come and help her look after their newborn child – which is what led to the second rape – is the same person that asked this lady to come and look after her children – again? 15 years after?! It is strange. We do not know this lady, we have still not met her, but we would like to thank her for lending her voice to this truth.

• As far as we know, Mr Fatoyinbo has not been questioned on the strength of my wife’s petition – even after several invitations by the Police that we have honoured. However, we have been invited to go to Abuja to respond to queries on actions that are not crimes known under any Nigerian law – “mischief” and “falsehood” are not crimes; we were not given details of the supposed case, THERE WAS NO ADDRESS FOR THE POLICE INTERVIEW and NO RESPONSE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US ON OUR OWN PETITION THAT HAS BEEN FILED ALMOST A MONTH AGO.

• On Wednesday, July 10th, our address was shared online by Kemi Olunloyo in the most careless, reckless and wicked manner. To think she is supposed to be a woman and a mother and had no regard for the safe keep of our children and she has infringed on our Fundamental Human Rights to Personal Dignity and Privacy and is risking the lives of my 3 little children! This was callous! I decided not to engage with her, but I want Nigerians, the Armed Forces, Amnesty International and the good men and women of the Nigeria Police Force to know that SINCE THEN people have been following myself and wife in tinted unmarked cars, TO OUR HOME! AT different times, in the last week we have been trailed. The last event is what happened again yesterday and this time an attempt was made to abduct my wife and I. I had to park our cars and stay indoors. My wife and I have been unable to work and my children have been unable to go out freely even in this holiday period.

YESTERDAY’S AMBUSH

• Yesterday, Saturday, July 20th, 2019 in the early afternoon, I had noticed a tinted bus parked near our home. I did not know that at the same time, my wife was being followed by a car into the estate.

• She noticed the car and out of fear, parked the car to be sure that her fear was not real – but it was. Every time she parked, the car parked and she decided that she should rush home quickly since she was near the house.

• When she got onto the street, she noticed the same bus I had seen earlier and saw that someone from the car that was following her signaled to the bus, at which point 3 ARMED POLICEMEN wearing SARS vests surrounded her car, demanding for her to come down. The door of the bus was open and she saw that the bus was full of armed policemen.

• She immediately called her lawyer and when the policemen heard that she was talking to a legal representative, they stepped back and claimed that they were only there to drop a letter; they had not said this before nor shown her the letter.

• Before then, they were demanding that I step outside the house. They had also demanded that my wife steps out of the car.

• The letters the Policemen said they had when they heard us speaking to the lawyer were then presented. We noted that the letters are dated Thursday, July 18th. Why were they being delivered on a Saturday afternoon by a bus full of armed policemen and a car trailing my wife into the estate? Why did they not deliver the letter and leave when neither myself nor my wife was present? And why did they only step back when they became aware that lawyers were involved? These questions have been on my mind. I do not have answers to them.

• The letters made no reference to any case or matter and it states that we are being investigated for a case of falsehood and mischief – two offenses that are not known in law.

• In the police’s press release yesterday, they claim a Police Invitation Letter is “… a polite investigative tool used in eliciting information voluntarily from parties to aid in a police investigation.” If they were just delivering a letter, the manner in which they intentionally tried to instill fear, intimidate us with guns and insist on our coming to their bus – was neither polite nor trustworthy.

• How is the Nigeria Police pursuing justice when Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, who is the accused in my wife’s matter, is not being treated in this manner but the authorities I expect to pursue justice are attempting to intimidate myself and my wife?

• My children were at home!!!! They could also have been in their mother’s car!!!

• We have never threatened anyone on our lives. Rather, we are now the ones who feel threatened. That is why we have Falana & Falana Chambers representing us and they have reported this matter to the police.

• We receive the information from our lawyers, Falana & Falana Chambers, this morning that both our petition and the petition of Mr Biodun Fatoyinbo will be moved to Lagos. We acknowledge the effort of the Nigeria Police to ensure that our confidence in their impartiality, professionalism & good sense, in this case, is not shaken.

NEXT STEPS

• We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support we continue to receive from Nigerians at home and abroad. We acknowledge the online support of the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari.

• We will not be intimidated. We are determined to get justice and ensure the church is a safe space for boys and girls.

• If they can intimidate my wife and I who have some level of public goodwill, what will happen to Amaka in Maitama who knows no one and has no one to speak for her?
For any additional information, please visit www.notinmychurch.ng.

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Alaafin Writes Buhari Over Insecurity, Says Herdsmen Invasion In Yorubaland Poses Danger

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The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari to warn him about looming anarchy in the country if the siege laid to Yorubaland by herdsmen and kidnappers is not contained.

Adeyemi, who cataloged the spate of insecurity in Yorubaland by herdsmen and their collaborators, accused Buhari of not bringing the culprits to book.

He said the Yoruba had all it took to resort to self-help if the security in the zone did not improve and people guaranteed the safety of lives and property.

Titled, ‘Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum,’ Alaafin wrote, “I have never been timid or failed in my total support for the success of your administration. My confidence had always been based on Your Excellency’s ability, fitness and competence in leading the country to the Promised Land, where law and order will prevail, individual liberty is guaranteed and economic wellbeing of the citizens is assured.

“In recent time, however, I am worried about the security situation in the country, especially in the South-West geo-political zone, nay the entire Yoruba-speaking area of the country, including Kwara, Kogi and Edo states.

“This has to do with the menace of Fulani herdsmen that have laid siege to almost all the highways of Yorubaland. Whether in Owo, Akure, Ilesa/Ife-Ibadan road or Ibarapa zone and the Ijebu area of Ogun State, the story is the same.

“I have held a series of consultations with opinion moulders and eminent Yoruba leaders about the menace of these cattle herdsmen with assault such as raping of our women and on some occasions, in the presence of their husbands. That is apart from the massive destruction of our agricultural land, which ultimately points to imminent starvation.

“On top of it all is the menace of professional kidnappers usually in military uniforms. What is more worrisome about the kidnapping notoriety is the impunity with which these kidnappers go about their nefarious activities.”

Alaafin said people were worried by the audacity of the lawless people in effecting their illegal acts in broad daylight on busy highways without any arm of security being able to do anything.

He said, “We cannot even talk of parading suspects because no major arrests have been made in this part of the country. Without arrests, we cannot talk of their facing the law. In the face of the apparent helplessness of our security agencies, where do we go from here?”

The monarch said in the face of the helplessness of the security agencies, the people were finding it unavoidable to resort to alternative measures to safeguard their lives and property.

“Suffice to say that in most part of Yorubaland, their pre-colonial military structures have not been totally collapsed. Hence, such structures like Odua People’s Congress, Agbekoya and other vigilante groups still exist,” he added.

The monarch as the “Alaafin of Oyo, the King and Head of all Yoruba at home and in the diaspora and the Chief Custodian of Yoruba culture and values” he was compelled to tell the President that the people of Yorubaland lived in palpable fear because of the new wave of insecurity.

He reminded the President of the crime that had been committed by the herdsmen, urging him to rise to the occasion.

He said, “Certain individuals were kidnapped along Erio-Aromoko Road, Ekiti State. They were tortured and exposed to danger in the forest for over two weeks. These victims included the Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikole branch, Adeola Adebayo, whose decomposing body was eventually found after a ransom price of N4m had been paid.”

He listed other victims of the marauders to include, two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, both Yoruba, who were picked up along Ilesa-Akure highway; Musibau Adetumbi, a legal practitioner based in Ibadan; Prof. Adegbehingbe, a surgeon at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife; Dr Muslim Omoleke; Mr Ayo Oladele, and Dayo Adewole, son of a member of 2015-2019 executive council and Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was kidnapped on his farm at Iroko, a village along Ibadan-Oyo road.

He said further, “I am therefore writing to you, as a concerned stakeholder in your administration to alert you to the need to quickly respond to these and other issues concerning Yorubaland. There is a general impression among opposition group that you are not known to take decisive and proactive steps in many matters of national interest and that you are not usually too disturbed about the gale of insecurity in Yorubaland.

“May I also share with you the outcome or product of my wide consultations in Yorubaland to let you know, beyond what official security reports will make available to you, that there is a growing feeling of frustration, disappointment and despondency among our people, which if not immediately addressed, could lead to other serious national catastrophes and security challenges.”

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How Ex-Oyo Gov. Ajimobi Granted Amnesty To Ibadan Lawyer Jailed For Killing Her Husband, Says Yewande Not A Murderer

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A week before the end of his tenure in May 2019, the then Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, pardoned an official of the Oyo State Ministry of Justice, Yewande Oyediran, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing her husband, Lowo.

Oyediran, who was a lawyer, was in November 2017, convicted for manslaughter by Justice Muntar Abimbola of the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State.

She killed her husband with a knife after a disagreement on February 2, 2016, at their residence in the Akobo area of Ibadan. The disagreement was said to have arisen after Yewande accused her late husband of infidelity.

However, a few days before leaving office, Governor Ajimobi granted the convict amnesty.

Yewande, reportedly ‘flees’ to London after her release by ex-Governor Ajimobi

Speaking on Sunday, the Attorney-General of Oyo State under Ajimobi, Mr. Seun Abimbola, said the governor had the constitutional right to grant amnesty to any convict.

He, however, said Ajimobi did not exercise the power arbitrarily as it was being insinuated.

Abimbola said on the day the convict was pardoned, 49 other persons were also freed by Ajimobi.

The former commissioner for justice said a committee was set up to look into the petitions of 400 persons who had pleaded for clemency.

He said the committee comprised commissioners, officials of the Department of State Services and other government agencies which then advised the government.

The former AG dismissed reports that the convict was pardoned because of her former position as an official of the ministry of justice and the influence of her family.

Abimbola said, “The issue of clemency by any government is constitutional but the exercise of that power is not arbitrary. It is based on the recommendation of the committee on the prerogative of mercy.

“The committee is chaired by the attorney-general and also has DSS officers, the police, the chaplain and the chief imam of the Government House, Legal Aid Council, Director, Legal Affairs, the Solicitor-General and the Directorate of Public Prosecution are members. So, it was not an arbitrary decision.

The lady in question is just one out of 50 that were pardoned. And the 50 that were pardoned were drawn out of 400 that were considers. So, she was not singled out as some are insinuating. Even the prisons authorities brought recommendations on the good behaviour of those pardoned.”

Abimbola maintained that Oyediran had already served half of her sentence and the governor decided to show her mercy since she was not convicted of premeditated murder.

He explained that nine months in prison is equal to a year, adding that her sentence began counting from the day she was detained.

The former commissioner added, “She was arrested in 2016 and her sentence started reading from the day she was arrested. A year in prison is nine months. She was not convicted for murder but for manslaughter. It was a fight between a husband and a wife which resulted in death.

“People should stop saying she killed her husband as if it was premeditated. The amnesty was not a secret one. We did it every May 29 and even the new governor pardoned convicts on June 12.”

The decision of the Ajimobi-led government to pardon the husband killer has, however, sparked a debate on social media.

Many argued that were the convict a man, he would not have been released so early from prison.

Many male Nigerians further stated that had it been a woman that was killed, several feminist groups would have taken to the streets to protest.

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