At 70, family and friends had looked up to Lamidi Oke, a farmer from Olorunda village, Oyo State, for survival, until last Monday when a trigger-happy Customs officer dashed their hopes. Punch Reports. The septuagenarian was allegedly shot dead by the officer while he was trying to intervene in an argument between some Customs operatives and youths in the community over a barrier erected on a road within the neighbourhood.
It was learnt that the villagers put up the barrier – two poles on both sides of the road with a bamboo placed across them – to curb the recurring accidents caused by reckless motorists plying the route. It was gathered that a team of six Customs officers in a Hilux van got to the spot around 12:00pm and saw Lamidi and his younger brother, Muritala Oke, who were returning from the farm.
The officers were said to have ordered 66-year-old Muritala to remove the barrier so they could pass. But the man declined the order, telling them that motorists usually opened the barrier themselves and mounted it back after leaving the spot. Enraged by the man’s response, the officers reportedly disembarked from their operational vehicle and uprooted the barrier.
Muritala, who spoke to our correspondent on Thursday, stated that some youths met the officers in the act and challenged them. He said the officers responded by shooting indiscriminately, during which the deceased intervened to make peace.“As my brother and I were returning from the farm that day, we met the Customs officers in a van at the spot where the barrier was mounted. They asked us why we mounted the barrier and I explained to them that many residents, especially children had been knocked down by speeding vehicles. Till now, a resident, whose leg was broken in an accident on the road, is at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.
“They shouted at me to remove the barrier and asked if I did not know they were in a government vehicle. I explained to them that it is drivers who remove the barrier and place it back. I told them that policemen also ply the road in their vans and remove the barrier the way other drivers do.“Five of them pulled over in anger and started destroying the barrier. They resorted to shooting as some youths tried to caution them.
“My late brother sent the youths away and tried to plead with the Customs officers. The sixth officer, who appeared to be their team leader, came down from the vehicle and shot my brother directly in the chest. They hurriedly entered their van and fled. They were in uniform and Nigeria Customs Service was written on their van. We did not get to the hospital before he died.”
It was learnt that the incident was reported at the Ojongbodu Police Station and was later transferred to the police headquarters in Iyaganku, Ibadan. The deceased’s first child, Gafar, who lives in Abuja, said his father had called him on the telephone that Monday morning, adding that he was shocked when he got a call that the man had been shot dead.
He said, “I visited home (Oyo State) and was supposed to return to Abuja on Monday. He called me early in the morning and I told him I wanted to get something for my wife and would go back to Abuja the next day. To my surprise, I was called around 12:30pm that my father had been shot dead by a Customs officer. I didn’t believe it until I saw his corpse.
“He was buried on Wednesday. We cannot forgive those customs officers for many reasons. One, my father was an easy-going person. He was a generous man and the breadwinner of the family. I could not remember the last time I gave him money. One of my siblings had abandoned his wife and children. It was my father who was taking care of his wife and the children.
“We may not be able to get justice, but we will forever curse them because they have brought sorrow to our family.”The distraught widow, Adijatu Lamidi, said it was “extremely painful” to lose Lamidi in such a cruel circumstance, lamenting that she would live the rest of her life with the sad memory.
“My husband didn’t tell me he was going to die when he bid me goodbye on Monday morning on his way to the farm. He called me on the telephone when he got to the farm. I could not believe that would be our last conversation,” the 60-year-old added painfully.
A resident, Afudol Jaleel, who said the Alafin of Oyo had waded into the case, told Saturday Punch that two expended bullets were recovered from the scene of the incident. He said the barrier was erected after a consensus was reached between the villagers and motorists who usually plied the road.
“I am wondering why the officer would shoot the elderly man, who was trying to make peace. The police from Iyaganku came to inspect the scene of the incident on Thursday. A representative of Alafin of Oyo was also at the scene for assessment.“Apart from the two expended bullets recovered by the police, we had already picked six bullets from the scene and taken them to the police,” Jaleel said.
When the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, was contacted on Thursday, he said he was aware of the incident and promised to get back with details. He had, however, yet to do so as of press time.
Several calls put across to his line rang out and he did not reply to a text message sent to his phone. The spokesperson for the Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun Command, Abdullahi Lagos-Abiola, said the police had written to the agency on the incident.
“But so far, I don’t know how authentic that incident is. We have contacted all our men; we don’t have such an incident. One thing again is that, officers from the headquarters or Federal Operation Unit can come in and operate without seeking the permission of the command.“As far as our officers in Oyo/Osun Command are concerned, we don’t have such a case,” he added.
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NASCON Launches New Dangote Classic Seasoning Cubes
Management of the NASCON Allied Industries Plc, a subsidiary of the Dangote Industries Limited has pledged its commitment towards a healthy living by the people by producing products that meet the physical and mental needs of the people.
Executive Director, Commercial NASCON Allied Plc, Fatima Aliko Dangote gave this pledge in Kano during the unveiling of new Classic Seasoning Cube in addition to its array of food seasonings already in the market.
The new product which the NASCON boss described as a product of thorough and painstaking research into the preference of the people in the seasoning sub sector of the food industry came in the wake of a similar launch recently, of new Curry Powder and Stew Mix from the stable of NASCON.
Fatima Aliko Dangote said she had no doubt in her mind that the new product would be an instant hit given its unique taste, flavor and aroma noting that the new classic seasoning cubes and stew mix were created with a special blend of herbs and spices to give meals that unique taste and great aroma.
She described the new classic seasoning as a new innovation birthed after years of consumer led research and development, and urged distributors, marketers, eateries and consumers to immediately key into it.
Lacing her remarks with the Hausa local dialet, while explaining the strengths of the product, she described the seasoning as Karshen Magana meaning the real deal and that it is second to none in the market throughout the country.
According to her, the management of NASCON decided to go into the research for the new product bearing in mind that wellbeing is reduced by poor diet yet it is expensive to be unhealthy.
Good nutrition, she stated maintained immune system and delays the effect of aging because it reduces the risk of chronic disease while poor diet reduces physical and mental health. She therefore urged women to try the new seasoning cubes, stew mix and curry powder, as they would ensure meal moments are great moments.
Fatima Aliko Dangote assured that the products would be launched in other parts of the country very soon, adding that despite the high innovative quality, they are affordable and available with various promotional items to be given out to the distributors and consumers.
In his remark, the Group Managing Director of NASCON Allied Plc Mr. Paul Farrer assured that the new product is a high margin product that would help ensure distributors and customers remain profitable, describing the new product as premium but affordable to the consumers.
The Company used the occasion to introduce its Brand Ambassador to the customers, in the person of renowned Kannywood multi-talented actress Hadiza Gabon, who described the Dangote Seasoning cubes as a seasoning with great flavor, and good taste while recommending it to all women in Nigeria.
Speaking to media men in an interview at the event, NASCON key distributor, Alhaji Hamisu Rabiu of Hamis Investment in Kano described NASCON products as fast moving and of good quality. He urged other distributors and retailers across the country to immediately key into the new classic cube, Dangote stew mix and Dangote curry powder.
At the launch Wednesday about 300 distributors, wholesalers and retailers were excited and most express optimism that it will up the market of NASCON.
Head of Marketing of NASCON Allied Industries Plc, Mr. Olusegun Ajala expressed optimism that the “innovative brand will up the company’s market share exponentially because of its unique taste and aroma.
Jimi Agbaje’s Campaign Lacks Ingenuity, Slave Story Angle Is Senseless — Victor Ganzallo
Top media personality and cryptocurrency expert, Mr. Victor Ganzallo has thrown jibes at PDP Lagos Governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, over his campaign strategy.
Ganzallo faults Agbaje’s claim that Lagosians are in bondage and needs freedom, the digital currency trader describes the campaign strategy as weak and senseless.
Recall that Mr Agbaje had kickstart a #FreeLagos campaign where he declared readiness to set Lagosians free from bondage.
Below is Victor Ganzallo’s opinion:
Mr. Jimi Agbaje’s choice of campaign thrust is not just lacking in ingenuity and direction but also very unfortunate for a man who is a Lagosian and who should embody what we Lagosians stands for.
You are calling Lagos a slave enclave and all known indices used in determining such points directly to the opposite.
JK is in the pharmaceutical business and today his business can not compare to those of our brothers from the other side of the Niger, who now run some of the biggest pharmaceutical businesses in Lagos, are they all in this slave business with the man he has termed the slave master? It’s December again and many of them will travel to the east and return with one relative or the other, new apprentice and even wives, to the city called the center of excellence, the land of opportunities. Where people from diverse race and ethnicity daily throng to turn their fortunes around.
Jimi Agbaje wouldn’t mind giving his state of birth a bad name, that can be stamped on it forever just so he can achieve his perennial governorship ambition.
Lagos is the pride of Nigeria, whether JK and his band of co-travelers like it or not and will continue to be so, for a very long time to come. It is in Lagos that we have an Igbo man in the state House of assembly, if there is a Yoruba man in any of the state assembly in any other region of Nigeria, I honestly would like to know.
JK as now fallen from being perceived as a gentleman who wasn’t after power by all means to a desperate politician, who wouldn’t mind to sow a seed of discord and divisiveness in his state of birth, as long as it serves his political purpose. He took on this particular trend during the last general elections, in line with what was the narrow minded approach of the PDP back then, which fell flat on their faces and now he has returned to that inglorious path.
The facts ain’t so difficult to discern, it will take more than a campaign of divisiveness for the PDP to win Lagos, it will take a proper, well articulated and outlined plan and a candidate that is well above board, I cannot see that happening anytime soon.