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A witness has revealed in details how Maryam Sanda made several attempt attempts to stab her husband, Bilyamin Bello before eventually killing him the night she did. Recall that Sanda is standing trial for the alleged murder of Bello, who was her husband and son of former Peoples Democratic Party Chairman, Bello Haliru.

The witness, Ibrahim Mohammed, said he was with the deceased for over eight hours, the night before his death; and witnessed several attempts by the first defendant, Ms Sanda, to kill him.

According to Mohammed, a friend of Bilayamin, Sanda asked her husband for divorce and appeared bent on getting it that night. The witness said she threatened several times to chop off his sex organ if he declined to give her freedom from their marriage. Mohammed told the court that while he was watching television with the deceased at the couple’s residence that fateful day, he heard Sanda calling her husband from upstairs.

“He went to meet her, but soon returned to the sitting room,” said Mohammed. The witness further explained that the accused soon came herself to call her husband a second time in the sitting room.

“Soon after they returned upstairs, I heard noise coming from there. Maryam sent the fourth defendant to call me. When I got there I saw both of them holding each other to the throat.

“I enquired to know what was happening and asked them to stop fighting. The first defendant asked me to tell her husband to divorce her, but I asked her to take things calm. She said she was not going anywhere until he divorced her,” Mohammed told the court.

Mohammed said he tried disengaging Sanda’s hand from her husband’s neck. He added that shortly after separating the couple, the first defendant rushed to break a bottle of groundnut on the wall and tried stabbing her husband with it.

“She came straight at Bilyamin to stab him. I held her hands and Bilyamin went behind her and collected the broken bottle from her hands and went downstairs. I closed the door and continued to advise Maryam that they should stop fighting.

“She said she would not stop until Bilyamin divorced her that night; that either he divorced her or she would cut his private part.

“While pleading with her, Bilyamin entered the bedroom and Maryam followed him, insisting that he should divorce her that night but Bilyamin kept silent,” Mohammed said.

The witness narrated that the first defendant made another attempt to stab her husband after breaking another bottle of perfume, but her husband collected the bottle, pushed her to the bed and left the room.

“The first defendant then went to the kitchen and picked a knife with which she attempted again to stab the deceased,” said the witness who added that Bilyamin collected the knife from the defendant but that she made three other attempts to collect the knife.

“She attempted picking the knife for about three or four times,” he said.

At that point, the witness said he tried to make a number of calls. When one of those whom he called arrived the house, Mr Mohammed said he went with the deceased to treat the injury sustained from a bite inflicted upon him by Ms Sanda.

They later returned to the house and were subsequently joined by a third person who chatted briefly with them at the sitting room.

“When we returned, the first defendant was not at home. She later returned and started playing with the baby,” added Mr Mohammed.

To avoid being seen as coming in-between the couples, the visitors decide to leave, the witness narrated. While leaving, Mr. Mohammed said he narrated what happened before his arrival to his friend who wondered why they left the house, given the violence between the couple.

Mr. Mohammed said they made further attempts to call the deceased on phone, without success.

Mr. Mohammed added that he later received a call from Bilyamin’s brother that Bilyamin had been killed.

“I went to Maitama Hospital after that call and met Bilyaminu lying on a bed in front of the hospital. There was a hole in his chest near the heart, bite on his stomach. There was a cut on his thigh and there was a sign of stitching on him,” he said.

During cross-examination, Mr. Mohammed told the court that the deceased was not badly injured before he left the house. He also said although Ms Sanda threatened to cut off her husband’s sex organ, she never actually threatened to kill him.

The trial judge, Yusuf Halilu adjourned the matter to May 15.

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Rotary D9110 Performs Free Cataract Surgeries On 100 Residents Of Lagos and Ogun States

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Rotary District 9110 Committee on Blindness Prevention embarked on a 3-day “Save Our Sight” Mission to Ota, Ogun State, and performed free cataract surgeries on 100 Residents of Lagos and Ogun States. The surgeries took place at the Ace Medicare Clinics, Ota, Ogun State from January 14-17 2021.

The surgeries were sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Eko Atlantic (the Lead Sponsor); Gbagada; Agege and Ota. The project which cost over N4million naira is geared towards depicting the need for a Rotary Eye hospital in a community between both states.

According to the Committee Chair, PP Dr. Basirat Giwa said, “As an organization that is interested in humanitarian services; the District Committee on Blindness Prevention initiated the process of selecting beneficiaries of the project in November 2020. After series of medical screenings, those who benefitted were selected and notified that they have been scheduled for the surgery.”

While commending the committee, District Governor Bola Oyebade noted that the theme for the Rotary Year is Opportunities and he is delighted to see the partnering clubs collaborating to restore the sight of 100 persons. As a humanitarian organization noted for doing good, the beneficiaries will be grateful for the restoration of their sights and our charge to them is to reciprocate good deeds in various ways.

According to him, “The Committee has done a good job by giving in their talent, time and treasure to restore the hope of these Nigerians. They have made the District proud. The ultimate aim of this Mission is to establish a Rotary Eye Clinic that will provide all-year-round quality and affordable Ophthalmic Services to the poor and vulnerable.”

Speaking on the behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Folashade Alawode expressed her appreciation to the team for helping to restore their sights. She noted that the process of selecting the beneficiaries was devoid of any favouritism and they were well taken care of all through the period of being hospitalized. “After the surgery, my eye pads were removed, my eyes were dressed and I was given appropriate medications and instructions.”

Other members of the Committee include Rotns Dele Balogun; Abioye Giwa; Babatunde Awoyemi; Favour Madu; Airen Efosa and Fatai Oluyadi. Others are Rotns Dr. Wole Kukoyi; Niyi Adedokun; Sanjeev Tandon; Tunde Solu; Victor Edomwande and Toun Agbe Davies.

Other partnering institutions are Eye Institute of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital that assembled the team of Ophthalmologists, Ophthalmic Nurses and other support staff, and Mouka Foam that donated 100 Hospital Mattresses.

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“The Labour Of Our Heroes Past Shall Never Be In Vain” —-By Moyo Odunlami

Peter Okunoren

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This line from the Nigerian national anthem is a paradox in itself, especially when one takes a look at present-day Nigeria and realizes that the labour of the dead heroes who fought for the nation’s independence seems to be wasted. It has been sixty-one years since Nigeria gained her independence from Britain.

For the past sixty-one years, Nigerians have had to deal with the same regurgitated set of leaders. In fact, if Nnamdi Azikiwe and co. were to come back from the dead and take a field trip to Nigeria, they’d be shocked to find the same set of people, who were in power during the 80s, still ruling Nigeria.

As Nigerians, it is clear that we have a leadership problem. The old men who ruled when our fathers were half-naked, innocent children are still in power today. This brings us to the big question: why?

Why are youths not holding the reins of power? To any foreigner observing from outside Nigeria, two answers may seem correct. One, the nation is practicing gerontocracy. Two, the youths are too incompetent to handle power.

However, as Nigerians living in Nigeria, we all know that these answers are incorrect. The problem with Nigeria is that the country is run by a set of people whose hands are stuck to the reins of power. Young Nigerians are rarely given positions of power and in cases where youths are elected into power, they only end up being puppets to the ruling class.

So far, Nigerian youths have proven their mettle and resilience in handling leadership positions, from creating startup companies to organizing groundbreaking revolutions.

However, just one thing stands in their way: lack of opportunities. For young Nigerians living in today’s world, finding the right opportunity is almost as difficult as finding a unicorn.

To make matters worse, there is an uneasy wave of political apathy among the younger generation. Most youths who have the leadership skills required to turn this nation around are simply not interested as a result of the discouraging state of the political and socio-economic systems.

Fortunately, this problem seems to be coming to an end, thanks to one man, Hon. Shina Abiola Peller, the senator representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola and Iwajowa constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. In January 2020, Hon. Shina Peller alongside a few young Nigerians birthed the idea of Lead Generation Initiative (LGI), a youth-driven organization committed to creating opportunities for young people to achieve their dreams and channel their creativity towards developing the nation.

Under the leadership of the young senator, LGI has successfully carved a niche for itself as a frontline organization promoting youth participation and empowerment.

In 2020, it partnered with YIAGA Africa to create the Get Involved Leadership Training (GILT), a program aimed at training youths on core leadership skills such as strategic communication, active citizenship, and nation-building. The program kicked off in Ibadan, Oyo state with up to 68 participants drawn from the 33 local governments of the state.

 

Moyo Odunlami writes from Ikeja

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Three Burnt To Death, Six Injured In Ogun Tanker Fire Accident

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Three persons were burnt to death and six others critically injured on Tuesday morning in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when a tanker fell on ever-busy Presidential Boulevard road, following an accident.

The tanker conveying petroleum product fell after suffering brake failure while descending the Kuto Bridge.

A commercial motorcycle operator was knocked down to death by the tanker while others struggled to flee from the raging fire.

It was learnt that the tanker fell on the road and bursts into flame after it knocked down the motorcycle operator and as a side -to – side collision with a Lexus jeep and one other car.

It also left a gory sight of the charred remains of the commercial motorcycle operator and carcasses of burnt vehicles on the road.

Operatives of the Ogun State Fire Service were sighted making frantic efforts to battle the inferno.

The Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Babatunde Akinbiyi, who confirmed the accident, said three persons, including the truck driver, were burnt to death while six others were critically injured.

Akinbiyi attributed the cause of the accident to brake failure experienced by the tanker driver, forcing the tanker to veer into the lane of vehicles coming in the opposite direction and back to its lane before landing on the road with a bang that ignited balls of fire.

According to him, seven vehicles and six motorcycles were also burnt in the ensuing inferno.

He said: “Three people, including the driver of the tanker, died in the explosion and six others were injured while seven vehicles and six motorcycles were also burnt.”

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