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.
Tony Elumelu Donates Technology Centre To AAU
Chairman of UBA Group, Tony O. Elumelu, has made the donation of a multipurpose information technology center to his alma mater, Ambrose Ali University.
Through the UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Elumelu has championed the construction of a state-of-the-art multipurpose information technology building, which will benefit the students of Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State. The hall, to be named The Tony O. Elumelu multipurpose hall, is furnished with computers, desks, and chairs measure 839 square meters and have adjoining offices and conveniences.
Elumelu highlighted his motivation: “Education is crucial to Nigeria’s human capital – whether our young people join our national institutions, the private sector or, as I did, take the entrepreneurial path, no one can afford to be cut off from the digital world. It has been a personal mission to ensure that the hall was delivered to specification, for the benefit of the students at the AAU. Success brings with it the duty to give back, and I am just grateful that I am now in a position to meaningfully help the next generation”.
The multipurpose hall was formally handed over to the University, at a ceremony attended by members of the University’s governing council and staff, led by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ignatius Onimawo.
Speaking at the commissioning, UBA’s Directorate Head, South Bank, Mr. Chris Ofikulu, who represented the UBA Group Chairman, highlighted the contribution of UBA, through its Foundation, to education and development across Africa.
‘As a pan-African bank, operating in 20 countries across our continent, UBA is committed to being a socially responsible institution, and a role model for businesses in Africa. The UBA Foundation actively promotes the socio-economic improvement of the communities in which UBA operates, with a particular emphasis on development in the areas of “Education, Environment, and Economic Empowerment”. We believe in intervening and building capacity within communities, facilitating projects that will act as catalysts for social and economic development’ he stated.
“Tony Elumelu is a product of this great university and is conscious of the need to give back and there is no substitute for world-class educational infrastructure, and this is what has informed the construction of these facilities, that will help equip the future leaders of our great nation Nigeria,” he said.
The AAU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ignatius Onimawo, who expressed his heartfelt gratitude towards the gesture by the UBA Group Chairman, noted that one of the most pressing needs of the University for 2020 had been met, and thanked UBA and Mr Elumelu.
He challenged students to make proper use of the facilities provided by UBA and to ensure that they emerge great leaders and mentors like Elumelu, whose commitment to catalyzing entrepreneurial growth across Africa, through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and institutionalizing African philanthropy, had created a strong positive role model. ‘We at Ambrose Ali university are so proud of our son Tony Elumelu and every time we see him doing good across Africa, we feel joy and accomplishment’ said Onimawo.
Nigerian Bottling Company Appoints Matthieu Seguin As Managing Director
Non-alcoholic beverage giant, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) has announced the appointment of Matthieu Seguin as the company’s Managing Director effective October 3, 2019. Seguin succeeds George Polymenakos who was appointed in August 2016.
Until his appointment, he was the General Manager for Coca-Cola HBC Ireland & Northern Ireland for almost 4 years.
According to a company statement signed by the Public Affairs and Communications Director, Mr. Ekuma Eze, Seguin will lead the organization and it’s over 2,700 employees to deliver growth, business optimization, and profitability for Coca-Cola Hellenic Business in Nigeria.
Eze stated that Seguin is a thoroughbred professional with multi-industry experience and a remarkable track record in business turnaround as well as a strong passion and commitment for people development, having served in different capacities in top management positions.
He further disclosed that Seguin is not new to the company nor the Nigerian business environment, having previously worked in Nigerian Bottling Company as the Commercial Director between 2011 and 2016.
Seguin joined Coca-Cola HBC in December 2009 as Group International Customer Director. In May 2011, he was appointed the Country Commercial Director for Nigerian Bottling Company. Before this, he had worked with Procter and Gamble for almost 18 years in different commercial roles across Europe, Middle East & Africa.
During his time as General Manager for Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, Seguin led the organization through a period of considerable success, delivering profitable growth through a focus on prioritization, simplification and team development.
Matthieu Seguin is an alumnus of the INSEAD School of Business, IMD Business School and Ecole de Management de Normandie. He has served on various boards including as Member of Board of Repak Ireland; Member of the IBEC National Council and Chairman of Food Drink, Ireland’s Prepared Consumer Foods Council.
Public Affairs and Communications Director
Aimart Realtors To Reward Customers In Season’ Promo Draws
Aimart Realtors, one of Nigeria’s premium real estate management and development company, will be hosting the grand finale of her special season’s promo on the December, 14th, 2019. The event which will take place at Air force Officers Mess, No 1 kofo Abayomi Lagos will see winners emerge from various categories of a promo many observers regard as top-notch in this season of a giveaway.
The current Aimart Realtors Promo does not just have huge reductions in the prices of houses and plots of land at all Aimart estates in Ibeju-Lekki and Lagos Mainland, there is a special top-up as customer who makes deposits for any package will smile home with lots of goodies to celebrate this year’s yuletide holidays and new year season.
In a statement issued by the company, the Managing Director Mrs. Oluwabukola Iluyomade, stated that the organization wants to excite all Nigerians during this season as they take advantage of the heavy discount on various packages in all their estates across different parts of Lagos.
In her words, “the vision of Aimart Realtors is to be a one-stop solution in the global real estate business. Besides, we are equally poised to provide precise, accurate and affordable real estate services that guarantee human dignity, wealth creation, and preservation for our esteemed customers.
“As the season approaches, we decided to provide this icing on the cake for all, right from the first day of October we started the promo till this December that we are ending this special promo”
She added that the excitement of this event is meant to wow everyone and set the stage for a bigger, better and fun-filled new year,
Since its establishment years ago, Aimart Realtors has successfully provided client-oriented solutions and real estate portfolios that offer optimized shelters for both individuals and businesses.
Over time, the company has remained consistent with its vision as “a one-stop solution provider in the global real estate business” and thus continues to design, conceptualize, build and manage decent and affordable residential, office, commercial accommodations that are excellent for habitation and investment.
The company has also created a top-notch standard in delivering worry-free-homes to customers at home and in the diaspora. Giving optimum value to virtually all her clients.
In all her jobs and activities, Aimart Realtors has maintained a clean record of delivering exceptional services in all areas of land documentation, survey plan, C of O and gazette processing and these have kept customers coming back with great satisfaction.
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