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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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Adeboye, AJ Boxer, Ajanaku, Tonto Dikeh Others Hailed As ‘COVID-19 Celebrity Champions’ In July Issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine

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The midsummer issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine identifies certain distinguished Nigerians across multiple sectors, who have lent various support in the fight against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
These individuals are Pastor E. A. Adeboye, David Adeleke (Davido), Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku, Tonto Dikeh, Archbishop Designate Isaac Idahosa, Anthony Joshua.
Others are Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome (Ali Baba), Bankole Wellington, Otunba Femi Davies, Prophet Emmanuel Omale, and Williams Uchemba.
These individuals are hailed as Covid-19 Celebrity Champions on the merit of their various contributions from donating health facilities to the government as isolation centers, making monetary donations to support the fight, championing awareness campaigns, sponsoring researches to find a cure for the virus and supporting thousands of indigent Nigerians who have suffered economic hardship as a result of the lockdown.
Get a copy of the July Issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine to scoop all the details and visit www.applesbite.com for commentaries and news.
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Zimvest Economy Conversations: Financial Experts Call for Reorganization of Nigeria’s Market Architecture

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Stakeholders in the Nigerian Capital market, Asset Management, and Banking Industries have called for a rethink of the nation’s economic philosophy and a reset of the financial market architecture. This was part of the major takeaways from the “Zimvest Economy Conversations”, a thought-leadership series of Digital Private Wealth and Investment Management Firm, Zimvest (Zedcrest Investment Managers) held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Giving the opening remark during the virtual event, Business Head of Zimvest, Gbenga Adigun, noted that investors are gravely concerned with investment returns in light of the current low yield environment while financial institutions are thinking of how their product development and service delivery should evolve with the changing needs of investors.

Bola Onadele Koko, CEO of FMDQ Group while delivering the keynote speech on the event theme “The Economic Landscape and Investor Preferences in Post-pandemic Africa”, talked about the toll the growing pandemic has had on African markets. He laid emphasis on the slow down in key segments of the economy including the financial markets, tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investments. He called for a rethink of Nigeria’s economic philosophy with clarity from the fiscal policymakers which will be critical for gaining investors’ confidence.

According to him, “Now is the time to develop new and ingenious ways to develop and drive the Nigerian financial market and in the continent at large. Private capital will especially be more essential as recent shocks have shown the limits of Governments’ abilities particularly in developing countries”, he said.

The capital market leader also stated that FX reforms will be critical for the Nigerian economy at this point; noting that trading activity in the Nigerian Fixed-Income and Interbank Currencies market is down by 55% due to economic slowdown linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

All panelists in this first episode of the thought-leadership series pointed out that most investors were affected by the pandemic and are looking for further ways to diversify their portfolios that may end the year on a negative real return.

Speaking during the panel session, Abiola Adekoya, Wealth Expert and Ex-CEO at RMB Securities, stated that one of the key things that investors are concerned about in this era is the need for diversification, more liquidity, and higher investment returns.

In her words: “A lot of investors have been focused on one product and this pandemic has shown that that is not enough. The nascent interest in alternative assets has shown that there is strong liquidity in the overlooked retail space and Investment managers should pay keen attention and develop alternative assets products, and reduce the reliance on the traditional Fixed income, Money markets, and Equity offerings.

Buttressing Abiola’s position on alternative assets, Esiri Agbeyi, Partner and Head Private Wealth Services, PwC Nigeria, emphasized the need for investors to take keen interest in private equity and other alternative assets investments. She shared a PWC survey on Family Offices. The survey revealed that 63% of family businesses leaned towards private equity as an investment portfolio. Local pools of private capital are important to drive economic development

Onome Komolafe, Divisional Head of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), stated the need for improved product development and differentiation, clear market segmentation, and smart communication as tools that financial services firms can deploy in evolving with the changing consumer behavior. She also pointed to premium service delivery and technological innovation as crucial to the democratization of investment opportunities in Africa.

The Group Executive, Treasury & Financial Institutions at First Bank, Ini Ebong, pointed out the present opportunity available for investors, regulators, institutions, market practitioners to reset Nigerian financial market architecture. He noted that this opportunity presents itself mostly around periods of crisis.

According to him, as markets develop, the investing public becomes more able to embrace risk and go for higher return instruments outside traditional bank-based deposits.

“If you want high returns on investment, you must be willing to take on more risky investment products”, said Adetoun Dosunmu, Treasurer at FBN Merchant Bank. “Giving the highly specialized nature of investing, working with a regulated fund manager will be most beneficial to the investor in the long run and would protect against fraud and sharp practices from the teeming number of platforms offering untested investment opportunities”.

During his closing remark, the Founder of the Zedcrest Group and the Chief Host of the event, Saheed Adedayo Amzat, CFA, called on the Nigerian capital market stakeholders to unite to further capital formation in the country. He sounded a note of warning to Nigerians on suspicious wealth generation platforms.

“Many unsuspecting investors over the last three decades have lost their funds to unregulated institutions that promised unbelievable returns. All stakeholders in the sector need to speak up and inform the unsuspecting public about investment platforms. Our regulators need to do more with the support of all players in the Investment management space”, he opined.

The much-anticipated event lived up to its billings as over 1,150 participants engaged the speakers on investment challenges and opportunities they can tap into post-COVID.

Zimvest, the newly launched Investment Management subsidiary of Zedcrest, plans to be at the nexus of a continuing conversation series around Investment management and economic policy landscapes. The second edition of the series is to be announced soon.

A poll conducted during the event also shows that over 60% of participants prioritized “Capital Preservation” when choosing an investment option. Over 72% were concerned about inflation and exchange rate fluctuations and over 81% were concerned about Proven Track Record, Regulatory Compliance, and Transparency when choosing an investment management partner. The session ended at exactly 1 pm on the day.

For more information, please email [email protected]

A replay of this session can be watched via:

https://zoom.us/rec/play/upcscbr–z83GtOSuQSDBqcvW9W0e6KsgCVI__dYy0yyWiNQNlShYbAaMLScQgqeV7fIjyl2RsrXPBOZ

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PSHAN, Aig-Imoukhuede Kick off Design Phase of PHC Adoption Programme

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Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, in collaboration with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN) has unveiled a new initiative geared towards significantly improving Nigeria’s healthcare system at the grassroots level.

The innovative strategy, in furtherance of a vision from an earlier stakeholders’ roundtable, entails delivering one Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in each of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) at global standards.

Under this private sector driven initiative, universal health access will be provided for low-income citizens residing in rural and urban areas through the Adopt-a-Health Facility Programme (ADHFP).

ADHFP, according to a release issued by the CEO of PSHAN, Mr. Sonny Nwarisi, will be sponsored by a group of Angel Investors and other institutions. These “Angels” will each take responsibility for one or more PHCs – they will build and operate the PHCs for the period of adoption under strict rules and guidelines. The ADHFP is a multi-impact initiative with several benefits including Saving lives, Improvement in health outcomes, Job creation, and Gender empowerment

Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede and PSHAN recently initiated the ADHFP design phase which will be handled by Vesta Healthcare Partners, a global healthcare consultancy firm.

This consultancy engagement is expected to deliver key program components such as Legal and Regulatory Framework, PPP Framework, PHC facility and management standards, Financing Arrangements, Governance Arrangements, Supply Chain Management, and Technology & Systems.

The design phase will involve the active participation of notable development-focused organizations including Global Citizen, ABCHealth, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), MTN Nigeria Plc, Dangote Group, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Stanbic-IBTC Bank, PwC, Cisco, Ford Foundation, Nigerian Stock Exchange, and Flying Doctors Nigeria.

Others include Africa Practice, Cedar Advisory Partners, GBCHealth, Health Federation of Nigeria, Health Law, Eti-Osa Local Government, JNC International Ltd, Johnson & Johnson, Justice in Healthcare, Lagos State Government, MSD for Mothers, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), ONE Campaign, PharmAccess Foundation, Women-At-Risk International Foundation as well as the Lagos State Government and the SSA to the President on Sustainable Development Goals among others.

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