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Lagos Government Honors Chaplain Sacked By Ex-Gov Ambode For Disrespecting His Wife In 2017

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Emotions ran high at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Ikeja, on Wednesday, as the Lagos State Government honoured a former presiding Chaplain of the chapel, Venerable Femi Taiwo.

The congregation, consisting of church members, family, friends and well-wishers of the cleric, sang songs after songs as they celebrated the occasion.

The state Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, who was joined by top officials of the ministry, presented a gift to Taiwo on behalf of the government.

It was learnt that the special service, which held for about 30 minutes, was kept under wraps, as many church members were not informed.

In May 2017, It was reported that Taiwo, his wife and their two children were evicted from the vicarage after being given a 24-hour notice to quit.

Church members contributed money to buy cooking utensils for the family, even as a new accommodation was sought for them.

Taiwo had been accused of not according Bolanle, wife of then-governor Akinwunmi Ambode, preference and recognition during an anointing service.

Bolanle, with her entourage, was reported to have stormed out of the Sunday service in a fit of rage.

Efforts by women leaders in the church to persuade them to stay on were said to have been rebuffed.

Shortly after they left, the priest was served a dismissal letter by the chapel’s governing council.

The incident had generated outrage from Nigerians, who criticised the former governor and his wife for humiliating the chaplain.

Head of the African Church, Ifako Diocese, Rt. Rev. Michael Adeyemi, who seconded the cleric to the chapel, had said Mrs. Ambode committed a sacrilege.

However, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, justified the government action, saying the priest was a government employee and therefore could be fired by his employers.

Bamgbola also dissociated Bolanle from Taiwo’s sacking.

The Christian leader, however, parried questions on the propriety of the 24-hour eviction order.

Two years and six months after, the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture, honoured Taiwo.

A member of the chapel said the special service was kept secret, adding that officials of the ministry, including the commissioner, special adviser, permanent secretary and some members of staff were present.

“Everything was done very quickly too. We started with a hymn, followed by an address by the special adviser to the governor. After brief remarks, the commissioner presented a gift to Taiwo,” he stated.

The source said though the government’s action was commendable, the Church wanted the priest to be honoured in a bigger way.

A senior official of the chapel said he got a text about the event around 2.00 p.m. on Tuesday.

He insisted that the programme was an initiative of the state government.

He stated, “I got a text stating that the ministry was coming to the chapel to honour Venerable Taiwo. Some members started sharing and spreading the message till late last night (Tuesday).

“When we arrived, the special adviser to the governor was the first to talk.

“He said something like, ‘Since I have been in Alausa, nobody has told me that you (Taiwo) stole money; nobody said you are a womaniser.’

“It was a very brief remark testifying to the integrity of the priest and I believe that was all Venerable Taiwo wanted.”

Our Correspondent learnt that the female group in the church turned out in a colourful aso ebi to mark the occasion.

The source said despite the short notice, the women mobilised and organised to wear the uniform to honour Taiwo.

While thanking the state governor for the honour, he appreciated Nigerians for their kind words.

Taiwo said, “I thank God for His faithfulness and the uncommon grace and rare privilege He has given to me.

“I thank the Lagos State Government and Mr. Governor, Aduramigba Iyanuoluwa Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“I appreciate you and everyone. In the midst of the storm of life, you stood by me.

“The day I was to leave here, I saw angels coming down in the form of men.

“Spontaneously, I saw members of this church come around me and providing all a man could need to survive.

“What happened that day, nobody prepared for it; nobody thought of it. But God went ahead and made the crooked way straight.

“I thank and appreciate all of you and I pray that the glory of God will shine on your lives.

“Throughout the time I spent here, I had no regrets, because you were all around me.

“That is why I cannot forget this place; I cannot forget your beautiful faces.”

BIG STORY

19-Year-Old Yabatech Student Arrested Over Salawa Abeni’s Nude Pictures

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The operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) have arrested a 19-year-old National Diploma holder of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos as the brain behind the blackmail of Queen Salawa Abeni with nude photographs.

The suspect, Olufowoke Oladunjoye Emmanuel, a resident of Brentfield Avenue, Peace Estate, Magboro, Ogun State, was picked up by the Decoy Team of Rapid Response Squad last week Thursday after three days of monitoring him.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu had in the wake of *the* attempt by an unknown individual to blackmail Alhaja Salawa Abeni sometime in April 2020, directed the Commander, Rapid Response Squad, DCP Olatunji Disu to fish out the suspect.

After a technical diagnosis of the complaint, the Decoy Team narrowed down on the suspect a few days later.

Sources close to the team disclosed that the suspect couldn’t be picked because of the prevalence of COVID-19.

The suspect in his statement to the police confessed to having been the mastermind behind the ploy to publish some nude pictures of Waka Queen in exchange for money, adding that he was alone in the scheme.

The suspect, a 2017/2018 Electrical Engineering student of Yabatech, disclosed that he saw the nude pictures in a memory card which he picked up on the floor in Yabatech sometime in November 2019.

He added that after downloading the nude photographs of Salawa Abeni on his phone, he picked up her mobile number from her Instagram page.

“On 1st of April, 2020, I chatted her up and also called her after sending a few of the photos to her online.

My intention was to negotiate with her for a few bucks and for me to destroy the photographs.

I thought everything was going on fine until the following day when I heard the news of the blackmail over the radio. I was with my mother. She was even cursing the blackmailer unknown to her that I was the brain behind it.

I immediately sneaked out, destroyed the memory card, and threw my mobile phone and SIM card into a nearby wetland in Magboro. Since then, I never mentioned it to anyone and called Madam Salawa Abeni about it again”, he disclosed.

Commenting on the arrest, CP Hakeem Odumosu stated that no individual would be allowed to commit a crime in Lagos from any State or escape to other States in Nigeria to evade arrest.

He advised guardians to monitor their wards, emphasizing that the internet is a fertile ground for opportunities but the State Command would not allow criminals to use it as an avenue to exploit law-abiding Lagosians.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Lagos Police Officer Kills Colleagues In Shooting Spree, Fires 30 Bullets [PHOTOS]

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A yet- to- be named policeman on Sunday morning allegedly opened fire on his colleagues at Onikan, killing some of them.

The yet- to- be named officer went berserk around 5am following a disagreement with other members of his team.

It was gathered that the trigger- happy cop hijacked their operational vehicle after shooting them and drove straight to Akoka in Yaba around 5am where he attempted to access a compound but couldn’t.

According to sources, the building had a metallic door and the policeman said to be attached to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) allegedly opened sporadic fire on the property to gain access.

Residents said they were frightened and took cover not knowing what was happening since it was around 5am.

According to The Nation, no fewer than 30 bullet holes were counted in an apartment, corridor, and ceiling of the premises.

It was learnt that the shooter, who spotted black outfits and rose in a white escort van with siren, might have become more frustrated after his vehicle stuck in a ditch when he made to escape.

Sources said distress calls were made to the Bariga Police Division and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) who deployed operatives to the scene and restrained the active shooter.

From short videos obtained by The Nation from residents, the trigger happy cop was screaming incoherent, a development suggestive of a possible mental illness.

He was heard alleging that some persons wanted to corrupt him and that he should be allowed to go home in the name of Jesus.

At the time of this report, police spokesman Bala Elkana told our correspondent that the command was investigating the matter to understand what truly happened, adding that a statement would be released later.

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BIG STORY

City Photographer, Bright Izuwa Celebrates 30th Birthday With N30 Million Photography Studio In Lagos

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In an era where youths are either dependents, restive, or trying to make a headway with their lives, Bright Izuwa, an Abia State-born Photographer and an under thirty (30) serial entrepreneur who horned his photography skills from a renowned studio have set the pace in his time.

Bright is set to celebrate his 30th birthday with his new photography studio valued at thirty million naira (N30Million) and situated in the heart of Ikeja, Lagos.

According to Bright, June 4th Studios which is coined from his month and date of birth, located at 13B, Ladipo Kuku Street Allen-Avenue Ikeja Lagos Nigeria will definitely become the client’s favourite after a first-time experience, he assures.

The state-of-the-art studio comprises a Makeup Section, Photo Book Section, a Photography Studio section, a passport section, a dedicated dressing room section, and a section for his photography academy.

He further reiterated his readiness for the studio’s grand opening on the 4th of June, 2020 where individuals born on the month of June will be giving free shoots while others not born on the month of June will pay an affordable fee alongside loads of complimentary shoots.

 

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