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200 Days: Lagos Govt Unveils Plans For 4th Mainland Bridge, Other Projects

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Lagos State Government, on Sunday, gave an account of the progress recorded in the last 200 days of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, during an interactive session with journalists, said the State Government will be hosting a live ceremony on Wednesday, to announce prospective firms that meet up deadlines for the Expression of Interest, which will lead to the selection of preferred bidders, for the construction of Fourth Mainland Bridge.

Omotoso added that “the Government will be announcing the Expressionaires at the ceremony, which will officially set a process in motion to realize the project.”

The Commissioner said the current administration had beamed a special focus on infrastructure, traffic management, and transportation, with the aim to reduce the pain residents go through due to gridlocks.

He said Lagos Government had sustained its “aggressive response” to rehabilitating bad roads across the metropolis to ease vehicular movement, noting that about 116 deplorable highways were currently being reconstructed by eight multi-national construction firms deployed by the Government.

The Sanwo-Olu administration, Omotoso said, introduced Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) as a strategy to improve the state of infrastructure by signing agreements with banks and other private financial institutions to embark on rehabilitation of adopted roads as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

He said: “I boldly state, here, that the THEMES Agenda of the Sanwo-Olu Government is on course and will be achieved. The speed of project implementation has now increased, especially since the first 100 days. The intensity is going according to the plan, which is to apply the right treatment at the right time to achieve the desired level of service.

“The government is leveraging the private sector, which controls about 80 percent of the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as crucial in the government’s drive to bridging the infrastructure gap and building the smart city of our dream. Access Bank is partnering with the State Government in the upgrading of a network of roads in Oniru under PIIP arrangement.

“To further bring relief to our people, we will be setting the process in place for the construction of Fourth Mainland Bridge. Next Wednesday is the final day for the submission of Expression of Interest; we will be unveiling the process that will lead to the realization of the project on the day.”

Omotoso said the Government had doubled the resources committed to education and healthcare to boost human capital.

Apart from the 149-bed space Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) completed in Alimosho, the Commissioner said the Sanwo-Olu administration would be delivering two additional MCCs in Badagry and Epe in the coming weeks.

Omotoso said the Government remained committed to using skill acquisition as a tool of empowerment, stressing that 4,885 youths had graduated from the State’s 17 Skill Acquisition Centres located in all the five divisions of Lagos.

The Commissioner said the State Government had increased funding for schools across level, disclosing that the administration had deployed technology to strengthen the output from the State-owned schools.

He said: “In line with our promise, the rehabilitation of public schools has begun, following the inauguration of a Special Committee for the purpose. No fewer than 5,000 primary school teachers will be trained to complete the three-pronged education strategy of fixing the infrastructure, fixing the curriculum and fixing the manpower through recruitment, training and development of teachers.

“Giving credence to our policy to promote a Smart City with technology, this administration organized the Art of Technology Lagos where Governor Sanwo-Olu announced a N250m grant for tech start-ups to encourage our young ones to build their fantastic ideas.”

In the last 200 days, Omotoso said the Sanwo-Olu administration had kept its promise not to discontinue projects inherited from the immediate past administration. He said the Government had revived a number of unfinished and abandoned projects, listing completion of Alhaji Lateef Jakande Housing Estate in Igando and reconstruction of Adiyan Waterworks Phase II and Imota Rice Mill as some of the State-owned projects being revived by the current administration.

On security, Omotoso said the Sanwo-Olu administration had kept its pledge to holding the yearly Town Hall Meeting on Security. The improvement in the support received by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), the Commissioner said, had strengthened the capacity of the State to respond to security breaches on time.

While admitting the Government was working hard to fulfill its campaign promises, Omotoso said the next 100 days would be eventful for the administration, as more welfare projects would be delivered.

“The summary of achievements so far is by no means exhaustive and we shall continue to engage with stakeholders to inform the public of developments in our dear State,” Omotoso said.

In his own part, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Fredric Oladehinde, said there would be strict enforcement of the State’s Traffic Law, which banned commercial motorcycles from major roads. He added that payment of toll at tollgates on Ikoyi and Lekki axes would be electronic from January 4, 2020.

Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai said the state would be completing more housing scheme in the coming weeks

Others State Executive Council members at the event included the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Idris Salako, his counterpart in Special Duties, Hon. Wale Ahmed, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, and Special Adviser on Transportation, Hon. Toyin Fayinka.

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Man Dies After Taking Sex Enhancement Drugs To Satisfy Lady In Onitsha Hotel

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Barely two weeks after a married man was found dead in Lagos, while lodging with a prostitute; another middle-aged man, Paul Okwudili, was confirmed dead Monday morning, after having sex with a lady in Onitsha, Anambra State.

According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Anambra Command, SP Haruna Mohammed, Mr. Okwudili’s cause of death may not be unconnected to an overdose of sex enhancement drugs taken to satisfy the lady.

The statement reads in part: “On the 24/2/2020, at about 0:3am, the manager of Plus View hotel in Onitsha reported at Central Police Station, Onitsha that one Paul Okwudili ‘m’ aged about 40years of Ogboliolosi, off Awka Road, Inland town, Onitsha, allegedly took a lady to the hotel and lodged.

“Minutes later, the lady came out shouting for help and the hotel management who went to the room and discovered the man gasping for breath took him to St Charles Boromeo hospital Onitsha for medical attention where the victim was later confirmed dead by a medical doctor on duty.

“Meanwhile, the scene was visited by Police detectives attached to CPS Onitsha and photograph of the victim obtained. No marks of violence on the deceased body but some drugs were discovered in the hotel room reasonably suspected to be enhancement drugs”.

The Police spokesman said, the corpse has been deposited at the hospital mortuary for autopsy, while the lady was arrested for further investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.

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North Has No Justification To Remain In Power, Presidency Should Go To The South After Buhari —- El-Rufai

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The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has insisted that the North has no justification to remain in power after the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure.

El-Rufai maintained that the Presidency should rightly return to the Southern part of Nigeria.

He said though the constitution of the All Progressives Congress, APC, does not make provision for rotation but in the interest of justice, equity, and fair play, Presidency should go to other regions of the country.

Vanguard quoted him as saying: “The general political consensus in Nigeria is that the Presidency should rotate between the North and the South. It is not written but everyone understands it.

“In some of the parties, like the PDP, it is even written down in their constitution but it was breached in 2015. I think that every politician of honour should understand and abide by that consensus except there is an extenuating circumstance compelling it to be set aside. What could this be?

“President Yar’Adua died in office and it was compulsory for Jonathan to continue but when 2011 election came, there were many people who insisted that Jonathan should step aside for a northerner to complete the tenure of Yar’Adua but I opposed it because I didn’t think it was proper for an incumbent that got there not by his own design should be stopped from contesting when the constitution has not barred him from running.

“In the APC, we deliberately omitted rotational Presidency in our constitution and the emergence of a presidential candidate does not take into account zoning and that was why in 2015, Rochas Okorocha from the East contested, Sam Nda-Isaiah contested, Buhari, Kwankwaso and others contested.”

El-Rufai a chieftain of APC, added that presidential candidates are chosen on the basis of merit and general acceptance.

“I can say that as distinct from the PDP, APC has no rotational Presidency but candidates are selected strictly on the basis of political merit and the general acceptability of the candidate.

“I want to say that those of us from Northern Nigeria honour agreements. We do not violate unwritten political agreements and I will be the last person to lead in violating that agreement. I may have a personal view but that should be the basis. I don’t care where you come from but I look for merit.

“But as a group, the Northern APC will have to sit down and endorse someone, most likely someone from the South, because after eight years of Buhari, I don’t think the Presidency should remain in the north unless there is some extenuating circumstances. But all things being equal, we will honour our agreement and we keep our words,” he said.

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Woman, 3 Others Jailed 160 Years Over Fake Naira Notes

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A woman, Hadiza Bello, and three other accomplices have been sentenced to 160 years in prison by a Federal High Court, sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, for dealing in fake naira notes.

The convicts were dragged before the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission after they were caught at a checkpoint along Girei-Yola Road.

A statement from the ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said five suspects — Hadiza, Mohammed Dauda, Bello Salisu, Ali Adamu and Hassan Bello, were involved in a deal to exchange the sum of N5m counterfeit notes for N1m real notes, adding that Hassan, a native doctor, could not be sentenced because of his death before conviction.

The statement said, “A Federal High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, has sentenced four persons, including a woman, to 160 years’ imprisonment on a multiple-count charge of conspiracy and possession of counterfeit banknotes.

“Justice Abdulazeez Anka, who handed down the sentences to the convicts in the case brought by the ICPC, ruled that they would spend 10 years in prison on each of the four counts preferred against them.

“Three of the convicts, Hadiza Bello, Mohammed Dauda and Bello Salisu, had in March 2017, left Kaduna and were joined by the fourth convict, Ali Adamu, from Kano, to meet a native doctor, Hassan Bello, who was a counterfeiter at Wamdeo Uba, Borno State, with the intention to procure about N5m counterfeit banknotes to exchange for about N1m genuine banknotes from a customs officer.

“The deal with the customs officer did not go through for undisclosed reasons. However, as they made their way back, they were caught at a checkpoint on Girei-Yola Road, with counterfeit N1000 banknotes to the value of N5, 504,000 by soldiers on duty and subsequently handed over to the ICPC.”

The anti-graft body said an investigation launched by its officers led to the residence of the native doctor at Wamdeo Uba, where he was arrested.

“A search conducted on the premises revealed more counterfeit N1000 bank notes reading the same serial number to the value of N26,000.

“At the conclusion of investigations, except for Bello Salisu, who was charged with abetment to commit an offense of possession of counterfeit banknotes, the other four suspects, including the native doctor counterfeiter, were arraigned on four counts of being in possession of counterfeit banknotes, which is an offense contrary to sections 5(1) (b) and 6(2) (b), and punishable under Section 5(1) (c) of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act, cap. C35, LFN 2004,” the statement added.

In his ruling, Justice Anka found the accused persons guilty on each of the four counts and sentenced them to cumulative 40 years’ imprisonment each, although the sentences would run concurrently.

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