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Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak, Reps Members Take Delivery of 2020 Toyota Camry Cars, Begin Distribution

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The House of Representatives has started taking delivery of the Toyota Camry 2020 model cars acquired for members as official cars, otherwise called utility vehicles, The PUNCH is reporting.

Our correspondent sighted some of the cars at different parking lots within the National Assembly Complex, on Thursday.

The legislators had at an executive (closed-door) session on February 5, 2020, resolved to purchase 400 units of the exotic car.

The House has, however, kept sealed lips on the cost of each unit as the contract for the supply it was learnt was not awarded to accredited Toyota dealers.

The House procured the V6 Limited Edition variant of the car.

Chairman of the Committee on House Services, Mr. Wale Raji, who confirmed delivery of the cars declined to respond to further inquiries.

The cars, which belong to the National Assembly, are usually auctioned to the lawmakers after four years.

A check on the website of Toyota revealed that each of the vehicles – depending on the variant, has a price tag of between US$25,000 to the US $35,000, excluding the cost of shipping and customs duties, which is about 100 percent of the actual cost of each unit.

For instance, those with a higher specification, which most often than not is the preferred choice of lawmakers, could cost taxpayers a tidy sum. Vehicles in this range are: XLE at $29,455, XLE V6 at $34,580, XSE at $30,005 and XSE V6 at $35,130.

Already, about 14 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado sports utility vehicles have already been handed out to presiding as well as other principal officers and chairmen of select House committees.

Some lawmakers who were contacted on Thursday said they had yet to receive vehicles delivered in “the first batch.”

Giving a breakdown of how the vehicles are shared, a member of the House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said, the 400 saloon cars would be allocated to each of the 360 members and some top management staff, Chiefs of Staff to the (two) presiding officers as well as some of their special advisers and assistants.

The lawmaker explained that new members who did not get committee appointments would benefit from the first batch.

The source said, “I was told 100 have already arrived and they are sharing them to new members who are not chairmen and deputy chairmen (of committees). The next batch will be for returning (ranking) members who are neither chairmen nor deputy chairmen. The last batch will go to the ranking members with appointments.”

The Committee on House Services and the National Assembly Management, led by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, had constituted a joint committee to oversee the acquisition, verification and distribution to the lawmakers.

The Committee on House Services, which also exists in the Senate, serves as the protocol and welfare department.

The joint committee was set up as some members had alleged that the National Assembly had become a “dumping ground” for smuggled and refurbished automobiles.

BIG STORY

#JusticeForUwa: Students Protest In Benin, Demand Death Sentence For Sex Offenders

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday occupied major streets of Benin City, the Edo state capital in protest.

The students demanded justice for Uwaila Omozuwa, an undergraduate of the University of Benin who was recently raped and killed.

They also demanded that a death sentence be pronounced for sex offenders.

The President of the students’ union, Danielson Akpan, spoke with Channels Television during the protest demanding justice for their late colleague.

The lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Dennis Idahosa, who also joined the students in the solidarity march vowed that he would move a motion to support capital punishment at the floor of the house.

Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo had earlier on Wednesday promised that efforts would not be spared in ensuring that the culprits involved in the circumstances that led to Uwaila’s death are apprehended and made to face the law.

Kokumo made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.

Uwa, a 22-year-old student of UNIBEN was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, Edo State Capital.

The hoodlums were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

The news of her death has continued to spark outrage with trends on social media demanding justice and an end to rape.

(Channels TV)

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BIG STORY

Buhari Is Not In Charge Of Aso Rock —- Wole Soyinka

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Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, says he does not believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is in charge of the country.

Speaking on Thursday during an interview on PlusTv Africa, the renowned writer said the answer to the nation’s problem is decentralization, adding that there’s a need for the people to be historically conscious.

Soyinka was reacting to an open letter written by Umar Dangiwa, retired colonel and former military administrator of Kaduna, to Buhari over the president’s knack for appointing people from his section of the country into office.

“First of all, I was appalled by the silence that followed this revelation. I think those who are responsible for this criminal lopsidedness should be punished. It is not sufficient just to discuss it. It’s criminal,” Soyinka said.

“I have said this before. I don’t believe there is really anybody in charge in Aso Rock. I’m sorry to say this. I’ve been studying the trend over the past year and a half and I believe this president is not in charge of this nation, in so many aspects and directions. I’m convinced he’s not really and totally with it.

“It’s so serious. It is not the fact alone, we know the history of this. We know what it has caused the nation and we know it isn’t over yet. And you say are launching an enquiry. That’s not enough. This man is not in charge.”

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Police Arrest 3 Brothers For The Kidnap and Murder Of A Mother Of 5 In Abuja, Exhume Corpse Of The Deceased For Forensic Examination [GRAPHIC PHOTOS]

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Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested three (3) suspects namely; Johnson Emmanuel – 38yrs, Gideon Emmanuel – 31yrs and Success Emmanuel – 27yrs for the kidnap and gruesome murder of one Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya on 14th May 2020.

The suspects, born by same parents, all-male and native of Isiekenesi, Ideato LGA of Imo State were arrested by the Police in their home town where they had taken refuge after committing the crime in Abuja, in order to evade police arrest.

Investigations that led to the arrest of the suspects is a sequel to complaints received from one Chinedu Ogbonnaya who alleged that his mother, Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, 55yrs, a native of Ozuitem in Bende LGA of Abia State had been kidnapped and a 5-Million naira ransom demanded before she could be released. A comprehensive and painstaking investigation by the police operatives resulted in the arrest of the three (3) suspects, whom, in the course of interrogation, revealed that the victim had long been murdered and buried. Further findings revealed that the victim, a widow, who had been a Facebook friend of the principal suspect – Johnson Emmanuel, was lured from her home in Gwagwalada to visit the suspect. The suspect thereafter took advantage of the visit, served her yoghurt laced with drugs and subsequently had her murdered. The suspect had killed the victim and buried her remains in a septic tank, went ahead to reach out to the family of the victim using her phone and demanded 5-Million naira ransom as pre-condition for her release. ​

Meanwhile, on 4th June 2020, the suspects led a team of investigators alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank. The exhumed body has been taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja for forensic examination.

A Toyota Highlander Jeep belonging to the deceased has also been recovered by Police operatives at a mechanic workshop in Apo where it had been repainted into a different colour, vehicle documents fraudulently changed and ownership of the stolen vehicle criminally transferred to one of the masterminds of the crime – Johnson Emmanuel.

Investigations also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold-off to a third party apparently to obliterate evidence.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni, while commending the operatives for a job well done, reassures that perpetrators of any form of crimes in the country will not go undetected and unpunished. He, however, enjoins citizens to be more security conscious and report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest police station.

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