A driver with the Bus Rapid Transit, Collins Nnodi, has gone into hiding after crushing a businesswoman, Mrs Grace Okeleke, to death at the Agric bus stop in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
The incident happened on Monday.
It was gathered that Grace, the wife of the Head of Public Relations, Globacom, Andrew Okeleke, attempted to cross the road after being dropped off by her driver around 7.20 pm, when Nnodi, who was driving a bus with number plate EPE 59 XR, knocked her down.
It was learnt that the businesswoman died on the spot.
However, Nnodi was said to have zoomed off and abandoned the victim at the scene of the accident.
Annoyed by the development, it was gathered that an angry mob vandalized some BRT buses plying the route.
Explaining the circumstances surrounding the incident, the family said in a statement that until her death, Grace was a minister at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, adding that the businesswoman was survived by her husband and children.
The statement read in part, “The death has been announced of Mrs Grace Okeleke, wife of the Head, Public Relations, Globacom, Mr Andrew Okeleke.
“Mrs Okeleke died in a motor accident on the Lagos Road, Ikorodu, on Monday evening. She was hit by a Lagos BRT bus with number plate EPE 59 XR.
“The deceased was crossing the road after being dropped off by her driver just after the Agric bus stop, inwards Ketu, where there was no pedestrian bridge when she was hit by the BRT bus. She died on the spot before she could be taken to hospital.
“The late Mrs Okeleke, a businesswoman, hailed from Issele-Mkpitime, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. She was until her demise a top leader of her town’s women group in Lagos as well as a minister of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Grace Hall Parish, Ikorodu.
“Mrs Okeleke is survived by her husband and children. Burial arrangements will be announced later by her family.”
When contacted, the Chief Security Officer, Primero Transport Services Limited, the franchise holder of the BRT buses, Cletus Okodolor, while commiserating with the family, condemned Nnodi for abandoning Grace at the scene of the accident.
Okodolor said, “We sympathize with the family and we are shocked at the action of the busman. The accident involved one of our buses, with number 344. The bus was coming from Ikorodu inwards Mile 12, and she was trying to cross to the other side of the road without actually looking properly; she entered the BRT corridor to cross and there was contact.
“The woman died on the spot. But the busman did not help matters, because he drove off out of fear of being hurt and refused to put us in the picture. Suddenly, we started getting calls that an angry mob was vandalizing our vehicles because one of our buses knocked someone down on the corridor and we quickly informed the Traffic Division of the Owutu Police Station and its personnel were dispatched in the area.
“When we got there, we learnt that the husband had taken the corpse to the morgue. But during our investigation, we realized that the busman had parked his bus in front of our office and left the engine running, instead of parking it at the right place.
“So, we started searching for the busman, but he was nowhere to be found and that was how we realized that it was the busman, who knocked down the woman.
“The driver is still at large and we are working with the police to get him arrested. We have also taken the bus to the police station.”
Nigerians Should Vote Us Out In 2023 If They Are Tired Of Our Faces —- Senate President
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has warned that there could be anarchy if the Senate is scrapped as being clamoured by some Nigerians.
Rather, he challenged those who are not comfortable with the senators in the current 9th Senate to vote them out in 2023 if they don’t like their faces.
Lawan stated this on Friday while declaring open, a retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission in Abuja.
He described the Senate as a leveler which ensured that all parts of the country are equally represented unlike the House of Representatives where states with higher populations produce the highest number of lawmakers.
The Senate President also faulted the argument of those clamouring for the scrapping of the Senate because of the perceived jumbo pay being earned by the senators.
He said the annual budget of the National Assembly is less than one percent of the nation’s 2021 budget.
He said, “Without the National Assembly and the legislature across the country, what you have is not a democracy anymore.
“So the value of the legislature and National Assembly to Nigerians is democracy. If you take out the legislature, it might not be a dictatorship but certainly not a democracy.
“So when we always debate on jumbo pay and not the functions of the National Assembly – what we are able to do and what we are not able to do.
“Ask for what you think we should be doing rather than saying close down the Senate or the National Assembly. Do you understand the implications of what would happen if we close the senate? I am not saying because I am in the Senate.
“The Senate is a leveler because, in the House of Representatives, the population is major – that is why some states will have five, six members and others have up to 20.
“So if you say close down the Senate, there will be a day when people will cry foul.
” In the Senate, what Kano produces is what Bayelsa will produce. Three senators in Kano and three senators in Bayelsa, so that stabilizes the system.
“In a budget of N13 trillion, the National Assembly will get about N125bn to N128bn. That is less than 1 percent. So where is the remaining 99 percent?
Presidency, CBN, Legislature Back Lagos Recovery Effort, As Sanwo-Olu Unveils Team
The period of brooding over the devastation suffered by Lagos State in the violence that trailed the hijack of the #EndSARS protests is now past. The recovery effort has begun in earnest, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, putting the hammer down on the process of rebuilding the lost assets of the State.
An eight-man team, led by the chairman of Citibank Nigeria, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, constituted a fortnight ago by the Governor to coordinate the recovery effort, was formally inaugurated at an event tagged “Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos” held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in the Secretariat, Alausa.
The forum was attended by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Senator Representing Lagos West, Solomon Adeola, Chief Judge of Lagos, Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba and chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, represented by the group’s Executive Director, Dr. Mansur Ahmed.
Also, captains of industry, members of the organized private sector, and members of diplomatic corps graced the event aimed at restoring the infrastructure destroyed in the violence.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu described the proportion of the devastation suffered by the State as unprecedented, saying the coordinated violence set Lagos economy – fifth largest in Africa – back by hundreds of billions of Naira.
The destruction, the Governor said, tore down the fortress of commerce Lagos built over centuries ago, adding that those who carried out the violence made an attempt to ruin values that stood the State out as the center of creativity and innovation in the country.
Sanwo-Olu said the consultative forum was to set the stage for the necessary public-private partnerships and collaborations required for the task of rebuilding and restoration of the infrastructure that was destroyed.
He said: “The violence we witnessed last October is the most widespread carnage the State has seen in decades. Every aspect of life and livelihood in Lagos was affected – government buildings, offices, public monuments, and historical archives, public infrastructure, and very sad too, private property and investments.
“The violence has, no doubt, set our economy back by hundreds of billions of Naira, and impacted our confidence. We have, however, found hope and great strength in the offers of assistance from far and wide, which culminated in the constitution of the Lagos Rebuild Committee to coordinate our efforts to rebuild and upgrade our state.
“We seek to restore the infrastructure that was destroyed, to revive the energy and confidence of everyone who has been affected by these losses, to help restore the confidence of the people of Lagos in the infinite potentials of Lagos. The State Government cannot do this alone. We need all the help that we can get.”
The Governor disclosed that the State Government would be setting aside a huge amount of money as the State’s collateral in the recovery effort, adding that the Cardoso-led team that will be coordinating the Trust Fund would be given legislative backing through an Executive Bill that will soon be transmitted to the House of Assembly.
He promised that money that will be donated into the Trust Funds would go into rebuilding and re-tooling security infrastructure, strengthening public transportation systems, restoring judicial and local government operations, rebuilding damaged public monuments.
Sanwo-Olu emphasized that transparency and accountability would be foundational elements in the implementation of the mandate of the rebuilding committee, stressing that the fund-raising and disbursement would be supervised by FBN Trustees Limited.
Lagos, Prof. Osinbajo said, remains a critical federating unit around which Nigeria’s fortune is tied. As a city with a flourishing economy, the Vice President said Lagos deserved the support of both the Government and private sector to heal, noting that the task of reconstructing the destroyed assets would be painful and costly.
Osinbajo charged the rebuilding committee not to be discouraged by the enormity of the task before them, while also urging them to pursue the rebuilding process with an objective to restore trust between the Government and citizens.
The Vice President pledged President Buhari’s support for the State-led recovery effort but said the presidency still awaited the full report of Lagos destruction in order to know the level of support required from the Federal Government.
He said: “On behalf of the Federal Government, let me assure you that we stand with the great people of Lagos as you undertake this difficult journey of rebuilding the lost assets. It my conviction that Lagos and the nation at large will emerge from this crisis better and stronger.”
Emefiele said the unrest impacted greatly on the national economy, stressing that Lagos particularly must sustain the recovery effort to protect its economy from catastrophic consequences.
Given the magnitude of losses and devastation that trailed the unrest, the CBN Governor disclosed that the Bankers’ Committee and key stakeholders in the private sector would be unveiling a recovery blueprint next week to support all households and businesses affected by the crisis. The intervention being delivered under Coalition Against Covid-19 (Ca-COVID) Alliance will lead to an effort of rebuilding all the razed police stations and a five-year plan to generate millions of jobs for the youth.
The CBN boss said: “I am pleased to note that the Ca-COVID Alliance will, over the next week, be unveiling a blueprint that will provide details of our planned support that positively affect households and businesses. This is in addition to measures that will create millions of jobs for our youths over the next five years. Many parts of the country were affected by the unrest, but Lagos remains the worst hit.
“The Ca-COVID Alliance is fully aware of the vital relationship between security and a prosperous economy. The damage done to police stations in different parts of the country can undermine the provision of adequate security, which is vital to households and businesses. The Ca-COVID Alliance is committed to the rebuilding and rehabilitation of all the 44 police stations destroyed in the unrest. More than half of the police stations are in Lagos; funds will be provided to rebuild these stations.”
Emefiele said Bankers’ Committee had started to take stock of private businesses destroyed in the violence, pointing out that those with existing loan facilities and those with no loan will be supported to come back on their feet.
Gbajabiamila said the level of destruction was heartbreaking and the loss on hardworking people was monumental, praising Gov. Sanwo-Olu for his doggedness and courage to lift the spirit of the State in the face of devastation.
The Speaker said the effort to restore Lagos would go beyond budget, adding: “It requires special intervention from the Federal Government.”
Cardoso promised that members of the rebuilding committee would give their full commitment to the recovery process, pointing that the best decision Sanwo-Olu took was to get the private sector involved in the rebuilding effort.
“The task may seem tough and arduous, but it is not unachievable. We will do it,” Cardoso said.
Other members of the rebuilding committee are the Managing Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi LP, Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi, SAN; Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman; Co-Founder and CEO, Flutterwave; Mr. Gbenga Agboola; Vice Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank, Mrs. Bola Adesola – all representing the private sector – and a representative of an International Donor Agency.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Jimi Hotonou, are members of the Board representing the public sector.
Corpses Litter Streets In Benin As Cult War Rages, Over 30 Reported Dead
The security situation in Benin, Edo state capital, has taken a turn for the worse following an increase in cases of cult-related killings, kidnapping, and armed robbery.
No fewer than 30 people are said to have been killed in cult-related killings within the past week.
The cult-related killings, mostly linked to clashes between rival Vikings and Aye confraternities, have heightened the fears of the residents in different parts of Benin.
Three more persons were reportedly killed on Sunday by suspected cultists with dead bodies littering different parts of the city.
Violence had broken out during the #EndSARS protest in the state. There was also a jailbreak at two correctional centres in the state and about 1,993 inmates were reportedly released by hoodlums.
Some persons also lost their lives during the protests. Properties were vandalized and carted away while about eight police stations were razed and their armories reportedly looted.
Owing to the chaos, the state government declared a 24-hour curfew on October 19 but it was later reviewed from 10 pm till 6 am on November 3.
Nightlife in the capital city has since ground to a halt as incidents of kidnappings and armed robbery have escalated.
Some of these hotspots include the Upper Sakponba axis in Ikpoba-Okha Council; Ogida Quarters in Egor Council; New Benin by Constain junction; Erediauwa axis; Satana market on Benin-Ore-Sapele road; Y-junction, Nomayo; Ogida Barrack and Isihor quarter.
An assistant commissioner of police (ACP) in charge of the area command and two other senior police officers were also reportedly shot last Wednesday at Murtala Muhammed Way, close to Third East Circular road junction.
The state police have called for information from the public that will help recover arms and ammunition looted from police stations.
Babatunde Kokumo, the state commissioner of police, said the attack on police facilities, burning of police stations and patrol vehicles during the #EndSARS protests have affected their operations.
But Kokumo assured residents that the police will gradually resume work at their duty posts to check the escalating crime in the state.
According to him, in Upper Sokponba, three police facilities were burnt down displacing the DPOs and other police officers in these divisions.
“These officers now report at the state command headquarters, we now send them on patrol from there so you should expect some hitches, but we will continue to work and get things right,” he said.
“The EndSARS protests, which were hijacked by hoodlums, have actually impacted negatively on police operations and unleashed attacks on police facilities.
“How do you expect, where 200o inmates escaped, for things to be normal? We were doing our best to arrest the criminals in Edo before the jailbreak and we are equally trying our best now to see that the escapees are re-arrested and brought to book.
“All these arms and ammunition were carted away under the eyes of some people, some people are having information about these and they are not giving us the information, let those who have such information give us so that we can go after them.”
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Eid Mawlid: FG Declares Thursday As Public Holiday
Corpses Litter Streets In Benin As Cult War Rages, Over 30 Reported Dead
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