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Lagos Traffic May Worsen As FG Plans To Shut Third Mainland Bridge From July 24 For 6 Months To Resume Renovation

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The already bad traffic situation in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city, may get worse, as the Federal Government is set to shut down the popular Third Mainland Bridge, from July 24, for six months.

Olukayode Popoola, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, disclosed this on Monday, July 6, 2020.

According to Popoola, “We want to do maintenance work on Third Mainland Bridge very soon. Most likely on the 24th. We may close it from the 24th of July.’’

“We are still working out the modalities and when we perfect the traffic management plan we will move to site. Everything being expected for the repairs of the bridge arrived the country that is why we want to start the repairs now,’’

The 11.8km bridge is one of the major links between the Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island, and perhaps, takes heavier traffic than the rest of the bridges, which include Carter Bridge and Eko Bridges.

Its partial or full closure means more traffic will now flow to Carter and Eko Bridges. Incidentally, part of the Eko Bridge, from the Alaka end of the Funsho Williams Avenue had been closed to traffic for some months now.

Popoola said that the planned shut down is to enable the Federal Government to carry out maintenance work from July 24, 2020.

According to him, consultations are ongoing towards developing a perfect traffic management architecture that will be very efficient and effective.

There have been reports of some worn-out joints of the bridge, which raised some safety concerns for the users of the bridge. The Federal Government will be working with the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) on how best traffic during this period.

It was constructed in 1990 and was the longest in Africa until 1996 when the 6th October Bridge in Cairo, Egypt, was completed.

BIG STORY

Femi Adesina: Looting Of Warehouses Caused By #EndSARS Protests, Not Poverty

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Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, says the looting of private and public facilities in some parts of the country is as a result of the chaos that came after the #EndSARS protests.

Speaking when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Thursday, Adesina said the breakdown of law and order following the #EndSARS protests provided an opportunity for looting to take place.

He said attributing the looting to poverty was like justifying armed robbery.

He said the looting was pure criminality occasioned by greed, adding that not everyone involved in the act is hungry and poor.

He said: “Criminality is criminality. Would it justify armed robbery because the man was poor? Would you justify armed robbery because the man didn’t have money?

“Just as you cannot justify armed robbery because a man was poor and took a gun to rob another person, you can’t also justify the lootings going on because it is pure criminality. My view is that it is not everybody that is hungry that engaged in that looting. This is the truth, it is greed and pure criminality.

“Criminality will always be criminality and anarchy promotes criminality. What has happened in the past two or three weeks led to what is happening now. If there was cohesion and tranquility in society, this would not have happened. Therefore, it is a corollary to the near anarchic situation that came on the country because of the protest.

“If you did not have people burning police stations, killing policemen, burning private and public property, you won’t have this kind of looting. That means those same people will be in society and will find ways to eke out a living but because the situation was created for near-anarchy that is why you have this.

“So, I don’t agree that it is all about poverty. Yes in any country, you will have people that are poor, hungry…that is one of the reasons you have the government to ensure that the number of the poor reduces progressively.

“So this crowd of people you see going to loot are not necessarily hungry or angry; they are taking advantage of the collapse of law and order that came as a result of the protest.”

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BIG STORY

Despite Wide Support, US ‘Opposes’ Okonjo-Iweala’s Emergence As WTO DG

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Despite wide support for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s candidate for the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the US has reportedly expressed its opposition to her emergence.

Recall that we had earlier reported that Okonjo-Iweala won the popular vote by a wide margin, with the expectation of an announcement after a WTO meeting in Geneva.

The heads of delegation of the WTO met by 3 pm but failed to reach a consensus.

After the meeting, Reuters is reporting that the US refused to support the candidature of Okonjo-Iweala, thereby protracting the process.

Bloomberg had initially reported that the US was leaning towards Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean candidate.

It was reported earlier today that Okonjo-Iweala had emerged winner of the race with support from 104 of all 164 member countries of the WTO.

Those countries include many in Africa and the European Union, where she had received public support.

Despite being an American citizen, sources say the US does not consider Okonjo-Iweala as being committed enough to the interests of the world power at the flagship trade body.

Unlike the World Bank where the US has a larger voting power than other countries, the WTO is run differently, by the consensus of every member country.

“The WTO is run by its member governments. All major decisions are made by the membership as a whole,” the WTO website reads.

“In this respect, the WTO is different from some other international organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“Where consensus is not possible, the WTO agreement allows for voting — a vote being won with a majority of the votes cast and on the basis of ‘one country, one vote’.”

The general council of the WTO will meet again to attempt a consensus or recourse to the vote.

The general council is the highest decision-making body of the WTO apart from the ministerial conference which meets every two years.

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Court Refuses To Order Diezani’s Arrest In UK, Demands AGF’s Extradition Evidence

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The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, rejected the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request to issue a warrant of arrest against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be residing in the United Kingdom.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu rejected the EFCC’s request for an arrest warrant citing the commission’s failure to enforce the earlier criminal summons which the court issued on the former minister as far back as July 24, 2020.

The commission had in requesting the criminal summons in July claimed that it was required to facilitate the ex-minister’s extradition to Nigeria.

Faced with the failure of the ex-minister to honour the summons on Wednesday, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr Farouk Abdullah, urged Justice Ojukwu to issue a warrant of arrest against her

Ruling on the request by EFCC, Justice Ojukwu rejected it as she noted that the criminal summons which the court issued on Diezani in the ruling of July 24, 2019, ought to be sufficient for the commission to process her extradition to Nigeria to face her trial.

The judge who expressed willingness to give the extradition bid a chance to survive, however, demanded an affidavit with evidence from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (the office with exclusive power to facilitate extradition), to prove that there was a need for the arrest warrant to have Diezani extradited.

She ruled, “It is my view that the summons should have assisted in the extradition of the defendant by the Office of the AGF.

“Today, the defendant is not in court and no reason was given.

“I am being informed that the defendant is believed to be in the United Kingdom.

“The learned counsel also informed the court that the extradition process has failed as a result of the absence of the warrant of arrest.

“But if that is the case, learned counsel shall file an affidavit to that effect supported by evidence from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
“I hereby give you time to put your house in order.”

The judge adjourned till December 3 for the report and possible arraignment of the defendant.

The EFCC had alleged that Diezani escaped from the country shortly after her tenure as the Minister of Petroleum Resources end and got wind of the plan to charge her with various offenses.

The commission on November 11, 2018, filed the 13 counts of money laundering to justify the bid to have her extradited to Nigeria.

Diezani was accused of among others in the charges that she unlawfully took into her possession, the sums of $39.7m and N3.32bn when she reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activities.

She was said to have purchased choice landed assets with the money using different fronts as the owners.d Street, Yaba, Lagos, with N937m.

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