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BIG STORY

Imo Recovers ‘Looted’ Public Equipment In Okorocha’s Warehouse

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Imo State Government on Thursday said it has recovered missing Nsu ceramic and tiles industry equipment in a warehouse believed to be owned by former Governor Rochas Okorocha.

Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Simon Ebegbulem, who led a team to the warehouse located along Owerri/ Aba Road, said the equipment were stacked with other public-owned facilities.

He named a molder as one of the items which, according to him, were looted for the establishment of a private ceramic and tiles company by Okorocha, a serving senator and former chairman of the All Progressives Governors’ Forum.

The Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry in Ehime Mbano was established by the administration of the late Sam Mbakwe, the first civilian governor of old Imo State.

Ebegbulem said: “The said 55-feet by the 200-length warehouse is adjacent another warehouse where the then Emeka Ihedioha administration discovered some public properties said to be owned by the state.

”There was a time the administration of Hope Uzodimma raised the alarm on the equipment of Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industries looted by the administration of Rochas Okorocha. That was after some patriotic citizens of the state raised the alarm on these looted Imo properties kept by the Okorochas along Owerri/Aba Road.

”We followed up to find out the truth and with what we have seen in Okorocha’s warehouse; there is a plan by Okorocha to set up a ceramic factory with government-owned properties as a personal factory.

“Information we have gathered from those guarding the warehouse is that sometimes, their (Okorocha’s) people come here to pick some items and sell them off.

”However, some of the equipment we are looking for are here and we have come to take possession of the Imo properties and anybody we see here will blame himself. We have taken over the government properties for the good of Imolites based on their demands.

”Some of the public properties discovered included equipment of the Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry set up by the then government of Sam Mbakwe as the industry established for Imo people have been personalized.

”We also found street light equipment and their components, traffic light accessories, artificial tree plants were all found in the large warehouse owned by Okorocha.

“Also, a molder from the Nsu tiles and ceramics and other components of the Nsu Ceramic and Tiles Industry was discovered to be in the warehouse and now we have taken over.”

When contacted, Okorocha said what the government recovered were mere cartons of tiles.

”It was interesting to read that what the Commissioner said they recovered were street light accessories and cartons of ties. He didn’t even disclose how he arrived at the conclusion that those items were owned by the government,” he added in a statement by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo.

He challenged the government to disclose or publish the proof of ownership of all they claimed they had recovered.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Boko Haram Frees Abducted Pastor 24hrs Before Execution Deadline

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Pastor Bulus Yikura, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has regained freedom 24 hours before the deadline set for his execution of the abductors.

A security source informed The Nation the cleric was set free on Wednesday evening on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis.

He was sighted with a few family members and the Nigerian Secret police.

Yikura’s freedom is coming one day before the dateline for his execution in a widely circulated video to seek help.

He was sighted in the video kneeling and begging the Federal Government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to intervene as his life was left hanging for a few days.

He was quoted in the video pleading: “I have been given only seven days to appeal for assistance that will help me out of this torture.

“If truly you want to rescue me from this untold suffering and threat to life, then you have to act fast.

“I am also calling on the EYN president to help mobilize help that will rescue me, and also pray for me so that God will make things easy for me here”.

It is not clear what transpired before the release of Pastor Yikura as details are still being kept under wraps.

Recall that Yikura was abducted on Christmas Eve last year when Boko Haram attacked Pemi village in the Chibok local government area of Borno State and has since been with the captors.

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Northern Traders Agree To Resume North To South Movement of Food Stuff

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After about six days, the Leadership of Cattle and Foodstuff dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, on Wednesday, agreed to resume the movement of food supplies from the northern part of the country to the southern region.

It was gathered that the agreement was reached when the leadership of the trade union met with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in Abuja. Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode was also at the meeting.

About a week ago, northern traders had embarked on strike over the alleged killing of their members in the southern part of the country. Prices of food commodities like pepper, tomatoes, beef, yam, garri, amongst others, had gone over the roof with many southerners groaning and complaining about the increase.

The General Secretary, AUFCDN, Ahmed Alaramma, had said the President of the association, Mohammed Tahir, was with the Department of State Services over the blockade.

The northern traders had also called on the Federal Government to pay them billions in compensation while Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere; Activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and others had threatened to launch a campaign against cows in protest against the development.

 

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BIG STORY

Sanwo-Olu Threatens To Name Beneficiaries Of Apapa Rot

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has threatened to name those benefitting from the perennial traffic gridlock and disorderliness experienced along the Apapa corridor in the state.

Sanwo-Olu stated this on Wednesday in Lagos while commending the Nigerian Ports Authority for the new E-Call Up system for trucks going to the ports.

The Apapa area of the state is notorious for chaos over the haphazard operations of container-laden trucks around the seaports.

At an event in Lagos today, the governor said, “We will name and shame them. We will bring out their names, be it a corporate organization, be it a company, be it a Lagos State officer, be it a police officer, whoever it is, be it a union that will say that the solution that we have brought about will not work.

“They will go and answer to the citizen of Nigeria and the citizen of Lagos State and the citizen of Nigeria. We will bring them to the public courts for them to see that we are about seriousness; we cannot condone the recklessness and the carelessness that our citizens have gone through.

“And I want to use this opportunity to commend the Management of NPA because they have worked with us on this agenda. So, my challenge is to others who have not signed on to this wonderful column system.”

NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, had assured port users that the e-call up system would address irresponsible parking of trucks on port access roads in Apapa.

The e-call up system was designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa.

The Apapa corridor had been a nightmare for road users and Sanwo-Olu had last year said the Lagos State Government had started the process of taking over the operations of the Presidential Task Force on Port Decongestion that had been managing the traffic gridlock in the area.

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