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COVID-19: Lagos BRT Increases Fares by 50%

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Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Primero Transport Services Limited, operators of the Bus Rapid Transport, has said fares will increase by about 50 per cent.

The company on Thursday said it got approval from the regulator of the sector, the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, to increase the fares.

Earlier, the News Agency of Nigeria reported that the company withdrew its services on Monday due to losses caused by the new guidelines of government which restricted the number of commuters on BRT to 20 per trip instead of 70.

The BRT Managing Director, Mr Fola Tinubu, told NAN that the management of the company would resolve the issues after a meeting with government.

After the meeting, Tinubu said agreement had been reached for the fares to be increased.

He said, “We are going to increase our pricing effective from Friday, May 29 (today). We agreed on this after our talk with the Lagos State Government.

“Everywhere commuters are paying N200 for a trip, it is going to be N300 and everywhere commuters are paying N300 per trip, it is going to be N500.

“We are increasing our fares. We have secured the permission of the regulator, Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority.”

He said the number of passengers on the buses would also be increased to 42, with no passenger standing on buses as against 20 earlier approved by the government.

The LAMATA External Relations Specialist, Kola Ojelabi, confirmed the development.

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Pastor Lands in Jail for Lying Against Colleague in Ondo

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The Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday sentenced a pastor, John Abiodun, to two years’ imprisonment for false allegation against a church founder.

Abiodun was arrested in 2019 for lying against the founder of Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, that seven placentas were planted on the church’s altar.

The church is located in the Shasha area of Akure.

The convict, who was a former member of the church, swore an affidavit before the commissioner for oaths on the matter.

Abiodun and a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University,  Akungba Akoko, Prof. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, were later arraigned on eight counts bordering on conspiracy, publication of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence, among others.

The second defendant (Olu-Adeyemi) was the admin of a WhatsApp group on which the false accusation was published.

During a series of court proceedings on the matter, witnesses were called by both the prosecutor and the defence counsel.

The trial judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe, found Abiodun guilty of count five of the charge.

He said the convict contradicted himself while giving evidence in the allegation against him, which included the use of different church WhatsApp platforms and other social media to malign, carry out false publication and wrongly accuse the founder of the church.

The court said Abiodun was guilty of perjury, an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ondo State.

The judge also held that in law, anybody found guilty of perjury was liable to life or 14 years’ imprisonment, but due to the plea by the defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Adesanmi, he would reduce the jail term to two years.

“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to two years’ imprisonment,” the judge ruled.

The second defendant was discharged and acquitted as the court said the investigation conducted by the police on his involvement in the matter was shoddy.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Kayode Dare, expressed satisfaction with the judgement, saying the court had vindicated Akinbiyi and other members of his church.

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Accident in Katsina Claims 13 Lives, 70 Injured

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Thirteen people died while 70 others sustained injuries in a motor accident along Kaita/Dankama Highway, Katsina State on Thursday night.

Although details of the circumstances surrounding the accident were still sketchy by Friday morning, it was learnt that a majority of the passengers inside the truck were from the neighbouring Niger Republic.

The witnesses added that 70 sheep were also killed in the accident.

The PUNCH learnt that those who sustained injuries have been taken to the Federal Medical centre, Katsina General hospital and Amadi Rimi Orthopaedic Hospital, all in Katsina, for treatment.

However, the Katsina State Government sent a delegation to attend the funeral prayers and burial of the deceased on Thursday night at Dantakum graveyard located within Katsina metropolis.

The delegation included Commissioners of Local Governments, Alhaji Ya’u -Umar Gwajo-Gwajo and that of Sports and Social Development, Alhaji Sani Danlami, as well as Governor Aminu Masari’s Senior Special Assistant on Restoration Alhaji Sabo Musa and Head of Kaita Local Government Administration among others.

The government delegation also visited the injured at the hospitals on Thursday night.

The spokesman for the Katsina police command, SP Gambo Isah, was yet to react to the accident as of the time of filing this report.

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Katsina VP Pays Student N300-N500 to Have Sex with Her, Arrested

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The Vice-Principal of the Kadandani Community School in the Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Ibrahim Tukur, who allegedly raped and impregnated a student of the school, has explained the circumstances surrounding the development.

He made the explanation in Hausa language to journalists at the police headquarters in Katsina, where he and other suspects were paraded on Wednesday.

Tukur stated, “I am being accused of committing rape and it’s true I committed the crime. I have been having affairs with the girl for eight months ago now. I used to take her to my house and offer her the sum of N300 of N500; some other times, I would give her N200 to have sex with her.

“Information reaching me right now is that the girl has been delivered of a baby boy for me. I have three wives.”

Tukur and the other suspects were arrested between January 9 and 14, 2021.

The spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah, told journalists during the parade that the vice-principal was arrested on January 9, 2021 following a formal report at the Rimi Divisional Police Headquarters by one Ibrahim Sani.

Isah said Tukur took advantage of the victim to impregnate her.

“The vice-principal, who is married to three wives, used to take the girl from the school to his house, where he had serial sex with her. As a result, he got the girl pregnant and she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section.”

Other suspects paraded included Auwal Hamzat and Sulaiman Abubakar, who were alleged to have sodomised three boys, who were children of their neighbours.

The neighbours reported the incident to the police, leading to the suspects’ arrest.

One Ishiaku Sani, 25, was also paraded for a similar offence.

Sani was alleged to have also sodomised the six-year-old son of his neighbour, who reported the incident to the police on January 10.

Also paraded was a 61-year-old man, Lawan Sani, who was alleged to have molested a six-year-old girl, whose mother reported the incident at the Central Police Station, Katsina, on January 14.

Similarly, one Jamilu Salisu was paraded for the alleged molestation of a five-year-old girl in Funtua on January 11.

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