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Fuel Scarcity Hits Port Harcourt

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Residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and its environs are currently experiencing fuel scarcity as long queues have returned to filling stations.

Our correspondent observed that the scarcity started around 3pm on Monday when fuel dealers decided to close majority of the filling stations in the state capital.

It was gathered that the fuel dealers closed shop due to speculations that the main depot in Port Harcourt was no longer distributing fuel.

The sudden closure of the filling stations caused a long queue at the popular Mobil filling station at Waterlines, along the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway as motorists had a tough time before they could purchase Premium Motor Spirit.

Though the filling station was selling at the normal price of N145 per litre, some motorists had to wait for over an hour before they could purchase fuel.

One of them, who identified himself simply as Chinonyerem, said he could not find fuel at other filling stations inside town, adding that he had to join the queue when he noticed that the Mobil filling station was selling the commodity.

“I don’t know what the cause of the scarcity is, but it is good to notice that they did not increase the fuel price here (Mobil filling station). I have been here for over one hour. I know I will get fuel before I leave here,” Chinonyerem said.

As of 10am on Tuesday morning, most of the filling stations were still locked up as the owners refused to sell, hoping that the scarcity would force an increase in the pump price of petrol.

At the Karibi filling station on Iwofe Road in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, fuel was sold at the normal price as the queue continued to build up.

A commercial tricycle rider, who identified himself simply as James, told our correspondent that the scarcity was as a result of the rumour that the depot in Port Harcourt was no longer distributing fuel.

“Immediately the rumour got to these fuel dealers, they began to close their filling stations. The few ones that opened did not believe the rumour. That is what is causing this scarcity,” James stated.

When contacted, the Media Officer, Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company, Ikenna Okpani, said he was not aware of any fuel scarcity, adding that there was no reason for dealers to close their fuel stations.

“I am not aware that there is any fuel scarcity. There is no reason for such because from our end here, we are producing,” Okpani said.

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Metro

Police Arrest Suspended Anambra LG Chair for Alleged Murder of Wife

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The suspended Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi North Local Government Area, Mr Mbazulike Iloka, whose wife, Chidiebere, died in controversial circumstances has been arrested by the state Police Command.

Iloka was suspended by the state government on Friday, pending the conclusion of investigation into the alleged murder and to avoid any interference.

A source had told The Punch that the embattled suspended LG chair, also known as Mba Mba is currently being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Awka, Anambra State, under charges of culpable homicide.

The Anambra State police spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the arrest to The Punch on Wednesday.

Ikenga, however, called for caution from the public, saying that the case is being investigated as an autopsy will prove the cause of the wife’s death.

“He is in our custody now and we urge the members of the public to be patient as the autopsy shall prove the cause of the wife’s death. Meanwhile, investigation is still ongoing please,” Ikenga added.

The source said his arrest was consequent upon a petition by the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Monday and addressed to the Inspector-General of Police Usman Alkali Baba at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters.

HURIWA reportedly dragged the suspended council boss to IGP Baba over issues bordering on domestic violence.

Mba Mba had claimed that the deceased slumped and died while serving him food.

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Metro

Ikeja Disco Shuts Down Operations, Darkness Looms

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The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company has announced a shutdown of operations following the issues between the National Union of Electricity Employees and the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

In a statement on Wednesday via its verified Twitter handle, @IkejaElectric, the Disco announced the shutdown of operations.

The statement read partly, “Due to the ongoing nationwide picketing of Transmission Stations by the NUEE, we are currently experiencing disruption of power supply as most stations within our network have been shut down.

“Kindly bear with us as we await an amicable resolution by the relevant stakeholders.”

The PUNCH had reported Tuesday, that the nation’s electricity supply crisis could worsen from today as the organised labour had directed workers in the power sector to shutdown and commence an indefinite strike over pending issues with the TCN.

The aggrieved workers under the aegis of the NUEE were at the Abuja national headquarters of the TCN Tuesday as a prelude to the proposed strike.

The union noted that the strike was in protest of a directive by the TCN Board mandating all PMs in acting capacity going to the Annual General Meeting to appear for promotional interview.

In a circular titled, ‘Call to Action,’ which was addressed to senior assistant general secretaries and zonal organising secretaries, dated August 15, 2022, the General Secretary of the NUEE, Joe Ajaero, directed electricity workers to ensure total compliance, vowing to paralyse operations of the TCN nationwide over anti-masses activities.

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Tragedy As Four Students Celebrating WASSCE Drown at Lagos Beach

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Tragedy struck on Tuesday at the Elegushi Beach, in the Lekki area of Lagos State, after four teenagers drowned while swimming in the water.

PUNCH Metro gathered that 10 secondary school leavers, aged between 14 and 15, went to swim at the beach to celebrate the completion of their West African Senior School Examination.

They were said to be pupils of the Kuramo Senior College, Lekki.

The spokesperson for the Elegushi Beach Management, Chief Ayuba Elegushi, in a statement on Tuesday, said the pupils were not properly registered.

He noted that the incident happened at an unmanned section of the beach not open to the public.

He said, “We initially sent them away from the area of the beach they wanted to swim in. Then, they went to another place that was not for the public at all. It was the child of our kinsman, Abass, who took them from school to the beach and those kids followed him.

“They did not pay any gate fee to access the beach. Abass used the leverage that he was one of us to take them through another place.”

The victims were said to have raised the alarm as the water swept them away.

Elegushi said some life guards plunged into the water and brought out six of the pupils.

“Out of the six that were rescued, some escaped by the time we got there. We were able to arrest two of them and we took them to the Jakande Police Station.

“As of now, there are still four missing as our seamen have not been able to bring them out of the water. We have informed their parents and they have come to the police station.

“Abass is one of the missing kids. There is another boy we have not identified and two other girls,” he added.

The spokesperson said the two boys that were arrested told the police that they were chased from the beach before sneaking into the restricted section to swim.

He said, “They wrote in their statements that they were chased from the first section they went to. Abass told them that they should not worry and he would take them to another part of the beach. He took them to another end of the beach where no one could see them.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation was ongoing.

He said, “The teenagers were from Kuramo Senior College, Lekki. Four of them are missing. They are two males and two females. Efforts are on to recover their bodies. We have yet to meet with the parents of the victims.”

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Waterways Authority, Saheed Adesanya, said he would confirm the incident and get back to our correspondent.

He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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