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Gas Explosion Injures 30, Destroys 23 Buildings, Event Centre, Vehicles in Lagos

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30 persons were injured and about 15 vehicles reportedly destroyed by fire on Thursday after a tanker conveying gas exploded at Balogun Bus stop, in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, .

PUNCH Metro learnt that two gas tankers were being offloaded at a gas station in the area when one of the tankers, a 30 tonnes LPG tanker, exploded around 3pm.

It was gathered that the discharging valve of the tanker, which was compromised, led to leakage and ignited fire.

The fire, which spread to adjoining buildings, affected 23 buildings and 35 shops, destroying property worth millions of naira.

Our correspondent learnt that officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Red Cross were at the scene of the incident.

The Head of Public Affairs of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, said no life was lost.

He said, “It was discovered that a 30 tonnes LPG tanker being operated by Manna Gas Ltd was involved in an explosion which destroyed several vehicles, X and Y Event Centre and a plank market.

“It was discovered that a compromised seal device by the truck driver led to gradual leakage, which then ignited when the tyres burst. The impact of the explosion led to fire at adjoining buildings and several vehicles were burnt.

“Thirty people were found to have serious injuries and were taken to various hospitals, while two in critical conditions were referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.”

However, the Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, said 15 people were injured.

He said, “One of the gas tankers wanted to enter into Manna Gas Refiling Plant and before it could get access inside, it exploded and affected the second gas tanker and other domestic gas cylinders in the gas plant also exploded.

“The explosion affected 18 buildings housing 35 shops; no residential building was affected.

“Fifteen people had various degrees of injury and were taken to Iju Waterworks Clinic, while two were referred to the general hospital; 16 vehicles were burnt.”

The Acting Head of the State Fire Service, Margaret Adeseye, said the Ajuwon, Agege and Alausa Fire stations were mobilised to the scene.

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Hoodlums Kill Ogun DCO, Steal Arms, DPO Missing

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Angry protesters on Wednesday killed the Divisional Crime Officer, DSP Augustine Ogbeche, and set ablaze a police station  in the Atan-Ota Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State .

The protesters also inflicted injuries on the Divisional Police Officer, SP Sikiru Olugbenga, whose whereabouts were unknown.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

Oyeyemi said one civilian also lost his life to the violence while another police station at Obada-Oko in the Ewekoro Local Government Area, which had been serving as a zonal  intervention office for the defunct  Special Anti-Robbery Squad was attacked.

Oyeyemi said, “The hitherto peaceful protest embarked upon by youths across Ogun State is unfortunately taking a dangerous violent dimension as some people with ulterior motives are now using the opportunity to commit all sorts of heinous crimes.

“Early this (Wednesday)  morning, the protesters went to Atan-Ota and set the police station there ablaze and subsequently murdered the DCO, DSP Augustine Ogbeche, in cold blood.

“A civilian also died in the process while some arms were carted away. They also inflicted serious injury on the DPO, SP Sikiru Olugbenga, whose whereabouts is yet unknown.

“Also in Abeokuta, some groups of boys attacked Obada-oko divisional headquarters and vandalized it.”

The PPRO however said in view of the attacks on the police and their stations, the  Commissioner of Police Ogun State Command, Edward Ajogun, had appealed  to the youths to eschew violence and embrace peace.

The police boss, according to the PPRO, said, “The youths are reminded that since the commencement of the protests the police have been nice and civil to them even when some of our men were injured and our stations damaged.

“We even went ahead and released all the 36 suspects we arrested. However, if in the course of handling the protests anybody feels offended, we plead understanding and not retaliatory measures, including killing and maiming policemen and burning and damaging police stations.

“We will ensure that justice is served any aggrieved person.  Please and please let us continue to embrace peace rather than violence.”

“The command sincerely appeals to the youths. Parents and guardians are also enjoined to help rein in their children and wards.”

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Missing 19-Year-Old Girl Found Dead in Badagry

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A 19-year-old girl, Shalewa Adebowale, who was declared missing on October 11, has been found dead.

The victim went missing while on her way home from her cousin’s house in the Igando area of the state.

The victim’s sister, Feyikemi, who insisted that Shalewa was a student of the Lagos State Polytechnic, told our correspondent that she went to sit the entrance examination of the Lagos School of Nursing, Igando, as she wanted to cross over to the institution.

Feyikemi said that her sister called to tell the family that she finished taking her papers later than she expected and would spend the night at her cousin’s place.

The deceased’s mother, Mrs Adebowale, confirmed to our correspondent on Tuesday that Shalewa had passed away and her body was found at the back of a school in Badagry.

“Shalewa did not make it. Her body was found at the back of a school in Badagry,” she said.

When PUNCH Metro contacted the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, he asked the family to report the discovery to the police in the area so that they could carry out an investigation.

“The family of the victim should let the police in the area be involved so that they can continue investigation. I am sure the DPO of that area will be under pressure, because of the ongoing crises in the state. But let them endeavour to involve the police,” Adejobi stated.

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Cult Clashes in Kwara, Edo, Delta Claim Six Lives

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Six persons have been reportedly killed by suspected cultists in Ilorin, Kwara State; Benin, Edo State; and Abraka, Delta State, between Sunday and Monday.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the cult clashes in Ilorin were the aftermath of Sunday’s alleged attack on #EndSARS protesters in Ilorin.

It was gathered that the head of one of the deceased was severed and deposited on the General Post Office flyover bridge in the metropolis, while the second victim was killed at Sabo-Oke area of the town around 12.05pm on Monday.

The beheaded victim was identified as Yusuf, aka Lucifer, and was said to have been involved in Sunday’s attack on the protesters, while the second person, said to be in his early 20s and popularly known as Khalipha, was a resident of the Sabo-Oke area of Ilorin.

It was gathered that members of rival cults met during the #EndSARS protest and renewed their rivalry, despite being cautioned by the protesters not to disrupt their campaign.

Khalipha was allegedly mauled down around 12.05pm on Monday around Maraba/Alalubosa area of Ilorin.

A trader at the Maraba Market stated, “We started hearing gunshots around 12.05pm in Maraba and we all hurriedly closed our shops and fled.

“A few minutes later, we saw some group of boys wielding cutlasses, guns and other weapons leaving Maraba through the Pategi section of the garage and afterwards, we saw the lifeless body of a middle-aged boy with severe cutlass cuts on his head and body.

“The assailants left walking majestically through Maraba Road and towards the Murtala area of the metropolis unchallenged.”

As of the time of filing this report, the victim’s corpse was still lying in a pool of his own blood.

Speaking on the development, the state police command spokesperson, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the death of only one person and added that the command had commenced investigation into the incident.

Okasanmi also said the police had notified the Commissioner for Health about the evacuation of the corpse from the Post Office area.

He stated, “We got information this morning (Monday) that the head of one Yusuf, aka Lucifer, was on top of the post office flyover bridge and the deceased was confirmed by neighbours as a cultist.

“It was also alleged that he was killed by suspected cultists. The police are not aware of the death of any other person as regards the protest.”

In Benin, another round of violence broke out on Monday between members of the Eiye and Aye confraternities, leading to the death of one person on the Medical Stores Road, off the New Lagos Road.

A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the groups had a free-for-all.

According to him, the fight led to the killing of one of the members of the groups, whose body was abandoned on the road for hours, while the #EndSARS protest lasted.

“At the moment, all those cult boys, who fired and danced round the streets in anger over the killing of one of their members by a rival group, have left the road following government-imposed curfew,” the source stated.

What caused the fight among the two cults could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report as the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached.

Similarly, three persons, believed to be students of the Delta State University, were reportedly killed as rival cults clashed in the university community of Abraka in the Ethiope-East Local Government Area of the state.

PUNCH Metro gathered that members of the rival groups, who armed themselves with guns, cutlasses and axes used the weapons freely in the bloody clash on Sunday.

It was learnt that several persons sustained varying degrees of injury during the clash.

A community source told our correspondent on condition of anonymity that the clash was between the Eiye and Black Axe confraternities.

He said, “It was a battle for dominance as usual. It is unfortunate that in the 21st century, youths are still engaging in this act instead of venturing into gainful businesses that will improve their socio-economic well-being.

“In the process, three people died and over eight persons were injured. Residents are living in fear as they don’t know what will happen after.”

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, promised to get back to our correspondent with the details of the incident, but she had yet to do so as of the time of filling this report.

“I will get back to you when I get the details of the incident,” she stated.

But a police source in Abraka confirmed the incident, adding that the police were already on the ground to maintain peace and order in the community.

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