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Land-Grabbers Poisoned OAU Dam, Vice-Chancellor Tells Police

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The management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-ife, has accused some individuals of ‘criminally poisoning’ the institution’s dam.

The dam provides water to the OAU community of over 30,000 students and staff.

The management said as a result, the campus is endangered by the activity of those it described as land-grabbers. It claimed they forcefully gained access to the dam by overpowering the security official on duty, O.A Omotosho.

The university, which named one of the attackers as Idowu Ogunwusi (alias Dagunduro), claimed the group freely used dangerous weapons including guns, cutlasses and axes during the attack.

The university made the allegation in a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police in Osun State and signed by its Vice-Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, a professor.

The petition, which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, was also copied to the state director of security service and the area commander of Moore Area Command in Ile-ife.

The incident, the university claims, occurred at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3. It said those involved described themselves as members of a non-existent Great Ife Development Board.

The petition, which was entitled; “Complaint of Criminal Pollution of Opa Dam, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,” noted that the assailants gained access to the dam through a portion of the university land adjoining Parakin Area.

The petition reads in part; “I wish to formally make a complaint of criminal pollution of Opa Dam in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife by some murderous members of the Ife Community.

“On 3rd April 2019 at about 1500hours, a report of invasion and pollution of the University Dam by a group of people who claimed to be members of Great Ife Development Board was received by the Security Unit of the University. The group of people who were fully armed with guns, axes, cutlasses, e.t.c, invaded the lower level of O.A.U dam and polluted the water with chemicals which led to the death of several fishes and other aquatic animals. The report also indicated that these criminally minded individuals gained access into the dam through a portion of University land at Parakin area, Ile-Ife, where there had been several reports of land encroachment by some Ife indigenes.

“The suspected culprits threatened the University Security Operative manning the area, Mr. O. A. Omotosho, with guns and some other dangerous weapons. They however escaped on sighting reinforcement from the University Security Department. Fortunately, one of the ringleaders of the invaders, Mr. Idowu Ogunwusi, alias DAGUNDURO, was identified by the University Security men sent as reinforcement.”

According to the university, the affected dam is the only source of water supply to the entire OAU community with a population of more than 30,000 people.

It added; “The action of these people therefore poses serious danger to the health and lives of staff, students and other members of the university community.

“It is important to also mention that this is the first time in the entire history of the university that this murderous conduct will happen. The people gained unlawful access into the University Dam through a portion of University land adjoining Parakin Area in Ile-Ife. It will interest the Commissioner that the said land, although clearly gazetted as university land and on which the university had exercised ownership for decades without let or hindrance, was forcefully broken into by the same set of people earlier this year. As a law-abiding federal government agency, the university has refrained from engaging the trespassers in their brigandage. These individuals have threatened to kill anyone who dares to challenge their action. It is clear, from all indications, that the criminal poisoning of the university dam is a continuation and actualisation of their threat.

“Considering the far-reaching consequences of the action of these people to the lives of the members of the university community, and the attendant propensity to lead to the breach of the peace of the university, it is necessary to act swiftly to deal with this clear criminal conduct. The Commissioner would recall that students of the University resumed this week for the 2018/2019 academic session. I therefore urge you to use your good offices to apprehend the perpetrators of this dastardly act.”

When PREMIUM TIMES called the Public Relations Officer of the institution to confirm the authenticity of the petition, he confirmed it but queried how it leaked.

He said the matter had been handed over to the police and that appropriate steps had been taken to avert outbreak of water-related diseases on the campus.

Efforts to speak to Moses Olafare, the spokesperson to the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, were unsuccessful as several calls made to his phone were unanswered and both SMS and Whatsapp messages sent to him were yet to be replied as at the time of filing this report.

Similarly, the Police Public Relations Officer in Osun State, Folasade Odoro, said she was on a week-leave when our reporter called her on the matter. She, however, promised to send the contact details of her subordinate who is acting as the police spokesperson. She was yet to do so as at the time of this report.

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Court Rules on Ndume’s Bail Application Friday

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed Friday for ruling on the bail application filed by Borno South Senator, Ali Ndume, who has been detained in prison since Monday over his suretyship for Abdulrasheed Maina believed to have jumped bail.

Justice Okon Abang adjourned for ruling after Ndume’s lawyer, Marcel Oru, argued the bail application, which was opposed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar.

Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges of money laundering involving N2bn.

On November 18, 2020, Justice Abang revoked the bail granted him, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial would proceed in absentia.

The judge also on Monday remanded Ndume in prison until he produced Maina or paid the sum of N500m bail bond to the Federation Account.

Ndume, through his lawyer, Marcel Oru, had on Tuesday filed an appeal against the remand order at the Court of Appeal, along with an application for the bail of the defendant filed before Justice Abang.

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Widow of Killed Vendor Urges Gbajabiamila to Ignore Family’s N500m Demand,

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Josephine Okereke, the wife of the newspaper vendor shot and killed by a Department of State Services operative attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has disowned her husband’s family over their demand for N500m compensation.

Josephine spoke at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.

The family of Ifeanyichukwu Okereke had written to Gbajabiamila, demanding N500m.

Lawyer to the family, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), in a letter dated November 23, 2020, said he was given the mandate to write the letter by the father of the deceased, Okorie Okereke; and the younger brother to the deceased, Destiny Okereke.

The DSS had last week arrested the operative, Abdullahi Hassan, who shot Okereke while Gbajabiamila had also visited the family of the deceased and promised to ensure that they do not suffer.

However, the family demanded more, adding that nothing could bring the dead vendor back to life.

The widow, however, said she was not aware of the pre-litigation process, urging the Speaker to ignore the family fulfill his promises to her and her two children.

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GSA Set to Celebrate First Anniversary

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A new generational church In Lagos, GLORY SIGNATURE ASSEMBLY will be celebrating 5 years in ministry and her 1st anniversary as a church on December 12. The event is expected to showcase pomp and pageantry.

The church will also be opening and dedicating her new edifice referred to as THE SIGNATURE HOUSE.

The anniversary promises to be one of its kind as it will be featuring several activities that will illuminate the lives of everyone that will be present.

The theme of the anniversary is ‘THE EARTH HAS YIELDED ITS INCREASE AND GOD OUR GOD HAS BLESSED US’

Popular preacher, Dr Abel Damina, will be ministering alongside Rev. Mrs Nnamso Akpan, who is the Chief Host to the glory of God.

Also, Pastor Wisdom Chigozie, Min. Paul Daniels, Min. Esther Benyogo & THE SIGNATURE VOICES will be leading people to true worship at the anniversary.

Reception follows immediately after service at the same venue.

Furthermore, as part of the anniversary activities, the annual thanksgiving of the church will hold On Sunday Dec. 13 @ THE SIGNATURE HOUSE.

There is going to be an outpouring of abundance, new doors will be open, fresh grace has already been released for the service….come experience the signature of Gods glory! Don’t miss out….come let us sing for joy to the Lord!

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