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LASPOTECH Undergraduate Narrates Ordeal with Human Body Parts Merchants

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An undergraduate of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Marvelous Omobobola, who was abducted by a kidnap syndicate in the state, has been released after his family members paid N200,000 ransom.

PUNCH Metro gathered that Omobobola went to school on Saturday to sign a SIWES form.

After he was done, the undergraduate boarded a tricycle to his hostel in the Odogunyan area of Ikorodu, Lagos State.

The 28-year-old said the tricycle operator was conveying him and other passengers to their destinations in Odogunyan when he suddenly veered onto a street to avoid the traffic ahead.

Omobobola said the tricycle operator was navigating the street to link the expressway when he suddenly parked beside a bus located near a bush.

He said he and other passengers were lamenting the abrupt stop beside a bush around 5pm when some armed men stepped out of the bus, pounced on them and whisked them away.

Narrating his ordeal to our correspondent, Omobobola said, “I went to school on Saturday to sign my SIWES form because we were to start exams on Monday.

“When I was done around 5pm, I boarded a tricycle from my school to my hostel in Odogunyan. There was traffic along the way so the tricycle operator diverted into a street.

“We were three at the back of the tricycle and one man sat beside the tricycle operator at the front. We asked why he left the road and he told us it was because of the traffic.

“Suddenly, the tricycle operator parked beside a bus and some men with guns pounced on us and ordered us into the bus that was parked near a bush. We met some people on the bus when we entered it.”

Omobobola said the tricycle operator left to bring more victims, adding that the kidnappers seized their phones to keep them incommunicado.

The undergraduate said, “They drove us into the bush where some people visited to price us like goats. Some people among my group were taken away into a room where they were killed and well-dressed people came with coolers for their body parts.

“When we were told to take off our clothes, one of the kidnappers saw the Celestial Church crucifix on my waist and he put me aside. He asked me what the crucifix was for and I told him I am from a celestial family.

“He then returned my phone and told me to call my people to pay a ransom for me before their leader, one Alhaji, comes. He said when their leader returns, he would not be able to help me because Alhaji procures human parts for politicians and other people. He said I would be killed if he found me there.”

Using Omobobola’s phone, the kidnappers contacted his mother, Ronke, and demanded N700,000 ransom.

Our correspondent who was with Ronke when she commenced negotiation with the suspects heard them telling her to choose between purchasing a coffin to bury her son and raising the money to secure his release.

The kidnappers later agreed to collect N200,000 and after ending the call, the aggrieved mother was seen begging people including church members for money and was able to raise N100,000.

Speaking with our correspondent,  Ronke said, “I am not myself as I am speaking to you. I heard the sound of people crying on the phone and my son said the kidnappers cut two people’s throats like cows in an abattoir. I have been told to send the N100,000 into my son’s account for his release.”

Our correspondent quickly contacted the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, and he detailed the Divisional Police Officer, Odogunyan Police Station, to investigate the case.

Omobobola’s phone number was sent to the DPO who traced calls made to the number.

However, after the mother of the undergraduate paid the N100,000, the kidnappers, after using his ATM card to withdraw the money from a Point-of-Sale operator, used Omobobola’s phone number to borrow N100,000 from online credit companies.

It was learnt that the borrowed money was also withdrawn and the victim was released around 2am on Sunday.

Contacted, the Director of Information and Public Relations, Lagos State Polytechnic, Lanre Kuye, told our correspondent that the institution just got wind of the case.

He added, “We would make a case to the Lagos State Police Command to prevent future occurrences against staff and students.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, when contacted, said the command was on the matter, adding that the culprits would be arrested soon.

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Death Toll in Lagos Cholera Outbreak Hits 24

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi said the cholera death toll has risen to 24.

Abayomi disclosed this in a post on his Instagram handle on Friday.

He also has confirmed 35 cases out of the 417 suspected cases across 20 Local Government Areas in the state.

The Commissioner said the situation report as of June 19, 2024, indicated, “417 suspected cases, 35 confirmed cases, and 24 recorded deaths.”

He advised residents to ensure personal and environmental hygiene.

He advised, “Let’s adhere strictly to personal and environmental hygiene. Let’s stay safe #ForAGreaterLagos”

The cases were reported from Agege, Badagry, Ikeja, Mushin, Ajeromi-Ifelofun, Epe, Ikorodu, Ojo, Alimosho, and Eti-Osa.

Others were Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Amuwo-Odofin, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos Island, Shomolu, Apapa, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos mainland, and Surulere.

Cholera is a food and water-borne disease caused by ingesting the bacteria— Vibrio cholerae — in contaminated water and food. Cholera can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea, and the severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

In Nigeria, cholera is an endemic and seasonal disease, occurring annually mostly during the rainy season and more frequently in areas with poor sanitation.

The World Health Organisation on Thursday announced a spike in cholera in several regions of the world, with almost 195,000 cases and over 1,900 deaths reported in 24 countries since the start of 2024.

WHO said the Eastern Mediterranean Region reported the highest number of cases, followed by the African Region, the Region of the Americas, the Southeast Asia Region, and the European Region.

The global health body, however, noted that there are no reported cases in the Western Region, according to its bulletin released on Wednesday.

It said it exhausted its global stockpile of Oral Cholera Vaccines by March but was able to exceed “the emergency target of five million doses in early June for the first time in 2024.”

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Glo Hails Ojude Oba, Others As Promoters of Cultural Heritage, Unity

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Telecommunications company, Globacom, has said that Ojude Oba and similar festivals in the country have enormous potential to promote cultural diversification, national identity, harmony and unity.

In his goodwill message to this year’s Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, on Tuesday, the Chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., also noted that these age-long festivals could foster cultural exchange and showcase Nigeria’s rich heritage to the world.

Dr Adenuga observed that the theme of this year’s celebration, UNITY AND HARMONY IN IJEBULAND: THE GIFT OF OJUDE OBA, emphasised the values that the festival had espoused for over a century that it has been in existence.

He added that the festivals also had potential to boost tourism and help in the diversification of the economy which was why the Federal Government and many governments across the globe have placed tourism on top of their development agenda. Dr. Adenuga pointed out that Globacom has kept its partnerships with the nation’s largest festivals to solidify and establish them as premier events that would draw even more visitors to Nigeria from around the globe.

He further stated that Globacom and the sons and daughters of Ijebuland, both at home and in the Diaspora, would greatly benefit from the partnership with the Ojude Oba Planning Committee.

One of the star activities of the Globacom-sponsored festival was the Regberegbe competition among the different age groups in Ijebuland. Egbe  Bobasete Okunrin Omooba came first; Egbe Bobagunte Okunrin Akile Ijebu second and Egbe Bobamayegun Okunrin Asiwaju came third.

In the female category, Egbe Bobagunwa Obinrin Omooba was adjudged the best dressed with Egbe Bobagunwa Obinrin Asiwaju and Egbe Arobayo Obinrin Akile Ijebu coming second and third respectively.

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FRSC Begins Mass Production of Drivers Licence, Churns Out 73, 740 Cards in 14 Days

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The Corps Marshal Shehu Mohammed-led Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), has began a mass production of National Drivers Licence as a strategic intervention mechanisms introduced towards clearing the backlogs of the National Drivers Licence.

Consequently, the Print Farm has produced 73,740 licenses in a space of two weeks according to a statement signed by the Public Education Officer, Corps Commander Olusegun Ogungbemide, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP).

Recall that on assumption of office, one of the most cardinal steps taken by the Corps Marshal towards revamping the entire processes of the Corps was a working visit to the FRSC Print Farm, as well as other critical infrastructures so as to have on the spot assessment of the facilities with a view of strengthening their production capacity.

This assessment was propelled by the alarming rate of public outcry about the unprecedented delay applicants faced regarding issuance of the National Drivers License.

At the end of the assessment, the Corps Marshal set up a task force to ensure that the backlog is cleared in soonest possible time. He further directed 24 hours production and immediate rectification of the identified technical glitches that affected the overall production capacity of the farm.

As at the moment, a total of 84, 500 NDLs are on queue for production and expected to be delivered to the respective State Licensing Authorities nationwide.

Corps Marshal Shehu Mohammed, while assuring the public of the Corps’ commitment to quality service, called on applicants, especially those who have experienced delay, to await notification or contact their state licensing offices for pick up of the already produced ones.

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