The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has denied reports making the rounds that its personnel were involved in the burning of a bus at the Obanikoro bus stop, Ikorodu Road. The Authority, while asking residents to desist from attacking LASTMA officials, stated that the report was the handiwork of an uninformed blogger.
Buttressing the facts of the matter in a statement signed by the Asst. Director, Public Affairs, Filade Olumide, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), the Authority hinted that “LASTMA Management after due diligence on the video, sympathise with the vehicle owner, but categorically deny complicity of any of its officers in the incidence portrayed on the video” while regretting that “…one of the LASTMA patrol officers offering helping hand with the burning vehicle was severely injured by uncalled-for mob action which seems to be occurring nowadays at the slightest alarm.”
The statement also condemned the shallow portrayal of the allegation as the picture evidence did not depict the allegation against its officials.
“The video report lacked pictorial evidence of LASTMA officers’ complicity; those interviewed were neither eye witnesses nor people directly involved in the incident, rather, they were people living within the inside street, close to the scene of the incidence on Ikorodu Road. Their evidences were hear-says’ and limited to after the arrival of security agencies officials to maintain law and order, after attacks on one of the LASTMA officials and also the Fire Fighters that were there to render assistance in putting out the fire in the vehicle,” the statement read.
It added that:
“LASTMA officials do not operate within side street and over time, the State Government has announced zero tolerance to attack on its officials while performing their duties as enshrined in the laws or as directed.
“We wish to reiterate that LASTMA personnel must not be attacked/assaulted while performing their duties or rendering service to the public.
“The LASTMA management also use this opportunity to advise reporters/bloggers to endeavour to conduct proper investigation and present facts rather than sentiments in their reportage for a peaceful and orderly society.”
Police Arrest Suspended Anambra LG Chair for Alleged Murder of Wife
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.
Ikeja Disco Shuts Down Operations, Darkness Looms
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.
Tragedy As Four Students Celebrating WASSCE Drown at Lagos Beach
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.