Connect with us

Metro

Pipeline Explosion: Abia Community Files N3bn Lawsuit Against FG

Published

on

Some residents of Osisioma Ngwa community in Abia State have filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian government accusing it of neglect after a pipeline explosion ripped through their homes.

The suit, filed by 80 victims before an Abia State High Court in Osisioma Ngwa, is seeking damages totalling N3.2 billion for the injuries and trauma suffered during the explosion.

Joined in the suit as respondents are the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In October 2018, a system 2E petroleum pipeline belonging to the NNPC caught fire and exploded in Osisioma Ngwa destroying lives and properties. Some of the villages affected include Umuaduru and Umuimo, as well as residents of Uratta, Umuze, and Njiko Umunna autonomous communities.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said at least 60 persons died in the explosion. But the community put the figure to about 200.

In his reaction to the incident, President Muhammadu Buhari blamed the explosion on “vandals who pilloried the pipelines to scoop the products.”

According to the claimants, the fire incident left some of them with “fractured bodies, wounds and scalds.”

They alleged that the NNPC and PPMC were aware that their pipelines in Osisioma Ngwa community were ruptured and spilling out petroleum products into the community and did not shut them down.

They also accused the government of indifference to the “excruciating and blistering hardship” caused them by the explosion.

“In the wake of the tragic pipeline fire explosions and the traumatising and extensive losses suffered by the casualties of the fires, the defendants did virtually nothing to provide emergency or other relief to the claimants and their loved ones who were casualties of the explosions,” the claimants stated.

“Up till this time too, the defendants have not sought to identify or reach members of the affected communities who, against heavy odds, survived the pipeline fire incident, in order to find ways of supporting them through their rehabilitation process.”
Access to Justice, an advocacy group and lawyers to the claimants, said the lawsuit is aimed at holding the federal government and oil corporation to account.

 

“Access to Justice expects that there will, ultimately, be a day of reckoning for the impunity of both the government and the oil corporations towards the Osisioma Ngwa population,” said Chinelo Chinweze, senior programme officer at Access to Justice.

“And a day of justice for the victims of the pipeline explosions whose lives have been broken so horrendously and disdainfully by government and Nigeria’s state oil corporations.”

Premium Times

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Metro

Pastor Lands in Jail for Lying Against Colleague in Ondo

Published

on

The Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday sentenced a pastor, John Abiodun, to two years’ imprisonment for false allegation against a church founder.

Abiodun was arrested in 2019 for lying against the founder of Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, that seven placentas were planted on the church’s altar.

The church is located in the Shasha area of Akure.

The convict, who was a former member of the church, swore an affidavit before the commissioner for oaths on the matter.

Abiodun and a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University,  Akungba Akoko, Prof. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, were later arraigned on eight counts bordering on conspiracy, publication of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence, among others.

The second defendant (Olu-Adeyemi) was the admin of a WhatsApp group on which the false accusation was published.

During a series of court proceedings on the matter, witnesses were called by both the prosecutor and the defence counsel.

The trial judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe, found Abiodun guilty of count five of the charge.

He said the convict contradicted himself while giving evidence in the allegation against him, which included the use of different church WhatsApp platforms and other social media to malign, carry out false publication and wrongly accuse the founder of the church.

The court said Abiodun was guilty of perjury, an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ondo State.

The judge also held that in law, anybody found guilty of perjury was liable to life or 14 years’ imprisonment, but due to the plea by the defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Adesanmi, he would reduce the jail term to two years.

“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to two years’ imprisonment,” the judge ruled.

The second defendant was discharged and acquitted as the court said the investigation conducted by the police on his involvement in the matter was shoddy.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Kayode Dare, expressed satisfaction with the judgement, saying the court had vindicated Akinbiyi and other members of his church.

The Punch

Continue Reading

Metro

Accident in Katsina Claims 13 Lives, 70 Injured

Published

on

Thirteen people died while 70 others sustained injuries in a motor accident along Kaita/Dankama Highway, Katsina State on Thursday night.

Although details of the circumstances surrounding the accident were still sketchy by Friday morning, it was learnt that a majority of the passengers inside the truck were from the neighbouring Niger Republic.

The witnesses added that 70 sheep were also killed in the accident.

The PUNCH learnt that those who sustained injuries have been taken to the Federal Medical centre, Katsina General hospital and Amadi Rimi Orthopaedic Hospital, all in Katsina, for treatment.

However, the Katsina State Government sent a delegation to attend the funeral prayers and burial of the deceased on Thursday night at Dantakum graveyard located within Katsina metropolis.

The delegation included Commissioners of Local Governments, Alhaji Ya’u -Umar Gwajo-Gwajo and that of Sports and Social Development, Alhaji Sani Danlami, as well as Governor Aminu Masari’s Senior Special Assistant on Restoration Alhaji Sabo Musa and Head of Kaita Local Government Administration among others.

The government delegation also visited the injured at the hospitals on Thursday night.

The spokesman for the Katsina police command, SP Gambo Isah, was yet to react to the accident as of the time of filing this report.

The Punch

Continue Reading

Metro

Katsina VP Pays Student N300-N500 to Have Sex with Her, Arrested

Published

on

The Vice-Principal of the Kadandani Community School in the Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Ibrahim Tukur, who allegedly raped and impregnated a student of the school, has explained the circumstances surrounding the development.

He made the explanation in Hausa language to journalists at the police headquarters in Katsina, where he and other suspects were paraded on Wednesday.

Tukur stated, “I am being accused of committing rape and it’s true I committed the crime. I have been having affairs with the girl for eight months ago now. I used to take her to my house and offer her the sum of N300 of N500; some other times, I would give her N200 to have sex with her.

“Information reaching me right now is that the girl has been delivered of a baby boy for me. I have three wives.”

Tukur and the other suspects were arrested between January 9 and 14, 2021.

The spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah, told journalists during the parade that the vice-principal was arrested on January 9, 2021 following a formal report at the Rimi Divisional Police Headquarters by one Ibrahim Sani.

Isah said Tukur took advantage of the victim to impregnate her.

“The vice-principal, who is married to three wives, used to take the girl from the school to his house, where he had serial sex with her. As a result, he got the girl pregnant and she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section.”

Other suspects paraded included Auwal Hamzat and Sulaiman Abubakar, who were alleged to have sodomised three boys, who were children of their neighbours.

The neighbours reported the incident to the police, leading to the suspects’ arrest.

One Ishiaku Sani, 25, was also paraded for a similar offence.

Sani was alleged to have also sodomised the six-year-old son of his neighbour, who reported the incident to the police on January 10.

Also paraded was a 61-year-old man, Lawan Sani, who was alleged to have molested a six-year-old girl, whose mother reported the incident at the Central Police Station, Katsina, on January 14.

Similarly, one Jamilu Salisu was paraded for the alleged molestation of a five-year-old girl in Funtua on January 11.

The Punch

Continue Reading