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Shi’ites Invade NASS Complex, Force Reps to Adjourn Plenary

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Protesting members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria on Wednesday stormed the National Assembly, Abuja, forcing the House of Representatives to end its plenary abruptly.

Chanting solidarity songs and demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky, the Shi’ite members forcibly entered the NASS complex after overwhelming the security operatives at the gate.

Following the incident, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun, announced that the Shi’ite protesters had gained entry into the NASS premises and adjourned the sitting. The lawmakers subsequently left the chambers.

Lasun, who was presiding over the consideration of committee reports, said he had the information that the sect members had crashed the first gate and were gaining entry into the premises.

The Deputy Speaker asked the sergeant-at-arms to go out and confirm the report. The security official, who returned to the chambers, reported that it was safe to continue the sitting. He said the protesters had been prevented from entering the complex.

The lawmakers shortly after, stepped down the remaining items on the Order Paper to Thursday. It could not be confirmed if the adjournment was as a result of the protests.

Punch correspondent, who visited the gate shortly after to confirm the invasion, observed that though the protesters made attempts to gain entry into the premises, they were prevented by the combined team of security operatives who manned the gate.

It was gathered that the IMN members were initially peaceful but tension heightened when the policemen locked the first gate and attempted to prevent them from accessing the complex.

Some of the protesters reportedly massed at the gate, shaking it vigorously while the outnumbered policemen withdrew from the scene.

After shaking the gate for some minutes, the protesters succeeded in forcing it open.

The massive crowd of men, youths and women dressed in black surged into the NASS complex causing panic among visitors and lawmakers as they chanted Allahu Akbar.

However, the crowd did not advance into the chambers following appeals from their leaders.

Members of the IMN have held regular protests to demand the release of their leader and his wife who had been in custody since December 2015 following a bloody confrontation with soldiers in Kaduna during which hundreds of IMN members were killed.

The leader of the sect is currently facing trial for alleged “culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace.”

The acting spokesman for the FCT Police Command, Danjuma Gajere, said the police were able to control the protest which he said involved over 2,000 Shi’ite members, adding that no arrest was made.

He said, “We were able to manage the protest which involved over 2,000 people, but there was no arrest.”

The Punch

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Metro

Police Arrest Suspended Anambra LG Chair for Alleged Murder of Wife

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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.

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Metro

Ikeja Disco Shuts Down Operations, Darkness Looms

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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.

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Tragedy As Four Students Celebrating WASSCE Drown at Lagos Beach

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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.

The Punch

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