By Christopher Oji, Lagos
The Lagos Lagos State Police Command has arrested two suspected killers. While one was arrested for allegedly setting his wife and brother-in-law ablaze,another was picked for allegedly smashing the head of his one-month-old child on the floor after a minor quarrel with his wife.
Mr Benjamin Nkemakolam Ogudoro, who is alleged to have set his wife, Chinyere, who just returned from Scotland and her younger brother, Ifeanyichukwu Edoziem, ablaze, denied the allegation saying that fate was only playing with him.
The police have accused him of killing his wife and her younger brother with the intention of selling the house at 5, Zone 7, Oteyi Garden Estate, Abule Ado , which belonged to his wife.
Ogudoro has however denied the allegation, saying: ‘I am happy that I have finally been given the opportunity to say the side of my story. I was told that the social media has been agog with the news of a man setting his Scotland returnee and her younger brother ablaze. That is not the truth. On the fateful day, on April 1,my wife arrived Lagos from Scotland without informing me. It was somewhere around 9 pm when she called with her Nigeria number that I should come and open the gate for her. I didn’t get angry that she paid a surprise visit. I was thinking maybe she wanted to see if I had girlfriend or I have married a new wife. I ran down home from where I was and welcome her. When she entered the house, she told me to excuse him and his younger brother to have some family discussion, I didn’t get angry, I left them alone as they went straight to our guest room and started discussing with her only brother and who had lived with me for five years.
‘When I waited for sometimes and their discussion was being too prolonged, I decided to go and take one bottle of beer in a nearby joint. After taking the beer , I returned home but they were still holding talks, so I decided to stay in our sitting room and I was watching TV. While I was watching TV, I saw flames coming out from the house and when I opened the door from where the flame was coming out, I was hit by a serious heat wave and some parts of my body were burnt, so I knew that there was a fire in the house, so, I ran away and started calling for help, but I didn’t know myself again and only found myself in the hospital.
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‘Well, it was a mere coincidence that the fire happened the same day my wife returned to Nigeria. It is suspicious, though, but fate was dealing with me. My wife owned the house and the documents are on her name. She bought the house when she was a manager at Fidelity Bank. We were planning to sell the house when she wanted to renew her Visa and that of her children in Scotland, but when we got money, we decided not to sell the house again. I didn’t kill my wife and her younger brother, it was fire that consumed my wife and her brother. I love my wife and we were living in harmony.’
A police investigator has said that the suspect is lying, stating that ‘preliminary Investigation so far shows that the woman had heard that her husband wanted to sell her house and decided to take her documents away from the man, who got angry and decided to set the house, wife and her brother ablaze. He wanted to be smart, but this is a wicked act.’
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Lagos State Commissioner of Police Mr Abiodun Alabi, who paraded the suspects and 32 others for various offences, said Investigations were ongoing and the suspects would be charged to Court.
The CP who was represented by Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said the other suspect , Benedict Ahieze , allegedly murdered his one-month-old daughter, Onyiyechi, at Idimu area of the state.
‘On April 6, the father of the child who was drunk was arguing with his when he allegedly took the child from her mother and smashed her head on the floor and she died instantly,’ he stated.
Actionaid proffers solutions to Nigeria’s food crisis
Sequel to food insufficiency in the country, Actionaid Nigeria, has advised the three tiers of government to commit 10% of their annual budget to agriculture, focus on strategic areas of extension services, and to provide credit for women.
The organization also advised government to provide labour-saving technologies, inputs, post-harvest losses reduction supports like training, market access, processing and storage facilities.
Its Country Director, Ene Obi, gave the counseling at the National Dialogue and Dissemination on Nigeria’s Performance at the 3rd Biennial Review Exercise on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development (CAADP), yesterday in Abuja.
She said: “For Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration Commitments, going forward, we hope that the three tiers of government would commit 10% of their annual budget to the agriculture sector required to support at least 6% growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework.
“And investments should focus on strategic areas of extension services, access to credit, women in agriculture, youth in agriculture, appropriate labour-saving technologies, inputs, post-harvest losses reduction supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, trainings, market access, etc.), Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology, Research and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Coordination.”
Obi pointed out that Actionaid conducted a research and the data through the VABKIT reflected the realities of smallholder women farmers across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which “shows that nationwide, smallholder women farmers currently have only 18% access to processing facilities, 16.60% access to storage facilities, 13.50% access to off-takers/access to markets, 9.60% access to transportation for agricultural produce, and 42.30% access to trainings.
“On Extension Services, smallholder women farmers have access to only 5.26% farm demonstrations and 19.47% farmers field schools.
“On agricultural credit, they have access to less than 23% of existing credit facilities, and only 4.77% access to agricultural insurance.
“On access to and control over land, about 59% of them have access to land, 29.77% have control, while only 11.23% are engaged in land governance discussions.”
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ernest Umakhine, said the ministry has begun the process of strengthening evidence based data for effective policy formulation and tracking of performance.
Represented by the Director, Agric Land and Climate Change Management Service, Oshatidiya Olanikun, he said: “In the Ministry, evidence based data for effective policy formulation and tracking of performance is being strengthened with the concept of the National Agricultural Data Management Information System (NADMIS).
“It is to facilitate quality data collection, analysis, harmonization and storage for overall planning, monitoring, evaluating and reporting initiatives, programmes and projects at the global, continental, regional and national levels.”
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Insecurity: Advocacy group condemns renewed attack in Kaduna
From Okwe Obi, Abuja
An advocacy group, Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners Network (SOKIPEP) has deplored a renewed attack in Gora Gan Community of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, by bandits.
The group noted that the inhumane act was carried out disrupt the level of peace achieved by internal military outfit, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in the area.
SOKIPEP National President, Dauda Fadia, in a statement, yesterday sympathized with families of the deceased, the people of Southern Kaduna, and Kaduna State Government over the development.
Fadia charged security agencies to remain resolute and go all out in fishing out the culprits and their sponsors with a view to facing the law.
Aside calling on the people to remain calm with the assurance that security agencies were capable of unraveling the culprits, he appealed for immediate deployment of relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
“As a peace advocacy group working with both security agencies and stakeholders in Southern Kaduna to bring lasting peace to our area, we note with concern the latest attack on Gora Gan Community of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“We condemn in the strongest terms yet another attack by some mindless and senseless criminals in Gora Gan village which claimed the lives of six persons.
“This attack by some suspected cattle rustlers whose mission was to steal some bulls being used by the locals for farming is unfortunate and must be condemned by all.
We condole with the government and people of Southern Kaduna over the lost of six in the attack, our heart is with them,” he said.
The cleric, however, commended the leadership of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), for the prompt and effective intervention of the situation from escalating.
“We wish to acknowledge the prompt response of OPSH in quelling the Gora Gan village attack.
“Worthy of commendation is the timely and quick response of the men of Operation Safe Haven who gave the attackers hot chase and as a result killed four of the attackers who invaded the community.
“We are full of thanks to God Almighty and officers and men of Operation Safe Haven for their responsive actions not only in the Gora Gan village attack but also the various others in the entire Southern Kaduna in the past in general.
“But for the prompt response of the gallant security men, our community would have been completely brought down considering the intimidating number of the attackers and sophistication.
“This gallantry of the security men has given us more grounds to continue to support the special military outfit and other security agencies working in Southern Kaduna to restore peace.
In addition, he called for support from both authorities and the stakeholders for the military outfit.
“All that is needed for them (OPSH) to succeed and return Southern kaduna to part of peace and progress is for all stakeholders to come together and speak truth to ourselves by calling a spade a spade, criminals for criminals rather than unjustly acting the script of some desperate people working against the efforts of OPSH and its Commander to restore peace in our area,just all for their selfish gain,” he added.