Ahead of the yuletide, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday called on residents of the state to be cautious and take all necessary precautions to avoid any accident relating to fire and security misfortune in the state during the festivities.
The Governor also called on Lagosians to be on alert against another wave of COVID-19 by adhering strictly to all safety protocols during the Christmas period.
Speaking at the Grand Finale of the Year 2021 Community Day Celebration, held at Police College in Ikeja on Tuesday, Governor Sanwo-Olu advised residents in the various communities across the State to be responsive by providing intelligence to security agents. He urged them to promptly report anything they see to security agents at the community level.
He said: “As Community Development Council (CDC) leaders, please take the message back home that because of the harsh weather during the harmattan season, fire is always a very easy occurrence. So, people need to live safely. Stay safe and make sure you don’t have combustible items around your shops, houses, and ensure precautions on electric gadgets to avert fire incidents.
“Security they say is local. Security is important at the grassroots level. You have been working with us, continue to work with us. You see something, you say something. All the neighbourhood watchers are in your communities; let them know if you see strange movements.
“If you notice things that are not meant to be in your communities, pass on the message to them and you can be rest assured that the security agents will come around to keep you safe and secured. As we are going into the yuletide season, please let’s be very vigilant and make sure that we are our brothers’ keeper.”
The Governor also added that “We are getting out of the COVID but we cannot be completely relaxed. In all of our engagements, let’s continue to keep those simple safety protocols.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu, while speaking on his administration’s commitment to community development, said his government as a people-oriented government has executed grassroots improvement programme across the State, adding that the Government is committed to promoting coordinated efforts for a peaceful, harmonious and serene atmosphere for growth and development in communities.
He said the Community Development Associations (CDAs) in Lagos State have been recognised as the engine for growth and therefore called on the various CDAs to join hands with the government to ensure safety and security of lives and property in Lagos, particularly during the festive season.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who described the CDAs as the beacon of hope, said various community projects across 377 wards in Lagos State were being executed to foster even development across the State.
He said the various infrastructure projects implemented by his administration across various communities centered on promoting intermodal transportation, school projects and health facilities, among others were directed towards the effect of improving the condition of living at the grassroots.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who danced during a march past by various communities in the 57 councils in the State, also recognised and presented various prizes to the best performing CDAs.
Harmony CDA in Agbado/Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and Elepe Royal Estate CDA in Ikorodu Central LCDA received bus gifts for emerging first and second respectively in the urban category, while Oluwanisola CDA in Eredo LCDA and Oke-Egan CDA in Olorunda LCDA also received gifts for emerging first and second respectively in the rural category.
The CDAs were rewarded for executing various community development projects ranging from electrification, roads, and drainages to security, within their communities.
Speaking earlier, Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed appreciated Governor Sanwo-Olu for “his vision, sense of commitment and dedication to grassroots development,” adding that “He (Governor Sanwo-Olu) is indeed taking Lagos to an enviable level in community development.”
He said the Community Day Celebration 2021 was to emphasise and amplify the necessity of development as a strategic factor for socio-economic development and empowerment at the grassroots.
Dr. Ahmed said the theme for the 2021 Community Day Celebration, “Consolidating the Ongoing Development in our Various Communities” was apt as the present administration in the State is embarking on the expansion of various community development projects across all the nooks and crannies of the State.
He said the administration is conscious of the fact that in the overall development of the State, there must be development that is totally people-oriented development at the grassroots, driven by the administration right from the inception.
The Commissioner appreciated the CDAs for what he described as their “impressive and continuous support for our administration so far.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Alhaji Azeez Amusat, said Governor Sanwo-Olu has been a catalyst for fostering grassroots engagement for development across the State.
“On behalf of all the communities, I wish to express my profound gratitude to our amiable Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu who has been the catalyst for all our efforts at ensuring that public participation by all the communities in his Administration is accorded deserved attention and recognition,” he said.
He assured the Governor of the continued partnership of all communities in complementing efforts in public safety and security of all residents in the various communities.
Amuzat also urged the CDCs and CDAs in Lagos State to put in more collective efforts from this year yuletide to promote more attention for adequate security and safety of their various communities in rewarding the empowerment of the leadership training by the State Government geared towards the community policing system.
“With the wave of insecurity across the country, it is imperative to rise up to the security needs and challenges that may face our communities in the forthcoming year as leaders in the communities,” he advised.
Soldiers detain Burkina Faso president amid coup plot
Mutinying soldiers have reportedly detained President Roch Kabore of Burkina Faso.
WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the mutinying soldiers have reportedly surrounded the state television headquarters
According to the BBC, the soldiers were said to have demanded the sacking of the country’s military chiefs and asked for more resources to fight Islamist insurgents.
Heavy gunfire was reportedly heard on Sunday night near the presidential palace and at several barracks in Ouagadougou, the country’s capital.
But the government denied the rumour that a coup was underway and that the president had been arrested.
Bathelemy Simpore, the country’s defence minister, denied the rumour that Kabore had been detained.
“The head of state has not been detained; no institution of the country has been threatened,” Simpore was quoted to have said on national television.
“For now, we don’t know their motives or what they are demanding. We are trying to get in contact with them,” he said, adding that calm had returned to some of the barracks.”
The Burkina Faso authorities later declared a curfew from 8pm to 5:30am until further notice.
Schools across the country were also directed to be closed for two days (Monday and Tuesday).
The incident comes a day after protesters took to the street to demonstrate against the government’s inability to stop attacks and killings of civilians by militants.
The protesters also asked Kabore to resign.
Money laundering: Court issues warrant for Diezani’s arrest
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, issued an arrest warrant against the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, believed to be residing in the UK.
Justice Bolaji Olajuwon granted the request, after counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Farouk Abdullah, made an oral application.
The court had fixed November 3, 2021 for the EFCC to give a report on its effort at extraditing Alison-Madueke to the country to stand her trial, and for possible mention of the case.
But on the adjourned date, the case was stalled as neither Abdullah nor Alison-Madueke was in sight.
Justice Olajuwon then fixed today, Jan. 24, for the matter and adjourned for report or or for possible mention of the matter.
NAN reports that though Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu was initially the presiding judge in the matter, the case was reassigned to Justice Olajuwon, following the transfer of Ojukwu to the Calabar division of the court.
Ojukwu had, on October 28, 2020, rejected the EFCC’s prayer to issue a warrant of arrest against Alison-Madueke, citing the commission’s failure to enforce the earlier criminal summons, which the court issued on the former minister since July 24, 2020, saying court orders are not made in vain.
The commission had, in requesting for the criminal summons in July 2020, claimed that it was required to facilitate the ex-minister’s extradition to Nigeria.
Faced with the failure of the ex-minister to honour the summons, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Abdullah, urged Justice Ojukwu to issue a warrant of arrest against her, saying that the extradition process failed as a result of the absence of the warrant of arrest.
The judge, who turned down the request, directed the lawyer to file an affidavit to that effect supported by evidence from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, and adjourned for report and possible arraignment of the defendant (Alison-Madueke).
However, when the matter was called on Monday, Abdullah was in court.
He told the court that all efforts by the agency to get the ex-minister extradited when the matter was before Ojukwu were unsuccessful.
Abdullah, who made an oral application for an arrest warrant, said the application was part of the requirements by the office of the AGF for the extradition.
He said that the arrest warrant was needed to further give the International Police (INTERPOL) the impetus to bring the defendant to Nigeria to answer to charges against her.
Justice Olajuwon then granted the application and adjourned the matter sine die pending when the defendant (Alison-Madueke) is arrested and produced in court.
NAN reports that Abdullah had, in an application, urged the court “to issue an arrest warrant against Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be in the UK to enable all law enforcement agencies and the INTERPOL to arrest her anywhere she is sighted and be brought before the court to answer to the allegation made against her before the court.”
He said since the summon had not been able to achieve the desired result, the need for a warrant of arrest cannot be over-emphasised.
NAN reports that the court had, on July 24, 2020, ordered the former minister to appear before it and answer to the money laundering charge filed against her by the EFCC.
The court gave the ruling in an ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018 brought by Abdullah.
The EFCC had accused the former minister of fleeing the country for the UK in order to escape justice, among others.
The lawyer, in a document filed along with the motion ex-parte, said it sought to question Alison-Madueke, without success, in relation to many allegations against her, including “her role as the Minister of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) to Septa Energy Limited, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited by NNPC.
He said it also wanted Alison-Madueke to respond to questions about “her role in the chartering of private jets by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Ministry of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of contracts by NNPC to Marine and Logistics Services Limited.”
Abdallah said the agency was investigating Alison-Madueke‘s business relationships with Mr Donald Amamgbo, Mr Afam Nwokedi, Chief lkpea Leemon, Miss Olatimbo Bukola Ayinde, Mr Benedict Peters, Christopher Aire, Harcourt Adukeh, Julian Osula, Dauda Lawal, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Mr Leno Laithan, Sahara Energy Group and Midwestern Oil Limited, among others.
He added that Alison-Madueke was also required to clear air on “her role in financing the 2015 general elections, particularly the money that were warehoused at Fidelity Bank Plc in 2015 prior to the elections.”
He said it equally wanted the ex-minister to speak on several items, documents and Jeweleries recovered from her house at No: 10, Chiluba Close, off Jose Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and some identified property that were linked to her In Nigeria, UK, U.S., United Arab Emirate and South Africa.
It would be recalled that the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa in the April 2021 edition of the agency’s in-house magazine, disclosed that the anti-corruption commission recovered 153 million dollars from Alison-Madueke.
Bawa said the agency also recovered the final forfeiture of over 80 property in Nigeria valued at about $80 million from the former minister, who has been living in the UK since leaving office some years ago.
The EFCC boss said he would want the former minister to face trial in Nigeria.
Besides, as part of the ongoing investigations of the former Petroleum Minister, the EFCC. on Dec. 15, 2021, said it arrested a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, allegedly over an additional $72.87 million still in the coffers of the bank.
Okonkwo and Charles Onyedibe were quizzed by operatives over the latest discovery.
Okonkwo, who is the chairman of First Bank Holding, alongside others, had earlier been grilled over $153 million and another $115 million by the commission.