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Auto Crash Claims 13 On Benin-Ore Road

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No fewer than 13 passengers died in a motor accident on the Benin-Ore road, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) confirmed yesterday.

In a statement issued by Deputy Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, the commission stated that the accident happened at kilometre 53, before Ohosun town, zone 5.12 toll gate unit command in Edo State at 7.45 a.m yesterday.

Kazeem said the accident, which involved two vehicles, was caused by the driver of the Anambra Mass Transit Toyota Hiace bus, with registration number YB 610 EPE (Lagos), who for no reason, drove against traffic on the Benin-Ore lane.

The driver faced an oncoming Iveco truck descending a slope, resulting in head-on collision.

The bus was coming from Lagos carrying traders dealing in electronics and 13 out of the passengers in the bus died, while three people survived including the truck driver.

The victims, according to FRSC, have been taken to Shiloh Hospital, Ugbogui in Edo for treatment while corpses were deposited at the mortuary of the same hospital.

The commission said the obstruction caused as a result of the accident had been promptly cleared.

The Tide recalls that in the last 11 months, countless auto accidents have claimed hundreds of lives on the Benin-Ore Expressway.

For instance, on March 15, 2012, a middle-aged man, simply identified as “Nasco,” died in a multiple auto crashes on Kobape-Siun-Sagamu Expressway.

Thirteen soldiers were also injured in the accident.

Also, two persons were confirmed dead in multiple accidents that occurred on the Sagamu-Ore-Benin Expressway, leaving many others injured.

The accident on the Kobape-Siun-Sagamu Expressway, The Tide learnt, occurred around 1.00 p.m, when a white Toyota Hiace, marked LAGOS CG 415 FKJ veered off its lane as a result of burst tyre and rammed into a truck with registration number OGUN XA 170 ABG and a Prado Jeep marked LAGOS EJ 57 LND.

The truck driver, who was conveying medical materials from Abeokuta to Ibiade in Ogun waterside area of the state, lost his life on the spot, while his body was still trapped in the vehicle.

The injured soldiers were taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi-Ada, Abeokuta, for medical attention.

The accident on the Sagamu-Ore-Benin Expressway, it was gathered, happened in front of Astok Petroleum, Ijebu-Ode, some few kilometres to the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED).

On Monday, January 23, 2012, 19 persons were burnt to death in an auto crash involving a commercial bus and a trailer along the Sagamu-Benin Expressway.  The drivers of the two vehicles also died in the crash while four others in critical condition, were admitted at the Ore General Hospital.

On December 2, 2011, no fewer than 19 persons were killed in an auto crash, along Benin-Ore road as a diesel tanker collided with a commercial vehicle, killing all the passengers except one.

The bus, belonging to Hope Express Transport Company, was carrying 19 persons. It reportedly took off from Lagos, heading to the South-East when the accident occurred. Only one of the passengers survived and was rushed to a hospital in Benin City.

In a related development, few kilometres away from the scene, there was another ghantly accident involving a trailer and a Mercedes Benz car, which left property worth several thousands of naira destroyed.

Eyewitnesses at the scene of the accident claimed that serious cases of injury were recorded as the Mercedes car was terribly damaged.

On October 24, 2011, 11 persons died in an accident involving a luxury bus and an 18-seater commercial bus at Ore on the Benin-Ore highway.

The recklessness of the luxury bus driver, alleged to be driving against traffic on a portion of the road, reportedly caused the accident, which occurred at about 10.00a.m.

On September 14,2011, talented Nigerian musician, Nwaozo Obiajulu (a.k.a) MC Loph  died in a tragic car accident along the often neglected Benin-Ore Expressway.

Mr Obiajulu was travelling to Enugu State for his traditional wedding ceremony along with his fiancée who reportedly died with him.

MC Loph popularised the song Osondi-Owendi, as a tribute song to the late highlife musician, Osita Osadebe.

The Nigerian music community are reacting to the news. Sound Sultan, a close friend and collaborator of MC Loph currently vacationing in the US said, “It is just so sad, it is not easy to lose someone like that. I worked with him in 2010 and we collaborated on a song with thirteen other artists for the World Cup. We were also very close friends.”

 

Nelson Chukwudi with Agency Report

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Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court

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The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.

Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.

The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.

It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.

They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.

According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.

The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.

Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.

The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.

Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.

He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.

More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.

Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.

The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.

The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.

The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.

“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.

“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?

“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.

“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.

“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”

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Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation

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Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.

The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.

“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.

Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.

It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.

It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.

“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’

“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.

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