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Police Orders Probe On PH Mall Explosions …Rules Out Terrorist Attack …RSG Assures Victims Of Adequate Care

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The River State Police Command has ordered a full scale investigation into Wednesday’s suspected gas explosion at the popular Port Harcourt Mall consequent upon which five persons are said to be in a critical condition.
This is as the State Government has assured victims of the incident of adequate medical treatment, saying the fire outbreak was regrettable.
Recall that no fewer than five persons (all males) sustained injuries when a gas explosion ignited fire at the busy mall located at Old GRA axis; just few meters away from the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni while confirming the incident ruled out any semblance of terrorist attack.
Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the explosion was caused by a licking gas pipe in one of the kitchens of the shopping mall; adding that those injured were receiving treatment.
“There was gas explosion at the Port Harcourt Shopping Mall leaving five persons seriously injured. They are currently receiving medical attention. We have been able to restore normalcy there and people are going about their normal duties.
“It is not a terrorist attack. It has no semblance of terrorist attack or attack from outside or anywhere. No life was lost. So there is no cause for alarm.
“The Commissioner of Police has ordered an investigation to ascertain the real cause of the incident. But preliminary investigation shows that it is a gas explosion,” the police image maker stated.
It was leant that all five victims were workers in the kitchen, and while one lost a leg and another arm as a result of the explosion; they were rushed to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
Earlier on Wednesday, Head of Department, Accident and Emergency, RSUTH, Dr. Lawson Ndu said that the victims were transferred to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), as the former does not have the facility to handle burns beyond 30 per cent.
Our reporter who visited the mall yesterday morning said business activities had resumed at the mall, but that the facility witnessed low patronage.
Meanwhile, Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo while inspecting the scene of the explosion on Wednesday evening, said the fire has been contained, even as he sympathised with the victims.
The SSG said Governor Nyesom Wike had directed him to conduct an on the spot assessment because of the importance of the facility.
He expressed happiness that the management of the mall had been able to contain the fire, assuring that those injured in the incident will receive adequate medical treatment.
Danagogo requested the management of the Shopping Mall to meet with the State Government yesterday (Thursday) at the State Secretariat to further discuss other aspects of the incident and possible areas of intervention by the State.
In her remarks, Mrs Chioma Okorie, Manager of Port Harcourt Shopping Mall, said that the fire incident broke out in a kitchen of one of the shops in the facility.
Okorie further said that the fire-fighting equipment and officials of the mall helped in putting out the fire.
The explosion which occurred few minutes past 4pm on Wednesday had dampened business activities at one of the city’s popular shopping mall as both workers and customers were on Wednesday evening asked to evacuate the building to allow fire fighters gain easy access to do their job..

 

Dennis Naku

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Wike Gives Taskforce Marching Orders On Street Trading, Illegal Markets

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has inaugurated the state’s Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks, with a charge to the task force to sanitise the streets and return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status.
Inaugurating the committee, last Wednesday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said that the task force was a product of law, following his assent to the Rivers State Street Trading, Illegal Markets & Motor Parks (Prohibition) Bill No. 8 of 2019.
The governor, who had earlier in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, appointed with immediate effect, Mr Bright Amaewhule, as the Special Assistant to the Governor and Coordinator, Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks, said that all the operatives of the task force have been profiled by the Department of State Services (DSS) and the police, while those found wanting have been flushed out.
Wike insisted that henceforth, every appointment that he would make, must pass through security checks, adding that this would enable him have thorough knowledge of the security profile of whoever he would be giving appointment.
He said: “Every appointment I will make now must pass through security. I want to know who is who”.
Wike explained that the reason government sent the task force members to the State Security Services and the police for screening was for proper identification and to ensure that government did not take people who will put it in trouble, and assured that more appointments would be made into the task force to replace those screened out by the security agencies.
He said: “All of us love the state and we must love it fully. Not in half measures. When we build roads, before you know what is happening, the roads are taken over by street traders and illegal motor parks.
“The task force has the responsibility of cleaning up the streets. Ensure that nobody trades on roads. You must wear your vests and identity cards during your work period”, he emphasised.
He said that mobile courts have been established on a zonal basis, and directed the task force operatives to take arrested street traders, mechanics and illegal motor park operators to the mobile courts were offenders would be tried, jailed or fined.
The work of the members is to arrest offenders and take them before the mobile courts in each zones.

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CACOL Faults EFCC’s Raid On Ambode’s Residence

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The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has faulted the action of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in allowing themselves be used by some perceived political enemies to raid the country home of former Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe area of Lagos.
Adeniran spoke, yesterday, during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, where he picked holes in the selective method of the investigation by the anti-corruption agency.
It would be recalled that, last Tuesday, EFCC raided the residence of Ambode in Ikoyi and Epe over allegations of corruption, but could not find anything incriminating.
But Adeniran said, “That account we were told is the account of the Lagos State Government. It is not a functional account for the former governor or anybody in that government, and that is because it has to be operated. Nobody is above the law actually, and we are not saying that if any corruption issues are developed against the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that he should not be investigated or brought to justice.
“The reason why we have to believe that you have to connect with it is that, that is the only corruption allegation that has been levelled against the former governor. And we don’t have anything against that, if on reasonable ground that have reasons to believe that maybe the cash is starched in that house just like that found in Osborne’s house, Falomo, Ikoyi or shopping complex. They could raid the place and they can break it down if they refuse to open the place. But then, you have to have reasonable reasons to do that too zealous to protect one of their own, that might be the reason.

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INEC’s Claim Of Not Having Place For Data Storage, Laughable -PDP

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The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has faulted the action of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in allowing themselves be used by some perceived political enemies to raid the country home of former Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe area of Lagos.
Adeniran spoke, yesterday, during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, where he picked holes in the selective method of the investigation by the anti-corruption agency.
It would be recalled that, last Tuesday, EFCC raided the residence of Ambode in Ikoyi and Epe over allegations of corruption, but could not find anything incriminating.
But Adeniran said, “That account we were told is the account of the Lagos State Government. It is not a functional account for the former governor or anybody in that government, and that is because it has to be operated. Nobody is above the law actually, and we are not saying that if any corruption issues are developed against the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that he should not be investigated or brought to justice.

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