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Pay N10m To Late UNIPORT Undergraduate’s Family, Senate Orders Police

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The Senate has mandated the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to pay N10million as compensation to the family of a final year student of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Chinedu Obi, allegedly killed by its personnel.
This directive followed the consideration of a report of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Public petition presented at plenary, yesterday.
The Senate committee, at the close of its investigation on the petition filed by the late Obi’s family lawyer, Omemiroro Ogedegbe, found the police guilty of extra-judicial killing of the young man.
The lawmakers said the amount was to help to mitigate the pains of late Chinedu Obi’s demise.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, in his presentation, reported that the late Obi was arrested on July 19, 2019, after a disagreement with a phone seller, who accused him of assaulting her.
According to a petition to the Senate by Ogedegbe, the undergraduate met his untimely death at Otta where he visited his friend in a controversial circumstance in the custody of the police, who denied him access to his family and medicare.
According to the report, late Chinedu had issues with a phone seller at Otta, which led to his arrest.
Testifying before the Senate committee, Ogedegbe said the deceased did not resist arrest contrary to a claim by the police.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ogbadu Aliyu, in his presentation, had claimed that the deceased was arrested, detained and later granted bail.
“That after his release, he went back to the woman and started beating her and even tried to throw her down from a story building,” he said.
The police boss said the deceased when rearrested became violent and tried to demobilise an officer, who shot him on his buttock instead of one his legs that he aimed.
But Ogedegbe, who countered the presentation, stated that the deceased was shot from behind in the right buttock, “which meant that it was not the officer he was alleged to be pursuing that turned round and shot him from behind.
“That all entreaties by the deceased who was in the pool of his own blood to speak to his father were rebuffed by the officers of the NPF who allowed him to die before taking him to Otta General Hospital.
“That the men of the police force lied as the deceased neither committed a capital offence, resisted arrest nor was he armed at the point of his arrest.”
But Senator Akinyelure, in the report, observed that the offence of assault alleged by the phone seller was not a capital offence and should not have led to the suspect being handcuffed.
“That the men of the NPF did not handle the matter professionally, and therefore, the force is culpable over the death of Obi.”
The Senate condemned the action of the police for the unprofessional manner it handled the civil matter between the phone seller and the late Obi.
The plenary, presided over by Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, urged the police to fish out the personnel who shot the late Obi to death for prosecution, according to the laws of the land.

 

By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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Senate Urges NDDC To Complete Okitipupa Power Sub-Station

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The Senate yesterday in Abuja urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete the installation of a transmission power sub-station in Okitipupa council  of Ondo State.
According to the Senate, completing the installation of the transmission power sub-station is  urgent in order to restore electricity to Ondo South Senatorial District comprising Okitipupa, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Irele and Odigbo Local Government Areas (LGAs).
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Olumide Akinrinlola, the media aide of Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, representing Ondo South at the senate.
He said that the senate acted on the motion filed by Tofowomo on, the urgent need to restore power back to the affected area before the end of the year.
The  Senator, who is of  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lamented that the Southern Senatorial District was hosting the Omotosho Power Plant in Okitipupa LGA with a capacity of 512.8MW and 451MW Net since 2005 without residents benefitting from power supply.
“The situation is embarrassing  because I continue to wonder if Ondo South is part of Nigeria because suffering from electricity blackout for about 14 years has grounded many economic activities.
“Almost 90 per cent of my people have been deprived of electricity since 2007 and since put them uninterrupted darkness.
“The district is hosting the Omotosho Power Plant in Okitipupa LGA with a capacity of 512.8MW and 451MW Net  since 2005 without the people benefiting from the distribution of electricity.
“The intervention came in 2012 by NDDC in a contract; 132KV transmission and 132KV/33KV sub-station and line were  awarded in Okitipupa LGA.
“As at today, 85 per cent of the job has been completed and all the 145 Transmission Line Towers from Omotosho Power Station to the Sub Station has been completed.
“The sub-station’s outstanding works remain 15 per cent of which can be accomplished without delay if all the necessary machinery are put in place.
“The substation can be ready for transmission to the federal feeders in Irele, Odigbo, Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Okitipupa LGA within the shortest possible time,” Tofowomo told the senate.

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Delta Assembly Passes Anti-Grazing Bill

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The Delta State House of Assembly yesterday passed a Bill for a Law Prohibiting Open Grazing, Indiscriminate Breeding, Rearing and Marketing of Livestock in Delta also known as “Anti Grazing Bill”.
The passage of the bill followed a motion for the third reading moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr  Ferguson Onwo, during the plenary of the Assembly in Asaba.
The motion which was unanimously adopted by the house, was seconded by the Minority Leader of the Assembly, Mr Innocent Anidi.
Earlier, the Chairman of House Committee on Special Bills,  Mrs Pat Ajudua, had presented the report on the bill on the floor of the House, which was received and adopted.
Ajudua, while presenting the bill,  said that inputs of stakeholders formed part of the proposed law.
She noted that the bill when signed into law would  prohibit the carrying of firearms, either licensed or otherwise, by residents or individuals in the state,  just as it seeks to address the arbitrary rearing and movement of livestock.
In his reaction, the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, expressed happiness over the development, saying that the people and residents of the state would be very happy that the bill was passed.
“Dear colleagues, I congratulate all of us on the passage of this very important bill.
“Today, the house has fulfilled the commitment of our dear state to the agreement reached at the South-South Governors’ meeting held here in our state capital, Asaba.
“By virtue of this bill, this house has demonstrated its resolve to protect the people of the state from the menace of clashes between herders and farmers.
“I must therefore, commend all the sponsors of this bill, for recognising that the security of lives and property of the people of the state as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) are sacrosanct,” Oborevwori said.
Oborevwori said that with the passage of the bill, well-meaning persons who seek to carry on the business of breeding, rearing and marketing of livestock should do so within the boundaries of the law.
“Also, farmers can now go about their businesses without fear of anyone grazing on their crops.
“This for sure will boost food production in the state; dear colleagues, this Bill is a right step in the right direction as our women can now go to their farmlands without fear of molestation.
“Once again, I thank you all for your untiring support as always and for your resolute commitment in the passage of people oriented bills, such as this.”

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FG Tasks Media On Fight Against Fake News, Misinformation

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The Federal Government has urged the media to complement the government’s efforts in the fight against fake news and misinformation in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha gave the advice yesterday at a training of “Communication Managers on Fake News and Hate Speech’’ in Abuja.
The training was organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms.
Mustapha, represented by Mrs Veronica Agugu, the Director, Public Affairs Department in the office of SGF, described fake news as false and misleading information presented as news.
He urged media practitioners and managers to assist in bridging the divide between governments and citizens in terms of implementation of government reform policies and programmes.
“Strengthening transparency in governance will require public sector to public communication as a tool to systematically raise citizens awareness which in turn would reduce the potency of hate speech in the country,’’ Mustapha said.
Dr Bala Muhammad, a lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano State, described media managers as media literates.
He urged them to unite against fake news and misinformation to promote peaceful co-existence in the country.
Muhammad said that most of the users of social media were not media literate, hence they easily fall for fake news and misinformation in the country.
Mr Yushau Shuaib, one of the resource persons, expressed concern over the huge number of social media users who were not media literate.
Shuaib stressed the need for relevant stakeholders to redouble their efforts in regulating the activities of social media in the country.
Mr Dasuki Arabi, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, said the training was to tackle the growing incidences of fake news, and hate speech occasioned by internet technology in the country.

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