A man, Mr Vincent Chukwu ,yesterday narrated before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters’ how his cousin, Mr Basil Ejiagwa, allegedly died from injuries sustained from torture by officers of the disbanded police unit.
The Tide source reports that Chukwu gave evidence on behalf of the petitioner who had allegedly succumbed to his injuries on November 17 while undergoing care in Imo State.
The witness said that Ejiagwa was a trader at the Alaba International Market and was arrested on May 2014 at the Igando area of Lagos by police officers from the Igando Police Station.
“He spent five days at the Igando Police Station and while he was there, a hammer was used to break his legs.
“He was then transfered to the office Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Ikeja. While he was there, they hit his head several times with the butt of a gun.
“He spent nine-days at SARS and was released on May 31, 2019. At this time, he could not walk anymore and could not remember certain things.
“He couldn’t even remember that he had placed an order for the importation of some goods,” he said.
Chukwu said his cousin was initially taken to El-Shaddai Hospital in Igando, but he was rejected and referred to the Igando General Hospital.
“From the results of the hospital, they said the use of gun butt on his head made him to lose his memory.
“At the time, he had injuries all over his head, the brain tumour did not start immediately,” he said.
Chukwu said his cousin initially could not physically function properly, but had become slightly better.
He said Ejiagwa had in 2017, instituted a court action against SARS at the Federal High Court Lagos.
He said on April 16, 2019, N40million damages was awarded by the court against SARS iin Ejiagwa’s favour.
Chukwu, however, noted that before the judgment was delivered, his cousin’s health had taken a turn for the worse and he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
He said that the family had also been unable to receive the N40 million damages awarded by the court from the police.
“I appeal to the panel to help the family recover what the judgment had given to us.
“When the tumour became bad, he was taken out of Lagos to the east for treatment because when you look at him, you will see a different person.
“He, however, died exactly a week ago on November 17,” he said.
The counsel to the petitioner, Mr Olalekan Gazali tendered a copy of the Federal High Court judgment and hospital receipts worth N1million to the panel as exhibits.
Earlier during proceedings, Gazali had told the court that Ejiagwa had sustained several fractures which eventually developed into a brain tumour.
“All his money was spent in the treatment of the tumour,” he said.
Reacting, the lead counsel for the police, Mr Joseph Eboseremem questioned Gazali’s allegations about the circumstances of Ejiagwa’s demise.
“My lord, note the way my learned friend is cooking up allegations saying he died because of torture.
“We have not been served with the petition if they have the petition, they should serve us,” he said
The chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi noted that it was not Gazali’s position to categorically state the petitioner’s cause of death because the panel was on a fact finding mission.
The matter was adjourned until Dec. 4 for cross-examination.
Get Involved In Politics, NYCN Urges Youths
The President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Mr Solomon Adodo, has urged youths to get actively involved in politics and governance, in order to chart a better future for the country.
Adodo said at an award ceremony organised by the NYCN in Abuja that it was important for the youths to lead the change they desire in the country.
The award was to recognise the contributions of some Nigerians to youths development as part of activities to mark the International Youths Day themed, “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all Ages.”
The NYCN President urged youths to focus on building partnerships for innovative leadership, economic growth and efficient security in Nigeria.
He noted that the youths were the centre of the various crises in Nigeria and across the world.
“As such, they should strive to lead in finding solutions to the security, political and economic crises.
“It is therefore critical that greater attention is paid to youth development to help them uphold the social rhythms.
“Let me salute the gallant Nigerian youths who have continued to soldier into glory not withstanding the excruciating political and socio economic conditions,” Adodo said.
He challenged the youths not to bow to the current challenges, “but work through it in partnership with Nigerians of all ages in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The NYCN President decried what he called the “systematic exclusion of young people in the critical sectors,” saying it was unacceptable.
He, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for carrying the youths along in his administration, but said “more needed to be done to get things right.”
The Patron of NYCN, Dr Ibrahim Dauda said the day was to re-evaluate and renew approaches on leadership, governance and developmental strategies that will guarantee a better society.He said that youth occupy the largest demography of the global population and advised them to join political parties as well as be active players.
“Youths must seek leadership positions and serve with dignity and honour.
“The system must create friendly policies and level playing ground for youths to compete with people of all ages.
“Going by the theme of the day, it is pertinent to note that no demography can survive on its own,” Dauda said.
“There must be inter-dependence on each age bracket to build sustainable growth and maintain a progressive index.
“The place of knowledge and experience is not negotiable, the Nigerian youths must subject themselves to learning and mentorship,’’ Dauda added.
A member of the House of Representatives, Saidu Abdullahi, said that the revolution in technology had availed youths the opportunity to advance interaction and learning.
“This must be embraced to better the society other than using it in promoting crime and criminality.
“While appreciating the energies that come with youthfulness, youths must embrace leadership and must demonstrate to be worthy leaders,’’ he said.
Abdullahi, who represents Bida/Katcha/Gbako Federal Constituency in Niger urged the government should continue to create sustainable platforms.
This, he said, was to encourage infusion of the knowledge and experiences of senior citizens to help youths build carriers and exposure.
He said that this would help in bridging the gap created by age and front a renewed partnership to advance the course of humanity.
The lawmaker also urged youths in the country to ensure their votes count and good leaders were chosen in 2023.In his speech, King Hope Dan-Opunsingi, the Amayanabi of Opu Kula/Singi Ama in Rivers pledged his support to the youths at all times.
He assured them of his royal blessings, spiritual advice, financial and moral support to ensure they succeed in all endeavors.
The traditional ruler urged the youths to shun social vices, but “set goals aimed at developing themselves and moving the nation forward.”
In his remarks, National Youth Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Dayo Israel, urged youths to get involved in grassroots activities to fast track national development.
“Our level of involvement in governance should go beyond social media activities and organizing protests.
“To get involved or be carried along for leadership, you need to be patriotic, smart, determined and show your self worth,” he added.
Those honoured were Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare and Dr Ramatu Aliyu of the FCT, among others.
Bureau Poised To Improve Digital Literacy In Public Service
The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR), Dasuki Arabi, has reiterated Federal Government’s support in strengthening digital services to providing timely and effective public service to Nigerians.
Arabi said this during a-one day training on National Digital Transformation and Data Protection Awareness, organised by the Institute for Information Management, in Abuja, Friday.
He said that the sensitisation training would help to improve digital literacy in the country.
“The awareness campaign organised by the Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa, is to upscale and improve the digital literacy of the Nigerian public service.
“This gesture will no doubt improve transparency and accountability in the service and assist government with right quality and calibre of public service workforce relevant in this age,’’ he said.
According to him, digital literary is critical to the growth and development of economies in developed and developing countries.
“It is also one of the most critical factors for enhancing good governance and service delivery.
“The national data transformation aims to improve the transparency, flexibility reliability and sustainability of digital services and to reduce digital service time and cost in line with the e-Govemment Master Plan,” concluded.
Customs Generates N538m As FoB
The Nigeria Customs Area Command (CAC), Katsina State, says it generated N538.4 million as Free on Board (FoB) value for the exportation of 10,827.40 metric tones of items such as cement, hibiscus flower, chilli pepper, animal feeds, tamarind, and beverages.
The Command also said that N99.7 million was generated as revenue from July to August 11, 2022.
The Controller, Katsina Area Command, Dalha Wada Chedi, who revealed this at a press conference in Katsina said the N99.7 million generated by the Command within the period under review was a decline from what it realised in June.
Chedi attributed the decline in revenue to the incessant banditry attacks experienced along Jibia axis in recent times.
Chedi, however, said there was no cause for alarm revealing that the Command in conjunction with other sister security agents have adapted new strategies to curb the twin evil of banditry and smuggling experienced in the Jibia/Niger Republic border for legitimate businesses to thrive along the border corridor.
According to Chedi, smuggled items seized by the command within the period under review was to the tune of N73.6 million.
The seized items includes: food items, motorcycles, and reconstructed vehicles used as a means of conveyance for smuggled items.
Giving the breakdown, Chedi said: “During the period under review, we were also able to intercept different vehicles, including truck and grader caterpillar worth more than N45.5 million.
“We also succeeded in seizing one used motorcycle with the duty value of N60,000 and also 447 bags of foreign rice worth more than N13.2 million.
“We seized 337 cartons of Spaghetti worth more than N2 million, 32 cartons of Macaroni worth N192,000, 115 kegs of petrol and 89 kegs of diesel amounting to more than N1.7 million.
“Other items seized were 126 bags of 50kg and 25kg bags of foreign flour worth more than over N1.9 million, and seven cartons of milky creamer milk worth N141,750.’’
Others, he continued, included eight bags of foreign milky creamer, 450 bags of potash, 13 bags of tiger nuts and 1,000 pieces of hides and skin.
Chedi said the Command would not relent in ensuring that the environment was made uncomfortable for smugglers, resulting in huge loss for the offenders.
“And what they are thinking of gaining, I am sorry for them, instead of gaining it, they will lose because the country must definitely win this fight,” Chedi said.
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