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10 Die, 28 Rescued In Lagos Building Collapse

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Ten persons comprising five men, four females and a four-year-old boy were confirmed dead on Monday following the collapse of a three-storey building in Lagos on Sunday.
Twenty-eight others were rescued from the debris.
The building located at the popular Ibadan Street, Ebute Meta, a densely populated neighborhood, caved in around 9.48pm on Sunday.
A bread seller, her adult foster son, a young man, his mother, an aged man with hearing impairment, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Oluwakemi, an unnamed elderly woman and her child were among those recovered dead from underneath the rubble by emergency responders who worked overnight at the scene.
Two more bodies were pulled later from the rubble.
A lady, who died in the building, was said to have first come out before going back to fetch her phone, and was crushed by the collapsing structure.
It was gathered that seven of those rescued alive were children, while most of the 24 survivors sustained minor injuries.
A survivor, Goke Ogunbambi, said he was sleeping on the topmost floor when the building collapsed.
Ogunbambi, a civil engineer, had lived in the compound for a decade.
“I am a spinal injury patient. I was asleep around 9:30pm when I heard the noise, I imagined that the building was collapsing and I was naked. When we got to the ground, people came to rescue me. I was with my woman when it happened,” he said.
An inconsolable man, who lost his wife and son in the building, said he and his family were on about moving out, and were only waiting for the tiling work in the new place to be completed, when the building fell.
He said he was returning from the new house when he heard about the collapse.
According to eye witnesses, the building caved in while some of the occupants were observing their Salat prayers.
It was learnt that the structure had been defective for over a year and showed obvious signs of danger but the occupants ignored them.
It was alleged that the landlord’s son, Soji Dosunmu, who was in charge of the building, also issued quit notices to all tenants and moved out of the property to a rented apartment.
It was further said that the developer failed to carry out repairs on the property, as instructed by the owners.
However, while  of the tenants vacated the structure, others refused to leave especially as they were no longer paying rent
A nearby neighbour, Omotola Gabriel, said it was a common knowledge to most residents that the building would collapse soon.
“I had just finished taking my dinner when the atmosphere of the neighbouring building went dark and by the time we looked towards the direction to find out why, we were told that the building had collapsed and we rushed to the scene only to find out that some occupants had been trapped,” she said.
A resident, Dr. Olarenwaju Ayade, described the incident as saddening.
“The rescue team came around early. We rescued about 10 victims initially and they were taken to our local health centre. The building has been here for over 10 years. The rescue team has been here since last night and they have not even blinked,” he said.

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NDLEA Arraigns Catholic Knight, Cousin For Drug Trafficking 

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arraigned a knight of the Roman Catholic Church, Sir Basil Okafor and his cousin, Edwin Izuchukwu, before the Federal High Court over allegations of drug peddling.
The two brothers were arraigned on charges of conspiracy, possession of 2.169 kilograms of heroin, and frustrating the cause of justice.
According to the NDLEA, the suspects were arrested on March 28, 2022, at No 26 Akpomule Street, Isolo-Okota area of Lagos.
The prosecutor, Mr. Umar Hussaine, informed Justice Daniel Osiagor that the defendants were found in unlawful possession of the prohibited drug and also discovered to be distributing same.
The counsel also alleged that Okafor threw his iPhone 7 containing his SIM card into a water closet in a bid to obstruct the operations of the NDLEA officers in the course of his arrest.
Hussaine said the offences committed by the two brothers were prohibited under Sections 14(b), 24(1)(a), and 49 of the NDLEA Act, 2004. The said offences are also punishable under Section 20(2)(a) and Section 20(2)(b) of the Act.
After reading the charges, the defendants pleaded not guilty.
The defendant’s counsel, Mr. Benson Ndakara, prayed the court to grant his clients bail, appealing that one of the defendants, Sir Okafor, is a knight of a Catholic Church.
Justice Osiagor granted the two defendants bail in the sum of N2m each with one surety in like sum.
He, however, remanded them in the NDLEA custody until their bail terms have been perfected.
The court adjourned the case till October 5 to open trial against the defendants.
Earlier, the NDLEA had obtained a lien of Post No Debit from Justice Tijani Ringim directing Zenith Bank Plc and United Bank of Africa to restrict the defendants from accessing their accounts.
The justice also ordered that the NDLEA should be granted rights to inspect the Certified True Copies of their accounts, and also conduct other investigations as necessary.
The application was granted on the alleged ground that the defendants were international drug traffickers.

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Sokoto Launches COVID-19 Action Recovery, Releases N8.3bn To 152,107 Beneficiaries 

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The Zamfara  State Governor, Dr. Bello Matawalle, has launched the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (CARES) in the state.
The programme was launched to directly support individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the poor and vulnerable in the state.
The governor made this known on Wednesday in a statement by his Press Secretary, Jamilu Iliyasu Magaji.
The governor said the programme would be accomplished through social transfers, livelihood grants, basic infrastructure provision, support for medium and small business enterprises, and maintenance of food security threatened by armed banditry and general economic downturn.
He said the sum of N8.3 billion had been set aside for distribution to 152,107 beneficiaries to enable their small and medium scale businesses flourish.
He explained that the programme would be implemented through three delivery platforms, namely: CSDA, FADAMA, and the ministry of Commerce and Industries, in collaboration with the office of Zamfara State First Lady to address the problem of malnutrition in the state.

Matawalle added that, “there is also a CARES Coordinating office unit for the state. The services that CARES will deliver to the common man of Zamfara State including livelihood grants of 3.4 billion Naira, food security 3.4 billion Naira and job creation through small and medium scale Enterptrises at 2 billion Naira”.

The statement said further that in order to cover the target beneficiaries in all parts of the state, the programme would be implemented in three phases of Result Area One: to increase social transfer, basic services, and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households, targeting 82,321 beneficiaries.

“Similarly, Result Area Two component is aimed at increasing food security and safe functioning of food supply chains for poor households targeting 61,286 beneficiaries, while Result Area Three Component of the Programme would facilitate recovery of micro and small informal businesses, the phase will target 8,500 beneficiaries”, the governor said.

The governor said his administration considers it a matter of utmost significance to implement programmes explicitly tailored to mitigate poverty among people and open new economic horizons for committed youths and entrepreneurs.

According to him, the administration has been working hard in the last three years to address the issue of insecurity, which has long been a major impediment to economic activity in many parts of the state, in addition to the massive investments in primary, secondary and tertiary education, healthcare, road infrastructure, cargo airport construction and a variety of other areas in order to turn around the fortunes of the state.

Matawalle also reaffirmed  his administration’s resolve to place high premium on the well-being of individuals while also trying to create an environment that allows legitimate businesses and other critical sectors of the economy to function effectively.

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World Bank To Fund $30bn Projects In Nigeria, Others

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The World Bank has said it is set to disburse a total of $30bn to fund existing and new projects in Nigeria and other countries as part of a global response to combat the ongoing food security crisis.
According to the bank, it is working with countries on a $12bn new projects fund for the next 15 months.
It said the projects are expected to support agriculture, social protection to cushion the effects of higher food prices, and water and irrigation projects.
It added that most of the funds would go to Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia.
The global bank disclosed this on Wednesday when it announced how it plans to be part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis.
It stated that it intends to roll out this fund in existing and new projects in agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water, and irrigation.
It said, “This financing will include efforts to encourage food and fertilizer production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers”.
World Bank Group President, David Malpass, said, “Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable.
“To inform and stabilise markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage.”
The bank added that its current existing portfolio includes balances of $18.7bn in projects with direct links to food and nutrition security issues, covering agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, social protection, and other sectors.
It stated, “Altogether, this would amount to over $30bn available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months. This response will draw on the full range of Bank financing instruments and be complemented by analytical work”.

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