Tuesday, 23 May 2017

22 People Dead After Blast At Manchester Concert

Day has broken over the stunned English city of Manchester, coping with the aftermath of a suspected terrorist attack that has left 19 people dead and saw around 59 taken to hospital. Many more injured were treated at the scene.

Greater Manchester Police said they received reports of explosions during an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday night. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told a press conference that police were treating the incident as a terrorist attack "until we have further information."

He said that police were "working closely" with the U.K.'s national counter-terrorism network.

"I am so so sorry. I don't have words," Grande tweeted after the atrocity. "Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack," her manager said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement, saying "We are working to establish the full details ... All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected."

Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.

Reuters reports that campaigning for the U.K. general election in June has been suspended in the wake of the attack and says that May will be leading a meeting of the British government's emergency COBRA committee Tuesday morning local time, to coordinate a response to the incident. The committee is convened during terrorist attacks.

Facebook has activated its safety check for the attack. Police have given this U.K. number for those with fears for loved ones: 0161 856 9400.

The concert had just ended when witnesses heard two "huge bangs," accordingto the Manchester Evening News. Witnesses told CNN that the explosions took place in a box office area outside the main performance venue.

Monday, 22 May 2017

About 14 years after his installation, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, on Monday appeared in an Ikeja High Court in a suit challenging his emergence as the paramount ruler of Lagos, saying he is the bona fide monarch.

“I am here to justify my appointment, you cannot build something on nothing, it will be broken.

“By native law and customs and by law, I am the bona fide Oba of Lagos,” said Akiolu, who was accompanied to the court by 10 white cap chiefs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akiolu’s installation as the Oba of Lagos is being challenged by Prince Adedoyin Adebiyi and Prince Rasheed Modile, two members of the Lagos royal family.

Joined as respondents in the suit are the state governor, the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Prince Babatunde Akitoye and Chief Junaid Eko.

Both Adebiyi and Modile are claiming that Akiolu is not entitled to the throne because he is not a member of a ruling royal family by not being a direct descendant of Oba Ado, the first Oba of Lagos.

According to the claimants, only members of the Ologun Kutere and Akinsemoyin ruling houses are entitled to the throne.

They also alleged that proper customary rules and procedures were not followed when he was appointed as Oba in May 2003.

While being led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, Akiolu told the court the procedure he followed before being installed.

“After I made my intention known to my family that I wanted to be Oba of Lagos, I applied for the throne.

“In May 2003, the head of the kingmakers and the then Sole Administrator of Lagos Island Council called at my residence.

“At that time I was preparing to go to the mosque and I was told that I received a letter from the state government and the State Executive Council.

“The letter accepted my nomination that I have been approved to be a worthy successor of the late Oba of Lagos.

“It will be exactly 14 years tomorrow (May 23, 2003) that the my appointment was approved.

“By the grace of Almighty Allah, there is nothing like rotation in the succession to the throne of Oba of Lagos,” Akiolu said.

Before cross-examining Akiolu, lawyer to the claimants, Mr Babatunde Fashanu (SAN), told the court that for the purpose of the trial, Akiolu should be addressed as the defendant and not as the Oba of Lagos while in court.

“I apply that all referrals to the defendant as the Oba of Lagos should be expunged from the records of this honourable court.

“Within the walls of this courtroom, he is a defendant and when we step out of the courtroom, I will lie down and greet him as ‘kabiyesi’ because I am like a son to him,” he said.

Akiolu also told the court that he had a prior relationship with Fashanu’s father when he was working as a lawyer during his early years of legal practice 32 years ago.

“I know your father, I used to carry files for him when we were working together.”

Fashanu’s request to expunge referrals of Akiolu as Oba of Lagos was, however, not granted by the court.

In responding to Fashanu’s question whether proper customary procedure was followed when he became Oba, Akiolu said he was installed according to the customs of Lagos as Oba by kingmakers.

“Akiolu is a direct descendant of Oba Ologun Kutere, there is no registered declaration for the throne.

“It is the old customs and the recommendations of the Price Commission which is over 100 years ago that is still valid till today.”

Akiolu also debunked claims that Akiolu royal family was not one of the ruling houses because it was non-existent.

He said: “Despite the letter from Lagos State Government confirming my appointment as Oba and stating that I am from the Akiolu royal family, I want to make it clear that a royal family and ruling house means the same thing.

“My appointment as the king is the first time in history that kingmakers will be unanimous in selecting an Oba of Lagos.”

Justice A. Candide-Johnson adjourned the case until June 19 for continuation of trial.


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Monday, 8 May 2017


The Chief Imam of Iwo, Sheik Abdulfatai Olododo, has said the removal of Chief Abiola Ogundokun as the Basorun Musulumi of Iwo by the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, is in order.

The chief imam said there was nothing strange in the removal of Ogundokun, a former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, by the monarch, whom he said had the absolute power to appoint or remove title holders.

The chief imam said this in a telephone interview with our correspondent in Osogbo on Friday.

Olododo said the monarch was right to strip the 82-year-old Ogundokun of the Islamic title because the title was conferred on him by the institution of the Oluwo.

He said, “Oluwo is right to strip him of the title because he was the one that conferred it on him. He has the right. I am not part of those, who are saying the Oluwo has no right to strip him of the title of Basorun Musulumi.

“I am in support of the Oluwo. He was the one, who installed me as the chief imam so he has the right to remove anyone, whom he installed.”

Another Islamic leader in the town, Alhaji Bashir Omotokese, said the chief imam had never said the Oluwo was not competent to remove Ogundokun as the Basorun Musulumi.

Another Islamic leader in the town, Alhaji Mutiu Abludazeez, said four of them, including Ogundokun were conferred with various Islamic titles by the late Oluwo.

He said the Oluwo had the right to confer Islamic titles on Iwo indigenes because the practice and the tradition in Iwo were quite different from those of other towns, especially in Yoruba land.

He said, “The Oluwo is the consenting authority regarding Islamic titles in Iwo. He is the one, who appoints the chief imam, and there was a time when the Oluwo’s stool was vacant for years, there was no imam also.

“The town only had an imam when another Oluwo was installed. So, that shows that the Oluwo appoints imams and other Islamic title holders and he can remove them.”

The Oluwo had last week announced the stripping of Ogundokun of all the titles conferred on him, over allegations of disrespect and working against the development of the town.

Ogundokun while reacting to the monarch’s action said the Oluwo lacked the competence to strip him of the titles because he was conferred with them long before Oba Akanbi ascended the throne.

Baby, WASSCE results burnt in fire incidents!

A seven-day-old baby was killed, while copies of West African Senior School Certificate Examination results were burnt after fire broke out in the Makoko and Satellite Town areas of Lagos State on Saturday.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the baby was burnt to death in Makoko after the fire started around 6pm.

It was gathered that a resident was cooking on a stove, but later left it unattended to.

A firefighter said, “We gathered that a woman was cooking food; she left the place and forgot it.

“The fire started from there and razed a lot of makeshift structures to the ground.

“In the confusion that greeted the incident, the parents of the child left him inside the house. By the time they remembered that he was in the house and tried to rescue him, it was too late. The child had been burnt to death. He was supposed to be named today (Sunday).

“Four fire trucks from the Lagos State Fire Service responded to a distress call from the area and put out the fire in the early hours of Sunday.”

In the second fire incident, our correspondent learnt that an electric spark from a cable triggered the fire, which damaged 32 flats.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the house used to be a school, known as Stepping Stone Comprehensive Girls College.

A firefighter, who was at the scene, said while a woman was injured, copies of burnt WASSCE results were found in the building.

He said, “The place used to be a school. It was converted to 32 apartments. A woman was injured, while WASSCE results of many former students were burnt. We cannot tell the number of results, but they were many.

“Also, 11 gas cylinders were burnt, with seven air conditioners. About 20 families were affected. It was the state fire service that initially responded before the Federal Fire Service was also called. The fire was put out around 12.25am on Sunday.”

The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency, South West Zone, Ibrahim Farinloye, said the agency’s zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, advised the owner of the complex to gather the mutilated certificates and report the incident to WASSCE for issuance of Certified True Copies of the affected certificates.

Farinloye, who said he could not explain why the certificates were still in the building after the conversion of the building to residential flats, said investigations were ongoing.

Ritual killers hack couple, children to death!

A gang of assailants, suspected to be ritual killers, has wreaked havoc on a family of six in Adeke bus stop, Adamo, Imota, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

The couple – Taofiq Agbaje and Simiat Agbaje, 32, – and two of their four children, Rodiat, 10, and eight-year-old Toyeebat, were hacked to death by the gang.

The two other siblings, Mardiya, 13 and her one-year-old sister reportedly sustained injuries.

This happened barely three weeks after another couple and their only child were murdered in Ibese Titun, a neighbouring community,

The attacks were allegedly perpetrated by members of a notorious gang called Badoo.

In what seemed to be their usual modus operandi, PUNCH Metro gathered that the attackers gained entrance into the Agbajes’ three-bedroomed flat in the night after tearing the window net and removing some burglar-proof bars.

They were said to have smashed some objects on their victims and wiped away their blood with handkerchiefs, leaving them for dead.

Our correspondent gathered that a neighbour, who had gone to get lemon juice from the family around 6am on Tuesday, saw the victims and called for help.

It was gathered that Taofiq and two children died on the spot, while his wife, Rodiat, and the toddler were rushed to a hospital for treatment.

The case was reported at the Imota Police Division.

Simiat’s uncle, Adisa Ismaila, said he was at work on Tuesday when he received the tragic news.

“On getting to the house, I met the corpses of her husband and two children on the ground. There was a big stone beside them. The gang wiped their blood with a piece of cloth. The mother and the two other children were taken to the hospital, while we buried the deceased according to Islamic rites.

“The following day, the mother also gave up the ghost. We buried her beside them. Mardiya and her sister have recovered and have been taken to our hometown in Iwo (Osun State) for proper care. When policemen from the division asked Mardiya what transpired, she could not explain,” he said.

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that a generator was working at the time of the attack, adding that its noise deafened the neighbours.

He said, “Around 6am, one of the neighbours, a woman, needed lemon for her child, who was having a stomach ache. She went to get it from Iya Mardiya (Simiat). She saw Mardiya crawling on the passage. She could no longer talk. She pointed at their room and the woman rushed in only to discover other family members lying helplessly.

“They used to live in the Agric area. They moved into this area four years ago when they completed their house. We call on the security agencies to please do something.”

A community leader, who did not want his name in print for security reasons, lamented that “there is little or no improvement,” despite several petitions to Governor Akinwumi Ambode and some other commissioners in the state.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said identities of the assailants had yet to be known.

He said, “The command responded to a distress call from a resident and discovered that one Taofeek Agbaje and his family were attacked at night by unknown persons. As a result, Mr. Agbaje and his two daughters, between seven and nine years, died, while his wife and two other daughters, aged two and 12 years, sustained injuries respectively and were taken to a hospital. Investigations are in progress.”