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Court sends kidnap kingpin, Wadume, to jail

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Justice Binta Nyako has sentenced the Taraba-based kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala, popularly called Wadume, to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine.

Wadume was convicted by the trial judge for unlawfully dealing in prohibited firearms and for escaping from prison custody.

The Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice had earlier brought the criminal prosecution before Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

After the trial lasted for three years, Nyako convicted Wadume on counts two and 10 of the 13-count charge brought against him and six others.

Meanwhile, Justice Nyako, on July 22, 2022 delivered judgement on other defendants in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/30/2020, which are: Aliyu Dadje (a police inspector), Auwalu Bala (aka omo razor), Uba Bala (aka Uba Delu), Bashir Wazlri (aka baba runs), Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho) and Rayyanu Abdul.

The details of Court papers, which emerged on Sunday, August 14, showed that the case of the prosecution team was upheld.

Inspector Dadje was sentenced to three years for tampering with Police records to conceal a crime.

Dadje was the Station officer at the Ibi Divisional Police Headquarters, Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State at the time of the crime.

According to Court records, he was said to have tampered with entries made by the leader, Inspector Felix Adolije of the IGP, IRT team in August, 2019, by tearing off the entry page to cover up for Captain Tijani Ahmed Balarabe and his team.

Other suspects sentenced to seven years each are Uba Bala, popularly called Uba Deli and Zubairu Abdullahi, alias Basho, having been charged with illegal possession and unlawful trading in prohibited weapons.

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One Mr Abdul, a resident in Kano, was sentenced to three years for harbouring Wadume after he escaped from Police custody in Ibi.

Two suspects, Auwal Bala, alias Omo Razor and Bashir Waziri, alias Baba Runs, who were listed as 3rd and 5th defendants were discharged and acquitted for want of evidence against them.

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PDP demands probe of Supreme Court fire disaster

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The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) has demanded a thorough investigation into the fire incident that gutted a section of the Supreme Court in the early hours of Monday.

The party raised the alarm over the incident which it described as suspicious giving the fact that a verdict on a sensitive issue of national importance is being expected.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba made the position of the opposition party on the fire incident known in a statement on Monday.

He said, “The PDP is worried over the fire outbreak especially given heightened public apprehension of possible arsonist attack with the intent to cripple and frustrate the Supreme Court from effectively discharging its constitutional duties especially with regard to high profile electoral cases including the Presidential Election Appeals pending before it.

“Our Party demands for an immediate full-scale investigation into the fire outbreak with the view to unraveling the circumstances or possible sabotage in the incident.

“The PDP insists that the outcome of the investigation should be made public unlike those of previous fire incidents in various government Ministries, Departments and Agencies which were characteristically swept under the carpet by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administrations.

“While calling on the Federal Government to beef up security around the Supreme Court, the PDP also demands that Nigerians must be assured of the safety of sensitive documents and equipment at the Court especially at this critical time.”

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Gov. Mbah tasks FG on New Road Maintenance Model as bridge collapses along Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway

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Gov Peter Mbah (centre) and some government officials during inspection of the collapsed bridge in Enugu on Monday

…urges FG to concession roads to states

Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has called for a new road maintenance model to guarantee a better condition and longevity of Nigerians roads, regretting that the current model had failed woefully.

Dr. Mbah made the call when he visited the site of the collapsed bridge between the New Artisan flyover and the NNPC Mega Station along the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway.

The collapsed bridge

Fielding questions from newsmen after the first-hand inspection of the scene of the disaster, Mbah who thanked God that no life was lost despite the magnitude of the incident, urged the federal government to consider a concession of all the federal roads in each state to the state governments for proper maintenance in conjunction with the private sector.

“I think the question should be whether the current model of federal road maintenance is working or not; and I think that is the bigger question that we must ask.

“Today, we are here witnessing a tragedy that has just occurred. We are fortunate enough that no life was lost, but this could have been prevented entirely. So, the people can no longer ply this route because of this tragedy. This shows clearly that we do not have a sound federal road maintenance model.

“The bridge collapse didn’t just happen. These threats could have been identified if we had routine or regular maintenance.

“Perhaps the way to go is to find a way to concession these roads to the states. The states need to take charge of the roads within their domains and there has to be a conversation around the funding models”.

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Gov Mbah (R) inspecting the collapsed New Artisan Enugu bridge that collapsed on Monday

The said bridge collapsed on Monday, leaving commuters stranded.

Meanwhile, in a statement signed by the Enugu State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Gerald Otiji, government has advised commuters to use Nza Street through New Haven or ply Ogui Road and Abakaliki Road to their various destinations, while the authorities come up with measures for immediate repair on the failed section of the bridge.

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Flyover bridge collapses in Enugu, no casualty

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The collapsed flyover bridge in Enugu
The flyover bridge across the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway at the Enugu New Artisan market in Enugu state capital has collapsed.

The bridge collapsed Monday morning but an eyewitness said there was no casualty as artisans and residents were yet to come out from their homes for the day’s activity.

The eyewitness, an Auto Mechanic who identified himself as Nnamdi, told The Advocate that two lorries conveying goods which were on the bridge when the incident occurred were affected.

According to him, drivers and conductors of the two lorries, however, escaped unhurt.

The Advocate observed that one lane of the Enugu – Port Harcourt dual-carriage way had been blocked by the debris of the collapsed bridge forcing motorists playing the expressway to divert through alternative routes to continue their journey.

Security operatives, officials of the Federal and Enugu State Ministries of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) were sighted within the area to access the situation as well as to assist the road users plying the alternative routes.

Residents of Goshen Estate, Premier Layout, worshippers at the Dunamis Church and traders at the New Artisan market who are regular users of the bridge are likely to encounter serious traffic gridlock on account of the collapsed bridge, if an alternative route is not created as a matter of urgency.

The state government has yet to speak on the development by press time.

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