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Professor’s son, others nabbed for stealing Hilux engine



The son of a professor known as Jerry and two other suspects, David and Paul, have been nabbed for allegedly stealing a Toyota Hilux engine worth N2 million inside the University of Calabar Staff Quarters.

They were arrested by the university’s security personnel led by the Chief Security Officer, Cpt Augustine Bisong (retd), last weekend.

According to Bisong, the engine was bought to replace a bad one in the vehicle of a principal officer of the university before it was stolen from the mechanic workshop in the staff quarters.

He added that when they got a call that the engine was missing they swung into action to recover it after it had been sold.

He said the suspects had identified the buyer and other accomplices.

“The buyer of the ‘tokunbo’ Toyota Hilux engine at Bogobri and the vehicle/driver used in moving the engine out from the university have been identified.

“So far, we have arrested three persons, we are also on the trail of other suspects involved in the engine theft and other related damage to the critical infrastructure of the university.

“The ones arrested have been terrorising members of the university community, stealing car batteries, armoured cables and vandalising street lights to get their batteries.

“We have been on surveillance for two weeks after the Hilux engine was stolen, and we have been on their trail before they were arrested. They have also named their receiver, a businessman in the popular Bogobiri community of Hausa/ Fulani in Calabar.

“We will hand them over to the security agency for onward prosecution of the matter, but we want to seize this opportunity to warn all those who are in the university community who feel they can commit a crime and go scot-free, our vigilant eyes are watching. We shall smoke them all out.

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“We are serious about maintaining zero crime in the university community, and we shall leave no stone unturned in achieving this. We want to assure inhabitants to go about their lawful business without fear, we have the school community covered,” he said.

Speaking about their arrest, the suspects said they thought the engine was scrap metal that was no longer useful.

One of them, called David, who said he is from Benue and resides at the University Staff Quarters with his mother who is a potter in one of the hostels, said, “We took the engine to Bogobiri. We sold it for N30,000 because we thought it was scrap metal. I am sorry because I will never get involved in such again.”

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PDP demands probe of Supreme Court fire disaster



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



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



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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