Mohammed, who made the pledge on Monday in an interview with newsmen in his office at Ukpo near Awka, described the incident as “sad and most unfortunate.”
The AIG said he had directed the Anambra Police Commissioner, CP John Abang to commence investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“I am sure that the commissioner of police will intensify intelligence to track down the criminals and make sure that they are brought to book.
“The people of the state should not express fear or have sleepless nights over the development.
“They should know that in larger societies like this, there are pockets of crimes,” he said.
The AIG assured the people, especially family members of the deceased, that the culprits would be apprehended, no matter how highly placed they were.
He also expressed concerns over the increasing wave of cultism in the state, warning cultists to denounce their membership or face the wrath of the law.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Ekwegbalu, 43, was allegedly stabbed to death with a kitchen knife at his residence in the Commissioners’ Quarters, Awka, by unknown assailants on Sunday.
The Police Command’s Spokesman in the state, SP Haruna Mohammed already said a suspect seen within the premises around 1:30a.m. on the fateful day had been arrested for further investigations.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)
Save us from DPO’s alleged abetting of criminals, 1004 Estate residents beg FG
The 1004 Homeowners and Residents Association (1004HORA), Lagos, on Friday appealed to President Mohammadu Buhari to deliver them from the hands criminals terrorising the estate and allegedly abetted by the police.
The estate’s Acting Chairperson, Mrs Lola Ademola, told a news conference that the call had become expedient as their efforts to stem criminality in the 41-year-old estate were frustrated and had not yielded the desired result.
According to her, the DPO in charge of the Divisional Police Officer of Bar Beach Police Station, CSP Isa Lawal, allegedly abets the perpetrators of crime who have now turned the estate into a safe haven for criminals, especially electricity thieves and other law breakers.
Chairman, Processes, Governance and Control Committee, 1004 HORA, Mr. EfiyeBribena, Acting Chairman, 1004 Homeowners and Residents Association(1004 HORA), Mrs Lara Ademola, Representative Cluster A, Mr BayoAdemiluyi and Chairman, Estate Refurbishment Committee, Mr John Ochuko at the News Briefing by the 1004 Homeowners and Residents Association (1004 HORA) appealing to the Federal Government and Law Abiding Citizens to deliver them from the DPO of Bar Beach Police Station who allegedly has the estate into a safe haven for power thieves and violent criminals in 1004 Estate in Lagos on Friday/18/09/20/.
She said that the residents were calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to intervene and come to their aid as the highbrow residential estate on Victoria Island, was now home to over 5,000 residents of different nationalities.
She added that it was managed by the 1004 Homeowners and Residents Association (1004HORA).
“1004 Estate provides 24 hours electricity supply to its residents using a combination of public and privately generated power supply.
“The design of the estate makes it a necessity that there must be constant supply of electricity as water, lifts, cooking and other utilities are dependent on power.
“In recent times, 1004HORA’s ability to provide 24hrs electricity in the estate has been threatened by the activities of residents engaged in power theft, which is not just a breach of the estate’s byelaws but also a criminal act under the laws of Nigeria.
“To stem this tide of power theft and avoid infrastructure collapse, 1004HORA deployed agreed community sanctions against the thieves.
These measures have brought the association on collision with those engaged in electricity theft,’’ she said.
According to her, the chief among them, allegedly is one Mathew Ibadin, a tenant who has been using his position as the Chairman of the Victoria Island Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) to cause mayhem in the estate.
The chairperson claimed that Ibadin brazenly steals power, aids and abets others to do same and promote general lawlessness in the estate with the active support and connivance of the DPO, Bar Beach Police station.
“One would expect the Nigeria Police to support 1004HORA and apprehend thieves and criminals in the estate; however, what we observe is that the DPO is always aiding the power thieves in 1004 Estate, while punishing those trying to uphold the law.
“On numerous occasions, the DPO has ordered the arrest and detention of 1004HORA officials and staff for disconnecting apartments involved in power theft.
“For instance, when one Mrs Eno Eniang was found to be involved in power theft and disconnected, Ibadin mobilised CSP Lawal and his men to forcefully reconnect the apartment.
“This action by the DPO in aiding criminals has emboldened other persons within the estate to steal power at will without fear of repercussion, putting a strain on the estate’s power supply,’’ she added.
She said that the latest abuse of power on Aug. 6, was the arrest and detention of the 1004HORA Operations Manager at the behest of Ibadin, who in his attempt to cover up his power theft, removed his issued meter.
According to her, on Aug. 9, Ibadin against the estate byelaws, brought in a petrol generator to power his apartment thereby, exposing the block of 127 apartments on 14 floors and indeed the entire estate to the risk of fire outbreak.
Ademola said: “This is real and presents danger which must be averted if we are to safeguard lives and property.
“All efforts to get him to remove the generator from the estate was resisted by Ibadin, supported by CSP Isa Lawal who provided a team of armed policemen to guard the apartment and prevent the removal of the generator.
“This is not only a cause of pollution but a threat to lives and property in the estate. The generator is still powering Ibadin’s apartment till date, in spite of being served a notice by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to remove it from the estate.
She also alleged that with the support of the DPO, Ibadin had continued to threaten and harass 1004HORA executive members and staff as well as other residents.
Ademola claimed that the duo had also been engineering the arrest and detention of the estate’s officials both at the Bar Beach Police Station and Police Zone 2 Command headquarters, Onikan over his continuous use of generator in the estate.
She said that to secure reprieve for its officials, staff and residents from constant arrest and intimidation, HORA obtained a court injunction, restraining Ibadin, the Bar Beach DPO and the Nigeria Police from further arrest and harassment.
Ademola, however, said that the duo, in flagrant disrespect of the court order, had continued to harass and threaten 1004HORA officials and staff, claiming that no court in the land could prevent him (DPO) from doing his job.
According to her, the DPO has been telling whoever cares to listen that Ibadin is his friend of over 10 years and he will do everything to protect his interest.
She said that on Sept. 15, Ibadin in company of others armed with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons caused damage to the estate’s power supply and property, and dared anyone to stop them with threat of death or grievous bodily harm.
Ademola said that the resident who challenged him on his criminal behaviour was arrested by the DPO on Sept. 16.
“Also, on the night of 15th September 2020, one Paul Okoye, alias Paul-O, found to be involved in power theft and disconnected stormed the apartment of the 1004HORA acting chairman with thugs and dangerous weapons to physically assault her.
“The door to her apartment was severely damaged as they attempted to gain entrance forcefully into her apartment.
“This case of criminal damage and threat to lives was reported at the Police Area Command, Lion Building, Lagos but was frustrated by the DPO who convinced his boss not to attend to us,’’ she said.
The chairperson said that the estate had written several petitions on the unprofessional and illegal activities of the DPO in aiding of criminals and lawbreakers to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, the AIG Zone 2 Command and the Inspector-General of Police.
She, however said that the estate had not received any response or respite.
According to her, the law officer on Victoria Island, who should be their first point of refuge has become their tormentor, refusing to protect law abiding homeowners and residents.
Ademola said that the loyalties of the DPO to some criminal elements in the estate had taken away its peace.
“We request the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to free us from this scourge and order the Police, especially the Bar Beach DPO to uphold law and order and protect law abiding residents from brigandage and oppression.’’
When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said that the Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, had taken certain actions on the matter.
“I have some correspondences to prove that.
“However, this press briefing will be discussed with the CP for further actions.
“We urge the parties to have trust in the CP for justice,’’ he said.
However, efforts to get Ibadin to comment failed as phone calls and text messages to him were not answered.
Edited By: peter Ejiofor)
Osinbajo inaugurates fashion cluster shared facility for MSMEs in Lagos
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday performed the virtual inauguration of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), the Eko Fashion Hub 1, in Lagos State.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
Osinbajo said that the Federal Government remained deeply committed to creating a more business friendly environment for MSMEs to thrive, as they were the engine room of the Nigerian economy.
According to the Vice President, the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), has in it, a Survival Fund for MSMEs.
“Under the Survival Fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, which will provide up to N50,000 in monthly salaries for up to 10 staff of a qualifying business, for a period of three months.
“There is also a N50,000 grant for 100,000 small and medium-scale businesses, while 333,000 self-employed persons working as artisans and transporters will benefit from a one-off grant of N30,000.
“The President has also approved that the Federal Government bear the full cost of business name registration for 250,000 new businesses nationwide.
“We are doing all these to support MSMEs across the country to maintain their staffing levels and keep their businesses afloat through these very challenging times.”
The Vice President said the Buhari administration’s commitment to the success of small businesses was evident in its MSMEs Clinics initiative.
Osinbajo said that the clinics extended business support services to small businesses across the country, of which the MSMEs Shared Facility Scheme was a core component.
“The Eko facility, which was developed through collaboration between the Federal Government, the Lagos State Government, and the Organised Private Sector, is an end-to-end fashion production centre equipped with needed machinery and will be made available to the public under a shared facility style structure.
“When MSMEs thrive the economy thrives, when they struggle, the economy struggles.
“MSMEs’ Shared Facility Scheme being implemented by the Federal Government under the National MSMEs Clinics seeks to provide high-quality operating equipment, which small businesses can access at a reasonable cost, within a conducive space,’’ he said.
According to the Vice President, the facilities will help to reduce operating costs for users, allowing them to invest the savings in expanding their businesses and hiring more staff.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was physically present at the event in Ikeja, commended the President and Vice President for supporting the scheme.
He said that there were plans to replicate the same in other parts of the state.
There are 161 machines at the EKO facility, including 74 industrial straight sewing machines, 10 industrial steam pressing irons, four monogramming machines, eight industrial button-hole and five industrial button tacking machines.
It also has Tinko and Coil machines, heming and industrial weaving machines, among others.
The Facility has a 100kva standby generator and a 2kva solar power system.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and the Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Tola Johnson joined the event.
Others were the CEO, Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar and Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello.
Dr Lola Akande, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives among other government functionaries also attended the event.
Osinbajo had in June, virtually inaugurated and handed over the 200,000-capacity Yam Storage Facility at the Zaki Biam International Yam Market in Benue State.
He had said there were also plans to establish similar facilities in other parts of the country, including in Kaduna, Anambra and the FCT.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Edo Election: NSCDC deploys 13, 311 personnel for security operations
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), says no fewer than 13, 311 of its personnel from across 10 states were deployed to Edo for Saturday governorship election.
Deputy Commandant General (DCG), Madu Kelechi, in charge of operations disclosed this in Benin on Friday while briefing newsmen on the corps preparedness for the Edo election.
Madu said that of the figure, about 7,331 personnel would be fully involved in the election while the others would be posted to protect critical national assets and infrastructure across the state.
He explained that the core mandate of the NSCDC was disaster management and the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.
He added that the corps could not afford to leave the critical national assets in the state vulnerable to saboteurs because of the election, hence the deployment of some personnel to man the assets.
The DCG further disclosed that the corps would be working in synergy with the police as the lead security agency for the election as well as other sister security agencies.
He maintained that the corps was prepared, adding that after the preparation, some personnel like those from the counter terrorism and the intelligence units were deployed upfront for the election.
He also said that the personnel deployed have been trained at the corps headquarters in Abuja as well as by the NCDC on what to do as the election would be conducted in line with the COVID-19 principles.
He further said that the corps had sensitised the personnel on behavior as well as how to handle situation especially vote buying.
Madu listed the states from which the personnel were drawn from to include Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Anambra, Kogi, Imo, Ondo, Ogun, Lagos and Ekiti.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ismail Abdulaziz
FG, LASG inaugurates Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1
The Federal Government and the Lagos State Government on Friday inaugurated Eko Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Fashion Hub-1 at Old Alade Market, Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking virtually during the inauguration, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of MSMEs in the country.
Osinbajo said with the launch of the Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1, MSMEs in and around Ikeja would no longer have to travel far to use the equipment.
According to him, the fashion equipment are expensive for individual businesses to procure by themselves, hence, the need for the fashion hub.
”With the full scale production line, this hub will enable production of a diverse range of clothing and garments, wedding dresses, office dress.
”Very soon, the products of the hub will be ubiquitous on the streets and will be sourced around the country.
”The fashion industry will be one of Nigeria’s biggest sources of revenue.
”The shared facility scheme which we are launching today and this particular one seeks to provide high quality operating equipment which small businesses can access at a reasonable cost.
”It help reduce operating cost for users, allowing them to invest their savings in expanding their businesses and hiring more staff
”MSMEs are the engine for Nigeria’s economy because when they thrive, the country thrives and when they struggle, the country struggles,” he said.
The vice president said plans were also ongoing to commission similar facilities at Kaduna, Anambra and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) before the end of the year.
According to him, the Fashion Hub 1 was expected to serve 380 Small and Medium Enterprises daily.
Osinbajo said that the federal government was committed to ensuring that MSMEs thrived through access to credit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Development Bank of Nigeria and Bank of Industry (BoI).
He charged other state governments and the Organised Private Sector to emulate initiatives that would engender the development of MSME across the country.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that in spite of the efforts of the small and medium enterprises, only about 40 per cent ever survive beyond five years.
Sanwo-Olu said that this made it impossible for the small businesses to contribute their quota to the country’s socio-economic growth on a sustainable basis.
He said that the shared facility that was being commissioned and handed over to the community was certainly a step in the right direction.
According to him, it is a win-win situation for everybody as it shows the progressive dedication to the eradication of poverty and the economic emancipation of the people
”We are here to witness the implementation of an innovative strategy that is expected to re-energise the fashion industry, stimulate creativity, and also create employment opportunities for our teeming population.
”The destiny of several Lagosians is about to positively change because of this facility. This is the beginning of many victories over unemployment and poverty,” the government said.
Also, Mrs Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said the shared facility would provide a conducive environment for the SME space.
Katagum said that the initiative was one of the key take aways of the MSME clinic chaired by the vice president.
She said that shared facilities were effective tools that could address infrastructure challenges, which had hindered the growth of SMEs.
The minister commended the Lagos State Government for the laudable initiative, particularly at this time when support for SMEs was critical amid the pandemic.
Dr Lola Akande, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, said that the centre was the first phase of the shared MSME Fashion facility.
Akande said that the facility was equipped with state-of-the-art machinery such as industrial button-hole machines, monogram machines, among others.
”This would serve for suits and shirts, tinko machines, straight sewing industrial machines, industrial embroidery machines, amongst others, to afford MSMEs in the fashion space the opportunity to utilise them for a token,” she said.
The commissioner said that the facility would also enhance productivity of quality apparel capable of competing favourably globally.
”In so doing, skilled and semi-skilled fashion designers who ordinarily would be thwarted by prohibitive start-up expenses are availed the privilege of access to these industrial machines for a token.
”This is aimed at ultimately creating jobs, boosting trade and commerce, improving income and increasing GDP as a corollary.
”This centre is also intended for capacity building and continued upskilling of those in the fashion industry; after all, education is known to be a life-long process,” she said.
The Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, while acknowledging the outstanding growth of the Nigerian fashion industry, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to grow the nation’s fashion industry.
”We will continue to partner with the fashion industry, because we believe it will boost local growth of SMEs in that space,” Wigwe said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi