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Death Toll in Jos Building Collapse Hits 14

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By Jude Dangwam, Jos

It was a day of wailing and tears in Jos, Plateau State capital on Tuesday as 14 persons were killed and many injured when a three storey building collapsed.

Eye witnesses said the incident which happened late Monday evening at Layin Sarki, Jos North Local Government Area had the presence of search and rescue operation team of National Emergency management agency (NEMA), Red Cross, fire service and security personnel to curtail the situation.

The Member representing Jos North-North in the Plateau State House of Assembly Hon. Baba Hassan at the rescued efforts on Monday evening said some of the victims were calling their love ones telling them that they have been trapped under the collapsed building.

He blamed the collapse to the use of substandard building materials.

Reacting, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state during the 2019 general elections, Senator Jeremiah Useni called on the public to be cautious of their environment especially this raining season.

Also speaking, the acting executive secretary of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, Engr. Okey Ezema said the collapsed building did not pass quality control tests.

“There is low level of professionalism on the job that is why the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers keep on advising the general public to be careful.

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” It is possible there is no design to this building, and because there is no design it is possible no professional is involved from the preliminary stage of the building. So, this case is the case of quackery and the use of bad materials.” Ezema Lamented.

On the steps taking to ensure competent and committed hands and avoid the menace of building collapse, Ezema said: ” Just last month the National chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, Mrs. Aishatu Ali Umar constituted a very high-powered committee to produce a position paper of Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers on collapse building.

“We commended several measures that would help to mitigate the menace of collapse building because is becoming embarrassing and each time it happens people start pointing fingers on engineers but if check properly engineers have not been involved.”

The acting executive secretary further stressed that quacks have really found their way in the engineering profession and this has to stop.

“It has to stop from the developers, architect they are the first point of call. Each time they come they should be able to advise developers that there are people responsible for each unit of structural development. It is only then that this can stop.

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” We are so happy as engineers in this country that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the current amendment decree empowering COREN to prosecuting issues like this. And very soon people will be prosecuted. And if they are found wanting, been the developer or whoever else the person will be prosecuted according to the provision of the law.” He stated.

However, out of the seven persons rescued, only two sustained serious injuries while 5 were mild injuries treated and got discharged from the hospital.

NEWS

Man Slumps, Dies At FCMB Bank In Rivers

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Man has allegedly slumped and died in front of a branch of the First City Monument Bank at Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, Rivers Stateon Tuesday.

The man’s death, according, to a Twitter user, Dokubo, Kenneth Promise #EndSARS, who posted it on his Twitter handle @dokubo_kenneth, was due to frustration resulting from hostile treatment meted out on him by the customer service officials of the bank.

According to the report, the man (whose name was withheld) had been trying to withdraw money but could not, as the bank asked him to do an affidavit in order to have access to his money.

Dokubo further said the victim went with his next of kin to the bank as judicial workers had been on strike, jeopardising any process of swearing an affidavit.

Man dies at @MyFCMB in Port Harcourt due to frustration and unfriendly treatment by the customer service attendants of a bank,” Dokubo tweeted.

 

The man was said to have been vomiting and begging having been in the queue for five hours before he collapsed and died.

“An eyewitness at the scene of the incident disclosed that a man who hails from Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, a customer of (First City Monument Bank) FCMB died in front of the bank.

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“He was refused access to his own money since Friday even when he came with his next of kin. He was asked to go to the court to get an affidavit knowing the court is not in session.

“Narrating the event, she added, ‘The man was vomiting and at the same time begging for him to have access to his own money yet he was denied. After he was left unattended to for more than 5 hours, he just died now a few minutes ago at FCMB, Education Bus Stop, Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, she said,’” Dokubo reported on Twitter.

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JUDICIARY

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Appellate Court 600 Pre-election Appeals so far, says President

The President of the Court of Appeal,  Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem on Friday said the court has so far received 600 pre election matters from its 20 Divisions.

Dongbam-Mensem made this known when Amb. Samuela Isopi, Ambassador, EU Delegation paid her a visit in her office.

“The court received over 600 Pre-Election appeals in the 20 Divisions of the Court from November to date and more appeals are still being filed

” .Over 60 Panels were setup in the various Divisions to hear and determine all Pre-Election appeals filed.

” Mindful of the pressures under which the Hon Justices are working, some experienced Registrars of the Court were empanelled to summarize the decisions so far made and distribute to the various divisions to avoid conflicting decisions,” she said.

The president expressed joy at their  presence which she said  provided  an opportunity to exchange views, share experiences and learn from their respective experiences in  their countries.

No doubt, she said there are challenges being experienced, what is imperative is how those challenges were surmounted to ensure the sustenance of democracy in the Country.

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According to her, transparency in the electoral process is one of the core values of democratic stability in a nation.

She stated that  the active involvement of Election Observation Missions in Nigeria to ensure free, fair and credible elections  is appreciated.

“Pertinent to state that the role of these Observer Organizations have greatly impacted the resolve to review the Electoral Act, 2010.

“The Electoral Act, 2022 has introduced laudable innovations to strengthen our democracy and ensure credible elections.

“The Court of Appeal has reviewed, developed and expanded the scope of working materials for Judges she said.

According to her there is now a Judicial Electoral Manual which incorporate decisions of the Supreme Court and those of this Court and the “critical” fundamental sections of the Electoral Act, 2022

This , she said, to ensure that appeals with similar facts and issues are categorized together to maintain the doctrine of stare decisis.

” In preparation of delivering its Constitutional mandate, the Court is faced with numerous challenges which includes but not limited to paucity of funds

” To effectively manage the tribunals, deployment of ICT equipment and the need for continuous training of support staff with a view to enhancing their capacities and powers to effectively drive the electoral adjudication process.

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” Permit me to state that the Court is in a dilemma, we have just 21 days to the General Election and the special intervention fund to conduct the Election Petition Tribunal is yet to be released she said.

She added  that this will impact negatively on the activities of the Court and Tribunals to effectively discharge its Constitutional duties.

” It is expected that by now, provisions would have been made for the procurement of necessary materials and equipment needed for the smooth running of the various Tribunals.

” Also we ought to have organised further trainings for Hon. Justices, Members of the Tribunals and Secretariat Staff but we cannot due to paucity of funds.

“We are hopeful that these challenges will be soon addressed before the conduct of the General Election.

” I thank your Excellences for the visit and look forward to a fruitful interactive session” she said.

Speaking , Amb.l Isopi , expressed delight in the effort noticed in the improvement in election  matters.

” One of the points you made was to support the judiciary on building capacity of judges on election related matters .

” I am happy to say  we were able to support in training 300 judges.

” We also trained secretaries and support staff because, for us ,this is something that is seen as being crucial .

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” This is because, we know that it really can contribute in improving and promoting election disputes resolutions she said. (NAN)

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NEWS

Nigerians Take Mats, Mattresses To Banks’ ATM Galleries Over Long Queues As Naira Notes Scarcity Bites Hard

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Anger and frustration have become the lots of Nigerians as they now sleep in various Bank Automated Teller Machines (ATM) locations in order to make withdrawal of new notes from the bank ATMs.

SaharaReporters gathered that while some bank customers, in Enugu State for example, stayed till 2am until the funds loaded were finished, others came in as early as 3 am to stay till morning so that they could be among the first to make withdrawals when the banks started work by 8am.

It was observed that virtually in all the banks, only one or two ATM machine(s) were dispensing cash, while so many other ATM machines were not loaded, forcing hundreds of people to queue up to five hours to make withdrawals, which could not exceed N20,000 daily.

A bank customer who gave his name as Oforbuike Moses told SaharaReporters that for three days, he had been returning to bank ATMs to make withdrawals but had not been successful because of a huge crowd that besiege bank ATMs.

Moses said, “Today will make it fourth time I will be going to bank. I left my house by 4am so that I can make withdrawal. Unfortunately, by the time I got to First Bank ATM at Ọkpara Avenue, behold over 100 people were already there. The people that came before me had already started issuing number according to the time they came. At 4am, I am 115 in number which means 114 people had come before me and when the bank starts work by 8am, they will first make withdrawals before me.”

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He added, “I was even told that some people slept in the ATM because the only machine dispensing money stopped working by 2am and they had to sleep there.”
Lamenting the situation, Moses described this CBN new monetary Policy as demonic and evil.

“There’s no reason whatsoever to justify this unmitigated suffering that they have thrown Nigerians into. People now leave their businesses and spend the whole day in other to get N20,000 only. Yet terrorists and bandits in the Northern Nigeria are already parading the new banknotes in millions while the poor Nigerians are being subjected to unimaginable suffering to make simple N20,000 withdrawal here.”

Another bank customer, Kingsley Obi, also lamented the suffering Nigerians were going through to get cash.

“I went to bank around 1:30am yesterday (Thursday) only to withdraw N20,000 around 11am, after how many hours. So, people have left their businesses to stay in ATM machines. This is the worse policy of this administration.

“Why is Buhari a curse to Nigeria? When he came as a military Head of State in 1983, because of his inept administration Nigerians were pepped. Now he is at it again. People are suffering in everything while the government is not providing solution. It is unfortunate. Nigerians will also make another mistake and choose another Buhari or looters who use different decoy to loot public treasure,” he lamented.

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Meanwhile in Sokoto State, one of the core northern states, the situation is any better.

Bank customers in Sokoto State queued for hours, sometimes days due to shortage of new naira notes, SaharaReporters gathered.

The bank customers who wish to access the new naira notes have now resolved to sleep at an ATM gallery due to the long qeues.

A bank customer from Wamakko, in the Wamakko Local Government Area, Aliyu Muntari, said he decided to bring his beddings to a Zenith bank ATM gallery because he queued for over 14 hours to withdraw N10,000.

“I came all the way from Wamakko town, today is my third day in Sokoto city. I had to bring my mat to sleep at the ATM gallery because I want to be able to get N10,000 cash.

“Surprisingly, I’m not alone, as you can see other people here, we’ll be passing the night so that by the time the machines are loaded in the morning, we’ll be among the people to make withdrawals,” Muntari said.

Another customer, Saminu Kurfi, said, “Imagine how this people have subjected the poor people to hardship. Often you need just N1000 to buy foodstuff but you can’t get it.

“Now in virtually all markets, particularly in rural areas, most vendors no longer accept the old naira notes, making almost impossible to transact any business.

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“This is a very dangerous trend, and I can almost predict that if things continue this way going forward, people may be forced to revolt,” Kurfi said.

(SR)

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