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FG, Ogun to Rehabilitate Sango-Ota-Idiroko, Lagos-Abeokuta Roads

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From Kunle Idowu, Abeokuta

Succour may have finally come the way of motorists plying the Sango-Ota road as the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Ogun State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure have finalised plans to embark on palliative work on critical sections on the Sango-Ota-Idiroko Road, starting from Sango Under Bridge to Ojuore.

The Federal Controller of Works, Ogun State, Engr. Umar Bakare disclosed this while addressing newsmen shortly after inspecting critical sections of the Sango-Ota-Idiroko Road and Lagos-Abeokuta  road on Monday.

He explained that the 64km Sango-Ota-Idiroko had been put under consideration for reconstruction by the Federal Government under the FG’s Credit Scheme.

The road rehabilitation is similar to the just awarded Sagamu-Papalanto-Obele road, which is under the same scheme.

Bakare noted that there was a synergy between the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Ogun State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to carry out the palliative work on the identified bad portions of the two important roads.

“As soon as work commences the failed portion between Sango and Iyana Ota, amounting to 1.2km will be prioritised, while the second phase will be the expanse of 4.7km between Iyana Ota and Iganmode Grammar School,” he added.

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This would be going on simultaneously with the efforts of Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, as the agency has also been mobilised to work on other parts of the long stretch.

Also, the engineers assured that drainages would form an integral part of the reconstruction work to ensure that flood water does not destroy the road again.

While acknowledging the plight of commuters on the roads, the Federal Controller of Works noted that the Federal Government was aware of the unpalatable situation, saying “the government is working assiduously to ensure that the roads are fixed.”

He pleaded for the understanding of residents of Sango-Ota and its environs and said that Julius Berger, the contractor handling Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway is currently working on the Toll Gate Sango Bridge axis and the Tipper Garage section.

Bakare, who also explained that the contractor will soon move to Itori/Lafarge/Papalanto section of the Lagos-Abeokuta Road, said that the pavements of the critical sections under Sango Flyover bridge and Itori/Lafarge/Papalanto would be reconstructed as Rigid Pavement is to be put in place due to the peculiarity of the two sections of the road.

He, however, appealed to the Ogun State Government to regulate the activities of traders along the road as they contribute to the traffic situation of the area.

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The Federal Controller of Works also requested that articulated vehicles be allowed to go on the Sango Flyover Bridge to further decongest the road, declaring the flyover has the ability to withstand the weight of large trucks and trailers.

Also speaking, the Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Ade Akinsanya assured that palliative works would commence soonest along Sango-Idiroko Road, particularly from Sango under bridge to Iyana Ota and Ojuore.

Represented by the  Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Engr. Lateef Yussuf, Akinsanya said that the state government has not folded its arms on the matter, adding efforts have been on to collaborate with the federal government with the view of finding lasting solution to the roads.

Foreign News

Japan’s Ex-Justice Minister Accepts 3-Years Prison Term Over Vote Buying

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A three-year prison term over vote buying for former Japanese Justice Minister, Katsuyuki Kawai, was finalised on Thursday after he withdrew his appeal.

Kawai, who held the ministerial post in former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, is the first former Japanese cabinet member in more than 10 years to have a prison term finalised.

He was charged with distributing about 28.7 million yen ($251,600) to 100 local assembly members and supporters to buy votes for his wife in the upper house election in Hiroshima Prefecture two years ago.

His defence team filed an appeal after the Tokyo District Court sentenced the former minister to three years in prison this June.

However, his lawyer said Kawai withdrew the appeal on Thursday.

“The responsibility is solely on me, and I am ready to accept it all,’’ Kawai said in a statement released through his lawyer.

He said the responsibility was solely on him and he asked for leniency on the people who have accepted cash.

As a result, his civil rights will be suspended and he is not allowed to run for election until five years after his service of the sentence.

Kawai pleaded not guilty in his first hearing in August 2020 but he admitted most of the charges in March and requested a suspended sentence.

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He gave up his lower house seat in April, saying he would bear the responsibility for causing public mistrust in politics.

According to ruling finalised in February, his wife Anri Kawai was also sentenced to 16 months jail.

She was sentenced for distributing money to local legislators in Hiroshima Prefecture. (NAN)

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NYSC Extends 10 Corps Members’ Service Year, Remobilises 2 in Plateau

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Plateau has extended the service year of 10 corps members and remobilised two others for abscondment and absenteeism during their service year.

The state Coordinator of the NYSC in Plateau, MS Caroline Embu, disclosed this on Thursday in Jos at the official passing out ceremony of the 2020 Batch “B” Stream 1 of the scheme.

According to Embu, the 10 corps member will have their service year extended to various periods for absenteeism and abscondment.

While the two other corps members,she said, had been remobilised to repeat the service in another state with half allowance, for absenting themselves from their respective places of primary assignment for over three months.

She also disclosed that that six corps members would be given the State Award for their outstanding performances during their service.

The state coordinator commended the successfully discharged corps members for making an impact in their host communities.

She urged them to be good ambassadors of the NYSC even as they had completed their service.

She also enjoined them not to embark on night trips due to the challenges associated with such journeys,advising them to break their trips once it was night.

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A total of 1, 320 corps members of the 2020 “B” stream 1 deployed to the state were successfully discharged at the ceremony.(NAN)

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Police Disperse #EndSARS Protesters in Kwara

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From Alfred Babs, Ilorin

Men of the Kwara State Police Command, yesterday morning dispersed a cluster of #EndSARS protesters who gathered in front of MAMTESS supermarket at Taiwo Isale area, in Ilorin, the state capital.

Our correspondent gathered that the protesters had agreed to gather opposite the Supermarket with the intention of marching to Post Office, Challenge area and then government house to meet Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

One of the organisers, simply identified as Comrade Jamiu confirmed that they had hardly taken off from Taiwo Isale, when the fully armed anti riot police officers dispersed them.

“The police dispersed us when we were about taking off, at Taiwo Isale,” he said. 

He said they were plotting to regroup and hold a candle light procession at other location which he didn’t disclose and was yet to hold as at the time of filing this report.

Armed security men, including the Army, Police and Civil Defence personnel have since Tuesday evening been dispatched to guard public utilities such as Post Office and Government House in the state capital in case the #EndSARS decide to stage protest in any location.

As at yesterday evening, fully armed police officers were seen at Post office, Challenge and Unity areas where protest usually take place.

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Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ajayi Okasanmi, explained that the presence of security personnel in strategic places in the state capital was to prevent breakdown of law and order and to safeguard public utilities.

He said the reason behind the heavy presence of security operatives is to forestall calamities, damages that might arise because of the protest.

He added that youth stakeholders in the state have been engaged, but to make sure no attacks are being carried on in the State, they are doing proactive policing.

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