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Metro Rail: Wike Decries State of Central, Kukwaba Stations

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, on Thursday decried the state of the Central Metro Rail Station and the Kukwaba stations, noting that he will not tolerate excuses.

The Minister lamented this when he inspected the Metro Train Station in the Central Business District, and the Kukwaba II station in the Piwoyi district.

Wike stated that he was unhappy with the state of insecurity at the Central station and the engineering design of the Kukwaba station, he therefore tasked the contractors to work round the clock to be able to ensure the delivery of the project by the given deadline of May 24.

“When we first visited the Metro station, I discovered that there were many security lapses, and I remember when I first came after our inauguration, I did say that we have to work on the issue of security by putting up the fence around the Metro Station, to ward off criminals, but unfortunately, that has not been done.

To my surprise, it was discovered that the contract was not even awarded to CCECC, it is a different contract awarded by the FCT, and this is my first time hearing that and we are going to take it up immediately, to see that it is being put in place.

“We must also talk about the kind of vandalization and stealing that is going on there. We have security companies that were awarded contracts to secure those areas, yet things are happening. Excuses are being given on how security agencies release those that are caught but for me, that is not enough, and we are going to make sure that we have a different method to be adopted, to see that we can’t continue to give excuses every day. I have also directed that all the stations must be cleaned and also all the necessary things there must be provided. There’s no room for excuses at all”, he said.

On whether the state of work at the stations could affect the May 24 deadline, the Minister said he was not a pessimist, and expressed hope that the projects will be ready before May, adding that companies handling the projects must speed up work.

“This is one project that I’m so passionate about, and you know that Mr. President gave me a directive that must not be taken for granted. Therefore, we must come and make sure that things are in good shape. So, I’m not happy, the company must speed up, and those who are doing the access roads must also speed up. Here we are standing, and we have been assured that this road will be completed before May, we just hope so and this is the best I can tell you now. I’m not a pessimist, but also, I doubt. But by putting all our energies together, we might achieve it,” he stated.

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FCCPC Summons Owner of Chinese Supermarket for Alleged Discrimination of Citizens

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has summoned the owner of a Chinese supermarket located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), for alleged restriction of Nigerians.

The supermarket located at Royal Choice Estate, Lugbe, allegedly permits only Chinese citizens access to purchase groceries.

The supermarket was under lock and key when officials of the FCCPC visited in reaction to a viral video where citizens frowned at the supermarket’s policy.

Ms Boladale Adeyinka, the Director, Surveillance and Investigations of FCCPC, who led the team, said the essence of the investigation was to verify the allegations and the contents of that viral video.

”On arrival, we noticed that the supermarket which is right behind me, was sealed and padlocked externally.

”Inquiries have shown that yes, as at this morning this supermarket was opened and people were here.

”CCTV footage also shows that at about 8:29 a.m., two vehicles departed from these premises allegedly containing the owner of the supermarket, whom we have been able to identify by name and we have her contact details.

”Now the summon is to serve notice on her to appear before the FCCPC by April 24 at 11 a. m.

”There are other regulatory tools to be deployed if she fails to honour this summons, ” she said.

Adeyinka said that if the owner of the supermarket failed to hour the summon, the commission under its powers, would seal the premises until she complied.

Mr Sanusi Shuiabu, the Estate Assistant Facilities Manager, said the supermarket was primarily established to cater for the groceries needs of Chinese residents and other tenants of the estate.

He said that there were no agreement restricting the supermarket to Chinese residents only.

Shuiabu said the owner of the supermarket who he simply identified as Cindy was a tenant in the estate.

Reports says that the supermarket was under lock and key when the FCCPC official visited. (NAN)

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Niger Delta Leaders say NDDC MD has Capacity to Perform

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Some leaders in the Niger Delta say they have confidence in the capability of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Samuel Ogbuku to perform.

Mr Freedom Atigbi, the Convener of the Niger Delta Opinion Leaders, Youths and Weighted Stakeholders said this at a news conference in Port Harcourt on Monday.

He said that Ogbuku had demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, charisma, and ability to drive both human and infrastructure development in the Niger Delta during his few months in office.

“Since Ogbuku’s appointment as managing director, the NDDC has successfully completed the 25.7-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road and bridges project.

“In addition, initiatives such as the postgraduate oversees scholarship programme and ‘Operation Light up the Niger Delta’  has significantly reduced crime and enhanced commercial activities in the region.

“Under Ogbuku’s leadership, NDDC has inaugurated the Project Hope programme aimed at creating a database to facilitate the planning and implementation of training and provision for skilled labour,” he said.

Atigbi, who also serves as the Deputy President of the Ijaw Council Worldwide, said that the managing director had established the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce to support local entrepreneurs in growing their businesses.

“These achievements within few months in office underscores our belief that Ogbuku’s leadership has transformed NDDC from a transactional to a transformative government agency.

“Ogbuku has shown his ability to engage all stakeholders to achieve the goal of carrying everyone along in the commission’s policies and programmes.

“We hereby pass a vote of confidence and offer our support to Ogbuku, a balancer and unifier whose policies and programmes are tackling poverty and misery in the region,” he added.

The youth leader praised President Bola Tinubu for entrusting Ogbuku with the task of advancing his Renewed Hope Agenda in the Niger Delta. (NAN)

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Alleged Defilement: Businessman Docked for Failing to Produce Suspect

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Court Sentences Applicant to 6 Months in Prison for Stealing Cell Phone
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A businessman, Robert Makolo on Monday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court, for failing to produce a suspect he stood surety for in a case of defilement.

Makolo had promised to produce the suspect, John, who is his brother in court by the adjourned date.

The Magistrate Mr Lateef Owolabi, adjourned the case until May 30 for mention and to enable the defendant produce the suspect.

Reports says that Makolo had earlier been arraigned on Jan.

22 and stood trial on a two- count charge of conspiracy and perversion of justice.

He had pleaded not guilty.

Magistrate Owolabi, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum who must produce evidence of 3 years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

He said that one of the sureties must be a blood relative.

The prosecutor, SP Josephine Ikhayere had told the court that Makolo stood in as surety on  Nov 16, 2023 at the Anthony Police Station.

Ikhayere alleged that Makolo stood as a surety for his brother Paul, who was involved in a case of defilement.

She said the defendant promised to produce his brother the suspect anytime his presence was required at the police station until the case is finally disposed of.

She said that the defendant undertook to produce the suspect on Nov. 30, 2023 but failed.

The prosecutor said that the section contravene the provisions of Section 97 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos.(NAN)

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