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Page 7 Friday Lagos Assembly flays contravention of dredging laws From Femi Akinola, Lagos The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday questioned the contravention of…

Page 7 Friday

Lagos Assembly flays contravention of dredging laws

From Femi Akinola, Lagos

The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday questioned the contravention of laws on dredging and set up an eight-man ad-hoc committee to investigate all forms of illegal dredging, mining and reclamation in the state.

The committee has already requested the New Towns Development Authority (NTDA) to produce all relevant documents on reclaimed areas it has worked on.

The documents demanded include the Environmental Impact Assessment report (EIA), size reclaimed, survey plan, contractor handling the project and other relevant documents.

The chairman of the committee, who was represented by Abiodun Tobun, made the demand at a meeting with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) responsible for dredging, mining and reclamation activities.

He said: “In spite of efforts to curtail indiscriminate and unauthorised mining, dredging and stockpiling activities, there is still serious contravention of regulatory laws.”

Tobun said the House was disturbed by complaints from various communities on the trend. The committee also asked the Surveyor-General’s Office to liaise with the Ministry of Lands to produce the survey plans of all reclaimed sites for easy identification and scrutiny.

Responding, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Adesina Onisarutu, said the ministry had set up a ministerial briefing committee to look into all lapses on the EIA and other relevant documents.

He added that the ministry was coming up with an action plan to stop all illegalities on dredging, mining and reclamation.

Present at the meeting were representatives of the Lands Bureau, Ministry of Environment, Surveyor General’s Office, New Towns Development Authority, Waterfront Infrastructure and Mineral Resources.

Appeal Court dismisses petition on Kebbi guber poll

From Abubakar Auwal, Sokoto

The Court of Appeal in Sokoto has dismissed the appeal instituted by retired General Bello Sarkin Yaki and the PDP against the ruling of the Kebbi State Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed their petition.

Sarkin Yaki was the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the last governorship election in Kebbi State.

The court also ordered the appellants to pay N50,000 each to Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the APC and INEC as compensation, having wasted their time.

The tribunal held that the appellants’ reply to the first respondent on June 8 was incompetent on the ground that it ought to have been filed on Sunday, June 7.

The tribunal then struck out the said reply and went on to hold that counting seven days from June 3, the pre-hearing application of June 12 would be out of time under paragraph 18 (1) of the 1st schedule of the Electoral Act.

The tribunal concluded that the petition had been abandoned by the appellants. Justice Maurice Dongban-Mensem while delivering judgement upheld the decision of the lower court. She averred that the three issues raised by the appellants lacked merit and were accordingly dismissed.

Reacting, the spokesman of the gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Haruna Sa’idu, rejected the judgement because according to him, it emphasized on issues that were rather technical, ignoring the merit of the petition.

Sa’idu who said they were shocked by the judgement and the resolve of the appellant court to align itself with the ruling of the tribunal, said they would seek redress in the Supreme Court.

However, the chairman of the APC in Kebbi State, Barrister Attahiru Maccido, said the judgement indicated that the election was free, fair and was a clear mandate of the people of Kebbi. He advised members of the PDP to cooperate with them to take the state to greater heights. Leading counsel to the respondents, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) said the judgement was a victory for the administration of justice, democracy and the judiciary.

Woman nabbed trying to steal 3 kids

From Eugene Agha, Lagos

The police in Itire, Lagos State, have arrested a woman for allegedly attempting to steal three children aged between one and four years.

The children include one year-old Fatiya Alimi and a set of twins aged four.

The woman, Nahimat Raheem, was first accosted at Olukayode Close, off Unity Road, Itire, by some members of the public. She allegedly hypnotised the mother of Fatiya before collecting the child from her.

She was said to have quickly handed over the child back to the mother when she was challenged by an elderly woman who witnessed the incident.

Soon afterwards, Daily Trust learnt, she accosted the twins who were on their way back from an Islamic school in the area.

Luck ran against her when she was again caught by the grandmother of the twin sisters.

“The old woman raised an alarm which attracted neighbours. The woman was immediately arrested and was about being lynched when the police arrived. It was the police that saved her from the angry mob,” a witness said.

Fatiya’s mother, Damilola Alimi, told Daily Trust that she was on her way home when she ran into the suspect.

“She ordered me to hand over my daughter to her. Not knowing what I was doing, I brought out my baby from my back and handed her over to the woman. A woman who witnessed everything asked me if I knew her and I said no. I immediately came back to my senses and I collected my baby from her.

“I later noticed that the woman was carrying a bag containing children’s clothes, napkins, shoes and a lot of other children’s items. She then ran away from me.”

A sister of the twins, Aminat Ayinla, also told Daily Trust: “My younger sisters, Taiwo and Kehinde, aged 4, attend an Islamic school not too far from home. It was around 7pm on Wednesday and they were on their way home when they ran into the suspect. My grandmother who was sitting outside at that time noticed the suspect trailing them. She grabbed them from behind and was moving towards the exit of our close when grandma raised alarm that attracted neighbours.”

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said initially, the woman refused to talk to the police.

“She refused answering questions. But with the effort of the police, she has started talking. Some people have been coming to say that the suspect is insane. We are taking their excuses with a pinch of salt. She has given us some leads which we believe would help us in our investigation,” he said.

He however advised parents, particularly mothers, to ensure that they keep watch on the movement of their children while on errands or going to school, adding that if not for the watchful eyes of the elderly woman, the three children would have gone missing.

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