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Eight Persons Missing As Heavy Downpour Hits Lagos Community



The whereabouts of a yet-to-be-identified mother, her baby and six other persons including a man identified simply as Umar, have reportedly been unknown after flood induced by a heavy downpour washed them away in the Agege area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that during the heavy downpour on Thursday, flood overran a canal around the Abattoir area in Agege, and it levelled up to the bridge, making it impassable for motorists and residents to navigate their destinations in the area.

It was learnt that a tricycle operator while plying the axis, escaped death by a whisker when the flood swept his tricycle into the canal.

A resident, who gave his name simply as Wasiu, said as the events that almost led to the death of the tricycle operator happened, a woman while backing her child, lost control of her movement and fell into the flood.

As the flood was washing the mother and her child away, Wasiu said another resident, Umar, attempted to rescue the mother and her child by jumping into the flood, adding that the current of the flood washed the three of them into the canal.

Wasiu said, “The owner of the tricycle is my friend. He is a mechanic who stays in Oko-Oba. He was coming from Agege but when he got to the bridge, he realised flood had overrun the bridge and waited but suddenly lost control of the tricycle. As the tricycle moved forward, the flood dragged him and the tricycle into the canal.

“He was the only one in the tricycle and he survived because he swam out of the canal. His cloth got torn and people gave him something to wear. He is recuperating in the hospital.

“Around the same time, a woman, who carried her child at her back, tried to manoeuvre the flood but lost control, fell into the flood and it swept her feet and started dragging her and her child into the canal but Umar jumped into the flood to save them. The three of them have not been found to date.”

During a visit to Umar’s residence on Saturday, his neighbour told one of our correspondents that they got to know of the incident when people raised the alarm as the flood was sweeping them away.

The neighbour said, “He lived inside this compound. His name is Umar. When we heard the noise, we quickly rushed out but when we got outside, there was nothing anyone could do.

“We waited for the rain to subside. On the second day, we combed the entire area hoping to see the corpses. Even this morning, some of our residents still did but we found nothing.”

However, in another interview with one of our correspondents, another resident, who gave his name simply as Bamidele, said two tricycles were involved in the incident.

He added that while one of the tricycle operators escaped, the other tricycle operator and his passengers were swept away by the flood.

Bamidele said, “They were two tricycle operators involved. The tricycle operator that did not carry passengers jumped out and survived. The flood carried the other tricycle operator, his tricycle and his passengers away. One tricycle was later recovered.

“It is difficult to know anything about their rescue because they don’t recover the corpses of victims around here, it is usually around Aboru or Itele in Ayetoro, Ogun State. We only go there if we know the victims involved.”

The Chairman, Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, Johnson Babatunde, when contacted, confirmed the incident.

“I’ve gotten the report. It happened at Abattoir beside Total Filling Station. Our people need enlightenment. How can you see a flood and decide to enter it? I don’t know what is happening to all these tricycle operators.

“There were five people in the tricycle. People were there waiting because of the flood,” he said, saying he wondered why the tricycle operator decided to enter the flood even when other people waited.

Asked if the corpses of any of the victims had been recovered or if anyone of them was rescued, Babatunde said, “We have not seen them, there is no update yet.”

When one of our correspondents visited the Abattoir Police Station, the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Olatunji Oladimeji, said he led his men to the scene to investigate the case.

He said, “Everyone we spoke with could not confirm it. They kept saying they heard about it. We heard different stories. Some people said it was a motorcycle while others said it was a tricycle.

“It is difficult for us to file such a report. Nobody can tell us that they saw them. And till now, nobody has come here to report that anything has happened to them or their loved ones.”

Contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Nosa Okunbor, said the agency got “no official report yet.”

The Public Relations Officer of the state Ministry of Environment, Kunle Adeshina, said expansion work was ongoing on the drainage system in the area.

Adeshina said, “There is a drainage expansion project in the area. The contractor might have some delays but he is back on site working on it. There is also a need to clean up some parts of the area down to old Ota Road. Our drainage maintenance department has been contacted and cleaned up the site so that it can have the capacity to take up more water.

“When it rained, especially in flood-prone areas, we have always told people to refrain from underrating the power of water. It is better to wait and allow the rain to stop before people continue their journey. This has always been our campaign.”

The Punch

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Kaduna: Tribunal Affirms Sani’s Election, Dismisses PDP’s Petition




The Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna has dismissed petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2023 election, Isah Ashiru, against the victory of Governor Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, in a dissenting judgment of two against one, delivered on Thursday, a three-member panel headed by Justice Victor Oviawie dismissed the petition on the ground that the pre-hearing notice was filed out of time, and therefore deemed to be abandoned.

The tribunal chairman and another member held that the appeal brought by PDP and Ashiru against the dismissal of their petition at the preliminary stage by the first and second defendants was not meritorious because the filing of the pre-hearing notice was abandoned and out of time, and therefore had dealt the entire petition a fatal blow.

The tribunal, however, noted that if the petition had not been dismissed for lack of merit, it would have ordered a supplementary election in 22 polling units within 90 days in the substantive judgment.

Senator Sani, during the election polled a total of 730,001 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ashiru of the PDP, who scored 719, 196 votes.

The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Jonathan Asake, came third with 58,283 votes, while Suleiman Hunkuyi of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) scored 21,405 votes.

While the Labour Party and NNPP accepted the outcome of the election, the PDP and its candidate rejected the results, alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the wrong candidate winner of the election.

Besides, the PDP and Ashiru alleged that there were massive irregularities and manipulation of results in favour of Governor Ubah in some local governments by INEC. According to them, the APC candidate did not score the highest number of valid votes cast in the election and ought not to have been returned winner of the election by INEC.

In June 2023, PDP and Ashiru, however, filed a petition at the election petition tribunal to challenge the election of Governor Uba.

At the last sitting of the court on September 3rd, all parties presented their final written addresses before the tribunal, with APC’s legal team led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bayo Ojo (SAN), arguing that the petitioners had helped in proving he won the election free and fair, pointing in particular to the admission of a star witness for the petitioner, Bonett Gwazah, a senior system analyst in the VR/ICT department of INEC in Kaduna State.

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NiMET Alerts FCT, Edo, 23 States of 48-Hour Downpour




The Nigerian Meteorological Agency has notified the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Edo, Kwara, and 22 other states of 48-hour downpour beginning on Thursday.

In its weekly heavy rainfall forecast bulletin released on Wednesday, the agency told the residents to also expect flash floods.
Other states listed are Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Delta, Bayelsa, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, and Benue.

The bulletin reads: “Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected within the forecast period (Thursday 28th and Friday 29th, September 2023) over parts of Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa.

Other States are: “Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory.”

On the likely impact of the rains, NiMet warned: “The expected moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to cause some flash flooding over their areas of occurrence.

“Strong winds should accompany the rains with the strongest winds expected over parts of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi State.”

The agency cautioned residents against driving through surface runoff waters, as they have strong undercurrents.

It identified slippery road surfaces and reduced visibility as other hazards that may be triggered by the downpour.

The Punch

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Chicago Academic Record: Atiku Plans Fresh Suit Against Tinubu




The legal team of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is planning to file a motion to challenge President Bola Tinubu’s plea for Chicago State University not to release privileged documents in his academic records.

The Special Adviser to Atiku on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, told The Punch that the legal team had up to 48 hours to respond to the motion in the US court.

Atiku had earlier secured an order for CSU to make the president’s academic records available to his legal team.

A magistrate, Jeffrey Gilbert, had last week ordered Tinubu’s alma mater to provide all relevant and non-privileged documents to the applicant within two days.

Atiku is currently challenging the victory of the former Lagos State governor at the 2023 presidential poll and his recent affirmation by an election petition court in Nigeria.

The documents sought by the PDP candidate, through his counsel, Angela Liu, include the record of admission and acceptance at the university, dates of attendance including degrees, awards, and honors attained by the former governor of Lagos State at the university, among others.

But as the deadline given by Gilbert drew nearer on Thursday, Tinubu’s lawyers approached Maldonado, arguing that the earlier decision by Gilbert needed to be reviewed by a district judge.

The request for a review and delay of the order till Monday was eventually granted by the US district judge.

Tinubu’s application, filed by his lawyers, Oluwole Afolabi and Christopher Charmichael, advanced two reasons.

First was that his academic records in issue are not useful in Nigerian courts as claimed by Atiku because the Nigerian election proceedings and the Nigerian courts have explicitly been unreceptive to the discovery.

The second reason given was that Atiku’s request is unduly intrusive because it allows Applicant (Atiku) to conduct a fishing expedition into intervenor’s private, confidential, and protected educational records.

When asked on Wednesday to confirm if Atiku has filed the suit as he earlier threatened in Monday, Shaibu reassured that the former vice president would submit the motion before midnight.

He said, “I am sure you have seen his application. We are working on our response. We have up till midnight today (Wednesday) to respond to them. And we will.”

On when they expect the court to rule over the matter, Shaibu stated that “It is after we have responded to the court, that it will fix the date and inform the parties.”

When contacted for reaction, Coordinator of Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, Babatunde Ogala, who spoke via phone from his base in the United States told The Punch he would rather not speak on the development.

“As I told you earlier, I am still on vacation,” he said.

The Punch

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