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Army Condemns, Arrests Soldier for Insulting Sanwo-Olu

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has said the Nigerian Army has arrested the soldier who slammed the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for ordering the arrest of his colleague alongside three other motorcyclists for driving against traffic on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

Lagbaja said the Army is displeased with the conduct of the soldier, saying it is against the discipline of the force.

While addressing journalists on Tuesday in Enugu on the conduct of the soldiers, Lagbaja said the said soldiers have been arrested and an investigation is ongoing on others who had acted in the same manner.

“The Army has investigated and the soldier has been apprehended and we are investigating for every other comical that you have seen on social media,” he said.

The soldier had slammed Sanwo-Olu following the arrest of his colleague alongside three other motorcyclists for driving against traffic on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

The yet-to-be-identified soldier in a viral video defended his colleague and faulted Sanwo-Olu for calling a soldier ‘useless’ in the presence of ‘bastard civilians’.

He said the state governor had no right to arrest a soldier, especially in front of his barracks, noting that soldiers are not under the control of any state governor but their senior officers.

Reacting to the development, Lagbaja said the soldier arrested for plying one way does not represent the Nigerian Army, saying that the action contravenes the discipline of the force and the constitution of the state.

He said, “I want to say that the soldier that was apprehended by the governor of Lagos State while playing on a one way, does not represent the Nigerian Army because, in every respect, it contravenes what we stand for which is discipline as an Army and the constitution and the laws of Lagos state.”

He, however, noted that contrary to the claims that three officers of the force had come out to defend their colleague and faulted the state governor, only one of them was an officer of the force.

“And we frown at that as Army but what you alleged that soldiers have gone to the social media casting aspersions on the person and the office of the governor of Lagos State, I will say it’s only one soldier that has done that. The others are not personnel of the Nigerian Army.

“We have investigated the mode of dressing of some of them, and you will know that they are not personnel of the Nigerian Army.

“One of them was wearing the badge upside down and you will know that that is not a personnel of the Nigerian Army. An officer can never do that. And from the utterances that these people made, you’ll know the angle from which they are talking. They are talking about politics, not the Army.

“So, we will leave it like that for the ones that pertain to the army we are investigating to be treated accordingly.”

Speaking further, Lagbaja said the troops will be senstised on the disciplined and law-abiding to the constitution of communities where they are posted to discharge their duties.

“Even this morning as I arrived in Enugu, the Chief of Administration, Army, sent me a draft directive that he was sending down to all formations and units of the Nigerian Army to further sensitise our troops on the need to be disciplined and abide by the laws of every community where they are deployed.

“So, we are serious about upholding laws, and rules and remaining disciplined and we will enforce that on our personnel,” assured.

Sanwo-Olu ordered the arrest of a soldier and three other motorcyclists for driving against traffic on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

In a viral video, Sanwo-Olu was seen ordering his men to put one of the motorcyclists who claimed to be a soldier into the vehicle, stating that he was going to lock him up.

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Court Denies Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan Bail

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Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Friday, refused to grant bail to an executive of Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan.

Justice Nwite held that Gambaryan is likely to jump bail if granted to him.

The company and its executive were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering before Emeka Nwite, judge of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Moving an application, Counsel to the Defendant, Mark Mordi, argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.

The prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, however opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a flight risk.

He stated that the defendant attempted to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, and this is a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague’s escape from custody.

He added that the court cannot risk granting Gambaryan bail, especially as he is not attached to any community in Nigeria.

“The fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth.

He urged the court to refuse the application and instead remand him in EFCC custody to ensure his safety and prevent potential flight risk.

Delivering ruling, the judge said several factors including the nature of offence and its severity must be considered when trying to decide whether or not bail should be granted to the defendant applicant.

Justice Nwite agreed with the depositions made by prosecution and was of the view that the applicant will jump bail if bail is granted to him.

He subsequently ordered that the trial be given an accelerated hearing.

After the ruling, the EFCC called its first witness, a staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Governor Adeleke Felicitates with Dele Momodu at 64

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The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has felicitated with the celebrated journalist, and Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Akinrogun Dele Momodu on the occasion of his 64th birthday, describing him as “a pride of the media industry.”

Governor Adeleke noted Akinrogun Momodu’s heartwarming contributions to a just and equitable society, saying he has touched the minds and hearts of countless people with insightful words, logistic support and unwavering dedication to truth and justice.

The Governor appreciates the Ovation Magazine Publisher’s sustained commitment to informing and enlightening the public as a weapon of nation building, acknowledging him as an inspirational figure, who has empowered readers to think critically, and engage meaningfully.

“I congratulate my dear friend, Akinrogun Dele Momodu, on the auspicious occasion of his birthday. The Aare Tayese of Iwoland is a unique personality, who has touched lives positively and brought smiles to countless faces,” the Governor was quoted in a congratulatory message, signed by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed.

“On this auspicious occasion, I honour both your wonderful life and exceptional contributions to the media sector and the larger society. I note, with admiration, Akinrogun Momodu’s deep sense of commitment to a better Nigeria, which is manifest in columns and public discourse.

“On behalf of my family, I convey best wishes to Akinrogun Momodu on his birthday and it is my prayer that God grant him many celebrations in good health and happiness while also bestowing him the grace to give more to humanity.”

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Why We’re Charging Helicopter Landing Fee – Aviation Ministry

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The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development on Monday said the introduction of helicopter landing levies was in line with global best practices and cost recovery measures.

This is contained in a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs of the ministry in Lagos.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the ministry recognises the importance of helicopter operations in Nigeria’s aviation industry and is committed to implementing international best practices in helicopter operations.

He said that helicopter landing levies were commonplace in countries such as the US, the United Kingdom, India and various other regions worldwide.

He maintained that Tallahassee International Airport in Florida began implementing helicopter landing levies under Vector Airport Systems, since 1 October 2022.

Mr Oluseyi said helicopter landing levies were common across airfields in the United Kingdom, ranging from major commercial ones, to small general aviation fields.

He added that, typically, helicopter levies matched or exceeded those for fixed-wing aircraft, and varied based on factors like location and services provided.

“The federal government has granted NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Ltd exclusive rights to collect helicopter landing levies in line with the MoU between NAEBI Concept and NAMA (focal Agency), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“It is instructive to note that NAMA, under the Act as amended in 2022, is empowered to collect aeronautical revenues in both the upper and lower airspace to support her self-sustainability.

“However, over the years, NAMA has predominantly relied on the upper airspace for her revenue generation.

“Government in her wisdom, having discovered a lacuna on the lower airspace where helicopter operations is dominant, directed NAMA to live up to its responsibilities, to enable them generate enough resources, to sustain their aeronautical architecture, enhance security and surveillance and improve the overall quality of helicopter operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the government is confident that the move will improve capacity, efficiency, safety, security and attract more investments in the aviation industry.

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