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12 killed as explosion rocks oil tapping point in Rivers

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The Rivers police command says 12 persons have died after an explosion rocked a crude oil tapping point in Rumuekpe community in Emuoha local government area of the state.

Confirming the incident in a statement on Friday, Grace Iringe-Koko, the spokesperson for the command, said preliminary investigation indicated that the victims were scooping crude product when the site caught fire.

The tapping point is said to be on the Trans-Niger Delta Pipeline (TNP) that passed through the community.

“So far about 12 persons are believed to have bee burnt to death. The identities of the victims are still unknown,” she stated.

Iringe-Koko also said five vehicles and four tricycles were burnt to ashes at the explosion site.

Fyneface Dumnamene, environmentalist and executive director Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, also confirmed the incident in a statement seen by TheCable on Friday.

He said the explosion occurred at around 2am on Friday, when one of the buses carrying crude oil to another location for artisanal refining kickstarted its ignition system.

Dumnamene said the report of the incident was obtained through the centre’s crude oil spill alert system (COSAS) and members of its “one million youth volunteers network of human rights defenders and promoters in the Niger Delta” in the community.

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The environmentalist added that the incident has left dozens, including women, dead and burnt beyond recognition.

He also said many vehicles and tricycles were burnt to ashes.

“All those who were at the exact tapping point in the “pit” got killed while some of those who had loaded the crude and waiting to load including women have been killed by the explosion,” Dumnamene said.

“Advocacy centre can confirm from the eyewitness information and other sources that confirmed the incident at the community that men of the Nigeria arm area (sic) already at the scene of the incident with the police said to be on the way to the scene making it difficult for photographs and videos to be taken.”

Below are amateur photos from the scene of explosion.

 

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UPDATED: EFCC declares Yahaya Bello wanted over N80bn ‘financial crime’

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state, wanted over alleged N80 billion financial crimes.

 

The anti-graft commission has asked anyone with useful information on Bello’s whereabouts to contact the commission or the nearest police station.

 

“The public is hereby notified that YAHAYA ADOZA BELLO (former Governor of Kogi State), whose photograph appears above is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with alleged case of Money Laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo),” statement reads.

 

“Bello, 48-year old Ebiraman, is a native of Okenne Local Government of Kogi State. His last known address is: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the Commission in its Ibadan, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Port Harcourt and Abuja offices.”

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On Wednesday, some EFCC operatives barricaded Bello’s Abuja residence.

 

Some hours after, Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi, arrived at Bello’s residence and was said to have left with the former governor in his vehicle.

 

But Abdulwahab Muhammed, Bello’s lawyer, said his client was in his state when the EFCC operatives besieged his residence.

Bello was absent in court earlier today when the EFCC arraigned him.

 

His arraignment came after a warrant of arrest and enrolment order was granted to the EFCC by the court on Wednesday.

 

“It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible,” EFCC said in a statement on Wednesday.

 

The federal high court in Abuja adjourned the case against Bello, Alli Bello, chief of staff to Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi; and one Daudu Suleiman, to April 23.

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DNA: Court orders substituted service on Mohbad’s wife

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A Magistrate Court sitting in the Ikorodu area of Lagos has ordered that Wunmi, the wife of the late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba popularly known as Mohbad, be served notice of a pending DNA test application, by substituted means.

 

A statement signed by a member of the legal team to the Aloba family, Monisola Odumosu, disclosed this on Wednesday maintaining that the order became necessary after the court sheriff attempted to serve the court process personally on Wunmi twice, but failed.

 

It will be recalled that the Aloba family is contesting the paternity of baby Liam and filed an application before the Family Court to grant an order against Wunmi to present herself and baby Liam for a DNA test at any recognised laboratory in Lagos.

 

In the application filed by the legal team to Joseph Aloba, father to the late singer, the family sought an order to serve Wunmi the court papers for the DNA, by posting all the originating processes and other processes in the suit on the last-known address of the respondent.

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Odumosu said, “If the process were served on the last-known address of the respondent by Order of the Court, it would constitute good service and she would be aware of the pending suit. The Chief Magistrate granted the order and ordered that the respondent be served by posting the court process on her last known address.

 

The statement added that the singer’s wife, in a viral video, said she was ready for a DNA test, noting that she had never been available for the court sheriff to serve her the originating motion.

 

Odumosu also added that the matter had been adjourned till next month for the report of service.

 

Counsel to Wunmi, Taiwo Olawanle, has however denied knowledge of the court order.

 

He said, “We don’t have the court order. If we have an order, we will advise her to adhere to it. That is not a problem. But we are not aware of any order”.

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Mohbad, aged 27, died on September 12, 2023, under controversial circumstances. He had left his
record label, Marlian Music owned by Naira Marley, in February 2022.

 

In September, 2023, The singer’s body was exhumed for autopsy to unravel the cause of his death.

 

The Lagos State Police Command had in the same September also inaugurated a 13-man special investigation team to probe the singer’s death.

 

His death also led to the arrest of Naira Marley and controversial Lagos socialite, Balogun Eletu, also known as Sam Larry, amongst others.

 

At the last sitting of the Coroner inquiring into the cause of his death on March 2024, the Director of the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, Dr Richard Somiari, had indicated that the results of an autopsy conducted on the deceased body would be ready in the next three to four weeks.

 

Somiari gave the assurance while testifying before the coroner, Magistrate Adedayo Shotobi.

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NCos moves Bobrisky from Ikoyi to Kirkiri prison

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Embattled cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, who was sentenced to a six-month jail term for abusing the Naira, has been transferred from the Ikoyi Correctional Center to the Kirikiri Prison by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).

 

This is contrary to reports that Bobrisky is still being held at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

 

According to reports, the popular cross-dresser is presently held at the Kirikiri Prison and was discreetly transferred since last weekend to Kirikiri.

 

, “It is procedural that he is moved to Kirikiri since it is an expansive prison compared to what we have here,” s dourve said.

The added that due to security reasons, Okuneye was quietly moved to the facility where he will serve his term.

 

It would be recalled that Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos sentenced the cross-dresser to six months imprisonment.

While sentencing the convict on Friday, April 12, 2024, the judge said the verdict would serve as deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Bobrisky is being identified as a male based on his admission at the court last week and according to reports that there is no realignment of gender or genital organs.

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