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How Gunmen Killed My Colleagues, Ekiti Monarch Recounts Narrow Escape

The Alara of Ara in the Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, has narrated how he managed to escape from gunmen who attacked and killed two of his colleagues last Monday.

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The Alara of Ara in the Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, has narrated how he managed to escape from gunmen who attacked and killed two of his colleagues last Monday.

Fatoba, along with two other monarchs from the state – Onimojo of Imojo Ekiti in Oye LG and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti in Ajoni, Ikole Local Government of Ekiti State, were attacked by the gunmen while returning from a meeting.

The other two monarchs were killed by the assailants while Fatoba was lucky to have escaped.

Narrating the ordeal to Awikonko TV Live, in a video seen by our correspondent late Sunday, Fatoba stated that the community had sought permission from the state police to tackle herders who have been attacking the communities.

Fatoba stated, “We have a security committee in the local government. There are 25 communities in Ikole Local Government Area. When Fulani people started coming in to graze and do all sorts, we got permission from the police to assist them. This was about three or four years ago. I was made the chairman of the committee. One of my counterparts who was killed (Onimojo of Imojo) was the deputy and we used to go everywhere. We volunteered to do it for Yoruba land.

“So it happened that they came to check some people’s houses between Aiyebode and Aiyedun communities. They killed someone there. Then, my deputy called to tell me that these people were back. It was on a Sunday so I told him that I would come on Monday.”

The monarch stated that while they were in motion, he was busy reading something on his phone before realising that the vehicle had stopped.

“I was reading something on my phone when I suddenly felt that the driver slammed the brakes. As we looked up, we saw guns pointed at us. If they were kidnappers, they would ask us to get down, raise our hands and so on.

“I wish I could show you my body, you would have seen the cuts,” Fatoba stated, adding that he still feels the pain from the attack.

The monarch narrated that he managed to escape from the scene, stating, “I noticed that they didn’t understand English. They were with a big machete and they had other ones too. I saw an AK-47, a pump-action gun and a locally-made one.”

The monarch recalled that as he wanted to get out of the vehicle, one of the assailants tried to hit his head with a weapon but he used the door to protect himself “so it was the door that was hit.”

“It was a war zone,” he added.

According to Fatoba, he could hear the sound of gunshots behind him as he ran.

“People who said that I disappeared, I want them to know that it is a lie. I ran to the security guards that we put in that area because it had been a hotspot. I wanted to get to them,” he said.

He said when he got to one of the security guards, he asked him to shoot into the air but the gun jammed.

Fatoba further added that due to fear, the guards couldn’t come near them for a rescue operation.

When asked how the driver was not killed, he said, “They didn’t concentrate on the driver. He wore a shirt and had a small stature. They only collected the car key. They killed the others,” he said ruling out notions that he and his driver escaped with the aid of spiritual power.

The monarch added, “What happened was that they first came to me. Two came out from my right side and one from the left side. They came aggressively. The moment they collected the car key from my driver, they left him. He prostrated on the floor with his hands on the ground.

“As for me, I fought my way out and they shot. I heard the gunshots. God didn’t allow the shots to hit me. By the time I looked back, my colleagues were on the ground. I don’t know how that happened. Some cars that were behind us had to reverse.

“I was reading something on my phone at the time, so the attack came as a surprise. I lost my phone but the security guard had the phone number of the monarch whose community was close by. It was the monarch who mobilised more security guards to meet us there.”

However, the Ekiti State Police Command said its operatives have arrested one suspect linked to the killing of the two traditional rulers.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Dare Ogundare, said that the suspect, Babusa Lede, had confessed to involvement in the killing of the two monarchs, adding that efforts were on to apprehend others involved.

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NSIB Receives U.S. Preliminary Report On Wigwe’s Death

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The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) says it has received the preliminary report from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding the crashed helicopter that killed Dr Herbert Wigwe and five others.

Mrs Bimbo Oladeji, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Feb. 9, Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, his wife, son and a former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, as well as some others were onboard the ill-fated Airbus Helicopter EC130B4.

Oladeji said that following the accident, the NSIB offered its full cooperation to the NTSB, the lead agency investigating the accident which claimed the lives of six individuals.

The crash occured at the Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, U.S.A.

According to Oladeji, initial findings suggest that the helicopter suffered catastrophic damage upon impact, resulting in fragmentation of major components.

She said: “The preliminary report on the Airbus Helicopter EC130B4, registered as N130CZ and operated by Orbic Air, LLC, under Part 135 regulations for on-demand flights, outlines crucial details surrounding the tragic incident.

“Departing from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the helicopter embarked on a journey to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada via Palm Springs International Airport.

“However, during its flight, adverse weather conditions characterised by rain and a mix of snow, were encountered, as reported by witnesses.

“Reports from law enforcement and eyewitnesses also indicated that several individuals travelling along Interstate 15 (I-15) observed a “fireball” in the area, prompting calls to emergency services.

“Subsequently, the wreckage of the helicopter was discovered in the high, mountainous desert and scrub-brush covered terrain near Halloran Springs, California.

“Analysis of the accident site revealed a scattered debris pattern about 300 ft along a 120° magnetic, indicating a trajectory from an initial impact point which was a 1.5 ft deep, 12 ft long and 10 ft wide ground crater.

“Containing fragments of the right landing gear skid, cockpit wiring, and cabin floor structure. The right skid step protruded upward at a 45° angle at the extreme eastern edge of the ground crater.

“All major helicopter components were identified at the accident site. The helicopter’s fuselage was fragmented, and the cockpit and cabin were destroyed.

“Some debris and vegetation displayed thermal damage, indicative of the extent of the collision’s force. The flight control tubes and linkages leading up to the flight control servos were fragmented and continuity could not be verified.

“All three pitch control links were attached at the swashplate and blade pitch change horns. The main rotor blades were fragmented and broomstrawed, and the blade sleeves and tips were present.

“Data analysis utilised sources including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data, operator personnel reports, and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the flight path and sequence of events leading to the accident.”

Oladeji said that the NSIB, in accordance with the prerogative granted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO’s) Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, had the right to access investigation information.

“On aviation accidents and incidents involving Nigerian-registered aircraft or Nigerian citizens in 193 countries that are member states of the ICAO.

“The NSIB has been actively engaging with the NTSB since the beginning of the investigation.

She said that as the investigation progresses, NSIB will be committed to engaging the NTSB to receive the public docket of the investigation, which will comprise the compendium of information gathered throughout the investigation.

“This typically includes photographs, interview summaries, documentation, and other relevant data that will give a clearer picture of the factors that led to the accident.”

Also, the Director-General of the NSIB, Capt. Alex Badeh, expressed gratitude for the cooperation extended by the NTSB, which has facilitated the sharing of vital information.

“We will continue to work closely with relevant authorities leading the investigation, including the NTSB, to gather additional evidence and information necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances that led to this tragic event,” Badeh.

(NAN)

 

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BDC: CBN Mandates Sellers Above $10,000 To Declare Sources

“Retail sale of foreign currencies to non-individuals, except for BTA, international outward transfers, engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondent relationship with any foreign establishment are also not permissible,”

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has mandated foreign exchange sellers to Bureau De Change (BDC) of the equivalent of 10,000 dollars and above to declare their forex sources.

Haruna Mustapha, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the CBN, said this in a revised regulatory framework to curtail excesses of BDCs and check uncertainty in the foreign exchange market.

Mustapha said that such sellers would also be required to comply with all Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism ( AML/CFT) regulations.

He said that the guidelines would significantly enhance the regulatory framework for the operations of BDCs as part of ongoing reforms of the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

According to him, the guidelines revises the permissible activities, licensing requirements, corporate governance and AML/CFT provisions for BDCs.

“It also sets out new record-keeping and reporting requirements, among others,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the guidelines also specifies that no person shall carry on the business of BDC in Nigeria except with the prior authorisation of the CBN.

It described BDC as a company licensed by the CBN to carry on only retail foreign exchange business in Nigeria.

It banned commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), including holding companies and payment service providers from promoting BDCs.

It also precluded serving staff of financial services regulatory and supervisory agencies, serving staff of regulated financial services providers, governments at all levels, among others, from promoting BDCs.

The guidelines permitted BDCs to acquire foreign currency from authorised sources like tourists, returnees from the diaspora and expatriates with foreign exchange inflows from work, travel, investment or their domiciliary accounts.

Other permissible sources are International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), embassies, hotels that are authorised buyers of foreign currencies, the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NFEM) and any other source that the CBN may specify.

It warned the BDCs not to engage in street-trading, maintaining any type of account for any member of the public, or accepting any asset for safe keeping/custody.

It said that the BDCs were also not permitted to take deposits from or grant loans to members of the public in any currency and in any form.

“Retail sale of foreign currencies to non-individuals, except for BTA, international outward transfers, engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondent relationship with any foreign establishment are also not permissible,” it said

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Economic Hardship: Blame Buhari, Not Tinubu – Northern Group Tells Nigerians

What people need to know about Nigeria’s present challenges is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inherited them from the past administration of former president Buhari but as a determined leader, Tinubu is pulling all strings together to overcome them head-on.

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A Northern group, Civil Society For Credible Election has stated that erstwhile president, Muhammadu Buhari should be blamed for the economic crisis plaguing the nation.

The group lamented that President Bola Tinubu inherited the challenges from his predecessor.

They shared their reservations while addressing newsmen in Kano.

Umar argued that Tinubu had since hit the ground working to reverse the situation through various steps and policies put in place.

He subsequently called on Nigerians to exercise patience with the President as things will be better in no distant time in the country.

According to him, “We recognize the fact that Nigerians are passing through hardship at the moment. It is a result of a global economic meltdown, but only further compounded by some shortcomings of the last administration under former president Muhammadu Buhari.

“What people need to know about Nigeria’s present challenges is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inherited them from the past administration of former president Buhari but as a determined leader, Tinubu is pulling all strings together to overcome them head-on.

“Nigerians are all living witness to the phantom steps and policies of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address the country’s sociocultural, economic and political indices.

“What President Tinubu need from all Nigerians now is patience, cooperation and understanding of the administration reforms policies. These reforms are strategic and competent enough to in no distant time make all Nigerians proud of their beloved country.”

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