The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has directed its team of engineers to immediately investigate and commence repairs of Thursday’s pipeline explosion allegedly caused by vandals at Ijegun, a Lagos suburb.
Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of NNPC said in Abuja that the explosion was caused by vandals and the Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, has directed the corporation’s team of engineers to resume at the fire scene and redress the situation.
According to Ughamadu, “The fire was ignited when some vandals were scooping fuel from the pipeline.
“We urge everybody within the community to remain calm as the situation is under control. Our team of engineers has resumed at the site to bring the situation under control.
Similarly, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that the pipeline incident which occurred in the early hours of Thursday at Ijegun, in Lagos was caused by vandals.
Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, South-West Coordinator revealed that NEMA alerted the management of the NNPC on the early morning incident and fire outbreak.
Farinloye said that NEMA also called on the Safety Unit of the NNPC to immediately shut down further supplies through the pipeline, in order to suffocate the fire.
“It is noted that vandals are responsible for the incident and some of them were burnt to death in the inferno.
“Security agencies have also cordoned off the area and residents of Ijegun have been urged to remain calm.
“Pipeline fire is a specialised aspect of fire management and not all firemen can handle it.
“The NNPC safety firemen are specially trained to handle such delicate incidents and that is why NEMA immediately mobilised the NNPC to mobilise to the scene.
“It will, however, take time before the inferno can be effectively tackled and supply to the pipeline is weakened and disabled,’’ he said.
Farinloye said: “In as much as the lives and property of the people are not threatened, the fire will be put off as soon as the safety of the fire officers is also assured’’.
However, it was gathered that two people have been confirmed dead and about 30 vehicles burnt in the incident.
Buhari Not Interested In Fighting Insurgency — Galadima
Former spokesperson for the presidential council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari has no genuine interest in fighting insurgency and other security challenges facing the country. He said this is the main reason why he has refused to change the military service chiefs.
The elder statesman who made his feelings known during an interview with Daily Independent said it was a thing of worry that President Buhari refuses to replace the military service chiefs as they have obviously failed in their duties to the country.
Galadima went ahead to allege that the only reason he could deduce for President Buhari’s stubbornness on the issue is the fact that his personal Marabouts (spiritual guide) must have advised him against it despite the outcry of prominent Nigerians.
According to Galadima;
“I have spoken a lot on this matter in the last one year. I don’t think the President has genuine interest in fighting any insurgency. He is like a deaf and dumb”.
A lot of Nigerians have told him the proper thing to do but he doesn’t listen to advice. Whatever you tell him, he doesn’t accept. If not, any serious person who has the welfare and security of his people at heart, would have fired the entire Service Chiefs three, four years ago and bring another people who are capable of doing the job”.
But he will not do it because he must have been instructed by his Marabouts that he shouldn’t remove them for whatever reason. That is the only reason I can give for his not replacing them”.
So, we are just wasting our time by asking him to do so. The man is insensitive to people’s feelings, opinions and the advice well-meaning Nigerians are giving him”.
Bill To Strip The President Of Powers To Order For Forfeiture Of Assets Of Accused Persons, Scales Second Reading
A bill seeking to strip the president of the powers to order for forfeiture of assets of accused persons has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.
The discretionary power previously granted to the president to order for forfeiture of assets was on Thursday, July 2, transferred to the judges of a High Court.
The bill, which was passed in plenary, yesterday, July 2, is sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Ahmed Wase and is entitled “a bill for an act to amend the currency conversion (freezing orders) act cap. C.43, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to give discretionary powers to the judge of a High Court, to order forfeiture of assets of affected persons and for related matters.”
Presenting the bill, the deputy speaker said, “It is noteworthy that the provision for forfeiture in our laws is geared towards ensuring that persons found guilty of offenses do not benefit from the proceeds of those offences.”
He said the discretionary power previously granted to the president by the Principal Act is hereby being replaced by that of a High Court Judge to bring it in line with the spirit of the constitution.
Wase argued that the provision, which vest in the president the power to order forfeiture of property (both movable or immovable) “is not in spirit with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and hence the need for its amendment.
“Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) guarantees the fundamental right of individuals to movable and immovable properties, which shall not be deprived except in specified circumstances which include the ‘imposition of penalties or forfeiture for the breach of any law whether under any civil process or after conviction for an offence’. (S. 44 (2) (c).
“Mr Speaker, colleagues, it is our submission that such breach, can only be determined by the judge of a court and should never be at the discretion of the president.
“It is further noted that the discretion of the president to order the forfeiture of property of an accused person can be subjected to executive abuses and recklessness. Section 9 in the Principal Act does not provide any mechanism (whether legal or administrative) through which the President may exercise this power. Instead the power is left solely at the discretion of the President.
“In a country that has witnessed reckless abuse of political and administrative powers, it will be dangerous to allow such unchecked arrogation of powers to determine the forfeiture of a person’s properties.”
“Such discretion to be exercised by the president can be contrary to the natural doctrine of fair trial as it amounts to the executive being a prosecutor and a ‘Judge’ in its own case.
“This negates the spirit of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) specifies the conditions under which a person can be deprived of movable or immovable properties and that is: ‘under any civil or after conviction for an offence’ after a fair trial.
“The president cannot therefore, usurp the powers of the courts for such will run foul of the doctrine of Separation of Powers.
“Vesting in the president the power to make forfeiture order smack of the era of military dictatorship where the Head of State and Head of the Supreme Military Council and unilaterally order the forfeiture of properties of persons without recourse to any judicial mechanism. This cannot be allowed to exit in a democracy. I therefore urge you all to support this amendment bill.”
NCDC Blames Youths For Rapid COVID-19 Spread In The Country
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has blamed youths for the rapid COVID-19 spread in the country.
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the NCDC Director-General stated this during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday, July 2, in Abuja.
He said youths between the ages of 20 and 40 were responsible for the spread of COVID-19, while the majority of those who succumb to the killer disease are older people from 50 years and above.
He said, “As more people are infected across the world, you would have seen the numbers; it is increasingly obvious that transmission among younger people really, not children, but people aged between 20 and 40 as far as we know, are really driving the spread of this virus, but those that are bearing the brunt of it are people age 50 and above.
“Three out of five people who died from COVID-19 are 50 years and above; so we have to work harder, all of us collectively, to protect our elderly. We are on the verge of opening our airports, we have relaxed intercity travel.”
As of July 2, there are 27,110 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country. 10,801 patients have been discharged and 616 deaths have been recorded.
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