Ex-minister, Gbagi Declared Wanted By Police In Delta Over Abuse Of Staff Surfaces Eight Months Later - IReporteronline
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Ex-minister, Gbagi Declared Wanted By Police In Delta Over Abuse Of Staff Surfaces Eight Months Later

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Kenneth Gbagi, former Minister of State for Education and Delta state governorship aspirant in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, on Monday surfaced at the state police command, Asaba, eight months after he was declared wanted over a case of assault and dehumanisation of his staff.

Gbagi had in September 2020 accused four of his staff members, Precious Achibong, Roselyn Okiemute Diaghwarh, Victor Ephraim and Gloria Oguzie, working at his Signatious Hotel, Warri, Delta State, of stealing his N50,000.

He had stripped them naked, taken photographs of them and videoed them before handing them over to the police, who detained them for four days and subsequently charged them to court.

The alleged humiliation of the suspects by Gbagi provoked women, girls and human rights activists to embark on a mass protest across the state to call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the former education minister.

Following the alleged refusal of the former minister to honour several invitations extended to him by the state police command, the immediate past commissioner of police, Assistant Inspector General of police, AIG Hafiz Inuwa, force secretary and member of the force’s management team declared Gbagi wanted.

A statement obtained by SaharaReporters, signed by the then spokesperson for the police in the state, DSP Onomo Onovwakpoyeya, noted that “Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi was invited by the Commissioner of Police through the Area Commander Warri and DPO Ebrumede Division on September 25, 2020 for questioning concerning the alleged dehumanising manner in which he ordered some of his staff to be stripped naked and physically assaulted because of an alleged case of stealing which took place at Signatious Hotel belonging to him.

“Kenneth Gbagi personally and severally called and gave the excuse that he had a burial ceremony of his elder sister on Friday 25/9/2020 in which he was a key player, and asked for time to finish with the ceremony on Sunday, and thereafter report at the state headquarters on Monday, September 28, 2020. These requests were granted on humanitarian grounds.

“On Monday, September, 28, 2020, Kenneth Gbagi called the Commissioner of Police to say that he had a court case to attend to, promising to report at the police headquarters in Asaba by 3:00pm; again he was equally obliged. On the same date, the Commissioner of Police had to call him at about 5:00pm before the same Kenneth Gbagi said he was on his way to the state HQ, Asaba. Sadly and unfortunately, Kenneth Gbagi still failed to report. Instead, he went into the public space to disparage, blackmail and maligned the person of the Commissioner of Police and the Nigeria Police Force, Delta State Command, for insisting on investigating him.

“Having failed to honour his promises, Delta State Police Command is left with no option but to declare Kenneth Ggbagi wanted. Therefore members of the public with useful information as to his whereabouts are advised to go to the nearest police station to report for his immediate arrest and handing him over to the command for thorough investigation/prosecution.”

However, in a dramatic twist, barely few days after he was declared wanted by the police, Gbagi played a fast on the police and rushed to a Federal High Court sitting at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to obtain a court injunction.

The court presided by Justice Taiwo Taiwo granted the interim order restraining the Inspector General of Police and operatives of the Delta State Police Command and its agents from threatening, arresting or detaining the embattled former minister, Gbagi.

 

Gbagi had filed an ex parte motion through his counsel, Nkem Okoro, and prayed the court to restrain the police from further going after him pending the determination of his fundamental rights case.

 

Meanwhile, eight months after he was declared wanted by the police, the former Minister of State for Education, Gbagi surfaced at the state police command, Asaba and met with the commissioner of police newly posted to the state, Mr. Ari Muhammed Ali, in his office.

 

Speaking during his visit to the police boss, Gbagi, who denied committing the crime, described himself as a peace-loving man.

 

He said some of his political rivals went out of their ways to purportedly forge a warrant of arrest and declare him wanted to rubbish his reputation.

 

“Inuwa got carried away to forge this warrant of arrest. The whole idea was to embarrass me just to show to the public that I am a criminal. The case of people who stole in my hotel, Inuwa, undo (sic) the case, demoted and posted DPOs and harassed everybody. How will Inuwa disgrace himself to that level? What is so important in life?” he asked.

 

Gbagi, however, alleged that a bribe of N10 million was received by the police from his political rivals just to drag his name in the mud.

 

“N10 million, what is N10 million? There is no secret in this world. The plan was hatched by those who are afraid of my 2023 governorship race. I don’t have any secret. I am not a trouble maker. The warrant of arrest has no division, it was not signed by a Magistrate,” he said.

 

Gbagi urged the new commissioner of police, Ari Muhammed Ali, to investigate the case of theft and ensure there is justice.

 

“Don’t support me sir, call for the file and review it. That is all I want,” he said.

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Lai Mohammed’s Statement Confirms Buhari Presidency Has Surrendered To Terrorists – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that prosecution of bandits is not the responsibility of the Federal Government because it is not a federal offence, has confirmed apprehensions that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Buhari Presidency have surrendered the nation to terrorists.

The PDP stressed that the statement by the minister is another clear evidence that President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed absent, has completely abdicated the responsibilities of his office and capitulated to bandits.

PDP, in a statement by its Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said that Lai Mohammed’s statement further reveals that the Buhari Presidency has not been committed to combating banditry but had, all along, been feeding Nigerians with lies, propaganda and falsehood, while bandits are pillaging the nation.

“It is incredulous that the Buhari Presidency, in its failures, is abdicating a responsibility exclusively vested on it by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to operate all apparatus of national security; the police, military, paramilitary and all other armed services; to secure lives and property in all parts of our country.

“Perhaps, President Buhari and his Minister of Information need to be tutored that the Second Schedule (Exclusive Legislative List) clearly vested the control of all apparatus of national security on the federal government and not the states.

“Items 2, 28, 38, 45, 57 of the Exclusive List are clear investing the operation of the police, the military and other armed services; the control of arms and ammunitions as well as criminal records among other statutory paraphernalia of national security on the Federal Government and not the state,” the party said.

The PDP said that APC and the Buhari Presidency needs to be tutored that bandits and kidnappers are terrorists and that in line with the provisions of the constitution, the agencies vested with the statutory responsibility of protecting Nigerians from such outlaws are under the control of the Federal Government.

“It is unthinkable that President Buhari, who promised to lead from the front, is now running away from duty while seeking to heap the burden of his office on the states, who do not have control of security agencies.

“Moreover, the fact that a cabinet minister in the shade of Lai Mohammed is left to address this critical aspect of our national security that is vested on the President, shows that our nation is plagued by Presidential absenteeism and a dysfunctional command structure.

“Such situation never occurred under the PDP administration.

“Now that President Buhari and the APC-led Federal Government can no longer guarantee the safety of lives and property, the only way out is for the National Assembly to immediately amend the Constitution and establish state police to guarantee the security of Nigerians as already recommended by the PDP,” the party said.

The PDP called on President Buhari to come out of hiding and address the nation, in his own voice, on the worsening insecurity in our country, occasioned by his misrule.

In the same vein, the PDP is set to commence consultations with critical stakeholders across the six geo-political zones in furtherance of its democratic efforts to rescue the nation from misrule.

The party is also working on templates that will enable it to, within the ambits of laws, further harness suggestions from Nigerians on democratic means to tackle the festering insecurity, guarantee the safety of life and property as well as restore our national stability and cohesiveness.

PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, stated this at the PDP national secretariat on Wednesday, while receiving former Minister of Information and National Orientation and founding National Secretary of the PDP, Prof. Jerry Gana, who recently returned to the party.

Prince Secondus stressed that the main objective of the PDP is to rescue the nation from misrule, adding that it was imperative to tap from the wealth of experience of leaders like Prof. Gana.

Earlier during the visit, Prof. Gana emphasized that Nigeria “is in a dire strait,” adding that all hands must be on the deck to rescue the nation.

“Nigeria is on the brinks. The economy is stagnated. There is insecurity everywhere. Nigerians are beginning to doubt our nationhood. The political answer to the situation today is for PDP to take back power. Nigerians do not deserve what we are going through today. We must take decisive steps that will help rescue our nation,” he said.

Also, the party has vehemently condemned the incessant attacks by suspected killer herdsmen and terrorists on innocent Nigerians in Benue State.

The party further condemned the manifest failure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC to take decisive steps to apprehend the assailants as well as provide adequate security in the state, even after the attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom’s life.

The PDP holds that the body language and lethargic approach of the APC-led administration appear to validate apprehensions that the assailants are enjoying the cover of some persons in government, in the execution of their bloody enterprise against Nigerian citizens.

“Our party insists that President Buhari has no further excuse but to take responsibility and adopt urgent security measures to stop the carnage in Benue and other states where invading terrorist elements, under various shades are displacing our citizens and taking control of their common patrimony,” the party said.

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Distribution Of CBN’s Free Prepaid Meters Starts Soon -FG

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The Federal Government on Wednesday said the distribution of the four million free electricity prepaid meters promised by the Central Bank of Nigeria would soon commence across the country.

The Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, disclosed this while answering questions from State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Recall that the CBN had promised to augment the government’s effort to distribute free prepaid meters with additional four million pieces.

Saleh assured Nigerians that the government is wrapping up the distribution of its initial one million meters, which he labelled phase zero, and will soon begin the distribution of the four million others, which he dubbed phase one.

He said, “It’s ongoing, we are almost rounding off. We have almost finished with phase zero, we are now going into phase one of the distribution of the meters, that is the remaining four million the Central Bank promised to augment with.

“The first set is one million, we’re about to finish with that, but you know it’s not the target, one million is very negligible compared to the demand of Nigerians.”

The minister added that Nigeria now generates 5,000 MW as opposed to the initial 3,000MW.

He further disclosed that the FEC approved $8.29 million as well as N3 billion for the execution of six major electricity projects in the country.

Saleh said that the projects, which include the procurement of equipment as well as designs and manufactures, are meant to upgrade Nigeria’s electricity facility and improve power supply across the country.

He added that the Ministry of Power which is under his purview tabled six memoranda to the FEC, with all six being approved.

He said, “The Federal Executive Council today approved six memos under the Ministry of Power. The first one is the award of a contract for the design, manufacturing, and supply of critical spare parts for Crompton Greaves 330 kV, 132 kV, and 33 kV circuit breakers to Messrs. Legen Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of N298,339,887.04.

“The second one is the award of the contract for the procurement of 50 sets of 400 AH battery banks, 30 to 50 volts and 30 number of 110-volt battery charges for the substation used by the TCN in favour of Messrs. DTS Transformers Electric Industry Limited at the sum of N644,805,953.10.

“The third award of the contract is for the procurement of 50 cents also of 132 kV isolators for the TCN in favour of Messrs. Leading Diagonal Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of $840,650 plus N53,900,000 within the delivery period of six months.

“The fourth one is the contract for the design, manufacturing and the supply of three 60/66 MVA 132kV power transformers with accessories and 15 number of 500 kV transformers, 33/0.415kV earthing transformers for the TCN in favour of Messrs. Zhenjiang Transformers Company Limited, in the sum of N1,296,953,044.55 with a delivery period of 12 months.

“The fifth one is the award of the contract for the design, supply and installation of Optical Wire (OPGW) and Universal Optical Transportation Network System (OTN) for some critical transmission lines in favour of Messrs. Xinjiang Power and Transportation Company Limited in the sum of $6,800,743.51, plus N668,843,634.74, with a delivery period of 12 months

“The last one is the upward review of the contraction for the design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of 1X 100MVA, 132/33kV power transformers at Ogba Transmission Substation, Lagos, in favour of Messrs. Power Control and Appliances Limited, in the sum of $648,038.31, plus N48,342,524.18, with the delivery period of six months.

“All these procurements are geared towards upgrades of the transmission system to the national grid so that we can have sufficient power supply to the nation,” the Minister added.

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Buhari Appeals To Bandits To Release Abducted Greenfield University Students

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Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has appealed to bandits to free abducted students of Greenfield University, Kaduna State.

Twenty-two undergraduates of the private university were seized from their campus on April 20, 2021, by bandits. Five of them have since been killed by their abductors, while one was released on Tuesday after payment of an undisclosed amount of money in ransom.

Buhari who took to his verified Twitter account to call for the release of the remaining 16 students on Wednesday, condemned what he described as increasing polarization of the country while asking that all hands be on deck to resolve growing insecurity in the country.

The president said he welcomed the release of 27 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna, who were freed on Wednesday by bandits, while appreciating all those who contributed to their release.

“I welcome the release of the 27 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, and congratulate their friends, families, and the government and people of Kaduna State. We are happy they have been released,” Buhari wrote via his handle, @MBuhari

“Our deep appreciation to all who contributed one way or the other to this happy outcome, in particular, the defence and security agencies, the officials of the Ministry of Environment, and the Government of Kaduna State. We equally thank Nigerians for their prayers.
Muhammadu Buhari

“I again appeal for the release of the students of Greenfield University & all other citizens held in captivity. We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that Nigerians live in a country where everyone can move where and when they want—without the fear of kidnapping & banditry.

“I call for steadfastness & security awareness on the part of the law enforcement agencies and citizens. Let me once again condemn the increasing politicization of security in Nigeria, by opportunistic politicians. All hands must be on deck to achieve enduring peace & security.”

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