Boko Haram: Buratai commends engineers for reduction in IED explosion

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has commended the Nigerian Army Engineers for their contributions to the reduction of bomb explosions in the North East.

Buratai made the commendation at the inauguration of a 41 room and parlour apartments named “General Buratai Sappers Lodge” in Bonny Cantonment in Lagos on Wednesday.

Buratai, represented by Major General Chris Jemitola, the Commander, Corps of Signal, said field reports indicated that NAE had helped to reduce the incidence of IEDs planted by Boko Haram terrorists going off in the North East theatre of operation.

He also said it was unfortunate that the recent explosions led to the death of civilians, officers and soldiers alike.

The COAS observed that in the last few months, relative peace had been recorded in the region, noting that the recent explosions were fewer and far between.

Buratai said: “It is unfortunate that they happened and we are addressing them; nonetheless, army engineers have contributed in various aspects.

“They have helped the Nigerian Army to live, move and fight; they are also helping the civilian populace in various dimensions.”

The inauguration took place simultaneously with the handing and taking over by the Commander, Corps of Engineers.

The outgoing commander, Major General Chris Obi, said he was motivated to embark on the construction of the apartment because of the daunting challenges of accommodation for officers of the corps.

Obi noted that the security challenges in the country had resulted in the increasing demand for NAE personnel particularly in the area of IED management.

Obi said: “Officers of the NAE have done extremely well in tackling the insurgents.

“There is, therefore, need to train our personnel on the use and handling of modern IED and Explosive Ordinance Devices equipment.

“Luckily, the COAS recently procured some of such equipment such as the BOZENA 5, the AMTRAC 400 series and some handheld IED detecting gadgets.”

Obi, who took over as NAE corps commander on August 21, 2015, noted with enthusiasm that the apartment would motivate officers of the corps.

The signing of the handing and taking over notes was the climax of the event at the cantonment which was witnessed by officers of the corps.

The incoming commander, Major General Olusegun Adeleke, said he would key into the successes of his predecessor to move the corps to the next level.

Before his appointment as commander, NAE, Adeleke was the Chief of Army Standards and Evaluation, Army Headquarters, Abuja.

Synagogue Church Trustees, Engineers Finally Arraigned For Manslaughter

The long awaited arraignment of the trustees of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), the two engineers who constructed the collapsed six-storey guest house belonging to the church and their companies finally took place yesterday before an Ikeja High Court.

Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo ordered their arraignment after dismissing separate applications filed by the defendants through their counsel seeking to stay proceedings of the High Court pending their appeal at the Court of Appeal.
The judge also remanded the two engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun, in Kirikiri Maximum Prison.

The Lagos State Government had, late last year, slammed a 111-count criminal charge against the trustees of the church, the two engineers, and their companies – Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Limited – for their involvement in the September 12, 2014 collapse of a six-storey guest house belonging to the church, which led to the death of 116 persons.
But the defendants had deployed several tactics to stall their arraignment by filing various pre-trial applications.

The 111-count charge brought against the defendants borders on criminal negligence, manslaughter and failure to obtain a building permit.
Justice Lawal-Akapo in his ruling said: “Section 273 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) states that subject to the constitution, an application for a stay of proceedings in respect of a criminal matter before the High Court should not be entertained before the court.

“I find no merit in the two applications, they are lacking in merit and substance. This is a clear case of abuse of court processes to the irritation and annoyance of the court.”

Immediately after Justice Lawal-Akapo’s ruling, the lead counsel representing the defendants made several attempts to convince the court not to proceed with the arraignment.
While Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), representing SCOAN, argued that it would be improper to proceed with the arraignment since the day’s business of the court was for ruling, Chief Efe Akpofure (SAN), representing Hardrock Construction Company, said he had just lost his mother and would not be able to proceed.

The judge however overruled them and ordered that the charges be read to the accused persons. The case was adjourned to April 26 for hearing of the defendants’ bail applications.

Credit: Thisday