Ex-Lagos Council boss accused of corruption denies fleeing

A former chairman of the Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Lagos, Adesola Adebayo, has denied reports that he was on the run over an investigation the Lagos State House of Assembly is conducting into alleged corrupt sales of the council’s properties during his tenure.

Mr Adebayo, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES from Canada, where he claimed to be holidaying, on Tuesday, said the report that he was on the run was false and orchestrated by his political enemies bent on a witch-hunt.

The P.M News on Monday had published a report alleging that Mr. Adebayo fled to Canada after he refused to honour the invitations of the assembly’s Committees on Public Accounts for Local Government, and Local Government Administration.

The report stated that Mr. Adebayo was invited to explain how the council’s properties in highbrow Ikoyi and Victoria Island were leased for a fraction of their real value during his administration.

The committees had invited Mr. Adebayo following petitions they received from unnamed individuals from the council.

According to the P.M News report, Mr. Adebayo allegedly leased out a storey building on 15 Temple Road, Ikoyi, for between N190, 000 and N200, 000 annually.

He also allegedly gave out a block of six flats on 37b Glover Road, Ikoyi, a bungalow in Igbo-Efon Village, Victoria Island, a storey-building shopping complex on Payne Crescent, Apapa for prices way below the market price.

“All the leasing was done in such a shady manner that raises a lot of questions which he must clarify. How can you lease out such buildings in major areas of the country for such low prices and for between 17 and 20 years?” the newspaper quoted an unnamed member of one of the committees.

Mr. Adebayo, in a telephone chat with PREMIUM TIMES, said he was being witch-hunted for supporting a different faction from Muyiwa Jimoh, the member of the House of Assembly representing Apapa-Iganmu constituency.

He said the problem was political and there was an agreement that it required a political solution. He wondered why they were unearthing the allegation after two years. He said he had planned to return to the country on Friday but would move his arrival date forward if he could.

He added that he had honoured the invitations of the committees voluntarily on three occasions and wondered why he would choose to abscond because of this new invitation.

He also threatened to sue P.M News for alleging that he was on the run.

“Some people want the APC chairman of the local government to go. They no longer want him. Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh, the deputy majority leader, from the Apapa-Iganmu is on a different faction concerning the resolution of the crisis. He is on the side of people who wants the chairman to stay. I want the chairman to go. They know I have a strong followership there so they took up a matter that has been in the assembly for almost two years now and that we agreed that it was a political problem and it needs a political solution.

“He is just using his temporary power to cause problem there. It is just a pity that in a country like that people will use their positions to harass other. And because I have had issues with him he is now using the house to harass me. It can’t work that way.

“They said they asked me to come to the House of Assembly, I have been there more than three times and I went there voluntarily.

“They want to use the house to blackmail me. There is no worry. I am not in the country right now but if I can change my ticket, I will come back to come and face them and then I will sue the PM News for that kind of libellous information.”

He suggested that he could not be held responsible for the lease of the properties and they followed due process and other officials also approved the lease to go ahead. He wondered why those other officials are not being probed.

“There are so many wild allegations that they made there? If they are hoping to probe a former chairman, are they just going to probe a section of it? If the chairman is the head of the place, can the chairman alone disposed of the council’s property without an estate or surveyor or the council valuer? Are there no council managers there? Are there no lawyers there? Are there no treasures there?” he asked.

“I plan to be back on Friday. But if I can change my flight I will be there tomorrow.”

He said before he travelled for holiday a week ago, he did not get any letter of invitation from the House of Assembly.

“I didn’t get any letter. If they had a letter, who did they give it to? Who received the letter on my behalf? Who received from them? It is just a case of using the house to witch-hunt me because I don’t agree with what they are doing. I will come back. I can’t run away from my country. They should not use the house to spoil people’s name.”

More Than 82,000 Flee California Wildfire

 A rapidly spreading fire raging east of Los Angeles forced the evacuation of more than 82,000 people Tuesday as the governor of California declared a state of emergency.

Despite the efforts of 1,250 firefighters with more on the way, none of the inferno was contained as of late Tuesday, state firefighting agency Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff told AFP.

“We have very, very dry brush, thick fuel, it helps move it along very quickly,” she said. “It is very dangerous to the public and also to the firefighters.”

Governor Jerry Brown declared the state of emergency for San Bernardino County, just 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, where the blaze, which has been named the Blue Cut fire, was quickly growing.

It began around 10:30 am (1730 GMT) Tuesday and had already burned 18,000 acres (more than 7,200 hectares), according to the multi-agency Inciweb information site. Around 34,500 homes were threatened.

The inferno has already claimed one high-profile victim: the Summit Inn, a old-fashioned diner on the world-famous Route 66 that counted celebrities like Elvis Presley and Clint Eastwood among its clientele, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Two firefighters were lightly injured after being surrounded by flames. They were treated at a hospital and released, and were back on the line fighting the blaze, Inciweb said.

The wildfire poses “imminent threat to public safety, rail traffic and structures,” according to the website, which said 82,640 people fell under an evacuation warning.

Several area roads were closed, as was the Mountain High ski resort in Wrightwood which hosts hiking and other outdoor activities in warmer months.

Credit: AFP

Troops Trail Boko Haram Terrorists Fleeing To Taraba

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday, said the Army was on the trail of Boko Haram terrorists who fled Sambisa and were hiding in Taraba.

Buratai said this when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba, in continuation of his tour of Army formations in the state.

He said the Army had strong reasons to believe that some of the terrorists that fled Sambisa were taking refuge in parts of Taraba.

He added that “Taraba has not been affected by this insurgency since it started except for the recent incidences that are related to Boko Haram especially as they are being pushed out of Borno.

“We strongly suspect some of them are currently parading themselves around this state; we are working on our intelligence and information from some good citizens.

“We are banking on support about their movement and we are equally tracking them so that we get them as soon as we can.”

The Army boss then urged Nigerians to support the military “to finally clear the remaining hideouts of the insurgents.”

He said timely sharing of information on the movement of suspicious persons would go a long way in containing the insurgents.

He assured citizens of Taraba and the North East in general of the military’s determination to finally end the menace of insurgency in the region.

On the invasion of communities by suspected cattle herders, Buratai said troops were also on the trail of the suspects.

He said that the Army, in conjunction with other security agencies, were working hard to contain the menace.

According to him, troops are combing the bush and areas in search of the suspects all over the country.

He expressed optimism that the situation would be arrested in the nearest future.

On his part, the state governor commended the efforts of the military in addressing threats of security across the country.

Ishaku informed the army chief of the various threats to peace that had plagued the state for a while.

He sought the assistance of the Nigerian Army in tackling the challenges, especially in the border communities of the state.

Ishaku reaffirmed the commitment of the state government to support security agencies in the discharge of their duties.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the chief of army staff is scheduled to visit army formations in Takum and Sarti areas of the state.



Boko Haram Terrorists Flee As Airforce, Army Bombard Sambisa

Aftermath of intensified Airforce bombardment and Army artillery fire on remaining hideouts of Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa Forest, the remnants of the insurgents have fleed the forest in bid to escape. Confirming the development in a statement, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col Sani Usman said,

“This is to inform the public that due to aerial bombardment and concerted efforts of the ground troops; and facing imminent annihilation, Boko Haram terrorists have been deserting Sambisa forest in droves. Usman said that as they are fleeing the military bombardment, the terrorists are trying to disperse to various parts of the country.

“The cowards are running away from their well noted enclave in Sambisa forest for their lives.

“Consequently it becomes necessary to inform the public, especially well meaning Nigerians, to be more vigilant and security conscious.

“The public are please requested to be observant and report any suspicious persons or group of persons to the military or any of the security agencies to enable timely detection and apprehension of the fleeing insurgents before they mingle with the society and commit havoc.

“We would like to reassure the public of the confidentiality of the information provided and reiterate our commitment to the clearance of the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists” the statement added.

Credit: vanguardngr

Southern Ijaw Residents Flee Over Bayelsa Polls Tomorrow

Apprehensive of violence during the rescheduled governorship election in the Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State tomorrow, residents of the area have been fleeing to neighbouring states.

There is even the fear among many of them that the election may not hold because the magnitude of violence will be such that past crises will be child’s play. They also fear that security forces deployed in the area will not be able to control an outbreak of violence.

As if confirming the fear of the residents, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Konbowei Benson , was yesterday reportedly attacked in Korokorosie in Southern Ijaw Local Council.

Benson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who spoke on a live telephone radio programme, claimed that some persons suspected to be members of the opposition threw dynamites that destroyed part of his house.

He claimed to have got wind of the attack in the early hours of yesterday through a telephone call. However, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Asinim Butswat,  said he was yet to be informed of the development.

Credit: Guardian

Iranian Actress Forced To Flee Country After Posting Photos Without Hijab

?When Iranian actress and director Sadaf Taherian? began posting photos of herself without her hijab to social media sites, she was worried. She told ?Masih Alinejad, a journalist who runs the My Stealthy Freedom Facebook page, she was nervous about the backlash she could face for posing without a traditional Muslim head cover. But she had no idea leaders from her own country would condemn and attack her so viciously she’d be forced to flee her home.

But that’s exactly what happened soon after ?Taherian? posted her photos to Instagram and Facebook. ?Women in the World ?reports the attacks didn’t stop at nameless Internet trolls. Soon, officials within the Iranian government were joining in, going as far as to threaten her career. When another actress, ?Chekame Chaman-Mah,? spoke out on ?Taherian?’s behalf, the government moved to ban both of them from appearing on television.

Hossein Noushabadi, Iran’s ministry of culture and lslamic guidance, lashed out at them in public.  “As far as this ministry is concerned, these two individuals are no longer considered to be artists any more and do not have any right to act,” ?Noushabadi? said. That’s when Taherian’s television show was removed from the airwaves.

Because of the threats and attacks, Taherian no longer felt comfortable staying in Iran, so she fled to the ?United Arab Emirates?. “I want to live in a place and live the way that makes me happy,” she said. She still continues to post photos to Facebook without her hijab.

Credit: Cosmopolitan

Benue Gov. Gabriel Suswam, Segun Aganga & PDP’s Tony Anenih Flee Nigeria

Nigerian minister, Segun Aganga, PDP chieftain, Tony Anenih and the Governor of Benue state, Gabriel Suswam today departed Nigeria on a British Airways flight out of the Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport apparently to avoid getting caught. The three were last seen boarding the BA flight scheduled for an 8:00am departure to London.

SaharaReporters learnt that more party officials and President Goodluck Jonathan’s aides, ministers and several appointees have either fled or planning to flee the country afraid that incoming President Muhammad Buhari will probe the administration of Mr. Jonathan and jail those found guilty of corruption. Last week, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-madueke traveled on the same flight with Buhari to London, while on the six hour trip she made several attempt to start a conversation with Mr. Buhari, but the 72-old winner of Nigeria’s presidential election known for his no-nonsense stance on corruption rebuffed all her entreaties. It is not known if she ever returned to Nigeria.

The wife of the Mr. Suswam, Yemisi, reportedly left yesterday to Houston in the US to avoid getting caught up in the sweep.

Credit: saharareporters