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Flights disrupted as protests rock Port Harcourt airport

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Flight have been disrupted at the Port Harcourt International Airport, after the people of Omagwa and Ipo communities in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, barricaded the entrance while protesting lack of power supply and other amenities.

It has grounded operations at the airport and passengers are stranded.

The situation has also caused a gridlock stretching from the Airport Road to adjoining communities.

The protesters, who trooped out as early as 7am on Wednesday, lamented that despite hosting the international airport and suffering from noise pollution daily, they are not paid any form of compensation and there are no good schools in the area.

One of the protesters, who gave his name as Oki, accused the airport authorities of neglect, saying, “We in Omagwa and Ipo don’t have light for over 10 years. We want compensation for the noise pollution coming from the airport every day. We are tired. That is why we are here. ”

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Yahaya Bello absent in court as EFCC threatens military option to fish him out

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is mulling the “military option” against Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state.

On Thursday, the federal high court in Abuja adjourned the case against Bello, Alli Bello, chief of staff to Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi; and one Daudu Suleiman, to April 23.

The EFCC alleged that the suspects diverted about N100 billion belonging to the Kogi government.

Responding to the EFCC allegations, the Kogi government said funds belonging to the state were not missing during the administration of the former governor.

The former Kogi governor was not present in the courtroom on Thursday.

Kemi Pinhero, EFCC counsel, said Bello’s absence from the court was a strategy.

Responding, Abdulwahab Muhammed, Bello’s lawyer, said on February 9, a court issued a restraining order on the arrest and prosecution of the former governor.

He said the restraining order was appealed by the EFCC, adding that the case is still pending and therefore the arrest warrant granted against Bello on Wednesday does not stand.

Muhammed accused the EFCC of trying to bring the judge on a collision course with the court of appeal.

He said the court has no jurisdiction on the matter as the case is pending at the court of appeal.

Muhammed asked the court to vacate the arrest warrant granted against Bello because the court was “misled”.

He said it may lead to anarchy if a court of competent jurisdiction and another court of competent jurisdiction issue opposing orders.

Responding, Pinhero said if the former Kogi governor believes he is innocent, he should appear in court to defend himself.

He said if Bello is unwilling to appear before the court, measures will be taken against him.

He said section 287 of the constitution allows security agencies, including the military, to produce a person before a court, adding that nobody is above the court or the rule of law.

After hearing arguments from the counsel, Emeka Nwite, the presiding judge, adjourned further hearing to April 23.

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Owerri-bound Air Peace flight turns back mid-air, blames sunset airport operation

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An air passenger has accused Air Peace of delaying its Abuja-Owerri flight for 17 hours.

The passenger, simply known as @Grace_undiluted on X, wrote via her handle that the airline also turned back mid-air due to the closure time at the destination airport.

Grace made this known in a series of posts on April 17.

According to the passenger, Air Peace sold the ticket “at N120,000” from Abuja to Owerri, and the flight was scheduled to leave Abuja at 4:30 pm and land at 5:30 pm in Owerri.

However, the X user said the flight ended up delaying until 6:18 pm due to the absence of a pilot.

“Half way on air, we were told that they can’t go anymore because Owerri airport closes at 6:40 so they turned back,” Grace wrote.

“Arrived at Abuja again and took more than 20 minutes before passengers were addressed and let out and another 20+ minutes to have someone tell us what will happen next.

“They then promised us a bus to drive us to a hotel to sleep but it’s past 9pm and the bus is nowhere to be found after leaving with a few people in the first round.

“We are all stranded, scattered around. I myself was coming from Kano but missed my connecting flight with Dana air because Azman delayed for 1 hour+ then I went ahead to book air peace because I needed to get home today but here I am, stranded after spending over 300k on domestic flights today.”

The passenger said at about 10 pm, the airline said the bus was stuck “so there is no hope”.

“They also said the restaurant is closed so no food but we should go back to the hall so we can sit and get water,” the passenger wrote.

“Please keep in mind that this flight was originally scheduled for 3:50 then 4:30 just to leave at 6:18pm. This flight was supposed to land in owerri by 5:30 so if they had kept to time, none of this would have happened.”

The X user said the airline eventually moved the flight again “after assuring people that they will fly them to owerri by 7am tomorrow” —to 10 am on Thursday.

Speaking to newsmen on the issue, Stanley Olisa, Air Peace spokesperson, said the aircraft had an unscheduled maintenance.

“The 4.30 flight, the aircraft, we had an unscheduled (unplanned) maintenance on the aircraft,” he said.

Sunset airports are airfields across the country operating between sunrise and sunset.

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Court restrains EFCC from arresting, detaining, and prosecuting Yahaya Bello

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A High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, has restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from infringing on the fundamental human rights of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, former Kogi State Governor.

In a two hour judgment delivered on Wednesday, at the High Court 4 and presided over by Hon. Justice I.A Jamil, in suit no HCL/68/M/2020, the court restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant except as authorised by the Court. This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given.

The judgment followed the suit brought before the court by Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the applicant, seeking to enforce his fundamental rights against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The Court equally restrained the respondents from continuing to persecuting the Applicant.

Earlier in the judgement, the Court dismissed the issue of jurisdiction as challenged by the EFCC.

The Applicant’s Counsel SA Abbas and MS Yusuf, described the judgment as landmark while the

Defendant Counsel, T.U Odima and Patrick O. Jibril also aligned themselves to the judgment, describing it as thorough.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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