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Army agrees to reopen Banex plaza after soldiers’ clash with traders

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The Nigerian Army says it has agreed on the “immediate reopening” of the popular Banex Plaza in Wuse 2, Abuja.

The agreement to reopen the plaza comes about a week after it was shut down over a clash between some traders and two soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the complex.

On May 18, there was pandemonium at the plaza when some traders engaged two soldiers in a fight.

Witnesses said the soldiers visited the plaza to complain about a phone, which led to an argument with the traders, and a fight ensued.

After the incident, many shop owners and traders quickly closed for the day to avoid being caught up in a reprisal attack.

On May 20, some military personnel arrived in about five Hilux vehicles and reportedly shut down the plaza.

However, the army headquarters said the plaza was temporarily shut down to enable the arrest of the hoodlums who attacked two soldiers at the complex.

In a statement on Monday, Oyema Nwachukwu, director of army public relations, said an agreement was reached after a meeting with the management of the plaza and other stakeholders.

“In response to this incident, a high-level meeting was convened in the Office of the National Security Adviser, including the Principal General Staff Officer to the NSA, the Commissioner of Police FCT, the FCT Director of the Department of State Services, the Leadership and Management of Banex Plaza, a Representative from the Directorate of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, and the National Chairman of the Mobile Phone Traders Association,” the statement reads.

Nwachukwu said the meeting aimed to “identify and apprehend the perpetrators of the attack on the soldiers and ensure the continued security of the nation’s capital.

He added that the meeting agreed that shop C93, where the incident happened, should be locked up immediately.

The army spokesperson said it was also agreed that the owners of the shop who orchestrated the mob attack on the soldiers should be arrested.

“Market leaders are to remain vigilant and report any remaining perpetrators to the authorities,” Nwachukwu said.

“Furthermore, the two individuals already arrested have been handed over to the headquarters of the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police for further action.”

He also said the army would “thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the presence of its personnel at the plaza and the subsequent attack”.

“It must be reiterated that acts of violence against military personnel are not only condemnable but also pose a significant threat to national security and public order,” he added.

“We therefore urge members of the public to exercise caution and restraint when interacting with military personnel and other security operatives, especially when they are in uniform.”

He further said there are established channels for reporting grievances or misconduct by personnel to the appropriate authorities.

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Rivers crisis: Caretaker chairs denied access to offices as police barricade LGA secretariats

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Officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have continued to barricade the 23 LGA headquarters of Rivers state.

On Tuesday, the Rivers police command announced the take over of the council headquarters following clashes between supporters of Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, and Nyesom Wike, his predecessor.

The crisis ensued after youths stormed the LGA secretariats to dislodge the elected chairpersons, whose tenure ended on Monday.

Following the expiration of the chairpersons’ tenure, Fubara ordered the heads of local government administration to immediately assume control of the 23 council areas of the state.

Despite the governor’s directive, some of the former LGA chairpersons reportedly attempted to resume duty at the council secretariat, but they were chased away by youths.

During the clash at Eberi-Omuma community in Okuama LGA, a police officer and one vigilante member were killed.

On Wednesday, Fubara swore in the caretaker committee chairpersons for the 23 LGAs.

Some of the caretaker chairpersons could not access the council offices because armed police officers remained stationed at the LGA headquarters.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, Darlington Orji, caretaker committee chairman of Ikwere LGA, said after the swearing-in ceremony, he could not access the council because it was barricaded by police officers.

Orji said the police officers said they were acting on the orders of Kayode Egbetokun, inspector-general of police.

Over the past few months, Rivers has been engulfed in political crisis due to the rift between Fubara and Wike.

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FG busts 1,618 civil servants with fake employment letters

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The Federal Government has announced that over the past year, it has identified 1,618 civil service officers with fake employment letters and removed them from the Integration Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS).

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of the Federation’s civil service, revealed this during a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, June 19.

The event was part of the 2024 Civil Service Week, themed “Education an African fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education System for Increased Access to Inclusive Lifelong, Quality and Relevant Learning in Africa.”

Dr. Yemi-Esan explained that through physical verification conducted by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), the previously inflated federal civil service workforce has been reduced from over 100,000 to 69,308 verified employees now on the payroll.

She also mentioned that besides discovering ghost workers with fake employment letters, the verification exercise caught some civil servants who had left the country for better overseas opportunities.

These individuals returned for the verification process weeks later, claiming they were unaware of the schedule, and were given an additional two weeks to complete their verification.

According to the Nigerian Tribune, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation said instead of waiting for the two weeks in addition to the days they had already spent in Nigeria, “a lot of them tendered their resignation letters because no UK organisation would afford to give two additional weeks in the country to perfect the verification process.”

Regarding the widespread corruption in the public service, Yemi-Esan stated that her office has been collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to eradicate corruption from the system.

She also highlighted efforts to enhance the Federal Civil Service for better and more efficient service delivery to Nigerians, expressing confidence that the entire service would be fully digitised by the end of 2025.

Yemi-Esan revealed that the current administration has made significant strides in transforming and digitising work processes.

“From the service-wide perspective, all MDAs, all other ministries are also running with the digitalisation programme and there are different stages of implementation, but they have a mandate for all to achieve full migration by the end of 2025,” she said.

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Sanwo-Olu pledges to arrest Fouani brothers’ kidnappers, assures Lagosians of enhanced security

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has vowed to arrest the perpetrators behind the recent kidnapping of three Lebanese nationals, including Muhammed Fouani, the Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Limited.

The Governor emphasized that his administration would not tolerate individuals with malicious intentions in the state.

He reassured Lagos residents, particularly business owners and religious tourists, that stringent security measures are being implemented to ensure their safety.

These assurances were contained in an official statement by Gboyega Akosile, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Lagos State Governor, on the Lagos State Government’s website on Wednesday.

“Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday vowed to arrest perpetrators behind the recent kidnapping of the three Lebanese nationals, including the Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Limited, Muhammed Fouani, saying his government would not condone people of evil intentions in the State.

“He assured Lagos residents, particularly business owners and religious tourists, of adequate security in the state, saying his administration is committed to making the State peaceful, attractive and homely,” the statement read in part.

Furthermore, Governor Sanwo-Olu clarified that the kidnapping of three Lebanese nationals occurred on the waterway en route to Ikorodu, not around Five Cowry in Falomo as reported in the media.

He assured the public that authorities are actively pursuing the kidnappers and taking decisive actions to apprehend them.

The Governor emphasized that security forces are thoroughly combing all necessary areas to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

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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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