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Ekamefa Communities Speak Out: Plea for Security Amidst Tragedy

Host communities, still reeling from the loss of two traditional leaders in late January, have finally raised their voices. In poignant letters addressed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Ekiti State Governor Abiodun Oyebanji, these communities unveil the harrowing reality of nearly a decade of unreported violence, kidnappings, and fear.
Represented by the Ekamefa Peoples Congress (EPEC), comprising six historic settlements – Iyemero, Irele, Oke-Ako, Itapaji, Ipao, and Ijowa Ekiti – these communities shed light on the shadows of insecurity that have engulfed them for years.
“The recent killings of our revered traditional rulers have only illuminated the longstanding darkness of fear and uncertainty that has plagued our homes,” expressed the collective voice of the communities.
The letter, boldly titled “MURDER, KIDNAPPING AND THE CONTINUOUS TERROR SIEGE AND THREAT TO LIVELIHOOD IN EKAMEFA COMMUNITIES OF EKITI STATE,” bears witness to the anguish and desperation felt by those living amidst the violence.
Signed by prominent community figures including Evangelist Sam Bello, Mr. Jacob Erinfolami, Mr. Samuel Medayedupin, Mr. Femi Bodunde, Mr. James Odeleye, and Mr. Ige Oluwasegun, the missive outlines urgent demands for action.
Calling for immediate solutions to the scourge of armed banditry, the EPEC demands the establishment of police stations in each affected community, with a special emphasis on the recruitment of indigenous personnel for community policing efforts. They also stress the need for enhanced security outposts along border areas and provisions for local hunters to combat intruders effectively.
Moreover, the communities plea for the reconstruction of vital roadways to thwart the encroachment of terrorist elements into their midst.
Yet, amidst their appeals for security, the communities paint a poignant picture of a way of life under siege. Describing their forest-dependent existence and the ravaging of their ancestral lands, they highlight the environmental and cultural devastation wrought by the ongoing violence.
“Our forests, once a source of sustenance and spirituality, have become battlegrounds,” lamented the communities. “Our very way of life is under threat, as we face pollution, destruction, and the erosion of our cultural heritage.”
The tragic deaths of their traditional rulers, including the recent killing of General Segun Aremu-Cole, serve as grim reminders of the constant peril faced by these communities. Yet, they stress that these losses are but a fraction of the suffering endured over the years.
“With each passing day, our people live in fear, our children stay home from school, and our farms lie fallow,” they revealed. “We have borne this burden for too long, and now we call upon our leaders to act.”
In a poignant plea for action, the communities urge President Tinubu, Governor Oyebanji, and all stakeholders to heed their cries for help. They implore for not just words of condolence, but tangible measures to secure their lives, their lands, and their futures.
As the Ekamefa communities await a response, they stand united in their resolve to reclaim their homeland from the grip of fear and violence.

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EFCC investigates more celebrities for naira abuse

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said it is investigating several celebrities suspected of abusing the Naira.

This was revealed in a statement signed by EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, on Sunday.

“On the issue of the works of the Commission against Naira abuse, dollarization of the economy and the enforcement of all extant laws relating to them, the EFCC appreciates the avalanche of public awakening, support and involvement demonstrated so far.

“Increasingly, members of the public are drawing the attention of the Commission to video recording of abuse of the Naira by Nigerians from all walks of life.

“These gestures amply demonstrate rising consciousness of the public to the sanctity of our national currency and the need for collaborative engagement to sustain the tempo.

“To this end, the Commission will always investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the abuse of the Naira.

“Old videos being exhumed and flying around for the attention of the Commission are noted as the Commission is sensitive to the fact that its Special Task Force against Naira Abuse and Dollarization of the economy commenced operations on February 7, 2024. However, going forward, new videos of such infractions will be investigated and prosecuted.

“At the moment, the Commission is investigating several celebrities involved in Naira abuse. Many of them have made useful statements to the Commission and many more have been invited by investigators working on the matter.

“The EFCC will not relent in its no-sacred-cow mode of operations and the public should be wary of running afoul of laws against the crime.”

Recall that popular cross-dresser Idris Okuneye aka Bobrisky was sentenced to six months imprisonment for abusing the Naira.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro handed down the sentence without an option of fine.

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No one has been cleared in humanitarian ministry fraud investigation- EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it has not cleared anyone involved in the ongoing fraud investigation in the humanitarian affairs ministry.

Spokesperson of the commission, Dele Oyewale stated this in a statement tagged ‘Setting the Records Straight on Investigations of Humanitarian Ministry’ on Sunday.

According to him,  ongoing investigation have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid -19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate.

The statement read;

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has noticed the rising tide of commentaries, opinions, assumptions and insinuations concerning its progressive investigations into the alleged financial misappropriation in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“At the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the Humanitarian Ministry were invited by the Commission and investigations into the alleged fraud involving them have yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far.

“Discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid -19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate.

“Investigations have also linked several interdicted and suspended officials of the Ministry to the alleged financial malfeasance.

“It is instructive to stress that the Commission’s investigations are not about individuals. The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices.

“Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing Directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions.

“Those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly. Additionally, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily.

“The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary.”

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Junior Pope: NSIB launches investigation, sends team to accident site

The Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has launched an investigation into the boat accident that claimed the lives of Nollywood actor, Paul Odonwodo, popularly known as Junior Pope; Abigail Frederick; Precious Oforum, and Joseph Anointing, while returning from a movie location.

THN reported that the boat accident involved a commercial speedboat and a fishing canoe on the Anam River in Anambra State on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

The boat carrying 12 film crew members and a boat operator reportedly crashed into the canoe, resulting in the loss of five lives.

Tthe director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, Bimbo Oladeji in a statement on Sundat, said the Bureau has dispatched an investigation team to the accident site.

According to Oladeji, examination of the wreckage from both boats involved in the collision, interviews with surviving crew members, eyewitnesses, and a review of operational procedures for the commercial speed boat would be analysed, among others.

“The NSIB extends its deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this heartbreaking accident.

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“Also, the director general of NSIB, Capt. Alex Badeh Jr, share in your grief and NSIB is fully committed to conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of this tragedy and prevent similar occurrence in the future.

“An investigation team has been dispatched to the accident site, and inquiry has begun. The investigation scope includes, but is not limited to: examination of the wreckage from both vessels involved in the collision, interviews with surviving crew members, and eyewitnesses, review of operational procedures for the commercial speed boat, analysis of weather and environmental conditions at the time of the accident, and assessment of compliance with relevant safety standards and regulations for inland waterway transportation,” NSIB spokesperson said.

Oladeji further assured Nigerians that the Bureau will release the preliminary reports of the investigation to the public.

“NSIB will collaborate with relevant authorities, including the Marine Police section of the Anambra State Police Command, maritime authorities, and industry experts during the investigation.

“The bureau will release its findings in a preliminary report, followed by a final report upon the investigation’s conclusion. These reports aim to enhance safety by providing recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future.Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims affected by the Anam boat mishap,” she added.

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