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Court orders NNPC to pay N10.6m to veteran journalist over unlawful barricade

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday awarded the sum of N10.6 million damages against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for unlawfully blocking the highway in front of its Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, which led to a ghastly motor accident.

The amount was awarded in favour of a veteran journalist, His Royal Highness, Eze Geo Anika, whose Peugeot 406 with registration number DP 41 EKY was damaged beyond repairs in 2012 as a result of the unlawful blockade.

Delivering judgment in a suit instituted against the NNPC, Justice Babatunde Quadiri agreed with the plaintiff that the NNPC was negligent in blocking the highway without road signs as required by law.

The Judge held that the evidence of the witnesses to the monarch that concrete barriers were placed on the highway by the NNPC to avert an attack from Boko Haram terrorists were not faulted.

Justice Quadri further held that the claims of the plaintiff regarding the accident and the documents tendered to support his claims were not controverted by the NNPC or its witnesses.

The Judge rejected the claim of the NNPC that the federal government, through the National Security Adviser NSA, was responsible for the placing of the concrete barriers around the NNPC towers without road signs, adding that throughout the proceedings, no single witness was invited to substantiate the claim.

Justice Quadri further rejected another claim by the NNPC that recklessness and over speeding on the part of the plaintiff was responsible for the accident.

The Judge said that the totality of evidence from the side of the police indicated that the accident was caused along with four others by the unlawful placement of concrete barriers on the road the same day.

The Judge, therefore, awarded N5.1 million in favour of the Eze as the cost of a damaged vehicle, another N5 million as special damages, while N500,000 was granted as the cost of litigation.

The veteran journalist had dragged the NNPC to Court for illegally blocking the highways within its multi-billion Naira Towers in Abuja without notifications or road signs or warnings.

The traditional ruler in the suit instituted on his behalf by his counsel Mr Malachy Nwekpe had prayed the Court to compel the NNPC to pay him a sum of N50m as damages for allegedly causing him a fatal accident.

In an amended statement of claims, the veteran broadcaster sought N44m as special damages, N5.1m as cost of his damaged car and another N.5m as cost of prosecuting his case against the NNPC.

In the claims, the former FRCN Judicial Editor wanted the Court to hold the NNPC responsible for the fatal accident as a result of an alleged act of utter negligence and disregard to highway control.

In his statement of claim, the veteran broadcaster claimed that on April 1, 2012, he drove on the highway in front of the NNPC towers to his Radio House office without any form of concrete barriers on the road.

He averred that while returning from work on the same day around 11 pm, his Peugeot 406 car with registration No. DP 41 EKY was involved in a ghastly accident caused by the concrete barriers allegedly placed on the road by the NNPC officials to safeguard the towers at the expense of the road users without any road signs or warning signal.

The plaintiff claimed that it took the intervention of the spirited public Nigerians who rushed him to a General Hospital while the car got damaged beyond repairs by the concrete barriers.

He further contended that all efforts to make NNPC compensate him for the incurred medical expenses and damage to his car were rebuffed by the corporation.

The plaintiff further averred that instead, the NNPC wrote his counsel claiming that it was the security agents of the federal government that placed the concrete barriers on the road and should be held responsible.

He claimed that soon after the accident, he retired from public service and could not replace his car or meet expenses on further medical treatment of his chest.

Elder Anika, therefore, prayed the federal high court to hold that NNPC was responsible for the placement of the concrete barriers without any warning signals to unsuspecting road users.

He also sought a court declaration that the sudden placement of the concrete barriers without relevant signs and warnings was wrongful.

The veteran journalist also asked the Court to declare that the NNPC and federal government, which is a joint defendant in the suit, were vicariously liable for the accident and consequent injury and damage caused him by the wrongful placement of barriers.

He, therefore, claimed N5.1m as the cost of the car, N44.1m as special damages and another N500,000 as the cost of the litigation.
(Daily Post)

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University Student Delivers Quintuplets

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A 400-level student of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Umudike, Abia State, Oluomachi Nwojo, has been delivered of a set of quintuplets.

The 24-year-old student of Environmental Management, a native of Abriba in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, was delivered of the babies on Monday at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia through caesarean section.

Oluomachi had two baby boys and three girls.

Speaking, the final-year student expressed happiness at the delivery of her babies, describing it as a wonderful experience.

She said: “This is my first delivery and I am grateful to God for making me a partaker of this wonderful blessing.

“I believe God knows the best for my children; I am feeling fine and gradually recuperating from the birth of my babies.

“I am calling on the government and good-spirited individuals to help me in training the babies because I cannot carry the burden alone.

“At this stage, I need assistance to buy milk and other necessities for the babies.”

The Director of Protocol at the hospital, Darlington Madubuko, said the delivery of the quintuplets was the first of multiple deliveries at the facility.

“The hospital records more than 50 multiple births annually and our staff are well trained to successfully handle such cases.

“We have had quadruplets before now, but this is the first time the hospital is recording the birth of quintuplets in the recent past.

“The two male babies are in the neonatal unit of the hospital receiving treatment and the three female babies are with their mother in the postnatal ward,” Madubuko said.
(PRNigeria)

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Relief, as Remaining Abuja-Kaduna Train Kidnap Victims are Released!

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The families and friends of the 23 remaining passengers who were held hostage by bandits following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train, can now heave a sigh of relief following their release by the Nigerian Military Wednesday afternoon.

This development was confirmed in a statement issued Wednesday by the Secretary of the Chief of Defense Staff Action Committee (CDSAC), Prof. Usman Yusuf.

The terrorists had attacked the Kaduna-bound train on 28 March, 2022 and captured scores of passengers.

While many had been released on paying huge ransom to the terrorists, 23 abducted passengers remained with the bandits.

Secretary, Chief of Defense Staff Action Committee (CDSAC), Prof. Usman Yusuf, said on Wednesday that the remaining captives had been released this afternoon.

He said they were set free around 4.00pm on Wednesday.

“I am pleased to announce to the nation and the world that at 1600Hrs. (4:00pm) today, Wednesday 5-10-2022, the seven-man Presidential Committee assembled by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram Terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on 28-3-2022,” he said.

Yusuf stated that the country owed a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian Military under the leadership of the CDS who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish.

He added that all sister Security Agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this Operation.

“The unwavering support of the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is what made it all possible.

“Members of this Committee are grateful for the rare honour and privilege to be part of this Humanitarian Operation. May God Almighty Heal Our Wounds and Bring Peace to Our Land,” he said.

The statement however, did not say if the release was secured through negotiation with the bandits, or the use of force.

It was also silent on the fate of a female member of the victims who was said to have been taken as wife by the bandits’ leader.

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Court Awards N540M to Prophet Omale in Case Against FCMB

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja has awarded the sum of N540 million in damages to Prophet Emmanuel Omale against a commercial bank over alleged negligence and defamation.

Justice Yusuf Halilu on Tuesday held that the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) breached its fiduciary duty of care to Prophet Omale, which caused him to be summoned by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating a former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, including defamation of his name.

Omale, who is the General Overseer of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, an inter-denominational deliverance and prophetic ministry, had filed the suit through his counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN) demanding the sum of N5 billion in damages against the bank.

According to the Prophet, the judicial panel of inquiry summoned him in July 2020 after the bank sometime in 2016, negligently and falsely in its computer system generated weekly automated report to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) of a “suspicious” credit inflow of N573, 228, 040. 41 (Five Hundred and Seventy Three Million Naira, Two Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand, Forty Naira and 41 kobo) into the church’s corporate account No: 1486743019 in line with the Money Laundering Prevention Act; the Economic and Financial Crimes Act and the Terrorism Prevention Act, which mandates it to report any suspicious financial transaction of its customers.

He said the false alert and the summons caused his name to be dragged in the mud in the media which caused him untold hardship, trauma and great financial losses, which the bank owned up in its letter published in three national newspapers.

The judge awarded an aggravated damage of N200 million, special damage of N140,500 million, and N200 million in general damages.

“The conduct of the Defendant in this case, clearly from the evidence that have been made out, is certainly careless and negligent; it is certainly not careless and negligent but unprofessional”, the judge said

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