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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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Aspirant Confirms Receiving Refund From Delegates After Losing Primaries 

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Adam Namadi, son of former Vice President Namadi Sambo, has confirmed receiving a refund from delegates after losing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives ticket for Kaduna North Federal Constituency.

Reports earlier emerged that drama ensued when Namadi who allegedly gave each delegate N2 million and promised to add N1.5 million if given the ticket, asked them to refund the money.

Reacting, in a statement on Wednesday, the former aspirant justified his action, saying “there was nothing dramatic about the request, and it is unfortunate the media has been purporting it as such”.

According to him, there was an agreement between the delegates and stakeholders in the constituency prior to the primary election that those not favoured by the outcome of the election should be refunded.

He said, “Delegates themselves are aware of the directives given by the major stakeholders of the PDP in the Kaduna North constituency, that any sums given to delegates by various aspirants for their support should be returned to those unsuccessful in their primary elections.

“This was done to encourage delegates to vote for the aspirants based on their qualities and not just their perceived spending power and to hold them accountable for the candidates they put forth.

“As a mark of respect for that agreement, some delegates in the Kaduna North constituency started to reach out to the unsuccessful State House of Assembly aspirants whose elections were held before ours, followed by my fellow contender, Shehu Usman ABG and I.

“Therefore, I am not acting in isolation or making any ludicrous demands.

“I take their decision in good faith and will continue to labour with the PDP and do all my best to protect its good fortunes”.

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“Absolute Agony” says Alex Ferguson, As He Presents Manager of the Year Award to Jurgen Klopp

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Sir Alex Ferguson joked that it was “absolute agony” to have to present Jurgen Klopp with the trophy named after him at the League Manager’s Association (LMA) awards last night.

Liverpool boss Klopp was named Manager of the Year after guiding the Reds to League Cup and FA Cup glory, plus second in the Premier League and this weekend’s Champions League final.

Klopp was presented with the Alex Ferguson Trophy by the man himself – who admitted, with tongue in cheek, that doing so was especially painful.

Watch: Ferguson in “agony” as he honours Klopp

Why would that have pained Ferguson?

As manager of Manchester United, Ferguson made them undisputed kings of English football, overtaking Liverpool as the club with the most national league titles – as the Scotsman once put it, knocking them off their perch.

The balance of power has shifted in recent years, however, with Ferguson retiring and Klopp being appointed at Anfield, with the German bringing consistent domestic and European success back to Liverpool.

United have not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – Ferguson’s last season in charge – or any trophy at all in the last five seasons, while Liverpool won the league in 2019-20 and the Champions League the year before.

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Nigeria lauds improved collaboration in AFI Region, signs MoU with Sierra Leone, Rwanda

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MINISTER of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has commended International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stressing that it’s leadership stance in collaboration has led member states of the African Indian-Ocean ( AFI) region to pool resources in resolving challenges and enhance safety in the Sub-region.

Sirika made this known at the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May where the nation signed Memorandum of Understandings, (MoUs) with Sierra Leone and Rwanda for technical support to enhance safety and security of Civil Aviation in the region.

According to him, ICAO’s leadership has set the bar for Member States to collaborate in resolving challenges particularly in the area of enhancing safety in our Sub-region.

He explained that one of the outcomes of such collaboration is the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa, which metamorphosized in the West Africa region into the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization (BAGASOO), in Abuja, which is hosted and substantially funded by Nigeria stating that this organisation has continued to support the Member States in improving their safety oversight capabilities and human resource development.

On the MoUs, Sirika said they will aid to strengthen safety and efficiency of the sector as well as cooperation in the region.

The Aviation Minister stated that, aviation being an enabler and a positive factor for growth, development and robustness of the economy, informed the sector to enter into partnerships with other countries.

From left, Commisioner Banjul Accord Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), Engineer Charles Irikefe Erhueh with Minister of Aviation, Nigeria, Senator Hadi Sirika and Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria, Engineer Akin Olateru at the opening ceremony of the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May

“This is the only way to continue to make these initiatives relevant and sustainable, while contributing to the strengthening of safety, security and facilitation in the region, bearing in mind that a safe, secure and efficient air transport system is a natural impetus for socio-economic development of the region and a means to support trade and tourism”.

The MoUs were signed by the Nigeria’s Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu and representatives of the two countries at the opening ceremony of the Conference in Abuja.

Explaining further, the NCAA Director General, Captain Nuhu said, the partnership with the two African countries is to assist each other where there are gaps or deficiencies in the system, adding that no civil aviation authorities globally have the capacity to do everything.

The experience of the last two years, Captain Nuhu emphasized has underscored the fact that overcoming challenges and achieving meaningful growth in the industry, can only be done through cooperation, collaboration and co-ordination amongst stakeholders.

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