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FG can’t refund states for money spent on Federal Roads now – Works Minister



David Umahi

The Federal government cannot refund money spent on Federal Roads by State Governments for now, says Works Minister David Umahi.

Umahi made this known on Thursday when he visited Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in Ibadan.

The Minister is on a two-day working visit to Oyo State.

”The economy right now will not permit any commitment by the federal government.

”However, records of such road projects done by the states would be kept and could be revisited when the economy improves,” he said.

He commended Makinde for his administration’s intervention in road projects.

The minister said that the intervention was alleviating the suffering of people.

“Be it state or federal roads, we are one government. The aim and oath of office is to place the welfare of the people ahead of any other interest,” he said.

Umahi urged Makinde to embrace Concrete Pavement Technology in road construction projects, saying it was more durable and less expensive to asphalt roads.

He said road projects with concrete pavement in Lagos state had been successful, adding that he built almost 95 per cent of road projects on concrete pavement as Governor of Ebonyi.

Speaking on the purpose of his visit to Oyo State, the Minister said that he was touring federal government road projects in the South West.

Umahi said he had met with all the contractors handling road projects in North West, North Central and South West, in Abuja.

“After the meeting, I decided to visit these projects to know quality of work done and other things on ground,” he said.

He further sought for more cooperation of the Oyo state government in achieving success on federal government’s projects in the state.

Responding, Makinde appreciated the minister for the visit.

Acoording to him, Umahi’s track records while governing Ebonyi speaks for itself.

The governor said that his administration prioritised road as project that was important to economy.

“We are committed to rehabilitation and reconstruction of many road projects, be it state or federal roads.

“For example, the 34km Oyo-Iseyin road took us two years to get approval from federal government and we awarded it to contractor immediately we secured the approval because of its important to the agri-business of the state.

“The road will be inaugurated on Sept. 15 by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. We are not asking for refund immediately but the records are there and we will give it to the Minister,” he said.

Makinde further said his administration would continue to invest on road infrastructure for the development of the state.

He told the minister of his willingness to partner the federal government to dualise the Oyo state portion of the Ibadan-Abeokuta road.

The governor also informed the minister that he had agreed and his counterparts in Ogun and Lagos States to light up Lagos-Ibadan Road.

He said the road was the most busiest road in the country and that lighting the entire stretch of the road would enhance security on the road corridor.


Tribunal upholds Gov. Alia’s election



Gov Alia Hyacinth Alia

The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Gov. Hyacinth Alia of the APC in the March 18 Governorship Election.

Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.

Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.

He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.

He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.

Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.

He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.

The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.

The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.

They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.

They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.

They, therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.

The also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.

NAN reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.

However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.

The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.

They also said that the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.

The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.

They said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.

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LASTMA, others combat Ilupeju industrial fire outbreak



The operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other emergency responders at early hour on Saturday combated an industrial fire outbreak at Mega Plastics Company at No.4, Ilupeju Bypass.

Mr Taofiq Adebayo, the Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos on Saturday.

Adebayo stated that the industrial fire outbreak took place at Mega Plastics Company at No.4, Ilupeju Bypass beside Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ilupeju area of Lagos.

“The Traffic Officer of LASTMA, Mr Ayo Olaosebikan (Falcon) of Zone 21, confirmed that LASTMA rescue team arrived at the scene of the industrial fire outbreak around at 6:30a.m. before other emergency responders were contacted by LASTMA.

“Immediately we arrived at the scene of the industrial fire, we quickly informed other emergency responders particularly the Lagos State Fire, Rescue Services and the Nigerian Police.

“The causes of industrial fire could not be immediately ascertained, he said.
Olaosebikan noted that preliminary investigation revealed that the storage and factory section of the petrochemical company were seriously affected by the fire outbreak.

According to him, emergency responders on ground include Federal and State Fire Services, policemen and LASTMA Response Unit.

Olaosebikan said that neither injury nor death had been recorded.

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