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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has warned that the attackers of the Port Harcourt Division of the Rivers State High Court’s complex last Friday must not be allowed to go unpunished.
In a statement issued on his behalf on Monday, he expressed deep worry over the development, describing it as “violence against a peaceful arm of government” and “an act of intimidation of the judiciary”, adding that such show of shame ought not to be encouraged by right-thinking members of the Nigerian public.
He further stated that if those he described as “the enemies of our peace and democracy” were allowed to go scot-free, it would motivate them to unleash similar attacks on the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court whenever they were displeased by the court’s decisions.
Ahead of the expected resumption of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege today, authorities at the National Assembly, Abuja, on Monday beefed up security at the complex, following last Thursday’s Abuja High Court nullification of his suspension by the Senate.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that apart from full security detail in the red chamber on Monday, policemen were seen at the lobby leading into the chamber, a development that is unusual on a non-sitting day.
Some staff of the Assembly who pleaded anonymity confirmed that the move was to check likely breakdown of law and order as experienced when the mace was forcefully taken away.
The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Monday inaugurated the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, with an inspection tour of the road.
According to the Director, Federal Highways, South-West, Mr. Olalekan Busari, the project re-awarded to Julius Berger for construction this month “is a complete rehabilitation of the entire road, and it is awarded at N22.387bn over a contract period of two and half years, and we hope the contractor will actually deliver.”
Mr Busari alongside the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr. Adedamola Kuti; and the Federal Controller, Works, Ogun, Mr. Olukayode Popoola explained that the road was important to the socio-economic development of the South-West and the entire nation, as well as it being the link to the Republic of Benin and that measures have been put in place for traffic management and diversions so as to reduce the hardship of road users.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has charged soldiers sent to provide security in Birnin Gwari in Kaduna to wipe out the armed bandits in the area within three weeks.
While addressing troops at the official flag-off of the FOB for Operation ‘Idon Raini’ at the proposed site of the Battalion at Kanfanin Doka village of Birnin-Gwari, General Buratai said, he must receive a very resounding result that will finally bring the criminals to their knees, the Nigerian Tribune reported.
The Army Chief said, “We are no longer going to adopt the defensive approach, it must be offensive. Since the battle has been brought to you, you must take it back and crush them wherever they are.”
“The killings must stop, the wanton destructions of properties must stop, not only within Kaduna state but across the country.”
“In the next two, three weeks, there must be a very resounding result that will bring these criminals to their kneels finally. They must be wiped out.”
Armed bandits had within the last five months killed over 100 persons in the area, including 11 soldiers.
The Delta State Government says no fewer than 13 pilgrims of the 156 who travelled to Israel on pilgrimage last year absconded.
While speaking in Asaba on Monday, the Delta State Commissioner of the Bureau for Special Duties, Mr. Ernest Ogwezzy said that the pilgrims to the Holy Land, made up of 146 people and 10 officials, were sponsored by the state government.
“The state government frowns at pilgrims absconding. We will not tolerate it. It is supposed to be for religious obligation. We have put stringent machinery in motion to ensure that pilgrims sponsored by the state government come back,” he added.
Read » The Big 5: CJN says attackers of Rivers High Court must not go scot-free, Security tightened at the Senate ahead of Omo-Agege’s resumption and other top stories on YNaija