Sunday, 21 January 2018
Headliners

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Liberia's Supreme Court has ordered preparations for Tuesday's presidential run-off to be halted amid allegations of fraud in the first round.

Ex-football star George Weah and Vice-President Joseph Boakai are due to go head-to-head in the 7 November vote.

But the Liberty Party's Charles Brumskine, who came third in the first round, has challenged the result.

Last month's election was the country's first independently run vote following the end of civil war in 2003.

Following the announcement, riot police were deployed to guard the court and electoral commission.

Later, a delegation arrived in the capital, among them the heads of the regional grouping Ecowas, and the Africa Union. They are meeting the heads of all the political parties.

Who does the president support?

Mr Brumskine and the Liberty Party said the first round was "characterised by massive systematic irregularities and fraud", including polling stations opening late and therefore preventing people from voting.

The election is to be postponed until his accusations are properly investigated, the court says.

But even if his case is thrown out, observers say it is likely to delay next week's vote as the commission will have lost valuable preparation time.

The Liberty Party is not alone in its allegations. The accusation of irregularities is backed by two other political parties - including Mr Boakai's Unity Party, which on Sunday alleged that its own president had interfered in the process.

In a statement, it said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female elected president and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, had attempted to influence the outcome of the poll.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a speech in New York in 2015Image copyrightAFP/GETTY
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is accused of not supporting her deputy's presidential bid

Relations between Mrs Sirleaf and her deputy are not warm, with some ruling party officials saying the vice-president was not her choice to succeed her, the BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh reports from the capital Monrovia.

Mrs Sirleaf, 79, has however said more than twice that she supports Mr Boakai, who won 28.8% of the vote compared to Mr Weah's 38.4% in the first round.

Mr Weah's Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) responded to the accusations by noting it was "sad for a ruling party that has been in power for 12 years [to] be crying".

International observers, including the European Union, had not raised major concerns about the first round of voting, although some irregularities were observed, AFP news agency reports.

The court has instructed the Liberty Party and the electoral commission to present their cases by Thursday.

However, election commission spokesman Henry Flomo told the BBC it had not yet been officially informed of the Supreme Court's order, made late on Tuesday.

But if there is an injunction, the commission will abide by it as the Supreme Court is the highest court and its decisions are final, Mr Flomo added.

Posted On Wednesday, 01 November 2017 17:05 Written by

The Presidency on Monday said the nation’s security agencies were free to go after the sacked Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists.

The statement read, “The President has taken the administrative action. All other actions will be taken by relevant government agencies.

“The position of the President, therefore, is that investigation agencies which have already commenced the investigation of the two officers removed from office will go on with their work of investigation without any interference or hindrance.

“The President who is fully conversant with the provisions of the constitution will not stop the investigation of anyone because he has no such power under our laws. This is a decision of the Supreme Court.

“The President under our laws can, through the Attorney General enter a nolle prosequi to stop an on-going trial. He may upon conviction, order a pardon.

“Beyond these, the president cannot order investigation agencies to not investigate anyone and does not intend to do in this, or any other circumstance.

“Based on his wish and desire for a strict observance of the law, the President expects the EFCC, ICPC and such agencies to proceed with ongoing investigations.

“When and where they have reasonable grounds to charge former or serving officers to court under our laws, they do not require the permission of the President to do so.”

Posted On Monday, 30 October 2017 22:21 Written by


•Stops brave Takam in 10th round

•Retains Boxing World titles

•Joshua praises opponent

•Takam wants a rematch


ANTHONY JOSHUA stopped a resilient Carlos Takam in the 10th round to successfully defend his IBF and WBA heavyweight world titles in Cardiff.

The Briton made it 20 victories from as many bouts in front of an estimated 78,000 at the Principality Stadium.

Joshua’s nose was cut in the second by the head of Takam, 36, who replaced Kubrat Pulev 12 days before the bout.

Joshua, 28, then cut Takam’s eye in the fourth, but it took until round 10 for the Cameroon-born boxer to be stopped.

Joshua has now cemented his status as the best pound for pound heavyweight boxer on the planet after overpowering a resilient and determined Carlos Takam in front of a brimming Principality Stadium.

Eager to prove the bookmakers wrong who had stacks the odds so heavily against him, Takam started out determined to make a go of the showdown, digging in early on and catching Joshua with a clash of heads. Joshua talking in the ring, he said: “First and foremost, Cardiff thank you for coming out this evening.

“Takam, it was a pleasure. I come to fight, I don’t sit on the edge and make decisions. it was a good fight until the ref stopped it, so I have the utmost respect for Takam.

“I have no interest in what is going on with the officials, that’s not my job. I think people want to see Takam unconscious on the floor, and that’s what I was trying to get to.” Joshua’s gallant challenger Carlos Takam, who is asked whether the referee was right to stop the fight, replied: “No, I don’t think so.

“I don’t know why the referee stopped the match. I respect the champion and the UK fans, they are great fans and I am happy to box here. I don’t know why they stopped it.

“I want a rematch, I make my preparations with 12 days to fight Anthony. I want a rematch, I want to box him again, I want him, he is a great champion.”

After a brief short-out prior to the ring walk the power was back on in the area. Thankfully Joshua was with it as the first bell sounded. He bounded across the ring, perhaps open to stifle the expected early charge. AJ towered over the 6ft 1in Takam, who crouched even lower as if to minimise Joshua’s target further. He hardly threw a punch in the first, though, which Joshua took without landing many of his own.

Joshua, warned by trainer Rob McCracken that Takam possessed knock out power, was taking few risks at the start. But it was the challenger’s head rather his punches which inflicted he first facial damage of the night. Joshua reared away from the impact, which gave him a bloody nose, but then opened up in retaliation.

Posted On Sunday, 29 October 2017 14:26 Written by

With just few hours to the all-important showdown between Anthony Joshua and Carlos Takam, the sleepy town of Sagamu has become a beehive of activities as residents trooped out in their numbers to support their son in what they have dubbed a must win encounter.

Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua is defending his heavyweight world title for the fourth time against French- Cameroonian Carlos Takam.

The event, hosted by the Joshua family partnering with Kwese Sports had people of all ages and from all works of life congregate at the Pa Joshua Memorial Hall to see how their illustrious son dismantle  willy Takam.

Sagamu holds a special place for Joshua as the heavyweight champion spent a year schooling within the vicinity during his teenage years. He has often stated that the discipline inculcated in him during his boarding house years in Sagamu made him the tough and successful boxer he has become today.

The heavyweight world champion faces Takam at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday evening as he looks to retain the titles he fought so hard to win against Wladimir Klitschko.

With an anticipated crowd of 80,000 people set to gather in the Welsh capital, Joshua would not be blamed for feeling some nerves.

But judging by his Instagram snap, Joshua has not been struck by any fear ahead of that encounter.

He wrote as a caption to the social media photo: ‘Feeling fight day fresh #stayhungry’.

The Nigerian born British fighter came in at the largest weight of his career, a full stone heavier than Takam, contrary to promoter Eddie Hearn’s predictions.

Joshua commented when asked: ‘I don’t know what’s happened. I’ve been starving myself.

‘I’ve trained hard so maybe it’s the extra running. Maybe I’m filling out naturally as I’m getting older’

He has turned 28, but insisted: ‘I’ve never felt better and fitter in my life. ‘

Posted On Saturday, 28 October 2017 19:36 Written by

• Declare War Against Anti-Buhari Ministers, Open Campaign Office
• 50% PDP Members Hijacked Buhari’s Govt, Says Custom Boss

There are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari would seek re-election in the 2019 general elections. Yesterday, his supporters, under the aegis of the Buhari Support Organisations (BSO), openly beckoned on him to seek a second term of four years, while opening his campaign office in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The gathering brought together some serving governors, ministers and other appointees, who called themselves “Buharists,” even as they declared war against cabinet members considered to be working against the President’s interest.

In attendance were Governors Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi); Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Simon Lalong (Plateau); Ministers of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mohammed Bello; Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali; Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani; and Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, as well as Chairman of the occasion, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, among many others.

Head of BSO in the pre-2015 polls and presently Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali, lamented that Buhari’s government has been hijacked by 50 per cent opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) members serving as cabinet members, promising aggrieved supporters that the issue would be looked into.

He said: “When we were there working and jumping on the street and reaching every corner, we were shouting change, change for a better Nigeria. Now, the key word is good governance for Nigerians.

“We must agree that we cannot finish our four years without delivering and leaving something to be remembered for in this country for a long time to come. We have no problem with our President, because he is on course.

“But I must confess here that we have been infused by people who were not part of this journey and these people are the ones that call the shots today. That is why we are derailing.

“If we had the right people who had the vision and have been there in and out, I believe we would not be going the way we are going today. “It is my belief that those of us who have been in the trenches all these years to get good governance will surely be sleeping with belly ache everyday, especially in the recent past.

“Everyday, when you wake up, there is a story that makes you shiver. We cannot, as a people who have fought and committed everything we had to bring this government to being, sit back and allow things to happen the way they are happening.

“At the end of the day, the fingers will point at us, because we were the ones who went to people and urged them to give us their votes. These people that are calling the shots today were not there and when the chips are down, they will disappear and melt within the system. We are the ones that will be asked to account for what happened.

“Are we willing to face Nigerians and tell them that we have failed? I think this is the time for us to come together, create a system that is very robust enough to fight back and take back government in our hands and ensure that we deliver.”

He, however, called on all the support groups to “go back to the study room,” adding: “This is a commission, but it is also the beginning of the fight for good governance. We must get back to the trenches, draw our own battle plan and battle line.

“I enjoin you with that same commitment we had in 2015, I implore you to bear with us and commit yourself to a better future for Nigeria.” Lalong, who reinforced Ali’s assertions, added that some of them who are governors, too, were not carried along when appointments were made.

“Let Mr. President be aware that this is the time to do it, because even as governors, we are also complaining in our various states. We complained in our state that while we are here, sitting down, we hear appointments made and then people start asking, you are the governor, where is this man coming from? But when we turn right and turn left, we don’t know where such man is coming from.

“Many people have complained. I’m sure governors have complained that we should be able to know who and who will protect Mr. President and his administration, so that when you appoint him and you find him guilty or you find him wanting, hold the governor responsible, because in our various states when we established BSO, we also had BSO.

“But today when we turned back and find out that they are not enjoying, it means that something is wrong and that is the wrong we have pointed out and we must be very brave to say it.”

Abubakar, who said he was not part of the BSO at the beginning, but believe in the vision of the President, asked the supporters to continue the support, saying: “It is incumbent on us to support the BSO to succeed.”

Earlier, despite his silence on the issue, a group of lawmakers, under the aegis of Buhari Support Group (BSG), yesterday said the President has what it takes to lead the country beyond 2019.

Addressing State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, leader of the group, Senator Abu Ibrahim, said even though the issue did not form the crux of their meeting, members were poised to mobilise massive support for his re-election in 2019.

He said BSG, which is an umbrella platform of about 180 different support organisations that worked for the party’s victory in 2015, believes in Buhari’s philosophy and capacity to solve the myriad of challenges facing the country, as well as facilitate stability, prosperity and progress. Hence the group has been holding series of meetings and discussing the problems of Nigeria and how to improve the situation in the country.

Also speaking, Senate Leader and member of the group, Ahmed Lawan, expressed satisfaction with the APC-led administration, saying Buhari should be given another opportunity beyond 2019 to complete all that he has started, particularly in the areas of insecurity, anti-corruption and the strive to revitalise the economy.

He said the present administration has achieved a lot in driving the socio-economic development efforts and, therefore, deserves another chance.

A statement by the Presidency later quoted Buhari as expressing satisfaction with the group’s support for his administration.

Posted On Saturday, 28 October 2017 14:01 Written by

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The row over the dismissed former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina, has deepened with fresh facts emerging that a minister begged a detective to spare the suspect.

There were indications yesterday that the minister might have played a vital role in the reinstatement of Maina.

Security agencies were also said to be probing allegation that Maina has a Nigerien passport, following an alert that he was smuggled out of the country through Niger Republic.

Investigation revealed that the controversy surrounding the reinstatement of Maina suggested complicity by many government officials and top security agents.

It was learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari would have to be “more painstaking” to be able to tackle the scandal now tagged MainaGate in some quarters.

A top source said: “President Muhammadu Buhari needs a comprehensive appraisal of the circumstances surrounding the reinstatement of Maina. A syndicate in the government was behind the whole saga.

“For instance, a minister had met with an EFCC operative, who was coordinating the investigation of Maina, to spare the suspect. This was done before the minister was inaugurated as a FEC member.

“The said minister specifically demanded that Maina’s case be closed and the suspect should be used as a prosecution witness. He said Maina would make vital documents available to assist the EFCC.

“The said session was held at the private office of the minister in Garki part of Abuja. But the operative, who was shocked by the plea, refused to cooperate with the minister.

“If the government digs well, the operative (who has left the services of EFCC) can be recalled to give evidence on how and where the minister met him.”

The source said apart from the minister, Maina was even closer to a former First Lady who did everything she could to protect him.

And when the EFCC probe was intense on Maina, the ex-First Lady was said to have prevailed on “the stubborn detective” to stop the investigation.

The source added: “Also, a former First Lady had tried to influence the EFCC on the investigation of Maina by mounting pressure on the same detective. This happened when CP Ibrahim Lamorde was the chairman of EFCC.

“When the operative was adamant, the ex-First Lady allegedly engineered a petition against the operative by claiming that he collected N50 million from Maina.

“The EFCC and other agencies investigated the bribery allegation and absolved the operative of any infraction.

Findings however confirmed that Maina had been around the corridors of power in the last 23 years.

Another source said: ”Maina is not new to the corridors of power. He had wielded influence in Aso Rock since the dictatorial regime of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.

“He knows every nook and cranny of Aso Rock, so he is used to floating in the seat of power, even during the administrations of ex-Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo before he was cut to size when Obasanjo was in charge.

“Some forces in power also have been using him for a purpose which suited their interest. There is no security agency or the police hierarchy where he does not have contacts.

“Everybody is denying Maina now, but he is a public officer who knows many people. He also keeps records of those who have benefitted from him.”

At press time, there were indications that Maina has a Nigerien passport.

It was gathered that he re-entered the country from exile in Dubai through Niger Republic.

A third source said: “There is no record of his return to the country at any airport in Nigeria. Security agencies are looking at some clues which pointed to the fact that he might have used Niger Republic to come back home.

“He is used to Niger Republic’s routes for escapades. He was said to have been smuggled out again to an unknown destination through one of the same routes.”

Family sources told one of our correspondents yesterday that Maina’s family had concluded plans to drag the (EFCC) to court for harassing their son

EFCC operatives in Kaduna had on Monday and Tuesday sealed six houses, including a two-storey office complex belonging to Maina, within the Kaduna metropolis.

The family had also addressed a press conference where they cried out that their son was only being persecuted by corrupt elements in President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, threatening that Maina would soon open a can of worms capable of nailing the cabals in his pursuit.

Spokesman of the Maina family, Malam Aliyu Maina, who addressed newsmen on behalf of the family said that the marking of the houses they inherited from their father in Kaduna by EFCC was not only wrong but illegal.

Speaking with one of our correspondents in a telephone interview yesterday, Maina family’s lawyer, Sani Katu, said the family had concluded plans to sue the anti-graft agency over the recent development.

He disclosed that filing of the court papers process had since commenced and would be made public as soon as the case is filed in court.

According to him, “we have commenced the process of filing the case, and as soon as we are filing the case in court, we will let the press know. That is the update for now.”

Meanwhile, the Kaduna zone of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said investigation was still ongoing to discover more of Maina’s properties.

An official of the commission in Kaduna, Ibrahim Kamilu, told The Nation that “we are still carrying out our investigation, and once more of his properties are discovered, they will be sealed.”

Posted On Saturday, 28 October 2017 01:11 Written by
The Auditor-General of Kogi State and chairman, technical committee, state pension reform, Alhaji Yakubu Okala has revealed that N4 billion belonging to pensioners in the state was diverted into private pockets between 2010 and 2015.

This he said was perpetrated by few individuals saddled with the responsibility of handling the pension funds.
Okala who made this known on Thursday in Lokoja during a stakeholders meeting heralding the new contributory pension scheme by the state government said that all those that were involved in the pension fraud will be apprehended and brought to justice.

According to him, embezzlement of the funds in the state has thrown pensioners into a piteous condition to the point that many of them were ashamed of being identified as retired civil servants.

He added: “Pensioners at the local government level are worst hit by the fraudulent act. Investigation on the councils’ pension is on-going and we must see it to the end.

“Government has tried its best in releasing money for the payment of pension in the state, but the handlers have failed woefully.”

He lamented that in 2007, a pension reform bill was sent to the State House of Assembly, and passed into law, but that the scheme did not commence until after ten years as a result of lack of political will by previous administrations.

He called on the civil servants at the state and local government levels to key into the new contributory pension scheme in order to better their lives after retirement.

He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for his courage in actualising the new contributory pension scheme for civil servants in the state.

The chairperson of the state pension bureau, Hajia Sa’adatu Atima explained that for the success of the new pension scheme, the state government will contribute 10 percent while individual workers will contribute eight percent.

She described the scheme as safe and laudable, urging workers in the state to key into it.

Posted On Thursday, 26 October 2017 16:26 Written by

The House of Representative has called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to arrest former Chairman of the defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara made this known on his official and verified twitter handle and also disclosed that the House of Reps will investigate the re-absolving and elevation of Maina from the rank of Assistant Director to Acting Director.

He said, “The House of Representatives today resolved to set up an adhoc committee to investigate resurfacing, reabsorbing and elevation Mr. Abdularasheed Maina from the rank of assistant director to acting director and to recommend strong sanctions against any person who are implicated in the scandal”.

“We also call on the EFCC to immediately arrest Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina for subsequent prosecution in order to serve as deterrent to others who might have corrupt tendencies”.

“It would be recalled that the wanted former pension reform boss was was reinstated and made director after being on the run for alleged N2b scam, among others”.

But President Buhari yesterday in a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, ordered his immediate disengagement and probe of his recall.

Maina who since last year had been evading arrest, is still on the wanted list of the International Police Organisation, (INTERPOL).

INTERPOL had February last year issued a red alert on Maina, who was believed to have fled the country following his dismissal by the Civil Service Commission in 2015 for fraud.

****************

EFCC seals eight properties belonging to Maina

 

Maina properties sealed in kaduna

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has sealed some properties belonging to the embattled former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, in Kaduna State.

Recall that Maina was accused of being involved in a N2bn fraud and on the wanted list of the EFCC for the alleged offence. He had since gone into hiding and the agency had launched a manhunt for him.

According to the EFCC’s Kaduna Zonal Office spokesman, Ibrahim Kamiludeen, the agency has sealed six properties, besides sealed two companies sealed on Monday.

One of the Properties

Addressing newsmen over the telephone on Tuesday, Kamiludeen said that the properties include a two-storey shopping plaza located on 2C Ibrahim Taiwo road and a one storey duplex at Katuru road all in the state capital.

All the properties acquired by Maina were being identified by the anti-graft agency for possible forfeiture to the federal government.
Posted On Tuesday, 24 October 2017 22:47 Written by

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate disengagement of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, from service.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

Adesina said Buhari has also directed the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, to submit a report on the circumstances surrounding Maina’s reinstatement to his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, before the close of work.

The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate disengagement from service of Mr Abdullahi Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms.

“In a memo to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, the President equally demanded a full report of the circumstances of Maina’s recall and posting to the Ministry of Interior.

“The report is to be submitted to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, before the end of work today, Monday, October 23, 2017.”

Posted On Monday, 23 October 2017 23:15 Written by


•Died after wife of 17 years delivered triplets

Tragedy has befallen the home of a director in the employ of the Kogi State public service, Edward Soje (54). He committed suicide barely 10 days after his wife was delivered of a set of male triplets.

The couple had been childless in their over 17 years of marriage.

Soje, a director with the Kogi State civil service, reportedly hung himself with rope on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital.

The Nation gathered on yesterday that Soje’s dangling body was discovered on a tree behind the mammy market at the Maigumeri Barracks, housing the Nigeria Army Command Record.

Soje, a Grade Level 16 officer in the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission (TSC) decided to take his life barely 10 days after his wife was delivered of a set of male triplets in a private hospital in Abuja.

Soje, who hailed from Ogori town in Ogori-Magongo local government of Kogi, was allegedly being owed 11 months’ salary arrears as at the time he took his own life.

He reportedly travelled to Abuja, leaving a suicide note for the wife who is said to be a federal civil servant, before committing suicide.

The suicide note read, “Psalm 121:3: God will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keepeth you will not slumber. Amen. You and the three boys, God Almighty keep you and make you prosperous. Amen. I love you.”

Confirming the incident, the Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. William Aya said that the dangling body of Soje was found on a tree behind the barracks, around 5.55 pm on October 16.

Aya, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) said that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Area D Division received information about the incident from the military intelligence office in the barracks.

He said, “Police moved to the scene and removed the corpse to the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja. Investigation is on-going.”

According to the police, nothing was found on the man to help trace his address and family.

However, a search party organised by some relations and friends, led them to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), where his corpse was discovered at the morgue of the hospital on October 20.

Family sources said that Soje had been going through a tough patch occasioned by financial pressure and non-payment of his salary for 11 months.

He was said to have sold his car and a yet-to-be completed three-bedroom bungalow he was putting up at the Otokiti area of Lokoja.

The property, said a source, was sold at a give-away price of N1.5 million in April, to meet pressing family needs.

According to the source, Soje’s woes were compounded when the wife gave birth to a set of triplets through caesarean operation in a private hospital in Abuja on October 7.

He remained at the hospital looking after the wife and new born children till October 13, a day before their naming ceremony, when he returned to Lokoja.

On his return to Lokoja, Soje was said to have headed straight to his bank, where he withdrew the N30,000 balance in his account, and thereafter notified the bank in writing, of his decision to close the account.

He subsequently returned to the hospital in Abuja, and handed over the N30,000 to the wife. Soje and wife were joined by two clergymen and some relatives for a brief naming ceremony of the triplets in the hospital.

He later left the hospital with the excuse that he wanted to pick some things from the wife’s apartment in Abuja with a promise to come back quickly.

But for hours, he did not return and did not pick any of the many calls made to his telephone line, a development which forced the wife to send somebody to the house to go and ascertain what was happening to him.

The person, on getting to the apartment knocked the door severally but got no response and thereafter called his telephone number. On hearing the telephone ring out from the apartment, he was said to have knocked severally again but no response, which made him seek the help of neighbours to force open the door.

On entering the apartment, they saw Soje’s mobile handset placed on a suicide note on the centre table in the sitting room, while he was nowhere to be found.

When the wife was informed, she quickly contacted people for a search for him in Abuja while relations and friends in Lokoja were also informed of the development.

Efforts made to locate him did not yield result until relations decided to visit hospitals in Lokoja, where the corpse of Soje was found in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja on Friday, October 20.

A family member said that the management of the hospital explained to them that Soje’s corpse was brought in by the police who found it dangling on a tree. He described the late Soje as a very quiet and lovable human being.

He said that some members of the family have been sent to Abuja to break the news to the wife.

Posted On Sunday, 22 October 2017 13:42 Written by
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