2023 Elections: I’ll support you even if you’re not in PDP – Wike tells Sanwo-Olu; Court remands LP senatorial candidate, Okorie in prison | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • 2023 Elections: I’ll support you even if you’re not in PDP – Wike tells Sanwo-Olu
  • China opens police station in Nigeria
  • Buhari commissions first off-shore petroleum terminal in Lekki
  • Court remands LP senatorial candidate, Okorie in prison
  • Super TV CEO’s Murder: Prime suspect, Chidinma, backtracks on killing Ataga

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

2023 Elections: I’ll support you even if you’re not in PDP – Wike tells Sanwo-Olu

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has said he will support his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, even though they don’t belong to the same political parties.

Wike stated this during a conference organised by the wives of Lagos State officials on Tuesday at Eko Hotel, Lagos.

The Rivers governor explained that his presence at the event is because Sanwo-Olu is “doing well” for the people of the state.

Wike said: “If Sanwo-Olu is not doing well, even if he belongs to my party, I won’t come. So, for me, if you are in my party and you are not doing well, you won’t see me.

“If you are not in my party and you are doing well, you will see me and that is what I stand for. And I will not regret to say that I’m in support of you.”

Sanwo-Olu is currently seeking re-election as Governor of Lagos on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Wike, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will complete his second term in office in 2023.

China opens police station in Nigeria

The Chinese government has established police stations in Nigeria and over 20 other countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, in what could be seen as a massive campaign to combat the growing cases of fraud and telecommunication crimes by Chinese nationals living abroad.

This is contained in an investigative report titled, ‘110 OVERSEAS: Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild’.

The Chinese Police Station known as ‘Service Station’ is located in Benin City in Nigeria and in two other countries in Africa including Maseru in Lesotho, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Others include 35 service stations in 16 European countries, 10 service stations in six American countries and five service stations in five Asian countries.

According to an investigation report by Safeguard Defender, the Chinese authorities claimed that from April 2021 to July 2022, 230,000 nationals had been “persuaded to return” to face criminal proceedings in China.

The report noted that the Chinese government developed and established the overseas Chinese police “service stations” and national police emergency phone numbers through the campaign which started in 2018.

The report quoted the Minqing County Procuratorate, Fujian, Li Riqin, as saying, “The procuratorial work involving overseas Chinese is long-term. The procuratorial and overseas Chinese should cooperate closely and strengthen interaction to normalize the mechanisms such as information exchange, legal publicity, joint visits and joint meetings.

“They should give full play to the ‘four major procuratorial’ functions of the procuratorial organs in criminal, civil, administrative and public interest litigation.”

“Through the establishment of overseas service centers, Qingtian County Police has made breakthroughs in its overseas pursuit of fugitives. Since 2018, the Qingtian police have detected and solved six criminal cases related to overseas Chinese, successfully arrested a red notice fugitive, and persuaded two suspects to surrender under the assistance from the Overseas centers,” the report stated.

According to the investigative report, China has designated nine countries as having serious fraud, telecom fraud and web crimes, and Chinese nationals are no longer allowed to stay in those countries without “good reason.”

The “Overseas Police Service Stations” are being used in these operations on five continents, often using local “Chinese Overseas Home Associations” linked to the CCP’s United Front Work, and these operations eschew official bilateral police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity of third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods, the report stated.

Buhari commissions first off-shore petroleum terminal in Lekki

This weekend, President Muhammadu Buhari will officially open Nigeria’s first offshore petroleum products facility.

The terminal, which is owned by Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited and is situated in the Lekki Free Zone, is a cutting-edge facility for the intake, storage, and off-take of products. It was designed to revolutionize the Nigerian downstream oil and gas industry by enabling the direct delivery of petroleum products from large ships that would not have been able to berth anywhere along the country’s coastline.

The project’s design was intended to increase the efficiency of Nigeria’s downstream industry by, among other strategic goals, removing the need for pricey vessel lightering, lowering the incidence of demurrage for visiting mother vessels, and lowering the typical outturn losses that typically occur during lightering operations.

The project’s Managing Director, Mr. Peter Mba, outlined the project’s justification to reporters in a press conference: “We found that the typical operations of carrying petroleum products from ships to tank farms were sub-optimal and involved a lot of multiple handling.

“The procedures have been very inefficient, bringing in cargoes in large tankers, keeping that large tanker in the middle of the sea and then going with shuttle vessels to lighter (tranship) from the large tanker because we couldn’t take the large tanker to the port due to shallow draft restriction.

“To empty the mother vessel, it will require you to do a minimum of 32 days of such shuttling. So we then designed and created a liquid bulk terminal in an open sea, and with the new infrastructure the operation now takes just two days, because you just connect the mother vessel to our terminals directly.

“So it reduces the demurrage cost the industry was incurring on the mother vessel and the cost of hiring the shuttle vessel.”

Court remands LP senatorial candidate, Okorie in prison

A High Court sitting in Abakaliki on Tuesday remanded the Ebonyi South Senatorial candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Linus Okorie, in the correctional centre.

Okorie was arraigned in court on a five count-charge, bordering on fake news, murder, harbouring drug traffickers and two other charges.

Read also: Labour Party Senatorial candidate was arrested and not abducted for spreading fake news against Gov Dave Umahi and other pending cases – Police

The police prosecutor, Chinagorom Ndubuaku, who brought the charges against the former member of the Federal House of Representatives, said the defendant has been on police wanted list for committing various crimes.

In a swift reaction, the leading counsel to the defendant, Mr. Chika Nomeh, who spoke to newsmen shortly after the court said; “some of the charges rob the magistrate the jurisdiction to entertain and grant bail, consequent upon that, the magistrate remanded him (Okorie) in the Nigeria correction centre.

“We have the details of the charges already, and we opposed the reading of the charges before the court because in our humble view, it constitutes an abuse of the court processes.

“There is a judgement of the Federal High Court by Honourable Justice Ekwo, that restrained the Nigeria Police and the state government from arresting Linus Okorie, and the judgement is still subsisting on the same subject matter.

“We raised an objection, which we were overruled. The aim of the charges is to keep him (Okorie) behind the bars. Our client is the leading senatorial candidate of Labour Party, LP, for Ebonyi South senatorial zone. The essence of these things is to weaken him and his supporters, but at the end of the day, the law will take its cost,” he stated.

In her ruling, the Presiding Judge, Magistrate Linda Ogodo, said the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and thereby remanded him in the Abakaliki correctional centre.

The matter was adjourned to November, 2022 for further hearing.

Super TV CEO’s Murder: Prime suspect, Chidinma, backtracks on killing Ataga

A Lagos High Court at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Tuesday, continued watching the confessional video statement of Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged murder suspect of the CEO of Super Tv, Usifo Ataga.

In the first video, Ms Ojukwu backtracked on her previous confession of killing Mr Ataga.

Ms Ojukwu, in another confessional video that was played before the judge, said she saw Mr Ataga on the floor and she quickly picked her things.

“I don’t know who entered, I just picked my things and left because I was scared,” she said.

At the last sitting when the video recording was first played showing the lifeless body of Mr Ataga and later the defendant’s confession, she had said in the video that she killed the deceased on her own.

“There was nobody that assisted me, I did it alone,” she had said.

Ms Ojukwu, an undergraduate of the University of Lagos, was arraigned alongside two others, Adedapo Quadri and Chioma Egbuchu on 12th October, 2021, on a nine-count charge over the alleged murder of Mr Ataga.

Ms Ojukwu and Mr Quadri are facing the first to eight counts bordering on conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements, and stealing.

They were alleged to have conspired and murdered Mr Ataga on 15th June 2021, by stabbing him several times with a knife in the neck and chest.

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