A High Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Thursday, discharged and acquitted a former lawmaker representing Lagelu state constituency, Honourable Akinmoyede Olafioye, who stood trial for the killing of a former member of House of Representatives in Lagelu/Akinyele federal constituency, Honourable Temitope Olatoye.
DAILY POST gathered that Olatoye, 47, was killed shortly after he casted his vote in the March 9th, 2019 Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in Lalupon area of Ibadan.
Four people, among whom are Akinmoyede, a former Chief Whip in the state House of Assembly were linked in the killing of the former rep member, who represented the constituency till he died.
The court also on Thursday discharged and acquitted Rafiu Adebayo, Rasheed Oladele, Kazeem Ayinde who stood trial for the killing along with Akinmoyede.
The presiding judge, Adegbola Mufutau said the defendants, Akinmoyede and the three others were set free owing to the failure of the prosecution to establish the charges of murder and conspiracy preferred against the defendants.
Akinmoyede while reacting, said that God has vindicated him over the allegation levelled against him on the death of Olatoye.
He stressed that today, truth has finally prevailed with the court’s verdict that acquitted and discharged him.
He used the occasion to once again commiserate with the family, friends and associates of Hon. Sugar over his death, prayed God Almighty to continue to fill the vacuum that his death has created and grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
He expressed his profound appreciation to all the traditional institutions in Lagelu Local Government, leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), his family, friends, religious leaders and the entire Lalupon indigenes led by Hon. Oribayo Okeyode for their support and prayers throughout the period of the litigation.
While calling on the people in the State to continue to support the present administration under the Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde to achieve all his lofty agenda.
He pointed out that the Governor has demonstrated his readiness to take the State to greater heights through the modest achievements he has recorded within just eight months he has spent in office.
It has been a long time coming, it has even been alluded to in some Sci-Fi series such as Incorporated, where in the near future a corporation runs a country and is also a state in its own right. With Facebook earlier in 2019 officially unveiling plans to launch Libra, its own (along with other corporate partners) digital currency, in 2020, it is almost safe to say that Mark Zuckerberg’s (despite being a public company, Facebook’s share structure and voting rights afford Zuckerberg a lot of control and power) social network is almost a country in its own right.
With approximately 2 billion monthly active users as reported at the end of 2018, even if you had to account for duplicate and fake accounts, it would still measure up as one of the largest populations any country has on the planet.
If you add WhatsApp, considering that the messaging app’s users will also be able to transact using Libra (once, or rather if, it eventually launches), with its reported 1,5 billion active users (although some are already Facebook users), you are looking at a size of a country like one we have never witnessed before.
Welcome to the .
Strong political opposition
It didn’t take long after the official announcement of Libra earlier in the year that three countries, France, England, and Germany, started displaying signs that they were feeling threatened by Facebook & Co.’s newly proposed digital currency. Specifically, France’s Finance Minister stated unequivocally that Libra cannot be a replacement for sovereign currencies.
So far, it has not been an easy ride for Libra since that official announcement earlier in 2019. What looked like a good list of partners has been reduced with several of its (Libra Association) member companies deciding to pull their membership and support for Facebook’s proposed digital currency. It all started with PayPal withdrawing from the Libra Association, this was then followed by Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe and Mercado Pago who all announced that they will no longer be participating nor supporting Libra.
The withdrawals, which ended up leaving Libra without any major global payments companies as members, were politically motivated as the United States Senate sent a letter to the various Libra Association member organizations CEOs urging them “to proceed with caution until Facebook is able to provide real answers to you.”
Despite this strong political opposition to Libra by various countries and regulators, which has also seen Facebook being hauled before the USA’s policy makers to answer questions about the planned digital currency, I still think there is a high probability that not only will Libra launch in 2020, but it has better than average chances of gaining traction.
This is despite those involved in the Libra project at Facebook stating that there is no clear product roadmap nor a s et launch date.
However, important to note that Patrick Ellis, one of the board members of the Libra Association, confirmed to Reuters that Libra would launch during 2020, but couldn’t provide any indication of when or even the initial markets it would be launched in.
Before I elaborate on why I think it will succeed, what will it mean for your money to be controlled and managed by Facebook?
Your money in Facebook’s control
To further understand why some countries, including the USA, have been vocally opposing Libra in public, the letter that The United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg (COO at Facebook), and David Marcus (CEO of Facebook subsidiary, Calibra), gives us a few hints in my opinion.
Firstly, as compared to say, Bitcoin, it is easier and possible to write to Facebook’s Zuckerberg and Sandberg regarding Libra compared to trying to write to Satoshi Nakamoto. In this case, there are real people and organizations that can be held accountable. Secondly, and as they allude to in the letter, the policy makers feel that Libra is a threat to the US Dollar and the country’s monetary policy, despite it being merely a stablecoin and not a cryptocurrency in the strictest of terms.
There’s also the matter that should Libra ever get into trouble (eg. not be able to guarantee customers withdrawals etc.), the US government in one way or another would need to step in to protect Americans as we’ve seen it do before with some of the country’s large banks (side note: this is exactly what Bitcoin avoids, but alas. A discussion for another day).
However, more importantly for us in Africa is, does Libra offer any of us any value?
Does it help us with anything we are struggling with currently?
Does it make life easier?
To use and transact in Libra, users will have to download and run the official wallet, Calibra (a subsidiary company of Facebook). From what I’ve seen and what has so far led me to say in its current form Libra will struggle to gain traction (unless they address the following two issues) is that to use Calibra one will require a bank account and a government issued ID.
It’s no secret that Africa has a high number of unbanked people mainly as a result of low income and unemployment. As such, it is mind boggling that a product punting financial inclusion would require users to first have a bank account before using it. However, it’s possible that this will change by the time Facebook launches the digital currency and wallet in 2020. If it doesn’t, it could prove to be a stumbling block for gaining traction especially across Africa.
The second issue, which also leads me to explaining why I think Libra will succeed, is around the requirement of government issued ID.
On the surface, in most countries in Africa at least, the requirement for a government issued ID could prove a real stumbling block to adoption. In many African countries, eg. Nigeria, there is no real organized government ID system. Immediately this makes it rather interesting how Facebook is going to verify identity in such cases.
However, Facebook and its Libra partners seem to already have thought of this and have a possible solution in mind. A solution which, once it can be implemented, will make a strong argument that Facebook is now essentially a country.
Facebook’s possible Trojan Horse
Earlier in 2019 when the noise around Libra was at its peak and being frustrated that no African policymakers we commenting on it or providing any clarification on how they view Facebook’s proposed digital currency that is mainly targeted a developing countries, I set out to read the Libra white paper for the third time. Somehow, I found something in the Libra white paper I had missed or wasn’t paying enough attention to previously.
Hidden (in plain sight) deep in the guts of a white paper light on details and heavy on marketing talk about financial inclusion and the world’s 2 billion without adequate financial services are two sentences that seem to be placed nonchalantly atop page 9 of the Libra white paper, yet they could have far reaching impact.
“An additional goal of the [Libra] association is to develop and promote an open identity standard. We believe that decentralized and portable digital identity is a prerequisite to financial inclusion and competition.”
This, the development of an open standard for digital IDs, as mentioned, could mean that Facebook already has a solution for part of this problem. The other part of this solution is that Facebook previously acquired a company that verifies government issued IDs in 2018. These two solutions combined could help onboard and verify people onto Libra and from there start issuing them with verified Facebook IDs.
Considering that Facebook, along with its subsidiary platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, is home to over 2 billion people, could this be the new global ID standard that will surpass and be more trusted than government issued IDs?
Although I could not find any further details on the proposed Libra digital ID and Facebook have also refused to comment when I asked, in my opinion it has a far bigger impact than the proposed currency as, if adopted and rolled out successfully it solves one of the web’s biggest issues, trust. I can already envision how it fits in with some of its other acquisitions, for example, Facebook acquired a face recognition tool that it incorporated into its main Facebook platform that would identify faces in the photos you post automatically and suggest you tag them. This, could possibly be used outside of government issued IDs given the trove of (tagged) photos Facebook already has of billions of people around the world, to verify identity.
This to me is Facebook’s Trojan Horse with Libra a necessary part but of lesser significance than the ability for Facebook to be able to run a platform that can verify and vouch for the identity of billions of people independent from any government.
Managing the flow of money gives you some power. Handling trust and identities gives you control, and essentially, makes you a nation state.
A virtual nation state
As far as why I now think this completes the idea of Facebook becoming a country, it’s simply because of the leverage it will hold over some countries especially across the continent who not only do not have near as accurate data about their citizens like Facebook has, but are struggling to maintain the value and usefulness of their own sovereign currencies (e.g. Zimbabwe).
At the heart of it (Libra) people just want a quicker and cheaper way to transact and send money, and already in Africa, many are used to using mobile money for their daily living.
Apart from having such a huge virtual population, a currency, and possibly its own verifiable IDs for its citizens, Facebook also does not fall under any single country’s jurisdiction. For example, its US-based users are governed by a corporation registered in the USA, its users in the rest of the world are governed by a corporation registered in Ireland, while in China it works under different laws. This not only applies to laws but where it pays taxes too. So, as such, you cannot exactly call it a US company as it is not bound any single country’s laws and to make matters worse (or good if you’re Facebook) it is a virtual entity.
It really, in my view, has officially become the People’s Republic of Facebook (and like its namesake, it’s not a democracy 😊)
It’s been such a busy week with so many stories. It’s possible that you may have missed some of our most interesting stories from this week.
The 2020 Budget, Trump’s impeachment, Orji Kalu’s dilemma, Uwajumogu’s death, Adoke’s arrest and others topped this week news trend.
To make sure you’re up-to-date, The Nation brings you a brief round-up of the major stories this week in case you missed the mark. ALAO ABIODUN reports.
Here is a roundup of the major political news stories this week below –
Donald Trump impeached by U.S House of Reps
The U.S. President, Donald Trump, has been impeached by the country’s House of Representatives.
The house voted late Wednesday to impeach the president on his 1,062nd day in office for alleged obstruction of Congress and abuse of power related to his dealings with Ukraine.
A trial will now be set up in the Senate to decide whether he remains in office.
Mr Trump is only the third U.S. President to face such trial and if the odds go against him, he will become the first to be removed from office via the impeachment process.
After several hours of heated dispute on the House floor between two leading parties in the U.S – Democrats and Republicans – the lawmakers voted largely along party lines.
The proceedings on Wednesday began with members of Mr Trump’s Republican Party calling for votes on procedural issues in an effort to frustrate the process.
Democrats control the House 233 to 197 seats over Republicans, with one independent and four vacancies.
According to the Washington post, the Democratic-controlled House passed two articles of impeachment against Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — related to the president’s attempts to withhold military aid to Ukraine and pressure its government to investigate former vice president Joe Biden.
Mr Biden is a potential presidential candidate of the Democratic Party and could be Mr Trump’s major challenger in the upcoming 2020 U.S general elections.
The House voted 230 to 197 to approve the article accusing the president of abuse of power. On the obstruction of Congress vote, which followed soon after, the tally was 229 to 198.
Trump’s Republican Party members in the house all voted against both articles, but it was not enough to stop the process.
The Senate trial on whether to remove the president is expected to begin in early January.
Should Trump eventually be removed, Vice President Mike Spence will step in.
Senate confirms new chairpersons for FIRS, AMCON
The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Muhammad Nami as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
Also confirmed are members and representatives of geopolitical zones for FIRS.
Those confirmed are James Yakwen Ayuba – Member (North Central); Ado Danjuma – Member (North West) and Adam Baba Mohammad – Member (North East)
Others are A. Ikeme Osakwe – Member (South East); Adewale Ogunyomade – Member (South West) and Ehile Adetola Aigbangbee – Member (South South).
Representatives of MDAs confirmed are Ladidi Mohammad – Member Attorney-General of the Federation; Godwin Emefiele – Member Central Bank of Nigeria; Fatima Hayatu Member – Ministry of Finance and Maagbe Adaa – Member Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission
Others are Umar Ajiya – Member Nigerian National Petroleum Commission; T. M. lsah – Member Nigerian Customs Service and Registrar General – Member Corporate Affairs Commission.
The confirmation comes about a week after President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the Senate seeking their confirmation.
It was sequel to a presentation of the report of the Senate committee on finance.
The chairman of the committee, Solomon Olamilekan, who made the presentation, recommended that the Senate confirm the appointment of the nominees.
The Senate also confirmed the appointment of Edward Adamu as the chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) – following the presentation of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions.
Alleged Fraud: Maina to remain in jail till 2020
The former chairman, Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, who is facing trial for alleged money laundering will remain in the Correctional Centre in Kuje, till January 2020.
Mr Maina’s son, Faisal, is also being prosecuted for money laundering by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.
At the last adjourned date, the court had granted Faisal’s plea to be transferred to Kuje Correctional Centre from Police Tactical Squad, Asokoro.
Mr Maina is being prosecuted by the EFCC on a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering, operating fictitious accounts and other fraudulent activities.
The former PRTT chairman, who was in hiding for almost two years, was arrested by the State Security Service (SSS).
The SSS then handed over Mr Maina to the EFCC, which had declared him wanted for over a year.
Mr Faisal was arrested alongside his father in September. The father is accused of diverting N100 billion of pension funds.
His son is accused of operating an account he used to divert various sums of money, including N58 million.
The two men were arraigned by the EFCC on October 25 on separate charges. They pleaded not guilty.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Wednesday, the presiding judge, Okon Abang, adjourned Mr Maina’s trial to January 13 to hear his application for bail variation and that of Faisal to January 20, for the continuation of his trial.
Meanwhile, Justice Abang had said that though it would not be convenient for the court to take trial, but the arguments for Mr Maian’s application for bail variation would be taken.
However, the EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, said he was ready for the continuation of the trial and that the prosecution’s next witness was in court.
Buhari signs 2020 budget
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2020 appropriation bill into law.
He signed the bill at about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
The National Assembly had on December 5, 2019, passed the budget estimates presented by Mr Buhari on October 8, 2019.
The National Assembly increased the budget estimates from N10.33 trillion to N10.50 trillion.
The passage was a sequel to the presentation of a report by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Barau Jibrin.
The signing was witnessed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Others are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Minister in charge of Budget and Planning, Clement Agba and the Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze.
A breakdown of the budget showed that N560,470,827,235 was budgeted for Statutory transfer; N2,725,498,930,000 for debt servicing; N4,842,974,600,640 for recurrent expenditure; N2,465,418,006,955 for capital expenditure; and N2.28 trillion for fiscal deficit.
When the National Assembly passed the bill last Thursday, new projects inserted into the budget moved it up to ₦10.594 trillion.
A breakdown of the inserted projects obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed that the country may end up spending more on what anti-corruption agents and activists have identified as “vague, frivolous, self-enrichment projects smuggled into the budget by federal lawmakers.”
The new projects are expected to cost Nigeria about ₦264 billion.
Mr Buhari signed the budget document into law on the occasion of his 77th birthday on Tuesday, and commended the National Assembly for speedy passage of the bill.
“It is my pleasant duty, today, on my 77th birthday, to sign the 2020 Appropriation Bill into law,” a message posted on Mr Buhari’s twitter page said.
“I’m pleased that the National Assembly has expeditiously passed this Bill. Our Federal Budget is now restored to a January-December implementation cycle.”
FG declares Dec. 25, 26, Jan.1, 2020 public holidays
The Federal Government has declared Dec. 25 and Dec. 26 as well as Jan. 1, 2020 as public holidays for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year celebrations.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, announced this on Thursday in Abuja through a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah.
Aregbesola felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians both at home and abroad on the 2019 Christmas and New Year celebrations.
He enjoined all Christians to live by the virtues and teachings of Jesus Christ.
According to him, those virtues hinge on compassion, patience, peace, humility, righteousness and love for one another.
The minister said that living by them would guarantee an atmosphere of peace and security in the country.
Aregbesola said that the determination of government toward peace and security would engender inflow of foreign direct investment, thereby revitalising the nation’s economy.
He said it would also improve employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the country.
The minister expressed confidence that 2020 would be a breakthrough year for all Nigerians.
Lawan, APC, senators, others mourn as Imo Senator Uwajumogu dies
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour and Employment Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu has died.
Uwajumogu (Imo North) attended plenary on Tuesday. Less than 24 hours after, he was gone.
The cause and circumstances of the death of the 51-year-old could not be confirmed last night but sources said he slumped suddenly yesterday morning in his house while having his bath. He was confirmed dead at an Apo hospital.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan expressed shock, especially when Uwajumogu “was full of life” at the chamber on Tuesday.”
Lawan, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, commiserated with the deceased’s family, Imo State and friends over the loss.
He added: “But God gives and takes in line with his supreme sovereignty, so we cannot question His will.
“Senator Uwajumogu’s sudden death is shocking and a painful loss to the ninth National Assembly where he always made robust contributions to debates and other activities of the upper legislative chamber.
“He will be greatly missed by all of us and staff of the Senate.”
The Senate President prayed that God will comfort his loved ones and grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, described Uwajumogu’s death as a huge loss to Nigeria, his constituents and Imo State.
Supreme Court affirms elections of eight governors
There was jubilation on Wednesday as the Supreme Court affirmed the election victories of governors in eight states.
They are: Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Aminu Masari (Katsina) Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom).
The Supreme Court held that the appellants against the eight governors failed to prove their cases and dismissed their appeals.
34-year-old Ifeoma Deborah Obi and her son, Chisimdi Victory Obi were burnt to death in the fire accident which occurred in Onitsha few weeks ago.
Both will be laid to rest on Friday November 15, in Awka-Etiti, Anambra State.
Reps to investigate Onitsha fire outbreak
The House of Representatives has resolved to mandate its committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the recent fire outbreak in Onitsha, Anambra State.
This resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Okwudili Ezenwankwo and 2 others on Tuesday.
Moving the motion, Ezenwankwo said the fire outbreak, which was caused by petroleum tanker, claimed 6 lives as Federal Fire Service could not contain the inferno.
He noted that if the investigation is not done, then a future occurrence is possible.
Adding that National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has failed to provide relief material to over 2,000 people turned homeless and 500 shops consumed by the inferno.
“The fire outbreak at Upper Iweka/Ochanja Market took the lives of at least six (6) persons and left many injured.
“Over thirty (30) vehicles, over fifty (50) houses (some with warehouses and street shops) and over five hundred (500) market lockup shops were razed by the fire incident.
“The fire outbreak of Upper Iweka/Ochanja Market has rendered over two thousand (2,000) hardworking people homeless, jobless and robbed them of their means of livelihood.
“Worried that after the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) rapid assessment of the incident, no feasible steps have been taken to ameliorate the hardship caused to the victims of this fire outbreak.
“If the immediate and remote causes of the fire incidents are not determined, a proper measure to forestall future fire outbreak might not be guaranteed,” he stated.
The House, therefore, resolved to “urge the Federal Government to order for immediate investigation of the cause of the fire incident.
“Call on the Federal Government to establish a Federal Fire Service Station In Onitsha, Anambra State.
“Call on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief materials to the victims of Onitsha fire incidents.”
THREE more dead bodies were recovered, yesterday, at the Ochanja Market in Onitsha, which got burnt when a tanker filled with fuel caught fire at the Upper Iweka area of the commercial city.
This came as Governor Willie Obiano invited the affected traders to assemble at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka on Monday for documentation and possible assistance from the state government.
Two of the dead bodies were suspected to be salesgirls in one of the burnt shops, while the other male body was found in another shop close to the scene of the fire incident.
Yesterday, the traders constituted themselves into rescue groups and were packing the debris, only to discover the three dead bodies.
Some of the traders almost threatened to cause riot when they were informed that Governor Obiano was coming to sympathize with them.
The governor, who visited the scene at about 9.20am for on the spot assessment of the disaster, could however not enter the burnt market.
Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. Don Adinuba, in a statement said Governor Obiano and the entire people of Anambra State regret the unfortunate situation, adding that the state government had taken steps to address the concerns of those affected.
He said: “ Government therefore requests owners of properties affected by the tragic accident, shop owners and family members of deceased victims to assemble at Ekwueme Square, Awka on Monday October 21 2019 at 11am for documentation and to see how the Anambra State government can assist them.
“ A panel headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke has been set up by the governor to immediately determine the cause of the accident, why the firemen could not put out the fire and how the condition of the victims can be ameliorated.
“Governor Obiano and all citizens of Anambra State identify with victims of this unfortunate fire incident and the general inhabitants of Onitsha over this sad inferno. The Anambra State government will do it’s best to stand by those affected.
“Government therefore calls on all citizens to remain calm in the face of this disaster and be reassured of government’s commitment to the well- being of all and sundry.”
He explained that security agencies in the state had been directed to ensure that law and order were maintained within and around the affected areas.
Former member of House of Representatives, Dr. Tony Nwoye said it was a sad day for Anambra State, regretting the enormous loss of lives and property.
He added: “I empathise with the families of the dead victims and those who lost properties to the inferno. I urge them to show courage and utmost faith in the Creator. The sun will still shine on them all
“This accident has become too recurring in Anambra and should worry everyone. The collaboration of the government, relevant stakeholders and the citizens, is needed to develop a proactive strategy that will forestall any further occurrence of this nature. Never again shall we witness anything such as this.
“This is a time for us to show faith in our state and rally around the victims of the carnage. I call on Anambra people to come to the aid of the victims and collectively give them support to rebuild their businesses and overcome their grief. It is indeed a troubling time and we must have to show that brotherly spirit and love that make us Ndi Anambra at this time.”
In his reaction, the Director General of Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, and a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief George Moghalu, called on the state government and other influential people in the state to come to the aid of the victims.
He added: ”I am saddened at the loss of lives and we never wish for incidents like these in our dear state.
“I urge the Anambra State government to do what it is supposed to do to ensure that the traders continue to earn a living.”
One of the victims, Mr. Chukwuka Okeke, a neighbour to the woman who died with her baby in the fire incident, described the tragedy as unfortunate but avoidable.
According to him, it was not up to twenty minutes he chatted with the woman before she was consumed in the inferno.
In an emotion-laden voice, he said: “We were in our shops when I got the call that there was fire incident at Iweka. Though we saw smoke going up from a distance, nobody could believe it would extend to this place.
“For over three hours, we were perceiving the smell of fuel mixed with gas from the tanker as it flowed through the drainage until the whole thing went up in flames.
“The woman had already rushed out of the shop with her baby when she suddenly went back. But she slipped and fell inside the gutter, which was already in flames.”
Okeke said the woman whose husband also owns a shop in the city, had the baby early this year after 16 years of marriage.
“She got married in 2003 but had her first baby early this year. It’s really a tragedy,” Okeke said.
Efforts to speak with some landlords whose houses were burnt along Upper Iweka Road proved abortive as some, who were around were still in deep shock and their children could not speak for them.
One of them, who managed to speak but did not give his name, said he is devastated and cannot able to quantify what he had lost.
He said: “I cannot even do any quantification of my losses and you know my tenants also lost greately in goods and house hold items.
“Today is not the time to speak. We are still in great shock. This incident is not because we are careless, but something that happened in far away Upper Iweka and here we are counting loss on Iweka Road.”
Other affected traders in the incident along Menax, Iweka Road and Zik Avenue by Ochanja Market Roundabout also declined to speak with Vanguard, saying they are still counting losses and will not be able to give account of what they have lost.
When Vanguard visited the Ochanja Market and Zik Avenue, angry traders were seen salvaging, in pains and bitterness, some goods they felt could still be useful while others whose wares and shops were burnt completely, were bemoaning their losses and raining insults on all the relevant authorities that could not come to their rescue.
Speaking with Vanguard, Chairman of Ochanja Central Market, Mr. Nelson Ojukwu confirmed that five shops inside Ochanja Market were burnt, adding that but for his traders and the leadership of the market who mobilised water tankers, the whole market and the surrounding buildings would have burnt to ashes.
Ojukwu called on the Anambra State government to provide the markets with fire-fighting trucks to alleviate the sufferings and losses the traders and individual house owners incure during fire incidents.
How mob stopped firefighters
Meanwhile, the Federal Fire Service, FFS, has expressed sadness over the loss of lives and properties during the fire outbreak, saying its men were stopped by a mob, who pelted its officials with stones and equally blocked the road.
Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service, Liman Ibrahim, who disclosed this in a statement by Service Public Relations Officer, DSF Ugo Huan, said the nearest fire station to the scene is in Asaba, Delta State.
His words: “The Federal Fire Service received a call about the fire outbreak at about 2p.m. The control room at the headquarters in Abuja immediately turned out the nearest Federal Fire Service Station at Asaba, Delta State, to attend to the fire.
“Our men immediately headed to the scene, but it was not possible to contend with the traffic at the head bridge and the behaviour of angry mob who pelted stones at them.”
“President Trump has built a juggernaut of a campaign, raising record amounts of money at a record pace,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.
Ronna McDaniel, the RNC’s chairwoman, said attacks from Democrats have spurred the President’s supporters to open their wallets.
“We are investing millions on the airwaves and on the ground to hold House Democrats accountable, highlight their obstruction, and take back the House and reelect President Trump in 2020,” she said.
The haul by Team Trump exceeds the $105 million that Trump and the national party raised through their joint efforts during the second quarter of the year. Trump’s campaign has already announced plans to deploy big sums to mount a defense of the President, running Facebook and television ads that focus on impeachment.
Some of the Democrats hoping to challenge Trump next year are raising substantial sums, too.
On Tuesday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders reported collecting $25.3 million during the third quarter — the largest three-month haul posted so far by any of the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders and a sign of Sanders’ enduring strength with small-dollar contributors.
Latest series of the US hit show will recount the former White House interns affair with the then president that led to his impeachment in 1998
Monica Lewinsky is among the producers on a new series of American Crime Story focusing on the Bill Clinton sex scandal.
Titled Impeachment: American Crime Story, the Ryan Murphy-helmed anthology drama will recount the notorious affair between the then US president Clinton and former White House intern Lewinsky, and the subsequent impeachment proceedings called against him by the US House of Representatives.
Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein will star as Lewinsky, with Sarah Paulson playing Linda Tripp, the civil servant who secretly recorded phone calls the 22-year-old made about her affair with Clinton, who was 27 years her senior.
The series will premiere in September 2020 in the US, and is expected to air in the UK soon after. The previous two series of American Crime Story have been shown on BBC Two in the UK, as part of the broadcasters syndication deal with the US.
Impeachment has been adapted by Murphy from Jeffrey Toobins book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. Murphy originally optioned the book in 2017, but shelved plans to bring it to TV last year as he felt that such a project would be gross without the contribution of Lewinsky.
However, with Lewinskys involvement, Impeachment is now going ahead. In a statement to Vanity Fair, she said that she had been hesitant to sign on to the series, but was swayed by the opportunity to reclaim my narrative.
People have been co-opting and telling my part in this story for decades, Lewinsky said. In fact, it wasnt until the past few years that Ive been able to fully reclaim my narrative, almost 20 years later.
This isnt just a me problem. Powerful people, often men, take advantage of those subordinate to them in myriad ways all the time. Many people will see this as such a story and for that reason, this narrative is one that is, regretfully, evergreen.
FX chairman John Landgraf said that the network would not be reaching out to Bill and Hillary Clinton for their input.
American Crime Story has attracted critical acclaim and high ratings for its retellings of landmark events in recent US history. Its first season, 2016s The People Vs OJ Simpson, won a total of nine Emmy awards for its account of the 1994 murder case against former American Football player and actor OJ Simpson.