DAILY POST reported that at least 50 children were rescued from the debris by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as well as other security agencies.
Reacting, the group in a statement sent to DAILY POST signed by CEE- HOPE’s Executive Director, Betty Abah said the incident was avoidable and took place due to the high level of lawlessness in the country.
The group further urged the Lagos government to persecute and punish those responsible for the incident.
The statement reads: “On the heel of yesterday’s school building collapse incidence on Lagos Island, we commiserate with families who have lost precious children and other family members.
“According to media reports, about 18 persons, mostly children, have lost their lives while 41 were rescued with several of them sustaining various degrees of injuries including some life-threatening ones. These casualties, these heart-wrenching pains are clearly avoidable– a result of the pervasive
lawlessness in our society.
“We, therefore, ask for a speedy investigation and the consequent dispensing of the most stringent punishment for violators of building codes and regulations that led to this avoidable loss of lives.
“A society is only taken seriously when there is adherent to set rules and regulations especially when it concerns the safety of the most vulnerable, in this case, children. People are encouraged to commit a crime when there is no adequate punishment from authorities to serve as deterrence.
“Over the years, Lagos has remained the epicenter of collapsed buildings in
Nigeria owing to the use of sub-standard building materials or persons retaining old, decrepit and defective structures in spite of official evacuation warnings, and with all the attendant deaths of innocent persons (building site workers, tenants etc) yet there has never been any clear stand by the government to punish the defaulters other than stimulated media trials that fizzle with time.
“We, therefore, have no hesitation in laying the blame for this tragedy partly at the feet of the Lagos State Government which has the constitutional mandate to secure lives and property of all Lagosians including school children aspiring to change their fortunes by acquiring an education but has been largely negligent. The well-publicized albeit reactive emergency responses we have seen are not enough and clearly, cannot bring back the precious dead.
“These violators (including the property owner who reportedly defied a quit order from the relevant authorities since 2014), the school authorities and other collaborators must not be spared. Justice must be served without fear or favor. Enough of these recurrent mass murders in Lagos State.”
Army vs Police: Military issues strong warning to Nigerians
The warning became necessary following the controversies and public criticism that greeted the killing of three policemen and a civilian last week by soldiers on the Ibi-Wukari Road in Taraba State.
Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Acting spokesman for the DHQ, Colonel gave the warning while reminding Nigerians that the police and the army are two very important services in the country.
He said that concern should be geared at ensuring the joint panel constituted undertakes an exhaustive investigation.
When asked by The Nation about the captain alleged to have been responsible for the unauthorised shootings and release of the suspected kidnapper, Nwachukwu said, “That information did not come from me. Our concern is to allow the panel do a thorough job and avoid comments that heat up the situation. We are trying to apply some restraint on this issue to avoid pitching the police against the army.
“These are two very important institutions in Nigeria and it will be most unfair to this nation to pit them against each other or the personnel of each service against the other.
“What is important is that lives have been lost and this is a difficult time for the families of the victims. We should be more concerned at looking into the human angles, the psychological traumas these families are going through.
“Our concern should be that the panel does exhaustive investigation and gets to the bottom of the matter. So, I would not like to begin to make comments that would pre-empt the investigation or its outcome.”
FBI Arrest Nigerian Billionaire Over $11m Fraud
The Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrested the Chief Executive Officer of Invictus Group, Obinwanne Okeke, for conspiracy to commit computer fraud.
Okeke, who made it into Forbes ‘Africa’s 30 Under 30 List in 2016’, was arrested by the FBI over $11m wire fraud after an account belonging to the CEO of Unatrac Holding Limited, a steel company, was hacked.
The suspect was alleged to have conspired with some other individuals to access the CEO’s computers without authorisation, PMNews reports.
According to an affidavit signed by Marshall Ward, a Special Agent of FBI, representatives of Unatrac Holding Limited, contacted the agency after experiencing a fraudulent transfer of $11m from the firms account through a compromised email.
The affidavit reads, “Unatrac’s Chief Financial Officer received a phishing email containing a web link purportedly to the login page of the CFO’s online email account hosted by Microsoft Office365.
“When the CFO opened the link, it instead led him to a phishing website crafted to imitate the legitimate Office365 login page.
“Believing the page to be real, he entered his login credentials, which were captured by an unknown intruder who controlled the spoofed web page.
“Between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the CFO’s account at least 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in Nigeria.”
The report led to an investigation, which began in July 2018 after the FBI reviewed the submitted documents and eventually led to the arrest of Okeke.
World Humanitarian Day: 37 aid workers so far killed in Northeast Nigeria, says UN Office
The Head of Office, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN OCHA, Mr. Peter Ekayu has stated that a total of 37 aid workers have lost their lives in service of humanity since the beginning of the conflict in northeast Nigeria.
Peter Ekayu stated this in a statement made available to newsmen as aid workers mark humanitarian day.
Mr. Perter also said that, over the years, too many innocent children, women and men had died in the violence, adding that, data showed that about 35,000 people had lost their lives in the conflict since 2009.
“These are 35,000 deaths too many. As we mark World Humanitarian Day to honour aid workers around the world and in Nigeria, who often risk their own lives to help save and improve that of others, I salute the courage and relentless commitment of not only colleagues and partners, but also affected people and families have shown over the years,” Peter said.
“in the past year, tragic events befell women humanitarians working in Nigeria. We are here to salute their commitment and recognize the sacrifices they and their families are making every day.
“Our efforts are not vain. Together, we are making a difference in the life of millions.These everyday heroes are working tirelessly to provide much-needed vital assistance to the most vulnerable people affected by the crisis in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
“UN staff, INGO and local NGO personnel, State emergency professionals, doctors, nurses, host community members, or simply fathers, mothers, neighbours… thousands of people are guided by their dedication to humanity. They are driven by the most noble cause of helping others.
“Today, we are paying special tribute to the women among them. Women are active in every aspect of humanitarian action: from negotiating access to people in need, to addressing deadly diseases such as measles and cholera. From reuniting separated children to ensuring people uprooted by natural disasters and conflict have shelter, access to clean water, healthcare, food and education.
“Women humanitarians bring a unique perspective to this work through their understanding of the specific needs and priority of girls and women.
“And women humanitarians extend our global humanitarian access in parts of the world by their ability to reach women and girls who might otherwise be out-of-reach and bring them the information, support and services they need.
“Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa and Hauwa Mohammed Liman. They were midwives with ICRC and were executed after being held in captivity by non-state armed groups for more than six months. Both aid workers were abducted from Rann town, Borno State in March 2018 along with a nurse from UNICEF who is still held in captivity.
“Faye Mooney. She was a British communications and learning specialist with the non-governmental organization Mercy Corps. She lost her life in an attack by gunmen in Kaduna State earlier this year.
“We are here together to honour them and their grieving families, relatives and children surviving them. As I stand before you today, my thoughts also go to the families of our colleagues who are still being held captive by armed groups.
“The UN and its humanitarian partners call for their immediate release and return to safety.
“My heart also goes out to the families of the thousands of civilians who have been similarly abducted and whose whereabouts are still unknown.
“Today, we are here together to remind the world that the humanitarian crisis hitting Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states is far from over.
“The less attention we pay to the crisis in the north-east, the more risks face our colleagues who are working in extremely volatile areas struck by violence and devastation.
“As respect for the laws of war weakens, aid workers are increasingly vulnerable, though they are more needed than ever before.” He added.
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