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Canada plane crash on Quebec island kills several

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  •  As 2 sons of policemen, 6 others are killed for robbery, kidnap

Seven people have died after a small private plane crashed on an island off the east coast of Quebec.

Authorities said the plane crashed as it approached Iles-de-la-Madeleine Airport amid heavy winds and snow.

Jean Lapierre, a broadcaster and former Canadian transport minister, and members of his family were among the victims.

Mr Lapierre, who was 59, worked as a political analyst for CTV and other Canadian media outlets.

One of those networks, TVA, said Mr Lapierre’s wife, two brothers and sister died in the crash. They were travelling to the funeral of Mr Lapierre’s father.

He also served as a member of parliament from 1979 to 1993 and again from 2004 to 2007.

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin said: “He was a very good political analyst, he was one of the best, but he was also a superb political figure in this country and it was a great privilege to work with him.”

Officials with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada travelled to Havre aux Maisons Island in the Magdalen Islands to determine the cause of the crash.

The twin-engine turboprop plane had left Montreal’s St Hubert Airport on Tuesday morning.

In the meantime, two sons of two police officers and a kidnapper were among eight armed robbery suspects killed during an exchange of fire with the police at Nsukka on Good Friday, when Christians throughout the world were marking death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

One of the armed robbers was the son of a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police, while the other was the son of a serving police inspector. IGP-Solomon-Arase Source told South East Voice that the eight suspects were killed at separate operations in the university town in Enugu State by the Police Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS.

South East Voice gathered that one of the sons of the police officers identified simply as Arinze Ossai hailed from Igboeze North Local Government Area, stationed his robbery gang at a hotel in the area from where the gang terrorised the entire local government area and its environs for several months, robbing and kidnapping people in the area.

It was gathered that following information volunteered to the Police and members of the local vigilante group, the dare devil robbers were confronted in their hideouts, leading to exchange of fire between the Police and the suspects and the death of three of the suspects.

The Igboeze North vigilante group working on a tip off had contacted SARS at the Area command, Nsukka which later accosted the gang which had earlier robbed a Toyota Venza vehicle belonging to a returnee from Malaysia. Four other suspects, two of whom were identified as Ifeanyi Ogbu and Abuchi Ogbaje from Igboeze South Local Government Area were also reportedly killed while trying to rob their victims on Good Friday.

A member of the Igboeze North vigilante group said that the gang members gave them a tough time as they knew all the entry and exit points of every community in the area, adding that the police officers sons were the executioners of the gang. A senior police officer confirmed the incident at the Police Area Command, Nsukka, saying that there was heavy exchange of fire between the Police and the robbers.

BBC with additional report from Vanguard

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Accidents

5  Die In Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Accident

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19 die, 26 injured in Kano auto crash — FRSC

Five persons were confirmed dead in an accident at NASFAT turning on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Wednesday.

Ten others sustained injuries in the accident.

Mrs Florence Okpe, the spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta.

Okpe noted that the incident occurred at 9:56a.m and it involved a Daf truck marked KUT 561 ZZ, a Toyota Hiace bus marked GGE 84 YF, and a Man diesel truck without a registration number.

She said that the likely cause of the accident was dangerous driving on the part of one of the trucks.

”A total of 15 persons were involved, which comprised 11 men and four women.

” Ten were injured (six men and four women) while five persons were killed from the multiple crash,” she said.

The FRSC spokesperson said that the injured victims were taken to Famobis Hospital, Mowe, while the deceased were deposited at Idera Hospital morgue, Sagamu.

The Sector Commander, Anthony Uga, cautioned motorists on speed and reckless driving, advising them to drive defensively for safety. 

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Customs Suspends Noble Intention To Sell Rice At Rock-bottom Price

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Nigeria Customs Service’s noble intention to sell impounded rice to the masses at the rock-bottom price of N10,000 per half-bag has been suspended.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on the directive of Mr. President, announced the commencement of a noble intervention aimed at alleviating the hardships faced by Nigerians and improving access to essential food items through direct disposal of seized edible goods condemned in competent courts of law and certified fit for consumption by relevant government agencies. 

Consequently, according to the Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, a pilot exercise was conducted on Friday, 23 February 2024, at NCS Old Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos state. 

Stated Maiwada: “The exercise was conducted following meticulous planning to address all potential risks that may emerge during the exercise. As part of our process and control measures, we had Nigeria Police and military personnel to ensure crowd control. We also fully equipped a medical team on the ground in anticipation of potential risks during an exercise of that magnitude. Their presence was part of our proactive approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants.

“The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise. This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press. 

 

“However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome. The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded”, the Service Spokesman stated, stressing that the Nigeria Customs Service extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families during this challenging time, and we assure them of our unwavering support. 

“We are working with Hospital Authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps. Following this incident, an internal investigation was initiated to understand the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event. 

“As a service deeply committed to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, we recognize the need for heightened sensitivity and preventive measures in all our operations. 

“Considering the recent unfortunate event, we regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024. 

“This should help us to properly articulate more robust and comprehensive action that will not defeat the noble intention. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians as we work towards addressing the challenges facing our nation’s food security”, the Imgemaker said further. 

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Accidents

LASG Lifts RTEAN- Ban; Dissolves State’s Parks And Garages Administrators’ Committee 

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…To boost peace 

In furtherance of this administration’s quest to foster peace and smooth working relationships among union members in the transportation sector, the Lagos State Government has lifted the ban on the activities of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the State.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa said on Monday that the government decided after careful consideration and extensive consultations with relevant Stakeholders, including members of the association, Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the general public.

Hon. Giwa further stated that the Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrators’ Committee which was set up to manage parks and garage facilities in the State has been dissolved with immediate effect.

He explained that the decision is made in the best interest of promoting unity and peaceful co-existence, ensuring the smooth operation of transport services within the State as well as helping to foster a more collaborative relationship between the government and the transport union, ultimately leading to improved services for the public.

The Special Adviser urged all parties involved to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of the settlement reached for peaceful and sustainable operations in the transportation sector.

He also implored them to cooperate and work together towards building a better transportation system to benefit all Lagos State residents.

It would be recalled that the State Government suspended the activities of RTEAN across the State in September 2022 and constituted a Caretaker Committee to oversee the Affairs of the union.

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