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Impeachment: Fayose’s commissioner, aides arrested with arms, charms



The move by the lawmakers in Ekiti State to impeach the governor, took another dimension on Tuesday as the Commissioner for Works, Kayode Oso, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Ademola Bello and four others were arrested by the police.

They were among the loyalists of Governor Ayo Fayose who laid siege to the precincts of the Assembly complex, waiting for the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers.

Also arrested are Adeyanju Oluwole, Raphael Adebayo, Babajide Adebayo and Wasiu Ogunsakin.

Police sources said they were arrested with one black colour Ford pick-up van with registration number EK 05-B27 and one blue Toyota Hilux van with registration number AA 363 YEK.

The two vehicles, believed to belong to the state government, were carrying weapons, including nine live cartridges, 10 cutlasses, charms, fake US dollars, a carton of Regal dry gin, a parcel of Indian hemp and six small kegs of kerosene.

Some of the thugs in the entourage reportedly escaped during their encounter with the policemen.

Police Commissioner Taiwo Lakanu could not be reached for comments on phone proved abortive as he did not pick his calls. Neither did he reply text messages sent to his cell phone.

In Efon Alaaye in Efon Local Government Area, a man identified as Modupe Olaiya, was shot dead   as the anti-Fayose impeachment demonstrators took to the streets following rumours that the 19 APC   members were on their way to to the town.

It was learnt that the lawmakers’ convoy was blocked by some youths and soldiers at Itawure, a town between Ekiti and Osun states. Olaiya was shot in the commotion that ensued when the protesters challenged the lawmakers and asked them to return to Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
The victim, it was learnt   sustained injury from shots fired to scare away the protesters, who took over the Ado-Itawure-Ilesa Road.

The Assembly Speaker, Adewale Omirin,     described as “untrue,” reports that the convoy of the lawmakers   killed Olaiya.

According to him, the claim by   Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka,   that the lawmakers’ convoy killed Olaiya was a “figment of his imagination and one in the series of media spins he had been using to mislead the people to get sympathy.”

Wole Olujobi, the Special Adviser on Media to the speaker said Olayinka was in a familiar terrain of mindless propaganda to mislead the public.

He argued that its members could not have been responsible for the death of anyone in Efon Alaaye when they were turned back by soldiers in Itawure, a distance of about two kilometres.

He added, “The truth is that no one was killed. Nobody saw a dead body on the way up to Itawure junction where the soldiers disallowed us to pass. Itawure junction is not the same as Efon-Alaaye, so we don’t know where he got his story.

“However, we heard that Fayose removed a dead body from the mortuary and presented it to Efon people, claiming that Folorunso Ogundele, a member of the House of Assembly and an indigene of Efon-Alaaye, was the one who pulled the trigger to kill a fellow Efon-Alaaye man in order to instigate violence in the town against him.

“For those who know Fayose very well, this story is typical of his rabble-rousing tactics to cause mob action against opponents.

“It is gratifying that the people were able to quickly decipher that Fayose was up to a mischief to set brothers against brothers.”

The speaker explained that the soldiers who stopped the lawmakers on their way offered no explanation for their action.

“Instead of losing our cool for their strange behaviour, we just left the place,” he stated

The statement added that sources later confirmed that the soldiers were   under a firm instruction of a Brigadier-General to disallow the lawmakers from passing through the check-point.

It said that the Brigadier-General , whose voice was heard among those that were implicated in the leaked audio tape detailing Ekiti election fraud, is the Commander of the Battalion where the soldiers at the check-point were attached.

The lawmakers have however vowed to go ahead with the impeachment proceedings, saying that they   had a constitutional duty and responsibility to probe any infraction of the constitution.

Omirin, his deputy, Tunji Orisalade and the Majority Leader,   Churchill Adedipe, also told a news conference in Osogbo,that the Brigade Commander, 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Brig-Gen. Aliyu Momoh, denied   them entry into Ado Ekiti at a military checkpoint in Ita Iwure.

They said that Momoh, who had earlier been accused of alleged connivance with Fayose in the use soldiers to rig the Ekiti State governorship election of 2014, was present at the checkpoint where they were prevented from entering into the state.

The lawmakers, however, commended the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti State, Taiwo Lakanu, for ensuring their protection until they got to the checkpoint.

Adedipe said, “Governor   Fayose used his strategy of criminality and brigandage and we were ambushed by soldiers at the military checkpoint in Ita Iwure.

“We were attacked, the soldiers at the military checkpoint stopped us and they delayed us deliberately for the thugs hired by Fayose to come and attack us there. You will recall that Gen. Momoh, who was pointed in the Ekiti gate scandal, was the same General  who was physically present at the checkpoint.

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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