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‘My testimony’ He makes the law, he won’t break it

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Through luck, I’m proud to write that we have some powerful people in the WhatsApp platform of Freelanews, and of which I’m grateful for.

Particularly, those from the current power house in Alausa, and Tokunbo Wahab (TW) is one of them.

I believe what I want to relate is necessary, because one of our members here was directly involved.

So it happened that a member here had his car seized by RRS officials for making a U-turn at a prohibited place in Alausa last night.

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According to him, he was asked to pay a substantial amount of money into a dedicated account or his car would be impounded.

He called me. When he mentioned Alausa, I did some calculations and I decided to contact TW for assistance.

Kindly note that none of the penalties was delicious to my friend and me.

TW, for someone I’ve known, rarely responds to messages and I understand. Due to his workload as a public servant, he might read your messages and respond based on its merits. And when you check the ministry his portfolio is attached to, you will appreciate how busy he is due to the landmark achievements being recorded daily by his ministry.

So when I decided to contact him for help and pull his weight to instruct the ‘boys’ to release my guy, I made a mental note that it might not sail through.

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I wrote: Baba, I need your help.

Without waiting for me to state my case, he responded.

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So I quickly narrated the situation to him, because I didn’t want to lose the window of the response.

TW called me immediately.

He told me that my guy will not be released because the RRS acted on the instruction of the government that people should not make u-turns at that particular point.

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He then advised that the best way out of this was to pay the money being demanded!

Then he paused and said, “Victor, send your account number and I will forward the money to you.”

What?! I was dumbfounded because I wasn’t expecting such a sudden intervention.

If you have made a mistake of trying to rejoin Awolowo way after exiting Ikeja City Mall by making a U-turn at the end of same road, then you will know the amount I’m talking about here. And if you’re unaware, then please note making a U-turn at that spot is prohibited.

Back to my story, I sent my account number and whoola! It was credited!

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By the time I got back to my guy in distress, he informed me that he had negotiated the price downward.

So I sent the negotiated amount to him so he could be on his way because it was getting late.

I got back to TW and updated him. I asked him for an account so I could refund the balance.

He simply said, “Keep the balance.”

Now, here’s the thing. I got curious about the man TW for two things;

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1. Benevolence: He’s always ready to help someone in genuine distress without batting an eyelid.

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2. He won’t compromise or use his influence to pervert justice as seen above. So if you commit and believe you know TW, you’re on your own.

Sir, I’m extremely grateful that through your assistance, a friend in need could reunite with his family after a strenuous day work without spending a dime from his purse.

May God continue to bless you.

I’m indeed grateful, our own legal eagle.

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Source: Freelanews

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Opinion

Kitigbe o: Honouring six years of Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege’s reign as Olota of Otta-Awori Kingdom

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As the sun sets over the vibrant town of Otta, the air is filled with a sense of celebration and reverence. It marks the six-year anniversary of the coronation of His Majesty, Oba Professor Adeyemi Obalanlege, the esteemed Olota of Otta-Awori Kingdom.

Stepping into his reign, Oba Obalanlege brought with him not only the weight of tradition but also a distinguished background in academia and a fervent dedication to community service.

Born into the esteemed lineage of Prince Taiwo Hassan Obalanlege and Mrs. Mutiat Afolake Obalanlege (Nee Anjorin), Oba Adeyemi entered the world on August 28, 1966, in Mushin, Lagos State.

His educational journey began in AUD Primary School, Iganmode and led him to Ansar-ud-Deen College, Isolo, before culminating at Iganmode Grammar School in Otta. This foundation laid the groundwork for his illustrious academic career.

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With a Higher National Diploma in Mass Communication from Ogun State Polytechnic and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Journalism from independent Colleges, UK, Oba Adeyemi’s thirst for knowledge propelled him further. He pursued postgraduate studies in Food Safety and Quality Management at Greenwich University, London, and attained a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Leicester. His quest for scholarly excellence reached its pinnacle with a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

Oba Adeyemi’s academic prowess extended beyond the confines of the classroom, earning him recognition as a world-class scholar. His contributions to the field of Mass Communication, including publications in esteemed academic journals and presentations at conferences across Africa, Europe, and North America, solidified his reputation as a cerebral intellectual.

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However, his journey was not confined to academia alone.

Oba Adeyemi’s foray into journalism began humbly as a reporter for The Mail newspaper, where he honed his skills under the mentorship of Prof Idowu Sobowale. His career trajectory led him to prominent roles, including Public Relations Officer at the Lagos State Polytechnic and positions at Thisday Newspaper, where he earned acclaim for his coverage of tourism and hospitality.

Even as his academic and professional pursuits flourished, Oba Adeyemi remained deeply rooted in community service.

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His commitment to uplifting others led to his election as the Chairman of the Awori Obas Forum, Ogun State, and his involvement in Rotary Clubs, where he earned recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow.

In 2018, Oba Professor Adeyemi Abdulkabir Obalanlege was crowned the Olota of Otta, emerging as the preferred candidate after rigorous selection by the Ijemo Isoloshi Ruling House. Since then, he has led with wisdom and compassion, fostering unity and progress within the Awori Kingdom.

As the Royal Symbol of Awori Nation celebrates six years on the throne alongside his beloved wife, Olori Oloruntoyin Obalanlege, and their two accomplished sons, Mustapha and Tobi, the good people of Otta-Awori are satisfied about his legacy of scholarship, leadership, and service.

This is a testament to his unwavering commitment to the betterment of the kingdom and the preservation of Yoruba heritage.

May the reign of Lanlege Ekun II, Arole Iganmode Olofin continue to bring peace and tranquility to the entire Otta-Awori kingdom.

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Kitigbe o! Omo Iganmode a f’ele ja, a f’ikoti y’oju egba, a fi ponpondo y’oju Ketu.

Happy 6th coronation anniversary, baba mi!

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Opinion

Govt served Lagos estate demolition notices since 2021, says commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Tokunbo Wahab, has disclosed that the government issued the residents of Mende Villa Estate two demolition notices in 2021 and 2023.

The commissioner’s clarification came on the heels of allegations made by a property developer in Mende Villa, who claimed the proper notice was not given before the commencement of the demolition exercise.

Speaking on Arise TV’s Morning Show on Sunday, he insisted that the government authorities had issued contravention notices and marked the properties slated for demolition before the exercise was carried out on Saturday.

According to Wahab, his predecessor, Tunji Bello, served contravention notices in 2021 to property encroaching on the setback of the System One drainage channel in Mende Villa, Maryland, and upon assuming his role in Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term.

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He added that the latest notices were issued to the developers in November 2023.

“If there were no notices, how come the Developer has been engaging us with documents and correspondences for the past month?” the commissioner queried.

Wahab further stated that the Lagos Civil Service consisted of the most efficient personnel who would never engage in practices capable of jeopardising their career and future.

He said, “I can say it boldly, we have the best of brains in the Lagos Civil Service and they will not joke with a process that can hurt them and their careers.

“We sat down for over a week and said, run through this process again; let us work back through this process. We’ve given them enough notice for this. Since the past two and a half years, he didn’t dispute the fact that we had to dredge the particular alignment.

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“Let us leave out emotions and sentiments. We have a choice to make if we want this country to be good, if we want a better society, we need to take ownership of the truth. The truth is, they were served notices. They were engaging the government but they wanted to eat their cake and have it.”

He also explained that owing to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s magnanimity, the right-of-way was reduced to 100 meters from 140 and spread on a 60/40 basis (60 Mende/40 Ogudu) instead of the initial 140 sitting on the Mende side alone.

He added, “I went there myself, if I was mischievous, I wouldn’t be there with them. I would have given the order from the office but I said no, I owe them a duty to explain to them that even the governor had approved that we reduced the width from 140 to 100.”

The commissioner emphasised that the executive did what it believed was for the overriding public interest, reiterating the residents were served demolition notices twice.

He also urged those who feel their rights have been violated to seek redress through the court.

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“Are one or two persons hurt? I’ll tell you maybe yes, maybe no. But I can tell you we served them notices since 2021 and the honourable member representing them is aware of it. We’ve had meetings upon meetings but the rains have started and the government needs to do what they have to do,” he posited.

On Saturday, the Lagos State Government reclaimed the Right of Way of the Odo-Iya Alaro channel by demolishing a part of the Arowojobe and Mende Estate villa.

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The Minister of Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, disclosed it on his X account.

He wrote, “Earlier today, I, the SA on Environment, Hon. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, the PS OES, Dr Omobolaji Gaji, PS ODS, Engr. Mahamood Adegbite and other Directors again visited the ongoing reclamation of the drainage setback on System 1 (Odo Iyalaro Ogudu reach).”

The exercise faced a public outcry from different quarters of society, who criticised the government for taking down investments worth millions without proper notice.

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Popular Nigerian singer, Yemi Alade, said the action would discourage those interested in investing in real estate in the state.

The Johnny crooner, in a video that surfaced on X Sunday, lamented that many residents slept in their houses and woke up homeless.

She said, “Lagos State, what is going on? Does it make sense that people will invest millions of naira, millions of dollars into real estate? They would buy land and Lagos State would break them; making people homeless overnight. This is done serially. Right now Maryland area is on fire.

“People are sleeping in their houses and waking homeless. You are ruining the real estate value of the state, the country; making people lose trust in the idea of the country.”

In October and November 2023, several buildings were demolished in Lekki, Ikota, the International Trade Fair, Agungi, and some parts of the state.

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The state government attributed the demolitions to the illegal sitting of the buildings.

The Director, Ministry of Environment, Director of Public Affairs, Kunle Adeshina, advising property owners whose buildings were yet to be demolished, stressed that the demolition would address “the issue of perennial flooding, which has led to avoidable damage to property and caused fatalities in some instances.”

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Opinion

An Icon of Service: NATCOM boss, Otunba Adejare Adegbenro’s Leadership Legacy

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In the intricate mosaic of Nigeria’s societal fabric, Otunba Adejare Adegbenro stands as a beacon of commitment, resilience, and service.

Born on March 6th, 1973, in Lagos, he draws from a lineage steeped in political legacy, being the grandson of the late Premier of Western Region, Alhaji Daudu Sooroye Adegbenro. Raised in a family that values service to the community, Otunba Adegbenro has carved his path as a distinguished figure in Nigerian society.

The culmination of his familial heritage and dedication to community service was marked by his installation as the first Otunba Laje of Owu Kingdom in Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria.

This historic event, which took place on January 20th, 2018, under the auspices of His Royal Majesty Oba Olusanya Dosunmu II, traditional ruler of Owu kingdom, reinforced Otunba Adegbenro’s deep-rooted ties to his cultural heritage and commitment to uplifting his people.

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Beyond his traditional titles, his influence extends globally, with his appointment as High Commissioner by the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), where he spearheads foreign special missions aimed at preventing illegal migration and human trafficking. This appointment is a testament of his reputation as a renowned security expert and industrialist, whose expertise transcends national borders.

In his role as the acting Director-General of the National Commission against the Proliferation of Arms, Light Weapons, and Pipeline Vandalism (NATCOM), Otunba Adegbenro has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to combating threats to national security. His vast experience in security consultancy and supply of security gadgets has positioned him as a pivotal figure in Nigeria’s security landscape.

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However, Otunba Laje of Owu Kingdom’s contributions extend beyond the realm of security.

Through his foundation, the Otunba Adejare Adegbenro Foundation (OAAF), he channels his resources towards uplifting the less privileged in society. With initiatives ranging from the provision of boreholes to communities lacking access to clean water, to scholarships for deserving students, he exemplifies the spirit of philanthropy and communal solidarity.

Reflecting on his journey, Otunba Adegbenro once acknowledged the challenges he has faced, from navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship to confronting societal stereotypes.

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Yet, through it all, he remains resolute in his commitment to service and upliftment. His philosophy, rooted in faith and compassion, drives him to make a tangible difference in the lives of others, regardless of obstacles encountered along the way.

Otunba Adejare Adegbenro stands as a testament to the power of leadership, resilience, and unwavering dedication to the common good. In him, Nigerians find not only a visionary leader but a compassionate steward of progress, whose impact reverberates far beyond the shores of his homeland.

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