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Land war: Zuma Rock MD, Ufomadu, accuses Adron Homes of  intimidation over landed property.

By Our Reporter
The  Managing Director, Zuma Rock Products Limited, Engr. Bob Ufomadu,  has expressed serious concern over incessant harassment, threats to life, intimidation and persistent arrests by officials of Adron Homes & Property Limited, over covert moves to force him to surrender his landed property to them.
In a press statement issued by the Engineering company, the firm noted with dismay, several attempts by officials of Adron Homes in conjunction with some security officers to kidnap its Chief Executive in a bid to forcefully take over his landed property located in Shimawa, Ogun state.
Explaining the genesis of the crisis to the media, Ufomadu recalled that, in a letter dated August 20, 2020, Adron offered to relocate his farms from Ewuoje to Agerige village in Shimawa, Ogun state on the guise that his 12 acres of land is surrounded by the land already purchased by Adron.
The letter signed by the Head, Legal/Client Services department of Adron, Mr. Idris Akande,read in part, ‘Our Company is thereto very much interested in acquiring the said land in order for same to properly aligned with our already acquired land bordering and surrounding your land. We are ready to replace your 12 acres of land with 15 acres at Agerige, Shimawa, Ogun state.”
But  Zuma Rock in a reply to the letter, dated September 28, 2020, said “We are yet to understand the import of such proposal to relocate us to another community, when we have not indicated any need to do so”.
“Kindly, be informed that we acquired our 12 acres of land over 10 years ago for our business purposes. We have within the period under reference spent huge sums of money at local and international levels in consultancy services for the proposed projects.
‘This much, we disclosed to your emissaries at our preliminary meeting”, the letter further stated.
Continuing, it stated, “We had already spent more than Three Hundred Million Naira (N300m) to develop the land over the years, excluding economic trees like plantain and banana as well as vegetables on the land.
“We acquired the12 acres of land from Osogayan Oromuti Oje family, 61 Isote Street, Makun Sagamu local government area of Ogun state in 2011 and we made the acquisition based on general layout produced by the family surveyor.
“We went ahead to process our own registered survey. We took possession of the land immediately and have continued to occupy the land and having peace since 2011 without any disturbance from anywhere.
“Our property is completely fenced and gated with a building for our workers. We have over the years, maintained access road to the land without confrontation from any quarters. The access road is equally used by other land owners in the area for years without hindrances from anybody”`.
He said Adron’s blocking of access road has made it so difficult to harvest their crops, thereby making the crops to rot away in the farm, urging them to open the public access for easy egress and ingress.
Ufomadu said since after their meeting in August 2020, Adron has been using all manners of threats to life and property, including ‘sms’ messages from known and unknown phone numbers, inviting us to meet the third party and so on.
According to his statement, “at exactly 8:15 am on the 16th day of March 2021, as I drove out of my house to go and drop my child in the school. Not knowing that some unknown people had laid ambush in front of my street, Otunba Runsewe Street, Journalists Estate, Phase 1, Arepo, Ogun State.
‘’As I drove out of my house gate, I noticed that there was an Adron Homes branded SUV with registration number KWL-31HC, which moved to block my path and before I knew what was happening, two hefty men  jumped out of the vehicle and ordered me to wind-down my glass.
“Instantly, a second vehicle blocked me from back and the only thing that came to my mind was that Adron Homes had sent hired assassins to kill me, as we had previously refused their offer”.
He said when he saw the developing situation on ground, he picked his phone to place a call to his wife, and he was prevented, as one of them immediately jumped inside his car and forcefully snatched his phone and continued to pin him down in his vehicle.
But reprieve came, when he shouted on top of his voice and his house-help heard it and informed his wife, even as the noise attracted his neighbourhood, who prevailed on the officials, not to whisk him away that early morning.

The Warewa Police station was called immediately and their intervention saved the situation, as it was discovered that the move to arrest him did not follow due process, as there was no warrant for his arrest.

Investigation revealed that there was no authorization from any quarter to arrest him, even as the said petition was trumped-up by Adron along with other land owners.
“If somebody writes a petition against someone, is it not the duty of the Police to invite the person, does it call for any arrest, unless the person refused to honour Police invitations. They did not even invite other land owners. Why only me? Because they are desperate over my land”, Ufomadu claimed
Ufomadu claimed the Investigating Police Officer(IPO) Inspector  Abu  Sikiru, who is in charge of the case, may have been compromised by the officials of Adron Homes, as the  Police officer deceived his legal adviser as well as his wife, directing them to go to Alagbon Police station, Lagos for the bail, instead of informing them that they were taking him to Abuja.
He said, they drove straight to Muritala Mohammed International Airport and bundled him inside a Dana flight to Abuja, which took off by 9.30pm and landed at about 10:45pm”.
According to him, one of the listed suspects in the purported petition, Mr. Kayode Johnson, showed-up at Warewa Police Station, but was not arrested.
“This goes to demonstrate how far Adron Homes in conjunction with the Nigerian Police were ready to intimidate, harass and threaten my life”, he noted.
The IPO, according to him, took him to Zuba Police Station, Abuja and dropped him in an overcrowded cell, instead of taking him to Force Headquarters, Abuja as promised.
This according to him, was meant to dehumanize and punish him, as directed by their pay masters.
“Just imagine a (4 x 4) meter cell accommodating over 30 people overnight, endangering my health, especially at this moment of Corona virus pandemic and other airborne diseases.
“The IPO was told of my health condition. Nowhere to stand, nowhere to sit, I will not wish my worst enemy to spend 5 minutes in that cell. This has caused emotional trauma and the experience would remain indelible in  my mind for the rest of my life”, he lamented.
“I was later granted bail and requested to come back to Abuja on March 24, 2021 with the original papers of my land, possibly to seize all my land documents and subsequently force me to surrender the property I laboured for to Adron”, he contemplated.
Meanwhile, another land owner, Mr. Patrick Udeh,  has also alleged how Adron Homes encroached on his land, erecting walls and gates around his land and adjoining plots.
He said the estate firm is using its contacts and financial power to intimidate land owners and helpless land buyers.
“I am calling on people of the mass media to help me and make my voice heard before Adron Homes exterminates all of us in order to possess our land against our will and without consideration for our rights to own properties”, he stated.
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Anxiety mounts among international airlines as US deploys 5G network

Major international airlines have cancelled flights heading to the United States or changed the planes they’re using Wednesday, the latest complication in a dispute over concerns that 5G mobile phone service could interfere with aircraft technology.

Some airlines said they were warned that the Boeing 777, a plane used by carriers worldwide, was particularly affected by the new high-speed wireless service.

The aircraft is the workhorse for the Dubai-based Emirates, a key carrier for East-West travel, and its flight schedule took one of the biggest hits.

It was not clear how disruptive the cancellations would be. Several airlines said they would try to merely use different planes to maintain their service.

The cancellations and changes came a day after mobile phone carriers AT&T and Verizon said they would postpone new wireless service near some US airports planned for this week.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared a number of aircraft to fly into airports with 5G signals, but the Boeing 777 is not on the list.

Similar mobile networks have been deployed in dozens of other countries — sometimes with concessions such as reducing the power of the networks near airports, as France has done.

But in the US, the issue has pitted the FAA and the airlines against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and telecommunications companies.

The 5G service uses a segment of the radio spectrum that is close to that used by radio altimeters, which are devices that measure the height of aircraft above the ground and help pilots land in low visibility.

The FCC, which set a buffer between the 5G band and the spectrum that planes use, determined that it could be used safely in the vicinity of air traffic.

AT&T and Verizon have said their equipment will not interfere with aircraft electronics.

But FAA officials saw a potential problem, and the telecom companies agreed to a pause while it is addressed.

On Wednesday, Emirates announced it would halt flights to several US cities due to “operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the U.S. at certain airports”.

It said it would continue flights to Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

“We are working closely with aircraft manufacturers and the relevant authorities to alleviate operational concerns, and we hope to resume our US services as soon as possible,” the state-owned airline said.

Of particular concern appears to be the Boeing 777. Emirates only flies that model and the Airbus A380 jumbo jet.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways said that the FAA “has indicated that radio waves from the 5G wireless service may interfere with aircraft altimeters”.

“Boeing has announced flight restrictions on all airlines operating the Boeing 777 aircraft, and we have cancelled or changed the aircraft for some flights to/from the US-based on the announcement by Boeing,” ANA said.

It cancelled 20 flights over the issue to cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Japan Airlines similarly said that it had been informed that 5G signals “may interfere with the radio altimeter installed on the Boeing 777”.

It said it will stop using the model in the continental US for now.

Eight of its flights were affected Wednesday — three passenger trips and five for cargo.

Taiwan’s EVA Air also said the FAA specifically said 777s may be affected, but it did not spell out how it would adjust its schedule.

But Air France said it planned to continue flying its Boeing 777s into American airports. It did not explain why it didn’t change its aircraft as many other carriers have.

Chicago-based Boeing Co did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Air India also announced on Twitter that it would cancel flights to Chicago, Newark, New York and San Francisco because of the 5G issue.

But it also said it would try to use other aircraft on US routes — a course several other airlines took.

Korean Air, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific and Austrian Airlines said they substituted different planes for flights that were scheduled to use 777s.

Korean Air spokeswoman Jill Chung said the airline was also avoiding operating some kinds of 747s at affected airports.

Germany’s Lufthansa also swapped out one kind of 747 for another on some US-bound flights.

British Airways cancelled several planned US-bound Boeing 777 flights and changed aircraft on others.

The FAA has said it will allow planes with accurate, reliable altimeters to operate around high-power 5G.

But planes with older altimeters will not be allowed to make landings under low-visibility conditions.

Contributing to the problem, according to the FAA, are the signal strength of the 5G towers and the orientation of their antennae.

“Base stations in rural areas of the United States are permitted to emit at higher levels in comparison to other countries which may affect radio altimeter equipment accuracy and reliability,” the FAA said in December.

FCC Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement that the 5G “deployment can safely co-exist with aviation technologies in the United States, just as it does in other countries around the world.”

However, Rosenworcel urged the FAA to conduct its safety checks with “both care and speed”.

AT&T and Verizon spent tens of billions of dollars for the 5G spectrum known as C-Band in a government auction last year.

Choi Jong-Yun, a spokeswoman for Asiana Airlines, said the company hasn’t been affected so far because it uses Airbus planes for passenger flights to the US.

However, Choi raised a new wrinkle, saying airlines have also been instructed by the FAA to avoid automatic landings at affected US airports during bad weather conditions, regardless of plane type.

Asiana will redirect its planes to nearby airports during those conditions, she said.

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Foreign Navies to remain in Gulf of Guinea  to hunt pirates till 2024


— as EU says host states lack capacity to curtail pirate attacks
Eyewitness reporter with agency report
Despite the efforts of Nigeria through her deep blue project and other coastal states in West Africa to tackle piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, the European Union (EU) has decided to station foreign Navies in the region to provide security cover.
 An EU mission using Danish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish warships is to patrol West African waters in coming years to stem pirate attacks.

Accordingly, the EU external action service has proposed to EU member states, in a memo, that  France, Italy, and Spain should lead the onslaught by sending ships for eight months each in 2022 to the Gulf of Guinea.

The Gulf of Guinea in West Africa “continues to be particularly dangerous for seafarers”, the memo, dated 12 January 2022, noted.

“The region now accounts for just over 95 per cent of all kidnappings for ransom at sea,” it said.

“The risk of PAG (pirate action group)] actions remain high … from Togo to Gabon, with Nigeria as the centre of gravity,” the EU added.

But “none of the coastal navies, with the partial exception of Nigeria, can operate the required high-sea patrol boats to respond to attacks,” the EU said.

Nigeria’s high powered fast intercessor vessel under deep blue project
Danish, French, Italian, Portuguese ships have already been doing “exercises” under a “pilot” EU project called the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) Concept in the region since January 2021.

And the foreign service proposed extending the CMP until 2024.

It wanted to put down legal roots, by exploring “handover agreements”
with the 20 or so Gulf of Guinea-region nations.

“If the national appropriate legal framework is in place, pirates will be transferred to the concerned MS [member states] and then prosecuted,” the EU memo suggested.

The EU was building an intelligence-sharing platform linking “more than 300 EU and [Gulf of Guinea]-national authorities with responsibilities in maritime surveillance”.

And Europe wanted to win hearts and minds, including among the “general public”.

EU diplomats were to launch a “strategic communication” campaign, with special events, involving CMP “naval visits” at “ports of call, such as Lagos in Nigeria”.

The EU pilot-mission aside, other Danish, French, Italian, Spanish, and US warships have also done independent patrols in the Gulf of Guinea in recent times.

The oil-rich 2.35 million km2 region, where millions of people lived on less than $1 a day, has become known as “pirate alley”, the Reuters news agency recently reported.

Hostages, hundreds of whom were seized in recent years, were ransomed for up to $300,000, it said.

But prisoners suffered ordeals in “the Niger Delta’s swampy, snaking creeks, where they face malaria, typhoid, and attacks from rival bands of kidnappers”, Reuters’ report, from Lagos, said.

“Possible attacks might focus on targets closer to the Niger Delta …. their [many pirates’] place of origin, enabling them to flee if being intercepted” in future, the EU foreign service noted.

Meanwhile, illegal fishing was also doing “serious damage to the environment” and causing “depletion of fish stocks”, it added.

The region was a “transit zone, but also a destination, of drug trafficking between South America and Europe,” it warned.

And there was “human-trafficking and migrant-smuggling towards other African countries or other regions, especially Europe, via the Canary Islands”, the EU said.

It remained to be seen how well the EU’s ambitions go down in Nigeria, the regional power, however.

Nigeria recently accused Denmark of neocolonialism over an incident, last November, when special-forces soldiers from a Danish frigate shot dead four “pirates”.

And when the same frigate, the Esbern Snare, sent a helicopter to rescue hostages seized by pirates from a Greek-operated container ship, the Tonsberg, in December, Nigeria ordered Denmark’s hot pursuit to halt when the pirate boat entered Nigerian waters.

Zooming out, the EU also has military missions in the Central African Republic (CAR), Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, and Somalia, as well naval ones in the Central Mediterranean and Horn of Africa seas.

But Europe is competing for influence against Russian and wider aggression as well as Chinese buy-outs of strategic assets in Africa.

“The purpose of the CMP [the EU’s West Africa anti-piracy mission] is to increase the EU’s capacity as a reliable maritime security provider,” the EU memo said.

Europe’s flagship anti-piracy operation, Atalanta in the Horn of Africa, has drastically reduced piracy compared to 10 years ago.

But Atalanta, on which CMP was partly modelled, risked being ejected from Somalia’s waters, in a setback to Western efforts to counter piracy in the area, another EU memo from 5 January revealed.

EU pilot mission in the Gulf of Guinea was partly modelled on Atalanta operation in the Horn of Africa.

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Niger Delta boat operators lament incessant pirate attacks despite N5,000 daily tip to police

The Association of Boat Owners in Calabar Tuesday has lamented the activities of pirates, which it said were destroying water transportation between Cross River and Akwa Ibom.

While reacting to reports of an Oron-bound boat from Calabar that was hijacked along the waterways on January 17, a member of the association, who sought anonymity, said such event was no longer news to them.

Speaking to journalists at the Calabar Oron jetty, he said a similar event happened in the first week of December 2021, when five people were abducted by the pirates.

The abductors released their victims days later, including both those who had ransom to pay and those who didn’t.

 “We have not gotten anything from the abductors, but we are hopeful that the victims will be released,” he said.

“It is sad that we still face this challenge even though we give N5,000 every day to the police to ensure that the waterways are secured,” he said.

“The painful aspect is that when these kidnaps happen, the boats are not released even after the victims have been released and the engines of these boats cost as much as N5 million.

He stated that the same issue of piracy and abductions which has been occurring for years almost led to the close-up of businesses in 2014.

“Between 2018 and 2019, we had to shut down this Calabar Oron Jetty for over a month, in protest at the constant abductions along the waterways before the police and navy provided gunboats that were stationed at different points.

Responding, Irene Ugbo, the police spokesperson in Cross River said she was not sure yet about the incident and that she had called the Officer-in-Charge of Marine about the issue, but said no one had reported the matter to the police.

“According to her, “the union leaders are supposed to come and report.

“Nevertheless, he said, they were on the matter and the area was being combed by policemen on the ground,” she said.

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