Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has flagged off the construction of the Lekki regional road, the long-awaited road, which is expected to decongest the constant traffic jam along the main Lekki-Epe Expressway, by linking the Lekki-Epe Expressway at Victoria Garden City (VGC) Junction to the Freedom Way in Eti Osa.
“When we give a commitment, we stand by it. Our word is our bond. We know what people go through on the Lekki-Epe way as a result of traffic. We are moved to hasten the process of putting the Regional Road in place to bring relief to our citizens working and living in this axis” Sanwo-Olu said at the ground breaking ceremony on Saturday.
Today, I flagged off the construction of the much-awaited Regional Road at Eti-Osa. The road will link VGC to Lekki and also decongest the main Lekki-Epe Expressway. With the flag off of this critical road infrastructure, we are keeping the promise we made to Lagosians. pic.twitter.com/j9LM8CH4y8
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) May 30, 2020
The governor added that the project is expected to run for the next two years and should be ready for commissioning in 2022, when his administration celebrates its third anniversary in office.
In addition to providing an alternate route for reisdents, the road is expected to improve socio-economic activities on the Lekki-Epe axis.
The 8.75 kilometre-long road is being undertaken by Messrs Hi-Tech Construction Company Limited, and is expected to usher in the construction of the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge which is also expected to start from the Lekki-Epe axis.
“Within the first quarter of next year, we would have identified the best bidder for the construction of Fourth Mainland Bridge, which will extend from Eti Osa to Ikorodu and burst out of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. This project will have great impact on our traffic management and transportation blueprint,” he said.
Both infrastructures are considered pivotal to the government’s traffic management strategy, and the efforts to reduce commute time for Lagosians.
“We know what people go through on the Lekki-Epe Expressway as a result of traffic. We are moved by the pains to hasten the process of putting the Regional Road in place to bring the long sought relief to our citizens working and living on this axis. Today, we are here for the ground-breaking ceremony to start work on this critical infrastructure,” he added.
The governor also assured that the contractor, Hi-Tech will be held to its promise to deliver in 24 months’ time, as plans have been put in place for exigencies that may arise in the course of the construction work.
No encroachments will be tolerated
The governor also warned that stiff penalties await individuals and property developers who encroached the alignments of the road, as the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has been directed to sanction anyone found culpable of compromising the planning approval and right-of-way of the road.
“The Regional Road alignment has been gazetted long time ago, but we realise people deliberately flouted our approved plan for the road. I have instructed the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development to discipline and sanction officials that have been found culpable to compromise any form of approval for the right-of-way. They will be punished with people who raise properties on the approved alignment” Sanwo-Olu warned.
He appealed with residents to tolerate the temporary hardship that the project could cause, and cooperate with the government and the contractor to make the project a reality.
UPDATED: Fire outbreak at World Trade Centre, Abuja
A fire outbreak has been reported at the rooftop of the World Trade Centre in Abuja.
This was disclosed in a report from ChannelsTV, which stated that an official of the company, Mr Ibukun Adeogun said that the fire occurred at about 11.30 a.m.
At least three fire service trucks were deployed to contain the fire, which Mr. Adeogun explained did not cause any damage.
An eyewitness explained that the fire started from the top of the skyscraper which dots the skyline of Central Business District, Abuja as smoke billowed from the pinnacle.
Adeogun added that the fire had been extinguished by high-pressure sprinklers in the building.
He said, “There was a minor fire outbreak at one of the floors close to the top floor near the shaft. The building is a high-tech building and the sprinklers put out the fire.
“Because the fire occurred close to the top floor and the extraction system was on the roof, smoke was coming out even after the fire had been extinguished.”
St Kitts and Nevis addresses Hushpuppi’s citizenship
Ms. Chapman married Hushpuppi in October 2018 granting him access to their citizenship.
The government of the St. Kitts and Nevis announced in a statement that Nigerian alleged fraudster did not obtain his citizenship through investment program but by virtue of marriage to a Shawana Nakesia Chapman.
“The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has become aware of reports and rumors concerning the Federation’s citizenship of a Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, allegedly a person of interest to the United States FBI”
“We note that the Nigeria-born Mr. Abbas, 37, was granted a St. Kitts and Nevis passport in February 2020 by virtue of his marriage to Shawana Nakesia Chapman, 32, a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis by birth and the United States of America,” they announced.
They said Ms. Chapman married Hushpuppi in October 2018 granting him access to their citizenship and is also a resident of North Carolina, USA, and revealed that its citizenship by investment programme includes “rigorous background checks”.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment and second passport program in 1984 is the oldest fast-track citizenship program. It grants Visa-free access to 141 countries including the United States, UK , and all Schengen States. It also is ranked as the 32nd strongest passport in the world.
The program costs $150,000 to the St. Kitts Sustainable Growth Fund for a single individual and $195,000 for a family of 4 or an investment of $400,000 in real estate.
The FBI accuses Hushpuppi of being the leader to a transnational network that “facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Hushpuppi conspired to steal £100 million from English Premier League club
Hushpuppi is accused of stealing $922,857 in October last year through another BEC scheme.
A few days after he was extradited to the United States from Dubai, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a.k.a Hushpuppi, made his first court appearance where he was charged with accusations ranging from money laundering to participating in business email compromise (BEC) schemes targeting a US law firm, an English Premier League side, and a foreign bank.
In a report released by the U.S Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Hushpuppi is accused of conspiring “to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club.”
As written in the affidavit report, “The FBI’s investigation has revealed that Abbas finances this opulent lifestyle through crime, and that he is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Jesse Baker, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Los Angles Field Office, described the hunt for Hushpuppi as “a challenging case, one that spanned international boundaries, traditional financial systems and the digital sphere,” and its success depended on partnerships between the Department of Justice and other federal law enforcement agents.
Hushpuppi is accused of stealing $922,857 in October last year from a client of a New York-based law firm through another BEC scheme.
“Abbas and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by Abbas and the co-conspirators,” the report stated.
He is also accused of conspiracy to launder funds stolen in a $14.7 Million cyber-heist from a foreign financial services firm in February 2019. Hushpuppi allegedly provided the co-conspirators with 2 bank accounts in Europe, anticipating to receive €5 million each.
If he is found guilty of money laundering and other related crimes, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in a federal prison.