.19 die in Niger, Oyo auto crashes By Wole Mosadomi & Ademola Adegbite, Ibadan NINETEEN persons lost their lives in two separate accidents in Niger and Oyo states, weekend, while many sustained injuries. A mother going to church, yesterday, with her three children, was knocked down by a commercial vehicle at Moniya in Ibadan, Oyo State capital. It was gathered that the driver of the vehicle that rammed into the victims killing one and injuring three others ran away. An eyewitness said the incident occurred at the popular Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, filling station, Onikoro, Moniya, on Ibadan/Oyo expressway. It was also gathered that the injured victims, with compound fractures, are currently receiving treatment at Happiness Medical Clinic, Onikoro, Moniya, Ibadan. On a visit to the clinic, the injured victims, Deborah, 10 years; Ayo, three years and two months old boy were still unconscious while Stephen’s corpse had been released to the family for burial. A family source, however, said: “They were going to church in the morning when it happened at the front of NNPC, Onikoro. The commercial vehicle, Micra, lost control and cleared the four children, who just alighted with their mother from another commercial vehicle. The driver ran away immediately and we are yet to set our eyes on him. “The mother was just lucky because nothing happened to her. Only the children were affected. Unfortunately, we lost one, Stephen. Stephen and others were waiting for their mother who wanted to collect change from the driver when the other Micra lost control and hit them.” When Vanguard approached an Investigating Police Officer, IPO, in charge of the accident, Olumide, at the hospital, he said: “I am not authorised to speak on the matter with journalists, kindly get in touch with DTO in the office.” When contacted on phone, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, confirmed the incident. He said: “An investigation is ongoing and updates would be provided accordingly, please.” 18 die in Niger In a related incident, 18 passengers of a Lagos-bound 18-seater bus were burnt to ashes in an accident that occurred along Bida-Minna road, Saturday. An eyewitness disclosed that the bus rammed into a tipper that broke down in the middle of the highway. He said: “A tipper lorry broke down on the major road and the driver of the bus rammed into it and it caught fire immediately. “There was no sign to indicate any danger ahead, hence the gravity of the accident as they all perished as the fire consumed all of them.” Niger State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, who confirmed the incident, however, explained that one of the victims is currently receiving treatment at the Minna General Hospital, while the corpses of the victims have been given mass burial in Minna.

By Ogechi Uchegbu

A victim of torture and wrongful incarceration, Ibrahim Sarafa, has expressed gratitude to Vanguard’s Encounter following the financial support he received from well-meaning Nigerians after his ordeal was published on June 16, 2022.

Encounter in its June 16, 2022 edition had revealed how Sarafa, an orphan, was arrested at 17 by the Police in Ibadan over allegation of armed robbery. He was tortured at the Police station and arraigned in court for armed robbery.

While awaiting trial in prison, Sarafa suffered stroke and was bedridden for months until the trial judge had pity on him and released him to a Non-Governmental Organisation, Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation, CJMR, for medical

Responding to Sarafa’s appeal for financial support, well-meaning Nigerians rallied round and raised the fund for his treatment in the hospital. Although Safara is still recuperating in the hospital, Executive Director of CJMR, Pastor Olujimi Hezekiah told Encounter that his health condition has improved significantly.

In a letter written on behalf of Sarafa, Pastor Hezekiah thanked Encounter and Nigerians who donated for his ongoing treatment in the hospital.

The letter reads: “Sequel to the publication on the state of health of Ibrahim Sarafa in the Vanguard Newspaper with the title: Arrested at 17, scavenger cries for help from Prison; suffered stroke. On behalf of Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation, we want to express our profound gratitude to the individuals and corporate organisations that showed sympathy by responding to the call to save the life of the homeless boy. We also wish to express our profound gratitude to Vanguard Newspaper’s Encounter Column.

“Indeed, people responded to our call for help for the young man. We want to give you a feedback on the improvement on Sarafa’s health. As at now, Sarafa is improving. His physio-therapy treatment is going on well and he has also started eating well. About two weeks ago, he nearly passed on but through the aid of oxygen and promptness of the doctors and the staff of the hospital, he has regained his breath.

 “Presently, he can stand up, he can lift up his legs and hands gradually and his voice has been restored. Sarafa still needs your help and prayers. We hope to share his documentary with the public when he fully recovers.”

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