Tag Archives: imo

Military recovers body of soldiers ‘killed’ in Orlu, Imo State.

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The Nigerian Army has recovered the corpses of four soldiers allegedly killed by members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) militias in Orlu, Imo State.

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Noble Reporters Media reported that a senior military official confirmed the development adding that the military vehicle that was damaged during the attack had also been recovered.

This came after the Nigerian troops on Monday arrested 20 members of the proscribed IPOB after they attacked soldiers and civilians in Orlu.

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The Nigerian troops in a joint operation involving the Army, Air Force and the Police had sustained raid operation in the area, after the killing of four soldiers on escort duties in the area by IPOB.

The IPOB militia had ambushed and killed the soldiers who were on the escort of the Director Civil Affairs, Brigadier General HE Nzan and his team on inspection of the Civil-Military Project at Nkwerre.

They also took away weapons and a vehicle belonging to the troops.

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NoRM quoted the Attorney General of Imo State, Cyprian Akaolisa, as saying the military operation, which was conducted jointly with the police, was aimed at “clearing camps” said to have been built by the Eastern Security Network, a security arm of the pro-Biafra group, IPOB.

Akaolisa said the Nigerian Army was invited to Orlu by the Imo State Government.

“The state government got intelligence that IPOB was planning an attack against the Orlu people and the government, under the pretext of looking for herders in the communities,” he said.

“The attacks on police stations and killing of policemen during #EndSARS were carried out by IPOB and not protesting youths for the sole purpose of hijacking and stealing weapons.”

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“They are now using those arms to destroy Orlu. They killed 10 policemen, a prominent Orlu son, Ignatius Obiezu, and one Emmanuel Okeke and collected their Hilux vehicles,” the attorney general said.

“There are no Fulani herdsmen in Orlu,” he added.

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#Newsworthy

Rochas Okorocha, Aides ‘arrested’ for estate fraud.

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The ex-governor had stormed the estate with his supporters, policemen, soldiers and personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Sunday morning and ordered the unsealing of the estate.

Some operatives of the Imo State Police Command, Owerri, have arrested a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.

Also arrested were Ijeoma Igboanusi and Lasbrey Okafor-Anyanwu.

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While Igboanusi was the deputy chief of staff (Domestics), Okafor-Anyanwu was the commissioner for Transportation when Okorocha, who is the current lawmaker representing Imo West (Orlu Senatorial Zone), held sway as the state governor.

This was as the former governor claimed that the incumbent Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, attacked him (Okorocha) with 1,000 thugs.

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Okorocha was arrested on Sunday after unsealing the Spring Palm Estate linked to his wife, Nkechi.

The ex-governor had stormed the estate with his supporters, policemen, soldiers and personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Sunday morning and ordered the unsealing of the estate.

Government officials had mobilised to the estate, leading to a free-for-all, as cars were smashed and many persons injured.

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A police source, who confided in our correspondent, said that the former governor had been arrested.

The source said, “Rochas Okorocha has been arrested. He is here with us at the state CID. Two of his political associates are also with us. We will record him any moment from now. They are currently meeting with the CP.”

Meanwhile, Okorocha on Sunday alleged that Governor Uzodimma attacked him with “more than 1,000 thugs.”

Okorocha, who spoke through his Spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, in a statement on Sunday, alleged that the governor’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Chinasa Nwanari, allegedly led thugs, who stormed the estate and destroyed vehicles in his convoy.

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The statement read, “More than 1,000 thugs, armed to teeth with knives and guns and led by Chinasa Nwaneri, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Special Adviser on Special Duties today, Sunday, with the backing of armed policemen from Government House, attacked the former governor of the state and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Senator Rochas Okorocha’s convoy.

“They attacked and damaged all the vehicles in his convoy. They also attacked his personal aides. Senator Okorocha was with only his personal aides when the thugs unleashed the attack.

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Responding, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Declan Emelumba, dismissed Okorocha’s claim, adding that the former governor’s arrest was in line with the report of a White Paper, which indicated that the Royal Palm Estate in the state was built with taxpayers’ money and not Okorocha wife’s property.

Explaining that Okorocha would be charged to court on Monday, Emelumba said, “There was a judicial panel of inquiry that looked into land use and related matters set up by the Emeka Ihedioha administration, which we inherited and retained. They came up with a report and government accepted it, and then turned it to a White Paper.

“Part of the White Paper’s report indicates that the Royal Palm Estate was built with taxpayers’ money, but Okorocha claims it is his wife’s own. However, the report says it was built with government money.

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“The facility even violated Owerri master plan as well. Two days ago, the state government went and sealed the place in accordance with the White Paper. Then today, Okorocha, on his own, led thugs and carried hammer to unseal what government sealed off in line with the dictates of the law.

“He (Okorocha) was there, saying he is daring Governor Uzodinma to come and stop him if he (Uzodinma) has courage. This is lawlessness. So, police went there and caught him in the act and arrested him and some of his aides who arrested him. He (Okorocha) would be taken to court tomorrow.”

On the allegation that Uzodimma attacked the ex-governor with over 1,000 thugs, Emelumba described the claim as lies.

“If 1,000 thugs attacked him, would he be alive now? What then would be the business of the police if 1,000 thugs attacked and took him (Okorocha) away,” Emelumba queried.

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When contacted, the spokesperson for the state Police Command, Mr. Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the arrest of Okorocha.

Asked if the former governor would be arraigned, Ikeokwu said, “Nobody is above the law. If he is found culpable, we will arraign him at the conclusion of the investigation.”

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#Newsworthy

Ohakim in trouble over ex-lover’s nude.

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Mr Okpareke was earlier arrested and detained in connection with the alleged offences but was released upon fulfilment of his bail conditions.

The office of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, will on Monday, February 15 arraign a former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, over alleged harassment of his former mistress, Chinyere Amuchinwa.

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Amuchinwa, a businesswoman also goes by the name Lilian Igwebe, which many society personalities identify her with.

According to a report by NoRM‘s known Media, the former governor is to be arraigned alongside one Chinedu Okpareke before Taiwo Taiwo, federal high court judge, on a five-count charge bordering on cybercrime.

Mr Okpareke was earlier arrested and detained in connection with the alleged offences but was released upon fulfilment of his bail conditions.

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According to the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/287/2020, the accused persons were said to have threatened to release a nude photograph of Amuchienwa, if she fails to drop the charges of attempted kidnap against them.

In the charge dated November 25, 2020 and signed by M.O. Omosun, a lawyer, the police alleged that Ohakim and Okpareke “knowingly and intentionally transmitted communication through a computer system or network to harass and bully Amuchienwa”.

According to the police, the offence is punishable under Section 24(1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.

Some of the charges reads: ”That you Chinendu Okpareke ‘m’ 49, and Dr Ikedi Ohakim ‘m’ and others now at large on the 13th day of August 2020 within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves by knowingly and intentionally send messages by means of computer system or network in a grossly offensive, pornographic, nude of an indecent obscene and menacing character of one Chinyere Amuchienwa ‘f’ and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.

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”That you Chinendu Okpareke ‘m’ 49, and Dr Ikedi Ohakim ‘m’ and others now at large on the 13th day of August 2020 within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves to cause annoyance and criminal intimidation to one Chinyere Amuchienwa ‘f’ and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.

”That you Chinendu Okpareke ‘m’ 49, and Dr Ikedi Ohakim ‘m’ and others now at large on the 13th day of August 2020 within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves by knowingly and intentionally called and threatened one Chinyere Amuchienwa ‘f’ that if she does not drop the first information charge of attempted kidnap against by it and others at large, the nude pictures of the said Chinyere Amuchienwa ‘f’ will be posted to CNN and all over the world and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.”

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#Newsworthy

Imo: Tension as Archbishop got allegedly kidnapped

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The Imo State police spokesman, Orlando Ikeokwu, who confirmed the incident, said the command had swung into action to fish out the kidnappers of the Bishop.

The auxiliary Bishop of Owerri archdiocese in Imo State, Bishop Chikwe Moses has been kidnapped.

Reports had it that the prelate was whisked away on Monday while coming out from his Owerri residence.

According to a release from the archdiocese of Owerri, “your eminences, your graces, your lordships, it is sad to announce to you that our Auxiliary Bishop, Chikwe Moses, has been kidnapped. There has not been any form of communication from the kidnappers since his kidnap on Monday.

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“Trusting in the maternal assistance of the blessed Virgin Mary, we pray for safety and quick release,” it concluded.

NoRM learnt that the kidnapped Bishop will soon be taking over from Archbishop A. J. V Obinna who has retired.

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#Newsworthy

Imo bye-election: APC wins senatorial seat

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Ibezim was disqualified on the grounds that he made false statements/declarations in the affidavit and documents submitted to the APC.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the just concluded Imo North senatorial district bye-election but unable to return any APC candidate.

The returning officer, Hakeem Adigun who announced the result said the APC scored a total of 36, 811 votes to beat his rival from the Peoples Democratic Party, Emmanuel Okewulonu who scored 31, 903 votes.

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According to the electoral body, the decision not to declare any candidate as the winner is due to several court orders authenticating the true candidate of the party in the bye-election.

You may recall with NoRM that 24 hours to the election, a Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri gave a judgment disqualifying Ifeanyi Ararume as APC’s candidate.

On the same day, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja also disqualified Frank Ibezim from contesting the election.

Meanwhile, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has reacted to the outcome of the election where INEC declared APC the winner of the election without returning any candidate.

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Speaking to journalists at the Government House in Owerri, Uzodinma thanked the people of the senatorial district for voting overwhelmingly for the APC, noting that the victory has shown once again that Imo is an APC state.

Governor Uzodinma, however, said he will not join any issues with INEC, adding that with the recent Court of Appeal judgment and the statement from the APC National Executive Committee, Frank Ibezim is the authentic candidate.

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#Newsworthy

Imo speaker, Mr. Chiji Collins impeached

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Collins was impeached over allegations of financial impropriety, high handedness, and gross misconduct, among others.

The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Mr Chiji Collins, has been impeached.

Collins was removed from office by the lawmakers on Friday during a plenary at the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Owerri, the state capital.

When the motion of the former speaker’s impeachment was move, it was supported by 19 out of the 27 members of the House.

Following his impeachment, the lawmakers elected Mr Paul Emeziem from Onuimo Local Government Area as the new Speaker of the House.


#Newsworthy…

News+: Imo lawmaker, Okolie dumps APC for PDP

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Some of his loyalists said that his chances of clinching the ticket of APC, for House of Assembly, would be doomed should he continued to remain in the party, APC.

A lawmaker representing Orlu state constituency at the Imo state House of Assembly, Paschal Okolie, yesterday dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

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This was contained in a letter he signed and addressed it to the Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly, Chiji Collins and was read at the floor of the House.

The reason for which Okolie, abandoned APC, for PDP, was not made known in the letter.

They said: “We can’t understand what is happening in APC, that is why we encouraged him to leave and join back the PDP, not only the second term ticket is the problem, there are other issues we can’t tell you now.”


#Newsworthy…

Imo: Confusion trails Uzodimma’s assent to detention law. [Nigeria]

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Confusion. Anger. Resentment. These are the reactions that are now trailing, afresh, the controversial Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL), 2020, which empowers the state governor to detain anyone at his pleasure without the need for a court warrant.

While it has left the majority of the Imo State House of Assembly members confounded, as they claim ignorance of the obnoxious sections of the new law, especially the sponsor of the original bill, Frank Ugboma (Oguta Constituency), social commentators and legal luminaries are seething with anger; Imolites are also wondering why the governor assented to such derogatory law.

Sections 484 and 485 of the law, signed into law last month by Governor Hope Uzodimma, provides that the governor may effect such detention notwithstanding the provisions of any other law. The law does not recognise the need for an arrest warrant for any person who it deems to be “in legal custody.”

Section 484 of the law reads: “Where any person is ordered to be detained during the Governor’s pleasure, he shall, notwithstanding anything in this Law or in any other written law contained, be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the Governor may direct and whilst so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody.”

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A former Dean, Faculty of Law, Imo State University, Owerri, Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri, had while delivering a lecture at the Ahiajoku Convention Centre, Owerri, blown the whistle on the antithetical nature of the ACJL assented to the governor, especially sections 484 and 485 empowering the governor to determine where to detain juveniles and persons of unsound mind.

A rash of condemnation had since followed the alarm raised by Prof. Obiaraeri; with many residents saying the governor could abuse law and order the arrest and detention of perceived political opponents at his pleasure.

In an additional statement of condemnation, Obiaraeri said: “It is a bit perplexing and disturbing that not a few members of the Imo State House of Assembly have issued statements publicly denying knowledge of the passage of the now controversial Chapter 38 (sections 484 and 485) of ISACJL, 2020 during their deliberations in the state legislature.

“This developing story should be a source of worry to all men and women of good and enlightened consciences, although it will not form the basis of or colour our further response or opinion on the legal implication of the now controversial Chapter 38 of ISACJL, 2020.

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“Any commentator must note that throughout the gamut of the ISACJL, 2020 and particularly Chapter 38 of ISACJL, no reference was made to who will make the said ‘order’ and to what class of offence(s) the said order of detention at the ‘Governor’s pleasure’ will be made and under what law such contemplated offences are created.

“Importing extraneous provisions of other laws (as some commentators have done in order to desperately save a bad situation) that are not expressly contained in the wordings of Chapter 38 of ISACJL, 2020 is not helpful.

“It is beyond argument that only the provisions of Chapter 38 of ISACJL, 2020 fall to be interpreted the way it is presently enacted. We restate our earlier held view that the inelegant way Chapter 38 of ISACJL, 2020 was drafted, makes it an open-ended weapon that can be turned into a tool of oppression and repression, hence, our early warning and the deluge of public outcry that has trailed it.”

Obiaraeri stressed the need for the controversial Chapter 38 of ISACJL, 2020 to, among other things, clearly specify that it is for the Court (being a High Court or Magistrate) to order any person to be detained at the Governor’s pleasure upon conviction for the murder of persons under the age of 17 years or conviction of persons of unsound mind or other related offences.

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“No naked usurpation of judicial powers is allowed under the rule of law. Elegance is the soul of legislation, while ambiguity lends it to abuse,” he added.

However, some members of the House, led by the Speaker, Dr. Chiji Collins, said the bill, before it was passed, went through all the legislative proceedings, including first, second, and third readings, and committed to the committee stage, adding that those who were kicking were ill-informed about the contents of the law.”

Some state legislators also addressed a press briefing where they defended the law, insisting that it did not give the governor power to arrest at will. They explained that Imo State was the 30th state to domesticate the law, stressing that the legislative processes of the bill were completed during the short administration of Emeka Ihedioha.

Following Obiaraeri’s revelation, an Imo-based non- governmental group, SAVE IMO, in a statement by its founder, Ebubeagu Ekenulo, asked the governor to withdraw his assent, expunge the vexatious areas and represent to the Imo State House of Assembly.

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The same views were canvassed by many dissenting voices just as the sponsor of the original bill, Frank Ugboma (Oguta Constituency) issued a statement, stating that he did not insert the areas under contention.

He wondered at what stage the sections were inserted without his consent.

Ugboma, who is the deputy minority leader in the Assembly, said his original bill was about 372 sections, expressing disgust over how it got to 400 and more. He added that the development came to him as a rude shock:

“Some Sections in the recently gazetted ACJL came to me with a rude shock. As the Chief Sponsor of the Bill, I have had cause to search through all the documents that culminated in the Bill. I must say that I have done this repeatedly and have equally taken further pains in reaching out to my colleagues in the House. I must admit that they have each expressed shock over the sudden obnoxious sections of the Law, more particularly Section 484 of the said ACJL of Imo State.

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“For the avoidance of doubt, the Bill I presented had about a total of 372 Sections. How and where it was amended, recreated and reshaped into Section 484 and beyond remains a mystery and a legislative wonder of our time, as what I presented and circulated to my colleagues during plenary, both in the First and Second readings did not contain such obnoxious and embarrassing Section 484. Neither was it deliberated in the House Committee of the whole. It indeed never existed in the House,” Ugboma said.

He stressed that no one has been able to explain to the members of the 9th House how and at what stage the said Section 484 was inserted into the Bill, adding that it smacked of evil manipulation to throw Imo people into the dungeon.

“As a Lawyer, I have had cause to fight against such obnoxious laws and as an activist, there is no way this section would have scaled through plenary in the 9th House which I am part of. All of us are already available victims of these obnoxious sections. Not even those who practiced this calculated affront on the Constitution are exempted.

“This particular provision is a nullity ab initio, in view of the unambiguous provisions of sections 1(1), (3), 4,5,6 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended). This is very appalling.

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“In my quest to ascertain which hands of Esau made it into the Bill I presented, attention was drawn to a list said to be the names of Imo people that facilitated the domestication of the Law in the state. It needs not to be overemphasised that in law-making, such contributions and/or inputs from members of the public are usually submitted to the House for deliberations. I am however saddened that there is no record of the presentation of such obnoxious contributions to the House. There is no record anywhere that such contributions were laid and/or circulated to members during plenary,” he added.

Ugboma disclosed that a committee of Assembly members to ascertain how such a horrendous act was practiced on the ordinarily good legislation would be constituted. “Its outcome, I believe, would interest all lovers of democracy and enable future legislative vigilance. This was not the Bill I presented and sponsored.”

He concluded: “In the manuscripts that I received after each hearing and which I have today compared with that given to my colleagues, there is no hand of Esau. This has informed my view and I have today forwarded a Bill for the immediate amendment of those offensive and draconian sections.”

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Also, the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the IMHA, Okey Onyekanma, in his objection to the sections via a statement, titled ‘Imo ACJL 2020: Section 484 did not pass through Imo House of Assembly’, said: “I want to use this opportunity to inform the good people of Mbaitoli State Constituency and by extension, all Imo people, that I am not privy to the clandestine insertion of some obnoxious, vexatious, and anti-democratic clauses to the Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law Amendment Bill 2020 which was purportedly passed by the Imo State House of Assembly, and signed into law by the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma.”

But Arthur Egwim, a member representing Ideato North constituency and Chairman, House Committee on Public Complaints, with his colleagues, including Uju Onwudiwe (Njaba Constituency), Dele Onyemaechi (Owerri West Constituency), Chigozie Nwaneri (Oru East Constituency), Johnson Duru (Ideato South Constituency) and Emezie of Onuimo constituency, stated that the processes of passing any bill were observed by the House in passing the law.

They disclosed that a team of seasoned legal luminaries constituted by the erstwhile Chief Judge of the State and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice screened and ratified it.

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Egwim explained that sections 484 and 485 of the law were in agreement with the relevant portions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

Egwim said: “The clauses were only domesticated and fine-tuned to suit our environment and peculiarity. The 36 states of the country have adopted this law without qualms. We don’t really understand why it is being politicised to heat up the polity.”

He continued: “It was first muted by the Eighth Assembly, where it was not concluded, hence, it was resurrected in the 9th Assembly. Besides, it is not an executive bill. As a ranking member of the state legislature, I can’t fold my hands and watch while the confusion rages.”

For him, if the sponsors of the bill ab initio are not comfortable with the law, they should do the legislative needful by presenting another bill for an amendment or the contending areas, rather than venting media anger.


#Newsworthy…

Abducted woman in Rivers State rescued from well after 3 days.

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A woman identified as Mrs Chizoba Eke, who was declared missing in Rivers State, has been found, days after she was abducted.

Chizoba was recovered from a well on Thursday in an uncompleted building at Igwuruta community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.

The mother of two, who was kidnapped from her home along with her six-month-old baby on Monday, was thrown into the well after severe beatings by her abductor.

Luck, however, ran out on the suspect when he was intercepted with his victim’s baby by a team of policemen on a ‘stop and search’ operation at Omerelu, a boundary community between Rivers and Imo States.

Mrs Chizoba Eke is said to have spent three days in the well before she was rescued and taken to a hospital in Rivers State. (Noble Reporters Media //)

Chizoba’s husband, Eke Eke, confirmed his wife’s abduction and rescue to Noble Reporters Media on Friday.

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He disclosed that he was invited by the police to come to identify the baby, having lodged a complaint about his missing wife and baby.

According to Eke who hails from Imo State, the suspect is known to him in the area as Mr Chinedu and had attempted to rape his wife when she was pregnant.

Chizoba, who was in pain due to the head injuries she sustained, also narrated her ordeal to Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

She explained that the suspect came to her house, claiming that her husband wanted her to come to Chinedu’s house to collect some money.

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On his part, the Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Omoduku, where the victim’s family worships, Reverend Clinton Orie, believes it is the grace of God that kept the woman alive for three days inside the well.

This photo taken on August 21, 2020, shows the well at a community in Rivers State where Mrs Chizoba Eke was rescued. (Noble Reporters Media //)

The Police Public Relations Officer in Rivers, Nnamdi Omoni, also confirmed the incident to Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

He said the Divisional Police Officer at the police station in Igwuruta informed him that a woman was immediately taken to the hospital after she was rescued from the well.

Omoni promised to provide more details on the incident later.


#Newsworthy…

Imo State Gas Explosion: One lose to death

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One person has been feared dead with three persons critically injured after a truck conveying liquefied petroleum gas exploded at a filling station in Irete community along the Owerri-Onitsha Expressway in Owerri-West Local Government Area of Imo state.

The Imo State Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Evans Ugoh, confirmed the incident, Noble Reporters Media learnt

According to him, the truck after discharging its content at the filling station was about reversing and manoeuvring its way out of the premises when it was hit by a J5 commercial bus conveying pineapples on top speed coming from the Onitsha end lost control and ram into the truck, leading to a heavy explosion.

Mr Ugoh confirmed that one of the occupants of the J5 commercial bus died on the spot while 3 other persons who sustained fatal injuries were immediately taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

He said, however, officials of the Imo State Fire Service, Red Cross, Civil Defence, the Nigerian Police and NEMA officials were all on the ground for rescue operations.


#Newsworthy…

Brothers arrested for alleged rape of 13-year-old cousin in Imo

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Two brothers with identities, Uchechukwu Asuzu, 20, and Bright Ugochukwu, 20, have been apprehended by men of the Imo state police command, for allegedly defiling their cousin, Ugochukwu Chigozirim Ehirim, 13, in Ezemanah Ezeamoruo Nkwerre, a community in the state on July 11th of this year.

Spokesperson of the state police command, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, who disclosed this to newsmen, said the victim was raped by her cousins after her grandfather angrily sent her out of their home.

The victim who stays with her grandfather, was sent on an errand by her grandfather. Unfortunately, she returned home late, as a result, the grandfather sent her out of the house. All efforts to gain entrance into the house proved abortive as her grandfather insisted that she will sleep outside, as a result she was stranded. Uchechukwu Asuzu and Bright Asuzu who are cousins to the victim, lured her to their house under the pretext of accommodating her for the night but rather had canal knowledge of her in turns.” Ikeokwu said in his statement

The spokesperson said the brothers would be charged to court soon.


#Newsworthy..

Charles Ugwuh emerges imo PDP chairman

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A former Minister for Commerce and industry, Charles Ugwuh, has been elected as the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State.

Ugwuh emerged the consensus candidate for the party’s chairmanship position at the State Congress held on Saturday at the Kanu Nwankwo Sports Complex in Owerri, the state capital.

A total of 12 contestants vied for the position of the chairman but after much consultation and consideration, the former minister emerged as the consensus candidate.

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With a total of 2,621 votes cast, members contested for 39 other positions and the former acting chairman, Martins Ejiogu, was returned as the deputy chairman.

Delegates wait on the queue to cast their votes in the PDP Congress in Imo State on August 1, 2020.

Others re-elected into various positions include Ray Emeana (Secretary), Josiah Eze (Treasurer), Maria Mbakwe (Women Leader), and Godson Nwaobasi (Auditor).

After the elections, Kissinger Ikeokwu (Legal Adviser), Greg Nwadike (Youth Leader), Bede Ojinmadu (Financial Secretary) and Ogubundu Nwadike (Publicity Secretary), joined the new State Working Committee (SWC).

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In his remarks, Ugwuh thanked officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and officers from PDP National Headquarters for observing the conduct of the Congress.

PDP delegates wait to vote during the party’s Congress in Imo State on August 1, 2020. Inset: Imo State PDP Chairman, Charles Ugwuh.

He also thanked all party elders, leaders, and members, particularly the delegates to the Congress for coming out to participate in the exercise.

The new chairman commended the immediate past SWC for taking good care of the party and congratulated all the winners and members of the new executive of the party in the state.

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On behalf of the new SWC, the former minister promised to manage the party in Imo to the satisfaction and appreciation of all party leaders and members.

Officials and delegates participate in the PDP Congress in Imo State on August 1, 2020.

He called for support from all party leaders and members to collectively take the PDP to greater heights and reclaim power in the state.

Ugwuh headed the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry between July 2007 and October 2008 under the administration of late former President Musa Yar’Adua.

Before his appointment as minister, Ugwuh, who is also a former President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), contested the PDP governorship primary election in Imo in 2007.


#Newsworthy…

[Photos] Pastor reburied George Floyd, call him Obinna after tracing his descendant to Imo state

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An Imo-based pastor identified as Pastor Humble Okoro, has made his own version of the funeral service for late George Floyd in Mbaise, Imo State.

Pastor Humble Okoro said that George Floyd’s native name was “Obinna” as he hailed from Imo state when he tried tracing his roots to Africa.

According to Leadership,a Nigerian newspaper that published the news, Pastor Okoro in the cause of carrying out the funeral made it known that:

“I have traced the ancestral root of George Obinna Floyd to Umuoffor kindred in Obokwu obibi Aboh Mbaise Imo State and I feel so happy now that we have reburied him alongside with his ancestors.”

46-year-old African-American citizen, George Floyd was killed by the police in Minneapolis after a white officer knelt on his neck amidst pleading from the suspect that he couldn’t breathe.


#Newsworthy…

Police officer pull trigger at man in imo over face mask

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A motorcycle rider popularly Okada man has allegedly been shot dead by a police officer around Banana junction in Orlu, Imo state today July 9.

According to reports gathered by NRM, the Okada man had refused to stop after the policeman had stopped him for not wearing a face mas, this led to an altercation between them after the Okada man allegedly refused to give a N50 bribe.

Residents and youths in the area are now demanding justice for the death of the unidentified Okada rider.

Police command spokesperson in Imo state is yet to comment on the incident


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: 13 Lawmakers in Imo test Positive.

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Thirteen members of the Imo State House of Assembly have tested positive for coronavirus.

The lawmakers have immediately gone into isolation at different centres in the state.

The Chairman of the State Task Force Team on COVID-19, Prof. Maurice Iwu announced this on Tuesday during a press briefing.

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that members of the Assembly were instructed days ago to undergo COVID-19 test after a member tested positive for coronavirus.

Governor Hope Uzodinma had directed members to go for compulsory test at Evaright Diagnostic Centre Owerri to ascertain their COVID-19 status to avoid its likely spread.


#Newsworthy…

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PDP publicity secretary in Imo resigns.


Damian Opara, the Publicity Secretary of the Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has resigned from the party.

Opara resigned on Thursday in a letter he addressed to the state chairman of the party.

The politician who thanked the party leadership for the opportunity to serve as its spokesperson for four years did not disclose the reason for his resignation.

The two-paragraph letter which was sighted by our correspondent reads, “With honour, I, Hon Damian Opara, the State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Imo State chapter, with due respect, resign as the State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Imo State chapter with immediate effect.

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“I thank the party for the opportunity given to me to serve as the Imo state chapter publicity Secretary.”

While he didn’t disclose his next political move, his allies said that he had joined the All Progressives Congress.

One of the aides of the state governor, Modestus Nwamkpa, said that Opara, has joined APC.

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He said, “The State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon Damian Opara, has resigned. He is now a son of the APC.”

Opara’s resignation came a few months after the PDP Chairman in the state, Charles Ezekwem, resigned.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Imo ‘Payroll Fraudsters’ to be arraigned – Gov. Uzodinma

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The Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, Monday revealed the plan of his government to arraign in court those behind the payroll fraud discovered in Imo civil service.

Uzodinma disclosed this at the Government House in Owerri, while swearing into office, the acting President of the state Customary Court of Appeal, Hon Justice Matthew Njoku.

The government solicited the support of stakeholders in the state, to finally rid the civil service of corrupt practices.

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In Uzodinma address at the swearing ceremony, he said: “I congratulate the Hon Justice Matthew Njoku on his successful swearing-in as the acting President of the state customary court of appeal.

“While I congratulate your Lordship on your formal assumption of office, I wish to also remind you that the exalted office you now occupy places enormous responsibilities on your shoulders

“As the Acting President of the state customary court of appeal, much shall be expected of you. That you shall be a beacon of transparency and honesty in the discharge of your sacred duties is the least expected of you. Your office demands that you must lead by example so that those under your authority can be inspired by your sterling leadership qualities

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“As you know, peace is the ultimate in every organisation. There can be no synergy without peace and there can be no progress without synergy. My first charge to your, therefore, is to ensure that you preside over a peaceful, purposeful and United customary court family in the state.

“As the saying goes when the head is healthy the rest of the body is okay. But the reverse is the case when the head is rotten. I urge you to demonstrate wisdom and prudence as the head of the customary courts in the state and carry your colleagues along as one united, peaceful family.”

The governor pointed out that, “As you are aware my administration has no room for public sector corruption. Consequently, you must ensure absolute zero tolerance for corruption in the customary courts under your leadership. I will hold you responsible for any corrupt practice in the customary courts. You must therefore not only ensure that you are above board but that those under your leadership are not corruptible

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“Soon we shall arraign before the courts for trial, those indicted in the monumental payroll fraud that almost ruined this state.

“I want to use the auspicious occasion of this event to call on the judiciary as a whole to partner with us in our determined effort to stamp out public sector corruption. To this end, I expect that the courts will diligently determine these cases to serve as a deterrent to corrupt public servants.”


#Newsworthy…

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Tragedy as Siblings dies in Ebonyi River. [Nigeria]

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>>> Police inspector found dead in Imo <<<


Residents living around Shell Camp near Alvana Primary School, Owerri in Imo State, were yesterday morning thrown into confusion as they woke up to see the lifeless body of a Police Inspector attached to the Imo State police command, Kaura Haruna, on the floor.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, SP Orlando Godson Ikeokwu, said the deceased had no history of suffering from any ailment, adding that they were surprised by his sudden demise, especially as there were scars on his body showing signs of “shuffling and violence”.

His words: “Haruna Kaura, until his death, was attached to the Government House, Owerri. The team of officers that removed the body discovered marks of violence on his back and neck regions. The ID of the deceased was seen on his palm, with a marked number 18 PMF Squadron, while his service pistol was carted away.”

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Also yesterday, another tragedy occurred in Umudafa-Awo Mbieri, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo, when residents woke up to see a dangling lifeless body of a 45-year-old man, Osita Ezurike, in his room. No one could ascertain the reason behind the suicide as he lived alone.

Meanwhile, a Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, River State has ordered the remand of ex-police officer, Sgt Bitrus Osaiah, to the Rivers State correctional centre, for allegedly killing a female police officer, Lovenda Elekwachi. Osaiah was arraigned on a one-count charge of murder.

The accused who was attached to the Rivers State task force had allegedly shot the female officer during a raid with the task force team in some markets around Eneka junction, where the deceased was controlling traffic.

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When the charge was read out to Osaiah, he was not allowed to take plea as the Magistrate, Ipalibo Iyabo, ordered that the case file be sent to the Director of State prosecution (DPP), for report and ordered that Osaiah be remanded in custody pending the outcome of the DPP report and adjourned the matter till May 26.

The accused is being prosecuted by the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, who had during a condolence visit to Elekwachi’s family assured them of justice in the matter, adding that the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, is interested in getting justice for the deceased.

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>>> Siblings drown in Amaeze river, Ebonyi state, Mother of 2 die in Kerosene disaster <<<


Mother, two daughters killed in kerosene explosion in Rivers
It was a black day last Saturday, April 25, as three sisters drowned in a river at Amaeze village in Ishiagu community of Ebonyi State. The death of the girls, between the ages of 14 and 20 still remains a mystery to residents of the village.

The three sisters who attended Comprehensive Secondary School in Ishiagu, were found floating on the water. Their bodies have been buried beside the stream without caskets, as culture and tradition demands.

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The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ivo Divisional Police Post, Mr. Nwornu Daniel, confirmed the incident and said it was a case of “sudden and unnatural death.”

Meanwhile, two siblings and their mother yesterday lost their lives in a kerosene explosion at Aliko Estate in Choba community of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State. NobleReporters gathered that the incident occurred at about 8:00a.m. on Tuesday and that the Police Divisional Headquarters in the area have moved the bodies of the victims to the morgue.

The explosion was suspected to be as a result of adulterated kerosene. The state police public relations of the command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said he is aware of the incident, but noted that the information he has on it was still sketchy.

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However, N.Rs learnt from sources around the area that husband to the late woman had left the room earlier, locked it and left with the keys before the incident occurred. One of the neighbours, who craved anonymity, alleged that the stove the late woman was using to cook had exploded with no way for the victims to escape from the locked building.

The neighbour said the three victims burnt to death in the locked room, adding that property were also destroyed in the fire.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Imo Youths Chase Police With Masquerade, Defy Lockdown Order.


According to Sun News, the Okigwe division of the Imo State Police Command, yesterday, accused youths from Arondizuogu community of defying the stay-at-home order to celebrate the Ikeji cultural festival.

Division Police Officer (DPO) for Okigwe, Chijioke Nwokoma, who disclosed this at a press conference in Owerri said elders of the community have disowned the decision to hold the festival because of the ban on social gathering as well as religious and cultural activities by the state government.

Nwokoma said the youths had rebuffed the order by elders of the community not to hold the annual festival. He said when police got to the scene of the festival, it met a large turnout of people and masquerades and that after several entreaties to disperse peacefully failed, the police had to retreat.

Nwokoma said the youths with their masquerades, took advantage of the police retreating from the scene and chased them back to their station.

“No arrest was made, no life was lost, nobody was hurt. We didn’t want to be provoked to a level where there could be loss of lives. If you see the crowd you can imagine what could have happened if police did not retreat,” Nwokoma said.

Imo Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, who confirmed the incident also denied any riot by the crowd.

However, Abia Government has condemned what it described as acts of extra-judicial killing by security agents in the state.

A personnel of Abia command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) whose name was given as Richard on Wednesday shot and killed a commercial vehicle driver, Amobi Igwe, at Umuikaa junction, near Aba.

This came barely one week after a police Inspector shot and killed a petrol attendant after his bullet missed a motorist who allegedly failed to comply with the lockdown directives.


In a statement, the commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, said the state government roundly condemned the extra-judicial killings.


#Newsworthy…

Shocker: Imo man arrested after teen daughter’s gang rape. [Nigeria]


A 44-year-old man who was allegedly having sex with his 15-year-old daughter and inviting his friends to do the same in Orji, Imo state has been arrested by the Imo State police command.


Chimnonso Okonkwo was also accused of inviting his friends to have sex with his teenage daughter.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in the state, Orlando Godson Ikeokwu, reacted to the news, saying: “It is noteworthy, that it wasn’t the first time this is happening.

“He normally invites his friends who come to his house to have canal knowledge of his own daughter.”

The incest was exposed by a concerned neighbour of the suspect.

The police PRO said Mr Okonkwo has since confessed to the crime.

The victim also reportedly confirmed this and opened up on how her father invites his friends to have sex with her.


#Newsworthy….

[Nigeria] Uzodimma fed inmates in Imo, send food items to orphanage homes.


Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has extended palliatives to inmates of Owerri and Okigwe Correctional Services to alleviate their difficulties at this period of economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

Presenting the items, which included cooked food and drinks to the inmates at the Owerri Correctional Services on behalf of the Governor, the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku said the gesture was Governor Uzodimma’s way of extending love to the inmates during Easter, and to assist the authorities of the Correctional Services meet the needs of the inmates because of the statewide lockdown.

While urging the management of the Correctional Services to ensure that the food and drinks get to all the inmates, Mr. Nwachuku further enjoined them to adhere strictly to all government directives as they concern the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

He also advised the inmates of the Correctional Services to use the period of their incarceration to reflect on how they will impact positively on the larger society when they eventually regain their freedom.

On the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Nwachuku encouraged them to be more conscious of their personal hygiene by washing their hands regularly and using sanitisers.

Responding, the Controller, Owerri Correctional Services, Mr. Chris Okoye thanked Governor Uzodimma for his magnanimity.

He expressed delight over the governor’s goodwill, noting that it will go a long way in ameliorating the sufferings of the inmates in the Correctional Services across the state.

Mr. Okoye recalled that Governor Uzodimma had on Easter Sunday extended similar gesture to the Correctional Services across the state, represented by his Special Adviser (Special Duties), Nze Chinasa Nwaneri.

Mr. Okoye promised that the food and drinks will be equitably distributed to the over 2,000 inmates in their custody.

In a similar development, Governor Uzodimma has reached out to the orphanages in the state with various food items to further cushion the effects of the lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delivering the food items on behalf of the government to the various orphanage homes in the state, the Commissioner for Gender and Vulnerable Groups, Mrs. Nkechinyere Ugwu stated that the Governor was passionate about the fate of the vulnerable in the state, especially at this period of lockdown.

Consequently, she said the Governor had mandated that all the registered orphanages in the state be given food items and relief materials as a palliative to cushion their sufferings.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Imo State govt ban Easter Church services.


The Imo state government has banned Easter church services in the state.

The state commissioner for Information and strategy, Declan Emelumba, said that lockdown in the state against the spread of COVID-19 will continue.


He disclosed that the government lifted the lockdown order on Friday to enable people shop for the Easter celebration.

The information commissioner said that the lockdown continues from Saturday..

Emelumba said that the government was determined to taking measures to ensure that the virus did not spread to the state.


#Newsworthy….

Nigeria – Ritualists invade imo community.


Umuike-Ndiowerre community in Ihitte Uboma council area of Imo State are presently at the mercy of God as suspected ritualists frequently besiege the agrarian community, killing so far three indigenes.

Commissioner for Special Projects, Comrade Simon Ebegbulem who is an indigene of the area narrated to newsmen the ugly trend in his community.


According to him, the modus operandi of the hoodlums is attacking their victims in their farmlands.

However, while appealing to the State Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Fafowara to come to their rescue, he informed that six suspects had already been captured and handed over to the police.


The commissioner narrated that “three persons were killed in my community, specifically in Umuchaku Uhuala, another one at Umuodoma Alaocha. Two of the people killed were dumped in a hole where the bodies were found.

“The third person was killed at Mbaraocha Umuike, when she went to the farm. These killings were carried out a month ago. Again, these killers who came from outside the local government, stormed my community again on Thursday.


“Six of them came in a bus and when they arrived the same area, they attempted to abduct a man called Rufus in his farm. While they were struggling with him to push him into the waiting bus, the wife raised the alarm which attracted our community members.

“That was how these suspected ritualistic were apprehended. Four of them were apprehended at the scene while two escaped but were later arrested after our people combed the bushes. They were handed over to the police for further investigation because we believe that these same people may have been involved in the killings going on in our community.

“So we are appealing to the new CP in the state to investigate the six persons arrested thoroughly so we can get to the root of these killings in the community. We want to know their sponsors and why they have unleashed mayhem in our community. And of course those involved must be prosecuted,” he stated.


#Newsworthy…