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Aluu Four In the Eyes Of Rivers Assembly

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Death is certainly an inevitable end for all mortals, but no
one is privileged to know when, where and how it will take place. The Holy
Bible condemns killing in whatever form as reflected in Exodus 20:13 “thou
shall not kill”.

The constitution of Nigeria guarantees right to life and
even the golden rule says, “do unto others as you wish them do to you”. The
social and conventional media are being inundated daily of gory incidents of
man’s inhumanity to fellow man and this raises a lot of moral questions on the
people.

It appears that moral values of our society are on serious
decline, otherwise how do we explain the senseless killings perpetrated by the
Boko Haram Islamic Sect in the North.

Just recently, three young men said to be indigenes of Etche
were alleged to have been burnt to death by yet to be identified persons for
reasons that are still sketchy at a border community between Etche and Ikwerre
in Rivers State.

Unconfirmed report says one of the victims was a medical
student undergoing his House manship training.

Unlike the Aluu killing, the offence of this persons cannot
be ascertained and their case was not captured in the social media but their
families are devastated.

On Tuesday precisely October 9, 2012, a middle aged man was
alleged to have taken his own life by jumping down from the top floor of the Federal
Secretariat in Port Harcourt.

The killing of four University of Port Harcourt students by
a mob at Aluu community, which lasted about two hours, has again revealed the
stark reality that Nigerian citizens are not safe in their fatherland.

Infact, it is difficult to fathom the scenario created in
the social media that fellow citizens watched the jungle justice and even
contributed ideas on how best to carry out the extra judicial killing.

Since the inception of the University Port Harcourt, one
cannot remember the killing of four University of Port Harcourt students by a
mob at Aluu community, which lasted for about two hours, has again revealed the
stark reality of the nation’s porous security system.

Infact, it is difficult to fathom the scenario created in
the social media that follow citizens watched the jungle justice and even
contributed ideas on how best to carry out the extra-judicial killing.

Since the establishment of the University of Port Harcourt
in the late 70s, one cannot recall when this kind of barbaric scene occurred in
Aluu Community, even at the worst of provocations by the students, especially
when the institution was notorious for cult activities. During the period,
innocent community members lost their lives.

Then, it was regarded as the price the people had to pay for
hosting such an establishment, so what went wrong? Has the glory of modern
Ikwerre community departed from Aluu? Have the strangers resident in the area
upturned the psyche of the ever peaceful Aluu people for which they were known?

The allegations against the four students range from
stealing, raping to cultism and possession of dangerous weapons as well as
inflicting body harm on residents of the community, leading to the setting up
of a vigilante group which allegedly arrested them at the wee hours of Saturday
morning with stolen mobile phones and laptops. While they were paraded a female
resident was said to have identified one of them as a rapist.

Agreed that the students were guilty of the crime proffered
against them, does that confer on anyone the right to condemn them to death
without trial?

The rule of law stipulates that only a court of competent
jurisdiction can pronounce a suspect guilty of an offence and prescribe
appropriate punishment accordingly.

The lawmaker representing Omuma constituency in the State
Assembly, Hon. Kelechi Nwogu, on Wednesday brought a motion on the floor of the
Assembly condemning the extra judicial killing and carnage in Aluu community in
Ikwerre local government area.

Presenting the motion, Hon Nwogu said “we are all aware of
the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt. The incident
has continued to generate condemnation, outcry and even sparked off
demonstration leading to destruction of properties by students of the
institution”.

The lawmaker named the brutally murdered students as Lloyd,
Ugonna, Tekena and Chidiaka. While referring to the video on the internet, he
said the students were stripped naked, laid down helplessly as they were
continually hit with big sticks mostly on the head and later each of them had a
tyre put on his neck.

According to Kelechi, they were initially said to have
stolen laptops and phones and later a new twist emerged that they were cultists
who had gone to attack someone in the community and were apprehended in the
process. It was also alleged that the students had dangerous weapons on them
when they were apprehended.

Having set the stage for debate, other lawmakers took time
to condemn the gruesome murder of the students, not the offence purported to
have been committed.

Hon. Onari Brown, representing Akuku-Toru Constituency I,
blamed the crowd for watching man’s inhuman treatment to another without
calling the attention of security agents or school authority but only found
pleasure in filming the scene to be forwarded to the net.

He blamed the Aluu community for descending so low to engage
in barbaric crime and urged the government to do everything humanly possible to
unravel those behind the dastardly act. “Justice must be done because nobody
has right to take life, no matter the provocation”.

Hon. Brown condemned reprisal attack on the community
because that would not bring back the murdered students, saying that the
students should rather demand justice. He enjoined the security operatives to
bring all those linked with the incident to book.

Hon. Aye Pepple, representing Bonny, took a swoop on the
need to reform the police and other security outfits in the country,
emphasising that what happened in Aluu is a daily occurrence in parts of
Nigeria, leading citizens providing security for themselves in a nation where
survival of the fittest is in vogue.

Hon. Ikuniyi Ibani (Andoni) said he was personally
traumatised by the incident and wondered how this kind of heinous crime could
be committed in this modern world. He blamed the police at Aluu for not
intervening in the matter even when contact was said to have been established.

For Hon. Ibelema Okpokiri, representing Okrika: thes
incident was unfortunate, and regrettable, that a modern community like Aluu,
hosting a university should perpetrate such act in such magnitude.

He called for justice as the only way the soul of the
victims would rest in peace, arguing that reprisal attack was not an option and
blamed the students for the destructions that followed the attack.

Other speakers like Hon. Martin Amaewhule, Victor Amadi, Dr.
Innocent Barikor and Golden Chioma, described the murder of the 4 Uniport
students as barbaric, cannibalistic, dastardly and wicked, adding that the mob
threw away their sense of reasoning , for the sanity of human life to the wind.

Announcing the resolution of the House, the speaker, Rt.
Hon. Otelemaba Amachree, said the Assembly condemns the ignominious dastardly
act perpetrated by some members of the Aluu community, stating that no matter
the circumstances the people do not have the right to take the life of others.

The House also lauded the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike
Rotimi Amaechi for his timely directive to the law enforcement agencies to
arrest the perpetrators of the heinous crime and also urged the government to
direct the security agents to be on guard to protect lives and properties in
Aluu community.

The Assembly called on the Police Commissioner to
investigate the role of the Aluu Police Station for the alleged refusal to
respond to distress call and to prevent further reprisal attack.

The Assembly also expressed satisfaction with the decision
of the university authority to declare a 7-day mourning period for the late
students, acknowledging that flying their flag at half mast shows a mark of
honour for the departed souls.

This event undoubtedly has thrown a challenge on the
leadership capacities of various communities in Rivers State to entrust only
persons with save mind to superintend over their affairs.

It also challenged the police to justify the job for which
they are paid; to detect and prevent crime, because the commotion from the
apprehension torture and killing of the students was enough to attract the
attention of law enforcement agents and probably, may have sved these four
lives.

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Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined some states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum for states.
The governor also signed the Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Bill, into Law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it is committed to tackling the menace of drug abuse frontally to reduce the ravage among youths in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the delegates of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, led by the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.
Sanwo-Olu said his government was building a massive rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejirin to tackle drug abuse, adding that his administration would  partner with the Church to ensure that the people lived a better life.
He said governance started from the leadership of spiritual homes, noting that government and church can jointly build a community that would outlive all, while restating the commitment to improve the movement of people on road, water as well as building rail infrastructure to make Lagos a livable city.
Speaking earlier, Ndukuba thanked the governor for partnering with the church in the welfare of the people and commended him for his outstanding performance in tackling Covid-19. 
 Also present at the courtesy visit were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tayo Ayinde, Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, among other dignitaries.

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Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism

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Delta  State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the National Assembly to embody in the 1999 Constitution being amended, true federalism and independence of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor made the call on Monday at a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an independent RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including laying its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
According to the governor, the current practice where recommendations of the commission are presented to the President has led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992 as no President demonstrated the political will to forward the amendments to the parliament.
He commended RMAFC for ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
“For quite some time a lot of talks have gone on in the revenue allocation and it’s very unfortunate that in this country we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was actually reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable.
“But, the challenge is that when you have done all this work, you are going to eventually, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, lay this before the President and the President ought to lay it before the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been a challenge there, because what is there in our laws that will ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly?
“We hope that the National Assembly takes a look at this amendment because RMAFC is supposed to be an independent commission, a commission on behalf of all federating units and component parts of the federation.
“They cannot tie your hands; the constitution ought to be amended to enable chairman of RMAFC to directly lay before the national assembly whatever review it has come up with so that nobody stands it down,’’ he said.
Okowa stated that the National Assembly must do what was right because “a nation is a nation.

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Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders

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The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Property to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.
Members were more particular about the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, whose property and money were recovered by the Federal Government. 
 The chairman, ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Property, Ademora Kuye, said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Abacha.
He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared before the committee in Abuja.
“We need to know the state of those property and to also know if the property have titles of deed,’’ Mr Kuye said.
The committee also queried the sale of federal government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.
Mr Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the property the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for, contrary to claims made by the PIC.
He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.
He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of federal government’s assets sold, amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.
Mr Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the federal government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.
Responding to Mr Kuye’s submissions, the Executive Secretary, PIC, Bala Samid, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.
He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.
“We approached the federal government to report them and the federal government said that we should give them time”.

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