The Rivers State Government
has been advised to enact a law that will make it mandatory for mission schools that are running as commercial enterprises to pay taxes to the government to boost internally generated revenue, and help revive the economy.
The General Overseer of Omega Power Ministries (OPM), Apostle Chibuzor Gift Chinyere, gave the advice at the OPM headquarters in Port Harcourt, while presenting school kits and study materials to the Headmistress of OPM Free Nursery/Primary School, Ohanku in Abia State, Mrs Basil Chidera, for the pupils of the school.
He decried a situation where churches build schools with the tithes and offerings collected from their rich and poor members, only to make the school fees unaffordable for the poor ones among them.
According to him, “Government should make law that any church that does not convert its expensive school of N.5million fees to free church schools for the less privileged in the society to attend should pay normal taxes as they have turned church into business ventures.”
He admonished pastors to desist from turning God’s house into business centres aimed at enriching themselves and their families, stressing that they should be pre-occupied with winning souls for God.
“My action is a revolutionary one, and as long as you stand for what is right and the truth, there would always be attacks from some of the selfish and greedy ones.
“They launch full-scale attacks on me, but I have been used to it from childhood. I have always stood for the truth, and would continue to conquer as light would always conquer darkness”, he added.
The cleric stated that the church’s Free Nursery/Primary School commenced academic activities in 2009 in Abia State, and later expanded to Bayelsa and Rivers states, adding that pupils in the OPM schools in Bayelsa and Rivers had earlier received their school kits and study materials.
He urged other churches to borrow a leaf from OPM to rid the streets of Port Harcourt of child hawkers and destitute, so as to reduce the burden on the state government in making life more meaningful for the generality of the people.
In her speech, the Welfare Director of OPM, Mrs Maureen Chukwu, expressed gratitude to God for sustaining the vision of the general overseer to help alleviate the plight of the less-privileged in the society.
According to her, the general overseer had made a vow that at the beginning of every new session, the pupils in all the schools across the three states must be given new school uniforms, sandals, provisions, sweaters, writing materials and textbooks, among others adding that for the last seven years, the vow has been fulfilled.
Receiving the books and writing materials on behalf of the pupils, the Headmistress of OPM Free Nursery/Primary School, Ohanku, Mrs Basil Chidera, thanked the general overseer for keeping hope life for the pupils of the school, and assured that he would never regret the huge investment the church has made on the pupils.
Earlier, the headmistress of OPM Free Nursery/Primary School, Port Harcourt, revealed the church’s opening of three more schools in Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre and Eleme local government areas of Rivers State, and hoped that more LGAs would soon get theirs.
EFCC Arrests 27 Suspected Illegal Oil Bunkerers
Operatives of the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), have arrested twenty seven (27) individuals in connection with suspicious illegal oil bunkering.
The information was contained in a statement by the Commission and made available to newsmen.
According to the statement, the suspects were arrested last Friday, at Ahoada Local Government Area.
The suspects are: Mohammad Bello; Abubarkar Umar; Abdulkarim Ibrahim; Mohammad Bashimu; Bello Mohammad, Abdullahi Murtala; Paul Paparoman; Abdullahi Ibrahim; Usman Abdulahi; Illiyasu Ibrahim and Idris Dahiru.
Others are Hussaini Yaiu; Bala Audu; Ibrahim Muhammad; Auwal Abdulsalam; Laminu Yusuf; Suleiman Abubarkar; Abdulahi Musa; Mamuda Abdulahi; Edima Samuel Gospel; Nural Abdulahi; Dauda Adamu; Adamu Ibrahim; Ali Abah; Sabiu Sani, Azumi Blaik and Keshim Ordu.
“They were arrested in a random raid conducted by the EFCC, based on verified intelligence on their alleged illegal oil bunkering activities.
“In the course of the arrest, large quantities of products suspected to be illegally- refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) were found with them. Twenty (20) jerry cans and 25 litres of the products, stored in drums and tanks, ready for onward transportation to various locations, were intercepted.
“The suspects would be charged to court as soon as the investigation is concluded”, the statement added.
LG Boss Tasks Law Students On Diligence
The Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, has counselled Rivers Law Students to be diligent in their academic pursuit, by paying attention to the core values of patience, learning and perseverance.
The Chairman gave the counsel when the students’ union, under the aegis of Law Bar Council (LAWBAR), Rivers State University, paid him a courtesy visit at the council headquarters in Degema.
Admonishing the students, the council boss noted that the legal profession was about service to humanity, adding that for them to succeed in the profession, they must be willing to learn from good mentors who had gone ahead of them.
The Chairman who harped on mentorship and apprenticeship, noted that “if you cannot learn well, you cannot lead well,” adding that apprenticeship and mentorship were interwoven.
He charged them not to disappoint their parents and the society, by taking their studies seriously and shunning sharp practices that may ruin their future.
Earlier, the LAWBAR, an affiliate union of the Law Students’ Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN) had, while inviting the council boss to attend their forthcoming LAWSAN Call To Bar Ceremony, billed for October 6, 2021, at the Rivers State University, as Special Guest of Honour, commended him for his giant strides in office.
They noted that the choice of the council chairman to speak to the young lawyers on mentorship, as the only non legal practitioner at the event, was based on his many achievements, which had endeared him to Degema people and beyond.
“Our choice of you is premised on your developmental strides in Degema Local Government Area, which has brought you to spotlight as a role model to aspiring leaders like us within and outside our dear State.
“It is therefore with great sense of delight and with penchant humility that we inform you that you will be admonishing us on how to succeed in life beyond our profession vis-a-vis life after school,” they noted.
NSCDC Arrests Man For Alleged Threat To Life
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps in the State has denied arresting and unlawfully detaining one John Jamiu for two fighting as alleged by his friend, Victor Chukwu.
The command admitted that the suspect was arrested based on information of threat to life in their station by one Cecilia Chukwu on September 6.
The security agency said this was after Cecilia had reported that a hoodlum wanted to kidnap her children.
In an interview, the spokesperson of the command, Akin Oguntuashe told newsmen that the suspect confessed that he was hired by one Tiger.
The NSCDC spokesperson, who confirmed that the suspect was granted bail but could not meet the bail conditions, said Tiger was a kingpin who was responsible for the alleged threat to life.
Oguntuashe further stated that the command was lawfully empowered to arrest any suspect, adding that after investigation the command can hand over the suspect to the relevant security agency for prosecution.
Recall that Victor Chukwu had accused the NSCDC, Rivers State Command of illegally detaining his friend, John Jamiu for more than five days in a case of two persons fighting.
Chukwu told newsmen that her sister who resides at 306 Ikwerre road, Port Harcourt called her on phone that her neighbour with children were fighting her.
According to Chukwu, he arrived his sister’s house an hour later with his friend John Jamiu to know from the woman what transpired between them but the woman was not in the house.
Chukwu stated that he was surprised when the sister’s neighbour brought personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to arrest his friend Jamiu rather than going to the Police if she had any complaint.
He disclosed that he went to the headquarters of NSCDC but they denied that his friend was in their custody as at last Tuesday.
He claimed that Jamiu’s friends were only allowed to see him the next day, (last Wednesday) when they brought food for him.
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