The embattled Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura is expected to address the media and the public, this week, as the result of the autopsy conducted on late Chima Ikwunado has been handed over to the homicide unit of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).
The commissioner had shelved an earlier scheduled news briefing, last week, for undisclosed reasons, though spokesman of the Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, later told newsmen that his principal (CP) would address the media after the autopsy report done on late Chima Ikwunado had been released and the investigations concluded.
When contacted on telephone, yesterday afternoon, Omoni, said it was very likely the CP would address the press, this week, as soon as the investigations are concluded.
Asked if the command has taken delivery of the autopsy report conducted on the late mechanic, he said, “I will confirm that today (Monday). Very likely the CP will address the press this week after our investigations are concluded.”
It would be recalled that the Pathologist engaged by late Chima Ikwunado’s family, Dr. Cornell Chukwuegbo, had confirmed to The Tide in a telephone chat that the report of the autopsy was being submitted to the police by the attending pathologist as at press time, last Thursday, noting that the autopsy report was not for public consumption.
Chukwuegbo further said that autopsy reports are not made public except through the appropriate channels, and asked our reporter to apply through the normal channels in order to get a copy.
However, the Chairman of Ikoku Spare Parts Dealers, Anthony Alarobole, confirmed, yesterday, that the lawyer to late Chima Ikwunado’s family has been contacted to apply for a copy of the autopsy result.
“Yes, I have to tell you authoritatively that my Doctor (the pathologist) called to tell me that the results are there (with police) already, and I have informed the lawyer to apply for a copy. So, she (the lawyer) said by Monday (today), she will apply through the process, and it will be given to her.
“So, we will know what it is like. But all he (the pathologist) told me is that it is there, and it is nothing far from what all of us saw”, Alarobole stated.
It would be recalled that the matter of the autopsy report has been a sore point after the police image maker said the Commander of the E-Crack Unit, Superintendent Benson Adetuyi, told the Rivers State Police Command that an autopsy was conducted on the late mechanic after he passed on in the custody of the Eagle Crack Team.
The outrage that followed has refused to die down as many have called for the police to parade and prosecute Benson Adetuyi, now redeployed from the E-Crack Unit, even as some have also called for the resignation of the state police commissioner.
In a related development, elder brother to late mechanic, Anthony Ikwunado, has said that the family was under pressure to drop the demand for justice, saying that the family was called for a closed-door meeting with the police commissioner after a court notice was served on him which the family and Ikoku Spare Parts Dealers instituted against the police, last Wednesday.
“They called us, even we met the CP and he said we should try and settle this matter amicably without going to court. The OPM (referring to the General Overseer of the Omega Power Ministries) has called me that my people are still in the court. But I don’t know. The masses are still involved. It is not only one family.
“The (Chima’s) Ohanaeze Ndigbo and all the rest of the groups have to come together, if we want to resolve the matter. We want justice for Chima and nothing. Those people that killed my brother will have to face justice”, he added.
He insisted that the family has no plan to withdraw the case against the police as being insinuated in some quarters, saying that they would pursue the case to a logical conclusion.
Anthony also confirmed that the autopsy report was submitted to the police, last Thursday, saying the family’s lawyer will apply to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the Ministry of Justice for a copy of the autopsy report.
Meanwhile, a university teacher and public affairs analyst, Dr. Kenneth Nweke has said that the death of Ikoku mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, and the torture of four of his colleagues by the E-Crack Team of the Rivers State Police Command should serve as a lesson that should form part of the police reform in Nigeria.
Nweke, an associate Professor of Political Science at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUOE) stated this in Port Harcourt while reacting to the backlash from the public, especially the civil society organisations (CSOs) in the media to Chima’s demise.
He described public reactions as welcome in order to check excesses of the police, noting that the action of the police was bad enough.
Nweke, however, said that the criticisms from the public should be taken with restraints in order not to create a situation where people would completely lose confidence in the security architecture in Rivers State in view of the sensitive nature of the matter.
“While I want to applaud those who made efforts in this direction to also help in unravelling some of the mysteries in the Eagle Crack Team (police) in order to strengthen the security architecture in the state, I wish to advice also that in view of the sensitivity of this matter, we need to also exercise some restraints in the manner this case is going because any society that the people have lost confidence in the security architecture, that society, of course, is drifting into anarchy, and I think that the responsibility of government at all levels is to protect lives and property.”
By: Dennis Naku
Shell Donates Subsea Training Facilities To UNIPORT
The Nigeria deep-water arm of global energy giant, Shell, has donated multimillion naira laboratory equipment and software packages to the Offshore Technology Institute of the University of Port Harcourt as part of the company’s Nigerian content human capital development programme delivered in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over the facilities to the university, last Thursday, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said, “The donations are aimed at strengthening advanced practical teaching and research in subsea engineering to give the students the required skills and competences for entry level jobs in the oil and gas industry”.
The facilities, valued at over $700,000, are in alignment with the Human Capacity Development Guideline of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Aiboni, represented by SNEPCo’s Social Investment Manager, Dr. Gloria Udoh, expressed optimism that with the level of investment by NNPC and SNEPCo in deep-water training via the establishment centres of excellence and donation of cutting-edge information and communication technology centres, among others, Nigerian oil and gas industry would surpass its local content aspiration earlier than projected.
“This investment anchored on the maintenance of subsea infrastructure on Nigeria’s pioneer deep offshore field, Bonga, is expected to develop and upskill the cognitive and technical abilities of students who pass through the Offshore Technology Institute for the ultimate benefit of our industry and of our country,” Aiboni added.
With the new laboratory and software packages, according to Aiboni, the Offshore Technology Institute is positioned to deliver effective training in engineering design; construction and installation of offshore and subsea structures; computer simulations; civil and construction tests; 3D printing/engravement capability; Measurement/Metering Technology and Robotics; Alternative Energy Technologies; and Data Acquisition Learning System.
In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Onwunari Georgewill, commended NNPC and SNEPCo with its co-venture partners for their goodwill to the university and particularly to OTI, and canvassed more areas of collaboration between the university and its industry partners.
Georgewell said, “This project’s completion is timely because it latches on to the university’s leadership philosophy, which focuses on advancing education through an integrated learning environment to produce industry-ready university graduates and workforce.
“The current administration of the university places a lot of emphasis on university and industry collaboration and partnership. This donation will therefore enhance the achievement of the postgraduate degree-awarding Offshore Technological Institute in the practical context.”
Also speaking, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, described the human capital initiatives of SNEPCo as commendable.
Wabote added, “I commend your remarkable and consistent collaboration and partnership with the NCDMB towards the development of in-country capacities and capabilities.”
Represented by NCDMB General Manager, Corporate Service and Logistics, Mr Halilu Abdulmalik, Wabote said, “Your Nigerian content initiatives are consistent with the objectives and aspirations of NCDMB’s 10-year strategic roadmap, and we hope that necessary adjustments will be made to the curriculum to ensure optimal utilization by students in the university community.”
Obasanjo, Osinbajo, Wike, Others Bag CAN Awards
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and Mummy Esther Ajayi, were among prominent Nigerians who received awards at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Sapphire awards in Abuja, last weekend.
Others, including Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, and Chief Arthur Eze, also received awards at the event; while the kidnapped Dapchi school, Leah Sharibu, won in the Young Christian Achiever award category.
Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and Goodluck Jonathan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, and some Christian governors, serving and past National Assembly members bagged awards.
The awards were part of activities for CAN’s 45th Anniversary Sapphire Celebration Dinner and Award Night.
Earlier in his welcome address, CAN National President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, had said that the gathering was to celebrate 45 years of the church in Nigeria.
He said that Governance Category awards were for Christians in politics who had shown excellent and remarkable services.
“These include past presidents, serving governors and senators in our assessment that deserve such award.
“An award ceremony is applause of vision, personal discipline and determination; it is an event like this that makes people feel that their works are valued.
“The award is a catalyst that is expected to reinforce the awardees to serve humanity more and more,’’ he said.
The CAN president said it was heart breaking that majority of those in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps were Christians who were displaced by religious fanatics, bandits and gunmen in their territories.
He solicited the awardees’ financial support in fulfilling some of CAN’s obligations to fellow Christians and bringing to fruition the association’s projects.
Obasanjo, who was represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, was the special guest of honour at the awards.
Obasanjo said that the award was significant in that it would encourage other citizens to serve humanity, adding “I will continue to do the best I can to uphold the principles of justice, love, equity, mutual respect, industry and the fear of God which epitomise the church of Christ until there’s no breath left in me.”
While showing appreciation to CAN on behalf of all the award recipients, VP Osinbajo said Nigerians needed to be more tolerant of other people’s views.
The vice president dedicated the award to those who, daily in different locations, distant and near, propagated the message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes in difficult and life-threatening situations.
He said that the awardees were not necessarily the most deserving of Christians to be given any recognition but by the special grace of God which placed them in the high capacity they served.
He said, “As we have seen in the past few years, there’s a growing ethnic and religious chauvinism, and almost intemperate, vehement and violent dismissal of the views of people of other persuasions and faith without adequate consideration.
“At the same time, there is also the rise of cultural and identity politics. The answer to hate and intolerance and conflicts is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must believe enough in it, to live it out as our article of faith.
“The gospel commands consideration of the views of others, treating them we would wish to be treated. Our words must be of grace, seasoned with salt.
“We must remain constant and relentless advocates of freedom of worship, respect for human rights, fairness, justice, rule of law because they are fundamental to peace and security. We cannot talk of peace and security without fairness and justice, and compliance with the rule of law.
“We are in the advantageous position that our contribution will be more easily noticed.
“So, this award is dedicated to the men who, daily in different locations, distant and near propagate this message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in sometimes even difficult and life-threatening situations.
“And to many who have suffered deprivations, the families of those who have lost their lives by reason of their belief.
“And we are deeply grateful to the Almighty God for the opportunity and enablement to serve in the positions to which we have been referred.
“I bring, also, the very warm felicitations of the President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 45th anniversary of the birth of this foremost association of Nigerian Christians.
“CAN was formed to, among other objectives, nurture the unity of the church in Nigeria and to work with the leaders of other faith and persuasions to build bridges and forge understanding, peace and unity among the various people and faith in our nation.
“CAN has not only been continually faithful to its founding vision, it has become a veritable force for peace, for unity and for social justice.
“Pursuant to the gospel, CAN has consistently spoken up on behalf of the least of those in our society,’’ he said.
He said that the current and past leaderships of CAN had acted in full realiasation and recognition of their roles as pivotal stakeholders alongside the government and private sector in nation building.
Earlier, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who noted the dire financial condition of the umbrella Christian organisation in the country, advised clerics to tone down their criticism of those in authority.
He said, “I just want to caution some Christian pastors concerning the way we use our pulpit and the kind of fire of insults and abuses that comes from there. When you abuse those who will give you money where will you get the money.
“The Bible says to pray for those in authority. You need to draw your leaders close. When you draw us closer and tell us what your problems are, it will energise us to help. Money will flow more than you need.”
Also, Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, who sheltered no fewer than 200 Christians in Barkin Ladi, Plateau, during an attack, was presented with the Special Recognition award.
The late Obadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Governor, was given a post-humous award of Spokesperson for Oppressed alongside Matthew Kukah, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto and Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana.
Awards were also given to best candidates in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Senior School Certificate Examination.
Highlight of the event was the cutting of the anniversary cake.
Bandits Free 10 More Kaduna Baptist Students, Keep 11
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, confirmed that 10 more students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna State have been released.
The Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja) and its Chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, said this in a short WhatsApp message to newsmen.
He said, “Ten more students of Baptist High School were released this afternoon. We have 11 now with bandits.
“We are thanking all Nigerians for their prayers and support.
“We are trusting God that the rest will be released very soon. All have been reunited with their parents.”
Earlier, 10 students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna were released on Saturday, September 18, after spending 74 days captivity of terrorists, with 22 others still being held.
Hayab had said, “10 students were released this (Saturday) evening and have reunited with their parents. We are now hoping for the remaining 21 who are still with the bandits.”
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