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City Crime

Appreciating Benefits Of Local Vigilante

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Before the invitation and inauguration of OSPAC, a local vigilante outfit, into some communities in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, it is important to review the security situation of the areas. The entire LGA and its environs had turned into jungles of crimes and criminality. The ecosystem was overrun by cultism and cult – related violence persistently.
There were rampant violent clashes, arson, manslaughter, murder, beheading, armed robbery, kidnapping and assassination etc. All these social aberrations happened unabated as conventional security outfits were overwhelmed by the superior firearms and criminal activities of these daredevil cultists and assailants. Our locals could no longer access their farms as forests or farm lands were converted into dens of iniquity for kidnappers and “ barracks” for the Boys.
Life, in every community became too unbearable as locals lived in perpetual fear of the unknown. However, economic and social lives were halted. The boys actually took charge of everything and everywhere. They became policy makers and decision makers in their different domains, where they held sway. In most unfortunate situations, locals paid through their noses before the Boys could permit them to host social ceremonies such as marriages, church services, funerals, or birthday celebrations.
In some scenarios, conventional security men were found complicit in these agonising situations. Buses and passengers were abducted at will along the Port Harcourt – Owerri Highways and victims taken into their dens for ransoms. In fact, our local communities became desolate and deserted. Life became hell for the inhabitants! Severed human bodies littered the nooks and crannies of our communities.
To make matters worse, cronies and relatives of the hoodlums bragged about the evil actions of their siblings and used same to intimidate innocent and harmless citizens. While all the atrocities were meted out to our locals, the ranting arm- chair activists kicking against OSPAC today looked elsewhere and never condemned the evil activities or acts of terrorism perpetrated by the Boys. The boys also had some political patronage from the ruling political parties of the day.
It was regrettable that all efforts made to bring the ugly situations under control failed woefully because of the conspiracy of some CONFLICTPRENEURS, violence merchants and some compromised security men who received kickbacks when ransoms were paid .
This was the backdrop that birthed the invitation and inauguration of OSPAC in Ikwerre LGA. It was, even, clearer to the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the cripple to walk, that OSPAC restored sanity, peace and sanctity of life to Ikwerre LGA. Ever since OSPAC took charge of the security architecture (internal) of our local communities, normalcy has returned as the criminal elements have all fled and peace is gradually returning to every community.  Locals could move around and do their legit businesses unmolested as the occurrence of violent clashes and killings have ended relatively. There are no longer reported cases of abductions and rape as before. Kudos to OSPAC!
While we must admit the fact that some members of OSPAC have their excesses, it becomes very pertinent, to state here, that such misdemeanours be channelled to our traditional institution (ROYAL STOOLS) which supervise and coordinate them to handle, rather than subjecting them to public ridicule and disrepute. Although we have had some instances where a handful of them got involved in the settlement of civil strife which is not a part of their rules of engagement, such perpetrators ought to be punished according to their weird ‘modus operandi.’
In as much as members of the local vigilante are part and parcel of our corruption-ridden or rotten society, there are chances or tendencies that some of them will be negatively influenced to get involved in some nefarious acts as against the rules of engagement. However, it will not be advisable for us to throw away the baby with the bathe water. While handling their excesses, we have to tread with caution so as to avoid exposing them to danger.
It is important to remark here that conflictpreneurs and merchants of violence are so disturbed that the organisation has run them out of business. They are hell-bent on discrediting the positive sides of OSPAC.
Most importantly, peace and order have returned to our local communities. There is sanity now and there are no traces of cultism and cult- related activities. We are at peace and have celebrated two Yuletide Seasons without bloodbath. The Police hierarchy must come to terms with the stark realities that our local communities have more confidence in OSPAC than they.
Therefore, we must respect and honour OSPAC for its sacrifice and good works and caution them when necessary. If we work to disband them, GOD FORBID, it will be to our own peril. The “ terror” of OSPAC is far better than the romance of De Gbam and Ice Land.
In conclusion, I urge the traditional institution and the political leadership of Igwuruta and Ikwerre LGA to rise up to the challenge of ensuring that the members of Igwuruta OSPAC, who were harassed, molested, arrested and detained by the Police, regain their freedom and be allowed to continue in their business of sustaining peace at Igwuruta. This call is beyond the Igwuruta Saga. Let people of good conscience rise up to support OSPAC to continue in their giant strides.
Most regrettable is that of Emohua Council Chairman, who outrightly banned the operations of the local vigilante group co-named OSPAC without any alternative mechanism on ground regardless of the possibility of regrouping of the men of the underworld to the local communities. Afterall, one of the best writers from the Black World, Chinua Achebe, warns us to always know when the rains begin to beat us.

 

By: King Onunwor with Reports From Daniel Henacho Eluke (Ezeoha), Port Harcourt

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City Crime

Sustaining Existing Peace In ONELGA

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Security is one area that leaders of all tiers of government must address their minds to. This is because government originated from the desire of the bourgeoisie to secure their property from the commoners.
Consequently, one of the fundamental responsibilities of government is to ensure the security of lives and property of the citizenry.
Most importantly, the present situation in the country calls for concerted efforts by all and sundry to ensure that law-abiding citizens of the federation were safe.
Interestingly, less than 24 hours from now, chief security officers of the 23 local government councils executive in the Rivers State will be sworn in by the executive governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike.
It is expected that the council chairmen will complement the robust security architecture already fixed by the governor. The proactiveness of the state chief executive has paid handsomely as the level of security in the state has been beefed up. This is exemplified by the short fall in security challenges.
Many people who spoke with The Tide on their expectations from the council chairman across the state harped on the need to battle insecurity.
Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday, a business operator and resident of Omoku, Mrs Patience Ndidi (Nee Obuah), who spoke on behalf of the business community urged the incoming chairman to sustain the existing peace in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the State.
She described the chairman-elect, Hon. Vincent Job as a trusted leader as well as epitome of what a leader should be.
Mrs Ndidi expressed hope that the incoming chairman would sustain the existing peace in the area. According to her, “the peace we are enjoying today must be sustained even as we pray for him”.
Also speaking, an elder statesman in the area, Chief Ono Eze Obi, said, “my expectation is for the chairman elect to accord the security of lives and property a priority because our people must stay alive to enjoy the dividends of democracy.”
He noted that insecurity had relegated the local government to the background which they did not want to recur.
“We expect the incoming chairman to tackle security holistically by partnering with relevant stakeholders, security operatives, especially the local government vigilante called ONELGA Security Planning and Advisory Committee (OSPAC),” he stated
“Hon Vincent Job understands administration especially at this level. He is assuming this exalted office at this critical time in our history, when insecurity has been a great source of worry to all and sundry.”
Hon Azubuike Awuya, a youth leader in Obrikom stated.
“He should act like a desired messiah in this regard. I can assure you our people will be pleased with his administration; Hon. Awuya noted.
Another person, who spoke with The Tide, the female youth leader, Hon. Sarah Woko, said the blueprint conveyed by Hon Vincent Job during his electoral campaign received wide acceptance.
She averred that the blueprint had given them the assurance of peace and tranquility in the area.
She said, “the security architecture must be adequately strengthened to further boost both economic and social activities of our people.
Also speaking, a farmer residing in ONELGA, Mr Ossai Tony, noted ,” I join other farmers to plead with the incoming chairman to ensure farmers could conveniently go to their farms without security threats. We give kudos to ONELGA OSPAC. They are the reason farmers can carry out their legitimate business, so we expect him to sustain it.
A trader, Mr Okechukwu Nwokocha who spoke with The Tide noted,” I must thank you for this opportunity. A lot of expectations but the one that concerns us is that of security. Since the arrival of OSPAC business activities have grown steadily. We operate freely without molestation. The only thing he can do for us is the sustenance of security, peace and order. We will be grateful to him”, he said.
It would be recalled that ONELGA was the hotbed of crisis during the era of late Don Wani, the cult kingpin that relegated the LGA to the background. The killing of Don Wani and the formation of OSPAC were two things that brought a new lease of life to residents of the area.
The issue of reliving the horrible and ugly experiences of the pre-OSPAC days has often assailed the minds of ONELGA residents, little wonder then that everyone craves for the sustenance of the security apparatus in the area.
Before OSPAC was formed, many ONELGA communities had been deserted. Raping of women and girls was commonplace. Killings, decapitation and selling of body parts were the order of the day.
Don Wani was the notorious dictator in the entire local government area.
It would be pertinent therefore for successive council administrations in the area to sustain peace so that there should be no relapse into the horrors of the past.
Ralph Echefu is a public affairs analyst, based in Port Harcourt.

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City Crime

Whether Rent Is Refundable

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A Tenancy Agreement is a contract between a landlord and the tenant which sets out the rights and obligations of both the landlord and the tenant when renting property in Nigeria. Both landlord and tenant have something called implied rights in all tenancy relationships whether or not a tenancy agreement exists. However, a tenancy agreement is important because it provides further protection for both the landlord and the tenant, and it expands on the implied rights.
As the tenancy agreement is a contract between two parties, the landlord and the tenant, the tenant has the right to review the terms of the tenancy agreement to determine whether or not the agreement protects his/her interests.
As a landlord or a tenant, you need to ensure that your tenancy agreement includes the following terms and information at a minimum:

  • The names and addresses of the landlord and the Tenant and the address of the property
  • The start date and end date of the tenancy
  • How much the rent will be
  • Other applicable amounts including legal fees, agency fees, security deposits, service charges/fees etc as applicable.
  • The obligation of both the landlord and the tenant.
  • An outline of bills the tenant is responsible for.
    The above list is not exhaustive, these and more terms that are frequently included in well-drafted tenancy Aaeements. It is advisable therefore, that a well drafted tenancy agreement is signed by both parties.
    Having established the fact that a tenancy is a contract, it must be noted that breaking it at will does not entitle the tenant any refund. In simple terms, there is no refund of rent after payment. If the tenancy surrenders before the contract is executed, the Landlord may return the amount gained which was let out during the subsistence of the tenancy which was surrendered, apart from that; a tenant is not entitled to refund. See Abdurahman V. Thomas (2019) 12 NWLR (PT 1685) 107 SC @ 129, Nig Con Holding Com. Ltd V. Owayele (1988) 4 NWLR (PT 90) 588 @ 603.
    The mere fact that the tenant returned key does not mean rescission of the tenancy. When tenants returns key before the expiration of his tent, he is not entitled to refund of rent except the property was let out, and it is only for the remainder of the period let out and paid for by the new tenant within the period under by the old tenant.
    In other words, your tenancy will continue to subsist in the apartment until it is let to a new tenant. Once the place is let after you have vacated (and before the expiration of your tenancy), you are then refunded for the unexpired term.
  • By: Nkechi Bright-Ewere
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City Crime

Five Friends In Court For Abduction, Robbery

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An FCT High Court, Kubwa, has fixed July 5 for the definite hearing in a case against five friends.
Justus Alex, Victor Alex, Marcus Eze, Asogwa Johnson and John Ofor face four counts of armed robbery and abduction filed by the police.
Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya fixed the date after prosecution counsel, Sadiq Haruna, announced he had made rearrangements with the court registrar to serve the defendants’ sureties.
The sureties could not be served due to the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) strike.
The defendants are accused of robbing one Theophilus Kelechi and three others of five phones, one digital camera and N50,000 cash at Nandu Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja on October 15, 2019.
They also allegedly abducted Chief Benard Nwora from his office at Suite 52 of the same plaza and took him to Ado village in Nasarawa.
According to the prosecution, they demanded N50 million ransom from his wife, Bethel.
The police recovered two pistols, six live cartridges without licence, from the friends in Ado on October 16, 2019.
Their offences contravened the provisions of Section 2(3) of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provision Act Cap 398 LFN 1990 and Section 273 of the Penal Code.
All the suspects have pleaded not guilty.

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