Detectives of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Monitoring Unit in Rivers State have arrested the killers of the Ward Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ogbogoro community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, late Mr Heaven-Ogbogbo Ihuigwe.
Late Ihuigwe was allegedly murdered on September 16, 2017, at about 19:45hours in cold blood and dumped in a cassava farm in Rumuekini community near Choba.
However, shortly after getting the report, the IGP Monitoring Team led by ACP Benneth Igweh, quickly swung into action to ensure that perpetrators of the inhuman act were arrested and brought to justice.
Addressing journalists at the state Police Command Headquarters, yesterday, to showcase the recent achievements recorded by men of the IGP Monitoring Unit, Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Administration, Cyril Okoro told journalists that following a tip-off, men of the IGP Monitoring Unit arrested one Ifeanyi Okoro (m) residing at Omagwa community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
Okoro disclosed that the arrest of Ifeanyi and his further interrogation and subsequent confession led to the arrest of Ajade Niyi, Austin Isotec, Chief Joseph Iwuoku (aka Uduakonmiri) and Clement Yusuf, who were other accomplices in the killing of the late party chairman.
He added that efforts were being made to arrest one Yaye, whom he said, was still at large.
According to him, all the arrested suspects have confessed to have taken part in the murder of the politician, adding that one Black Toyota Highlander, the deceased Gionee M5 phone and originals of land documents were items recovered from them.
The DCP also said that on February 2, 2018, one Okonkwo Ikenna Micheal of Elelenwo Street, Rumuodumanya at about 20:20 hours along the Elele-Omerelu-Owerri Road while returning from Anambra State was kidnapped by five unidentified gunmen but quickly added that the men of IGP Monitoring Unit while doing a follow up on the incident, arrested one Anthony Nnamdi Omereji, alias Tompolo.
According to him, Tompolo confessed that he had received the sum of N2million from the family of the victim as ransom, and that the sum of N250,000 was left with him upon arrest.
He averred that the suspect had confessed to be the leader of the dreaded and notorious criminal gang responsible for the several kidnap and armed robbery activities on the Port Harcourt-Owerre Road, adding efforts were being intensified to arrest the other gang members.
Okoro also told journalists that on February 16, 2018, operatives of the IGP Monitoring Unit led by ACP Benneth Igweh, acting on credible intelligence, arrested three suspects, Nkechi Uzoemene, Roseline Okey and Nwolu Rita, all females who allegedly conspired to be involved in child trafficking.
He stated that the suspects conspired amongst themselves and sold a two-month old baby boy belonging to Nwolu Rita at the sum of N300,000 without the consent of her husband, one Uche Duru.
“The child was sold to one Ngozi Egeonu in Owerri in Imo State. On the execution of search in the house and premises of the buyer (Ngozi Egeonu), operatives recovered nine pregnant girls whose pregnancies have been mortgaged.
“Further investigation led to the recovery of the two-month old baby boy at No. 24, Egbelu Street, Rumuodara in Port Harcourt, where the duo of Ugo Amarachi ‘f’ and Benjamin Amuobichukwu were arrested”, he added.
Okoro said all the suspects would be charged to court after investigations in their matters had been concluded even as he lauded members of the public for their sustained support and cooperation, and promised that the police will do more to make the state safe and secure.
Speaking to journalists, the wife of the slain PDP Ward Chairman, Mrs Salome Heaven-Ogbogbo Ihuigwe and Rivers State House of Assembly member in the area, Hon Michael Chinda lauded the efforts of the police in arresting those responsible for the killing of their kinsman.
They urged the police to ensure that justice was done in the matter.
Our correspondent reports that over 18 persons were paraded to newsmen during the briefing.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command has launched manhunt for a mobile police officer, who shot and killed a commercial taxi driver at the Rumuokoro Roundabout in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the incident in Port Harcourt, last Monday, however, denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the mobile police officer.
While responding to reporters’ questions on the whereabouts of the officer and what the police high command was doing to ensure justice for the victim of the careless shooting, Omoni said “The perpetrator of that dastardly act will be put to justice, the deceased deserves justice, and he must be given justice. It will only take some time, but I know at the end of the day, we will get to the boy.
“Right now, like I said yesterday (Sunday), he is a visiting mobile police officer, but we are getting some clues about his identity and where he is serving. So, in no time, we will get him apprehended, and he will face justice,” Omoni added.
Meanwhile, the wife of the deceased taxi driver, Mrs Precious Kelechi has demanded that justice must take its course over the death of her husband.
“It is unbelievable, I am still dreaming. I want to see the corpse of my husband. It is like a dream, I am yet to believe it’s real. I want to see the man that has kept me in this position. I want to see his face. I want him to be prosecuted. He is now on the run. The police should produce him to face the law,” she added.
It would be recalled that there was commotion in Rumuokoro in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, last Sunday, after a policeman allegedly killed a taxi driver, identified only as Bright.
A police team, which arrived shortly after the incident, cordoned off the scene to forestall break down of law and order in the area.
The Tide learnt that the cops shot continuously into the air to disperse a mob protesting against the killing.
It was gathered that the policeman, who fired the shot that killed the taxi driver, was escorting a vehicle conveying frozen chicken and fish to an unknown destination.
Susan Serekara-Nwikhana & Reliance Ezimora
Character Is Key To Success – Banigo
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has informed female aspirants seeking political relevance to be aware that good character is the key to success.
Banigo stated this, during the Female Aspire Conference, organised by the Office of the Vice President, of the Rivers State University, Student Union Government at the school premises, yesterday.
She said a good character can elevate somebody, open doors and break the ceiling for women, stressing that if female aspirants maintain a good character that people can attest to, and do not change anyhow they would succeed.
“You must stand firm by the things you believe in, and maintain a clear stand in any situation, be forthright, show integrity and when you speak, you let out what is inside you, that you can always attest to, and if a female wants to aspire she must show the character that will always prove her to be above board”. Banigo stressed.
The deputy governor commended Comrade Harmony Aluge, for setting up the Sweetney Aluge Foundation for Human Liberation, and expressed the hope that the foundation would touch lives and bring succor and solace to many families and would give them hope to live.
Banigo said she loves to help humanity, especially when it comes to sickle cell disease, adding that she knows what it takes because she has witnessed and treated it as a public health physician.
In her address, the Deputy Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Prof. Ngozi Nma Ordu, said part of what she loves doing is mentoring young people, noting that they could be bigger than the deputy governor and herself if they are focused.
She urged women to be focused and have a mentor to look up to, that would help them to inspire themselves, stressing that they must have humility to achieve greater heights.
“You must show respect, you must also be honest and transparent as that is the way you can build trust, you need to inculcate some of these attitudes to achieve greater heights”, Ordu said.
Earlier, the Vice President of the Rivers State University Student Union Government, Comrade Harmony Kose Aluge had said, women pass through a lot of pains during their monthly flow and childbearing, adding that the resource persons were carefully selected.
She said, “as future mothers, we need to follow your good steps, so we want to hear from you our mothers and learn from your wisdom and also the mistakes you made .
Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of an award of excellence to the deputy governor as “Eremesakibo” which is a Kalabari word that means the Lifter of Women.
Buhari Lauds Afreximbank For Injecting $250m Into AFSNET
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the African Export -Import Bank (Afreximbank) for organising African Sub-Sovereign Governments Network (AFSNET).
Buhari also lauded the President of the bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, and his team for committing $250million as seed capital towards the establishment of the AFSNET.
The President said that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) demonstrated innovative thinking by taking the AfCFTA to the grassroots, declaring that it would succeed if African governments demonstrate a higher level of commitment to tackle the slow pace of physical integration, political cooperation and tariff barriers that inhibit business integration.
Addressing the second AFSNET Conference organised by the Afreximbank in collaboration with the secretariat of AfCFTA and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, yesterday, in Abuja, Buhari decried the low-level trade among African countries.
He acknowledged that the initiative spearheaded by Afreximbank was aimed at firmly establishing and deepening intra-continental trade investment development frontier for Africa, facilitating the reduction in the continent’s dependence on exports of primary commodities as well as minimising the risks experienced due to strong reliance on global value chains.
He said, “This opportunity, if properly harnessed, is a significant step for Africa to begin carving its own niche in the global value chain, from the constituent units up.
“This will undoubtedly complement broader programmes such as the AfCFTA which remains one of the most strategic pan-African agenda to deliver inclusive and sustainable development.”
The President also recognised the support of the Secretariat of the AfCFTA and the role of its Secretary General, Wamkele Mene, in organising the conference in Abuja.
He underscored the critical role of the African Union Commission to the development of Africa and expressed delight that this initiative compliments the AU vision of achieving the 2063 Agenda –”The Africa We Want”.
Buhari, therefore, assured the participants of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian government in the implementation of the programme.
The President also commended the outgoing Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who also recently emerged as the President of the Forum of Règions in Africa, for embracing this initiative and being at the forefront of sharing and exploring opportunities that improve production and trade facilitation activities with his peers in the region.
Civil Society Groups Demand End To Oil Theft
A group of civil society organisations comprising ActionAid Nigeria, BudgIT, Centre for Social Justice and Christian Aid, have called on the Federal Government to end the crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region and save the country huge revenue for fiscal expenses.
Ahead of the forthcoming 2023 general election, the groups urged Nigerians to drop all forms of sentiments and elect quality leaders that would effectively preside over the nation’s public offices.
They claimed that 400,000 barrels of crude oil are lost daily, which translates to $1.2billion per month and $14.4billion (N6.272trillion) per annum, adding that if the sum is brought into account in the books of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, it will increase its profit and the dividends paid to the government.
They also urged the authorities to ensure that monthly remittance of interim operating surplus and reconciliation of cumulative remittances after year end is converted to a monthly deduction by the accountant-general of the federation.
The CSOs made the call yesterday while presenting their recommendations on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper of the Federal Government.
Leader of the group, Mr EzeOnyekpere, said the Federal Government need not wait for its enterprises to remit but the platform should be set up in such a manner that facilitates automatic deduction thereby ensuring that the sums due to the Federal Governmentwas not under any circumstance available for government-owned enterprises expenditure.
They called on President MuhammaduBuharito consider the removal of the leadership of NNPCL under whose watch the crude oil stealing has escalated. In the alternative, the CSOs expect the government to set clear theft reduction targets for the leadership of NNPC and the security agencies.
Country Director, ActionAid, Ene Obi, said, “The government should ensure that the reported quantity of PMS consumed every day is not inflated by conducting a transparent consumption audit and cut extant fuel subsidy by 50per cent and save not less than N3.36trillion in 2023.”
She expressed regret that current political office holders do not manage state resources for the common good of Nigerians.
“Look at the quality of people that occupy our public offices, especially privatised offices,” she stated.
The group noted that reducing Nigeria’s tax expenditure proposal by 90per cent will free up not less than N4trillion revenue, while also demanding the use of government-owned Treasury Single Account by all GOEs will increase government’s independent revenue by not less than N1trillion.
One of the group leaders, Oyekpere said, “Set a debt ceiling in accordance with S.41 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. This ceiling should be defined in the relationship of debt to revenue.
“Redefine the purpose of incurring debts in clear terms of debts being for projects that will promote value chain development, improve the macroeconomic framework, development infrastructure and build strategic human capital.”
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