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
RSHA: Amaewhule-Led Lawmakers Defy Court Order, Elect New Leaders
The crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly took a new twist on Wednesday as lawmakers loyal to the former Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, sat under tight security in the complex.
This is contrary to the court order asking the two factions of the State House of Assembly to maintain the status quo pending the determination of a suit filed by the Edison Ehie faction.
Recall that Ehie faction had obtained a court order that parties should maintain the status quo pending the determination of a suit seeking to sack Amaewhule as the House Speaker.
The Rivers Assembly had become factionalised following an unsuccessful move to impeach Governor Siminialayi Fubara.
The Amaewhule-led lawmakers are believed to be loyal to Fubara’s predecessor and political godfather, Nyesom Wike.
It was learnt that ahead of Wednesday’s sitting, cleaners had on Tuesday been deployed to clean up the Assembly complex, which had been under locks, since October 29, following an explosion in the complex the night before.
One of the cleaners said they were instructed to tidy up the complex ahead of a sitting on Wednesday.
It was gathered that the Wednesday sitting was held for about two hours as a team of riot policemen and security vans were stationed in front of the House to prevent any breaches.
It was gathered that the lawmakers elected a former Chief Whip as the new Majority Leader of the Assembly.
The member, representing Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 1, Frankline Nwabochi, was named the new Chief Whip.
An unsigned statement sent to the Assembly Press Corps obtained by The Tide said the two new principal officers accordingly took their oath of office.
Amaewhule congratulated them, charging them to be committed to their new responsibilities.
According to the statement, the lawmakers also passed the first reading of a Bill seeking to amend the Rivers State Local Government Law, No. 5 of 2018.
They also debated on the Rivers State House of Assembly Funds Management (Financial Autonomy) Bill, 2023, which passed second reading on Wednesday.
Amaewhule who described the Bill as important, expressed his conviction that Governor Fubara would assent to it after the lawmakers finally pass it.
He hinted that the governor had withheld funds meant for the Assembly for the month of November.
He said the lawmakers were determined to perform their constitutional duties despite the distractions.
He thereafter referred the Bill to the House Committee on Public Accounts for public hearing and further legislative scrutiny.
The other faction of the Assembly led by Ehie, and loyal to Fubara, had yet to react to the Wednesday development as of the time of filing this report.
Ogoni Group Mulls Recall Of Lawmakers Over Foiled Fubara’s Impeachment
An Advocacy group in Rivers State, Ogoni Development Drive (ODD), says it has begun the process to recall four Ogoni lawmakers from the Rivers House of Assembly over their alleged roles in the botched impeachment of Governor Similanayi Fubara.
The lawmakers are Dumle Maol (PDP, Gokana constituency), Barile Nwakoh (PDP, Khana), Aforji Igwe (PDP, Eleme) and Bernard Ngba (PDP, Tai).
The group’s Convener, Comrade Solomon Lenu, made this known at a news conference in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Recall that Fubara survived an alleged impeachment plot on October 30.
ODD said it had on November 10 issued a seven-day ultimatum to the four Ogoni lawmakers who partook in the plot that attempted to serve an impeachment notice to Governor Fubara.
The four lawmakers, now suspended, were asked to apologise to the Ogoni people whom they represent and to Gov. Fubara for denigrating his exalted office or risk being recalled.
“Instead of heeding this advice and embracing the olive branch extended to them, they rather embarked on an egocentric escapade,” the group said.
Lenu further said the lawmakers rather than heed to the advice by ODD, engaged in various meetings that purportedly plotted to unseat the governor.
“Governor Fubara was collectively voted for by the entire Rivers people, and as such, the action by the lawmakers has not gone well with all men and women of conscience.
“It is illogical for the erring assembly members to think it is right to impeach an innocent governor for no just cause but wrong to recall them for erring against their constituents.
“The suspended lawmakers called a bluff of ODD ultimatum, and so, we have decided to carry out this recall process in earnest, to put our democracy aright,” he said.
Lenu said the group had already reached an advanced level in sensitising and mobilising the lawmaker’s constituents to recall them.
He said that ODD had also obtained the comprehensive voters’ register of all voters in the four local government areas and constituencies.
According to him, an electronic capture form has also been created to make the petition process easier for students at various tertiary school campuses and those on holiday to sign the petition.
“So far, the response from the aggrieved constituents has been very impressive, and we shall in a few weeks’ time complete the compilation of the required signatures.
“The signatures are required for INEC to call for a referendum, which shall be carried out in branches with strict security guidance, to abort any sinister counterplot against democracy.
“We know this process is not going to be easy, but we are ready to go all the way, to create a sense of responsibility in our elected leaders,” he said.
Lenu said instilling a sense of responsibility in politicians and elected leaders would further entrench democratic tenets in the country.
The ODD convener called on the people of Ogoni to come forward and sign the petition, to end political “jamboree and illicit godfatherism” in the state.
The Tide reports that 26 lawmakers on Oct. 30 proceeded to impeach Fubara but were stopped by four pro-Fubara lawmakers led by Ehie Edison (PDP-Ahoada East II).
Mr Martins Amaewhule (Obio Akpor constituency), a close ally of a former governor, was later ousted as Speaker and Ehie sworn in as the new Speaker.
However, Amaewhule insists that he is still the Speaker of the House of Assembly, resulting in some form of confusion over the office of the Speaker.
FRSC Commander Faces Sanction Over Unauthorised Comments
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), yesterday, disowned the Unit Commander, Central Business District Unit Command, Assistant Corps Commander IL Ibrahim, over his recent statement on Vehicle Inspection Officers, otherwise known as Directorate of Road Traffic Services.
Ibrahim was quoted to have said that VIO officials did not have the right to arrest road traffic violators, including overloaded vehicles and motorists caught using phones while driving.
But Deputy Corps Marshal, Bisi Kazeem, in a statement, yesterday, said Ibrahim’s comment was not the position of the Corps.
Kazeem added that the concerned official had been recalled to the national headquarters for necessary disciplinary action.
The statement read, “The Federal Road Safety Corps wishes to make a pertinent clarification regarding the pronouncement by the Unit Commander, Central Business District Unit Command, Assistant Corps Commander IL Ibrahim, that Vehicle Inspection Officers, otherwise known as Directorate of Road Traffic Services, do not have the right to arrest road traffic violators, including overloaded vehicles and motorists caught using phones while driving.
“The general public is advised to disregard the statement as it had no approval of the Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu, and does not in anyway reflect the corporate or general position of the Corps.
“It is important for the public know that the laws establishing VIOs/State Traffic Management Agencies give them the statutory mandate to make arrests on different offences depending on the state within which they operate. As such, the agencies should be given the maximum cooperation for the enhancement of safety on our roads.
“On this note and in line with sustaining the Corps’ resolve that road safety is a collective responsibility, and in acknowledgement of the roles the State Traffic Management Agencies like the Vehicle Inspection Officers play in complementing the statutory responsibilities of the FRSC through enforcement of traffic laws, the Corps Marshal has ordered the immediate withdrawal of the Unit Commander to the national headquarters for necessary administrative and disciplinary actions.
“The public is admonished to always comply with all established traffic regulations and cooperate with security agencies deployed to maintain law and order on the highways, irrespective of their corporate mandate.”
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