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Family Accuses Vigilante Of Killing Man In Rivers

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The family of one Princewill Ogbonda has accused a vigilante group in Igwuruta, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, of killing their brother after he was arrested over alleged kidnapping.
The younger brother of Princewill, Lucky Ogbonda, told newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, that his elder brother and one Peter Opurum were arrested by the vigilante outfit called ONELGA Security Peace and Advisory Council (OSPAC) over a month ago on allegations of kidnapping, saying the duo were still missing.
Lucky, however, said eyewitnesses broke the news to him that the OSPAC members had taken him to a soothsayer who told them that the duo were guilty of the crime.
He alleged that having received that unverified information, the vigilante shot them and took their bodies away.
Lucky said that he called on the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, to prevail on the vigilante group to produce his brother (Princewill) dead or alive.
“They made a wild allegation against my brother that he is a kidnapper and one Peter Opurum. Immediately, they started beating my elder brother with all sorts of weapons and they locked them (Princewill and Peter) up. They went and called a soothsayer ‘who is a magician’ to do what they call Bible return-return. The Bible said that my elder brother and Peter Opurum are kidnappers.
“The OSPAC commander ordered one of his boys who took a gun and one other person, they shot both of them and immediately they called OSPAC Aluu (same outfit nearby) and they took away the body of my elder brother. From November 21, till now, we have not seen him and we have not heard from him. whether both of them are alive or not we don’t know,” he stated.
Lucky expressed dismay that despite being aware of the incident, the police had refused to make an arrest after an initial attempt to arrest the Igwuruta OSPAC commander and his members were resisted.
“If the DPO (Divisional Police Officer) is having difficulty arresting OSPAC in Igwuruta, he can call the Commissioner of Police for reinforcement. The OSPAC office, Igwuruta is open. They are there boasting that nothing will happen. I suspect a foul play on the part of the DPO,” he alleged.
Speaking on the incident, Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt branch, Prince Nyekwere, advised the victim’s family members to write a formal petition to the police and the association.
Nyekwere noted that as much as he commends the role of the said vigilante outfit in fighting crime in the state, the law does not allow them to kill anybody.
“Nobody, including the police, OSPAC, or anyone for that matter has the right to kill anybody on allegation of any crime. Unless and until that person has passed the due process of law and found guilty by a competent court with jurisdiction and the proper punishment meted out to the persons.
“So, people should play within the rules and the law of the land. They (OSPAC) are actually supposed to support the police in passing information. You cannot take somebody, and you are the judge, the prosecutor, the executor. No, the law does not allow that”, Nyekwere said.

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UI Alumni Want More Funding For Public Universities

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The National President (Worldwide) of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Professor Gabriel Nyityo, has called for increased funding of public universities in the country.
Nyityo, who said this shortly after the election of Professor Emmanuel Emasealu and others as new executive of the Rivers State Chapter of the Association in Port Harcourt, said public universities need to be properly funded to enable them undertake more researches.
He observed that while some public universities are doing their best, some are set up as public infrastructures in communities.
According to him, “a university is a university, each one thriving in excellence, whether public or private, but in this tradition we first have public universities, and tradition die hard. So, we are always inclined to feeling that public universities are better because they have the capacity, both human and physical resources, and a good number of them are doing very well.
“But then, they are also public universities that are setup like social infrastructure facilities for rural dwellers. Those kind of universities, unless they upgrade, they remain social amenities for rural dwellers and so they are not global.
“However, there are also excellent private universities. Some are very small, but contributing their best and also big and they are also contributing their best.
“Though in Nigeria we do know that much of the research-based post graduate research are being done by public universities, so they are still leaders”, he said.
Nyityo also said while public universities are doing their best, their private counterparts are also doing their best, stressing the need for government to put more money in the public universities to enable them discharge their responsibilities to the society.
He said the University of Ibadan, which is the first in the country, will continue to lead the way in terms of innovation and breakthroughs in technological research, and described the Rivers State Branch as the most vibrant in the country.
Meanwhile, former Senator Andrew Uchendu, , and the former Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University (RSU), Professor Simeon Achinewhu, have hailed the emergence of Prof Emmanuel C. Emasealu as the new Chairman of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA), Rivers State Branch.
The duo, who spoke shortly after the election, said the Rivers State Chapter of the Association has chosen the right person to pilot its affairs.
They also called for support to enable the new executive succeed.
The election was observed by the President of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) Worldwide, Prof Gabriel Nyityo, and other national officers that included the association’s 1st Assistant Secretary, Chief Uchemadu Abosi, and a former UIAA President.
It would be recalled that Prof. Emasealu, who was recently inducted into the Academy of Letters, leads a new Rivers UIAA executive team that includes, Mr. Mitayire Ajari as Vice Chairman; Barr. Goodluck M Ezikwa, Secretary; Barr. Chinedu Asuzu, Assistant Secretary; and Obiageli Egwudike Igwe as Treasurer.
The rest are, Christiana Lango Kalu, Financial Secretary; Kelechi Nwaucha, Public Relations Officer; Victoria Owoleke, Social Secretary; and Barr. Sarah Emmanuel-Apia, Legal Officer.
The new Rivers UIAA Chairman, Professor Emmanuel Emasealu, later told reporters that the association is blessed with professionals and prominent alumni, who have and are still contributing to the development of the state.
“In the first place, I would like to observe that UIAA worldwide was very much represented at this occasion.
“That is a statement, a very loud statement about the seriousness of the association.
“Two, I would like to state that we have a group of committed individuals, notable figures in society”, he stated.

By: John Bibor

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Group Hails Fubara Over Yobana’s Appointment

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A youth body “Sor Babbe 2024” under the auspices of Ogoni Sim Vanguard (OSV), in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State has commended the State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubura, for the appointment of their Chairman, Board Of Trustee (BOT), Ambassador Marvin Yobana as the Caretaker Commitee Chairman of Khana LGA.
The commendation is contained in a statement signed by the Secretary, Comr. Inaabura Terekpa Henry and the group Coordinator, Comrade Nwigbo Emmanuel, who described the Governor as a “God-given Governor” that mean well for the development of Khana LGA and beyond.
The statement also identified Yobana as a bonafide Ken-Khana son who is truthful and represents “a pure definition of putting a round peg in a round hole”.
“Also, we want to cease this opportunity to remind His Excellency, Siminalayi Fubara, of our undeterred support for his leadership due to his developmental stride in Khana and Rivers State at large.
“We are also calling and appealing on behalf of the good and peace loving people of Babbe district, in Khana LGA, for him to look in-ward with regards to the forth-coming Local government election in Khana.
“That no Babbe son or daughter has been given an opportunity to serve the endowed and blessed people of Khana in the capacity of a democratically elected Chairman since the commencement of the present day dispensation of democracy from 1999 till date.
”What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Babbe is a child gifted, enormously talented and prodigiously endowed with grassroot servant-hood leaders and support-based galvanisers that can contribute immensely to the growth and development of Khana and Rivers State at large in all ramification, if given the opportunity.
“As a group, we want to reiterate again that we remain resolute, focused and undeterred on the Babbe mandate, as this will serve as a justifiable unifier and thus strengthen the existence of PDP in Babbe and the local government as a whole.
“We also congratulate our BOT Chairman on his appointment as CTC Chairman, Khana LGA”, the statement stated.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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Monarch Charges Historians On History Documentation

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Eze Apara of Rebisi Kingdom and Paramount Ruler of Port Harcourt, HRM Isaiah Elekwu, has charged historians to begin earnest documentation of Rebisi people as a way to preserve their heritage.
The royal father gave the charge during the launch and public presentation of the book, “Rebisi Natives of Port Harcourt: History and Developments”, written by Arthur Kalagbor held in Port Harcourt.
He said intellectuals in the kingdom should engage more in written than oral history, as he commended Kalagbor for leading the light in documenting his people.
He described the book as the beginning of a new era in Rebisi kingdom and quest to ensure that there is cohesive and united front among the people.
Calling on elites in Rebisi to rise to the challenge of leadership, Eze Elikwu said time has come to save the future of the kingdom.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Sunny Amadi, said he was elated that a new awakening has started in Rebisi Kingdom with the book.
The university don, however, advocated for a new economy for Rebisi as he advocated use of estate development to drive future growth of the people.
In his words, “Today, most parts of Rebisi have been overtaken by development and that is why I urge our people to see opportunities from the estate, and built environment to preserve the future of children”.
Reviewing the book, Dr. Chris Akani described the work as historical legacy that seeks to throw light on the ontology of the people.
He stated that the seven chapter book with 106 pages is fluid and easy to read, with special focus on the origins of Rebisi people.
Akani added that, “it’s an exciting book that has come at the right time and I think the author should be given a resounding ovation”.
In his remarks, the author, Arthur Kalagbor, disclosed that the book is an outcome of a study group set up by Rebisi Monarch in 2014.
With the completion of the assignment to collate history of the kingdom, he noted that he was compelled to expand the frontiers to cover other areas of culture and origins to educate young generation.
Kalagbor reiterated that the book is dedicated for the future generation which has little knowledge of their history, and thanked royal fathers, and local sources for support, including former President of Ogbakor Ikwerre.

By: Kevin Nengia

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