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CSOs Demand Re-Arrest Of Child Trafficking Suspects

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A non-governmental organisation, Centre for Justice, Empowerment and Development (C4J), Rivers State Response Team on Violence Against Women and Children, as well as other civil society organisations have demanded the immediate re-arrest of Chinyere Ohanyere, by the Imo State Police Command over the case of alleged child trafficking against her, and her suspected accomplice, Ngozi Egbuson Ebuzoaju.
The Tide reports that 55-year old Chinyere Ohanyere, popularly known as Madam Chichi, and Ngozi Egbuson Ebuzoaju, a nurse were arrested in October 2021 for alleged stealing and trafficking in two children suspected to have been stolen from a yet to be disclosed location in Rivers State, and are standing trial before an Owerri High Court in suit No. OW/54C/2021 between the Commissioner of Police Vs Ebuzoaju, and at Owerri Magistrate Court in suit no. OW/505C/2021 between Commissioner of Police Vs Chinyere and Anor.
The order was made in a statement signed and made available to The Tide by the Head, Communication/ Child Rights Officer (C4J), Maureen Udeagha last Tuesday.
The civil society groups also called on the Commissioner of Police, to ensure professionalism, due diligence and speedy investigation of the matter as returned to the state police command by the Office of the Imo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
Coordinator of the Rivers State Response Team on Violence Against Women and Children, Tombari Dumka-Kote, made the position of the groups known, in reaction to the statement credited to the office of the Imo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Cyprian Akaolisa and published in some national and online dailies, Tuesday.
Dumka-Kote, who spoke to newsmen on Wednesday, at the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Court Complex, during the resumed hearing on the matter, quoted the Imo State Attorney-General as saying the return of the case files to the police was for a holistic investigation to be carried out.
The human rights activist however, said the failure of the police to produce the woman who allegedly sold the children to the nurse, Ngozi Ebuzoaju Egbuson, nor the mothers of the children, should not be used as an excuse why suspects that are found to have been involved in a heinous crime of human trafficking should not be prosecuted by the State.
He called on the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command to resist being intimidated and blackmailed into covering up the findings of their investigation, and go ahead to make public and available to the courts, the original written and audio confessional statement of Ngozi Ebuzoaju Egbuson while in police custody.
‘This way, the State Police Command would free itself from the complicity and issue of poor investigation now beclouding the case in court”’ Dumka-Kote stated.
On her part, Maureen Udeagha, Head, Communication/Child Rights Officer at the Centre for Justice, Empowerment & Development (C4J) said the Imo state Attorney-General had always been quick in dishing out blames since his move to withdraw the case from court and stop the prosecution of suspects was rejected by civil society groups that raised the alarm.
Udeagha said in the phase of the recent development, the civil society community in the State were demanding the immediate re-arrest of Chinyere Ohanyere, who was arraigned separately on same matter, for child stealing and was granted bail, as well as one Chinelo, and others still at large.
She also insisted that the police investigation should be speedy and timely.
She agreed that a DNA test will resolve the puzzle about the claims of Chinyere Ohanyere that she conceived and gave birth to the children.
She said the civil rights community, Nigerians, as well as the international community are watching what the AG and the Imo State Government will make of the case.
Meanwhile, during resumed hearing of the case Wednesday, Hon. Justice I.M. Njaka adjourned ruling on the bail application brought before the court by Counsel to the accused, to the next adjourned date.
The court’s decision was based on the fact that both the State counsel, and lawyer representing the Imo state chapter of the African Women Lawyers Association both rejected the application by the defence counsel, informing the court that child trafficking was a very serious offence.
Although, the Attorney-General was not available to inform the court of the position of Imo State Government to return the case files to the police as expected both at the magistrate and High Courts of Justice.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Rivers

Cattle Dealers Hail Fubara Over Elelenwo Spare Parts Market

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The Chairman of Cattle Market, Rivers State, Alhaji Khali Isa, has praised the State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, for laying the foundation for the Auto Mobile Trading and Commercial Centre in Port Harcourt.
Alhaji Isa, who expressed his pleasure in an interview with The Tide during the foundation laying ceremony of the spare parts Market at Elelenwo, in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, said the completion of the market will boost the economy of the area.
He said the market will provide job opportunities for thousands of Rivers people and others resident in the state, adding that the economy of the area will be opened up.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Isa has blamed the high cost of cows in the state on high cost of transportation.
He said because of the high cost of diesel and Petrol, truck drivers charged higher fair to carry cows from the Northern part of Nigeria to Rivers State and other parts of the south.
According to him, the situation is affecting cattle dealers as they now pay more to move cattle from the North to the South of the Country.
He called on the government to look into the issue of fuel price inorder to reduce the burden of bringing the animals to the south.
Isa also pledged the readiness of his office to work with the State Government to ensure that meat consummed in the state are safe.
He also denied that horse meat is being sold in markets in the state.
The Chairman also assured the Government of the support of Cattle Dealers in the State.

John Bibor

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Firm, PDP Chief Hail Fubara’s Supreme Court Victory

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There was massive celebration at Omagwa Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, recently as Simplified Movement held a thanksgiving service over the successful governorship election and victory at the Supreme Court in honour of Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Ocabic group took the lead by joining thousands of Simplified supporters in the local government in celebrating the Governor’ s dual victory.
Ocabic group led by Eze Ali 1 of Omokpirikwu Elele, Eze Okey Okah was not left out in the celebration.
Workers of the company erupted in victory songs and dancing, as they trooped out in their large numbers and colourful attires to join the celebration party.
Omagwa, the venue of the thanksgiving was filled to the brim as Ocabic group took the centrestage in the celebration.
Speaking at the event, Eze Okah said he and his teeming supporters joined millions of well – meaning Rivers people to rejoice and celebrate the judgment of the Supreme Court.
He described Governor Fubara as an epitome of peace, stressing that Rivers people should join hands with him to move the State forward.
Eze Okah, one of the PDP leaders in Ward four in Elele said his group would continue to work with Governor Fubara to enable him achieve his administration’s goals in the State.
He said Elele community and Ikwerre Local Government Area are Simplified, hence, have resolved to work with Governor Fubara, and give him the necessary support required to change the narrative.
He listed the 20,000 housing units, Port Harcourt Ring Road Project; promotion of civil servants, among other initiatives, of the present administrator as some of Governor Fubara’ s uncommon transformation in the State.
He commended the leadership of Simplified Movement, Ikwerre Local Government Chapter for organising one of the best thanksgiving rallies in the area.
Earlier, the Chairman of PDP in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Hon Amadi Dennis expressed gratitude to God for the success of the thanksgiving service.
He also expressed happiness over the large turn out of party faithful, describing it as awesome.
Hon Amadi said come 2027, Governor Fubara’s victory at the poll is assured, considering the calibre of people leading the Simplified Movement in the area.
He said the foot soldiers in Ikwerre politics are strongly behind Governor Fubara, which he noted would metamorphous into overwhelming victory come 2027.
The Ikwerre PDP Chairman said Ward eight, where he hails from and other Wards in the local government are Simplified.
“The thanksgiving was aimed at giving glory to God for the dual victory of His Excellency at the Supreme Court and at the governorship election. The victory is for the benefit of Rivers people. .We can see the hand of God as it was restored upon David. Our people have come in their numbers to reassure His Excellency of total support and overwhelming victory come 2027. The people you see here are foot soldiers who have been winning elections in Ikwerre Local Government Area. It tells you that Ikwerre is Simplified and fully ready to give our Governor the necessary support to succeed. We decided to choose Omagwa for two explicable reasons. Omagwa remains PDP’s political rallying point and home of the Executive Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Council,” he said.

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Enough Is Enough, Group Tells Fubara’s Detractors

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As the Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, continues to gain more supporters, a group under the aegies of “Sim For Good Governance” in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area, has warned those it tagged as detractors to look elsewhere and trouble the Governor no more.
The group made this known via its leader, Amb. King Tony Boms, in a press briefing in Port Harcourt, recently.
Boms said they are now all up to defend the Rivers State Governor from all attacks of the enemy.
The group, which narrated how the Riverines supported all past Governors from the Ikwerre extraction, noted that it will only be fair and just for the Ikwerres to reciprocate same.
According to him, Governor Siminalayi Fubara, who was duly elected and subsequently confirmed by the Supreme Court, should be let alone to enable him concetrate on the mandate given to him.
He also stated that about 65 per cent vote for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the State was in solidarity with Sim Fubara and not as perceived in some quarters.
“We cannot fold our arms and watch people attack the Governor without defending him. We are here to say that he is doing well and should be left alone”, he said.
To the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Martin Amaewhule, the group called on him to formelly declare his intention to govern the State than to do same through the back door.
“We will continue to support Sim. Our brothers should sheathe their sword. We may recall all Obio/Akpor Lawmakers in the House of Assembly, if they continue to trouble Sim”, he said.
Another member of the body, Chief Jackson Omenazu, said Governor Fubara was doing well in terms of human capital development.
Omenazu noted that past administrations paid huge attention to the formation of ‘bricks and mortar, which he said cannot bring development to the State.

King Onunwor

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