A Port Harcourt-based lawyer, Gift Nyeche has called on intending property purchasers to be wary of claims by estate developers on the issue of issuance of free legal documents.
Nyeche made the call when he spoke in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt yesterday.
He said that he was worried after a certain estate developer via a Port Harcourt-based Radio Station told unsuspecting members of the public that one of the benefits of transacting directly with them was to avoid exhobitant fees by lawyers.
Rather, he informed that estate developers are the ones milking members of the public dry in terms of fee charges and payment.
He hinted that some of them trick people into the business under the guise of free legal documents provision whereas the fees have been imbedded into the business thrice above the real legal fee.
According to him, the estate developers are mere business operators seeking for their daily bread and not destiny helpers as they claim.
He also pointed out that such comments were tantamount to blackmail and threatened to institute a proper law suit against such estate developers, should such be repeated.
“Lawyer’s fees are fixed and regulated by rules and regulations. So, if there are any one to short-change the members of the public, it should be non-lawyers in the system “, he said.
The legal icon also recalled how one lady was tricked to pay double of the actual value of the property from an estate owner around the Port Harcourt International Airport axis and added that it took the intervention of a lawyer to salvage the situation.
He maintained that lawyers remained the best in the property transaction environment due to their training and professionalism.
On the issue of swindling members of the public in estate business, he called on the government to ensure that each estate developer got the approval of how many buildings and persons to be registered with them a time in order to avoid being swindled.
The Tide was informed that a certain estate developer is still cooling off at the Port Harcourt Correctional Home over inability to allocate land to purchasers after receiving payment.
By: King Onunwor
Why Correctional Service Centres Need Better Attention
The aim of the Prisons Act 1972 is to provide a body of rules for the comprehensive administration of prisons in Nigeria and the careful management of the correctional facilities created for individuals who violate the laws of the State and the federation.
The origin of modern Correctional Service in Nigeria dated back as early as 1861. That was the year when conceptional, Western-type prison was established in Nigeria.
The declaration of Lagos as a colony in the said year (1861), marked the beginning of the institution of formal machinery of governance. Those who were instrumental to the creation of the prison did so to aid in fine-tuning men/women who for any reason was found guilty by the law of the land.
The intention of the prison administration was never to build up any sort of stigmatisation against inmates upon their release or treat them with less regard while they remain ‘guest’ of the prison administrators.
No sane member of the society may decide to make the prison his or her place of abode. Some in most cases find themselves there in an unknown circumstance or what is never their own fault.
At times, the argument may be twisted to the point of utter disbelief of the suspect’s claims of innocence. I can recall vividly well some time last year when I visited one of the prison facilities in Rivers State. An inmate there said his mother-in-law just ‘brought’ him there because her daughter (the inmate’s wife) and child were involved in an inferno at the residence due to kerosene explosion from their cooking stove.
The inferno as the inmate claimed never occurred due to his negligence or whatever reason. To him, it was just a mere show of power on the mother-in-law’s side.
Several of such cases are too visible in the Correctional Service Centres of today. Going by the name ‘ Correctional Service Centre’, no one should have gone to the prison without experiencing ‘baptism of fire’ as intended by the founding fathers.
This baptism of fire, would have helped to reduce the burdens of the officers who I sympathise with due to the level of stress and challenges they face on daily basis. A close look at the officers will reveal a lot of things to a rational thinker.
The way and manner the officers handle the inmates, some parents cannot even treat their children or wards in like manner. At times, one begins to imagine whether or not the officers were pretending, but regular visits of the prisons disabused my mind.
The prison has its own superlative administrative style. They have their Perfects who command others on how to carry themselves in the facility.
They rule or control with less stress. Everyone knows exactly what to do and what not to do. Their laws or rules, if you ask me, are supreme. For instance, the Olowu (headman), has an overiding power/ authority over others.
His orders can never be challenged or thwarted by anyone. They obey him (Olowu) absolutely. His stature or size is immaterial so far as he is so crowned.
In most of the prisons I have visited in course of my jobs (please spare me details), I was meant to understand that in the prison, a goat can rule a lion. This to my mind, suggests a well tailored system of governance where everyone knows his/her boundary.
They do not struggle to get what is due anyone. They know their ‘Kings’ and respect them in an extraordinary manner.
My encounter with an Olowu in one of the prisons in Rivers State on Friday, October 27, 2023 formed part of the reasons for this piece. I actually incurred his wrath. When his Second-In-Command, came closer me and explained things, I felt bad for disobliging the Olowu.
His request was not tasking or too difficult to meet, but he was just a victim of circumstances who received the treatment reserved for someone else.
The Olowu’s Second-In-Command, who saw reasons with me, actually promised a better deal should I visit the area anytime soon. You can see the sincerity in an attempt to fix things between one’s boss and a stranger.
To him (2/ic), issues should not have risen between them and their visitor. The Olowu with just a wave of the hand, called his boy back from following me which he obeyed with little or no hesitation.
Now looking at the aim of the prison creation as captured above, one cannot but nod in total disagreement that the government is the major challenge towards the proper achievement of the aims and objectives of the prison.
If both the inmates and officers are living up to expectations in the facility, nothing under the sun should dissuade the government from meeting up with its responsibilities too.
Sometime ago, the hairs of every rational Nigerian stood tall when the rumour of about N4 billion worth of beddings and other materials meant for the welfare of prison inmates got lost on ‘transit’. Till date, no meaningful development or report has been made in that regard.
No one could muster enough courage to confront the issue. Everyone including the high and mighty kept mute till date. What a sorry situation?
The government ought to be held responsible at this point. The Act establishing the Prison Service also has a punishment section. Ordinarily, the government would have employed its entire arsenal to protect the defenseless members of the society like the inmates.
Let the powers that be not let the people believe that their inabilities to protect and/or provide for the free citizens are also the challenge of those incarcerated. If the present economic earthquakes in the country continue to shake the system, efforts must be made towards the improvement of the welfare of those in prison custody in order to avoid looming disaster.
Well, a tail less cow as the saying goes, ‘has its flies driven away by its god’. The churches are doing their best in an attempt to make the inmates have human treatment and feelings.
They (churches) visit the prison at random. Some even have Prison Ministry, where they organise themselves and visit the prisons once in awhile with sundry gift items including cooked foods.
One may be forced to think that everyone in the country has been abandoned to his/her fate. If not so, how can a sector in the system think of providing its members with exotic automobiles that cost several millions of naira in this period when some families cannot even boast of providing three square meals for their children or wards?
For the Prison Service to maintain its core mandate of correcting some morally fractured members of the society and otherwise, the government should not withhold its attention from them. Some of them can still come out from the prisons to rule us tomorrow (if my memories serve me right, we have one down already).
That is why every effort must be made towards the improvement of welfare packages for inmates and officers of the prison.
If they (inmates), can use the goat, to rule the lion, that means they have clues on how best to redeem us from the clutches of whatever thing that is holding us ransom at the moment.
By: King Onunwor
Drug Abuse Effects: What Police Need To Do To OSPAC
According to the Blacks Law Dictionary (Ninth Edition), in its page 572, drug abuse is said to mean “The detrimental state produced by the repeated consumption of a narcotic or other potentially dangerous drug, other than as prescribed by a doctor to treat an illness or other medical condition”.
Google also describes drug abuse as “The use of illegal drugs or the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used, or in excessive amounts”.
Drug abuse as it was learnt, may lead to social, physical, emotional, job-related problem. Today, the menace of drug abuse is so obvious in the society that, it has caused a lot of havoc in both families and the entire society.
This brings to mind the rate at which crime is committed nowadays among young people. They do many things with ease including crime commission and execution. Then, it was unheard of that one was beheaded after being killed.
But now, young people especially the cultists and crime predators among them blame and scold any of their pals who succeeded in ‘falling’ a perceived enemy without beheading same. To show his worth and to get the class approval he needed, he must kill and dismember the enemy just to spike him even at death.
Drug has been written about in many languages and by many people over the centuries. Many of these works are very useful in treatment for addiction, but few have the same impact as the Holy Bible. According to the Scriptures in 1st Peter Chapter 5 verse 8, it generally condemned intoxication, which can read to also mean drug abuse.
It reads thus: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil propels like a roaring lion looking for who to devour”, .It was also gathered that substance abuse or alcohol addiction dulls the mind. It makes it a fertile soil for destructive behaviour which leads to various level of crime participation and commission.
Some addicts may start from petty stealing just to afford money for drug. That is why the Holy Scriptures pointed out in Ephesians Chapter 5 verse 18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit”.
Also, the Quoran in its Chapter 2 v 219 said thus” They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and yet, some benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit “. And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess beyond needs”.
No meaningful human environment has ever welcomed the idea of drug abuse. In some climes, abusers are often treated as lepers wherein even their family members and friends distance them. They are treated in that way so that they can retrace their steps and do the needful.
I was shocked to the marrow when I was told the items or substance that could be abused and lead to serious intoxication. Many have failed in that aspect and have permanently injured their brain. Some abuse even the human excreta in the name of getting high.
Today, in our society, there are many promising youths who have run mad or suffering brain diseases due to drug abuse. Some started as a result of one night hanging out with friends. From there, they became addicts.
These are the ones that are very gruesome in action. They maim, kill and live their victims in horrible state. They are no more humans since their sense of humanity has left them. They now reason from the anus instead of the brain given that the brain has been lost to drug abuse.
Soon, families and the society generally may not boast of producing quality people and good brain thinkers. In a chat with one primary school teacher in one of our rural areas in the State, I was moved to tears when he told me that five male siblings of same parents were psychiatric patients due to drug abuse.
Pathetically, there is a likelihood that if the situation goes unchecked by the next decade more families in that community may suffer greater harm.
Also, another family very well known to me, share in the fate with the teacher’s community’, wherein two hefty adult males of same parents are now mentally deranged the abuse of drugs. If the federal, State and local government do not act fast to check the, the fate of the future generations will be in a serious jeopardy.
The most shocking aspect of the development is that females are not spared in the ugly trend. While growing up, ladies were hardly seen sipping beer in the open. They were tutored to see such life style as masculine. They maintained a high level of decorum and were given the necessary protection and respect by their male counterparts who saw them as the ‘weaker vessels’, as the Scriptures made us to believe.
But currently, there is an unhealthy contest between the male and female folks as to who should be adjudged to be the highest abusers of drug or substances. Many young ladies now roam the streets as a result of drug abuse. Night clubs operators are, to my mind, the major sponsors of this mind-boggling addiction, because some of them as I reliably gathered, provide the ladies with free drugs and other hard substances.
According to some persons who spoke under the cloak of anonymity, the reason for the free drug provision by the club owners for the ladies is to enable them be on fire. When on fire, it was gathered that it will take the ‘help’, of a male partner who is also on ‘fire’, to quench hers. This, according to sources, brings about business boom in the clubs.
Some of the ladies in the night clubs have testified to the fact that one can live such lives without abusing drugs or other substances. Now if such revelation is anything to go by, why would drug abusers not abound in the society? Consequently, there must be a concerted effort by all and sundry in the fight against drug abuse. The government and other relevant agencies must concern themselves more with how to checkmate the effect of the growing consumption and abuse of drugs in the society rather than benefitting from the ugly situation. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) should take greater responsibility so that society does not go berserk. Not to do something is to be crippled fast.
This ugly situation which is gradually becoming the talk-of-the- day is a respecter of no man. Last month, it was rumoured that a son of a prominent Nigerian was spotted at the road side dipping slices of bread in stagnant water and eating same. When the matter was investigated, it was discovered that he was not merely a substance abuser, but an addict of the highest order.
The drug law operatives have made it clear that they are always ready to partner with any group or individual willing to undergo rehabilitation free of charge. At a security summit at Rumuibekwe in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, recently, a representative of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, told the guests how a woman’s head was pounded with a mortar pestle to pieces by a drug addict, who was undergoing rehabilitation in their facility in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the addict, who was said to be from a rich family was withdrawn by her mother the same night she was killed on the ground that the facility was not befitting for her son. The NDLEA representative revealed that the addict was fast responding to treatment before the forceful withdrawal by his mother.
Now the nucleus of this write up is for the police authorities to consider partnering with the NDLEA and fight drug abuse rather than beaming their searchlight solely on the OSPAC. The OSPAC just like every other human outfit has its bad eggs. The bad eggs are not free of drug abuse, they could be fished out and made to undergo rehabilitation as well.
The police rather than give the OSPAC an undeserving attention, should in a jiffy, come in and work with the drug agency and sanitise the system. This will seriously check the overzealousness and unethical conduct and behaviour among OSPAC operatives.
From the foregoing, there appears to be a nexus between crime commission and drug abuse. If the listed agencies come together and fight against drug abuse, the excesses of the OSPAC will not only be nipped in the bud, but the entire society will know peace, the reason being the fact that the foundation of crime has been attacked and addressed.
History will not be kind to those who are asking for OSPAC’s neck in view of the horrifying situation that gave birth to the vigilante group as well as the peace they have restored in local communities.
Let us not throw away the baby alongside the bath water.
By: King Onunwor
Group Condemns Resurgence Of Violence In Rivers Community
The Unyeada Kingdom Elite Assembly Worldwide (UKEA), a socio cultural organisation in Unyeada Kingdom in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, has expressed concern over the resurgence of violence in the Kingdom.
The group said this in a communique made available to newsmen at the end of a stakeholders meeting at Unyeada Town, headquarters of the kingdom.
Recalled that on the 5th of October, 2023, five persons were allegedly kidnapped at Ajakajak by a cult group led by one Fingesi.
According to sources from the area, three of the kidnapped victims were rescued while the whereabouts of the two others is not yet known.
The matter has since been reported to the security agencies in the local government area.
In a communique made available to newsmen at the end of its meeting at Unyeada Town, the Assembly condemned the invasion, describing it as barbaric.
According to the communique,”the meeting condemned the unwarranted invasion of Ajakajak Community by one Fingesi and his cult group on Thursday, October 5, 2023.As we speak, of the five persons kidnapped during the invasion, three persons have been rescued while two are yet to return ‘
The meeting observed that since the administration of traditional oaths to cult groups in the area, youths of Unyeada Kingdom have been living in conformity with the sanctity of the oaths, adding that the situation has led to all round peace leading to robust socio-economic activities but regretted the recent invasion which, according to the group, has thrown the Kingdom into panic and anxiety as people now fear a return of cult attacks witnessed years back.
The Assembly said it was based on this that it is sending an SoS to Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara; the Chairman of Andoni Local Government Council, Barrister Erastus Awortu; the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army and the Commissioner of Police to come to the aid of the peace-loving people of Unyeada Kingdom by ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to book and made to face the wrath of the law.
The communique signed by Engr Gogo Nathan, Acting Administrator General, Unyeada Kingdom Elite Assembly Worldwide and Reuben Okwa, Director, Information and Communications of the organisation also raised an alarm over the conscription of some youths in the area into a cult group presently terrorising the local government area.
“From our findings, these youths are now intimidating residents especially the vulnerable. We do not want a repeat of of what transpired in our Kingdom years back. We urged the state government and the authorities of Andoni Local Government Area to wade in and fish out these youths as our people are ready to provide useful information”, it said.
Meanwhile, the Unyeada Kingdom Elite Assembly Worldwide has decried the marginalisation of the Kingdom in the sharing of political offices in Andoni Local Government Area.
According to the communique, of the four Divisions that made up Andoni Local Government Area, Unyeada Kingdom was the least in the sharing of the offices.
“We are yet to fathom a situation whereby of the four blocks in Andoni Local Government, Unyeada is the only block without a political office in Rivers state
“As we speak the member representing Andoni Constituency in the Rivers state House of Assembly is from Ngo clan, the member representing Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency is from Ngo, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice is from Ataba clan , the Local Government Area is from Asarama clan ‘
The group alleged that of the three clans that had stints as Andoni Council chairmen, it is only Unyeada clan that does not have two terms
It stressed the need for political parties in Rivers state to consider an Unyeada person for appointment and elective position
“It is our call that Unyeada should be allowed to complete it’s two terms as LGA Chairman for equity and justice”it said
By: John Bibor
Niger Delta19 hours ago
No More Business As Usual In UNICAL -VC
News18 hours ago
Expert Charges FG On Environment
Politics18 hours ago
Rivers SDP Leader Dumps Party, Declares Support For Fubara
News17 hours ago
Three Injured As NDLEA Officers, Armed Hoodlums Clash In Edo
Metro18 hours ago
NGO Leads Onslaught To Curb Violence Against Women
Sports17 hours ago
Rivers SWAN Lauds Rivers Hoopers Over NPBL Victory …As Gov Fubara Redeems N30m Pledge
Niger Delta19 hours ago
Ex-Militant Emerges Best Graduating Student At WDU
News18 hours ago
Rivers PDP Renews Call For Peace, Warns Against Balkanising Party