A Port Harcourt-based lawyer and human rights crusader, Mr. Chinoye Okoha, has said that rural communities in Rivers State need better security architecture in the wake of growing restiveness among the youths.
Mr Okoha, who stated this while chatting with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday, remarked that remote rural communities were vulnerable to attacks by hoodlums.
He noted that despite community policing through self-help efforts rural areas had remained targets for violence.
Mr Okoha stated that most deaths in the rural communities were often not captured in the media.
He cited the festering violence in Ibaa and Obele communities as a case in point.
He called on the Nigerian police to be proactive in order to nip crimes in the bud.
The Port Harcourt-based lawyer asserted that the lives of rural dwellers mattered and needed to be protected.
He pointed out that a lot was needed to protect rural inhabitants.
Mr Okoha remarked that some youths engaged in crimes because politicians used them for their selfish purposes.
He noted that cultism, drug abuse, kidnapping and robbery had become the bane of our youths.
He told the youths to shun drugs and engage in meaningful vocation.
Mr Okoha said that despite the lack of job opportunities crime was not an alternative means of livelihood.
He warned politicians not use the youths for thuggery during the elections 2023.
“The future of this country depends on the youths and we cannot afford to have a preponderance of them in crimes. We must do something urgently to reverse the trend, “the lawyer stated.
By: Chidi Enyie
Do Not Sabotage Passport Unit, Immigration Warns
Members of the public, especially passport applicants have been warned to stop patronizing road-side passport operators which is tantamount to sabotage.
A top Immigration Officer in Port Harcourt, who pleaded anonymity, said those doing such, was trying to sabotage the efforts of the Command, vis-avis that of the Controller, Bala Dangana.
The Officer made this known when he spoke in an exclusive chat with this Publication in Port Harcourt during the week and noted that such act was against the wheels of the laws that established the agency and may project it in a bad light in the eye of the public.
The pointed out that the Passport process do not require a third party in that its processes are easy and pocket friendly.
The Officer expressed regrets that the saboteurs charge the unsuspecting members of the public seeking passport exorbitantly thereby making the process cumbersome.
He boasted how the Passport personnel have all it takes to deliver tasks on schedule with zero complain.
According to him, those in the act of the alleged sabotage risk imprisonment, if caught, in that it is viewed as economic sabotage on the part of the federal government.
“Passport racketeering is a against the law and abuse of process. Things must be done in order and indecency. We are an agency established by law. So, anything we are doing must follow due process”, he.
He has also called on members of the public to be wary of patronizing road-side passport operators to avoid double payment.
If due process will be followed, according to him, the issue of passport racketeering will belong to history.
“The problem is the some members of the public seeking passport assistance are not patience. Some of them come when time for the purpose of the Passport is due. That is part of the reasons the run into wrong hands at times”, he said.
It was learnt that surveillance has been place around the Immigration Offices in the state in an attempt to arrest and bring to book those involved in passport racketeering to book.
By: King Onunwor
…Debunk PTD-NUPENG Members’ Claim
The Rivers State Police Command has debunked in its entirety, a media report from the PTD-NUPENG members in the state who alleged that the Commissioner of Police did not allow them to extort money from petroleum tankers’ drivers and added that such allegations were frivolous and should be discarded
A statement by the police spokesperson in the State, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, however, explained that the report as peddled by the group was not correct as it was not the true position of what transpired during the meeting called by CP Friday Eboka and members of the union to end the week-long strike which was the reason for the fuel scarcity witnessed in the state recently.
“The attention of the Rivers State Police Command has been drawn to a protest by some disgruntled elements on Saturday, September 17, 2022 along UTC Junction to Government House, Port Harcourt, who alleged that the Commissioner of Police did not allow them to extort money from petroleum tankers’ drivers. “
“The command would have ignored them, considering the fact that most people captured on camera on that day were hired urchins.
However, the need to save the good people of Rivers State from being fed with wrong information has necessitated this response.”
“Residents of Port Harcourt and its environs will easily recall that for about a week preceding the day of the protest, PTD-NUPENG embarked on a strike action as a result of which the people of Rivers State suffered untold hardship due to the resultant fuel scarcity. The Commissioner of Police as a way of expressing his love for residents of the State convened a meeting of all stakeholders on 16/9/2022. At the end of the deliberation which lasted over six hours, a communiqué was issued and NUPENG called off the strike action. Everyone in the state was of course happy.”
Surprisingly, as the PTD-NUPENG tanker drivers started loading, a group of disgruntled elements who perhaps were happy that there was scarcity in the town, blocked them from distributing petroleum products, insisting on collecting tolls from them. Irked that the agreement which took hours to attain was about to be scuttled, the Police moved in to allow the tanker drivers do their work. The next day, this group who called themselves IPMAN, hired some urchins to disturb the peace of Port Harcourt”.
By: Amadi Akujobi
Don’t Pay Attorney, Committee, Community Heads Urge LG Boss
Elders and principal members of Omuigwe and Obugwor villages in Egbeda have called on the Emohua Council Chairman, Hon. Chidi Lloyd to stop any further payment relating to their Owheshi Land Acquisition by Polo Cico Ltd, to either their attorney or the committee that had represented them in the past.
Leader of Obugwor Village, Elder Clifford Waba, who made the call while speaking with newsmen at his residence in Elele on Monday, noted that the committee set up by the two villages and the attorney
they had given power had swindled a large chunk of the community’s money.
He said the attorney was paid N45, 000,000 (Forty Five Million Naira) only on behalf of the villages but presented N20,000,000 (Twenty Million Naira) only as what the villages were paid.
Elder Waba pointed out that at first they could not ascertain how much was paid as the money was paid into the lawyer’s account.
The community leader said the attorney had admitted the fraud but was still insistent on representing the community, a situation which had incensed the people against him.
He remarked that the fraud was committed in connivance with the committee.
He noted that both the attorney and the committee had been asked to steer away from further transaction in that regard.
Elder Waba explained that the fraud committed by both the committee and the attorney had caused rift in the community which would exacerbate if money is paid through such channel.
He said those who squandered the community’s fund were still insistent on representing it in further transactions.
According to him “both the attorney and the committee members have betrayed the confidence eposed in them and can no longer represent us. As it is now, their culpability is still being investigated.
We have written to the lawyer revoking the power donated to him and the committee has been dissolved.
Also speaking the head of Omuigwe village Elder Friday Umenwor called on the State Government to stop Hon. Lloyd from making any further payment to the disengaged attorney or to the defunct
He said as a result of the fraud committed by both their attorney and the committee they could no longer be used for further payment.
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