There was pandemonium in the Ogbogoro axis of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State yesterday when a man attached to a task force allegedly punched a tricycle driver identified as Esikak Esieme to death following an argument over N200 ticket levy.
It was gathered that the task force officials had waved Esikak who was carrying a passenger to a stop and demanded the money, but the former explained that he had just begun business for the day and did not have the amount they requested yet.
An argument ensued immediately and in the process, one of the task force members who is alleged to be a cultist identified as ‘Osisi’ punched the 39-year-old keke driver who slumped.
Eyewitness accounts said that some of the victim’s colleagues immediately rushed him to an undisclosed hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Angered by the news of his passing, the tricycle drivers began a protest to express their grievances, alleging that the daily harassment and extortion they suffered from Osisi and his men was unbearable, even as they recounted the brawl that led to Esikak’s demise with bitterness.
The angry tricycle operators temporally shut down operations and marched from Ogbogoro to the complex of a popular Radio Station (Cool/Wazobia/Info FM) in Port Harcourt, demanding justice for their late colleague.
Speaking, the President of the Tricycle Union in Ogbogoro Community, Ivumba Friday, accused Osisi of being behind the incident, describing the latter as a ‘cultist’ and ‘hoodlum’ who has made life uncomfortable for the keke drivers.
Friday further said the illegal levies imposed on the keke drivers by the suspect and his group have been going on in the area unabated, saying the hoodlums have severally molested a vigilante group codenamed OSPAC in Ogbogoro without any attempt to arrest them.
According to him, “Nsikak Esieme was murdered this morning by one Osisi, a cultist that has been terrorizing Ogbogoro and our people on a daily basis. We have been reporting this matter to OSPAC, even to the police.
“Somebody should come and arrest this particular hoodlum that has been terrorizing keke people. The OSPAC will aid the Osisi in question to escape. Many times he used to break their windscreen in Ogbogoro.
“Our keke people are law-abiding and they pay their levies on a daily basis. Up till now that I speak to you, we don’t know the whereabouts of the corpse of our member that died.”
The deceased elder brother, Lucky Esieme, while narrating what transpired, first demanded the release of his late brother’s corpse to the family.
“When I left work to (for) my house, I saw my younger brother’s wife in my house telling me that on the way he carried a passenger to Ogbogoro junction.
“Reaching there the task force people asked him to give them N200. He told them he just came out and that he hasn’t worked. From there, they hit my brother in the stomach.
“He fell down, and they rushed him to the hospital. Later they said they took him out of the hospital. Till now, I don’t know where his corpse is. I want to see my brother’s body and know how we will bury him,” he explained while fighting back tears.
The spokesperson of the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she was yet to receive a report on the incident, as she has been in a marathon meeting.
She, however, promised to find out from the Ogbogoro Police Division and revert, but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.
Fubara Set To Create New Cities In Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has disclosed that arrangements are at advanced stages to achieve the development of new cities in the state that would help to decongest Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Fubara said that the new cities would end the one city status of Rivers State and attract more investors into the state.
The governor stated this when he inspected the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority’s (GPHCDA) office and project sites in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
Fubara said: “I can assure you that in our time, we might not achieve the dream of that big city in four years, but we will add a few things that would also help us in getting at that target.
“This is because, we are thinking of decongesting the present one city state that we have, which is Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor. We are thinking of developing other parts of the state and our coming here is to see what the agency has been doing, what you have done already and what we can also do to make us achieve more new cities in our state.”
Fubara noted that despite the challenges the agency has been facing, there would be remarkable difference in what it would achieve within his tenure if the agency’s development ideals are aligned with those of the state government.
He, however, charged the agency to be self-sustaining by attracting investors as outlined by its establishment law.
Also speaking, the Sole Administrator of GPHCDA, Amb Desmond Akawor, said that since its establishment in 2009 by the Greater Port Harcourt Law, the agency has been slowed down in creating more cities because of its operational structure and the nature of the Public-Private Partnership it adopted.
Akawor, who is the Rivers State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained that a new legal framework has been fine-tuned by the last GPHDA board, which the current management would present to the governor.
He said: “I am sure that with your directives, we will be able to reschedule some of the projects so that we can move forward with all of our partners, especially in the area of reforming or strengthening the public private partnership arrangements.”
Majority Leader Seeks Immortalisation Of Slain DPO
The Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Edison Ehie, has appealed to the Police High Command to consider the immortalisation of the murdered Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in charge of Ahoada East Divisional Headquarters, SP Bako Angbashim, and commiserated with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Emeka Nwonyi; officers and men of the Police Force; and the family of the deceased over the brutal murder of the DPO.
Ehie, who made the appeal in a statement said the slain DPO deserves to be immortalised as he was a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, adding that the calamitous killing and decapitation of the DPO by Mr Gift David Okpara Okpolowu, alias 2 Baba and his criminal gang is “an unprecedented low which shocked me beyond words and threw my constituents into an endless mourning circle”.
As the Honourable member representing Constituency 2 at the Rivers State House of Assembly and the incumbent Leader of the House, Ehie said he is using this medium to unreservedly condemn the senseless killing and decapitation of the DPO, and also to reiterate the call for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of his killers and everyone associated with the condemnable act.
Describing SP Angbashim as a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, the lawmaker said the slain DPO was the one who single-handedly restored peace and order in Ogoniland.
“Even within the few months he spent in Ahoada East Local Government Area, the results of his gallantry were visible for all to see and appreciate.This is why his killing is not only calamitous and lamentable, but an affront to the government of the day in the State”, he said, adding that no government worths its salt will fold it’s arms and allow criminals and bandits to freely prey on its citizenry in order to make the State ungovernable.
On this score, therefore, Ehie thanked the Governor of the State, Sir SiminalayiFubara for prompt response to the situation which he said has already started yielding wonderful fruits, with some of the criminals associated with the killing of the DPO now under police detention and interrogation.
He also thanked and commend the officers and men of the Police Force as well as operatives of other sister security agencies in the State for their uniquely stellar efforts in fishing out the killers of the DPO.
The Majority Leader, however, called on all Ekpeye people, traditional rulers, chiefs, political elites and the general public to gratuitously assist and work with the police and other security agencies in ensuring that the killers of SP Angbashim are fished out, apprehended and made to face the full weight of the law, saying, “May our State never again witness this type of murderous orgy and life wastage”.
Ehie also appealed to the Police High Command in the State to consider the immortalisation of the slain DPO, while also appealing for meaningful and deserving support to his family and dependants.
While conveying his heart-felt condolences to the Nigerian Police, especially the officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command, the lawmaker prayed the Almighty God to grant them the fortitude to bear the monumental loss. He equally extended his deepest condolences to the family of the DPO, and prayed God to console them and heal their wounds.
Ehie further noted that “the biggest debt we collectively owe SP Bako Angbashim is to redress his killing by arresting his killers and subjecting them to justice.”
Appeal Court Upholds Banigo’s Senatorial Election Victory
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, yesterday, upheld the judgment of the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that declared Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the Rivers West Senatorial District Election held on February 25, 2023.
The Appellant Court, in her judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial Candidate, Hon. Asita O. Asita as “lacking in merit”.
In her reaction shortly after the verdict at the court premises, the Banigo hailed the judgment, describing it as an “incontrovertible victory of irreversible Senate seat”.
She expressed gratitude to the Almighty God, the leaders/stakeholders of the PDP and the entire members of the Rivers West Senatorial District for their unflinching support.
Banigo assured them of her loyalty and total commitment towards realising the tenets of her Kingdom Mandate.
News3 days ago
Independence Day: FG Declares Monday Public Holiday
Rivers22 hours ago
Climate Change: TotalEnergies Plants 114 Trees
Featured21 hours ago
RSG Marks Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day In Low Key
Editorial3 days ago
Checking Nigeria’s Rising Debt Profile
Rivers3 days ago
Town Planning Expert Urges Effective Physical Planning in Rivers
Sports22 hours ago
NYG : Director Hails Team Rivers Performance In Asaba
Sports21 hours ago
Rugby Future Bright In Nigeria-NRFF Boss
News3 days ago
NYSC: Pay Attention To Security Of Corps Members, D-G Urges Employers