“I want to say that this is a free, fair election and I am here to announce the votes cast. I want to thank all for participating,” Okpata said.
“As you know, this election process is peaceful and calm, I commend the electorates and people of Abia for making the process a smooth one, now we go ahead to declare the result of the elections.”
The PDP candidate polled 10,322 votes to defeat the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mascot Uzor Kalu who scored 3,674 votes.
Mascot is the younger brother of the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC-Abia North).
While the candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Destiny Nwagwu, and the Action Alliance candidate, Okey Prestige, polled 1,554 and 199 votes respectively to come a distant 3rd and 4th, the candidates of the Applied Peoples Movement (APM) and the National Rescue Movement (NRM) scored 10 and 13 votes respectively.
A police station in Aba, Abia State has come under attack by yet-to-be-identified persons who were said to have carted away arms and ammunition from the station.
It was gathered that the attack, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, resulted in the death of some people, both on the side of the police and the hoodlums.
Meanwhile, the Abia State Government has condemned the incident.
In a statement, the government noted that security agencies in the state have swung into action to fish out the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to justice as quickly as possible, vowing that no part of Abia will be ceded to criminals operating under any guise.
The state government also promised to pay ₦1 million to anyone with relevant information leading to the recovery of the stolen arms as well as the arrest of any suspects.
Meanwhile, the state government has imposed a curfew on the operation of motorcycles and tricycles from between 7:00 pm and 7:00 am in all major cities of the state with effect from today.
The Police have arrested three persons suspected to be involved in human trafficking in Aba, Abia State.
The suspects were accused of trafficking 35 pregnant ladies, six children and one newborn baby.
One of those arrested was said to be the owner of a charity home in Aba.
While parading the suspects in Abuja, the deputy Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, Csp Aremu Adeniran, said the owner of the charity home situated in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Aba, established the orphanage for the sole purpose of harvesting babies for sale.
Adeniran, further stated that the home had been in existence for about 10 years.
He said investigation into the case is ongoing and those found guilty would be made to face the law.
Read the full statement of the Police below.
PARADE OF THREE (3) NOTORIOUS SUSPECTS FOR CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY AND DEALING IN BUYING AND SELLING OF NEW BORN BABIES AND CHILDREN WITHIN AND OUTSIDE NIGERIA; BY THE DEPUTY FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, CSP AREMU ADENIRAN AT THE FORCE HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA. 2nd NOVEMBER, 2018.
Thirty-Five (35) pregnant girls/women, six (6) children and one (1) newborn baby rescued at the Nma Charity and Rehabilitation Centre Umunkpeyi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government, Abia State belonging to Chief Lilian Nma Achumba.
SUSPECTS i. Emmanuel Chigozie Elesuwa ‘m’ 44yrs ii. Chioma David ‘f’ 33yrs iii. Chief Lilian Nma Achumba ‘f’ 52yrs (Owner of Nma Charity Home in Aba, Abia State).
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni on assumption of Office on the 22nd June, 2016 expanded the Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force under the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID) for improved service delivery and to be more effective and efficient to nip in the bud and deal with all forms of crimes and criminality as regards the rights and privileges of women and children.
2. The Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force in compliance with the directives and their expanded mandate have been working in good working synergy with relevant agencies of Government in the fight against the trafficking of persons and abuse of rights and privileges of women and children.
3. On the 20th of July, 2018, the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Immigration Service while on patrol at the Idi-Iroko Border Post in Ogun State, intercepted the above named suspects, Emmanuel Chigozie Elesuwa ‘m’ 44yrs and Chioma David ‘f’ 33yrs in possession of two (2) new born babies and on reasonable suspicion, interrogated them about the babies in their possession, but they could not give satisfactory account of the babies. The case was handed over to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force for discrete investigation.
4. Investigation into the case by the Anti-Human Trafficking and Women/Children Protection Unit of the Force revealed that the suspects arrested are notorious criminals that deal in buying and selling of babies and children within and outside Nigeria.
5. Consequently, the suspects, Emmanuel Chigozie Elesuwa ‘m’ 44yrs and Chioma David ‘f’ 33yrs admitted and confessed to the Police investigation team that they are members of a criminal gang that specialize in buying and selling of new born babies and children within and outside Nigeria and have been in operation for over ten (10) years. They further confessed that the two (2) new born babies found in their possession at Idi-Iroko Border was bought by them at the rate of Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N350,000.00) from one Chief Lilian Nma Achumba ‘f’ 52yrs, owner of Nma Charity Home in Aba, Abia State now in Police custody. They also revealed that they were on their way to Benin Republic to sell the two (2) new born babies to their cohorts and criminal business partners/syndicate for Seven Hundred Thousand Naira (N700,000.00) each.
6. During interrogation and further investigation into the roles played by Chief Lilian Nma Achumba ‘f’ 52yrs, the owner of Nma Charity Home in Aba, Abia State indicted in the confession of the two (2) suspects, Emmanuel Chigozie Elesuwa ‘m’ 44yrs and Chioma David ‘f’ 33yrs, it was discovered that the purpose of establishing the Orphanage Home is to harvest babies for sale and she also operate other branches of the orphanage home in Port-harcourt and some other parts of the Country.
7. Thirty Five (35) pregnant girls/women, six (6) children and one (1) new born baby were rescued at Nma Charity and Rehabilitation Centre Umunkpeyi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State belonging to the said Chief Lilian Nma Achumba. Twenty Eight (28) pregnant girls/women and three (3) children of the victims rescued have been officially handed over to the Ministry of Strategy and Social Development, Umuahia, Abia State and all have since been re-united with their families after receiving medical attention. The Principal suspect Chief Lilian Nma Achumba has admitted and confessed to her criminal roles in the case.
8. Investigation is being intensified to uncover other illegal orphanage branches being operated by the Principal suspect, to rescue victims and arrest other members of the syndicate still at large to curb the menace and bring them all to justice. They will all be arraigned in Court on completion of investigation.
9. The Nigeria Police Force wishes to implore members of the public to give useful and timely information on unscrupulous elements in the society hiding under the guise of orphanage rehabilitation homes to perpetrate these dastard and callous acts. The Force also enjoins Parents and Guidance to pay keen attention on the care of their wards and children especially the girl child.
CSP AREMU ADENIRAN DEPUTY FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER FORCE HEADQUARTERS ABUJA
Six suspended kidnappers and three bag snatchers and shoplifters were on Monday arrested by a combined team involving the Inspector General’s Intelligence Response Team in Aba, Abia State.
Commissioner of Police in the State, Anthony Ogbizi, while parading the suspects at the command headquarters in Umuahia said that there was no life lost either of the suspects or the police during the gun duel with the kidnappers although the suspects sustained gunshot wounds.
One of the suspect, Mr Sylvester Prince while speaking with journalists claimed that he was not involved in the kidnapping but only collected money from the gang for hiring his bus for their operations.
“I am not among the kidnappers, I swear, I only lend my bus to the gang which they normally use for their operations, all I can say is that they have used the bus two times. The first time, they gave me N50,000 and the second time, I received N400,000 which I used to pay my debts. I am not a kidnapper, the gang used my bus for their operations and pay me after their business,” he claimed.
Three other suspects arrested and paraded for robbery and burglary include Samson Tochi, Joseph Sunday and Osondu Nwagboso all between the ages 21 and 22 respectively.
They were arrested for shop looting, snatching handbags, money and mobile phones from unsuspecting members of the public who were at the command headquarters to testify against them.
Ogbizi said the command has beefed up security network in the state and therefore it will be difficult for the gang and other criminals to escape.
“The suspects paraded here were engaged in a gun battle by a combined team and Inspector General’s Intelligence Response Team in their bungalow at the World Bank housing estate in Aba,” Ogbizi said.
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed over 500 mobile police officers to Aba in Abia State to restore peace in the city.
The police spokesman, Moshood Jimoh said that the number of policemen deployed could be higher as the Inspector General of Police is determined to prevent a total breakdown of law and order in the South East.
Earlier, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Operations, Taiwo Lakanu, had said while on a duty tour to Aba, that the mobile policemen had assumed duty immediately and that the whole place is quiet as the policemen are on patrol.
The deployment of police officers to Aba is coming after news of an alleged killing of some residents in Umiahia on Thursday which triggered a reaction in Aba, resulting in the burning of a part of the police station at the Ariaria international market
A member of the House of Representatives, Nse Ekpenyong, has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for alleged forgery of certificate of a higher institution.
Mr Ekpenyong represents the Oron Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom state, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), on a nine-count charge, accusing him of forging a National Diploma Certificate of the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Abia State.
“You, Nse Bassey Ekpenyong on 22 November 2012, at Uyo, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did make a document to wit: Abia State Polytechnic National Diploma Certificate in Business Administration with No. 001181 dated 22nd November, 2012 with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (2) (C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M 17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under section 1 (2) of the same Act,” one of the charges preferred against the lawmaker read.
Mr Ekpenyong, who appeared dejected, pleaded not guilty to the charges while his lawyer, Emmanuel Isangedoho, argued for his bail which was opposed by the EFCC.
The presiding Judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu, however granted the lawmaker bail in the sum of 10 million Naira and adjourned till April 12, while promising that the case would be treated speedily.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, has again said that the quest for development of local capacity is a panacea for rapid economic growth.
He made this assertion during the Southeast maiden edition of Nationwide Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Clinic held at Aba, after the media launch in Abuja on Tuesday.
Using as an analogy, the story President Muhammadu Buhari once told him about the importance of taking care of people “who do the things that make us comfortable”, the Vice President observed “it is important to pay attention to MSMES”.
“We will spend time to ensure that we give those who produce locally all the support that we can give, and that is why we are doing this clinics,” he said.
The Vice President went round the stands of all the agencies at the Aba MSMES Clinic and also those of several businesses and local manufacturers, all of whom were obviously elated at the Federal Government’s gesture to re-orient the relationship between them and the agencies.
He said that “you can’t do much for manufacturing without coming to Aba,” and adding that Aba traders, artisans, tailors, shoemakers and others “are the bedrock of our economy.”
According to him, the Nigerian government agenda is to create sustainable platform through its relevant agencies that would ensure that businesses in the country that produce locally made goods are given adequate support and wider spectrum to grow.
He urged the relevant government agencies to see themselves as facilitators of the businesses and remove bottlenecks that are often reported when enterprises have something to do with the agencies.
Commenting at the Clinic, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okpezie Ikpeazu, who accompanied the Vice President said “with the visit of the Acting President to Abia today, the story of Aba traders will change. The visit of the Acting President is a testimony that something new is happening here.”
Professor Osinbajo who has since returned to Abuja, was also accompanied by the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah, among several other senior government officials.
The Office of the Special Adviser on Economic Matters in the Presidency devised the idea of a Clinic to bridge the gap between medium and small scale businesses and government agencies such as Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON; National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; Bank of Industry, BOI; Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS; Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC; and others.
The Clinic is meant to bring together all those agencies in one spot and at appointed times across the country to attend to the needs, questions and requests of people doing business.
The transport sector in Nigeria will soon be witnessing increased activities in the railways, following renewed collaboration between the federal government and foreign partners.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that negotiations were at advanced stage with General Electric, an American multinational conglomerate and the China Exim Bank on the revival of the rail system.
Mr Amaechi told reporters shortly after he visited the dry inland port in Jos, the Plateau State capital, that work would commence on the narrow and standard rail line gauge across Nigeria as soon as the negotiations were concluded.
The minister, who was at the Heipang Inland Container Depot to inspect its facilities, was accompanied by officials of the Ministry of Transportation, the Nigerian Shippers Council, members of the Plateau State Executive Council as well as the concessionaire of the port.
Having inspected the site which borders the Yakubu Gowon Airport and a railway station, Mr Amaechi stressed the need to develop facilities in the inland dry ports on a tripartite arrangement involving the Federal Government, the host state government and the private investor.
In his response, Governor Simon Lalong assured the minister that Plateau State would contribute its part in the development and implementation of the project, with assurance that the project would receive urgent attention by his administration.
The Chairman, Plateau Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Bulus Daren, highlighted some of the advantages of the development.
He expressed optimism that apart from decongesting the seaports, the inland dry port would bring shipping services to the door steps of shippers across Nigeria, as well as assist in the overall costs of cargo to hinterland locations.
It is speculated that the Nigerian Shippers Council has been promoting and facilitating the establishment of inland container depots on the basis of public-private partnership with six approved locations in Aba, Ibadan, Jos, Kano, Funtua and Maiduguri to service the Nigerian populace.
Members and supporters of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), from Aba South Local Government Area of Abia state, have stormed the office of the State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), to protest the removal of their candidate for the December 17, local government election.
The protesters numbering about 100, were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions including “ABSIEC stop meddling in APGA affairs, “Akomas leave APGA alone,” “Ujoumunna is our sole candidate for Aba South LGA”, amongst others.
They accused the electoral commission of meddling into the affairs of the party and called on the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Akomas, to do the needful by restoring the name of Ujoumunna, as the rightful chairmanship candidate of APGA for Aba south local government area.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the party’s legal adviser in the council, Mr Emma Eke Okorie, vowed that Iwuanyawu would never be the chairman of the local government area, and appealed to the commission to address the issue.
He also threatened legal action if the commission failed to restore the name of Ujoumunna as the chairmanship candidate of the party.
“The name of our candidate, who won the party’s primary election, is Elder Ujoumunna.
“We are surprised to see that it has been allegedly and illegally substituted with the name of one Mr Iwuanyawu Charles, who came second at the party’s primary election in Aba South Local Government Area.
“We call on the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Akomas to do the needful and immediately restore the name of elder ujoumunna as the rightful chairmanship candidate of APGA for Aba south local government area.”
Addressing the protesting APGA members, the Director Of Administration at the commission, Mr Kingsley Nwokoro, assured the protesters that their problem would be looked into, stating that it was not the fault of the commission.
“The commission acted based on the information given to them by political parties.
“It is not our fault but we will look into the matter passionately, I urge you to go back to your party leadership to ratify the issue and report back to the commission,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State Chairman of the party, Rev. Austin Ehiemere, has exonerated the party from the matter and commended the protesters for their peaceful conduct.
The Governor of Abia state, Okezie Ikpeazu, has promised to revamp the educational system in the state.
He said that “the state would soon notice a complete change and revolution in education, as government has put in place a framework to ensure that model schools spring up in the three senatorial zones”.
He made the commitment while addressing participants at the National Television Authorities (NTA) National Arts, Science and Technology competition ETV (EXPO) 2016.
Receiving the trophy won by the students in the competition, at the Government House, Umuahia, the Governor also gave cash rewards to the students as well as teachers of schools that emerged as winners.
The schools which are located in Aba, the commercial centre of Abia State, include Dorothy International college, emerging overall best, with a cash reward of 500,000 Naira, while the first and the second runners –up, Divine College International and Victory International College, were rewarded with 300,000 and 200,000 Naira respectively.
The teachers and NTA crew were equally given 500,000 Naira each.
Governor Ikpeazu expressed joy that “Abia by the victory, has again made a statement in the educational firmament of the country”.
Furthermore, he said, “the greatest strength of the state lies in her human resources, and I think that the state can always work out her destiny.
“I want to commend the schools, especially the college, for consistently doing the state proud and I congratulate the teachers and students for their hard work and perseverance.
“Regrettably, Nigeria as a nation has been unable to apply the fallout of research efforts, and this administration cannot afford to ignore the impact of the inventions by the students.
“This government will do everything possible to take the research by these students another step forward to see if it can be replicated commercially,” the Governor added.