Victims, who passed out during a prayer session on August 1, after inhaling fume from power generating sets during a Community Prayer Gathering in Aba, have regained consciousness after days of treatment at the hospital.
The incident occurred at a vigil session put together by the Youth Fellowship of Ututu Community for their Annual National Youth Conference.
The event turned into a faint and dizzy session when some of them started collapsing and losing consciousness as a result of the fume from a power generating set close to the venue of the event. They were, however, saved by the quick rescue operation of the security personnel who took them to the hospital for immediate treatment.
According to an eyewitness who narrated the incident to Channels Television, he said that about 39 victims were involved in the fatal incident that took place at the commercial hub of Abia State.
A visit to the hospital where one of the surviving victims was being treated revealed that only 17 people at the prayer gathering for the Ututu community fellowship were injured during the program.
Meanwhile, the Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, paid all the bills of the surviving victims numbering about 16 and also distributed gifts to the medical teams who were available to ensure their survival, despite the strike embarked on by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
The Deputy Governor, Emeka Ananaba, also visited the survivals at the hospital and urged them to guard against such scenario.
The youth minister appreciated the rapid rescue operation of the State government.
The survivals are expected to continue to receive medical attention until they recover fully.
Two men have been arrested by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC), Abia State Command in connection with the mysterious death of a little girl.
They were arrested on Thursday, at Ariaria junction in Osisioma Ngwa LGA axis in Aba, the commercial hub of the state carrying a sack containing the lifeless body of the dead girl. They argued on top of their voices and this attracted the attention of the public and passers-by, who on getting there discovered that the sack they were carrying contained a dead body.
The public started to mob the men involved as the second man claimed he was helping out until the NSCDC intervened and took the men to their headquarters at Umuahia. On getting there, a most horrific sight was shown of a lifeless body of a little girl with hospital intravenous gadget around the neck and in the hand.
The State Commandant of the NSCDC, Andy Dateer, described the act and circumstances surrounding the alleged murder of the little girl as barbaric and inhuman. He hinted that the matter would be transferred to the appropriate authorities for further investigations.
The public gathered to get a glimpse of the dead girl and the men allegedly involved while on interrogation and one of the men claimed that he did not commit any crime but was helping the father of the dead girl to discard the body.
According to him, the father of the dead girl contacted him and paid him the sum of 2,000 Naira to throw away the body because he (father) could not afford the money to bury her after she died at an undisclosed hospital and in the process of carrying out the wish of the man he knew nothing about, the hand of the law caught up with him.
However, the intriguing part in all these, is that there was no death certificate from the hospital at the time of arrest, and the time and place or the hospital that the incident happened and who the father of the dead girl is could not be traced.
The Nigerian Immigration, Abia State Command, has repatriated some illegal immigrants to their country of origin after a thorough search revealed that they had no valid papers.
According to the State Comptroller of Immigration, Umuahia, Anthonia Opara, most of the illegal immigrants are citizens of Niger Republic who entered the country illegally through the borders.
She warned that the command was on the red alert to comb the entire cranny of Abia State to fish them out and promised that the repatriation would be a continuous exercise.
Some of these illegal immigrants were arrested from the cattle market at Lokpanta in Umunneochi Local Government Area, others from Umuahia, Aba North Local Government, Ohafia, and they could speak the English language except their indigenous language and a bit of Hausa which the bilingual officers of immigration helped to interpret during interviews with them.
One after the other, as their names were called out, they were searched properly before entering the buses ready to take them back to their country.
With the spate of insecurity and insurgency wrecking the country, the need to be more careful and take close awareness of whom the country’s neighbours are could have necessitated the move and the action taken by the Nigerian Immigration to clamp down on the illegal immigrants who were about 70 in number and were caught wandering about or doing menial jobs without valid paper of identification or ECOWAS Permit.
The immigration said that it had lined up another strategy to combat this crime as they were set to discuss with the traditional rulers and indigenes of border communities on the need to report any questionable unidentified persons within their domains.
The Abia state government has warned individuals and groups that have been placing the campaign posters and billboards of Governor Theodore Orji around Umuahia and Aba for the Abia Central Senatorial seat ahead of 2015 elections without due authorization.
Governor Orji denied having any involvement in the act and also denounced it.
In a statement issued by the state government, Orji described the act as improper and called on all those engaged in the indiscriminate pasting of such posters and billboards to stop the act forthwith and wait for the appropriate time.
Governor Theodore Orji of Abia state has said that the year 2014 would be a year that all legacy projects and the solid foundations being laid for the sustainable development of the socio-economic and political transformation of the State, will be fully consolidated for the interests of the citizens, towards a new face of Abia State.
According to the Governor in a statement, the State has advanced in its democratic agenda and expanded the frontiers of participatory democracy in Abia State, making it more inclusive, more tolerant and open to everyone that shows the skill, without bondage to godfathers.
He stated that the bench-mark of governance established would ensure that “no one and no leader of the future will make the mistake to return the State to the dark days of strife, impunity and ad-hoc process, and in a private estate of the few, for the few, and by the few.”
Governor Orji urged all citizens of the state to join hands and ensure sustenance of security in which has paved way for the serene environment for business growth. He also promised 24 hour uninterrupted power supply to Abia and its environs through the geometric power plant.
“We will continue in 2014 to drive all our restructured and re-engineered platforms of the new face of Abia to a level where everything is not only changing for the better, but strengthened to be self-propelling.
“I will continue to remind all Abians not to forget where we are coming from – to this far, so that we never derail from our new direction,” Orji said.
The Abia State Government on Wednesday commissioned a 1.4km Geometric access road at Osisioma Local Government Area in a bid to fast track a power project aimed at providing uninterrupted power supply for the people.
In his address, the state governor, Theodore Orji disclosed that the Geometric access road at Osisioma LGA was rehabilitated to ensure that the contractors working at the Geometric/NIPP power station have accessible road to fast track the completion of the project which would hitherto gave residents of Aba and its surrounding environs an uninterrupted electricity supply.
He stated that the importance of a secured environment cannot be over emphasized as it has led to infrastructural development as well as an enhanced economy.
Orji also commissioned 10 roads in Aba, the commercial hub of the state as well as Brass junction road which citizens said was impassable.
The Governor charged the residents to ensure that government efforts are not wasted by being law abiding citizens, adding that the administration would continue to deliver dividends of democracy and is ready to transform the state through its numerous legacy projects.
The Imo state Police Public relations Officer, Joy Elemoko has disclosed that an elderly couple Mr. and Mrs Paulinus Ogugua have been arrested for allegedly buying a two-week old baby for the sum of N800 at Aba in Abia State.
While addressing a news conference, Elemoko said the couple, from Umueji-Agha in Akokwa Ideato North local government area of the state, were arrested by the Police Ambush Squad at Ideato North area of the state while taking the baby to an unknown destination.
Meanwhile, the command also paraded a 33 year old suspected child trafficking king-pin, Amarachi Njoku, who is from Umudim in Ikeduru Local government area of Imo state.
The suspect, who confessed to the crime, disclosed that he wears female wig disguising like a female to beat security operatives. He also disclosed that it was his second time in the business and he gets babies from ladies who do not want their babies and sell to families looking for babies.
However, the Imo state Police Command has promised to investigate the two cases and ensure that all persons involved in the case are brought to book. They warned members of the public to desist from this ungodly and shameful act as all necessary measures are put in place to identify and arrest offenders.
The Abia State government has ordered the immediate closure of all revenue accounts, being operated by ministries and directed that henceforth, all government revenue should go into the consolidated account of government.
Governor Theodore Orji disclosed this in a meeting with commissioners, permanent secretaries and heads of non-ministerial Departments of the government at the government house, Umuahia.
He said he has observed with dismay that some ministries are still using revenue agents, other than the only revenue consultant approved by the government and warned that any commissioner, or head of non-ministerial department found to be engaged in the act will be arrested and sacked.
The governor further warned that any person who parades himself as revenue consultant or collector in the state will be dealt with by the government, adding that any other revenue consultant outside that is not approved by the government is illegal.
He regretted that money meant for the government goes into private pockets while the government labours to meet its financial obligations to the people and vows that the trend will no longer be condoned.
The governor also directed that the Abia state Environmental protection Agency (ASEPA) to cancel all contracts it has with revenue agents while directing the Board of Internal Revenue to henceforth desist from taking revenue of the board upfront.
He charged all the commissioners and heads of non- ministerial departments to explore ways of making money for government other than going to the Ariara and other markets in Aba and bring it for implementation.