The Federal Government has commenced work to control erosion on the Nkwoagu Isuochi site which is a bad trap for residents in Abia state.
The minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru during an inspection visit on Friday said that the Federal Government’s timely intervention on the site would ensure that education and other social economic development continue to thrive.
The Minister further stated that in course of the work the ministry will source alternative funding if the need arises.
Meanwhile, the Umunneochi people through their representative, Ikedi Ezekwesili and a student of Isuochi Model Eke Obumneme , commended the Federal Government for coming to the rescue.
For over the years the area has brought so much concern to residents and the community especially for their children and loss of farmlands.
To this effect, the commencement of work on the site is a welcome development as expressed by members of the community who want the minister to ensure that stipulated design for the erosion control is strictly followed.
The minister also inspected the Rehabilitation work on the Umudim-Orie Ngodo- Lomara -Isuochi Road.
The commencement of work on the sites is Indeed a commitment by the Federal Government that has redefined the critical essence of governance.
The Abia State Police have paraded some suspects involved in the buying and selling of babies in the state.
One of the suspects is a woman identified as “Nma” who had bought and sold thousands of children over the years without being prosecuted.
She was arrested while conniving with a couple to sell their two days old baby girl for N300,000.
According to her, the couple needed help and money to feed their family and transacted the business of selling their child on their own except for using her outfit to sign the affidavit.
The Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ogbizi, while parading the suspects said that the traffickers seem not to be deterred as they always manage to wriggle their way out of the offence even when handed over to NAPTIP(National Agency for Prohibition Of Trafficking In Persons).
The command also called on all other relevant authorities to wade into the issues.
The Abia State Police Command says it has recovered thousands of illegal arms of different sizes used by criminals and gun runners for various criminal activities.
Displaying the arms and its ammunition at the Central Police Station, Bende Road ,Umuahia,the commissioner of Police, Anthony Ogbizi disclosed that most of the arms were recovered from suspects and called on the members of the public to partner with the police on information that will assist to fish out more criminals from their hideouts.
The CP said that the strategy embarked by the police to rid the state of violent crimes is yielding result as they would not relent in their constitutional duty to ensure that the state is safe and secure for all citizens.
According to the police, illegal ammunition such as pump action gun, locally made pistols, cartridges, were recovered from different locations in the state, some from private individuals while huge quantities from the criminals.
“Anybody that illegal arms are recovered from is a suspect, many of them have been convicted, some are already remanded in prison, very few are recovered from private individuals while many were recovered from the criminals and in the course of action.
“We are showing Nigerians the arms that the police has so far recovered, the exercise is ongoing, We will continue to mop up arms.
“We are appealing to members of the public to give us useful information as it regards the gun runners and those who are in possession of the arms as well as where these arms are being produced in the state by mopping them up.
“We will provide a safe and secure environment for all residing in Abia State to go about their lawful businesses, the exercise also is also getting rid of hoodlums particularly violent criminals”.
The CP says that the massive mop-up of illegal arms would send a signal that no one is permitted to own or carry a gun under any disguise as it is illegal or unconstitutional, adding that anyone found guilty will be made to face the law.
The Abia State Police command has arrested some nurses who allegedly drugged and kill pregnant women in order to steal their babies.
The suspects were arrested in the course of the transactions in various locations, including the state capital Nnewi.
This was revealed during a briefing with newsmen by the State Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ogbizi.
He warned criminals to leave the state because the police command will not hesitate to fish them out and continue to send them to prison.
He also noted that the police has devised intelligence security strategy to counter various methods that the perpetrators deployed to traffic innocent children in the state.
He warned the criminals to leave the state because the police command will not hesitate to fish them out and continue to send them to prison.
According to the CP, strategic security measures and nip point stationed across the streets, roads, nooks and crannies of the state has contributed immensely in assisting the police to unravel and defeat the criminal antics of the traffickers.
He further added that the suspects have been taken away to face the wrath of the law.
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the compulsory retirement of two judges to the Abia State Governor, Mr Okezie Ikpeazu.
Those recommended by the judicial body are the Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Theresa Uzokwe, and Justice Obisike Oji of the Abia State High Court.
NJC Director of Information, Soji Oye, revealed in a statement that the decision was reached on Wednesday at the 85th meeting of the Council in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The Council explained that Ms Uzokwe’s was put forward for dismissal following the recommendation of two panels that investigated the allegations against her.
It also warned Justice Olusola Williams of the Lagos State High Court for “grave errors of judgment”, and Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo of the FCT High Court for “impropriety”.
Read the full statement below:
NJC recommends the compulsory retirement of Hon. Mr. Justice Theresa Uzokwe, Chief Judge Abia State and Hon. Justice Obisike Oji of Abia State High Court.
Issues stern warnings to Justices S. E Aladetoyinbo and Olusola Ajibike Williams of FCT and Lagos High Courts.
Sets up Committee to investigate a Supreme Court Justice and two (2) State Chief Judges.
Appoints sixty (60) Judicial Officers for twenty-four (24) States.
The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, at its 85th Meeting which was held on the 14th of March 2018, recommended the compulsory retirement of Hon. Mr Justice Theresa Uzokwe, Chief Judge, and Hon. Mr. Justice Obisike Oji of Abia State High Court of Justice, to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
The Council also issued stern warnings to Justices S. E. Aladetoyinbo and Olusola Ajibike Williams of the FCT and Lagos State High Courts.
Hon. Mr Justice Theresa Uzokwe was recommended for compulsory retirement following the findings of two investigative committees set up by the Council.
The committees investigated petitions against her by Umeh Kalu, SAN, Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice of Abia State, alleging illegal constitution and working with a parallel Judicial Service Commission instead of the one constituted by the State Governor and confirmed by the House of Assembly.
Hon. Mr Justice Uzokwe was also found to have misconducted himself in Suit No. HU/131/2005, wherein he delivered judgement in the sum of N825, 000 (Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand Naira) only in favour of a Litigant, but subsequently signed a garnishee order of N109, 612, 500 (One Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) only.
Hon. Mr Justice Obisike Oji was earlier queried by the Council for allowing himself to be sworn-in as acting Chief Judge, and thereby colluding in, and aiding an unconstitutional process. His reply was unsatisfactory, and the Council recommended his compulsory retirement.
The NJC reprimanded, seriously warned and placed on the Watch List Hon Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo of the FCT High Court for impropriety in a case between U.L.O. Consultants Ltd v BIL Construction Nigeria Ltd, sequel to a petition by one Uche Luke Okpuno. Council would have sanctioned the Judge more severely but had to take into account the fact that aspects of the case are appealable.
Council also seriously warned Hon Justice Olusola Ajibike Williams of the Lagos State High Court for grave errors of judgment in her level of involvement in a family business. Council found that the Judge, as a judicial officer, should have been more circumspect and conscious of her office. Council’s sanction was as a result of a petition by Chief Ladi Rotimi-Williams, SAN.
Council at the Meeting also considered various petitions written against thirty-one (31) Judicial Officers and resolved to empanel three (3) Investigative Committees against one Justice of Supreme Court and two (2) State Chief Judges.
Petitions against various Justices were dismissed either for lack of merit, lack of evidence of misconduct, being sub judice or that the subjects of such petitions were matters for appeal.
The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Mr. Justices Abdu Aboki, Theresa Abadua and Ahmed Belgore all of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Mr. Justices J. T. Tsoho, Ayo Emmanuel, Sabiu Yahusa, Zainab B. Abubakar, B. O. Quadri of the Federal High Court; Hon. Mr. Justices A. N. Ubaka and B. B. Kanyip of National Industrial Court; Hon. Mr. Justices Bello Kawu, S. C. Orji, A. N. Talba of the FCT High Court; Hon. Mr. Justice K. C. Nwankpa of High Court Abia State; Hon. Mr. Justice D. A. Onyefulu of High Court Anambra State; Hon. Mr. Justice W. I. A. Effiong High Court Akwa-Ibom State; A. M. Ikpambese, High Court Benue State; Hon. Mr. Justice G. E. Gbemre, High Court Delta State; Hon. Mr. Justice A. O. Onovo, High Court Enugu State; Hon. Mr. Justice Idi Apollos, High Court Gombe State; Hon. Mr. Justice G. O. Ogunsanya, High Court Ogun State; Hon. Mr. Justice A. B. Abdulkarim, High Court Osun State; Hon. Mr. Justice K. A. Ojiako, High Court Imo State and Hon. Mr Justices A. M. Lawal, L. A. Okunnu and L. B. Lawal Akapo, High Court Lagos State.
Council decided to advise Hon. Mr. Justice J. E. Ikede of Delta State High Court and Hon. Mr. Justice Yusuf Halilu of FCT High Court to be more careful in the course of their judicial duties.
Council decided to refer a petition by Prince Adesina Okuneye against Hon. Mr. Justice Mwada Balami of the FCT High Court to the Police to investigate the allegation of N5, 000,000 (Five Million Naira) bribe to the Judge for granting bail to an accused person. Council decided that the petition should be put in abeyance until the outcome of the investigation by the Police.
Council at the Meeting also recommended sixty (60) Judicial Officers to Governors of twenty-four (24) for appointment as High Court Judges, Sharia Court Kadis and Customary Court of Appeal Judges.
The Abia Police Command has arrested a kidnap gang wearing the police uniform and carrying AK47 to rob and kidnap residents of the state.
The State Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ogbizi, while speaking to newsmen at the officers mess, Umuahia, warned all kidnappers to relocate because the strategy adopted by the command will fish them out an attempt made to deny the act by the ringleader, Stanley Ifeanyi, a 38 years old bus driver from Osisioma Ngwa who was dismissed from police college for smoking weed failed.
The commissioner further stated that the underground activities of the outlaw IPOB in carrying their threat would not go unpunished as some members were arrested in Aba and hunt for others based on their confessional statement is still ongoing.
The National Judicial Council on Wednesday declared the suspension of the Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Theresa Uzokwe, as unconstitutional.
This was part of the resolutions arrived at an emergency meeting of the Council headed by its Chairman and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Justice Uzokwe was suspended on Friday last week over allegations of misconduct and incompetence amongst others.
In a statement issued by its Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, NJC declared the swearing-in of Justice Obisike Orji as the Acting Chief Judge by Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu without the input of the NJC as unconstitutional, null and void.
The council noted that its attention had been drawn to the crisis in Abia State Judiciary by petitions written against Justice Uzokwe, as well as the one written by the suspended Chief Judge against Justice C. U. Okoroafor, after which investigative committees were set up to look into the issues raised.
In the course of the investigation, some elderly judicial officers in the state waded in and pleaded with the committees to allow the matter to be resolved amicably by them, a request which was granted by NJC at its plenary.
The Council had consequently directed the committees – at the last NJC meeting – on December 6, 2017, to continue and conclude with the petitions before them if there were no reports of the settlement by the peacemakers.
The problem, however, escalated and the Council was informed of the suspension of Justice Uzokwe and the swearing-in of Justice Orji as the Acting Chief Judge.
After considering the matter at its meeting today, NJC resolved that Justice Uzokwe’s suspension by the State House of Assembly without a prior recommendation by the Council violated the provisions of the Constitution.
Justice Orji’s appointment as the Acting Chief Judge was also declared invalid for being unconstitutional, while the Council said the judge presenting himself to be sworn-in raised potential questions of misconduct.
NJC further resolved to query and suspend Justice Orji pending the outcome of its investigation, as well as directed Justice Uzokwe to stay away from duties pending its final decision after consideration of the report of its panels.
Governor Ikpeazu was also asked to appoint Justice Onuoha Ogwe, the next most senior judge, to act as the Chief Judge of the state pending the Council’s final resolution of the matter.
The Abia State Police Command is taking proactive measures to address the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the state.
Addressing a meeting on Friday in Umuahia, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ogbizi said the Command is committed to keeping the peace across the state.
“We are committed to ensuring that what happened in Benue State does not happen here in Abia State,” he said.
“You can talk about the destruction of farmlands and killing of cows, but not killing of human beings. I want to thank God that we are enjoying this peace.”
Mr Ogbizi, however, stressed the need for chairmen of the 17 local government areas of the state to appoint marshals to assist in checkmating the skirmishes to avoid a major crisis.
The meeting, which brought together members of the Herdsmen-Farmers Conflict Resolution Committee in the state, was convened to proffer proactive measures towards ending the clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Abia communities.
It also had in attendance, traditional rulers, Sarki Hausa, the leadership of Miyetti Allah, and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), as well as representatives of security agencies among others.
Issues discussed bothers on the appointment of security marshals across the 17 LGAs, payment of compensations, restriction hours for movement of cows, and monitoring the activities of the herdsmen.
On his part, CAN Chairman in the state, Apostle Emmanuel Agomoh, believes there should be a specific time for movement of cows while the herders should be properly identified.
He said he had witnessed herds of cattle moving into the farm areas in the middle of the night while farmers lamented in the morning that their crops were eaten by the cows.
“I want to say that this committee needs to sit down with the Sarki Hausa community and Miyetti Allah and tell them the appropriate time for the herdsmen to move the cattle,” said the clergyman.
“They cannot be moving inside the village by the wee hours of the morning; there should be a time for the movement and also the owners of the cows should be identified irrespective of their status in the society or tribe”.
One of the traditional rulers Eze Philip Ajomiwe said they do not support violence and are also working towards ending the crisis as Abia people are ‘peace-loving people’.
Eze Ajomiwe said: “I thank God that the traditional rulers in this state have prevailed on their subjects not to take laws into their hands.”
“I must have to say this because delay is dangerous – if the herdsmen destroy our farms, they must be ready to pay for it and if our community people kill any of their cows, they should be ready to pay for it. The state government should stop using state resources to pay compensation, the defaulters must bear the responsibility.
“Imagine, the herdsmen and their cattle entered my farm and were uprooting the yam and eating all the cassava, and they do not care. So, we must do something to prevent a catastrophe so that the peace we desire will be achieved”.
For the chairman of Miyetti Allah in Abia, Hassan Buba, peace can be obtained if the herdsmen and farmers learn to tolerate one another and protect each other.
He said, “I support peace, nobody should take laws into their hand. As a Fulani herdsman, I should be able to control my cattle and the farmland.”
“I need peace because without peace, the farmer cannot go the farm and the herdsmen cannot feed their cattle. I advocate harmonious co-existence because we need each other for our business to thrive,” Buba added.
A tricycle operator identified as Mr Sunday Nwosuocha was reportedly killed on Wednesday when a truck rammed into the tricycle.
Channels Television’s correspondent gathered that the accident occurred along Mission Hill road in Umuahia, the state capital.
Confirming the accident, Police Public Relations, Mr Geoffrey Ogbonna said the deceased had been identified by his family.
“I want to say that this is an unfortunate incident, though the driver of the truck and another occupant with him are at large, the deceased is in the mortuary, while the driver towing the tricycle is fine.
“I want to advise tricycle riders to drive with caution and avoid riding behind a moving truck or using a tricycle to tow another tricycle.
“We have commenced investigations on the matter and the scene of an accident has been cleared for motorists and other commuters,” he stated.
Women from Bende Local Government Area of Abia State have protested against the destruction of their farmlands by suspected herdsmen.
The protesters voiced their complaints on Thursday as they held a peaceful rally to the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital.
They were received by the Principal Secretary to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Mr Emma Nwabuiko.
One of the protesters who spoke on behalf of the group, Comfort Nwachukwu, alleged that their crops were always ravaged by cows while some of their kinsmen have been attacked by the herdsmen over time.
“We live in perpetual fear of attack by the herdsmen; hence, our visit here is to appeal to the state government to come to our aid.
“We can no longer condone the destruction of our farmland and intimidation by the herdsmen because our crops are continuously being ravaged by the herds of cattle” Nwachukwu claimed.
Nwabuiko, on his part, told the protesters that the situation calls for urgent attention by both Federal and state governments.
He said that the state government would not rest on its oars to find a lasting solution to the lingering crisis, although the anti-open grazing bill is before the Senate.
The governor’s aide further said that the state government would convene a meeting with the leadership of the Hausa community in the state, with a view to drawing their attention to the menace and to calling the herdsmen to order.
He said: “I want to sympathise with you, I’m aware of the hardships that you face on a daily basis due to the destruction of your farms by the herdsmen. I can assure you that the state government is not folding its arms on the matter”.
The Commissioner of Police in Abia State, Anthony Ogbizi has declared restriction of movement across the state’s border, ahead of Anambra election set to hold tomorrow, November 18.
Ogbizi on Thursday at the Police Headquarters, in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, said this move became necessary based on intelligence report on threats to lives and properties of citizens and traders at Ariaria Market, Aba by the proscribed group, Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).
He said the recent activities of the group include circulating leaflets aimed to intimidate and force the citizens to close their shops for business on Saturday.
He said IPOB members aim to force the traders to show support for outlawed IPOB that there would be no election and also cause confusion and disrupt the peace and security of Abia State.
“We have commenced the restriction of movement across the border to Anambra State, and that would be enforced amidst tight security. Therefore, we appeal to Nigerians to remain calm and not to be offended when they are being quizzed by the security operatives.
“This is because of the recent activities of the outlawed IPOB that include circulating leaflets with the intention to intimidate and force the citizens to close their shops for business on Saturday, November 18.”
Ogbizi said further that the police is ready to “deal with” any person or group of persons that gather together to carry out activities that are an infringement of the rule of law under any guise.
“If anyone is caught with the leaflet, we will take it very seriously. We are here to warn anybody operating under this guise to desist from doing so,” he said.