Gunmen have killed three police officers at a checkpoint in Umutu community, Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bright Edafe, confirmed this in a statement on Wednesday.
According to Edafe, the three policemen attached to the Umutu Divisional Police Headquarters in the state were killed at about 7:00 am on Wednesday, at the checkpoint they mounted along the Obeti/Oliogo Road in the LGA.
Their patrol vehicle was also set ablaze during the attack.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing, the spokesman added.
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has dissolved the State Executive Council, relieving all commissioners, secretary to the state government, his Chief of Staff, and senior special advisers of their portfolio.
Addressing the press on the development after a State Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, former Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, disclosed that the Governor has instructed all former Commissioners to immediately hand over to Permanent Secretaries of their respective ministries.
In another related development, the State Government has dismissed a civil servant identified as Bernard Onomovo for illegally slotting names into the state’s payroll system.
Okowa is the latest Governor to dissolve his cabinet.
Earlier in the month, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, also dissolved his cabinet, while retaining eight commissioners.
Effective collaboration between the Federal Government through its agencies and State Governments will bring about more dividends and improved service delivery to Nigerians, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Thursday.
Prof. Osinbajo made the comment at the inauguration of the Federal Road Safety Corps Marshal Inspector Training School in Owa-Alero, Delta State.
The Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration in the State built and furnished the school and donated it to the Federal Government.
According to the Vice President, as quoted in a statement signed by his spokesman Laolu Akande, “it is an excellent exemplar of the benefits of collaboration between State Governments and Federal Government agencies. And as it should be, the ultimate beneficiaries are the good people of Delta State and the Country at large.”
Osinbajo, who praised Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the construction of the modern, fully furnished buildings noted that this “far-sighted and thoughtful contribution of the State Government is worthy of commendation.
“I am persuaded to encourage all levels of government to emulate Delta, Enugu, Plateau, and Oyo States which have exemplified this spirit of cooperation for development by their tremendous support for the Road Safety institutions within their jurisdictions.”
The Vice President also commended the cordial relationship between the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) and the FRSC which according to him “has led to the establishment of two additional training institutions in the last one year.”
Lauding the efforts of the FRSC management over the years, Prof. Osinbajo said “indeed the choice of Nigeria as one of the Centers of Excellence for road safety in Africa by the Africa Development Bank is a clear acknowledgment of the considerable contributions of the FRSC to the development of road safety in the region.”
“The Corps has continued to show appreciable determination to build staff capacity as a major requirement for the understanding of road traffic matters as well as tackling the associated challenges.
“These laudable efforts of the Corps are in alignment with the Policy thrust of the Present Administration in its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). Part of the critical focus of the ERGP is capacity building and skill acquisition interventions,” Prof. Osinbajo explained.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that “the Federal Government will continue to support organizations that demonstrate commitment to their statutory duties”, and appreciated the government and people of Delta State for the huge financial resources dedicated to the project.
“It is certainly an investment with long-term returns to the immediate community, the State, and the country in general. I wish to charge personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps to put this institution to the best of use”.
Besides Governor Ifeanyi and the FRSC Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, other dignitaries at the event included Minister of State for Labour and Employment Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN who accompanied the Vice President, the Obi of Owa-Alero, His Royal Majesty Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, who is also the Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, among other top Federal and State government officials.
Before commissioning the school, the VP paid a courtesy call on the Obi of Owa-Alero, where the traditional ruler commended the Vice President for his progressive politics that he observed transcends partisanship. He added that the people of Delta State “will work for the unity of this country.”
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, explained on Tuesday why the loot recovered from former Delta State Governor, James Ibori will be used for federal projects.
Malami had, earlier on Tuesday with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, announced the return of £4.2 million recovered from Mr. Ibori and his friends.
The funds, set to arrive in the country within two weeks, are expected to be used for the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and Lagos-Ibadan Express road and not returned to the Delta State Government where it was pilfered from.
“The major consideration relating to who is entitled to a fraction or perhaps the money in its entirety is a function of law and international diplomacy,” Mr. Malami said during his Tuesday appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
He argued that the law that was alleged to have been breached by Ibori was a federal law and that the parties of interests involved in the repatriation of the funds were national and not sub-national governments.
“All the processes associated with the recovery were consummated by the federal government and the federal government is, indeed, the victim of crime and not sub-national,” he said.
When pressed on whether the British government had insisted that the money be spent on certain projects, Mr. Malami said it was not “a matter of insistence but a matter of negotiation between two sovereign states.”
Mr Ibori was convicted by a UK court in 2012 after pleading guilty to 10 charges of fraud and money laundering.
But the negotiations for the repatriation of his looted assets lasted for over seven years, due to what Mr. Malami described as “judicial processes” which requires all appeals to be exhausted before final forfeiture is granted.
“This hampered the speedy recovery of the looted assets,” he said.
Mr. Malami, who also doubles as the Minister of Justice, said the government is pursuing the recovery of other looted assets, including more Ibori assets amounting to over £100 million.
Another component of the assets looted by a former military dictator, Sani Abacha, is also being pursued. The Abacha component is worth over $100 million.
What else did Malami say?
Mr Malami said the P&ID case which almost cost Nigeria a fine of $10 billion has been “a success story.”
“Our position as a government is being strengthened day-in-day-out,” he said. “We are optimistic.”
He said he had not been served a subpoena to appear before a High Court over the prosecution of former pension boss, Abdulrasheed Maina.
His appearance in the Maina case, he added, would be subject to legal considerations and the public interest.
Mr. Malami also denied that his office was involved in the re-opening of a case against the former Governor of Lagos State and APC chieftain, Bola Tinubu.
An explosion has occurred at a gas plant in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The gas plant went up in flames Friday night, razing down some buildings, killing at least four persons, including three children, and leaving 11 others with various degrees of burns.
The cause of the fire is still unknown as of the time of this report but firefighters are were able to put out the blaze after hours of battling with it.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa visited some of the victims at the hospitals where they are receiving treatment on Saturday.
He confirmed that the casualties include one female adult and three children.
“The unfortunate thing is that we’ve lost people,” he said. “We’ve lost four persons. One is a grown-up woman and the other three are children. It’s a very painful thing. And so many others are currently at the burns unit of UBTH.”
According to Governor, the explosion did not take place within a densely populated area or the damage inflicted would have been more.
However, he noted that his government will take steps to prevent a reoccurrence in other parts of the state.
“I’m aware that we have some of these facilities even in more densely populated areas and I’m going to sit with the House of Assembly – we have to do an immediate legislation that will not allow such (incident) anymore,” he said.
A mother and her daughter have been reportedly killed by a police vehicle allegedly chasing suspected internet fraudsters also known as “Yahoo boys” at the PTI junction Effurun Uvwie Local government area of Delta State.
According to an eyewitness account, the police team had chased the ‘Yahoo Boys’ from PTI Road down to the spot where the unfortunate incident occurred.
The police van lost control and ran into the victims, killing them on the spot.
Reacting to the development, the Delta state Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has ordered an immediate investigation into circumstances surrounding the deaths.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor charged police authorities in the state to commence an urgent and accelerated investigation into the circumstances surrounding the losses.
Governor Okowa condoled with the deceased’s family on the loss of their loved ones and assured that everyone involved in the processes that led to the incident would be brought to book
Not less than 15 people have died mysteriously within the last two weeks in Ute Okpu and Idumesa communities in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, confirmed this to Channels Television in an interview on Sunday.
Ononye said he already led a team of public health officials including the representative of the World Health Organisation in the state to the affected communities with a view to unravelling the mysterious disease.
Families of the deceased, as well as the hospital in Umunede were also visited to get an assessment on how the strange illness progressed and resulted in death.
Fourteen #EndSARS protesters arrested by the Police in Ughelli, Delta State in connection with the killing of a Police Corporal during the agitations have been released.
“In line with our commitment to meet all the legitimate requests of the #EndSARS protesters in Delta State,” Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa tweeted on Thursday, “all the protesters that were previously detained by the Police in Ughelli have been released.”
In line with our commitment to meet all the legitimate requests of the #EndSARS protesters in Delta State, all the protesters that were previously detained by the Police in Ughelli have been released. pic.twitter.com/CYwxK47Z3z
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has condemned the violent attack on policemen and damage to police operational vehicles and other assets by #EndSARS protesters in Ughelli, Delta State, on Thursday.
He has also ordered a probe into the incident which resulted in the death of a police officer, Corporal Etaga Stanley attached to ‘A’ Division, Ughelli.
Another police officer, Sergeant Patrick Okuone also reportedly sustained gunshot injuries during the attack.
The Force Headquarter’s spokesperson, Frank Mba, in a statement on Friday, said the protesters also carted away “one service AK47 rifle with breach no 56-2609008 and 25 rounds of live ammunition that was with the deceased at the time of the incident.”
The IGP described the incident as cruel and unwarranted and warned that the Force will no longer tolerate any attack on its personnel or any member of the law enforcement community by any individual or group protesting under any guise.
The Delta State Police Command has reacted to the viral video of the alleged shooting of a young man in Ughelli, Delta State by the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Reacting to the post which said the young man was shot and left to die, the police debunked this claim, explaining that he sustained injuries after jumping from a moving car while trying to evade police arrest.
The Police spokesperson in Delta State, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, explained that the victim was arrested with a White Lexus Jeep without registration, “parked by the roadside which on sighting police patrol team, the driver immediately zoomed off at high speed in a suspicious manner.”
Onovwakpoyeya said the police team gave the Lexus Jeep a hot chase and eventually intercepted the vehicle and arrested the two occupants.
“On their way to the station with the arrested suspects inside the police patrol vehicle, the suspect jumped out of the moving vehicle and sustained body and head injuries,” she added.
The police spokesperson said further that the police tried to rescue the victim but an angry mob came out to attack them, thereby forcing them to leave the scene to avoid a violent confrontation with the mob.
She concluded that “the patrol team immediately visited the victim at the hospital where he is still alive and recuperating.”
The police reaction follows Saturday’s outrage on Social media which was triggered by the viral video shared on Twitter with the post “a young boy dead at Ughelli, Delta state . . . in front of Wetland hotels. They left him for dead on the roadside and drove away with the deceased Lexus jeep,” by a user.
SARS just shot a young boy dead at Ughelli, Delta state as we speak. In front of Wetland hotels. They left him for dead on the road side and drove away with the deceased Lexus jeep.
The former governor of Delta State defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in August of 2018.
At the time, he said in a statement titled ‘Moving On To The Bigger Playing Field’, that he decided to join the ruling party because of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s effort in tackling the crisis in the south-south region.
In 2019, Uduaghan went on to contest for the Delta South senatorial district but lost to James Manager.
The former governor and the APC challenged the result up until the appellate court but lost to his PDP opponent, Senator James Manager.