At least 240 inmates have escaped the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State, following an attack by yet to be identified gunmen.
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) spokesman, Mr Francis Enobore confirmed the incident in a communique on Monday, stating that the attack took place at about midnight on Sunday.
According to him, the attackers in their numbers arrived at the custodial centre heavily armed and immediately engaged the guards in a fierce gun battle.
Mr Enobore further disclosed that the Comptroller–General, Haliru Nababa has ordered a recapture procedure to be activated immediately and detailed investigation carried out even as he leads a team to assess the situation.
The Comptroller-General also appealed to the general public to furnish security operatives with useful intelligence that will assist in recapturing the escapees.
Kabba MSCC was established in 2008 with a capacity of 200.
As of the time of the invasion, 294 inmates were in custody out of which 224 were pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates.
The latest jailbreak comes a few months after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Correctional Service and the police headquarters in Imo State, freeing 1,844 inmates, after which the hoodlums set the facilities ablaze.
The gunmen also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command’s headquarters. No fewer than 50 cars were set ablaze in the process.
A similar attack was carried out at the correctional centre in Ubiaja, Edo State; however, the jailbreak was foiled by officers at the facility.
The inmates, after breaking out from their cells, engaged the correctional officers in a fight, leaving some of the security personnel injured.
It took a combined effort by officers from the Nigerian Army, 4th brigade, and the Edo Command of the Nigeria Police Force, to eventually overpower the inmates and return them to their cells.
“About a month and [a] few weeks ago, I got an intelligence report from the Director Headquarters of NAPTIP in Abuja that a man by name – Emmanuel Abatalam – has recruited and moved some girls out of the country,” he said.
“I looked into it and I was asked that currently, just within that week in question, he has recruited two girls and has moved them to Abuja enroute Libya.
“According to him, the suspect is in Turkey, the madam that wants to make use of the girls [is also] in Turkey but I discovered that the prime suspect is in Libya not even Turkey.”
He said luck however ran against them when the girls suspected foul play as the man they were handed over to in Abuja attempted to take them by road to Sokoto State enroute Libya instead of the earlier plan to go to the airport to board airplane to Turkey.
He warned that those involved in human trafficking should desist from it as the agency will continue to pursue her mandate.
2. “The external reasons we cite as reasons for our problems cannot thrive without severe internal weaknesses in our society. The chief weakness is a human one – our elite, our political, economic, and religious elite”.
4. “To me, that’s the central lesson of September 11th. It’s that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of America, unity is our greatest strength.”
President Biden speaks as America marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with solemn ceremonies given added poignancy by the recent withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and return to power of the Taliban.
5. “President Alpha Conde is well.”
Envoys from the West Africa bloc ECOWAS say deposed Guinean President Alpha Conde is in good health, following the coup which set the nation on the edge.
6. “People were laughing that I lost my polling unit, but you know, it is democracy that won.”
7. “The north has always been behind in education, we’ve continuously been the disadvantaged region right from independence even though we’re given preferences, JAMB scores, and all that. That has not helped; in fact, it has made our people lazy.”
Governor Nasir El-Rufai says lowering cut-off marks for northern students by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) will not make them as competitive as they ought to be.
8. “NARD goes about telling Nigerians that government is owing them salaries and that government is not taking the problems in the health sector serious. But this is not true. It is incorrect. No doctor, nurse, pharmacist or any other health worker including the driver is owed monthly salary. Government pays as and when due.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, says contrary to what he described as propaganda by the striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), no doctor or health worker in Nigeria is owed their monthly salary.
9. “Why do we need to allow Fulani from all these countries to come and destroy our land? That is the point we are saying. They have given unnecessary stress and risks to our security agencies in Nigeria.”
10. “Yes, we’ve had serious security challenges. They were inherited by the Buhari administration, and they mutated and became hydra-headed. But a government exists to solve problems, and that is what President Buhari had been committed to doing.”
13. “Could we, for example, work out an understanding with the UN, AU, Commonwealth and possibly, even the development finance institutions we are a part of to act in unity to suspend a country where there has been a seizure of power from all these bodies simultaneously?”
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, calls for stricter measures taken against nations where military takes over government by force.
14. “Part of the crises in this country today is because of impunity.”
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, identifies impunity as one of the major factors responsible for the security challenges in the country.
15. “A World Cup every two years could distort the most important football competition on the planet, lowering its quality and undermining its exclusive character and its current demanding standards.”
South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL hits out at FIFA proposals to stage the World Cup every two years, saying there was “no sporting justification” for shortening the window between tournaments.
16. “We wish to reiterate that the bank has not contemplated, and will never contemplate, any such line of action. The speculation is a completely false narrative aimed at triggering panic in the foreign exchange market.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) urges Nigerians to ignore reports that domiciliary account operators have been directed to convert their holdings into naira.
17. “What we are doing to bandits is to send them to God, so they can answer their questions.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he cannot be accused of having companies or mansions across the country, adding that he tries to keep himself clean so that he won’t be taken hostage by anyone.
President Buhari stated this on Thursday at a town hall meeting with South- East leaders during his one-day official visit to Imo State.
‘‘Nobody can accuse me of having companies or mansions anywhere in the country and I thank God that I try to keep myself as clean as possible so that I cannot be taken, hostage.
‘‘I will do my best to ensure that Nigerians that try hard, succeed in their efforts,’’ he added.
He told South-East leaders that while fighting corruption in Nigeria had become very sophisticated and difficult, he would strive to leave a lasting legacy of integrity and accountability in the system.
On security issues in the country, he said with less than two years left in his eight-year tenure as President, security remains a major priority for his administration.
‘‘If there is no security, there is nothing anyone can do no matter how much you try or the initiative you have.
‘‘Security is the number one priority and then the economy. When people feel secure they will mind their own business,’’ he said.
On the 2023 elections, the Buhari reaffirmed his commitment to free, fair and credible polls, urging leaders to educate their constituencies on the need to hold their elected representatives accountable.
While acknowledging the enterprising spirit of Igbo people, the President described them as resourceful.
“The fundamental thing about the Igbo people is that there is no town you will visit in Nigeria without seeing the Igbos being in charge of either infrastructure or pharmaceutical industry.
‘‘Therefore, it is unthinkable for me that any Igbo man would consider himself not to be a part of Nigeria.
‘‘The evidence is there for everyone to see that Igbos are in charge of Nigeria’s economy,” the Nigerian leader explained.
He noted that no country can make any meaningful progress without the development of infrastructure, and regretted that successive governments at the federal level contributed to the decay of critical infrastructure in the nation.
But he promised that the Federal Government would complete ongoing key projects in the South-East, including the 2nd Niger Bridge, and railway lines and routes linking the region with other parts of Nigeria.
‘‘I firmly believe that when you get infrastructure right, Nigerians will mind their own businesses,’’ he said, adding that as a group, the Igbos stand to benefit more from the ongoing development of infrastructure in the country because ‘‘they are more enterprising’’.
President Buhari had earlier commissioned four projects executed by Governor Hope Uzodinma, including the Naze/Ihiagwa/Nekede/Obinze link road, the Balloon Driven/Flood Control drainage at Dick Tiger Road, the Egbeada Bypass road and the New Exco-Chambers, Government House, Owerri.
During his address at the commissioning of the Egbeada bypass named after a prominent son of the state, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Buhari expressed satisfaction with the work done by the Imo State Government.
‘‘I am very pleased with what I have seen and I assure you that I will support Imo State within the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he said.
In his remarks at the town hall meeting, Governor Uzodinma said Ndigbo believe in a united Nigeria predicated on ‘‘justice, equity and fairness”.
He thanked the President for addressing the interests of Ndi Igbo through deliberate policy initiatives – including the ongoing construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge – designed to give the people a sense of belonging.
Governor Uzodinma said the region would remain grateful to the President for approving the establishment of a Naval Base in Oguta Local Government Area of the state, adding that as time unfolds, the economic benefits of the base would manifest.
He equally commended the President for strongly supporting the appointment of two prominent Igbos into key international organisations – Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Assistant Director-General of Health Emergency Intelligence, World Health Organisation (WHO).
In his remarks, the President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, George Obiozor assured the President of the continuous support of Ndigbo.
‘‘Ndigbo is committed to Nigerian unity and there is news for those trying to push us out of Nigeria.
‘‘Ndigbo in Nigeria are like fish in the ocean and no matter how rough the storm is, it cannot drive the fish out of the ocean.
‘‘Mr. President, it is in this context, that we see a new dawn in your distinguished presence in Igbo land and believe that on your return to Abuja the significance and substance of this visit will form a new foundation of a platform for meaningful dialogue on critical issues of concern to the Igbo nation,’’ he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday visited Imo State where he commissioned four newly executed projects.
The projects are Naze-Poly Nekede Road, Balloon Technology Drainage Tunnel at Dick Tiger, Amakohia Egbeada bypass and the New Government House Executive Chambers.
Shortly after his plane landed at the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri, the state capital, President Buhari was received by Governor Hope Uzodinma, along with some state officials and other dignitaries.
At a ceremony to commission one of the projects, the President praised the governor for his development strides which he described as visible.
“I have seen enough that justifies his (Uzodinma’s) integrity in making sure that he is working very hard to make sure that you get the structures necessary,” President Buhari said.
“I am very impressed by what he has done because I have gone through the same problems at the centre.”
Stressing that infrastructure is what will enable the people to mind their own businesses, he said, “If there are no roads; if there is no security, what can the people do? Absolutely nothing.
“I am very pleased that by some fabulous coincidence, my idea and that of your governor coincided. I am very pleased with what I have seen and I assure you that, at the centre, I will try to encourage Imo State within the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Governor Hope Uzodinma had a few days back disclosed that Buhari would be visiting the state to commission some “significant projects” his government has executed.
“While in Abuja, I secured approval for President Muhammadu Buhari to visit Imo on Thursday, Sept. 9, to commission some significant projects put together by the Shared Prosperity Administration,” the governor told newsmen after he visited the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He also noted that Imo has gotten additional support from the President on the management of some ecological problems in the state.
See more pictures capturing the visit of the President to Imo State below:
The Imo state government has evacuated over a hundred of its indigenes studying at the University of Jos in Plateau state following rising tensions in Jos Plateau State.
Chief of staff to the Imo Governor, Nnamdi Anyaehi, alongside other dignitaries were present to receive the students at the Government House in Owerri the state’s capital on Monday night.
Mr. Anyaehi commended the students for their patience while waiting for the government to come to evacuate them.
He reiterated the Uzodimma-led administration’s concern for the welfare of all Imo indigenes irrespective of their location, while also assuring the students of their safety back to their various homes.
“This government is sensitive to the plight of the common man, sensitive to not only the plight of students but the generality of the Imo people,” he said.
“The governor has directed that none of you should leave here unaccompanied to his or her home.”
Speaking to Channels Television, one of the students expressed his relief at being evacuated from the troubled zone and appreciated the governor’s prompt reaction.
“Words alone cannot express what our eyes have seen. I don’t know if our appearance can bear the picture,” he said.
“But the trauma of what we have seen will live with us for the rest of our lives.”
The student added, “This is so far the only silver lining we have seen in this dark cloud.”
Recent attacks in Jos North, Bassa, Riyom, and Barkin Ladi have plunged Plateau into a state of high tension.
About 36 people were killed last week in Yelwa Zangam village, Zangam District in Jos North Local Government Area.
Lagos State, Kaduna State amongst others have followed suit in transporting their indigenes from Jos metropolis and the University of Jos has been shut down.
Governor of Plateau State Simon Lalong on Monday relaxed curfews imposed on parts of the state after some level of normalcy had returned to the state.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday declined an application by former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha asking it to restrain the Imo State Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from confiscating his properties.
Okorocha who is entangled in corruption allegations by the Imo State Government had sought an interim order from the court while it was on vacation.
At the hearing on Wednesday, counsel to Senator Okorocha, Mr Oba Maduabuchi (SAN), told the court presided over by Justice Ahmed Mohammed that the properties of his client were being marked for confiscation and demolition.
He prayed the court to issue an interim order to the EFCC and the Imo State Government not to carry on with their action.
The application, however, could not go through following a motion by the counsels to the Imo government and the EFCC challenging the jurisdiction of the court to sit on the matter during the vacation period.
In their separate submissions, they described the application by Okorocha as an abuse of judicial processes and cannot subsist in view of the motion filed already challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter during the vacation period of the court.
They argued that once an issue of jurisdiction is raised in any suit, it must be determined and resolved first before the court can take further steps.
Counsel to the 3rd to 17th defendants, Livy Uzuokwu (SAN) also challenged the application by Senator Okorocha.
According to him, he had filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the judge to have the matter fixed during the vacation, because the plaintiff did not comply with the mandatory provisions of Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, which mandates the plaintiff to obtain a fiat from the chief judge for the matter to be heard during vacation.
In his judgment, Justice Ahmed Mohammed refused to grant Okorocha’s application on the ground that he would first have to hear the motion challenging his jurisdiction to sit on the matter during vacation.
He adjourned the matter to August 24.
A State High Court in Owerri had earlier (on Monday) ordered the final and absolute forfeiture of Royal Palm Springs Hotel and other properties said to belong to Senator Okorocha and other members of his family.
According to a ruling by Justice Fred Njemanze, who was sitting as a vacation judge, Okorocha’s counsel failed to give concrete and verifiable reasons why a final and absolute forfeiture order should not be given in favour of the Imo state government.
Justice Njemanze added that the suit filed against the state government by Okorocha’s counsel was not properly filed.
He also described it as a ‘surplusage’, a term in law which means a statement completely irrelevant to a matter.
As for persons who might have made purchases on such properties, Justice Njamanze said they are at liberty to approach the court to prove their titles.
A State High Court in Owerri has ordered the final and absolute forfeiture of Royal Palm Springs Hotel and other properties said to belong to Senator Rochas Okorocha and other members of his family.
The forfeited properties are contained in pages 226 to 272 of the Imo state Government white paper report by a Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Recovery of Lands and other related matters.
According to the ruling by Justice Fred Njemanze, who was sitting as a vacation judge, Okorocha’s counsel failed to give concrete and verifiable reasons why a final and absolute forfeiture order should not be given in favour of the Imo state government.
Justice Njemanze added that the suit filed against Imo state Government by Okorocha’s counsel was not properly filed.
He also described it as a surplusage, a term in lawn which means a useless statement completely irrelevant to a matter.
Justice Njemanze maintained that the white paper gazette by the Imo state Government is a legal binding document.
The judge concluded that there was no concrete reason before it why the forfeiture should not be made absolute and final, hence the Imo state Government can go ahead and do whatever it deems fit to do with the properties.
As for persons who might have made purchase on such properties, Justice Njamanze said they are at liberty to approach the court to prove their titles.
However, the properties as at today have been returned to the Imo state Government.
Justice Fred Njamanze had February 26 given an interim order of forfeiture on the properties urging Senator Rochas Okorocha to approach the court to show case as to why a final and absolute order of forfeiture should not be given over the properties following an application brought by Mr Louis Alozie, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, on behalf of the state government.
This prompted Okorocha’s counsel to file a preliminary injunction to stop the final forfeiture citing forceful eviction and that the suit by the Imo state Government was not properly Instituted.
Some of the properties forfeited include:
1. Eastern Palm University, Ogboko 2. Royal Spring Palm Hotels and Apartments 3. IBC staff quarters said to have been illegally acquired for the purpose of Rochas Foundation College 4. Owerri magistrate quarters, Orlu road/cooperative office/Girls Guide allegedly converted to private use housing market square and Kilimanjaro eatery 5. Public building situated at plot B/2 Otamiri South Extension Layout given to the ministry of women affairs for establishing a skills acquisition centre for women, allegedly acquired for the benefit of Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha’s all-in Mall along Aba road. 6. Plot P5, Naze residential layout, initially part of primary school management board but now annexed to All-In Mall along Aba Road, belonging to Mrs Nkechi Okorocha 7. And all the properties contained from pages 226 to 272 of the government white paper on the recommendation of the judicial commission of inquiry into land administration in Imo state from June 2006 to May 2019”.
The Supreme Court has granted an order of injunction refraining the Federal Government and its agencies from ceding oil wells at Akri and Mbede communities, to Imo State.
The order was granted on Wednesday to stop a purported implementation of the ceding of about 17 oil wells to Imo State, pending the determination of a suit brought before the court by the Rivers State Government.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court restrained the Attorney General of the Federation and the Attorney General of Imo State, from taking further action on the ownership of the Oil Wells, till the disputes surrounding them are resolved.
The apex court also barred the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation from approving, implementing or giving effect in any manner.
Thereafter it fixed September 21 for the hearing of the substantive suit.
The Rivers State government through its Attorney General had dragged the AGF and the Attorney of Imo State before the Supreme Court over the disputed oil wells.
The plaintiff sought a declaration that the boundary between Rivers and Imo states as delineated in Nigeria’s administrative map 10th, 11th and 12th editions as well as other maps bearing similar delineation “are inaccurate, incorrect and do not represent the legitimate and lawful boundaries between the two states.”
It also sought a declaration that as far as the Nigerian administrative map 10, 11 and 12 editions and other maps bearing similar delineations of the boundaries between Rivers and Imo, are unlawful and void, they “cannot be relied on to determine the extent of the territorial governmental jurisdiction of Rivers State”.
Rivers State, therefore, urged the Supreme Court to declare that the correct instrument, maps and documents to be relied on in determining the boundary between Rivers and Imo State are those used by the plaintiff in delineating the boundary lines between Rivers and Imo.
The Imo State Government on Tuesday sealed off the premises of the Rochas Foundation College in Owerri.
The College is owned by former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha.
According to the state government, the College was sealed off to implement the recommendation on a white paper report by a Judicial Commission of Enquiry on Recovery of Lands and other related matters which alleged that Mr Okorocha had acquired the property illegally.
Mr Okorocha, who is currently serving in the ninth Senate, was Governor of Imo State between 2011 and 2019.
In February, he was arrested by police for allegedly breaking into a government-sealed building in Owerri but was subsequently released.
He has denied any wrongdoing and accused current Imo state Governor Hope Uzodinnma of a witch-hunt.
Tuesday’s seal-off was implemented by a task force set up by the state government to implement a judicial commission’s white paper recommendations.
According to the state government, the white paper report recommended that the state government should recover the property which, according to the state masterplan, was owned by the Imo State Broadcasting Corporation, serving as the staff quarters.
However, according to the state government, the staff were forcefully ejected and the property was illegally acquired by then Governor Okorocha to build his Rochas Foundation College.
Meanwhile, Okorocha has described the action of the state government as a political vendetta urging the Uzodimma-led administration to face governance and stop any vendetta mission against perceived opposition.
Speaking through his spokesperson Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha said the true position is that some part of the land was reallocated legally to Rochas Foundation by the Ministry of Land which followed due process.
According to Onwuemeodo, over 4,000 children from Imo state are enjoying free education in the school.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also sealed off the premises in 2019.
The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma says no one at moment can give him a reason why the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not be reelected in the next general elections.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Uzodinma challenged Nigerians to give reasons why the ruling party should not win the 2023 polls.
Uzodinma said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has performed well and should be applauded.
While responding to a question of whether more governors from the Southeast would defect to the APC, the governor said, “Not just from the South-east, many governors in Nigeria will join the APC”.
“Part of the problem of this government is the deliberate attempt by some group of people to pull (it) down.
“Because nobody is telling me that this government is not performing, that salaries are not being paid or that the roads are not being constructed or the railway is not going or the various intervention funds to empower our youths are not being given out.
“Nobody has come in concrete terms to accuse this government of one failure or the other. All we hear is that herdsmen and farmers are fighting and for that reason, 200 people are kidnapped. People are shot down there, people are killed there.
“What do you want the government to do? We must be realistic. I believe in pragmatism. I believe in doing things right. Can anybody come and tell me one, two, three, four reasons why this APC should not win in the next election?
“All I hear is that because of insecurity this, insecurity that. But you send people out in the night to go and cause trouble and use it in the day to blame the government,” the governor said in reference to the high rate of insecurity in the country.
‘I Alone Cannot Restore Security In Imo’
Speaking on the crisis in Imo state, Governor Uzodinma called on fellow leaders to join hands to bring an end to the insecurity in the state, noting that himself alone cannot restore security.
He appealed to all stakeholders including traditional rulers, religious leaders, and politicians, to engage more with the issues in order to engender peace in the country.
He also stated that former political office holders who have failed to speak out against the security crisis in the country have questions to answer.
According to him, if all leaders speak out condemning perpetrators of insecurity, a lot of changes would be visible.
“Anybody worth his onions as a leader should be able to speak out. How many of them are speaking out.
“How many of them are condemning what is going on. rather what you see is leaders fanning the embers of insecurity, the governor said.
He also stated that anyone found culpable in the destruction of government property would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Gunmen have attacked the country home of the Imo State Commissioner of Information, Declan Emelumba, within the Ubulu-Ihejiofor community in the Oru West Local government area of Imo state.
Mr. Emelumba who confirmed this incident to Channels Television said some part of the building in his compound was razed by the assailants but no life was lost.
He said the gunmen after attacking his home proceeded to the home of the Interim Management Committee Chairman of Oru West Local Government Honourable Wille Okoliogwo and also razed down some parts of his house.
Emelumba further stated that after attacking Okoliogwo’s house, the miscreants made away with the Local Government Ambulance parked in the chairman’s compound.
The commissioner said the ambulance is one of the vehicles recovered by security operatives during the attack on the police headquarters in Owerri, an attack which was repelled by security agencies on Sunday morning.
At the time of filing this report, the police were yet to issue any statement regarding the attack on both the Commissioner’s house and the home of the Interim Management Committee Chairman.