Forceful Invasion: Okorocha’s Aide, 13 Others Arraigned In Owerri

A scene from the court where an aide of former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and 13 others have been arraigned.

 

The Imo State police command has arraigned 14 persons including a senior legislative aide to Senator Rochas Okorocha, Steve Asimobi in a magistrate court in Owerri. 

They are said to have participated in the ‘forceful invasion’ of the Royal Spring Palm Hotel which was sealed by the state government.

Spokesman to the state command, Orlando Ikeokwu who confirmed the arraignment also stated that Senator Rochas Okorocha who was in police custody for questioning based on the complaints lodged by the state government over the matter, was released on Sunday.

Giving further details regarding the 14 being arraigned, Ikeokwu said the suspects were facing a 6-count charge bothering on conspiracy, disobedience to lawful order, willingly and unlawful destruction of the official seal of the Imo State Government, conduct capable of causing a breach of peace.

READ ALSO: Okorocha Invited For Questioning Over Imo Hotel – Police

Others are unlawful possession of firearms and a defamatory action on social media against the Governor of Imo state with the intent to injure the reputation of the state govt and person of Governor Hope Uzodimma.

Meanwhile, the Imo State police command has said it will not hesitate to charge Senator Rochas Okorocha to court if investigations reveal that he committed an offence on Sunday while trying to unseal the Royal Spring Palm Estate which is reportedly linked to his wife, Nkechi.

Police spokesman Orlando Ikeokwu who made this known while featuring on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily said the Force will charge anybody found culpable, adding that if an investigation proves that Okorocha has committed an offence, he will be charged to court.

Okorocha was arrested after he went to the Royal Spring Palm with his supporters, policemen, soldiers and personnel of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps and ordered the unsealing of the estate.

Commenting on his arrest, Okorocha had alleged that his predecessor, Governor Hope Uzodimma, attacked him with “more than 1,000 thugs” but the state Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba, dismissed Okorocha’s claim, stressing that the former governor’s arrest was in line with the report of a White Paper, which indicated that the Royal Palm Estate was built with taxpayers’ money and not Okorocha wife’s property.

Customs Intercept Illegal Drugs Worth N819m In Imo

 

The Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone C Owerri has intercepted 1,024 cartons of contraband drugs with duty paid value of N819 million.

According to the Area controller of customs FOU Zone C, Yusuf Lawal, the drugs which were Intercepted along Ofosu-Benin expressway were identified as Colcaps Medicament, illegally shipped into the country from India without NAFDAC certification.

While also displaying some other seized items like bags of foreign rice, vehicles and second-hand clothing, Controller Lawal said the men of the Nigeria Customs Service FOU Zone C are readily prepared to fight the menace of smuggling in the zone.

He advised smugglers to look for other means of livelihood and desist from economic sabotage.

Police Confirm Murder Of Former Owerri NBA Chairman

Barrister Ndieonyema Nwankwo.

 

The Imo State Police have confirmed the gruesome murder of a 64-year-old man, Barrister Ndieonyema Nwankwo who was the former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Owerri branch.

A statement signed by the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer Orlando Ikeokwu, on Sunday, explained that when the command received the report of the murder, operatives were immediately deployed to the scene of the incident (his office).

According to the PPRO, they met the lawyer’s lifeless body in a pool of blood and machete cuts were seen on his neck.

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Ikeokwu noted that while taking a further look around the office, a machete with bloodstains, suspected to have been used in inflicting the cuts on him, was found on the floor.

He said it was also discovered that his car and other yet to be identified items were taken away.

The state Commissioner of Police, CP Nasiru Mohammed, while calling for calm, has also ordered an investigation into the matter, with a view to arresting the fleeing suspects and recovering the stolen items.

Imo Governor Congratulates New Service Chiefs, Commends Buhari

Hope Uzodimma

 

The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari on the appointment of new service chiefs in the country.

According to a statement by the Governor, President Buhari’s actions have shown that he is a responsive leader who listens to the yearnings of the people.

While congratulating the newly appointed Service Chiefs, Governor Uzodimma urged them to live up to the expectations of their new portfolios.

Meanwhile, his counterpart in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike has warned the new service chiefs against politicising the state of security by making alliances.

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Wike made this known in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Paulinus Nsirim, saying the President deserves commendation for finally listening to the voice of the people.

The appointment of the new Service Chiefs follows the resignation of the former officers.

Major-General Leo Irabor replaced General Abayomi Olonisakin as Chief of Defence Staff; Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao replaced Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar as Chief of Air Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo replaced Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff; while General Ibrahim Attahiru replaced Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai as Chief of Army Staff.

COVID-19: Imo Govt Cautions Against Gathering Of More Than 100 Persons, Shuts Secretariat

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma

 

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma on Sunday announced the shutdown of the state secretariat till further notice and cautioned residents to avoid gathering more than 100 persons in the state.

The governor who made the announcement during a live broadcast revealed new measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 due to its resurgence in the state.

“I want to emphasise that there is an absolute need to avoid gathering of crowds of more than 100 people anywhere in the state. Where such crowds must gather, those involved MUST wear face masks. There should be wash handstands readily available with alcohol-based sanitisers at such gatherings.

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“To further strengthen safety measures, all government workers are to stay at home from tomorrow, Monday, December 21, till further notice, except for permanent secretaries and political appointees. This means that the state secretariat, which is a major crowd puller, will remain closed, from tomorrow until further notice,” the governor said.

Governor Uzodinma also ordered the compulsory use of face masks in public, noting that, “mobile courts have been deployed all over the state to try any person caught without wearing face masks.”

Explaining the importance of the measures, the governor noted that there is a global resurgence of the dreaded virus with the reopening of international flights and the nonchalant attitude of many towards COVID-19 precautions.

“Since October the number of cases in the country, which hitherto seemed to be reducing, has been on a rapid rise. From 225 confirmed new cases in October, the number has risen to a frightful level of 77,933 in December. Yesterday, 19th December alone 920 new confirmed cases were recorded in the country, with six deaths.

“Recent PCR-Based tests carried out in the state in accordance with the guidelines of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), reveal a frightful upward surge in the curve of the confirmed case.

“Already the effect of this frightful global resurgence and spike in COVID-19 infections is manifest in the country and Imo State. A general complacency and false sense of safety amongst our people to COVID-19 19 safety protocols remain the order of the day,” he explained.

Governor Uzodinma said therefore drastic steps must be taken to stop the trend and avert imminent danger posed by the human traffic surge in the interest of everyone.

He directed that all COVID-19 safety protocols will be strictly enforced.

These include the provision of wash handstands and sanitisers in markets and worship places.

He said any person or persons caught not observing these safety protocols will be prosecuted in the mobile courts.

#EndSARS: Imo Gov Approves Release Of N2bn For Youth Empowerment

File photo:  Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma addresses residents of the state in his Easter message at the Government House in Owerri on April 12, 2020.

 

In fulfilling his promise of initiating a dedicated empowerment package to address the needs of youths in Imo state, the state Governor, Hope Uzodimma has approved the immediate release of a takeoff fund of two billion naira out of the six billion naira earmarked for an accelerated youth empowerment programme.

The Governor disclosed this in a statewide broadcast in Owerri the Imo state capital on Saturday.

Governor Uzodinma said the two billion naira will be deployed for the training of the first batch of beneficiaries of the scheme known as the Imo State Special Youth Empowerment and Intervention Programme which will commence next week.

He added that an estimated number of 500,000 Imo youths in different skills acquisition will be given start-up capital.

While also assuring Imo indigenes that the security operatives are on the trail of those that masterminded the carnage and destruction of properties in the state, he noted that the 24 hours curfew earlier imposed in all parts of the state has been reviewed.

According to him, the curfew will now be between 6 pm and 6 am.

Senate Seeks Speedy Completion Of Multimillion Naira Trauma Centre Project In Imo

A section of the multi-million naira Trauma Centre Project at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, still under construction.

 

The Senate Committee on Health has promised to use the instrumentality of the 2021 budget to support and increase resource allocation to ensure speedy completion of the multi-million naira Trauma Centre Project embarked upon by the Federal Government at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Health Ibrahim, Oloriegbe disclosed this when the Senate Committee on Health visited the Federal Medical Centre Owerri to inspect some ongoing projects.

 

A section of the multi-million naira Trauma Centre Project embarked upon by the Federal Government at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri.

 

While also speaking of the strategic importance of the Trauma Centre to Imo state and the entire southeast, the Medical Director of the FMC Owerri Kingsley Achigbu, noted that the trauma centre which is equipped with emergency services and medical evacuation services will help curb medical tourism and reduce travelling abroad for medical treatment.

FMC Owerri is one of the major health care facilities in the state as well region.

Over 10 Families Trapped In Imo Landslide 

 

 

More than 10 families living on Trinity street in Akwakuma community in Owerri North local government area of Imo state are trapped in their homes following an erosion that prevented the individuals from running to safety. 

Residents say the situation took a new dimension after a heavy downpour which lasted all through the night on Sunday till the early hours of Monday.

Some residents who spoke to Channels Television urged the government to come to their aid as a matter of urgency, so they can have good access roads to go to work, buy foodstuff, and do other daily activities.

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Imo Youths Protest As Policeman Kills Motorcyclist Over N50 Bribe

 

Youths and indigenes of Orlu town in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo state staged a protest Thursday following a report that a police officer killed a young man identified to be a commercial motorcyclist.

The officer who is said to have been on duty at the popular banana junction in Orlu town allegedly shot the motorcyclist for failure to use a face mask and refusal to give a fifty naira (N50) bribe.

The Imo state police command in response to the report said the officer, Sergeant Awusu Henry has been arrested and taken into custody.

Youths in Imo State on Thursday protested the killing of a commercial motorcyclist who refused to give a bribe.

Command spokesman, SP Ikeokwu Orlando, stated in a communique that one other person was injured in the riot that ensued following the killing.

He revealed that the State’s Commissioner of Police, CP Isaac Akinmoyede has ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter, with a view to unraveling the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident.

According to SP Ikeokwu, the command while regretting and condemning the “unethical and unprofessional infraction”, is assuring members of the public that justice will be done in the matter.

Aggrieved members of the public, especially the people of Orlu and its environs, were urged to remain calm as “no stone will be left unturned in the quest to ensure that justice is done”.

Imo Govt Shuts Down Assembly As Lawmaker Tests Positive For COVID-19

 

The Imo State House of Assembly has been shut down for the next two weeks following the announcement that a lawmaker has tested positive to the coronavirus disease.

The chairman of the COVID-19 taskforce in the state, Professor Maurice Iwu disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Owerri the state capital on Tuesday.

He said samples of all other lawmakers and their aides have been taken to the laboratory for testing to be able to ascertain the number of people who might have come in contact with the lawmaker who tested positive.

Read Also: COVID-19: Lagos Govt Stops Planned Reopening Of Worship Centers

This comes days after the state recorded its first COVID-19 fatality.

Former DG Of Imo State Broadcasting Corporation Arrested For Allegedly Killing Wife

 

The Imo state police command has arrested 82-year-old Theophilus Okere a retired Director General of Imo State Broadcasting Corporation for allegedly killing his wife Mrs Beatrice Okere in Imerienwe community within the Ngor- Okpala Local Government Area of Imo state.

Confirming the incident, the Imo state police command public relations officer Orlando Ikeokwu disclosed that preliminary investigations revealed that after killing his wife, the 82-year old ran away until he was arrested by the officers of the command after a tip off.

According to reports Mrs Beatrice Okere who was in her seventies was taking to an undisclosed hospital by indigenes of the community after the incident happened but due to loss of so much blood gave up the ghost in the hospital.

However, the Imo state Commissioner of Police Isaac Akinmoyede said investigation is ongoing to ascertain if the man committed the heinous crime and should be charged to Court in due time.

Gov Uzodinma Signs Executive Order Reducing Telecoms Companies’ Right Of Way

 

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has signed an Executive order which significantly reduces the Right of Way (ROW) of telecommunication companies in the State from N4500 to N145 per meter in tandem with Federal Government policy.

According to Governor Uzodinma, the reduction was a manifestation of the government’s determination to spur the telecommunication companies to further invest in broadband infrastructure and trigger ancillary on-line services, especially in the field of education.

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He noted in a statement on Wednesday that his government is hopeful that this drastic reduction from N4500 of the broadband ROW to N145 per linear meter of fibre will accelerate the deployment of affordable and reliable modern high-speed connectivity in the State.

The Executive order urged telecommunication companies to note that the State plays host to vibrant and youthful demography located in many tertiary institutions, who form the bulk of the end-users of their products.