S/East Actors Guild Calls On Kidnappers To Release Colleague

Following the Kidnap of Nollywood actress and Special Assistant on Public Affairs to Imo State Governor, Miss Nkiru Sylvanus, South East Chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria staged a peaceful protest in Owerri the state capital condemning the act and calling out to the kidnappers to release their colleague.

Led by the South East Vice Chaiman of the Guild, Iyke Ezenagu, members of the Association marched to the Government House where they called on the state government and other South East governors to provide adequate security for all actors in the region to enable them do their duties accordingly without fear of kidnap.

They however expressed displeasure over the spate of kidnapping of their members in the South East as Nkiru Sylvanus’s case is not the first of its kind.

However while addressing journalists earlier in the Government House, after the security council meeting, the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha disclosed that the state government in conjunction with all the security operatives in the state are doing everything possible to rescue the light skinned actress alive as well as other people who have been abducted in the state.

Okorocha further re-iterated his government’s commitment in ensuring a crime and kidnap free Yuletide for all its citizens.

Popular Actress Nkiru Sylvanus Kidnapped, N100 Million Ransom Demanded

The Special Assistant to the Imo state Governor on Public Affairs and Popular Nollywood Actress Miss Nkiru Sylvanus has been kidnapped in Owerri the Imo state capital, South East Nigeria.

Sources close to the Nollywood actress said she was Kidnapped yesterday night around Concorde hotel in Owerri where she went for an official engagement.

However sources said the Kidnappers have contacted the Imo State Government demanding for the sum of N100 million for her release.

When contacted, the Imo state Police PRO, Mr Vitalis Olugu, said he is yet to be informed about the kidnap.

This development comes barely one week after the kidnap of Prof. Kanene Okonjo, mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

David Mark, Rochas, Orji React To Helicopter Crash

The President of the senate, Senator David Mark has described the death of Kaduna state governor, Dr. Patrick Yakowa and the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA) General Owoye Azazi as devastating and a national tragedy.

Senator Mark noted that the frequency of air mishaps in recent times unarguably calls for caution and return to the basics.

The Bayelsa state government on its part says the vacuum created by the death of these notable personalities will be difficult to fill, noting their contributions to the growth of not only their respective states but the country as a whole.

Meanwhile the Imo state governor Rochas Okorocha is shocked and saddened over the incident, describing it as a big shock and an unfortunate tragedy that has once again befallen the nation.

The Abia state governor, Theodore Orji describes the death of Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna and former Security Adviser Owoeye Azazi in the crash as very painful and shocking.

According to Governor Orji, he is yet to come to terms with the sad development which has thrown the entire nation into mourning.

2013 Budget: Gov. Okorocha presents N197.7 bn to Imo House of Assembly

The Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha has presented a budget proposal ofN197,743,684,31 (One Hundred and Ninety Seven billion, seven hundred and forty three million, six hundred and eighty four thousand and thirty one) to the Imo State House of Assembly for the 2013 fiscal year.

While presenting the budget in the Chambers of the Imo State House of Assembly, the Governor said the 2013 budget will carry 34.4% recurrent expenditure and 67.53% capital expenditure as the estimated revenue projection from recurrent sources and capital receipt for the year 2013 is pegged at N93 billion  and N101 billion respectively.

The Governor said his administration is determined to tackle the developmental challenges faced by the people of the state while adding that his administration will do all within its powers to manage the available resources in a prudent manner as well as create the enabling environment that would encourage private sector-led growth and development.

Okorocha slashes tuition fee of non-indigenes by 50 percent

In furtherance to his free education programme in the state, the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha has slashed down by 50 percent the tuition fees of non-indigene students schooling in the state owned tertiary Institutions.

The Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha

The governor made this declaration at the government house in Owerri, the Imo state capital during a courtesy call by leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and Student Union government of all tertiary institutions in Imo state.

Mr Okorocha noted that quality education remains the best gift that can be given to any child in order to secure their future and as a result of this, his administration do not want to limit the free education programme to only indigenes of the state but to non-indigenes as well which has wararanted the reduction of their tuition fees by 50 per cent.

He however urged his counterparts in other states to adopt similar measure towards creating opportunities for Nigerian students in other tertiary institutions to quality and qualitative education.

Meanwhile, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Dauda Mohammed, commended the governor on his commitment and contribution to the advancement of education in the Country.

The governor was given an award by NANS as Commander of free education for his contribution to free education in Imo state.

House withdraws bill to curb high spending of public officials

A motion which seeks to cut down the amount spent by public servants on overseas trips has been withdrawn after it was initially considered for a debate in the House of Representatives.

The motion, which was sponsored by Representative Eddie Mbadiwe from Ideato Federal Constituency in Imo State, was supported by most law makers who observed that the cost of overseas trips runs into billions of naira.

The motion was however withdrawn for more legislative work.

Meanwhile a bill which sought to make it mandatory for the president to seek the consent of the senate before a minister can be removed from office suffered a similar fate as it was withdrawn.

With all that has been said on the need to reduce the cost of governance in the country, especially in the public service, this motion appeared to have identified an area to explore.

The motion points to the amount spent by public servants who travel abroad as a waste that can be put to better use.

Uncompleted 3-storey building collapses in Owerri, worker trapped inside

A 3-storey building under construction along Works Layout in Owerri the Imo state capital has collapsed.

Sources said the building collapsed around 11 pm yesterday night during a heavy downpour.

It was also disclosed that a 28 year old man identified as Joseph Ekanem  a carpenter who happens to be one of the workers  inside the building have been trapped inside, even though they cannot ascertain if there are more workers trapped inside and they cannot ascertain as there are 6 workers working in the building on daily basis.

Sources also disclosed that the owner of the building who lodged in a hotel close to the building came to the scene of the incidence but quickly locked up the building and ran away, when Channels Television contacted him on the phone, he denied ownership of the building.

At the time of filing this report, State emergency management agency (SEMA), Imo rescue team, Road Safety and combined security operatives in the state forcefully broke into the premises in order to rescue the trapped man.

However, some of the people living in the neighbourhood attributed the collapse to quack and shabby job by the contractor as the foundation is not strong enough to carry a 3-storey building.

Imo state PDP rejects introduction of local security outfit

 The People’s Democratic Party in Imo state has criticized the introduction of local security outfit named Imo Security Network recently launched by the Imo state governor Rochas Okorocha.

The opposition party in says “it is unconstitutional and unacceptable by the party as it is an avenue to intimidate opposition parties in the state”.

State chairman of the party, Mr. Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), was speaking at a news conference at the party secretariat in Owerri the Imo state capital.

He said “the Imo Security Network introduced by the Okorocha led administration is supposed to work as a local vigilante group but rather their functions in the state is competing with that of the Nigerian Police Force in the state.

Duruiheoma added that it is unlawful for a local security outfit to be equipped with such arms, ammunitions and patrol vehicles as they are supposed to be civilians and not uniformed men.

He however called on all “Imolites” to oppose the introduction of the outfit as it is not in the interest of all Imo citizens.

He said “the security of lives and property of Imolites should be left in the hands of the security operatives in the state such as police, army and the SSS.

However, Governor Rochas Okorocha defended the introduction of the outfit saying “the launch of the security vigilance group is to sanitize the state and crush criminals, especially kidnappers”.

Okorocha bans street trading

The Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha has banned all street and roadside trading within the Owerri metropolis.

While on a scheduled inspection to some parts of Owerri the Imo state capital with other members of his cabinet as well as members of Joint Taskforce (JTF) on decongestion of Owerri municipal, the governor disclosed that it has come to the notice of the state government that some of the street traders use the opportunity to harbor criminals and carry out criminal activities within the state capital.

The chairman of the Joint Taskforce on Owerri decongestion and commissioner for commerce, Best Mbanaso added that the ban of street trading in the Owerri municipal is part of the state government’s initiative to decongest Owerri and reduce the heavy traffic situation in the city as well as make the state capital cleaner and beautiful.

He said in the meantime, the state government has provided a temporary site for the traders where they can carry out their trading activities.

NAPTIP burst Abuja baby selling syndicate

A man and a woman who specialise in selling babies to couples with fertility problems have been arrested by operatives of the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP).

The man, Kingsley Linus and a nurse, Martha Nwosu, lure young girls into phony marriages and thereafter disappear with their babies

The babies are usually sold for N400, 000 (four hundred thousand naira) to needy couples with fertility problems

The two suspects were arrested with five babies in Abuja

The latest victim is a 16 year old orphan, Prisca Asugwo who hails from Agwa Village in Imo state had her six month old baby stolen through a phony marriage.

However one of the suspects who claimed to be Prisca’s husband before he stole her baby, denied all the allegations.

The agency’s Assistant Public Relations Director, Mr. Orakwue Arinze, said the agency has so far discovered buyers of the five babies recovered.

Arinze said “they would stand as prosecution witnesses when the case is transferred to the police for prosecution”.


The burial of Late Levi Ajuonuma

The body of former Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, late Dr Levi Ajuonuma has been laid to rest in his home in Imo state.

The solemn burial rites commenced three months after his death with a Service of Songs at the Harbour Point, Lagos.

The very emotional event was attended by members of his family, colleagues from NNPC and the media. He was interned at his residence in Imo amidst tears and sorrow of the entire community.

Prior to his appointment with NNPC, Dr Ajuonuma was an astute broadcaster with strings of programmes on television and radio, such as the Levi Ajuonuma Live, The Sunday Show, ShowTime on NTA Network and other programmes.

Dr Ajuonuma lost his life with 152 others during the unfortunate Dana Air crash on June 3rd, 2012, which crashed into a residential building in densely populated area of Iju Ishaga, in Lagos State.

He is survived by his wife and eight children.

Tenure elongation: Court dismisses suit by council Chairmen against Imo State government

An Imo State high court sitting in Owerri on Monday dismissed the Suit filed by the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Council Chairmen against the Imo State Government seeking for elongation of their two-year tenure in office which expired on 8 August 2012.

In a two hours judgement, the presiding judge, Justice Ngozi Opara reviewed the submissions by the parties and dismissed the case on the ground of gross abuse of court processes by the former council chairmen.

He pointed out that the same case is pending at the Federal High court in Abuja with same Jurisdiction which translates to abuse of court processes.

Justice Opara added that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case, but however lacks the powers to elongate the tenure of an elective position.

He thereafter dismissed the case and awarded a cost of N40, 000.00 against the PDP Council Chairmen.

Meanwhile, Counsel to the state government, Niyi Akintola had earlier argued that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case since the claimants had served out their tenure as contained in the court of Appeal Judgment of May 5th, 2012.

He argued that the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case as it lacks the powers to elongate tenured position of the former council chairmen against the provisions of the law as amended by Imo State House of Assembly and duly assented by the former Governor of the state.

On the other hand, the counsel to the former chairmen, and Secretary of ALGON in the state, Onuegbu Eyinnaya contended that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case, stating that their tenure was unconstitutionally and illegally truncated by their sack on 6 May 2011 and that since they were out of office for more than a year, their tenure should be elongated to regain the lost period.

He argued that the two-year tenure was signed after they had started their election process on 25 February 2010 and that the law should not be in retrospect.

The counsel further argued that hearing the case does not in any way amount to abuse of court processes because the defendants have not been able to prove to the court that a similar suit is going on elsewhere since no certified court process has been tendered before the court.