Aide to Imo State Speaker murdered

Unknown men said to be hired assassins have attacked and killed Emmanuel Adoba an aide to Ben Uwajimogu, the Speaker of the Imo State house of Assembly at his residence in Okuku village,Owerri West Local government area of Imo State in the early hours of Wednesday

Murdered Emmanuel Adoba former aide to Ben Uwajimogu, the Speaker of the Imo State house of Assembly

Mr Adoba served as the Special Adviser on administration to the Speaker Imo house of assembly. His body was found in a pool of blood with several cuts all over his body.

In a statement signed by the press secretary to the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly officially notifying the public of Mr Adoba’s death, the Speaker described the incident as a shock to him and said it is a big loss to the House of Assembly and the entire state.
He however offered the sum of N500, 000 for anyone with any useful information about the death of his murdered aide.

Meanwhile, Security Operatives in the state have already swung into action in order to unravel the mystery behind the gruesome murder.

Okorocha recalls 27 PDP council chairmen

Imo state Governor,Owelle Rochas Okorocha has called on the 27 PDP Council Chairmen in the state to resume their respective offices after a 3 week feud between the Okorocha led administration and the 27 PDP Local government council chairmen following the judgement of the appeal court.

At a meeting in Government House Owerri, the Governor lamented the absence of the Council Chairmen in the meeting which he invited them for in order to find a lasting solution to the lingering issue.

He said their absence will not deter him from suing for peace in the state as the interest of the people of Imo state supercedes any other interest in the state.

He added that the issue of the Council chairmen has generated unnecessary controversies in the state and he has taken a bold step to ensure that peace reigns in Imo state.

The Governor noted that his administration is ready to work and partner with the Council Chairmen in his realization of his rescue mission agenda for the state as well as help him tackle corruption that has eaten deep in the Local Government system.

He called on the council chairmen to resume their respective offices and normal activities should resume with immediate effect.

Taskforce to impound vehicles at unauthorised motor parks in Owerri

The Imo State government has vowed to impound as many vehicles as possible and also punish those who are guilty of operating illegal motor parks in the Owerri metropolis.

The Imo State Commissioner for transport and Special Duties, Ifeanyi Nwachukwu, who in the compant of officials of the Joint Task Force (JTF) was on a scheduled inspection to some illegal motor parks, said that these illegal parks scattered around the Owerri metropolis and commercial vehicles that load passengers along the roadside have been obstructing traffic and causing unnecessary hold up within Owerri.

He said it is the plan of the Rochas Okorocha led administration to sanitize the Owerri metropolis and make it a world class city.

Mr Nwachukwu however warned all the operators of the illegal parks to vacate them move into the legal and approved motor parks, authorized by the state government within the metropolis. He said any vehicle seen loading passengers, at these unauthorized parks will be impounded and operators will be prosecuted accordingly in the law court.

Meanwhile the Imo State chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lloyd Chukwuemeka, lauded the government for setting up the Joint Task Force of traffic de-congestion committee.

He called on all his members to cooperate with the state government in order to put an end to the traffic congestion experienced within the Owerri metropolis.

Sacked Imo LGA Chairmen: Respect the constitution, Minister of Justice tells Okorocha

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke on Tuesday asked the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha to allow the sacked local government Chairmen in the state to resume office as ruled by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal in Owerri earlier this month reinstated the ousted elected chairmen and councillors of the 27 Local Government Areas in the state. In a unanimous judgement, the court declared that going by Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution and Section 23(1) of the Local Government Law 2000 (as amended), the governor has no competence or power either by his person or through any person acting on his behalf to dissolve democratically-elected chairmen of the 27 local government areas of the state.

In statement issued from his office, the Minister of Justice said “the attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to the lingering controversy that has trailed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Judicial Division in Appeal No. CA/OW/215/2011, Barr Enyinna Onuegbu & 26 Ors v. Attorney General of Imo State & 3 Ors dated 5th July 2012 which declared as illegal and unconstitutional the action of the Governor of Imo State, purporting to dissolve the democratically elected Local Government Councils in the State before the expiration of their constitutionally guaranteed tenure.”

Mr Adoke explained “that section 7 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, guarantees the existence of a system of democratically elected Local Government Councils throughout the federation. The judgment of the Court of Appeal aforementioned has only confirmed this position.

“I therefore call on all concerned to respect the judgment of the Court of Appeal and give due regard to the provisions of the Constitution which all elected officials of government have sworn to uphold. This will not only inspire confidence in the polity but will also deepen our fledgling democracy.

“In the light of the foregoing and in consonance with this administration’s avowed commitment to the enthronement of the rule of law in the federation, I hereby call on Imo state Government and all relevant agencies of government to abide by the judgment of the Court of Appeal and ensure that the judgment of the Court of Appeal is given its full effect.

South East PDP vows to return Imo to the party

The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP) in the South East has shown determination to restore power in Imo State to the party in the next election year.

The regional leaders of the PDP disclosed this when they paid a solidarity visit to the Imo State PDP at the party secretariate in Owerri, the state capital.

The National Vice Chairman, South- East of the PDP, Austin Akubondu, who led the delagation said that the recent ruling by the court of appeal on the case of the 27 PDP elected Council chairmen, has clearly shown Imo State is a PDP dominated state and all preparations are on top gear to ensure that the state remains a PDP governed state in the next dispensation.

Mr Akubondu, however condemned the step taken by the Imo state government to stop the council chairmen from resuming their respective offices as directed by the court, he said it is unconstitutional and unacceptable and by this reason, all notable politicians in the party are putting all measures in place to get the council chairmen back to office.

This is the first time Mr Akubondu is visiting Imo state since elected as National Vice chairman of the PDP South East.

Speaking to journalist after the meeting, Mr Akubondu disclosed that the party is putting all necessary measures and reinforcement in place to ensure that the party returns power to the PDP in the next election as their plan is to take over the governance of the state in the next election year.

Meanwhile, out of the three years tenure for the Council Chairmen as constitutionally provided, only two months is remaining for the council bosses to stay in office.


PHCN warns against operating under high tension cables

The Transmission Company of Nigeria, a subsidiary of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) on Thursday warned the public against doing business or erecting structures close to High Tension Power Transmission Tower at various locations around the country.

The company gave the warning at a Town Hall meeting organised by the executive officers of the company during a scheduled visit to Nekede autonomous Community in Imo State where their Owerri- Ahoada 132KV Line Power Transmission Tower is close to collapsing due to the illegal mining activities around the base station.

The company officials noted that the 132KV power transmission tower which serves, Imo state and other neighbouring states including Bayelsa, Abia and Rivers is at the moment in a critical state and if peradventure it collapses, there will be total power blackout in these states for about six months apart from the electrocution danger it will cause for people living in the vicinity.

The Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs of the company, Dave Ifabiyi noted that it has come to the notice of the Company that people in the area dig for laterites and kaolin close to the base station. He said apart from the hazard of the blackout, people should be aware of the health implication of such activity

On a visit to the 132KV transmission power site, the General Manager, Transmission Company Port-Harcourt Zone, Adeeko Adekunle expressed displeasure at the sorry sight of the area, he advised people involved in mining around the transmission station to desist from such acts to avoid any further damage.

Leaders of the community who spoke at the town hall, promised to cooperate with the Company and put all measures in place to ensure there is an end to the heinous act.

In the meantime, the Transmission Company of Nigeria has started local publicity to sensitize the indigenes of the area of the danger involved in doing business and building structures close to the high tension power transmission tower.

The company said it has also employed the services of security agencies in the state to prosecute any offender caught doing business around tension cables.

Family of nine die in Imo

Tragedy struck this morning at Umuakoro Village in Emekuku Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo state as 9 bodies of the Pascal Njoku Family were found dead at their residence in the early hours of today.

Sources said Mr. Pascal Njoku who works and resides in Port-harcourt, Rivers state, came back home for the final burial of his mum who died some months ago and he was accompanied by his wife, 5 children, his sister-in-law and her son. Shortly after the burial event yesterday night, they all went to their respective rooms to sleep.

However, in the early hours of today, all nine of them were found dead. At the moment the reason of their deaths could not be ascertained but sources said their mouths were all foaming profusely when the bodies were brought out of the rooms.

The Imo State Commissioner of health Obi Njoku who visited the scene of the occurence said from the foaming found in their mouth, there is a possibility that they might have died of food poisioning but however, the state government will carry out an autopsy to know the cause of their death.

Meanwhile, in a telephone conversation with the state Police Public relations Officer Mister Vitalis Olugu, he said the case has been reported to the police and the police have swung into action to know the cause of their death, no arrest has been made.

Resident doctors in Owerri strike over sacked doctors

The Association of Residents Doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, on Thursday resumed an indefinite strike following the dismissal of 27 resident doctors by the management of the medical centre.

Briefing journalists in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the president of the association, Chidi Obiesi, described as unjust and inhuman, the alleged neglect of resident doctors in FMC by the clinic’s management. He also alleged that the processes that led to the sack of the doctors did not follow due process.

He said that the management of the health institution in April 2011 sacked 27 of their members over claims that the resident training programme of the affected doctors was long overdue.

The had earlier embarked a three day working strike, after much consultation and dialogue which yielded no result, to retract these sack letters and constitute a proper committee to look into the matter appropriately.

But according to Dr Obiesi, the management went ahead to issue a fresh sack letter to the doctors.

Dr Obiesi noted that the association has made a resolution that if the management does not retract the letters and constitute a proper committee which will include their members, they will remain on strike indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Director Administration of the FMC, Mr Chimezie Nwogu, has denied the allegations levelled against the hospital’s management, stating the allegations lacked merit.

He noted that the doctors that were issued letters of dismissal after wide consultations and due process.

He stated that the six years resident training programme for these doctors have far expired because majority of them have exceeded their six years resident training programme and still haven’t passed the first stage examination programme which is a two part programme of three years each.

Imo State governor fires six commissioners

The Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha

The Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha on Wednesday sacked six commissioners from his cabinet and conducted a minor reshuffle which affected some senior special assistants as well as special assistants.

Briefing Government journalists after an exco meeting in Owerri the Imo state capital, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Eze Madumere said that the state governor has deemed it fit to make some changes after the celebration of his one year in office.

“When you celebrate one year, you tend to make some changes, and reflect back on things and add some new faces and sharp brains that will move things forward,” he said.

Mr Madumere said that the commissioners who were dropped have performed well in their various services to the state and they are all appreciated by the government.

The Commissioners of women affairs and social development, information, tourism, public utilities, housing, commerce and industry were all dropped from Mr Okorocha’s cabinet

The Chief of Staff further said that six names have been forwarded to the state House of Assembly for screening for the positions of Commissioners in the state.

The list according to Mr Madumere contained the names of Chinedu Offor, former senior special assistant to the governor on media and Charles Onuoha former special adviser to the governor on MDGS.

Others include, Professor Chima Ewuchukwu, Ecchi Mbanaso, Nnanna Ugochi Okoro and Emma Ekweremuba

Imo workers suspend strike

The indefinite strike embarked on by civil servants in Imo State, under the aegis of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has been suspended.

The workers had embarked on the strike to press home some demands, including signing the agreement to stop the planned deployment of workers to communities in the 27 councils for the take-off of Community Government Council (CGC), discountenancing the issue of ministries and parastatals commercialisation.

After a meeting between the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha and Labour leaders in the state, the resolution announced by the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Reginald Anyadike, was that workers should resume work.

They were also assured of non-victimisation for their staying away from work. The Labour leader warned that NLC would resume the strike if government reneged on its promise.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Obinna Duruji, said the state government was worker-friendly and a listening one, stressing that the governor had listened to the demand of the Labour union.

Okorocha to establish Imo airline

The Imo state government on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the business community of the Republic of Kosovo in Europe to partner in the establishment of the Imo state airline company.

Briefing Government House correspondents in Owerri the Imo state capital, the state governor, Rochas Okorocha said that his one week business and economic trip to Europe was basically to attract foreign investors to the state.

Mr Okorocha said that the imo state government has signed “a Memorandum of Understanding with the business community of the Republic of Kosovo majorly for the purpose of industrialization and the establishment of Imo state airlines” in Owerri.

He said that the multimillionaire investment project will signal the commencement of a viable and beneficial business relationship between Imo state and the Kosovo business community.

The governor also said that from the business trip, Imo state is expected to begin to unfold plans to develop various sectors of the economy such as agriculture, construction, tourism, commerce, and power generation through Independent Power Plant (IPP).

Police arrests robber/kidnap gang in Imo

The state commissioner of police Abubakar Jingiri said the suspects were apprehended when a team of mobile police attached to the Ogwuta division.
The Imo state police command has arrested a gang suspected to be kidnappers and armed robbers who allegedly have been carrying out series of kidnaps and armed robberies in parts of the state within the past three months.

Parading the suspects at the police headquarters in Owerri, the state commissioner of police Abubakar Jingiri said the suspects were apprehended when a team of mobile police attached to the Ogwuta division, in Ogwuta local government area of the state got information from members of the public that the suspects were at their native’s doctor’s residence where they have come to collect charms.

“I am happy to inform the members of the public that with good information from good Samaritans, we have succeeded in getting some suspects in the police net,” Mr Jingiri said.

He said that the suspects have been on the run for the period of three months and have been terrorising several communities in Ogwuta including the police force.

“Consequent on their activities, I lost three police men,” the commissioner said.

Mr Jingiri said police officers were able to recover “three Ak-47, grenade launchers, 9 missles (rocket head), and ten magazines.” He said the robbers were arrested while riding on a black Toyota jeep

The leader of the gang Chibueze Okoronta from Isiala Mbano was arrested along with other members of the gang including a native doctor.