Buhari Condemns Killing Of Imo Traditional Ruler, Calls For Probe

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the State House while receiving members of the Nigeria Medical Association On August 9, 2022.
File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House. Sunday Aghaeze/State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the heinous killing of Eze Ignitus Asor, the traditional ruler of the Obudi-Agwa community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.

Gunmen had on Monday invaded the community, killing the traditional ruler and two other residents.

The suspects were said to have come in four vehicles and two motorcycles that also had a female accomplice that completed the task with them.

A day after the attack, the President issued a statement via his media aide, Garba Shehu. He directed security agencies in the state to investigate the dastardly act and ensure that the perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Checkpoint In Soludo’s Hometown

Commiserating with family, friends, the Obudi-Agwa community, as well as all those affected by the attacks, the President prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured.

He also acknowledged the spirited efforts by the Imo State Government at improving the security situation and encourages all Imo residents and citizens to robustly support the collective efforts of state actors and members of the local community to keep everyone safe.

Meanwhile, Police spokesman, Michael Abattam, had said the attackers disguised themselves as people in distress and approached the royal father for help.

He said the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, has condemned the attack, asking the people of the Agwa community to be calm.

Abattam “assured the good people of Agwa in particular and Imo State in general, that investigation has commenced, and the Command will leave no stone unturned until the perpetrators are arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.”

The police spokesman also “enjoined them to assist the police with credible information or report any clandestine activities in their community to the nearest police station or call the Command’s emergency control room numbers 08034773600 or 08098880197.”

Imo, in the South-East zone, has suffered a series of attacks by gunmen who wreak havoc on communities. Others states in the zone are Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra.

Ihedioha Clarifies ‘Saboteur’ Comment On Obi Supporters, Tenders Apology

A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha has clarified a comment wherein he reportedly called supporters of Labour Party (LP)’s Peter Obi saboteurs. He also apologised for the development. 

The comment he made at a new yam festival by an Igbo community in Accra, Ghana where he allegedly claimed Obi’s supporters are saboteurs had attracted criticism.

But speaking on Friday, the former Imo State governor said he is friends with the Anambra-born politician and as such could not have made the remark.

“That cannot be me. It is far from the truth and not in my character. I believe even in dissent from within my immediate nuclear family,” Ihedioha said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“My position was very simple. I was speaking to our people – I am an Mbaise man – and the PDP has been faithful to us and has given us support; the opportunity to produce a governor in our state. I said to them, we have an opportunity and I called that they should not sabotage our efforts to reclaim power. That was it and the context.”

READ ALSO: Peace Accord With Jonathan Contributed To Peaceful Election In 2015 – Buhari

‘Blown Out Of Proportion’ 

Ihedioha on obi
A photo combination of Peter Obi and Emeka Ihedioha.

 

He faulted those criticising his comment, saying they do not understand the context in which the remark was made.

“If you do watch the tape, you will find the context,” Ihedioha added. “It is certainly blown out of proportion.”

The PDP chieftain, however, apologised to those who may have been hurt by his statement, maintaining that he respects people’s choices, especially in politics.

“So, to all those – millions of Nigerians particularly of southeast extraction – who are hurt by my use of language, I am deeply sorry about it,” he said.

“I do not mean to hurt anybody and they have a right to express their political opinions in any way, form, or shape. I have lots of my friends who belong to other political parties and we still relate.”

General Decries ‘Endemic Human Trafficking’ In Imo

Commander of 34 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Sani Suleiman speaks on the menace of human traffickers at the brigade’s headquarters in Obinze, Imo State.

 

The Commander of 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, Brigadier General Sani Suleiman has decried the spate of human trafficking in Imo State, describing the situation as “endemic”.

Suleiman stated this on Monday while parading suspected human traffickers the suspects at the brigade’s headquarters.

He called for collaborative efforts in tackling the situation, soliciting the support of spirited Nigerians.

READ ALSO: Army Arrests Notorious Child Trafficker, Rescues Pregnant Woman In Imo

“The essence of this briefing is to bring this to the notice of the public so that parents can be very wary and be aware of what is going on.

“There is endemic human trafficking in this state and it is to be given the right attention. We have had these issues here and there, and have handed a couple of those to the police. This particular racket needs to be broken and investigation needs to go further than this.”

Arrested by troops is a suspected child trafficker, Joy Duru from Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State.

The suspect allegedly specialises in stealing children from Imo State and sells them to her accomplices in Rivers State for a huge sum of money.

Addressing journalists, Suleiman said the suspects were arrested after several months of intelligence gathering.

He stated that the suspect usually carries out her illegal business in the guise of operating an orphanage home, adding that his troop also rescued a 23-year-old victim from the suspect, who is nine months pregnant.

Recovered from the suspect were forms said to have been gotten from teenage girls who get pregnant with the aim of selling the children upon delivery.

The Commander explained that efforts were ongoing to trace a suspected buyer of a two-week-old baby in Rivers State.

Army Arrests Notorious Child Trafficker, Rescues Pregnant Woman In Imo

Some suspected traffickers were paraded by the 34 Artillery Brigade in Obinze, Imo State.

 

Officers of the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze have arrested a suspected child trafficker, Joy Duru from Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State.

The suspect allegedly specialises in stealing children from Imo State and sells to her accomplices in Rivers State for a huge sum of money.

Parading several suspects at the headquarters of the 34 artillery brigade Obinze in Imo State, the Brigade Commander, Sani Suleiman said the suspects were arrested after several months of intelligence gathering.

READ ALSO: Seven Passengers Burnt To Death Near Third Mainland Bridge

He stated that the suspect usually carries out her illegal business in the guise of operating an orphanage home, adding that his troop also rescued a 23-year-old victim from the suspect, who is nine months pregnant.

Recovered from the suspect were forms said to have been gotten from teenage girls who get pregnant with the aim of selling the children upon delivery.

The Commander explained that efforts were ongoing to trace a suspected buyer of a two-week-old baby in Rivers State.

“We saw forms that indicated that she receives children from teenagers who have unwanted pregnancies or those who didn’t know what to do or are in need of money and bring in young men to impregnate them. She nurses them until they are put to bed, she takes the children,” he said.

“One of them is here with us. This girl is about 23 years old and is nine months pregnant and will deliver any moment from now. We got this girl from her and she has kept her waiting for her to deliver.

“We also discovered a two-week-old child. She is claiming that a woman brought her and we have made efforts to know who the mother is. She also confirmed to us that she has sold a two-year-old baby to the Amadi family. We are on the trail of the family and they abandoned their homes when our troops went there so that we can complete the (investigation).”

The army consequently handed over the suspects and some recovered children to the National Agency For the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Meanwhile, the State Commander of NAPTIP, Ernest Ogbu,  said the suspects will be charged to court and necessary actions will be taken while efforts will Be made to reunite the recovered children with their families.

Imo Assembly Speaker Kennedy Ibe Resigns

The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Kennedy Ibe.

 

The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Kennedy Ibe has resigned.

Mr Ibe resigned on Monday during an emergency plenary session of the lawmakers at the state house of the assembly complex.

READ ALSO: Court Dismisses PDP’s Suit Seeking Tinubu, Obi’s Disqualification

According to him, his decision comes after wide consultation with family and political associates.

Ibe stated that his resignation as the Speaker of the House of Assembly is also in the best interest of the All Progressives Congress (APC) political family in Imo State.

He, however, reiterated his continuous support to the APC in Imo State, the state government and the legislature.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Ehime Mbano state constituency, Emeka Nduka has been sworn in as the new Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly.

Peter Obi’s Supporters Hold Solidarity Rally Across Nigeria

Obi rally -jos-ebonyi
Obi’s support base, made majorly of youths, has continued to swell.

 

Peter Obi followers on Saturday held solidarity rallies in several parts of Nigeria to mop up support for the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate ahead of the 2023 elections. 

The supporters trooped out in their numbers to canvass for the former Anambra State governor in different zones of the country including Jos, Plateau State; Abakaliki in Ebonyi State; Imo State; Abia State; Bayelsa State; Awka, Anambra State, and Suleja in Niger State.

The rallies created a buzz on various social media platforms with the supporters sharing photos of the marches held.

But there was a disruption of the march in Ebonyi State when police teargassed the supporters. Obi’s followers accused Governor David Umahi of ordering the disruption, a claim he denied. The rally later continued with the participants marching through several streets in Abakaliki.

READ ALSO Peter Obi Rally Continues In Ebonyi Despite Police Disruption

A March For Nigeria

In the north-central state of Plateau, Obi’s supporters carried banners with different inscriptions. They gathered at the Secretariat Junction around 9:00 a.m to ramp up their push for the LP flagbearer.

It was a similar story in Imo State as Obi’s followers poured into the streets, canvassing for the former banker. They say their candidate has the credentials to take Nigeria out of economic hardship, adding that the rally was meant to send a strong message to other contenders that Obi’s supporters are not only on social media.

Imo was not the only place that witnessed the rally as Obi’s supporters in Bayelsa State marched along major roads to mobilise for the former vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Obidients, as they are known, were armed with placards carrying different inscriptions like “Our Mumu don do,” “We need someone that will fix Nigeria,” “Peter Obi stands the better chance to restore Nigeria,” among others.

There were also marches in Awka, the Anambra State capital, and Suleja in Niger State.

Recurring Phenomenon


Exactly a week ago, the LP candidate’s supporters held similar rallies in Taraba, Benue, Ondo, and Enugu states, advocating a shift in Nigeria’s political order.

The recent marches, observers say, are a departure from the norm. Comprised majorly of young people, Obi’s support base is expected to swell further in the months leading to the 2023 elections.

Uzodimma: Crude Oil Thieves Should Not Be Treated As Sacred Cows

Governor Uzodimma of Imo State.

 

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has urged the Federal Government to identify the brains behind crude oil theft in Nigeria and bring them to justice.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja, he asserted that the act is a cancer that must be dealt with to stabilize the economy.

He warned against treating perpetrators as sacred cows, underscoring that anyone involved in the practice must be brought to book irrespective of whose ox is gored.

READ ALSO: Buhari Laments Rising Insecurity, Says Resources Are Stretched

Governor Uzodimma maintained that attention should defocus on the single-faith presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Instead, he said the country should dwell on the dwindling crude oil production and the nation’s inability to produce substantial crude oil due to theft.

According to him, it is time to put an end to the Muslim-Muslim presidential candidate debate and leave Nigerians to decide whom to elect.

Imo Attack: 18-Year-Old Suspect, Seven Others Arrested

The suspects paraded by the Imo State Police Command on August 8, 2022.

 

An 18-year-old suspect and seven others have been arrested for allegedly attacking the Agwa Divisional Police Headquarters in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.

Gunmen had on Saturday stormed the facility, killing no fewer than four police officers. They also burnt down parts of the police station.

But two days after the incident, the Imo State Police Command identified the teenage suspect as Obioma Chibuike from the Agwa community.

READ ALSO: Suspected Bandits Attack Police Station In Imo, Kill Four Officers

The other suspects whose ages range from 19 to 52 years are Achazie Chidiebere, Onyedikachi Nwadike, Anayo Onyemere, Ifeanyi Mboyi, Chukwudi Onyeausi, Obodo Promise and Ifeobu Ebubechi.

In a statement, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mike Abattam, said the Command’s tactical teams acting on credible intelligence raided some identified criminal hideouts located between Agwa and Izombe communities in Oguta Local Government Area.

According to him, the hoodlums engaged police operatives in a gun duel and due to the superior firepower of the operatives, some of the suspects escaped while eight of the hoodlums were arrested.

“The Command’s tactical teams, on the 06/8/2022 at about 0300hrs, after a diligent gathering of credible intelligence, raided some identified criminal hideouts located between Agwa and Izombe communities in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, where the hoodlums, on sighting police operatives engaged them in a gun duel, in an attempt to escape arrest; but were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the operatives,” the statement read.

“While some suspects escaped, eight persons were arrested, they include the following: – Obioma Chibuike ‘m’ age 18 years, Achazie Chidiebere ‘m’ age 22 years, Onyedikachi Nwadike ‘m’ aged 19 years,  Anayo Onyemere ‘m’ aged 51 years,  Ifeanyi Mboyi ‘m’ aged 26 years,  Chukwudi Onyeausi ‘m’ aged 29 years,  Obodo Promise ‘m’ aged 17 years,  Ifeobu Ebubechi ‘m’ aged 22 years.”

Some of the items recovered include one pump action gun, two locally made guns, six cutlasses, one Biafran flag, eight live cartridges, eight expended cartridges and one masquerade apparel.

The police spokesman appealed to indigenes of the state to make policing a collective responsibility and also join hands with the Command and other security agencies in the fight against criminalities by reporting any suspicious activities around their neighbourhoods to the nearest police station.

Imo Killing: Youths Barricade Owerri/Onitsha Expressway In Protest Over Killing Of 10 Persons

A map of Imo State in south-east Nigeria.

 

Youths in Imo State have staged a protest demanding justice for over 10 youths of the area who were reportedly killed by state local security outfit Ebubeagu.

The protesting youths, who are indigenes of the Awo-mamma community in Oru East and Oru West Local Government Areas of the state, barricaded the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway on Tuesday, calling for the disbandment of Ebubeagu.

READ ALSO: Notorious Bandit Leader Bags Chieftaincy Title In Zamfara

However, the Department of State Security (DSS) said that contrary to the views of the protesting youths, the killing was carried out by members of the militia wing of IPOB/ESN who gathered to plan their nefarious operations ahead of the illegal sit-at-home on Monday.

The killing took place on Sunday.

According to reports, the victims were returning to their community in Otulu in Oru East LGA from Awomama in the neighbouring Oru West LGA when gunmen suspected to be operatives of Ebubeagu opened fire on them.

The DSS, however, said the gunmen were not operatives of Ebubeagu and that they view that they were from the local security outfit was being peddled by  IPOB/ESN members.

Surrender In 10 Days Or Face Bombardment, Uzodimma Warns Bandits In Imo

A file photo of Governor Hope Uzodimma.

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has granted a 10-day amnesty to bandits operating and hibernating in the forests in Imo State.

He demanded the gunmen immediately come out of their hideouts and surrender their arms to their traditional rulers for unconditional pardon, warning that a failure to do so would attract bombardment by the security forces.

Governor Uzodimma gave the warning at the Government House Chapel in Owerri, the state capital while addressing the congregation after Sunday Service.

He explained that the government has decided to rid the forests in Imo of bandits and accordingly, has procured the necessary equipment for the purpose.

According to the governor, this necessitated the need for those who have repented and want to be reintegrated into the society to take advantage of the amnesty by quitting their nefarious acts and surrendering their arms.

READ ALSO: Kidnappers Kill Catholic Priest, Hunter In Edo

“The state is more determined now than before to clear all bandits and to achieve this, the expected equipment and additional recruitment of more Ebube-Agu personnel, working in collaboration with the security agencies in the state, will be used to clear all the waterways and rid the state of bandits, including crude-oil thieves.

“All the waterways are under surveillance with the delivery of new Naval Equipment to the Naval Base in Oguta,” he said.

Governor Uzodimma revealed that the state would be hosting the annual Nigerian Army Day Celebration from June 30 to July 6, adding that no fewer than 10,000 personnel drawn from the army, navy, air force, and police among others would be in attendance.

These security operations, he stated, would be led by the chiefs of army staff, naval chief, and air staff, as well as the Inspector General of Police.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who is expected to declare open the Army Day celebration, is also scheduled to visit the state between July 12 and 13 for some official assignments.

These include the commissioning of the Owerri–Orlu and Owerri–Okigwe roads, as well as the flag-off of the construction of the Owerri–Mbaise–Umuahia (from Fire Service) and the Orlu–Akokwa roads, and the foundation laying ceremony of the Imo International Conference Centre in the state capital.

Three Killed, Others Injured As Gunmen Attack Imo Community

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

At least three persons have been killed with several others injured in an attack on Orlu, Imo State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Micheal Abattam, confirmed the attack via a statement issued on Sunday in Owerri, the state capital.

He said the Command received a distress call that gunmen, who were operating in a red Toyota Sienna vehicle without a registration number, sped off to Umuebele Okporo community in Orlu.

READ ALSO: Three Worshippers Killed, Several Missing As Gunmen Attack Two Churches In Kaduna

“Following a report received on 16/6/2022 at about 0800 hours that armed bandits operating in a red Toyota Sienna vehicle without registration number attacked and shot five persons and drove off almost immediately to an unknown destination in Umuebele Okporo in Orlu, Imo State, the Commissioner of Police, Imo Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc (+), immediately dispatched the Command’s Tactical Teams to the area and on arrival,” he said in the statement.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that they were having a meeting in front of their compound when suddenly some yet-to-be-identified gunmen stormed the venue, shot at them several times, and zoomed off almost immediately to an unknown destination.

“Consequently, three persons died on the spot while two others sustained various degrees of bullet wounds and were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. The corpses were later recovered and deposited in the mortuary.”

While noting that the investigation is ongoing, the police spokesman said security has been beefed up within and around the community.

This is even as he said the Imo State Police Command is working with other security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.

On his part, the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, commended the Okporo community for their steadfastness and support.

He assured residents of the community of the Command’s commitment to ensuring that terrorism and other violent crimes are brought to their barest minimum in the state.

The police commissioner equally appealed to Imo residents to go about their lawful businesses without fear or molestation as calm has been restored in the community.

Ohakim Withdraws From APC Senatorial Primary Over ‘Personal Reasons’

Former Imo Governor, Ikedi Ohakim

 

A former governor of Imo State Ikedi Ohakim has pulled out of the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primary election.

He made the announcement in a statement released on Saturday, citing “personal reasons” for his decision to back out of the Imo North APC senatorial poll.

“After due consultations with my family and close political associates, I wish to
inform the good people of Okigwe zone, Imo state that I have withdrawn from the senatorial primary election scheduled for Saturday, May 28, 2022,” he said in the statement.  “The decision to withdraw is purely for personal reasons.”

The former governor, however, assured his people of his commitment to the good of the Okigwe zone.


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Ohakim said, “I will continue to do everything within my reach to ensure that the zone takes its pride of place both at the state and national level.

“May I also express my profound gratitude to all those, within and outside the zone, who believed in the project and gave me both moral and material support, and plead and hope that they will take this decision in love and in faith.”

The former Imo leader also wrote to the National Chairman of the APC Senator Abdullahi Adamu informing him of the development.

“I wish to assure the leadership of our great party at all levels of my commitment to the success of the party both now and in the future,” Ohakim said in the letter dated May 27th, 2022.

“May I also seize this opportunity to thank you for your encouragement and moral support while I was in the race. Please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”