112 Illegal Refineries Discovered In Rivers

A file photo of the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike

 

At Least 112 illegal refineries have been discovered in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Chairman of the council, Samuel Nwanosike told Channels Television that 99% of the discoveries were made in a particular community located along the OML 17 trunk lines.

The discovery comes on the heels of the recent efforts by the state government to bring an end to the economic sabotage brought as a result of the illegal refineries, as well as the health implications resulting from soot pollution.

Governor Nyesom Wike had pledged N460 million to the 23 local government area chairmen to fight oil bunkering in the state.

This implies that each chairman will receive N20 million to destroy illegal refinery sites that have been identified in their respective domains.

Wike made this pledge on Wednesday when he met with the local government chairmen, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Friday Eboka, and the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Aliyu Bature.

“All of you should hire bulldozers, clear all those creeks,” the governor ordered the LG bosses. “The government will give you some money so that they will know that we are serious.

“Those of you who are from the riverine areas, I don’t want to hear it is the creek. Go and clear those areas, apply to the state government, each of you, at least N20 million for a start to hire the equipment.

“That does not mean you will wait before you start. You must start today, tomorrow. CP, please give them the security to do this work. Don’t give them two policemen.”

This comes a week after the governor asked the police commissioner to collaborate with heads of other security agencies in Rivers, council chairmen, and traditional rulers to fish out all those involved in illegal bunkering and artisanal refining for prosecution.

He had accused persons engaged in illegal bunkering and artisanal refining of being responsible for the soot polluting the air and endangering the health of residents of the state.

The governor also declared that the state government has resolved to curb the activities of those involved in crude oil theft and refining once and for all.

Meanwhile, there have been renewed calls to the Federal Government to provide modular refineries to curb the economic sabotage.


Illegal Refineries: Wike Announces N2m Reward For LG Chairmen

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced a two million naira reward for Council Chairmen in the state who are able to identify illegal refinery sites in their localities.

Governor Wike who issued the ultimatum during a meeting with heads of security and Local Government Chairmen in Port Harcourt on Friday said the crime of operating an illegal refinery is worse than the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist.

He, therefore, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the council chairmen in all 23 local government areas of the state to identify the illegal refineries or risk losing their post.

Read Also: [Black Soot] Arrest And Prosecute Artisanal Refiners, Wike Tells Rivers CP

According to the governor, the cash reward of two million naira would also be issued for every site discovered by a chairman.

Meanwhile, Governor Wike accused security personnel including members of the Nigeria Army, the Navy, the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) of providing escort services for the operators of the illegal refineries.

He demanded the immediate deployment of an officer of the NSCDC in charge of the Anti-Pipeline Vandalism Unit in the state for allegedly aiding the crime.

The meeting was held one day after Governor Wike, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday inspected two illegal refinery sites in Ikwerre and Emohua Local Government Areas.

According to the governor, it has become necessary to prosecute those involved in illegal refining in order to contain the menace of soot pollution which has continued to endanger public health in the state.

32 Teenagers Rescued As Police Raid Traffickers’ Hideout In Ebonyi

The crest of the Nigeria Police Force is seen on a police officer’s uniform. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV.

 

Police in Ebonyi State say they have rescued over 32 teenagers (male and female), from traffickers who allegedly dumped them in a two-room apartment located at Okposi Umuaghara, Ezza North Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner of Police, CP. Aliyu Garba, who made this known on Friday while parading three suspected traffickers, said the victims were between the ages of 16 to 17 years.

At the B Division of the Nigeria Police Force which is located within the Kpiri-Kpiri area of Abakaliki, CP Garba who was represented by the state police spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah, explained that the traffickers pick the children from different parts of the country and engage them in forced labour, leaving others exploited sexually.

Read Also: Illegal Refineries: Wike Announces N2m Reward For LG Chairmen

DSP Odah said the young girls and boys were rescued following a case of a missing minor that was reported to the police by one Mrs Nwankwo Ijioma who hails from Uterufie village in Ebonyi LGA, who said her daughter, one Miss Nwankwo Childera, aged 14, who left their house in August 2021 had not been seen since.

She further explained that “in the course of investigations, a company’s advertisement sheet captioned ‘NEO life’ containing a certain phone number was found in the missing girl’s room. The owner of the phone, who was later identified as Christian Nwankwo (19 yrs old), was trailed and arrested.”

The commissioner’s representative also asserted that the suspects; One Nwagboduhu Ekene (20 years old), and Nwaoko Godwin (24 years old) and one other was arrested, while the 32 trafficked under-aged children were rescued at the traffickers’ den within Okposi Umuaghara.

According to DSP Odah, the rescued children hail from Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Benue, Abia and Rivers states.

There was an even split in the number of children, 16 females and 16 males.

The police say investigations are still ongoing and the suspected traffickers will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Wike Declares 19 Persons Wanted For Operating Illegal Refineries In Rivers

Wike Gives Mechanics, Others One Month To Vacate Port Harcourt Roads
A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

Governor Nyesome Wike has declared 19 persons wanted for operating illegal refineries in Rivers.

The governor who made the declaration today during a broadcast in Port Harcourt, threatened to expose more accomplices of illegal refiners.

[Read Also] Soot Pollution: Wike Orders Shutdown Of Illegal Refining Sites

Wike directed the Head of Service of Rivers State to query and possibly recommend the prosecution of a Director in the Rivers State Civil Service for aiding the operation of illegal refineries in the state.

He also directed the immediate prosecution of those arrested for illegal trading and contravening the ban on the use of motorcycles in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt, the two metropolitan Local Government Areas of Rivers State.

The governor restated the ban on the use of motorcycles in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt, as well as a ban on the use of makeshift buildings and umbrellas by traders in the G.R.A phases one and two.

Wike Declares 19 Persons Wanted For Operating Illegal Refineries In Rivers [Full List]

 

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday declared 19 individuals wanted for operating illegal crude oil refining sites which are responsible for the black soot menace in Rivers State.

The governor in a statewide broadcast also directed the Rivers State Head of Service to query one Mr. Temple Amakiri, a Director in the Ministry of Energy, for abetting bunkering activities and hand him over to the police for investigation and possible prosecution.

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He assured the people of Rivers State that his government is determined to effectively tackle the soot menace by destroying and closing down all identified illegal crude oil refining sites and activities across the state.

The governor identified some individuals who he termed the “kingpins of bunkering and illegal crude oil refining activities” and he declared them wanted.

They include: “Mr. Azubike Amadi, OSPAC Commander, Ogbogoro community and Chairman of Akpor Central OSPAC; Mr. India, of Rumuolumeni community and Chairman of Oil bunkering Association in Akpor kingdom; Mr. Okey who is in charge of Oil bunkering in Rumupareli; Mr. Anderson, who is in charge of oil bunkering activities in Ogbogoro community; Amadi Gift of Ogbogoro community; Azeruowa of Ogbogoro community; and Kingsley Egbula, also of Ogbogoro community”.

Also declared wanted for oil bunkering activities in Isiokpo community were: “Mr. Kemkom Azubike, Mr. Mezu Wabali, Mr. Chigozi Amadi, Mr. Opurum Owhondah, Mr. Bakasi Obodo ,Mr. Opus, Mr. Galaxi Mas, Mr. Chioma, Mr. Ogondah, Mr. Soldier, Mr. Chefo, and Nkasi”.

Governor Wike said his government has also identified those behind illegal bunkering activities in Okrika communities, Port Harcourt Township, Rivers South-East and Rivers South-West Senatorial Districts, adding that their names would be soon published and declared wanted, if they fail to voluntarily report to the Police.

He urged residents of the State to report those involved in illegal crude oil refineries and other damnable activities to the State Task Forces which has already been set up at the State and Local Government levels for immediate action.

Wike also reaffirmed that the total ban on the use of motorcycles in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt councils, which was necessitated by the collective threat they posed to the security of lives and property

Buhari Was Hypocritical In Assenting To The 2022 Budget, Says Wike

A combination of file photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nyesom Wike.

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says President Muhammadu Buhari played the hypocrite in signing the tampered 2022 budget passed by the National Assembly while declining assent to the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

According to Governor Wike, the hasty assent to the 2022 budget suggests that the president is insensitive to the needs of the masses.

The governor made these assertions when he paid a New Year’s visit to the Enugu State Governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in his home town, Orba in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State.

[READ ALSO] Magodo Land Dispute: Sanwo-Olu Visits Estate, Invites All Parties For Talks

“Look at Mr. President; the other day while he was signing the budget, he said the budget is unimplementable; but he went on and signed what is unimplementable.

“A budget that will determine the state of the economy, the progress of this nation, and the president knew this thing can’t work, and he signed it.

“Then, the Electoral Act, he said he will not sign it because direct primaries are too expensive.

“What concerns me with party primaries? What concerns poor people with party primaries? The one that concerns poor man, businessman, how to grow the economy, you signed it, knowing too well that it will not work,” Wike declared.

While adding that the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government has failed Nigeria, Wike urged the people of Enugu to join forces with other well-meaning Nigerians to save the nation from misrule.

“You must join the rest of Nigerians. Nigeria is dying. Will you be here to see Nigeria die? Is it the kind of Nigeria that people like Nnamdi Azikiwe fought for?

“A Nigeria that when you wake up, what you will hear is 20 people have died, 42 people have been kidnapped, 100 people have been abducted. Everyday death, death,” Wike questioned rhetorically.

He urged the people of Enugu to speak out against the ‘poor governance’ which the country is experiencing.

Wike Condemns Bandits’ Attack In Sokoto

(L-R) Governor Nyesom Wike; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal

 

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has condemned bandits attack in Sokoto State and commiserated with the government and the Sultan over the unwarranted killing of innocent citizens by bandits.

The governor, who condemned the recent spate of killings in Sokoto, said the government and people of Rivers State consider the dastardly activities of marauding bandits as barbaric.

Governor Wike stated this when he and the Sokoto State governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, paid a courtesy call on His eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto in his palace in Sokoto over the weekend.

The Rivers State Governor expressed dismay over the wanton killing of innocent citizens by bandits in Sokoto and other parts of the country.

Read Also: 15 People Abducted By Bandits In Sokoto Escape From Custody

“We have had a long-standing relationship and so the people of Rivers State have told me to commiserate with you and people of Sokoto State. I’m sorry for what happened and we believe God will give the families that have lost their loved ones the courage, give them the strength to bear this unnecessary loss of lives.”

 

 

The governor, who was accompanied by a delegation of Rivers’ elders, also thanked the Sultan for the role he has been playing to ensure the stability of the country.

“You’ve been trying to stabilise all the religious groups, all the ethnic groups, to understand we have no other country than our country call Nigeria. You have always spoken out irrespective of whether he touches on Moslems, whether it touches on Christians, on whether it touches on those who don’t have religion.

“You’ve always spoken out and you have admonished government where necessary in terms of insecurity, in terms of other crisis, in terms of poverty. You have always spoken out and to advise government on the best way to try and see that things get better for the citizens of the country.”

The governor also noted that it takes somebody who has passion and undying love for the country to play the kind of role the Sultan has been playing to ensure stability and unity of the nation.

“This character in you is rare. If all leaders can exhibit this kind of trait, then we will have future, then we can know that our country is going somewhere. You’re exhibiting the character that is expected of leadership.

“You have had sleepless nights talking to Christians, talking to Moslems, talking to the North, talking to the South, talking to everybody to see ourselves as one Nigeria.”

Governor Wike urged the Sultan not to relent to speak for the oppressed, the less privileged, the poor and rich Nigerians.

In his response, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, thanked Governor Wike and the Rivers’ delegation for the brotherly visit.

The Sultan blamed lack of love for the prevalence of killings, confusion and acrimonious relationship among Nigerians.

“If there is love, all the acrimonious we hear, all the confusion all over the place, the killings won’t have taken place. People kill without any motive. Blood-thirsty people kill anyhow because there is no love, and there is no godliness.”

The Sultan assured that he will continue to build bridges and cement relationships between the peoples of Sokoto and Rivers States.

“Whatever we have done, it is what our forefathers and religion ordered us to do, and we will do more to strengthen our relationship so that we can have a peaceful society.

“So that we can have a country that we can be proud of and say yes, this is the Nigeria that we dream of. Not the Nigeria that we hear sad news of killing innocent people, unnecessary shedding of blood.”

He commended Governor Wike for his consistent visit to him, particularly during the festive period, and for supporting the government and people of Sokoto State.

The Sultan further appreciated Governor Wike for his unprecedented developmental strides in Rivers State.

Governor Wike was accompanied by the Rivers State Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Desmond Akawor, Senator Olaka Nwaogu, Senator Lee Maeba, Mr Ledum Mitee and Director-General, Rivers State Bureau on Public Procurement, Mr. Igonibo Thompson.

Fire Razes Hundreds Of Homes In Rivers

The scene from the fire outbreak in the Rivers Jetty on Monday, November 22, 2021.

 

Hundreds have been rendered homeless after an inferno swept through an overcrowded settlement in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

The incident which occurred on Sunday at the Elechi waterside in the state capital is said to have been caused by an electrical spark from one of the makeshift buildings in the slum, before spreading to other structures; most of which are made of woods.

This is the fourth fire outbreak to be reported in the state capital in one week.

The first incident occurred on November 20, when fire gutted the abandoned premises of an energy services company on Isiokpo Street in the D-line area of Port Harcourt, destroying the company’s generating set, diesel tanker, part of its warehouse, and nearby businesses.

Less than 24 hours after the D-line incident, another fire outbreak was recorded in the Rumuokoro Area of Obo/Akpor metropolis, near Port Harcourt.
Again, properties were destroyed.

On November 22, a more dangerous fire gutted the Bonny/Bille/Nembe jetty in Port Harcourt, destroying goods worth millions of naira and killing at least four persons, according to preliminary report by the Police.

All three previous incidents were said to have been caused by illegally refined petroleum products which is referred to in the state as “Kpo fire fuel”.

The Rivers State Government says while it is investigating the cause of all the incidents, it will seize any property or land upon which an illegally refined petroleum product is found to have sparked a fire outbreak.

Illegal means of refining petroleum products has been on the rise in Rivers State in recent years.

It has also been identified as one of the major causes of soot emission in the state, further proving to be a health risk to residents.

Suspected Gas Explosion Triggers Wildfire In Rivers

The fire raging in the early hours of Sunday in Port Harcourt.

 

A wildfire is currently raging in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital.

The fire which is blazing opposite the Fruit Garden Market on Kaduna Street in the D-Line Area of the city, is suspected to have been triggered by a gas explosion late on Saturday night.

Rivers State Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. Peter Medee told Channels Television that officials of the Ministry and firefighters from the State and Federal Fire Services have been mobilised to put the situation under control.

At the time of filing this report, efforts were still being made to identify the actual source of the fire.

Dr Medee said officials of a private company that manages the state government gas pipeline within the area have been alerted and ordered to depressurise the flow of gas on the line as to reduce the intensity of the inferno.

Goods And Properties Worth Millions Lost In Rivers Fire Outbreak

The fire outbreak raging in the early hours of Sunday in Port Harcourt.

 

Goods and properties worth millions of naira have been lost to a devastating fire incident in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The fire, which lasted for over 10 hours since Saturday, began in an old premises of a moribund private company on Isiokpo Street in the D-Line Area of the city.

Read Also: Suspected Gas Explosion Triggers Wildfire In Rivers

While the cause is yet to be known, residents and the Rivers State Government suspect that the abandoned tankers in the premises may have been used by people who trade in illegally refined petroleum products which ignited the fire.

Although the fire has been put out, men of the Federal Fire Service and the Government have urged residents to be observant and careful to avoid a fresh spark.

Police Arrest Two Suspects For Manufacturing Fake Wine, Alcoholic Drinks In Rivers

 

Police Officers under Operation Puff Adder have arrested two suspected members of a syndicate that specialises in the manufacturing of fake wines and alcoholic drinks in Rivers State.

The suspects, (both males), were arrested at Eligbolo street in the Rumuokoro area of Obio/Akpor metropolis, near Port Harcourt.

While parading them on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer in Rivers State, Nnamdi Omoni identified them as Akhayera Collins and Christian John.

 

 

He explained that they were arrested following credible information on October 22 at about 3:30 pm by operatives of Operation Puff Adder, led by Commander SP Noble Uwoh.

“Exhibits recovered include; assorted wines, spirits, and several alcoholic beverages; including empty bottles waiting to be filled with the poisonous liquid/substances,” the police spokesperson said.

The police added that the suspects “have made useful confessions and will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded”.

Those Who Laid Siege On Justice Odili’s Residence Will Be Brought To Book – IGP

A combination of file photos of Justice Mary Peter-Odili and a courtroom at the Supreme Court in Abuja.

 
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba says those who laid siege on the residence of Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili, will be made to face the wrath of the law.

In a statement by Force spokesman, CP Frank Mba on Monday, the police boss disclosed that he has ordered detailed investigations into the reported siege on the Abuja residence of Justice Odili, an incident that occurred on Friday, 29th October 2021.

The IGP, who noted that the leadership of the Force is not aware and did not at any time order Police operatives to carry out such assignment, described the reported violation of the sanctity of the residence of the Justice of the Supreme Court as unfortunate and unacceptable.

READ ALSO: Wike Gives FG 48-Hour Ultimatum To Probe Raid On Justice Odili’s Residence

Consequently, the IGP has directed the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) to conduct a discrete investigation into the incident. He assured of the Force’s commitment to the safety and security of the members of the judiciary and Nigerians in general.

He further called for calm, promising that the Force will do all within its powers to unravel the perpetrators and motives behind the breach with a view to bringing all indicted persons to book.

Meanwhile, the IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to strengthen security around the street and residence of Her Lordship, Justice Mary Odili JSC to ensure her safety and also to prevent a re-occurrence of the unfortunate incident.

The police chief assured that the details of the probe into the matter would be made public on the conclusion of investigations.