Three Killed In Owerri Bank Robbery

Three Killed In Owerri Bank RobberyNo fewer than three people have been killed and several others wounded including a police officer, after unknown gunmen suspected to be armed robbers attacked a Zenith bank branch in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

Eye witness accounts say the armed robbers, numbering about 12, invaded the bank at about 2:00 pm on Wednesday and shot sporadically into the air to scare customers away after over-powering the security operatives on duty.

The men were also said to have carted away a yet to be disclosed amount of money.

So far, three people who are yet to be identified, have been confirmed dead after the operation which lasted several hours.

Confirming the incident, the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer Andrew Enwerem, said the command is however on top of the situation.

According to him, one of the armed robbers who was shot by the police, as well as other people who were wounded at the scene, have been transferred to the Federal Medical Centre Owerri for immediate treatment.

Imo Residents Protest Prolonged Crisis At FMC Owerri

Imo Residents Protest Prolonged Crisis At FMC OwerriConcerned residents have taken to the streets of Owerri, the Imo state capital, to call on various interest groups at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), to give peace a chance.

For over a year, the medical centre has been plunged into what seems to be unending controversy and disagreement between the management and the workers.

The prolonged crisis is over the recall of the medical director of the institution, who the workers say they no longer feel comfortable with.

Now, a group of Imo citizens are intervening in the crisis, calling on all concerned to sheath their sword.

fmc3Leader of the protesters, Mr Princewill Okowe, said the FMC Owerri “was set up for the benefits of the Imo people and not unionists and for over one year, the people that claim to be unionists have made the FMC not to function normally”.

According to o him, “the Federal Medical Centre is the only federal tertiary health institution we have in Imo state”.

“If that centre is messed up, any health challenge at the level of tertiary health care, will mean that the Imolites would have to travel to other states to access tertiary health care and that wouldn’t met with the good welfare of our people,” he stressed.

Financial Misappropriation

The institution’s MD, Mrs Angela Uwakwem, was arraigned by the Economic and Finanacial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on an 18 count charge, bordering on financial misappropriation and embezzlement to the tune of 242 million Naira.

This followed a petition by the (Joint Health Sector Union) JOHESU Of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mainforce Ekwu, alleged that according to the petition, Mrs Uwakwem, conspired with one Mr Emmanuel Ajayi, to inflate the price of medical equipment bought for the centre.

The accused on the other hand, pleaded not guilty to the 18 count charge leveled against her.

Nnewi Gas Explosion: DPR Mandates Company To Provide Documents For Investigations

gas plantThe Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has mandated the Intercorp Gas Plant, Nnewi, Anambra State, to provide all necessary documents that will aid the panel of inquiry to know the cause of the incident.

This is following the gas explosion and fire incident that occurred on December 24, 2015 which left 10 people dead.

The Zonal Operations Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources Owerri, Mr Morrison Nwokedi made this known in Owerri, the Imo state capital, during a meeting with the management team of Chicason Group of Companies’.

Mr Nwokedi said the DPR is “left with the responsibility to find out what went wrong so that we can share the learning points with others and possibly forestall a recurrence of such in the future”.

The DPR Zonal operations controller in Owerri, Mr Morrison Nwokedi, who chaired the meeting said The Mineral Oils (Safety) Regulations 1997 is clear on its responsibilities as the DPR in connection with an accident that occurs in an Oil and/or a Gas operation under a licence or lease binds the agency in the inquiry into the cause of the incident.

He said even though the gas company has been cooperative in their investigations, they still need to come up with more documents that will aid investigations to find out what went wrong so that they can share the learning points with others and possibly forestall a recurrence of such in the future.

However, the company while presenting some vital documents to the DPR, noted that apart from the hospital bills and burial functions already expended on the victims of the sad incident, they have also paid compensations to some families of those affected, while also calling on those yet to be compensated to come forward and inform the company with evidence for onward compensation.

Meanwhile, the DPR boss said the agency as part of its responsibilities has commenced massive orientation for gas plant owners in the zone so as to avoid any further occurrence. He urged gas plant owners to always abide by the rules and regulations.

The DPR has also scheduled another meeting with the company and also families of victims affected in the explosion later this week as part of the ongoing investigation.

Imo Doctors Protest Alleged Hospital Concession Plan

imoMembers of the Nigerian Medical Association, Imo State Chapter, have called on the Imo State Government to abolish the ongoing plan to concession hospitals across the state.

The NMA made this call during a peaceful protest in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

They maintained that the association is not against the concession policy, but the government needs to follow some laid down procedures.

However, the protest turned bloody when one of the doctors was badly injured as a result of teargas allegedly fired by the Police to dispatch the protesters.

Visiting the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, where the injured victim was being treated, the doctor in charge noted that the victim lost so much blood but responded to treatment.

In reaction to the allegation, the Police in the state maintained that their men did not shoot at anyone but was trying to maintain peace when some hoodlums tried to hijack the protest.

Following this development, the Nigerian Medical Association in the state vowed to close down all health facilities until the issue has been resolved.

Imo NSCDC Arrests Suspected Oil Thieves And Armoured Cable Vandals

NSCDCThe Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Imo State Command has arrested seven suspects alleged to be involved in illegal sales and adulteration of stolen crude oil, as well as three suspects who are into vandalism and selling of armoured Nitel cables.

Parading the suspects at the command headquarters in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the State Commandant, Pedro Ideba, said the suspects had been in the business for over a long period of time.

They had beaten different security checkpoints by deceiving security operatives, with lorries meant for transporting sands and chippings to smuggle stolen crude oil into the state.

The suspected thieves were said to have covered the adulterated product with sand under the guise of transporting sand and chippings to their construction sites.

He also said a tip-off by some vigilant members of the public, with efforts by his men, traced the suspects to the point of arrest in Owerri where they were caught when trying to sell these adulterated products.

While sounding a note of warning to economic saboteurs who indulge in the line of business, Mr Ideba said it would not be business as usual as the NSCDC Imo Command remained committed to protecting government infrastructures and bring economic sabotage to its barest minimal.

In a similar development, the command also paraded a group led by one Joel Samuel, suspected to have been responsible for excavating and selling armoured Nitel cables and high tension wires.

However, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, who was present while the suspects were being paraded, commended the command for their recent breakthrough while also warning that the state government would not spare anyone who sabotages the economy of the State and Nation.

He added that the Okorocha-led administration would stop at nothing to ensure that residents of the State were protected from economic sabotage and other crimes.

The command has promised to charge the suspects to court for prosecuted and face the necessary punishment as stipulated by the law.

Items recovered from them are, drums of adulterated crude oil, generators, pumping machine, jerrycans, as well as two lorries used in conveying the products.

Shekarau Urges Buhari To Sustain Jonathan’s Education Transformation Agenda

EducationNigeria’s incoming government have been urged to consolidate on the transformation agenda of the current administration  in the education sector, without considering the political differences.

The Minister of Education, Mr Ibrahim Shekarau, made the statement during his maiden visit to the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede In Owerri the Imo State capital, South-east Nigeria.

Mr Shekarau told reporters that if given more and adequate funding, polytechnics were capable of helping Nigeria attain a high technological development base, as most developed countries in the world.

He also advised the incoming General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to sustain the two cardinal factors of the present government in education which include; increasing access to education and improving the quality of education.

In his earliest visit to the school, Mr Shekarau met with the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Mrs Celina Njoku and had brief interaction with the management and staff of the institution.

After the meeting, Mr Shekarau, accompanied by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri and the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Dr Masaudu Kazaure, proceeded to commission some of projects built by the Federal Government through the TETFUND special intervention and some other projects initiated by the school’s management.

Complementing his statements, Professor Onwuliri noted that the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had achieved a lot in the education sector, stressing that adequate funding would make Nigeria’s educational system more enviable.

However, Mrs Njoku commended the Minister for the visit and lodged  a complaint over the one billion Naira High Impact Funding for polytechnics in Nigeria which her school did not benefit from

Some of the project commissioned include the new School of Business Management complex, 500 capacity engineering lecture theater, chemical engineering department, the E-library, classroom complex and the fabrication and production workshop.

Easter Celebration: Nigerians Asked To Thank God For Successful Elections

Okorocha on Easter CelebrationThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has urged all Nigerians home and in the diaspora to use the period of the Easter celebration to thank God for a peaceful presidential and National Assembly elections.

Governor Okorocha further urged Nigerians to also pray for smooth and peaceful transition of government on May 29.

Speaking to Channels Television at the Government House in Owerri, the Imo State capital in south-east Nigeria, Governor Okorocha said the Easter period which herald the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, should also be an avenue for Nigerians to “reflect on the tenets of sacrifice, patriotism and love for our dear country, as Christ loved the world and sacrificed his life that all may live”.

He also urged all Nigerians to cultivate the spirit of forgiveness and embrace one another, as “no other country can be called ours except Nigeria”.

The Imo State Governor also commended the spirit of maturity and love shown by President Goodluck Jonathan by congratulating the president elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

Governor Okorocha said, all political leaders in and outside the country should take a cue from the maturity displayed by President Jonathan in order to make the society a better place for all to live and prosper.

He further prayed that God would continue to bless Nigerians, especially Imo people and all patriotic leaders in the country, as they celebrate the Easter.

The Governor also appealed to Nigerians, irrespective of their political, religious or ethnical differences, to come together and support the incoming government, with the President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, as the driver.

“The APC led administration will run an all inclusive government, irrespective of where their interest lies during the Presidential campaign,” Governor Okorocha said, expressing optimism that General Buhari’s administration would bring the desired change Nigerians yearn for.

Speaking on his chances at the April 11 governorship polls, Governor Okorocha said he was optimistic that his party would emerge victorious, following his achievements in the lasts three and a half years in the state.

He, however, called on all security operatives, especially the Army and State Security Service (SSS) in the state to carry out their duties and desist from intimidating voters.

Christian Traditional Rulers Pray For Nigeria

Chibok girls videoAs the call for the release of over 200 hundred abducted school girls in Chibok on 14th April intensifies,the Traditional Rulers across the Country under the aegis of Fellowship of Christian Traditional Rulers of Nigeria have equally added their voice for the release of the abducted girls.

The School girls have been in captivity for eighty eight days in the camp of Boko Haram.

They appealed to Nigerians not to be wary in their intercessory prayers for the nation especially at a time like this when Nigeria is facing enormous security challenges.

The Traditional rulers gave this charge in Owerri,the Imo State Capital at their 17th national conference organised to carry Nigerians along in praying for the peace and stability of the country and ultimately for  the safe return of the abducted Chibok girls.

They appealed to the Boko Haram sect to listen to the plea of Nigerians and will release the girls.
They said terrorism is not the best option to express any grievance against the government and called on the Federal Government to tackle the issue by engaging the sect in a dialogue so as to end the ugly menace of terrorism in the country.

Present at the conference were, the National President of FECTRON, Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse 11 and other notable traditional rulers from  Kwara,Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States.