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Concerned citizen raises alarm over Activist’s deteriorating health condition in Anambra prison

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Concerned citizen raises alarm over Activist's deteriorating health condition in Anambra prison

By: Chinedum Treasure

A concerned Nigerian citizen, Tanga Ugochi has raised the alarm over alleged plot to eliminate South African based right activist, Boniface Okonkwo in Nnewi prison, Anambra State.

Ugochi urged Prof Chukwuma Soludo-led government to ensure Okonkwo’s protection while in prison and after his release.

He said the state government would be  held responsible if the plot to kill the activist materialized.

He said, “He was arrested on 3rd January at Area Command Oraifite Ekwusigo Local Government Area Command Oraifite. Till today his life is in danger even in the Nnewi prison where he is still being detained. 

“There is one Oraifite person that was in the same cell with him. The inmate is officially allowed to be using phone inside the prison.  

“He is the agent monitoring Chief Okwuluoha Bonny Okonkwo inside the prison. Okonkwo’s life is highly under threat now inside that prison.  

“There is an authentic information and it is too serious concerning Chief Okwuluoha Bonny Okonkwo’s life. That if they failed to kill him inside that Nnewi prison that they will kill him outside, anytime that he is released. 

“Anambra State government under professor Soludo now must protect his citizens. Soludo must make sure that he protect Chief Okwuluoha Bonny Okonkwo human rights activist anytime he is released.  

“If the plan to kill Chief Okwuluoha Bonny Okonkwo human rights activist work as they had already planned, Soludo  government will be held responsible.

“Please don’t ignore this report it is serious because they will say that it is unknown gunmen that kill Chief Okwuluoha Bonny Okonkwo when it happens. He is already marked dead by systematically or otherwise.  

“Chief Okwuluoha Bonny Okonkwo human rights activist needs good protection anytime that he is release. Copy Anambra State governor Soludo and the Nigeria police authority in general.”

Anglican Church sets up panel on 5-storey Centenary Building collapse 

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Anglican Church sets up panel on 5-storey Centenary Building collapse 

The Diocese on the Niger, Anglican Communion, owners of the five storey building which crashed in the wee hours of June 12,2024 has set up a high powered panel of professionals to criticality look into the unfortunate incident.

Tagged “Centenary Building”, the building was being undertaken by the Old Boys Association of the popular Denis Memorial Grammar School(DMGS) Onitsha.

This development was made public at the school premises by the Bishop on the Niger, Rt Rev Owens Nwokolo during a press conference today.

Nwokolo had visited the crash site alongside other Anglican bishops in Anambra State led by Archbishop Alexander Ibezim.

Thanking everyone for their supportive prayers, expression of love and encouragement, Bishop Nwokolo

alongside other 

Bishops announced a 9-member panel of successful and seasoned experts in building and estate development/managent sector round the country.

The panel was to be chaired by a judge of the Court of Appeal, Hon Justice Pete Obiora.

Others were Barrister Andy Obianwu, Architect Shed Onwuasoanya, Dr Azuka Onweluzor and Engr Ofodile Anaeto. Others include Architect Peter Okpala, Surveyor Samuel Akabogu, Engr Chukwunonso Igboka and Architect Kingsley Ibekwe. 

These eggheads, Nwokolo noted have versatile and deep knowledge/experience in the building/estate development sector. He charged them to bring these years of experience to bear in this assignment.

Flanked by Archbishop Ibezim, Bishops Ephraim Ikeakor of Amichi Diocese, Bishop Ndubisi of Nnewi who incidentally was an old boy of DMGS: as well as Bishop Obiora Uzochukwu of Mbammili Diocese, Nwokolo expressed the curiosity of the Church to unravel the mystery behind the unexpected collapse of the building.

The Bishop who was visibly touched by the tragedy noted that he takes consolation in the fact that going by the enormity of the destruction it was in deed miraculous that the casualty was minimal. He urged everyone to join the Church in Thanksgiving prayers to the Almighty God for taking away what would have been a big shame and embarrassment.

Quoting some Bible passages, Bishop Nwokolo noted that “this school is the pride of the Anglican Church family nationwide, and has really helped in the growth and development of this State,nation and humanity.”

The panel’s nine(9)point terms of reference included, *to examine the administrative and technical processes followed in the construction to ensure that proper procedures were followed.

*To study the building plan to ensure that they meet the expected standard.

*To enquire whether approval was sought and obtained from the approving authority for the building to proceed.

*To enquire whether the Architectural design of the building was by a qualified Architect registered with the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria.

*To enquire whether the Structural Design was by a Structural Engineer Registered by COREN.

*To enquire whether the building was properly supervised during the actual construction of the project.

*To determine whether the materials (rods)used in the construction underwent a rigorous quality assurance process including testing by the Anambra State materials testing laboratory.

*To make effort to identify the reason/s for the collapse of the building.

*And to ask any other questions that would in their opinion assist in the task.

The panel was given 30 days within which to submit its report.

Nwokolo expressed the readiness of the Church to cooperate with any governmental or professional efforts to unravel why the building went down.

The Centenary Building which was sponsored by the Old Boys Association of the DMGS as their signature project for the celebration of the school’s 100 years next year collapsed at about 1am on June 12,2024.

So far, no reason has been adduced on why the building which was at the roofing stage suddenly came down completely.

Anambra Police Raid Secessionist Camp, Arrest Four

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Anambra Police Raid Secessionist Camp, Arrest Four

Four persons suspected to be members of Eastern Security Network (ESN) Militia in Ufuma, Orumba North Local Government Area in Anambra State have been arrested by the Police.

Police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga said the suspects were arrested during a raid on their hideouts.

He added that the arrest followed information received over time of planned attacks on security agents and innocent citizens by the dreaded group. 

According to him, one of the suspects had been identified as one of the native doctors preparing criminal charms for the group with his shrine being used as initiation ceremonies and meeting points for the criminals. 

He said, “The Police -Led Joint Security Force in Aguata on 17/6/2024 intercepted four suspected ESN Militia in Ufuma, Orumba North, Anambra State. 

“The arrest is following information received over time of planned attacks on security agents and innocent citizens by the dreaded group. 

“Among the four suspects arrested is one Maduabuchi Nwafor A K A Omenkpo ‘M’ aged 32 years a native of Ufuma. He has been identified as one of the native doctors who prepares criminal charms for the group and uses his shrine for initiation ceremonies and meeting points for the criminals. 

“Also, one of the suspects’ name withheld who is already assisting the police with information confessed to be one of the gunmen dispatched by the group to enforce illegal sit-at-home on May 30th, 2024.

“The Commissioner of Police CP Nnaghe Obono Itam orders investigations to be widened and deepened to identify hideouts of the insurgents seeking to destabilize and truncate development in the State. 

“He assures Ndi Anambra that the Police Command under his watch will continue to serve the people selflessly and will jealously protect the sources of its information to protect informers from harm.”

3 Nabbed Over N1m Baby Trafficking Deal in Anambra

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3 Nabbed Over N1m Baby Trafficking Deal in Anambra

Three suspected trafficking syndicates have been arrested by Anambra State Government in Ifitedunu, Dunukofia Local Government Area of the state.

The arrest was made through the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare following notification from the Chairman of the community, Mr Arinzechukwu Azodo.

Azodo said he was alerted by the commander of his team over a report of suspected trafficking taking place in the community which he quickly alerted commissioner for Women Affairs, Ify Obinabo.

He said the Commissioner had given him the go ahead to apprehend the persons involved.

“After the arrest, we discovered that the suspects were about sealing their deal to the tune of N1 million,” he added.

One of the suspects who gave her name as Ebere from Ukpo in same local government area of the state, confessed that she got to know about the deal through one of the suspects.

“A friend of mine, Temple Nwankwo had approached me one day, informing me that she has twin baby for sale although she has already sold one of the twins.

“I accepted to partner with her and went further to link her up to a prospective buyer who needed a male child urgently. 

“After the negotiation, we agreed to meet at Oye Agu to further seal the transaction but instead Temple requested an instant payment of N1million in her account which the buyer objected to because he hasn’t seen the baby.

“This led to a sharp disagreement among us before Temple changed her mind and left them.”

On her part, the alleged seller, Temple Nwankwo from Enugu state but resident at Ifitedunu denied ever having to be in any type of business with Ebere.

She explained that she only reconnected with her when she was four months pregnant. 

“It was Ebere who actually asked for my help in getting a male child because she’s not been able to have a child of her own.

Temple in her confession said, after Ebere made the request, she warned her to never involve her in such and that since that day, Ebere has been coming to her house in her absence meeting her daughter even after her several warnings to her.

It will interest you to know that, some members of the community alleged that Temple is into the Trafficking business with her husband Ndubuisi Nwankwo as an accomplice because they have not seen some of her children for a very long time.

When the couple were asked the whereabouts of the two kids, they claimed that they are dead but when asked about the people present when they were buried, they stated no one has ever been around to witness the burial of the two children.

Commissioner Obinabo, who was visibly sad over the incident, handed them over to the police for investigation and prosecution.

She reiterated government’s resolve in ending trafficking in the state and warned that anyone caught doing so won’t be spared.

She advised the public to always be vigilant and reach out to the ministry whenever they suspect any foul play within their neighborhood.

Other questions surrounding the death of the two children were not answered to the satisfaction of the Commissioner.

Anambra CP orders manhunt on killers of AVG Commander, two others in Nnewi, assures justice for victims

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Anambra CP orders manhunt on killers of AVG Commander, two others in Nnewi, assures justice for victims

Anambra State Commissioner of Police CP Nnaghe Obono Itam has ordered immediate manhunt operation on gunmen whole attacked seperate communities in Nnewi North and Idemili South Local Government Areas of the State on Monday.

CP, in a statement by Command’s spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga condemned the killing, describing the killers as “cowards who have murdered sleep”.

 He sympathized with the deceased families and vowed to get justice for the murdered Vigilantes Operative and unsuspecting members at the scene. 

He also called on the public, especially eyewitnesses to assist the Command with information on the ongoing onslaught operation. 

The statement reads, “The Commissioner of Police CP Nnaghe Obono Itam has ordered an immediate manhunt operation on the armed men Operating in a red Highlander jeep, who abducted a citizen in Nnewi by 1:30 pm yesterday 17/6/2024 and were trailed to Nnobi, where they engaged security operatives in a gun battle

“During the gun duel, one of the security Operatives was fatally hit by the bullet and due to the indiscriminate shootings by the hoodlums in an attempt to escape the scene, the bullet also fatally struck two innocent passersby in the area. 

“The Police Responding Team at the scene recovered the bodies of the victims and took them to the hospital but regrettably, three of the victims including a 22-year-old lady were confirmed dead by the doctors on duty while two others are currently receiving treatment.

“The Commissioner condemned the killing in the strongest possible terms and described the killers as cowards who have murdered sleep.  He condoles the families of the deceased and vows to get justice for the heroic act of the murdered Vigilantes Operative and unsuspecting members at the scene. 

“He also call on members of the public especially the eyewitnesses to assist us with information on the ongoing onslaught Operation.”

Sit-at-home: Killers of Nnewi Commander won’t go scot-free – AVG

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Sit-at-home: Killers of Nnewi Commander won't go scot-free - AVG

Anambra State Vigilant Group (AVG) has vowed to work with other security forces in the state to fish out killers of its Commander at Nnewi, Eloka Ubajekwe.

Gunmen on Monday reportedly attacked seperate communities in Nnewi communities in Nnewi North Local Government Area as well as the Nnobi community in Idemili South LGA of the State.

Unconfirmed number of persons were reportedly feared killed, including Commander of AVG, Eloka Ubajekwe, while several others sustained varying degrees of injury by the assailants suspected to be enforcing the Monday sit-at-home exercise.

But the Public Relations Officer, AVG, Nweke Nweke in a statement on Tuesday said those behind the killing would not go scot-free regardless of their positions.

He said the group would not be cowed by the incident but would employ every available tactics in unraveling those involved in the barbaric act.

He also urged media practitioners in the State to always confirm stories related to the outfit from the office, instead of hiking tensions in the state, by giving the gunmen undeserved publicity.

The statement reads, “Believing that no man, no matter how highly placed will waste innocent blood and go scot-free, the Anambra Vigilant Group, AVG has vowed to work round the clock alongside other security forces in the state to apprehend all involved in the killing of its Commander at Nnewi, Eloka Ubajekwe, and make the perpetrators to pay with their blood.

“Recall that the gallant Eloka Ubajekwe, otherwise known as Tallest was gruesomely murdered by the children of the darkness who claimed they were enforcing sit-at-home order in the Nnewi axis of the state last Monday but believing in God who created heaven and earth that once beaten, twice shy, the AVG said they are going to employ every titics available in unraveling those involved in the barbaric act.

“The ugly incident happened when the Nnewi North Local Government Area Sector of the AVG got wind that the gunmen were about to enter Nnewi through Nnobi in the Idemili South local government area, our decided to confront them at the boundary between the two communities, unfortunately, the Commander, Eloka Ubajekwe was the victim.

“Let me assure the members of the police that the State hardworking Commissioner of Police, CP Nnaghe Obono Itam has put machinery in action, aimed at netting all that have hands in the killing of our Commander and we are collaborating with the police, the Secret Police amongst others and the assurance is that none of them will go scot-free.

“I urge members of the public to help in volunteering information to the police and other forces that could assist in arresting the miscreants who hide under the umbrella of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)’s sit-at-home order to cause havoc in Anambra State.

“Praying God to grant the soul of the murdered Commander Eloka Ubajekwe an internal rest, the AVG consoles the immediate families of the fallen Commander, his friends, well-wishers, and the good people of Nnewi even as the grassroots security outfit said they are not going to be cowed by the last incident but more balanced to map out a tight strategy in confronting the sit-at-home enforcement devils.

“I also urge media practitioners in the State to always confirm stories that have to do with our outfit from our office, instead of hiking tensions in the state, by giving the unknown gunmen non-deserved publicity.”

Sit-at-home: Tension in Nnewi as many feared killed in gunmen attack

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Sit-at-home: Tension in Nnewi as many feared killed in gunmen attack

Unconfirmed number of persons were feared killed, while several others sustained varying degrees of injuries in multiple attacks by gunmen in seperate communities in Nnewi, Anambra State.

Sources in the areas said the attacks took place in Nnewi community in Nnewi North Local Government Area as well as the Nnobi community in Idemili South LGA of the State.

The source further said several persons sustained varying degrees of injuries as the assailants suspected to be enforcing the Monday sit-at-home exercise, shot indiscriminately into the air when they arrived.

Our correspondent gathered that tragedy first struck in the industrial town of Nnewi when the hoodlums arrived in the community at about 11 am, killing a vigilante commander (name withheld).

The sources said, “The gunmen arrived in three vehicles and went straight to a popular hotel at Nnewichi(name withheld). One of the persons in the hotel at the time they attacked was abducted by the gunmen. 

“The gunmen shot sporadically while the bullets were flying all around the hotel’s premises. Mobile phones and other valuables were collected from the victims the gunmen met in the hotel.

“The vigilante commander who is popularly known as “Tallest” after hearing about the incident, gave the hoodlums a hot chase. But when the gunmen noticed that the vigilante commander was pursuing them, they shot at him at a point at Nnobi in Idemili South LGA of the state.

“The development forced many people who tried to brave the sit-at-home directive to quickly close their shops and run home.”

Similarly, the hoodlums, who were said to also invade the Nnobi community in a black Landcruiser SUV, opened fire on the vigilante operatives, leaving two of the security operatives, seriously injured.

Eyewitnesses in the area narrated that the gunmen proceeded to a burial ceremony and also shot dead two other persons.

The sources said, “They later drove to Afor Nnobi and shot dead three security personnel before getting to Ahuda where one other person was killed. The injured persons were rushed to a hospital in Nnewi(name withheld), where they are receiving medical attention.

Police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed there was an attack, however said he was yet to get the full details of the development as of the time of filling this report.

He promised to update the public with relevant information later.

Gunmen abduct Catholic priest in Anambra

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Gunmen abduct Catholic priest in Anambra

A Catholic priest, Rev Fr Christian Ike has been abducted by gunmen in Ndiokpaleke in Ajali community in Orumba North local government area of Anambra State.

The cleric was reportedly whisked away by the hoodlums on Sunday, along Amagu junction of the area.

According to sources, the hoodlums had double-crossed the victim who was returning from an early morning Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church with two other persons in his car.

“The priest and two other persons were returning from St. Micheal Catholic Church, where they attended morning service.

“On getting to Amagu Junction, their vehicle was double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two other persons escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle.”

Confirming the incident, Police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga said the Command was aware of the incident and has drafted its intelligence and operational assets for possible rescue of the victim.

He said, “Anambra State Police Command received the information of the abduction of Rev Father Christian Ike and has deployed its intelligence and operational assets of the Command for possible rescue unhurt.

“Eyewitness account revealed by 10:30 am on 16/6/2024, the priest and two others were returning from St. Micheal Catholic Church Ndiokpaleke where they attended morning service, along Amagu Junction, they were double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle.

“To this end, the Command has activated its intelligence and operational assets for possible arrest of the assailants and rescue unhurt of the priest.

“Further development shall be communicated as it unfolds.”

Treasury loot: Probe Outgoing Local Council Chairmen – Civil Society Urges EFCC, ICPC

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Treasury loot: Probe Outgoing Local Council Chairmen - Civil Society Urges EFCC, ICPC

An anti-graft group, the Advocate of Social Justice and Anti-Corruption Crusaders, has called on anti-graft agencies to probe the outgoing local government chairmen in Rivers State over alleged looting of the treasury in the last few months. 

The group in a statement signed by Williams Orji, its National Coordinator, also alleged that the chairmen squandered the internally generated revenues of their various councils and instigated violence in their domains. 

The group said it would petition the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to probe the outgoing Local Government Chairmen in Rivers State for in-depth investigations into the corruption allegations against the outgoing council bosses at the end of their tenure to get justice for Rivers people.

The statement; “As a group dedicated to advocating for justice and fighting corruption, the Advocate of Social Justice and Anti-Corruption Crusaders has resolved to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to probe the corruption allegations against the outgoing Local Government Chairmen in Rivers State after their tenure. 

“Our decision follows a series of petitions received from thousands of Rivers State residents alleging embezzlement, gross misconduct, theft, racketeering, nepotism, and threat to public peace among others against their various local government chairmen. 

“According to information made available to us, the outgoing LG Chairmen have been looting the treasury and stealing government properties in the last few months. We were told that they have also squandered the internally generated revenues of their various councils. 

“Given the weighty nature of the allegations, we conducted an internal investigation and we found out that indeed resources have been embezzled, government properties looted and corrupt practices have taken place in the offices of the outgoing council chairmen.

“In order to get justice for Rivers people, we have packaged our findings into petitions to be forwarded to the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) for in-depth investigations into the wanton corruption allegations against the outgoing Local Government Chairmen after their tenure, with the hope that they would be thoroughly investigated and brought to justice to serve as deterrents to others,” the statement added.

Police arrest Delta man with 375 live cartridges in Anambra

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Anambra State Police Command has arrested a 48-year old man, Felix Owaya along Niger Street, Onitsha, the commercial city of the state.

Police spokesperson, Tochukwu Ikéngà who disclosed this on Monday, said the suspect from Ika South Local Government of Delta State was nabbed by Police Operatives attached to Fegge division while on patrol in the area.

He said 375 live cartridges were recovered from the suspect, adding that investigation has commenced.

He said, On 15/6/2024 by 1:30 pm, Police Operatives attached to Fegge division while on patrol along Niger Street, Onitsha arrested one Felix Owaya ‘M’ aged 48yrs of Ika south LGA of Delta State and recover three hundred and seventy-five live cartridges. 

“During interrogation, the suspect confessed that he was sent by one Mr Charles Ogboma to a man he is yet to mention to collect the ammunition. Meanwhile, the investigation is still ongoing. 

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Nnaghe Obono Itam, while commending Police Officers who made the recovery for their vigilance and tenacity of purpose, directs all personnel in the Command to sustain the tempo of crime prevention and detection in service of the people of the State.”

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