Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, now sells between N200 and N210 per litre at the independent marketers’ outlets in Awka, the Anambra capital, and its environs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the situation in the area on Tuesday, reports that most independent marketers had the product with no queues.
However, the product is sold at the official pump price of N162.50 at the NNPC Mega Station at Amawbia, which had little vehicular queues.
NAN reports that petrol had been sold between N220 and N230 in the last two months.
A motorist, who identified himself simply as George, expressed worry that the product was still sold far above the approved pump price in the state as against what obtained in other states.
George urged the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to prevail on the marketers to bring down the price of the commodity.
The Acting Director, Public Complaints Commission (PCC) in Anambra, Mr Charles Ekwunife, said his office had been receiving complaints from the public about the hike in the price of the product.
Ekwunife, who spoke on behalf of the Federal Commissioner of PCC in the state, Mrs Emelda Okoli, said the complaints were taken seriously because it was “economic injustice against the people”.
He, however, said the commission lacked the power to act on the complaints and called on relevant regulatory authorities to wade in and stop further extortion of customers.
“There are also complaints of pump compromise by most of the marketers.
“These things are not healthy for the people,” Ekwunife said.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman, Petroleum Dealers Association of Nigeria in the state, Mr Cletus Obiokafor, said the prevailing price was informed by the depot price of petrol.
Obiokafor said some of the marketere selling at N200 and above were those that had old stock.
He appealed to the people to exercise some patience.
Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra on Saturday swore in 20 commissioners with a charge for them to get ready for service.
FELLOW PRESS reports that those sworn into office were cleared earlier by the State House of Assembly.
Soludo, who performed the function at the state Executive Council Chamber, Government House Awka, charged them to deliver optimal services to the people of Anambra.
He said that his administration would declare a state of emergency in all the sectors starting with security.
“All sectors will be given due attention beginning with security which we have already started doing something,” he said.
Soludo said that the assignment of portfolio to each of the new commissioners before the swearing-in was a clear departure to known tradition.
He said that the commissioners were selected based on their areas of specialisation.
“More than 22, 000 persons applied to serve, out of which more than 1, 000 indicated interest to serve as commissioners.
“It is from this list that we picked the 20 commissioners and another commissioner nominee yet to be cleared by the lawmakers because I submitted his name after the initial list was sent,” Soludo said.
He said each of the commissioner would be given his election manifesto, Anambra vision 2070, document and the report submitted by a transition committee before his handover.
“Each of you must study the three documents because the documents constitute the template best tagged social contract with more than 15 million residents of Anambra and our people in the Diaspora,” he said.
He appealed to the people of the state, especially the families and close relatives of the commissioners, to ensure that they did not place much demands on them as their services were more to the state.
Responding on behalf of her colleagues, Mrs Sylvia Ifemeje, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, thanked God and Soludo for their appointments, adding that they would not disappoint the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Anambra chapter has called on the National Working Committee (NWC) to conclude the suspended congress in the state to save the party from electoral doom.
A faction of the party led by Mr Chukwudi Umeaba made the call in a Communique raised after its extraordinary emergency meeting held on April 5.
The Communique was signed by some PDP chieftains including Mr Don Onochie, Chief Okey Muo-Aroh, Chief Chukwudi Umeaba and Chief Ken Emeakayi.
It appreciated the National Chairman and the entire members of the NWC of the PDP for their efforts to rescue, rebuild and restore the party for the overall development of Nigeria.
“We most sincerely express our gratitude to the NWC for their transparent and integrity driven process in the conduct of the Ward and Local Government Congresses in our State.
“We most humbly urge the NWC to apply same parameter in the conduct of the outstanding State Congress for purposes of electing officers at the state level.
“The NWC is urged to please as a matter of urgency concludes the congresses of PDP in Anambra State still outstanding,” it stated.
The faction disassociates itself from the purported resolution as contained in the letter signed by Mr Okey Asolo and Mr. Nnamdi Nwangwu on April 2 wherein Chief Chris Uba a BoT member of the party and Chief Linus Ukachukwu another chieftain were suspended.
It ratified the suspension of Mr Okey Asolo and Mr Nnamdi Nwangu as the acting Chairman and Secretary of the party in Anambra for a period of three months.
The faction said the purported April 2 State Executive Committee where the two chieftains were suspended never held and that the action packed due process.
According to them, Okey Asolo, Nnamdi Nwangwu and their collaborators have been referred to the State Disciplinary Committee for flagrant breach of the party constitution and by so doing putting the party in dire stress.
“The State Executive Committee after preliminary hearing, hereby suspend Comrade Okey Asolo and Nnamdi Nwangwu from the party for a period of three months in line with Chapter 10 of the PDP Constitution,” it stated.
The communique called on PDP members in Anambra and across the country to redouble their efforts and commitment towards building a virile political platform capable of winning elections.
Efforts to get reactions of Nwangwu through calls and text message failed as his phone rang repeatedly without response.
Anambra residents, in compliance with the April 4 prayer directives given by Anambra’s Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo for churches and mosques to gather and pray from 11 am, yielded minimum compliance.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the compliance to the prayer directives, reports on Monday in Awka that few churches complied with the time specified.
However, efforts made to get through to the Chief Imam of the Muslim community in the state were unsuccessful, because of the ongoing Ramadan fasting.
FELLOW PRESS reports that most churches visited in Awka and its environs fixed their prayer time for 4:30 pm as against 11 am directives by the governor.
The clerics of the churches visited, who declined to disclose their names, said that they did not comply with the time directed because the information was not passed on in time.
The cleric said that the message came late, hence the resolve to fix 4.30 pm for the prayers.
However, some churches within the state capital territory complied with the special prayer session as requested by the state government to enthrone peace and tranquility.
The prayer session was planned to mark the end of the regular Monday Sit-At-Home Order that started in the state on August 9, 2021.
At St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, the prayer procession, which started at 11 am, was presided over by the Catholic Bishop of Awka, the Most Revd Paulinus Ezeokafor.
The service was well attended by both the clergy and the Laity of the Church.
Miss Nwabuife Ndigwe said that the information was announced during their church services on Sunday, April 3, and attributed the high turnout to the early announcement.
Ndigwe said that the people were really worried over the unease of security in all parts of the state and commended the government for the decision.
“Prayer request is apt as God commanded that if my people who are called by name should seek my face, I will hear and heal their land,” she said.
At the Cathedral Church of St Faith Anglican Communion, Awka Diocese, prayers were ongoing at the time of the visit at about 11.15 am.
Ven Samuel Okonkwo presided over the service for God’s intervention in the security affairs of the state as directed by the government.
Okonkwo urged the Christian faithful not to relent in prayers, even after Monday prayers, and urged them to pray without ceasing for God Almighty to speedily intervene in the situation.
Rev. Rex Kalu of the Church of the Holy Spirit, Paul University, Awka, also conducted the special prayer at 10 am and members raised prayers points in security areas as well as other sectors of the economy.
Vicar of Our Savior Church, Revd Azubuike Mgbike, also in Awka, held the prayer session as directed.
The Vicar of St Peter Church Enugwu-Ukwu, Mr Ifeanyi Okoli, said that the Church held their prayer earlier in the day during their morning prayers.
Okoli said that worshipers in rural areas have their pattern of church activities, adding that if not well-timed, nobody will come out for the directives to pray.
“We also prayed other prayer points related to the growth and development of the state,” Okoli said.
Service to observe the directive was conducted at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral, Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area of the state, where Gov Charles Soludo was in attendance.
Bishop of Ekwulobia Catholic Diocese, Most Reverend Peter Okpalaeke, presided over the pontifical High Mass where Soludo, in his speech maintained that peace and security were very instrumental in building a new Anambra.
Okpalaeke commended the governor for the thought of going the way of prayers and assured that the people of the area will do their parts and harped on the need to beef up security in the state.
Soludo assured the people that no stone would be left unturned in achieving lasting peace in Anambra and re-emphasised that anyone enforcing it going forward will have the state to contend with.
He said that peace and security were at the heart of economic growth and development and called for collective efforts to restore peace and orderliness in the state.
The Anambra State Government and the Joint Body of South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Bishops, and Archbishops on the State of Insecurity in the Igbo Homesteads at the end of a one-day peacebuilding and security dialogue on Saturday, April 2, agreed to hold prayers across the State on Monday.
Anambra residents have commended the zeal being demonstrated by Gov. Charles Soludo of Anambra to return the state to its status as the “Light of the Nation”.
FELLOW PRESS reports on Saturday that Soludo personally inspected the ongoing waste evacuation and drainage de-silting exercise in Onitsha area of the state.
The Governor began inspection from Upper Iweka, through Iweka road to Ochanja round about. He also visited Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the State.
Soludo reiterated his resolve to build a more livable homeland and urged Anambra residents to avoid indiscriminate refuge dumps in the drainage systems.
He also re-emphasised the need to end the Monday sit-at-home order which, he said, has affected the people negatively and reassured his commitment towards the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Chief Nwabueze Umeh, a businessman in Onitsha, commended the governor for his activeness and urged him not to relent in his efforts in make Anambra a better place to live in.
Umeh said that a healthy environment is key to building a sustainable smart megacity and advised the people to support the efforts of the governor by being law abiding.
NAN reports that most people who spoke at the occasion did not want their names disclosed but expressed satisfaction in the desire to restore the state to its clean nature and the humility exhibited by the state helmsman.
However, Mr Uche Okafor, Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly, the Chief of staff to the Governor, Mr Enerst Ezeajuhi, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, and the Deputy Chief of staff and Chief Protocol to the Governor, Mr Chinedu Nwoye, also joined the inspection team.
There was serious waste evacuation exercise in the affected areas with all the shops locked in compliance to the clean-up exercise.
The exercise which commenced on April 2, Saturday, would end on Monday, 4th April.
Chief Chris Elunmuno, Former President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Anambra, has called on former governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano, not to allow his wife to venture into politics to avoid shameful outing that may damage his legacies.
Elunmuno gave the advice in an interview with a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent, who sampled opinion of the residents on the ugly outburst on Thursday in Awka during the inauguration of Anambra sixth governor, Prof Charles Souldo.
“We saw the video clip all over the social media, it was a loss of dignity and this behaviour needs to be checked before she gets off hand outside Nigeria’s shores.”
He said that the fight that erupted between Obiano’s wife, Ebelechukwu, and the wife of the war-lord Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu, was a bad end to his eight years in office as governor of the state.
“Our outgone governor’s wife lost her temper in the day of her glory and spoilt the mood of her husband and entire Anambra people by confronting a guest in a state event as huge as inauguration.
“How can she walk up to the wife of the supreme leader of the party that gave her lime light to fight his widow. It will be difficult to clean up the memory from the people’s mind, instead of celebrating her husband it is her fight that is the talk of the world,” he said.
He said that since her temperament is too short, it is not wise to allow her go into politics to avoid further damage to the personality of Obiano, his family and entire Anambra.
“She has shown interest to contest for a senatorial seat of Anambra North in next general election. We cannot afford to be disgraced in the red chambers of Abuja, please stop her thirst for the seat now for your good image,” he said.
Mr Felix Akaso, a resident, described the incident as bad, saying a public personality should learn how to control his/her temper either at home or in public as maturity should be applied at all times.
He called for a lasting peace among all aggrieved members of the party so that lasting peace will return to the party.
Dr Rose Mbachi, a citizen of Anambra and a school proprietress, described the incident as a wrong display of character as young adults will see it as normal and urged women to always display maturity even when provoked.
Mbachi said that the ceremony is supposed to have been held in a friendly environment where aggrieved persons could amend any broken relationship.
Mrs Patty Anagor described the incident as a bad lamp to young girls and advised that adults should be mindful of their actions not to mislead young minds.
NAN reports that lots of respondents didn’t want to speak on the matter as it brought dissatisfaction to the day’s ceremony.
NAN reports that head, Soludo media team, Mr Joe Anatune, made available to journalists a statement of apologises on behalf of the newly-inaugurated governor.
The statement read “I, Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, hereby apologises to all Anambra people, friends, and guests who attended my inauguration as Anambra governor for the breach of protocol.
“The breach was caused by improper communication which itself arose from personal issues between the two parties involved in the breach.
“Steps are being taken to resolve the misunderstanding and restore the parties to their previous relationship.
“Anambra, over the years, have been known for a huge stock of social harmony and the stock will increase substantially in the years ahead as part of the concerted effort to accelerate development in the state.
“God bless Anambra, the Light of the nation,” the statement added.
The Anambra police command has laid to rest claims of possibly arresting wife of outgoing Governor of Anambra State, Ebelechukwu Obiano; and widow of the late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Bianca, over their fight at the swearing-in ceremony of Charles Soludo as Governor of Anambra state today March 17.
The Police Command noted that it saw no need to arrest the two women for breach of public peace, as the event went on after security personnel de-escalated the tension.
The command however stated that if there’s any need to interface between the two, they will do so.
The police said in a statement; “Because of the intervention of security personnel, the quarrel between the two personalities didn’t escalate. Meanwhile, the event continued without any further problems and if there is any need to interface between the two, the Police Command will do so.”
Anambra residents have shown enthusiasm in the new state administration of Gov. Charles Soludo, who has promised to provide definite leadership and skills to the people.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent got the opinion of some residents who witnessed the inauguration of the 6th governor of the state on Thursday in Awka.
Former governor Peter Obi was on ground to witness the ceremony and was optimistic that Anambra electorate did very well in their choice of governor.
Obi said that Soludo, being a personal friend, would do much better.
“I have known Soludo for a long time. I trust that he will give Anambra people a disruptive transformation that will restore the state to a greater glory.
“I christen Anambra Light of Nation, I am sure he will keep to his electoral promises of providing quality educational standard in the state, create economy to better lives as poverty level in the state is unbearable.
“We all listened to him say that security would be topmost in his governance agenda; I have no worries with his capability. I only ask the public to support him and not to distract him,” Obi said
Prof. Pat Utomi, a member of the transition committee of the governor, said that with the background of Soludo Anambra would witness massive transformation that would be a signpost in Nigerian polity.
Utomi said that within one year of his oath of office great transformation would be witnessed in the state as it would not be business as usual.
Chief Victor Umeh, former National Chairman of the party said that Soludo would stand in the line of the party succession of quality service delivery associated with All progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to do better.
Umeh said that Soludo is the third governor in succession, from Peter Obi to Chief Willie Obiano now to Soludo, and it’s expected that he would stand on that pedestal to do much better than his predecessors.
He said that APGA prepared very well to choose him as “our candidate based on his sterling qualities and record of service over the years in various areas.
“We expect he will use his magic wand and experience to cover areas his predecessors did not cover.
“We trust his ingenuity in financial ability on how to mobilise resources that would engender the development we are talking about.
“You can see how he has started; he said he has come with a process of disruptive change, which is to change the pattern of how things were done before.
“You can see how the inauguration was low-keyed; that shows the pattern of leadership to see, one who has come with the philosophy of disruptive changes will step on toes.
“I pray that everybody will understand his belief and I appeal to the people to bear with him and allow him to explore his ideology.
“Soludo, I’m certain is going to be very frugal in management of the state fund so that he would be able to achieve his aspirations for the state,” Umeh said.
Chief Rommy Onwuka, a staunch APGA member, said that Gov. Obiano was a wonderful governor who had left lots of legacy projects in the state and expressed the hoped that Soludo had come to build on them.
“Today is a history day, we have worked hard for the victory, Soludo was chosen by Obiano because he believed that he would do better than he did.
“Soludo, as we all believe is a raw material and has enough for the transformation of the state in all areas of economy social and political.
“We pray he will not disappoint us as lots are expected of him; we want to see his magic wand.
“APGA has been in position of governor for 16 years and he was elected because people believe so much in APGA.
“If not, no electorate will vote anyone in from the party; I wish him well,” he said.
Mr Chuka Ezenwune, an Assemblyman representing Idemili South Constituency, said “Soludo knows the enormous challenges starring at faces at this critical period in the life if this state; so he shunned elaborate ceremony.
Ezenwune said that the high level of killings and destruction of lives and property were worth avoiding than having a fanfare while the state was in a big trouble.
He said that he was impressed and convinced that he, the governor, was prepared to tackle the challenges immediately.
“I believe there will be light at the end of the tunnel.’’
Mr Emeka Aforka, Deputy Majority Leader Anambra State House of Assembly, said that he was happy to be part of the success story as the legislators worked so hard to give Anambra a seasoned leader.
He said that the new governor should try to consolidate on the legacy of immediate past governor of the state, Obiano, who did very well to place the state on the map of the world.
Aforka, who represents Orumba North constituency, said that he expected to see a new governor who would continue to serve Anambra from where Obiano left because he did very well.
“I want to see him improve on security of lives and property in the state, development and to improve the economic growth of the state and make is a livable and prosperous megacity.
“I pray God to guide him to keep his campaign promises,” he said.
Chief Chris Elunmuno, a stakeholder, said that the economy of the state was in a much better hand now than before and hoped he would be excellent as Anambra remained a huge challenge for him.
Elunmuno congratulated Soludo and expressed the hope that he he would usher in a better life for the people of Anambra.
He advised him to handle bad network of roads all over the state.
He said that the best legacy left behind by Obiano was the International Airport and urged Soludo to continually improve the standard of the airport.
“I am very confident that with God on Soludo’s side he will transform the state within four years as the state is blessed with many resources for a good manger of fund to work with.
“I wish Obiano well in all his future endeavours,” he said.
Mr Alex Ogbonnia, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo, described Soludo as one who would break the political narrative of the South East with his economic background.
Ogbonnia said that “with him at the helm of affairs of the state and an economist, we expect a dramatic transformation not only in Anambra but in the South East.
“As a first class material in economics, his track record, especially in central bank, has prepared him well to lead in any frontier of life.
“Economy is the life wire of any government and having this background Anambra should have lots of reformation in economic stand in areas of job creation.
“The state will be a paradigm shift in governance,” he said.
He congratulated the electorate in Anambra for chosing a good material for leadership and appealed to the citizens to give him maximum support so that the aspirations of the people would be met.
“He has demonstrated willingness to serve with the low key inauguration and his launch to work immediately shows he has a workable ideology.”
NAN reports that some federal lawmakers were on ground to mark the ceremony.
Among them were: Sen. Uche Ekwunife, Chief Chinedu Obidigwe, Fernandina Nwankwo and Ben Nwankwo.
Former Ambassador to Spain, Mrs Bianca Ojukwu, was also present.
Ojukwu said that the leadership of Souldo would place issues in right places that would yield greater dividend for the development of the state.
Prof Chukwuma Soludo and Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim have been sworn in as governor and deputy governor Anambra, Southeast Nigeria.
Soludo was sworn in by Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, the Chief Judge of the state.
Both took their oaths of office and allegiance at the Anambra Government House in a ceremony witnessed by hundreds of people.
In his address, Soludo said the new Anambra under his leadership would be a state of law and order.
He thanked the outgone governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for their immense support.
He thanked the people of Anambra for interviewing him and employing him to serve them as governor.
Soludo announced the suspension of all revenue collections in the state for one month and outlawed all cash payments to Anambra government in Motor Parks, roads or anywhere.
He emphasised the need for peace and called on youths, politicians and agitators to embrace dialogue as that was the only panacea for peace.
There was momentary disruption of ceremony due to a physical fight between Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of the outgone governor and Mrs Bianca Ojukwu the widow of Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, Governor of the defunct eastern region.
The Police in Anambra have arrested six persons, including a native doctor and two women, for allegedly involving in parading a widow naked in public.
FELLOW PRESS reports that the woman was accused of causing the death of her husband through her alleged infidelity.
Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Mr Echeng Echeng, who paraded the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Awka on Wednesday, said that they were identified in a viral video.
In the video, a woman (name withheld) was made to sit by her late husband’s corpse and was later paraded naked on the street of Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area.
Echeng, however, said that investigation had revealed that the deceased was sick and had sought healing at a traditional healing home where he eventually died.
The police commissioner, who said that investigations were still ongoing, added that all those involved in the dastardly act would be apprehended and charged to court.
“The command’s operatives have arrested six additional suspects, including a native doctor who was identified during the study of the video by police operatives.
“The native doctor confessed to engaging the deceased in some spiritual cleansing and administering some herbs on him before he died.
“It was the native doctor who allegedly told the family of the deceased that the cause of his death was as a result of the wife’s infidelity.
“We also want to use the opportunity to advise members of the public to stop sharing the video. This will help to protect the dignity of the woman.
“The woman has been rescued, taken to hospital and reunited with her family safely. She is in good condition,” he said.
Similarly, Echeng said that the command had arrested some cultists, who allegedly killed two police personnel during an attack on the chairman of the tricycle owners association on Dec. 14, 2021.
He said that two AK 47 rifles, among other weapons, were recovered in the process.
The police commissioner listed some of the weapons and other items recovered in recent crack operations as: two AK47, three pump actions guns, three locally-made beretta pistols and one locally-made chief recover pistol.
Others were: nine AK-47 magazines, two battle axes, assorted ammunition for the firearms and a Mercedes Benz V-Booth car, with registration number: LAGOS HC 661 AAA which the gang used in their operation.
“The leader of the gang was killed, while the other gang member was arrested,” he said.
Echeng described jungle justice as an act of barbarism, urging those with information that could lead to the arrest of culprits to divulge them for arrest and prosecution.
He said that some persons, suspected of trafficking in Tramadol and other prohibited drugs were also arrested in a Toyota Hiace bus coming from Ebonyi.
The police commissioner said that the case had been transferred to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Unknown gunmen on Sunday, February 20, murdered the Chairman/CEO, Ofoma Associates Limited, Chief Gab Ofoma.
DailyTrust reports that the deceased was heading back to his base in Port Harcourt after he visited his home Nnewi when his vehicle was attacked by the gunmen around the Ukpor-Lilu-Orsumoghu-Azia-Mbosi Road, which connects Anambra and Imo states.
According to reports, his driver made a detour from the Onitsha-Owerri Highway en-route Port Harcourt, due to the traffic jam on the highway.
Eyewitnesses say the deceased who had a chieftaincy of ‘Ojemba Enwe Ilo Nnewi’, may have been murdered because he was riding in an SUV and looked like a ‘big man’.
“Many people have been murdered on that road by these people who kill anybody that is in a big car and looks like a big man. It has become a crime to ride a big car in the South-East, except you have a battalion of security operatives guarding you” an eyewitness said.
The late businessman was a senior estate surveyor and valuer with an estate surveying firm located in Port Harcourt, Nnewi, Abuja and Lagos. Moreso, it was gathered that he has over 150 people in his employment.
When contacted the state police command spokesman, Ikenga Tochukwu, said there is no such report before the command.
Mr C. Don Adinuba, the Anambra Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, has informed all public service workers in the state that Monday is no more a work- free Day in the state, effective from Nov. 22.
Adinuba said that Anambra Government wishes to remind all individuals and organisations in the state that work has resumed in earnest in Anambra.
Adinuba said this in a press statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Awka
“This reminder became imperative in view of the tendency of some people to observe in the last few months every Monday as a work-free day.
“Work free day was being observed in the state in compliance with the directive by some non-state actors in an effort to press the Federal Government to free the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“Kanu is standing trial for some charges in Abuja, brought by the federal administration.
“The IPOB leadership has suspended the directive requiring people to stay at home every Monday which it said would start from Monday, Sept.15, throughout the Southeast geopolitical zone.
“The IPOB leadership has in the last few days reiterated the suspension, warning that any person who still tries to enforce the earlier decision is on his or her own and will, therefore, be dealt with accordingly.
“The IPOB leadership has kept every pledge it has made, including rescinding its decision to thwart the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
“In fact, far from disrupting the election, IPOB encouraged the people of Anambra State to come out in their numbers and exercise their democratic right on Nov. 6.
“The election is now recognised as easily the most peaceful and the fairest election since the state was created in 1991,” he said.
Adinuba said that a group of Igbo leaders, including worthy sons of Anambra, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, on Friday, Nov. 19, to plead that Kanu be released and the issues around his arrest and trial resolved in a political way.
The commissioner said that in view of all efforts being made by elders of the zone to secure Kanu’s release, people of Anambra are enjoined to go about their normal business every Monday.
He urged the public not to entertain any fear of disruption of their work or any kind of harassment from any quarters from Monday, Nov. 22.
Adinuba said that the month of December is almost here and it is the month mankind marks the birth of Jesus Christ, defined by peace, unity, love, solidarity and merrymaking.
He noted that the festive period ushers in a new year which itself is a festive period and Anambra public like many other Nigerians, use the period to launch community and church development projects.
“We hold cultural festivals and conduct important personal, family and community events such as marriages, weddings and title taking. All this requires a lot of money.
“What is more, parents and guardians pay the educational fees of their children and wards during this period, thus making January the longest month in the year, as it is described in common parlance.
“It is in the interest of our people that all markets, all businesses, all offices and all schools in Anambra operate fully every Monday, with effect from Nov. 22.
All our people are once again assured that they will not face any kind of molestation on any day of the week from any quarters henceforth,” Adinuba reassured.
Anambra State government has declared Tuesday, November 16, 2021, as a public holiday.
The declaration, according to a release by the state commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba is in honour of Nigeria’s first president, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was born on November 16, 1904.
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano had in previous years called on the federal government to recognize the date as a nation-wide public holiday, in honour of Azikiwe’s contribution to Nigeria.
This year would be the third year Anambra State government, under Obiano would be observing the birthday anniversary.
Azikiwe was reputed to have led Nigeria to independence on October 1, 1960, and is popularly known as The Great Zik of Africa because of his extraordinary Pan-African vision and commitment.
Adinuba in his release said: “It was the Great Zik of Africa who inspired such outstanding Pan-African leaders as Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana who led his country to freedom from colonial rule on March 6, 1957”, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State declared in a statement signed on his behalf by the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba.
“Zik, who was born in Zungeru in Niger State and grew up in Calabar and Lagos, studied various disciplines in the United States and remains the most urbane, cosmopolitan and intellectually engaging of all Nigerian leaders.
“He remains an unrivalled trailblazer, having established Nigeria’s first indigenous bank, African Continental Bank and Nigeria’s first indigenous university, University of Nigeria at Nsukka, among other monumental and farsighted achievements.”
Governor Obiano in the press ststement reiterated his call on the Federal Government to declare November 16 a national holiday in memory of The Great Zik of Africa.
Obiano argued that: “After all, the Ghanaians observe the birthday of Dr Nkrumah as a national holiday, just the way Tanzanians observe President Julius Nyerere’s birthday as a national holiday.
“It is a huge national embarrassment that Nigeria has yet to declare November 16 a national holiday.”
Motorists plying through and within Anambra have been asked to ensure they their vehicles are properly registered with up to date number plates.
Mr Echeng Echeng, Commissioner of Police in Anambra, issued the directive as part of security measures ahead of the Nov. 6 governorship election in the state.
Echeng warned that improperly identified vehicles will be impounded and the violators subjected to the relevant laws.
The statement, signed by DSP Nkeiruka Nwode, Zona 13 PPRO/Head, Police Media Team For Election Duty, said the measure became compulsory in order to monitor and check crime and insecurity in the state.
According to her, CP Echeng has charged vehicle owners in Anambra and those either coming in or leaving the shores of the state to ensure that their vehicles have up-to-date plate numbers.
“Any vehicle that plies without a plate number or up-to-date plate number will be impounded and the law invoked upon the defaulter.
“The CP reiterates the readiness of the Command to provide a crime-free and safe environment now and always.
“The CP reminds motorists, both public and private in Anambra, that the IGP’s ban of unauthorized tinted glasses will be enforced to check movements of people and goods in and out of the state.
“The Anambra State Police command is dedicated to providing security to the people of the State before, on and after the election. Therefore,, we need the corporation of the members of the public to achieve this.
“Those with credible security information can call our emergency number: 08060463492 or 09032506317,” she stated
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has assured the nation of the commitment of the Force to securing the public space and upholding the democratic values ahead of the November 6th, 2021, Anambra State Gubernatorial Election.
In a statement on Wednesday by the Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, the IGP gave the assurance, during a strategic meeting held at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, with Commanders of the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Squadrons in the country, as part of efforts to specifically contain the activities of criminal elements in the South-East and particularly guarantee a safe and secure environment for the elections.
“The IGP further stated that the leadership of the Force has commenced the reorganization, re-equipping, training and re-orientation of the PMF with the goal of strengthening its operational capacity and re-situating the unit to accomplish the task of confronting violent crimes in the country. The IGP charged the Squadron Commanders to upscale their supervisory roles to ensure their personnel demonstrate high level of professionalism, firmness, courage and respect for human rights while carrying out their duties.
“The IGP noted that the Nigeria Police Force in the coming days will be implementing a robust national security action plan to refocus the internal security dynamics of the country in addition to securing the electoral processes in the Anambra State Gubernatorial election including the protection of personnel and materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and critical national infrastructure.
“The IGP noted that the Police Mobile Force, will as usual, form a critical component of the operational plan, to deter any subversive elements that could threaten or disrupt the smooth conduct of the election.
“The IGP reiterated that the Force will continue to do all within its powers to combat all forms of criminality and violent crimes including banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and violent extremism, amongst others, across the country.”
APC has postponed the flag-off of its Anambra governorship campaign scheduled for Saturday in Onitsha, Anambra, in honour of victims of various attacks in the state.
Governorship election holds in the state on Nov. 6.
The governorship candidate, Sen. Andy Uba, announced the postponement in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja.
He noted that there had been several attacks by gunmen in Anambra over the past weeks, leading to destruction of properties and killings.
This, he stated, included the recent murder of Dr Chike Akunyili, widower of late Dora Akunyili, ex-minister of Information and Communications among others.
“As a mark of respect and honour for all those who have lost their lives I, in consultation with the leadership of our party and campaign council, have decided to cancel the campaign flag-off rally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 in Onitsha.
“You will all agree with me that our culture and tradition hold lives sacred.
“It follows, therefore, that the safety and preservation of lives of our people must at all times take precedence over any political interest, activities and or associations.
“I, Sen. Andy Uba, will be the very last person to sacrifice or play politics with the lives of our people. Neither will I allow anybody to do so under my watch,’’ he stated.
He added that like every other well-meaning member of the public, he had followed with much sadness and grief, the recent unfortunate and mindless state of violence and insecurity in Anambra.
“I have also watched with disdain, obvious breakdown of institutional capacity and inability of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)-led state government to address security challenges and prevent the state from further descent into anarchy and chaos.
“My sincere condolences to all who have lost loved ones in the on-going politically motivated killings in Anambra.
“To `Ndi Anambra’ who are living in fear of their lives and property as a result of the on-going mayhem, I bring you a message of hope.
“Hope in God under whose divine protection as Christians we go about our daily activities; hope in our collective capacity and republican nature to resist all forms of evil,’’ he stated.
Uba, however, charged residents of the state to go about their normal lawful businesses, adding that they should be vigilant and take necessary precaution to ensure that their lives and property were not put in harm’s way.
He assured that he would ensure that politically-motivated killings in the state were brought to an end to enable the people of Anambra to go about their lawful businesses without fear of any sort.
A 25-year-old woman, Onyinye Chime, has allegedly killed her lover, Eleyi Azubuike, in Anambra State, for asking her to abort her pregnancy.
The incident happened on Ochiagha Street, Nkpor, near Onitsha, in the Idemili Local Government Area of the state.
The deceased had advised Chime to abort the pregnancy, which she objected to.
A source told our correspondent that 29-year-old Azubuike also declined to give her money for upkeep.
“Onyinye was not comfortable with all these. So, she complained to people about it; but we didn’t know she would act this way. She went to the extreme,” the source added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the incident.
He said, “There was a report of alleged murder of one Eleyi Azubuike, 29, of Ochiagha Street, Nkpor, in the Idemili North LGA of Anambra State by his girlfriend one Onyinye, 25, of same Ochiagha Street, Nkpor, inside his room.
“Police detectives attached to Ogidi division visited the scene and rushed the victim, who was found in a pool of blood, to Iyi Enu Mission Hospital, Ogidi, for medical attention, where he was certified dead by a medical doctor. The corpse was deposited at the hospital’s mortuary for an autopsy.
“A careful observation of the deceased’s body revealed stab wounds on his chest, while a bloodstained kitchen knife was recovered as an exhibit at the scene.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased allegedly impregnated the suspect and wanted an abortion, which she declined and demanded some money for her upkeep, which the deceased refused to oblige.
“That eventually led to a scuffle which resulted in the man being stabbed to death.”
The PPRO said the case was under investigation to unravel other circumstances surrounding the incident.
The Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Mr John Abang, has summoned all the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and Tactical Commanders to an emergency meeting, following increase in cultism in the state.
Abang gave the directive in a statement by SP Haruna Mohammed, the command’s spokesman and made available to newsmen in Awka on Wednesday.
Following recent upsurge in cult activities in the state, the commissioner summoned an emergency meeting with Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers and tactical commanders at the state command headquarters.
He directed immediate and aggressive manhunt of perpetrators, including their sponsors in order to stem the tide of the menace.
According to him, the directives started yielding positive results as some notorious suspects have so far been arrested and are making useful statements about their levels of involvement.
The commissioner expressed the command’s determination in ensuring that criminals had no hiding place in the state no matter how highly placed they might be.
According to him, the command will not relent in the total clampdown on cultism and other heinous crimes in the state and will deal decisively with anyone apprehended in accordance with the law.
“Consequently, the command further assures the people of its commitments toward providing safety and security in the state.
“The command also urges parents and guardians to caution their children to refrain from cultism and other nefarious activities as anyone found wanting will face the full wrath of the law,” the commissioner said.
Abang, however, urged the public to utilise the following phone numbers in case of any emergency and to report suspicious persons for prompt response please.
The numbers include: Control room number – 07039194332; OPS Officer, CSP William Odumu 08036877447 and Officer in-Charge of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, CSP Patrick Agbazue on 08112201345.
Other contacts are, Officer-in-Charge of the Federal Highway, CSP Ahmed Gaiya on 08039722267; and Officer-in-Charge of Safer Highway, SP Isa Kolo on 08039714969.
He further listed SP Appah Abraham, 08032771100, as the Officer-in-Charge of Operation Kpochakpi and Officer-in- Charge of Operation Udoka, SP Uche Exe on 08034011445.
He also released the contacts of the state’s Anti-Cult Commander, SP Uche Onyinaya, 07033778430 and that of the Command’s Spokesman, Haruna Mohammed on 08060970639 for information that will lead to the arrest of suspected cultists in the state.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, on Wednesday inaugurated the Zone 13 Nigeria Police Headquarters at Ukpo, near Awka in Anambra.
Ukpo is in the Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the newly-created zone covers the three South-East states of Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra.
Ebonyi was previously under Zone 6 in Calabar, while Enugu and Anambra were under Zone 9 with headquarters in Umuahia.
In a message read on his behalf by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Mr Celestine Okoye, Adamu said in Ukpo that siting the zonal headquarters in Anambra would boost the operations of the police in the South-East.
He said that the process of locating the zonal headquarters at Ukpo was not easy, thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for approving Ukpo community as zone 13 headquarters.
The IGP disclosed that the police authorities would soon inaugurate a Mobile Police Base in Nsugbe in the Anambra East Local Government Area.
He commended Mr Arthur Eze, an indigene of Ukpo for his contributions toward the location of the zonal headquarters at Ukpo.
Eze, a philanthropist said he was thankful to Buhari and the police high command for their choice of his community as the headquarters of zone 13.
“Buhari has shown love and interest in the development of the South-East since he took over as the nation’s president.
“He is currently rehabilitating the Enugu-Onitsha highway, constructing the 2nd Niger Bridge and has approved this new police zone 13 for our people.
“We cannot thank him enough, and as a leader from the zone, I must say that we the Igbo people are happy with President Buhari and will continue to support his people-oriented programmes.’’
Eze, who later handed over the key of the complex to the Okoye, said that policemen deployed to the zone would have a fruitful working experience.
A former Commissioner of Police in Enugu and Edo States, AIG. Danmallam Mohammed, has since assumed duties as the pioneer officer in-charge of the new zone.
NAN reports that none of the three governors in the states under the zone was present at the inauguration ceremony attended by scores of traditional rulers, business executives and politicians from the three states in the zone. (NAN)
Two school children have been killed while two others sustained injuries when an overhead water tank fell into a classroom at Royal Kings Foundation Nursery and Primary School Nkpor-Agu in Idemili North local government area of Anambra State.
It was gathered that the water tanker of about 800 gallons capacity filled with water fell from its high stand from a house close to the school on the roof of the classroom where the children were.
The state Police Public Relations Officer Mr. Haruna Mohammed who confirmed the incident said that the children were rushed to the hospital where they were confirmed dead by a medical doctor.
“On 5/01/2020, an overhead tank filled with water fell into a classroom of Royal Kings Foundation Nursery and Primary School Nkpor-Agu in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State.
“Police patrol team led by DPO Ogidi Division CSP Mark Ijarafu rushed to the scene. On arrival, it was discovered that the overhead tank of about 800 gallons capacity filled with water fell from its high stand from a neighbouring house adjacent to the school on the roof of the pre-nursery class and directly into the classroom.
“As a result, four children sustained varying degrees of injuries and were rushed to Idemili hospital Nkpor for medical attention.
“Unfortunately, two of the children namely, Wisdom Ezewudo ‘m’ aged about 3 years and a female pupil of about 2 years, whose identity is yet to be ascertained were confirmed dead on arrival by a medical doctor while two others namely Chimelumeze Obelenwa ‘m’ aged one year seven months and Kosisochukwu Anthony ‘m’ aged one year ten months are responding to treatment.
“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Mr. John Abang, has commiserated with parents of the victims and ordered for a discreet investigation to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident,” Mohammed stated.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called on the Anambra Government to suspend production and sale of all unregistered rice labelled “Anambra Rice’’.
Mrs Christiana Essenwa, a Deputy Director of NAFDAC, made the call on Monday during a visit to the state Ministry of Agriculture in Awka.
Essenwa said that the call became imperative following a petition forwarded to NAFDAC by Stine Industries, Nnewi, over the alleged counterfeiting and illegal use of the trade mark by the state government.
“Sometime this year, a petitioner, Stine Industries, came to our office with a petition that their products were being re-packaged illegally by some rice processors.
“Stine Industries came to NAFDAC with a Certificate of Incorporation and the trade mark in 2016 for NAFDAC registration number but the state government surfaced with the same trade mark in 2017.
“There is no way the Ministry of Commerce and Industry can give one trade mark to two individuals or companies.
“We went on a raid and discovered that in truth, there were products branded ‘Anambra Rice’ but with no NAFDAC registration number,” she said.
The deputy director stressed that there were a lot of dangers in consuming unregistered food items, including rice.
According to her, rice has the tendency of harbouring aflatoxin and heavy metals called arsenic, which can cause cancer and kidney diseases.
“The Federal Government is pleased with efforts to promote the local industry but at the same time, it is concerned with the health of the people.
“The idea here is not to witch-hunt the rice processors or to throw them out of business but our aim is solely to protect the consumers,” she said.
Essenwa said that the suspension was aimed at enabling the state government and Stine Industries to resolve their differences, while maintaining good manufacturing policies for food production in the country.
Responding, Mr Leo Imoka, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, appealed to the agency to give more time to the two parties resolve their differences.
He said that the state government was taking steps to acquire appropriate marketing authorisation for its rice production concerns.
He said that the state government had registered the trade mark with the Federal Ministry of Trade, Investment and Industry for the production of five commodities, including cassava, honey and rice.
“This is because we heard that the Federal Government wanted to ban rice and that states should help in the mass production of rice, knowing the disadvantages of importing rice.
“The state government keyed into all off-taker programmes for rice production in the country, which has attracted a lot of rice farmers, processors and marketers and led to an increase in rice production.
“In order not to make the rice affordable to our citizens, we opened with the brand name `Anambra Rice’ to differentiate our rice from that of other rice producers until we are able to register under an umbrella with NAFDAC.’’
Imoka said that an inter-ministerial committee was set up by the government to accredit rice producers and processors so as to ensure that only those with standard production environment were allowed to use the brand name.
Ongoing election in Anambra state has taken a strange turn as it is reported how an inscription “Vote and Die” and other charms was hanged Nkpor polling station causing voters at Ilogwu Orie Nkpor to flee for their lives.
Voting commenced by 12.15pm at Odoakpu Ward 2 located at Central School Onitsha with enthusiastic voters queueing to cast their votes. Senator Joy Emodi who voted manually following the failure of the card reader to function properly commended the peaceful manner the exercise was going on. No violence has been witnessed at Aguleri and Nsugbe as electorates are waiting for their turns and a large crowd was noticed in the two towns.
READ ALSO: Anambra decides: APGA leading in Aniocha
Meanwhile there was a minor squabble that erupted at Tony Nwoye’s ward as one young man went to the polling centre and caused commotion leading to a minor fight.
With security men in charge, the situation was brought back to normalcy and voting continued.
President Muhammadu Buhari will be making a two-day visit to Ebonyi and Anambra States.
Buhari said: “Let me reiterate my words to Southeast Leaders who visited me at the State House last month: My administration will not discriminate against any part of Nigeria.
“I will again assure the people of the southeast that we are investing in infrastructure projects that are of critical importance to the region: the Second Niger Bridge, the East-West Road, the Coastal Rail, power projects – these and more will benefit the region and unlock economic potential. We are collaborating with the Chinese government to deliver these projects, and have taken very seriously our counterpart funding obligations.
“I look forward to my visit, and to continuing to work to ensure that every part of Nigeria benefits from our Programmes and policies.”
Against the Anambra governorship election scheduled for Noverber 18, the Independent National Electoral Commission has released political parties and names of candidates to participate.
The statement to this effect was released by Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, the commission’s Director of Publicity.
Topping the list is the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano; his deputy Nkemakonam Okeke, contesting under the flag of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Oseloka Obaze of the PDP has Chidi Onyemelukwe, a woman, as his running mate.
Tony Nwoye of the APC has Dozie Arinze, a woman, as his running mate.
Others on the list are Nwezi Amechi and his running mate Okeke Njideka, a woman, for All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP).
Oby Okafor and her running mate Onyekwuluje Uzoma as candidate for Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) also made the list.
A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, is also carrying the flag of United Progressive Party (UPP), with Okeke Ogbonnaya as his running mate.
The rest of the political parties with candidates on the list include Alliance Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Action Alliance (AA) and Action Democratic Party (ADP).
Others are APDA, African People’s Party (APP), Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and Kowa Party.
The Labour Party (LP), as well as Masses Movement Of Nigeria (MMM), Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP), National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) also have candidates.
Candidates of National Conscience Party (NCP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Nigeria Peoples Congress (NPC), National Unity Party (NUP) and People for Democratic Change (PDC) were also successful.
Also listed as parties with candidates are the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and United Progressive Party (UPP).
Young Democratic Party (YDP) and Young Progressive Party (YPP).
The Commission, in the statement, also disclosed that it had approved the applications of 44 observer groups, comprising 38 domestic and six international groups, to observe the election.
The international observer groups are the British High Commission, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), American Embassy Abuja, European Union, High Commission of Canada, and African Union Economic Social and Cultural Council.
The domestic groups include African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Centre for Credible Leadership, Citizens Awareness, and the Initiative for Promotion of Civic Obligation Sustainable.
Meanwhile, the Commission approved the change of name and adjustment of logo of the All Democratic Peoples Movement (ADPM) to AGAP.
The Commission added that it had also approved the issuance of a Certificate of Registration in the name of AGAP to the party.
St. Philip’s Catholic Church Ozubulu, in Anambra, was attacked by gunmen on August 6 where 13 worshippers were killed and scores injured, which was reportedly caused by drug barons, living in South Africa but who are sons of the community but dragged their war back to Nigeria.
A car of one of the opponent was said to have been spotted outside the church, which prompted the perpetrators to enter the church and open fire on worshippers.
The gunmen are said to have come from a neighbouring state to Anamabra to launch the attack.
But the Ozubulu Youths Association has said they would not avenge the death, that vengeance belongs to God.
It said, “We will not take the law into our own hands. We have handed the killing of our parents, brothers and sisters who died in the St. Philip’s Catholic Church attack on August 6, 2017 to God, but we are willing and ready to fully cooperate with the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime against our people.”
The statement was signed by the asosciation’s National Chairman, Messrs Emeka Anaekwe and Secretary Val Iwuchukwu.
The further states, ozubulu a“We plead with the security agencies to kindly release all the innocent people arrested in connection with that black Sunday incident at Ofufe Amakwa, Ozubulu.
“We most sincerely commend the state and the Federal Government delegations that came to Ozubulu to sympathise with the entire people of our town and the Obi of Ozubulu, Obi Nnamdi Oruche, Ezeugodinobi, Okife II.
“We the youth of Ozubulu wish to set the records straight and state as follows: that Ozubulu town is a peaceful and loving town that welcomes indigenes and non-indigenes from various parts of the country as brothers and sisters.
“We totally condemn in its entirety the killing of those innocent worshippers at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu.
“We also want to make it clear that we are not killers, drug peddlers nor kidnappers as being rumoured; we are good and law-abiding citizens of Nigeria, who do not and cannot take the law into our own hands. We, therefore, ask for justice so that the souls of the departed can rest in peace.”
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnmadi Kanu, has come under fire and heavy criticisms from the Anambra State Lawyers in Defence of Democracy (ASLADD), for the crisis that happened at Ekwulobia, Aguata local government area of the state.
According to report, the Nigerian Police clashed and IPOB members clashed as they were waiting for the arrival of Kanu and start the rally in the town last week.
In a statement in Awka, the Anambra state capital, entitled, “Ekwulobia Crises: IPOB is confusing apples with oranges,” saying that as a professional body, it has all it takes to end Kanu’s agitation.
The lawyers said, “The attention of the Anambra State Lawyers in Defence of Democracy [ASLADD] has been drawn to a statement released by Emma Powerful for the IPOB on the clash that was reported to have occurred between the Nigerian Police and some IPOB members at Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“In the said press release, the author labored strenuously to share the culpability of the crises between the DPO of Ekwulobia Police Station and “individuals hiding under non-existent Anambra Lawyers.
“We start by saying that the Anambra State Lawyers in Defence of Democracy [ASLADD] is composed of eminent Legal Practitioners from Anambra State who practice both within and outside the shores of the state. Without mincing words, the foremost consideration that propelled the coming together of these fine minds is to robustly protect democracy in Anambra State which has come under a massive threat by the extra-legal and anarchist method introduced by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in his push to carve out an imaginary fiefdom for himself where delusively he would be presiding over his serfs like a feudal emperor who must not be opposed by his subjects without fatal consequences.
“It is rather ridiculous that the author of the IPOB statement claimed that our group is both “faceless” and ‘non-existent’ and yet he labored profusely to apportion blame and culpability to a “non-existent” group. This is purely an inverted logic. It is a matter of ordinary knowledge that lawyers in every society [by virtue of their professional calling and standing] are public figures.
“True indeed, the Convener of this august assembly is Mr. Johnmary Chukwukasi Jideobi. This is a gentleman committed to the defence of human rights, rule of law and constitutionalism. It is on record that our Convener stood tall and firm in robust defence of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu since he was arrested in 2015. As a matter of fact, it was our Convener who put up a pro-bono appearance with Mr. Vincent Obetta on the 17th day of December, 2015 before the Honourable Justice A.F.A. Ademola where the Mr. Nnamdi Kanu was granted bail for the 2nd time.
“The records of proceedings in charge no: FHC/ABJ/383/2015 would reveal that our Convener has put up many pro-bono appearances in defence of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before the Honourable Justices; A.F.A. Ademola, A.R. Mohammed and James Tsoho.
“Our Convener has equally on different occasions backed up his courtroom support with strongly-worded letters to President Muhammed Buhari, Chief John Oyegun, National President of the Nigerian Bar Association and the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation urging them to see good reasons why the order of court granting Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Rtd. Colonel Dasuki and El-Zakzaki bail ought to be respected in total obeisance to the dictates of rule of law and for the preservation of our constitutional democracy.
“These tons of letters are readily accessible as they were well published and documented at the offices of their recipients. This is quite apart from the numerous legal articles contributed by our Convener aimed at rallying the support of human rights activists to have Mazi Nnamdi Kanu freed from Kuje. While still in prison, our Convener has had to visit and meet with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on more than five different occasions all in a bid to strategize on how to use the instrumentality of the law to set him free from the gulag.
“What has our convener not done to have Mazi Nnamdi Kanu breathe the air of freedom he is enjoying today even at a great personal risk [even at a time when even the highest political office holders in the South-East region were shy of identifying with Nnamdi Kanu’s ordeals].
“We challenge the IPOB to controvert these hardcore and overwhelming facts. It was William George who once rightly posited that “ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good.”
“While Immanuel Kant [German Philosopher] appreciates that ‘Ingratitude is the essence of vileness’, James Thomas [Scottish Musician] rightly concludes that “Ingratitude is treason to mankind. It is not surprising to us that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu does not brook the word “gratitude” in his vocabulary of living just as he has sufficiently demonstrated that those core values handed down to us by our forebears that characterize Igbo civilization have evaporated from his menu of manners.
“It is therefore rather unfortunate that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu [a huge beneficiary of our legal prowess and professional benevolence] could turn around and accuse our noble body of being responsible for Ekwulobia crises. Yes we dared to challenge him on the futility of his attempt at truncating Anambra election where he has no legitimate interest in whatever becomes the outcome of that democratic exercise.
“In our considered view, his home state [Abia], with deep humility and respect, needs more help to rescue her from dilapidated infrastructures than our dear Anambra State that currently shines the light in most indices of governance. All this madness being orchestrated by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is ultimately aimed at possibly setting the polity ablaze [using the fuel of hate and intimidating speeches] in the phantom hope that the weighty criminal charges hanging on his neck would drown in the ensuing melee. In achieving this devious intention [which is a mere fishing expedition in the desert], Mazi Nnamdi Kanu would not mind using as many uniformed and less-privileged compatriots as are available as his canon-fodders.
“We are compelled to state for the umpteenth time that we shall never fold our alms and watch Mazi Nnamdi Kanu pull our sacred constitution apart, pollute the system with rotten speeches of putrid hatred, acrimonious vituperations and denigrating venoms while pouring acerbic expletives on the foundations of our democracy in a manner that is capable of bringing an organised society to a perilous end.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be rest assured that if we could use our legal arsenal to rescue him from the Kuje gulag after waging a very deadly and fierce legal battle on his behalf against the Federal Government of Nigeria [amidst all odds], we equally have more than what it takes [in our legal armoury] to decisively end his impunity and defend democracy [from his tyranny, imposition and buffoonery] in Anambra State which is our primary constituency.
“Participating in an election is purely discretionary on the part of the citizens. But we can never accept a situation where Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB is deploying violent means to scare law-abiding Anambrarians away from the polls even to the point of the Kanus repeatedly issuing assassination threat to our Convener for which human rights communities around the globe have adequately been put on notice.
“We hereby re-iterate our call on the relevant authorities to urgently commence a high-powered clinical investigation into the activities of the IPOB. Biafra is a sacred ideology which is not commodious enough to admit acts of outlawry, criminal intimidations and charlatanism under its canopied ambience.
“In signing off this statement, we find it so unfortunate and discomforting that the conducts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has forced us to address him in the very words we addressed President Muhammed Buhari when we wrote him on the 6th of January, 2016 condemning his refusal to free Mazi Nnamdi Kanu despite an existing Court Order. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should listen to this:
“Sir, all the existing Supreme Court authorities and our penal books lean heavily in support of the long-established postulation that disobedience of Court Orders (otherwise called contempt of Court) is an abomination of the rankest specie just as it is an anathema in every democracy worth the name as it holds the key to the floodgates of anarchy and societal destruction. Condemning this cancerous vice, our own Supreme Court, in the case of Hart v. Hart (1991) 21 N.S.C.C. (Pt. 1) 184 at 199, had these unkind words for those who disobey Court orders (contemnors);
“I would like to state that obedience to Orders of Courts is fundamental to the good order, peace and stability of the Nigerian nation. The ugly alternative is a painful recrudescence of triumph of brute force or anarchy, a resort to our old system of settlement by means of bow and arrows, machetes and guns or, now, even more sophisticated weapons of war.
“Disobedience to an order of Court should, therefore, be seen as an offence directed not against the personality of the Judge who made the Order, but as a calculated act of subversion of peace, law, and order in Nigeria society. Obedience to every Order of Court is therefore a duty which every citizen who believes in peace and stability of the Nigerian State owes to the nation.
“To allow Court orders to be disobeyed would be to tread the road toward anarchy. If orders of the Court can be treated with disrespect, the whole administration of justice is brought into scorn…If the remedies that the Court grants to correct wrongs can be ignored, then, there will be nothing left for each person but to take the law into his own hands. Loss of respect for the Court will quickly result in the destruction of our society.
The Catholic Church has released the names of victims of the attack that took place at the St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra State last Sunday.
13 people have so far died from the attack while several others sustained injuries. A statement issued on Tuesday and signed by the Diocesan Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev. Hilary Paul Odili Okeke, gives the names of the 13 dead victims as
The church gave the names of the 22 surviving victims as:
Anambra Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, says some suspects connected to the killing on Sunday at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, has been arrested.
The police boss made this known to journalists on Monday, but refused to declare number of suspects arrested so as not jeopardise ongoing investigation, which has killed 11 persons and 18 injured by unknown gunmen.
The commissioner had on Sunday said the attack was an isolated case of feud between two individuals from the same community, adding that the police had contacted some persons who would be useful in the investigation.
Separately, the federal government has promised to unmask and deal decisively with the attackers.
The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, made the pledge in a statement signed by the Director Press in the Ministry, Willie Bassey, on Monday in Abuja.
The minister condemned “in strongest terms” the killings and assured that all hands will be on deck to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Mr. Dambazau commiserated with Gov. Willie Obiano, the Ozubulu community, families who lost their loved ones, the injured, and the entire people of Anambra.
He described the incident as a wicked and cowardly act which the police and other security agencies were working hard to unravel.
Meanwhile, Ikenna Ofodeme, Transition Committee Chairman of Ekwusigo Council, has said that his people were still in shock after the gun attack at the Ozubulu.
Ofodeme told newsmen on Monday in Awka that the trauma among the resident was because the tragedy was not expected as such gruesome attack had never happened in the South-East.
“It was a black Sunday for us; we are still in shock because it has never happened in the South-East. We hear of this type of attack from other parts of the world but it’s sad that it happened in my constituency,” he said.
He disclosed that he had been part of the rescue operations, adding that 40 worshipers were affected, out of whom 12 persons had died.
The chairman said the dead were nine women, a baby girl and two men.
One of the survivors of the attack, Samuel Ndulue, who got gunshot wounds, was full of thanks to God for sparing his life.
At the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where he is receiving treatment, he said he was gradually coming to terms with what struck him and others.
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhai, has described the early morning shooting of church worshippers in Ozulubu, Anambra by unknown gunmen as “an appalling crime against humanity and unspeakable sacrilege”.
Mr. Buhari made the statement late yesterday night in both the statement released by his media aide and also made phone call to Amabra state Governor, Willie Obiano.
The phone call was confirmed by President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu,.
THe police had later reported that the casuality increased from 8 dead, 8 injured we ealier reported to 11 dead and 18 injured.
The attack took place at St. Philip Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area.
Buhari said: “there was no justification whatsoever to target Church worshippers and kill them in cold blood.’’
However, barely two hours after the release of the President’s statement on the incident, Shehu also confirmed that the President had a telephone conversation with Gov. Obiano where he commiserated with him, families of the victims as well as the people of the state.
He said: “The President has just finished speaking to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, in the course of which he commiserated with him, the famines of the victims and the citizens of the state over the tragic shooting incident this morning.’’
Recall that FELLLOW PRESS reported that Gov. Obiano was quoted as saying that the Ozubulu killings was a result of a dispute between two sons of the area and vowed that all those behind the act would be apprehended.
The Commissioner of Police in charge of Anambra, Mr Garba Umar, also in an interview with newsmen in Awka on Sunday, revealed that the police had launched a manhunt on those behind the incident and gave an assurance that everybody behind the act would be brought to justice.
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has explained the cause of shooting that happened early Sunday morning which killed eight worshippers, and 8 injured as an isolated case and not an invasion or terrorism attack as claimed in some report.
The attack happened at St. Philip Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra state.
The governor said that the attackers who attacked the church opened fire when they perceived that one of the people they are targeting has his car parked outside the church.
Obiano further noted that the shooting was the consequence of the drug war between two sons the community living in South Africa, but dragged their fight home.
Yesterday, Nigerian singer Kingsley Okonkwo, better known as Kceeshared officially declare intention to run for Anambra state governorship November 2017, with posters on social media.
While some welcomed the idea, others didn’t buy the idea while many others were just plain savage about it. One Twitter user shaded the singer, saying Kcee must have desired to rule Anambra from night club Quinox.