The Abia police command on Wednesday threatened that those behind the killing of its operative in Aba on Saturday would not escape justice.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Ene Okon, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Aba, while reacting to the alleged killing of a policeman in the commercial town.
Okon said that anybody involved in the killing of the operative would surely be made to face the full weight of the law.
He alleged that those who were behind the dastardly act also forcefully took away two AK 47 rifles with forty rounds of ammunition, belonging to victims (operatives).
He spoke against the backdrop of the crisis that broke out in a section of the city, including Ngwa Road, Anaba, Degema, Oke-Jumbo and Umuosi Streets at Indiegoro along with Uzomkpa Road in Owerre-Aba, where a policeman was allegedly killed by unidentified residents.
learnt that trouble started on Friday when some policemen came to the area to allegedly extort money from some alleged drug dealers and cult suspects.
“The crisis started when some policemen, who come to the area daily to collect money illegally from residents, including traders and drug barons, were challenged by some youths,” a resident said on the condition of anonymity.
The account further said that one of the youths was shot in the melee that ensued, a development that reportedly angered the people and escalated the trouble.
It was also gathered that the people subsequently mobbed the policemen, killed one and also took their rifles.
“It was after the incident that some policemen regrouped and returned to the area to attack the residents, burning the houses of innocent people, who did not know the genesis of the crises,” another resident said.
Also, Mr Nnamdi Nkwachuckwu said that he and his family narrowly escaped being trapped in the fire, after their house was allegedly torched.
Mr Godwin Ozor alleged that the policemen that attacked their area between Friday and Tuesday came in five Hilux Vans and a Siena car from Ndiegoro Police Station.
However, the police boss distanced the command from the alleged mayhem, saying that the police had no hand in the alleged destruction of houses and sacking of residents.
He rather accused the residents of whipping up sentiments to cover up their crime by alleging that police burnt down their houses.
“That community should bury their heads in shame. They should be ashamed. They are harbouring criminals and now turn to accuse police of coming to collect money in the area.
“Even if police came there to collect money does that warrant killing them? The group that did this where are they from?
“Is it not from the same community? The people burnt the buildings to cover their tracks,” the police chief said.
Meanwhile, reports that the area had been deserted as residents fled their homes to escape being killed or arrested by the police.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)
Flood: NEMA trains emergency vanguards in Imo, Abia on quick response
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has inaugurated local emergency response vanguards in various communities in Imo and Abia, to collaborate with the agency in tackling incidences of disaster.
The Head, Imo/Abia Operation Office, Mr Evans Ugoh, made this know in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Owerri.
Ugoh said that the decision to train the local response vangards, was in line with the agenda of NEMA’s Director-General, AVM. Muhammed Muhammed (rtd), of taking disaster management to the grassroots.
He said that NEMA was mindful of the 2020 flood prediction and would intensify response activities, to ensure that incidences of disaster were curtailed in Nigeria.
The head of the operation office implored the response vanguards to discharge their duties with dedication, and warned that the agency would not tolerate inefficiency from them.
Ugoh said that the agency ended the training with retreats in Umuahia in Abia, and Isu Local Government Area in Imo, with the coordinators of the response vanguards in attendance.
He urged the coordinators to always monitor sea level in their areas and regularly update the local government authorities on the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET)’s flood predictions and the need for preparedness.
He also advised the flood-prone communities in the two states to always adhere to NEMA’s yearly flood early warning measures.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
CP orders investigation of police Inspector over harassment, illegal arrest
The Commissioner of Police in Abia, Mrs Janet Agbede, has ordered investigation into the activities of Insp. John Onunaku, a police officer recently harassed over alleged illegal arrest.
Agbede said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Aba on Monday that the investigation became necessary to unravel the circumstances behind the officer’s harassment.
It would be recalled that Onunaku was recently attacked by members of the public at the premises of Christ the King Cathedral, Aba.
The police commissioner said that the inspector had already been posted to a police division outside Aba saying, “he no longer has any business in Aba.”
Agbede said the investigation would enable the police to uncover Onunaku’s intention for visiting the church premises.
She said that the officer ought to have relinquished all pending duties in his former division in order to effectively handle new responsibilities in his current office.
“He should have handed over every pending investigation in Ndiegoro Police Division; he is currently posted to another division in Isuikwuato.
“The investigation will find out what led to his harassment, it will also uncover his reasons for refusing to report to his new place of work.
“Although he is claiming to have tracked a suspect to that location, a thorough investigation is needed on the matter,” she said.
Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
NDDC has yet to pay contractors of roads I facilitated:Orji Uzor Kalu to Akpabio
Chief Whip of the Senate Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday said that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has yet to pay some contractors that he facilitated to build community roads.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia, said this while reacting to a the communique written by Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs to the National Assembly.
The communique reportedly mentioned names of former governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori , senators Ifeanyi Ararume and Orji Uzor Kalu, among others, as beneficiaries to the several contracts allocations by the NDDC.
In a statement signed by Mr Emeka Nwala of office of the Senate Chief Whip and made available to news men in Abuja, Kalu said that he believed the issues at stake in the NDDC had to do with missing funds and not works done.
He said that he was becoming worried over his name being used indiscriminately to sell newspapers without verification.
According to the senate chief whip , the road projects mentioned by the minister are the interventions he facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before he became a senator.
Kalu noted that his name was mentioned because he used his letter headed paper to write a sympathetic letter to the NDDC in 2016 requesting and pleading with the body to rescue roads in Abia.
He also noted that his relationship with Akpabio dated years back and long before he (Kalu) became a governor, adding that he would still request for more road interventions from Akpabio in time.
He said: “I was governor of Abia between 1999 and 2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018 during my tour to several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent interventions on some dilapidated roads.
“The NDDC in their consideration for which I am very grateful, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.
“Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention,” he said.
“The roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road; Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze; Ndi Oji Abam-Atani Road; the Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these road’s; long time ago except ! road which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rainfall but still ongoing.
“Meanwhile, it would interest Nigerians to know that the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime.
“It has not been easy with the contractors but because it’s a community project they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC.” he said.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
NDDC audit: Kalu asks NASS to focus on missing funds
Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu, has said that the ongoing audit of the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), should focus on missing funds rather than projects awarded and completed by contractors.
Kalu, who was Abia governor from 1999 to 2007, stated this in a statement issued by his aide, Mr Emeka Nwala, in Umuahia on Monday.
The lawmaker was reportedly responding to a statement credited to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, who allegedly mentioned Kalu and some ex-governors, among others, as beneficiaries of several contracts allotted by the NDDC.
Kalu stated that his only link with the road rehabilitated in his constituency by NDDC, was that he used his letter-head to appeal for the commission’s intervention in the repair of dilapidated roads in the area.
The Senator said however, that NDDC had not paid a dime to the contractors who rehabilitated the roads facilitated by him.
“I believe the NDDC forensic audit should focus on the missing funds and not works done.
“It will interest Nigerians to know that the contractors, who rehabilitated these roads, have not been paid a dime.
“They should focus on paying contractors that delivered their jobs and not using my name indiscriminately to sell newspapers.”
Kalu said that the road projects mentioned by Akpabio, are the interventions he facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before he became a senator.
He stated that he used his letter-head to write a pathetic letter to NDDC in 2016, “requesting and pleading with the body to rescue roads in Abia,” hence his name was mentioned by the minister.
He listed the rehabilitated roads to include Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road, Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze, Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road, Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende Road and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road.
Kalu further stated: “I was governor between 1999 and 2007, and never held any public office until June 11, 2019, when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018, during my tour of several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities, pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads in their areas.
“The NDDC, in its consideration, which I am very grateful for, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.
“Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention.”
The senate chief whip, further stated that the contract was awarded by the constituted body of NDDC, with its board and not the current interim management under probe.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads a long time ago, except Abam-Atani Road, which I learnt was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
“It has not been easy with the contractors, but because it is a community project, they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC,” Kalu stated.
He said that he was interested in getting the roads fixed because of the importance of good roads to smooth movement of goods and services in the economy.
“That is why I built several roads when I was governor. Even as a senator, my major constituency projects are road construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Kalu, representing Abia North Senatorial District, stated that plans were underway to finish 19 roads in the area before the end of 2021, adding that good roads helped to drive the economy.
He, however, promised not to stop his interventions on roads in NDDC states because all the states needed good roads.
“I hope he (Akpabio) does not expect me to stop seeking for road interventions in our communities.
“It is his civic responsibility to support the communities, and I am very confident he will oblige our future requests, especially in the area of good roads”.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)