Skit maker docked for lying against Gov Otti, Aba-Ngwa people

A man, simply identified as MC Sweet, who made a fake online post claiming that Aba Ngwa indigenes tried to stop Julius Berger from constructing the Port-Harcourt Road in Aba, has been arraigned at a Magistrate Court in Aba, Abia State.

In the fake post, the online skit maker also claimed that Governor Alex Otti invited some elders and youths of Aba Ngwa to Umuahia for a peace meeting where he (Governor Otti) allegedly ordered that the indigenes be locked up.

The false and controversial post which created a sensation across the State last week, was swiftly denied by the Abia State government through Mr Dodoh Okafor, the Special Assistant on Special Communication to the Governor.

Also, the Aba Ngwa Peoples Forum, led by Chimezie Nwagba (President) and Chinedu Ahuruonye (Secretary) issued a communique disowning the report and also calling for the exposure of those behind the fake post.

They further said that they would never sabotage the Port Harcourt road contract or any other project in the State.

But the person behind the post was later nabbed by the Police and arraigned at Aba Magisterial District for trying to defame the characters of Aba Ngwa Peoples Forum members.

The charge sheet read by the Prosecutor, Mary N. Udorji said MC made the defamatory post within Aba Magisterial District, pointing out that the offence he committed was punishable under Section 375 of Criminal Code, Cap 80, Vol. 111 of Laws of Abia State Nigeria, 2005.

The charge accused MC Sweet of trying to injure the reputation of Aba Ngwa people, ridiculing and exposing them to hatred.

The accused who apologized to the Aba Ngwa Peoples Forum for the injurious social media post, begged that he be given bail so that he could do another post debunking the earlier one he made.

He was granted bail by Chief Magistrate , Erinma Enyeribe and the matter adjourned to February 29, 2024.

But it was not confirmed if MC Sweet was able to meet up with his bail conditions on Friday.

An elder of Ngwa land, Azubuike Osondu Ochieze, in his reaction, said the post tried to rubish the good name of Ngwa people.

Also, a Labour Party Chieftain, Mike Evans said Governor Alex Otti has further been vindicated and advised youths against abusing the social media space.

(Daily Post)

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Abuse of office: Abia govt sets up Panel to investigate traditional ruler

Abia State government has inaugurated a Board of Inquiry to investigate allegations of improper conducts brought against some traditional rulers in the State.

This is coming two days after the traditional ruler of Ibom Isii autonomous community in Arochukwu LGA, Eze Kanu Nwa Kanu was suspended from office by the Abia State government for alleged abuse of office.

The Board of Inquiry, which has Justice Igbo Akomas (Rtd) and Mrs Gold Dynoh as the Chairman and the Secretary, respectively, was inaugurated in Umuahia, on Friday by the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Uzor Nwachukwu.

Speaking during the inauguration, the Commissioner said their terms of reference included inviting and questioning all concerned traditional rulers in the cause of the investigations, making necessary recommendations to Governor Alex Otti and to evaluate appropriate sanctions.

Nwachukwu said the report of their findings should be submitted in three weeks.

The commissioner further explained that the State government was not witch-hunting anybody, but only took the measures to “ensure that the integrity of the traditional institution in the State is maintained”.

Responding, the Chairman of the Board of Inquiry thanked the Governor for finding them worthy of the assignment, saying the assignment would be carried out diligently in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Other members of the Board of Inquiry include Eze Linus Mba, Eze Nelson Nmerengwa and Mrs Nkechi Ikechi.

Eze Kanu of Ibom Isii was suspended recently through a letter signed by the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Uzor Nwachukwu, for allegedly abusing his office.

Meanwhile, some kinsmen and other supporters of the suspended traditional ruler have condemned his suspension by the State government, saying that the suspension was an interference in their culture.

The supporters who staged a solidarity march in support of their suspended king, claimed that he was being victimized.

One of the supporters, who identified himself as Nwa Mazi, said that an alleged harsh decision was taken without according the monarch a fair hearing.

(Daily Post)

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Woman remanded in Umuahia for alleged sexual exploitation of 21 girls, child trafficking

A 56-year-old woman, Nma Achumba has been remanded in Nigeria Correctional Centre, Afara, Umuahia by a Magistrate Court sitting in Umuahia, for allegedly recruiting and abducting 21 young girls for sexual exploitation and child trafficking.

The accused, according to the charges brought against her, was recruiting and abducting young girls and exploiting them sexually in Umunkpeyi Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa South LGA and Olokoro, Umuahia South LGA of the State in June, 2023.

But the 56-year-old woman pleaded not guilty.

In a short ruling after her plea, the trial Magistrate, Ngozi Lekwa, said that the offence is punishable under Section 13, Sub section 1, 2 and C of Trafficking in Persons Enforcement and Administration Act 2015 and Section 86 of the Criminal Code, as applicable in Abia State.

She, however, said that the Magistrate Court lacked the jurisdiction to handle the matter.

The court ordered that the case file should be transferred to the office of the Department of Public Prosecution Abia State Ministry of Justice, Umuahia.

The matter was adjourned to November 7, 2023, for report of compliance, while the accused, Nma Achumba, was remanded in the Correctional Centre, Umuahia.

But the Abia State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ikechuckwu Uwanna said the State is determined to prosecute those involved in dirty and illegal businesses capable of bringing disrepute to the image of the State.

The Attorney General, who was represented by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, in the ministry, Mr. Vincent Chukwu, noted that there had been reports of pockets of such issues in some parts of Osisioma, Isiala Ngwa North and Umuahia North local government areas of Abia.

Uwanna assured that the law must take its course and advised the Abia public against engaging in illicit businesses.

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Tribunal: Otti, Ahaiwe, Emenike know fate today in Abia

The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State capital, will today give its judgement on the petitions against Governor Alex Otti, brought by Ikechi Emenike of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Okey Ahaiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Emenike, who was the APC guber candidate in the March 18 election, through his lead Counsel, Tochukwu Maduka, SAN, prayed the Court to remove Governor Otti from office, alleging that Otti did not resign his membership of the APC before joining LP in 2022.

Emenike in his petition, also alleged that Otti’s name was not in the register of the LP when the party nominated him as its governorship candidate for the 2023 election.

In the suit, Ikechi Emenike joined Okey Ahaiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Enyinnaya Nwafor of Young Progressive Party, YPP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as respondents.

Okey Ahaiwe of the PDP who came second at the March 18 polls, is also challenging the victory of Governor Otti, praying the Court to remove the governor and declare him (Ahaiwe) as the real winner of the poll.

Ahaiwe presented his case through his lead Counsel, Paul Ananaba, SAN, where he pleaded with the tribunal to consider the materials and arguments presented before it.

Before the adoption of the written addresses, a PDP subpoenaed witness, Samuel Oduntan had also appeared before the tribunal to testify.

But the Counsel to Governor Otti, A.J. Owonikoko, while adopting his written address, prayed the tribunal to dismiss every suit brought against his client, Otti.

He also argued that Samuel Oduntan was incompetent to appear before the tribunal.

The SAN therefore, prayed the tribunal to uphold his client (Otti’s) victory.

Information space in Abia State has since last week been awash with heated statements emanating from different groups, concerning today’s judgement.

Supporters in the camps of the three gladiators have been releasing several statements, some of which have been subjects of media war in the State since this week.

The State government had earlier in the week denied sponsoring the Presidential candidate of Labour Party, in the February 25 election, Mr Obi’s Court case against President Bola Tinubu’s victory, as alleged by a group.

The State government, in the statement, also denied the allegations that it was sponsoring the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to cause insecurity in Abia.

The Abia government further accused the two parties challenging Otti’s victory of allegedly sponsoring the group that made the allegations against the Abia State government.

But the PDP in the State, in a reaction signed by Abraham Amah, Vice Chairman, denied threatening tribunal members or sponsoring any group.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had in March, declared Alex Otti of LP as the duly elected Governor of Abia, with 175,467 votes.

Okey Ahaiwe of the PDP came second with 88,527 votes, while Enyinnaya Nwafor of the YPP came third with 28,972 votes.

(Daily Post)

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Police arrest dismissed officer for stealing, recover arms, stolen car

The Abia State Police Command has announced the arrest of several suspects involved in various criminal activities.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Command, ASP Maureen Chioma Chinaka, announced the arrests on Wednesday, on behalf of the State’s Commissioner of Police, Kenechukwu Onwuemelie.

The Police spokesperson said a dismissed officer, Francis Williams, was arrested by men from Ndiegoro Divisional Police headquarters, on September 11, 2023, while attempting to steal an electricity transformer belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, at Aba.

The dismissed officer, who is 34 years of age , according to the statement, was dressed in a Police camouflage attire with a fez cap, while also holding a fake warrant card, when he was apprehended.

The statement added that the suspect has been charged to court.

The Command also said that it arrested a 35-year-old Chukwuemeka London, (male), on September 20, 2023, for unlawful possession of firearms.

According to the PPRO, London was arrested after a report was made at Ugwunagbo Police Station against him.

One locally made long single-barrel gun and one locally made short single-barrel gun were recovered from him.

Abia Police also said that its detectives raided Ehere Secondary School at Aba following a credible intelligence.

During the raid at the suspected criminal hide out, some suspects who included
Kelechi Kalu (male, 25 years),Nnanna Nwogu (male, 35 years), One Chika Ugochukwu (male, 33 years), Ndubuisi Chikere (male, 38 years), Check Bowel (male, 45 years), Ugochukwu Monday (male, 20 years) Grace Chika (female, 27 years), and Owe Mary (female, 20 years), were arrested.

Large quantity of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, some quantities of Tramadol tablets, Tiazopam tablets, Refnor tablets and Simnor tablets were recovered by from them by the Police.

“The suspects have been charged to court after a thorough investigation and were remanded accordingly”, the statement said.

In the same vein, the Abia Police Command said personnel from Counter-Terrorist Unit on September 24, 2023, intercepted a tricycle with five-male occupants namely Chinedu Ukachukwu (male) 23 years, Chibueze Nwokocha (male) 25 years, Steve Okafor (male) 17 years Uche Awa (male) 23 years and Chisom Chijioke (male) 17 years

It said that a search led to the discovery of a cut-to-size locally fabricated single-barrel shot gun loaded with live cartridges.

The statement said the case is under investigation by the Monitoring Unit, Umuahia.

(Daily Post)

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Tribunal sacks Abia LP Reps member, Amobi Ogah

The National Assembly election petition tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, has nullified the election of Hon Amobi Ogah of the Labour Party, LP, and declared the present Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkiruka Onyejiocha as the winner of the Isiukwuato/ Umunneochi federal constituency polls.

The tribunal ruled that the emergence and victory of Ogah did not comply with the Electoral Act.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared the Labour Party candidate, Amobi Ogah as the winner of the Isiukwuato/Umunneochi federal constituency election with a total of 11,769 votes against Onyejiocha who the commission said scored a total of 8,752 votes.

Dissatisfied with the result, Onyejeocha filed a petition before the National Assembly election petition tribunal, seeking the nullification of Ogah’s election.

Seven reliefs were contained in her petition.

Delivering judgement in the petition tagged EPT/AB/HR/8/2023 on Wednesday in Umuahia, the three-man panel said the Ogah’s emergence as LP candidate did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

According to the ruling, “How a candidate is sponsored by a political party is both pre and post election matter; there is no evidence of giving 21 days notice to INEC by the respondents before conducting their primary election.

“No date of primaries was placed before us, no evidence of primaries and the 3rd respondent has always said it’s an internal affairs of the Party.

“We have tabulated and found out that the results computed by the petitioner is correct and the results computed by the 1st respondent is dis-countenanced,” it held.

Ogah had also argued that the acceptance of the ministerial appointment by Onyejeocha was a sign that she had abandoned her petition.

However, the tribunal in its ruling dismissed the submission of the lawmaker.

“We are of the view that section 66 is not applicable to this scenario because the petitioner is not a lawmaker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the scenario prohibited by law is a person being a member of two arms of government,” the court ruled.

The tribunal agreed with the petitioner that there were over voting in some electoral units in favour of Amobi Ogah and his LP, while her actual votes were not declared by INEC.

After subtracting the alleged inflated figures, the tribunal said Onyejiocha scored 11,976 votes, while Amobi Ogah scored 9,736 votes.

Amobi Ogah is the younger brother of Uche Ogah, a former minister of state for mines and steel development.

(Daily Post)

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Abia govt seals private school allegedly built on public land, ex-commissioner flares up

Abia State government has sealed some property at Azikiwe road, Aba, erected on the lands of Azikiwe Road Primary School in the commercial city.

The sealing exercise was carried out by personnel of Aba South Town Planning Authority on Wednesday, with a warning that anyone who unseals the property risks jail or fine.

The statement on the banner used in sealing the property read in part:

“Abia State government. Aba South Local Government Town Planning Authority Pursuant to Section 70 of Abia State urban and regional planning board/planning authorities Law of Abia State 2005 as amended by Laws No.4 of 2015.

“This property is hereby, sealed”.

The message warned the unidentified builder of the project in the former school compound to keep off from the property.

However, a former Commissioner for Education under the administration of former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Professor Ikechi Mgbeoji has said that the former administration he served did not sell the Azikiwe Road Primary School.

Mgbeoji, who was reacting to the development, described the information as wicked, malicious and a lie from the pit of hell.

According to the former Commissioner, the property in question was a private school owned by late Rev Ogudoro but was acquired at a period when the government was acquiring mission and private schools.

According to Mgbeoji, the Azikiwe Road Primary School was returned to the estate of Rev Ogudoro during his time as the Commissioner for education.

“I was the Commissioner for Education in Abia state in 2015-2019. It is wicked and malicious for anyone to say that Azikiwe Road Primary School was ‘sold’ by the government in which I served. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Azikiwe Road Primary School Aba was a private school owned by the late Rev. Ogudoro.

“When the government was acquiring mission schools and private schools, the school was acquired by the government.

“Under the regime of Chief T.A. Orji, the government began a program of returning mission and private schools to their original owners.

“On my watch, Azikiwe Road Primary School was returned to the estate of Rev Ogudoro”, the former Commissioner said.

Mgbeoji added that Clifford Road Primary School in Aba was similarly returned to the Assemblies of God Church, together with several other schools.

(Daily Post)

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