The Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced N200 million reward for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the gunmen who killed several residents of the state who were returning from church on New Year Day.
The police in the state said it was difficult to ascertain how many people died so far from the incident which happened in Omoku, a community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (ONELGA) Local Government Area of the state.
But the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, who is an indigene of the state, said that 21 people were killed in the incident.
Mr. Peterside, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, blamed the killing on a supremacy battle among rival cult groups and also accused Governor Wike of lacking the capacity to tackle the state’s security challenges.
“I have said it time and again that Governor Wike lacks the capacity and competence to guarantee the safety and security of Rivers people.”
“It is unfortunate that over 1,000 persons have been killed in questionable circumstances in the last two years under his watch. He should stop playing politics with the lives of Rivers people and face governance,” Mr. Peterside said in a statement he sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
The police spokesperson in the state, Omoni Nnamdi, said no arrest had been made yet.
Mr. Wike, on Tuesday, led the Rivers State Security Council on a fact-finding and sympathy visit to the families of the deceased, according to a Government House statement issued on Tuesday.
“We have placed N200 million bounty for relevant information that will lead to the arrest of all those involved in this unfortunate act of violence,” the statement quoted the governor as saying.
“Anybody who is connected to this crime in any way will have his/her houses forfeited to the government. This place has been peaceful before this unfortunate mayhem.”
“We will not allow another case of this violence. We have mobilized the security agencies to take the battle to the perpetrators,” Mr. Wike said.
One woman, who identified herself as Comfort Ordu, narrated how the gunmen dragged her husband and three children from their home and shot them to death.
The governor was said to have also visited the crime scenes at Omoku and was briefed by the Caretaker Chairman of ONELGA, Olisa Osi, and the Police Area Commander, Mike Nwafor.
The caretaker chairman, Mr. Osi, told the governor that 17 people died in the attack.
The governor, who also visited the residence of a wanted cultist, Don Danny, was said to have commended the security agencies “for working hard to improve the security of the state”.
The governor commiserated with the victims’ families.
The state government, he said, would support the families in burying their loved ones and also settle the medical bills of those receiving treatment.
“I am pained by this unfortunate mayhem,” Mr. Wike said. “Enough is enough.”
The governor was accompanied by the Brigade Commander, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, A.A Bande; the Commander of Joint Task Force on Security, M.N Madi; the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Magaji; and the State Director, State Security Service, SSS, Tosin Ajayi.Read More
A YOUNG lady, Joy Chinonye Nnokam, has reportedly died a few weeks to her wedding day. She was said to have diedin her sleep shortly after she returned home from church penultimate Tuesday.
It was gathered that she graduated from the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori.
Joy, who until her death lived in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, according to sources had made adequate preparation for her forthcoming wedding and even shared uniform dress to commemorate the event scheduled for the last week of January next year.
It was learnt that her family members raised the alarm when she did not wake up from her siesta, several hours after she slept.
Her body has since been deposited in a public mortuary.
She was described by friends and associates as humble and friendly.
In a tribute on Facebook, one of her family members, Adiba Chike, wrote: ” I can’t stop starring at your picture since yesterday, it all feels like a dream to me….Chinonye my beautiful and quiet cousin RIP until we meet to part no more .Good night Wenem.”
Another sympathiser called Pretty Angel wrote: ” I’m still trying to contain this tears…. I still remember the first time we met on Facebook March 27th and still remember the first day I met you, i still don’t believe you’re gone, I remember your words to me when I said I was depressed… We were looking forward to your big day next year… You left without thinking about how we will feel, what happened to your loved ones, friends, fiance, me …Ever smiling kind-hearted joy…you are a blessed soul, never regretted meeting you… God knows best. Rest in Peace.”Read More
The 2-year old marriage of popular blogger Emeh Achanga of Misspetite has crashed and she’s opened up on the many instances of abuse that thrived in her marriage.
In a recent interview, the mother of one gave details on how her 2-year old marriage eventually crashed in the early part of 2017. According to Emeh, she endured many instances of infidelity, emotional and psychological trauma that aided the post-partum depression which was already battling with which led to her almost taking her own life.
In her words; ”post partum depression is something most Nigerians are oblivious too .
It’s sad because about 60 percent of women go through post partum depression and instead of partners to be supportive,most men withdraw ,get lovers or sidechicks.
I suffered depression because I grew up to be very independent,didn’t take much time i found myself pregnant .
My blog which was my life ,suddenly became less of a priority .I could not connect with my readers any more and instead of reaching out ,I recoiled into my shell.
I Watched my rankings slip and then my partner who was supposed to be supportive ,didn’t notice I was slipping into depression .Here I was with a baby who depended on me for everything and because my work is something I can do from home …my partner was always out at work and I now had to combine motherhood and blogging which is a full time 18 hour job’.
She continued to say, ‘so as my rankings plumetted because I could not keep up,I hated myself,my spouse and everyone .Cut off from family ,friends and attempted to kill myself. And guess what ,when I spoke to my spouse about my suicidal thoughts ,he laughed. The only thing which kept me going was my daughter .I felt I owed it to her to stay alive. It is a struggle and everyday is still a battle with depression. Postnatal depression is real and I am going to raise alot of awareness about it. Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen recently revealed she suffers from it and takes treatment till date.”Read More
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video message on Tuesday claiming a series of attacks in northeast Nigeria during the festive season.
The shadowy leader released his first video message in months amid a surge in violence casting doubt on the Nigerian government’s claim that the jihadist group is defeated.
“We are in good health and nothing has happened to us,” said Shekau in the 31-minute video message spoken in the Hausa language common across northern Nigeria.
“Nigerian troops, police and those creating mischief against us can’t do anything against us, and you will gain nothing,” he said.
“We carried out the attacks in Maiduguri, in Gamboru, in Damboa. We carried out all these attacks.”
The video then shows footage from a Christmas Day attack on a military checkpoint in Molai village on the outskirts of the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, which the military said was thwarted by troops after one hour of battle.
Boko Haram fighters in torn clothes were shown shooting from the back of battered pickup trucks.
Shekau’s message comes during an acceleration of Boko Haram attacks and just days after the jihadists killed 25 people outside Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Islamist insurgency.
In December, Boko Haram attacked convoys of Nigerian soldiers and dispatched suicide bombers into crowded markets in towns across northeast Nigeria.
At least 50 people were killed in November when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in Adamawa state.
But Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in his New Year address that Boko Haram has been “beaten”.
“Isolated attacks still occur, but even the best-policed countries cannot prevent determined criminals from committing terrible acts of terror,” said Buhari.
Shekau, a leader known for his lengthy, wild-eyed video messages, took over Boko Haram in 2009 after the death of its founder Muhammad Yusuf.
Boko Haram, whose Islamist insurgency has left at least 20,000 dead in Nigeria since it began in 2009, has long been fractionalised.
In 2016 it suffered a major split, when the so-called Islamic State group recognised Yusuf’s son, Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, as leader.Read More
Daniel Elombah, the detained London-based online publisher has been released by the police force following his arrest and transportation to police headquarters in the wee hours of New Year’s Day in Nnewi, Anambra State by the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
His freedom was courtesy of sustained pressure on the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim idris and the Nigerian government by members of the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, OPAN, as well as bloggers, public affairs commentators, human rights and press freedom groups.
The Editor of the news website, Tim Elombah, who was also arrested however still remains in police custody without any explanation as to why they were arrested in the first instance.
Dozens of phone calls were placed to the direct number of the IGP on New Year Day after his private phone number was obtained and made public by OPAN, demanding the immediate release of the Elombahs after about 15 SARS personnel raided their family compound in a Gestapo-like operation, firing sporadically into space and brutalizing them.
The officers said they were acting based on “Orders from Above” as they handcuffed and bundled them into one of the vans and made their way back to Abuja.
Daniel serves as General Secretary of OPAN.
OPAN President and Publisher of THEWILL, Austyn Ogannah, said the raid and arrest is an attempt to intimidate and harass the online press. “The police has still not given a reason for the forceful arrest of the journalists on the first day of the new year. They were never invited for questioning! What was the rush to arrest, if not to satisfy sadistic and wicked lusts of veiled interests? Were they planning to overthrow the government? Why disrupt their peace on New Year Day? OPAN is determined to resist any move to intimidate the online press,” he said, adding that lawyers have been briefed to challenge the police in court Tuesday and free the editor.Read More
Residents of Warri and its environs in Delta State can now heave a sigh of relief, following the arrest of a notorious kidnap and robbery kingpin at a drinking joint by detectives from “B” Division of the Nigerian Police led by a District Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Aniete Eyoh.
The suspect, Anthony Ogbalor, alias Dracula, was arrested at about 7:30 p.m. last Wednesday after a member of his gang was apprehended five days earlier at Enerhen village in Udu Local Government Area of the state.
Dracula was the leader of the kidnapping gang that killed an Assistant Commissioner of Police Usman Ndanbobo who was the Ughelli Area Commander early last year.
It was gathered from police sources yesterday that the build-up to Dracula’s arrest began penultimate Saturday when detectives from the “B” Division, Warri, trailed a robbery gang in a snatched navy blue Toyota Corolla with registration number EPE 874 DQ, driving towards Enerhen road in Warri.
A source disclosed that at a spot, the detectives wanted to ambush the occupants of the car, but realising that they were being trailed, the occupants opened fire on the police team which was replied with superior fire power.
“In the process, the hoodlums jumped out of the vehicle and escaped with fatal bullet wounds. The vehicle was recovered and on being searched, two cut to size locally made guns and four live cartridges were recovered,” he said.
It was learnt that the police, acting on preliminary intelligence, also arrested one Kesiena Henry with a grey coloured Honda Accord with registration number GBJ 419 FQ, which was recently snatched at Ozoro community, and upon interrogation he confessed that he was a member of the dreaded kidnapping syndicate.
“Kiesena exposed all activities of the gang which led to the arrest of Luckyson Egavers, Akpomeda Williams, Egbe Break and the gang leader, Anthony Ogbalor, alias Dracula.
“Mind you, Dracula has been on the wanted list of the police for high profile kidnappings and robberies in Ughelli, Sapele, Warri and environs,” the senior police officer said.
It was learnt that Dracula, who is allegedly linked with a serving commissioner in the state, had been arrested several times in the past but was always let off the hook, which emboldened him in his criminal activities.
He was said to have been a political thug and had been used by some politicians to settle scores with their opponents, aside his nefarious activities.
A senior military source also confirmed that Dracula had been on the wanted list of military formations in Koko, Ughelli and Warri over gun battle incidents with soldiers in the past.
The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, confirmed the arrest of Dracula and members of his gang.
In a statement, Ibrahim had said one Mr. Frank Otomi and his wife Mofe were victims of the suspects and gave their details as Henry Okejere Kesena, M, 30 years of 234 Warri-Sapele road, Warri; Anthony Ogbalor, AKA Dracula, M, 57 years of No. 1 Omodigbo street, Otoide community in Isoko North LGA; Kosin Henry, AKA Capon, M, 36 years of 134 Eboh-Iyede community, Isoko North; and Kenneth Onome, M, 34 years of Stadium road, Ughelli.
Ibrahim said the suspects had on June 23, 2017 at about 19.30 hours, blocked their victims who were driving a Hyundai sport utility vehicle with registration number LSD 344 ER along DSC roundabout, Warri, and whisked them away to an unknown destination.
However, on December 23, 2017, while acting on available intelligence, a team of operatives attached to “B” Division, Warri, led by the DPO, had arrested one Henry Okejere Kesena, a notorious kidnapper who had been under the watch of his command.
“His arrest and confession led to the arrest of the other suspects who equally confessed to their crimes and their involvement in several kidnappings, including the murder of the late Police Area Commander, ACP Usman Ndanbobo,” Ibrahim said in the statement.Read More
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