Sylva Condemns Report Of Retrieving 48 Houses From EFCC, Threatens Legal Action

Former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, has objected to a media report purporting his retrieval of 48 houses in Abuja, allegedly, seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement on Monday in Yenagoa by his media adviser, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, Sylva described the report as strange, speculative and malicious. He said neither he nor the courts had at any time confirmed his ownership of such property and wondered where the publishers of the report got their story. The former governor threatened legal action against publishers of what he called a “wholly speculative and vindictive report.”

The statement reads, “We have a read report in a national newspaper, which was reproduced by a few online publications and in the social media, claiming that Chief Timipre Sylva had ‘retrieved 48 of his property which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission seized during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.’ We view this report with disgust, given its unconcealed speculation and vindictiveness regarding such a sensitive matter.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Sylva does not own 48 buildings in Abuja or anywhere in the world. So the issue of reclaiming ‘48 houses’ does not arise. He has only three houses in Abuja, which he built before he became the governor of Bayelsa State. This point has been made several times before, and neither EFCC nor those who had used EFCC as a tool of persecution against Sylva during the Goodluck Jonathan administration have contradicted this fact.

“EFCC had taken their allegations of property ownership against Sylva to several courts without establishing anything against the former governor during the Jonathan era. Beyond the commission’s routine media prosecution, no court of law has found Sylva guilty of any crime. Indeed, in the course of the trials at the Federal High Court, Abuja, owners of some of the properties wrongfully attributed to him joined to claim their houses. The court ruled on the matter of the said 48 properties since 2013. Why is it now a subject of media attention? Clearly, this is a sponsored publication.

“Sylva takes great exception to the wholly speculative and vindictive report on the matter. He frowns on the malicious audacity of the publishers of such a story, or their sponsors, despite warnings by the courts against media prosecutions and persecutions like this one, and the attempts by the EFCC to burnish its image that was mindlessly battered during the last administration. After failing to prove any crime against Sylva in a democratic court of law for the past four years, this latest media show is another desperate attempt to rubbish him politically.

“To correct the wrong impression that sponsors of the falsehood against him are, obviously, trying to create, Sylva has instructed his lawyers to take legal action against publishers of the fake story.”

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Attempted Murder: CORHD Condemns Illegal Arrest And Oppressive Arraignment Of Eleven Citizens By The Police In Uyo

In the evening of Thursday, September 15, 2016 we received a report of a case of indiscriminate and mass arrest of eleven (11) persons, comprising of nine (9) males and two (2) females at No. 5 Udi Street in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State by officers of the Nigeria Police Force, A Division, Uyo.

The facts available to us indicate that a certain aged woman was found within the prescient of No. 5 Udi Street in Uyo at about 2 am on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 by a private security man working at the apartment. According to reports, the said woman was a stranger and was not known to the security man before then. Upon being confronted, the strange woman reportedly explained to the security man that she came to visit her daughter who is a tenant at the apartment. Queried on what she was doing outside at such odd hour, the woman reportedly told the security man that she came outside to urinate. Dissatisfied with her explanation, the security man and about two others reportedly accused her of being a witch; they reportedly harassed and molested the woman. The woman is said to be recuperating at the hospital.

Upon returning to the apartment in the morning, the daughter of the woman who is an officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDS) was briefed about the incident. She went to the police and reported the matter.

The following day on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at about 12 pm, a team of armed policemen stormed the apartment and arrested every person they could lay their hands on and took them to A Division, Uyo. In all, eleven (11) persons were arrested. Among the persons arrested are five (5) staff of Motion Studios, a private music/movie recording company situated at the apartment.

The names, gender and ages of the staff are as follows:

1. Kate Augustine (female, 17); 2. Armstrong James (male, 17); 3. Joseph Bassey (male, 23); 4. Elvis Johnson (male, 23) and 5. Ubong Ime (male, 19).

None of the above five (5) persons is living at No. 5 Udi Street, Uyo where the incident took place and none was present during the incident. Business at the Motion Studios where they all work closes at about 6 pm every day.

At the police station, the eleven (11) persons were kept for hours and asked by the Investigation Police Officer (IPO), one ‘Idoko’, to “cooperate” and pay money to secure their bail. We advised the staff of Motion Studios who contacted us over the matter not to “cooperate” as illegally demanded.

The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, CP. Murtala Usman was contacted at about 7:20 pm on Thursday, September 15, 2016 and urged to intervene in the matter. The Commissioner upon being briefed over the matter directed that the five (5) staff of Motion Studios be released immediately. Accordingly, they were freed and asked by the IPO to return the following morning.

We understand that the IPO and his immediate bosses at the A Division in Uyo were visibly angry over the superior order from the Commissioner of Police and the decision of the staff of Motion Studios to reach out to a lawyer who is the Convener of Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD). The IPO pointedly declared in their presence that they may have won temporarily but that their release was not the end of the matter since they decided to involved a lawyer instead of “cooperating” with him.

Shockingly, when the staff of Motion Studios reported at the station in the morning of Friday, September 16, 2016 the IPO told them that they were going to be taken to court to be arraigned for “Conspiracy” and “Attempted Murder” of the aged woman.

All our efforts to reach out to the Commissioner of Police to stop the unwarranted arraignment proved abortive.

Thus, all the eleven (11) persons were hurriedly taken before a Chief Magistrate Court in Uyo on a holding charge of “Conspiracy” and “Attempted Murder”. They were all remanded in Prison Custody and denied bail by the court.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court of Nigeria has ruled that the practice of holding charge at the Magistrate Court is unconstitutional and has no place in our criminal jurisprudence. There is at present no statutory provision under the Criminal Procedure Law of Akwa Ibom State that empowers a Magistrate to remand accused persons in a charge like Attempted Murder which is outside its jurisdiction.

It should also be noted that the police had not conducted any sensible investigation into the alleged assault and molestation of the woman before they hurriedly arraigned the eleven (11) persons. No identification parade was conducted and no reasonable steps were taken to identify the real culprits who are said to be currently at large.

All that the Nigeria Police Force in the 21st century could do was to invade the crime scene in a commando style and effect a mass and indiscriminate arrest of every unlucky person that they could lay their hands on and charge them to court for refusing to “cooperate”.

To show the unprofessional and oppressive manner the police acted in this case, the police in a desperate effort to shield the woman’s daughter who is working with a sister agency, the NSCDC claimed that they received information about the incident through a radio message and that there is no complainant.

We call on the police to tell Nigerians who called them, the date and time they received the “radio message” and how they came to the conclusion that each of the eleven (11) persons they arrested, particularly the five (5) staff of Motion Studios were the persons who molested the aged woman?. The police should exaplain to the public how they came about the charge of “Conspiracy” and “Attempted Murder”? Who conspired with who and who attempted to murder who?

It is indeed an unprecedented record that our own Nigeria Police Force was able to conclude investigation into an alleged case of “attempted murder” within 48 hours of the alleged crime. Nobody is deceived by this despicable and condemnable show of force. Nigerians are too familiar with the police and their modus operandi to be cajoled.

It is a sad commentary that at a time the federal government is seeking ways to decongest our prisons, innocent and poor Nigerians have been sent to the Uyo Prisons over what they know nothing about simply because we have a police force that has no respect for human rights and a complacent judicial system.

We at COHRD condemn in the strongest terms the actions of the police against these innocent citizens. We urge the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police to withdraw the trump-up charge against the innocent citizens and go after those who allegedly assaulted the aged woman.

We call on the Inspector General of Police to look into this matter and bring any officer found to have acted criminally, illegally and or in an unprofessional manner to justice.

While we empathise with the aged woman and wish her a smooth recuperation, we totally reject the unjustifiable actions taken against those who from all indications are innocent of the crime. The police cannot use the court as a shield to cover their wrongful actions in this case. The police should not be seen to be using oppressive and illegal means to fight crime.

Injury to one, is injury to all.

Thank you.

Inibehe Effiong, Esq.

Convener, Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD).

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Rivers APC Condemns Another N9b Loan By Gov. Wike

…Loan solely to prosecute July 30 rerun election

The Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has condemned as unconscionable and wicked the approval given to the governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike by the Rivers State House of Assembly [RSHA] to obtain yet another loan of N9 billion from Zenith Bank PLC.

The party in a statement signed by its State Chairman, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, JP said, “the APC is convinced that, just like the governor committed Rivers people to a N10 billion loan to host and write off the failed PDP national convention in Port Harcourt last May, Gov. Nyesom Wike is, this time, borrowing N9 billion to prosecute the forthcoming July 30 rerun election in Rivers State as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC].”

The APC believed that this action accentuates the level of feverish desperation that has enveloped the governor who is infamous for coming to power at the needless expense of several lives of innocent Rivers people and Nigerians.

Continuing, the party said, “beyond going for the loan to be able to buy his way through, Gov. Wike has, under the guise of amnesty, primed his killing machines ably commanded by his murderous field commanders in the ONELGA, Ahoada East & West, Abua/Odual, Gokana-Khana-Tai and ASALGA-AKULGA-DELGA axes of Rivers State under the guise of illegal amnesty.”

“Gov. Nyesom Wike is obviously frightened by the prospect of his candidates losing in the forthcoming rerun elections especially in the Rivers South-East axis where his morbid fear for the rising profile and popularity of erudite lawyer, politician and grassroots man, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has become unbearable for him hence the need to go back to his killing strategy” the statement noted.

The APC called on the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Mr Foluso Adebanjo, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Kpotum Idris and heads of other security agencies to step in to halt another killing spree before, during and after the forthcoming rerun elections by Gov. Nyesom Wike’s private soldiers across Rivers State.

“The APC is convinced that the recent changes in the nation’s security apparatus will prevent a repeat of the orgy of killings in Rivers State especially during the forthcoming rerun elections” the statement concluded.

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Buhari Condemns Killing In Kano, Sues For Peace

President Muhammadu Buhari has described as sad and regrettable the developments that led to the killing of Mrs Bridget Agbahime, an Igbo market woman in Kano.

President Buhari condoles with the husband of the deceased, Pastor Mike Agbahime, the family and relations, praying that God would give them the fortitude to bear the loss.

He also commended the law enforcement agents for apprehending the prime suspect behind the killing, as well as the Kano State government, which summoned a meeting of Christian and Islamic leaders, widower of the deceased, and security agencies, as soon as the sad event occurred.

President Buhari says justice would be done in the matter, and urges the people not to take the law into their hands. He equally charges those who may want to use the development to fan the embers of religious or ethnic hatred to remember that two wrongs never make a right, and that when law and order breaks down, those who become victims are never distinguished on the basis of religion or ethnicity.

“The incident at Kofar Wambai market, Kano city, is utterly condemnable, and the state government has been quite proactive. Let us ensure that we keep the peace, as justice will be done. Let us learn to respect each other’s faith, so that we can know each other and live together in peace,” the President said.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

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Rights Groups Condemns Extra Judicial Killing Of 14 Nigerians In Cross River By The Police

The attention of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD) has been drawn to a case of extra judicial murder of 6 Nigerians in Calabar, Cross River State by 14 officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force who had since been dismissed from service.
A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING OF DEREK MAURICE BEN & 5 OTHERS AS GIVEN BY THE MOTHER OF DEREK IS PRESENTED BELOW:
The trial of the 14 dismissed policemen is ongoing in charge no. Hc/2c/2016 between:
The State Vs: 1. Horsfall Minafuro, 2. Etim Anoke, 3. ASP Ewa Rapheal, 4. Gershom Isotuk, 5. Anyin Gregory, 6. Lawrence Egbe, 7. Okidi Akpokabowei, 8. Anthony Idoko, 9. Okey Oyama, 10. Unyime Jumbo, 11. Edidiong Jeremiah, 12. Atari Micheal, 13. Patrick Koke, 14. Erienekpe Fineman (Accused persons/dismissed police officers)
One Mrs. Eno Maurice Enang, the mother of late Mr Derek Maurice Ben, informed us as follows:
1. That her son until his untimely death was 21 years old and a 300 level Accounting Student of the University of Calabar, Cross River State, and was allegedly murdered by a police officer by name Sgt. Anthony Idoko and his cohorts and that Derek was not of questionable character and had no criminal record. Derek was only a year old when he lost his father.
2. That Sgt. Anthony Idoko before his dismissal from the police force was attached to the SARS in Cross River State and was her family friend.
3. However, trouble started when Mr Idoko’s wife who had just put to birth sometime ago was no longer seen only for Mr Idoko to bring in another woman into his house. That people in the neighbourhood became apprehensive about the whereabout of Idoko’s wife and child and the sudden arrival of another woman.
4.That the Church of Christ where her family and Mr Idoko do fellowship decided to investigate the matter. The Church later excommunicated and dis-fellowship Mr Idoko following his inability to account for the whereabout of his wife and new born baby, and sudden cohabitation with another woman. That Idoko accused her of reporting him to the Church and failing to protect him from being excommunicated. He stopped visiting her house and started threatening to deal with her and her children.
It should be noted that till date, the whereabout of Idoko’s wife and child remains a mystery.
5. That on the 16th day of April, 2014, Derek was picked up by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and detained. In the night of the same day or soon thereafter, he was called out from the SARS cell by then Sgt. Anthony Idoko with 5 other inmates who were arrested with him and summarily executed.
It should be noted that there were eye witnesses inside the cell who saw when Idoko called out Derek from the cell (whom he identified and asked what he had done). The witnesses who were at the time inmates at the SARS cell idenfied Idoko when Idoko and the 13 other dismissed police officers were paraded for identification.
6. The 6 victims summarily executed includes; (1) Derek Ben; (2) a young graduate who had just finished serving the country in the NYSC; (3) another young man who had been shortlisted for recruitment by the DSS; (4) the taxi driver and two others.
7. That one of the dismissed policemen, ASP Horsefall Minafuro, the then O/C SARS in Cross River State, voluntarily confessed that it was himself and 13 of his officers (including Anthony Idoko) who murdered her poor fatherless child and 5 others in cold blood. It was also revealed that his body was sold to the Anatomy Department of the University of Calabar to dissect for academic purposes. At the Anatomy Department, corpses (cadaver) of several other young Nigerians were seen which may have also been supplied by them.
8. The six people murdered that night were all shot in the same position within the heart region with matchet cuts and wounds either on the face, ankle, head and neck – a clear case of brutal summary execution.
9. Derek was shot three times in the chest/heart. This can never be as a result of any encounter, but rather an organized murder.
10. That Anthony Idoko had previously attempted to assassinate her two children, before Derek was subsequently murdered, because according to him, she was responsible for his excommunication from the Church.
11. That on the 9th of February, 2016, Gershom Ishotuk, one of the dismissed policemen currently standing trial for the murder, subjected a star witness in the ongoing trial to a search within the court premises with the full assistance of a serving policeman who escorted them to the court and the attention of the trial Judge was drawn to the incident.
12. That Okidi Akpokabowei, another dismissed police officer/accused person in the case, subjected a brother to one of the 6 victims they also murdered that night (the taxi driver) to a thorough search with the assistance of serving policemen. The phone of the brother to the late taxi driver was seized by the policemen within the court premises.
13. That several other witnesses have been threatened and harassed on many occasions by serving policemen in the Cross River State Police Command who are overtly sympathetic to their dismissed colleagues with utter impunity.
The Coalition of Human Rights Defenders is particularly alarmed that the trial Judge, Hon. Justice Ogpojo Ogar of the High Court of Cross River State (Court 4), on the 6th of April, 2016, unexpectedly granted bail to all the 14 accused persons who have already been dismissed from the police force for the murder of Derek and 5 others after an in-house (room) trial despite the serious nature of the offence; the evidence which the Judge himself admitted in open court to be weighty; the persistent threats to witnesses which the court is very aware of, and other troubling circumstances.
It is worrisome that the Cross River State Judiciary is not mindful of the potential risks the release of the accused persons pending their trial, poses to the witnesses and the society in general.
COHRD has equally been informed that the accused persons were first arraigned before Hon. Justice Michael Edem of Cross River High Court (Court 2). The Judge we are told, had shown a suspicious interest in first hearing bail applications for the accused persons on the day of their arraignment and adjourned for few days for ruling on the bail applications. However, the Chief Judge of Cross River State intervened and reassigned the case to Justice Ogpojo Ogar following public outcry.
It is worthy of note that Justice Ashwu Ewa of the Cross River State High Court is the elder brother to one of the dismissed policemen, Mr Raphael Ewa. We demand that the said Judge should be thoroughly investigated for his alleged interference with the course of justice in the case.
COHRD has been informed that before the accused persons were arraigned in court, Justice Ewa had made frantic efforts to secure the release of his brother participated in the execution of Derek & 5 others from police custody.
Following persistent pressures from the Judge, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in Charge of Zone 6 in Calabar, ordered that the Judge’s younger brother, Raphael Ewa, and two other dismissed officers (Etim Anoke and Horsfall Minafuro) be separated from the rest of the accused persons and transferred from their cell(s) in Calabar to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo.
Justice Ewa we are told, felt slighted by the action of the AIG and boasted to some persons that except his brother and the other accused persons are not tried in Cross River State, the case will never see the light of day.
We also note with consternation that the 14 dismissed policemen/accused persons, were NEVER remanded in prison custody pending their trial. Instead, they were remanded in police custody before being granted bail on the 6th of April, 2016 – in a capital offence of murder.
In the light of the foregoing, we at the COHRD demand as follows:
1. That the Cross River State Judiciary should be mindful of the fact that the human rights community is following this case with interest.
2. That Justice Ashwu Ewa, who is the elder brother to one of the dismissed policemen, Raphael Ewa, be thoroughly investigated for his alleged interference with the course of justice in this case.
3. That the witnesses in the case be given appropriate and adequate protection by the police authorities and that disciplinary measures be taken against serving police officers found to have aided the accused persons in intimidating and harassing witnesses.
4. We urge the trial Judge to revoke the bail the of accused persons and extricate himself from every conceivable external or fraternal pressures and dispense justice without fear or favour.
5. We call on the Government of Cross River State and the Attorney General of Cross River State to see to the diligent prosecution of this case.
6. We appeal to media and the civil society to follow this case to its logical conclusion.
Finally, we wish to state that though it is not within our powers at COHRD to determine the culpability of any of the 14 accused persons, we take firm solace in the epochal pronouncement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria Per OPUTA, JSC. (as he then was), in the celebrated case of Josiah v. State (1985) 1 NWLR (Pt.1) p. 125 at 141 where his Lordship espoused the concept of justice as it relates to a criminal case thus:
“And justice is not a one-way traffic. It is not justice for the appellant only. Justice is not even only a two-way traffic. It is really a three-way traffic – justice for the appellant accused of a heinous crime of murder; justice for the victim, the murdered man, the deceased, “whose blood is crying to heaven for vengeance” and finally justice for the society at large – the society whose social norms and values had been desecrated and broken by the criminal act complained of. It is certainly in the interest of justice that the truth of this case should be known and that if the appellant is properly tried and found guilty, that he should be punished. That justice which seeks only to protect the appellant will not be even handed justice. It will not even be justice tempered with mercy.” – PER OPUTA, JSC, of blessed memory.
Injury to one, is injury to all.
SIGNED:
Inibehe Effiong Esq.
Convener – 08065142135
Fejiro Oliver – Co-Convener
Comr. Eneh John
Secretary
April 14, 2016
Email: cohrdnigeria@yahoo.com
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Group Condemns Violence And Killings In Rivers State

…Calls on politicians to conduct themselves within the ambit of the law

…Condemns Gov Wike’s reckless and irresponsible call for violence

The Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) unequivocally condemns the ongoing violence and killings in River state.

The group calls on the Federal Government to act swiftly to arrest the unfortunate situation to forestall total breakdown of law and order in the state.

The BMSG urges the Security Agencies to rise up to the task and fish out those behind the recent killings and prosecute them to serve as deterrent to those who are bent on throwing the state into a state of anarchy.

We appeal to all political parties and politicians in Rivers state to conduct themselves and their activities within the ambit of the law.

The BMSG also condemns the recent provocative statements by Governor Nyesom Wike and advise him to desist from making further reckless and irresponsible statements capable of emboldening his party members and supporters to unleash violence on opposition supporters and innocent citizens of the state.

 

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IYC Condemns Manhandling And Re-Arrest Of Ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobulokemi, Says Buhari Persecuting Political Enemies

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide condemn in the strongest terms the manhandling of the former Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Patrick Akpobulokemi by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) at the premises of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos. The conduct of the security operatives is reminiscent of the military era and it is the height of impunity which must be condemned by all lovers of democracy.

 

The IYC states that Mr. Akpobulokemi having been granted bail on two occasions by courts of law, there is no basis why the EFCC resorted to force in re-arresting him. The conduct of the EFCC in physically beating up and throwing Akpobulokemi into their vehicle clearly shows that the Buhari led federal government is not fighting corruption but persecution of political enemies.

 

Nigerians would recall that during the presidential campaigns, Mr. Akpobulokemi was accused of sponsoring hate campaigns against General Buhari, hence the IYC is not surprised that the Mr. Akpobulokemi is now being subjected to such cruel treatment.

 

While the IYC is not against the fight against corruption but it must be done within the ambit of the law, respect for human rights and all inclusive. What is presenting playing out is selective and vindictive attack on political enemies and this must be rejected and condemned by all. We wish to warn that harassment of political enemies would not in any way aid the success of the Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade but would only lead to its derailment.

 

We also call on the EFCC to have a rethink on its ill-advised invitation of Chief Government Ekpemupolo and the threat to declare him wanted. The IYC strongly feel that such politically motivated actions of the anti-corruption agency would only succeed in heating up the polity and cause unrest in the Niger Delta region.

 

Chief Ekpemupolo having approached the court of law as a law abiding citizen, the EFCC should wait for the outcome of the court proceedings. We wish to warn that where a government adopts illegal means to achieve its motives, citizens may be forced to resort to self-help!

 

Singed for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide:

Eric Omare,

Spokesman?

 

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Embezzlement  of N4 Billion Biafran Fund: Igbo Mandate Congress Condemns MASSOB

Igbo Mandate Congress IMC has condemned the self inflicted break-up of MASSOB into two factions as a result of embezzlement  of the Multi-billions of naira and millions of dollars accruing to the group over the years.

At this time when Pro-Biafra protests started by few IPOB faithful and joined by numerous frustrated and marginalized Igbos of South East Nigeria is drawing international attention to the sorry state of Igbo Nation, what is least needed now is the distraction of a MASSOB break-up.

The Founder and leader of MASSOB, Chief Raph Uwazurike was yesterday expelled from the body by a faction of the group, and sworn in a new helmsman in the person of Uchenna Madu, former National Director of Information. Madu was one of those who have served Uwazurike and MASSOB faithfully from the beginning and deserves better treatment from ‘Chief’.  IMC had learnt over time that Madu and his supporters were kept in the dark over the billions MASSOB was garnering in the name of Biafra. IMC had known over the years that Madu and his loyalists were the fifth group to abandon Uwazurike’s MASSOB on account of financial impropriety.

Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC and General Assembly of all Igbo Christian Organizations and Ministers, GAAICOM had in the past three to four years been authorized by leading  Igbo clerics and opinion leaders to wade into feud between Uwazurike and his complaining lieutenants over mismanagement of  financial issues with the intentions of ensuring that the South East is not turned into a bloody zone as a result of sharing formulae. IMC and GAAICOM had expected Uwazurike   to have appreciated our past interventions and mase his financial dealings with his boys more transparent so that his lieutenants would stop salivating and gallivanting around.

Igbo Mandate Congress also noted that those same MASSOB members who lived in denial two –three years ago, when we described the financial impropriety in the organization as a time bomb waiting to happen, are the same people canvassing the same arguments now.  The New MASSOB leadership had alleged among others that

  1. The introduction of the Biafra international passport through Uwazurike generated about N100 million for himself in a manner they saw as fraudulent.
  1. The diversion of over N40million realized from the dedication of the Biafran war veterans’ home in Okwe built by MASSOB members to Uwazuruike’s personal purse.
  1. Collection of proceeds from membership identity card with the sum of N1, 000 and also pay monthly income tax of N200 to Uwazuruike, running into billions yet unaccounted for

4 Purchase of private properties in many locations in Owerri, including a street bought and named after Uwazulike in New Owerri, which comprises 28 plots.

  1. Conversion of contributed nearly N4 billion in the last 16 years into Uwazurike’s personal use.”

IMC knows that MASSOB had collected sums far in excess of these and wishes to let sleeping dogs lie. However, it is alarming that the group used such perilous times to execute the final coup on Uwazurike.

IMC hereby counsels Chief Uwazurike to ask for forgiveness from his lieutenants, make amends and retrace his steps. IMC also calls upon the new MASSOB leader, Madu, to sheath the sword if his former boss shows signs of remorse, and seek acceptable means of resolving the crisis.

IMC had had course in recent past to rehabilitate some ex-MASSOB lieutenants of the struggle because their leaders used and dumped them into lives of suffering and may not continue to render such help again. IMC recognizes that Uwazulike had made costly sacrifices for the Biafran cause but should recognize that others made sacrifices with him too and those must be accorded their respect.

Igbo Mandate Congress finally condemns the embezzlement of over N4Billion Biafran Funds by MASSOB , and decries a situation whereby leaders of the group are living in palatial mansions, while the foot soldiers are abandoned to lives of penury and frustrations.

Rev Obinna Akukwe

Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress IMC

igbomandate@yahoo.com

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APC Condemns Alleged Attempts By Gov. Wike To Borrow Another N10bn Loan

The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, says its attention has been drawn to alleged surreptitious and illegal attempts by the annulled Rivers State Government led by Gov. Nyesom Wike to obtain another N10billion loan from banks under the false pretence of using such a loan to provide infrastructure. 

The APC in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Mr. Chris Finebone said: “This development was brought to the attention of the APC by the Rivers Progressive Forum [RPF], an organisation that pursues the advancement of Good Governance in Rivers State and the advancement of the welfare of Rivers people.”

The APC expressed shocked that despite the outcry against the incessant borrowing by the Wike-led administration in Rivers State, this time around the governor and his people have written, pressurising banks to ‘waive all legal and regulatory provisions designed to prevent abuse of the process and the use of the State’s Monthly Excess Crude Account allocation as collateral,’ adding that the Rivers State Government is defying all known decency in financial discipline by particularly asking the banks for a waiver of the State Fiscal Responsibility Laws amongst others.

The APC also expressed happiness that the RPF has in its possession and is about to publish copies of the ROGUE LETTERS written by the Wike government to banks requesting for the loan and pressurising them for various waivers in what the RPF refers to as ‘borrowing Rivers people into perpetual penury.’

“The APC condemns this obvious act of criminality by the Rivers State Governor and his clique of co-travellers. We believe that no one will still be in doubt that the Wike administration in Rivers State is only out to defraud Rivers people of their commonwealth because this cannot be an auspicious time for a government whose existence has been annulled by the tribunal to embark on borrowing even when Federal allocations have significantly shot up since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office.

“The APC joins the Rivers Progressive Forum [RPF] to warn the Wike-led government and those who have chosen to travel this road of perfidy with them, to be conscious of the fact that they will all be held to account for the mindless fraud they have chosen to perpetrate against the good people of Rivers State as the APC joins to report this criminal collaboration to relevant agencies of the Federal Government for necessary action and prosecution of those found culpable.”, the statement concluded.

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Igbo Mandate Congress Condemns Radio Biafra Hate Speeches, Demands Release of IPOB Protesters

Igbo Mandate Congress has condemned the hate speeches against other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria which characterized the new face of Radio Biafra. Speaking with co-coordinators of the group at an emergency meeting in Enugu to evaluate the implication of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) successful protest march in Onitsha, Asaba, Owerri and Yenegoa on Friday, the Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, Rev Obinna Akukwe, described the hate speeches as contrary to the spirit of Biafra.

 

According to Rev Akukwe” abusing the Hausa, the Fulani, and the Yoruba in the course of pursuing Biafra is anti-Christian. Christianity cannot support the dissemination of hate messages against fellow living beings created by God,and Igbos are predominantly Christians, rather anybody or group that wants Biafra should pursue it within the ambits of reasonable processes and international conventions.”

 

Rev Akukwe described the protesters as people who have been deceived into solely blaming the Nigerian project for the insensitivity of South East Leaders. Clarifying further, he said that “since 1999 Igbos have occupied positions of Senate Presidency, Deputy Senate Presidency, Party Chairmanship, Secretary to the Government of Nigeria, and yet the al important Enugu-Onitsha Highway, Enugu-Nsukka  Highway from Opi to 9th Mile and Enugu-Port-Harcourt Highway from the Okigwe end   are the worst roads in Nigeria due to their selfish representations at the center.

 

“These political bandits failed to ensure that these roads were repaired from the Obasanjo through to the Jonathan regime, preferring to pursue contracts and appointments. We should blame our corrupt Igb0 leadership first for our woes and make them to account for years of selfish superintendent over our destinies before blaming outside accomplices.”

He called upon the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanui and all arrested protesters and prepare them for proper reorientation and reintegration.

 

The Abia State Coordinator of IIgbo Mandate Congress and founding Secretary General of Ohanaeze Youths Council , Comrade Chuks Ibegbu in his submissions said that “we must be careful with these protests in order not to be used by selfish elements because there is not much difference between these agitations and the money making sentiments used by MASSOB leader Uwazurike over the years. Our people must be careful not to be dragged into another conflict driven by self interests.Security agencies should release the misguided elements that joined the protests due to bandwagon effects.”

 

Igbo Mandate Congress directed its directors and coordinators to embark on publicity enlightenment within their  states, zones and councils  using determined channels to ensure that hate speeches that alienates the Igbo from their neighbors is discouraged.

 

Leaders and members of Igbo Mandate Congress who monitored the protests in various centers, noted that the protests drew many sympathizers who though did not participate in the rallies, expressed optimism over a successful for Biafran dream .

 

The group received reports  that failed corrupt politicians in Igboland are sponsoring the crisis to avoid their acts of economic enslavement of the South East from  being exposed. and vowed to expose them at the appropriate time.

 

The group also noted that lots of people who joined the protests were not acting because they hated Nigeria and urgently wanted Biafra, rather because the harsh economic realities of the present day nation occasioned by years of corrupt leaderships have left them with no alternatives. The group resolved to put up pressures to ensure the release and reorientation of the misguided protesters.

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APC Condemns PDP’s Declaration Of War Against The Nigerian Judiciary

The Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed shock over how the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] has launched out on large-scale smear campaign on the Nigerian judiciary following the recent court pronouncements that appear not to favour the PDP and their candidates at the various election petition tribunals especially the Akwa Ibom State and Rivers State governorship election petition tribunals.

“In what is unfolding as an all out war, the PDP National Working Committee [NWC], National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and the various chapters of the PDP in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, have already thrown every caution in the rule book to the wind in the way they are casting aspersions on the integrity of respected members of the bench whose only offence is that their meticulous and balanced judgments have exposed PDP’s fraudulent and violent escapades during the 2015 general elections”, Mr Chris Finebone, the Rivers State APC spokesman said in press statement today.

The APC said it is worried that a particular media outlet, the African Independent Television [AIT], owned and operated by a PDP Chieftain, has offered itself as the foremost platform for the PDP to execute its insidious smear campaign against the Nigerian judiciary.

The APC recalled that prior to last week, the APC have had a number of rulings go against the party and its candidates at the various national assembly election petition tribunals especially for Rivers State where over 90 percent of the rulings favoured the PDP and its candidates. Neither the APC National Working Committee [NWC] nor the various affected state chapters of the party came out to impugn the integrity of our judiciary. The APC took those outcomes with equanimity and proceeded on appeal in most cases without declaring and levying war on the judiciary the way the PDP is doing now.

Continuing the party said: “Particularly, the PDP and their members in Rivers State, including even lawyers, have since Saturday launched various bitter tirades against the character and integrity of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal members. Some have openly tried to establish family and marital relationship between the tribunal chairman and some top government officials, knowing same to be false, mendacious and malicious. The APC is still stunned that the Spokesman of the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Opunabo Inko-Tariah would state that, “The tribunal has delivered the ruling it was asked to deliver.” The APC condemns this kind of unguarded vituperation by a government official against a tribunal of eminent judges.”

“In summary, the APC understands that by turning to destroy the Nigerian judiciary, the PDP is only employing its usual tactics of intimidation and blackmail whenever their members find themselves at the wrong end of the law, whether over corruption cases or electoral matters as is the present case. This motive common with bandits and buccaneers have proven to fail the PDP in the past and will surely fail them this time around” the statement concluded.

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PDP Condemns Buhari’s Ministerial List, Says Its Nothing Exciting

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, condemned the list of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees sent to the Senate for confirmation as read on the floor of the Senate by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki

In a statement in Abuja, on Tuesday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party declared that “by a mere look at the list, one can tell that there is nothing to be excited about, especially considering the length of time it took the president to come up with it.”

According to the party, “looking at the list, it is hard to put a finger on why it should take any serious-minded and focused government six months after its election to assemble such a regular team.”

It said “the list and the length of time it took have further confirmed the fact that the All Progressives Congress-led administration is driven by propaganda and deceit, a development that raises doubts on the sincerity of its anti-corruption crusade.”

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