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Kidnappers hide abducted victims in church, share ransom with pastor



The Anambra State Police Command has arrested 38-year-old wanted kidnap suspect, Okafor, a graduate of Mathematics from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Okafor popularly known as Igwe did not only fall afoul of the law as a kidnapper, he also messed up the temple of God by keeping his victim in a church and sharing his loot with the pastor.

Once on a mission to collect N5 million ransom from the family of a victim in Asaba, Delta State, he was rounded up by crack policemen and locked up in a cell.

Okafor, however, escaped through the window of the cell to continue his evil trade until the hardworking members of the State Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) in Anambra ended his reign of terror.

The kidnapper said: “I graduated from Unizik in 2006 and I studied mathematics.  I did my NYSC in Abuja and I served in NNPC at Berger.  After graduation I was going to Ghana to buy clothes to sell in Lagos State.

“I am now involved totally in kidnapping where I make quick money.  When I kidnapped I used to take my victims to my church in Awkuzu where the general Overseer, Pastor Nwaezeagu always collects the victims from us and at the end, we would give him his own share.  We decided to join the church so that the members would not suspect us that we were keeping some victims we kidnapped inside the church”.

“I was the one who was involved in the kidnapping of the traditional prime minister in Enugu-Ukwu and we collected N50 million from the victim before we released him and I gave Pastor Nwaezeagu his 20 percent share on that day.

“I kidnapped another woman in Awka and collected N30 million from the family of victim and kept her in the church and after the family paid the ransom, I released the suspect and gave Pastor Nwaezeagu the sum of N200,000”.

Okafor, who hails from Anambra West Local Government Area continued: “Myself and my gang kidnapped one victim, Chief John Uchachukwu at Asaba and we demanded the sum of N5 million.  The family of the victim called me to come and take the money at Asaba.  When I got to Asaba I collected the N5 million but the policemen from the anti-kidnap arrested me and they took me to Delta State and put me inside their cell”.

He said that he escaped through the toilet of the cell and quickly moved to Anambra State to continue his kidnapping job.

“I was arrested in Onitsha market by the men of SARS and I have confessed to them about my involvement in kidnapping”, he said.

Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Ballah Nasarawa said that the suspect had been declared wanted by Anambra State Police Command before he was eventually arrested on September 2, 2013 in Onitsha.

The Police Commissioner said Okafor was the same suspect that the Delta State Police Command declared wanted after he escaped from the cell through the toilet in 2013.

He stated that the suspect had kept several victims he kidnapped in the church in which he was a member and which he used as hideout.

CP Nasarawa added that, besides the kidnap instances that Okafor gave, the suspect was also behind the abduction of the Chairman of Association of Electronics Dealers in Nnewi and collected N30 million that he shared among his gang members and released the victim from the church in which he was kept.

Also commenting about Okafor, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ikechukwu Aduba told Sunday Sun that the notorious kidnapper had with his gang kidnapped one Chief John Uchachukwu in Asaba and they demanded N5 million as ransom and the police played along as they negotiated ransom payment.  He was told to come and collect the money in Asaba.  It was in the process of collecting the ransom that he was arrested.

“Also, we had to rescue the victim, Chief Uchachukwu while the suspect, Okafor came to Asaba to collect the ransom of N5 million.  What shocked me was that the notorious kidnapper, Okafor escaped from the cell in our custody despite the fact that he has injury on his legs.  The policemen involved were one ASP, one Inspector and one Corporal.  I had to detain them in my custody.

“I have written to my AIG in charge of Zone 5, Benin who appreciated that action had been taken.  They will definitely face the music.  How can a notorious kidnapper escape from their custody”?, he queried.

CP Aduba added that later the information got to him that the SARS in Anambra had re-arrested the kidnapper and I sent my officers to Anambra State Police Command and they saw him.

“There was time we traced Okafor to Niger Republic and Ghana and he escaped.  We couldn’t take over the case from Anambra State Police Command because he did a lot more of kidnapping in Anambra State than Delta State and he has more questions to answer in Anambra State Police Command and they should continue their investigation”, he stated.



USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas



USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital



Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council



Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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