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Police smash kidnapping gangs in Imo




The Imo State Police Command has in recent weeks smashed a number of kidnapping, child trafficking and robbery gangs in the State and in the process arrested 15 suspected criminals.

The men of the underworld, who are now helping the law enforcement agents with their investigations, were paraded before newsmen, Friday June 5, 2015 during a press briefing by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Austin Evbakhavbokun.

According to the Police boss, the suspects were apprehended at various locations within Imo State following tip offs by patriotic citizens about these criminal syndicates who have been terrorizing the people.

He disclosed that the command within the past two weeks launched a renewed onslaught against these criminals operating at different parts of the state.

Mr. Evbakhavbokun announced that just the day before the briefing, intensive manhunt mounted by the police to track down the abductors of Miss Chidi Opara of the State News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Owerri yielded results, leading to her release.

He recalled that on May 13, operatives of the command through intelligence report, arrested a kidnapping syndicate which has been terrorizing Nigor Okpala, LGA. The suspects were at the point of kidnapping one Lady Happiness Njoku of Umuaka Village Ngor Okpala before luck ran out on them.

The Police boss gave their names as: Obioma Emereole, Kingsley Chimankpam and Chigaemezu, aged 22, 29 and 27 respectively. Various kinds of offensive weapons were recovered from them as exhibits.

He further disclosed that on 22/05/2015 a syndicate which specializes in stealing and trafficking on children was smashed by the Anti-Kidnapping unit of the Imo State Police.

The suspects: Kelechi Nwogu and Ebuka Ibe both aged 22 were arrested following a distress call by a law abiding citizen. The two suspects had abducted two siblings of the same parents- Chukwuka Ezeribe and Chigozie Ezeribe aged 4 and 3 respectively. The children were returning from school at Amazu Amato in Orsu, LGA.

The two victims were being conveyed by the suspects to the prospective buyer before the operatives pursued and arrested them. The children have been handed over to their parents. A number of illegal arms and ammunitions were also recovered from the criminals.

The Imo Police Commissioner also disclosed that another kidnapping syndicate was arrested on May 27, 2015, following a report of the kidnapping of Mrs. Martina Ndukwu of Umuokanne Mgbirichi road in Ohaji/Egbema LGA.

The arrested suspects are: Banabas Chidiebere, Chinwendu Okaru, Chibundu Amadi and Kenneth Ordu aged 34, 29, 32 and 29 respectively and all hail from the same LGA. The victim was rescued unhurt while one Toyota 4 Runner Jeep with Reg No KTU-16.8-Av used in the kidnap was recovered from the hoodlums.

Other arrests were: 28/05/2015 of armed robbery suspect one Ifeanyi Okere of Eziama Isiala Mbano who in the company of his gang, numbering four, was arrested along Mbaise/Douglas Road Owerri.

The Syndicate robbed one Linda Uju of her handbag containing N35,000, gold necklace and UBA ATM Card. However, seven different handsets belonging to different victims were recovered from him after his gang members had taken to their heels on sighting the police.

The Police boss also announced the arrest of a car snatching syndicate, Ekekwe Chidera aged (25) and Emmanuel Onwanne aged 23 all of Agwa in Oguta LGA. They are believed to be the brain behind the removing of vehicles with a master key.

They were arrested while trying to remove one Toyota Siena parked along Relief Market Owerri on May 29 2015.

The last group the police disclosed was three-man armed robbery/car snatching syndicate on June 3, who were arrested by operatives of the State CID.

They had snatched a Toyota Camry 2008 model belonging to Enyinnaya Wilson Iroham of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The said vehicle was, snatched at gun point on 27/05/2015 from the driver, one Ndubusi Obasi.  The suspects are: Benjamin Anele of Nguru Mbaise LGA, Ezeabii Chukwudi of Uwani Enugu and Anayo Chukwu, Onuegbu of Umuapu Ohaji/Egbema LGA.  The police boss who said that his men will not relent in their crack down against criminals in Imo State, disclosed that the suspects will be charged to court after investigations soon.




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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