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Anambra assembly committee probes VIO certificates scandal

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By Praise Necherem

Anambra state House of Assembly Committee on Public Petitions has expressed worry over alleged cases of forged certificates and denial of promotion among officers of the vehicle inspection department of the state ministry of transport.

The committee raised the concerns during its second sitting following a petition by one of the inspection officers, Mr Charles Ayalogu, over falsification, intimidation and inappropriate placement of staff.

Chairman of the committee, Emeka Aforka, directed the commissioner for transport, Mr. Afam Mbanefo to investigate the various issues raised in the petition, including requisite qualifications in the VIO in relation with appropriate placement of officers. He assured that the committee would do everything within its legislative competence to get to the root of the matter and addressing them appropriately.

He said, “We advise you to liaise with the office of the head of service to furnish the committee with all the documents and files of the officers mentioned in the petition to enable us investigate further on forged certificates in the VIO.

“We also advise that nobody should be victimised in the course of carrying out his duties. We won’t tolerate any vindictive acts. We want fair treatment for every officer.

“The constitution empowers us to expose corruption, inefficiency in administration within its legislative powers. We expect to receive all the relevant documents in two weeks’ time to assist us investigate the matter to logical conclusion.”

Earlier, Mbanefo had assured soonest rectification of the records, promising that those found guilty would be dealt with.

He said, “There’s a petition on wrong certification of some Vehicle Inspection Officers who claimed to have engineering certificates.

 “We’ve written to the Civil Service Commission and Head of Service to provide us with employment details and files to enable us cross-match it with what we have in our own ministry’s archives.

“The petitioner felt he had not been treated well. All the same, this will help put everyone in check to ensure ministry’s activities were not disrupted.

On his part, general supervisor, VIO and senior special assistant to the governor on public transport, Raph Okoye, denied having any imposter in his organisation, saying all the officers had appointment letters.

“From all the documents submitted so far, I don’t think there’s any pointer that anybody in VIO has issue of fake certificate.  He commended the democratic and civil disposition of the committee, expressing hope they would dig more to unravel alleged certificates falsification.

Security threat: IPOB orders ‘Nigeria at 60’ boycott (LEAD)

By Praise Necherem

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has ordered its members to boycott Nigeria’s 60th Independence Day commemoration on October 1, 2020 by staying at home.

The Nnamdi Kanu-led group said the sit-at-home order was necessitated by intelligence alleging plans by terrorist groups to launch an attack in the south east geopolitical zone of the country during the Independence Day celebration.

In a statement issued by the IPOB media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, the organisation said its members would join its Yoruba counterparts, agitating for Oduduwa Republic, in public protests to mark the day.

The pro-Biafran group stressed that complete and total lockdown was sacrosanct, irreversible and non-negotiable.

According to the statement, “We enjoin all Biafrans and every conscious Nigerian, especially those ethnic nationalities reeling from state-sponsored terrorism, bad governance and economic annihilation, to boycott every government organised ceremony designed to eulogise the failure that Nigeria has become. This is the time to let the world know how disastrously intolerable human existence is in Nigeria today.”

It urged those who wanted an end to what it referred to as “terrorism and organised mediocrity” to register their anger “by ensuring that you and your household sit-at-home (sic) on October 1, 2020” going on to say that “there is credible intelligence that terrorist groups are planning to slaughter our children should they venture out to celebrate or March on October 1st.”

Powerful added that “complete and total lockdown of Biafraland and other terror-ravaged areas of the Middle Belt, come 1st of October 2020, is sacrosanct, irreversible and non-negotiable! Wholesale slaughter of innocent Judeo-Christians and state-sponsored ethnic cleansing cannot be going on in our land at the same time as fake jamborees are being organised by the same sponsors terror attacks, in order to deflect our attention away from the imminent danger we are all in” and went on to “urge that all markets, schools and businesses in Biafra land and beyond be shut down as a mark of respect to all those who have died as a result of terrorism against innocent civilians especially Christians, ethnic cleansing in Southern Kaduna and elsewhere across the Middle Belt.”

When contacted, the police public relations officer, in charge of Zone 13, ASP Princess Nkiruka Nwode, dismissed the security threat speculation as untrue, saying that Zone 13 had not received or sighted any such information. She, however, promised to update the media if anything concrete came up on the issue. 

Nwode, however, urged residents of the south east, especially those in Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states, to disregard the rumour and join in the historic Independence Day anniversary. She disclosed that the AIG in charge of Zone 13, Danmallam Mohammed, and the police hierarchy were working round the clock to ensure maximum police protection before, during and after the anniversary. 

Efforts by Orient Weekend to reach the acting director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, for his reaction proved abortive. Calls and text messages sent to his contact phones were neither returned nor responded to as at the press time.

Police deny herdsmen link to teenager’s attack (NEWS/PIX)  

By Ruth Oginyi

The Ebonyi state police command has dismissed speculations that suspected Fulani herdsmen were behind the machete attack on a teenage girl at Amaeze, Ishiagu community in Ivo local government area of the state last Tuesday.

The victim, simply identified as Chinenye, was attacked by machete-wielding hoodlums who also ran away with the bag of fertiliser she was taking to their rice farm in the area. Luck, however, smiled on the victim when some youths from the area found her in a pool of her blood and rushed her to nearby hospital for medical attention.

Reacting to the incident, the police public relations officer in the state, DPS Loveth Odah debunked the rumours that the girl was attacked Fulani herders.

Odah disclosed that the victim, after regaining her consciousness, told police that the people that attacked her spoke the local dialect.

“She was not attacked by Fulani herdsmen. According to the DPO of the area, the attack was carried out by some men suspected to be from Ezza. They look like they went to till soil and were going home, according to the lady.

She told police that she greeted them after which one of the men attacked her with a machete, inflicting a cut on her head and neck, making her unconscious as they ran away with her fertiliser, implying that they were hoodlums who came to steal her fertliser, not Fulani herdsmen.”

According to Odah, “The lady is alive; she can talk very well.”

Okoro Emeigha, commissioner for security and boarder peace in the state also said that the girl was still alive and that she was attacked by people who spoke the Izzi dialect.

“The battle was between her and the people only. What we want is for her to survive. The governor has directed the local government chairman and the coordinator there to take the girl to a teaching hospital in Enugu.”

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