…One other docked for allegedly assaulting teenage girl
A 25-year-old man, Chidiebere Okorie, was arraigned before a Children and Sexual Offences Court in Amawbia, Anambra on Wednesday for raping four underage boys.
The victims are aged between eight years and 14 years.
Prosecuting Counsel, Mrs Amara Amilo, told the court that Okorie of Ogboji town in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra committed the offence on July 10.
She said the accused inserted his penis into the anuses of the boys and thereby committed an offence punishable under the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law of Anambra 2017.
Okorie pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge of sexual assault after which his counsel prayed the court to grant him bail.
Mrs Amilo, however, opposed the bail application and argued that the offence committed was a grievous one.
Presiding Chief Magistrate Genevieve Osakwe ordered that the accused be remanded at a correctional centre and adjourned hearing to September 21.
Similarly, a 35-year-old man, Odili Chukwuka, was arraigned before the Children and Sexual Offences Court sitting in Amawbia, Anambra on Wednesday for alleged sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl.
Chukwuka of Aguluezechukwu in Aguata Local Government Area of the state faced a nine-count charge of sexual abuse, unlawful assault, stealing and infliction of bodily injury.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Prosecuting Insp Anayo Nwano told the court that the offences were committed on July 28 at Aguluezechukwu.
“The accused and others still at large sexually abused a 17-year-old girl by touching and applying pepper to her private parts.
“He abused her emotionally and verbally, assaulted her unlawfully by stripping her naked, tying her hands and legs, and flogging her to stupor with peppered cane.
“Chukwuka also deprived his victim of her liberty and stole her phone and a bag containing unspecified sum of money,’’ Nwano told the court.
He said the offences contravened the Criminal Code of Anambra State 1991, the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law of Anambra 2017 and the Child Rights Law of Anambra State 2004.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs Genevieve Osakwe, ordered that the accused be remanded in police custody and adjourned the case to September 21 for mention.
Enugu Govt, coal mining firm reach N1bn settlement
…Firm to pay N100,000 tax per truckload
Milhouse Energy Services Ltd, a coal mining firm at Awhum, Enugu State is to pay the sum of N1billion into the Enugu State Environmental Remediation Trust Fund, while also paying a N100,000 tax on every truckload of coal evacuated from a mining site at Awhum in Udi Local Government Area of the state.
The Fund will be transparently managed by an independent committee of professionals specifically for the remediation and healing of the affected environment.
Recall that the mining site was one of the many sealed by the Enugu State Committee on Review of Mining Activities headed by the Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Prof. Sam Ugwu, following a crackdown by the Governor Peter Mbah administration on illegal mining sites in the state, including those without environmental impact certification and remediation plans.
In addition, an Enugu State High Court also granted an interim injunction restraining Milhouse Energy Services and African Pits & Quarries Ltd, their agents, servants, privies, workers, among others, from “carrying on further activities, environmental degradation, damaging and interfering in whatsoever manner with the large expanse of land situate at Ibite Awhum.”
However, following discussions with the state government, Milhouse Energy Services Ltd may return to site in earnest following an agreement with the Enugu State Government, which will see the company pay the sum of N1 billion for environmental remediation while also paying the sum of N100,000 as tax per truckload of coal evacuated from the site.
The company had mined and evacuated coal from the site since February 2022 without any payments or recourse whatsoever to the Government of Enugu State.
Sealing the site in September, Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Ugwu said, “While the state is not contesting the fact that solid minerals are on the Exclusive Legislative List, we will not accept indiscriminate mining activities and degradation of our environment. We will not accept that people will enter our state and start carting away our resources without recourse to the Enugu State Government.
“So, we want to see the veracity of the license, which they claim they have from the Federal Government, and we have given them a letter inviting them to a meeting.
“We also want to find out how they have been remitting environmental fees to the Enugu State Ministry of Environment because we will not fold our hands and watch our environment destroyed and lives endangered.”
Meanwhile, the Mbah administration has continued the crackdown on illegal and indiscriminate mining activities with enforcement tour and sealing of a number of other sites.
“Be wise in 2023” Ojukwu advises Ndigbo
Everest Ezihe, Owerri
Ahead of 2023 general elections, Her Excellency Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu has advised Ndigbo ethnic nationality to be wise in their voting as their choices will either make or mar their opportunities for quotum leap towards economic, social and political emancipations.
Ojukwu who’s the wife of late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, ikemba Nnewi, the Biafran warlord and leader of the Igbo ethnic nationality said this in Owerri over the weekend during the 11th Memorial Lecture of the heroic but deceased husband organized and financed by the leaders and members of Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign States of Biafran, MASSOB and Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, at Ojukwu Memorial Library, new Owerri.
While calling on Ndigbo to hold themselves responsible in 2023 for their woes noting that it’s a situation like the phenomenal 2023 that great men like her husband would be remembered for their boldness, courage and patriotism of saying the truth and crusading against social injustice.
She likened Igbos to crab that eat it self and described the nation Nigeria as a failed State in all socioeconomic indices.
The Nigerian former Ambassador to Spain expressed dismay on the level of marginalisation of the people of South East geopolitical region in Nigerian projects especially in areas of appointments, economic policies and infrastructural development.
Ojukwu who was persistent in saying that Nigeria system has totally collapsed called for immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as pronounced by the nation’s judiciary.
She called Chief Ralph Uwazuruike of BIM/MASSOB as governor general of Igbo land and thanked him for always remembering her husband.
The political icon recalled that her husband had so many children but most of them she said are political opportunists noting Uwazuruike as an outstanding son with patriotic zeal.
Ojukwu informed that the last and greatest wish of her late husband has been achieved, that’s building of Prince Bruce Marock memorial building which is in the memory of the 17 year old European boy who during the Nigerian/ Biafra civil war burnt himself to death at the front building of United Nations Secretariat as a strategic means of drawing global attention to the alleged gruesome murders, genocide killings, rapes and marginalization of the minority Biafrans by the well equipped and majority Nigerian military government then.
She predicted that Igbos are on a crucial journey to achieve their paradise and no forces on Earth can stop them from achieving their covenant with God saying” no nation that ever holds her people into hostage, will never have peace and that no nation that holds up the dreams of her citizenry will ever prosper and no force nor forces can ever stop the emancipation of the Igbos” she assured.
Earlier, in his speech, Mr. Fanny Amu who chaired the occasion poured encomium to Ojukwu whom he described as a peaceful Patriot.
Amu enjoined Igbos to tow the line of peace in all their endeavors as a means of sustaining Ikemba Nnewi legacies.
2023: Ohanaeze yet to choose presidential candidate
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, says it has not chosen a preferred presidential candidate ahead of the 2023 general elections.
South-South Zonal Coordinator of Ohanaeze youths, Mr Chinedu Arthur-Ugwa, said this in a release which he signed and made available to newsmen in Owerri on Tuesday.
Arthur-Ugwa said that the organisation would make its choice of presidential candidate known in due time if it became necessary.
He advised members of the organisation especially the youth, to desist from politicizing its activities and seeking financial inducement in the organisation’s name.
He further said that the Ohanaeze’s choice of presidential candidate would not be influenced by ethnic and religious sentiments but would be strictly on merit, charisma and capacity of the candidates.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, ably led by our President-General, Prof. George Obiozor, has no preferred presidential candidate yet.
“When it becomes necessary that we choose one and we so do, we’ll make our preferences public.
“We therefore call on members to avoid the temptation to submit to any form of inducement, financial or otherwise in the name of Ohanaeze. This is distasteful as it is unacceptable. As an organisation, our dignity is sacrosanct,” he said.
He noted that prominent Igbo leaders such as the National Women Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mrs. Rita Daniels, had also warned youths not to convert the upcoming general elections into a money-making venture.
According to him, anyone found guilty of collecting money on behalf of Ohanaeze would be properly dealt with in line with laid down procedures.
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