Prisoners Escape From Ikot Ekpene Prison

The kitchen staffs on duty at the Ikot Ekpene Prison in Akwa-Ibom were attacked by prisoners on Wednesday, leading to their escape.

This was revealed in a statement made by the ASP Ogbajie J. Ogbajie, Command Public Relations Officer to newsmen.

According to reports, the prisoners seized an axe from a fellow inmate attached to the kitchen, inflicting a deep cut to inmates’ head in the process and immediately made for the rear entrance to the prison.

“They broke the door with the axe and engaged the staff that chased after them in battle”, it added.

“At the end of the scuffle, 4 of them that sustained gun shots lost their lives while 7 were recaptured.

“36 are still at large and search parties have been activated to effect their recapture.”

Meanwhile, the Controller of Prisons Akwa Ibom State Command, Alex Oditah has ordered an investigation into the circumstance surrounding the unfortunate incident.

The CP appealed to members of the public to assist the authority with useful intelligence that will aid arrest of feeling prisoners assuring that security has been strengthen in all prison formations in the State to forestall breach of security.



3 Killed As Gunmen Invade Commissioner’s Residence

At least three people have been killed by unknown gunmen at the residence of Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Obong Udo Ekpenyong.

The gunmen attacked Ekpenyong’s home in his village, Ikot Okusung, in Ukanafun Local Government Area of the state at about 2am on Sunday. The attack resulted in the killing the commissioner’s sister and two other persons. The attackers were said to have invaded the residence of the commissioner’s on motorcycles.

The hooligans gained entrance into the premises by shooting their way into the building, killing Ekpenyong’ sister, who was a teacher, while destroying several property.

Confirming the fatal incident, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, said the two others killed were responding to the alarm raised by the commissioner’s sister.

The state police public relations officer, DSP Bala Elkana, told Daily Sun that “The four gunmen entered his house and shot his sister. When they entered, she raised an alarm and people tried to come to her rescue. So, when the hoodlums were fleeing, they shot indiscriminately and killed two persons on the road. But inside the house they killed one person, a woman, that is, the sister to the commissioner.

“That is one of the reasons that we have placed a ban on motorcycles. All the killings that have taken place in the area were carried out by people riding bikes. I have issued a release this morning on the ban of the use of motorcycles in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun from 6pm till 7am till further notice.”


Monkeypox Spreads to Akwa Ibom

The highly infectious Monkeypox disease which was recorded in Bayelsa State is now reported to have reached Akwa Ibom State.

One case of the disease, which was first detected in Bayelsa state, has been confirmed, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, said. He added that two other suspected cases are under investigation.

Moneypox manifests as various stages of rash and an intense weakness among other things. Rashes, ranging from a few to several thousands, begins on the face, then palms and feet soles. The lesions (or rashes) later become fluid-filled blisters and lastly crusts which can affect the oral membranes, genitalia, eyelids and eyeballs.

Details later…

Pandemonium In Akwa-Ibom Court As Ex-Gov. Akpabio’s Relative Allegedly Attack Judge

Police in Akwa Ibom State said they had commenced investigation into an alleged attack on Sanitation Court in Uyo by heavily armed policemen led by the officer in charge of the Anti- Robbery Unit, SP Idorenyin Akpabio.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkaner, who disclosed this to journalists, said the Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Umar, was aware of the incident.

Akpabio, a relative of the immediate past governor of the state, now Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, is said to have led two patrol vehicles filled with policemen to attack and disrupt proceedings at the Sanitation Court which was in session at Nkemba Street, Uyo, last weekend.

It was learnt that a girl, said to be Akpabio’s daughter, was one of the 23 sanitation defaulters apprehended by sanitation task force officials attached to the state Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources during last Saturday’s monthly sanitation exercise and subsequently arraigned before the Sanitation Court.

The girl, who was taken to the Sanitation Court along with other defaulters, had reportedly insulted the court officials, threatening that her father was a senior police officer in the state.

She reportedly made good her threats when she put a telephone call across to her father, who initially stormed the court with six armed policemen who cocked their rifles and threatened to open fire at the task force and court officials.

Angered by the court and task force officials’ refusal to release his daughter, it was learnt that Akpabio called for more reinforcement, prompting the arrival two patrol vehicles filled with policemen on the court premises. According to those present at the scene, the over 20 policemen stormed the court and shot into the air thereby causing panic, forcing everyone to run

According to those present at the scene, the over 20 policemen stormed the court and shot into the air thereby causing panic, forcing everyone to run helter-skelter while they whisked the girl away.

Elkaner said that Umar was unhappy with the behaviour of the O/C, Anti-Robbery.

He said: “The state police command is aware of the unfortunate incident. The commissioner has ordered an investigation into the incident and disciplinary action would be taken against the O/C if found guilty.”

In Akwa-Ibom: Notorious Armed Robber Escapes From Police Custody

Member of a notorious robbery gang, simply referred to as Frank, has escaped from police custody.

Frank was arrested during a robbery attack at St. Patrick Quasi Catholic Parish, Obio Ndot, in the Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Punch reported.

He was reported to have been tortured and later handed over to the Ikot Uboh Police Post, under the Oruk Anam Police Division, last Tuesday.

Frank was said to have escaped from the police cell on Friday through the roof.

Our correspondent gathered that the suspect’s gang had been terrorising Oruk Anam and its environs for months.

Residents of Obio Ndot village told our correspondent on Monday that St. Patrick Quasi Catholic Parish, three weeks ago, was attacked by the same robbery gang, who made away with the money realised during the harvest service.

One of the residents, Mr. Iwok Essien, said, “Last Tuesday, at about 12am, the robbers attacked the Catholic parish again. They scaled the fence from behind the church to enter the premises.

“They did not know that after the first attack, the parish beefed up its security by engaging three additional security men because there was only one security man positioned at the gate the first time the gang robbed the parish.

“When the robbers came last Tuesday, one of the security men raised the alarm.

“Frank was caught, while others managed to escape.

“The suspect was almost lynched, but the church intervened. Frank was later handed over to the police.

“But last week Friday, some officers told the villagers that Frank had escaped. As I speak with you, there is controversy over the whereabouts of the suspected robber.”

However, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zubairu Muazu, said he contacted the Divisional Police Officer of the Oruk Anam Police Division who informed him through a text message that no armed robbery suspect escaped from the station.

The DPO’s message, which the CP forwarded to journalists, read, “Good afternoon, sir, no armed robbery suspect escaped from the Oruk Anam Police Division.

“Rather, there was a case of stealing of aluminium zinc at the Ikot Uboh Police Post in which the arrested suspect was said to have escaped from custody on August 28, 2017.

“The ASP in charge did not report the incident until the station officer, who took over from him on September 1, 2017, told me. I have liaised with the locals for the re-arrest of the suspect, while those on duty have been defaulted.”

Improve Reportage On Water Sanitation, UNICEF Urges Media

United Nations Children’s Fund has admonished media to improve reportage on water sanitation to enhance healthy living.
The UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mr. Geoffrey Njoku speaking in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state on Tuesday at a two-days media dialogue on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

Njoku said, the spirit of investigative journalism must be reawakened to advocate for water, sanitation and hygiene in the country.
He explained that the media dialogue on WASH was organised by UNICEF with supports from European Union to boost the understanding of the journalists on issues that concerned water, sanitation and hygiene as they affect child survival.
He said “this media dialogue is aimed at promoting advocacy for water and sanitation, understanding of the link between water and
child survival and the roles of UNICEF and EU as well as their efforts in water, sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria.”
“We urge journalists to generate and publish human interest stories so as to create visibility for Water situation and interventions in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta in order to encourage more
investments in water supply in the region. Such stories should be shared on social media with #WASHDialogue ”.
He reiterated that “Increased reportage of water, sanitation and hygiene in terms of in-depth, incisive and analytical features would assist in achieving the SDGs and benefit the citizenry, particularly the downtrodden.”
“Specifically, there is need to tell the public about the interventions of the EU in water and sanitation project in the Niger Delta which include Delta, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers states,” Geoffrey said.
The Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel who was represented at the media dialogue by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Political, Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Mr Nse Edem disclosed that the state government is providing new strategic policies that would ensure provision of potable water across the state.
UNICEF WASH Specialist, Mr Moustapha Niang in his presentation highlighted facts and figures depicting the current situation on provision of water and environmental sanitation in Nigeria.
The acting General Manager of Akwa-Ibom State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, Mr Idongesit Ido said with the release of the
counterpart funds the Akwa Ibom state governor, 30 solar power mini water schemes and 24 sanitation facilities have been awarded to contractors and some of the have already been delivered.

Akwa-Ibom Breaks New Ground In Agriculture

Governor Udom Emmanuel has restated his administration’s commitment to diversification and food sufficiency for the people of Akwa-Ibom State.He spoke when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Cattle Ranch at Adadia in Uruan Local Government  Area to evaluate the level of Development.

According to a statement, the Governor said the cattle ranch is one of the many agricultural sector based interventions his administration has embarked upon to boost commerce and ensure not only food sufficiency for the state, but availability of raw materials for the industries that are springing up in the state.

The ranch is an IPP arrangement between Akwa Ibom State Government and San-Jo Agric Group,  Mexico . The governor disclosed that, so far, over 89 youths have been employed in the Ranch to help in the cultivation of grass which the cattle at the ranch will graze .

“The special grasses have been planted on well over 100 hectares of land, with four hundred hectares more to be cultivated”, he added.Governor Emmanuel revealed that the upon completion, the Ranch will have an abattoir for meat processing , milk factory that will produce fresh milk and cheese and leather works factory to transform the skin of the cows into by-products like shoes ,boxes ,bags among others.

Seven Nigerian Govs To Visit Buhari Tomorrow

Seven governors are set to travel to London to visit Nigeria’s ailing President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday.

This was disclosed by three presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina, Garba Shehu and Laolu Akande, at a media briefing in Abuja.

The governors are to be led by Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara and include governors of Ebonyi, Kano, Benue, Borno, Akwa Ibom, and Oyo.

The visit comes a few days after some APC leaders and governors visited the president on Sunday.

Mr. Buhari had on that July 23 met with the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and some governors elected on the party’s platform.

A statement by the presidency, which provided a photograph of the event, gave the names of those who met with the president to include Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and the APC National Chairman, John Oyegun.

Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, later quoted Governor Okorocha as describing Mr. Buhari as cheerful and humorous during the meeting held at Nigeria House in London.

Mr. Adesina also quoted the Imo governor as saying, “By our visit to London today, the merchants of lies have been put out of business and Nigerians will not buy the garbage they have been selling.

“All those who look up to fake news can find better use for their time.”

Mr. Buhari, whose real medical condition is unknown, has been in London for over 70 days for medical treatment.

His deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, recently visited him in the British capital, reporting back to Nigerians that the nation’s number one man was recuperating fast and would return soon.

Salaries And Pension To Be Paid After Recieving N10b On Paris Refund Loan – Akwa-Ibom Comissioner

…Salaries, pension arrears to be paid

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Nsikan Linus Nkan Tuesday confirmed that Akwa Ibom State Government has received the second part of the Paris Club Refund of N10 billion after having received the first refund last year December.

According to Nkan, during a media chat, the funds which he noted is barely enough to settle indebtedness and commitment of government, would be used to settle payment of salaries, pension arrears, arrears of gratuities and probably deferring some debt owed to contractors.

His words: “The Governor has given direction that we use the funds to pay salaries and to the extent that it can cover, also pay pensions.”

While admitting that there is pressure from various quarters, however, gave assurances that government would direct so that all parties would be touched.

Shedding light on the first Refund of N14.5billion, the Commissioner said that the State House of Assembly had captured it as strategic revenue for 2017 and was properly appropriated for.

The Finance boss noted that application of the Paris Fund has already been stipulated by the Federal Government where it is meant to be used to settle arrears of salaries and pensions.

23 Suspected Cultists Arrested In Akwa Ibom

The Police Command in Akwa Ibom on Thursday said it had arrested 23 suspected cult members and recovered several rounds of live ammunition from them.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Donald Awunah, disclosed this at a news conference in Uyo.

Awunah said that the suspected cult members had been involved in several criminal activities in the state, including terrorising citizens in different local government areas.

He, however, said that the command’s Special Operation Unit had swooped on the alleged criminal hideouts and arrested 23 of the suspected cult members.

“Upon receipt of actionable intelligence, operatives of the unit on July 9, 2017, swooped on these hoodlums at different locations.

“Exhibits recovered from them include: one suspected stolen LG plasma television; eight expended cartridges; 28 rounds of pellets; a blue rubber net; one Techno phone and the sum of N5,300, ” the commissioner said.

He appealed to the people of the state to continue to share information with the police, saying,“this feat was made possible by such cooperation.’’

Awunah also urged parents and guardians to maintain close supervision of their children/wards in order to prevent them from keeping bad company and indulging in criminal activities.

He said all the suspects would be charged to court on completion of the investigation.

PPMC-Developing Of Database For Kerosene Dealers in Akwa-Ibom

The Akwa Ibom Petroleum Products Monitoring Committee says it will develop a database for all kerosene surface tank dealers in order trace sources of adulterated kerosene in the state.

The Senior Special Assistant to the state governor on Petroleum Matters, Obong Essien Esema, made the disclosure on Monday in Uyo at a sensitization meeting of stakeholders on Kerosene fire incidents.

Esema, who is the chairman of the committee, explained that accreditation of surface tank dealers would help identify sources of contaminated products in cases of explosion.

“In areas where there are reported cases of kerosene adulteration or explosion in the state, we will ensure that the sale of kerosene is stopped immediately.

“We will ensure that all petroleum storage tanks, receptacles and transporting trucks are properly colour-coded,” Esema said.

He directed surface tank dealers to paint their receptacles blue with white stripes in the middle of the tanks to indicate that they were kerosene dealers.

The senior special adviser warned that non-compliance with the colour code would result in prosecution of offenders.

Esema, who lamented that in the last one year, 48 cases of kerosene explosions were reported in the state, announced that surface tank dealers would also be made to undergo mentoring programme.

He said that the mentoring programme would require the surface dealers to operate under the supervision of an independent or major marketer to ensure quality products supply.

Esema further explained that the process would expose the surface tank dealers to some safety measures required to make the products usage safe.

He also advised kerosene consumers not to refill their lanterns or stoves while the devices are hot.

“It is advisable to fill a kerosene lantern and stove outdoors using a fill spout. Kerosene should be stored away from the home and any heat or ignition sources,” Esema said.

Speaking on behalf of the surface tank dealers, Mrs Lucy Eyo, thanked the committee for organising the stakeholders meeting.

Eyo said that the dealers were ready to cooperate with the state government to curb incessant kerosene explosion in the state.

She pledged that the dealers would comply with all the safety measures put in place by the government and appealed for regular supply of kerosene through authorised sources.

Eyo explained that no dealer would patronise unknown sources if the product was available through authorised channels.