•Residents lament sit-at-home in Umuahia, Awka
•Miscreants torch truckload of motorcycle spare parts in Enugu
•Kanu’s lawyer slams N50m suit against DSS over alleged rights violation
•IPOB moves to stop extradition of members arrested in Ghana
By Vincent Ujumadu, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Nwabueze Okonkwo, Ugochukwu Alaribe, Ikechukwu Odu & Emmanuel Iheaka
GOVERNOR Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, yesterday, said that the sit-at-home order declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, was the worst thing to happen to the economy of the southeast.
Umahi spoke as offices, business outfits, banks and schools in major parts of the southeast were again shut down yesterday in compliance with the sit-at-home order at the instance of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
For the fifth Monday in a row, the southeast was shut down. Roads were deserted. Vehicles along the busy southeast major roads could be counted. Some shops opened halfway, an indication that residents are yet to defeat apprehension despite the IPOB announcing the cancellation of the sit-at-home order.
Residents of major cities in the southeast especially Umuahia and Awka said they are tired of sitting at home every Monday.
In Awka, commercial activities were again paralyzed yesterday as banks, markets, including shopping malls and transporters refused to open for businesses.
In Enugu, miscreants suspected to be members of Eastern Security Network, ESN, yesterday, set ablaze a big truck loaded with new motorcycle spare parts at Eluagu Obukpa, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Similarly, Maxwell Opara, who is among the team of lawyers defending the detained leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has instituted a N50million fundamental right enforcement suit against the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS.
Sit-at-home order threatens economy of S-East —Umahi
Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Umahi said :”I think it is not about complying with the directive of IPOB. It is a question of fear.
“You know, the easiest thing to do is to carry weapon and kill somebody and that’s what happened in the past. And that’s why some people in South East are afraid of coming out. Even if you go now to the streets and you hold an AK 47, you’ll see everybody will desert the street. So, it’s not a question of compliance. It’s a question of fear.
“If the security agencies can have enough personnel in the South East, you’ll find out that no South East man wants to miss a day of work. They like to work, they are into trade, commerce, and they want to earn their daily living.
“So, this is something that the nation Nigeria must know. And it’s something that security agencies must know. Security agencies must know that they owe south East people the duty to protect their lives. And this is the reason why it appears that in some states, there is a compliance of sit at home, even though like you said, IPOB has said, it’s suspended.
“But it’s the worst thing to happen to south East because it will destroy the economy of South East. And so, I’ve been singing and I have been shouting that South East people should take heed not to allow such thing to happen because it will cripple the economy of South East.”
Umahi also told those holding federal positions from the zone to always visit their states and identify with their people in a bid to know the level of marginalization of the area.
Umahi said that the leaders of the zone in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo are working together on the grievances of the youths of the area in order to take it to the President.
The governor also commended President Buhari on what he described as “megaprojects” in the southeast especially the Second Niger Bridge which he said is becoming a reality and the award of the eastern corridor of the railway line which he said would fast track commercial activities in the area.
Residents lament sit-at-home in Umuahia
Most residents said they were tired of sitting at home every Monday.
They urged the federal government to release the IPOB Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu or make him speak to his supporters, stressing that this is the only way to encourage people to go about their businesses, every Monday, without fear.
A cross section of residents of Abia State who spoke to Vanguard insisted that only Kanu can enforce the suspension of the sit at home order.
According to a keke operator, who gave his name as Onyeka, “The federal government should release Nnamdi Kanu or make him speak to his supporters. This is the only way to end the sit at home every Monday. Nobody can make people come out for their businesses except when they hear the voice of Nnamdi Kanu.”
Mrs Nma Nwankwo who deals on roasted plantain along Ikot Ekpene road, Aba, lamented that sit-at-home is now boring. Staying at home every Monday, for four weeks is no more exciting and he and called on the government to provide adequate security on the streets to encourage people to go about their businesses.
Vanguard gathered that civil servants who have been forced to come to work despite the order found it difficult to get to their offices as motorists deserted the roads. Even civil servants who have cars were afraid to ply the roads for fear of attack by hoodlums.
Corporate organizations, transporters encouraging sit-at- home —Awka residents
Awka residents have blamed the sit-at-home on transporters and corporate organisations who refused to do business. With such scenario, people who wanted to embark on inter city travels had to return to their homes while some civil servants residing outside the state capital who wanted to go to work could not find the means of doing so.
Vehicles were plying within the cities but people could not make purchases as most big business houses were closed.
Mechanic workshops and allied businesses were open, but spare parts markets were not open and so, those who have chosen Mondays as a day for servicing their vehicles could not do much yesterday.
Some residents said the lingering sit -at-home was becoming frustrating, adding that it was getting to a situation where the people might protest against those business houses closing shop on Mondays for no justifiable reason.
Mr. Andrew Chukwuanu, a retired civil servant wondered why Igbo people should continue to undermine the economy of the South East when the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, that ordered the sit – at -home had since suspended it.
According to him, the people of the South East have been losing millions of naira every week by abandoning their businesses and deciding to idle away in their houses.
A lawyer, Mr. Nnamdi Okeke blamed the South East governors for the situation, adding that they have also succumbed to the dictates of IPOB.
Commercial activities paralyzed in Onitsha
Residents of the commercial city yesterday volunteered to sit at home, saying that the IPoB leader, Nnamdi Kanu who is currently being incarcerated in the DSS dungeon in the pursuit of Biafra restoration deserved their solidarity and encouragement through constant sit-at-home exercise of this nature.
As usual, markets, banks, filling stations and other business activities were shut downexcept few tricyclists who plied“short distances from Onitsha to neighboring communities like Nkpor, Ogidi, Obosi and environs.
Reacting to the development, the traditional ruler of Nteje community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Rowland Odegbo identified lack of employment opportunities for the youths as the major cause of agitations and restiveness which culminated to the present sit-at-home imbroglio.
Miscreants torch truckload of motorcycle spare parts in Enugu
Residents ofNsukka in Enugu State who were still gripped with shock told Vanguard that the incident happened at about 6 am when the miscreants on motorcycles overran the truck driver, setting the goods and the truck on fire in the process.
They added that the miscreants wanted to capture the driver and his conductor alive but the duo jumped from the truck and fled, abandoning their goods which were already in flames.
“The truck was headed for Enugu-Ezike in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state but when the driver saw men on new motorcycles pursuing commercial tricyclists who were conveying traders to some local markets in the area, he made a U-turn. However, the men, suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s ESN overtook him at Eluagu Obukpa Junction and set the big truck and the goods in it on fire,” a resident of the area who identified himself as Chukwuma Ezema, said.
When contacted, the spokesperson of Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, said the information concerning the attack was sketchy at the time of filing this report but assured that preliminary investigation has begun to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer slams N50m suit against DSS
Opara, who alleged that he was on August 30, subjected to various degrading treatments when he went to visit Kanu in detention as ordered by the court, also cited the Department of State Services, DSS, as the 2nd Respondent in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1018/2021.
The Applicant told the court that DSS operatives had upon his arrival to see Kanu, commandeered him to a particular room within their facility for purposes of alleged bodily search, “wherein they forced him to remove his medicated eye-glasses, wedding ring, belt, jacket and shoes and accordingly, he told the court that he was subjected to the humiliation of holding his trousers with his hands, wearing a bathroom slippers meant for awaiting trial inmates and exposed to Air Conditioner inflicted cold for 3 hours.
Opara maintained that the action the DSS took against him, amounted to a gross violation of his right to dignity of human person as guaranteed under Sections 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), as well as Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People Rights (Ratification and enforcement) Act Cap A9 Vol. 1 LFN.
He specifically prayed the court for; “A declaration that the Respondents, whilst in the execution of their duties must respect the fundamental rights of citizens and accordingly abide by the provisions of Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the provisions of the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
“A declaration that the actions of the men, operatives and officers under the command commission of the Respondents on the 30th of August, 2021 during the Applicant’s visit to see his client in their detention facility, wherefore they commandeered the Applicant to a particular room within their facility; for purposes of alleged bodily search, wherein they forced him to remove his medicated eye-glasses, wedding ring, belt, jacket and shoes and accordingly left him shabbily dressed, harassed, intimidated and humiliated, amounts to a gross violation of the Applicant’s right to dignity of human person as guaranteed under Sections 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Pe0ple Rights (Ratification and enforcement) Act Cap A9 Vol. 1 LFN.
“A declaration that the actions of the men, operatives and officers under the command/commission of the Respondents on the 30th of August, 2021 during the Applicant’s visit to see his client in their detention facility, wherefore they commandeered the Applicant to a particular room within their facility; for purposes of alleged bodily search, wherein they forcibly removed his belt, medicated eye-glasses, wedding ring, jacket and shoes, and subjected him to the humiliation of holding his trousers with his hands, wearing a bathroom slippers meant for awaiting trial inmates and exposed to Air Conditioner inflicted cold for 3 hours, are not permitted by law; even during bodily search”.
IPOB moves to stop extradition of members arrested in Ghana
IPoB has begun moves to secure the freedom of some of its members arrested in Ghana.
Aloy Ejimakor, one of the lawyers representing the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, made this known in a tweet yesterday.
The Ghanaian police had arrested some members of the IPOB around Mallam Junction in Accra on Sunday while they were having their monthly meeting.
The lawyer noted that he had sent some documents that would aid the release of the separatists.
He tweeted: “Update on #IPOB Ghana: A few days ago, I sent to the DOS (via @ChinasaNworu) certain legal documents critical to the defense of the faithful currently distressed in Ghana. The goal is to quickly secure their freedom and prevent their “rendition to injustices” in Nigeria,” he tweeted.