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The traditional ruler of Ogbozine Akpugo in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, Igwe Stephen Nwatu, has been murdered, Vanguard newspaper is reporting.

Police sources told the newspaper that the traditional ruler was allegedly killed by unknown persons while returning from a court sitting at Nkanu, the local government headquarters, on Monday afternoon.

The traditional ruler, who was accompanied by four policemen, was said to have arrived the court premises when the court had closed and left the premises with the policemen.

Police sources said Nwatu was trailing one of his subjects who had some issues with him when they were waylaid by a group of people and beaten to stupor.

His attackers reportedly disarmed his police orderlies before descending on them.
The Divisional Police Officer for Nkanu West Police Station, who got wind of the attack, was said to have rushed the monarch to Orient Hospital in the area, where Nwatu was given some first aid treatment before he was transferred to the Parklane Hospital in Enugu metropolis, where he died at 9pm on Tuesday night.

However, other sources said some members of the community were going to the Government House, where they had been invited by the Chief of Staff, to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi over their matter with Nwatu, when they were blocked somewhere at Amodu, Awkunanaw by the Igwe and some members of the police anti-robbery squad and molested before the fracas, which led to the killing of the Igwe started.

The members of the SARS were said to have abandoned the Igwe when he reportedly ordered his driver to kill anybody on his way to enable him escape.

The driver was said to have overrun one person from Ogbozine, shattering his two legs, before his enraged subjects pounced on him and beat him to stupor, leading to his death.

The late Nwatu was said to have been having series of problems with his subjects who had always accused him of high-handedness, as well as complained of imposition of arbitrary and illegal levies on them.

Meanwhile, the police at Nkanu have recovered one of the riffles snatched from one of the policemen guarding the late Igwe Nwatu.

Policemen and family members of late Igwe Nwatu confirmed that the late traditional ruler died from the injuries he sustained during the attack at Park Lane Hospital on Tuesday.

About 15 houses were said to have so far been burnt in a reprisal attack against alleged opponents of the late Igwe.

It was said that some members of the local vigilante group, Neighborhood Watch, who were loyal to Nwatu, attacked those perceived to be enemies of the late monarch and set their houses ablaze.

Henry Nnamani said two of his houses were burnt while his brother, Moses, lost over 30 drums of palm oil, which he stored in his house, waiting for the period of scarcity to sell them, while Chijioke Okenwa also said that he “lost all that he had laboured for, following the burning” of his house.

Enugu State police Spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the killing of Igwe Stephen Nwatu in a text message to Vanguard.

Amaraizu said: “The (police) command through the operatives of the state criminal intelligence and investigations department have commenced a full scale investigation into the incident with a view to finding out the circumstances surrounding the incident as well as those involved among other things.”

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BIG STORY

Nigerian Girl Tobechukwu Phillips Shatters American School’s 125-year Academic History, Earns 6.9 GPA

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A Nigerian-born teenager, Tobechukwu Phillips has shattered the 125 academic history of her high school in Texas, US.

Phillips, a student of Alvin High School boasted a 6.9 GPA, after she earned A’s throughout her stay in the school. She emerged the first Black valedictorian in the school’s history.

Alvin High School was originally established in 1894. African-American students were allowed to join the school in 1965.

Speaking to Because of Them We Can, Phillips said, “Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is a difficult task. It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself.”

Phillips had a word of advice for other students. She said, “My biggest advice to other scholars of colour is to truly adopt the mindset of Rosa Parks — ‘No.’ Do not conform to the stereotypes that have held us under thumbs for so long,” she explained. “Do not be discouraged when someone speaks out against you, simply allow what they say to fuel your fire. But more than anything, do not remain tight-lipped. Stand up for what you believe in and take it upon yourself to be the change you’ve always wanted. Say ‘No’ to the ways of the world and stick out.”

Phillips will attend the Nursing School at the University of Texas on full scholarship later in the year. Her plan is to one day own her own clinic as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

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BIG STORY

Minimum Wage: FG Increases NYSC Allowance To N30,000

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The allowance of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been increased to N30,000 by the federal government.

The disclosure was made by the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, who however, noted that the federal government is still working out modalities before the implementation of the new allowance for corps member, The Nation reports.

PorscheClassy News gathers that the minister made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, May 16, during a press conference where she added that the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.

She said: “The other aspect that should be clear is that there is an increase for the NYSC as well because NYSC, by its Act, is designed that they earn the minimum wage.”

“So, NYSC allowance also has to increase to N30, 000. So, I cannot give you projections right now because the negotiations are not yet concluded.”

Recall that we had previously reported that the former director general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Major General Suleiman Kazaure, said that the increment of allowances for corps members would be considered as soon as the minimum wage increment was approved.

Kazaure stated this in Abuja on Friday, March 29, during the swearing-in ceremony of 3,022 Batch A corps members into the FCT orientation camp.

The NYSC ex-DG said all hope was not lost as the scheme was waiting for the federal government to sign the minimum wage into law.

He urged the newly sworn in corps members to conduct themselves properly while in camp and shun drug abuse.

The NYSC ex-boss advised them to remain patriotic after being posted to their communities of primary assignments and ensure that impacts were made in their host communities.

Declaring the orientation camp exercise open, the minister of the FCT, Alhaji Muhammad Bello, who was represented by the director of administration and finance of the ministry, Hajiya Safiya Umar, also urged the new batch of corps members to be hard working.

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BIG STORY

Stop Eating Foreign Rice, It’s Poisonous — Customs Comptroller-General Warns Nigerians

Peter Okunoren

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Col. Hameed Ali (Retd), the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has urged Nigerians to stop consuming foreign rice because it is poisonous.

He said this on Thursday in Abuja at a news conference organised by the Ministry of Finance.

Ali said that the Federal Government had not issued license for the importation of rice and that any rice seen on the streets that was not produced in Nigeria was smuggled, NAN reports.

He said that the imported rice was poisonous because before coming into the country, it must have spent a minimum of five years in the silos.

“A chemical must have been added to sustain its freshness and that chemical is harmful.

“Also, it has been re-bagged with a new date given as the production and expiry date and that is what we consume here which causes diseases.

“So, I appeal to Nigerians to please patronise our own rice, it is available, more nutritious and if you do that you will assist customs by making sure these people are put out of business.”

The Customs boss said that rice importation was one of the biggest challenges the NCS was encountering, adding that it still happens because Nigerians consume the imported rice.

He added that Nigerians were not helping matters as they help the smugglers bring in the product.

According to him, if Nigerians stop buying the imported rice, smugglers will go out of business and there will be no need to bring it in.

“We always ask for assistance from Nigerians to apprehend these smugglers but up till now there is no private citizen that has walked up to us to give us information, the only people giving us information are the rice millers.

“We are working very closely with them to make sure that the rice that comes into this country is validly processed.”

According to him, there is no smuggler that is too big to be arrested, and that the NCS has in custody three big rice smugglers.

He said because of the smugglers, the NCS enlarged its task force specifically to fight the rice problem, especially in the season of fasting, a celebration period which smugglers would try to import rice.

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