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Eke-Ukwu Owerri 2

Zinox donates N50m to Owerri market victims’, Uzodinma, others seek enquiry

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More Imo State citizens have continued to respond to the weekend’s demolition of Eke-Ukwu Owerri market by the state government which claimed the life of one boy, Somtockwukwu several valuable properties.

It would be recalled that Business Hilights broke the news early Saturday morning as shootings by security forces raged during the demolition.

Early callers include the chairman of Zinox Group, pioneer technology company in Nigeria, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, who has offered to assist the victims with a donation of N50 million to alleviate the lost incurred.

Chairman, Zinox group, Leo Stan Ekeh

While announcing the donation, Ekeh called on citizens of the State and affected traders in the demolished market to allow peace to reign in the aftermath of the crisis.

besides, a team of Imo State Stakeholders in Abuja, on Tuesday addressed a press conference, condemning the manner of the demolition and on the Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha to resign as the governor or wait on the House of Assembly to begin impeachment process.

In his reaction during an interview, the Senator representing Orlu senatorial zone of Imo State, Chief Hope Uzodinma, decried the action by the state government and assured that the National Assembly will on return from vacation, set up a high-powered panel of enquiry to find of what happened especially when there is a subsisting order restraining the demolition.

He commiserated with the victims, especially those that lost their loved ones and their investments.

On the N50 million donation, Ekeh, a native of Owerri, said it will be disbursed to those directly affected in the market and families of the victims who unfortunately lost their lives during the confrontation between the security operatives and the traders.

Hope Uzodimma
Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs Excise and Tariff, Chief Hope Uzodinma, represnting Orlu Senatorial Zone of Imo State

Sympathizing with the victims while making the presentation, the Head of Leo Stan Ekeh Foundation (LSEF), Mr. Niyi Onabanjo disclosed that a committee has already been set up headed by Chief Ambrose Ejiogu to address every issue concerning the plight of the traders irrespective of their origin, whether they are indigenes of Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe or from neighbouring states.

Other members of the committee include Dr. Vin Udokwu (Secretary), Chief C.Y Amako, Prof. Obioma Iheduru, Chief Emeka Ekwebelem, Mrs. Chuks Ekemaru, Dr. Canice Nwosu, Prof. Henry Njoku, Sam Nwoke and Chief Analyn Nwaneri, among others.

The committee’s mandate is to work with the leadership of the market association in identifying those affected for disbursement of the funds to them.

Giving further insights on the activities of the LSEF, Onabanjo said Ekeh recently awarded a multi-million Naira contract for a comprehensive refurbishment of a Practical Entrepreneurship Centre sited inside a market in Owerri which is slated for commissioning first week of November as a model.

He noted that “Though a private initiative, I am sure he would have mentioned it to the State Governor. He intends to invite quality multinationals like Microsoft, Google, HP, IBM, Cisco, Facebook etc. to come and inspire Imo State youths so that they can see the bigger picture of the global wealth roadmap. As a promoter of knowledge democracy, he has been quietly assisting his state in the little ways he can.” has been quietly assisting his state in the little ways he can.”

He averred that Ekeh believes if the model works, the Imo state government may replicate same in other regions for the benefit of her citizens.

Gov Okorocha
Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocah

Latest angle to the development as at Tuesday, showed that Police Command in Owerri has snatched away the mortuary ticket for the dead boy from his parents under the pretext of further investigation. The mother who spoke to Business Hilights in Owerri, decried how her husband was played by the Police at the mortuary and took away the tally on the claim that murder investigation must complete before the release of corpse.



Business Hilights is an online news channel conceptualized and structured to report and track on a daily basis; latest developments in critical business sectors to serve as a one stop news gateway for governments, foreign and indigenous investors.