Tag Archives: Rivers

[Nigeria] Former Rivers Commissioner Condemn Wike’s Demolition of Hotels’ idea.

Advertisements

Austin Tam-George, ex-Commissioner for Information in Rivers State, has condemned the recent actions of his former principal, Governor Nyesom Wike.

On Sunday, two hotels in the Eleme community were pulled down, a development that sparked outrage.

Governor Wike personally monitored the demolition exercise, which he said was the consequence of the violation of his COVID-19 executive order.

In a statement on Monday, Tam-George regretted that no formal charges were brought against the affected hotels before a court of law.

Advertisements

He also complained that the owners had no opportunity to defend themselves before a judge.

Tam-George described Wike’s Executive Order as a spurious, draconian, ill-defined and sickening pattern of lawlessness and impunity.

He recalled that in July 2017, Wike shut down and revoked the Certificate of Occupancy of Novotel Hotel in Port Harcourt, allegedly because his critics lodged there.

Advertisements

Tam-George wrote: “In the past three years, Mr Wike has deployed his private army of thugs, disguised as State “Task Forces”, to kill innocent citizens, loot markets and shops, terrorize young women in Port Harcourt, and extort money from drivers and traders.

“On the 24th April, Sergeant Lavender Elekwachi, a traffic warden on duty in the Eneka area of the State, was murdered in cold blood by Governor Wike’s marauding Task Force.

“On the 27th of April, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet warned governments to refrain from violating fundamental human rights under the guise of emergency measures during the COVID-19 crisis.

Advertisements

“But in the past six weeks of the pandemic, Governor Wike has caused the death of a law enforcement agent, confiscated private properties, demolished hotels, brutalized market women in Port Harcourt and held pilots and oil workers on essential duties in illegal detention.

“The alarming acts of lawlessness by Mr Wike means that Rivers State has descended into a state of anarchy. State institutions have been hijacked by a lawless government, and the people themselves have been ‘kidnapped’ by a moral hoodlum in power.”

Tam-George urged the United Nations Human Rights Commission to commence criminal proceedings against Wike.

Advertisements

He appealed to the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) to initiate money laundering investigations, visa restrictions and asset freezes against the Rivers helmsman.

“Governor Wike is well-known for his expensive vacation junkets to European cities, even as children die from preventable water-borne diseases in Rivers State”, the former commissioner added.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements
Advertisements

Rivers Governor, Wike Sack Beggars. [Nigeria]

Advertisements

Government of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has sent 150 homeless wanderers and beggars out of the state.

The vagrants were sent back to their home states in the North, Niger Republic, Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom States.

This is part of the government’s measures to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Advertisements

Through its Ministry of Social Welfare, State government profiled the affected persons and sent them to their states and country of origin

This was disclosed by the state’s Commissioner for Social Welfare, Mrs. Inime Aguma on Tuesday.

Aguma led other officials of the ministry to profile all the vagrants before they were evacuated to their states and local government areas of origin.

Advertisements

The commissioner disclosed that the evacuation exercise was not discriminatory and but designed to protect Rivers people.

She pointed out that the exercise was not targeted at any ethnic group, but was aimed at removing vagrants capable of spreading virus on the streets.

She noted that adequate arrangements were being made to ensure that the vagrants were transported to their respective locations in dignity.

Advertisements

Recall that Wike, while addressing the state on Monday, had directed the commissioner to deport all vagrants to their states of origin.

According to him, “We have also directed the Commissioner of Social Welfare to round-up and deport all vagrants, including the almajiris, to their states of origin to protect our people from the threat they present to the transmission of this pandemic.”


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements
Advertisements

COVID-19: Church donate life support ambulance to Rivers govt. [Nigeria]


In its determination to contribute in the fight against world health pandemic, Coronavirus, the Omega Power Ministries (OPM) has donated a brand new state-of-the-art Life Support ambulance to the Rivers State government to assist in the battle.

OPM’s General Overseer (GO), Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere, who confirmed the donation in a telephone chat on Sunday, disclosed that the new ambulance was received on behalf of the governor by the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike.


The GO further noted that the gesture was in appreciation of the relentless effort put in by Governor Nyesom Wike and other health workers in the fight against the deadly virus in the state.

“By the grace of God Omega Power Ministries decided to support the state government because we have seen the great fight of the governor against COVID-19.

“We appreciate his efforts and decided to support the state with an ambulance in case there is an emergency somewhere.


“We acquired the ambulances for our free hospital in Port Harcourt and decided to donate one to the state government because the fight against coronavirus is a fight for everybody. As we are praying against its spread, we should also be seen giving support.

“The donation which shall be permanent with the Rivers State government is part of the Church commitment towards assisting the masses in this trial period,” Chinyere said.

He further assured that OPM will not relent in its effort to support government in whatever measures within its reach to fight the satanic epidemic that can sweep the earth of its inhabitants.

The General Overseer who operates a free Specialist Hospital in Rivers State admitted that the ambulance donated to the state was acquired from the tithes and offerings of Church members.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] Wike change his mind on Easter celebration in Church?


Governor Nyesom Wike has reversed the permission he granted earlier for some religious activities to hold in churches and mosques in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim said the decision was taken after the Rivers State Governor held a meeting with eminent clergymen, well-meaning Nigerians, and civil society groups.


The statement released by the commissioner reads;

The Rivers State Government has cancelled the concession granted churches to hold Easter Church Services with their full congregations.

This decision was taken after due consultations with eminent clergy men, well-meaning Nigerians and civil society groups.

For the avoidance of doubt, churches should stick to the 50 persons per service to maintain social distancing


#Newsworthy…

PETAN donate items to 3 states in Nigeria.


As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) endeavours, and in its efforts to alleviate the anguish of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) is partnering with the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to donate ambulances, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment to Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State governments respectively.

This was made known by the newly elected Chairman of the Association, Mr. Nik Odinuwe, in Port Harcourt. He said the association is aware of the immense strain COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the healthcare system in Nigeria, and that, with PETAN’s donation, he hopes a substantial fight against this virus will be won, in the three states and the entire country.


Echoing some of the sentiments of the Chairman, Dr. Lucky Akhiwu, the Publicity Secretary of the Association, said the whole country is working tirelessly to slowdown the spread of Coronavirus and that PETAN will be proud to help on a continuous basis.

According to him, PETAN member companies are presently reaching out to their host communities, to provide them with palliative materials to help ease their struggles in this time of need. In his final remark, Odinuwe thanked the health care personnel for their selflessness in the fight against the virus, and urged members of the public to stay in their homes, wash their hands regularly, and comply with the stipulated social distance gap.

PETAN, as a reputable association, continuously takes care of the well being of her staff, and now is working in close association with her members host communities, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: N10bn to Lagos, N0bn to Rivers – FG’s foul – Wike accuse. (Nigeria)


Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike has accused the federal government of foul-play over approval N10 billion for Lagos, while his state is yet to receive any monetary support from the federal government for the fight against coronavirus.

Communicating via his Twitter handle, Wike accused the government of politicising efforts to fight the disease.


While Rivers is being controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos, is under the All Progressives Congress (APC). Lagos has so far recorded 120 cases of the coronavirus while Rivers has one case.

But the governor asked if the federal government is waiting for a state to have more than 50 cases before rendering support.


“While Lagos State received a grant of N10billion as a commercial hub, Rivers State as the nation’s oil and gas hub that produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth has not received any support from the Federal Government,” he wrote.

“One wonders why Federal Government should single out a state out of 36 States to give support. Does it mean that support will come when a State has a record of over 50 infected persons before it gets support.


“No state should be seen as more important than any other state. This is a Federal Republic. No state is superior to others.”

It is quite unfortunate that the containment of coronavirus has been politicized by the Federal Government. While Lagos State received a grant of N10billion as a commercial hub, #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/NsLqPzPkze


— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) April 5, 2020

Rivers State as the nation’s oil and gas hub that produces a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth has not received any support from the Federal Government.#Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/uNXd22CAXd


— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) April 5, 2020

One wonders why Federal Government should single out a state out of 36 States to give support. Does it mean that support will come when a State has a record of over 50 infected persons before it gets support. #Covid_19


— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) April 5, 2020

He said Rivers is entitled to support from the federal government, adding: “Every day, we are inundated with letters from the Federal Government to allow oil companies to fly in expatriates to drill oil.

“Then we ask, what is the status of those coming from Lagos? Nobody has told us their status as regards coronavirus.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Rivers NUJ shut down indefinitely. (Nigeria)


As a result of the growing concerns on the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the entire world, Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) will from Wednesday (1st of April, 2020) shut its Press Centre at Moscow Road, Port Harcourt for an initial period of two weeks.

This is also in compliance with the directive of NUJ National Secretariat putting all activities of the Council on hold for two weeks.


In a statement jointly signed by Stanley Job Stanley and Ike Wigodo, Chairman and Secretary respectively noted that the suspension is in compliance with the directive of the National body of the Union, which directed all state councils to stop congresses and other large gatherings in line with precautionary measures put in place by Federal and State Governments against the spread of the Coronavirus.

The statement advised NUJ members and visitors to stay away from the Press Centre for the duration of two weeks at the first instance.

The Union leadership also urges Journalists in the State to strictly adhere to laid down preventive measures and follow expert advice on coronavirus prevention.


#Newsworthy…

EFCC investigate Ex Governor Odili’s N100bn fraud case.


Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, is currently under probe for allegedly diverting N100 billion for personal use.

Odili, who was governor between 1999 and 2007, was alleged to have moved about N4 billion in cash to a bank between 2004 and 2006, in favour of his Aide-De-Camp, Isaac Onyesom, and Emmanuel Nkata who worked in the Rivers State liaison office in Abuja.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a fact sheet on the probe also alleged that N1.5 billion out of the amount was used by the ex-governor to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA.

It alleged that about N100 million was doled out to a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party on November 28, 2005.


But while still under probe, the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike was alleged to have transferred suspicious N2billion (public funds) to some firms belonging to Odili between 2016 and 2018.

There were indications that Odili might be put on trial by the EFCC.


But Odili in a suit FHC/ PHC/C3/26/2020 dated March 12, 2020, asked a Federal High Court to restrain the EFCC from investigating him.

He said the EFCC was bound by the 2007 judgments of the Federal High Court on the perpetual injunction against his arrest and prosecution.


He said the EFCC had been threatening to arrest, detain and prosecute him.

According to document on the status of investigation on Odili, the EFCC claimed that the ex-governor allegedly laundered the N100billion under the guise of pursuing a Power Project in Rivers State.


The document reads in part: “The Commission wishes to once again explain the case being investigated for which some restraining orders were obtained by both the representative of Rivers State Government and Dr. Peter Odili and also the new intelligence that were got against the third party which had link with some group of companies belonging to Odili.

“For the purpose of clarity, the commission wishes to put more light on the ongoing investigation in 2006 before it was aborted by some high court, based on a suit instituted by the former Governor of River State and some officials of the State govt.


“The petitioner had alleged that Dr. Peter Odili, then a governor of Rivers State had conspired with officials of his government and the chairman, Rocksons Engineering Group of Companies to divert over N100billion from the account of Rivers State, alleging that he used same for Power Project in Rivers.

“The petitioner also went further to say that part of the state fund was moved to the Government House account, from where it was distributed to the then governor and his relatives and investigation commence.


“The said account of the Government House was immediately obtained and details of the account revealed that about N4 billion between 2004 and 2006 was moved in cash in favour Odili’s ADC, Isaac Onyesom and one Emmanuel Nkata of the Rivers State liaison office, Abuja.

“These funds were withdrawn in cash for the former governor of Rivers State. Emmanuel Nkatah was arrested and he confirmed that the funds were withdrawn for the former governor through his ADC.


“ Investigation was on when the ADC, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), suddenly retired from the Police and disappeared into thin air.

“ Among those who also benefited from the funds from Rivers State was a former National Chairman of PDP who received a manager’s cheque of N100 million from the same account on November 28, 2005.
Read Also: We will reopen Odili’s investigation, says EFCC


“ Between 2005 and 2006, the former governor Odili paid about N1.5billion which was used to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA and so many others.

“ From the same account, he moved N3 billion to an oil company for shares, N1.4 billion to a bottle water company, and about N1.8billion to a communication company which as of 2006, had no share as it was not a quoted company.


“ When the investigation commenced, he quickly involved the State Govt to take over the shares but the State Govt was not comfortable and requested that the companies return their money.

The EFCC said despite being under investigation, about N10billion questionable deposits were found in some accounts traced to Odili and a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police.


It said N2billion out of the suspicious N10billion was lodged in some companies belonging to Odili by the Rivers State Government between 2016 and 2017.

The document added: “Sometimes in 2018, information was received that some Companies belonging to a retired ASP: NUMAC Project Company Ltd and NUMAC Global Resources Ltd, had between 2004 and 2018 received over N5 billion into the account and the funds came in tranches of N500, N300 millions etc, which is suspicious.


”These Companies and their accounts were thoroughly investigated. It was discovered that the inflow into these accounts are mostly cash.

“ On few occasions, about N2billion came in from Rivers State Government account between 2016 and 2017.


“These funds were traced to the following Companies: Pamo Group of companies Ltd, Pamo Clinic and Hospital and Pamo Educational Foundation. The above companies were found to have belonged to Dr. Peter Odili and his family.

“Based on the above, and in view that the above companies were not part of restraining order of the Federal High Court, the EFCC commenced further investigation.


“ It was further established that the funds were moved from the banks in Abuja contrary to the claims that the money formed part of the security .

“The ADC, the principal suspect in the alleged fraud has been in hiding, he has refused to honour the invitation of the Commission. The commission reliably gathered that it was because of the case that he prematurely retired from the police voluntarily.”

The former governor is however fighting back by approaching a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt seeking a fresh injunction against EFCC.


#Newsworthy…

No other party in Rivers but PDP – Governor boast


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) is the only existing political party in the state because of its commitment to the rapid development of the state.

Speaking during the defection of former Commissioner of Education and Rivers APC chieftain, Chief Allwell Onyesoh with his supporters at the PDP Secretariat in Port Harcourt on Friday, Governor Wike said that Rivers people are happy with the performance of the PDP over the years.


He said: “There is no other party in Rivers State. PDP is the only party as far as Rivers State is concerned.

“Except people who do not see and those who tell lies in this state, the only party that means well for Rivers State is the PDP.”


Governor Wike said that the performance of the Rivers State PDP is beyond mere propaganda.

“This is the only party that keeps its promises. When we say a thing, we go all out to carry it out on behalf of the people,” he said.


He expressed happiness that Rivers leaders are returning to the PDP to promote the interest of the state.

Governor Wike said that the PDP returnees will enjoy equal opportunities with older members of the party.


He said: “Everybody has equal rights. Luckily congresses will soon start and everyone will participate. The new entrants will feel at home. The more the merrier.”

In his remarks, Chief Allwell Onyesoh said his movement is not defection, but homecoming.


He said: “We came back to our house. We went on a journey. We have gone, we have seen and we have come back. “

The former Commissioner described his defection as a home-coming with a cross section of the APC membership from different wards of Etche.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

“We make bold to come back to the House that rightly belongs to us. I thank those who did not leave as they stayed home to keep the house in order,” he said.

Receiving Chief Allwell Onyesoh into the PDP, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah urged them never to return to the APC that has disappointed the nation. He said that the PDP symbolises development as shown in Rivers State.


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria can’t conduct credible elections – Wike allege


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has decried the inability of the country to conduct credible elections after several years of practicing democracy.

The governor has also instituted a N100 million empowerment programme for Wakirike women from Okrika and Ogu/Bolo Local Government Areas, for stoutly defending Rivers mandate during the 2019 elections.

Wike spoke yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, during a solidarity visit by the leaders and people of Okrika and Ogu/Bolo LGAs. He said:”It is unfortunate that up till now, we cannot conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria.


“It is unfortunate that the giant of Africa, lacks the capacity to conduct credible elections”, he complained. He commended the Wakirike women for defending the state mandate against the invading soldiers, and urged Rivers people to always ensure that their votes count during elections.

“At all times, continue to defend and protect the Rivers mandate”, he said. Governor Wike said that out of the N100 million meant for the empowerment programme for the courageous women of Wakirike ethnic nationality, N50 million has been reserved for Okrika LGA and N50 million for Ogu/Bolo LGA.


The governor commended Wakirike people for maintaining peace in the area, saying that his administration would fulfill key developmental pledges to them. Wike stated that he would extend electricity to Okrika LGA and work towards the construction of the jetty at Isaka.

The governor further noted that he would link Ogu and Wakama communities as he promised during his campaign. He added that the next phase of Okochiri internal roads would be completed by his administration.


On the Okrika Grammar School, Governor Wike urged the leaders of the area to write to the Anglican Church for the school to be released to the state government for total reconstruction. He reiterated his respect for traditional rulers, saying that they were under obligation to promote the culture of Rivers people.

“We must always promote our tradition and culture. I have respect for traditional rulers. All I say is that we should promote our own culture”, he said.


In an address on behalf of the Wakirike Ethnic Nationality, Senator George Sekibo said that they were at the Government House to congratulate the governor on his well deserved victory at the polls.

He praised Governor Wike for the key appointments to Wakirike ethnic nationality, the projects executed in the area and the recognition and upgrading of traditional rulers’ stools of the people.


He urged the governor to reach out to the Wakirike women who courageously defended Rivers votes, despite the deployment of soldiers.

He said: “It is consequent upon this conviction that we, the Wakirike people, especially our women, put our pride and our lives on the line to defend our votes”.

Earlier, former Minister of Transport, Abiye Sekibo, said that the Wakirike people did not expect anything less than a victory for Governor Wike during the last elections.

He expressed happiness that Wike has confidence in the Wakirike people; hence, most of their leaders were his close confidants. Sekibo lauded the governor for his friendship to the Wakirike nation.


#Newsworthy…

Rivers police ban use of covered plate numbers, sirens


The Rivers Police Command has banned the use of sirens, revolving lights, spy and covered number plates in the state.

A statement signed by the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said the Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, banned the aforementioned facilities due to the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on the abuse and indiscriminate use without appropriate approvals.


The statement said the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State command, appealed to the residents of the state, particularly banks, companies, private individuals and security personnel except those on covert operations to show understanding by complying with the directive and immediately remove the unauthorized and prohibited facilities or face prosecution.

The statement further said the taskforce headed by the officer In charge, CP Monitoring Unit, CSP Grace Wonwu, has been given the marching order to enforce compliance, arrest defaulters and impound any vehicle in default.


#Newsworthy…

You won’t have rest – PDP tells Uzodinma

as protest will continue


The Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Monday said that they will continue protesting in Imo state, over the January 14, 2020 judgment that sacked Emeka Ihedioha, as governor of the state and upheld Hope Uzodinma, as the validly elected governor of Imo.
The PDP, disclosed this in Owerri, through their state Publicity Secretary, Damian Opara, after their stakeholders’ meeting.

The party also said that they have expanded more of their strategies on dealing with the issue of lawmakers elected under their party that defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC.


It stated: “Following a very critical Imo State PDP Stakeholders meeting, held at the Party Secretariate, No. 98 Okigwe road, Owerri, on Sunday 09/02/2020 to review the State of affairs of the Party, it was resolved as follows:

“That the Party shall continue to use every legal means available to the Party to make sure that the unjust Judgement given against the Party, Governor Emeka Ihedioha and his Deputy Hon. Gerald Irona by the Supreme Court of Nigeria is reviewed and reversed.”


On some of their state House of Assembly members who decamped to the APC, “That the purported decamping of few members of Imo State House of Assembly elected under the Platform of our great Party is of no consequences to the popularity of PDP and her teaming supporters in Imo State.

“That the Party in Imo State shall in conjunction with the National organs of the party employ all legal options to recover their seats in the House of Assembly, as the National Secretariate had already declared their seats vacant.


“That the Party shall keep on demonstrating/ Protesting within the Constitutional right of her members, to peacefully and publicly show our support to Governor Emeka Ihedioha,

his Deputy, Hon. Gerald Irona and our unacceptable tendencies towards the Supreme Court Judgement that ousted Governor Emeka Ihedioha and his Deputy, Hon. Gerald Irona.


“The entire Stakeholders of PDP Imo State Chapter after receiving the information about the forthcoming Party Congresses to elect Party Officers from the State Chairman, Sir Martain Ejiogu,

resolved that the Party in Imo State shall strongly participate in the Congresses and therefore urged every member of the Party who wants to vie for any Party position during the

Congresses to do so as there shall be no imposition of Party officers or writing of list of any kind by any individual in the Party during the Congresses in Imo State.

“The Stakeholders finally urged all PDP members to remain faithful in the Party and leave all those who have left the party as there are better future in PDP for them than elsewhere, since what the Party is facing now in Imo State is a temporal set back.”


#Newsworthy…

Lassa Fever: 3 persons dead in Rivers ..


The Rivers State Government has confirmed three persons dead in an outbreak Lassa Fever in the State.

The Acting Permanent Secretary ,Ministry of Health, Dr Chinwe Atata, confirmed this on Wednesday during a press briefing to give an update on the status of the disease in the State.


She told newsmen in Port Harcourt that the ministry had earlier begun proactive effort o contain the outbreak.

Atata said “we have received preliminary confirmation that three of the samples tested positive to Lassa virus, the Rivers State Public Health Emergency Operation Centre had earlier commenced proactive effort for containment of the outbreak.


”All hands are on deck for facility decontamination, line-listing, presumptive prophylaxis and surveillance to ensure public health safety and security of people.”

Atata, who is also Director Planning, Research and Statistics assured that the state had procured large quantities of anti-viral agents, adding that isolated centres had also been setup across teaching hospitals in the State.

In her words: ”the state has procured large quantities of antiviral agents and isolation centres have been designated and are being setup across the teaching hospitals in state in case of any eventuality, the state government is doing everything to contain the Lassa virus.”

She called on residents of Rivers to continue all necessary preventive measures and enjoined all to promote good community hygiene to prevent rodents from entering homes.


#Newsworthy…

APC crisis: Rivers State judge step down ..


Restoration of peace in the crisis ridden Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) may not be in sight soon as Justice Augusta Chuku of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port-Harcourt on Monday washed her hands off a matter brought before her by Igo Aguma challenging the legality of the Caretaker Committee of Rivers APC.

Justice Chuku who is a spouse to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Mr Kingsley Chukwu, had in the previous sitting suspended the planned Ward, Local Government and State Congresses of the Party pending the determination of the substantive matter.


lgo Aguma, former federal Lawmaker and a former ally of the Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, dragged APC to Court.

When the matter came up on Monday, the Judge withdrew from the case, asking that it be reassigned to another Judge.


Some chieftains of the APC had written a petition against her that she might not dispense justice to all concerned in the case.

This surprise twist in the case again will, most likely, further delay resolution of the lingering crisis in the state APC.


Speaking with Journalists, Tuduru Ede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the parties in the dispute will wait for the Chief Judge of the state to reassign the matter to another Judge.

Counsel to Aguma, Echezuna Etiaba, said the next Judge will, amongst other things, interpret the constitution of the party and determine the legality of the caretaker committee put in place by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

On his part, a chieftain of the party, Barr. Chizi Enyi, said it was abnormal that the Judge didn’t vacate the consequential order she made in the matter before discontinuing with it.

“The Judge instead of setting aside her earlier orders before sending back the case file for reassignment, knowing that her orders will not be binding on another judge, refused to do that”, he said.


#Newsworthy…

Lassa Fever: 4 cases recorded in Rivers..


Four suspected cases of Lassa fever has been recorded in Rivers State as confirmed by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of health, Dr. Chinwe Atata.

While the four main cases have received prompt and adequate medical attention, 57 persons have also been placed on surveillance after a speculated physical contact with the affected individuals.


The permanent secretary also said that they have sufficient quantities of commodities and drugs for therapeutic and preventive interventions.

She said;

“We are working assiduously to ensure public health safety to exposed substance especially among public health personnel as first respondents.

“We are working in partnership with state and federal agencies and al stakeholders in the interest public health security and therefore, there is no cause for alarm.

“The situation we have recorded is firmly under control. In addition, we have enough self-sufficient quantities of commodities and drugs.”


#Newsworthy…

Rivers govt drops N100m for fallen heroes children to study up to University level


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that Nigerians must unite and motivate the Nigerian Armed Forces to defeat the insurgents in the North-East.

Governor Wike also directed the Secretary to the Rivers State Government to work out modalities for the State Government to support the Nigerian Legion and soldiers of Rivers State origin who pay the ultimate price.

The Rivers State Governor also announced that the State Government has committed the sum of N100million for the scholarship programme dedicated to the children of the fallen heroes.


He spoke on Wednesday during the Wreath Laying Ceremony in Commemoration of 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, at the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt.

He said: “The war on terror in the North-East has raged for too long, claiming too many military and civilian victims.


We must come together as a nation to do whatever that is necessary to support and motivate our soldiers to win this terrible war as quickly as possible and save the nation and our brothers, sisters and the children from the North-East from the continuing violence, abductions, and devastation by Boko haram and their affiliates.

“Apart from supporting the establishment of a trust fund, I have directed the Secretary to the State Government to work out areas of support to the State Chapter of the Nigerian Legion and the families of soldiers of River State origin who pays the ultimate price in the active service of our country. In addition, the State Government will provide scholarship for their children up to university level.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike


“N100million has been committed to the scholarship of the children of the fallen heroes by the Rivers State Government. We will also construct a Secretariat for the Legion, but not at Isaac Boro Park. We will develop the park into a Tourist Centre.”

Governor Wike said that the nation remembers the members of the Armed Forces for their contributions to the unity of the country.


#Newsworthy…

Rivers: APC drags Kingsley-Chukwu to NJC


The All Progressives Congress said it is set to report Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu, of the Rivers State bench for being in cahoots with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to paralyse the the state branch of the party.

The APC, which was excluded by the courts from taking part in the National Assembly, governorship and state assembly elections, has not been able to install new state executives, even as caretakers, because of ludicrous court orders.


In a statement by its spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC now now believes, it is the victim of a judicial-political conspiracy, with Justice Augusta a prominent player.

“It is now obvious that the PDP being the ultimate beneficiary of the inability of the APC to elect its state executives for more than one year owing to judicial restrictions have deployed professional litigants and judicial staff to aid their unholy interference in the affair of the APC. They have put their plans to action by getting minions to institute frivolous suit and ensuring that the suit is assigned to Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu, wife of a top PDP leader in Rivers State.


Read the APC full statement:

Following disputation in the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), we bring to the attention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) the suspicious handling of our court case by Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu and the apparent machinations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

After the Supreme Court decision to nullify the APC Congresses in Rivers State and effectively disqualify our Party from participating in the 2019 governorship elections in Rivers State, the APC decided to restrategise and reposition the party.


On 6th September, 2019 the APC constituted a caretaker committee to pilot the affairs of the party in Rivers State. The party also scheduled the conduct of congresses to elect the executives of the party at various levels. One Ibrahim Umah immediately instituted a court action at the Rivers State High Court challenging the proposed congresses of the APC and obtained an interim injunction restraining the APC from conducting the proposed congresses. The APC objected to the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit and on 18th December 2019 the court struck out the suit for want of jurisdiction, thereby allowing the APC to proceed with its restrategising process and conduct of congresses.

Before the court rendered its decision striking out the suit, one Igo Aguma filed a similar suit against the APC challenging the composition of the caretaker committee. The suit was filed on 16th December, 2019 and assigned to Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu. The APC was entitled to 21 days within which to enter an appearance and file a defence to the suit. Curiously, it was brought to our attention that Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu had abridged the time to 48 hours.


Our curiosity was further heightened when we discovered that the husband of Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu is a PDP leader who had previously contested for the position of Chairman of Obio/Akpor local government area and currently serves as the legal adviser of the PDP in Rivers State.

It is now obvious that the PDP being the ultimate beneficiary of the inability of the APC to elect its state executives for more than one year owing to judicial restrictions have deployed professional litigants and judicial staff to aid their unholy interference in the affair of the APC. They have put their plans to action by getting minions to institute frivolous suit and ensuring that the suit is assigned to Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu, wife of a top PDP leader in Rivers State.


Expectedly, the APC had reasonable apprehension that Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu will not be able to discharge her duties as a judicial officer objectively without interference. The foregoing fears led the Rivers State APC to forward a petition to the Chief Judge of Rivers State requesting the reassignment of the suit to another judge of the Rivers State High Court for adjudication. This petition was endorsed to Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu.

The APC expected Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu to have followed the time-honoured tradition of judicial officers such as Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, President of the Court of Appeal and Justice Mary Peter Odili JSC who had recused themselves from adjudicating over cases that would likely impact on the political interest of their spouses.


On 20th December, 2019, the suit was listed before Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu for hearing of the pending application. Our counsel drew the attention of the court to the petition pending before the chief judge as well as the weighty allegations contained therein. The APC expected Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu to have followed the time-honoured tradition of judicial officers such as Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, President of the Court of Appeal and Justice Mary Peter Odili JSC who had recused themselves from adjudicating over cases that would likely impact on the political interest of their spouses.

Disappointedly, Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu proceeded to entertain the suit and granted an injunction restraining the APC and the caretaker committee from taking any steps whatsoever.


It is clear to us that the PDP in connivance with Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu has perfected plans to keep APC in Rivers State in perpetual paralysis through endless suits and injunctions. The APC rejects the PDP’s attempt to make Rivers a one-party state and will be taking the following steps:

I. Petition the National Judicial Council over Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chukwu insistence to proceed with the determination of the suit despite the obvious grounds of bias and conflict of interest

II. Petition the Chief Judge of Rivers State requesting the reassignment of the suit to another judge of the Rivers State High Court for adjudication.

We call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to caution judicial officers in Rivers State and indeed the entire country not to drag the Judiciary into the internal affairs of the APC by perpetually stopping our party from conducting simple congresses in Rivers State. As a party, we can no longer fold our arms and watch this abuse of judicial powers in Rivers State continue.


#Newsworthy…

(Video) Watch how Governor Wike lambasted Rivers local rulers


Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has been a target of attacks by many people on social media over a trending video in which he showed contempt and utter disregard for traditional rulers.

The video was shot during the governor’s quarterly meeting with the chiefs recently. And some of the commenters on social media generally upbraided the governor for being drunk with power.

His rival for the River’s governorship seat in 2015, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, now Director-General of NIMASA has also posted his own criticism.


In a statement, Peterside said Wike must be called to order.

“Well-meaning Rivers people must call him to order. He is turning himself into a feudal lord and an emperor at the same time. History is replete with his likes who ended up badly after turning themselves to tiny gods,” he stated.


Peterside appealed to the traditional rulers to overlook the “shame and disrespect” meted on them, pointing out that as fathers, they should regard the governor’s utterances as that of a “child who lacks home training.”

“Wike should know that history is watching. Rivers people typically respect traditional rulers and traditional institutions. The governor must stop desecrating our traditional rulers and traditional institutions,” he summed up.


However, in a swift reaction, the Rivers State Government lashed at Peterside in a press statement signed by Paulinus Nsirim, Commissioner for Information and Communications.

“As usual, we were amused by the lame effort by the 2015 Defunct Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside to seek political relevance through a jaundiced interpretation of a mischievously edited video of the interaction between Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and esteemed Traditional Rulers of Rivers State.


“Dakuku Peterside and his faction of the defunct All Progressives Congress (APC) procured a video of an engagement that lasted for over one hour and lifted different aspects of the response of Governor Wike to mislead members of the public.

“Governor Wike was responding frankly to the address of the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of the Rulers wherein the Chairman requested that non-recognised Traditional Rulers should be checked by the Rivers State Governor.

“The Governor directed the Attorney General of Rivers State to prepare an Executive Bill to resolve the issue raised by Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers. He went ahead to urge the Traditional Rulers to always attend Government Functions with the Official Staff of Office handed over to them by the Rivers State Government, following the formal request by the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers.

“At this point, there was General applause and Governor Wike reminded those clapping that he was simply doing what is right”.

Video


#Newsworthy…

Dakuku, Wike in alleged war (See..)

…over traditional ruler’s address


Dr Dakuku Peterside has alleged that the recent actions of Governor Nyesom Wike against traditional stools in Rivers State have been described as “demeaning, unbecoming, irresponsible and unbefitting” for someone who occupies such a dignified office.

Peterside stated this while reacting to the way and manner Governor Wike addressed traditional rulers in the state during their quarterly meeting in Port Harcourt.


Governor Wike was seen lambasting the traditional rulers and threatening to depose them over very flimsy reasons, in addition to the governor humiliating one of them by calling the monarch a ‘trouble maker.’

Peterside stated that the utterances of Wike represent an all-time low in the history of the state, where a governor can “insult, disgrace, humiliate and depose traditional rulers at will.”


“Wike’s penchant for embarrassing traditional rulers is becoming irresponsible and shameful. Never in our history have we had such a disrespectful governor.

“Since 2015, Wike has sacked, deposed and withdrawn recognition from several royal fathers without any recourse to history, tradition and culture.


“Not too long ago, Wike threatened to depose the Amanyanabo of Kalabari, King Theophilus Princewill, just as he has severally lambasted traditional rulers as if they were his servants.

“Wike must be called to order. Well-meaning Rivers people must call him to order. He is turning himself into a feudal lord and an emperor at the same time. History is replete with his likes who ended up badly after turning themselves to tiny gods,” he stated.


Peterside appealed to the traditional rulers to overlook the “shame and disrespect” meted on them, pointing out that as fathers, they should regard the governor’s utterances as that of a “child who lacks home training.”

“Wike should know that history is watching. Rivers people typically respect traditional rulers and traditional institutions. The governor must stop desecrating our traditional rulers and traditional institutions,” he summed up.


However, in a swift reaction, the Rivers State Government lashed at Peterside in press statement signed by Paulinus Nsirim, Commissioner for Information and Communications stated: “As usual, we were amused by the lame effort by the 2015 Defunct Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside to seek political relevance through a jaundiced interpretation of a mischievously edited video of the interaction between Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and esteemed Traditional Rulers of Rivers State.

“Dakuku Peterside and his faction of the defunct All Progressives Congress (APC) procured a video of an engagement that lasted for over one hour and lifted different aspects of the response of Governor Wike to mislead members of the public.


“Governor Wike was responding frankly to the address of the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of the Rulers wherein the Chairman requested that non-recognised Traditional Rulers should be checked by the Rivers State Governor.

“The Governor directed the Attorney General of Rivers State to prepare an Executive Bill to resolve the issue raised by Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers. He went ahead to urge the Traditional Rulers to always attend Government Functions with the Official Staff of Office handed over to them by the Rivers State Government, following the formal request by the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers.


“At this point, there was General applause and Governor Wike reminded those clapping that he was simply doing what is right.

“For Dakuku Peterside to attempt to use a frank discussion between the Rivers State Governor and the esteemed Traditional Rulers of Rivers State to seek relevance is a confirmation of the total rejection that he suffers alongside members of his defunct political party.


“As a political toddler, who is being breastfed politically, Dakuku Peterside still relies on mischief to remain relevant. He goes about paying social media cheerleaders to cast aspersion on the Rivers State Governor on the premise of a manipulated video.

“We understand Dakuku Peterside’s frustration following the painful defeat he suffered in 2015. But he cannot climb the political ladder on the premise of needless falsehood and mischief.


“Rather than this dance of shame, he should redirect his energy on how to rebuild the disintegrated APC family in the State.

“Dakuku Peterside can be likened to a man chasing rats while his house is on fire. There are so many factions in Rivers State.

Instead of Dakuku Peterside to address this shameful issue, he is sniffing around paying for videos of the official engagements of Governor Wike.

“Thank God they have accepted that Governor Wike is the best performing Governor in the country and are now concentrating their wasted energy on backyard gossip.

“Dakuku and his co-travellers should know that Governor Wike has very high regards for the Traditional Institution and will never do anything to denigrate them”, Paulinus Nsirim said.


#Newsworthy…

Bulldozers destroys structures in rivers over proposed flyover bridge


In continuation of the process for the construction of the three Flyovers in Port Harcourt, officials of Julius Berger Plc and Rivers State Ministry of Works embarked on the demolition of marked structures to create right of way for the Rebisi Flyover.

The officials, backed by earth moving equipment carefully brought down the structures. Governor Nyesom Wike last week met with traders and residents to sensitise them on the necessity of the exercise.

The construction work continued as the bulldozers brought down the structures that the Rivers State Government has paid compensation for.


In an interview, Julius Berger Port Harcourt Flyover Bridges Project Manager, Finn Drosdowski expressed happiness that the demolition exercise was peaceful.

“We are happy with the peaceful demolition of marked structures to create space for the construction of Rebisi Flyover.


“We thank officials of the Ministry of Works for their support and we know we will achieve our target. We have been working for two months and we have done 12 to 14 percent of the work. At the beginning it is a little slow, but we are on track,” he said.

The Julius Berger official said that the projects will be delivered on schedule.

He said: “I appeal to the people to cooperate with us. For every project, the people suffer at the beginning, but they will enjoy the project at the end

“The three locations where we are constructing Flyover Bridges are places with traffic congestion. After the construction, the issue of traffic congestion would be resolved. I am confident that we will finish the projects on schedule.”


#Newsworthy…

Soku oil: Bayelsa ask judgement in rivers favour


The dispute of over the ownership of Soku Oil wells between Bayelsa and Rivers State Governments is not yet over as Bayelsa State Government has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which ceded the disputed oil wells to Rivers.

Solicitor General of Bayelsa State, Mreye Agada, who led the state’s legal team to file the appeal on behalf of the State Attorney General, said that the state is seeking a stay of execution of the judgment pending the resolution of the matter.


Agada noted that the lower court delivered judgment against the state without joining it as a party in the suit. In the motion on notice in the suit no FHC/ABJ/ CS/984/2019, he said that Bayelsa State was not served the processes in the suit before the lower court delivered the said judgment.

He also said that the state government had sought an order of the court to appeal the judgment as an interested party in the suit between Attorney General of Rivers State and National Boundaries Commission (NBC).


The Solicitor General said that Bayelsa State has written all relevant federal agencies and officials to stay action on the enforcement of the judgement.

Those who have received the letter include the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Minister of Finance, the Accountant General of the Federation, the Chairman, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, and the National Boundary Commission.


He stated further that the contested oil wells, which Rivers State describes as Soku Oil Wells, are in Oluasiri in Bayelsa State, adding that Bayelsa had been receiving the 13 per cent derivation and other statutory allocations accruing from the oil wells for a long time.

He added that Bayelsa State Government had been waiting for Rivers State and the National Boundaries Commission to cooperate with the Supreme Court directive to properly delineate the disputed areas in the affected areas once and for all.


The Solicitor General said that it was rather regrettable that Rivers State Government, which pulled out of the boundary delineation exercise in 2013, surreptitiously filed the action after years of inactivity.

Agada appealed to the people of the affected communities who are all Ijaw people to await proper delineation of the boundaries between the people which, he said, did not have any effect on the historical ties and relationship between them.


Justice Inyang Ekwo had, on December 16, 2019, declared Rivers State as the owner of the disputed Soku Oil Wells/Fields located in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The decision of the court was premised on a suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/984/19 filed by the Attorney-General of Rivers State against the NBC.

Justice Ekwo held that after examining all the documents from relevant government agencies and facts before the court, the Soku Oil Wells/fields belong to Rivers State.

The court, however, made an order compelling the NBC to rectify forthwith in the 12th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria the erroneous interstate boundary between Rivers and Bayelsa states as contained in the extant 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria.


#Newsworthy…