SARS Police arrests suspected killers of Jumia deliveryman In Rivers

Men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Rivers State on Monday arrested three suspects including a young woman for allegedly conspiring and killing a delivery agent of a popular online marketing company.

The agent was reported to have responded to an online demand by the suspects to supply mobile phones.

He, however, met his death as he was purportedly murdered by the suspects and his body dumped in a soakaway pit.

Although the suspects argued among themselves as to who actually killed the victim, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Zaki Ahmed, said it took the cooperation of some residents of the community to nab the suspects.

“It is the effort of the security agents and the community people. Some residents in the community alerted us when they noticed suspicious movements around the area, that’s how we were able to crack this crime.

“I always say that those who commit crime live in the community and if we notice any strange movement, we should speak up. See something, say something,” the Police Commissioner said.

 

Source: Channels TV

Military arrests Rivers community leader for alleged unlawful shutdown of oil wells

The joint military force in the Niger Delta known as ‘Operation Delta Safe’ has confirmed the arrest of a community leader in Ogba Ndoni Egbema local council, Rivers State, Mr. Chikeobi Alali for unlawful closure of 11 oil wells belonging to Agip.

The wells were shut down by the host community over unresolved issues they have with the oil company.The community accused Agip of failing to review a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two parties.

The spokesman of the military outfit, Major Abdullahi Abubakar condemned the action of the community, saying it is wrong to take laws into their hands. He added that troops in the area had reinforced security around the oilfield and re-opened the facilities for operations.

According to her: “My husband was arrested by soldiers and taken away. When we traced them to the headquarters in Yenagoa, they feigned ignorance of his detention. After much pressure, they admitted that he is in their custody but I was denied access to him.”

“Efforts by his family and lawyer to secure his bail has been unsuccessful. My husband is the chairman of the local council oil and gas landlords association, he was arrested with the secretary and one other person. The others have since been released.”

Reacting to the issue, a social activist, Mr. Pat Obiene, called for immediate release of the community leader.“This is counter-productive and not in line with the peace initiative of the Federal Government. The military should promote dialogue which the Vice President preached during his recent tour to the region,” Obiene said.

Meanwhile, the former Provisional Council Chairman of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) and a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ben Naanen, says the government needs extraordinary measures to check oil theft.

Naanen spoke at the National Conference on Oil Theft and Illegal Artisanal Refineries in Nigeria, organised by Social Action in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.He said government has not done enough to stop oil theft by enforcing the existing anti-bunkering laws.

“The issue of illegal and artisanal refinery would be difficult to eradicate from the Niger Delta, except the government deals with poverty, rehabilitation and empowerment of youths in the area,” he added.

 

Source: The Guardian

Explosion rocks NLNG pipeline in Rivers

An explosion on Wednesday rocked a pipeline belonging to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).

The affected pipeline is located in Rivers state, said a statement released by the company.

The NLNG says it is investigating the cause of the explosion and also noted that there’s been no report of injuries and casualties thus far.

“An explosion occurred in the afternoon of Wednesday, 22nd February 2017 on a section of the Right of Way housing two gas transmission pipelines, one of which belongs to Nigeria LNG, about 3 kilometres from Rumuji in Rivers State,” the statement said.

“The underlying cause of the incident is still to be determined. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.

“Emergency response procedures were immediately activated and the relevant authorities notified. Communities closest to the area of the incident have been advised not to approach the site in the interest of safety.

“Other measures and engagements have also been initiated to ensure that the situation does not escalate. In the meantime, investigation into the incident is ongoing.”

The NLNG has said it will make available further updates in due course.

Protest: Obasanjo gave us grace of 20yrs not to pay for electricity – P/Harcourt community

Some angry youths in Oyibo Local Government Council have said that the government of Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo gave their community a 20 years grace not to pay for electricity.

The youths in the late hours of Monday shutdown a power station belonging to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), leading to electricity blackout in Port Harcourt and environs. They were protesting alleged inability of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) to provide them with steady electricity and TCN’s refusal to employ youths from the host communities.

The youths, in their numbers, forced the TCN staff to leave their office premises and barricaded the power station in Afam, Oyibo Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers.

Chisom Ngbali, the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Oyibo Local Government Council, who led the protest, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

He said that the youth took the action after the host communities were allegedly disconnected from the power grid following their failure to pay electricity bills.

“We went there (power station) and left the premises immediately after giving them instructions that if they don’t restore electricity to us; there won’t be electricity anywhere.

“PHED says they will not give host communities electricity until they make payment for electricity used which is not part of the agreement we have with the Federal Government.

“Host communities have been thrown into darkness for five days and counting and electricity supply is the only thing that we are benefiting from TCN’s presence in our communities.

“We had earlier given them the condition that if we must pay for electricity; TCN should employ our people and give us contracts as stated in the local content law,’’ he said.

Ngbali claimed that host communities had an agreement with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in 2006; and which granted host communities 20 years window of non-payment for electricity.

He said the 20 years period would expire in 2026, adding that the disconnection of electric supply to the area was illegal. Ngbali claimed that no indigene of the communities was under the employ of TCN in spite of the company operating in the area for many years.
“We cannot be in the midst of plenty and yet nothing is coming to our people. This is our land, and all the adverse effect on the environment is on us,’’ he said.

Mr John Onyi, the spokesman for PHED said that the protesters’ action disrupted power supply to Port Harcourt and environs.

He said that PHED depended on transmission from TCN to enable it to distribute electricity to customers in the state.

Onyi condemned the protest and challenged host communities to produce the written agreement it had with the Federal Government which absolved them from paying for electricity.

“We recall that on two different occasions in 2016, youths from Oyibo LGA carried out similar action, and to which, if unabated will continue to throw Port Harcourt city into unnecessary darkness.

“PHED condemns the actions of the youth and call on law enforcement agencies and Rivers Government to intervene and put a final stop to this frequent disruption of electricity distribution to customers,’’ he said.

 

 

Source: www.nigerianeye.com

Rivers APC Blames Wike, PDP For Loss Of Oil Wells To Neighbouring States.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state has hit out hard at the State Governor, Nyesom Wike and the PDP, over the loss of oil wells to Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states, asking them to bury their heads in shame over the ceding of the oil wells.

In a statement issued on Sunday in Port Harcourt by the SSA Media and Public Affairs to the Rivers State APC Chairman, Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, the party berated Governor Wike and the state PDP for attempting to shift the blame to former Governor Chibuike Amaechi over the unfortunate development.

“We are shocked by Wike and PDP’s brazen attempt to shift the blame to Rt. Hon. Amaechi via a statement issued by one Jerry Needam titled, ‘Oil Well Politics: Accept your empty promises, PDP tells Amaechi, APC’.

“This simply shows how shameless both Wike and the Rivers PDP leadership can be.

“It was Nyesom Wike and his confused PDP members who collaborated with the then President Jonathan Goodluck to cede oil wells belonging to Rivers state to neighbouring Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states to show their disdain for Rivers State and her people.

“’Instead of hiding their faces in shame, they have the audacity to remind Rivers state and her people at this period of their golden age celebration, of how they wickedly connived with the then PDP-led Federal Government to deny Rivers State her entitlements as an oil producing State just because of their hatred for Amaechi.”

The Rivers APC advised Wike and PDP not to celebrate their “ugly feats in ruining the state that was being made Rivers of Gold under the watch of Amaechi to Rivers of Blood under the watch of Wike.

Also according to the party, Governor Wike, and the state PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah “have made politics to lose its meaning in Rivers and are dissipating their energies on a vain plot to pull down Amaechi, who did all he could to give Rivers state purposeful leadership and is now serving Nigeria at the Federal level in the capacity of Minister of Transportation.

“But we are glad that good people of Rivers state are too intelligent to be swayed by misguided elements that never meant well for the state.

“It is a pity that some PDP leaders who are desirous to milk the Rivers state treasury dry, are attempting to compare Wike’s administration with that of Amaechi, forgetting that you cannot compare light with darkness.

“Amaechi is far ahead of Wike in all aspects of life except, of course, in killing and using blood to sustain oneself in power,” they added.

“21 INEC staff have been arrested and told to implicate Wike”, Rivers PDP alleges

The Rivers state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that 21 ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who took part in the legislative rerun election in the state have been arrested and told to accuse Nyesom Wike, governor of the state, of offering them bribe.

In a statement it issued on Thursday, the party said the electoral officials were arrested on Wednesday and flown to Abuja the next day.

It said a source at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in Port Harcourt confided in it that they would soon be paraded at a press conference that would be organised by the police high command, “in conjunction with the top leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC)”.

“Twenty four hours after the 15-man panel set up by the inspector-general of police to investigate the alleged violence during the December 10, 2016, re-run election in Rivers state visited the state governor, Nyesom Wike, in Government House, Port Harcourt, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Rivers state, has confirmed that 21 ad-hoc staff of INEC, who took part in the legislative re-run election in the state and served in areas where candidates of the PDP won, were last night arrested and detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, in Port Harcourt,” read a statement signed by Jerry Needam, spokesman of the PDP in Rivers.

“Sources disclosed that those arrested were transferred to Abuja in the afternoon of today, and they are being forced to confess receiving money from the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidates.

“According to a source at the State CID, more arrests would be made and those arrested will be transferred to Abuja and paraded during a press conference that would be organized by the Police High Command, in conjunction with the top leadership of the APC.”

The party said the development shows that the panel set up by Ibrahim idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), to probe the rerun election, is biased.

Wike had expressed reservations over the conduct of the panel.

“This latest development undoubtedly, is a confirmation of the fact that the Police committee led by its chairman, Mr. Damain Okoro, that arrived the State yesterday, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, is on a mission of witch-hunt against the state governor and the PDP leadership,” the statement continued.

“Although, the police authorities have actually made no pretense about their biased role in issues surrounding the exercise in the state, with the premature sack of six of their men attached to the governor, and their refusal to question the conduct of Mr. Akin Fakorede during the election, but of much concern is what these activities portend for our democracy and the image of the police and other security forces who swore oath of allegiance of neutrality and to defend, protect and respect the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria, and rights of all citizens, and who are maintained by tax payers’ money, not only those of the APC, but all Nigerians.”

Rivers PDP alleged that the police had become the security arm of the ruling party, and called on Nigerians to resist the “ugly trend”.

“It is unfortunate that the police under the current inspector-general have so abused their constitutional responsibilities and have now turned into a security arm of a political party, the APC,” it said.

“The PDP would have expected the police to be more professional, objective, apolitical, and uphold the tenets of the constitution and regulations as contained in the Electoral Act, relating to the role of security agencies in an election.

“Regrettably, the Police in the case of Rivers State have become a tool of witch-hunt by the federal government and certain Rivers politicians of the APC.

“We call on well-meaning Nigerians to rise against this ugly trend and abuse of responsibility by the Police high command and the All Progressives Congress leadership in trying to silence the opposition by wrongly indicting innocent citizens, the Rivers State government and leaders of the PDP in the state.”

The Nigerian Police Force Parades Erring Rivers Officers

Democratic Policing is one of the core values of the current Police management under the leadership of IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni. The IGP as an ardent apostle of the rule of law and adherent of international best practices of Policing has since assumption of office articulated a master plan to guarantee a reformed electoral process across the country. This is a novel security template devoid of violence, electoral malpractices and attendant destruction of lives and property which have been a recurring decimal in previous elections in the country.

Undoubtedly, this master plan as implemented by the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies under the auspices of Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, (ICCES), has proved largely successful and should engender a credible roadmap for the foot-proof security of future elections in Nigeria.

The IGP has also instituted comprehensive measures to ensure compliance with strict rules of professional behaviours and code of conduct for officers and men under his watch. To this extent, they are under obligation to conform to the dictates of enabling laws while carrying out their statutory responsibilities to the letter.

Consequently, personnel of the Force who abuse their office, privileges and discretionary powers in the discharge of their official duties, will be brought to justice.

In the case of the recent parliamentary election in Rivers State, the IGP’s resolve to secure the process, was reciprocated with the unethical conduct of some bad eggs within the Force.

Inspite of strict warnings and instructions from the IGP that all Police personnel on election duty should be of good conduct and desist from escorting their principals, notably public office holders and politicians to polling units throughout the period of the election, some recalcitrant police personnel were still found blatantly breaching these directives. This is unacceptable by all standards in the Force.

Therefore, in the course of discreet investigations into the above misconduct, the following personnel of the Force were found to have in total disrespect to orders and directives, compromised, engaged in unprofessional acts and other unbecoming conduct

These acts, if not checked can be inimical to discipline and proper administration of the Force. Their actions are capable of bringing the entire Nigeria Police Force to disrepute and portray the Force in a very bad light as a lawless organization not guided by the rule of law. The officers are as follows:
i. AP/No.177893 EX. Inspr. Eyong Victor
ii. F/No. 400872 EX. Sgt Peter Ekpo
iii. F/No.374585 EX. Sgt Oguni Goodluck
iv. F/No. 385870 EX. Sgt. Orji Nwoke
v. F/No. 234216 EX. Sgt. Okpe Ezekiel
vi. F/No. 437983 EX. Sgt. Tanko Akor

These aforementioned Police personnel while in the convoy of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State Barr. Nyesom Wike on the date of election, 10th December, 2016 misused the firearms in their possession contrary to the provisions of Force Order 237.
The Service personnel became overzealous, took laws into their hands and opened fire, causing panic in the crowd. They joined in storming the Port Harcourt City Council Secretariat and prevented the movement of election results of Emouha polling unit to the appropriate collation centre designated by INEC, in flagrant disregard and disobedience to senior Police officers present at the venue.

The six (6) Police officers, after the conclusion of investigation into this public mischief, were subjected to internal disciplinary measures, found guilty and consequently dismissed from the Force. They will be prosecuted under the Electoral Act to serve as a deterrent to others.

The IGP wishes to restate the commitment of the force to carry out its constitutional obligations in accordance to the law of the land before, during and after every election in Nigeria. This will be done in a very professional manner bearing in mind the need not only to be unbiased but to be seen by members of the public as responsive and responsible security agency in election security in the country.

Nigerians should rest assured that the IGP and indeed the entire management team of the Force will not be deterred in its resolve to rid the Nigeria Police Force of personnel who indulge in actions or inactions that amount to unprofessional and serious misconduct.

The IGP commends all officers and men of the Force for their dedication, commitment, sacrifice, hard work and display of utmost professionalism in their service to the country despite daunting challenges. Without doubts, our sacrifices and sincerity of purpose will be commensurately rewarded.
Thank you for your time and God bless.

DCP Don N. Awunah,fsi,
Force Public Relations Officer,
Force Headquarters,

Army kills 5 ‘cultists’ in Rivers community where policemen were murdered

Troops of 6 Division, Nigerian Army on Wednesday shot dead five suspected cultists during a gun battle in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers state.

Mohammed Alkali, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), and his orderly were beheaded in the community during the legislative rerun election in the state.

Kasimu Abdulkarim, general officer commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Port Harcourt, confirmed the killings of the suspects, saying the battle was part of ‘Operation Cleanup’ of cultists and militants “terrorizing” residents.

Abdulkarim said this year, troops have recovered five AK 47 assault rifles from cultists in the area.

“Army 6 Division has recorded appreciable successes in its bid to rid the local government of cultists and brigands,” Abdulkarim added.

Quoting sources, NAN said troops stormed the area after receiving distress call over the cultists’ activities.

A witness said the suspects invaded Omoku town on Tuesday night and shot dead two unidentified young men before making attempt to escape.

“After killing the men, they shot sporadically before soldiers closed in on them”, a witness said.

OPINION: After “Wike-leak”, What Next? – By Ahmed Oluwasanjo

The media should be lauded for its nice job on this “Wike-leak”. The leaked tape, however, would end up as useless – almost as usual – if Wike and his partners in INEC are not investigated and prosecuted.

A leaked audio tape revealing how the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and his foot soldiers bribed Independence National Electoral Commission officials to rig the recently concluded rerun elections in Rivers State, should not come to many Nigerians as a surprise.

It is not a completely unfamiliar story.

In the leaked tape, Wike exposed the bloodlusting and ruthless megalomaniac in him, threatening to “kill” an INEC official who collected his money and was not cooperating with his foot soldiers.

Listening to Wike’s threat to the life of an INEC official reveals how brutish and nasty an average Nigerian politician is when it comes to the scramble for power. Regardless of their party differences, the ruthless and bloodlusting animal in an average Nigerian politician goes berserk while seeking power at all cost during elections.

If only we could have access to the telephone conversations of Wike’s contemporaries in other parties, we would have a clue of how bestial they are. It’s not all about Wike, the monster. There are deadlier Wikes hibernating in our polity, disguising as decent citizens.

While the ones in the All Progressive Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party are motivated by their sheer lust for power, their accomplices in INEC are motivated by the crumbs they get from thwarting the system in the interest of their pay masters.

So, that the leaked tape exposed the concerted effort between Wike’s team and some INEC officials to rig election should elicit some questions. One, who were the INEC officials who took these bribes and cooperated with Wike? Two, who, in particular, was the INEC official posted to Khanah, Rivers State, that took a bribe from Wike and became uncooperative?

And more importantly, are INEC officials supposed to take any gift from politicians before, after or while conducting election? This, perhaps, is the main reason elections are won before polls as many electoral umpires are shameless “cash and carry” hustlers.

While we may not be able to fully curtail the unholy alliance between politicians and INEC officials, it is however more alarming to watch election riggers escape the wrath of the law when their clandestine rackets are exposed, like we have seen in the past.

It is not enough for security agencies to investigate the issue just to prepare the usual white, black or red paper reports that would eventually end up in trash cans.

Before now, Captain Sagir Koli, a brave army officer, leaked a plot on how Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti State governor, and his collaborators, Senator Iyiola Omisore; Jelili Adesiyan, then Minister of Police Affairs; Musiliu Obanikoro, former State Minister of Defense; and some military officers, planned and rigged the Ekiti State gubernatorial election in 2014. Whether the perpetrators of the Ekitigate election scandal would ever be brought to book is still uncertain as I write.

Get me right. I know that Fayose, the chief plotter of the alleged rigging, is covered by immunity as a governor. But, are his collaborators covered by any immunity? As I write, Dr. Tope Aluko, the former Ekiti State PDP secretary, who brazenly confessed to how the poll’s rigging was masterminded on Channels Television is still walking freely. Isn’t it surprising?

Countries where elections are free, fair, and peaceful are not inhabited by saints. However, they have, over time, developed a system that strictly penalises culprits of electoral fraud. As a result, politicians and electoral officials who are hell-bent on rigging face the consequences of their malfeasance whenever they are caught.

In 2010, five men, including two former Councilors, were sentenced to jail for electoral malpractices in the UK, as the UK Guardian reported. In 2010, Guinean electoral commission head, Ben-Sekou Sylla, and his head of planning officer, El Hadj Boubacar Diallo were both sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for electoral fraud in the first round of Guinea’s presidential election.

If there is any lesson for Nigeria in these examples, it is that, our system must begin to punish culprits of electoral fraud to serve as deterrent to potential election riggers.

We cannot continue to threat cases of election rigging with kid gloves and expect that desperate politicians, their foot soldiers and accomplices in the INEC would one day have a change of heart.

It is not enough for security agencies to investigate the issue just to prepare the usual white, black or red paper reports that would eventually end up in trash cans.

The media should be lauded for its nice job on this “Wike-leak”. The leaked tape, however, would end up as useless – almost as usual – if Wike and his partners in INEC are not investigated and prosecuted.

After “Wike-leak”, what is next?

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja.

Wike sets up parallel judicial commission of inquiry to investigate election violence

Barely 24 hours after the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the panel constituted by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Idris Ibrahim, to investigate the violence that marred the December 10 legislative rerun in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday set up a parallel judicial commission of inquiry to undertake same task.

 

A communication issued by the secretary to the state government (SSG), Kenneth Kobani, said the panel would be inaugurated today in Port Harcourt.

 

It named Justice Chinwendu Nwogu as chairman while Mrs. Grace Akpughunum-Okwulehie, Prof. Okene O.V., Anthony Uzoma Ozurumba, Rev. Canon Hossanna Nnaewi and Ekeh C.B. are members. The chief state counsel, Alphonso Sibi, is to serve as secretary.

 

Meanwhile, the All Progress Congress (APC) in the state has urged the governor and his party to submit to the probe by the federal authority, stating that the constitution was very clear on the way out when a state law conflicts with federal’s.

Only three states can fund their budgets – NEITI

With the exception of three states – Lagos, Delta and Rivers – the remaining 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) may not be able to fund their annual budgets, the latest quarterly review on national revenue disbursements to the federal, states and local governments prepared by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed.

This is because of the prolonged drop in revenue accruing to the federation mainly from the oil and gas sector.

Released yesterday in Abuja, the document explained that while revenue from the country’s national earnings had dropped, and states expected to augment their shares with internally generated revenues (IGR), only Rivers, Lagos and Delta States can boast of their clear abilities to earn enough IGRs to close the expected revenue gaps and fund their budgets.

It said the federal government, states and local government areas got a total of N1.534 trillion as allocations from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for the months of July, August and September 2016.

According to it, a breakdown of the allocations for the third quarter of 2016 showed that the federal government received N697.9 billion, the states got N512.66 billion, while the local government areas collected N324.31 billion.

It, however, said there was a major revenue spike in July when the three tiers of government shared N546.62 billion as against the N304.91 billion they shared in June, an increase of 79 per cent.

Considering that most states depend on FAAC to fund their annual budgets, the NEITI document observed that lower monthly disbursements would likely impact the budget implementation of most states of the federation in very negative ways.

It said: “Although the states also have revenue inflows from IGR, the report contends that, it is highly unlikely that IGR would be sufficient to offset the huge gap between expenditure and revenue in many states, with perhaps only the exception of three states – Lagos, Rivers, and Delta.

“The dwindling revenue from the petroleum sector, which has led to substantially lower disbursements from FAAC, will limit the ability of states to effectively execute their budgets,” the NEITI report explained.

My son’s killers must be punished – Mother of murdered DSP Alkali

The family members of the late DSP Mohammed Alkali, who was murdered during the rerun election in Rivers State, are demanding justice, saying nothing would pacify them but the prosecution of the perpetrators.

The mother of the deceased, Hajia Rakiya Alkali, in an interview with Northern City News in Bosso, Niger State, said the killers of her son would not go unpunished, stressing that the spirit of the late police officer would not rest until his killers were identified and punished.

“Whoever did this to my son will never go unpunished by God. The spirit of my son will not rest until the person confesses, but in everything God knows the best,” she said.

Alkali was beheaded and his aide murdered by some assailants during the legislative rerun election in Rivers State on December 10,2016, but the police said they had arrested some suspects in connection with the killing.

His remains were buried in Bosso, Niger State, on Monday.

The bereaved mother said all the family wanted was for justice to prevail to deter a recurrence of such criminality in the society.

She said, “I want the government to fish out the killers of my son and bring them to book. My son seeks justice. I pray the government is ready and willing to bring them (suspects) to face the law, but if not, with the help of God, vengeance will take its course.”

Speaking in the same vein, a sibling of the deceased, who did not want her name in print, stated that the family would pray for divine vengeance if the government failed to apprehend and punish his killers.

She said, “Mohammed’s nickname is ‘Justice’ and he earned the name right from his youth. He had always believed in justice and hated injustice. So, justice must prevail, the perpetrators must face the wrath of the law. We want justice to prevail and if nothing is done, God will do His own.”

Nyesom Wike: Nobody can come after me because God is with me

Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says nobody can come after him because God is with him.

Fielding questions from journalists at the Rivers state government house, Port Harcourt, on Saturday, Wike explained what made him prevent the raid on the house of a judge back in October.

He said he had no personal interest to protect, but was only performing his duty as the number one citizen in the state.

“Nobody can be after me because God is with me. People say there is a high rate of kidnapping in Rivers state… If someone sends you a text message to say there is problem, that her house had been surrounded by some men putting on black,” he said.

“You call the director of Department of State Services (DSS), he didn’t pick. You call the commissioner of police, he didn’t pick, you will be forced to go and see what is happening. I took my security to the place and asked them what they were doing at the place at 1:30am? They said they had orders from above to arrest a judge, and that was a woman.

“Assuming they took her away or kidnapped and killed her, people would have said Rivers is not safe. Do you know the effect that would have had on us? I took oath to protect life and property, it doesn’t matter who.

“I have no business with any judge or anyone for that matter, if there is any crime that you have committed, you face the music. But things should be done in the appropriate manner. You don’t treat a judge as a criminal.”

He also denied the audio where he allegedly threatened an electoral official during the legislative rerun election.

Wike described it as the handiwork of his detractors.

“Have I not said it before that if you come to Rivers to rig you should prepare your will? Have I not said it? So what is it about threatening to kill electoral officials?” he said.

Asked if he held any conversation with an INEC official, Wike said: “Who is the INEC official that I spoke with? They claimed I gave the official money and was asking him where he is from? How can I be asking someone I gave money where he is from?

“What is all this crap? Let them produce video evidence; we have been able to show video of policemen rigging election. What have they done about it?

“The only person I can even speak to as far as INEC is concerned is the resident electoral commissioner (INEC) or the national commissioner, and that’s if I have any report. There were over 2000 ad hoc staff during the election, so which one did I talk to? Which one did I not talk to? Please discard those thoughts.”

#RiversRerun: Five Suspects Arrested Over Attempted Electoral Interference

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have arrested five suspects for attempting to disrupt the December 10, 2016 re-run elections in Rivers State, the force’s public relations officer announced on Wednesday.

In his press release, DSP Don N. Awunah praised the police officers deployed to the polling stations for preventing widespread violence, saying that the election was, from a security perspective, “a huge success.”

“The pre-election predictions of plausible and imminent violence was forestalled by the massive deployment of security personnel and logistics, creative engagement of stakeholders, robust interagency collaboration and effective discharge of election duties, coupled with transparency and accountability displayed by the security agents,” Mr. Awunah said. Previous elections in Rivers State have been afflicted with violence, but this time around, police were adequately prepared to protect the integrity of the elections.

While the poll was largely conducted peacefully, attempts were made to instigate violence and disrupt the election, he explained. Five persons accused of such were promptly arrested.

Mr. Awunah disclosed their names to the press: Noble Nwaerema, Dike Deinpiribo, Valentine Alalibo, Onwunari J. Warmate, and Iloke Stephen.

According to the PRO, these suspects were found with stolen Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) materials and weapons.

The recovered INEC items included: one green INEC bag, eight ballot paper booklets, one INEC Accreditation Incident Report forms, one statement of results booklet, one “blood stained” APC agent ID card.

Among the recovered weapons and ammunition recovered were one AK-47 rifle, one assault rifle, six magazines, and 112 rounds of live ammunition.

Mr. Awunah explained that Noble Nwaerema, 33, was arrested by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives along Rumusi Elele. The suspect said the youth president of the Itu-Ikwere community hired him, along with eight others, to steal INEC materials in Emouha Local Government Area.

The four other suspects arrested are members of a cultist group and are “professional political thugs,” Mr. Awunah said. They were responsible for several armed attacks that were carried out in Abonnema, Emuoha, Elele, Eteche, and Omoku

Mr. Awunah added that some security personnel were also arrested for “professional misconduct” that jeopardized the integrity of the electoral process. He assured the news media that a high-powered investigative panel is currently investigating these gross violations of police conduct.

20 arrested over killing of policemen, missing NYSC members in Rivers re-run

Indications emerged, yesterday, that the crack police team sent to Rivers State to nab the killers of Deputy Superintendent of Police Alkali Mohammed, his orderly and other missing officers during the re-run elections in Rivers State, might have made a breakthrough, with over 20 suspects in police net.
Senior police officers involved in the manhunt for the killers will, today, brief the police high command on the development before making public the ‘highly priced catch.’ Vanguard gathered that the briefing will include the fate of the police officers and members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, who were also abducted during the ambush by some cultists at Uju community, Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area of the state.
This came as the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the setting up of a special panel to investigate the incident. The police boss also expressed satisfaction with the performance of officers during the re-run parliamentary elections, adding that the beheading of the officers did not affect the successful outcome of the elections; he also condoled with the victims’ families.
A special squad invades River Vanguard gathered that the special police team made up of officers from IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT; the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, both from Force Headquarters, Abuja; Special Anti-Robbery team from Ikeja and Adeniji-Adele, both in Lagos; the Intelligence Unit in Abuja and Rivers State, and the Special Investigations Bureau, SIB, arrived Rivers State soon after the beheading of the officers by suspected cultists during an ambush at Uju.
The team, according to sources, swung into action and was able to trace the hideout of the suspected killers after searching Uju community and beyond.
It was learned that no fewer than 20 suspects are presently in police net, but sources said they were sure that the real perpetrators must be amongst those apprehended. According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, “we have actually recorded a breakthrough, but we will not make it public until we fish out our missing officers and members of the NYSC— dead or alive.” DSP Mohammed, who was leading about 12 officers of MOPOL 48 on election security duty, was said to have run into heavy gunfire.
Three of the officers escaped, while five officers are still missing. Give us 48 hours—POLICE Efforts to confirm or clarify this development from police authorities in Abuja failed as those spoken with advised “hold on for now.
We are still tracking them and we will certainly get them. “Within the next 48 hours, you will get the news. For now, we do not want anything to jeopardise our efforts.”
A statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Don Awunah, said: “A high powered investigation team has been directed to unravel the circumstances surroun-ding the death of the officers. “The gains of the security personnel’s performance in the Edo and Ondo elections were further concretised in the Rivers re-run elections in the areas of deployment of logistics, enabling the process, stakeholder’s enga-gement, facilitating voter’s participation, inter-agency collaboration and general provision of peace and security in the state before, during and after elections.”

Police Begin Manhunt For DSP, Orderly Killers.

The Rivers State Police Command said on Monday that it had begun a manhunt for the killers of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Alkali Mohammed of Mobile Police, Unit 48, and his orderly.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, told The PUNCH in an interview that special units of the Nigeria Police Force had joined the ongoing investigation with a view to apprehending the hoodlums and bringing them to justice.

A group of bandits suspected to be cultists had ambushed a police patrol team in Ujju community near Omoku in Ogba Egbema/Ndoni LGA of the state, killed and beheaded a DSP and his orderly.

It was learnt that the hoodlums escaped with the police patrol vehicle and took some weapons along with them.

But the state police spokesman promised that those behind the dastardly act would never go unpunished, adding that one policeman, who could be the driver of the patrol van, was still missing after the incident.

“The death of the DSP has been confirmed and his body has been recovered. The policeman (orderly) is still missing. All hands are on the deck and we are combing the bush around some communities.”

Omoni said, “The Command’s Tactical Unit has swung into action; the IGP Unit is also helping the manhunt for the hoodlums. Investigation had been ordered and we will get the perpetrators of this act in no time.

“It is a sad moment for the police and we pray that their gentle souls will rest in peace.”

The 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt had raised the alarm over the activities of hoodlums on Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA during Saturday’s legislative rerun election in Rivers State, disclosing that two policemen were killed and beheaded.

The General Officer Command, 6 Division, Maj.-Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, had said in a statement, “The most brutal incidence occurred at Ujju Community near Omoku in Onelga where police patrol team was ambushed.

“In the ambush, 10 policemen scampered into the bush. The Mobile Police organized a rescue mission.

“Regrettably, the team discovered that DSP Alkali Mohammed of Mobile Police Unit 48 was beheaded along with his orderly. The patrol vehicle was taken away with weapons, three policemen escaped while five were missing in action.

“This is the same area where soldiers of 34 Brigade were ambushed on 20 November, 2016 where a soldier was killed.

“Also on 21 November 2016, 4 personnel of NSCDC were killed and their weapons carted away. These attacks are reasonable evidence of violations of breach of the law and order which portray the area as a flash point.”

Peterside: APC will NOT accept result of Rivers east senatorial election

Dakuku Peterside, director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says the All Progressive Congress (APC) will reject the Rivers east senatorial district rerun election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared George Sekibo, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the rerun election.

INEC said Sekibo polled 93,098 votes ahead of Andrew Uchendu of the APC, who had 34,193 votes.

But speaking with journalists on Monday, Peterside said the election was inconclusive in some of the areas that make up the district.

He said the APC would go according to law to resist the alleged irregularities.

“You are aware that elections were inconclusive in Etche local government area. The results for Emohua local government area have not been collated. The results for Port Harcourt city local government area were partially collated,” Peterside said.

“The APC agent was beaten at the collation centre in Port Harcourt. Without him being present, the result was announced in favour of the PDP candidate.

“Whatever result is declared for Rivers East will be ridiculing democracy; APC will not accept any of that.”

Army: How we rescued 16 kidnapped corps members, policemen in Rivers

Kasimu Abdulkarim, general officer commanding of the 6 division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, has denied the allegation that his men were partisan in Saturday’s election.

He narrated how soldiers rescued 16 abducted corps members and some policemen who were ambushed.

Abdulkarim said those behind the reports of partisanship were bent on tarnishing the image of the army.

Nyesom Wike, governor of the state, and other bigwigs in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had accused security operatives of collaborating with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the election.

But Abdulkarim insisted that his men acted to prevent security breach.

“They acted swiftly in response to security breaches in order to enforce the law, provide aid to the police and other security agencies especially in areas like Abonema, Etche, Gokhana, Ikwere, Eleme, Tai, Khana and Omoku amongst others,” he said in a statement.

“Susceptibility of mentioned areas warranted providing security for the electoral officials, voters, international and local observers, in conjunction with other security agencies by soldiers for a peaceful election to thrive in the environment.

“In Gokhana, armed hoodlums engaged the soldiers providing outer perimeter defence for the electorate.

“In Abonema there were three explosions that created bedlam. Subsequently, 11 NYSC members were abducted along with electoral materials.

“However, 10 of them were rescued two hours later by the soldiers while one was rescued about eight hours later.

“At Emouha five NYSC members were abducted with election materials in a Siena bus. The corps members were rescued while the suspect was handed over to the police.

“Several shooting were recorded in some communities such as Bodo, the home town of the secretary to the state government, and Mogho in Gokhana local government area, including snatching of ballot boxes.

“The most brutal incidence occurred at Ujju Community near Omoku in Onelga where police patrol team was ambushed. In the ambush, 10 policemen scampered into the bush.

“These attacks are reasonable evidence of violations of breach of law and order which portray the area as a flash point.

“In spite these  barbarism,  soldiers acted with civility and professionalism in guaranteeing peaceful election.

“Some people allegedly accused soldiers of ballot box snatching, illegal escorts of some politicians, arrest and detention of voters during the general conduct of the elections.

“The weighty nature of these allegations could cause members of the public to view soldiers negatively, hence the need to adequately inform the general public on the true perspective.  The public thus need to consider them as mere farce to garner public sympathy.”

BREAKING: INEC releases interim report on #RiversRerun election

Rivers rerun election: The Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, has released an interim report on the Rivers re-run elections where it promised that co-operation with the commission will bring about results that are acceptable to Stakeholders.
The report in full reads:
“Following the release of the timetable for the conclusion of the National and State Assembly re-run elections in Rivers state on 3rd November 2016, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) proceeded to conduct the elections in the state as scheduled today, Saturday, 10th December 2016.
“The elections were generally peaceful and the turn-out was impressive except in Akuku-Toru, Gokana, Khana, Andoni and Tai Local Government Areas. There were alleged reports of dynamite explosions in Akuku-Toru; INEC officials were attacked in Khana; electoral materials were snatched in Andoni; and our staff were prevented from conducting the elections in Tai State Constituency.
“In a few other areas where hoodlums threatened the conduct of the exercise, the security agencies intervened and ensured that the elections were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.
“In the meantime, actual voting has ended in most Polling Units (PUs). We urge the good people of Rivers state to continue to cooperate with the Commission so that ultimately, we would have results that are acceptable to the Stakeholders.

[BREAKING]: #RiversRerun: One killed in Gokana

ONE person was feared killed in Bodo, Gokana LGA, Rivers State, by ?armed men suspected to operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The operatives stormed the Saint Pius College at about 11.45am, order?ed everybody to lie down, and began to shoot sporadically before carting away some election materials.
The man shot was identified as Meebara Kormaga,? a 25-year-old that came out to vote.
DETAILS later.

Oyegun to Rivers electorate: If they slap you, slap them back.

John Oyegun, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Thursday encouraged members of his party to retaliate whatever action they get from loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during Saturday’s senatorial rerun election.

Speaking during a mega rally of the party in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, Oyegun particularly said: “If they slap you, slap them back.”

He expressed satisfaction with the turnout at the rally, and urged the people to head to the polling units in droves on Saturday.

“I am very pleased with the turnout here today. It shows you are truly ready. As you can see, we came in force. The whole federal might is here. You have the governors of this nation here today,” he said.

“We are sending one message, and that message is clear. It is that we respect you the people of Rivers state. We respect the courage of our members in this state. We want to let you know that we have heard your cry; we have seen your anguish; enough is enough. This is the beginning of a rescue mission.

“I was here during the time of our beautiful governor, Rotimi Amaechi. He drove me round Port Harcourt; we strolled in the city, but can you do so today? We now have a blood-thirsty regime in Rivers state.”

He described Saturday’s rerun election as the beginning of a rescue mission, and encouraged the people not to be intimidated.

“I am glad with what I am hearing here today; very glad. If they push you, push them back. If they slap you, slap them back,” he said.

“We cannot allow them. The APC came on a rescue mission, unfortunately they are fighting back, the same way they have always done. Are you going to allow them? It is within your powers to return the members of the house of assembly.

“Return the members of house of representatives and senators because we need them. When you do that, it will be the beginning of the end.

“Go and cast your vote, and if they snatch the result sheet, give me the answer.”

The crowd responded: “Snatch it back.”

Police: Wike’s CSO removed for ‘apparent partisanship’

The police on Wednesday said Promise Nwosu, chief security officer (CSO) of Nyesom Wike, the Rivers state governor, was redeployed because of his “apparent partisanship”.

Wike had cried out over the withdrawal of his CSO, alleging that there was a conspiracy to take him out.

But in a statement, Don Awunah, police spokesman, said the officer was redeployed because he grossly flouted the rules of professional by joining a political party in a protest.

He said the inspector-general of police (IGP) had set up a panel to discipline Nwosu.

“The Nigeria police force have observed the innuendos, distortion of facts and wild allegations peddled in the mass media following the redeployment of the chief security officer (CSO) to the governor of Rivers state, DSP Promise Nwosu, as a result of gross professional misconduct,” he said.

“It will be recalled that on 17th November, 2016 during peaceful demonstrations of an opposition party in the state, All Progressive Congress (APC), the chief security officer to the governor, DSP Promise Nwosu was found among the protesting party faithful in a manner prejudicial to discipline and displaying conduct unexpected of an officer of his calibre and office.

“In the course of monitoring the public protest, an assistant commissioner of police in charge of operations in Rivers state observed the presence of the CSO among the protesting partisan crowd as illegal, unlawful and outside prescribed schedule of the duties of a CSO.

“The active presence of the CSO to the governor in a partisan crowd of an opposition party to the governor in a clandestine and suspicious manner was considered mischievous and detrimental to the security of the state and public order and also contrary to his oath of office which constitute an offence against discipline.”

Awunah alleged the CSO to the governor demonstrated brazen indiscipline and showed disrespect to the senior officer when he was challenged over his action.

“Accordingly, the CSO was officially queried for discreditable conduct, insubordination, engaging in partisan political activities, illegal duty and act unbecoming of a public officer,” he said.

“As a result of such gross misconduct and apparent partisanship, the IGP ordered the redeployment of the CSO pending further disciplinary action. To this end, the IGP has also constituted an investigative inquiry into the officer’s open engagement in political activities, disrespect to senior officers and unethical practices.

“It is absolutely imperative the police and police officers are insulated from partisan politics. The IGP therefore warns all police officers in any capacity to desist from acts that portray the force in a bad light and question the integrity of the personnel.

“In addition, any police officer, especially CSOs, Aides-de-Camp (ADCs), and orderlies attached to political officer holders or senior government officials who engages in activities outside the official schedule will be removed and made to face severe disciplinary action.

“It instructive to maintain that the redeployment of the CSO to Governor Wike must not be misconstrued or misinterpreted as it is widely reported in the media. The police force must not be drawn to direct partisan politics and acts that are inimical to peace and public order.”

He added that Wike was at liberty to select any officer of his choice from the strength of the command to serve as his CSO,  but “under no circumstance should any officer abandon the security of his principal and legitimate duties to engage in direct partisan politics or conversely should any political office holder use police officers attached to them for political machinations”.

Rivers rerun: Elections to hold in 1,840 polling units – REC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the legislative rerun election scheduled for December 10will hold in 1,840 polling units spread across the 23 local government areas of Rivers State.

The commission also denied recruiting card-carrying members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as ad hoc staff to prosecute the election as alleged by the state government.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Aniedi Ikoiwak, spoke when the executive members of the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by the state Chairman, Omoni Ayo-Tamuno, paid him a courtesy visit at the commission’s office in Port Harcourt.

Ikoiwak however stated that bulk of the voting on the election day will be in seven local government areas of the state, including Andoni, Akuku-Toru, Bonny, Etche, Ikwerre, Khana and Gokana.

He insisted that INEC is not recruiting ad-hoc staff for the election, saying that ad-hoc staff used during elections by the commission are brought in from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other federal agencies.

Ikoiwak said: “We want to make it clear that we have nothing to do with any political party. We have where we collect our ad-hoc staff. It is very clear, we are not recruiting ad-hoc staff, that people will write application and so on.

“We collect them from the NYSC, from federal agencies and to compliment shortfalls, we collect students from the university. All the people who are being trained are either NYSC, or students or staff of federal agencies, including those from INEC. If we find out that there is any student who has affiliation with a political party, and we have the data clearly, such student will be dropped.

“That is why we challenge those who are saying it, to give us the list of those people and prove if they are not students or even if they are students, there are some who have affiliations with political parties. Yes, they are students and they have affiliations with political parties and it is proved, those ones will be dropped.”

Earlier, chairman of NUJ in the state, Omoni Ayo-Tamuno, said it was regretable that a number of journalists, who were carrying out their constitutional responsibility were attacked and wounded during the March 19, 2016 rerun election in the state.

He said, “Journalists have only their pen, they don’t wear bullet-proof jackets. The only thing we want is security for our members. During the last rerun election,our members were attacked and a car belonging to one of the was burnt.”

Wike Needs immediate Psychiatric Attention — Rivers APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has recommended immediate psychiatric attention for the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, saying that his behavior and utterances these days do not present him as a person who is still in full control of his mental faculties.

The party said in a statement issued on Monday in the state capital Port Harcourt: “Nigerians may have observed the distorted, uncoordinated and incomprehensible manner in which Chief Wike addresses the public these days, which is perhaps an indication that he needs psychiatrist assistance as a matter of urgency before his case goes beyond remedy. Today he is accusing the military of being after him or tying to assassinate him, tomorrow he will be accusing the INEC and Police of plotting on how to rig the rerun election scheduled to hold on December 10. Later he will accuse Transportation Minister Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of trying to pay the salaries of civil servants which he Wike has refused to pay for these eight months. This is even as he would accuse NIMASA DG Dakuku Peterside of plotting how to restore security and peace to Rivers State, thereby dislodging and thwarting his policy of turning Rivers State to Rivers of blood while on the other hand accusing the APC Rivers South-East Senatorial District Candidate Senator Magnus Abe of meeting with senior police officers between 2am and 4am on Friday, where he requested that they support his rigging agenda in exchange for N10million EACH. If not that Wike has gone berserk where on earth does he wants Abe to raise such a staggering fund in an election that the Ogonis have vowed to vote for him?

Recently at the Rivers state Government House, Wike muttered to PDP Chieftains, “apart from the fact that Development creates crime and that since I resumed office as Governor of Rivers state, people are being killed and beheaded in Rivers state and pictures of those killed in the state were littered in social media, too much insecurity in Rivers state I will only try my little best to handle it but as the President of the new Niger Delta Republic, how can my fellow President, President Buhari of Nigeria withdrew my security and assigned them to Hon Asita O. Asita a small boy besides People should understand that in Rivers State, we have the capacity to resist the security agencies of Nigeria. To worsen our case, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has assigned all the Police SARs in the South-South (SS) to Senator Magnus Abe and those of South East (SE) region to ‘Senators’ Andrew Uchendu and Amachree”.

Rivers APC in the statement signed by the State Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, described Wike’s wild allegations and utterances as symptomanic of a person in need of psychiatric evaluation. “We suspect that the law of Karma is now after him including the blood of hundreds of Rivers State people that Wike and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) killed to install him and his lieutenants in office is now on a revenge mission, exacting a heavy toll on the usurper-Governor,’ the party said.

The quote, “he who sows the wind, will reap the whirlwind” makes better meaning with the current sorrow state of Wike and his mindless cohorts. The Holy Bible as contained in the book of Galatians 6:7 may have had Wike in mind when it stated, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”

To further expose wike’s unstable mind and thought as Nigerian Master Electoral Rigger and how he rigged himself to power, let us listen to him, “How can APC topple me as master electoral rigger? Na me bi their Oga (for rigging). I no give them this kind thing. Na me bi their oga. I no teach them this kind thing. Na who dey teach them all this kind thing? Trans Amadi Police station, you know we have police barrack there near Michelin. Na there wey the SARS Commander dey live, one Akeem. Every night, you go see them with this Tundra, this big hilux, black. Them go come. Them go tell all the security people wey dey for gate make them comot. Them go comot. Them go put off the light and bring down materials. I go tell them say me, I be professional. This thing wey una dey do, una bi small children”.

Everyday this man who is not fit to be a governor makes Rivers State a laughing stock before the country and the international community. He should be made to get help before it is too late.”

We therefore appeal to the Rivers electorate to utilise the opportunity offered by the rerun parliamentary election to vote massively for all APC candidates and thus free the State from the shackles of the ungodly and bloodthirsty PDP leadership.”

“In the same vein, we appeal to INEC and security agencies not to be intimidated by Wike’s tricks and pranks. We urge the security agencies to ensure that those hoodlums hired and kept by Wike to cause havoc during the election are properly caged so that people would feel free to exercise their franchise on December 10, 2016,” the statement said.

Police intercept ‘heavily armed kidnappers’ in Rivers

The police say they have intercepted a four-man gang of “heavily armed” kidnappers in Rivers State.

The incident, which the police described as a major breakthrough, occurred along Azikiwe Road, Port Harcourt, on November 29, according to a police statement released on Thursday.

The suspected kidnappers were allegedly on their way to carry out criminal operation when they were intercepted by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), acting on “credible intelligence and public support”.

One of the suspects was arrested, while three others were fatally wounded during a gun battle with the police, said the statement issued by the Force spokesman, Don Awunah.

The police gave the name of the arrested suspect as James Peter, a 30 year-old man said to be from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He is said to be cooperating with the police in the investigation into the criminal activities of the gang.

The police said the gang was notorious for terrorizing the waterways in Rivers and Bayelsa states.

The police said it recovered one General Purpose Machine Gun, one AK-47 riffle, chains of GPMG ammunition and two fully loaded AK-47 magazines from the suspects.

“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, has once again enjoined Nigerians never to hesitate to provide the police with valuable information and assures them of renewed commitment on the part of the force in the fight against crime and antisocial behaviour,” the statement said.

Police dares Wike to prove rigging allegation by releasing video

The Rivers State Police Command has challenged the state governor, Nyesom Wike to prove his latest allegation about plots to rig the forthcoming rerun legislative elections in parts of the state by making public the purported video.

Wike had during his outing at Abonnema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area claimed that the state government was in possession of audio-visual footage of alleged plot to rig the rerun.

He also accused the Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya of involvement in the alleged plot with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

But the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, Nnamdi Omoni challenged the Rivers State Government to release the video.

Omoni said, “We are not aware of it. It is a mere allegation which is not verifiable. We insist that his allegation is never correct. Such thing never happened.

“If the Governor claims he has a video footage, a video recording or audio recording let him bring it out and make it public so everybody will see.

“As it stands what he said is still speculative and it does not offer any futuristic defence.”

Meanwhile, All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State has alleged that Wike is getting out of hand in his sundry allegations in the buildup to the rerun elections on December 10.

The Rivers APC stated that with less than two weeks to the legislative rerun, the Governor appears to have thrown caution to the wind as he launches a campaign of blackmail on everyone especially the APC, INEC and the Nigeria Police.

State Publicity Secretary of APC, Chris Finebone noted, in a statement, that Wike was putting up what he described as “a pitiable image of a disarmed dictator.”

In a counter allegation, the APC spokesman said Governor Wike has never embarked on any election without buying over the police and the rest of the security agencies.

The statement reads, “Governor Wike has also not engaged in any election without taking firm control of the election umpire and the judiciary.

“As the rerun elections approach, it appears to be dawning on the Governor that times have changed, as the security agencies are way beyond his influence.

“Despite still having pockets of moles in the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Rivers State Governor has lost the services of the top echelon of the commission due to the anti-corruption stance of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”

APC asks Wike to refund N2bn he allegedly donated to Ondo PDP

Following the loss of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, the Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has admonished the State Governor, Nyesom Wike to reclaim the N2bn he allegedly donated to the Ondo Chapter of the PDP.

 

Addressing APC supporters in Port Harcourt, the state capital shortly after its party candidate in the Ondo governorship election, Rotimi Akeredolu, was declared winner of the Saturday’s election, APC alleged that Wike is playing father Christmas with the state’s funds, adding that the money should be returned to the coffers of Rivers State.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Akeredolu of the APC winner of the 2016 governorship election  after polling 244, 842 votes to beat his closest challenger, Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP who polled 150, 380 votes.

 

The Rivers State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Senibo Chris Finebone said, “It is unfortunate that Gov. Nyesom Wike is still playing Father Christmas with the commonwealth of Rivers people for his personal egoistic political voyage despite that the governor has cancelled hundreds of overseas scholarships and the students repatriated home among other important programmes.

 

“Agriculture is in its worst state since Rivers State was created. Songhai Farm is gone; the Banana Farm at Tai is gone; RSSDA is now a ghost of its former self with the staff owed 17 months salaries. The various fish farms at Buguma, Andoni and other places that provided jobs for thousands of Rivers people are now history.

 

“It saddens the heart that our governor prefers to neglect important matters calling for attention at home but rather lavish our commonwealth on his personal political pursuits. Can you imagine that Gov. Nyesom Wike willingly donated a whopping N2bn to the Ondo State chapter of the PDP? It is horrible, mind-boggling and indefensible.

 

“Just like in the case of Edo, the PDP has lost and the governor should not wait to be reminded to return the N2bn back to the treasury of Rivers State immediately.

 

“Whereas the PDP has states like Akwa Ibom and Delta that collect high monthly federal allocations, it is only Gov. Wike that plays the party’s godfather. So far, he has wasted billions of Naira hosting two failed national conventions of the PDP in Port Harcourt. He has profligately donated billions of Naira belonging to Rivers people to faraway Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo PDP chapters for purposes of elections while medical workers, pensioners and teachers are owed back home.

 

“Is it that Rivers State has been conquered by a small band of buccaneers led by Gov Wike and genuine elders are keeping quiet?”

Wike’s baseless allegation a cheap ploy to intimidate, harass INEC – Amaechi

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had handed over original result sheets of the coming rerun elections in Rivers State to the former governor of the state and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

 

But reacting swiftly, Ameachi, through his Media Office, said: “This new wild, baseless allegation by Governor Wike is a cheap ploy by a failing garrulous man to intimidate and harass INEC into doing his bidding and whip up public sentiment against All Progressives Congress, APC, its candidates for the elections and the President Buhari administration, ahead of the December 10, re-run elections in Rivers State.

 

“We know his game. This is an old worn out trick that will certainly fail. Wike is scared, profoundly afraid; this is why he is telling these spurious lies. He knows he will lose at the polls, if the election is free and fair. Amaechi has no business with any result sheets for the coming elections and has nothing to do with Sheriff or the self-imposed woes and travails of PDP.”


Similarly, the electoral body has dismissed the allegations as unfounded.

 

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak, said that he was not aware of such development, noting that result sheets for the election had not even been printed.

 

However, Governor Wike, who spoke while flagging-off the construction of Ulakwo II Afara Nihi road in Etche Local Government, claimed it was Amaechi that made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja during a meeting of Rivers APC leaders.

 

While boasting that he was in possession of the proceedings of the alleged Abuja meeting of the APC, he said: “While we are working for the people of Rivers State to convince them to vote for us, the APC is busy working with INEC to rig the rerun elections. Amaechi told them at the meeting that Sheriff is working for them (APC) and that they have finished PDP.” Sheriff cannot finish PDP, he can only finish himself.

 

“On December 10, follow your results bumper to bumper. Don’t allow anyone to swap results.”

Police avert APC, PDP supporters’ clash in Rivers.

A bloody clash between All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters was averted by the police yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Hundreds of APC supporters in the early hours converged on the party’s secretariat along Forces Avenue from where they began a procession to the Government House in protest against the refusal of the leadership of the House of Assembly to swear in two lawmakers, Victoria Nyeche, representing Port Harcourt City 1 Constituency and Andrew Miller, representing Opobo/Nkoro Constituency, who were elected on its platform.

Owing to intelligence report that PDP supporters had also mobilised to storm the House of Assembly to counter the APC members, policemen were deployed around the Government House along Azikiwe Road down towards the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office and the State High Court.

As the APC supporters got to the roundabout leading to the Government House, policemen prevented them from getting to its main entrance.

To avoid a possible confrontation between PDP members who were already around the House of Assembly and the approaching APC supporters, the police fired tear-gas canisters to disperse them and in the process injured several persons.

Policemen led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Steven Hasso, also allegedly assaulted a journalist, Mr. Ekikere Udom of Channels Television.

Amid the teargas, supporters of PDP led by the publicity secretary of the party in the state, Samuel Nwanosike, made their way into the House of Assembly where they were received by the speaker, Adams Dabatorudima.

Nwanosike, who denied that their solidarity visit was intended to counter the protest by members of the opposition APC, called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to investigate the attack on them by his men.

A statement by Governor Nyesom Wike’s press secretary, Simeon Nwakaudu, had accused the police of a breach of security and threat to the peace by allowing APC supporters to storm the Government House, Port Harcourt.

He described as despicable an alleged physical assault on the Chief Security Officer of Government House by the policemen.

But the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya, said that his men never invaded the Government House but rather they took proactive measures to ensure that both the APC and PDP supporters did not meet and clash.

Police Avert Major Clash Between PDP, APC in Rivers

A major clash between members of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and All Progressive Congress, APC was averted yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers state when members of the two parties poured into the streets.

As early as 7:15am, members of the APC had gathered at the party’s secretariat on Forces Avenue, warming up to march down to the House of Assembly complex on Moscow road to denounce alleged refusal by the leadership of the assembly to swear in two elected members of the party, Hon Victoria Nyeche, Port Harcourt state constituency 1 and Hon Andrew Miller elected to represent Opobo Nkoro state constituency.

Almost at the same time, members of the PDP had assembled around Moscow road, housing the assembly complex chanting party songs. The Police quickly moved to avert any clash as it deployed patrol vehicles blocking any direct contact between the two groups.

Meantime, secretary of the APC in the state, Chief Emeka Beke said the protest was to condemn the alleged reluctance on the leadership of the House to swear in the two members of the party elected as state legislators.

He said they had to shelve the idea of marching to the assembly complex because they heard the governor was going to the House so will not want any clash.

“Two of our members were elected to serve in the Rivers State House of Assembly and today, they don’t want to swear them in. Even if it is one person, the person should be a minority voice in the House. Give our members, Victoria Nyeche and Andrew Miller the opportunity to sit in the Chamber. That is what we are asking for.

“The governor had fixed a programme in the House of Assembly and because APC is a law-abiding party that has the fear of God, we want to give them the benefit of doubt. But subsequent times, we will not accept that. Whatever they want to happen will happen; we will not take it anymore.” He later led his party members to protest on a portion of Aba road. Some of the placards they carried read, “Wike respect rule of law, swear our elected members into the House. Rivers state House of Assembly must obey court order, swear our members in “.

The PDP on its part, said they came out in their large numbers because they wanted to pay a solidarity visit on the Speaker of the House, Hon Adams Dabatorudima but were being prevented by the police. Publicity secretary of the party, Mr Sam Nwanosike alleged that members of his party were attacked by the Police in a bid to stop them from marching to the complex.

His words, “As Peoples Democratic Party members, we wrote the state chairman and told him that we are going to pay a solidarity visit to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, who incidentally is a youth. It is on record that this is the first time a youth is running the affairs of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“So, we chose today, November 17, 2016 to visit Mr. Speaker. Funny enough, on our way to the Rivers State House of Assembly, we saw fierce looking Policemen, who attacked us with live ammunition, enough tear-gas. As I am talking to you, a few of our colleagues are in the hospital right now with life threatening injuries. One is at Saint Patrick’s Hospital, another one is at Riverside Hospital and I don’t know the hospital they took him to.”

Rivers Government to prosecute two APC chieftains for alleged murder.

The Attorney-General of Rivers State has been directed to prosecute the 2015 All Progressives Congress (APC) deputy governorship candidate, Asita Okorie, for the murder of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member during the March 19, 2016 rerun legislative election.

 

It was learnt that the corps member was killed at Akinima community in Ahoada West Local Government.

 

The decision to prosecute the APC chieftain was reached during the Rivers State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday.

Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, hinged the decision to prosecute Okorie on the recommendation of the Justice Monima Danagogo Commission of Inquiry into the violence and killings that characterised the rerun elections.

 

Also to be prosecuted is another APC chieftain and former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Barry Mpigi, for the murder of a pregnant woman, Mrs. Baby Nzuuga, in Kpite Tai.

[Pictures]: Deadly weapons surrendered during Rivers’ amnesty.

Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike announced this during the submission of the report of the Rivers State Amnesty Programme in Port Harcourt that about 22, 430 cultists accepted the amnesty while 911 assorted arms, 7661 assorted ammunition and 147 explosives were surrendered during the programme.

Governor Wike declaring the first phase of the State Amnesty Programme closed at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday

Governor Wike declaring the first phase of the State Amnesty Programme closed at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday

Governor Wike declaring the first phase of the State Amnesty Programme closed at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Governor Wike declaring the first phase of the State Amnesty Programme closed at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Arms, ammunitions and explosives recovered at the close of the Rivers State Amnesty Programme at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Arms, ammunitions and explosives recovered at the close of the Rivers State Amnesty Programme at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Rivers ALGON alleges plot to move fake result sheets printing suspects to Abuja

The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in Rivers State, has alleged plots by the Rivers State Police Command to transfer the suspects arrested in connection with the alleged fake election result sheets printing syndicate to Abuja.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of ALGON in the state, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike, who made the allegation while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the motive behind the plot is to water down the allegations against them and release them.

Nwanosike said, “We are aware that there are pressures to transfer the matter from Rivers State Police Command to Abuja, to enable them water down the evidence and release the suspects.

“As ALGON, we have met and looked at all the issues and we insist that the matter cannot be swept under the carpet. We call on the Commissioner of Police to know that the voice of the people is the voice of God.

“No matter the pressure from Abuja, he must do justice to this issue that has to do with the will of the people of Rivers State. Emma Chinda, the former commissioner for Agriculture under former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, does not have immunity. Dakuku Adol Peterside, the director-general of NIMASA does not have immunity.

“The commissioner of Police should arrest them immediately. Let the public see that they were arrested, investigated and tried. We, the people of Rivers State are saying, enough is enough. We want these men arrested.”

Police under pressure to drop charges against fake ballot papers printer.

Rivers State Police Command, yesterday, confirmed the arrest of three persons for allegedly printing fake ballot papers for next month’s re-run legislative election in the state.

This came as Governor Nyesom Wike called on Police authorities in the state to ensure that all those directly or indirectly linked to the persons arrested on Saturday in Port Harcourt for allegedly printing fake result sheets and other sensitive election materials ahead of the rerun elections in the state were prosecuted.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed December 10 to conduct the election in the state.

Mr Nnamdi Omoni, the Public Relations Officer of the command, said the suspects were arrested on Saturday at D/Line area of Port Harcourt.

He said personnel of the Criminal Investigation Department, CID, made the arrest.

“I can confirm the arrest of three suspects. The matter is with us and the Commissioner of Police has ordered discreet investigation. I can assure you that it is being given adequate attention and at the end of investigation, we will come out with our position,” he said.

Omoni said the state CID was currently handling the matter while the command would make its findings known at the end of the investigation.

He urged the people to give the police useful information that would assist it fight crime in the state.

Meanwhile, the governor alleged that the Police were already under severe pressure to drop charges against those already in its custody.

Governor Wike said: “I made sure they videoed the documents to ensure the evidence is not killed or destroyed before handing them over to the police. The police are now saying they are under pressure not to charge the suspects to court.”

He claimed that the printer was a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, saying, “We will show you his APC membership card.”

The APC had earlier in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Finebone, accused the governor and the PDP of stage managing the incident, insisting that no member of the APC was part of the alleged fraud.

Rivers re-run holds Dec 10, Lagos & FCT Dec 3 – INEC

The outstanding National and State Assembly elections in Rivers State will be conducted on December 10, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced on Thursday in Abuja.

 

Mrs Auguta Ogakwu, Secretary to the commission in a statement said that the commission had also approved December 3 to conduct election for the vacant Ifako/Ijaiye seat of Lagos State in the House of Representatives.

The seat became vacant following the death of the member who represented the constituency in the House, Mr Adewale Oluwatayo, in July.

 

On the same day, according to the statement, the commission will also conclude rescheduled councillorship polls in some area councils in the Federal Capital Territory.

“After months of intensive planning and wide consultations, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday approved the conduct of Lagos’ House of Representative election on Saturday, Dec 3, 2016.

 

“Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Councillorship election will also hold on Saturday, Dec 3, 2016.

 

“Rivers, National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) and State House of Assembly elections on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016,” the statement said.

Rivers: Suspected cultists kill two, behead their bodies.

One Christian Siraawo and Temple Oko have been killed with their heads taken away by suspected cultists in Kono community, Khana local government area of Rivers state.

The two men were attacked at their their homes late Sunday by armed-bearing cultists who shot them and beheaded the two bodies.

The suspected cultists also inflicted major injuries on two others; Thompson Oko and Patason.

The Rivers State Police Command has already confirmed the killing of the two youths in Kono, as the Police Public Relations Officer DSP Nnamdi Omoni said that the police has commenced investigation on the killing.

 

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The police spokesman also clarified that no arrest has yet been made.

According to him, “We are aware of the incident. We have started gathering information. Though no arrests has been made but be sure investigation has started.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Khana local government area, Baridah Nsaanee, has called on security agencies to unravel those behind the gruesome killing.

BCPG President Kunle Awobudu Warns Of Possible Earthquake In Nigeria.

The national President of Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Mr Kunle Awobudu, has expressed the possibility of Nigeria experiencing earthquake and the need for the federal government to immediate take preemptive action by reducing the spate of substandard building construction across the nation.

Recall that mild earthquakes recently occurred in parts of Oyo, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Kaduna states.

According to him, vibrations accompanying the earth tremors resulted in the collapse of mud houses and infliction of visible cracks in modern buildings within the affected areas.

“This development has clearly ossified the harbinger on the possibility of Nigeria having an earthquake induced disaster in the near future,” Awobudu said.

In a press statement made available to journalists in Lagos, Awobudu expressed concern that the notion that Nigeria is safe or far from seismic active regions is no longer tenable.

He disclosed that Shaki in Oyo State has been subjected to intermittent earth tremors this year and climaxed in the first week of June 2016. More so, communities in Bayelsa and Rivers on July 10, 2016 had a similar experience but in this case due to prolonged effect of oil exploitation.

Records from the seismological station of the Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics (CGG) showed that the earthquakes that occurred in Kwoi area of Kaduna State on 11th and 12th September, 2016 ranged from 2.8 to 3.1 in magnitude.

The statement reads in part: “Shaki and Kwoi towns are not far from the Ifewara – Zungeru fault Zone, which is linked with the Atlantic fracture system. The fault transcends the South-West and North-West of the country, thereby making that stretch of land susceptible to seismicity due to stresses generated within the earth-crust, that is, partial reactivation of fossil plate boundaries.

“Earth tremors occurred in Nigeria in 1933,1939,1964,1984,1990,1994,1997, 2000, 2009, 2011 and now 2016. A series of earth tremors might not necessarily lead to the high intensity earthquake, a reason that should douse our fears.

“However, a study carried out by Dr. Adepelumi Adekunle Abraham of the Department of Geology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife and his team of researchers exacerbated the portentous signs in the following grim words, “After the earth tremor of 2009 in South- Western Nigeria, (which) was felt in several towns and villages in Oyo, Osun and Ogun States, a detailed short-term probabilistic earthquake prediction was carried out by our team, our findings indicated the probability of earthquake occurrence in the study area between the year 2009 and 2028 increased from 2.8% to 91.1%.

“The result also showed that the probability of three events occurring annually has the highest likelihood within the predicted years. Also, found that the Weibull probability density model predicts a damaging earthquake (Magnitude 5) before year 2020.”

“Buildings are the bastion of physical development which is used to adjudge a nation’s rung in the global socio-economic ladder.  Investors in buildings should be concerned about the durability of the buildings they are providing fund for. The longer a building exists, the more the revenue or value the owner derives from it. Indubitably, a solidly constructed building can stand the test of time.

“The wise learns from the errors of others. Nigeria must not continue to repeat the mistake of Haiti and Nepal where stringent building regulations were lacking, thereby aggravating the effects of  the earthquakes on buildings. In an earthquake disaster, the vulnerable, substandard buildings have always been the major cause of high death toll. And unfortunately in Nigeria, the National Building Code is legally and practically not in existence just as it was in Haiti.

“A 5.7 magnitude earthquake occurred near Bukoba town in Northern Tanzania on September 10, 2016. According to local authorities, all fatalities were people ‘in brick structures’ that collapsed. Lesson from this experience is a warning to prospective homeowners and developers in Nigeria that they should endeavour to follow due process and avoid quakes. Government should pay due attention to building construction from the scratch by strengthening ministries of physical planning and development control, and also uphold the tenet of professionalism in the nation’s building industry.

BCPG in the statement reiterated the call by the Director of  Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics, in Toro, Bauchi State, Dr. Tahir Abubakar Yakubu that Nigerian government should establish additional seismological stations to monitor crustal movements in the identified earthquake prone areas, and the suggestions of Dr. Adepelumi Adekunle that Nigerian Government should invest in earthquake electromagnetic precursors monitoring devices that are capable of monitoring foreshocks, main shocks and aftershocks of any future earthquake event.

A nation without an effective national building code will end up in ruin in an occurrence of an earthquake. Enforcement of building regulations without compromise will prevent serious calamity in the future. Many nations, including USA, Japan and Australia have been constructing earthquake resistant buildings in their seismic regions. Nigeria can imitate such preventive measures. To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” the statement reads.

Leave Justice Odili out of Rivers election verdict – CGGA

The Centre for Good Governance and Accountability (CGGA) has dismissed reports accusing Justice Mary Odili of influencing the Supreme Court verdict on Rivers State governorship election, describing it as a calculated effort at discrediting her credibility.

It particularly warned against further dragging of her name into any orchestrated controversy on the matter, describing the development as false, wicked and baseless.

A statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the lead-advocate of the accountability group, Prof. Nasiru Gomwalk, said the insistence on linking Justice Odili to the Supreme Court verdict on Rivers State was an indication of desperation to discredit her by every means.

The statement reads: ‘’This platform is inclined to make this statement on the strength of the concorted narrative making the rounds online to the effect that Justice Odili allegedly facilitated perceived questionable act in the run up to Supreme Court ruling on Rivers State governorship election petition. This surreptitious and well scripted act was birthed by an online news media and it is being passionately driven the same medium. While we are not averse to conventional and acceptable attempt aimed at curbing corruption in every facet of Nigeria’s life, the mission to demean the hard earned credible professional and public integrity of Justice Odili is what we strongly condemn in every term.

‘’It is on record that she has been contributing positively to the growth of the judiciary in the country through display of unquestionable professional practices over the years. In all these, there had not be any incident of abuse of the best practices in the profession against her, as her career had been marked excellence and credibility. Therefore, one wonders why the authors of the aforesaid allegation would resort to blackmailing and deconstructing her person.

‘’It is instructive to state herein that Justice Odili was never a member of the Supreme Court panel that adjudicated on the Rivers Election matter and was only a spectator like every other citizen that was not part of the legal persons involved. It is on record that attempts by the same medium to discredit Justice Odili when the apex ruled on the matter failed given that it was as baseless and misleading as the latest effort.

‘’Now, let it be categorically stated that the report by the online medium is fraught with falsehood, wickedness and mischief just to get Justice Odili for reasons known to its initiator(s). There had never been a time in history when injustice triumphed over good, even it happened momentarily, the truth takes prominence in the fullness of time. That is why we urge the authors of this sinister script to invest their time in things that could strengthen our institutions and avoid pulling down those committed to making the institutions work.’’

Defamation: Ex Rivers Governor, Peter Odili Sues Peterside, Claims N6bn Damages

THE former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, has dragged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2015 election, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, to court for an alleged defamation of character.

Odili, who is claiming the sum of N6bn as damages in the suit, had stated that Peterside, who is the current Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, had defamed him through a newspaper publication (not The PUNCH) in February 2016.

The defendant was alleged to have said in a press conference that the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, during a victory thanksgiving service, alleged that Odili helped him (Wike) to secure the judgement that gave him (Wike) victory.

But Odili had described the statement credited to Peterside as false and malicious, maintaining that Wike never said that he (Odili) helped him to secure election victory at the Supreme Court.

However, when the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, Odili was asked to enter the witness box to adopt his witness statement.

Though the defendant and his counsel were absent in court, the Lead Counsel for the plaintiff, Kanu Agabi (SAN), told the trial judge, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra, that Peterside was properly served.

Iyayi-Lamikanra, however, adjourned till October 27, 2016, for further hearing of the case.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after court proceedings, Agabi said, “We sued for libel and we called our first witness. We have adjourned for cross-examination till the 27th of October, 2016.

“We felt defamed by their (defendant) publication and we are here to vindicate ourselves.

“You could see that the defendants were not in court, but they have been served; they have been properly served. The court would not have proceeded otherwise.”

Rivers PDP vows to drag APC chair to court

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State has threatened to drag the Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, Chief Davies Ikanya, to court over what it termed inflammatory statement aimed at demeaning the image of Governor Nyesom Wike.

PDP handed down the threat, yesterday, while reacting to a statement by Ikanya that Wike should take responsibility for the killing of a chieftain of the APC in Gokana Local Government Area of the state, Boris Neenwi, who was killed by gunmen, Monday.

Ikanya had said that “Neenwi is a strong ally of Senator Magnus Abe and staunch APC member. Until his assassination, the late Neenwi was a known critic of Wike and his ex-militant leader and collaborator, Solomon Ndigbara, who also hails from Yeghe community.”

Ikanya had said that Wike and his alleged ally were responsible for the killing of Neenwi and his companions in Nonwa Tai.

Reacting, the Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Mr. Samuel Nwanosike, described the accusation as irresponsible and capable of bringing about a breakdown of law and order in the state.

Nwanosike said: “We will take every step to press legal charges against Ikanya, so that he will know how to conduct himself in a democratic environment. We are going to press charges against him to serve as a deterrent to anybody that will want to overheat the polity in the state.

“We are calling on the security to do a thorough investigation into the killings in the state and make the report open for once so that the reports and accusations by the Chairman of APC will come to an end.

“It is unfortunate that Ikanya has shown lack of capacity to be the chairman of a political party in the state. How will the governor of the state connive with Solomon Ndigbara to take the life of any person?”

#Aluu4: Four years on & still no justice – Adeeko Ademola Abayomi

4 years ago, on this same date, Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Chiadika Biringa, and Tekena Elkanah, all students of the University of Port Harcourt were gruesomely murdered after they were falsely accused of robbery in Aluu, a small community in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

 

Apparently, 3 of them had escorted one of their friends to go settle a debt with someone who lived in the community. In the cause of settling the debt, a misunderstanding ensued which broke into a fight which later led to the false accusation of armed robbery after the alleged debtor raised the false alarm.

The vigilante group in the village immediately swooped on the boys, stripped them naked & tortured them to coma. Then in the presence of a large crowd, the boys were dragged through mud, had concrete slabs dropped on their heads, car tyres filled with petrol wrapped around their necks and burnt to death.

 

The worst shock of my life was when some Nigerians, after watching the video and seeing the pictures of the horrifying incident still maintained that the students deserved what they got. That right there was the point I knew we had lost sanity.

 

In the video, I saw people who actually stood aside and watched while 4 young students were murdered in the most barbaric way ever. Men and women, old and young, some women even had babies strapped to their backs while they watched other people’s children writhe in untold pains and eventually die in such a horrible way.

 

Where is our conscience in all of these? When did we become this terrible and unforgiving? What shall I say to that particular man who held that club and smashed their skulls and bones? What principle are the women who took their children to the horror sight setting for their offspring? Could this be illiteracy, hatred or wickedness? How could people stand and watch while someone smashed the skulls of those boys with that obviously heavy club? How do they sleep in Aluu village?

 

And of course, the degree of uselessness of our judicial system in Nigeria is unfathomable. From those who took the laws into their own hands to the custodians of the law who themselves have turned into accomplices of crime, it is a huge shame. When there is a total breakdown of law and order in a society where people don’t get justice, it’s just a matter of time before people resort to self-help and when self-help becomes the only feasible and viable way to get justice, we never can who is next in line to be handed jungle justice and of course, the innocent will always be caught up in the mix.

 

Till date, not a single person has been held responsible for the unfortunate incident. No prosecution, no conviction and everyone just moved on like #Aluu4 never happened.

 

Continue to rest in peace Ugonna, Lloyd, Chidi & Tekena. Nigeria really failed you.

Rivers rerun: Police must be apolitical – Wike tells AIG

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has advised the Police High Command to take urgent steps to weed out bad eggs from the force.

Governor Wike made the call at the Government House in Port Harcourt during a courtesy call on him by the AIG, Abubakar Marafa of Zone Six.

Governor Wike observed that the bad eggs in the police structure negatively affected the implementation of security measures.

He assured the Zone 6 Police Command of the continued support of the Rivers State Government in the maintenance of security across the zone

According to him, “Our security is becoming stable but it can be more stable if the police can be apolitical. If they continue to see the entire state as their own constituency.

“Even though the AIG has promised me that they will be apolitical, I don’t want to believe it until the rerun. That is the only time we will know whether they are apolitical or not.”

Governor Wike appealed to the Police Zonal Command to support the Amnesty Programme of the Rivers State government, which he said was aimed at improving security in all communities within the state.

Kidnapper takes police to where he buried Chief from Rivers State he killed after collecting N10m ransom from his family

Suspected kidnapper/murderer, Ogechi Ihunwo, on Saturday took police officers from the Rivers state police command to Eneka/Igbo-Etche forest near Port Harcourt, where he showed them the grave of a prominent Chief in the state who himself and his gang members killed, collected N10m ransom from his family and refused to release his body to them. Watch the video below…
While he was being interrogated, Ogechi, a native of Woji Town in Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers State, told the police that it was a member of the community where the deceased comes from that contacted his gang members to carry out the dastard act. He refused to give the name of the person who contracted him to kidnap and kill the deceased.

 

https://www.facebook.com/FeelRivers/videos/1160851033974627/

Rivers Community Holds 3-day Fasting, Prayers Over Cult Activities

The people of Mgbuitanwo community in Emohua, Emohua Local Government Area, Rivers State, last week, held a three- day fast and prayer programme for God to intervene in the unrelenting cult activities in the area.

Mgbuitanwo is the home town of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senatorial candidate in Rivers East Senatorial district, Chief Andrew Uchendu, where killings and cult activities have been on the increase in recent times.

The prayer session, according to a community source, was held “for the Holy Spirit to intervene and arrest the minds of youths and sponsors of the cultists, who are terrorizing communities in he local government area and state.”

Paramount ruler of the community, Chief Ikechi Uchendu-Osi, proclaimed a suspension on all commercial activities in the area during the prayer hours for the three days. Speaking to NDV, a leader in the community, Mr. Solomon Erim, expressed hope that the prayers made within the period would help to restore peace and save souls in the community.

Read More:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/cultism-rivers-community-holds-3-day-fasting-prayers/

Rivers State Government grants amnesty to cultists

An amnesty programme has been set up by the Rivers State government for cultists in the state to surrender their arms and turn a new leaf.

This comes as recent battles for supremacy among suspected cult groups in the communities have resulted into many deaths and destruction of property with thousands fleeing their homes.

Although, some of the youths have said that they were freedom fighters and not cultists, the state government has offered them an opportunity to start afresh.

The Egi clan of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area in Rivers State has been in the eye of the storm and there also seems to be progress in the ongoing peace moves.

Traditional leaders and representatives of government have held a peace session which involved other members of the communities.

The meeting also involved the youths who have been the active players in the violence.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has also inaugurated the amnesty committee with the belief that accepting the amnesty must go beyond mere words.

The government has given 60 days to the committee to wrap up its exercise.

Rivers State Gov, Nyesom Wike, Dismisses Claims Of Being A Sponsor Of Niger Delta Avengers

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has released a statement denying claims that he was a sponsor of Niger Delta Avengers.

A faction of the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers had released a statement over the weekend that himself and some politicians including former President Goodluck Jonathan and some others were sponsors of their activities.

In a statement by his spokesman Simeon Nwakandu, Wike described the group’s claim as “false media propaganda.”

The statement reads;

“Our attention has been drawn to yet another false media propaganda wherein it was claimed that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is one of the sponsors of the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers.

We nequivocally deny this false report which was fabricated with the aim of diverting attention from the superlative performance of Governor Wike.

Any close observer of this propaganda machine would have noticed that all they do is concoct lies about Rivers State.

image

We urge all well-meaning persons to disregard this current falsehood credited to a faceless splinter group of NDA.

This falsehood may not be unconnected to Governor Wike’s speech at the just-concluded conference of the Nigerian Guild of Editors where he publicly declared that he and other stakeholders in the state have prevented militant groups from sabotaging oil installations as is the case elsewhere.

Not happy with this declaration, they resolved to concoct another ill-conceived report trying to mislead the people.

Nigerians already know what these propagandists represent. They represent retrogression , deliberate falsehood, under-development and biased unprofessional journalism.

Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is a patriotic leader, committed to the sustenance and improvement of the nation’s democracy and economy.

He is a promoter of security and good governance. He cannot be disparaged by concocted publications from APC media agents.”

US Declares Borno, Adamawa, Rivers, Imo, 16 Other States Unsafe

The United States government, in its latest travel advisory to its citizens living in Nigeria, has listed 20 of Nigeria’s 36 states as unsafe and advised them to stay away from them.
Among the 20, it cited Borno, Adamawa and Yobe as complete no-go areas as “the ability of the US Mission to provide assistance to US citizens” in those states remains severely limited.

The travel warning published on Wednesday on the website of the U.S. Department of State, replaced an earlier one of last February, reported Afrique News yesterday.

In addition to the three frontline states, the State Department also “recommends against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks: Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Zamfara.

“The Department of State also warns against travel in the Gulf of Guinea, because of the threat of piracy,” the advisory published online added.
It said based on safety and security risk assessments, the embassy maintains restrictions for travel by US officials to the states listed above.

Officials must also apply for advance clearance by the US mission for any travel to those states.
The statement also urged vigilance around government security facilities; churches, mosques, other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather such as hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping malls; and other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

It added: “Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and U.S. citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.

“Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have been displaced as a result of violence in the north.”
The U.S. State Department noted that kidnappings remained a security concern throughout Nigeria, as criminal elements across the country orchestrated kidnappings for ransom; Islamic extremists, operating predominantly in the North, also have been known to conduct kidnappings.

It said: “Separatist groups have staged demonstrations in Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, and Rivers States, some of which have turned violent.
“Militant groups have destroyed oil production infrastructure in Bayelsa and Delta states.

“U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the areas of these states where these incidents have occurred.
“Attacks by pirates off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea have increased substantially in recent years.

“Armed gangs have boarded both commercial and private vessels to rob travellers.
“The Nigerian Navy has limited capacity to respond to criminal acts at sea.”

Credit: thisday

Federal Government Warns of Fraudsters In The Ogoni Cleanup

The Federal Ministry of Environment has issued a warning to the people of Ogoni and the entire Niger Delta region on the emergence of dubious individuals who will pose as Government officials, in order to extort money from communities in the Niger Delta, in the name of Ogoni cleanup.

The Ministry of Environment issued this warning through a statement signed by the Ministry’s press director, Alhaji Isiaka Yusuf. The statement reiterated that the Federal Government is undertaking the clean-up project in Ogoniland alongside other stakeholders in the oil industry, and it will not authorize any individual or group to collect money from people in the Niger Delta.

Read the full statement below.

Ogoniland Clean-up, FG Cautions against Fraudsters

“Following the Flag off of the clean-up of Ogoniland, and other oil impacted communities of the Niger Delta by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Ministry of Environment has been consulting with the stakeholders in the Niger Delta with a view to ensure proper commencement of the clean-up project

However, It has come to the knowledge of the Federal Ministry of Environment that some dubious individuals may use the opportunity of the project to extort money from the unsuspecting people of the Niger Delta communities. This includes the forgery of Federal Government Agencies letters.

Without doubt, we wish to state that the Federal Government in collaboration with other stakeholders in the oil industry is funding the project. It has not and will not authorize or contract individuals, groups and or organizations to collect money from the good people of the Niger Delta on behalf of the government for the purpose of cleanup of Ogoniland and other oil impacted communities in the Niger Delta region.

In view of the foregoing, the ministry hereby warns that anybody, groups or organisations found extorting money from the people for the purpose of the Ogoniland cleanup project will be made to face the full wrath of the law

The General public is therefore requested to report anybody, group and or organization, collecting money from people for the cleanup exercise to the police or any other law enforcement agency.

The ministry, therefore, takes this opportunity to reiterate the Federal Government’s commitment in ensuring the transparent and successful cleanup of Ogoniland,’’

In a related development, Guardian Newspapers reports that the lack of funds may stall the actual start of the clean-up.

A source who is said to be from one of the oil companies was quoted by Guardian in the report, saying that there is no money currently set aside by the Federal Government, or any oil company for the clean-up.

“It is the joint venture partners that are supposed to come up with 90 per cent of the funding. It is not factual that any oil company has kept money aside to fund the cleanup. For the government there is implication for funding, NNPC has to come up with its share of the funding. There is no $1 billion anywhere that Shell has kept,” the source said.

Guardian also reports that the Ministry of Environment’s 2016 budget does not make any provision to cover the clean-up.

At the weekend, the Federal Government approved 23 members of Governing Council and Board of Trustees for the Cleanup. The members are expected to be inaugurated on Thursday.

Fresh: APC/PDP At War Over Rivers Election Re-Run

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for postponing the National and State Assembly rerun elections in Rivers State once more. PDP voiced its anger in a series of tweets on its official Twitter handle on Wednesday and noted that this was second postponement following an initial postponement in March this year.

 

The party, which also aimed potshots at President Muhammadu Buhari, claimed that the postponements have only allowed for the continuation of ‘unjust and illegal’ deprivation of the people of the state proper representation in the National Assembly.

 

“The people of Rivers State have continually been deprived of representation at the National Assembly. This deprivation is unjust & illegal.” “Without mincing words, we condemn this action. This is the second postponement after the rerun elections were previously postponed in March,” the party said. “With each postponement INEC & the security agencies are telling Nigerians that the Buhari admin is incapable of protecting Nigerians.”

 

Apparently, the party sees the postponement as a ploy by the Commission to prevent its state, Rivers from benefiting from proper representation in the National Assembly.

It would be recalled that INEC on Tuesday announced the postponement of the July 30 rerun election because it could not guarantee the safety of its officials and elections nor guarantee a free and fair exercise because of the high level of insecurity in the state.

 

A statement signed by the Commission’s secretary, Augusta Ogakwu, read: “The reports of these assessments have been almost unanimous in concluding that the prevailing security situation in most parts of the state where elections are to hold are not conducive for peaceful elections.

 

“In the Commission’s view, the rhetorics of some of the political actors, the incidence of violence in a number of local government areas where these elections are scheduled and the atmosphere of fear and intimidation created present danger in proceeding with elections as earlier scheduled.”

 

The Commission assured “that it is ready to conclude elections in Rivers State within shortest time possible once security situation is conducive for the conduct of peaceful polls”.

Soldiers Kill 8 Cultists In Rivers

Eight persons suspected to be members of the Icelander cult group, were on Sunday, shot dead in Obelle community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State by the military during a shoot-out.
Also, five persons, who were reportedly abducted by the cult group at the weekend, in Elele,  Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state have regained their freedom.
It was gathered that the Army  recorded the feat Sunday, after trailing the bandits to their camp in Obelle community, following the spate of cult killings and other criminal activities, threatening the peace of the community and its environs.
According to a source from the community, gun duel ensued when the cultists, who fled the neighbouring Ibaa community and camped in Obelle, opened fire on sighting the soldiers.
It was further gathered that the soldiers reinforced and pursued the gunmen under heavy firing into the Obelle-Elele forest, killing eight of the suspects.
The source said that when the cultists lost their grips on the community, five out of the six hostages escaped from their den.
The kidnap victims, it was gathered, were ambushed by suspected cultists in Port Harcourt, who whisked away six persons into a forest in the area.
Meanwhile, the 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, has destroyed three camps, belonging to suspected cultists in Ibaa and Obelle communities in Emohua Local Government Area.
This was contained in a statement issued yesterday, by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 2 Brigade of Nigerian Army, Captain Eli Lazarus, saying that five persons were killed in the operation.
Lazarus said the operation followed a tip off on the hideout of the cultists in the communities.  He said two pump action rifles and 26 phones were recovered during the raid.
He assured that the current operation against cultists and other criminals in the State, would be sustained to safeguard lives and property of members of the public.

Credit: Sun

Eleven Feared Killed Over Cult Clash In Rivers

Some gunmen suspected to be members of a cult group on the early hours of Sunday killed eleven persons in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The cultists visited three communities in the area, Rumuji, Ovogo and Rumuewhuo communities killing the victim who were suspected to be members of the rival cult group in the area.

Some of the victims killed are, Mr. Nature Oti, Ikechi, Onyebuchi Omuruka, Mr. Chima Omuruka, Mr. Lucky Okwakpam, Mr. Nyovele and others.

It was learnt that the gunmen had earlier attacked Rumuji Divisional Police Headquarters, allegedly overpowered the officers on night duty and rescued detainees in the cell.

It was also gathered that the gunmen broke into the armory of the police at Rumuji and made away with guns and ammunitions.

A visit to the area by the Nation showed that there was still uneasy calm at the Police station, although no officer wanted to say a word to the reporter.

But a police source stated that the police station was under a heavy gunfire attack by some bandits last night.

Another hinted our correspondent that seven people were shot dead in Ovogo community, two in Rumuji and two others in Rumuewhuo communities, making the total number of victim to eleven..

Michael said the residents of the three communities are now on the run following the killings.

He said: “The residents of Ovogo community wake up this morning to witness a lot of dead bodies. There was much shooting last night. The entire Ovogo, Rumuewhuo and Rumuji communities have been deserted because of fear.”

When contacted, Rivers State Police spokesman, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Ahmad Muhammad simply said, “There was something like that but no casualties on either sides.”

Credit: Nation

Gunmen Kill 8 In Rivers

Gunmen suspected to be cultists Saturday night killed eight persons including the oldest man in Ozochi, Ahoada East LGA of Rivers State in an attack believed to be a reprisal.
A source from the community said the cult members invaded the community, shooting sporadically, but could not confirm which group carried out the act or the motive.

They also set shops and other property ablaze. The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ahoada East LGA, Britain Okpara Ewor and the lawmaker representing the constituency in the state House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, in separate statements, confirmed the incident, as well as the state police spokesman, Ahmad Muhammad.

Ewor, who spoke through his media aide, Monday Oyagiri, condemned the attack, describing the perpetrators as enemies of the state.   Similarly, Ehie urged security operatives in the state to investigate the killing and ensure that the culprits are punished.

Credit: dailytrust

INEC Releases Five Additional Results In Rivers

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday night released five more results of the March 19 rerun elections.
Three federal and two  state constituency seats were released by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Aniedi Ikoiwak, at the commission’s head office in Port Harcourt.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates cleared the three federal seats.
In Port Harcourt Federal  Constituency 1, Kenneth Chikere (PDP) won by polling 18,904 votes, to defeat Igo Aguma (APC), who scored 6,035 votes.
In Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 2, Blessing Nsiegbe (PDP) scored 6,968 votes to defeat Collins Owhondah (APC), who polled 3,154 votes.
For Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, Kingsley Chinda of PDP scored 27,895 votes, while the APC candidate, Anthony Okocha, got 9,514 votes.
Also, the APC candidate, Benibo Anabraba,  clinched the state constituency seat for Akuku-Toru 2 by scoring 2,970 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Tonye Alalibo, who was disqualified.
Adoki Smart of the PDP in Port Harcourt Constituency 2  scored 15,244 votes to beat Mrs. Irene Inimgba of the APC, who polled 2,844 votes.
The PDP has clinched 3 federal  seats and  10 state seats, while the APC got two seats from the results announced so far.

Credit: DailyTrust

Wike Playing Politics With People’s Lives –Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has accused the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, of playing politics with the lives of the people of the state.

He also accused Wike of not taking the development of the state seriously.

Amaechi, a former governor of the state, said  this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

He accused Wike of  “twisting, butchering and turning the truth upside down; and in most cases telling outright lies in his failed bid to denigrate, tarnish and rubbish his towering image, person and laudable, landmark achievements.

He said that most troubling was Wike’s alleged propensity, without any qualms whatsoever, to play politics with the safety and security of the lives of Rivers people.

This, he said, was indeed most worrisome.

Amaechi said, “It is no secret that Wike plays politics with the development, welfare and well-being of Rivers people.

“But no government should play politics with the safety and security of its citizens like Wike is sadly and shamelessly doing.

“Governor Wike claimed that the brutal political killings and murder of the All Progressives Congress members and other hapless citizens in the state are cult-related or a result of cult clashes.

“What cult wars is he talking about? Since he claimed to have security reports, we challenge Wike to tell Rivers people the cult group that Franklin Obi, the APC Ward Chairman in Omoku, belongs to, that led to his being gruesomely beheaded and butchered, alongside his pregnant wife and teenage son.

“Or did Franklin suddenly become a cult member because he had the guts and courage to host a resoundingly successful ward meeting of APC faithful in the same ward as Wike’s Peoples Democratic Party State chairman, Felix Obuah, just a few days to the rerun elections?”

The former governor challenged Wike to tell Nigerians  the cult groups and the cult wars that led to the killing of the innocent youth corper, Chukwudumeibi Okonta, on the day of the last rerun election on March 19.

“Was the youth corper a cultist or a victim of cult wars or yet another victim of politically-motivated killings in Rivers State?,” he asked.

He also said that  Wike must tell Rivers people the cult wars that led to the brutal murder of hundreds of Rivers people since the election that made him governor was held, and the cult groups that all those that had been murdered, belong to.

He said that Wike’s cult wars/cultists claim was akin to insulting and spitting on the graves and memories of all those murdered and their families.

Amaechi said, “With pity, we watched as Wike tried to compare the political killings of the late Okonta and Independent National Electoral Commission ad hoc staff on the rerun  election day in Rivers State to the fire accident that occurred at the home of the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner  in Kano State days after the elections of 2015.

“How pathetic! Even for Wike, this is a new low.”

On the Rivers Monorail project Amaechi started, which Wike said that he would abandon, the former governor said Wike needed to know that the monorail belongs to Rivers State and not his “Amaechi’s” private monorail.

He said, “Pray, Governor Wike, which Rivers people told you not to touch the monorail project? Is it the same Rivers people that have consistently praised the project and see it as a catalyst to jump-start the local economy and place the state at the forefront of transport infrastructural development in Africa?

“Or is Wike aggregating the jaundiced views of the coterie of court-jesters that hang around him daily, as the opinion of the entire people of the state?

“It is sad, very sad that Wike has elected to play politics with this laudable project that was almost completed before Amaechi left office.”

He said that  Wike also described several ongoing projects in the state when he (Amaechi) left office as ‘abandoned projects’ that the former governor claimed to have completed or about to complete.

The former governor said Wike specifically mentioned the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road that connects the Island of Opobo to Andoni and the rest of the state.

“What a shameless lie! This project was ongoing and was almost completed as at May 29, 2015. May we also remind Wike that the Eagle Island- Diobu Road that he once claimed to have been abandoned was 90 per cent completed with just the final course of coal tar remaining as at when he succeeded Amaechi,” the former governor added.

APC Can’t Win Any Election In Rivers, Wike Insists

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that the All Progressives Congress, APC, is not in a position to win an election in the state, accusing the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi of sponsoring violence to remain politically relevant.

Wike informed that with the proofs of corruption against Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation resorted to blackmailing the leadership of the APC that he would reveal to the public how much he invested in the party’s campaign if he was not confirmed as a minister.

This is even as the Senate Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, must release the collated results of the March 19, 2016 rerun elections. Speaking during a solidarity visit by the PDP Senate Caucus, Governor Wike said the Minister of Transportation lost his local government area and Federal Constituency, hence his desperation to influence the release of the results. He said: “Any person who loves Mr President won’t be causing unnecessary crisis for him. We have problem in the North East, problem in the South-East, so there is no need for another problem in the South-South .

“It is good that the elections were held so that Nigerians will know the truth about the polity. If elections are held 20 times, PDP will win”.

The governor decried the role played by soldiers during the rerun elections. He said the military were directly involved in the elections at polling units and at the collation centres in direct violation of the Electoral Act. He regretted the killing of the corps member, Samuel Okonta during the rerun elections, but stressed that investigation into the type of bullet that killed him must be made public. He confirmed that the state government will immortalise the late corps member.

Credit: Vanguard

Rivers Rerun Polls: How NYSC Member, Samuel Okonta, Was Killed

Details emerged on Tuesday on how a member of the National Youth Service Corps, Mr. Samuel Dumebi Okonta, a graduate of Political Science from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State, was murdered in cold blood on Saturday night.

Okonta, who hailed from Illah community in Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State, served as the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO II) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)at Ukpeliede Town Hall, Ward 6, Unit 5 in Ahoada West Local Government during the last Saturday’s rerun elections in Rivers State.

It was learnt that the deceased was trailed and killed after he had submitted the election results to the local government office of INEC in Ahoada West.

Okonta’s colleague, Anana Aniekan Udoetor, who narrated what transpired after votes were cast, said he was in the company of the late Okonta departing INEC’s office when his killers tracked them and shot sporadically at them.

Udoetor, who spoke  on the phone, explained that they had concluded their duty and were on their way back to Ukpeliede, when the unfortunate incident occurred.
“I was the APO I, while Okonta was the APO II at the Ukpeliede town hall, Ward 6, Unit 5, we had conducted the elections peacefully without even the presence of security agents.

“We proceeded to the INEC collation centre to submit our results, on reaching there, the environment was tense and supporters of both APC and PDP were charged. We managed to submit our results, but while we were submitting them, there was an alarm of skirmishes, forcing the collation officers to hide under the table,” he disclosed.

Anana said the situation at the INEC local government secretariat seemed unsafe, which prompted him and his late friend to take the risk of travelling back to Ukpeliede.

“We felt that the INEC office was no longer safe, so we then made our way to Ndiama junction and took a taxi to Okode junction. We were supposed to board a (commercial) motorcycle, but we couldn’t get one, so we decided to trek down to Ukpeliede.

“Shortly after, we saw a vehicle coming and we noticed that the head lamps of the vehicle was not on and someone in the vehicle was pointing a torchlight at us.

“We suddenly realised that the vehicle was coming directly towards us and before we knew what was happening, we started hearing gunshots. I ran inside the bush but they kept on shooting. Okonta was killed in the process.
“I stayed in the bush for some minutes and later ran into an uncompleted building which is used as a church,” he said.

When contacted, Samuel’s elder brother, Azuka, could not speak on the death of his sibling, stating that he was on his way to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to see his late brother’s corpse.

However, his younger brother, Uche, who works as a software engineer in Lagos, said he was still in shock following the news of his brother’s death.
Uche, who is the only younger brother of the deceased, said the late Samuel was an easy-going God-fearing young man, who was often referred to by his friends as a pastor.

“We are nine in number from the same parents, our father died in 1993 and our mother in 2012. I am the last child, while Samuel was my immediate elder brother, he was very calm and easy-going.

“He attended Ugbede Memorial Primary school, Illah; then proceeded to Illah Grammar School and later Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. People usually referred to him as a pastor because of his calm disposition and neat dressing. But he was just an usher in the church,” he said.

Credit: Thisday

Probe Rivers Re-run Elections Crisis Now, PDP To Buhari

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tasked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to constitute a panel to carry out a comprehensive and dispassionate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crisis in the March 19 rerun elections in Rivers State. The National Chairman of PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff made the call at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, just as the United States Government, through its diplomatic mission to Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday, condemned reported violence and irregularities that rocked last Saturday’s rerun elections in Rivers State, even as the British High Commission also expressed concern over the level of violence recorded at the polls.

Also on Tuesday, the PDP members in the House of Representatives urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately release results of rerun elections in Rivers. Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the caucus led by Minority Leader of the house, Rep. Leo Ogor, condemned the suspension of the election, saying it was strange to the country’s electoral laws. According to him, in accordance with section 27of the Electoral Act, the Constitution and all Supreme Court judgements, elections were concluded, and results had been announced at the unit levels.

“In this context, anything contrary to the announcement of the result is a breach of all our electoral laws and evidently a coup against the people of Rivers State. “It is very sad that it is the umpire, that is, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that is spearheading this illegality abetted by law enforcement agencies, particularly the military whose attention is needed in the North-East,’’ they said. Ogor briefed the press just as INEC offered automatic employment to a member of the National Youth Corps (NYSC) who lost her sight during the 2011 general elections in Yobe State. Similarly, the commission promised to fully participate in the burial programme of Okonta Samuel, a corps member who lost his life in last Saturday’s rerun elections in Rivers State.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yukabu offered the employment and made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig-General Johnson Olawumi on Tuesday. Professor Yakubu, who regretted the circumstances, which led to the unfortunate death of the corps member, praised the services of youth corps members in the conduct of elections. The PDP National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, at the press conference contended that the probe panel would unravel those behind the violence and bring the culprits to book.

The rerun National and State Assemblies’ elections, it will be recalled, were marred by crisis leading to killings, abductions and assassination attempts. The PDP National Chairman said “Whilst we join well-meaning Nigerians to condemn the cases of violence which reportedly characterized the process in some areas, we enjoin the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately constitute a panel to carry out a dispassionate investigation of the circumstances with a view to unraveling the truth and bringing the culprits to book”.

Sheriff equally condemned the role played by some officers and members of the Armed Forces. He accused them of acting beyond their expected role of maintenance of law and order, alleging that they have taken over the responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC ) in the conduct of the rerun election. According to him, the military acted in flagrant disobedience of a order of court, and further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to also investigate the role of the military personnel in the election and appropriate sanction meted for those found culpable.

His words, “Our longheld view, proven over the years by our attitude of accepting declared results of elections, is that the mandate of the Nigerian people is sacred and anybody or party which seeks to govern Nigeria or any part of it must solicit and obtain this mandate freely given in an openly contested election where democratic norms and ethos are rigidly observed.

Credit: Thisday

There Would Be No Elections In Rivers Until The State Is Conducive To Conduct Elections – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commssion, INEC, has said that it will not return to Rivers until the state is conducive to conduct elections.

We won’t return to Rivers until there is peace, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity said while revealing that INEC had scheduled a meeting for tomorrow to review the situation in Rivers.

It would be recalled that the commission annulled the election in eight local government areas and also suspended collation of results after declaring few results.

Rivers Re-Run: INEC Releases Statement On Election Results

STATEMENT BY THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION(INEC) ON THE NATIONAL AND STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS IN RIVERS STATE

Pursuant to the Orders of the Court of Appeal, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) conducted elections into various seats in both the National and the Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday, the 19th of March, 2016.
Rather unfortunately, some of these elections witnessed the disruption of the process, including the barricading of some of the INEC Local Government offices and Registration Area Centres(RACs) used for the distribution of Electoral materials which led to the late commencement of the exercise in some places and consequently, its smooth take off.
Of more serious concern was the level of threats, violence and intimidation of election officials and voters by well armed thugs and miscreants allegedly acting on behalf of some politicians, which marred the elections in some areas. There were reports of numerous attacks resulting in fatalities, kidnappings, ballot snatching, diversion of officials and materials, amongst others, which necessitated its suspension in 8 Local Government Areas.
Regrettably, such deviant behaviour has continued today. Several permanent and ad hoc staff engaged have been attacked, again resulting in fatalities, while some have been forcibly abducted and taken to presently unknown destinations.
Under such difficult circumstance, the Returning Officers were only able to collate and declare results in 1 Federal and 9 State constituencies where the disruption and malpractices were not so widespread.
Having reviewed the situation, the Commission is compelled to suspend all further action concerning the exercise in all the other constituencies in the State pending the receipt of a comprehensive report from its Field Officials and Monitors. For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that the suspension does not affect the constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the Returning Officers.
Oluwole Osaze- Uzzi,
Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC

Rivers Re- Run: INEC Cancels Election In 8 LGAs

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled re-run election in eight local government areas of Rivers State.

Addressing reporters on Sunday, a day after the re-run election, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, said that the cancelation was due to irregularities at the affected local government areas.

Election held in Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government Areas were the latest to be cancelled.

In a press statement, the INEC official said: “Further to our earlier pronouncement on the suspension of the re-run in the six Local Government Areas of Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai and Eleme, following disturbances and violence that impeded the electoral process in those parts of the state, it has become necessary to suspend elections in Etche and Asari-Toru LGAs for the same reasons.

“Please note that the suspension of the re-run elections by INEC is necessitated by the need to forestall breakdown of law and order in the event of further aggravation of crisis.

“INEC needs to put all stakeholders on notice that we are still studying the situation in the other fifteen LGAs, where collations are currently going on”.

So far, re-run election has been canceled in Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai and Eleme, Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government Areas.

The electoral umpire further cited violence, snatching of ballot boxes, noncompliance to electoral law as part of the reasons for cancellation.

INEC said it is reviewing the rest of the process in the re-run polls while collation of results are ongoing.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Military To Investigate Killing Of Its Personnel In Rivers – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Friday said the military has commenced investigation into the death of two of its personnel in Rivers state.

 

He made the statement while addressing troops at the 34 Artillery Brigade headquarters, Obinze, Owerri.

 

Buratai, who described the incident as `unfortunate,’ said the military had brought the situation in the area under control.

He said: “the situation in the Niger Delta is presently being addressed.

“The activities of pirates, criminals and bandits will be checked; our troops are fully on ground and they have arrested the situation.

“The unfortunate incident of Thursday in Rivers state is something that we are currently investigating.

“We will deal with the situation as investigation unfolds in the area.”

On the security situation in Imo, Buratai commended the efforts of the troops in containing criminality in the state.

He assured the troops of government’s commitment to improve the condition of facilities in the barracks.

 

Buratai said the welfare of troops and their families would be given priority by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buratai also inspected facilities at the barracks in Obinze.

 

(NAN)

Gunmen Behead One, Abduct Another In Rivers

Unidentified gunmen on Thursday morning, stormed Mgbuitanwo, in Emohua Clan, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, the home country of the Senatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the Saturday’s rerun elections, Chief Andrew Uchendu, killed and beheaded a 28-year-old man identified as Mr. Ukeoma.

It was learnt that the gunmen who laid siege to the community also abducted another resident. At the moment, residents are in shock and fear permeates the area.

Credit: Vanguard

PDP Leader, Emma Anyanwu Disowns Son Loyal To Amaechi

A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Etche Local government area, Chief Emma Anyanwu has disowned his first son, Charles Anyawu for allegedly leading a military raid on his home and community in Ulakwo.

Chief Anyanwu at a media briefing in his home town of Etche accused the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi for ‘misleading’ his son.

Charled Anyanwu has been estranged with his father. He was appointed a Special Adviser to former Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. After the founding of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Charles
abandoned his father in the PDP to join Amaechi in the APC.

Amaechi also appointed Charles as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Etche Local government area after which he was arrested along with 5 others for illegal possession of fire arms where they were arraigned at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.

However, The PDP Chieftain, Emma Anyanwu who is also a veteran journalist said, “I want to re-emphasize that Charles is no longer my son. He led the military into my house. But that is not even the case. He led the military to pull down the Ulakwo town hall which I owe my allegiance. He has been disowned for his behaviour. For destroying the town hall, he remains disowned. He doesn’t possess the qualities of the Anyanwu family. He has been stripped of all his rights,” he said.

Source: DailyPost.ng

‘Wike Lacks Capacity To Govern Rivers State’ – Amaechi

Former Rivers State governor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has accused his successor, governor Nyesom  Wike of lacking the political will and capacity to govern Rivers State.

Amaechi stated this on Sunday at an APC rally in Rumueme, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, ahead of the state and national assembly elections on Saturday.

Amaechi said, “Wike lacks capacity to govern. Somebody who just knows how to steal money is a bushman. Wike said, am corrupt. He should bring evidence to show. I will bring evidence to show that Wike is corrupt. Wike did the Rukpoku/ Eneka road during my tenure he did not complete it. I
gave Wike the contracts to do all the roads around Aristle House(a hotel in GRA) but he failed to do them, I gave him fourteen schools to give to Obio/Akpor people, he stole them, he lacks character”.

Also speaking on the security situation in the state, Amaechi said, “When I was the governor, one thing that I kept thinking of was how to chase these criminals away but under Nyesom Wike, he meets with them. If Wike does not secure you people, the federal government will secure you. If he doesn’t want to be ignored he should go and secure you people because federal government will no longer tolerate these killings in Rivers State.

Amaechi further told his supporters not to be intimidated by Wike’s threats and come out to vote APC at Saturday’s election.

Saturday is your day, come out and vote.They will no longer have the Police they had, they will no longer have the Army they had, we pray that INEC should be neutral, your job is to match out and vote for APC ,we will not write results like Nyesom Wike , so go back to your wards and do door to door”.

Also, in Akuku/Toru local government area, Amaechi told his party supporters to be courageous in exercising their franchise without fear of intimidation

“You see, it is not enough to provide security because if there are no votes we will lose, the implication therefore is that all of you must come out and vote for APC so that we will win the election.”,he said.

Amaechi had earlier paid condolence to the family of slain APC stalwart  Mr. Ofirite Amachree who was killed and burnt beyond recognition by unknown gunmen in Buguma.

Amaechi has also pledged to assist families of slain All Progressives Congress (APC) members in Omoku, Ogba,Egbema/Ndoni local government area of  Rivers state.

Amaechi gave the assurance at the weekend when he visited families of late Frankline Obi and late Chukwuladi Adiela in Omoku, Rivers State.

The late Frankline Obi was the APC chairman of ward 4 and was killed and beheaded by unknown gunmen alongside his pregnant wife and son while late Chukwuladi Adiela was an APC stalwart of ward 14.

Addressing the deceased families, the Minister said, “The President is aware of the death of your son who was our party ward chairman. I personally gave him the photograph of the beheaded body. Everybody must learn to give account of their action or inaction in Omoku. We can’t have police and be experiencing this kind of thing. Internal security is the responsibility of the police so if we have police and keep experiencing this in Omoku it means the police in Rivers State has failed and the people that are been killed are mostly APC members”, he said.

Amaechi  also told the bereaved families that the president was aware of the killings in Omoku and promised that full investigation will be carried out to unravel the killers.

“The President is fully aware of the situation. I was the governor of this state and Omoku wasn’t this bad Stay clear they will kill more. The police can’t claim not to know who the people are because I was governor, the police worked with me, we knew where the criminals were and we went after them.”

Amaechi also assured the people that arrangements have been made to beef up security ahead of the State and National Assembly re- run elections in the state.

“There will be enough security on the election day, there will be enough security to protect lives.

Rotimi Amaechi Replies Nyesom Wike Over $150m Allegation

Read the press statement below..

Sadly, on Sunday, February 7, 2016, Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State in furtherance of his administration’s one-point agenda, yet again, continued his grossly irresponsible, repugnant and contemptuous, albeit, feckless mission of denigrating and disparaging the person and office of the immediate past governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is now the minister of transportation.

The ‘story-story’ this time is about another phantom $150,000,000(One Hundred and Fifty Million Dollars) that Amaechi purportedly stole from Rivers State government coffers and siphoned to his party, the All Progressives Congress(APC) within eighteen days, from December 1 to 18 of 2014. Sadly again, Wike picked a church, a sacred temple of God to tell his new imaginary tale, another bogus, fallacious concoction.

This new scurrilous fabrication by Governor Wike is in sync with the one-point agenda of the Wike administration, which is to throw as much mud as possible at former governor Amaechi, hoping that some may at least stick. All sorts of spurious stories about alleged corruption and stealing of state funds against the Amaechi administration, have been bandied in the media with no attempt to substantiate or prove these distorted false claims that completely makes nonsense of common sense.

Even, when Amaechi challenged the Wike administration and its agents to use any constitutionally available legal process or procedure to prove their jaundice, deceitful allegations against him and his administration, they have rather elected to do their own corruption probe, trial and conviction in the media; and now, even inside our solemn places of worship (churches). How callous! Why would a government be so determined to desecrate and destroy every institution, all in the name of playing politics?

It continues to baffle us, like most right-thinking Nigerians that Governor Wike will stand in a church- a solemn place of worship- and carelessly, brusquely tell such a profound lie. He condescendingly descended to falsely and indecorously shout corruption against Amaechi, without providing a single shred of evidence to back his claims. How pathetic!

Pray, Governor Wike, who collected the $150million on behalf of APC? From which State Government account(s) was the $150million taken from? How was the $150million taken and given to APC? Was it by wired transfer from Rivers State government account(s) to APC account(s)?  So many questions, if Wike had attempted to answer, would have made nonsense of his supercilious allegations.

Rivers people and Nigerians are indeed sick and tired of this old worn-out trick of Governor Wike to hoodwink and distract Rivers people from the real issues. Making a new spurious allegation of corruption against Amaechi every day, will not make Rivers people forget that most of the beautiful, working institutions built by the Amaechi administration are now been allowed to rot away in spite of the billions of naira that had accrued to the State and the billions of naira borrowed by Wike. Rivers people want to know why weeds and grasses have taken over the beautiful schools built by Amaechi? Why the standard working health facilities Amaechi built and left behind are now looking desolate and abandoned? Rivers people are concerned and worried that crime and criminals are back and have taken over. No quantum of mudslinging and attempt to disparage the inspiring legacies of the Amaechi years in Rivers State would distract Rivers people from these issues.

I Am Ready To Work With Wike – Dakuku Peterside

Defeated governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Honourable Dakuku Peterside, has indicated his willingness to work with Governor Nyesom Wike to move the state forward.

He made this known, on Thursday, while reacting to the Supreme Court judgment, on Thursday, which upheld the victory of Wike in the governorship election held in the state on April 11, 2015.
Governor Wike, reacting to the court’s decision, on Wednesday, had praised Dakuku for approaching the judiciary to seek redress over the outcome of the election, rather than going violent.

The governor also extended an olive branch to his opponent and the opposition in the state, asking the APC candidate to join hand with him in the task of moving the state forward.
Dakuku, while accepting the offer from Wike, however said APC would remain a formidable opposition party in the state, serving as a mirror for the activities of the government.

“Consequently, we shall do our best to work for the peace and development of Rivers State and all who reside in it.

“We shall creatively offer our help to Governor Nyesom Wike. We will provide a virile opposition, serving as a mirror for the conscience of government, in the interest of Rivers people.

“When encouragement is needed towards a just and proper course of dealings, we will offer our commendation to the government.
“Conversely, we will constructively express objection to policies and actions we consider inimical to the overall interest of Rivers people.

“It is our hope that Governor Wike and his team will appreciate the suggestions and proposals that would be made in the interest of Rivers people.

“If we sometimes sound strident, he should pay heed to the message of passionate and zealous Rivers people rather than dismiss the messenger”, he said.

The APC governorship candidate however said the judgment was a departure from the earlier findings of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, which had both declared that the election failed to comply substantially with the requirements of the Electoral Act.

News Alert: Supreme Court Affirms Wike As Governor Of Rivers

News reaching us says Supreme Court has affirmed Nyesom Wike as governor of Rivers State.

Our source who just left the Supreme Court not long ago, reports that the final verdict was read after an intensed court session in the court auditorium.

Our source adds that there was jubilation everywhere after the final verdict was read, affirming Nyesom Wike as the governor of Rivers State.

Doctor Dies Of Lassa Fever In Rivers

A medical doctor with Rivers State-owned Braithwait Memorial Specialist Hospital, BMH, Dr. Livy Ijamala, has died from Lassa Fever, bringing to three the number of people killed by the disease in the state.

 
Chairman of the state branch of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Furo Green, disclosed this yesterday in Port Harcourt, saying the late doctor, Ijamala, who died in the early hours of yesterday from the ailment, had contact with patients infected with Lassa Fever.

 

 

Dr. Furo added that the late medical doctor had been buried in line with recommendations of World Health Organization, WHO, for deaths from contagious diseases.

 
He also said a team from WHO had already visited the hospital for assessment, adding that the hospital had been decontaminated and that those who had contacts with the late Dr. Ijamala had been placed on observation.

 
He said: “Last night, one of our hard-working doctors in the department of obstetrics gynaecology, Dr. Livy Ijamala, lost his life following infection with Lassa Fever.

 
This is the price medical doctors and health personnel pay for offering health services to the public.

 
“The hospital is being decontaminated as we speak. All medical doctors and healthcare personnel that had primary contact with the late medical doctor have been placed under observation.”

 
… as doctors begin strike
He also said medical doctors in the state were on three days strike to protest the frequent abduction of medical doctors in the state.

 
He said within the week two of his colleagues, Dr. Isaac Opurum and Dr. Ib Aprioku were taken hostage at separate times. He said in 2015, 21 doctors were abducted in the state.
According to him, the warning strike was to draw attention to the plight of medical doctors.

 
He said: “While we are not happy to go on strike, the strike now appears to be a blessing in disguise because fewer doctors and patients came to the hospital today, thereby, reducing the rate of contacts among medical doctors and patients.”

 

Credit : Vanguard

12 Feared Killed In Rivers As Pirates Ordered Passengers To Jump Into Sea

At least, 12 persons are feared killed following an attack by bandits suspected to be sea pirates.

The sea pirates reportedly operated along the waterways in Kula Community in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The deceased were in four boats when they were attacked by pirates. They reportedly drowned in the sea.

It was gathered that the pirates ordered the occupants of the four boats to jump into the sea.

The four boats were said to have earlier left Kula jetty and moving towards Abonema in Asari-Toru Local Government Area before they met the pirates, who robbed the occupants of their personal belongings before ordering them to jump into the sea at gunpoint.

It was learnt that the incident occurred at about 6.30am on Monday and the hoodlums escaped with the four boats.

“The pirates stopped the passenger boats in the middle of the high sea and the occupants were forced to jump into the sea after being threatened with the gun. The pirates left with the four passenger boats,” a source within Kula said.

Credit: Punch

Gov. Wike Bans Biafra Protests In Rivers

The Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday banned protests by “some unauthorised group” calling for the release of the director of a pirate radio station, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

In a state broadcast, Mr. Wike banned all forms of street protests, demonstrations, rallies or unlawful gatherings associated with the agitations for the secession of any group from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“For the second time within a month individuals and groups purporting to represent the indigenous people of Biafra have held unauthorized protests on the streets in Port Harcourt.

“Majority of these individuals have come from neighbouring states and in the course of these protests, disrupted social and economic activities, damaged properties, assaulted and inflicted injuries on other citizens going about their lawful endeavours.

“While individuals and groups are free to exercise their freedom of expression, they must do so peacefully and strictly within the bounds of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“No individual or group has the right, whatsoever, to disturb public peace and order, threaten the safety of the public and create fear and an atmosphere of insecurity in the state or any part thereof.

“The right of any group of persons to agitate for their perceived rights cannot be allowed to infringe on the rights of other Nigerians, especially the people of Rivers State to remain an integral component of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Our government was elected on a mandate, and has sworn to an oath, to defend the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, the Rivers State Government will not fold its arms and allow members of the indigenous people of Biafra or any other group to turn the State or any part thereof into a hotbed of unlawful protests against the unity and peaceful co-existence of the various peoples and ethnic groups within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Consequently, after due consultations with the members of the State Security Council, and in exercise of my constitutional responsibility to preserve the safety, security and corporate integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is hereby ordered that all forms of street protests, demonstrations, rallies or unlawful gatherings associated with the agitations for the secession of any group from the Federal Republic of Nigeria are banned in Rivers State.

“Any person or group who violates this ban or acts in any manner prejudicial to the interest of peace and security would be arrested and prosecuted.

“While we commend the security agencies for their maturity in handling the situation foisted on us, I call on the people and residents of Rivers State to be more vigilant and report any further activities that threaten public peace, order, safety and security to any of the law enforcement agencies for immediate action.

“Finally, let no one be in doubt of the resolve of the Rivers State Government and the security agencies to maintain law and order at all cost within the State and preserve the unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Thank you. God bless Rivers State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the governor said in the broadcast.

Credit: PremiumTimes

‘I’ve Not Been Sacked From Office’ – Rivers Assembly Speaker Says

Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani whose election into the Rivers State House of Assembly was nullified by the state Election Tribunal on Monday October 26th, says he remains the speaker of the state assembly.

Speaking with newsmen at the state house of assembly complex yesterday, Ibani said his election was only nullified and that he was not sacked from office as speaker. He and the other 20 PDP lawmakers whose elections were nullified, have asked their lawyers to appeal the election tribunal ruling.

“I heard in the news that the Speaker and 20 others have been sacked by the election tribunal. But this is not true. No member of the Assembly, not even the Speaker, has been sacked. The lower tribunal gave judgment… In their judgment, they argued that there should be a rerun within 90 days. The judicial process in Nigeria is that when a lower court gives its judgment, you can proceed to a higher court. That is why we have asked our lawyers to appeal the matter immediately.”he said.

News Alert!! Supreme Court Dismisses Wike’s Suit Against Tribunal

The supreme court has dismissed the suit of Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, who challenged the jurisdiction of the Rivers governorship election petition tribunal to hear a petition by Dakuku Peterside of All Progressives Congress (APC). Wike had argued that the tribunal sitting in Abuja had no jurisdiction over matters that transpired in the state.

His contention is that the tribunal should have sat in Rivers state and not in Abuja. The tribunal was moved to Abuja over for security concerns, as those of  Akwa I?bom, Yobe, Adamawa and Borno. The appeal court had earlier ruled that the tribunal could sit in Abuja to handle Rivers election petitions. The Rivers tribunal had last Saturday sacked Wike as governor of the state, and ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hold a fresh election within 90 days.

The apex court held that the tribunal was properly constituted and had jurisdiction to hear the petition of Peterside. It ruled that the shift in location of the tribunal from Rivers to Abuja was out of necessity, and added that the president of the appeal court did not err in law by ordering the? relocation of the tribunal. The court therefore dismissed Wike’s suit for lack of merit. ?The seven judges of the court, who were all in agreement with the ruling, stated that the relocation of the tribunal was to protect members of the panel and as such complied with the “doctrine of necessity”.

Source – The cableng

Rivers, Akwa Ibom Rulings: PDP Cautions APC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration against precipitating a political crisis that may threaten the country’s democracy through undue interference in the adjudication of election cases.

The PDP also urged all its members, supporters and lovers of democracy across the country to rise up and use all lawful means to resist anti-democratic forces now using the judiciary and security agencies in their desperate scheme to subvert the will of the people and destroy the nation’s democracy.

It said though it seeks peace, it was not ready to accept the peace of a graveyard, neither was it willing to surrender the mandate freely given to it by the people in any part of the country, particularly in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Abia, Taraba and other states where it won in the last general election.

“Let it be known, and clearly too, that no matter the strong-arming, threats and manipulations by the APC government, the PDP is not willing to, and will never surrender the mandate freely given to us by the people in states where we won in the last general election, neither are the people of those states willing to allow sectional invaders to exert influence on those to be in charge of their affairs,” the party said in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, yesterday.

Credit: Thisday

Wike Condemns MASSOB Agitators’ Protests In Rivers

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has warned that his administration would not tolerate a repeat of the protest embarked upon by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra.

Members and supporters of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra and the IPOB had on Tuesday demonstrated in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Both MASSOB and IPOB had demanded for a breakaway from Nigeria and the unconditional release of one of their members, Mr. Nnamdi Kalu.

The protesters had marched through Ikoku, Ikwerre and some major roads in the state capital.

But Wike, who spoke through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, said he was peeved by the protest.

The governor stressed the indivisibility of Nigeria and added that the actions of the protesters were capable of stimulating chaos in the state.

“The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has warned against insidious actions by anybody or group in the state.

“The governor, who was peeved by the protest by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra in Port Harcourt, warned that such demonstrations will not be brooked by his administration.

“Emphasizing the indivisibility of Nigeria, the governor said the actions of the IPOB members are capable of stimulating chaos in the state,” the statement read.

Wike warned that as the chief security officer of the state who swore to protect lives and property, he would not tolerate actions that would lead to the breakdown of law and order in the state.

He, however, dissociated himself and the state from the protest and cautioned that a coercive legal machinery would be set in motion against any group that would breach the peace in the state.

The governor called on residents and those transacting businesses in the state to go about their lawful duties without fear, assuring them of safety.

I Have No Interest In Amaechi’s Appointment –Wike

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has insisted that he doesn’t care if his predecessor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi is appointed as a minister or not.

The reason he made this statement was because of the claims by the All Progressives Congress that he was orchestrating a protest against Amaechi’s likely appointment as a minister.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, in Port Harcourt, on Monday, the governor described the claim that he was working against Amaechi’s likely appointment as ridiculous.
He said:

“It is not only spurious, but fatuous and malicious. Governor Wike has no cause to orchestrate a protest against the appointment of Rotimi Amaechi.

“Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that the governor has no nexus with the appointment of Amaechi or otherwise. It is the right of the President to appoint anybody of his choice provided such an appointment is in sync with the relevant laws.

“The appointment of Amaechi will definitely have no bearing on the governance of Rivers State. There are crucial issues the governor is more concerned with which are issues of the state and not trifles like the appointment of Amaechi.

“It is apparent that the APC in Rivers State has exhausted its basket of lies and barren propaganda but still wants to be heard or noticed despite its waned popularity in the state,” Wike said.

“Governor Wike’s concern now is to clear the rubbish Amaechi left behind in his eight years of maladministration that impoverished the state and the people.

“Therefore, if the APC is dispensing such unfounded falsehood as a stratagem, it has failed. Or, is the APC distraught that Amaechi might not scale through the screening because of his antecedents?

“If that is the problem, it (APC) should think of how to sort it out and not spread falsehood to gain sympathy. Governor Wike is not interested in Amaechi’s matter because it is inconsequential,” he added.

Source: Punch 

Rivers Election Tribunal: More Army Witnesses Insist No Election Took Place On April 11

More witnesses from the Nigerian Army who testified on Thursday at the Rivers State Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja, insisted that the April 11 gubernatorial polls did not hold in the state contrary to the claim of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Nyesom Wike.

Compelled by subpoena, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) who sent three other army officers to testify at the Justice Suleman Ambrosa led tribunal ,  maintained that election did not hold in virtually all polling centres assigned to them to provide security.

Corroborating what Captain Garba Sani testified on Wednesday, the three army officers who led
different deployments on the order of the Nigerian Army said that political hoodlums and thugs carted away the election materials after the would-be voters had allegedly been scared away with gun shots.

The three army officers who covered different local governments for the army are captains Abubakar Mohammed, Captain Fred Bala and Captain Isa Almakura.

Almakura who covered Ikwerri local government along with 30 other soldiers claimed that the entire council was tensed up right from April 10 when his team arrived the area to provide security for voters.

I Have Declared My Assets To The Relevant Authorities, I Don’t Need To Make It Public – Wike

Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike says he has declared his assets to the relevant authorities and is not compelled to make it public. Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Sir Opunabo Inko-Tariah, Wike said what is important in asset declaration is the sincerity behind it …

“The governor has declared his assets and this is exactly what he told newsmen during the tour of his administration’s projects. There is no law compelling him to make his declaration public. He has declared his assets and the declaration was made to the relevant authority. Let me also say that it is not just about asset declaration; it has to do with the sincerity of the person because some may over-declare when they want to steal in future. So, they declare to accommodate the theft in future.

Some may also declare for whatever reason; maybe they have held public offices in the past and they don’t want people to know that they have stolen money. So, people will declare; it is not all about the declaration of assets. What is crucial is the sincerity of the person declaring and you are supposed to declare when you get out of office. But the truth is that if you are a governor or a minister, what matters is the delivery of the dividends of democracy. That is what is important and it is not about what you declare and how much you declare.” Wike said

Army Issues 7-Day Ultimatum To Community To Produce Killers Of Soldier, Policeman

Military authorities in Rivers State have given a one-week ultimatum to eight communities in Emohua Local Government Area of the state to fish out and surrender the gunmen, who allegedly ambushed and shot dead a soldier and police officer, while they were on duty along the Emohua-Kalabari Road in the area.

Niger Delta Voice gathered that the incident occurred last week, and both the army and police in the state were furious. A trustworthy source hinted that the new Brigade Commander in charge of Rumuokoro Army Barracks in Port Harcourt stormed Emohua with three vehicles, fully loaded with fierce-looking military men and drove straight to the palace of the paramount ruler of Emohua Kingdom, HRM, Eze V.C. Okor.

The source said:

 “During the visit, the brigade commander gave the eight communities of Emohua one-week ultimatum to produce the killers of the officers, otherwise the communities will face the wrath of the command.”

At the time of this report, a number of residents had fled the kingdom. The trepidation is what will happen to them if they remain in the area after the one-week ultimatum expired and the communities were unable to surrender anybody to the security agencies as the killers, having declined knowledge of the gunmen. The Emohua monarch distan-ced the communities from the killers, but condemned the act.

What Brigade Commander told me—Monarch

The royal father said that the brigade commander in charge of Rumuokoro Army Barracks in Port Harcourt visited his palace on Monday and told him that the army discovered corpses of two security personnel, along Emohua-Kalabari Road.The monarch called on the government to promptly intervene in the matter and ensure that justice was no breakdown of law and order.
The monarch told Niger Delta Voice:

 “When the commander left, I called for a meeting. The visit was shocking to me. So I passed on the message that the commander brought. “In the meeting, we appointed three people to go to the Rumuokoro Barracks to see and pacify the commander not to wage war against us in their investigation.“We have not had problems with any security operative and we do not groom gunmen here. So there is no way the community should be robed into such crime.”

First son of the monarch, who is the Nyewe Eli Emohua, Prince Chigozie Okor, confirmed that the people were alarmed at the approach of the military to the matter, saying it was wrong for the army to have concluded that the killers of the security personnel were from Emohua simply because the unpleasant incident happened in the area.
He said:

 “We do not understand the reason why the soldiers will walked straight into our community to demand that we provide the gunmen who killed two of their men.

“The road where the officers were killed is a major route to three other local government areas in the state, namely Degema, Asari-Toru and Akuku-Toru, why should they point finger at Emohua? “They should carry out investigation on the killing and bring the perpetrators to justice; they should not involve civilians, who do not have what it takes to carry out such task.”

Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Rumuji Police Divisional Headquarters, who spoke to Niger Delta Voice on phone, said:

 “The issue was not officially reported to us. “I have visited Emohua community. We discussed and they have appointed people to see the commander. We are in touch with the two parties to ensure peace.”

Vanguard

Tribunal Declines To Dismiss APC’s Petition Against Wike

The Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, has declined to dismiss the petition seeking to sack Governor Nyesom Wike from office. ?In a ruling this afternoon, the Justice Muazu Pindiga-led tribunal held that the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its governorship candidate in the state, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, properly convoked a pre-hearing session on their case against Wike.

Wike and Peterside

The tribunal said it was not persuaded by contention of both the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and Wike that the failure of the petitioners to pay a mandatory ?N100 fee for the convocation of the pre-hearing session, rendered their substantive petition liable for dismissal.

INEC had through its lawyer Mr. K.O.C. Njemanze, SAN, sought the dismissal of the petition as having been abandoned in consequence of non compliance with the provision of paragraph 18(1) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

INEC’s motion dated July 27, was filed pursuant to section ?6(6) (a) of the 1999 constitution, as amended, and paragraphs 18(1) (3) and (47) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

The electoral body insisted that there was no evidence that the petitioners paid the necessary fees before they applied to the Secretary of the tribunal to issue them Form TF007, which will okay pre-hearing on the petition.

Similarly, Wike, through his lawyer Mr. Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, relied on the case of Ihedioha vs Okorocha and argued that the failure of the petitioners to properly apply for the pre-hearing session rendered the case before the tribunal liable to be dismissed.

Wike noted that the Imo State Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal had in a ruling it delivered on July 22, held that the failure of Ihedioha to pay the N100 filing fee in respect of an application for pre-hearing was fatal to his petition against Okorocha. The PDP which is the 3rd Respondent in the matter also aligned with INEC and Wike in asking the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

However, in its ruling, the tribunal upheld the argument of counsel to the petitioners, Chief Akinlolu Olujunmi, SAN, ?who had urged the panel not to allow the Respondents to rely on technicalities to defeat the essence of justice in the electoral dispute.

Besides, the panel stressed that the letter the petitioners served on the Secretary to the tribunal on June 23, which requested for the issuance of Form TF007, did not qualify as a filed document as envisaged by paragraph 37 of the Electoral Act.

“It is clear that there is no imposition of any fee for the kick-starting ?of a pre-hearing session and the application for issuance of pre-hearing form does not involve any filing fee.  “Form TF007 and TF008 are not documents filed as envisaged by paragraph 37 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

“If a pre-hearing session has began as in the instant case, the way it was kick-started? is no longer of any moment whatsoever. We hold that there was no defect in the pre-hearing kick-started by the petitioners. The applications by the Respondents are hereby discountenanced and dismissed”, the tribunal ruled.

?Meantime, the tribunal is currently entertaining arguments from all the parties on the propriety or otherwise of allowing the petitioners to inspect all the materials that were used for the April 11governorship election in Rivers State, considering that the issue is already pending before the Appeal Court.

Buhari Gives Hope To The Ogoni People With This Land Clean Up Action, Says APC

Complete Text of the Press Conference by the National Publicity Secretary of APC by Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Lagos, Aug 11th 2015

FAST-TRACKING ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN-UP OF OGONILAND: PRES. BUHARI GIVES HOPE TO LONG-SUFFERING PEOPLE

President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval, on Aug. 5th 2015, of actions to fast-track the environmental clean-up of Ogoniland is undoubtedly one of the most significant decisions taken by the President since his inauguration on May 29th 2015.

Like one writer said: ”It is important to underscore here that the pains of environmental pollution and a looming ecological catastrophe are defining issues in the Niger Delta struggle – whatever that means. It is at the core of the Ogoni Bill of Rights of 1990 and later the Kaiama Declaration of 1998.”

Another said: ”Though, government is a continuum, it is instructive that a Nigerian president of non-Niger Delta origin is now the one who has taken the focused approach required to pull the region back from the brink of oil-instigated ecological disaster. Buhari’s decision to prioritise implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoniland speaks volumes for his determination to make the lives of people in the Niger Delta better.

”It is a strong statement that those who have tried to impute anti-Niger Delta sentiments to the coming of Buhari have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick.”

This action of the President transcends all the needless arguments about the appointments so far made by him, because it touches directly on the well-being of a long-suffering people, people whose farmlands, drinking water, homes and sources of living have been deeply affected by hydrocarbon pollution.

Even if all the appointments made so far by the President have gone to the Niger Delta, that would not have been as momentous as the President’s approval of actions to fast-track the environmental clean-up of Ogoniland, a 1,000-sq-kilometre area that has been the site of oil exploration and production since the 1950s – and which has suffered pollution from oil spills and oil well fires.

The action also puts a lie to the antics of those who insinuated that the President would ignore those who didn’t vote for him in the March 28th presidential elections. As it were, undoubtedly the most far-reaching action by the President has been to the benefit of the Niger Delta, where he is not known to have garnered many votes! What a pleasant irony!

The President’s action has now breathed life into a four-year report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which hitherto has been gathering dust on the shelf since it was published on Aug. 4th 2011.

BACKGROUND TO THE REPORT

The Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland was commissioned by the Federal Government, which invited UNEP to undertake the assessment

The 2-year assessment was carried out by national and international experts assembled by UNEP, against the background of the fact that
there are serious threats to human health from contaminated drinking water to concerns over the viability and productivity of ecosystems

THE REPORT

The report revealed the nature and extent of oil contamination in Ogoniland and covered the following areas, among others:

– Contaminated land
– Contaminated groundwater
– Contaminated surface water
– air pollution
– public health

It represents the best available understanding of what has happened to the environment of Ogoniland, and the implications for the affected population.

HIGHLIGHTS OF SUMMARY

1. Though the oil industry is no longer active in Ogoniland (Shell pulled out of Ogoni in 1993), oil spills continue to occur in alarming regularity

2. Extensive pollution of soil by petroleum hydrocarbons in Ogoni

3. Pollution at depths of 5 metres

4. Pollution has reached groundwater

5. In one site, in Eleme LG, 8cm layer of refined oil floating on the groundwater serving community wells

Vegetation:

6. Damaged crops

7. Fish fawning places in Mangrove contaminated

8. Oil fires kill vegetation

9. Loss of Mangrove cover due to increased artisanal refining

Aquatic:

10. Surface water contains hydrocarbons. Floating layers of oil vary from thick black oil to thin sheens

11. Fish deserted polluted areas….fish sector suffering due to destruction of fish habitats

12. Wetlands degraded

Public Health:

13. Ogoni community exposed to petroleum hydrocarbons
– Outdoor air
– Drinking water
– Contaminated soil

14. Community members in some areas drink water with BENZENE, a known carcinogen, at levels 900 times above the WHO guideline
NOTE: EMERGENCY ACTION WAS RECOMMENDED AHEAD OF OTHER REMEDIATION EFFORTS

15. BENZENE detected in air samples at higher levels than stipulated by WHO

RECOMMENDATIONS (DIRECTED AT THE FG)

1. Establish the Ogoniland Environment Restoration Authority

2. Establish the Ogoniland Environment Restoration Fund with an initial capital of US$1 billion by oil industry and the FG

3. Set up Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration

4. Build capacity of government agencies so they can fulfil their mandates – especially that of the Nigeria Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

5. Organize public awareness campaign on pollution

NOTE: Despite the urgency stated in the UNEP report on the need to implement the recommendations, the immediate past government did nothing beyond establishing the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) in 2012, a full year after the report was submitted, and then leaving the agency to rot away.

For example, the UNEP report was clear in stating that ”Because of high rainfall in the Niger Delta, any delay in cleaning up an oil spill leads to oil being washed away, transversing farmland and almost always ending up in the creeks.”

What President Buhari has now done:

– The President has approved actions to fast-track the implementation of the UNEP report- as far as the recommendations directed at it (FG) are concerned.
– The actions approved by President Buhari, based on recommendations to him by the Executive Director of UNEP, the UNEP Special Representative for Ogoniland, Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Ministries of Environment and Petroleum Resources, and other stakeholders, include the amendment of the Official Gazette establishing HYPREP to reflect a new governance framework comprising a Governing Council, a Board of Trustees and Project Management.

The President also approved the composition of a Board of Trustees for the HYPREP.

Some US$10 million will be made available by stakeholders within 30 days of the appointment of members of the Board of Trustees for the Trust Fund who will be responsible for collecting and managing funds from contributors and donors. .

A new implementation template has also been evolved at the instance of President Buhari, and the environmental clean-up of Ogoniland will commence in earnest with the President’s inauguration of the HYPREP Governing Council and the Board of Trustees for the Trust Fund.
Thank you
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Lagos, Aug 11th 2015

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/08/buhari-gives-hope-with-fast-t-racking-of-ogoni-clean-up-apc/#sthash.mn9xKUNf.dpuf

Anybody Close To Me Knows That I Don’t Like Money – Rotimi Amaechi

Former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has accused his successor, Nyesom Wike, of leading people of the state to blackmail him.

Amaechi noted that since Wike and members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state are jittery that his appointment will be the main determinant of the state politics, they have moved to tarnish his image in the eyes of President Muhammadu Buhari, who detests corruption.

The ex-governor spoke at a reception organized in his honour in Abuja Sunday night.

He said, “Let me tell you what is currently going on in Rivers State. The governor and PDP are afraid of me getting an appointment to the national executive council because that will determine what the
politics of Rivers State will be.

“And they know that the current President abhors corruption and the only way they can stop me from getting the appointment is to paint me with corruption. And the people that know me in Rivers State know that I don’t like money. But I am not angry with them. My anger is that in Rivers they know I don’t like money. And I expect them to defend me that I don’t like money.”

The same Wike, according to Amaechi, who used to advise him that merely executing project without wasting money on people would not earn him a second term in office, has sponsored newspapers’ adverts to rubbish his reputation.

Amaechi added: “Governor Nyesome Wike has again sponsored one advert in a bid to rubbish me. He will go and publish in the paper on Monday as advert. Only God knows that if there is one thing I don’t like, I don’t like money. Anybody close to me knows that I don’t like money. Even Nyesom Wike told me you will not win second term if you don’t use money. So all this wasted projects will not deliver us. And I said let us do it once and for all.”

Tribunal Dimisses Wike’s Bid To Relocate Election Tribunal To Rivers

The Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, has dismissed an application by Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, seeking an order relocating its venue to Rivers.

In a ruling, the three-man panel led by Justice Muazu Pindiga, dismissed the application on the ground that the tribunal had power to sit in Abuja, following security challenges in the state.

The tribunal also held that the composition of the tribunal was not in any way defective and that the President of the Court of Appeal had the power to fix the venue of the tribunal.

Mr. Pindiga added that ?the issue of accessibility and proximity of the venue for the tribunal cannot be decided without considering the security situation, earlier argued by the governor’s counsel, Emmanuel Ukala, SAN.

The governor had prayed the tribunal to relocate the venue to Rivers, adding that the election was duly conducted in line with Section 285 of the Nigerian constitution.

A governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside, and his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) had in April dragged Mr. Wike to court over his victory at the recent governorship election in Rivers.

Joined in the suit, filed by the APC, are the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Peoples Democratic Party.

Creditpremiumtimesng

Tension In Rivers As Unknown Gunmen Kill 8

Unknown gunmen, weekend, shot eight people dead at Agbonchia market area, Eleme Local Government of Rivers State, according to eyewitnesses.

State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, however, said five people died, adding that a suspect had been arrested.

According to him, the killers stormed a place around a market where people wash motorcycles and opened fire on those around.

“The assailants came on motorcycles, opened fire at a motorcycles wash point at Agbonchia Eleme and fled. Five persons lost their lives.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the attack was related to cult activities. One suspect is right now undergoing interrogation, while moves to arrest other fleeing miscreants has begun.”

Witnesses said the assailants pretended as if they wanted to wash their bikes. “Suddenly, they started shooting at those around and when they were done, they hopped on their bike and fled,” the eyewitnesses said.

Meanwhile, Rivers State Police Command said it had uncovered plans by two rival political groups to protest, today, the Federal High Court ruling in Port Harcourt that nullified the May 23 elections of 22 local government executives.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Austin Agbonlahor in a statement in Port Harcourt, warned that the police will not allow any act that would cripple peace in the state, urging those aggrieved over the high court judgement to explore legal means to express their feelings. He appealed to the political class to allow peace reign, stressing that the state had seen enough of politically-motivated protests.

“Information at the disposal of Rivers State Police Command indicates plans by unknown individuals to hold a protest today in Port Harcourt metropolis and other locations in the state against the recent Federal High Court judgment nullifying the election of the chairmen of 22 councils and the swearing-in of caretaker committees in their stead.

“Similarly, the command has credible intelligence that the protesters will be countered by another group. This could lead to confrontation with unpleasant consequences.

“We are in a democracy, where the Rule of Law and the right to protest are legitimate rights and aspirations. However, these rights stop where those of the other person begins.

“We acknowledge that anyone can hold a legitimate and peaceful protest; it is also fair to admit that the protest planners would not be able to control the process as pro- and anti-forces, and hoodlums, could hijack it and turn the state into a theatre of violence.

“So we are advising that all aggrieved persons should sheathe their swords and toe the path of honour by resorting to legal means of seeking redress and justice,” Agbonlahor said.

Wike Vs Amaechi: Court Sacks Rivers State Council Chairmen & Councillors

A federal high court in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Lambo Akambi, this morning nullified the election of the 22 local Government council chairmen and councillors organized by the Professor Augustine Ahiazu led Rivers State Independent Election Commission, RSIEC, during the administration of Chibuike Amaechi.

Justice Akambi averred that the conduct of the election that produced the 22 local government council chairmen is not only illegal but an affront on the court because the matter was pending in court. He noted that RSIEC and the state government was directed not to go ahead with the election but the order of court was fragrantly disobeyed.

With the judgement, the 22 local government council chairmen who are all members of the All
Progressives Congress have been sacked.
It would be recalled that when RSIEC planned to conduct the election at the twilight of the immediate past administration in May, the state PDP challenged the election through a court injunction but RSIEC claimed the order of court did not affect it, so PDP boycotted it.

RSIEC led by Prof Ahiazu had earlier been sacked by Governor Nyesom Wike and reconstituted it.

The Federal High court in its judgement said it had to defend and protect democracy by nullifying the election.

Wike, a lawyer, had vowed to sack the council chairmen and councillors because they were elected illegally but would wait for case to run its full course.
More to follow…

APC Pledges To Address Human Rights Abuse In Rivers

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday in Abuja pledged to address all issues of human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the Rivers government.

The APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, made the pledge when all 23 local government chairmen in Rivers paid a courtesy visit to the party’s national secretariat.

The chairmen were at the secretariat to report purported cases of human rights violations, unpaid salaries and monthly allocations to the state and intimidation to their persons by Gov. Nyesom Wike.

Odigie-Oyegun assured the grassroots leaders that APC followed due process, adding that the party would not “allow the blood of the innocent to be shed
for political reasons.

“I want to give you the assurance that yes, things have changed in this nation, and those who are still testing our resolve will discover sooner than later that they are absolutely on the wrong track.

“The fact that we are a party of law, a party of order, a party of due process does not mean we will allow impunity to continue.

“We will not allow the blood of innocent to be shed on the platform of politics or for political reasons.

“If the PDP in Rivers does not recognise that change has in fact come to this nation, then they will be doing so at their own peril because there certainly will be consequences.

“We cannot allow our members, innocent citizens to be witch-hunted, to be slain, to be abused the way they are used to and the way it has been happening,” he said.

He said that the friction in the state could be attributed to the fact that APC won all local government seats in PDP-controlled Rivers.

According to him, the party is aware of the “high price’’ paid by executives of its state chapter to what they had accomplished.

The chairman promised to liaise with the legal adviser of the party to ensure justice. “We are very much aware of the way things are run…. but I urge you to be strong because the day of reckoning is certain.

“We will certainly call for all those who have acted against the laws of this nation and who have brought injury and harm to innocent citizens of this country.

“This is not the kind of regime that allows or tolerates impunity.

“I want you all to be courageous, strong, law-abiding, knowing that you can see the light definitely at the end of the tunnel.

“It is immediate that we do something about those who are tormenting innocent persons.

He said that APC would not ask for favours from law enforcement agencies, “given the kind of leadership we have of President Buhari.“

“We are going to just ask them to abide by the constitution of the nation and discharge their duties with equity to all and with bias toward none,” he said.

Mr Chimbiko Akarolo, the Chairman of Port Harcourt Local Government Area, who led the delegation, told Odigie-Oyegun that the allocation meant for the local government councils had been seized since the present administration assumed office.

“We want to let you know that as soon as we got into office, the minority party informed us that as soon as they get into office at the state level, we’ll be dissolved.

“We took the right step, we went to court and we got an injunction dissuading them from doing that.

As as soon as we did that, the state government went on air directing all financial institutions not to deal with us. “We can’t take loan, we cannot function, and we can’t take facilities. As I speak, our allocation has been seized, workers have not been paid, we have not been paid,” he said.

He pleaded with the party to “use every means necessary to sustain the local governments in Rivers’’ by informing every instrument of government to compel the state government to release allocations owed them.

Akarolo said that there was need to improve the security situation of the local government chairmen, adding that they had no security details since they took over.

The chairmen present at the visit include Ahoada East, Bokana, Bonny, Ikwerre, Ogbia/Andoni and Port-Harcourt local government, among others.

Cult War: 3 Die In Rivers

Three persons have been killed and some villagers wounded, as two deadly rival cult groups, Dewell and Axelander, clashed in Ubima community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Daily Sun gathered that some natives had relocated to neighbouring communities for safety, as the two cult groups resumed a battle for supremacy.

A source said trouble started yesterday morning when one of the leaders of Dewell, Chinedu Uwazurike (aka Biggi), entered the territory of Axelander to buy Indian hemp and was murdered in the process.

The source said: “Biggi is one of our members; he just came back from another town and decided to get Indian hemp; he could not get it from a nearby shop. So, he went to a seller close to Axelander barracks that was how they dragged him down from motorbike and started beating him until he collapsed and died.

“But, we have revenged by killing two of their members. The fight will continue because it is a disgrace on our side.”

Read More: sunnewsonline

Arase Deploys New Commissioners Of Police In Lagos, Rivers, Ogun

Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase has deployed new Commissioners of Police in Lagos, Rivers and Ogun states.

According to him, the move is to inject fresh ideas in the security architecture of the states, and some other Force Headquarters Formations.

A statement signed by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Abayomi Shogunle said the postings are with immediate effect.

In the deployment chat, Ajani Fatai Owoseni was posted to Lagos, Chris Ezike, Rivers, and Abdulmajid Ali, Ogun state. Dan Bature will now take charge of Intelligence at the FCIID, Force Headquarters; Valentine Ntomchukwu is now CP Administration, Department of Logistics and Supplies, Force Headquarters and Hyelasinda Kimo Musa, CP Federal SARS.

Others are Kayode Aderanti, CP Administration, Department of Operations, FHQ; E.J Ibine, CP Port Authority, Eastern Command and Ogbusua Aja Oleh, CP Provost, FHQ.

The IGP expressed the hope that the new postings will reverse the crime wave in the affected states, while also strengthening administration in the affected strategic Force Headquarters Formations.

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Wike To Use 30Bn Loan To Develop Rivers

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor of Rivers, Mr Opunabo Inko-Tariah, has said that the state government’s N30 billion loan will be used to develop the state. Inko-Tariah told newsmen in Port Harcourt on Thursday that insinuations by the state chapter of All Progressives Congress that Gov. Nyesom Wike intends to borrow N100 billion were untrue.

WIKEHe said there were compelling needs to be attended to and government had no option than to take the loan. “The governor’s actions were based on the necessity, the importance of the project to Rivers people and not whether he will take the credit or not for completing the project,’’ he said.

He said that the courts and assembly complexes were shut for close to two years and there was need to renovate them. “There are so many projects that were abandoned because the contractors were not paid by the previous administration and some of the projects are very important to Rivers people.

“Also, the governor has ordered that the April and May salaries of civil servants be paid,’’ he said. The governor’s spokesman said government was also reviving payment of overheads to ministries and parastatals.

According to him, government needs the money to kick start and that is why the governor is seeking the loan. He said the Wike administration did not inherit money from the previous administration and that it had to meet the needs of the people. “The demands are much greater than the resources available,’’ Inko-Tariah said

Rivers APC Supports Plan To Recover Looted Funds

The All Progressives Congress in the Rivers State welcomed the announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate and recover the funds allegedly looted by the immediate past administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

“We received with great joy news of the resolution by President Buhari to go after those who stole Nigeria blind and virtually grounded the country’s economy,” Rivers APC Chairman, Dr Davis Ibiamu Ikanya, said.

“For six years we shouted ourselves hoarse that Jonathan’s administration was the most corrupt in the history of this nation and sadly nobody believed us but the recent revelations have proved us right.”

Ikanya added, “If not by the grace of God and the resolve of Nigerians to vote out that visionless government, the ship of our nation would have been grounded by now.”

Ikanya, speaking from Port Harcourt, said the impending recovery of stolen funds and stoppage of systemic leakages as the beginning of the journey towards building the ideal Nigerian nation.

He said the ruling party commended the governments of USA and Britain for supporting the APC Government in its efforts to recover Nigeria’s looted funds stashed in foreign banks by “agents of wickedness.”

Ikanya pleaded with Nigerians to see reason and support the administration of President Buhari in his efforts to clean the rot of the past administration and put our nation on a sound footing.

“The next three months may be hard as predicted by Mr. President but we wish to assure our fellow countrymen and women that these are necessary steps and for the good of our dear country,” Ikanya said.

Credit: CAJ News

Governor Wike Set To Sack Over 13,000 Workers Employed By Amaechi

Governor Nyesom Wike is set to sack 13,000 workers employed by his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi. This comes as Rivers House of Assembly passed a resolution empowering the Governor to sack the board of the State Civil Service Commission accusing them of breaching the rules and illegally employing workers into the state Service.

The Rivers lawmakers passed the resolution on Tuesday after grilling the Chairman of the Service Commission, Mr Ngo Martins Yellowe on the floor of the House based on petitions accusing the Commission of not passing through due process before employing workers in past three years.

Yellowe, however, told lawmakers that the Commission under his leadership obeyed the constitution and laws guiding employment into the service.

Observers of Rivers politics however see the invitation and quizzing of Ngo Martins Yellowe by the lawmakers as a prelude to the sacking of the Commission appointed by the immediate past administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and also the sacking the civil servants employed three years to date, especially over 13,200 teachers and others engaged by the immediate past administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi.

The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC, Chairman Prof Augustine Ahiazu was invited to answer questions about how local government election was conducted. Thereafter a resolution was passed mandating Governor Wike to sack the Commission.Wike sacked RSIEC the next day.
Similarly, the Rivers State Judiciary Service Commission suffered same fate after its members were invited to the floor of the House.
The fears of over 13,200 teachers in the state, over 400 doctors and nurses employed by the former Governor Amaechi is palpable if they fall into the category of workers adjudged to have been wrongly employed into the state civil service.

Culled from PMNews 

Rivers State Assembly Approves Wike’s N10bn Loan After Amaechi Allegedly Left Empty Treasury

The Rivers State House of Assembly on Thursday approved a loan of N10 billion requested by the State Governor, Nyesom Wike. The state governor had sent a letter to the House of Assembly asking that he should be granted approval to secure the loan that would be used to fund some major projects in the state.

28 lawmakers voted in favour of the approval.

Speaker of the House, Mr. Ikuinyi Ibani, in his remark, explained that it would be difficult for any government to survive without funds to operate.

Ibani, who pointed that the House would not be involved in frivolous approvals, added that the state legislature would endorse transparent and sincere requests that would benefit the people of the state.

Explaining that the immediate past administration left an empty treasury, the Speaker disclosed that the loan would be taken from Zenith Bank and repaid through Valued Added Tax.

Punch

Killer Gin: Rivers Death Toll Hits 66

The Rivers State Government said on Wednesday that 28 more deaths had been recorded, following the continued consumption of the killer local gin by unsuspecting consumers, thus increasing the figure from 38 to 66.

The Director of Public Health in the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Nnana Onyekwere, disclosed this in Port Harcourt shortly after dealers in local gin, popularly known as Ogogoro or Kai–kai, met with the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Somieari Harry, on the burning issue in the state.

Onyekwere told newsmen that apart from the 38 deaths announced last week, health workers on the field discovered that more people had died after consuming local gin.

He pointed out that apart from the deaths recorded in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, more persons, who drank the poisonous product in Bonny, Port Harcourt, Gokana and Ahoada West, had also died.

He expressed worry that despite the enlightenment campaigns and warning for people to stay away from local gin, many were still consuming the product.

Explaining that the ban on sale and consumption of Ogogoro by the state government still stands, Onyekwere added that only total abstinence from the product could stop the increase in deaths as a result of the killer gin.

Onyekwere advised that those who were addicted to local gin should go for branded hot drinks, saying, “There are affordable hot drinks that are branded and sealed. Those who cannot do without drinking gin can go for them.”

He explained that places that were most affected were riverine areas, describing such places as high alcohol consuming areas.

Creditsunnewsonline

Gov. Wike Dissolves Rivers Election Body, Judicial Service Commission

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has dissolved the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission and the state Judicial Service Commission.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday by the governor’s media aide, Opunabo Inko-Tariah.

The statement said the governor ordered the immediate dissolution of both commissions relying upon the directive from the Rivers State House of Assembly which indicted them for official misconduct and recommended their dissolution.

It said Mr. Wike further directed the chairman of RSIEC to hand over to the most senior civil servant in the commission while the state Judicial Service commission was directed to hand over to the Acting
Chief Judge of the state.

Wike Blasts Rivers NBA For Failing To Resist Interference In Judiciary

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday lashed out at the state chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, for failing to fight against the issues that crippled the judiciary in the state for almost one year.

Meanwhile, workers resumed early yesterday at the judiciary complex in Port Harcourt with most of  them saying  “happy new year,” apparently referring to the protracted strike that kept them at home since June last year.

The governor, yesterday in Government House, Port Harcourt, while swearing in Justice Daisy Okocha as the acting Chief Judge in the state, said he was surprised that senior lawyers who should have resisted  what he termed the evil that rose against the judiciary, kept quiet.

Wike, who also swore in Justice Christy Nwankwo as acting President of the Customary Court of Appeal, recalled failed efforts by the previous government to stop his swearing in as governor of the state on May 29.

Read More: vanguardngr

Rivers’ Youths Applaud Jonathan & State’s New Administration

Youths aligned to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Rivers State have paid tribute to former President, Goodluck Jonathan, and hailed the inauguration of local Governor, Nyesom Wike. They hailed Jonathan for conceding defeat to new head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, and Jonathan’s presence at the latter’s swearing-in ceremony on Friday.

Party youths trekked from Rivers’ to Jonathan’s homeland of the Bayelsa State to Abuja for Buhari’s inauguration while others gave the former an astounding welcome.

The Rivers State youths said that they embarked on the exercise in honor of Jonathan conceding defeat for the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. The grouping also hailed the successful swearing-in of Wike. The youth organisation described Wike as “our long awaited deliverer who shall put an end to our long suffering with his new vision for Rivers State.”

Credit: CAJ News

APC Celebrates Rivers Local Govt Poll Success

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Rivers State has thanked the electorate for voting for the party in the just-ended local government elections.

Officials described the action as an endorsement of the eight years administration of out-going Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

APC won 22 out of the 23 chairmanship seats that were contested in Saturday’s council polls.

Following the result, the party described the decision of the Amaechi administration to organise the council polls as not only timely but also an affirmation of his status as a true democrat.

“Not minding the opposition of by the PDP leadership in Rivers State, Gov. Amaechi has once again, true to his political sagacity, proved that he is in charge of the politics of Rivers State. The successful conduct of the polls and the eager acceptance of the 22 candidates fielded by APC by the people of Rivers State has once more demonstrated that Rivers State is an APC State,” the State Chairman, Dr Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said.

He congratulated the Rivers State electorate for having faith in the party by electing all the APC candidates. “We wish to reassure the good people of Rivers State that with the calibre of candidates so elected, the APC revolution at the various local government areas is about to take off. With this election, the State has finally buried the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a political party and by the time we have a re-run governorship election the PDP will be formally nailed,” Ikanya said.

Meanwhile, the party hailed police for maintaining order during the polls.

The election came in the back of violence that characterized the presidential and governorship poll.

“Nigeria Police will perform wonders if allowed to act professionally by the powers that be. We commend the police and wish that they continue to act in this manner for the greatness of our nation,” said Ikanya.

Credit: CAJ News

APC Clears 22 Councils In Rivers LG Polls

All Progressives Congress, APC, has won in the 22 local government areas that were contested for in the local government elections held on Saturday in Rivers State.

The election was marred by low turnout of voters because of the controversy that trailed the date of the election. Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which had gone to court to challenge the council polls, boycotted same, as it had insisted that the time was wrong and the process not transparent.

Similarly, the faction of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, led by Mr. Adah Williams, had last Thursday, called on workers in the state not to participate in the elections. But on Friday, the NLC faction led by Mrs. Beatrice countered the earlier announcement by Williams, urging workers to be part of the elections.

On the day of the polls, heavy rainfall worsened the situation, as the rain which started around 5:25 a.m., prevented Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC, officials from distributing electoral materials early to the polling units. Voters turned out after the rain which stopped at 12noon.

Amidst the controversies and threats, the election was violence free. Voters came out to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice without intimidation.

RSIEC has been commended by some APC chieftains for conducting the local government elections as scheduled despite intimidations. It will be recalled that a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, had earlier ordered parties for the elections to maintain status quo, following a suit by the PDP. It was based on the court directive that PDP boycotted the polls.

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Tension In Rivers Over Council Polls

Tension has enveloped Rivers State over the plan by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC, to go ahead to conduct local government election in the state on Saturday.

There are fears that the election may be disrupted and engender chaos since the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has gone to court to challenge the legality in conducting the council polls.

The heightened tension in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in southern Nigeria, may not be unconnected with the fact that the state had one of the highest number of politically motivated killings during the just concluded general elections in the country.

While counsel to PDP, Emmanuel Aguma, insists that there is a subsisting court injunction against RSIEC from conducting the election, RSIEC is claiming that no such injunction exists and so it is not bound by any legal encumbrances from conducting the poll.

As the back and forth argument continued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State has denied releasing voters’ register to RSIEC for the conduct of the election.

RSIEC had earlier told journalists that it had received INEC’s official voters’ register for the conduct of the election.

INEC in a statement signed by its secretary, Roy Obijiri, said it did not give the register to RSIEC.

He said the delay in releasing the register was due to impending court processes over the matter in a federal high court in Port Harcourt.

The statement by INEC also said the court adjourned the matter and admonished all parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the appeal and the substantive suit.

PDP is boycotting the election and on Thursday insisted that RSIEC is relying on membership register in place of INEC register to conduct “an illegal election that would end in nullity”.

Berating RSIEC for compromising its responsibility and descending so low to promote illegality in the state having been gratified by Governor Chibuike Amaechi, the State PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Jerry Needam, described RSIEC’s collaboration as tragic and most regrettable.

Obuah said the action by the state electoral body amounts to wishing to right an illegality with criminality simply to justify the huge money paid to them by the outgoing Governor Amaechi.

The State PDP chairman while dismissing the plot as an effort in futility, lauded the courage of the other 13 political parties in the state for shunning Amaechi’s inducements and withdrawing from the purported council election.

He reassured the affected parties of the supremacy of the rule of law which must be vigorously pursued by the PDP-led government to ensure that every political party is given equal opportunity and fairness to participate in any political contest.

APC in Rivers has in the meantime raised an alarm, accusing PDP of importing mercenaries into the state to disrupt the Council polls.

The PDP Counsel, Aguma, said it has written to the Police, Department of State Security Service, DSS, and other security agencies that there is a court order preventing RSIEC from conducting election and that status quo should be maintained. And therefore any attempt to conduct tomorrow’s election is illegal.

Aguma wondered how RSIEC can conduct the election without a vital INEC register recognised by law. “With due respect, those canvassing to contest are merely wasting their time and resources,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday the State Police Command said it is ready to provide security for the election.

Ahmad Muhammad, PPRO of Rivers State Police command, gave the assurance.

It is however not clear if the command will restrict movement during the election. No announcement to that effect has been made at the time of this report.

Amaechi Wants Buhari To Probe Army, Police In Rivers

Rivers State Gov­ernor, Chibuike Amaechi, has urged the incoming Fed­eral Government to probe the role of the police and the army in the last general elec­tions in the state.

Amaechi made the ap­peal yesterday at the Greater Together Campaign Organ­isation (GTCO) of All Pro­gressives Congress (APC) special thanksgiving service to celebrate God’s faithfulness throughout the electioneering period in the state held at the Obi Wali International Confer­ence Centre, Port Harcourt.

He alleged that the police, army, militants and the Inde­pendent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were used to rob APC of victory and cause electoral irregularities in the state.

Also, he requested that the police commission should dis­cipline police officers indicted in the electoral crisis in the state, “whether they were pro­moted and transferred out of the state or not.”

“Let us ask the Federal Government to investigate the crisis in Rivers State. Army should be investigated because they participated in the general elections,” Amaechi said.

The state governor ex­pressed gratitude to God for saving him from the outgoing Federal Government, through the victory of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

“Why do I have to thank God? For our lives! He an­swered our prayers by making Buhari the president. Imagine if Buhari did not win? Just sleep and wake up and imagine that Buhari did not win, what would have happened?

“Imagine that Buhari did not win, they wouldn’t let us enter this hall, even though we are still in government. They won’t let us.

“They were already pre­paring for me. They have left instructions at all the airports not to let me have access to move. They had seized my red passport. They gave me my red passport only two days ago (Friday), signed on April 28 af­ter the elections.

“They did not know we would win. But, God answered our prayers.

“Even if we don’t get any­thing, we have the respite of God. God answered our prayers to save us. God also answered our prayers to save Nigeria. I am not joking; we had nobody anywhere in Riv­ers State,” he said.

In his testimony, the APC governorship candidate, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said there were more guns than voters in the last general elections in the state.

Creditsunnewsonline

Arrest Rivers, Akwa Ibom INEC Chiefs, Group Raises Alarm On Electoral Fraud

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, demanding the arrest and investigation of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Gesila Khan, and that of Akwa Ibom State, Austin Okoji.

The demand by the civic group follows exposure of irregularities in the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the two South-South states.

Challenging the credibility of elections in the states, CSNAC stated that there were irregularities in the numbers of total votes cast and votes polled in each of the states by the winners and the numbers of authentic accredited voters generated by INEC central server in Abuja.

The group’s petition was titled ‘Demand For Urgent Investigation Of Fraudulent Manipulation Of Election Results In Akwa Ibom And Rivers States Governorship Elections Of April 11, 2015 By Two Resident Electoral Commissioners.’

“In brazen contravention of several provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Barrister Austin Okojie, falsely declared that 1,158,624 people voted in the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections in Akwa Ibom State, leaving a difference of 721,496 in excess of the actual card readers figures of accredited voters,” the group said in its petition.

“In a similar vein, the Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dame Gesila Khan, declared 1,228,614 total votes, contrary to the figure of 292,878 accredited voters recorded in the INEC central server in Abuja. This is in excess of 935,736 votes.

“Local and international observers who physically observed elections in both States had, immediately after the elections, called for the cancellation of elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. The conduct and outcomes of the elections were declared to be flawed, below standard and inconsistent with provisions of the electoral Act, 2010.

“An online newspaper, Premiumtimesng, in its publication of Saturday, April 9, 2015 titled; River’s Nyesom Wike a goner; INEC document exposes fraud by PDP, INEC in guber poll, confirmed allegations contained in the petition forwarded to our a network and findings of our independent investigations.”

Read More: premiumtimesng

Tribunal Recieves Five Petitions Challenging Wike’s Election In Rivers

The Election Petitions Tribunal in Rivers sitting in Abuja on Friday said it received five additional petitions challenging the emergence of Mr Nyesom Wike as governor-elect of the state.

The tribunal Secretary, Mrs Deborah Musa, said that the petitioners challenged the April 11 governorship election in Rivers.

The petitioners were Mr Kemka Elenwo, KOWA party; Mr Dakuku Peterside, All Progressives Congress; Mr Charles Harry, All Progressive Grand Alliance; Minaibim Harry, Social Democratic Party; and Labour Party.

Musa said the tribunal received another 27 petitions for the House of Assembly, in addition to the earlier 17 petitions for the March 28 National Assembly polls.

It is reported that the tribunal had so far received 49 petitions in the March 28 and April 11 general elections in the country.

It is also reported that the tribunal Chairman, Justice V. U. Okorie, had on Tuesday, May 5, granted an order of substituted service on all the 16 motion ex-parte brought before the tribunal.

Okorie granted the motion after listening to arguments by the counsel to the applicants, Mr Henry Bello and Mr Emenike Ebete.

He explained that the motions were granted to facilitate speedy hearing of all the petitions before the tribunal.

All the motions ex-parte were seeking for an order of substituted services of the petitions on the 16 respondents in the National Assembly polls.

Credit: NAN

PDP Demands Payment For Rivers Workers Before Handover

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has demanded that the outgoing administration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi pay all outstanding salaries and allowances of civil servants before it handed over power on May 29.

State Chairman, Felix Obuah, said PDP expressed shock at the comments credited to the outgoing Information Commissioner, Ibim Semenitari in which she claimed that the outgoing All Progressives Congress (APC) government was not indebted to workers in the state.

“The comments by the outgoing Information Commissioner portrayed her as not just a professional liar but also a stranger who is not on ground with the goings-on in the State.”

Obuah said for the avoidance of doubts, the PDP drewthe attention of. Semenitari to the plight of workers at the Rivers State Polytechnics, Bori, who for the past three months are reportedly yet to get their salaries.

“The Party tasks the Information Commissioner to go and ask workers at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science (RIVCAS), who have been praying and fasting for months over government’s refusal to pay their salaries,” he said.

PDP recalled that only on Monday, athletes who would be representing Rivers State in the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Calabar, staged a protest to the Government House to demand the payment of allowances of several months.

“The story is not different at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt where, according to the PDP, workers are languishing in penury owing to months of unpaid salaries.”

Obuah said Semenitari should talk to lecturers and teachers in the employ of the State government, workers at the Ministries, as well as their counterparts at the parastatals, institutions and agencies of government and hear about the last time they got paid by the Rivers State Government under the Governor RotimiAmaechi led government.

“The PDP Chairman therefore, calls on Semenitari to hide her face in shame and publicly apologize to Rivers people and workers for deliberately lying to them,” Obuah said.

Credit: CAJ News

Group Rejects Sitting Of Rivers Election Tribunal In Abuja

A non-governmental organisation, Society for Good Governance, has called for the relocation of the Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal from Abuja, where it is currently sitting, to Port Harcourt.

The group’s coordinator, Mr. Tamuno Greg, said that there was no basis for the tribunal to sit in Abuja. Rivers State is among the four states whose governorship and legislative houses elections petitions tribunals are to sit in Abuja.

The other states whose election tribunals are to sit in the Federal Capital Territory are Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

It was learnt that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, decided that the tribunal for those states are to sit in the FCT for security reasons.

But Greg faulted the directive by Bulkachuwa, arguing that Port Harcourt was peaceful and that there was no threat whatsoever to the lives of the tribunal members.

Read Morepunchng

Investigate N600m Bribe Allegation Offered To REC In Rivers, APC Asks Jega

The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has appealed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to investigate the Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the State, Mrs. Gesila Khan. The APC is making the appeal over allegations that Khan received a N600 million bribe from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.

Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, Davies Ibiamu Ikeanya at a media briefing argued that the investigation would help INEC determine the level of rot Khan had superintended as INEC boss in Rivers State.

The party argued that the allegation alone was sufficient to disqualify the REC, Gesila Khan from holding such a sensitive public office, or, in fact, any other office of trust.

Read More: dailypost

17 Petitions Filed Before Rivers Election Tribunal

Several cases of irregularities during the April 11 governorship election in Rivers State will be heard by the Rivers Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja. Already, 17 petitions had been filed by Tuesday.

The Tribunal Secretary, Mrs Deborah Musa made this known in an interview in Abuja. She, however, did not give a breakdown.

The tribunal which is supposed to hear the cases in Rivers State, was forced to relocate to Abuja following security threats.

The relocation, according to Musa, was approved by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.

Musa said the tribunal would be sitting at Court 20 and Court 23 of the Apo High Court complex in Abuja.

PDP Endangering Peace In Rivers; APC Members Killed Daily

•Rivers APC explains why it is going to the Election Tribunal
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Rivers State, Chief Nyesome Wike, and Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, have been accused of endangering peace in the State through their open support for political brigandage. Making the allegation on Monday in Port Harcourt, the State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) accused Chief Wike and Dame Jonathan of desperation to rule Rivers State at all cost.

“It has been brought to our notice that instead of towing the path of peace and dialogue on how to enhance security of lives and property in Rivers State, Chief Wike, Dame Patience Jonathan and other PDP chieftains are mobilising innocent Rivers State youths to embark upon futile protests against the decision of APC to go to the tribunal to challenge the charade that is called election purportedly held in Rivers State on March 28th and April 11th, 2015. This is not only an attempt to blackmail and intimidate Rivers APC but also a way of further endangering the peace of the graveyard that has persisted in the State since the brazen theft of the people’s mandate given to APC,”

Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said in a statement.

Sadly, not minding the 19 APC members killed and beheaded during the gubernatorial election of April 11, 2015, in Ahoada East, Okrika and other local government areas in the Rivers State APC members are either been killed or abducted since after the sham elections in Rivers State for reasons we cannot fathom. We are afraid that killers and sundry criminals have been imposed on the state by INEC as our leaders. We wonder if this act of insecurity and killings are parts of the social contract that Chief Wike claims to have signed with the Rivers State people. Since the discredited Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State, killers have swarmed on Ahoada East, hitting down their targets.

Recently, Messrs Chigba Apollos and Chiezule German, both members of APC in the area, were shot dead in Ibarikpo Town by unknown gunmen. Apart from the killings, kidnappers are also on the prowl in Ahoada East targeting only APC members. The abduction of Chief Cassidy Ikegbidi, Chairman of Ahoada East Caretaker Committee, CTC on April 18, is one of the latest tragedies that have befallen APC. Others so far kidnapped by the PDP hoodlums are Mr. Suleiman Atago from Ideoha in Ward 5, and Chidi Oji from Ihuowo Ward 10, respectively

As PDP seeks our extinction in Rivers State, let us reiterate that our party would neither be blackmailed nor intimidated by the antics of Wike and Dame Jonathan and this new wave of insecurity in Rivers State.

As PDP goes about celebrating their phantom victory that will be short lived, Ikanya proceeded to give reasons why Rivers APC decided to go to tribunal to challenge the declaration of Wike as the winner of an election that never took place.

His words: “Apart from being our constitutional right to challenge this monumental fraud at the tribunal, we also wish to set the records straight to avoid a situation where those who are not empowered by the people of Rivers State through their votes usurp powers that do not belong to them. We wish to declare that based on the records and results collated from agents at the various polling units, APC won the April 11th, 2015 governorship and State Assembly elections convincingly. Therefore, the votes allotted to Chief Wike and PDP State Assembly candidates cannot stand the test of any judicial interpretation when we present our evidence before the tribunal.”

Continuing, the Rivers APC Chairman said: “We are going to the tribunal to contest the fraudulent declaration of results for an alleged election that witnessed a lot of killing, violence and thumb-printing of ballot papers in favour of PDP candidates. The result cannot be allowed to stand. Chief Wike and the PDP leadership for rigged the election in such a manner that primary school pupils would have done better Allowing Chief Tammy Danagogo, the Minister of Sports, and other PDP chieftains to be the ones to return INEC results of their various local government constituencies to the State REC and acceptance of results even where votes assumed to be collated exceeded the number of the registered voters show the level of desperation by PDP and its INEC collaborators.”

Dr. Ikanya disclosed that yet another reason why Rivers APC is going to the tribunal is to maintain the spirit of equity, justice and fairness and prevent the discrimination against the Riverine section of the State as represented by the candidature of Chief Wike represents since through former governor Peter Odili, incumbent Governor Chibuike Amaechi and now Chief Wike, power will elude the Riverine section of the State for 24 years.

Rivers PDP Accused Of Planning To Distrupt Election Petition Tribunal

Plans reportedly hatched by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State to attack the Governorship/House of Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal constituted for the state, have been uncovered. Sources believed to be privy to the plans hatched in Port Harcourt, disclosed that the plans will include street protests and castigation of the Court of Appeal for moving the sitting to Abuja.

According to the source, the plot is meant to be well-funded by a top politician based in Abuja who previously, had funded anti-Governor Chibuike Amaechi campaigns. With another recently declared winner of a controversal elections, this Abuja-based politician and wife to a top Nigerian politician, was reportedy in the Rivers State capital, where they reportedly agreed to push their loyalists to the streets. They will expectedly protest against the Abuja venue for the Tribunal.

In announcing the constitution of the Tribunal for Rivers State last week, President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zinab Bulkachuwa, said the relocation was due to insecurity.

Not less than 4 governorship candidates who participated in the April 11 election have said they would contest the resukts declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Several other candidates have indicated the willingness to challenge results returned by INEC in respect to Federal and state legislatures. In the original plan, the protest were billed to kick-off in Port Harcourt on Monday, April 21.

Credit: theneighbourhoodonline

Governor-Elect, Wike Vows To Honour Social Contract With Rivers People

The Governor-Elect of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has declared that he will honour the social contract that he entered with the people of the State during his campaign to lead the state to a prosperous future premised on good governance, transparency, accountability and the development of all parts of the state.

In a Thank You Message, signed by his media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, to thank the people for electing him as their next governor, Wike stated that the massive support he got from across the state is a challenge for him to ensure that the people of the state step into better days and experience compassionate governance with the right political will to positively transform the state.

While noting that he will never take the goodwill of Rivers people for granted, the governor-elect urged the people to continue to support his administration and the PDP to resolve the developmental challenges facing the state.

He noted that the Rivers State PDP Campaign Organization liaised with Rivers people in all communities with firm promises made to the communities to improve their living condition. He said that his administration working within the limits of available resources will work towards fulfilling the promises made.

The former education minister assured that his administration belongs to all the people resident in the state irrespective of political affiliations, adding that security of lives and property, administration of justice, separation of powers, quality education, quality healthcare, infrastructural development and provision of water will be the focus of his administration.

He noted that the programmes contained in his development blueprint, the New Rivers Vision 2015, which has been endorsed by Rivers people through their massive votes on April 11, 2015 will be comprehensively implemented to make the State the pride of all Nigerians.

He said: “Our promises are our bond. Now that the Rivers people have elected Dr. Mrs. Banigo and me, we shall work relentlessly towards achieving our vision and mission for a better Rivers State. We believe that together we can create better opportunities and achieve more for our people”.

I Will Revive Rivers State, Says Wike

Rivers State governor-elect, Mr Nyesom Wike, has commended the people of the state for overwhelmingly voting for him as he promised to revive the state and give it a new lease of life.

He also said that the only winner in the governorship election is Rivers State, noting that no candidate lost the election.

Speaking during a victory thanksgiving service in Port Harcourt, Wike said that with the release of the results,  all attachments to party affiliations will be obliterated across the state.

He said: “With the release of the governorship election results,  there is no loser in the election because Rivers State has won. I want to appeal to all our members to set aside all political differences and embrace all Rivers people irrespective of their political leaning.”

Read More: vanguardngr

Army Recovers Illegal Arms In Rivers

Soldiers in Rivers State have recovered a cache of arms during an operation in Ahoada East, Ogbakiri in Emohua and Buguma, Asari Toru Local Government Areas of the state.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government, has alleged that the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Amadi has released Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, adhoc staff allegedly caught thumb-printing ballot papers for Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidates in the April polls.

Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, David Iyofor, in a statement, yesterday, said: “The adhoc staff of INEC were arrested on Sunday, one day after the governorship and House of Assembly elections in a private residence in Rumueprikom, Port Harcourt, (allegedly) thumb-printing ballot papers for PDP candidates. The INEC personnel were arrested by policemen from MOPOL 19.

“However, as the arrested INEC staff were being moved, the MOPOL team were intercepted by a Divisional Police Officer in Rumueprikom Police Station, who informed Mr Amadi. He came and released the arrested INEC staff. He took them to INEC office.”

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Us Alleges Massive Rigging in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom

The United States Embassy in Nigeria has alleged electoral irregularities in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

In a press statement on Monday, while congratulation Nigerians on the governorship and House of Assembly polls, the embassy stated that the elections held in both states were inundated with irregularities.

“We have seen the reports of violence and alleged irregularities, particularly in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states”, the statement added, calling on aggrieved parties “to pursue their grievances peacefully in the judicial arena”.

While commending President Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, the embassy said it regrets any loss of life and destruction of property.

“We commend the leadership of Nigeria’s political parties, notably President Goodluck Jonathan and President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, for urging their supporters to conduct themselves peacefully throughout the electoral process”, the statement added.

US therefore congratulated “the people of Nigeria and the Independent National Electoral Commission for an electoral process on April 11, 2015 that generally went well across the country and built on the success of the March 28 polling process”

Wike Wins Rivers, INEC Declares

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, as the winner of last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

Wike polled total  of 1 029 102 votes amounting to 87.77 percent to beat Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had 124 896 votes.

The result was announced on Monday morning by the returning officer, Prof. Faraday Orhunmwense. Tonye Princewill of the Labour Party (LP) got 10 142 to come third.

Read More: Vanguard

I Will Embrace Governor Amaechi If I See Him – Ateke

Former militant leader and leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante, NDV, Ateke Tom has expressed readiness to reconcile with his arch-enemy and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, saying he would gladly hug the outgoing governor if they meet.

The Niger Delta warlord, popularly known as Godfather, while speaking to newsmen at his country-home, Okochiri in Okrika local government area of the state, said an opportunity to meet with Amaechi will afford both of them the opportunity to advise each other on how to sink their differences.

According to Ateke, “God in heaven has kept me alive for all the lies they told against me, which promoted me and made me famous. So, if I see Amaechi today, I will hug him.

“As a governor, let him think and learn how to forgive people, and listen to people, because, he is not God. He is human and he has also offended people.

“I will accept going into reconciliation with Amaechi. If I had died when they were after me, what would have become of me now? If I get called to come to see Amaechi, my man, I will be very happy. Then, we will advise ourselves and identify those who caused the problem between us,” he said.

The NDV leader stated that despite his differences with the governor, he loved some of the programmes and policies of his administration, especially the agitation for the return of oil wells ceded to neighbouring states, as well as the ban on commercial motorcycles in Port Harcourt and its environs.

His words, “it was Amaechi and his fellow politicians that made me to be this famous. The lies they told against me brought fame to me. It is envy that caused Amaechi’s hatred for me. However, I like some of the programmes and policies of Amaechi; they are good for our people.

Rivers Election, A Sham, Says Amaechi

GOVERNOR Chibuike Amaechi has described the ongoing guber and House of Assembly elections in the  state as a sham.

Amaechi spoke shortly after he was accredited at his ward in Ubima community, Ikwerre local government area. His wife was also acredited.

Chief Press secretary to the governor,  Mr David Iyofor said the governor had to describe the election as a failed exercise because of reports available to him from several parts of the state.

“From.what we saw on our way to Ubima and reports we get across the state it is unfortunate this can happen”, he said.