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Reps Exchange Blows …Suspend 11 ‘Progressives’ Over Fraud Allegation Against Bankole

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Cross section of Permanent Secretaries at the one-day stakeholders meeting on draft Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) policy of Rivers State, at the conference hall, Ministry of Justice,  Monday

Cross section of Permanent Secretaries at the one-day stakeholders meeting on draft Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) policy of Rivers State, at the conference hall, Ministry of Justice, Monday

Some members of the House of Representatives, yesterday, threw decorum to the winds as they engaged in a free-for- all- fight,  and suspended 11 of the “Progressives Minded” members. .

Those suspended are Dino Melaye (PDP-Kogi), West Idahosa (PDP-Edo), Independence Ogunewe (PDP-Imo), Solomon Awhinawi (PDP-Delta) and Austine Nwachukwu (PDP-Imo).

Others were Abba Anas (PDP-Jigawa), Gbenga Oduwaiye (PDP- Ogun ), Kayode Amusan (PDP- Ogun) ,Gbenga Onigbogi (PDP-Osun), Doris Uboh (PDP-Delta) and Bitrus Kaze (PDP-Plateau).

The commotion commenced when a motion for the suspension of members was moved by Rep. Chile Igbauwa (PDP-Benue) under Matter of Privilege and urged the House to invoke Order 5(1) Sub Rules 2 and 3.

As the motion was being moved, spokesman of the progressive group, Rep Dino Melaye interjected and said, “no to our suspension’’ and the whole house went into rowdiness.

The rowdiness, which lasted for 30 minutes degenerated, as Rep Solomon Awhwinawhi (PDP-Delta) a member of the progressives, moved towards the mace.

He was, however, prevented from seizing the mace by his colleagues and the Sergeant-at-Arm, who were apparently ready for such move.

As members engaged one another  in shouting match, Sergeant-at-Arm, Col. Emeka Okere (rtd) alongside his men mounted a big fence around the speaker.

Speaker Dimeji Bankole, who maintained his cool during the rowdy session, later ruled that the house should adjourn, following a motion for adjournment from the leader of the house, Rep. Tunde Akogun.

But as he was stepping out of the platform, some of his principal officers approached him and persuaded him to tarry awhile before he led the procession out of the session.

There was an intense rowdiness and exchange of blows, as Ishaku Bawa, Chairman Outreach Constituency, Dino Melaye, Austin Nwachukwu, Doris Uboh, and Bitrus Kaze went for each other.

With the help of the Sergeant-at-Arm, all the affected members, especially members of the progressives, were physically dragged out of the chamber.

In the process, clothes of Reps Dino Melaye, Doris Uboh, Bitrus Kaze, Austin Nwachukwu, all members of the progressives pushing for the probe of house budgets since 2008, were torn.

Following the forceful ejection of key members of the progressives, the house resumed plenary session at 11.45 am and the Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, apologised to all Nigerians.

“Hon. Members, I sincerely apologise to Nigerians for this rowdiness. Hon. Chile Igbauwa, kindly conclude your motion for record purpose,’’ Bankole said.

Igbauwa said that by the provisions of sections 24 of the legislative houses, any “person who publishes any statement, whether in writing or otherwise, which falsely or scandalously defames a legislative house or any committee thereof is guilty of an offence.

Igbauwa said the action of Rep Dino Melaye and his group in the progressives had embarrassed and cast aspersions on the house, “as a house incapable of resolving itself. But you know we can’’.

He said while the relevant sections of the 1999 constitution guarantee the freedom of opinion and expression, such must be done within the context of procedure.

“The recent attacks on the speaker and principal officers of this Honourable House on television and the pages of newspapers, have cast serious dent on the image of this honourable house,” he said.

Igbauwa moved that for failing to adhere to provisions of legislative houses and for taking their matter to the public domain with the view to maliciously bring the image of the house into disrepute, all the affected members should be suspended.

The motion, which was seconded by Rep. Garba Matazu (PDP-Katsina) was referred to the Ethics and Privileges Committee.

Meanwhile, there was a brawl between the journalists covering the proceeding and the security agencies at the National Assembly, which nearly marred the plenary session.

However, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Eseme Eyiboh,  yesterday described the actions taken by a group of lawmakers seeking the resignation  of Speaker Dimeji Bankole as anti-parliamentary.

The group, tagged “Progressives ”, had given the Speaker a seven-day ultimatum to resign for alleged corruption.

The Progressives also submitted a petition to the Economic and Fiancial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday.

But Eyiboh (PDP-Akwa Ibom), who briefed newsmen on the suspension of 11 members of the House, said the actions of the lawmakers warranted the indefinite suspension clamped on them.

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PROBE: EFCC Should Stop Media Trial – Rivers State Government

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The Rivers State Government says its attention has been drawn to a fresh wave of media trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the officials of the state.

According  to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, “the latest attempt contained in today’s edition( May 24,2020)of The Nation Newspaper alleged that the State Government has refused to release top officials for interrogation in connection to the withdrawal of N118 billion in cash between 2015 and 2018.

 

“We have repeatedly said that the State Government will not release its officials to the EFCC for investigations until the commission approaches the Court  to set aside Subsisting orders of perpetual  injunction granted by various courts of competent jurisdiction restraining the EFCC from investigating or inquiring into the financial transactions of the Rivers  State Government including its ministries, departments and  agencies.

 

“In view of these  Subsisting judgments, it would amount  to an act of brazen  illegality for the EFCC to  insist  on  interrogating  any official OF the Rivers State Government.
For the avoidance of doubt, no official of the Rivers State Government would appear before the EFCC until the subsisting judgments in favour of the Rivers State Government are set aside on appeal.

“Resorting to the Media can only be described as cheap blackmail and witch-hunt to turn away public attention from the development strides in the State.

“This media trial that they engage in all the time will not take the place of our extant laws no matter how hard they try.

“The EFCC should stop playing to the gallery and pursue its war against corruption within the ambits of the law.

 

“Rivers State Government is committed to the Rule of Law and cannot be intimidated by the EFCC.

“Those who want to use the EFCC to promote their political agenda in the State will fail because we know their antics.

“Targeting Rivers State for this occasional media trial should be seen by the public for what it is, “political witch-hunt,” the statement said.

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Rivers Records 27 New Coronavirus Cases …Manager Of Prodest Hotel Among The New Cases

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Rivers State has recorded 27 new positive coronavirus  cases.

A statement signed by the Rivers state Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed that the Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme is among the new positive cases.

According to the statement, the latest development validates the State Government’s proactive approach towards the fight against COVID-19.

Recall that Prodest Hotel was demolished two weeks ago because the owners violated Executive Order 7 which banned the operation of hotels.

The COVID-19 Taskforce members from the Local Government who went to enforce the Executive Order were brutalized and dehumanised leading to the death of one of them.

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RIWAMA Sole Administrator Congratulates Hon (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike On Her Birthday

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As the wife of Rivers State Governor, Hon. (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike celebrates her birthday anniversary on Sunday, the Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, Bro. Felix Obuah has felicitated with the First Lady, describing her as a rare gift to the State, Nigeria and the world at large.
Bro. Obuah in a congratulatory message also described Hon. (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike as a simple, loving, caring and trustworthy mother who has remained a pillar of strength to her husband in the task of administering the State.
He lauded the Governor’s wife for her steadfastness and being a role model for women, noting that her wonderful virtues are worthy of emulation.
While stressing that behind a successful man, there is a good wife, the RIWAMA Sole Administrator added that the blessed companionship of the First Lady and her husband has contributed in no small measure in navigating the ship of Rivers State into a glorious era.
His words: “As you mark your birthday today, I bring you best wishes and good tidings from my beloved wife and family, as well as workers of the Rivers Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, who are appreciative of all that you are doing to advance the cause and dignity of Rivers people”.
Bro. Obuah prayed that the birthday would bring to the Governor’s wife, an extra share of everything that would make her the happiest in life.
The RIWAMA Sole Administrator further prayed God to grant the Rivers First Lady long and prosperous life for the overall benefit of the State and to the glory of God.
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