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Ebebi’s Kingsmen Give Bayelsa Govt 7-Day Ultimatum

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One of the two cars swept off the bridge at the Old Karmo River due to heavy down pour in Abuja, yesterday. Four occupants of the vehicles were confirmed dead.

One of the two cars swept off the bridge at the Old Karmo River due to heavy down pour in Abuja, yesterday. Four occupants of the vehicles were confirmed dead.

The last seem not to be in sight in the political crisis rocking Bayelsa State as kinsmen of the impeached Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Peremobwei Ebebi have given 7 days ultimatum to pull out of Governor Timipre Sylva-led administration in the state.

This is just as political observers are seeking interpretation to Thursday’s Federal Court of Appeal ruling on a ground of appeal before by the impeached Deputy Governor, Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi that status quo must remain.

Angered by the recent development in the state polity, a group led by the Chairman, Central Zone, Ijaw Youth Council, Comrade Jonathan Lokpobiri, in a statement given a 7day ultimatum to all political appointees from the area to resign their appointment.

The group queried the swearing-in of Hon Werinipre Seibarugu as the new Deputy Governor of the state, describing it as rape on democratic structure, bearing in mind that the impeached Deputy Governor is from Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal constituency.

His submission: “the impeachment of political office holders in the country is no case without antecedent. But equity and fairness demands that we be just and fair to replicate same office with another person within that political area.

The group queried, “why so treat the people of Ekeremor with such passion, indignity and inter segregation, thereby sending the people into political extinction?  Could this action mean that we do not have even one person from Ekeremor or Sagbama who deserved the office of the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State.”

It added, this revelation clearly shows what the government of our beloved state holds for the people of Ekeremor. Essentially, we do not need to be told that we are not a part of the government of the state. We, therefore, call on all the people of Ekeremor holding political appointments in the government to resign their position within seven days.

While the group is agitating for upholding of zonal formula, confusion has continued to trail the ruling of Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, presided over by a panel of three justices led by Suleiman Galadima, directing both parties in a suit before appellate court to maintain status quo ante bellum pending the determination of the matter brought before it by the former deputy governor, Hon. Peremobowei Ebebi.

The court, presided over by a panel of three justices led by Suleiman Galadima, further warned both counsel to advise their clients to abide by the rules and respect its directives.

Alex Iziyon (SAN), counsel to the embattled deputy governor, had prayed the court to set aside Ebebi’s impeachment as deputy governor, while asking for an interim injunction to restrain the swearing-in of a new deputy governor.

On counsel’s appeal for accelerated hearing, the court directed that all the parties to the matter be served the necessary documents within seven days, while replies by respondents were expected within 30 days, and adjourned the matter till October 13.

However, the crux of the matter is the exact status quo to be maintained-the one before the swearing-in of the new Deputy Governor, Hon. Werinipre Seibarugu or after the swearing-in?

Hon. Seibarugu was sworn-in last Thursday, same time the Appellate Court gave the directive.

Ebebi was impeached by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on June 24 over sundry allegations and his successor, Wenipre Seibarugu, was expected to be sworn in at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Alex Iziyon (SAN), counsel to the embattled deputy governor, had prayed the court to set aside Ebebi’s impeachment as deputy governor, while asking for an interim injunction to restrain the swearing-in of a new deputy governor.

On counsel’s appeal for accelerated hearing, the court directed that all the parties to the matter be served the necessary documents within seven days, while replies by respondents were expected within 30 days, and adjourned the matter till October 13.

Respondents are granted leave to file any further document they deem fit and the appellant is given 14 days to file his briefs. The case is now adjourned till October 13, 2010 for hearing of substantive appeal.

Meanwhile, the Action Congress, (AC) has described the Court of Appeal directives to return to status quo pending the determination of the suit before it as a mark for the respect for proceeding for the rule of law, fairness and equity which Yenagoa High Court unconstitutionally ignored.

The ruling, according to a statement signed by its state Chairman, Comrade Miriki Ebikibina has further vindicated the earlier position of the party on the need for respect for rule of law, equity and fairness on the controversial impeachment saga.

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90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

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We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

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Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

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Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

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