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Kidnapping: Delta Assembly, PSC Disagree On N3.5bn Security Contract

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Delta State House of Assembly is currently at war with the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Parry Osayande over what the House described as his alleged role in the release and redeployment back to the State of the indicted head of the Delta Anti-Kidnapping Task Force, CSP Dickson Adeyemi Osamwonyi.

Mr. Osamwonyi and six members of the squad were last April disarmed, arrested and flown to Abuja on the orders of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, for allegedly aiding and abetting kidnapping in the state.

It would be recalled that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan was the one who officially confirmed the arrest of CSP Osamwonyi and 98 persons during a press briefing at the end of a State Security Council meeting in Government House Annex, Warri on April 4, 2012. That meeting reviewed the security situation in the state.

Osayande’s role provoked the state legislature, especially the member representing Sapele Constituency and Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Monday Igbuya, into exposing some clandestine contract dealings of the PSC boss and his son in the state, amounting to N3.5billion.

Irked by the recent kidnap and release of the Nigeria and Udinese midfielder, Christian Obodo in Delta State, Mr. Johnson Erijo, Deputy Majority Leader and member representing Isoko South Constituency 1, moved a motion on the floor of the House yesterday urging the House to condemn in its entirety the actions of Mr. Osayande in the return of the indicted CSP Osamwonyi to Delta State.

Speaking in support of the motion, Mr. Igbuya queried the interest of Osayande in the matter, accusing the PSC chief of suspected clandestine dealings with Osamwonyi.

Visibly angry, the Majority Leader specifically accused Mr. Osayande of paying back the state in its own coins because Delta State denied his (Osayande’s) son of a N3.5 billion security gadget contract.

Other members of the House who spoke in support of the motion expressed worries and fears over the release of the indicted police officer, and called for his immediate re-arrest, stating that he was “inexplicably released” following the alleged intervention of Osayande.

The lawmakers also alleged that Osayande is an in-law to the accused former anti-kidnapping squad head, and that he might have used his position as the PSC chairman to influence Osamwonyi’s release and subsequent redeployment to the state.

The lawmakers described Osamwonyi’s continued presence in the state as a security threat that would scare away foreign investors.

The motion, which was unanimously adopted, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to direct the Inspector General Police to re-open the investigation into the alleged involvement of the police officers, particularly Osamwonyi, in the cases of kidnapping in the state, adding that his release had in the past few weeks resulted in increase of kidnappings in the state.

Also, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has expressed concern over the release from custody of some police officers allegedly linked to the incidence of kidnapping in the State

The Governor, who voiced his concern when the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Asaba, explained that it became necessary as it coincided with the resurgence of kidnapping in the state.

According to him, there was a drastic reduction in the incidence of kidnapping during the absence of the police officers when they were apprehended and taken to Abuja, but stressed that soon after their release, the crime had peaked.

He said that Deltans had been agitated by the development and were requesting that the matter be re-visited and thoroughly investigated to ensure that justice was done

“The people of Delta State want me to send a message to you on recent happenings in the State and even the State House of Assembly deliberated on it. Few days ago, some persons, your police officers, suspected to be involved in kidnapping which were earlier apprehended, were released.

“What bothered us was that their release coincided with the recent upsurge in kidnap cases in the State…So, we want you to have a second look at that issue”, he added.

Governor Uduaghan, who commissioned 60 patrol vehicles and communication gadgets for the Delta State Police Command after the courtesy visit, commended the IGP for his foresight in removing road blocks from Nigerian roads.

He said though there were initial doubts when the road blocks were removed, the strategy adopted by the IGP in removing the road blocks helped to reduce corruption and bribery in the force and had stopped the menace caused by police officers on the roads.

“When the IGP ordered the removal of road blocks from our roads, there were a lot of doubts. But the strategy he adopted has shown that we do not need them. Indeed, we have come to realise that the road blocks were a menace”, he stated.

The governor clarified that the state government was not contemplating the use of local security as it believed the police could deal with criminality if properly motivated and funded.

While assuring that security agencies would continue to enjoy logistic support from the state government, Governor Uduaghan told his host that efforts were being made towards intelligence gathering, adding that he had held meetings with traditional rulers and other stakeholders to sensitise them on the issue.

Earlier, the IGP, Mohammed Abubakar said the vision and mission of Police management under his leadership was “to build a people-friendly police force that will not harass Nigerians, a police force that will say bail is free and is free.”

Even as he said efficiency was the keyword for the police in discharging its constitutional responsibility, Abubakar hinted that corruption had been reduced by 80per cent in the police since the removal of road blocks.

He assured Nigerians of their safety in the wake of daunting security challenges, pointing out that in keeping with his vision of transforming the image of the police, hoodlums engaged in criminality, including attacks on police stations and banks, were being arrested nationwide.

“I am committed and determined to change the negative image of the Nigerian Police Force in order to serve Nigerians better and l solicit your co-operation to achieve this task”, he added.

Speaking after presenting the vehicles purchased by the state government, to the IGP, Governor Uduaghan said the vehicles would enhance the effective patrolling of the entire state.

He disclosed that the process of procuring some Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) for the police was on and admonished politicians not to politicise criminality and the battle against crime in the state.

Receiving the patrol vehicles, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, thanked the Delta State Government for the gesture and called on other governors to emulate the Delta example.

The police chief warned officers and men of the command to be mindful of the code of conduct of the police and the need to desist from harassing members of the public.

The IGP, was accompanied on the visit by Delta state-born, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo, the Commissioner of Police, Delta State ,Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba and other senior police officers.

R- L. Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Uzoma Dozie, Executive Director, Risk Management,Caroline Anyanwu, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank Plc, Dr Alex Otti, wife of Rivers State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi and Executive Director, Regional Business, South, Victor Ezenwoko, during Mrs Amaechi’s visit to the bank, recently.

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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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