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Customary Court Bill Divides RVHA

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Within the week under review, the Rivers State House of Assembly sat only on Wednesday when the second reading of the Customary Court Bill was taken and the introduction of a repackaged Waste Management Agency Bill scaled first reading.

Debate on the improved Customary court bill opened with Hon Onari Brown who eulogised the sponsor of the draft law particularly for the innovation in giving chieftaincy and traditional marriage issue to the customary courts to handle.

He, however, disagreed with the provision on membership of the court, arguing that the composition should include at least one person who is not a lawyer but vast in customs and traditions of the people.

This position gained more support from members and it was expected to move further to the committee stage where public hearing to elicit contributions from the public is required.

The argument which the House presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Leyii Kwanee, could not resolve whether the public hearing should be done in Port Harcourt or in the rural communities considering the localised nature of the bill.

Majority agreed with the proponents of holding the hearing in constituencies to ensure adequate participation, but it was apparently stalled by the possibility of financing the exercise. The inability to resolve the funding led the presiding speaker to defer the matter to a later date.

The leader of the House, Hon. Chidi Lloyd, presented a repackaged Waste Management Agency Bill that was earlier rejected for containing clauses that would make the law if passed difficult to be implemented.

He urged the lawmakers to give the new improved bill their support because concerted efforts had been made to remove all harsh sections from the bill as it  provides that the Ministry of Environment will play a supervisory role to ensure adherence to laid down rules.

Within the week under discussion,  members of the Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Football Club of Yokhana, in Khana Local Government were in the office of the Deputy Speaker. Hon. Leyii Kwanee on a thank you visit.

The Deputy Speaker, who represents Khana Constituency 11, said he was elated to watch one of the players from the team, Dumate Piagbara score two goals in the current campaign of the Flying Eagles.

He observed that the positive exploits of the team within a short period of its existence has spurred him to continue to invest on the young players that would be the future brided of the state and the nation at large.

Similarly, the chairman of the House Committee on Information and Training, Hon. Onari Brown,  has been honoured by the Sea View Poetry Club of Port Harcourt  for his contribution to the development of youths in the state.

Speaking while hosting the celebration of this year’s World Poetry Day with members of the club, Hon Onari, told them to continue to explore their inherent talents because the contributions they make were being appreciated.

He assured that the Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Amachree would partner with them to improve the platform and frontiers of knowledge which they seek to achieve.

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We Are Satisfied With Level Of Preparations For Anambra Poll – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, said it is satisfied with the current level of preparations for the November 6 Anambra governorship election.
In a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye in Abuja, the commission said that virtually all non-sensitive materials have been delivered in readiness for the election.
Okoye said the commission deliberated on the state governorship election holding on November 6, at its regular weekly meeting held yesterday in Abuja, “The training of ad-hoc staff is also going on as scheduled.
“The Commission is in touch with the National Peace Committtee under the Chairmanship of former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd).
“Preparations are underway for the signing of the Peace Accord in Awka on November 4.”
Okoye said that the commission also noted with appreciation, the role of religious, traditional and community leaders in Anambra State.
The commission also appreciated the civil society, socio-cultural associations and the media in appealing for peace during electioneering campaign and election-day activities.
Okoye also disclosed that INEC also on Thursday published the notice of poll at its state and all the local government offices in Anambra State.
He said that so far, the commission has successfully implemented 12 out of 14 activities in the timetable and schedule of activities.
‘By Section 46 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the Commission shall, not later than 14 days before the day of the election, cause to be published, a notice specifying the date and hours fixed for the poll; the persons entitled to vote; and the location of the polling units.
“In the same vein, today is the last day for the submission of names of Polling Agents by political parties.
“By Section 45 of the Electoral Act, each political party may by notice in writing addressed to the Electoral Officer of the Local Government, appoint a polling agent for each polling unit and collation centre.
“The notice shall set out the name and address of the polling agent, accompanied by two passport photographs of each polling agent, and sample signature of the agent at least 14 days before the date fixed for the election.”
Okoye advised political parties to adhere strictly to the law and the guidelines for the deployment of polling agents.
He said that only duly accredited polling agents would be allowed to operate at the polling units and collation centres.
“With just a little over two weeks to the election, the Commission once again appeals for support from all and sundry in Anambra to ensure that the election will not only be peaceful, but also free, fair and credible.”

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Jonathan Congratulates Gowon At 87

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan, has congratulated former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) on the occasion of his 87th birthday.
Jonathan commended Gowon for his sustained commitment to the peace and progress of Nigeria, stressing that the former head of State has made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of the country.
The former President also described General Gowon as a committed leader and patriot who has always been concerned about the development of Nigeria.
“The former Head of State has made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of our country,” the message reads.
The goodwill message he personally signed, reads, “I join your family and well-wishers to celebrate you on the occasion of your 87th birthday. I am pleased by your sustained commitment to the progress, peace and unity of Nigeria.
“Your passion and love for Nigeria have not waned many decades after leaving office, as you have continued to invest your time in peace initiatives such as Nigeria Prays Project and the Yakubu Gowon Centre.
“As Head of State, you made considerable contributions to the unity and socio-economic development of Nigeria and earned yourself a reputation of peacemaker and nation builder.
 ”Your Excellency, as you celebrate, on behalf of my family, I pray that God will renew your strength and grant you peace, joy and long life. Happy birthday, Your Excellency”.

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Sokoto Assembly Confirms Three Commissioner-Nominees

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The Sokoto State House of Assembly has confirmed the appointment of three Commissioner-nominees as requested by Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
This followed the adoption of a motion by the All Progressives Congress Leader, Bello Ambarura, at the Committee of the Whole on Wednesday in Sokoto.
Moving the motion, Ambarura said that it was in consideration of the request by Governor Tambuwal who requested the House confirmation for the nominees.
“This is in view of the provision of section 192 (1-5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. However, their nomination was necessitated due to the existence of vacancies in the state Executive Council,” he said.
The lawmaker added that the governor’s request was as enshrined in the public service rules and regulations as well as other processes required by the law.
“Moreover, the persons nominated for the appointments are persons of proven integrity and dedication, who had served the state and the nation in various capacities.
“Thus, if appointed, they will assist the governor in discharging his statutory responsibilities,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker, Abubakar Magaji, who presided over the sitting, put the motion into a voice vote after the screening of the nominees, and it was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
The Tide source reports that the nominees included Professor Aminu Illela, Shuaibu Gwanda-Gobir, and Hassan Maccido.

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