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Rep, Others Reject Abuja Court Ruling …LG Chairmen Pledge Support For Ake’s State Exco

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The Chairman, Rivers Caucus in the House of Representatives, Hon Honourable Osita, has vowed that majority of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State would not recognise the new executive of the party which a High Court in Abuja has caused to be inaugurated

Hon Osita, who represents Ahoada West and Ogba/ Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Areas of Rivers State, said majority of members of the party in the state were not happy with the Abuja High Court judgement.

The lawmaker, who was speaking on  Focus Nigeria programme on AIT yesterday said the Abuja court failed in many parameters while delivering her judgement, adding that the controversial judgement last Monday had caused division among the party members.

Hon Osita who was in company of the state Vice chairman, ALGON, Mr Oji Ngofa, said the Godspower Ake-led state PDP  executive will appeal the judgement.

He believed that the court aired in many ways, especially, when it refused to address a motion of forgery before it, or examine a video clip of the state PDP congress as evidence, but went ahead to give judgement on the matter, based on affidavits tendered in court.

According to him, the National Working Committee of the party went ahead to inaugurate a team whereas only the Chairman, Mr Felix Obuah’s name was in the suit.

“How would the party inaugurate other persons when they were not part of the suit. It is only Felix Obuah who contested, now they have sworn in a team which were not included in the suit”,he said.

He noted that he and other members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would not recognise the new executive led by Felix Obuah because, he was not voted for at the last state congress.

Also speaking, said the action of the court posed serious moral questions, adding that the leadership of PDP  at the National level needed to address the moral burden thrown up by the ugly development.

He asked how the youth who participated in the election of Ake received the inauguration of an executive they did not  elect at the party state congress.

Apart from Honourable Osita, traditional rulers in the state, Association of Local Government of Nigeria(ALGON) and the state Government had all said they would not recognise the new executive of the party in the state.

It would be recalled that, a High Court in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Monday ruled in favour of Felix Obuah, who dragged Chief Godspower Ake to court.

It was also learnt that the Obuah along with 23 others were last Tuesday in Abuja sworn in as the recognised executive by the national executive of the party.

Meanwhile, Arising from the recent Abuja High Court judgement that sacked the Chief G.U Ake led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria of Nigeria (ALGON) Rivers State Chapter, says it will not recognise the newly inaugurated Executive of the PDP in the State.

ALGON stated this Wednesday during a press briefing addressed by the mayor of Port Harcourt, Hon. Chimbiko Akarolo with 16 council chairmen in attendance.

Hon. Akarolo said: “as the third tier of government and leaders of our great party in the council areas, we shall not accept or condone any illegal executive council to be foisted upon us.

He described the decision of an Abuja High Court as unfortunate and “bad luck” to democracy in country, stressing that they took part and voted for the Chief Godspower Ake led executive council of the party in the State and would not do any business with any other except one duly elected by  the accredited by the accredited delegates.

The chairman said after a thorough analysis of recent political developments concerning the sustenance of democracy in the state resolved that there exist a calculated plan by a group of individuals to cause breakdown of law and order in Rivers State.

the elected council chairman further argued that the climax of the plot was executed by the sack of the duly elected PDP State Executive council and the illegal swearing in of a group that never contested election as the new executive members, relying on an Abuja High Court Judgment on whether they would leave the PDP the chairmen said they would not abandon their house for the sake of an intruder and denied engaging in anti party activities since an earlier court judgment on the matter has not been vacated.

We declare our unflinching support for Governor Amaechi and the Chief G.U. Ake led executive council while appealing to their supports to remain calm and law-abiding as the judgment is being contested at the High Court of Appeal.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Odein Ajumogobia (right) with  former Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof Nimi Briggs at the Rivers State Water Sector Development Conference in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: Chris Monyanga

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Odein Ajumogobia (right) with former Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof Nimi Briggs at the Rivers State Water Sector Development Conference in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: Chris Monyanga

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Again, RSG Begins Unveiling, Flag-Off Of Nine Key Projects, ’Morrow

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The Rivers State Government has rolled out the drums to herald another phase of official commissioning of key projects embarked upon by the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration in the state.
A statement by the state government said that the process is in continuation of the commissioning and flag-off of projects by Governor Nyesom Wike.
It indicated that Rumuola flyover would be commissioned tomorrow, while the GRA flyover would be commissioned on Saturday.
The also stated that the government would commission the Ezimgbu Road on Monday, December 13, 2021; with another commissioning of Tombia Road Extension scheduled for Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
The statement said that the governor would commission the Safe Home, Borikiri, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, December 15; while on Thursday, December 16, 2021, the governor would commission the Odokwu internal roads.
Also, the governor would continue the flag-off of key infrastructure projects with Chokocho-Igbodo Road slated for Monday, December 20, 2021; Oyigbo-Okoloma Road on Wednesday, December 22, 2021; and Magistrates’ Court Complex, Port Harcourt on Thursday, December 23, 2021.

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Wike Justifies N7bn Libel Suit Against THISDAY

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, yesterday, appeared before the state High Court in Port Harcourt, to testify as a witness in an N7billion libel suit against THISDAY Newspaper.
Wike said he was in court to seek justice and clear his name as a person from the malicious publication by THISDAY Newspaper, which portrayed him as deceitful, untrustworthy person, who exerts subterranean influences on judicial matters and over court sittings in Port Harcourt.
It would be recalled that Wike had in August, 2020, slammed a N7billion suit being damages for libel written and published in THISDAY’s Tuesday, June 23, 2020 edition captioned, “With Wike, Obaseki Meets His PDP’s Waterloo; Almost.”
The defendants in the suit are THISDAY Newspapers Limited, Leaders and Company Limited, Davidson Iriekpan, Chuks Okocha and Adibe Emenyonu.
Wike, while testifying as witness in suit No. PHC/1505/CS/2020 before the court presided over by Justice A. Enebeli, asserted that the defendants maliciously and falsely portrayed him as an unreliable friend/person.
“When you say somebody cannot be trusted; that cannot be a fair comment. When you say somebody is influencing the Judiciary, that cannot be a fair comment”, the governor said.
In his written statement on oath, Wike had stated that the defendants had accused him of influencing the decision of the court sitting in Port Harcourt that granted an injunction restraining Godwin Obaseki from participating in the primaries of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State in 2020.
He stated that the defendants maliciously accused him of undemocratically exerting influence on the primaries process of PDP in Edo State in aid of his ally, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who was the beneficiary of the court order restraining Obaseki from participating in the PDP primaries.
The governor, who told the court that he was not even aware of the aforementioned suit by Ogbeide-Ihama against Obaseki, said the publication was reckless, false and without regards for the truth.
According to him, contrary to well-known journalistic tradition and practices, the defendants did not investigate properly to ensure the information they relied on was accurate.
“They did not seek to verify the facts from me or in any manner oblige me with the opportunity to state my own side of the story before proceeding to make the false publication” the governor argued.
Wike stated that the defendants further denigrated him before the entire world as a fake democrat, who engages in meddling in the internal affairs of All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to get at his political foe, Chibuike Amaechi.
The governor explained that he was not a member of the APC and has had no hand in the internal crisis which has bedevilled the party both in Rivers State and all over Nigeria.
“By the letter of Messrs E.C. Ukala and Co., Solicitors, under the hand of Emmanuel C. Ukala, SAN, dated 23rd June, 2020, the defendants were given opportunity to retract, and recant the publication as well as to offer apology for the false publication but the defendants spurned the opportunity and ignored the letter completely.”
The governor, while responding to claim by lawyer to the defendants, Turudu Ede, SAN, that the essence of the lawsuit was to intimidate and harass his clients, said the whole essence of the suit was to get justice and clear his name as a man of substantial character, honour and repute.
“The essence of the suit is to get justice since they (defendants) refused to retract the publication or apologise. So, I sued them to clear my name.”
Speaking to journalists outside the court, one of the lawyers to Wike, Mr. Mark Agwu said his client was in court to seek legal redress.
“To challenge him as a person, it means you have made him untrustworthy, a deceit, a cheat, an influencer of the court, because the publication they made was that he had a role to play in influencing the outcome of that Federal High Court case. Nobody will take that lightly, and especially for a man who believes in the rule of law”, Agwu added.
The court adjourned the matter for further hearing to 12th, 13th and 14th of January, 2022.

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$130m Fraud: Rivers Sues Saipem SPA, Saipem Contracting Firm, Others

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The Rivers State Government has charged two construction firms, Saipem SPA and Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd, to court over an alleged conspiracy to cheat and with intent to defraud the state of the sum of $130million, being advanced payment for the construction of the OCGT power plant in Port Harcourt.
In a 16-count criminal charge filed by the Director of Public Prosecution, C.F. Amadi for the Rivers State Attorney General, the state alleged that after collecting the said sum as advanced payment between 2011 and 2018, the defendants have not kept their obligation under the contract.
Others charged alongside the companies were Walter Peviana; Kelechi Sinteh Chinakwe; Giandomenico Zingali; Vitto Testaguzza and Davide Anelli, who are directors and officers of the companies.
The defendants are charged with various offences ranging from conspiracy, cheating and obtaining credit by false pretence, contrary to Section 518 (6) and (7) and punishable under Section 518 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37 Vol. 2 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999, section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37 Vol. 2 Laws of Rivers State, amongst others.
Already, the Rivers State Government has issued a fiat to the law firm of Godwin Obla (SAN) to prosecute the matter before the state High court.
The defendants are equally charged for the offence of false Statements by Officials of Companies contrary to and punishable under Section 436 (b).
The prosecution specifically accused the defendants of obtaining credit of $130million by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b); obtaining credit of $20,467,942.00 by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b), obtaining credit of N7,000,000,000.00 only by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b).
They are charged for obtaining credit of N318,640,173.54, by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b); attempt to cheat $97million contrary to Section 508 and punishable under Section 509; attempt to cheat $15million contrary to Section 508 and punishable under Section 509; conspiracy to receive a credit of $97million by false pretences contrary to Section 518 (6) and punishable under Section 518; cheating $11million contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421; cheating contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421; cheating N110, 097, 416.51 contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421; cheating by collecting sums attributable to shared facilities already paid for in AFAM Phase I in AFAM Phase II contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421.
Obtaining N20, 467, 942 contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421; obtaining credit of $60,168,936.00 by false pretences or other fraud, contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b); obtaining credit of $1,512,034.00 by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b) all of the Criminal Code Law of Rivers State, Cap 37 Vol. 2 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.
According to the Proof of Evidence attached to the charge and the statement made by the Head, Power Generation/Mechanical of the Rivers State Ministry of Power, one Mr Temple Azunda M., the facts constituting the case in hand are as follows:
Saipem SPA and Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited and other officers of the duo, herein the Defendants, are Italian companies which services have been retained by the Rivers State Government, herein RSG, in several projects, prominent amongst which is the AFAM Phase II Power Plant Project.
By an initial tripartite agreement made on the January 20, 2010, the RSG under the auspices of the Rivers State Ministry of Power entered a contract with Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, Saipem SPA for the construction of the OGCT power plant in Port Harcourt at a total cost of $119million consequent upon which the Rivers State Government made advance payments, in instalments, to Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd and Saipem SPA amounting in total to a sum of $130million in all which the Defendants have acknowledged receipt of.
The Defendants were to be given an initial mobilization of 20per cent of the total contract sum which the RSG paid.
It was part of the initial agreement – and indeed a condition sine qua non – that, to access the 2nd tranche of payment of 25per cent from the Rivers State Government, the Defendants would mandatorily have installed the Gas Turbine into the foundations as referenced in ATTACHMENT 1 to VO 007 which states that:
CONTRACTOR shall be entitled to a payment corresponding to 20per cent of the VO No. 007 LS PRICE upon mobilisation to site and commencement of bush clearing activities at SITE.
Upon commencement of bush clearing activities at the site, the contractor shall issue the invoice relevant to the above payment and the owner shall pay such invoice within 14 days from its issuance.
The parties agree that no deduction for recovery of advance payment shall apply on the payment due to the contractor for invoices issued by the contractor in accordance with this paragraph.

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