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Minister, NNPC Reject Accountability -Reps

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L-R: Assistant Director, Legal Services, 2 Div., Col. Musa Muhammed, G. O. C. 2 Div., Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Abejirin and Chief of Staff to the G. O. C., Brig.-Gen. Johnson Oladeinde, at the inauguration of General Court Martial in Ibadan recently.

L-R: Assistant Director, Legal Services, 2 Div., Col. Musa Muhammed, G. O. C. 2 Div., Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Abejirin and Chief of Staff to the G. O. C., Brig.-Gen. Johnson Oladeinde, at the inauguration of General Court Martial in Ibadan recently.

The House of Representatives has accused the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the NIgerian National Petroleum Corporation, of deliberately shielding their activities from public scrutiny.
It said Alison-Madueke and the NNPC were frustrating its planned probe of the N10billion chartered jet scandal involving the minister and NNPC’s proposed $1.5bn loan because they “don’t want to be accountable to the people.”
This allegation is contained in a notice of  preliminary objection dated October 31, 2014 and filed by the House of Representatives in opposition to the suit instituted by Alison-Madueke and the NNPC seeking an order stopping the House from probing them.
The House of Representatives which is along with the Senate, a defendant in the suit, said the two plaintiffs had refused to honour invitations by its various committees set up to probe the allegations against them.
The lawyer who filed the notice of preliminary objection on behalf of the House, Aminu Sadauki, explained in his written address, “The minor material leading to the suit is to prevent the investigation by the committee of the 2nd defendant (House of Representatives) into the alleged $1.5bn loan.
“It was also filed to stop the 2nd defendant from investigating the charter of private aircraft for alleged non-official use by the plaintiffs. The major fact leading to the suit is that the plaintiff, who are in the executive branch do not want to be accountable to the people through their representatives in the National Assembly. The plaintiffs are seeking to cut off the investigatory powers of the National Assembly.”
An affidavit in support of the House of Representatives’ notice of preliminary objection reads in part, “I know as a fact that the main reasons giving rise to the suit are that:
“The 2nd defendant’s House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) invited the Group Managing Director of the 2nd plaintiff (NNPC) to appear before it on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 over proposed $1.5bn NNPC loan. Letters written by the 2nd defendant to the plaintiffs dated March 26, 2014, inviting the plaintiffs to testify and tender evidence at the investigative public hearing of the 2nd defendant’s Public Accounts Committee which they proposed to hold into the charter of private aircraft for alleged non-official use by the plaintiffs.”
One of the counsel for the House of Representatives, Anulika Osuigwe, who deposed to the supporting affidavit, added that “the plaintiffs are yet to comply with the invitations.”
The House of Representatives, through the notice of preliminary objection, asked the court to dismiss the suit by the two plaintiffs, on the grounds that it, among others, amounted to an abuse of court process.
It also argued that the suit was premature and non-justifiable, adding that the plaintiffs had similar suit “between the same parties and on substantially the same ground”, pending before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Senate which is the 2nd defendant in the suit, was represented in court by O. K Akpokona on Tuesday, but had yet to file such notice of preliminary objection.
Alison-Madueke and the NNPC had through their counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), filed their suit, tagged, FHC/ABJ/CS/346/2014.
They want the court to among others declare that by law, both the Senate and the House of Representatives lacked the power to invite them without first obtaining the consent of the President.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole on Tuesday directed the plaintiffs to respond to the House of Representatives’ notice of preliminary objection within the period stipulated by the court rules.
He also directed the House of Representatives to file any process it might intend to file in reply within the period as described in the court rules.

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Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”

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Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today

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All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.

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Wike, Building Strong Foundation For Rivers Transformation, SSG Confirms

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The Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, has re-emphasised that Governor Nyesom Wike’s resolution in the delivery of meaningful projects was to establish a strong foundation for the transformation of the state.
Danagogo observed that the ceaseless commissioning of projects and the commencement of the Phase 1 of Trans-Kalabari Link Road construction, as well as the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandsfilling/ Land Reclamation were clear demonstration of the governor’s doggedness to ensure that all sectors of the state and the LGAs were positively affected by the new economic windows that such infrastructures would deliver.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, yesterday, Danagogo lauded Wike for always fulfilling his promises to the people, and positively taking on policies that were beneficial to the development of the state.
The SSG maintained that the construction of the Trans-Kalabari Link Road further underscores the governor’s love for the people of Kalabari Kingdom and the demonstration of his character as a promise keeper.
“As a landmark project, the governor is aware of the diverse economic windows the development of the Trans-Kalabari Link Road will create for the people, and as well enhance the rural-urban interconnection that this government is promoting.
“The potential benefits of sandfilling Abonnema/Obonoma, and the Trans Kalabari Road construction is enormous. The various links and proximity to the state capital, Port Harcourt, is unique as more economic windows can be explored in the areas of housing, agriculture, transportation and other businesses.”
He added that the segmentation policy of the construction was good for the quick completion and delivery of the projects.
“I urge the Kalabari people to always work with the NEW Rivers Vision administration. The governor means well for the economic prosperity of all Rivers people.
“We can recall that the previous government abandoned the project for unexplainable reasons. Now, irrespective of the present economic challenges bedevilling the federation, the governor has embarked on the construction of the phase one of Trans-Kalabari Link Road.
“I encourage the Kalabari people to be open-minded, receptive of this historic development, and enjoy its benefits,” he further added.

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