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1,500 Militants Set To Surrender Arms …As Boro Lists Gains Of Amnesty

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Some of the 275 detainees released by the Nigerian Army to the Borno State Government after being cleared of belonging to the Boko Haram terrorists group in Maiduguri on Friday

Some of the 275 detainees released by the Nigerian Army to the Borno State Government after being cleared of belonging to the Boko Haram terrorists group in Maiduguri on Friday

More than 1,500 Niger Delta militants, yesterday, expressed their desire to embrace amnesty and surrender arms to the Federal Government.
Their decision followed the intervention of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
They, however, warned that their willingness to surrender arms should not be seen as an act of cowardice but an act of patriotism.
The militants’ resolution was contained in a statement in Abuja by their leaders, O.C. Babaeere and America Tekeiminikpoba, on behalf of other Commanders from Arepo, Ikorodu, Abule, Fatorla, Ibafo, Magboro, Epe, Itokin, Ilepete, Okenekene, Agric, Gbokoda camps, Camp 5 and environs.
The militants expressed their desire to surrender arms and embrace the amnesty programme so long as the government remained sincere.
While premising their action on the peaceful approach of Kachikwu, the militants declared that all NNPC facilities and their subsidiaries must work for the betterment of Nigeria and the economic efficiency in the face of dwindling oil prices.
“We also agree that all NNPC facilities and its subsidiaries must work for the betterment of Nigeria and the economic efficiency in the face of dwindling oil pricesa,” the statement said.
“However, our willingness to surrender should not be seen as an act of cowardice, rather, as an act of patriotism.”
Meanwhile,the Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul T. Boroh (rtd), has expressed satisfaction with the successes of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme, saying it has tremendously enhanced stability and peace to the region.
Boroh, who stated this in Abuja at the weekend while fielding questions from journalists, said against the background of clear attempts at misinforming the public, the Amnesty Programme, under the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari has moved the programme from one of just training to empowerment.
The special adviser to the president said the resort to due process and accountability in the conduct of affairs of the Programme – a feat which has made it possible for the agency to pay the bills and entitlements of ex-agitators as at when due and also divest into other areas of sustaining and empowering the youth of the region, has further entrenched the success of the programme.
“The Amnesty Programme is on course, and has so far achieved its mandate of stabilising the peace in the Niger Delta region even as some disgruntled persons are spreading misleading information. The public should disregard the information aimed at causing disaffection as they are baseless.
“Several committees set up on our resumption of duty have made far reaching recommendations, which are being applied to the later. For instance aside massively reducing the number of consultants tied to the programme, we have moved from the past and instilled a proper and verifiable database which has become the basis for all our activities unlike in the past where there was no coherent and reliable database,” Boroh stated.
While thanking President Buhari for his continued support to the programme, the special adviser stated that as part of its efforts at smoothening communication between the office and vast number of ex-agitators under its care, it had not only established offices in the nine states covered by the programme but also opening up offices in the nation’s foreign missions abroad for easy coordination and goals delivery.
Boroh said that not only has massive verifiable debts incurred since 2012 been cleared, but that the Amnesty office has since moved to start the empowerment of ex-agitators in addition to the regular training of subjects under the office who are regularly monitored by the agency.
“We have cleansed the agency’s books and in the process weeded off a lot of interests which exposed the office to funds mismanagement and leakage in the past. So, we understand clearly why misinformation is going on in some quarters but the truth remains that we know we are stepping on toes but we won’t be distracted as under the present administration, the direct beneficiaries of the programme are our priority as that ensures stability in the region.
“Unfortunately for us, those who hitherto made this place their points and means of livelihood are finding it difficult to come to terms with our innovations and ideas and hence the fight back through misrepresentation and twisting of facts.
“We are helping the youths in this region to begin to think out of the box and look beyond oil and gas and become practically futuristic and hence the trainings, sensitisation and empowerment that they are receiving from us now,” Boroh added.
He called on the people of the Niger Delta to continue to support the present administration’s commitment to bring succour and make life meaningful to the Niger Delta youth and region despite the harsh economic challenges of the time.

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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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