The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has alleged a plot by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Amina Zakari, to swap authentic results from polling units with fake results on March 19, 2016.
Also, Governor Wike declared that any attempt by Amaechi to move around polling booths on election day will be vehemently resisted by the people who will publicly disgrace him for violating the electoral guidelines.
Speaking during the grand finale of the Rivers East Senatorial District Campaign Rally of the Peoples Democratic Party at Elele in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Wike said: “All those who plan to swap result sheets, may their souls rest in peace.
“Nobody will rig in Rivers State.
“Anybody who thinks Amaechi will give them result sheets to swap should be ready to swap their dead bodies.
“I have told the REC: You were here before, you can’t play games with me.”
The governor said it is his responsibility to take steps to stop politicians plotting to rig elections in the state with the connivance of Zakari.
He informed that the University of Port Harcourt Vice Chancellor was compelled by Amaechi and leadership of the All Progressives Congress to draw up a list of INEC Adhoc staff dominated by former APC caretaker committee chairmen and confirmed APC members to organise the rerun elections scheduled for March 19.
He announced the names of the APC leaders on the list of INEC Adhoc staff.
Wike said he had written a formal letter with proofs and details to INEC Chairman.
The governor said President Muhammadu Buhari should not allow Amaechi to cause crisis in the state because of his personal interest.
In his remarks, the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, stated that Rivers State is a PDP state where the people are satisfied with the performance of the Governor.
The Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, described Amaechi as a confirmed thief who stole Rivers State monies, which he used to finance APC national campaigns.
The Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah, alleged that Amaechi is the chief sponsor of cultism in the state.
Meanwhile, the Saturday re-run National and State Assembly elections will expose the lies of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said.
He made the assertion while addressing thousands of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) faithful at Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area on Monday during the flag-off campaign for Rivers South East Senatorial District.
The governor said Saturday elections will be a mass movement by the people to resist forces of deceit and oppression.
Wike said APC was not on ground but only boasting through former Governor Chibuike Amaechi, whom he noted, has lost touch with the people.
“We will win all the seats,” Wike remarked as he urged the people not to be afraid of the threat by the opposition to use security agents for the elections, adding that, “When you want to get freedom, you must fight. So, the final sacrifice is to make sure PDP wins”.
Re-echoing the governor’s view, Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, challenged the people to stand firm and defend their votes, stressing that, “all the reruns in the country so far have been won by the PDP whether in the North, West and South-South.”
The same view was held by former Deputy Governor, Engr Tele Ikuru, who described the planned use of the military by the APC as empty, and urged the people not to be afraid but come out massively and vote for the party.
On his part, Secretary to the State Government, Chief Kenneth Kobani said, “nobody should be afraid to come out and defend your votes. The Nigerian Army is the army of the Nigerian people and not of the APC.”
For Senator Lee Maeba, the plan by the opposition to use the military has reinforced the resolve of the people to vote all the candidates of the PDP, stating that the party has in the past eight months shown that it’s prepared to transform the state through people oriented projects.
In his view, Senator Adawari Pepple, assured the people that the presence of the military will not scuttle the elections, “no soldier is paid to kill, so, don’t be intimidated by anybody.”
But while recalling the mayhem and the killings of innocent people in the last three weeks in the area, Wike blamed it on desperate politicians, urging the people to resist any attempt to swindle their votes through intimidation.
He averred that he was impressed with the huge turn-out of PDP supporters for the rally, as he reiterated plans to commence the Sakpenwa/Bori Road dualization by April and also to continue the construction of the Ogoni/Andoni/Opobo Unity Road abandoned by the past administration.
Before attending the rally, Wike had paid a courtesy call on the Conference of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, where he solicited for the support of the chiefs.
He promised that Ogoni people will enjoy all dividends of democracy in his administration.
On his part, Mene Suanu Baridam thanked the governor for the visit, and pleaded for more government attention to the area.
Again, RSG Begins Unveiling, Flag-Off Of Nine Key Projects, ’Morrow
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.
Wike Justifies N7bn Libel Suit Against THISDAY
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.
$130m Fraud: Rivers Sues Saipem SPA, Saipem Contracting Firm, Others
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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