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Nigerians Condemn Assassination Attempt On Wike -PDP Warns Over Harm On Gov, Family -Calls For Fakorede’s Immediate Redeployment -As SARS Kills Three In Khana

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Millions of Nigerians have condemned, in strong terms, the attacks on the convey of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) attached to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, last Saturday, in Port Harcourt.
The attack, which took place at Nwaja Junction at Trans-Amadi, Port Harcourt during the governor’s project inspection, led to the knocking down of the governor’s outrider and attack on the Pilot 1 driver by the SARS men under the instruction of their Commander, CSP Akin Fakorede at the behest of Amaechi.
Stakeholders, who reacted to the untoward incident across the country, described the minister’s meddling in the governance of the state as an affront on the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria, and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast to stop the tendency by some of his ministers and appointees to resort to the brazen impunity and lawlessness to save the nation’s democracy from total collapse.
Reacting to the incident, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned the minister’s action as untoward and childish.
In a statement, yesterday, signed by the Head, Publicity Division, Adm. Chinwe Nnorom, the party said it was “once again constrained to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to another assassination attempt by his Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike yesterday being Saturday, November 11, 2017, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“The convoy of Governor Wike was ambushed by a contingent of security apparatus led by the Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Rivers State, CSP Akin Fakorede and supervised by Amaechi’s ADC, Mr. Debewari. These constant harassments and attempts on the life of Governor Wike is an open invitation to anarchy and another plan of the APC to ignite crisis against Rivers State,” the party said.
It recalled that “the public is aware that the minister of transportation has been making attempts on the life of Governor Wike, and in all of the attempts, the Commander of SARS in Rivers State, Akin Fakorede is ever ready to lead the ill-advised onslaught.
“Again, we condemn this attack in very strong terms and call on President Buhari to order the immediate transfer of Fakorede of SARS out of Rivers State. Any delay in effecting this change will be taken that President Buhari is fully in charge of these ugly activities in the state.
“We are also calling on the international community to take note of these chains of activity that are carefully planned by the ruling APC and being executed by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. If anything happens to Governor Wike or his immediate family and aides, the APC and Amaechi should be held responsible. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’,” the party added.
Similarly, a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has decried the assassination attempt on Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) attached to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari should urgently call the minister to order.
Fani-Kayode on his Twitter handle said: “Using SARS thugs to attempt to murder Governor Nyesom Wike and knocking down his outrider with a car will not help Ameachi win Rivers State. It will only lead to bloodshed, reprisals and a vicious cycle of violence, death and destruction. I urge @MBuhari to call his mad dog to order.”
Also reacting, members of D-Source Connect Group, a social media group based in Rivers State, condemned in its entirety, an attempt on the life of Governor Nyesom Wike by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) attached to the minister of transportation.
In a statement on behalf of the group, its Coordinator, Barrister Dike Vincent Amadi, described the attack on the governor as barbaric and complete display of insanity by the men of F-SARS, and the height of frustration and desperation by Amaechi.
The group said that the attack was a confirmation that Fakorede was in Rivers State to compromise the security architecture of the state, and also proves that Amaechi and the APC are behind several security issues in the state.
The group, therefore, called on the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to call the minister to order.
In their reaction, members of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Rivers State chapter also condemned the assassination attempt on the life of Governor Nyesom Wike by operatives of F-SARS in Rivers State led by their Commander, CSP Akin Fakorede.
ALGON, explained that the governor was in his charismatic manner, on routine projects’ inspection at the Trans Amadi area when he was attacked by the SARS operatives attached to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, and said the attack was an act of lawlessness and crass abuse of privilege as security officers.
“We hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call his minister of transportation and the SARS commander in Rivers State to order, and appeal that the Federal Government prioritises the security of the governor of Rivers State to avoid any further reoccurrence of this despicable act,” the statement signed by Chairman, Caretaker Committee, PHALGA, and Chairman, ALGON, Rivers State, Charles Chima Orlu, indicated.
“If the Federal Government fails in this onerous task, we, as leaders of ALGON in the state will have no other option than to mobilise our people to always protect our God-given governor as he carries on in his duty of developing our dear state,” the statement added.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, last Saturday had said that the ugly incident occurred at Nwaja Junction, on Trans Amadi Road when the governor was inspecting ongoing road construction project in the area.
The statement said the governor’s outrider was allegedly hit by the convoy of the minister, and the policemen in the governor’s pilot car attacked.
The tension was, however, heightened when some of the SARS operatives allegedly cocked the guns, resulting in the chief security detail to the governor physically chasing the men away.
The drama, according to eyewitnesses, lasted for over 30 minutes before the governor proceeded on the inspection of some ongoing projects in the state.
Wike, according to the statement, was not hurt in the incident.
The statement reads in full: “Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike on Saturday escaped assassination as Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in the motorcade of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi attacked his convoy.
“The governor, who was on project inspection, was attacked at Nwaja Junction on Trans-Amadi Road.
“The SARs personnel and soldiers in the minister’s convoy hit down the governor’s escort rider and attacked the policemen in the pilot car.
“The Aide-De-Camp to the Minister of Transportation, Mr Debewari, supervised the attack, which included damage of cameras held by journalists on the project inspection tour.
“Also part of the attack was the Commander of Rivers SARS, Mr Akin Fakorede, who received the minister of transportation at the Port Harcourt International Airport and accompanied him on his trip.
“After the attack, the Rivers State governor continued with his inspection of projects. Wike was not harmed, despite the attack.
“The minister of transportation had over 50 SARS personnel, soldiers and mobile policemen in his motorcade during the attack,” the statement added.
The projects inspection, around Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas, took the governor to ongoing reconstruction of the Court of Appeal and Produce House.
He also inspected the construction of the National Industrial Court, the dualization of Birabi Street in GRA Phase 1, construction of Mile One Market and Sani Abacha Road in GRA Phase 3.
The governor was accompanied on the inspection by the Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah, among others.
Meanwhile, three youths of Luebe community in Khana Local Government Area of the state have been feared dead, while several others suffered various degrees of injury following attacks by alleged operatives of SARS at about 8:15pm, last Friday.
The Paramount Ruler of the community, Chief Micah Saakara, who confirmed the incident, accused men of SARS in Bori, who allegedly opened fire on the youth claimed to be on local security surveillance duty in the area.
Community sources had claimed that the youth had noticed that the alleged SARS operatives were escorting some elements conveying illegally refined crude oil through Luebe to Ndoki in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, and attempted to know what mission they were on when the suspected SARS personnel opened fire.
In a swift reaction, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Khana LGA, Chief Gbene Lekue Zini condemned the incident, and called on the Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed to investigate, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Zini also called on the people of Luebe to remain calm and law abiding as the government would make sure that justice was not delayed in the matter.

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom  Wike (right), with his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike (2nd right), Speaker,  Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani (middle) and Rivers State Chief Judge, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara, during a Thanksgiving Service at the State Ecumenical Centre in Port Harcourt, yesterday  to mark the "Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award presented  to Governor Wike by the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards (SCAHSA)  in New York City, recently..

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike (right), with his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike (2nd right), Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani (middle) and Rivers State Chief Judge, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara, during a Thanksgiving Service at the State Ecumenical Centre in Port Harcourt, yesterday to mark the “Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award presented to Governor Wike by the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards (SCAHSA) in New York City, recently..

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2019 Rivers Guber Poll Tribunal: PDP Tenders Polling Units’ Results To Affirm Wike’s Victory …Election Held In Substantial Compliance With Electoral Act -Counsel …Conduct Of Poll Peaceful, Lawful, Akawor Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, yesterday, tendered strategic polling units’ results from different local government areas to the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal to justify the re-election of Governor Nyesom Wike.
The polling units’ results were tendered in respect of the petition filed against the election of Wike by the Governorship Candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Victor Fingesi.
Tendering the polling units’ results from the Bar, counsel to the PDP, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) said the polling results were from 356 polling units.
Obla told the tribunal that the result sheets were from some of the polling units in Obio/Akpor, Khana, Ogu/Bolo, Bonny, Akuku-Toru, Ahoada East, Opobo/Nkoro and others.
He informed the tribunal that the PDP resolved to tender results to prove that elections held across the state at the polling units and declarations made under very peaceful atmosphere.
The counsel added that since INEC and Wike have called witnesses to prove that the Governorship Election was conducted in line with the Electoral Act, the PDP chose to prove the conduct of the elections through documentary evidence.
Addressing journalists after closing the PDP defence, Godwin Obla said that from documentary evidence and oral testimonies of witnesses, it was clear that the 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State was held in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act and that Wike emerged victorious.
He said: “This morning on behalf of the 3rd respondent, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), we tendered a total of 356 exhibits in support of our case. We feel satisfied that the requirements of the law required of us, have been fully met and that is why we decided to close our case today.
“Don’t forget that the 1st respondent, INEC, called witnesses, the 2nd respondent, Governor Nyesom Wike, who is the candidate of the 3rd respondent, PDP, also called witnesses and tendered a lot of documents that relate to this same subject matter. The interests of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents are actually the same”.
Also speaking, counsel to ADP, Mr Dolapo-Telle Attoni, said “The PDP presented from the Bar a bundle of electoral documents they claimed INEC used in conducting the governorship election. They tendered about 356 alleged polling units’ results. We had asked for few minutes to study these same documents, and also obtain Certified True Copy of the said documents which was not complied with by INEC”.
Following the PDP closing its case, the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has adjourned till September 16, 2019 for the adoption of addresses by parties in the petition filed by Action Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Mr Victor Fingesi.
Earlier, the Director-General of Rivers State PDP Campaign Council, Amb. Desmond Akawor, had said that the 2019 Governorship Election held throughout the state with Governor Nyesom Wike emerging victorious.
Testifying at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, last Wednesday, as the last witness for Wike in a petition filed by the candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Victor Fingesi, Akawor said that the governor won the election by the lawful votes cast on March 9, 2019.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea told the tribunal that he received his party’s duplicate certified copies of election result sheets for all the units, wards and the 23 local government areas.
Responding to a question by counsel to the ADP governorship candidate on why the state government set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the 2019 Elections, Akawor said that the commission of inquiry was established to find out what happened at the collation centres, because voting took place peacefully at all polling units.
However, after closing his case on cross-examination of DW31 (Akawor), the ADP counsel sought to tender an application which is a certified copy of The Tide Newspaper of April 29 in respect of the commission of inquiry.
But Counsel to the governor, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) urged the court to refuse the application, arguing that the petitioner voluntarily closed his matter on July 16 with 23 witnesses.
Ukala noted that in accordance with the rules of the tribunal, each witness was cross-examined within the time given; adding that conduct of proceedings was guided by truth and not by sympathy.
Ruling on the application after hearing arguments from the counsels, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Orjiako, stated that “this application in our view cannot be allowed, the implication being that it should have been tendered within the time allocated to him, therefore, the application is overruled and refused”.
Justice Orjiako had adjourned the matter till yesterday for further cross examination.
In an interview, counsel for Governor Nyesom Wike, Emmanuel Ukala, explained that the ADP application was refused as a result of improper filing.
He said, “The 2nd respondent (Governor Wike) called all together 20 witnesses, and we closed our case. So, it is left to the PDP, if they wish to call any other witness. They may call, and thereafter, we will all address the court”.

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Stop Deducting Money From Rivers Statutory Allocation, Court Orders FG

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court in respect of OML112 offshore and stop the deduction of the sum of N502, 298,943.03 or any sum whatsoever, forming the proprietary rights of the Rivers State Government.
The presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, also ordered the defendants to make full refund of the accruable 13 per cent derivation illegally denied the plaintiff from crude oil and gas production within OML 112 and sale from September, 2018 till the determination of the suit; and thereafter.
The judge equally ordered the Attorney General of the Federation, the Accountant General of the Federation and the RMAFC to pay monthly interests at the various commercial rates at no less than 15 per cent per annum on the illegally deducted 13 per cent derivation due to the plaintiff from OML 112 until the liquidation of all outstanding and accruing debt.
Justice Taiwo further restrained the defendants, their agents, assigns, representatives, privies or howsoever called from disregarding the finality of the Supreme Court judgment delivered on March 18, 2011 in Suit No: SC/27/2010, between: Attorney General of Rivers State and Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State & Anor as it relates to the proprietary rights of the plaintiff in respect of OML 112.
The suit was instituted by the Attorney General of Rivers State to challenge the deduction of the sum of N502, 298,943.03 accruing from OML 112 from the statutory allocation of the state by the defendants.

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Biafra: Fresh Questions Over Future Of Campaign

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Just as the recent physical attack on former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu in faraway Germany is trending globally for the bizarre affront it represents, so many questions are raging over the integrity and future of the campaign for the actualisation of the Biafra secessionist agenda. It is no more news that Ekweremadu was ambushed and attacked during his visit to Germany to participate as a guest speaker at a traditional Igbo ‘New Yam’ festival. The trailing reactions not only captured the wide divide between the proponents and the opponents of the ‘Biafra’ agenda across the world. It also betrayed and reinforced a more profound aspect being the unmasked, hysteric xenophobic mindset to which the most ardent proponents of the Biafra agenda subscribe to. Primary among these is the endorsement of the outrage of the assailants by Nnamdi Kanu, the now exiled leader of the IPOB, which is just one of the active groups canvassing for the actualisation of the Biafra dream.
From the now trending video clips of the incident,the aggrieved assailants could be heard lamenting about the killing of their kit and kin in the ‘Operation Python Dance’ military assaults on Iboland, at the peak of the IPOB domestic activism phase. Until that point, the German assault on Ekweremadu could easily have passed as a result of the bereaved lamenting and perhaps, over-reacting over the death of their loved ones at home. However, the intervention of IPOB especially with the claim that responsibility for the attack fell on its members changed the entire narrative. First of all, information in the public domain did not specifically mention that the occasion was organised by IPOB. Hence, the intervention of the organisation by persons later identified as IPOB operatives captures the event as having been hijacked by the IPOB for reasons strange to the organisers. Now, the blame or whatever ascription from the event goes to all Ibos, just as the proverb that when a finger picks up oil, it soon spreads it to all the other fingers.
And this is where the various stakeholders of the Biafra agenda, comprising the Igbo represented by the OhanaezeNdigbo, the Eastern minorities and even the entire country need to take the Ekweremadu attack with appropriate discretion. Whatever circumstances that will instigate members of a political pressure group to leave the shores of its home country and brazenly attack a home government official in public glare and in a foreign country, deserves more than a slap on the wrist. The situation calls for renewed discretion especially by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo which can be credited with the misfortune of living in a hut on which roof a snake has climbed. That is putting it in classical Igbo metaphor.
For anybody especially the leadership of the Ibos to see the situation otherwise, is to indulge in a mis-read of the festering situation, and expose Ndigbo to a future of miasma in the politics of Iboland as well as that between Ndigbo and the rest of the country. IPOB may remain a most divisive factor in the political calculus of the Ndigbo both at home and abroad as has been dramatically demonstrated in the German attack on Ike Ekweremadu, both for now and in the unknown future. And against the backdrop that not all Ibos and even Ohanaeze are members of IPOB, the need for the group to tread with care becomes most acute. Most Ibos simply want to be left alone to pursue their legitimate businesses in which they are already excelling, and do not want to be bothered by a pie in the sky called Biafra. After all, was it not the great novelist, Chinua Achebe who cited the Ibo proverb that all lizards lie on the ground making it difficult to know which one has stomach pain.
As for the Eastern minorities whose youth especially are being enamoured with flashes of paradise in the Biafra dream, all that needs to be said is that they should go and study the history of the previous Biafra, which occurred before they were even born. They will find out not only why it failed, but also why the mainstream of Ibo intelligentsia is not supporting the campaign – at least spiritedly. Fortunately for them, there are still some survivors of that failed exercise who can provide them valuable insights, to lead them aright. On a cautionary basis, let it be stated here that a child found toying with the very strain of mushrooms that killed his or her parents, is asking for nothing better than the very fate that befell the parents.
As structured today, the Nigerian federation cannot be restructured along secessionist lines without elaborate dialogue and negotiations, in place of a full scale war, no matter the grievances of its component ethnic parts. Meanwhile, IPOB has not demonstrated willingness or capacity for negotiations and the rest of the country is not ready for war. Until further notice therefore, Biafra and all it represents remain hanging in the balance.

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