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Niger Delta

ICPC Arraigns N’ Delta Ministry Staff Over Forged Certificates

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A woman who secured employment into the Federal Civil Service with fake credentials has been nabbed and arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The commission dragged Oden Alison Akpama before Hon. Justice Anna Akobi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court 36 sitting in Kwali, Abuja on a 9-count charge bordering on making false statements and forgery.
ICPC counsel, Kioba Kio Anabraba told the court that Akpama had sometime in 2013, allegedly made a false statement to the chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, in which she claimed to have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Calabar in 2011 and a National Youth Service exemption letter from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 2012, with which she got employed into the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and thereafter earned salaries from October 2013 to July 2018 to the tune of N2, 845, 654. 06.
The offence is contrary to Section 25(1)(a) and punishable under Section 25(1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
The court also heard that Akpama allegedly forged a University of Calabar degree and an NYSC exemption certificate which she used to gain employment in 2013, an offence that is contrary to Section 363 and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Law (Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963).
The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to her.
Relying on all the paragraphs of his bail application, the defence counsel, Joseph Myong urged the court to grant his client bail in liberal terms.
“The defendant has been on administrative bail from ICPC which she has kept faithfully and if granted bail, she will always make herself available for trial”, he prayed.
Even though the ICPC counsel did not oppose the application, she however, appealed to the court to give conditions that will compel the defendant to always be in court throughout the period of trial.
In her ruling, Justice Akobi granted the accused person bail in the sum of N1 million and a surety in like sum. The surety must not be below Grade Level 10 in the employment of the Federal Government and must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.
Other conditions were that the surety should present an office identity card and a driver’s licence or National ID card. The surety should also sign an undertaking to ensure that the accused is always in court for her trial.
The matter was then adjourned to 18th and 20th of June, 2019 for hearing.

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Niger Delta

Body Wants NGOs To Build Capacity Of Community Groups

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The Executive Director, Fostering Achievement for Community Empowerment (FACE), Mr Inatimi Odio, has called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Niger Delta region to build capacity for community groups to strengthen their advocacy skills.
Odio, who spoke to The Tide recently in Port Harcourt, during a one day stakeholders’ Advocacy Capacity Building on the Ogoni Cleanup, stated that the programme aims at ensuring stakeholders are able to air their concerns and challenges on the Ogoni Clean up process so that those concerned can be responded to in a positive way.
He stressed that wrong approach to lobbying and advocating was responsible for lack of good result, noting that advocacy is a process and not a spring race, but maranthon, hence different strategies must be employed in order to make advocacy successful. According to him, “the practice of lobbying and advocating ought to be done in a more structured manner that will produce maximum result expected by those concerned.”
Odio emphasised that other NGOs were really not building the advocacy capacity of community groups, but rather advocate on behalf of communities, thereby playing down on the people’s power that they would have utilised to engage different stakeholders to achieve their objectives.
“Many times NGOs advocate on behalf of communities, thereby disempowering them.
“So my message to other CSOs, NGOs is that capacity should be built among stakeholders in different communities so that they can engage actively in the process.
“This way, both the communities, CSOs, and NGOs can collaborate with government agencies including the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to ensure that the clean -up exercise process is effectively implemented,” Odio said.
The FACE Executive Director noted that the training will build stakeholders, capacity on advocacy strategies that will guide the communities to engage the other stakeholders involved in the clean-up to ensure it is fast-tracked and effectively done.
Speaking also, a member of the Coalition of Civil Society on Environmental Sustainability (CISOC), Mr Sunny Zorvah stated that investigation shows that impacted communities do not have capacity in terms of asking for what they want, and do not understand the issues surrounding the Ogoni Cleanup. Zorvah stressed that the event is aimed at building the capacity of these communities to enable them advocate peacefully so it does not stop the exercise, but to pass the message on to HYPREP.
He noted that HYPREP benefits the more if these communities are calm, hence the need for them to operate an open policy that would clear every doubt, adding that the people of the community need to undestand that there is a window open for them to ventilate their  opinions and challenges to make proper use of it in ensur

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Niger Delta

Development In Bayelsa Excites Abdulsalami

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Former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has expressed surprise at the fast rate of development of Bayelsa State and its capital, Yenagoa, under the leadership of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.
A statement by the Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, stated that Abdusalami, made the comment while speaking as the Chairman of the official launch of the 200 hectares New Yenagoa City project at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Yenagoa on Wednesday.
The former Head of State whose administration voluntarily handed over political power to civilians in 1999 also performed the ground breaking ceremony for the planned New Yenagoa City.
Describing Yenagoa as one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the former Head of State noted that when the project is completed, Yenagoa would be a choice destination for investors and tourists.
According to Abubakar, Governor Dickson’s vision of a new Yenagoa City is indeed a laudable one which he believes would come into fruition.
He said, “Let me start by thanking His Excellency for inviting me to this occasion. Indeed it is very delightful to come and see the work you have been doing for the last eight years.
“I was talking to my friend when we were coming here that, I can’t believe that Bayelsa and Yenagoa in particular will grow to the level I’m seeing today”.

 

Canice Amadi, Enugu

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Niger Delta

DPO’s Release: CP Denies N3m Ransom Payment To Kidnappers

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Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, has denied the alleged payment of ransom by the Police Command to kidnappers in the state.
A Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Delta State was allegedly kidnapped at the weekend along the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway but regained freedom after a ransom of N3 million was paid.
The victim, whose name was given as Mr Okoro, is in charge of Galilee Police Station, Ute-Ogbeje Community in Ika North East Local Government Area of the state.
An inside source at the State Police Command Headquarters in Asaba told our correspondent that the victim was freed by his abductors after a ransom of N3 million was paid.
The said DPO was kidnapped between Onicha-Ugbo and Issele-Uku on the expressway last Friday by gunmen who shot sporadically before whisking him to unknown destination.
Additional information  from a police officer who pleaded for anonimity claimed that the DPO was on his way to Asaba for official assignment when the hoodlums swooped on him
He was said to been set free on Sunday after the negotiated ransom was dropped at a designated location for the abductors to grab.
But the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke however denied the incident and the subsequent payment of ransom, saying that it was the DPO’s friend that was allegedly kidnapped on the fateful day.
Adeleke, who said he was in touch with the DPO, added that the police will never encourage anybody to pay ransom for their kidnapped friend or relative to be freed.

 

Albert Ograka, Asaba

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