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Wifa Advocates Financial Autonomy For Judiciary

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Rivers State, Barinua Moses Wifa, has advocated financial autonomy for the judiciary in order to guarantee its independence.
Wifa who stated this during a chat with newsmen at an event to mark his 83rd birthday in Port Harcourt, said it did not make any sense for the judicial arm of government to be at the mercy of the executive for its finances.
The legal luminary explained that the judiciary ought to be the strongest arm of government, but regretted that by some contraption, the system had made the judiciary the weaker partner.
“My view about this from time has been that not only do you need it as a first line charge, you need a certain amount. There are three department of states, not arms of government. The executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
“The judiciary ought to always be the strongest, but by some contrivance, constitutional, political contrivance they make the judiciary the weaker partner in this arrangement. Otherwise the judiciary should have about a third of the revenue net distributable income of the economy of the federation to manage its affairs as a first line charge,” he explained.
Wifa also called for stronger institutions to address delay in the administration of criminal justice system in Nigeria, pointing out that for this to happen, the judiciary must be well funded and managed by men of integrity.
“We need to build strong institutions. And you need money and people of integrity to build strong institutions. Is Nigeria ready to build strong institutions, provide the money and try and source for men of integrity?
“You know how many persons are in custody awaiting trial? They can’t just walk out there. Cases have to be filed in Court and those cases in court have to be prosecuted. You need men, you need buildings, you need all of these things to move the criminal justice forward,” Wifa stated.
On local government autonomy, the former Attorney-General of the State and Commissioner for Justice stated that it would be a breach of the Constitution if the Federal Government goes ahead to release monthly allocation to local governments accounts by by-passing State Governments.
While saying he supports autonomy of local governments, the legal luminary, however, advised the federal government to amend the constitution before implementing the policy.
“Section 162, sub-section 6 are there. They tied the revenue of local governments to that of states. Unless you cut that umbilical cord so that you free those funds, it would be unconstitutional to now say okay go there, just go there and collect your money.
It is not right.
“Even by what they call executive order, they cannot amend the constitution by executive order. It is very simple. Go and amend the constitution,” he said.

 

Dennis Naku

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Niger Delta

SEEFOR Empowers 500 Youths With Starter Packs, Shops In Rivers

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The State Employment and Expenditure for Result Project (SEEFOR) in Rivers State has issued cheques of N100,000.00 each to rent shops for over 500 graduates of the state’s craft development centres who earlier received its starter packs for self-employment in the state.
The State Coordinator of SEEFOR, Mr Kelcious Amos, who officially supervised the disbursement of the funds in Port Harcourt, said the process was the second phase of the empowerment programmes to the young graduates of craft development centres across the state.
According to him, the graduates who were selected from different schools including from technical colleges and school-to-land programmes centres in the state, were earlier provided with starter packs of all kinds of electrical, welding and mechanical.
“What we are doing here today is part of the process we started some years ago to skill-up youths from various governments craft development centres, technical colleges and school-to-land centres across Rivers State.
“Precisely today, we are supporting them with N100,000.00 each to get a workshop, where the starter packs will be used to start their own businesses.
“They should use the opportunity to get themselves workshops to earn a living in life.
“Our next step of action is to disburse working capital of N50,000.00 each to enable them operate in the workshop but that will be after they might have rented the shops” the SEEFOR Coordinator explained.
Amos said that the project would ensured that the young school leavers in the state have their own businesses even before they further them education.
He also advised parents and guardians to monitor their wards and children to ensure proper management of the fund provided for their.
Also speaking, the Director Crafts, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr Obisike Anthony, commended SEEFOR for providing starter packs and fund for the youths to start their life after schools.
Anthony urged the young graduates to take the project serious, saying that the project was to ensure that they live a better life in the state.
Also speaking at the occasion the Principal Government Craft Development Centre, Port Harcourt, China Ameka, and Director, Planning,Research and Statistics Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr Samuel I. Nwokugha commended SEEFOR for the projects.
They urged the recipients to ensure the money is judiciously used for the purpose it was provided.
Mr Nwokugha appealed to SEEFOR to extend the projects to the youths in the rural areas as means to reduce restiveness and social vices in the state.

 

Enoch Epelle

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Niger Delta

2019: NDDC Trainees Protest Over Neglect In PH

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Some youths of Niger Delta region undergoing the 2019 NDDC ICT training have alleged of being shortchanged by consultants handling the programme.
The youths who said this during a demonstration in Port Harcourt also alleged of being brutalized by secretary Agencies at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
The alleged of being denied accommodations, especially those from Rivers State after being forced to sign the accommodation paper, while starter packs and other post training Assembly was denied them.
The protesters also alleged that the training was not allowed to run its full course of three months as proposed, adding that they were only given three weeks tutorials and asked to go.
The youths numbering over 200 further demanded for post training benefits and starter packs to enable them start up businesses after the training, and for their transport allowances and accommodation benefits be paid to them.
Reacting to the protest, a consultant to the commission on the programme, Mr. Ebi Chimezie, denied that the trainees were short-charged in the programme.
Chimezie, who was in charge of trainees from Abia, Delta and Cross River States, said all the trainees who sat for the final examinations have recivered their allowances.
He also expressed the commission’s willingness to reaccommodate those who embarked on the protest adding that the programme was designed by the commission to create opportunities for graduates from the region to become employers self employed with a view to contribute to the development of the region.

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Niger Delta

Community Lauds Wike Over Market Completion

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The Rumuwoji Community Council (RCC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State have commended Governor Nyesom Wike for keeping his promise of rebuilding the Mile One Market, which was gutted by fire over a decade ago.
They however faulted claims that the Rumuwoji Market popularly called Mile 1 Market may be renamed by the State Government and urged the people of the State to continue to support the Governor in his vision of a New Rivers State.
The Chairman of the RCC, Hon Isaac Chibueze Wigodo who disclosed this in a statement said such claim of renaming the market is misleading, saying though he was not speaking for the State Government it is not true that renaming the market is being contemplated.
The RCC is the apex decision making body of Rumuwoji Community of Abali, Rebisi in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Wigodo in his statement issued on Monday was reacting to a publication in a local tabloid that the State government may have the market renamed, just as he urged the public to disregard such misleading information which he said was concocted to create confusion amongst the people.
“Although, i do not hold brief for the state government, it has not come to our notice and the government we know will not think in that direction,” adding that the writer was only trying to cause confusion between the chiefs of Port Harcourt and Rumuwoji the community, Wigodo said.
He further said that the place has been named Rumuwoji Mile Market even before the civil war, alleging that the author of the said publication who is from a neighbouring community probably wants the name of his community to be added.
”The report is misleading and fall short from the ethics of journalism profession. Nobody from the state government or chiefs as stated in the story spoke of the purported move to rename the market,” Wigodo noted, noting that the aim of the author was clearly to create confusion.

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