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Senate Investigates DSS’ Invasion Of Court

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Senate has directed its committee on Judiciary to investigate the circumstances leading up to the invasion of an Abuja High Court which led to the rearrest of Omoyrle Sowore by alleged operatives of the Department of States Services, an event that took place one week today.
The senate directive for this investigation was sequel to a motion moved by senator Bamidele Opeyemi, in which he asked the senate not to pay deff ears to the outcry against the incident by Nigerians.
Senator Bamudele whio rose citing point of Order 43, noted that news has it that invasion of the court room session, was allegedly carried out b y members of the DSS, who were on a mission to effect the arrest of the Convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, over alleged treason.
He said that the event that took place in the court was a regrettable one ; inimical to rule of law and democratic values and urged the Senate to rise up and investigate the incident and do the needful.
According to him, the senate still remains an institution upon which Nigerians who elected them to office, including the judiciary look up to in expressing their freedom and constitutional rights, warning that such expectations in democracy must never be disappointed.
He urged the senate therefore to mandate the committee on judiciary to investigate the allegations and report back to the senate , such as to guide the institution to know what truly transpired.
His words , “Mr President,the leadership and members of the judiciary are particularly concerned about this development, because they believed that the court room is meant to be a sanctuary.
“But for us, as a senate we can not begin to take a position, or analyse the issues based on conclusion without facts that we consider incontrovertible yet.
“Much as we can not jump in to conclusion, but we can not pretend that Nigerians are concerned about this development.
“The reason, I choose to come under order 43 is that so that we don’t debate on this issue that we don’t seem to have an incontrovertible facts yet.
“In view of this, I suggest we mandate our committee on National Security to investigate and report back to this senate”.
The senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his ruling , reminded his colleagues that Order 43 does not require debate. He said he cannot function on allegations, hence the need to find out what truly happened.
The Senate commitee on Judiciary was mandated to investigate the incident and report bac k to the Senate in one week.
Similarly, the Federal Capital Territory’s N232.8 Appropriation Bill for the 2020 fiscal year was yesterday considered by the Senate.
The fast tracked consideration of the budget for the FCT comes barely twenty-four hours after the upper chamber received a formal request to that effect from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Leading the debate, Majority Leader of the Senate Senator Yahaya Abdullahi in a breakdown of budget said out of the sum of N232,875,365,947 budgeted, N53,876,241,095 is for personnel cost, N57,070,343,435 for overhead cost and N121,928,781,417 for capital projects.
He recalled that in the 2019 fiscal year, the FCT Administration received an Appropriation of N243,374,511,007 as its statutory budget.
A breakdown of the 2019 expenditure, according to Abdullahi, showed that the sum of N41,999,045,982.01 was spent on personnel costs, N32,445,971,579 on overheads and N46,292,431,523.09 on capital projects.
The Senate Leader stated that during the year 2019, a total sum of N120,737,449,084.07 accrued to the Federal Capital Territory as revenue, an amount which, according to the lawmaker, represents “about fifty percent level of performance.”
“The thrust of the FCT 2020 budget is to ensure an effective service oriented administration in order to ensure completion of ongoing projects and the provision of effective services to residents of the FCT,” Yahaya Abdullahi said.
Among projects to be implemented by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in the year 2020 are: provision of infrastructural facilities to districts and road construction in Jahi, Wuye and Karmo with the sum of N6.3 billion; reconstruction and finalisation of Lower Usman Dam and Gurara Road pegged at N1.5 billion, and N3.5 billion for proposed counterpart funding for Greater Abuja Water Supply.
Others are: construction of Cultural Centre and Millennium Tower at N1 billion; rehabilitation and expansion of Outer Southern Expressway from Villa Roundabout to Osex/Ring Road 1 Junction at N1 billion; N1.3 billion for completion of Roads B6, B12 and Circle Road, Abuja, Central Area, and N500 million for the provision of access road to Kabusa Garden.
While Senators George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers East) and James Manager (Delta South) expressed the opinion that the FCT budget be presented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to the National Assembly the Senate President explained that going that path would run contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution which allows only a sitting President to present the country’s annual budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.
He however charged the Senate Committee on FCT to invite the Minister, Muhammad Bello, so as to review the performance of the FCTA in the 2019 fiscal year.
President of the Senate however expressed worry over the security situation of the FCT as he noted that there the 2020 budget if the FCT did not make provision for security .
His “I want to also ask whether we have so much provision in the National Priority budget of the FCT for Security.
“I’ve not seen anything for security here and I’m worried, because I think the security situation in the FCT, not necessarily inside the Federal Capital itself, but the satellite towns where people are kidnapped including one of our royal fathers.
“I believe that we need to look into that, definitely the security needs some attention from us, even if there is no provision. We should be able to prioritize and see which other subheads we can take money from to provide for security.”
The Federal Capital Territory Statutory Appropriation Bill, 2020, which was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on FCT for further legislative work

 

By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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RSG Warns Owner Of Proudest Hotel To Stop Blackmailing NCDC

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Our attention has been drawn to a recent misleading petition, signed by one Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari, Owner, Prodest Hotel and dated 24th May 2020,
to the effect that the convicted Manager of Prodest Hotel, Mr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, who recently tested positive for Covid-19 disease amongst 27 others, in a result released by the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, may have allegedly been infected on the instructions of the Rivers State Government.

Much as we had restrained ourselves from responding to previous similar publications by this same person, since the subject matter was still before a court of competent jurisdiction, we are now compelled to reply this obviously  spurious, deliberately misleading and intentionally provocative petition with a proper response, to set the records straight and caution the sponsors of this action from further pedlling such falsehoods in the public space.

For the avoidance of doubt and for the information of the general public, let us state categorically here that the FACTS of this matter are very clear, viz:

 

1. A Port Harcourt Senior Magistrates’ Court on May 18th, 2020  CONVICTED Mr. Bariledum Azoro, Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme and sentenced him to a fine of N50,000 for contravening paragraphs  3 and 4 of Executive Order RVSG 07 2020 on closure of hotels, guest houses and related outfits  and provision of manifests in the state.

2. The Senior Magistrates’ Court also ordered that th convict,Mr. Azoroh should be quarantined at the Isolation Centre in Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia for 14 days to ascertain his coronavirus status.

3. That while in the Court Ordered Quarantine, competent health officials  carried out mandatory tests on all suspected Coronavirus individuals at the centre, including  Mr.Bariledum Job Azoroh, to ascertain their Covid-19 status.
It is important to state here that COVID-19 tests undergo World Health Organization, (WHO) and NCDC guidelines and are conducted under strict established medical protocols.

 

4. That prior to the publication of the test results, the owner of PRODEST Hotel Eleme, Mr. Gogorobari Needam had published one of his misleading petitions in an attempt to preempt the outcome of the test and the question we want to ask is: ‘Why did the hotel owner try to preempt the outcome of the test. Was he trying to cover up something?

5.  That on Sunday, 24th May, 2020, the NCDC announced that Rivers State had 27 recorded positive cases including  Mr.Bariledum Job Azoroh, from tests carried out in the state.

6. That following the official announcement of the result and confirmation of his Manager’s Covid-19 positive status, the PRODEST Hotel owner has once again released another statement and this time is now calling for a state of emergency in Rivers State because his manager tested positive for Covid-19.

 

7. Rivers people will recall that on May 19, 2020, we raised an alarm intimating the world of a clandestine plot by some Abuja politicians hiding under the cover of Covid-19 to instigate a State of Emergency in the state. Today, a hotel owner in Eleme, who lives in Lagos is also now calling for a State of Emergency. Is there any wonder therefore as to who is beating the drum for him?

8. Indeed there seems to be more to this than meets the ordinary eye and we are calling on all well-meaning people to see the need to interrogate this man and know that he is acting out a script. Infact, the entire petition sounds and reads like something lifted directly from the copy book of those who have been desperately trying to run down the Rivers State Government. This is desperation taken too far.

9. We even recall vividly that Mr.  Needam Promise Gogorobari had, in an interview published in the Punch Newspaper of May 15, 2020 titled: “No ill feeling towards Wike for demolishing my hotel – Gogorobari”, actually stated categorically that he holds no grudge against Governor Wike for demolishing the hotel. His words:  “Who am I not to forgive him? I don’t hold any grudge against him. I just feel that God wanted it to happen that way”. So what happened to make him change his mind? Is it not obvious that the agents of evil and those who do not mean well for Rivers State have reached him and are now beating this drum of dissent for him?

10. Again, We want to state categorically here that Government doesn’t conduct Covid-19 tests. Trained Health professionals follow the relevant medical protocols set down by WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, to conduct these tests.

11. The claim therefore that the PRODEST Hotel manager, Mr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, was infected while in detention is not only laughable and preposterous, but sadly and dangerously exposes the amazing ignorance and naivety of Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari and those sponsoring him about the deadly nature of the Covid-19 disease. How does one even carry such a deadly virus around and infect people with it?

12. Rather than commend the Rivers State Government for stemming the tide of infection that would have arisen if the Hotel used for clandestine parties was not demolished and the Manager arrested, the owner is crying wolf where there is none.

13. We also want to caution Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari to be very mindful of his claims that his hotel Manager “has been framed up by an unorthodox hired medical officers recruited by Governor Wike with a report that he has tested positive to COVID-19 whilst in detention with the Rivers State Government”.
This is a clear accusation and indictment of the reputation and authority of the NCDC.

14 We also want to call the attention of Mr. Needam Gogorobari that we take exception to his description of the Isolation Centre in Port Harcourt, as an “illegal detention facility in Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt” and to inform him and his sponsors that the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and a team from the World Health Organization, were in Rivers State on a working visit in April this year and not only praised Governor Nyesom Wike for his leadership and handling of the Covid-19 outbreak. but also applauded his medical health team and all the facilities put in place in response to the Coronavirus.

 

We will therefore be keen to know how the NCDC will react, when they read your description of a facility they approved, as ‘a detention centre’.

15. Finally, we want to assure the good people of the state that the Rivers State Government remains resolute in its fight to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state and we will not be deterred by cheap blackmail and misleading propaganda.

16 Governor Wike is determined to employ and deploy appropriate strategies to keep Rivers State safe.

17. We call on all residents to work together with the Governor to defeat Covid-19 in Rivers State and by the Grace of God we will be victorious.

Paulinus Nsirim
Commissioner for Information and Communications
May 26, 2020

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Banigo Felicitates With Justice Wike On Her Birthday

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has felicitated with the wife of the State Chief Executive Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike as she celebrates her birthday on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020.

 

In a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, 23rd May 2020, Dr. Banigo described Hon. Justice Wike as a humane and God fearing woman who is a great pillar of strength to our amiable Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

 

While wishing her many happy returns the Deputy Governor prayed the Almighty God to continue to protect and bless Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike.

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Former Nigeria President Jonathan Loses Foster Dad.

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The family of former Nigerian President,Goodluck Jonathan and the Otuoke community of Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state has been thrown into mourning as the News of the sudden demise of Chief Nitabai Inegite,the former president’s foster father reached them.

Though no official reports have reached us as to the cause of his death,The Tide learnt that the septuagenerian has been briefly ill shortly before his demise.
The former President, who visited the residence of his late foster father the early hours of Wednesday has not made any official statement regarding funeral arrangement.
Chief Inegite,popularly called ‘holy’ by his admirers and friends was initially reported to have been responding to treatment in an undisclosed health facility where his health later deteriorated before finally giving up  the ghost  at about 11:00 pm,Tuesday 19th day of May,2020.
You would recall that the late Chief Nitabai Inegite was twice reported to have been kidnapped some time between 2014 and 2016 respectively.
The late former president’s foster father was survived by his wife,biological children,grand children and numerous relatives.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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