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Niger Delta

Mark, Royal Father Disagree On Constitutional Role

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Lagos monarch, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and the Senate President, David Mark yesterday disagreed on whether traditional rulers should be given a role to play in the nation’s constitution.

The occasion was the zonal public hearing on a new constitution for the country held at the Lagos Airport Hotel.

While Senator Mark insisted that the nation’s traditional rulers should be given a role to play in the new constituttion, Oba Akiolu rejected the idea, saying that the traditional rulers should be insulated from partisan politics.

Senator Mark, while addressing the audience during the hearing, lamented that a major defect of the 1999 Constitution was the non recognition of traditional rulers in the country.

“I believe that one area which the 1999 Constitution completely left out is the recognition of traditional rulers in this country.

“Various communities recognise them; societies recognise them but the official document of the country does not recognise them.

“I think we must reconcile that issue and make sure in the constitution amendment that they are given a proper place and accorded proper position so that their roles can be prescribed for them and then they can be brought into governance.” He described the non recognition of traditional rulers in the 1999 Constitution as a grave oversight.

The Lagos monarch, however, disagreed with him. Oba Akiolu said he was not pleased with the suggestions of the Senate President.

He stressed that it would do the country a lot of good to maintain the status quo as regards the current position of traditional rulers in the country.

Oba Akiolu said the constitution amendment team should ensure that Nigeria was allowed to practise true federalism.

“I, as a monarch, don’t support the idea that traditional rulers should be given a role to play in the constitution. Others can support it, but I don’t.

“The reason is that once you get yourself involved in seeking roles for traditional rulers in the constitution, the politicians are going to mess you up. I don’t want to be messed up by anybody.

I am satisfied with what the Almighty Allah has given me,” Oba Akiolu declared. He commended President Umar Yar Adua for restoring peace to the Niger Delta, but appealed to him not to forget Lagos State by granting it a special status in the scheme of things.

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Niger Delta

Missing Crown: Police Arraign Suspects

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The Police in Delta State have filed a three-count charge of burglary, stealing and felony against Chief Ayiri Emami and others at large before a magistrate’s court sitting in Warri.
The charge, MW/178 C 2021, the Commissioner of Police vs Chief Emami, reads: “That you Chief Emami and others at large on March 30, 2021, about 11.30p.m., at Olu of Warri Palace, Warri in the Warri Magisterial District did conspire among yourselves to commit felony, burglary and stealing.”
Count II: “That you Chief Emami and others now at large on March 30, 2021, about 11.30p.m., at Olu of Warri Palace, Warri in the Warri Magisterial District with intent to commit a felony, breaks into a dwelling house of the Olu of Warri.”
Count III: “That you Chief Emami and others now at large, on March 30, 2021, about 11.30p.m., at Olu of Warri Palace, Warri in the Warri Magisterial District did stole two crowns value at N2 billion.”
According to the charge sheet, the alleged stolen crowns belong to Itsekiri.
It also stated that the offences are punishable under certain sections of the Criminal Code Laws of Delta State.
Chief Ayiri pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Chief Magistrate, Ejiro Diejomaoh, granted bail to Ayiri in the sum of N2 million, with two sureties, who must not be persons lower than Level 15 and in like sum.

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Niger Delta

Obaseki Promises To Sustain Reforms, Projects

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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has pledged to sustain ongoing reforms and projects to open up new towns and communities in the state for increased economic growth.
Obaseki gave the assurance on Wednesday, when he received the management team of Benin Club 1931, who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
Reiterating the need to improve the standard and quality of the club to meet the ongoing massive development across the state, the governor said, “We are opening up new areas and towns and there will be new clubs. You must ensure that you improve the standard and quality of the club. There will be competition, I can assure you.
“We need to do quite a bit in terms of rebranding and repositioning of the club. As you see, the city is growing tremendously; the growth trajectory will continue for many years to come.”
Obaseki commended the leadership of Benin Club 1931 for sustaining the Club since 1931, congratulating them for the 90th-anniversary celebration.
“Not many institutions in this country can celebrate or boast of celebrating 90 years or nine decades of existence. It’s quite a lot of achievement; it’s a significant milestone and should be celebrated significantly. Ikoyi Club was founded in 1938 and we are older; we should do things to reflect our importance and significance in this country,” he charged.
Noting the reason for the early set up of the Benin Club, Obaseki added, “British officers had to settle here and occupied the place for a while as they needed a recreation area. That is why we have the club before that of Lagos.”
In his response, President of Benin Club 1931, Fred Ejedawe Iboi commended the governor for the developmental strides being recorded across all sectors of the state.
He noted, “We have done our best to develop the club’s infrastructure, and now, the club is working on installing facial recognition to access the club. We have done our best to improve on the infrastructure we met.”

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Niger Delta

NSCDC Arrests Couple Over Children Sale

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Operatives of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akwa Ibom State Command have arrested one Elisha Effiong for allegedly conniving with his wife to sell their two daughters aged six and four, respectively.
Effiong, who lives in Cameroon with his wife was arrested in Uyo on November 15, 2021, through an intelligence report while trying to sell their children, identified as Abasifreke Edet and Rachael Edet.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Umana Ukeme, the suspects said that their decision to want to sell the children was borne out of extreme hardship.
According to the statement, the suspect confided in a private security guard of his plans while the guard, in turn, notified the commandant of the corps, Mr Abidemi Majekodunmi who immediately ordered the arrest of the culprit.
“The suspect, Elisha Edet Effiong, ‘M’ was apprehended with his two children identified as Abasifreke Edet, 6, and Rachel Edet, 4, while attempting to sell them for M700, 000 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“Effiong, 40 years was apprehended at FulCare Hospital along Ekpanya Street, where he notified the security guard of his intention to sell his two children to pay off his debt and meet other financial challenges.
“The security guard notified the NSCDC and immediately, Commandant Abidemi Majekodunmi detailed personnel of the anti-human trafficking unit of the corps who swung into action and apprehended the suspect alongside with his two daughters, “ the statement read in part.
According to Ukeme, preliminary investigations have been concluded while the case would be transferred to NAPTIP zonal office, Uyo for the prosecution of the suspect.
The commandant while commending the private security guard for the prompt release of an intelligence report that aided the arrest of the suspect, however, condemned the heinous act, describing it as a crime against humanity.
He called on the people of Akwa Ibom State to always avail personnel of the corps with timely and actionable intelligence that could lead to arrest and tracking of criminal elements in the state.

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