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148 Killed By Floods -Red Cross …Mass Exodus, As Gunmen Kill 40 In Mubi



President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) flanked by Vice President Namadi Sambo (4th left), Senate President David (2nd Mark(2nd right), former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme (right) and others as he cuts the anniversary cake in Abuja, on Monday

The Head, Disaster Management, Nigerian Red Cross Society
(NRCS), Mr Umar Mairiga,  said yesterday
that 148 people had died as a result of flooding in 21 states of the

Mairiga told a news briefing in Abuja that 64,000 others had
been rendered homeless by the floods, adding that about 10,000 victims had been
targeted for assistance.

He said that heavy rains in recent weeks had caused
widespread destruction and forced many families into makeshift camps.

According to him, an estimated 134,000 people had now been
affected by the floods and that concern was growing about the spread of
waterborne diseases such as cholera.

“We are targeting 10,000 people in 10 locations of Adamawa,
Taraba, Kogi, Plateau, Katsina, Cross River, Jigawa, Kogi, Benue and Edo,” he

Mairiga explained that in response to the worsening crisis,
the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) had
launched an emergency appeal for funds.

The decision, he said, was to aid the Nigerian Red Cross
Society to assist 10,000 victims.

According to him, a Field Assessment and Coordination Team
(FACT) and a Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) have been deployed to
support the relief effort.

He said that N33.5 million had been provided from the IFRC’s
Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to start the operation.

“The NRCS, with support from the IFRC and other partners,
has been distributing food and non-food items, including mosquito nets, shelter
tool kits, tarpaulins, hygiene kits and kitchen sets to affected families.

“Volunteers from the organisation are also carrying out
awareness-raising campaigns for people at risk from water borne diseases,’’ he

Mairiga explained that one of the major concerns was the
development of a serious health situation due to the spread of water borne
diseases such as gastro-enteritis..

He also commended the National Emergency Management Agency
(NEMA) for its “untiring’’ efforts in handling flood issues.

Meanwhile, three persons were feared dead and several others
injured in a heavy flooding which ravaged parts of Ogba Egbema/Ndoni Local
Government Area.

Among the dead are, seven year old boy who was swept away by
the flood into the River Niger and two elderly women from Obrikom and Ndoni,
respectively who drowned while returning from farm.

Apart from the deaths the floods also destroyed farmlands.
Worst affected communities include, Ebocha, Ndoni, Okwuzi, Obrikom, Idu and
parts of Omoku communities.

At Ebocha, residents told The Tide that, reptiles such as
snakes and crocodiles are now occupying their houses.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has described the
flood which ravaged  parts of
OgbaEgbema/Ndoni Local Government Area as one of the worst disasters in the

The Commissioner for Special Duties, Engr Emeka Nworgu who
said this during an inspection of the affected communities said that the
government is touched by the devastating effects of the flooding.

Engr Nworgu said that the
state government would work out modalities towards assisting the flood

The commissioner, however said that the level of devastation
has underscored the need for the federal government to come to the aid of the

“At this point, the state can do very little, we asked that
the federal government should come to our aid here’ he said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Ogba Egbema/Ndoni Local
Government Area, Hon Raymond Nwokacho said that the counsel will take inventory
of those affected by the flooding with a view to assisting them.

Hon Nwokocha also said that the level of disaster is beyond
the capacity of  the local government
council and urged for the support of the federal and  state government.

In a related development, at least 40 people, mostly
students, have been killed by unknown gunmen in Mubi, Adamawa State officials

Most of the dead are said to be students of Federal
Polytechnic, Mubi.

A college spokesman said 40 students had been killed, while
a local resident said that more than 40 people had been shot dead or stabbed.

A lecturer, who spoke to newsmen confirmed seeing about 40
dead bodies after the shooting

The killings came days after a major operation against the
Boko Haram militant group in the town.

National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Yushua Shuaib
told our correspondent  that it was not
clear whether the attack was the work of Boko Haram, or the result of a dispute
between rival political groups at the university.

A Red Cross official who gave a conservative estimate, said
at least, 10 people had died.

Our correspondent recalls that mobile phone masts in the
area were recently attacked by unidentified militants, so getting information
from Mubi is difficult.

A resident, who did not want his name to be used, said that
men in military uniform went to a hall of residence away from the campus just
before midnight, got the students out of their rooms and ordered them to say
their names.

Some were then shot dead and others stabbed with knives, and
their bodies left in lines outside the buildings.

He said it was not clear why some were killed and others
spared – some of the dead were Muslims and others Christians.

He added that students and lecturers were now leaving the
town, many with tree branches over their cars – a traditional sign of
neutrality in Nigeria.

Other Mubi residents say they heard gunfire for about two
hours during the night and that those living near the hostel were also

The authorities have imposed an indefinite curfew in the
town and ordered residents to stay indoors.

The university has been temporarily closed.

Meanwhile, the Adamawa State Police Public Relations
Officers, Mohammed Ibrahim, who confirmed the killings, said 25 people were
killed by the gunmen, 19 of them, polytechnic students.

Similarly, the killing of students of Federal Polytechnic
Mubi at Yelwan Tsamiya (an off-campus accommodation area) in Wuro Patuji area
of Mubi North Local Government of Adamawa state has caused an exodus from the
town by both students and staff of the institution.

Some of the fleeing lecturers of the polytechnic, said they
saw at least 10 truckloads of soldiers and mobile police men moving into the
troubled North-Eastern town.

After the killings, which were said to have been carried out
around 10pm by gunmen that stormed the students’ village in Sports Utility
Vehicles (SUVs), angry students stormed the school carrying leaves and branches
in protest, stopping the second semester exams that were scheduled to take
place today.

As a result of the mass movement of people from the town,
the vehicles in the town’s motor park have been exhausted, with those not lucky
to board the polytechnic’s buses ferrying people to Mararaba area, trekking the
15-20 kilometres distance to get vehicles that will move them out of the town.

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Again, RSG Begins Unveiling, Flag-Off Of Nine Key Projects, ’Morrow



The Rivers State Government has rolled out the drums to herald another phase of official commissioning of key projects embarked upon by the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration in the state.
A statement by the state government said that the process is in continuation of the commissioning and flag-off of projects by Governor Nyesom Wike.
It indicated that Rumuola flyover would be commissioned tomorrow, while the GRA flyover would be commissioned on Saturday.
The also stated that the government would commission the Ezimgbu Road on Monday, December 13, 2021; with another commissioning of Tombia Road Extension scheduled for Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
The statement said that the governor would commission the Safe Home, Borikiri, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, December 15; while on Thursday, December 16, 2021, the governor would commission the Odokwu internal roads.
Also, the governor would continue the flag-off of key infrastructure projects with Chokocho-Igbodo Road slated for Monday, December 20, 2021; Oyigbo-Okoloma Road on Wednesday, December 22, 2021; and Magistrates’ Court Complex, Port Harcourt on Thursday, December 23, 2021.

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Wike Justifies N7bn Libel Suit Against THISDAY



Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, yesterday, appeared before the state High Court in Port Harcourt, to testify as a witness in an N7billion libel suit against THISDAY Newspaper.
Wike said he was in court to seek justice and clear his name as a person from the malicious publication by THISDAY Newspaper, which portrayed him as deceitful, untrustworthy person, who exerts subterranean influences on judicial matters and over court sittings in Port Harcourt.
It would be recalled that Wike had in August, 2020, slammed a N7billion suit being damages for libel written and published in THISDAY’s Tuesday, June 23, 2020 edition captioned, “With Wike, Obaseki Meets His PDP’s Waterloo; Almost.”
The defendants in the suit are THISDAY Newspapers Limited, Leaders and Company Limited, Davidson Iriekpan, Chuks Okocha and Adibe Emenyonu.
Wike, while testifying as witness in suit No. PHC/1505/CS/2020 before the court presided over by Justice A. Enebeli, asserted that the defendants maliciously and falsely portrayed him as an unreliable friend/person.
“When you say somebody cannot be trusted; that cannot be a fair comment. When you say somebody is influencing the Judiciary, that cannot be a fair comment”, the governor said.
In his written statement on oath, Wike had stated that the defendants had accused him of influencing the decision of the court sitting in Port Harcourt that granted an injunction restraining Godwin Obaseki from participating in the primaries of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State in 2020.
He stated that the defendants maliciously accused him of undemocratically exerting influence on the primaries process of PDP in Edo State in aid of his ally, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who was the beneficiary of the court order restraining Obaseki from participating in the PDP primaries.
The governor, who told the court that he was not even aware of the aforementioned suit by Ogbeide-Ihama against Obaseki, said the publication was reckless, false and without regards for the truth.
According to him, contrary to well-known journalistic tradition and practices, the defendants did not investigate properly to ensure the information they relied on was accurate.
“They did not seek to verify the facts from me or in any manner oblige me with the opportunity to state my own side of the story before proceeding to make the false publication” the governor argued.
Wike stated that the defendants further denigrated him before the entire world as a fake democrat, who engages in meddling in the internal affairs of All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to get at his political foe, Chibuike Amaechi.
The governor explained that he was not a member of the APC and has had no hand in the internal crisis which has bedevilled the party both in Rivers State and all over Nigeria.
“By the letter of Messrs E.C. Ukala and Co., Solicitors, under the hand of Emmanuel C. Ukala, SAN, dated 23rd June, 2020, the defendants were given opportunity to retract, and recant the publication as well as to offer apology for the false publication but the defendants spurned the opportunity and ignored the letter completely.”
The governor, while responding to claim by lawyer to the defendants, Turudu Ede, SAN, that the essence of the lawsuit was to intimidate and harass his clients, said the whole essence of the suit was to get justice and clear his name as a man of substantial character, honour and repute.
“The essence of the suit is to get justice since they (defendants) refused to retract the publication or apologise. So, I sued them to clear my name.”
Speaking to journalists outside the court, one of the lawyers to Wike, Mr. Mark Agwu said his client was in court to seek legal redress.
“To challenge him as a person, it means you have made him untrustworthy, a deceit, a cheat, an influencer of the court, because the publication they made was that he had a role to play in influencing the outcome of that Federal High Court case. Nobody will take that lightly, and especially for a man who believes in the rule of law”, Agwu added.
The court adjourned the matter for further hearing to 12th, 13th and 14th of January, 2022.

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$130m Fraud: Rivers Sues Saipem SPA, Saipem Contracting Firm, Others



The Rivers State Government has charged two construction firms, Saipem SPA and Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd, to court over an alleged conspiracy to cheat and with intent to defraud the state of the sum of $130million, being advanced payment for the construction of the OCGT power plant in Port Harcourt.
In a 16-count criminal charge filed by the Director of Public Prosecution, C.F. Amadi for the Rivers State Attorney General, the state alleged that after collecting the said sum as advanced payment between 2011 and 2018, the defendants have not kept their obligation under the contract.
Others charged alongside the companies were Walter Peviana; Kelechi Sinteh Chinakwe; Giandomenico Zingali; Vitto Testaguzza and Davide Anelli, who are directors and officers of the companies.
The defendants are charged with various offences ranging from conspiracy, cheating and obtaining credit by false pretence, contrary to Section 518 (6) and (7) and punishable under Section 518 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37 Vol. 2 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999, section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37 Vol. 2 Laws of Rivers State, amongst others.
Already, the Rivers State Government has issued a fiat to the law firm of Godwin Obla (SAN) to prosecute the matter before the state High court.
The defendants are equally charged for the offence of false Statements by Officials of Companies contrary to and punishable under Section 436 (b).
The prosecution specifically accused the defendants of obtaining credit of $130million by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b); obtaining credit of $20,467,942.00 by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b), obtaining credit of N7,000,000,000.00 only by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b).
They are charged for obtaining credit of N318,640,173.54, by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b); attempt to cheat $97million contrary to Section 508 and punishable under Section 509; attempt to cheat $15million contrary to Section 508 and punishable under Section 509; conspiracy to receive a credit of $97million by false pretences contrary to Section 518 (6) and punishable under Section 518; cheating $11million contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421; cheating contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421; cheating N110, 097, 416.51 contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421; cheating by collecting sums attributable to shared facilities already paid for in AFAM Phase I in AFAM Phase II contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421.
Obtaining N20, 467, 942 contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421; obtaining credit of $60,168,936.00 by false pretences or other fraud, contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b); obtaining credit of $1,512,034.00 by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b) all of the Criminal Code Law of Rivers State, Cap 37 Vol. 2 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.
According to the Proof of Evidence attached to the charge and the statement made by the Head, Power Generation/Mechanical of the Rivers State Ministry of Power, one Mr Temple Azunda M., the facts constituting the case in hand are as follows:
Saipem SPA and Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited and other officers of the duo, herein the Defendants, are Italian companies which services have been retained by the Rivers State Government, herein RSG, in several projects, prominent amongst which is the AFAM Phase II Power Plant Project.
By an initial tripartite agreement made on the January 20, 2010, the RSG under the auspices of the Rivers State Ministry of Power entered a contract with Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, Saipem SPA for the construction of the OGCT power plant in Port Harcourt at a total cost of $119million consequent upon which the Rivers State Government made advance payments, in instalments, to Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd and Saipem SPA amounting in total to a sum of $130million in all which the Defendants have acknowledged receipt of.
The Defendants were to be given an initial mobilization of 20per cent of the total contract sum which the RSG paid.
It was part of the initial agreement – and indeed a condition sine qua non – that, to access the 2nd tranche of payment of 25per cent from the Rivers State Government, the Defendants would mandatorily have installed the Gas Turbine into the foundations as referenced in ATTACHMENT 1 to VO 007 which states that:
CONTRACTOR shall be entitled to a payment corresponding to 20per cent of the VO No. 007 LS PRICE upon mobilisation to site and commencement of bush clearing activities at SITE.
Upon commencement of bush clearing activities at the site, the contractor shall issue the invoice relevant to the above payment and the owner shall pay such invoice within 14 days from its issuance.
The parties agree that no deduction for recovery of advance payment shall apply on the payment due to the contractor for invoices issued by the contractor in accordance with this paragraph.

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