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Join Us To Tackle Insecurity, Amaechi Tells Journalists

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L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Mr Godknows Igali; Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil and Vice President Namadi Sambo, at a meeting on Power in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Mr Godknows Igali; Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil and Vice President Namadi Sambo, at a meeting on Power in Abuja, yesterday.

Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has appealed to journalists to join his administration in fighting crime and insecurity in the state.
He said journalists could do that by standing on the side of truth against the sponsors and perpetrators of crime and insecurity in the state.
Amaechi spoke Wednesday at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new secretariat of the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Port Harcourt, which his administration is building.
He recalled that crime and insecurity resurfaced in the state when the former state police commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu was deployed to the state.
Mbu, now out of the state, was believed to have provided the breeding ground for sponsors of insecurity in the state.
Amaechi said: “Mr. President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, this state was very quiet and calm until they removed the commissioner of police and brought (Mbu Joseph) Mbu. Not only did they bring Mbu, they brought the criminals back to the streets. They bought them T-shirts to demonstrate but they have forgotten that once you bring them out, you can’t send them back unless you have a very strong commissioner of police who will send them back.
“Immediately they did that, we have since been suffering from kidnapping. As I am talking to you now, nobody can account for where Akas Baba (kidnapped Cool/Wazobia radio presenter) is. I’ve called for an emergency security meeting so that we look at it.”
“So, the same journalists that are seated here that are my friends have not been writing about the fact that if they did not bring out these criminals, we have had peace.
“The same journalists that are seated here write about them and support them for governorship and other election. You can’t bring people that will kill you and you support the people, you can’t”.
He said those who committed crime and were chased away from the state by the police were now back.
“Today, those same people are back into town and they are driving, supported by those people who are desperate to acquire power and our journalists are supporting them.
“When I say journalists, I’m not saying all of you but those people who do support them, what are they? They are journalists, so I have the right to use the word journalist. The journalists must work with us to send these criminals back because you may think that today is Akas (Baba), tomorrow it may be you.
“But I have the responsibility to protect you, the instruments to protect you is what they have taken away from us and you are not fighting back. If you don’t fight back, they will come after you”, he noted.
After performing the ground-breaking for the new NUJ secretariat, Governor Amaechi said he had released all the funds needed for the early completion of the secretariat complex.
He urged the contractor handling the project to speed up work and finish the secretariat complex in a few months’ time.
He said the state NUJ leadership would need to introduce training programmes at the complex to sharpen the capacities of practising journalists to make more meaningful contributions and urged them to use the facility for everyone’s benefit.
Also speaking, the state commissioner for information, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari said journalists in the state were grateful to the governor for fulfilling his promise to build a new secretariat complex for the NUJ.
She said Amaechi’s administration recognizes the important roles played by journalists that informed his decision to build the new secretariat complex for the journalists.
“This particular project underscores the importance the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi attaches to contributions of the fourth estate of the realm in nation building,” she said.
Also at the event were the national presidents of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mohammed Garba and RATTAWU, Dr. Abel Yemisi Bamgbose and a representative of president of Nigeria Guild of Editors among others.
National President of the NUJ, Mohammed Gbara thanked Governor Amaechi for choosing to build NUJ secretariat in the state.
“I know that His Excellency (Amaechi) has a very high taste in terms of projects, and I want to believe that this project we are about to commence today will tally with the aspiration and the vision of His Excellency. I therefore want to thank you most sincerely for this, and I want to assure you that the NUJ will ever remain grateful to you for being kind enough to have this structure in Rivers State”.
The state Chairman of NUJ, Mr. Opaka Dokubo also expressed appreciation on behalf of journalists in the state to Governor Amaechi for the kind gesture.
He said the press centre would be used to serve humanity and strengthen democracy across the country.
The new state NUJ secretariat complex will have an email library, conference halls, accommodation facilities, among others.

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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