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RSG Orders Arrest Of Pro-Biafra Agitators …As Groups Plan Fresh Protests

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The Rivers State Government has condemned the harassment and intimidation of residents of the state by pro-Biafra agitators under the guise of protesting for a sovereign state of Biafra.
This was contained in a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr Austin Tam-George, in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Saturday.
Some angry pro-Biafra protesters had yesterday attacked some residents of Oyigbo city in the State, forcing them to close their businesses and joined in the protests calling for the immediate release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who has been in custody of the Department of State Services, DSS
The angry protesters had carried placards with different inscriptions such as; “Free Kanu Now”, “Please Don’t Kill Our Leader”, “Release Kanu to attend to his health”.
But Tam- George while condemning the act said the ban on illegal processions remained in force and vowed that government would deal with anybody that flouts the order.
“It has come to the attention of the Rivers State government that some pro-Biafra agitators have resorted to illegal procession and assaulted law abiding citizens and residents of the state”
“Governor Nyesom Wike strongly condemns the acts of criminality perpetrated by pro-Biafra agitators by whatever name in the Oyigbo area of the state,”
The commissioner further disclosed that the state government had directed all security agencies in the state to arrest and prosecute the agitators who flout the ban on illegal and separatist processions and demonstrations in the state.
In a related development, Ahead of the planned massive demonstration by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, the Enugu State Government has warned the two groups to stop creating unnecessary tension in the state.
In a statement issued yesterday by Dr. Udeuhele Ikechukwu Godwin, the Commissioner for Information, in the State, he said government had put measures to stop any group from threatening the existing peace in the state.
According to Udeuhele: “the attention of the Enugu State Government has been drawn to the publications in the national dailies to the effect that there was tension in South – East following an alleged threat by the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB to stage a protest in all the states of the zone on Monday, January 18, 2016, over the continued detention of the Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi kanu.
“The state government hereby distances itself from the planned protest and therefore call on the people of the state to ignore the said threat and go about their normal business as all security measures have been put in place to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the state.
“Consequently, we appeal to parents and guidance to advise and watch over their children and wards to ensure that they are not being used for such unlawful acts. We equally appeal to leaders in our various communities, especially Traditional Rulers to ensure that their youths do not engage in any activity that could undermine the existing peace and tranquillity in the state.”
“Enugu State Government will continue to ensure that lives and property of the citizens are protected for them to continue to enjoy more dividends of democracy”, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has directed all its members at home and in Diaspora to prepare for a massive demonstration, protest and a civil disobedience against the continued detention of the  leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, starting from today.
The directive was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Enugu on Friday after the group’s national executive officers meeting held at MASSOB headquarters in Okwe Onuimo council area of Imo State.
According to the statement signed by the organisation’s National Director of information, Comrade Samuel Edeson and its National Secretary, Comrade Ibem Ugwuok Ibem, the decision was taken because of the continued detention of “Kanu by Nigerian Government through the DSS and the non-compliance of Buhari led administration to obey three different competent court orders for Nnamdi Kanu’s release.
“IMASSOB demands that Nnamdi Kanu must be release now or more diplomatic, image, and political damages will be fall the already battered Nigeria’s image with massive, self-determined and non-violence worldwide Biafran demonstration/protest including non co-operation and civil disobedience.
“MASSOB directs all our members at home and in Diaspora to prepare for a massive demonstration, protest and a civil disobedience against the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu (IPOB leader) starting from Monday, 18th January 2016.
The group also directs former members in Ralph Uwazurike’s BIM to join and participate in the non violent world wide demonstration against Nnamdi Kanu’s continued detention as a mark of love and respect for Biafra.
”MASSOB condemned the statement of Bishop Chukwuma of Enugu diocese of Anglican Church that Ndi Igbo don’t need Biafra and that our demonstrations are not for Biafra.
“MASSOB and IPOB are not on the street demonstrating against bad roads or lack of federal presence in eastern region or non-appointment of Igbos in key Federal Government positions in Buhari led administration or against Igbo marginalization.
” We are committedly, consistently and uncompromisely agitating for an independent state of Biafra from Nigeria.
“Biafra is the answer to the numerous subjective slavery Nigeria subjected Ndi-Igbo into ranging from political, economic, academic, religious, cultural and social slavery.
“Today in Nigeria, true nationhood has remained stillborn Peace, justice and equity has remained elusive to Nigeria which still remains in perpetual strife and increasing crises since her independence.

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike laying a wreath  during the  2016 Armed Forces and Remembrance  Day celebrations in Port Harcourt on Friday .

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike laying a wreath during the 2016 Armed Forces and Remembrance Day celebrations in Port Harcourt on Friday .

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

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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

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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

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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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