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Niger Delta

Media Professionals Are Strategic Partners – Police

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The Commissioner of Po
lice in Edo, Mr Chris Ezike, says the media remains strategic partner in ensuring a secure and better society.
Ezike spoke at a rally to mark the World Press Freedom Day by the Edo council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Benin recently.
Ezike said the police had enjoyed a robust relationship with the media in the state under his watch and stressed that all would be done to sustain the relationship.
He said efforts should be made to resolve issues amicably rather than allowing a strain in the relationship between police and the media.
“I have enjoyed a very robust relationship with the press in Edo, which I term to be a constructive and continuous engagement.
“We can always look at issues from our various perspectives, agree on the one that we can agree and fine-tune the ones that needed to be fine-tuned, all for the betterment of the society.
“I want to thank you for your disposition and that of your members, for always trying to find out the police’s angle on any issue. Fair hearing involves balancing report and that I think you have done under my tenure.
“In trying to look for good governance, better society, there must be brushes and bruises. But at the end of the day, it is important that all matters are resolved at a round table.
“You remain our strategic partner under our watch. We will see you as such. We will strive to see that we remain on the same page at all times. I promise that we will continue to take this relationship to greater height’’, he said.
On the World Press Freedom Day, Ezike said that Nigeria had not done badly when it comes to guaranteeing freedom to the press, especially in the discharge of their legitimate duty.
“I sympathise and condole with you on the deaths of journalists who were caught in cross-fire. We very well know that there are incarcerations of journalists all over the world but I think that in Nigeria, we are not doing badly”, he stated.
Chairman, Edo Council of the NUJ, Sir Roland Osakue, appealed for support from the security agencies in the state at ensuring that journalists discharged their duty without fear or victimisation.
Osakue also demanded for adequate insurance cover for media practitioners by their employers.
The United Nations General Assembly in 1993, proclaimed May 3 of every year as Press Freedom Day.

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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