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Rivers Rerun: Court Stops IGP’s Probe Panel …Panel, Plot To Indict Wike,Obuah -PDP

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, has asked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to maintain the status quo in the investigation of violence that rocked Rivers State during the re-run legislative elections on December 10, 2016.
The court said that in the event of the IGP going ahead with the probe before the issue of its jurisdiction on the matter was established, it still has the power to void the action.
In a brief ruling last Monday, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that it was necessary to resolve the issue of jurisdiction of the court brought by the respondent before going into the substantive suit.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike had filed an application to stop the police from investigating activities surrounding the December 10, 2016 re-run elections in the state.
Wike had asked the Court in Abuja to stop the IGP’s probe into the various acts of violence and roles played by individuals in the re-run legislative elections.
However, when the case came up yesterday, counsel to the IGP, Mr. Deji Morakinya, raised preliminary objections to the application, arguing that it would amount to preventing the police from performing their constitutional and statutory duties if Wike’s prayers were granted.
He also prayed the court for interlocutory injunction to stop Wike from continuing with the suit.
The governor’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, said that he would respond to the issues raised in the counter-affidavit and interlocutory at the appropriate time but urged the court to order the IGP or his agents to maintain the status quo on the matter until issues raised in the originating summons are resolved.
Ozekhome said, “the police have admitted that some actions have been taken in the matter before the court but this ought not to be. Hence, the question is whether they should use the issue of jurisdiction to continue to go on with their activities when the court has not determined whether it has jurisdiction or not. They have admitted that they have carried out actions concerning this matter before this court; they are saying that we are carrying out investigation and dismissed some policemen in the matter whilst they ought to stay execution so that they would not be fait accompli. This is my worry.”
“This is no right; otherwise it will be fait accompli and an affront on this court. They should give an undertaking that when arguing the matter, they should stay action for now,” Ozekhome prayed the court.
In a bench ruling, the trial judge, Justice Kolawole said that the police have nothing to lose if the investigation was suspended.
However, the court said that the police have the option to continue with their investigation or not, adding that the court has the power to declare the findings invalid at the end.
According to Justice Kolawole, the issue of jurisdiction is to be resolved first before going into the substance of the matter.
“The issue of jurisdiction of court is said to be sacrosanct until otherwise proven,” he added.
“I see no injuries to be suffered by the defendants if asked to stay action. However, they have the option to go ahead or not but let me say that the court still has the power to declare the findings of the investigation by the police invalid,” he held.
The matter was adjourned till February 10, 2016 for arguments on the applications.
Meanwhile, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Governor Wike to investigate the killings and other violent acts during the elections has commenced hearing of petitions submitted to it.
The commission was inaugurated on December 22, 2016 by the governor in exercise of his powers pursuant to Section 2(1) of the Commission of Inquiry Law of Rivers State (Cap 30) Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999 and other powers enabling him in that behalf.
The Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Justice Chinwendu Nwogu, in his inaugural speech, stated that the commission is not aimed at witch-hunting anybody or group of persons.
Justice Nwogu maintained that the commission would employ and adopt all-known procedures that will ensure fairness to all parties.
A chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and Commissioner for Urban Development, Chinyere Igwe, who testified at the maiden sitting, could not conclude due to a video, which according to him, needs to be tendered before the commission.
Two other witnesses cross-examined by the commission – Lekuu Mgba and Frank David – in their statements, accused the Nigerian Army, Hon. Bari Mpigi and Nnala William of sponsoring the violence that occurred at Tai Local Government Area of the state which claimed the life of one Mr. Donwi Nte
In another development, the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, says the All Progressives Congress, APC, is at its clandestine plot again,  plotting to take advantage of the panel set up by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to investigate alleged cases of killings during the December 10, 2016, re-run elections in the State to further their criminal and evil intentions against the government and leadership of the PDP in the State.
Part of the  ongoing clandestine plot, Rivers PDP gathered is to contract the services of some notorious gangsters as their hatchet men to frame up the State Governor, Chief Barr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, and the State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah, as their paymasters for the alleged killings, particularly the murder of ASP Molid Alkali and his orderly.
Obuah in a statement by his Special Adivser on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needem said the hatchet men, who are still negotiating on how much to be paid for the satanic job, have been given the phone numbers of the State governor and the State PDP Chairman, Bro Obuah, to reflect same in their phones, as though they have been having regular communication with them as allies.
According to him, hatchet men, who are being mobilized, will in turn be accused by their paymasters, the APC chairman, and his co-plotters, will be arrested with arms and ammunitions, and upon interrogation, they will falsely admit that they were sent to carry out the alleged killings by Governor Wike and Bro Obuah.
The middleman, one Mr. George, according to information available to the PDP, is making the contact with the criminals while a certain former Commissioner, had assured the boys that they would be released by the police after playing the dirty job to rope in Governor Wike and Bro Obuah.
‘Oga George’ (as called by the gangster point-man), is an APC member,who said the action is in the collective interest of his party, the APC. He also assured the boys that the APC is working with the DSS and the Police, and would dictate to the Police and the DSS authorities what will happen, affirming that the notorious gangsters would be paid handsomely for playing the devil’s role to falsely rope in Gov. Wike and Bro. Obuah, the statement said..
It said the PDP is sufficiently aware of this satanic plot by the agents of the devil, with concrete evidence of live discussions between the gangsters and the plotters, and is waiting for them to make true their plot.
“But let it be known that one thing is to make wild allegations and quite another, to prove and be able to stand the dire consequences of such unfounded, baseless, concocted, and malicious allegations.
While we await them to hatch their evil plot, we wish to put the security agencies, particularly, the Inspector General of Police, the Rivers people, the international community and the whole world on notice about the next round of the many APC’s wicked plans to destabilize Rivers State, the statement said.
Rivers PDP said in an  unmistakable terms that it was not shaken by the uncovered plot, but assured that APC have failed before they started.
The good Lord that has been fighting our battles is not tired yet and will also disgrace them in their new plot.
While we reassure the good people of Rivers State that the PDP-led government will never relent in its efforts to keep its promises and defend the mandate entrusted to it, we also advise our brothers, who are APC members to join hands with our performing governor, Chief Barr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, to move the State to its deserved height, and desist forthwith, from the evil plot to incite another round of crisis in the state the statement said,.
It said that the crisis, no matter how coloured or to whom it’s aimed at, is an ill-wind that blows no one any good.
It would be recalled that the continued efforts of Technical Intelligence support from the TIU and 48 PMF arrested one of the key gang members, Christian Chukwuemeka Ekiekame, aka Prince Okoroma, native of Okposi village, that killed and beheaded DSP Molid Alkali and his orderly, and retrieved the late DSP’s phone from him.
He was quoted to have confessed to the crime, and the gang member also mentioned a former Commissioner and chieftain of the APC in Rivers State as their alleged sponsor.
Regrettably, the Police have not done anything to prosecute the said former Commissioner, obviously, because he is an APC member.

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Rivers’ll Be Known For Peace, Not Crisis -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said that peace has prevailed because he draws strength from God to resist insults and tantrums thrown at him while frustrating attempts by some disgruntled persons who wanted to plunge the State into unending crisis.
The Governor also said that because he has anchored his Government on promoting peace, the enabling atmosphere has been provided for investments and sustainable development to flourish.
Governor Fubara made the assertion when he received a delegation of members of the Bishops and Gospel Ministers’ Association International Incorporated, Rivers State Chapter, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by the Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Dr George Nwaeke, Governor Fubara said while most people took his meekness for weakness, his stance on peace has unarguably enhanced harmonious atmosphere of concord as residents sleep with their two eyes closed, and investors and shareholders are happy with the returns on investment.
He said, “Before, what they hear of Rivers State is that they are fighting, and some genuine investors will not come. Some people even ask you: How are you coping in Rivers State?
“But now”, he asserted: “The Governor has brought about a lot of changes in the State. One of the most important things is that he has changed the negative narrative. It is no longer Rivers of blood. It is now Rivers of peace.
“We are enjoying our lives here. Why? Because there is a change in the narrative. We have peace. The Governor is, as much as possible, absorbing any level of insult at him only for one purpose: that Rivers State may have peace; that we may grow; that this state will experience genuine development.”
Governor Fubara urged them, as members of the Christian family in the State, to continue to pray for the State and the Government so that the enemies of the State will be put to greater shame.
“This peace is what I want you to embrace. Go and continue to pray, because when the sower of the seed went and sowed, the enemy went in the night and sowed tares inside there. But the Governor is sowing peace.
“When I listened to the leader of the team, His Grace Eddy Ogbonda, he said you came all the way from Eleme Junction, and stopped at major junctions, and you uttered prayers for the peace of Rivers State.”
He also said: “I, hereby want to thank you for identifying with the Governor at a time like this. At a time when it looks as if someone wants the Governor’s peace posture misunderstood as weakness.
“When someone has the strength to fight back, but refuses to fight back. That is a bigger strength; that power of restrain does not just come, it can only come from God.
“You cannot give peace, if you do not have peace within you. The Governor is not interested in any form of trouble or violence. What he is interested in is known, and it is: let there be peace in Rivers State,” he said.
In his address, leader of the group, Archbishop Eddy Ogbonda, said they had observed a week-long intensive prayers that culminated into a peace rally, which brought them to Government House, and assured the Governor that God will continue to give him victory over his adversaries while preserving Rivers State.
“It is Rivers State Prophetic Prayer Convocation and Rally 2024 with the theme: ‘Peace be still’. Of a truth, everyone of us understands that we live in a time when we need peace much more than any other thing.
“Rivers State needs peace. Everyone as individuals need peace. The country needs peace, and the world at large needs peace. So, we are here to do a peace march. We pray that God will command His peace to reign in Rivers State,” he said.

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Hoteliers, School Owners Charging In Dollars Risk Arrest -EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stated that hotels, schools, and other establishments that accept payments in dollars from their customers are at risk of facing arrest.
The Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said this in the agency’s publication called EFCC Alert on Monday, adding that action would be taken against individuals involved in the dollarisation of the economy.
According to him, the exception is if foreigners come in to transact business and the only means of transacting is their credit card and dollar but to charge local customers in dollars or other foreign currencies would no longer be allowed.
He said charging local activities and customers in dollars is against Nigeria’s constitution.
The EFCC chairman said, “Schools that charge Nigerians in dollar, supermarkets that trade in dollar, estate developers that sell their property in dollar, hotels that are invoicing in dollar, we are coming after you and we have made arrests in that area.
“Yes, if foreigners are coming in and the only means of transacting is their credit card, and dollar, why not? You will get that.
“But document it properly as against selling things within the system, local economy and you will be using dollar as the medium of exchange, it is illegal.
“Our law does not allow for that. And we have also affected some arrests.”

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Eid-El-Fitr: Fubara Felicitates Muslims, Calls For Unity, Tolerance

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has enjoined Muslim faithful to remain steadfast to the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan.
Governor Fubara stated this in his message of felicitations to Muslims as they celebrate the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr Sallah, which marks the end of the one-month Ramadan fasting.
The Governor emphasised the importance for Muslims to also uphold the tenets of Islam by exhibiting the fear of God and showing piety in their daily work.
Governor Fubara said, “We must all continue in the good attributes imbibed during the holy month of Ramadan as directed by God through His Prophet, so as to ensure peace, unity and harmony in the society for a better future.”
While praying that the essence of the festival offers them happiness, peace and prosperity in all aspects of life, Governor Fubara said he recognises and appreciates the critical role that the Muslim community continues to play in the development of Rivers State, and indeed, Nigeria at large.
Governor Fubara charged them to remain unwavering and steadfast in their commitment and positive contributions to advance the development of the State and the country.
“I enjoin you all in the State to remain calm, be patient and continue to do what is right,” the Governor added.
He wished the Muslim faithful in the State and across the country a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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