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Wike Scores ‘Master Stroke’ In Infrastructure Dev, Security …Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity Road Reaches Final Stage

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Barely days to the end of 2019, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has been declared the most outstanding Governor in Nigeria, in terms of fiscal development, people oriented projects and security.
Chairman of the State’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Bro. Felix Obuah stated this at the weekend when he hosted a cross section of youth leaders in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the Rivers State.
Obuah in a statement by his media aide, Jerry Needam, and made available to The Tide, said his assessment was borne out of careful evaluation of the Governor’s sterling performance about six months after his second term inauguration.
Obuah stated that “while the ovation that greeted Governor Wike’s remarkable and excellent achievements during his first tenure was yet to die down, he is already working to repeat history with numerous projects on the ground”.
Listing what he called “the array of projects” that makes the Governor stand out amongst his colleagues, Obuah said the “historic and simultaneous construction of three flyovers in the State is a master stroke”.
The statement reads, “Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is the best Governor in terms of infrastructural development, security, regular payment of salaries and entitlements to civil servants in the State, amongst others.
“As if that is not enough, ‘Mr. Quality Projects’ pushed his good governance policy with construction of three flyovers simultaneously.”
The State PDP Chairman further said the Governor has restored absolute peace in all 23 Local Government Areas of the State, adding that his favourable disposition towards non-indigenes has made the State home to all Nigerians.
While thanking the youths for their peaceful disposition, he called on them and others across the State to remain unwavering in their support for the Governor, noting that they can only do so by saying no to violence.
Meanwhile, in line with the promise of the Governor to execute as many people-oriented projects as possible, Governor Wike has ensured that the ongoing construction works on the final aspects of the Opobo section of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity Road are at advanced stage.
Currently, construction work on the road is at the last portion that leads to Opobo Kingdom, even as the State Government had earlier completed a temporary road into the ancient kingdom for motorists to drive into the Island.
The contractor is expected to conclude the earthworks, stone-base and asphalt of the remaining parts of the Opobo Axis of the Unity Road.
Project Engineer for Raffoul Nigeria Limited, Tunde Taiwo said the Opobo Axis of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity Road will be delivered by mid April 2020. He said construction work will be carried out in different aspects to complete the road.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said ”the people of Opobo-Nkoro are happy that the all-important road project is progressing to conclusion.
“They praised the Rivers State Governor for connecting riverine communities to the mainland, saying that the investments of the Governor have improved the economy of Opobo-Nkoro and adjoining communities”.
Like last year’s Christmas, the people of Opobo used the temporary link of the road to travel to Opobo Kingdom.
According to the statement, the Andoni section of the Unity Road will also be delivered by August 2020. The project has been accommodated in the 2020 budget of the Rivers State Budget.
In another development, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has commended Senator Samuel Anyanwu for his political sportsmanship despite the political challenges he faced in 2019.
Speaking during a Thanksgiving Service in honour of the Senator, who is the immediate past Senator who represented Imo East Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly (Senate), at Saint Columbus Catholic Parish, Amaimo, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday, Governor Wike said Senator Anyanwu has had a successful political career.
He noted that despite eventually losing the PDP ticket to incumbent Governor Emeka Ihedioha, Senator Anyanwu has continued to remain faithful to the PDP.
“Senator Sam Anyanwu is a good politician. Despite losing the party’s Governorship ticket, he has remained faithful to the party”, he said.
Governor Wike noted his commitment to always thank God for his mercies, emphasizing that but for God he (Wike) would not have occupied the position of Governor.
He continued that his administration has always partnered the church in Rivers State; hence he will also assist the community church to expand the work of God.
Governor Wike recalled how he supported the Anglican Church in Imo State during their Synod, emphasizing that as a government; his administration will always be committed to supporting the gospel.
Also speaking, Former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, said Senator Anyanwu is a man of distinguished character, who always stood for the truth.
“It is hard to speak the truth, but Sam is a man who always stand firm and speaks the truth for his people. As Chairman of Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, he always stood firm. I have no doubt that Sam has a bright future, I will always support him”, he said.
In his remarks, Senator Anyanwu lauded friends and well wishers for identifying with him.
He particularly thanked Governor Wike, who he described as his friend and brother in Ikwerreland of Rivers State, who believed in making people, noting that the Governor has made him proud by always standing by his side.
“Governor Wike has made me proud. Though I failed my bid for the Governorship of Imo State and I’m no more in the Senate, but the Governor is still by my side”, he said.
The Thanksgiving Service attracted Former and Serving Federal Lawmakers.

 

By: Dennis Naku & Kpobari Barizaa

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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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