A rights group based in the Niger Delta, Vanguard for Defence of Justice and Good Governance (VDJGG) has reacted ferociously to the unwarranted attack on Justice Mary Odili over her role in the Supreme Court judgment in the Bayelsa State governorship election, last year, describing the act as shameful and unacceptable.
In a statement, made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the group said, “Ordinarily, we would not have bothered ourselves to dignify the barbaric act of some misguided miscreants and merchants of disintegration paid by some unscrupulous persons to mete out an unwarranted attack on the person of Justice Mary Odili, head of the 5-man justices that ruled on the case of the Bayelsa State APC governorship-elect and his deputy in the judgment of February 13.
“Our findings show that the irate APC youths who attacked Mary Odili’s Abuja home, claimed that the judgment was influenced by the fact that Justice Mary’s husband, Dr. Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers State and one-time presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP, was the principled reason why the judgment went against the APC.
“Nothing could be more misplaced than this misconception. It will be recalled that Dr. Peter Odili was still in PDP when his dear wife, Justice Mary Odili wrote and read the lead judgments that upturned the election petitions of Lagos, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Katsina states which were all won by the APC.
“Our question is: where were these irredentist attackers when all of the above judgments happened under Justice Mary Odili’s watch! It is very unfortunate that a certain stalwart of the ruling APC had stocked the pile of crisis when he said nobody would be sworn in as governor of Bayelsa state despite the Supreme Court ruling. Hours later, a heinous attack was unleashed on government institutions by miscreants.
“Few days later, this same APC leader made an unsubstantiated and unfounded claim that billions of naira was paid by the PDP to upturn justice against the APC in the February 13 judgment. In a sane clime, this APC leader, irrespective of his public standing should have been arrested to divulge the source/s of such humongous allegations which, with all intents and purposes, ignited the attacks on Justice Mary Odili”, the rights group added.
Also reacting, the immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Hon Seriake Dickson, condemned, in strong terms, the sponsored demonstrations in the Abuja and Port Harcourt residences of Justice Mary Odilli.
The former governor called on the Federal Government to fortify security around judges, especially those involved the Supreme Court verdict on Bayelsa governorship election.
The former governor, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, yesterday, described the protests and the sponsors as reprehensible, crude, barbaric and most condemnable.
He said that the protesters at the residence of Justice Odilli should be made to realise that Nigeria, a society under the rule of law, has no place for such a sickening desecration of the rule of law at this age.
Dickson urged all Nigerians of good conscience to condemn the brazen attempt to arm-twist and even bring the Judiciary, especially the Supreme Court to needless opprobrium.
The former governor said that the placards carried by the sponsored protesters and thugs of the APC were a gnawing anathema to civilized conduct.
The former governor said that the provocative remarks and lack of restraints on the part of the APC ignited violence which led to the destruction of property worth millions of naira.
He said that the APC thugs attacked and damaged his residence at Opolo, the residence of Governor Douye Diri, the Steve Azaiki Library, the secretariat of the People’s Democratic Party apart from cars and property belonging to PDP supporters that were destroyed.
Dickson called on the police and other security agencies to ensure that those who carried out the assault on the law, peace and stability of the state are brought to justice.
“We have noted the distressing display of crude conduct by the sponsored thugs and protesters of the APC in their response to the judgment of the Supreme Court.
“I condemn in the possible strongest terms, the demonstration in the Abuja and Port Harcourt residences of Justice Mary Odili. The protesters and their sponsors must be told in clear and unmistakable terms that their action is reprehensible and condemnable.
“We are a country with respect for the rule of law and respect for our judicial officers. The sponsors of the protesters in Abuja and Port Harcourt and the APC hoodlums who took to the streets in Yenagoa to unleash mayhem, destroying properties of PDP supporters including my residence must be made to realise that we are in a democracy.”
Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa
Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.
Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.
Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.
According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.
Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.
He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.
“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.
Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.
He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.
According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.
“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.
The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.
He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.
Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.
Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.
Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.
She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.
The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.
“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.
“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.
“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.
“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.
“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.
“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”
While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.
Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.
Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.
However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023 -NBS
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.
In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent
It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.
Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.
The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.
“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”
In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.
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