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#EndSARS: Rivers Panel Receives 171 Petitions, Pledges Fairness

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The Rivers State Commission of Inquiry on Police Brutality, yesterday, revealed that it has so far received a total of 171 petitions from individuals and groups in the state, perhaps, the highest in the country.
The commission was set up by the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, in the wake of the #EndSARS protests to probe into alleged acts of violence, torture, brutality, murder and violation of fundamental rights of citizens committed by officers, men and operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in the state.
Addressing the inaugural session, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Chairman of the commission, Hon. Justice Chukwuneye Uriri (rtd) said that the number was the highest to be received by a commission of inquiry in any state.
He stated that the commission was a fact-finding one with a mission to do justice at all times to all manner of persons, irrespective of religion, colour or tribe.
Uriri said: “The panel is a fact-finding one, separate and distinct from regular courts of law but with coordinate responsibility to humanity. It is enjoined by law to make its own rules for effective administration of justice.”
He added: “Our vision is to do justice at all times, to all manner of persons, irrespective of colour, age, religion, culture and tribe, downtrodden or not”.
He disclosed that due to the exigencies of time, the commission would be sitting daily, including Saturdays and Sundays in other to meet the 60 days lifespan of the commission from the first date of sitting.
Uriri, said that the commission would, therefore, take a break only for four days from December 24 to 27.
According to him, the commission’s terms of reference includes, among other things, to ascertain and identify the acts of violence, torture, brutality, murder and violation of fundamental rights of citizens by officers and men of Nigerian Police, especially operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“The commission will also ascertain and identify the officers involved in the act, the motive of the actions as well as the victims in the act by men and officers of Nigerian Police, especially, defunct SARS”.
“The commission will make recommendation to Rivers State Government”, he added.
Addressing journalists after the inaugural sitting, Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt Branch, Prince Nyekwere, assured the commission that legal practitioners in the state would assist it achieve the desired result.
He expressed confidence on the calibre of persons appointed into the commission, and assured the NBA’s total cooperation and support to the commission to enable members deliver on their mandate.
Nyekwere urged members of the commission to ensure that they dispensed justice to all and be fair during the process.
He reiterated the promise of the association to provide pro bono legal services to members of the society, who may not have lawyers to represent them during the proceedings.
Nyekwere said: “We are happy that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was set up and all of us living in Nigeria know why the commissions of inquiry are being set up in states. It was because of the #EndSARS protest that was organised by Nigerian youths.
“We just hope that the commission of inquiry will give the seriousness that this assignment deserves. As members of the NBA, Port Harcourt Branch, we have promised to partner with them to ensure that their mandate is achieved”.
He opined that the #EndSARS protests in the state and across the country were not only for police brutality but also against bad governance, and regretted that what started as good struggle was later hijacked by enemies of good governance.

 

By: Amadi Akujobi

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I’ll Provide Solid Representation, If Elected -Banigo

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has assured the people of Abua/Odual Local Government Area that she would provide undivided representation if voted into the Senate in 2023.
Banigo gave this assurance when leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party had a meeting with her, at the Government House in Port Harcourt to map out campaign strategies, yesterday.
The deputy governor said, she was excited that the meeting was held for the stakeholders to understand themselves, to ensure the party wins at the elections in 2023, adding that by the grace of God the local government area would be better than what it is now, if she emerges as the Rivers West senator.
In a related development, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is the Rivers West Senatorial District Candidate of the PDP in the upcoming polls, has also met with leaders of the PDP in Ahoada East Local Government Area, where she urged them to reach out to their constituents and encourage the collection of PVCs.
“We must realize that with this new Electoral Act, the votes will surly count, as this 2023 election is not going to be like the previous elections, there will be a difference, people should not be afraid to pick up their cards and vote, they should not be lackadaisical about it, they should keep their cards safe and on the day of election they should come up and cast their vote, because this time every vote will count”.
She said the campaigns would be unit based and urged them to reach out to those in their units.
“Make sure you have unit executives in each of the wards, so we can have a door to door campaign”, Banigo said.
In his remarks at the meetings, the Vice Chairman of the Rivers West Senatorial District of the PDP, Dr. Nname Robinson Ewor, said there is a need for members of the PDP to go out and establish their presence in all units’ wards and constituencies, stressing that the nature of this upcoming election would be different from previous elections.

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Ariolu, Others Welcome Ex-Deputy Guber Candidate To PDP

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Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barrister George Ariolu, has led other party faithful, including Chairman of PDP, Ward 6, Kingsley Nna; Chairman of PDP, Ward 9, Collins Wobo Chukwu; and Obio/Akpor PDP Secretary, Kingman Ogbonna; to receive a bigwig and stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Rumuogba in Ward 6, Chief Williams Igwe, into the PDP.
Receiving the former Deputy Governorship Candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Obio/Akpor PDP Secretariat, Rumueme, Ariolu expressed delight over his decampment from the APC to the PDP, describing it as an indication that the party was waxing stronger.
Ariolu, who was greeted with euphoria by the LGA PDP Chairman, Chidi Amadi, who also welcomed the former deputy governorship candidate at the secretariat, promised to work closely with Igwe to build the party ahead of the forthcoming election.
He pointed out that the foundation of the PDP was built on togetherness, stating that collectively, the party would achieve more.
Ariolu thanked Igwe for wholeheartedly accepting to come back to the party.
According to him, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has separated governance from politics following his relentless battle to promote the interest of Rivers people.
Also speaking, Chairman of the PDP in Obio/Akpor, Chidi Amadi, said the reception of Igwewas a fulfilment of an age-long dream, and a welcome development for members of the party, expressing joy over the event.
He further commended Ariolu for his strong support and leadership towards the sustenance and growth of the party.
In his remark, Chief Williams Igwe affirmed his loyalty and commitment to the PDP in its quest to oust the APC and fix the broken state of the country’s socio-economic and political fabrics.
He described the reception as a homecoming for himself and his supporters who would be formally received at a formal event which would be organised by the state party chairman, adding that PDP remains a major political party which will unite the nation.
He added that his decision to defect to the party was well-thought-out, and called on others to join hands with the Rivers State Government to rebuild the socio-economic fortunes of the state.
According to him, he believed that it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the Rivers State governor in moving the state forward.
The former Deputy Governorship Candidate was also received by PDP Chieftain, Barrister Temple Ejekwu; Obio/Akpor PDP Woman Leader,Gloria Wonodi; Barrister Kelvin Akani; and members of Obio/Akpor PDP Executive.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NNPC Posts N674bn Profit

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has declared a profit after tax of N674billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2021.
The profit represented a growth of 134.84per cent when compared with N287billion profit in 2020 which was recorded under the old Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said this at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja.
“NNPC progressed to a new performance level, from N287billion profit in 2020 to a N674billion profit after tax in 2021 climbing higher by 134.8per cent year on year profit growth,’’ he said.
Kyari also said that it recorded an increase in total assets from N15.86trillion in 2020 to N16.27trillion in 2021.
Speaking on the group’s financial position, Kyari said the corporation’s total liabilities decreased by 8.3per cent to N13.46trillion during the review period from N14.68trillion in 2020.
The GCEO said its shareholders funds position rose N2.81trillion representing 144per cent year-on-year.
“The performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and products theft, among others.
“Details of the performance of NNPC and the respective subsidiaries as well as that of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) will be published on our website www.nnpcgroup.com for stakeholder’s perusal.
“We look forward to achieving greater performance to support our growth aspirations and to create more value for our stakeholders as we drive full commercial operations under NNPC Ltd.,’’ he said.
He recalled that in September 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the publication of the 2020 NNPC Group Audited Financial Statement, in which NNPC declared a profit after tax of N287billion for the first time in 44 years.
Kyari said that in spite of the challenging operating environment, it strongly believed that the corporation had the potential to sustainably deliver better value to it esteemed shareholders.
He said it sought to become a dynamic global energy company of choice to its customers, partners and over 200million shareholders comprising of all Nigerians.
Kyari noted that the corporation in 2019 rolled out deliberate policies and initiatives aimed at reducing costs and eliminating losses while adopting technology to entrench transparency, accountability and performance excellence (TAPE) across its various functions.
He said the NNPC had recorded significant improvement over the past three years, turning up the curve from losses to profits.

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