Deltan Sues Akpabio Over NDDC Audit
An indigene of Oyede in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, Christian Moses Abeh, has taken legal action against the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami(SAN), and Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, over the final report of the forensic audit of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In his suit before a Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State, the applicant is seeking an order of mandamus by the law court compelling the respondents to furnish him, within seven days, with the complete final report of the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Abeh in a motion on notice brought pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, by his solicitor, O. E Emetanjo, further urged the court to “order the respondents to within seven days of the judgment of court to pay jointly and severally the sum of N500, 000 as fine to the applicant for failure to disclose the report of audit as demanded.”
His solicitor had in a letter dated September 17 to the first applicant, entitled: “Request for Public Records Pursuant to Section 2 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 Laws of the Federation”, applied for a certified true copy of the complete final report of the forensic audit of NDDC “received by you on 9/8/2011 from the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.”
“Our client’s reason for demanding for the said final report is because he is a Nigerian citizen of Oyede, Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, who watches the activities of NDDC in order to report any illegal act or problem that happens at the said Commission to anti-graft agencies,” he stated.
Assistant Chief State Counsel, Hamza Omolara, who responded for the Minister of Justice, September 22, said: “I am further directed to inform you that pursuant to the provision of Section 5 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, your request has been transferred to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs who has greater interest in the information for their necessary action.”
The applicant, in an affidavit in support of his motion, explained: “The first respondent received my said application and responded to the request through a letter dated September 22 and received by me on September 24 that my said exhibit CMA 1 has been transferred to the second respondent for further action.
“The letter dated September 22 is hereto marked as exhibit CMA 2.
“From September 22 till date, the first and second respondents have refused to disclose the record demanded in exhibit CMA 1,” he said.
Bayelsa Recommits To Accountability, Infrastructural Projects …Declares Financial Receipt For Feb, March
The Bayelsa State Government has restated its resolve towards ensuring accountability and prudence in the management and deployment of financial accruals to the state.
The Government stated this during the monthly ‘Transparency briefing’ held in Yenagoa, the state capital on Thursday, June 1st, to render the state’s financial report for February and March, 2023.
Rendering the financial report, the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Maxwell Ebibai, indicated that statutory allocation stood at N2.222b, derivation, N14.021b, VAT, N 2.683b, first non-oil revenue, N 623m, 2nd non-oil revenue, N 93.5m, electronic money transfer levy was N 125.4m.
He said refund of VAT stood at N 55.5m, while total inflow from the federation account allocation committee(FAAC), stood at N19.826m, respectively.
Ebibai also said deductions from FAAC for February were N 2.4b, while total net inflow stood at N 17 .423billion.
According to the Commissioner, the state also raked in N 1.093b from internally generated revenue(IGR), and that ecological fund transfers to the state in February were N 79m, while refunds for excess crude was N3.876billion, making the sum total accruals for the month to be N 22.472billion.
He noted that expenses incurred in February were: Civil Servants salaries, N 4.387billion, bank loans, N 1.650billion, salaries of political appointees, N 551m, gratuity, N1 billion, grants to higher institutions of learning of the state, N 961m, ten percent contribution to salaries of primary school Teachers in the state, N 86m.
Further more, the Commissioner stressed that additional contribution to salaries of Teachers of public primary schools in the state was N117m, while minimum wage arrears was, N 50m, whereas the Government transfer of 50% refunds to the NDDC from the state in February stood at N 39.5m, and 5% contribution from its IGR to the State loans board was N 51.5m.
He noted also that charges from the state account maintenance in February, was N 13.5m, and that total payment incurred for recurrent expenditure stood at N 9.087billion, leaving the state with a balance of N13.384b.
The Government stated that total amount incurred as payment for capital expenditure in February stood at N 16.014billion.
The Tide reports that the Commissioner for Finance stated that in March, the state had a negative balance of N5.975 billion, which was only made good by the balance brought forward from February, leaving a closing balance of N3.887 billion.
Earlier in his opening speech, Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Hon. Ayibaina Duba, scored the administration of Governor Diri high on its meticulous and prudential deployment of resources for the execution of infrastructural projects and other programmes in the state.
He noted that from the inception of the Governor Diri-led ‘Prosperity’ administration to date, the Governor has demonstrated willingness to fast-track the developmental processes of the state.
Duba restated Government’s resolve towards completing all ongoing infrastructural projects, maintaining that with Governor Diri at the helms of affairs of the state, Bayelsa can only be even better for it.
”Governor Diri has over and over again demonstrated the willingness and resolve to develop this state inspite of the dwindling allocations and other accruals to the state. But I want to again, assure all Bayelsans that no ongoing infrastructural project would be left stalled in this state by this administration”, he said.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
MOSIEND Lauds Asari Dukobo Over Minority Rights Advocacy
The Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND) has commended Alhaji Asari Dokubo for his relentless advocacy for the rights of minority people.
National President of MOSIEND, Mr Kenedy Tonjo-West, in a statement issued on Saturday in Yenagoa, noted that Dokubo’s struggles bring to the fore decades of selfless service by the Ijaw leader.
The statement described Dokubo as a man of many parts, with passion in his pursuit for a better deal for the Izon Ethnic Nationality and other minorities in the Niger Delta and Nigeria, Tonjo-West noted that Dokubo has sacrificed a lot for the peace, unity and Socio-economic and political advancement of the Ijaws and Niger Delta people.
“Asari Dokubo is a Hero, one we hold in high esteem and join in celebrating as always.
“He is a trail blazer and pathfinder who brought more awareness to the gross marginalization and oppression of the Niger Delta people by forces, including Multinational corporations.
“And his detest for criminality, more especially from those in the struggle platform, stands him out. Asari abhors any act that will dent the credibility and integrity of the people in the struggle platform.
“He speaks truth to power and has become the voice to several voiceless ethnic nationalities outside of Ijaw and Niger Delta”, Tonjo-West stated.
The MOSIEND leader said Dokubo is a role model to so many and he makes his position on issues and policies known without fear or favour.
He described Dokubo, a former President of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), as a known anti-oppression and anti-corruption advocate.
“We rejoice with him and celebrate God’s mercy and faithfulness upon his life and wish him many more years ahead in good health, sound mind and fulfilment.
“Yes, he may be controversial sometimes in his positions on issues, but that doesn’t make him a bad person. He has a kind heart but should not be taken for granted.
“If he stands for you, you can go home because he stands by his convictions. He is our illustrious son and brother, a legend and a rear gem. Ijaw Nation and Niger Delta are proud to have him” Tonjo-West concluded.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
Diri Condemns Slow Pace Of Work On Nembe-Brass Road
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of work on the 21km phase one of the Nembe-Brass Road, being constructed by his administration.
He stated this when he paid an unscheduled visit to the project site at Nembe.
The Governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, told the construction company, Setraco, that the project was important to his administration and people of the area.
He said the level of work done since the project commenced almost a year ago was not commensurate with the N16 billion paid as mobilization out of the N54 billion earmarked for the project.
Urging the company not to disappoint his administration, the Bayelsa helmsman stressed that he does not want anyone to adduce or play politics with the project.
While acknowledging that the company was credible, Governor Diri enjoined the contractor to put in more effort in order to meet the timelines for completion of the job.
”I am not comfortable with the level of sand filling that you have done so far. We have timelines for this project and I do not want anybody to ever think that we are playing politics with this road.
“We know why we awarded this contract. We know the importance of this road leading to Brass and I do not want you as contractors to disappoint the government. That is why we came here to make the point that this road means a lot to us.
“This contract was awarded for the first phase for about N54billion and your mobilization was 30 per cent, which amounts to N16billion. Government has paid the N16billion but the work done is not commensurate with the mobilization that you have received.
“The next time we come here, we want to see this whole place sand-filled. Take this very seriously.
“You are a very serious company and you have been working with this government. You did the Sagbama/Ekeremor Road and now you are on this important road. So I expect that you will not disappoint us”, he said.
In his response, the Setraco Area Manager for Bayelsa and Delta States, Engr. J. J. Cosme, promised to increase the pace of work on the project in order to meet the timelines.
He also assured that the company will not disappoint the government and people of the area.
Governor Diri also inspected the ongoing Onuebum-Otuoke Road project in Ogbia Local Government Area.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
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