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Use Gas Flare Penalty To Fund Modular Refineries, HOSCON Tells FG

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The Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSCON) has called on the Federal Government to deploy monies recovered from gas flare penalties to fund the construction of modular refineries in the Niger Delta.
HOSCON said that with such refineries, it would be unfashionable for the youths of the region to engage in illegal refining of crude oil that has caused environmental pollution, soot and destruction of aquatic lives and the biodiversity.
The National Chairman of HOSCON, Chief Jasper Jumbo, made the appeal during the 2022 Validation Annual Conference held with government and security officials in Port Harcourt.
Jumbo said that the conference with the theme, “Reviving Nigerian’s HOSCON Oil and Gas Communities for Inclusiveness and Sustainable Development”, was aimed at strategically repositioning and advancing the inclusive stakeholders of oil and gas community units to enhance the growth of the communities.
He stated that the conference’s resolutions demand the unmitigated release of the accumulated and earlier approved gas flare penalty fund and part thereof to be applied by the Federal Government in funding some of the proposed artisanal modular refineries.
“We fully support Federal Government’s initiative to set up three pilot modular refineries in each Niger Delta state that would hopefully correct the fragile and flawed past.
“We also thank the federal and state governments as well as the House of Representatives for the strong message sent, indicating signal of government’s intent to halt the debilitating effects and anxious emission from illegal oil bunkering, through host community involvement, application of indigenous technologies and subsidised funding.
“We plead with the Federal Government, through the National Assembly, to put a clause in the 3per cent Petroleum Industry Act to 5per cent in the near future in spite of the rising production costs, and allow the host communities to choose their management for the fund,”he said.
“We want the Federal Government, through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) led by Sen. Godwin Akpabio and Barrister Effiong Akwa to call for and settle the long outstanding bills of genuine and performing NDDC contractors for executed projects, especially the founding fathers of the defunct OMPADEC, NDDC and traditional rulers of host oil and gas producing communities.
In his speech, the Commandant General of Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Gen. Ahmed Abubakar, represented by an Assistant Commandant General of the Corps, Dr Evelyn Ebitume, said that the agency would continue to carry out its mandate on the protection of oil and gas pipelines in the country.
He stated that activities of vandals led to economic wastage, and urged the youths and the public from host communities who live near the pipelines to avail the agency information that would help in curbing the activities of oil and gas pipeline vandals and bring the offenders to book.
Similarly, the Anambra State Commissioner for Lands, Bonaventure Enemali, has urged every community leader in the HOSCON catchment area to ensure that the voice of their community was heard.
Enemali urged chiefs in host communities not to neglect the interest of their people while negotiating with oil companies.
The states that endorsed the conference resolutions were Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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