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Diri Lauds Judiciary On Bias-Free Justice Delivery

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has lauded the Judicial arm of government on commitment to administration of justice and protection of the oppressed and vulnerable in the society.
Diri gave the commendation in Yenagoa at the reception ceremony and launch of a book titled, ‘Astute Judgements and Essays’ written as part of activities commemorating the retirement ceremony of Justice Nayai Aganaba of the Bayelsa State High Court.
He described Justice Aganaba as an erudite, incorruptible and courageous jurist who triumphed even in the face of daunting challenges, noting that he has known the retiring jurist as a sound legal practitioner many years ago before he was appointed as a Judge.
The Tide learnt that the retiring Justice Aganaba was called to the Bar in 1982 and appointed as a Judge of the Bayelsa State Judiciary in the year 2001 by the first Executive Governor of the state, the Late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha of blessed memory, and that prior to his retirement after 20 years of meritorious service as a Judge, he had also at different instances served in both election and inquiry tribunals, respectively.
The state number one citizen who also condemned the April, 13, 2022 invasion of the state High Court and attack on the retiring Judge by hoodlums, described the dastardly act as having come from the opposition parties in the state, just as he called on the police and sister security agencies to partner the state and Judiciary by providing adequate security in and around the state Judiciary and for Judges to enable them discharge their Constitutional functions without fear of intimidation.
Diri, who also applauded the State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri for her steadfastness and commitment to duty as well as efforts to ensure that Judicial officers and Judges were given their rightful places in successive administrations of the state noted that his administration and all arms of government of the state were partners in progress.
“I’ve known Justice Aganaba many years ago as a legal practitioner even in the old Rivers State before the creation of Bayelsa state. He is an astute, incorruptible, erudite and courageous Judge. That was why even when on the 13th of April, just last week when he was handling a case brought to his court by the other parties, amongst themselves even upon the intimidation and treats to his life, he remained courageous.
“I call on the police and other sister security agencies to partner the government in providing adequate security in our court premises and for all Judges to avoid the reoccurrence of what happened on the 13th day of April where hoodlums were reported to have attacked the now retiring Justice Aganaba in his court. I want to again commend the state Chief Judge, the Hon. Justice Kate Abiri for her commitment towards ensuring that Judicial officers and indeed all the Judges in the state Judiciary were properly catered for”, he said.
Speaking earlier at a valedictory court session held in honour of the retiring Judge, the state Chief Justice, Kate Abiri applauded Justice Aganaba,saying he was a respected Jurist who put in 20 meritorious years in service as a Judge, just as she described the Judiciary as the final arbiter of the law.
She also commended the state government for granting the state Judiciary financial autonomy,this was just as she reiterated that those who attacked the retiring Justice Aganaba in while on duty at his court recently would face the wrath of the law.
“As an arm of government,the Bayelsa state Judiciary have enjoyed autonomy. And I make bold to say that the state government has not held back any due us as a Judiciary since the financial autonomy status was granted us. For all those who invaded the sanctity of the court and attacked the retiring Justice Aganaba in his court, here in the state Judiciary,all of them would face the wrath of the law”, she said.
Meanwhile in a special thanksgiving service held as part of activities for the retiring Jurist at the St. Peter’s Deanery, Yenagoa, the Bishop of the Niger Delta West Diocese, Anglican Communion, Emmanuel Oko-Jaja has described retirement as synonymous with Biblical injunction.
In his sermon taken from the book of Numbers 5:10, the clergy with scriptural reference noted that retirement from ones vocation after years of meritorious service is in line with God’s plan for humans,this was even as he commended the state Judiciary for striving for excellence and for its delivery of unbias Justice, irrespective of whom the Judgement was to served.
In same vein,while speaking with Journalists shortly after the event, the retiring Justice Aganaba has reassured his readiness to continue serving the state and nation in any capacity befitting of a retired Jurist, describing himself as one who was naturally called to be legal practitioner and later a Judge.
“Two incidences happened in my life which made me knew that I was destined to be a lawyer: One was in Lagos in 1969 when after giving money to a blind beggar he prayed for me, telling me that I’ld be lawyer. While the second was when I read a book titled the incurruptible Judge and later acted as a Judge in a play during my secondary school years and acted very well as a Judge”, he said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Reps Member Loses In Delta Primary

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A member of the House of Representatives from Delta State, Ben Igbakpa, has lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary.
Mr Igbakpa, who represents Ethiope Federal Constituency, was defeated by Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, the daughter of a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
Mrs Ibori-Suenu scored 46 votes, while Mr Igbakpa scored 22 in a rerun.
Both aspirants had a tie, 34 votes each, during the Sunday’s primary, which caused a rerun to choose the party candidate for the 2023 election.
“I have lost my re-election bid,” Mr Igbakpa tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is not the outcome we wanted. It is not the outcome the people of Ethiope Federal Constituency wanted.
“The cheers on Sunday, May 22, 2022, demonstrated that, but it does not satisfy the appetite of a few to revise our progress and blur the vision of our people,” he said, on the microblogging site.
The lawmaker said he gave his constituents a fair representation and that they had hope in his future representation, but that “all of these have been painfully stolen by the establishment.
“The grave silence on the streets amplifies the fatal setback for Ethiope Federal Constituency.
“My contest was never about me but for the people, hence their grief. Neither I nor the people prevailed in our hope for sustenance. We have now seen what force and intimidation can do”, he tweeted.
Igbakpa said serving his people in the House of Representatives is one of the greatest honours of his life.
“I feel proud of what we have built together in three years. We have touched the vast expanse of Ethiope Federal Constituency and given our people a loud voice. We have energised our resolve in this instance and vow to continue in the same spirit for progress and unity.
“I will always remain devoted to the development of the Ethiope Federal Constituency and continue to advance my belief in democratic good governance.
“I wish the winners of today’s re-run all the best and I pray that the losers (the people) can endure the outcome and the aftermath,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Nigerian Idol: Okowa Congratulates Winner, Promises More For Youths

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Delta State Governor,Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7, Progress Chukwuyem, describing him as a true son and proud ambassador of the State.
Chukwuyem emerged winner of the Reality TV show after defeating fellow finalist, Zadok on Sunday.
Okowa said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, that the 21-year old songwriter, performer and music minister, was impeccable throughout the competition.
He lauded the organisers of the show and the panel of judges for what he called perfect organisation, leading to the emergence of Chukwuyem.
The winner of the competition, Chukwuyem, hails from Ekwueze-Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area of the State.
Okowa noted that the people of Delta were known for great exploits in reality shows, having won on several occasions in different platforms, adding that the State was gifted with abundant talents.
He said his administration had continued to support youths with talents to realise their potentials, stressing that news like Chukwuyem’s would continue to inspire him to do more for them.
“As a State, we are very delighted that our son, Progress Chukwuyem, won the #NigerianIdol Season 7 competition.
“He has portrayed the Delta character of true patriotism and worthy ambassador of the State, especially with the re-orientation of our youths, through our various schemes and programmes, which have been acknowledged as highly meaningful and successful.
“As a government, we will continue to support talents in sports, creative entertainment and even in business and we are glad that Chukwuyem has added to our pride.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Delta, I thank Deltans and indeed, all Nigerians that supported our son Chukwuyem, to clinch the prize money, as winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7.
“Indeed, beyond the prize, Chukwuyem reached greatness with his God-given talent and distinguished himself as a role model and we are very happy to have him bring honour to our state,” Okowa said.
The Tide’s source reports that the show started with 12 top contestants who emerged from the preliminary stage.
It was premiered on February 6, with the weekly shows covering the auditions that led to the theatre week, before the commencement of the live shows in March.

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UNICAL Hosts African Universities On Online Teaching, Quality Assurance

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University of Calabar (UNICAL) in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU) is jointly hosting a three-day workshop in Calabar on Quality Assurance and Online Teaching.
The workshop, which drew participants from some African countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, has in attendance lecturers from over 20 Federal and State universities in Nigeria.
Speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, said the institution was pleased to host the workshop for the very first time in the 47 years of its existence.
Noting that the theme of the workshop, “Quality Assurance in Higher and Tertiary Education: Online Teaching and Learning in the Post Covid-19 Era in the University of Calabar” was apt, she said the workshop was coming at a time when UNICAL was making efforts to adopt the dual mode of teaching and working assiduously with a view to stabilise her quality assurance directorate.
“This training workshop offers the opportunity for strengthening the capacity of stakeholders in higher education institutions in Africa for global relevance.
“The theme is carefully selected in line with contemporary times of post Covid-19 era and the clamoring of higher education institutions in Africa to meet global standards in terms of academic excellence.
“Online teaching is not only necessary but urgently needed to accommodate millions of Africans desirous of further studies, especially in the post Covid-19 era.
“It is on this note that I commend the AAU for keeping tab with her objective of providing a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research in Africa,” she said.
She told the participants that UNICAL has a rich alumni profile, showcasing state governors, ministers, captains of industries, world ranking academics, legal gurus, top medical experts and educationist, among others.
According to her, UNICAL with over 40,000 students population is ranked 15th best university in Nigeria and the 64th best in Africa.
On her part, the Project Officer/Workshop Coordinator, Association of African Universities, Dr Violet Makuku, said the association came to Calabar due to the commitment of Prof. Obi towards online teaching and quality assurance.
Makuku said, the AAU, which serves as the apex body for higher education in Africa, seeks to impact practical knowledge and skills on the participants toward enhancing online teaching and learning.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we came out to say no more face-to-face teaching in classrooms; hence we needed to adopt new methods of teaching.
“Everything has been digitalised, so we need to digitalise online teaching also,” she said.

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