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RSG Finally Slams Criminal Charges Against Amaechi, Cole, Others …Court Orders Substituted Service On Accused

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Rivers State has finally slammed nine-count charges of stealing, cheating and conspiracy on former Governor Rotimi Amaechi in an audacious move to begin the prosecution of the immediate past minister of transportation.
This is as the presiding judge in the matter, Justice David Gbasam, yesterday, ordered substituted service on the accused.
In a suit marked PHC/1818/CR/2022, filed on June 7, the state also listed the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Arch Tonye Cole, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited, and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited as Amaechi’s co-defendants.
The Amaechi and co-defendants’ offences were contained in charge sheet, in Port Harcourt.
In the statement of offence count one, the state said Amaechi and his co-defendants “sometime between 2011 and 2012 at Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Division of the High Court of Rivers State did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to stealing the sum of $274,563,599.59”.
The document said the money was a proceed from the sale of 70per cent equity held by the Rivers State Government in the power generation asset at Omoku Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine and Afam Gas Turbine Phase 1 to NG Powers-HPS Limited.
In count two, the state alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants within the same period “stole the same amount of money being proceeds from the sale of 70per cent equity belonging to her in the power generation assets at Omoku, Trans-Amadi, Eleme and Afam Gas turbines.
The state, in count three, said Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG-Powers-HPS Limited within the same period with intent to cheat agreed to purchase from Rivers State Government 70per cent equity held by the state in the power generation assets in the four turbines in the sum of $302,960,000.
The state said the companies actually took possession, management and control of said power generation assets upon payment of the initial sum of $274,563,599.59, but refused to pay the outstanding balance of $28,400,000 due to the state.
In the next count, the state alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants within 2011 and 2012 conspired by fraudulent means to affect the market price of the four power generation assets of Rivers State.
She said the defendants offered the assets for sale exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited (subsidiary of Sahara Energy Resources Limited) and Tonye Cole (Director) instead of by means of open competitive bidding prescribed under Section 52 (3) of Rivers State Public Procurement Law Number 4 of 2008.
The state further, in count five, alleged that Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited and Cole within the same period “did conspire by fraudulent means to affect the market price of Olympia Hotel, Port Harcourt by offering the said Olympia Hotel, Port Harcourt for concession exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited and Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited (subsidiary of Sahara Energy) and Cole (Director) instead of by means of open competitive bidding prescribed under section 60 (1) of Rivers State Public Private Participation in Infrastructure Development Law, Number 5 of 2009”.
Rivers State Government, also in count six, accused Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten and Cole conspired among themselves to commit felony by stealing $1million being concession fee the defending companies paid to the Rivers State Government for the concession of the Olympia Hotel for a period of 40 years.
The state, in count eight, alleged that Amaechi and Sahara Energy about December 1, 2014 conspired among themselves to commit felony by stealing the sum of $53,095,602.05 from Rivers Government USD account number 0064809429 with Access Bank, Bank Road Branch, Port Harcourt.
The offences were said to be contrary to sections 421, 422, 516A, and 383 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.
The charge sheet was signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, C.F. Amadi, for the Attorney-General of Rivers State.
The Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, yesterday, ordered substituted service on the immediate past Transportation Minister, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, in the nine-count of stealing, conspiracy and cheating brought against him by the Rivers State Government.
The court also ruled that the Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate, Arch Tonye Cole, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, Sir Augustine Wokocha, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Powers-HPS Limited and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited, standing trial alongside Amaechi should be served through substituted means.
The state had instituted a criminal proceeding against the defendants alleging, among others, that Sahara Energy Resources Limited, owned by Cole and NG-Powers-HPS Limited between 2011 and 2012 with intent to cheat agreed to purchase from Rivers State Government 70percent equity held by the state in the power generation assets in the four turbines in the sum of $302,960,000.
The state said the companies actually took possession, management and control of said power generation assets upon payment of the initial sum of $274,563,599.59, but refused to pay the outstanding balance of $28,400,000 due to the state.
The Presiding Judge, Justice David Gbasam, varied an order of substituted service he made on June 17 following a motion ex-parte filed by the Prosecutor, C.F. Amadi on June 20.
Granting the prayers of the prosecutor, Gbasam substituted ThisDay newspaper and Vanguard Newspaper with The Guardian Newspaper and The Nation Newspaper.
He granted the prosecution leave to serve the information and other processes in the criminal proceedings, charge number: PHC/1818/CR/2022 on all the defendants in the two newspapers.
“Order is also made deeming the publication of the information and other processes in these proceedings in The Guardian newspaper and The Nation newspaper as good and proper service,” he said.
He adjourned the matter to July 12 for pleas.

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Wike Hails Rivers United For Winning 2021/2022 NPFL

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has congratulated the Rivers United Football Club for emerging the winner of the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Rivers United was officially confirmed the champions of the 2021/2022 NPFL season following Plateau United 1-2 away loss to Akwa United, last Saturday.
The governor commended the players and coaching staff of the state-owned football club, yesterday, following the memorable victory, which ended their 5-year NPFL title wait.
Wike, who attributed the achievement of Rivers United to the talented team’s determination, said it was most heartening that by virtue of the league win, the club would represent the country at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League next season.
He further added that Rivers United’s triumph at the 2021/2022 NPFL has brought a wave of joy and happiness for the people of Rivers State and the country at large.
“I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to the coaching staff and particularly the capable players of Rivers United for the valuable efforts they made to emerge the winners of the 2021/2022 NPFL.
“The Government and good people of Rivers State are very proud of the team’s exploits following their dogged performances and resilient display throughout the 2021/2022 season. It is worthy to note that over the years, Rivers United has brought so much joy and happiness to football fans and supporters all over the country. This victory, no doubt, marks a major milestone in Rivers State football’s history.”

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Registration For CBN, AFF eNaira Hackathon Opens, Today

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Registration for the eNaira hackathon, geared towards ideating innovative solutions for the newly launched digital currency, organised by the Africa Fintech Foundry (an innovative hub established to identify and accelerate innovative startups in Africa), in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is billed to open on June 27, 2022 and run till July 21, 2022.
A statement issued by the organisers said the main event, which is billed to kick-off from August 4, 2022, is part of efforts to drive financial inclusion, facilitate macroeconomic growth and integrate Nigerian economy to the world leading economies through innovation and cutting edge emerging technologies.
It, therefore, urged interested participants to visit the eNaira Hackathon @www.affcbn.com
With the theme “eNaira – Africa’s Gateway to a Digital Economy,” the hybrid hackathon will bring together teams of talented entrepreneurs, developers, designers, solution developers, problem-solvers, out-of-the-box thinkers, and code magicians from Africa to develop innovative solutions that will drive improved adoption of the eNaira.
Speaking on innovation in Nigeria’s payments system ecosystem, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, recently said: “We cannot deny the fact that the newly introduced CBDC (eNaira) would be necessary in the future to ensure Nigeria is competitive as the world becomes increasingly digital.
“We have seen in the past few years how digital currencies have opened international economies to individuals who wield them and how seamless they have made trading, buying, investing and other economic activities.
“We desire to achieve this and more with the eNaira with the underlying goal to boost Nigeria’s economic outlook.
“Innovators at the hackathon will develop solutions in the areas of international remittance, trans-border payment, blockchain, financial inclusion, and trade (AfCTFA).”
The statement issued by the organisers said, the hackathon will address the strategic points to eliminate possible glitches that could hamper smooth transactions being carried out with the eNaira.

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NECO Begins SSCE,Today

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The National Examination Council (NECO) has debunked the alleged postponement of its 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for school-based candidates in the country.
The examination body said the 2022 SSCE would commence on Monday, June 27, and end on August 12, 2022.
NECO made this known in a statement made available to newsmen, last Saturday, by its spokesperson, Azeez Sani, in Minna, Niger State.
The statement read: “The 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for school-based candidates conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) will commence on Monday, 27th June, 2022.
“State Ministries of Education, Principals, Commandants and all stakeholders are enjoined to disregard any speculation on the alleged postponement of the examination.
“The council has put all necessary measures in place to ensure a seamless conduct of the 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination.
“The 2022 NECO Senior School Certificate Examination will end on Friday, August12, 2022.
“Candidates are to be examined in 76 subjects during the examination.”

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