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2023: More Tolofari Loyalists Dump APC, Join PDP In Rivers

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Over 300 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across Rivers State under the auspices of Grassroots Movement of Rivers State, last Thursday, defected from their former party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The decampees led by the Coordinator of the group, Norisha Pepple, who made the renunciation at the PDP secretariat in Port Harcourt, said their decision was informed by the quality leadership Governor Nyesom Wike was giving to Rivers people.
Pepple said their action was also in solidarity with their Patron, George Tolofari, who had earlier moved to the PDP, assuring that they would do all they can to ensure victory for PDP candidates in the 2023 elections in the state.
Speaking earlier, the Patron of the group, George Tolofari reiterated that members of the various political parties in the state, especially the APC, were coming to the PDP in their numbers due to the exceptional leadership qualities of Governor Nyesom Wike.
According to Tolofari, he left the APC because the PDP, which he described as a credible party, has found an Ibani son worthy to fly its Gubernatorial flag, saying that the gesture was more than edifying to him.
Receiving the decampees, the State Chairman of the PDP, Amb Desmond Akawor, hailed them for the bold and courageous step taken to dump their former party, saying that they could not have done otherwise following the failed promises by the leader of the APC in the state.
“You were once PDP members before somebody gave you sweet talks and told you that it will be one Naira to a Dollar; that there will be a deep sea port in Bonny; that there will be railway lines from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri; and you waited and you didn’t see those things; and you said no, the only thing you need to do is to come back home because the man that made a promise that there will be Oil and Gas Polytechnic in Bonny, made it happen. The man that told you that Bonny National Grammar School will be rebuilt made it happen. And for that reason, you need to follow the man thatis experienced and the man who has spoken before and it happened”, Akawor stated.
Quoting the statements of AkwaIbom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, recently, “All politics is local, leave Abuja and go to your state to deliver your party”, Akawor maintained that that was exactly what the PDP in the state was doing.
He argued that there was basically something that the PDP has that the other political parties donot have, which accounted for the mass movement from them to the Peoples Democratic Party.
He also used the forum to explain that the Governorship candidate of the party, Siminialayi Fubara, emerged on the basis of fairness, justice and equity to the three senatorial districts of the state.
“Ordinarily, go and check the voting strength, you will see that it would have been difficult for an Ibani man to be governor but because there has to be fairness, everybody has to be fair to the other, and there has to be equity and justice. The same cry our leader is crying at the national level that we should all be fair to one another. Not because you think you have the number, others should be muzzled, others should be squeezed out. If not for such decision, it should have been difficult for an Ibani son to emerge as governor because the number is not there”, he said.
Akawor enjoined the people at the grassroots to support what the leadership of the state was doing, saying that the party would continue to receive those who were returning to it because the other party had totally collapsed.
While commending Governor Nyesom Wike for making Rivers people proud through his exemplary leadership qualities and exceptional performance, the state PDP chairman called on the people to support the governor to achieve a successful transition.
The decampees were, thereafter, received formally by the chairman and the entire leadership of the party after being presented with the Umbrella, the symbol of the PDP.
The Secretary of the party, Dr Benibo George, expressed gratitude to the returnees for their conviction that the PDP was the only credible alternative, following the failure of the APC in the state.
He observed that the returnees have also demonstrated good followership by aligning with the decision of their leader to join the PDP.
Representatives of the three senatorial districts and the women delivered solidarity speeches at the event, corroborating their readiness to add value and not only numbers to the PDP.

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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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