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2023 Poll: NPC, Lecturers Task Journalists On Objective Reporting

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The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council (NPC), Mr Francis Nwosu, has urged media practitioners to be objective and promote national unity in their reportage of the forthcoming 2023 general election in the country.
The NPC boss gave the charge at the just concluded workshop on “Effective Coverage and Reportage of 2023 General Elections” organised by the NPC in collaboration with the AVEESGA International Limited in Asaba, Delta State.
The two-day workshop attracted journalists from the six states in the South South.
Mr Nwosu urged journalists to observe the universal principles of objectivity, accuracy and fairness in their reportage of the 2023 general elections in the country.
He said journalists should resist the temptations of reporting inaccurate, misleading and biased stories capable of eroding public trust and confidence in the media.
According to him, factual, accurate, balanced and fair reporting is the ultimate objective of good journalism and the basis of earning public trust and confidence.
In his own presentation, a university don, Dr. Ifeanyi Didiugwu of Enugu State University of Science and Technology, described objective reporting as a requisite for successful conduct of the 2023 general elections in the country.
He called on the media to promote objectivity in their reports as well as give all candidates and political parties a level playing ground to campaign, debate and present their manifestoes to the electorate.
Dr. Didiugwu also urged the media to avoid sensational journalism and play down on stories that could cause disaffection and national disunity in the country.
Another university don and Associate Professor of Mass Communication, Delta State University, Dr. Patrick Ijeh, called on the media to live up to their responsibility by informing and enlighten the public on their voting rights.
Speaking on “2023 Election: Expectation of the Media in Voter’s Education”, Dr. Ijeh said the media has the onerous responsibility to inform and educate the public accurately and objectively on their voting rights and on all issues that affect the country.
He also cautioned the media against promoting hate speech and publishing misleading reports, saying hate speech, inaccurate and subjective reporting have the potential of throwing the country into flame especially during election period.
Director, AVEESGA International Limited, Mr Emmanuel Ukaegbu, in his own presentation, cautioned journalists against publishing election results that have not been authenticated and announced by the electoral body.
He said that under the electoral law, it is the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) that has the rights to announce election results, using the media.
According to him, “it is wrong for the media to publish election results that have not been authenticated and announced by INEC. Any media who does that will be running foul of the electoral law.”

By: Boye Salau

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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