Ogoni In US Threaten Legal Action Over MOSOP Members’ Trial
The Council of Ogoni Professionals and the National Union of Ogoni Students, USA, both affiliates of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), have raised objections over the trial procedures of 12 MOSOP members at the Rivers State High Court, Nchia Division.
They said the trial procedures of the 12 MOSOP members, under the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Constance D. Green may deny the 12 MOSOP members justice.
The two groups alleged that the presiding judge disregarded judicial ethics, and the impartiality expected of a judge by allowing a debriefed claimants’ counsel to take a motion while disregarding a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
The preliminary objection had been raised by one of the defendants, Apostle Celestine Viura, challenging the jurisdiction of the court on several grounds, including the fact that the judgment in question is currently being challenged before a court of appeal and the claimants’ lawyer, N. Tsaana-Kaa, had long been debriefed by the claimants.
The 12 MOSOP members include Messrs Legborsi Pyagbara, Fegalo Nsuke, Bariara Kpalap, Friday Bemah, Chief Keeper Gbaranor, Prince Biira, Dike Theophilus, Boy Nnaa, Theophilus Joseph Meekor Mbagha, Apostle Celestine Viura, Mr Alex and Adamgbo Sylvester.
The Ogoni professionals and students in the US made the claim in a statement signed by Daewifa Barima Wifa Council of Ogoni Professionals (COP, USA) and Freddie Idamkkue, President, National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS USA).
Part of the statement reads: “The Council of Ogoni Professionals and the National Union of Ogoni Students , USA strongly condemn the actions of Justice Constance D. Green in the case, and will further take every necessary legal action(s)to ensure that the defendants are not denied justice.
“While COP and NUOS hold the Nigerian judiciary in high esteem, we will not expect that Justice Constance D. Green be allowed to drag the reputation of the Nigerian Judiciary into the mud”.
The groups asserted that after the judge had delivered judgement in the matter, the second defendant, Fegalo Nsuke, filed an appeal against the judgement at the Federal Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division on August 4, 2020.
They claimed that instead of the judge hearing a preliminary objection challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit following the appeal, she attempted to take a motion to substitute the claimants in the suit on February 14, 2023, noting that “this suggests that Hon. Justice may have a mindset on the issue and is compromised”.
The Ogoni professionals and students in US added that despite the claimant writing the counsel in the suit, Naagbanton Tsaana-Kaa on February 2, 2022, to disengage his legal services and not to further represent them in the suit, the judge is attempting to assume jurisdiction in a matter that an appeal has been entered and the Appeal Court processes are before her.
The statement added: “We have become seriously disturbed by the decisions of Hon. Justice Constance D. Green on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, during which the judge attempted to take a motion to substitute claimants in the suit while a Preliminary Objection (PO) challenging the jurisdiction of the court is pending.
“In fact, the judge refused to take the PO and attempted to take a motion seeking to substitute all the claimants with fresh names”.
By: Ike Wigodo
Monarch Tasks Newly Government Recognized Traditional Rulers On Peace, Integrity
The Eze Oha Evo III, His Majesty, King Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, Eze Gbakagbaka, has called on the newly recognised Traditional Rulers by the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike-led administration to ensure that they use their offices to support the peace initiative in the state as created by the Governor.
Eze Eke made the appeal while addressing newsmen in his palace in Woji in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area during the week.
He said as paramount rulers, their major stake was to maintain peace and integrity and not a double standard life.
According to him, Governor Nyesom Wike’s plans to have a peaceful state should be complemented at various levels including the traditional institutions.
The Evo King noted that if all communities in the state are peaceful, the state at large will live harmoniously.
He expressed hope that the upgrade/classification of additional traditional stools across the state was a pointer to the fact that Governor Wike has every sector at heart.
“I hail and thank His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Mr. Quality Projects, Life Bencher, for the classification/upgrade of traditional stools across the state. Indeed, the Governor is doing well”, he said.
He also called on his new colleagues to see the opportunity as a call to duty wherein, the people’s challenges will supercede their personal interest.
He sued for uprightness among the traditional rulers and their immediate communities, saying that “a house divided against itself cannot stand”.
He prayed that God Almighty would continue to bless and keep them in good health and sound mind as they have attained another height of greatness in life.
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s action was from the strength of Section 13, Subsection 1 of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No. 4 of 2015.
By: King Onunwor
Stakeholders Task Govt On Special Fund For Host Communities
Some stakeholders in the Niger Delta are calling on governments in the region to set aside special percentages from the 13percent derivation fund for the development of oil producing communities.
This was part of a resolution at a town hall meeting organised by Connect Development (CODE), a non- governmental organisation in Port Harcourt.
The stakeholders who were drawn from Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross River States, particularly lamented general backwardness of host communities in the region.
They urged the government to set aside certain percentages for the host communities.
Speaking with newsmen, the Akwa Ibom State lead coordinator, Ubong Ekpe, said oil producing communities should not be denied of their fair share of development.
Ekpe said the implementation of the 13 percent derivation which has brought in trillions of Naira has not had any positive impact on the host communities.
He said the town hall meeting was to dialogue with major stakeholders, including host communities, with a view to ensuring that host communities benefit from natural resources from their Land.
Ekpe noted host communities, particularly in Akwa Ibom State, are yet to feel the impact of their resources.
Also speaking, the Cross River State Coordinator, Connecting Development (CODE), Effang Etim, said the meeting will share ideas between the organisation and community leaders , civil societies and government officials to create an action plan.
He said investigation revealed that most host communities in the region are not benefitting from resources being exploited from their areas.
“We had a survey across the State on host communities in which we made some findings that we’ll share to government personnel to enable them see what people in the communities are going through”, he said.
According to him, most host communities lack the basic necessities of life such as health centres, schools water and others.
A cross section of other participants who spoke were unanimous that host communities deserve better living conditions.
By: John Bibor
Community Laments Neglect Despite Hosting 48 Oil Wells
Resident of Joinkrama community in Ahoada West Council of Rivers State have expressed worries over the level of environmental degradation, poverty, and neglect in the area, despite having 48 oil wells, operated by multinational companies.
The community plays host to Adibawa Oilfield, operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited. The community is ravaged by poverty, environmental degradation and neglect, with inaccessible roads, cut off by flood and erosion.
Some residents, who spoke with The Tide source during Community Diagnostic Dialogue on the issues of oil pollution, organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), lamented that Orashi River, which serves as their major source of water, is highly polluted with crude.
A member of the community, Azaga Ovie-Oniso Kelvin, said: “Our rivers are highly polluted and the river crosses from one community to another. The roofing sheets are all brownish. What we want is the oil company operating here to mitigate the effects of their operations in the community.
“We have written letters to Shell, Agip and others, including their local contractors but unfortunately, they do not listen. They only listen to violence and because we are peaceful people, they keep taking us for granted,” he said.
Another resident, Mrs. Avigien Ubileoniso Goodwill, said poverty is clearly written on the faces of Joinkrama residents.
“The 2022 flood really dealt with us, our crops were all destroyed and we all were rendered homeless. The oil companies are not helping matters, even the access road is completely broken.
“The oil company should repair our only access road because the road is very important. Our graduates have been reduced to peasant farmers because there is no employment. There are no benefits at all from the oil company, we are still drinking from Orashi River.”
Environmentalist and Director of HOMEF, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, described Joinkrama as a geographical laboratory for the study of environmental problems, ranging from flood, gas flaring and oil spills.
Education4 days ago
FUNAAB Governing Board Appoints Professor Kehinde As Substantive VC
Sports4 days ago
U23 AFCON Qualifier: Coach Invites 16 Overseas-Based Players
Politics2 days ago
Time For Politicking Over, It’s Time For Healing, Nation-Building – Tinubu
News2 days ago
Alleged Terrorism Financing: Mamu Pleads Not Guilty To 10-Count Charge
Business2 days ago
Poultry Farm Operators Raise Alarm Over State Of Business
Politics4 days ago
PDP’s Umo Eno Wins In Akwa Ibom
Nation4 days ago
Army Apprehends 140 Political Thugs In Enugu
News4 days ago
Assembly Poll: Soludo Confirms Arrest Of Anambra Twitter User, Denies Knowledge Of Offence