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Page 7 FG assures on Niger Delta projects By Olayemi John-Mensah The Federal Government has assured of the completion of all on- going projects in…

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FG assures on Niger Delta projects

By Olayemi John-Mensah

The Federal Government has assured of the completion of all on- going projects in the Niger Delta region being handled by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

A statement from the ministry said the minister, Usani Uguru Usani, gave the assurance during a fact finding tour to the gully erosion site at Nkwoagu Isuochi along the Okpuihute-Igwebuike road in Umunneochi LGA of Abia State.

He said it was disheartening to note that six years after the contract was awarded, the project was still on.

“It shows that the contract awarding agency, the MNDA, was not responsive enough in checking the contractor to ensure that a project like this was conclusively handled in good stead,” he said.

He disclosed that the federal government would act on the gully erosion problem in that community and other places in the region through consultation and collaboration among the MNDA, Environment, the Ecological Fund Office, the Niger Delta Development Commission, state governments and other stakeholders.

A member of the Abia State House of Assembly representing Umunneochi Constituency, Ikedi Ezekwesiri, informed the minister that the Nkwoagu stretch of the Okpuihuite-Igwebuike road which the MNDA was handling through a contractor was being threatened by gully erosion which requires urgent attention.

He added that the road was strategic to the wellbeing of the people and a major economic route for transportation of goods from Lagos, Anambra, Cross-River, Akwa-Ibom and Enugu states.

He appealed to the minister to urgently mobilise resources to complete the road project that cuts across the Umunneochi LGA.

Court orders DSS to pay man N10m for rights infringement

An FCT High Court in Apo, Abuja, yesterday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) and its Director-General to pay N10 million compensation to one Kasim Kayode for fundamental rights infringement.

The judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke, ordered the respondents to either charge Kayode to court or release him unconditionally. Kekemeke held that the action of the DSS in detaining Kayode since April 10 was unconstitutional, degrading and inhuman.

He said the plaintiff ought to have been charged because the respondents did not have power to lock him up for over two months without fair hearing.

The court stated that the right to fair hearing had been breached as provided in Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution which states that very person is entitled to fair hearing.

“In democracy, the law is a king, liberty and freedom of a citizen is being breached when detention is not in accordance with the constitution,” he said.

Kekemeke also said administrative bail amounted to no bail because only the courts could grant bails in accordance with the law. (NAN)

False assets declaration: Orubebe gets judgment July 19

By Clement A. Oloyede

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) will give judgment on the case of alleged false assets declaration by former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, on July 19, the Deputy Director (Legal) of the Tribunal, Bintu Abubakar, said yesterday.

Orubebe was arraigned by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) at the CCT late last year over alleged false assets declaration on his plot at number 2057 Cadastral Zone, Asokoro, Abuja.

The judgment earlier slated for yesterday June 30, but could not hold due to the absence of the Chairman of Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, as confirmed by an official of the tribunal who added that the chairman was on a trip. The official also confirmed that counsel to both parties in the suit had been served the notice.

$2.9m fraud: Court orders Ohakim to face trial

By John Chuks Azu

A former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, was yesterday ordered by a Federal High Court in Abuja to enter his defence over alleged concealment of assets.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola while ruling on a no-case-submission filed by Ohakim on the grounds of want of evidence, held that a prima facie case had been made out by the prosecution.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in July 2015 filed a three count charge of concealment of ownership of property valued at $2.9m.

But Ohakim claimed that the property was bought from the N250m proceeds of his sold plot at Maitama, Abuja. The case was adjourned to October 19 for hearing.

Witness’ absence stalls Nyame’s trial

By Clement A. Oloyede

The trial of a former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, over allegation of embezzlement and misappropriation of state funds before an Abuja High Court sitting in Gudu was again stalled yesterday over the prosecution’s inability to produce its last witness.

Nyame was arraigned in 2007 after he left office as governor. He is facing trial on a 41-count charge bordering on criminal misappropriation and embezzlement of more than N1.64bn state funds while in office.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told the court yesterday that the last witness he intended to call who is an investigation police officer (IPO) of the case had travelled out of the country and pleaded with the court for adjournment.

Earlier this week, a former Commissioner of Finance of Taraba State, Abubakar Tutare, who is the 10th prosecution witness, testified that N425m was diverted by Nyame from different funds.

He also confirmed that for all the payments made into SalmanGlobal account, the company did not do anything for the state government.

Producer tasks Ozokwor on Nollywood sex-for-role allegation

By Francis Arinze Iloani

A movie producer, Desmond Utomwen, yesterday challenged Nollywood actress, Patience Ozokwor, to name the producers accused of demanding sex from young female actresses before handing them roles in movies.

Utomwen, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja yesterday, maintained that it was pertinent for anybody with verifiable information on the sex allegations in the Nollywood to step up and make the information public as part of steps to ensure sanity in the Nigerian movie industry.

Ozokwor had reportedly in an interview accused movie producers of sexually abusing young girls.

“Things are not working the way they ought to because producers are messing up. Some go as far as sleeping with young girls before giving them roles,” the veteran actress reportedly said.

However, Utomwen, who recently added the much celebrated short film: “Shared” to the list of his works, maintained that such a blanket accusation by Ozokwor put the integrity of producers in the country in question.

“If it is true that the respected actress made such a statement, I think the least she can do now is to substantiate same. I don’t subscribe to wild allegations. While I am not defending the supposed ‘unscrupulous producers’ should there be any, I believe the allegations by Ozokwor, if substantiated will help the sanitisation process of the Nigeria movie industry,” Utomwen said.

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