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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021

Ayade Succumbs To Pressure, Recalls 29 Disengaged Magistrates


The Governor of Cross River State, Sen Prof. Ben Ayade, has given a formal approval for the employment of the 29 Magistrates who were disengaged from the state Judicial system. 

Cross River State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Tanko Ashang, disclosed this in his office in Calabar on Monday. 

The governor had earlier denied ordering the employment of the magistrates, leading to their disengagement.

Several protests were staged by the magistrates over the nonpayment of their over 28 months salary arrears.

Barrister Ashang explained further that as a result of the stamp of  approval by the governor, the 29 Magistrates will subsequently be issued with appointment letters and then be payroll. 

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice maintained that the 29 Magistrates who hitherto were employed but were not patrolled because their employment did not follow necessary processes and therefore was irregular.

He went on to disclosed that as a result of this the governor had in January 26 this year constituted a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu to look into the issue. 

Other members of the committee included the, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the Head of service of CRS, The Chief Registrar of CRS Judiciary and the Auditor General of CRS.

Barrister Ashang stated further that the committee  "after rigorous sittings recommended a list of 29 magistrates for employment to the Governor adding that  the Governor has put his stamp of approval to the list bearing the 29 magistrates.

"With this approval, appointment letters will be issued to the new magistrates and they will accordingly be payrolled," the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice concluded. 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

Cross River: 15 Cultists Dead In Renewed Cult Clash

By Edem Edem (Daily Post)

Over 15 suspected cultists have been killed in Akpabuyo/Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State in a renewed cult clash which started on Monday.

DAILY POST gathered that residents in the affected areas have deserted their villages and communities while economic and social activities have been disrupted.

It was learnt that the three popular cult groups in the area, Skyro, Mafia and Black Scorpion, have always engaged in bloody clashes.

An eyewitness who declined mentioning his name, lamented the action of the youths and called for the intervention of security operatives.

“This time, the operation was bloody.

“Imagine one of the suspected cult group took their members to a local charm doctor to prepare bullet prove charm and when they tested it by shooting one of them, he died on the spot” he said.

The eyewitness claimed that some houses and other properties worth millions of naira were destroyed by the hoodlums.

“These boys ran amock and destroyed many houses in the two local government areas”

When DAILY POST contacted the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Igri Ewa, he said the command has not been briefed on the cult activities in the areas.

However, the chairman of Bakassi local government council, Hon Iyadim Iyadim, while confirming the operation of the cult groups, regretted the actions of the youths.

“There are lots of killings in the area. It’s cult related but I have not heard of the destruction of houses.

“The last boy who died, his colleagues took him for charm preparation, to prepare charm for them so that bullets and other dangerous weapons will not penetrate their body,” he told our correspondent via phone.

“When he was put on trial, to ascertain the efficacy of the charm, he was shot and he died. That cult group lost three persons coupled with the ones the rival group killed..

“Up to ten persons have been killed and the operations started last two months and extended to this month (May); that is March, April and May.

“We have reported the matter to the government and on Tuesday, we had a security meeting with the governor,” he stated.

Iyadim explained that his local government, Bakassi has no operational base because the same boys destroyed the local government office during the #EndSARS protests.

“Not even a ruler or pin was left. What was left was for them to put fire in the local government secretariats, so nothing is left.

“And as at now, some soldiers who were around have been withdrawn and redeployed to other areas. The boys have ransacked police stations and attacked soldiers.

“The security agencies are afraid as they used charms and have adopted a measure of going to operation in large numbers to attack the military post and police station.

“The charm will make the security operatives to either fall asleep or make them not to see them as they approach. We are in trouble.

The Security Adviser, South South, Henry Okokon said, “We know your ears are on ground and you know the efforts the security agencies have put in the state as a whole.

“We cannot be everywhere at the same time but come to see it, the scripture says God helps those who help themselves, the community should have their own vigilante, they should also provide security for themselves

“Before things get out of hands, proactive measures should have been put in place. If you have these children as cultists and they are troubling people in that community, just let the security agencies know.

“Must they wait until they start killing people before they call us, more so, if it does not affect a particular person directly of indirectly they will not call or inform anybody.

“We have chiefs and traditional rulers in those places; ask me what they have been doing. The government had met with them, asking them to fish out all these dangerous boys or inform us.

“But they refuse to do that rather they allow them to kill people and destroy property before they start calling. We work 24 hours to ensure that we achieve peace in Calabar.

“There is no more kidnapping because of the intensive security check and they now go beside the riverine areas where there are creeks, where two minutes you are in the creeks and they go there to do the kidnap.

“The Chiefs in Akpabuyo and Bakassi know these boys, we have told them that if you know these boys tell us,we shall pick them and take them to correctional centre for them to rest there for a while.

“Be it as it may, we shall storm Akpabuyo and Bakassi and embark on house to house search with a view to fetching out these boys and hoodlums,” he said.

May 13, 2021

Fake EFCC Operatives Caught in Illegal Operations in Lagos


A gang of three fake operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission who embarked on an illegal operation purportedly to execute a fake Court Order have been arrested in Lagos.

Ghali Ahmed, Head of the EFCC Zonal Office in Lagos disclosed this today, May 13, 2021 at a press briefing in the Commission's office, Ikoyi, Lagos.

According to him, “The fraudsters were arrested at New Horizon Estate, Lekki, Lagos, in the middle of their illegal operation to ‘serve’ a Court Order purported to have emanated from the Mushin Magistrate Court, on an unsuspecting victim.”

The three-man gang of Pascal Ugwu Chijoke, Sodiq Ibrahim Adekunle and Edwin Bassey, a Police Inspector, posing as EFCC operatives allegedly stormed the residence of their target with all the paraphernalia of typical EFCC raid, wearing fake EFCC branded jackets and identity cards.

Ahmed warned Nigerians to be wary of impostors, using the good name of the Commission to extort unsuspecting targets. He urged citizens to be vigilant and report suspicious activities to the Commission.

He assured that the Commission is determined to stamp out the activities of impostors. "We will always be ahead of these fraudsters. If they fail to desist, they will face the music," he said.

May 13, 2021

Final Year CRUTECH Electrical Engineering Student Electrocuted

Late Offiong Joseph

By Obio Monday

A final year student of the Department of  Electrical/Electronics, University of Cross River State, formerly CRUTECH, Offiong Joseph Ekott has been electrocuted in Calabar, few months to his graduation.

GRASSROOT REPORTERS gathered that the incident took place on Monday, May 10,  at the Nigerian Navy Barracks, Atimbo, Calabar, where the deceased went to carry out some electrical repairs in one of the apartments in the barracks.

A classmate of the deceased told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that the late OJ, as he is fondly called was hale and hearty as of Monday afternoon when they were together in school, only to be told on Tuesday evening when he called to find out why he did not take part in their Continuous Assessment Test on Tuesday that he had passed on.

The late Offiong was said to have fell off the ladder after he was electrocuted. His WhatsApp Status update on Monday afternoon read: "Out for a while, Xoxo".

A close friend of the deceased, Esu Etim Esu  expressed sadness of the demise of his close pally.

Speaking to GRASSROOT REPORTERS in an an emotion-ladden voice, Esu said:

"I'm shocked and dumbfounded. This is someone that we were together on Monday afternoon, doing assignments together. We had planned on a big celebration on our graduation day, which is few months from now. Now he is no more!"


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

EFCC Distances Self from Dismissed Staff, Peter Akpanke

 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has distanced itself from one its dismissed staff, Peter Akpanke.

The commission warned members of the public to desist from relating with Mr. Akpanke in its name.

The statement read:

"The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC wishes to notify the public that a certain Peter Akpanke is no longer a staff of the Commission and has no authority to represent it or carry out any business in the name of the Commission.

"This disclaimer became necessary following reports that Akpanke, who was dismissed from the agency, had been parading himself as a bona fide operative of the EFCC and using the false identity to harass and extort unsuspecting members of the public especially in Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.

"The Commission enjoins members of the public to desist from relating with Akpanke or according him any privilege due to an officer of the law.

"They are also advised to report any further solicitations from Akpanke to the nearest EFCC office or police station."

Monday, May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021

INEC Creates Additional 998 Polling Units In Cross River


Agency Report

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has created additional 998 Polling Units in the 18 Local Government Areas of Cross River.

The Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in the state, Dr Emmanuel Hart made the disclosure in Calabar on Monday at a stakeholder’s forum on Expanding Voter Access to Polling Units Engagements.

“INEC Cross River State is happy to announce to you that when the proposed new polling units are verified and approved by the commission, Cross River will boast of an additional 998 polling units.

“The 998 PUs will be added to the existing 2,283 Polling Units and will increase the number of Polling Units in Cross River to 3281,” Hart said.

The commissioner said that the idea of additional Polling Units was to solve the problem of overcrowding during voting.

“By the special grace of God, the 1,527,055 registered voters in the state and new registrants will have decongested Polling Units in the forthcoming elections.

“It is also expected that with the full participation of voters in the electoral process, voter apathy will be reduced,” he said.

Hart further said that the additional PUs would guarantee short queues at Polling Units and provide a healthy environment in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.

He announceed the commencement of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) for 2023 election from June 28.

He solicited the continued cooperation of stakeholders in the participation of the electoral process for a free, fair and transparent election in the state.

In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Asu Okang commended INEC for carrying out the exercise.

He urged the commission to look at all the grey areas and rectify whatever observations made by the stakeholders. 


Friday, May 7, 2021

May 07, 2021

Former Women Affairs Minister, Aisha Alhassan Dies At 61


A former Minister of Women Affairs during the first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, is dead.

She died in a Cairo hospital, Egypt at the age of 61 years.

Popularly called ‘Mama Taraba’, Jummai Alhassan was a member of the 7th Senate having been elected on the platform of the PDP. She later dumped the party for APC and was the governorship candidate of the party in the 2015 elections in Taraba State.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

May 05, 2021

PDP Governors Vow To End Party Crisis In Cross River


The People's Democratic Party Governors Forum (PDP-GF) Wednesday touched base at Calabar, Cross River to rub minds on some issues bordering on the party's unity in the South-South state.

Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State led his Delta and Enugu states counterparts, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa and Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi during the visit to their host, Prof. Ben Ayade.

After about two hours meeting inside Government House, Calabar, Gov. Tambuwal, who is also the Chairman of the PDP-GF told journalists that the meeting "was a fruitful, peaceful and productive engagement with the stakeholders of Cross River."

"We're here on the mandate of the PDP-GF which was sanctioned by the National Working Committee (NWC) to come and engage with our dear brother and colleague, Prof. Ben Ayade, the Governors of Cross River state and the stakeholders of our party here in Cross River on the issues of the Congresses held here in the state that became contentious.

"We've engaged with (them) and the feelers we have is that by the grace of God we'll soon resolve these issues and the party will bounce back as one.

"There were lots of concerns about how the Congresses went about and everyone of us is interested that we restore normalcy to ensure that the family is brought back together and work together for the common interest of Cross River state," the governor said.

He also said his ensemble will take the report of the meeting to the Governors' Forum and the NWC for examination, deliberation and action.

Later the three visiting governors were led by Prof. Ayade to the state Industrial Park comprising of a frozen chicken lines (aka Calachika), Cross River State Instant Noodles, branded KISIMIE Instant Noodles, complex and the feed moll

They all expressed delight with the performance of their host who despite economic crunch has done superlatively well,  particularly in job creation and diversification of the economy of the state.

Friday, April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021

Ayade's SSA on CalaPharm, Esuong Uwase Felicitates Arc. Akpo On Birthday



Today, I celebrate an exceptionally youth loving leader, MY BOSS and MENTOR, a man filled with wisdom and vision, Arc. (Dr) Eric Akpo.

You have impacted the lives of many youths of Cross River State, regardless of their ethnic or regional background. You are a true definition of a detribalized Nigerian.

You took me under your wings and directed my path towards greatness. 

You have built for yourself a legacy that can never be destroyed. Boss, I am thankful for the opportunity you've given me to work under you.

For everything that you've been to me and everything you've done for me, I say a BIG THANK YOU. I'm wishing you a super duper birthday.

Happy Birthday MY BOSS & MENTOR!

 Esuong Uwase, SSA to the Governor on CalaPharm

April 30, 2021

APC Threatens To Report Rev. Father Mbaka To Pope For Asking Buhari To Resign


By Segun Adewale (Punch)

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Yekini Nabena, has said Father Ejike Mbaka of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, is threatening the regime of the President Muhammadu Buhari

This is in reaction to a sermon delivered by Mbaka in which he called for the President to resign or be impeached over the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.

Reacting, Nabena in a statement on Friday faulted Mbaka’s call and threatened to report the clergy to the Pope if he continues to “cause disaffection” for the government.

According to him, the clergy who is supposed to use “all known spiritual means of averting crisis” is rather “threatening a democratically elected government for his own personal benefit while pretending to be speaking for the people”.

“One will wonder whom Father Mbaka is emulating because the Lord Jesus Christ did not threaten to bring down the government during his own time, in fact, Jesus Christ obeyed and honoured constituted authority,” he said.

“That’s why he paid his tax. We are calling on Father Mbaka to concentrate on his spiritual calling and stop speaking like politicians who it is obvious he (Mbaka) has been dining and wining with.

“If Mbaka has found another political ally, it is better to leave a political message for politicians.

“Calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to either resign or be impeached because of the current challenges is ungodly.

“Father Mbaka should not, however, take his luck too far because there is a lot to tell the Vatican and the Pope about his person and his sources of inspiration.”

Thursday, April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021

FG Declare Monday, May 3 Public Holiday To Celebrate Workers' Day


The Federal Government has declared Monday, May 3, 2021, public holiday to mark this year’s International Workers Day Celebration.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, who made the declaration on behalf of the federal government, congratulated Nigerian Workers for witnessing this year’s celebration.

He commended them for their patience, understanding and support in driving the policies and programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in its determination to move the country to the next level of socio-economic development.

Aregbesola called for more dedication and patriotism from all Nigerian Workers and the Labour Unions, saying the challenges of the moment will soon be over as the government is committed to the security of lives and property of all Nigerians.

“Government is putting all strategies in place to curb the challenges of insecurity in the country. I therefore call on the Labour Force and all patriotic citizens to be fully committed to the task of putting insecurity to a permanent end as much as possible,” he stressed.

Aregbesola wishes all Nigerian Workers a peaceful May Day Celebration.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

April 28, 2021

CallyAir Takes Delivery Of Its Second Aircraft


The governor of Cross River State, Sir Ben Ayade, yesterday took delivery of yet another Boeing 737 aircraft at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos for the state’s commercial airline, Cally Air.

The aircraft was formerly owned by airBaltic. It is a 21-year-old Boeing 737-300 aircraft, re-registered as 5N-BYQ. It was stored at Ostrava Airport in Czech Republic, waiting to be ferried to Nigeria. It previously operated for airBaltic as YL-BBX, leased from Tokyo Century Corporation. The airplane is configured with an all-economy 144 seat cabin.

The arrival of the second aircraft is coming barely three weeks after the first one was received on April 6, 2021.

On ground to receive the second aircraft at Arik Air hanger in Lagos were the trio of the state Commissioner for Finance, Auquo Ekpeyong Jr., Director-General of of Due Process, Alphonsus Ogar, Director-General, Bureau of Public Private Partnership, Udiba Udiba.

The two Boeing 737 aircraft have a carrying capacity of 142 and 144 passenger respectively. 

Ayade while announcing the floating of Cally Air, early this year, had decried the prohibitive air transport cost in the country, particularly the Lagos-Calabar and Calabar Abuja routes, querying why “a passenger would pay over N70,000 to fly to Calabar? The route to Calabar either from Lagos or Abuja is the most expensive in Nigeria."

The governor explained that the outrageous charges was due to “the fact that there is no corresponding surplus of airlines coming into Calabar. So it is a responsibility of government to respond to the challenge of our people, recognizing that they are being extorted as a result of monopoly."

He said he created the Ministry of Aviation to bring into realisation the birth of Cally Airline. We are constructing an airport in Obudu to support the patronage of international tourists coming to Obudu cattle ranch.

"we need to take advantage of the massive climatic condition suitable for the growth of ornamental plants for export in Obudu cattle ranch.” 

Additionally, the governor said "it would increase the state Internally Generated Revenue and also generate employment opportunities for teaming unemployed youths in the state."

Ayade said the airline would fly Lagos-Calabar Obudu and Abuja- Calabar-Obudu-Lagos-Abuja routes.

April 28, 2021

Cross River, 7 Other Nigerian States To Benefit From US Govt's $90m Malaria Project


Cross River State, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau and Zamfara have been chosen by the US government through United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to benefit from its $90 million malaria control efforts in vulnerable Nigerian states.

A statement by the agency on Wednesday, said USAID's Nigeria’s Mission Director, Anne Patterson, joined the Coordinator of Nigeria’s National Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr. Perpetua Uhomoibhi, to launch a new activity to control the country’s leading killer of children – malaria – in rural areas of eight vulnerable states.

Nigeria is one of the leading countries in the world with highest mortality rate arising from malaria, with children being the worst hit.

The statement said: “Over the next five years, the $90 million President’s Malaria Initiative for States (PMI-S) will serve as the flagship activity for the global U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) in Nigeria.”

The statement added that since 2010, PMI-S has provided $712 million in investments, including the distribution of over 61 million insecticide treated bed nets (ITN), which are now in 43 per cent of all households, twice the rate before the intervention.

According to Patterson, “In Nigeria, members of low-income households in rural areas are seven times more likely to contract malaria than urban dwellers. Because these communities also have limited access to prevention and treatment services, it is critically important to reach these populations to reduce malaria.”

It added that in partnership with state governments, PMI-S will improve the quality of and access to malaria services, promote evidence-based decision making, boost drug-based prevention and treatments, and strengthen health systems and programme management.

The statement further explained that the new activity builds on the success of earlier PMI-supported malaria interventions in Nigeria, which has helped the national rate of malaria infection decrease by 16 per cent – even higher for children under five – since PMI began operating in Nigeria. PMI has also helped increase the likelihood a pregnant woman receives malaria prophylaxis fourfold.

Revealing the gains so far, it said that led by USAID and implemented with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the last year, in addition to distribution of ITNs – provided 22 million doses of prophylaxis to pregnant women, 6.9 million doses to children and 129 million treatment doses at health facilities and in communities.

Another 62 million rapid tests helped health workers properly diagnose and treat patients for malaria and other fevers. PMI-S is implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

April 21, 2021

OpEd: Back To South With Equity, Fairness, Capacity And Ethicals BY VINCENT EFFIONG

Equity and fairness (in practice) are two important concepts, which over the years have been an effective approach to the achievement of a symbiotic livelihood. Globally, modern societies have considered "evenly distribution of power and resources to be the panacea for sustainable development and maintenance of peaceful co-existence". This normative approach however, curtails social inequalities, economic and political crises, and of course, regional imbalances. We must escape from the theoretical trap of the subject that is typical of the nature state - selfishness and "war of all against all". This nature of greed and selfishness is the baseline against which to judge the justifiability of the conventional political formula of "CODE 888".

Understandably, the desire to preserve one's political world grows stronger by every political season, this personal desire often times do not reflect the interest of the larger society, thus, raising an avoidable dust. It therefore behoves on every political gladiator to retreat and have a sober reflection ahead of 2023 - putting Cross River first.  

Going further, if the blame for the alarming insecurity and political instability that has challenged our freedom of existence could be attributed to marginalisation, injustifiable form of distribution of wealth and income across geo-political strata in the country, then, it will not be undesired to explore the principle of fairness as the antidote for our obvious fiasco. The most scandalous result of this is the destruction of lives and properties - this, also, we can avoid.

Zoning system is widely argued to be an ideology for power-sharing arrangements and a mechanism for ethno-regional balancing, conflict mitigation and consensus formation in plural society like ours. Cross River, just like every other State in the Nigerian federation is characterised by potentials of human population and material resources in the best of quality, across the three senatorial districts, to play major roles in Nigerian and global politics. 

Ahead of 2023, it is no longer news, that there are rapacious agitations by disgruntled groups and individuals to disregard the conventional system of governorship rotation in the State. Let them be reminded that peace and unity is a key challenge in many societies. It is a key challenge in Nigeria with major divisions along class, linguistic, religious and ethnic lines. In the case of Nigeria, a sense of belonging or inclusion is vital to the country's survival. This is why the Constitution prescribes the Federal Character principle in Section 14. Federal Character is about inclusion of the six geopolitical zones in the allocation of political and public sector appointments including the office of the President. Cross Riverians should take a bearing from the inclusion policy laid out in our Constitution. This connotes a sort of rotation. Any argument against this, is a misconceived one. Presidential election is rotated between the South and the North. Why then should a few power-drunk exhibit tendencies that may challenge mutual peace, having enjoyed same for a period 10 years? The elites in this school of greed argue from the point of credibility and capacity. That, to me, is laughable and quite an invalid notion, as there is no senatorial district bereft of credible candidates that can effectively and efficiently lead the state through the path of development at any political time. The Southern Senatorial District had the governorship seat between 1999 to 2007, succeeded by a Central Senatorial District Liyel Imoke who governed between 2007-2015 and handed over to the North. It is commonsensical to understand that power should return to Cross River South - a people that have patiently  waited and supported past administrations for almost two decades now.

Let us all throw our weight to the most credible in the Southern Senatorial District for a greater Cross River.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

April 20, 2021

No Policeman Should Be Seen Conducting Roadblocks In C'River, I Have Dismantled All Roadblocks - C'River Police Commissioner

 CP Akande

The Cross River State Commissioner of Police, CP Sikiru Akande  has announced the dismantling of all forms of roadblocks across the state.

CP Akande noted that the action was in line with the new policing vision and crime-fighting strategies introduced by the acting inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.

He said: “I have given a marching order to all my DPOs that they should dismantle all roadblocks that exist within their area of responsibility.

“No policeman should be seen conducting roadblocks, if there is anything the police will respond tactically.

“If the policemen are not more than 7 on any federal road, please don’t stop because that roadblock is illegal”.

April 20, 2021

19-Year Old Arrested For Robbing And Murdering Lady In Calabar

Suspected criminals

The police on Tuesday paraded a 19-year old boy, Eteng Omini from Ugep in Cross River State and his friend, Godwin Nyenime, 18, for robbing and murdering a 58-year old lady, Doris Inyang along State Housing Estate, Calabar and carting away her 2016 Nissan Sentra car.

Parading the teenager and twenty nine other suspected criminals arrested at various locations in the State, the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, CP Sikiru Akande said the police was undaunted in its task of securing the state and will go to any length to stem the tide of attack on security men.

Some items recovered from the suspects include one Nissan Sentra, Mercedes Benz E350, Prado Land Cruiser, locally made guns, 42 inches television among others.

When interviewed by newsmen, Omini said he was asked by his friend Udobong to come and drive the vehicle from the premises and was promised to be paid N500,000.00

“I am not involved in killing the lady but was only asked to come and drive her vehicle from her residence for N500, 000.

“My friend Udobong asked me to drive the vehicle and we have been playing football together at Bassey Duke. He ran away after I was arrested."

Thursday, April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

18 LG Chairmen In C'River Threatens To Leave PDP With Ayade, Demands Fresh PDP Congress, Submits Petition To NWC

18 LG Chairmen from CRS during a visit to PDP's NWC


Local government chairmen and councillors in Cross River have threatened to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside Governor Ben Ayade if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fails to do the needful.

This threat was handed to the PDP on Tuesday when the Chairmen met with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP in Abuja, GRASSROOT REPORTERS has learnt.

The leader of the delegation and Chairman of Akpabuyo Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel Bassey who handed over the petition to the party’s Deputy National Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Agbo, called for immediate conduct of transparent congresses at all levels in the state.

Speaking shortly after the meeting, the Chairman of Calabar Municipal Council, Hon. Effiong Nta Eke demanded a fresh state congress to guarantee the return of party structures to the governor.

Hon. Eke said: “The governor is the leader of the party in the state. He should be given control of the party structures and this can only be done with a fresh congress.

“We are demanding a fresh congress. If not, where the Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, goes, we will go with him. He is the leader of the party in the state.”

Commenting also, the leader of the delegation, Hon. Emmanuel Bassey said: “We are chairmen of the 18 local government councils in Cross River State. We came to meet the national chairman and we have met him, and he was ably represented by the Deputy National Secretary in the person of Dr. Emmanuel Agbo.

“We came for the purpose of our state; the state of affair of the party in our state; we met him and we presented to him what we came with and he has honourably taken care of it and has assured us that he is going to make sure that what we presented to the party and what we came with, will be given immediate and urgent attention.”

When he was asked to reveal the content of the petition presented, he said: “You guys must have known that the state congress has not been held, and we did ask that it be done urgently. And he has assured us that that will be considered urgently.

“For God’s sake, Prof. Ben Ayade is the party leader in Cross River State; he is the one that leads, just like every other governor in any PDP state. So, let us give him his due respect. Let it be given to him.

"Whatever equation he must have taken, I think is to a great extent it is for the goodness and betterment of the party.

“Let me state here categorically that we are the pillars of the party in Cross River State and these pillars were erected by Prof. Ben Ayade; so, if he goes, we go with him.”

The governor had lost the party's structure to the National Assembly Members from the state. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: Former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha Arrested By EFCC For Money Laundering

The former governor of Imo State Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,

Senator Okorocha was arrested on Tuesday over alleged money laundering.

Okorocha was arrested at his office in Abuja.

Confirming the arrest, the spokesperson for the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, told Vanguard that the news was true. “Okorocha has been arrested by our men”, he said in a telephone chat.
April 13, 2021

15 Headless Bodies Discovered On Outskirt Of Calabar


By Emma Una (Vanguard)

Fifteen beheaded bodies were on Tuesday morning found dumped at five Miles area on the outskirt of Calabar.

The dead bodies comprising both males and females were dumped in steep valley along the double carriageway under construction by Governor  Ben Ayade.

The identity of the bodies is not yet known and those who might have dumped them there.

The gory spectacle was discovered by farmers this early morning.

A crowd gathered at about 11.00 am to observe the gory sight while a horde of flies fluttered around the decapitated bodies.

“Some persons may have brought these corpses and dumped here in a vehicle last night”. Alex a commercial driver who parked to observe the spectacle observed.

He said the people may have been killed in Calabar and taken to the  lonely area

 ” I wonder why police and security agents who mount roadblocks along this road could not intercept them because the odour that can emanate from such bodies can be very strong “

Ms Irene Ugbo the Cross River Police Command spokesman did not pick calls on her GSM line.

Monday, April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

UCTH: Stakeholders Throws Weight Behind Board, Commends Hospital Board For Transforming Hospital

 By Obio Monday

The Board and Management of the University of Calabar Hospital (UCTH) has been commended for transforming the once comatose hospital to a force to be reckoned with in heath care delivery.

It is worthy of note that the hospital before the coming of the present board and management has been a ghost of its former self with dilapidated structures, poor sanitation, lack of electricity and water supply, poor services.

Commending the Chair of the UCTH board for changing the narrative, the group chided a 'phantom' group for resorting to the primitive tactics of sponsoring baseless publications meant to discredit the present Board and Management of the hospital.

A statement signed by Chief Antigha Abasi and Comr. Bassey Effiom, President and Secretary respectively, dated April 8, 2021, listed some of the achievements of the current management to include the overhaul of facilities in the O & G Department, constant power supply, efficient and effective water system that guarantees supply and availability of potable water, amongst others.

It said: "The successes recorded by the current management within two years in office stand in stark contrast to the maladministration of the immediate past rulership.  The reason for such tremendous achievements is not far-fetched.  It can be attributable to the inalienable commitment of the Board and Management to the development of the hospital".

The statement added that it shall "resist whatever act of mischief designed to derail this progressive course of taking the hospital to unprecedented glory and greatness".

Read full statement:


When one witnesses any rare form of development in the public sector, it is only natural that one should acknowledge it and also encourage.  This is not only so that such strides be made permanent and sustainable, but to also ginger other public office holders to emulate such exemplary acts and thrive towards matching the standard.  It is such recognition of genuine developmental efforts that has compelled us to venture into this unusual expository article on the current dispensation of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).

Within a decade (2011-2021), it is the last two years (April 2019 – April, 2021) of administration, ably led by the versatile Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Ikpeme A. Ikpeme that has injected a breathe of fresh air into a hospital that had been laid comatose for eight years (2011-2019).  Those were eight painful years of the ravaging locusts, caterpillar and cankerworms; years the UCTH was held at the jugular by interests whose sole ambition and pursuit was to plunder the hospital and satiate their unbridled greed for material accumulation.  Projects and programmes that would have been beneficial to the hospital were scandalously ignored and misconceived as impossible to even initiate; items supplied as “brand new” almost always had queries concerning the true state of their “newness”.  The 515KVA generator and other items in Radiology Department come easily to mind.

Not surprisingly, the goliaths of that devilish, non-performing era, having found it difficult to comprehend the glittering performance of this god-fearing David within just two years, had become discomfitured, threatened and envious.  Hence, they have resorted to the primitive tactics of sponsoring baseless publications meant to discredit the present Board and Management of the hospital.

We believe that such publications are baseless, spurious and inconsequential, and therefore undeserving of any serious attention as they are meant to create distractions.  Moreso because the authors, who claim to be staff of the hospital, are fake.  None of their names could be sighted in the staff nominal role.  As the maxim goes: “Nemo dat quod non habet” (you can’t put something on nothing and expect it to stand).  A publication by a phantom group of persons must be treated for what it is: falsehood, lies.

The successes recorded by the current management within two years in office stand in stark contrast to the maladministration of the immediate past rulership.  The reason for such tremendous achievements is not far-fetched.  It can be attributable to the inalienable commitment of the Board and Management to the development of the hospital.  The Chairman of the Board, Col. Abdul Muhammadu (Rtd), as a highly reputed solider who rendered diligent service to the nation and meritoriously retired, has proven his mettle as a gentleman of impeacable integrity by ensuring harmonious relationship between the Board and Management for the overall benefit of the hospital.  Likewise the CMD, Dr. Ikpeme, a seasoned professional, who has brought to bear his administrative astuteness in the day to day running of the establishment.  Little wonder that the hospital has in the last two years progressed at various levels by geometrical pace. In confirmation, we will attempt to capture below a few verifyable interventions made by the current administration that has led to the rising profile of the hospital.

1. Obstetrics and Gynaecology: The current Dr. Ikpeme - led Management, apparently enjoying strong support from the Board, undertook and successfully accomplished the overhaul of facilities in the O& G Department.  The labour ward was tastefully renovated.  A New Triage room was constructed while the Theatre, Antenatal & Gynaecology clinics complex were fully and beautifully renovated.  The icing on the cake for the Department of O&G was the installation of new laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery equipment.  We consider it a tragic irony that the immediate past CMD, a Gynaecologist, could not record any of these achievements for the department even after long eight years in office.  It took an orthopaedic surgeon to rehabilitate this department and upgrade same to international standard.

2. Power: Black-out stands largely banished from critical units of the hospital.  With constant power supply, affairs of the hospital ensue unhindered round the clock in critical life-saving units.

3. Water: The era of lack of water in the hospital is gone.  There is now an efficient and effective water system that guarantees supply and availability of potable water.

4. Environmental Sanitation: UCTH no longer smells.  Drainages are regularly desilted and evacuated.  The lawns are now trimmed and green, so attractive that visitors are commonly sighted using them as background scenery for selfies and photographic moments.  Erosion control projects are also on-going.

5. Dental Clinic: The department has undergone total renovation, coupled with the installation and commissioning of five brand new state of the art Dental Chairs.

6. Radiology Dept.: Similarly, this department has undergone total renovation culminating in the installation of 2 brand new 4-D ultrasound scanners, full digital direct radiography x-ray machine and a new 32 slice CT Scanner. The environmental upgrade that houses these facilities are topnotch.

7. Isolation Centre/ICU: In line with the leadership’s avowed commitment to contain COVID-19 pandemic in the state, a new 30 bed modern isolation centre is being constructed alongside a new 10-bed level 3 ICU.

8. Medical microbiology laboratory: The Medical Microbiology Laboratory has been completely renovated and upgraded to serve as the only anti-microbial resistance reference (AMR) laboratory in South-South Nigeria.

9. Orthopaedic ward: The female orthopaedic ward has been completely renovated and functioning effectively.

10. Staff Welfare: The present leadership has continued to demonstrate unprecedented passion for staff welfare and development.  Staff are sponsored for further trainings relevant to their respective careers and promotion implemented for deserving ones.  Payments of various emoluments are usually managed transparently once funds are released.  It must be said that it is as a result of such show of significant commitment to workers that the UCTH has experienced relative industrial peace for two years now with no local strike nor threat of strike.  Every strike action in the last 2 years had been called nationally.

11. Staff Discipline and Efficiency: While the current leadership has remained passionately committed to staff welfare and promotion, we commend their demonstrable objectivity in the management of issues of discipline and efficiency in service directed at enhancing productivity.  Not only does Management lead by example, but are also firm on decisions made in the best interest of the establishment.  This was recently typified in the Works and Engineering Department where an eminently qualified contract staff was appointed Head of Department (HOD) deservedly.  Expectedly, the appointment drew disaffection from disgruntled quarters on the bases that there is a bonafide senior staff who is “qualified” to head the Department.  However, that argument fell flat on its face when addressed.  The said officer, in the strict sense of the word, is not “qualified” to head the department.  Records, originated and well documented by the previous administration, reveal that he had been twice queried and warned for acts of Misconduct and Truancy.  A warning is taken seriously in the Public Services. Surely, a staff like that whose continued stay in service is by God’s mercy cannot be entrusted with the responsible office of HOD. Besides, the contract staff, although the law allows a relatively short time for such appointment, is a respectable character and his wealth of experience constitutes a dependable source of knowledge the junior ones in the Department shall continue to understudy, benefit from and subsequently apply for the good of the hospital.

12. Okoyong Health Centre:  The Health Centre, Okoyong, has been renovated and modernized thereby leading to increasing patronage of the centre by indigenes of the community and beyond.

13. Completion of Abandoned Projects: Projects which were initiated in 2012/2013 and wickedly abandoned by the immediate past administration have been re-commenced.  So far, the current leadership has re-commenced work on the 56 suit laboratory to Radiology link road and secured visitors car park.  We believe the abandoned 56-Suite House Officers Quarters will soon come on stream.

14. Health Records & Revenue Management: There has been introduction and deployment of electronic Health Records, Information and Revenue Management system which have engendered efficiency and blocked leakages in the system.

15. ENT Nursing: The school of post Base ENT nursing has been renovated and working towards re-securing accreditation.  One the only such school in Southern Nigeria.  It was abandoned by the immediate past administration.

16. Other Interventions: There are other areas of positive intervention including the beautiful streetlight project, the Ward Lightings, renovation of the mortuary, etc.  Concerning academics, many Departments that had lost accreditation to train our people for the benefit of our society have had their accreditation fully restored within the last 2 years.  Other Departments who never had accreditation now have successfully gained accreditation.  We can continue to count. 

If, within a short span of two (2) years the current administration of the UCTH has successfully executed all these valuable and verifiable projects, non of which could be accomplished in 8 long years of the previous administration, it stands to reason that the present administration deserves our passionate and unconditional support. We are hereby giving such support willingly as staff and stakeholders.

We, therefore, wish to particularly counsel the past leadership and their racketeering contractor to desist from their sponsorship of ever failing plots of mischief, calumny and pull-him-down.  They should learn from the divine wisdom that “who God blesses, no man can curse”. Rather, they should join hands with the dynamic leadership of the current Board and Management in their undeterred march to elevate UCTH to greatness.

Going by records available to us, we make bold to say that the UCTH has never had it so good from inception.  We are all living witnesses to a revolution in growth and development sweeping through all facets of the hospital.  As staff and stakeholders, we support the current leadership whole-heartedly, with all our power and all our might.  Accordingly, we shall resist whatever act of mischief designed to derail this progressive course of taking the hospital to unprecedented glory and greatness.

We thank God for blessing our beloved UCTH with a thoroughbred leadership – a diligent and disciplined Board Chairman on one hand, with the support of progressive minded Board members, and an astute and visionary CMD on the other hand, ably supported by loyal and disciplined Management Staff.  Together, they have ensured decorum and tranquility in the hospital, thus all hands are on deck and all eyes focused on growth and development.  

April 12, 2021

Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa Joins Kano Pillars After Failing To Find A Foreign Club


The captain of the Nigerian national team, Ahmed Musa, is set to return to Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Kano Pillars, according to ACL Sports.

The 28-year-old is set to join Pillars on a flexible short-term deal, as he is yet to land a foreign team.

It is understood the transfer is practically completed and only a few details are left to iron out.

Musa has remained without a club since he left Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia in October.

However, a return to Pillars could rejuvenate his career.

Musa spent three years playing for the Kano club, before his first European sojourn in VVV-Venlo.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

April 10, 2021

Popular Nollywood Veteran Actor, Bruno Iwuoha Dies At 68


Veteran Nollywood actor, Chief Bruno Obinna Iwuoha, has passed away after many months of battle with diabetes and glaucoma.

Iwuoha’s close associate and filmmaker, Derik Zai confirmed the ‘Sin of the Flesh’ actor’s death on Saturday morning.

According to multiple reports, the AMA awards recipient had been in coma at the National Hospital, Abuja for about three weeks.

He passed away on Saturday, April 10.

The Nation reports that Iwuoha’s remains had been deposited at the hospital mortuary.

The late Iwuoha featured in several movies including Magic Cap, Occultic Battle, Fire on the Mountain 2, Royal Promise and The Cross of Love, among many others.

April 10, 2021

Governor Ayade's Absence At PDP Meeting Fuels Defection Plan


By Obio Monday

Barring any last minute change, the Cross River State Governor, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade appears set to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

GRASSROOT REPORTERS gathered that efforts to reconcile the governor and some National Assembly members from the state and the Rivers State Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has hit a brickwall, as all warring parties has refused to shift ground.

Multiple sources told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that the rally organized on Thursday for the governor by the 18 local government chairmen and their councillors as well as all the governor's appointees was to assure the governor that they were ready to defect with him should he decide to jump ship, and to send a message to the PDP that the governor is in control in the 18 LGAs.

The governor had lost control of the party structure to the National Assembly members. This did not go down well with the governor and his loyalists. The governor's camp had inaugurated a parallel Ward and Chapter executive, which the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP immediately discredited, recognizing the National Assembly members backed Exco.

While receiving the Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Mohammed in Government House, Calabar, last month, Governor Ayade threatened to leave the PDP if the injustice meted to him is not corrected. 

He said:

“I cannot blind myself to the challenges of PDP and decide not to know what to do at the right time for the Cross River people sake.

“I know you (Bala) are somebody that doesn’t take injustice. One single injustice they will see a new Cross River state.”

The governor threatened that one single injustice against him and his followers, he'll take a big decision “... and I say it as a warning because it does appears that your party seems to celebrate people who threaten and stress them.”

“All councillors in the state are PDP, council chairmen are PDP, all House of Assembly members are PDP, all commissioners are PDP, and all the National Assembly members except one are PDP: all of them are under my leadership”.

“So today I am seated and dancing on the fence. Indeed that’s true.

“And so I speak with righteous anger for the continuous annoyance and nuisance orchestrated on our innocent by external factors. But I just hope this ends today

“While I believe in ecclesiastics of peace, I believe in the catechism of good faith but I also believe in respect for the supremacy of an office.

“So if you take a catalytic combination of all I have said, it tells you that there is the need for a guided caution and at some persons going forward as a people, as a party.

“I think the time has come when all of us will gather and say enough is enough.”

Ayade, Deputy Absent At PDP Governors' Meeting

The governor's absence yesterday at the meeting of the PDP governors in Makurdi, Benue State, has further fuelled his defection moves.

The PDP governors rose from the meeting to demand the devolution of power and restructuring of the country.

The meeting had in attendance, the PDP Governors of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and Bello Mattawalle (Zamfara).

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State was represented by his deputy, Baba Tela.

The Cross River State governor was the only PDP governor missing at the meeting. He was neither represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu.

When GRASSROOT REPORTERS contacted the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the governor, Mr. Christian Ita for comment, he said:

"Was he the only governor that was absent? Go and ask Wike (Rivers State governor) why he was absent. It is only when it is Ayade that you put a spin to it. I asked a simple question, was he the only governor that was absent? No!

"So what's the big deal about it. The one they did the last time, didn't he attend in Abuja? He did. So if exigencies of office did not allow him to attend this time around, I don't think we should give any spin to it".

On moves by the governor to defect to the APC, Mr. Ita said:

" Are you hearing about that one today? They've been saying he'll defect since 2015, has he defected? We've responded to this overtime and we are tired of responding".

Friday, April 9, 2021

April 09, 2021



A 15years retrospective view of the Bakassi local government would have the area placed on the exalted seat of Nigeria's bread winner, being that she produced one of the best crude in the world market and possessed other untapped potentials.

Consequent to the ceding of her peninsula and the relative ravin of  her oil wells to Akwa Abasi Ibom state, Nigeria suddenly lost sense of her glory and relegated her to the Abyss of perdition as against the plethora of supposed protective articles the Annan's Greentree agreement provided for the Bakassi indigenes.

In the face of this omnibus descend from the sublime to the ridiculous,  Bakassi and her people, displaced and refugees as they now are, have become a fruitful ground for political shenanigans and wealth drilling for the Nigerian politicians.

Woe upon Woe has been the plight of the Bakassi people to least mention the place of children in this saga; being born and nursed in shambles, disarray and homelessness; becoming victims of circumstances they contributed nothing to set off. Theirs is worse than slavery, for even slaves are cared for by their masters.

Studentship in Bakassi local government can be best described as "swimming against the tides", no funding, no incentives, no palliative, no relief materials and ultimately no support. One is left to wonder if the federal government means to deter and infact obliterate the ideology of education from Bakassi local government, seeing how incapacitated she is and playing blind to her sufferings and deaf to her wailing.

Let me submit by asking - what expectations have the government of these indigent Bakassi people especially her students in the face of this gross wickedness, Are they to follow the Law? Be patriotic Nigerians? Or seek alternative means of existence?

The answer lies in the conscience of the government and any reader of this article.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

April 08, 2021

BREAKING: Buhari Appoints Rector, Registrar, Governing Board For Fed Poly Ugep, Other Polys


President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Prof. Edward Ntui Okey as the Rector of the newly created Federal Polytechnic, Ugep, Cross River State.

The president also approved the appointment of Mr. Arikpo Eno Otu as the Registrar of the institution.

The list of the appointees obtained by GRASSROOT REPORTERS also contained the approval of the appointment of other principal officers and Governing Council for the institution. The approval for the Federal Polytechnic, Ugep are: 




























The president also appointed principal officers and governing councils for other newly created federal polytechnics.

See full list:


President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointments of Principal Officers and Members of the Governing Councils for newly established Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

2. The affected Institutions, Principal Officers and Members of their Governing Councils are as follows:



























































































































































































April 08, 2021

In The Next Two Years, Bakassi Deep Sea Port And Super Highway Will Be Working - Ayade


The governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade has assured that the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the Super Highway will be working in the next two years.

The governor said this on Thursday during the Industrialisation Rally in support of his administration organized by the 18 local government council chairmen and councillors in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The Bakassi Deep Seaport and Super Highway which were initiated in Governor Ayade's tenure has witnessed delays in their commencement. The governor has barely two years to complete his second term in office.

He said

“We have found investors for the Bakassi Deep Sea Port and Super Highway and I can assure you that all these will be working in the next two years.

“God does not reward you for the wealth you acquire for yourself and your family but what you provide for others and expect nothing in return.

Prof. Ayade also said that his administration has created opportunities for at least one person from each family to be in government across the state, adding that he would have made sure all indigenes of the state are government payroll if that was possible.

”The Rice seedling factory, garment factory, Calachika, Cocoa Processing Plant, Rice mill are all going to provide thousands of jobs."

Speaking at the rally, the Chairman, Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria (ALGON), Emmanuel Offiong pledged their total support for Ayade's administration, assuring that the people at the grassroots are ready to swim and sink with the governor in his political voyage.

”We the eighteen council chairmen have come here with one hundred and ninety-six councillors and hundreds of other political office holders in the council to solidarity with the purposeful leadership you have provided and assure you of our continued support.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

April 07, 2021

Ex-Bauchi Accountant General Arraigned for N108m Scam


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe Zonal office today secured the conviction of Yusuf Ibrahim Gokaru, a former Bauchi State Accountant General, before Justice Muazu Abubakar of the Bauchi State High Court on charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, concealment of the source and origin of the money.

His troubles began in August 2019 when the Bauchi State Government, in a petition to the Commission, alleged that the convict abused his office as Accountant General and obtained the sum of One Hundred and Eight Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand, Two Hundred Naira Only (N108,363,200) for personal used.

The money was diverted from the World Bank assistance to Bauchi State Government under the State Education Programme Investment Project, SEPIP. The defendant transferred the money from Bauchi State Consolidated Naira Account domiciled at Polaris Bank to a Unity Bank account.

The offence is contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

In the course of investigation, Thirty One Million Naira (N31m) was recovered from the defendant. However upon arraignment on March 13, 2020 he pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him, setting the stage for trial.

The prosecution counsel, A.Y Muntaka in the course of trial presented witnesses and tendered documents which were admitted in evidence.

When the case come up today, April 7, the defendant changed his plea and pleaded “guilty” as charged.

Consequently, the judge pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to one year imprisonment with an option of fine.

Justice Abubakar also ordered the convict to pay the sum of Seventy-seven Million Naira (N77m) as restitution to Bauchi State Government within one year

April 07, 2021

Middle-aged Man Arrested With Bags Of Assorted Sex Toys In Cross River


The Cross River State Police command  has paraded a middle-aged man, identified as Obinna Benson who was arrested with a bag that containing assorted sex toys, handcuff, substances suspected to be Indian helm and other unidentified items.

The state Commissioner of Police, CP Sikiru Akande who paraded the suspects, regretted the action of the man.

He said: "It was an incident that somebody came all the way from Lagos with a bag full of sex toys to lure one of our female students into a hotel room.

" The suspect had substances suspected to be Indian helm, high grade to be used on the girl in the hotel, but luck ran out of him when the management of the hotel got wind of what was happening and called the police that responded quickly.

“We don’t know, and we are still investigating the hazard this suspect would have done to our kids especially during this period, but we are lucky to have been able to have him arrested,” he stated.

According to the Commissioner, another incident has bothered him for sometime now was the activities of the traditional rulers in Calabar South Local Government Area of the State.

“Another thing that is bordering us now is that the elders who are supposed to have helped us are busy engaging in squabbles that are not necessary.

“Traditional issues that are lingering are being brought to the fore, and we have told them in clear terms that anybody that is going to do anything that is going to bring problem to the state, we shall deal decisively with such people.

“Some people have accused the police of shutting down the Etubom’s Council Secretariat. It is not our making, the number of petitions and counter petitions that are coming are over hundred and as responsible people, we will not fold our arms and see such situation degenerating into crisis. Anybody who has an issue, should go to court, ”he advised.

The suspect told newsmen that his girlfriend liked what he was doing and that those items were used by two of them, denying any wrongdoing.

“My name is Obina Benson, I am here as a suspect in assault sexual case, those items; I bought them, my girlfriend likes them and are used by two of us, the items are rechargeable, They don’t last,” he revealed.

April 07, 2021

Video: CallyAir Finally Arrive Nigeria


The long awaited CallyAir, a Boeing 737-300 bombardier aircraft has finally arrived Nigeria, GRASSROOT REPORTERS has gathered.

The aircraft touched down Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, on Tuesday night.

Owned by the Cross River State government, the commercial airline is expected to begin operations in no distant time.

Onboard the airline was the governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade and the airline's crew members.

Cally Air is a proposed Nigerian joint venture to be based at Calabar Airport. The start-up is a joint venture between The Cross River State Government and DANA Group, under a public-private agreement. 

The airline was expected to commence in Nov-2016, with services to Obudu, Lagos and Abuja using the state's Dash 8-200 aircraft.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

April 06, 2021

Lagos, Osun, Cross River & Ogun Debts Exceeded Revenue - Report

By Everest Amaefule (Punch) 

The debts of four states exceeded their net revenues by more than 400 per cent, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission has said. The states are Lagos, Osun, Cross River and Ogun.

The FRC in its report ‘Debt sustainability analysis of state governments’ for 2019 also showed that the debts of all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory Administration exceeded 50 per cent of their revenues, contrary to limits set by the Debt Management Office.

The report contained in the 2019 Annual Report of the FRC obtained by our correspondent on Monday said states that had ‘the proportion of Debt-to-Revenue above 50 per cent are assumed to have violated Section F(C) of Debt Management Guidelines, 2012’.

The FRC report said, “The Debt Management Office Revised Guidelines on Public Debt Management, 2012 sets out the rules for public debt assessment in Nigeria.

“Section F(C) of the Guidelines states that the total amount of loans outstanding at any particular time including the proposed loan shall not exceed 50 per cent of the actual revenue of the body concerned, for the preceding 12 months.”

On the debt status of the states, the report said, “It can be deduced that all the 36 states and FCT exceeded the DMO threshold of 50 per cent.

“Lagos State accounted for the highest Debt-to-Total Net Revenue as at the end of 2019, with 712.94 per cent.  Osun State came second with 650.94 per cent Debt-to-Total Net Revenue.  While Cross River and Ogun States were third and fourth with 597.36 per cent and 402.30 per cent respectively.”

The report said the revenue and debt situation of the states, however, were not enough to say that the states had over borrowed since the president of the country has not set the borrowing limits for the subnational governments as required by the FRC Act 2007.

It said, “Nonetheless, this does not lead to the conclusion that such states have over-borrowed, as the overall debt limits of the governments in the federation has not been set.

“It is on record that the overall limits of consolidated debts of federal, states and local governments are yet to be set since the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, though the commission has continually engaged the Honourable Minister(s) of Finance, Budget and National Planning on the issue.”

In the absence of predetermined limits set for the subnational government, the FRC uses the limit set by the DMO to determine the level of indebtedness of the states.

This rule says that the debts of the states should never be higher than 50 per cent their revenues in the preceding 12 months.

Given the difficulty in determining the Internally Generated Revenues of the states and negligibility of the IGRs for most of the states (except Lagos), the FRC uses revenues collected by the states from the federation account for its calculations.

Thus, Lagos with a public debt of N899,385,238,387.44 and a revenue of N117,883,619,963.71 had a debt to revenue ratio of 762.94 per cent. It therefore exceeded the 50 per cent rule by 712.94 per cent.

For Osun, the public debt stood at N169,784,799,861.33 while the revenue stood at N24,222,272,968.41. This puts the debt to revenue ratio at 700.94 per cent. It therefore exceeded the 50 per cent rule by 650.94 per cent.

Cross River’s debt stood at N235,074,694,644.56 while its revenue stood at N36,312,879,237.96. Its debt to revenue ratio stood at 647.36 per cent and therefore exceeded the 50 per cent rule by 597.36 per cent.

Ogun, on the other hand, had a debt of N175,087,821,320.28 and a revenue of N38,710,634,518.42. Its debt to revenue ratio stood at 452.30 per cent. This means that it exceeded the 50 per cent rule by 402.30 per cent.

States with the least excess debt ratio included Sokoto, Delta and Bayelsa.

Sokoto had a debt profile of N60,035,240,351.37, a revenue profile of N55,476,385,825.95 and a debt to revenue ratio of 108.22 per cent. Its excess was therefore put at 58.22 per cent.

Delta had a debt profile of N254,277,286,064.46, a revenue profile of N219,282,893,930.69  and debt to revenue ratio of 115.96 per cent of 65.96 per cent.

Bayelsa, on the other hand, had a debt profile of N167,343,157,583.65, a revenue profile of N140,129,363,936.73 and a debt to revenue ratio of 119.42 per cent. It therefore exceeded the 50 per cent rule by 69.42 per cent.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, promised to respond to an enquiry from our correspondent on the debt status of the state. He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

Also, efforts to get Osun state government to respond to enquiries by our correspondent failed as Dr Tunde Adejumo, the DG, Osun Debt Management Office, could not be reached on his mobile line.

Also, a text message sent to him had not been responded to as of the time of filing this report.