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Thursday, March 4, 2021

March 04, 2021

Ayade Bags Award Of Excellence For industrializing C'River

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, Thursday extolled Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade's sterling achievements in the area of aggressive industrialisation of the state despite paucity of fund.

Members of the Institute are in Calabar for a 3-day workshop with the theme "Lobbying and Social Change in Nigeria"

Speaking at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, venue of the workshop, while conferring the governor with Distinguished Leadership Industrialisation Award, national president of the Institute, Mallam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo said: "This award is in recognition of your Industrialisation feats. It takes a combination of education, intellect, dedication, foresight, visionary  leadership and commitment to achieve what you have achieved so far in the area of Industrialisation.

"Under your watch, Cross River has joined the global Industrialisation map and this is despite paucity of funds.”

Responding, the Cross River state governor thanked the NIPR for finding him worthy of an award, saying it came to him as a surprise and pledged his administration's continued accelerated socio- economic development of the state.

On the theme of the workshop, Ayade called on the NIPR to drive a process for a structural overhaul of lobbying as catalyst for social change in Nigeria, saying unless this was done, "from the Nigerian context, lobbying will continue to be equated with bribery and corruption.”

The governor also made a case for the inclusion of lobbying as a distinct course of study in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed represented by the General Manager NTA, Calabar, Samuel Olalude, described lobbying as a veritable tool for packaging communications and advocacy for social issues.

According to the Minister, through lobbying, Public relations experts can play an important role in ensuring that messages are communicated accurately.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

March 03, 2021

Nigerian Army Declares 101 Soldiers Wanted For Running Away From Boko Haram

At least three majors, three captains and six lieutenants were among those declared wanted for fleeing the insurgents last month in Borno.

The Nigerian Army has ordered the immediate arrest of officers accused of deserting their posts during the Boko Haram attacks on New Marte and Dikwa towns of Maidiguri. 

Military documents obtained by Peoples Gazette carried a list of 101 names, ranks and bank details of errant soldiers. 

Theatre Command Headquarters of “Operation Lafiya Dole” in Maiduguri requested that the Army Headquarters freeze the listed accounts and apprehend the alleged deserters if found. 

“You are requested to declare the named officers and soldiers deserters WEF 19 Feb 21,” the document said. 

A spokesman for the Nigerian Army did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the development. 

At least seven Nigerian soldiers were confirmed killed in an ambush by the terrorists last month. 

The soldiers of 153 Task Force Battalion were ambushed in Marte Local Government Council, as the troops were overwhelmed and could not match the ammunition carried by the terrorists. 

After Marte was captured by Boko Haram, Chief of Army Staff Ibrahim Attahiru gave troops of the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ 48 hours to clear insurgents off Marte LGA and surrounding communities under the insurgents control.

Source: Peoples Gazette

March 03, 2021

Covid-19 Kills 4 Persons In Cross River


Cross River State recorded four COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows.


It was the highest death toll out of the eight recorded in Nigeria.

Cross River with 344 cases, now has 17 deaths from the virus, while the national death toll is now 1923.

According to the NCDC, FCT Abuja recorded three deaths on Tuesday, increasing its overall toll to 149, the third highest after Lagos, 410 and Edo, 170.

Ogun recorded one death, to add up to the eight reported on Monday.

Ogun now has 47 deaths overall.

Confirmed cases, meanwhile have virtually plateaued, with just 479 cases reported.

Since 24 February, when the country 655 cases, daily cases have plunged.


Tuesday’s record marked a difference from the low cases recorded from February 27, when 341 cases were reported nationally.

On 28 February, 240 cases were reported and on 1 March, 360 cases.

As at Tuesday, confirmed cases till date since last year were 156,496, while active cases were 19,437.

Discharged cases also hit 135,136, including the 647 cleared on Tuesday.

Here is a breakdown of the 479 cases reported on Tuesday, from 21 states and FCT Abuja:













Cross River-10









Akwa Ibom-1

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

March 02, 2021

Ayade @53: SSA On Calapharm, Esuong Uwase Felicitates With Governor

The Senior Special Assistant to the Cross River State Governor on Calabar Pharmaceutical Company (Calapharm), Esuong Uwase has joined millions of well-wishers all over the world to felicitate with the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, on the occasion of his 53rd birthday anniversary.

Mr. Uwase described Governor Ayade as a visionary and humane leader, whose industrialization drive is gradually changing the negative narrative of the state.

Thanking God for bringing such a man to lead the state, Mr. Uwase prayed God to continually bless the governor and guide him as he pilots the affairs of Cross River State.

Monday, March 1, 2021

March 01, 2021

Ex-governor, Donald Duke Commissions Flyover In Rivers State


Former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke on Monday, March 1, commissioned Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover in Rivers State, constructed by Governor Nyesom Wike's admission.

Speaking, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties to emulate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the delivery of democratic dividends to the citizens.

Governor Wike said the PDP has done well in the State by fulfilling the promises it made to people of the State and they now know the difference.

The Rivers State Governor challenged the APC to come out bold to tell Rivers people what they will do differently or had done already to convince the people to believe in them.

Governor Wike pointed out that like every other project, the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover is among the best projects his administration has delivered because Rivers people deserve the best always.

"I want to thank everybody for your support. Our party is not a party of excuses. When we say something, we do it. Let other parties emulate us. They should not be promising Nigerians and be giving excuses.

"We have promised and we have fulfilled. When they (APC) make promise they should fulfil. PDP has done all its campaigns in this state. Let the other parties come to tell us what they will do differently or had done while in office. Time is already gone for them."

Speaking further, Governor Wike said sceptics thought the three flyover projects he started in 2019 will not be completed within record time of 16 months. But with Rebisi and Okoro-Nu-Odo flyovers completed and commissioned, he said his administration has further demonstrated commitment to enhance infrastructure in the State.

The governor warned community leaders who encourage street traders around the area to desist from the act because trading activities will not be tolerated around the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover.

"To the paramount rulers of Rumuokoro Community and Rumuodumaya Community, tell your youths and CDCs, who are always collecting money here, I will not tolerate anybody who will covert this flyover as trading place.

"We cannot spend this money here and you turn this place into a market. I will not accept that. We have built market and motor park for you. Go and use them for your business activities.

"I have told the GOC of the 6 Division and the Garrison commander to tell all their men to stop what they're doing on this road. They collect money and allow people to sell on the road. We won't tolerate it again.

"Leave our road; this is not market, nobody should trade here. Allow the people to enjoy the road."

Governor Wike described former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, as role model who inspired him to perform in office.

"I invited you because I know when you were governor, you performed very well. I will not bring anybody who did not perform in office to come and commission my projects.

"You're our role model. We monitored you while you were in office and to see how you took Cross River from nothing to somewhere.

"Today, people talk of Cross River and carnival, who's the originator? You're the one who did everything to put Cross River on the world map. People should not forget history. Today, you are here to see the little thing we are doing, having emulated what you did."

Inaugurating the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover Bridge, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke said Governor Wike is a trail blazer who has demonstrated leadership and spent state resources prudently for the good of Rivers people.

Duke urged the benefiting communities of the project to cherish and protect the project as their own contribution to ensuring that the resource used to build the bridge does not amount to waste.

"I want to congratulate you the people for being steadfast with your son. You gave him support and he has delivered. Leadership is not about winning election. Leadership is about taking people to a destination.

You may not always agree with Governor Wike at the onset. Later on you'll understand the wisdom of his stance. But you are never in doubt where he stands on any issues and that's leadership.

"Today, we are celebrating many things he has done; the development of a community, the prosperity that will be brought into the community, leaving the community better than he met it and of course, we are saying thank you that we have a leader which is very rare to find in our country, that is people who say what they mean and mean what they say."

Providing the description of the project, the Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover is one of three flyover projects sited strategically to ease travel time for commuters in the state.

"The Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover measures 642.75 m from ramp to ramp, 360m of that being the suspended section. The transition area from the 4 lane East-West Road to the 8 lanes of the bridge project measures 236m. 8 lanes because we have 4 lanes on the bridge and 4 lanes on the ground for both service lanes on either side of the bridge, both of which measure 1,760m long and 8.3m wide.

"You are seated in one of the transition zones. This flyover which is a wonderful sight to behold at night is lit with 68 streetlight poles 26 of those are single arm while 42 are double arm giving you 110 nos of 250w luminares, not forgetting the 2 bulkhead luminares under the bridge. All of these are powered by a dedicated substation complete with a transformer and back up generator."

The Commissioner said the Flyover will contribute towards ease of travel along the East-West road, and traffic decongestion around the area.

Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze .C. J Okocha (SAN) lauded Governor Wike for his developmental stride and warned the people of the area against converting the flyover to a trading post.

March 01, 2021

Calabar-Itu Road: Akwa Ibom & Cross River Lawmakers Didn't Attract Any Funding For Road, I Bore The Burden Alone - Ita Enang

Ita Enang

By Patrick Odey

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Ita Enang, has slammed the three senators each from Cross River and Akwa Ibom states and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel for not joining efforts to attract funding for the Calabar-Itu road.

Enang also challenged all the 18 House of Representatives members; 10 from Akwa Ibom and eight from Cross River, to point to what they had contributed on the road.

He threw the challenge on Saturday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while fielding questions from newsmen at the Correspondents’ Chapel’s Forum tagged ‘The Arena.’

Enang said save for the governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, who made some efforts, he (Enang) had borne the burden of attracting funding alone, having struggled for N6bn, N4.7bn and N3.8bn respectively.

Enang said,  “I struggled from 2015; I got the first N6bn in 2015/2016 budget and when it was to be awarded, it was rehabilitation that was advertised.

“To rehabilitate the road from Ikot Ekpene to Calabar; I said no. I took the budget to the Bureau of Public Procurement. It was advertised in the Federal Government’s journal that this is not what was in the budget.

“By the time I was able to overcome that fight, the budget had elapsed; the year had gone and the N6bn was gone. I struggled in the following year to have N4.7bn. I split the road into two because if I had not, the amount I got in the budget would not have been able to do the initial mobilisation.

“I split into two the sections that started from Odukpani T Junction to the power plant in Odukpani. Then from there to Oku-Iboku junction, and then start it up to where you have Mba Itam.

“That was awarded to Julius Berger PLC. That is the amount of the money I got for that year that the budget was able to take for the mobilisation and Julius Berger was paid that money but it wasn’t enough for them to wholly mobilise; we still got some more money for them.”

He continued, “I want all the Members of the House of Representatives from Akwa Ibom, 10 of them; I want all the senators from Akwa Ibom, three of them. I want all the members of the House of Representatives from Cross River State, eight of them, I want all the three senators from Cross River State; the three of them, to lift up their hands to God and say this is what I have contributed to get this road funded.

“And let the Governor of Akwa Ibom State also lift up his hands and say this is what I have done. For the Governor of Cross River State Ben Ayade, I want to speak for him that he has made some efforts for that road with me, but it’s Akwa Ibom State that has not.”

He reiterated his earlier position that Emmanuel ought to have ploughed back the refund of N78.9bn he got from the Federal Government on the road.

March 01, 2021

We'll Be Using Drones To Supply Health Materials Soon - Cross River


The Cross River Health Insurance Agency has concluded plans to use drones to deliver health materials to rural areas in the state.

This was revealed on Monday in Calabar by the Director-General of the agency, Godwin Iyala, who announced that the scheme would kick off on March 9.

“Governor Ben Ayade has also approved March 9 as the flag-off date of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund enrolment (BHCPF) into the Health Insurance Scheme.

He said:

“Our international partners will provide drones that will make for effective delivery of medical materials to the rural areas, given the state’s unique, but difficult terrain,” Mr Iyala said.

He listed the packages to be delivered by drones to include items for the treatment of basic ailments, for caesarean sections for expectant mothers, and tuberculosis, leprosy and cancer drugs and medicaments.

Mr. Iyala explained that those who enroll in the BHCPF would be expected to pay N1,000 monthly, which would amount to N12, 000 per annum.

Outlining the benefits of the scheme, he said: “the pooling of resources for cross-subsidisation of health costs where those in the high-income bracket subsidise those in the low-income bracket.”

He urged residents to enroll in the scheme “to achieve better health for all.”

Sunday, February 28, 2021

February 28, 2021

UNICAL Lecturer Shot After Attempt To Kidnap Him Failed

Dr. Lawal


An attempt to kidnap a lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Calabar, Dr. Babatunde Abisoye Lawal on Friday, February 27, 2021 has failed.

Multiple sources in the university told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that the lecturer fiercely resisted the armed kidnappers who traced him to his residence at the university's staff quarters.                      

Angered that their attempt whisk away the pharmacology lecturer met brick wall, the kidnappers shot and wounded the lecturer in the thigh, hand and leg.

GRASSROOT REPORTERS gathered that Dr Lawal has been rushed to an undisclosed medical facility where he is responding to medical treatment.              

Confirming the incident to GRASSROOT REPORTERS in an exclusive chat, the university's Public Relation Officer (PRO), Mr. Effiong Eyo said:

"I have issued a statement to the university community already. It was an attempted kidnap but it failed".

Saturday, February 27, 2021

February 27, 2021

Married Woman Stabs Man To Death For Telling Her Husband About Her Secret Lover



A 25-year-old man, Victor Ikegwuonu, has been stabbed to death in Orlu zone, Imo State, for allegedly making a disclosure of lovers’ hot romance to the husband of the lady.

According to a statement by the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, Ikegwuono had allegedly told a 52-year-old Chijioke Anyiam that one Emeka Ezurike was in an illicit affair with his wife. This infuriated Emeka, who stabbed Victor to death.

The statement read: “On Tuesday, operatives of the Divisional Police Headquarters, Orlu, arrested one Emeka Ezuruike, a native of Ubommiri, Emuoba, Rivers State, for killing one Victor Ikegwuonu, of Nduichi, Arondizuogu.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that Victor Ikegwuonwu was said to have informed one Pa Chijioke Anyiam that his wife, Patience Anyiam, aged 30, was involved in a hot romance with Emeka Ezuruike, an affair, which he said had been on for a very long time.

“Sequel to that, Emeka went to see Victor ask him about the allegation. During the enquiry, both of them got into a serious fight and in the process, Emeka stabbed Victor with pieces of broken bottles, which led to Victor’s death.

“The suspect has, however, been arrested and taken into custody while the investigation is ongoing. He will be charged to court accordingly.”

This is coming days after a man simply identified as Kadir stabbed his younger brother, Suleiman, to death for confronting his wife in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.

It was gathered that trouble started on Friday morning, February 19, when Suleiman scolded Kadir’s wife for being rude to their mother.

Kadir, who was not home when the altercation happened, confronted his younger brother for daring to rebuke his wife when he returned. Their mother was said to have intervened and settled the quarrel between the two siblings.

However, not satisfied, Kadir was said to have revisited the issue later in the day and once again, their mother stepped in and calmed the situation.

Suleiman was said to have put the matter behind him and went about his normal business. Kadir later traced him to where he went to late in the evening, stabbed him and fled.

Suleiman was rushed to the hospital on Friday night where he died on Saturday morning from the injury he sustained during the attack.

February 27, 2021

C'River North: I'm The Authentic Senator, Supreme Court Ruling Doesn't Affect My Position - Senator Odey

Senator Odey


The senator representing Cross River North senatorial district, Senator Stephen Adi Odey has said that the supreme court ‘preliminary objections’ ruling does not affect his position as the senator representing the senatorial district.

Odey who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP after the court judgement in Abuja, on Friday, said that supreme court did not declare Jarigbe winner of the primaries, insisting that he remains authentic senator representing Cross River North.

He urged his supporters to go about their normal business as the development of the senatorial district is assured with him as the senator.

Odey said that Agom Jarigbe who is presently the member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria’s 8th and 9th National Assembly representing Ogoja/Yala constituency did not win the primary election on September 5, 2020, which disqualified him to participate in the election as a candidate.

He noted that the Federal High Court in Calabar delivered its judgements in both cases on December 3, 2020 affirming him as the authentic PDP candidate, while the court struck out Jarigbe’s case for want of jurisdiction.

Senator Stephen Odey had challenged the judgement of the Court of Appeal, which declared Jarigbe as the valid candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal at the apex court. The apex court delivered its judgement.

February 27, 2021

We Didn't Appoint Tonto Peace Ambassador - NCPC


The Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission has denied appointing Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh as Ambassador for Peace.

Tonto had taken to Instagram to write that she's now a "proud Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) Ambassador for Peace Building."

She added, "finally, I wish to announce my position as the new Ambassador of the Commision for peace building."

She also told her followers that she needs "prayers as we embarked on peace building across the six geopolitical zones of the nation because peace is indispensable."

But the NCPC said the information is false.

In a press statement released by the NCPC reads: "The Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission NCPC wishes to state in categorical terms that King Tonto Dikeh paid an official courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission Rev Yakubu Pam on 25th February, 2021 at the corporate headquarters of the Commission in Abuja.

"As the founder of Tonto Dikeh Foundation, she expressed her willingness and interest in partnering with the Commission in the area of peace building.

"She equally cashed in on the visit to commend the NCPC boss for his positive and relentless peace initiatives across the country.

"However, we are suddenly inundated with claims from King Tonto Dikeh herself that she has been officially appointed as Ambassador of peace by this great Commission. This claim has gone viral in the media.

"The Commission frowns at this claim which is a clear misrepresentation of what transpired.

"The fact remains that the Executive Secretary of NCPC never appointed King Tonto Dikeh an Ambassador of Peace for NCPC and this was not part of her visit therefore this claim by her is spurious, unfounded and should be discarded and seen by all Nigerians as a figment of her imagination.

"Nevertheless, we appreciate her desire to partner with us in our peace building initiatives and in the area of pilgrimage sponsorship to the Holy Land."

Responding via Instagram, Tonto Dikeh insisted she didn't lie. She said there are "video proofs" that she's telling the truth but she will rather respect the Commission's decision and take the fall.

Friday, February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Man Bags 10 Years Imprisonment for N8.1m Fraud in Uyo


The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has secured the conviction and sentencing of one Sandy Witness Udokpo before Justice Okon Okon of the State High Court, sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The convict was arraigned on June 21, 2018 on a three count charge bordering on forgery and obtaining by false pretence. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, setting the stage for his trial.

The convict's journey to jail began on February 16, 2018 when the Commission received a petition from one Samuel Godwin Ekanem, the General Manager of Jopen Nigeria Limited who alleged he dispatched 45,000 litres of diesel valued N8,100,000.00 (Eight million, One Hundred Thousand Naira) to the convict who claimed to be a contractor with CCECC Nigeria Limited.

Upon receipt of the said product, the convict disappeared into thin air and all efforts made by the complainant to reach him proved abortive, as the Local Purchase Order, LPO, presented for verification was discovered to be fake.

In the course of trial, the prosecution, through its counsel, Nwandu Ukoha presented witnesses who tendered various documents which were admitted in evidence.

Delivering judgment, the court struck out count 1 and found the convict guilty on counts 2 and 3.

The convict was sentenced to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine for the offence of obtaining by false pretence in count 2 and three years imprisonment for the offence of forgery in count 3, without an option of fine.

One of the counts reads, "You, Witness Sandy Udokpoh "M" sometime in July 2017, at Uyo in Akwa Ibom State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did induce and fraudulently obtain 45,000 litres of diesel...

EFCC Nigeria valued in the sum of eight million and one hundred thousand naira (N8,100,000.00k) from one Samuel Godwin Ekanem under the pretense that you were sent by CCECC Nigeria Limited as a staff, which pretense you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence".

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

February 26, 2021

University Workers Suspends Strike

 By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The Joint Action Committee, JAC,of non-teaching staff unions of universities has announced the suspension of its three weeks old strike with effect from midnight of February 26.

The national leadership of JAC non-teaching staff comprises of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities (NASU).

The union which conveyed its decision during media briefing it held after the conciliatory meeting with the federal government, explained that it agreed to suspend the national strike after extracting some concessions from the government.

 Speaking through NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, the union  said its demands have been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties, just as he stressed that they will continue to monitor the agreements that have been reached with timeline, to ensure that FG implement its own side of the bargain.

“We had 8 items which we negotiated and which form the basis for our ongoing national strike. Our members in our various campuses in the universities and inter-universities centres had appraised the draft MoU and then raised the few observations, but they granted us the mandate that if we are able to meet with the government which we have been able to do today and if the leadership is satisfied, we can go ahead and suspend the strike.

“So we have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonized has been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties and resulting from that development, we have agreed that the ongoing national strike in universities and inter universities centres should be suspended with effect from 12 midnight tomorrow which is Friday 26, February.

“We use this opportunity to appreciate our members for their commitment in this struggles, this strike is suspended and we are not mindful of the fact that we will continue to monitor the agreements that has been reached which has timeline and we hope that the FG we implement his own side of the bargain.

“If the FG doesn’t, we have no reason to call our members to resume the suspended strike but for now, the strike is suspended with effect from 12 midnight of tomorrow February 26.”

Adeyemi stressed that the union will not hesitate to call back its members to resume the suspended strike if the government fails to implement all the agreements reached.

Earlier, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said the meeting was very fruitful as all the rough edges arising from the former negotiations have been smoothened.

“Today’s deliberations have been very fruitful, we have also issued a conciliation document called Joint Action Memorandum of Action (MoA), and the two unions will get back to their members today and in good faith, have promised that there will speak to government before the end of tomorrow.

“So we keep our fingers crossed, believing that their communications with their union members will be as quick and swift as they have promised us.

“This is more so, as government is desirous that normal activities should return to the University system so that we can take the action one after the other. With the normalcy restored in the university system, we intend to do the visitation panel which is one of the agreements reached with them and which cannot be carried out without normalcy in the university system.” Ngige said

The unions demand included, rectifying inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), non-payment of arrears of minimum wage, delay in renegotiation with government, NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, among others.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Insecurity: Buhari Rules Out Amnesty For Bandits

A meeting of the Governors of the 19 Northern States , the Senate President , Ahmed Lawan, Chief of Staff to the President , Prof . Ibrahim Gambari, the Inspector -General of Police , Mohammed Adamu , Director General of the Department of State Service , Yusuf Bichi , as well as the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, held in Kaduna on Thursday .

The Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Saad Abubakar III led traditional rulers from all parts of the north to the meeting which held at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House .

Other attendees at the high powered meeting were northern lawmakers from both chambers of the National Assembly represented by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ahmad Idris Wase , who stood in for the Senate President , Ahmad Lawan , leaderships of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders ’ Forum among others.

Governors of Kano , Kaduna, Katsina , Jigawa, Nasarawa, Yobe , Plateau , Sokoto and Kebbi States were present while others were represented by their deputies .

The essence of the meeting was to discuss the troubling security challenges occasioned by banditry and other related crimes as well as the almajirinci menace in the northern states.

The President, Muhammadu Buhari, through his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari , at  the meeting , ruled out the possibility of negotiating with bandits , saying that his administration would continue to deal decisively with insurgents , bandits , kidnappers who had made life hellish for Nigerians .

Buhari also asked Nigerians to stop the ethnic profiling of criminals , adding that criminals should be treated as criminals .
He noted that his administration would continue to deal decisively with insurgents , bandits , kidnappers, and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country.

Buhari added that he had tasked the new service chiefs to device new strategies that would end the ugly situation where the lives of Nigerians were being threatened by hoodlums and criminals .

He said, “ This meeting is coming at a time when the nation is making steady progress in addressing the many challenges impeding development and progress .

“ We are providing critical infrastructure such as roads , railways , airports among which are critical to economic prosperity of our people as well as opening up economic opportunities for our citizens to pursue legitimate aspirations that grow the economy.

“ At the same time , we are confronting the various dimensions of security challenges that continue to slow down the emancipation of our people from poverty and economic deprivation .

“ The Government shall continue to deal with insurgents , bandits , kidnappers and other criminals constitute innocent threat citizens across the country .
“ Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly without resorting to ethnic profiling.

“ I have already tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals.

“ I expect that at this meeting , your Forum will also discuss and devise ways of building stronger collaboration with the security architecture and the people in defeating criminality across the region and the nation at last .

“ It is pertinent to note that the increased realization of our security, democracy and development indices are inextricably linked . Democracy and the rule of law promote stability and in turn , reinforces the power to assert freedom and economic progress of our people .

“ This thread of interconnection needs the support of the Northern State Governors Forum and the entire citizenry of the country as any amount of positive sacrifice would be beneficial in bringing about National development and security out nation.

February 25, 2021

We've Arrested 5 Cultists That Allegedly Killed 4 Policemen In Calabar - Police

CP Akande


By Eme Offiong, VON

The Nigeria Police Force has arrested five persons in connection with the killing of four policemen in Calabar, Cross River State, South-south Nigeria.

Briefing the Press, the Commissioner of the Cross River State Police Command, Sikiru Akande described the killing of the four policemen as an attempt by criminals to dampen the morale of security agents in the bid to safeguard the lives of Nigerians.

Akande said, “What happened this morning is an attempt by criminals to dampen our fight against kidnapping and other criminalities. We have gone to the scene of the incident to see exactly what and how it happened. We have realised that it was a means by some people to dampen our spirit in our efforts to cleanse Cross.

“But I want to assure you, our spirit is not dampened. We are going to continue to work very hard. In fact, we have arrested five persons, who are connected with the killings and we are still going to arrest more.

“We have an inkling that it is a group of suspected cultists making efforts to get equipment for their upcoming initiation. I assure you the media and the people of Cross River State that before the end of this week, we will apprehend all those responsible for this dastardly act and brought to justice.”

The Police Commissioner stated that that two rifles were recovered at the scene, while the hunt for other suspects as well as the other two guns was ongoing.

He said; “We have recovered two rifles and investigation is ongoing to recover the other two. It is unfortunate that the only thing we would not be able to recover are the lives of the four men killed by the gunmen.”

At about 12.50am, residents of Ayan Mbat community in Calabar Municipality were awaken by sound of heavy gunfire, which lasted some minutes and claimed the lives of four policemen – two inspectors and two sergeants.

A source residing close to the security check point told newsmen that the community members, at daylight, saw the remains of the murdered policemen and called the police hotlines to report the incident.

February 25, 2021

Yahoo Boy Bags Two Years Jail Term


Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State has setenced Emeka Roland  to two years imprisonment, having found him guilty of one count charge of  impersonation and attempting to obtain by false pretences brought against him by the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The charge against the defendant reads:  "That you Emeka Roland (a.k.a James Muth) sometimes in 2020 at Agbor, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did had in your possession an iPhone 6s plus mobile phone containing some scammed documents with different subjects which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 and 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3)of same Act”.

EFCC Nigeria.

Upon arraignment, the defendant pleaded guilty to the charge. His counsel, John Okhuihievbe pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy as the defendant was a first time offender and has become remorseful.

EFCC Nigeria.

Justice Nwite convicted and sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment  with an option of fine of N100,000.

The defendant is also to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour afterwards.

February 25, 2021

UPDATED: Cross River North: Supreme Court Sack Senator Odey


The Supreme Court on Thursday, February 25, 2021 sacked the senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Stephen Odey.

In a split decision of four to three, the Court struck out the appeal filed by Senator Stephen Odey and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the dispute over who, between Senator Stephen Adi Odey and Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, is the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the December 5, 2020 by-election in Cross River North Senatorial District.

Justice Centus Chima Nweze, who read the lead majority judgment, held that the notice of appeal filed in the appeal by Ody, marked: SC/CV/9/2021 was defective because it did not reflect the personal addresses of the first and second respondents in the appeal – Jarigbe and John Alaga.

Justice Nweze held that although the notice of appeal bore the addresses of their lawyers and it was served on them, the appellant’s failure to serve the notice personally on the parties, as against their lawyers, robbed the court the necessary jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

He added that the order of substituted service later obtained by the appellant, and which was executed could not have cured the defect occasioned by the improper service, because the Supreme Court lacked the jurisdiction to have granted the ex-parte order for substituted service.

Justice Nweze said the improper service of the notice of appeal amounted to a non-service which touches on the respondents’ right to fair hearing.

He upheld the preliminary objections raised by Alaga and Jarigbe and proceeded to strike out the appeal.

Justices Abdu Aboki, Tijani Abubakar and Sameul Oseji agreed with Justice Nweze’s position.

Justices Musa Datijo Mohammad (who led the seven-man panel), Helen Ogunwumiju and Emmanuel Agim held otherwise in the dissenting minority judgement.

Justice Mohammed, in the lead dissenting judgment, upheld the appeal and dismissed the objections by Alaga and Jarigbe on the grounds that the service of the notice of appeal was proper.

He held that it was not the law that service of notice of appeal on a counsel to a respondent amounted to improper service.

Justice Mohammed said the decision of the appellant to serve the notice of appeal on the addresses provided at the lower by lawyers to Alaga and Jarigbe, without them providing their personal addresses, cannot by any stretch of imagination, termed improper service.

Justice Ogunwumiju said the fact that the notice of appeal was served on the respondents’ lawyers as against their personal addresses, was not enough to be termed improper service.

Justice Agim held that not only was the service proper, the ex-parte order for substituted service, which the appellant executed by publishing the notice in a newspaper was additional efforts to ensure that the respondents were aware of the case.

He said the essence of service was for the respondents to be aware of a case pending against them, adding that since the respondents did not deny being aware of the case, but participated fully by filing their briefs, they issue of whether service was proper or not did not arise.

The court applied the judgment in the appeal by Odey to a similar one, marked: SC/CV/1055/2020 filed by the PDP.

Odey had, in the appeal, prayed the Supreme Court to, among others, set aside a portion of the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal, Abuja on December 17, 2020 directing INEC to recognise Jarigbe as the candidate of the PDP for the by-election.

Odey added that the Court of Appeal, in its December 17, 2020 judgment “refused to set aside the consequential orders made by the trial court, despite finding that the case filed before the FCT High Court by Alaga was an abuse of judicial process and that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

Ortom: Governor Bala Mohammed Is A Fulani Terrorist


Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday accused Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State governor, of being a terrorist.

“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country,” Ortom said while addressing journalists in Makurdi, Benue State capital.

“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers,” he added.

He also referred to the assertion by Mohammed that herders should carry AK-47 to defend themselves as being “unconstitutional.”

“His recent outburst that Fulani herdsmen are justified for carrying AK-47 to protect themselves. I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows that,” he said.

Ortom, therefore, called Mohammed to render an unreserved apology to Nigerians and learn from the provisions of the constitution that, land both territorial, forest, and aquatic, are vested on the governor of a state who holds them in trust.

Mohammed’s comment on armed herdsmen had earlier triggered a wave of condemnation from his counterparts and Nigerians alike, increasing calls for the prohibition of open grazing.

Ortom and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, were quick to knock the Bauchi governor’s statement.

“Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. It will become very serious and nobody will be spared,” Akeredolu said.

After widespread criticism, Mohammed on Friday defended his comment about armed herders, explaining that he used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.

“It is a figure of speech to show you the despondence, the desperation and frustration and the agony that this particular person is exposed to by his own people, by his own tribe and by other tribes who have all seen him as a criminal and therefore, he has the inalienable right to protect himself,” the governor said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

February 20, 2021

We Want To Be Part Of Nigeria - President Of Benin Republic Begs Buhari

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the President of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon, had expressed readiness for his country to be part of Nigeria.

Onyeama, who stated this shortly after a close door meeting with Beninoise Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Aurélien Agbenonci, said the Beninoise president gave the offer when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari, a few weeks back.

OPC asks Buhari to investigate Shasha clash
“The President of Benin said as far as they are concerned, they want (not just saying it like that) but in reality, Benin should be the 37th state of Nigeria,” he said.

“We should really be one. They charged us to come together at ministerial level, to work out a framework for a sustainable relationship.”

Onyeama said, at the visit, both presidents discussed agreements between the two countries on how to put the issue of smuggling to an end, once and for all, as a follow up to the presidents’ meeting.

February 20, 2021

Traditional Ruler Arrested For Kidnapping In Cross River, His Sons On The Run

The suspects


The traditional ruler of Obufa Obio, Ekong Anaku Akan Esio Clan, Calabar South LGA of Cross River State, Chief Okon Essien has been arrested for alleged kidnapping by "Operatipn Akpakwu", a security outfit set up by Governor Ben Ayade to tackle the menace of insecurity in the state.

He was arrested at his residence at Community Road off Jebbs Street, Calabar South LGA.

Addressing journalists in Calabar, Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed, stated that preliminary investigation showed that the traditional rulers two sons Vector Okon who is about 21 years old and Offiong Okon age 20 alleged to be in charge of kidnapping operations are now at large.

Speaking on behalf of the 13 Brigade Commander, while handing the suspected kidnapper alongside other other criminal /armed robbery suspects at the headquarters of 13 Brigade Nigerian Army Akim Barracks Calabar to authority of the Nigerian police Command, Officer Commanding 13 Brigade Provost, Major Stanley Ikpeme in his words said, “Consequently, I am directed to hand over the suspects to you for further investigation and possible prosecution.

”You are please requested to furnish this office with the outcome of your investigation to enable us update our record ”  representative of the Brigade Commander maintained.

Also paraded along with the traditional were suspected armed robbers who had with them charms used for roberry operations.

The suspects who were handed over to the police for prosecution were 26-year-old James Edet said have dispossessed members of his community around the Scanobo Filling station axis of their valuables until he met his Waterloo and was held by the troops.

The troops also arrested 23 years old Mr. Felix Helekpa said to be in possession of a locally made pistol, a cartridge and charms used to aid his robbery operations with other gang members now at large.

Others also arrested include 22 years Blessing Effiom suspected to be an informant that aides operations of a particular criminal gang.

In a brief interview with suspects, some denied their involvement in the crime giving different reasons on why they were arrested by the security operative.

February 20, 2021

GRAPHIC PHOTO: Four Suspected Kidnappers Killed In Satellite Town, Calabar, Victim Rescued

The suspects

Four heavily armed suspected kidnappers were on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 shot dead by the police in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

GRASSROOT REPORTERS gathered that the incident took place at No. 24C, School Road, Satellite Town, Calabar. 

The incident led to the death of a notorious kidnapper and cultist, popularly known as Romans, who was the leader of the kidnapping gang. 

Briefing newsmen on Friday, the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Sikiru Akande said: "On February, 17th 2021, at about 1705hrs combined teams of Operatives cordoned a hideout of one notorious kidnapper and cultist popularly known as Romans ‘m’ at No. 24C School Road, Satellite Town, Calabar and rescued one Endurance Aniedi Egbara.

“During the process, four (4) suspects sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries in an attempt to evade arrest. They were confirmed dead in the Hospital.

"Items recovered from them include: Three (3) locally made pistols with three live cartridges, charms, amulets, two bottles of concoction, one pack substance suspected to be cocaine, one Itel Phone, three (3) sim cards, Documents of a vehicle with Registration No. CAL 932 TC used by the kidnappers. Investigation is ongoing."

February 20, 2021

Kim Kardashian Files For Divorce From Kanye West

Kim and West


Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from Kanye West after seven years.

Their marriage hit the rocks in 2020 while Kanye West was campaigning for the US presidency.

Recall Kanye in a Twitter thread called out the Kardashian/Jenner family as likened his marriage to the reality TV star to the ‘Get out’ movie.

According to TMZ, Kim is seeking joint legal and physical custody of their four children.

The divorce paper filed by disso queen, Laura Wasser, however, does not have a date of separation.

Sources report that Kanye is fine with the joint custody arrangement and they are both in agreement to co-parenting together.

It was also learned that both parties are neither contesting the prenup and are already far along in reaching a property settlement agreement.

Kim and Kanye got married in Italy in May 2014 and have four children; North, Chicago, Psalm and Saint.

February 20, 2021

Before 2023, Everybody In Cross River Would Join APC - Owan Enoh

Senator Enoh

By Obio Monday

Factional governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2019 Governorship Election in Cross River State, Senator John Owan Enoh has expressed optimism that before the 2023 general elections in Cross River State, the whole of the population of the state would have joined the opposition party in the state.

Senator Enoh made the remark in his Ward, Agbokim Waterfalls during the revalidation of his All Progressives Congress membership.

He said from the ongoing APC registration/revalidation exercise, it is obvious that the APC has over 85% of the population at ward levels.

The former Nigerian senator added that before the end of the registration/revalidation exercise, the whole Cross River State population would now be members of the All Progressives Congress. 

"Since politics is a game of number, it's going to be a swift flip from a PDP State to an APC State". He said

Friday, February 19, 2021

February 19, 2021

I'm A Cultist, My Boyfriend Gave Me The Gun - Schoolgirl Caught With Gun In C'River Confesses

Promise Idorenyin

A female secondary school student who was arrested with a double-barrel local made pistol she allegedly took to school to shoot her school teacher in Community Secondary School, Ikot Ewa in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State has confessed to being a member of a secret cult group known as Sky Queen, Grassroot Reporters reports.

The girl, identified as a 17-year-old Promise Idorenyin said the gun was given to her by her 38-year-old boyfriend to take to the blacksmith for repairs.

Parading the suspect on Friday in Calabar, the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Sikiru Akande, dismissed initial reports alleging that the Senior Secondary 2 schoolgirl took the gun to school to shoot her teacher.

Also paraded alongside the schoolgirl was her boyfriend who allegedly gave the gun to her and 11 other suspected criminals.

Commissioner Akande said the double-barrel gun was discovered in her school bag by the principal of the school.

“The suspect admitted that the said firearm was given to her by her boyfriend of Abasi Effiom Village in Akpabuyo LGA,” He said.

Narrating the incident to newsmen, the girl said her boyfriend asked her to take the gun to the blacksmith for repairs but she took it to school to show her friends.

Miss Idorenyin told newsmen that her boyfriend gave her the gun for repairs: “Yes, that is what he (boyfriend) told me. I don’t have any problem with my teachers.

When asked how long she had known the boyfriend, she said, “It was August last year. He supports me with some school things but my parents said he should not pay my school fees.”

She however denied telling her classmates that she took the gun to school to shoot the vice principal.

She said she sprayed her hair in December and when the vice principal asked her to paint it black, she said she did.

“It was coloured, I painted it black,” she said.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

UNICAL Staff In Court For Alleged US Visa Scam

 Andrew Eigbokhaebholo

By Our Reporter

The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Thursday, February 18, 2021, arraigned one Andrew Eigbokhaebholo, a staff of the University of Calabar, before Justice S. M Shuaibu of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State.

He was arraigned alongside his company, Panandy Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited on one count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N11,470,000. 00 (eleven million, four hundred and seventy thousand naira) only.

The defendant who claims to be a travel agent allegedly obtained the sum from a complainant on the pretext of helping to secure a United States of America Visa, accommodation and other logistics for his wife, who had planned to travel to the US to have her baby.

The petitioner swayed by the knowledge that the defendant’s children were US citizens, borrowed the said sum and paid the defendant only to be denied visa at the US Embassy.

The charge reads; “That you, Andrew Eigbokhaebholo “M” and Panandy Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited between May 2019 and June 2019 at Calabar within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtain the total sum of N11,470,000.00 (eleven million, four hundred and seventy thousand naira only) from one Mfa Erim Egodo ‘M’ under the pretence that you are a travel agent and that you will secure a visa to the United States of America for his wife, accommodation during and after the birth, hospital fees and other logistics, a pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Frauds Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.

The matter was thereafter adjourned till March 1, 2021, for hearing of bail application while the defendant was remanded in the custody of the EFCC.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

February 17, 2021

Female Secondary School Student On Mission To Kill Her Class Teacher Arrested In Calabar

The suspect

A female secondary school student whose identity is yet to be ascertained was on Wednesday, February 17 arrested in Calabar, the Cross River State capital by the Nigerian Army in possession of a double-barrel locally made pistol.

Grassroot Reporters gathered that the student is a  senior secondary student of Government Secondary School, Ikot Ewa in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the State.

Upon interrogation, the student confessed that she was on a mission to kill her class teacher, whom she said had been persuading her to cut her coloured hair.

February 17, 2021

Exporters, Importers Prefer Lagos Port Over Calabar, Warri & Portharcourt Ports Due To Insecurity- Amaechi

The Federal Government has identified insecurity as the major reason why importers and exporters mostly use Lagos ports and are reluctant to use the Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar Seaports.

This is as President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the construction of 3 deep seaports namely, Lekki deep seaport to be ready next year, Bonny deep seaport with construction to commence at the same time with the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line and the Warri deep seaport

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while appearing as a guest at a Channels Television programme on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

The Minister also pointed out that another challenge is that the Calabar and Warri ports cede so easily and so it’s difficult to continue to recede them regularly and as such the government had to take a decision on the construction of new deep seaports to decongest the Lagos ports.

Amaechi during the interview said, ‘’The Ministry of Transport or the NPA does not have the responsibility of determining where an importer or exporter will transact his business. So if the importer or exporter decides to transact his business through Lagos, then there will be that congestion, it does not necessarily mean it is because the port is not efficient.

‘’The problem we have with congestion is that there is insecurity at the sea which we are addressing and we are having a battle with private interests that have captured security contracts from several government agencies or private investors or private companies that deal with maritime. Now that we want part of the water because we have put a security infrastructure that will protect the water from beginning to the end of our international waterways, they are fighting back, they are doing all sorts of things, petitioning everybody, petitioning me, go to National Assembly, go to EFCC, go to NFIU, everywhere and I am just watching.

‘’So the first thing to do is to address the insecurity, the moment we address the insecurity, it will encourage importers from Onitsha, Aba and others to use the Port Harcourt seaport or Warri seaport or Calabar seaport. So it’s not about the seaport or river ports are not available. Again the Calabar port cedes just like the Warri port. They cede so easily, so its difficult to continue to recede them regularly, so what is the solution to that.

‘’The President has approved the construction of three new seaports in Nigeria. He has approved the construction of Lekki Deep seaport. Lekki Deep seaport should be ready next year, 2022, I insisted on that because I want this current government to commission the project. He has also approved the construction of the Bonny Deep seaport; we are currently trying to acquire land so that the construction can commence. It commences almost at the same time with Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line either by end of February or first week in March.’’ he said.

February 17, 2021

Pastor Who Canceled Couple's Wedding Over Lateness Dies One Year After Wife's Death

Pastor Essa Ogory


Essa Ogorry, Founder and Lead Pastor of Fulfilling-Word Foundation Church based in Rivers State, is dead.

According to Punch, he died on Tuesday at the age of 55, a member of staff in the church, who did not want to be mentioned to the newspaper.

Ogorry died exactly a year after his wife, Tonyemieba, passed on. The departed couple left a 17-year-old child.

The late Rivers-based preacher went viral recently for refusing to join an intending couple over their lateness to the wedding service.

The source close to Ogorry said, “My pastor has gone on to be with the Lord. He had health issues even before the wedding saga. We took him to the hospital and he had to come from Lagos to attend the wedding.

“He tried to preach the Sunday after the wedding but he was not in his normal strength. He went back to the hospital and he gave up yesterday (Tuesday) morning.”

“He celebrated his 55th birthday on February 9, last week. He lost his wife last year, on February 16, 2020, the same date,” the source added.

Speaking on the ‘cancelled’ wedding, the source said the groom and the bride signed a document that the pastor has the right not to join them together as husband and wife if they come late on the wedding day.

Describing the late preacher as a “father, a perfectionist and a disciplinarian”, the source said the viral ‘cancelled’ wedding which occurred on February 6, 2021, was not the first of such but added that the late preacher usually did join intending couples later on the same day after entreaties. The source noted that the February 6 incident was different as the groom rained insults on the pastor.

The source said, “He (Ogorry) came that day and waited for five minutes. Before the day, he did interviews with the intending couple and he told them not to allow him look bad in the face of the congregation because that kind of thing had happened before when intending couples come so late and all the members will be waiting for them.

“For that reason, there is a document that every to-be couple sign that pastor has the right to cancel their wedding if they are late. The to-be couple in question signed it. They came more than five minutes late, they came over 15 minutes late and pastor had already gone into his office as he was not feeling well.

“The bride came to pastor and pleaded. Pastor considered going on with the wedding. He requested that he join them in his office as he wasn’t feeling well but the groom and his family rained insults on him. Then, an uproar ensued and pastor left the church.”

Monday, February 8, 2021

February 08, 2021

C'River North: Supreme Court Adjourns To Feb. 15, Promises Expeditious Hearing


By Eric Ikhilae

The Supreme Court on Monday assured parties of its prompt hearing of the appeal filed by Senator Stephen Adi Odey in relation to the dispute over the actual candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last by-election in Cross River North Senatorial District of Cross River State.

At the mention of the appeal, marked: SC/CV/9/2021 on Monday, the appellant’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) told the court that the appeal is a pre-election one and that parties have been served.

Lawyers to the first and second respondents (John Alaga and Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe) Samuel Ologunorisa (SAN) and Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) however, said they have filed applications, challenging the competence of the appeal.

Lawyer to the third respondent (the Independent National Electoral Commission – INEC), Agada Elachi said he was not challenging the competence of the appeal.

On enquiry by the court, Ologunorisa and Adedipe said they did not accompany their applications with written addresses, but said they were willing to file should the court so direct.

Ruling, Justice Musa Datijo Mohammad, who headed the court’s five-man panel, granted the applicants two days to file written addresses; two days to the appellant to respond and one day for the applicants to reply, should there be a need for any.

On being told by Olanipekun that the appeal would expire on February 26 this year, Justice Muhammad assured that all the parties would be accommodated and that, if necessary, the court would hear the objections along with the substantive appeal.

He then adjourned till February 15 for a hearing.

Odey is praying the Supreme Court to, among others, set aside an aspect of the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal, Abuja on December 17, 2020, directing INEC to recognise Jarigbe as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the by-election.

Odey stated that his party, the PDP conducted its primary election on September 5, 2020, preparatory to the December 5, 2020 by-election.

He added that he won, with 450 votes, while Jarigbe scored 90 votes, subsequent upon Jarigbe sued at the Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt to challenge the outcome of the primary election.

He said the suit by Jarigbe, marked: FHC/PHC/CS/137/200 was later transferred to the Calabar division of the Federal High Court and renumbered: FHC/CA/CS/105/2020.

Odey added that while Jarigbe’s case was pending, he also sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the suit marked: FHC/CA/CS/87/2020 for delaying to publish his name as the PDP’s candidate, weeks after the party submitted his name to it (INEC) as the winner of the primary.

He stated that the Federal High Court, Calabar delivered its judgments in both cases on December 3, 2020 affirming him as the authentic PDP candidate, while the court struck out Jarigbe’s case for want of jurisdiction.

Odey said the Federal High Court proceeded to make an order of perpetual injunction, restraining INEC from interfering with his candidacy.

He said based on the court’s decision, he contested the by-election of December 5, 2020, as the candidate of the PDP and was declared the winner by INEC, following which he was sworn in on December 16, 2020, at the Senate as the Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District.

Odey said he was shocked to learn the next day (December 17, 2020) that the Court of Appeal, Abuja upheld an order made by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja directing INEC to accept Jarigbe as the candidate of the PDP for the same election he won and on which basis he was inaugurated as a Senator.

He stated that unknown to him, while they were before the Federal High Court, Calabar, in respect of the suit by Jarigbe, challenging the outcome of the primary election, an ally of Jarigbe, John Alaga filed a suit before the High Court of FCT on October 5, 2020, claiming that Jarigbe won the primary, but that he should be disqualified for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

In a judgment on November 14, 2020, Justice Bintu Mohammed of the High Court of the FCT, dismissed the suit by Alaga, marked: CV/77/2020, on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to establish his case.

Odey stated that rather than stop at just dismissing the suit, Justice Mohammed proceeded to make consequential orders, including that directing INEC to recognise Jarigbe as the candidate of the PDP, a decision Alaga appealed to the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

He stated that the Court of Appeal, in its judgment in the appeal by Alaga delivered on December 17, 2020, agreed with the High Court that the suit was without merit, but failed to set aside the consequential orders made by the trial court without jurisdiction.

In his appeal, Odey further faulted the Court of Appeal for refusing to set aside the consequential orders, despite finding that the PDP, the party, whose candidate’s fate was being determined, was not made a party at the High Court and that the suit, being a pre-election matter, was filed by Alaga after the 14 days allowed.

Odey added that the Court of Appeal, in its December 17, 2020 judgment, “refused to set aside the consequential orders made by the trial court, despite finding that the case was a crass abuse of judicial process and that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain same.

“It is the failure to set aside the consequential orders that is the central and sole focus of this appeal,” he said.
February 08, 2021

Governor Swears In Justice Ikpeme As Substantive Chief Judge


Cross River State governor, Sir Ben Ayade, Monday swore in Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme as the new Chief Judge of the state. 

Swearing in Justice Ikpeme at the  executive council chamber,  Governor's Office, Calabar, Ayade implored her to ensure justice for all who come before her.

Noting that her swearing in was ordained by God, the governor enjoined that "as a child of God and a child that God has destined for this office, I believe that God will touch your soul to ensure that no injustice is done to anybody who comes before you to seek justice. Please dispense justice, be fair and know that God fought your battles."

Ayade, who said he was thankful that the long drawn saga over the appointment of a new chief judge had finally come to an end, noted that stability in the judiciary will be guaranteed with the emergence of a substantive chief judge.

"God has chosen, by His infinite mercy, for Cross River State, not just any person to be the chief judge, but a woman. A woman with great conscience, a woman of God, a leader in the church, and a covenant child. I believe that she will put behind her all the challenges of getting here and to know that God has prevailed." 

Ayade also spoke of his close relationship with Justice Ikpeme,  revealing that "I have had very close relationship with her and it appears to be that she is here at the right time and she is the right person for this job." 

While enjoining support for the new Chief Judge, Ayade said the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government can be sure of a robust relationship. 

"In spite of the provision for the seperation of powers, as recognized by law, the intent of the seperation of powers was to consolidate the oneness of this tripod and therefore, the legislature cannot serve without the executive neither can the executive serve without the judiciary. And so there must be harmony among these three arms to create the consistency of focus to pursue the prosperity agenda set forth for the state." 

Continuing,  the governor said: As a maritime state bounded by very hostile international communities, the Cameroun and more recently the Amazonian people, it is obvious and clear for us as a state that we have a lot of trans-boundary matters to deal with. We have a lot of internal crisis among the indigenes, the ethnic nationalities that constitute Cross River State. The judiciary therefore, will be bedeviled with so much crisis and tension that we cannot afford a distraction. 

"As God touched my heart, so did he touch the heart of everyone saddled with taking the decision in your favour and that had manifested in your swearing in today.”

In her remarks, Justice Ikpeme  promised that the judiciary under her watch will collaborate with the other two arms of government to bring about good governance for the people of Cross River State. 

"I want to assure His Excellency, that the judiciary under my watch will cooperate with you, and we will also cooperate with the legislature so that we can move cross River State forward."

She thanked the governor for enabling history to be created with her swearing in as Chief Judge of the state. 

"God uses men to fulfill His purpose on earth, Your Excellency, from the depth of my heart I want to tell you thank you, I thank you for making this day a reality