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Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Saturday, November 28, 2020

November 28, 2020

ASUU Agrees To Call Off Strike


By Adelani Adepegba

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has agreed to call off its eight-month strike which has grounded academic activities in the public universities since March.

The union leadership reached the consensus during a meeting with the government team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment,  Dr Chris Ngige, in Abuja, on Friday.

The government also pledged to pay N40bn as the Earned Allowance and N30bn for the revitalisation of the university system bringing the total payment to N70bn.

The FG further agreed to settle the arrears of salaries of the lecturers before December 31.

This is happening one week after the Federal Government  accepted the demand by the ASUU that they be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System pending the approval of their proposed payment system,  the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.

ASUU is expected to report the agreement to its organs and then communicate their decision to the government after which a date for the calling off of the strike would be announced.

A source informed our correspondent that ASUU insisted that the agreement should not be announced until it had been approved by its members.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ngige noted that the parley was fruitful, adding that the government made a proposal to ASUU which it would take back to its members.

He said, “Many issues were discussed at the meeting, including salary shortfall, the payment system and revitalisation of the university system. I am positive that all the issues would be resolved at our next meeting.”

The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, simply noted that everything Ngige said was correct and declined further comment.

Friday, November 27, 2020

November 27, 2020

Bank Manager Sentenced To Prison For Stealing N27m From Ekondo Bank


Justice Adie A. Onyebueke of the Cross River State High Court, Akamkpa, has sentenced one Augustine Effiong Bassey  to five years imprisonment for stealing N27 million, belonging to a microfinance bank, where he was a branch manager.

He was prosecuted by the Enugu Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a one-count charge of stealing.

The charge read, “That you, Augustine Effiong Bassey (‘m’), sometime between 2010 and 2012 at Uyanga, Cross River State, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Cross River State, with the intent to defraud, stole the sum of N27,300,000 (Twenty-seven Million, Three Hundred Thousand Naira), being property of Ekondo Microfinance Bank Limited and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390 of the Criminal Code law, CAP C16 (VOL 3) of the Laws of Cross River State of Nigeria,2004 and punishable under Section 390(9) of the same Law.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge, thus setting the stage for his trial.

With prosecution counsel, Fortune Amina I. Asemebo proving the case beyond reasonable doubt, Justice Onyebueke convicted and sentenced him to prison, with an option of restituting the sum of N15 million to Ekondo Microfinance Bank.

Bassey’s journey to prison began sometime in July 2016 when he was arrested by the EFCC upon intelligence that he used his position as the branch manager of Ekondo Microfinance Bank, Uyanga, Cross Rivers State to convert the sum of N27.3 million (Twenty Seven Million, Three Hundred  Thousand Naira), belonging to bank to his private use.

He did this by personally carting away the sum from the bank's vault and gave to his fronts for execution of non-existent contracts for the bank.

November 27, 2020

EFCC Arraigns Comptroller Of Prisons For Employment


Abubakar Mohammed Sani, a serving Deputy Comptroller of Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, was today arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Hadiza Sabi’u Shagari of the Federal High Court Katsina on a six count charge of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretense.

The defendant allegedly used his position as an officer of the Katsina Command of theNigerian Prisons Service (as it then was) and obtained a total sum of N2,850,000 (Two Million Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira ) from some persons under the guise of helping them secure employment into the Prison Service.

Upon receipt of the complaints against the Officer, the Commission swung into action by inviting him but the defendant was evasive until August 26 , 2020, when he finally reported. After questioning, he was granted administrative bail on self recognizance which he later abused and absconded. Consequently his arraignment was twice adjourned due to his absence in court.

On Wednesday November 11, 2020, operatives of the Commission tracked and arrested him in Abuja after which he was moved to the Kano Office of the Commission.

The charge against the defendant read that you, “ Abubakar Mohammed Sani while being Deputy Comptroller of the Nigerian Prison Service (now Nigerian Correctional Service) on or about 20 December, 2012 in Katsina within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N305,000 (Three Hundred and Five Thousand Naira Only) which you caused to be deposited into your UBA account number 2030252055 under the pretense of securing a job for Umar Himma, Surajo Ibrahim and Abubakar Gambo in the Nigerian Prison Service now (Nigerian Correctional Service), which pretense you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offense contrary to section 1(1)(a) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006”.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Usman Shehu requested the court for a trial date. But the defense counsel, G.U Jafaru applied to move a motion for bail on behalf of the defendant.The court allowed the motion as the prosecution had already filed a 12-paragraph counter affidavit, opposing the bail application.

However, the court sought to know if the defense counsel had filed a further affidavit in response to the prosecution’s counter affidavit. He said he did but the prosecuting counsel informed the court that he had not been served with the further affidavit.

Consequently, the court ruled that the motion was not ripe for hearing until all correspondence are before the court.

The court remanded the defendant in EFCC custody and adjourned the matter till December 1, 2020 for hearing of the bail application.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

November 24, 2020

Senate Approves Refund Of N148.14bn To Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun, Rivers



By Sanni Onogu

The Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a refund of N148,141,969,161.24 to Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Osun and Ondo State Governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

The approval followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, chaired by Senator Clifford Ordia (Edo Central).

Senator Ordia in his presentation stated that most of the Federal highways in the beneficiary states where projects were executed “were at a deplorable state before the intervention of the state governments.”

According to him, “series of visits were carried out by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on all Federal Roads completed by the States and ascertained that the quality off work done met the required standard.”

The lawmaker however noted that states like Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Ondo States embarked on the highway projects execution as far back as 2005 to date.

He added that while the State Governments have completed all projects, as well as paid all contractors, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on its part certified that due process was followed accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Barr. Benedict Umeano (Anambra – South East); Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo – South South); and CP. Olayinka Babatunde Balogun (rtd) (Ogun – South West) as members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions led by Senator Patrick Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central).

In a related development, the upper chamber on Tuesday referred President Buhari’s request seeking the confirmation of nominees to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Tribunal to its Committee on Trade and Investment.

The nominees who are expected to appear for screening before the Committee include: Mrs. Sadatu Mama Shafi, Chairman (North Central); George Chukwuma Mbonu, member (South East); Barr. Thomas E. Okosun (South South); Umar Dauda Duhu (North East); Ibrahim El-Yakubu (North West); Mrs. Sola Salako Ajulo (South West); and Kenneth Tersoo Gyado (North Central).

Friday, November 20, 2020

November 20, 2020

Senator Ndoma-Egba Loses Wife In An Auto Crash


This is not the best of times for former Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, as his wife, Mrs. Amaka Ndoma-Egba died on Friday, November 20, in an auto crash along Benin-Akure road.

This is coming less than a month after the former senator's house was looted and vandalized hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest. Within the last ten months, Senator Ndoma-Egba also lost his mother, mother-inlaw and former media aide.

The former Senate Majority Leader confirmed the sad news to GRASSROOT REPORTERS in a telephone conversation.

November 20, 2020

ECOWAS Bank Drags Cross River To Court Over $7m Tinapa Debt


 By Wale Odunsi 

ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed November 30, 2020 to hear suit no. ECW/CCJ/APP/14/19 involving ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and Cross River State Government.

EBID accused Cross River of failure to adhere to the terms of the loan agreement no. 7/AP/LAFRDF/04/05.

The accord was entered by both parties on May 20, 2005.

The applicant claimed that the respondent secured the loan for the partial financing of the Tinapa Free Trade Zone and Resort.

EBID said Cross River has refused to follow the agreed repayment terms.

The bank is seeking orders declaring the agreement as valid, binding and subsisting, and mandating the respondent to immediately repay the sum of $6,999,679, among others.

EBID relied on Article 9 (6) of the Court’s Supplementary Protocol, Section 10.4 and Article 3 of the loan agreement.

The court also fixed November 30 to adopt the terms of settlement in a suit by representatives of some Nigerian communities.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November 17, 2020

FG To Sell Calabar, Omotosho, Geregu Power Plants


The Federal Government announced that it will sell the Geregu 2, Omotosho 2, and Calabar power plants for N434 billion in 2021. The FG also disclosed plans to concession major sports stadiums across the country.

This was disclosed by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in its 2021 Budget Defence in Abuja.

Geregu 2 Power Plant would be sold for N140.7 billion, Omotosho Power Plant N151.4 billion and  Calabar Power Plant N143.4 billion, the BPE said.  The Geregu 2 Power Plant differs from the Geregu Power Plant owned by Billionaire, Femi Otedola.

Senator Theodore Orji, member of the Senate Committee on  Privatization and Commercialization disclosed that Geregu is already majority-owned by private investors.

“We also found that in Geregu Power Plant, the core investor already owned 51% shares and that the transaction emanated from a request by the investor for additional 29% of FGN residual 49% shares,” Orji told the BPE

November 17, 2020

Calabar Roads Rehabilitation: Rain Has Washed Off All Work Done Yesterday - Ayade's Spokesman


The Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Mr. Christian Ita has blamed the impatience of Cross Riverians which has led to the governor granting approval for the rehabilitation of internal roads in Calabar metropolis and other part of the state, against engineering advice.

Following the onset of dry season, the governor had given approval for the rehabilitation of internal roads in Calabar, and work commenced yesterday.

The state Commissioner for works, Engineer Dan Osim Asu said the governor also mobilised contractors for the completion of the 27 kilometre all important Boki East-West road.

In an apparent reaction to the heavy downpour in Calabar yesterday, Mr. Ita said all the work done yesterday on the roads have become a colossal waste of time and money.

In a press statement yesterday, titled 'Potholes and the need for patience by Cross Riverians', he said:

"Impatience and pressure most often birth disastrous outcomes.

"The state government commenced work on potholes against engineering advice to please the public and here we are with this heavy rain today.

"As it stands, all the work done today on the roads have become a colossal waste of time and money.

"The lesson here is that we must always listen to engineering advice when it comes to issues of this nature. Not everything needs to be political". The statement read.

Monday, November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

Prof. Damen Emerges National President Of Association Of Medical Laboratory Scientists Of Nigeria

By Obio Monday


Prof. James Damen

Prof. James Garba Damen, the current Head of Department, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Jos, has been elected as the 14th National President of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN).

He scored a total of 238 votes to defeat his closest rival, Dr. Ifeanyi Casmir, who scored 135 votes, at the maiden delegate election of the Association which took place in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Monday, 16th November, 2020.

Prof. Damen will succeed Dr. Bassey Enya Bassey after his three-year tenure elapses at the end of this month.

Others who were also elected into various positions included:

Prof Marian N. Unachukwu - Vice President 1

 Dr Musa Muibi - Secretary

CMD Kantiyok - Assistant Secretary

Funke Akinade - Treasurer
Tony Asiodu - Financial Secretary

Kabiru Adamu - Auditor
Emilia Eliezer- Welfare Officer

Femi Adebo - Vice President 2 (Southwest)

Musa Sarki Adamu - Vice President 2 (Northwest)

Ibrahim Fewudu - Vice President 2 (Northeast)
Osarobo Eseiwi - Vice President 2 South South

Soji Billyrose - Publicity Secretary

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

November 04, 2020

Cross River Governor To Present 2021 Budget Estimate Tomorrow


Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State will tomorrow, November 5, 2020, present the 2021 Appropriation Bill before the state House of Assembly.

This was made known on Wednesday, November 4, by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. Hope Obeten, in a press release.

The statement reads: "Pursuant to S.121(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, His Excellency, Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade, the Executive Governor of Cross River State to present the estimates for the financial year 2021 to the Cross River State House of Assembly.

Date: Tomorrow, Thursday 5th November, 2020 

Time: 9:00am 

Venue: The Chambers of Cross River State House of Assembly, Leopard Town Road, Calabar.

All invited guests are expected to be seated by 8:30am before the arrival of His Excellency".

Monday, November 2, 2020

November 02, 2020

We Are Not Owing Verified Pensioners - C/River Govt

Protesting pensioners, on Monday, Nov. 2 blocked the Muritala 
Mohammed Highway, Calabar in protest
over the nonpayment of their pension arrears

The Cross River State government has explained that no verified pensioner in the state or local government service is owed pension.

Speaking with some local government retirees who claimed to be owed months of pension, the state commissioner for local government affairs, Mrs Stella Odey promised that every genuine pensioner will be paid once they undergo screening and are captured in the payroll.

She said the periodic screening exercise became imperative following the discovery of a high number of  ghost pensioners in the payroll.

According to her, no verified pensioner is owed a dime by the state government.

She urged them to cooperate with government by submitting themselves for screening in order to be captured for payment.

Mrs Odey disclosed that staff now manning the pension board were directly drawn from the local governments as demanded by the pensioners "so that they can take adequate care of their files and I have conceded. We have done that.”

The Commissioner stated that governor Ben Ayade holds pensioners dearly to his heart and does not want them to suffer hence the prompt payment of those that have been verified.

"The Governor is so passionate about pensioners, we have not owed their pension for one day. We have not owed any pensioner, as I speak to you.

"If you have not been screened, then there is no way you can be paid. That is why we say come and do screening, so that we can capture you as a pensioner.

"Do you know that government has been paying so many ghost pensioners? That is why we are doing screening", she said 

Sent from my iPhone.

November 02, 2020

WAEC Releases 2020 WASSCE Result

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has released the results of the 2020 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE).

WAEC’s head of national office, Patrick Areghan, said a total of 1,549,740 registered for the examination.

Areghan said 1,338, 348 representing 86.99 per cent obtained credit and above in a minimum of any five subjects – with or without English Language and/or Mathematics.

He said 1,003, 668 candidates representing 65.24 per cent obtained credits and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.

To check the results, candidates were asked to visit the

Friday, October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020

My House Was Looted To The Ground, Leaving Only The Bare Floor - Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba

Former board chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has reacted to last week's attack and looting of his private residence in Calabar,  saying the hoodlums looted his house to the ground, leaving only the bare floor.

The former senator's house was one of the many private and government properties looted and vandalised by hoodlums in Cross River State.

Recounting the incident, Senator Ndoma-Egba wrote on Facebook, titled 'THE ATTACK ON MY HOME, LET US REFLECT':

"At about 2 am ( local time, as I was abroad)on Saturday 24th. October 2020 I received a text informing me that there were plans by arranged hoodlums to attack my residence in Calabar, that of Senator Gershom Bassey and an hotel owned by Senator John Owan Enor. I promptly forwarded the texts to Senators Bassey and Owan Enor. I also called the security agencies in Calabar to apprise them of the information. Calabar, from my information, was already tense from the previous day,s break-in into warehouses storing COVID 19 palliatives and the subsequent breaching of shops and other businesses. The impending attack on Senators Bassey, Owan Enor and I was already public knowledge as later that morning I got many calls to that effect. Thereafter I kept calling the security agencies by the hour when in spite of their assurances that they will secure my house there was no evidence of any security personnel in my vicinity. I understand, the times were indeed confounding for everybody.

"At about 2 pm the intruders broke into my house and looted it to the ground leaving only the bare floor. All the toilets, baths,pumps and indeed every imaginable fitting were removed as were items of furniture ,clothing ,a huge collection of mainly rare , out of print books, documents and historic photographs. They also removed all the windows, railings , family pictures and burglary proofs. Even my private chapel was not spared. They set the cars ablaze and parts of the building after more than four hours of interrupted operations in my house. It was methodical. Among the intruders were obviously electricians, plumbers, carpenters, motor mechanics, panel beaters and other tradesmen. Mercifully ,no life was lost. I started building the house in 1991 and moved in in January , 2009.

"If the attack is meant to deter me from speaking out on issues of principle or dampen my spirit in way, I have bad news. It will rather spur me further to speak on justice, rectitude and accountability , especially, in the public space. I had committed myself to the service of the public and so shall it be.

"While not prejudging, and without prejudice to the work of the security agencies , I have forgiven the intruders ,and pray fervently for them to find meaning , inner peace ,and fulfillment in their lives. I only plead that they return my late father,s judges robes which they certainly would not be needing for anything and is surely incriminating.

"The destruction of my house was clearly premeditated,wanton and unjustifiable but I understand the anger in the land especially amongst our youths. However , if looting and burning my home will better their lives and bring positive change to our land then it is a sacrifice my family and I gladly make.

"I am worried however that we now have an environment that is breeding armies and possibly generations of understandably frustrated, angry and bitter youths that are often exploited by unscrupulous political jobbers. Given our demographics, our youths can either be a blessing ,if they are educated or skilled, motivated and engaged, or a curse otherwise. We are obviously better as a nation ensuring that they ( our youths) remain our most important and prized resource by fundamentally reforming our society and systems to guarantee them the realization of their innate potentials and that they are engaged. It is in our collective best interest to do so ,and we can do it,and must do it. Every situation reinforces itself and unless ,therefore ,we break the cycle of hopelessness, anger, hunger and frustration among our young ones the situation will only get worse. This will certainly be to the detriment of all. Let us act, and act immediately.

"The recent vandalism ,looting and insecurity in Calabar are unprecedented. Calabar, said to be an acronym for “Come And Live And Be At Rest” , has been historically famous for her allure, peace, security, restfulness, greenery, cleanliness , hospitality and culinary exertions . People from far and wide have retired here after a life of toil and sweat elsewhere , to find quiet and harmony. Our Carnival Calabar and Obudu Mountain Race had become items on the global events calendar attracting multitudes of people from all over the world as did the Obudu Cattle Ranch and creating their own economies. With the needless loss of our innocence to blood and fury through violence and insecurity we are unwittingly losing ,if we have not already lost, our essential Calabar, all we have gained over generations, and across history, and our place in the world. We are moving from the global stage to the dark recesses of a gangland.

"History has always been merciless and unrelenting on her judgement on those who have had the privilege of the public trust. Opportunities have never lasted forever. Even now will pass. We must therefore use now to secure our tomorrow. It is when we assure security for all by providing everyone the basic necessities of life that we guarantee our own security.

"May God grant our leaders the wisdom to find us equity,justice, peace, security and prosperity.

He  advised the youths not to destroy their tomorrow:

"For the rampaging bands, it is time to beat a retreat and reflect on whether your actions are helping you or your case in anyway or not as they are certainly not part of the EndSars# campaign. Tomorrow is yours in-spite of your pain and anguish today. Be wise. Do not destroy it. While your past may not have been the least it should have been the future remains your nevertheless. It is yours to lose or gain. I pray that you claim it and gain it.

"I  humbled by the outpouring of love and solidarity from all and sundry over this incident. I remain ever grateful. I assure you that I have taken it in stride and must move on."


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

WAEC To Release 2020 WASSCE Result Next Week

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has announced a new date for the release of the 2020 May/June West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

According to the Council, the initial plan to release the result yesterday, October 27 was shelved due to the curfew imposed in different parts of the country. It said the result will eventually be released next week.

WAEC said on its Twitter handle:

"WASSCE SC 2020 Results Release Date: Dear candidates, the Council had planned to release the results today in fulfillment of our Project 45 but due to the curfew imposed last week, it had to be postponed till next week. 

"The exact date will be made known soon."
October 28, 2020

Calabar Looting And Vandalism: About 200 Psychiatric Patients Missing - Hospital Mgt

More than one hundred and thirty psychiatric patients are said to be missing after the massive looting and vandalization that took place last week at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar, the Cross River State Capital.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Bassey Edet, disclosed this during an on-the-spot assessment of damages suffered by the hospital.

According to the MD, sixty-one other patients have returned on their own volition, while the whereabout of other patients is still unknown, adding that efforts are being made to look for them and make them to return to treatment.

Dr Edet said many staff of the hospital sustained various degrees of injury during the attack and are being treated.

The hospital was one of the places looted and vandalized by rampaging hoodlums last week, carting away drugs, equipments, including hospital beds.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Ayade Orders Police To Search Houses For Looted Items, Charge Them To Take Action


The governor of Cross River State has ordered security agents to search houses for looted items.

In a release signed by the Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita reads:

"Following the deployment of more soldiers to Calabar to help quell violence, Cross River Governor, Sir Ben Ayade has asked security agencies in the State to take legitimate actions to halt the arson and carnage witnessed in some parts of Calabar.

"The governor also wants the security agents to carry out a house to house search for looted property and arrest everyone involved in the looting of both public and private property in the state.

"The Governor who said he understands the pain of the people averred that there was need to protect the collective commonwealth of the people which is currently under threat by some persons who are desperately trying to discredit the peaceful disposition of Cross Riverians.

"He urged the security agencies to take legitimate actions to ensure that calm returns to the State especially as the Government was already working towards ensuring the demands of those who genuinely participated in the #EndSARS march are met.

"The Governor also called on Cross Riverians to rise up and defend their land from criminal elements bent on destroying the image of the State."

October 25, 2020

10 Feared Dead, Shops, Politicians' Houses, Govt Facilities Looted, Burnt Down In Cross River


              Some of the dead victims

No fewer than ten persons were feared dead between Friday, October 23 and Saturday October 24 following the massive looting and destruction of government and private properties in different part of Cross River State.

Phone shops, business premises, government facilities, homes were looted and destroyed, in some cases, completely burnt down.

As of the last count, the following premises were looted and destroyed in Calabar: NLC office (looted and vandalised), INEC office at Marian Road (burnt down), SEMA office along Barracks Road (burnt down), CTRA office (100 Marian) (looted and vandalised), Department of Petroleum Resources (vandalised), Atakpa Police Station (burnt down), NDDC office (looted vandalised), Valuemat Supermarket--(looted and vandalised), State Mnistry of Works warehouse (looted and burnt down), Cross River State Roll Back Malaria Centre (looted and vandalised), Bulavaard joint (looted and vandalised), First Bank, 8 Miles branch (vandalised), WAEC office (looted and burnt down), Federal Psychiatric Hospital (looted and vandalised), Atakpa Police Station (looted and burnt down), Access Bank Mayne Avenue (vandalised), Senator Victor Ndoma Egba's house (looted and vandalised) Senator Gershom Bassey's house, his father's house (looted, vandalised, father's house burnt down), Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw's house (vandalised), Hon. Eta Mbora's house (looted and vandalised), Filling Station at WAPI Junction allegedly own by Governor Ayade (burnt down), NYSC headquarters (looted and vandalised), NTA, Calabar (looted and vandalised), Nigeria Red Cross office (looted and vandalised), phone shops along Calabar road (looted and vandalised).

          Looted Federal Psychiatric Hospital

Others included: Calabar South health centre (looted and vandalised), Unical Hotel (looted and vandalised), Unical E-library and offices (looted and vandalised), Nigeria Chronicle Newspaper (looted and vandalised), VOI office (looted and vandalised), Calabar International Conference Centre (looted and vandalised), Tinapa (looted and vandalised).

Seven persons were feared dead in Calabar. At Watt Market, one person was confirmed dead while three persons died in a motorcycle accident close to Nigeria Navy Reference Hospital while transporting their looted palliatives from Tinapa Resort.

A medical doctor working with General Hospital, Calabar, told GRASSROOT REPORTERS that three unidentified bodies who died in a stampede in one of the warehouses where the palliatives were looted, were deposited at the hospital's morgue on Saturday.

In Bakassi Local Government Area, a  health centre in Ikang was looted and vandalised by hoodlums. A police station was also looted and burnt down while the Nigeria Customs office was also burnt down. The Bakassi LG headquarters was not spared as the hoodlums, bearing dangerous weapons, invaded and destroyed facilities in the LGA headquarters.

In Akpabuyo Local Government, two persons were killed during exchange of gunfire between the hoodlums and security operatives. Markets and shops were looted by the invaders. Two police stations and the Nigeria Customs Service van were burnt down.

A middle-aged man, simply known as Koko was gun down in Okurikang, Odukpani LGA. According to reports, hoodlums stormed Okurikang market on Saturday evening and started shooting. They allegedly burnt down a police post located at Okurikang Junction and a Eyo Filling Station.

Sources say tension is building up in Okurikang and Ndon Nwong communities, following the death of Koko, an indigene of Ndon Nwong who before his death, traded on petrol (black market) at Okurikang Junction.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

October 24, 2020

One Killed, Police Post, Filling Station Burnt Down In Odukpani


          A police post burnt down in Okurikang

There is palpable tension in Okurikang and Ndon Nwong communities in Odukpani Local Government Area following the death of a middle-aged man, identified as Koko, who was shot and killed at Okurikang Junction.

The incident which occurred this evening, October 24, was perpetrated by a yet to be identified gang.

GRASSROOT REPORTERS gathered that the gunmen also burnt down a police post and Eyo Filling Station, all in Okurikang community.

Koko, who was said to be a trader who trades in petroleum products (Black market), is said to be an indigene of Ndon Nwong, a neighboring community with Okurikang.

Okurikang, Ndon Nwong, Idim Ndom axis is one of the flashpoints  in Odukpani LGA. Several communities in that axis have been completely destroyed and deserted due to bloody communal clashes.

October 24, 2020

Ayade, Betta Edu Slammed For 'Hoarding' Covid-19 Palliatives, Governor Denies Any Wrongdoing

The governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade and the state's Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu have been heavily criticized  for 'hoarding' Covid-19 palliatives meant for residents of the state.

Recall that yesterday, there was massive looting of the palliatives stored at different warehouses by some angry Calabar residents. Videos and photos of the looting spree obtained by GRASSROOT REPORTERS shows tons of food items comprising rice, garri, cartons of Indomie stacked in warehouses in Calabar.

Most residents of  the state who commented on the development expressed anger that amidst hunger and starvation in the land, such quantity of food items could be hoarded by politicians.

Simon Utsu wrote: "Yesterday, "Calabar" trended on Twitter- for the wrong reason. I sifted through the highlights of the trend and got this video... the part where the guy said "Food wey dey there go reach the whole STATE oh" really hit me hard. What has happened to humanity" He queried.

Continuing, he said "Let's assume that the governor was too busy to notice such amount of palliatives existed, why did my good friend before-before, his health commissioner & defacto chief of staff (and head of CRS Covid-19 task force) Dr Betta Edu, who rose to popularity riding on the wings of humanity, not bring the Governor's attention to it? People in power should stop pretending to be humanists when in  actual sense, they may not be. Every lie has an expiry date..."

Mbang Confidence, the Chairman of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Cross River State axis, said in a press release which reads in part: "Again, some few months ago after proper consultations with some officials on how to get palliatives for Nigerian Students, I was referred to Hon Betta Edu, I did a humble list of consumable food stuffs and modalities for distribution, but to my greatest shock, no information and no response was delivered to us till date. 

"Today, the youths are tired of starvation, we are now the topic of mockery, We are disappointed at this development, while people die of hunger, you store food for what so ever reason."

Afufu Anthony, one time SUG President, University of Calabar wrote: "How can the Government be so wicked and unfair to her people? Hiding palliative that is meant for the people in this pandemic period that is causing pandemonium  is not correct. If not that, the Youth decided to take the bull by the horn, I don't think the Government are ready to share the said palliative to anybody!  Soon or later, the items would have been shared among family and friends in the name of, the poorest of the poor."

Meanwhile, the governor has denied hoarding the food items, explaining that they were asked by donors, CACovid, not to distribute the items until such directive is given.

In a statewide broadcast on Friday, October 23, the governor said:

 "Briefly , on the issue of palliatives being kept in warehouses, every state will have palliatives in their warehouse.  Let me thank and acknowledge Cacovid for the massive supply of all these palliatives. Note that as you empty your stock, they restock. This keeps coming for Cross River State. Our last receipt was on October 12th, just last week. We were also told clearly that they (Cacovid) wanted to do a press briefing when they are handing over the palliatives. So there was a directive that this last stock Cross River got should not be shared until they come. The weigh bill is available and it has been released for all to see. It shows that the stock arrived on the 12th of October, 2020. Unfortunately by then this tension had started building up and we were already waiting on them to come. I also want to recall that we do the distribution of palliatives in Cross River State in a sequence.

"We started with traditional rulers and churches, then we moved to local government by local government via senatorial districts. We had done distributions in the northern senatorial district and in the central senatorial district. The next batch of distribution was to be for the southern senatorial district. So the stock in question is for distribution in the southern senatorial district. As can be seen in a lot of videos on social media and Cross River Broadcasting Corporation, each time we distribute, we target widows , we target the aged, we target people who do not have money, people who cannot work. We target those who can fish no more, those who can no longer fish because they are aged and do not have loved ones.

"If you watch the videos of our distribution, it is systematic. It is through churches and churches target the vulnerable and so as a young man who is 18, 20, 25, remember that the food you are picking belongs to our aged parents, a widow somewhere. There is hunger in the land and I know this very well. That is why our emphasis had been on mass employment, recruitment, salary payment, pension payment and creating jobs and focusing more on appointments . Today, we have over 6000 political appointees. I do not need that much number of appointees. So it is for food on the table. It may not have reached you but somebody somewhere may have been reached. We have just approved employment for another 20000 people and have made it very clear this should not be for politicians. I believe that in the course of time you will see the sincerity of my intentions."