Phil-Hallmark Inferno: Obaseki Vows To Establish Cause Of Incident

Godwin Obaseki, Edo, Inferno, FireThe Edo State government has promised to conduct full investigation into the fire incident that gutted the Phil-Hallmark, the only ultra-modern shopping mall in Benin City.

Governor Godwin Obaseki spoke with reporters on Monday when he went on an on-the-spot inspection of the mall in the Edo State capital, south-south Nigeria.

The Governor, who was obviously shocked at the damage done to the mall, described the damage as catastrophic and a major disaster.

He said investigation would be conducted into the activities of the state fire
service.

Properties worth hundreds of millions of naira were said to have been destroyed by fire at the shopping mall located along Sapele road in the early hours of Sunday, December 11.

Witnesses who decried poor response by men of the Edo State Fire Service, said the inferno started at about 3:00AM from the top floor of the building.

Although the director of the agency, Agbonlahor Franklin, confirmed that no life was lost, he attributed their delayed response to lack of adequate equipment.

Edo Government Deposes Uromi Traditional Ruler

Oshiomhole, Edo Govt., Edo APCThe Edo State Government has deposed Mr Anselm O Edenojie as the Ojuromi of Uromi.

His deposition is contained in a letter signed by Secretary to the State Government, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, dated November 9, 2016 and addressed to “Mr Anselm O. Edenojie”.

Entitled ‘Deposition from Office as Ojuromi of Uromi: Addendum’, the Government stated: “please be informed that the initial Exco decision of 26th October 2016 has been further affirmed,

“Consequently, you have been deposed as the Ojuromi of Uromi pursuant to Section 28 (i & ii) of the Traditional Rulers & Chiefs Law, 1979.

“Kindly, therefore, disregard our letter of 4th November 2016 on the subject “Re: Letter of Apology to Edo State Government.”

The Edo State Government had earlier suspended the monarch, the Onojie of Uromi, HRH Anselm Aidenojie, from office for seven days.

The suspension took effect from October 26 when the letter was read, and lasted till November 1, 2016.

The letter which was titled “Suspension from Office as Traditional Ruler”, was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere.

According to the letter, the suspension from office was based on the following reasons among others:

“Your unprovoked attack, inflicting grievous bodily harm on one Mrs Betty Okoebor on September 28, 2016 in full public glare to the embarrassment of those present and causing disgrace to your otherwise esteemed office.

“Your refusal, even after two weeks, to respond to a query issued by the appropriate authority within the stipulated 72 hours, demonstrating total disregard and disrespect for constituted authority.

“Travelling outside the country without appropriate permission in further demonstration of your disregard for extant regulations and laws.”

The statement demanded that he tenders “unreserved apologies” to his victim, Mrs Betty Okoebor and the Government of Edo State within the 7-day suspension period.

“However, if within the said number of days, no public apology in tendered by your very self, you will stand deposed as the Onojie of Uromi,” it threatened.

Edo Govt. Sets Up Transition Committee

Godwin Obaseki, Adams Oshiomhole, Edo, Transition CommitteeA 19-member Transition Committee has been set up by the Edo State Government to ensure a smooth handover from the Governor Adams Oshiomhole administration to the Godwin Obaseki administration.

The handover will hold on November 12.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Peter Okhiria, on Monday stated that the committee would be chaired by the Secretary to the Edo State Government, Professor Julius Ihonvbere.

Other members of the committee are: Mr Henry Idahagbon, Mr Osarodion Ogie, Mr John Inegbedion, Dr. Aihanuwa Eregie and Prince Joe Okojie.

Others are: Mr Igbinidu Inneh, Mr Joseph Eboigbe, Mr Taiwo Akerele, Senator Domingo Obende, Dr. Aisosa Amadasun, Reverend Emmanuel Egharevba, Elder Pius Omofuma, Mr Theo Okoh, Mr Ben Ogbebor, Mrs Magdalene Ogbebulu, Mrs Benedicta Attoh, Mr Osaze Ojo, and Mr Ahmed Mamudu.

The committee is being constituted in spite of the allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Edo governorship election was marred with irregularities.

The party and its governorship candidate in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, had proceeded to the tribunal to challenge the results of the September 29 poll won by Mr Obaseki.

On the day of the election, the PDP claimed there was a plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and incumbent Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to rig the election at the collation centre.

In a swift response, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Solomon Soyebi, told Channels Television in Kaduna that the election was not flawed with irregularities as alleged.

He debunked claims by the PDP that the commission deliberately delayed result of the election from the 18 local government councils in Edo State in order to favour the ruling APC in the state.

Edo Govt. Suspends Traditional Ruler For Seven Days

traditional ruler, Edo government, seven day suspension
Adams Oshiomhole

The Edo State Government has suspended one of its monarchs, the Onojie of Uromi, HRH Anselm Aidenojie, from office for seven days.

The suspension which took effect from October 26 when the letter was read, will last till November 1, 2016.

The letter which was titled “Suspension from Office as Traditional Ruler”, was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere.

The content stated: “I write to convey to you, the decision of the Edo State Executive Council at its meeting on October 26, 2016, suspending you from office for 7 days as Onojie of Uromi.

The suspension from office was based on the following reasons among others:

“Your unprovoked attack, inflicting grievous bodily harm on one Mrs Betty Okoebor on September 28, 2016 in full public glare to the embarrassment of those present and causing disgrace to your otherwise esteemed office.

“Your refusal, even after two weeks, to respond to a query issued by the appropriate authority within the stipulated 72 hours, demonstrating total disregard and disrespect for constituted authority.

“Travelling outside the country without appropriate permission in further demonstration of your disregard for extant regulations and laws.

“In the circumstances, the State Executive Council has arrived at a conclusion that these and other acts of misconduct of Your Royal Highness, the Onojie of Uromi are not only distasteful but also unbecoming of a traditional ruler of your status.

“Based on the above and convinced that your Highness has denied yourself of the opportunity of entering a plea against the charges against you that were duly conveyed in writing to you, and therefore in exercise of the powers conferred on the State Executive Council by virtue of Section 28 (1) of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law (1979) and all other Laws enabling it in that behalf, has approved your suspension from office as the Onojie of Uromi with immediate effect for a period of seven (7) days, that is, from the October 26, 2016 to November 1, 2016.

“Consequently, within the suspension period, you shall cease to be recognized and treated as traditional ruler or as the Onojie of Uromi in Edo State and you shall not exercise any powers or function or enjoy any privileges provided for under the Traditional Rulers and Chief Law (1979) and all other relevant provisions under the said law.

“Within the 7-day suspension period, you are required to tender unreserved apologies to your victim, Mrs Betty Okoebor and the Government of Edo State.

“However, if within the said number of days, no public apology in tendered by your very self, you will stand deposed as the Onojie of Uromi,”

Edo Govt. Declares Holiday For Oba Of Benin Coronation

Edo, Oba of Benin, Eheneden ErediauwaThe Edo State Government has declared Thursday, October 20 a public holiday in the state in south-south Nigeria.

The holiday was announced on Tuesday in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Julius Ihonvbere.

The public holiday is in honour of the Crown Prince, Ambassador Eheneden Erediauwa, Edaiken N’Uselu, whose coronation as the Oba of Benin holds same day.

The government hopes that the holiday would ensure a hitch-free coronation ceremony.

The statement added that the holiday would give residents of Edo State the opportunity to partake in the historic installation of the new Oba of Benin.

Edo Govt. To Build More Schools With Three Billion Naira

Adams Oshiomhole, Edo, SchoolsThe Edo State government is set to spend another three billion Naira in building more primary schools in the 18 local government areas of the state.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole disclosed this to reporters in Benin City, the state’s capital in southern Nigeria.

He was also addressing school children during the Children’s Day celebration, with the theme: “Protect the Rights of the Children in the Face of Violence and Insecurity and End Child Marriage” at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Edo State.

With the proposed decision of the state government, it is expected that learning environments would be in more enhanced condition to aid easy assimilation of the required knowledge by pupils.

Edo State Government To Prosecute Lucky Igbinedion

Edo Government To Prosecute Lucky IgbinedionThe Edo State Government says it has decided to take a former Governor of the state, Mr Lucky Igbinedion and some of his administration’s officials to court to recover over seven billion Naira allegedly stolen from the state’s coffers.

The Edo State Commissioner for Information, Louis Odion, and other officials of the state government told reporters after a close door meeting with the State Executive Council on Wednesday that the Council decided to prosecute Mr Igbinedion in order to raise funds to complete some capital projects in the state.

He also said that the state government had also decided to take legal actions against all the banks in the state for non-remittance of withholding tax on interest accruing from fixed deposits lodged in the banks by residents of Edo State.

 

Edo LG Pensioners: Oshiomhole To Meet Local Government Chairs

oshiomhole
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, is set to meet with local government chairmen to intervene over the non payment of pension to local government pensioners in the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Public Affairs, Kassim Afegbua, revealed this while briefing journalists at the Edo State Government House on Friday.

Mr Afegbua said that Governor Oshiomhole was concerned that while the state had met its own pension obligations the local government had failed to meet theirs.

He emphasised that the pensioners who protested to the Edo State Government House are not the responsibility of the state government but that of the local government.

Pensioners from across the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State on October 20, staged a protest over non-payment of entitlements by the Edo State Government.

The pensioners protested to Edo State Government House to draw attention to their plight.

Senate Approves $75 M World Bank Loan For Edo State

SenateThe Senate has approved the $75 million dollar World Bank loan for Edo State.

President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the Senate requesting the approval of the upper chamber to obtain $75 million credit facility from the World Bank for Edo State.

“I am writing to seek the consideration of the national assembly of Nigeria on approval of a request by the Edo state government‎ to obtain a $75 million credit facility from the World Bank,” the president wrote in a letter read on the floor of the upper chamber by Bukola Saraki, Senate President.

This is the second batch of the loan, as the first batch of 75 million dollars was earlier released for the implementation of the 2012 to 2014 development programme.

The Senate set up an Ad Hoc Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to consider the loan request and report back to the Senate.

Presenting the report of the committee at plenary, the Chairman of the Committee Sen Kabiru Gaya said the Edo State Government has reasonably justified the borrowing and has acceptable debt sustainability level.

However a federal lawmaker from Edo State, Sen Mathew Urhoghide, argued that there is a need for the Senate to verify some of the claims made by the state government on the usage of the first tranche of the loan.

Edo Government Reacts To IDP Relocation

IDPS-in-Edo-StateEdo State Government says it was its intervention that ended the attempted forceful relocation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Public Affairs, Kassim Afegbua, told Channels Television that those who attempted the relocation did so without informing the State Government.

He advised against politicising the issue that concerns the safety and future of Nigerians, a subject which he said the State Governor, Adams Oshiomole, takes very seriously.

Earlier, the IDPs had rejected a government plan to relocate them to Kano and Jigawa.

They said that the Federal Government should bring the help it intended to render to them to Benin City, as they were not willing to move.

Okonjo-Iweala Replies Oshiomhole On Allegations Of $1bn Misappropriation

Okonjo-IwealaThe former Minister of Finance has again faulted claims by the Edo State Governor that she spent billions from the Excess Crude Account as lacking credibility.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in a statement on Tuesday accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of repeatedly trying to damage her reputation within the last few months by seeking explanations to how monies related to the Excess Crude Account were spent.

According to the former minister, Governor Oshiomhole’s publications contain falsehoods which include statements that the she and state finance commissioners approved the spending of 2.1 billion dollars out of the excess crude account , adding that the commissioners had disowned the statement.

She said that her ministry regularly published details of revenue allocations from the ECA in national media, so Governor Oshiomhole’s calculations are mere political numbers conjured to achieve a political purpose

Commenting on Oshiomhole’s latest statement, Dr. Okonjo Iweala said that an impression is being created that the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), which involves the federal government and the 36 states is a personal monopoly of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala.

She says, “FAAC is a long standing national platform for allocating revenues chaired by the Minister of State for Finance and the governors insistence on pushing this fictional narrative underscores his desperation.”

The Edo State Governor accused the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of misappropriating a sum of $1 billion from Nigeria’s Federation Account.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole alleged that the money was illegally taken to fund the March 28 re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He made the allegation at a seminar held in Benin City, the capital of Edo State and organised by the Edo State government for Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Deputy Directors, with the theme “Enhancing IGR In Edo, Issues, Prospects And Challenges”.

 

Oshiomhole Accuses Okonjo-Iweala Of $1bn Misappropriation

Oshiomhole Accuses Okonjo-Iweala Of $1bn MisappropriationThe Edo State Governor has accused the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of misappropriating a sum of $1 billion from Nigeria’s Federation Account.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole alleged that the money was illegally taken to fund the March 28 re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He made the allegation at a seminar held in Benin City, the capital of Edo State and organised by the Edo State government for Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Deputy Directors, with the theme “Enhancing IGR In Edo, Issues, Prospects And Challenges”.

Oshiomhole asked the former Minister to publicly explain how the Excess Crude Account was drawn down to $4.1 billion from the peak of $10 billion, when no approval was given by the National Economic Council for any withdrawals.

He said that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala would have been declared a pathological liar if she were a witness in court due to the inconsistencies in her statements.

The Governor opined that a forensic audit would truly determine how much was illegally spent from the Federation Account under her watch as minister.

He warned that the Edo State government would now hold Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Deputy Directors responsible for any fraud detected in their departments.

Oshiomhole also revealed that his administration had trimmed down the cost of running government.