Family, friends and Civil Societies Organisations (CSO) in Benin City, the Edo State capital have staged another protest, calling on the Nigeria Police and other authorities to make public, the outcome of their investigations into the controversial death of 27-year-old Chibuike Edeh, a staff of a popular hotel in Benin.
The protesters blocked the entrance to the hotel with the corpse of the late Chibuike, saying they did not want the matter to be swept under the carpet.
The state Police Command had earlier explained that late Chibuike was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he tried to escape while leading the police to retrieve the money he allegedly stole from the hotel.
The Edo State Government has declared Wednesday, April 1, 2015, a work-free day in the state to celebrate the “victory” of General Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2015 Presidential election.
The declaration by the Edo State Government was made ahead of the officialdeclaration of the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The result of the presidential election from Borno State was still being expected, although General Buhari had taken a clear lead at the time.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has invited the people of the state to a victory party which would hold on Wednesday, at the Oba Ovoranmwen Square, Benin, the state capital.
Top artistes, including Davido, Patoranking, Osayomore Joseph, Young Bolivia, among others, would perform at the party to celebrate General Buhari’s victory.
Relations and friends of late Chibuike Ede, who was said to have died while in Police custody in Benin city, the Edo State capital have asked the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, to intervene in the matter and help them get justice.
In a protest led by the deceased’s mother, Mrs Christiana Ede, they marched to the Edo State Government house, where they met the Governor.
The family of the deceased said they have every reason to believe that the police as well as the hotel, where the deceased used to work before he passed on, were not telling them the truth about his demise.
They had appealed to the Governor to help them get to the root of the matter.
However, the Edo State Police Command, in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP. Joseph Edoigiawerie, described the incident as “unfortunate”.
The State Command said “the attention of Edo State Police Command has been drawn to the news making the round in the media about the purported torture and murder of a suspect Chibuike Ede ‘m’ at the Adesuwa Police Division.
“It is very unfortunate that some misinformed members of the public would twist the truth to cast aspersion on the image and the professional manner the police has handled the issue”.
“The story going round is false and it is on record that , the management of Protea Hotel reported a case of stealing against the said Chibuike Ede, who was a cleaner in the said hotel, and alleged to have stolen the sum of N48,000.00 belonging to a guest of the hotel, an action captured by the hotel CCTV camera and submitted to the Adesuwa Police Station on 13/03/2015.
“The suspect was subsequently arrested and he confessed to the crime and also claimed to have the money between the fence of the hotel and NNPC mega station.
“On 14/3/2015, the police went with him with a view to recovering the exhibit, but on getting to the scene and as they were alighting from the vehicle, the suspect immediately took to his heels. In the process of running, he ran into a moving Toyota Camry car with registration number FUG 93 JD (EDO), driven by one Obamedo Omoregie. The vehicle dragged the suspect from central road to 1st east circular road along Sapele road before it came to a halt”.
“The suspect sustained bruises on his body and was immediately rushed to UBTH with the assistance of some good Samaritans, where he eventually died.
“The driver of the car has been arrested for causing the death of the suspect, while the car is impounded and the photograph is hereby attached.
“The command is also aware of petition written by the lawyer of the deceased suspect. The case of stealing, fatal motor accident and the petition by the lawyer of the deceased have been transferred to the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation.”, the police said.
The governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole says his greatest landmark in Edo State is the “weeding away of godfatherism”, which he said had led to the imposition of candidates on the people of the state before his tenure.
Governor Oshiomhole, on Saturday, recounted achievements made by his administration while answering questions on Edo politics and other related political issues, including the grounding of a helicopter that he was to travel to Ekiti State with for the political campaign of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
On the grounding of the helicopter the governor said he was not allowed to attend the rally by security personnel who told him that there was an instruction from above to stop him from travelling to Ekiti State.
“I tried to make inquiries here and there but I was told I can’t even fly to Akure and go by road to Ekit. For me, it was very unfortunate because we have overzealous persons. It may not be coming from what everybody regards as above because the man in charge of this Nigeria project today, who is in the driver’s seat, is the President.
“I do not think that President Jonathan will order anybody to prevent people from going to campaign. But you have people who think they love the ruling party more than the chief of the party. For me, it was quite embarrassing and I do not see what value it adds. My present in Ekiti will not make the Governor win the election. If anything it raises doubt about the preparedness to allow a level playing field,” he said.
Governor Oshiomhole stressed that he had the right to go to any part of Nigeria, but lamented that if he, being a governor, could be treated in such manner, “it reduces the country to something close to a banana republic”.
Ekiti Election Process
On the governorship election in Ekiti State, Governor Oshiomhole commended the electoral body for the coordinated conduct of the election and stressed the need for the body to ensure that the coordination seen on a Channels Television’s report on the election process in Ado Ekiti would be replicated in the rural areas. “Those remote villages are where the devil reside,” he said
“INEC has started well and they should sustain it. The presence of the police is not always counter-productive. If the security officials could conduct themselves in a way that will reassure the people of their protection, the confidence of the people to come out and vote will rise.”
Recently, the All Progressives Congress, the political party that Governor Oshiomhole belongs to, held their National Convention in Abuja where the national chairman of the part was elected.
The Edo State governor said that the convention was successful, stressing that the party had laid a good foundation with such a brakthough.
He also pointed out that the party had started well by ensuring that all members registered at the place where they are expected to vote.
“The APC has been able to spread to other states because of the effort that the party leaders have put in it. Mr Bola Tinubu and the other leaders have made good commitment to the party and I think they deserve to be commended and revered by the party members for their efforts,” the Governor, who was a onetime labour leader, said, emphasising that the APC was a strong opposition platform needed in Nigeria’s political sector.
Most Important Landmark
Reeling out his achievements in the State, he said that weeding away of godfatherism in the state was he most important landmark achievement.
“It is not the issue of infrastructure, whether it is in education, road and others. It is in the reordering of Edo State political environment, giving people confidence and breathing air into the concept of a multi-party democracy where no one political party can continue to lord it over the other and in the dymistify of people who celebrate electoral fraud and those that have persuaded Edo people to resign their fate that they are only going to be distant spectators in a democratic process where they are supposed to be the key drivers,” he said.
On infrastructural development in the state, the governor said that the his administration had been able to reinvent the tax regime in the state, stressing that “a progressive government must find a way to collect taxes from the rich and ensure that everything needed by citizens of the state are provided”.
Governor Oshiomhole said that a substantial amount of the money spent on projects in the state come from the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
He said that the government had collect more than 19 billion Naira from IGR in a year, but that it had reduced due to a reduction of tax paid by people with lower income.
“If the son of a rich man must go to a good school the son of a poor man should equally go to a good school so that there will not be inferiority complex. We must collect tax from rich people to make them safer by providing security, good roads for them when they buy big cars,” he stressed.
He further pointed out that there state’s administration had improved and commended a top APC leader, Tom Ikimi, for his commitment to ensuring that the “no to godfatherism” stood in the state.
“Today, the most difficult terrine in Edo has been connected with standard roads that compared very favourably and often times even better than the federal roads.”
He listed some of the areas that had been made accessible with good roads to include, Imiegba, Orenigbe and Okpekpe among others
“We have made the bold statement with rural development must be prioritised and that is because I am convinced that rural poverty is not the act of God. Where people cannot be connected, when they cannot be reached, you can’t deliver development. Some six years ago, when it raining people rush to school to peak their children. For the first time you have six lane roads in different part of Benin City. Every road carries walkways and street lights,” he said..
On the conflict of interests in the state House of Assembly, governor Oshiomhole said that the suspended lawmkers were given money to lure some APC lawmakers to the PDP to give them the number needed to intimidate the leadership of the state.
He, however, stressed that the suspension of the lawmakers was in line with constitutional provisions and asked the lawmakers to maintain law and other.
The Edo State Police Command says it will not tolerate any act of violence by politicians or their agents in the crisis facing the Edo State House of Assembly.
Briefing the press on Friday, the State Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebanjo, warned politicians in the State from making unguarded statements and heating up the polity.
He said the police had been informed that some politicians were arming thugs for a showdown on Monday advising them to seek redress in the court of law or political solutions to their problems.
He urged youths in the State to resist being used as thugs, as the police would take the necessary steps to curtail their activities.
Both factions of the Edo Assembly have vowed to be present at the plenary session of the House despite the court order restraining the suspended lawmakers from the premises of the State House of Assembly.
Trouble started after the House suspended four lawmakers on Monday for misconduct, but the suspended members and five other lawmakers, a minority, held a plenary on Tuesday and declared the impeachment of the speaker of the House.
However, the speaker, Uyi Igbe, obtained a court order on Wednesday, restraining the suspended lawmakers from the premises of the State house.
The Chief of Staff to the Edo State Government, Mr Patrick Obahiagbon, on Wednesday described the purported move by minority members of the Edo State House of Assembly to impeach the speaker, as a cabaret show, having all the trappings of Legislative infamy.
He condemned the act, saying “it is a show of shame and ignominy that should not be condoned by all”.
He said that the members that had declared to the world that they had impeached the speaker of the house and some members lacked the power to do so.
“It is show of shame and it is not something that should be condoned by all compose mentis homo sapiens in this time and age,” Mr Obahiagbon said.
The Edo State Government has responded to the 21 day ultimatum given by the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association.
Speaking in an interview with Channels Television, the Special Adviser on Media to the State Governor, Mister Kassim Afegbua, said that the Government was already in discussion with the Medical and Health Workers Union and the Association of Resident Doctors over the issues they raised.
However, he made it clear to the two groups that the Government can only address their demand according to resources available.
He emphasized that the Edo State Government was not in dispute with the NMA and would do what was right and justifiable.
Afegbua also alleged that the NMA was on a mission to embarrass and blackmail the Government, and play politics with the lives of the people of Edo State.
“Whilst the NMA has suspended its nationwide strike, it is not only curious and ridiculous that they have issued a 21-day ultimatum in Edo State, it goes to suggest also that they have ulterior motives”, he said.
The Edo state government has accused Col. Nyiam of being a biased member of a presidential advisory committee on national dialogue which ought to be above political, ethnic and indeed other sentiments.
In a press release issued by the chief press secretary to the Edo state governor, Mr. Peter Okhiria, the governor said, going by Col. Nyiam’s antecedents, the Benin incident is just another manifestation of Col. Nyiam’s lack of respect for constituted authority and his love for disunity.
The statement also alleged that Colonel Nyiam’s ambition for power led to the death of many officers and men who owned up and faced the sentence for their treason in his military days.
The Edo state government added that it finds it interesting that Col Nyiam has exposed the undercurrent motive of the conference, which has also confirmed governor Oshiomhole’s initial fears about the viability, necessity and desirability of the national conference.
The Edo state caucus in the House of Representatives are demanding that retired Colonel Tony Nyiam be sacked from the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue for shouting at the governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomole at the town hall meeting in Benin.
The caucus expressed their condemnation of the attack on the governor, saying the incident was a sign of things to come in the proposed national conference.
They added that they are in agreement with governor Oshiomhole that 10 previous conferences had not yielded any positive result, and what is needed in Nigeria is a leadership that can break barriers in national development.
The enlightenment session by the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference, on Monday turned rowdy following comments made by the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole which did not augur well with some of the participants.
While addressing the gathering, Governor Oshiomhole, had said that he did not believe that a National Conference is needed.
Prior to the meeting, the Committee, led by Femi Okorounmu, had told the governor that the proposed dialogue would foster a strong bond amongst citizens.
However, Oshiomohole informed the group that he had no faith in the process and that he had no reason to believe that the Conference would be different from all the other ones organised by previous administrations, which yielded no result.
He also wished the Committee well.
At the meeting with the citizens, Oshiomhole reiterated his position but this did not go down well with many of them who in their rage, shouted him down.
Efforts by security agents and peacemakers did not yield much as the rowdiness got worse.
In order to restore calm, the National Anthem was rendered during which the Governor left the hall accompanied by his security detail.
Following Oshiomohole’s exit, the people who were demanding that he leaves, broke out in Bob Marley’s hit song, One Love, which was streaming from the sound system.
Edo State is the fourth state the Committee has visited as part of the enlightenment tour.
The Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue has apologised to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State over the unruly behaviour of one its members, Col Tony Nyiam (rtd).
Col. Nyiam (rtd) led some participants at the conference held in Benin City on Monday, to shout down the Governor when he was making his presentation.
In a letter signed by Chairman of the Committee, Senator (Dr) Femi Okurounmu, and entitled “Dialogue Committee Condemns Unruly Behaviour”, it said:
“The Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue wants to put it on record that we noted the sad incident at today’s (Monday’s) Interactive Session with Nigerians from the South South held in Benin City, Edo State.
“The Committee wishes to state its unequivocal commitment and that of its members to the principles of democratic discourse. Although we take special exception to the unruly conduct of one of our members who joined the crowd in shouting down the Comrade Governor of Edo State, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, while he was giving his remarks, the session continued and ended peacefully.”
In the letter dated October 28, 2013, the committee continued:
“We want to emphasize that the Committee will listen to all shades of opinions in the areas of its mandates and will not henceforth condone the kind of unacceptable behaviour we witnessed in Benin City.
“The Committee wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the Government and people of Edo State for providing support to the Committee in its assignment in the state.”
Edo state Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole says he has no faith in the proposed National Conference.
Though speaking based on personal opinion and not that of his party, the APC, Oshiomhole said the whole idea of the conference was flawed from the beginning as it has no agenda.
The Governor said this today when he received members of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference on a courtesy call to the Edo State Government House.
Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference, Professor Femi Okunronmu said they were in the state to consult on the agenda, the length and the legal framework of the conference.
Some politicians,have expressed mixed reactions over the proposed setting up of a committee on national conference as announced by President Goodluck Jonathan since the announcement.
Most politicians feel that there was a need for such a forum but expressed divergent opinions on modalities.
The president had, in his Independence Day broadcast, promised to set up a committee to define the modalities for the convocation of a national conference.
The primary duty of the National Conference is to address and find solutions to the key problems afflicting Nigeria since 1914 to date.
The concern is to remove all obstacles which have impeded the growth and development of the country and to construct a new constitutional frame-work in terms of the system of government-structurally, politically economically, socially, culturally and religiously.
The enlightenment sitting however turned violent, making it the first sitting of the committee to turn rowdy even though it is the fourth state visited by the committee, after the Edo state governor re-appeared at the town hall sitting held at Emagwero college, Sapele Road Benin City and continued his opposition to the conference and this did not go down well with some of the participants who shouted him down, making Governor Oshiomhole to abandon the place and returned to his office.
The Edo state government has invited 1,300 primary school teachers who have irregularities in their education certificates and age records to appear before a verification committee to defend their certificates.
The state governor, Adams Oshiomhole made this known in a meeting held with the Nigeria labour Congress (NLC) led by Comrade Emmanuel Ademokun and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) led by Comrade Patrick Ikosimi.
The governor, during the exercise, said that it is not to witch-hunt anybody but still insisted that it would not be business as usual and that those who have become too old to teach will have to give way.
The governor also revealed, last week at a town hall meeting, that the education board was sacked after it was discovered that they had saved over N300 million for themselves owing to the deployment of ICT initiatives to salary payments in the civil service.
The state government subsequently proposed a screening exercise to verify the veracity of the State ICT Unit. However the screening exercis was boycotted by the NUT.
This prompted the meeting held in the Governor’s office and attended by the Local Government Chairmen, NUT, NLC, TUC officials.
The civil society were called in as observers where the governor explained that it was not meant to witch hunt rather to ensure that the state sanitizes the system and ensure that the implementation if the new salary scheme is sustained.
After over two hours of deliberations and explanations with the unions, Oshiomhole agreed to pay outstanding salaries of the teachers who stayed out of work due to strike to enable them transport themselves to the venue of the screening.
Edo state government audit of primary schools in the State has revealed massive falsification of age of Primary School Teachers in the State Public Schools.
In a town hall meeting on education in the state on Wednesday, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said the audit carried out by the state’s Information and Communications Technology showed that 789 teachers out of 1,379 obtained their Primary School Leaving Certificates before the age of 8 or 9.
The governor said that providing solutions to major crisis in the state educational sector is the aim of the town hall meeting.
Traditional rulers, Teachers, Parents, Legislators and Government officials all gathered at Imaguero College in Benin City to discuss the way forward in the state Primary Education sector.
A traditional ruler, HRH Kelvin Danesi Aidenojie, of south Ibie Kingdom, raised the issue of unqualified and insufficient teachers in the rural areas.
Governor Oshiomhole also said that the state has found out that some teachers in public schools are unqualified and that teachers no longer retire due to age falsification. He noted that only 1,287 out of 14,454 primary school teachers have records without discrepancies.
The State Governor also noted that many local government councils in the state cannot afford to pay primary school teachers which is their basic responsibility due to unchanging salary figures over the years. He added that the state has introduced electronic payment of teachers salaries to eliminate fraud in the system.The state commissioner of Education, Mr Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan, encouraged teachers to be committed to their job and be good role models for their wards to emulate.
Reacting on behalf of the teachers, the state Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Patrick Ikosimi said the governor’s figures were not authentic and that those in the civil service should also have their age and qualification data reviewed .