Dakuku Peterside Advocates More Maritime Sector Reforms

dakuku-petersideThe Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Mr Dakuku Peterside, says a lot has to change if the country must compete with the rest of the world in the maritime sector.

He made his position known in an interview with Channels Television on Saturday.

He, however, pointed out some of the achievements of the sector in recent times, among which is the decrease in piracy.

“The rate of piracy has dropped to its barest minimum because we have been able to build on agency cooperation and coordination and we’ve also been able to build a network with our regional partners.”

Apart from that, he stated that in terms of maritime safety, the number of detentions of vessels calling at the ports have reduced because according to him, “people are now more aware that we have zero tolerance for substandard vessels.”

“We have also conducted more inspections than in previous years,” he added.

The Maritime boss also hinted that the Ministry of Transportation was pursuing the real establishment of the national fleet driven by the private sector; an initiative to which NIMASA is giving its total support.

Meanwhile, it was also revealed that indigenous players in the maritime industry may soon begin to rip the benefits of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act as Nigeria is set to disburse over a hundred million dollars sabotaged vessel financing fund.

Rivers APC Members Rejoice Over Tribunal Judgement

Rivers APCMembers of the Rivers State APC took to singing and dancing at the APC secretariat in Port Harcourt, the rivers state capital on Saturday following the election tribunal judgement that annulled the April 11 governorship election in the state.

Many of the Rivers APC members were seen carrying posters of their governorship candidate at the last elections, Dakuku Peterside, and singing solidarity songs but the PDP in the state has said that the merriment might be short lived.

In a press statement signed by the Media Adviser to the Chairman of the party, Jerry Needam, the party referred to the judgement as a travesty of justice, insisting that the party would exhaust all legal options to upturn what it called a conspiracy against Rivers people.

The Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone, however, stated that his party is not bothered by any legal move that the PDP might make.

According to him, the Rivers APC is confident that the tribunal judgement that nullified Governor Wike’s election has made the job easy for both the Appeal Court and Supreme Court.

Rivers Governorship Tribunal: PDP, Wike To Appeal Judgment

RiversThe Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike say that they will appeal the judgment of the Rivers State Governorship tribunal which nullified Wike’s election as Governor.

Addressing journalists after the judgment, counsel to the PDP, Chris Uche (SAN), said that Governor Nyesom Wike remains governor until the appeal processes are exhausted.

He added that the nature of the judgment delivered by the Justice Ambrosa-led tribunal makes appeal vital as the new position adopted by the tribunal must be tested in the interest of justice.

Mr Uche noted that the tribunal’s reliance on card reader accreditation to nullify the governorship election when evidence was led by both the respondents and the petitioners that both card reader and manual accreditation were used for the election requires testing at the court of appeal.

According to the lawyer, it is shocking that less than 24 hours after lawyers on all sides submitted nine written addresses and documents, the tribunal sent notice that judgment would be delivered this morning.

PDP Rejects Rivers Governorship Tribunal Judgement

pdpThe Peoples Democratic Party has declared the verdict of the Rivers State governorship election tribunal sitting in Abuja as bias, bizarre and unacceptable.



The party expressed its position on the judgement in a press statement that was signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh.

He said that the judgement is part of the ruling All Progressives Congress plot to manipulate the will of the people

The Peoples Democratic Party is also picking fault with the 24-hour time frame after the various counsels to the case submitted their written addresses to the tribunal, saying the judgement was delivered in a hurry.

Mr Metuh also called on the international community to note plots by the ruling party to upturn the party’s victory in other states including Taraba, Abia and Delta states.

The Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Saturday, nullified the election of Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party as the Governor of Rivers State, on grounds that his election did not comply with electoral guidelines.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Suleiman Ambrosa , ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections in the state within 90 days of the ruling.

Deadly Blow To Impunity

However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has described Saturday’s judgement of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that overturned the election of Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party as a deadly body blow to impunity and hooliganism.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said that the judgement has shown clearly that the era of impunity and hooliganism was over and that the only way for elections to have legitimacy is for them to be free, fair and credible.

The party hailed its governorship candidate in Rivers, Mr Dakuku Peterside, for his doggedness and strong conviction in the pursuit of his petition against the election of Wike that was not only marred by widespread violence and electoral malfeasance, but also acknowledged to be so by local and international observers and now, by the judiciary.

Wike To Appeal

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike say that they will appeal the judgment of the Rivers State Governorship tribunal.

Counsel to the PDP, Chris Uche (SAN), said that Governor Nyesom Wike remains governor until the appeal processes are exhausted.

He added that the nature of the judgment delivered by the Justice Ambrosa-led tribunal makes appeal vital as the new position adopted by the tribunal must be tested in the interest of justice.

Just as the PDP said, the lawyer also found it shocking that less than 24 hours after lawyers on all sides submitted nine written addresses and documents, the tribunal sent notice that judgment would be delivered on Saturday morning.

 

Rivers Tribunal Judgement, Deadly Blow To Impunity – APC

APCThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has described Saturday’s judgement of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that overturned the election of Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party as a deadly body blow to impunity and hooliganism.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said that the judgement has shown clearly that the era of impunity and hooliganism was over and that the only way for elections to have legitimacy is for them to be free, fair and credible.

”What has come across from this judgement is that there is no shortcut to free, fair and credible elections. This is part of the wind of change that is blowing across the land and touching all arms of government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

”Elections are about the expression of the will of the people and they must always be free to express themselves, irrespective of what some desperate politicians may feel,” he said.

The APC said that politicians, especially those seeking or occupying elective office, must realize that they can only derive their legitimacy from the people and that unless they respect the wishes of the people, they would not go far.

The party hailed its governorship candidate in Rivers, Mr Dakuku Peterside, for his doggedness and strong conviction in the pursuit of his petition against the election of Wike that was not only marred by widespread violence and electoral malfeasance, but also acknowledged to be so by local and international observers and now, by the judiciary.

The statement urged all APC members and supporters in the state to remain peaceful, even in the face of provocation.

Tribunal Reserves Ruling On Rivers Governorship Election

Tribunal Reserves Ruling On Rivers Governorship ElectionThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja to dismiss the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside, on the ground that it lacks merit and substance.

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, also called on the tribunal to dismiss the petition, saying the petitioner failed to prove the several allegations against his election on April 11, 2015.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Suleiman Ambrosa, after listening to the adoption of written addresses by counsels to the petitioners and the defendants adjourned the petition for judgment.

The defendants, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) and Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), while adopting their written addresses, claimed that the burden of proof rests on the petitioner who failed to discharge same before the tribunal.

The petitioner, Akin Olujimi (SAN), however, asked the tribunal to grant the reliefs sought in their petition, saying they have successfully proved their case.

With the adoption of written addresses by all the parties, the tribunal reserved judgment to a date to be announced to all the parties.

Election PetitionTribunal: Election Did Not Hold In Rivers – Peterside

dakuku on rivers tribuanlThe All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate during the 2015 elections in Rivers State, Mr Dakuku Peterside, on Wednesday took his turn in the witness box at the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal in Abuja, where he told the tribunal that the April 11, 2015 election did not hold in the state.

In his submission, Mr Peterside, who was led by his counsel, Akin Olujinmi, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), simply allocated votes to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Nyesom Wike.

The APC candidate, who voted at his Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, told the tribunal that few minutes after casting his votes, some hoodlums came and carted away election materials.

He tendered some documents including reports of International Observers on the Rivers governorship election, manual of electoral officials, result sheets, which were accepted as exhibits by the tribunal while some were withdrawn.

Another witness, Maj. Abdulraham Imam, told the tribunal how his team, comprising 55 soldiers were able to arrest two people and recovered over 80 machetes, three AK 47 riffles, in Gegema/Akukutoro Local Government Areas of the state on the eve of election during routine patrol.

Mr Imam, who is the 52nd witness at the tribunal, said he personally handed over the suspects and weapons to the Divisional Police Officer because of the sensitive nature of the recovered items.

A Chieftain of the APC, Mr Achi William-Wobodo, who represented the party at the tribunal, said only four political parties; PDP, APC, Labour Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) out of 18 political parties were recorded in INEC’s data base.

Tribunal Dismisses Request To Move Election Materials From Rivers To Abuja

inspection-of-election-materialsThe Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, has dismissed the application by the All Progressives Congress Governorship Candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside and his party to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission to move the election materials used for the April 11 2015 governorship election to Abuja for inspection.

In its hearing on Wednesday, the Tribunal headed by Justice Muazu Pindiga dismissed the application on the grounds that it lacked merit and could not take precedence over a subsisting order given by the Tribunal in June on the same issue.

The Tribunal had earlier given an order, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the petitioner access to the election materials comprising; ballot papers and result sheets, an order Justice Pindiga said still stands.

So far, the ruling given by the three-member Election Petition Tribunal on the April 11, 2015 governorship elections in Rivers State is five fold.

The Tribunal first struck out the request by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, asking for a stay of ‎execution on the Tribunal’s order of June 11 which permitted the petitioner to inspect the election materials in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

Justice Pindiga said the application was struck out because of the failure of the lawyer to the applicant, Emmanuel Ukala, to move the motion at the last proceedings despite being asked by the Tribunal to do so, thereby deeming the motion abandoned.

The Tribunal also rejected the motion by INEC, challenging the competence of the petition. It said that the motion would be heard along with the main petition.

Also dismissed by the Tribunal for lack of merit was a motion by the petitioner, Mr Dakuku Peterside, asking that election materials used in Rivers State be moved from Port Harcourt to INEC head office in Abuja for easy inspection on grounds that INEC officials in Rivers State refused to cooperate with the petitioner in the execution of the June 11 order.

But counsel to the petitioner, Emeka Ngige, said they would deploy alternative measures to make INEC comply with the rules of evidence.

The tribunal has adjourned to August 25 when all other motions by parties would be addressed along with the main petition.

Okrika Rally: APC, PDP In War Of Words As Police Vows To Nab Culprits

pdp-apc-1The violence that disrupted the rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Okrika, Rivers State appears to have blown the peace parley between the governorship candidates of the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party.

Both parties are embroiled in a war of words, blaming each other for the violence that resulted in the death of one and injuring of many, including Channel TV senior correspondent Charles Erukaa.

At the peace parley, both candidates had held hands in a show of support for a violence-free election in the state.

However, things may have changed as the last is yet to be heard concerning the APC rally that was disrupted by explosions and shootings by unknown gunmen in Okirika, Rivers state, on Tuesday.

While the APC and PDP tackled each other with words as to who masterminded the attack, the Police Commissioner in the State told Channels Television in an exclusive interview that his command would get to the root of the matter.

The APC governorship candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside, points accusing fingers at a PDP member of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The man accused of masterminding the attack denied the allegation, saying that his innocence would vindicate him.

Lawmaker warns that fuel scarcity may last till 2013

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources, (downstream), Mr Dakuku Peterside has stated that the lingering fuel scarcity across the country may persist till the third quarter of 2013.

Mr Peterside who was a guest on Channels TV’S weekend programme, Sunrise, explained that the problem will linger on because “we didn’t plan effectively for the importation.”

He listed three problems which included the failure of banks to further finance the importation of PMS, due to the revelations at various committees probing the oil sector.

According to Mr Peterside, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) issued 39 licences for the importation of fuel but only 19 of the importers have been able to deliver.

The other problems are the vandalisation of a major pipeline in Arepo and the failure of the Ministry of Finance to pay some fuel importers.

The lawmaker lampooned the plethora of investigations not concluded in the nation’s oil sector.

PIB in 2013

The lawmaker also revealed after series of delays, the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) should be concluded by the second quarter of 2013 when it may be signed into law.

Honourable Peterside gave the assurance, adding that the government should be commended for introducing the bill which according to him is the first attempt to reform the petroleum industry after the Petroleum Act of 1969.

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