Peterside says no winner yet for Benin Disco

The Chairman of the Technical Committee on power sector reforms, Atedo Peterside has denied allegation of corruption in the privatisation of the power sector by governors of Delta, Edo and Ekiti states.

The governors had on Thursday rejected the announcement of Vigeo Power Distribution as the successful bidder for the Benin Distribution Company by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

The states are investors in the Southern Electricity Distribution Company which lost out in the bidding process.

Governors Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State insisted that the process that led to the emergence of Vigeo Consortium lacks transparency.

However, briefing newsmen on the privatization process in Lagos, Mr Peterside said the allegation of fraud by Misters Oshiomhole, Fayemi and Uduaghan were pre-emptive as the Disco has not been handed to any of the bidders.

He said: “The 3 Governors appeared to be making their “complaint” because they feared that the Southern Electricity Distribution Company Consortium (Southern Consortium), which they favoured, might be edged out of the race to be declared as preferred bidder for Benin Disco by Vigeo Power Consortium (Vigeo). Obviously they presumed the latter to be the likely winner based on the outcome of the televised Commercial Bid Opening Ceremony which took place in Abuja on Tuesday 16th October, which event I presided over.

“It is pertinent to mention here that the NCP has not even declared a result yet and so no consortium has been announced as being the preferred bidder for any of the 11 Discos in Nigeria. At the end of the Commercial Bid Opening Ceremony, I explained that we still had to subject all the bids to a “material consistency/feasibility test” before making recommendations to the NCP.”

Mr Peterside, who said his team needed to clarify on the four allegations made by the governors, noted that “Southern Consortium is the only one of the 16 consortia that participated in the bid opening to have submitted multiple commercial bids for the same Disco.

“Their envelope contained two different commercial bids, both of which were signed by a Mr. Matthew Edevbie. The first bid was dubbed the ‘primary’ bid, while the other was dubbed an ‘alternate’ bid.”

He added that the alleged fraud was “a clear contravention of the Request for Proposal, RFP. We did not make a big issue of this on live TV because both the primary and the alternate bids fell below the bid submitted by Vigeo, and so neither bid would alter Southern Consortium’s ranking on the large screen. Instead, this matter was brought to the attention of the Technical Committee of NCP, which considered the breach and made recommendations to the NCP.”

Edo state commissioner resigns to join Chevron

The Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has accepted the resignation of Hon Commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities, Clem Agba.

This is to enable him return to his employment with Chevron which had granted him leave of absence.

A statement signed on Sunday by the Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Louis Odion, said the leave of absence granted Mr Agba by Chevron ended last week.

Mr Agba will resume in a new office at Chevron as Manager, Community Procurement Operations.

Before joining the Mr Oshiomhole’s administration in 2008, Mr Agba was Senior Contracts Advisor to Facilities Engineering to the oil company.

While wishing the former Commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities well in his new assignment, Mr Oshiomhole expressed appreciation for his “robust contributions to the state in the last four years.”

Before his stint at the Environment and Public Utilities Ministry, Mr Agba briefly served as Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Housing.

Mr. Odion quoted the governor as saying that “While Mr Agba always showed uncommon enthusiasm to work, perhaps most outstanding was his role in the design and execution of the flood and erosion-control programme of our administration”

Mr Oshiomhole thanked Chevron for releasing Mr Agba to serve his home state, adding that “it’s my hope that this great oil company will still be magnanimous enough to avail us of Clem’s prodigious skills if the need arises in future.”

Job creation: Oshiomhole speaks on changing vocabularies of Nigerian leaders

The Edo State Governor and a former president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Adams Oshiomhole on Thursday said that the suitable strategies to solving the problem of poverty in Nigeria is to distribute the nation’s wealth through the creation of jobs, decentralisation of government and reviewing the allocations to states.

Mr Oshiomhole, who was speaking as a guest at a forum organised by the NLC in Abuja, said the vocabularies of successive government in Nigeria with regards to employment generation have continue to shift from creating jobs to downsizing.

Tribunal strikes off PDP from petition against Oshiomhole

The Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday struck out the name of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from a petition filed by its governorship candidate Charles Airhiavbere against the election of Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as the governor of the state.

Mr Airhiavbere, in his petition had named the PDP as the second petitioner challenging the emergence of Mr Oshiomhole as governor in the July 14 governorship election.

Joined as co-respondents /defendants in the suit are Mr Oshiomhole; the ACN; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); the Resident Electoral Officer and the INEC returning officer.

Counsel to the PDP, Kingsley Obamoge, after announcing his appearance, informed the tribunal that his client wished that its name be struck off from the petition as second respondent petitioner.

Mr Obamoge said that he had therefore filed a notice before the tribunal requesting the tribunal to strike off PDP’s name from the petition.

The Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Suleman Ambrusa, granted the application since the other counsels did not oppose the application.
The members of the tribunal include includes Justices Suleman Ambrusa, Esor Teetito and Danlami Senchi.

Mr Akpofure led 12 other lawyers as counsels to Mr Airhiavbere while Rickey Tafar, Niyi Akintola and Omoruyi Omonuwa led seven other lawyers for Mr Oshiomhole’s team. Adetunji Oyeyipo, Ken Mozia and Rotimi Ogunreso led the legal team of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Justice Ambrusa had earlier in his opening address, appealed to all the counsels in the case to avoid filing frivolous applications that could slow the proceeding.

He said that the tribunal was ready to listen to all the parties, but urged the counsels to ensure that they filed all relevant applications and papers before the tribunal.

“When we start, there will be no adjournment and we hope to conclude the case within the stipulated time frame prescribed by the Electoral Act.

“Please try and file all the necessary papers as we have all agreed to play by the rules, we will let you know when the conference will begin,’’ Justice Ambrusa said.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the sitting, the Edo state deputy governor, Pius Odubu called on Mr Airhiavbere to tow his party’s line by withdrawing his petition.

Mr Airhiavbere however said in his petition that the process would deepen democracy in Edo State.

He said he was contesting the outcome of the election alleging that Mr Oshiomhole did not possess the minimum qualification and that the Modern School as presented by him (Oshiomhole) to INEC was fake.

He further alleged that INEC did not conduct the election in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2012 (as amended).

On his part, the ACN state chairman, Thomas Okosun said he is confident that the results they got from the polls is what they will get at the tribunal.

Counsel to the PDP Candidate however said the PDP’s decision to withdraw its petition will not negatively affect their case.

There was no noticeable presence of PDP leaders in the court except its counsel.

Edo election: Four officials die in boat mishap

Three policemen, two inspectors and a constable and an ad-hoc official of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday died while transporting election materials to Ologbo, a suburb of Benin City, Edo State.

PUNCH Newspaper quoted the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Adenaike, as saying “two inspectors and one constable died; two policemen and one prison official survived.

“One INEC official also died. Only the body of an inspector has been recovered.”

Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, also confirmed the development.

VIDEO: I am disappointed in Jega – Oshiomhole

The Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole on Saturday said that he is disappointed in both the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and the electoral body for failing in their responsibility to conduct a free poll in the state.

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole

The governor warned that there will be trouble if the true winner of the election is not declared.

Mr Oshiomhole who disclosed this during an interview with journalists at the Iyamho primary school, Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area said there can be no winner when the people are not allowed to vote.

“They plan not to bring out the voting materials on time and as we speak in Oredo Local government area, Benin City and Egor local government area, the heart of Benin City materials have not gotten to majority of the polling booths after 11 am and at the New Era college, upper mission road, they brought fake voters register different from the one the people registered,” he said.

“If accreditation is to stop by 12pm and by 11am, it is after 11am now, there are no materials in some polling booths, it then means Professor Atahiru Jega and INEC have no plans to conduct election. The whole idea is to frustrate the people so that they will not be able to vote, and they will declare a fake result.

“Professor Jega and INEC have been an embarrassment to the nation. I am in shock with all the arrangements they have made sensitizing the people, and I told them, INEC need to be sensitized. INEC is the weakest link in the Nigeria democratic chain. I have no faith in what INEC is doing in Benin City.

“This is designed for where majority of the people are denied the right to vote and this time around I have told them this country either decides on whether to move on or move back, I see sponsored editorials saying whatever happens we will go to court, but today we have to sort out the issues once and for all,” Mr Oshiomhole said.

The governor further said he would hold the INEC Chairman responsible for the failure of the election and for disenfranchising the people as INEC has connived with the Peoples Democratic Party to involve in scientific rigging.

“They planned it and executed it this way. It is a shame that they have programmed this to embarrass the Nigeria nation. If INEC do not allow the people to vote and they pronounce the winner there will be trouble.

“Fifty five percent of voters are in Edo South and forty percent in Benin City, and they think they can deprive the people the opportunity to vote.

“Professor Jega has failed because I wrote a petition that they are buying voters card. We will all go to court before God. They know that if it is two people remaining they will not vote for them”

PDP says Oshiomhole is scared of defect

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Mr Oshiomhole’s condemnation of the governorship election in Edo, while the accreditation process was still on, as hasty.

The Director of Publicity of the PDP in Edo State, Okharedia Ihimekpen accused the governor of frantically attempting to destroy the integrity of the election.

Mr Ihimekpen said that the governor has seen the writing on the wall and is trying to raise the alarm in order to rationalize his eventual defeat at the poll.

The PDP is also said that the governor has suddenly realized that “the security and the electoral body are insisting on accreditation of voters whose names are in the voter registers in line with the one man, one vote mantra.”

We will spring up surprises at the Edo governorship election – PDP

The publicity secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mathew Urhoghide on Wednesday said that his party has some surprises for the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) during this weekend governorship election.

In a telephone interview with the hosts of the Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Urhoghide said that the incumbent government is not connecting with the grassroot people of the state and that this is the loophole his party plan to exploit.

Edo Governorship election will be free and fair – Jonathan

Barely two weeks to the Edo State Governorship election, President Gooodluck Jonathan on Saturday assured residents of the state of peaceful poll conduct saying that the organisers of the election must adhere to the principle of One Man, One vote.

The president, who arrived the Benin airport aboard a presidential jet at about 11: 36am, was received by the Edo state governor Adams Oshiomhole amid other top Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts and top federal government dignitaries before leaving for the Palace of the Oba of Benin, Omo n’ Oba Erediauwa.

Speaking at the packed venue of the Dr Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Mr Jonathan assured residents of the state of peaceful poll conduct, even as he called on PDP members in the state to mobilise to ensure victory.

Expressing his commitment to free and fair election, the president thanked the people of the state for voting him during the 2011 presidential election, saying it was in the state he started his ‘one man, one vote’ campaign.

“It was here in this state that I said that we must change the way we do elections in this country; this time around, there will be no thuggery, it is going to be one man one vote. I came here to promise the people of Edo State that they should keep faith with that promise.

“This morning before I came, I asked the Inspector-General of Police, ‘Are you ready for Edo State?’ He said yes. I asked the Chief of Defence Staff, ‘Are you ready for Edo State?’ He said yes.

“I guarantee 100 percent security for your election and there will be no manipulation, election results will be entered at the various units and nobody will change figures.

“PDP is the dominant party. As long as you mobilise and vote PDP, we will win. I am sure that, come July 14, PDP will rule Edo.”

A leader of the party, Tony Anenih, speaking earlier, said that the PDP is prepared for the forthcoming election.

“We want to put in place a government that will be responsive to the yearnings of the people. Mr. President, your presence here has raised our hope,” Mr Anenih said.

“You have energised us. We need a free and fair election. We want to make sure that on Election Day, all the candidates will be given equal opportunity to vote and go home,” he added.

Those on the President’s entourage to Edo included Vice-President Namadi Sambo; PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur; and state chairman, Dan Orbih.

The Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim, Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Seriaki Dickson (Bayelsa), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Idris Wada (Kogi) were also on President Jonathan entourage to Edo State.

Oshiomhole escapes death again

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole on Thursday escaped death for the second time when unknown gunmen attacked his convey on his way from Usen to Benin.

Governor Oshiomhole of Edo State

Mr Oshiomhole had paid a visit to the Onogie of Usen, His Royal Highness Oluogbe II at his palace and was on his way back when the incident occurred.

In a press statement, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Louis Odion, confirmed the incident.

“At about 6pm local time, Governor Oshiomhole’s convoy left the palace. It had not travelled too far down the road when it ran into a barricade. Naturally, the security details attached to the governor came down to remove the bar. As they were clearing the [place], tens of heavily armed thugs emerged from nowhere and opened fire on the governor for several seconds,” the statement reads.

The statement said that the governor was able to escape the attack unhurt.

“… dutifully, the brave security details attached to the governor, supported by an additional contingent of regular policemen deployed to maintain law and order, rose to the occasion. They were able to shield the governor, key government functionaries and others including leaders of Edo Action Congress of Nigeria to safety without sustaining any human casualties”.

Several cars in the convoy were riddled with bullets.

In April, Mr Oshiomhole had escaped a ghastly motor accident involving his motorcade and a tipper lorry on the Afuze-Auchi Road in Edo North Senatorial District of Edo state.

The governor had gone to receive defectors from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, to his party the Action Congress of Nigeria, in Afuze, the headquarters of Owan East Local Government of the state and was returning to Benin City when the accident occurred.

Three journalists in the governor’s convoy including Olatunji Jacobs, George Okosun both of Independent Television (ITV) Benin City and Fidelis Ohani of African Independent Television (AIT) and the bus driver lost their lives in the accident.

Edo: Nelson Aideyan demands apology from PDP for accusing him of collecting bribe to rig election

A purported consultant to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nelson Aideyan has denied allegations by officials of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of printing party agents’ cards to rig the forthcoming Edo state governorship elections in favour of the incumbent governor, Adams Oshiomhole.

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole

The media officer to Mr Aideyan, Okomayin Pius Alao said in a statement in Benin City that the allegation which was widely publicised to both the print and electronic media on June 26, 2012, sounded like the cry of a drowning man.

He said the “PDP having seen its doom at the July 14, 2012 governorship election in Edo State, had resorted to concocting frivolous stories aimed at tarnishing the personality and integrity of illustrious Edo State citizens like Mr. Nelson Aideyan” who he described as a private citizen who has no personal interest in any of the political parties and is not a politician.

Mr Orbih had alleged that Mr Aideyan is an INEC consultant who was brought into Edo State by INEC to rig the forthcoming July 14, 2012 governorship election in favour of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and that he collected $40, 000 from the Governor Oshiomhole to achieve this purpose.

Meanwhile, counsel to Mr Aideyan, O.R. Adisa, has demanded a public and unequivocal apology in both the print and electronic media from the PDP and its state chairman within 48 hours.

The lawyer warned that failure to fully comply will leave them with no option than to take appropriate legal actions against the person of Mr Orbih and his party, including forwarding a petition to the appropriate authorities.

The statement reads:

It has come to the notice of our Client that the chairman of PDP, Edo State Chapter, Chief Dan Orbih, issued a press release on NTA Benin on 25th, June 2012 which has since been reported in various print and electronic media including, ITV Benin, Channels TV, Silverbird TV and National Mirror Newspaper of 26th June, 2012. In his press statement he alleged the following:

1. That Our Client is an INEC Consultant who has been brought into Edo State by INEC to rig the forth coming July 14th 2012 gubernatorial election in favour of ACN.

2. That the Comrade Governor has given our Client between Forty Thousand ($40,000) to Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand Dollars ($230,000 .00) to carry out the rigging.

3. That the comrade Governor and his party ACN have put our client in a guest house in Benin where he’s perfecting the work for ACN.

4. That our Client is presently printing voting cards tags to be used by ACN supporters in the forth coming election.

5. That our client has a close relationship with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and therefore will be influencing the forthcoming election in favour of ACN.

Chief Dan Orbih further alleged that our Client has been seen in various fora with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Director General of Governor Oshiomhole’s campaign in Edo State and consequently issued our Client a threat and to leave Edo State within a few days.

We have our client‘s instruction to react to the above allegation as follows:

First and foremost, the allegations by PDP Edo State and its chairman are totally untrue and unfounded. Our Client is an indigene of Edo State who has the inalienable constitutional right to reside anywhere in Nigeria, especially in Edo State, where he was born and brought up. Our Client therefore considers the ultimatum as a threat to his life and person.

Furthermore, our Client is not connected in any way whatsoever, with the July 14th Governorship election. He has also not been consulted by INEC or any body or person whatsoever to act on its/his behalf with respect to the forth coming Governorship election. In addition he is not a Politician.

Our Client therefore considers the publication on both the electronic and print media by the PDP Edo State Chapter and its State Chairman, as libelous and slanderous and a calculated attempt at disparaging his personality and bringing him to public ridicule and odium.

As a result of this untoward publication our Client has been receiving strange calls from unknown persons threatening his life.

Consequently, we have our Client’s instruction to demand a public and unequivocal apology in both the print and electronic media from the PDP and its state Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, within 48hrs from this publication. Failure to fully comply will leave us with no option than to take the appropriate legal actions against the person of Chief Dan Orbih and his party, including forwarding a petition to the appropriate authorities.

A WORD IS ENOUGH FOR THE WISE

Oshiomhole survives accident that claimed three journalists

Tragedy struck on Saturday afternoon when a truck crashed into Edo state Governor Adam Oshiomhole’s convoy, claiming the lives of three journalists.

According to reports, the reporters who are assigned to covering the state’s government house were travelling alongside the governor and his entourage, heading to Auchi when the accident occurred.

The truck had a brake failure, causing the driver to lose control descending down Auchi hill along the route. While it narrowly missed the vehicle transporting the governor, it collided head on with the press crew van and an escort vehicle attached to the governor.

Two of the three dead journalists were from Independent Television while the third was a cameraman from Africa Independent Television, according to a news agency report.

The other occupants of the bus survived the accident but sustained varying degrees of injuries. They were rushed to Notre Dam hospital in Auchi where they are currently receiving medical treatment.

Auchi Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Olu Afolabi, confirmed the incident.

PDP wants ACN Oshiomhole Out; Tours 192 Wards to Lure Voters

It is the season for campaign promises, with just seven months to the Edo State’s gubernatorial elections, the People’s Democratic Party in the region are working hard to lure voters over to their side on polling day.

Adams Oshiomhole

The Party is promising better dividends of democracy should it regain power in July 2012. In an effort to unseat the incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria party, the PDP is touring the 192 Wards of the State.

Their most recent stop were the five wards in the Iriaokhor and Ogbona Communities in Edo North. Recently, the Party had commissioned a borehole in the community which lacked portable drinking water due to a difficult terrain.

The PDP hopes that their goodwill gesture will make the community more favourable towards them. PDP chairman in the State, Dan Orbih declared the incumbent Gov. Oshiomhole’s incompetence, even as the Party introduced the eight aspirants seeking nomination on the platform on the PDP in each Ward.

According to reports about 300 members of the ACN defected to the PDP, claiming that the opposition party had failed to meet up to their expectations.

PDP chairman Orbih willingly accepted the defected ACN members into the PDP fold.