Rivers Assembly Confirms Justice Amadi As New Chief Judge

A file photo of Justice Simeon Amadi.


Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have confirmed the nomination of Justice Simeon Amadi as the new Chief Judge of the state.

They confirmed the new chief judge after Speaker of the Assembly, Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, read the letter of nomination addressed to the House by Governor Nyesom Wike, to the lawmakers present at Tuesday’s plenary held at the legislative chamber in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Governor Wike’s letter was predicated on the recommendation of Justice Amadi for the position by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Shortly after the speaker read the letter, the Majority Leader of the House, Martins Ameawhule, moved a motion for Justice Amadi to take a bow and leave, noting his service from the state Magistrate Court to the High Court of the state.

Ameawhule, who represents Obio/Akpor Constituency I, explained that his proposition was based on the correspondences he received from some of his colleagues, attesting to the eligibility of the nominee.

The motion was seconded by the lawmaker representing Akuku-Toru Constituency II, Lolo Opuene.

Announcing the confirmation, Ibani stated that all 18 members who were present at the plenary in a House of 32 members all voted in affirmation.

Justice Simeon Amadi is to take over from Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra who is scheduled to bow out in May, after attaining the mandatory retirement age of 65.

The nomination of Justice Amadi, a third-ranking judge in the Rivers State High Court has, however, been criticised by interest groups who accused Governor Wike of influencing his recommendation by the NJC based on ethnic sentiment.

Governor Wike has, however, denied the allegation, stressing that the appointment of a substantive chief judge of a state was not done on hierarchical order, but on criteria to be considered by the nation’s judicial body.

He stated this on Monday when a group of lawyers from the Ikwerre ethnic group paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

Wike Writes Rivers Assembly, Reports Suspended LG Chairmen

Wike Writes Rivers Assembly, Reports Suspended LG Chairmen
File photo: Nyesom Wike


The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has notified the State House of Assembly of his decision to suspend the 12 Local Government Area chairmen.

Governor Wike’s special assistant on electronic media, Simeon Nwakaudu, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

According to Nwakaudu, the governor notified the lawmakers in a letter addressed to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

READ ALSOWike Suspends 12 Local Government Chairmen In Rivers

The letter was dated April 18, 2019, and titled: “Notice of Suspension of the Chairmen of Twelve Local Government Council Chairmen”.

Governor Wike premised his action on Section 64 (3) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.

“I hereby serve you notice of the suspension of the following twelve Local Government Council Chairmen for security reasons for approval and ratification,” he was quoted as saying.

The governor also informed the lawmakers that he has directed the vice chairmen in the affected local government councils to act during the period of suspension.

He explained that this was in accordance with the provisions of Section 64 (3) of the Rivers State Government Law of 2018.

The suspended local government chairmen include Philemon Kingolo (Okrika), Tom Aliezi (Emohua), Daniel Daniel (Abua/Odual), Tony Phimoore (Degema), and Lahteh Loolo (Khana).

Others are Paul Kobani (Gokana), Ben Eke (Ahoada East), Samuel Nwanosike (Ikwerre), Philip Okparaji (Ikwerre), Paul Paul (Andoni), Christian Nwaiwu (Omuma), and Erasmus Victor (Ogu/Bolo).

PDP Wins Rivers Assembly Supplementary Elections

PDP Wins Rivers Assembly Supplementary Elections


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won the supplementary elections for four constituencies in the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The party’s candidates were declared the winners and returned elected by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which conducted the elections on Saturday.

They are Sokolo Solomon, Okpokiri Nwanaka, Dumle Maol, and Adonye Diri.

READ ALSOPDP’s Sekibo And Jocelyn Win Rivers East, West Senatorial Seats

The state constituencies where the polls held include Opobo/ Nkoro, Ahoada West, Abua/ Odual, and Gokana.

Following the PDP’s victory in the elections, the party has won a total of 31 seats in the State House of Assembly while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) claiming one seat.

INEC had failed to announce the winners in the constituencies for various reasons after the governorship and State House of Assembly elections which held on March 9.

They include inconclusive election as a result of the margin of lead, non-deployment of electoral officials and materials, and disruption of the exercise.

See the full details of the supplementary election winners as announced by the electoral umpire below:

4OPOBO/NKORO                               SC/883/RVADONYE DIRIPDPM        7,713DECLARED AND RETURNED

Wike Presents 2018 Appropriation Bill To Rivers Assembly

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has presented the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N510billion to the Rivers State House of Assembly for consideration and subsequent approval.

Christened the budget of “Budget of Consolidation, advancement and empowerment”, Governor Wike said the budget will consolidate and advance the state’s investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and security, as well as in growing the economy to create jobs and empower the people.

Presenting the budget proposal to the House on Thursday, the governor said the proposed 2018 Rivers State Budget has N379, 997, 687, 404.00 as capital expenditure, while N132 billion will be used for recurrent expenditure.

He said: ” This gives a capital to recurrent expenditure ratio of 75 to 25 percent respectively.The substantial increase in capital over recurrent expenditure, once again, underscores our commitment to direct substantial resources to the critical growth sectors of our economy.”

Governor Wike said the 2018 budget will be funded from FAAC N40, 000,000,000.00,13% oil minerals fund: N120, 000,000,000.00 VAT :N6, 000,000,000.00: Internally Generated Revenue: N132,000,000,000.00,Reimbursements: N70,000,000,000.00, Domestic/International Credits N70,000,000,000,000 and Capital receipts N20,000,000,000.00.

The governor stated that a total portfolio of N90 billion and N35 billion have been allocated to the Ministry of Works and the Special Projects Bureau respectively to fund the delivery of capital projects in the 2018 budget.

He said that the administration is committed to the completion of key projects in different parts of the state. The projects include: Dualization of Sapkenwa – Bori road; Dualization of Slaughter – Trans Amadi – Garrison road; Dualization of Elelenwo – Akpajo road; Dualization of Oil mill – Woji – Elelenwo – Akpajo road Dualization of Professor Tam David West (Obiriikwerre – Airport) road; The Andoni – Opobo (Unity) road; and Internal road network in Abonnema in Akuku Toru Local Government Area, Amadi-Ama in Port Harcourt Local Government Area, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, Elele and Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area, among others.

Other key projects also earmarked for delivery in 2018: Bonny – Bile Waterside jetty; Mile one market, phase 2; Reclamation works in Abalama in Asari Toru Local Government Area, Ogu town in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area, Bakana in DegemaLocal Government Area, and Ogbumnabali in Port Harcourt Local Government Area; Constituency projects; Real Madrid Football Academy; Luxury living quarters for Judicial Officers from the State, among other projects; and the cinema and restaurant project in the Pleasure Park among other projects.

The governor added: “we shall also start some new projects, including the Women Development Centre the new world-class international conference centre, and roads.”

On education, Governor Wike said: “We are devoting N50 billion to fund the education sector for the 2018 fiscal year. This sum is N20 billion more than that of 2017. In addition, we have proposed a capital grant of N500 million to each of our tertiary institutions to bolster infrastructural development and improve quality.

“Apart from proposing the sum of N2 billion for the provision of scholarships for critical areas of the State’s manpower needs, we have also proposed to set aside another N2 billion to partner, encourage and support the development of private universities and improve access to tertiary education for Rivers indigenes in the State.”

Governor Wike stated that his administration is providing the sum of N30 billion in 2018 to enhance all aspects of the healthcare delivery system in the State, including the provision of health infrastructure for health institutions, recruitment and training of medical doctors and other healthcare personnel, refurbishing and equipping our primary healthcare centres, providing vaccines for routine immunization against child killer diseases, as well as in carrying out education and sensitization programmes on reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child healthcare.

On Security, Governor Wike said that the State Government will continue to invest heavily in the security of lives and property through the funding of security agencies and provision of logistics for them to effectively secure the state.

He said: “We have also approved the establishment of the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps to further enhance the security in the State. When fully established and operational, the corps will have the responsibility to collaborate with the security agencies to combat crime and cultism in our communities and neighbourhoods.

“The State Executive Council has already approved the bill to give effect to this initiative, which we shall soon transmit for the consideration of the House of Assembly and passing into law. The N22 billion we have proposed in the 2018 budget for security operations will also take care of the setting-up and operationalization of this agency.”

In order to tackle the high level of youth unemployment and poverty, the governor said that empowerment has been prioritised in 2018.

Governor Wike proposed N6 billion for employment generation, N7 billion for women development and N2 billion to support youth development. He added that the state government will inject N1 billion into the State’s Microfinance Agency to provide loans and support the development of small-scale enterprises in the State.

He said that sports development will be funded by the State Government in 2018, noting that the Real Madrid Football Academy will come on stream.

He said: ” We will also continue to fund the State’s football teams and support them to win laurels at national and continental for the State. For these and other activities for a comprehensive development of sports in the State, we propose to spend N2.5 billion for the fiscal year 2018.”

The governor said that investments in the administration of justice and the justice sector will be sustained. He said that N4.350billion has been allocated to the law and justice sector.

He said the administration decided to renew and strengthen her partnership with the Church of God in the State by proposing to establish a Trust Fund for the Church to administer to its needs. The sum of N1 billion has been proposed under this budget for this purpose.

Governor Wike said that in the past two and a half years, the administration has demonstrated that it is committed to solving the problems it inherited and advance the overall wellbeing of the people.

He said: “For us, our State deserves meaningful development and we must, as a Government, continue to do our best to deliver to our people. That is why we are offering a realistic budget for 2018, which takes a balanced and pragmatic approach towards solving the developmental challenges of our State and take it to the next level of transformation.”

It will be recalled that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike proposed a Budget of N470billion for 2017. The 2017 budget recorded about 74 percent performance, which was a significant improvement over that of 2016.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani assured the people of Rivers State that the State Assembly will continue to support the Executive to deliver the development of the state.

He said an analysis of the 2018 Budget shows that the Rivers State Governor will consolidate on development in different sectors of the state’s economy.

He said that the State House of Assembly will treat the budget expeditiously, but stated that due process will be followed.

He said: “Only a pathological fault finder will not see the good works of the Rivers State Governor. The governor has performed creditably well”.

Rivers Assembly Gets New Speaker, Swears In New Members

Rivers Assembly Gets New Speaker, Swears In New MembersA new Speaker has emerged at the Rivers State House of Assembly. He is Ikuiyi Ibani, representing Andoni Constituency.

This comes as the 12 elected members of the House from the December 10 legislative rerun elections in the state were sworn in on Friday.

Ikuiyi Ibani was Speaker of the House before his election was annulled, but returned after his victory at the rerun polls.

The event took place in a cordial atmosphere on the floor of the House.

Several supporters gathered outside trying to gain entrance into the chamber but were denied access.

Organisers Don’t Need Police Permit To Hold Save Rivers Rally – Suraj

Anti-corruption activist and public affairs analyst, Olanrewaju Suraj on Monday described the disruption of the Save Rivers Movement Rally in Rivers State, as an ‘unconstitutional act’ encouraged by the Goodluck Jonathan led administration, adding that organisers did not need the permission of the police to hold a peaceful rally.

“There’s nowhere in Nigeria where you need to obtain a permit to hold a rally” as “it was the decision of a competent Court of Appeal in Nigeria that the demand for police permit to hold a rally is illegal and a violation of the Constitution,” Suraj said, adding that the issue of a permit was a ploy by the Police to hoodwink Nigerians.

Speaking on Channels Television’s flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Suraj stressed that the disruption of the event, ordered by the State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, was against the law as organisers had the right to associate as stated in the Nigerian Constitution.

He also said that the organisers did not need to obtain a permit from the Police before staging the rally as stated by Mr Mbu who claimed that the rally was political in nature.

“It tells us how much the law enforcement agents are either ignorant of the law or consciously violating the laws of the lands in a bid to protect and promote a certain interest within the system at the expense of the country,” Mr Suraj said.

A fresh spate of crisis drew nationwide attention on Sunday when men of the Rivers State Police Command at about 5.30am on Sunday, stormed the Rivers State College of Arts and Science in Rumuola, venue of the proposed Save Rivers Movement (Rally) scheduled to hold at 1 PM.

The Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, had also been labelled partisan by critics who claimed he was working against the Governor Chibuike Amaechi administration, as a result of his allegiance to the President and First Lady of the country.

Several citizens including Senator Magnus Abe sustained different degrees of injuries during the raid.

In reaction to this, Mr Suraj warned that the “disintegration of this country is likely to start from Rivers State and not the Boko Haram.”