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21 Years After NDDC Creation, N’Delta Still Underdeveloped – Social Activist Laments

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21 Years After NDDC Creation, N'Delta Still Underdeveloped - Social Activist Laments
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21 Years After NDDC Creation, N’Delta Still Underdeveloped – Social Activist Laments

21 years after the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, a Commission saddled with the responsibility of developing the region was established, the region remains underdeveloped and still agitating for development as it used to be 21 years ago.

Programme coordinator, Social Action, Isaac Botti, made this saddening submission in Benin on behalf of the Managing Director of the body in a Town Hall Meeting organised by Social Action with support from MacArthur Foundation.

The Town Hall Meeting, with the theme: ‘Community Approach to Promoting Accountability, Inclusive and Efficient Service Delivery by the NDDC’ was aimed at enlightening members of the public on the need to be involved in the preparation and implementation of the NDDC budget and the need for them to engaging the Commssion in execution of project in their locality.

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In his opening remarks, Botti lamented that despite generating over N100 trillion to the federation account in the past few years, the Niger Delta region which generated such huge amount has nothing to show for it.

While adding that the NDDC has failed woefully in its mandate of developing the region in terms of infrastructure and social amenities, Botti lamented that the Niger Delta of today was not what the founders of NDDC envisioned when they established the Commission.

“The Niger Delta where over 100trillion has come out as revenue for the government, is far from development. The Niger Delta we have today is not what was envisioned when this Commission was set up 21 years ago.

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“When the NDDC was set up 21 years ago, we were of the hope that by 2020, we will have a Niger Delta of the same standard of Infrastructure, same quality of life like Dubai but unfortunately, 21 years after, we are faced with that sad reality – development is still far from us,” he lamented.

He blamed the citizenry for being part of the problem in terms of NDDC failure in developing the region by not holding the Commission responsible and not asking questions on some projects executed by the NDDC in their domains.

“A fundamental challenge that we have observed, which is also critical to the level of corruption in the Commission is that, we as citizens, we are not engaging the NDDC enough. Many things are being done that we are not part of. A lot of things are being done that we do not know anything about.

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“We want to strengthen citizens participation in NDDC budget process and its implementation,” he said.

Panel of discussants drawn from representives from comminity heads (chiefs) community leaders, host communities representives, civil society organistions, market women, representives from the pysically challenged, etc all said that the NDDC has failed in delivering its mandate.

They also berrated the Commission for not involving communities whenever projects are being executed in such communities.

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#EndSARS: Lagos white paper an attempt to conceal the truth – YRC

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#EndSARS: Lagos white paper an attempt to conceal the truth – YRC
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#EndSARS: Lagos white paper an attempt to conceal the truth – YRC

A group, Youth Rights Campaign (YRC) has condemned the white paper issued by the Lagos State government on the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel Inquiry.

Our correspondent gathered that youths across the country had last year staged protests christened End SARS in order to kick against atrocities committed by some overzealous policemen.

DAILY POST recalls that a panel was set up to look into allegations of shootings and killing of protesters at Lekki Tollgate in October 2020 following the protests last year.

Our correspondent gathered that governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state had a few days ago received the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the shooting at Lekki Toll Gate and other acts of police brutality around the State.

The governor after receiving the report rejected some of the recommendations of the panel.

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The governor on Tuesday then released a white paper.

YRC, however, in its reaction, described the white paper as an attempt to water down and sidestep the main recommendations of the panel.

The group in a statement made available to DAILY POST through its National Coordinator, Michael Lenin and National Secretary, Francis Nwapa, demand full implementation of the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

The duo in the statement issued on Wednesday, explained that the Lagos state government rejected the findings of the panel so as to neuter the main thrust of the panel report.

They added that the white paper is an attempt to whitewash the truth.

#EndSARS: Lagos white paper an attempt to conceal the truth – YRC

“The white paper is a product of a so-called “formal committee” headed by the Attorney General of Lagos State. We think it is not only undemocratic but also an insult to the enormous sacrifices of the judicial panel of inquiry as well as host of witnesses, lawyers, security and medical experts and victims and in extension, many Nigerians who anxiously waited for the panel’s report for over one year for the Lagos State government, whose actions were a subject of the panel’s investigation, to constitute a secretive bureaucratic committee to cherry-pick the panel’s findings and recommendations.

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“It is not surprising that the language of the white paper is not so different from the dubious argument deployed by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, to discredit the panel report. In fact, the arguments canvassed in the white paper to discredit the key panel findings are borrowed straight from the “misinformation playbook” of Lai Mohammed who called the incident of October 20, 2020 “a massacre without bodies”. This shows to what extent the Lagos and Federal governments are working together towards the objective of ultimately covering up the truth.

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“On the basis of all the aforesaid, we hereby demand the full implementation of the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

“As far as we are concerned, the continuous denial by both the state and federal government that a massacre or mass killing occurred at the Lekki tollgate despite the findings of the judicial panel of enquiry is ridiculous and outrageous.

“Why set up a panel of inquiry in the first place if its findings would be rejected? Apparently the state and federal government were hoping for a favorable outcome but only to be startled by the courage of the panel members in insisting on the truth.

“We demand the immediate prosecution of security personnel and all those found to have been responsible for maiming and killing unarmed protesters both on 20 October 2020 and during the entire #EndSARS protest. We also demand the immediate release of the #EndSARS protesters still unjustly detained across the country”.

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Extra-judicial killings in Obingwa: Abia lawmaker, Thomas Nkoro cries out

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Extra-judicial killings in Obingwa: Abia lawmaker, Thomas Nkoro cries out
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Extra-judicial killings in Obingwa: Abia lawmaker, Thomas Nkoro cries out

The member representing Obingwa West Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon Thomas Nkoro, has cried out about the extra-judicial killings, harassment and extortion by men of the Nigeria Police in his constituency, especially by men of the force at Ohuru Isimiri police station.

Nkoro also narrated how one of his constituents and a young graduate, Mr. Ugochukwu Chinyere, was shot by men of the Nigeria Police in a fatal incident at their illegal checkpoint in Umukalika axis in Obingwa Local Government Area of the state.

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Speaking in an urgent matter of public importance on the floor of the Assembly at its plenary sponsored by him, on Wednesday, the Abia lawmaker said the slain Ugochukwu later lost his life in the hospital despite frantic efforts made to save him.

He said that motorists in his constituency now live in fear because none of them knows the uncertainty that might befall them from the hands of the trigger-happy policemen in their area.

Nkoro called the Commissioner of Police in Abia State to fish out the officers that committed the heinous crime.

According to him, “I want this honorable chamber to also advise policemen in the state to stop using live ammunition on innocent citizens.

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“The Commissioner of Police should expedite action by instructing his men to dismantle all illegal road blocks in the state”, Nkoro concluded.

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Kayode Dodges Fraud Trial In Court Using Fake Doctor’s Report – EFCC

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Kayode Dodges Fraud Trial In Court Using Fake Doctor’s Report - EFCC
Femi Fani Kayode
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Kayode Dodges Fraud Trial In Court Using Fake Doctor’s Report – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused a former minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, of dodging court appearances with fake health reports.

Falz calls out Gov Sanwo-Olu, says there is no “March for peace” without justice
The former Minister of Aviation has been on trial since 2016 on a 17-count charge bordering on money laundering of over N4 billion.

With at least five recorded absences over the years, he has stalled the case on numerous occasions, claiming health issues, and was fined N200,000 when he failed to show up for an October hearing.

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Prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court when the case resumed on Tuesday, Wednesday 30, 2021 that EFCC agents are investigating fresh fraud allegations against the defendant.

He said the investigations have shown that several letters Fani-Kayode claimed to have obtained from Kubwa General Hospital and presented to court at previous sittings as an excuse for his absence showed that they were all fake.

The 61-year-old was first questioned last week over what was reported to be allegations of fraud.

Kayode Dodges Fraud Trial In Court Using Fake Doctor’s Report – EFCC

He was with the agency for over six hours before he was granted bail on self-recognisance.

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The politician immediately posted on Twitter at the time that he wasn’t arrested but invited for a ‘friendly chat’.

He returned to the agency’s office on Tuesday and was similarly questioned for hours until he was released in the evening.

“Once again I was invited to the EFCC today. Once again, despite media reports, I was NOT arrested but invited. I got there at 11:00 am and I have just been released,” he posted on his Twitter account late on Tuesday.

The case, which has passed through three judges, was on Tuesday adjourned till January 24, 2022.

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