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Rivers Govt Directs Compensation For Victims Of Police Brutality



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Rivers State Executive Council has directed that compensations to victims of acts of violence, torture, brutality, murder and violation of fundamental rights committed by the Nigerian Police should be paid by the police authority or the officers who perpetrated the offense.

The decision was taken after the five-man committee set up by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, to formulate a draft white paper on the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that investigated brutality and violation of fundamental human rights of citizens by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS in the State, submitted its report to the Executive Council at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Briefing journalists after the council meeting presided over by Governor Wike, Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), stated that compensations to victims of police brutality should be paid by the police authority or the officers who perpetrated the offense and not the state government because the police is not part of the State government.

“Executive Council has already accepted the conclusion of the white paper committee that compensation payable to victims of police brutality should paid by police officers who were found culpable or by police authorities because in law there is no way you can hold the State (Rivers) accountable for the acts of police officers who are not agents of the State.

“ And so, as far as the issue of compensation is concerned, any compensation payable should be paid either by the police office involved in those acts of brutality or by the Nigerian Police Force.”

The Attorney General, explained that the Executive Council also directed his office to liaise with the judiciary in ensuring that quarterly reports are submitted to his office in respect of provision under the administration of Criminal Justice Law. According to him, some of those provisions require that on monthly basis the Commissioner of Police informs the Attorney General about the number of persons held in police custody and the reasons therefore.

Prof Adangor said council directed that public defenders department be established in all 23 local government areas and officers posted there in order to make access to justice easier for indigent litigants who cannot afford to retain services of lawyers.

“The public defender essentially undertakes litigation on behalf of indigent litigants who cannot afford to retain the services of legal practitioners. And so, executive council has directed Attorney General to ensure that counsel in the Rivers State Ministry of Justice are posted to the 23 LGAS to man the office of the public defenders, so those counsels posted to those LGAS can take up matters by indigent litigants because they can’t afford to retain the services of legal practitioners.”

The Attorney General further explained that the Executive Council directed his office to publish a white paper based on the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, and transmit same to Police headquarters and the Rivers State Police Command for necessary action.

“The Attorney General has been directed to publish a white paper containing the conclusion of the Governor of Rivers State on recommendations of the commission of inquiry and to transmit that white paper to the authorities of the Nigerian Police for necessary action, because the commission of inquiry had made several findings implication some police officers in the serial acts of brutality and violence against citizens of this country including the very notorious Akin Fakorode.”

The Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Fred Kpakol, disclosed that the Rivers State cassava processing factory that turn cassava tuber to flour will be commissioned in May.

Similarly, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said Rivers State is at threshold of agricultural revolution with the completion of the cassava processing factory.

According to him, Rivers state is once again setting the pace in agricultural revolution as the cassava processing factory is technologically driven.

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About 35 Roasted To Death In Rivers Illegal Refinery




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About 35 persons have been burnt to death by fire that engulfed a site of an illegal oil refinery in Rivers State.

It was gathered that the tragedy occurred at Ibaa Community, Emohua Local Government Area of the state.

The fire was said to have broken out late Sunday night when over 45 persons were gathered at the time to transact illegal oil business.

A source from the community, who spoke in confidence, said some of his cousins and a wife to one of them died in the incident.

“My community has been thrown into mourning. My cousins and a wife to one of my cousins went there too for some business but died,” he said

Another source, Emmanuel Daniel, said the victims went to the area to trade on the petroleum product when the engulfed the site.

Daniel said that people from Isiokpo Kingdom in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Ibaa and Oduoha in Emohua LGA, were affected by the fire.

Daniel said: “More than 40 people were there at the site. They were there scooping and bagging crude oil when fire caught up with them

“The fire came from a refining site that is close to the point where they were bagging the crude.

“Many Isiokpo and Oduoha people, and Ibaa people were there. Seven of the people died inside the pit where they were scooping the crude. About 10 burnt to charcoal by the pit.

“About 30 people died at the site while over 15 have been rushed to the hospital. I hear that three of them have died while they were being rushed to the hospital.”

A video showed charred remains of children, men and women, who were victims of the incident, littering the scene of the incident.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) promised to get more information about the development.

Confirming the incident, the Chairman of Emuoha Local Government Area, Chidi Lloyd, said it was unfortunate that some youths were still engaging in the illicit trade despite warnings and public advocacy.

Lloyd appealed to traditional rulers in the area to speak out about and discourage such criminal activities within their domains.

He said: “It is unfortunate that people who have been misguided would lose their lives in that kind of dastardly manner in Ibaa.

“We have said this for the umpteenth time and anybody who is in Rivers State will bear me witness thet there cannot be any short cut to wealth.

“I also have said to traditional rulers that they have a duty. It is not just to be given recognition, that they have a duty to expose criminal elements within their neighbourhood. “

The council chair identified Oblle, Rukuni and Ndele as the other communities where illegal oil refining activities had persisted despite warnings.

The Nation

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5 Dead In Delta Tanker Explosion – Police




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The Delta State Police Command says five persons died with properties including eight buses, two tankers, five trailers, two cars, and one motorcycle burnt completely in an early Sunday inferno, Channels TV reports.

Sunday’s incident happened after a tanker laden with PMS – driving towards Benin along Warri-Benin Road – fell with its content spilling into the nearby swamp.

In a statement, the command’s spokesman Bright Edafe disclosed that the spillage attracted youths who started scooping the fuel into jerry cans and other containers.

While they were at it, he said an explosion erupted and the fire engulfed the area.

Meanwhile, the Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori has sent his condolences to the families of victims who got burnt in the explosion.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Festus Ahon, in Asaba, Governor Sheriff commiserated with the victims’ families on the sad incident.

He disclosed that the State has reached out to help the victims.

Governor Oborevwori blamed the unfortunate incident on the poor state of federal roads, once again calling on the Federal Government to expedite action in reconstructing failed portions of the road.

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Adamawa Assembly To Support Works, Land & Survey Ministries with Requisite Legislations




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The Adamawa State House of Assembly Standing Committee on Works Energy, Land and Survey says it is committed towards ensuring that the two ministries are backed by law in discharging their duties for overall development of the state.

The Chairman of the committee who is also the deputy chief whip of the house, Hon. Japheth Hammanjabu of Verre constituency stated this when he led other members on a familiarization visit to the headquarters of the ministry of land and survey and that of works and energy development separately.

Japheth Hammanjabu said the purpose of their visit was to understand the progress and challenges being faced by the ministries.

The Chairman revealed that the committee is ready to intervene on any possible review of the current legislative framework under which the ministries operate and make amendments where necessary.

He commended Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and the commissioners of the ministries for the role they are playing towards the progress and development of the state.

In their separately, the Commissioner ministry for land and survey and the surveyor general of the state explained that the ministry and the surveyor general’s office took a holistic assessment of the major land problems in the state after which a work plan was made to that effect.

While appealing for mutual working relationship with house for them to succeed in discharging their responsibilities they also appreciated the committee for the timely visit describing the composition of the members as well deserved.

Members of the committee include the Chairman of the committee Hon. Japheth Hammanjabu of Verre, Haruna Jilantikiri of Madagali who is also the Vice Chairman of the committee and Majority Leader Kate Raymond Mamuno of Demsa, Yerima Moses of Michika, Babangida Muhammad Njidda of Nasarawo Binyeri and Yohanna Sahabo Jauro of Mubi South Constituencies as members.

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