N20m to each soldier, police, killed in Rivers during EndSARS rioting


* As Wike waves 5,000 civil service jobs to youths

Each soldier and policeman who died in the recent EndSARS rioting in Rivers State is to get N20m. This is as the Rivers State government has waved 5000 civil service jobs to the youths of the state, not above 35 years,

The two decisions were announced Wednesday October, 28, 2020, in Port Harcourt after a long lasting state executive council meeting in the Brick House in Port Harcourt and at the condolence visit to the police command.

The state government is also to rebuild all police stations burnt in the crisis but promised to stamp out any terrorist organization in the state.

The governor who was accompanied to the condolence visit by the Secretary to the State Government, Tammy Danagogo; the Commissioner of Information, Paulinus Nsirim; and the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Zacchaeus Adangor, described the gruesome murder of the policemen and soldiers as unacceptable and unfortunate.

He stressed that the state government will support the police to make sure that all Indigenous Peoples of biafra (IPOB) members who he said masterminded the killing of the policemen and soldiers, as well as the wanton destruction of police stations in Oyigbo, were apprehended to face the full wrath of the law.

Apparently moved by the presence of the grieving wives and children of the killed policemen, Gov Wike, vowed to ensure that IPOB will no longer exist in any part of Rivers State. According to him, the killing of policemen was one crime that the State government will never condone.

The Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, said the governor has demonstrated he is a compassionate father of the State. He explained that the Police and the Army have taken over all IPOB strongholds in Oyigbo and will ensure that the group ceases to exist anywhere within the State.

No word was said yet about other citizens who have been killed and who lost property.

After the executive council meeting, the government approved the employment of 5000 youths into the State Civil Service.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, the State Commissioner for Employment Generation and Empowerment, Mr. Sylvanus Nwankwo, said the youths must not be more than 35 years.

He said there are existing vacancies in the civil service needing Engineers, Lawyers, Medical Doctors, Technicians and other fields of profession that these youths will fill.

Also addressing journalists, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the recruitment drive undertaken by the Wike administration will cushion the employment gap in the state.

Nsirim also said that the council approved that civil servants that were asked to stay back at home during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown are to resume work on Monday 2nd November, 2020.

According to the Commissioner council also approved a minor cabinet reshuffle that has moved the Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs to take charge of the Ministry of Works.

He said the current Commissioner for Works will now head the Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning, while the commissioner he is replacing moves to the Ministry of Transport.

Nsirim stated that the current Commissioner for Transport will now be in charge of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs.

The Information Commissioner also said council decided that the Rebisi Flyover will be commissioned  on the 7th November, 2020 by the Minister of Work, Babatunde Fashola (SAN).

Nsirim informed that public bars that were closed for business due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic are now to open, while night clubs will remain closed.

On his part, the Commissioner for Youths, Prince Ohia said the council approval for the employment of 5000 youths shows that Governor Wike is youth-friendly.

21 accused IPOB members remanded in Port Harcourt

* Counsel to one accused calls for proper investigation to know real members

The 21 persons arrested in Port Harcourt accused of being members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) have appeared in court and remanded in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre.

The state government had accused IPOB members of being behind killings and burning down of police stations that triggered off rioting and counter-killing in the Garden City.

The state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, followed up by parading 21 persons as IPOB members. They were thus taken to court where a Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt has remanded them in connection to terrorism.

The Police while arraigning the suspects to the court said the 21 suspects are members of the proscribed IPOB. The Chief Magistrate Amadi-Nnah while entertaining the case declined jurisdiction over the matter.

The suspects were slammed with three different charges of terrorism, cultism, and illegal and unlawful gathering by the prosecutions team. There was no mention of murder.

Chief Magistrate Amadi-Nnah asked lawyers of the suspects to seek bail of their clients at the High Court.

The court also directed the file to be sent to the Department of Public Prosecution for legal advice. The case was adjourned to December 29th for legal advice.

Meanwhile, Sunday Womoor, a lawyer to one of the suspects, alleged that his client was not a member of IPOB. He said the Police brought trumped-up charges against the suspects.

Mbadinuju Akunasiobike, a counsel to another defendant, told  our correspondent that though the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the case, it should have crosschecked properly the case file to see if the prosecution team is misinforming the court on the charges preferred against his client.