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Reps Eta Mbora decries poor handling of road projects in Calabar

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Reps Eta Mbora decries poor handling of road projects in Calabar

House of Representatives member for Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Ntufam Eta Mbora has expressed dismay over the poor handling of road contracts in his constituency.

Ntufam Eta Mbora, who spoke with journalists in Calabar shortly after inspecting some constituency projects in Calabar and Odukpani local government areas, described the shoddy handling of road projects located at 8-Miles at the outskirts of Calabar metropolis as unacceptable.

Failed portion of the Old Adiabo Road, Ikot Omin, Calabar Municipality in Cross River State

The Rep, who explained that he has earlier drawn the attention of officials of the federal ministry of works in Calabar on the need for strict supervision, accused the works officials of colluding effectively with the contractor, Messer Cholaina Nigeria Limited based in Lekki, Lagos, in messing up the construction of the Old Adiabo road in flagrant disregard to standard procedures and the contractual agreement.

He said: “After inspecting the Old Adiabo road, I feel very sad on its terrible state and has personally reported the matter to the office of the minister of works in Abuja and other relevant MDAs urging them to compel the contractor to return to the site and quickly redress the anomaly before issuing the certificate of completion to process any payment.

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Failed portion of the Old Adiabo Road, Ikot Omin, Calabar Municipality in Cross River State

“I would not allow any contractor to frustrate any of my constituency projects through poorly executed jobs, thereby exposing the envisaged beneficiaries to imminent danger and by so doing, negating the good intention of the government.

READ ALSO; Cross River State Anti-Grazing Bill passes second reading

“Before now, some concerned stakeholders of the community have raised the alarm over the fraudulent activity of the company. I can assure them that efforts are on to redress the abnormally.”

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Failed portion of the Old Adiabo Road, Ikot Omin, Calabar Municipality in Cross River State

Speaking, a concerned resident of the area, David Edem Esq., appealed to the relevant authority to prosecute the contractor and the federal controller of works in Calabar for allegedly conniving to sabotage the genuine intentions of the government in the area of addressing the basic need of the citizenry.

Edem alleged that the contractor assigned for the job lacks the needed manpower, engineering flair and basic vital equipment for road construction.

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Failed portion of the Old Adiabo Road, Ikot Omin, Calabar Municipality in Cross River State

He expressed shock that even after notifying the federal controller of works on the alleged incompetency of the contractor, the federal controller intentionally turned a blind eye to a haphazard job.

According to him, “when the company arrived the community with spade, shovels and diggers without any earth-moving equipment to construct the Old Adiabo road, the community visited the Calabar office of the federal ministry of work alerting the controller on the glaring inadequacies, but nothing was done to check the excesses of the company”.

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Failed portion of the Old Adiabo Road, Ikot Omin, Calabar Municipality in Cross River State

Also speaking, Ene Ankot, Esq.,  said the management of the company should be held responsible for the low standard, stressing that the firm lacks professional integrity to execute any engineering assignment judging by the quality of the job done at the old Adiabo Road.

When our correspondent visited the office of State Controller of Works at Federal Secretariat Calabar, the front desk officer, who does not want his name on print, said the Controller, Engr. Bassey Nsentip was out on official duty.

A Call put across to the Controller was not returned. But a source in the office disclosed that there was little they could have done towards enforcing strict adherence to established standards because of the robust relationship of the contractor with top officials of the Federal Ministry of Works in Abuja.

Efforts to get the federal controller of work, Engr. Bassey Nsentip to comment on the issue proved abortive as he was said to be indisposed.

Politics

BREAKING: Once again, Court shifts IPOB leader, Kanu’s, trial to Jan 18, 2022

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Nnamdi Kanu Photo

Against speculations that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu may be granted bail today, or removed from the custody of the DSS, his trial has again been shifted to January 18, 2022.

More to come…

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Retire us in 2023 if you are tired of our faces — Lawan tells Nigerians

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He said scrapping the Senate would be a huge mistake.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has warned that there could be anarchy if the Senate is scrapped as being clamoured by some Nigerians.

Rather, he challenged those who are not comfortable with the senators in the current 9 th Senate to vote them out in 2023 if they don’ t like their faces.


Lawan stated this on Friday while declaring open, a retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission in Abuja.

He described the Senate as a leveler which ensured that all parts of the country are equally represented unlike the House of Representatives where states with higher populations produce the highest number of lawmakers.

The Senate President also faulted the argument of those clamouring for the scrapping of the Senate because of the perceived jumbo pay being earned by the senators.

He said the annual budget of the National Assembly is less than one per cent of the nation’s 2021 budget.


Meanwhile, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has said Nigeria’s house of assembly is full of rubbers who lack the courage to discharge its “constitutional checks and balance role over the executive arm of government.”

Wike who made the statement during the occasion of the 61st Independence Anniversary of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Friday, said for the past six years, the country’s democracy was being weakened and put to enormous stress and jeopardy with the continuous violation of the constitution by the Federal Government and other public institutions.

The governor said: “With democracy, Nigerians expected strong national institutions, the bureaucracy, the security institutions and the Independent National Electoral Commission to be loyal only to the constitution, the law and the people.

“But today, after 61 years of independence and 22 years of unbroken democracy, it only seems there’s not much to be excited about Nigeria except our national sense of independence and unity that had endured this long in the face of sustained fartricidal assaults to its existence.

“Let us make a candid assessment of the situation of our country, especially in the last six years, and tell ourselves some hard, undiluted truths. First of all, we cannot deny that most of the countries that started with us 61 years ago are far more advanced and developed with superlative standards of living for their people than Nigeria.

“Our democracy is being weakened and put to enormous stress and jeopardy with the continuous violation of our constitution by the Federal Government and other public institutions.

“The National Assembly has literarily abandoned its constitutional checks and balance role over the executive arm of government and become a slavish appendage to the Federal Government as rubber stamp Assembly.

“Neither is the situation and postures of the nation’s judiciary any better, where only a few judicial officers can stand the test of judicial courage, integrity and commitment to substantial justice in the performance of their constitutional responsibilities, while the entire judiciary, especially at the national level, has been bullied to nervousness to the detriment of our democracy, the rule of law and social justice.”

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Does Nnamdi Kanu’s emergency hearing signal an imminent bail?

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The recent events which culminated in a rescheduled hearing in the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu on Thursday in Abuja has thrown up some questions.

Justice Binta Nyako had on November 10 adjourned hearing on the case of alleged treason against Kanu to January 19, 2022.

However, the activist’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, disclosed to journalists on Wednesday, that the court granted the application filed by his client to push the hearing forward.

He said: “There will be a hearing tomorrow. It wasn’t scheduled before. The court granted our motion for abridgment of time.”

Considering the original January 19, 2022 date fixed for the trial and the recent visit of some prominent Igbo leaders to President Muhammadu Buhari, political analysts have speculated of a probable, early release of Kanu from the detention of the Department of State Services (DSS).

During the visit, the Igbo leaders appealed to the President for the release of Kanu in order to ease tensions in the South-East due to the activities of his IPOB cohorts.

However, Buhari, according to his media aide, Femi Adesina, told his guests that an ‘unconditional release’ of Mr Kanu ‘runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary.’

“An unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), currently standing trial, runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary”, President Buhari had said before pledging “to consider their appeal.”

This ‘consideration’ might be linked to the decision to fast-track Kanu’s trial with the Current Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, also visiting the IPOB leader in detention on Monday over the current state of affairs.

Though Kalu, a former governor of Kanu’s home state, Abia, did not give full details of his discussions with the IPOB leader, a statement issued on Monday, quoted Kalu as saying he advised the IPOB leader to consider his actions and utterances for the sake of the people.

Political viewers aver that Kalu did not need to pay Kanu a private visit in detention to pass such a message to him, and that other discussions must have taken place which the public was not let in on.

In his public statement, he said “I understand that Nnamdi has an insane amount of people rooting for him back home and I encouraged him to consider the consequences of certain actions and utterances for the sake of the same people.

“Even though my ideology and his ideology are totally different, God has made us brothers and we can’t run away from each other. I owe him and Nigerians good counselling.

“Whether he and his family listen to me or not, I will continue counselling him as I have always done in the past. What we need most is a peaceful and secured society,” Kalu disclosed.

Nonetheless, the pledge by the President to ‘consider’ the appeal to release Kanu was met with opposition from groups such as the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) which had insisted that Kanu must be prosecuted for his alleged crimes, as releasing him as being advocated by Igbo elders would be a miscarriage of justice.

Read also: NEWS ANALYSIS: After #EndSARS, will high CVR registration among youths make impact in 2023?

The NEF, in a statement on Monday issued in Abuja by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the request of Igbo elders to terminate the trial of Nnamdi Kanu and release him unconditionally.

Furthermore the decision of IPOB to withdraw its sit-at-home order on a day Kanu was to be in court also raises highbrows. The group in earlier occasions had insisted that the South-East region would be in lockdown, and called on citizens in the region to remain at home, whenever Kanu was billed to appear in court.

However, in a dramatic turn around, the IPOB announced that there would be no sit-at-home today (Thursday) even as Kanu goes to court.

The sequence of events has raised hope among IPOB supporters and indeed Biafra agitators that perhaps a political resolution is about to be activated in the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, and that a bail application may be granted.

The nation holds its breath in anticipation as the trial resumes later today, the question on many lips is: will Kanu eventually breath the air of freedom despite years of antagonising the Nigerian State?

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Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

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Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

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