Okowa Presents N367bn ‘Budget of Sustainable Growth’ For 2019

Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, has presented a budget proposal of N367,095,083,451 to the State House of Assembly for the 2019 fiscal year.

Presenting the budget at the floor of the state Assembly, Okowa disclosed that capital expenditure in the projected budget will gulp the sum of N209,999,054,198 which is 57.21 per cent, while the sum of N157,096,029,253 or 42.79 per cent of the budget would be spent on recurrent expenditure.

Okowa’s 2018 fiscal year had as its total budget the sum of N308,888,558,898, comprising N147,273,989,898 recurrent expenditure, and capital expenditure of N161,614,569,000.

Okowa, who christened the 2019 budget, ‘Budget of Sustainable Growth’, noted that it would enable his administration consolidate on the successes and achievements of his administration.

He said: “Despite the fluctuating fortunes of the economy in the last three and a half years, I humbly note that our state has continued to forge ahead; workers are paid regularly, thousands of previously unemployed youths are gainfully employed, and many of our people now enjoy better facilities in terms of roads, water, education and health.

“Agriculture has received a strong boost with many cluster farms springing up in different parts of the state and, even more importantly, our people remain committed to peace and harmonious living. We shall build on this stable growth to position Delta State as a dynamic economy for the future; indeed, a stronger Delta beckons.”

The budget presentation ceremony had a well-attended session of the Delta State House of Assembly with the Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori presiding.

Road infrastructure took the greatest chunk of the budgetary proposal with sum of N79.6 billion while the education sector would gulp the sum of N26.8 billion.

Speaking shortly after the budget presentation, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori assured the governor that the house would give the budget the utmost attention it deserved for speedy passage.

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EXCLUSIVE: Wike Hit By ‘Certificate Forgery’ Scandal Ahead Of 2019 Governorship Election

Achinike William-Wobodo Esq., a lawyer in Rivers State, has sued Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, for allegedly forging his Age Certificate in documents he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

William Wobodo instituted the law suit against Wike and INEC at the Federal High Court (Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1020/2018), pursuant to Section 182(1)(j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

In the suit, he asked the court to disqualify Wike from participating in the 2019 Rivers State governorship election.

The complaint of the Applicant was that in 1999/2000, when Wike intended to contest for the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area Council (LGA) chairmanship election, he was less than 35 years, which was the minimum age qualification at the time for contesting the LGA Chairmanship.

In order to qualify himself for that election, Wike allegedly got someone who deposed to an Affidavit that he was born on March 13, 1963, which made him eligible for that election. In the said affidavit, allegedly made in 1986, there was copious reference to Obio/Akpor LGA, which was not in existence as of 1986. The LGA was only created in 1989.

Curiously, the affidavit, titled ‘Statutory Declaration of Age’, was also allegedly deposed to at the High/Chief Magistrate Court, yet had a stamp, purportedly of the Probate Registry. There was no identification or stamp of the person who allegedly administered the Oath as Commissioner for Oath as required by Oaths Act 1963. The Applicant alleged that the Governor had reasons to have known that the age declaration, which he presented to INEC as his Age Certificate, was forged — because even his date of birth earlier submitted in his documentation with INEC was December 13, 1967.

 

 

 

The applicant also claimed to have known the Governor from 1991, when they were both of the same Faculty of Law at Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt, and that the Governor had always presented his date of birth as 13/12/1967. This, he said, made the Governor 50 years of age in 2017, and this was consistent with the Governor’s 50th birthday celebrations last year in Port Harcourt. By Wike’s age declaration to INEC, he would have been 54 rather than the 50 he celebrated in 2017.SEE ALSO

It was alleged that in the buildup to the 2015 governorship election in Rivers State, some social media platforms published that the Governor had an unresolved conflict around his age and threatened to publish same. It was in a bid to maintain consistency in his age that Wike re-presented the allegedly forged Certificate of Age to INEC, which has now put him into a stronger dilemma.

The applicant gave particulars of alleged forgery, which include: (1) that the document lied against/about itself; (2) that the content was made of manifest inconsistent, inexplicable and irreconcilable falsehood; (3) that the information regarding the age of the Governor is false, and to the knowledge of the Governor; (4) that the Governor intended that INEC should act on the document as genuine; (5) that INEC acted on the document as genuine; (6) and that the Constitution of Nigeria talks about presentation of forged certificate, it will be immaterial that the Governor claims he did not forge the document by himself.

A very close source to Wike, who asked not to be named, revealed that the Governor and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were doing everything to suppress and frustrate the case. The source claimed that Wike admits that the case is a very bad one and that the timing has made the situation even worse.

Our source also revealed that the Governor had hoped that the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) would not have been able to decipher a cause of action from the certificate saga. He expressed shock that Wobodo was able to weave a very strong case out of the situation.

Wike and his team have resolved that their strategy would be to frustrate the case; right now, he has directed his personal staff not to receive service of any court processes.

SaharaReporters called Wike on his mobile phone to get his reaction, but he neither answered nor returned the calls.

The applicant was also contacted, but he simply said it was not time to speak on the matter.

“Please, this is not the time for me to speak about this matter,” he said. “My priority now is to serve the Governor and to have him appear in Court to respond to the issues. We can speak afterwards.”

Culled from SaharaReporters

APGA’ll Suffer Repercussions- Ojukwu Bianca

The widow of the late Igbo leader, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Bianca Ojukwu, has said that the All Progressives Grand Alliance will suffer the repercussions of conducting skewed primaries against her and other founding members of the party.

In a press statement signed by her and made available to our correspondent in Awka, Anambra State, Bianca alleged that the party had been hijacked by those she described as mercenaries.

Narrating her ordeal at the APGA senatorial primary in the Anambra South district where she lost to Mr Nicholas Ukachukwu, Bianca described the exercise as horrible.

She, however, appealed to APGA members not to quit the party, saying that was not the solution to the problem.

Her statement read in part, “As a member of this party’s board of trustees, I am deeply concerned that mercenaries would appear to have hijacked the operations of our party machinery. APGA is today facing an existential threat and the overall image of our party is in tatters.

“This will certainly have serious repercussions going into the main elections.

“I would like to use this opportunity to reach out to all aggrieved members and aspirants who, like myself, have suffered grave injustices under a system which had an abiding responsibility to its members to create an enabling electoral environment.”

Ibori LostAppeal Against UK Graft Conviction

James Ibori, a former Governor of Delta State, who was jailed in Britain for laundering tens of millions of dollars in stolen public funds, through British banks and properties, has lost an appeal against his conviction in London.

According to NAN, he lost the appeal against his conviction on Wednesday.

He had pleaded guilty in a London court in 2012 to a 10-count charge of fraud and money-laundering, involving sums amounting to at least 50 million pounds ($66 million).

He received a jail sentence of 13 years, and served half the jail term, as is common in the British system.

The former governor, who is now back in Nigeria, appealed against his conviction, alleging misconduct by the British Police and prosecutors, which he argued, tainted the judicial process.