Tag Archives: Edo State

2nd wave: Obaseki postpones reopening of schools, reinforces curfew in Edo State

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has suspended the resumption of schools in the state over the increasing cases of COVID-19.

In a statement on Friday, Obaseki also reviewed the curfew earlier imposed on the state to now span from 10pm to 5am.

He said schools in the state earlier planned to resume on January 18 in line with the Federal Government’s directive would now remain shut till February 1.

He said, “Comparing the first six weeks of the pandemic from March 23, 2020, with the first six weeks since December 1, 2020, Edo State has witnessed an 84.5 percent rise in the number of infected persons.

“There has also been a 10.5 percent increase in the number of older persons infected with Covid-19. It is early days yet, but we have evidence suggesting that more older persons infected with COVID-19 are dying.

“Most of the cases in the early phase of the pandemic were travel-related but since December 2020, there has been a 13.9 percent increase in community transmission of the disease. This is a big concern especially with the evidence before us that there has been a 15 percent increase in the number of persons infected with COVID-19 who show no signs or symptoms of the disease, but are transmitting it in our communities. Our children and youth are major contributors to this group.

“Schools are to remain shut till February 1, 2021, when the prevailing realities are to be reviewed to determine if it would be safe to reopen the schools.

“Curfew is now reviewed from 10 pm to 5 am effective Saturday 16th January 2021.”

On religious gatherings, the governor said, “Handwashing stations with running water and liquid soap/alcohol-based hand sanitizers must be provided at entry and exit points. There must be temperature checks at entrance points and facemasks must be used correctly and consistently.

“Sitting in gatherings should not exceed a maximum of 30% of capacity per session and ensure physical distancing (at least 1.5m) must be adhered to. The length of meetings should not exceed 1 hour and there must be breaks in-between sessions for decontamination. Children below 12 years and adults above 60 years should stay at home.

“Monitoring/Enforcement teams must be set up and include powerful and influential religious leaders as drivers. There must be sensitization on covid-19 prevention during every meeting. Written commendation by the governor and deputy governor will be issued to religious institutions who show good compliance to Covid-19 preventive measures.”

Multiple Road Accidents Wipe Out Family of 6, Claim 9 Other  Lives In Edo

No fewer than 15 lives on Friday perished in two separate fatal accidents at Arue-Uromi and Agbede in Edo state.

It was gathered that the Arue-Uromi accident reportedly provoked anger, tears and sorrow, as the six casualties involved, four girls and two boys, were said to be children of the same family.

It was however not clear how exactly the accident occurred.

One account of had it that the children were crossing the road, while another said they were playing football when an approaching Mercedes Benz car that was attempt to dodge a pothole, swerved and ran into them‎, killing them on the spot.

It was learnt that residents of the area blocked the road and burnt the Mercedes Benz car.

The Agbede accident was said to be a multiple accident, that involved a petrol tanker, a Sienna bus and two other vehicles.

It reportedly claimed nine lives, eight males and‎ one female.

Unspecified number of other passengers were also said to have‎ sustained varying degrees of injuries.

Edo State Sector‎ Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp, Henry Benameisia, who confirmed the accident, attributed it to break failure on the part of the tanker, as well as over speeding by the Sienna bus.

Edo launches vigilante network, charges members on tackling insecurity

The Edo State Government has launched a vigilante network to strengthen the state’s security architecture to deal with rising insecurity.

The vigilante network, an initiative of Governor Godwin Obaseki, is a community-led effort to galvanise local communities to partner with government security agencies to provide security and protect lives and property in the state.

A lead expert on the vigilante scheme, Mr. Yusuf Haruna, said the new security arrangement is intended to co-opt key actors in local communities to secure their spaces, gather intelligence, build trust and ensure adequate security across the state.

According to him, “Working with the vigilante network, we have divided the state into strata and every team is manning their area. We don’t want criminal elements to survive in any part of Edo State.

“We want to ensure that Edo is safe for our people and free of cultists and kidnappers. Our mission is to smoke out the criminals and ensure that they are not comfortable in our communities.”

He commended communities that have set up vigilantes to work collectively for their sustenance, urging more communities desirous of setting up similar outfits to approach the state government for clearance and necessary guidance.

Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba Okha councils lead in new COVID-19 cases in Edo State

Three cosmopolitan council areas in Benin City, including Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba Okha Local Government Areas (LGAs) accounted for the highest number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state, in the wake of rising cases in the second wave of the pandemic.

The State COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this in a briefing with the Emergency Operations Centre, chaired by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

According to him, “We have 30 new COVID-19 cases. Of these, 8 persons tested positive to the virus from Oredo LGA; 8 from Egor and 7 from Ikpoba Okha, while the 7 others were reported from persons drawn from other council areas in the state. This shows that the outbreak is more prevalent in the 3 local government areas.”

He added that there are 159 active COVID-19 cases in the state, noting that the state has recorded 140 recoveries and 5 deaths since it started tracking the second wave of the pandemic since December 1.

He noted that just as in the first wave of the pandemic, more males have contracted the virus than females in the second wave of the pandemic. Since the second wave, we have recorded a case positivity rate of 8.7 percent.

“However, we recorded 8 new recoveries. Five of those who recovered were managed at Stella Obasanjo Hospital. Three people recovered from the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital,” he added.

Coronavirus resurges as Edo records 36 new cases in 5 days

Edo State recorded 36 new cases of coronavirus in the last five days and a total of 198 cases of the virus since it started tracking the second wave of the pandemic in the state from December 1, 2020.

The COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this in a meeting of the State Emergency Operation Centre headed by the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

Obi said that of the 36 new cases, 12 were reported from the PCR molecular laboratory at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), in Benin City, while 24 cases were at the laboratory at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Irrua.

According to him, “We recorded 36 new coronavirus cases in the last five days. A total of 198 cases have been reported in the state since December 1, when we started tracking the second wave of the pandemic. We currently have 104 active cases in the state. We have a case positivity of 12.5 percent.”

He noted that the state government has reactivated its disease surveillance system to manage the spread of the pandemic, urging residents in the state to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“We are prepared to deal with the second wave of the pandemic, but the people must play their role. They should ensure to abide by the precautionary measures set by the government to curb the spread of the virus.”

Alleged Certificate Forgery: Obaseki Starts Defence on Tuesday

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State will commence his defence on Tuesday before a Federal High Court in Abuja in the alleged certificate forgery case brought against him by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Edobor Williams (a member of the party).

It was alleged that Obaseki forged his first degree certificate; he claimed to have obtained from the University of Ibadan, which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as part of his educational qualification.

Other defendants in the suit are the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC.

Plaintiffs’ lead lawyer, Akin Olujinmi (SAN) announced the closure of his clients’ case at around 6pm on Monday after calling a total of six witnesses, following which Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned till 10 on Tuesday for the first defendant (Obaseki) to open his defence.

Among the witnesses called by the plaintiffs were two Associate Professors, who said they graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1978 and 1979.

At the commencement of proceedings on Monday, the defendants continued their cross-examination of the fourth plaintiffs’ witness, Raphael Onwuzuligbo, a retired Police officer and a Forensic Document Examiner.

Lawyers to Obaseki and the PDP – Ken Mozia (SAN) and Razak Isenalumhe took turn to cross-examine Onwuzuligbo, during which the witness told the court how he was engaged by an individual he chose to describe as a faithful steward to examine some documents relating to Obaseki’s certificate, which is being contested.

Vital Observation on the Forgery and Perjury Cases Against Governor Obaseki and Shaibu of Edo State

By Sebastine Ebhuomhan

Sunday, 3rd January, 2021.

A lot has been written on the pre-election suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja on the 2020 Edo governorship election. In the past 72 hours, particular efforts have been made by known agents of the two men that are the subjects of court inquest to change court record from outside.

On the basis of a vital observation in this essay, the following emanated statement will suffice to buttress attempts strenuously and unlawfully being made to interrupt recorded court proceedings in the suits.

Please, read and note the public statement below.

THE BULLETS OF THE HARMLESS RABBIT MEDIA TEAM (BHR)

THE PURPORTED FORGERY CASE AGAINST GOV. OBASEKI (5)

WHAT THE JUDGE MIGHT CONSIDER.

1. In the presence of the original document, every other copy, whether it is certified or not, becomes obsolete and void. This stems from the fact that forging of a document is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.

2. In this case, the alleged forging of the degree certificate is to enhance the qualifying status of the forger. That is, to prove that he is a graduate of the university, when in reality, as the plaintiff alleged, he is not.

3. However, the university did not only confirm that the defendant was admitted and was graduated from the institution, it also attested that he was issued an ORIGINAL certificate. That has substantially vitiated the alleged INTENT of forgery by the forger.

4. And that leaves the issue under contention solely to the propriety of the CONTENTS of the copies presented and accepted as exhibits by the plaintiff.

5. Like we mentioned in the beginning of this opinion, whenever there is a conflict between the CONTENTS of an ORIGINAL and that of a COPY of a document, that of the ORIGINAL would naturally suffice over that of the COPY. This is because, the COPY was made from the ORIGINAL, and in the process of COPYING, something could alter the CONTENT.

6. However, the ORIGINAL must be attested to have emanated from the issuing authority, in this case, the University of Ibadan.

7. Once the university authority confirms that the ORIGINAL, that is in the possession of the defendant, is the one issued to him in 1979, every other consideration would naturally fall flat in the face of logic and commonsense. Logic and commonsense would reiterate that no sane person, who is in possession of a genuine ORIGINAL, would abandon same and proceed to forge a fake COPY for any purpose whatsoever.

8. It is therefore my opinion that this case shall be dismissed for lack of substance.

BHR MEDIA TEAM, firing live from Abuja.

OBSERVATION:
The statement above was carefully written, bandied and distributed publicly on the forgery and perjury case against Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki of the PDP, by the BHR after the last hearing. The BHR is a heavily funded but faceless media team of the embattled governor and his beleaguered deputy.

The need for this condemnable hatchet by the governor’s paid hand tools became overwhelming as mounting revelations in court continue to underline how Obaseki allegedly presented forged documents, committed other criminal offences and lied under oath to win election for both his first and second term.

When carefully reviewed, this statement above admits virtually all the allegations APC filed against Governor Obaseki. Yet, for a suit that is at the most critical stage of determination, it is not only sub-judicial for what it seeks to achieve through the back door but reprehensible for three (3) reasons when it is considered that Obaseki is yet to formally furnish the court all his originals and details of his election documents as juristically expected at the material time. These reasons, the APC legal team under the leadership of the able Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) and state leadership under the capable Col. David Imuse (Rtd.) must now carefully note ahead of the next sitting.

One, this statement is a deliberate attempt to distort facts, misinform the public and create unwarranted confusion in Edo State ahead of the court’s forthcoming judgment. Two, this statement is a clear and wicked attempt to confuse, shape the mind and write judgment for the Hon Judge of the Federal High Court of FCT, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, who has shown beyond reasonable doubts since first day, his readiness, sincerity and courage to deliver justice in the two suits before him. Third, this statement openly and improperly seeks to unlawfully intervene and interrupt a smooth legal process, sub-judicially.

Considered against the fallacious, baseless and unsubstantiated allegation of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole seeking to influence Justice Mohammed’s court for APC, earlier made by Mr Philip Shaibu (who has yet to clear himself in the other suit) and against the numerous media posts by Obaseki’s media assistants variously describing the trial as “heading nowhere”, “dead on arrival” etc., there is an urgent need to, on behalf of the plaintiffs: Mr Williams Edobor and the APC; as well as the party candidate: Pastor Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu, draw His Lordship’s attention to this cancerous malaise on Monday, 4th January, 2021.

Finally, this writer wishes Justice Mohammed, all the plaintiff and defence counsel and witnesses, the Nigerian Judiciary, members of APC and all the other political parties, the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as entire Nigerians a just, equitable, secure, peaceful, progressive and qualitative 2021.

Happy New Year!

Sebastine EBHUOMHAN is a multiple award-winning journalist from Edo State resident in Abuja. He can be reached at: usie007@yahoo.com; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Human Rights Warrior, Eholor Reveals Plans To Sue Gov Obaseki Over Pry School Exams In Edo State

A Benin-based human rights activist, Chief Patrick Eholor, has threatened to sue Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

This followed reports that the compulsory 2020 Primary school Leaving Certificate Examinations in Edo State, had been cancelled for undisclosed reasons.

Eholor, the President of One Love Foundation made the allegation while addressing newsmen on Saturday in Benin City, the State capital where he called on the Governor to rescind the decision.

He explained that his decision to seek redress in court, is to discourage mediocrity in the education sector and for the sake of posterity.

He wondered why some perfidious individuals in the Government who duly earned their Leaving School Certificates on merit, failed to tell the Governor the consequences of promoting pupils who did not sit for the Examinations.

“My reasons are simple and clear. Godwin Obaseki is a good man who has passion for the citizens. He is a man that is very civilized and civil, but those he surrounded himself with are his messengers. Sadly, we can no longer trust their message.

“I am going to challenge it in court that nobody should be promoted without examinations.

“What I am saying is that we are going to go to court to challenge that. Our children must write their examinations before they are promoted. You cannot carry people forward without examinations, that is wrong. It will amount to setting a wrong precedent for the state.

“He (Obaseki) must reverse that decision and the children must do their Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations before they are promoted to the next level.

“First of all, if he (Obaseki) reply me within 24 hours, I will save his cost of spending tax-payers money in court. But, if he doesn’t respond, I will engage the best lawyer in town to take him to court.

“I have never lost one case. I represented myself 37 times in court, even in Canada. In all, I represented myself 35 times while my lawyer only represented me twice and I won all the cases”, he boasted.

According to him, “When governor Godwin Obaseki said in his own words that we are going to give a Leaving School Certificates to non-performance and to non-education, he said it was because of Covid-19 and that the State doesn’t have the resources.

“But, you cannot promote people without pass. We have suffered enough”, he lamented.

Recall that the Federal Government had shut down all private and public schools nationwide for about several months during Covid-19 lockdown.

Schools that were yet to sit for their third term promotion examinations, were promoted to the next classes in a bid to make up for the lost ground as a result of the compulsory holiday.

Obaseki to spend N20.8bn on education in 2021

…basic, technical education top priority

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has earmarked N20.8 billion for the education sector in 2021 to sustain the gains recorded in the sector by the administration in the first term.

The governor, in a statement, said the government will be committing 12.9bn to expanding the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme to ensure the roll out of the initiative to other sections of the basic education scheme in the state, specifically from Basic 7 to 9.

Obaseki noted that investment would be made to ensure the success of the Edo Supporting Teachers to Achieve Results (Edo STAR) Teaching Fellowship Programme, which is a three-year training and field experience/employment programme for teachers and aspiring teachers who would be migrated into the state’s civil service upon satisfactory performance.

According to the governor, “Taking cognizance of the fact that quality education underpins our developmental aspirations, our targets in strengthening the education system would not be compromised.

“In essence, we would be committing 12.9bn to the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme. This would sustain gains made and ensure the roll out of the programme to other sections of the basic education scheme in the state, specifically from Basic 7 to 9.

“To further institutionalize the EdoBEST program, we would be launching the Edo STAR Teaching Fellows program. This is a unique 3-year Fellowship Program, designed for teachers and aspiring teachers in Primary and Junior Secondary Schools.”

He further noted: “The STAR fellowship program aims to train and groom a new generation of school teachers who are passionate, technologically-savvy, transformative and societally conscious about nation-building through education.

“The program will be administered by the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Edo State College of Education, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) and our Technical Partner.”

“Our expenditure in basic education would focus on reconfiguring the infrastructure in schools to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 containment guidelines,” Obaseki added.

Speaking on plans for technical education in the coming year, the governor noted: “Our vision to make Edo great again lies strongly on building a virile and productive youth population. We would therefore be replicating the success at the Government Science and Technical College (GSTC) across the state, building the necessary manpower to drive industrial growth. In 2021, we shall commence the construction and equipping of three other technical colleges.”

CULT WAR: Edo Govt, community& religious leaders meet over insecurity, as police deploy 877 new constables

As part of efforts to tackle rising insecurity to safeguard lives and property in Edo State, government officials on Monday met with traditional, religious and community leaders in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) to chart a path on the new community-based security scheme in the area.

This is as the first batch of 877 of the 2000 community constables trained at the Nigeria Police Training School are being deployed to various communities to work with local community arrangements to ensure effective coordination and keep criminals out of the state.

Present at the meeting, which took place at the Council’s Secretariat in Idogbo, were elders, dukes (Enigie), religious and opinion leaders and the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo.

The stakeholders also inaugurated the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Council Vigilante to assist security personnel in fighting crime in the area.

Chairman of Ikpoba-Okha LGA, Dr. Eric Osayande, who spoke to journalists after the meeting, noted: “The Governor had given us a directive that we must call all the Odionwere, Enigie, Oka-Idun and other stakeholders to ask them to go back to the traditional methods of Vigilante.”

“We have recruited 70 Vigilante to complement the efforts of conventional security apparatus in the Local Government”, he said.

Addressing stakeholders at the meeting, Kokumo, conveyed the approval of the deployment of police constables who had their passing out parade on Saturday to the locality.

He said the operatives were drawn from the various communities in Ikpoba-Okha LGA and its environs, in addition to a joint patrol team, comprising the military, the Nigerian Army, operatives of Department of State Security (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).

“I have also promised the Local Government Chairman that we are also going to have the police constables who had their passing out parade on Saturday here. They were drawn from the various communities.”

According to him, “There is a downward trend of crime and criminality in this community. We are living no stone unturned towards ensuring that we dominate the public space.

“We are having a joint patrol team, comprising the military, the Army, DSS and the NSCDC.”

The state police chief, Kokumo, warned that “never again will anybody attack any police personnel in Edo. Enough is enough”.

He stressed that: “We will no longer fold our arms or allow criminal elements to open fire on our men. Our personnel will use their arms professionally. We have a justification to use our firearms when a life is in danger.”