Tag Archives: Cross river

Student caught on attempt to Gun teacher down in C/River.


The state Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Igiri Ewa, confirmed the incident, but said the suspect had not been handed over to the police.

A teenage senior secondary school girl has been prevented from killing her teacher with a pistol in Cross River State.

Noble Reporters Media gathered that the student, whose name was withheld, was arrested at the Government Secondary School, Ikot Ewa, in the Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state.

The Chairman of the council, Emmanuel Offiong-Bassey, who spoke to journalists on Thursday, said he was told the suspect was about to shoot her target when she was disarmed.


He said, “How she got the gun, I do not know. The information I have, which may not be very accurate, is that when she wanted to bring out the gun to shoot at her target, another teacher who was behind her quickly stopped her. I learnt she is still in the custody of the army.”

Offiong-Bassey advised parents to pay attention to the company their children keep and their daily activities.

The state Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Igiri Ewa, confirmed the incident, but said the suspect had not been handed over to the police.

“Once we gain access to the matter, we will invite the press,” he added.


NoRM gathered that the girl had gone to school with tinted hair and her class teacher asked her to go home and shave the hair.

She was said to have got angry and allegedly decided to get a gun to shoot the teacher.



Just in: ECOWAS Court orders Cross River to repay $6.4m to ECOWAS Bank.


The Applicant had alleged that despite several demands, the Respondent refused and/or neglected to repay the loan with duration period of seven (7) years after a two-year moratorium.

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has ordered the government of Cross River State to repay the sum of US$6,455,846 to the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).

In its ruling on Friday, the court also ordered the Nigerian State government to pay an interest of 6.5 per cent per annum on the amount starting from 31 August, 201.

It said that the repayment accrued from an outstanding loan granted the government in 2005.

Delivering judgment in a suit brought by the bank, an arm of ECOWAS, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, said the “sum represents the situation of the Tinapa Free Zone Project loan in the Applicant’s book as at 31 August 2018.


He asked the government of Cross River to submit to the Court within two months a report on its measures to implement the Court’s orders relating to the loan with which the government financed the Tinapa business resort.

Although the Court granted most of the reliefs sought by the Applicant, it declined the Applicant’s claim for immediate execution of the Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO).


The ISPO is a loan condition precedent mandating the Accountant General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria tagged “Guarantee” in Clause 7.05 of the loan agreement to satisfy the indebtedness.

The Court also refused to grant the Applicant’s claim for solicitor’s fees on the ground that it was not backed by documentary evidence.

The Applicant EBID had filed suit no ECW/CCJ/APP/14/19 on 2nd April, 2019 urging the Court to declare its Loan Agreement No 7/AP/LAR/FRDF/04/05 with Cross River State Government (CRSG) as valid, binding and subsisting between the parties.


The applicant also urged the court to declare the Respondent as having failed to fulfil a loan condition precedent and compel the Respondent to repay the loan with interest.

The Applicant had alleged that despite several demands, the Respondent refused and/or neglected to repay the loan with duration period of seven (7) years after a two-year moratorium.

The Respondent, the Government of the Cross River State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, admitted it approached EBID, an investment and development bank, to part finance its TINAPA business and resort project.

It further admitted that both parties signed a loan agreement on May 20, 2005 for a sum of UA6, 525,371 equivalent of US$10,000,000.


The Respondent claimed it made repayments until 2010 when it defaulted due to an administrative issue and that the repayment schedule for the outstanding payment was restructured to run from 7 January 2010 to 1 January 2020.

But the Court noted that the Respondent defaulted on its repayment schedules.



Cross River: Gov. Ayade signs 2021 ‘heavyweight’ budget into law


Ayade, however, expressed the hope that with the several industries he has so far established and commencing fully in 2021, the state’s economy would receive a giant boost.

Cross River State Governor, Benedict Ayade, has signed 2021 budget of ‘Blush and Bliss’ into law following passage of the of N282b appropriation bill that was reduced from N1.01tr by the House of Assembly on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

Speaking shortly after signing the budget yesterday at the Governor’s Office in Calabar, Ayade disclosed that the budget made provisions for the establishment of a state polytechnic.


“It also has provisions for social welfare schemes like grants and other financial benefits to help cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Cross River people,” he said.

Ayade explained that the size of the budget was smaller when compared to previous budgets of over N1tr and that his administration decided to reduce the financial commitment in key projects like the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 275km superhighway to five per cent.

According to him, the state government will build the Seaport on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, adding: “For the 2021 budget of “Blush and Bliss,” the gross component is in its reduction from N1.01tr to N282b. My worry is what will then happen to the gap.


“We had explained this during the budget presentation that we are shifting from all the big dreams to the basic, primordial things of survival and ensuring that there is food on our tables.”

Ayade stated that his government had planned that by 2021, it would move away from food on the table to food on the plough, but that with the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protests, government realised that it had to further sustain its food on the table agenda.

He maintained that the 2021 budget was streamlined to meet the intended focus, hence it provided a 5 per cent cost for capital projects like the 275km Superhighway, the Bakassi Deep Sea port and Calas Vegas Island, among others.

He said the state’s privatisation council in partnership with KPMG, as consultants would select the best investors for the capital projects.


He commended the state House of Assembly in ensuring that the 2021 budget was ready for signing.

Speaker of the House, Eteng Williams, explained that the House did some adjustments to the appropriation bill Governor Ayade submitted in October to accommodate current realities that were captured in the bill, such as establishment of the Cross River state Polytechnic, which the governor recently signed into law.



Just in: New Cross River Airport to become active 2021 – Commissioner


The runway itself is about 5.6km in length and a width of 1km. So it is our very key determination that we are going to succeed and deliver this airport in no distant time.

The new Cross River Obudu International Passenger and Cargo Airport will become operational with effect from next year just as the state government has paid N900 million compensation to affected land lord communities.

Speaking with some newsmen in Obudu on Monday, the Commissioner for Aviation, Dr. Jake Otu Enya, said, “the major area of work is what you see going on now, that is the runway, and immediately that work is done, the next stage is for the contractor to be on site.

“You’ll recall that sometime last week, we opened our bid for the procurement of a contractor to come to site to do the real construction. So what we are doing here is the preliminary which is part of our own work as a state, in order to reduce the cost of the entire construction.

“The major assignment in an airport, not just here but all over the world, is the runway and the state in which we have reached is such that by the time the contractor comes in, he’s only out from here till the end. So basically, we are looking at the year 2021 for this airport to be completed and indeed, being functional or operational. So that’s our timeline for this”.


“We acquired this area – about 1,500 hectares of land. The compensation for it has been paid to the five communities that own the land. We paid almost N900 million compensation which was approved by His Excellency and the State Executive Council. We have gone into the real work; we started by clearing this side.

“We have cleared the entire site, we’ve done the stomping, we’ve done the packing. Now, the work going on now is the runway – the cutting and filling of the runway.


“As an international airport, it is not just for passengers, it is also for cargo. So, we estimate that there is no type of plane that cannot land here. That is the truth about it. Even the ones we’re procuring. We’ve procured Boeing 737, which is very okay for cargo and all of that. So, it can land here.

“This airport would serve the generality of Cross riverians and also the neighbouring states of Benue, Taraba, Imo, Ebonyi and the rest of them. Well, the process of procurement is completed. I assure you that we have paid and everything is done about it. We have two aircrafts on ground and we are only waiting for delivery to Cross River.”

On funding, he said, “Cross River state in the state we are, ordinarily we would not deliver. But behold, it is one of the greatest things we have in Cross River State that is the intellectual property of our boss – our governor. He takes challenges and situations like this, this is where he knows how to showcase himself the best.


“Here, we’ve had some key capital projects from the beginning of his administration, but by the budget of 2021, the centerpiece of that budget is on humanity and also, few capital projects that would utilize the resources we have to definitely pursue them.

“If you look at the budget, the project like the Super Highway is no longer there which would have had the chunk of our finances. What we have, by our own internal sources and the little we still have in the federation account, we would definitely complete it. Because we carried out a thorough financial assessment of what it entails before we went into it.

“So we’re very confident that with the reduction in the number of capital projects in the 2021 budget, given also that Obudu International Passenger & Cargo airport took the lion share of capital provision, we’re quite confident that we would finish this airport.”

On the need for another airport when the state has one and a an airstrip, the commissioner said, “the intention of His Excellency the governor to definitely establish this is indeed to look inward, to ensure that Cross River state is taken to the highest level of industrialization and tourism. We’re all aware of the fact that in Cross River state, we do not only pride ourselves as the tourism headquarters of Nigeria, it is so – given the fact that even within here we have the tourist centre, that is the Obudu Ranch Resort which is indeed the best in the whole of Nigeria.


“Besides that it is his intention to utilize the potentials of this ranch resort to ensure that we have employment opportunities, we have the much needed revenue; particularly in a period when Cross River state is the least state in terms of the federation account.

“We occupy just second to the last on the table, given the fact that we have lost our oil wells, 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom. And also the rich oil peninsular was also ceded to Cameroon by the federal government. These have brought us to this state that we are today. Internally, there is nowhere we can put our hands into because almost everything we have here is by other peasants and all that. So, it is indeed his intention to look inwards and at other sources we can generate the much needed revenue to turn our economy in the near future.”



Cross River Bye-election: PDP’s Stephen Odey wins senatorial seat


By the result, she takes over the seat of her husband as member representing Obudu State Constituency.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Stephen Odey, winner of Saturday’s Cross River North Senatorial by-election.

The Collation Officer for the by-election, Prof. Ameh Akoh of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ikwo, Ebonyi, who announced the result, said Odey scored 129,207 votes to defeat eight other candidates.

Akoh said the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Joe Agi (SAN) scored 19,165 votes to emerge second while the candidate of the African Democratic Congress, Mr Gregory Agam, came third with 388 votes.


“I, Prof. Ameh Akoh of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, hereby declare that Dr Stephen Odey of the PDP having scored the highest number of valid votes is hereby declared winner of the Cross River North senatorial by-election.

“The PDP candidate is hereby declared winner in line with electoral guidelines,” he said.


The senatorial by-election followed the death of Sen. Rose Oko.

The party’s candidate, Mrs Maria Akwaji, also won the Obudu State Constituency seat in the House of Assembly.

Akwaji obtained a total of 32,166 votes to defeat her closest rival, Mr Abor Adaji, of APC who scored 3,546 votes.


The Collation Officer, Prof. Abel Ezeoha, of Alex Ekwueme Federal University of Technology, Ikwo, Ebonyi, announced the result after collation from different polling units.

Akwaji is the wife of the Late Goodwin Akwaji who died in July in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to INEC, nine political parties contested in the senatorial by-election and six in the Assembly by-election.

In his reaction, a PDP agent, Mr Thomas Aruku, described the party’s victory as well deserved.


“I see the victory as well deserved because among all the political parties in this election, it was the PDP that criss-crossed the 54 electoral wards.

“So, to me, we are just reaping the fruit of our labour,” he said.



Five suspected occultic members arrested in Cross River with Human skulls.


Five suspects have been arrested with human skulls in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State.

They were arrested and paraded at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the south-south region of the country.

Speaking during a press conference in Calabar on Friday, the State Commandant of NSCDC, Danjuma Elisha, said the suspects were apprehended following a raid on a compound in Ogoja area.


“This is a case of suspected cultism, ritualists in Ogoja Local Government Area. They were found with all the items they used in their activities.

“We raided the place because it is a compound. Eventually, four of them were found to be the people involved. So we are targeting them this time for the public to see,” he said.

NSCDC Commandant, Danjuma Elisa, speaks during a briefing in Calabar on August 21, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media //)

When asked on the command’s response in tackling the menace of cultism in the state, Elisha said the NSCDC, police and other security agencies were doing their best.


He, however, revealed that the state government has taken decisive actions by demolishing houses suspected to be linked to cultists and their leaders, adding that security agencies have been supporting efforts of the government.

He said the suspects will be handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution.

Some of the suspects paraded by the NSCDC in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. (Noble Reporters Media //)

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Abdulkadir Jimoh, said the State Police Command will continue to strengthen the security situation in the state.

The police boss also warned that those caught in criminal acts must be made to face the full wrath of the law.


COVID-19: Ayade, Cross Rivers counters NCDC over cases


The Chairman of the COVID-19 Taskforce in Cross River State, Dr Betta Edu, has insisted that there is no COVID-19 case recorded in the state.

The NCDC’s Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu on Monday said that no state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free.

Ihekweazu said that a state can only talk about being coronavirus free when it is testing adequately.

But, Edu during a press briefing with journalists in Calabar said that the state does not have any case, but advised residents to take all safety measures serious to safeguard their lives against the virus.


“While we do not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state, everyone must play their part in keeping safe.

“Remember that soon, the entire country will be opened and people from states considered as the epicentres will come into the state and go out at will, so, we must imbibe the right culture on time,” she said

She added that Nigeria is at the peak of the pandemic, “therefore now is not the time to relax and lose guard.

“Sometimes, we see people in joints hanging out with friends, attending burials, parties, going to places of worship where safety is ignored on the grounds of religion when asked, they say there is no coronavirus in Cross River.


“This wrong mindset that must be trashed immediately, even when Nigeria had just five confirmed cases measures were spelt out and followed. If anything, the situation has gone worse.”

She said that every resident of Cross River should be responsible for their safety and those of others around them.

The chairman further warned members of the public to avoid public gatherings, use their mask and hand sanitiser always.

Edu also advised residents to report any suspected case to the COVID -19 Taskforce in the State.



[Nigeria] Cross River Planning For Life After COVID-19 – Gov. Ayade Says.


Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River on Sunday said the state was preparing for life after COVID-19 pandemic with its Agricultural drive.

He said that the project would enable the state to weather the attendant food shortage expected during the post coronavirus pandemic.

Ayade gave the assurance in Calabar while deploying the newly acquired tractors and other farming equipment to the field.

He said: “In the face of the lockdown, we are aware that we have properly secured our external borders while allowing the economy to continue to run.”


He explained that his administration was determined to make the state self sufficient in food production.

NobleReporters gathered that the equipment were being moved to some of the farms in Northern Senatorial District of the state.

“We are not resting on our oars in our agro-industrialisation drive because of the likelihood of global food crisis after COVID-19.


“It is against that background that I have come here to mobilise all our equipment to move to the field.

“The idea is that Cross River is already looking at the post COVID-19 era because we don’t want to be caught up in the line of hunger and food scarcity.

“Now that oil price has come to zero and even below the cost price, it is obvious Nigeria will have to move to agro-dollar.


“Nigeria should be migrating from petrol dollar to agro dollar and Cross River will be leading that process,” he said.

He called on African leaders to brace up for the worst and look inwards to resolve the conflicting challenges coming after the pandemic.

Ayade said that after COVID-19, most countries would be concerned with feeding its citizens as well as unwilling to export food items.


“It is obvious that most countries will be very unwilling to export their food because they won’t have enough to even feed their own citizens.

“So, when it gets to that situation where our agrarian reserves are completely limited and we turn back and look at our harvest and it is nothing to write home about, what do we do?

“Therefore, I am just looking into the future and saying look, Cross River has to start the process of agricultural (projects) and putting our footprints on the ground to ensure that we create sufficient cultivation of our landmass,” he said.


Ayade also disclosed that another set of equipment were being deployed to the proposed site of Cross River International Airport in Obudu Local Government Area, located close to the Obudu Cattle Ranch.

“The airport will offer opportunities so that Cross River will be exporting ornamental flowers to Europe. To do that we need a temperate climate of about 11,000 ft above sea level which we have up the ranch.

“So Obudu Ranch will not only provide tourism, it is now going to be an agro-horticultural business hub, producing flowers and taking them to the cargo airport for export to Europe.


“If Kenya can make 9 billion Euros from exporting flowers, from 8,000 ft, then Cross River which has 11,000 ft above sea level, should do better.

“We have the best temperate climate suitable for the cultivation of ornamental flowers,” he said.



COVID-19: Bayelsa, Cross Rivers sensitize streets, markets.

Bayelsa government and Cross Rivers government took to action as the rally to sensitize communes on COVID-19. NobleReporters report

The Bayelsa Government has embarked on street-to-street and market-to-market campaign in the state to create awareness on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dr Martins Bekesu, Executive Secretary, State Primary Healthcare Baord, said at the commencement of the campaign on Wednesday in Yenagoa that the exercise was to enlighten the public on the deadly virus.

Bekesu said the campaign tagged: “Say No to Coronavirus’’ would be taken to all nooks and crannies of the state, including homes, motor parks, churches and other areas.

“Today, Wednesday, we are flagging-off an awareness campaign on Coronavirus . I must inform you that the state government is building a strong surveillance and public health system to control the spread of the virus.

“I join all citizens of Nigeria, who are resident in Bayelsa in the fight against Coronavirus through detecting and prompt reporting to the Epidemiology Division of the state Ministry of Health for quick response.

“On protection: wash your hands frequently with soap or use alcoholic based sanitiser when there is no water.

“Cover your mouth and nose properly with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing.

“Dispose tissue paper after use. Avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness like cough and sneezing among others,’’ he said.

Dr Yerinbuluemi Stowe, Director of Public Health in the state, said the campaign was to educate the people on the disease.

“Many are yet to believe that the disease is real but with this awareness campaign in the villages, markets and parks, they will understand that COVID-19 is real. Let us say no to deadly virus.

“The state government has also trained health officers across the eight Local Government Areas on possible means of preventing and controlling the disease,’’ Stowe said.

With WHO declaring Corona Virus (COVID-19) a Global Pandemic and barely 24hrs ago Nigeria recorded another case of Corona virus in Lagos different from index case, the CRSMOH under the leadership of the workaholic and assiduous Commissioner Dr Betta Edu has called on Cross Riverians to be on alert and report any suspected case to the State Ministry of Health. She advised that for this period the Ministry of Health must be notified of every big meeting, gathering or event to enable us deploy teams that will screen everyone going into the event. As much as possible we must avoid big gatherings.

She has asked that Cross Riverians especially children and the elderly should avoid foreign trips for now except they are very essential. People having signs and symptoms should self Isolate and immediately call for evaluation and movement to the isolation center. If you see any suspected case of fever, headache, cough, sneezing, etc should report.

In collaboration with the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) Cross River State Chapter has taken the sensitization awareness campaign for COVID-19, LASSA FEVER, and other Viral Diseases to the highly populated Etim Edem Park and Marian Market.

An event which had the Health Boss Dr Betta Edu, the DG CRSPHCDA Dr Janet Ekpenyong, WHO representative Dr Raju, the State Epidemiologist Mrs Inyang Ekpenyong and other important health personnel recorded success as the Honorable Commissioner for Health in her usual way sensitized the masses on the possible preventive measures with the good news of the State being free of the said virus.

She listed all necessary efforts put forth by the State Government to curb/manage any case. She threw more light on the equipment of the Isolation Center at UCTH to a WHO approved standard and the desire of Sen Prof Ben Ayade to keep doing more..

The DG CRSPHCDA Dr Janet Ekpenyong advised market men and women on regular hand washing to avoid contacting this viral diseases. She solicited that anyone with symptoms relating to what they’ve just be sensitized about should visit the nearest health facility or call the State Epidemiologist on 08038699957 as the State is prepared to tackle any suspected case.

The exercise ended with a practical demonstration led by the commissioner on hand washing and hand sanitization as thousands of hand sanitizers were being shared to the masses who applauded the State Governor with the regular shout of DIGITAL! DIGITAL!! DIGITAL!!! AYADE IS WORKING!!

#Newsworthy. .

My pastor have sex with me every Sunday morning before preaching – Woman groan

Imaobong etim an indigene of cross river state Cries out on how her pastor deceived her to be sleeping with him every Sunday morning before going to church.

Imaobong which according to her she was ignorance of what she was doing said the senior pastor of redemption house in calabar, prophet Peter Bassey has been sleeping with her every morning before going to church.

According to her, the pastor told her that it was an instruction from God to be sleeping with his female members before he Climbs the altar, the young woman who said she is not the only one the pastor sleeps with in the church, but she is the only person that have the courage to speak out.

She said…

“I feel each time the man sleeps with any of his female members he does more miracles, so I feel there is something behind him sleeping with women In his church”.

I knew myself one day when I had a dream about the pastor sleeping with me then in the process he poured out something inside me then I shouted jesus for 5 times then I saw somebody with a white garment coming to my rescue then he warned me not to go to that church again imediately I woke up I knew myself and I hated the pastor imediately.

According to the woman she says she want to stand today to condemn the so called man of God prophet Peter that he is fake and he will keep being fake

The woman advices women to be careful of the kind of church they go and how they relate with pastors.


Cross Rivers’ Gov behind Agba Jalingo’s ordeal – Lawyer

Lawyer representing Agba Jalingo, journalist being prosecuted for raising questions about the whereabouts of N500m earmarked for the establishment of Cross River Microfinance Bank by Governor Ben Ayade, Daniel Kip, has said that the state government is responsible for the trial of the journalist.

He said, “There is no way anybody can run away from the fact that Agba Jalingo’s ordeal is strictly tied to Cross River State and not the Federal Government.

“The amendment that was done subsequently to the charge to make it Federal Republic of Nigeria against Agba Jalingo was just to escape that impression which was glaring. It was to make it seem that it was the Federal Government that was prosecuting Agba Jalingo.

“If it was the Federal Government that was prosecuting Agba Jalingo, why wasn’t the Attorney-General of the Federation prosecuting him? Why were legal officers from the office of the Inspector-General of Police not prosecuting him? It is an irrefutable fact that the government of Cross River State is involved in Agba Jalingo’s ordeal.

“If you read one of the counts preferred against him, it is that he made an allegation against the governor of Cross River State in relation to about N500m channelled towards a microfinance bank. Was that allegation made against the Federal Government?

“To me, the inclusion of the counts in relation to Omoyele Sowore and the RevolutionNow protests that were planned in other places was just to deviate from the actual substance of why Agba Jalingo is being prosecuted. “He is being prosecuted in Cross River State because he has been questioning a lot of executive actions taken by the government of Cross River State. This trial is to intimidate him so that he can keep quiet.”


Police ban illegal use of siren, light in Cross river

The Cross River Police Command on Friday banned the illegal and unauthorised use of siren and revolving light in the state with immediate effect.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Nkereuwen Akpan, disclosed this in a statement by the command’s Public Relation Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo in Calabar.

He said that the ban also included the use of covered and spy plate numbers.

Akpan said a task force team has been set up to ensure compliance as well as to embark on the arrest of those who refuse to abide by the order.

“Any person or group arrested by the task force team will be investigated and made to face the full wrath of the law.

“Members of the public are hereby urged to be law abiding and cooperate with the police and other security agencies for a better service delivery,” he said


Breaking: Calabar corper impregnated by JSS 2 student, LIE

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Cross River State has debunked report of a JSS 2 student impregnating a female corps member serving in the state.

In a statement released by NYSC’s Head Press & Public Relations Unit in the state, Abdullahi Yuguda, it was alleged that the report was shared on social media to malign the reputation and integrity of the scheme and the public perception of corps members.

It reads;

“The attention of the National Youth Service Corps, Cross River State has been drawn to a malicious publication making the rounds in the social media, alleging that a Female Corps Member was impregnated by a teenage boy (student) in the state.”

“To put the records straight, there is nothing as such in Cross River as claimed by the unknown writer. It is only meant to malign the reputation and integrity of the scheme and the public perception of our corps members. The national youth Service Corps is a reputable organisation that is very proud of her Corps Members because of their high level of discipline and responsibility and therefore cannot be involved in such a shameful act.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the authorities of NYSC at Local, Zonal and State levels never received any report of such formally or informally.

“The said news is the handiwork of fake news hawkers who derive joy in seeking attention or traffic to their websites, at the expense of protecting journalistic code of ethics.

“Embarrassingly the originators of the news failed to state the source of the news rather was dwelling on imaginary school, JSS student and Corps Member.

“Worthy of note is the fact that NYSC has a laid down procedure for approaching matters on Corps Discipline and Reward. But as at the time of fielding this rejoinder, no Corps Member in Cross River State is connected with such negative Act.

“Management of the Scheme in Cross River State advises the authors and originators of such callow write up to retract same and henceforth, desist from manufacturing fake news with the intention of deflating the reputation of the NYSC scheme but rather pay attention to the numerous selfless services rendered to Cross River communities by Members of the National Youth Service Corps.”


11 election officials abducted by gunmen in Calabar re-run

Unknown gunmen have reportedly abducted election officials with materials that were headed for the 8 polling units in Afayna/Igoni-Igoni ward under Abi state constituency in Cross River State.

The Federal Commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in charge of South-South region, Dr. Mohammed Lecky told newsmen during election duties that the incident occurred in the middle of the river leading to the community.

Backed by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner Dr. Alalibo Johnson and the Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state Mrs. Irene Ngozi Oghuma, the Federal Commissioner said the unknown gunmen accosted the Electoral officials with materials and went away with all the voting materials along with the SPO (State Presiding Officer).

According to him, the security men that accompanied the materials and men of election duties decided to avoid casualty by not engaging the unknown armed men in the middle of the river.

He expressed sadness over the incident but thanked God that all the NYSC members on duty and other election duty officials have returned safely to office except the SPO, whose phone is ringing but he is not picking.

He said the total number of registered voters in the affected area where the materials have been hijacked is 5606.

The Re-run in Cross River State affected 33 polling units covering Ekureku ward one and ward two for Abi/YAKURR Federal Constituency where Dr. Alex Ebona of the APC is aiming to retain the seat he won during the February 2019 elections.

The Re-run also affected some wards in the Abi State House of Assembly constituency.

Across many other polling units visited during the voting hours, there was a huge turnout of voters.

The PDP candidate, Hon. John Gual Lebo, whose petition led to the rerun election refuse to speak to newsmen as he was seen holding meeting with his supporters at the resident of the former governor of the state.

However, Dr. Alex Ebona, the APC candidate expressed satisfaction over the huge turnout of voters noting that the incident of hijack of material occurred in the area for the state house constituency election.

According to him, he is told the election in the affected area will be held the next day if the problem was not resolved before close of voting.

Dr Alex Egbona, said:” The turn out is encouraging and you know that the election is in my community. I am in touch with my community and that is why you see this unprecedented turn out.”

“I encourage all voters to vote according to their conscience as nobody would molest them. This is democracy so vote according to your choice. But I can tell you with this development I would emerge victorious.”

The election materials arrived very early just as voters turned out as early as 6: 30 am.

It was also observed that the INEC officials had initial difficulty in containing the mammoth crowd, especially at Gbagaro Agbara and Egbonyi polling units within Ekureku II ward.

Speaking on the conduct of the election, the presiding officer for Gbagaro Agbara polling unit, Mr Isaac Oke, said: “I can tell you the election materials arrived at 8:00am and we commended accreditation immediately because the voters were already on ground.

“There is large turn out of voters as you can see. The card reader is very slow, but we promise to ensure that everybody would vote at the end of the day.

Also speaking INEC observer, Mr Jubril Isa, commended the voters for their peaceful and orderly conduct but observed that the processes are slow.

He enjoined INEC to try and improve upon it so that no voter is disenfranchised this exercise.


Cross river lawyer gets N10m bail

A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar has granted bail to Joseph Odok, a lawyer charged with terrorism.

The presiding judge, Justice Simon Amobeda, in his ruling said the defendant had shown “exceptional circumstances” to permit the court to exercise its discretion and admit him to bail.

According to the judge, the terms include a bail bond valued at N10m with two sureties in like sum and one of the sureties must be a civil servant with either the state or the Federal Government at Salary Grade Level 13 or above while the other must be a “close relative with a verifiable address.”

Both sureties are also expected to depose to an affidavit and provide two passport photographs.

The defence team was made up of E. E. Osim, Oliver Osang and Assam Assam Jr.

They represented the Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association.

The matter was stood down for a few minutes after it was called due to the absence of the prosecution counsel, Dennis Tarhemba.

Another prosecutor from the Cross River State Police Command, C. I. Eze, entered appearance for the prosecution.

Osim thereafter moved the motion for bail dated and filed January 15, 2020.

Justice Amobeda in his ruling held that granting of bail pending trial remained a right enshrined in the constitution.

He said the counter affidavit of the prosecution was “bare as the deponent is a police officer who has no expertise in medicine.”

The judge ruled that the “mere claim” of the prosecution that the defendant was not sick was not enough to discountenance the material evidence placed before the court by the defence.

The matter was adjourned until January 28 and 29 for trial.

Odok, who arrived the court in company of two correctional officers, was arrested at his Abuja residence on September 26, 2019 and was arraigned on October 22, 2019 on two charges bordering on terrorism and cybercrime.

He pleaded not guilty and was remanded at the Medium Security Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service.


100 and more illegal shops pull to ground level in cross river

Over 100 illegal shops including containers erected within Etim-Edem Park in Calabar metropolis, have been demolished by the Cross River government.

Commissioner for Environment, Mr Mfon Bassey, who led staff of the ministry during the demolition on Sunday in Calabar, said the move was to create sanity within the park.

Bassey explained that the design of the location was for a motor park where travellers board vehicles to different destinations within and outside the state.

“I still recall in those days, when people used to load from Etim-Edem park to Onitsha, Abuja, Portharcourt, Lagos, Anambra and others states of the federation.

“But late in 2007, some persons decided to constitute nuisance in the park and the overflowing effect was that we started having traffic congestion within major roads in Calabar metropolis.

“People who were meant to be loading from the park now decided to create illegal parks along the road, causing traffic congestion.

“What we are doing is trying to bring solution to the traffic congestion in the city. As you can see, the park has been cleared and all commercial vehicles loading along the road will now return to the park because they will have no excuse again.

“We issued the traders who were using the containers sufficient notice to relocate and more so, we did sensitisation campaign informing them on the planned demolition,” he said.

The Commissioner, however, pointed out to some of the shops were not occupied because traders decided to abandon them for the drive way within the park

He said that the ministry was working with relevant agencies with a view to allow for free vehicular movements on the road.

Mr Bassey Efiom, Head of Local Government Administration, Calabar South, told media that he was impressed with the development.

Efiom said that the local government was collaborating with the Ministry of Environment to bring back sanity to the park and reduce illegal motor parks within the metropolis.

Mr Eyo Ekpenyong, Vice Chairman of the park, also expressed satisfaction with the development, saying that successive governments had tried to demolish the structures but were stopped by some individuals.

Ekpenyong commended the Commissioner for carrying out the demolition, adding that the main aim of building the park was for transportation purposes, not for traders to occupy all the loading spaces.


PHED company begin mass disconnection

The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) says it has commenced mass disconnection of defaulting customers in the four states it operates.

The states are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers States.

The Manager, Corporate Communications of the company, John Onyi confirmed this in Port Harcourt on Friday.

He said the exercise, Operation Storm, was initiated to sustain and avert an imminent collapse of the company due to huge debt owed it by customers.

“The huge debt amounting to over N166.012 billion as at October 2019 is no longer tolerable, hence the need to recover it at all cost.

“The exercise in fairness will continue until every Kobo owed the company is recovered for energy used.

He urged customers who see electricity as a social service, to change their perception and pay up for electricity used.

“To this end, we have created a help desk across PHED offices to resolve and reconcile any contentious bill.

“Customers with disputable bills are urged to avail themselves the opportunity by visiting any PHED office closest to them for on the spot bill reconciliation,” he said.

The spokesman urged customers to pay their electricity bills to enable the company to continue improving on its service delivery to them.


U.H.C: Cross River targets one million residents

As part of its renewed drive to improve health care delivery, the Cross River State government is to enroll 1 million residents.

Disclosing this in a media briefing in Calabar on Tuesday, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, said the residents will be enrolled under the Ayade Care health project of the state which is aimed at providing affordable and an accessible health-care for the people.

Betta said the government is committed to revolutionising and reenergising the sector as well as restoring the lost glory of the state.

She said: “Our general vision is to ensure we provide universal Health Coverage for all irrespective of class, religion, and social status for all the people within Cross River State.

“In 2020, we hope to enroll one million people who will pay one thousand monthly and twelve thousand naira annually to access quality health care”, she said.

She added that to make this possible, the government has concluded plans to get the three tertiary hospitals in the state up and running.

She further added that from 2020, the government will conduct a medical audit anytime a patient dies in any medical facility in the state.

Henceforth, she said any death must be registered in the dashboard of all health centres in the state and where this is not done, the epidemiologist will loose his/her job, stressing that people will not be allowed to kill and walk away from it.

According to her, the focal agenda of the government in the sector is reducing catastrophic health expenses under the Ayade Care, delivery of quality health care and also partnering charitable organisation to ensure a healthier Cross River.