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CAVERTON PILOTS’ SAGA: AVIATION UNIONS THREATEN ACTION AGAINST GOVERNOR WIKE OF RIVERS STATE

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Caverton Helicopters

AVIATION unions in unison have revealed plans to mobilize the entire aviation community against the Rivers State Government and its Governor, Nyeesom Wike unless the state government backtracks on the alleged unlawful arrest of two pilots from Caverton Helicopters on essential duty on April 7, 2020.

The unions are also demanding a public apology to the personnel – pilots and passengers- and the companies involved – Caverton Helicopters and Shell Petroleum, as well as adequate recompense for the same persons and companies for personal damages and losses in revenue.

National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professional (ANAP) made this known in a letter jointly signed to press home their demands.

The unions who made their points known said they were taken aback and miffed by the unwarranted and unlawful arrest and remand of two Nigerian pilots of Caverton Helicopters, Samuel Urgoji and Samuel Buhari and entire passengers that operated into the Nigerian Air force Base in Port Harcourt.

“But, the flight was a special operation approved by all relevant government agencies, including the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in full compliance with the provisions of the Federal Government order on

Wike

⁹restrictions of movement following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The groups were perplexed as to how a lawyer would disregard the constitution in an unlawful manner and detain essential services providers.

“It beats our imagination how Governor Wike, a lawyer, would so flagrantly discountenance the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which vests legislation and regulation of aviation matters exclusively on Federal Government, and how he could so vexatiously assume the power to invade a military base, accost aviation personnel who were on lawful national assignment and purportedly prosecute and remand innocent citizens and legal foreign workers, contrary to everything reasonable and lawful, and in such bizarre manner.

“In Nigeria, nothing is more essential than oil and gas services. To impede production of oil and gas, as Wike’s action has done, is to dangerously touch the very nerve centre of Nigeria’s national economy. Of course this has compounded complications capable of grinding electricity supply in the country to a halt, as well as precipitating a transportation crisis. Therefore, Governor Wike’s action in the above respect is tantamount to national economic sabotage and a deliberate effort to cause public chaos.”

The unions further stated that they were convinced that Governor Wike’s actions in this matter are clearly inexcusable.

Hadi Sirika

“The actions point to a personal unwholesome agenda; a ventilation of anger against undeclared adversaries. And we find it most unbecoming for a high ranking government official of the status of a governor of a state to be precipitating constitutional crisis, sabotaging national interest, harassing innocent citizens and workers, and creating a major distraction at a time such as this when forging synergies and aligning forces are direly required to defeat the common enemy of coronavirus. All people of good conscience and patriotism must, therefore be united in condemnation of this malfeasance by Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State.

“In the light of the above, our unions hereby demand the immediate and unconditional release from incarceration of the pilots and oil and gas workers who are presently under unlawful remand by the Rivers State Government.

“We in like vain demand an unqualified public apology to the personnel – pilots and passengers- and the companies involved – Caverton Helicopters and Shell Petroleum, as well as adequate recompense for the same persons and companies for personal damages and losses in revenue. Failure to meet these demands will incur the wrath of our unions and we shall have no choice than to mobilise the entire aviation community against Governor Wike and Rivers State Government at the appropriate time, at the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“This is not an empty threat, “ the unions said

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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