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Rivers House of Assembly begins screening of commissioner nominees

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The Rivers State House of Assembly has begun screening of 13 commissioner nominees sent to it on Monday by Governor Nyesom Wike almost eight months after his swearing-in for a second term in office.

But the screening, which was supposed to be concluded yesterday, suffered a setback following the failure of one of the nominees to produce evidence of his tax clearance.

The development was said to have affected the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed Special Advisers to scheduled for yesterday at Government House Port Harcourt, where the commissioner nominees were also expected be sworn in.

Special Adviser to Governor Wike on electronic media, Simeon Nwakaudu in a statement, said a new date for the ceremony would be communicated to members of the public in due course.

The Commissioner nominees are, Soni Ejekwu, Austin Ben-Chioma, Sylvanus Nwankwo, Osima Ginah, Mrs. Inime Chineweno Aguma, and Mrs. Ifeoma Nwankpa.

Others are Peter Mende, Bariere Thomas, Fred Kpakol, Paulinus Nsirim, Tasie Chinedu, Rodaford Long-John, and Kaniye Ebeku.

Relatedly, Speaker of the House, Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, has said the laws passed by the House were those that would positively impact on the Rivers people.

He stated this when members of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) visited him to commend the House for several laws it had passed to protect girls and women in the state.

“Your fears are our fears. Your sentiments are our sentiments. We have passed several bills into law to ensure that the girl-child and women are adequately protected,” the Speaker said,

He charged the group to advise the older women who engage in ungodly acts with young boys to desist forthwith.

“The Assembly would soon enact sex-for-grades law to protect female students from sexual harassment on the campuses by lecturers. If we cannot fight violence, violence will fight us,” he declared, assuring that the Assembly would continue to pass quality laws for the state.

Earlier, State chairperson of FIDA, Ngozi Odukwe, said they were concerned about the protection of the vulnerable, especially girls and women in the society.

Odukwe commended the Assembly for the recent laws it has passed to protect the girl-child and women, saying the laws would serve as a deterrent and not something that offenders would simply pay fines and move on with their lives.

She charged the state lawmakers to ensure the laws were domesticated in the communities and also carry out advocacies so that people would know the existence of the laws.

She noted that reports of rape in the state were overwhelming, saying it was not good for society and urged the acceleration of the Violence Prohibition Bill to curtail the rising rape cases in society.


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