Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has requested the immediate sack and replacement of some key officials of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RISIEC) to prepare the body for a smooth local government elections.
Mr. Wike made the request on Tuesday in Port Harcourt in a letter to the Rivers House of Assembly.
The letter, read by the Speaker, Ikuinyi Ibani, asked for the sack and outright replacement of the affected officials was informed by the partisan attitude observed in them.
The letter said that security reports had shown high level of distrust among the affected officials, hence the need to inject new brains that would uphold neutrality which the commission represented.
The letter read in part: “I hereby request the removal of the following members by the House, this move is in the public interest and in accordance to section 201, subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“They are Dr. Chimaroke Ngba, Engr. Kombo Johnson, Mr. Ugbana Martins, Dr. Robinson Olulu, Chief Kingsley Ogbudibo and Dr. Mrs. Juliet Berewari.’’
On his part, the Speaker said that during an oversight function carried out by the House Committee on Local Government in 2017, the commission was found to have performed below its constitutional capacity.
“When report shows that some high profile members of such a sensitive commission were found wanting, there is need for urgent action such as this.
“There is, therefore, the need to inject new blood into the system in the interest of democracy and to further protect the third tier of government,’’ Mr. Ibani said.
In another development, the Rivers 2018 Appropriation Bill of N510 billion after due debate and consideration by members of the House, was widely supported and passed the budget.
According to the Speaker, the Clerk of the House would forward a copy to the governor, Nyesom Wike, for endorsement and implementation.
Other bills that scaled through third readings were the bill to upgrade and empower the Kenule Bee-Son Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic to a Federal Government Polytechnic standard.
Also the re-enactment of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission law was also passed.
The Speaker said that the new law would henceforth guide the establishment functions of the state’s Independent Electoral Commission and matters related to local government councils in the state.
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