From Mike Odiegwu and Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt
Condemnation on Sunday greeted the demolition of two lodges by the Rivers State authorities in Port Harcourt for allegedly flouting the lockdown guidelines.
Activisist, legal professionals and opinion leaders within the state faulted the motion, which Governor Nyesom Wike personally supervised as “unfair.”
Wike had vowed to tug down lodges discovered to be rendering providers and buildings whose outlets opened for enterprise through the lockdown.
The Prodest Resort Alode in Eleme and Edemeteh Resort in Onne have been reported to have contravened the order. They have been pulled down.
The federal government additionally declared needed Princewill Osaroejiji, proprietor of Etemeteh Resort and positioned N5million bounty on his head, out there for whoever may provide data on his whereabouts.
Osaroejijin is the youth chief of Peoples Democratic Occasion (PDP) in Eleme Native authorities space.
Outstanding legal professionals like Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), and Jite Ogunye, condemned Wike, saying his ‘motion was alien to legislation.
Ogunye, mentioned in a Fb put up: “Beheading isn’t any remedy for headache. Recklessness isn’t any braveness and brashness isn’t any power. It’s a weak case and a weak haste to unlawfully demolish a property for violating a COVID-19 regulation.
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“It’s an act of Govt lawlessness to be the accuser, prosecutor, choose and punishment executioner.”
Additionally on his Fb web page Adegboruwa, in a remark titled: The Rising Dictatorship in Rivers State, known as on Rivers individuals to “stand as much as each type of lawlessness and arbitrariness and defend their rights below the Structure.”
He added: “The governor of Rivers State is a lawyer, which ought to be an added benefit to delivery good governance. The governor additionally has a dependable accomplice as a judicial officer, in order that each within the workplace and at dwelling, legislation is following the governor and it’s written throughout him.
“However the story of Rivers State in latest occasions has turn out to be a significant fear for all lovers of the rule of legislation and democracy.
“The Rivers State governor has no authorized proper in legislation to confiscate the property of residents by Govt fiat. Certainly, two wrongs can not make a proper.”
Additionally, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, the Chief of Workers to the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, condemned the demotion as “depraved”.
Igbuzor wrote on his Fb web page: Demolish lodges as a result of they didn’t obey lockdown pointers. That is depraved.”
Some Rivers State-based legal professionals and rights activists like Somina Johnbull, Obiaruko Ndukwe, Increased King, Dumnamene Fyneface, Prince Wiro, and Inexperienced Isaac, additionally berated the governor’s motion.
Johnbull mentioned: “It ought to be said that there is no such thing as a energy below the Land Use Act to summarily demolish buildings even when the precise of occupancy had been revoked. The Land Use Act is the Principal laws on this subject material even in Rivers State.
Wike’s opponent within the 2015 governor election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Dakuku Peterside, mentioned the governor had via his newest motion proven that he had turn out to be a” full-blown dictator.”
Peterside, the rapid previous director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Company (NIMASA), mentioned Wike’s motion was “depraved, insensitive, irresponsible and illegal.”
Explaining the motion, the governor’s Particular Assistant on Digital Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, mentioned the demolition was in keeping with the state authorities Govt Order 6, which bans the operation of lodges throughout the 23 native authorities areas of the state through the lockdown.
He quoted Wike as saying: “Authorities has no various however to use the chief order, which I signed earlier than the lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt. I known as all the normal rulers and council chairmen and advised them to make sure that no resort operates within the state.
“We aren’t saying will probably be ceaselessly. That is for now, in order that we all know the place we’re. To scale back the instances and examine the unfold.
“Whether or not you’re PDP or not, all we’re saying is that no one is above the legislation. If we will do that to a PDP individual, then we aren’t discriminatory. Everybody should obey. Whether or not you’re in PDP, SDP or no celebration, you need to obey the legislation. If another individual does the identical factor, the identical rule will apply.
“We mentioned no resort ought to function inside this era. Sadly, the PDP Youth Chief in Eleme joined others to flout the Govt Order. Subsequently, the chief order might be utilized.
”Take a look at the speed of infections, most of those persons are present in lodges. Take a look at the person that died, he was at Mingi Resort in Rumumasi. As a consequence of that contact, we’ve had different seven instances.
“Some individuals might not like our methods, however our goal is to attain outcomes. Individuals discuss starvation. However it is just a residing individual that may focus on starvation.
“What we’re doing is to inform the those who the state authorities is critical. This being led by me, individuals ought to know that the federal government is decided to make sure that we defeat Coronavirus.”