The senator representing the Rivers East Senatorial District, George Thompson Sekibo, said on Sunday that Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike had followed due process in demolishing hotels and replacing them with schools.
Remember that just two weeks ago, Gov Wike, while monitoring the level of compliance with COVID-19, discovered two hotels that grossly violated the NCDC guidelines of the Nigeria Disease Control Center and ordered an immediate demolition of the hotels to save its citizens.
Sekibo, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, also said he was convinced that Governor Nyesom Wike, being a lawyer and Democrat, followed the law and due process before approving the demolition of the affected hotels.
Senator Sekibo, in supporting the governor's move, said the government reserved all right to convert confiscated properties for public use.
The senator further explained: "I am concerned about the negative comments against the governor on social media, however, most of the things we read on social media are not verified and we don't even know if they are true or not".
"I did not read the Executive Order that the governor signed as part of the measures to curb COVID – 19. I am also not familiar with the other instructions he is giving in the state, as I have been in Abuja since the time the federal government blocked the FCT and other parts of the country so far ”.
“The law must follow the course of anyone who owns a hotel and he is violating the blocking order or any of the state's laws, the governor is a Democrat and he is a lawyer. As a lawyer, I think he will not leave Port Harcourt, where there are many hotels, and move to Eleme and reach only two hotels to destroy. Perhaps something of a criminal or anti-public interest was being done there. I believe that he will follow due process and he may have followed due process, because I do not know all the laws of the state ”.
“I am not at the State Assembly House. They may have their own laws that they are also following. For example, if a kidnapper is caught in the act under the force of the state's anti-kidnapping law, he accepts it and this law covers other areas of criminal activity. ”
“Therefore, a person who commits kidnapping and related criminal activity can have his property confiscated. If a property is confiscated based on the application of the laws of the state that is the law and you cannot blame the governor based on that ”.
"The structure of the property could be overturned and the land left empty without development or the government may decide to use the land for anything else in the public interest."
“I heard stories that one of the young owners of one of the hotels is an alleged criminal, declared wanted by the state government. If it is a criminal situation related to kidnapping and killing, the state's anti-kidnapping law will insure you ”.
“If the law keeps you and the governor takes such action against him, there is no way for you to go and consult the governor. The governor is struggling to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread very widely in the state ”.
On converting property to build a primary school, Sekibo said, if the law says a criminal's land should be confiscated, it will be taken over by the government.
“If it is now a government land, the government has the power to place any structure it wants to build on it. If the government decides to build a school on the land, it is for public or community service ”.