Rivers Assembly passes bill prohibiting use of state-owned facilities for campaigns

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The Rivers state House of Assembly has passed the Advertisement and Use of State-Owned Properties Prohibition Bill 2022.

The bill was passed shortly after a public hearing with various stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations and security agencies in attendance.

The bill was sponsored by the Leader of the House and member representing Obio/Akpor Constituency 1, Martin Amaewhule and seeks to prohibit the use of residential buildings for non-residential purposes, prohibit outdoor advertisements, ​ particularly the posting of bills, posters, and other materials, and the use of state-owned institutions or public schools for political campaigns.

It also stipulates a fine of N3million, N200,000 and N400,000 for the contravention of the various sections of the law.

The Deputy Speaker, Edison Ehie who spoke before the passage of the bill said it is aimed at ‘sanitizing the state from the use of residential properties for commercial purposes”.

Ehie, who doubled as the chairman of the committee, said bill is timely especially where residential areas are being converted into night clubs.

On his part, the speaker of the House Ikuyi Ibani while commending the public hearing committee asked that the report of the committee be amended to include “a ban on all commercial activities within the Old GRA”.

In the meantime, Rivers State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Micheal Besong Ogah, who was represented by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Femi Ayodeji has assured that the command will enforce the law when it is signed into law.