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ILLEGAL WITHHOLDING OF PERFORMANCE FEE: GOV. AMAECHI’S C.O.P HENRY HALLIDAY & LEXY M AT DAGGERS DRAWN

By Idaimi Peace
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Hon. Henry Halliday, the Chief Protocol officer at the Rivers state government House may be in for big trouble following his continuous refusal to yield to calls for the release of performance fee belonging to Port Harcourt entertainment icon, Lexy M

This weekly gathered that a lingering performance fee withheld by the COP has seriously strained a once blossoming relationship between the COP and Lexy M who has vowed to reclaim his money before the expiry of this administration.

Speaking to newsmen Lexy M said: “I have kept my calm on this issue and was compelled to go public with it on May 5th 2015 when it became obvious that Mr. Henry Halliday, Chief Protocol to the Rivers state government has no intention to pay me for the musical performances rendered on his instructions in Government house. For all those who know me I perform regularly in the Rivers state Government house, however, this same issue of withholding performance fees was instrumental to my decision to put a stop to further performance.

Lexy described the COP’s attitude as heartless and borne out of poor human management. He narrated an event where Halliday had hired his service, according to him he was contracted at about 55 minutes to the start of the event sometime in early 2014. “I still remembered vividly how he was calling me every five minute because the program was almost turning against him. It was the visit of the former British Prime minister "Mr. Gordon Brown. He even had to send a police hilux to help clear the way for me and the equipment since there was terrible traffic jam due to road construction jobs all over. That singular act should have appealed to him to stop tormenting me because I had single handedly helped to rescue the situation and saving what would have been a colossal failure. I even added to that a wonderful performance, the visitor was so impressed that he even had photo shots with me” he said.

According to him it is frustrating that this same COP recently after series of failed efforts to reach him following deliberate barring of his lines on his mobile was deceptive enough to ask me, "Which of the programs exactly are you talking about"?

The former Rivers PMAN chairman noted that after taking pains to remind him; Halliday started reminding him of how he (Lexy) had turned him down on several functions owing to his refusal to pay the performance fee in contention. He also reminded him how one of the nights he met with him in government house and he had asked him to wait so that he can get his cheque book; saying that was the last time he saw Lexy.

In one occasion Lexy recounted how Amaechi’s COP begged him to allow him finish with his RSHA election bids, recalling how his second in command (2ic) begged Halliday in his presence to try and pay up considering his face saving role during the visit of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The situation was said to have taken another dimension prompting a situation where Lexy had to report the matter to the Chief of staff Rivers state Government house, Okocha who swiftly called and warned COP to make sure he pays the money, sounding it that his office had no businesses with the said programme.

Hear him: “The most annoying thing is that he is now passing the blames on one Mr. Temple, his second in command saying that I should hold him responsible. Halliday is painting the whole scenario to look as if he has given the money to Temple, but he forgot in a hurry that all the enlisted experiences mentioned above transpired in my presence. I know how Mr Temple tried his best to talk him into paying me. Now if I didn't know his second in command enough I might have falling for his gimmick and perhaps would have gone to the extent of embarrassing the innocent man” he said.

“I wish to use this medium to appeal to those who are close to Mr. Henry Halliday to pay me my money because I worked for it and it wasn’t a hand-out from him to me.

I am a MUSICIAN. What I earn today makes way for my pension tomorrow. This is my only means of livelihood hence I wonder why the COP should resort to frustrating me by persistently refusing me my legitimate pay”. Lexy said a lot of friends and well wishers have intervened and begged him to pay but he has arrogantly refused.”

Some persons who had lent their voice to the embarrassing situation have stated the need for the money to be paid now. This is not unconnected with the fact that the Rt. Hon. Chibuke Rotimi Amaech’s administration is literally wrapping up and anything short of now will be a shade too late.

The situation we gathered after several appeals have falling on deaf ears has left Lexy M with no choice than to seek legal redress in a competent court of law to enable him retrieve his pay. “I have all evidences and facts to prosecute this matter and will not hesitate to exhaust them lawfully until I get justice.

We have heard cases of performance fees withheld d by the governor’s aides in cases involving many artist entertainment personalities, pundits in view of this have continued to express worry insisting on the need to put a stop to this dishonest acts.