Thursday, 06 May 2021



Politics (189)

Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the Governor-elect of Edo state has stated that his first assignment would be to put a team together for the purpose of preparing the 2017 appropriation budget immediately.

He said the focus of his administration would not change from the incumbent in terms of infrastructure and education, but that job creation and empowerment would be added.

Obaseki who spoke during an interactive session with journalists in Benin City, said he would have to prepare the budget in order to hit the ground running, noting that he has only four weeks to present the budget before the legislative arm go on recess.

His words: “My first assignment is to put together a team and get appropriation for next year because we have to hit the ground running.

“The focus will not change in terms of infrastructure and education. The added focus will be on job creation and empowerment. That is why I need to focus on the budget and ensure I get enough appropriation to emphasis the social aspects which I promised during my campaigns. We will continue to build roads and refurbish schools. What is important is how to get people to work.”

The Governor-elect who ruled out anything like government of unity or having members of the opposition political parties as part of his government, however said he would reach out to the opposition in terms of explaining his administration policies to them.

According to him, “I will not be able to accept anybody from the opposition as a commissioner in my cabinet.”

Recall that at the inception of Governor Adams Oshiomhole administration in 2008, he appointed three members of the Peoples Democratic Party as members of his cabinet.

Commenting on the plight of pensioners in the state, Obaseki noted that 700 out 11,700 documented pensioners that retired under the state civil service were yet to be paid.

He explained that the 700 pensioners were those that retired from 2012 to 2015 and that vouchers for payment for those that retired from 2012 to 2013 were ready.

He said the opposition tried to use it against the APC.

“Some people took advantage of the electioneering campaign to get at us on this issue. People tried to use the anxiety to win election, we will resolve the issues. Pension issues are not as they are reported.

“Vouchers are ready for payment for 2012 and 2013 pensioners. We are waiting for a little savings to pay them. For 2104 and 2015, we need to find the cash to pay them. We pay our pensioners regularly. We will have to help the local government fiscally responsible. We will reduce their cost and increase their revenue so that they can meet their obligations, including pensions and salaries.

Posted On Saturday, 01 October 2016 19:41 Written by

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Governor of Kogi State.

The seven-man panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata affirmed the election after listening to the closing statements of all the counsel.

The court also said it would provide reasons for its decision on September 30.

There had been four appeals against the Court of Appeal rulings with the Supreme Court expected to decide if Mr Bello should continue as Kogi governor or vacate office.

One of the appeals was by the immediate past governor of the state and candidate of the opposition PDP, Idris Wada, while another was by Mr James Faleke who was the deputy governorship candidate to late Abubakar Audu.

Mr James Faleke of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had challenged the decision of the Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal which upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the validly elected governor.

Mr James Falake was the deputy governorship candidate to late Abubakar Audu who died before the conclusion of the governorship election that was to see him elected as governor.

Yahaya Bello was then presented by the party, All Progressives Congress (APC) as replacement for Audu, a decision Mr Faleke challenged, arguing that he should have stepped into the position, having together with the late Audu gone through the election process.

He approached the Supreme Court after being dissatisfied with the judgement of the election tribunal and Appeal Court which both upheld Yahaya’s eligibility.

Channels Tv reports that it is expected that Kogi State would be peaceful in spite of the judgment which would be met with different reactions by parties involved.

The Kogi State Police Command had warned that it would deal decisively, in accordance of the law, with anyone caught taking laws into his hands, as the Supreme Court delivers its judgment.

The State Police Commissioner, Abdullahi Chafi, gave the warning while addressing newsmen at his office on Friday.

The CP further stressed that intelligent report reaching the command revealed that some miscreants were planning to create crisis before, during and after the Supreme Court judgement.

While warning parents to caution their wards, political party heads and their supporters, he said that his command was fully ready to deal with whoever disobeys the law.

He also placed a ban on any kind of public celebration by anybody or groups after the court judgement.

Posted On Wednesday, 21 September 2016 02:09 Written by

The prosecution led by Rotimi Jacobs has tendered Assets Declaration Form of Nigeria’s senate president, Bukola Saraki as evidence and it has been accepted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal led by its chairman, Danladi Umar.

The defence as usual reserves its objection to the document.

Led in evidence by Jacobs, Michael Wetkas, the first prosecution witness said 15A Macdonald Ikoyi was bought from the Presidential Implementation Committee on sale of FG Properties in the name of Tiny Tee Ltd.

He told the court that the defendant declared 15A and 15B as his property, but when EFCC wrote to Presidential Committee to verify the property, they responded that from their records, the property is no 15, Mcdonald Ikoyi Lagos and another one is Flat 1-4 Macdonald, Ikoyi Lagos.

The letter to the Implementation Committee on Sale of Federal Government Properties from the Investigation team and their response was tendered in court.

The witness said Tiny Tee paid 75 per cent cost of the property which is N123, 750 million from the account of Skyview Properties in Access Bank, then Intercontinental Bank.

When asked by the prosecution counsel who is the owner of the company, Wetkas said Saraki has declared the Company as his own.

He however said the Implementation Committee could not provide a copy of the draft for the payment and Access Bank too could not get a copy of the draft, but instead they referred his team to the Skyview Properties Ltd account in Access Bank where the draft was cleared and also furnished his team with the certificate of the account and opening packages for the account.

Certificate of Identification, Account opening packages, draft for the payment tendered and accepted court.

Posted On Monday, 18 April 2016 23:43 Written by

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media, says Presidency will soon begin to hold town hall meetings with Nigerians to furnish them with information.

Shehu made this known while answering reporters’ questions in Abuja on Sunday.

According to him, government decided to embark on such meetings because it has realised the importance of information communication to the people at the grassroots.

“I know that there is a plan that the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo would start town hall meetings in zones.

“It would then be broken down to the states and so on.

“Government realises that there is a need to take information to the people and there are steps that are being taken in order to ensure that is done,” he said.

Shehu criticised the National Orientation Agency (NOA) for being indifferent to the Federal Government’s change mantra.

“We have an agency like NOA with 773 offices nationwide.

Garba Shehu, media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari

Garba Shehu, media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari

“Each has not less than 5 to 7 staffs and well-equipped, but you know also, sometimes democracy has its own dark side.

“The President came and he wanted to really be fair to every Chief Executive. If he wanted to fire people on assumption (of office), he would have done it and he would not have violated any rule.

“He decided to give everyone a chance to see whether they would imbibe the change mantra, to see whether they were prepared to go along (with him).

“I will say with all sincerity that NOA was a source of worry for us in government; the people and the leadership never believed in what we are doing.

“They never believed in change. They just folded their arms and watched us for the period of 8 to 9 months that they were there.

“I believe the new leadership would begin to formulate things for agencies like that,” he said.

The presidential aide praised Nigerians for steadfastly supporting the present administration especially during a period most people considered to be difficult.

Shehu congratulated Nigerians on the achievements the President had recorded fighting insurgency and explained that the military have tagged their success against Boko Haram a “technical victory” because no city is presently under curfew.

The SSA said that with the passage of the budget by the National Assembly, the next phase for the President would be to rebuild damaged facilities and infrastructure.

He said that with the Central Bank of Nigeria realising more than N3 trillion through the introduction of the Treasury Single Account and the passage of the budget, a lot of activities would pick up.

On the quest by Nigerians to know the amount of money the Federal Government had so far recovered from treasury looters, Shehu said the litigation hurdles associated with the looted funds would have to be scaled before Nigerians were availed of the figures.

Posted On Monday, 28 March 2016 00:53 Written by

The Social Democratic Party, SDP, on Sunday defended the N100 million arms deal money given to its National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae by former National Security Adviser, (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd).

In press statement signed by National Publicity Secretary of SDP, Alhaji Abdul Ahmed Isiaq and made available to our correspondent today in Kaduna, the party said its attention has been drawn to a story in the news, that the National Chairman of SDP, Chief Olu Falae collected N100 million from Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd), former NSA.

According to the statement, the SDP was approached by the PDP through its BOT Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih for electoral alliance for the re-election of the former president Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

It also stated that Chief Olu Falae being the National Chairman of SDP summoned the National Executive Committee of SDP to a well attended meeting to consider the PDP’s proposal of Electoral Alliance for the re-election bid of former President Jonathan since SDP did not field a presidential candidate of its own.

“The SDP NEC meeting debated the electoral alliance proposal thoroughly and finally gave overwhelming approval for the electoral alliance with PDP. The NEC further empowered Chief Olu Falae to communicate the readiness of SDP to work with the PDP for the victory of former President Jonathan. In addition certain cardinal objective principles must be agreed upon such are zero tolerance for corruption and acceptance of the Confab report among others.

“Consequent upon this agreement the PDP through Chief Tony Anenih contributed N100 million only to the SDP/PDP electoral alliance project through Chief Olu Falae. The SDP spent well above N100 million for the execution of the project throughout the election period,” SDP explained.

It however posited that neither the SDP nor Chief Olu Falae was aware of Col. Dasuki’s arms deal money through Chief Anenih, stressing that the SDP as well as many Nigerians were aware that the PDP had a fund raising event prior to the election where billions of naira was donated.

It further said the SDP is also conscious of the fact that the PDP had ruled Nigeria for 16 years and it is expected that they are capable of funding their part of the electoral alliance.

It therefore emphasised that neither the SDP nor Chief Olu Falae have anything to do with the $2.1 billion arms deal debacle.

Posted On Sunday, 10 January 2016 18:06 Written by

Accord, one of the minor political parties which did not sponsor a candidate in the 2015 presidential election, has confirmed that its leader, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, received N100m from former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Tony Anenih, ahead of the election.

Ladoja is a former governor of Oyo State and was the governorship candidate of the party during the last election.

The confirmation of the money he received from Anenih, which was believed was from the $2.1b meant for the procurement of arms, was contained in a letter to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, by the National Secretary of Accord, Mr. Nureni Adisa.

In the letter titled, “Release of One Hundred Million by Chief Tony Anenih” and dated January 8, 2016, Adisa said that the money was used to money to support the second term presidential ambition of former President Godluck Jonathan.

Jonathan was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 election, but was defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.

Adisa’s letter to the EFCC chairman read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to a newspaper report that the sum of N100m was released to the Accord leader, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja by Chief Tony Anenih, the (former) Chairman BoT of the PDP.

“We confirm that the sum of N100m was given to the party through our leader after series of meetings between the leadership of Accord and Chief Tony Anenih in preparation for the 2015 general elections.

Issues discussed at the meetings, according to the statement, include the need to support the presidential candidate of the PDP since Accord had no presidential candidate, the need to ensure that peace was maintained to enhance peaceful movement during periods of campaign, elections and after the elections and the need for the PDP to support Accord’s campaign effort.

“Accordingly, the PDP (former) BoT Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih released the sum of N100m for these purposes through our leader, Sen. Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja.

“The money released was accordingly used for the purposes as stated above.”

Efforts made to get the reaction of Ladoja on Friday were not successful as the former governor didn’t answer calls made to his mobile telephone.

He also failed to respond to a text message sent to him.

The former National Security Adviser, Col. Sabo Dasuki (retd.) was reported to have disbursed varied sums of money to the accounts of some PDP leaders with the aim of using the funds to mobilise for the re-election of Jonathan.

Dasuki, who is currently undergoing trial, is alleged to have diverted $2.1bn meant for procurement of arms and ammunition that the armed forces would have used to fight Boko Haram insurgents.

N260m was reportedly traced to the account of Anenih.

But in a letter to the EFCC, Anenih had explained that the money was a part refund of the money former President Goodluck Jonathan instructed him to release to some political groups for mobilisation and post-election peace advocacy.

The former PDP BoT chairman explained that he was not a direct beneficiary of the money, stated in his letter to the EFCC that N100m was given to the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae; N100m to Ladoja and N63m to a group headed by elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai.

He said the N260m could not defray the total money, estimated at over N440m that he eventually doled out from his pocket to other groups and individuals on the instructions of the former President.

Both Yakassai and Falae had already confirmed that they received N63m and N100m respectively from Anenih for the purposes specified.

Posted On Friday, 08 January 2016 22:44 Written by
Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo is a trained Micro-biologist. He is a businessman and Human Right and Environmental Conservation Activist, a founder, Movement of Voice for Democracy (MVERS NIGERIA). He is not a lawyer but has taken the title of ‘legal engineer’. He is the only Nigerian that challenged the Justices of Supreme Court when they passed uncomplimentary remark on his person. In this interview with Ogbonna Casmir he said Nigeria legal education is in trouble because best brain best brains went to study medicine and engineering and left law for those who didn’t know trigonometry and who cannot solve quadratic equation. He spoke on President Buhari’s N6.8trillion Budget proposal for 2016.
Do you see conspiracy in the detention IPOB leader, Citizen Nnamdi Kanu?
With federal government, that there is an unwritten conspiracy or tacit support for his continued incarceration by Igbo elite because the minute Nnamdi Kanu is released from federal persecution there will be a change in political chemistry in Igboland. That is what my mind tells me.
What makes you think so?
First of all look the movement whether you support it or not of the agitation project Biafra, a specific generation are majority of those born after 1970, there medium of mobilization is highly technical through the internet and social media. Their loyalty to their cause is not something that you can say somebody received gratification, is not like hiring a crowed and most of their communication has being argumentative which the elite in Igboland have not tried to give them answer which they are agitating for because every agitation for Biafra is an indictment of the collective leadership in Igboland in the last 20yrs. Our political elite have not been able to stand up to demand full citizenship, they compromise group interest for personal success and that is the only issue that is firing Nnamdi Kanu’s movement. Eighty percent (80%) of the support group of that movement are resident outside Nigeria. Federal government will have serious issue trying him anyway, on issue of law if you asked that the man have committed treason; opinion can never amount to treasonable felony. Section 39 of our constitution will come to his rescue.
An American frayed Nigeria Bar Association for the conspiracy of silence over the continued detention of IPOB leader despite the unconditional release order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Do you thinking there is a conspiracy on the part of NBA?
Nigeria Bar Association is an elitist Bar. Is a bar of the same political class that is in government, not a bar built on any philosophy? So I don’t want to compare Nigeria Bar with other commonwealth country bar because our bar is not build on philosophy of emancipation of good governance or equal justice. Remember that corruption in an election in Nigeria is purely something that you will say that Nigeria bar has not being able to absorb themselves of corruption. Is just recently that they are trying to give vote to ordinary members of the bar to vote in an election. It has being an occultist, and elitist group that have aligned itself with the government from the day one. No one arrived to be president of the NBA without the influence of those in power. They are not the type of proactive bar that is independent that one will see social justice. So you may be asking too much because myself I am a victim, when the Supreme Court of Nigeria called me a crook when I have no pending matter before the court. I took the Supreme Court justices to court and not even one member of the NBA stood up to condemn what happened on 29th January, 2009. So you have to learn how to fight, I have to fight to get justice. So you don’t be expecting anything too from NBA, because is an elitist bar, a bar that made up of the same class of politicians that are dominating the polities of Nigeria. You cannot expect them to fight their co-traveler.
What is your opinion about the rule of law, as it regard the subsequent disobedient to court orders by the federal government?
First of all you must remember that before 1979 constitution that the Nigeria judiciary was part of the executive arm. It was the 1979 constitution that gave the judiciary its first independent and if you look at the headship of that institution, there have been people who some of them have never fought any case in court, they rose through the rank some their name have never been reported in any law case that they have fought, they rose through the rank. So the issue of rule of law in Nigeria you need more activists not more lawyers to get into government so that we can respect the separation of power.
How do you reconcile that court gave order for unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu from over two months detention by DSS, and the federal government refused to obey the order. Instead in its try and error methods slams treasonable charge and arraign him before the same court it refuses to obey its order. Do the court have jurisdiction to entertain the case when its previous orders have not been obeyed?
The issue of jurisdiction is hinged on the constitution. Is not an issue that is hinged on the charge alone, the personality, the crime and who have the power to prosecute the crime. There is no judgment in favour of Kanu that he should not be arraign in any court yet, but what is happening will tell you about the death of the Nigeria lawyer this understanding of the rule of law, remember the office of the Attorney General of the Federation is the office that is prosecuting Kanu. That office is made up of very incompetent lawyers because if they are not incompetent from day one they will know why Kanu is being held and why he has to be brought to court. They cannot be forum shopping, they cannot be try and error you file this charge today you withdraw you now want to come back with another one. So, but the only issue they are enjoying is there is no court that ban them arraigning Nnamdi Kanu yet. What I am saying is shame to Nigeria lawyers because the ordinary people may not be able to understand what I am saying but the lawyers themselves know what I am saying because I know the workings of the law. What is happening is an indictment on the ministry of justice including the AGF. This is a shame that they cannot seat down, study a case, formulate charges and go to court. That is each time they said that they have charge so, so and so person to court by EFCC, I am laughing because I know that is the beginning of the man gaining his freedom. They will come with 1000 charges and non will hold. They don’t even know the limit of arraigning charges on accuse people. I challenge Nigerian lawyers let them come out and argue with me because individually all the charges, if you pick-up the average Nigeria law report you will see the porosity of the intellectual emptiness of the legal profession in Nigeria. I say it without prevarication the porosity of mistakes. No lawyer have ever lost a case, it is the clients that lose cases. Remember the case a lawyer went and filed a criminal notice of appeal for our brother Uwazurike and it was struck out and is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and he is still working in the street parading self learned in law. Is it not enough for his name to be strike out from the list of lawyers?
So what we are seen is that Nigerians must be more proactive, don’t leave the law for the lawyers. I keep saying it every Nigeria must learn to read the constitution and I have been telling people that the greatest undoing in Nigeria is that people who fail mathematic became lawyers. Kanu have no judgment in his favour that he should not be arraigned but all this trial and error will tell that legal education in Nigeria is very serious in need of reconstruction because lawyers that cannot even understand a charge and all the ingredient of a charge and wants to arraign somebody in the court and all you hear is ‘as court pleases’ and we come back. The judge is not there to fight your case. Who tell you that under the constitution you cannot defend yourself? There is no rule of law that is not base on facts and facts must be presented before the court. You don’t place law before facts and if you know the facts you don’t need to know the law because the facts will resolve 80% of the issue. So, this is every serious dilemma in Nigeria. The judiciary in Nigeria has to attract the best brain because the best brain in Nigeria didn’t study law that is why we are having problem. Some of best brains went to study medicine and engineering and left law for those who didn’t know trigonometry and who cannot solve quadratic equation. They were not the best mind and this is the problem the country will continue to have until we change that stance.
You said that you are a legal engineer in an interview published in one of the national daily. What do you mean?
It is after thinking that you apply up. Nigeria lawyers apply up before thinking from my science background resolution of problem start with understanding the formula and there approach, signs of disease before you can deal with the chemistry and chromatography of resolving issue. That is why we need brilliant ones should be lawyers, so that you don’t suffer people who are in the court. If you go to court you see judgment that will be 30pages full of rubbish and issues are not resolved. How can a judge be seating down reading judgment for 2hours, are you telling me that all issues in the case contesting in that court cannot be resolved and find out within five to ten minutes judgment is delivered on the core issues that are in dispute between the parties, this is the problem. We don’t even criticize them but I criticize them because I know the law.
What is the possible prospect we are going to get in 2016 considering the economic downturn as the oil price continue to fall at the international market?
There is no hope. You cannot be doing the same thing over and over again and expect different result even though the architect might not be different. The basic issue of problem solving is to eliminate obstacles. President Buhari says he is fighting corruption I am asking him, is corruption he is fighting is just $2.1 billion allocated to the security adviser to the president, an office not known to Nigeria law, is it the fight for corruption? It cannot be the fight for corruption. The road map to fight for corruption is the distribution and enjoyment of the wealth Nigerians cannot justify and how to repatriate and punish those people. You will be seating down hearing a judge of a court making an order that the person who will be the sponsor of a bail for an accuse person will be a civil servant serving or retired who own property not less than N200 million in Abuja. If any person will qualify to come to do that, that person should be in jail because there is no civil servant in Nigeria that earn N20 million annually, how can you own a house without a mortgage and you call that justice and you are clapping. We have a serious issue is fundamental and political class in Nigeria are brink of architectural engineering to achieve social equilibrium in Nigeria is difficult. We have a culture of praying; that is why you can see Rev. Mbaka have to go and embrace Buhari in the presidency. What is his constituency? All these are part of the rubbish that is going on in Nigeria. What is his constituency that he was partisan and has gone to embrace him? These are issues that are going to confront us in 2016, if you want to be a priest you will be a priest and if you want to be a politician you will be a politician.
What is your take on the N6.8 trillion budget estimates for 2016 fiscal year?
The president said that 2016 budget is non-oil budget that is that the targeting of money would not be based only on oil export but they are going to look internally to tax and rest of them. I want the president to tell Nigerians who in Abuja have paid property tax for a city that is developing faster than Texas. It is when you collect property taxes in Abuja you should be able to fund education in Nigeria. The only tax the federal government collects is for the uniformed troops, other uniform services and civil servants in Abuja, but other than that who else will pay tax rather than to the states. FIRS cannot collect personal income tax for the state, so if we are looking for money and federal government on the road network which the federal government is controlling in the south-east; Onitsha – Enugu, Enugu – Port-Harcourt and Port-Harcourt – Owerri roads, they are owing the contractors not less than N600 billion and budget of the ministry of work is something above N300 billion and they are telling us they are doing zero budgeting. How many amount have they allocated to clear the debts on these roads for a how many years and what percentage of work will be done on these roads if we are expecting anything new. Already the minister for work has told us that we are going back to tollgate. Since British left us, we have not reclassified roads in Nigeria, why should federal government be in-charge of interstate roads. Nothing new and nothing will happen, is just like owing a contractor N30 billion and you give him N2 billion, he will go back and paid interest in his bank and continue to buy new cars and nothing will happen. I don’t know what anybody is expected. We should look inside; the members of national assembly don’t have the dexterity to even criticize this budget. We need people to now begin to ask question this is why our budget has become a yearly ritual. The last government budget in Nigeria was not implemented up to 30% while are we deceiving ourselves before you know it professors in economics is telling me that it is a beautiful budget when you are talking that we want the country restructured why are we creating big government.
Most of the network roads and other existing infrastructures were constructed by the military regime. What is happening under our democracy?
There were new roads, they had money and during the regime they plan those roads one of the roads was paid for. It was on proactive bases that government will plan, but now they want zero budgeting; so for zero budgeting in every year you look at what you can accomplished and put money into it, but they have not been able to tell us: for example I tell people that nothing will happen in the south-east roads for this yuletide, did you see any construction work in any of our roads to make it motorable, nothing because the government don’t have the vision. The political parties are not centered or hinges for development, our politicians are not thinking all these budgets are being drawn by people in the planning department in the ministry. President Buhari was government in seven months for seven months; he couldn’t draw up a budget.
Posted On Thursday, 31 December 2015 01:34 Written by

Some residents of Zaria, Kaduna State, and neighbours of the leader of the Shi’ite sect, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, yesterday launched a campaign to get the group banned.

Citing alleged hardship caused them by members of the sect over the last 20 years, the Zaria residents said they have had enough.

Their spokesperson, Alhaji Idris Mohammed Baba, told reporters in Kaduna that Shi’ite members routinely hold people in Zaria and Sabon Gari local government areas of the state hostage and tend to run a parallel government in the country.

They claimed that last May, the sect declared 24 youths persona non grata for challenging their activities in Gyellesu community where Zakzaky resides.

According to him, “My experience with Shiite followers is disastrous and terrible. At a point Shi’ite boys threatened to kill me. We are happy over the military action against Shi’ites movement in Zaria because we have fresh air now blowing in our areas.”

He added, “As a community, we wrote letters to the government about the activities of Shi’ites but no single action was taken. We no longer report Shi’ites to police because they will never honour police or security invitation.

“These Shi’ites are an authority unto themselves; they don’t respect the authorities, the security agencies and so on.

“We are Muslims but we discovered that Shi’ites activities are contrary to Islam. They carry dangerous weapons and openly molest innocent people in our areas. Human rights groups should also look into our pains by the sect members.”

Also speaking, another resident, Alhaji Saidu Garba, said the activities of the sect have crippled the once booming economy of the area.

He said: “After El-Zakzaky was released from detention in 1999,he came and settled in Gyallesu. Since then there is no peace in our area. We thank Allah for touching the heart of government and the military for liberating us from Shi’ites untold hardship.”

Posted On Sunday, 27 December 2015 16:48 Written by
  • Accuses some PDP members of working against his interest

The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya on Sunday hailed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, saying “the governor is on course and determined to turn the state around”

“God places people in authority and when you challenge any man in authority, you challenge God. Notwithstanding the economic challenges, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa deserves commendation” he said.

He also described the April 11 House of Assembly Election in Sapele Constituency as the toughest in his political career.

Igbuya who spoke at the thanksgiving service of Rhema Place Ministries in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government said it was regrettable that that some politicians were pre-occupied with the politics of destruction.

The Delta Speaker who spoke seriously about the last House of Assembly election accused some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Sapele Local Government of engaging in acts inimical to the growth of the party in the state.

“Some members of our political family worked against my interest and the interest of our great party during the April 11, 2015 House of Assembly Election but i won the election. I also won at the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal” he said.

He appealed to Nigerians not to see politicians as idol worshippers.

“Power belongs to God and when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. Not all politicians are idol worshippers. If God says you cannot occupy a position, there is no way you can achieve that”.

Using his life as a testimony and recounting how he challenged God before the election, Igbuya said God made his victory possible.

‘I am not the most intelligent person in Sapele. God made me a member of the Delta State House of Assembly. He also made me Speaker of the Honourable House”.

He urged Nigerians to be dedicated and always seek the face of God in whatever they are doing.

He also urged the people of the state to support Governor Okowa.

“Governor Ifeanyi Okowa will be governor for eight years. Pray for him always so that God can use him to make Delta State more prosperous” he added.



Posted On Monday, 07 December 2015 01:05 Written by

LAGOS — The crisis emerging from the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress, APC’s candidate in the Kogi State governorship election last night took a new dimension as Mr James Faleke, late Audu’s running mate in the election formally asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare him winner of the election and name him governor-elect.

It was also learnt last night that the name of runner up in the APC governorship primary, Alhaji Yahaya Bello had been forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC as a replacement for Audu.

The running mate in the election, James Faleke, yesterday, raised strong objections to the development.

Faleke set his claim on the governorship in two letters to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the APC on the fact that he had become governor-elect in the face of what he described as the unfortunate death of Audu. He thus cautioned his party not to fall into a trap set for it by INEC to field another candidate or go into a supplementary election.

His assertion was despite strong momentum in Abuja yesterday for Bello. Bello, it was learnt, was being projected by some elements in the party acting in concert with senior presidency officials.

Lobbyists root for Audu’s son

Meanwhile foot soldiers of the late Audu especially in the Igala-speaking Kogi East were also engaged in a strong lobby for his son, Mohammed Audu to replace the deceased politician on the ticket going into the supplementary election as ordered by INEC.

Audu’s votes died with him, says PDP; drags INEC to court

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP on its part as exclusively reported by Vanguard yesterday, at the end of an emergency caucus on Wednesday night laid its claim to the governorship on the fact that Audu’s votes had died along with him.

National leadership of the PDP, also, yesterday, dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to the Federal High Court over last Saturday’s Kogi State gubernatorial election.

In an originating summons filed by its lead Counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, the PDP is asking the court to declare its candidate and governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada as the rightful winner of the election.

The summons read in part, “ We pray for the return of our candidate who at present polled majority of lawful votes and satisfies the constitutional requirements for return, or in the alternative a fresh poll without APC who at the moment cannot substitute their deceased candidate.”

Faleke writes INEC

Faleke’s two letters to INEC as exclusively obtained by Vanguard were directed by his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanikpekun, SAN.

In the letter to the INEC chairman, Faleke deposed among others that :
Although an unfortunate and saddening incident had occurred after the announcement of results of the election and subsequent pronouncement of INEC that the election was inconclusive.

The point must quickly be made that INEC’s wrong declaration of inconclusiveness of the election and ordering a supplementary election in 91 polling units was arrived at, according to the Returning Officer; on the basis that the number of cancelled votes outnumbered the number with which the candidate of APC led the candidate of the PDP.

With much respect to INEC and the highly distinguished chairman, the reasoning of INEC is non sequitur. While as at Monday 23, November 2015, INEC still insisted that it was not aware of Prince Abubakar Audu’s transition, however, INEC later on directed the APC to go and conduct another primary election to nominate its candidate for the supplementary election in 91 polling units. With much respect to INEC, this new directive as well, is unfounded, both legally and constitutionally.

It can also not be reasonably or rationally defended. Our client is of the opinion that INEC is inadvertently prompting an avoidable political and legal crisis. What INEC should do is to obey, respect and comply with the letter, spirit, intendment and tenor of the constitution, by not only declaring APC as the winner of the election, but by also declaring our client as Governor-elect.

May we draw Mr. Chairman’s attention to the clear and mandatory provision of section 68(1)(c) of the Electoral Act to the effect that any result declared by Returning Officer shall be final and binding, and can only be reviewed or upturned by an Election Tribunal. In effect, the results already announced by INEC are binding, not only on all the parties, but also on INEC itself.

We want to believe that INEC is not unaware of the binding decisions of our appellate courts on this issue.

Furthermore, by the provision of section 181(i) of the constitution, our client, who was the deputy governorship candidate or the associate of Prince Abubakar Audu at the already concluded election constitutionally and automatically becomes the governor-elect of the state.

With much respect, INEC has no discretion in this matter. May we advise, most humbly, that INEC should not confuse this situation with what is intended in section 33 of the Electoral Act because the situation on ground has nothing to do with changing or substitution of the name of a candidate before election. In fairness to INEC, it had already announced the results of the election, and as at the time it so did, it honestly claimed ignorance of the death of Prince Abubakar Audu.

In law and logic, no new candidate can inherit or be a beneficiary of the votes already cast, counted and declared by INEC before that candidate was nominated and purportedly sponsored.

Assuming without conceding that INEC is even right to order a supplementary election, the votes already cast, counted and declared on Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 November 2015 were votes for the joint constitutional ticket of Prince Abubakar Audu and our client.

Therefore, no new or supplementary candidate can hijack, aggregate, appropriate or inherit the said votes. Assuming further, without conceding that supplementary election in 91 polling units can hold as being suggested by INEC, it is our client who should be the automatic candidate of the party, since APC cannot conduct primary election for the supplementary election in 91 polling units.

Chairman sir, this is a rather simple and straight forward matter which does not need any delay, foot dragging or procrastination. It is a constitutional imperative.

Put in other way, INEC has a bounden duty to declare our client the winner of the election. Any attempt to conduct any supplementary election in any unit whatsoever and howsoever will amount to INEC breaching and flouting the constitution and our client would definitely challenge it.

…writes APC too
In the letter to the APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Olanipekun, again writing on behalf of Faleke rehearsed the same arguments as put forward to INEC, even as he added that the party should not allow itself to be distracted.

Concluding, he said:

“Arising from the foregoing, our client enjoins the APC not only to support him at actualising the mandate already given to the party under the joint ticket of himself and the late Prince Abubakar Audu, but to also distance itself from the ‘Greek gift’ offer being made by INEC, to wit, that it is allowing the APC to conduct a fresh primary election to nominate a candidate for a supplementary election in 91 polling units, where only about 25,000 PVCs are available; whereas the APC is already leading, by the announced results, with over 40,000 votes.”

APC out with Audu’s death — PDP

Meanwhile, the PDP in a statement confirming the deliberations of its national caucus insisted that the death of Audu, the APC’s running mate has inevitably put the party out of the governorship contest.

The party insists:

That with the death of its candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has legally crashed out of the governorship race as no known law or constitutional provision allows the substituting of candidates, once the ballot process has commenced.

That with the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has no valid candidate in the election, leaving INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Capt. Idris Wada as the winner of the election.

The party also:

lNotes that the combined reading of the provisions of the constitution and Electoral Act does not in any war whatsoever support the substitution of candidates for election in the middle of the ballot process.

Notes that if APC is allowed to substitute its original candidate, then the party would have fielded two separate candidates in the same election, a scenario that is completely alien to our electoral laws and to any known democratic norms and practice world-over.

Observes that the APC, fully aware that it has no case before the law is now orchestrating confusion in the polity with a view to diverting attention from its glaring incompetence and failure of governance.

The party also demanded the immediate resignation of the chairman and all national commissioners of INEC and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mallam Abubakar Malami for purportedly deliberately misleading INEC into arriving at the unconstitutional decision of allowing APC to substitute its candidate in the inconclusive election.

The PDP warned that the AGF, INEC and APC were creating a scenario where a loser in a primary will patiently wait for the winning candidate to finish election and then have him either poisoned or assassinated before the final collation of results.

Group asks INEC to reverse self

Meanwhile, a group, known as the Concerned Voters in Kogi State has called on INEC to reverse its stance that the governorship election was inconclusive.
Spokesperson of the group, Abdulkareem Jimoh also rejected the invitation by INEC to the APC to present another candidate to replace Audu, saying, “We reject in totality, the decision of INEC in declaring the election inconclusive.

This decision is not only unpopular, but it is against the natural law of justice and fairness, as the number of votes scored and recorded in the just concluded election gave APC a clear victory.

“It is on record that, in the disputed 91 units, only 35,785 voters collected their PVC and are eligible to vote as against the 49,000 registered voters, claimed by INEC.

“We want the electoral body to convince us, how the outstanding 35,785 eligible voters in the said 91 units could upturn the over 41,000 margin already recorded in favour of APC”.

Posted On Friday, 27 November 2015 19:11 Written by
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