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South East

Abia LG Polls: Court Declares Onyeabor Winner

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An Umuahia High Court presided over by Justice Onuoha A.K.Ogwe, has ordered Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) to issue a Certificate of Return to Deacon Chijioke Onyeabor as the duly elected chairman of Isuikwuato Local Government Area of the state within 24 hours.

Also to be issued with their Certificates of Return are the 10 councillors who contested the January 19, 2008 Council polls in Abia State alongside Onyeabor.

Justice Ogwe, who gave the order Monday while ruling on Contempt of Court charges brought against ABSIEC by Onyeabor and the councillors, warned that the chairman of the commission, Prof. Steve Emejuaiwe, risks being committed to prison should he fail to comply with the court order.

Onyeabor was the chairmanship candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance which was the only party that fielded candidates for chairmanship and Councillorship positions in Isuikwuato for the January 19, 2008 Local Government polls in the State.

After polling, ABSIEC cancelled the exercise in Isuikwuato on the grounds that it was marred by violence.

Onyeabor challenged ABSIEC at the Local Governments Elections Tribunal. The tribunal struck out his suit on the grounds that his case was a pre-election matter.

This prompted Onyeabor to head to the High Court where he filed another case against ABSIEC, seeking for a proper interpretation of the provision of Abia State Government Law regarding candidates without challengers in an election.

Delivering judgement in the suit on April 20, 2009, Justice Ogwe granted the major reliefs sought by the plaintiff by holding that since Onyeabor was the only candidate standing for the election as other parties fielded no candidates, ABSIEC, ought to have declared him winner, in compliance with paragraph 11 of the 5th schedule of Abia State Local Government Law No. 2 of 2006.

The judge held that elections in Isuikwuato were unnecessary in the circumstance and that holding elections and canceling same amounted to a waste of public fund.

He, therefore, ordered the commission to declare Onyeabor and the 10 councillors as duly elected and issue them with their Certificates of Return.

However, ABSIEC appealed the judgement and also filed a motion for stay of execution of the High Court Ruling. Justice Ogwe equally dismissed the motion on June 22, 2009 for lacking in merit.

Two days later, Onyeabor filed a Motion on Notice through which he brought Contempt of Court Charges against the Commission for failing to declare him the duly elected chairman of Isuikwuato Local Government Council in respect of the Election held on January 19, 2008 .

An affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Barrister Orji Onwudinjo, counsel to Onyeabor, stated that both forms 48 and 49 have been duly served on the defendants. The motion contended that unless the defendants were committed to prison, they would continue to disobey and make mockery of the court order.

Ruling on the motion, Justice Ogwe ordered ABSIEC chairman to comply or be thrown into jail.

Counsel to ABSIEC, Barrister Ike Oguneme, while speaking to newsmen, denied that the commission has been served the contempt charges, adding that the motion ought to have been dismissed as he claimed that it was not properly brought before the court. He also contended that the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter.

However, Onwudinjo who held brief for Barrister K.C.Nwufo, lead counsel to Onyeabor, hailed the court ruling as a victory for democracy.

Deputy Governor of Imo State, Dr Ada Okwuonu (right) listens to the Secretary to Government of Imo State (SSG) Chief Cosmas Iwu at a public function, recently. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

Deputy Governor of Imo State, Dr Ada Okwuonu (right) listens to the Secretary to Government of Imo State (SSG) Chief Cosmas Iwu at a public function, recently. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

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South East

Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room

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The police in Ebonyi State say they have discovered the body of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman in a hotel room in Abakaliki, the state capital. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Loveth Odah, stated this yesterday.
She said the body has deep cuts on the chest and neck and has been deposited in a mortuary. According to the spokesman, it was discovered at Crown Garden Hotel located along the ever-busy Afikpo road in the capital city.
Mrs Odah, who said that the victim was found in the pool of her own blood, said the suspect had been identified as one Uchenna Awoke.
She said the hotel manager, Emmanuel Eze, the supervisor, and other workers had been taken to the police station for questioning and accused the hotel management of negligence.
“The manager of the hotel, the supervisor and other staff of the hotel were taken to the station for questioning and I must confess to you that the whole thing is negligence on the part of the hotel management. How can a guest be murdered in a hotel room and days after, the management is not aware of the incident.”
“We will investigate the matter properly and I assure you, the perpetrator of the act must be arrested and prosecuted. All we are asking is for the members of the public to avail the police of useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect.”

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South East

Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill

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The Senate yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2018.
The proposed commission aims at enhancing the infrastructural development of the South East zone, which is grappling with huge ecological challenges.
It also seeks to act as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the zone.
The proposed legislation requires the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a law.
Senators Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) jointly sponsored the bill read in the Senate on June 22, 2016.
Its passage in the Red Chamber followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service by its former Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa), on the floor of the Senate.
The bill, after Paulker’s presentation, was considered clause by clause by the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers were read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his remarks, presiding Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, commended his colleagues for a job well done.
In his words, “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country.
“This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress,” he said.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, members the South East caucus of the Senate, led by Sen. Enhinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, urged the President to sign the bill into law “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war.
“All things we see always will end up at the negotiating table, which is what we have done,” he said.
The lawmaker said he hoped the House of Representatives would give concurrence to the bill as it went in the Senate.
When established, the South East Development Commission would be the third zonal interventionist body in the country.

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South East

2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria

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Bishop David Oyedepo, the Founder and Presideng Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, on Saturday predicted that nothing would disturb the peace of Nigeria and its story would change for the better in the year 2019.
Oyedepo made the declaration at the just concluded annual prophetic gathering of the Winners’ family, christened the “Dominion”, in a satellite telecast of the church.
In the telecast monitored in Abuja, the cleric also declared that 2019 would be a year of “I have Dominion”.
“Nothing will tamper with the peace of Nigeria; the story will change for the better in the name of Jesus.
“Nigeria shall not see bloodshed, the Prince of Peace will continue to dominate in Nigeria, in Africa and Nigeria is declared blessed.
“Anywhere you step, accident is forbidden; death will not come near you and our nation.
“Anything that is of grace in my life, I freely release upon you today.
“God has opened the year 2019 to us, celebrate Him because its our year of “I have Dominion,” he said.
The Bishop added that the year 2019 would be a year of humbling testimonies for Nigeria and pace-setting testimonies.
He further declared that 2019 would be a colourful year for the nation.
According to the cleric, as long as Jesus has the final say on the issues of Nigeria, it will experience greatness.
Oyedepo said that there would be no more cause of alarm in any area of the nation and its citizens.
He advised Christians in Nigeria to delight themselves in the spirit of servant-hood, adding that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood.
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood. As you keep rising on the ladder of leadership, you must retain our spirit of servant-hood, constantly working to add value to others and be kingdom minded,” he said.
According to him, dedication is at the root of dominion, saying: “Sow yourself as a seed by being totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom’’.
He told his congregation that sacrificial giving guarantees the meeting of all their needs.
“When you engage in taking care of the well-being of others, God is also committed to your well-being,” he explained. The cleric admonished Christians would engage in meeting the needs of the needy, every barrier on their path of destiny would be crushed.
“Nobody tampers with your life, your career, your family and goes away with it because you are promoted to God’s kingdom.
“God will stand for your defence in the day of trouble. Every sacrificial giver has a defence around him in the day of trouble always have that in mind,” he said.
He reminded his congregation that the Church is not a building; the Church is a people and the Redeemed of the Lord.

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