Abia State government says it is ready to do battle with Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, who has gone back to the Court of Appeal to seek a reversal of the February 11, 2009 Court of Appeal verdict, which confirmed Chief Theodore Orji as the winner of the 2007 governorship elections in Abia State.
Ugochukwu, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2007 general elections, had two weeks ago made it public that he has filed a fresh appeal against ruling of the Justice Saka Ibiyeye-led panel of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, which upturned the verdict of the Lower Tribunal which had ruled that Ugochukwu won the Abia governorship elections because Orji belonged to a secret cult and that the governor and his Deputy, Chris Akomas, did not resign their position from the civil service before vying for the plum job and were, therefore, disqualified from standing for the election.
But the Appeal Court disagreed with the Lower Tribunal, and in a unanimous judgement, held that the grounds for which Orji and his deputy were disqualified were pre-election matters.
Ugochuwkwu told newsmen that he was in the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, to seek justice because the Justices of Appeal Court perpetrated injustice in their verdict, alleging that they did so because they believed that the court had the final say on the matter.
Reacting to Ugochukwu’s move, Abia State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Umeh Kalu, confirmed Monday in Umuahia that Ugochukwu has actually filed an application with a motion praying the court to reverse the Court of Appeal verdict.
The Commissioner, who briefed newsmen on government’s position, however, dismissed the action as being of no consequence, boasting that the government would not lose sleep over it.
Said Kalu: “As far as we are concerned as a government, and I am sure that you all know that the final court in matters bordering on the gubernatorial elections is the Court of Appeal and that was where we took our case to and the Court of Appeal came out with that unanimous decision and that put a final seal to their case. As far as we are concerned, we were through with that matter.
According to the commissioner, the government would not lose sleep over the development because, “Court of Appeal can not reverse itself.”
“I want to confirm to you that, yes , we have made our enquiries and it is true that he, (Ugochukwu), has actually filed an application at the Court of Appeal, Owerri. The government is waiting to be served. There is a pending application; he (Ugochukwu), has motion at the court in which he is asking that the judgment that was delivered a year ago be set aside.”
“I assure you that we have a team of lawyers and we are waiting for him. We have no fears and wherever he wants to take us to we are ready and prepared to meet him in court and I can assure you that people of Abia State are not in anyway disturbed by what is happening,” the Attorney-General added.
“Chief T.A.Orji has decided not to be distracted. We are not even giving much attention to this present application because we know the purpose. It is all political because I know that we are done with that matter and that whatever he has is like a child’s play.”
“It is surprising that the man, Onyema Ugochukwu, has decided to create an atmosphere of uncertainty in the state but he is creating that fear in minds of those who are uninformed because those who are informed know that what he filed is really nothing anybody should pay attention to, apart from drawing his party’s attention to himself,” the Commissioner said.
He accused Ugochukwu of being “desperate to recover what he calls his stolen mandate.” Kalu did not say when the actual legal fireworks would commence in Owerri.
Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room
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.”
Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill
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.
2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria
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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