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‘Court Can’t Sack Defecting Govs’

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L-R: Unit Manager, Ministry of Works, Mr Mohammed Isa, frsc  Corps Marshal, Mr Osita Chidoka, representative of the Minister of Works, Mr Abubakar Mohammed, and the  Deputy Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, at the handover of heavy duty trucks and patrol vehicles by the Minister of Works to frsc, in Abuja, recently. Photo: NAN

L-R: Unit Manager, Ministry of Works, Mr Mohammed Isa, frsc Corps Marshal, Mr Osita Chidoka, representative of the Minister of Works, Mr Abubakar Mohammed, and the Deputy Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, at the handover of heavy duty trucks and patrol vehicles by the Minister of Works to frsc, in Abuja, recently. Photo: NAN

The suit by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking a Federal High Court in Abuja to sack the G5 Governors for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been dismissed as an exercise in futility.

“The suit is laughable and betrays the ignorance of the PDP leadership about the laws of the land. It is also a further demonstration of the impunity associated with PDP in its disdain for democracy and due process,”

Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of New PDP, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, stated this in a statement issued in Abuja.

Eze quoted relevant sections of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution to prove that the seats of the affected governors, namely, Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Alhaji Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto), Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Alhaji Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara), are safe.

His words: “For the education of the confused PDP leadership and its legal team, there is no danger of any of our Governors losing their seats as made clear by sections 68(1)(g) and 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) in relation to the status of members of a legislative house (state and national) who defect from the political parties from which they were elected to join another political party.

“The wordings of the aforesaid sections are in agreement with those of sections 64(1)(g) of the 1979 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria given judicial interpretation by the Supreme Court in the case of FEDECO Vs Goni (1983) FNR 203. This case was argued by the best legal minds of that era (Chief FRA Williams SAN and GOK Ajayi SAN). The court held that such a member keeps his seat if his defection is as a result of a division or split in his party.

“G5 Governors must be commended and congratulated for standing against the draconian and undemocratic acts of PDP and should go about their normal business as both PDP and its sponsors lack the power to sack any of them. This as well covers all members of the National Assembly who desire to join the Aso Rock-bound train (APC) come 2015,” he said.

Eze said it was not debatable that PDP is crisis-ridden, thus guaranteeing that none of its members who defects can be punished as a result. He quoted and attached a recent letter by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) voiding the suspension of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja as proof that PDP is in crisis.

The letter signed by INEC’s Secretary, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu, was dated November 25, with reference number INEC /EPM/PDP/02/024/Vol.T/161 and titled: ‘Re: Suspension of Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Ambassador Ibrahim Karaure from the PDP”. The letter, addressed to the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, reads: “This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated November 12, 2013 informing the commission on the suspension of four members of your party.

“The commission notes that some of the individuals so suspended held positions covered by the provisions of section 85(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and that no notice of the meeting which approved their suspension was provided to the commission. “Accordingly, the records of the commission does not reflect the process and composition of the meeting that approved the suspension of the individuals, as such, the commission cannot establish an informed position on the matter “Please accept the commission’s highest regard and consideration.”

Eze supported INEC’s position by quoting Section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which states thus: “Every registered political party shall give the commission at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified under this Act.”

The former New PDP Spokesman accused PDP of mischief for instigating the Houses of Assembly in the affected states to start impeachment proceedings against the defected Governors as being witnessed in Rivers State, where six rebel legislators are desperately trying to impeach Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. He warned PDP to desist from any further act of destabilisation capable of plunging the country into chaos and truncating the country’s hard-won democracy.

In conclusion, Chief Eze asked how come that PDP received Chief TA Orji of Abia State and Chief Ikedi Ohakim former Governor of Imo State that defected from PPA and Alh. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State who defected from ANPP and joined PDP without declaring their seats vacant. Now that PDP is at the receiving end of the same medicine they administered on others and they are window shopping for ways to have their cakes after devouring them. What a pity as about seven more PDP Governors will be joining APC by the first quarter of 2014 at that time they will be preparing on how to bury PDP formally by 2015.

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LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’

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The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.

Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.

Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.

The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.

Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.

 “What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.

“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”

The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.

Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.

Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.

“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.

“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”

Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.

An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.

“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.

 “The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.

“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.

“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.

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Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”

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Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today

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All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.

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