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Mass Defection From APC Rattles Presidency …As Abe Celebrates Victory Over Amaechi …Oshiomhole Wants Court To Reject Suit Seeking To Probe Him

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The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (House of Reps), Hon. Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila has expressed regrets over the defection of some aggrieved aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to other political parties in Kano State and other parts of the country.
Kawu, in a statement made available to newsmen, yesterday, called on the party’s leadership in Kano to swing into action to prevent other aggrieved aspirants from joining other political parties as the 2019 elections approach.
It would be recalled that about 200,000 aggrieved aspirants of the party in Kano State left the APC and joined other parties.
Also, former Senator and an aspirant in the recently concluded All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries in Kano State, who had aspired for Kano South Senatorial District seat, Senator Isa Yahaya Zarewa, last Monday, also dumped the ruling party.
Kawu, who is a major aspirant for Kano South Senatorial District on APC platform, cited the injustice meted out on the aspirants by leaders of the party.
He lamented that APC was taken over by money bag and power-drunk politicians.
The statement reads: “I must say that for us to lose such people at this time, it is really a great political loss. It is highly regrettable that leaders of the party allowed things to go the way they did.
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe says that the candidature of Tonye Dele Cole as the governorship candidate of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared defective by the Supreme Court, and has, therefore, urged the party’s national leadership to recognise him as the duly elected candidate in the state.
Abe also said that the pro-Amaechi’s state executive led by Ojukaiye Flag-Amachree; all elected candidates for the 2019 general elections who emerged through the indirect primary directed by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) as well as the ward, local government and state congresses held on May 19, 20 and 21, respectively, were incurably defective and unknown to law.
The senator spoke at a news briefing in Port Harcourt on the heels of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, which upheld the judgment of a High Court of Rivers State that nullified the May 19, 20 and 21 ward, local government and state congresses; the State Executive Committee (SWC) and all candidates elected by delegates chosen through the outlawed congresses.
This is as he dismissed reports in the social media that he has dumped the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying he would remain in the APC and fight for justice.
Abe stated that the Court of Appeal cannot help the pro-Amaechi group of the APC because it’s position and actions were against the existing ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction.
The senator said, ‘They held their congresses against an injunction granted by a court of competent jurisdiction. They knew that a matter regarding the process of the congresses was pending in court.
“The Supreme Court ruled that they cannot benefit from their stupidity. The Supreme Court ruled that it was unfair and unconstitutional for the party to deprive members of the party, who paid for forms to participate in the congresses, and therefore, anyone that emerged from that unconstitutional process remains nullified.
“So, for anyone to continue to parade himself as a member of an executive, or as a candidate of the party, emanating from that illegal process is nothing but political rascality of the highest order.
“It is high time the party and leaders of the party understand this and do what is proper and put the party in the right frame so that we can begin the hard work of realising our dream of taking over Rivers State in 2019,” he stated.
Abe stated that unlike what the pro-Amaechi group did, the Peter Odike-led APC conducted direct primaries as directed by the party’s National Working Committee.
“Luckily, the party conducted direct primary as directed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) and elected candidates for elective offices, while the other primary was in clear violation of an existing court order.
‘The party should do the right thing now by respecting the decision of the court now that the Supreme Court has ruled on the matter.
“The party has fallen into a pit from which it cannot extricate itself. Even if the Court of Appeal sets aside the judgment of the lower court, it will still fail at the Supreme Court, because at the time they held the congresses there was a subsisting order restraining the party from conducting the so-called congresses.
“So, they should stop deceiving Rivers people that they are sure of pushing through their illegal agenda. The Supreme Court is the highest court in Nigeria and it has spoken. The party should now do the right thing,” Abe said.
Abe described the Supreme Court verdict, as an act of God, adding that the judgment indicated that the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led executive was already defunct.
“The Supreme Court has spoken and that is the highest court in Nigeria; their word is final. Today, the God of justice has spoken. They (Ojukaye-led APC) are in a logjam that they cannot legally come out of.
“If you are in contempt of court, the court will not help you. For anybody to continue to parade himself as a candidate based on an exercise that has been adjudged illegal; it will amount to political rascality.
“The party conducted direct primaries and I believe the party will do the right thing because as it is now, the Ojukaye’s executive is defunct. As of the date those congresses were conducted, they were done in violation of an existing court order,” Abe said..
In another development, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, has urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to strike out a suit seeking an order compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate allegations of corruption against him.
Justice Anwuli Chikere, yesterday, fixed November 19 for the hearing of the notice of preliminary objection filed by Oshiomhole, a former Governor of Edo State.
The plaintiff, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, had, on October 28, 2016, petitioned the EFCC asking the commission to investigate some corruption allegations against Oshiomhole as governor of Edo State.
Dissatisfied with EFCC’s alleged refusal to look into the case, Ochei filed the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/628/2018 before the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking an order of mandamus to compel the EFCC to arrest and commence criminal proceedings against Oshiomhole over alleged financial fraud while he was governor of Edo State.
The plaintiff attached to his suit 86 exhibits.
His lawyer, West Idahosa, had told the court that there were documents and electronic pictures of palatial houses credited to the former governor, whose earnings throughout his lifetime, according to the plaintiff, could not have been able to afford.
Idahosa added, among other allegations, that there was evidence of diversion of Edo State funds by Oshiomhole.
He said there were also vouchers of exorbitant air fares that the former governor allegedly incurred. But Oshiomhole, via a notice of preliminary objection filed before the court through his lawyer, Damien Dodo (SAN), contended that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to institute the legal action.
He also specifically asked the court to strike out the plaintiff’s first prayer for being premature and incompetent.
In the notice of preliminary objection hinged on 10 grounds, the former governor contended that the applicant, having failed to file the suit for judicial review within three months of occurrence of the subject of the suit, the suit had become academic.
He added that the action or inaction of the EFCC being subjected to review by the proceedings occurred on December 13, 2016, while the plaintiff only instituted the action for judicial review on June 13, 2018.
He noted that this came about 18 months after the occurrence of the alleged failure being complained about.
Arguing that the plaintiff’s right of action had become unenforceable, Oshiomhole said the plaintiff had not disclosed that he had legal right to file and maintain the action for judicial review, “having not shown how the actions of the second respondent/applicant affected him over and above other residents and indigenes of Edo State.”
He further argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit for failure of the plaintiff to commence the action within the time provided by extant rules of the court and for failure to disclose locus standi to file the action.
The presiding judge, Justice Chikere, had, on October 8, 2018, granted leave, as required by law, to the plaintiff to commence the suit of “judicial review”.
The judge had granted the leave following the ex parte application moved on behalf of the plaintiff by his lawyer, West Idahosa.
Granting the application, the judge ordered that Oshiomhole and the EFCC be served with all the processes filed in the suit.
She also ordered that the EFCC be served with the same court process, stressing that the service be done within five days from October 9, 2018 when the order was made.
Although EFCC was not represented by any lawyer during yesterday’s proceedings, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Idahosa, said the anti-graft commission was duly served.
Justice Chikere yesterday adjourned the matter till November 19 for hearing of the preliminary objection.

 

Dennis Naku

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Winners Emerge At JCI Poetry Competition

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Teens For Teens Excellent Wisdom International Secondary School representative, Mr Nduka Chisom, has emerged tops at a Poetry Competition organised by the Junior Chambers International, Garden City in Port Harcourt.
The second position was clinched by Miss Honey Vera Essien of Goman International School, while the third position went to Mr Baridura Charles of Community Boys Secondary School, Elelenwo.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony over the weekend in Port Harcourt, the 2021 local President of JCI Garden City, Uchechukwu Okorie, said the competition christened Philips Akpobiri Poetry Competition is a signature project of the body for this year and was in honoure of a JCI member who dedicated tremendously to the organisation and also doing much to strengthen service to humanity.
Okorie, explained that the theme of this year’s edition of the poetry competition, “Nigeria: A Giant Dwarf” captures the present socio-political reality in the country and that 12 schools drawn from public and private sectors participated in the contest.
“ We are not happy with what is happening and the best way is not to attack the authorities but to look inwards for solutions that would reposition the country to its pride of place in the globe.
“ We in JCI are out to promote good governance and civic actions that are sustainable. We are there to promote people who would emerge tommorow as leaders . Nigeria is bereft of leaders that are in tune with what we are presently going through”
“ The competition is a signature project for 2021 of JCI Garden City in partnership with MALT Foundation and ASA Foundation . They provided virtually everything from scholarship to the award money. We remain grateful to them”, he said.
Founder and chairman of Philips Akpobiri Poetry Competition, Ayoola Abiodun, expressed delight with the quality of works done by participants, stressing that they were able to prove that Nigeria is indeed a giant, but a dwarf.
He said that winner of the first prize will go home with a cash prize of N25,000.00 . The second position gets cash prize of N15,000.00 while the third best gets the sum of N10,000.00.

By: Chris Oluoh

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Gov Bags Gombe Traditional Title

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The Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu the 111, has honoured Governor Inuwa Yahaya with the traditional title of First Dan-Maje.
The newsmen reports that an eight-man delegation from the Emir‘s Palace, led by Alhaji Ahmed Mu’azu, a former Bauchi State Governor,  conveyed the message to Yahaya yesterday.
Mu’azu said the emir was honouring the governor because of his excellent performance.
Presenting the letter conveying the award, the Emir’s Courier, Alhaji Usman Adamu, said “the emir is impressed the governor’s performance in the areas of healthcare, education, road construction and erosion control.
“We have witnessed a reduction in the destruction of houses by floods.
“Our coming to present this message is not political but traditional as a result of your numerous accomplishments,” he said.
In his response a senior member of the governor’s extended family, Alhaji Mohammed Umaru, thanked the emir for the honor done to the family.
He said the family had had a robust relationship with the palace over the years.
In his response, Gov. Yahaya said “ I thank God for this and for giving me a wonderful opportunity to get this honor from His royal Highness, the Emir of Gombe.
“The honour would inspire me to do more, it means more service, more dedication and more delivery of good service to the people of Gombe State.
“This is a mark of honor, I will not disappoint His Highness and the entire people of Gombe,” he said.

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Contraception Averts 44% Female Deaths – RSPHCMB

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The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB), says contraception intervention helps avert 44% of maternal deaths around the world by reducing the number of high-risk and unwanted pregnancies among citizens, thereby also preventing unsafe abortions, a leading cause of deaths among women and girls.
The Permanent Secretary, RSPHCMB, Dr Agariye Harry made this known at a press briefing to mark this year’s World Contraception Day, which is celebrated on September 26 every year.
Harry, who was represented by the Director, Community Health, RSPHCMB, Dr Joy Tonye Wihioka noted that World Contraception Day, which has the theme, “It’s Your Life, It’s Your Responsibility”, is a day set aside to commemorate a vision where every pregnancy is wanted and planned through the use of contraceptive also known as family planning that allows the family to either space or limit the number of pregnancies, thereby reducing the risk to life.
He said, “it is among the four pillars of safe motherhood initiative to reduce maternal deaths especially in developing countries and cities as ours,” stressing that according to World Health Organisation (WHO) findings, “contraceptive use has been found to have important implications for maternal health as well as adolescent health too”.
He restated the state government’s commitment to ensuring the reduction of maternal deaths to its barest minimum in the state.
He pointed out that there is no better time to celebrate the importance of family planning than now since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with its attendant social and economic uncertainties and called for all hands to be on deck and support policies and practices that support the uptake of family planning services in the state.
Meanwhile, the Family Planning Desk Officer, RSPHCMB, Mrs Theresa Timothy, at a review meeting of Rivers State Media for Health and Family Planning in Port Harcourt at the weekend observed that family planning services could be accessed free of charge at all the Model Primary Health Centres and government hospitals in the 23 local government areas of the state.

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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