The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, fixed December 4 to deliver judgement on a suit seeking to nullify the governorship primary election the All Progressive Congress, APC, conducted in Delta State.
The suit was lodged before the court by former Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba okayed the matter for judgement after all the parties adopted their final briefs of argument. Aside the APC, other Defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1085/ 2018, were the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the declared winner of the primary poll, Chief Great Ogboru.
The Plaintiff had through his lawyer Mr Ahmed Rahi, SAN, prayed the court to declare that the APC gubernatorial primary election that held on September 30, was illegal and unlawful on the ground that delegates not known to law were used for the exercise.
He averred that the high court had in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Anwuri Chikere on June 19, authenticated a list of delegates of APC in Delta state. He alleged that the national leadership of the Party sidelined the said list during the primary election.
The former Speaker told the court that contrary to the judgement, the APC leadership, used unknown delegates for the primary poll.
Consequently, he urged the court to nullify the purported primary election for being unlawful, unjust and deliberately carried out in disregard of subsisting judicial directive.
The Plaintiff equally prayed the court for an order compelling the APC to immediately conduct a fresh primary election with the list of delegates endorsed in the consent judgement of the Federal High Court.
As well as to issue an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC or its agents from accepting, recognising or utilising the name of Chief Ogboru who purportedly emerged as winner of the Delta State 2019 governorship primary election.
In his 40-paragraphed supporting affidavit, the Plaintiff told the court that he was denied fair participation in the primary election despite that he paid N22.5million for expression of interest and nomination forms.
He insisted that the court’s order was brazenly violated by the national leadership of the Party in the conduct of the primary poll election, saying unless the court intervened, the governorship election in Delta State would produce a product of fraud.
Meantime, both APC and Chief Ogboru, lodged preliminary objections to challenge the competence of the suit. In his objection, Chief Ogboru, through his lawyer, Chief Nelson Imoh, insisted that he was validly nominated by the APC to fly its gubernatorial flag in 2019.
Chief Ogboru told the court that the primary election that produced him, was duly monitored by INEC, adding that his party, APC, approved the list of delegates that participated in the primary.
According to him, “All the reliefs as contained in the PIaintiff/Respondent’s Originating Summons are reliefs not founded on law nor capable of sustaining the Originating Summons.
“Articles 7 & 20 of the All Progressive Congress (APC) constitution 2012 (as amended) was substantially and wholly complied with by the 3rd Defendant/Applicant, as well as 1st and 2nd Defendants in the conduct of the Governorship primaries of the 2nd Defendant that produced the 3rd Defendant as the flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2019 Governorship Election in Delta State.
“The case of the Plaintiff/Respondent is brought in bad faith. There is no reasonable cause of action disclosed against the 3rd Defendant\Applicant in the Plaintiff’s Originating Summons.
“The PIaintiff/Respondent who participated fully in the said primaries of the 30th of September, 2018, of the 2nd Defendant, had delegates’ votes counted and assigned to him by the Delta State Governorship primaries Chairman assigned by the 2nd Defendant National Executive Council, cannot turn around to complain of non-compliance with the conduct of the said Governorship primaries in Delta State.
“Issues of disputed facts in contention are not maintainable by way of an Originating Summons. The case of the Plaintiff is speculative and an arrant abuse of the Process of this Honourable Court”, Chief Ogboru added.
NARD Gives FG 72 Hours To Pay Withheld Salaries, Others
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has given the Federal Government a 72-hour ultimatum to pay the salary arrears of its members on the GIFMIS platform, and that of its Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF).
It stated that for the strike which began on August 2, 2021, to end, the government needs to meet its minimum demands, which also include: payment of withheld August and September salaries, withdrawal of the case against it in court, payment of salary arrears and allowances owed its members in state tertiary health institutions, among others.
The President of the NARD, Dr. Dare Ishaya, made this known in a statement at the end of the association’s 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference in Bauchi, last Saturday.
He said, “The AGM faulted the Federal Government for taking NARD to court due to the ongoing strike to demand for the improvement in the welfare of our members.”
They decried the undue hardship members on GIFMIS platform are facing due to the delay in payment of their salaries ranging from three to eight months.
The AGM also, “Lamented the delay in payment of the Medical Residency training Fund despite the claim by the government that the money meant for it is available and the list of beneficiaries have been submitted.
“The AGM noted the explanatory circular from Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) stating that House officers’ salary scale and wages will not be affected by their removal from the scheme of service, however they reiterated their earlier position that the circular should be withdrawn.
“They also observed that some House Officers are still owed 1-2 months salaries and refunds of their illegally deducted accommodation fees. The AGM noted that bench fee for outside postings by resident doctors has been abolished, however, some chief medical directors are yet to fully implement it.
“The AGM bemoaned the delay in payment of death in service insurance benefit to the next of kin of our fallen heroes despite their sacrifices to the country.
“They observed with concerns the conditions of our members under different state governments’ employs, especially Abia, Imo, Ekiti and Ondo state governments who currently owe our members 20 months, six months, four months and four months’ salary arrears, respectively.”
Enumerating its minimum demands, he added, “after critical appraisal of the performances of both federal and state governments on all the issues that led to the ongoing strike as stated above, the AGM unanimously resolved by vote to continue the total and indefinite strike action until our minimum demands are met.
“The AGM in particular demanded that the Federal Government should ensure the following urgently for the purpose of restoring normalcy to the health sector: Payment of the Medical Residency Training within 72 hours, since the money meant for it is available and verification of the list for payment has been completed; Payment of the arrears of salaries of our members on GIFMIS platform within 72 hours while the migration process continues; Withdrawal of the case against us in court in the interest of peace; Payment of our withheld August and September salaries.
“The Federal Government should prevail on various state governments to urgently pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed our members in the state tertiary health institutions as stated above.
“The AGM also urged the Federal Government to consider universal implementation of the MRTA in all training institutions in the country, including those in the states. The AGM reiterated unequivocally, especially to the members of the public that we are committed to the smooth running of the health sector, however, we can only do so when our welfare is given the desired attention.
“We, therefore, call on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government to set aside all technicalities as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari and resolve the aforementioned demands in the interest of the masses and our members who are currently suffering because of the ongoing strike action.”
Winners Emerge At JCI Poetry Competition
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
Gov Bags Gombe Traditional Title
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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