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Rivers Election Tribunal Dismisses Two Petitions Against Wike’s Victory

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The Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Port Harcourt has dismissed two petitions filed by Labour Party and Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) seeking to nullify the March 9 election victory of Governor Nyesom Wike.
The tribunal dismissed the two petitions, last Wednesday, following an application brought by the Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party in the state, Chief Isaac Wonwu and his party and his PPP counterparts seeking to withdraw their suits before the elections petition tribunal in Port Harcourt.
At the resumed hearing of the tribunal, counsel to Labour Party and its candidate, Uche Ulemene sought for the leave of the court to withdraw the petition, and urged the tribunal to strike out the matter.
Ulemene urged the court to take the application out of the pre-hearing stage as stated on Page 47 Subsection 1, First Scheduled of the Electoral Act, as amended.
On his part, counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Nyesom Wike, however, did not oppose the applications, while counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abduhakin Mustapha opposed the applications, and asked the court not to strike out the matter but to dismiss the petitions entirely.
Mustapha, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) based his argument on the fact that the motion which the petition sought to strike out lacked merit, and urged the tribunal to dismiss it instead to striking it out.
The three-man panel led by Justice G.K. Kaigama, after listening to the arguments of the parties, upheld the counter-motion raised by counsel to INEC.
He, therefore, dismissed the petition, after other parties in the matter had withdrawn all their applications against the petitioner.
Speaking to newsmen, counsel to Labour Party, Uche Ulemene said his client decided to withdraw his petition in the interest of the state.
He said that the Rivers State Labour Party Governorship Candidate sought the leave of the Tribunal to withdraw the petition and strike out same.
He informed the Tribunal that his application to withdraw the petition was accompanied by a notice of consent to withdraw, marked as Exhibit A.
He added that also annexed was an affidavit against illegal terms of withdrawal.

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Wike Gives Taskforce Marching Orders On Street Trading, Illegal Markets

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has inaugurated the state’s Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks, with a charge to the task force to sanitise the streets and return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status.
Inaugurating the committee, last Wednesday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said that the task force was a product of law, following his assent to the Rivers State Street Trading, Illegal Markets & Motor Parks (Prohibition) Bill No. 8 of 2019.
The governor, who had earlier in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, appointed with immediate effect, Mr Bright Amaewhule, as the Special Assistant to the Governor and Coordinator, Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks, said that all the operatives of the task force have been profiled by the Department of State Services (DSS) and the police, while those found wanting have been flushed out.
Wike insisted that henceforth, every appointment that he would make, must pass through security checks, adding that this would enable him have thorough knowledge of the security profile of whoever he would be giving appointment.
He said: “Every appointment I will make now must pass through security. I want to know who is who”.
Wike explained that the reason government sent the task force members to the State Security Services and the police for screening was for proper identification and to ensure that government did not take people who will put it in trouble, and assured that more appointments would be made into the task force to replace those screened out by the security agencies.
He said: “All of us love the state and we must love it fully. Not in half measures. When we build roads, before you know what is happening, the roads are taken over by street traders and illegal motor parks.
“The task force has the responsibility of cleaning up the streets. Ensure that nobody trades on roads. You must wear your vests and identity cards during your work period”, he emphasised.
He said that mobile courts have been established on a zonal basis, and directed the task force operatives to take arrested street traders, mechanics and illegal motor park operators to the mobile courts were offenders would be tried, jailed or fined.
The work of the members is to arrest offenders and take them before the mobile courts in each zones.

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CACOL Faults EFCC’s Raid On Ambode’s Residence

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The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has faulted the action of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in allowing themselves be used by some perceived political enemies to raid the country home of former Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe area of Lagos.
Adeniran spoke, yesterday, during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, where he picked holes in the selective method of the investigation by the anti-corruption agency.
It would be recalled that, last Tuesday, EFCC raided the residence of Ambode in Ikoyi and Epe over allegations of corruption, but could not find anything incriminating.
But Adeniran said, “That account we were told is the account of the Lagos State Government. It is not a functional account for the former governor or anybody in that government, and that is because it has to be operated. Nobody is above the law actually, and we are not saying that if any corruption issues are developed against the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that he should not be investigated or brought to justice.
“The reason why we have to believe that you have to connect with it is that, that is the only corruption allegation that has been levelled against the former governor. And we don’t have anything against that, if on reasonable ground that have reasons to believe that maybe the cash is starched in that house just like that found in Osborne’s house, Falomo, Ikoyi or shopping complex. They could raid the place and they can break it down if they refuse to open the place. But then, you have to have reasonable reasons to do that too zealous to protect one of their own, that might be the reason.

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INEC’s Claim Of Not Having Place For Data Storage, Laughable -PDP

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The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, has faulted the action of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in allowing themselves be used by some perceived political enemies to raid the country home of former Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe area of Lagos.
Adeniran spoke, yesterday, during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, where he picked holes in the selective method of the investigation by the anti-corruption agency.
It would be recalled that, last Tuesday, EFCC raided the residence of Ambode in Ikoyi and Epe over allegations of corruption, but could not find anything incriminating.
But Adeniran said, “That account we were told is the account of the Lagos State Government. It is not a functional account for the former governor or anybody in that government, and that is because it has to be operated. Nobody is above the law actually, and we are not saying that if any corruption issues are developed against the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that he should not be investigated or brought to justice.

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