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Gov Wike Ensures Victory In Edo

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Governor Nyesom Wike had severally expressed fear that the APC is a desperate party and would use security agencies to intimidate it’s political opponents in it’s effort to manipulate the Saturday election as was done in Rivers State during the 2019 general elections.
“They will come with federal might. But do not fear because we have the electorate on our side.
“They did same in Rivers State. The people resisted them by protecting their votes”, he said and advised Edo people to stand firm against any move to manipulate the election against the will of the people.
Giving the charge at a meeting for leaders and elected representatives of PDP in benin City last week, Governor Wike stressed the need for the people to work together to liberate the state from godfathers who were frustrating development in the state.
Not convinced by the promise made by the Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Wike, during the PDP mega rally last week said: “ use Edo election to end godfathers . Make sure you vote and be vigilant too.
“ I agree with the Independent National Electoral Commission that the election will be free and fair. Even the Inspector General of Police has promised that nobody will rig the election. But do not leave the polling unit after casting your votes.
“Repeat the Rivers State Model. Let everywoman wear jeans on election day, cast and defend your votes”.
The PDP National Campaign Council Chairman for Edo 2020 Governorship Election, Chief Wike had during a radio interview programme monitored from Port Harcourt, last Thursday, said no politician will cause violence if INEC and police do not compromise.
“Complete manipulation of the electoral process causes violence. No politician will cause violence if the police and INEC do not compromise”, he said.
Another major issue last week in Government House, Port Harcourt was the redeeming of Rivers State Government promise of N30 million bounty to anybody with useful information that could lead to the arrest of one Bobosky, a notorious criminal in Ogoni.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, the Governor presented a cheque of N30 million to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan.
“ I want to thank the police officers under your command for the gallantry displayed in arresting that deadly criminal. Let me also thank the informant who had confidence in you and also trusted Government”, he said.
Issues bordering on the last week gubernatorial election in Edo State dorminated affairs in Government House, Port Harcourt last week.
This is as the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, who played the strategic role of the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party National Campaign Council, Edo State 2020 Governorship Election, was involved in finishing touches to the election.
In discharging his role as the PDP National Campaign Council Chairman for the election, Governor Wike’s life was threatened during the Saturday election as information filtered into the state that the hotel he was staying was under siege by over 300 armed policemen.
The release signed by the Honorable Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, raised the alarm, and said the policemen led by DIG Leye Onyebanji had been very audible with threats that Governor Wike should leave Edo State.
The release said: “ We want to be place on record that the Rivers State Governor was appointed the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP National Campaign Council Chairman for the September 19th 2020 Edo State Governorship Election.
“ This is a legitimate constitutionally recorgnised appointment in the  electoral rules, guidelines and processes of our country”.

 

By: Chris Oluoh

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Buhari Approves Deployment Of Nine Perm Secs

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the deployment of nine Federal Permanent Secretaries to Federal Ministries.

In a circular, HCSF/CMO/AOD/012/IX/59 dated August3, 2021, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, disclosed the deployment takes immediate effect and handing over and taking over process should be completed on or before Friday, August 6, 2021, with the exception of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health whose take over will be on August13, 2021.

The deployed Permanent Secretaries are, Bitrus Bako Nabasu from Ministry of Petroleum Resource is deployed to the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy; Dr Evelyn Ngige, Service Welfare Office, OHCSF has been deployed to the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment; Mammam Mahmuda, Career Management Office, OHCSF is now in the Federal Ministry of Health; Dr.Nasir Sani Gwarzo, Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment has been taken to Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Dr Anthonia Akpabio Ekpa, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs.

Others are the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, Dr. Onwudiwe Maryanne Ngozi; Dr. Ogunbiyi Marcus Olaniyi; Yusuf Ibrahim Idris; and Adebiyi Olusesan Olufunso; who were deployed to Service Welfare Office, OHCSF; Career Management Office, OHCSF; Common Service Office, OHCSF and Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, respectively.

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Court Orders EFCC To Unfreeze Dokpesi’s Account

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, yesterday, in Abuja, issued an order unfreezing the bank account of the Chairman of Daar Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

Justice Tsoho gave the order while delivering a ruling on Dokpesi’s application argued by Mr KanuAgabi, SAN.

The judge ordered that the account domiciled at one of the new generational bank be immediately ‘unfrozen’ since the criminal charges which precipitated the restriction on the account had been dismissed, and Dokpesi discharged and acquitted by the Court of Appeal.

The judge said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had no basis to put a post no debit order on the account in view of the subsisting and valid judgment of the Court of Appeal.

He held that there was no application by the EFCC for stay of execution of the appellate court’s judgment which quashed the criminal charges against Dokpesi.

Justice Tsoho said that in the absence of a stay of execution, the court was bound by law to recognise the judgment of the appellate court.

He ordered that the freeze order and post no debit on the account be immediately removed in compliance with the appellate court’s judgment.

Ruling on the claim by the EFCC that it had appealed the appellate court’s decision at the Supreme Court, the judge held that the notice of appeal filed at the apex court could not in law stay the execution of the subsisting judgment .

He added that the anti-graft agency ought to have obtained a stay of execution of the judgment.

He further ordered that all documents seized from Dokpesi should be immediately returned to him.

Agabi, while making arguments in support of the application, prayed the court to issue an order unfreezing Dokpesi’s  bank account frozen on the strength of the alleged N2.1billion fraud charge  against him.

The senior lawyer had submitted that the criminal charges in respect of N2.1billion had since been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division but the EFCC wanted to continue to hold his client in bondage.

Agabi had further argued that the charge which led to freezing of the account no longer existed following the decision of the appellate court on the matter.

He had tendered two judgements of the Court of Appeal to establish his claim that the criminal charges against Dokpesi had been quashed.

He held that until the judgments were set aside the EFCC could not continue to freeze his client’s account.

However, EFCC counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, had opposed the application on the grounds that the anti-graft agency had already filled a notice of appeal against the appellate court’s judgment at the apex court.

Atolagbe had urged the court not to unfreeze the account yet until the final decision of the Supreme Court in the matter, adding that the N2.1billion logged in the frozen account formed the basis of the charge.

He also opposed to the request for the release of Dokpesi’s document in possession of EFCC on the grounds that no specific document was mentioned in the request.

On April 1, a three-member panel of the Appeal Court in a unanimous judgment freed Dokpesi from the charges after it held that the prosecution failed to establish the ingredients of the charge.

The EFCC had in 2015 dragged Dokpesi to court, accusing him and his company of illegally receiving funds considered as proceeds of crimes from a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki(rtd).

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and went further to file a no-case submission after the prosecution closed its case in November, 2018, after calling 14 witnesses.

However, the trial judge, Justice Tsoho, rejected the no-case submission, and ordered Dokpesi and his firm to enter their defence.

Not satisfied, the defendants then approached the Court of Appeal, with a request to nullify the decision and free him from the charges on the grounds that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

In the unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Elfreda Williams-Dawodu, the appellate court agreed with the appellants that the case of the respondents lacked merit having “failed woefully to establish a prima facie case against the appellant”.

According to the judgment, for any case to be established against the defendants, it is necessary to first prove the ingredients of offence in the predicate offences in counts 1 to 4 of the seven-count charge which bordered on criminal breach of trust, division of funds, money laundering and corruption.

The court further held that EFCC failed to prove that the N2.1billion allegedly received by the appellant was proceed of breach of trust, and accordingly set aside the decision of the lower court which held that the appellants had a case to answer.

“No case was made against the appellant in counts 1, 2, 3 and 4 to warrant his being called upon to open his defence.

“There is no possibility that the appellant can be convicted because the evidence are manifestly unreliable.

“I am of the view that irrespective of the ingredients stated earlier, and those by the appellant and first respondent respectively, prior proof or establishment of the predicate offences in count 1,2,3 and 4 of the amended charge is sine qua non to the proof of the offences of money laundering specified in the said counts”, the court said.

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Enugu Assembly Approves N200m Virement For Auditor-General Offices

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The Enugu State House of Assembly has approved the virement of N200 million for the offices of the State Auditor-General and Auditor-General for Local Government.
The Tide source reports that the house also passed the 2021 State Audit Amendment Bill at an emergency plenary session.
The Leader of the House, Mr Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, said the approval of the virement became necessary to provide funding for the two newly created offices, which were not envisaged during the 2021 appropriation bill.
Ezeugwu said the funding would include capital and recurrent expenditures, adding that the N200 million would be provided by the office of the governor.
According to him, the virement would give the offices the needed independence to effectively discharge their statutory responsibilities.
Also contributing, the member representing Awgu South Constituency, Mr Johnson Chukwuobasi, said the new offices would be redundant without funding.
The Speaker, Chief Edward Ubosi, said the fund was meant to perfect the Audit Amendment Bill passed by the Assembly.
Ubosi said it would be an irony to create the offices without approving funds that would make them functional.
He said such a development would amount to building something on nothing.
In another development, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has forwarded a list of nominees for the State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) and Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) to the House for confirmation.
The nominees for the SCSC included Mrs Eucharia Offiah (Chairman), Mr Nathaniel Anike, Mrs Chinenye Odike and Mrs Stella Ekweremadu (members).
Also nominated for the LGSC were Prof. Ossy Okanya (Chairman), Mr Frederick Ugwu, Mrs Florence Igboji, Mr Peter Nnaji and Mr Eugene Odoh (members).
The Speaker directed the nominees to submit 25 copies of their Curriculum Vitae on or before Monday, August 2 to the House.

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