The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it will not hesitate to implement the order of court restraining the commission from listing candidates of the All Progressives Congress for the general elections in Rivers State.
INEC National Electoral Commissioner in charge of Operations, Festus Okoye in an interview with newsmen, said INEC will delist names of the candidates of the APC after studying and finding merit in the judgement.
Okoye also said INEC was not concerned about the different interpretations of the judgement, adding that the commission has a team that will study the judgement and advise on the line of action.
According to him, “We are not interested in the conundrum in Rivers State. What we have said is that the moment any properly constituted court of law makes an order or gives a judgement and we obtain a certified true copy of that particular judgement and we confirm that it is a judgement from a properly constituted court of Law and that the judgement affects any of our processes, we will give effect to that particular judgement. This applies across board.
“There is what we call the ratio of a matter. Why we insist on obtaining court judgments and studying it before giving effect to them is because we do not want to rely on the reportage on the pages of newspapers or posts on social media.
“We want to know the ratio and the obiter in the matter before the court and what were the orders of the court as it relates to the matter before it.”
Recall that Justice James Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt issued a restraining order on INEC not to recognise any candidate of the APC for the general elections in Rivers State.
Meanwhile, Senator Magnus Abe of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Rivers South-East in the senate has urged supporters not to blame the present challenges of the party in the state on Governor Nyesom Wike.
Senator Abe made the call yesterday while reacting to the recent Federal High Court judgment which nullified the direct and indirect primaries allegedly held by two factions of the party in Rivers.
The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to recognise APC candidates for the 2019 elections in the state.
Senator Abe expressed worry at the present challenges being faced by the party, saying, “It is baseless blaming the governor’’.
He said the foundation for the crisis was laid by the leadership of the party, which he said decided to relegate some interests and stakeholders to the background.
“Was it Wike that excluded some members from the elective congress? Was it also Wike that went ahead to hold primaries in spite of pending court matter?’’ he queried.
Senator Abe said that Governor Nyesom Wike is the ultimate beneficiary of the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congres (APC) in Rivers State.
He declared that those accusing him of working with Governor Wike were part of the problems of the main opposition party in the state, saying he neither being sponsored by Wike nor working for him.
Abe who stated this during a Radio interview yesterday monitored by The Tide accused the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi of sponsoring a campaign of calumny against him ever since the governor honoured his invitation for his thanksgiving service held sometime in Port Harcourt.
He said, “That whole campaign of calumny against me was sponsored by the Minister of Transportation. And he did so in bad faith. And the person who is orchestrating that campaign is one Chief Chukwuemeka Eze.
“That I had a thanksgiving service and I invited Senators both from the APC and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and everybody in the senate as well as the senate President.
“That I also invited the Governor of Rivers State who happens to be Barr. Nyesom Wike and he honoured my invitation on a day when the leader of our own party was holding a parallel event in Bori (Khana Local Government Area) against me. Is that the basis of coming to the conclusion that I am working for Wike?
“Has it ever occurred to Rivers people that the ultimate beneficiary of the crisis in Rivers APC is Wike. Now who initiated the crisis? Was it Wike who said that the meeting all of us had and we agreed that should bring unity so that we should work together in the congresses should be thrown aside?
“Was it Wike who denied Ibrahim Umar and over sixteen thousand fellow members of your own party who fought with you during the last election some of them, their brothers lost their lives.
“Some of them had their houses destroyed and all that and they went to buy forms just for the right to take part in an APC activity and somebody decided that they cannot. Was it Wike who took that decision?
“At the time we went to Court and the Court said do not proceed, deal with the issue of these people first. Was it Wike who said that? At the time we made a request that since we are in court let us do direct primaries in Rivers State and people sat down and made a request for direct primaries which they knew would be in total conflict with the existing case that was already on at that time in the court.
“And there were two orders of the court at that time that were still in operation but people still went ahead to make a request for indirect primaries. Was it Wike who did that?
“When we set up the committee to say okay let us try and look for a solutions and restore peace within the party and people refuse. Was it Wike who refuse? So all these people turning around to call Wike’s name, they are the ones who are part of the problem,” Senator Abe stated.
He describe the situation the party in the state finds itself as a shame because some people mismanaged a situation that could have been better managed.
On the way forward for the APC, he noted that members of the party should be able to think and reason for themselves, saying one man cannot think for all the party stakeholders in the state.
“My own suggestion on the way forward is that I want to talk to our party members. I want people to be able to reason for themselves. Because we are now in a position where it is clear that one person cannot reason for all of us.
“I think that as much as possible the party needs everybody. In this kind of situation that we have found ourselves, we simply have to accept the reality that where we are today as a political party is a disgrace.
“We have to think for ourselves. We have to act to save our party. We have to understand how the party got to where it was. It was not by accident. It was by the deliberate actions of people who mismanaged a situation that could have been better managed,” the Senator said.
No Party Can Win Election Fighting Itself, Wike Warns …Inaugurates Government VIP Lounge For FAAN
Wike said it was the quantum of individual votes from units, local governments and states that would determine victory for the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubukar, in 2023 and not rumour peddlers.
He spoke, yesterday, at the inauguration of the new Government VIP Lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, built by the Rivers State Government.
Wike said it was unfortunate that some politicians now based in Abuja, derive pleasure insinuating something against him to curry favour from the PDP presidential candidate.
“We are busy campaigning with our projects on how our party will win election in the state. Other people are busy in Abuja carrying rumours and gossips. We are busy here (Rivers) from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We’ll start Monday again, flagging off projects, commissioning projects that will sell our party.
“Every day in the newspapers, Wike did this, Wike did that, then, they will call the candidate, you see what I said about Wike today. Rent seekers. No job. Instead of you to do something that will make your party to win 2023 elections, you’re only busy, everyday Wike said this. When you heard from Wike I do not know. Maybe in your dream.
“You want to support the candidate, you’re not at home, and you’re in Abuja. Come home and campaign and work for the party. Stop this Abuja politics of carrying rumours to the candidate.”
Wike, who asserted that he was a practical and practicing politician, admonished that any party that wants to win election cannot be fighting itself.
“I think a party that wants to win election cannot, on their own, be causing problem for themselves.”
Wike pointed to how his administration has continued to flag-off and inaugurate projects that serve as evidence of fulfilled electoral promises, which have sustained the trust that the people have for the PDP in the state.
The governor expressed the belief that it is the services and projects that his administration has done that would sell the PDP to the electorate.
“We have said that whatever promise we have made, we are going to fulfil them before we leave office on May 29, 2023.
“And let me say; only one person can be a minister from the state. I would not be a minister. I am not a liability. Rivers State is an asset. If you don’t want to win election it is your business.
“I am not running for election. He who wears the shoe knows where it pinches. So, allow Rivers State to continue to do what they are doing by using our projects to campaign to our people.”
Wike explained that though the Port Harcourt International Airport is owned by the Federal Government, his administration decided to build the VIP lounge in order to offer Rivers people the best.
He assured that the Rivers State government would cater to the maintenance of the building so that it can serve the people for a long time.
Wike also commended the indigenous contractor that handled the project for the tasteful structural work that was accomplished.
“And let me commend the contractor. Of course, he is an indigenous contractor from Rivers State and of Port Harcourt Local Government Area. This is a good job well done. See the quality of what has been done. You can see that the difference is clear.
“We are willing to support our own. But you must also give us that assurance that when the job is given to you, you will complete it without any problem.”
Wike directed the Commissioner for Works to ensure the immediate arrest of a contractor handling a road project for the Rivers State Government in Trans Amadi Industrial Layout in Port Harcourt.
The governor accused the contractor of having collected 100percent of the project sum, but has failed to deliver the job.
In a brief, Rivers State Commissioner for Special Projects, Deinma Iyalla, said the edifice depicts the detribalised nature of Wike, and also serves to market the state positively.
According to him, the entire project comprises of a one storey building that has main lounge, bar, kitchen and administrative section on the ground floor.
He added, on the storey floor, there are Presidential Lounge, Governor’s Lounge and Executive Lounge.
Iyalla further added that there was a screening building that has installed screening and scanning machines with office space for FAAN, and a security house that would serve as waiting place for drivers.
Buhari Signs Bills On Electoral Act, Money Laundering, Terrorism, Others
Others are, Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, 1993 (Amendment) Act, 2019, for increased revenue; Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Amendment Acts of 2019 and 2021; Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022, which approves the seizure, confiscation and forfeiture of properties derived from unlawful activity.
The rest include, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Bill, the first legislation focused on curbing anti-competition practices, establishing the FCCPC; Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Establishment Act, 2018; The Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Act 2021; Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2019.
The bill facilitates the identification, tracing, freezing, restraining, recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds, property, and other instrumentalities of crime as well as the prosecution of offenders in criminal cases regardless of where in the world they might be;
The president also signed an Act establishing the Police Trust Fund, which will improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force (2019). “ Nigeria Police Act, 2020 – the first comprehensive reform of Police legislation since the Police Act of 1943.
He also signed the Repeal and Re-Enactment of the Companies & Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020, the first comprehensive reform since 1990; Not Too Young to Run Bill (2018), a Constitution Amendment Bill to reduce the age of eligibility for running for elective office in Nigeria; Nigerian Correctional Services Bill, 2019, the first comprehensive reform of prison legislation in close to five decades; Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2019 – the first anti-piracy legislation in West Africa.
TCN Begs Electricity Workers To Suspend Planned Strike
The Managing Director, TCN, Dr Sule Abdulaziz, made the appeal in a letter to the workers, yesterday, following their threat to embark on strike to drive home their demands.
The workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) had on August 15 directed its members to picket TCN offices nationwide on August 16, after which they would embark on strike on August 17.
The General Secretary, NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, had in a statement, said the picketing was to protest the directive by the TCN board that all principal managers in acting capacity going to acting general manager must appear for a promotion interview.
Ajaero said the directive was in contravention of the workers’ conditions of service and career progression paths and alleged that it was unilaterally done without the relevant stakeholders.
Other issues raised include stigmatisation of staff from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation from working in other areas in the power sector and non-payment of the December 2019 entitlement of ex-PHCN staff.
Abdulaziz said: “We are pleased to inform you that management has suspended the said proposed interview for those on acting appointment of assistant general managers and general managers while we conclude discussion with the board.
“On the other two issues: circular from the office of Head of Service on the stigmatisation of the defunct PHCN staff; payment of entitlement of ex-PHCN staff by market operator, the management has contacted the Honourable Minister of Power for his further action.
“In view of this development, we appeal to your union to stay in action; please accept the assurances of our highest regards.”
Also, the Federal Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba, in a letter dated August 15, 2022, to the union, said that the ministry was committed to proffering solutions that would be acceptable to all parties concerned.
“May we appeal to your great union to allow us two weeks from the date of this letter to address the issues and come up with proposals toward acceptable resolution of all issues,” he said.
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