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‘2019 Rivers Poll Shows Rot In Nigerian Army’

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An aide to the Rivers State Governor, Simeon Nwakaudu has insisted that the role allegedly played by the Nigerian Army in the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State was shameful and underscores the rot in the security agency.
Nwakaudu who is the Special Assistant to the State Governor on Electronic Media also described the governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Engr Biokpomabo Awara as a comedian following the latter’s comments during a radio programme in Port Harcourt last weekend.
Recall that Engr. Awara who was a guest on the said programme monitored by The Tide had said that he is loved and accepted by Rivers people as shown by the results of the election.
But Nwakaudu in a statement wondered why Awara was commenting on an election he neither campaigned for nor presented himself to Rivers people, saying the AAC governoship candidate was not known before the March 9.  2019 poll.
The statement reads, “I must say that Amaechi’s boy, Engr Biokpomabo Awara is a comedian of some sort. Imagine him appearing on radio to talk about an election that he never campaigned for and did not present himself to the people for consideration on any platform. In the strictest sense of the word, Rivers people did not know Awara before the March 9, 2019 Governorship Election.
“This is a man who ran under a party that had no House of Assembly candidates anywhere in the state. The party virtually had no agents and had no posters of their Governorship candidate anywhere in the state. It is surprising that the same man continues to play the Ostrich just to please his defeated master.
Nationally and internationally, the truth about the 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election is known. Rivers people won. They stood firm and resisted the criminal alliance that attempted to steal their mandate.
“The 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election was a manifestation of the terrible rot in the Nigerian Army. Soldiers of the 6 Division were captured on video in different Constituencies attempting to rob election results and abduct Electoral Officials.
“In one case in Ogu/Bolo LGA, women were captured on video pulling down a soldier who invaded a Collation Centre. In Okrika, ONELGA, Abua/Odual, Ikwerre LGA similar videos outlined the criminal activities of soldiers.
“The most horrific was the failed attempt by soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army to invade INEC Headquarters in Port Harcourt. The aim was to abduct the REC and other officials and thereafter manipulate the electoral process. Like other previous attempts, it was foiled by vigilant Rivers people.
Awara has the right to appear on radio to express himself, but he should restrict himself to the financial fortunes that fell his way by virtue of the unfortunate AAC/APC/ARMY ALLIANCE.
“He (Awara) is a wealthy man today on that score. But he should continue to find an appropriate means to do penance for the several Rivers people murdered by the Nigerian Army and F-SARs, simply because they attempted to impose him on Rivers people.
”It is disingenuous to lie about an election where he had no political relevance. Till date, where are the political followers of Awara?  Wike’s aide advised Awara to focus on the internal conflict of the AAC, a political party built on anti-people schemes. A party where her leaders are ever willing tools in the workshop of political crooks. In Rivers State, the AAC/APC/ARMY alliance will continue to fail.
Nwakaudu further said that it is shameful that Biokpomabo tried to insult the Judiciary because he lost at the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal, saying, “This is not surprising.  He is following the footsteps of his sponsors. Whenever, they lose, they pull down the roofs. They throw around baseless allegations and rant aimlessly. Anyone associated or birthed by the APC is usually anti-Rivers. They strive to destroy the state.”

 

Dennis Naku

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Senate Sacks Ndume As Chief Whip  … Resign From Our Party – APC

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The Senate, last Wednesday, announced the removal of Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South) as Chief Whip.
When put to voice vote by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, members of the APC Senate Caucus endorsed Ndume’s removal as Senate Chief Whip during plenary.
Senator Ndume was replaced by Senator Tahir Mungono (Borno North).
This comes amid his recent criticisms of President Bola Tinubu’s government.
In a letter addressed to the Senate Caucus by the national leadership of the ruling party, the APC asked Senator Ndume to resign his membership of the APC and join any opposition party of his choice.
The letter was signed by the party’s national chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, and Secretary, Barrister Ajibola Bashiru.
The Tide’s source had reported how some loyalists of President Tinubu plotted to get Senator Ndume suspended.
Sources at the National Assembly told The Tide’s source that the pro-Tinubu Senators were planning to not just strip Senator Ndume of his position but equally suspend him like Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central).
Senator Ningi, also a ranking senator from the North, was suspended for three months in March this year, for granting an interview to the BBC Hausa service in which he alleged that N3.7 trillion in the national budget for the 2024 fiscal year was not tied to any projects or locations.
Senator Ndume had in an interview with newsmen at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja last week said, “Mr. President is not in the picture of what is happening outside the Villa. He has been fenced off and caged. So many of us won’t go through the backdoor to engage him.
“Now they have stopped him from talking and he doesn’t have public affairs managers, except his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, who writes press statements. Nigerians are getting very angry.
“The government is not doing anything about the food scarcity and it needs to do something urgently. We don’t have food reserve. There is unavailability of food. Food crisis is the worst crisis that any nation can encounter. If we add that to security crisis, it will be severe.”
But his submissions triggered series of reactions from the pro-Tinubu camp as Senator Sunday Karimi (Kogi West) and the ruling APC both knocked the Borno lawmaker, describing his statement as derogatory.
It was learnt that Senator Akpabio is in a fix, considering that Senator Ndume was the Director-General of the Stability Group which worked hard to make him President of the Senate in June 2023.
It was, however, hinted that some Northern senators were waiting for the cat to be let out of the bag during plenary before they would take a position.
A source said, “But of course, you know the Northern Senators will rise against another plan to destabilise their caucus, barely a few months after Ningi was suspended.”
However, some stakeholders from the North under the aegis of Concerned Northern Forum (CNF), in a statement on Tuesday signed by Mallam Abdulkadir Kura, said, “It is on record that Ndume is a critical stakeholder of the ruling APC, and a close ally of President Tinubu. Therefore, if he can take such a bold step in saying the truth about the economic and social reality on the ground, then the Southern Borno Senator need to be celebrated by all and sundry. So we stand by him.
“Ndume has spoken the minds of the average Nigerians who have been under serious economic hardship since the removal of the fuel subsidy and other anti-people policies of the present administration.
“This is not the first time Senator Ndume has criticised or challenged policies of the federal government. He consistently did so during the past administrations of Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari. Such criticisms led to positive changes by the listening governments at that time.”

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Court Reinstates Shuaibu As Edo Dep Gov

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the impeachment of Philip Shuaibu as Edo State Deputy Governor.
Justice James Omotosho, in a judgment on Wednesday, ordered his reinstatement to office on the ground that the Edo State House of Assembly did not follow due process in the purported impeachment.
Justice Omotosho held that the allegation on which the parliament based the impeachment proceedings was untenable in law and did not constitute gross misconduct.
The judge, therefore, ordered the Inspector General of Police to provide him with the security needed to enable him to resume office and perform the functions of the office until the end of his tenure.
Justice Omotosho equally set aside the appointment of another deputy governor in the place of Mr Shaibu.
Mr Shaibu, who was in court, broke down in tears following the judge’s pronouncements.
On April 8, the parliament impeached Mr Shaibu.
Mr Shaibu’s impeachment followed the adoption of the report of a seven-man committee set up by the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, to investigate allegations of misconduct against the deputy governor.
During plenary, the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Charity Aiguobarueghian, said the report of the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry presented to the parliament had two findings and one recommendation.
Mr Aiguobarueghian said that while the panel report could not establish the case of perjury levelled against the deputy governor, the panel found him guilty of disclosing government secrets.
According to the report, the seven-member judicial panel of inquiry recommended that the deputy governor be impeached for disclosure of government secrets.
The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai, conducted a head count of the lawmakers who voted for and against the impeachment of Mr Shaibu.
Eighteen out of 19 members at plenary voted for the deputy governor’s impeachment, while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

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Alleged Fraud: Yahaya Bello Seeks Court’s Indefinite Adjournment

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Former Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has asked the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to adjourn the ongoing case instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indefinitely.
Mr Bello also asked the court to vacate its arrest order on him, pending the determination of an appeal he filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.
Mr Bello’s demands were stated in a letter by his counsel, Musa Yakubu. The letter was dated July 12 and addressed to the trial Judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, ahead of Mr Bello’s arraignment scheduled for Wednesday, July 17.
The erstwhile Kogi governor is being tried for laundering N80 billion. But, in his appeal against his trial, Mr Bello has expressed fears over his fate if the case proceeds.
In the Appellate case with file number CA/ABJ/CR/535/2024, Mr Bello is seeking to set aside the warrant of arrest he considers illegally issued against him on April 17, 2024. He also wants a return of the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge.
The appeal was filed against the decisions of the trial Federal High Court, Abuja Division, in case number FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024. The former governor is also seeking an order of the appellate court to set aside the service of the EFCC charge on him by substituted means, including the entire proceedings already conducted in the case.
In the letter, Mr Bello requested that further proceedings in the case be adjourned sine die, pending the determination of the appeal currently pending at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.
A copy of the letter was also sent to the National Judicial Council in response to a letter to Justice Nwite by the EFCC, dated July 8, 2024 and filed on July 10, 2024.
In the said letter, the EFCC requested a variation of the earlier warrant of arrest issued against Mr Bello, additionally requesting that the various security agencies be specifically directed to carry out the earlier order of arrest.
Responding to the EFCC’s application, Mr Bello’s counsel urged the court to decline the request and await the outcome of the appeal pending at the appellate court over the said warrant of arrest and other related pronouncements of the trial court.
Mr Bello’s counsel made reference to the position of the law as contained in Order 4 Rule 11(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2021 and the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case of Vab Petroleum INC V. Momah (Supra), and a litany of other cases.

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