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APC Crisis: Oshiomhole Asks Appeal Court To Vacate Suspension Order

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The suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has appealed the Abuja High Court’s decision to suspend and deny him access to party’s national secretariat of the party.
Oshiomhole was suspended, last Wednesday following an application filed by Oluwale Afolabi in January before Justice Danlami Senchi.
The interlocutory injunction application was challenging Oshiomhole’s continued right to parade himself as the party’s national chairman after his initial suspension by his primary ward in Edo State.
But Oshiomhole’s suspension came amidst a power tussle between him and his successor, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
It would be recalled that the tussle has created factions within the ruling party in the state and continues to threaten the party’s unity at the national level.
However, some party leaders have criticised Oshiomhole’s leadership style, blaming it on the APC’s defeat in some states during the last general elections.
In the disclosed appeal documents, Oshiomhole has challenged the court ruling that suspended him.
The defendants in the case include Mustapha Salihu, the deputy chairman of the party (North-East).
But Oshiomhole said last night he remains in charge of the party even as he faces deepening crisis and intrigues by powerful forces within the party to remove him from office.
He stated this following an interlocutory injunction granted by a Federal Capital Territory High Court that he should step aside pending the determination of a suit filed by six members of the party.
Oshiomhole’s spokesman Simon Egbegbulem said: “We have filed for a stay of execution and appealed the ruling.
“With those processes currently before the Appeal Court, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remains the national chairman of the party.
Also, last Wednesday, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC approved the nomination of Waziri Bulama as the party’s Acting National Secretary, ex-Governor Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Mr. Paul Chukwuma (National Auditor) of the party.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “The decision was reached on January 14, 2020 during the meeting of the NWC at the party’s National Secretariat.”
The statement added: “Following the resignation of H.E. Mai Mala Buni as the party’s National Secretary in May, 2019 prior to his election as the governor of Yobe State, the party subsequently gave notice for a replacement from the zone.
“The NWC has also approved the nominations of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Mr. Paul Chukwuma as the National Auditor following nominations from the respective zones.”
Following the court order, the national secretariat of the APC was taken over by policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Danlami Senchi, while delivering his ruling on an application of interlocutory injunction by six members of the party, directed the APC to desist from acknowledging Oshiomhole as its chairman.
He also directed the party not to allow him access to its secretariat, pending the hearing and determination of the case.
In the application, the plaintiffs, led by Mustapha Salihu, prayed the court to stop Oshiomhole from acting as APC chairman since he had been suspended as a member of the party in his Etsako Ward 10 in Edo State.
They listed Oshiomhole as first respondent and the APC as second respondent in the application filed on their behalf by Oluwole Afolabi.
The plaintiffs stated that Oshiomhole’s rights as a member of the party had ceased by virtue of his suspension at the ward level.
They argued that, since the former Edo State governor never contested the suspension, he could not continue to act as the party’s chairman.
However, the suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, was at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is as the Nigeria Police Force officials confirmed that the police were keeping watch over the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja.
It would be recalled that last Wednesday, there was an interim injunction restraining the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, from parading himself as the party’s national chairman.
After the visit, he refused to confirm President Muhammadu Buhari’s position in his (Oshiomhole) ordeals.
During a brief telephone chat with newsmen, yesterday, the Media Aide to the former Edo State Governor, Simon Ebegbulem, was asked if President Buhari was solidly behind his principal, and he said “No comment.”
Speaking further, the APC chairman’s aide described the Abuja High Court’s judgment as strange, adding that only the National Working Committee (NWC) of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, according to its constitution, has the power to suspend Oshiomhole.
He added, “The next action as I said yesterday is that our lawyers have filed for Stay of Execution, and they have appealed that ruling, so the whole thing is before the court now. Let’s see how it turns out.
“The issues of whether the court has the powers to sack the national chairman of the party is another issue. These are the issues. The whole thing is strange to us and that’s why we’ve gone back to the court to interpret it because, according to the APC constitution, the only organ that can suspend the national chairman, not even the ward, is the NWC of the NEC.
“That is the only organ that can suspend the national chairman. That is why we went back to the court so as to seek proper interpretation.”
Asked to comment on the jubilation in the camp of the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, who, yesterday, mocked his predecessor after the judgment, Ebegbulem said, “I will not comment on anything that has to do with Obaseki.”
But despite all the crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Oshiomhole appeared unperturbed, yesterday.
In his first appearance since a FCT High Court in Abuja restrained him from acting as chairman, Oshiomhole was in his usual bubbling mood.
He told a team of journalists in his Aso Drive office, Abuja, yesterday, that there was no need for him to be troubled over developments in the party.
The APC leader, who came out of a meeting in his office believed to be rushing out to catch an engagement in the Villa, asked newsmen at the foyer of his office if they were looking at him with pity.
Decked in his usual Khaki attire, the party chieftain asked the newsmen pointedly: “Are you looking at me with pity?”
Before the journalists could respond, he dashed out smiling to a waiting car.
Oshiomhole also fingered a serving minister and some governors as being responsible for his ordeal in the party.
This is even as he has described himself as a child of light who will always defeat darkness.
Oshiomhole did not name the minister and the governors.
Oshiomhole said this after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The meeting held shortly after news broke, yesterday, that Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Kano had set aside a ruling of the FCT High Court suspending him as the ruling party’s national chairman.
Justice Lewis Alagoa, who ordered that the status quo ante Bellum be maintained, added that pending the hearing of the motion on notice by the applicant, Aliyu Muhammad Rabiu, that the defendants (the APC, Oshiomhole, IG of Police, INEC and DGSS) should not give effect to the purported resolution of Ward 10, Etsako Local Government Area which suspended Oshiomhole.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force says it was keeping watch over the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja.
This followed last Wednesday’s interim injunction restraining Oshiomhole from parading himself as the party’s national chairman.
Sources said that the police and other security operatives were still keeping siege all-through, yesterday, at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the second day running.
Only party staff who reported for work, yesterday, were granted access to their offices while party members who came to the secretariat were turned back.
The security men also permitted journalists assigned to cover the activities of the party access to the secretariat after proper identification.
No fewer than 15 Hilux trucks with armed police men have been station within and around the party secretariat.
Two trucks each was placed at the four main entrances to Blantyre Street where the party office is situated while seven other Hilux trucks.
A Rapid Response Squard (RRS) Peugeot car and a hot water sprinkler truck were also strategically parked along the deserted streets that lead to the secretariat.
It was gathered that the presence of the security men was to maintain peace and forestall attempt by any group to break law and order at the party secretariat.

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PSC Appoints Three DIGs, Suspends Promotion Of Eight CPs, 11 DCPs

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The Police Service Commission has approved the appointment of three Assistant Inspectors General of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, Aji Janga, and Adeleke Bode, to the rank of Deputy Inspectors General of Police.
The new DIGs are expected to fill the vacant duty posts created due to the retirements of three DIGs representing the North-Central, North-East and the North-West geopolitical zones.
The Spokesperson for the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, revealed this in a statement, yesterday.
The PSC noted that the approval of the appointments of the new DIGs had also ensured that the defined succession policy in the Nigerian police is sustained.
The Force Secretary, Hafiz Inuwa, will be replacing retired DIG Mustapha Dan-Daura for the North-West slot. Dan- Daura retired on January 15 this year.
Aji Janga from the North-East will replace DIG Zanna Ibrahim who retired on November 26, 2022, while Adeleke Bode of North-Central will replace DIG Sanusi Lemu who retired on January 31 this year.
The new appointments were part of the decisions of the reconvened 18th plenary of the commission which held in Abuja, last week and chaired by the acting chairperson of the PSC, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi.
Meanwhile, the commission has suspended the promotion of eight Commissioners of Police to the rank of Assistant Inspectors General and 11 Deputy Commissioners of Police to the next rank of Commissioners due to their failure to appear before it for the mandatory promotion interview.
Ani said, “The PSC had sent invitations to the officers to appear before it for the usual interaction to ascertain their suitability and capability for the new offices.
“The commission expressed surprise on their failure to honour the invitation especially as the 2023 general election is just days away.”
The commission also approved the promotion of 10 Assistant Commissioners of Police to the next rank of Deputy Commissioners; 17 Chief Superintendents of Police to Assistant Commissioners and 301 Superintendents of Police to Chief Superintendents.
Meanwhile, 47 skipped Deputy Superintendents of Police from previous recommendations to the commission were also promoted to Superintendents of Police while 665 Assistant Superintendents of Police were promoted to Deputy Superintendents of Police.
The recommendations for ACP Nwamanna Nelson, SP Iliyas Casmir and SP Alheri Mamman were also endorsed and the officers promoted to their next ranks after they were absolved of any pending disciplinary matter.
Justice Ogunbiyi congratulated and wished the officers success, while charging the newly-promoted officers to give their best to the service of the nation especially now that Nigeria will be going to the polls to elect new leaders.

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RSU Commences Academic Activities In Satellite Campuses

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The Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, has commenced academic activities for the 2022/2023 session in her satellite campuses at Emohua, Etche, Ahoada and Sakpenwa.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, DSSRS, disclosed this when he led other Principal Officers of the University, Head of Etche Campus and Dean, Faculty of Agriculture on a courtesy visit to the Paramount Ruler of Abara, Etche, last Wednesday, as part of assessment tour of the various campuses.
Speaking at the palace of the Paramount Ruler, the Vice-Chancellor expressed appreciation to the Ochimba and his Council of Chiefs and the entire community for the support given to the university which, according to him, contributed to the speedy completion of the various structures at the Etche campus.
He said that the satellite campuses had commenced studies with the year one students for the 2022/2023 session, expressing optimism that more accommodation for staff and students will be provided by the university within the year.
He appealed for more support from the community, stating that the Etche campus is a replica of a full fledgef university, which all over the world, is a centre of development.
He explained that the presence of the campus would stimulate economic activities and assist in the development of the host community and neigbouring communities.
He assured the leaders of the community that the iniversity would continue to maintain its corporate social responsibility with her host community.
Responding, the Paramount Ruler and Ochimba of Abara Etche, Eze Jonah Nwala, thanked the Rivers State Government for completing the project and the take-off of academic activities at the Etche Campus of the university.
The paramount ruler said that what the State Government has done for the people of Abara Etche is beyond providing a school, explaining that the campus is an industry which has started impacting on all sectors of the economy within the community.
While appreciating the management of the university for ensuring the take-off of studies, he assured the university of the community’s continuous support for the sustenance of the Etche campus.

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2023: Wike Enjoins Military To Be Apolitical

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has advised officers and men of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt to be apolitical throughout the 2023 general election.
The governor stressed that in the interest of the country’s democratisation process, the military must adhere to President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army’s commitment not to interfere in the 2023 general election.
He stated this during the 6 Division West African Social Activities (WASA) 2022, that held in Port Harcourt over the weekend.
Governor Wike, who was the special guest of honour at the occasion, was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke.
The governor, who commended the military for its active role in fighting crime in the State, urged officers and men of the 6 Division to work assiduously with personnel of other security to provide level playing for all political parties and politicians in the State.
“We want to thank you for the relationship we have enjoyed. You have also contributed a lot in terms of crime fighting. But as you are aware, we are now in election season. It is on public notice that Mr President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (Muhammadu Buhari) has said at different forums that he will not interfere in the forthcoming election.
“And that he will ensure a free and fair election. The Chief of Defence staff has also said at different forums that the military will be apolitical and they will not interfere in the general election. I want to believe that men and officers of this 6 division will follow suit.
“I want to believe they will follow the position of Mr President, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff not to interfere in politics. I am saying this because of the ugly experience the people who live and do business in Rivers State had during the last election.”
Governor Wike, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, recalled how the Nigerian Army Bori Camp barracks, which is the headquarters of the 6 Division in Port Harcourt, was practically converted to a collation centre during the 2019 governorship election.
He expressed dismay that the military allowed itself to be used to interfere in what ordinarily ought to be a civil exercise.
The governor, however, said that with the level of discipline and focus that the present officers of the 6 Division have shown and exhibited, he is hopeful there would not be a re-enactment of the despicable incidences of 2019 general election.
“Allow the citizens of Rivers state to exercise their civil responsibility in an atmosphere of free and fair election. Work with other security agencies to provide level playing field for politicians”, he said.
He congratulated the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruq Yahaya; the General Officer Commanding, Major General O.O Oluyede, and the personnel of the 6 Division for a successful completion of the training year 2022 and the beginning of a new year, 2023.
Governor Wike extolled the GOC 6 for efforts put in place since his assumption of office to fight all forms of criminality especially in areas of crude oil theft and kidnapping in his area of responsibility.
He said, “Your effort has brought about maintenance of peace in the region. I want to congratulate you and the entire personnel of 6 Division for a job well done and also urge you not to relent in your efforts.
“Let me use this opportunity to solicit for support of all stakeholders to join hands with the 6 Division to eradicate criminalities in our society.”
In his remarks, the GOC 6 Division, Major General O.O Oluyede, who was represented by Brig. General A.A Idris, explained that West African Social Activities (WASA) is customary in the Nigerian Army to mark the end of each training year as well as ushering Nigerian Army into the new year.
Highlight of the event was presentation of awards to some personnel of the Nigerian Army who distinguished themselves in the previous year.

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