The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, yesterday, ordered the stay of execution of the Abuja High Court ruling that suspended Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The appellate court, in a ruling by a three-man panel of Justices led by Justice Yahaya Dattijo, also issued an interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents from taking steps to give effect to the high court ruling, pending the determination of appeals Oshiomhole filed before it.
It subsequently fixed Thursday to hear the two appeals marked CA/A/187/2020 and CA/A/188/2020.
The order of the appellate court followed an ex-parte application Oshiomhole filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN.
In another breathe, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) presided over by Justice S.U Bature has granted a motion exparte praying it to grant an interim order allowing Chief Victor Giadom to pilot the affairs of the party as acting national chairman.
The matter, which was filed before the court by the National Vice Chairman, North-East of the party, Comrade Mustapha Salihu has the party’s National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala, National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, controversially-appointed acting National Secretary, Arc. Waziri Bulama and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as defendants.
Counsel to Salihu, O.C. Ugwu had in the motion dated March 16, 2020, prayed for “an interim order of this Honourable Court allowing Chief Victor Giadom (present acting national secretary) to pilot the affairs of the 4th Defendant as acting chairman and to preside at all meetings of the National Executive Committee pending the decision of the National Executive Committee of the 4th Defendant fixed for 17th March, 2020 or any other subsequent adjourned date pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice”.
He also prayed for “an interim order of this Honourable Court restraining the 4th Defendant and its officers or anyone purporting to act as an officer of the 4th Defendant from preventing or in any way disturbing Chief Victor Giadom (present acting national secretary) from functioning as the acting chairman (unless otherwise decided by the National Executive Committee of the 4th Defendant) pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice
“Such further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case”.
The application was granted as prayed and the case adjourned to March 20, 2020.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced the postponement of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting earlier scheduled for today.
The Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, disclosed this after the government met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the Progressive Governors Forum Chairman, Buhari was pleased to endorse the suggestion to postpone the NEC meeting.
It was reliably gathered that the governor’s disagreement forced the indefinite suspension of the NEC meeting.
Reacting, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said it is in agreement with the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari postponing the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party which was earlier slated for today in spite of protests about its legality from some sections of the party.
The Acting National Secretary of APC, Chief Victor Giadom, who had convened the meeting following the purported suspension of the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, disclosed this in a telephone chat with journalists, yesterday.
He said; “The NEC meeting has been postponed indefinitely. At the appropriate time, the public and members of the NEC will be informed on the new date but as of today, we are in agreement with the president that the NEC meeting has been postponed”.
On reports in the social media stating that the meeting would go on, Giadom said; “That is the product of mischief-makers; that did not come from me. Everybody has to respect the intervention of the President”.
When asked to react to an order of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court which yesterday granted him leave to pilot the affairs of the party as “acting national chairman”, Giadom said; “I have not been served yet. I am talking to you as the acting national secretary”.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, sanctioned the indefinite postponement of a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) earlier slated for today, following a disagreement among governors of the party as to the constitutionality or otherwise of the said meeting.
While some governors who are opposed to having Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remain in office as national chairman wanted the meeting to go on as planned, some of their colleagues who are aligned with Oshiomhole were said to have vehemently rejected the move.
Earlier on Sunday night, the South-South leader of the party and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege had met with NEC members from the zone and resolved to boycott the meeting, while urging other NEC members to also stay away.
The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma and his counterparts from Borno and Ogun, Prof. Babagana Zulum and Dapo Abiodun had led a counter-attack on the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, threatening to initiate impeachment proceedings against him for allegedly using the forum to fight a personal battle against the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
At a meeting of the APC Governors Forum, yesterday, in Abuja, it was gathered that the three governors were decisive in their resolve to remove Bagudu as chairman of the forum.
President Muhammadu Buhari had been slated to meet with the governors by yesterday afternoon, but the governors had on their own met to compare notes before the meeting with the president.
It was learnt that trouble started when one of the anti-Oshiomhole governors made reference to a communique that would be presented to the president.
“However, Govs Uzodinma, Zulum, and Abiodun questioned how, where and when the communique was drafted since the governors had not met on the matter earlier”, said a source who was privy to the meeting.
Speaking further, the source said; “Bagudu had written a communique in the name of the PGF, to the effect that they were rejecting Oshiomhole as chairman of the party. But Hope, Zulum and Abiodun descended on him, accusing him of always writing statements and position papers on behalf of the governors without consultation and using the same to misinform the president”.
On the meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee slated for today, the pro-Oshiomhole governors were said to have vowed that the meeting would not go on as it was not properly convened.
Leader of the APC in the South-South and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege had yesterday met with members of NEC from the zone and resolved to boycott the meeting.
While calling on others to also boycott the meeting, they argued that the convener, Chief Victor Giadom, who is the acting national secretary of the party has no powers to have called the meeting even as they said he was no longer fit to sit as a member of the National Working Committee.
Those who signed the communique issued after the meeting were Sen Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Leader, House of Representatives, Comrade Peter Akpatason; National Vice Chairman, South-South of the party, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, Deputy National Legal Adviser, Barrister E. I. Adoh-Ogbuta and Zonal Woman Leader, Dr. Racheal Akpabio.
Others were the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Yekini Nabena, Zonal Youth Leader, Engr. Gabriel Idueseri, zonal ex-officio, Chief Kokote Ibadan; Akwa Ibom State Chairman, Ini Okopido and Hon. Israel Goli.
The communique resolved “that the National Chairman of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has done very well in the administration of the affairs of our great party. We cannot allow ourselves to be used as agents of destabilization of a party we have laboured so hard to build.
“Under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, we won the just concluded Presidential Elections, won majority of the seats in the National Assembly, and also won governorship elections in most states of the federation.
“That in line with the resolutions reached by the National Working Committee (NWC) of our party, we dissociate ourselves from the purported NEC meeting being summoned by Hon. Victor Giadom as he does not have the constitutional powers to summon the NEC meeting.
“That the said, Hon. Victor Giadom is not a member of NWC having resigned his position as Deputy National Secretary of the Party to contest elections in Rivers, the state as Deputy Governorship candidate in the 2019 general election.
“We implore all members of NEC to respect the decisions of the National Working Committee (NWC) of our party that the purported NEC meeting summoned by Victor Giadom is illegal and unconstitutional.
“We unanimously pass a vote of confidence on our leader, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for his sterling leadership of the affairs of our dear country and the National Chairman of our party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole”.
There was anger in the anti-Oshiomhole camp, yesterday, following what some leaders of the group considered as a coup by the Rotimi Amaechi tendency.
The disagreement among the leaders is connected with who emerges as acting National Chairman of the party should they succeed in unseating Oshiomhole.
Some leaders of the group have reportedly accused the Transportation minister of working to install his man, Giadom as acting national chairman.
It was learnt that the Ekiti tendency in the group which is led by Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi is favourably disposed to having the NEC approve its nomination of Sen. Gbenga Aluko as Deputy National Chairman, South, in which case he would act in the absence of Oshiomhole.
While some governors in the group were said to be rooting for a former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Clement Ebri, a few others are rooting for a former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba.
Some of the northern governors in the group are, however, said to be canvassing for a former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.
But in what looks like one eating his vomit, the acting national secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Victor Giadom, said the party will respect the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Giadom-led National Working Committee (NWC), last week, insisted that the emergency National Executive Committee meeting will hold as planned, but made U-turn following the intervention of the President that led to the indefinite suspension.
Reacting to the last minute indefinite suspension of yesterday’s emergency National Executive Committee meeting on a telephone interview Giadom said, “the decision of the President, who is the leader of the party, and in that regards, the NEC meeting slated for 17th March has been postponed indefinitely.
“The party will respect the intervention of Mr. President,” Giadom stated.
When asked the new date for the NEC meeting, the acting national secretary replied, “the public and members of NEC will be informed of the new date, but as for today, following an agreement with the President, the NEC meeting is postponed.”
Emefiele Fears Reps’ Arrest Threat, Appears Before House ….Says Banks ‘ll Accept Old Notes After Deadline
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has finally appeared before the House of Representatives which summoned him over the crisis caused by the redesign of some naira notes and the exchange of old naira notes with new ones.
Emefiele yesterday appeared before the ad hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the crisis, which is chaired by Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.
He told the House of Representatives that commercial banks in the country would still accept old naira notes from customers after the February 10 deadline.
He did not, however, state how long the expired notes would be admitted by the banks.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had accused the CBN governor of breaching Section 20 of the CBN Act which, according to him, mandates commercial banks to accept old notes even after the deadline.
Emefiele, while addressing the ad hoc committee, said he agreed with the lawmakers on Section 20 of the CBN Act.
“Section 20 says even after the old currency has lost its legal tender status that we are mandated to collect that money. And I stand with the House of Reps on this,” he stated.
The CBN governor added that, “if you have your money that you have not been able to send to the bank, we will certainly give you the opportunity to bring them back into the CBN to redeem it. Either you pay it to your bank account or you want to do an exchange — we give you. You will not lose your money. This is the assurance I give to Nigerians”.
Emefiele apologised to the lawmakers for failing to answer the previous summons, which the chairman said was accepted.
He stated that the policy should have been introduced several years ago and that the CBN had only used the opportunity to make the economy more cashless. According to him, Nigerians would soon realise the benefits of the policy.
The chairman of the ad hoc committee, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, after the hearing that lasted over one hour, called for an executive (closed-door) session with members of the committee.
The Majority Leader and members later proceeded to the chamber where plenary was ongoing.
The report of the committee was laid, considered and adopted by the House.
Recall that the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, was to issue a warrant for Emefiele’s arrest over his repeated failures to answer at least four summons from the House.
The House had shelved its plan to go on break for the presidential and National Assembly elections, which was to commence on Thursday, over the CBN governor’s failure to answer the last summons issued to him by the committee.
Gbajabiamila had threatened to mandate the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to arrest and force Emefiele’s appearance before the panel, insisting that the deadline breached the provision of Section 20(3) of the CBN Act.
The Speaker partly said, “I have no choice now. On Tuesday (yesterday) when we resume, we will invoke the provisions of Section 89 of the Constitution…The President has been very clear. The President gave the approval based on what he knows and what he has been told.
“We also know the President to be a man of the people. He gave his approval based on what he had been told. But we are saying – what the motion is saying – is that after the President gave his approval, how does the money get to the people? The money is not getting to the people. That is what we sought to clarify and that is exactly what we are going to do.
“So, on Tuesday, this House will follow its procedure – the normal procedure – and invoke the provisions of Section 89 to compel the governor of the CBN and the directors.”
The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, had also urged the House to allow the leadership to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and explain the controversial implementation of the policy to him, which the Speaker agreed to.
Though the CBN, on Sunday, extended the deadline on the expiration of the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes by 10 days – from January 31 to February 10, with the Deposit Money Banks (commercial banks) allowed to accept the notes by seven days more, the House had insisted on Emefiele’s appearance.
Ado-Doguwa, in a statement titled ‘Old Naira Notes: House C’ttee Rejects CBN Extension, Says Position of Law Sacrosanct, Must Be Respected,’ insisted that the apex bank must comply with Sections 20(3), (4) and (5) of the CBN Act.
“Nigeria, as a developing economy and a nascent democracy, must respect the principles of the rule of law. And the House would go ahead to sign the arrest warrant to compel the CBN governor to appear before the ad hoc committee,” the Majority Leader stated.
Emefiele, however, led the leadership of the CBN to appear before the lawmakers yesterday.
Cumulatively, Emefiele has failed to answer summons from the House at least four times within two months.
The House had on December 22, 2022, grilled the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria, Aisha Ahmad, over the latest policy by the apex bank which, among others, sets limits to cash withdrawals at the Deposit Money Banks and other financial institutions.
The House had summoned Emefiele but he failed to appear in the two previous appointments with the lawmakers. The CBN had informed the House that Emefiele would not appear before the House in person, rather Ahmad would lead the Committee of Governors before the lawmakers.
Emefiele had also failed to answer two summons from the House’ ad hoc committee to investigate the scarcity of the new naira at the Deposit Money Banks, also known as commercial banks, leading to tension over the January 31 deadline set by the CBN for the exchange of the old notes with the newly designed ones.
Wike Accuses PDP National Of Anti-Party Activities …Says He’ll Hit Back
Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says it is an act of anti-party on the part of the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to tell lawyers handling legal suits on behalf of the PDP in the State to dissociate themselves from the cases.
Governor Wike made the accusation against the national leadership of the party during the flag off of the Rivers State PDP campaign rally held at State School premises, Okehi 1, in Etche Local Government Area on Monday.
The PDP in Rivers State had taken some political parties in the State to court over non-compliance with the regulations and laws of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of their various primaries.
The governor said instead of the PDP national leadership to support the suits by the PDP in Rivers, it has asked lawyers handling the various legal matters to withdraw legal representations.
According to him, anti-party begets anti-party and since the PDP national has started the anti-party game, it will get anti-party in return.
“We have caught them. They are the ones engaged in anti-party. I told them anti-party begets anti party. You know we carried these small parties (APC, SDP) to court for failing to do what the law says.
“The people in Abuja that say they are national have gone to collude with them (opposition parties) to write our lawyers a letter that they should take their hands off, in order to kill the cases we filed. I have told our lawyers to withdraw from the matters. I will hit them back by tomorrow.
“Nobody hurts us without sustaining a scar. Anybody who dares to touch us in Rivers State, I will inflict many scars on him and we have started it. We are voting for our people here. Now you have told us you are doing anti-party. We will show you what anti party is. Already, we have caught them red-handed”, Wike said.
The governor emphasised that the forthcoming election is a battle that must be won, and urged Etche people to go home, get prepared by collecting remainder of their Permanent Voters Card with INEC and vote all PDP candidates in the State.
He described the PDP in the state as a formidable squad, fully prepared for the election, saying it has all that it takes to ensure that the election is peaceful, with winning votes secured for all its candidates.
Speaking further, Governor Wike thanked Etche people for their massive turn out at the rally, which demonstrates that they are fully in support of the PDP in the state.
He pointed out that by all ramifications, the PDP-controlled State government has kept every promise made to Etche people since 2015.
These, according to the governor, include delivery of over eight critical road infrastructure, establishment of a campus of Rivers State University in the area and appointment of their son as Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
Governor Wike urged Etche people to vote the governorship candidate of the PDP, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, as his successor to consolidate on the gains of his administration.
In his speech, Sir Fubara solicited bulk votes from Etche people to enable him and the entire consolidation team win the forthcoming general elections in the state.
He promised to sustain regular payment of workers’ salary as well as ensure that all assets owned by the State are never sold to cronies of those in power.
Fubara also assured that when elected, his adminisration would ensure that closure of courts in the State is never experienced again.
The PDP governorship candidate said he is sure of winning the March 11 election because of his competence and understanding of the new Rivers Vision of Governor Wike, which would serve as the foundation for his administration.
Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, who presented party flags to the candidates contesting for the various positions, urged the people to vote for them.
Director General of the Rivers PDP Campaign Council, Brother Felix Obuah, said Etche people were better off under Governor Wike’s administration, and urged them to remain resolved to deliver votes in bulk for the PDP.
Former Etche council chairman, Nnamdi Okere, said the forthcoming election is about showing gratitude and love to ygovernor Wike, whose administration has benefited Etche land and people.
The PDP candidate for Rivers East Senatorial District, Chief Allwell Nyesoh, who spoke on behalf of the candidates, accepted the responsibility of flying the party’s flag and pledged that the candidates would provide quality representation, following in the foot steps of Governor Wike.
Earlier, Governor Wike had visited Ochie of Etche Land, Onye-Isi Etche, King Emmanuel N. B. Opurum, at his palace in Ndashi to acquaint the king of the flag off of PDP campaign in Etche Local Government Area.
Well’ll Win Elections Because Etche People Understand Our Vision -Fubara
The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, has expressed confidence that he would win the March 11 governorship election in the state because Etche people understand the New Rivers Vision.
Sir Fubara stated this at the campaign rally of the PDP in Rivers State held at State School premises, Okehi 1, in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State on Monday.
Addressing party faithful and supporters at the rally, the PDP governorship candidate asserted that Governor Nyesom Wike, has performed very well in Etche Local Government Area and promised to build on those achievements.
“A question was asked, what are we consolidating? We are consolidating on ensuring that our courts will not be closed again. We are consolidating on regular and prompt payment of salaries and pensions. We are consolidating on infrastructural revolution. We are consolidating on ensuring that state assets are not being sold by friends and business partners again. We are consolidating on good governance.
“Governor Nyesom Wike has laid a solid foundation for onward growth of every sector and every part of the state. Our own job is to continue, build, and improve on it. This is what we mean by consolidation and continuity.
“The testimonies of Etche people here are wonderful. A journey they spend hours on before due to bad road, they now spend less than 45 minutes because of Governor Wike’s magic on your roads. This is dividend of democracy and good governance, it is evidence of right leadership”, he said.
Fubara urged Etche people to utilise the extension of the deadline for collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Please ensure that this remaining few days that INEC has provided for us for collection of PVC are used to collect yours if you are yet to do so. Sensitise your people to do so because our PVC is our weapon, it is our instrument, and our power, without it, we are powerless.
“With our PVC, we will ensure that PDP wins the governorship election in Rivers State. I know I will win, I am not desperate but I know I will win because of my competence and Governor Wike’s performance.
“With our PVC, we will ensure that PDP wins all the senatorial seats, all the House of Representatives seats, and all the State House of Assembly seats in Rivers State.
“We have done very well in Etche Local Government Area because you understand the New Rivers Vision. When you understand a vision, it becomes easy for you to key into it. We expect you to support us again so that we will do more for you and bring more development to Etche”, Fubara added.
In his address, Governor Wike condemned the attempt by the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party to frustrate the suit filed by the Rivers State chapter of the party against opposition parties in the state.
The governor also boasted that he has fulfilled the electioneering promises he made to the people of Etche in 2015 and 2019, and urged them not to listen to politicians who have penchant for failing on their campaign promises.
“You must differentiate politicians who are known for not keeping their campaign promises from those who keep to their promises. When I came to you in 2014/2015, I made several promises to you, to the glory of God, I have fulfilled those promises made to you.
“I have constructed several roads in this local government area. I sited one of the campuses of Rivers State University here. In fact, Igwuruta-Chokocho Dual Carriageway was one of my first projects when I came on board.
“Our own is not to lie to you, when we tell you we will do something for you, we go ahead to do it. Do not vote those parties that will promise you and fail to fulfil it.
“Those of them in Abuja who are talking about anti-party have been caught red-handed in the act. They are the first to play anti-party that they accused us of.
“We challenged the illegal conduct of primaries by some opposition parties in Rivers State in court, and we were hoping on the court to do the right thing. We have just been told that the national chairman of the party has written to the party’s lawyer to hands off the case to frustrate our suit.
“No problem at all, let them frustrate the case. We will hit them back because anti-party begets anti-party, the governor stated.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director-General of the New Rivers Vision Consolidation Campaign Council, Bro Felix Obuah, said the best way the people of Etche Local Government Area will appreciate Governor Wike for what he has done in the area is to vote Sir Fubara for governor, and all other PDP candidates in the state on February 25 and March 11 elections.
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