The Supreme Court is expected to fix hearing date anytime soon in a motion filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to sack the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
It was learnt that parties have filed some additional processes in relation to the motion filed last year and that the PDP, through its lawyer, Phillips Umeadi recently filed a fresh document, requiring the Supreme Court to set the case down for hearing.
Information at the court’s Registry revealed the motion by the PDP, in which it’s praying the Supreme Court to reverse its decision sacking Emeka Ihedioha, is now ripe for hearing because some processes were recently filed by some of the parties.
It was gathered that the next step is for the Deputy Registrar (Litigation) to liaise with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) for a hearing date, which would soon be communicated to parties.
Listed as respondents to the motion on notice, filed by the PDP in an earlier appeal by Ugwumba Uche NWosu, marked: SC/1384/2019 are: Nwosu, the Action Peoples Party (APP), Uche Nnadi and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It is PDP’s contention that it was wrong for the court to declare Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo State after disqualifying Nwosu from contesting the election on the grounds that he allowed himself to be nominated as the governorship candidate of both the Action Alliance and APC for the same election.
It wants the court to declare that both the AA and the APC did not sponsor any candidate for the election in view of Nwosu’s double nomination by the AA and APC and his subsequent disqualification by the court in its judgment given on December 20, 2019
The PDP also wants the court to order that Hope Uzodinma was not a candidate by himself or of any political party at the election; and to order INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Senator Hope Uzodinma.
The party is equally praying the court to order INEC to issue a certificate of return to its candidate in the election, Emeka Ihedioha “as the duty elected Governor of Imo State, having scored the second highest number of votes in the said election sequel to the judgment of this court in Appeal No: SC/1462/2019 – Senator Hope Uzodinma & another v. Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha & others delivered on 14th January, 2020.
It is further praying the court to issue an order, directing that Ihedioha be immediately sworn-in as the governor of Imo State.
The grounds relied on by the PDD in seeking the reliefs includes that the court had, in its December 20, 2019 judgment, found that the Nwosu was nominated by both APC and AA as their candidate for election held on March 9, 2019, and conclusively held that he was disqualified by the provisions of Section 37 of the Electoral Act for double nomination.
It stated that although Ihedioha was declared winner of the election and subsequently sworn-in, the Supreme Court in its judgment delivered on January 14, 2020 in the appeal, marked: SC1462/2019, filed by Uzodinma, held that the appellant (Uzodinma) and not Ihedioha that scored the highest number of votes in the election and ought to be returned as the duly elected governor.
The PDP added that by the clear terms of the Supreme Court’s judgment of December 20, 2019 in the appeal by Nwosu, it was obvious that neither the AA nor the APC fielded any a candidate for the election held on March 9, 2019 and as such Uzodinma could not have been returned as the election as a candidate of the APC.
It said, “APC could not have substituted the appellant (Nwosu) with a view to further nominating the said Senator Hope Uzodinma as their candidate because that right is not available to the party under the Electoral Act.
“Senator Hope Uzodinma could not have been a candidate in the election as an independent candidate as such right is not available to him.
“Rt. Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, who is the candidate nominated by the third respondent/applicant (PDP), and who scored the second highest number of votes after Senator Hope Uzodinma, from the judgment of this court, ought therefore to be issued a certificate of return by the fourth respondent (INEC) and sworn in accordingly”.
A legal officer in the PDP, Adedamola Farokun stated, in a supporting affidavit, that by virtue of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Uzodinma’s appeal, Ihedioha scored the second highest votes after Uzodinma.
Farokun added that by virtue of the Supreme Court’s earlier judgment in the appeal by Nwosu, which nullified the candidature of Nwosu as the duly nominated candidate of the APC, the APC had no candidate for the governorship election held on March 9, 2019.
He argued that it was Ugwumba Uche Nwosu who was the duly nominated candidate of the APC, which nomination was on the records of INEC up to and after the election, but whose nomination was nullified by the December 20, 2019 judgment Supreme Court.
Farokun contended that as at when Nwosu’s candidacy was nullified, the APC could not have validly substituted its candidate as there are no provisions for post-election substitution of candidates.
Your Resilience Has Kept You Afloat, PHALGA Boss Tells RSNC … Says The Tide Remains Long-Term Partner
Ihunda, who said this during a courtesy call by the management of RSNC, said the council was elated that The Tide has consistently remained on the newsstands for more than 50 years, adding that the council was looking forward to joining in the celebration of the golden jubilee anniversary of the corporation.
The mayor, who was represented by the council Secretary, Barrister Chile Kay Owuru, said The Tide has continued to deliver on its mandate and serve the Government and people of Rivers State in spite of obvious challenges.
He also praised the newspaper for standing behind the council during the recent struggle to ensure that the provisions of the Constitution were no longer brazenly breached by the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, which had been conducting marriages at illegal Marriage Registries across the country.
Ihunda also said the council would work to ensure that all commercial transport vehicles operating between #1 to 10, Ikwerre Road and under all parts of the Abali Flyover relocate to the main Abali Motor Park, which has been renovated and upgraded by the council to accommodate more vehicles.
He regretted that the commercial transport and illegal business activities taking place around the area have facilitated the operations of criminal elements who have been terrorising unsuspecting members of the public, and assured that the council was synergising with relevant authorities to restore sanity to the area.
The mayor also assured that the public health issues associated with the huge refuse dumpsite at Njemanze Street in Rumuwoji (Mile One) area would be addressed.
Ihunwo further promised to work out partnership strategies that would enable both the corporation and the council mutually leverage the opportunities that abound in the RSNC’s Business Development portfolio, especially in the area of commercial printing jobs, among others.
Earlier, the General Manager of the corporation, Chief Ernest Chinwo, said the meeting was initiated with the understanding that the mayor would use his position to facilitate mutually beneficial engagements between the council and the RSNC while also creating value added window to interact with the membership of ALGON in the state with a view to eliciting their support and partnership to boost the corporation’s fortunes.
Chinwo said every Rivers man should be proud of The Tide as the only surviving state-owned newspaper regularly in the newsstands since its founding, noting that the newspaper has continued to wax stronger despite all the challenges since it was established in 1971.
According to him, The Tide was the only surviving paper on South-South and South-East that has been regular on the newsstands, saying that the corporation was not only involved in newspaper publishing but also undertakes all kinds of printing jobs.
The general manager also called on the mayor to look into the health hazard posed by the refuse dumpsite at Njamanze Street, stressing that the site has recently constituted serious threat to the health of the people in the area.
He also called the attention of the mayor to the proliferation of illegal motor parks and markets around the Abali flyover and along the rail line, adding that criminals have used the area as fertile ground for perpetrating all kinds of unwholesome activities.
By: John Bibor
Kick Insensitive APC Govt Out With Your PVCs, PDP Charges Nigerians
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, stated this, yesterday, during a sensitisation campaign for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Abuja.
The party’s national publicity secretary; National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Effa-Attoe; and National Youth Leader, Mohammed Sulieman; led the campaign around the streets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Ologunagba said the campaign was to sensitise Nigerians, particularly youths and women on the need to participate actively in the democratic process by collecting permanent voter cards and ensuring that they participate in the 2023 general election.
He said, “Against the backdrop of the fact that we have an APC government that is insensitive, that is rudderless, that completely failed this country, they lied to us in 2015, came to power by fraud and propaganda.”
Ologunagba lamented that the APC-led Federal Government has made life difficult for most Nigerians.
He said, “As the party of the people that believe in the sanctity of life and that our children need the future where on their own, they can achieve their goals and live a life where they can aspire to be anything in Nigeria.
“So, we are urging all youth and women to come out en mass to pick up their PVCs and those who have not registered to take advantage of the window now available by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come out and register”.
He assured the electorate that their votes will count in 2023, adding that “we have seen how APC has destroyed the country, get your PVC and vote them out”.
Also speaking, the PDP National Youth Leader, Mohammed Suleiman, said the failure of the APC government was enough to motivate Nigerians to kick them out.
“We have seen what is happening in the country, the rate of unemployment, insecurity, students, is at home for over five months and the economy is messed up. So, we believe those comments you’re seeing on social media will turn to vote come 2023.
“We have 36 state youth leaders, we have six zonal leaders, we’re all working together to mobilize Nigerians so that they can vote for the PDP come 2023″.
See IOCs’ Divestments As Blessing, NUPRC Charges IPPG
Komolafe gave the charge at the opening dinner of the ongoing Nigerian oil and gas conference holding in Abuja, yesterday.
According to him, local players now have a golden opportunity to prove their mettle by leveraging the local content window in value addition and optimising the development of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.
He emphasised the need for indigenous players across the value chain to deploy their ingenuity in promoting vibrancy and capacity utilisation in the industry
“As a regulator, the commission is not oblivious of the threat posed to the development of the Nigerian hydrocarbon industry by the divestment of the IOCs.
“The impetus for divestment by the IOC is mainly attributable to the hostile upstream petroleum environment arising from crude oil theft and energy transition as a global response to the advocacy for reduction in carbon emissions.
“Our view as a commission is that IPPG and other prospective indigenous players should perceive the IOCs’ divestment in some of the upstream assets as an opportunity rather than a threat to the development of the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector,” he said.
Speaking further, Komolafe noted that indigenous companies presently contribute about 30percent of the nation’s crude oil and 20percent of the gas production, as well as 40percent and 32percent of oil and gas reserves, respectively.
He also informed that seven indigenous companies are among the top 20 companies with the highest oil reserves in Nigeria.
He further disclosed that 57 fields were offered for awards in 2020 to indigenous operators, resulting in the issuance of 102 Petroleum Prospecting Licenses (PPLs) by the commission on June 28, 2022.
“It is worthy to note that Nigeria has the largest participation of local independents in the domestic oil and gas industry activities of all petroleum-producing countries in Africa arising from the robust local content policy.
“It is estimated that the energy demand across Africa in 2040 would increase by about 30percent compared to the current level. Consequently, the divestment of the IOC away from our onshore and shallow water terrains presents a massive opportunity for new operators of those assets, which the IPPG is better positioned to take advantage of in order to meet the increasing energy demand.
“The commission expects the IPPG to stay competitive, optimise future energy security and be resilient in our oil and gas extractive industry”, Komolafe stated.
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