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Okowa Tasks Leaders On Truth

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Delta State  Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Monday, urged leaders to speak truth to the people at all times to sustain their credibility in governance.
Okowa gave the charge while receiving All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and members from Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency who defected to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Government House, Asaba.
He stated that as leaders, the onus lay on them to speak truth to their followers always and not to tell them lies because of quest for political power.
The Governor who was referring to a statement credited to Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, said that he was disappointed in the lawmaker’s comment over his administration in Delta State.
“There is a lot going on and we thank God for all that we have seen and all that is going on in Delta.
“What I am trying to emphasise is that only recently, one of our brothers sitting very high up there at the Senate, lied to Deltans.
“I usually don’t like to talk about people, but for the Deputy Senate President, to make comments that he knows that is not true, is a very unfortunate thing.
“The truth is truth and it cannot be hidden; it is only a blind man that will look through Delta and say that under the current circumstance that this administration is not doing well.
“Under the current financial burden that we have in our nation and looking through all the activities of government both in terms of peace building, development of infrastructure and whatever we do in providing services in the health and education sectors, human capital development, and entrepreneurship programmes, it has been acknowledged that we are doing well.
“With all that is being done, somebody out there says there is nothing being done?
“It is wrong for people in high offices to cast a wrong message to the people. I am not going to start comparing myself to the government of APC because whatever I do, I do it out of the fact that the wisdom of God rests upon me and has enabled me to do those things.
“Leaders must learn to communicate right and not to speak lies to their people; even the community he went to speak about in Ughelli South, we are building a bridge across the Orere River.
“That bridge as at the time of the award was N10 billion and the bridge is just a stone throw from where he went to. Construction work is ongoing there day-in, day-out.
“I only wish and pray that rather than make statements that deceive the people, we can all play our roles to attract development from wherever we find ourselves,” he said.
Okowa added that “as a governor, I am doing the best that I can, and as Deputy President of the Senate, I also expect that he will attract the levels of development and not deceive our people.
“That is what we  are supposed to do – to collaborate with each other to work in the best interest of the people.
“Wherever development comes from to our state, it is in the best interest of our state; whether you are of any political party or not, and for those who do not belong to any party, do your best to attract development to our state because our people will benefit from them”.
“Our children will attend the schools developed; so all of us should work hard wherever we find ourselves to strengthen the level of infrastructure and to provide services that will enable our children and our people live more comfortably. That is the kind of thing I expect.”
He restated that no amount of mendacious lies would derail or trivialise the rescue mission of the PDP, saying, “talking about rescuing Nigeria, we are in a very difficult position and everybody knows that there are issues in this country and I believe that the more we talk about it the better for us.
“The more we think about solutions the better for us. I am not a man who rise to speak with vile words; when I make a comment people should always check my comments and the truth will be found in the comments that I make and it is always in the best interest of our nation, Nigeria and the best interest of our state.
“We need help as a nation because the challenges that confront us are high and when we collectively work for the good of this nation.
“I believe that things will be done much better and the people will heave a sigh of relief so it is my prayer that we all collectively work together as a people.”
The governor expressed gratitude to Deltans for their support over the years, adding that he owed his success to their cooperation.
“I owe my success to the willingness of Deltans to work with me and ensure peace and I thank God for providing us with that opportunity.
“I must commend INEC for the introduction of the BIVAS Technology which will to a large extent, guarantee the credibility of our electoral process and I urge them to develop this technology and upscale it to conduct the general elections.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on the President and the Federal Government to give the much-needed support to INEC to develop the BVAS technology to conduct a more acceptable election in the nearest future.
“As a person I have always believed in the integrity of elections and such integrity would also be brought to bear in our party primaries,” he assured.
Earlier in his remark, leader of the delegation, Mr Sylvester Ogokunu, had said that the group was established in November, 2020, adding that they decided to return to the PDP to contribute their quota to enable the governor finish strong.
He described the APC as a “horror house of commotion and gangesterism” noting that both returning and fresh members of the party decided to join the PDP because of the governor’s leadership style that has distinguished him across the nation.
State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Kingsley Esiso, Delta North Chairman of the party, Deacon Moses Iduh, State Secretary, Engr. Daniel Ossai and Political Adviser to the Governor, Chief Isaac Anwuzia were on hand to receive the new members.

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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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