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Again, PDP Drags AP Assembly Candidates To Court

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has, again, dragged the state House of Assembly candidates of Accord Party to a Port Harcourt High Court for alleged non-compliance to electoral guidelines in the conduct of the party’s primaries.
This recent suit challenging the eligibility of the state House of Assembly candidates comes after the PDP had also dragged party’s National Assembly flagbearers to a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt for same offence.
Justice Adamu Turaki Mohammed of Federal High Court 5, yesterday, adjourned to September 23, 2022, after listening to arguments from the plaintiffs and defendants’ counsel on whether there was proper service on the defendants in line with the laid down High Court rules.
Speaking to journalists outside the court room, counsel to the 3rd to 27th defendants(Accord State House of Assembly Candidates), Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), said, “we have to come in obedience and respect for the court, notwithstanding that there have not been proper service or actual service on some of our clients, and on getting to court, today, the court checked if, indeed, we were served. Record of the court indicated that an order of service was made but there were issues whether we were served.
“Since we all have duty of cooperation in matters of this nature, the other side offered to effect proper service on us, and we indeed, accepted service. Effectively now, we are in the case for the 3rd to 27th defendants.
“In the next adjourned date, we will have our appropriate response. The defendants are actually candidates for party state House of Assembly in Rivers State. The case was adjourned to September 23,2022 for appearance”.
Also speaking, counsel to Accord Party, Abdulameed Mohammed (SAN) said, “this is a suit that is very unusual by a political party challenging the primaries of another political party.
“We look at the processes. We are objecting to the jurisdiction of the court, the competence of the suit and the competence of the court to entertain the suit.
“We filed notice of preliminary objection to serve them, and they reacted. We filed counter-affidavit, and you can see this morning, we were trying to highlight what we filled. There are other processes which we applied to INEC, which we obtained. We need to file further affidavits in reaction to the originating summons. So, this is where we are. We are hopeful that this matter will be dismissed”.
On his own, counsel to PDP, Dike Udenna, said the fact of the matter was that the primary conducted by Accord Party was not in compliance to electoral guidelines as the election for the state House of Assembly candidates did not hold in the respective constituencies but in one venue.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt will on September 23, 2022 deliver judgement on a motion for joinder filed by the Peoples Democratic Party against the Accord Party in a suit seeking to disqualify Accord’s National Assembly candidates from the 2023 general election.
The court will also on the same date deliver a ruling on a motion by counsel to Accord seeking to strike out the suit by the PDP which is said to have sued the wrong party instead of Accord.
When the matter came up for hearing, yesterday, counsel to PDP, Dem Nwigwe, SAN, moved his motion for some additional defendants to be joined in the suit.
Justice Daylop-Pam, after listening to arguments from the counsel to the plaintiffs and defendants during the resumed sitting, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, reserved ruling on the application to the next adjourned date of September 23,2022.
Speaking to journalists after the court sitting, counsel to PDP, Den Wigwe(SAN), said his clients filed the suit against Accord Party because they produced new set of candidates all-together against the initial ones, adding that PDP was working to give opportunity of being heard to those excluded in the process.
Wigwe said PDP believes the presence of the new set of candidates would affect their position on the matter.
In an interview with newsmen, Counsel to the Accord Party’s National Assembly candidates, Owonikoko Abiodun(SAN) said, “on our own part, we needed to regularise our response to the main suit, which, because of lack of proof of service the last time, was adjourned till today. So, the court has taken that application and has granted it. So, all our responses and defence to the suit are in”.
According to him, “we filed an application; the plaintiffs responded to the application. What we are saying is that they sued Accord Party, and we said that such name is unknown to us, and is unknown to law; and we say that the name(Accord Party) should be struck out from the suit. We exhibited the certificate of incorporation duly certified by INEC that, that name is not known to any person.
“Is like you are suing nobody.So, we are asking the court to strike it out, and the judge adjourned for ruling”.
Meanwhile, the Guber candidate of Accord Party in Rivers State, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who was in court, described the action of PDP as misnomer.
Lulu-Briggs said it was a deliberate plot by the PDP to distract Accord Party during the political campaigns which are drawing close.
He maintained that Accord Party and its candidates could not be distracted, adding that Rivers people would have an opportunity to elect people who would represent them at all levels.

By: Amadi Akujobi

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I’ll Provide Solid Representation, If Elected -Banigo

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has assured the people of Abua/Odual Local Government Area that she would provide undivided representation if voted into the Senate in 2023.
Banigo gave this assurance when leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party had a meeting with her, at the Government House in Port Harcourt to map out campaign strategies, yesterday.
The deputy governor said, she was excited that the meeting was held for the stakeholders to understand themselves, to ensure the party wins at the elections in 2023, adding that by the grace of God the local government area would be better than what it is now, if she emerges as the Rivers West senator.
In a related development, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is the Rivers West Senatorial District Candidate of the PDP in the upcoming polls, has also met with leaders of the PDP in Ahoada East Local Government Area, where she urged them to reach out to their constituents and encourage the collection of PVCs.
“We must realize that with this new Electoral Act, the votes will surly count, as this 2023 election is not going to be like the previous elections, there will be a difference, people should not be afraid to pick up their cards and vote, they should not be lackadaisical about it, they should keep their cards safe and on the day of election they should come up and cast their vote, because this time every vote will count”.
She said the campaigns would be unit based and urged them to reach out to those in their units.
“Make sure you have unit executives in each of the wards, so we can have a door to door campaign”, Banigo said.
In his remarks at the meetings, the Vice Chairman of the Rivers West Senatorial District of the PDP, Dr. Nname Robinson Ewor, said there is a need for members of the PDP to go out and establish their presence in all units’ wards and constituencies, stressing that the nature of this upcoming election would be different from previous elections.

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Ariolu, Others Welcome Ex-Deputy Guber Candidate To PDP

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Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barrister George Ariolu, has led other party faithful, including Chairman of PDP, Ward 6, Kingsley Nna; Chairman of PDP, Ward 9, Collins Wobo Chukwu; and Obio/Akpor PDP Secretary, Kingman Ogbonna; to receive a bigwig and stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Rumuogba in Ward 6, Chief Williams Igwe, into the PDP.
Receiving the former Deputy Governorship Candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Obio/Akpor PDP Secretariat, Rumueme, Ariolu expressed delight over his decampment from the APC to the PDP, describing it as an indication that the party was waxing stronger.
Ariolu, who was greeted with euphoria by the LGA PDP Chairman, Chidi Amadi, who also welcomed the former deputy governorship candidate at the secretariat, promised to work closely with Igwe to build the party ahead of the forthcoming election.
He pointed out that the foundation of the PDP was built on togetherness, stating that collectively, the party would achieve more.
Ariolu thanked Igwe for wholeheartedly accepting to come back to the party.
According to him, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has separated governance from politics following his relentless battle to promote the interest of Rivers people.
Also speaking, Chairman of the PDP in Obio/Akpor, Chidi Amadi, said the reception of Igwewas a fulfilment of an age-long dream, and a welcome development for members of the party, expressing joy over the event.
He further commended Ariolu for his strong support and leadership towards the sustenance and growth of the party.
In his remark, Chief Williams Igwe affirmed his loyalty and commitment to the PDP in its quest to oust the APC and fix the broken state of the country’s socio-economic and political fabrics.
He described the reception as a homecoming for himself and his supporters who would be formally received at a formal event which would be organised by the state party chairman, adding that PDP remains a major political party which will unite the nation.
He added that his decision to defect to the party was well-thought-out, and called on others to join hands with the Rivers State Government to rebuild the socio-economic fortunes of the state.
According to him, he believed that it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the Rivers State governor in moving the state forward.
The former Deputy Governorship Candidate was also received by PDP Chieftain, Barrister Temple Ejekwu; Obio/Akpor PDP Woman Leader,Gloria Wonodi; Barrister Kelvin Akani; and members of Obio/Akpor PDP Executive.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NNPC Posts N674bn Profit

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has declared a profit after tax of N674billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2021.
The profit represented a growth of 134.84per cent when compared with N287billion profit in 2020 which was recorded under the old Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said this at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja.
“NNPC progressed to a new performance level, from N287billion profit in 2020 to a N674billion profit after tax in 2021 climbing higher by 134.8per cent year on year profit growth,’’ he said.
Kyari also said that it recorded an increase in total assets from N15.86trillion in 2020 to N16.27trillion in 2021.
Speaking on the group’s financial position, Kyari said the corporation’s total liabilities decreased by 8.3per cent to N13.46trillion during the review period from N14.68trillion in 2020.
The GCEO said its shareholders funds position rose N2.81trillion representing 144per cent year-on-year.
“The performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and products theft, among others.
“Details of the performance of NNPC and the respective subsidiaries as well as that of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) will be published on our website www.nnpcgroup.com for stakeholder’s perusal.
“We look forward to achieving greater performance to support our growth aspirations and to create more value for our stakeholders as we drive full commercial operations under NNPC Ltd.,’’ he said.
He recalled that in September 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the publication of the 2020 NNPC Group Audited Financial Statement, in which NNPC declared a profit after tax of N287billion for the first time in 44 years.
Kyari said that in spite of the challenging operating environment, it strongly believed that the corporation had the potential to sustainably deliver better value to it esteemed shareholders.
He said it sought to become a dynamic global energy company of choice to its customers, partners and over 200million shareholders comprising of all Nigerians.
Kyari noted that the corporation in 2019 rolled out deliberate policies and initiatives aimed at reducing costs and eliminating losses while adopting technology to entrench transparency, accountability and performance excellence (TAPE) across its various functions.
He said the NNPC had recorded significant improvement over the past three years, turning up the curve from losses to profits.

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