Ondo: Detained ACN members get bail

Five members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who were arrested by the police on October 3 after the party’s rally in Ondo town, were yesterday granted bail by an Akure Magistrate’s Court, after spending 27 days at Olokuta Prison, Akure.

The were granted N500,000 bail each and are to produce two sureties.

The sureties must be civil servants and landlords.

Two of the accused, Samson Otugbo (66) and Oyewole Gabriel (67), accused the police of witch-hunting them because they were ACN members.

They alleged that they were arrested in Ondo for wearing vests with the inscription: “Akeredolu for Governor”.

They alleged that they were taken to the police headquarters in Akure and were detained on trumped-up charges.

The court refused the accused bail on October 5 following objection by the Attorney-General of Ondo State, Justice Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), who took over the case from the police prosecutor.

Counsel to the accused Titiloye Charles said it was wrong for them to be remanded in prison custody when the prosecution failed to begin the trial or produce any witness to substantiate its allegation.

The prosecution team from the Attorney-General’s office was not in court yesterday. Magistrate F. A. Akintoye was also absent. He was said to have begin his leave.

His ruling on the bail application was read by a Magistrate Court Seven on his behalf.

The families of the accused alleged that the suspects were remanded in prison custody to prevent them from participating in the election.

Row in Imo over plan to conduct council poll

A political crisis is brewing in Imo State following plans by the government to conduct a local government election.

Although no date has been fixed for the poll, major political parties and other stakeholders are protesting what they called the government’s plot to impose its cronies.

But the tenure of the 27 council chairmen, already disengaged by the government, is yet to be resolved.

Chairman of Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC), Mr. Obi Akwara, said the commission has begun ward delineation to ensure that the election holds in all the wards.

He said: “We are an unbiased umpire; we are not going to interfere with the issues in court. We have started preparations for the council election. We have begun with ward delineation and verification to ensure that those wards, where elections were not held in the last election, will be corrected.”…(read more)

Drama in Kogi Assembly as Factional Sittings Continue

The ongoing crisis rocking the Kogi State House of Assembly has taken a new dimension as factions continue to make assertive statements on who is in charge of the Assembly.

The embattled Speaker, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, had accused the 12-members that purportedly suspended him of going against the directive of the House of Representatives that suspended legislative activities in the Assembly when 11 of the lawmakers conducted a sitting.

“We have only chosen to resist illegality by adhering to due process and legislative procedures,” Bello said.

He advised the people to ignore the new leadership of the Assembly on the ground that “the law will take its cause,” stressing that “the actions of the factional group is a flagrant disrespect to the rule of law.”

In another development, the ‘new’ Speaker, Hon. Lawal Momoh Jimoh, said the ‘former’ Speaker and other impeached principal officers should embrace peace and the hands of fellowship extended to them.

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Kogi PDP suspends Assembly members

The Eastern Zone of Kogi State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended four of its members in the House of Assembly.

They are the embattled Deputy Speaker Emmanuel Omebije, (Dekina/Diraidu Constituency); Majority Leader of Group of 13 (G13) Yakubu Yunusa, (Ofu); Haruna Idoko (Idah) and Abdullahi Zakari, (Ankpa).

The suspended members belong to the G13 under the impeached Speaker Abdullahi Bello.

In a statement by the Zonal Vice-Chairman Seidu Odoma and Secretary Musa Alfa, the party said the decision followed the alleged refusal of the members to follow its resolutions in a meeting held on October 20 in Ayangba.

The statement said the members failed to adhere to peaceful coexistence with the party as well as ensure stability and the economic progress of the zone.

The statement added: “Following the expiration of the seven days’ ultimatum and your refusal to abide by the resolutions of the PDP, as regards your conducts which you have neglected, you are hereby suspended as members of the party for 30 days. This action is with immediate effect.”

The new Speaker, Lawal Jimoh, has urged Bello and other impeached principal officers to embrace peace and extend their hands of fellowship to the new officers.

Jimoh spoke yesterday at a plenary of the new House leadership.

The new Speaker said he is a child of circumstance because of the Assembly’s leadership was bestowed on him by the members.

According to him, there are vital issues, especially the welfare of the people, that the Assembly needs to focus on.

Jimoh noted that by the virtue of the oath the party members have sworn to, personal interests would not be allowed to override the interests of the masses.

The Speaker said he would continue on Bello’s experience and honest counsel.

He said the Assembly remains a united family, adding that he and Bello are from the same place.

The Speaker promised that the new leadership would use collective approach and cooperate with the executive and other organs of government for the development of the state.

The Deputy Majority Leader and Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Enlightenment, Saidu Akawu Salihu, described yesterday’s sitting by the new House leadership as a show of lawlessness.

In a statement in Lokoja, the state capital, Salihu said: “We also begin to wonder why they are so desperate with their act of lawlessness despite the intervention of the National Assembly and men of goodwill within and outside Kogi State.

“We want to inform the public that as law-abiding citizens, men of honour and integrity, we will continue to remain on the path of peace, law and order. No amount of intimidation, provocation and deceit will lure us to the part of lawlessness and abuse of lawful plea from constituted authority like the National Assembly to take the law into our hands.”

6 injured as PDP, ACN clash in Ekiti

No fewer than six people were  injured and three  vehicles damaged in Oye Ekiti yesterday when members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, engaged in a bloody clash.

Speaking with the newsmen at Afao Ekiti, the Director General,  Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation, Mr. Gboyega Oguntuase said members of the group were attacked at Ire and Oye Ekiti where they had a scheduled meeting.

According to him, the group obtained a police permit to hold the meeting before they were allegedly  attacked by members of the ACN.

Prior to the attack, he said, members of his group had received several phone calls, warning them of the consequence of coming to the town for the political meeting. …(read more)

Bayelsa guber poll: S-Court affirms Dickson’s election

The Supreme Court, Monday, declined to sack Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State from office on grounds that he was not a valid candidate in the last gubernatorial election in the state.

In an unanimous judgment, a 5-man panel of justices of the apex court led by Justice Walter Onnoghen, dismissed the appeal which sought to void the outcome of the February 11, 2012, election that saw the emergence of Governor Dickson on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Change Advocacy Party, CAP, which ab-initio lost its case before the Bayelsa State governorship election tribunal and the Court of Appeal, in its appeal, contended that the two lower courts erred in law by discarding vital documents it tendered with a view to proving that Dickson was not properly nominated by the PDP to contest the election.

CAP and its own governorship candidate, Imoro Kabi, maintained that as at the time the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, compiled and published the  list of eligible gubernatorial candidates for the election, it explicitly omitted Dickson’s name, only to include him few days to the election.

Ondo: Oke contacts INEC for documents as he sets for tribunal

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in the last election in Ondo State Chief Olusola Oke has written a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, requesting for the Certified True Copies of documents necessary to prosecute his case in the Election Petition Tribunal..

The letter entitled ‘Request for Production of Relevant Documents’ written by the firm of Chief Olajide Ajana & Co was addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Mr. Akin Orebiyi and signed by Chief Olajide Ajana.

Chief Ajana said the PDP had instructed the firm to present before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal a petition questioning the election and return of Mimiko as the declared winner of the said election.

The documents requested for according to the letter include list of presiding officers, list of assistant presiding officers, poll clerks, list of ward returning officers, list of local government returning officers and full details of the State Returning Officers.

Also, the firm is requesting the electoral commission to make available to it all voters’ registers (manual and printed copies) used in the 2011 Presidential, National Assembly and State Assembly elections, all registers of voters (manual and printed copies) used in all the units for the conduct of the October 20, 2012 governorship election in the state.

It is equally asking INEC to make available to it Form EC25 and EC40C, various protest letters submitted by the PDP or its client’s campaign organisation before, during and after the election just as the firm requested for INEC Form EC8D for the governorship election of Ondo State. …(read more)

A’Court upholds Ekwunife’s election

The Appeal Court sitting in Enugu, yesterday, reaffirmed the re-election of Mrs Uche Ekwunife of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, as member representing Anaocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka federal constituency of Anambra State.

The five-man Appeal panel, headed by Justice Lokulo Sodikpe, upheld the judgement of the National Assembly Election petition tribunal in Awka which had dismissed the petition by the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Mr. Dozie Nwankwo, in the re-run election in some wards in the federal constituency. …(read more)

Edo House dissolves LG Caretaker C’ttees

Edo State House of Assembly, yesterday, dissolved Caretaker Committees in the 18 local government councils of the state, saying the decision was to ensure the enthronement of true democracy at the grass roots.

There are also indications that Governor Adams Oshiomhole may dissolve the state Executive Council this week, ahead of his second term swearing in ceremony scheduled for November 12, 2012.

The lawmaker representing Egor Constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr. Paul Ohonbamu, who raised the issue of tenure of the caretaker committees under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, noted that it would be unconstitutional for the members to remain in office since they were not democratically elected. He, therefore, moved a motion for their dissolution…(read more)

Jonathan approves 5 new Perm Secs

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the posting of five new permanent secretaries. He also redeployed others currently serving in various ministries.

The newly posted permanent secretaries were sworn-in on Wednesday, October 17.

A statement conveying the redeployment in Abuja, yesterday, signed by Mr. Tope Ajakaiye, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, said all the handing and taking over formalities were to be completed on or before Wednesday, November 7.

Some of  the new permanent secretaries are Mr. Alhassan J.Gana, who is to serve in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (Cabinate Secretariat); Mr. Sunday J. Jegede, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (Political Affairs/Economic Affairs)and Dr. James Obiegbu.

(Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, (Career Management Office), and Amb. Sani Bala (Federal Civil Service Commission) and Mrs Folasade O., who is equally to serve in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, but in Establishment and Records office.

ACN leaders refuse to endorse Mimiko’s victory

The national hierarchy of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, yesterday shied away from a full endorsement of the outcome of the Ondo State gubernatorial election even as the party leaders pledged to put the election behind them.

At a top level meeting of the party’s national leadership in Lagos, party leaders also vowed not to be intimidated into endorsing an election they claimed was characterized by “several irregularities and instances of thuggery and violence.”

While vowing not to be spoilsports who would rather sacrifice the nation’s democracy than lose an election, the party leaders vowed to continue a scrutinisation of the votes and processes of the election, saying a legal action would be instituted where sufficient evidence is obtained.

Yesterday’s high level meeting was the first formal gathering of the party’s national leadership since the Ondo State gubernatorial election which took place penultimate Saturday…(read more)

Supreme Court decides Dickson’s fate today

The Supreme Court will on Monday(today) deliver a judgment on the legal battle between the Peoples Democratic Party and the Change Advocacy Party(CAP) over the victory of the PDP’s candidates Seriake Dickson, in the last governorship election in Bayelsa State.

CAP has been in court challenging the emergence of Dickson who won the February 11 governorship election, insisting that he was not a candidate of PDP for the election.

But CAP had lost its case at the tribunal and the Court of Appeal which dismissed it as lacking in merit.

CAP and its governorship candidate in the state, Imoro Kabi, had taken their matter to the apex court asking the court to rule in their favour.

Few days to the judgment, there had been an allegation by the party’s acting Chairman, Mr.Deme Kolomo, that the legal team of CAP was being sponsored by the former Governor of the state, Mr. Timiprey Sylva.

But the allegation was debunked by the Campaign Director of the Kubor Governorship Team, Mr. Koku Garigha.”

Garigha said, “For the avoidance of doubt and to set the record straight, we make bold to say that neither our party nor the campaign organisation has ever communicated nor received any form of assistance from Sylva.

“Our case before the supreme court is anchored on the clear principles of justice and we believe that on a proper construction and appreciation of the extant laws of our nation and the electoral laws.”

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