The major plank upon which Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state and his son in-law and former Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu hinged their claims to the Governorship and Senatorial tickets of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Imo state was nullified yesterday by a High Court in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
The governor and his son-in-law yesterday took yet another hit when the Imo State High Court granted the prayers of the Imo Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere for the nul lification of the purported October 6, 2018 APC governorship primary in the state. The court presided over by Justice K.A. Ojiako had granted prayers sought by Madumere that only 1st October, 2018 APC primary election be declared as the only relevant and valid primary election through which Senator Hope Uzodinma emerged winner.
The judgement was based on an order granted by an Abuja High Court restraining the party from conducting any fresh primary elections until the determination of the matter before it over 1st October, 2018 primary election. The defiance of the Agbakabia-led committee which conducted the flawed October 6 primaries was though an affront to the court and extant laws was an effort in futility.
However, the Deputy Governor, who spoke through his Media Aide, Mr. Uche Onwuchekwa said “with today’s (yesterday) judgment, the foundation upon which Mr. Nwosu is parading himself as the governorship candidate of APC Imo State has been quashed, thereby laying to rest all Okorocha and Nwosu’s claims over who is the governorship standard bearer of the party is in Imo.”
OAU to honour Kagame, Awosika, others at 44th convocation
Four eminent Africans would be conferred with Honorary Doctorate Degrees (Honoris Causa) of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, during the 44th convocation of the university, billed for 14th December, 2019. The recipients, according to a statement by the Public Relations Officer for the university, Abiodun Olarewaju are the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, one of Nigeria’s finest Marketing Communications Practitioners and great philanthropist, Mr. Biodun Olusina Shobanjo, President of African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah and the Managing Direc-tor and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Mrs. IbukunOluwa Abiodun Awosika.
The statement, which noted that the university authorities had concluded arrangements to honour the recipients, said they were being recognised for their immense contributions to socioeconomic and political development of their immediate environments, countries, continent and the world at large, which had been adjudged invaluable. According to the statement, President Kagame’s outstanding leadership qualities and achievements in Rwanda, and within and outside Africa, were considered especially his actively instrumental to ending the infamous genocide in Rwanda in 1974. “It is in recognition of these outstanding and remarkable achievements that President Paul Kagame will be conferred with Doctor of Public Administration (Honoris Causa),” Olarewaju added.
“For Mr. Shobanjo, his trailblazing efforts and enduring legacies in the Marketing Communications industry in Nigeria, and as the doyen of the industry in the last 50 years as well as his humane social activism, set him on the pedestal for the award of the Doctor of Letters (D. Lit. Honoris Causa) of the university.
Fayemi’s wife blames impunity for unending rape cases
Wife of EKiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Bisi, has stated that culture of Impunity had contributed hindrances in the fight against alarming rate of rape in the country. Fayemi’s wife said that the fact that those perpetrating the act and other evils like child trafficking and all form of molestations against women were not being punished had made the fight against the social ill looked unachievable. She spoke in Ado-Ekiti yesterday at a rally organised against rape by stakeholders as part of a 16-day programmes of the government to combat the scourge. She said: “There are laws in the land that had been promulgated against violence against women, child trafficking and rape. Some people have been convicted through these laws.
“Don’t keep cases of violence against you secret, speak up. Try and learn how to dignify yourself. Make sure your families are in peace, don’t die in silence. “This is why we are creating more awareness across the 16 local government areas of the state. Even many of those who ought to have information about rape are not having them. “As I stand here, I am already tired of matching against rape. It has been difficult to overcome the scourge because of culture of impunity in Nigeria. The perpetrators were being emboldened because they suffered no punishment over their wrongdoings.”
Ekiti varsity to sack 600 over irregular employment
No fewer than 600 workers in Ekiti State University (EKSU) would be relieved of their jobs following what the management of the institution described as illegal appointments. The decision allegedly followed a report of staff audit carried out by a firm of external auditors commissioned by the institution for general auditing of staff in the university. The audit report which followed outcome of Visitation Panel’s report appointed by the government for the institution was considered by the Governing Council of the university.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Eddy Olanipekun while briefing newsmen in Ado-Ekiti yesterday stated that the report of the Panel as contained in a White Paper and accepted by the government revealed “over staffing, redundancy and personnel misalignment in virtually all the sections of the university and which astronomically increased the wage bill of the University beyond its capacity to pay.” Besides, “the Governing Council noted the findings contained in the Report of the External Staff Auditors that over 600 workers were employed irregularly against university regulations within the period 2016-2018 thereby causing a major personnel disalignment and skyrocketing of the university wage bill by about 100% within two years.
“The situation was so bad in the university that it was the monthly contributions of members of staff who belong to some Cooperative, Thrift and Credit Societies in the University that were partly and on a monthly basis used by the then university administration to pay the salaries of those that were irregularly employed and who interestingly refused to join any of the Cooperative, Thrifts and Credit Societies.
“228 members of staff could not produce/show evidence of Primary School Leaving Certificate “There were some ghost workers whose names were found on the university pay roll without being on the university nominal role. “Some members of staff presented falsified birth and educational certificates. “Some of the members of staff lacked the required basic educational qualification. “Some members of staff were illegally retained in the university services after having been due to retire. “There are other cases of over aged staff.
Don’t bad-mouth Nigeria, Magu cautions corps members
Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has warned Nigerian youths currently undergoing the mandatory National Youth Service against speaking ills of Nigeria, charging them to always look out for how they would contribute their quota in tackling the nation’s challenges. Magu gave the charge in Ede, Osun State yesterday while delivering a lecture at the state’s permanent orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) where he was represented by the Ibadan Zonal Head of the commission, Friday Ebelo. According to him, rather than dwell on the myriads of challenges facing the country and using same to talk down on it, the youth should rather look inwards and offer solutions that would bring the nation back on the track of her avowed giant status.
Magu said: “The nation looks up to you for solution to her problems. It is up to you to make yourselves available in proffering those solutions. Don’t join those whose past-time is running down the country. Such attitude will neither help us as individual nor answer any of our national questions.
“As corps members, you have the responsibility to defend your country with your all and do everything to help her overcome her challenges. The ultimate way to achieve this is to always stand against corruption. You must also speak against it at every opportunity,. No nation develops carrying heavy corruption burden.”
Ikpeazu seeks review of revenue allocation formula
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has called for total review of the indices through which the Revenue Allocation, mobilization and Fiscal Commission (RAMFAC) allocates funds from the federation account to the 36 states of Nigeria. Ikpeazu made the call while receiving the Federal Commissioner representing Abia State at the Revenue Allocation, Mobilization and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) and former Deputy Governor, Chief Chris Akomas, and his team at Government House, Umuahia.
The governor urged RMFAC to come up with policies that would engage States, Local Governments and other critical stakeholders in revenue sharing and exploration of natural resources deposits in the states. Ikpeazu, who promised to collaborate with RAMFAC towards increasing the State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), however, said that he is more concerned with producing young millionaires in Abia through poultry business and other agricultural value chains.
He went on to disclose that Abia is embarking on key reforms with a view to increasing its IGR before the end of the first quarter of next year. Speaking earlier, the Abia RAMFAC Commissioner, Akomas, called for proper and efficient data of all mining activities going on in the state. The former Abia deputy governor added that the mining sector should serve as an alternative source of revenue for states across the country.
Ohakim leads Chinese investors to Abia
Former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, has led a delegation of Chinese investors to Abia State describing the state as having the highest investment potential not only in the South East but also in the country in general. Ohakim, lauded Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s strides in agriculture, small and medium enterprises, which has made Abia the SME capital of Nigeria and the Enyimba Economic City Project, which he said was the most ambitious city project by any government in Nigeria. He said he came with international investors led by a Chinese company who would lay their business plans and join forces with the Governor for the development of Enyimba economic city.
NDDC inspects projects in Abia, warns contractors
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has warned contractors working for it to brace up and discharge their obligations fully as the Commission will no longer pay for jobs that are not verified and certified. The warning came from the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Gbene Dr Joi Nunieh, while inspecting projects, which included the multi-billion erosion control project in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State; erosion control, solar water, and a health centre.
The inspection team, led by the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, included the representative of Bende Federal Constituency and member of the House Committee on NDDC, Hon Okezie Kalu; the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang and other directors of the Commission. Nunieh stressed the need to intensify the efforts of the Commission with respect to supervision and inspection to facilitate the speedy completion of on-going projects in the nine states covered by the NDDC.
She noted that the inspection was necessary to ensure that development projects in rural communities were properly executed for the benefit of the people, warning that unnecessary delays would not be tolerated. Inspecting the erosion control works at Bende Road in Umuahia, Nunieh expressed displeasure over the slow pace of work on the project and ordered that the NDDC consultant be relieved of his duties for not being firm in dealing with the contractor.
MOSOP accuses Ogoni communities of aiding pipeline vandalism
A factional leader of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Dr. Legborsi Pyagbara, has accused Ogoni communities of encouraging pipeline vandals to steal petroleum products in the area. This was as he lamented that the illegal oil bunkering activity in Ogoniland was the greatest threat to the success of the ongoing clean-up exercise of the area.
Pyagbara, who disclosed this at a symposium organised by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, expressed regret that the illegal oil bunkering activities in Ogoniland was the greatest threat to the success of the ongoing clean-up. In his paper on “UNEP Report: Assessing Stakeholders Compliance in Ogoni Clean-up,” delivered at the symposium organised as part of activities marking the 2019 Correspondents’ Week, he noted that the number of impacted sites in Ogoniland had increased more than it was three years ago, due to oil bunkering.
Therefore, he expressed regrets that at the time the Federal Governmentled byPresident Muhammadu Buhari accepted to clean-up Ogoniland as recommended by the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the communities were aiding activities of oil thieves polluting the area. Pyagbara said: “The communities are in full support of their children engaging in such acts. Before now, we thought it was only women that were supporting the artisanal refining, but we have realised that men are also in full support.
“Few months ago, I held a meeting with the people of the communities where the illegal activities are high. To my greatest surprise, they told me that if their children stopped the artisanal refining, where would they get money to feed them? “Artisanal refining, which we call ‘kpofire’ or illegal bunkering, is the greatest challenge facing the ongoing clean-up of Ogoni.
It will be impossible for the clean-up exercise to be successful when kpofire business is going on,” he warned. He, however, urged the media to engage in vigorous campaign against the menace, adding that Ogoni ethnic nationality wholeheartedly accepted the clean-up exercise as recommended by UNEP because it concerns the environment. Pyagnara added: “On post-assessment stage of the clean-up, MOSOP has played the roles given to it under the UNEP report. We had a challenge convincing the people that money will not be shared because UNEP report did not recommend payment of compensation to impacted communities.”
Court orders transfer of El-Zakzaky, wife to Kaduna Prison
A Kaduna State high court yesterday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to transfer the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, to the Correctional Centre in Kaduna. El-Zakzaky and his wife had been in custody of the DSS since their arrest in December 2015, when members of the IMN and the Nigerian Army clashed in Zaria, Kaduna State. The clash followed misunderstanding between IMN members and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt,-General Tukur Buratai, during one of the movement’s procession in Zaria.
When the case came up for mention yesterday, the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, made the order, adding that their transfer from the custody of the DSS to the Correctional Centre in Kaduna, was to ensure that their lawyers and doctors had easy access to them.
The judge then adjourned the case to February 6, 2020 for the commencement of trial. El-Zakzaky and his wife were being prosecuted by Kaduna State government for alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace, among others. On August 5, 2019, the court granted the IMN leader and his wife, leave of absent to travel to India for medical treatment. However, upon arrival in India, the treatment could not take place following disagreement between El-Zakzaky and the Nigerian government over accommodation and other processes. There was heavy security around the court as armed policemen, soldiers and other security operatives blocked all roads leading to the vicinity of the state high court complex.
Plateau PDP crisis: Sango resigns as party chairman
Embattled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in Plateau State and former Minister of Sports, Hon. Damishi Sango, yesterday resigned his position in the party. Sango while addressing journalists in Jos after his resignation said his action was to pave way for peace to reign in the party. He said the three-man committee set up by the national secretariat of the party, which was led by former Senate President, David Mark, didn’t find him guilty of any financial impropriety and that he was exonerated of all allegations against him.
The former minister said the 16 executive committee members behind his travail had written to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and had withdrawn their allegations against him. “Upon the withdrawal of the allegations and in consideration of the fact that there is bad blood between me and some of the executive committee members, particularly the Group of 16, I have now resigned to pave way for peace in the party. He appealed to party members to forgive one another for peace and unity in the party.
It will be recalled that Sango was in April suspended by 16 members of his executive over allegations of corruption by the state chapter of the party. Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the party in the state, Hon. Amos Gombi, has taken over as the acting chairman of the party. Speaking to journalists at the PDP secretariat in Jos after taking over, Gombi said he would ensure total reconciliation in the party before the next congress of the party.
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