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S’ Court To Rule On Imo Gov’ship Review Today

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The Supreme Court will today rule on the request by sacked governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, for a reversal of his removal from office by the apex over a month ago.

The court had fixed yesterday for the hearing of the appeal but shifted it till today as Ihedioha’s lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) sought for time to study another process served on him inside the court by a respondent in the matter. 

This is the second time in a week that the court would adjourn the matter at the behest of the senior lawyer.

Ihedioha in the application he filed on February 6, 2020, asked the apex court to set aside the judgement sacking him as governor of the state on the grounds that the verdict was a nullity because it was procured by fraud.

When the matter was called on February 18, Agabi asked for a short adjournment to enable him respond to the processes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and that of the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, who are first and second respondents in the case.

Agabi’s request was granted and the seven-member panel of justices of the Supreme Court led by the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, adjourned the hearing till yesterday.

At yesterday’s proceedings, Agabi told the court that he was only served “this morning inside the court with the reply of the respondents and will need to study the documents in order to respond accordingly.”

Although, counsel to the APC and Uzodinma, Mr Damian Dodo (SAN) and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Tanimu Inuwa (SAN), had indicated their readiness to proceed with the hearing, the CJN adjourned the matter to till today as requested by the applicants.

The Supreme Court had on January 14, 2020 ordered the removal of Ihedioha from office on the grounds that he did not win majority of the votes cast in the March 9, 2019, governorship election in Imo State.

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INEC had declared Ihedioha as winner of the election on the ground that he won majority of the lawful votes cast in the poll.

The Imo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal in their concurrent decisions in the appeal filed by Uzodinma had upheld Ihedioha’s election and dismissed the petition on grounds that Uzodinma did not prove his allegations against the victory of Ihedioha.

But the apex court in its judgment held otherwise and declared Uzodinma as the winner upon the computation of results in the disputed 388 polling units.

The court in its judgment delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun disagreed with the decisions of the Appeal Court and the tribunal on the grounds that they erred in law when they excluded the votes from 388 polling units from the final result of the poll.

According to the apex court, when the excluded votes totalling over 200,000 were added, Uzodinma and not Ihedioha won majority of the lawful votes cast in the election.

Consequently, the apex court declared Uzodinma governor of Imo State and ordered INEC to withdraw the earlier certificate of return issued to Ihedioha and issue a new one to Uzodinma.

The court accordingly ordered that Uzodinma, which came fourth in the election be sworn in as the governor of the state.

But Ihedioha in his current application said that the apex court was misled in the election result computation and in the decision which removed him from office as governor.

He clarified that his application before the apex court was not in any way seeking a review of the court’s judgment or asking the apex court to sit on appeal over its judgment.

Ihedioha further explained that his application was for the court ”to set aside its January 14, 2020 verdict that removed him from office for being a nullity.

“The application is not an academic exercise or an invitation to this honourable court to answer hypothetical questions as the issue of nullity of the judgment of January 14, 2020 is neither academic nor hypothetical.

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”Contrary to the deposition by Governor Hope Uzodinma, he (Uzodinma) never stated the results of the other 68 candidates that participated in the election at the 388 polling units, as their scores were not indicated anywhere by the appellants”, he said in the latest affidavit.

He further argued that contrary to the depositions by the respondents, there was nowhere in the judgment of the apex court in which the decision of the lower court striking out the petition for incompetence was set aside or upturned.

However, Uzodinma urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit and a waste of the court’s time having been caught up with section 285 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which provides a 60-day lifespan for the hearing and determination of the appeal.

Uzodinma and the APC, the 1st and 2nd respondents, respectively, in their reply to Ihedioha’s motion claimed that the request was nothing but a mere academic exercise and an affront to the 1999 Constitution.

In a 19-paragraph affidavit filed in opposition to Ihedioha’s application, the governor and the APC asserted that the 60 days allowed for the Supreme Court by the constitution had since lapsed.

”The undisputed facts relating to the respondents/applicants’ motion hereinafter referred to as ‘the motion’ are to the effect that the judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered on 21st September, 2019, while the one sought to be set aside was delivered on 14th January, 2020. Clearly, the 60 days allowed by Section 285(7) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) for this honourable court to hear and determine appeal from the Court of Appeal in an election matter, lapsed on 17th January, 2020. The motion to set aside was filed on 5th February, 2020, 19 days after the time allowed by the constitution.

“It is now a settled law that the 60 days’ time limit to determine and conclude litigation on election matters is sacrosanct and cannot be extended by any guise”, they insisted in the counter affidavit filed on their behalf by Dodo.

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Meanwhile, the court has also adjourned hearing in the Zamfara State APC case till March 17 to enable the applicant effect service of the suit on all the parties.

The respondents in the suit are Senator Kabiru Marafa and 180 Zamfara APC candidates in the 2019 general election.

The APC is asking the apex court to review the consequential order which gave rise to the swearing in of candidates of the PDP into office from governorship to national and state house of assembly positions.

The apex court had in its judgment last year voided the participation of the APC in the 2019 general election in Zamfara State due to the party’s inability to conduct primary election as required by the law.

The court having declared all votes cast for the APC in various elective positions in the state as wasted votes, ordered that candidates of the party with the highest number of votes and spread to be sworn in as governor, senators, House of Representatives members as well as members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly.

However, when the matter was called, it was discovered that some respondents in the suit were yet to be served with the court’s processes as they were not in court nor represented by lawyers.

Although counsel to the APC, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), informed the court that an affidavit of service on all respondents had been filed, the CJN said that there was no evidence to that effect since the affidavit was not in the court’s record.

Clarke accordingly asked for a short adjournment to enable him do the needful.

Since the request was not opposed by counsel to the respondents, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), the presiding justice, adjourned the matter till March 17 for hearing.

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PUNCH News Headlines Trending In Politics, Today, 24th September, 2021

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PUNCH News Headlines Trending In Politics, Today, 24th September, 2021
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PUNCH News Headlines Trending In Politics, Today, 24th September, 2021 As Listed By Chrysora Media

Pensioners’ hardship worsens as states owe backlogs of gratuities

Pensioners’ hardship worsens as states owe backlogs of gratuities

Some pensioners during protest


State governments including Kano, Benue, Osun, Delta, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun, Rivers and Kwara are currently owing pensioners many of whom are dying without receiving their entitlements.
Labour leaders and officials of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, who spoke to The PUNCH in separate interviews on Thursday, said besides failing to remit the contributory pensions, retirees on the defined benefit scheme were being owed.
But state officials attributed the delay in paying pensions and gratuities to the poor economy of the country and assured that the entitlements would be paid as soon as their cash flow improved.
The defined benefit scheme is the pension scheme that was in effect before the adoption and payment of pensions to new retirees under the CPS as stipulated by the Pension Reform Act…..
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Akeredolu canvasses second term for Oyetola

Akeredolu canvasses second term for Oyetola

Oyetola


Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Thursday said by giving his Osun State counterpart, Adegboyega Oyetola, another four years in office, the state would gain more from him.
Akeredolu spoke on the sidelines of 30th anniversary of the creation of Osun, where 28 distinguished and prominent citizens of the state were honoured.
The Ondo State helmsman, who said achieving milestone of 30 year was worth celebrating, noted that “it has been a wonderful celebration having identified those who build, the founding fathers of this state and those who have contributed to the development of this state is now been given award, I think the government is doing very well…..
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Adamawa PDP councilors pass no confidence vote on LG chairman
Adamawa PDP councilors pass no confidence vote on LG chairman
Eight out of ten Peoples Democratic Party councilors in Demsa Local Government Council, on Thursday passed a vote of no confidence on the Chairman, Gibson Pwadadi.
The councilors accused Pwadadi of anti-party activities. They specifically accused him of divisiveness and loyalty to Senator Grace Bent, former PDP BOT member who defected to the All Progressive Congress.
Speaking on behalf of party stakeholders from the council, Samson Kumbita told reporters in Yola that the decision was sequel to a series of alleged infractions by the chairman…..
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PUNCH News Headlines Trending In Politics, Today, 24th September, 2021

2023: Jega, Utomi’s group to set conditions for APC, PDP on candidates

2023: Jega, Utomi’s group to set conditions for APC, PDP on candidates

Professors Pat Utomi and Attahiru Jega


The emerging third force in Nigeria’s political space is set to force political parties to adopt certain criteria in selecting candidates for various public offices in the 2023 general elections.
Several prominent Nigerians, including a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, and a political economist, Professor Pat Utomi, have teamed up to sack the ruling All Progressives Congress and the biggest opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, from the political space in the 2023 general elections.
They are to unveil a mega political movement to be known as ‘Rescue Nigeria Project’ on October 1…..
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National Assembly’s approval unnecessary for e-transmission of results – REC

National Assembly’s approval unnecessary for e-transmission of results – REC

Ogun State Residence Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje


THE Ogun State Residence Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, has said the commission does not need the backing of the National Assembly and the approval of the National Communication Commission to transmit election results electronically.
Agbaje disagreed with the National Assembly’s position that the Independent National Electoral Commission had no constitutional backing to transmit election results electronically without the approval of NCC.
Agbaje said this on Thursday while speaking at a press briefing as the new REC in the state.
The National Assembly had insisted that the commission must seek the approval of NCC before transmitting election results electronically….
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Age Limits For The Presidential Aspirants Should Be…- Obi

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Age Limits For The Presidential Aspirants Should not Be…- Obi
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Age Limits For The Presidential Aspirants Should Be…- Obi

Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has recommended a 60-80 years age range for aspirants vying for the office of president of the country.

The former Anambra State governor also said those vying for the office of governor should not exceed 60 years.

This was contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Valentine Obienyem, in Awka, on Thursday. He issued the statement to clarify what his principal said while campaigning for the Anambra PDP governorship candidate, Valentine Ozigbo.

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The statement read in part,” Obi, known for issue-based campaign in his speech at Aguata, Orumba North and South, and few other places, on Tuesday and Wednesday, pointed out numerous projects he did across the State, from roads through schools to security, and appealed to the people of these areas to vote for Mr Ozigbo for possessing the capacity and youthful age to deliver.

“He also said that whilst the other two contestants have had the opportunity to help their people and did nothing, that Ozigbo would be the clear difference.

“Obi said that the two out of three major contestants were over 60 years, while Mr Val Ozigbo is 50. He therefore concluded that Val possessed the ideal age for governorship at sub-national level, which he put between 40 and 60.”

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“Obi even went on to say that it was the experience garnered at that (governorship) level that would contribute to the success of leadership at the presidential level, which he put at between 60 and 80 years. “

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Buhari’s Sectionalism In Making Appointments Increasing Division – Ortom

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Buhari’s Sectionalism In Making Appointments Increasing Division - Ortom
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Buhari’s Sectionalism In Making Appointments Increasing Division – Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday accused the President, Major General Muhammad Buhari (retd.), of promoting nepotism and acts of sectionalism in all his appointments.

Ortom, who said such act violated the principle of federal character as enshrined in the constitution, added that the lopsided federal appointments and other acts of sectionalism had divided Nigeria more than ever.

The governor stated this in Enugu during a lecture organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Enugu chapel, with the theme, ‘Emerging security situation in the South-East: the place of good governance” held in Enugu.

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He said, “The lopsided federal appointments, nepotism and other acts of sectionalism, particularly from 2015 to date, have divided Nigeria now more than at any other time in the country’s history.

“The Federal Character Principle as enshrined in the constitution has been abused and abandoned by the present administration. This is where leadership has failed Nigerians and good governance has also been relegated to the back seat.

Buhari’s Sectionalism In Making Appointments Increasing Division – Ortom

“Eastern Nigeria, like other parts of the country, deserves equal attention with the provision of critical infrastructure and development projects, as well as allocation of resources and key appointments at the federal level.”

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Ortom, who said he would never be cowed, maintained that the All Progressives Congress government had failed in every area.

He said the Federal Government was busy fighting perceived opposition while at the same time looking the other way amid mindless killing and maiming of Nigerians by herdsmen.

“The present administration at the centre has adopted the approach of intimidation of those who dare to voice out their frustrations and concerns over growing insecurity and marginalisation.

“But I, Samuel Ortom, will never keep quiet as long as injustice and marginalisation prevail in the affairs of our country,” he added.

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