APGA Tussle: Njoku asks court to compel INEC to recognise him as chairman



Mr Edozie Njoku has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking an order of Mandamus compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to recognise him as  National Chairman of All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Njoku who was in court on Thursday, also wants INEC to recognise his entire executives who were elected with him in Owerri in 2019 but were stopped from assuming leadership of the party by court injunctions.

He said that he was compelled to return to court to obtain the order because it was only the court that could order INEC to recognise him and his executives as the authentic leaders of the party.

“On June 5, a day before the expiration of his tenute, Victor Oye took me and the party to court, where he obtained an injunction that I should not perform my duties as National Chairman of APGA.

“He also got another injunction that APGA should not recognise me as National Chairman.

“After we gave our statements of defence to all his claims, he decided to discontinue with the suit.

“He filled his motion of discontinuance of the case and the two orders were vacated and the suit struck out.”

Njoku, however, said that since INEC was not a party to that suit,  the commission was not aware of the development.

“So we are here to ask the court to compel INEC to recognise me and my executives,” he said.

He said his team would be patient and await the decision of the court adding that APGA  was a law abiding party and the executives would not take any steps to jeopardize the party’s progress.

It will be recalled that a Delta High Court had nullified the National Convention held in Awka on the same day as the Owerri Convention of APGA.

The court sacked the  executives of the party led by Oye that was elected at the convention held in Awka on May 31, 2019.

The court also voided the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at the Governor’s Lodge, Awka, Anambra, about two weeks before the convention.

This was the NEC meeting that gave the power for congresses on May 19, 21 and 23, 2019 and a National Convention to be held in Awka on May 31, 2019.

The court made the rulling in a suit filed by some Board of Trustees (BoT) members of the party.

In the suit, the claimants sought for the nullification of the May 14, 2019 National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where some decisions including the National convention where Oye was re-elected national chairman, were made.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN


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Imo Govt. moves to restore Owerri masterplan to check flooding



Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo, has said his administration is desirous to restore the original masterplan of Owerri, the capital city, as part of the efforts to tackle flood-related issues in the state.

Uzodinma said this on Monday, when a delegation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) came on an advocacy to the state.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mr Cosmos Iwu, said that plans were underway to demolish all the houses built on the waterways in the city “in order to give the water access to flow into Otamiri River.”

He also said that government had carried out series of sensitisation programmes in the state aimed at preparing the people for emergencies and called for the agency’s support.

“We are appealing to NEMA to assist us because the environmental impact of the flood in Imo is bigger than us.

“We have been doing our best and we will continue to do our best. We have received some relief items from NEMA but we are asking for more.

“We also commend your visit to Imo, it shows serious commitment on the side of NEMA,” the governor said.

In a speech, the Director-General of the agency, AVM Mohammed Mohammed (rtd.), appealed to the state government and major disaster stakeholders to demonstrate greater commitment to disaster management.

Mohammed, who was represented by Deputy Director (Accounts) in the agency, Mr Abdul-Aziz Jibrin, said that the visit was to ascertain the level of preparedness by Imo government in case of any disaster.

He said that the state was among the states in Nigeria likely to witness flooding this year as predicted by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency.

The NEMA boss said that Imo had shown capacity in disaster management in the past and urged Gov. Hope Uzodimma to show more commitment in mitigating flood and other disasters in the state.

“We are here on advocacy visit and awareness campaign to sensitise the people on the need to be prepared at all times.

“I am assuring Imo of NEMA’s full commitment to partner with the government and dissaster stakeholders in the area of disaster management,” he said.

Mohammed listed Ohaji-Egbema, Ogutta, Oru-East and Owerri North as highly probable flood risk local government areas in the state.

He warned that other council areas, “which does not fall under high probability may also be affected.”

He said that although the state seemed prepared for any disaster, there was need for the government to ensure regular sensitisation of the people to be vigilant.

“We have interacted with all the disaster stakeholders and government and I can assure you that we are satisfied with their level of preparedness.

“But they must not relent in showing commitment at all times,” Mohammed said.

He said the agency was also in Imo to interact with other disaster stakeholders to know their challenges and the way forward.

The Commander, 211 Quick Response Group Nigerian Air Force, Group Capt. Elisha Bindul, assured the NEMA delegation in his office of the command’s commitment to disaster management.

Bindul said the command had also embarked on advocacy visits to various community leaders in Imo to sensitise them on disaster management.

He said the command also carried out rescue operations in various communities and also provided security to NEMA officials during emergencies.

“It is our legal responsibility to carry out rescue operations during emergency and to also collaborate with other stakeholders in mitigating disaster,” Bindul said.

He listed limited speed boats and life jackets, ambualances and mattresses as some of the challenges facing the command during interventions in disaster management.

He solicited the assistance of the agency in providing the necessary logistics to the command for a better proactive approach to disaster management.

He promised the command’s readiness to continue to partner with the agency in disaster management in the state.

Edited By: Sam Oditah
Source: NAN








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No directive to constitute disciplinary c’tee against us — Ojudu, others



Sen. Babafemi Ojudu and 10 others have said that there was no directive from the National Caretaker Committee of All Progressives Congress (APC), mandating the Ekiti chapter of the party to constitute disciplinary committee against them.

Besides Ojudu, Ekiti APC affected members are, Oyetunde Ojo, a former governorship aspirant of the party, Dr Wole Oluyede, Ayo Ajibade, Femi Adeleye and Bunmi Ogunleye.

The rest are, Akin Akomolafe, Bamigboye Adegoroye, Olusoga Owoeye, Dele Afolabi, Toyin Oluwasola, and Ben Oguntuase.

NAN recalls that Mr Sam Oluwalana, Ekiti APC’s Director of Media and Publicity and a member of the committee, had on Sept. 15, said that the party had constituted a nine-man committee to query some party members.

He said that it was over alleged violation of NEC directive by the party members.

The 11 aggrieved members noted that the decision of the Ekiti APC to impose disciplinary measures against them and subsequent invitation were clear violation of their fundamental human rights to seek redress in court when aggrieved.

The affected members stated this in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee by their counsel, Chief Ademuyiwa Adeniyi, and a copy made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti.

The aggrieved APC chieftains explained that they would not be attending the committee’s invitation.

The aggrieved APC members, through their councel said “it is sub-judice in law with consequences, saying they would not get fair hearing considering comments from members of the committee and leaders of the party.

“The information at the disposal of our clients is contrary to your claim that the National Caretaker Committee of the APC directed the Ekiti chapter to set up Disciplinary committee to try them.

“Sir, looking at the composition of your committee, especially the position of one of your members, the Ekiti APC Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Sam Oluwalana, has already written the report of your committee while addressing newsmen on Tuesday, Sept.,15.

“He went to the extent of calling our clients recalcitrant. You will agree with us that we can not guarantee the impartiality of your Committee.

“Still on the issue of independence and impartiality of your Committee, our Clients have raised serious objection to the venue of your meeting.

“That the composition of your Committee is against the principles of Nemo Judex in causa Sual, that is, no one is judge in his own cause.

“This is one of the cardinal rules of Natural Justice that no person can judge a case in which they have an interest.

“Mr Paul Omotosho that constituted your Committee and to whom all your findings shall be reported to is a party to Suit No. /446/2020.

Adeniyi, however, said clients were ready for the progress, unity of the APC and genuine reconciliation toward putting an end to the crisis in the party.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

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Edo speaker congratulates Obaseki, commends Buhari, INEC, others 



The Speaker of Edo House of Assembly, Francis Okiye, on Monday congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shaibu, describing their re-election as a victory for democracy and Edo people.

This is contained in statement signed by the Speaker and made available to newsmen in Benin.

“On behalf of my family, Members and Staff of the Edo Assembly, I heartily congratulate Gov. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Phillip Shaibu for their overwhelming victory.

“Your re-election and triumph reflect the people’s appreciation of your sterling leadership qualities and developmental strides since you assumed office in 2016.

“Declaring you as the winner did not come as a surprise, as it attests to your impressive and intimidating track record of the massive transformation in every sector of the state economy.”

He noted that the transformation had helped to shape and redefine the political landscape of the state.

“This has undisputably redefined the electoral process and set pace for other states in the country to emulate.

“As you strive to consolidate on your developmental work, be assured of our maximum legislative support.

“May God continually protect and enable you to fulfill all your good dreams to reposition the state,” he said.

According to him, to the people of Edo State, thank you for your massive support. You have proved to be models to other Nigerians through your stiff resistance to godfatherism.

The Speaker, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for not interfering in the process and ensuring that votes counted.

He also applauded security personnel and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for their display of professionalism during the election.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

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Group condemns attacks on women during governorship election in Edo



An Advocacy Group known as Stop Violence Against Women in Politics (STOPVAWIP), on Monday condemned violent attacks against women in some polling units and wards during the Saturday’s governorship election in Edo.

Mrs May Ekido, the coordinator of STOPVAWIP, told newsmen in Benin that the group received no fewer than 150 calls during and after the elections on various degree of attacks on women

Ekido, who is also the Deputy coordinator of the Girls Power Initiative, expressed concerns on how women who constitute over 48 per cent of voters were intimidated and disenfranchised due to violence on them.

“Women were not allowed to participate fully due to hijacking and destruction of election materials in some polling units, sporadic shooting, assault by party activists on female voters, INEC officials, and observers.

“Others are high cases of coercion by party activists to vote for a particular candidate.

“We, therefore, condemn any act that hinders women’s political participation,” she said.

Ekido explained that an elderly woman was assaulted and injured while preventing party activists from carting away election materials from her Polling Unit at Tipper garage in Egor local government area.

“We have since reached out to her and provided counseling services from professionals working with Vivian Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

“A woman, the late Mrs Yado Odogbo, of Tolota village, was shot and killed in Polling Unit 6 in Ikoro Ward, in Ovia South-West.

“A female observer deployed by YIAGA Africa to Polling Unit 7, Ward 3 Ewatto, Esan South East, was attacked, given matchet cuts and almost killed,” she added.

She, however, called on the National Assembly to expedite action in the review of the Electoral Act and Constitution in order to reform Nigeria’s electoral process to be more inclusive, secure and transparent.

According to her, we are also calling on the Edo State House of Assembly to enact the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP), bill, to protect women and punish perpetrators of gender-based violence in the state.

Ekido further explained that the Stop-VAWIP campaign is an initiative that seeks to establish the link between gender-based electoral violence and the low level of participation of women in politics.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

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