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UPU Leaders Meet Malami, Want Govt To Use Ibori’s Loot In Delta



Malami Wants Journalists Sanctioned For False Reports

The leaders of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) have commended the Federal Government for recovering £4.2million allegedly looted by former Delta State Governor James Ibori.

They, however, urged the government to use the funds to execute projects in Delta State.

They spoke on Friday when they met with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, to protest against the decision of the Federal Government to expend the £4.2million loot on projects outside Delta State.

The union submitted at the Registry of the Federal Ministry of Justice, a letter they addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to review the list of projects to be executed with the funds which they maintained belonged to the people of Delta State.

While commending the Buhari-led administration for its effort towards ensuring that the looted funds were returned to Nigeria, UPU said it was, however, shocked to hear of the FG’s plan to use the retrieved funds for the completion of the second Niger bridge, Lagos-lbadan Expressway and Abuja-Kano Expressway.

In the letter entitled, “Commendation for Retrieval of Delta State’s Stolen Funds and Request for Review of Projects to be Executed With the Retrieved Funds”, UPU, said it would amount to double jeopardy for Delta State to lose the funds again to federal projects in other states.

The Urhobo union, therefore, urged the government to use the recovered funds to attend to several abandoned federal projects in Delta State. It listed nine of such projects for consideration.

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UPU’s letter read: “Your Excellency, the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) established m 1933, second in formative precedence only to the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa that represents the largest ethnic nationality in Delta State, wishes to express its appreciation to your government‘s engagement with the British Government over funds stolen from the coffers of the Delta State Government and their successful planned retrieval in trenches to Nigeria under a Memorandum of Understanding With the British government.

“The UPU welcomes the planned return of these funds as a practical demonstration of your government’s tireless resolve to promote accountability and transparency in governance, a value that underpins UPU’s goal of promoting the well-being of its people and all Nigerians.

“UPU commends this development and appreciates the federal government’s strong concern over returning these funds directly to the state government where the key actors involved are still in control or have considerable influence over the affairs of the state.

“The UPU and the entire people of Delta State are, however, shocked to hear of the federal government plan to use the retrieved funds for the completion of the second Niger bridge, Lagos-lbadan Expressway and Abuja-kano Expressway.

“While we note that these are very worthy projects, it should, however, be noted that these recovered funds belong to the people of Delta State who were and still the main victims deprived of the benefit of these funds.

“It will, therefore, be a double jeopardy to again lose these funds meant for direct projects in Delta State but initially taken away but now recovered, only to lose these funds again to federal projects in other states.

“The UPU, therefore, kindly appeals to the federal government on behalf of our people to reconsider the expressed intention and use the funds to attend to several abandoned federal projects in Delta State and mitigate the deprivations that the people have already suffered from the protracted … of the funds.

“This will indeed demonstrate the fairness and justice which informed your government’s endeavour to embark upon the retrieval of these funds and therefore should benefit directly the people of Delta State.

“Your Excellency, as mentioned above, there are federal projects that require urgent attention and revival within Delta State that will not only symbolically seal the goodwill of the people of the state towards your government for embarking on this endeavour, but will also reaffirm your government’s good disposition to our people as exemplified by the recent revival of the railway lines to warri to boost transportation and trade needed to enhance the revitalization of the numerous federal and state economic assets within the state, such as the Sea Ports, Steel Complex, Gas plant and Petroleum Refinery.

“We, therefore, kindly request your government to consider the following federal projects and programs within Delta state that trenches of the expected re-funds should be used for, namely: “Rehabilitation of Ologbo-Warri federal Road .

” Rehabilitation of the SapeIe-Amukpe-Aghalokpe-Eku-Abraka to Agbor federal road. ”

“Rehabilitation of the Warri-Ughelli-Asaba Road .

“Rehabilitation of deteriorated assess roads and operational infrastructure of federal assets including Sea Ports, Refinery, Steel Complex, Security Personnel Barracks, federal tertiary institutions within Delta state.

“Unpaid disengaged staff of the Aladja Steel Complex Delta State. “The dredging of the Escravos bar and Koko Port development (Itsekiri ).

“Rehabilitation of Bomadi-Otuomo to Rugbenee-Ozobo Road in (Ijaw) .

“Rehabilitation of Umeh-Oleh-Ozoro Road in (lsoko) .

“Expansion of Osubi Airport, Effurun.

ALSO READ: Ibori’s £4.2m Loot Belongs To Delta State – Reps

“We have only compiled a short-Iist of these few projects out of many that the federal government should use the returned funds for in the interest of justice and fairness that underpinned your government’s efforts to recover the funds and we urge that the recovered funds should be used for the beneficial interest of the people of Delta State.

“Your Excellency, the justice of this matter demands this and so shall you be remembered by our people given similar precedents of recovered funds returned by the federal government to Bayelsa and Plateau states.

“Surely, the joy of the people of Delta State and their gratitude will be boundless if your efforts are crowned by using the funds for federal projects In Delta state.

“We, therefore, appeal to and urge your government to favourably consider our request on behalf of the Urhobo and indeed the entire people of Delta State ”

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BREAKING: Tinubu, Shettima Know Fate On Disqualification From Presidency On Friday



Tinubu and Shettima

Whether the Supreme Court will nullify the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate in the February 25 election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over alleged double nomination or not will be decided on Friday May 26, 2023.

The apex court on Monday, adjourned to the above date to deliver its judgment in the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shortly after taking submissions from the counsel representing parties in the suit.

Specifically, the PDP is seeking the disqualification of the President-elect, Tinubu and the Vice-President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, over alleged double nomination; an act which they say violates the electoral laws.

The appellant anchored its appeal on the claims that the appellate court erred in law when it dismissed its appeal and affirmed the judgment of a trial court which held that the suit was incompetent and lacking in merit.

PDP is claiming that the APC breached the law when it nominated Shettima as the senatorial candidate for Borno Central and as vice-presidential candidate.

At Monday’s proceedings, while APC’s lawyer, Mr Babatunde Ogala (SAN), asked the court to strike out the case on the grounds that it has become statute barred, because the 180 days stipulated by law to hear the suit has elapsed, PDP’s lawyer, Mr Joe Agi (SAN), disagreed.

It is Agi’s position that the issue of 180 days does not apply in respect of double nomination, adding that since the act is purely an illegality, the court has the right to entertain the appeal.

“They have done that before, they did it in the case of Nwosu and APC and they will do it again,” Agim added.

The appellant accordingly urged the apex court to grant the appeal, set aside the concurrent decision of the two lower courts and nullify the election of Tinubu and the vice-president-elect for alleged double nomination.

The PDP had by their appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/108/2023, urged the appellate court to reverse the January 13 judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja which dismissed its suit on the grounds that the PDP lacked locus standi to have instituted the suit.

The three-member panel of justices of the Court of Appeal, in the lead judgment held that the PDP failed to establish its locus standi in the case.

Justice James Abundaga, who delivered the judgment of the appellate court, had agreed with the respondents that the PDP is a busy body, which dabbled in issues that are internal affairs of the APC.

“The appellant, having failed to disclose its locus standi, this appeal fails and it is hereby dismissed,” he said and proceeded to affirm the judgment of the Federal High Court.

Justice Abundaga awarded N5 million cost against the appellant’s lawyer, J. O. Olotu.

The PDP had, in the suit filed on July 28, 2022, challenged the validity of the Tinubu/Shettima ticket for the 2023 presidential election, arguing that Shettima’s nomination as the running mate was in breach of the provisions of Sections 29(1), 33, 35 and 84{1)}(2)} of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended).

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BREAKING: Court Disqualifies Alex Otti As Governor-elect,  Others In Abia, Kano



Alex Otti

The Abia State Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti and all the candidates of the Labour Party in Abia and Kano States have been disqualified.

The disqualification came from a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, presided over by Justice M N Yunusa.

The court ruled that their emergence was not in compliance with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.

A copy of the judgement delivered by the court was made available to newsmen on Friday.

The Court in Suit No FHC/KN/CS/107/2023 filed by Mr Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim against the Labour Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ruled that the failure of the Labour Party to submit its membership register to the INEC within 30 days before their primaries renders the process invalid.

“The party that has not complied with the provisions of the electoral act cannot be said to have a candidate in an election and cannot be declared winner of an election; this being so, the votes credited to the 1st defendant are a wasted vote,” the judge ruled.

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BREAKING: Adeleke, Oyetola Know Fates As Supreme Court Rules On Osun Governorship Poll Tomorrow



Oyetola and Adeleke

By tomorrow Tuesday, Ademola Adeleke will know if he remains the Osun State helmsman as the Supreme Court will rule on the governorship poll dispute.

The ruling is on an appeal filed by former Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola against Governor Adeleke’s victory in the July 2022 governorship election in the state.

Oyetola is asking the apex court to set aside the ruling of the appellate court which nullified the judgement of the election tribunal.

The election tribunal had declared Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election.

Oyetola was declared the winner by the election tribunal after he went to court to challenge the victory of Adeleke, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Delivering judgment on January 27, two out of the three-member panel held that the former governor was able to prove that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.

Adeleke had rejected the judgment, describing it as “a miscarriage of justice” and “an unfair interpretation against the will of majority of voters”.

In the 31 grounds of appeal, Adeleke begged the court for “an order setting aside the whole decision of the tribunal”.

He also sought “an order striking out the petition for want of competence and jurisdiction or in the alternative, an order dismissing the petition on the merit”.

Adeleke submitted that the tribunal exhibited bias when it said: “The second respondent cannot ‘go lo lo lo lo’ and ‘buga won’ as the duly elected governor of Osun state.”

The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices on Friday, held that the appeal the governor lodged to challenge his sacking by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, was meritorious.

Aside from setting aside the judgement of the tribunal, the court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Mohammed Lawal, awarded N500,000 cost against APC and its candidate, Oyetola.

However, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court announced on Monday that judgment will be delivered on the matter at 2 pm on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

This comes after the panel took arguments from the legal representatives of Adeleke and Oyetola.

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