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Umahi, Deputy Can Remain In Office – Court

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Why Govt Can't Borrow To Pay Striking ASUU Members - Umahi

A court has brought relief to Governor David Umahi and his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe who were asked to vacate their offices by another court.

The duo secured an interim order from the Ebonyi State High Court not to vacate their offices.

This followed an ex-parte motion by counsel to the duo, Roy Umahi brought pursuant to rule 3(3) of the High Court rules of Ebonyi state in suit no HAB/13/22.

The court had on February 28, 2022, ruled that Governor Umahi and his deputy did not flout any law by defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressive Congress, APC.

The court presided over by Justice Henry Njoku had dismissed the matter for lacking in merit and fined the plaintiff, Sunny Ogbuoji, who was the APC candidate and runner up in the 2019 governorship election N500, 000.

However, an Abuja Federal High Court on 8th March ruling on a similar matter filed by the PDP ordered the governor and his deputy to vacate their seats.

READ ALSO: Court Fixes Date To Hear Suit On Defection Of Matawalle, 37 Lawmakers To APC

The presiding Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo further ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept new nominations for the two positions from the PDP and to issue them with certificates of return for them to be sworn in as governor and deputy.

Umahi and his deputy rejected the Abuja ruling arguing that the Ebonyi High Court ruling should take precedence.

To this effect, Messrs Umahi and Igwe approached the same Ebonyi High Court yesterday, praying the court to declare that its judgement of the 28th February 2022 on their defection to APC remains valid as a judgement in rem and as such should have precedence over any other contrary judgement and should be binding on all parties, persons and authorities.

In his ruling, Justice Henry Njoku granted the prayers sought by the duo and adjourned the matter to March 16 for a hearing on the motion on notice.

He declared: “it is hereby ordered as follows, an interim order of this honourable court for seven days(subject to renewal) is hereby granted in view of the judgement in suit no. HAB/13/22 delivered on the 28th day of February 2022, being a judgement in rem and having precedence over any contrary judgement.

“The applicants hereto Engr David Nweze Umahi and Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe shall accordingly remain and not be removed from office as governor and deputy governor of Ebonyi state respectively.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru and 14 other lawmakers were sacked by the Court for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday said they were dissatisfied with the judgement.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of Federal High Court, Abuja, had on Tuesday in his ruling, declared vacant the seats of Speaker Nwifuru and 14 other lawmakers.

The Judge ordered INEC to conduct a bye-election to fill in the vacant seats, in the respective constituencies within 90 days.

But Mr Nwifuru who briefed journalists alongside the other 14 lawmakers in Abakaliki disclosed that they had filed an appeal and stay of execution, with respect to the judgement.

Nwifuru, however, said they would obey the judgement.

“It is about two days ago we started hearing the rumour that a federal high court in Abuja declared our seats vacant on the ground that we defected from PDP to APC.

“I know the position of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, but I am not in a position to know how the judiciary interprets the law. I am not against that.

“We have filed an appeal and a stay of execution. Since the matter is in the court of law, there is no need to say anything about it. Our position is that the law will take its position. We are begging our constituents to remain law-abiding”,he said.

While many in the government circle are optimistic that the present judicial turbulence would end gloriously for the governor and his deputy, other political analysts are of the view that the present development might present a new judicial precedent.

 

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Binani Floors Ribadu As Apppeal Court Declares Her APC Governorship Candidate In Adamawa

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Binani Floors Ribadu As Apppeal Court Declares Her APC Governorship Candidate In Adamawa

Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani is the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Adamawa State, an Appeal Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State capital, has declared.

The court presided over by Justice Tani Yusuf Hassan set aside the judgement of a Federal High Court which nullified the governorship primary and declared that APC has no candidate for the 2023 governorship election.

A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, who contested but lost the ticket of the party had challenged Binani’s victory in court.

READ  ALSO: Court Disqualifies Binani As Adamawa APC Governorship Candidate

He had filed a suit to seek nullification of the primary conducted on May 27. Ribadu, who hinged his suit on alleged votes buying, over-voting and delegate inducement, asked the court to disqualify Binani and declare him the candidate of the APC in the state.

He sought an order restraining APC from submitting Binani’s name to INEC as the governorship candidate of APC on the grounds that she had emerged from an invalid and unlawful exercise.

After the nullification of her candidacy, the senator challenged the ruling of the lower court at the appeal court.
APC and Binani through their counsel, Sule J. Abul and Sam Ologunorisa, filed a notice of preliminary objections and counter-affidavits.

While APC challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter, Binani in her preliminary objection argued that Ribadu’s suit was not properly constituted.

She described the suit as incompetent, contentious, rancorous and contained allegations of fraud, commission of a crime, and that it cannot be heard or determined by way of the originating summons.

In its judgement on Thursday, the Appellate court ordered that Binani’s name be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) immediately.

 

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PDP Crisis Worsens As G-5 Governors, Others Meet, Change Name

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PDP Crisis Worsens As G-5 Governors, Others Meet, Change Name

The agitating five governors of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) led by their Rivers State counterpart Nyesome Wike and others met on Sunday in Lagos.

They identified themselves as the Integrity Group .

They also promised to take a position on the crisis rocking the party.

Addressing newsmen before going into a closed door meeting, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State said the Integrity Group was the face behind the struggle within the PDP.

READ ALSO: PDP Crisis To Get Messier – Fayose

Makinde said: “We are here this morning to hold a meeting of the Integrity Group within our party, the PDP. You’ve heard of the G5 that is the five PDP governors. The G5 is all about the Integrity Group.

“You can see us, five serving governors, as the face of this struggle but the leaders and elders of the party that you see here are the people behind those faces.”

 

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Akpabio Loses Senatorial Bid At Appeal Court As Ekpoudom Wins

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Akpabio Loses Senatorial Bid At Appeal Court As Ekpoudom Wins

The attempt by former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio to return to the upper legislative chamber has suffered a major setback.

The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal has set aside the judgment of Federal High Court Abuja which previously approved his status as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.

A three-member panel of justices read by Justice Danlami Senchi on Monday held that Akpabio failed to file a proof of arguments within the time provided by the rules.

The panel further ruled that Akpabio, being a presidential aspirant of the APC, could not participate in the valid primary of the party held on May 27 and monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which produced Udom Ekpoudom as a candidate.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on September 22 asked INEC to reinstate Senator Akpabio as APC’s candidate, being the candidate nominated by the party in the second primary of June 9.

 READ ALSO: Court Orders INEC To Recognise Akpabio As APC Senatorial Candidate

The lower court had directed that INEC accepts the former Minister of Niger Delta as the APC flagbearer.

The court also ordered that INEC publish Akpabio’s name as APC senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North/West senatorial district in 2023, stating that the Commission acted illegally by refusing to accept and publish the former governor’s name when it was submitted to it by the APC as its candidate.

Justice Emeka Nwite who delivered judgment held that Akpabio was validly nominated as the Akwa – Ibom North/West Senatorial District candidate of the APC from the primary conducted by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on June 9, 2022.

The trial Judge faulted INEC for electing to monitor the May 27 primary, conducted by an illegal faction of the party led by Augustine Ekanem as against the June 9 primary authorized conducted by the APC NWC.

 

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