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Umahi, Deputy Go To Court, Appeal Against Sacking Verdict

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Umahi, Deputy Go To Court, Appeal Against Sacking Verdict

Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi, and his deputy, Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe, on Wednesday, appealed against the Federal High Court judgement that sacked them from office.

Umahi and his deputy were on Tuesday sacked on the grounds of their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

Appealing against the decision before the Court of Appeal in Abuja, in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/920/2021, Umahi and his deputy stated that the Federal High Court erred when it said it had “not seen any authority which propounds that where governor or deputy governor defects from his political party on which platform he was elected into office, he cannot be sued by that political party to reclaim its mandate.”

The appellants said: “The Hon trial court was virtually setting aside the Supreme Court of Nigeria’s decision in AG Federation v. Atiku Abubakar & 3 ORS (2007) LCN/3799(SC) to the effect that there are no constitutional provisions prohibiting president or vice and invariably the governor and or deputy governor from defecting to another political party.

READ  ALSO: PDP Names Igariwey As Replacement For Governor Umahi

“The provisions of section 308 are specific. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Constitution, but subject to subsection (2) of this section, no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against 3rd and 4th appellants during their mandate in office as governor and deputy governor respectively.

“The respondent’s cause of action at the court below was defection of the appellants from the PDP on which platform they were voted into office to the APC.

“There is no provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) that provides for the removal of 3rd and 4th appellants as sitting governor and deputy governor respectively of Ebonyi State for reason of defection.”

The appellants also said the trial court erred in law and misdirected itself when it relied on Sections 68 and 109 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) in holding that the appellants, having defected from the PDP to the APC, offended the provisions of the Constitution and must vacate their offices as governor and deputy governor respectively.

The appellants, in their suit, stated that there is no specific mention of governor and deputy governor in the provisions of section 68 and 109 respectively of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“By relying on sections 68 and 109 of the Constitution the Hon. trial court assumed the role of the legislator and arrogated to itself the powers of amendment of the Constitution

“There is no provision in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which state that governor or deputy governor will vacate his office if he defects from his political party to another political party.”

They also said, “The lower court erred in law and overruled the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria when it held that ownership of votes cast during the Governorship Election of 2019 belongs to the 1st Respondent and not the Appellants.”

READ ALSO: I Won’t Quit As Governor Despite Court Sacking Me – Umahi

They argued that, “The Hon trial court relied on AMAECHI v. INEC and FALEKE v. INEC when same are no longer the law on the ownership of votes cast in an election.

“Ngige v. Akunyile (2012) 15 NWLR Pt.1323-343 (CA) the court held: “the above provisions show that a political party canvasses for votes on behalf of the candidate. In other words, a political party is nothing more than agent of the candidate in gathering votes to an election”

“In INEC vs. Action Congress (2009) 2 NWLR Pt. 1126 – 524 (CA) the Court held: “…the participation of a political party does not exceed campaigning for the candidate….””

In ground four, they said, “The Hon trial court erred in law when it held that the Appellants are deemed to have been resigned from their Offices as Governor and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State.”

Messrs Umahi and Igwe also argued that the judgment erred in Grounds 5, 6, 7 and 8. They, thus, asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court.

 

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Sylva Withdraws From Presidential Race, Retains Ministry

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Sylva Withdraws From Presidential Race, Retains Ministry

Minister of State for Petroleum Timipre Sylva on Monday withdrew from the presidential race in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and returned to his office.

The Northern Solidarity Group had on May 9, presented the APC’s Expression of Interest and Nomination form to the minister to enable him to contest the party’s 2023 presidential primaries.

An official at the ministry who chose to remain anonymous said Sylva withdrew from the race to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to achieve a robust oil sector.

“He promised to consult the leader of the country and his political leaders the day he was presented with the form.

READ ALSO: Sylva, Kyari Sabotaging Refineries’ Investigation – Reps

“He believes that concentrating on his work will attract more investments for the oil and gas sector.He has consulted and he believes that the challenges at the ministry and oil and gas sector are enough issues for him to begin to deal with now than going to pursue presidential ambition at the expense of the nation.

“The oil and gas sector is the mainstay of the economy and it is not like any other ministry somebody can just come in and take over.

“It requires some measures of time for the person to understand what is happening in the system.

“For the interest of the industry and the nation, he has decided to wave that personal ambition to see what he can contribute in the remaining part of President Buhari’s administration.

“The implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is very critical and he wants to continue to make his own contribution to the day-to-day running of the country and support Mr President for robust achievements,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Mr Horatious Egua, Senior Special Assistant to the minister on media, when contacted, confirmed to NAN that the minister was back to work.

 

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Amaechi’s My Friend, Buhari’s Loyalist – El- Rufai

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Amaechi's My Friend, Buhari's Loyalist - El- Rufai

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that a presidential aspirant in the All Progressives Congress ( APC), Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, is his friend and President Muhammadu Buhari’s loyalist.

El-Rufai narrated how his friendship with Amaechi was strengthened through different circumstances.

“There was a time I was in the opposition, the DSS was looking for me, they wanted to arrest me. Amaechi told me where to go and wait for him. I waited and he drove me to the DSS himself and insisted that I should be questioned and released to him same day and that was what happened. So, who is my friend? Who is my confidant?” El-Rufai said.

El-Rufai’s statement came barely two days days after he and Kaduna delegates to the APC national convention endorsed Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Murtala Square, Kaduna.

Rotimi Amaechi was in Kaduna yesterday and told APC delegates he was prepared to be the President in 2023.

READ ALSO: Obi For President, Zulum For Vice President

” I am young and the most experienced of all the presidential aspirants. The presidency requires agility of a young man, the elderly people should go home and rest,” he said.

Governor El-Rufai described Amaechi as his own friend and confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the former minister won  Buhari’s heart in 2011 when as a PDP governor of Rivers State, he funded the convention of Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

He said:  “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was here two days ago and you promised him support, today, here is my friend, my confidant, what are you going to say?

“Many people contesting election always say delegates will hardly make heaven, because they don’t keep to promise, but I always say Kaduna delegates are different. You were in a hurry and didn’t listen to what other aspirants will tell you.

”Amaechi is here and I told you that, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is also coming after him, Governor Kayode Fayemi is also coming. Also, my big brother who took CPC, Pastor Tunde Bakari, is also coming. As a result of that, you should be prepared and know what to tell them.

“Let me tell you people something, in 2011 when we were in CPC, we were to go to convention and we didn’t have money. Amaechi then was governor of Rivers State under the PDP, I don’t know how he got to know, then he asked how much was needed to hold the convention, and he gave the money. It was the money we used to organise the 2011 convention.

“Since then, President Muhammadu Buhari asked me to continue talking to him. When they were meeting, thinking of defecting to APC, we used to meet with the seven governors before two chickened out.

”Amaechi turned his back against his own neighbour, Goodluck Jonathan and said he was going to follow Buhari. He held on to that trust, that is why Daura Emirate gave him that title of Dan Amanan Daura.

“We are followers of Buhari. It is what he tells us that we do. So, here is my friend and Buhari’s loyalist, what are you going to do? You should know, after today’s discussion, there are going to be discussions.

“Others will come too, but who is your friend? Who is your loyalist? Your friend and your loyalist is someone who remembers  you when you had nothing and nobody with you. Governor Amaechi gave that support, he did it for Buhari and he did it for me.

“There was a time I was in the opposition, the DSS was looking for me, they wanted to arrest me. Amaechi told me where to go and wait for him. I waited and he drove me to  DSS himself and he insisted that I should be questioned and released to him same day and that was what happened. So, who is my friend? Who is my confidant?”

“Now, I am going to ask you people two questions, one you can answer the other you can choose not to answer. Have we agreed that it is justice that presidency should go back to the south? The delegates replied him yes.

“The second one is, Asiwaju came on Thursday, now Amaechi is here, what are you going to say, or are you going to tell me later?”

Amaechi had earlier told the delegates that he would be resigning as the Minister of Transport today. He said he was one of the youngest of all the presidential aspirants in his party the APC, saying ” our elders should go home and rest…I governed a state that was ravaged at the time with insecurity but I  was  able to successfully tame the situation.

” If elected President, I will do same in Nigeria, I will continue with President Buhari’s agricultural transformation to address hunger, the administration of President Buhari inherited poverty but has been able to change the situation positively.

“You need to vote for a candidate that will protect and provide for all regardless of region, religion and tribe and that is what am promising you.

“As speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, I was elected chairman of Nigerian speakers twice and as governor, I was also elected Chairman Nigeria Governors forum twice. It shows I have what it takes to govern.
I am asking you not to waste Kaduna votes, please give me your votes and I will come back to Kaduna to thank you.”

 

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Presidential Aspirant Goes For Backup Plan, Buys Senatorial Form

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Presidential Aspirant Goes For Backup Plan, Buys Senatorial Form

Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has bought a senatorial form with receipt number 9498 under the ruling All Progressives Congress party.

The governor who picked up his form on May 10, 2022, will be contesting for the northern senatorial district in his state against Orim Martin Ojie who picked up his form on May 6, 2022.

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Aide Confirms Jonathan Joining APC

Earlier, a group of persons known as sons and daughters of Cross River, presented him the APC nomination form to contest for Presidency in 2023.

The governor, who promised that he would tackle the problem of poor electricity supply head-on, said that he was ready to deploy a workable solution to fix the problem once and for all.

 

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