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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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LP Chieftain, Kenneth Okonkwo Disagrees With Peter Obi

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LP Chieftain, Kenneth Okonkwo Disagrees With Peter Obi

By John Michael Ojo

Kenneth Okonkwo, a chieftain of the Labour Party who doubled as the party’s spokesman during the 2023 general elections has accused the party’s chairman, Julius Abure of corruption and mismanagement of the party’s fund.

Okonkwo, a Nollywood Actor turned politician disclosed this on Tuesday via microblogging platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

He also alleged that the LP’s national convention organised by the Abure-led National Working Committee lacked merit in its entirety.

While distancing himself from the embattled party’s chairman, he wrote: “I am suspending my relationship in all ramifications with the purported Abure-led National Working Committee of Labour Party.“

For me, it’s either a new Nigeria or nothing. I prefer to lose doing the right thing to winning doing the wrong thing.

“Nothing can wash out the criminality, corruption, and incompetence with which the purported Natokoional Convention was purportedly organised by Abure.

“I did not leave the comfort of a ruling party, APC, because I believe that they are incompetent and dishonest, only to come and join another incompetent and corrupt association, which is the current Abure-led National Working Committee of Labour Party.”

Okonkwo’s claim is coming barely days after the presidential candidate of party, Peter Obi drummed support for the Abure-led NWC.

Obi who was viewed as a favourite in the build-up of the presidential election came a distant third behind former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

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Abiodun Commends Ogun Assembly For Seamless Transition As Elemide Is Elected Speaker

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L-R: Hon. Adegoke Adeyanju; Minority Leader, Lukman Adeleye; Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluwasina Ogungbade; Deputy Speaker, Hon. Bolanle Lateefat Ajayi; new Speaker, Oludaisi Elemide; Deputy Governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele; SSG, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi; Deputy Chief of Staff, Toyin Taiwo; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Ganiu Hamzat; Majority Leader, Yusuf Sheriff and Hon. Waliu Owode.

Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has congratulated the new Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Oludaisi Elemide and other lawmakers for ensuring a rancour-free process.

The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Engr. (Mrs.) Noimot Salako-Oyedele spoke when he received 19 members of the House who accompanied the new speaker on a courtesy call on him on Tuesday in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

He commended the seamless manner in which they elected the new speaker, reaffirming that the lawmakers have the right to decide who would lead them in a democracy.

He said: “It is worthy of note that the executive has not interfered in the process to make sure that you are comfortable in what you want to do, that led you to making your decision. And we support you in the decision that you make.

“You have gone through the process in a way that is exemplary. This is not the first time in this country that members of a particular legislature have decided to change their leader.”

He emphasized that the executive arm would continue to adhere strictly to the concept of Separation of Power and the rule of law in its relationship with the House of Assembly.

The governor pledged that his administration would support and work closely with the legislature to maintain the harmonious relationship that has existed in the last four and a half years.

In his remarks, the new speaker, Rt. Hon. Elemide said the House would continue to complement the executive and avoid the unnecessary mudslinging that may hinder the progress of the state.

“We are not going to fight, and neither are we going to compromise the executive. In the legislature, there is room for lobbying. We will lobby where we need to lobby, we will assert where we need to assert, and we will let the whole people of the State know that we are there for them.

“To my colleagues, I would not want to betray their confidence that they have in me. It is going to be we and not I. I am just the first among equals, and we were voted in from our various constituencies. I will take cognisant that we are equal.

“I will be there to speak for them, and I will speak whatever they put in my mouth,” Elemide concluded.

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Our Supreme Court Victory, An Impetus To Do More – Abiodun

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Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, waving to supporters at the Gateway International Agro Cargo Airport, Iperu, on arrival from Abuja after Friday's Supreme Court judgement.

Tells Adebutu To Get Set For His Re-run In 2027

Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that his administration will now keep its eyes on further development of the state, following his Supreme Court victory on Friday.

The governor said that all attempts to distract his administration had failed, noting that the Supreme Court victory marked an end to court shopping by his political adversaries.

Prince Abiodun stated this in an interview with journalists at the Gateway International Airport, Iperu-Remo, on his arrival from Abuja.

He called on the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ladi Adebutu, and other political adversaries to get ready for their re-run in 2027.

“We hope our opponents who have been making a lot of noise about a re-run can prepare for a re-run in 2027.

“Now, this victory marks an end to this court shopping for adversaries and for us. It is the final victory in this journey that started in 2018.

“We will now keep our eyes further focused on the ball. All attempts to distract us have failed,” he said.

Governor Abiodun also promised that his administration would now focus more on sustaining it’s legacies, adding that the people of the state would now begin to experience the good programmes his administration has for them.

“We will now focus on sustaining our legacies, the foundation of which we laid since we assumed office in 2019 and in the coming weeks, you will see some of the goodies that we will be unveiling for the good people of the state,” he said.

Prince Abiodun expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for supporting his political journey, his team of lawyers, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, national and state chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Abdulahi Umar Ganduje and Chief Yemi Sanusi for their support.

Governor Abiodun also praised the five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Hon. Justice John Inyang Okoro, the Ogun State Governordhip Election Petition Tribunal and the Appeal Court, for affirming the choice of the people of the state.

“Today, the Supreme Court has affirmed our victory, which was earlier affirmed by the Tribunal and then the Appeal Court, but our adversaries were not satisfied. They proceeded to the Supreme Court and yet again the five-man panel led by the Hon. Justice John Inyang Okoro affirmed the wishes of the generality of the Ogun State people.

“We thank them because once again, they’ve demonstrated that they are the hope and the last one of the common man.

“We want to appreciate the tribunal who laid the foundation for today’s victory. The Appeal Court further built on that foundation and all the judges of both court and, of course, now the Supreme Court led by Hon. Justice John Inyang Okoro,” he said.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi ascribed the victory to God Almighty.

He said that while the governor placed his trust in God, the opposition put theirs in money.

A Member, House of Representatives, representing Yewa North/Imeko-Afon Federal Constituency, Hon. Gboyega Isiaka noted that the victory had finally put an end to the belief of the opposition that they could unseat the incumbent, adding that the developmental strides of Governor Abiodun would certainly continue till 2027.

The State Chairman of the APC, Chief Yemi Sanusi, commended the Supreme Court for ensuring that the verdict of the people was not taken away by money mongers.

The Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, Kayode Akinmade thanked God for the victory and the truth that was made known at the Supreme Court.

Mr. Akinmade said that money was put to shame, while those who placed their trust in God earned a well-deserved victory.

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