APC Dissolves State, LG, Ward Excos In Ogun, Imo

The All Progressives Congress has dissolved the executive committees in Imo and Ogun states.

Also dissolved were the local government and ward executives in the two states.

In their place, the NWC would inaugurate caretaker committees that would superintend over the affairs of the party in the two states ahead of the general elections.

Their dissolution formed part of the resolutions reached during the National Working Committee meeting presided over by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Recall that Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and his counterpart in Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, and Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, had vowed to work against governorship candidates in their states.

A member of the NWC told Punch newspaper correspondent that the meeting decided to dissolve all the party structures in Ogun and Imo states to stem the conflict of ideas being promoted by the two governors.

He said, “The two governors have sponsored their preferred candidates on the platform of other political parties while they are holding on to the APC’s senatorial tickets.

“We see this as a conflict of interest which could jeopardise the party’s efforts to win the two states.”

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2019: Oshiomole Stole The Mandate Of Imo APC, Okorocha Alleges

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has insisted the crisis rocking the state’s chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may be irreconcilable considering various steps he had taken to address the situation.

Recall that Chairman of the reconciliatory committee the APC set up to look into the grievances in Imo State, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, had assured that the first task of their mission, which is to ensure Governor Okorocha remained in the party had been completed, emphasising that the second phase of discussion which he said would be indoors would be favourable to APC members in the state.

However, Okorocha, in his response, said: “There shouldn’t have been crisis in the party because of the affinity of the members, we are like one big family. When we came in 2011, it was a miracle, the who is who in Imo politics were against us but we won that election. We moved from APGA to APC because of the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, which is synonymous with integrity. I am a foundation member of the APC. I suggested the name APC.

“When we started, we were called names, we were made to look like aliens in our state, this is the only state you have elected office holders that are of the APC extraction. Those Oshiomole gave the tickets were not APC members, the worst political injustice in the history of Nigeria happened in Imo.

“The only reason these people are here is because of Buhari, not because they have benefitted. The issue we have is with Adams Oshiomole, he stole the mandate of the people and gave it away for reasons best known to him. The people here are concerned because the name of the person on APC ticket is not the candidate of their choice. The situation at hand has gone beyond what we can manage.”

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2019: Who Flys The Owerri Zone APC Senatorial Flag Better? By Emmanuel Chukwu

Prior to the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primaries in Imo State two names were very dominant for the Imo East senatorial seat, Barr. Chyma Anthony and Engr. Emma Ojinene. Both of them had at one point or the other aspired for political positions in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While Ojinere had the ambition of becoming governor, Anthony had the ambition of becoming the Senator representing the zone, but at last both of them did not go through in their respective aspirations.

By political realignment both of them are today in the APC with senatorial ambition. Ojinere had served as a commissioner under the Okorocha administration and Anthony has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the

APC government in ways portraying him as a staunch APC member.
As an international lawyer he made the headlines when he sued the National Assembly on its insistence to reverse order of elections, which the APC said was aimed at short changing the party.

Their antecedents show that they are committed to the APC cause, in different ways, each according to his convictions and capacity.

At the build up to the primaries in the state, there was the speculation whether Engr. Ojinere was still desirous of aspiring for the Senate seat of Owerri zone because of his inability to visit the nine local governments in the in the zone to canvass for support and their votes in the primary election. This situation made it possible for party members in the LGAs to hold the view that Barr. Anthony was the only one in the race each time he visited the LGA party members for consultation and support.

This lacuna may have prompted some youths in the zone to troop to roads in Owerri to call for support for Barr. Anthony as their preferred candidate, based on their conviction that he has the capacity to represent the zone very well at the Senate, having shown consistency commitment and capacity.

To many of the party members in the zone, Engr. Ojinere’s inability to tour the nine local governments to canvass for support and familiarise himself with the party members and their peculiar problems and needs left much to be desired. Denying them the opportunity to interact with him and asses his ability to fly their flag left a big question mark. It made the people to assume that he may have dropped his ambition, while he was still interested.

Barr. Anthony probably because of a clear cut definition of what he wants since 2011 took the necessary step of visiting the people to interact with them as is the rule in intra party democracy for aspirants to visit their party members and potential voters to solicit their support and vote at the primary first and at the election proper, if he or she clinches the party ticket. It is the understanding of party members and voters that visiting party members and electorates prior to primaries and the main election is one valid step that gives credibility to the aspirant and a party candidate, the huge financial involvement and risks notwithstanding. It is practice in tandem with our democracy as elsewhere in the world.

This deficiency may have prompted party members to view the announcement of Ojinere as winner of the senatorial primary with doubt. To Barr. Anthony’s sympathisers, they could not believe how it could be possible for them to have voted for an aspirant that never sought their votes, whose face never registered in their brain. Some are of the view that Engr. Ojinere rested on his oars because of governor Rochas Okorocha’s alleged earlier nod to his aspiration, if this is true he may have misunderstood the dynamic rhythm of politics, where expediency alters status quo ante in some cases. And failing to visit those he intend to represent to seek their support at the primary election, has the incontrovertible ingredient of suspicion that he was no longer interested in his earlier aspiration. At least, on the surface. This may have been the view of such local government party members who did not see him in their local governments prior to the primary election. Stretching the suspicion, they may have also thought that he lacks the capacity to represent them, very well.

Again, if the party had resolved to give its ticket to a particular aspirant or some aspirants in relation to other positions as the case may be, was it not immoral and undemocratic in the first place? If the party or the governor had tipped a particular aspirant, was it not immoral to have allowed other aspirants to purchase nomination forms at outrageously huge amounts of money?
With particular emphasis on the Anthony-Ojinere issue which of them, is with the capacity to win the election proper?

Admitted, they are all gentlemen, but which of them can enjoy public goodwill and which of them has the ability based on prima facia evidence to win victory for the party, considering the fact that one of them was able to tour all the LGAs in the zone to seek their consent. Remember in course of such tours, the party members and voters have the ample opportunity to assess an aspirant’s ability to deliver the dividend of representative democracy.
Barr. Anthony’s consistency in his senatorial aspiration since 2011, gives him out as one conversant with the demands of the office he is aspiring to hold and presenting himself to the zone in course of his LGA tours speaks of preparedness and willingness to handle the office.

Chukwu is a public affairs analyst based in Owerri, Imo State

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Former Imo Gov Ohakim, Others Form New APGA

Ikedi Ohakim, a former Governor of Imo State, has led 13 governorship aspirants to form “New-APGA”.

The formation of the New-APGA came on the back of a protest in Owerri on Thursday over the alleged imposition of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the state.

Others who joined Ohakim in the protest include Senator Bright Nwanne, Frank Nneji, Sam Amadi, Uche Onyeagocha and Humphrey Anumudu.

Tens of party stalwarts had addressed the mammoth crowd at the meeting venue on Wednesday where they lambasted the party’s national and state working committees for allegedly fleecing Imo people of their hard earned resources.

Parts of their resolution were the lack of confidence and immediate removal of the party’s national and state working committees , led by Victor Oye and Eze Obi, respectively.

According to them, the party cannot foist a governorship candidate on the members without conducting any primary .

In a communiqué signed by the governorship aspirants , they decried that despite the assurances of the party’ s national and state working committees that primaries would be credible, the party had failed in holding any primary .

“All of us invested our experience, spirit , and hope in APGA . We fought for it, we rebuilt the brand. We spent our fortune to make APGA the party in Igboland in 2019 . We believed that the way forward for APGA would have been transparent and credible primaries .

“Today, Governor Obiano, Oye and a few others, sat together and decided to spite the entire members of the party and bargain away the life of APGA.

“APGA leadership has committed theft and betrayal of historic proportion. The leadership pretends that it was prepared to become an alternative platform for our much-oppressed people who are seeking refuge in a sanitised platform built on integrity and excellence .”

They, thereafter, unveiled a new banner with the inscription,  New APGA.

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Court Declares Impeachment Of Ex-Imo Deputy Governor Illegal

The Imo state High Court sitting in Owerri, on Tuesday, has declared the impeachment of Deputy Governor of the state, Eze Madumere as invalid and of no legal effect.

Justice Benjamin Iheaka in his ruling which lasted for over two hours  justice lashed the Chief Judge of the state, Paschal Nnadi and the Attorney General of the state, Militus Nlemadim for not following  the provisions of section 188(5) of the 1999 constitution as amended in the impeachment of Madumere on July 31,2018.

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Vice President Osinbajo To Launch TraderMoni In Owerri

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN), will today launch the TraderMoni scheme in Owerri, Imo State capital.

A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity Mr Laolu Akande says TraderMoni, which is part of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme, is designed to assist petty traders across the country expand their trade through the provision of collateral and interest-free loans from N10,000. The loans are repayable over a period of six months.

He said the micro-credit scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), was first formally launched on August 7 in five markets in Lagos State – Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Ketu, and Abule Egba areas.

According to mr Akande, Following the Lagos leg, the micro-credit scheme has since been formally launched in eight other states, including Kano, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Osun, Kogi, Oyo, Cross River; and Abuja (Federal Capital Territory).

Under the scheme, beneficiaries can get access to a higher facility ranging from N15,000 to N100,000 when they repay N10,000 within the stipulated time period.

Also, through TraderMoni scheme, the Buhari Administration aims to take financial inclusion down to the grassroots, and uplift Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid, considering the contribution of petty traders to economic development. The Federal Government is also aware of the fact that many of the petty traders don’t have what the commercial banks require to grant them loans.

Petty traders from across the states have continued to laud the Buhari administration for helping them in expanding their trade and empowering them economically.

By the end of 2018, the micro-credit scheme would have reached all 36 states of the federation, with an estimated two million petty traders set to become beneficiaries.

 

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You Are Not A Member Of Our Party, APC Tells Senator Uzodinma

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has warned Senator representing Imo West Senatorial Zone, Hope Uzodinma, to desist from using the names of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomole for selfish pursuits.

State Chairman of the party, Mr. Daniel Nwafor, in a press conference at the party’s secretariat in Owerri, accused Senator Uzodinma of running a parallel APC office in the state.

According to him, Senator Uzodinma is yet to register with the party both at his Ward and Local Government and is also not known by the State Executive Committee of the party.

His words: “In the last few days our party has been inundated with calls over the activities of some persons who are posing as members of the APC. Our party is particularly disturbed that this group of people whose nefarious activities as spearheaded by a Senator from this state, Senator Hope Uzodinma. Senator Uzodinma has been misleading the public about certain issues concerning our party. Sunday, our attention was drawn to a kangaroo meeting that was supposedly held by a faction of this party led by Senator Hope Uzodinma. We want to put it on record that Senator Uzodinma is not a member of the APC; his Omuma Ward Chairman has not informed the party that Senator Uzodinma has joined the party.

“Also Senator Uzodinma has not declared on the floor of the Senate that he has joined the APC, THE Imo State Executive of our party is not aware that he is a member of this party. There has been a lot of statements credited to him inferring that the President Muhammadu Buhari and our Nation Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole have empowered him to determine delegates and aspirants, as well as run this party.

“We want to inform the National Executive Committee of our party that to the best of our knowledge, Senator Hope Uzodinma is not a member of APC. If there are waivers for him, we have not been communicated formerly”.

Nwafor continued that, “before anyone in the Presidency or National Headquarters of our party, deals with Senator Hope Uzodinma, it is pertinent that the person as the question, who is Senator Hope Uzodinma, what are his antecedents. After you have determined these two important questions, who will now know how best to deal with him. APC as a party in this state has just one leader and that is Governor Rochas Okorocha and it is on record that when this party was tagged Boko Haram in this state, Governor Okorocha won elections with the party. There is also one state Chairman that has been affirmed by several Court judgments and that his Daniel Nwafor, my humble self”.

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Just In: Imo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor

The Imo State House of Assembly has impeached the Deputy Governor, Mr Eze Madumere.

He was impeached on Monday by 19 out of the 27 member-assembly.

The Speaker of the House, Acho Ihim, said the impeachment followed the outcome of a report of a 7-man panel which was constituted by the Chief Judge of the state to investigate allegations of gross misconduct and abandonment of office by the Deputy Governor.

The Head of Service in the State, Mr. Calistus, is to resume as Deputy Governor of the state.

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Imo Police Command Arrests Suspected Killers Of APC Chieftain

The Geoffrey Victor-led Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in Imo has arrested the suspected killers of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Amos Akano.

The deceased was reportedly abducted on his way home after a meeting of the party in Owerri, the capital, only to be found dead by the roadside a couple of days later.

The suspects were apprehended while waiting to collect ransom from the late politician’s relations.The Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galandanchi, who confirmed the arrest, added that the suspects were held in Ihiala, Anambra State.He named those arrested as Ikenna Nwosu (aka Ezego); Chibuike Martins; Emeka Eke; Chijioke Akukara among others.

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South-East APC Holds ‘Buhari Support Rally’

The south-east zone of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday, held a rally in Owerri, the Imo State capital to support the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Buhari represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha said Ndigbo occupied strategic positions in the Federal Executive Council and urged the people of the zone to support his re-election to enable them to negotiate for president of Igbo extraction at the expiration of his second term in office.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole urged the people of the south-east to support the president to enable him to complete the second Niger Bridge and other ongoing projects executed by the federal government in the zone.

The Imo State Governor Chief Rochas Okorocha pledged the support of south-east leaders to the aspiration of president Buhari noting that the people will throw their weight behind him at the polls.

The rally was well attended by the party faithful, members of the National working committee of the party from the south-east and Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje.

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FG To Complete Abandoned Skill Acquisition Centre In Imo

The federal government has promised to complete the abandoned skill acquisition centre project in Imo State.

The Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Daramola made the promise during a courtesy visit to Gov. Rochas Okorocha on Friday in Owerri.

“The skill acquisition centre project will boost economy of the state and must be completed to ensure development.

“The centre which was initiated by the ministry is aimed at gainfully engaging youths of the state.

“The centre has been abandoned for some time now but we will endeavor to complete it,” he said.

Okorocha, in his remarks, thanked the minister and his team for the visit and their efforts in ensuring development in the state.

He said that the skill acquisition centre had been lying fallow for over four years now and that he wanted it to be completed and put to proper use.

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Murder: Supreme Court Affirms Death Sentence On Imo Teacher

The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja has affirmed the death sentence on a primary school teacher in Imo State, Mrs. Chifoanu Virginia Okorie, over her involvement in the gruesome murder in 2005, of a community leader and retired police officer, Nze Dominic Ohamadiaku Duru in Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.

Delivering judgment in suit number: SC/640/2014, between Chifoanu Okorie and the State, John Inyang Okoro, leading other four justices of the Supreme Court, dismissed Mrs. Okorie’s appeal to have the decision of the Owerri Court of Appeal overturned. In aligning itself with the 17th July, 2014 decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri (which affirmed the earlier death sentence passed on Mrs. Okorie and seven others by an Owerri High Court), the nation’s apex court put the final judicial seal on the fate of the appellant by dismissing the appeal brought before it, describing it as devoid of any “scintilla of merit.”

In his background to the judgement, he explains:

“This is an appeal against the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, delivered on 17th July, 2014 wherein the Court affirmed the conviction and sentence to death of the appellant by the High Court of Imo State, holden at Owerri for the offence of murder. The appellant was one of the nine accused persons charged with murder contrary to section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 30 Vol. 11 Laws of Eastern Nigeria 1963 as applicable to Imo State of Nigeria…”

“At the hearing of this appeal on 21st September, 2017, the learned Senior counsel for the appellant D.C. Denwigwe SAN, leading others, identified, adopted and relied on their brief of argument filed on 10/2/15. The five issues formulated are contained on page 2 which state as follows: Was the Court of Appeal right in upholding the decision of the trial court to rely on the evidence of Dr. Gogo Abite, PW4 in arriving at the conclusion that the conviction of the appellant by the trial court was right and sustainable? Was the Court of Appeal right when it upheld the decision of the learned trial Judge which rejected the evidence of Dr. Egejuru (PW7) and refused to rely on the autopsy report issued by Dr. Egejuru, regarding the cause of death of the deceased? Was the Court of Appeal right when it came to the conclusion that medical evidence was not sine qua non for establishing the guilt of the appellant in the circumstance of this case? Whether sustaining the conviction of the appellant for the offence of murder, did not in the circumstance constitute a denial of the appellant’s constitutional right to fair hearing? Was the Court of Appeal right when it proceeded to sustain the conviction of the appellant by the trial court in the circumstance of this case?”

In the brief of the respondent, filed by A.N. Eluwa (Mrs), Solicitor General of Imo state, leading other counsel filed on 21st June, 2016, four issues were “distilled for the determination of this appeal” by the apex court.

“Whether the Court of Appeal was right in upholding the decision of the trial court in accepting the medical evidence of PW4 -Dr. Gogo Abite, while rejecting the medical evidence of DW7-Dr. Egejuru and Dr. Onoyona, regarding the cause of death of the deceased. Whether there were material contradictions in the evidence of prosecution that created doubts in the mind of the trial court capable of vitiating conviction. Whether the trial court considered the defense of alibi raised by the appellant and rightly held that same did not avail her, and whether the Court of Appeal was right in upholding same. Whether the prosecution, on the totality of direct, credible and admissible evidence adduced at the trial, proved the offence of murder against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt, warranting her conviction.”

After the legal fireworks that ensued, the apex court resolved the five grounds of appeal in favour of the respondent and found the appeal incompetent.

“Having resolved the five issues nominated by the learned silk for the determination of this appeal against the appellant, this appeal is adjudged devoid of any scintilla of merit. It is accordingly dismissed by me. The Judgement of the of the Court of Appeal which upheld the conviction and sentence of the appellant is further affirmed by this court. Appeal is hereby dismissed.”

Agreeing with the lead judgement, Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad said: “my learned brother John Inyang Okoro had obliged me the draft of his lead judgement just delivered. I agree with his lordship’s reasoning and conclusion that the appeal lacks merit and that it be dismissed…. I dismiss the appeal and I abide by the consequential orders made in the lead judgement.”

Also delivering his Judgement on the matter, another member of the panel, Justice Amiru Sanusi said: “His lordship Justice J.I. Okoro has graciously obliged me with a copy of the lead judgement…. Having perused same, I must say that His lordship has ably and painstakingly treated all the salient issues in contention…..before arriving at his conclusion that this appeal lacks merit and deserves to be dismissed. While adopting his reasoning and conclusion as mine, it is also my judgement that the appeal is meritless and I accordingly dismiss same without any hesitation. I affirm the judgement of the court below, which had also earlier on affirmed the decision of the trial High Court. Appeal is accordingly dismissed my me.”

Another member of the panel, Justice Kudirat M.O. Kekere-Ekun also joined other members of the panel in affirming the death sentence; while only one member of the five-man panel, Justice Ejembi Eko gave a dissenting (minority) judgement.

Meanwhile, seven other related cases are yet to be determined by the apex court.

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