The Apex Court has upheld the re-election of Aminu Masari of Katsina State and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom State.
In the case of Katsina State, Justice Iyang Okoro, held that the appellant, Senator Garba Lado of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Masari did not qualify to participate in the election.
Senator Godswill Akpabio has withdrawn his application from the FCT High Court, seeking a Judicial review of the National Assembly election in his senatorial district.
Mr Akpabio who confirmed this to Channels Television on Friday said the withdrawal was to avoid abuse of court processes.
The trial judge Justice valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court also confirmed the withdrawal.
Speaking further, he explained that the order of stay issued last Friday was not to stop the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) from carrying out its function but to enable an applicant to exercise his rights.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned what it described as on-going mass arrest and detention of its leaders and members in Rivers, Delta and Akwa-Ibom states, ahead of the governorship and state Assembly elections on Saturday March 9, 2019.
In a statement on Wednesday, the party accused the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of “turning the South South zone into a war zone”.
It alleged that in Rivers State, leaders of the PDP were being hounded and forcefully picked up in a well-coordinated operation by military operatives.
The PDP called on Nigerians and the international community to note the development in the South South, adding that, “The tension in the Niger Delta has been dangerously stretched and there is a limit to what the people can stomach in the face of such aggressions”.
Speaking further, the party stressed that the Niger Delta region remained a stronghold for it and no amount of intimidation and assault by the APC would change that.
“Our party, therefore, demands the immediate release of every PDP member arrested by the military as well as instant stoppage of military aggression in the region ahead of the elections.”
The party warned that if the trend was not checked, it would destroy the relative peace in the region and destabilize the nation.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday re-arraigned the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro.
He was re-arraigned before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on 10 counts of conspiracy and conversion of an alleged N1.4bn to which he, again, pleaded not guilty.
Justice Aikawa is the third judge to be assigned the case.
The first judge, Justice Muslim Hassan was re-assigned from the case after the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati granted the request of the NBA President for a change of judge.
The second judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor disqualified himself from the case after citing “personal reasons”.
The case was, thereafter, re-assigned to Justice Aikawa.
In December 2018, the court admitted him to bail in the sum of N250 million with one surety in like sum after he pleaded not guilty.
At today’s hearing, Justice Aikawa allowed the NBA President to continue on the bail he was earlier granted by the first trial judge but the EFCC drew the attention of the court to the fact that Mr Usoro was yet to meet the conditions.
The judge had ordered that the surety must be either be a landed property owner within court’s jurisdiction or a civil servant whose position must not be lower than a director in the employment of the Federal or state government.
The defendant was also ordered to deposit his international passport with the court.
Justice Aikawa, thereafter, directed Mr Usoro to meet the bail conditions before March 15.
Meanwhile, the court also granted a bench warrant for the arrest of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom State, Uwemedimo Nwoko, the Commissioner of Finance, Nsikan Nkan, the Accountant General, Mfon Udomah and a Cashier of the State Govt, Margaret Ukpe.
Justice Aikawa granted the bench warrant at the instance of the EFCC, who told the court that the defendants are at large and the warrant was necessary to ensure their presence in court at the next adjourned date of March 18 and 19.
The four government officials are charged alongside Mr Usoro on 10 counts of conspiracy and conversion of an alleged N1.4bn said to be property of the State Government.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will release the final list of candidates for the governorship, state Houses of Assembly and FCT area council elections today, January 31, 2019.
The chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said the list will be published in all the state offices of the commission across the country and on the commission’s website.
He said this at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Resident Electoral Commissioner in Bayelsa State, Monday Udo on Wednesday.
Women in Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday stormed the premises of Akwa Ibom Assembly in protest.
The women were led by the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs all dressed in black outfits, holding placards with various inscriptions. They expressed disapproval over the recent crisis rocking the Assembly.
They accused the police of complicity and called for the removal of the Commissioner of Police in the state.
Speaker of the Akwa Ibom Assembly, Onofiok Luke, later came out and addressed the women.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has denied rumors that the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, has ordered fresh congresses in the state.
In a statement on Sunday the party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Nkereuwem Enyongekere, described the reports as false.
According to him, the reports were a deliberate attempt by mischievous persons working for the government, to create distrust for the APC.
Enyongekere, however, stated that the results of the APC ward, chapter and state congresses in Akwa Ibom still state.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to a misleading propaganda suggesting that the national leadership of our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC) has ordered fresh congresses in Akwa Ibom State.
“We want to state emphatically that there is no truth whatsoever in such infantile propaganda which was clearly designed by some working for the Akwa Ibom State Government to create panic, confusion and distrust in our party.
“I have spoken with the Acting National Publicity Secretary of our party and he made it clear that the results of the APC ward, chapter and State congresses in Akwa Ibom State stand”.
He, therefore, called on members of the party to ignore such reports.
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has re-stated its commitment to delivering quality projects that will add value to the lives of the people in Akwa Ibom State.
The Managing Director of the Commission, Mr Nsima Ekere, stated this at a capacity building workshop organized by the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Uyo.
Mr Ekere, who was represented by the NDDC Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mr Samuel Frank, told journalists that the Commission had intervened on many roads in the state, thereby touching the lives of the people positively.
“We intervene in areas where the state government does not cover. We are here to complement the effort of the state government in the provision of basic infrastructure to make life meaningful for the people.”
The NDDC Boss stated further that reports that the Commission was at loggerheads with the Akwa Ibom State Government over the execution of development projects were false.
“The NDDC is not antagonistic towards the Akwa Ibom State Government. On the contrary, the Commissioner for Works, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen, had in the past joined our team in inspecting projects.
“The NDDC will work in tandem with the noble ideas of the Correspondents Chapel. However, before you publish your stories, please cross check them with us in the State Office”
Furthermore, he lauded the efforts of the chapel in organizing the event, noting that it would boost the relationship between journalists and the commission.
“It is good that you have organized this meeting to discuss issues that will bring progress to Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria. The NDDC is always ready to work with the news media,” he stated.
An Abuja High Court has struck out the six-count charge preferred against a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Mr Orubebe, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, and three other defendants were accused of alleged complicity in a 1.97 billion Naira contract fraud.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, however, discharged and acquitted them on Tuesday, following the withdrawal of the charge by the prosecution.
The court had earlier given the anti-graft agency till April 4, 2017, to produce its witnesses to establish that the defendants diverted the funds meant for the compensation of owners of properties of Eket Urban section of the East-West Road in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.