S/Court Judgement: Amaechi Says No Victor, No Vanquished

The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has thanked God for the Supreme Court judgement given in his favour on Friday morning.

He also thanked the apex court for handling the matter judiciously and Rivers people for their continued support, after emerging victorious over Celestine Omehia at the Supreme Court.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, David Iyofor, Amaechi said that although the court ruling again vindicates his position that Omehia had no case against him, he believes that there is no victor, no vanquished in the matter.

The Governor said that the apex court ruling provides a new opportunity for everyone to join hands with his administration in the development of Rivers State and the advancement of Rivers people.

“Today’s judgement once again shows that God is with us. And as God has put us to oversee the affairs of Rivers state, we will continue to do it diligently and tirelessly to better the lives of our people and develop the state.

“We will rededicate and focus more on administering good governance to the people of the state, and ensure that our people continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

The Supreme Court in Nigeria had on Friday dismissed a suit filed by Mr Celestine Omehia, seeking to join in a suit to determine whether the first tenure of Governor Rotimi Amaechi ended on May 29, 2011 or in October.

Delivering judgment on the suit, a five man panel of the apex court held that Mr Omehia had exhausted all avenues to challenge the election of Mr Rotimi Amaechi as Governor of Rivers State and cannot approach the apex court through the back door.

Mr Omehia, a candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Rivers State, had sought to cash in on the judgment of a Federal High Court which held that Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s first tenure ended on May 29, 2011.

Amaechi then called on Celestine Omehia and his supporters to join hands with his administration so that they could work together.

“Now that the legal tussle is over, I want to appeal to Omehia, his supporters and all other well-meaning Rivers people to join hands with my administration in building the new Rivers state that my administration has started.

“As for me, in this matter there is no victor, no vanquished,” Amaechi said.

Supreme Court Upholds Amaechi’s Election, Dismisses Omehia Suit

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has dismissed a suit filed by Mr Celestine Omehia, seeking to join in a suit to determine whether the first tenure of Governor Rotimi Amaechi ended on May 29, 2011 or in October.

Delivering judgment on the suit, a five man panel of the apex court held that Mr Omehia had exhausted all avenues to challenge the election of Mr Rotimi Amaechi as Governor of Rivers State and cannot approach the apex court through the back door.

Mr Omehia, a candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Rivers State, had sought to cash in on the judgment of a Federal High Court which held that Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s first tenure ended on May 29, 2011.

Mr Cyprian Chukwu, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had in 2010, applied to a Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to interpret the Supreme Court’s judgment which in 2007 removed Omehia from office and declared Amaechi as the governor of the state.

The court, presided over by Justice Abdu Kafarati ruled that Governor Amaechi’s first tenure ended on May 29, 2011.

After the High Court’s decision, Omehia, who was not a party to the High Court’s proceedings, applied to the Court of Appeal to be allowed to join in the matter as an interested party, contending that he was a party in the apex court judgment that was interpreted by the High Court.

Both Amaechi and Chukwu, however told the Supreme Court panel headed by Justice Muntaka Coomassie that the Abuja division of the Appeal Court, erred in law, when it granted Omehia the leave to appeal against the High Court’s judgment, even though he was not a party in the substantive suit that culminated to the appeal.

A five-man panel of the apex court, had on November 11, 2013 fixed February 7 for judgment after parties adopted their briefs of arguments in the consolidated appeals that were filed by Governor Amaechi and a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party Rivers State, Cyprian Chukwu.

New PDP Chairman Promises Internal Democracy

The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Adamu Muazu, has promised to ensure internal democracy in the party.

Speaking at a meeting with delegates from Akwa Ibom State, led by the State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, Muazu added that as part of the process of restructuring the party, a conference will be set up to address the internal democracy structure for the party.

He also added that the party will focus more on being sensitive to the needs of Nigerians.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Governor Akpabio explained that the party was focused on the next generation of leaders and not necessarily those who have left the party.

Nigeria/UK Sign Prisoner Transfer Agreement

The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the United Kingdom have signed an agreement providing for the transfer of prisoners between the two countries.

The agreement would allow Nigerians who commit crimes in the United Kingdom, and Britons who commit crimes in Nigeria, to serve their sentences in their own country, where they can be properly prepared for release into the community in which they would live following their release.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja, British Justice Minister, Jeremy Wright, said that removing foreign national offenders is a key priority for the British Government, and the Prisoner Transfer Agreement signed with the Nigerian Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, plays a significant role in supporting the mutual agreement.

Nigeria and the United Kingdom have in place, Prisoner Transfer Arrangements with a number of other countries.

A special joint committee of Nigerian and British officials will oversee the implementation of the agreement, as the first set of prisoners will be transferred under the agreement before the end of 2014.

PDP Members Defect To APC In Kaduna

The wind of defection by members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued, this time in Kaduna state.

A former chairman of the PDP in the state, Yaro Makama, is among the dozens of party members who announced their defection to the opposition APC today.

The others include seven serving members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, and four former commissioners.

Kaduna is the home state of Vice President Namadi Sambo and has been ruled by the PDP since 1999.

The defectors were received by the APC interim chairman in the state, Hakeem Baba Ahmed at a venue located in Malali, GRA, Kaduna.

The former PDP chairman in the state said they were forced to abandon the PDP because of the injustice there.

“We cannot wait to be consumed by the political revolution that is happening in this country. The injustice in PDP is one reason why we left the party to the APC. As you can see, most of the people here are PDP members that have played a great role in its development.

“We cannot wait in a party that cannot provide infrastructure to people of the state. This is why we want those in the PDP to know that I hardly join a party that I know will not deliver. So by 2015 APC will win elections in Kaduna”, he said.

Stakeholders Meet In Kano Over Public Safety And Security

Stakeholders have stressed their belief that fighting terrorism in Nigeria requires the collaborative effort of all security agencies, if the country is to ensure public safety and security.

This position was taken during a consultative forum on the development of a national policy on public safety and security for the North Western states held in Kano.

Initiated by the Ministry Of Police Affairs, the national policy on public safety and security will streamline relationship among various security agencies, as well as define meaningful and popular rules of engagement in such a way that public safety and security will not be jeopardised.

The stakeholders’ forum which brought in representatives from the North West geo-political zone of the country is aimed at consulting the relevant authorities on the overall framework of the policy.

Lead facilitator, Professor Femi Odekunle, who admitted that Nigeria is currently facing various security challenges ranging from terrorism to kidnapping, also maintained that the national policy on public is urgently required if Nigerians are to be protected.

However, according to the Speaker, Jigawa State House of Assembly, the performance of Nigeria’s security agencies at the volatile areas of Maiduguri, Yobe, Adamawa and perhaps Kano is not satisfactory; a situation which he said also requires the public safety policy to protect the innocent.

It was also agreed at the stakeholders’ brainstorm that Nigeria’s needs on security are not just about developing the paper work, but having the political will to implement the paper work.

UK Trial Of Lee Rigby Murder Suspects Begins

The Old Balley court room went into gasps today, following a CCTV exhibit against two suspected Lee Rigby killers; Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.

The two defendants arrived at the court amid tight security and appeared in a glass-lined dock in the Old Balley court room.

The prosecution team had described the killing as both cowardly and callous.

Prosecutor, Richard Whittam, told the jury that the accused men deliberately attacked the unarmed soldier using a vehicle as their weapon, “and then murdered him and mutilated his body with a meat cleaver and knives.”

The court was also shown a mobile phone footage filmed by a witness, in which a man who prosecutors said was Adebolajo, had a bloody cleaver in his hands and spoke into the camera.

The two accused men both denied the charges.

The soldier’s mother, Lyn Rigby left the court in tears as family members were told by the prosecutor they were about to see their son’s final moment.

Oyo Governor Shifts Focus To Youth Development

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi has emphasized that the time has come to shift focus to youth development in order to pave way for complete turnaround in the economic transformation agenda of his government.

Governor Ajimobi said this at an interactive session with students and youth bodies in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

He said that one of the cardinal agenda of government is securing the lives and property of the citizens and this they have been able to achieve in Oyo State and which his government has promised to keep on doing.

“We all know it has been encapsulated in our pyramid of development, in that pyramid of development; we have as the base, the number one, most important ingredient of development which is security and safety of life and property. That we have been able to accomplish in Oyo State.”

End Strike In Honour Of Iyayi, UNIBEN Pro-Chancellor Urges ASUU

The Pro-Chancellor of the University Of Benin, Senator Effiong Bob, has appealed to the striking university lecturers to return to the classroom in honour of the Late Professor Festus Iyayi.

The Former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) died in a road accident involving the convoy of the Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada, near Lokoja, on his way to the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the union in Kano.

While on a condolence visit to the bereaved family, Senator Bob pointed out that Professor Iyayi died while trying to resolve the four-month strike by ASUU and ending the strike in his honour would be a well deserved one.

Reps Want Army Deployed To Benue

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to immediately deploy a large number of military personnel to the crisis prone areas in Benue State.

This call was made in a bid to forestall further clashes between the Agatu community in Benue State and invading nomadic herdsmen.

The House of Reps’ move followed a motion sponsored by Adamu Entonu on ‘the need to stop the destruction of lives and properties in Agatu Local Government of Benue State’ where over 45 persons have been killed and over 150 homes destroyed.

The House has also urged the Federal Government to set up a panel to address the growing incidences of attacks on citizens of Agatu by nomadic herdsmen with a view to curbing it.‎

President Jonathan Visits Warri, Speaks Of Economic Gains

The President has visited Warri in Delta State to join in the celebration of the 26th Jubilee Festival of the Word of Life Bible Church and the birthday of the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ayo Oritsejafor.

President Goodluck Jonathan during his address assured Nigerians that the country is on the right path to development in spite of its present challenges, adding that there are evidences of the improvements.

President Jonathan said the Transformation Agenda is on course and urged Nigerians to continue to support his policies and programmes for the betterment of the country.

He said Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has seen a leap by about seven percent, adding that the growth has been confirmed by several international rating agencies.

The President and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor however disagreed on compensation for victims of Boko Haram attacks in the North.

While the CAN President asked the Federal Government to immediately set up a compensation committee for victims, President Jonathan insisted that his administration would not pay compensation but would only assist victims of the Islamic sect’s onslaughts.

On efforts to restore sanity in that part of the country, President Jonathan said the State of Emergency declared in some states of the North has recorded significant progress.

He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would continue to do its best to flush out the insurgents and restore sanity and commended the military for being proactive in the war against terrorism.

President Jonathan also assured Nigerians that the country would witness stable electricity supply with the recent privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and its subsidiaries.

The service was attended by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, his counterparts from Cross River and Plateau states, Liyel Imoke and Jonah Jang respectively as well as representatives of Bayelsa and Benue governors, traditional rulers and other eminent Nigerians.

IPMAN Crashes Price Of Kerosene

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has flagged off a nationwide distribution initiative.

This initiative, according to the organization, is to ensure that kerosene sells at a controlled pump price of 50 Naira per litre and also improve the sales of the product across the country.

An initiative of the Ministry Of Petroleum Resources, PPMC and NNPC, the National President of IPMAN, Abdulkadir Aminu said that the exercise is to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians who cannot afford the cooking gas.

He said the process would be monitored to ensure compliance of retail outlets and that consumers buy only for their use only.