PDP Holds Ad-hoc Delegate Election In Edo

Anambra PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has conducted its ward ad-hoc delegate election across the 18 local government areas of Edo State.

Former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan, led a delegation from the national body of the party to monitor the conduct of the election in some wards in Benin City, the capital of the State.

He stated that the process was part of the PDP’s readiness to take over power from the All Progressives Congress in the State.

The Edo State Governorship primary election of the PDP will be held on the 20th of June, 2016.

Court Jails Impersonator of Ex-Gov Suswan 2 Years

Rickey TarfaJustice Lateef Lawal Akapo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Wednesday convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment an impersonator of a former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan.

The convict, Joseph Onoja, was arraigned on an initial 4-count charge bordering on conspiracy to defraud, impersonation, forgery and using false document.

Onoja pleaded not guilty to the charges but later changed his plea to “guilty” to an amended one count charge.

Justice Akapo convicted him on the one-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and sentenced him to 2 years in prison.

Gabriel was arrested by operatives of the EFCC, in 2014 following a petition that he impersonated Suswan.

He had attempted to extort money from some foreigners under the pretence of giving them contracts.

He also procured a fake international passport bearing the name of the former governor but with his own passport photograph.

Supreme Court Judgment: Akwa Ibom Holds Thanksgiving Service

akwa-united-UdomThe Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Emmanuel Udom has held a thanksgiving service for the Supreme Court judgement which held that he was validly elected as governor of the state.

Present at the event are Governor of Ekiti State, Gov. Ayodele Fayose, former Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, Bishop Oyedepo, amongst others.

The Supreme Court on February 3, 2016 affirmed the election of Udom Emmanuel, as the Governor of Akwa Ibom and that of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.

In judgments on Wednesday that lasted less than 30 minutes, the court said Governor Emmanuel and his Abia counterpart, Ikpeazu, having won the lawfully cast votes, are duly elected as governors of their states.

EFCC Opens Money Laundering Case Against Suswan

EFCC on SuswanThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria has opened a money laundering case against the former Governor of Benue State.

At the hearing of the case on Monday, an operative of the EFCC told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the petition, which Mr Mr Gabriel Suswan was indicted for, was an anonymous petition.

While testifying in the trial of the former Benue State Governor, Mr Junaidu Saidu, informed the court that the petitioner could not be located and the address provided on the petition does not exist.

Under cross examination, counsel to Mr Suswan, Joseph Daudu, also admitted that the email sent by the anti-graft agency to the petitioner was not delivered because the address does not also exist.

Mr Daudu told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that the EFCC attempted to invite the petitioner through the address provided on the petition for clarification on the allegation, but could not trace the petitioner.

He said the petition, which was titled ‘Truth Shall Overcome Evil Minds’ could not be associated with any person or organisation.

However,  attempts by counsel to Mr Suswan to tender a Federal High Court judgment delivered in 2007 which held that the EFCC had no power to investigate the financial activities of a state government, was turned down by Justice Mohammed on the ground that it does not need to admit the judgment before taking a judicial notice of its content.

The EFCC had put Suswan on trial on the allegation that he sold off shares belonging to Benue State Investment and Property Limited worth nine billion Naira without the consent of the State House of Assembly and diverted the proceeds to personal use.

He was also tried for breach of trust and money laundering.

Jonathan To Handover ‘Instruments Of Office’ On May 28 – Council Of State

President Jonathan and other members of the National Council of StateThe National Council of State on Tuesday said that President Goodluck Jonathan will handover ‘instruments of office’ to President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on May 28.

The National Council of State also assured that Nigeria will not be challenged again by insurgents as experienced ‎in the past three years as the Nigerian military has been so equipped to take charge of its territory.

Briefing State House correspondents after the council meeting, Governor of Niger State, Mr Babangida Aliyu and his Benue State counterpart, Mr Gabriel Suswan, said the initial poor responses to the security challenges had been as a result of ill equipping the military.

Following the meeting of the Nigeria Police Council, which was convened immediately after the National Council of State meeting, also on Tuesday, Solomon Arase was confirmed as the substantive Inspector-General of Police.Jonathan at the National Council of State meeting

The new IG, who spoke with State House correspondents on his new status, said that his main task would be the welfare upgrade of officers of the Nigerian Police Force.

He said motivation is a key to increase in productivity adding that it is a reason he has made it a topmost priority.

The Police Inspector-General also gave an assurance that he would bring crime rate to a lowest minimum through strategies and inputs expected of his men at this time.

Crisis In Kwara PDP Over Governorship Candidate

KwaraAll seems not to be well with the Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara state as they are yet to officially announce the party’s governorship candidate for the state.

The primary was conducted twice, in which Senator Simeon Ajibola was declared the winner by the National Electoral Committee of the party led by the Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan.

However, the State Chairman of the party, Iyiola Oyedepo, has said that until the National Working Committee of the party officially announces the result, the state does not have a candidate.

The first attempt made to choose the state flagbearer ended in the cancellation of the programme as the governorship aspirants did not agree on the authentic delegates list to be used.

This nearly led to breakdown of law and order at the Stella Obasanjo Hall in Ilorin and physical altercation at the other venue.

The second attempt which was scheduled for 2pm did not commence until 1:00 the following morning.

Despite the initial setback in which the 4-man committee led by Gabriel Suswan moderated, the senator representing Kwara South was declared the winner, having scored the highest votes, followed by Dele Belgore and Gbemisola Saraki respectively.

However, Iyiola has said that until the national leadership of the party affirms and announces the candidature, the state could not claim to have one yet.

He condemned what he described as excessive use of money to buy the conscience of the delegates and advocated the scrapping of delegates to choose candidates in future primaries.

Reacting, the Kwara State leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bukola Saraki, wondered how the State Chairman could be waiting for national leadership before affirming and supporting the emergence of a candidate since when this was a state affair.

Candidate Emerges At Kwara Rescheduled PDP Governorship Primary

PDP22The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has held its rescheduled governorship primary, with Senator Simeon Ajibola, emerging as the candidate of the party.

The emerged candidate, who could be described as ‘surprise flag bearer’, promised to work with other aspirants to ensure victory for the party.

Delegates were at the venue of the governorship primary election where the initial primary that was cancelled was held.

The chairman of the electoral committee, who is also the Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan, conducted the accreditation before voting commenced.

Twelve aspirants participated in the primary. The event scheduled for 2:00pm local time on Thursday commenced by 2:00am in the early hours of the following day (Friday).

At the end of the voting, Governor Suswan announced Senator Simeon Ajibola’s name as the winner with Dele Belgore coming second while Senator Gbemisola Saraki clinched third position.

Governor Suswan described the exercise as transparent, peaceful and fair, emphasising that the choice of the people has emerged.

However, the announcement did not to go down well with other aspirants, as they quietly went out of the venue unannounced.

In his acceptance speech, the winner thanked the party members for the confidence reposed in him and promised to ensure the victory of the party in the governorship election that will hold in 2015.

While answering questions on the reactions of other aspirants to his emergence, he noted that they had been working together and had agreed to support whoever emerged as candidate among them.

Senator Ajibola will slug it out with the incumbent governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who has received the party’s support for a second term.

Akpabio Expresses Concern Over Security Challenges

Godswill AkpabioState governors in Nigeria have been urged to give maximum support to security agencies to ensure their success in the fight against insurgency in parts of the country.

Governor Godswill Akpabio made the call on Wednesday night while speaking to journalists after a meeting of the Jonah Jang-led Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

Akpabio, who expressed the governors’ concern over the security challenges in parts of the North, called on all Nigerians to be security conscious.

While charging security agencies to rise to the occasion, Akpabio urged state governors to redouble their support to security agencies especially in the areas of intelligence gathering and policing.

Answering questions from reporters, another governor, Gabriel Suswan of Benue State declared support for the ongoing National Conference and urged delegates to put national interest above other considerations.

On his part, the new governor of Anambra State, Dr Willie Obiano, who was attending the meeting for the first time, gave assurances of his determination to work with the forum in line with democratic tradition.

Sixteen governors attended the meeting.

Northern Governors Seek Dialogue With Boko Haram

The Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan, has called on political elites and leaders in the north to prevail on the members of the fundamentalist Boko Haram sect, to engage the federal government in a dialogue.

The Vice-Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum in an interview with Channels Television in Minna, the Niger State capital, stated that dialogue remains the only way out of the security challenges that have claimed many lives in some parts of the north.

The dialogue he claimed must be with a view to finding a lasting solution to the current insecurity in the country.

He also appealed to the leadership of the sect to identify themselves and state their grievances in the interest of peace and development of the north.

The Governor noted that the negative activities of the sect members had already decapitated the economy of the north and is forcing investors to leave the region.