Supreme Court Affirms Ugwuanyi’s Election As Enugu Governor

Supreme Court Affirms Ugwuanyi’s Election As Enugu Governor
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (file)

 

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

In a lead judgement on Friday in Abuja, the court affirmed Ugwuanyi’s victory and dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Ayogu Eze challenging the election for lacking in merit.

Senator Eze is a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general election in Enugu State.

He had sought to upturn the emergence of Governor Ugwuanyi as the PDP candidate nominated at the party’s primary election held on December 4, 2014.

The lawmaker had also approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking among other reliefs, a declaration that he was the duly elected PDP governorship candidate in Enugu.

In the lead judgment delivered by justice Centus Nweze and unanimously upheld by a five-man panel of the apex court, the court agreed with the Court of Appeal ruling which dismissed Eze’s appeal for lack of merit and locus standi.

The court also said the senator had admitted in his affidavit that he did not participate in the primary election conducted by the National Executive Committee of the PDP.

It then held that the High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit ab initio since Senator Eze did not qualify as an aspirant and was therefore not entitled to challenge the outcome of the primary election as provided in section 87 subsection 9 of the Electoral Act.

The apex court also fined the lawmaker for one million naira on the grounds that the issues he raised have been decided on severally and there was no need for him to bring them up again.

Ugwuanyi Receives Enugu Returnees From Libya

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Wednesday, received 10 out of the 11 indigenes of the state who were among the 490 Nigerians that were recently repatriated from Libya.

Addressing the returnees at the Government House, Enugu, Governor Ugwuanyi thanked God for their safe return and also expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and his team for facilitating the return of the affected Nigerians to the country.

The governor noted that the female returnee from the state could not return with the others because she was currently receiving medical attention in Port Harcourt.

He then promised to assist the returnees undertake necessary medical examinations as well as “reintegrate them with their families and society at large”.

Speaking further, Ugwuanyi advised Nigerians, especially the youths to desist from traveling to Libya and similar unsafe places in search of greener pastures and charged them to positively invest their resourcefulness and creativity “at home rather than expose themselves to slavery and other untold difficulties abroad”.

Narrating their ordeals, the returnees thanked God for their safe return after the “trauma” they experienced in Libya. They also applauded the Federal Government for what they termed a “surprise” intervention and Governor Ugwuanyi for receiving them back to the state.

“It was only God that saved us. I never believed I will return to Nigeria. I trusted my hope in God. I didn’t have any bad intention traveling to Libya. It was because of my condition that I traveled out. I was a shoemaker in Nigeria. I sold my tools, everything, to be able to travel.

“It pains me a lot that I had to pass through all these. But I thank God that the Federal Government still remembered somebody like me, more especially my Governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who sent his team to come and bring us back home from Port Harcourt, after we returned from Libya,” one of the returnees, Hyacinth Mathias Ikechukwu said.

Another returnee, James Chioma Ogbo said: “While I was in the prison, I was surprised to hear that the Federal Government of Nigeria, our President sent people to come and rescue us. We are surprise that our country can remember us. That was our greatest surprise and we are equally very grateful to our Governor and members of his team”.

Earlier in her remark, the Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mrs Nkechi Eneh, who accompanied the returnees to the Government House, disclosed that the governor “quickly” provided the logistics for their return to Enugu from Port Harcourt, and thanked him for his prompt response.

A prayer session was also held in honour of the returnees and other Nigerians in similar conditions abroad by the Chaplain of the Government House, Rev. Fr. Chinedu Ozoude and Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, who was represented by Venerable Emeka Ezeji.

Enugu, Chinese Governmets Fine-Tune Bilateral Relations

The Enugu State Government has resumed talks with the Chinese Government on ways to fine-tune its relations and make the state the regional hub for business.

The Chinese ambassador to Nigeria Pingjian Zhou who visited the state expressed the desire to firm up the relationship with the state and seek possible ways of partnership.

On his part, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi expressed optimism that the presence of the international and free passenger cargo in the state, as well as already established laws, would be beneficial to both governments as they do business.

He further explained that the relationship will help the state realise its long dream to make Enugu the business hub of the region and a center for Chinese-manufactured goods.

Enugu Govt Commends CAN For Donations To Victims Of Herdsmen Attack

The Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has commended the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for its donations to victims of Nimbo and Atakwu herdsmen attack.

The team led by the CAN President Rev. Supo Ayokunle was commended when they paid a courtesy call on the Governor to make its intention known to him.

Governor Ugwuanyi who was elated at the gesture assured the group of his commitment to pursue peace and continually boost security in the state.

“We are happy that you are here in Enugu to visit and offer sympathy to the victims of herdsmen attack in Nimbo and Atakwa communities. We feel deeply touched by this gesture. We pray the good Lord to reward you.”

While meeting with the victims and members of the communities, Rev Ayokunle urged them to remain loving and  peaceful.

Ugwuanyi Asks Nigerians To Pray For Buhari

Ugwuanyi Calls For Overhaul Of Electoral System, More CredibilityEnugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has asked Nigerians to continue to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently on medical vacation in the United Kingdom.

President Buhari proceeded to the UK for a medical follow-up on May 7, shortly after he received the 82 Chibok schoolgirls who were released by the Boko Haram terrorists.

According to a statement from his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari assured Nigerians that there was no cause for worry.

He appreciated the prayers and good wishes of the people, and expressed hopes that they would continue to pray for the peace and unity of the nation.

Governor Ugwuanyi, who spoke during a thanksgiving service at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu over the weekend urged Nigerians to continue to pray for the safe return of the President.

He also reaffirmed his resolve to deliver on his campaign promises, and ensure even distribution of democracy dividends in Enugu State.

The governor was accompanied by his wife, Monica; his deputy, Cecilia Ezeilo; as well as the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and other dignitaries.

Gov. Ugwuanyi Reiterates Commitment To Urbanise Nsukka

Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has reiterated his resolve to transform Nsukka, a town and Local Government Area in South-East Nigeria, into an urban area.

He made this known during an event organised by the people of Nsukka town to thank him for the roads projects already completed in the area especially the Opi/Nsukka road.

He stated that he is fully committed to fulfilling his campaign promises and improving the living standards of people in the area and the state at large.

“We promised to pay a special attention to rural development and to create more urban areas to boost economic growth. In line with this, we pledge to equip and modernise Nsukka”

“We are gratified to see that the projects we have done in Nsukka such as construction of vital roads, installation of street lights, upgrading of health and other public facilities, among other things, have given this town a new look and lifted the quality of life for its residents. I want to assure you that we will remain committed to the full realization of our vision for the town”

One of the organisers, Mr Peter Odo, a permanent secretary at the government house, said prior to the construction, the road was considered a death trap especially during the rainy season. He added that it was the first time such development was coming to Nsukka

While commending the governor, he called for the need to focus more on human capacity building to foster economic growth.

Enugu Gov. Swears In New Independent Electoral Commission Members

Federal Fire Service, Enugu State, Joseph Anebi, Ifeanyi UgwuanyiThe Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has sworn in the new reconstituted committee of the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission, following the confirmation of their appointment by the state House Of Assembly on March 23 2017.

The new reconstitution team are Dr Micheal Ajogwu (SAN) as chairman, Hon. David Ngene, Maryrose Abah, Emeka Edeh, Green Nweze as electoral commissioners to replace the former chairman and four members of the eight-man committee following the expiration of their tenure.

Governor Ugwuanyi, while expressing his confidence in the new team said the government will begin the process of tackling issues of funding and logistics that will see to the commencement of the political activities in the local government levels.

”I am confident that the appointment of this men and women of high repute will usher in a new-era of efficiency and progress in discharging of the commission’s mandate. With the conclusion of this function, we can now proceed to tackle the issues of fund and logistics that will pave the way for commencement of political activities in the third tier of the government’’.

The Chairman of the Committee, Dr Micheal Ajogwu on behalf of the members said the team will continue to work to uphold justice in discharging of the commission’s mandate.

We are aware of the enormity of trust vested on us by this appointment. We are confident that with God on our side, we shall do the state proud. We shall have in our mind the issue of fair play at the interest of justice and take into serious consideration the declaration of section 7 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that democratic elected local government system shall be on the ground.

Ugwuanyi Promises Better Welfare Of Inmates In Enugu

Ugwuanyi Promises Better Welfare Of Inmates In EnuguEnugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has assured the inmates in the state of his resolve to attend to their welfare.

Speaking during his 53rd birthday celebration at the Enugu Maximum Prisons, Governor Ugwuanyi said he has set aside funds and necessary logistics to lawyers and Civil Society Organisations to secure the prompt release of inmates.

“Having taken notice of the over-crowding or congestion in the prisons, especially the ever-growing population of inmates that are awaiting trials, we have set aside funds and we are providing necessary logistics to lawyers and civil society organisations to secure the prompt release of inmates where legally possible.

“I have listened to the demands of the Comptroller of the Enugu Prison Command, I want to assure and reassure you that very soon, government will attend to some of those issues,” he said.

In her address, the Enugu State Comptroller of Prisons, Mrs Ukwuori Ndukwe Kalu, commended the Governor for the attention the command has received since inception of his administration.

“I have been following with keen interest your assistance to prison inmates since my arrival in the state, ranging from prompt intervention during the Nsukka jail break incident in 2016, renovation at the Enugu Prison, release of funds for procurement of drugs for inmates and granting of pardon to seven deserving inmates among others,” she said.

The Prisons Comptroller noted that the level of sophistication of inmates would require proactive measures to avoid incidents like jail breaks and riot in the prisons.

“To be proactive, we need five escort vehicles to convey armed squad personnel to and from courts in Enugu, three eighteen-seater buses with gadgets for effective communication to convey suspects and inmates to courts across Nsukka, Oji River and Enugu Prison in the State Command,” she said.

Mrs Kalu also called the governor’s attention to the sewage challenges they face in the facilities, especially in Nsukka.

In his response, Governor Ugwuanyi reiterated his commitment to assisting the command in the area of welfare.

“We have taken note of sewage and other allied challenges confronting these prisons and I have resolved to take necessary measures and we will address them adequately and satisfactorily,” he said.

Enugu Govt. Inaugurates New Governing Council In State Poly

Enugu Govt. Inaugurates New Governing Council In State PolyEnugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has inaugurated a new governing council in the Enugu state Polythecnic, Iwollo.

He has expressed confidence that the newly constituted governing council would re-position the school to contribute to the development of agriculture in the state.

Formerly known as the Enugu State College of Agriculture and Agro- Entrepreneurship Studies, the Polytechnic was re-christened in 2014 to accommodate more technical education in its scope.

While addressing members of the new board, Governor Ugwuanyi, said the school would now strive to be the leading institution for agro allied research.

“It is indeed our aspiration as the state government that the institution becomes the centre of excellence in agricultural and allied studies in Nigeria.

“We have also taken time to select as members of this new council, individuals of high repute, experience and competence to drive our aspirations for the institution,” he added.

The new council chairman, has therefore pledged his team’s readiness to carry out the assignment.

Enugu Governor Tasks New Chief Judges On Honesty

Enugu Governor Tasks New Chief Judges On HonestyEnugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has called on the newly sworn in judges in the state to uphold the law and be objective in discharging the duties and responsibilities of their office.

Governor Ugwuanyi said this during the swearing-in of Justice Ebele Egumgbe as the Chief Judge of Enugu State High Court and Justice Jacinta Nweze as the Chief Judge of the Customary Court.

He congratulated the chief judges whom he described their appointment as most deserving, as he urged them to discharge their duties in honesty.

“I urge you to diligently carry out the duties and responsibilities of your office which entail the dispensation of justice,” the governor said.

In an earlier remark, the Chief Justice of Enugu State, Justice Priscilla Emeghelu, told the Governor that a lot of vacuum have been created, especially in the State High Court as a result of retirement and death of some judges.

“We must not fail to observe that this number is grossly inadequate, particularly as it affects the High Court whose number of judges have been depleted by retirement and death of its members in the past 10 to 11 years,” she said.

Justice Emeghelu added that the death of judges has become a burden on the available ones.

“This has led to honourable judges sitting in two judicial divisions and cases filled each day have continued to increase.

“We are hopeful that Enugu Judiciary will get up to five to six slots in the next exercise,” she stated.

Expressing their appreciations, the new chief judges promised to carry out their duties without bias or sentiments.

Agency Seeks Enugu Govt.’s Support To Tackle Fire Disasters

Federal Fire Service, Enugu State, Joseph Anebi, Ifeanyi UgwuanyiThe Federal Fire Service has sought the collaboration of the Enugu State government to curb the menace of uncontrolled fires in the state and Nigeria at large.

The Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, Mr Joseph Anebi, made the call during a visit to the Enugu State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

He told the Governor that he was in the state to solicit his administration’s support for initiative to upgrade fire-fighting facilities across Nigeria.

Mr Anebi highlighted the losses the country has counted in recent times as a result of fire disasters and stressed the need to upgrade the state’s fire service facilities.

He said that the Nigerian Government was determined to curb the menace, especially in the face of economic recession.

In his response, Governor Ugwuanyi commended the institution for its effort and stated his administration’s resolve in ensuring that a common goal was achieved.

He stressed the need for individuals to take precaution and be more careful in the way inflammable products are handled, especially in the season of harmattan.

Enugu Governor Orders Immediate Fortification Of Nsukka Prison

Ifeanyi-UguwanyiEnugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has ordered the immediate fortification of the five cells at the Minimum Prison, Nsukka.

The directive follows the jail break incident in the prison in which 15 inmates in the Awaiting Trial Men Cell escaped as six of them have been recaptured.

Governor Ugwuanyi was on inspection tour of the prison to ascertain what caused the incident.

He was received by the Deputy Comptroller of Prisons in-charge of Enugu State, Mr Lawrence Felix.

Addressing the prison officials, he ordered the immediate release of 1.5 million Naira for the outright fortification of the five cells in the prison to avert such  incident from reoccurring.

The Governor also directed the Police Area Commander, Mr Monday Kuryas, to step up security around the area.

He urged the prisoners to be obedient and law abiding while he asked the people of Enugu State to remain calm, saying that their safety was his priority.

The prison official on his part bemoaned the structural problem of the prison, saying that the cells were mere relics of the colonial masters without proper burglary proofs and iron security doors.

Enugu Prison
Front view of the prison described as ‘mere relics of the colonial masters’

He said that investigations were ongoing, stressing that suspicions were high that the jailbreak might have been successfully carried out by the inmates in collaboration with a former inmate who was conversant with the terrain and have aided the escapees.

The Minimum Prison, Nsukka was built in 1934 with initial capacity of 186 inmates but presently has 254 prisoners with 95% on awaiting trial.

The Enugu State Comptroller of Prisons, Mr Isaiah Amariri, had confirmed that six inmates were re-arrest, but declined to give the exact number of inmates that escaped from the prison.

The Enugu incidence is coming about two weeks after 13 inmates escaped from the Koton Karfe Medium Security Prison in Kogi State.