Tribunal Upholds Ekweremadu As Senator Representing Enugu West Senatorial District

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

 

The election petition tribunal sitting in Enugu on Monday upheld the victory of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate for Enugu West Senatorial District, Ike Ekweremadu, in the 2019 National Assembly election.

In a unanimous judgement, the panel held that the appellant and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs Juliet Ibekaju-Nwagwu, who challenged the return of Ekweremadu, failed to prove that there was substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election.

The three-man panel comprising Justice Haruna Kereng, Justice Yusuf Isa, and Justice Sedoten Ogunsoya, affirmed that Ekweremadu was duly elected and also awarded N250,000 cost against the petitioner in favour of Ekweremadu, PDP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

READ ALSO: Tribunal Upholds El-Rufai’s Election As Kaduna Governor

On the contention by the petitioners that the dating of the result sheets on February 23 and 24, 2019 meant that collation was still ongoing when INEC declared the results of the election, and thus amounted to non-compliance, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Kereng, who delivered the judgment, held that evidence on all sides showed that the election was held on February 23, but the collation of results, which started on that same day extended to February 24.

Referring to the INEC Guidelines, the Tribunal held said that the election was a process, and ended when the final result was declared on February 24.

The panel also addressed the issue of alleged over-voting, tendered by the petitioners, stressing that the documents issued remained in their envelopes after they were tendered and no reference was made to them by any of the petitioners’ witnesses.

Meanwhile, Justice Kereng held that evidence relating to the issue of accreditation, showed that the exercise was done with both the card reader and the voters’ register, noting that the law was now trite that card reader was not conclusive proof of total number of accredited voters.

The Tribunal further observed that the petitioners did not plead any facts or figures about alleged miscalculation or error in votes.

The panel also noted that whereas the petition relied so much on allegations of crime levelled against unnamed persons, those persons were not joined in the petition and were not disclosed throughout the trial. It also added that assuming any such crimes were committed, Ibeakaku-Nwagwu and APC did not prove that alleged suspects were agents of Ekweremadu or the PDP, hence failed to satisfy the principle of the law on this issue or prove such beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Kereng therefore said that in view of the evidences before it, it had no other option than to dismiss the petition and affirm the election and return of the Ekweremadu as Senator for Enugu West Senatorial District.

‘I Defeated Him, Smart Adeyemi Is My Political Wife’ – The Week In Quotes

 

This what was said and who said what in the public sphere within the course of the passing week.

 

  1. Be prepared for mother of all strikes
Members of the national leadership of NASU and SSANU at a press conference in Abuja on August 22, 2019. Inset: SSANU’s National Vice President (North), Mr Solomon Alfa.

University workers in the country under the umbrella of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) warn the Federal Government to brace up for an indefinite nationwide strike.

2. I want to assure you that Smart Adeyemi is my political wife; I defeated him in 2015, I defeated him in 2019 and any day any time, he is my political wife.

Kogi West: Smart Adeyemi Is 'My Political Wife' – Melaye

Senator Dino Melaye says he is not disturbed about being sacked as lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, insists he has defeated his chief opponent, Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

3. Slavery still thrives today, we must eliminate it.

President Muhammadu Buhari calls on Nigerians and Africans to eliminate all forms of slavery and its existence for the modern age.

4. The Embassy has requested a thorough investigation of this attack with a view to identifying the perpetrators and bringing them swiftly to justice in accordance with German law.

Court Refuses To Order Ekweremadu's Arrest

The Nigerian Embassy in Germany says those who attacked former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu will be prosecuted under German law.

5. The solution to our problem lies with us.

President Muhammadu Buhari challenges ministers-designate to live up to the tasks ahead of them.

6. If you want to advise somebody and you are truly sincere about it and you are not out for cheap publicity, you do it in whispers.

Academic, social commentator and politician, Dr Junaid Mohammed faults the controversial letters published by former President Olusegun Obasanjo regarding the state of the nation.

7. Let me reiterate here that this administration places much premium on education at all levels, as it is the bedrock of society’s progress, and the way to overcome poverty.

President Buhari believes quality education is very important to the development of every nation, says it is the way people can be lifted out of poverty.

8. It’s not the time for cynicism in the country. It’s not the time for scepticism. If you want to be cynical or sceptical, you have a right for it but it wouldn’t do you good nor will it do the country well.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says Nigeria needs to be re-positioned rather than being unnecessarily criticised.

9. We must remain accountable to the people we serve.

FG Is More Than Mindful About Wave Of Killings – SGF

The Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha urges Ministers-Designate in President Muhammadu Buhari second term cabinet to remain accountable to the Nigerian citizens.

10. Let me talk as a Nigerian. Those who were there before, to me personally, I didn’t see any impact in their performance.

Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George, says he didn’t feel the impact of the returning ministers in Buhari’s first term.

German Authorities Investigate Attack On Ekweremadu

Court Refuses To Order Ekweremadu's Arrest
A file photo of former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

 

 

Authorities in Germany say they are investigating last week’s attack on former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in Nurnberg.

Channels Television gathered that about five persons suspected to have taken part in the attack have been identified, although no names and no arrests have been announced.

Detective Chief Superintendent Robert Sandmann told journalists that the German Police State Security Department in charge of Politically Motivated Crimes has taken charge of the investigation.

He added that the incident was being probed along with the Public Prosecutor for Nurnberg-Fürth, noting that both entities have been in contact with the Nigerian embassy in the country.


RELATED
VIDEO: IPOB Members Attack Ekweremadu In Germany
VIDEO: ‘How I Was Attacked In Germany,’ Ekweremadu Narrates Ordeal


A video of the attack on Senator Ekweremadu went viral on the social media on August 17, showing people said to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) assaulting the lawmaker who managed to escape from being lynched.

Senator Ekweremadu was at Nurnberg for the New Yam Festival as a speaker and special guest of honour of the event organised by Igbos resident there.

The incident attracted condemnation from the Government of Nigeria, the Igbo socio-cultural group Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, as well as prominent Nigerians.

VIDEO: ‘How I Was Attacked In Germany,’ Ekweremadu Narrates Ordeal

Former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu says the attack on him by some IPOB members in Germany was premeditated because his attackers came with items like eggs.

The Senator in an interview with Channels Television at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, upon his return to Nigeria on Monday, said he attended the event where he was attacked upon an invitation.

“I left Nigeria on Friday to attend the program. So, on Saturday afternoon I was informed that the place is full and that the Mayor of the City was seated already. I didn’t want to keep anybody waiting so I had to rush down to the venue.

RELATED:

Those Who Attacked Ekweremadu Shall Be Tried Under German Law – Embassy

Attack On Ekweremadu Is An Abomination, Ndi-Igbo In Germany Apologises

“When I got there, I saw a lot of Igbo people and I was excited, I came out of the car and wanted to say hello and exchange pleasantries with them.

“I saw a lot of people wearing IPOB emblems and shirts standing at the entrance of the venue. So, one of them accosted me and said we didn’t do much when the Operation Python dance took place in the South East.

“So, I told him to let me exchange greetings with the people, then I can come back to explain to him later. So he held my hand, I  removed my hand and started greeting other people,” he said.

He added that the young man was not pleased by this and the organisers noticed the scenario.

A fight, however, broke out when the attackers attempted to resist the call for calm.

Ekweremadu said he has however forgiven his attackers although he noticed that those who attacked him are misdirected, misguided fellows.

Attack On Ekweremadu: We All Have A Responsibility To Rise Against Evil – APC

Court Refuses To Order Ekweremadu's Arrest
(File) Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

 

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

In a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party described the attack on the immediate past Deputy Senate President and serving lawmaker as an assault on decency.

The statement said, “We all have a responsibility to collectively rise against evil wherever we find it and in whatever guise, it appears. We hope lessons have been learnt from this unfortunate incident.”

“Those involved in the despicable actions and the organisation they represent are unworthy in character. No Nigerian should be assaulted in the manner Senator Ekweremadu was.

“It is an indecent action and it is below the acceptable standard of behaviour expected of our citizens whether in Nigeria or abroad,” it added.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re Very Disappointed’, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Reacts To Attack On Ekweremadu

The party, however, said it was regrettable that some of the people and organisations who allegedly offered the group open support in the past were raising their voices.

It also accused the main opposition party in the country of playing politics with an issue needed the support of all stakeholders to resolve.

“It would be recalled that the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its leaders chose to play politics over a matter that called for collective patriotic actions when IPOB raised a terror group in the South East,” the APC alleged in the statement.

It added, “It is clear that PDP and its other short-sighted co-travellers who were the main cheerleaders of IPOB owe this country an apology. IPOB hid under regional identity to perpetrate criminality having recruited some misguided elements and miscreants.”

“Are we surprised by the PDP’s hypocritical reaction to the unfortunate attack on Senator Ekweremadu? No! The PDP and their leaders have acted true to type.

“This is what happens when politicians become myopic and allow narrow sentiments becloud their sense of judgement,” the ruling party claimed.

‘We’re Very Disappointed’, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Reacts To Attack On Ekweremadu

Ohanaeze President General, John Nwodo

 

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has condemned the attack on the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Germany.

Ekweremadu was attacked by IPOB members at an event in Nuremberg as seen in a video that went viral on Saturday, an act that has received condemnation by well-meaning Nigerians.

During a telephone interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, said the apex Igbo cultural body is disappointed by the attack on one of its leaders.

“We are very disappointed that this kind of thing is happening. I have already issued a statement which encapsulates this unfortunate incident,” he said.

READ ALSO: Ekweremadu’s Attack: Senate President Asks German Authorities To Identify Culprits

When asked if the attack by some aggrieved Igbos could jeopardise their chances of emerging Nigeria’s President in 2023, Nwodo noted that what is paramount before them is the nation’s restructuring.

While advocating the need for the country to return to the regional system of governance, Nwodo criticised the Constitution which to him didn’t augur well with some people.

“The stand of the Igbos today is not about the President of Nigeria in 2023. It’s about the restructuring of our country.

“Unless we return to the regional structure in which our father initiated at independence, we can have no peace.

According to him, the nation’s myriads of problems lie in the constitution which he describes  as a “military constitution.”

‘A Great Friend’: Saraki, PDP, Others Congratulate Ekweremadu At 57

'A Great Friend;' Saraki, PDP, Others Congratulate Ekweremadu At 57
A file photo of Senator Bukola Saraki and Senator Ike Ekweremadu. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have congratulated the Deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu, on the occasion of his birthday.

Senator Saraki and his party took to Twitter to celebrate Senator Ekweremadu who turns 57 on Sunday.

In his goodwill message, the Senate President described his deputy as a ‘great colleague and friend’ and wished him long life.

READ ALSOGunmen Invade Katsina Village, Set Houses Ablaze

The PDP also congratulated the lawmaker for his service to humanity and his contribution to the growth of the party.

The lawmaker representing Kogi West district, Senator Dino Melaye, and other well-wishers also celebrated Senator Ekweremadu in various tweets.

Senator Ekweremadu, who represents Enugu West district in the National Assembly, tweeted about his birthday earlier.

He has represented his district since 2003 and served as the Deputy Senate President for the third consecutive time.

Read the tweets below:

We Must Not Allow The Unity, Independence Of The Judiciary Crumble – Ekweremadu

Court Refuses To Order Ekweremadu's Arrest
(File) Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu

 

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has said urged legal practitioners to defend the unity and independence of the Nigerian Judiciary, arguing that the nation’s democracy would fail if the judiciary crumbles. 

Speaking at the reunion dinner of the 1986 Law Class of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in Enugu State, Saturday, Ekweremadu called on lawyers to stand up for the rule of law as any nation not bound by the fine principle of democracy was bound to fail.

He said, “Today, the judiciary is challenged and we must not forget that this arm of government is at the heart of our democracy. Therefore, we must not allow its unity and independence to crumble. We must stand up for the judiciary and we must stand up for our own rights. We must ensure that the rule of law prevails because any country without the rule of law is bound to fail”, he said.

He called for continued commitment to the cause of the country despite present challenges.

READ ALSO: Lawyers Debate Over Performance Of 8th Assembly

“We must remain committed to the cause of our country, the cause of unity, and the cause of peace. The country belongs to all of us and we are not going to expect anyone to change the course of things for us except ourselves. We must never despair, no matter the situation because ours is a profession that believes in possibilities.

“In the course of the World War II, Churchill told the people of England that if everybody defended his own, the whole of England would be defended. We all have a role to play to have better country”, he added.

Ekweremadu also eulogised the UNN, particularly the Faculty of Law for working hard to preserve the standard and reputation of the institution despite obvious challenges.

“The very regrettable trend in Nigeria today is that most of our institutions are beginning to decline. But this is one institution we have seen that has grown over the years and the Law Faculty if making much progress,” Ekweremadu concluded.

May Day: Saraki, Ekweremadu Hail Nigerian Workers’ Sacrifice To Nation Building

 

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu have hailed Nigerian workers for playing integral parts to the socio-economic development of the country.

In separate tweets by the lawmakers to commemorate the 2019 May Day celebration, they identified the roles of the workers to nation-building.

Saraki in his tweet said; “Today, I salute Nigerian workers, who are an integral part of the fabric that makes up our society, for their tireless contributions to the socio-economic development of our nation.”

READ ALSO: May Day: PDP Salutes Nigerian Workers, Warns Against Unproductiveness

Also, Ekweremadu expressed his respect for Nigerian workers; “I duff the hat to Nigerian workers. I salute your industry, sacrifice, resilience, and patriotism. You’re the pivots and pillars of nation building, happy May Day.”

Ekweremadu Asks INEC To Ensure Credible Elections

Killings: Nigeria Applying The Wrong Solution To Security Problems – Ekweremadu
(File) Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu

 

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to ensure credibility in the forthcoming general elections.

He made the appeal while speaking at the conclusion of the Enugu West PDP Zonal campaign.

Read Also: Buhari, Atiku, Other Presidential Candidates Sign Second Peace Accord

He also called on party faithful and other electorates to shun violence while also asking them to resist any form of inducement as they decide the future of Nigeria.

Ekweremadu expressed optimism that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will come out victorious.

Senate Confirms Modibbo Tukur As NFIU Director

Senate Passes Electoral Act Amendment Bill As Saraki Anticipates Buhari’s Assent

 

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Mr Modibbo Tukur as the Director of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

He was confirmed on Wednesday after being screened by the Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crime.

Read Also: President Buhari Nominates Modibbo Tukur As Director Of NFIU

President Buhari had forwarded the nomination of Mr Tukur to the Senate for confirmation in a letter dated January 7, 2019.

The nomination was in accordance with the provision of Section 5(1) of the NFIU Act 2018.

In his remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, advised the new NFIU Director to be neutral and professional while performing his assignment.

Tukur, from Adamama State, is a holder of Master of Science (MSc) degree in International Business.

Ekweremadu, South East Governors Meet With President Buhari

 

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Governors of the South East geo-political zone on Wednesday held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.

Those in attendance were governors of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States.

After the meeting, the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, told journalists that their visit was to show appreciation for some of the projects being handled by the Federal Government in the region especially the contract of the second Niger Bridge.

He also stated that the visit was to request for more funds to speed up the completion of the projects.

“We came on behalf of the South East to thank Mr President for the award of the second Niger bridge to Julius Berger in the sum of N206 billion and we understand that seven billion is being paid as mobilization so we came to ask Mr President to see if there is a possibility of paying Berger 50% of the sum and secure the other 50% so that we can sleep with our two eyes closed being assured that the job will not be abandoned”.

When asked if anything was discussed concerning the 2019 election, the governor said the topic was not raised during the meeting.