Delta PDP Suspends Nwaoboshi For Anti-Party Activities

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi

 

The State Working Committee (SWC) of the Delta State Chapter of the Peoples  Democratic Party (PDP) has announced the suspension of the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.

This was contained in a statement signed on Wednesday spokesperson of the party in Delta State, Ifeanyi Osuoza.

The party said the decision was taken following an emergency meeting and the suspension will last for a period of one month.

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“This action has become necessary against the backdrop of the recent romance with an opposition Party, verbal recklessness, and unprovoked utterances of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, particularly against the person of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, which the PDP State Working Committee views strongly as totally unacceptable, disturbing and unbecoming of a politician and party member of his stature,” the statement read in part.

The PDP State Working Committee said further that there’s no doubt that the attacks by Senator Nwaoboshi, a serving Senator and a very recent Chairman of the Party, are potentially inimical to the peace and harmony of the Party and tantamount to causing discord and disaffection among loyal Party members.

“The suspension, therefore, though obligatory, has sadly become imperative and inevitable, especially given the dramatic spontaneity and overzealousness of his verbal attacks, which are totally out of character and may have suspiciously been induced by circumstances which defy immediate rational analysis and comprehension.”

The party said the matter has been referred to the State Disciplinary Committee, in order to afford Senator Nwaoboshi a fair hearing and the opportunity to appear before it and defend himself over his recent utterances and actions against the Party and its leadership, in the State.

Court Acquits Senator In Money Laundering Case

Nwaoboshi Appeals Judgment Sacking Him As Delta North Senator-Elect
A file photo of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has acquitted and discharged the lawmaker representing Delta North, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, of the allegation of laundering N322 million.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove the elements of the offence against the lawmaker.

He also cleared Nwaoboshi’s two firms – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd.

The judge held, among other things, that the EFCC’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify” and prove the money laundering charge.

Nwaoboshi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was arraigned alongside his companies in 2018 before Justice Mohammed Idris who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal.

This necessitated a re-arraignment before Justice Aneke in October 2018.

The prosecution had alleged that Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects purchased a 12-storey building property, known as Guinea House, on Marine Road in the Apapa area of Lagos for N805 million between May and June 2014.

According to the anti-graft agency, N322 million out of the N805 million was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act of fraud”.

The EFCC alleged that the N322 million was transferred to the property’s vendor on the order of Suiming Electricals which was accused of aiding the accused to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.

The alleged offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (2) (d) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, it claimed.

But Senator Nwaoboshi had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Senators Deny Benefiting From NDDC Contracts

A file photo of NDDC office in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

 

Two members of the Senate have denied the allegations of benefitting from contracts of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta, Peter Nwaoboshi, and his colleague from Delta South district, Senator James Manager, denied the accusations on Monday in separate statements.

This followed claims by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, that 60 per cent of NNDC contracts were awarded to members of the National Assembly.

In his reaction, Nwaoboshi who was allegedly named in the said publication of being awarded 53 NDDC projects, challenged Akpabio to send the list to the anti-graft and other security agencies if he could prove the allegation.

READ ALSO: Ubani Challenges Reps To Prosecute Akpabio Over NDDC Contract Claims

Nwaoboshi Appeals Judgment Sacking Him As Delta North Senator-Elect
A file photo of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.

 

He described the claim as unsubstantiated and accused the minister of having an agenda to continuously blackmail him.

According to the lawmaker, this is aimed at diverting public attention away from the serious mismanagement of the NDDC allegedly by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) under his supervision and under the guise of a phantom forensic audit that has no operating timeline.

On his part, Manager maintained that he does not know of any company owned by him that has ever gone into bidding of government jobs anywhere in the world.

He also challenged his accusers to provide a detailed description of the said contracts, names of the companies, and the beneficiaries of the payments.

“Those who are alleging to defame me must be aware of the consequences,” the lawmaker warned.

The allegation by the minister had sparked outrage on the part of the lawmakers who dared him to mention the names of those who benefitted from the said contracts.

Benjamin Kalu

 

In an interview with Channels Television, the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Media Affairs and Publicity, Benjamin Kalu, had dissociated members of the lower chamber of the National Assembly from the allegation.

He explained that the minister wrote to the House and clarified that members of the 9th Assembly were not among those he was referring to.

Supreme Court Affirms Senator Peter Nwaoboshi’s Election

 

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of the Senator representing Delta North, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.

The Federal High Court had on April 3, 2019, sacked Senator Nwaoboshi in a judgement delivered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

The judgment held that Nwaoboshi who is a serving senator was not the winner of the October 2, 2018 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) primary held to select a candidate for the 2019 general election.

READ ALSO: Court Sacks Delta Senator-Elect, Nwaoboshi

Justice Mohammed subsequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Ned Nwoko as the candidate of the PDP, having established the fact before the court that Nwoko scored a majority of the lawful votes at the primary election.

The court also ordered Senator Nwaoboshi from parading himself as the candidate of the PDP for the senatorial zone.

Appeal Court Sets Aside Judgement Nullifying Senator Nwaoboshi’s Election

Nwaoboshi Appeals Judgment Sacking Him As Delta North Senator-Elect
A file photo of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.

 

The Court of Appeal has set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court which sacked Senator Peter Nwaoboshi as the senator-elect for Delta North senatorial district.

The ruling of the lower court was set aside on Thursday in a lead judgment read by Justice M. B. Idris.

Justice Idris held that after a forensic examination of the affidavits and exhibits filed, the court came to conclusions that the cause of complaint was the primary election which held in Delta North senatorial district.

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He added that at the time, Mr Ned Nwoko filed the suit challenging the primary it was status barred and did not meet the required 14 days for which a pre-election matter can be filed and the Federal High Court had no business entertaining the suit.

In April, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja held that Senator Nwaoboshi, who is a serving senator, was not the winner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) primary held on October 2, 2018.

He, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Ned Nwoko as the candidate of the PDP, having established the fact before the court that Nwoko scored a majority of the lawful votes at the primary.

Justice Mohammed had also ordered Senator Nwaoboshi from parading himself as the candidate of the PDP for the senatorial zone.

Mr Nwoko, through his counsel Ahmed Raji, had dragged INEC, the PDP, and Senator Nwaoboshi before the court.

He sought an order to stop INEC from publishing or further publishing the name of Senator Nwaoboshi as the candidate for Delta North Senatorial District.

Nwaoboshi Appeals Judgement Sacking Him As Delta North Senator-Elect

Nwaoboshi Appeals Judgment Sacking Him As Delta North Senator-Elect
A file photo of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi

 

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi has challenged the judgement which nullified his nomination as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Delta North senatorial district election.

The lawmaker, who represents the senatorial district in the National Assembly, asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja to set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court which nullified his candidacy.

In his judgement delivered on Wednesday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed held that Nwaoboshi was not the winner of the PDP primary held on October 2, 2018, to select a candidate for the 2019 general elections.

READ ALSO: Court Sacks Delta Senator-Elect, Nwaoboshi

The judge had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Ned Nwoko as the candidate of the PDP, having established the fact before the court that Nwoko scored a majority of the lawful votes in the primary.

He also ordered Senator Nwaoboshi to stop parading himself as the candidate of the PDP for the senatorial district.

Dissatisfied with the judgement, the lawmaker in the notice of appeal, listed five grounds of appeal.

In ground one, he said the learned trial judge erred in law when he held that the suit was not caught by the 14 days rule in section 285 subsection (9) of the Fourth Alternation to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended), as the primary election, which was the subject matter of the suit was conducted on October 2, 2018 and the 14 days allowed started running on the same October 2, 2018 when the primary election took place.

In ground two, the trial judge was said to have erred in law when he held that he had jurisdiction to entertain the suit despite same being filed on December 11, 2018, because the first respondent, Nwoko had earlier filed a suit before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja which he withdrew and same was struck out, because it was caught by the same 14 days rule in view of section 285(9) Fourth Alteration to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) upon the filing of a preliminary objection by the Appellant.

In ground three, Senator Nwaoboshi said that the learned trial judge erred in law when he granted prayers (3) and (4) in the originating summons in favour of Nwoko and replaced him as winner of the primary election conducted on October 2, 2018.

The ground of appeal listed the aspirants and their scores at the said primary election as follows: Paul Osagie, 216; Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (appellant), 506; Prince Ned Nwoko (First Respondent), 453; adding that the appellant clearly emerged winner with the number of votes polled as against that of the first respondent.

In ground four, the trial judge was said to have erred in law when he invoked section 167(d) of the Evidence Act, 2011 against the respondent in view of its ex-parte order of December 18, 2018, where he ordered INEC to produce the ballot papers used for the primary election of October 2, 2018, for counting without considering the appellant’s motion of  January 24, 2019, seeking to set aside the order as being a nullity.

In ground five, the lawmaker said the trial judge erred in law and exceeded his powers in deciding the suit on the basis of highly contradicted or conflicting evidence.

Senator Nwaoboshi, therefore, sought an order setting aside the judgement of the Federal High Court Abuja delivered on April 3, 2019.

Court Sacks Delta Senator-Elect, Nwaoboshi

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File photo

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has sacked the Senator-elect representing Delta North Senatorial District, Senator  Peter Nwaoboshi.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed in a Judgment delivered held that Nwaoboshi who is a serving senator was not the winner of the October 2, 2018 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) primary held to select a candidate for the 2019 general election.

Justice Mohammed subsequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Ned Nwoko as the candidate of the PDP, having established the fact before the court that Nwoko scored a majority of the lawful votes at the primary election.

READ ALSO: NJC Concludes Hearing On Petition Against Onnoghen, Tanko

The court also ordered  Senator Nwaoboshi from parading himself as the candidate of the PDP for the senatorial zone.

Mister ned Nwoko through his counsel Ahmed Raji,] had dragged INEC, PDP, and the sacked senator before the court praying for an order to stop INEC from publishing or further publishing the name of Senator Nwaoboshi as the candidate for Delta North Senatorial District.

Nwoko also asked for another order compelling the PDP to forward his name to INEC as the authentic candidate of the party for the senatorial district in the 2019 general election.

The plaintiff predicated his suit on seven grounds which was supported by a 20 paragraph affidavit evidence and five exhibits, claimed that he was screened and cleared for the Delta North Senatorial District by the PDP Electoral Committee.

He claimed among others that at the end of the primary election he scored 453 votes to defeat his closest rival, Peter Nwaoboshi who scored 405 while Paul Osaji came third with 216 votes.

Nwoko, however, claimed that to his surprise, the PDP jettisoned the result of the primary election and forwarded Nwaoboshi’s name as its candidate for the Senatorial District.

He disclosed that all efforts to redress the injustice through the party’s appeal panel were unsuccessful.

In their defense, the respondents attacked the suit of the plaintiff on the grounds that it was statute barred since it was not filed within the 14 days provided for by law.

They also claimed that the suit constituted an abuse of court process since the plaintiff had earlier filed a similar suit at the Federal Capital Territory High Court which was struck out.

However, delivering Judgment, the court held that the case of the plaintiff was not statute barred and did not also amount to forum shopping.

According to Justice Mohammed, the plaintiff’s case is not against the conduct of October 2, 2018, primary but the continuous display of the name of the third defendant (Nwaoboshi) as the candidate of the PDP for the senatorial zone for the purpose of the 2019 general election.

Justice Mohammed said he was satisfied with the Certified True Copies (CTC) of the ballot papers used for the primary election made available to the court by the plaintiff to establish his case.

The judge observed that the PDP though disputed the claims of Nwoko on the ballot papers, he said the same PD, however,r failed to produce ballot papers used for the election when ordered to do so in December 2018.

Subsequently, Justice Mohammed having held that the plaintiff has established that he is the winner of the October 2, 2018 primary is entitled to his claim and consequently granted the relief sought by Nwoko.

Okowa Explains Why Local Government Staff Are Owed Salaries

Okowa Explains Why Local Government Staff Are Owed SalariesDelta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa says salaries owed local government workers is attributed to their unique salary structure and large number of staff.

According to Governor Okowa, it is only in Delta State that some local government councils have the same salary structure with the state and federal government.

Expressing sympathy, he explained that staff of the third tier of government were suffering in the state as a result of salary arrears and noted that apart from the salary structure, some local government councils have more than 700 persons as their staff strength.

He was speaking at Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state during an electoral victory celebration and empowerment programme of the member representing the area in the Delta State House of Assembly.

Giving assurance that his administration would not encourage the sack of workers because of recession ravaging the country, Governor Okowa disclosed that the councils have adopted an approach where only verified staff and “those who come to work” are paid.

He also used the occasion to reiterate his administration’s commitment to equitable distribution of projects in the state, asserting, “We are doing a lot across the state and Deltans in Central, South and North know that I am not discriminating.

“Despite the tough time, we are doing a lot because God has given us the wisdom to utilize what we have to the benefits of our people. I am confident that our revenue will improve in 2017 and we will increase the tempo of what we are doing in the state,” the Governor said.

The Senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi; Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya, among others who spoke at the occasion commended the ingenuity of Governor Okowa and acknowledged his effective management of the resources of the state to the benefits of the people.

Governor Emmanuel Frowns At NDDC Over Project Execution

Udom-Emmanuel-Governor-Akwa-IbomAkwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has frowned at the attitude of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) towards projects execution in the state.

Governor Emmanuel made the remark when members of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs paid him a visit in the Government House in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom, on Friday.

The Governor said that having contributed over 40% to the wealth of the country through oil production as well as being the highest contributor to the NDDC fund, Akwa Ibom State deserves better treatment from the Federal Government and the NDDC.

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo, queried the claim by the Commission that it had executed 829 projects in the state since its inception and hoped that the Committee would be better informed at the end of the visit.

He called for synergy between the NDDC and governments of Niger Delta states to avoid unnecessary duplication of projects and also stressed the need for proper project supervision to achieve results.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, said that his committee, which oversees NDDC, Amnesty program and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, was in Akwa Ibom as part of its oversight function to assess the impact of the commission on the people of the region since the year 2000.

Senator Nwaoboshi added that as the Senate was about to appropriate funds for projects in 2016, the visit would help to identify the needs of the people with a view to meeting them.

Among those on the entourage was the acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Mrs Ibim Semenitari.

Delta Govt. To Partner With BDFID To Boost Agriculture

DeltaThe team leader of the British Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Terry Lacey, has identified agriculture as one of the best ways for job creation especially with the current economic downturn associated with the fall in oil prices in the international market.

He made the declaration during a business visit to the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to discuss their intention to partner with the state government in the areas of agricultural development.

They presented plans to focus on the private sector, and particularly small farmers because they are the foundation to achieving a stable and sustainable economy for the state.

According to him, if some Deltans decide to become small scale farmers, the internally generated revenue and the agriculture sector would see a tremendous boost and for this to happen the small scale farming has to be recognized by government, big scale farmers and companies.

Acknowledging that the DFID programme falls in line with the Governor’s smart agenda in the area of agricultural boost and wealth creation, he noted that keying into this programme would surely bring about a boost in the state’s agricultural produce.

Expressing satisfaction with the partnership and giving assurances of the state government’s support to the agency, Governor Okowa said that the partnership would boost his efforts towards reducing the number of unemployed people in Delta State.

He reiterated his belief that the agricultural sector was a sure way of boosting the state’s internally generated revenue as well as creating job opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.

He also mentioned that his administration was looking into how it can develop more agro based industries especially in areas with comparative advantage of agro products such as cassava and palm oil.

He added that going into agro processing entails creating market linkages which would form a key factor to the success of the agricultural sector in the state.

Delta Steel Company To Commence Full Operation

DeltaDelta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has said that the multi-billion naira Delta Steel Company, Aladja would commence full operations in 14 months’ time.

He made this revelation while addressing leaders and elders of Delta North Senatorial District (Anioma nation) who paid him a solidarity visit at Government House, Asaba.

According to the Governor when the steel company becomes fully operational, it would add value to his administration’s commitment to job creation for Delta citizens, disclosing that he had a fruitful discussion with the new owners of the company on the revamping of the steel company during the recent India/Africa Business summit he attended with President Muhammadu Buhari in India.

He also believes that in another 12 to 14 months, the DSC would come alive again with many other companies in the state.

While thanking the people of Delta North for their support and show of solidarity to his administration, the Governor urged the people of Anioma to remain united and cooperate with all ethnic nationalities to move the state forward.

He asserted that the leaders must show examples to their followers so as to engender peace in their areas.

Earlier, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who spoke on behalf of the Anioma people said that their visit was to show solidarity and support to Governor Okowa.

They congratulated him on his victory at the election petition tribunal, observing that Deltans overwhelmingly voted for the Governor.

Senator Nwaoboshi told the Governor that political leaders and their followers in Anioma have resolved to support his administration to realise vision of prosperity for all Deltans.

Accord Accuses PDP Of Stealing Its Victory In Delta

AccordWhile the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP ) in Delta State consolidates and relishes the massive win it recorded in the state, the Delta State chapter of the Accord has vowed to contest the result of Delta North senatorial election.

The Accord has alleged that the PDP stole its victory at the polls by manipulating the results.

The Chairman of Accord in the state, David Ashikodi, said that they have proof that the election results in Delta North were manipulated in favour of the PDP to rig out their party’s candidate, Victor Ochei, who the party said was coasting to victory.

According to the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Ochei came second behind the PDP’s candidate, Peter Nwaoboshi.

“Due democratic process was not followed, there were so many anomalies that were anti-democracy,” Ashikodi said.

The Accord, however, added that it is considering contesting the result as announced by INEC.