Presidency 2023: I Can Enhance Nigeria’s Unity – Rochas Okorocha

Okorocha Sets Up 21-Member Transition Committee
A file photo of Senator Rochas Okorocha.

 

The lawmaker representing Imo West district in the National Assembly, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has said that if given the chance to rule Nigeria come 2023, he will enhance the unity of the nation.

Okorocha, who stated this on Tuesday while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm, said Nigerians believe in his capability to unite the country based on his antecedents.

“Most Nigerians believe in me because of some of the key issues I have raised – which ranges from the unity of this country, for us to enhance the unity of this country; I can do that and Nigerians believe me for that,” Senator Okorocha said.

“They believe that when Rochas says he will unite the country if made the president, he will do so, primarily because of my track records or what I have done across the whole nation. I don’t segregate tribe or religion; I only see Nigeria,” the lawmaker said.

READ ALSO: [2023] Rise Against Devilish Alliance Of Exploiters, Prof Jega Urges Nigerians

Okorocha added that one major idea that he is pushing is that ahead of 2023, Nigerians must look at who cares for them and who can really make the unity of the country stronger.

The former Imo State governor said he did set himself apart from all others when he served his people, adding that prior to when he was governor and afterward, he showed a great love for the masses and the country as a whole.

“I have been able to prove that I have a compassionate heart, that I really care and I love this country – especially the needy, the poor, the widows, I have been able to listen to their cries through my foundation.

“I have done a lot across the nation, irrespective of tribe or religion. I do not see tribes, I see Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking on some of the things he will do if elected the next president of Nigeria, Okorocha said he will replicate the successes he achieved as governor of Imo State.

For him, one major priority will be to ensure that education must be made free and every child must be seen as a child of Nigeria, regardless of his or her tribe or religion.

“First and foremost, the 14.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, I will, first of all, adopt them as my children, so that I will send them back to school, even if I have to sacrifice everything.”

Okorocha also said as president he will use his “Youth Must Work” imitative to see that young people do not remain idle.

He went on to say that his administration will adopt what is termed “Community Government”, a system that would empower traditional rulers to play a vital role in governance.

Redefining ‘democracy’ as – “government of the people, by the people, for the people and with the people,” the Senator stressed that he will give traditional rulers a key role to play because if the nation can get it right at the community level, then the nation will stronger.

Cameroon Senator Killed In Restive Anglophone Region

 

An opposition senator was shot dead in western Cameroon where a bloody insurgency has been waged by anglophone separatists against the state, his party and an official said.

Lawmaker Henry Kemende, whose body was found Wednesday, “was killed (overnight) by unidentified armed assailants”, a local communications ministry official confirmed on condition of anonymity.

He had been a lawyer and lawmaker for the Social Democratic Front (SDF), one of Cameroon’s main opposition parties.

The killing happened in Bamenda, a major town in the country’s northwest region which, along with the southwest, has seen a spate of insurgent violence by members of the regions’ anglophone minority against the predominantly French-speaking security forces.

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“We recovered his body, his chest riddled with bullets,” Joshua Osih, the vice president of the SDF, confirmed to AFP.

The vehicle in which the victim was travelling at the time of the attack had “disappeared”, he added.

A senate official who requested anonymity confirmed the information to AFP.

No one had come forward to claim the killing as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We assume it’s the ‘Ambazonians’,” Osih suggested, referring to the armed anglophone insurgent groups.

Cameroon has been torn by violence since October 2017, when militants declared an independent state in the northwest and southwest, home to most of the anglophone minority in the majority French-speaking country.

Both the separatists and government forces have been accused of atrocities in the fighting, which has killed more than 3,000 people and forced over 700,000 to flee their homes.

Armed groups are regularly accused of abducting, killing, or injuring civilians whom they accuse of “collaborating” with Cameroonian authorities.

Several SDF leaders have been targeted previously including John Fru Ndi, the party’s president.

Fru Ndi has run several times against President Paul Biya, 88, who has ruled the country with an iron grip for nearly 40 years.

Osih said separatist elements opposed the SDF because it is a predominantly English-speaking party that participates in the political process and is opposed to the partition of Cameroon. 14Z4DQ

It is the third-largest party in the national assembly, the lower house which, like the senate, is dominated by Biya’s RDPC party.

NGOs and the UN accuse Biya of repressing dissent in the English-speaking areas as well as clamping down hard on political opponents.

AFP

Italian Senator Without COVID-19 Pass Suspended

File photo of Laura Granato.

 

An Italian senator was suspended Tuesday for ten days after entering the Senate building in Rome without a coronavirus “Green Pass”, which is now mandatory in all workplaces.

Laura Granato, a former member of the once anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) who joined a breakaway group, will be deprived of her daily allowance for the ten days.

The 51-year-old was allowed into the Senate but later reported for refusing to show her “Green Pass”, which offers proof of a coronavirus vaccination, negative test or recent recovery from Covid-19.

She had been due to attend a parliamentary meeting on the Green Pass, which she condemned to reporters as a “certificate of obedience”.

Since Friday, the pass has been required of all public and private sector workers, in one of the toughest coronavirus regimes in the world.

The measure is intended to boost vaccination rates and avoid further shutdowns, but has sparked pockets of fierce resistance.

Almost 86 percent of Italians over the age of 12 have received at least one vaccine jab, but up to three million workers are believed to be unvaccinated.

They must pay themselves for a regular Covid tests to be able to work, or be declared absent without pay.

gab/ar/bp

Lagos Senator, Bayo Osinowo, Is Dead

A file photo of late Senator Bayo Osiniwo. Photo: [email protected]

 

 

The lawmaker representing Lagos East senatorial district, Senator Bayo Osinowo, is dead.

A close source to the late senator confirmed the news to Channels Television on Monday.

According to him, Senator Osinowo died in the morning at the age of 64.

He was a four-term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

The late lawmaker was elected into the Senate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on February 23, during the last general elections.

Until his death, he served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Investment.

Senator Accuses Military Of Abandoning Constituency In Sokoto

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of troops.

 

 

The lawmaker representing Sokoto East senatorial district, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, has accused the military of abandoning the people of his constituency in the time of distress.

He made the allegation during plenary on Tuesday at the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

In his contribution to a motion raised by Senator Sabi Abdullahi, the lawmaker decried that the alleged abandonment of the people has exposed them to attacks by bandits.

Earlier, Senator Abdullahi in his motion drew the attention of the Senate to the activities of bandits in Niger State.

He had also called on the Federal Government to extend its ongoing military operations in Zamfara and Katsina States to flush out bandits in Niger State.

On his part, Senator Gobir criticised the military, saying many of the people in Sokoto have fled to the Niger Republic for safety.

He also accused the military of not responding to distress calls from the people when bandits attack their communities.

According to the lawmaker, the people of Sokoto have lost thousands of cattle worth N2.5 billion to attacks by bandits.

He added that the activities of the bandits have displaced about 5,000 people in Basira area along the border between Nigeria and the Niger Republic.

In their resolution, lawmakers in the Senate commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his proactive leadership and directives on security amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They, however, appealed to him to direct the military to extend their operations to Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara, Sokoto, and other states where the bandits were attacking innocent citizens.

The Senate also resolved to ask the military authorities to increase their surveillance and track the bandits.

US Senator Rand Paul Tests Positive For Coronavirus

US Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, walks to participate in a series of votes related to a bill in response to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, March 18, 2020. – The US Senate easily passed a $100 billion emergency package on March 18 to help American workers hit hard financially by the coronavirus crisis. SAUL LOEB / AFP.

 

Rand Paul, a critic of emergency coronavirus spending, has become the first US senator to test positive for COVID-19, the Republican lawmaker’s office said Sunday.

A statement from a staff member said he was in quarantine but remained asymptomatic.

As US senators work on a multi-trillion-dollar rescue package to help the US economy hit hard by the pandemic, Paul has at least twice voted against such emergency funding.

Paul, who is 57, is the third member of Congress known to have contracted the virus. Two members of the House of Representatives — Ben McAdams of Utah and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida — earlier announced positive tests.

Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky, “is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events,” said the statement from his staff.

It said Paul was not aware of any direct contact with an infected person. It added that the senator’s Washington office had begun operating remotely 10 days ago, so “virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Paul.”

It was not clear exactly when he was tested.

READ ALSO: Merkel In Quarantine After Meeting Virus-infected Doctor

On Wednesday, Paul voted against a $100 billion stimulus package designed to combat the virus.

The bill, which passed by a 90-8 vote, called for free virus testing and paid sick leave for some displaced workers.

The senator, a deficit hawk, argued that Congress should pay for the measure by cutting funding for wars or other “frivolous” programs, the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal reported.

He urged his colleagues to “stop being a rubber stamp for wasteful spending.”

Earlier in the month, he opposed a bipartisan $8 billion plan for emergency coronavirus funding.

AFP

UPDATED: Court Reaffirms Sack Of Ifeanyi Ubah As Senator

Ubah Accuses PDP Of Injustice, Says 'I Have Not Gained Anything'
A file photo of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

 

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in the Bwari area of Abuja has reaffirmed the sack of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

Senator Ubah was the lawmaker representing Anambra South district in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

In a ruling on Friday, Justice Bello Kawu refused to reverse the judgement of the court delivered in December which removed Ubah as a member of the Senate.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Upholds Ifeanyi Ubah’s Election

He, however, ordered that Mr Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had challenged Ubah’s victory in the February 23 poll, be recognised as the winner of the election.

The judge also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Uzoh, the applicant, as the senator-elect in the district.

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

Among other claims, the PDP candidate alleged that his YPP counterpart presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) secondary school certificate to INEC, which enabled him to contest the Anambra South senatorial election.

He also insisted that Ubah’s party should be disqualified for not conducting a primary for its candidates in the poll.

In his judgement, Justice Kawu sacked Ubah and declared that the second defendant in the suit – the YPP – did not have the locus standi, and should not have participated in the election.

Reacting to the judgment, the National Chairman of YPP, Mr Bishop Amakiri, said his party would appeal the decision of the court.

According to him, the court erred in law on the ground that the party was never served with the court processes.

Amakiri added that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain and enter judgment in favour of Mr Uzoh who he said never participated in the senatorial election.

Appeal Court Affirms Okorocha’s Election As Senator

Okorocha Sets Up 21-Member Transition Committee
A file photo of Senator Rochas Okorocha.

 

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital has upheld the election of Senator Rochas Okorocha as the lawmaker representing Imo West district.

Justice R. Ada who chaired a panel of judges in the case read the judgement on Thursday.

The court, however, held that the appeals filed by Senator Osita Izunaso of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked merit.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Affirms El-Rufai’s Election As Kaduna Governor

Both men had challenged the election of the former governor who contested the February 23 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The appellate court, however, ruled that the judgement of the Election Petitions Tribunal which upheld Senator Okorocha’s election was in order.

It noted that the petitioners were unable to prove their allegations of over-voting, mutilation of electoral results, violence, and the hijacking of electoral officers.

The court added the allegation of declaring the results under duress as claimed by the returning officer in the poll could not be proved.

Tribunal Upholds Suswam’s Election As Senator

Alleged N3.1bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Suswam's Trial Over Absence Of Lawyer
A file photo of Senator Gabriel Suswam.

 

 

The Election Petitions Tribunal in sitting in Makurdi, Benue State has upheld the victory of Senator Gabriel Suswam in the Benue North-East senatorial district election.

The three-man panel led by Justice A. O. Odugu upheld Senator Suswam’s victory on Tuesday while ruling on the petition filed by Mimi Orubibi, challenging the election of the former governor in the February 23 polls.

It dismissed the petition of the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for noncompliance to section 138 of the electoral act, in the formulation of issue one.

The Tribunal also dismissed the petition for the failure of the petitioner to prove allegations of criminality in the electoral process – vote rigging and buying, polling unit by polling unit, in the formulation of issue two.

It, therefore, awarded the cost of N100,000 against the petitioner and upheld the victory of Senator Suswam who contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Meanwhile, counsels to Senator Suswam, Andrew Wombo, and that of Orubibi, Frank Noomor, have reacted to the ruling of the Tribunal.

They disagreed on the interpretation of Section 138 of the Electoral Act and the need to test the outcome of the judgment at the Court of Appeal.

VIDEO: Senator Abbo Begs For Forgiveness

 

Less than 24 hours after a video in which the Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District, Ishaku Abbo was seen assaulting a woman, went viral, he has come out to apologise.

He made the apology at a press conference at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) headquarters in Abuja.

The Senator who was close to tears at the briefing asked for forgiveness from the victim, as well as Nigerians, saying it is not in his character to assault women.

Senator Abbo Apologises, Begs For Forgiveness

 

The senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District, Senator Ishaku Abbo, has apologised to Nigerians, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and women in general, following a viral video in which he was seen physically assaulting a lady.

He made the apology at a press conference at the PDP headquarters in Abuja.


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The Senator who was close to tears at the briefing asked for forgiveness, saying it is not in his character to assault women.

Abbo was spotted in a sex toy shop (in a video which was exclusively released by Premium Times on Monday), hitting a woman after she pleaded with him not to physically assault the shop owner whom he had accused of insulting him.

The viral video immediately sparked outrage with many Nigerians calling for his prosecution and urging the Senate to also discipline him.

Court Asked To Sack Adeleke As Senator, Order Salary Refund

Court Asked To Sack Adeleke As Senator, Order Salary Refund
A file photo of Senator Ademola Adeleke. Photo: [email protected]

 

Two persons, Akinwale Olaniyi and Akinjide Monsuru, have filed an application seeking the disqualification of Senator Adeleke Adeleke as the lawmaker representing Osun West Senatorial district.

The claimants lodged the suit on Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

They sought that the court restrains Senator Adeleke from further parading himself as the lawmaker representing Osun West senatorial district in the National Assembly.

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The claimants also prayed for an order of the court directing the lawmaker to refund all salaries, allowances, and other emoluments he had received as a senator.

They filed the suit pursuant to Section 65(2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution, and the judgment of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Bwari, delivered on April 2, 2019.

Listed as respondents are Senator Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Nigerian Senate, the Senate President, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

No date has been fixed for mention.

Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court had held that Senator Adeleke did not possess the minimum qualification of being educated up to secondary level, as stipulated under Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution.

He added that the results the lawmaker attached to his form CF001, which he submitted to INEC, and used in contesting the governorship election in Osun State, were fake.

Olaniyi and Monsuru had, thereafter, asked the Federal High Court to direct INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the lawmaker as the senator representing Osun West senatorial district.

But Senator Adeleke had challenged the judgment at the Court of Appeal.

Read the details of the suit below: