Anambra PDP: Pro-Oguebego Candidates Demand Certificates Of Return

AnambraArising from the Supreme Court judgement that affirmed Mr Ejike Oguebego as the Anambra State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), senatorial candidates of the pro-Oguebego faction are asking INEC to issue them certificates of return.

Both Mr Chris Uba and the other two senatorial candidates on the list submitted to INEC as candidates to the election are asking the electoral umpire to issue them certificates of return.

The Anambra South Senatorial Candidate, Chris Uba said, “The judgment of the Supreme Court is very straight forward. It is for INEC to issue us our certificate of return.”

“INEC should do the needful next week, we cannot waste any more time. My lawyers are not wasting time. I can personally go there and demand my certificate because it is my right,” said the Anambra North Senatorial Candidate,  John Emeka.

The Anambra Central Senatorial Candidate, Mr Annie Okonkwo, explained why they believe they are the authentic candidates of the party, recognized by the party exco in the state.

“The party submitted our names, INEC published these names. The deadline of substitution had passed; you cannot change or remove any candidate and there was no death.

“INEC already finished what they were supposed to do, then our names were removed few days to the election after we had finished campaigning for the elections,” he stated.

We Remain Senators

AnambraThis request is coming at a time when senators already representing the state insist that the apex court judgement had nothing to do with them.

Senator Andy Uba had said in an earlier interview with Channels Television that the primary election for senatorial candidates of the PDP in Anambra State was conducted at the national level and not by the state exco.

Therefore, he remains the Senator representing Anambra South in the Senate.

Former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, also debunked reports that the Supreme Court has nullified her election into the Senate based on interpretations of the Supreme Court ruling.

AnambraThere had been reports earlier on Friday that the Supreme Court had sacked the two Senators from Anambra State nearly two months after a third Senator from the state, Uche Ekwunife, was sacked.

Oduah said, “In all its entirety, it is false. I have gone through the court judgment and the judge clearly did not give any judgement to that effect.

“Indeed, what the judgment and the case is all about is state exco and as we all know, state exco do not do election, neither do they submit list.

“So the issue of emergence of candidate, and the issue of candidates that won election was not the issue of this particular case.”

Andy Uba Insists He Is Still Anambra South Senator

Andy UbaSenator Andy Uba says the primary election for senatorial candidates of the PDP in Anambra State was conducted at the national level and not by the state exco.

Therefore, he remains the Senator representing Anambra South in the Senate.

This was in reaction to the report that the Supreme Court had sacked two Senators from Anambra State, Stella Oduah and Andy Uba, nearly two months after a third Senator from the state, Uche Ekwunife, was sacked.

Just like her colleague, Stella Odua had earlier said, Mr Andy Uba also told Channels Television that the Supreme Court judgment which re-affirmed Ejike Oguebego as Anambra PDP Chairman does not affect their seats in the National Assembly.

“It is the national that conducts primaries, not the state. So the issue of him being the one that we came under does not exist,” Uba said.

Asides reaffirming the chairmanship of Oguebego, the Supreme Court also declared the list of candidates submitted by the Ken Emekayi-faction illegal.

Mr Uba said, “The judgment is very clear. The Supreme Court did not get into the issue of nomination or who is supposed to be sitting in the Senate. All they did was to deal with the issue of who is the authentic chairman of PDP.”

He noted, “When he went to court, Ejike Oguebego was not discussing the primaries or who the candidate was. What he wanted was for him to be restored as Chairman of PDP.

“Court did not say that we were being removed or it affected our seats as Senators of the Federal Republic or members of the National Assembly.”

Senator Uba also explained that a consequential order was not made in regards to the case.

“If the Supreme Court thought that we were wrong in where we are or that we came through a false means they would have made a consequential order to remove us,” he affirmed.


Stella Oduah Debunks Reports Of Supreme Court Sacking

Stella OduahAnambra Senator and Former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, has debunked reports that the Supreme Court has nullified her election into the Senate.

There had been reports earlier on Friday that the Supreme Court had sacked two Senators from Anambra State, Stella Oduah and Andy Uba, nearly two months after a third Senator from the state, Uche Ekwunife, was sacked.

This was following the Supreme Court ruling which re-affirmed the chairmanship of Ejike Oguebego as the authentic State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State.

The Supreme Court also declared the list of candidates submitted by the Ken Emekayi-faction illegal.

But in an interview with Channels Television to clarify the implication of the judgement on her election into the Senate, Oduah said, “In all its entirety, it is false.

“I have gone through the court judgment and the judge clearly did not give any judgement to that effect.

“Indeed, what the judgment and the case is all about is state exco and as we all know, state exco do not do election, neither do they submit list.

“So the issue of emergence of candidate, and the issue of candidates that won election was not the issue of this particular case.”

She added that there is a “sister case” for which the Supreme Court has given a similar judgment but they were not related.

“The Judge was very clear on its judgment and it clearly says its not about who emerges or the election but about the legality of the excos,” she said.

Oduah was a former Aviation Minister, who resigned her position to pursue her political ambition while Mr Uba was a former Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Domestic Affairs.

All the Senators from Anambra State, including Mrs Ekwunife, emerged on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Oduah said that she was initially baffled when the news of her supposed sacking reached her.

“I was shocked because I knew we went through the right process and its only national executive that submits list to INEC. So the judgment was not against us the candidates of PDP.”

The Anambra State PDP Chairman, Mr Oguebego, had sued on behalf of themselves and others including Mr Chris Uba, who is the Anambra South Senatori­al Zone candidate for the apex court to determine who were the legal and validly nominated can­didates of the party to stand for the last general elections for the party in the state.

Going by the ruling, the list of nominated party candidates in the last election from the Oguebego-led executive of the Anambra PDP is the only one to be recognised by the INEC.

Protest Trails APC Anambra Central Senatorial Primary

APCRumours of the disqualification of an aspirant in the Anambra Central Senatorial Primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs Uche Ekwunife, who defected to the party few weeks ago, have triggered protests ahead of the primary election.

At the venue of the election in Awka, Anambra State capital, hundreds of delegates converged to participate in the exercise ahead of the February election for Anambra Central Senatorial Seat.

But no party electoral official was in sight to confirm the conduct of the exercise before the protest broke out from the camps of Mrs Ekwunife and her opponent, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor.

Uche Ekwunife election was nullified by a court few weeks ago

While the delegates waited at the former Tourist Garden Hotel, along the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, news broke that one of the contenders in the primary had been disqualified.

Mrs Ekwunife had defected to APC on the wake of the Peoples Democratic Party’s refusal to conduct its primary election in agitation over the arrest and detention of the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh.

She was alleged to have been disqualified by the party during screening for having not been a member of the party for a required period of time.

The story received spontaneous reaction of rejection.

First the youths protested and then the women lent their voices to the matter.

From the camp of Mrs Ikeazor, the former Pioneer National Woman Leader of the APC and a foundation member of the party in the state, youths and women also reacted and maintained it would not be fair to deny the aspirant the party ticket for all she had done for the party.

In the midst of the controversy, it was gathered that the APC Party Primary Committee had not communicate to any of the aspirants on whether or not any of them had been disqualified.

Meanwhile, activities suggesting the conduct of the primary are still on at the venue slated for the primary in Awka.

Ekwunife Defects To APC Before Fresh Poll

EkwunifeA former Senator, who represented Anambra Central Senatorial District before her election was annulled by a court, Uche Ekwunife, has defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Mrs Ekwunife, in an interview with Channels Television on Friday, said she defected because the senatorial primaries were shifted indefinitely by her former party, the PDP in protest over the arrest of the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Tuesday, January 5, arrested the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh.

A statement issued by the Special Assistant to Mr Metuh stated that he was arrested on Tuesday morning at about 10:00AM at his home by four officials of the EFCC and was taken away in an unmarked white Hiace bus.

The statement added that the officials told the opposition party spokesman that he was being invited on a friendly note to answer questions at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

Mrs Ekwunife added that since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said there could not be fresh candidate for the election, shifting the primaries, where she would have been endorsed for the exercise, might affect her candidacy under the PDP.

According to her, she decided to take a walk to the APC to actualise her ambition.

Mrs Ekwunife added that she is returning to the Senate to complete her contract with the people in her  senatorial district.

The Appeal Court sitting in Enugu, the Enugu State capital, had on December 6 ordered the INEC to conduct a fresh election in the district within 90 days.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Datijo Yahaya said that the election of Mrs Ekwunife on March 28, 2015, did not meet the prescription of the Electoral Act.

Mrs Ekwunife had contested alongside the APC candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, who is now the Minister of Labour and may not be vying for the Senatorial seat.

Anambra Senatorial Candidates Clash Over Appeal Court Judgment

Uche Ekwunife and Victor UmehThe Anambra Central Senatorial seat candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh, has cautioned his opponent and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Ekwunife, to desist from further moves ahead of the fresh election ordered by the Appeal Court in the senatorial zone.

According to Umeh, the judgment cited that Mrs Ekwunife was not a product of a valid party primary and therefore, was disqualified from running in the race as there was no window for primaries again.

Reacting to the development, Mrs Ekwunife advised Mr Umeh to desist from illusion and seek better interpretation to the judgment as she is still in the race as soon as her party, the PDP, concludes its upcoming primary slated for January 9 in which she expressed confidence that it would be in her favor.

The Court of Appeal had on December 7, upheld the suit brought to it by the APGA candidate, and nullified Senator Ekwunife’s election as Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone on the basis that she was not a product of a valid party primary and therefore not duly and legitimately nominated.

The court ordered for a fresh election within 90 days of the judgment.

Senate Committee Inspects Federal Highways In Anambra

AnambraThe Senate Adhoc Committee on Works has stormed Anambra State to inspect the federal highway and the erosion devastated sites.

This was the result of the joint outcry by the people of Anambra State and the motion moved by the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone of Anambra State, Uche Ekwunife, calling for immediate intervention of the federal government on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway which has collapsed completely as well as assistance in checking the increasing devastation of erosion in the state.

The leader of the delegation, Senator Barnabas Gemade, expressed surprise at the extent of dilapidation on the expressway as well as the magnitude of erosion in the state. He raised the alarm for urgent attention to prevent continued fatalities in the affected areas.

The inspection commenced from Amansea axis of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

They also inspected the Awka to Nkpor road in spite of the difficulty they went through accessing the highway which had been described as a slaughter slab by Professor Emeka Anyaoku in 2009.

At Nkpor flyover where erosion had destroyed the dual carriageway with two service lanes completed by the federal government just two years ago, the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee decried the extent of devastation and urged the state government to write an application to the Ecological Office in Abuja immediately and access funds to embark on palliatives.

He also gave an assurance of strong recommendations from the Senate for the actual intervention from federal government.

The team also visited the Nanka Erosion site before finally visiting the State Governor, Willie Obiano.

During their brief interaction, the Governor further highlighted the challenges of the state with high hopes of immediate intervention and he got more assurances from the leader of the team, Senator Barnabas Gemade.

Ekwunife Seeks Support For PDP In Anambra’s Awka-north

Uche_EkwunifeThe Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, Uche Ekwunife, has assured residents of the area of her readiness to attract developmental projects as well as be a strong voice for her people if elected Senator in the February 14 National Assembly election.

Ekwunife gave the assurance during her ward tour of Awka North and South Local Government Areas of Anambra State which are in the central senatorial district.

Anambra state is an APGA controlled state, but she urged the people to wake up from being at the periphery and aspire to be at the center which voting PDP would guarantee. She solicited votes for President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term in office, stressing that it would be a stepping stone to getting to the center.

In her ambition to represent the people of Anambra Central Senatorial Zone in the red chamber, she explained to the people that Anambra Central Senatorial District was made up of seven Local Government Areas in which Idemili Local Government area had produced senators for four times, Awka and Njikoka have also taken their shots with the exception of Anaocha and Dunukofia.

Ekwunife said in all of the representations, no woman had ever been elected.

She, therefore, urged them to allow a female representation with quality this time and feel the difference.

The people also expressed their support for the woman they described as an Amazon.

House Committee Recommends Sanitation And Hygiene To Curb Ebola

The Ministry of Environment at the instance of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment has declared a national emergency on sanitation and hygiene, as part of measures to curb the spread of Ebola virus.

This was the aftermath of an environmental intervention meeting convened by the Committee on Environment to brainstorm with relevant authorities on appropriate actions to curb the spread of the Ebola disease in Nigeria.

Key among the issues raised were the need to tackle the root cause of the spread, reduce animals to human contact in Nigeria and widespread enlightenment on sanitation and hygiene.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Environment, Uche Ekwunife, said that the Ebola disease was environment related and Nigeria’s concentration on curative care instead of prevention might be counter-productive.

She charged environmental health officers to carry out fumigation of public places nationwide to reduce the habitation of bats and other pests.

Officers from the environmental health council and the national park took it a step further by asking for immediate review of  waste disposal system and testing of host animals, such as bats, to ensure Nigerian communities were safe.

Other recommendations made by the health officials were the control of avoidable public crowd, public enlightenment to stop Nigerians from the culture of visiting sick relatives or lying in state at burials when the cause of death is not certain and the reduction of the population of bats in Nigeria.

Ekwunife Dumps APGA For PDP To Continue Political Career

Uche EkwunifeMember representing Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency of Anambra State in Federal House of Representatives, Uche Ekwunife, has dumped the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Ekwunife, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Environment, gathered the APGA ward and local government executives of her constituency together in the first official meeting to announce her exit from APGA at her campaign office along the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

She said that her exit was not borne out of any issue between her and the party but out of her desire to forge ahead without anybody destroying her political future.

The excited Ekwunife, before the announcement, danced with party members who were obviously happy with their representative but when the news was broken, it was tears for many.

She assured the party members of her commitment to continue representing effectively, the largest constituency in Nigeria with three local government areas, 51 INEC electoral wards and 621 polling units, having moved several motions and bills in the House as well as attracted so many infrastructural developments to the constituency.

Honorable Ekwunife also intimated her constituents of the exit of four out of the five APGA House of Representatives members that included, Cyril Egwuatu of Onitsha North and South, Afam Ogene of Ogbaru, Chris Azubogu of Nnewi North/South and Ekwusigo and herself.

Uche Ekwunife won the APGA ticket to run for the Federal House of Representatives in 2011 having lost in the governorship election of February 6, 2011 on the platform of the Peoples Progressive Alliance, PPA.

In the Anambra governorship election of 2013, she lost in the controversial primaries of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, part of which may be her dissatisfaction to discontinue with the party hence her moving into the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.


House Endorses Prisons, Constituency Development Fund Bills, Others

House_repsThe House of Representatives has endorsed a harmonized report on a bill for an act to repeal the Prisons Act 2004, to make comprehensive provisions for the administration and reforms of prisons in Nigeria.

The amendment to the Prisons Act, when signed into law, would enhance the administration of the criminal justice system and the efficient management of the Prisons Service.

The House also passed for a second reading, a bill for an act to establish a Constituency Development Fund which seeks to ensure even development of all constituencies in the federation especially in the rural areas.

Sponsor of the bill, Ben Nwankwo, argued that with 70 percent of Nigerians residing in the rural area the bill would ensure good governance reaches the crucial areas.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Environment met with Shell Petroleum and Ministries, Departments and Agencies supervising the petroleum industry to find out why the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report and recommendations on Ogoni land have not been implemented 4 years after it was submitted to the President.

Chairman of the Committee, Uche Ekwunife, said that the indigenes of Ogoni land were running out of patience and the implementation of the 76 recommendations of that report must commence so they are not frustrated into taking the laws into their hands.

House Committee Wants Sachamori Drainage Redesigned

The Federal House Committee on Environment has called for the redesigning of the Sacamori drainage and also a review of the cost of the ongoing dredging project at Fegge Onitsha, Anambra State.

The Chairman of the committee and member representing Anaocha, Njikoka, and Dunukofia in the House of Representatives, Uche Ekwunife, made this request when the committee inspected the Sacamori project at Fegge Onitsha, accompanied by Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi.

The project was awarded in November 2011 at the contract sum of 1.2billion Naira and was expected have been completed by June 2013. Inspecting the project at Fegge Onitsha, what greeted the committee members was a drainage filled with all kinds of waste and refuse.

The Committee Chairman stated the terms of inspection and demanded answers to questions concerning the execution of the project.

The State Governor, who accompanied the committee members, explained the difficulties posed by the drainage and the various efforts from the state until the Federal Government intervened.

The drainage, which was filled with both solid and liquid waste had become a haven for pigs, and it was said that this was no fault of the contractors, as they were indeed working but the residents of the area were not helping matters.

The contractor also said that 80% of the project had been completed while only 65% costs had only been paid to him. He said that he had written to relevant authorities on the need for the scope of the project to be widened to ensure a total and permanent solution to the flooding menace.

Summarizing the committee’s findings, the Chairman stated that the entire essential components of the project that would really check flooding and erosion in the project area were not captured in the present contract. He made clear that except a second phase of the project was well designed and awarded soon enough to provide a permanent solution to the environmental challenge; the first effort of the project would soon be devastated by flood.

She said that the ecological fund has the responsibility to ensure that the project was comprehensively and effectively executed to serve the desired purpose.

Honourable Ekwunife disclosed to the contractor that he had outstanding payment of 202million Naira and urged him to work with speed while the second phase process undergoes consideration.