The embattled governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, on Sunday visited his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Governor Udom Emmanuel.
During the visit to the Government House in Uyo, the state capital, both governors met behind closed doors.
However, details of the meeting were not known as the two governors refused to address reporters at the end of the meeting.
The meeting held amid speculations that Governor Obaseki may defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
On Friday last week, the APC Screening Committee disqualified Governor Obaseki from participating in the party’s primary election for the forthcoming Edo State governorship poll.
This decision was later affirmed by the Appeal Committee of the party, although the embattled governor had said he would not appeal his disqualification.
The development was said to be a fallout of the lingering dispute between the governor and the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, but the latter said the party was following its constitution.
Just before his visit to Akwa Ibom, Governor Obaseki had met with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, another PDP governor.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has signed the COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, which declared COVID-19 a dangerous infectious disease.
In a statement issued on Monday by the Commissioner of Information in the state, Charles Udoh, the governor exercised the powers conferred on him by “Sections 4 and 8 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 1 (1) (c) of the Akwa Ibom State Infectious Disease(Control of Spread) Law, 2014, and all other enabling powers.”
Governor Emmanuel noted that the new law which covers the entire 32 Local Government Areas of the state is in “view of the serious and imminent threat to Public Health by the pandemic COVID-19, a dangerous infectious disease within the meaning and intendment of Section 2 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
“The whole area of land mass and water that constitute Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria consisting of thirty-one (31) Local Government Areas is hereby declared a Local Health Area.
“It is hereby declared that COVID-19 is a Dangerous Infectious Disease within the meaning and intendment of Section 2 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004, constitutes a serious and imminent threat to the public Health of the people in the Local Area,” the statement read in part.
The governor also restricted the movement of persons and vehicles to further prevent the spread of disease in the state.
The directives ensure that: commercial tricycles shall carry not more than two passengers only; mini buses shall carry not more than one passenger per row; and a private vehicle shall carry not more than two persons at the back seat and one on the front Seat.
“All public burials, public weddings, and other forms of public gatherings are for the time being hereby prohibited.
“All places of religious worship, churches, and mosques shall strictly observe the social distancing prescription of a minimum of one metre spacing and not more than twenty persons per gathering. In addition, hand washing facility with running water, soap and sanitizer shall be made available,” the governor said.
Although the government placed a ban on all public parks, shops, eateries, clubs, restaurants, markets and offices within the state, it however granted waiver on those selling foodstuffs, drugs and other essential commodities.
According to the Commissioner, the state government will prosecute anyone found culpable of disobeying the directive in accordance with the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Akwa Ibom State Infectious Disease (Control of Spread) Law, 2014 or any other applicable law in that regard.
The Apex Court has upheld the re-election of Aminu Masari of Katsina State and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom State.
In the case of Katsina State, Justice Iyang Okoro, held that the appellant, Senator Garba Lado of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Masari did not qualify to participate in the election.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has called on the opposition in Akwa Ibom to join him in developing the state.
He made the call on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ekerete Udoh, shortly after the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo affirmed his victory in the March 9 governorship election.
The governor said, “To my fellow brothers and sisters on the opposite end of the political divide, I am extending my hand of fellowship again to join me in building a state that would be the pride of us all –an economically viable, infrastructurally developed, morally sound and forward-looking state where the abiding cords of our unity and brotherhood will be strengthened.”
“In every political contest, a winner must emerge and the loser must accept the verdict of the people.
“The Akwa Ibom people have spoken; they spoke loudly and clearly on March 9, 2019, by overwhelmingly re-electing me to a second term,” he added.
According to Governor Emmanuel, the time has come for the people to come together and move the state forward.
He noted that the ‘Completion Agenda’ was an Akwa Ibom Agenda, stressing that the people must all be invested in its execution.
The governor further commended the Tribunal’s judgement and dedicated his victory to God and the good people the state.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to thank our only God who saw us through the campaigns, the elections and the victory without any loss of lives.
“This could only have happened because we believe in God and His presence and guidance has never departed and will never depart from this State.”
“To you, my dear and great Akwaibomites, thank you for the love, faith, belief and trust you have shown me, your prayers and hope in my capacity to take this state to a place and point that would stand out as a source of reference in what an inspired and people-centric governance can and should be,” Emmanuel added.
The trial of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro (SAN) has started with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), calling its first prosecution witness.
Before this, Justice Rilwan Aikawa had struck out an application filed by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel seeking to stay the proceedings and adjourn indefinitely pending the verdict of the Appeal Court on his challenge to a decision delivered on May 30.
On that day, Justice Aikawa had dismissed the governor’s application challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the money laundering charge filed against the NBA President.
Justice Aikawa held that Governor Udom’s application lacked merit because he was not a party to the suit.
After resisting the move to adjourn the proceedings, the court ordered the EFCC to call its first prosecution witness.
The First Prosecution Witness, Udom Idongesit, a Relationship Manager with Zenith Bank, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State told the court how she came to open an account for the defendant, Mr Paul Usoro.
She testified that in March 2016, her bank was given withdrawal instruments of N700m from the impress account of the state government.
According to her, N300m out of the money was signed for and collected by Margaret Thompson Ukpe, an employee of the state government.
The court admitted in evidence the Zenith Bank withdrawal instruction documents and the account opening documents.
A move by the prosecution to get the witness to read out certain portions of the document was resisted by the defense team who insisted that the document speaks for itself.
Meanwhile, Counsel to the NBA President, Offiong Offiong (SAN), told the court that he had not been served some documents he requested for from the prosecution to enable him to prepare adequately for the defence.
Subsequently, the court adjourned till October 21 for the continuation of the trial.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has signed the 2019 Appropriation Bill of N672.984 billion into law.
Governor Emmanuel signed the budget on Wednesday during a brief ceremony held at the executive chamber of Government House in Uyo, the state capital.
The signing followed the presentation of the approved bill by members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, led by the Deputy Speaker, Mrs Felicia Bassey, and the Chairman of the Appropriation and Finance Committee, Dr Usoro Akpanusoh.
The Commissioner for Finance in the state, Nsikan Nkan, told reporters that the budget titled, Budget of Industrialisation for Poverty Alleviation, was intended to actualise the industralisation and job creation agenda of the present administration.
He scored Governor Emmanuel high on the implementation of the 2018 budget, adding that the 2019 budget was expected to draw strength from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and other consolidated allocations.
Meanwhile, the government has approved the upgrade of the state College Of Education Afaha Nsit to a degree awarding institution.
Now affiliated to the University of Uyo, the college will offer degree programmes in education, agriculture, education English, early childhood and primary education, as well as education chemistry.
Others are education biology, education physics, education mathematics, technical education, integrated science, business education and social studies, all in the Faculty of Education.