Lawmakers To Investigate Removal Of Kogi Speaker

RepsNigeria’s House of Representatives has mandated an ad hoc committee to investigate the alleged removal of the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

In a motion moved by a lawmaker from Kogi, Honourable Sunday Karimi on Tuesday, the House described the alleged removal as illegal and unconstitutional.

During the extensive debate that followed, members encouraged the House of Representatives to intervene in the matter to help safeguard democracy in the country.

Five lawmakers in a 20-member House sat on Tuesday, February 16, and purportedly removed the Speaker, Honourable Momoh Jimoh.

The lawmakers also chose Umar Imam as the new Speaker of the House.

Mr Friday Sanni, who briefed reporters about the impeachment, said the Speaker was impeached for not carrying other members of the House along in the affairs of the House.

He also claimed that since the new Governor, Yahaya Bello and the Speaker are both from the same senatorial district, the Speaker should vacate the seat.

Kogi Assembly Plans Impeachment Of Deputy Governor

Kogi-house-of-AssemblyThe Kogi State House of Assembly has announced plans to serve an impeachment notice on the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Simon Achuba.

The Speaker of the House, Honourable Momoh Jimoh made the plans known at a news conference in Abuja on Friday.

Honorable Jimoh denounced his impeachment by five members of the House adding that the notice of impeachment would be served on the Deputy Governor for allegedly instigating crisis among members of the House of Assembly.

The Speaker also announced the suspension of the five members who announced his impeachment saying their action is a clear violation of the rules of the House as the five members failed to form a quorum before announcing his impeachment.

Five lawmakers in a 20-member House sat on Tuesday and purportedly removed the Speaker.

The lawmakers also chose Umar Imam as the new Speaker of the House.

Friday Sanni, who briefed reporters about the impeachment, said the Speaker was impeached for not carrying other members of the House along in the affairs of the House.

He also claimed that since the new Governor, Yahaya Bello and the Speaker are both from the same senatorial district, the Speaker should vacate the seat.

Meanwhile, 15 members of the House who were seen at Hon. Jimoh’s residence insist Hon. Jimoh remains the Speaker and that their signature was forged to perfect the impeachment.

Controversy As Five Lawmakers Impeach Kogi Speaker

Kogi-house-of-AssemblyIt has been a controversial impeachment of the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, as five lawmakers in a 20-member house sat on Tuesday and purportedly removed the Speaker, Honourable Momoh Jimoh.

The lawmakers also chose Umar Imam as the new Speaker of the House.

Friday Sanni, who briefed journalists about the impeachment, said the Speaker was impeached for not carrying other members of the House along in the affairs of the House.

He also claimed that since the new Governor, Yahaya Bello and the Speaker are both from the same senatorial district, the Speaker should vacate the seat.

Meanwhile, 15 members of the House who were seen at Hon. Jimoh’s residence insist Hon. Jimoh remains the Speaker and that their signature was forged to perfect the impeachment.

NLC Asks Workers To Resume Work In Kogi

KogiThe Leadership of the Kogi State chapter of the NLC has asked the civil servants to suspend the ongoing seven weeks strike and return to their various offices.

The directive was given by the Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka, following the intervention of the new Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

The decision to suspend the strike was taken as a result of joint meeting with the labour and the State government where Governor Bello pledged to ensure that workers salary would be paid henceforth latest on the 25th day of every month.

Mr Edoka said the that the workers embarked on the industrial action as a result of the inability of the last administration of Captain Idris Wada to pay the accumulated three months’ salary, despite collecting the allocations for those months.

He reminded the government of some of its agreement and urge them not to fail.

While given his keynote address, Governor Bello expressed regret that government was unable to pay its workers that had diligently performed their duties.

He promised to clear the entire arrears of salaries of State and Local government workers as well as primary school teachers in the state as soon as he gets the bailout.

Kogi State New Governor Declares Zero Tolerance For Corruption

yahaya bello 3The new Governor of Kogi State, Mr Yayaha Bello, has warned that his administration would have zero tolerance for corruption and impunity.

In a speech after his swearing in ceremony on Wednesday, Governor Bello pointed out that there was no greater evil than corruption and that “nothing champions that evil more than impunity”.

“We Will Be Different”

“Corruption and impunity make sure our people repeatedly arrive at a promised future and find it bereaved of substance or the promised better life.

“Let it be recorded today, that future generations will not be given reasons to count the incoming administration among those who revel in corruption or impunity. We will be different by the grace of God.

“We must and will be that generation of leaders who made the entirety of Kogi resources work for the entirety of Kogi people accordingly.

“I hereby declare and affirm that the Yahaya Bello administration will have zero tolerance for corruption and impunity,” the new Governor stressed.

He also promised to lead Kogi State by honest and humble example.

‘Change Ideology’

Citing a quote of President Muhammadu Buhari, during his inaugural speech in May last year, Mr Bello said: ” I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”.

According to him, the quote defines the purpose and methodology of his administration and sets an agenda of inclusiveness which he said would characterise his tenure.

“In this singular sentence, Mr President summarised the restorative force of the change ideology with which our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has swept Nigeria.

“I now declare it our guiding principle for fair action and equitable governance in Kogi State.

“My administration shall exist for the sole purpose of serving the superseding interest of the people of Kogi State to the very best of its capability.

“We also undertake to never lend our capacities to serving the interest of anyone or group whether from Kogi State or elsewhere,” the new Kogi State Governor  stated.

Mr Bello was elected on the platform of the APC, in the election held in December last year.

He was a substitute for late Mr Abubakar Audu, who died a day after the first governorship election was held. That election was declared inconclusive.

In the supplementary election held on December 5, after Late Audu was substituted, Mr Bello defeated the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada, of the Peoples Democratic Party who was seeking a second term in office.

Declaring the results of the historic election, the Returning Officer of the electoral body, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, said the APC’s candidate polled 247,752 to defeat Captain Wada who got 204,877 votes.

Faleke Raises Alarm Over Announcement As Deputy Governor

falekeThe Deputy Governorship Candidate to Abubakar Audu during the November 21, 2015 Governorship election in Kogi State, James Faleke, has raised the alarm over attempts to announce his name as Deputy Governor during the swearing in ceremony of Yahaya Bello as Governor of Kogi State.

According to Faleke in a statement signed by the Director, Media and Publicity, Audu/Faleke Campaign Organisation, Honourable Duro Meseko on Wednesday, the plan was hatched for Bello to escape the obvious lacuna of not running the Supplementary election with a Deputy and also to give some form of legitimacy to the apparent unconstitutionality of the action.

“I want to bring to the attention of Nigerians, plans to call me out to take oath of allegiance as Deputy Governor to Yahaya Bello today in Lokoja since it is the Deputy that takes oath first.

“The script is to announce my name for oath taking at least three times after which they would declare that the Deputy Governor-elect has absconded, but would be sworn in at a later date. They would now go ahead to swear in Bello as the Governor”, he stated.

According to Faleke, ” let me make it very clear to the good people of Kogi State and Nigerians in general that I am not the Deputy to Yahaya Bello and will therefore, not be present today (Wednesday) at his inauguration.

“I had made my position abundantly clear to my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) that I will not serve as Deputy to Bello, neither would I participate in the December 5, 2015 Supplementary election.

“A strongly worded letter was written to the leadership of APC and INEC to back up my position. It is therefore the height of political mischief for anyone to attempt to call my name for oath taking at an inauguration ceremony they know I would not be present “.

Honourable Faleke restated his faith in the judiciary to restore back the Governorship mandate which he said rightly belong to the Audu / Faleke team.

Youths In Kogi Rally Support For Yahaya Bello

Yahaya-BelloYouth and professionals in Kogi State, under the aegis of “Project Kogi First” have called on all the ethnic, religious and political groups to drop their differences and join hands with the incoming Governor-Elect, Yahaya Bello, to enable him work for the progress of the state.

They said that as youths, they were ready to work and support the incoming Governor rather than be used as means of destruction.

In a Press Statement, the convener of the group, Pharmacist Ojeje Onimisi, said that the group had recommended various practical economic policies that would lead to the actualisation of the collective dream of the people in the state

The group’s spokesperson called on the incoming Governor to embark on policies that would give birth to a new Kogi, immediately he assumes office.

He assured him of the group’s readiness to make relevant contribution that would make the state stand out among its equal.

Onimisi appealed to all aggrieved persons to channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters and desist from making inflammatory statements that could instigate violence and anarchy.

The Chief Strategist of the Yahaya Bello Campaign Organisation, Mr Edward Onoja, attributed the state’s backwardness to the existing leadership gap.

He, therefore, urged youths to set up ‘Kogi Treasury Watch’, to enable them checkmate the activities of their leaders.

Lagos PDP Gives Faleke Ultimatum To Declare Polling Unit

falekeThe PDP in Lagos State is asking the leadership of the House of Representatives to exhibit non-partisanship by stating if Mr James Faleke is still a member of the lower chamber.

The chairman of the party, Mr Tunji Shelle, in a statement on Sunday, described Mr Faleke’s status in the House as that of a usurper.

The PDP said that this is because since Mr Faleke ran for election in Kogi State, he must have transferred his voting unit to Kogi State, which makes him ineligible to represent Ikeja of Lagos State in the House of Representatives.

The PDP argued that Hon. Faleke should not continue to represent Ikeja Constituency because he presently has his voting unit relocated to Kogi State.

The party then said that it was giving a 7-day ultimatum from Monday, December 21, to Honorable James Faleke to declare his present place of voter’s registration and for INEC to clear the air on the appropriateness of Faleke inter-changing polling units within a period of less than six months.

The PDP threatened, “If the demand is not met within the period of this ultimatum, we shall use all means permitted and effective to reclaim the seat for Lagos State.”

The PDP also asked the House leadership led by Mr Yakubu Dogara not to allow this situation it referred to as a contraption to stand.

The party said that the situation is politically immoral and illegal, and is an open assault on democracy.

NGO Condemns Faleke’s Replacement In Kogi Election

FalekeA Non Governmental Organisation, Human Right Agenda Network has condemned the manner in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) replaced the  Kogi State All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer in the last governorship election, James Faleke.

The NGO described the emergence of Yahaya Bello as winner of the governorship election as injustice, compromising and electoral fraud.

The spokesman of the group, Mr Taiwo Otitoloju, on Friday, condemned the act and accused the party’s leadership of sentiment and not being guided by the Nigerian Constitution in decision making.

According to him, the Nigerian Constitution has provided that the ticket that late Abubakar Audu clinched was a joint ticket which includes Falake, therefore, in the death of Audu, Faleke should have beeen declared as governor-elect.

Mr Otitoloju called on the INEC to declare Faleke as governor-elect in Kogi State in order to allow peace reign.

Mr Faleke had sued the INEC and his party a day after the late Audu was substituted.

Mr Faleke’s suit was consequent to the replacement of the late Audu with Mr Bello on November 30, retaining Mr Faleke as the new governorship candidate’s deputy.

Kogi Election: Marketers Protest Emergence Of Yahaya Bello

rivers-protest- kogiTraders under the aegis of the National Association of Market Women and Men of Nigeria, Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area in Kogi State have staged a peaceful protest to express support for Audu/Faleke ticket in the recently held governorship election in the state.

At a rally held in Kabba, the protesters said they had an understanding with late Abubakar Audu and his running mate James Faleke before voting for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The protesters, holding placards with different inscriptions and chanting solidarity songs, called on the leadership of the APC to give the mandate back to Faleke in the interest of justice, fairness.

Some executives of the association who spoke to journalists at the scene appealed to the leadership of the party to hearken to their demand for national peace.

Mr Bamidele Joloko, who is the Babaloja, said that Mr Faleke should be declared the winner for equity, justice, and fairness, maintaining that the vote cast was for the candidacy of late Audu and Faleke and not for Mr Yahaya Bello.

The APC adopted Yahaya Bello as its candidate in the December 5 supplementary election in the state following the death of Abubakar Audu on November 22.

Late Abubakar Audu along with Mr James Faleke had taken a lead in the election before Audu passed away. The lead became insurmountable for their closest opponent – PDP, as the party wrapped up victory in the supplementary election which Yahaya Bello stood for.

INEC Issues Certificate Of Return To Kogi Governor-Elect, Yahaya Bello

Yahaya-BelloThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday issued a Certificate of Return to Kogi State Governor-Elect, Mr Yahaya Bello.

While presenting the certificate of return at the INEC office in Lokoja the INEC National Commissioner from the North Central, Prof. Anthonia Okoosi-Simbine, scored the commission high in the conduct and the declaration of the election result.

She said the use of the card readers in the conduct of elections in Nigeria has come to stay, noting that it has helped in eliminating illegal and multiple voting and enhanced integrity of electoral process.

However, she said the commission will continue to respond swiftly to the challenges emanating from the introduction of card readers.

The State Resident Electoral Commission, Mr Halilu Pai, while commending security agencies for a work well done during and after the election said the commission has conducted a free fair and credible election.

In his acceptance speech, the Governor-Elect, Yahaya Bello, lauded the electorate for believing in him and the APC, promising to lead the state towards a new direction.

Mr Bello, who is substitute to late Mr Abubakar Audu, defeated the incumbent, Captain Idris Wada, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was seeking a second term in office.

Declaring the results of the election, which was concluded, with a supplementary election held on December 5, the Returning Officer of the electoral body, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, said the APC’s candidate polled 247,752 to defeat Captain Wada who got 204,877 votes.

Mr James Faleke, who was offered the Deputy Governor position, however, failed to show up.

Kogi Election: Faleke Ought To Be Governor-elect – Lawyer

Kogi Election:Faleke Ought To Be Governor-Elect – LawyerA Nigerian lawyer has given his opinion about the outcome of the Kogi State governorship election, saying that Mr James Faleke, the deputy of the late candidate, ought to be the Governor-elect of Kogi State. 

On Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Bwala Daniel said: “We are all witnesses to the fact that at the time the election was declared inconclusive, there was a clear lead by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and everybody could reach a conclusion that the APC won the election and Faleke would have rightfully taken over from there which is in line with the provision of the Electoral Act and the Nigeria Constitution, but that did not happen,” he said.

Giving his opinion on Falake’s refusal to be addressed as Yahaya Bello’s running mate, Mr Daniel said that Mr Falake should have forwarded his withdrawal as the deputy of Mr Bello in writing.

“However, the contention of Faleke may not be tenable in law because the requirement of law is, if he wanted to withdraw, he ought to have written expressly stating his withdrawal in line with the provision of the Electoral Act. Only if that had happened, he can consider himself  completely out of the race, but as he stands, he is part of the government.

“My concern is that, what transpired at the Federal High Court on Friday is a full test of what we are going to see consequently at the Court of Appeal and at the Election Tribunal; where you see Faleke and PDP fighting it all out,” he explained.

Answering a question on what he perceived before the outcome of the Federal High Court ruling, Mr Daniel said: “Had the Federal High Court not declined jurisdiction, the election would have been affected.

“I think the Federal High Court declining jurisdiction, probably in the mind of the court, the court applied the doctrine of convenience to say we are not going to say anything  about this, let them go to the polls and whatever happens will be determined by the Election Tribunal.

“But the court declined the jurisdiction because it said that the matter is within the confines of Election Petition Tribunal,” he said.

A Waste Of Time

The lawyer expressed disappointment in the argument of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of  Bello, Governor-elect in Kogi State, as ‘a waste of time’.

“With the greatest respect for the PDP, it is high-time Nigerians as well as the APC recognised that the PDP will always talk because they are learning to be in opposition and the APC is giving them credence by responding to their allegations.

“Going by the provision of section 138 of the Constitution, if you are challenging the candidature of someone, you go to court. Unless and until what you are challenging is covered by the provision of the Constitution, everything else you are saying is a mere opinion.

“PDP, if aggrieved with the outcome of the election, has the right in law to file a petition.

“The party has 21 days from when the result was announced to file the petition and has 180 days from when they file the petition, for that to be determined.

“The options available to PDP in this circumstance is to pursue two things – the bill to appeal against the decision of the Federal High Court declining the jurisdiction to interpret the law they approached the Federal High Court with.

“The second option is to go to the Election Petition Tribunal and challenge the outcome of the election,” he added.