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The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday vowed to jail Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, if reelected.

Fayemi spoke during the declaration of intent to contest for Ekiti State governorship seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Fayose, he stated, will be made to account for the gross mismanagement of the state’s resources and allocation in the last four years.

Fayemi, who was governor between October 2010 and October 2014, shocked the crowd by bringing out a red card from his pocket, which he symbolically showed to Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party.

He said the red card is an answer to the White Paper issued against him by the Fayose regime, which indicted him of financial impropriety and banned him from holding public office for 10 years.

Traffic was grounded for about four hours in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, where a massive crow turned out to hear

Fayemi speak on his readiness to win Ekiti for APC in the July 14 governorship poll.

Fayemi said the state has retrogressed sharply in the last four years he left office, adding that his bid to run again was motivated by the need to “rescue Ekiti people from bad governance, want, hunger and poverty.”

He lamented the suffering of teachers, state civil servants, local government workers and pensioners, who are being owed backlog of arrears of salaries, allowances and benefits.

According to him, Fayose owes core civil servants six months, local government workers 10 months, community health workers 10 months; pensioners, 10 months; teachers, 10 months and students, bursaries of over three years.

Fayemi said Fayose has no excuse not to pay workers’ salaries and pensioners benefits having collected two tranches of bailout funds, two tranches of Paris Club refund cash and Budget Support Funds for thirteen months.

He also disclosed that latest records from the Debt Management Office showed Fayose has borrowed N56 billion since coming to power in October 2014 with nothing appreciable to show for it.

Fayemi vowed that Fayose would be brought to justice at the end of his tenure on how he has managed all the funds received from the federal government on behalf of the state.

The former governor was joined by his wife, Bisi; former deputy governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Hungary, Dr. Eniola Ajayi; and other officials who served in his administration to the APC secretariat where he officially informed party leaders of his intent to run.

After declaring at the secretariat, Fayemi and his train moved to the nearby Jonathan African Church, Ajilosun, Ado-Ekiti, where he addressed another crowd waiting for him on his agenda for the state.

He said all APC members who had joined the governorship race are eminently qualified to occupy the state’s number one seat saying anyone who emerges as the flag bearer would be supported by all.

The minister declared that everything humanly, constitutionally and legally possible would be done to win Ekiti State for APC at the next governorship election.

Fayemi said: “When I come before you, it is with profound need for the unfinished business, we need to complete what we started, reclaim our land and restore our land.

“Anywhere Ekiti people go, people subject us to questions that what is wrong with you Ekiti people?

“We thought you are educated, we thought you are exposed, how do you come up with a character like this as governor?

“It is time to put a stop to that; it is not about title, it is about sacrifice and whatever it will take us to free Ekiti from these criminal and rapacious brigands, we will do it.

“We are here to inform Ekiti people that we will never abandon them. We will never hesitate to leave the comfort of Abuja. It is high time to come home and help our vulnerable people.

“We will do everything that is required to win Ekiti back. They will accuse us of using federal might.

“Although power belongs to God and he gives it to whoever He wishes, we will use bottom power, middle power. That is why they are jittery.”

Fayemi described the White Paper of the Fayose administration, which indicted him of financial impropriety and recommended him for a 10-year ban from holding public office, as an “ordinary tissue paper.”

The minister said: “Every time I move around, I see the suffering and penury our people are going through.

“I saw their pain and pangs of not knowing where the next meal will come from.

“That is why we must tell the man who is shouting around that he has a White Paper, we have a red card for him and his party.

“We will ensure that he will end up in jail.”

Fayemi described Fayose as a “pathological liar” for claiming that the debt he (Fayemi) left behind was responsible for his (Fayose’s) inability to pay workers’ salaries and pensioners benefits as and when due.

The ex-governor explained that he took a N25 billion bond from the Capital Market in December 2011 with which he executed capital projects, adding that he had repaid N14.5 billion at the time he left office in October 2014.

Dismissing the opposition’s claim that he hates workers and teachers, Fayemi stressed that workers enjoyed most during his administration when they enjoyed salary increase three times.

Apart from this, he said workers were sponsored to local and overseas seminars, teachers got Core Subjects Allowance, Rural Teachers Allowance and no worker was sacked.

To party members, Fayemi said: “Whoever wins the primary, we will all support him.

“Don’t run down any aspirant.

“Let us desist from hate speech because all aspirants are promoting our party.

“Party members should not use abusive and intemperate language and I want to suggest to our party leaders to come out with a code of conduct to check this.

“If we don’t do that, we run the risk of damaging our brand (APC).

“You are free to market your aspirant and leave the judgment to our delegates.

“They (delegates) want our party back in power and we must respect their judgment.

“Any aspirant who does not respect the rule, I will take him as an agent who does not want the good of our party.

 

The Nation.

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JUST IN: CCT Grants Suspended CJN, Justice Onnoghen Bail As He Pleads Not Guilty To Charges

Peter Okunoren

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal, Friday granted the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, bail on self-recognition and, adjourned to March 11, for hearing of all pending applications.

This development followed an oral bail application made by the defence counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, after Onnoghen pleaded not guilty to the six count-charge preferred against him by the complainant – the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The six count-charge were subsumed that aside allegation that he failed to disclose his assets as prescribed by law, FG, in the charge that was filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, equally accused the CJN of operating foreign bank accounts.

It also alleged that contrary to relevant laws regulating the conduct of public office holders, the CJN, maintained a domiciliary foreign currencies account that comprised use of Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account.

However, before the tribunal proceeded with the matter, Uche pleaded that the order or warrant of arrest slammed against his client be vacated.

In his words, “We are here for the arraignment but before the tribunal proceeds, it will be recalled that there are applications pending.

“It was the view by way of the majority decision of this tribunal that the defendant must appear.

“And here is the defendant. But may I plead that the order of the bench warrant be discharged before proceedings “.

In reaction, the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar conveyed approval but said it would be on the condition that the CJN makes himself available whenever needed.

Also, after the vacation of the order of warrant of arrest and Onnoghen pleaded not guilty to the aforesaid charges, Uche, again rose to apply for an adjournment over which the prosecuting counsel, Musa Ibrahim did not object.

On this premise, the tribunal chairman acceded to the application and adjourned the case to March 11, for hearing of all pending applications.

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Nnamdi Kanu Calls Off Election Boycott, Asks Igbo To Vote En Masse On Saturday

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Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has called off the election boycott in the south-east region of the country.

In an audio message made by the IPOB leader, Kanu also asked the Igbo to come out in their numbers and vote during Saturday’s presidential election.

Kanu had been calling on the Igbo to boycott any election held in Nigeria until the government agrees to a referendum regarding IPOB’s quest for a sovereign state of Biafra.

On Wednesday, just two days ago, he told BBC Igbo that IPOB will ‘shut down’ the south-east and ensure voting does not take place in the area.

In the broadcast obtained Thursday night, Kanu said unnamed individuals have met the demands given by the group before any election could be held in the south-east.

He said: “Earlier today, February 14, 2019, I received confirmation from our team that all of our pre-conditions played before those kicking off to call off the elections have been met. And in view of that, I hereby lift the boycott of elections.

“IPOB was very steadfast, we have fought a very good battle; we have made it very clear to all and sundry that we are very determined and this is victory for IPOB and for the emancipation of Biafra.”

Kanu expressed hope that those who agreed to the group’s demands will implement them.

He asked the Igbo to spread the “good news” but added the group’s resolve remains the same: a sovereign state of Biafra.

“We said it from the beginning, nobody should expect us to participate in any form of elections unless our demands are met. And I am glad to tell you that they have acceded to our demands and it will be fully implemented,” he said.

“I therefore ask each and everyone of you to take this good news to all our towns and villages that the boycott has been lifted. And we will all go about on the 16th of February to discharge whatever duties we have or whatever beliefs … for groups and individuals.

“Never again will they take IPOB for granted, and never again will people underrate our resolve. We have showed it to them and we shall continue to demonstrate it until Biafra republic is restored. I thank you very much and may God be with you.”

It is not clear who the IPOB leader is rooting for in Saturday’s presidential election.

But it is obvious neither of the two front line candidates – President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – has his support.

While he claims Buhari is “dead” and being replaced by a “clone” in Aso Rock, he says Abubakar is a Cameroonian by birth and does not have the constitutional right to run for president.

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Hot Iron Inserted Into Private Part Of LG Boss, Governor Demands Arrest Of Perpetrators

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The Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, Awosola Awotunde, has been directed to fish out those who allegedly inserted hot iron inside the private part of the Vice Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area of the state.

Governor David Umahi gave the directive on Thursday, when the new police boss paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Abakiliki.

Umahi, who expressed bitterness over the incident, described it as “barbaric”.

He said: “The hoodlums inserted a hot iron inside the private part of the vice chairman, while they cut the tendons of some men in the area.

“I have demanded for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators and would never allow the matter to go untreated.

“I will follow the matter up to any level, even reporting it to President Muhammadu Buhari because the victims were actually kidnapped.”

The governor said he always insisted on fairness and justice to all and had never abused his office to order that anyone be punished unjustly.

Umahi said: “I have always maintained that whether it is the Peoples Democratic Party or All Progressive Congress, among others, the life of every human being is important to us.

“I hate to see blood and your officers can attest that I have never supported evil.”

Umahi said he had always propagated the philosophy “that all perpetrators of evil must be arrested and prosecuted, even if they are my brothers or sisters.”

He pledged to cooperate with the new CP but insisted that his work would only be made tedious “if a man is made a woman.”

He said: “Where there is fairness, there is no crisis as someone without a gun can neutralise another with a gun by insisting on his right, which should not be marched upon.

“The main opposition party in the state boasts it would write the election result and use the federal might on us but I declare that we pay the federal might.

“Everybody owns the federal might and the present Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Services do not break the law.

“We have actually prepared for this election with anti-terrorism trainings to guard against intimidation of the common man in the state.”

Governor Umahi further said he would on Friday expose a tape where a candidate of the main opposition party in the state revealed how they intended to foment trouble during the elections.

He said: “I also learnt they are bringing in thugs who are camped in Enugu but fortunately, I am paying one of them.

“I am trailing them and when they arrive in the state, we will round them up with the assistance of security agencies.

“Any of them that we apprehend on our own would be kept in the state until after the elections.”

Earlier, Awotunde thanked the governor for the reception and assured the people that the police would be nonpartisan during the elections.

He said: “The whole world is focusing on Nigeria and we are assuring all the political parties of a level playing ground during the elations.

“We would ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the elections, while also ensuring that no soul is lost during the exercise.

“We also pledge our loyalty to your government and would do our jobs as professionals.”

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