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We’ll Reclaim Kwara From Saraki, Oshiomhole Vows

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The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has vowed that the party will reclaim Kwara State from the grip of Senate President Bukola Saraki at the forthcoming general election.

Oshiomhole said this in Abuja during a meeting with APC stakeholders from Kwara State led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He directed leaders of the party to ensure the conclusion of the election of executives from the ward to the state levels this weekend.

Oshiomhole said his earlier position that Saraki planned to destroy APC because of his inordinate ambition was vindicated by the Senate president’s recent declaration of his presidential ambition on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But Saraki, who recently defected from APC to PDP, issued a quick response through his Senior Special Adviser on Media, Mr Yusuf Olaniyonu, mocking the claims of the APC national chairman. Olaniyonu said that Kwara people were too sophisticated to be dictated to by outsiders.

Oshiomhole’s assertions were contained in a statement yesterday by his chief press secretary, Mr Simon Ebegbulem. The statement quoted the APC national chairman as saying that reclaiming Kwara from Saraki’s domination “is a task that must be accomplished.”

Addressing the Kwara delegation, Oshiomhole said, “When I was saying that all these defections is not about APC but the personal ambition of these people, they took hired writers to say I was being too hard. But Saraki’s declaration has vindicated me. Thank God, he has moved on because his inordinate ambition was almost destroying our party, but he has failed.

“These are not principled politicians but bread and butter politicians who can go extra miles to pursue their selfish ambition and never think about the well-being of Nigerians.”

He advised APC members in Kwara State to close ranks and work towards ending the reign of Saraki in Kwara politics as the country head towards 2019.

In a swift reaction, however, the Senate president described Oshiomhole’s statement as mere wishful thinking. Saraki’s senior special adviser on media stated regarding Oshiomhole’s claims, “He can continue to day-dream about Kwara. We assure him that he will have so many states to struggle to keep in 2019, including Edo State, that Kwara will be the least of his concerns. This man who talks more than he thinks will soon find out that Kwara people are too sophisticated to be dictated to by outsiders.”

Speaking on efforts to reposition the Kwara State chapter of APC, Oshiomhole said he had formed a committee made up of two deputy national chairmen to work with the National Organising Secretary and the Vice Chairman (North-central) to put in place new party executives in the state.

The statement quoted him as saying, “The last time I spoke with the minister he told me we have accomplished 80 or 85 per cent, that for me is not good enough because we don’t have more time. So this week, we must achieve hundred per cent by whatever means. If you can’t do it, we have to help you get it done.

“I am very impressed with the enthusiasm of the people of Kwara State. They are experiencing a new dawn, a new sense of freedom and a sense of ownership of the APC where we are trying to do bottom up rather than top down.

“Where we have politics of inclusion, no godfather, everybody matters. Now I superintended over the liquidation of godfathers in Edo state, now I will not be here and allow and support the emergence of a new godfather.

“When we vanquished the godfathers we created a level playing field for equal opportunity to participate and that is what I think we have achieved so far and we need to take full advantage of that to do what needs to be done for us to get on with the job of organising, mobilising. I believe all of us, the APC leadership, we are anxious to come to Kwara State to interface with the great people of Kwara State, beyond llorin, to other major cities in Kwara.

“Let them know and carry the message of change and use the broom to sweep away the past, including the thorn umbrella. The task of sweeping away the past and rebuilding a new Kwara is a task that must be done. That should give you the energy, the incentive and the appropriate spirit to work together so that victory will be ours, not for our own good but for the good of the great people of Kwara State who have been oppressed for such a long, long time. Like they say, there can be many days for the thief, one day for the owner.”

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BIG STORY

Olisa Agbakoba Drags AGF To Court Over CJN’s Trial

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Constitutional lawyer and former President of Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, has dragged the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, to court over moves to arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, over his alleged non-declaration of assets.

In the suit he lodged before the Federal High Court in Abuja, Agbakoba, through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, maintained that the six-count charge pending against the CJN at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, in Abuja, is illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, null and void.

He is praying the court to determine, “Whether having regard to the decision of the Court of Appeal in NgajiwaV FRN (2017) LPELR-43391 (CA) , the combined provisions of sections 6, 153,158,287(2), and 292(1) and Paragraph 21(b) of the 3rd Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, as altered and extant provisions of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers, the present charge in Charge No:CCT/ABJ/01/19 against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, does not amounr to flagrant and violent disregard of the provisions of the Constitution, due process of law, and, therefore, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

“Whether the 1st and 2nd defendants can competently file and maintain charges against Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, before the 3rd defendant, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, or indeed any court or tribunal without prior recourse to the 4th defendant, the National Judicial Council, in accordance with constitutional provisions.

“Whether the 1st and 2nd defendants can maintain charges against Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, in Charge No:CCT/ABJ/01/19 before the 3rd Defendant, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, or indeed any Court or Tribunal without affording him adequate time and facilities for preparation of his defence.”

Upon determination of the legal questions, Agbakoba, prayed the court to among other things, declare that “the purported steps taken by the 1st and 2nd Defendants to arraign Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, before the 3rd Defendant, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, on the basis of Charge No:CCT/ABJ/01/19 filed therein, without prior recourse to the 4th Defendant, the National Judicial Council, is illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that the purported or proposed arraignment, of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the 3rd Defendant, on Monday 14th January, 2019, or on any other date whatsoever, on the basis Charge No:CCT/ABJ/01/19 filed therein, without first having prior recourse to the 4th Defendant, the National Judicial Council, is illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, null and void

“A declaration that the purported or proposed arraignment, of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the 3rd Defendant, on Monday 14th January, 2019, or on any other date whatsoever, without first being afforded sufficient time and facilities for preparation of his defence, is unconstitutional, null and void, being a gross violation of the provisions of Section 36 (6) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“A declaration that Charge No:CCT/ABJ/01/19, filed against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, by the 1stand 2nd Defendants, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the 3rd Defendant, without first having prior recourse to the 4th Defendant, the National Judicial Council, is illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, null and void.

“An order of this Honourable Court, quashing and/or setting aside, in their entirety, all the charges preferred by the 1st and 2nd Defendants, against Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, before the 3rd Defendant, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, in Charge No:CCT/ABJ/01/19 and nullifying all steps taken by the 2nd and 3rd Defendants, leading to the said illegal and unconstitutional arraignment or proposed arraignment of Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, CJN before the 3rd Defendant.

Likewise, “An order of injunction by this Honourable Court, restraining the 1st and 2nd Defendants, whether by themselves, servants,privies or officers working under them, from maintaining the charges or taking any further steps towards maintenance and prosecution of any charges, against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, before the 3rd Defendant or any other Court or Tribunal, without first having recourse to the 4th Defendant”.

Aside from the AGF, other defendants in the suit are the Code of Conduct Bureau, the CCT and the National Judicial Council.

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BIG STORY

MC Oluomo Discharged From Lagos Hospital, Travels Abroad

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A chieftain of National Union of Road Transport Workers, Musiliu Akinsanya, a.k.a MC Oluomo, was on Tuesday night discharged from a Lagos hospital, where he was receiving treatment.

MC Oluomo was attacked at an All Progressives Congress rally in Ikeja on January 8, and was immediately taken to Eko Hospital, following injuries he sustained.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, who visited the Eko Hospital in Ikeja on Wednesday, gathered that MC Oluomo left the hospital on Tuesday night after payment of over N2 million medical bill.

A very reliable source, who preferred anonymity, told NAN that the NURTW leader may have left for the United States immediately he was discharged from hospital on Tuesday night.

The source said: “He is very fine and has nothing to worry about his health after his treatment at the hospital. Before he finally left on Tuesday night, he was receiving a lot of well-wishers.

“Sometimes, he moves around and sometimes walks his visitors to the corridor, so he was in a sound health before leaving the hospital.

“Few days before he left the hospital, his associates were making arrangements for his trip.”

NAN also observed that there was no more police presence around the hospital, as the three police vehicles stationed there had been removed.

The Lagos State Police Command had said it arrested some suspects and also declared wanted another NURTW chieftain over the disruption of the APC rally in Lagos.

The Command’s spokesperson, CSP Chike Oti, had said that those arrested in connection with the incident were helping the police in their investigation.

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Fake News: EFCC To Detain Odumakin, Fani-Kayode For At Least 14 Days

Peter Okunoren

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has vowed to detain a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, and the spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, for allegedly spreading fake news on the invasion of the residence of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by the anti-graft agency.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by the spokesman of the EFCC, Tony Orilade, in Abuja.

Although Fani-Kayode has apologized for the dissemination of the fake news , the agency is expecting him and Odumakin to appear in its office or get arrested.

Orilade said: “They are expected to be in our office this evening to interrogate them on the source of the news and if they fail to talk, the agency will secure an order to detain them for 14 days.”

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