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JUST IN: Court Reinstates Impeached Kogi Speaker, Others.

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The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Thursday, reinstated the impeached Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Momoh Jimoh Lawal.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, the court equally restored the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Aliyu Akuh and seven other Principal Officers of the Kogi State House of Assembly, saying the process that led to their purported impeachment on February 16, 2016, was unconstitutional and illegal.

It said their removal was not in line with provisions of sections 90, 91, 92 (2) (c), 95 (1) & (2) and 96(1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Consequently, the court voided the purported election of Hon. Umar Imam as the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, as well as the emergency of four others- Friday Sani; Lawal A.T. Ahmed; Bello Abdullahi and John Abah as principal officers of the House.

Aside the Speaker and his Deputy, others the court also reinstated were Hon. Kolawole Mathew, Osiyi Godwin, Sunday Shigaba, Ndako Idris, Oluwatoyin Lawal, Musa Jimoh and Victor Omofaye.

Specifically, the court held that “The continued sitting and conduct of the affairs of the Kogi State House of Assembly by the 1st – 5th defendants after the purported removal of the 1st plaintiff and other principal officers of the House and purported installation of themselves as principal officers of the Kogi State House of Assembly on the 16th day of February, 2016, is illegal having regard to section 96(1) of the Constitution and Rule 5(1)”.

Besides, it restrained the Inspector General of Police, Director General of the State Security Service, Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, who were 7th to 8th defendants in the suit, “from further barricading the complex of the House of Assembly and preventing the plaintiffs from accessing the hallowed chambers if the Kogi State House of Assembly to conduct their legal and legitimate duties as legislators validly elected to represent their various constituencies”.

The court however declined to declare that the security agencies, by their actions, aided and abetted the five lawmakers to carry out the purported impeachment as well as subsequent withdrawal of the Speaker’s vehicles (official and personal) and withdrawal of security operatives attached to the embattled Speaker. It also refused to award general damages in the sum of N500million.

The judgement followed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/184/16, which the removed Speaker, his Deputy, seven other lawmakers and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lodged before the court through their lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba, SAN.

Cited as 1st to 5th defendants in the matter were the five lawmakers that effected the purported impeachment, the aforementioned security agencies and the Kogi State House of Assembly.

The plaintiffs prayed the court to determine whether in view of provisions of the 1999 Constitution and Rules 3(1) & (2) of the Standing Rules of Kogi State House of Assembly dated February 15, 2016, their removal was not unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Ganduje Heads 49-Member APC National Campaign Council For Edo 2020 Elections

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The Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed a 49-member high-level National Campaign Council for the September 19 Edo State Governorship Election.

The council chaired by Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has four state governors, the Deputy Senate President and two former National Chairmen of the party among others as members and Hon. Abbas Braimoh to serve as Secretary.

Party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena in a statement in Abuja on Thursday said the appointment of the council followed the approval of the National Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni.

Details shortly…

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BIG STORY

Lagos East: Ambode, Ashafa, Gbadamosi, Jostle For Late Osinowo’s Senatorial Position

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No fewer than 13 members of the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State have reportedly indicated interest in contesting for the by-election to fill the Lagos East Senatorial District at the Senate.

The former occupant of the position, Bayo Osinowo, died on June 15, 2020 after a brief illness said to be connected with COVID-19.

Our correspondent learnt that among leading candidates for the position in the APC are a former Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; a former occupant of the position, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, a former House of Representatives member, Dayo Alebiosu-Bush, a former Lagos commissioner, Tola Kasali; and the Director General of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri.

For the PDP, the leading candidates include a former governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Babatunde Gbadamosi; the last PDP flag bearer for the position, Princess Abiodun Oyefusi; and a public relations expert, Adedipe Shobajo.

The spokesperson for the Lagos PDP, Taofik Ganiu, said his party would ensure it fielded the best candidate.

He said, “What is operating in the PDP Lagos now is that we are set for any election. For the Lagos senatorial district by-election, we want to field our strongest candidate who will not be rejected by Lagosians. There are seven aspirants already.

“We are also happy to note that a lot of the APC chieftains are making plans to have us as a platform. We are aware that the APC national body is endorsing somebody and other aspirants are aggrieved. So, our doors are wide open for them to take advantage of it.”

Ganiu said the greatest asset of his party was its plan to end godfatherism in Lagos, adding that the coming by-election would be an opportunity for the PDP to showcase its best hands before claiming the state come the 2023 general elections.

However, the APC spokesperson, Seye Oladejo, said the ruling party was still mourning the death of Osinowo, aka Pepper.

He said, “At the level of the party, nothing is happening now. It’s barely two weeks that we lost Pepper. Humanity should come into play here irrespective of anybody’s ambition. So, nothing is happening.

“But I can tell you that it’s going to be in the public domain when the time is right; it will not be hidden.”

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Court Strikes Out Certificate Forgery Suit Against Obaseki

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday struck out a suit seeking the disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki from contesting the forthcoming governorship election in the state for allegedly forging his university certificate.

The suit was filed on May 29, 2020, by Edobor Williams, Ugesia Godwin, and Amedu Anakhu, ahead of the governorship election scheduled to hold in Edo State on September 19.

Joined as respondents in the suit were the governors’ party, the All Progressives Congress, the Inspector-General of Police, and Obaseki himself.

But Justice Anwuli Chikere struck out the suit on Monday as neither the plaintiffs’ lawyers nor the defendants’ were present in court.

The plaintiffs alleged in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/553/2020, that the University of Ibadan certificate which he attached to his Form CF.001 which he submitted to INEC for his first term election in 2016 was forged.

They argued that the governor’s educational information contained in Part C of the Form CF 001 which he submitted to INEC on July 12, 2016, and the first-degree certificate of Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies, said to have been obtained from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, was forged.

They contended that this was “contrary to the provisions of section 182(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999”.

According to them, Obaseki was, therefore “not qualified to run or seek the office of Governor of Edo State under the platform of the 1st defendant (APC) in the governorship election scheduled to hold in the state in September 19, 2020”.

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