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Anxiety As Supreme Court Determines Fate Of Seven State Governors Today [See List]

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There’s serious anxiety in seven states of the federation, especially Imo and Sokoto States ahead of today’s consideration of the governorship election petition by the Supreme Court.

Supporters of Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha are awaiting the verdict of the apex court with bated breath.

The other governors whose cases are to be considered today are Abdullahi Ganduje Kano; Simon Lalong, Plateau; Samuel Ortom, Benue; Bala Muhammed, Bauchi, and Ahmadu Fintiri, Adamawa.

Although the Supreme Court only sent a hearing notice to the lawyers, the apex court might deliver its verdict. This was the same way it happened last week when the decision on some states was delivered unexpectedly.

Besides, legal litigation time has almost elapsed.

The police are on a red alert in Sokoto. It has deployed 1000 men to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

Commissioner of Police Ibrahim Kaoje said: “We are on a 24-hour red alert and we are on standby round the clock, 24/7. We will not waiver in our sustained routine and surprise tactics to keep the peace.

“We will leave no stone unturned in keeping the state safe and secure for all law-abiding residents to conduct their lawful businesses.”

He added that the policemen would remain on the streets in line with a recent directive by the Police headquarters.

In Imo, the PDP and the APC expressed optimism that today’s judgment would favour them.

The key issue to be determined by the Supreme Court, in this case, is whether Ihedioha won two-thirds of votes in two-thirds of the local governments in the state.

The APC permutation is reinforced by the recent prediction by Catholic priest Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka that the candidate of the APC, Hope Uzodinma would take over the reins of power the PDP-led government.

Supporters of both parties have been throwing brickbats at each other since the Mbaka prediction.

They have taken to all platforms including placing newspaper advertorials to lambast each other.

A philanthropist, Princess Ogbuefi Ezinwa, wrote on her Facebook wall, “I am extremely tensed about Monday(today) judgment more than many Governor Ihedioha’s appointees. My party, my people and the entire Imolites, God please keep us all alive to be witnesses.”

The state publicity secretary of APC, Enyinnaya Onuegbu, said that evidence so far shows that Uzodinma won the election.

However, another official of the PDP, who pleaded not to be mentioned said, “We are praying that the judgment goes in our favour but we are not at peace with the situation.”

Police spokesman Orlando Ikeokwu, said the command was working with other security agencies to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.

He advised the people to go about their businesses without fear of intimidation or molestation.

Ikeokwu said, “We also warn all parties involved to maintain decorum. If you must rejoice or jubilate do that with respect.”

As the Supreme Court set to give a final judgment on the Kano state Governorship election, between Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the PDP candidate Abba Kabiru Yusuf, the ancient city of Kano remain in uneasy calm.

Police Spokesman Abdullahi Haruna, said “security is intact as we monitoring situation. We won’t entertain any breach of law and order in this state.”

Another senior policeman, who also spoke said, “we are aware of the Supreme Court judgment tomorrow(today) but l want to tell you that for now, we have not received any report of danger.

“But l can also assure you that security agencies are ready for any eventuality. However, for now, there is no cause for alarm

In Makurdi, The Nation learnt that most top government and PDP officials in the state had traveled to Abuja where the judgment would be delivered.

Police spokesperson in the state, Kate Sewuese, said they were ready to deal with anyone found fomenting trouble ahead of the judgment.

Jos, the Plateau State capital was calm on Sunday

Lalong of the APC triumphed at both the Governorship Petitions Tribunal and at the Appeal level before the PDP and its candidate headed to the Supreme Court.

Both parties (APC and PDP) are expectant of a positive verdict.

In Bauchi, the ruling PDP and APC expressed confidence that they would coast to victory again.

A chieftain of the PDP, Muhammad Idris, ruled out any chances of the APC having the upper hand at the supreme court. He cited the massive support given by the generality of the people the PDP as the reason why the governor Mohammed was unshaken.

He said, “ Our expectation for Monday is winning. We don’t have any battle, we started from the tribunal to the Court of Appeal now to the final judgment which is the Supreme Court.

“We are confident of the judiciary system in the country. We don’t believe there is any need for panic. I am assuring you by the God of grace we are going to win our case. The generality of the people of Bauchi state is behind Governor Mohammed. A trader in the market can attest to that.

“Our achievement in the last eight months surpasses that of the immediate past All Progressives Congress-led administration in the last four years. There is no panic because we don’t have any skeleton in our cupboard ”

The APC and its candidate Mohammed Abubakar had prayed to the Supreme Court to set aside the victories of the governor at both the tribunal and the Appeal court.

BIG STORY

‘Your Fall Is Near, Stop Inciting Violence’ — Ohanaeze Youth Tackles Nnamdi Kanu

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The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council has cautioned Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against inciting violence in the south-eastern region.

Kanu was reported to have asked #EndSARS protesters in the region to destroy the properties belonging to the Yoruba — an allegation he has denied.

The youth council, in a statement by Okwu Nnabuike, its secretary-general, said Kanu has deviated from “the peaceful approach of non- violent struggle, traditionally adopted by Biafra agitators”.

“Nnamdi Kanu’s craftiness, bogus claims, lack of respect for Igbo elders and hatred for other ethnic groups in Nigeria, had endangered the lives and properties of Ndigbo in Lagos and Northern Nigeria,” the group said in the statement.

“Now, Ndigbo has seen clearly that IPOB had confirmed the reason why the once peaceful organization was proscribed and labeled a terrorist group. In the last few weeks, private and public properties, as well as lives, have wasted across Igbo with people carrying Biafra flags under the banner of EndSARS protests.

“From Aba to Awka, Onitsha, Owerri to Obigbo and Igbo towns, it has been tales of destruction and woes from the same people who are yet to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown. What kind of leader will make a video calling his followers to get weapons, kill policemen, and burn police stations? Meanwhile, the so-called leader or freedom fighter is safe and away with his family in the white man’s country, London while his indoctrinated followers inflict death and destruction of the same people he purportedly seeks to liberate.

“EndSARS Protests is a Purely Nigerian Youth Movement aimed towards addressing the abnormalities in Nigeria, attempts by Omoyele Sowore to infiltrate the Lekki Protesters was resisted by the Yoruba Youths. The recent vituperative attacks of Adesinya Grandson on Ndigbos had been dismissed and disowned by Afenifere and Yoruba Youths. The fall of Nnamdi Kanu is near, he should retreat now, and apologize to Ndigbos for endangering their lives in the North and South West, by inciting violence in Aba and Obigbo while his father’s house and Afara community is safe. A day of reckoning is fast approaching and inevitably near when Nnamdi Kanu will no longer influence the Youths for his fame and wealth seeking games under the guise of ill-thought-out Biafra agitation

The group cautioned IPOB members to shelve their planned rally in the southern region, alleging that it is being sponsored “to create confusion and tension perhaps frighten Igbo governors with presidential ambitions to drop it”.

“OYC urges Igbo Youths to leave the streets. We Commend the Southeast Governors Forum for the maturity exhibited by allowing Endsars protesters to freely exhaust their activities against police brutality without molestation. Igbo Youths will further resist attempts by IPOB to venture into the Nigerian project through the backdoor and create a breeding ground for the State of Emergency to be declared in the South East and South-South,” it said.

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BIG STORY

Lagos To Prosecute 229 Suspects For Arson, Murder, Looting, Other Crimes

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The Lagos State Government has said it will be prosecuting all suspected hoodlums arrested in connection with the mayhem unleashed on the state between Tuesday and Wednesday in the aftermath of the Lekki toll gate shooting by soldiers.

The state Ministry of Justice said on Saturday that the police had arrested 229 suspected hoodlums and their case files were being evaluated preparatory to prosecution on charges of arson, murder, stealing, malicious damage of properties, assault, etc.

A statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mr Kayode Oyekanmi, said the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, had gone round relevant police formations with her team “to evaluate files of those arrested by the police with a view to determining those that have prima facie case made against them.”

The statement read in part, “Two hundred and twenty-nine (229) suspects were arrested by the police for various criminal offenses, ranging from arson, murder, stealing, malicious damage of properties and assault before and after the state-wide curfew imposed by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to restore law and order.

“After the evaluation exercise, those that have cases to answer will be arraigned before the courts on Monday, while the release of those that have no case to answer will be ensured.

“Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) while calling on Lagosians to maintain peace, law, and order in their respective communities, pledged the commitment of the state government to uphold the rule of law at all times.”

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BIG STORY

Falana Writes Lagos Government, Says Unclaimed Corpses Marked ‘Unknown’ In Mortuaries

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Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has written a letter to the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), drawing the attention of the state government to the existence of some unclaimed corpses in government mortuaries following the shooting of protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020.

The letter, which was obtained by PUNCH Newspaper on Saturday is titled, ‘Request for Coroner’s Inquest Into the Brutal Killing of Unarmed Protesters at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020’.

It read in part, “ASCAB requests the Lagos State Government to check the mortuaries in the Lagos State hospitals and at Lagos University Teaching Hospital with a view to confirming the actual number of protesters that were killed by the soldiers at the venue of the protest or those who lost their lives as a result of fatal injuries.

“The investigation ought to be carried out as some of the dead bodies dumped in the mortuaries have been marked ‘unknown’.”

The ASCAB interim chairman also demanded a coroner’s inquest into the incident since the state government had confirmed that at least two people died in the incident.

Falana said the group had confirmed that soldiers from a particular military barracks on Victoria Island, Lagos invaded the venue of the peaceful protest at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday and fired live rounds at the protesters under the cover of darkness.

The ASCAB interim chairman recalled that before perpetrating the dastardly act the soldiers caused the light to be switched off while the CCTV cameras at the toll gate were reportedly cut out.

The statement further read, “From the information at our disposal, two of the protesters have since lost their lives while some survivors are still receiving treatment in two hospitals in Lagos State. Others who have been discharged from the hospitals are recuperating in their homes.

“In view of the denial of the Nigerian Army in the brutal attack of the unarmed protesters, ASCAB is compelled to request the Lagos State Government to conduct an inquest into the cause and circumstances of the unnatural death of the deceased pursuant to the provisions of the Lagos State Coroner’s Inquest Law.”

 

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