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REVEALED: Six Reasons APC Disqualified Obaseki From Edo 2020 Guber Race

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Screening Panel which screened the governorship aspirants on the platform of the party in Edo State has premised its disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki on six grounds, PorscheClassy News gathered on Friday night.

The decision may have drawn the curtain on the governor’s aspiration on the platform of the party even as Obaseki himself vowed moments after the announcement of his disqualification that he would not appeal the panel’s decision.

The grounds for disqualification, as sighted from the committee’s report last night, are:

  • claiming to have a Higher School Leaving Certificate which is unknown to the Nigerian educational system;
  • allegedly being in possession of an affidavit disowned by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory;
  • error in the National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate which bears Obasek as against Obaseki;
  • loss of primary, secondary and the Higher School Leaving Certificates;
  • alleged violation of Article 21 D (V) of the party’s constitution, which forbids members from taking the party to court;
  • legal precedents occasioned by the judgments of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court on discrepancies in names.

There were speculations last night that Obaseki was heading to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which said that its doors were wide open for Obaseki should he decide to come on board.

The Obaseki faction of the APC is scheduled to meet later today in Benin to decide on its next line of action.

Obaseki, who appeared to have foreknowledge of his fate, dismissed the decision of the screening committee as unjust and ruled out an appeal.

He did not spare the party’s national chair, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who he said was making a mockery of the democratic process in the way he is “administering and superintending over our great party.”

Obaseki has been locked in a fierce showdown with Oshiomhole for about two years now.

Two other aspirants- Chris Ogiemwonyi, a former minister of state for works, and Mathew Iduoriyekenwen, a former majority leader of the Edo State House of Assembly, were also disqualified by the panel.

It, however, cleared Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu; Dr. Pius Odubu, a former deputy governor of the state and Hon. Osaro Obazee, a former Local Government Chairman in the state, to contest the APC primary on June 22.

The party’s Appeal Committee was awaiting the application of Obaseki last night.

The Screening Committee, headed by Prof. Jonathan Mamu Ayuba, decided to disqualify Obaseki following a petition by Chisimdi M. Chima of Shores and Savanna International Law Firm.

Other members of the committee are Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed; Dr. Jane-Frances Agbu; Hon. Fort Dike; Prof. Agbo Madaki; Hon. Ibrahim Zailani and Dr. Rabe Nasir.

Sources said the committee considered only Chima’s petition to avoid being dragged into politics.

Other petitions, including those connected with alleged irregularity on possession of voter cards, were stepped down by the committee for the court to decide.

It was gathered that while other aspirants spent between five and ten minutes being screened, Obaseki had more than one-hour interaction with the team.

Investigation revealed that some of the grounds for the disqualification were raised in 2016 by the PDP, but because of non-compliance with the time limit allowed by the Election Petitions Tribunal, the opposition could not pursue its case.

The APC screening committee, sources said, grilled Obaseki on the alleged discrepancies in his educational certificates and came to the conclusion that there was no legal basis for clearing him, and that the party would be taking a risk similar to the Bayelsa State episode if it did.

The committee in its report said that though Obaseki claimed to have a Primary School Leaving Certificate obtained in 1968, no copy of the said certificate was presented.

It added: “Evidence of General Certificate of Education (GCE) O-Level in the name of Obaseki Godwin, dated June 1973 (Eghosa Anglican Grammar School, Benin City, 1969-1973) with only three credits presented.

“The aspirant claims to have a Higher School Leaving Certificate obtained in 1976. We state that there is no such certificate as Higher School Leaving Certificate known to the Nigerian educational system. Even then, no such certificate was presented.

“University of Ibadan, 1976-1979. Evidence of Bachelor of Arts Degree in the name of Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki presented.

“NYSC Certificate of National Service in the name of Obasek Godwin Nogheghase, dated 1980 presented.

“Additional qualification. Evidence of Masters of Business Administration from Pace University, New York, in the name of Godwin N. Obaseki, dated 1994.

“In the course of His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki’s appearance before the Screening Committee, he informed the committee that he filed legal action against the National Chairman of APC, the party and Sen. Lawal Shuaibu.

“Meanwhile, in the course of our screening, the National Chairman and the party were served with copies of the said originating summons registered as Suit Number FCT/HC/CV/1748/ 2020.

“The aspirant, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki on the 7th day of June 2016 purportedly deposed to a sworn affidavit of loss of original primary, secondary, university and National Youth Corps certificates before the Registrar of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Division. However, upon an application to the Chief Registrar of the High Court of the Federal Capital  Territory, Abuja Division by Chief Ferdinand Orbih, SAN dated September 2016, in reply thereto, the Chief Registrar denied that the said Affidavit emanated from the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Division.

“Though His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki in his nomination form claimed to have obtained a Higher School Leaving Certificate from the Institute of Continuing Education, Benin City, it was observed however that no educational certificate such as Higher School Leaving Certificate is known to the Nigerian Educational System.

“Even the said Higher School Leaving Certificate was never presented. In the course of the screening exercise, the aspirant admitted that he has never collected it.

“The attestation from the Institute of Continuing Education, Benin City from where the alleged Higher School Leaving Certificate, which indicated no period of attendance was obtained, is of no consequence as it only attests that Godwin Obaseki was a student of the Institute.

“Although the committee received a petition on his University of Ibadan Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies certificate which he submitted to INEC in 2016 when he first contested as governor, the committee on further probing was presented with the original certificate issued by the University of Ibadan and the original was sighted.

“On the NYSC Certificate of National Youth Service, dated 6th August 1980, issued to the aspirant, the committee observed that it bears the name Obasek Godwin Nogheghase.

“While this may be an error on the part of the issuing authority, we observed however that the aspirant has not taken any step whatsoever to have the anomaly corrected by the issuing authority.

“In line with the decided cases of ANGOS DIDI v. SELEKETIMIBI (2009), LPELR-4038(CA) and SC/1/2020 PDP and 2 OTHERS v. BIOBARKUMA DEGI-EREMIENYO and 2 OTHERS (delivered on 13/2/2020), we find it difficult to vouch for the authenticity and acceptability of the NYSC Certificate of National Service presented by His Excellency, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki.

“In view of the interaction with His Excellency on the issues raised, which include the Higher School Leaving Certificate, the defective NYSC certificate of National Service and the act of the aspirant taking the party to court in violation of Article 21 D(V) of the party’s constitution, the eligibility of this aspirant is doubtful.

“Pursuant to the above, the committee, therefore, recommends that His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, is not eligible to participate in the 2020 APC Edo Governorship Primary Election.”

The committee was inaugurated on June 9, 2020, pursuant to the “powers conferred on the National Executive Committee (NEC) by Article 18(11) ( c) 0f the constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as amended and also paragraph 11 of the Guidelines for the nomination of candidates for the 2020 Governorship Election in Edo State.”

The committee’s mandate was as follows:

  • To carry out comprehensive, due diligence of all documents, materials, and statements submitted to the party by the aspirants
  • To carry out verification of all certificates, documents, claims, and other supporting materials submitted by all aspirants (in support of their qualification for meeting the constitutional requirement, Electoral Act, the party constitution, and further guidelines issued by the party in conformity with eligibility provisions).
  • To ensure aspirants comply with all stipulated requirements.
  • To make any other recommendation(s) relevant to the above mandate of the committee.

BIG STORY

One Year After, Abuja Court Fines Senator Abbo N50m For Assaulting Woman At Sex-Toy Shop

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The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, on Monday, awarded N50m damages against the senator representing Adamawa North, Elisha Abbo, to be paid as compensation to a female attendant at a sex-toy shop, Osimibibra Warmate, whom he assaulted.

Justice Samira Bature gave the order in her judgment on the fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by Warmate against the senator.

The video clip of the alleged assault of the woman by the senator had gone viral.

The police had in 2019 charged before a magistrate court in Zuba, Abuja with one count of assaulting Warmate at a sex-toy shop in Abuja.

But the presiding magistrate, Abdullahi Ilelah, had dismissed the case after upholding the no-case submission filed by the senator.

Warmate, through her legal team including Esosa Omo-Usoh and Nelson Onuoha, went on to sue Abbo in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed before the FCT High Court and marked FCT/CV/2393/19.

Justice Bature upheld the plaintiff’s case in a judgment on Monday by ordering the senator to pay N50m to the applicant.

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BIG STORY

War Of Words: Amaechi Fights Wike At Supreme Court Justice’s Burial

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday engaged in a verbal fight at the burial of a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, in the Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.

Amaechi, who is the Minister of Transportation, while speaking at the funeral service, lamented what he termed the rising insecurity and political intimidation in the state, saying the state was back to the time of Ateke Tom, a former militant leader, who is now the traditional head of Okochiri town in Okrika LGA of the state.

“You have lost your voice. The sage (the late justice) has gone under and nobody is speaking. When I was governor, I gave people voices, but they have blocked those voices.

“Everyone is scared. We are going back to when Ateke held sway. We are going back to the period where we run away from our people. We are back to a period when nobody could speak. But from next year, I will begin to speak, if nobody wants to speak.

“We are all here because we need to bury a man God has blessed. I have stopped traveling because of bad weather, but I told myself I must be here because of Justice Whyte.

“If you knew Justice (Karibi-Whyte) very well, you will know I was close to him. I was one of the few people he mentored,” Amaechi stated.

Wike on his part described the late Karibi-Whyte as an epitome of unshakable integrity, civility, and dignity, but noted that comments credited to Amaechi were embarrassing.

Responding to Amaechi, Wike who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Emeka Woke, said the minister had lost touch with developments in the state, adding that since the launching of Operation Sting by his administration, the security situation had improved greatly.

Wike said, “It is unfortunate for Amaechi to come to Kalabari land and accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan of not developing the area six years after he had left office.

“I wonder why the former governor will choose to make such embarrassing remarks at the funeral of late Justice Karibi-Whyte, a man he (Amaechi) claimed to be his mentor.”

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BIG STORY

Nationwide Strike: Nigerian Govt Releases Details Of Agreements With Labour Leaders

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The Federal government on Monday made public the details of its agreements with organised labour.

A statement on FG’s Twitter handle said officials held consultation meetings with leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) on September 15, 24 and 27, 2020.

The resolutions reached included establishment of Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff.

It is chaired by the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, and comprises ministries, agencies, NLC and TUC.

They will work over the next two weeks.

They are to examine the justification for the electricity tariff review; review the deployment of meters, and advice FG on issues hindering implementation.

During the two-week period, DISCOs will suspend implementation of the electricity tariff adjustments.

The statement reiterated that the petrol subsidy regime has stifled downstream sector growth.

“In addition, the dire financial circumstances of the Federation preclude the ability to sustain any subsidy on PMS, and thus makes the deregulation of the sector inevitable. NNPC will expedite the rehabilitation of its Refineries, with a 50% completion target for Port Harcourt by December 2021.

“NNPC will integrate national leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN into the Steering Committee established to oversee the Rehabilitation Exercise. A Validation Team comprising of Reps of @NNPCgroup, @nigeriaeiti, @icrcng, NUPENG and PENGASSAN will be established to monitor the progress of the Rehabilitation of Refineries, Pipelines and Depot Networks.

“The Federal Government will continue to facilitate licensing and delivery of new modular and regular refineries. FG will ensure delivery of 1 million CNG/LPG Autogas Conversion Kits, Storage Skids and Dispensing Units under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Programme, by December 2021.

“A Governance Structure for this project will be established and will include Labour Representatives. FG will work to facilitate the removal of tax on minimum wage. FG will make available to Labour 133 CNG/LPG-driven Mass Transit Buses immediately, for use in major cities nationwide, and thereafter extend to all States and LGAs before December 2021.

“Ongoing FG Housing Initiatives will have 10 per cent allocated to Nigerian workers. Moribund National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) will be revived before the end of 2020, to institutionalize dialogue and engagement on socio-economic and labour issues to forestall future crises,” it disclosed.

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