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Following the ruling of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, which sacked Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, the National Caretaker Committee of the party, under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has taken over the PDP national secretariat in Abuja after the judgment.

The secretariat was until Wednesday morning occupied by Sheriff and his loyalists.

Members of the party trooped to the erstwhile deserted secretariat located at Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.

As soon as the Supreme Court made the pronouncements, drummers and praise singers took over the party secretariat, singing and dancing as politicians in their large number rushed to the secretariat.

Among the early birds at the office were Makarfi and members of his team; former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana; a former governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke; Plateau State ex-governor, Jonah Jang; a former aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; PDP Board of Trustees member, Prof. Ahmed Alkali; and a former Chairman, DAAR Communication, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, among others.

Drummers, trumpeters and singers were also on hand to welcome Makarfi and his team to the party’s erstwhile temporary secretariat located at Wuse Zone 2.

Members of staff of the parties, who had been receiving less than half salary for more than a year, also joined in the celebration.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court had removed Sheriff as the National Chairman of the PDP.

A five-man panel of the apex court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in its unanimous judgment, reinstated the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, which was earlier sacked by the majority verdict of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal on February 17, 2017.

The same majority judgment of the appeal court had recognised Sheriff as the authentic National Chairman of the party after nullifying the national convention of the party, which had earlier removed the ex-governor of Borno State in Port Harcourt on May 21, 2016.

The Wednesday’s judgment of the Supreme Court has put to rest the legal battle for the control of the party, the fallout of the political crisis which has been rocking the party since it lost the 2015 presidential election.

Reading the lead judgment of the apex court on Wednesday, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour formulated two issues for determination and both were resolved against Sheriff.

The judgment, which was based on the interpretation of the relevant provisions of the PDP’s constitution, also awarded the cost of N250,000 against Sheriff.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour descended heavily on Sheriff, whom the apex court adjudged to be filing multiplicity of suits in his desperation to cling to office after being removed by the resolution of the national convention of the party held in Port Harcourt on May 21, 2016.

The apex court upheld the judgment of Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, delivered on July 4, 2016, and the subsequent dissenting decision of a member of the three-man panel of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, which both validated the removal of Sheriff as the National Chairman at the party’s national convention held on May 21, 2016.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour held that the majority judgment of the two of the members of the panel of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, delivered on February 17, 2017, was perverse.

The apex court held that the suit filed by the Makarfi faction before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, was not an abuse of court process as wrongly held by the majority judgment which formed the decision of the Court of Appeal.

On the second issue, which it also resolved against Sheriff, the apex court held that the national convention of the PDP held on May 21, 2016, was rightly and constitutionally convened.

It held that going by the provisions of the PDP constitution, it was right for the PDP Deputy National Chairman to preside over the convention after Sheriff abandoned the convention and attempted to call it off.

It held that the convention acted rightly and not in breach of any aspect of the PDP’s constitution by setting up the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour ruled, “When the first respondent (Sheriff) abandoned the convention, the PDP Deputy National Chairman presided over the convention in accordance with Article 35(2)(b) of the Constitution of the PDP.

“Furthermore, the Court of Appeal was wrong for its findings and came to a perverse conclusion after examining only Article 47(d) of the PDP constitution. It should also have examined other articles.

“It is also to be noted that the motion for the removal of the National Working Committee was brought pursuant to provisions of Article 33(5)(d) of the PDP constitution.”

He therefore held that all the resolutions passed and adopted at the convention, sacking the NEC and the NWC of the party, were valid.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour ruled, “There is merit in this appeal. The appeal is allowed. The judgment of the trial court, which was affirmed by the dissenting judgment of the Court of Appeal, is affirmed by this court. Cost of N250,000 is awarded against the first respondent (Sheriff).”

He advised the heads of various courts, which have the duty of assigning cases to judges under them, to be wary of antics of mischievous politicians who file multiplicity of cases.

The apex court Justice advised the heads of court to ensure that cases of similar subject matters were heard by the same judge.

Rhodes-Vivour added, “Trial judges must also be on the lookout and refrain from receiving cases when aware that a brother judge is handling a similar matter.”

Justice Rhodes-Vivour noted that many of the suits filed by Sherfiff had been abandoned and would continue to gather dust in judicial archive.

He held, “The respondents (Sheriff group) and their allies filed over 10 suits. The Court of Appeal has this to say; ‘the first appellant’, I agree, ‘displayed an infantile desperation to cling to office at all cost’.

“The first respondent has unpalatable desire to cling on to office.

“That desire was deployed relentlessly by filing over 10 suits. Most of which have been abandoned. They shall forever gather dust in judicial archive.”

Earlier in the judgment, Justice Rhodes-Vivour dismissed the preliminary objection filed by Sheriff.

Sheriff had contended in the motion, which the Supreme Court ruled as lacking in merit, that the appeal by the Makarfi faction was invalid on the basis it was filed in the name of the PDP, which he (Makarfi) was no longer in control of after the February 17, 2017 judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Other members of the panel, who also consented to the lead judgment, were Justices Onnoghen, Tanko Muhammad, Kayode Ariwoola and Dattijo Muhammad.

While Makarfi was at the Supreme Court with a large retinue of loyalists, Sheriff was absent.

The only notable personality of the Sheriff group present in court on Wednesday was the Deputy National Chairman of the faction, Cairo Ojougboh.

The roll of the party’s big names on Makarfi’s side, who attended the proceedings, were Fayose and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

Also present were a former Vice-Chairman of the party (South-West), Chief Bode George; and the present occupant of the position in the faction, Chief Eddy Olafeso; a former National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh; a former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; and a former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau.

BIG STORY

‘Obidients’ Threatening To Burn Down Afrika Shrine – Femi Kuti

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Afrobeat singer Femi Kuti has alleged that some people threatened to burn down the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja over reports that he called supporters of Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi ‘zombies’.

The 60-year-old said this in a video posted on Instagram on Friday night, where he insisted he never called Mr Obi’s supporters ‘zombies’.

On Friday, reports that he described the LP candidate’s supporters as zombies emerged.

The singer immediately debunked the report, describing it as misleading.

In a performance at the Afrika Shrine on Thursday night, Mr Kuti said that at 60, he could not be obedient.

Supporters of the LP candidate refer to themselves as ‘Obidients’.

The threat
Despite clearing the air, the singer said he woke up to a barrage of insults and abuses by people whom he described as Mr Obi’s supporters.

He said, “I woke up today to insults abusing me, my family and my children, threatening that they will burn the shrine because they said I said Peter Obi’s supporters are zombies.”

Clearing the air, Mr Kuti said that he was too angry, too sad, and depressed to be obedient.

“How can anybody come up with that term? I cannot be ‘Obedient’ in this country with END SARS killings, my grandmother was killed, my father’s house burnt, and I’m supposed to be obedient.

“Did I call Peter Obi supporters zombies? Did I say that? No. What does ‘obedient’ mean? I wouldn’t say I like that terminology for myself and will never use it.

“Nothing can make me obedient. I’m too angry, too sad, too depressed to be. Stop threatening to burn the shrine, stop threatening my children, stop that rubbish,” he said.

He went on to express his reservations about Mr Obi’s candidacy.

He said, “Obi went to greet Obasanjo. That makes me sceptical. Obi went to meet Babangida. Who? Me? My family believes these people are a part of the problem in this country.

“Well, some people will say no. That is your business; you have the right to think like that if that is what you believe is good for you. But you, too, cannot tell me how to think.

“I have my reservations. I do. You cannot tell me not to have reservations.”

What transpired
An online publication reported his speech at the Afrika Shrine with the headline, ‘Femi Kuti says Obidients are zombies’.

In its report, the publication likened the Grammy nominee’s speech to his Father’s 1976 acclaimed song, ‘Zombie’.

The publication quoted the ‘Sorry Sorry’ crooner said, “You know what obedience means? Stand up, sit down, sit there — zombie.”

In his response, Mr Kuti said that the publication took his words out of context.

“You are such liars. What benefit is it to the people when you take my words out of context like this?”

He further added that he also gave his reasons for not trusting anyone else too in the present Nigerian political arena.

What actually happened
From the clip posted by People’s Gazette on YouTube, it appeared that Mr Kuti had paused a performance to talk about the 2023 presidential election.

He said, “At 60, why am I obedient? All my life, I don’t even remember a good time.

“I fear for my children; you say I should be obedient. Sit down. Be peaceful. That’s the meaning of obedience. ‘Obedient’, that was the Vice President of Atiku?

“Are you all ok in this country? Be obedient to who? Dem don suffer my life, make I come still dey stand up, obedient.”

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Akwa Ibom Monarch To Die By Hanging For Murder

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Akwa Ibom State High Court presided by Justice Edem Akpan, has sentenced 82-year-old Village Head of Efen Ibom in Ika Local Government Area of the State, Chief Essien Matthew Odiong, to death by hanging for murder.

The monarch, married to 12 wives and has 60 children, was standing trial on four counts of conspiracy, directing unlawful trial by ordeal, stealing of the motorcycle, and murder of the owner, one Udoma Udo Ubom.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Akpan said the court found the accused guilty of the murder of the deceased by injecting some chemical substance on him, leading to his death on 26th April 2017.

According to the judgment, the late Ubom was accused by his brothers of being a wizard and was reported to the Village Head, who brought him before the Council, where the deceased was administered an oath to swear and prove his innocence.

The court held, “Having sensed the consequences of his criminal activity, the monarch escaped from the Village since 2017 and returned in 2019 when he was arrested by the Police.”

Justice Akpan stated, “The accused had voluntarily admitted that he sat at Efen Clan Council with five other village heads and members of the Clan Council to try the deceased on the allegation of witchcraft, and the law has relieved the prosecution of the burden to prove the offense of conspiracy.”

The court further held, “The admission of the process of trial and the decision of Efen Clan Council to administer oath on the deceased, has logically brought to the conclusion that a plastic bath on the head of the late Udoma Akpan Udo Ubom and injecting some chemical substance through a syringe into his buttocks by the village head, caused the death of the deceased.”

Justice Edem Akpan sentenced the Village Head to death by hanging for murder, seven years imprisonment with hard labor for directing unlawful trial by ordeal, and three years imprisonment for conspiracy with others now at large.

However, before the sentence was announced, the convicted Village Head, popularly known as ‘Kill and Bury’ pleaded for leniency, asking the Court to temper justice with mercy.

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”It’s Totally False And Malicious”, 2Face Debunks Rumour He Got A Banker Pregnant

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Nigerian singer, 2face Idibia has debunked reports he got a banker pregnant.

His manager, Efe Omorogbe released a statement debunking the rumor this afternoon, August 13.

Recall that few days ago, 2face came on social media to apologize to his wife, Annie Idibia, for being a “Shitty husband”.

Shortly after he shared his apology post, some social media users claimed he apologized publicly because he got a banker pregnant.

The singer has now debunked the report.

Read the statement below…

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