Connect with us

Politics

Ondo Assembly resumes deputy gov’s impeachment process

Published

on

Ondo Assembly resumes deputy gov’s impeachment process

The Ondo State House of Assembly has written to the state Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to constitute a panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

In a letter signed by the speaker of the Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, and made available to our correspondent on Monday, the House said the impeachment process resumed after the expiration of the ex parte order of the Federal High Court.

The letter was titled, ‘Request to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, following the expiration of the interim injunction of the Federal High Court in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023 by operation of the law.’

The letter read in part, “The Ondo State House of Assembly had on 3rd October 2023 requested your lordship to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct leveled by the House against the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa, in line with Section 188 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“In a reply letter dated October 6, 2023, your lordship acknowledged and quoted Section 188 (10) of the Constitution which states that “No proceedings or determination of the House of Assembly or the panel or any matter relating so such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.”

“Your lordship, however, opined that until the ex parte order made on September 26, 2023, by the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court restraining you from setting up the panel was either vacated or set aside, your hands would continue to be tied.

“However, from the facts and legal advice at the disposal of the House, the said order has now elapsed and/or become extinguished by the operation of the law, in view of the clear provisions of Order 26 Rule 10 (2) & (3) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019.

“Your lordship would agree that the said order has elapsed by the operation of the law, and no longer constitutes an encumbrance for your lordship to discharge the sacred constitutional obligation placed on your office by virtue of Section 188 (5) of the Constitution to set up the seven-man panel.

“Consequently, the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly hereby calls on your lordship to kindly constitute the Panel without any further delay.”

This development comes a few days after the House announced the suspension of the impeachment process, following the refusal of Justice Odusola to constitute the panel on the grounds of a court order.

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Politics

‘The worst is over’ – Fubara mocks Wike in one year speech

Published

on

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has revealed that his administration inherited 34 uncompleted projects, valued at over N225. 279bn

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has revealed that his administration inherited 34 uncompleted projects, valued at over N225. 279bn spread across 13 local government areas of the state.

Fubara also disclosed that under his watch, the state government awarded nine new road projects, valued at N534.332bn.

This is even as he described as vicious and existential, the political crisis that was waged against his administration, barely three months after take-off on May 29, 2023.

The governor assured all that the worst was over because his administration had successfully defended the rights and privileges to govern the state and advance its progress in liberty and freedom without compromise.

Fubara said these while presenting an account of stewardship and scorecard to mark the first anniversary of his administration in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Wednesday.

The governor said, “We started this journey with a bang. We were focused. We were determined to make the change we promised with a sense of urgency.

“But then, somehow, we suddenly found ourselves in the cesspit of crisis barely three months into our tenure. It was not just an ordinary political crisis. It was a vicious existential crisis.

“But thank goodness, the worst is over. We have successfully defended our rights and opportunity to govern our state and advance its progress in freedom, and we will continue to prevail.”

Fubara stated that since then, a lot has changed in the political landscape, adding that he remains committed to the covenant taken a year ago to put Rivers State first, defend her interest, and ensure that the people get the dividends of democracy and good governance.

He added, “For us, any government worth its name must be accountable, responsive, and responsible for the security and well-being of the people.

“Having managed the affairs of our state for one year, including dispensing public resources, it is only proper that we render account with a public presentation of our performance record.

“I am, therefore, pleased to stand before you to present our scorecard for the first year we have been in office as the Executive arm of the Government of Rivers State.”

He reflected on his promise to deliver on the core priorities of economic growth, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and agriculture, as contained in his blueprint as a resolve to build a virile, resilient, and progressive State that caters to the needs of the people.

The governor said he was proud to report that, despite the unprecedented challenges, his first year in office witnessed significant achievements visible to everybody.

Fubara said that he inherited a state whose economy was on a declining trajectory despite its growth potential but within one year of his administration, the negative narrative had changed for the better.

The governor revealed that he set up an Internally Generated Revenue Investment Advisory Committee that he chairs to coordinate activities in the sector that has increased the inflow of economic investments to the State.

He added, “We also needed to attract investments into the state and increase our internally generated revenue base as too much reliance on federal allocations was a challenge to the realisation of our development goals.

“We, therefore, set up an IGR/Investment Advisory Committee, which is helping us to navigate our course for increased economic investments and internally generated revenue to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and advance the welfare and well-being of our people.”

Fubara emphasised, “Our liberalised business-friendly economic policies and programmes are boosting confidence and attracting local and international investors and investments into the State, judging by the expression of interest offers we receive every month.

“We have kept our taxes low, frozen the imposing of taxes on small businesses across the state, and increased the ease of doing business in the state by eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks. No request for the signing of a certificate of occupancy remains in my office beyond two days, except if I am otherwise engaged beyond two days or out of town.

“One year down the line, and we believe we are succeeding. Our internally generated revenue witnessed an astronomical increase from N12 billion to between N17 billion in off-peak periods and N28 billion during the peak months.”

Continuing, he said, “We have established a N4 billion matching fund with the Bank of Industry to support existing and new micro, small, and medium-sized businesses to grow their businesses to drive economic growth and create jobs and wealth for citizens. Over 3,000 citizens and residents have applied to access this loan to fund their businesses at a single-digit interest rate, and a repayment period of up to five years.”

He expressed his belief in using infrastructure as key to sustainable development, which was why, he explained, he did not abandon “the 34 uncompleted projects that he inherited, valued at over N225.279 billion spread across 13 local government areas of the state”.

The governor also said that 12 of those projects have been completed and put to use while construction work is ongoing on the others, with nine new road projects initiated by his administration valued at N534.332 billion.

Fubara stated that except for the Port Harcourt Ring Road project which is funded with the loan, other ambitious projects of his administration such as the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road, Okania-Ogbogoro Road and the Trans-Kalabari Road are funded from accumulated IGR and federal allocations savings.

He explained, “I wish to emphasize that with a combined cost of N528.6billion, the 50.15 kilometres Port Harcourt dual-carriage Ring Road, the dualisation of Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road and the Trans-Kalabari Road projects are three most ambitious road projects ever carried out by any Governor in Rivers State.

“The 50.15 kilometres Port Harcourt Dual Carriage Ring Road, with six flyovers, one river crossing, walkways, drains, streetlights, and spanning six local government areas, was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc at a total cost of N195.3billion for a 36-month completion period.

“The speed with which the project is advancing shows that this administration is in a hurry to deliver this project even before the due date with the 77 per cent down payment of N150billion to the contractor. Presently, work on the project is progressing satisfactorily from six different locations.

“The 33.5-kilometre Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road was awarded on the 26th of March, 2024 at a total cost of N80.886billion to Craneburge Construction Company with a down payment of 50 per cent of the contract sum and 24-month completion timeline. The contractor has since commenced work on this project, ” Fubara said

The governor said so much has been achieved in the health sector with Rivers State Emergency Ambulance Service resuscitated, facilities upgraded at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, 1,000 medical personnel employed, and 35 primary healthcare centres empowered to function maximally.

He assured all that his administration was committed to economic diversification through agriculture, stressing that efforts are at top gear to attract serious investors to take over and revive all state-owned farms and agricultural assets.

The purpose, he emphasised, is to harness the huge agricultural potential of the State to enhance food security, grow the economy, create jobs and generate revenue for the government and stakeholders.

He said, “In addition, we have concluded plans to engage our youths in profitable agriculture, and applied to participate in the second phase of the Special Agro-processing Zones project of the African Development Bank, and all other agriculture development schemes of the Federal Government.”

In the education sector, Fubara explained that he inherited several uncompleted secondary schools’ reconstruction and other projects.

Among other efforts made, Governor Fubara said: “On assumption of office, we quickly released funds to complete these schools and deliver them for public use.

“To this end, we made final payments of N701,943,233,05 for the completion and delivery of Community Secondary School, Rumuepirikom; N355,682,471.99 for Kalabari National College; N329,330,552.25 for Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Borokiri; N379,793,277.60 for Government Secondary School, Eneka; N461,973,829.38 for Government Secondary School, Emohua; N134,600,000.00 for Comprehensive Secondary School, Alesa–Eleme; N1,142,279,618.17 for Community Secondary School, Koroma, Tai; N1,863,213,093.13 for Government Comprehensive School, Okarki; N585,084,678.80 for Government Secondary School, Ataba; and N2,092,313,561.19 for Government Girls Secondary School, Ahoada.

“We also released N193,785,313.00 for the reconstruction of Community Secondary School, Kunusha, N1,500,000,000.00 for the reconstruction of Okrika Grammar School; N612,632,677.94 for the furnishing of the University of Port Harcourt Convocation Arena; and N700,000,000.00 for the twin hostel projects at the Yenagoa campus of the Nigerian Law School.

“We released N1,902,334,833.33 as matching funds for the Universal Basic Education Board for the provision of infrastructure, including the rehabilitation of basic education schools. It is noteworthy that the State’s Universal Basic Education Board has used funds released to rehabilitate over 50 basic education schools across the State,” he added.

He listed other projects and programmes undertaken by the administration across various sectors as well as the financial commitments made to ensure quality project delivery within specifications and timelines.

Fubara said the payment of salary to civil servants has been sustained, adding that an engineering firm has been engaged to do a structural assessment of what can be done to give the Rivers State Secretariat Complex a facelift.

Speaking at the event as the Chairman of the occasion, former representative of Rivers East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator John Azuta Mbata, said the essence of democracy and sovereignty is for leaders to serve the people, be responsible to them and work to improve their well-being.

Mbata stated that the governor has distinguished himself as a servant-leader whose one year in office is momentous, full of enormous accomplishments, and has such audacity to embark on an unusual phenomenon of reporting back to the people on how he has served them.

The chairman emphasised that Fubara, by conducting himself as answerable to the people, has set a record difficult to match for upholding accountability and democracy, sustaining public trust, and fostering good governance.

He said, “So, we are glad that such an occasion has presented itself in this State, where our servant-leader is before the people to give account and show his scorecard. I congratulate you most heartily for this great achievement.

“Popular sovereignty principle connotes the fact that power belongs to the people. It is the people that leaders are called upon to serve. The people play the role of choosing their leaders through regular and periodic elections, and also the people have the mandate to renew or refuse to renew the mandate periodically.

“It is accountability that ensures responsibility and transparent exercise of power in the public interest. Accountability provides the opportunity for the players to explain and account for their performance in office. I am proud that His Excellency has chosen the path of transparency and accountability as Governor of Rivers State,” he said.

In his welcome address, Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, described Governor Fubara as an eagle leader.

Such a leader, Danagogo explained, flies higher and touches the sky with speed and accuracy at hitting his target without any noise making in solving many societal and human problems that offer succour to the people.

He said over the past year, Governor Fubara has championed what he called, ‘a quiet and noiseless revolution’ wherein he had worked assiduously, performed excellently and achieved what seemed almost impossible.

On such a day, Dr Danagogo stated, “Governor Fubara, who is the people’s Governor, decided to present a vivid account of his stewardship to the people on how public funds have been deployed judiciously in delivering critical projects and social services.”

Wike and Fubara have been engaged in a prolonged feud, which necessitated the intervention of President Bola Tinub to diffuse the growing tension in the state.

A few weeks ago, five pro-Wike commissioners resigned for the second time last week, citing a hostile working environment.

These resignations came after four others had previously stepped down.

 

 

Continue Reading

Politics

2027: How PDP, LP merger will unseat Tinubu – Party leaders

Published

on

The Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party have ruled out dropping names and party structures for the 2027 general election, but would

The Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party have ruled out dropping names and party structures for the 2027 general election, but would rather consider allying to unseat the current All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Ibrahim Abdullahi, and the spokesperson for the Labour Party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 election, Yunusa Tanko, indicated this in separate interviews with The PUNCH.

Weeks ago, the 2023 presidential candidate of the LP, Peter Obi, held a closed-door meeting with ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar in Abuja.

Obi also had separate meetings with ex-Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, sparking speculation of a potential merger of the two political parties ahead of the 2027 election.

Speaking on the development, Abdullahi said Nigerians should be pleased that various democratic forces were coming together to save the country from those he labelled political opportunists.

In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, the PDP chieftain stressed that the interests of the PDP and other political parties involved were secondary, stating that the primary goal was to rescue Nigerians from the failing APC in 2027.

“And the interests of the PDP or other parties are not even necessary, everyone needs to come together and see how to come up with an approach that will deliver Nigeria from this treatment of poverty, despair, and despondency pervading the land.

“So the meeting of Atiku, Obi, and many others is an approach to rescuing Nigeria from this headless and maladministration of the APC. So we are not talking about merging. We are talking about forming alliances across party lines to see what in the days ahead will be the best approach to chasing these people out in 2027,” he said.

He clarified that the discussion was about allying, not a merger, adding that neither the PDP nor the LP needed to dismantle their existing structures.

“So, the important thing to understand is that alliance does not necessarily mean political parties will replace their names. No, it’s a question of forming alliances much on the single political party remaining with each name, logo, texture, and everything.

“They don’t have to necessarily collapse. You know, the parties are there for one platform. No, they could just say okay, you have followership in this party, but we’re calling you to identify with this party and run elections under this party, but you are still recognising your identified platform, but for exigency, you can just collapse your structure into this party, and first of all, win the election and then we begin to talk about how to share the responsibility.

“Not like the regular alliance APC did in 2014 to oust the PDP out of power. No, LP is not ready to relinquish its name and structure into PDP. PDP too is not willing to do the same, but the politicians in these parties are willing,” he said.

Tanko, in his comment, said any potential merger must adhere to the fundamental principles of the political parties.

He said Atiku and Obi must first develop strategies for moving forward, before involving their respective parties.

“That (merging) would take a technical level and technical vision, and the technical discussion will be done at the party level. But this particular discussion is discussed at the highest level of interest. ‘You are a presidential candidate, I am a presidential candidate, let us reason together on how to solve the problem.’

“So that will dovetail into the issue of merger, then the technical issue of political parties will be done.”

The presidential candidate’s spokesman, however, said merging of political parties requires considering the technicalities, adding that for now, it remained a discussion between two leading candidates.

“Because a merger means that people will leave their political party and be subjected to scrutiny or leave this particular banner, the logo, and their names and adopt new names, logos, and others.

“But an alliance means that you just work together and meet with each other. This is your strength, this is my strength. Let’s do it together and see how it works.

“So, two things happen. Let the leaders first of all agree on that, after which they can drag their political parties into it,” he said.

 

Continue Reading

Politics

Finally, Senate forgives Abdul Ningi, lifts suspension

Published

on

The Senate has pardoned and recalled Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, who was suspended on March 12, 2024. The recall process was

The Senate has pardoned and recalled Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, who was suspended on March 12, 2024.

The recall process was initiated on Tuesday after a motion moved by Deputy Minority Leader Senator Abba Moro, who expressed regret on behalf of the suspended senator. He pledged to assume full responsibility for Ningi’s actions, acknowledging the gravity of the suspension.

The senator’s conduct during the period of suspension has been a matter of scrutiny and debate within the legislative body.

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, announced the unconditional recall of Ningi after a brief plea by some lawmakers.

Akpabio emphasised the senator’s resourcefulness and described him as a valued member of the Senate, adding that the decision to recall Ningi transcends religious and ethnic divides.

Ningi was recalled some two weeks to the end of his three-month suspension which is supposed to terminate on June 12, 2024.

Back Story
On March 12, 2024, the Senate suspended Ningi over allegations of N3.7trn padding of the 2024 Budget.

Ningi, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Bauchi Central Senatorial District, was suspended for three months after a long stormy session in the red chamber.

Akpabio, who had described Ningi’s offences as “grievous”, conducted a voice vote during which most of the lawmakers voted in support of Ningi’s suspension for three months.

Ningi’s Allegations
In an interview, Ningi had claimed that the Federal Government was operating two versions of the 2024 budget and that the N28.7 trillion Budget passed and signed into law by President Bola Tinubu was skewed against the North.

Many Senators and the Presidency had pounced on Ningi, describing his claims as “far-fetched and unbecoming of a leader of his status”.

Ningi would later deny saying that the country was operating two budgets but insisted that only N25trn of the budget was tied to projects while N3.7trn had no project tied to it.

 

Continue Reading

Politics

EXCLUSIVE: 10 APC governors in secret move to remove Ganduje as national chair

Published

on

In what could be described as a titanic battle in the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), there are silent moves by 10 APC g

In what could be described as a titanic battle in the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), there are silent moves by 10 APC governors to enhance the removal of current national chairman of the party Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who has been surrounded by many allegations of fraud and corruption.

The Kano High Court charges Ganduje, wife and son on allegations of bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of funds, including the purported acceptance of $413,000 and N1.38bn in bribes.

Ganduje, who was Kano governor between May 2015 and May 2023, has been under pressure to resign his position as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The situation took a new twist recently with some APC executives in Ganduje’s ward in Kano suspending him and insisting that he exonerates himself of corruption charges levelled against him by the state government. However, the state executives of the party dismissed the suspension and sanctioned the ward officials involved.

Sources within the party told Thepapers that close to 10 APC governors are not happy with the image of the party’s national chairman as moves to recommend suspension deepens.

“The body language of some APC governors is to let the president allow Ganduje to be suspended and face his corruption charges. As it is, the governors are not comfortable with his image in the public, especially from his own state, so there are intense pressures on the president not to influence the process by the National Working Committee of the party,” said source.

“President Tinubu has been backing him, now; we want him to go because his image is not good enough for the party and this administration. The card on ground is to align with a Christian candidate from Nasarawa as the party chairman,” he concluded.

Continue Reading

News

Tinubu to deliver ‘state of the nation’ address at joint sitting of n’assembly on May 29

Published

on

‘Nigeria capable of producing vaccines’ – Tinubu

The senate and house of representatives will hold a joint sitting on Wednesday to mark 25 years of uninterrupted democracy in the country.

Other than during the president’s budget presentation, joint sittings of the senate and house of representatives are rare.

A statement issued by Magaji Tambawal, clerk to the national assembly, said President Bola Tinubu will deliver an address on the state of the nation at the joint sitting and also inaugurate the national assembly library.

Also expected at the sitting are Vice-President Kashim Shettima; AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, governor of Kwara and chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum; Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo; and George Akume, secretary to the government of the federation.

Others are Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff to the president; and Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

Gbajabiamila, who served as speaker of the 9th house (2019-2023), will deliver a paper on ‘Reflections on the House’, while David Mark, president of the 6th & 7th senate (2007-2015), will speak on ‘Reflections on the Senate’.

Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state, will also deliver a paper on ‘Reflections on the Journey to Democracy’.

Source: The Cable

 

Continue Reading

Politics

Fubara vs Wike: No end time for Rivers crisis, ‘the jungle has matured’

Published

on

The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zaccaeus Adangor, SAN has rejected his redeployment to the Ministry

There is no foreseeable end to the political crisis rocking the oil-rich state. All peace deals seem to have collapsed irretrievably.

In the words of Governor Siminalayi Fubara, “the jungle has matured” and what began in October 2023 as a mere misunderstanding between members of the same political families has been mismanaged and allowed to snowball into a major crisis. How did the once peaceful and progressive Rivers arrive at this troubling point?

The midnight attack and bombing of the hallowed chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly in October 2023 by yet-to-be-unmasked hoodlums opened the public chapter of the Rivers political crisis. An impeachment scare reportedly caused the assault on the arm of the government. The former Majority Leader of the House, Edison Ehie and two others were suspended by the Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly. The lawmakers sat at the conference hall and issued an impeachment notice to the governor.

The executive moved in bulldozers and pulverized a significant section of the assembly complex, saying the area was uninhabitable because of the impact of the explosives on the building. The House was split, with pro-Fubara lawmakers electing Ehie as their speaker. Afterwards, they relocated their legislative sitting to the Government House.

All hell was let loose after 27 lawmakers abandoned the political platform through which they were elected, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC). This immediately altered the Rivers State’s political configuration.

Ehie declared the seats of the 27 lawmakers loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Nyesom Wike vacant, citing constitutional provisions and insisting that they have ceased to be members, immediately after they defected to another party. He also wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and called for fresh elections to fill the position he earlier declared vacant. The development led to a flurry of legal battles, judicial orders and counter-orders.

Youths and residents sided with the governor and barricaded the main entrance to the Government House. Over 10 commissioners and Wike’s loyalists resigned their appointments in Fubara’s cabinet in solidarity with their political leader.

The once peaceful Rivers State was on edge. There were signs of possible breakdown of law in the air. The state elders woke up and sought mediation. However, the elders were factionalized and biased. Some pitched their camp with Wike, absolving him of wrongdoing. Others identified with Governor Fubara and accused Wike of trying to strangulate and emasculate his estranged godson. The state was in a quagmire with confusion looming.

Concerned about the escalating crisis and possible violence, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu intervened to unite the warring factions. Tinubu’s intervention was based on the love he has for Wike, Fubara and the entire Rivers people. He may have remembered how Rivers played a crucial role in his election and the red carpet reception he received when he visited to inaugurate some projects as the President-elect.

The intervention of Tinubu led to the promulgation of the Eight-point Peace Accord. All the warring parties endorsed the agreement, which brought a glimmer of hope that the crisis in the oil-rich state would be settled.

Despite the pressure mounted on him by some powerful stakeholders to reject the peace deal, Fubara insisted that he would implement it. Perhaps to facilitate the implementation, the governor convinced Ehie to resign his membership of the House and take up a new role in his administration as the Chief of Staff.

Source: The Nation

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories