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JUST IN: Court Annuls APC Lawmaker’s Election, Orders Replacement

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has voided the election of the member of Kogi Assembly, Atule Egbunu, representing Ibaji constituency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In his place, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered that the candidate of the party that came second in the December 5, 2020 by-election, which produced Egbunu, should be inaugurated in placed of the sacked APC candidate.

Justice Ekwo gave the order in a judgement on Friday in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/173/2020 filed by Joseph Enemona, in which he challenged the propriety of the primary election conducted by his party, the APC, to chose a candidate for the by-election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared APC’s Egbunu winner with 8,515 votes, while PDP’s candidate for the election, Daniel Enefola came second with 4, 564 votes in the December 5, 2020 election.

Justice Ekwo, in the judgment, upheld the plaintiff’s claim that the APC did not conduct a valid primary election.

The judge noted that, while seven aspirants were to participate in the primary election, the party unlawfully manoeuvred the process, made the participation of a single aspirant possible and denied the other six the opportunity to participate.

He added that the APC acted unlawfully by conducting the purported primary election outside the party’s secretariat, as required by law.

Justice Ekwo faulted the respondents’ claim that the winner of the purported election, Matthew Oguche was substituted with Atule Egbunu, noting that Oguche was not one of a legitimate aspirants before the election.

The judge proceeded to declare the primary held by the APC as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional and subsequently set it aside.

Justice Ekwo declined the plaintiff’s request for an order for the conduct of a fresh primary election but ordered that the candidate of the party that came second in the election be inaugurated.

The judge held that the time for the conduct of primary and nomination of candidate for the December 5, 2020 bye-election had lapsed.

Enemona, a member of the APC and an aspirant for the state House of Assembly, had sued to challenge the propriety of the September 3, 2020 primary election conducted by his party.

He argued among others, that the party unlawfully excluded six other aspirants from the primary election and also did not allow delegates to vote.

The plaintiff stated that, while as required by the law, the primary elections should have been conducted at the party secretariat in Onyedega, officials of the APC took the primary election to a mall.

He further stated that INEC was not given the required 21-day’s notice before the said primary election, as required under Section 85 of Electoral Act, 2010.

The plaintiff contended that while the APC guidelines stipulated direct primary election, officials of the part manipulated the guidelines and used indirect system to pick the purported candidate.

He, among others, prayed the court to void the purported nomination of Egbunu and order the conduct of another primary election.

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Teenager Drags Father To Police Over Alleged Defilement

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A 14-year-old girl (name withheld) has reported her father to the men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly defiling her.

It was gathered that the incident happened in the Ikorodu area of the state and police operatives attached to Ipakodo Division, Ikorodu, have since arrested the teenager’s father, one 45-year-old Kayode Adeyanju.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, made this known in a statement on Monday titled, ‘Lagos Police Arrest Man For Defiling Daughter.

“The survivor personally reported the case at Ipakodo Police Station, Ikorodu on the 7th June, 2021, after her horrible ordeal in the hands of her father and the police operatives arrested the suspect.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has condemned the act and ordered that the case be transferred to the Gender Unit of the Command for further investigation,” the statement partly read.

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“Sen. Lola Ashiru Is A Great Democrat, Committed To Service” – AbdulRazaq

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has congratulated Senator Oyelola Ashiru on his 66th birthday anniversary, calling him “a great democrat, an accomplished technocrat, and a fine parliamentarian who is committed to the service of his community and fatherland”.

In a congratulatory message for the senator representing Kwara South, the Governor called him a team player and a statesman who has used his expertise and experience as an A-list architect to promote Kwara for decades. He is one of the state’s success stories in the private sector.

“On behalf of the people and government of Kwara State, I join family, friends and associates of the distinguished senator to celebrate him as he added another year. He stands out for his long-standing passion to serve the public. Apart from his outstanding legislative performance, which is the primary function of a lawmaker, Senator Ashiru has also made significant interventions in human and infrastructural development, which serve to complement our efforts as an administration back home. We thank him for that, and for his commitments to the Otoge ideals,” the statement said.

“I pray Almighty Allah to preserve Architect Ashiru on the path of good, and grant him more strength, good health, and required wisdom in his continued efforts to serve humanity.”

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FG To Open Second Niger Bridge By February 2022

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The Nigerian government has released a date for the opening to traffic of the 2nd Niger Bridge.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive of National Inland Waterways, NIWA, George Moghalu, announced that the 2nd Niger Bridge will be opened to traffic from February 2022.

He said: “By February next year 2022, the new 2nd Niger Bridge will be opened for vehicular use.

“President Muhammadu Buhari had flagged off the construction of the eastern rail line at Port Harcourt. This will traverse all states in the South-East.

Moghalu reiterated that the administration is committed to transforming the lives of all Nigerians, including those of the South-East.

“The bathymetric survey of the rivers that share a common course is targeted at opening up enormous economic and agricultural activities to boost commercial activities in Anambra State.

“This would also restore the historic water transportation along the course like in the past, which would also reduce pressure on our roads infrastructure, Moghalu added.

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