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APC finally loses Zamfara as Supreme Court rules against party

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Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, has finally lost its bid to govern Zamfara State for the next four years following a Supreme Court ruling.

An APC governor, Abdulaziz Yari, is the outgoing governor of the state.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the APC did not conduct valid primaries in the build up to the 2019 general elections in Zamfara.

The Supreme Court validated the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, which ruled that no valid primaries were conducted by the APC in Zamfara State.

The court in a unanimous judgement by a five-member panel on Friday decided that a party that had no valid candidate cannot be said to have emerged winner of the recently conducted general elections.

In an appeal brought by the APC, the apex court ruled against the apellant and ordered a fine of N10 million against the APC.

“Candidate other than the first appellant with the highest vote stand elected. A cost of N10 million is awarded against the appellant,” the court ruled.

The candidate of the APC, Mukhtar Idris, had been declared winner of the elections after he polled 534,541 votes despite controversies trailing his candidacy.

The PDP candidate is believed to have come second in the election and could now be declared the governor-elect in the state.

The ruling also affects all APC Zamfara House of Assembly candidates who were initially declared winners of their elections.

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Politics

Delta APC crisis: Emerhor withdraws case against Omo-Agege, Ogboru faction

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The protracted division bedeviling the Delta state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was on Monday laid to rest with the leader of one of the two factions, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, calling the truce.

Delta APC got enmeshed in 2018 when the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on assumption of office sacked the Olorogun Cyril Ogodo-led state executive counci, inaugurated by former National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and replaced it with Prophet Jones Erue-led executive council.

The Ogodo-led faction, which is represented by the Mainstream Delta APC group under the leadership of the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Olorogun Emerhor, had gone to court to reclaim its mandate, winning its first outing at the Federal High Court in Asaba and had proceeded to the Supreme Court in pursuit of favourable judgement.

However, in a statement on Monday, July 15, Emerhor, said his faction, considering the high stakes that had risen with recent developments, especially the election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as Deputy Senate President had chosen to withdraw from pursuing the case.

“During the pendency of our Supreme Court appeal, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the main impacted person, should our appeal succeed at the Supreme Court, was sponsored by our National APC and Federal government and was elected the Deputy Senate President (DSP) of the Nigerian Senate. Since this event a lot has happened.”

“Your leadership has come under intense pressure to terminate the appeal at the Supreme Court in order not to jeopardize the standing of the DSP at the Nigerian senate. This pressure has come from elders, leaders and Clergymen of Urhobo nation, from well wishers and family members of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, from APC party leaders of the South South, and indeed, from the Presidency.

“Recently, on Tuesday, July 11th 2019, myself and Chief Cyril Ogodo had audience with the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osibanjo on the matter to chart a way forward.

“Upon the election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the DSP, and with the reach out from the various interested persons mentioned above, your leadership has indeed agreed, in its usual reconciliatory manner, to seize the opportunity to again push for a party reconciliation and unification deal that can produce a win win situation for Delta APC and properly position it.

“Our earlier terms for Party exco harmonization and sharing of Federal appointments to all groups in Delta APC were once again put on the table as the panacea for bringing lasting peace to APC Delta State. Unfortunately, even with the best efforts of those who intervened to seize this moment as a last minute effort to bring peace to reign, again no traction was achieved.

“At the same time, our case in the Supreme Court suffered a set back. As against securing an accelerate hearing consequent on it being a pre-election matter, the suit is currently adjourned to October 14, 2019. It has been in our contemplation for the case to come to a closure in July 2019 and allow peace and unification come to Delta APC at last.

“Under the above circumstances and in full recognition of the pressures that have been brought to bear and also in appreciation of the legal arguments as to whether we could still achieve the objectives of the suit when it comes up in October or not, your leadership has decided and indeed unconditionally agreed to withdraw our appeal from the Supreme Court by filing a notice of discontinuance today Monday July 15th, 2019.

“Your leadership believes this is for the best. We have fought a good fight and even good fights must come to an end! We don’t need to fight on till October and beyond! We don’t need to force others to the table anymore and or forever.

“I, therefore, on behalf of the Mainstream of APC in Delta proclaim an end on our part in the factional fight for the control of APC in Delta State. We also seize the opportunity to recognize Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as our Senator and congratulate him for his election as DSP of the Nigerian senate. We in the same breath, recognize and congratulate other elected legislators of APC in Delta State.

“We do this with zero expectations from those who are now the ‘victors’. We will, however, be wildly surprised if they seize the moment and strive for the unification of the party in the interest of a stronger Delta APC.

“I also wish to seize the opportunity to thank all members of the Mainstream of Delta APC, and the Ogodo led Exco in Delta State for your unalloyed loyalty, support and resilience in the face of daunting challenges throughout the period of our contending for a winning APC in Delta State. As I said earlier, even a good fight must end one way or the other. I thank you all,” Emerhor said.

The Witness

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Lagos Matters

Sanwo-Olu Transmits Name Of Commissioners, Special Advisers To State Assembly For Screening

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In fulfilment of his election promise to accelerate his administration’s development agenda, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, transmitted a list of Commissioner-designates to the House of Assembly for ratification.

The list contained twenty five names, who are to assume duty as Commissioners and Special Advisers upon ratification by the legislature.

A statement by the Governor’s Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said Sanwo-Olu carefully picked the nominees based on their cognate experience in their respective professions.

The list, Akosile said, comprised names of technocrats and politicians, who understand the challenges of the state, noting that the painstaking and laborious selection process was aimed at constituting the best team that will serve Lagos in line with the agenda of his administration vision of delivering a city-state that will rank among the top most liveable cities in the world.

The statement said: “We took our time to pick the best hands for the tough job Lagosians have elected us to do. The nominees for the twenty five Commissioner and Special Adviser positions include women and men who have made their mark and at the zenith of their professional callings.’’

Governor Sanwo-Olu’ media aide stated further that the current list is first batch, saying that consultation was going on with regard to the complete number of the cabinet members.

He further disclosed that the new cabinet would be unique, because of its diversity. Quoting Governor Sanwo-Olu, he said Lagos would continue to take the lead in innovation, gender-balance and youth inclusion in the administration of the State.

“We have a blend of youth who are under 40 among nominees for Commissioners and Special Advisers. Women too are well represented in the list. We believe Lagos deserves the best and we cannot give the people anything less than that,” the statement said.

Breaking down the list of nominees, there are 17 men and eight women that will be sworn in as members of the State Executive Council. Also in keeping his promise of millennial’s inclusion, Governor Sanwo-Olu included youths who are in their early and mid-thirties in the list of nominees.

The State House of Assembly is expected to carry out a screening of the nominees to set the machinery of governance in full swing.  

Below are names of the nominees:

1.     Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo

2.     Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo

3.     Prof. Akin Abayomi

4.     Dr. Idris Salako

5.     Mr. Tunji Bello

6.     Mr. Gbenga Omotoso

7.     Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka

8.     Mrs. Bolaji Dada

9.     Mr. Lere Odusote

10.   Dr. Frederic Oladeinde

11.   Mr. Gbolahan Lawal

12.   Ms. Adekemi Ajayi

13.   Mr. Femi George

14.   Dr. Wale Ahmed

15.   Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN)

16.   Mr. Hakeem Fahm

17.   Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle

18.   Engr. Aramide Adeyoye

19.   Mr. Segun Dawodu

20.   Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf

21.   Mr. Sam Egube

22.   Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya

23.   Princess Aderemi Adebowale

24.   Mr. Tunbosun Alake

25.   Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo

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Politics

Tinubu, Akande, Osoba, Fayemi, Others Storm Ondo To Reconcile APC Feuding Members

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Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Southwest were in Akure, the Ondo State capital yesterday to reconcile the party’s feuding members.

On the peace team were former Lagos, Ogun and Osun states governors Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Aremo Segun Osoba and Chief Bisi Akande as well as Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.

They met with Governor Oluwarotimi Akredolu and other critical stakeholders of the local APC at the Heritage Hotel.

The meeting was at the instance of the host governor, it was learnt.

Other party stakeholders at the meeting were former Ondo Deputy Governor Alhaji Alli Olanusi; a governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the last governorship election, Chief Olusola Oke; former Osun State Regional Integration Commissioner Bola Ilori and Isaac Kekemeke, among others.

Akeredolu, it was learnt, will be seeking the APC ticket for a second term after the expiration of his four-year tenure next year. The governor has not made his ambition public.

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