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Appeal Court Affirms Natasha Winner Of Kogi Central Senatorial Seat

natasha akpoti uduaghan



The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Tuesday, affirmed the election victory of Natasha Akpoti-Uduagan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the Kogi Central Senatorial election held in February.

The three-member panel, in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Hamma Barka, upheld the judgment of the state’s election tribunal and dismissed the appeal filed by Sen. Abubakar Ohere of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court agreed with the submission of counsel for Akpoti-Uduagan, Mr Johnson Usman, SAN, for being meritorious.

The panel agreed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to give a good reason why it did not collate the results in parts of Kogi Central Senatorial District, particularly Ganaja/Ajaokuta Ward in nine polling units where the election was conducted.

The appellate court equally agreed that the results of PDP and its candidate, Akpoti-Uduagan, in about eight polling units where the election was conducted and results declared at the polling units, were suppressed by the ward returning officer at the ward level.

The panel agreed that the votes ought to have been restored and that the state’s election tribunal was right when it restored those votes.

Justice Barka, in the judgment, awarded the sum of N500,000 against Ohere, the appellant in the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/EP/SEN/KG/35/2023 between Ohere and another Vs. Akpoti-Uduagan and two others.

Besides, the judge also awarded the sum of N500,000 against INEC in the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/EP/SEN/KG/57/2023 which the commission filed against Akpoti-Uduagan and three others.

The Kogi State National and State Election Assemblies Tribunal, had, on Sept 6, declared Akpoti-Uduagan the validly elected candidate for the senatorial poll.

The tribunal also invalidated the victory of Sen. Ohere, after the PDP candidate filed the petition at the tribunal to challenge Ohere’s declaration as winner.

*Natasha Akpoti Uduaghan

The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Kemakolam Ojiako, delivered the unanimous judgment of the three-man panel, revealing that Sen. Ohere’s results were inflated in nine polling units in the Ajaokuta Local Government Area.

He added that INEC reduced Akpoti-Uduagan’s results in those areas and omitted the results of other polling units meant for Akpoti-Uduagan in the same LGA.

Following the necessary corrections, the court declared Akpoti-Uduagan as the winner of the election with 54,074 votes, surpassing Ohere, who garnered 51,291 votes.

But unsatisfied, Ohere approached the Court of Appeal seeking to upturn the election.

INEC had declared Ohere as the winner of the senatorial election held on Feb. 25.

INEC returning officer for the district, Rotimi Ajayi, had announced that Ohere garnered 52,132 votes to beat Natasha who had 51,763 votes, with 369 votes margin.

Speaking shortly after the judgment, Mr Usman, who appeared for Akpoti-Uduagan, said justice had been done to the people of Kogi Central Senatorial District, who came out en mass to vote for his client on Feb. 25.

“It is called the people’s mandate and justice has been done,” he said.

Also speaking, Sen. Dino Melaye, the PDP Candidate for the Nov. 11 Kogi governorship election, described the judgment as a “victory for democracy.”

 Melaye, who congratulated Akpoti-Uduagan, said his party would replicate the victory in the Nov. 11 election.

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MWUN Congratulates PTML Management On Acquisition Of MV Great Lagos



*MV Great Lagos

…Describes ship as a marvel of modern engineering

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) under the leadership of its President-General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has congratulated the Managing Director of Grimaldi Shipping Company, Mr. Ascanio Ruso, and his management for acquiring “MV GREAT LAGOS”, noting that it is the first of its kind in Nigeria.

The ship is described as a marvel of modern engineering with functions of environmental consciousness built to meet the challenges of modern-day technology in the maritime industry.

“This suffices to say that Ascanio Ruso is one of the best maritime administrators in Nigeria, who treats workers in his employ with humane and dignity for labour,” Adeyanju, a Prince of Ibaan further stated.

NLC: MWUN President-General, Adeyanju, to vie for Deputy National President post

“I wish to categorically state here again that Mr. Ascanio is a wonderful Managing Director with a human face and one of the foremost employers of labour in the industry. Your blood flows with genuine intentions of fair treatment to workers’ welfare in the maritime space.

*MV Great Lagos

“We in the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria Congratulate you on this laudable milestone achievement. Once again, we say congratulations to Mr. Ascanio Ruso and your management team,” Prince Adeyanju said.

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Makinde Presents N434.2bn 2024 Budget Proposal For Oyo State



PDP’s Agboworin wins House of Representatives re-run election in Oyo

 Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday presented a budget of N434.2 billion for 2024 to the State House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

According to Makinde, the budget is made up of N222.3 billion for capital expenditure, and N211.8 billion for recurrent expenditure.

Presenting the budget tagged: “Budget of Economic Recovery”, the governor said the capital expenditure is 2.4 percent higher than the recurrent expenditure.

He added that the 2024 budget was estimating an increased Internally Generated Revenue of N72 billion with an average of N6 billion monthly.

Education gets the highest share of the budget with N90.6 billion or 20.8 percent of the budget, followed by Infrastructure which gets N74.3 billion or 17.1 percent of the appropriation bill.

The health sector takes the third position with N40.9 billion, which is 9.4 percent and Agriculture has N15.8 billion, which is 3.6 percent of the total budget proposal.

PDP’s Agboworin wins House of Representatives re-run election in Oyo

*Governor Seyi Makinde

He promised that the 2024 budget would cover projects, policies, and actions “which when implemented will cushion the effect t of the hardship the people are facing as a result of fuel subsidy removal.”

Makinde further said that his administration would continue to use technology to block loopholes, saying his government has no plan to increase taxes.

He urged the House of Assembly to see to the speedy passage of the budget proposal for the state’s economic growth and benefit of the people of Oyo State.

Responding after the presentation, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr ‘Debo Ogundoyin (PDP Ibarapa East) assured the governor of speedy consideration of the Appropriation Bill.

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Reps Committee Issues Warrant Of Arrest On CBN Governor, Others



..Following their alleged refusal to appear, four times when invited

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition has issued a warrant of arrest on the Central Bank Governor, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 others for refusing to appear before it to answer questions on their operations.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa) at the committee’s hearing on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Agbedi said that the arrest warrant had become inevitable following the attitude of the invitees.

He said that the parliament worked with time and the CEOs had been invited four times but failed to respond.

He said that the CEOs should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas.

Forex inflow: CBN tasks banks to support indigenous companies

In his ruling, the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Micheal Irom (APC-Cross River)  said that the I-G should ensure the CEOs were brought before the committee on Dec. 14.

Earlier, the petitioner, Mr Fidelis Uzowanem, said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report of 2021.

He said that the report was a summary of the transactions in the oil and gas industry for 2021 which NEITI could to be challenged.

“We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together is a report is only a consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.

“It dates back to 2016 because was have been following and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.

“The 2024 budget of 27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently be funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

“It is basically a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL, they have been in the sink with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash call, an amount paid for crude oil production,” he said.
He added: “We also found that the cash core payment was used as a channel for laundering funds by NNPCL and we found out that NEITI was able to conceal it in its report.

“In 2021 NEITI reported that Total Exploration and Production Nigeria-Ltd was paid 168 million dollars but examination of submission by the company shows that it received 292 million dollars.

“In other words, 124 million dollars were laundered by NNPCL through Total because monies that have been officially paid to Total could not have been concealed if it were not meant for fraudulent purposes.

“Also for Chevron, the dollar payment NEITI puts forward in its report was 76 million dollars but document emanating from Chevron showed that they received as much as 267 million dollars.”

“In other words, 191 million was laundered under the cover of Chevron and NEITI concealed that; also, Nigeria Agip Company received 188 million dollars but none of it was reported by NEITI”.

Some of those to be arrested were the Chief Executive Officer of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), that of Ethiop Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd, as well as the CEO of Western Africa Exploration and Production.

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