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Battle for Senate: Saraki, Sani, Olujimi, others fall

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…As 20 die following violence which mars elections***

Some giants have fallen in the fierce battle for the Senate – going by results announced by the electoral umpire.

Dr. Bukola Saraki lost his bid to return to the Senate for the third time – and his hitherto firm grip on Kwara State politics.

Saraki, who stormed Kwara politics in 2003 by riding on his father’s profile, lost to another medical doctor, Dr. Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe.

Oloriegbe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 123, 828 to beat Saraki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 68, 994.

The loss is a major setback for the Saraki dynasty in 43 years since the patriarch of the family, the late Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, a former Senate Leader, dominated Kwara politics.

The dynasty has installed six governors since 1979, hundreds of lawmakers at the national and state levels, councillors and chairmen of local government areas.

According to the results released by INEC, Saraki was defeated in all the four local government areas in the district.

The breakdown is as follows: Asa: APC (15,932), PDP (11,252); Ilorin East: APC (30,014), PDP(14,654); Ilorin South: APC (26,331), PDP(13,013) and Ilorin West: APC (51,531), PDP (30,075).

Apart from the Senate President, others who will not return to the Upper chamber are the Senate Minority Leader, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi (Ekiti South) and Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South). Senators Olujimi and Ibrahim were beaten by Prince Dayo Adeyeye and Lola Ashiru (both of the APC).

But electoral fortunes smiled on some leaders, who won senatorial tickets, including ex-Governor Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia North); Prof. Ajayi Borrofice (Ondo North); Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) and Senator Olubunmi Ayodeji Adetumbi (APC, Ekiti North), who dislodged Senator Duro Faseyi.

Kalu polled 30,580 votes to defeat the incumbent PDP Senator, Mao Ohuabunwa, who recorded 21, 940 votes.

In a landmark electoral contest for the first time in his political career, Adeyeye polled 77, 621 to trounce Mrs. Olujimi, who got 53,741 votes for Ekiti South District slot.

Adetumbi defeated Faseyi of PDP by 60,689 to 49, 209.

Opeyemi, a former House of Representatives member,  won the Ekiti Central Senatorial District for APC with 94,279 votes as against the PDP’s Adewale Obafemi, who scored 48,707.

Ashiru garnered 89,704 votes to defeat Senator Ibrahim. Who got 45,176 votes.

Shehu Sani (Kaduna South), who was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), defected and contested on the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP). He lost to Uba Sani of the APC.

In Ondo State, Boroffice polled 53, 199 to beat his challenger for the North Senatorial District, Dr. Tunji Abayomi of the Action Alliance (AA).

Former Governor Olusegun Mimiko may not realise his ambition to represent the Ondo Central at the Red Chamber on the platform of his Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), it was learnt.

Besides delivering his Bende Local Government Area to President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, Kalu defeated Ohuabunwa.

The returning officer for the senatorial election, Dr. Charles Anumodu, declared Kalu winner, with 31,203 votes. Ohuabunwa polled 20,801 and the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief David Ogba, scored 11,410.

Ohuabunwa, however, rejected the result of the election in a statement issued by his campaign organisation, signed by Mr. Ukpai Ukairo.

The incumbent said the results were still being collated.

The statement reads: “It has come to our knowledge that INEC operatives in their haste to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion manipulated the electoral process to the shock of all well-meaning patriots who believe in democracy.

“In this respect, it is tragic that INEC could conduct an election without the issuance of form EC40G, a form used to capture cancelled votes and places where there was no voting.

“In the circumstances of the above, we demand that the Resident Electoral Commissioner in  Abia State should direct the Returning Officer of the Abia North Senatorial Election to make the requisite declaration in accordance with the dictates of Rule 17E(e) of the guidelines for the conduct of elections issued by INEC by cancelling the elections completely.”

In Osun State, APC’s Ajibola Bashiru was declared winner of the Osun Central Senatorial District with 132,821votes. He  defeated Ganiyu Ola-Oluwa of the PDP, who scored 106,779.

Lere Oriolowo (APC, Osun West) defeated Lere Oyewuni of the PDP to clinch the Osun West Senatorial ticket.

In Lagos West Senatorial District, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC) beat Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivor of the PDP.

The result for the Lagos Central Senatorial District was still being awaited last night.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu is APC’s candidate for the zone.

The APC candidate for the Lagos East Senatorial Zone, Bayo Osinowo beat Abiodun Oyefusi of the PDP.

In Edo State, Senator Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo North) won with 1, 176 to retain his seat.

In Imo State, Governor Rochas Okorocha looked good to represent Imo West Senatorial Zone as he was reported to have won eight out of the nine local government areas making up the senatorial zone.

Senator Aliyu Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North) was set for victory. He was leading five of the eight local government areas making up the district as of the time of filing this report.

In Akwa Ibom, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended the announcement of the results in Senator Godswill Akpabio’s North West Senatorial District.

It was over a controversy surrounding the result submitted from Akpabio’s Local Government Area, Essien Udim.

The PDP senatorial candidate in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was leading in three of the six Area Councils in Abuja.

He was being closely trailed by the APC candidate The senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has won in three of the six Area Councils in the territory.

This was revealed in separate presentations of results by Collation Officers to the Returning Officer, Prof. Sani Saka on Sunday in Abuja.

In Abaji Area Council, Aduda got 11,290 votes to beat his closest rival and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr Jisalo Zephania who got 11,276 votes.

In Kwali Area Council, the PDP candidate got 17,642 to beat the APC candidate who got 14,899 votes.

Also, in Gwagwalada Area Council, Aduda of the PDP got 29,567 to beat Zephaniah of the APC who got 22,318 votes.

At the time of filing this report, results were still been expected from Abuja Municipal, Bwari and Kuje Area Councils.

This was revealed in separate presentations of results by Collation Officers to the Returning Officer, Prof. Sani Saka on Sunday in Abuja.

In Abaji Area Council, Aduda got 11,290 votes to lead his closest rival and APC candidate, Zephania, who got 11,276 votes.

In Kwali Area Council, the PDP candidate got 17,642 to beat the APC candidate who got 14,899 votes.

Also, in Gwagwalada Area Council, Aduda of the PDP got 29,567 to beat Zephaniah of the APC who got 22,318 votes.

At the time of filing this report, results were still been expected from Abuja Municipal, Bwari and Kuje Area Councils.

In the meantime, no  fewer than 17 people were killed across the country yesterday as violence erupted during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The army confirmed six in Rivers State alone.

Three of the victims died at different polling units at Okota, a suburb of Lagos, and three in Sapele, Delta State, two each in Bayelsa and Kogi States while one each was killed in Oyo and Zamfara States.

The remaining two died on Friday during a clash between supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State.

Sequel to the violence, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decided to hold   fresh elections in some parts of  Lagos, Rivers and Anambra States.

INEC Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced the development said the move was on account of disruption.

He said: “The commission has received reports of violence and ballot box snatching in some areas leading to the disruption of the process. We have asked the Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs and the Electoral Officials on ground to submit their firsthand reports in relation to some of these incidents. We are still receiving reports relating to incidences in some states of the federation but we have received reports relating to incidences in Akuku Toru and Bonny local government areas of Rivers state.

“So long as the commission could not deploy in these areas, the implication is that voting did not take place in those areas and the commission will hold consultations with the relevant authorities and the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in relation to these areas and will announce the date when polls will take place in some of these areas, especially in relation to the areas as they affect the House of Representatives and Senatorial elections.

“It is not only in Rivers that we had reports of burning of electoral materials. We have such reports from Anambra and Lagos States as well as some other places.”

The victims in Rivers State included two brothers and a soldier.

Sources identified one of the victims in Lagos simply as Peter. He was said to be a barber and was allegedly   shot and stabbed to death at Powerline, Canal Estate in Okota  by thugs who stormed the polling station in an attempt to disrupt the electoral process.

Another was identified as Demola, a leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) in the area who was lynched by a mob for allegedly denying them a right to vote.

The identity of the third man could not be immediately established, but he was stabbed to death at Last Bus Stop, Ago Okota.

Residents alleged that the thugs first showed their intent as early as 8am when they stormed the area threatening prospective voters.

They blamed the police and soldiers for not acting on reports about the activities of the alleged hoodlums.

An eye witness said: “Those guys were armed with guns and cutlass. We had policemen and soldiers here and I personally told them that those guys seated under the umbrella there were thugs and not voters in this area.

“We told them to do their job by chasing them away or arresting them but surprisingly, the security people left. They only left one police van here and the policemen inside had just stick.

“As soon as those policemen and soldiers left, these boys started scattering everywhere. They destroyed the ballot boxes but we were able to secure the presidential ballot box because we had voted.

“They killed one barber and injured many people here. We called the police and soldiers for reinforcement. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials ran away for their lives. Soldiers later came to rescue them.

“But why we are angry now is that the INEC doesn’t want to continue our election. They said they will not count our votes here and we have refused. There are police and soldiers here, so, let them count the votes of our presidential election. At least, they could not scatter that.”

Some of the hoodlums also stormed polling unit 023, Ago Palace Way, and set fire to   thumb printed ballot papers.

However, the voters fought back and the thugs fled on a motorcycle.

One of them was however unlucky and was subsequently seized with his motorcycle which was immediately set ablaze.

The suspect was beaten and later handed over to the police.

Ten others were arrested also at Okota.

The police arrested nine other suspected thugs at Somolu, Lagos for allegedly molesting voters with charms, six in Epe, three at Ajao Estate, Lagos.

Soldiers arrested two persons at Aguda, Surulere, Lagos.

One of the suspects Yusuf, said a politician asked him to come to a polling unit for an unknown reason.

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) David Folawiyo and Police Commissioner Zubairu Muazu went round the city to monitor the security situation.

Leader of OPC in Okota, Prince Osipote, denied the thugs who disrupted elections in the area. He said they were not members of the OPC.

Addressing reporters after a meeting with his men, Muazu said a total of 23 persons were arrested in the state for attempts to disrupt the elections which he described as generally peaceful in the state.

He said: “We went round several polling units and it was generally peaceful. We had a few cases of disruption of election process. The most important was the one at Okota where few polling units were attacked.

“Some hoodlums went there when election was ongoing and disrupted the process. We heard the rumour that people were killed but we went there and we did not see any corpse. The DPO did not see anyone that was killed.

“In Okota, nine suspects were arrested. They came on motorcycles and 10 of these were recovered. Okota is a very large area and we cannot deploy armed policemen to polling units. The armed policemen were far off. That was why the hoodlums were able to strike and fled before armed policemen could get there.

“It is indeed a breach of the restriction order. I wonder where they came from but the case is under investigation and we will find out where they came from.

Unknown gunmen were blamed for the killings in Sapele.

Sources said the hoodlums swooped on voters as they queued to exercise their franchise at Amukpe area of Sapele and unexpectedly opened fire.

Two persons died on the spot while another died in the hospital.

Two other persons hit by bullets are now receiving treatment in the hospital.

The motive of the gunmen could not be immediately established.

A resident of the area said: “I’m not sure they carted election materials away, but I saw that the ground of the place was littered with electoral  materials, giving me the impression that they only scattered the materials.”

Police Commissioner Adeleke Adeyinka said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.

But a security source said: “immediately we heard of the situation, we moved in to take over the area so as to stabilize it and prevent a further escalation of the situation.” 

The Nation

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Edo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor, Shauibu

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Edo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor, Shauibu

The impeachment followed the adoption of the recommendation of a seven-man judicial panel led by retired Justice Stephen Omonua.

At plenary in Benin, the Majority leader of the house, Charity Aiguobarueghian said the report of the 7-man panel presented to the house found Shauibu culpable of disclosure of government secrets.

Aiguobarueghian further disclosed that though the panel was unable to establish the case of perjury against the deputy governor, it made two findings and one recommendation upon which the decision to impeach the deputy governor was anchored.

According to him, “the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry recommended that the deputy governor be impeached on the ground of disclosure of government secrets.’’

During voting on the motion, 18 out of 19 members present at plenary voted for the impeachment of the deputy governor while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai conducted a head count of the lawmakers who voted for and against the impeachment of Shaibu.

The clerk said with the figure, the house stated that it met 2/3 (16 members of the House was needed to carry out the impeachment).

The assembly thereafter upheld and approved the recommendation of the seven-man panel and thereafter impeached the deputy governor.

The speaker, Blessing Agbebaku directed the Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai to forward copies of the impeachment to Gov. Godwin Obaseki for assent.

The Edo House of Assembly on Monday impeached the Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu.

The impeachment followed the adoption of the recommendation of a seven-man judicial panel led by retired Justice Stephen Omonua.

At plenary in Benin, the Majority leader of the house, Charity Aiguobarueghian said the report of the 7-man panel presented to the house found Shauibu culpable of disclosure of government secrets.

Aiguobarueghian further disclosed that though the panel was unable to establish the case of perjury against the deputy governor, it made two findings and one recommendation upon which the decision to impeach the deputy governor was anchored.

According to him, “the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry recommended that the deputy governor be impeached on ground of disclosure of government secrets.’’

During voting on the motion, 18 out of 19 members present at plenary voted for the impeachment of the deputy governor while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai conducted a head count of the lawmakers who voted for and against the impeachment of Shaibu.

The clerk said with the figure, the house stated that it met 2/3 (16 members of the House was needed to carry out the impeachment).

The assembly thereafter upheld and approved the recommendation of the seven-man panel and thereafter impeached the deputy governor.

The speaker, Blessing Agbebaku directed the Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai to forward copies of the impeachment to Gov. Godwin Obaseki for assent.

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Court Remands Emefiele In EFCC Custody As Trial Begins April 11

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Emefiele: CBN disbursed N12.65bn as agriculture intervention since January; N1.09 trillion since 2015

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday remanded the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for alleged abuse of office and fraud to the tune of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion.
It was reported that Justice Rahman Oshodi remanded Emefiele in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody while his co-defendant, Henry  Isioma-Omoile, was remanded in the Ikoyi custodial centre.
Oshodi remanded the defendants pending the determination of their bail applications on April 11.
The judge adjourned the case until April 11 for the determination of bail application and commencement of trial.
Earlier, EFCC arraigned Emefiele on a 23-count charge bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage, while his co-defendant was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) had asked the court for a trial date following the defendants’ not guilty pleas.
Oyedepo also informed the court that the prosecution would be asking for a closed section for some of its witnesses who were willing to come to court to testify but scared for their lives.

Counsel to the two defendants, Mr Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, had in their bail applications, urged the court to grant them bail on self-recognizance and liberal terms pending the determination of the case.
Labi-Lawal, in a 35-paragraph affidavit, said that the first defendant (Emefiele) complied with the bail application given to him by Justice Hamza Muazu in his ongoing fraud trial in Abuja.
He added that the charges against the first defendant were bailable.
“Though the first defendant was granted administrative bail by the prosecuting authority, he is seeking bail based on self-recognizance, and he is ready to attend trial.
“The court should also take into consideration the status of the first defendant as he was the former CBN governor of the country,” the counsel said.
The defence counsel further said that Emefiele religiously presented himself before Justice Hamza Muazu in Abuja to answer allegations before him.
According to the counsel, the first defendant was not at flight risk as he was the first person to arrive in court.
He also prayed the court to grant bail to  Emefiele on liberal terms
Labi-Lawal also moved a bail application for the second defendant and urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.
Prosecution counsel, Oyedepo, did not oppose the bail applications.
Oyedepo, however, urged the court to exercise its discretion judiciously in granting bail to the defendants.
In one of the charges, EFCC  alleged that Emefiele abused the authority of his office as CBN  governor by allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $2.2 billion without bids, the act which was prejudiced to the rights of Nigerians.
It also alleged that the ex-CBN governor corruptly accepted an aggregate sum of  $26.5 million from NIPCO Plc through Donatone Ltd.
The commission also accused Emefiele of receiving the sum of $400,000 from Source Computer Ltd. on account of the approval of a “contract” in favour of the said company by CBN.
The anti-graft also alleged that Emefiele used his position as the governor of CBN  to confer corrupt advance on his associate, Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd. by approving payment of an aggregate sum of N900 million to the company.
Emefiele was also alleged to have used his position as the CBN governor to confer a corrupt advantage on Comec Support Services  Ltd. by approving the sum of N149 million to the company.
EFCC also alleged that the former CBN governor used his position to confer a corrupt advantage on  Andswin Resources and Solutions Ltd. by approving payment of the sum of N398 million to the company.
EFCC also accused Emefiele’s co-defendant (Isioma-Omoile) of giving the sum of $100,000 to the governor as a gift reward for allocation of foreign exchange.
According to the prosecution, the alleged offences violate Sections 8, 10, and 19 of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act of 2000, Sections 65, 73, and 328 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

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NAGAFF Vows to Stop Kwankwaso from Taking Over NNPP

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NNPP inaugurates 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, Aniebonam remains BoT Chairman

…Votes N150m take off professional fees for lawyers to begin litigation warfare!

Members of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) will vehemently resist the taking over of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) by the group noted to be loyal to Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

It would be recalled that the NNPP was originally founded by the National Association of Government-Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF, largely to provide a credible platform for maritime industry stakeholders to make a national impact within the nation’s political space.

It. would also be recalled that the former Governor of Kano, Senator Kwankwaso latched on the NNPP, after his effort to run as the flag bearer of another political party was dimmed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who emerged as the PDP presidential candidate.

NNPP inaugurates 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, Aniebonam remains BoT Chairman

Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Presently, a statement issued by the NNPP National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Clement Iwegbuna, lamented that what started as a child’s play is becoming a reality with the body language and actions of Senator Kwankwaso to highjack NNPP from the original owners, the members of  NAGAFF.

In a swift move, the president of NAGAFF, leading the pack of resourceful young freight forwarders said the original are poised to match money for money and contact for contact to retrieve NNPP from the people tagged ungrateful.

The statement revealed that the sum of N150,000,000 has been contributed as a take-off professional fee for the lawyers to take on the serial litigations upcoming.

NAGAFF accused Kwankwaso of court abuse with the institution of a court case involving INEC at Kano State High Court. “And so what does it take someone who held the position of minister of defence and member of the national assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to know that it is out of jurisdiction to do so.

NNPP is a national party and INEC is a federal commission. “Let Nigerians be told that there is a new order in Nigeria judiciary at the moment. If Senator Kwankwaso likes let him, Elder Buba Galadima and all of them who are the former members of the National Working Committee led by Alhaji Abbah Kawu who was alleged not to be able to write a statement at the state police command, Abuja when he reported a case against Mr Phillip Oyana the Zonal Secretary North Central of New Nigeria Peoples Party.

“Our young, vibrant and informed lawyers shall meet him and his cohorts in court. Once again we hold no malice against any person. All members of NNPP and NAGAFF are children of God and always ready to show love to all manner of people who may come our way,” the statement further said.

The statement directed and appealed to all members of NAGAFF and NNPP to keep the peace of the society and be law abiding and respectful to the constitution of Nigeria.

“Regret to note that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had avoidably prided himself to have brought NNPP to relevance and recognition. Tell the American marine that trash for the fact that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso forgot to note that NNPP is as old as People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria spanning over 24 years in existence. He joined less than 2yrs ago.

“We consider Senator Kwankwaso as someone who is avoidably arrogant and proud for no good reasons. This is because NNPP provided him the opportunity to contest the Presidency of Nigeria 2023 with great men like the current president of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PDP) and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party

“Let it be on record that if NNPP were not winning elections for the period under review it would have been deregistered like the one he facilitated which was called Alliance National Party. As a matter of fact, the current headquarters of NNPP in Abuja is the same office used by the defunct Alliance National  Party whose chairman was one Moshood.

“We also know that the current executive Gov of Kano Alhaji Abbah Kabir who was shortchanged in the previous elections took advantage of us as children of God to be protected and today those evil men could not stop him from becoming the Gov of Kano State.

“Therefore senator RABIU MUSA Kwankwaso should be taught the principles of humility and gratefulness to people who have been nice to him.

“In all of these, he may wish to distance himself from elder Buba Galadima if he wants to make headway in politics. The former President, Gen. Buhari did realise and distanced himself to combine with Asiwaju B. A. Tinubu, the grand master to become the President of Nigeria.,” advised.

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