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More trouble for Ekweremadu as Enugu lawyer seeks declaration of seat vacant

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There seem to be more troubles for former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who has been in detention in the United Kingdom since June this year over allegation of organ harvesting, as a lawyer, Chief Ogochukwu Onyema, has asked the Federal High Court, Enugu, to declare his seat vacant by default of representation.

Onyema, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had contested the primary of the party for Enugu West Senatorial ticket in 2018 for 2019 general elections, but lost to Ekweremadu. He, however, finished third behind another aspirant, who is said to have died two years ago.

In the suit where he listed Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Clerk of the National Assembly; National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu and INEC as defendants, Onyema asked the court to declare that, by the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended; the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended, and the Senate Legislative calendar 2022, that the seat of Enugu West Senatorial District in the 9th Senate will be declared vacant by default, if the Senator representing it is, without just cause, absent from meetings of the Senate for a period amounting, in the aggregate, to more than 1/3 of the total number of days during which the House or Senate meets in any one year, which is 1/3 of 181 days.

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He argued that going by denial of several bail applications on Ekweremadu by the United Kingdom Metropolitan Court till date, “and the fixing of his pre-trial on or about October 4, 2022, and trial on or about May 28, 2023 as judicially noticed, it cannot be rightly said that Ekweremadu will still perform his duty of representing Enugu West Senatorial zone as provided in the constitution.”

Onyema, who asked the court to compel the Senate President, PDP and INEC to declare Ekweremadu’s seat vacant, also requested for the order of court on the PDP to forward his name (Onyema) as replacement for Ekweremadu within the seven days of service of the order.

He asked the court for an order to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ekweremadu and fresh certificate of return issued in his favour, as well as a perpetual injunction barring the party from submitting the name of any other person except him.

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When the matter came up, yesterday, Justice I.N Buba had granted the leave of the court to serve the defendants on their individual addresses outside jurisdiction and substituted service of the originating summons, as well as other court processes in the matter.

He also adjourned to October 5, 2022, for possible hearing and addresses on jurisdiction.

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Ooni’s new wife adds colour to Olojo festival

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The new wife of Ooni of Ife, Mariam Ajibola, on Saturday stepped out with her husband, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, for the first since she got married to the royal father on Saturday as the annual Olojo Festival got underway in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Mariam, who attended the event with her husband, and other dignitaries that included; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and Osun state Deputy governor, Benedict Alabi, among others, was dressed in all white attire, and was seen speaking with the royal father as different groups paid homage to the Ooni during the ceremony.

The new Yeyeluwa of Ife is attending Olojo, a major cultural celebration in Ile-Ife, during which Ooni will adorn ‘Are crown,’ for the first time as Ooni’s wife.

The new queen was ushered into Ile Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife at 8pm on Tuesday, September 6 by her mother and other members of her family from Kogi and Kwara states and since then, she had not attended any public outing.

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Keyamo: Why Osinbajo was not included in Tinubu’s campaign council

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The campaign council of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has cleared the air surrounding the absence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo from the list of patrons.

In a statement released on Saturday by Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the council, the APC camp said Osinbajo was left out of the lineup to allow him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government.”

On Friday, the APC presidential campaign council released a list containing 422 names of its members.

Osinbajo was absent from the list alongside Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives, Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education.

 

The vice-president had contested the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu, and it appeared to have severed the relationship between the duo.

The absence of Osinbajo’s name from the campaign council further fuels the suspicion of an awry turn in their relationship.

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Addressing the situation, the campaign team said President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the omission of the vice-president and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, from the list.

The statement:

“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” the statement read.

“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the chairman of the campaign council. As a result, Mr President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.

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“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.

“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.

“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us, and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”

 

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Shock as PDP senator, Chimaroke Nnamani, makes APC presidential campaign council list

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Chimaroke Nnamani, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and senator representing Enugu east senatorial district, has been listed a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council.

In a 422-man committee released by James Faleke, secretary, APC presidential campaign council, on Friday, Nnamani is the 350th on the list as a member.

Prior to his announcement, Nnamani did not announce his exit from the PDP.

But in August, Nnamani, in a long-thread tweet, said he is in opposition to the “shameless campaigns and parodies” aimed at the health of Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.

Nnamani, a medical doctor, said he is appalled by the “extreme and unprofessional” forms of attacks directed at the former Lagos state governor over his health.

“I vigorously oppose, protest and detest the shameless campaigns and parodies targeting Tinubu’s health,” he wrote.

“As a health worker, I am amazed by ignorance, foolishness, wickedness and callousness of these idiotic operators. I believe they are unwarranted, extremely unprofessional, and have no place in our polity.

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Nnamani also cited Tinubu’s works in the criminal justice sector, education, and health, adding that he left a “lasting legacy of hard work in Lagos infrastructure”.

He did not answer or return calls and SMS sent to his mobile phone.

But Felix Morka, APC national publicity secretary, said he would respond later.

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