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The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party had on Wednesday announced the cancellation of the delegates ward congresses conducted in June 27, describing it as illegal.
The party in a statement said: “After a careful review of the reports of the Congress Committee and Appeal Committee in respect of the three-man Ad hoc Delegates Ward Congresses in Kogi State on June 27, 2015 decided to cancel the exercise.”
According to the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, “the participation of a ‘Local Organising Committee’ which is unknown to the constitution of the party and the guidelines marred the congresses. Consequently, new three-man Ad hoc Delegates Ward Congresses would commence on July 14, 2015.”
Four years ago, undemocratic procedures adopted by the then leadership of the party forced several top leaders of the PDP. The decamp to All Progressives Congress (APC) and eventually assisted the party win the election.
As at then, in Kogi State, Alhaji Jubrin Isa Echocho, was declared winner of the PDP primary but the victory was short lived after the court declared that governorship election should not hold in the state which gave Wada an opportunity to get the then PDP national leadership to cancel the primary results and manipulated the processes and Echocho lost.
On Thursday, when the Wada came to see the acting Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, to review the decision, he was kept outside for over two hours as the chairman was said to be out of the premises.
It was gathered that even after he met the chairman, he could not get him to reverse the cancellation of the congress.
“The governor got more than he bargained for. He wanted to get the party to reverse itself but he was told that the era was over. The party told him to showcase his achievements as they were enough to secure the ticket for him,” the source who works in the secretariat disclosed.
An angry Wada later stormed out of the office, refusing to speak to journalists as he remained in his car for over 20 minutes before he left.
That was the big question yesterday as his wife, Ruth, 34, from Abia State broke the news of his disappearance since February.
Uche, 39, fled home when he learnt that his expectant wife was carrying a set of twins – the family’s third.
Mrs Uche was at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa yesterday with her six children, pleading for help.
Not many knew what she wanted as she stood under a tree, close to the Press Centre, carrying the babies. Her first two sets of twins, much older, stood close to their mother, and did not in any way seem intimidated by the sea of cameras and faces focusing on them.
Mrs. Uche was receptive when our reporter approached her to narrate her ordeal.
In 2009 when she first conceived, she was delivered of two girls – Goodness and Godnews. The second conception, two years later, produced another two – a boy and a girl, named John and Joyce.
But when her husband, Emeka, learnt that the third pregnancy was another set of two he fled their number 32, Awori Street, Agege home on the outskirt of Lagos to an undisclosed location in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The third set of twins arrived last month. They were named Daniel and Daniella.
Mrs. Uche said she could no longer cope with widening needs for food, clothes, drugs and school fees.
Her meagre earnings as a teacher in a private school in Lagos can no longer meet their needs.
Her story: “I met my husband in 2002 but we got married in 2008. We met in the village at Umuahia. I don’t want to leave the children and run away. This is why I want government to help us,” she said.
She recalled that she never wanted the third pregnancy, but her use of traditional means of family planning (counting fertile and infertile days) failed her.
“I was using traditional way of family planning where I calculate some days before having intercourse. It was working for me. You can see my first set of twins is four years old.
“You know as women, we cannot deny our husband that thing whenever they request for it. Whenever I mistakenly take in, he would say that I was pretending. Sometimes, I would go through long process to abort the pregnancy. After that, another one would happen. I would still have to go through the process again to abort it. When this one happened he still insisted that I was pretending until the pregnancy became obvious.”
“My Church was responsible for the payment of the first delivery. The church paid N120, 000 for the delivery of the first set of twins. The two deliveries of the twins have been through Caesarean Section for which we paid N120, 000 each. The last twins are through normal delivery”.
Mrs. Uche explained that her husband, a factory worker in Iju Road, Agege, has since refused to pick her calls. She learnt that he stays in Ikorodu.
“Since I gave birth to the children, I have tried calling my husband but he would not pick once he knows that it is me. I contacted his mother and other relatives to tell them that he has run away. They promised that they will call back. Since then, none of them has called me. It is not easy for me at all.
“I know only two of his relations. One of them lives in Ikorodu; the other one lives at Ajegunle. My elder brother, who could have also helped, is very angry with me for giving birth to another set of twins. He warned me before not to have any other child after the two sets of twins, especially with the kind of husband I have.
“I cannot put my hands in blood shedding by committing abortion. I want Nigerians to help me because there is nobody to pay their school fees.
“I went for immunisation some days ago and I told them my condition and why they have not been seeing me. It was there that they advised that I should come to government. Government should please help my children; no one to help me with house rent, electricity bill, school fees, food and so on,” Mrs. Uche said
The former lower chamber house leader had approached the tribunal seeking to upturn Ogunwuyi victory. In her petition, she called on the judges to declare her as the winner of the said election on the grounds that Ogunwuyi was not qualified to contest under Labour Party because he did not validly resigned his membership of his former party; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as at the time of the election.
In his defense, Counsel to Ogunwuyi, Oluwasina Ogungbade seek an order to set aside the petitioners’ joint reply to the replies of the 1st and 2nd respondents (Ogunwuyi and Labour party respectively) filed on the May 27, 2015 same having been filed a day outside of the period limited in paragraph 16(1) of the first schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The LP’s counsel also seek an order to set aside the application of the petitioners dated May 28, 2015 and filed on the May 29, 2015 for issuance of pre-hearing conference with the provisions of paragraph 18(1) of the first schedule to the electoral act 2010.
While also calling for the setting aside of the pre-hearing conference notice (form TF 007) dated June 2, 2015 issued by the tribunal and served on both parties, Ogunwuyi’s counsel also seek an order dismissing the petition as abandoned for failure of the petitioners to apply for the issuance of pre-hearing conference notice in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 18(1) of the first schedule to the electoral act 2010 as amended.
Hon. Akande’s counsel, Mr. Yunus Ustaz Usman, in his submissions before the tribunal, said the application being sought by Ogunwuyi’s counsel, Mr. Oluwasina Ogungbade to the effect that he filed his reply out of time (a day late) during the pre-hearing sessions should be dismissed because the merit of the case should be looked into and not the other way round.
He cited similar cases, including the general principle in election petition matters to back up his position, and urged the tribunal to dismiss Ogungbade’s application so that the matter could be decided on its merit.
The tribunal, in striking out the petition in a unanimous decision read by Justice Abundaga, held that in an election petition, time is of essence and that as judges, they were bound to interpret what the law is and not the way it should be.
The judge said: “We are also bound by what the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court decisions were in different cases like the one at hand, especially, a recent court’s decision in Omisore against Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola’s case, and therefore dismissed Akande-Adeola’s petition because it was filed out of time and was therefore deemed abandoned.”
However, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, has vowed to challenge the outcome of the ruling of the Elections Petitions Tribunal, which dismissed her application on Wednesday.
Speaking with journalists on phone, Akande- Adeola said she is definitely going to appeal the ruling.
She said her lawyer has briefed her on the outcome of the ruling, saying “we are going on appeal.”
Following his impeachment, Pedro has not enjoyed any of the benefits accruing to the office, which he occupied while Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was the state governor.
Pedro was impeached after he dumped defunct Action Congress, AC, following irreconcilable differences between him and members of the party.
Pedro, who is now a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, sent a letter to the House asking that the members be compassionate enough to reconsider his impeachment.
The letter was read on the floor of the House by the Clerk, Ganiyu Abiru, who told the lawmakers that the former Deputy Governor attached his letter of resignation from office to the letter he sent to the House.
Reacting, a member of the House representing Shomolu Constituency I, Rotimi Olowo, joined in pleading for the review of the impeachment and basing his argument on the tone of the letter which showed that the former governor was remorseful of his action while in office.
Olowo, who called Pedro his close friend, described the former Deputy Governor as upright in character adding that the purpose of carrying out the impeachment then was not based on fraud or criminal tendencies.
“The purpose of the impeachment is not traceable to fraud or misconduct, probably (it was) because of high-handedness or lack of respect for constituted authority.
“Mr. Speaker, I suggest we set up an ad-hoc committee to either sustain or revisit the resolution of the 5th Assembly,” Olowo pleaded.
On his part, Abiodun Tobun, another lawmaker, expressed belief that the fifth Assembly that impeached Pedro had actually done a good job.
“Many of us were not here when the House took the decision. We have to look critically at the circumstances surrounding the impeachment process so that we do not err,” he advised his colleagues.
Also commenting on the issue, the representative of Lagos Mainland Constituency 2 at the House, Moshood Oshun, reiterated the need to follow due process before taking decision on the plea by the ex-governor.
He said: “we can’t base any submission on an assumption. Though, the tone of the letter is an appeal, an ad-hoc committee would have to be set up to look into the issue critically.”
Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa later constituted an eight-man ad-hoc committee headed by the Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade, to look into the plea.
Members of the committee include Desmond Elliot of Surulere Constituency I, Folajimi Mohammed of Ikeja Constituency I, Muyiwa Jimoh of Apapa Constituency 2, Kazeem Alimi of Eti-Osa Constituency I, Shokunle Hakeem of Oshodi-Isolo Constituency I, Gbolahan Yishawu of Eti-Osa Constituency 2 and Moshood Oshun of Lagos Mainland Constituency 2.
The attack Wednesday night on the town of Kukawa came the day after the Islamic extremist group attacked a village 35 kilometers (22 miles) away and killed another 48 men and boys, according to witnesses who counted the dead.
The people of Kukawa were in several mosques, praying ahead of breaking their daylong fast, when the extremists attacked. They killed 145 people, mainly men, said self-defense spokesman Abbas Gava and a senior government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give information to reporters.
Gava said his group's fighters in Kukawa said some militants also broke into people's homes, killing women and children as they prepared the evening meal.
Kukawa is 180 kilometers (110 miles) northeast of Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeast Nigeria and the birthplace of Boko Haram.
Nigeria's homegrown extremist group often defiles mosques where it believes clerics espouse too moderate a form of Islam. Wednesday's attack follows a directive from the Islamic State group for fighters to increase attacks during Ramadan. Boko Haram this year became the IS group's West African franchise.
On Tuesday night, the extremists invaded the village of Mussaram, ordered men and women to separate and then opened fire on the men and boys, witnesses said.
"A total of 48 males died on the spot while 17 others escaped with serious injuries," said Maidugu Bida, a self-defense official? based in nearby Monguno who helped bury the dead.
On Monday, two suicide bombers blew themselves up prematurely in a village outside Maiduguri just an hour before the arrival of Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. He visited some of the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the 5-year-old Islamic uprising that has killed more than 13,000 people and driven 1.5 million from their homes.
Some of those killed in attacks in the past month had only just returned to rebuild towns and villages recaptured this year from Boko Haram by a multinational army.
“After a busy few weeks as governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai is dismayed by the blatant falsehood being practised as journalism by The Union newspapers,” the governor’s spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement. “He has consequently directed his legal team to vigorously enforce his rights to protect his reputation from the vandalism of irresponsible hacks.”
The statement added, “The Union chose to write a spurious story alleging N90b as his assets declaration without seeing the declaration made by Malam El Rufai. The circle of blackmail that did the story claimed they heard a rumour, and they pursued the rumour so vigorously they transformed it into news.
“When some of their cohorts made contact with the governor’s media team insisting that they respond to rumour, they were told that it is better if they chose the more legitimate route of agitating for a public asset declaration.
“Fair minded people who read the story will notice that it is not grounded in any evidence. It is just the animus of blackmailers who regard Malam Nasir El-Rufai as easy prey. But since his reputation is not based on purchased kudos, he cannot be compelled into accommodation with venal people masquerading as journalists.
“Malam Nasir El-Rufai is a privileged Nigerian. He qualified as a chartered Quantity Surveyor early in life and became a dollar millionaire in his twenties. He is a respected leader in in his professional field but as successful as he has been in his career, he certainly has neither N90 billion nor 40 mansions.
“He will not be distracted from his total focus on making Kaduna great again. In this endeavour, he will continue to be accessible to practitioners of responsible journalism.”