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Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule, has visited the Lagos Model College, Igbonla in Epe where six pupils of the college were kidnapped by some unidentified gunmen recently.

The Deputy Governor, who went directly to the school on arrival from an official assignment in Abuja, assured parents of the kidnapped children that security efforts have been initiated by the State government to ensure that the kidnapped children are rescued safely and unhurt.

“We are on top of the situation and the Governor has directed all security operatives to step up action on rescuing the students, details of which l cannot disclose in order not to undermine their operation”, she stated.

Adebule in an emotion-laden voice urged parents of the affected children to be calm as the government will stop at nothing to ensure safe return of their children.

While condemning this act of anti-social behavior, Adebule appealed to the conscience of the kidnappers to release the children and allow them to reunite with their families.

She commended the management of the school for being proactive in mobilising security operatives who engaged the gunmen before they escaped and urged residents of the area and environs to support government efforts in beefing up security around the school.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accused the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello of double registration for Permanent Voter Card against electoral law.

The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by Prince Solomon Soyebi, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC) on Thursday in Abuja.

INEC stated that Bello second registration was done on Tuesday May 23, in Government House, Lokoja, outside the designated centre for the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

“It has come to the attention of INEC that Gov Bello of Kogi State registered as a voter for the second time on Tuesday May 23, 2017 in Government House, Lokoja, the state capital. His first registration was on Jan. 30, 2011 in Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“The Governor’s double registration and doing so outside lNEC’s designated centres are both illegal.For the on-going Continuous Voter Registration [CVR) exercise, INEC has designated a centre in each of the country’s 774 Local Government Areas including FCT’s six Area Councils.’’

The commission therefore dissociated itself from the governor’s action while it also pledged to take disciplinary action against its staff who did the second registration for Bello.

“We wish to make it clear that no INEC staff was authorised by the Commission to re-register him or any Citizen or to do so outside our designated CVR centres.

“The Commission is taking disciplinary action against the INEC staff involved.

“As for the State Governor, Section 308 (l) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended], precludes lNEC from prosecuting him while in office.

“However, the Commission wishes to state that it has cancelled his second and illegal registration forthwith.’’

It stated that the second registration would be cancelled as Electoral Law and the Commission’s guidelines make no exception for anyone to register more than once, and to register outside the designated centres.

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OBIORA IFOH, Abuja

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has described the Department of State Services (DSS) continued detention of the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah as tyrannical, barbaric, reckless and irresponsible display of power.

Fayose said: “Within two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) government, the DSS has become the government’s terror gang, disobeying court orders with impunity.”

The governor, who said the DSS claim that Ubah’s offence was punishable by death was reckless and alarming, added that “the DSS has now become law unto itself, dragging Nigeria back to 1984 when Decree 2 was used by the National Security Organisation (NSO) to dump Nigerians in detention without trial.”

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Governor Fayose expressed worry that less than two hours after a High Court in Lagos ordered the DSS to release Ubah within 48 hours or charge him to court, the DSS got another High Court in Abuja to secure an order to detain him (Ubah) for another 14 days.

He said; “The judiciary must be mindful of being used by the DSS to sustain its regime of tyranny by granting orders allowing the service to detain Nigerians perpetually.

“Our courts should not allow themselves to becoming willing tools to promote and sustain dictatorship. They should be able to stand up against the tyrannical acts of the DSS by asking when it became the duty of the service to arrest and detain Nigerians for offences still being investigated.”

Describing the DSS as the APC-led government’s the terror gang, Governor Fayose said; “For the first time in the history of Nigeria, DSS operating under a democratically elected government is justifying the detention of Nigerians in disobedience to court orders.

“Ridiculously, the DSS is even telling Nigerians that the head of Nigeria’s Islamic Movement (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky is being kept in detention since December 13, 2015 for his personal safety, meaning that the government is protecting El-Zakzaky by detaining him for 18 months!

“What happened to the December 2016 order of Justice Gabriel Kolawole of an Abuja Federal High Court, that the DSS shouldo release El-Zakzaky within 45 days and that the Federal Government should provide an accommodation for him (El-Zakzaky), his wife and family members within Kaduna State or any part of the northern region?”

The governor maintained that the DSS claim that it arrested and detained Ubah for inciting members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union to stop lifting petroleum products so as to cripple the economy and cause untold hardship to Nigerians was “nonsensical”, said; “The arrest and continuous detention of Ifeanyi Ubah for alleged economic sabotage and the DSS pronouncement that the offence is punishable with death is a sad reminder of the President Buhari’s military regime.

He called on well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to rise in condemnation of “this regime of tyranny being ran be the DSS, saying; “When the regime of tyranny started, we raised alarm but those who should have joined us then kept silent. Today, it is Ifeanyi Ubah that they have visited with their tyranny, who knows who will be next?”‎

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The six years of Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in the saddle have been excellent, according to legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN.

Citing remarkable infrastructural development and sustained peace that the state has enjoyed since Ajimobi assumed office six years ago, Akintola said that Governor deserves accolades.

He noted that prior to the assumption of office as Governor by Ajimobi, Oyo State had been wracked by street violence, expressing joy that peace has now been restored.

Akintola, in a statement issued by his media assistant, Ayodele Olaitan, further lauded the several people-oriented programmes of the Governor, especially the recent health insurance scheme which, he noted, will make healthcare delivery much cheaper and more readily for the common man.

He commended the governor for the various well-executed road and other infrastructural projects across the state, especially those marked out for inauguration to mark Ajimobi’s six years of stewardship as Governor.

The projects listed to be inaugurated include: Gate-Airport-Alakia, Oke-Adu-Iwo road, Idi-Ape-Akobo-Oju-Irin, and Eleyele-Ologuneru-Eruwa.

According to Akintola, at completion the roads projects will ease the movement of people and goods across that state.

Akintola also expressed pleasure with the activation of the pacesetter free trade zone, which he believes will move the state forward in the area of industrialization and job creation.

On culture, he lauded the pronouncement by the governor that all students should don local attires to school on the world cultural day, noting that it would go a long way in reviving our cultural heritage.

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is working hard to transform the state.

Speaking during the Rivers Golden Jubilee Anniversary Lecture in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, former President Jonathan said Governor Wike  was  leading  Rivers State  to greater heights.

He said: “Having had the opportunity to serve at the state level for eight years and at the centre for eight years, I can attest to the fact that Wike is working.

“Everyday I watch television, I see programmes going on. Commissioning of projects are taking place. It takes somebody with commitment, somebody with foresight and somebody with a strong team to achieve all these”.

The Former President stated that he is not surprised that Governor Wike  is living up to the expectations  of the people, because as a minister, Governor Wike excelled.

“Let me specifically thank the Governor of Rivers State, somebody who worked with me, somebody I believe in. That is why I conferred on him the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). ”

Speaking  further, the Former President argued that reforms should ensure that more resources get to the state, rather than the interventionist  agencies already affected by politics.

He said the states in the Niger Delta  have achieved more in terms of development  since they started accessing 13 percent derivation than interventionist  agencies have achieved.

Jonathan said because of political influence on the interventionist agencies,  the entire Niger Delta  is replete with abandoned projects.

The Former President also called  for the implementation of the National Conference Report, which he said will help the nation address the numerous development challenges  facing the nation.

Also speaking, National Caretaker Committee Chairman of PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi said only PDP has the capacity to embark on the restructuring of the country.

He said: “In PDP, we believe that our Federation needs to be fixed. We will ensure reforms in a manner that every federating unit will know that they will not be abandoned. ”

In his lecture titled “democracy and development in Nigeria: The Case of Rivers State “, Prof Godini Darah advocated resource ownership for the Niger Delta.

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Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and another All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the 2015 general election, Senator Umaru Dahiru, are to know their fates on June 23, when judgment in the APC primary election that produced Tambuwal as candidate of the APC for the 2015 governorship election would be delivered.

A Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, is expected to deliver the verdict in the dispute that arose on the conduct of the primary election held on December 4, 2014.

Justice Kolawole fixed the date for judgment after taken final arguments from counsel involved in the legal tussle for the Sokoto State governorship seat.

Senator Dahiru had dragged the APC, Tambuwal and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the court praying for an order of the court to nullify and set aside the Sokoto state APC primary election on the grounds that its conduct was not in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010, the APC guideline on the primary election and the party’s constitution.

Arguing the originating summons on behalf of the plaintiff, Chief Roland Otaru SAN, urged Justice Kolawole to void and set aside the primary election that produced Tambuwal for the 2015 governorship election.

His ground was that the constitution of the APC, the APC guideline on the primary election and the Electoral Act 2010 were violently violated in the conduct of the election.

The counsel alleged that in breach of the rules, verification and accreditation of delegates were not done in spite of the fact that they were mandatory.

Otaru urged the court to take a judicial notice of the list containing the names of the delegates who participated at the purported primary and the report of the APC, adding that there was no evidence of verification and accreditation of delegates as required by relevant laws.

The SAN insisted that the purported primary that produced Tambuwal was a nullity having failed to comply with the APC guidelines and other relevant laws on primary election.

However, counsel to the APC, Jubrin Okutepa told Justice Kolawole to dismiss the case of the plaintiff on the grounds of inconsistency in his claims.

He drew the attention of the court to the affidavit evidence of the plaintiff prepared in 2015, where he admitted that accreditation of delegates was done and further affidavit of the same plaintiff prepared in 2017, where the plaintiff made a u-turn.

He submitted that a litigant must be consistent in his claim.

The counsel said the plaintiff failed to call delegates to give evidence that they were not accredited, adding that in the face of the failure to do that the court should presumed in favour of proper accreditation.

“The case of the plaintiff is bereft of any evidential support to warrant any declaration to be made in his favour”, the laws said and urged the court to dismiss the case of the plaintiff and uphold the nominee.

In his own argument counsel to Tambuwal, Mr. Sunday Ibrahim Ameh, SAN, aligned himself with the submissions of the APC counsel, adding that it is too late in the day for the plaintiff who admitted in January 2015 that accreditation was done to make a U-turn in 2017 that no accreditation was done.

Besides, the counsel submitted that the period for primary election has expired in line with 1999 constitution as such the case of the plaintiff has become an academic.

Counsel to INEC Alhassan Umar told the Court that INEC would be neutral and will abide the decision of the court.

After taken arguments from parties Justice Kolawole fixed June 23 for judgment.

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Human right activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has described as abnormal Ayodele Fayose’s declaration that he may be seeking re-election as Governor of Ekiti State in 2018.

‎The Ekiti State governor made the declaration on Monday, saying that he would contest the 2018 governorship election ‎so that he could serve his first term which was truncated in 2006.

Recall that Fayose was impeached in 2006, but the Supreme Court in 2014 nullified the impeachment that ousted him from office about seven months to the end of his first term.

‎But Falana said yesterday that Fayose’s bid to seek re-election would amount to tenure elongated which no court could grant.

He said, “Tenure extension by a governor under any disguise is anomalous. No court can prolong the tenure of a sitting governor buying the two terms prescribed by the Constitution.

“In the case of Gov Rasheed Ladoja v INEC the appellant wanted an extension of his term of office to allow him to spend extra 11 months while he was fighting his impeachment from outside.

“Although the Supreme Court had set aside his impeachment it was held that the relief was illegal and unconstitutional.

“Similarly, the governors who were re-elected after their initial election was annulled, the Supreme Court made it abundantly clear that tenure extension was unknown to the Constitution.

“In view of the settled position of the law on the matter, Governor Ayo Fayose cannot be granted by any court in Nigeria.”

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Reps to create Anti-Doping Agency….. Pass National Roads Fund Bill

JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja

A Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Sports Anti-Doping Agency has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.

Sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Diri Douye (PDP, Bayelsa) at Tuesday’s plenary, said the agency would be responsible for carrying on the functions of Nigeria Anti-Doping Organization as enshrined in the World Anti-Doping Code in accordance with the various international standards.

Speaking further, Douye said the Bill was to boost public confidence in any sporting activities.

According to him, establishment of the anti- doping agency will boost public confidence and help Nigeria to compete in a clean environment. It will help our sport industry in partnering with other international bodies.

The lawmaker hinted further that the Bill was very urgent because Nigeria is at the verge of being declared a non- compliant country.

“The Bill is to ensure that the future of our youth who are interested in sports are guaranteed”, Douye said .

Contributing to the debate, Hon. Olabode Ayorinde (Ondo, APC), while speaking, said: “We need a commission instead of putting up a whole agency especially when we are talking of cutting governance. We could make it a unit”.

Other contributors, who supported the Bill said if other nations have anti-dropping agency, there is nothing wrong with Nigeria having it.

The House adopted the Bill after a voice vote was put up by Speaker Yakubu Dogara and was therefore referred to its committee on sports for further legislative action.

Also on Tuesday, the House passed the National Roads Funds Bill to ensure quick maintenance of Nigerian Roads.

The House at the Committee of the Whole considered and approved a report of its Committee on Works entitled:  ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Roads Funds for the Purposes of Financing Routine and Periodic Maintenance of National Roads and For Other Related Matters’

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, while moving for the consideration of the report, said  the road fund was aimed at raising a seed capital for road construction in Nigeria.

He argued that all annual appropriation for road maintenance had become an issue of contention from 1971 till date.

He said with the establishment of the road fund, the nation would have spared itself the agony of annual appropriations for road construction without implementation.

The lawmaker also stated that the opportunity cost of having annual appropriation for the road sector is consequential.

Consequently, after a clause by clause scrutiny and adoption of the recommendations of the House Committee, the National Road Fund Bill was read for the third time and passed.

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IBRAHIM KADIRI

There were strong indications that one of the remaining two lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Victor Akande, is set to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to a reliable source in the Assembly, Akande who is representing Ojo Constituency 1 in the House,  has written a letter to the leadership of the House to that effect.

Daily Champion learnt that the lawmaker, who returned from a two-week pilgrimage to Jerusalem in Israel last weekend decided to take the decision as he was no longer comfortable with the leadership crisis of his party.

According to sources, the lawmaker stated that he was tired of being tossed up and down by a party that seems to have lost direction.

Akande currently belongs to the faction of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff of the PDP before the decision to pitch tent with the majority in the Assembly.

It would be recalled that six out of the initial eight PDP lawmakers at the Assembly officially announced their defection to the APC on the floor of the House on February 16, 2017.

They cited outstanding performance of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode among others as their motivation for the decision.

The defection was announced through a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa titled: “Letter of Defection from PDP To APC” dated 16th February, 2017 and signed by the defectors excluding the Minority Leader, who announced his defection on the floor of the House.

Those lawmakers that had earlier defected are former Minority Leader, Akeem Bello (Amuwo Odofin the Minority II), former Minority Whip, Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere II), and Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I).

Others are: Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo II), Dayo Famakinwa (Ajeromi Ifelodun II) and Fatai Oluwa Ajeromi/Ifelodun I).

With the latest defection, the only lawmaker left in the opposition, PDP in the House is Oladipupo Olorunrinu (Amuwo-Odofin I).

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IBRAHIM KADIRI

Nigerian politicians, especially lawmakers have been advised  not to use public office to acquire titles unnecessarily or for financial gains.

They were also cautioned that the country would be great if they accept that the occupation of public office was not solely to acquire body guards or limousine.

Speaking as a guest lecturer during the special parliamentary session for Lagos at 50 and 2nd anniversary of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday, the Director of the Kenyan School of Law, Nairobi,  Professor Patrick Lumumba stressed that the legislature occupies a unique position in the country.

Lumumba, who spoke on the topic:  “The Importance of the Legislature In Democratic Governance,” noted that the nation or state could survive a bad executive, bad judiciary, but not a bad legislature.

“Beyond your important titles, how are you serving Lagos? how have you served Lagos? What would be said of you, when you are gone or even as you are alive?

“You are never successful until you go down into the grave with success. Those, who acquire power must exercise it with humility. Before you drink the gin of political power, you must have a foundation of integrity,” he said.

According to him, if Africa was to be great, Nigeria must be great,  adding that Nigeria started on a sound footing before the government was, as he said, crudely disrupted by coup de’ tat and went through a civil war.

The scholar said further that it should be noted that Nigeria adopted democracy in 1979, but that the democracy the country is practising was not home-grown and that it is Euro-centric.

He said that the nation’s democracy could be customized to achieve the aspirations of the country, saying that the relationship among the legislative, executive and the judiciary must be symbiotic.

The legislature, he stated represents the people and that it is a privilege to honour and represent the people.

“Those, who steal public funds abuse the power given to them by the people.  The legislature is the heart of the people.  On a mere allegation of corruption, the legislature brought down the government of South Korea and the same thing happened in Brazil.

“But here in Nigeria and Africa, does the legislature bring thieves down? If Nigeria is to be great,  you, legislators must make solemn vow that you would make laws that would benefit the people.  Make laws that would serve the people and the country.

“Nigeria can be great if you make a solemn vow that you would be greater than Dubai and Singapore”, he said.

The second lecturer, Bismarck Rewane of Financial Derivatives Company Limited praised Lagos for being the financial headquarters of Nigeria.

Speaking on the topic:  “Economic Development- The Role of The Legislature,” Rewane revealed that Lagos State contributes 22% to the economy of Nigeria and it has a GDP of $131 Billion.

He stated that if Lagos was taken away from Nigeria the country would fall to the third position in Africa, while Lagos would be number seven in Africa.

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