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Iwok, Others Fail To Secure Court Against Akwa Ibom PDP Primaries

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has waved aside calls for the cancellation of the ongoing PDP primaries in Akwa Ibom State.

It has however adjourned to Wednesday, 1st of June, 2022 for further hearing on preliminary objections by the defendants, in a case instituted by a PDP member in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Friday Iwok and 30 others challenging the April 30, 2022 Ward Congress conducted in the State which ultimately aimed at stopping the PDP primaries.

The court presided by Justice Obiora Egwatu also urged the parties in the case to avoid delaying the process, but to help the Court accelerate hearing following the limited judicial time frame for pre-election matters.

Appearing on behalf of the the Plaintiffs, Ahmed Raji had argued that the 2nd -331st Defendants, PDP, and its Adhoc Delegates committed a contempt of court by ignoring the Status Quo Bellum order of the court, and urged the court to cancel the outcome of all the primaries which commenced from Sunday May 22nd in Akwa Ibom State.

Counsel Ahmed Raji, argued that “It is contempt by the violators but we are only asking that the court sets aside all actions taken by the defendants after being served with the order of the court.

“If the order to maintain status quo is not obeyed, they will likely not obey the final judgement”, Raji roared.

But Paul Usoro appearing for PDP, 2nd Defendant reasoned that “assuming without conceding, that Ahmed Raji is correct, before the court is the preliminary objection on jurisdiction which PDP filed yesterday challenging the locus standi of the plaintiff and the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.”

He argued that , “Contempt occurs when an order of the court is flouted.

Paul Usoroh reasoned that, “The position of the law is that where a person accused is alleging jurisdiction competence, the jurisdiction should be first decided.

“Without jurisdiction, all the orders from that court is invalid, he said, citing earlier judicial precedents. Based on that, I urge the Court to proceed with the preliminary objections and the substantive suit to determine the matter once and for all.

“We all agree with His Lordship to manage the judicial time and proceed with the substantive matter, as confirmed by Ahmed Raji.

“I personally looked at the order of the court and it was an advice which I believe was well intended by His lordship, but the other parties(the Adhoc delegates) who were same day joined in the matter, were not even given time to articulate their case and I don’t think His lordship would have given an order against such people”.

Paul Usoroh further posited that, “we also appealed the pronouncement (status quo Ante Bellum) in the event that our brother (Counsel to the Plaintiffs)makes the kind of submissions he has just made.

“To manage judicial time, I urge for the preliminary objections to be addressed.”

In his argument, Counsel to the 3rd to 331st respondents, Uwemedimoh Nwoko, adopted the position of the 2nd Defendant and added that the Court had not made any order.

He reminded the court that a restraining order against the Adhoc Delegates was sought four times by the Plaintiffs and the court refused to grant their request.

Nwoko argued that the court only advised parties to behave well by using the legal term Status Quo Ante Bellum.

He said since it was not a restraining order, the Congress of the PDP was held and it was in compliance with the electoral law 2022 as amended, which forbids the court from stopping the primaries and elections.

“We have filed notice of preliminary objections submitted yesterday. We also filed motion for stay of execution, in other to stay on the side of caution.”

Mr Nwoko urged the Court to ignore the call for the cancellation of the primaries and rather focus on the preliminary objections which argues that the plaintiffs had no locus standi to challenge the ward Adhoc Congresses in Akwa Ibom State, having not shown any evidence that they contested for the PDP Adhoc Delegates primaries in the State.

“Someone in this court erroneously published that the court’s Status Quo Ante Bellum advice, was an order stopping the PDP primaries, whereas my lord never made such order. Now everyone in Uyo, from traders, to transporters and business men are now chanting Status Quo Ante Bellum everywhere.

“In fact, Status Quo Ante Bellum now walks on two legs on the streets of Uyo”, Nwoko said, prompting an outburst of laughter from the court.

Attempts by Counsel to Plaintiffs, Ahmed Raji to insist on the contempt appeal was waved aside as the Judge Obiora Egwatu told him that it amounted to asking the court to stop the Primaries.

Raji appealed for more time to study the preliminary objections filed by the defendants which the court accepted following no objections by the counsel defendants.

Earlier, Counsel to the first Defendant, INEC, Mr Abdullaziz Sani had said the practice was to avoid crying more than the bereaved. “I have gone through all the processes served on me, I observed that throughout the bulk of the originating summons documents, the name of the 1st defendant was only mentioned in the 6th paragraph and it merely defined our responsibility. I therefore opt to sit on the fence on the matter.“

During the last sitting, the court had agreed that 329 delegates representing the 987 elected delegates of the PDP be joined in the suit by the Plaintiffs.

Commenting after the sitting, counsel to the plaintiffs Ahmed Raji explained that he got the preliminary objections brief by the defendants very late hence his decision to ask for the adjournment.

Counsel to the 3rd – 331st defendants Uwemedimo Nwoko lauded the court for proceeding to hear the preliminary objections instituted and assured the since Iwok and co were not even aspiring delegates Ab initio, they had no business coming to waste the time of the court.

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Akpabio Commits to Collaboration with Tinubu, Governor Umo Eno

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The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has stated his commitment to working closely with Nigeria’s President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Governor Umo Eno to ensure the delivery of democratic benefits to the people of Akwa Ibom State.

Akpabio stated this in his country home, Ukana, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, while briefing his constituents on the journey so far as their representative in the red chamber.

He assured the people of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District of his commitment to their welfare in appreciation of their total support for him, President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in last year’s election.

The Highpoint of the constituency briefing was the distribution of over 10,000 bags of rice and other essentials for his constituents from the wards, to the local governments.

A statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Jackson Udom, quoted Akpabio as saying, “I am here once again, to thank you for standing by me, our President and the party, before, during and even after last year’s elections. I have come to say thank you and also bring Renewed Hope to you all.

“As the President is doing his own, the Senate President is also doing his bit and being complemented by the state governor, Akwa Ibom would be the better for it. We have finished elections and politics, we are now into governance. The governor of the state must touch you, because he is the governor of all the people in the state irrespective of political affiliation.

” As I am touching you now from the political angle, I will also touch the state without any political party affiliation. Most of the projects we are putting in place would be used by people resident in the state. Relax, things are getting better.”

The former Governor of the state, assured his constituents that his current position as the Senate President would be used for the development of the state in collaboration with the President and the Akwa Ibom State Governor.

Hear him: This Senate President is not the one that would be fighting the state government. I will collaborate with , I will collaborate with , to make the state better for us all. We cannot be out of government for a long time. You have to go to a government that carries you along”

Akpabio promised to work for his constituents and Nigeria with all his strength, noting that, “as the President of the Senate, I am for the Southern region and the entire country. I may not come here regularly to tell you what I have been doing for you, but you will be feeling the impact on way or the other. Our unemployed youths would be gainfully employed. I will construct a mini stadium in all the local governments in the district, for our youths to develop their sporting potentials. ”

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Akwa Ibom Government Invests N112 Billion in Road Infrastructure Projects

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…DAKKADA OIL PALM FACTORY COMMENCES MILLING SOON

“Since May 2023, Akwa Ibom State Government Invests N112 Billion in Road Infrastructure”

Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof. Eno Ibanga disclosed this when he presented a breakdown at the State Executive Council meeting in Uyo.

He revealed that 39 new road projects have been undertaken with N78.77 billion released to fund them, while old projects have been funded to the tune of over N30 Billion, with an additional N12 Billion recently released by the Governor.

Details of the Exco meeting were made public by the Commissioner for Information, Ini Ememobong.

The Executive Council also approved the increment of pension for pensioners who retired before 2012, effective April 2024.

Following the ongoing harvesting of fruits, milling will soon commence at the Dakkada Global Oil Palms.

The Managing Director of the Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation, Pastor Imoabasi Jacob announced this during his presentation at the State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Umo Eno.

Two projects executed through the Direct Labour Agency have been completed with 19 other ones ongoing.

The Director of Operations of the Agency, presented a status update on the projects under their supervision, also disclosed that 31 of the 100 initial ARISE Compassionate Homes will be completed and presented soon.

The Council was also briefed on the progress at Ibom LED, where 800 people have been trained and N400m has been approved to fund the grant of N500,000 to each of the participants, which will soon be done.

The Governor charged all the Executive Council members to ensure that all the projects and programmes under their supervision are people-centric from ideation to execution. He advised that project monitoring should be ramped up to ensure quick completion.

Major Highlights of the meeting are as follows:

√Status update on Food sufficiency received; proposal on increased cocoa, rice production & Ibom Model Farm submitted by HC for Agriculture & Rural Development

√Presentation of proposal by MD, AKICORP on Ibom Towers, FalconNext, Landmark Beach Resort.

√Dakkada Global Oil Palms Ltd ready to commence milling of ongoing harvested fruits

√Confirmation of N400m disbursed at N500,000 each to 800 IBOM-LED trainees in two batches

√Briefing by HC Works & Fire Service on N112 billion disbursed by the Governor for road infrastructure since May 2023, with 39 new road projects receiving N78.77 billion & N30 Billion for old projects, with additional release of N12 Billion

√Presentation by HC Culture & Tourism on tourism blueprint for proposed development of Tourism hubs at Ikot Abasi, Itu, and Oron

√ Two projects ready, 19 ongoing through Direct Labour Agency on 1 Project per Local Government Area; 31 ARISE Compassionate Homes nearly completed

√Approval for increment of pension for pensioners who retired before 2012, effective April 2024.

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Oyo Prince Encourages Peace and Continued Charitable Acts Among Muslims

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Prince Afeez Siyanbola Oladigbolu, the grandson of the 40th Alaafin of Oyo and the youngest contender for the Alaafin throne, is calling on Muslims in Oyo State and across Nigeria to uphold peace and carry forward the spirit of sacrifice and kindness observed during Ramadan.

Prince Oladigbolu made the call in his Eid-El- Fitri message where he bemoaned the state of affairs in Oyo Kingdom.

According to him “We don’t have an Alaafin and we also currently do not have a Chief Imam. The two vacuums remain unfilled due to the passage of HRM Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and late Mashood Adebayo Ajokidero and this requires urgent attention because of the leadership gap it has caused in Oyo.

“The absence of the Alaafin has led to a state of stagnancy since Oba Adeyemi joined his ancestors in April 2022, while our spiritual growth has not been at its highest without a Chief Imam”

The young prince challenged Muslim leaders and communities to be fervent in unstoppable prayers for Almighty Allah’s intervention in the affairs of Oyo town, the State and Nigeria.

He also used the opportunity to urge the youths to be calm, stay away from violence and embrace hard work.

In his words ” Violence leads to crime , while crime leads to jail”

He further also advising youths to abstain from being used against the government, noting that nobody or group of people have the capacity to fight the government at any level.

” If the political behaviour of any candidate is not going down well with you, wait for the next election and vote such a candidate out. That is the civil way to react.

” Violence, insults, and most especially curses on our leaders are not options we should explore and will not change anything. Let’s pray for them so that they can always fulfil their campaign promises.

The former Mariner and real estate Entrepreneur also extended some assistance to senior citizens to commemorate the season.

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