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Northern Youth Groups Declare Support for Atiku



Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election, the Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations has declared support for the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for the poll.

They said Atiku, who’s also a former Vice President, was their preferred candidate because he had over the years garnered enough experience to govern Nigeria.

JACOM, comprising over 70 youth organizations in the 19 Northern States and Abuja, said their choice of Atiku was based on the fact that of all the 18 presidential candidates, he has all it takes to rebuild the country.

Addressing a press conference at the Arewa House, Kaduna on Wednesday, JACOM’s Convener, Murtala Abubakar, flanked by Raphael Makama, Director of Communication and Public Affairs as well as other executives, said none of the contestants had built political bridges across Nigeria like Atiku.

According to Abubakar, the youths of the region arrive at the decision after feeling the pulse of the Northern Elders Forum and the Arewa Consultative Forum as well as other Northern groups on the candidature of the former Vice President.

The JACOM boss, therefore appealed to all Nigerians to come out en masse and vote for Atiku, noting that the decision “we are going to make, will make or mar Nigeria if not well guided by our choice.”

He said, “In the next few days, Nigerians would be going to the polls to cast their ballots in an epoch making decision. This 2023 election would be a watershed for all of us, but especially the younger generation. Because, the decision we are going to make, would make or mar Nigeria.

“Now Atiku is not just on the ballot, but he is the leading candidate. Of all the 18 presidential candidates who would be on the ballot come Saturday 25th February 2023 all things being equaled as assured by the Independent Electoral Commission none is compared to Atiku by many standards.

“None has been in politics and ran for offices like Atiku. None but Atiku has occupied the number two position of Vice President of Nigeria for 8 years.

“None of them knows Nigeria like Atiku. None have built political bridges across Nigeria and beyond like Atiku. Atiku is not going to rely on anyone or groups to teach him how to lead Nigeria.

“Atiku knows, understands, and appreciates Nigeria and Nigerians just as he knows, understands and appreciates his loving family. Nigeria is Atiku’s family.

“As a result of these and more, that time and space will not allow us to say here, we hereby, on behalf of our members cutting across all the states and the FCT, endorse/adopt Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate for the 2023 polls and by God’s, the next President of Nigeria to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It took us this long to arrive at this decision. Within this period, we note the footprints of President Buhari, who took stock of his gains in the last seven years plus.

“We also prayed those battling to succeed him, especially in his political party the All Progressives Congress. But we came to the conclusion that they are not only worthy of the position but are out struggling to get power for their selfish interests.

“With this endorsement, we are assuring all Nigerians, especially southerners that when Atiku is elected and sworn to office, which Nigerians would do on Saturday peacefully, we would hold his legs to the fire and ensure he remains the leader for all we have known him to be. We assure all that Atiku will not let them down. We promise as we want you to hold us responsible for this promise.”

The Punch

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Tinubu Announces Akume As SGF, Gbajabiamila As Chief of Staff




The President, Bola Tinubu, on Friday, appointed the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as his new Chief of Staff.

He also appointed a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia, as Deputy Chief of Staff and Former Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

This was revealed in a statement signed on Friday by the State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, titled ‘President Tinubu appoints Gbajabiamila COS, Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia, DCOS, George Akume, SGF.’

“In a meeting with Progressives Governors Forum, the President also named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” the statement read.

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Police Dismiss Sergeant for N98,000 Extortion




The Lagos State Police Command on Wednesday announced the dismissal of Sgt. Ekpo Shimuyere, who was attached to the Sogunle Division, for extorting a young man of N98,000.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, told journalists that the command’s Provost Department had already disrobed the dismissed sergeant.

According to him, the dismissed sergeant collected the phone of his victim and used a Point of Sale operator to transfer N98,000 out of the N100,000 in the young man’s bank account.

Hundeyin said the policeman’s action was contrary to the ethics of the profession.

He said, “The police command got the complaint from the victim and the officer denied the crime when he was contacted. The command placed him under detention so that he will not tamper with the evidence.

“We wrote to his bank and obtained his statement of account. We were able to trace the money to where the POS operator transferred it before transferring the money to the officer’s account.

“We followed due process to get his account. The victim was invited in the course of the investigation and he testified.

“The POS operator was also invited, and he said the officer requested him to transfer the money from the victim’s account to another one.”

The PPRO said the Sergeant was consequently subjected to an orderly room trial in line with extant laws.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, Mr Idowu Owohunwa, has reviewed the orderly room procedure of the officer with Force No. 461654, attached to the Sogunle Police Division and has approved the punishment of dismissal from the force,” he said.

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PDP Can Suspend, Expel Wike According to Law, Court Rules




The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, told the former governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the right to suspend or expel him if the action is done under the law.

Justice James Omotosho stated this in a judgment on a suit filed by Mr Wike before the 2023 general elections to seek a court order to stop PDP from taking action against him without a fair hearing.

Mr Omotosho said the court had considered the processes filed by parties and arguments of counsel.

He held that suspending or expelling the applicant without affording him the right to defend himself would breach his fundamental rights as enshrined in the party’s and Nigeria’s constitutions.

He said though the party had the right to suspend or expel its members, it must comply with its law.

The judge said that though section 46(1) of the law vested jurisdiction on the court if one’s rights had been breached, he said the court would not dabble into the internal affairs of any political party, except where the party had violated the right of a member without recourse to its laws.

“Where this right ought to be enforced, the court will do everything within its reach to ensure this.

“However, as fundamental and sacrosanct these rights are, they are not absolute,” he said.

The judge, therefore, agreed that any member of a political party who appeared before a disciplinary committee should be allowed to defend himself.

“And if not, any decision taken shall be null and void,” he said.

He said, “This court is convinced that the applicant is entitled to a fair hearing and that the respondent also has the right to discipline its members in accordance with the law.”

The judge further said Mr Wike had the right to associate and that the threat to dismiss him without inviting him to defend himself contravened Article 57 (1)(2) of the party.

He said the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and his agents were bound to promote constitutional democracy.

The ex-governor had sued the PDP, its National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) as first to third respondents.

Mr Wike, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023, dated and filed February 2 by his lawyer, Joshua Musa, SAN, also joined Mr Ayu; national secretary of PDP, Samuel Anyanwu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission as fourth to sixth respondents respectively.

He had prayed for an order directing all parties to maintain the status quo and stay all actions relating to the threat to suspend or expel him by the first to fifth respondents, pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.

He asked the court to enforce his fundamental right to freedom of association which was allegedly about to be breached by the respondents.

But the PDP, through its lawyer, Johnson Usman, SAN, disagreed with Mr Wike’s submission.

He argued that the case was only based on speculation as Mr Wike had failed to provide evidence to substantiate that the respondents intended to suspend or expel him from the party.

He said the party had not contemplated suspending or expelling members of the G5 governors or the Integrity Group, despite engaging in anti-party activities.

He said Mr Wike and four other governors engaged in anti-party activities by forming the Integrity Group and campaigning for another presidential candidate in the February 25 election.


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