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Rivers Crisis: APC Cries Out, Accuses Dep Speaker, LG Chair of Abducting Lawyer, INEC Materials



By Eric Elezuo

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party-led government of Rivers State of masterminding the kidnapping of its lawyer, Dr. Godswill Dike, who is also the brother of the party’s legal adviser, Azubike Dike following what they described as ‘unsavoury developments and acts of aggression against us’.

The party raised the alarm in a statement jointly signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Darlington Nwauju and Spokesman, Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council, Sogbeye C. Eli following a press conference.

The party specifically mentioned the Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, and the chairman, Ikwerre Local government Council, Samuel Nwanosike as the brain behind the abduction while calling for the lawyer’s release and safety as well as the release of the INEC materials also seized by the abductors.

Going down memory lane of how the ruling party has muscled opposition parties in the building to, during and after the presidential and governorship elections held on February 25 and March 18, 2023, the statement called on President Muhammadu Buhari to called Governor Nyesom Wike to order and allow peace reign in the state.

Read the statement in full:

Gentlemen of the Press, this Press Conference by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Rivers State under the aegis of the State Publicity Secretary and Spokesman for the 2023 Campaign Council is called to intimate you of the continuation of the very unsavoury developments and acts of aggression against us by the People’s Democratic Party in the State.

2. We have just been informed about the abduction of Dr. Godswill Dike, a lawyer, member of our party and brother of the State Legal Adviser, Barr. Azubuike Dike, this evening right inside the Rivers State Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Aba Road, Port Harcourt. Dr. Godswill Dike was invited to the Commission to take delivery of the certified true copies of the INEC documents that we applied for pursuant to the provisions of Section 74 of the Electoral Act 2022.

3. Acting apparently on a tip-off, Edison Ehie and Samuel Nwasonike, aided by the surge of the PDP mob outside the premises swooped on him inside the INEC office shortly after Dr. Godswill Dike signed for the documents and sped away with him to the State Assembly residential Quarters behind the INEC State Headquarters.

4. Our initial reaction was to establish contact with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Jackson Alalibo Semikien, to report the criminal abduction of the aforementioned Dr. Dike. Curiously, the REC who has done nothing beyond a Press Release two days ago directing political parties to proceed to LGA Offices of the Commission for the election documents they may require, told our governorship candidate emphatically that there was nothing the Commission can do, having released the documents we applied for to Dr. Godswill Dike.

5. Contacts have also been made with the Deputy Speaker who assured his caller that Dr. Godswill Dike would return safe but the materials they took from him should be forgotten.

6. Calls made by our governorship candidate to the military also yielded no fruit with the hierarchy stating that until the military receive invitation from the Police they cannot be involved in a purely civil operation.

7. In the circumstance, we are left with no option but call on the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to immediately go after the Deputy Speaker, Edison Ehie, and the Ikwerre Council Chairman, Samuel Nwanosike to safeguard the life of Dr. Godswill Dike and retrieve our election materials from his abductors.

8. You will recall that the APC has been inundated with all sorts of attacks, arrests and other illegal actions by the PDP in Rivers State to obstruct our quest for justice at the Elections Petitions Tribunal as allowed by law. From the arrest of our lawyers in a Hotel and carting away of our party’s copies of elections materials, laying siege on the INEC State Headquarters to physically assaulting our governorship candidate, Arc. Tonye Cole, Mni who was at the same INEC State Headquarters last Monday invitation by the REC to the attack on our State Secretariat here where flags were pulled down and vehicles were destroyed at will, the ruling party has conducted itself with grave impunity since the rape of the rights of Rivers people and the electorate in the State to freely elect their Governor and representatives at both the National and State levels.

9. Nothing could have emboldened the kidnap of Dr. Godswill Dike this evening shortly after PDP members who had been camped at INEC invaded the Complex than the statement by Governor Nyesom Wike endorsing the illegal obstruction of opposition parties seeking to access the Commission’s Headquarters ahead of filing their petitions.

10. We have been subjected to several acts of provocation by the PDP yet have maintained equanimity of spirit to keep the peace in our State. Yet, our opponents are not about to allow the peace reign.

11. Consequently, we call on the President and Commander-in-Chief to rise to the occasion by calling the Governor of Rivers State to order and rescue our dear State from the anarchists who are Hell bent on self-perpetuation in power or destruction of Rivers State where their undemocratic plot fails. Up until now, we have done our bit as a law-abiding party as the rest of the nation has taken notice. The APC is asking that Governor Nyesom Wike and the PDP be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in Rivers State.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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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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