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Court Restrains INEC from Prosecuting Suspended Adamawa REC

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A federal high court in Abuja has restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from prosecuting Hudu Yunusa-Ari, suspended resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Adamawa state. 

Yunusa-Ari had stirred controversy by declaring Aisha Binani Dahiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Adamawa governorship election, when the collation of the results was yet to be completed.

INEC declared the announcement null and void and summoned the REC to its headquarters in Abuja.

Subsequently, the electoral umpire wrote to the police to prosecute Yunusa-Ari over the electoral infraction.

On April 20, former President Muhammadu Buhari approved the suspension of the Adamawa REC pending the completion of investigation by the police.

On Thursday, INEC revealed that the commission has filed a six-count charge against Yunusa-Ari before a high court in Yola, and that July 12 has been fixed for the commencement of trial.

However, in an ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/935/2023, Binani through her counsel, Michael Aondoaka, moved the ex-parte motion to stop Yunusa-Ari’s prosecution.

MAINTAINING STATUS QUO

Aondoaka, while moving the motion on Monday, argued that until the election petition tribunal decides the fate of his client in accordance with Section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the prosecution of Yunusa-Ari cannot be said to be valid.

He said the decision of INEC to file an action against any person in connection with Binani’s April 15 declaration as winner of the supplementary poll in Adamawa state, would affect the case at the tribunal.

He said an undertaking had been signed to prove to the court that the present suit was not frivolous, adding that he is ready to pay any cost if the court finds the suit to be frivolous.

After listening to Aondoaka, Donatus Okorowo, presiding judge, ordered the parties to maintain status quo ante bellum, pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

INEC and the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), who are respondents in the suit, have been ordered to show cause why the reliefs sought by Binani should not be granted.

The suit has been adjourned to July 18 for hearing.

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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