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Defection: Conduct Fresh Polls in 27 Rivers Constituencies, PDP Tells INEC

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately commence the process of conducting fresh elections into the 27 State constituencies in Rivers State.

This, the party said, is sequel to the vacancy created when 27 “former” State lawmakers willfully abandoned their seats by defecting from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, said in a statement on Monday: “The PDP asserts that by defecting from the PDP, the political Party platform on which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly, the seats of the respective 27 former lawmakers have become vacant by virtue of the provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”

“The PDP therefore demands that the Speaker of the Rivers State House Assembly immediately comply with the provision of the Constitution by declaring the seats of the 27 former lawmakers vacant.

“In view of the vacancy now exiting in the 27 State Constituencies in Rivers State, the PDP demands that INEC should within the stipulated period under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) conduct fresh election to fill the vacancies.

“Our Party cautions that the former lawmakers should stop parading themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly as such would amount to impersonation with serious criminal consequences.

“The PDP commends the people of Rivers State for their steadfastness and loyalty to Democracy and Rule of Law especially at this time.”

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Court Rejects Manu’s Application, Orders Alleged Terrorists’ Negotiator to Remain in DSS Custody

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed an application by alleged terrorists’ negotiator, Mohammed Tukur Mamu, seeking to be relocated from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to Kuje prison in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In a ruling on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo agreed with the prosecution that it would be unwise to grant Mamu’s request in view of the incessant jail breaks being experienced in the country in recent time.

Justice Ekwo noted that Mamu neither contradicted nor disputed – as required by law – the prosecution’s averments in relation to frequent cases of jail break in recent time.

The judge held that as the defendant did not challenge the averments, they are deemed to be true facts, adding that facts admitted need no further proof.

Justice Ekwo subsequently ordered Mamu to remain in DSS custody throughout his trial in the criminal charges against him.

The judge restated his earlier order that the terrorist negotiator be allowed access to his personal physician for medical treatment with the supervisions of the DSS.

Mamu was arraigned before the court on March 21 on a 10-count charge bordering on terrorism related offences, filed by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

He was among others, accused of having relationship with terrorists and involvement in the ransom negotiation for those behind last attack on a Kaduna-bound train and abduction of the passengers.

Mamu is being kept in the custody of the DSS while his trial is ongoing.

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Man Dies Watching Television in Drinking Bar – Police Confirm

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The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the sudden death of a yet to be identified man, who reportedly came to watch television at a beer parlour in the state.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this in a statement on Saturday.

Hundeyin said that the owner of the beer parlour, whose name was not mentioned, reported the case to Elere Police Division on Wednesday at about 7.00 p.m.

He said that the report revealed that a customer (now deceased), whose name and address were yet unknown, in his 50s, came to the beer parlour located along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway at about 6.15 p.m.

The statement quoted the bar owner as saying thatthe customer walked into the open bar to sit and watch television.

The statement read in part:

“He was later observed to be sleeping on the chair and there was an attempt to wake him up, but they discovered that he was lifeless.

“The scene was visited by detectives of the division and the body was seen lifeless on the chair without any mark of violence.

“The body has been removed to Mainland General Hospital Mortuary Yaba, Lagos for autopsy. Efforts to trace his family is in progress.”

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Lagos Govt Warns Schools, Teachers Against Extension Classes, Fee-Paying Tutorials for Students

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The Lagos State government has issued a stern warning to teachers and schools against extending official hours for fee-paying extra lessons.

This directive was announced by the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Tolani Alli-Balogun, during the unveiling of a block of classrooms and furniture at Amuwo Odofin Junior High School complex.

Alli-Balogun emphasized that the extra hour after the official closing time – typically used for paid lessons – ought to be for extracurricular activities. The activities, the commissioner said, include clubs such as the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Boys Scouts, Boys/Girls Brigade, STEM Club, Writing and Debate Club, are essential for the well-rounded development of students.

Expressing his disapproval of the practice where the first lesson of the day is often neglected by teachers, Alli-Balogun warned that any teacher found derelict in their duties would face strict consequences.

“Do your job at the right time between 8.00am and 2.00pm and leave the extra hour for reading or extracurricular activities.

“We will no longer condone using that time for fee-paying extra lessons in our schools. Education is free in Lagos State, and nobody should be charging any fee for anything,” he warned.

The commissioner made these remarks during the inauguration of new classroom facilities and furniture at the Amuwo-Odofin Junior High School Complex, a project sponsored by Grimaldi Group and Ports & Terminal Multiservices Ltd.

He urged students to fully engage in the various social activities and clubs available to ensure their holistic development.

Alli-Balogun’s stern message underscores the government’s commitment to free education and the importance of extracurricular activities in fostering a balanced educational environment.

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