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Amaewhule-led Assembly Issues 7-Days Ultimatum to Fubara to Re-present Budget

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The Rivers State House of Assembly led by Martin Amaewhule has issued a 7-day ultimatum to Governor Siminalayi Fubara to re-present the 2024 budget to the House.

The order follows the first sitting of the pro-Wike House on Monday after some months. The other House led by Victor Oko-Jumbo is also holding a parallel sitting.

Fubara had earlier presented the budget to the House loyal to him when his current Chief of Staff Edison Ehie presided as the Speaker.

Ehie and the other pro-Fubara lawmakers passed the budget estimates, and the governor signed the bill into law. He stated that it is aimed at promoting economic development, inclusive growth, and addressing socio-economic inequality in the state.

With the recent development, the crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly seems to be far from abating.

Today’s sitting by the Amaewhule-led Assembly after a long time may have come on the heels of last week’s Court of Appeal judgement nullifying the expulsion of Amaewhule and 24 others from the Rivers State House of Assembly by the Rivers State High Court.

Justice Charles Wali had in May, while ruling on a motion exparte following a prayer brought before his court by Victor Oko Jumbo, issued an ex parte order barring Amaewhule and 24 other lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the state House of Assembly.

But on last Monday, a three-member panel of the appellate court held that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to grant the exparte order.

The court held that Section 272(3) of the Constitution gives the Federal High Court powers to determine whether the seat of a House of Assembly member has become vacant.

It held that the Federal High Court has the exclusive jurisdiction to determine if the seats have become vacant.

According to the court, the express mention of the Federal High Court in Section 272 (3) of the Constitution automatically excludes all state high courts from having the jurisdiction.

The appellate court held that the exparte order having been made without jurisdiction is null and void.

However, the speaker of the group Victor Oko-Jumbo in his opening remark during a plenary on Friday said that he and his members believed that the Appeal Court erred in its decision.

“We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the Jurisdiction to hear and determine SUIT NO PHC/1512/CS/2024,” he said.

“Accordingly, we have instructed our lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria Challenging the Judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 4th Day of July 2024.”

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Sokoto Gov Signs New Chieftaincy Bills, Strips Sultan of Powers

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Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu, has signed the controversial Local Government and Chieftaincy Amendment Bill, along with five other bills, into law.

The newly enacted law removes the power of the Sultan of Sokoto to appoint district and village heads in the state,

The other bills signed into law are – Sokoto State Tenancy Law, Zakkat and Waqf Law, Discrimination Against People Living with Disability Law and Rural Roads Law.

The Governor, at the signing ceremony, on Thursday, said the changes were intended to enhance governance, not to target any individual or group.

His words: “We note with concern the unnecessary tension created by our proposal to amend some of these laws. Some of the reactions were politically motivated, while others were done ignorantly without care to inquire from the right quarters on the details and intention of the amendment,” Aliyu stated.

The governor asserted that legislative amendments are a common practice aimed at meeting the evolving needs of society and ensuring laws are aligned with current circumstances and the interests of the governed.

“Previous administrations had amended one law or the other in the state to give the state laws the needed touch that would fast-track peace and development.

“Let me make it clear that the just amended laws are not meant to witch-hunt any individual or group but rather to promote good governance and to remove the ambiguity and inconsistency with the nation’s constitution,” Aliyu explained.

He further cautioned Muslim clerics against being used by “lazy politicians” to achieve political ends and assured that his administration remains committed to listening to the needs of the  citizenss.

“Whenever we come across any law that does not suit the interests of our people, we will not hesitate to replace it,” he added.

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Anti-Party Activities: PDP Suspends National Vice Chairman, Dan Orbih

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The Peoples Democratic Party National Working Committee has suspended its National Vice Chairman (South-South), Dan Orbih, for his alleged involvement in sabotaging the party’s efforts in Edo State.

The PDP Edo State Chapter has been dealing with internal conflicts since the governorship primary election on February 22, 2024, which resulted in Asue Ighodalo becoming the governorship candidate.

As a result, dissatisfied party members took the party to court.

Last week, Justice Inyang Ekwo, invalidated the primary in a judgment for case FHC/ABJ/CS/165/2024, which contested the exclusion of 378 delegates.

On Wednesday, the PDP appealed the judgment.

In a statement released on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP explained that Orbih’s actions and comments regarding the Edo State Governorship Primary Election are not in line with the party’s constitution.

Ologunagba revealed that the National Working Committee has established a six-member committee, led by Deputy National Chairman (South) Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, to investigate Orbih.

The statement read in part, “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its 588th meeting today, Wednesday, July 10, 2024, considered all issues, including complaints on the activities of the National Vice Chairman (South-South) Chief Dan Orbih concerning the September 21, 2024, Governorship election in Edo State

“The NWC at the meeting unanimously condemned the embarrassing actions and utterances of Chief Dan Orbih relating to the Edo State Governorship Primary Election of our great Party which actions and utterances are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017) and the demand of his office as a national officer of the Party.

“Consequently, the NWC has set up a six-member committee headed by the Deputy National Chairman (South) Amb. Taofeek Arapaja, to investigate the issue under the provisions of the Constitution of the Party.

“In the meantime, the NWC forthwith suspends Chief Dan Orbih from participating in all meetings, activities, and programs of the NWC pending the conclusion of an investigation by the Committee.”

The PDP NWC urged all its leaders, key stakeholders, and numerous members in Edo State to remain united, and focused, and to continue working diligently for Ighodalo’s victory in the September 21, 2024, governorship election in Edo State.

It stated, “The NWC acknowledges the support and solidarity of the overwhelming majority of the people of Edo State who are rallying with our Party and Candidate, Dr Asue Ighodalo, whose vision is in tandem with the Will and aspiration of the people for continued massive development of the State on the platform of the PDP.

“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our Party in Edo State to remain united, focused, and continue to work hard for the victory of our Party and Candidate in the September 21, 2024, Governorship election in Edo State.”

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El-Rufai’s Son Throws Shades at Tinubu, Says “Nobody is Too Big to Be Elected Out of Office”

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By Eric Elezuo

Bashir El-Rufai, the son of the immediate past Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, has in a veiled reference to President Bola Tinubu, said that no one is too big to be booted out of office.

The younger El-Rufai took to his X account to inform the public that removing the incumbent from office will sure happen, adding that the IMF and World Bank will not be able to come to his rescue.

“Nobody is too big to be elected out of office by the people. It will happen & wallahi nothing will happen. So forget all these intimidations flying up and down. Let us be patient.

“Even IMF & World Bank no go save una that time. Political strategist una. That one na for Lagos,” El-Rufai wrote.

Much as he added that he didn’t mention anyone’s name in the speech, social media users deduced that his mention of Lagos among other things is a clear indication that he was alluding to President Tinubu.
“I didn’t call names o, but due to their guilt, they already know who is being spoken about. Wallahi, none of you will force anyone to support this utter failure of governance disguised as useless, dangerous ethnocentric political strategy,” he said.
Some, among his respondents were quick to tell him that Tinubu will complete eight years in office no matter what, while some others aligned with him.
It will be recalled that Bashir El-Rufai has been a strong follower of Tinubu prior and during the 2023 presidential election. His stance for the administration changed when his father was denied ministerial position, and recognition in the present dispensation.
To compound the travails the senior El-Rufai is passing through, the Kaduna State government has alleged he misappropriated huge sum of money during his stewardship as governor.
Tinubu, has been accused of toeing the path of former President Muhammadu Buhari in ethnocentric politics, where his tribe is considered while others are relegated, and that has prompted El-Rufai’s outburst.

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