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Supreme Court affirms Otti as Abia governor

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the election of Alex Otti as duly elected governor of Abia.

Justice Uwani Abba-Aji while delivering the judgment dismissed the appeal against the victory of Otti.

She held that the appeal by the PDP lacked merit.

NAN reports that the appeals were lodged against Otti, who won his election on the platform of the Labour Party, LP, by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Okey Ahiwe, and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Ikechi Emenike.

It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared that Otti polled 175,466 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ahiwe of the PDP, who scored 88,529 votes in the gubernatorial poll that was held on March 18, 2023.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, both Ahiwe and Emenike of the APC, who came in third, separately challenged it.

However, in a judgement delivered on October 6, 2023, the Abia State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed the petitions and upheld Otti’s election victory.

The verdict of the tribunal was affirmed by the Court of Appeal in Lagos, which also dismissed appeals that were entered against Otti by both the PDP and APC candidates.

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Politics

Oyebanji Names Four New Permanent Secretaries

In the bid to further position the state civil service for optimal service delivery, Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji has approved the appointment of four new Permanent Secretaries to fill available vacancies in the State Civil Service.

The new Permanent Secretaries emerged as a result of their brilliant performance in the last examination and interview conducted for candidates from both the State and Local Government service on June 27, 2023 and October 18, 2023 respectively, in line with the merit- based appointment policy of the administration.

The Special Adviser (Media) to the Governor, Yinka Oyebode who announced the appointment in settlement on Friday listed the new permanent secretaries to include:

1. Mrs Janet Funke Ajibola
2. ⁠Mr Michael Sunday Boluwade
3. ⁠Mr Foluso Ebenezer Akinwumi
4. ⁠Mr Rotimi Gabriel Akomolede

“The date for their inauguration would be announced later.

“Governor Oyebanji, while congratulating the new permanent secretaries, urges them to be prepared to deploy their competence and experiences in the development of the state.”

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Politics

Imo electoral commission schedules September for local govt election

Ahead of the forthcoming local government elections slated for September 21 across the 27 LGAs in the state, the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC) has assured the residents of Imo State of a free, fair, and peaceful exercise.

The Chairman of the Commission, Charles Ejiogu, gave the assurance while addressing participants during a stakeholders’ meeting on how to achieve a credible election.

Ejiogu said the forthcoming poll will be the fifth time such an exercise has taken place in the state since the re-enthronement of democratic governance in 1999, with previous elections held in 1999, 2004, 2010, and 2018.

The ISIEC boss, while highlighting the importance of the exercise, maintained that the third tier of government remains the bedrock for even development in rural areas and the only source of deepening democratic elements at the grassroots.

He stated that following the law establishing the Commission in 2000, as amended in Law No. 14, ISIEC is empowered with the responsibilities of conducting and supervising free, transparent, and credible local government council elections in the state.

“To this end, ISIEC has scheduled to conduct the much-expected council elections in the 305 Registration Areas/Wards and in all the 4,758 polling units in the 27 Local Government Area Councils of Imo State on Saturday, September 21, 2024.

“Therefore, the Commission is taking this opportunity to assure all critical stakeholders of its preparedness to perform its constitutional duty.

“Today’s stakeholders’ meeting is to release election guidelines and a timetable as part of the activities that will ultimately usher in the emergence of 27 democratically elected Council Chairmen, their Deputies, and 305 Councilors,” he said.

The ISIEC Chairman added that arrangements for the recruitment of ad-hoc personnel are in top gear and that it will include both field and internal ad-hoc personnel.

Talking about security, he stated that the Commission is not oblivious to the imperatives of putting in place water-tight security. He mentioned that they are in touch with heads of security agencies to achieve a hitch-free exercise and will stop at nothing in doing just that, maintaining that adequate logistics and ground power will be mounted as it is key to the successful conduct of the forthcoming council polls.

Chief Ejiogu further emphasized the Commission’s ongoing sensitization and mobilization efforts with critical stakeholders, informing that meetings with traditional rulers, presidents general, political leaders, and other relevant bodies are still on course.

“We are also liaising with other democratic institutions such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and we are satisfied with their level of support so far, even as we look forward to more of such support. The security agencies have also assured us of their readiness to render necessary assistance. The voluntary agencies are not left out in this regard, and we cannot take any of them for granted,” he informed.

He also noted the importance of the media in the forthcoming exercise, emphasizing that the fourth estate of the realm remains sacrosanct stakeholders and established strategic partners in progress.

In a similar vein, the ISIEC boss used the moment to commend the governor for creating the opportunity for the exercise to see the light of day, assuring that he would deliver on the task given to him.

Those present at the meeting included heads of security agencies, sole administrators of the 27 LGAs in the state, political leaders, traditional rulers, presidents general, civil society organizations, market women, youth groups, and religious leaders.

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Ododo signs anti-corruption agency, electricity regulatory commission bills into law

The Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Usman Ododo, Thursday, signed many bills into Law at the Executive Chambers of the Kogi State Government House.

In his remarks shortly after signing the bills into law, Governor Ododo commended the State House of Assembly for their patriotism and dedication, referring to the Bills as “People oriented bills”.

According to the Governor, the newly signed Anti Corruption Agency Law will strengthen the capacity of the state to prevent corruption as well as investigate and prosecute corruption cases.

“We have given legal teeth to the Agency to be able to bite corruption. This is a clear statement by my administration that we will attack corrupt practices and make it impossible for corruption to thrive.

“All lovers of development will frown at corruption. We won’t allow corrupt practices. I will give all necessary support to the agency to perform its duties judiciously,” he said.

Ododo thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for making it possible for states to generate, transmit and distribute electricity, saying this would help to finally resolve the power challenge in the nation.

“Mr President has finally discovered the path to permanently resolve the power crisis in Nigeria. Opening up the industry will widen the operational field and deliver more megawatts to the national grid.

“As a State, we are taking full advantage of this opening made possible by the bold policies of Mr President and I can assure you that Kogi is ready to play on the big State as far as the issue of power is concerned.”

The Governor said the Kogi State Scholarship Law was aimed at helping indigent students attain their dreams, saying his administration would continue to prioritize education.

“We have continued to prioritize education because we are convinced that education is the bulwark of development. As a student, I knew what I went through to be educated. Being on this seat has offered me the opportunity to support our students to excel in their educational career.

“I also use this opportunity to congratulate Nigerians on the Students Loan Scheme of Mr. President. We have a smart President who is determined to protect the poor and the weak. With him, it is obvious that our nation shall prosper,” he said.

Earlier, the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Aliyu  Umar Yusuf, said the Assembly did a thorough job and even consulted experts to ensure that when passed, the laws can stand the test of time.

He said the State House of Assembly was committed to ensuring purposeful legislation for the development of the State.

The ceremony was attended by members of the State House of Assembly and other top Government officials.

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