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APC, Tinubu ask tribunal to dismiss APM’s petition against presidential election

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023 election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have asked the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja to dismiss in its entirety a petition brought against their victory.

APC and Tinubu on Tuesday argued that the petition filed by the Allied People’s Movement (APM) was worthless as it disclosed no reasonable cause of action.

In their separate motions on notice, APC and Tinubu told the tribunal that the petition was incompetent on various grounds and didn’t deserve to be given precious time by the tribunal.

Legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, who filed the motion on behalf of APC, said that the APM has no legs upon which its petition can stand.

Fagbemi insisted in the motion that the election was lawfully conducted, and a clear winner declared in line with the provisions of the law.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, the senior lawyer, while notifying the tribunal of the motion on notice, said it would be fully argued at the appropriate time.

Fagbemi confirmed that he had answered all the questions on the pre-trial Form TF008 Information sheet as required by law.

He said the Form TF008 answer sheet was filled at the tribunal on May 8th and served on other parties.

In his own submission, Chief Akin Olujimi SAN, who stood for Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shetitma, informed the tribunal he had filed a pre-hearing information sheet on May 3, 2023.

He notified the tribunal of his pending motion on notice, praying for the outright dismissal of the petition for various reasons.

Olujimi said he would argue the motion at the appropriate time allotted to it by the tribunal.

The APM, represented by Suleiman Abubakar SAN, adopted his form TF008 pre-hearing sheet filed on April 28.

After taking arguments at the pre-hearing session, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, fixed May 11 for further pre-hearing session.

Justice Tsammani ordered parties in the matter to sort out and agree on all documents they intend to tender during the hearing of the petition.

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Osun APC condemns Gov Adeleke’s desperation to retain power beyond 2026

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The Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned Governor Ademola Adeleke’s desperation to retain power beyond 2026, despite his perceived poor handling of the state’s governance.

According to the party’s chairman Sooko Tajudeen Lawal in a statement on Tuesday, Governor Adeleke’s attempts to coerce various groups into declaring support for his administration are unacceptable.

The APC stated that the governor’s actions are a result of his lack of depth and political management skills, which have led to his poor performance in office.

The party alleged that Governor Adeleke has exhibited indolence, inefficiency, vindictiveness, favoritism, and vendetta, which have left the people of Osun State disillusioned.

The APC’s Director of Media and Information, Chief Kola Olabisi, stated that reliable sources have revealed that Governor Adeleke and his cohorts are using coercive means to force groups to declare support for his administration, despite his unpopularity.

The party urged the people of Osun State to resist Governor Adeleke’s attempts to manipulate them and instead demand good governance and effective leadership.

The statement reads partly, “It was learnt that Adeleke has now resorted to forcing commercial motorcycle and tricycle riders in the state to swear to the oath of continuous support for the PDP in all the future elections in the state with the god of iron called ‘Ogun’ in Yoruba parlance.

“It was also gathered that words have been passed round from the state capital level of the transportation unions that the secret oath-taking of the compulsory allegiance should be held in all the units of the unions across the nooks and crannies of the state.

“Governor Adeleke and his co-travellers have also been going round the state to woo back the real owners of the PDP in the state that they chased back with cudgels, cutlasses, abuses and lack of political patronage immediately Adeleke was announced the winner of the governorship election by the Supreme Court.”

The Osun State APC chairman pungently told Governor Adeleke that it was too late in the day for him to engage in fruitless mission of enlisting the support of the leaders and members of his party that he had shown ingratitude to when he was declared the winner of the controversial election in the state.

Lawal asked Adeleke if he thinks it is pretty possible to fool anyone who is not thinking with his feet successively, adding that if the governor could brazenly show such an unacceptable and irritating level of ingratitude during his first term in the office, he would do worst things if he should be helped for another tenure.

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Rivers Gov. urges transparency in Community Development Trusts

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Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, has called for responsible management of funds allocated to host Communities Development Trusts (HCDT) in the Niger Delta.

The governor spoke on Tuesday at an event to unveil three additional HDCTs by The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), operator of the SPDC Joint Venture comprising SPDC, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), TotalEnergies Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited.

Represented by the State Commissioner for Chieftaincy & Community Affairs, Charles Amadi, the Governor said the development in oil producing communities as envisaged in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) would only become a reality if those charged with managing the funds put the people first and make themselves accountable.

HCDT is a creation of the PIA and requires oil exploration companies to allocate three percent of their operating expenditure in the previous year for the development of their host communities.

The three new HCDTs represent the hosts of SPDC JV at its Logistics Base, Akukutoru and TNP-2 areas and bring to 31 the number so far inaugurated by the Joint Venture out of the 33 for all its operations in the Niger Delta.

Governor Fubara said, “I appreciate Shell for your continued support at ensuring the economic growth of the communities.”

SPDC has been the industry leader in the implementation of the HCDT provisions of the PIA.

Also speaking at the event, Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, acknowledged the challenges of implementing a new legislation like the PIA, noting that SPDC engaged over 300 communities on the provisions of the law and the need for stronger collaboration between SPDC and the communities to ensure the desired growth and development.

Okunbor, who was represented by the HCDT Project Manager, Dr. Alice Ajeh, said, “Ultimately, community development rests on the shoulders of the communities themselves.”

In his remarks, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, commended SPDC’s leading position in the implementation of the HCDT provisions of the PIA and emphasised the importance of fostering sustainable economic development through robust implementation strategies.

“NUPRC, in line with global best practices and in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has developed robust implementation strategies for the Trusts. This is for the purpose of fostering sustainable economic development of host communities,” the NUPRC chief said through his representative, Mrs. Chidinma Nwabueze.

Komolafe enjoined the host communities to guarantee seamless oil and gas exploration and production in their respective communities to reap maximum benefits from the trusts.

In his remark, the Chief Upstream Investment Officer of NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti, said, “We have high expectations for communities to collaborate with industry stakeholders to achieve peaceful coexistence. The boards of trustees should ensure that there are systems in place to address conflicts or grievances through dialogue that ensures resolutions that are beneficial to all the parties.”

Represented at the event by NUIMS Manager for Stakeholder Relations, Mrs. Ejidoh Uzo, Wunti said, “I commend the host communities for their prompt utilisation of the instruments of the PIA as administered. This is a laudable initiative of Shell that will bring about positive development to the communities.”

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MOSOP faults Tinubu’s Democracy Day speech

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…Decries Ken Saro-Wiwa omission on martyrs list

By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

Movement For The Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has expressed dismay over what it termed obvious omission in the Democracy Day Speech delivered by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

MOSOP in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by its Publicity Secretary, Comrd Imeabe Saviour Oscar said the President failed to recognise the sacrifices of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogonis in the democratic struggle in Nigeria, while recognizing that of Chief MKO Abiola.

“We thank Mr President, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for addressing Nigerians on her 25th Democrat Day. However, it is very sad that Mr President did not  recognise or make mention of the struggle of the Ogoni heroes led by Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others that laid down their lives for the rights of the indigenous people.

“We the Ogonis have been very much supportive and have contributed so much to the nation’s GDP, so it’s unfortunate that Mr President recognised the struggle of MKO Abiola while failing to acknowledge that of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogonis who paid the supreme sacrifice for what we enjoy today as a nation.

”It is still a painful experience for the people of Ogoni that we lost a generation of industrious sons who contributed immensely to the development of Rivers State and Nigeria at large and today, Bola Ahmed Tinubu just like former President Muhammadu Buhari has  recognised Abiola and the incident that led to his election bid and death while ignoring Ken Saro-Wiwa and others. It is painful and very worrisome,” Oscar said.

The MOSOP Publicity Secretary said the deliberate ignoring of these heroes in Mr President’s speech has dashed the hope of Ogoni people who had hoped to get a cheering news from Mr President especially on the exoneration of Saro-Wiwa and eight others.

“We want to inform Mr President that this is a slap to Ogoni people who had expected that  Mr President would have used the occasion of today to state his position on the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others by the Nigerian State and their exoneration.”

MOSOP also expressed dismay that Mr President did not make his position known on the ongoing Ogoni clean up exercise, advising that politicians shouldn’t see the exercise as an avenue to get political settlement.

“Also, we are not happy that Mr President did not take a position on how to improve on the ongoing Ogoni clean-up exercise. The exercise is an outcome of the Ogoni struggle and not as a result of government settlement so government and Ogoni politicians should not see the cleanup as another political  settlement avenue.

“Politicians and persons claiming to have connections in the Presidency running around to be part of the clean up exercise when they have nothing to offer is condemnable.

“MOSOP is also using this medium to call on the President to be on the part of the Ogoni people, if the expected resumption of oil exploration is to achieve any meaningful success.

“We also want to  tell Mr President that the expected resumption of oil exploration and all oil multinationals coming to Ogoni such as NNPCL, NPDC and others, that if he does not stand on the side of the people of Ogoni, that oil resumption will not succeed because the Ogoni oil has taken so many lives and for that reason we cannot talk about resumption of oil exploration  without talking about how to compensate the families that lost their lives in the struggle. So Mr President should  address  that issue on the side of the Ogoni people to a satisfactory conclusion because Ogonis must benefit from their struggle beyond political affiliation”.

MOSOP equally called on the President to take a stand on the alleged missing $300bn belonging to Ogoni people.

“The $300 billion belonging to the Ogoni people is missing till date and some persons have been accused including those working in his cabinet. We want Mr  President to make his position clear on this matter.”

MOSOP also used the occasion to demand political inclusion of Ogoni people in the various levels of government in the Country.

“We the Ogonis are demanding for political fairness across board and that no Ogoniman has occupied any sensitive position  in both Tinubu’s cabinet and here in Rivers State. We want that reversed,” the MOSOP Spokesman stressed.

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