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Sylva rejects Bayelsa tribunal verdict, heads to Appeal Court

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State and former Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has rejected the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal judgement which upheld the election of Douye Diri as the state governor.

Dissatisfied with the tribunal’s judgement, Sylva held a closed-door meeting with elders and stakeholders of the party to discuss the next course of action.

Following the meeting, he directed his legal team to seek justice at the Court of Appeal.

“We are not satisfied with the decision of the tribunal. But this is just a court of first instance and after meeting with the elders and critical stakeholders of our great party, the APC, we directed our legal team to seek justice for Bayelsa at the Supreme Court.”

The governorship candidate assured the people of Bayelsa that the court of appeal would surely correct the travesty perpetrated by the tribunal.

He said the liberation of Bayelsa was close and that justice was inevitable for the traumatized people of the state appealing to them to remain positive, law-abiding, and steadfast.

Sylva had in the course of the sitting of the tribunal accused the tribunal of bias following several infractions observed by his lawyers during the hearing of the case.

Though he subsequently filed an interlocutory appeal demanding the dissolution of the panel and reconstitution of a new one, his petition was thrown out by the President of the Court of Appeal.

Earlier, the tribunal upheld the election that produced Diri as the state governor.

A three-man panel led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Timipre Sylva, and the party for lacking merit.

In a unanimous decision, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove any credible evidence to back up any of the allegations they raised against the re-election victory of Diri.

It held that the prayers of the petitioners were contradictory.

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Politics

Edo Assembly recalls suspended lawmaker, Iyamu

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Edo House of Assembly on Monday announced the recall of one of the three suspended lawmakers, Mr Bright Iyamu.

Iyamu (PDP-Orhionmwon South) was suspended on May 6, alongside two others over alleged plot to impeach the speaker and other principal officers of the assembly.

The two lawmakers, who are still on suspension, are Donald Okogbe (PDP-Akoko-Edo II) and Adeh Isibor (APC-Esan North-East I).

Announcing the lifting of the suspension during plenary in Benin, the Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku, said that the house had found Iyamu to be remorseful.

Shortly after Iyamu’s recall, other lawmakers took turns to appeal to the speaker to consider lifting the suspension of the two remaining lawmakers.

The speaker, in his reaction, however, said that Isibor had taken the matter to court.

One of the lawmakers, Nicholas Asonsere (PDP-Ikpoba-Okha), thereafter, passed a vote of confidence in the speaker and an unalloyed support of the assembly to him.

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Former Rivers LG chairmen defy police order, stage protests

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The former chairmen of 21 out of the 23 local government areas in Rivers State staged a protest on Monday at their various council areas.

The former council bosses loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, protested in their local councils despite an advisory against protests issued by the state Police Command.

In Buguma, the council headquarters of the Asari-Toru LGA, former Chairman Onengiyeofori George, alongside his supporters, marched through the streets of the town as they gyrated to songs in Wike’s solidarity.

They waved placards with inscriptions asking the police to continue occupying the council headquarters. Some of the inscriptions read, “Sim Fubara Can’t Continue to Act As He Likes” and “There’s No Vacancy in Asari-Toru Council”.

According to Channels Television, at Asari-Toru LGA, the protest almost turned violent when some men believed to be operatives of Asari Dokubo’s private military company, known as Amama soldiers, attempted to attack the protesters.

The Amama soldiers were swiftly restrained by policemen who were very alert. The demonstrators later presented a protest letter to the police.

Also, in Abonnema, the Akuku-Toru LGA council headquarters, some persons staged a protest, backing the continued closure of council premises by the police.

Recall that the police took over the 23 LGA council secretariats of the oil-rich South-South last Tuesday following the crisis that erupted over the three-year tenure expiration of the former LGA chairmen. Three deaths were recorded in the wake of the crisis.

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Rivers political crisis: You’re not the Reps caucus leader — Abiante tells Deekor

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Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

The political crisis rocking Rivers State has taken a new dimension, as Federal lawmakers of the State in the Lower House of the National Assembly have taken sides and started exchanging words as to who is the caucus leader and otherwise.

This stems from utterances attributed to member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Dumnamene Deekor over his attack on Hon Ikenga Ugochinyere, over the Rivers State political crisis.

In a statement issued by the member representing Andoni, Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency and Caucus Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon Awaji-Inombek Abiante  in Port Harcourt, he stated clearly that Deekor as a two term lawmaker is not qualified to assume the leadership of the Caucus of the Green Chamber when other senior members are there.

He said Deekor is not competent to challenge the Coordinator of the G-60 lawmakers and Imo State legislator for his comment on Rivers State political crisis of democracy in general.

“For the records, Deekor was properly elected in 2019 having lost his seat in 2015 at the Court of Appeal, which barred him from being a member of the 8th Assembly.

“He was recently re-elected in 2023 to serve his second term in the House. This alone disqualifies him to jostle for the leadership of the Rivers State Caucus.

“We call on the general public to discountance Dum Deekor’s statement as vituperations of a gord being,” Abiante said.

He told Deekor to note that the House of Representatives is not a village council meeting where anybody can assume any position and contribute to issues, noting that Hon Ugochinyere has the right as a responsible Nigerian to air his views on any national issue, including that of Rivers State.

“The National Assembly is not guided by Village Council’s rules and as such everyone reserves the right to make contributions in line with his innate conviction. Hon. Ugochinyere has in the estimation of right thinking Nigerians proven himself in the act of quality representation,” Hon. Abiante reiterated.

He therefore advised Deekor to hold his ‘self-serving stands’ to himself as he has never been elected as the Caucus Leader in Rivers State.

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