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With me there is hope for Nigeria to get better — Tinubu to Nigerians

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has called on Nigerians to remain hopeful noting that with him there is hope for the country to be better.

Speaking at the second-term inauguration of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, in Owerri, on Monday, President Tinubu said he is well-attuned to the concerns of citizens, assuring them that the challenges brought on by very essential reforms are being addressed.

“In the past 40 years, a few people were cornering our common wealth, and calling it a subsidy, but I call it wasteful. Right now, we are all bearing and sharing that pain. But things are looking up. Things will get better for the good of all Nigerians. With me, there is hope.

“I assure you that there will be substantial development in education for your children; priority on industrialisation; healthcare will receive more allocation and attention. We will train more health workers,” the President said.

President Tinubu commended Governor Uzodinma for his stewardship in Imo State, describing him as the ‘real hope’ of the state.

“It is a great honour for me to be here in Imo State. And to congratulate the people of Imo for being discerning and determined to vote into a second term, a very unique individual who resonates with a progressive agenda, Senator Hope Uzodinma,” he said.

The President said he is committed to building a united and secure country, noting the peace and security in the state, adding, “Before now, people were afraid of coming to Imo state, but today Imo is safe and open for business. What we have learned from this experience is the importance of unity, cooperation, and a focus on our internal security.”

President Tinubu implored the Governor to work even harder for the people, emphasising that hard work is the reward for a re-election.

“I assure you that your hopes are renewed. Be assured of the support of the federal government to ensure rapid development of your state,” he concluded.

Speaking after the administration of oaths of office by the Imo State Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Chukwuemeka-Chikeka, Governor Uzodinma pledged that his second tenure would be an uncommon tenure in the execution of policies.

“We have been able to lay a solid foundation for accelerated economic growth and development of our state. We also addressed the decay we met in the civil service, the decay we met in the education sector, and the health sector. In addition, we addressed the lingering problem of unemployment through the variety of youth empowerment initiatives.

“We carried out a digital version of dealing with the unemployment market, which included the provision of digital and other portable skills, including artificial intelligence to our teeming young men and women,” he said.

Unfolding his priorities, the Governor said the next four years of his administration would focus on deepening the shared prosperity mantra through massive infrastructural expansion, adding that the vision of his government is anchored on a 10-year development plan which has the capacity to make the state self-sufficient.

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Impeachment: Court to hear Shaibu’s suit against assembly, others April 19

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A Federal High Court in Abuj la  has fixed April 19 for hearing of a suit filed by the impeached Deputy Governor of Edo, Philip Shaibu, against the state house of assembly and others.

The matter, which was before Justice Inyang Ekwo, was on Friday fixed for hearing after a team of lawyers, including Alex Ejesieme, SAN, showed up to seek a date for the case.

The suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/405/24, was not listed on the cause list, the lawyers, who said they were for the defence, came to the court.

Shortly before the judge rose, one of the lawyers told Justice Ekwo that the matter was scheduled to hold on Thursday but due to the public holiday, the court did not sit.

“So in obedience to court, we came today,” he said.

But Justice Ekwo, who held that he could not preside over a matter that was not in the file, directed them to liaise with the court registrar for the next adjourned date.

The matter was consequently fixed for April 19 for hearing.

The suit dated March 26 but filed March 27, Shaibu sued the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police; State Security Service (SSS) as 1st and 2nd respondents.

He also joined Hon. Justice S.A. Omonua (rtd.), the Chairman representing himself and members of the Panel of Seven Appointed by the 4th Defendant; the Chief Judge of Edo; and Prof. Theresa Akpoghome as 3rd to 5th respondents.

Shaibu, in the suit filed by O.A. Gbadamosi, SAN, also listed Mr President Aigbokhian; Mr Oghogho Ayodele Oviasu and the Edo State House of Assembly as 6th to 8th respondents respectively

In the originating motion on notice, a declaration that the threat and failure of the 3rd to 8th respondents to give him a fair hearing in the impeachment proceedings commenced by the 8th respondent is illegal, unconstitutional, and a gross violation of his fundamental right to fair hearing, pursuant to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

He sought a declaration that the failure of the 8th respondent (assembly) to serve the purported impeachment notice on him personally and on each member of the House of Assembly, in line with Section 188(2) of the 1999 Constitution is a violation of his right to fair hearing.

He also sought a declaration that the inclusion of the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th respondents as chairman and members of the seven-member Investigation panel to investigate allegations contained in a purported impeachment notice to the applicant is tainted by a reasonable likelihood of bias and will result in a violation of the applicant’s fundamental right to fair hearing, guaranteed by virtue of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.”

He sought an order directing the respondents not to take any further steps in violating his fundamental right to fair hearing, guaranteed by virtue of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

He also sought an order directing the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th respondents to recuse themselves from sitting as Chairman and members of the 7-Man Investigating Panel appointed by the 3rd respondent, on account of the likelihood of bias on their part against him, among other reliefs.

Giving seven grounds of argument, Shaibu averred that before now, he had never been confronted with any of such notice or allegations of misconduct or abuse of office or any allegations at all, whether as deputy governor or acting governor.

He said he had not been served with any letter/notice as required by Section 188(2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended and no privilege had been accorded him by the assembly to provide answers to any purported allegations to warrant a process targeted at his removal from office as deputy governor.

“The 3rd respondent via a letter dated 25th March, 2024 was appointed by the 4th respondent as the chairman of a panel of seven persons to investigate the allegations contained in a purported impeachment notice, which is yet to be personally served on the applicant.

“The 3rd respondent is a retired judicial officer and community leader from Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo Central Senatorial District, where there is strong clamour against the gubernatorial ambition of the applicant.

“The 3rd respondent appears to have been given the hatchet job of recommending the removal from office of the applicant, in order to weaken his political ambition of becoming governor of Edo State.

“The 4th respondent being a protégé of the 3rd respondent, appointed him as chairman of the Investigating Panel, when other persons he offered the same appointment rejected it, because it was a politically motivated job,” he said, among other grounds.

Shaibu was, on Monday, impeached by the state’s house of assembly after the seven-man panel found him guilty of perjury and leaking of the government’s secrets.

The retired Justice Omonuwa-led panel, which had its inaugural sitting on April 3 in Benin, ended its sitting on April 5 with Shaibu or his counsel failing to show up.

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AfDB strengthens partnership with CSOs

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it is solidifying its partnership with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in West Africa.

The AfDB, in a statement issued on its website, said this was deliberated during the bank’s fruitful mission to Ghana.

The statement said the mission focused on advancing an agreement signed between the bank and the West Africa Civil Society Institute in December 2023 on an action plan for 2024.

The statement said the mission outlined collaboration in CSOs capacity building, resource mobilisation, knowledge management, and advocacy.

“Immediate initiatives highlighted in the plan include CSOs involvement in finalising the Bank’s Civil Society Engagement (CSE) capacity building programme and integrating it into bank operations.

“Recognising the imperative of early and comprehensive CSOs engagement, the mission emphasised improved integration of diverse perspectives into the bank’s country strategy papers and country dialogue.

“Collaboration with Afrobarometer shall include a joint initiative with the International Budget Partnership to strengthen CSOs capacity in the budget space.

“Discussions also covered data and analysis on the bank’s High 5s, focusing on citizens experiences, poverty alleviation, access to food, and migration,’’ it said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Afrobarometer is a pan-African, independent, non-partisan research network that measures public attitudes on economic, political, and social matters in Africa

According to the bank, Afrobarometer will lead conversations on governance within the CSE Community of Practice (CoP), thereby, generating knowledge to inform the bank’s programming on economic and financial governance.

The statement said collaboration on major events like the AfDB’s Annual Meetings and the 2024 United Nations Climate Change Conference was envisioned.

It said this would be possible by leveraging Afrobarometer’s expertise to enrich discussions and align them with Africa’s priorities.

It said: “a meeting with the West African Network for Peace building (WANEP) during the mission culminated in finalising a joint Transition Support Facility III proposal.

“The proposal is titled ‘Sahel Peace building, Reconciliation, Inclusive Development and Empowerment.

“Exploratory talks also covered potential joint initiatives on conflict prevention, mitigation, and resilience building in the West African Region, particularly in the Sahel.

“A feasibility study on civil society engagement in peace building is also under consideration,’’ it said.

According to the statement, WANEP will lead discussions on fragility and resilience within the CoP.

The statement said it would offer insights that could inform the implementation of the bank’s 2022-2026 Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience through such interactions.

It reiterated AfDB’s continued commitment towards collaborating with civil society to advance inclusive and sustainable development across Africa.

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Ibadan kingmakers certifies Olakulehin fit to become Olubadan

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The Olubadan-in-Council has certified the Olubadan designate, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin, fit to ascend the throne as Olubadan of Ibadanland.

The Olubadan-in-Council made the declaration at the end of a special meeting with the Olubadan-designate at Oja-Oba palace of Olubadan on Friday in Ibadan.

The meeting had in attendance 10 Olubadan-in-Council members while the Otun Balogun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Abimbola Ajibola, who allegedly said that Olakulehin was not fit, was not at the meeting.

Addressing the newsmen after the meeting, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, said that members of Olubadan-in-Council had done their part as Ibadan kingmakers.

According to him, a letter will be sent to Gov. Seyi Makinde for the government consent before coronation of Olakulehin as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“After the governor’s consent, a day for the coronation will be announced. We thank everyone for the support as we pray that all of us will be alive to witness the coronation,” he said.

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