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Breaking: Court Restraints PDP From Conducting LG Congresses In Edo

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Edo State High Court, Ekpoma Division, Thursday, February 6, restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from conducting local government congresses scheduled to hold February 8.

In a suit number HEK/9/2020, the court also restrained the  1st defendant, PDP and the 2nd defendant, INEC from announcing, publishing and recognising the results of the Ward Congresses held Saturday, February 1, 2020 pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice already filed.

READ ALSO: Primary School Teacher Remanded For Sodomy In Bauchi

The applicants, Eruaga Gallant C., Victor Idiakheoa Esq. and Jide Obalowoshe Esq., had file a Motion Exparte before Justice J.O. Okeaya-Inneh of the High Court, praying the court to restraint the PDP from conducting the forthcoming LG Congresses and not to recognise results of the ward Congresses held Saturday February 1, pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice already filed.

The court paper

Justice J.O. Okeaya-Inneh said having carefully studied the Motion Exparte, he found them satisfactory hence considering the application.

SheSsaid, “I have carefully considered the Motion Exparte before Court together with Affidavit in support and Affidavit of urgency with the attached exhibits A, A1, B, B2, D and É and the Written of address of Counsel for the 3 applicants in this motion.

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“I find that the Applicants have satisfied the guidelines for the grant of order sought as enjoined in the landmark.

“In view of above prayers (A), (B) and (C) are hereby granted as stated on the face of the Motion Paper.”

The country paper

The case has been adjourned to February 24, 2020 for hearing.

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FX Crisis: Dollar May Exchange For N4000 By End Of 2024 — Ozekhome Warns

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Human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, says the Dollar may exchange for N4000 by the end of 2024 should the Naira keep falling against the Dollar at its current rate.

Ozekhome stated this in an interview on Channels Television on Tuesday.

The senior lawyer said there are no visible signs that the Naira won’t fall any further.

He said, “Just today, we paid out another $400 million that was so identified. In terms of the reserves, it has gone up to $34 billion.

READ ALSO: Forex Crisis: EFCC 7,000-man Task Force Goes After Dollar Racketeers

“If we are not careful we will get to the situation in Ghana, where they were carrying cedis in baskets to the market to go and buy things and put in their pockets.”

”Why have BDCssit under the trees and tables control our economy.”

Ozekhome stated that the government needs to do everything in its power to alleviate the suffering by going back to the drawing board.

He expressed surprise at the current administration blaming its predecessors for the economic state of the nation

”But to me, it is most embarrassing when I see officials of this government blaming the Jonathan government that left office in 2015, nearly 10 years ago.

READ ALSO: Cooking Gas Price Rises By 38% To N16,250

”Ironically blaming his own predecessor whom they took over from in the APC government. I think everything has gone wrong,” he said

Ozekhome noted that the current administration’s slogan of renewed hope translates to poverty.

This is not renewed hope, this is renewed poverty.”

Recall that recently, the scarcity and demand for dollars have led to a significant decline in the Naira. The problem according to analysts has been compounded by persistent foreign exchange supply challenges and a significant demand backlog.

But, the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, in his MPC meeting announcement on Tuesday said he ”will do what it takes” to address the monetary issue equally promising to generate more liquidity for the forex market.

”Before the end of this year, if we are not careful, the Naira may exchange for N4000 to the dollar because e there is nothing in place,” he added.

 

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Bayelsa Gov Poll Dispute: Sylva, APC Close Petition With 52 Witnesses

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, and its candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Tuesday, formally closed the petition they filed to challenge the outcome of the governorship election that held in Bayelsa State on November 11, 2023.

The petitioners rested their case after they called 52 out of the 224 witnesses they lined up to testify before the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which is conducting its sitting in Abuja.

Sylva, who served as governor of the state from 2008 to 2012, and the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, is challenging the declaration of Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the winner of the gubernatorial poll.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared that governor Diri garnered a total of 175, 196 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sylva, who polled 110, 108 votes.

However, dissatisfied with the outcome of the poll, Sylva approached the tribunal, alleging that results of the election in three Local Government Areas, LGAs, were wrongly excluded by INEC.

READ ALSO: Drama As APC, INEC Tender Conflicting Results At Bayelsa Gov Tribunal

He told the tribunal that whereas election held in Southern Ijaw, Ogbia and Nembe LGAs, however, the electoral body, voided polling unit results that were forwarded for collation.

Sylva insisted that contrary to INEC’s position that election did not hold in the affected LGAs, its officials supervised the election and sent results from the various polling units to the collation center.

According to him, had it been that results from the three LGAs, which he described as his strongholds, were included, he would have won the gubernatorial contest.

Besides, the APC and its candidate alleged that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, machines, were bypassed in some polling unit.

At the resumed proceeding in the matter on Tuesday, Justice Adekunele Adeleye-led three-member panel tribunal admitted in evidence, 42 different Voters’ Registers that INEC brought from various polling units in the three disputed LGAs.

READ ALSO: [JUST IN] Bayelsa: INEC Presents Diri Certificate Of Return

A star witness of the petitioners, Mr. Denis Otiotio, who was cross-examined by INEC’s lawyer, Mr. Charles Edosanwan, SAN, admitted that names on the Registers were not ticked to signify that they were used for the election.

However, Otiotio maintained that contrary to INEC’s claim that election did not hold in polling units within the three LGAs owing to violence, he told the tribunal that Registers the Commission tendered before it, were different from the ones that were deployed for the governorship poll.

The witness decried that though the tribunal had ordered INEC to furnish the petitioners with the Voters Registers, it, however, failed to comply with the directive.

When he was asked by counsel to the PDP, Chief Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, if he reported the failure of INEC to supply the petitioners with the Registers, the witness answered in the negative.

Earlier in the proceeding, a former Commissioner of Police, CP, in Bayelsa State, Mr. Akeem Tolani Alausa, mounted the witness box and testified in favour of the petitioners.

The police chief tendered several exhibits to support his testimony before the tribunal.

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He told the tribunal that his role during the election was perceived as controversial, a situation he said led to protestations, for and against his stay as the CP of the state.

The witness, who disclosed that he is currently serving at the Police Headquarters in Abuja, said it got to a point that one John Aliyu Babangida was brought to replace him.

He told the tribunal that he was eventually returned back to Bayelsa State.

When the witness was while being cross-examined by INEC’s lawyer, accused of working as Sylva’s ally during the election, he denied the allegation.

Asked by governor Diri’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, if he voluntarily appeared before the tribunal to testify, the witness, said he was summoned through a letter from the Inspector General of Police, adding that his statement on oath was prepared for him by an Officer in Charge (OC) Legal, whose name he did not mention.

The witness further told the tribunal that documents he tendered were from policemen that were stationed at polling units on the election day.

Answering questions from PDP’s lawyer, Oyetibo, SAN, the witness admitted that a Prado Jeep was donated to the Bayelsa State Police Command during his stay and that upon his removal from the state, he went away with the vehicle.

He, however, said that he eventually returned the Prado Jeep based on the directive of the IGP who acted on a letter that was written to him by governor Diri.

After the two witnesses concluded their evidence, counsel to the petitioners, Chief Ogwu James Onoja, SAN, announced the decision of the petitioners to close their case at that point.

Thereafter, the panel fixed next Monday for the INEC, governor Diri, his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrujakpo and the PDP to open their defence to the petition.

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Cooking Gas Price Rises By 38% To N16,250

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The price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, otherwise known as cooking gas rose by 38 percent on a month-on-month, MoM basis, as the 12.5kg cylinder now sells at N16,250 from N11,735.72 in January 2024, according to findings by Vanguard.

Investigations also showed that the price of 1kg of the gas increased by 37 percent to N1,300 from N950.

Meanwhile, the latest report of Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Liquefied Petroleum Price Watch, January 2024, showed that the average retail price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased Month-on-Month, MoM, by 3.55 percent to N5, 139.25 in January 2024 from N4 952.87 recorded in December 2023.

On a year-on-year, YoY, basis, this increased by 12 percent to N5,139.25 in January 2024 from N4.588.75 in the corresponding period of 2023.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN Begins Sales Of Dollars To BDCs

The NBS also stated that Nassarawa State recorded the highest average price for refilling a 5kg Cylinder of cooking gas with N5, 790.00, followed by Jigawa State with N5, 681.82 and Gombe State with N5,660.00.

On the other hand, Kaduna State recorded the lowest price with N4, 150.00, followed by Ogun and Osun States with N4, 751.04 and N4, 763.53 respectively

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