BREAKING: Court Sacks Edo Council Chairman, Declares Petitioner Chairman
A Benin High Court on Friday, March 20, sacked Victor Emuankhagbon as the elected executive chairman of Esan South- East local government area.
The removal was sequel to a petition filed by Peter Aguele against the conduct of January 24, 2018 local government primary election that produced the ousted chairman as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Recall that in January 24, 2018, APC conducted primary elections to elect chairmen and councillors for the state local government elections in the state.
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The elections were conducted March 3, 2018 by the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission ( EDSIEC).
Peter Aguele and Victor Emuankhagbon are both members of APC in the state.
In the petition, Aguele, argued that he was duly elected as the party’s candidate through direct primary while the ousted chairman argued that he emerged the candidate on consensus.
In his judgment, the presiding judge, Daniel Okungbowa, held that the petitioner is the rightful candidate of the party for the election, having emerged through direct primary.
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He, however, ordered that the respondent should stop parading himself as the chairman of the council, and that he should refund all the monies so far paid to him while in office as chairman of the council in the last two years to the treasury of the council.
He also ordered that the petitioner should be paid all the mony and entitlements due to him since 2018 as the rightful candidate and the elected chairman of the council.
Reacting to the judgment, Peter Aguele, the now declared chairman of the council commended the judiciary for being the last hope of the common man.
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Aguele, however, dedicated the victory to the people of Esan South-East local government and members of APC in the state and the local government.
In his reactions, Charity Aiguobarueghian, Esq, counsel to the ousted chairman, said his client will challenged the judgment at the court of Appeal.
While commending the court for the judgment, he however noted that there was miscarriage of justice as the petitioner was unable to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.
On his part, Nelson Irehovbude, from Dele Igbinedion chambers, commended the court for a well considered and delivered judgment.
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Irehovbude, said by the virtue of the court judgment, Peter Aguele is now the substantive chairman of the council.
“The fact of the case was that the respondents claimed that there was a consensus during the local government primary election which took place on January 24, 2018.
“And we said no that the emergency of a party candidate was by direct primary election, and that direct primary election was actually conducted which produced Peter Aguele, and that he was the substantive chairman, voted for and won the local government election.
“The court declarations are in line with our petition, that the first defendant (APC) should be restrained from parading the third defendant which is Victor Emuankhagbon as the chairman elect of the council.
“And now the court has granted the restraining order, and declared Peter Aguele, as the substantive chairman of the council”, he added.
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Some council chairmen who were in the court in solidarity with the sacked chairman, however, left the court disappointed and unhappy.
EFCC Arrests NCAA Director, Other Officials Over Alleged N2bn Duty Allowance Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested four top officials of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
They were taken into custody over alleged N2billion ‘Duty Tour Allowance’ (DTA) fraud, according to PRNigeria.
The suspects are Bilkisu Adamu Sani, Director of Finance and Accounts; Hart Benson Fimienye, Deputy General Manager, Treasury.
Others include Obene Jenbarimiema Turniel, Deputy General Manager (Management Accounts), and Nathaniel Terna Kaainjo, General Manager (Accounts and Stores).
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Nathaniel was arrested on Thursday, March 16, while other officials were picked on Monday, March 20.
A team of EFCC investigators are questioning them at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
NCAA, the regulatory body for aviation in Nigeria, ensures safety of the sector and carries out oversight of airports, airspace, and meteorological services.
Gunmen Kidnap INEC Electoral Officer In Zamfara With Election Results
The electoral officer in charge of Maradun Local Government Area in Zamfara State, Bashir Shagari, has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
Shagari, according to a source, was coming to INEC collation center in Gusau to deliver the results of the governorship election for Maradun Local Government when he was kidnapped along the road on Monday.
The source further revealed that the electoral officer was together with other INEC staff when they were stopped on a bridge near Maradun town and whisked away to an unknown destination.
Confirming the incident to The PUNCH, the Public Relations Officer of INEC in the state, Muktari Janyau, said the matter had been reported to the police headquarters.
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Janyau said, “The resident electoral commissioner in charge of Zamfara State, Professor Sa’idu Babura Ahmed, has reported the issue to the police commissioner for appropriate action.”
The spokesperson of the state police command, SP Mohammed Shehu, could not be reached for comment as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, results from nine out of 14 local government areas have been announced and the opposition PDP is leading in seven local governments so far declared.
Soldiers Shoot Two Policemen Dead, Injured Two In Taraba
Two police officers attached to the Taraba State Command were killed by soldiers in Jalingo, the State capital, on Monday morning.
Two others were wounded and receiving treatment from gunshot wounds following a scuffle between men of the sister security agencies.
This was disclosed by the Police Public Relations Officer for the State Command, Abdullahi Usman.
Usman said that the crisis broke out when a female police officer, who was reporting for duty at the INEC State headquarters in Jalingo, was stopped by a military man at a checkpoint close to the headquarters and asked for proper identification.
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He said the misunderstanding that ensued was settled, and the female police officer proceeded to the Collation Centre, only for the soldier to go after her and drag her out forcefully, leading to pandemonium.
The PPRO said, “A very ugly incident happened this morning around 8:30am between a female police officer and a soldier. After the initial misunderstanding, the lady was allowed to proceed to her duty post, but later the soldier went back to drag her out. The thing is that he called for reinforcement from his office, and when it arrived, he had nothing to report and decided to create a situation.
“While we were trying to settle things and I was personally taken to one of the senior soldiers there, the soldiers suddenly started shooting. We were caught in the crossfire and had to run for our dear lives. The soldiers proceeded to the Command Headquarters here and shot two police officers, and went away with their riffles.
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“One police officer who was going off duty was shot and killed instantly while another who was just reporting for duty and did not even know what was happening was also shot the moment they identified him as a policeman.
“As we speak, we have gotten reports that our men who are escorting election results or on various duties are being stopped at military checkpoints and harassed. They strip them naked and harass them even though they know nothing about what happened.
“For now, the Commissioner of Police,Yusuf A. Suleiman, and the Commander of 6 Brigade Jalingo have met and discussed and have agreed that a commission of enquiry will be set up to look into the real cause of this incident.”
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