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Edo APC Crises: Court Upholds Anselm Ojezua As Edo APC Chairman



…Barred Col. Imusa From APC States’ chairmen, NEC meetings in Abuja

The Benin High Court on Friday upheld Anselm Ojezua as the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State.

The court also barred his rival Col. David Imusa from the meetings of the Council of APC states’ chairmen and the National Executive Council of the party, holding in Abuja.

Ruling on the case with Suit No. B/177OS/19, Justice V.O.A. Oviawe of the Benin High Court 10, on Friday, granted an order of interim injunction directing that “the status quo as at 10/11/19 with regards to the chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo State chapter, be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice praying for an order of interlocutory injunction.”

The case came up before Justice Oviawe sitting at Hight Court 10 (Civic Division) Benin City, in Benin Judicial Division on Friday, November 22, in the absence of the parties.

The claimants/applicants in the case are Anselm Ojezua Esq.; Kenneth Asekhomhe (Deputy Chairman, APC, Edo State); Dr. Aisosa Amadasun (State Organizing Secretary, APC, Edo State Chapter (for themselves and on behalf of the State Executive Committee, APC, Edo State, save for those who expressly dissent or dissociate themselves).

The defendants in the suit are Col David Imuse (Rtd); Lawrence Okah, (for himself on behalf of the members of the purported State Working Committee of APC, Edo State Chapter who purportedly suspended/removed the 1st plantiff as the Chairman of Edo State chapter of the party and Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu (National Publicity Secretary, APC (For himself and on behalf of the National Working Committee of the APC.

The claimants had sought for “an order of interim injunction directing that the status quo as at 10/11/19 with regards to the Chairmanship of All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo State chapter be maintained by the parties pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction and for such further order or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make the circumstance of this case.”

After hearing the submissions by Ken E. Mozia Esq., SAN, O. J. Isede Esq. and Y. O. Odiase Esq., who are counsels to the claimants/applicants, the Judge ordered: “I have carefully considered this application, the affidavit evidence before the court and the legal submissions of the applicants, together with the authorities cited and I have come to a determination that this application of an order of interim injunction finds merit.

“I am satisfied that there is a substantial issue to be tried at the hearing. An order of interim injunction which is granted upon an ex-parte application is always granted for a short and limited period depending on the gravity and urgency of the situation, in order to essentially preserve the res or the status quo pending the hearing of an interlocutory application in the same matter. See the cases of 7-up Bottling Company Limited and Ors. Vs Abiola and Sons Nigeria Limited (1995) 3 NWLR (pt. 383) 257. UTB Ltd. & Ors vs. Dolmetsch Pharmacy (Nig) Limited (2007) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1061) 620.”

The judge continued, “In line with the authorities, and being satisfied as to the urgency of this application, and being satisfied as to the urgency of this application, the application is hereby granted as prayed. Accordingly, an order of interim injunction is hereby granted directing that the status quo as at 10/11/19 with regards to the chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo State Chapter, be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice praying for an order of interlocutory injunction.”

The court thereby adjourned the case to Thursday, December 5th for hearing and determination of the suit.



Obanikoro Testifies Against Fayose, Says Ex-Ekiti Gov Got N1.2bn For Election




A former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, on Wednesday, narrated to a Federal High Court in Abuja how N1.219bn cash was airlifted to support the election of a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.

According to him, the inability of a defunct bank, Diamond Bank, to handle huge amount of money prompted the airlifting of the money.

Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited are standing trial on 11 charges bordering on money laundering and stealing to the tune of N6.9 billion.

Led in evidence by the counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Wahab Shittu (SAN), Obanikoro explained that the money came from the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd.), adding that only he could explain its source.

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He added that he only got the information about the money from Dasuki, saying that it was the former NSA who told him that the said money had been paid into the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited.

Obanikoro said, “I was a minister under Jonathan’s administration in 2014. Sometime in 2014, we were going to have an election in Ekiti State. I was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the activities in the election.

“Some days before the election, I got a call from Gov. Fayose asking me if I received any message for him from ONSA, I can recall that prior to that, we had some activities among which was fundraising for that election.”

He also denied taking out the money as speculated in a report by an online media platform.

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Obanikoro said, “When Mr. Fayose called, I told him I would call him later. I had a call conversation with the NSA and was told he would get back to me. After, he got back to me that N2.2 billion was paid into the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Lomited..

“The money came came from the NSA. Only the NSA can explain the source of the fund.

The bank lacked the capacity to handle the situation. It was a last-minute decision- to ferry the money to Ekiti.

“I handed over the cash to Agbele for onward delivery to Fayose. I did not take any money or N19 million, contrary to the publication by a Lagos-based online platform.”

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When asked about his relationship with Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, Obanikoro said the account was initially opened to tackle terrorism in Lagos after which it was used to disburse funds for elections.

He said, “The account was created to deal with the issue of Boko Haram in Lagos, the account was created by Taiwo Kareem, and the account was used for the purpose of disbursing funds for election.

“I put a call through to let Fayose know that the money had been paid. Diamond Bank had said it did not have the capacity to make the funds available, so we opted to airlift the fund. The funds were airlifted from Lagos in two tranches, the volume was much.”

After listening to Obanikoro’s testimony, the presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba adjourned the case till February 27, 2024.

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Northern Elders Forum Gets New Spokesman




The Northern Elders Forum has appointed Abdul-Azeez Suleiman as its new spokesman, following the exit of Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.

The PUNCH reports that Baba-Ahmed was appointed by President Bola Tinubu, as the Special Adviser On Political issues in the office of Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

Until his appointment, Suleiman was the spokesman for the Coalition of Northern Groups which comprises over 50 civil society organisations in the 19 northern states and Abuja.

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NEF’s Convener, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, in the appointment letter he personally signed, said Suleiman’s appointment was a reflection of his contributions towards promoting and protecting the interests of the North and Nigeria.

Abdullahi, a former Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said, “I am pleased to inform you that I have approved the recommendation to appoint you as the spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum.

“Your appointment is a reflection of your unwavering dedication and contributions towards promoting and protecting the interests of the North and Nigeria as a whole, during your time with the Coalition of Northern Groups.

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“Furthermore, your extensive experience in credible, fearless, selfless, and ethical journalism, also contributes to making you a great fit for this role.

“The NEF hopes that you will utilise your exceptional qualities and experience to enhance NEF’s activities and promote its image through cooperation with its directors and other members of the Forum.

“Congratulations on your appointment, and we look forward to the incredible value you will bring to the NEF.”

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Bauchi SEC Approves N300bn 2024 Budget




The Bauchi State Executive Council (SEC) has approved the medium term expenditure of about N300 billion for the 2024 physical year.

Mr Aminu Hammayo, the Bauchi state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting on Wednesday.

According to him, the budget estimate was made on the basis of certain assumptions like increase in oil production capacity, increase in Value Added Tax.

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Other assumptions he said included the impact of the withdrawal of oil subsidy as there had been an increase in the amount of revenues accrued into the federation account as well as the increase in the cost of goods and services.

“The budget estimate for the year 2024 is about N300 billion and we have a proportion of about 58.8 per cent allocated for capital expenditure and about 41.2 per cent for recurrent expenditure.

“This means the emphasis is basically on capital expenditure so as to generate more revenue in the future.

“This budget estimate is going to be presented as a bill to the state House of Assembly and after the presentation, we will still come back to where there will be a budget briefing to give the details of what the budget is all about,” he said.

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Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Usman Garba, explained that a decision had been taken to create a Ministry of Regional Integration so that the problems and challenges of the people would further be attended to.

He said that this decision was taken during the Northeast Governors Forum meeting held in Yola, Adamawa state on Saturday.

“Here in Bauchi state, the governor has decided to merge this new ministry with the ministry of Higher Education.

“So, what we have now is the Ministry of Higher Education and Regional Integration,” he said.

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