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PDP Denies Apostolic Church Suspension In A’Ibom

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Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has faulted social media report that the state government has ordered the closure of Apostolic church Onna for hosting a Thanksgiving service for the Young Progressive Party in the state.

The report claimed that the leadership of the church announced the suspension of its pastor, E Henshaw, for hosting YPP’s Thanksgiving and Dedication service

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Henshaw shocked everyone in the congregation when he announced that he had just received a suspension message for opening the church doors for YPP.

But the PDP in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Borono Bassey, on Monday titled ” The Apostolic Church Suspension saga: These Lies Will not be tolerated!, described the suspension story as untrue and intended to smear the good reputation of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

READ ALSO: 2023: ‘I Have Nigeria’s Solution, Many People Wasting Their Time’ – Fr. Mbaka

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The statement reads in part, “On Sunday, October 2, 2022, while Nigerians and Akwa Ibom people were still in a reflective mood of our Nation’s Independence celebrations, a few agents of retrogression in their desperate bid to turn attention to themselves, went into their Falsehood Manufacturing Factory and immediately produced a completely untrue report claiming that a certain church in ONNA has been sealed on the orders of the Government.

“While those who trafficked the report were too afraid to expressly state which of the governments they were referring to in that attention-seeking drivel of a report, they however made innuendoes which were suggestive of the fact that they were making reference to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

“Although it is gratifying to have seen the majority of the social media commentators, mostly of Akwa Ibom descent pick holes in the outrightly false story, we must however put it out in the public domain that immediately that tripe was put in circulation in the public domain, as a Party deeply interested in sustaining the God-given Peace we enjoy in Akwa Ibom State, several calls were put across to the leadership of the Apostolic Church in that field to ascertain the veracity of the story and the bewildered leaders stated that nothing of the sort happened.

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“We however present the authors of that report with posers which we would want them to respond to? First, Is Governor Udom Emmanuel a clergy or member of any of the churches mentioned in that report to have directed the suspension of a priest? Second, Has the said Political party applied and paid for any public venue that is not encumbered and they were denied use?

“It is quite sad that if not for the wisdom of Akwa Ibom people who rose in unity to pick holes in that false report and call it what it is – A complete Hogwash, the authors of that report and their expected beneficiaries would have turned a hallowed place of worship – The Apostolic Church Nigeria into their first casualty in the series of things they plan to destroy in their journey to seeking elusive political offices.

“For a Governor who is making enviable, exemplary and applaudable efforts in delivering on the promises he made to Akwa Ibom people as encapsulated in his Completion Agenda, we will, in concert with millions of Akwa Ibom people, beginning from now, push back all forms of smear campaigns on Governor Emmanuel and other members of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State.

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READ ALSO: 23 Years Of Democracy Has Failed To Meet Expectations For Youths, Gbajabiamila Laments

“We expect candidates of the opposition parties to steer the path of decency and concern themselves with issues throughout this electioneering period. With the new electoral act, this is not just morality, but the law.

“The PDP in Akwa Ibom State is confident that as it has been the tradition of Akwa Ibom people, they will together, in unison, tell off, those who seek to sow seeds of division amongst us through their selfish aspiration. They will also maintain a patriotic distance from candidates who in the bid to curry public sympathy degenerate to outright falsehood and traffic in painting the State in dark colours.

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“Akwa Ibom has been on a journey of Progress with the PDP. With the trusted, unfailing support and consent of the people, we will continue on that journey”.

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Tribunal: INEC Presents Blurry Adeleke’s Testimonial, Oyetola Kicks

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The Election Petition Tribunal hearing case emanating from the July 16 governorship election in Osun State was forced into adjournment on Thursday following presentation of blurry documents used by the Governor Ademola Adeleke for 2018 elections.

The eight-page documents presented by a Deputy Director of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Joan Arabs, included Certified True Copies of the testimonial obtained by Adeleke from Ede Muslim Grammar School, and West Africa Examination Council General Certificate of Education.

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The panel had last week Friday ruled that INEC chairman should bring Adeleke’s filings for 2018 poll on its next sitting.

READ ALSO: Adeleke Directs LG Heads To Replace Sacked Chairmen

At the day’s proceedings, after checking the documents presented by INEC, counsel to the petitioners, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who appeared with Akin Olujinmi, SAN, told the panel that two out of the pages were not clear enough.

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Fagbemi said section for scores obtained by the candidate on the GCE result was blank, adding that the address of the school that awarded the testimonial was not also clear enough.

But counsel to INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN, said the copies were clear and readable, urging the plaintiffs to allow the documents to be admitted, since they had earlier claimed that they had CTC copies of the documents which could be presented.

He assured not to object to the documents if presented by the plantiffs.

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Counsel to Adeleke and Peoples Democratic Party, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN and Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, respectively said the documents were clear enough, but admitted some sections were blurry.

They, however, said the documents were still rectifiable and urged the petitioners to call their next witness, while INEC should be made to present a clearer copies, if they have.

Ananaba later called for stand down of the matter to enable him obtain screenshots of the documents from the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

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After the panel had reconvened, Ananaba presented both colour and back and white copies made from the screenshots obtained from INEC head office, which he also admitted were not better than the copies earlier presented.

He sought adjournment to enable INEC brought before the panel, the file from which the copies earlier presented were made from.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Supreme Court Affirms Osun Gov-elect, Adeleke As PDP Candidate

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Fagbemi, however, insisted that the order of the court was that clear documents should be presented, saying the respondents must comply with the directive.

Reading the ruling of the panel, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Tertse Kume, adjourned the matter till Saturday for the INEC to bring the original file containing the documents.
PUNCH

 

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JUST IN: Labour Party Expels Peter Obi’s DG, Okupe, 10 Others

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The Labour Party in Ogun State has expelled the Director-General of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe.

Okupe was sacked alongside 10 others for alleged non-financial membership status, high-handedness and financial recklessness.

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The Chairman of the party in Ogun State, Michael Ashade, announced the party’s decision in Abeokuta Thursday, saying the offences were a breach of the Labour Party’s constitution.

Ashade said Okupe has ceased to be a LP member for his “failure to meet the mandatory constitutional requirements to fulfill membership status.”

According to him, Okupe had failed to pay his membership dues since the last six months he joined the Party, saying he has therefore forfeited his membership of the Labour Party and he is no longer fit to act as the Director General of Obi’s campaign council.

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He stated that the offenses of Okupe amd and the other 10 are against Article 9(3) sub(iii) and Article 9(3)xi of the LP constitution.

READ ALSO: Akwa Ibom YPP Guber Candidate Bags 42 Years In Prison Over Corruption

He accused Okupe of mismanaging the funds approved for the LP in Ogun to mobilize members for the rally held last week at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

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While notifying the LP National Chairman, Barr Julius Abure of their decision, they called on Obi to immediately appoint another DG for the PCC from the North.

Okupe could not be reached for his reactions as calls to his mobile phone were unanswered.

He also did not respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of this report.

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Okupe is from Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State.

 

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Court Strikes Out Fresh Suit Seeking To Sack Rivers APC Guber Candidate

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A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, stuck out a suit by a governorship aspirant in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Benard Mikko, over the party’s primary elections in Rivers State.

The Governorship candidate of the APC, Tonye Cole, the Independent National Electoral Commission and another governorship aspirant of the APC Ojukaye Flagg-Amachree were also joined in the suit.

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But the court ruled that the suit was lacking in merit.

Mikko had approached the court to direct INEC to disqualify Tonye Cole from next year’s Governorship election, claiming that the primary election held on 26th of May, 2022, that brought him in as the governorship candidate was marred with irregularities.

He also claimed that the candidate has a questionable character following his indictment in a white paper report by a commission of inquiry set up by the Rivers State government.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: Court Sacks Tonye Cole As APC Governorship Candidate In Rivers

Presiding judge, Justice Ayua Phoebe in her judgment said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit because the plaintiff failed to exhaust all the internal mechanisms of the party before instituting the legal action, adding that the party is supreme.

The judge, while describing the suit as frivolous and abuse of court process, ruled that Mikko also failed to abide by his earlier oath of allegiance sworn to the APC never to institute any legal action against the party and that he will support whoever emerged from the primaries.

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While the counsel to the APC, Chinda Chizim commended the judgement, that of the plaintiff, Eli Ojigba said he will consult his client for his next line of action.

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