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The Gang up Oshiomhole Never Anticipated

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By Osehobo Ofure

A few days ago, Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki and his weary supporters in the APC said they were ready for peace and reconciliation outside the party machinery.

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They said their principal will only participate in a reconciliation committee set up by the President himself or the Benin traditional council. Mr Joseph Osagiede who spoke for the group said this much while speaking in Benin with reporters.

But Nigerians have learnt not to take the governor serious. As someone who rejected 4 Reconciliation Committees set up within the party structure there is no guarantee that he will respect a divine effort.

This was days after the governor was seen in the company of APC ward officials ostensibly mobilized from Etsako West, claiming to have expelled the National chairman of the party, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.

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This anti-reconciliation move was however punctured by more authentic APC leaders from the ward, who denied making the claims credited to them.

Meanwhile the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, late last year dismissed the call from the governor for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, saying party supremacy must be respected.

Mr Tinubu made his position known when he fielded questions from State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Abuja.

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According to the APC national leader, Mr Oshiomhole has so far not violated the APC constitution or engaged in any anti-party activity that will warrant his resignation or removal from office.

Recall that the present Edo APC crisis kicked off when the Edo assembly of 24 members-elect was inaugurated at night with only 9 of them present. A similar episode which played out in Bauchi state has since been resolved with Oshiomhole as National chairman of the APC calling for due process.

The call from Tinubu was on the heels of a similar one by the Forum of State Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress for the recently constituted APC National Reconciliation Committee to come up with an action plan to resolve the lingering crisis in the party.

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READ ALSO: ‘I Was Ashamed Seeing Obaseki Celebrating Oshiomhole’s Suspension’ – Ize-Iyamu

The chairmen had urged the committee headed by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, to set for work and ignore the camp of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, which had raised objection to the committee.

They said Edo as the only one out of the 36 states and Abuja, should not be allowed to frustrate peace efforts in the party since it was not ready for external mediators.

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As it were the Lawan committee was the 4th in the series set up to find a way out of the Edo APC debacle largely orchestrated by the governor’s desperation for a second term.

The APC National Working Committee had on December 18 raised the 10-member committee headed by Lawan to resolve the lingering crisis in the party.

The arrangement was in line with the November 22, 2019 resolution of the party’s National Executive Committee, which empowered the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to constitute the committee.

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Secretary of the Forum of APC chairmen, Dr Ben Nwoye, who is also the chairman of the Enugu State chapter of the APC, commended the Oshiomhole-led NWC for working towards achieving peace in the party.

READ ALSO: Oshiomhole: ‘ God Will See Me Through, My Travails Not From Edo’

This was after “Chairmen” of the APC in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state loyal to Mr Obaseki in a statement jointly signed by Anselm Ojezua and Ikuenobe Anthony, respectively explained that Oshiomhole was suspended for his alleged role in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.

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Consequent on the development, they said the Edo APC has adopted the vote of no confidence passed on Oshiomhole and the subsisting suspension order from the other organs of the party in the state.

The state party members added, “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence in him and he stands suspended from the party.

But in another statement jointly signed by the Chairman of the body and Etsako West Chairman, Ibrahim Akokia, as well as his Etsako Central and Owan West counterparts, Suleiman Bagudu and Lugard Alukpe respectively, the 18 LGA Chairmen of APC in Edo distanced themselves from the orchestrated Oshiomhole’s suspension.

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They insisted that they were not aware of the meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed on Oshiomhole who they said was “doing very well”. On the contrary, they accused the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, of harassment and intimidation, adding that his actions could pull down the APC in the state.

READ ALSO: ‘Are You Looking At Me With Pity?’, Oshiomhole Asked Journalists

They, called on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to expel Governor Obaseki from the party over allegations of anti-party activities.

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He is on a mission to destroy APC in Edo State but we will resist it,” the chairmen added, “We are the chairmen of the party in the 18 LGA s and we are not aware of the meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed on the national chairman of our party, Comrade Oshiomhole who is doing very well”.

“Rather we are aware that majority of the chairmen haven suffered intimidation, harassment and assault in the hands of the Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration, what we have never seen in the politics of our dear state.”

The chairmen, thereafter, passed a vote of no confidence on Governor Obaseki and the embattled state chairman of the party, Anslem Ojezua, alleging that both men have not only failed the party but the people of the state.

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“Oshiomhole remains our leader and we pass vote of confidence on his leadership. It is sad that the governor and his cohorts are using money to induce our members but majority of them, we are happy, have resisted his moves to intimidate them,” the LG chairmen said.

The Forum of state APC chairmen believes, “The formation of the National Reconciliation Committee is a welcome development. It is consistent with the resolution of the National Executive Committee. It is also an indication of clear intention by the NWC to reconcile all aggrieved members of our great party”.

They are of the view the party had shown sincerity of purpose to resolve lingering crisis by raising the committee, arguing that, “The committee members are patriotic Nigerians with diverse backgrounds and experiences”.

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READ ALSO: Oshiomhole’s Suspension: Ize-Iyamu Talks Tough, Says ‘We Will Resist Attempt To Rubbish Him’

They know that the Reconciliation Committee, ” will certainly achieve the desired objectives notwithstanding the dissenting opinion of few aggrieved members. As the saying goes, in democracy ‘majority will have their way while minority will have their say.”

“So, we expect the Senator Lawan-led committee to come up with an action plan to resolve most of the internal conflicts bedevilling the party. Edo is one state out of 36 states. There is one form of crisis or the other in all the other states of the federation…”.

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The general feeling is that, “Edo State would not expect the other 35 states and Abuja to set aside their desire for peaceful resolution of all crises because Edo is not ready to allow external mediators to assist them in resolving their internal crisis”.

Senator Tinubu no doubt echoed popular opinion in the APC when he said,: “We all have to respect the party supremacy. You were all here when we had the Congress, we elected the new executives, we had the convention, the NEC was formed and we surrendered to avoid conflict, to avoid domination, to avoid abuses of power, we surrendered our rights, all rights to the National Working Committee headed by Adams Oshiomhole.

“That the National Working Committee should set up electoral bodies to supervise various state congresses and elections. ‘We signed off for it. So, if it is not in our individual favour, so be it’”.

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He said, “We gave three options, consensus, where there is no consensus because if you are more than two or three and you cannot agree to one candidate, you go to the next level. The next level is the stakeholders’ delegates (system) and you have to be supervised by the National Working Committee of the party, national election committee of the party. That shows party supremacy or the freest option, the less cumbersome is to open direct primary, line up and count the number, 1,2,3. If you win, you win and if you fail, go home.’’

Mr Tinubu further explained that an appeal committee was set up by the party to look into grievances arising from the conduct of the party’s primaries, adding the committee, which served as internal mechanism for conflict resolution, had performed its duties diligently.

READ ALSO: Oshiomhole’s Suspension: Ize-Iyamu Talks Tough, Says ‘We Will Resist Attempt To Rubbish Him’

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“It was there (appeal committee), you cannot turn round against that, and you cannot turn against all of that. No, Party is supreme, party must be respected, abuses will not do it and anger will not do it. It is party politics, somebody will win and somebody will lose, too bad,’’ he added.

It would be recalled that Mr Oshiomhole, had earlier alleged that conservatives within the party were ganging up to pass a vote of no-confidence on him. He said in a statement that his sin was his refusal to allow continued impunity and circumvention of due process being perpetuated in some states.

The APC chairman added that he was not surprised by the gang up, as he never had the illusion that the process of reforming the party was going to be an easy one.

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He also did not expect that someone he held the ladder for to climb to relevance politically in his state of origin will be at the forefront either.

Osehobo Ofure, a seasoned journalist writes from Benin, Edo State

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Akwa Ibom Chief Judge Threatens To Jail Rights Lawyer Over Bias Accusation

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The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, has threatened to put behind bars a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong (Esq) for accusing her of being biased or likelihood of bias in the ongoing libel suit by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and Senator Effiong Bob against his client, Leo Ekpenyong, Esq.

It could be recalled that in suits No HU/279/2019 between deacon Udom Emmanuel VS. Leo Ekpenyong Esq and No: HU/273/2019 between Senator Effiong Bob VS Leo Ekpenyong respectively delivered on 2021by Justice Obot, the defendant was found guilty of libel and was asked to pay the governor a sum of N1.5 Billion and a sum of N500Million to Senator Effiong Bob.

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Counsel to the defendant, Mr Effiong, however, filed a motion for the judgement to be set aside, insisting that his client was not given a fair hearing; the prayer was later granted by the court.

However, the defence counsel also filed another motion praying the Chief Judge to recuse from the case, alleging prejudice and likelihood of bias.

During a proceeding held at High Court 1, Chief Judge’s court, Barracks road today, the defence counsel said “My Lord, my client Mr Leo Ekpenyong (Esq) has alleged bias, or likelihood of bias of the honourable Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Honourable justice Ekaette Obot.

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“That is why we filed an application before this court on the 23 of June 2022 asking the Honourable Chief Judge to disqualify himself from hearing or presiding over this matter. Defendant has raised that the grounds of that application clearly stated but not limited to the fact that in the course of this proceedings my Lord has personally berated us as counsels. I have been described in venomous terms, we know that by law, a court should not address a counsel in that manner. The seeming hostility that characterized the proceedings to set aside the default judgement is discouraging.

READ ALSO: Ogun Police Confirm Report On Lady Allegedly Used For Ritual

“Why we are also asking that my Lord should reassign this matter is because my Lord has already delivered a judgement though in default against Mr Ekpenyong where he asked him to pay gov Udom Emmanuel a sum of N1.5 billion and I came before this court asking that, that judgement should be set aside having been delivered in error and in flagrant violation of right of my client to fair hearing because the date that judgement was given, no hearing notice was issued and the registrar gave that date off record. The court agreed with us that the right of our client was violated and set the case aside.

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“We are saying because you have already found the defendant guilty in this matter it is only just and fair that those matters should be reassigned to another Judge to be heard denovo, that is the practice my Lord, for example if the court of appeal has set aside a judgement and sends back the case to be tried before the lower court it usually goes with a consequential order that a new judge should handle that matter, so if the defendant said that he doesn’t have confidence in the honourable Chief Judge of the State to hear his case, it’s only fair that, the matter be reassigned to preserve the dignity, impartiality and honour of the court.

“All we are saying is that we do not have confidence in my Lord to interprete my matter.”

Irked by the submissions of the defence counsel and his (Mr Effiong) refusal to sit when the counsel to the Claimant, Samuel Ikpo asked him to do so, the Chief Judge said the court will not condone unruly behaviour in the courtroom, warning of her power to send him behind bars or petition him to the National body.

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According to Justice Obot, “You cannot say that before me, you can’t talk to your senior like that, I don’t know when this man learnt law. You are trying to intimidate your senior, did you see the type of counter you filed over miscellaneous matters I overlooked? I still set aside that judgement only for you to capitalize on it and you want to play on the intelligence of the court? Do not allow me to send you to prison!”

“Saying that when a matter is set aside that it must be reassigned to another Judge is not the practice, it is a lie from the pit of hell.”

The Judge, however, proceeded with the hearing of the witness of the Claimant and later adjourned the case to 27 to 29 July for conclusion of Claimant and hearing of defendants case as well as motions filed even when the defence counsel said the dates were not convenient for him insisting that the case was that of defamation and no urgency in it for accelerated hearing.

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Counsel to the Claimant, Mr Ikpo refused to talk to journalists at the end of the session insisting that the matter is sub judice.

READ ALSO: 2023: Why I Have No Regret Working For Abacha – Al-Mustapha

But, the defence counsel who spoke to journalists said, “what is worrisome is despite the tendency of the application challenging the jurisdiction of the court raising the issue of bias on the last date in this matter, my Lord allowed the claimant in the two cases to call witnesses even when the jurisdiction of the court is being challenged and those witnesses were called in my absence even when I told them that I missed my flight and we were not there to cross examine them, that was why yesterday we filed a motion to set aside the proceeding including the order for the continuation of hearing.

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“Even the proceedings of today were in error and should be set aside and I told the court that the motion should have been determined, my Lord did not determine the two motions and yet insisted that we continue with the hearing. We were basically forced to go into trial today.

“My Lord consistently has accused me of bringing a herbalist to court, how on earth will I do that? I’m not a traditional worshipper but a christian.”

DAILY POST

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Nigerian Pastor Deletes Controversial Tweet Amid Backlash From Peter Obi’s Supporters

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Pastor Poju Oyemade, the founder of The Covenant Nation (formerly the Covenant Christian Center) has taken down a tweet that stirred controversy after it was interpreted by netizens as a bias political comment.

In a now-deleted tweet, Oyemade advised Nigerian youths not to “waste their enthusiasm on poorly planned projects“.

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However, the tweet was calculated by supporters of the Labour Party‘s presidential candidate, Peter Obi as an attempt to portray their candidate (Obi) as unprepared for the 2023 general election.

Other netizens who perceived the message as a veiled strategy to sell the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate and flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were equally angry.

Oyemade words, “Faith is not just blind belief or hoping for a miracle. Faith sees. Faith has her eyes opened and possesses the evidence upon which it builds its belief. Faith prepares long, sometimes for years just as Joseph did for the years of famine. Faith counts the cost before embarking.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Speaks On Meeting Wike In Francr, PDP Crisis Deepens

“Without having real evidence upon which you are acting nor preparation for the task, recognising real obstacles that lie ahead and making concrete plans, one is just being delusional about the outcome. The enthusiasm of the youth must not be wasted on poorly planned projects.

“Noah spent months/years planning for the flood & he was operating in faith. Jesus said no man goes to battle without taking stock first nor lays the foundation of a tower without counting the cost first lest he will be mocked. Our faith is intelligent it doesn’t live in denial.”

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Reactions:

dedayo🇺🇦 (@AdeparusiA) Pastor Poju is one I hold in a very high esteem, however, I was deeply disappointed by that tweet, whether it’s directed to OBIdient fans or not. It’s really sad such is coming from him. #PeterObiTheNationalist #PeterObi4President2023 #PeterObiForPresident2023

Anyiobi #PeterObi (@Anyiobi2)
Pastor Poju is one I hold in a very high esteem, however, I was deeply disappointed by that tweet, whether it’s directed to OBIdient fans or not. It’s really sad such is coming from him. #PeterObiTheNationalist #PeterObi4President2023 #PeterObiForPresident2023

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Anyiobi #PeterObi (@Anyiobi2) J
The fact that Pastor Poju supported #Buhari in 2015 tells so much about his character! Let no one care about him! In #PeterObi we trust!

 

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How 1,130 Looted Benin Bronzes Got To Germany – FG

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The Federal Government says many of the1,130 looted Benin Bronzes to be repatriated to Nigeria from Germany got to German public institutions via trade and donations

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Friday in Berlin during the signing of a historic joint declaration between Nigeria and Germany.

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The signing of joint declaration according to the minister, will pave the way for the return of the 1,130 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria,

A statement issued on the ceremony in Berlin made available to newsmen in Abuja, said that Mohammed, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada signed for Nigeria.

READ ALSO: FG, Germany Sign Agreement On Return Of Benin Bronzes

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In the statement signed by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Ms Annalena Baerbock, and the Minister of State for Culture and Media, Ms. Claudia Roth, signed for Germany.

Adeyemi is the Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture

As contained in the statement, Mohammed said that Germany did not colonise Nigeria and was not part of the looting of the artefacts.

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The minister recalled that the artefacts were looted from the ancient Benin Kingdom during the Benin Expedition of 1897 by the British force.

Mohammed thanked the government and people of Germany for what he described as the ”single largest repatriation of artefacts anywhere in the world”.

”We also want to most sincerely thank the authorities of the various German regions, cities, museums and institutions that have been working in concert to ensure the manifestation of the history-making event that we are witnessing today.

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“By this singular action, Germany has taken the lead in correcting the wrongs of the past,” he said.

The minister said that Germany and the great people of the nation decided it was better to shape the future by correcting the ills of the past.

He said pace-setting action by the Federal Government of Germany would become a harbinger of more repatriation of cultural property to their place of origin.

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According to Mohammed, other museums and institutions are expected to take a cue from what Germany has done.

Germany has gained more friends in Nigeria and all over the world by returning to Nigeria what rightfully belongs to it,” he said.

On his part, Dada described Germany as the ‘champion of justice and fairness’.

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Also Speaking, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany said, ”It was wrong to take the (Benin) bronzes. It was wrong to keep them for (125 years). This is the beginning to right the wrong.”

READ ALSO: Benin Artefacts: Obaseki Bows, Promises Cooperation With Benin Palace

According to the statement, in a symbolic gesture signifying the impending return of the artefacts, two of the Benin Bronzes were handed over to Nigeria at the ceremony.

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The signing was witnessed by top Nigerian and German government officials, including the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Yusuf Tuggar, and the Director-General of Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Prof. Abba Tijani.

 

 

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