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Delta APC crisis: Emerhor withdraws case against Omo-Agege, Ogboru faction

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The protracted division bedeviling the Delta state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was on Monday laid to rest with the leader of one of the two factions, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, calling the truce.

Delta APC got enmeshed in 2018 when the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on assumption of office sacked the Olorogun Cyril Ogodo-led state executive counci, inaugurated by former National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and replaced it with Prophet Jones Erue-led executive council.

The Ogodo-led faction, which is represented by the Mainstream Delta APC group under the leadership of the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Olorogun Emerhor, had gone to court to reclaim its mandate, winning its first outing at the Federal High Court in Asaba and had proceeded to the Supreme Court in pursuit of favourable judgement.

However, in a statement on Monday, July 15, Emerhor, said his faction, considering the high stakes that had risen with recent developments, especially the election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as Deputy Senate President had chosen to withdraw from pursuing the case.

“During the pendency of our Supreme Court appeal, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the main impacted person, should our appeal succeed at the Supreme Court, was sponsored by our National APC and Federal government and was elected the Deputy Senate President (DSP) of the Nigerian Senate. Since this event a lot has happened.”

“Your leadership has come under intense pressure to terminate the appeal at the Supreme Court in order not to jeopardize the standing of the DSP at the Nigerian senate. This pressure has come from elders, leaders and Clergymen of Urhobo nation, from well wishers and family members of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, from APC party leaders of the South South, and indeed, from the Presidency.

“Recently, on Tuesday, July 11th 2019, myself and Chief Cyril Ogodo had audience with the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osibanjo on the matter to chart a way forward.

“Upon the election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the DSP, and with the reach out from the various interested persons mentioned above, your leadership has indeed agreed, in its usual reconciliatory manner, to seize the opportunity to again push for a party reconciliation and unification deal that can produce a win win situation for Delta APC and properly position it.

“Our earlier terms for Party exco harmonization and sharing of Federal appointments to all groups in Delta APC were once again put on the table as the panacea for bringing lasting peace to APC Delta State. Unfortunately, even with the best efforts of those who intervened to seize this moment as a last minute effort to bring peace to reign, again no traction was achieved.

“At the same time, our case in the Supreme Court suffered a set back. As against securing an accelerate hearing consequent on it being a pre-election matter, the suit is currently adjourned to October 14, 2019. It has been in our contemplation for the case to come to a closure in July 2019 and allow peace and unification come to Delta APC at last.

“Under the above circumstances and in full recognition of the pressures that have been brought to bear and also in appreciation of the legal arguments as to whether we could still achieve the objectives of the suit when it comes up in October or not, your leadership has decided and indeed unconditionally agreed to withdraw our appeal from the Supreme Court by filing a notice of discontinuance today Monday July 15th, 2019.

“Your leadership believes this is for the best. We have fought a good fight and even good fights must come to an end! We don’t need to fight on till October and beyond! We don’t need to force others to the table anymore and or forever.

“I, therefore, on behalf of the Mainstream of APC in Delta proclaim an end on our part in the factional fight for the control of APC in Delta State. We also seize the opportunity to recognize Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as our Senator and congratulate him for his election as DSP of the Nigerian senate. We in the same breath, recognize and congratulate other elected legislators of APC in Delta State.

“We do this with zero expectations from those who are now the ‘victors’. We will, however, be wildly surprised if they seize the moment and strive for the unification of the party in the interest of a stronger Delta APC.

“I also wish to seize the opportunity to thank all members of the Mainstream of Delta APC, and the Ogodo led Exco in Delta State for your unalloyed loyalty, support and resilience in the face of daunting challenges throughout the period of our contending for a winning APC in Delta State. As I said earlier, even a good fight must end one way or the other. I thank you all,” Emerhor said.

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POLITICS

Ogun: You are frivolous, A’Court tells Labour Party …as Gov Abiodun wins again

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Abiodun

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan yesterday (Friday) dismissed the appeal by the Labour Party against the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun as Governor of Ogun State.

The Court came described the Labour Party’s repeated challenge of the Ogun State Governor as lacking merit and outrightly frivolous.

Court upheld the submission of Abiodun and All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Barrister Wale Abeeb Ajayi that the Governor was duly elected and calling for the invalidation of the poll that returned him could not stand legal requirements for nullification of elections.

The LP went on appeal after losing at the Tribunal for the third time in its quest to use the Court to cancel the March 9 gubernatorial election in Ogun State.

On July 13 when the LP went to challenge the outcome of the polls, the Tribunal in Abeokuta led by Justice Ali Halilu dismissed the case on the ground that the tribunal had dismissed the Petition pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 46(3) of the Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.

The Appeal was filed by Mrs Modupe Sanyaolu and Labour Party against the Governor, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking the leave of the Tribunal to reverse itself by re-listing the Petition.

Wale Habeeb Ajayi, counsel to Governor Dapo Abiodun, described the verdict yesterday as “victory for democracy. The Appeal like the petition was bound to fail. It was dead on arrival”.

The labour Party, Ajayi added, “did not submit the details of the Deputy Governorship candidate to INEC; failed to raise any complaint before the election and failed to sue INEC before election. How can they now bring up a pre-election matter for adjudication when the election had been won and lost? , he stated rhetorically.

He said further, “They also failed to appear at the tribunal on the date fixed for hearing of the frivolous petition on unfounded excuses. The tribunal has done the needful by dismissing the Petition in the first instance. Consequently, the application to relist lacks merits and tribunal rightly refused same.”

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Delta South senate: Tribunal set to determine Senator Manager’s fate

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The election Petition Tribunal Panel II, presided over by Justice C. O Onyeabo has reserved judgement in the Petition filed by the Delta south senatorial candidate under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, in the 2019 National Assembly (NASS), election against Senator James Manager, of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Dr Uduaghan, the APC candidate Petitioned through his counsel Tomson Okpoko, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) had complained before the tribunal that the election was marred by irregularities and urged the tribunal to do justice to the Petition.

The contention of the Petitioner, are among other things, that the first Respondent PDP, the second Respondent, INEC and third Respondent James Manager connived with each other to allegedly perpetrate electoral malpractices and the tribunal should cancel the election.

Dr Uduaghan, called a number of witnesses to testify on his behalf to support his claims even as the set of respondents did say.

At the adoption of the written addresses, Febude Zimugehan counsel to PDP first Respondent submitted before the tribunal that the Petitioner has not been able to substantiate his claims and that it is unmeritorouse, adding that the Petitioners have not been able to discharge the burden of proof placed on them and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

The third respondent, Senator Manager, represented by Larry Selekeowei equally aligned himself with the position of the first and second Respondents and urged the tribunal to quash the Petition.

Dr Uduaghan’s counsel told the tribunal that the Petitioners have been able to prove their case and urged the tribunal to cancel the senatorial election which declared James Manager the winner.

Justice C. O Onyeabo stated that the parties would be communicated on the date of judgement.

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Lagos speaker, Obasa, sets up 16 man committee to screen Sanwo-Olu’s commissioner-nominees

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Speaker Mudashiru Obasa of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday constituted a 16-man ad-hoc committee to screen Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet nominees.

Obasa, who read the list of the ad-hoc committee members, said it would be headed by Hon Rotimi Abiru, a fourth-term lawmaker, representing Somolu Constituency II.

According to Obasa, members of the screening committee are: Hon. Jimi Mohammed (Ikeja I), Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege II), Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe I), Setonji David (Badagry II), Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo I) and Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere II).

Others are: Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay (Amuwo-Odofin I), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako-Ijaiye II), Hon. Lanre Afinni (Lagos Island II), Hon. Noheem Adams (Eti-Osa II), and Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja II)

The rest are: Hon. Suraju Tijani (Ojo II), Hon. Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I), Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh (Apapa II) and Hon. Abdulsobur Olawale (Mushin II).

The speaker directed the ad hoc committee to report back to the House in a week.

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