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Page 17 Wukari violence orchestrated by frustrated politicians – Taraba APC By Muideen Olaniyi The Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has…

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Wukari violence orchestrated by frustrated politicians – Taraba APC

By Muideen Olaniyi

The Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has claimed that the violence in Wukari Local Government, following the tribunal judgment that upturned the election of Governor Darius Ishaku was a premeditated action orchestrated by some ‘frustrated politicians’.

The APC State Chairman, Hassan Jika Ardo, also said the violence after the ruling was meant to trigger a bigger crisis to slur the judgment that was being celebrated nationwide as a victory for justice and rule of law.

“We have information that the masterminds of the violence in Wukari are bent on spreading this violence to other local governments in Taraba State such as Takum, Zing, and Kurmi with the sole intent to create discontent using religion to perpetuate chaos and lawlessness,” Ardo added.

The APC said the judgment, which asked the party’s candidate, Hajia Aisha Alhassan to be sworn in was “purely a political situation which has no gender and sectarian connotations and must be seen by the public as such.”

The party admonished all aggrieved people to seek redress through well-established processes for adjudication.

It would be recalled that the PDP had described the tribunal’s judgment as another evidence of “executive interference” in the judiciary.

A statement by the PDP national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the ruling brought to the fore the “organized plan by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC federal government to deploy all unorthodox means to decimate the opposition.”

Adamawa lawmaker dissociates self from N4bn virement approval

From Kabiru R. Anwar, Yola

The Chairman, Committee on Finance, Budget and Appropriation, Abubakar Abdulrahman, in the Adamawa State House of Assembly has dissociated himself from a N4 billion approval for sectoral virement in the 2015 budget.

Part of the money was earmarked for capital project at the Adamawa State University, but the executive said the funds would now be used for the procurement of fertilizer.

In an interview with journalists shortly after the House plenary, yesterday, Abdulrahman accused the leadership of the Assembly of violating due process in a bid to please the executive.

He said he was surprised the approval was given when his committee was yet to submit its report on the request for virement from the executive arm.

The executive had submitted a request for the virement titled: 2015 Sectoral Virement on Capital Estimates.

The lawmaker described the virement as “irresponsible” as it was against the interest of the electorate and the state.

According to him, “I was to submit the report tomorrow or next only to learn that the House at its sitting today (yesterday) allowed the virement to scale through without report from the committee. There is this request for money budgeted for projects in Adamawa State University to be diverted to procurement of fertilizer,” he said.

He advised his colleagues at the Assembly to take their legislative and oversight function with utmost sincerity, and protect the interest of the people.

“You cannot vire for N1 billion and transfer the money from the state university to buy fertilizer. The committee report is against the virement and it seems my colleagues sensed that and decided to approve the virement ahead of the report,” he added.

Buhari group chides PDP over Biafra comments

By Muideen Olaniyi

Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) has described as unfortunate, the alleged desperation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to exploit the street protest in some parts of THE South-east and South-south geo-political zones of the country.

The group said the PDP was using the unfortunate development to advance what it called “unconscionable war of attrition against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).”

A release jointly signed by BMSG Coordinator, Malam Muhammad Labbo and secretary, Mr Cassidy Madueke, claimed that Biafra was PDP’s machination to destabilise Nigeria.

The release followed a press statement, signed by PDP National Youth Leader, Abdullahi Mai Basira, declaring that: “President Buhari and his party should be held to account for the escalation of agitation, which threatens the unity and national security interests of Nigeria as an indivisible entity.”

But the BMSG countered, saying, “This segment of the statement merely underscores the irreverence with which the PDP holds the Nigerian state as a single, indivisible entity of diverse people. No political party with a nationalist agenda, as claimed by the PDP, should routinely appeal to, and exploit the base sentiment of a group of people to assert a superiority complex over others within a geographical space thus feeding a desire to secede.

“We make bold to say that the calls for Biafra do not aggregate the general aspirations and outlook of the good people of those two zones, but rather, the obtrusive outcome of the beguiling machination of the former ruling party.

“The release laid credence to the belief by most discerning Nigerians that the sudden aggravated secessionist calls for Biafra represented more of the allegory of ‘The voice of Jacob but the hand of Esau.”

Benue: Court vacates order to stop probe panels

From Hope Abah, Makurdi

A Makurdi High court yesterday vacated an order restraining the Benue State government’s Judicial Commissions of Inquiry from probing former Governor Gabriel Suswam’s eight-year administration.

Justice Adam Onum ruled that the order placed on two panels set up by Governor Samuel Ortom to discontinue the panels from sitting on October 12 has been vacated.

The court held that the commission should resume sitting with immediate effect, adding that while it had the right to issue letter of summon on individuals, it is not vested with the power to issue warrant of arrest on anyone or impose fine.

Suswam had earlier filed a suit to stop the probe panel constituted by his successor to investigate the income and expenditures of his tenure when he held forte in the state between 2007 and 2015.

The state Chief Judge, Justice Iorhemen Hwande, had ordered a stay of proceedings on the commission following Suswam’s pending suit, which among other things, questioned the constitution of the panel which in his estimation was done unlawfully as some members of the panel lacked the locus standi to sit on it.

Tribunal committed grave error in Taraba – Ozekhome

From Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos

Human rights’ lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, yesterday said the election petition tribunal in Taraba State had committed “grave error” in its judgment that sacked Governor Darius Ishaku.

Ozekhome noted that the ground upon which the tribunal sacked Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Aisha Al-Hassan contravened the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

Speaking on the outcome of the case which is generating heated debate in the polity, Ozekhome noted that Ishaku has the option of appeal within 21 days.

He explained that Section 85 (1) which empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to monitor political parties’ primaries used ‘May’ and not ‘Shall’.

“Therefore, it is not compulsory for INEC to monitor political party primaries,” he said, noting that “the tribunal has the power to nullify election if it found out that the winner of that election did not score the highest number of votes.”

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