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Shi’ite: Igbo group warns against live bullets on peaceful protesters

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Igbo group warns the Nigerian military against the usage of live bullets peaceful demonstrators.

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo Socio-cultural organization, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, has warned against the use of live bullet by the Nigeria Army to quell peaceful demonstrations.

Ibegbu noted that such action was barbaric and no longer in vogue in any part of the world.

Speaking in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday, in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, he frowned at the onslaught against members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Shi’ite

The Ohanaeze spokesman said, “I appeal to the Nigerian army to stop such dastard acts which makes Nigeria a laughing stock.

“As at now, I’m still wondering why the presidency, Nigeria judiciary and the National Assembly keep quiet on that heinous act by soldiers who are paid to protect the people.

Meanwhile, Ohanaeze has expressed its sadness over the death of the Son of Late Biafra warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu.

The late Debe Ojukwu was a member of the Imeobi, the highest organ in Ohanaeze.

The group in a condolence message, described the Late Debe Ojukwu as a committed Igbo patriot and icon.

It said, “Ojukwu’s death has robbed Ndigbo of their immense role in Igbo and national affairs.

“Ohanaeze wishes the family of the great man and Ndigbo to bear the loss with fortitude.”

 

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Abia: Court revokes Orji Kalu’s bail

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Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, revoked the bail of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, following his failure to appear in court for trial as scheduled.

Orji Kalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Kalu together with his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo and a company, Slok Nigeria Ltd on charges of N7.2billion fraud.

EFCC had on October 31, 2016, preferred a 34-count charge bordering on N3.2 billion fraud against the accused.

The charges were, however, subsequently amended to 39 counts.

They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.

At the last adjourned date on November 5, Kalu was also absent for his trial and the defence counsel had informed the court that he was away for medical treatment in Germany.

Justice Idris, who is sitting on a fiat to conclude the trial, had then adjourned the case until Monday for continuation of trial and ordered that Kalu returns to the country within seven days from November 5 to stand trial.

The court had said: “In the light of the entirety of this case, and in the interest of justice, I am prepared to grant the first defendant a final adjournment in respect of this matter.”

On Monday, Idris revoked Kalu’s bail following his failure to appear in court for trial as scheduled.

The judge ordered that upon the return of Kalu from his alleged medical trip, he must submit himself to the EFCC, failing which an order will be made for his arrest.

“I am constrained to revoke the bail granted to the first defendant; the first defendant is, however, permitted to continue with his medical treatment abroad, unharrased by law enforcement agencies.

“Upon his return to the country, he must at the point of entry, surrender his international passport and other relevant travelling document to the EFCC; he shall submit himself to the EFCC within 24 hours of his return, failing which he shall be rearrested and detained by the EFCC.

“Let me state that there is no doubt that the first defendant is entitled to and has a right to life, he has a right to seek medical treatment within and outside the shores of Nigeria; this right is further guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and People’s Right.

“In enjoying this right, the first defendant has a duty to follow due process of law; in this case, the first defendant acted outside the purview of the law, and he is expected to be dealt with according to the law.

“This court is a court of equity, but he who seeks equity must do equity; I find no reason why I should depart from the law, this court is an equal dispenser of justice,” the court held.

The court adjourned the case until December 3.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between August 2001 and October 2005.

Kalu was alleged to have utilised his company to retain in the account of a First Inland bank, now FCMB, the sum of N200 million.

The sum is alleged to have formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia State Government.

In one of the counts, his company (Slok Nig Ltd) and one Emeka Abone, who is said to be at large, were also alleged to have retained in the company’s account the sum of N200 million, on behalf of the first accused.

In counts one to 10, the accused were alleged to have retained about N2.5 billion in different accounts, which funds were said to belong to the Abia State Government.

Cumulatively, in all the counts, the accused were alleged to have diverted over N7.2 billion from the Abia State government’s treasury during Kalu’s tenure as governor.

The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 15(6), 16, and 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2005.

It also contravened the provisions of the Money Laundering Act of 1995 as amended by the Amendment Act No. 9 of 2002 and Section 477 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation, 1990.

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Four PDP state governors meet with Buhari

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Four state governors elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari

All the governors are from the South-South region of the country.

The meeting was held inside the President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after Buhari returned from his condolence visit to Kaduna State.

The governors in attendance included Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State; Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State; Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

At the end of the meeting, Dickson told State House correspondents that they discussed issues pertaining to the country and their respective states with the President.

He, however, did not give details of the issues discussed. “My colleagues and I came to have audience with the President to discuss issues pertinent to our country and pertinent to our respective states.

“We had a robust and fruitful discussion with the President and he promised to look into it in any way possible,” the governor said.

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PDP in Rivers state loses Senator to APC

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The Senator representing Rivers West, Osinakachukwu Ideozu, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.


Majority Leader at the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, announced Osinakachukwu’s defection at plenary on Wednesday.

Lawan, who was moving a motion for the adjournment of plenary till November 6, welcomed and congratulated him for joining the majority party.

With this, the three senators from Rivers, a PDP-controlled state, are now members of the APC.

The others are Senators Andrew Uchendu (Rivers East) and Magnus Abe (Rivers South East).

(NAN)

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Ekweremadu: Crisis rocks PDP over choice of Peter Obi as running mate

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Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is currently in crisis over the party’s choice of running mate ahead of next year’s presidential election.

Peter Obi emerged as the Vice-presidential candidate of the party days after Abubakar Atiku won the presidential primaries.

The crisis was confirmed by the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi. He said that South-East leaders were not consulted before the emergence of Obi.

“Nobody is against Peter Obi, because he is my friend, competent and you must have seen our pictures together on the social media. We must take decisions against the marginalisation of Ebonyi people because if we have to vote, we must be treated with equity.

“Two names of the nominees came from Anambra, two from Abia and one from Enugu, but none came from Ebonyi and Imo.

“What is wrong with somebody from Ebonyi and Imo? If you must know, one of the reasons an Ebonyi man is against regions in the country is the fear of further marginalization.

“If Atiku just picked his running mate without people from other regions seeing the list and making choices, there could have been no complaints.

“I am talking about the South-East people and if six people can come from other regions and take decisions, there must be somebody from the South-East zone.

“There is nothing like the South-East governors’ stand on the matter; but we are only saying that when decisions are taken and people from other regions are invited, those from the South-East must be invited,” Umahi said.

Meanwhile, the deputy president of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu is reportedly at the middle of the crisis rocking the party.

Saturday Sun revealed that since Atiku returned to PDP, himself and Ekweremadu had been meeting over 2019 elections.

It was the leaks from one of such meetings that made some of the party leaders at the time to allege that Ekweremadu was scheming to hand over the party to Atiku.

But that at every of such meetings, even when Atiku was said to have out rightly offered the deputy senate president the vice presidency slot, Ekweremadu would always insist that he was more interested in what the South-East stand to gain as a bloc from his presidency.

“It was a collective decision we took to back Atiku for a number of reasons. One, we had wanted to meet with the South-south to take a common position on that.

“But one leader, in particular, treated us as if we didn’t matter. So, when Ekweremadu called us, we met and weighed the options before us based on the offers made by each of the aspirants.

“One of the offers that fascinated us most, which is restructuring, was made by Atiku. Then the other was his desire to do just one term so as to enable the South-East field a presidential candidate in 2023.

“We saw that as a good counter to our opponents, the APC in the South-East, who have been canvassing that a Buhari’s second term was the surest way to Igbo presidency in 2023.

“Now, after the primary, we expected Atiku to come back to us, so we can tidy up the details of our understanding, and move on from there. But that did not happen. The next thing we heard was that announcement of a running mate without recourse to us.

“Nobody is against Peter Obi’s choice, not even Ekweremadu, who has been asking us to take it easy. But that is not how to go about it, unless Atiku thinks himself and Obi can go it alone in the South-East,” one of the party leaders said.

Insisting that the deputy president of the senate was not fairly treated, one of the party leaders from the South-East further said “No, look at the way they treated Ekweremadu. When all of them left, Ekweremadu remained to fight for the survival of this party.

“How many of them would have resisted the temptation not to defect in the face of the intimidation, harassment, prosecution and persecution meted out on him?

“As a person, he had nothing to lose if he had defected then. In fact, he had everything to gain. He probably would have been the senate president because he was offered the slot.

“Then, when you people now return, you feel that people, who have held this party to survive, do not matter again simply because you got a presidential ticket. Also, even Saraki knows that if DSP had not been loyal, they would have gotten at him (Saraki) long ago.

“All the trials Ekweremadu was put through were all because of Saraki. But when it was the turn of Saraki to be there for him, he failed him. And as we speak, how many days is this after the primary? Atiku is yet to call DSP.

“You don’t treat a man who has been taking bullets on you people’s behalf like that. Well, I wish them and PDP well, but they should know that action begets reaction and they will pay the price for this mistreatment of people, who have laboured for the party at the toughest time.

“And if Ekweremadu leaves, we will hold these people responsible” one of the leaders from the South-East said.

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