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Imo senatorial seat: Court restrains INEC from recognizing Ararume as winner

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An Imo State High Court in Owerri has issued an order of interim injunction to the independent national electoral commission restraining it from recognizing Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the winner of the December 2020 Imo North Senatorial candidate of the All progressives Congress (APC).

The injunction also restrains INEC from issuing Ararume a certificate of return or any other instrument in his favor in respect of the said election pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice in the suit.

According to Justice E.O Agaba of the Owerri High Court, this followed an application by motion exparte brought to it by The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), one Mr. Kelechi Soribe a member of the Imo State working committee of APGA, and five others against Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, INEC and the APC.

This latest injunction comes few hours after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Ifeanyi Ararume based on the result of December 5, 2020, Imo North Senatorial bye-election, having been declared as the valid candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo who delivered the judgment ordered INEC to issue the certificate of return within 72 hours.

According to him, with regard to the Appeal Court judgment in Abuja, the third defendant (Chukwuma Ibezim) remained disqualified.

The Judge held in a judgment that Senator Ararume remains the authentic candidate of the APC and should be declared the winner of the election.

Earlier, Justice Taiwo dismissed the Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain Senator Ararume’s suit filed by the APC and Chukwuma Ibezim.

Justice Taiwo, who described the application as “an attempt to arrest the judgment,” dismissed it for lacking in merit.

Ararume had, through his counsel told Justice Taiwo Taiwo to invoke the judgments of a Federal High Court and that of an Appeal Court to disqualify Ibezim and declare him as the rightful candidate for APC.

Prior to the bye-election held on December 5, 2020, Ibezim and Araraume had fielded themselves as APC candidates.

Tunde Falola, who is the Counsel to Senator Ararume told journalists after the court ruling that the judgments of the High Court and later the Court of Appeal have conclusively disqualified Ibezim and therefore he cannot claim to be an aspirant or candidate in the Imo North Senatorial election.

In opposing Senator Ararume’s suit, APC had told the court that it never fielded him for the December 5, 2020, senatorial bye-election for Imo North Senatorial District of Imo State.

The party had, insisted that Senator Ararume lacked the locus standi to lay claim to the candidacy and urged the court to dismiss his suit.

Senator Ararume then dragged INEC, APC, and Mister Ibezim before the Federal High Court praying for an order to compel INEC to recognise him as an APC senatorial candidate in the election won by the party.

He claimed that Ibezim, having been disqualified by a Federal High Court on account of supplying false information to INEC to secure clearance and same disqualification having been upheld by the Court of Appeal in Abuja had knocked off Ibezim from laying any claim to the outcome of the by-election.

But, the APC, through its counsel, Osho Daudu asked the court to discountenance Ararume’s claims insisting that his name was never forwarded to INEC but that of Chukwuma Francis Ibezim.

The counsel submitted that a Federal High Court judgment delivered in Owerri, Imo State which erroneously conferred locus on Ararume had been voided by Supreme Court and cannot confer any advantage on the plaintiff.

Emma Osayomi, representing Ibezim, in his own submissions, said that his client has approached the Supreme Court to challenge his disqualification on account of variation in his name.

The counsel argued that as at the election day, the name of his client was on the INEC list and not that of Ararume and urged the court to dismiss Ararume’s claims and hold that Chukwuemeka Ibezim remains the APC candidate.

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Governors have limited power to tackle insecurity, says Lalong

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Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau, says there are limits to what state governors can do about insecurity in the country.

He lamented that governors don’t have full authority over the security operatives in their states.

Lalong spoke on Friday during the Good Morning Nigeria programme on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).

He said even though the constitution makes the governors the chief security officers of their states, there is a limit to the orders they can give security personnel.

Lalong called on the national assembly to intervene, adding that the federal lawmakers have a role to play in ensuring that governors are empowered to tackle insecurity.

“We have also cried and said the constitution provides that we (the governors) are chief security officers in our state,” he said.

“But there are limits to what we can do, the command that we do. If I am the general officer commanding, I should be the general officer commanding. Not the general officer that will command, and the person you command will say I need to get command from somewhere. All these are very important.”

Lalong said it is time for the federal government to address security issues and to implement all the security reports that have been drafted and submitted.

“We can’t be talking unless we address these issues. Let us be addressing these issues, not only talk-shop, because by the time we continue to talk without coming back to implement, we will still be talking of the same issue,” he added.

 

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Buhari meets Chad’s interim leader, promises support

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President Muhammadu Buhari has held a meeting with President of Chad’s Transitional Military Council, General Mahamat Idriss Deby, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari at the Friday meeting made his visitor a promise that he would help Chad to stabilize and return to a democratic government.
A statement issued by a presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, recalled that Marshal Idriss Deby  President of the country, had died in a battle last month, while leading troops to confront insurgents, who had come in through Libya.
“The country set up the transitional council, headed by the son of the deceased, and a return to democratic order is expected in 18 months,” the statement added.
The President, while speaking to his visitor, said: “We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can.
“Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration,” said the president.
Buhari said Chad should not hesitate to ask for help in areas it deemed necessary as the late Marshal Itno “was a personal friend, and a friend of Nigeria, and Chad has been very steadfast in defending Nigeria.”
The President, who said Nigeria would help strengthen the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), added, “We will also help you to ensure a smooth transition in 18 months, as you have promised your people.”
Lt. Gen. Itno, who thanked Nigeria for the solidarity shown after the passage of the former President, noted that the main objective of the Transitional Military Council “is the security and cohesion of our country.”
He recommitted to democratic, free, fair polls in 18 months, telling President Buhari: “You were very close to Marshal Itno. I’m here to reaffirm that relationship, and for you to support our transition. We rely on our brother country Nigeria, as we have shared history, culture and geography. We are ready to be guided by you in our journey to constitutional rule.”

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I’ll always be mayor for all Londoners, says Sadiq Khan

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Newly elected London major, Sadiq Khan has said he is humbled by his election for a second term, promising to always remain a mayor for all Londoners.

Labour’s Sadiq Khan won the election by beating Conservative rival Shaun Bailey.

He won 55.2% of the popular vote, after entering a run-off with Mr Bailey when neither managed to secure a majority in the first round of voting.

The former MP became the first Muslim mayor of an EU capital city when he was elected to the role in 2016.

He spoke at the City Hall, pledging “to strain every sinew to help build a better, brighter future for London”.

The Green Party’s Sian Berry came third, while the Liberal Democrats’ Luisa Porritt was fourth.

The Lib Dems lost their deposit, as Ms Porritt failed to win more than 5% of the vote.

Elsewhere on Saturday evening, Labour lost overall control of Durham County Council while the Tories continued to make inroads in their traditional heartlands.

Sadiq Khan: ‘I never wanted to be a culture war poster boy’

Mr Khan was seen as the favourite throughout the campaign, with some pollsters predicting he would win more than half of the first-round votes.

The 51-year-old failed to reach his record-setting vote total of 2016, but won with a 228,000-vote majority.

Khan’s closest rival was Mr Bailey, who received 44.8% of the first and second-round votes, and increased the Conservative vote share by 1.6%.

Speaking after the results were announced, Mr Khan said, “I will always be a mayor for all Londoners, working to improve the lives of every single person in this city.

“The results of the elections around the UK show our country, and even our city, remains deeply divided.

“The scars of Brexit have yet to heal. A crude culture war is pushing us further apart.”

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