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Appeal court declares Ozigbo as PDP candidate for Anambra governorship election

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The court of appeal in Abuja has declared Valentine Ozigbo as the validly nominated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming Anambra state governorship election.

A three-member panel, led by Monica Dongban-Mensem, president of the court of appeal, unanimously upheld the two appeals filed by Ozigbo and the PDP (CA/AW/223/2021 and CA/AW/234/2021).

INEC had excluded the PDP from the list of cleared candidates, which was released on July 16.

The electoral body said its decision not to list the name of any PDP candidate was in recognition of court orders served in relation to the primary election of the party.

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Ozigbo and Ugochukwu Uba had emerged as the PDP’s governorship candidates from parallel primary elections.

Uba had approached the Anambra state high court in suit number A/230/2021 to determine if the primary election conducted by the national executive of the PDP at Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre on June 26 was done according to the law.

He asked the court to determine whether an Abuja high court order on a suit by one Samuel Anyakorah against the PDP, bordering on the validity of the process that produced Ndubuisi Nwobu, the party’s factional state chairman, had been set aside or stayed.

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He also prayed the court to determine if the process of the primary, which produced Ozigbo through ”super delegates”, was in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act, which states that primary elections will be done through delegates’ congress.

In his ruling, Obiora Nwabunike said the court order, which restrained the PDP from conducting the primary election, had neither been stayed nor set aside.

He said the PDP erred by not clearing every legal huddle before the primary election, hence the process was in defiance of the law.

The court, therefore, resolved that the primary election, which produced Uba at Paul University’s complex on June 26 was lawful and in accordance with the electoral guidelines. The judge also awarded N10 million in Uba’s favour as cost of litigation.

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However, delivering judgment in Ozigbo’s appeal, the appellate court, set aside the July 19, 2021 judgment by Nwabunike and recognised the governorship primary election which produced Ozigbo.

The court awarded N10 million as cost against Uba.

The court also ordered INEC to immediately publish Ozigbo’s name as the candidate of the PDP.

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South African police investigate death of 20 in nightclub 

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South African police are investigating the deaths of at least 20 people at a nightclub in the coastal town of East London early Sunday morning.

According to AP, it is unclear what led to the deaths of the young people, who were reportedly attending a party to celebrate the end of winter school exams.

Local newspaper Daily Dispatch reported that bodies were strewn across tables and chairs without any visible signs of injuries.

“At this point we cannot confirm the cause of death,” said health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana.

“We are going to conduct autopsies as soon as possible to establish the probable cause of death. The deceased have been taken to state mortuaries,” Manana added.

The owner of the club, Siyakhangela Ndevu, told local broadcaster eNCA that he had been called to the scene early Sunday morning.

“I am still uncertain about what really happened, but when I was called in the morning I was told the place was too full and that some people were trying to force their way into the tavern,” he said.

“However, we will hear what the police say about the cause of death,” Ndevu added.

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Missing ex-Nigerian diplomat found dead in US

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Police in New York, United States, have found the body of a former Nigerian diplomat, Ambassador Ejeviome Otobo.

The 70-year-old was declared missing by the police in Tuckahoe, New York, in United States of America.

Otobo went missing on Wednesday, June 15th and was last seen near Dante Avenue.

The Tuckahoe Police Department on the their Facebook page requested information from the public.

Etobo served as the Director and Deputy Head, Peacebuilding Support Office at the United Nations headquarters in New York between December 2006 and October 2013.

On June 24, the police announced that Etobo had been found dead and sent condolences to his family.

“We would like to thank those of you who offered tips and tried to assist with the investigation. Our thoughts go out to the Otobo family during this difficult time,” the statement read.

Until his death, he was a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Peacebuilding and Global Economic Policy at the Global Governance Institute in Brussels, Belgium.

He had previously held the position of director and deputy head of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, where he also acted as Assistant Secretary-General from February-August 2009.

At PBSO, he led the efforts in assisting the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) to develop peacebuilding strategies, including supporting governance reforms and reconciliation processes for countries on the agenda of the PBC; supervised the work related to the follow-up, monitoring and periodic reporting on the implementation of the peacebuilding strategies; and formulated benchmarks for monitoring progress in the implementation of peacebuilding strategies.

His areas of research interests and writing included peacebuilding, public service reforms, institutional development, governance, regulatory policy and management, and international trade.

He co-edited African Development in the 21st Century: Adebayo Adedeji’s Theories and Contributions (2015) as well as authored Consolidating Peace in Africa: The Role of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (2015) and Africa in Transition: A New Way of Looking Progress in the Region (2017). The book Africa in Transition was nominated for the Grand Prix of Literary Association Award in 2018 in the Research category.

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NDLEA nabs Brazilian returnee with cocaine hidden in private parts

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A Brazilian returnee, Igwedum Uche Benson has been arrested in Lagos with pellets of cocaine concealed in his private part.

He was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The agency said Igwedum came in via Ethiopian Airlines from Sao Paulo, Brazil, enroute from Addis Ababa.

A statement signed by spokesman for the agency, Femi Babafemi, said, “Preliminary investigations revealed the suspect had swallowed 50 wraps of cocaine before departing Brazil and excreted 48 pellets in Addis Ababa where he handed them over to another person.

“He however claimed he was unable to excrete the remaining two wraps at the hotel room in Addis Ababa before boarding his flight but later excreted them in the aircraft restroom during the flight from Ethiopia to Lagos.

“In the same vein, after three weeks of painstaking investigation and tracking, operatives of the MMIA command of NDLEA on Saturday night, 25th June arrested a drug kingpin, Onyekachi Chukwuma Macdonald behind attempts to export 40 parcels of Methamphetamine popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri locally to London, United Kingdom, through the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport.

“Onyekachi was arrested at Manacola estate, Alakuko area of Lagos at the weekend, three weeks after his Mkpuru Mmiri consignment weighing 2.05 kilogrammes was intercepted at the airport and his freight agent, Peter Christopher Anikan arrested on 7th June.

“During his interview, the suspect said he’s from Ahiazu, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state and had lived in Dubai, UAE, for 10 years before returning to Nigeria in 2019.

“He stated that after his return to Nigeria, he opened a phone accessories shop in Sango Otta, Ogun State, but the business collapsed.

“He then started sending cigarettes to London and decided to conceal the illicit drug in the consignment after advice by a friend”.

Closely related is the seizure of another consignment of 2kg Mkpuru Mmiri at a courier house in Owerri, Imo State.

The cargo seized on Wednesday 22nd June had ankara and lace fabrics in which two cylindrical cellophanes containing the drug heading to Hong Kong were concealed.

Also at the Lagos airport, NDLEA operatives on Friday June 24, intercepted 500,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg packed in 10 cartons and labelled Tramaking imported from Karachi, Pakistan on Emirates Airline.

The consignment weighing 407.60kg was seized during a joint examination with Customs and NAFDAC officials.

Same day, a Dubai, UAE-bound passenger, Alegbeleye Taiwo was arrested at the departure hall of the MMIA with 40 ampoules of pentazocine injection.

The 21-year-old suspect claims he’s from Osun state.

Meanwhile, two kingpins behind the importation of two recent drug consignments from Canada concealed in vehicle containers through the Tincan seaport in Apapa, Lagos have been arrested by NDLEA operatives.

One of them, Gboyega Ayoola Elegbeji, was arrested at his house, 14 Bakare Street, Idi Araba, Lagos on Wednesday 22nd June, for importing a 40ft container TRHU7874497 containing 33 parcels of cannabis indica (Colorado) weighing16.5kg.

The second suspect, Sunday Joe Oyebola, (aka Otunba) was arrested on Thursday 23rd June.

He’s linked to the importation of a 40ft container MEDU4389887 containing four vehicles used to conceal 290 parcels weighing 145kg cannabis indica (Colorado) from Montreal, Canada.

He had been on the run since March and had in the course of the investigation attempted to bribe officers with N10million to influence the case.

Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Tincan, and Imo state Commands of the Agency for the drug seizures and arrests especially of those who thought they could evade the long arm of the law.

He encouraged them and their compatriots across other formations to intensify their efforts towards achieving set goals.

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