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Supreme Court affirms Diri as Bayelsa gov

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The Supreme Court Wednesday declared Senator Douye Diri as the duly elected governor of Bayelsa State.

The court, in a unanimous judgment, upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja shortly after it dismissed the six appeals seeking the nullification of Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo’s election, following the withdrawal of the appeals by lawyers to the appellants.

Those that applied and withdrew their appeals on Wednesday were the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), its governorship candidate, Owei Woniwei, Liberation Movement (LM), its candidate, Vijah Opuama, as well as the Accord Party (AP).

After the withdrawal of the appeals, the seven-member panel of Justices of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, dismissed the appeals and upheld the election of Diri as Bayelsa State governor.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division had, in a judgment on October 2, upturned the judgment of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that nullified Diri’s election.

The appeal court had voided the majority judgment the tribunal delivered on August 17, which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh election in the state within 90 days.

The tribunal’s decision was based on the ground that INEC unlawfully excluded one of the registered political parties, ANDP, from the state governorship election held on November 16, 2019.

While two members of the panel at the tribunal, Justices Sikiru Owodunni and Yunusa Musa, upheld ANDP’s petition, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, gave a dissenting judgment that upheld Diri’s election.

Dismissing the petition for being statute-barred, Justice Sirajo said there was evidence that ANDP was disqualified from the election for fielding an ineligible candidate.

He noted that the party nominated an underage deputy governorship candidate, who admitted that he was 34 years old, instead of the 35 years stipulated by the constitution.

Dissatisfied with the majority judgment of the tribunal, Governor Diri, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC separately lodged appeals to set it aside.

In its judgment, the appellate court panel led by Justice Adzira Mshella, held that the majority verdict of the tribunal that invalidated Diri’s election was perverse and “contemptuous of the law”.

Justice Obande Festus Ogbuinya, who read the lead judgment of the appellate court, held that the tribunal wrongfully evaluated the petition of the ANDP and thus reached an unjust conclusion.

The court said there was enough evidence before the tribunal to prove that ANDP nominated underage candidates for the election in breach of sections 177, 182 and 187 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

The court also said INEC had in two separate letters, dated September 13 and September 27, notified the ANDP that it made invalid nominations.

It held that as of February 26 when it filed the petition at the tribunal the case of ANDP had become stale.

The court also ruled that the issue of disqualification of candidates, a pre-election matter, could only be entertained by a regular court and not a tribunal.

The court also dismissed appeals that were lodged by candidate of the AD, Woniwei; LM, Opuama, and Accord Party, Ebezimo Diriyau.

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FG names Nwabuoku to oversee Accountant General Office  

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The Federal Government has approved the appointment of Mr Anamekwe Chukwunyere Nwabuoku to oversee the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).

This follows the ongoing investigation of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) over N80 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Aliyu Ahmed, Permanent Secretary (Finance), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, was quoted as saying this in a letter dated May 20, 2022.

The appointment will be pending the outcome of the investigation, according to a statement by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

The statement also read in part, “Mr Anamekwe is expected to carry out his duty in strict compliance with extant rules and observe the highest sense of professionalism expected of an officer working at his level.

“Currently, he is director, Inspectorate Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and presently he is overseeing the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.”

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56 people eating Nigeria like termites — Al Mustapha alleges

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Former Chief Security Officer to late military Head of State General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al Mustapha

…Says Nigerian soldiers have turned into a police

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Buhari appoints Semiu Adeniran new stastician general

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Semiu Adeniran as the Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics.

The appointment follows the demise of the former statistician general, Dr Simon Harry, on April 13, 2022, eight months into his five-year tenure.
A statement by Sufuyan Ojeifo, Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said, “Adeniran is a professional statistician of repute with bias for Demography and Social Statistics. He has over three decades of statistical hands-on experience garnered from various local and international institutions.”

“Until his appointment, Mr Semiu was the Director of Demographic and Household Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics.”

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