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Uche Secondus wins PDP Chairmanship as Dokpesi, Adeniran reject results

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A candidate backed by Rivers state Governor Nyeom Wike has won the People’s Democratic Party chairmanship. Uche Secondus has emerged as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party  ( PDP) the major opposition party in Nigeria after he defeated three other aspirants with over 2000 votes.

His close contender  Prof. Tunde  Adeniran polled  230 votes, Raymond Dokpesi scored 66 votes while Taoheed Adedoja nil vote.

Meanwhile, Umar Ibrahim has won as National Secretary of the party with 1549 votes to beat Abubakar Mustapha who scored  371 votes and Nenadi Usman who got  287 votes.

Also, Senator Gamawa Babawo Garba has been announced as the winner for  Deputy National Chairman (North ) 1316 votes to beat six other contenders.

Five aspirants have earlier withdrawn from the Chairmanship race which includes; Bode George, Jimi Agbaje, Gbenga Daniel, Rasheed Ladoja and Remi Olusegun.

Raymond Dokpesi and Prof. Tunde Adeniran who earlier walked out of the convention ground have rejected the results and called for its cancellation following the series of allegations of bribery of delegates and irregularities. They described the process as unfair.

They stated that delegates were given a list of candidates to support and that the organizers of the convention had become helpless.

Others contestants, apart from Chief Olabode George, announced their withdrawal from the race shortly before the commencement of the exercise.

George said on Friday at a press briefing that he was withdrawing due to the refusal of the party to micro-zone the office of the national chairman to the South-West.

The party had zoned the office to the entire southern part of the country, while it also ceded the presidential ticket to the northern region.

However, while there were seven aspirants from the South-West Zone, only two showed interest from the South-South.

Others from the South-West included Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Chief Gbenga Daniel, Mr. Jimi Agbaje and Aderemi Olusegun.

All the aspirants except Ladoja, Dokpesi and Secondus eventually contested the election.

Ladoja told one of our correspondents that he was still consulting and would speak on the outcome of the convention soon.

“I’m consulting and will speak soon. We need to study its outcome before making any pronouncements,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adeniran, a former Minister of Education, has called on the national leadership of the party to hand over the affairs of the party to its Board of Trustees.

Adeniran stated this after he walked out of the Eagle Square in company with his supporters to protest the outcome of the national convention.

The Director of Media and Publicity of the Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Taiwo Akeju, who spoke on behalf of the former minister, rejected the entire electoral process.

He urged the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee to hand over the party to the BoT in order to conduct “a credible election.”

Akeju said, “We reject the entire electoral process of December 9, 2017. The election was grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end in line with the illegal ‘Unity List’ prepared by Governors Nyesom Wike and Ayodele Fayose and foisted on the entire delegates.

“Consequently, we submit that this election is a sham and its result is unacceptable. We reject it in its entirety.

“We consider this so-called election as a travesty of democracy and due process, which further entrenches the culture of impunity that has done a great damage to the party in the past.”

Fayose asks losers to accept defeat in good faith

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has asked those who contested the PDP national chairmanship seat but lost to Secondus, to accept defeat in good faith.

Fayose also said he had no regret, canvassing support for aspirants on the list.

He insisted that some people kicked against the list because they did not win the election.

He said, “Anyone who will contest the result of this election at the court of law is an enemy of the party. It is not good to be a bad loser. If you did not win, just take it in good faith and support the winner”

PDP stops Sheriff’s man from contesting

A former National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party, Fatai Adeyanj said on Saturday that he was disqualified from running for the office of the national treasurer of the party.

Adeyanju was also prevented from accessing the Eagle Square, venue of the party’s national convention.

He was disqualified from the race because of his alleged inability to present his tax clearance.

Adeyanju, who was a close ally of a former National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, remained outside the venue, hours into the exercise.

He later told journalists that the committee set up by the party for the convention deliberately screened him out.

He alleged that Governor Fayose was responsible for the treatment meted out to him.

He said, “The party’s screening committee rejected my tax clearance certificate even though the document remained valid until December 2017.

“The party also said that I didn’t have a voter card, but I tendered my valid voter card before the committee.

“You can see the original copy of my valid tax certificate and my voter card. All efforts to make the screening committee see reason proved abortive.”

Apart from being close to Sheriff, Adeyanju and the then National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, were allies of Senator Buruji Kashamu.

Both Sheriff and Kashamu are considered as enemies of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee.

“When there are divisions in the leadership, people follow different groups or individuals. But when the crisis gets resolved, we should all be allowed to join the winning group without victimisation,” Adeyanju said.

He promised to go to court to seek redress after the convention.

-Additional report from Punch

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False age declaration: Documents clear HoS over wrongdoing, border agency boss faces sack

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Contrary to claims that the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, failed to act on the embattled Acting Director, Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), Mrs Victoria Olutayo Odumosu, over alleged age falsification, this newspaper has gathered that the HoS had in a letter to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on May 9, 2018 recommended Mrs Odumosu’s sack.

Documents sighted by this newspaper in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) showed that the memo to the vice president was in line with extant rules of the civil service as he is the Statutory Chairman of the Governing Board of BCDA.

Following the approval of her recommendations by the VP, the HoS wrote to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on June 13, notifying him of the VP’s approval and requesting him to “kindly direct immediate implementation of His Excellency’s approval as appropriate.”
The BCDA is one of the parastatals of government under the supervision of the office of the SGF.

The HoS letter to the SGF was the climax of a rigorous process of investigation to establish the culpability or otherwise of Mrs Odumosu who was alleged to have falsified her age to remain in service.

“Oyo-Ita’s desire for due process in removing public officials from office, and to comply with the Federal Government directive on handing over to the most senior director in an agency appear to be the reasons Mrs Odumosu stayed up till this time,” an official who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak on the matter told our reporter.

Official correspondences obtained from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation show that the HoS, initially found it curious that the allegations against Mrs Odumosu first came from Engr Numoipre Wills, former Executive Secretary of BCDA at the point he was to hand over to her.

In her first official correspondent on the issue to Vice President Osinbajo, dated December 5, 2017, Oyo-Ita states: “The decision of the outgoing Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency(BCDA) to make allegations of fake age declaration against the most senior Director without proof of his allegations is an issue of concern to the Service.

“It is irregular for Chief Executives of any Government Parastatal to engage in disobedience to policy directives of Government as conveyed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation(SGF) under any guise of unsubstantiated allegations.”

The memo further stated that public officers should not be deprived of the privileged to serve their nation based on unsubstantiated allegations, adding that such situations are capable of creating negative precedence in the service.

According to the December 5 memo, the HoS observed that the documents provided on the allegations, which she considered “serious,” called for “further investigations into the issues raised.”

She, however, concluded that the existing senior and the only director in the agency should be authorized to act pending the appointment of a new Executive Secretary or outcome of investigations of allegations of false age declaration.

“Where an officer overstayed his/her age in the service, the penalties are available in the service rules. But an officer should not be punished or deprived of a privilege based on allegations that have not been proved,” she pointed out to the Vice president.

With no response from the office of the Vice President to her earlier memos, the HoS prompted a follow up letter on May 9, 2018, more than four months later. But by this time Mrs Oyo-Ita appeared to have been convinced that Mrs Odumosu actually falsified her age and should be immediately asked to leave the service.

In the second letter to the VP, she re-iterated her earlier concerns for due process but revealed she had been presented with more evidence of Mrs Odumosu’s guilt. She stated in the letter that she received additional correspondence from the Senate Committee on States and Local Government Administration which oversights the BCDA, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

On receipt of the correspondences from the institutions mentioned, the HoS said, she wrote to Mrs Odumosu requesting for her response, and also requested for information and other career progress chart from the Industrial Training Fund-former employers of Mrs Odumosu.

She further stated that after a review of the submissions and the records from ITF, there were indications that “a prima facie case of age falsification” had been made against Mrs Odumosu. She therefor recommended thus:

i. Mrs Odumosu be directed to disengage from office.

ii. The SGF designate a Director with requisite seniority from the OSGF to oversee the affairs of the BCDA pending the appointment of a substantive Executive Secretary.

iii. The Overseeing Director could commence investigation/disciplinary procedure against the officer. In the event that the BCDA as presently constituted does not have the required number of Directors to constitute the Investigation Panel same can be empanelled from the OSGF being the supervising office.

iv.The SGF to fast track the appointment of a substantive Executive Secretary.

A response from the office of the VP dated June 12, and signed by Ade Ipaye, the Deputy Chief of Staff, the VP gave his approval to all the recommendations and requested the HoS to “proceed with immediate implementation.”

The HoS consequently wrote the SGF informing him about the VP’s approval and requested that “The SGF may wish to kindly direct immediate implementation of His Excellency’s approval as appropriate.”

-Culled from TheWhistler

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Breaking: DSS arrests Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

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The Department of State Security has arrested Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, lawmaker representing Abia-South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, The Whistler has learnt.

According to reports, the senator was picked up on Friday morning at a Barbing Saloon in the Apo Area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

It is not clear why the senator was arrested, but a source close to the Abia lawmaker said his arrest may not be unconnected to his constant criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker is due to appear before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High court, Abuja, on June 26 to explain the whereabouts of leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB}, Nnamdi Kanu.

Abaribe and two others had stood as a surety as part of the bail conditions for Kanu, whose whereabouts has remained unknown.

Justice Nyako fixed the date after the court ordered the prosecution to serve the sureties with an earlier order of court demanding them to appear in court and explain the whereabouts of Kanu or show cause why they should not forfeit their bail amount.

-TheWhistler

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Oshiomhole unopposed for APC chair as Ebri withdraws

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The coast is virtually clear for former governor Adams Oshiomhole’s bid for the chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress. The last of his rivals, Chief Clement Ebri, also a former Governor of Cross River, announced his withdrawal from the race, leaving Oshiomhole now unopposed.

Ebri’s decision to withdraw from the race was made known on Thursday in his letter titled: “Withdrawal from National Championship race”, in Abuja.

Ebri's letter of withdrawal
Ebri’s letter of withdrawal

Ebri’s decision came ahead of the party’s National Convention slated for Saturday and followed two other chairmanship aspirants’ withdrawal from the race.

He stated in the letter that his decision to withdraw from the race came after due consultations with friends, family and associates in the interest of the party.

He added that the decision was also taken in his belief that “all stakeholders “must tow in the same rancour free direction as the 2019 general election approaches”.

Ebri noted that what happened in the leadership of the APC was directly responsible as to whether it could deliver on its promises to Nigerians to provide them with better lives.

He said that such was the core conviction that drove him into declaring his candidacy for the party’s National chairmanship position in the first place.

He also stated that the fundamental task of the APC was to win elections, adding that it behoved on the party to offer its elected officials a means for organising government.

This, Ebri said, became the primary link between the people and government.

He also urged his supporters to transfer their support for his aspiration to former governor of Edo, Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman of the APC.

“We should all render him every support and encouragement he needs as he and his team proceed to rebuild our party into a formidable, unified and inclusive organisation where every voice counts,” he said.

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