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110 Reps lose return ticket, others may follow



No fewer than 110 members of the Ninth House of Representatives have so far lost their ticket to return to the Green Chamber in 2023 through the two major political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Some of the lawmakers who lost their tickets have defected to other parties with a view to seeking re-election.

Results of about 140other members were still outstanding as at the time of compiling this report, an indication that the number of lawmakers who may not make it back to the House might increase.

About 110 other lawmakers have so far secured their tickets as results from other Federal constituencies were being collated by various political parties.

Two principal officers of the PDP in the House lost their return tickets to their opponents, while the House Chief Whip will fly the APC flag for the Senate for Borno North.

The principal officers are: Deputy Minority Leader Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) and Adekoya Abdul-Mojeed (PDP, Ogun), while the Chief Whip is Mohammed Tahir Mongunu.

Although they currently form part of the leadership of the House, Okechukwu and Adekoya were not among the principal officers for the Minority Caucus nominated by the PDP and were initially suspended by the party when they became principal officers alongside Ndudi Elumelu (Minority Leader) and Gideon Gwani (Minority Whip).

A perusal of the ongoing party primaries also revealed that many of the strong and vocal PDP members in the House did not win their various primaries, thus failing in their bid to return to the House.

Among the strong and vibrant PDP members who may not be returning to the House unless they use other political platforms include Ossai Nicholas Ossai (Delta), Rowland Ben Ignakpa (Delta) Nkem Nzoma Abonta (Abia) and Chinyere Igwe (Rivers).

Others are: Sergius Ogun (Edo), Rimande Shawulu (Taraba), Onofiok Luke, who went to contest the Akwa Ibom governorship ticket; Mark Gbillah (Benue), Leo Ogor (Delta), who did not recontest, and Yusuf Tajudeen (Kogi), who is heading to the Senate.

In the APC, Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa), who contested and lost the governorship ticket; Mohammed Bago (Niger), who contested and won the governorship ticket; Shaban Sharada (Kano), who also lost the governorship ticket; and Abubakar Salame (Sokoto), who also lost the governorship ticket, will not be in the Green Chamber in 2023.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and his deputy, Ahmed Idria Wase, lead the pack of members who have so far got the nod of their parties to return to the House in 2023.

Unlike the PDP, all the principal officers of the APC in the House got their return tickets.

They are: House Leader Alhassan Ado Doguwa (Kano), Peter Akpatason (Edo), Deputy Chief Whip Nkiruka Onyejeocha (Abia), while Chief Whip Mohammed Mongunu is heading to the Senate.

Other ranking House members who got their return tickets include Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), Nicholas Mutu (PDP, Delta), Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), James Faleke (APC, Lagos), Abdulganiyu Johnson (APC, Lagos), Julius Ihonvbare (APC, Edo) Wale Raji (APC, Lagos) and Awaji-Inombek Abiante (PDP, Rivers).

Less than 140 members of the Eighth National Assembly, presided over by Yakubu Dogara, were re-elected into the Ninth Assembly in 2019 with majority of the members being new to the Green Chamber.

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Organ harvesting: Dino Melaye reacts to arrest of Ekweremadu, wife



Dino Melaye

Former Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye has expressed his support for ex-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu amid controversy of alleged organ harvesting.

Melaye said he stands with Ekweremadu because there was no wrongdoing by the Senator.

Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice were arrested in London for allegedly plotting to harvest the kidney of a Nigerian minor.

The UK metropolitan police had arrested and charged Ekweremadu and his wife to court, but the duo pleaded not guilty to the charges at the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court.

“These are serious allegations and these matters are now adjourned until 7 July back here at Uxbridge,” Magistrate Lois Sheard said.

Ms Sheard remanded both defendants in custody ahead of their hearing next month.

Sharing Ekweremadu’s letter via his Twitter handle, Melaye wrote: “Sen. Ike Ekweremadu notified the British authorities on his trip with the said boy. I stand with Ike.”

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Supreme Court set to rule on controversial Electoral Act on Friday



The Supreme Court of Nigeria will on Friday deliver judgment on the legality or otherwise of the controversial section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 .

The apex Court is set for its verdict in the suit instituted against the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice.

A notice for the judgment delivery has just been sighted, indicating that the apex Court will make its position known this morning.

The notice was served on Buhari and the National Assembly on Thursday, inviting them to appear before the court today for their judgment.

Our correspondent further observed that the suit is the only one for determination today.

Buhari and Abubakar Malami had filed the suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an interpretation of the controversial clause in the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.

In the suit filed on April 29, Buhari and Malami, who are the plaintiffs, listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.

Section 84 (12) has been a subject of intense litigation and political debate in Nigeria since President Buhari signed the amended Electoral Act 2022 into law in February this year.

Shortly after signing it into law, Buhari had asked the parliament to delete the controversial clause in the Electoral Act, but the National Assembly declined the president’s request.

According to Section 84 (12) of the legislation, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

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World’s most livable cities: Vienna climbs back to its No. 1 spot. These are the biggest decliners



World’s most livable cities: Vienna climbs back to its No. 1 spot
The Stephansplatz is a square at the geographical centre of Vienna. It is named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom, Vienna's cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world.

After two years, Vienna has overtaken Auckland as the world’s most livable city, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Vienna ranked first in 2018 and 2019, but was overtaken by Auckland, New Zealand, during the pandemic and slipped to 12th place in 2021, according to the Global Liveability Index 2022.

The EIU said that Auckland’s position on the index dipped to the 34th place this year because of higher Covid-19 infection rates and strict border controls in 2021. Although lockdowns ended in New Zealand in December, well-vaccinated cities in Europe and Canada had begun easing restrictions earlier.

However, it’s unlikely that Auckland would’ve clinched the top position in this year’s ranking even without a pandemic, according to the EIU.

“Other cities falling was why Auckland was top last time. Without Covid, it would likely be top 10, but not number one,” said Simon Baptist, global chief economist at the research and advisory firm.

Five other European cities — Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt and Amsterdam — also made the top ten. Canada’s Calgary and Vancouver took the third and fifth spots respectively. Japan’s Osaka and Australia’s Melbourne shared 10th place — the only two “Asian” cities that made it to the top 10.

The 172 cities that were included in the rating were assessed on these categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Biggest decliners
Cities in New Zealand and Australia were the biggest fallers in the EIU’s livability ranking.

New Zealand’s capital Wellington dived by 46 places, while Australia’s Adelaide and Perth lost their 2021 positions in the top 10. They are now in the 30th and 32nd place respectively.

Australian and New Zealand cities snagged six of the top 10 spots last year, but were “much, much lower down” on this year’s list as their partial reopening coincided with the spread of the more contagious omicron variant, Baptist told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday.

But the EIU is optimistic that these cities would bounce back.

“We can expect to see Australian and New Zealand cities moving up the rankings next year, when we do the next round of the survey. And this will be because they will have relaxed more of their Covid restrictions,” said Baptist.

Other cities in the region saw their rankings slip as well.

Singapore fell three spots to 37th place this year, while Hong Kong dropped to 62nd place from 49th last year.

“This is a long term change, it’s not just about Covid. That is part of it. But Hong Kong’s loss of connectivity is likely to be permanent,” said Baptist, citing the decline of cultural and political freedom in the city.

Russian cities plunged
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine saw Moscow’s livability ranking fall by 15 places, while St. Petersburg dipped by 13 spots, the EIU reported.

“Both cities record a fall in scores owing to increased instability, censorship, imposition of Western sanctions and corporates withdrawing their operations from the country,” the report said.

The war on Ukraine also affected the rankings of other Eastern European cities that have been facing political standoffs security threats, food and energy insecurities, and rising inflation, EIU said.

For example, Poland’s Warsaw and Hungary’s Budapest saw their stability scores slip as a result of rising diplomatic tensions, the EIU added.

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv was also excluded from this year’s report, and 33 new cities — 11 of them in China — were added.

The top 10
These are the world’s most livable cities and their scores, according to The Global Liveability Index 2022:

  1. Vienna, Austria (99.1)
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark (98.0)
  3. TIE — Zurich, Switzerland (96.3)
  4. TIE — Calgary, Canada (96.3)
  5. Vancouver, Canada (96.1)
  6. Geneva, Switzerland (95.9)
  7. Frankfurt, Germany (95.7)
  8. Toronto, Canada (95.4)
  9. Amsterdam, Netherlands (95.3)
  10. TIE — Osaka, Japan (95.1)
  11. TIE — Melbourne, Australia (95.1)

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