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PDP chieftains move against Akpabio’s emergence as Minority Leader

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Two chieftains of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alaye Pedro and Dr Okechukwu Ibeh, on Tuesday approached the Federal High Court, Abuja over the position of Senate Minority Leader.

The plaintiffs in an ex-parte application sought an order restraining the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and members of the PDP caucus from the South-South from appointing the Senate Minority Leader.

The plaintiffs joined Saraki and Akpabio as the first and second respondents to the suit, which is marked FHC/ABJ/CS/602/2015.

Other respondents are 16 PDP senators from the South South, which include Senators Nelson Effiong‎, Bassey Albert, Emmanuel Paulker, Ogola Foster, Ben Murray Bruce, John Enoh, Gershom Bassey, Rose Oko, James Manager and Peter Nwaoboshi.

They also joined Senators Ighoyota Amori, Clifford Ordia, Mathew‎ Urhoghide, George Sekibo, Olaka Nwogu, and Osinakchukwu Ideozu as respondents.

Pedro from Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers, and Ibeh from Umukegwu/Umuodia LGA of Imo State, want the restraining order to last till when their main suit ‎is heard and determined.

According to them, Order 3 (2) of Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) prohibits the appointment of a first-time Senator into any position of the Senate’s principal offices.

Recalled that the Senate Minority Leader has been zoned to the South-South geo-political zone and former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio, is aspiring for the position.

The PDP being the leading minority party in the Senate is in the position to present the Minority Leader of the Senate, but Akpabio of PDP, is a first-time senator.

Banji Akomolafe, the plaintiffs’ counsel who argued their ex-parte application on Monday contended that Akpabio had been tipped for the position of the Senate Minority Leader in breach of the rules.

He referred the judge to a newspaper report marked Exhibit D, which is part of the exhibits ‎filed along with the ex-parte application and the main suit.

‎The plaintiffs said: “The larger PDP caucus in the 8th National Assembly have concluded plans to subvert the mandatory provisions of Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Orders.”

“The PDP South-South caucus is bound to select or appoint the Minority Leader in strict compliance with Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) which emphasizes ranking as the basis for appointment of principal officers.”

Akomolafe therefore urged the court to restrain the respondents from taking steps on the appointment of the Senate Majority Leader pending the determination of the suit.

He also asked the court to grant an order of substituted service on the respondents through newspaper publications‎.

Akomolafe sought in the main suit, a declaration that Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) on the procedure for appointment of principal officers of the Senate should apply in the selection as it is mandatory.

He also prayed the court to grant a declaration that the appointment of the Minority Leader of the Senate in breach of Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) “is void.”

The plaintiffs’ counsel further sought an order directing the respondents to comply with Order 3(2) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 ‎in the appointment of the Minority leader.

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POLITICS

2023: Obasanjo turns down PDP’s request

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that he would never return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, saying he has retired from partisan politics.

The ex-president, who renounced his membership of the party in 2015, stated this when he received the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; and other stakeholders who paid him a visit on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

According to sources, the visit was targeted at returning the former president to the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

But, Obasanjo, while addressing the stakeholders, said he had vowed to remain as a statesman. He, however, said PDP would always be part of his life.

He said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life.

“Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party. I will continue to be a statesman.”

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Nigerian-British chartered accountant, Biyi Oloko, wins UK by-election

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Biyi Oloko, a British citizen of Nigerian descent and Conservative candidate, has won the Tilehurst South and Holybrook by-election in the United Kingdom. The Tilehurst South and Holybrook seat was run as a by-election after the death of incumbent councillor Peter Argyle, after 24 years of meritorious service.

Oloko, the new Conservative councillor, who has now been elected to West Berkshire Council, emerged victorious in the by-election that was also contested by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Speaking after his election, Oloko, who was quoted by leading weekly news outlet, Newburytoday Newspaper, said: “I can’t wait to get started on continuing Peter’s work alongside councillor Richard Somner. I met many of our residents on their doorsteps and their message was very clear, their priorities will be my priorities as I look forward to continuing to build on the good record of the Conservatives-led administration.”

Lynne Doherty, Conservative leader of West Berkshire Council said: “I’m delighted to welcome Biyi to the group. We share a passion for community involvement and I’m sure that he will champion the voice of his residents in this area.

Berkshire is a county in South East England. One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by Queen Elizabeth II as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters of patents were issued in 1974.

Oloko was a former Special Adviser on Economic Planning and Internal Revenue to late governor of Oyo State Abiola Ajimobi.

Oloko is a chartered accountant whose boardroom experience traverses the Private Sector, Public Sector and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

He is the CEO of Stephen Simeon Limited, an international advisory business with presence in the UK and Africa. He has an excellent reputation as a leading expert in structuring transactions, business recovery and business turnaround.

Oloko is an active volunteer in the Berkshire region where he is a Vice President of the Thames Valley District of Chartered Accountants and an Ambassador of the Institute of Directors (Berkshire).

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PDP Governors meet in Port Harcourt to consider presidential candidate

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Governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will be meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Monday (today) to strategize for the 2023 general elections.

A statement issued on Sunday by the Director-General of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Cyril Maduabum said the meeting is aimed at consolidating on how to rescue and rebuild Nigeria through the 2023 poll.

According to the Director-General, the meeting will also review the current state of the nation and readiness of the opposition party to provide the necessary leadership to rescue and rebuild the country.

He stated that all the elected PDP governors are expected to attend the meeting which is coming after a gala night hosted by the Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike.

“The PDP governors are working in concert and consultations with other party leaders, particularly the Ayu-led National Executive Committee of the PDP, to craft a credible process and programme for Nigeria’s positive rebirth,” he added

However, an impeachable source told DAILY POST that part of the agenda to be discussed is how the party will zone the presidential ticket to region that holds critical stake in the election process.

According to him, the party may also look at arriving at a consensus presidential candidate if possible.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and some of his counterparts were received by Wike at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Sunday evening.

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