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Senate Presidency: Tinubu instrumental to my stepping down for Akpabio – Umahi

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Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has disclosed that the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, persuaded him to step down for the former Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, in the race for the 10th senate presidency.

Access News Magazine had earlier reported that the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday ratified the zoning formula proposed by Tinubu, with Akpabio favourite for the senate’s top job.

Despite the supposed consensus, some party members rejected the candidacy of the former Akwa Ibom State governor, insisting on the inclusion of other geo-political zones.

But speaking at the newly constructed Muhammadu Buhari International Airport, Onueke, Umahi disclosed he had to accept Tinubu’s request for greater regional unity.

“The leader of the party who is the president-elect called me and I feel it is an honour to have called me and I consulted with him while he was in Paris and he said we were going to talk about it,” he said while speaking to newsmen on Monday.

“So, when he came back he called me and we had a meeting and  he said please I Have committed myself and it is his right to do that, this is the president-elect, 29th May, he is going to be the president of the country so if he had made promises of course when you are running for such office you must make promises  So I won’t be a clog in the wheel of his progress, so I had to accept.”

The Ebonyi State governor was, however, optimistic that those party faithful will eventually reap the rewards for their loyalty to Tinubu’s administration.

“So, I also accepted for the interest of the South-East let it not look as if we are in opposition, we just oppose everything. Politics is all about dialogue, it is about give and takes and if we surrendered now or I said No, what will have happened?

“So, I had to in the interest of the South East, so since we didn’t get that one I am sure by God’s special  grace the efforts some of us made in marketing APC in the South East, we are going to get some other things that are tangible.”

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APC, Police disagree over attack on Okpebholo, Shaibu in Edo

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo Staten has accused the state police command of complicity in the attack on its Governorship Candidate, Sen. Monday Okpebholo and the reinstated deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that gunmen attacked the two on Thursday while exiting Benin Airport shortly after they arrived from Abuja aboard a chartered flight.

The party, during a press conference on Friday in Benin, called for the sack of the Commissioner of Police, Funso Adegboye.

Kassim Afegbua, Director of Media, APC Campaign Council for the Sept. 21 election, said the ruthless shooting and killing of a policeman was witnessed by the police chief.

Afegbua said the party had petitioned the Inspector-General of Police to look into the case and check how the police commissioner undermined the role of the police.

According to him, some members of the party, who saw the commissioner at the airport shared the intelligence of what was about to happen, but unfortunately, he allegedly ignored it.

The director of media described the attack on the candidate as an assassination attempt as well as a disdain for peace that the state and its people were known for.

Reacting, Adegboye exonerated himself of any wrongdoing during the mayhem.

He refuted a claim that intelligence was shared with him ahead of the attack, saying there was no crisis throughout his stay at the airport.

The commissioner noted, however, that an investigation was ongoing and those whose names had been mentioned in the incident would be arrested soon.

(NAN)

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APC woos Shaibu after Benin airport attack

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The Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo on Friday called on the reinstated deputy governor of Edo, Philips Shaibu to join the APC following the Thursday attack on his convoy at the Benin Airport.

Mr Jarrett Tenebe made the call in Benin during a solidarity visit to Shaibu to his private residence.

Tenebe, who was joined by some chieftains of the party, described the attack as a calculated attempt to allegedly take the life of the deputy governor.

“What your party (allegedly) tried to do to you was actually planned to take your life.

“As it stands today, you are the deputy governor of Edo State.

“I have brought a message of APC and after now, our flag will be hanging in your office,” Tenebe said.

Responding, Shaibu commended the APC chair for always calling to uplift his spirit since his ordeal began with the PDP.

According to him, that level of care is what is needed in leadership.

“The state chairman of the PDP never put a call to me or tried to resolve the party crisis, even when I have demonstrated that I am a core party man.

“By God’s grace, Sen. Monday Okpebholo and Dennis Idahosa of the APC will be the next governor and deputy in the state,” Shaibu declared.

(NAN)

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Supreme Court grants LG financial autonomy

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court declared on Thursday that it is unconstitutional for state governors to hold funds allocated for local government administrations.

The seven-man panel, in the judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, declared that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves.

The apex court held that the power of the government is portioned into three arms of government, the federal, the state and the local government.

The court further declared that a state government has no power to elect a caretaker committee and a local government council is only recognisable with a democratically elected government.

“A democratically elected local government is sacrosanct and non-negotiable,” the court said.

The court ruled that state governments are perpetuating a dangerous trend by refusing to allow democratically elected local government councils to function, instead appointing their loyalists who can only be removed by them.

Justice Agim dismissed the objections filed by state governors.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Federal Government, seeking to grant full autonomy and direct funding to all 774 local government councils in the country.

The 36 state governments, through their attorneys general, filed a counterclaim, arguing that the Supreme Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case.

In Thursday’s ruling, Justice Agim affirmed that the AGF has the legal authority to initiate the lawsuit and uphold the constitution.

Justice Agim said, “I hold that the plaintiff’s request is hereby approved and all the reliefs granted.”

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