Police take over Abia Assembly over alleged impeachment of Speaker
A detachment of policemen have taken over the Abia State House of Assembly complex in Umuahia.
This follows an alleged plot by some members of the House to impeach the Speaker, Engr. Chinedum Orji. Vanguard gathered that some members of the House have been meeting over the plot.
Though details of the impeachment saga are still unclear, sources told Vanguard that the House had adjourned sitting to reconvene at a later date.
In a video trending on social media, some members of the House had sat and impeached the Speaker and elected Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, (Umuahia East constituency), as the new speaker.
In a sitting presided over by the Deputy speaker, Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu, (PDP/Ohafia South), Hon. Kennedy Njoku(Osisioma Ngwa North), moved a motion for the impeachment of the speaker which was seconded by Hon. Chijioke Chukwu. Speaker Orji was accused of insensitivity to the welfare of the members of the House.
Njoku said; “I want to move a motion considering the present situation in the House of Assembly and the feelings of members towards the speaker of the 7th House, Engr. Chinedum Orji, of his insensitivity to the welfare of members and other sundry activities. It is clear to us that all these have led to gross misconduct on the office of the speaker. Hence, I move a motion for the removal of the speaker.”
In a video which has gone viral, Njoku also read a list of the members who signed for the impeachment of the speaker. It includes Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu,(PDP/Ohafia North), former Speaker, Hon. Chikwendu Kalu, (PDP/Isiala Ngwa South), Hon. Chijioke Chukwu, (APC/Bende North), Hon. Okey Igwe, (PDP/Umunneochi),Hon. Chukwudi Apugo,(PDP/Umuahia East), Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi,(PDP/Ikwuano),Hon. Obinna Ichita, (APGA/Aba South), Hon. Thomas Nkoro, (PDP/Obingwa West) , Hon. Mike Ukoha, (APC/Arochukwu), Hon. Goddy Adiele,(PDP/Ukwa West), Hon. Paul Taribo, (PDP/Ukwa East) , Hon. Kennedy Njoku,(PDP/Osisioma Ngwa North), Hon. Nnamdi Allen, (PDP/Osisioma Ngwa South),Hon. Munachim Alozie (LP/Ugwunagbo), Hon. Emeka Okoroafor, (APC/Isuikwuato) and Hon. Uzodike Aaron,(PDP/Aba North).
Vanguard further gathered that members who didn’t sign the impeachment motion include; the majority leader, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, (PDP/Obingwa East), Hon. Ginger Onwusibe(LP/Isiala Ngwa North), Hon. Jerry Uzosike,(PDP/Umuahia South) ,Hon. Kelechi Onuzuruike,(Umuahia North) and Hon.Abraham Oba(PDP/Aba Central).
Efforts to get the reaction of the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Jude Ndukwe, were unsuccessful as he neither responded to calls and text message placed on his number.
BVAS fails to transmit Presidential election results, INEC’s ad-hoc staff tells Court
The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) deployed for February 25 general election failed to transmit the results of the Presidential election, two INEC’s ad-hoc staff told Presidential Election Petition Court.
Mr. Friday Egwuma and Grace Timothy the two ad-hoc staff who served as Presiding officers in polling units in Abia State and Plateau State told the court on Thursday that presidential election results were not transmitted from polling Units after the results were recorded, snapped, and entered,
Both of them testified under subpoena as Atiku witnesses. They further told the court that the BVAS machine allocated to them developed a system error immediately after the results of the Senate and House of Representatives held same time and venue were transmitted.
In their subpoena evidence, the two workers of the electoral body explained that they had to resort to other means of getting the results through when it became clear that the BVAS machines would not help them.
Egwuma was a Presiding Officer in a polling unit in Abia State while Grace Timothy served INEC in Plateau State.
Apart from the failure of the BVAS machines to transmit the presidential election results, the two witnesses admitted that voting went smoothly in their respective places of work.
They were led in evidence by Atiku’s lead counsel Chief Chris Uche, SAN. However
under cross-examination by Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN who stood for the electoral body, Egwuma explained that he resorted to the offline system in place of the BVAS machines.
In her own, Grace Timothy told the Court that the greatest challenge she experienced during the election was the uploading of the presidential election results into the I- rev portal.
The witnesses were also cross-examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN who stood for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN who represented the All Progressives Congress APC.
Early yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Bola Tinubu, and APC had vehemently kicked against the bid by Atiku to have the INEC ad-hoc staff testify in the petition challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu’s lead counsel Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN objected to the tendering of statement on oath of the witnesses at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in aid of Atiku’s petition.
The respondent argued that the statements of the ad-hoc staff were not front-loaded at the time of filing their petition
He asked the Court to reject the witnesses and discountenance their statements on the grounds that they violated the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
Tinubu’s arguments against the subpoenaed witnesses were adopted by Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN who stood for the APC and Abubakar Mahmoud SAN who appeared for INEC.
Atiku’s lead counsel, Chris Uche SAN asked the Court to dismiss the objections on the grounds that they were utterly misplaced and misconceived.
Uche argued that the objections by Tinubu, APC, and INEC were deliberate ploy designed to delay proceedings.
The senior lawyer insisted that the statements of the subpoenaed witnesses could not have been front-loaded along with the petition because they have not been summoned at the time of filing the petition.
He asked the Court to discountenance the objections of the three respondents and hold that they are not regular or additional witnesses envisaged in the law cited by Olanipekun. The council said that it would be a denial of a fair hearing to bar a witness under subpoena from testifying when the respondents have the right to cross-examine the witness.
The presiding Justice Tsammani stood down the matter for a ruling but on resumption, Justice Tsammani announced that ruling in the objections had been reserved till the judgment date.
The court directed the petitioner’s lawyer to proceed with his subpoenaed witness testimony.
Meanwhile, further hearing in the petition has been shifted to June 9
Two Reasons I’m Supporting Akpabio to be Senate President – Ndume
Ali Ndume has revealed why he’s supporting Senator Godswill Akpabio to become the next Senate President. Ndume who represents Borno South, spoke during an interview on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday. Ndume said it is because Akpabio is the preferred candidate of President Bola Tinubu. Tinubu has also asked Ndume to lead Akpabio’s campaign and ensure he becomes the number three citizen.“There are so many that contributed to my reason to stand for Akpabio, because one the president had interest and had Akpabio as his preferred candidate and number two, he had the confidence of asking me to lead the campaign.“Most importantly, it is about justice, about equity, about the constitution and doing what is right and standing for what is justful for this country,” Ndume said. Even though the All Progressives Congress (APC) has chosen Akpabio to be senate president, the likes of Abdulaziz Yari, a former governor of Zamfara, and Orji Uzor Kalu, chief whip of the senate, have insisted on contesting the position.
Democracy Day: FG Declares June 12 Public Holiday
To commemorate Democracy Day, the Federal Government has declared Monday, June 12, 2023, a public holiday.In a statement issued Thursday in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated all Nigerians on the occasion.She said; “Nigeria’s democratic journey has, like in many other climes, encountered both stormy and smooth sails, but the ship of State, it’s institutions and most importantly, the Nigerian people have remained steadfast on the tenets of democratic governance.“On this memorable occasion therefore, Nigerians and friends of Nigeria are invited to appreciate the progress that has been made, celebrate the milestones covered and look forward to a better future for the country’s democracy.“The Permanent Secretary wishes all Nigerians a Happy Democracy Day celebration”.
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