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Ebonyi Bye-Election: PDP’s Onu drags Senator Ani to tribunal over alleged certificate forgery  The

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By Admin

The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Ebonyi South Senatorial bye-election, Silas Onu has taken the All Progressive Congress (APC) Candidate, Senator Anthony Ani to court seeking his disqualification on grounds of certificate forgery and ineligibility to stand for the poll.

Mr Onu in the petition is also contending that the declaration of Mr Ani as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is invalid by reasons of non-compliance to the electoral act.

Mr Onu is the first petitioner while his party, PDP is the second petitioner.

INEC, Mr Ani and his party, APC are the first, second and third respondents respectively.

Former Governor David Umahi who won the 2023 election to represent the zone resigned his position as senator upon his appointment as Minister by President Bola Tinubu.

This prompted the National Assembly to declare the seat vacant and INEC conducting a bye-election on February 3, 2024 to fill the vacant seat.

The Commission thereafter declared and returned Mr Ani as winner of the election with 46, 270 votes.

The commission declared Anthony Eleje candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as the first runner-up, while Mr Onu was declared as the second runner-up.

INEC then proceeded to issue Mr Ani Certificate of Return as the Senator-elect after which he was sworn in as Senator.

But Onu rejected the result, vowing to challenge it at the tribunal.

Onu, in the petition to the tribunal, is urging it to disqualify Ani on grounds of forgery and inability to resign his position as a public servant before the said election.

He alleged that Mr Ani who is the second respondent presented forged brith certificate to the first respondent (INEC) contrary to section 66 of the Constitution.

He also alleged that Mr Ani did not resign as a Lecturer at the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) before the election as required for public servants.

According to him, while Mr Ani in documents submitted to INEC claimed to have resigned on 20th December, 2023, he however, continued to receive salaries after the said date of resignation.

“The Petitioners contend that the requirement for public servants who wishes to contest election into the Nigerian Senate to resign in-line with section 6 (1)(f) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) is sacrosanct and cannot be waived or ignored”, the petitioners argued

Mr Onu and his party are also urging the Tribunal to declare the election as conducted in Afikpo local government area invalid due to over voting

They alleged that facts before them show that INEC failed to comply with the electoral act which prescribed cancellation of election results in polling units where number of votes exceeded number of accredited voters in the local government area.

Mr Onu and his party(PDP) are therefore urging the tribunal to issue ‘an order cancelling all the entire result of Afikpo North Local Government Area and declaring same as invalid votes’.

“An Order upholding the results from Afikpo South, Ivo, Ohaozara and Onicha Local Government Areas as the lawful valid votes for the election”

“That it may be determined that the 2nd Respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the election and that the return of the 2nd Respondents by the 1st Respondent is wrongful, unlawful, undue, null and void having not satisfied the requirements of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which mandatorily requires the 2nd Respondent to resign before contesting the election. Onu &Anor. Vs. INEC &Ors”

“That it may be determined that all votes cast for the 2nd and 3rd Respondents are wasted votes and therefore the declaration and return of the 2nd Respondent by the 1s Respondent as the winner of the Ebonyi South Senatorial Bye-Election conducted on Saturday 3rd February, 2024 is unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, undue, null and void and of no effect whatsoever”

Mr Onu is also praying the court to declare him as winner of the said election having secure majority of the lawful votes cast. Ends

Ebonyi govt approves recruitment of 2,600 persons into hunters services

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The governor of Ebonyi State, Francis Nwifuru, has approved the recruitment of 2,600 youths into the state command of the Nigerian Hunters and Forest Security Service (NHFSS).

This is coming as other state governments have been urged to embrace the Hunters Service to ensure that forests are made no go areas for criminals in the country.

The governor’s approval is aimed at enhancing the capacity of security agencies in the state to fight crimes such as banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities, especially those committed within the forests.¹

Commander Igwe Larry, who spoke on behalf of the Commander General of NHFSS, Dr. Wole Joshua Osatimehin, thanked Governor Nwifuru for the kind gesture and pledged the commitment to the Service to the security of lives and properties of the people of the state, especially in curbing forest- related crimes.

Reacting to the development, the Deputy Commander General of NHFSS in charge of Technical Services, Amb John Metchie urged other state governments to emulate Ebonyi state and recruit NHFSS personnel to compliment the work of Police and other related security agencies to fight crimes.

Metchie thanked Governor Nwifuru and assured that by his action, Ebonyi state would soon be free from the challenges of crimes committed within forests.

To ensure immediate compliance to the approval of the Governor’s approvals, Commander Igwe announced without delay, vacancies for recruitment of able bodies young men and women from the state into the NHFSS.

Meanwhile, the statement announcing the recruitment said, “The Nigeria Hunter and Forest Security Service, NHFSS, Ebonyi State Command heartily appreciates the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Builder Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, for graciously approving the recruitment of 2,600 Ebonyi youths into the services of Ebonyi State Command of NHFSS.

“This gracious approval which is in tandem with the Ebonyi People’s Charter of Needs administration in Ebonyi State is heartwarming.

“Consequently, Ebonyi State Command of Nigeria Hunter and Forest Security Service, NHFSS, hereby invites suitably qualified candidates (male or female) who must be 18 years and above and also have the under listed qualifications for enlistment into the service.

“West African Senior Secondary Certificate or its equivalent with credit passes in 5 subjects.

“National Diploma, National Certificate in Education, First degree or its equivalent from accredited universities or polytechnic.

“Applicants shall be made to undergo medical fitness tests which will be conducted by the medical team of Nigeria Hunter and Forest Security Service (NHFSS).

“Recruitment forms are available at Ebonyi State command Headquarters No. 9 Onitsha street, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

“Interested applicants shall come with hand written application letters addressed to: ‘The State Commander, Nigeria Hunter and Forest Security Service, NHFSS, Ebonyi State’ to pick up recruitment forms which must be submitted in Four NHFSS office files at the command headquarters before or on the 7th March, 2024.“

Sir Emeka Offor doles out gifts to Police Command in Anambra

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Following celebrations to mark his 65th birthday, Sir Dr Emeka Offor  has made donations to the Anmbra State Police Command.

The Chairman Chrome Group gave out  1, 000 bags of 25kg rice and 200 wrappers to Police Officers Wives Association on Saturday 17th February, 2024.

Sir Offor had on the 10th of February, 2024 celebrated his birthday at the Radio House Oraifite, in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State where he undertook a social investment program which saw the distribution of 40,000 bags of rice to widows in the 179 communities of Anambra State.

The founder Sir Emeka Offor Foundation who has been at the frontline of philanthropy globally for over 30 years said he was particularly moved to extend his hand of fellowship to Police Officers wives in Anambra state as a way of showing appreciation for how much impact the barracks had on him being a child raised at the police barracks where discipline was instilled in him as a police officer’s son and his awareness of the biting economic hardship in the country.

The philanthropist said he appreciates the police for their many sacrifices especially in putting their lives at risk to ensure that ordinary citizens are well protected assuring the police that extending a hand of fellowship through palliatives by his foundation will henceforth be a yearly event and will ensure his insurance companies step in in any ways he can to improve and ameliorate the welfare of officers.

Sir Offor, also appreciated the Commissioner of Police Anambra state police command Adremi Adeoye for building the confidence of many Anambrarians by restoring effective policing in Anambra state.

During his response to Sir Offor’s kind gesture, the Commissioner of Police praised Sir Offor for so many good deeds he has done to humanity by living his foots prints all over the world especially in Anambra State where he has left an indelible testament of his magnanimity.

Adeoye, listed some of the most recent interventions Sir Emeka Offor’s Foundation has brought to the people to include building and fully equipping 11 units of two bedroom bungalows for widows in Oraifite, distribution of multiple thousands of bags of rice to widows, distribution of books to all cadre of academic institutions across the country and being the highest individual African donor to the course of eradicating polio from the world.

Emeka Offor celebrates 65th birthday with inmates, distribute palliatives

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By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

The Chairman of the Chrome group, Mr. Emeka Offor has celebrated his 65th birthday with inmates serving in the various correctional centres in Anambra state. 

The founder of Emeka Offor foundation, SEOF, in a statement signed and made available to newsmen shortly after distributing palliatives to inmates serving in the various correctional facilities in the state Said his desire was to  extend a hand of care and support to inmates.

He distributed 1000 bags of rice, 1000 cartons of Indomie noodles, and 75 cartons of Izal disinfectant on Friday 16th February 2024 to mark his 65th birthday celebration which took place at the Radio House Oraifite, in Ekwusigo Local government area of Anambra state.

Offor expressed that although they might currently be undergoing correction following several offenses they committed, he believes that when they are released, they will become useful members of society.

He said the inmates need support financially, as well as in the form of guidance, to ensure that their time in the correctional facilities yield positive fruits in their lives and in society.

Offor said although, this is the first time he, and SEOF are reaching out to correctional centers, he plans to make it a yearly event to ensure that he contributes his quota towards improving their conditions.

The Chief of Staff of Sir Dr Emeka Offor, AIG Chris Ezike (rtd) stated that the palliatives will be distributed across Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi, and Aguata.

He said the correctional centers across the state will receive the items according to the number of inmates in each center.

The Controller of Nigeria Correctional Service in Anambra state, Joseph Usifo, who received the items from Sir Dr Emeka Offor, thanked Sir Offor for his magnanimous gesture on behalf of the new Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa, and promised to use the items judiciously to improve the welfare of the inmates

Ebonyi first lady Enrolls all Pregnant Women Into Health Insurance Scheme

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By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

The Wife of the governor of Ebonyi state, Uzoamaka Ogbonna Nwifuru has through her pet project, Better Health for Rural Women, Children and Internally Displaced Persons (BERWO), foundation commenced Free enrollment of all Pregnant women into the State Health Insurance Agency.

Nwifuru while flagging off the exercise, on Friday, at Maternal Child Healthcare Azuiyiokwu (MCH), Abakaliki disclosed that the insurance would offer free antennal care and delivery.

She  said it was aimed towards ensuring that all pregnant women in the state have access to essential prenatal and delivery care services as the exercise would be conducted in 171 wards across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.

“Empowering pregnant women with health insurance, is empowering them to make informed decisions about their health and the health of their unborn children.

“It is also a proactive measure to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates, saving precious lives and ensuring that families remain whole and happy. The wife of the governor stated.

In his remarks, Dr Divine Igwe, Executive Secretary of the State Health Insurance Agency, explained that the enrollment covers beginning of the pregnancy till delivery, adding that the mothers would remain in the portal of the agency for six weeks after which they will be expunged to accommodate other pregnant women.

According to Igwe, ” to Fight poverty, financial risk protection, must be considered, if we want to curtail maternal mortality rate in the state.

“We also need to tackle ignorance through advocacy and launch of health education in rural areas,”Igwe added.

Also, Dr Moses Ekuma, Commissioner for Health, said the enrollment of pregnant women into health insurance was first step in forestalling deaths in pregnancy.

Why I banned worship centers on campus, UNICAL VC speaks

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By Dominion Okechukwu

Prof. Florence Obi, Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, says the university did not ban worship centres within its campus.

Obi made the statement on Thursday at a meeting organised by the Chapel of Redemption, Unical campus.

She said the university authority only developed a policy to regulate the establishment of worship centres within the campus.

Obi said the move was in line with the Federal Government’s policy on the creation of fellowships and churches within its establishments.

The vice chancellor further said that the university allowed the Catholic Church, Protestant Chapel and a mosque to operate within its premises.

”These religious organisations are given land to build their worship centres within the university campus. We cannot allocate space to every church in town,” she said.

She said staff or students who could not worship in any of the approved centres on campus were free to worship outside the campus.

”We don’t allow fellowships in the classrooms; this can cause a lot of distractions,” she said.

FRSC nabs 2 for allegedly robbing accident victims in Ebonyi

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By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ebonyi has apprehended two suspected hoodlums who allegedly robbed accident victims of their belongings.

The Sector commander, Mr Igwe Nnabuife told the newsmen in Abakaliki on Thursday that the lone accident involved a Ford Aspire bus, which lost control.

He said that the vehicle, which was conveying nine passengers, had an accident on the Abakaliki-Enugu expressway on Feb. 13 at 1:44p.m.

“No life was lost; some of the accident victims who sustained injuries have been taken to hospital for treatment.

“We were able to recover some of the money and other items stolen from the accident victims,” Nnabuife said.

The sector commander said that the suspects have been handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and would be charged to court upon completion of ongoing investigations.

“They started looting helpless victims of there money and other things they could lay their hands on.

“Responders at the scene of the accident chased them away and they were later arrested by my men who prevented them from being mobbed by angry people,” he said.

The sector commander described the act by the hoodlums as unfortunate.

FG, Governors’ Consider State Policing to Combat Insecurity

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By Dominion Okechukwu

Nigeria’s Federal Government and the 36 states of the Federation have agreed on the need to create state police as a means of beefing up security across the country.

This was the highlight of the meeting held on Thursday between President Bola Tinubu and 36 State governors at the State House, Abuja.

Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Information and National Orientation Minister, Idris Mohammed, said security improvements nationwide were acknowledged, with a focus on enhancing forest rangers’ numerical strength and exploring the possibility of State Police.

He said further discussion will be held on the issue between government at the centre and the states before sending a bill to that effect to the National Assembly for necessary constitutional amendment.

On food crisis, the Minister, who spoke in the company of Governors of Plateau, Kaduna and Delta states, disclosed that the National Security Adviser, Director General of State Services, and Inspector General of Police have been directed to collaborate with state governors in addressing hoarding concerns, particularly in the wake of soaring commodity prices.

The meeting, Mohammed further said, also emphasized the need for enhanced investments in agriculture to combat food shortages, declaring a halt to food importation to broaden Nigeria’s self-sufficiency and potential as a net exporter.

Ebonyi Govt begins demolition of illegal structures, shanties

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By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

Ebonyi state government has begun the demolition of illegal buildings and shanties in Abakaliki, the state capital.

The state Commissioner, Ministry of Capital City Development , Hon. Inyima Sunday, on Thursday, 15th February, said the demolition was aimed to give the state capital a befitting facelift.

The demolition exercise began from Hausa Quarters to Leech street and Hilltop junction at Water Works, where shanties were pulled down.

Addressing to journalists, Commissioner Inyima stated that the State Metropolis is rapidly transforming into a city, hence the need to demolish illegal structures to preserve the city’s image.

He further revealed that notices and removal order had been issued by successive administrations, including the current administration led by Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru.

According to him, “Notices had been given by successive administrations before the current administration of Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru.

“When we came on board. And last year, around November, we issued notices and removal orders to all the owners of these bachers and makeshift buildings, and by December, we repeated the reminder that they should remove them.”

“Abakaliki has grown into a metropolis like any other city, and we cannot continue to condone this.

“The flyover you are seeing here is flyover from government house and the road you are having here, takes you to Ebonyi State House of Assembly, what of cases, we have a high profile personality that visited the State and wants to go to house of Assembly, will it be good to showcase batchers along the road, no! That is why we insisted that on their removal and we have come to help them remove it”, Inyima said

Ebonyi SEB vows to implement national curriculum in schools 

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By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

The Secondary Education Board (SEB) in Ebonyi State has vowed to include a national curriculum for qualitative education.

The chairman of the board, Mrs Lilian Nwankwo, stated this in Abakaliki, the state capital, during the inaugural sitting of the board.

She described formal education as the foundation of modern development and nation-building.

“We recognise that formal education is the foundation of modern development and nation-building.

Therefore, our main trust and focus will be on effective teaching and learning.

“We will ensure we include proper implementation of the national curriculum in order to achieve qualitative education for our dear state.

“We wish to say that we will not disappoint His Excellency. We will do all we can to move secondary education forward in the state, Nwankwo stated.

On his part, member 1 of the board, Chief Harrison Onwe, said the board will take secondary education to the grassroots for education excellence in the state.

“Secondary education is the basis for where people are developed to become whatever they are at their prime age and excel in academics. We aim to work assiduously to justify the confidence reposed in us,” he stated

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