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Ihedioha vs Uzodinma: The Supreme Court revisits Imo state election Judgement

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The Supreme Court will take a second look at its January 15 controversial judgment, which upturned the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party as Imo State Governor and the declaration of Hope Uzodinma of the All progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the Eastern Heartland State.

The decision by the apex court to review its judgment came following the protest by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Uche Secondus, on the need for the court to revisit its earlier verdict and possibly set it aside.

As Nigerians and the world at large await the ‘second leg’ of the Supreme Court judgement, let’s Take a critical look at the chances of both candidates and what may play out at the sacred shrine of justice.

Ihedioha: The journey to Douglas House

Chief Emeka Ihedioha’s journey to the Douglas House became an easy ride when Uche Nwosu, the anointed candidate and son-in law to immediate past governor, Rochas Okorocha was denied the APC ticket. The deflection of Nwosu to a little-known Action Alliance made the journey smooth for Ihedioha, who was the Deputy Speaker of the 8th Green Chamber.

Expectedly, on March 12, 2019 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Ihedioha winner after polling 273,404 ahead of his closest rival and candidate of the Action Alliance, Uche Nwosu, who polled a total of 190,364.

The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ifeanyi Ararume came third ahead of Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The former polled 114, 676 while the latter polled 96,458.

Surprisingly, Uzodinma, who came fourth approached the tribunal on the ground that his results in some polling units were illegally cancelled.The tribunal and the appellate court threw out his petition on the ground that it lacked merit and was not substantial enough to give him victory. Dissatisfied with the lower courts unfavourable verdicts, Uzodinma stormed the apex court for a final shot.

Exactly 230 days into his government, a controversial judgment by the apex court announced a new government in Imo following the nullification of the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Imo State. The apex court declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state.

In the unanimous judgment of the seven-member panel, read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the apex court agreed that results in 388 polling units were unlawfully excluded during the collation of the final governorship election result in Imo State. Justice Kekere-Ekun said with the results from the 388 polling units added, Mr Uzodinma polled a majority of the lawful votes and ought to have been declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Amazingly, the judge did not provide the details of the new votes scored by each of the candidates after the addition of the results from the 388 polling units. This development left many Nigerians bewildered. Of course, the judgment was greeted with mixed reactions, with most Nigerians faulting the apex court for the verdict. The victim of the apex court sledge hammer, the Peoples Democratic Party, led by its chairman, Uche Secondus stormed the streets in protest of the controversial judgement, thus, demanding the Supreme Court to set aside its judgment.

However, documents obtained showed that the Collation Officer, Prof. B.C. Ozunda, had announced a total number of registered voters in Imo to be: 2,037,569. He also said 585,741 were accredited while a total number of 542,777 votes were cast. Valid votes were 511,586 and rejected votes were 31,191.

A quick look at the results of the these contenders showed that;

  • Ihedioha — 273,404 votes
  • Nwosu —    190,364 votes
  • Ararume — 114, 676 votes
  • Uzodinma — 96,458 votes

Total: 560,226 – 542,777, which was the number of the valid votes =17,449. Many Nigerians are still wondering how Uzodinma got the judgement.

What happened in Imo state election is quite hilarious. It’s a huge embarrassment which must be revisited. The apex court needs to clear itself of this mess; They are left with two options, to either upturn or uphold its decision. Stay tuned for more update.

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2021 Children Golf Development Clinic begins Monday in Abuja

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By Gistflash News

July 23, 2021

The 2021 edition of the Children Golf Development Clinic, being organised by the Ladies Section of IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja, begins on Monday at the club.

The event’s Organising Committee Chairman, Joy Ikwue who is also the club’s Vice Lady Captain, disclosed this on Friday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“The two-week event tagged `Future Champions of Golf’ is being put together by the club’s Ladies Section and it is part of efforts to raise the level of the sport by the Executive Committee led by Lady Captain MaryRose Richard-Obioha,” she said.

Ikwue disclosed that top Nigerian professional golfers would also be available at the clinic which ends on Aug. 6 to offer life skills training to the children and youths.

“This is with a view of not only integrating them into the game but the society in general.

“Golf is a game of rules and in as much as there will be many rules for the children to learn, we will also want them to know about service to humanity, country and fellow golfers.”

Ikwue stated that more than 70 children and teenagers, whose ages range from five to 18, have so far registered and the organisers believed that more are still coming.

She added that the club’s ladies have traditionally always arranged this summer development clinic for over a decade now.

“The section has tried to sustain the developmental programme with the aim of discover potential young golfers.

“This is because the clinic is to catch them young and groom them so as to become assets for their parents and Nigeria as a whole.”

Ikwue however lamented the difficulties in getting sponsors as some of the letters sent out did not receive any response.

She nonetheless thanked the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Rotary Club, as well as members of the club for their support.

NAN

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Workers’ welfare: FG to ensure implementation of projects

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By Gistflash News

July 22, 2021

The Federal Government on Thursday, expressed its commitment to the effective implementation of projects that would improve the welfare of civil servants in the country.

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), said this at the inauguration and handing over of erosion/flooding control, and road improvement work at Ama Pepple Public Servants’ Estate, FCT.

Yemi-Esan said that the project was one of the 7th ecological interventions, approved by President, Muhammadu Buhari, for 3rd and 4th quarters of 2019.

She said that the government had in pursuance of this goal, also implemented a project named the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.

The HCSF explained that the FISH Programme was designed to provide quality and affordable housing for public servants, in line with the Federal Government’s Housing Policy.

According to her, the government is working assiduously to make the lives of public servants better.

“We are also working to provide critical infrastructure in estates built for civil servants under the FISH project.

“Necessary action has been taken to reposition the FISH programme. So, we are working very hard to ensure that public and civil servants live in comfortable homes.

“The Federal Government is determined to pursue and implement projects aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of citizens, and also looking for better opportunities for economic growth of the country,’’ she said.

Yemi-Esan, however, implored residents of the estate to cherish the project by desisting from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, in order to ensure its sustainability.

“Having successfully completed this project, the living standard of the residents will be enhanced. This will also reduce dangers of erosion and persistent flooding that had been experienced here in recent times.

“The execution of projects across the country also demonstrates the sincerity of purpose by the present administration towards entrenching justice, equity and fair play to all and sundry,’’ she said.

She commended Ecological Fund Office (EFO), the project contractor; Diamond Global Engineering Investment Ltd and the project consultant; Enplan Group Ltd, for their doggedness in ensuring speedy completion of the project.

Dr Habiba Lawal, the Permanent Secretary of EFO, said that the project was initiated through a request for an urgent intervention, forwarded to the EFO by the Chairman of the estate.

Lawal said that the request was to arrest the continued erosion, flooding and other ecological challenges, as well as to prevent further environmental degradation, loss of lives and properties in the estate.

She said that the completion of the project was made possible through the efforts of the project contractor and consultant, which worked tirelessly to ensure that minimal time in the project implementation was achieved.

Dr Gaga Ali, the Chairman of the estate, who spoke on behalf of the residents, thanked the Federal Government and EFO officials for their effort sin making sure that the project was duly implemented.

Ali appealed to the government to construct an access road to the estate, as according to him, each year residents repair the road, it deteriorates due to erosion.

Also, Alhaji Mohamed Bello, the Managing Director, Diamond Global Engineering Investment Ltd, said that the job was to be executed within six months, but was completed in four months.

Bello said that the project was executed during the rainy season, and that in spite of the horrible state of the road and the season, the contractors were able to ensure the delivery of a quality project.

NAN

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A’Ibom Govt to boost primary healthcare with N300m – Commissioner

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By Gistflash News

July 20, 2021

The Akwa Ibom Government is to inject more than N300 million into the state primary healthcare system to enhance service delivery to people in the rural areas.

Prof. Augustine Umoh, the Commissioner for Health, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Tuesday.

Umoh also said that the state government had concluded plans to revive its primary healthcare system through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund by paying its counterpart funding to access the fund.

He said the basic healthcare provision fund would help to get the primary healthcare system back on track to ensure effective healthcare delivery.

The commissioner said that the fund would also help to implement more equitable and efficient health care financing to provide essential services to the most vulnerable members of the state.

“The primary healthcare is receiving quite some boost right now because the state government has established the Akwa Ibom State Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

“To ensure it functions, government has released its counterpart funding so that it will be able to meet up with the requirement of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

“We have commenced training for enumerators to be able to access our primary healthcare, provides criteria for us to meet up with the basic healthcare provision fund.

“This basic healthcare provision fund would help us to get our primary healthcare system back once activation is done at the shortest possible time.

“We will immediately inject over N300 million into the primary healthcare system and we believe this will give a significant boost to the primary healthcare in the state,’’ Umoh said.

The commissioner said the Ikot Ekpene General Hospital was undergoing rehabilitation for effective and efficient healthcare delivery system to the Akwa Ibom people.

“Government is going to provide appropriate equipment and personnel when the rehabilitation is completed.

“We have a 200-bed facility in the hospital and we have enough hands to deliver services. The state government is ready to employ  more health personnel, especially consultants,’’ he said.

On COVID-19, the commissioner said that the first phase of vaccination in the state had been concluded.

Umoh said the state received 69, 030 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from the Federal Government for the first phase of the jab and appealed to the residents to continue to abide by the protocols.

NAN

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