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Another Judge Withdraws from Okorocha’s Certificate of Return Suit

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The second judge has withdrawn from a suit filed by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, seeking an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue him a certificate of return as the senator-elect for Imo West.

The development came barely a week after the first judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, of the Federal High Court in Abuja, withdrew from the case.

The PUNCH gathered on Monday that after Justice Taiwo withdrew from the case on April 10, it was reassigned to Justice Okon Abang also of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice Abang was said to have on April 11 fixed April 18 for hearing in the suit.

But on the date fixed for the hearing, Justice Abang announced his decision to withdraw from the suit.

His decision was anchored on Okorocha’s letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, asking for the transfer of the case to another judge.

The governor, in the letter, was said to have sought the transfer of the case to another judge because opponents in the case were jubiliating that Justice Abang would dismiss the case.

The judge, upon seeing the letter in the file, immediately informed parties of his withdrawal from the suit.

Justice Taiwo had earlier withdrawn from the suit following allegations of bias levelled against him by two parties to the suit.

INEC had refused to certificate of return to Okorocha on the basis that the Returning Officer for the February 23 election, Prof Francis Ibeawuchi, said he declared the outgoing governor winner of the senatorial election under duress.

Okorocha had subsequently filed the suit, challenging INEC’s decision to withhold the certificate of return due to him as the winner of the election.

But Justice Taiwo, who had been presiding over the matter, announced his decision to withdraw from the case and ordered that the case file be returned to Justice Abdul-Kafarati, for reassignment to another judge.

The judge said he took the decision following allegations of bias levelled against him by Okorocha’s opponents in the February 23, 2019 election, Jones Onyeriri of the Peoples Democratic Party and Senator Osita Izunaso of the All Progressive Grand Alliance.

Onyeriri sent a petition dated April 8, 2019, to the chief judge, demanding that the case file be retrieved from Justice Taiwo and re-assigned to another judge of the court.

In an affidavit deposed to on his behalf by a lawyer, Chijioke Nzekwe, Onyeriri stated that Justice Taiwo on April 5, 2019, had made a bias comment in favour of the plaintiff, Okorocha, when the judge allegedly told INEC’s lawyer, Wendy Kuku, that the commission was responsible for the problems arising from the election.

The affidavit added that the judge had pre-judged the notices of preliminary objection filed by the second and third defendants (INEC and Onyeriri) when he allegedly said he had read through the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and found nothing therein that robbed him of the jurisdiction to hear his suit.

Izunaso also filed an application dated April 8, 2019 before the same judge, asking Justice Taiwo to disqualify himself from further handling the matter and return it to the Chief Judge for re-assignment to another judge.

The Punch

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Court Reaffirms Sack of Ifeanyi Uba as Senator

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A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in the Bwari area of Abuja has reaffirmed the sack of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

Senator Ubah was the lawmaker representing Anambra South district in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

In a ruling on Friday, Justice Bello Kawu refused to reverse the judgement of the court delivered in December which removed Uba as a member of the Senate.

He, however, ordered that Mr Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had challenged Ubah’s victory in the February 23 poll, be recognised as the winner of the election.

The judge also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Uzoh, the applicant, as the senator-elect in the district.

Among other claims, the PDP candidate alleged that his YPP counterpart presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) secondary school certificate to INEC, which enabled him to contest the Anambra South senatorial election.

He also insisted that Ubah’s party should be disqualified for not conducting a primary for its candidates in the poll.

In his judgement, Justice Kawu sacked Ubah and declared that the second defendant in the suit – the YPP – did not have the locus standi, and should not have participated in the election.

Reacting to the judgment, the National Chairman of YPP, Mr Bishop Amakiri, said his party would appeal the decision of the court.

According to him, the court erred in law on the ground that the party was never served with the court processes.

Amakiri added that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain and enter judgment in favour of Mr Uzoh who he said never participated in the senatorial election.

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Divine Relationship: Success in Life is Principally about Who You Know – Pst Kalejaiye

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By Eric Elezuo

A Regional Evangelist of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Johnson Tomisin Kalejaiye, has said that for one to be successful in life, it has to go beyond what you know, but revolves round who you know. Kalejaiye hinted that there’s the possibility of the Ph.D holder to continue to roam the streets despite his accumulation of education and knowledge if he does not know anybody to enhance his status and speed up his quest to make use of his knowledge.

The firebrand evangelist, who is three months short of celebrating 22 years of prolific Anointing Service across the globe, made this remarks while ministering on the topic Divine Relationship during House J Fellowship held every Thursday under the guidance of successful industrialist, Mr. Bayo Fatusin.

“Everything a man desires in life can be found inside divine relationship, which is a state of connectedness. Success in life is not about what you know; it also includes who you know. Who you know can determine what you get. In other words, your connection can determine your collection. You can have 10 Ph.Ds in 10 disciplines, but if you know people, you remain at a place. The question is who do you know? A godfather or God the Father? You may not have a godfather, but if you have God the Father, you are secured,” he said.

Pastor Kalejaiye, a fellow of two professional bodies, revealed that the best and most rewarding relationship is recorded in what he called ‘chapter 23’. A further revelation unveils that chapter 23 refers to Psalms 23, otherwise known as ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ from the first verse to the end.

Chapter 23 is a chapter loaded with blessings’ Chapter 23 is a chapter of an object that attracts the shadow’ chapter 23 is a chapter of Godly relationships between a sheep and a shepherd. Everything a man needs in life is inside Chapter 23 – divine relationship,” Kalejaiye exposed.

The vibrant evangelist, who is due to be 60 on April 1, went deeper to expatiate the relationship in Chapter 23, which he says leads to eternity.

“Chapter 23 begins with a relationship and ends with eternity”

The exposition, according to the man runs thus:

The Lord is my shepherd – relationship

I shall not want/lack – supply

He makes me lie down in green pastures – rest

He leads me beside still waters – refreshment

He restores my soul – restoration

He leads me in the path of righteousness – guidance

For His name sake – purpose

Yea, though I walk through the valley of death – protection

I will fear no evil – boldness/faith

For thou art with me – divine presence

Thy rod and thy staff; they comfort me – discipline

Thou prepares a table before in the presence of my enemies – provision

Thou anointed my head with oil – anointing and empowerment

My cup runs over – overflow

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – security

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever – eternity.

“Relationship with God will provoke every other thing,” Kalejaiye submitted.

Pastor Kalejaiye, who prides himself for attending five primary schools, is a regular guest speaker at the House J Thursday fellowship, where God is dedicated men and women to move and change lives.

According to the coordinator of the fellowship, Mr. Bayo Fatusin, House J fellowship centre has over the years, remain an epicentre of life changing miracles and testimonies abound. He therefore, called on many to join for the one hour weekly gathering for an encounter of a lifetime.

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Lagos Assembly Confirms Three Commissioner-Nominees, Others

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has confirmed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s nominees for the state Executive Council, Civil Service Commission and the state House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the confirmation of the 11 nominees took place through a voice vote conducted during plenary on Thursday.

The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, explained that the three commissioner-nominees confirmed by the Assembly were Ganiyu Ayuba, Olugbenga Oyerinde and Bamigbose Martins.

He said those confirmed for the LAHASCOM were Akeem Bello, a former member of the Eighth Assembly, Kabiru Lawal, a member of the Assembly from 2007–2015 and Richard Osungboye.

He added that the nominees confirmed for the Assembly service commission were Babatunde Seriki, a former member of the Assembly, Avoseh Suuru, Adesina Odeyemi, Olubunmi Fabanwo, who was confirmed as Chairman and Kamalrudeen Olorunoje.

NAN reports that an eight-man Ad-hoc Committee on Screening of Governor’s Nominees had given its report through its Chairman, Rotimi Abiru, on Monday during plenary.

Mr Abiru stated that all the nominees were screened by the committee on December 13 and that they all answered the questions put to them satisfactorily and provided all the necessary documents.

The report of the committee was, however, adopted as the resolution of the Assembly, while motion for its adoption was moved by Abiodun Tobun, supported by Victor Akande.

The Assembly had, on August 16, 2019, rejected three of the cabinet nominees presented to it for approval by Mr Sanwo-Olu, thus necessitating their replacements.

Those rejected by the Assembly then included Ajayi Bembe, George Obafemi and Olanrewaju Sanusi.

(NAN)

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