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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The second judge has withdrawn from a suit filed by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, seeking an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue him a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Justice Taiwo had earlier withdrawn from the suit following allegations of bias levelled against him by two parties to the suit.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.

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‘Oshiomhole Seeking Third Term Through Ize-Iyamu’

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The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr Philip Shaibu, has accused a former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, of wanting to covertly seek a third term in office as the governor of Edo State through his alleged surrogate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Shaibu, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Benjamin Atu, titled, ‘Oshiomhole seeking the third term as a governor through Ize-Iyamu,’ said the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress was seeking a third term by proxy.

He said, “The truth is that Ize-Iyamu is merely a stooge. The real man seeking the governorship position is Adams Oshiomhole who has perfected the plan to betray democracy by seeking a third term in office. The price that Oshiomhole will pay for projecting Ize-Iyamu is an outright rejection.

“Oshiomhole is displaying blind compassion with a specific pledge to return the state to  the path of backwardness with failed institutions where individuals will be more powerful than government institutions with an analogue system of operations. Technological development has since left Oshiomhole behind in the scheme of things.”

The deputy governor said the state had a choice  between policies of the heart by Governor Godwin Obaseki and policies of the head as currently being propagated by enemies of the state.

“The people of Edo State subscribed voluntarily to the principle of Obaseki because they have seen these principles at work all over the state. We cannot risk the future of Edo State with a man’s shrunken aspirations.

“Our campaign is based on the affirmation of what we have done and still capable of doing, by drawing our strength from the masses to deal with all our vulnerabilities,” he said.

Reacting to Shaibu’s statement, the Edo State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chris Azebamwan, said the deputy governor was chasing a shadow.

Azebamwan said, “It is laughable to accuse Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of seeking a third term by proxy. He was governor for eight years and more recently, the National Chairman of the ruling party at both federal and Edo State until Godwin Obaseki betrayed the mandate freely given to him by the Edo people.

“The vision and the mission of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, is lucidly spelt out in his manifesto which he tagged, SIMPLE agenda. Shaibu and his boss, Godwin Obaseki, know they cannot fault the document, and they don’t have an agenda of their own to offer Edo people.

“In their cluelessness, they have resorted to name-calling and mudslinging. They believe they can distract and hoodwink Edo people by hinging their campaigns on persons, instead of issues. Perhaps they should be reminded that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is not on the final list of candidates for Edo 2020.

“With the emergence of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the APC candidate, Edo people should not just expect a better life, they should prepare to live it.”

appealed for calm, saying a joint investigation team comprising the state government and the company that owned the facility had begun investigation into the cause of the spill.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Records 304 New Infections, Total Now 43, 841

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The daily figure of confirmed coronavirus infections in Nigeria again declined on Sunday, continuing a trend that began on Friday.

On Sunday, 304 coronavirus infections were recorded in the country, the lowest number in at least two weeks

The latest figure brings the total number of infections in the country to 43, 841, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Sunday’s figure is slightly lower than the 386 cases recorded on Saturday, and the 462 and 481 infections reported on Thursday and Friday.

The NCDC in its daily update of the infection on its verified Twitter handle @NCDCgov said five fatalities were recorded from the virus on Sunday pushing the total number of confirmed deaths from the virus to 888.

According to the NCDC, out of a total 43,841 infected persons so far, 20,308 have recovered and have been discharged after treatment in the country’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

There are still over 22, 000 active cases in Nigeria.

The new cases, according to the NCDC, were found in the following 15 states: Lagos-81 FCT-39 Abia-31 Kaduna-24 Rivers-23 Plateau-16 Cross River-13 Ebonyi-12 Ondo-12 Ekiti-11 Edo-11 Benue-10 Nasarawa-10 Ogun-6 Gombe-5.

The latest update came as many state governments shuffle plans for reopening of schools. Some states, including Ogun, had earlier fixed resumption of secondary schools for August 4, months after a nationwide halt of academic activities necessitated by COVID-19.

Parents of private school students in Ogun State have protested against a N25,000 fee returning boarding students have been asked to pay for a coronavirus test.

Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve, remains the most impacted by the contagion, with the state holding over 15,000, over one-third of Nigeria’s total.

More than 12,000 people are still on admission in the city of over 20 million people while about 192 people have died from coronavirus complications in Lagos.

Nigeria is Africa’s third most impacted country behind only South Africa and Egypt. The federal and state governments are working to increase testing as authorities stress that cases definitely far exceed the current tally with less than 300,000 people tested so far.

Nigeria has tested about 280,000 of its 200 million population.

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Food for Living: Ignite Your Faith

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

We all have desires, dreams, passions, interest and “causes” which we hold dear to our heart. Just like we have different taste buds, we also have varieties of food. And as the old adage says, one man’s food is another man’s poison.

In the journey of life, we all have a race we must run, and nobody will run the race for anyone but oneself. Just like a newborn baby has to learn how to crawl, stand, talk, walk and then run, so also, we all have a role to play when it comes to possessing our possession and achieving our desires.

According to some schools of thought, given every equal opportunity, everybody is a potential achiever, this is because we don’t have dull brains, only brains undeveloped. As human beings, sometimes, we tend to believe our environment, human beings and circumstances are the cause of our misery, but then we fail to realize we have our race to run just like every other being.

If you’ll agree with me, there’s nothing like luck; luck is simply opportunity meeting preparation. If you are not prepared and an opportunity presents itself, you’ll lose it. Therefore, It’s always good to have something and not need it, than having the need for something and not have it.

In the course of this article, we shall be discussing many reasons why we lose out on opportunities and how we can ignite our faith to possess our possessions. Luck and opportunities are like breeze, it comes to everyone. Sometimes, we have these opportunities without knowing; sometimes, we have to create it by attracting it. There are many reasons we lose out on opportunities, and that explains why we must ignite our faith.

Procrastination

The number one killer of success and opportunities is procrastination. Procrastination can be safely regarded as a death sentence for lazy minds. If you’re desirous of making giant strides, the first step to ignite your faith is to avoid procrastination. As mentioned earlier, we all have dreams, passions, interests and causes we are passionate about, but sometimes we are lazy to do the needful. To ignite your faith, you must kick out procrastination from not only your mind, but from your life. Cut off from anyone or anything that saps your energy from moving forward.

A simple way of avoiding procrastination is by asking yourself, what if I decide to submit my application today as opposed to waiting tomorrow; or meet a friend/mentor today as opposed to waiting for a perfect time? Chances are you can be told, assuming your application was submitted yesterday, you would have been selected for the job because you’re resume and personality is what both the organization and job require.

Also, your friend/mentor might tell he was thinking you’ll stop by the previous day as you normally do on weekends, he would have introduced you to the Chief Executive Officer of a multinational national organization who you have always wished to meet or work with.

Trust

As human beings, sometimes we live in fear and that’s okay. However, we can ignite our faith by kicking out fear from our minds if we trust our beliefs and have faith in ourselves. Trust is a very strong quality and virtue to have. When you’re on a mission, it’s advisable to keep most of your plans to yourself and a few trusted friends. The world doesn’t need to know what you are up to, they’ll know when the plan is unveiled. You can sample their opinion, but remain steadfast on your vision.

Be bold to trust your judgments and have the courage to thread on uncommon paths which lesser minds find difficult to walk on.

When applying this trust, you must have very minimal doubt in your mind, and even if you have doubt or fear, exercise peace of mind, and you’re more than likely going to coast home to victory.

Look Past Your Circumstances

As human beings, it is normal to feel our circumstances affect our progress. Though there’s an element of truth in it however, it’s important to note that the world is not a fair place; it is how you make your bed that you’ll lie on it. If the world throws a lemon at you, you can make a lemonade out of it; if the world throws you pebbles, you can use it to build a house; if the world judges you, let them know they are not your creator and that no condition is permanent.

Please look past your circumstances, and ignite that faith lurking inside of you. Great minds look past their environment and the circumstances around then and they find reason to succeed.

Speak Up

There’s power in the spoken word. We can ignite our faith by speaking into existence, what we trust and desire in our life. However, it should be noted that talk is cheap if it is not backed with work/action. There have been testimonies of people who spoke about their life dreams and ambitions, and it came to pass. What most people don’t understand is that when you speak words into existence, the universe has a way of making it a reality by making sure the ground stamps it, the walls hears it and the air spreads it.

Today, I charge you to ignite your faith, passion, business, love, desires and whatsoever interest you need with your faith. Don’t look at the many reasons it won’t work; just look at one reason it will work. If you do so and it doesn’t work as planned, be rest assured, you have done your bit because that’s all that matters. By so doing, you’ll avoid living in regrets.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York  City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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