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Obaseki Has No Rival, Says Wike, APC Kicks

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that his Edo State counterpart, Godwin Obaseki, who is the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forth coming governorship election does not have an opponent in the contest.

Wike was quoted to have said this in a statement on Wednesday by the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, while speaking on a live television programme in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.

He said, “Adams Oshiomhole told Edo people that Ize-Iyamu (Edo APC governorship candidate) was rusticated from school; that he poured acid on a fellow student that destroyed his manhood.

“Adams Oshiomole’s sudden U-turn is a great insult on Edo people. This is an opportunity for Edo people, both at home and in the Diaspora, to use their votes to tell Oshiomole they cannot take his lies anymore.

“From all indications, it is obvious that there is no strong opposition against Obaseki and he will win convincingly.”

But in its reaction, the All Progressives Congress in Edo State alleged that Wike and Obaseki were planing to unleash violence and disrupt the September 19 election.

In a statement on Wednesday titled, Wike, Obaseki violent, bloodthirsty, the spokesman of the Edo State APC Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki, said the PDP allegedly intends to mar the election.

He said, “According to reliable data sourced from Peace Map, political violence in Rivers State steadily increased beginning in January 2015, peaking in the lead-up and aftermath of the April gubernatorial elections and this was due largely to the violent attitude of Nyesom Wike, who once infamously attended a campaign event wielding a machete.

“In Edo State, we have seen the same trait. There is a persistent problem in the violent, dishonest, and generally deplorable conduct of the rejected PDP, which poses a great threat to the peaceful conduct of the September 19 election.”

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Court Revokes Marina’s Son’s Bail, Orders His Arrest

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday revoked the bail granted Faisal Maina, the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, and ordered his arrest for jumping bail in his trial on money laundering charges.

Justice Okon Abang also ordered that his trial on money laundering charges would proceed in absentia pending when the security agencies would be able to arrest and produce him in court.

The judge also summoned his surety, a member of the House of Representatives, Sani Umar Dangaladima, representing the Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, to appear in court to show cause why he should not forfeit the N60m bail bond which he signed for Faisal.

The order for Faisal’s arrest came barely six days after the same court, on November 18, issued a similar order against his father, Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, who is facing separate N2.1bn money laundering charges before the court.

On Monday, Justice Okon Abang, sent Maina’s surety, Senator Ali Ndume, to jail for his inability to produce the fleeing defendant in court.

Earlier on Tuesday, following the judge’s November 18 ruling, Maina’s trial held in his absence with three prosecution witnesses testifying behind him and his legal team.

At the resumed hearing of Faisal’s trial on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, said both the defendant and his surety had not attended court since June 24, 2020.

The Punch

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FG, S’South Govs, Leaders Set to Meet in Rivers Tuesday

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A delegation from the Federal Government is expected to meet with Governors and leaders of the South-South geo-political zone in Government House, Port Harcourt today (Tuesday).

The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, is expected to lead the presidential delegation.

A Government House source in Port Harcourt, who confirmed the meeting to our correspondent, said Gambari is on his way to Port Harcourt.

The rescheduled meeting is coming on the heels of the botched stakeholders’ forum, which angered the Southern Governor, during which the South-South Governors’ Forum, demanded an apology from the presidency.

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Makinde Presents N266.6bn 2021 Budget to Assembly

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The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday presented a budget of N266.6bn as the 2021 budget to the state Assembly.

While presenting the budget tagged, ‘Budget of continued consolidation’ Makinde announced that 53.2 per cent of the total budget was being proposed for capital expenditure.

He said, “The 2021 budget is N12bn above the 2020 budget and this is to further drive a consolidation effort that we started this year.

“We were able to achieve 50.2 per cent of the 2020 budget implementation and you will agree with me that it was due to causes beyond our control like the COVID-19 pandemic and other crisis that bedevilled the nation and the world at large.”

Makinde further explained that the recurrent expenditure is N136, 262,990 while the capital expenditure is N130. 381bn.

According to him, 21 per cent of the budget, amounting to N56.348 bn, is allocated to education while infrastructure is to gulp N46bn, representing 17.2per cent of the budget.

For health, a total of N13.2bn, representing 4.9per cent of the budget was set aside for the establishment of primary health centers across 351 wards in the state.

Makinde lauded the state lawmakers for their cooperation.

“So, it is pertinent that we appreciate the members of the state House of Assembly for their support.”

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