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Supreme Court Nullifies Ihedioha’s Election, Declares Uzodinma As Imo Governor

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday voided the election of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State.

A seven-man panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, unanimously declared Hope Uzodinma as the winner of the March 9, 2019, governorship election and the validly elected governor of the state.

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead judgment, ordered that the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha be immediately withdrawn.

She directed that a fresh certificate of return should be issued to Uzodinma.

She also directed that Uzodinma must be immediately sworn in as the Governor of Imo State.

Meanwhile earlier on,the candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo State, Uche Nwosu, has withdrawn his second appeal filed against the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha before the Supreme Court.

According to his counsel, Mr. Solomon Umoh (SAN), the withdrawal on Tuesday is based on the judgment of the apex court delivered on the 20th of December 2019.

The apex court canceled out the candidature of Mr. Nwosu under the flagship of the Action Alliance (AA) over the double nomination.

Mr Nwosu had won the nomination to contest under the All Progressives Congress (APC), but the internal wrangling within the ruling party made it impossible for him to be presented as the party’s candidate, which necessitated his defection to AA at the last minute.

The Supreme Court held that by virtue of Nwosu’s double candidature and in line with the clear provisions of the Electoral Act, he was bound to be disqualified from the election and affirmed the judgments of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

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Oshiomhole Takes Edo Election As ‘Do-or-Die’ Matter, Says Wike

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The Chairman of the National Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party, Governor Nyesom Wike, has said for the sacked national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, the upcoming Edo State governorship election was a matter of life and death.

Wike, who is also the governor of Rivers State, said this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, on Monday.

Wike said, “The best he (Oshiomhole) could do is to lay low and let Ize-Iyamu campaign. You can see that if Ize-Iyamu talks for two minutes, Oshiomhole will talk for 20 minutes because he knows this election will determine whether he will remain in politics or not.

“So, he takes it as a do-or-die matter. He knows that losing this election, he is completely out. He has been decimated in the APC national leadership. So, the only thing now is to hold Edo to see that anyhow they treat him in Abuja, he has where to fall back to.

“Now Obaseki is winning, Abuja does not want him, Edo does not want him. So, he has nowhere to go to. This third term agenda is trying to run and Edo people must resist him.”

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Buruji Kashamu Bows to COVID-19 @ 62

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Former Senator Buruji Kashamu was reported dead on Saturday.

He died due to complications of COVID-19, his former colleague, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce said in a tweet.

“I have just lost my good friend of forever to #COVID19,” Murray-Bruce said. “Until his death, Sen. Buruji Kashamu and I were inseparable.

“He died today at First Cardiology Consultants, in Lagos. May his gentle soul rest in peace. I pray his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this heavy loss.”

Kashamu served as a Senator representing Ogun-East in the eighth National Assembly under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He was 62.

He joins a list of prominent Nigerians who have succumbed to the novel coronavirus.

Former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari and former Governor of Oyo state, Abiola Ajimobi, have also passed on from COVID-19 complications.

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FG Announces Resumption of International Flights

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The Federal Government on Thursday said the airports would be reopened to international flights in weeks and not in months.

When international flights eventually resume, passengers are expected to arrive the airport three hours before their flights.

The government said the prolonged ban on international travels was not punitive but mainly to keep Nigerians across the country safe from the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in Abuja while answering questions at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

He said, “On the question about the reopening of the airports, I will like to use this medium to reiterate and to be consistent with what we’ve been saying. I want people to understand that this is not purely an aviation function.

“It also has to do with our health and is so huge that it made Mr President in his wisdom to set up the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. This is in the interest of the nation.”

The minister said operators in the civil aviation sector had wanted to open the airports a long time ago in order to return to business and halt the loss of revenue.

Sirika said the ban on international flights had warranted the mass sacking of workers in the aviation sector and non-payment of salaries by airlines.

He said, “So we really want to open. But we can’t open alone, for within the space where we operate we’ve got all kinds of people there in the airports.

“We’ve got immigration, police, Customs, civil defense, port health, etc, and so the PTF has set up a technical committee to come up with a date when everybody will be happy to start.”

The minister added, “So we will open as soon as all of us are happy to open. And I want to adopt what the coordinator has said; it will be in weeks rather than in months.”

Sirika urged Nigerians not to blame any government official for the ban on international flights. Rather the blame should be on COVID-19, he said.

“We feel your pain. We know that this closure of airports has separated families and friends, denied people access to hospitals abroad, schools, businesses, etc. We feel this pain,” he said.

He insisted that the prolonged ban on international flights was not on purpose but was to ensure that Nigerians remained safe and healthy.

The PTF National Coordinator said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and other agencies, as well as airlines, should commence the process for the resumption of international flights.

According to Aliyu, passengers would arrive three hours before flights when the country’s airspace finally reopens for international operations.

“We have modified the protocol for passenger arrivals at the airports. Domestic passengers arriving at the airports are advised to arrive one hour before their flights and three hours before international flights – when this restarts.”

He said there may be additional infrastructure for some of the airports.

“Hopefully in weeks but not months,” he added.

The Punch

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