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You Must Contest Senatorial Rerun Election – INEC Tells Akpabio

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected a former senator, Godswill Akpabio’s withdrawal from a scheduled rerun election for the Akwa Ibom North-West District.

The rerun election takes place this Saturday.

INEC in a letter addressed to Mr Akpabio’s party – All Progressives Congress (APC) – in December said it was too late for the former senator’s name to be replaced with another.

“Your letter dated 10 December, 2019 wherein you forwarded Nomination Forms of one Hon. Ekperikpe Luke Ekpo as substitute candidate of your Party for the court-ordered rerun refers.

“Please note that the last day for the withdrawal/substitution of candidates for the 2019 National Assembly elections and the said period has lapsed,” the election commission said in the letter signed by its secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony.

“Further, the said rerun election is to be conducted amongst the same political parties and candidates who participated in the nullified elections.

“Consequent upon the above, the commission cannot accede to your request and Sen. Godswill Akpabio remains the candidate of the APC for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District court-ordered rerun election.”

Mr Akpabio’s dream of returning to the Senate to represent the district for a second term was truncated February last year by Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the election.

The Court of Appeal, Calabar, in November, had ordered a rerun in only one local government area – Essien Udim – in the district, following Mr Akpabio’s appeal against the judgment of the election petition tribunal which declared Mr Ekpenyong was the validly elected senator for the district.

Mr Akpabio, who hails from Essien Udim, was appointed minister of Niger Delta Affairs by President Muhammadu Buhari after he lost the election.

The minister had said he would not want to abandon his “huge responsibility” and a “critical national assignment” at the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry as the reason he was backing out of the rerun election.

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Ekiti Submits Interest Bid to Host NAFEST 2021

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The Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has expressed the interest of his state to host the 2021 edition of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST).

Receiving the bid document from Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism Prof. Tunde Bakare on Monday, the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe commended Governor Fayemi for early indication of interest to host the cultural fiesta.

Runsewe described Governor Fayemi as a proactive leader who is committed to giving the best to his state at all times.

Stating that the early submission of the bid document by Ekiti State Government was a sign of early preparation towards putting in place the necessary logistics and infrastructure for a successful event, he added that the Council expects bids from more states in respect of NAFEST 2021.

Runsewe commended the amiable wife of Governor Fayemi and First Lady of Ekiti State, Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi for declaring that if given the hosting right, Ekiti State would stage “the mother of all NAFEST”.

The DG added that the statement by Her Excellency was an indication of the determination and political will of Ekiti State Government to make NAFEST 2021 the best in the history of the festival.

It will be recalled that the Plateau State Government was given the hosting right for NAFEST 2020 at the closing ceremony of 2019 Edo NAFEST at Benin City, on October 26, 2019.

Arrangements are already on top gear for the hosting of the 2020 edition of the festival in Jos, Plateau State, in October.

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Amaechi’s CSO Dies in Kaduna ‘Hotel Room’

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The chief security officer to Rotimi Amaechi has died in Kaduna, PREMIUM TIMES learnt from security and official sources.

The officer, who was described as a senior intelligence personnel, died on Monday morning while on a trip with the transport minister.

Peter Afunanya, chief spokesperson for the SSS, told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday morning that the officer was electrocuted at his hotel room.

“He died at his hotel during an electric accident,” Mr Afunanya said.

PREMIUM TIMES has withheld the officer’s identity to allow the official notification of his family.

His death occurred hours after reports said Mr Amaechi’s convoy was attacked in Kaduna while leaving from a train station to the city centre.

Mr Amaechi pushed back against the report on Twitter Sunday night, saying it was fake news as no attack on his convoy occurred.

A source close to Mr Amaechi also said the officer died at a hotel in a case of electrocution, dismissing strongly any insinuation that it was from an attack.

The source could not speak openly because he was not authorised by Mr Amaechi to speak on a matter that is being handled as sensitive.

Mr Afunanya did not disclose the name of the hotel in Kaduna where the attack happened.

But sources who first informed PREMIUM TIMES of the officer’s death said it was from injuries he sustained from the attack.

Some of the sources include colleagues of the departed officer, although PREMIUM TIMES has not been able to independently corroborate the official or private version of how the orderly died.

Source: Premium Times

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Assailants Kill Aso Rock Director, Set Body on Fire

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An Assistant Director attached to the State House, Abuja, Laetitia Dagan, has been killed by yet-to-be identified assailants.

Dagan was said to have been killed in her apartment in Galadimawa, Abuja, on Monday shortly after she returned from work.

The 47-year-old Plateau State indigene was said to have left her office in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, around 8pm while the incident happened around 11pm.

She was said to be a participant in an ongoing training for civil servants holding at the Manhattan Event Centre, Uke, Nasarawa State.

Some of her colleagues who spoke to The PUNCH on Tuesday said the assailants set Dagan’s apartment on fire probably after killing her.

“The assailants were so cruel. They tied her and set her with her mattress on fire.

“She was just promoted to the position of assistant director last year. She was always full of smile,” one of her colleagues said.

The PUNCH learnt that in investigating the case, the police are working on a clue on an item suspected to have been mistakenly left behind by one of the assailants.

A State House statement by the Deputy Director, Information, Mr Attah Esa, confirmed the development, quoting the Permanent Secretary, Jalal Arabi, as mourning the deceased.

Arabi said, “She was a dedicated, hard-working officer, and we all feel pained by her dastardly and untimely death.”

Arabi and some personnel of the State House had already visited her family members to condole with them.

Meanwhile, friends and family members of the deceased have taken to the social media to mourn her.

One of them, Comfort Sajoh Gaiya, posted what appeared to be the deceased’s last photograph said to have been taken at about 4pm on Monday, a few hours before she was killed.

“This photo was taken yesterday (Monday) at about 4pm at the Manhattan Event Centre, Uke, Nasarawa State. She was full of life, as you can see. She was Dagan Laetitia Naankang, Assistant Director (TSW) State House. She was murdered by unknown gunmen in her residence last night,” Gaiya wrote on Facebook.

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