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LP subverting justice in Abia, group cries out *Cites alleged relocation of electoral panel to gvt house



Abia Renaissance Movement (ARM), has cried out over what it claimed was the relocation of the Abia State Governorship and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal from Abuja to Abia State Government House, as a “desperate attempt by the Labour Party (LP) to manipulate the process and subvert justice.”

In a statement signed by its Convener, Comrade Ukachukwu Chukwunonso, and its Secretary General, Maria Nwokoma on Monday, in Umuahia, the group, which said while it is not in support of any political party, maintained that it would speak up against any attempt to manipulate the judicial process to favour any political party against another, arguing that keeping quiet in the face of injustice negated its cardinal principles of equity, justice and fairness to all.

Wondering why the tribunal handling an election matter in which the current Abia State Government is a defendant, would be relocated from Abuja to Abia, they said matters was made worse by the fact that all the circumstances that informed the initial relocation to Abuja are still prevalent.

The statement, read: “We have observed with grave concern the hurried and surreptitious relocation of the Abia State Election Petition Tribunal from Abuja back to Abia State, and wish to state that such a move is not only injurious to democracy but signals a grave danger to justice.

“We, just like every peace-loving Abian, view the relocation as a desperate attempt by the Labour Party (LP) to manipulate the process and subvert justice given that they are the party in office in Abia State. We also wonder why the tribunal handling an election matter in which the current Abia State Government is a defendant be relocated from Abuja to Abia, and to make martters worse, to an office right inside the Government House in Umuahia, when all the circumstances that informed the initial relocation to Abuja are still prevalent.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the delicate security situation in Abia State right now as a result of the impudent boasts to unleash mayhem on anyone with contrary political opinions and uncontrolled  aggression by the supporters of the government and Labour Party in the State is still ongoing while government officials have issued veiled threats to members of PDP and even unlawfully arrested some appointees of the PDP, are still ongoing.

“Moreover, one of the key factors that led to the relocation of the Abia State Election Petition Tribunal to Abuja in the first place was the strike action embarked upon by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Abia State Chapter, which led to the locking up of courts in the state. The situation means judges cannot sit as the support staff needed for the secure and convenience involved in the dispensation of justice to litigants are not available.

“One then wonders why the Labour Party in Abia State is so desperate to rush back the relocation of the Tribunal from Abuja to the State and manipulated it to hold within its own premises of Government House,  Umuahia when Abuja has all the ingredients including neutrality, security and availability of judiciary workers to ensure a hitch-free legal process and impartial dispensation of justice to all parties.

“We also wonder how the President of the Court of Appeal could have acceded to such a request and fall for such manipulation by the Labour Party in Abia State when it is obvious that justice cannot be guaranteed in such circumstances, except it is, as we believe, that the Honourable Justice must have been lied to and hoodwinked by the Labour Party- led government in Abia State.


“Part of the falsehood and idea purportedly sold to the Appeal Court President was to force open relevant courts closed as a result of the strike action embarked upon by JUSUN and dominate the state with security personnel as a result of fears of breakdown of law and order that such a forceful opening of courts could cause. Aoart from being a gross abuse of the right of the judiciary workers to industrial action when necessary, this, no doubt, will further heighten tension and chaos in the state especially as judiciary staff are primed to resist such forced opening of the courts. In such a situation, the safety and wellbeing of the Honourable Judges will be in jeopardy.

“It is our considered opinion that the suggestion to use security agents to force open the courts and the subsequent tension and chaos such an action will generate between the judiciary workers and security agents will amount to the judiciary using agents of the executive to oppress its own workers. This will further malign the judiciary.

“On the part of the litigants, how does one expect PDP candidate who is a party to the case, their leaders and members, their lawyers and supporters who might want to witness the legal proceedings to feel seeing that they will be subjected to all manner of harassment, intimidation and provocation in the name of security checks while trying to make their way to the office inside the Government House where the tribunal has been relocated to? Boycott of the proceedings as a result of such impending harassment and intimidation in the name of security check by the security apparatus inside the government house might just be one of the civil actions available to the PDP governorship candidate, his lawyers, leaders, members and supporters of the party. Should the situation degenerate to that level, it will be an indelible stain on the fabric of the judiciary, and the only way to avoid such a danger is to relocate the tribunal back to Abuja.”



Imo massacre: Armoured vehicles procured for police used to rig elections – LP



Labour Party, palpably in anguish at the slaughter of eight soldiers in Imo State on Tuesday by some rampaging gunmen, has raised questions over the whereabouts of the nine Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) Athan Achonu, it claimed its governorship candidate for the November 11 election, repaired and donated to the authorities in the state.

The party, all but called out the leadership of the Imo State Police Command, to whom they claimed the equipment were handed over, alleging that the last time they APCs were seen was during the last general elections, where they were used by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power in the state to snatch ballot boxes for candidates in the national and state assemblies.

The claim, was made when Nick Opara-Ndudu  and Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiareri , chieftains of the party appeared as guests on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television to sell the candidacy of Achonu, whom they said would never have allowed the type of insecurity in the state to endure under his watch.

Both men, who said that Achonu, whose highest political office so far, was his short stint in the Senate, where he served via the 2015 election before he was removed through the courts, remained the only solution not to the insecurity, in the state and even the South East,  but the one to rescue the people from years of underdevelopment from poor leadership.

Obiareri, spokesman of the LP in the state, argued that if the APCs had been in place, Tuesday’s incident in which the military men were killed alongside some policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), would probably not have happened, said a check on the social media would reveal how they were used by party men of the APC for rigging the 2023 general elections.

He said: “The military men that were killed if they had armoured vehicles patrolling, they wouldn’t have been shot by those criminals. Athan Achonu, go and confirm from Innoson, paid hundreds of millions of naira to Innoson, Innoson is still alive, you people can still go and interview him, to repair nine armoured vehicles for the police. Five were supposed to be in Okigwe zone. Till today, we don’t know where those nine armoured cars are.

“If you go to Youtube, you’ll see Youtube record of members of the House of Assembly in Imo State using those APCs to carry ballot boxes. It’s there on Youtube, you can search it out. What Athan Achonu will do is very simple. Every local government area will have one humvy vehicle for the police. Police stations had been totally burnt in Imo State and Athan repaired most of those police stations.

“Then, there will be community vigilante. We’ll train those 50 youths per community – train them, equip them and arm them. They should guard their communities. When you have over 50,000 hectres of land, reclaimed from the bandits, and you have youths who are not only just farming, but who are trained to protect their communities, they’ll do the job.

“Then, we have to set up a security trust fund. Ndi-Imo are not scared. As at today, there are some communities in Imo State, where bandits – unknown gunmen, are ransacking and collecting levies from the communities. Basically, Athan Achonu will provide training, recruitment for people donated by the communities. Communities know those who are the terrible ones in their midst. And I tell you, in six months, they will flush them out.”

Opara-Ndudu, who dismissed the claim by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that the carnage and other killings in the state were politically-motivated, blamed the governor for misplacing his priorities and failing to provide jobs for the teeming youth population in the state, questioning why nobody had been arrested and prosecuted fully in the courts if the insecurity in the state was all about politics.

Hear him: “The security problem has to do with objective conditions in the state. The young people are frustrated. The government is not making any investments in the areas that are required. We’re busy pursuing projects that are designs in deception. Look at the roads that are being done in Imo State, you know for you to deal with the problem of poverty and other economic challenges, you have to deal with the problem of infrastructure.

“In Imo State, the government has dedicated all of its time and half of its time to reconstructing federal roads without any attention – little or no attention paid to the rural areas. If you go to length and breadth of Imo State – Ngor Okpala, Ezinifte Mbaise, even in the governor’s local government – everywhere in Imo State, you find that the rural areas are looking desolate and abandoned.”

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Police find body of missing female student dumped in the bush, vow to get killers



Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), command, have vowed to fish out the killers of a university student, Blessing Karami, whose body was said to have been picked up from the bush days after she was declared missing on September 11.

The FCT police, which released the painful news on Thursday, said in a statement by its spokesman, Josephine Adeh that the remains were found in the woods in the Karimu area of the city.

The police spokesman acknowledged that her disappearance was reported to the police authorities last,  Thursday, September 14 added that 26-year-old Blessing, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), was declared missing after leaving her place of work in Garki, Abuja.

She said in the statement: “The body of Blessing Karami Moses, a 26-year-old woman who had been missing since September 11, 2023, was tragically discovered in a wooded area in Karimo. Her disappearance was reported to the authorities on September 14, 2023,” the statement read.

She said Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, had directed that command should conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding: “While we are working closely with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to facilitate the respectful retrieval of the decomposed remains acknowledging the sensitive nature of this task, we will continue to provide updates to the public as our investigation progresses.”

Adeh, a Superintendent of Police (SP), also commiserated with Blessing’s family and loved ones over the incident.

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Ogun cult massacre: DSS raid home, pick up PDP lawmaker, five others



Damilare Bello Mohammed, a serving member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), is currently telling operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) his side of the story, after he was picked up over his alleged involvement in the rival secret cult clashes that occurred in Sagamu town.

Mohammed, recently elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Sagamu State Constituency 1, was picked up on Wednesday by the agency over the incident in which at least eight persons were killed last weekend during the violent clash in the town, alongside five other suspected cultists allegedly involved in the cult violence.

The five other suspects; Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade, were arrested by the DSS operatives during a sting operation after a tip-off at the early hours of Thursday within the residence of the lawmaker.

Lekan Adeniran, spokesman to Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, announced the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying the secret police tracked the six suspected cultists to the official residence of the lawmaker.

Accusing the lawmaker of providing shelter to the cultists, Adeniran, said in the statement, that the suspects were presently undergoing interrogation in DSS custody after many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from them.

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