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Bayelsa Election: Gov. Diri To Know Fate As Tribunal Set For Judgement

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The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja is set to deliver judgments in three petitions.

The petitions are that of Vijah Opuama of the Liberation Movement versus the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and three others.

The second petition is between Ibiene Stephen of United Peoples Congress and INEC and three others while the third petition is between Owei Woniwei of Alliance for Democracy and Governor Duoye Diri and three others.

The petitioners are challenging the election of Senator Diri as the duly elected Governor of Bayelsa State.

This comes a month after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant of the Bayelsa governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Timi Alaibe, challenging the candidacy of Senator Diri in the November 2019 election.

Alaibe who had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal is claiming that he is the authentic candidate of the PDP.

But the court dismissed the case on Tuesday, on the ground that it was a pre-election matter.

Governor Diri was sworn in on February 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

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Service Chiefs: Pro-Democracy Group Pays Glowing Tribute To Buratai, Others On Exit From Service

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The National Democratic Front (NDF) has penned a touching tribute to outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai (retd) and other military chiefs following their recent retirement from service.

In a statement titled “Service Chiefs: A Salute to Courage in Service to Nigeria”, the pro-democracy group hailed the now-retired chiefs for their patriotism, commitment and zeal.

According to its Secretary-General, Dr Bolaji Abdulkadir, the NDF applauded the quartet’s numerous efforts and sacrifices in the war against insurgency and other forms of criminalities across the country.

The statement said the outgoing chiefs set lofty standards that must be sustained by the new appointees as they settle down for the business at hand.

While congratulating the new security heads, the NDF urged them to display a similar unalloyed commitment to preserving the territorial sovereignty of the country by giving their best and building on their predecessors’ efforts.

The group advised them to desist from playing to the gallery as some disgruntled elements in the country would cause a distraction by questioning their credibility.

The NDF, however, urged the outgoing security chiefs to make themselves available for higher service to Nigeria anytime duty calls, and also be willing to avail their wealth of experience to the incoming officers whenever the need arises.

The statement also called on all well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the new service chiefs as they settle down for business.

Read the full statement below:

The National Democratic Front is issuing this press statement in the light of the recent announcement of the resignation of Service Chiefs and the subsequent appointment of new Service Chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari.

We wish to heartily congratulate Major-General LEO Irabor, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Real Admiral AZ Gambo and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao on their appointments into various branches of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The National Democratic Front uses this medium to charge the new Service Chiefs to display an unalloyed commitment to preserving the territorial sovereignty of Nigeria by giving in the best and building on their predecessors’ efforts.

It is our considered opinion that President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have found the new Service Chiefs fit for purpose from the lot and as such it behoves on all well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to them in the quest to make Nigeria a strong and united country.

The National Democratic Front commends the outgoing Service Chiefs for their numerous efforts and sacrifices in the war against insurgency and other forms of criminalities across the country that indeed saw to the decimation of the Boko Haram insurgents as well as other militant groups across the country.

The outgoing Service Chiefs indeed put the country first. They displayed an unwavering commitment and courage in service to Nigeria during their stint. They indeed set lofty standards that must be sustained and built upon by the incoming Service Chiefs as they settle down for the business at hand.

The National Democratic Front is aware of the plan by some disgruntled elements in the country to systematically cause a distraction in the country by questioning the credibility of the incoming Service Chiefs and demonizing the efforts and sacrifices of the outgoing Service Chiefs.

Thus, it is succinct to state that Nigerians must rebuke such individuals and organizations as they do not mean well for the country. This much they have exhibited over the years in a most ignoble manner. They must desist from playing to the gallery in this critical point of our existence. The task at hand requires all level of seriousness that it deserves.

The National Democratic Front as critical stakeholders in the security sector in the country indeed rates the outgoing Service Chiefs in excellent terms for devotion, patriotism and sacrifices to the nation.

We are using this medium to encourage the outgoing Service Chiefs to make themselves available for higher service to Nigeria anytime duty calls, and also be willing to avail their wealth of experience to the incoming Service Chiefs whenever the need arises. They have indeed written their names in gold and posterity would be kind to them whenever the history of Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency is mentioned.

The National Democratic Front also commends President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment towards putting Nigeria on the right path towards achieving sustainable peace and progress in the country.

We salute the courage of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces thus far. The National Democratic Front indeed pledges its support to the various initiatives deployed to address the country’s security challenges.

It consequently behoves on all well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the new Service Chiefs as they settle down for business.

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Service Chiefs Jointly ‘Resign’ As Buhari Appoints Replacements

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President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.

Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

President Buhari thanks the outgoing Service Chiefs for what he calls their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country,” wishing them well in their future endeavours.

The new Service Chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.

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2023: Darius, Bwacha Rift Deepens As Group Drags Senator To EFCC

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The rift between Taraba state helmsman, Gov. Darius Dickson Ishaku and Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, deepened with a petition signed by Darius aides to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). KWARARAFA REPORTERS .

A copy of the petition circulating widely in Abuja and Jalingo. The aides are alleging that Bwacha fraudulently diverted the constituency funds. They also accuse the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) of not doing a thorough investigation.

ICPC on their websites had exonerated
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, after receiving a similar petition. Itemising completed projects in the zone, the ICPC had given Bwacha a clean bill of health On the matter of constituency projects. On the site, out of the 39 projects verified by ICPC across the country, Bwacha’s accounted for 14.

But the petitioners in their latest letter said the EFCC needs to do a further check on those projects- a move many believe to be politically motivated.

Many watchers believed the latest push is all part of the crisis rocking Southern Taraba. Sen. Bwacha representing Southern Taraba has been locked in a war of attrition with Gov Ishaku over control of the zone. Ishaku, a second term governor, nurses the ambition to replace Bwacha in the 9th Senate, while Bwacha has declared his intention to run for governor. Bwacha is largely seen as a favorite by the electorate even as Darius hangs on the power of incumbency for his senatorial hopes.

The petition, signed by Special advisers to Darius, Daniel Dan Azumi and Tijani Sale, titled the document ” COMPLAINT ON THE FRAUDULENT DIVERSION AND PERSONALISATION OF CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS…”

The petition reads in part, ” these projects have been manipulated to diversion, conversion, part or partial execution, change location of sitting after approval or stage managed them to decieve the constituents whom he represents”.

The letter continued, “most importantly non – execution of a proposed Jatropa farm that is not traceable till today after money has been collected from FG when he was Senate Chairman on agriculture committee as published in 2014…”

“Lastly we are aware all contractors doing his biddings are his political cronies and relations which are against the process of bidding for contract by tender guidelines. Let all the contractors tender their profiles to see if they are not his cronies and relations.”

“We are praying that Senator Emmanuel Bwacha’s constituency projects right from 2016 is full of fraudulent activities and we appeal to ur esteemed organization to help us make a Better investigation on all his projects..”

But a source in Senator Bwacha’s camp disclosed that the petition is riddled with lies, noting that Bwacha has been consistent in addressing the constituency issues. The source noted, “this is just a continuation of the Governor’s war against a performing Senator. He recently tried to stop the flagging off of a major project here and hasn’t succeeded. His aides are merely pleasing their master. The governor has always maintained Bwacha is his biggest problem.”

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