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New APC Chairman Emerges in Benue, As Gov Alia Meets with State Exco

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State has unveiled a new acting State chairman, Mr. Benjamin Omakolo.

The Acting Chairman of the party was unveiled before governor Hyacinth Alia by members of the State executive council of the party at government house Makurdi, Wednesday.

Governor Alia while addressing members of the State Exco of the party, called on the supporters to continue drumming support for the party, saying it is the only platform that has good plans to change the fortunes of Benue State and Nigeria as a whole.

He maintained that it was good that the party Exco came requesting that the vacant position of the State Chairman of the party be filled, in order to save it from further crisis.

The governor regretted the suspension of Comrade Austin Agada by his Ehaje ward 1 EXCO, which was later followed by a court injunction, restraining him from parading himself as the State Chairman of the party.

According to him, there is too much pressure from the stakeholders of the party in Zone C, who have recommended a replacement for the vacant position in order to keep the party going.

“In order to reduce the pressure on me and to also stop the party from facing further troubles, I am left with no choice than to direct Hon. Benjamin Omakolo, the Welfare Secretary of the party in the state, to step in as the acting party chairman, pending the outcome of the court case instituted against Hon Agada,” Gov Alia said.

He described the APC as the best party anyone could associate with, insisting that a lot of efforts and sacrifices were put in by many, which ensured the victory the party currently enjoys in the state, saying the party cannot be left in the hands of a few individuals for them to destroy it because of their selfish interest.

While thanking the stakeholders of the party from Zone C for recommending a capable replacement for the vacant position of the state chairman, the governor equally called on all the APC faithful in the state to support Hon. Benjamin Omakolo, as he assumes the duty of piloting the affairs of the APC in the state.

Earlier in his opening address, the Organising Secretary of the APC in the state, Hon. James Ornguga, said they were pleased to come before the governor to explain to him the turbulent times the party and its supporters were facing as a result of the suspension and the subsisting court order restraining Hon. Agada from acting as the chairman of the party in the state.

He urged the governor to use his good office as the governor and leader of the party in the state, to fill the vacant position of the State Chairman, in order to stop the party from sinking further adrift.

In their separate remarks, the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Aondona Dajoh, the Secretary of the APC in Ogbadibo Local Government, Comrade Abba Isaiah, the Chairman of the APC in Konshisha Local Government, Hon. Aginde Daniel, as well as the State Assistant Legal Adviser of the party in the state, Hon. Ajuma Success, all commended the zone (C) APC stakeholders for pressurizing the governor to fill the vacant position of the state chairman.

They also commended the governor for heeding to the cries of the party faithful in the state, and for giving the nod for Hon. Omakolo to step in as the acting state Chairman of the party, assuring that they will all support the acting chairman to succeed.

Accepting the new responsibility, the acting Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Benjamin Omakolo, said he was overwhelmed by the trust the party faithful in the state have reposed in him, promising to unite the party, strategically placing it in a position to win more elections in the future.

POLITICS

S’Court Judgment: Jigawa to Conduct LG Election Soon – Official

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The Jigawa Government says it will soon conduct Local Government Elections in the state, following the recent Supreme Court judgment on Local Government finanacial autonomy.

The Commissioner for Information, Youths Sport and Culture, Mr Sagir Musa, said this during an interactive session with newsmen in Dutse on Wednesday.

Musa said that the State Executive Council (EXCO) had considered and approved a request by the state Independent Electoral Commission (JISIEC) to conduct the election.

The commissioner further said that the EXCO’s decision “is in line with the provision of Section 197(I) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the JISIEC Law No. 3 of 2012 (as amended)”.

According to him, the EXCO decision is in compliance with the recent Supreme Court judgment that all the Local Government councils in the country must have democratically elected officials and that elections are to be conducted in all the states of the federation within three months.

Meanwhile, an Executive Bill seeking to repeal JISIEC Law 2024 and re-enact Law 2012 has passed the first and second readings at the Assembly.

This followed a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the house, Mr Lawan Muhammad, and seconded by Mr Muhammad Inuwa at Friday’s plenary session.

Muhammmad said that the bill seeks to repeal the JISEIC amendment No. 1 Law, No. 7, 2024 to re-enact Sections 64 and 65 of the JISEIC Law Cap J19, Laws of Jigawa State 2022 and for related matters.

After a unanimous voice vote by the members, the Speaker, Mr Haruna Aliyu, referred the bill to the House Committee on Local Government.

Aliyu asked the committee to report back to the house on July 30. (NAN)

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POLITICS

Edo guber: Appeal Court Affirms Ighodalo as PDP Candidate

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The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has rejected an appeal to nullify the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election that produced Asue Ighodalo as its candidate for the upcoming Governorship Election in Edo.

The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by A.

M Lamido, on Monday, dismissed the appeal filed by the embattled Deputy Governor of the state, Philip Shaibu.

Shaibu was earlier impeached from office but recently got reinstated by the court.

While dismissing the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/642/2024, for want of merit, Lamido held that it found no reason to set aside the May 27 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The court further ruled that the trial court was right for refusing to invalidate the outcome of PDP primary election based on the suit by the appellant.

It awarded a N1million cost against the appellant.

Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court had, in his judgment that was affirmed by the appellate court, held that Shaibu lacked the legal right to seek to nullify the outcome of the primary poll.

Omotosho further held that the plaintiff did not meet the condition precedent to confer such a legal right on him.

According to the court, no evidence was adduced to establish that he participated in the primary election he sought to nullify its outcome.

Omotosho held that it was a basic requirement of the law that a plaintiff must take part in a disputed election to be able to challenge its outcome in court.

He said that there was overwhelming evidence that the plaintiff was never physically present at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, where the primary election of February 22 took place.

Report says that Shaibu had in the suit prayed the court to issue an order stopping the INEC from accepting or recognising Ighodalo
as the gubernatorial flag bearer of PDP in the election.

He contended that the primary election that produced Ighodalo was not conducted in compliance with both the Electoral Act and party Constitution.

He prayed the court to, among other things, compel the party to conduct a fresh primary election in the state.

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Senate, Women Society Push for Domestic Staff Inclusion in National Wage Scheme

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By Eze Okechukwu, Abuja

The Senate and National Council for Women Society (NCWS), have sought for the inclusion of domestic servants in the proposed N70,000 National Minimum Wage Scheme.

The Senate and the Women group made the call yesterday at the national assembly during a public hearing on a bill seeking for an Act to provide for the Domestication and Registration of Domestic workers and Employers in Nigeria.

The public hearing on the bill sponsored by Senator Babangida Hussaini (APC, Jigawa North West) was organized by the Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity and was chaired by Senator Diket Plang (APC, Plateau Central).

The Senate’s call for the inclusion of domestic servants in the National Minimum Wage Scheme specifically came from Senator Osita Izunaso (APC, Imo West) during his remarks at the public hearing.

“As a member of this Committee, I feel strongly that part of the provisions to be included in this bill is the domestic workers; be it house maid or servants in the proposed N70, 000 National Minimum wage law.

“As N70, 000 is being planned to be the lowest wage for the lowest public workers, so should be the case for the least domestic workers.

“We are going to put it in the bill for implementation by all employers”, he said.

Senator Izunaso however suggested that instead of domestication and protection of domestic workers and employers, the intent of the bill should be changed to registration and protection of domestic workers and their employers.

In a similar call, the Acting National President of NCWS, Mrs Geraldeen Etuk aligned with the Senate’s position for the inclusion of domestic servants in the proposed National Minimum Wage law.

Speaking from the sidelines, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Babangida Hussaini said though he was elated by the general support the bill got from the various stakeholders; from the Minister of Labour to other relevant stakeholders he expressed reservations on the practical implementation of the additional scope of inclusion of domestic workers in the national minimum wage.

“There is no point making a law that cannot be implemented. However, i’m happy that the generality of stakeholders at the public hearing supported the bill and by extension, the proposed law”, he said.

Earlier in his remarks during the session, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Diket Plang said an agency will surely be set up for the implementation of the proposed law. But in the interim, the Ministry of Labour and Productivity will drive the operation from the onset.

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