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Edo APC: Crisis threatens Oshiomhole’s battle against estranged Godson, Obaseki

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Adams Oshiomhole, the leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State, is poised to confront his former godson, Godwin Obaseki, in the struggle for the control of the state’s political machinery.

However, the unfolding drama surrounding the primary election in the state may thwart Mr Oshiomhole’s plans in the latest supremacy battle with Obaseki.

Recall that the APC held a primary election to select the APC governorship candidate for the September election.

However, the primary has produced three candidates as different groups declared separate candidates – namely, Dennis Idahosa, Anamero Dekeri, and Monday Okpebholo.

Oshiomhole, who was outmaneuvered during the 2020 governorship election by Obaseki, endorsed Idahosa for the governorship ticket, with the support of the party’s national leadership led by Umar Ganduje and the APC governors.

Idahosa, a 43-year-old member of the House of Representatives, representing Ovia South/West-Ovia North/East Federal Constituency, is believed to have the backing of his former colleague in the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, the powerful Chief of Staff to the President.

Oshiomhole chose Idahosa because he is from Edo South, the senatorial district with the highest voting population in the state, despite the agitation for a power shift to Edo Central.

Idahosa hails from the same senatorial district as the incumbent governor, who is set to complete his eight-year tenure in office.

Many within the state believe that Edo South holds 60 percent of the total votes in the state, although this claim has faced challenges.

There are indications that Obaseki is supporting the former managing director of Sterling Bank, Asue Ighodalo, from Edo Central Senatorial District.

Oshiomhole is gearing up for a showdown of Edo South versus Edo Central to regain control of the state.

But the emergence of Okpebholo through a parallel primary has changed the dynamics of the permutation.

The candidate, who represents Edo Central Senatorial District, is basing his aspiration on “equity and fairness” because his district is yet to produce a governor since the brief stint of Oserheimen Osunbor from 2007-2008.

Insiders within the camp of the senator told DAILY POST that several meetings were held with other aspirants in the race on the “Edo Central” agenda, with the agenda gaining the support of Ize-Iyamu.

“Senator had a meeting with Ize-Iyamu and was able to convince him on the principle of the rotation of power and the need for a shift to Edo Central to get the opportunity,” Rafat Abdulkareem, one of the associates of Okpebholo, stated.

She said many of the old associates of Oshiomhole also backed the candidacy of the Edo Central lawmaker because they are concerned about the possibility of Edo South having 16 years in power.

Facing a Rivers Experience
Aside from the political permutations, the party may experience a situation similar to the 2019 Rivers State, where the APC was banned from presenting candidates for any election following post-primary election litigation.

Anticipating a situation like Rivers, the National Working Committee of the party invalidated the pronouncement of Idahosa as the candidate and also removed Governor Hope Uzodinma as the chairman of the primary election Committee.

Insiders told DAILY POST that the party was trying to prevent the occurrence of situations like Rivers and Zamfara states with the series of actions taken so far.

It was learnt that Oshiomhole still sees Idahosa as the only pathway to winning the governorship election because Edo Central has very few votes.

The former governor is banking on using Idahosa to deliver Edo South to complement the votes from Edo North, a stronghold of the APC.

While the NWC was meeting, Oshiomhole met with President Bola Tinubu, and after the meeting, he told journalists that the president did not insist on rotation, using Kogi and Benue as examples.

Today, Thursday, the party will be concluding the primary, and the outcome may decide if it’s going to be a proxy war between Oshiomole and Obaseki.

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Ondo guber: Two arrested over illegal registration of APC members ahead of primaries

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The Ondo State Police Command apprehended two persons on Wednesday over their alleged involvement in the illegal registration of members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, ahead of the party’s governorship primaries scheduled for April 20.

The suspects were caught in possession of the APC’s registration booklets, a list containing the names of purported party members from Ward 7 in Ondo, and passport photographs of various individuals.

According to the police, the arrest took place at the residence of one Ariyo, a transporter based in Ondo town, the headquarters of the Ondo West Local Government Area in the state.

Prior to the arrest, concerns were raised by seven governorship aspirants under the APC regarding alleged moves to produce fake membership cards with the aim of influencing the outcome of the forthcoming primaries.

Providing details on the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ondo State, Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, stated that the suspects were apprehended following a tip-off received by detectives.

Odunlami-Omisanya added that police had begun conducting investigations into the matter to ascertain the extent of the illicit activities and identify any accomplices involved.

“Two suspects have been arrested and are assisting the police with the necessary information to apprehend others involved in this cynicism.

“Commissioner of Police Abayomi Oladipo admonishes all political aspirants to caution their supporters whose acts can stir the hornet’s nest in the state.

“The CP also ordered a total clampdown on incendiaries no matter whose ox is gored, as the Command has spread its tentacles to all nooks and crannies of the state to ensure safety of lives and property and peaceful conduct of the party primaries in the state,” she said.

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Ganduje’s Suspension: Kano APC Ward Leaders Drag High Court Judge Before NJC

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Peeved by the exparte order granted by Justice Usman Mallam Na’abba of the Kano State High Court which restrained Abdullahi Umar Ganduje from parading himself as National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Ganduje Ward chapter of the party in Dawakin Tofa local government has dragged Justice Na’abba before the National Judicial Council, ( NJC).

The exparte motion was filed by Dr Ibrahim Sa’ad Esq on behalf of two executive members of APC Ganduje ward, Dawakin-Tofa local government area; the assistant secretary, Laminu Sani; and legal adviser, Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs); who was part of the nine ward executive who had on Monday suspended the former Kano state governor as a member of the party.

Checks revealed that Justice Na’abba also held as prayed, stopped the State Working Committee of the APC Kano, from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

In a petition signed by the 27 Ward Executives, dated 17th April 2024 and addressed to the NJC chairman and Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, they accused Justice Na’abba of gross misconduct in granting the exparte order which axed Abdullahi Ganduje as APC National Chairman.

The petition reads in part: “We the Executive Committee members of Ganduje Ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State write to formally bring to your attention and seek intervention concerning the actions of Hon. Justice Usman Mallam Na’abba, presiding over Court 4 of the High Court of Kano State, in a ruling involving our Party, the All Progressives Congress APC.

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Confusion As Yahaya Bello, EFCC In Arrest, Counter-arrest Warrant’s War After Abuja’s Show Down

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Alhaji Yahaya Bello, former Kogi State Governor, has ran to a High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, to seek solace hours after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, laid siege to his Abuja residence.

The former governor on Wednesday evening obtained a court order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from infringing on his fundamental human rights.

This is coming as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday morning, laid a siege to his house, located at Wuse Zone 4, Abuja less than one week after the embattled immediate-past governor met with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The former governor had been at loggerheads with the EFCC over his multi-billion naira fraud case leveled against him by the anti-graft agency.

According to Daily Sun report EFCC had last week gotten the nod of President Tinubu and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi to prosecute Bello.

Bello, alongside his nephew and other former government officials, allegedly siphoned over N80 billion while he held sway as governor.

Over 140 properties have also been linked to the embattled former governor, both in Nigeria and abroad.

But in a two hour judgment delivered on Wednesday, at the High Court 4 and presided over by Hon. Justice I.A Jamil, in suit no HCL/68/M/2020, the court restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant except as authorised by the Court.

This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given.

The judgment followed the suit brought before the court by Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the applicant, seeking to enforce his fundamental rights against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Earlier in the judgement, the Court dismissed the issue of jurisdiction as challenged by the EFCC.

The Applicant’s Counsel SA Abbas and MS Yusuf, described the judgment as landmark while the Defendant Counsel, T.U Odima and Patrick O. Jibril also aligned themselves to the judgment, describing it as thorough.

Meanwhile, in what appear as a counter order, a Federal High Court Sitting in Abuja has granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, warrant to arrest the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the warrant on Wednesday, April 17, at the instance of the EFCC.

According to the Judge, Bello’s arrest is preparatory to his arraignment on Thursday, April 18.

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