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LASG disburses N7bn to 10,000 SMEs, creates 25,000 jobs


By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Lagos State Government has disbursed atleast N7 billion to Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, targeted at contributing to growth of the economy.

The state government added the funds disbursed through Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) programme, has within three years created over 25,000 new jobs in the state.

The funds disbursed were disclosed yesterday by the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, while presenting cheques to another batch of over 2,000 beneficiaries in Ikeja.

While reeling out a breakdown of the beneficiaries, Ambode said: “Before today, which is 2,000 beneficiaries, we had a total of 3,652 female loan beneficiaries to the 4,280 male loan beneficiaries.”

The Governor added that the beneficiaries of the LSETF programmes range from the youth to senior citizens in active business in all councils, saying, the positive stories emanating from beneficiaries were pleasing to note.

“A very big validation of this programme we have embarked upon comes from the over 25,000 new direct jobs created directly by these businesses in our State. This does not include the multiplier effect of those businesses on the Lagos economy and the indirect jobs created,” he added.

While charging the beneficiaries to use the funds to grow their businesses and pay back as at when due, Ambode also expressed optimism about the sustainability of the scheme, saying it was instructive that the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had already expressed commitment to the initiative.

While appreciating various agencies and institutions who partnered with the LSETF to bring about the successes so far recorded, Omoigui-Okauru also urged others to take a cue from such by collaborating where and when necessary to further advance the objectives of the initiative.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Adeoye Olumide of Jetco Global Farms whose company was granted N3.750million loan, said aside that he applied and got the loan without knowing anybody in government, the multiplier effect of the scheme was amazing as more people would be employed to his business.

“This is so unbelievable and it is so amazing. The domino effect on the entire value chain with this empowerment is very laudable and very commendable,” Olumide said.

Senate President Bukola Saraki

Saraki empowers APC 52 women leaders in Kwara

By News Desk

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has disbursed N10.4 million to 52 women who were leaders from tAll Progressive Congress (APC), in Kwara on Sunday.

Saraki, who is the representative of four local governments of Asa, Ilorin South, Ilorin West and Ilorin East at the senate, empowered the 52 women leaders from the Kwara Central District, with each women given the sum of N200, 000.

The move by the Senate President, came few days after offsetting a 20 months’ salary arrears owed 220 traditional chiefs by three local government areas in his constituency.

Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries at the Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s (ABS) Constituency Office, Ilorin, the ABS Director General, Musa Abdullahi said Saraki doled out the money to assist the women boost their businesses and trades.

He said the senate president held women in high esteem because of their positive contributions to the economy for which he said they deserved to be encouraged.

Abdullahi advised the beneficiaries to use the money for the intended purpose to enhance their standard of living.

In her remark, a chieftain of the party, Muslimat Ibrahim urged the women leaders to reciprocate the gesture by being loyal to the senate president and the party.

She advised the beneficiaries to be weary of the antics of some politicians who would only come around during election period to seek their votes.

Atiku outlines challenges confronting Nigeria, backs restructuring

By NewsDesk,

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has indicated that Nigeria was going through numerous challenges, such that were threatening unity, economy of the nation, and that most worrisome of all, was in area of security, that seems tougher than monster Nigerian government could handle.

Atiku said that until Nigerians collectively accept that difference between Nigerians was not North and South, Christian and Muslim or that of political parties’ preference,  the nation would persist yearning for ways out of the challenges plunging the country in crisis on daily basis.

To him, Nigeria needs to be restructured and that the nation must embrace restructuring as a tool that must be done to fix Nigeria’s broken systems and not just a campaign gimmick.

In his analogy, difference must be between good and bad people and that the country as a whole must demonstrate that good forces were much more than bad ideologies.

Raising concern on state of security, Atiku noted that a group of girls were few days abducted from Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi axis of Yobe State and were yet to be located, just as Chibok schoolgirls too were kidnapped years ago by Boko Haram militants, the abductors of the former.

Delivering a key note address at Silverbird ‘Man of Year’ yesterday in Lagos, the former vice president also noted that the challenges facing the country were symptoms and not ailment and that Nigeria was caught in a modern-day Malthusian Trap, with population growing faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He added that the nation’s increasing population drives competition for resources that were not keeping pace with population growth and that after contracting for five consecutive quarters, Nigeria came out of recession in second quarter of 2017 with a GDP growth rate of 0.55 per cent, fared better with 1.40 per cent in third quarter of same period

He claimed that Nigeria has overtaken India as world’s capital of extreme poverty and that there were more extremely poor people in Nigeria than in the latter, a country that has six times Nigeria’s population.

“Our nation is going through a lot of challenges. There are challenges to our unity, economy. Most worrisome are the security challenges we are currently facing.

“When people do not have jobs and the means to start a business are beyond their reach, they are incrementally much more likely to engage in criminal behaviours like terrorism, kidnapping, militancy and armed robbery.

“Nigeria has a median age of 18.3 years. Our population is young. So when we have successful and laudable initiatives like YouWIN, we must continue them even when there has been a change in administration.

Admonishing gathering at the event on solution to the nations problems, Atiku stressed that fighting corruption would not be enough for the country to tackle issues, but moving beyond sentiments and media trials, as well as  looking at fact.

He added that despite the country fight against corruption in past years, Transparency International scored Nigeria even lower than in 2014, the situation of which signified that the nation need more and advance tactics to combat the vice and that of others.

“We talk of fighting corruption, but let us move beyond sentiments and media trials and look at the facts.

“We must try to identify why, though we have been ostensibly fighting corruption for the past few years, Transparency International is scoring Nigeria even lower than in 2014

“We have to kill the snake of corruption that swallows the commonwealth that should lift our people up from poverty. Whether that snake is in a JAMB Office or any other government office, we must kill it or it will kill us”.

Atiku reminded that during his tenure as vice president, his government reduced recurrent expenditure by introducing monetization policy and privatizing government enterprises, the system he claimed had been abandoned and recurrent expenditures had ballooned.

“We cannot spend 70% of our budget on recurrent expenditure at a time Nigeria has more unemployed or underemployed people than the entire population of the Republic of Cameroon.

“We have to enact laws to prevent leaders from diverting public funds from the public health sector to the treatment of the elite in the best hospitals abroad.

“If you can afford it from your own private resources, then pay for it. But do not make the tax payer pay for it.

“Our elite are treated in Europe. BBNaija is being broadcast from South Africa and Nike is unveiling our FIFA World Cup Jersey in London. Is this the extent to which we have outsourced Nigeria?, he raised concerns.



Between decamping and governance

By Azibola Omekwe,

The other day Dele Agekameh continued the hype of Atiku’s decamping from the APC to the PDP. It is clear it has generated a spirit that has possessed Nigeria in recent times.

The hullabaloo is buzzing, akin to Nigeria having successfully won the World Cup, or the Nigerian economy having overtaken that of the USA and China.

More to that, it is being believed to be a criminal thing since words like “political prostitution” were used to describe this lawful and basic right of a public figure who has been a champion in the public service, business and politics.

In a country where it is believed that most public office holders have skeletons in their cupboard, Atiku has thrown a challenge to the whole world for anyone who has evidence of any thievery by him to come forward with it.

The truth is that there are enemies of Nigerians who do not want him to be president come 2019. And they believe that the surest way to stop him is to tar him with corruption. But none has come forward to the challenge.

This is the most delicate open declaration by someone who has been in a Nigerian cash agency like the Customs Service and has been a Vice President for eight years. The person he is likely to contest against, in an apparent challenge to Atiku, dared him to go to the United States as if that country is more concerned about corruption in Nigeria than he who claimed he was going to arrest corrupted people and jail them.

But as at now, this purported austere president of ours who has led us in evidence against Atiku’s decamping is being linked to one of the best built residential estates in Nigeria.

Surprisingly, the press missed that. If I may ask, how can Atiku’s decamping raise dust more than an exuberant first family?

 The most shocking of all is how the media has decided to oblige the present APC-led regime by being diverted to talk about Atiku decamping. Why do we have to cast aspersion on what is lawful? We urge the media to rather look at Atiku’s character of sacrifice for democracy. What about his journey from grass to grace? Can the youth learn and hope in such a model? What is his position on restructuring and devolution of power? Why is he not intimidated by such a new national phase? We believe those are the things that should engage us. Why criminalise a lawful act?

Truth be told, this provides us with a choice come 2019. Should we undermine the opportunity of choice to talk about a lawful action which most politicians including the president are guilty of? If we enact a law that all Nigerian politicians who ever decamped be banned from politics, we might require a microscope to sift through those who never did.

Since the advent of democracy, the Nigeria media has shown itself to be the best guardian of Democracy. They had severally mobilized Nigerians to oppose obnoxious government actions. A classic example was the role they played on the occasion of bedridden late Yar’Adua. A major newspaper based in the north in collaboration with Obasanjo told Yar’Adua to give way for the necessary things to be done. Obasanjo said exactly what Nigerians wanted. That was the deadly blow that quashed the stalemate. Barrage of opinions ensued. And then death came calling and Nigeria moved forward. The rest is history.

In virtually every sector in the country, the Nigeria media has performed creditably. On Goodluck Jonathan, they preferred a Buhari replacement thereby throwing decorum overboard. Admittedly, while many worked behind the scenes for Buhari, a handful were objective, which automatically did not work in favour of Goodluck Jonathan. The ones who wanted GEJ out went on unsolicited whistle-blowing of everything he touched. It was a hysterical blitzkrieg. Some papers did what they did under the guise of for ‘God and Country’, and for ‘trust’ while a handful of them desperately wanted Jonathan.

Buhari won. High Chief Raymond Dokpesi spoke about the written and unwritten reasons GEJ lost that election. They are obvious. Perhaps for national expediency and the tragedy that has continually haunted Nigeria, nobody would be bold enough to come out to put it in black and white. In fact, it was better we let it be and face the restructuring we want.

 Coincidentally when Buhari came to power, executives of some popular media houses got appointed to ‘juicy’ positions. They are Nigerians. It is their right. They had been very critical of governance throughout the days of PDP. But we are lucky those that criticised the government came to power. Nigerians have never seen worse poverty like today. Bomb blasts have considerably been reduced with a great takeover by cattle herdsmen. There is increased insecurity on our roads. Nigerians are generally afraid to travel. Surprisingly, the media has gone to sleep on a general note. They are silent over practically everything that has gone wrong: joblessness, runaway unemployment, inflation and insecurity. They probably have decided to ‘siddon and look’ before they react.

 But how come they are now agitated about Atiku’s decamping when no doom statistics roused them? When foreign debt has attained a frightening position? Are they sold by the ‘righteousness’ of Buhari? How does righteous and austere living substitute for good governance? How can we trust austere character more than Nigeria’s future? Is it true that soon there will be an increase in pump price of petrol? Lest we forget, a section of the media, political parties and civil society had insisted there must not be increase in price of petrol during Goodluck Jonathan’s regime. But this administration doubled the price of petrol and wants to do so again. However, because ‘our mumu never do’, we saw nothing wrong with it. There is no need for a strike again because some people have crossed the bridge and are no longer sorrowful. They are however on guard against anyone who decamps and leaves their party for another to challenge them. They are sure of our gullibility to remind us of how staying in one party is morally right. But then they would have us forget that the political party they started with has gone into extinction. The government of the day has performed so creditably that some columnists have decided to partner with it to make sure Nigerians remain in the government party – apologies to Dele Agekameh. In fact, those who provided a platform to tell late Yar’Adua to resign are now commissioning already-made railway and dry port with no tangible start-up facilities in the face of poverty. That Nigeria would soon produce the highest population of the poor in 2018; what percentage would the north take under Buhari? All eyes on Atiku’s decamping rather, says the media.

Recently, Rotimi Amaechi accused Goodluck Jonathan of squandering the Excess Crude Account. Everybody was stupefied for this crass falsehood. In fact, the fight to squander the ECA as propounded by Amaechi was his journey to stardom then in opposition circles. We have not forgotten how Amaechi and his co-travellers rushed to court and defeated the government to bring the ECA for sharing. The future did not matter at all. But few weeks ago, he had the temerity to tell Nigerians that he fought to protect the ECA. Sadly, Atiku’s decamping noise completely dwarfs that part. The government machinery redirected our attention to a mere moral bias that is even lawful instead of reprimanding Amaechi for peddling falsehood. The media did not find it fit to rebuke the government for Rotimi Amaechi’s action. Our children, future leaders, have been taught one lesson: if you are feeding fat, nothing matters again. This terrible silence by a section of the media has sown a seed and raised falsehood to statecraft. But can it be admitted that this government has degenerated to this extent? We were told he is a man of integrity. In short, he is on the verge of rewarding Amaechi with re-appointment as a campaign DG. Telling lies apparently is going to be the thrust of this government.

But let it be clear, this government is not really against decamping even if it happens a million times. What made Atiku’s decamping distasteful is that he decamped from APC to a party that would unseat them. Just steal all the money you can, you could even be the most sought after guy in the EFCC. But all you need is to decamp to APC then walk majestically; the chief host of the party would be at the gate welcoming you with a lot of hype and razzmatazz. Then the EFCC will eventually understand. Then the money you stole will have gone forever. Even the media does not see such commando decamping as anything. Truth is, they have crossed the bridge and feel no more sorry. 

 Nigerians, remember nobody knew who reinstated Abdulrasheed Maina. By the utterances of his lawyer, it shows the man is in the good books of the government and the last has not been heard about him. The latest frivolous application of the Attorney General of the Federation before the Federal High Court shows the silhouette position of the government in Maina’s case. Nigerians have moved on despite Buhari’s henchmen knowing and protecting him. The Nigeria media and civil society that kept vigil in Abacha’s regime have been kowtowed. Emboldened by Nigerians pliability, the in-thing in town is that the dead and zombies are now on our pay roll! That is upping the stakes. Since some are preoccupied with Atiku’s decamping, ghost workers now hold sway. And if you complain too much, they will tell you it was a mistake.

Atiku has decamped from the APC to the PDP. We know. But how does that surpass the inaccurate lies that have characterised the fuel crisis since December last year? For the sake of hapless Nigerians, Atiku needed to decamp. Some are decamping to save their loot while he decamped for good governance that he is obsessed with. He can decamp for the sake of the Nigerian state. Remember, even a section of the media and the civil society have decamped from vigilance.


Hon. Omekwe is a former member of Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

PDP justifies Atiku latest decision, presidency differs

By Abdulwaheed Usamah 

Following former Vice President’s, Atiku Abubakar, latest decision that he would be returning to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after tendering his resignation to All Progressive Congress (APC) recently, his new party has justified the VP’s action by explaining that his return to the part was in good faith and benefit to Nigerians.

The party said that there was no better way Atiku could have expressed his dissatisfaction over the APC non performance and failure to deliver its promises before Nigeria threw support behind the party during 2015 election than to exit from the party.

Although the party’s submission was contrary to presidency position against the former VP’s rejoining the abandoned PDP, a ground President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide claimed was feeble and tantamount to ambition appetite.

A member of the PDP, Olademaji Fabiyi, stated that Atiku has only carried out his constitutional right and that his defection has only been between two parties, that of the PDP and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which merged with other political parties that formed APC.

Speaking during a televised interview in Abuja on Tuesday, Fabiyi juxtaposed the former VP’s return to PDP with that of Buhari’s defections from other parties before APC.

He kicked against members of APC describing Atiku as series defectors, just as he submitted that the former VP tendering of resignation at his former party recently was a result of the APC renege on the party’s promise made before assuming office in 2015.

Fabiyi, who also returned to PDP alongside Atiku, noted that APC had failed on its agenda promised Nigerians during campaign, which includes restructuring of government, three million jobs integration among others, but contrary was the result after two years in office.

He affirmed that the former VP president was pro-Nigerian who has created jobs in the country than any other Nigerian, adding that, Atiku was a bridge between old and young citizen of Nigeria due to his passion for the nation’s progression.

“Atiku has created over 500, 000 direct jobs and three million indirect ones and he had been passionate about youth, succession plan and good governance in Nigeria.”

When asked if Atiku would run Nigerian presidential seat come 2019, the PDP returned member optimistically confirmed the former VP’s readiness for the race even though he was yet to personally announce his decision.

“Atiku is more qualified to contest for post of president by 2019, it is a constitutional right and it is also there in the party’s constitution.”

Clearing air over his return to PDP, Fabiyi maintained that his decision was that of personal interest and that it was for good of Nigerians particularly youth.

But for president Special Adviser on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojodu, Atiku has not provided enough reason for his return to PDP after thee years in APC beyond the stated excuses during a live stream over the weekend.

He said that presidency and APC were not surprised about Atiku defection and that the party and its members had seen it coming before its arrival.




We are surprise by Atiku’s decision-APC

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Barely hours after former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, announced his resignation from All Progressives Congress (APC), the party said that it is surprise he is leaving APC after working for it’s enthronement in the country.

APC stressed that the resignation of the ex-vice president would not affect the party from continued adoption of strategies that could improve its system in the country.

The party expressed its dissatisfaction over Atiku’s decision on Friday, disclosing that it was yet to receive any formal letter from him, indicating such claim, stressing that based on what it had seen on social media, APC described the action as surprising.

National Publicity Secretary, APC, Bolaji Abdullahi, made the party stance known while reacting to the development in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.

“For us politics is all about interest; so, if the former Vice President feels that his interest is better served elsewhere, we don’t have any issues against that. We can always wish him good luck. For us, the task of building a political party is not a day’s job; it is a marathon.

 “And, it takes many years and we will continue to improve on our system to get the kind of party we want to really build, “ the former sports minister added.

He further stressed that it took many years to build a strong political party, adding that parties were made up of different persons, some happy and some sad.

Abdullahi, who said everybody would have to take decisions at some point in time, however, stated that the APC was not bothered about the rumoured exit of the former vice president from the party until Atiku forward number of people that would move with him.

He maintained that those remaining in the party would continue to work for the party ideals, build it and make it stronger in the interest of all.

It would be recalled that the ex-vice president had in a statement personally signed by him announced his resignation from the APC, citing lack of good relationship with the party leadership, among other issues.

According to Atiku, the situation in my former party left me and several other loyal party members in limbo, not knowing which of the parallel executives the legitimate leadership was.

He further stated that he joined the APC to continue his struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to the country and the people.

“However, events of the intervening years have shown that like any other human and many other Nigerians, I was fallible. I admit that I and others who accepted the invitation to join the APC were eager to make positive changes for our country that we fell for a mirage.

“Be that as it may be, after due consultation with my God, my family, my supporters and the Nigerian people whom I meet in all walks of life, I hereby tender my resignation from the APC,’’ Atiku claimed.


Protests mar council secretaries, supervisors screening in Lagos

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

The screening exercise for the appointed Secretaries to the Local Governments (SLGs) and Supervisory councilors in Lagos state were on Monday marred by protest over alleged alteration of the approved list by the government.

It was gathered that the list for each councils includes the SLG and six other Supervisory councilors, to assist the council chairman in the implementation of their electoral promises.

The screening came barely four days after Lagos State government approved appointment of SLGs and Supervisors for the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the State.

The protesters, who were largely All Progressives Congress (APC) members, stormed Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, alleging that the list of appointees earlier sent by the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to Agege Local Government, has been altered.

According to the protesters, who stormed office of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, the names that were never in the list forwarded by the governor was invited for screening by the Councilors.

Addressing the protesters, the Senior Special Assistance to the governor on Civic Engagement, Taiwo Ayedun, assured the protesters that the governor would investigate toascertain their claim.

Also, in Agbado-Oke Odo LCDA, it was gathered that the screening exercise was marred by protest which prompted policemen attached to the Meiran Police station to allegedly fired teargas canisters to disperse the protesters.

A resident, Nurudeen, who witnessed the act, told the Guild that the protesters were teargas by the law enforcement officers to prevent breakdown of law and order in the community.

It would be recalled that Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tunji Bello, had stated that the appointment was in line with the provisions of the Lagos Local Government Administration Law and the Guidelines for Administrative Procedures for Local Government.

He said the appointment of the SLGs and Supervisors would aid the councils to hit the ground running to further deepen democratic values and culture at the grassroots in line with the present administration’s policy thrust of community-based governance and government of inclusion.

Kogi declares Monday public holiday to mark Buhari’s return

By Newsdesk

The Kogi state government has declared Monday as public holiday to allow residents attend a special thanksgiving aimed at marking safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country from London in United Kingdom, where he had gone for medical vacation.

According to the government, decision to hold the service was in line with support people had been giving to Buhari in his efforts at correcting ills of the past administration and setting the nation on sound economic footing.

The Director -General, media and publicity to the state governor, Kingsley Fanwo, who announced the public holiday on Sunday, explained that the decision was to enable residents give thanks to God for returning Buhari in sound health and mind.

“ We urge the people to also use the occasion of the public holiday to pray for Mr. President as he resumes his responsibilities of repositioning Nigeria, “ Fanwo said.

He quoted the state governor, Yahaya Bello, as thanking the people for standing by the President while undergoing treatment in London and for trooping to Abuja to welcome the him.

Meanwhile, All Progressives Congress, (APC), Deputy National Chairman (South), Segun Oni, has described Buhari’s return as soothing balm on the tensed atmosphere in the country.

Oni, in a statement signed by his media aide, Steve Alabi, in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state, on Sunday, stressed that seeing the President in good health has helped correct erroneous impression about his health.

The APC chieftain congratulated the President for the recovery and wished him robust health as he continues to give quality leadership to the country.

Oni advised Buhari’s antagonists to desist from playing politics with every issue as they were not God.

He said: “There is a particular governor in one of the South West states, who said he would commit suicide if President Buhari returned to the country alive.

“Now that our leader is back into the country, not only alive but agile and ready to resume his Presidential seat, when are we going to read or hear the news of his suicide in the dailies or on the radio and television?,” Oni added.

Edo governor commends Buhari, Osinbajo, Oshiomhole, others after Supreme Court verdict

By Newsdesk

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President,Yemi Osinbajo and the people of the state supports that lifted his spirit before his declaration as the state’s elected governor by Supreme Court.

Obaseki, yeterday, noted that the apex court’s judgement invariably validates the perfection of the triumph of the will of the people and establishes the masses as the true and ultimate power of democracy in the state.

The governor revealed in a statement yesterday that the validation of his victory was stronger because both the Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal gave verdicts, which mirrored the Supreme Court’s judgement, and confirmed that truth indeed was immutable.

“These serial victories at the polls and the various courts have undoubtedly given me and the good people of Edo State joy, but it should also teach us a vital lesson that at all times, no matter the severity of the odds, we must stand on the side of fidelity, honesty and truth, ” he said.

“It goes without saying that we have received invaluable support and guidance from a vast number of friends, supporters and well-wishers, and there are no words that can adequately convey our gratitude, “Obaseki added.

Expressing his gratitude, the governor appreciated Buhari for what he described as his immovable support, wise counsel and firm commitment to democracy and good governance, while he also praised Osinbajo, for his wisdom, encouragement, relentless support and skillful leadership.

Meanwhile, he emphasised that the leadership of All Progressives Congress,(APC) under John Odigie Oyegun, remained an uncompromising pillar, stressing that he reserved a tremendous amount of gratitude to the immediate past governor of the state, Adams Aliu Oshiuomhole, for his commitment to democracy.

Obaseki said he hoped that the verdict by the Supreme Court, which according to him the last and final judicial authority of the land, would give the oppositions parties to join hands with him to continue the building the state.

It would be recalled that the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, dismissed the appeal by the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), in the state,  Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

It upheld election of Obaseki of APC, just as it also consequently affirmed concurrent verdicts of Court of Appeal in Benin City and Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which had earlier dismissed Ize-Iyamu’s case and upheld Obaseki’s victory.

The lead judgments in both the interlocutory and substantive appeal were prepared and delivered yesterday by Justice Iyang Okoro.

“After careful consideration of all the arguments and processes filed by parties in this matter, I am of the firm view that this appeal is devoid of merit and deserves an order of dismissal and accordingly the appeal is hereby dismissed,” Okoro said.

2 PDP Nasarawa legislators defect to APC

Peter Moses, Ilorin

The Minority Leader and Deputy Minority Whip of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Alkali and Mohammed Muluku on Monday defected to All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Alkali represents Lafia North constituency, while Muluku represents Nassarawa Eggon East constituency in the state assembly.

The Speaker, Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, who read the duo’s defection letters on Monday, congratulated them for taking the right decision.

“We will continue to partner each other in order to move the party, the state and the country forward for the benefit of our people”, he said.

Balarabe-Abdullahi assured of the assembly’s readiness to continue to enact laws that have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the state.

Earlier, the duo attributed their defection to the APC to crisis rocking the PDP at the national level.

Alkali said, the crisis rocking our party at the national level is the reason why I defected to APC after due consultation with my constituents.

“After due consultation with my party stakeholders, my constituency and other people in the state, I deem it necessary to dump PDP for APC to contribute my quota to the development of the state and Nigeria at large”, he said.

They, however, appreciated the PDP for giving them the opportunity to contest and win election to the House.