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Rivers State House of Assembly threatens to resume impeachment proceedings against Fubara

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The Rivers house of assembly has threatened to resume impeachment proceedings against Siminalayi Fubara, governor of the state.

Speaking on Saturday while addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt, the state capital, Martin Amaewhule, speaker of the house of assembly, who was flanked by 26 members of the chamber, accused Fubara of refusing to fulfil his part of the accord reached during a meeting with President Bola Tinubu.

The lawmakers said they withdrew their impeachment notice against Fubara out of respect for Tinubu, hoping that he would fulfil his side of the armistice.

The lawmakers said they would resume the impeachment proceedings against Fubara as the last resort if he continues to “breach the constitution”.

“We begin by announcing to you that sponsored attacks on the house have failed woefully,” Amaewhule said.

“Enemies of the people and those who cannot withstand the principles of the rule of law as well as checks and balances in our nascent democracy, in their frustration, started with the burning and later demolition of the hallowed chamber.

“Their plan is to eliminate the legislature that is pushing for the independence granted her by the constitution since they cannot exercise undue control over her.

“We survived these attacks! Their new strategy is to use another arm of government, lobbyists, attack dogs and the mainstream and social media to bring the house to disrepute and consummate their agenda.”

The lawmakers criticised members of the PDP presidential campaign council in the 2023 election for their remarks against the assembly and Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

“The latest of the new groups recruited against the 10th assembly is the former Rivers state PDP presidential campaign council. In a press conference on the 26th of March 2024 signed by Dr. Abiye Sekibo, this group inferred that the house is an illegal and unconstitutional assembly,” the speaker said.

‘NO INDIVIDUAL IS BIGGER THAN RIVERS’

The lawmakers accused Fubara of “unlawful actions” and allegedly flouting the constitution.

“It is worthy of note that the notice of impeachment of the governor was quickly withdrawn by members of the house in fulfilment of the terms of the agreement and out of immense respect for the person and office of the president of the Federal Republic and believing that there would be a u-turn in terms of unlawful actions of the governor,” Amaewhule said.

“The reverse is now the case as we see from day to day the activities of the state governor been conducted outside the laws of Rivers state and the constitution.

“To this day, Rivers state remains the only state without an appropriation law.

“So, if it becomes a last resort, in accordance with the law, we will not hesitate to do so because no individual is bigger than Rivers state, including the governor.”

BACKGROUND

Wike, the immediate past governor of Rivers, and Fubara, his successor, have been embroiled in a struggle for the control of Rivers’ political structure.

The feud between both men sparked a political crisis in the state leading to the demolition of the Rivers house of assembly complex.

The political crisis also resulted in the resignation of some of Fubara’s cabinet members.

In the wake of the crisis, Wike’s associates in the Rivers house of assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against the governor.

Fubara’s allies kicked against the impeachment moves.

Thereafter, 27 lawmakers in the state house of assembly defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Edison Ehie, the factional speaker of the house at the time, declared the seats of the lawmakers vacant.

Fubara subsequently presented the 2024 budget before five members of the assembly.

On December 18, the governor and Wike agreed to end the political feud between them after President Bola Tinubu intervened.

Some of the resolutions reached at the meeting were that: All matters instituted in courts by the different factions should be immediately withdrawn, the 27 lawmakers who defected to the APC should be taken back as members of the assembly, the impeachment proceedings against Fubara should be withdrawn, and the govenor should represent the state budget to a properly constituted assembly.

Following the signing of the agreement, the 27 lawmakers who endorsed the impeachment proceedings also rescinded the notice against the governor.

The governor has also sworn in the commissioners who resigned from his government.

However, the political crisis has not abated.

The lawmakers recently vetoed the govenor on two bills he refused to sign into law.

The Rivers assembly is controlled by lawmakers loyal to Wike.

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38-year-old Omobayo to replace impeached Shaibu as Edo deputy governor

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Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, has picked Omobayo Godwin as his deputy, hours after the impeachment of Philip Shaibu.

The 38-year-old Omobayo is scheduled to be sworn in at the Edo government house in Benin City, the state capital, in the next couple of hours.

Born on July 19, 1986, Omobayo hails from Akoko Edo LGA of the state.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical electronics, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

Shaibu was impeached on Monday by the Edo house of assembly.

His impeachment followed the adoption of the report of a seven-man investigative panel.

The panel was set up by Daniel Okungbowa, chief judge of Edo, and was headed by S. A. Omonuwa, a retired justice.

Shaibu was accused of “misconduct, perjury and disclosure of government secrets”.

Obaseki fell out with Shaibu after the latter showed interest in contesting the governorship election.

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I’m not leaving LP — we’ll resolve all issues, says Obi

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Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, says he is not leaving the party.

Obi spoke on Sunday during the inauguration of a borehole he donated to traders at Pantami cattle market in Gombe state.

The former Anambra governor said he would financially support 100 traders to boost their businesses.

Responding to whether he would leave the LP due to the recent leadership crisis, Obi said there is no such thing, adding that issues in the party would be resolved.

“No, there is no such thing. I am for peace. I like peace. I believe that we are one. We are one people and our concentration should be on peace and I believe we will resolve all issues,” he said.

On the speculation linking him with Nasir el-Rufai, the former governor of Kaduna, for the 2027 elections, Obi said he is more interested in the welfare of Nigerians than in the election.

“We are always concentrating on the election rather than what Nigerians are going through,” he said.

“My commitment is about Nigerians living in a better society, given a better life. You could see this business (market) without water for years. That is what we should care about and that is my concern.”

The LP has been embroiled in crises, ranging from allegations of misappropriation of funds, and leadership tussles and calls for the resignation of the party’s national chairman

On March 27, the LP conducted a national convention in Anambra state to re-elect Julius Abure as its national chairman.

Obi did not attend the convention, fuelling speculations that he might be scheming to dump the LP for another platform.

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Ondo guber: Police disown report on certificate forgery against Aiyedatiwa

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The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have disowned a report claiming that the force had concluded investigations into the certificate forgery allegations against Lucky Aiyedatiwa, governor of Ondo.

Recently, a report, purportedly signed by “DCP Tahir Usman”, on the probe of O’level certificate of Aiyedatiwa, made the rounds on social media.

In the report, it was claimed that “there is no proof to show” that Aiyedatiwa attended Ikoyi High School, Ikosi-Ketu, Lagos.

In a statement on Friday, Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, said the alleged signatory to the report does not have the authority to release such a document on behalf of the force.

Adejobi said the force is currently investigating the source of the document and circumstances surrounding the circulation.

“The document alleges fraudulent misrepresentation, certificate forgery, examination malpractice, and perjury against the governor,” the statement reads.

“We wish to clarify that the said document did not originate from the Nigeria Police Force.

“The alleged signatory, a deputy commissioner of police, does not have the authority to release such a report on behalf of the force criminal investigation department (FCID) or any other such departments within the Nigeria Police Force.

“We urge the public to exercise caution and refrain from spreading unverified information that could potentially tarnish the reputation of individuals or public officials.”

Ahead of the November governorship election in Ondo, there have been a raft of allegations bordering on certificate forgery against Aiyedatiwa.

In January, the Ondo State Redemption Initiative (OSRI) accused the governor of “forging a certificate he claimed to have gotten from the University of Ibadan”.

“He claimed to have acquired an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Ibadan in 2001 but checks have proved that an Advanced diploma in business administration was not available at the University of Ibadan as of 2001,” Adebayo Ogunsanmi, the group’s president, had said.

Responding to the allegation, Ebenezer Adeniyan, the chief press secretary to Aiyedatiwa, asked the group to provide evidence to back their claims.

On Thursday, Aiyedatiwa submitted his nomination forms at the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.

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