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Fresh respite for defected Rivers lawmakers as court extends interim order against INEC, PDP

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has prolonged the interim order issued on December 15, which halted any actions by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the 26 members of the Rivers House of Assembly who switched from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Donatus Okorowo, presiding over the court, granted the extension on Thursday in response to a request by the legal representative of the embattled lawmakers, Steve Adehi, SAN. Ken Njemanze, SAN, representing the Rivers House of Assembly, also supported the application.

Although Adeyemi Kamaldeen Ajibade, SAN, the counsel for the PDP, opposed the application, the judge, citing Order 26, Rule 10 of the Federal High Court, asserted his discretionary power to grant the plea in the interest of justice. Justice Okorowo stated that he was convinced by the arguments presented by Adehi and Njemanze, deeming the order necessary for the interest of justice.

After the extension was granted, the judge scheduled the next hearing for January 24, 2024, to address other applications on notice.

On December 15, Justice Okorowo had initially granted the ex-parte motion filed by the 26 lawmakers who left the PDP for the APC. The court restrained INEC from organizing a new election for the seats of the 26 lawmakers. It also prohibited INEC, PDP, and the House of Assembly from declaring their seats vacant and withdrawing their respective Certificates of Returns until the motion on notice is heard and determined.

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The plaintiffs, in the motion ex-parte labeled FHC/ABJ/CS/1681/2023, dated and filed on December 13, named INEC, PDP, the House of Assembly, Clerk of the Assembly, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and the Department of State Service (DSS) as the 1st to 6th defendants, respectively.

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Gunmen Kill 6 Famers In Kaduna Village

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The Numana Community Development Organisation (NCDO) has expressed sorrow over the recent unprovoked attack and killing of innocent and unarmed farmers in Ambe village, Sanga local government area of Kaduna State, by gunmen.

During the tragic incident, six people were killed, and many others were injured and are currently receiving medical treatment in various hospitals.

In a statement to journalists in Abuja, NCDO President Comrade Ahmed Gani remarked, “It is alarming that kidnappings in our communities have surged recently, with reports of one or two persons being kidnapped every week.”

He further highlighted the worsening situation, stating that herdsmen have occupied ancestral lands, transforming these areas into hotspots for frequent kidnappings of innocent farmers. Some affected villages include Dangwa Ungwan Kafinta, Ninte, and Dangwa Ungwa Manzo.

Gani recounted a series of attacks in Sanga local government area: two people were killed at Lambari village on March 2, 2023; one person at Unguwar Madaki Arak on May 5, 2023; one at Gani Sarki on August 19, 2023; and five at Unguwar Ganye on February 8, 2024.

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“These persistent attacks on our peaceful communities have become intolerable, especially now with the onset of the rainy season,” he stated.

Farmers are now afraid to go to their farms due to the escalating attacks, which will likely have a negative impact on the local economy in the coming months, Gani warned.

While acknowledging the efforts of the Kaduna State Government under Governor Senator Uba Sani to address insecurity, Gani urged for increased protection, especially in Sanga and Jema’a local government areas.

He called on the Kaduna state government to deploy more security forces to rural communities to protect residents and restore their confidence so they can farm without fear of attack. Gani also urged the state government to support those injured in the recent Ambe village attack who are currently undergoing medical treatment.

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BREAKING: Helicopter Carrying Iranian President Raisi Crashes In Azerbaijan

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A helicopter in a convoy transporting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to the Qiz-Qalasi Dam in East Azerbaijan province reportedly crashed on Sunday.

Details of the crash and information about other passengers were unclear at the time of reporting, but rescuers were attempting to reach the crash site, according to state television.

The country’s finance minister, Amir Abdollahian, was also reportedly in the helicopter with the president. Reports indicated that two of the three helicopters in the convoy safely reached their destination.

Iran operates a variety of helicopters but faces challenges in obtaining parts due to international sanctions. Much of Iran’s military air fleet dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The 63-year-old Raisi is a hard-line former head of Iran’s judiciary and is considered a disciple of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some analysts believe he could succeed the 85-year-old Khamenei upon his death or resignation.

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We will not tolerate breach of contractual agreement – Gov Namadi warns contractors

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Jigawa State governor, Malam Umar Namadi has said his administration would not tolerate or accept any breach of contractual agreement.

The Governor stated this while inspecting some ongoing projects across the state.

The inspected projects were mostly rehabilitation and reconstruction of the roads and bridges damaged by flooding in the last two years.

Speaking to various contractors, Governor Namadi expressed satisfaction on the quality of the projects and urged them to speed up the work for a timely completion.

According to him, “we are ready to continue patronizing any company that demonstrates seriousness and sincerely in handling his work.

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“We will not delay your payment as soon as you complete the work and at the same time we will not tolerate or accept any breach of contractual agreement.”

He noted that the state government had taken measures towards reconstruction of facilities damaged by flood last year.

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