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Panic, Anger In PDP as APC Pursue Bauchi, Cross River, Zamfara Governors

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The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has been thrown into panic following an attempt by the All Progressives Congress to bring in Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and his Cross River State counterpart, Governor Ben Ayade.

The negotiations are being handled by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, who is also the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee; and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

An impeccable source within the APC told Sunday PUNCH that Governor Ifeanyi Uguwanyi of Enugu State was also being targeted by the APC but had declined their advances.

“Uguwanyi has been targeted but he is proving stubborn. Our aim is to ensure that we have at least three South-East states out of the five ahead of the 2023 elections. If we cannot get Ugwuanyi, we will ensure that we win the Anambra governorship election which comes up later in the year,” he said.

It was learnt that Governor Matawalle of Zamfara State had already been accepted by top All Progressives Congress leaders in Zamfara State like a former governor of the state, Senator Ahmed Yerima, who had stated publicly that Matawalle would defect.

A PDP chieftain said, “Matawalle became governor through a Supreme Court ruling. Zamfara State is still very much APC and Matawalle is seeking a second term in office. He has been able to establish a good relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari.

“He has also been at loggerheads with the leadership of the PDP. In November 2020, Matawalle lashed out at the South-South governors of the PDP for generating bad blood in the party.

“He said he was disappointed with the South-South governors for sparking the controversy over the Zamfara gold issue and even said he was not surprised by the decision of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State to dump the PDP for the APC. He is therefore expected to join APC soon.”

It was learnt that Governor Mohammed of Bauchi State was also expected to join the APC soon and had already begun taking pro-APC positions on several matters.

“Bala Mohammed is also seeking a second term. His recent statements on herdsmen and his refusal to blame the Federal Government are due to his relationship with the Presidency. We have made frantic efforts to keep him in the party but it seems he may have made up his mind,” he said.

It was learnt that Ayade had lost control of the PDP structure in the state.

A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, is also expected to leave the PDP soon along with some governors before the registration exercise of the APC ends.

“The recent membership drive is being championed by Governor Buni, Governor Yahaya Bello; Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN). These are people who have the power to give you what the PDP cannot give.

“They have the President’s backing to make promises and keep them. They are not like Bola Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole who were not empowered by the President,” a former governor stated.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that former President Goodluck Jonathan had not made any commitment to join the APC as of Saturday evening.

An associate of the former President said indeed Jonathan was not happy with the PDP which informed his support for the APC candidate in the last governorship election in his home state of Bayelsa, Mr. David Lyon.

It was, however, learnt that Jonathan saw the move as too risky.

“Jonathan would have joined the APC but the problem is that it is too risky. At his level, the only thing you can promise him is the Presidency and no one can promise him that seat because politics is too unpredictable. So, for now, he will remain in the PDP,” he said.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, had on Saturday alleged that the leadership of the APC is giving false promises to some members of the opposition party to enable them to defect to the ruling party.

Secondus told The PUNCH that there had been many moves by the ruling party to woo members of the PDP into its fold, saying the purpose of the APC was to snatch the PDP members but later refuse to give them any meaningful role in the party in future

Source: The Punch

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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