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APC interim panel to visit Tinubu, begs members to withdraw suits

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The Mai Mala Buni-led All Progressives Congress Caretaker Committee and Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee will before the end of this week visit the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

It was gathered that this was part of the decisions taken during  the  inaugural meeting of the committee held at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, on Monday. The meeting, which started at  1.02pm  ended at 3.16pm.

It was learnt that the visit, which had been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, was meant to reassure the APC national leader that the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee was not targeted at him.

The APC National Executive Committee had, at its meeting attended by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday sacked the party’s NWC loyal to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, whose suspension  was upheld by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on June 16.

Following Oshiomhole’s suspension on June 16, the APC was divided into two factions with one led by its suspended Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, and the other consisting of 18 NWC members, who were loyal to the national chairman.

Buhari declared support for Giadom and attended the Thursday meeting, which he convened.

Many analysts had interpreted Buhari’s support for Giadom and the sack of the NWC loyal to Oshiomhole, as the President’s deft move against Tinubu ahead of the 2023 presidential poll.

But the Presidency, in a statement on Saturday dismissed reports that  Buhari and  Tinubu had fallen apart  following the dissolution of the  NWC.

Also, Tinubu, in a statement on Saturday,  supported the dissolution of the NWC at the instance of the President during the NEC meeting. Buhari, Tinubu said, acted like a true father to save the party from disintegration.

An APC chieftain, who confided in our correspondent, said at their meeting on Monday, the party caretaker committee members agreed to visit Tinubu to seek his support.

The source said, “It was agreed that the committee should go and meet our national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, to pacify and assure him that the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of our great party was not targeted at him. He is one of our most revered leaders. We recognise and appreciate his enormous contributions to this party.  We plan to visit him tomorrow (Tuesday). If the visit does not take place tomorrow, it will take place before the end of the week.”

It was also gathered that the committee decided to focus on  reconciling aggrieved members, the formation of a campaign council for the Edo governorship election and preparations towards a peaceful conduct of the primary for Ondo State.

Earlier, the Head of the APC Legal Department, Dare Oketade, administered oaths of office and allegiance to members of the committee.

APC caretaker chairman, Buni, takes over pledges’ reforms

The APC caretaker  chairman, in his inaugural address after members of the committee were inaugurated, assured party members that the committee would work on short and long term strategies to reposition the party.

Buni,  who is also the Yobe State Governor, said since its formation six years ago, Nigerians were attracted to the APC largely due to its sincerity of purpose, principles and unblemished integrity of its founding fathers.

He said the least Nigerians deserved from the ruling party they massively believed in and voted for was good governance as exemplified in the provision of dividends of democracy.

The Yobe State governor also explained that internal disagreements were normal especially in all political parties noting that the APC was not an exception.

He said, “It is time for this committee therefore to commence the process of true reconciliation among leaders and members of the party at all levels. It is our belief that the decision by NEC to constitute this committee will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our great party.”

“Changes are inevitable and disagreements on issues and concepts are an integral part of human and institutional relationships. As a political party built on strong ideology and, parading men and women of enduring principle and integrity, we must prepare for real and anticipated changes and their consequences. The outcomes of changes that evolve in our party politics must be decided by us.”

Party begs members to withdraw court cases

The chairman appealed to all party members to heed  the appeal by the President to aggrieved members, who had cases in courts. He urged  them to withdraw the cases in the interest of the party.

Buni said, “I urge all party members to heed to the appeal by our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on his call to all aggrieved members who have instituted various cases in the courts to please withdraw such cases in the interest of our great party.”

After his presentation, the committee went into a closed session in the conference hall of the NWC. It was at this event that the former acting APC National Chairman, Victor Giadom, handed over the mantle of leadership to Buni in the presence of other committee members.

While answering questions from journalists after emerging from the hall, the former acting chairman, said, “I, feel extremely grateful to God and also extremely grateful to the leadership of our own party especially Mr President, Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, and the entire leadership of the National Executive Committee for rescuing this party from what would have befallen the party.”

The APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in a statement after the meeting, said the committee unanimously adopted a six-point working document aimed at repositioning the party.

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NIGERIA

WASSCE: Order partial reopening of schools, Reps tell Buhari

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The House of Representatives has called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to order a partial reopening of schools to allow pupils sit for the 2020 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

The House made the call at the plenary on Tuesday following a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by a member, Nnolim Nnaji.

The Committee on Basic Education and Services had earlier on Friday faulted the decision by the Federal Government to suspend the plan to partially reopen schools for pupils in final classes to take external examinations.

The committee had particularly criticized the decision to disallow Nigerian pupils from sitting for WASSCE to be conducted by the West African Examination Council for the 2019/2020 academic session.

Schools at all levels have been shut since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had earlier in June said the Federal Government, in what it called “safe reopening of schools,” had approved the resumption of pupils in graduating classes, including Primary 6, Junior Secondary School 3 and the Senior Secondary School 3.

In approving the resumption of graduating classes, the government said water must be provided in schools for hand-washing and both pupils and teachers must wear face masks while observing social distancing.

Later, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, had during the press briefing by the PTF announced that the 2020 WASSCE would hold between August 4 and September 5.

But the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President last Wednesday said all federal schools would remain closed until it was safe to reopen them.

Adamu also urged state governments that had announced schools’ resumption plans to rescind such.

The minister stated that WAEC could not determine the resumption date of schools for Nigeria. He alleged that the council announced the date of examination while the government was still consulting stakeholders on what to do.

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NIGERIA

Court remands carpenter for allegedly robbing a magistrate

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A carpenter, Alour Hanze, who allegedly robbed a Magistrate in Benue State, was on Tuesday, remanded in a correctional center on the orders of the court, pending legal advice.

The police charged Hanze, who resides in Akaajime area, Gboko Local Government Area,  Benue State with criminal conspiracy and armed robbery.

Magistrate, Ajuma Igama, did not take the plea of Hanze for want of jurisdiction.

She adjourned the case until Aug 26, for further mention.

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Sgt. Ato Godwin told the court that the case was reported at Operation Zenda Camp, Gboko by Utile Dennis of Chief Magistrates’ court 1 Katsina-Ala Benue, on June 24.

Ato alleged Hanze, accompanied by two others invaded his residence situated at No. 148 St. Paul street, Gboko East and robbed him and his family.

He alleged that Hanze stole an Infinix cell phone valued at N30,000, one Techno phone valued at N26,000 at gunpoint.

During the police investigation, he said, Hanze voluntarily confessed to committing the crime alongside one Oryina, aka Zendagy and Luper aka Gadafi, now at large.

The prosecution said an investigation into the matter was still ongoing and prayed the court for an adjournment.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 6(b) and 1(1)(2)(a) of the robbery and firearms special prohibition Act 2004.

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NIGERIA

Supreme Court dismisses Timi Alaibe’s suit against Bayelsa gov, Diri

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal filed by a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in Bayelsa State, Timi Alaibe, challenging the emergence of Governor Duoye Diri as the party’s candidate in the last year’s election.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour dismissed the appeal.

Alaibe’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, withdrew the appeal after the panel members pointed his attention to the fact that the issues raised in the appeal were not about the primary election but about an internal affair of the party.

Alaibe, who had lost the suit at both the Federal High Court in Owerri and the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, had in the suit challenged the participation of two delegates who voted in the primary that produced Diri as the party’s candidate.

In the preliminary inquiry preceding the hearing on Tuesday, the Justice Rhodes-Vivour panel informed Adedipe that his case could not be categorized as a pre-election case that a court could entertain but about an internal affair of the party which the court lacked jurisdiction to hear.

Adedipe then withdrew the suit and was struck out by the court.

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