Some leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, on Tuesday, endorsed a former publicity secretary, Mr Banji Okunomo, as the party’s governorship aspirant ahead of the 2020 governorship election in the state.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that notable leaders including the state, federal lawmakers, party executives, former council area chiefs among other stakeholders across the 18 LGAs of the state converged at Domfav Hotel in Okitipupa for the endorsement.
Mr Rapheal Ademlegun, a former PDP Southern Senatorial aspirant and the Director –General of the Banji Okunomo Campaign Organisation, said the interest of the state electorate would be prioritised if Okunomo emerged the next governor.
“The overall interest of the citizens will be protected and secured if Okunomo becomes the party’s candidate and eventually elected as the governor of this state,” he said.
Okunomo, who was a former chairman, Ilaje LGA, in his response, said he was fully prepared for the governorship seat if he emerged the party’s flag bearer in the primaries.
According to him, his blueprint for the race includes free education from primary to tertiary institution level, industrialising the state and prioritising workers’ welfare.
“I thank you leaders of this great party for your support and endorsement to be a governorship aspirant, I promise not to disappoint you if I become the party’s flag bearer.
“I also promise the electorate that I will do all in my power to ensure they all enjoy the dividends of democracy better than what we are currently experiencing in the state,” he said.
Court sentences man to 1 year imprisonment for impersonation
Adamu of Egume village, Dekina LGA of Kogi, had pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of impersonation and forgery preferred against him.
The Magistrate, Aliyu Shafa, however sentenced Adamu to six months imprisonment for each offence or an option of N5,000 fine for each offence.
Shafa cited the Holy Bible and Quran to buttress his sentencing, adding that he was satisfied with the evidences given by the defence witnesses about the good character of the defendant.
He said the punishment would serve as a deterrent to anyone planning to trail that part in the future.
Shafa also warned Adamu to desist from committing crimes and be of good behaviour.
Earlier, the defence counsel, Khalid Salaw, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, adding that the defendant was a family man with four children and a pregnant wife.
Salaw said that the defendant was a first offender and had no criminal record or arrest in the past.
The defence counsel told the court that the defendant had learnt his lessons and would not repeat the act in future.
The prosecutor counsel, Victor Ejelonu told the court that the defendant cheated by impersonating as a staff of SSS at varying locations within Abuja while conveying passengers.
He said that the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 321 and 363 of the Penal Code.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Obike Ukoh (NAN)
BEDC set to construct 33KV Okpella-Igara power line in Edo
The Management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), on Tuesday said it had concluded plans to award a contract for the construction of a 33KV line in Edo.
The Head of Public Affairs of BEDC, Mr Tayo Adekunle, who made this known in a statement in Benin, said the line would run from Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area (LGA), to Igara in Akoko-Edo LGA.
Adekunle said that the new power line, when constructed, would improve power supply in Okpella, Igara and environs.
“It is at the stage of awarding contract for the construction of a 33KV line from Okpella to Igarra.
“The project, once completed, will change the source of supply to the recently completed 60MVA power transformer at Okpella transmission station.
“It will cut off the existing source from Okene transmission station which is under Abuja Electricity Distribution Company which has not been reliable because of the lengthy feeder and the fact that it is not within BEDC’s control,” he said.
Adekunle said that the new source which would be under the BEDC’s network, would guarantee adequate, quality and reliable power supply to Igarra, Ibilo, Ososo and other communities in Akoko-Edo.
According to him, the project would also boost the business of the quarries and other SMEs in the area due to the quality and reliable power supply expected from the project once completed.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Ondo: We don’t substitute nominated candidates -INEC
The commission made the clarification in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee on Monday in Abuja.
“On July 31, INEC published the provisional list of candidates for the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for Oct. 10 in its state office in Akure and also uploaded same to its website and social media platforms.
“The list contains the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates submitted by 17 political parties, including the AAC at the close of nomination on July 28.
“However, one of the aspirants in the primaries of the party accused the commission of substituting his name as the rightful governorship candidate of the party, while another aspirant also claimed that the commission substituted his deputy governorship candidate.
“Contrary to these assertions, INEC did not substitute the name of any aspirant or candidate.
“The commission received only one submission from the AAC through its dedicated online portal for candidate nomination.
“There was no human interface. The names uploaded on the portal by the political parties were the same names published.
“The commission only receives the names of candidates and running mates from the National Headquarters of Political Parties, duly signed by both the national chairman and national secretary,” Okoye said.
He said that by the Supplementary Regulations and Guidelines for Activities of Political Parties issued by the commission on June 9, the national chairmen and national secretaries of political parties as contained in the commission’s records shall be issued access codes to the commission’s portal.
He said that only the two party leaders had access for the electronic submission, withdrawal and substitution of names and particulars of their candidates as elected at party primaries monitored by the commission.
“The political parties shall use the access codes provided by the commission to upload the names and particulars of their candidates based on the prescribed Forms EC9 (formerly EC CF 001) and the appropriate Form EC9 (A) – (G) series (formerly CF 002) as provided on the commission’s website.
“The completed forms EC9 and EC9 (A) – (G) series, signed by the national chairman and national secretary of the political party, are uploaded to the commission’s prescribed portal along with the relevant covering letter addressed to the chairman of the commission,” he said.
Okoye said that INEC did not deal directly with aspirants, candidates or state branches of political parties in matters relating to the nomination, submission and substitution of candidates of political parties.
He said that such action was the exclusive preserve of the political parties as represented by the national chairman and national secretary.
“The commission duly published the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates as submitted by the national chairman and secretary of the AAC.
“Aspirants, candidates and state branches of political parties, with issues or challenges relating to their nominated candidates should approach and resolve such issues with the national chairmen and secretaries of their respective political parties,” Okoye said.
AAC National Chairman, Dr Leonard Nzenwa in a separate statement, confirmed that the name of of the party’s deputy governorship candidate for the Ondo governorship election, published by INEC was the authentic name submitted to the commission by the party.
He said that the names of the candidates published by INEC were the ones submitted by the party to the commission as empowered by the party’s Constitution and Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).
“The party wishes to make it clear that the party’s leadership, through its national headquarters submitted names of its candidates to the commission.
“It is within powers of the party’s chairman and its leadership to exercise this task as it has nothing to do with the INEC or any other stakeholder for that matter,” he said.
Nzenwa enjoined party faithful to remain calm, law-abiding and continue to work to uplift the party.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
Edo 2020: PDP Chieftain, Afegbua, pledges support for APC’s Ize-Iyamu
Afegbua stated this on Monday in Benin while responding to his purported suspension by the PDP on Sunday.
According to him, “I remain unequivocal and unflinching about my support for Ize-Iyamu.
“I will ensure that I mobilise enough votes for him in the four wards of Okpella.
“Having earlier described me as inconsequential, I am wondering why they now suddenly remember that I am relevant to warrant my suspension.
“I am actually waiting for their expulsion in good time. My votes cannot be suspended or expelled. My thumb is my power,” he said.
In the statement signed by the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Nehikhare, the party said Afegbua was suspended for one month by the leadership of the party in his ward 5, Okpella in Etsakor East Local Government area of the state.
The party said that Afegbua was suspended with effect from Aug. 2 after having been found guilty of anti-party activities.
“The state Chairman, Dr Tony Aziegbemi, has directed the local government chairman to set up a disciplinary committee to investigate the allegations of anti-party activities levelled against him.
“The composition of the disciplinary committee will be announced in due course,” the party said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq