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BREAKING: #NigeriaAt58: Gov Sani Bello Pardons 287 Prisoners

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The Niger state governor Abubakar Sani Bello has granted an unconditional pardon to four prison inmates on death row and two others convicted and kept in prison custody.

He also commuted the death sentence of 20 inmates to a various term of imprisonment, discharged 40 others and ordered payment of fines for 221 convicts held in various prisons across the state.

In a message to Nigerlites to commemorate Nigeria’s 58th independence anniversary, Governor Sani Bello said the gesture is in the spirit of the season and by the virtue of the powers vested in him by section 212 of the 1999 constitution(as amended).

In this wise, Mr. Governor has directed the Office of the Attorney General as well as the Niger State Council on Prerogative of Mercy to give effect to the pronouncement.

While felicitating with all Nigerians on the occasion, Governor Sani Bello reassured the citizens that his administration remains resolute and focused to work for the progress and development of the state in line with the visions of our nationalists who fought for liberation and sovereignty of the country.

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He stated that the state government has remained committed to good governance for the collective good of the people which is why the administration has challenged opportunistic tendencies, corrupt practices, and mismanagement in governance.

“We are committed to making our state better than yesterday so that tomorrow will be more comfortable for ourselves and the next generation”.

Governor Sani Bello reiterated his call for the people to resist any overt or covert attempts by individuals and or groups to cause disharmony in the state as we enter into the next phase of state and national political activities.

Mr. Governor also called on politicians and political parties to play by the rules and avoid unduly acts of disturbance that could infringe on the right of others adding that, although democracy admits protests, rallies, and demonstrations it also ensures that they are done responsibly and peacefully.

“Niger State is the only state we have and it is greater than any individual or political leaning. The interest of the state must, therefore, come first in all considerations and its survival and prosperity must be above any personal interest”.- Governor Sani Bello.

He thanked members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for affirming his candidature to contest the 2019 governorship election in the state and for their abiding faith, honesty, and loyalty to the party.

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Politics

JUST IN: Declare Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Abia PDP Chieftain Tells Senate

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia, Chief Charles Ike, has charged the Senate leadership to declare the Abia North Senatorial seat vacant due to the incarceration of Sen. Orji Kalu.

Ike gave the charge in a statement he issued in Umuahia on Saturday, saying that the people of Abia North Senatorial District were no longer comfortable being “totally eclipsed” in the Senate. “I hereby call on the Senate leadership to quickly declare Kalu’s seat vacant to enable the district to elect a capable replacement,” he said.

He said that the area had set a machinery in motion for Kalu’s recall and that the process would soon commence in earnest.

Ike also spoke on the recent defection of Chief Bourdex Ogba, the Senatorial Candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for Abia North in the 2019 poll, to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He described Ogba’s defection as an act of “political indiscipline”.

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He expressed disbelief that Ogba, who dumped APC for APGA, ahead of the 2019 elections, could “so quickly return to pick the same broom he said was not sweeping well”.

He alleged that Ogba’s return to APC was initiated to position himself for the senatorial ticket of the party in the event that the Senate eventually called for a byelection for Kalu’s replacement.

He alleged that Ogba had made four defections in recent time, having moved from PDP to APGA ahead of the 2015 general elections and later to APC and APGA before his latest return to APC.

Ike said: “His jumping from party to party smacks of political indiscipline and his desperation to go to Senate but you know that a rolling stone gathers no moss.

“Unfortunately, too, he lacks the political discipline to be trusted with any public office in Abia north.

“How can you trust a man whose only political antecedent is jumping from one party to another?”

The PDP chieftain further took an exception to a comment credited to Ogba, when he visited the APC national secretariat, where he was quoted to have asked the Senate not to declare Kalu’s seat vacant.

Ike argued that the comment was at variance with the wishes of the people of Abia north who, he said, were earnestly yearning to have a replacement for Kalu.

It would be recalled that Kalu of APC was jailed in December by a Federal High Court for 12 years, having been convicted for a N7.2 billion fraud, when he was Abia governor (1999 to 2003).

Although, Kalu has appealed the High Court verdict, Ike said that his continued incarceration left Abia north without a voice in the Senate.

NAN

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Senate Declares Bayelsa Governor, Deputy’s Seats Vacant

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The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan has declared vacant the Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West seats vacated by present Governor and Deputy Governor of the state, Sen. Douye Diri and Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, respectively.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure on Friday while addressing the first regular meeting of Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) in Abuja.

“In the case of Bayelsa State, both the Governor and Deputy Governor were serving Senators. Consequently, the Commission yesterday Thursday 20th February 2020 received two communications from the Senate President declaring the seats for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West Senatorial Districts vacant.

“The Commission will soon meet to determine the dates for bye-elections in the two Senatorial Districts,” the INEC boss stated.

Recall that Diri and Ewhrudjakpo were sworn in as governor and deputy respectively after the Supreme Court invalidated the election of David Lyon and Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo over certificate forgery.

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Nothing To Attract Fayose To ‘Confused’ APC — Ex-Gov’s Aide

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Fayose

Lere Olayinka, media aide to former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said that there is nothing that can attract any right thinking politician to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) let alone his principal.

Olayinka said this in a statement on Friday in reaction to a statement by the APC in Ekiti State, that Fayose was not qualified to join the party.

Olayinka said “it is funny that the APC in Ekiti State lied and went further to react to its own lies.”

He added; “As I write, Fayose is presently in a meeting of major stakeholders of the PDP in Ekiti State in the house of Senator Clement Awoyelu.”

He admonished the ruling party to focus its attention on its non-performing government.

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He described the report of Fayose’s threat to join APC should his adopted candidate for the State chairmanship of the PDP, Hon Bisi Kolawole, fails in the forthcoming State Congress as figment of the imagination of those peddling it.

“The story of Fayose’s threat to leave PDP for the APC is one of the lies from the APC factory of lies and it is even more childish that the party in Ekiti State went ahead to react to its own lies,” he said.

While saying there was nothing to attract any right thinking politician to the APC, Olayinka asked; “is it the killings and kidnappings going on across the country?

“Is it the pariah State that Nigeria has become such that USA had to place the country on visa restrictions? Is it the huge debt the country has been plunged into? Or is it the directionless state of the country?

“Is it the sacking of over 3,000 workers by the non-performing APC government in Ekiti State?

“Most importantly, is it the confused state of the APC, which has made even the State Chairman of the party in Ekiti State, Mr. Paul Omotoso, to join others in calling for the removal of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole?

“What is there in the APC to attract someone like Fayose, who is known for his stand in support of the masses of Nigeria that are being made to suffer more hardship by the APC government?

“They can continue to hallucinate about everything Ayodele Fayose, while he continues with his task of to rebuild the PDP in Ekiti State with a view to returning to power in 2022.”

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