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Group sues Saraki, Melaye, Akpabio, others over defection

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Saraki attacks Abdullahi Adamu, says senator deceptive, manipulative liar

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has dragged Senate President Bukola Saraki, and some other lawmakers to court seeking a declaration that they are no longer members of the National Assembly.

In a suit filed before an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, the group joined Godswill Akpabio, the former senate minority leader; Dino Melaye; and Rabiu Kwankwaso as defendants.

Twelve other senators and 36 members of the House of Representatives were also joined as defendants.

Further joined as defendants were the Independent National Electoral Commission, the deputy senate president, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The suit is seeking, among others, a declaration that by virtue of section 68(1)(g) of the Nigerian Constitution, any member of the National Assembly who resigns from the political party that sponsored his election into the National Assembly before the expiration of the term for which he was elected, automatically loses his seat in the Assembly.

It is also seeking a declaration that the lawmakers are no longer entitled to receive any remunerations due to a member of the National Assembly and that any of such remunerations after their date of defection be refunded to the federal government.

LEDAP in the suit filed on September 14 so prayed the presiding members of the National Assembly to declare vacant the seats of the defectors.

No date has been fixed yet for the hearing of the suit.

In July, 37 members of the House of Representatives defected from the All Progressives Congress – 32 joined the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) while four joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC); one did not announce his new party at the time.

On the same day, 14 APC senators defected to the PDP.

About a week after the senators’ defection, Mr Saraki himself announced his decision to dump the APC for the PDP.

Mr Dogara followed suit almost two months later by quietly purchasing a nomination form to run on the PDP platform.

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INEC denies planning Chad, Niger voting centres

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INEC denies planning Chad, Niger voting centres

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that there will be no diaspora or out-of-country voting in the 2019 general elections.

The commission said this in a statement by its national commissioner and chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

This followed a conference on Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) voting held by the commission on Wednesday.

At the conference, the commission had spelt out the procedure it would follow to accommodate internally displaced persons in the presidential election.

On Thursday, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) in a statement by its spokespersons, Ikenga Uguchinyere, alleged that INEC wanted to open polling units in Chad and Niger Republic with a view to adding five million votes to the tally of President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election.

“The attention of the CUPP has been drawn to credible intelligence and reports in the media of the opening of voting centres by the INEC in Niger and Chad under the pretext that the centres are for IDPs to vote. It was more worrisome that the report quoted the Chairman of INEC as having made this declaration in a public forum,” Mr Ugochinyere stated on Thursday.

“Following the report, the Intelligence Unit of the CUPP has since uncovered the massive mobilisation of Chadian, Nigerian and Sudanese citizens preparatory to their participating in the February 16th Presidential elections. We have also uncovered that the plot is targeted at generating nothing less than five million votes for President Buhari in the election.

“It has now become clearer to Nigerians and the entire world the reasons why President Buhari refused to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill presented to him by the National Assembly which would have made the Card Reader the only means of accreditation of voters for the election. His only options now include allowing non-Nigerians to participate in an election to determine Nigeria’s President and without accreditation.

“We hereby urge the INEC Chairman to retrace his steps and stand with the Nigerian people in these trying times as our electoral laws till date prohibit diaspora voting as no elections for the purpose of electing any public office holder in Nigeria can be held outside the geographical boundaries of the country. If any electoral staff or materials have been deployed outside the country for the purpose of these illegal and unlawful voting points, they should be returned to the country without any further delay.

“Finally, we call on all Nigerians of goodwill to voice out now and condemn this act and caution the President that his disposition of do-or-die is heating up the polity and that he has the example of former President Goodluck Jonathan to guide him in his actions as the elections draw nearer.”

In an apparent effort to dispel such views, INEC in its statement by Mr Okoye said that only voters in Nigeria on election day will be eligible to participate in the elections.

“The Commission wishes to state unequivocally that there will be no Diaspora or Out-of-Country voting for any Nigerian,” the commission stated.

It said in accordance with extant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1979 (as amended), only duly registered IDPs within Nigeria will be allowed to vote.

According to INEC, “the Framework and Regulations for IDP Voting were presented and validated by stakeholders at a conference held In Abuja on Wednesday, November 12.

In the INEC chairman’s speech and all the deliberation at the conference, which was reported by PREMIUM TIMES, there was no reference to diaspora voting.

The conference explained that IDPs currently residing in states where they registered can vote in all elections while those displaced from their states and are currently in states other than where they registered can only vote in the presidential election.

“INEC also said the validated framework is in consonance with the provisions of Section 26 (I) 0f the Electoral (Amendment Act 2015) which provides that “in the event of an emergency affecting an election, the Commission shall as far as possible ensure that persons displaced as the result of the emergency are not disenfranchised.”

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How I discovered my daughter Ochanya had been repeatedly raped by her uncle

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How I discovered my daughter Ochanya had been repeatedly raped by her uncle

The father of the late teenager, Ochanya, has narrated how he discovered that his teenage daughter had been repeatedly raped by her guardian.

Ochanya Ogbanje, 13, died of Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) in October, eight years after she was in 2010 taken to live with Andrew Ogbuja whose wife, Felicia Ogbuja, is an aunt to the deceased. Her death followed a series of rape allegedly perpetrated by Mr Ogbuja and his son, Victor.

Narrating the sad events that resulted in his daughter’s death in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Ochanya’s father, Michael Ogbanje, said he only got the clear picture of his daughter’s type of infection, after he decided against the plan of Mrs Ogbuja, and brought his daughter to a caregiver who took her for medical tests for the umpteenth time.

“We started the treatment at a local government clinic. From there, we were referred to Saint Mary’s hospital. In February, Mr Ogbuja’s wife, Felicia Ogbuja, came to me and told me that my daughter’s case had gone beyond what will be treated at Saint Mary’s.

“I gave them money, N16,000 and fuelled their car which was used in taking my daughter to the hospital that day. They were admitted till April. The entire hospital bills were paid by me. Yet Mrs Ogbuja made sure to keep the test results from us.

“We have been the ones paying her school fees. We even buy things and take to her occasionally,” Mr Ogbanje added.

The victim’s mother, Rose, who went with their daughter to the hospital, added that she made several demands for the details of the problem, but her requests were never granted.

“Each time I ask, they will tell me that my daughter will be well. Even when they discharged her, my daughter could not walk. When I enquired to know why she could not walk since they said she was better, they told me she would soon walk again,” the aged woman added, in pidgin English.

But days ran into weeks and nothing changed. Mr Ogbanje said he later asked his wife to question the girl when they noticed that she was passing out faeces and urinating uncontrollably.

“It was during that interrogation by her mother that my daughter confessed that she was sexually abused by Mr Ogbuja and his son.”

Mr Ogbanje’s immediate reaction was that of utter dismay and confusion, to the point of assuming his daughter was going mad.

“I was surprised when she told me who had raped her. I asked her, “are you mad?” but she insisted that she was telling the truth.

“I called her elder one and asked her to repeat what she had told me and she did so. Then the following day I took her, very early to Mr Ogbujah and asked that she narrates the story she had told us.”

Mr Ogbanje added that when Mr Ogbuja denied assaulting his daughter, the 13-year-old girl stated the places and the times when she was allegedly assaulted by the 51-year-old suspended lecturer and knight of the Catholic Church.

“But he insisted that only his son had an intimate meeting with my daughter. I then asked him what would happen next, given the state that my poor daughter was in and his wife told me that we should come back the following week so that they would go with us to the hospital and check to know if it is the incidence of rape that resulted in the problem my child is having.

“This happened on a Monday. But I thought to myself that I could not watch my daughter for another week without knowing how to help her. That was when I took Ochanya to the caregiver, Enuwa Soo, who went with my wife to run some tests at a hospital and all the results came out. That was the first time we knew what was really wrong with my daughter,” Mr Ogbanje said. “This was in June,” he added.

Mr Ogbanje further narrated that Mr Ogbuja later came with his wife, kneeling and begging them to avoid reporting the matter to relevant authorities.

“The first time he came, he was in the company of his wife and some men. They brought some kolanuts and knelt down, saying I should understand that the deed is already done. They offered to continue treating my daughter and refund the money I had spent on her treatment in exchange for my silence, but I refused,” Mr Ogbanje said.

Mrs Ogbuja was reportedly the first to discover the heinous crime perpetrated then, by her son, Victor. Rather than ensure it did not repeat itself, the Ogbuja’s family watched the menace continue till it caused the13-year-old her dear life, Mr Ogbanje said.

The death of Ochanya has attracted widespread condemnation, with many demanding a thorough prosecution of Mr Ogbuja and his son, Victor.

While Mr Ogbuja has been arrested and detained by the police, Victor is still at large months after the matter was reported to the police.

The spokesperson for the Benue State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, did not respond to calls and text messages when contacted about an update on the whereabouts of Victor by this newspaper on Thursday evening.

The Catholic Church, in a statement issued in November by members of the Knight of Saint Molumba, suspended Mr Ogbuja from the order of Catholic Knights, pending the outcome of the matter.

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Linda Ikeji reveals identity of son’s father

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Linda Ikeji reveals identity of son’s father

Popular Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji, has finally released photos of her three-month-old son and confirmed that a socialite, Sholaye Jeremi, is his father.

She disclosed this in an early morning post on Instagram on Friday.

“Meet my son Jayce! And yes, Sholaye Jeremi is his dad. Unfortunately, he and I are a completely closed chapter,” her post read.

She welcomed her son in a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S. on September 17, two days to her 38th birthday.

Little Jayce bears a striking resemblance to his father Jeremi, with whom his mum had a secret on-and-off affair over a three-year period.

In the post on her website, she shared how their paths crossed, and what led to their separation.

Linda, who described herself as single mum in the article, also addressed social media comments criticising her of being a hypocrite, for encouraging people to be celibate.

Linda’s latest revelation comes in the wake of allegations by the blogger, Kemi Olunloyo, that she faked her pregnancy to lure Jeremi into marrying her.

Not much is known about Jeremi except that he is believed to be an acquaintance of Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources Ibe Kachikwu and Forte Oil chairman, Femi Otedola.

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