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Ohanaeze hails court ruling on Ekweremadu

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Ohanaeze n

The Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has commended the Federal High Court, Abuja, for vacating the interim order which sanctioned the forfeiture of 40 properties belonging to the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, to the Federal Government.

According to Dr Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, said the Trial Justice, Inyang Ekwo, in vacating the interim order, berated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the role it played in the continued detention of Ekweremadu in the United Kingdom, saying no Nigerian should be made to pass through such ordeal whether at home or abroad.

It would be recalled that Justice Ekwo had in November 2022, given the interim order based on the facts brought before it by the EFCC.

But in the current ruling, Justice Ekwo accused the EFCC of suppressing material facts before the court, and thus misdirecting the court.

The Justice held: “It is not hard to reason that the essence of the application for interim forfeiture by the respondent (EFCC) is to give credence to the letter of July 18, 2022, to the Crown Prosecution Service and to give them the further reason for continued custody of Senator Ekweremadu in the United Kingdom”.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo salutes the courage of Justice Ekwo in reversing himself based on clear facts adduced by Ekweremadu`s lawyers before the court. It beats imagination that EFCC would desperately rush to court with false and distorted facts to secure a ruling against the former Deputy Senate President who is being unjustly held in the UK prison custody when it (EFCC) knew he was not in a position to defend himself.

Lamenting the action of the EFCC, the trial Justice stated as follows: “I have been asking myself the question repeatedly: how can a citizen of Nigeria who is incarcerated outside the country to the knowledge of the respondent (EFCC), be expected to show cause in an action in Nigeria brought by the respondent?

“In other words, how do you help to tie down a man and initiate a fight and demand that the same man you have helped to tie down must defend himself?

“This, in my opinion, is an unconscionable act. The act of the respondent clearly shows that this action was brought in bad faith”.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemns in no mistaken terms the action of the EFCC which portrays it as a partisan tool in the hands of some highly placed people to fight imaginary or real enemies.

Ohanaeze stands on a firm wicket to state that it will not augur well for our country if the state institutions like the EFCC are being wilfully deployed to serve narrow and partisan interests. We counsel the EFCC to ensure that at all times its actions are guided by time-honoured principles of equity and fairness.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo is vindicated on its earlier position that there are several corruption cases in the EFCC but the haste, indiscretion, bias, media trial and callousness with which the agency of the Federal Government has chosen to backstab a Nigerian citizen is counterintuitive and an indelible adverse image on the country.

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Southeast governors shun Soludo as Anambra hosts regional conference

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Southeast governors have shunned the zone’s regional conference on human capital development, hosted by Anambra State Governor Prof Chukwuma Soludo.

The region’s other four governors of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo sent representatives to the two-day conference held in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

Soludo lamented the lack of unity among the region’s leaders, saying it was detrimental to the Southeast’s growth.

He advocated for a regional education board to fashion out a curriculum for the region.

The governor also said that the Southeast could come together and set up a teacher certification institute to certify teachers for schools in the region.

It was his reaction to recommendations and policy documents unveiled by technocrats during the conference.

In the area of education, labour and health, he said they could be adopted by the governors of the region to grow human capital.

He maintained that the Southeast could not afford to lag in the area of human capital development, adding that Anambra had the least land mass in the country, and also the least natural resources.

Soludo said: “Your recommendations are excellent. I will read them with keen interest and see which of them we can take.

“We have little land mass in the Southeast. We are actually the smallest with Lagos State, but while Lagos is reclaiming land from the sea, we are losing our land to gully erosion.

“Anambra is the world’s gully erosion capital. In the Southeast, we are landlocked, and we have the least mineral resources. Our only boost is human capital.

“Human capital naturally is our only dependable resource. It has been so yesterday and today and will remain so tomorrow.

He described the conference as “pivotal to who we are.

“And if we do not mind about human resources, then we are going nowhere. We must work on that

“I listened to your recommendations on education, but who said the Southeast cannot set up a regional education board to fashion out a curriculum for students in the region?

“Must we always use what others are using? Who knows, you may fashion out a curriculum that will attract the interest of other people, and the world at large.

“The various governments of the Southeast can come together and set up a teacher certification institute to certify teachers for schools in the region too.”

Soludo lamented that in the past some governments of the Southeast sent home some workers, on the ground that they were not from their state. He added that Anambra had reversed that policy.

“We just recruited 5,000 teachers in Anambra State, but I told the ministry not to accept if I recommend anybody to them. We employed people from every state.

“All I need is for the best teachers to be employed. Our children deserve the best teachers, and all they hope to get is the very best, no matter where the teachers come from.

“In my own eyes, I don’t see those boundaries and for the greatness of Nigeria, we must not see those boundaries,” he said.

The conference had the theme: changing the narrative – towards entrenching human capital development in the Southeast Nigeria. (The Nation)

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2023: INEC announces new deadline for collection of PVCs

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced the extension of the deadline for collection of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, nationwide.

During its meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, from the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Friday, the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, indicated that the Commission will not hesitate to consider additional measures to ensure that all citizens have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the general election.

Having reviewed reports from all the states of the Federation, the Commission said it was encouraged by the progress made so far as more Nigerians troop out daily to collect their PVCs.

The Commission, therefore, announced the collection of PVCs in all its local government offices by one week.

“The ongoing collection of PVCs nationwide will therefore continue and end on 5th February 2023,” a statement signed by Festus Okoye
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said.

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2023: Obi of Onitsha storms Kaduna, says Nigeria’s unity sacrosanct

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Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe
The Obi of Onitsha (AGBOGIDI),  His Royal Majesty (HRM), Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, has called on Nigerians to remain united and love one another irrespective of tribe or religious affiliation.
The royal father spoke to journalists in an interview on Thursday after commissioning the Digital Resource Centre named after him at the Green Field University (GFU), City Campus in Kudenda, Kaduna,saying Nigerians are brothers and sisters and they must live together.
Ahead of the February election, the royal father charged Nigerians to pick up  their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and vote massively during election.
“What matters most at this point of the nation’s history is a unifier.What Nigeria needs is a good president, but if you say South East today, South East tomorrow, it doesn’t matter. What we want is a Nigerian leader who will unite the country and lead it to greater heights,” he said.
The Founder/Pro-Chancellor, Greenfield University, Chief/Engr Simon Ifediora Nwakacha (Onwa of Umueri),  described the Obi’s visit to the university as a wonderful occurrence, adding that “this is the first First Class traditional ruler. His coming here is good for unity of Nigeria,” he said.
“The prospects for the university are very bright.We  look forward to the university being great. Already now the first set of accreditation was succesful. Greenfield scaled through  getting its permanent license to operate campuses from any part of the country,” he added.
In  his Keynote address, Engr.  Nwakacha  welcomed the Obi of Onitsha, whom he described as the first First Class Traditional Ruler to visit their city campus.
“During deliberation in one of our council meetings to choose who we would name the digital resource centre after, your name was suggested and widely accepted,” he said.
He recalled that when they were setting up the Imperial Academy, a  school owned by his wife in 1996 in Kudenda, they met the traditional ruler and begged him to name the road leading to the school after his village in the South East, Umueri, which he obliged and the name has remained till date.
He described the feat as an understanding that promotes unity among the diverse people of Nigeria.

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