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 Senate President Bukola Saraki has dumped the All Progressives Congress for the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

 

The Senate President made his defection known in a tread on twitter handle.

 

This is coming two weeks after fifteen senators announced their defection from the APC to other political parties with the People’s Democratic Party taking the lead.

 

Senator Saraki defected to the PDP with his ally, the Governor of Kwara state, Abdulfatah Ahmed.

 

Also in the fray of defection is the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Bolaji Abdulahi who resigned his position from the ruling APC to join his political mentor, Senator Saraki in the PDP.

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Callistus Ekenze is awaiting confirmation by the Imo State House of Assembly as the new Deputy Governor.

 

Ekenze was until yesterday the State Head of Service before he was nominated by Governor Rochas Okorocha.

 

The nomination letter from the Governor was read by the Speaker Acho Ihim after he presided over the impeachment of the former Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere.

 

Reports say of the twenty-seven members of the State Assembly, nineteen voted in favour of the impeachment motion during plenary.

 

The impeachment of the Deputy Governor was based on recommendations in a report of a seven-man panel that was constituted by the State Chief Judge to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against Madumere.

 

The impeached Deputy Governor was accused of absence without reasons for a period of three months, failure to perform constitutional duties and alleged concealment of acts of felony in the United States.

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There are indications that the on-going negotiations for a new national minimum wage will be concluded before the end of August.

 

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba who gave the indication also assured Nigerian workers that implementation will begin immediately.

 

Wabba also said that despite claims by government that the country has exited recession, Nigerians were yet to see the results of the exit as the social and economic situations of average Nigerians are daily becoming bleaker than before.

 

The Congress also said that the numerous problems facing the country and its people are signs of bad governance and bad leadership which has characterized the nation’s democracy since 1999.

 

The NLC Chairman who was speaking event organized by the NLC National Schools said the Labour movement remains the only institution that can integrate the Nigerian people because it is never divided along primordial lines.

 

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 The Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt will on 8th October deliver ruling on the question of its jurisdiction to hear the defamation lawsuit filed by National Chairman of the People's Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus against the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

 

Rivers State Chief Judge, Justice Iyayi Lamikanra, who is handling the one point five billion naira lawsuit, fixed for ruling on several applications filed on behalf of Lai Mohammed by his lawyer.

 

The respondent argued that the matter should have been in Lagos and not Port Harcourt because the purported libellous publication was made in Lagos.

 

Our correspondent Victor Ezeama reports that Justice Lamikanra adjourned the case for ruling on the applications, with the hope that there would be no new applications.

 

Outside the courtroom; counsel to the plaintiff and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Emeka Etiaba, argued that the issue of jurisdiction does not matter in case of defamation.

 

You will recall that the origin of Prince Uche Secondus’ defamation lawsuit against the Minister of Information and Culture is the publication of his name sometime in April on a list of suspected beneficiaries of looted public funds under the immediate-past PDP Administration.

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 Former Senate President, David Mark, has advised the State House of Assembly to be guided by the Constitution and legislative rules and procedures.

 

Senator Mark, who represents Benue South Senatorial Zone, cautioned the state lawmakers against engaging in any act that could undermine the established tenet of democracy.

 

In a statement released by his Media Assistant, Paul Mumeh; Senator Mark said the impeachment notice served on Governor Samuel Ortom by eight APC members of the State Assembly was unconstitutional, null and void.

 

Senator Mark said the move by the APC Assembly members, who are in minority, is unknown to legislative practices and procedures, and in violation of Section 188, subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

 

The Senator said for a valid impeachment notice to be served on a State Governor, it requires the support of at least one-third of the members of the State House of Assembly.

 

He advised Governor Ortom not to be distracted by the development but remain focus and steadfast in the discharge of his duties.

 

Also speaking on the development; another chieftain of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, condemned the police for providing cover for eight APC members of the Benue State House of Assembly to sit while barring twenty-two others who belong to the PDP.

 

Senator Makarfi said he was appalled that despite numerous judicial pronouncements, the police would provide cover for seven member of the House of Assembly in an attempt to impeach a democratically elected governor.

 

The former National Assembly member said what happened in Benue was an unlawful, disgraceful and undemocratic act, which he said portends danger of monumental proportions to Nigeria and its institutions.

 

Meanwhile; Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has played down resolutions adopted by eight APC members of the State House of Assembly seeking to have him removed from office.

 

Governor Ortom wandered how the APC lawmakers without forming a quorum could say they have suspended twenty-two PDP members and also resolved to serve impeachment notice on him.

 

To drive home his misgiving with the action of the eight APC lawmakers, the embattled Governor resorted to profanity similar to the phrase used recently by United States President, Donald Trump to described African countries.

 

 Reports say eight APC members took over the Benue State House of Assembly complex in the capital, Makurdi yesterday, with the help of some policemen, in a bid to adopt the resolution against Governor Ortom.

 

The APC lawmakers also adopted another resolution for the suspension of twenty-two PDP members who took part in the impeachment of the Speaker Terkimbi Ikyange last week.

 

A spokesman for the group later reeled out a long list of alleged infractions by Governor Ortom to support their impeachment motion.

 

The political crisis in Benue State erupted after Governor Samuel Ortom announced his defection from the APC, together with scores of APC lawmakers in the state assembly, and declared allegiance to the PDP.

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