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Come and Complete Ibom Tropicana Project Else Akpabio Warns Bruce

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By Abdullahi Mpohammed

As The politics of the south south region heats up, senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom North West) has called on his colleague Ben Murray-Bruce (Bayelsa East) to ensure he completes the Ibom Tropicana Project awarded to him or face the consequences.

Senator Akpabio sounded this warning on Wednesday when he defected to the All Progressive Congress, (APC).

He was governor of the Akwa Ibom State twice on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).

Akpabio, a first timer at the Senate, launched verbal attacks on Murray-Bruce for implicating him as the chief planner of the siege laid at the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Murray-Bruce had mentioned his name as the arrow head of the attack launch at the parliament. But the former governor denied participation in the attack.

Akpabio said he was on his way to the state for his planned defection when he heard his name was mentioned as the arrow head of what some Nigerians described as a legislative coup.

“Tell Senator Ben Murray-Bruce to complete the Ibom Tropicana Project,” he said refusing to disclose further information on his new claim.

Effort by HEADLINE to get the Bayelsa lawmaker to comment for this story was unsuccessful as he did not pick telephone calls placed to his known phone numbers. He did not also reply an sms sent to him as at press time.

Earlier, the former governor said the state was now an APC state.

“I want you to know that from today Akwa Ibom is now an APC state,” the lawmaker who is a former governor of the state said.

He said his defection to the APC is for the interest of the state.

“I am in APC to link the state to the centre,” Akpabio added.

Akpabio defected with his supporters who included lawmakers of the state assembly, some of the recently sacked commissioners of the state and various chieftains of the PDP in the state.

The occasion took place at the Ikot Ekpene Township stadium where mammoth crowd gathered to witness the event.

Present to witness his defection were the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole; the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha; national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu among others.

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Watch out Trump, China is taking Africa from under your nose

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By David A. Andelman

Look out Donald Trump, while you’re not watching, China is quietly stealing a continent from you. And India may not be far behind.

Currently, the battle for supremacy on the African continent is being fought out between the leaders of Asia’s two superpowers — China and India — and, for the most part, the United States is nowhere to be seen.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi all but tripped over each other last month crisscrossing the continent on personal goodwill visits.

Meanwhile, the President of the African Development Bank had to come hat in hand to Washington, where, a source with knowledge of the situation told me, all he got to see were some officials in the Treasury Department.

President Trump has still not visited the continent and has not announced plans to do so.

Why should we care? China and India care deeply. After all, Africa is home to Nigeria — poised to become the world’s third most populous country and all the challenges that poses in terms of more jobs for an increasingly youthful population, not to mention food and infrastructure.

But it’s also where critical, strategically essential minerals including lanthanum, cerium and neodymium, essential for the electric cars of the future, are located.

And as Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank, told me this week, “there are 400 million hectares of arable land in the savannas of Africa” that will “determine the future of food in the world.”

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Arrest Warrant: Apeal Court Orders Stay of Excution on INEC Chair

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By Abdullahi Mohammed

In relating to the arrest warrant ordered by the high court weeks ago, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has ordered a stay of execution of the arrest warrant issued against the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu.

Justice Abdul Aboki who gave the stay of execution order on Monday also adjourned the hearing of the suit filed by the INEC Chairman to September 17, 2018.

Justice Stephen Pam of a Federal High Court in Abuja had issued the arrest warrant on August 8 after the INEC chairman failed to appear before him on three occasions.

The judge had on July 5 ordered Yakubu to appear before him to show cause why he should not be sent to prison for contempt of court.

He made the order for Mahmood to appear before him while ruling on a preliminary objection by INEC and its Chairman in a contempt proceeding filed by Ejike Oguebego and Chuks Okoye, Chairman and Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, respectively.

Five days later, on July 10 when the court sat again, the INEC boss was absent in court. His counsel, Mr Adeboyega Awomolo, informed the court that his client had filed an appeal challenging that order at the appeal court and another appeal before the Federal High Court asking for a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.

During the continuation of the trial on Wednesday, August 8, Justice Pam demanded to know from the counsel to the INEC Chairman, Adegboyega Awomolo, why he was not in court.

Replying, Awomolo said he does not know where the INEC chairman is and that it is beyond his brief to produce his client. He added that if the court wants the INEC chairman to appear in court, the IGP should produce him.

Justice Pam, therefore, ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to arrest and bring Yakubu to court.

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Ortom Threatens Oshiomhole With Legal Action Over Allegation Claims

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By Abdullahi Mohammed

In a reaction to false allegation, the governor of Benue state Ortom has asked Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to retract allegations made against him or face legal action. Mr Ortom in a letter to Oshiomhole said the APC national chairman damaged his reputation at a press conference in Abuja on July 27, 2018.

Mr Ortom also asked for a public apology in the media within 7 days and N10bn as damages.

During the press conference, Oshiomhole had accused the governor of deepening the circle of poverty in his state.

The APC chairman alleged that Ortom mismanaged bailout funds and Paris Club refund and also refused to pay salaries.

According to the letter written by Samuel Irabor, the governor’s counsel, he said the allegations made by the APC chairman against his client were very astonishing, unsubstantiated, wild.

The letter read in part, “A letter of retraction/apology addressed to our client in respect of the false, defamatory and libellous statement made against him in the sponsored press conference herein complained of.

“That the said retraction/apology be simultaneously published in the Sunday edition of 10 National Dailies circulating within Benue State as well as a paid advertorial to the same effect on the prime time beats of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Channels TV, TVC News, African Independent Television (AIT), Independent Television (ITV) Benin, Radio Nigeria, Radio Benue and Harvest FM, Makurdi.

“An undertaking not to indulge in any such false publication against our client in future. Payment of #10,000,000,000.00 (Ten Billion Naira) only to our client as punitive, general, exemplary and aggravated damages.”

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