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Wike, Okupe, Gbenga Daniel, Tambuwal, Atiku, see the winners and losers of PDP primary

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Wike, Okupe, Gbenga Daniel, Tambuwal, Atiku, see the winners and losers of PDP primary

The last time ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar faced President Muhammadu Buhari in a political contest was in 2014 when he lost the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to Buhari who not only won the general election but also made history by being the first Nigerian politician to unseat an incumbent president.

But having secured the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a keenly contested exercise on Sunday, Abubakar is set to renew the political rivalry with Buhari. The 2019 is no doubt tougher than the APC presidential primary of 2014.

The delegates at Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, would be settling down to other issues by now but winners and losers of the exercise are currently back to the drawing board thinking of what they did right or wrong.

Abubakar polled 1,532 votes to defeat Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state, his closest challenger, who polled 693. There are those who have one thing or the other to gain or lose as far as the election is concerned. We profile six of them here.

The winners

IFEANYI OKOWA

Wike, Okupe, Gbenga Daniel, Tambuwal, Atiku, see the winners and losers of PDP primary

Okowa doing what he knows best

The governor of Delta state is unarguably the man of the moment as he successfully chaired a peaceful and to a large extent, transparent presidential primary election. Devoid of rancour, delegates trooped into the pavilions earmarked for their respective states, while the 12 aspirants also went about their businesses. States voted concurrently and the officials gave the exercise their best shot.

While declaring the winner after the exercise, the University of Ibadan-trained medical doctor radiated like a winner too. As the chairman of the electoral committee of the party in Ekiti state, Okowa was said to have called the delegates out one after the other and did personal headcount as they lined up to cast their votes. One thing that stands out in his qualities as an electoral umpire is his penchant for orderliness.

GBENGA DANIEL

Wike, Okupe, Gbenga Daniel, Tambuwal, Atiku, see the winners and losers of PDP primary

Abubakar and Daniel at a strategic session

If there is one man whose efforts paid off with the outcome of the primary election, it should be Gbenga Daniel, former governor of Ogun state.

In May, Abubakar unveiled OGD, as he is popularly called, as the director-general of his campaign organisation. The former vice-president had said, “I am in no doubt OGD is a very positive and welcome addition to our campaign and I look forward to working with him as he leads our campaign to victory in February 2019.”

On Friday, while calling on the delegates to rally behind Abubakar, Daniel said the former vice-president could stand shoulder-to-shoulder against Buhari. With the victory of the ex-vice-president, OGD is no doubt strategising on how to embark on another journey to the nooks and cranny of the country to secure the presidency for Abubakar come 2019.

AISHA ALHASSAN

Wike, Okupe, Gbenga Daniel, Tambuwal, Atiku, see the winners and losers of PDP primary

Alhassan

Although not a member of the PDP, Al-Hassan, fondly called Mama Taraba, can be considered a winner with the outcome of the convention. Even before Abubakar made his presidential ambition public, Alhassan who was minister of women affairs until eight days ago, never hid undivided loyalty to the former vice-president.

In 2017, as a member of Buhari’s cabinet, Mama Taraba declared support for Abubakar whom she described as her godfather. While some consider it an act of folly, it’s safe to assume that Mama Taraba occupies a special place in the heart of Abubakar since candour is a rare virtue in politics. Besides this, Alhassan would be happy that her godfather is ready to give Buhari a run for his money. The APC disqualified her from the governorship race in Taraba and her loyalty to Abubakar is believed to have contributed to this.

The losers

NYESOM WIKE

Wike, Okupe, Gbenga Daniel, Tambuwal, Atiku, see the winners and losers of PDP primary

The governor of River state is undoubtedly one of the major influencers in the PDP. This could be seen in the way he threatened to teach the party a bitter lesson if it changed the venue of the convention. Moreover, he was said to have rooted for Tambuwal. During the exercise, he had openly displayed his ballot paper to indicate the he voted for the Sokoto governor.

His support for Tambuwal even pitched him against Abubakar. Although, he didn’t mention the ex-vice-president’s name, Wike had taken a swipe at him while attempting to defend the choice of Port Harcourt as convention venue.

“I don’t know why anyone who wants to be president will be afraid of a venue. Then you are not prepared for the election… you come here to deceive us about restructuring. Just that Rivers State is a venue, you fight it. Then, when you are there, what will happen? You think we are fools where you preach restructuring, then when you get the position, you abandon restructuring,” he had said.

Wike did not wait for the convention to be brought to a close before he exited the venue.

AHMED MAKARFI

Wike, Okupe, Gbenga Daniel, Tambuwal, Atiku, see the winners and losers of PDP primary

One issue political pundits have been discussing after the primary is the fact that the three top contenders in the race were in the All Progressives Congress (APC) when leadership crisis was tearing at the heart of PDP. Mocked, dejected and rejected, PDP was on its way down during the period.

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo had taunted the party saying it was dead but while many politicians defected, Makarfi stayed back to help in nursing life into the party. Sadly, he polled only 74 votes in  the primary.

In a chat with reporters while the party was making preparations for the convention, Makarfi had said no other presidential aspirant had his pedigree and that he had confidence that he would pick the party ticket for the 2019 election.

“PDP has become a beautiful bride because of what I did. The party was considered dead until I came in as chairman of the caretaker committee and turned it round,” he had said.

But the delegates reasoned otherwise and Makarfi came 7th in the race contested by 12 aspirants.

DOYIN OKUPE

Wike, Okupe, Gbenga Daniel, Tambuwal, Atiku, see the winners and losers of PDP primary

 

In August, Okupe, a former senior special assistant on public affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, said if Abubakar becomes the president, it will take another ten years to recover from that.

Writing on Twitter, Okupe said while he disagreed with Abubakar becoming Nigeria’s president, it would be a different case with Senate President Bukola Saraki.

He tweeted, “If Atiku rules Nigeria for 1 day, it will take us 10 years to recover. If Saraki rules for a day, Nigeria will make history.”

Although he later deleted the tweet and attempted damage control, Saraki named him media head of his campaign.

With the former vice president’s victory and the loss of Saraki, Okupe stands out as one of the losers.

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Fraudster sets girlfriend ablaze for infidelity

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Fraudster sets girlfriend ablaze for infidelity

A 19-year-old boy, Orji Ifeanyichukwu, has been arrested by policemen from Iba police division in Lagos for allegedly setting his 24-year-old girlfriend, Alabi Tolani, ablaze over alleged infidelity.

The spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Elkana said the incident took place at G54, Army Post Service Housing Estate, Ojo, Lagos, where they both lived in Ifeanyichukwu’s N600, 000 per annum apartment.

The police spokesman said: “Ifeanyichukwu met the victim on February 28, through a hookup and she moved into his house in March.

“He has been into internet fraud for the past three years where he gets the proceeds for renting the apartment.

“They have since then, inhabited as lovers because her parents live apart.”

According to Elkana, Ifeanyichukwu brought Tolani into his house with conditions that she would quit prostitution and stick to him alone.

He added: “However, trouble started on Thursday when the victim left home to fix her hair and did not return until the next day.

“She equally left the house on Friday under the guise of visiting her father but ended up seeing another man.

“Ifeanyichukwu got to know on Saturday when she returned by scrolling through her phone and saw her chats, video calls and pictures of her naked body which she sent to her client.”

He said the suspect became angry and used the petrol he kept for his generator to set her ablaze.

“A team of detectives visited the scene and the victim has been taken to General Hospital, Igando, where she was admitted but died in the early hours of Sunday.

“The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has directed the immediate transfer of the case to Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.

“The suspect confessed to the commission of the crime and will be charged to court for murder,” Elkana stated.

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Real reason DSS rearrested Sowore – Nnamdi Kanu reveals

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Real reason DSS rearrested Sowore - Nnamdi Kanu reveals

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has reacted to the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore, convener of the RevolutionNow Movement by the Department of State Services, DSS.

Kanu alleged that DSS re-arrested Sowore because he once had a meeting with him.

The IPOB leader made the disclosure during a live broadcast on Radio Biafra on Sunday, where he condemned DSS action against Sowore.

He alleged that the Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari was not interested in Sowore but was only using the activist to get close to him.

“The only reason Sowore is in prison is that he had a meeting with me. They are not fighting Sowore. They are fighting me,” Kanu said.

Kanu and Sowore, who was the 2019 presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, had prior to the general election met in New York, United States, to strategize on what they describe as “injustice in Nigeria.”

The secret police rearrested Sowore on Friday morning operatives of the DSS re-arrested Sowore on the premises of an Abuja Federal High Court, a development that has continued to generate public outcry

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DSS operatives disguised as lawyers to desecrate the court, Femi Falana declares

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DSS operatives disguised as lawyers to desecrate the court, Femi Falana declares

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer representing Sowore, says officials of the Department of State Services  (DSS) are guilty of desecration of court.

The secret police had invaded the federal high court in Abuja on Friday to rearrest Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement,  barely 24 hours after he was released on the order of the court.

Video clips making the rounds showed the chaos inside the courtroom where Sowore was pinned down by a man alleged to be an operative of the DSS while he (Sowore) was surrounded by his supporters who fought back.

The DSS has, however, denied infiltrating the court. The service said it did not attempt arresting Sowore inside the court, alleging that his supporters only “stage-managed the drama” to bring the service to disrepute.

Justifying the rearrest of Sowore, the DSS said he “resorted to acts inimical to security”, adding that it remains a law-abiding agency.

Responding to the claims, Falana said immediately the case was adjourned, DSS operatives “pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court”.

He said armed DSS operatives who disguised in lawyer’s outfit were inside the courtroom.

Femi Falana added that Ijeoma Ojukwu, the presiding judge, summoned the head of the DSS team in her chambers and asked him to justify the invasion of the court after which he reportedly offered an apology before he was asked to withdraw his men from the courtroom.

“As soon as the case was adjourned the SSS pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court. Having taken over the court room vi et armis Justice Ojukwu hurriedly rose and asked the Registrar to adjourn all other cases. After the learned trial judge had risen for the day she summoned the heads of the prosecution and defence teams to her chambers,” Falana said.

“When the lead prosecutor, Dr. Liman Hassan SAN denied knowledge of the invasion of her court she directed him to invite the head of the SSS team in the court. When challenged to justify the invasion of the court the officer could not. He apologised to Justice Ojukwu on behalf of the SSS. The judge then directed the officer to withdraw the SSS operatives from the courtroom. The directive was complied with as the operatives withdrew from the courtroom but rushed out to join their colleagues who had taken over the entire court house.”

Femi Falana said the DSS could not provide a warrant of arrest for Sowore, insisting that the rearrest of his client was illegal.

Falana, therefore, called on the DSS to release Sowore and “other political detainees” pending the verdict of the court in their trial.

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Governor Ikpeazu bans street trading in Ariaria Market

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Governor Ikpeazu bans street trading in Ariaria Market

In a bid to restore sanity and order in Aba metropolis, Abia State Governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has placed a banned erection of shops, tents or any other structure for the purpose of trading around the Ariaria International Market in Aba.

This followed the successful dislodging of all street traders around the area by the Ministry of Trade and Investment in a bid to restore sanity and order in Aba metropolis.

The Governor, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka and made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Monday ordered that no form of street trading be conducted around that area which is the commercial nerve centre of the state.

Ikpeazu also directed security agencies to arrest and prosecute any person who attempts to flout his orders.

He advised those who wish to do business to find spaces for their trading activities inside the market.

“Governor Ikpeazu hereby orders all relevant agencies of the Abia State Government to work with security agencies to effectively and decisively carry out these instructions.

“Governor Ikpeazu further orders the Abia State Public Utilities Management Agency to immediately move into the area, clean up the place and turn the surroundings into green areas through the planting of flowers and other ornamental trees, as well as restore the original plan for that area which is to create unrestricted access into and out of the market.

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Sowore’s Rearest: Respect the rule of law US tells Buhari

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Sowore's Rearest: Respect the rule of law US tells Buhari

The United States government has reacted to the rearrest of the convener of the ‘Revolution Now’ movement Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Security Services (DSS) on Friday.

Mr. Sowore who was also a former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), was rearrested and eventually detained barely 24 hours after the security agency had released him following a 24-hour ultimatum issued by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

His rearrest has sparked widespread reactions, even as his lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, has called for the release of Mr. Sowore who has been granted bail by the court.

In a tweet, the US State Department urged the Nigerian Government to respect the rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom. Adding that due process should be the tenets of democracy.

Meanwhile, the DSS in reaction to Mr. Sowore’s rearrest and detention, said that that he is facing trial, not as an activist, journalist or politician.

It said Sowore was taken into custody for allegedly resorting to calling for violence, a forceful takeover of government, and suspected transnational illegal activities. Sowore's Rearest: Respect the rule of law US tells Buhari

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I’ll never contest for any election in Nigeria – 67 year old Danjuma Goje says

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I'll never contest for any election in Nigeria - 67 year old Danjuma Goje says

Muhammad Danjuma Goje, Senator representing Gombe Central has revealed he will not contest for further elections in Nigeria.

The 67-year-old lawmaker, who is a former Governor of Gombe State, disclosed this during a programme entitled ‘Goje Empowerment Programme’ at Gombe’s Pantami Stadium.

Danjuma Goje, however, said he would remain active in state and national politics.

“Having contested and won all seven elections, in addition to being a Minister for the country, I strongly believe that Allah (SWT) has been extremely kind to me,” said the serving Senator and former Minister of State (Power and Steel).

“I believe not many Nigerians are so lucky and blessed. Having reached an advanced age, I wish to formally inform you that I have decided not to contest any election again. For the avoidance of doubt, I will not contest any election at all levels.

“However, this does not mean that I will retire from politics; far from that. I will continue to be an active card carrying member of the APC and participate in all political activities at all levels, except that I will not contest any election.

“I have had the rare opportunity of contesting and wining seven elections…

“In the second Republic, during [Shehu] Shagari’s government, as a very young man, I contested and won election into the Bauchi State House of Assembly. In 1998, I also contested and won election as a Senator for Gombe Central Senatorial district under defunct UNCP during [Gen. Sani] Abacha’s regime.

“I then in 2003 contested and won the governorship election of Gombe State. I was reelected in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. I contested and won three senatorial elections for Gombe Central Senatorial district.

“I have every reason to thank Allah (SWT), the people of my primary constituency (Pindiga Emirate), Akko Local Government, Gombe State and indeed the entire country for giving me the very rare opportunity to rise from ‘grass to grace.

“At the national level, I will continue to be loyal and supportive of his Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, and the government, of course.

“I will continue to be an active and loyal member of the National Assembly under the leadership of the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan.

“My loyalty to the [APC] party under the chairmanship of Adams Oshiomhole is also unquestionable.”

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APC originated hate speech, APC chieftain says

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APC originated hate speech, APC chieftain says

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and human rights advocate, Joshua Alobo, on Monday, insinuated that his party originated activities that can now be interpreted as hate speech in the current administration.

Mr. Alobo was responding to a question on Sunrise Daily, about the Department of State Security Service’s treatment of founder of RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore.

He said he was “seriously embarrassed” by the situation as Sowore was “among those who canvassed for the ‘change’ mantra.”

“APC, in which I am a chieftain, originates hate speech,” Mr. Alobo, who is the President of the International Human Rights and Development Centre, continued.

“Look at what happened at . . . even Lai Muhammed and the rest, nobody was arrested. Look at the fuel subsidy protest at the freedom square. If not that Jonathan was proactive to deploy soldiers . . . I was in Abuja; even though I wasn’t in the general protest, I was using my vehicle to monitor the whole situation.

“So a lot of showbiz was going on during the Jonathan administration, they don’t look at it as a threat to the government. What is Sowore? They are just making the guy to be too popular, I don’t know him as a person. But they have been reading Sahara Reporters right from Jonathan era, a lot of information has been disclosed and all those things.

“So if a media practitioner cannot express his opinion, then what will he do? And this is a man that has the pedigree of activism right from University. So the DSS for goodness sake should not bring another terrorist group. It is the suppression of Yusuf Muhammed that escalated into what we have now as Boko Haram.”

Sowore was re-arrested by the DSS on Friday less than 24 hours after he was released from the agency’s custody. The move has drawn condemnation from several quarters, including Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and the US government.

However, the DSS has said Sowore was re-arrested because he resorted to “acts inimical to security” shortly after being released from its custody.

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Lagos State will not repeal jumbo pension law – Braimoh

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Lagos State will not repeal jumbo pension law - Braimoh

The Lagos State House of Assembly has revealed that they will jot tow the path of heir Zamfara counterparts by repealing the state’s pension law permitting former governors and other public office holders to receive juicy pensions from state coffers.

In an interview with NAN on Sunday, Tunde Braimoh, chairman, house committee on information and strategy, said Lagos assembly will not repeal pension law for its former governors like it was done in Zamfara.

A federal high court in Lagos had ordered the federal government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the national assembly.

The court also directed Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to receive such pensions.

Braimoh, however, faulted the court ruling that ordered Malami to take immediate legal action towards the abolishment of state laws that permit “former governors to enjoy governors’ emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.”

He told NAN that as long as the law did not contravene the constitution, state assemblies had the right to make laws for the benefit of the society in which they operate.

The lawmaker said separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution empowers the legislature to make laws, the executive to implement and the judiciary to interpret the laws.

“The Supreme Court had made it clear several times that no arm of government can repeal the constitutional provisions of another arm of government,” he said.

“Therefore, legislators make laws that are in tune with the yearnings and dynamics of their society.

Braimoh said he was not aware of any law that restricted state assemblies from making laws for the provision of welfare package of former governors and public office holders.

Below are details of the pension of former governors of Lagos:

The Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor Pensions Law of 2007 provides one of the most lucrative pensions in the federation. The highlight is that the former governor is entitled to six new cars every three years and a house in Lagos and another in Abuja. Conservatively, a house in Lagos will cost N500 million and one in Abuja N700 million. The former governor and family (spouse and children ─ both married and unmarried) are entitled to free medical which is not capped. Another highlight is that the ex-governor is entitled to a cook, steward, gardener and other domestic staff who are pensionable.

THE BENEFITS

Annual Basic Salary: 100% of annual basic salaries of the incumbent governor and deputy.

Accommodation: One residential house in Lagos and another in FCT for the former governor; one residential house in Lagos for the deputy.

Transport: Three cars, two back-up cars and one pilot car for the ex-governor every three years; two cars, two back-up cars and one pilot car for the deputy every three years.

Furniture: 300% of annual basic salary every two years.

House maintenance: 10% of annual basic salary.

Domestic staff: Cook, steward, gardener and other domestic staff (no limit) who shall be pensionable.

Medical: Free medical treatment for ex-governor and deputy and members of their families (not just spouses).

Security: Two SSS operatives, one female officer, eight policemen (four each for house and personal security) for the ex-governor; one SSS operative and two policemen (one each for house and personal security) for the deputy.

PA: 25% of annual basic salary.

Car maintenance: 30% of annual basic salary.

Entertainment: 10% of annual basic salary.

Utility: 20% of annual basic salary.

Drivers: Pensionable (no limit to number of drivers).

Severance gratuity: Not specified.

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DSS denies invading court to arrest Sowore, says it was staged

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DSS denies invading court to arrest Sowore, says it was staged

The DSS has come out to deny claims that its operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday and forcefully taking Omoyele Sowore away less than 24 hours after he was finally released on bail.

In a statement signed by Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesperson, the secret police said Sowore’s supporters were the ones acting an “orchestrated drama”, adding that the viral video of the incident did not show any of its officers. He further denied that his operatives disrupting proceedings and chasing away presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu,

Afunanya said, “Our personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident.

The agency further said that “in actual fact, it was his (Sowore’s) people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for — simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute”.

 

“Eye witness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises. The eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. His lead counsel has affirmed this.

In the statement, the department also explained the reason for going after Sowore less than 12 hours after releasing him.

The DSS said following his release, the activist “resorted to acts inimical to security”.

The agency said, “It has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts. In this regard, public attention may be drawn to the 25th July 2019 statement of SOWORE that “I’m not talking of protest.

 

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Ganduje gives Emir Sanusi new appointment amidst new emirates battle

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Ganduje gives Emir Sanusi new appointment amidst new emirates battle

Amidst the brewing political tension in Kano, the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II as the first chairman of the newly-formed State Council of Chiefs.

The appointment was announced amid the face-off between Ganduje and Emir Sanusi over the creation of new Kano emirates signed into law last week by Ganduje. There had been speculations that the Emir of Bichi, Aminu Bayero, would be appointed to chair the council.

In a statement on Sunday by his spokesman, Abba Anwar, Ganduje ordered Sanusi to summon council meeting immediately.

A court had earlier nullified the creation of four new emirates in Kano though the Kano government still insists on recognising them.

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