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Ondo Rep-elect appreciates constituents over election victory

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Prince Jimi Odimayo, elected APC member for Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency of Ondo State, has appreciated his constituents for ensuring his victory at the Feb. 25 polls.

This is contained in a statement he issued personally on Tuesday in Irele.

Odimayo said he was deeply moved by the massive support of his constituents, which gave him victory.

He promised to be a listening representative who would take ideas and suggestions from the constituents to bring dividends of democracy to all constituents and development to the area.

“I want to thank my fellow Ikale indigenes, both home and abroad, for honouring me with your votes on Feb. 25.

“I am deeply moved by your massive support, uncommon love, expression of confidence and total submission of future hope for my mandate from all the communities that make up Ikaleland in both Okitipupa and Irele Local Government Areas.

“My appreciation will not be complete without specially thanking our ‘Talk and Do’ Governor, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, his wife, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu and deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, for believing in me and my aspiration for my people.

“I owe the first family a lot and I pray that your children shall receive helps from far and near.

“To our party state Chairman, Mr Ade Adetimehin, your fatherly roles and encouragement on my political aspiration is legendary. Indeed, you led the way to this victory.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart, as I am yet to figure out what really qualify me to enjoy such fundamental love, willingness and enthusiasm to be your representative at the Green Chamber of the National Assembly from June.

“I owe you a huge load of gratitude and also immensely grateful to my immediate family, the Royal Dynasty of Oba Feyisara Odimayo, political associates, business partners, social friends and loyal party and non-partisan supporters who so generously contributed their time, effort and finances to our campaign,” he stated.

Odimayo noted that being an effective legislator involved listening to constituents, building their confidence and hope of a better life, translating their concerns into workable proposals and building consensus to implement them.

“I can not do this job without the involvement and openness of the people I represent, that is why I am soliciting for more support and encouragement as I do the job diligently to the best of my abilities and God’s direction.

“You have taken the time to share with me your ideas, concerns and aspirations, and I sincerely appreciate your willingness to discuss what really matters to you.

“Not only have you entrusted me with the responsibility of speaking on your behalf as your representative, but you also continue to provide me with the ideas and feedback I need to do it as it should be done. For that, I thank you once again.

“Our darling Ikaleland is currently facing many challenges, but we can overcome them if all of us rise above political interests to do what is best for its constituents,” Odimayo said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Odimayo polled 44,638 votes to defeat incumbent PDP’s Gboluga Ikemgbo, who scored 21,066 votes in the Feb. 25 poll.

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Court to deliver judgment in suit seeking use of TVCs to vote, March 10

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The Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed March 10 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by two aggrieved Nigerians seeking the use of Temporary Voter Cards, (TVCs) in the general elections in the absence of the Permanent Voter Cards, (PVCs).

Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date on Tuesday after parties adopted their final written addresses and made brief adumbration to convince the court on their positions.

Arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs, Mr Victor Opatola told the court that should the court rule in their favour, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) needed no special technology to allow people use their TVCs to vote.

He said this was because the content of the TVC was the same as the content of the PVC.

He said the only difference was the plastic used for the PVC adding that the BVAS required only a thumbprint or facial recognition so with the TVC, an eligible voter could also be allowed to vote.

He also said that judging from the just concluded elections where TVCs were used at some polling units, it was clear that the use of TVCs was possible.

Opatola prayed the court to grant the prayers of his client

For his part, counsel to INEC, Mr Abdulaziz Sani urged the court to dismiss the plantiff’s originating summons as an unnecessary suit.

According to Sani, no TVC was used anywhere in Saturday’s election as alleged by the plaintiffs.

The senior lawyer also told the court that all the claims of the plaintiffs had been debunked by facts provided.
He reiterated that the suit should be dismissed as unnecessary.

Having heard all arguments, Justice Egwuatu fixed March 10 to deliver judgment.

The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN), reports that INEC had repeatedly held that only eligible voters with the PVCs would be allowed to vote in the 2023 presidential, governorship and parliamentary elections.

NAN also reports that the plaintiffs, Kofoworola Olusegun and Wilson Allwell in the suit filed on Feb. 8 and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/180/2023, are asking the court to determine “Whether by the true construction and interpretation of section 10(2), 12(1) and 47 of the Electoral Act 2022; Section 77(2) and 132(5) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), and bearing in mind that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machine introduced by INEC only needs the thumbprint and/or facial recognition to accredit a voter;

“Whether a person whose name appears in the electronic format in INEC’s central database and manual, printed paper based record or hard copy format of the register of voters and has been assigned a Voter’s Identification Number (VIN), can be said to be entitled to be accredited to vote with his/her TVC in the general election to be conducted by the defendant.

“Whether such a person can, as a consequence of the defendant’s inabilities, actions and omission be disenfranchised of the right and entitlement to vote in the 2023 general election.

The plaintiffs asked the court to grant the following reliefs should the questions be answered in their favour.

“A declaration that the plaintiff, having fulfilled all necessary legal requirements to register and having consequently been captured in it’s central database and manual, printed paper based record or hard copy format of INEC’s maintained register of voters, the plaintiff are entitled to vote using their TVC in the 2023 General Elections.

“An order compelling INEC to allow the plaintiff to vote using the TVC issued by INEC, the plaintiff having been duly captured in the national register of voter’s database.

“Any other order, the court may deem fit for all other Nigerians who are like the plaintiffs and have not gotten their permanent voter’s card, as the court may deem fit.

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Flights from Cologne, Dusseldorf airports resume after strikes

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Flights resumed at Cologne-Bonn and Dusseldorf airports on Tuesday after workers returned from 24 hours of industrial action over pay.

At Düsseldorf airport, the strike ended at around 3 a.m. (0200 GMT), said Verdi spokesman Peter Büddicker.

He did not expect any further restrictions for passengers.

At Cologne-Bonn airport, staff resumed work at 6 a.m., according to a spokesperson, who added there could be delays while backlogs cleared.

Almost every flight was cancelled at the airports on Monday, due to the one-day strike called by the Verdi and Komba trade unions.

While 136 departures and arrivals were planned in Cologne-Bonn, only two took place – a flight to and from Vienna.

The airport would otherwise have expected around 15,000 passengers on Monday.

The strikes were part of larger industrial actions amid negotiations for public sector employees at the federal and local levels, as well as the nationwide negotiations for aviation security employees.

Unions are demanding 10.5 per cent more income, or at least 500 euros more per month.

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