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Furore as Kogi inaugurates Onoja as deputy governor

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• PDP dismisses the action, INEC fixes Nov16 for the senatorial by-election

Amid criticisms from certain quarters, the Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Nadir Ajana, yesterday sworn in Edward Onoja as the state’s new deputy governor.

The event in Lokoja followed his clearance by the House of Assembly.

Justice Ajanah was assisted by the Grand Khadi of the state, Abdulkareem Aruwa, and Governor Bello during the inauguration.

Speaking during the screening, Speaker Matthew Kolawole had described the confirmation as “reward for loyalty exhibited by Onoja as Chief of Staff to the governor.”

He charged the new deputy governor to remain on the path.

On his part, Governor Bello described his deputy as a “loyal and trusted friend who has always demonstrated excellent ability even as Chief of Staff.”

He added that the elevation would spur him to do more in the task of moving the state forward.

The legislature had last Friday impeached Elder Simon Achuba, shortly after receiving the report of the panel set up to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against him as the former occupant of the office.

But he has, however, declared his ouster as unconstitutional, insisting that he would challenge the action in court.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed the action as “a complete nullity, which has no place under our laws.”

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed November 16 for the Kogi West senatorial by-election.

Its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, made the announcement yesterday in Abuja.

He said the decision to hold the election same day with the governorship poll followed extensive consultations with stakeholders and a review of the security situation in the state.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had nullified the victory of Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP and ordered the electoral umpire to conduct a fresh election within 90 days.

The judgment was consequent upon the petition filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the outcome of the February 23 legislative poll.


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