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Rivers APC Guber Candidate, Tonye Cole skipped NYSC, omits degrees in nomination forms

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Tonye

The gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, is in trouble for skipping the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, the NEXT EDITION has found out.

Sources close to the stylish businessman-turned-politician said he is struggling to get the NYSC to help him out with the problem.

The Lagos-based billionaire emerged APC’s gubernatorial candidate for 2019 during the party’s primary in Port Harcourt on October 1.

Lawal Isa, Chairman, Rivers State APC Governorship Primary Election Committee, had said Mr. Cole got 3,329 votes to beat other aspirants.

According to him, Dawari George, a former aide to Rotimi Amaechi, scored 491 votes to come a distant second.
Dumo Lulu-Briggs, another business mogul who stood the election, secured 38 votes while a serving Senator, Magnus Abe, got a single vote.

Mr. Abe was the only person who voted for himself in the primary that was attended by no fewer than 4000 delegates.

But weeks after the primary was conducted and won, Mr. Cole is yet to name his running mate, situation observers blamed on the fear he might be disqualified after all.

This newspaper found out Mr. Cole deliberately omitted his tertiary education qualifications in the nomination forms he submitted to his party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Under academic records, Mr. Cole indicated he attended Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos from 1973-1978 and King’s College, Lagos, between 1978 -1983.

This shows in spite of his rich educational background, he only filed his primary school leaving certificate and the ordinary level West African Examination Council General Certificate of Education he obtained in June 1983 from the King’s College.

Apart from the WASCE, Mr. Cole also attached a testimonial from King’s College which showed he was born on January 11, 1967, and had attended the institution from Form One to Five.

With registration number 4107, he was a member of Mckee Wright House as well as the Literary and Debating Club.
The principal of the school at the time, Olapeju Oladele, indicated he held no leadership position but indicated he had a promising career.

“He has very strong personality traits and was well-behaved,” under behavioural traits.

However, under general remarks, Mr. Oladele wrote, “Patrick was a very promising student who has high potential to succeed in his chosen career.”

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Based on his WASC attached to his nomination forms, Mr. Cole had credit (4) in English Language, good (3) in Geography, credit (4) in Economic and credit (6) in Mathematics.
Others include Physics – pass (7), Biology – credit (5), Art –credit (5) and Technical Drawing –pass (7).

With only WASC and a testimonial from King’s College attached to his forms, it seemed Mr. Cole, for some undisclosed reasons, deliberately omitted his degrees as contained in his public profiles.

While he failed to indicate his tertiary education qualifications, the APC candidate sumptuously showcased the training he has attended across the globe and the many papers he has presented and positions he has occupied.

But findings by this newspaper showed Mr. Cole went straight to King’s School, Ely, Cambridgeshire, the United Kingdom after he left King’s College, Lagos at age 16.

He is also said to be an alumnus of the University of Lagos and Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil, where he was graduated with merit honours in Architecture.

Curiously, information regarding his tertiary education and the record of his compulsory NYSC participation are all absent in the document he filed with his party and INEC.

Given his family background and the age he completed his primary and secondary education, it is very clear Mr. Cole got his first degree before he was 23.

The one-year service, organised by NYSC is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate from universities or equivalent institutions at less than 30 years of age.

Apart from being a prerequisite for obtaining government and private sector jobs in Nigeria, the NYSC Act prescribes punishment for anyone who absconds from the scheme or forges its certificates.

For instance, eligible persons, who skipped the scheme, are liable to be sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and/or N2, 000 fine, based on Section 13 of the NYSC law.

 

In Section 13 (3) of the Act, a three-year jail term or option of N5,000 fine is prescribed for anyone who contravenes the provisions of the law.

Subsection 4 of the same section also criminalises giving false information or illegally obtaining the agency’s certificate.

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It provides for up to a three-year jail term for such offenders.

NEXT EDITION made several attempts within the last two weeks to speak with Mr. Cole on the issue but failed.
The APC chieftain would not pick calls or respond to text messages from this newspaper.

However, when contacted, on one of his allies, Tonye Princewill, said Mr. Cole could not speak on the issue because the party was yet to set up a campaign structure for the 2019 polls.

All of Mr. Cole’s public profiles show he had tertiary education in Nigeria and in Brazil but none indicates the dates of his graduation.

NEXT EDITION could not also extract any record of where he served in any of such profiles, some of which have been edited recently.

Attempts to speak with the NYSC spokesperson, Adenike Adeyemi, failed as her line was unreachable and text message to her phone was not replied.

But a senior staff of the scheme, who could not be named because he is not authorised to speak on the matter said the NYSC has no record Mr. Cole served or was offered an exemption.

On July 7, Premium Times newspaper published a report to indict the former Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, of skipping the NYSC scheme.

The newspaper also accused Mrs. Adeosun of forging an exemption certificate many years after graduation in a well-researched exclusive report.

The report showed the minister was born in March 1967 and graduated from the Polytechnic of East London in 1989, at the age of 22.

Having graduated at 22, it was obligatory for Mrs Adeosun to participate in the one-year national service, to qualify for any job in Nigeria.
After months of silence, denial and blame-game, the minister was forced to resign her appointment on September 14.

But it is not only Mrs. Adeosun who skipped the NYSC programme.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, also failed to participate in the scheme despite graduating from the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU) at age 25.

His failure to make the scheme caused his party, the APC to disqualify him from its gubernatorial primary election. (Next Edition)

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Politics

Arrest Threat: Leave Dakuku Out Of Your Dirty Local Politics, Eze Tell Senator Sekibo

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Renominated

 

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile Publicity Secretary of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has expressed displeasure over actions and comments credited to the Chairman, Senate Joint Committee on Navy, Marine Transport and Finance, Senator George Thompson Sekibo, wherein he called for the arrest of the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and one of the brightest politicians from Rivers State,  Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside for sending a representative for the agency at the committee’s hearing.

Senator George Sekibo had rejected Mr. Haruna Argungu, a Principal Legal Officer of NIMASA who made appearance for Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the Director General of the agency at the Committee’s hearing, insisting that Peterside must appear in person to answer for the agency, an act Chief Eze dismissed as totally incongruous and unacceptable, stressing that Dr. Peterside reserves the right to mandate an official of the agency to make such representation owing to the fact that all actions incidental to the businesses of the agency are taken collectively and as such, any official can answer and defend the agency in whatever capacity.

 

Eze said “it is sad and unfortunate that Senator George Sekibbo, a three time Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should allow the local and dirty politics of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State to take a sizeable portion of his sense of reasoning as not to understand that an officer of an Agency can represent his Principal in any inquiry or probe”.

 

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Describing the action as a move to besmirch Dr. Peterside and take the gilt off the gingerbread, Eze said, Haruna’s appearance for the agency is testamentary to the height of prudence and sense of sincerity domiciled within the agency and further reveals participatory democracy in display in the management of NIMASA by Dr. Peterside.

 

Dismissing claims by Senator Sekibo that Dr. Dakuku Perterisde is on the run, Eze said the NIMASA DG was out of the country, attending an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conference where he made a case for Nigeria to be voted into the IMO Council Category C.

 

The Media stalwart challenged Senator Sekibo to channel his energy towards meaningful ventures, such as providing quality representation to his constituents who are impoverished daily by the state government instead of engaging in mere trivialities. He said one would have loved to see a situation where the Rivers-born Senator made a case against the fanfare of squander mania in Rivers state where the state government has left the people in squalor without a hint of remorse.

 

Chief Eze frowned at Senator Sekibo for attempting to conscript the Nigerian Senate into the politics of smear campaign against public servants of Rivers origin which is the foundation and penchant of the Peoples Democratic Party in the State.

 

He urged members of the Joint Committee to be weary of being inveigled into a situation in which they find themselves becoming partisan agents of wrongdoers in the pursuit of their selfish private vendetta.

 

Eze commended Dr. Dakuku Peterside for quickly appearing before the Joint Committee on Navy, Airforce and Marine Transport on his return to Nigeria on Thursday, to clarify the committee on every grey areas notwithstanding his busy schedules. While  lauding the NIMASA DG for adopting a pragmatic approach towards problems management, Chief Eze said Dakuku remains a global brand whose sense of patriotism and national spirit cannot be overemphasized.

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Eze highlighted that with the prompt appearance of this Administrator par excellence before the Senate Committee on Navy thereby debunking the erroneous impression that he is on the on the run one expect Senator George Sekibo to publicly apologise to this genius from Rivers State for attempting to rubbish his hard earned credibility and integrity

 

The party chieftain expressed his felicitations with the NIMASA DG for bagging yet another meritorious award from the Nigerian Chattered Institute of Transport Administrators (CIOTA) upon his return to the country after the International Maritime Organization (IMO) conference, where he made a brilliant representation for Nigeria.

 

He said men and women of goodwill must not sit back and watch mischief makers ruin the efforts of those who are committed to setting the country on the path of progress.

 

Eze further appealed to the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Ahmed Lawan to be mindful of PDP Senators like Sekibo, who are much more concerned to doing the biddings of Gov. Wike no matter how inimical such bidding can be on the progress and future of Rivers State and Nigeria at large.

 

ENDS

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Old Ghost Hunts Adeyemi Ikuforiji

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Ikuforiji

Nothing scares a man like the memories of a bad incident.

In his dreams and thoughts, the memories often resurge, throwing him into a dilemma.

Former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji has been in this shoe before.

Having enjoyed some relief by virtue of a no-case submission brought by his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleged him of money laundering years back, Ikuforiji’s nightmare is back again.

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The chubby dark-complexioned man is set for another bout of trauma as Justice Mohammed Liman of a Lagos High Court has fixed December 11, for his re-arraignment in a 54-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N600 million.

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Why I Dumped PDP-Ize-Iyamu

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APC Crisis

 

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has revealed why he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

Ize-Iyamu, a former governorship candidate of PDP in Edo State, revealed that he joined the APC to help resolve its crisis and not to escalate it.

The clarification was made during an interactive session with journalists in Benin.

“Sometimes, God uses you in time of crisis to bring peace. So, I just decided that crisis should not deter me. The important thing is that I’m not going to APC to escalate any problem, he said.

“I’m going there by the grace of God to add value, I will go and settle the party, I will go and ensure that the party is well-connected to those at the grassroots, I will encourage governments to do their best, and that itself is one of the primary purposes of being in politics,” he said.

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On dumping the PDP for APC, Ize-Iyamu said “I am a football fan. I am a fan of Chelsea. But, these footballers that we die for, might tomorrow choose to go and play for Manchester United, or Arsenal. It might be very painful to us, but they have their reasons.

“It could be that the coach is playing them from the wrong position, they don’t like the new method of the coach. It could also be that they are tired of just being among clubs not relegated, they want to be among the first four. There are many reasons.

“The Constitution gives us the right of association. I have my reasons of moving to the APC. Many of you also know that moving to the party is like a home coming for me, because I’m one of the players who formed that party in this state and in the country, so, it’s not as if I’m going to a new place.

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“The place I left, there are some people there who are not happy, and will want to throw things, but I’m not going to throw back. Where I’m also coming to, there are also apprehensive, and because of that too, either directly or indirectly, they are also throwing things. I also will not return things.

“You can see that I’m in a very precarious position. People are throwing things at me and I don’t want to retaliate.

“I believe very much in this state, I was born here, I schooled here and by the grace of God, I’ll be buried here. I am very passionate about this state. That is why I’ve chosen to be part of people that will solve the proof this state and make it more attractive and better for all of us,” Ize-Iyamu said.

 

 

 

 

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