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Ekiti APC says PDP allegations of Fayemi’s N1.2bn travel budget imbecilic

 

The All Progressive Congress of Ekiti State has described a press statement issued by the state branch of the People’s Democratic Party in which it alleged that The State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has budgeted the sum of 1.2bn for his travelling expenses as the height of imbecility, adding that it has finally dragged itself into a level of shameless that will finally consume it and drive a wedge between it and the few members who still maintain any form of association with it.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by the The Director of Media and Publicity to the party, Mr. Sam Oluwana, the party wondered why a party will descend so low to attack an individual who is trying so hard to clean up the gargantuan mess it (PDP) has left behind after four years of looting and mis-rule.

On the allegation of the N1.2 billion Naira travelling expenses. The APC spokesman said the statement did not come as a surprise.

“This is a party that was in the saddle for years in the state during which the people were pauperized to the extent of celebrating each time a “kongo of rice” was served to them”.

In its four years of misrule in the state, the PDP, through its prodigal governor, Ayo Fayose, turned the state and the people to beggars that picked crumbs from the table of self-styled master, whose profligate and corrupt practices were of constant embarrassment to the people of the state and Nigerians who are familiar with his moral defficiency.

The present administration is just settling down to find a way of settling seven month unpaid salaries of civil servants, while contracts awarded in dubious circumstances are being corrected.

According to reports in the debt management office, made available on its websites. Fayose took the debt profiles of the State from N30 billion in December 31, 2014 to N117.6 billion in December 31, 2017.

This is a party that found it impossible to pay salaries of workers for 8 months even when it was N18,000, now accusing a state governor of not paying N30,000 minimum wage, which implementation has not commenced in any state in the country.

Pretending that they are lovers of people, the party in the statement lamented that Dr. Fayemi should be shopping for funds to pay N30,000 minimum wage.

Mr. Oluwalana who doubled as the SSA (Party Matters) to the Ekiti State Governor, in the statement wondered while PDP is crying more than the bereaved.

He said “were they involved in the decision by Dr. Fayemi to pay outstanding salaries/allowances left behind by the PDP government?, were they involved in the decision that led Dr. Fayemi to pay the outstanding pension left behind by the PDP government? Did they force him to increase the pension paid from N10 Million to 100 million Naira monthly.

During their four year of mis-rule, their master who was inept and ignorant of the workings of a government treated Ekiti people and its workers with scorn and indignity in a brazen manner.

PDP lacks the moral justification and decency to now turn itself to an advocate of the masses, which they once abandoned and neglected.

The Ekiti State 2019 budget, which is a total of N129.8billion does not in anywhere show travelling expenses of all workers as anywhere near hN1.2billion. Like their stock in trade, they are bandying around fictitious figures. They have only succeeded in confusing themselves.

The people of Ekiti State have come to appreciate Dr. Fayemi as a trust worthy, prudent and dignified personality who sees himself as servant of people unlike the former PDP governor, who lord it over the people and strust them like the master of manor for the four least years.
It is as a result of his dignified and sensitive nature that endears him to his peers (fellow Governors) in the country that made them elect him as their Chairman.
On the issue of SUBEB, the state lost over 2billion Naira during the regime of Fayose due to his refusal to pay the counterpart funds for the project but laundered 500milion Naira paid by Dr. Fayemi during his first term in office.
Few days after his resumption as the State Governor, the same PDP claimed that Dr. Fayemi collected 31 Billion Naira as Paris Fund, now the figure has been lowered to 11 Billion Naira, just like they have lowered their political value in the estimation of the people of state with their latest ranting.

Another claim that Dr. Fayemi increased his security votes to N250 Billion Naira can only be the thinking of deranged set of people with blocked brain that lack capacity to think rightly.

Signed
Sam Oluwalana
Director, Media and Publicity
APC, Ekiti State.

Buhari, APC, INEC urge tribunal to dismiss Atiku, PDP’s petition

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday prayed the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar against his Feb.23 re-election.

Buhari made the prayer through his Counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, in a motion adopted and argued on Tuesday before Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-man panel in Abuja.

Olanipekun submitted that the petition was fundamentally defective, adding that his client won the presidential “square and clear’’.

He explained that the allegations advanced by the petitioners were mere theoretical assumptions that could not stand the test of critical legal debate.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tribunal also entertained the president’s motion that sought to effect amendment on the identities and addresses of counsel representing him.

Another of Buhari’s application seeking to mandate the tribunal to entertain all interlocutory motions before the commencement of proper hearing of the main petition was also adopted and argued.

Similarly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition brought by PDP and Atiku against a “flawless’’ election that won by Buhari.

Mr Yunus Usman, SAN, Counsel for INEC said that the electoral commission would standby the declaration of the second respondent (Buhari) as winner of the Fbe.23 presidential election.

Usman said the petition challenging the outcome of the exercise was “misguided’’, adding that the allegations of fraud made against the electoral body was “mischievous’’.

NAN reports that INEC’s application challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the tribunal to entertain the petition.

Usman further urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition as the petitioners failed to include the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as a co-winner in the election.

“ The failure of the PDP and Atiku to include Osinbajo’s name as party should not be overlooked because whatever affects the president affects his running mate,’’ Usman said.

NAN also reports that three other interlocutory motions filed by the All Progressive Congress were argued and dispensed with.

Chief Lateef Fagbemi, SAN,  Counsel for the APC had urged the tribunal to strike out 18 paragraphs of the petition with frivolous assumptions among other prayers.

He submitted that the competence of the petition was questionable, adding that it would soon become a mere “lame duck’’.

Meanwhile, Dr Levi Uzoukwu, SAN, Counsel for the petitioners prayed the tribunal to discountenance all the arguments canvassed by the respondents, describing INEC’s position in the matter as “unusual”.

The presiding judge, therefore, fixed June 13 for the petitioners’ motions to be heard.

‘You can’t cage the media’ — PDP hits FG over action against AIT

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the suspension of the licences of AIT and Raypower FM by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The opposition party said the decision was an attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled federal government to cage the media.

In a statement, Kola Ologbondiyan, national publicity secretary of the party, said the action was targeted at “intimidating and gaging the media, repress constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and stifle public opinion, particularly as related to the determination by Nigerians to retrieve the stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal.”

The spokesman said the ruling party was aware of the decision, adding that Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, director-general of the NBC, “is a card carrying member and frontline leader in the APC who was also an aspirant on the platform of the party for the governorship of Kwara state.”

“This clamp down on AIT as well as earlier siege on other media houses and journalists under the APC administration, ostensibly point to a plot to frighten and asphyxiate the media, shut down outlets perceived to hold dissenting views and ultimately foist a siege mentality on our citizenry to restrain their demand for fairness and justice in the polity,” he said.

“The APC is mortally afraid that a free press will raise the red flag and expose its manipulations and any attempt to subvert the course of justice, especially in the Presidential petition, hence this desperation to strangulate the media and cow Nigerians from freely expressing themselves.”

He called on Nigerians and members of the international community to condemn “this desperation to gag the media and repress free speech in Nigeria.”

Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications Plc, had earlier accused the Presidency of using NBC to frustrate his stations.

Court of Appeal sacks Ned Nwoko as PDP senator-elect

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has nullified the emergence of Ned Nwoko as the senator representing Delta North Senatorial District.

The court in a decision on Thursday said the case instituted at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court which resulted in the recognition of Mr Nwoko as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission was wrongly filed.

The appellate court ruled that the matter ought to have been brought at the lower court before the expiration of 14 days from the time of the incidence that birthed the suit.

It further ruled that the failure of the applicant at the lower court to file the case before the expiration of 14 days meant that the case had become statute barred and the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter in the first place.

“As at the time the matter was instituted at the Federal High Court, the case was statute barred. We set aside the decision of the Federal High Court and strike out the case,” the court ruled.

INEC had withdrawn the certificate of return it issued to Mr Nwoko’s contender Peter Nwaoboshi, following the FHC decision.

With the appeal court decision, Mr Nwaoboshi will now be recognised as the senator-elect for the district.

Messrs Nwoko and Nwaoboshi are both of the PDP and had contested for the ticket of the party in the primaries. The PDP later won the senatorial election in the district with Mr Nwaoboshi as its candidate.

After the initial high court ruling, INEC withdrew the certificate issued to Mr Nwaoboshi and presented same to Mr Nwoko; a decision that would now be reversed based on the appeal court ruling.

INEC issues certificates of return to Zamfara PDP candidates

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued certificates of return to Bello Matawalle as governor-elect of Zamfara state.

Matawalle and Mahdi Gusau, deputy governor-elect, both of whom are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were presented their certificates of return at the Electoral Institute in Abuja on Monday.

Also presented with their certificates of return were the three senators-elect and seven members-elect of the house of representatives from Zamfara — also of the PDP.

The supreme court had on Friday voided votes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates in the state in the last elections. It ruled the party did not hold valid primaries.

Speaking before the presentation of the certificates, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, reiterated the importance of party primaries ahead of elections.

He said there were over 800 suits in court challenging outcome of various primaries.

“I want to reiterate the importance of conducting proper primaries before elections in order to reduce the spate of litigation associated with them,” he said.

“At the moment, there are 809 pre-election cases pending in various courts across the country challenging the conduct of primaries by political parties for the 2019 general election.

“This is clearly more than the total number of petitions currently before the various election petition tribunals nationwide challenging the outcome of the main elections.

“In our last update, the commission reported that 25 certificates of return had been withdrawn and issued to persons declared winners by courts of law. Since then, three more certificates have been withdrawn by court order. With the Zamfara case, the figure has now risen to 64.

“In addition, the commission is studying nine more judgements we were served in the last one week in which primary elections conducted by different political parties were upturned by the courts.”

BREAKING: INEC declares PDP winner of Zamfara elections

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Bello Matawalle of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of Zamfara state governorship election.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, announced this during a press conference in Abuja on Saturday.

He also said  the party won all but one of the elective positions in the state. Kabiru Hassan of the National Rescue Movement (NRM) won the election in Maru south state constituency.

Yakubu said this followed the supreme court decision sacking all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the general election.

The apex court had ruled the party did not hold a valid primary election and subsequently voided its votes.

Matawalle had scored 189,452 to emerge second in the governorship election.

Yakubu said that Certificates of Return would be given to the governor-elect, Deputy-governor-elect, three Senators and seven House of Representatives members-elect by 2:00 p.m. on Monday.

Fresh elections likely in Zamfara despite Supreme Court judgement

Fresh elections appear likely to hold in Zamfara State despite the judgment of the Supreme Court, which nullified the victory of the All Progressives Congress and declared runner ups, the Peoples Democratic Party as duly elected.

This is because the PDP candidates might not have garnered enough votes to be validly returned as elected under the provisions of the constitution.

The situation has raised a constitutional precedence according to analysts who have pointed out that the PDP governorship candidate did not satisfy the constitutional requirement of securing 25 percent of votes in two thirds of all local governments in the state to be validly elected.

The PDP governship candidate, Bello Matawalle, did not win any of the 14 Local Government Areas in the last Gubernatorial polls in Zamfara state, APC won all.

Rresults declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission indicated that PDP had one-quarter  of the total votes cast in only six LGA, which are Anka, Bukkuyum, Maradum, Buggundu, Kaura Namoda and Maru.

The party failed to make the 25 percent requirement in the remaining eight – Bakura, Gunmi, Zurmi, Birnin Mogaji, Gusau, Shinkafi and Tsafe.

Legal practitioner, Dr Ibrahim Abdul, who assesed the situation, noted that mathematically, two-thirds of 14 (LGs) is nine thus, Zamfara may not have a substantive governor come May 29, 2019.

According to him, even if the Chief Judge assumes the acting governor’s role, there may still not be any elected members of the House of Assembly to be inaugurated.

INEC held a meeting on Friday over the matter and will hold further meetings over the weekend before.it comes up with a verdict on Monday.

TheNewsMatrics reports that INEC  might have no option but to hold fresh elections in the state even though it is not clear if the APC will be allowed to participate as the Supreme Court ruled that the party primaries leading to the election was a nullity.

A total of 35 candidates already declared winners were affected by the Supreme Court judgement including outgoing governor,  Abdulaziz Yari, who.had won a Senate seat.

 

 

BREAKING: Supreme Court declares PDP candidates winners in Zamfara elections

It was a lucky day for the Peoples’Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party, as the Supreme Court on Friday morning declared all its candidates winners of governorship, National Assembly, and State House of Assembly of the Zamfara state general elections.

The PDP came a distant second in all the elections which saw the All Progressives Congress (APC)  winning all the seats and even producing a governor-elect.

Moreover, PDP was not a party to the suit before the Supreme Court. It was the internal wrangling within APC over primary elections that got to the court, but in a surprising judgement, the Apex court declared the Party that came second the winners.

n th elections of all the candidates of th All Progressives Congress Zamfara State in the 2019 general election

Delivering a unanimous judgment of the five-man panel led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, the apex court declared the the first runners-up as the winners.

Justice Paul Adamu Galinje, who read the lead judgment upheld the decision of the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal to the effect that the APC did not conduct any valid primary elections in the state and as such had no candidate for any of the elections in the state.

He declared that the votes polled by the APC candidates in the elections as wasted, adding that the party and the candidates with the second highest votes and the spread in the various elections were the valid winners.

All the three appeals challenging the judgment  of the Sokoto D‎ivision of the Court of Appeal were dismissed by the apex court in three judgments on Friday.

The judgments centre on the governorship, state House of Assembly and the National Assembly elections conducted in Zamfara State on February 23 and March 11, 2019.

APC candidates, including the outgoing governor of the Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who was elected to the Senate, had won most of the offices contested for in the 2019 elections with the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidates, placing first runners-up in the polls.

Facebook’s revelation has exposed APC, Buhari – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using Facebook as a platform for weakening the growth of democracy in Nigeria.

The main opposition party said Facebook’s revelation detailing the manipulations and disinformation in the 2019 general election are indications that Buhari and APC will go as far as any length to sustain power, no matter who gets hurt.

Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP’s national publicity secretary, said this in a statement.

He said Buhari and his party did not only make effort to negatively change the perception of Nigerians against Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, but also resorted to accusing Atiku with false claims to divert attention.

He added that such effort will result in nothing, as Nigerians are more aware of the evils of the APC administration.

“Our party notes that there are more damning  revelations against the APC, not only on its rigging of the general election, but also on how it is working against our nation, which will come to light at the appropriate time,” the statement reads.

“The APC, which engaged in manipulation to foist itself, will do anything, no matter how vile, to sustain itself in office, not minding the social, economic and collateral damages such could cause our dear nation.

“It is, however, to say the least, despicable that in their desperation to hold on to power at all costs, President Buhari’s handlers and the APC engaged in this sneaky disinformation, internet lies and smear campaigns against the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

“The Facebook’s revelation exposes how President Buhari, in his claimed integrity, allowed the enlisting of criminals, hackers and Internet fraudsters in the desperate attempt to manipulate the views of Nigerians against Atiku Abubakar.

“The scheme failed as Nigerians had already made up their minds to do away with the incompetent, deceptive, vindictive and corrupt APC administration.

“The APC has now commenced a renewed plot to engage in fabricated security accusations against the PDP and our presidential candidate in another desperate stunt to play the victim and divert attention from its endless election manipulations, all in the ill-fated attempt to demonise the PDP, hoodwink Nigerians and confer legitimacy on the outcome of the rigged election.

“Since the Facebook’s revelation, the Federal Government and the Presidency have suddenly gone dumb, having been exposed and shown in their true colours.”

PDP asks Appeal Court president to quit presidential election tribunal

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Juatice Zainab Bulkachuwa, President of the Court of Appeal, to withdraw from the five-member panel of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

In a petition sent to her office, PDP said Bulkachuwa would likely be biased while handling the tribunal’s proceedings.

In the letter signed by Uche Secondus, national chairman of the party, and Umaru Tsauri, national secretary, the party said Bulkachuwa’s husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, contested and won the Bauchi north senatorial district election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the February 23, 2019 poll.

“My Lord, it is no more a secret, that your dear husband, Hon. Adamu Mohammed Bulkachuwa, contested the February 23, 2019 election for the position of Senator in Bauchi North Senatorial district and won same on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the petition read.

“This information is not just in the public domain but has dominated both public and private discussions to the extent that it has become a sore source of worry not just for members of our party but to the generality of Nigerians because of your very unique and critical position as the President of the Court of Appeal which is saddled with the sacred responsibility of hearing petitions arising from the presidential election.

“This fear was palpable enough just with you as the President of the Court of Appeal but has now been worsened and compounded by the discovery that you have decided to appoint yourself as chairman of the Panel to hear the petition.

“Furthermore, My Lord, in your address at the opening of the pre-hearing, you made some remarks that were both frightening and heartwarming. For instance, in your opening paragraph you said: ‘Elections are held in Nigeria every four years into elective positions. No matter how well the election is conducted, there are bound to be complaints…’

“This remark rocked our confidence in a panel led by Your Lordship to determine our fate in an election which could be one of the ones that were very well ‘conducted’ in Your Lordship’s opinion. The question then is how can a petitioner convince Your Lordship otherwise over an election, which in Your Lordship’s opinion, was very well ‘conducted’?

“We are reasoning that, armed with this golden rule of justice and fair hearing and given your direct intimacy, through your dear husband, with the APC, one of the parties in this election petition, Your Lordship, would have exercised your constitutional right and powers guardedly, judiciously and judicially, by excluding yourself from the panel of this honourable court’s sitting over this particular petition.”

The party said it lacks confidence in  Bulkachuwa, saying it would be difficult to convince Nigerians that she is neutral.

“This is the only way you could have divested yourself from all forms of bias and be seen to be fair, both to yourself, our Party, that is contesting against your husband’s party in this petition, and indeed, all Nigerians, who are keenly in the just, transparently impartial and unbiased determination of this Petition over an election which outcome obviously did not respect their wishes as expressed through their votes,” the letter read.

“It is based on the above premises, therefore, that we are constrained to respectfully request Your Lordship to rescue yourself from presiding over and/or sitting as a member of the Panel hearing the instant Petition as it would be impossible for your lordship to convince any reasonable man that your dear husband never discussed this Petition, which he is patiently interested in its outcome with you, throughout the trial.”

PDP claims INEC servers replaced to conceal rigged election results

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of replacing all the servers in its headquarters and its state offices to conceal alleged rigging in the just concluded general elections.

The party made the allegation in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, saying the action was in a desperate bid to change the actual results of the presidential election transmitted from the polling centers across the nation.

The PDP claims its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, won the February presidential election, saying INEC’s computer server has the authentic results of the poll.

But the electoral body says results were not transmitted electronically. Some ad hoc staff of the commission have however said in court affidavits that that was not the case.

Mr Ologbondiyan said the alleged replacement of the servers was “completely reprehensible” and had further exposed the culpability of INEC in the alleged manipulation and rigging of the election.

He said that the PDP was briefed on how the INEC leadership and officials of the Presidency became jittery and resorted to the desperate measure, after they realised that the servers had information of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s victory at the election.

“Our party also has details of how the INEC leadership and the presidency agents procured and detailed computer experts to the commission’s offices to switch the servers, mutilate vital information in the system and attempt to erase all trails of transmitted results to the main server,” he said.

“Moreover, our party has been informed about how the INEC leadership, several weeks after the election, used some compromised officials of the commission to manipulate voter registers in some states by ticking names of individuals who did not participate in the Presidential election, as having voted.

“This is with the view to using such to cover the fictitious results it wrote for the All Progressives Congress (APC).’’

Mr Ologbondiyan said that forensic investigation of the system would reveal the real votes transmitted from the polling centers.

“The PDP therefore insists on forensic examination of all relevant documents and equipment used for the Presidential election.’’

However, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, who reacted to the allegation described it as baseless and uncalled-for.

“The commission has maintained that it will not join issues with the PDP in the media on a petition that the party had already filed in court, in respect of the 2019 Presidential Election.

“Rather than issuing press statements and addressing press conferences on the same petition on a daily basis, PDP should allow the legal process to run its full course,” Mr Oyekanmi said. (NAN)

PDP: Buhari abandoning governance shows how reckless next four years will be

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of abandoning governance in the guise of a private trip to the UK.

The party said the president’s decision to travel to the UK without informing the national assembly suggests he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are seeking to vacate the 1999 constitution.

Buhari’s decision to travel to the UK on a private trip without first writing the national assembly has been condemned by some Nigerians who described it as illegal.

But his aides defended his action, insisting it was not necessary for the president to write the lawmakers about the trip.

However, in the statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, the opposition party said the president’s action is “an act of dereliction, which confirms that the APC and the Buhari Presidency are not interested in governance.”

“What else, beside an authoritarian propensity, can explain why the Buhari Presidency relegated our Constitutional Order by declaring the application of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which directs that the President transmits power whenever he is travelling out of the country on vacation, as a mere “convention,” read the statement issued on Monday.

“Moreover, Mr. President’s abandoning of governance, particularly at this critical time when our nation is facing grave security and economic challenges, signposts the level of impunity and recklessness that will characterize our nation in the next four years, if the stolen Presidential mandate is not retrieved from the APC.”

The PDP said Buhari’s action has caused the “absence of a constitutional command structure” which leaves Nigeria “at the mercy of the extremely corrupt and vicious cabal with whom President Buhari presided over the most corrupt and most incompetent administration.”

It also said the action has exposed the nation to unabated banditry, extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests and looting of the national treasury.

“The PDP therefore urges Nigerians to unite in condemning this act of impunity in the interest of our nation even as they earnestly await the retrieval of the stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal,” the party said.

PDP abusing freedom of speech, says AGF

Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of “taking the freedom of speech too far”.

Malami was reacting to the allegations that he was involved in a plot to cause constitutional crisis in Rivers state.

The PDP had alleged that Malami and Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, were pressuring the supreme court to reverse the nullification of the primaries of Rivers chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The court had upheld the verdict of the trial court that excluded the APC from participating in the general election that held in the state, ruling that the APC did not conduct credible primary elections.

But fielding questions from state house correspondents on the outcome of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday  Malami said “the PDP has taken freedom of speech too far.”

He said unless otherwise proven in court that he is involved in the act, the allegation will remain an accusation.

“Regarding what was leveled against me by PDP, I think it remains an accusation. It has to remain so until proven through a judicial process,” he said.

“But for me I think it is freedom of speech that has been taken too far.”

Wike set for victory, leads by 600,000 votes in 19 of 23 LGAs

Nyesom Wike, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers state, has extended his lead in the results of the election so far announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Wike, incumbent governor, was winning with a margin of 296,424 votes after INEC resumed collation of election results on Tuesday.

He had polled 426, 279 votes from 15 local government areas (LGAs), ahead of Biokpomabo Awara, candidate of the African Alliance Congress (AAC), who garnered 129,855 votes.

The commission suspended the exercise on Tuesday evening and when it resumed collation on Wednesday, the governor extended his lead with 601,423 votes after results from four LGAs were announced.

While he polled 12,133 votes to Awara’s 5,071 in Degema LGA, the duo recorded 32,172 and 18,945 votes in Asari-Toru LGA respectively.

In Obio/Akpor LGA where Wike hails from, he garnered as high as 281,164 votes as against Awara’s 7,495 votes.

He also defeated the AAC candidate in Ogo/Bolo LGA where he polled 11,855 votes while his rival got 814.

The AAC, whose deputy governorship candidate has since resigned, is being backed by Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), after his party failed to qualify in the governorship election.

The collation centre has adjourned till 3pm, with results from four LGAs left to be announced.

Many PDP leaders are after their stomach – OBJ

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says many leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are after their pockets and stomach.

Speaking when he received leaders of the party from the region in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, on Monday, the former president advised the opposition party to “purge itself of bad eggs”.

He said such individuals lacked commitment to returning the opposition party to its lost glory.

The elder statesman said Nigeria needs a vibrant voice and opposition with a view to building a virile democracy.

Obasanjo called for a strong voice and action from the opposition parties, in order to save the nation’s democracy.

He said he was willing to support genuine efforts from those who were passionate about the interest of the country.

“I knew PDP would lose the election in 2015 because it was clear, and I knew PDP will need to be rebuilt after losing the election,” the former president told his guests,” he said.

“You need what I call a critical mass of committed people, and come rain, come shine they are committed. With that, you can make Nigeria better.

:You see peoples’ faces beautiful but you don’t know what each person harbours inside of him. If you discover a bad egg, remove such a person and if such person has learnt his or her lessons, there can still be room to accommodate the person.

“Politically speaking, you can’t be my friend if you don’t buy into Nigeria’s project. For me, till death, I will continue to push for a better Nigeria.”

Keyamo asks DSS to invite PDP leaders over ‘hacking of INEC server’

Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of hacking into the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (EFCC).

Citing INEC server, Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP, had claimed that he defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes in the election.

Atiku made the claim in a petition he and his party filed before the presidential election tribunal.

But Keyamo, in a petition to the Department of State Services (DSS) and police,Keyamo said the PDP propelled Buhari into signing the bill for the electronic transmission of results to INEC’s central computer system, in preparation to affect its “rigging plans”

He said leaked results before the presidential poll was postponed, tally with the figures released by the PDP.

The petition read: “ Upon the last-minute postponement of the February 16, 2019 Presidential/National Assembly Elections, the nation was shocked to see already prepared presidential elections results floating around in the cyber space just less than 24 hours after the postponed election was originally billed to hold! The fake results had details of the scores of the candidates of the major parties. Of course, the fake results gave victory to the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, even when elections did not hold.

“The only conclusion one can draw from the above is that the PDP had prepared those results which were to be smuggled into the INEC Server. However, the sudden postponement of the election scuttled that evil plan, but it was too late to restrain the release of the fake results.

“The proper elections were held on February 23, 2019 and President Muhammadu Buhari declared the winner. Despite the approval of the elections as credible by nearly all local and international observers (except some few known PDP acolytes masquerading as local observers), the PDP cried foul and made a shocking claim: it claimed that from purported results it obtained from INEC’s server, it has so-called proof that its candidate won the election by about 1.6million votes!

“Shockingly and coincidentally, this margin was about the same margin by which it also purportedly won by the fake results released just hours after the postponement of the February 16, 2019 Presidential/National Assembly Elections.”

Keyamo demanded that the security agencies invite the leadership of the PDP and interrogate them over the alleged hacking of INEC server.

“Sirs, we wish you to note that INEC’s server is the back end of electronic records of INEC. This is not INEC’s website but its server! Although, the purported results have been conclusively shown by public engagements to be false and even ridiculous, especially as the total number of accredited voters is exactly equivalent to the purported votes of the APC and PDP candidates, this criminal claim of the PDP has revealed a few things:

“It is now clear that some criminally-minded PDP operatives have access to the INEC server to be able to smuggle in fake results into that server.

“The only means by which they could have access to the INEC server is by the criminal hacking of the server or through the criminal conspiracy of some INEC officials.

“The APC Presidential Campaign Council hereby prays that the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Services use your good offices to investigate the hacking of and/or illegal tampering with the INEC server by the PDP. The leadership of the PDP must be invited, interrogated and investigated and those identified as perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted.”

BREAKING: Tribunal declares PDP’s Adeleke winner of 2018 Osun Gov election

The Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja has declared as winner Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the 2018 governorship election in the state, Ademola Adeleke.

At its sitting on Friday, it held that the rerun election conducted in the state after the initial poll was illegal.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced Gboyega Oyetola as winner of the September 2018 election.

But the PDP and Adeleke filed a petition at the tribunal challenging Oyetola’s victory.

A three-man panel of the tribunal led by Ibrahim Sirajo, a judge, held that Oyetola was not validly returned as the winner of the election.

More to follow…

I have not left PDP — Jimi Agbaje

The Lagos State Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 9 election, Mr Jimi Agbaje, on Wednesday said there was no truth in the report that he had left the party.

Agbaje, in a statement by Mr Felix Oboagwina, his Director of Media and Publicity, said he was still in PDP and nobody could force him out.

He attributed insinuations that he had dumped PDP to mischief-makers determined to soil his reputation, provoke crisis within the party and dampen the spirit of party members and his supporters.

“I have never discussed with anyone any plan to dump PDP, neither has such a prospect crossed my mind.

“There is no reason for it. It is uncalled for,” he said.

Agbaje said he would remain in the party, despite the campaign of calumny being waged against him in the media by a few leaders.

He said he only on Monday released a message encouraging members to rise above the questionable defeats suffered in the last election and maintain faith in the party.

According to him, it will be contradictory for him to suddenly turn tail and flee the same party.

“For a party that has twice accorded me the honour of running on its platform, I should be regarded as uncharitable to say I am abandoning PDP now,” Agbaje said.

He said the recent vituperation in the press and social media against his person and his role in the last election were the machinations of the people he called political “featherweights”.

Agbaje said he was having issues with some people because he disbursed campaign funds to candidates as instructed, contrary to the Lagos PDP tradition of sharing money to party leaders.

“The era of taking a share of what is not ours must stop in our party.

“The bitterness is from those who find it difficult to believe that money can be channeled without a ‘cut’ being taken. Leaders must lead by example,” he said.

Agbaje also said that he relinquished the management of his firm, Jaykay Pharmacy Ltd. in 2005 into the post of non-executive Chairman and that neither he nor the company handled any contract from any State or Federal Government.

He also denied being a mole for the All Progressives Congress (APC) or its National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, both of whom, he said, suffered from the butt of his campaign.

“My campaigns have been very clear on where the blame of bad governance in Lagos State should lie.

“It baffles me how the same people I hold responsible for the bondage we find ourselves in Lagos will be funding me to sabotage my party, PDP.

“I have never collected a single kobo from the ruling party in Lagos State directly or indirectly nor from its leadership or representatives”, he said.

Agbaje said that party leaders who stood on the sidelines or worked against the party in the elections should not be fooled that the loss at the elections was as a result of their negative actions.

“They should not arrogate to themselves powers they do not have.

“The elections were lost due to the intimidation of people which in turn led to voter apathy, such that Lagos recorded the lowest percentage turnout in the country,” ’he said.

PDP threatens to stop Buhari’s inauguration

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the court order stopping the collation of pending results of the Bauchi governorship election.

The party described the order as unconstitutional, and threatened to obtain similar ones stopping the swearing in of all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) “particularly President Muhammadu Buhari”.

A federal high court in Abuja had given an ex parte order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt the collation of results from Tafawa Balewa local government area of Bauchi state.

The court gave the order while ruling on a suit filed by Mohammed Abubakar, governor of the state who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Reacting via a statement, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, accused the APC of arm-twisting the judiciary over the election which he claims his party has won.

“Our party should not be constrained into a situation in which we will have no option than to allow our members to seek similar ex parte orders to halt statutory processes including the swearing-in of APC candidates at various levels, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari,” Ologbondiyan said.

“The party alerts that such development, which is akin to the infamous order that derailed the 1993 democratic process, is part of the plot by the APC and certain compromised elements in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to escalate crisis and derail our electoral process.

“The power to collate, suspend collation and or to reverse such decision based on obvious circumstances as the case in Bauchi is clearly within the domain of INEC.”

The party added that until collation is completed and results declared, “no one can question the constitutional powers of INEC.”

“Our party should not be constrained into a situation in which we will have no option than to allow our members to seek similar exparte orders to halt statutory processes including the swearing-in of APC candidates at various levels, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari,” it said.

“It is clear that collation of result is part of the electoral process and that INEC cannot act on a purported exparte order to jettison its independence and halt the collation of results, which is a key component of its statutory electoral duty.

“Our party therefore charges INEC to be properly guided by the law in this regard.”

1.6 million votes claim: APC says PDP inflicted by ‘post-defeat hallucination’

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, have “slipped into severe depression”.

The APC said this in reaction to PDP’s claim that it won the presidential poll by 1.6 million votes.

The opposition party based its claims on the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It filed the claim in its petition before the presidential election tribunal.

But reacting in a statement, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC spokesman, said the claim is ridiculous.

“While the APC is not oblivious of the PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, acknowledged by local and international observers, we sympathise with Atiku for the crushing defeat handed him by President Buhari through the votes of Nigerians,” Issa-Onilu said.

“Judging by Atiku and PDP’s recent utterances and actions, it is now clear that they have slipped into severe depression and post-defeat hallucination that have left many Nigerians questioning their current state of mind.

“After weeks of dilly-dallying, the PDP has woken up to the stark reality of its electoral defeat and decided to follow the constitutional path of filing a petition at the election tribunal.

“However, of all the prayers of Atiku before the election tribunal, which are at best hollow, the most ridiculous is his claim that the server of the INEC indicated he won the presidential election by 1.6million votes.

“A few questions would suffice – is this phantom figure of 1.6 million votes Dubai-invented? Was the result sold to Atiku by his numerous marabouts, who we understand, had assured him that the last election was a done deal for him?”

Issa-Onilu said the PDP’s “consistent reference” to INEC server should be a cause for concern.

He said it is possible that the opposition party has plans to jeopardise INEC’s database, calling on security agencies to foil the “evil plan”.

“Most importantly, we note Atiku’s consistent reference to the INEC server as if he is the custodian of that platform. Indeed, Atiku’s constant reference to the INEC server should raise concerns as it is becoming apparent that he and the PDP are up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardising the INEC database and internal storage system,” he said.

“We recall the widespread reported cases of several programmed card readers that were retrieved from some PDP agents and their failed attempt to hack the INEC database in the leadup to the then postponed presidential election.

“We remind the Atiku and PDP that Nigerians saw through the devious schemes aimed at thwarting their will. Consequently, majority of the voters handed them a harsh verdict — that verdict remains sacrosanct.”