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PDP inaugurates reconciliation panel, campaign councils for Kogi, Bayelsa

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has inaugurated a national reconciliation committee and campaign councils for Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections, scheduled for November 16.

The reconciliation committee is headed by a former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki.

While the party’s campaign council for Kogi is chaired by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, that of Bayelsa is headed by Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.

The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, while inaugurating the committee and the councils, urged the reconciliation committee to work assiduously to reconcile all grievances by members in the two states and bring them back to the party.

He said the party should not go into both Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections as a divided house.

Mr Secondus, who expressed confidence in the members of the campaign councils, advised them to work for the victory of the party in the two states.

He said the campaign council had the task of ensuring that the electoral desires of the people of the two states were realised.

“I charge you to make sure that you bring the best of our programme for the two states during your campaign.

“Preach one man, one vote; obey all the rules and the laws of the land, because we are a party that believe in the rule of law.

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“Make sure that we win in Bayelsa and Kogi states,” Mr Secondus said, adding that the party had credible and best candidates for the two states.

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He said given the achievements of Governor Seriake Dickson in the last eight years in Bayelsa and the current situation in Kogi, the elections in the two states would be smooth contest for the PDP.

The PDP chairman, however, said that the information available to the party showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was planning to rig the elections.

Mr Secondus advised INEC to be neutral in the conduct of the elections to ensure that they were free, fair and credible.

He called on the international community and all lovers of democracy to show more than passing interest in the forthcoming elections in the two states.

Mr Secondus also advised President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to enforce peace and the rule of law in the country.

In his response, Mr Saraki said his committee would do its best to reconcile all aggrieved members in the two states.

“The work of winning Kogi and Bayelsa starts with reconciliation and end with reconciliation, because the two states belong to PDP,” he said.

Mr Saraki said the driving message was that a government headed by PDP was better than that headed by another party.

Also speaking, Governor Mohammed said the issue of reconciliation in Bayelsa was half done, as former President Goodluck Jonathan had directed him to accept the responsibility.

“I am taking this responsibility with the seriousness and energy that it deserves. Politics is not a joke.

“If the other side is planning evil, we will plan excellence. If they are planning violence, we will plan peace. If they are planning a loss, we will plan victory,” he said.

On his part, Governor Makinde promised that his committee would run issue-based campaigns in Kogi State and do PDP proud.

He said that the elections in the two states were an opportunity for the electorate “to press the reset button” that will end in the ultimate victory for the PDP in 2023.

(NAN)

PDP rejects tribunal judgement…heads to Supreme Court

The Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal which dismissed a petition by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the 2019 general elections.

In a statement by party spokesman, Kola Ologbodiyan, the PDP said the judgement was a subversion of justice and an assault on Nigeria’s judicial system.

Below is the full statement:

Verdict, A Subversion of Justice, Says PDP…Heads To Supreme Court

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) completely rejects the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal describing it as provocative, barefaced subversion of justice and direct assault on the integrity of our nation’s justice system.

The party is particularly shocked that the tribunal failed to point to justice despite the flawless evidence laid before it, showing that President Buhari was not only unqualified to contest the election but also did not score the majority of valid votes at the polls.

The PDP finds as bewildering that a court of law could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit, as firmly established against President Muhammadu Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

The party is also rudely shocked that the Court took over the roles of the Respondents’ lawyers who clearly abandoned their pleadings by refusing to call evidence in defense of the petition. The court raked up all manner of excuses to make up for the yawning gaps occasioned by the total absence of any evidence from the Respondents.

Nigerians and the international community watched in utter disbelief when the tribunal ruled that one need not provide a copy or certified true copy of educational certificate such individual claimed to possess, contrary to established proof of claims of certification.

The party notes as strange that the court even went ahead to provide rationalizations in favour of President Buhari, even when all hard facts before it shows that he did not possess the claimed educational certificate and that the Army was not in possession of his WAEC certificate as claimed in the affidavit he deposed to in his Presidential nomination form.

The PDP also described as shocking that the court approved the flawed declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the election despite evidence to show the perpetration of illegalities, manipulations, alterations and subtraction of valid votes freely given to Atiku Abubakar by Nigerians.

Indeed, the pervading melancholic atmosphere across our nation since the verdict is a direct indication that the judgment has not fulfilled the desires and expectations of Nigerians.

The PDP however encouraged Nigerians to remain calm and not to lose hope or surrender to despondency or self-help, as our lawyers are upbeat in obtaining justice at the Supreme Court.

This is more so as the tribunal itself admitted that there are several errors in the judgment.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

JUST IN: Musa Wada emerges PDP guber candidate in Kogi

Musa Wada, an engineer, has emerged candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16 governorship election.

He defeated other aspirants, including Idris Wada, his elder brother who is the immediate past governor of the state.

The PDP candidate secured 748 votes while Abubakar Ibrahim, his closest rival secured 710 votes.

Ibrahim is the son of Ibrahim Idris, a former governor of the state.

The immediate past governor of the state secured 340 votes to place number three in the election while Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, came fourth with 70 votes.

Kogi PDP Primary Results

Vote Count:

Engr Musa Wada = 748

Abubakar Mohammed Ibrahim (son of Ibro) = 710

Captain Wada (former Governor) = 345

Dino Melaye = 70

Aminu Suleiman = 55

Victor Adoji = 54

Erico Joseph = 42

Air Vice Marshal Saliu Atawodi (rtd) = 11

Emmanuel Omebije = 9

Mohammed Shuaibu = 4

Bayo Michael = 2

Jabiru Haruna = 0

Senator Douye Diri wins Bayelsa PDP’s guber ticket

The Senator representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Douye Diri, has emerged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Out of the the 1,244 accredited voters, Diri scored 561 votes to defeat his closest rival and former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, who polled 365 votes.

Keniebi Okoko, a businessman and philanthropist came third after scoring 142 votes in the election, which was contested by 21 aspirants.

About 16 votes were declared invalid following multiple voting and other unrecognised patterns of casting ballots.

Diri emerged from the Restoration Caucus of the PDP led by Governor, Seriake Dickson, who presented him as the preferred aspirant of the caucus a day before the election.

The election of Diri as PDP’s flag bearer further reinforced Dickson’s repeated assertion that his caucus remained a dominant force in the PDP and the state.

The election was adjudged free, fair and credible apart from pockets of violence that occurred during the accreditation, which was repelled by security operatives.

Declaring him winner of the election, the Returning Officer and Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishiaku, said Diri satisfied all conditions contained in the constitution of the PDP having scored the highest number of the vote cast.

A breakdown of the accredited delegates according to their local government areas showed that 196 were from Southern Ijaw; 169, Yenagoa; 164, Sagbama and 150, Ogbia.
Others were Nembe, 151; Ekeremor, 148; Kolokuma-Opokuma, 141 and Brass 125.

Arrangements for actual voting commenced at about 11pm following the arrival of the Returning Officer and Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, his committee members and observers from the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).

Ishaku invited the agents of the parties to come forward to be guided through the process and read the Riot Act to the delegates and aspirants.

A former Chairman of Southern Ijaw, Chief Tiwe Oruminighe, who was an agent of one of the aspirants and former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) observed that the state party officials should stop identifying with the committee since they were delegates and interested parties.

Ishaku ordered the Chairman of the party, Cleopas Moses and the party secretary, Keku Godspower to be at the rows allocated to their local government areas.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan who arrived the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, the venue of the governorship primaries was given thunderous ovation by the delegates and was also recognised by the Governor of Taraba State and Returning Officer, Darius Ishaku

The former President after exchanging pleasantries with the electoral committee went to sit at the row allocated to Ogbia, his Local Government Area.

The Darius Ishaku-led electoral committee distorted the alphabetical order of voting to allow former President Goodluck Jonathan the privilege of voting first in the primaries.

Jonathan was asked to lead delegates from Ogbia, his Local Government Area, to cast their votes first instead of Brass local government area, which should have come first by alphabetical order.

Dickson was also given a privileged treatment after Jonatha as he was asked to lead the Sagbama delegates followed by his Deputy, who led the Nembe delegates.

A’Ibom PDP members at war with chairman over N2.6bn contract

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Akwa Ibom have drawn the battle line with the state chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, over his failure to deliver N2.6 billion contract to ward chapters of the party.

It was gathered that Governor Udom Emmanuel had during his electioneering campaigns promised to award contracts to members at the ward levels.

Piqued by the failure of the party to implement the Governor’s promise, members of the party across the wards on Wednesday booed Ekpo during a stakeholders meeting of the party.

It was gathered that the party had promised “ward contract” to the people of the party before the re-election of the Governor.

Sources in the party disclosed that each of the 329 wards was to be awarded the contract of N8 million, making a total of 2.6b for all the wards.

The sources also revealed that some of the wards were given N2 million before the general elections while others received nothing.

Emmanuel has vowed to speedily implement all the earlier decisions the party had with wards in the state.

Emmanuel said it was not wrong for the people to speak up as that has helped him to know that all is not well with the people.

He said: “If I don’t do this, do not believe whatever I will say again.”

Buhari’s list full of incompetent individuals – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list was colourless, stagnant, uninspiring and did not convey any sense of hope or purposeful governance.

Ologbondiyan said to the utter disappointment of Nigerians, the list was replete with alleged incompetent individuals who failed in their erstwhile ministerial assignments and allegedly left their ministries in a shambles.

According to him, such a ministerial list can only come from a leadership that does not have the mandate of the people.

Ologbondiyan said, “The list has further shown Buhari and the APC’s insensitivity and disdain for Nigerians and it does not in any way reflect their hope and eagerness for a better Nigeria.

“Furthermore, in recycling failed yesterday’s men for today’s assignment, Buhari and the APC have left no one in doubt that they have no vision to move our nation out of the economic and security predicaments into which they have plunged us in the last four years.”

Also, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said Buhari’s list lacked innovation. He noted that the President did not attach portfolios to the names of the nominees.

Ogunyemi stated, “The other observation is that there isn’t much innovation on the list. People are talking of a generation change and injecting fresh blood or a mixture of the old and the new. But the new names on the list are people who have been in the political circle for some time. I am sure the younger generation would have been looking out for a list that would have accommodated their interest and representation.”

Also, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA said the ministerial nominees list contained mostly names of recycled politicians.

The Director-General, NECA, Timothy Olawale, said Nigerians had waited and expected to see some names of technocrats on the list, but the association discovered that the list contained mostly recycled politicians that were picked based on political patronage and mostly for their roles as party men.

He said, “We had expected that with the delay by the President in constituting his cabinet, the team would be populated by professionals that had distinguished themselves in their area of calling.

“That the selection would be based on merit and what they could offer by way of adding value to governance. While we cannot say those on the list cannot deliver on the government’s agenda, we note that they are mostly recycled politicians that are picked based on political patronage and mostly for their roles as party men.

“We had hoped party considerations would be set aside to assemble technocrats that could lead the nation out of its current economic doldrums.

“We only hope their tenure in office will be that of meritorious service to the nation and the good of the people and not marked by opportunity to recoup expenses incurred for political activities in the last elections. Nigerians are watching to assess them and it remains to be seen if they will selflessly live up to expectations.”

George-Ikoli joins Bayelsa state guber race

The first Senior Advocate from Bayelsa State, Chief Anthony George-Ikoli on Monday threw his hat into the Bayelsa State governorship race as he received his expression of interest and nomination form from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) national headquarters in Abuja, saying it is time to bring in fresh and innovative ideas that will bring about a rejuvenation of the fortunes of the beleaguered Bayelsa people.

Chief Ikoli was received at the PDP headquarters by the party’s Organizing Secretary, Col Auten Akobundu (rtd) and other members of staff at the secretariat. He told the party faithfuls that he joined the Bayelsa governorship race to ensure the prosperity of his people. He said that the state, despite its contributions to Nigeria as the “chicken that bears the golden eggs” has not witnessed commensurate development. “The overall economic, social, and environmental condition of the masses of our people is hear rending”, he said.

He said that Bayelsa State is the heart of the Niger-Delta and that the prosperity and well being of her people will generally affect the entire Niger-Delta Region. “The world is changing and changing fast, the world is leaving the realm of knowledge to the realm of wisdom and wisdom demands creativity and innovation that is birth by the great minds that dare to challenge the status quo”.

He added: “I am ready by the grace of God to challenge the staus quo. I have the experience, the knowledge and wisdom to make the difference and make my people players in the market world of wisdom economy. Bayelsans are a resourceful people just like their brethren in other parts of Nigeria. Their ingenuity and resourcefulness only need to be harnessed by a good leader to turn them into high fliers. I believe that I am that leader”, he said.

Ikoli gave the story of how he became a senior advocate of Nigeria as an example. “At a point in my career as a lawyer, I realized that my state was about the only state in the country that has not produced an SAN. I took this as a challenge and I worked hard at it. By the special grace of God, I achieved the rank as the first SAN. For a while it was a source of personal worry and quiet embarrassment that I was the only Senior Advocate of Nigeria from Bayelsa for more than a decade despite the wealth of talent that abounds in our State. I am glad today that other lawyers from the state has achieved what I pioneered and several others are on the way. This was why I tried my best to ensure that the South-South campus of the Nigerian law school was established at Yenagoa, the state capital.

Chief Ikoli served as the Attorney General of Bayelsa State under the administration of former Gov Timipre Silva. He was the one who influenced the establishment of the Nigerian Law School, Yenagoa Campus, and also reorganized the administration of justice system with the establishment of a world class ministry of justice.

He praised the Ijaw forbears who had weathered very harrowing storms to achieve what the state is today. “The Ijaw nation has been a land of the brave and home to the strong. A humane cultured people of wisdom and truth; sun-crowned achievers and pace-setters in their own right. We are at the crossroads where we cannot afford to disdain our heritage or fail our posterity;

From very humble beginnings in an inhospitable environment of severe deprivation, Ijaw heroes and heroines have risen to commanding heights in national and international statecraft. I cannot purport to seek to lead Ijaw nation and Bayelsa State in particular without paying glowing tribute to the greats in whose footsteps I intend to follow and whose oversized shoes I dare want to fill.

As a grandson, the noble blood of Ernest Sisei Ikoli flows in my veins, who rose from the then obscurity of the backwaters of Nembe meteorically to capture national consciousness and prominence in journalism and the legislature. This is the pedigree to which I cannot be found wanting in a call to serve. The many illustrious others whom I hope and pledge to emulate, include but not exhaustive; The venerated Major Isaac Adaka Boro, Chief Ranami Abah, Chief Melford Okilo, amongst others too many to here mention.

Ikoli was also full of praises for the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson for his effort in the education sector. The PDP family is a giant family of achievers. Gov Dickson’s achievement is a story of PDP success. It is a big family and as he steps out, I believe I will do justice to the lofty achievements he has achieved by taking the state to greater heights.

In his remarks, the organizing secretary of the party, Col Austin Akobundu (rtd) assured him that the party will not favour any candidate contesting in the governorship race, rather, it will ensure a level playing field for all candidates.

He praised Ikoli for coming into the race, as it signifies that men of quality and substance are waking up to the reality of participating in party politics to ensure good life for their people. I believe your joining the race will make the campaigns more robust, interesting , and issues oriented.

Akobundu advised Ikoli to run a decent and issue oriented campaign worthy of his calling as a lawyer. “You have taken the first step. Go back home and work on your delegates. Reach out to the party elders and I wish you every success in the race”, he concluded.

Tribunal grants PDP’s request to tender 48 video clips against Buhari

The presidential election petitions tribunal on Monday granted the application of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to tender 48 video clips.

Chris Uche, counsel to the petitioners, made the application to tender the video clips in support of the petition challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of February presidential election.

But the respondents – Independent National Electoral Commission, Buhari, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – objected to the application.

Alex Izinyon, Buhari’s lawyer, described the move as an “ambush”.

“Your lordship they are not part of the documents listed,” he said.

Uztaz Usman, INEC counsel, argued that the presentation of the witness and evidence was not part of what the lawyers agreed on.

“What the media will be reporting will be another thing. We were taken by surprise. This does not comply with first schedule of evidence act,” Usman had said.

Thereafter, the tribunal stood down for 1 hour 30 minutes to decide on the ruling.

Upon, resumption, the five-man panel of judges led by Mohammed Garba granted the request of the petitioners.

The panel held that “no specific evidence is excluded from being tendered as an evidence.”

PDP suspends Elumelu over leadership crisis at house of reps

The national working committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended Ndudi Elumelu and six other members of the house of representatives.

The other lawmakers are Wole Oke; Lynda Ikpeazu; Anayo Edwin; Gideon Gwadi; Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid.

Their suspension was made known in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the party.

The NWC had summoned the lawmakers on Thursday over the role they were alleged to have played in the minority leadership tussle of the lower legislative chamber of the national assembly.

According to the statement, the lawmakers’ action was an act of insubordination. They were ordered to proceed on a month suspension.

“The Party noted the roles played by the underlisted members which resulted in the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, reading another list for Minority Leadership of the House other than the list submitted to him by our party, the PDP,” the statement read.

“After preliminary examination by the NWC, it was evident that the roles played by the above-mentioned members, bordered on indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience of party directives contrary to Section 58 (1)(b)(c)(f)(h) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017), which provides that:

“Subject to the provision of this Constitution, the Party shall have power to discipline any member who says or does anything likely to bring the party into disrepute, hatred or contempt; disobeys or neglects to carry out lawful directives of the party or any organ or officer of the party; engages in anti-party activities; or engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the party.

“Consequent upon this, the above-mentioned members of our party are hereby suspended for one month and this matter is hereby referred to the National Disciplinary Committee of our party, in keeping with Section 57(3) of the PDP Constitution.”

During Wednesday’s session, some lawmakers had exchanged blows over principal positions. The session got rowdy when Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker, was about to announce minority principal officials.

Kingsley Chinda, a PDP lawmaker from Rivers, had said the leadership of his party had written to the speaker to inform him of its choice for the positions, asking Gbajabiamila to adopt the list sent by the PDP.

The opposition party had stated its preference for Chinda as minority leader, Chukwuka Onyema as deputy minority leader; Yakubu Barde, minority whip; and Muraina Ajibola, deputy minority whip. But Gbajabiamila said there were nine minority political parties and the PDP alone could not determine who led the minority.

He had moved to read a letter which he said was signed by 99 members of minority political parties on the leadership positions but some lawmakers left their seats and started struggling for the mace which led to a brawl.

The speaker eventually announced Elumelu as minority leader, Toby Okechukwu, deputy minority leader; Gideon Gwani, minority whip; and Adesegun Adekoya, deputy minority whip

PDP rejects Gbaja’s ‘attempt to impose leaders” on his colleagues

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, of attempting to impose leaders on his colleagues.

Reacting to the fresh crisis rocking the lower legislative chamber of the national assembly over minority leadership position, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, said it was improper for Gbajabiamila to go against the choice of the leadership of the party.

He said the PDP leadership had duly written to the speaker after consultations with other minority members, notifying him of members that had been selected for leadership positions in line with dictates of the rules and parliamentary practice.

“However, to our utter dismay, the PDP had discovered that the Speaker attempted to smuggle in names other than those recognized and forwarded to him as the leaders of the Minority in the House of Representatives,” Ologbondiyan said.

“The PDP, in the strongest terms, cautions against this abuse of rules, parliamentary practices and procedures as well as the convention and we urge the Speaker to respect the rules and read the list submitted to him by the leadership of the PDP.”

The leadership of the opposition party had chosen Kingsley Chinda as minority leader, Chukwuka Onyema as deputy minority leader; Yakubu Barde, minority whip and Muraina Ajibola, deputy minority whip.

But the speaker announced Ndidi Elumelu as minority leader, Toby Okechukwu as deputy minority leader, Gideon Gwani as minority whip and Adesegun Adekoya as deputy minority whip.

We have over 400 witnesses against Buhari, PDP tells tribunal

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has over 400 witnesses willing to testify at the presidential election petition tribunal.

Levi Uzeugwu, PDP’s lead counsel, said this during proceedings at the tribunal in Abuja on Monday.

Uzeugwu was responding to a question from Mohammed Garba, chairman of the tribunal.

Garba had asked the counsel the number of witnesses he had to present in a bid to determine the time that would be allotted to parties to cross examine the witnesses.

“We have over 400 witnesses [willing] to testify. If we are able to present up to 300 we will review our case,” the PDP counsel said in response to Garba.

He then prayed the tribunal to stand down for 30 minutes to enable them decide on how many witnesses they would eventually present.

His prayer was granted.

Earlier, the court reserved ruling on a pre-hearing on an application by the All Progressives Congress (APC) which challenged the validity of PDP’s petition.

PDP argued that the application – which is similar to another one that the APC had filed – should have been struck out instead of the allowing the ruling party withdraw it.

Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, is challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the last general election.

Abubakar, in his petition claimed that he polled 18,356,732 votes while Buhari secured 16,741,430, citing INEC’s server.

However, the electoral commission said Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat the former vice-president who secured 11, 262,978.

Buhari held hostage as infighting rocks APC leaders – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says there is infighting within the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the presidency.

In a statement on Saturday, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, alleged that the infighting is about positions.

Ologbondiyan described the APC as a sanctuary of “power mongers and looters.”

“The bitter fighting and hostilities in the presidency is as a result of the confusion that had enveloped the APC and the Buhari Presidency over the brazen stealing of the presidential mandate that Nigerians freely gave to the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the February 23, presidential election,” he said.

“The vicious fight for positions as ‘booty’ of a stolen mandate further exposes the APC and the cabal in the Buhari Presidency as power mongers who are only interested in power grabbing, treasury looting and plundering of our national patrimony and not in the welfare of Nigerians.

“Nigerians watched as a faction within the power-grabbing APC, in a loud protest in our nation’s seat of power, Abuja, earlier in the week, listed the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Mr. President’s cousin, Mamman Daura and his long-standing friend, Isa Funtua as members of the said cabal that have appropriated the Presidency and held President Buhari hostage.

“In a counter-protest, the supporters of the cabal had also accused a prominent APC governor of a north-west state and his ‘brother’, who is a prominent former minister and former governor of a south-south state, as those fanning the embers of discord in the presidential villa to achieve their desperate ambition for power in 2023.”

The PDP spokesman said the alleged infighting is a confirmation of Buhari’s “incompetence and leadership failure.”

“The harsh reality is that, with the situation at hand, there is no hope in sight for our nation under the APC and the Buhari presidency,” he said.

“Nevertheless, while the PDP stands with millions of Nigerians in the determination to retrieve our stolen mandate at the appropriate judicial panels, our party finds it ludicrous that in the face of herculean challenges confronting us as a nation, the concern of the APC and Buhari Presidency is the sharing of ill-gotten electoral booty.”

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, has not commented on the claims as at of the time of filing this report.

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.