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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.

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.”