Friends Raise Funds For Ondo APC Gov’ship Candidate, Akeredolu

Ondo elections, Akeredolu Warns Supporters Against External InfluenceEfforts by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to emerge victorious in the Ondo state governorship election got a boost as committee of friends converged to give him financial support.

A fundraising event held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos and was attended by Akeredolu’s friends and associates across the country.

Chairman of the occasion, Akin Aruwajoye, who declared the event open, described Akeredolu as the best man for the job.

Aruwajoye said that even with no godfather, Akeredolu’s project was a divine work which has been completed by God.

One after the other, notable personalities at the event mounted the podium to give endorsement speech for Akeredolu.

Fund, rolling into millions of naira was raised for the APC candidate to help in his quest to become the governor of Ondo state.

The Ondo state governorship election hold on Saturday, November 26, 2016.

Kano LG Rerun: Ganduje Lauds APC Victory, Commends Electoral Conduct

Abdullahi-Ganduje-Kano-APCKano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has commended the State Independent Electoral Commission for conducting a successful rerun election for the chairmanship seat in Minjibir Local Government Area of the state.

Receiving the result of the election in Kano State in northwest Nigeria, Governor Ganduje says that he is particularly happy that no violence was reported during the election held on Saturday.

Hundreds of party supporters, politicians, top government officials as well as independent and government observers were present at the Government House in Kano, to attend the official presentation of the result to the Governor.

The APC candidate, Tasi’u Ibrahim, scored 21, 970 votes to defeat his opponent from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Auwalu Minjibir.

The Chief Whip of the House of Representative, Representative Alhassan Doguwa, also expressed delight at the election result.

He told reporters that despite the internal crisis of the party involving the Kwankwaso-led faction, Governor Ganduje is still the leader of APC in the state and would continue to execute the party’s manifesto.

Governor Bello Names Kogi State University After Abubakar Audu

Yahaya Bello, Kogi, ProjectsGovernor Yahaya Bello has named the Kogi State University after Abubakar Audu, the late initial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the State’s governorship election of 2015.

Governor Bello renamed the university  “Prince Abubakar Audu University” in a broadcast on Friday to the people of the state at his office in Lokoja, the Kogi State’s capital in northern Nigeria.

He said the announcement was made as a mark of honour to immortalise the name of late Audu who died in November 2015, a day after the election which was later declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Late Audu was leading in the election.

After his death, he was substituted with Mr Bello who later won the election.
Abubakar-Audu

No Victor, No Vanquish
Governor Bello’s victory was contested by the running mate of late Audu, Mr James Faleke, who said he was the candidate in line to take over from late Audu.

But an election Tribunal dismissed his petition.

In his address on Friday, Governor Bello described the judgement of the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal as ‘no victor, no vanquish’.

He appealed to all the parties in the dispute to join hands with him and develop the state.

Bello’s declaration is sequel to his final confirmation as the validly elected Governor of Kogi State by the Tribunal in Abuja on Friday.

The petition filed by the running mate of late Audu made it the fifth case he won.

He noted that the Tribunal had consistently dismissed all petitions from June 6 – 10 on lack of merit.

Governor Bello expressed regret on the petition filed by Mr Falake who is a co-party member of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

He said the petition indeed polarised the APC in Kogi State, especially when the party was meant to unite after the death of the leader, Prince Audu.

The Governor also called on the members of the State Assembly, who had withdrawn involvement in the activities of the legislative arm, to return in the interest of the state.

Kogi Election: Bello’s Declaration As Governor-elect Is Waste Of Time – PDP

kogiThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Yahaya Bello, Governor-elect in Kogi State, as a waste of time, scarce national resources and ridiculous shadow-chasing.

The party has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate did not participate in the overall election.

The PDP claimed that INEC, in the bid to satisfy the APC-led Federal Government, has only succeeded in making a mockery of itself and the entire electoral process.

In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisah Metuh, the PDP pointed out that, apart from not being a valid candidate, Mr Bello scored a mere 6885 in the supplementary election, as against the 204,877 votes polled by the PDP candidate, Governor Idris Wada, in the overall election.

According to Metuh, “The action of INEC in trying to transfer the votes earlier garnered by the dead APC candidate, Prince Audu Abubakar, to another individual is completely impractical and alien to the nation’s constitution and the Electoral Act.”

He further said that “the declaration by INEC that one Yahaya Bello polled the highest number of votes is an embarrassing travesty of the nation’s democracy and electoral process” and should not stand.

“Not only that this individual is not in any way a valid candidate in the election, he also did not score the overall votes declared against his name by INEC and cannot be declared winner under any circumstance within the provisions of our laws,” he said.

The PDP’s conclusion is that Governor Wada remains the validly elected within the dictates of Nigerian laws, under the circumstance.

Senate Mourns Abubakar Audu

auduThe Senate has passed a resolution urging the Federal Government to immortalize the late former Governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, who died on Sunday, November 23 before the conclusion of the Kogi State governorship election.

The Senate, in his honour observed a minute silence and resolved to send a high powered delegation to Kogi State, to condole with the people, government and the family of the deceased.

Federal lawmakers eulogized the Late Abubakar Audu describing him as a man of the people who left indelible marks on the sands of time in Kogi State where he served as Governor.

This is the first time in the history of the country that a leading governorship candidate will be announced dead just before the final verdict on the contest.

Chief Abubakar Audu was leading in the results announced by INEC, scoring 240,867 votes while Governor Wada of the PDP polled 199,514 votes.

Mr Audu is reported to have died of undisclosed medical reasons.

 

I Am Against Cancellation Of Kogi Election – Lawyer

I Am Totally Against Cancellation Of Kogi Election – LawyerA Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Kemi Pinheiro, says he is against the cancellation of the inconclusive governorship election in Kogi State owing to the death of the APC candidate, Mr Abubakar Audu.

Mr Pinheiro, who spoke on Channels Television breakfast show on Tuesday believed that late Audu’s case was one of the very few instances that the constitution as well as the Federal lawmakers did not envisage.

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was reported to have died of undisclosed medical reasons shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship election inconclusive on Sunday and the lawyer said that the constitution did not provide for the death of a candidate after an election had been conducted.

“I bear in mind the position of Section 181 of the constitution that provides for the death of a winner. Section 36 of the Electoral Act on the contrary provides for the death of a candidate after his nomination. Now in all these note sections, no provision has been made for the death of a candidate after election has been conducted,” Pinheiro said.

The legal practitioner stressed the need to consider some ethics where he emphasised that the votes of late Audu’s running mate, Abiodun Faleke, cannot be removed.

“There are broad principles here that we need to establish; one is that election results are sacrosanct.

“Two, by the cocktail of decisions of our appellate court, ‘the party platform is the machinery by which political power is achieved’.

“Thirdly, which is also very important, is that late Audu and Faleke ran a joint ticket and it is not possible to excise the vote of voters that perhaps voted for Faleke because Faleke is on the ticket or late Audu because Audu was on the ticket,” he added.

Constitutional Provision

Considering the provision of Section 181, Mr Pinheiro recommended that it became necessary for Faleke to run the ticket of the APC in the supplementary elections.

“Those 240,000 (approximately) votes that were earned where earned by the joint ticket and as such, we need to apply the principle that is applicable in Section 181 of the constitution to the situation at hand.

“The vote has already been earned by that joint ticket and we will be subjecting ourselves to so much other issues if the elections are cancelled and a fresh election is conducted.”

Kogi

Another lawyer, Mr John Oloyede, on the Monday edition of Sunrise Daily, had advised the electoral body to conduct a fresh election in Kogi State to resolve what appears to be a legal logjam created by the death of the APC governorship candidate.

Mr Oloyede said, “I don’t think Section 181 envisages the situation we have on our hands. The operative words here are ‘someone who has been declared as validly elected’ but in this situation, unfortunately, INEC in its own wisdom declared the election inconclusive.

“That means nobody has been declared a winner of the election, so Section 181 does not operate to take care of this situation.”

Mr Pinheiro concluded that he was “strongly against any idea or motion of cancellation of the election”, insisting that the votes had already been earned by the joint ticket of late Audu and Faleke.

Kogi Mourns As Audu Is Laid To Rest

AuduKogi State in Nigeria’s central region is in mourning, as a former governor and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the November 21 election, Mr Abubakar Audu, is laid to rest.

Mr Audu was buried on Monday in his country home, Ogbonicha in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The Governor of the State, Captain Idris Wada, had earlier declared a three-day mourning to honour the late former Governor.

The burial of the Mr Audu, who was leading in the election that was declared inconclusive, attracted scores of dignitaries from home and broad’

Huge crowd of sympathisers besieged the residence of the late politician on Monday, a day after his death , to witness his burial.

Among the dignitaries were the former Governor of Kano State Mr Aminu Kwankwaso, former Governor of Edo State Mr Lucky Igbenedion, APC’s serving Senators and members of the House of Representatives among others.

To the people at the burial they have lost a great gem.

Prayers For Resurrection

While preparations for his burial rites were being made, an interesting twist played out.

A lady prophetess came seeking to pray for Audu’s corps, with an aim of bringing him back to life.

Securities and members of the family objected to her request, but angry youths forced the door open for her to gain access in and perform the miracle.

The crowd joined in the fervent prayers for the resurrection of Mr Audu, with Holy Ghost Fire mentioned several times, while Muslims around chanted prayers also for his resurrection.

While the crowd was largely engaged in fervent prayers, others were weeping loudly by the door.

Abubakar-Audu-Burial
Mourners in jubilation when rumour of Mr Abubakar Audu’s resurrection filtered in

Minutes later there was an uproar of jubilation, as news filtered in that he had risen. The jubilation continued, while some claimed they had seen him.

At about 1:30pm the truth about the claims of his resurrection became obvious, as he was lowered down into the grave, with everyone trying to catch a glimpse of the event.

On Sunday, news of Mr Audu’s death filtered in after the elections had been declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The declaration of mourning by the Governor was conveyed in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Adegbemiro Jegede, on Monday morning.

Governor Wada described Prince Audu as a great citizen of Nigeria, who had contributed immensely to the socio-economic and political development of Kogi State.

He also commiserated with the family of Prince Audu who has been buried in his home town in Ofu Local Government Area.

This is the first time in the history of the country that a leading governorship candidate will be announced dead just before the final verdict on the contest.

Chief Abubakar Audu was leading in the results announced by INEC, scoring 240,867 votes while Governor Wada of the PDP polled 199,514 votes.

Mr Audu is reported to have died of undisclosed medical reasons.

 

PDP Mourns Audu 

AuduThe national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, says that it is shocked over the death of former Kogi State Governor and the All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate in last Saturday’s election, Prince Abubakar Audu, describing it as a monumental loss.

The PDP says that at this critical moment, it is refraining from comments on the conduct of the election.

The acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, is also asking all PDP members in Kogi and across the nation to keep Prince Audu, his family and loved ones in their prayers.

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Mr Abubakar Audu, was reported to have died of undisclosed medical reasons shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship election inconclusive on Sunday.

He was leading in the results announced by INEC, scoring 240,867 votes while the incumbent Governor, Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party polled 199,514 votes.

The Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, who is also the PDP’s candidate in the election, has declared three days of mourning for the former governor.

There Should Be A Fresh Election In Kogi State – Lawyer

electionA lawyer, Mr John Oloyede has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in Kogi State to resolve what appears to be a legal logjam created by the death of the APC governorship candidate.

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Mr Abubakar Audu, was reported to have died of undisclosed medical reasons shortly after INEC declared the governorship election inconclusive on Sunday.

He was leading in the results announced by INEC, scoring 240,867 votes while the incumbent, Governor Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party polled 199,514 votes.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily on Monday, Mr Oloyede referred to the death of the APC candidate in the election as an “act of God that messed up all kinds of human projections”, but noted that “for every problem, whether legal or otherwise, there will be a solution”.

He recalled that major constitutional crises have been solved in the past using the doctrine of necessity and the Kogi issue would not be an exception.

There have been questions regarding the section of the constitution (Section 181) which recommends that if an elected governor is unable to be sworn in, then his deputy should take his place.

Mr Oloyede said, “I don’t think Section 181 envisages the situation we have on our hands. The operative words here are ‘someone who has been declared as validly elected’ but in this situation, unfortunately, INEC in its own wisdom declared the election inconclusive.

“That means nobody has been declared a winner of the election, so Section 181 does not operate to take care of this situation.”

Electoral Act

Some sections of the Electoral Act have also been played up as they address situations like the death of a candidate and the rights of political parties to change candidates.

He explained that indeed the APC has the constitutional right to substitute their candidate but the new candidate must have gone through a process of primaries for the position of governor with his name published within a stipulated time frame.

He then clarified that the use of the word ‘countermand’ as used in Section 36:1 of the Electoral Act would apply to the APC because of the recognition of sudden death and that only means that all the time-based requirements; primaries and all deadlines, would be waived and the party can go ahead to simply nominate a replacement.

Party Supremacy or Candidate’s Supremacy?

Mr Oloyede believes that there is a flux in the state of law where it is not able to give a sacrosanct pronouncement on party supremacy versus the candidate’s supremacy.

He gave his view on the possibility of INEC going ahead to conclude the inconclusive election by depending on the Supreme Court ruling on the case of former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi to declare that the people voted for the APC in Kogi and not Mr Audu.

“It rubbishes the freedom of the individuals to vote for a candidate of their own choice if you go by way of the decision of the Supreme Court.

“Ordinarily if the people matter in any decision relating to elections in this country, the Rotimi Amaechi case has no precedence and should not stand.

“What is the whole essence of an electioneering process when the people’s choice is not respected?” he asked, and added, “At that point one would have expected that the court would have ordered a rerun saying ‘Amaechi go and contest, this other man cannot do it’.

“But now Audu is dead, he has garnered some votes. Yes it’s a joint ticket but can anybody say with all sense of responsibility that James Faleke who is his running mate was the one who got those votes? That is the germane question.

“Going by precedence, INEC can conveniently say the election can continue provided that James Faleke will now step in because he had a joint ticket. Then who chooses the deputy governor because this is not a situation where somebody has been declared as the winner, covered by Section 181.

“This is a situation where there is no winner yet. So is it James Faleke that will now choose a deputy governorship candidate to run with him and conclude the election? I think the proper thing is for the election to be rerun all over again with liberty to APC to present another candidate under Section 136:1.”

Fresh Election

In his recommendation, Mr Oloyede maintained that there should be a fresh election in Kogi State.

He said that it would be unrealistic to assume that the All Progressives Congress got all the votes it had from the people on its own strength.

He noted that Audu must have been loved by a large number of people for him to have garnered over 200,000 votes and it should not be assumed that a new candidate could have gotten that much vote simply because he belongs to the same party.

He also opined that it would seem unfair to have the votes of the electorate gifted to another person who never campaigned for their votes and whom they did not vote for.

He advised that for the electorate to have a final say in the matter, then they should be presented with another candidate by the APC and allowed to make their own decision in a fresh election.

He expects that the APC would consider Mr Audu’s running mate in order to increase its chances of still enjoying the support of the electorate.

Doctrine of Necessity

Another lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, joined the conversation via the telephone from Abuja and agreed with Mr Oloyede’s recommendation.

He explained that if the Kogi issue was a case of the death occurring before the election, the election would have been postponed for two weeks and a new date would be fixed, giving time to the party to make its substitution.election

He stated that “as it relates to law if the election is inconclusive, that means nobody has emerged as winner of that election” and he expects the doctrine of necessity to prevail.

“So my take on it is that, based on the doctrine of necessity, there will still be a postponement of the election and a new candidate to substitute the dead would be nominated by the APC and the election will go on,” he said.

Asked if he agrees with the recommendation of a fresh election, he said, “There should be a fresh poll and the APC will nominate a fresh candidate. They may go ahead and probably now use their deputy governorship candidate and get a deputy for him.”

 

Truncated Dreams As Audu Dies

Abubakar-AuduThe governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Mr Abubakar Audu, is dead.

Mr Audu is reported to have died of undisclosed medical reasons shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship election inconclusive on Sunday.

He was leading in the results announced by INEC, scoring 240,867 votes while the incumbent Governor, Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party polled 199,514 votes.

State government sources have confirmed news of Mr Audu’s death.

He will be buried on Monday by 9:00am in his home town.

Mr Audu was a former Governor of Kogi State born on 27 October 1947 to the family of his Royal Highness, the late Pa Audu Oyidi, Orego Atta of Igala Land and the paramount ruler of Ogbonicha-Alloma in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

During campaigns, Mr Audu unveiled a three-point agenda, which he said he would pursue if elected.

He promised to focus on power shift, declare a state of emergency in critical sectors of the state and concentrate on the interest of the people.

“Let me make my three-point agenda known to the people of the state because I want to be held responsible for my word later when I gain power. First, I will make sure that power shift becomes sacrosanct. I will be the first governor to change power in the state. I must honour my agreement that after my full tenure I will ensure power rotation either to Kogi West or Kogi Central.

“I will declare state of emergency on the critical sectors of the state especially in the infrastructural sector.

“The welfare of the people of the state remains a priority to me. Let no one deceive you, I have nothing but the best interest of the people at heart,” he said.

Kogi Election: PDP Raises Alarm Over Alleged Rigging

kogiBarely one week to the Kogi governorship election, one of the top contesting political parties, the PDP, is raising an alarm over what it calls plots by the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Presidency to rig the elections in favour of the APC.

In an 11-paragraph press release signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP says it has incontrovertible records of secret meeting between the Presidency and the INEC leadership as well as some top security officers and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on arrangements to take over Kogi State.

According to the PDP “we alert all to be aware of this planned coup against democracy, by the new sheriff, who though, being the biggest beneficiary of free and fair elections in the history of Nigeria, is now out to corrupt the electoral system.”

The statement further read, “Intelligence information available to us shows that at the meeting with the new INEC leadership under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the commission was given orders regarding the posting of compromised personnel to strategic areas in the state to manipulate the card readers as well as the actual voting process in favour of the APC, with assurance of adequate protection by government security agencies, particularly the Directorate of State Services (DSS).”

They also alleged that an expected visit of President Buhari to Kogi State to endorse the APC candidate, Audu Abubakar, is part of the rigging process.

The party, however, added that it was sure of the support of the people of Kogi State and their preference for the PDP and its candidate, Governor Idris Wada and that they would not accept any results that do not reflect their wishes and aspirations at the poll.

Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, the Presidency has denied holding any secret meetings on the Kogi elections.

The President’s assistant on Public Affairs, Mr Garba Shehu, told Channels Television on Sunday evening that the PDP is merely afraid of its shadows.

He urged Nigerians to disregard the claims made by the PDP, explaining that the President remains committed to free and fair elections.

Meeting With INEC, Police To Ensure Credible Elections – Presidency

INECSpokesman for the President, Mallam Garba Shehu, has stated that the President met with officials of the electoral body and the Police to ensure free and fair elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

This is contrary to the allegation by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that the Presidency held a meeting with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission with the aim of rigging the Kogi governorship election.

Shehu told Channels Television in Abuja that the President has the responsibility of ensuring that the country is governed well and its institutions perform their duties according to the laws of the land

He said that the President told the Police and INEC officials at the meeting that he has been a victim of electoral theft in three elections and he does not want any candidate to suffer the same fate while he is the President of the country.

The PDP has raised an alarm over what it called plots by the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Presidency to rig the elections in favour of the APC.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP said that it has incontrovertible records of a secret meeting between the Presidency and the INEC leadership as well as some top security officers and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on arrangements to take over Kogi State.