2023: PDP Sues INEC, APC And Labour Party, Wants Shettima And Baba-Ahmed Barred As VP Candidates

 

 

The Peoples Democratic Party has instituted a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, praying the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission to prevent the Presidential Candidates of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu and Labour Party, Peter Obi, from replacing their running mates with Senator Kashim Shettima and Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed.

The PDP is also asking the court to declare that Tinubu and Obi be disqualified unless they contest alongside their previous running mates – Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe.

In the originating summons, the PDP is seeking an order barring the Independent National Electoral Commission from replacing the running mates of Tinubu and Obi.

READ ALSO: Osun Election: INEC Begins Distribution Of Sensitive Materials

Those listed as first to seventh respondents in the case are INEC, APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi and Okupe, respectively.

The PDP is asking the court to determine if by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Section 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, and INEC’s timetable, Tinubu and Obi are bound by the submission of Masari and Okupe as their running mates.

The party also asked the court to determine if “by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sections 29(1), 31, 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the first defendant (INEC) can validly accept any change or substitution of the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Okupe) defendants as running mates of the 3rd (APC) and 6th (Labour Party) defendants.”

The PDP is also seeking five reliefs including a declaration that by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Section 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022 and INEC’s timetable, both Tinubu and Obi must be bound by their submission.

The party asked the court to rule that both Tinubu and Obi will be disqualified the moment they substitute the names of their running mates.

One of the reliefs reads, “A declaration that by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Sections 29(1), 31, 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the 1st defendant’s (INEC’s) election timetable, the 3rd (Tinubu) and 6th (Obi) cannot validly contest the 2023 Presidential election without the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Obi) respondents as their respective running mates.”

The PDP also based its argument on the fact that the term ‘placeholder’ is unknown to Nigerian law.

2023: Okupe Withdraws As Labour Party VP Candidate

Mr Doyin Okupe appeared on Channels Television's Politics Today on June 17, 2022.
Mr Doyin Okupe

 

A former presidential spokesperson, Doyin Okupe, has submitted a withdrawal letter from the position of the Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

Mr Okupe made the announcement on Twitter.

“This afternoon I submitted my withdrawal letter from the position of the Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party to INEC,” he said.

“A replacement will be announced by the national chairman of the party shortly.

READ ALSO: Labour Party Cannot Win 2023 Presidential Election, Says Kwankwaso

“I feel greatly blessed to have been part of the foundation of success for the Labour Party.”

Okupe’s withdrawal will not come as a surprise to many. In announcing his emergence as a vice presidential candidate of the party last month, Okupe had made it clear that he was only “standing in” for the actual candidate.

The party had submitted Mr Okupe’s name to beat the Independent National Electoral Commission’s deadline for the submission of the name of a vice presidential candidate.

“Choosing the vice presidential candidate is an electoral process and it does not stop until the process and schedule ends,” Mr Okupe said at the time.

“INEC allows you to present a candidate and later on, if you want to substitute, you may do so, if necessary.”

2023: We’re Putting Up The Biggest Political Coalition In Nigerian History – Okupe

Mr Doyin Okupe appeared on Channels Television's Politics Today on June 17, 2022.
Mr Doyin Okupe appeared on Channels Televisi

 

Director General of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Organization, Dr. Doyin Okupe has said that the Labour Party (LP) is putting together the “biggest” and “greatest” political coalition in Nigerian history, as a ploy to ensure victory at the 2023 polls. 

The former presidential spokesman who on Friday disclosed that he is the Vice Presidential Candidate of the LP, was of the opinion that the party alone cannot win the race except it works with several other parties to unseat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and beat the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“I am not a dreamer, Labour Party alone cannot achieve this success that we are looking at, we need the NPP, we need the Social Democratic Party, we need the PRP, we need the Labour Congress, we need everybody,” Dr Okupe stated on Channels Television’s Politics Today.


READ ALSO: Vice Presidential Candidate: Tinubu Has Named Kabiru Masari As Running Mate – Faskari


He further asserted that until the mergers are in place, the Labour Party cannot say that the race is won.

Speaking further on his emergence as running mate to Peter Obi, Dr Okupe said his party ensued that they beat the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which happens to be today.

Okupe said the third force is alive and forming, and in a bid to ensure that every part of the coalition is satisfied, he would be standing in as vice presidential candidate.

“The choosing of the vice presidential candidate is a process, an electoral process and it does not stop until the schedule ends,” Okupe declared, further stirring doubts as to the possibility that his candidacy will stand, even as some believe that he is just a placeholder to beat INEC’s deadline.

Waving off the air of doubts stirred, the former presidential spokesman assured Nigerians the coming Labour Party government will be mostly about young Nigerians, adding that the old brigadiers who have been part of Nigeria’s sordid past must be willing make sacrifices to see that youths are pulled up to lead Nigeria into an outstanding future.

 

 

 

I Am ‘Standing In’ As Vice Presidential Candidate Of Labour Party – Doyin Okupe

Mr Doyin Okupe appeared on Channels Television's Politics Today on June 17, 2022.
Mr Doyin Okupe appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on June 17, 2022.

 

Former presidential spokesperson Dr Doyin Okupe on Friday said he is ‘standing in’ as vice presidential candidate of the Labour party.

He made the announcement on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

If his candidacy holds, he will run alongside Peter Obi in the 2023 presidential elections.

However, Dr Okupe might be a placeholder to beat INEC’s deadline for the submission of the name of a vice presidential candidate.

The deadline ends today.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Names Kabiru Masari As Running Mate – APC Chieftain

 

“Choosing the vice presidential candidate is an electoral process and it does not stop until the process and schedule ends,” Dr Okupe said. “INEC allows you to present a candidate and later on, if you want to substitute, you may do so, if necessary. But if it’s not necessary, you may as well continue.

“So the present situation is that we believe that this Labour party government that is essentially going to be about young Nigerians. Those of us who have been part and parcel of our sordid past must be prepared to pay the sacrifice, even the personal sacrifice, of allowing a situation we can lift our youths to positions of power and authority.

“I am willing to put down my back, so that young people can stand and come to the top.”

Doyin Okupe Withdraws From 2023 Presidential Race

Doyin Okupe announcing his withdrawal from contesting the 2023 Presidential election.

 

A former presidential aide, Doyin Okupe, has announced his withdrawal from the 2023 presidential race to support the ambition of former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi.

He made the announcement on Wednesday, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during a press conference held at the Iwe Iroyin press center.

He said the decision was made in alignment with the directive of elders and urged other aspirants to team up with Peter Obi.

“In aligning myself with the wish of our elders and in the interest of equity and justice, I publicly admit that the 2023 political race must be conceded to the South-East; that is, the Igbos.

“I, therefore, now proclaim that I am, as I have said publicly several times, withdrawing from the presidential race and I am declaring my support for the best aspirant not only in Igboland, but in Nigeria as a whole.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I am not fanning the embers of division, rather I am by this action lightening the torch of unity by establishing political stability on the pillars of truth and justice upon which the Bible tells us that even the throne of the Almighty God is founded.”

Okupe called for the adherence to the principle and dictate of the zoning system and urged other presidential aspirants under the People’s Democratic Party to join the presidential aspiration of the former governor in the interest of fairness, justice, and equity.

Okupe was a former aide to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

He was also the former national publicity secretary of the National Republican Convention.

Okupe Asks FG To Use Satellites, Drones To Tackle Banditry

A file photo of former presidential aide, Dr Doyin Okupe.

 

Doyin Okupe, a former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan has called on the Federal Government to adopt technology to tackle banditry and other forms of insecurity confronting the country.

Okupe disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He explained that technology was also adopted during Jonathan’s administration in monitoring Boko Haram activities in Bama, Borno State.

READ ALSO: Gas Revolution: Our Objective Is To Transform Nigeria Into An Industrialised Nation – Buhari

“When we were in government and there was a crisis in Bama. Boko Haram attacked a village called Bama and burnt down houses. Several districts were burnt. We got satellite pictures of Bama and I was able to count the number of houses in every unit that were burnt, including the ones that were not burnt.

“I have not seen enough seriousness in any arrangement that we are making that can stop them. We can use satellite images and drones,” Okupe said.

Reacting further on how the Federal Government is handling banditry, Okupe condemned negotiations noting that this only breeds insecurity.

Okupe stressed that technology involves investment and the Federal Government should embrace this option.

“This attempt of backslapping terrorists and bandits by negotiating with them and giving them money is not going to work. Banditry and kidnapping can only continue as long as it is profitable and there are no consequences.

“There are commercial satellites that are available that can picture anything that has the minimum width of 12 inches. A man has more than 12 inches in width.

“From a room in Abuja, you can monitor a forest in Zamfara and see everybody that is moving. We just had to deploy money and technology,” he added.

The former presidential aide said the more criminals can get away with banditry, the more people will keep investing in it.

The Odds Of Surviving COVID-19 Were Not In My Favour, Says Okupe

 

A former presidential aide, Dr. Doyin Okupe, on Monday narrated what he went through as a coronavirus (COVID-19) patient at the isolation centre.

Following his recovery from the disease, Okupe said with his health condition, he had few chances of surviving COVID-19.

“I am a doctor and when I was going to the isolation centre, I knew what I was going into. I had virtually all the risk factors that are against the survival,” he revealed during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He added, “I am 68-year-old (which is not the correct bracket for COVID-19), I am hypertensive, I was recently diagnosed with diabetics; I had issues with me that naturally will complicate my situation.”

Okupe, who was once a Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, said he did not show any symptoms before going into isolation.

He, however, said he developed a fever but was treated by medical personnel at the centre and recovered after about six days.

 

A New Life

The former presidential aide explained that he must have developed the fever due to his mood and emotion which apparently weakened his defence system.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to take the COVID-19 warnings seriously and comply with the directives issued by the relevant authorities to curb the spread of the disease.

Okupe also noted that some of the cases at the isolation were malaria-related and not COVID-19, but it was better for the government to be proactive in its efforts.

On the lessons learned, he said, “As far as I am concerned, the Doyin Okupe before April 23 had died; God has given me a new life, I am a brand new person.

“In order to show gratitude to God for sparing my life, I want to forgive anybody who has offended me and I want anybody who I have offended or wronged in any way whatsoever to please forgive me.”

“For me now, it is the only service to God and to the nation; I have no personal ambition to pursue because if I had died, that is the end of it,” Okupe added.

Okupe Asks Buhari’s Govt To Correct Past Mistakes, Build World-Class Hospital

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Dr Doyin Okupe.

 

 

A former presidential aide, Dr Doyin Okupe, has appealed to the Muhammadu Buhari administration to correct the mistakes made by previous governments in the nation’s health sector.

Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast show – Sunrise Daily on Monday, he urged the Nigerian government to build at least one world-class hospital in the country to discourage medical trips abroad.

Okupe, who was once a Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, admitted that it was disheartening that the nation does not have such a standard facility since it gained independence in 1960.

“The mistakes of the past are daunting, they are perplexing, they are embarrassing that since 1960 to date, we cannot boast of one major centre in the whole country that makes it irrelevant for you to go abroad,” he stated.

 

A Great Lesson

The former presidential spokesman and his wife tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in April and were discharged from the treatment centre after they recovered fully.

Although he barely showed any symptoms before going into isolation, he revealed that he developed a fever days later.

 

Okupe, however, stressed the need for Nigeria to pay more attention to its health sector and take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to learn its lessons.

He believes the country has the resources to establish a standard hospital and a Nigerian was recently appointed as the head of the COVID-19 team in Sierra Leone.

“As a doctor, I can tell you for free that we have the expertise – both at home and away.

“There are thousands and thousands of very very highly qualified, competent professionals who are abroad in the US and everywhere, including Nigeria,” he said.

The medical doctor added, “The problem that we will run into, the shame that will overcome this country, is if we do not learn a great lesson from this.”

He insisted that the government must discourage the practice of seeking medical treatment abroad by its citizens.

According to Okupe, building a standard hospital that will not require any Nigerian to travel abroad for medical treatment is less than $150 million.

“That is just it – $150 million; if you multiply that by six, you are not even talking about $1 billion and we have been given $3.5 billion.

“If we just take one out of that and spend it to establish these things, then we would have learned a great lesson, and I believe that this government will do so,” he stated.

Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Witness Testifies Against Doyin Okupe

 

The trial of Dr. Doyin Okupe, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, who was arraigned on 59 counts of money laundering continued on Friday at a Federal High Court In Abuja.

At the resumed trial, the prosecution witness, Mr. Hassan Seidu, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told the court how Dr Okupe received payments from the office of the National Security Adviser, retired Col. Dasuki Sambo, for special services.

The witness also told the court how a company, Value Trust Investment Limited, was used to siphon money from the office of the NSA without executing any job for the Federal Government.

Mr. Seidu, who is the third prosecution witness in the trial of Dr. Okupe informed the court that Dr Okupe failed to justify the payments made to him and Value Trust Investment Limited.

Read Also: Supreme Court Affirms Interim Forfeiture Of N2.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan

He recounted how the accused was unable to account for the funds received even when he claimed to have paid staff salaries from the money.

The counsel to Dr. Okupe, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe-kyari Gadzama, however, insisted that the testimony of the witness was merely a fairy tale, just as the counsel to Value Trust Investment Limited, Tolu Babaleye, dismissed the testimony.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor, Ibrahim Audu, claimed that he had enough documentary evidence to prove the case against the former presidential aide beyond reasonable doubt.

With the conclusion of the testimony of the third witness, the court adjourned further trial to April 1, 2019, for cross-examination of the witness.

Veteran Broadcaster, Atere Testifies Against Okupe

EFCC Opens Case In N702m Suit Against Okupe
A file photo of PDP chieftain, Doyin Okupe.okupe

 

Veteran broadcaster, Olusola Atere has testified against former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, Atere, testified as Prosecution Witness 2, (PW2), before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He told the court that “Okupe was a former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he said came to the NTA and met with the management of the News Directorate which he happened to be a member of then, to request for the production of a one-hour programme to promote the policies and programmes of the then Federal Government’s administration.

Speaking further, he explained that, “We held a meeting and started planning for the programme. Subsequently, members of Okupe’s team came for another meeting with NTA.”

Atere told the court that after the meeting, he was directed to raise a memo to send a budget proposal to the office of the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs on October 9, 2013 for which he said no response came from Okupe.

He further disclosed that the NTA appointed a producer for the proposed programme who was liaising with the team from Okupe’s office.

According to him, by October 23, 2013, he was directed by his boss, the Executive Director News to raise a memo to the Acting Director General NTA, informing him of the Okupe request and that by October 24, 2013, the Director General minuted to him that the programme should be taken as part of corporate social responsibility and be broadcast at no cost.

Speaking further, Atere informed the court that he didn’t have much to do with the programme from that point as the producer was liaising with Okupe’s team.

He also revealed that Dr Okupe provided the three guests that discussed weekly on the programme as well as made arrangements to provide the presenters of the programme.
“So I can’t say what kind of arrangement was made in bringing guests, who were experts and ministers,” Atere said.

He retired as Executive Director News, NTA in 2016.

Okupe is being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 59 counts bordering on money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702,000,000.

Claim That I Received N750m Is Untrue, Says Okupe

Again, EFCC Arrests Doyin Okupe
Doyin Okupe,a former Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan

 

A former aide of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, has said that claims making the rounds that he collected N750m from the office of the National Security Officer (NSA) for no service rendered, is false. 

Okupe made the assertion on Friday via his Twitter page.

He said, “Efcc has started its media trial. D press release 2dy that I rcvd N750m 4 nothing,is untrue& never stated in court ystdy.”

Dasukigate: Court Adjourns Okupe’s Trial to Mar 6

Justice Ijeoma Ojuwku of the Federal High Court, Abuja adjourned the trial of a the former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former president, Goodluck Jonathan, to March 6, 2019.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on January 14, 2019 arraigned Okupe on a 59-count charge bordering on “money laundering and criminal diversion of funds” to the tune of N702 million.

At the resumed sitting, on February 28, 2019 Osas Azonabor, an operative of the EFCC, testifying as the first prosecution witness, was cross-examined by defence counsel, Joe Kyari Gadzama, SAN.

READ ALSO: EFCC Opens Case In N702m Suit Against Okupe

Azonabor had on February 27, 2019 while being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Ibrahim Audu, narrated how sometime in 2016, the EFCC got intelligence that some individuals were paid by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), for “doing nothing”.

He further told the court that investigations revealed that Okupe was one of the beneficiaries.

He also added that after analysing payment vouchers, it was realised that cash payment of N50 million was made into Okupe’s account on April 8, 2014. Analysis of several other vouchers also revealed several of such payments.

Under cross-examination by Gadzama, the prosecution witness told the Court that during investigations, Okupe gave investigators, “so many documents” that were analysed.

Specifically, when the defence counsel put it to him that payments as shown on the voucher were for “special services”, Azonabor replied that the findings proved otherwise.

“When we asked Okupe further about the payments, he said he did not render any special service,” he said.

EFCC Opens Case In N702m Suit Against Okupe

EFCC Opens Case In N702m Suit Against Okupe
A file photo of PDP chieftain, Doyin Okupe.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has opened its case against a former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr Doyin Okupe, who is being prosecuted before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Okupe is facing a 59-count bordering on money laundering, criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702m.

He is alleged to have collected the money from the Office of the National Security Adviser, for doing nothing.

At the trial on Wednesday, the first prosecution witness, one Osas Azonabor, an operative of the Commission, who was led in evidence by the Counsel to the EFCC, Ibrahim Audu, told the court that sometime in 2016, the EFCC got an intelligence that some individuals were paid by the Office of the NSA for doing nothing.

READ ALSO: EFCC Seeks Diezani’s Extradition, As Court Adjourns Arraignment Till May

He said that when investigations began, it was realised that one of the beneficiaries was Okupe, who is the first defendant, adding that the EFCC wrote to the office of the NSA demanding the vouchers of the payments made to the defendant.

According to him, after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that cash payment of N50m was made into Okupe’s account, as stated in the voucher of April 8, 2014.

He also stated that another cash payment of N6m was found to have been made to Okupe on April 2, 2014.

In addition, he explained, there were series of payments in multiples of N10 million made to Okupe between 2012 to 2014.

The witness further told the court that EFCC’s investigation found the sum of N50m paid into the bank account of Value Trust Investment Limited, of which Okupe is a director, adding that another N35m was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig. Limited, to which Okupe is a signatory.

“He told us he was the Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2012 and was placed on a monthly salary of N835,000, paid to him by the SGF,” Azonabor said.

He explained further that the defendant said he was paid N10m monthly for 24 months by the office of the NSA and that the money was reduced to N5m monthly from January to May 2015.

He said that Okupe had explained that the money was for special services and when asked to elaborate what he meant by ‘special services’, Okupe said part of the money was used to sponsor ‘Insight’, a programme on a national television”.