ICYMI: HDP Seeks Cancellation Of February 23 Presidential Election

INEC To Conduct Supplementary Election In Lagos
File photo of voters at the polling booth during 2019 election.

 

The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) one of the parties that participated in the election conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that the February 23 poll is unknown to law and should be invalidated by the tribunal.

The party told the presidential election petitions tribunal that the poll, which produced President Muhammadu Buhari, for a second term in office is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

In a fresh motion filed by the party and its presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Owuru, it was argued that the postponement of the election from February 16 to 23 had no backing of any law as no cogent and verifiable reason required by law were advanced for the postponement.

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The party’s counsel, Ezechukwu Kennedy in the fresh motion, insisted that the February 23 poll was never validly held by INEC and cannot produce any valid result or returns recognisable by law.

Although the party admitted that the electoral body has powers under section 26 of the Electoral Act 2010, it, however, maintained that no cogent and verifiable reason were produced by INEC to postpone the February 16 election and thereby rendered the February 23 election a nullity under the same law.

HDP which cited several authorities to buttress its averment said that since INEC breached the provisions of the Electoral Act especially section 26 to conduct the February 23rd poll, the purported election cannot stand in the eyes of the law.

The party, therefore, prayed for an order compelling INEC to produce at the tribunal notice of election, original timetable for February 16, the press statement of February 16 as well as minutes of the meeting where the decision to postpone the February 16, presidential was held.

The HDP also prayed that the return of President Buhari for a second term in office on account of February 23 election be invalidated and set aside because the election has no force of law.

HDP and its presidential candidate had earlier filed a petition asking the tribunal to nullify the election that brought Buhari to office.

The main grouse of the petitioners was that they were validly nominated for the 2019 general elections but were unlawfully excluded from the said elections by INEC by delisting their names and party logo from the ballot papers.

Another grouse of the petitioners was that the electoral body placed a false version of their registered party logo on the ballot papers for elections which cost them the chances of realising their political ambition in the 2019 general elections.

The tribunal will resume pre-hearing season in the HDP petition against the election of President Buhari on Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Tribunal Adjourns Ruling In PDP’s Application To Inspect INECs Server

FILE PHOTO: Presidential Petitions Tribunal during a sitting. PHOTO: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has reserved ruling in the application filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, in the February 23 presidential election.

PDP and its candidate Atiku had earlier moved a motion seeking for access to inspect the server and data of smart card reader used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the presidential election.

The chairman of the panel, Justice Mohammed Garba, reserved ruling in the application shortly after counsels in the case argued their briefs in the suit.

 

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The PDP earlier asked the court to grant the order in the interest of justice; fair hearing and neutrality to enable the petitioners to maintain their petition.

Responding to the application, counsel to INEC, Mr Yunus Usman asked the tribunal to refuse the request of the petitioners.

The PDP said we should bring something we don’t have,” Usman told the court.

In opposing the application, counsel to President Buhari, Mr Wole Olanipekun filed a motion with two exhibits which include an exparte motion filed by the PDP seeking to inspect election materials.

While exhibit two is the ruling of the appeal court of March 6, 2019, for the application filed by the PDP and asked the tribunal not to grant the application nor overrule itself.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) through its counsel, Mr Lateef Fagbemi aligned himself in asking the tribunal to dismiss the application of the PDP.

In urging the tribunal to dismiss the application the court should be wary of making an order which is incapable of being enforced as INEC has said they do not have what the PDP is asking for.

He adds that there is no concrete material before the tribunal to prove otherwise.

Tribunal, therefore, adjourned to June 24, for the continuation of the pre-trial hearing.

DPP Senatorial Candidate, Dafinone Heads To Election Tribunal

The last appears not to have been heard of the National Assembly poll in Delta Central as the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) has vowed to contest the outcome of the poll at the Election Petition Tribunal.

The DPP senatorial candidate for Delta Central, Chief Ede Dafinone is contesting the victory of Mr. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Delta Central senatorial district.

In a statement issued on Thursday in Sapele, the DPP senatorial candidate described the April 12 bye- election as political denial perpetrated against Urhobo, the 5th largest ethnic group in Nigeria.

“There is little recognition of Urhobo at the federal and state levels in terms of appointments and positions. Similarly, the interference in the last election where the candidate foisted on the PDP in Delta State is again foisted and this time forcefully on the people of Delta Central”.

The DPP candidate who is not pleased with the result of the election where PDP was declared winner, flayed the exercise which he alleged was not free and fair and was enmeshed in violence and intimidation of voters.

He condemned the reckless desperation, the sheer treachery and lawlessness of leaders of the PDP in the state. He also accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of overturning the rule of fairness and allocating victory to the PDP.

“We reject this outright robbery of the people’s will. We condemn this grievous injustice, this unconscionable mockery of all that is decent, of all that is fair and just. The army and INEC, both Federal Government institutions worked with the PDP’s candidate to ensure his victory. The PDP used the army to unleash terror on the people of Delta Central. For hours, gun shots rent the air and the people were clobbered. Also, the announced result shows PDP in first place. As if that is not bad enough, the result shows All Progressives Congress (APC) in second place with DPP the Populist Party in the third place. All that combine to make the whole result laughable” the statement said.

The statement said the party’s legal team had been told to head to the poll tribunal.

“As law abiding citizens, we intend to explore all legal means to ensure this sham of an election is cancelled. We shall be proceeding to the election petition tribunal to present our case” the statement added.

PDP refrains from challenging Oshiomhole’s victory

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has resolved not to challenge the results of the July 14 governorship elections which returned Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the elected governor of Edo State.

Mr. Oshiomhole of the Action Congress on Nigeria (ACN) won a landslide victory in the election winning in all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.

The PDP in a statement signed by the state chairman, Chief Dan Osih Orbih, indirectly admitted defeat but alleged that the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria manipulated the result.

“While every genuine member of the party worked hard to win the election they can deduce that the ACN resorted to intimidation and manipulated the process to their fullest advantage” the statement alleged.

Though discounting the result of the election as “ridiculous and completely at variance with rational reasoning and human expectations”, the PDP declared that following wide consultations with the party leadership within and outside the state, “it has resolved not to file any petition at the Election Petition Tribunal in the interest of the state.”

According to the statement, the party vowed to continue and remain steadfast and won’t be discouraged by setbacks as this election defeat may just be a stepping stone to a future victory.

Also referring to the murder of the Governor Oshiomhole’s private secretary, Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde and the convoy crash that killed three journalists prior to the elections; the party requested a reply from the governor who accused PDP’s leaders of being behind the incidents.

Citing the prompt renaming of Delta Crescent where its national leader resides after the late Olaitan Oyerinde, the party stated that “it has strived to maintain peace in the state despite severe provocation.”

Right direction

Reacting to the PDP’s decision not to challenge his re-election, the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, described the move as a step in the right direction and called on the opposition party to join his government.

“I wish to extend my hand of fellowship to all men of goodwill to join hands with government to move the state to the next level, because, despite all the successes recorded in the last three and half years, Edo state is still work-in-progress” the Governor said.

“I look forward to more collaboration between my government, other political parties and interests in the state” he added.

In a very surprising move, the governor also extended his hands of friendship to the PDP national leader in the state, who he has always over the years lampooned. “I want to restate my full respect for the PDP leader, Chief Tony Anenih, whom I hold and will continue to hold in high respects.”

The olive branch was also extended to the PDP’s candidate who he defeated at the polls.

“I also wish to assure the PDP Candidate, Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) whom I regard as a friend, that now that we have put the elections behind us, my doors are open so that together, we may lift our state to the high level where it should be.

On questions asked about the allegations over the murder of his private secretary, the governor declined to respond saying, “I however wish to state that other issues raised by the PDP will be commented on, on another occasion.”