The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Professor Chukwuemeka Soludo, has reacted to the exclusion of his name from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) list, saying it came as a surprise to him.
INEC had on July 16 excluded Soludo from the list it published recently for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, citing court cases as the reason for doing so.
However, An Anambra High Court in Awka on Monday ordered INEC to restore Soludo as the APGA candidate in the poll that is barely four months from now.
Speaking hours after the court verdict, the APGA candidate said he was consoled by the outpouring of support from the over 20 million Anambra indigenes both within and outside of the country.
He also explained that he is hopeful of getting justice both at the Court of Appeal and possibly at the Supreme Court if the case lingers to the apex court.
“When it came last week, I was a little bit surprised, not terribly so. I have been through this road before. When I ran in 2010, we had about 13 court cases in three months and thanks goodness, the Nigerian judiciary stood firm and came through in the end,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“Surprising that INEC could take that seemingly surprising decision but not surprising because we see this all the time around the country. What happens today is a very important step in the whole process.
“Of course, those other court judgements have been appealed appropriately. One is confident that the Court of Appeal and probably, if it ends in the Supreme Court will do the sound justice.”
Some chairmanship aspirants who participated in last Saturday’s Chairmanship primary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna state have rejected the outcome of the exercise, with a call on the leadership of the party to cancel the primary and fix a new date for a fresh exercise.
The aspirants accused the APC Electoral Committee of violating the election guidelines in order to undermine the smooth conduct of the primary poll.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, one of the chairmanship aspirants in Kaduna North Local Government Area, Idris Amoke, alleged that the primary election was conducted without the authentic voters register to ascertain the total number of accredited delegates as well as non-availability of election result sheets in all the polling units.
While noting that such an action could threaten the chances of the APC in the forthcoming local government election if allowed to sail, Amoke called on the party to fix a new date for the conduct of the chairmanship primary election in compliance with the party’s electoral guidelines and the constitution of the country.
But reacting to the allegations, the Kaduna state APC chairman, Air Commodore Emmanuel Jekada (rtd), told Channels Television that the party followed all the laid down rules and election guidelines in conducting the primary election.
He however explained that fresh elections will be conducted in some local governments where it was established that voting did not take place or some infractions occurred such as Birnin Gwari, Lere, Makarfi, Jaba , Kaduna South, Kachia and Kudan.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct a bye-election for the Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State on June 19.
INEC Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this via a statement issued on Friday.
He said the decision to conduct the exercise followed the death of the former holder of the office, Hon. Yuguda Hassan Kila on March 4, in which the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila declared the seat vacant.
“Consequently, the Commission has fixed Saturday 19th June 2021 for the conduct of bye-election to fill the vacant seat for the said Constituency in the House of Representatives,” the statement partly read.
“The official notification for the election will be published on 17th May 2021. Political parties shall conduct their primaries between 18th and 24th May 2021.
“The Access Code for online submission of nomination forms will be available for collection from 24th May 2021 at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja while the last day for submission of the list of nominated candidates is 28th May 2021 at 6.00 pm.”
Okoye also directed political parties to submit the names of their polling agents for the election to the INEC Electoral Officer for Gwaram Local Government Area on/or before 1st June 2021, noting that campaigns would end on June 17.
While noting that the detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the bye-election has been uploaded on the Commission’s website and other social media platforms, he asked political parties to abide by Section 87 of the Electoral Act relating to the nomination processes.
He added, “The Commission wishes to reiterate that since work on the expansion of voter access to Polling Units in the country is ongoing, the bye-election will hold in the existing Polling Units and Voting Points across the Constituency covering Gwaram Local Government Area of Jigawa State.
“The Commission enjoins all political parties to strictly adhere to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities and avoid rancorous primaries and violence during the campaigns and throughout the electoral process.”
The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has dismissed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to disqualify Senator Adetokunbo Abiru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from continuing to represent Lagos East Senatorial District.
In a judgment delivered on Thursday via zoom, a three-man panel of the court affirmed the March 1 decision of the Federal High Court in Lagos which dismissed Babatunde Gbadamosi and the PDP’s suit for lacking in merit.
Delivering the unanimous judgment of the court, Justice Daniel Kallio presiding, decided the appeal and another cross-appeal in Abiru and the APC’s favour.
The court in its judgment agreed with Abiru’s counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) and held that the PDP’s appeal was unmeritorious.
In particular, the Court of Appeal held that the residency of a candidate to an election is not a qualifying or disqualifying factor.
It further held that the Abiru did not submit false information to INEC.
The Court also dismissed the arguments of Ebunolu Adegboruwa (SAN) who submitted on behalf of the Appellants that Abiru had irreconcilable names.
In resolving the Cross-Appeal the Court held that the suit of the Appellants (Gbadamosi & the PDP) at the lower Court was speculative and premature and the lower court ought to have dismissed same at the instance of the Preliminary Objection filed by the 2nd (Abiru) and 3rd (APC) Respondents.
Gbadamosi was online when his appeal was dismissed.
On Dec 5, 2020, Abiru had won the senatorial bye-election by a landslide, polling 89,204 votes against Gbadamosi’s 11,257 votes.
But Gbadamosi and the PDP challenged Abiru’s eligibility to contest the election.
The challengers sought to disqualify Abiru on the ground of double voter registration, residency, indigeneship and violation of Section 31 of the Electoral Act.
But in dismissing their case, Justice Obiozor agreed with Abiru’s counsel Kemi Pinheiro SAN and APC’s counsel Abiodun Owonikoko SAN that the issue of residency and indigeneship were not disqualifying factors under the constitution.
Dissatisfied, Gbadamosi and PDP approached the appellate court.
The Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday struck out the case filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the October 10, 2020 governorship poll in the state, Eyitayo Jegede against the victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Jegede had approached the tribunal seeking the nullification of Akeredolu as the winner of the election on the ground of irregularities and invalid nomination of Akeredolu as the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the election.
The three-man panel led by Justice Umar Abubakar in a verdict delivered on Tuesday via zoom dismissed Jegede’s petition.
The verdict was delivered via zoom as the regular venue of the panel was not open due to the strike action embarked upon by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
The tribunal dismissed all the grounds of the PDP candidate’s petition for lack of merit.
“The issue raised therein in this petition are settled issue of internal affairs and Management of a political party which this Tribunal has no Jurisdiction,” Abubakar ruled.
The Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure is set to deliver judgement in the case between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Eyitayo Jegede and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This comes as the Tribunal rescheduled judgement in the October 10, 2020 governorship election which saw the re-election of Governor Akeredolu for a second term in office.
Jegede had filed a case challenging the victory of Governor Akeredolu.
Uganda’s communications regulator has ordered the shutdown of social media and messaging applications, ahead of a highly-charged election on Thursday.
The vote will come after one of the bloodiest campaigns in years, as veteran leader Yoweri Museveni seeks a sixth term against popstar-turned-MP Bobi Wine, who has managed to fire up a youthful population that has mostly known only one president.
Wine, who has spent most of the campaign in a bulletproof vest and combat helmet facing teargas, bullets and numerous arrests, on Tuesday urged his supporters to “protect” the election from rigging.
Despite the 38-year-old’s popularity, few observers believe he can pull off a victory against Museveni, a 76-year-old former rebel leader who has ruled since 1986 and effectively crushed any opposition.
Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter were down in the East African nation on Tuesday, after the communications regulator ordered a social media shutdown.
In a letter seen by AFP, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executive director Irene Sewankambo ordered telecommunications companies to “immediately suspend any access and use” of social media and online messaging platforms.
An industry insider who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said that the order was first communicated in “nasty and aggressive” phone calls to the telecommunications companies on Tuesday morning.
The calls made it clear the order was retaliation for Facebook deleting pro-government accounts for seeking to manipulate public debate ahead of the election.
Facebook said Monday that the accounts were linked to the ministry of information and technology.
UCC spokesman Ibrahim Bbosa told AFP: “I am not aware of a directive to switch off internet or social media platforms.”
“There has been slow connectivity on the platforms which can be partly due to heavy traffic as a result of the forthcoming elections” he said.
– ‘Guard the vote’ –
Some 18 million voters are registered for the presidential and parliamentary ballot, which takes place after a chaotic campaign.
Journalists covering opposition rallies have been attacked, government critics locked up, and election monitors prosecuted, raising concerns over the transparency of the electoral process.
Two days of protests in November left 54 people dead.
European Union High Representative Josep Borrell said in a statement calling for a credible vote that “the excessive use of force by law enforcement and security agencies has seriously tarnished this electoral process.”
Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, told journalists his home had been raided and his staff beaten by security forces on Tuesday morning.
He said the ruling party was trying to scare voters away from the ballot box and urged them to record any abuses or irregularities on polling day.
“We are telling you, you will not be breaking the law when you stay and protect your vote. We encourage you to use your phones, use your cameras. Your phone is a very powerful weapon, that camera is very powerful, use it.”
– Young and free –
Wine’s rise has rattled Museveni, who has outlasted all but two of Africa’s long-serving rulers, and watched as ageing strongmen elsewhere on the continent have been ousted in popular, youth-led uprisings.
Mueveni presides over a population with a median age less than 16, that is increasingly urban and educated.
Though he has campaigned under the slogan “securing your future”, the economic boom enjoyed during his early years has faded.
Only 75,000 new jobs are created each year for the 700,000 youth reaching working age, trapping most in poorly-paid farm labour, the World Bank says.
“We want change. There are no jobs, no money, we can’t go to study and when we go to the hospital, there is no medicine,” said 23-year-old Dorah Wasswa, hawking cheap wares on a pot-holed Kampala street.
– ‘We are too many’ –
A wily strategist, Museveni has outfoxed challengers to remain firmly in control, though analysts say his position is largely assured through patronage and force, rather than popular appeal.
He confronts in this election a divided opposition, with 10 candidates tackling him individually rather than presenting a united front.
Uganda is experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases and the United Nations and rights watchdogs say special election measures to contain the pandemic have been weaponised to browbeat Museveni’s opponents while leaving the ruling party untouched.
Wine says his supporters are “peaceful but assertive” and vows nonviolent protest should the election appear rigged.
“We come with only words. He (Museveni) comes to us with bullets, bombs, grenades and teargas. We are non-violent. We are just too many for him,” Wine told AFP in a recent interview.
The sudden illness of Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed on Thursday has stalled the hearing in the alleged certificate forgery suit instituted against Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki by the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Federal High Court in Abuja
The APC and one of its chieftains, Williams Edobor had dragged the governor, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court seeking Obaseki’s disqualification in the September 19 governorship election over alleged certificate forgery and perjury.
They specifically accused Governor Obaseki of forging his Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies degree he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the last governorship election in Edo State.
The judge had on Wednesday adjourned the hearing for the cross-examination of the fourth plaintiffs’ witness, Raphael Onwuzuligbo, a retired police officer, who claimed to be a forensic document examiner.
However, the hearing which was initially fixed for 12 noon did not commence until about 2 pm.
Justice Mohammed while apologising for the delay explained that he had a “severe attack of malaria” and as such would not be able to go the full hub of the day’s proceedings.
Following the agreement of parties in the suit, the judge then adjourned the hearing till January 4, 2021.
The plaintiffs had at the previous proceedings tendered two additional documents to prove their allegation of certificate forgery against Obaseki.
The two documents which included a University of Ibadan degree certificate, belonging to Professor Emmanuel Balogun and a report by Onwuzuligbo, were admitted in evidence by the court after they were tendered through APC’s lawyer, Akin Olujimi.
The first-degree certificate in agricultural science tendered was awarded to Balogun in 1979, the same year as that of the Edo governor.
In Ukwa East, PDP’s Nwagbara Chuks emerged the executive council Chairman with 6,235 votes, defeating the candidate of the APC, who polled 135 votes,
Kanu Levi of the PDP polled 9,630 votes in Ukwa West to defeat the APC candidate, who got 804 votes.
Isiala Ngwa North, Ochulor Chinwendu won the Chairmanship seat with 18,323 votes against the APC candidate who got 210 votes, while Anyatonwu Ikechi of the PDP emerged unopposed as the Chairman of Isiala Ngwa South LG after polling 17,465 votes.
In Arochukwu LGA, Dan Kalu of the PDP emerged as the Chairman unopposed, polling 15,620 votes, while in Bende, PDP’s Onwuchekwa Emmanuel, scored 33,561 votes to defeat the APC’s candidate who polled 2,320 votes.
In Umuahia North, Ugochukwu Njinkonye of the PDP emerged winner with 29,931 votes, defeating the APC candidate who scored 25 votes, while in Umuahia South, Benson Humphrey of PDP, polled 11,480 votes to defeat the candidate of the APC, who got 50 votes.
Madu Ifeanyi emerged winner in Umunneochi LGA with 6,971 votes, defeating the APC candidate who got 188 votes.
In Isiukwuato, Agbaeze Chimaobi of the PDP scored 15,630 votes to defeat the APC candidate, who got 1,200 votes,
In Ohafia, Ukaiwe Okoroafor scored 28,671 votes to defeat the APC candidate who scored 3,520
PDP’s Mpamaugo Stephen emerged winner with 8,720 votes against the APC candidate, who scored 110 votes in Ikwuano.
Meanwhile, Professor Mkpa has commended all who participated in the exercise, including the security personnel for their role in maintaining peace and order before, during and after the polls.
The ABSIEC boss also called on all and sundry to accept the results and allow peace to reign.
The Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission (GOSIEC) on Saturday declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of all the 11 Local Government Councils seats in the just concluded election.
The GOSIEC Chairman, Saidu Shehu Awak who made the declaration after the collation of results as submitted by the 11 local government electoral officers, also announced the APC as winner of all the 114 Councillorship positions.
The Chairman, in accordance with section 26, sub sections 1 and 2 of the Gombe state Independent Electoral Commission Law 2013 as amended, and as the chief returning officer of the Commission, declared the following candidates of the APC who scored the highest number of votes as winners.
1. Akko LGA: Abubakar Usman- Barambu Chairman with Mahmud Saleh Tabra as Deputy Chairman
2. Balanga LGA: Garba Umar as Chairman with Salamu Ezikiel as Deputy Chairman
3. Billiri LGA: Margaret Bitrus as Chairman with Rev. Panuel Nicodemus Lashobok as Deputy Chairman
4. Dukku LGA: Jamilu Ahmed Shabewa as Chairman with Umar Manu Malala as Vice Chairman
5. Furnakaye LGA: Ibrahim Adamu Cheldu as Chairman with Mu’azu A. Yahaya Tongo as Deputy Chairman
6. Gombe LGA: Aliyu Usman Haruna as Chairman with Gambo Sulaiman Garko as Deputy Chairman
7. Kaltungo LGA: Faruk Aliyu Umar as Chairman with Solomon Lande as Deputy
8. Kwami LGA: Ibrahim Buba as Chairman with Muhammadu Musa Kolo as Deputy
9. Nafada LGA: Musa Abubakar as Chairman with Salisu Shuaibu Dandele as Deputy Chairman
10. Shongom LGA: Yohannah Nahar as Chairman with Ambrose Alfred ( Bobby) as Deputy Chairman
11. Yamaltu Deba LGA: Shuaibu Umar Galadima as Chairman with Garba Usman as Deputy Chairman.
The GOSIEC Chairman said three political parties that participated in the elections included the APC, PDP, and PRP.
The announcement and declaration was made in the presence of leaders of the Inter-Party Advisory Council ( IPAC), members of the Civil Society, the Media, the Nigeria Police and other security outfits as well as representatives of candidates.
Also speaking during the launch, a former lawmaker representing Kogi-West senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye tendered a public apology to Jonathan for campaigning against him in the run-up to the 2015 general elections.
To the ex-lawmaker, his apology is borne out of what he described as the state of the Nigerian nation, coupled with what the ex-President achieved while in office.
“Having seen what he did as President and the sorry state of our country today, I want to publicly say ‘once I was blind, now I can see.’ On behalf of all of us who shot blindly, we are sorry, very very sorry,” he said.
On his part, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, commended the ex-President for conceding defeat in the 2015 general elections.
He also hailed Jonathan for his administration’s efforts in the Almajiri system of education in the north.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has commended ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for accepting the outcome of the 2015 general elections where he was defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday during a book launch in Jonathan’s honour, Ganduje said the acceptance of the poll’s result by the former President was a boost for Africa and democracy in general.
“After the 2015 presidential election, suddenly we learned that you congratulated the President-elect then, Muhammadu Buhari. Not only that we were shocked, we were also marvelled. We said this must be a true Nigerian,” Ganduje was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary.
“We salute you for that Sir. You did not make the name for yourself, but for Nigeria, Africa and other developing nations of the world and for democracy as a whole.
“During the United States of America’s presidential election, it was around 2 am, when I was watching the result of the election when President Donald Trump was refuting the results.
“A friend of mine said to me ‘Goodluck Jonathan must be an Angel.’ I asked ‘why? He said ‘Look President Trump is refuting election results.”
The governor also hailed Jonathan for the establishment of Tsangaya schools across many northern states, adding that it was a good initiative to wipe away social problems from the society.
According to him, it was during the ex-President’s tenure that the curriculum was widened and deepened to produce more quality people with various types of skills to earn their living.
“Almajiri issue has been a problem for us; the system was adulterated from its original position when pupils learned the Holy Qur’an without this issue of begging, as it is obtained now. During your time, you just decided to create Tsangaya schools.
“As we also modified the system, we are now establishing more Almajiri schools in Kano State. So we have to thank you for that important legacy,” he added.