CPC ask INEC to postpone Kebbi governorship poll

The Congress for Progressive Change has called for the postponement of the Kebbi State governorship election which has been scheduled for Saturday, 31 March 31.

The Deputy National Chairman of the Congress for Political Change (CPC) Mustapha Saliu

The Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Mustapha Saliu told journalists in Abuja that the party is requesting for the postponement because of the withdrawal of the party’s candidate for the election.

“We are asking for the postponement of the election so that we can be able to shop, nominate and sponsor a fresh candidate,” he said.

He further observed that the Independent National Electoral Commission had turned down the application on the premise that a 45 day notice was to be given according to the Electoral act as amended in 2010.

Mr Saliu said that should the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) proceed with this Saturday’s election the CPC will be heading for the court to seek redress.

“We have asked our people to boycott the election,” he said.

The National Secretary of the party, Buba Galadima said that “even though the Supreme Court gave them the latitude of 90 days, so that all legal processes ought to take place before the election,” INEC preferred to schedule the election 37 days after the Supreme Court judgement.

He said that the 37 days is not even close to the 45 days’ notice given by the electoral act for candidate substitution.

15 candidates vie for Kebbi governorship position on Saturday

The Kebbi State governorship elections is set to hold on Saturday, 31 March and 15 candidates are vying for the position, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said in a bulleting on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court of Nigeria sacked the former Kebbi State governor Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari earlier this year and had ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections within 90 days of the decision.

Usman Dakingari, the PDP frontman, is back in the running to reclaim his governorship position and will be facing down 14 other contenders.

The other candidates include:

  • Alhaji Sulaiman Argungu of the ANPP
  • Kabiru Turaki of ACN  
  • Umaru Birnin Kebbi of APGA
  • Attari Sani from the AD party
  • Hajiya Hauwau Mohammed from ADC
  • Alhaji Lawan Moad  of ALP
  • Malam Abubakar Abubakar of CPC
  • Alhaji Sani Abubakar  from the CPP
  • Muhammed Danbare of LP
  • Sahabi Atiku representing NNPP
  • Alhaji Tukur Yaro of NSDP
  • Mohammed Mogaji of NTP
  • Alhaji Abubakar Umaru of the PPA
  • Alhaji Mohammed Nura from PPP

INEC will be deploying over 8,000 officials to conduct the elections through out Kebbi state’s 21 local governments, 225 registrations areas and 2,398 polling units.

“A breakdown of the personnel requirement for the re-run election shows that the commission will deploy 7,859 ad hoc staff from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) plus undergraduates from tertiary institutions in Kebbi.

“In addition, 225 Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs), 247 Collation Officers (COs), 25 Supervisors and 273 reserves,’’ it said, adding that over 1.6 million people are registered to cast their votes.

Lagos court refuses to void PDP congress polls

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has refused to grant an application by some aggrieved members of the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking an order voiding the congress held by the party in the Lagos on Saturday.

The aggrieved members of the party, led by Alhaji Imam Akorede, are before Justice Mohammed Liman and are challenging, among other things, the propriety of said congress despite an order of the court stopping it.

Through their counsel, Olumide Sofowora, the members today asked the court to sanction the defendants for conducting the congress despite Fridays order of the court directing that it be put on hold.

Joined as defendants in the suit are; Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro, Chief (Mrs) Dupe Sasore, Chief Ayo Waddel, Dr. Lekan Sobowale, Prince Adegboyega Oyebola, Chief Lanre Osundairo, Engineer Tunji Amosu and Hon. Alhaji Wahab Wale Owokoniran.

They were all sued as members of the PDP transition, reconciliation and congress committee.

Other defendants are: Hon. Setonji Koshoedo(Chairman, Lagos PDP), Captain Tunji Shele(Secretary, Lagos PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Baraje (PDP National Chairman), Hon. Secondus (PDP National Organising Secretary), Prof. Attahiru Jega (INEC Chairman), Lagos State INEC Commissioner, Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Director of State Security Services.

The aggrieved members specifically asked the court to restrain those elected on Saturday from acting in that capacity until the determination of the case.

While the lawyers to some of the defendants have acknowledged service of the court order and promptly stayed away from the polls, Rotimi Ogunjobi, lawyer to the former PDP Lagos Chairman and secretary, Setonji Koshoedo and Tunji Shelle, denied that his clients were served with the court’s order.

After listening to arguments from the lawyers, and the court’s baliff, charged with effecting service of the court order, Justice Liman declined the plaintiffs’ lawyer’s application to either void the result of the congress or restrain officials elected from it from parading themselves in that capacity.

The judge based his ruling on the fact that some of the defendants were not served with the court’s order and processes. The court then granted the plaintiffs’ application for substituted service, via newspaper publication, on the defendants yet to be served before adjourning to the 26th of March for report of service and possible hearing of the substantive suit.

Jega appoints five new Resident Electoral Commissioners

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, on Monday in Abuja swore in five newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), urging them to ensure fairness and greater discipline in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Speaking at the oath-taking ceremony which took place at the INEC National headquarter the chairman said the new commissioners must not place too much demand on their host communities.

He warned the new RECs against partisanship in order to improve and make the electoral process more credible.

“There are still enormous tremendous challenges ahead of us. Yes, we have raised the bar, yes, there is improvement, in fact whatever indices you use to compare the elections we have conducted in April and since April, I think, there are clear indicators that we have been improving but the challenges are enormous.

“I keep saying that with regards to electoral matters in this country we have left things to be so bad for so long that it will require a lot of efforts to be able to get out of the woods.’’

Mr Jega called for collective contributions to ensure that the April General Elections, which was adjudged a success by many Nigerians and international observers, was improved on.

He told the RECs to keep an open door policy as well as maintain dignified relationships with their host communities and not be outrageously dependent particularly on state governments.

“Do what is doable, but do not ever compromise in terms of the processes and in terms of the legal frame work.’’

Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Austine Okojie from Edo State assured their determination to discharge their duties legally and with loyalty to the commission.

He said the RECs would acknowledge the attitude of Nigerians in not demonstrating the spirit of fair play during elections.

Mr Okojie, who was reappointed, had served in various states including Benue, Imo, Enugu, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia.

Others include Jacob Jatau, Baba Yusuf, Segun Agbaje, and Nasir Ayilara.
The newly sworn in RECs are yet to be deployed to their new places of assignments.

Supreme Court upholds election of Isa Yuguda

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of the governor of Bauchi state, Isa Yuguda, dismissing the appeal of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

The Chief Justice of Nigeria who delivered the lead judgment said the Apex Court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the appeal afresh since it emanated from a tribunal and not a trial court.

He added that “the court cannot allow the judgment of the Appellate court as it lacks competence since it gave reasons for its judgment outside the 60 days stipulated by the law.” “It has become a nullity and therefore does not exist.

The Court there after held that the tribunal judgment which upheld the victory of the governor as subsisting.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, however urged the National Assembly to amend Section 285 of the Electoral Act to ensure that litigants do not continue to suffer as a result of the law.

Counsel to CPC’s candidate in the April 2011 governorship election, Mr Olawale Akoni had told the court to evoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to hear the suit afresh as it is not satisfied.

With the handling of the suit by the Appellate court, counsel to the governor, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi and that of (INEC) Mr Hassan Liman both opposed the application on the grounds that several judgment of the Supreme Court.

Have indicated that if the appeal court delivers judgment outside the 60 days stipulated by the law it is null and void and since the same scenario is applicable to this suit same should apply.

The Supreme Court also set aside the judgment of the Appellate Court in the appeal brought before it by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) challenging the victory of governor Dambaba Suntai of Taraba state in the April 2011 governorship election on the grounds that the Appeal Court lacks the competence to deliver judgment and give reasons outside the 60 days stipulated in the electoral act 2010 as amended.

Court dismisses suit seeking to sack Umeh as APGA chairman

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed a suit seeking an order of mandamus to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise the Chekwas Okorie-led National Officers of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

The suit seeking an order prohibiting INEC from relating with the Victor Umeh-led faction of the party in any manner which is inconsistent with the decisions reached at the September 2, 2009 national convention where the party officials led by Mr. Okorie were elected was filed by the APGA National Vice Chairman (South), Benjamin Duru.

Mr Umeh through his counsel had argued that the suit was not properly instituted and Mr. Okorie had violated an order of court which said status quo be maintained when he convened the September 2009 convention.

Delivering judgment, Justice Bilkisu Aliyu agreed Mr Umeh’s argument that the suit was not properly filed as it was filed outside the 3 months period provided in rule 4, order 34 of the Federal High Court procedure.

The court said the convention took place during the pendency of Mr Okorie’s appeal against the judgment of an Abuja High Court which upheld his suspension from APGA and recognized Mr Umeh as chairman. The court said Mr Okorie’s action amounted to an abuse of court process.
Moreover, the court said, the convention was an utter disregard of the judiciary.

Justice Aliyu dismissed the suit for lack of merit and competence.

Supreme Court sacks Kebbi State governor

Sa'idu Usman Dakingari

The Supreme Court has sacked Kebbi State Governor, Saidu Dakingari, from office, ordering that fresh governorship elections be held in 90 days time.

In the judgement delivered on Friday by Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Supreme Court set aside a ruling by the Court of Appeal upholding Dakingari’s election as governor of Kebbi state.

Dakingari’s governorship win had been challenged by the Congress for Progressive Change party, who argued that the election of the PDP man should be nullified as it was not valid.

An election tribunal had initially removed the governor, claiming that documents presented as evidence by the Independent National Electoral Commission were not part of the prescribed forms.

Dakingari’s elections had been nullified by the tribunal and fresh elections ordered; however, the embattled governor took his case to an appellate court in Sokoto where the verdict of the tribunal was overturned and his governorship upheld.

Justice Aminu Sanusi of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto on 28 December 2011 had ruled that while the INEC documents were not part of the prescribed forms, they did nothing to impair the legal validity of Dakingari’s elections in April 2011.

The court had further dismissed an appeal by the CPC that a certificate of return be issued to its candidate Abubakar Malam Abubakar and had said it would provide other reasons for the judgement on a later date to the parties involved.

However, the Court of Appeal failed to do so within 60 days; Justice Onnoghen overturned the ruling today, saying the appellate court should not have deferred the reason for its judgement past the time allowed by the constitution.

The Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the tribunal, nullifying Dakingari’s election.

Jega says INEC is ready for credible election in Bayelsa

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has given the assurance of the commission’s readiness and ability to conduct a credible gubernatorial election in Bayelsa state, on Saturday, February 11th, 2012.

Jega says INEC is ready for credible election in Bayelsa

The INEC boss gave the affirmation at a stakeholder’s consultative meeting, with leadership of all political parties, candidates and electoral officers that will participate in the poll on Saturday.

To forestall the late arrival of electoral materials as recorded with recent elections conducted by the commission, Professor Jega confirmed that “materials for the poll are now ready.” “The officials are adequately trained and have developed a partnership with all the security agencies, ahead of the poll.”

He advised political parties and their supporters to abide by the rules and regulations of the electoral process.

In acknowledgement that there are still room for improvement on the electoral process, the INEC boss however pledged that the commission has committed itself to “being impartial, non-partisan and determined to provide a level playing ground for all the political parties and their respective candidates.”

Earlier, the resident electoral commissioner, Edwin Nwatalari, pleaded with prospective electorates to ensure they do not approach polling boots with unacceptable materials, other than their voter cards.

The resident electoral-commissioner also outlined the process through which the exercise will be carried out on Saturday.

INEC validates Wada’s election as Kogi State governor

The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has ordered that the newly elected Kogi State governor Captain Idris Wada, be sworn in to office as governor.

Wada sworn-in as Kogi governor

Following the sack of his predecessor, Ibrahim Idris, by the Supreme Court on Friday, 26 January, Capt. Wada, winner of the 3 December Kogi state gubernatorial elections, had immediately been sworn in as governor of the central state by a customary court judge.

His time in office was very short lived.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, nullified the swearing in, and the Chief Judge of the state swore in Abdullahi Bello, the speaker of the House of Assembly for Kogi State as the acting governor of the state, moving him into the government house in state’s capital of Lokoja by end of day.

Reacting to the last Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, INEC, in a statement signed by Mr. Kayode Idowu, Press Secretary to the Commission’s Chair, Professor Attahiru Jega, said having confered with its legal team, the electoral body “decided that the Kogi State Governorship election, which took place on December 3rd, 2011, is a concluded election and therefore, the Governor-elect should be sworn in immediately.”

With the Kogi State elections concluded before the Supreme Court judgement and a governor already elected, INEC has now turned its focus on setting a date gubernatorial elections in the four remaining states affected by Supreme Court’s Friday ruling.

Adamawa – Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bayelsa – Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Sokoto – Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Cross River – Saturday, February 25th, 2012

INEC said the dates had been chosen “after due consideration of the logistics, operational and administrative requirements to ensure free, fair and credible elections”.

Court Orders INEC To Include PDP Candidate In Bayelsa Guber Race

An Abuja High Court on Wednesday 18th of January 2012, granted an ex-parte interim order sought by the PDP candidate in Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, compelling the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to restore the name of the PDP candidate unlawfully removed by the commission.

Court Gavel

The case was filed on the 17TH January 2012, immediately after the labour strike along with an affidavit of urgency, whereupon arguments was taken today, 18th of January in the presence of Governor Timipre Sylva’s lawyers, who were in court but were not a party to the suit.

Following the filing of the application yesterday by the PDP candidate, a considered ruling was delivered today at about 4.30pm by Justice Gladys Olotu at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

INEC Postpones Adamawa Guber Race Again

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has shifted the governorship election slated for next Saturday by two weeks, citing the current security challenges in Adamawa State as reason.

Jega Attahiru

Confirming the development, the Resident Electoral Commission in the state, Barr.Kassim Gana Gaidam said the election will now hold on February 4.

He said: “In view of the prevailing security challenges in Adamawa State, and after consultations with relevant stakeholders in the state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja has decided to postpone the governorship election in the state by two weeks.

“The governorship election will now hold on Saturday, February 4, 2012, instead of January 21st, 2012 as earlier scheduled.

“INEC reassures all Adamawa State residents of its determination to conduct free, fair and credible election in the state.The commission are working very closely with all stakeholders, including security agencies, to ensure a conducive environment for the conduct of the election.

In a swift reaction Governor Murtala Nyako has described the postponement as a welcome development. Nyako who applauded the decision taken by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), however, said they were taken by surprise as according to him normalcy has since returned in the state.

Also commenting, the ANPP candidate, Alh.Usman Ahmad Belel said the measure was commendable considering the prevailing security challenges being faced in the state. He also said it was a good omen as INEC wanted to ensure hitch free elections.

Also in Ekiti State, the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) has again postponed the local government election till February 4.

INEC Omits PDP Candidate From Bayelsa Guber Elections List

35 out of 36 political parties’ candidates have so far been declared eligible to contest in the February 11 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

JEGA

The name of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was however omitted, with the INEC pointing out that the candidacy of the party is subject to litigation.

The list was confirmed today by the display of the material by the entrance of the INEC office in Yenagoa, the state capital.

It can be recalled that incumbent governor and the PDP have since the time of screening of the party’s prospective candidates been involved in series of litigations.

What is not certain at the moment is the outcome of the aforementioned legal tussle and the fate of the party and governor Sylva if their matters remain in court beyond a reasonable time.

But INEC had cleared Kemela Obuobowi as governorship candidate and Salaguo Christian as deputy to contest the poll on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)

The regulatory body also gave the green light to the Labour Party (LP’s ) governorship candidate, Bodiseowei Atari-Adou and his deputy Johnny Benjamin to contest the poll.

In his reaction to the issue, state PDP Chairman, Decaon James Durgo said “We are completely taken aback by this development and to say the least, we are shocked, embarrassed and disappointed that INEC would take such a drastic and monumental decision without recourse to us as a party, having formally received and accepted the names of our candidate and his running mate following the successful conduct of our party primaries on November 19, 2011.”