Court nullifies Anambra PDP exco election

A High Court sitting in Abuja has declared the ward, local government and state congresses of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) conducted in Anambra state that produced the Oguebego Ejike-led executive committee officers of the party as unconstitutional, illegal,null and void.

Presiding judge, Justice U.P Kekemeke who nullified the congress ordered the PDP to liaise with the plaintiff, Emma Mbamalu and his executive to organize and conduct ward, local government and state congresses in the state.

Before arriving at this decision, the court threw out the objections raised by the party challenging its jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter as well as the competence of the suit.

The court also threw out an application by the purported state chairman of the party, Kenneth Emekayi who sought to be joined in the suit on the ground that he was not a necessary party to the action.

Citing relevant legal authorities, Justice Kememeke in his judgment held that it was clear from the affidavit evidence and the claim of the plaintiff before the court that his court had the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the case.

Justice Kekemeke further held that the case before his court was tailored around a breach of the party’s guidelines and constitution regarding the conduct of congresses in the state and not a dispute challenging the election of principal officers of the party in the state.


Jonathan honours Abiola, names University of Lagos after him

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday renamed the University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University of Lagos.

Mr Jonathan disclosed this during a nationwide broadcast to mark this years’ democracy day celebration.

The President said that renaming the University is in appreciation and honour of the contribution of late MKO Abiola the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

“The Federal Government has decided that late Chief MKO Abiola should be honoured. In honour of Chief MKO Abiola, the University of Lagos is renamed the Moshood Abiola University,” Mr Jonathan said.

The 1993  election was declared Nigeria’s freest and fairest presidential election by national and international observers, with Abiola even winning in his Northern opponent’s home state.

In 1994, Abiola declared himself the lawful president of Nigeria in Lagos. He had recently returned from a trip to win the support of the international community for his mandate. After declaring himself president he was declared wanted and was accused of treason and arrested on the orders of the then Head of States, General Sani Abacha who sent 200 police vehicles to bring him into custody.

Abiola was detained for four years, largely in solitary confinement.

Abiola died under suspicious circumstances shortly after the death of Abacha. He died on the day that he was due to be released, on July 7, 1998.
While the official autoposy state that Abiola died of natural causes, Abacha’s Chief Security Officer, al-Mustapha has alleged that Abiola was in fact beaten to death. al-Mustapha, who is still being detained by the Nigerian government, claims to have video and audiotapes showing how Abiola was beaten to death.

Justice Salami: PDP says Tinubu is a hypocrite looking for lost relevance

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday reacted to the statement by the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the issue of the reinstatement of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.

Mr Tinubu had in a press statement over the weekend said that President Goodluck Jonathan’s “tardiness in” acceding to the National Judicial Council’s (NJC’s) request for Justice Salami’s reinstatement is a brutal attack on the golden principles of the rule of law and just existence in a democratic society.

He had said that the President’s action has confirmed the popular belief that Justice Salami’s case is more political than legal. He had described the president’s action as a coup against the rule of law.

Reacting to Mr Tinubu’s comments, the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh in a statement called the ACN leader “a hypocrite in a desperate agenda to re-shape facts.”

“The desperation of the Action Congress of Nigeria which peaked today with an unreflecting statement from its leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu amounts to a frontal attack on both the President and our great Party and is further confirmation that ACN has a different agenda in the Justice Salami saga than its touted role as an evangelist of the rule of law,” Mr Metuh said.

“For Tinubu to describe as a coup on the rule of law, the engagement of due process in the resolution of Justice Salami’s re-instatement, sketches a graphic effigy of a hypocrite in a desperate agenda to re-shape facts.

“This level of desperation raises a gigantic question mark on the sincerity of the ACN and the integrity of its leadership especially in the background of insinuations that four states were delivered to the Party via judgments that were ‘more political than legal’ to use Tinubu’s very words. We therefore insist that it is high time Tinubu told Nigerians his political relationship with Justice Salami that has driven him and his party to cry more than the bereaved.”

The PDP insisted that “the Salami case is purely a legal issue which Tinubu is least qualified to delve into.”

“Justice Salami can only be reinstated when all pending cases relevant to the matter are fully resolved, and therefore we expect a measure of decorum from all parties, except for those bent on attacking the President to score cheap political goals or politicizing the issue in order to demonize the ruling party”.

“When Tinubu harps on the rule of law, one is quick to ask why he was slumbering away while the Lagos ACN government state threw the law to the dogs in disengaging the striking Lagos doctors; an issue that is threatening to boil over to other states. Is Tinubu playing Nero?

“Can Tinubu recall how many Nigerians were brutalized and maimed by the security agents brought out by the Lagos state Government to quell the Lekki Toll Gate protest? Was that the rule of law?”

Mr Metuh said that “it is obvious that Tinubu and his Party are running out of campaign ideas thus, the reason for the unsubstantiated allegations and outright fabrications. We challenge them to improve on their manifesto and concentrate on selling their programme to the electorate.”

PDP wants power in Edo state at all cost – Kassim Afegbua

Kassim Afegbua, Director, Media and Publicity, Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation, said that the incidence happening in Edo state recently is an indication of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s desire to get into power at all cost.

Court nullifies appointment of Mustapha as PDP National Auditor

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has nullified the appointment of Bode Mustapha, as the National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr. Mustapha was appointed into the office at the last National Congress of the party held in Abuja on the 24th of March.

The presiding judge, Justice Charles Archibong, in his judgment, declared that Mr. Mustapha “is not a valid nominee nor could he have been validly elected for the office of the National Auditor of the PDP which was zoned to Ogun State in accordance with the Constitution of the party because he is not qualified as an accountant or nominated by the state congress of the party conducted by the Soremi-led Harmonised Executive Committee.”

In his place, the court ordered the PDP, its National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur and National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola to appoint Fatai Adewole Adeyanju, being a qualified chartered accountant, who was properly nominated for the office at the state congress of the party in Ogun State organised by the Soremi Executive.

The court held that based on its judgment of January 27, declaring among others things that the Soremi-led Executive as the authentic management body of the PDP in Ogun State, the party officials that emerged from the congresses conducted by the Soremi Executive were the validly elected officials.

The court’s judgment was sequel to a suit filed by Adebayo Dayo and Semiu Sodipo for themselves and on behalf of the Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP.

The defendants in the suit are the PDP, Misters Tukur, Oyinlola and Mustapha.

Justice Archibong who granted all the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs ordered the party, misters Tukur and Oyinlola not to deal with the PDP in Ogun State except through the Executive Committee led by the first plaintiff, Adebayo Dayo.

Mr Dayo had, in a supporting affidavit, stated that Mr. Mustapha was presented for the office of the National Auditor by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who he said influenced his appointment by virtue of his being the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees.

State of Osun is constitutional – Rauf Aregbesola

The Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday insisted that he has not violated any aspect of the Nigerian constitution with the adoption of the “State of Osun” as the name of the state.

Mr Aregbesola said the recent criticisms by the Peoples Democratic Party over the adoption as against “Osun State”, linking the adoption and the promotion of the state’s anthem and flag to a plot to secede as indication of the acute ignorance among the opposition elements.

Rights lawyer faults INEC survey on voter apathy

A report commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on the root cause of voter apathy in the 2011 general elections in the country has come under heavy criticisms.

Human Rights lawyer, Femi Aborisade criticizing the report commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on the root cause of voter apathy in the 2011 general elections

One of the critics of the report and Human Rights lawyer, Femi Aborisade questioned the data provided by INEC in its voter apathy survey. He said the survey lack content validity and without practical solutions.

Criticising the seventy page report commissioned by INEC, Mr Aborisade listed twelve shortcomings of the research findings earlier presented by lead researcher, Adigun Agbaje.
“If we assume that apathy can be measured by voters’ intention, the conclusion we can draw from the presentation of the lead researcher and the research report is that voter apathy is low in Nigeria or almost non-existent. But we all know that this does not conform to reality and our experiences,” he said.

Mr Agbaje however insisted that the findings of the research he supervised, is scientifically accurate.

“I am convinced that this is as scientific as we can get,” he said.

He said like other researches, the research on voter apathy had some obstacles.

“We have infrastructure challenges. For instance, there are some data that is supposed to be with INEC that they should have given us during the research but we could not get and there was nothing we could do about it,” he said.

The report which is a self-critique of INEC’s performance at the 2011 general elections blamed the commission, the government and politicians for voter apathy which is primarily responsible for bad governance experienced in the country.

In the survey conducted across twelve randomly selected states in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, seventy-three per cent of the respondents adduced violence and inadequate security as major reasons behind voter apathy during the 2011 general elections.

INEC through this research report seeks to entrench democratic stability by reducing voter apathy and ensuring good governance. But the reviewer stamped his own observations on INEC’s inaction over the incessant political parties in the country.

The INEC’s Chairman of Electoral Institute, Lai Olurode said that they reason why INEC commissioned the research was to ensure that people have a say on who govern them.
“Election is a multi-dimensional kind of activity and in all facet people want to be sure that they have a say,” he said.

According to INEC, addressing the issues associated with voter apathy in Nigeria may go beyond apportioning blames, but ensuring laid out policies and interventions that would tackle the growing phenomenon ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Court upholds Saraki’s nomination and election as senator

A federal high court sitting in Abuja on Friday upheld the nomination and election of Abubakar Bukola Saraki as the Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial district in the national assembly.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta dismissed the legal action instituted by another member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Lasisi Kolawole Jimoh who is challenging the nomination and election of Mr Saraki as a Senator.

In his judgment, Justice Auta held that the suit of the Mr Jimoh was baseless and lacking in merit because it failed to disclose any irregularity, fraud or malpractices in the process that produced the senator.

The judge also held that even though there was a primary election conducted by the PDP on 7 January 2012 won by Isiaka Gold with 1,064 and that the plaintiff came second with 12 votes, there was also a bye election by the party following the resignation of Mr Gold as the party’s candidate.

He said that Mr Saraki won the bye election to emerge as the PDP candidate for the Kwara Central Senatorial election.

Mr Jimoh had sued Mr Saraki, the PDP and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) alleging that the bye election was not conducted in accordance with law and that he should be declared the PDP candidate having come second in the first primary election conducted by the party.

Kebbi governorship election is a formality; we’ve won it – PDP Chairman

The newly elected Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur on Wednesday described this weekend’s governorship election in Kebbi state as mere formality saying that his party’s candidate has already won the election.

The newly elected Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur

Mr Tukur said this in Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi state capital during the campaign tour of the party in support of the re-election bid of Saidu Dakingari, former governor of Kebbi state.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this election is a formality as our Candidate has delivered so much in the last term, enough to make his victory very possible,” he said.

Mr Tukur said his administration in the PDP will spend more time pursuing his Reconciliation, Reformation and Rebirth agenda.

He said he will ensure that all the feuding parties in the PDP will be reconciled within the shortest possible time so as to move the party ahead.

“I am glad that this policy is already gaining ground in Kebbi state. The presence of the former governor Senator Adamu Aliero with all his supporters here today is an indication of greater things to come,” he said.

The PDP Chairman called on the party supporters in the state to close ranks to ensure that the former governor is re-elected come Saturday to continue the good works he has been doing in the state.

The former governor and the PDP’s governorship candidate for Saturday’s election, Mr Dakingari congratulated Mr Tukur on his new position as the party’s national chairman and wished that his visit to Kebbi state being the very first since he assumed office will bring the luck that will bring victory to the party.

Other party chieftain present at the campaign tour included former Sports Minister, Sumaila Sambawa, Defence Minister and former acting National Chairman of PDP, Bello Haliru Mohammed, acting governor of the state, Aminu Jega, all serving members of the National Assembly from the state as well as other top government functionaries.

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.