Despite claiming a landslide victory in Saturday’s Governorship Election, Adams Oshiomhole has called for a more transparent electoral process.
In an interview in Benin the Edo state capital, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate insisted that the process recorded pockets of malpractices just as complaints of late material distribution by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were also rife.
While praising the conduct of all security personnel assigned to the state for the election, Governor Oshiomhole urged all other political parties to shun intra-party violence and join in the development of the state, saying Nigeria is greater than any party.
Prior to the INEC’s pronouncement, Mr Oshiomole had raised a red alert as to how the election was being conducted.
The governor, visibly disappointed with the delay in the delivery of electoral materials accused the electoral body; INEC of colluding with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in an alleged attempt to distort the smooth running of the polls.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Adams Oshiomhole, as the winner of the July 14th governorship elections in Edo State.
The incumbent governor polled a landslide victory in all the state’s 17 local government area (see table below), with 477,478 votes-73.72 per cent of 647,698 total votes cast-to defeat his closest rival, Charles Airhiarvbere of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The result was announced early Sunday morning by INEC’s returning officer, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Osayuki Oshodi.
“I, Prof Oshiodi as the returning officer, hereby certify that I was the returning officer of the July 14 governorship election and hereby declare that Oshiomhole having satisfied the requirement of the law and having scored the highest number of votes cast is hereby declared winner,’’ the electoral official declared
PDP’s candidate polled 144,235 votes, (22.27 per cent of total votes) , while the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate, Solomon Edebiri, got 3,642 votes.
Izevbuwa Roland of the Congress for Political Change (CPC), polled 2,792 votes, or 0.43 per cent of the total votes while Frank Ukonga of the Social Democratic Mega party (SDMP), got 807 votes, or 0.56 per cent of total votes.
Others in the result include Andrew Igwemoh of the Labour Party (LP), 604, with 0.09 per cent, and Paul Orumwense of the National Conscience Party (NCP), 504 votes, with 0.08 per cent of total votes.
With this election, Mr Oshiomhole, the former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has earned a second term in office following his election in the 2007 general election.
President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Mr Oshiomhole on his victory in the election and also wished the Comrade-governor a successful second term in office.
He urged the Mr Oshiomhole to receive the fresh mandate as an endorsement of his outstanding performance in first term in office.
The president commended the electoral body and the security agencies for the successful conduct of the election.
Opposition party, the PDP has also congratulated Mr. Oshiomhole for the victory.
Speaking shortly after the result was announced at the INEC office in Benin, the party’s agent accepted the result, noting that his party would study the result of the election and then come forward with a formal reaction.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the appeal of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) against the election of the Kogi State governor, Idris Wada, who contested and won the governorship election of the state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a three hour judgment, the Justices of the Court of Appeal ruled that 74 of the 88 witnesses brought by the appellant gave a hearsay account of irregularities during the election, which cannot be entertained by any court.
The lead judge, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa ruled that the ACN failed to prove that there was a clear evidence of non-compliance with the electoral act in the conduct of the governorship election.
The governorship candidate of the ACN, Abubakar Audu is challenging the declaration of Captain Wada as the duly elected governor of Kogi State in the December 3, 2011 governorship election.
The Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal had upheld the election of Captain Wada but Mr Audu approached the Appeal Court to reverse the judgment of the tribunal.
The ACN in Kogi State has vowed to exhaust all legal options available to them by proceeding to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the appeal court.
The governor has however appealed to the opposition to join hands with his government for the development of the state.
The Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole on Saturday said that he is disappointed in both the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and the electoral body for failing in their responsibility to conduct a free poll in the state.
The governor warned that there will be trouble if the true winner of the election is not declared.
Mr Oshiomhole who disclosed this during an interview with journalists at the Iyamho primary school, Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area said there can be no winner when the people are not allowed to vote.
“They plan not to bring out the voting materials on time and as we speak in Oredo Local government area, Benin City and Egor local government area, the heart of Benin City materials have not gotten to majority of the polling booths after 11 am and at the New Era college, upper mission road, they brought fake voters register different from the one the people registered,” he said.
“If accreditation is to stop by 12pm and by 11am, it is after 11am now, there are no materials in some polling booths, it then means Professor Atahiru Jega and INEC have no plans to conduct election. The whole idea is to frustrate the people so that they will not be able to vote, and they will declare a fake result.
“Professor Jega and INEC have been an embarrassment to the nation. I am in shock with all the arrangements they have made sensitizing the people, and I told them, INEC need to be sensitized. INEC is the weakest link in the Nigeria democratic chain. I have no faith in what INEC is doing in Benin City.
“This is designed for where majority of the people are denied the right to vote and this time around I have told them this country either decides on whether to move on or move back, I see sponsored editorials saying whatever happens we will go to court, but today we have to sort out the issues once and for all,” Mr Oshiomhole said.
The governor further said he would hold the INEC Chairman responsible for the failure of the election and for disenfranchising the people as INEC has connived with the Peoples Democratic Party to involve in scientific rigging.
“They planned it and executed it this way. It is a shame that they have programmed this to embarrass the Nigeria nation. If INEC do not allow the people to vote and they pronounce the winner there will be trouble.
“Fifty five percent of voters are in Edo South and forty percent in Benin City, and they think they can deprive the people the opportunity to vote.
“Professor Jega has failed because I wrote a petition that they are buying voters card. We will all go to court before God. They know that if it is two people remaining they will not vote for them”
PDP says Oshiomhole is scared of defect
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Mr Oshiomhole’s condemnation of the governorship election in Edo, while the accreditation process was still on, as hasty.
The Director of Publicity of the PDP in Edo State, Okharedia Ihimekpen accused the governor of frantically attempting to destroy the integrity of the election.
Mr Ihimekpen said that the governor has seen the writing on the wall and is trying to raise the alarm in order to rationalize his eventual defeat at the poll.
The PDP is also said that the governor has suddenly realized that “the security and the electoral body are insisting on accreditation of voters whose names are in the voter registers in line with the one man, one vote mantra.”
The over 3 million people of Edo State will today decide who will occupy the Dennis Osadebay Government House seat as their governor.
Seven candidates are contending to become the governor of Edo state.
Those eyeing the coveted seat are:
1. Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)
2. Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (retd.) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
3. Solomon Edebiri of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)
4. Izevbuwa Roland of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)
5. Andrew Igwemoh of the Labour Party (LP)
6. Mr. Paul Orumwense of the National Conscience Party (NCP)
7. Frank Onaiv of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP)
However, all eyes will be on three candidates: Misters Oshiomhole, Airhiavbere and Edebiri because of their antecedents.
Projected voting pattern
The Heartbeat State is divided into three senatorial districts composed of several ethnic groups. Some political analysts have argued that this may affect the pattern of voting today.
The ethnic political dimension has been between sharing the powers among the three senatorial districts of the state, with major dominance in this election between Edo South and the Edo North district.
By INEC Figure, Edo South holds over 59% of the voters while the North and Central shares the balance percentage in succeeding order.
The North has the incumbent governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who is of the ACN; Etsako West, Labour Party’s Andrew Igwemoh is from Etsako East, and Prince Frank Ukonga of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) is from Akoko Edo LGA.
For the Edo South, the main opposition party candidate, Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Ovia North East LGA, Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) Uhunmwonde LGA, Roland Izevbuwa of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Ikpoba-Okha LGA and Imaguomwanrhuo Orunmwense of National Conscience Party (NCP) Ovia North East LGA.
Edo Central is popularly referred to as the very stronghold of the PDP and is made up of five local governments namely, Esan West, Esan Central, Igueben, Esan North East and Esan South East making up the six constituencies at the state house of Assembly.
Esan central senatorial districts boast of a number of political heavyweights who have held their sway strongly at the national level.
Very notable ones now include the National Leader of the PDP, Tony Anenih who hails from Uromi in Esan North East Local Government. The National leader of the ACN, Tom Ikimi who hails from Igueben is also from this District just as well as the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememe.
INEC is ready
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the assurance to citizens of Edo state that today’s governorship election will be conducted in a free and transparent manner.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Kassim Gaidam affirmed that security and logistics arrangement have been put in place to ensure a smooth and credible election in the state.
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The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar as the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria. While answering questions from the lawmakers, Justice Mukhtar admitted that the judiciary is corrupt, but she would begin internal cleansing based on petitions and ensure that those found culpable are penalized.
Justice Muhktar told the senators that she is not in support of special courts to fight terrorism adding that judges be assigned to take care of terrorism related cases.
She is also an advocate of plea bargaining when done in good faith.
There’s certainly no controversy on who should monitor the elections in Edo state as a civil society organization project swift count plans to deploy 834 observers for Saturday’s governorship polls.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the first co chair of the organization, Mr. Dafe Akpedeyesays eight hundred observers will be deployed to selected polling units across the eighteen local government areas of the state, while thirty four others will move round all the polling stations in the state.
The Federal High Court in Makurdi, Benue State on Wednesday dismissed a certificate forgery case against the Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Terver Kakih.
Mr Kakih, who filed the suit in 2011, had asked the court to disqualify the election of the governor on the grounds that he forged his Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) certificate.
Mr Kakih had alleged that the governor did not submit to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) his SSCE certificate.
He further alleged that the certificate was forged, claiming that the governor also marred the 2011 PDP primaries to influence his win as flag bearer of the party in the state.
Mr Suswam had defeated Mr Kakih to win the PDP ticket to run for governor of Benue State in the April 2011 primaries of the party in the State. Delivering his judgment which lasted for over three hours, Justice Marcel Awokulehin held that though Mr Kakih had the right to complain of non-level playing ground and non-conduct of ward congresses in the party primaries, it was noteworthy that the issue of non-compliance of election regularities and who the party determined to be the desired candidate in an election was an exclusive party affair.
The judge further held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
According to Justice Awokulehin, though Mr Kakih had alleged that Suswam forged SSCE certificate and that he had testified before the court that he visited the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) where he met the officer that influenced the forgery, the plaintiff did not remember the name of the officer and also denied that he was not at any point where the forgery was done.
Justice Awokunlehin said that the evidence of the plaintiff was mere hearsay, which he observed, lacked quotative value and could not sway the court to agree with him.
The judge said the plaintiff’s case is like that of a boxer who was given a technical knockout on round zero, describing Mr Khaki’s claims as frivolous, unmeritorious, misconceived and malicious.
The publicity secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mathew Urhoghide on Wednesday said that his party has some surprises for the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) during this weekend governorship election.
In a telephone interview with the hosts of the Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Urhoghide said that the incumbent government is not connecting with the grassroot people of the state and that this is the loophole his party plan to exploit.
It appears that the clash of words between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state, is yet to come to an end.
Apart from the governorship debate held in Edo state, where both parties engaged in a verbal battle to the amusement of the audience, they have since continued to engage themselves in a war of words.
Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, a PDP national leader had in an interview in Benin, told newsmen that PDP will emerge victoriously in the July 14th governorship election.
However, reacting to the statement, the Edo ACN chairman, Thomas Okosun, refuted Ogbemudia’s assertion, saying that the ACN was battle ready to frustrate all the effort of rigging that could emanate from the PDP’s desk.
He said, “A research has been carried out in the past two weeks, which revealed that the PDP will garner 25 per cent of votes from Edo North, where Oshiomhole is from, 70 per cent from Edo Central, Chief Tony Anenih’s area, and will win Edo South by 60 per cent.”
“The good works of the ACN under the comrade governor is for us, just as he has been highlighting at our rallies across the state, we cannot allow the tide of development to be reversed in Edo. The people will vote ACN, and are ready to defend their votes.” he said.
Oshiomhole’s Director of Media and Publicity of the Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation, Kassim Afegbua, equally referred to the PDP’s dream of winning the Edo state election as utopian and unrealizable..
He said, “The PDP is lazy about campaigns. It is relying on the use of imported thugs and touts into Edo State.
“They will be shocked to find that the ruling party in the state has tremendous goodwill to checkmate all their shenanigans.”
President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier in a stste visit to Edo State advised the political parties involved in the Edo state poll to adhere strictly to the principle of one man, one votee of one man, one vote, saying that ballot box stuffing, falsification of election results and violence would not be overlooked during the election.
Relatively, the Independent National Electoral Commission confirmed the deployment of about 8,842 personnel to Edo state for the election.
It also confirmed that not less than 7 candidates would be contesting for the Edo state’s governorship election come July 14th.
They include Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole (ACN), Solomon Edehiri (All Nigeria Peoples Party), Izevbuwa Roland (Congress for Progressive Change), Andrew Igwemoh (Labour Party), Paul Orumwense (National Conscience Party), Charles Airhiarbere (PDP) and Frank Ukonga (Social Democratic Mega Party).
The commission’s Director (Public Affairs), Mr. Emmanuel Umenger, said there were 2,627 polling units in the state, asserting that INEC would be “deploying 8,842 personnel to conduct the election.”
He further confirmed that 1,555,776 registered voters are to take part in the 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.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday, ordered three chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state to be remanded in prison to bring a new twist to the protracted crisis raging the party in the state.
The three chieftains are Chief Ireti Oniyide, Honourable Faisiu Bakenne and Mr Tunde Oladunjoye (who is now a media aide to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Akin Adesina.
The presiding Judge, Justice Charles Archibong, in a ruling on contempt proceedings against the three party leaders held that they should be remanded in prison custody for six months for their continued violation of an order of the court contained in a May 2nd, 2012 judgment.
The harmonised executive committee of the PDP in Ogun state led by Chief Adebayo Dayo and Alhaji Semiu Sodipo had initiated the contempt proceedings on the said PDP chieftains and the state’s Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC).
The applicants accused those cited for contempt of continually subverting the order of court by dealing with the party through other bodies aside the Adebayo Dayo Executive Committee, which the court had declared as the authentic management body of the party in the judgment, delivered in May.