PDP Should Not Drag Us Into Their Smear Campaign Against Judiciary – Presidency

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity

 

The Presidency has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to drag it into their current “smear campaign” against the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.

In a statement on Sunday, the Presidency debunked all claims that an arm of the government had indicted the President of the Nigerian Court of Appeal.

“Reports claiming that an agency of the government, the Department of State Services, DSS has indicted Bulkachuwa of corruption are the latest of this sponsored campaign aimed at causing disaffection between the Executive and the Judiciary, the two arms of government that had operated smoothly under the present dispensation,” the Presidency said.

The statement further stressed that it is offensive to link the Presidency with the campaign against Justice Bulkachuwa.

READ ALSO: Corruption Allegation: Come Clear On Bulkachuwa – PDP Tells Presidency, APC

It read, “While the PDP and its candidates are free to exercise their right to challenge the results of the 2019 presidential election, it is unacceptable to drag the name of the President or other organs of the executive branch into the campaign of character assassination against the President of the Court of Appeal.”

The Presidency in its communique through Mr. Garba Shehu, argued that the DSS doesn’t conduct its duties in the manner so described by the PDP.

It (the Presidency) further argued that the opposition party cannot use a fake security report to drag the presidency into a smear campaign against the President of the Court of Appeal.

The Presidency also said that PDP’s attack on judges because the outcomes of cases don’t favour them, and keeping quiet when the verdict is in their favour, smacks of insincerity, double standard, and mischief.

“Intimidating and impugning the character of judges in order to force them to bow to blackmail is against the spirit of an independent judiciary.

“The PDP praised the verdict of the Osun gubernatorial election tribunal because it favoured them, but they are now singing a different tune because they lost their appeal.

“We cannot keep changing the definition of an independent judiciary to suit our political convenience and bias without ultimately creating chaos in the system.”

According to the Presidency, if the PDP continues to blackmail and smear judges with fake news stories, the nation will ultimately find itself dealing with a situation where judges may be afraid to handle cases, thereby creating delays in the dispensation of justice.

The Presidency further argued that if it had any influence on election petition tribunals, APC candidates wouldn’t have lost a single case before the courts.

PDP, APC Trade Blame Over CJN Onnoghen’s Suspension

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have traded blame over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari.

While the PDP has faulted the action, the APC sees the development as a right step in the right direction in the war against corruption.

The Special Adviser to Atiku Abubakar on Youth and Strategy, Ahmed Adamu and the South West Coordinator and Youth Directorate of the APC, Wole Badmus, both bared their minds during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

With the presidential election about 20 days away, PDP’s Adamu said the party sees the removal of the CJN as an attack on the rule of law.

“We are very concerned not because we have any personal interest, we don’t have any connection with the removed or suspended CJN. Our concern is the attack on the rule of law, an attack on the judiciary.

“The judiciary is the sacred pillar of our democracy and these are the tools that we hold dearly, we hold close to our heart. And whenever the rule of law or the judiciary is attacked, we have to be very much concerned and involved.

“And that is why we are not relenting to fight against tyranny, to fight against injustice. And the time when we are about to go into the general elections and when we rely so much on the rule of law, what we are seeing today is not something that will guarantee us a free and fair election in the country,” Adamu stated.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Replies Atiku On State Of The Nation [Full Text]

But reacting, APC’s Badmus stated that President Buhari should be commended for sparing no sacred cow in the war against corruption.

He, however, faulted CJN Onnoghen for allegedly forgetting to declare his assets which is a major requirement for holders of public offices.

“I think the starting point is to look at the initiator of the whole crisis we are presently facing in the judiciary.

“If you look at it holistically, you will find out that if the CJN had not initiated this whole crisis by trying to use his privileged position, having confessed to having made fundamental errors which border on forgetfulness and non-declaration of assets as required by the constitution for public officers.

“And in the process, trying to run away from his shadow by trying to avoid the duly prescribed means of dealing with such abnormalities which is the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT),” Badmus stated.

The comments made by members of both parties follow the suspension of Justice Onnoghen over an alleged non-declaration of assets by the CCT.

Following the suspension, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed has been appointed as the acting CJN.

According to the President, the development is based on the request of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, pending the completion of Onnoghen’s trial.

Justice Tanko Mohammed who hails from Bauchi State is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court.

PDP Congratulates Buhari At 76, Tasks Him On Rule Of Law

PDP Congratulates Buhari as President turns 76
PDP Congratulates Buhari as President turns 76 (FILE)

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated and prayed for President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of his 76th birthday.

The party in a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary, said: “At the age of 76, President Buhari, has attained a father-figure position and should do everything to respect the aspirations and will of the Nigerian people on all issues, particularly as the nation heads to the 2019 general elections”.

The PDP urged President Buhari to leave a lasting legacy by doing all within his powers to ensure that the nation he leads knows peace; to ensure that rules are obeyed and that the sensibilities of the people, in our diversities are fully respected.

Below is the opposition party’s statement in part.

READ ALSO: APC Reacts To Atiku’s Call For Buhari’s Resignation

“The 2019 general elections place a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of President Buhari to guarantee peaceful, credible, free and fair elections, particularly, the Presidential election, by ensuring that all electoral laws and rules are obeyed; that opposition members are not molested; that the amendment to the Electoral Act is signed; as well as to declare like his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan did in 2015, that his 2019 re-election ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

“If President Buhari looks at the state of the nation today, he will discover, and we believe he is aware, that the situation has become horrendous for the average Nigerian

“Therefore, the PDP urges President Buhari to use this occasion to reflect on his administration and do all to ensure that posterity does not remember him for violation of human rights, suppression of opposition and dissenting voices; disobedience to court orders, nepotism and divisiveness; escalation of violence, bloodletting and concealment of corruption under his administration

“In all, the best gift President Buhari can give Nigerians is, having openly agreed that he lacks the capacity to manage our economy, to allow a credible election to enable Nigerians to vote our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who understands the nuances of our national challenges and who has a blueprint for economic recovery, to come and turn things around for all our people, while he withdraws to Daura for a well-deserved rest.

On this note, the PDP congratulates President Buhari as he turns 76 and prays that the Almighty Allah grant him good health and many more years ahead”.

Buhari’s Supporters Urge Nigerians To Re-elect President in 2019

As President Muhammadu Buhari marks his seventy-sixth birthday, the lead administrator of the Buharist Hangout, a presidential support group is asking Nigerians to allow President Buhari consolidate on his legacies by voting him for a second tenure.

Speaking at a ceremony in Abuja to mark the occasion, the lead Administrator of Buharist Hangout, Doctor Uche Diala said a second term for President Buhari will usher in better days for Nigeria and Nigerians.

Supreme Court To Hear Suit Against Makarfi’s Appeal On May 4

PDP, Unpaid Salaries, NasarawaThe Supreme Court will on May 4, 2017 hear the objections filed against the hearing of an appeal brought before it by the Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The motion challenging the competence of Makarfi’s appeal was filed on behalf of the PDP by Mr. Latif Fagbemi and another motion filed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriffs lawyer, Mr. Akin Olujimi for the same purpose.

The two motions dated March 16 and 21, 2017 are asking the Apex court to strike out Makarfi’s appeal, on the ground that they have no authority to file it on behalf of the PDP.

The two applicants are contending that by virtue of the Court of Appeal’s judgment, delivered on February 27, 2017 in Port Harcourt, the issue of authentic leadership for the PDP has been settled.

They are also contending that since the Makarfi led leadership had lost at the Appellate court, they have no legal standing to file any appeal on behalf of PDP as an Appellant in the suit.

They also insisted that the appeal filed by Makarfi had become incompetent having been filed without the authorisation of the PDP or its leadership.

Justice Tanko mohammed, who presided over the five man panel of the court fixed May 4 to hear the two motions.

It would be recalled that the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led faction, had filed an appeal at the Supreme court to challenge the decision of the court of Appeal, which affirmed Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction as the authentic leadership of the PDP.

Edo Election Tribunal: Obaseki To Present Subpoenaed Witnesses

Edo Governorship Election Tribunal Adjourns Till December 12
Edo State Governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki

The Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin City the Edo state capital, has granted Governor Godwin Obaseki leave to present subpoenaed witnesses in his defense to the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Osagie Ize-Iyamu challenging his election as Governor of Edo state.

Justice Ahmed Badamosi, while presenting his ruling at the resumed hearing of the defense to the petition on Saturday, ruled against the argument of the counsel to the PDP and its candidate that presenting subpoenaed witnesses amounts to amending the defense of the defendants mid-way into their case.

It is the third day of the sitting since Governor Obaseki opened his defense at the Edo state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin City the Edo state capital.

At the resumed hearing the counsel to the PDP made an application to the effect that Mr Obaseki should not present subpoenaed witnesses as that would amount to the respondent changing its defense to a petition midway into the case.

The counsel of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress APC and Mr Obaseki, however argued that there is no law that prevents the second respondent from applying for anybody to be subpoenaed.

After arguing for over one hour, the tribunal took a 30-minute break and returned with a ruling that the testimonies of the subpoenaed witnesses be taken.

The testimonies of two witnesses who affirmed that accreditation and voting were done simultaneously were then taken.

Counsel to the PDP said “we were trying to prove that if you were not accredited as a voter you cannot vote and if you vote without accreditation, well it means that it is not proper under our electoral jurisprudence.

“The witness said in some cases they ticked only once, in some cases twice, in some cases none at all. And that is what we are saying. Our contention in this petition is provided in our petition before the tribunal”.

Meanwhile, counsel to the APC, Ken Mozia said: “the intention all along was for the witness to testify in opposition to the petitioner and in presentation of the case of the second respondent and that’s what the witness did and you can see that there was really no serious attempt at discrediting him under cross examination. To that extent we are very pleased with the performance of our witnesses.”

Subsequently, the tribunal adjourned sitting to February 27, 2017.

OndoDecides: PDP Indicates Interest In Going To Tribunal

OndoDecide: deji-adeyanju on Ondo ElectionA member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Deji Adeyanju, on Monday said that the way the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) handled the Ondo State governorship election bore marks of a plan to disenfranchise the candidate of his party.

The governorship election held on Saturday, November 26, was won by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredou.

But the PDP member is insisting that the election should have been postponed to enable the candidate of hias party, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, whose name was added to the list of candidates 48 hours to the election day, campaign and also submit a list of his agents in the election to the INEC.

Prior to the election day, the division in the PDP had produced two candidates for the governorship election, triggering suits in a court that ruled in favour of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, a factional candidate.

The INEC had added Mr Ibrahim’s name to the list in obedience to the court’s ruling, but Mr Jegede contested the High Court’s ruling in an Appeal Court, which ruled in his favour few days before the election.

The ruling of the Appeal Court was upheld by the Supreme Court 48 hours to the election and INEC subsequently replaced Mr Ibrahim’s name with that of Mr Jegede.

Mr Jegede requested that the INEC should postpone the election to enable him campaign and present a list of his agents to the electoral body, but the INEC insisted that it would go ahead with the election.

Giving his opinion on the election, Mr Adeyanju insisted that the process was flawed.

“The party (PDP) cannot accept the fraud. From the beginning, when INEC changed the name of Eyitayo Jegede with that of Jimoh Ibrahim, who was not a member of our party but from the Accord Party, we raised alarm that the FG (Federal Government) and the INEC were working together to disenfranchise our party.

“The Court of Appeal has said that the judgement of Justice Okon Abang was a fraud.

“You will also see that Eyitayo Jegede was given 48 hours to campaign. He was not given the opportunity to submit his agents list, as provided by the Electoral Act,” he stated.

Mr Adeyanju further claimed that the INEC also flouted the Electoral Act in the election, which he insisted fell short of the provisions of the Act.

He also accused the INEC of working with the ruling APC to disenfranchise his political party in the Ondo Governorship election.

“The Electoral Act was severely flouted in this election. As far as we are concerned there was no election. We see a situation that the INEC just handed the election to the APC. There was no need for the hurry.

“We have seen, for the first time in this country, an INEC that is acting like an organ of the APC,” he said, further raising concerns over the decision of the INEC not to postpone the Ondo election, as it did in Edo State.

The PDP member claimed that the Edo election was postponed because the electoral body saw that the APC would not win the election.

“In Ondo State INEC had intentionally done grave injustice to Mr Jegede. The Electoral Act said the INEC must give the candidate at least seven weeks for him to submit his candidate.

“Eyitayo Jegede did not have agents in many polling units. We had situations where observers would call in to say there were no agents of the PDP in most polling stations,” he also claimed.

The division in the opposition party has continued to take its toll on the party’s stance in different elections, something that political analysts said had been taken advantage of by other parties to scuttle the PDP’s chances in any election.

But Mr Adeyanju believes there is no faction in his party, insisting that a faction of the party led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is loyal to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Responding to these claims, a member of the APC said the comments by the PDP member were just ‘a fluke’.

“It is known that when people lose election they try to attribute it to one issue or the other. The election was free fair and transparent.

“The claim that the primary election list of the APC was doctored was not true. The issues around delegate list was a propaganda to discredit the conduct of the primary election,” a spokesman for the APC in Ondo State, Abayomi Adesanya, said.

An election observer group had said that the process was credible based on observation at different polling units.

It said over 340 observers were deployed to different polling units.

Ondo Elections: Akeredolu Promises To Focus On Road Rehabilitation

Ondo elections, Akeredolu, Road RehabilitationThe All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, has promised to focus on rehabilitating roads in rural areas, if he is elected.

While visiting some communities including Ajegunle, Laje, Orisumbare, Satiday, Ajebambo in Ondo West one and two, on the second day of his campaign, Mr Akeredolu assured the people of better living conditions.

He also promised to create more local government areas to bring development closer to the people.

Akeredolu has in previous times expressed confidence that irrespective of the current challenges of the party, the APC would form the next government in the state.

The APC governorship candidate had also made a mockery of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying he would defeat the party’s factional candidates if put together in the polls.

Also, the National Chairman of the APC, Mr John Oyegun, had asked members of his party in Ondo State to mobilise for the governorship candidate of the party, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in the November 26 election in Ondo State.

He had opined that wrestling power out of the hand of the current government was not an easy task.

He then urged supporters saying: “for the APC to win the poll, dedication and hard work are major requirements needed from its members”.

Wike Says Illegal Printing of INEC Materials Must Be Investigated

Wike Says Illegal Printing of INEC Materials Must Be Investigated, Election MaterialsThe Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has raised an alarm over what he described as a calculated ploy to sweep under the carpet, the recent discovery of an office where INEC materials were being printed.

The Governor expressed his worry in a meeting with journalists in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

According to him, the matter had been moved to another zonal command of the Police (Zone 6) and this, he says may jeopardise investigation.

Governor Wike called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use this opportunity to reaffirm its credibility which he thinks has been threatened by inconclusive elections and to ensure that Rivers state do not get into an avoidable crisis.

He said: “It is our belief that INEC will do everything possible to get to the root of the matter and will tell the Police ‘no, you cannot kill this matter, it touches on our credibility’.

“Mere denial is not enough. If you look at the code on the prints, you will see the units where election will be conducted when we are not even aware, how did they know. When people say it was a setup, a set up where?

“As I said we have been following this matter and we were waiting for the right time to strike.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Francis Odesanya, told Channels Television that the matter was still under his office and that it was yet to be transferred.

He admitted that the matter could be transferred later because it is a federal case but insisted that that will not jeopardise investigations.

 

Rivers Re-Run Polls: PDP Accuses APC Of Printing Electoral Materials

APC, PDP, Plateau Politics, Deputy SpeakerA group of persons have been caught by security operatives printing sensitive electoral materials in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The materials which were caught on camera include result sheets and other documents with the prints of the all progressives congress.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has accused the All Progressive Congress (APC) of running a syndicate to produce electoral materials ahead of the rerun.

This happened at number 12 Isiokpo street d line, Port Harcourt, Rivers State when security operatives on a tip off stormed the office and found sensitive electoral materials, prints of the APC and busy computers.

On interrogation by security operatives outside, the head of the printing outfit, Atonye Peterside says he was contracted to print these materials like it is with any other printing job.

” I am a printer, somebody brought these materials and said they want to use it for tribunal matter, Emma Chinda brought them that they need more copies… And you know we serve the public, I don’t work for”.

The Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike has accused the APC of running a syndicate for printing INEC sensitive materials to perpetuate electoral fraud ahead of the legislative polls.

But the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Chris Finebone believes this is a script put together by the PDP. According to him, the persons in this matter are not known by the party.

He said, “The idea is to go contrive something maybe electoral materials and plant somewhere to take out some persons so that you will have a freeway in the election.

“We have heard confessional statements of things that never happened…and from what we know the individuals they paraded as members of the APC are not known to us, it was contrived.”

While confirming the arrest, the Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya informed Channels Television that investigations are ongoing and an official statement will be presented soon.

Some observers are hopeful that another crisis will not impede the December 10 date for the conduct of the polls

Edo APC, PDP Trade Words Over Post Election Protests

Edo Governorship Election, PDP, APC,The contention between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State over the seat of power seems to be far from over even with the conclusion of the 2016 governorship election in the state.

The two parties are again divided on the issue of protests over results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in favour of Godwin Obaseki of the APC.

After the collation of results from the 18 local government areas of Edo state in south-south Nigeria, Mr Obaseki polled a total of 319,483 votes while his closest rival from the PDP, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, polled 253,173 votes.

Before the declaration of the election result, the PDP and another opposition party, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), raised concerns over the credibility of the election.

Voting in the election had ended early, with political parties expecting that collation of results at local government areas and subsequently at INEC Headquarters in Benin would begin early, but there were delays at the local government councils, resulting in a long wait by reporters at INEC’s office.

The PDP at that point claimed that INEC and the ruling APC were planning to rig the election at the collation centre.

APGA’s candidate, Osaro Onaiwu, on his part, called for a total cancellation of the election results, saying there were irregularities.

After the results were announced on Thursday, some supporters of the PDP held protests, claiming that the result of the election was manipulated.

The opposition party had expressed its readiness to go to the Tribunal to contest the result of the election.

The APC had dismissed the allegations, calling the PDP a ‘bad loser’.

Edo Governorship Election: PDP Candidate Rejects Election Results

Osagie-Ize-IyamuThe candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu has rejected the results announced so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on the just concluded Edo State governorship election.

The PDP candidate alleged inducement of voters and collaboration of INEC and the state government to doctor the results in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said they decided not to wait for the full result to be called because they were already been informed about what is playing out now.

So far about 17 local government areas have been announced, with the PDP trailing the APC 5 to 12 local governments.

The APC won in Akoko-Edo LGA, Ikpoba-Okha, Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Cenral, Owan East LGA, Ovia North LGA, Oredo LGA, Uhunwomnde,  Igueben LGA, Egor LGA, Owan West LGA

While the PDP won in Esan North Central, Esan West LGA, Orhionmwon LGA, Esan South East LGA, Esan North East LGA.

Earlier, some protesters contested the results being announced, alleging that the results are not a reflection of what transpired at the polling units.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has described the rejection of the state governorship election results by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as quote; an act of a bad loser.

Chairman of the Edo State APC Chapter, the Mr Anselm Ojezua, says the entire process of the election had been nothing but peaceful. he adds that though the announcement of the results is still ongoing, he commends INEC so far.

Mr. Ojezua adds that INEC was efficient in the delivery of materials to ensure that they got to locations on time.

The APC Chairman is also asking the PDP to channel its grievances to the appropriate quarters.

PDP BoT Passes Vote Of Confidence On Makarfi Committee

PDP convention, National Caretaker CommitteeThe Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has passed a vote of confidence on the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee in Abuja.

Rising after a four-hour closed door meeting, they also mandated the Committee to prepare for a fresh convention, which will be held in Abuja.

Chairman of the BoT, Sen Walid Jubril, also explained that the board has directed the Caretaker Committee to raise funds for the proposed convention.

This will be the third time that the PDP has been trying to hold a convention that will elect principal officers of the party after the first and second attempts in May and August failed.