Appeal Court Upholds Lalong’s Election As Plateau Governor

Court of Appeal, Jos Division.

 

The Elections Petition Appeal sitting in Jos, Plateau State capital on Friday upheld the election of Simon Lalong as the duly elected Governor of the state.

In the lead judgement delivered by Honourable Justice Adumein Otisi, the appeal of Jeremiah Useni and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was dismissed for lack of merit and align with the Election Tribunal decision affirming the elections of Governor Simon Lalong.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s Benue Peoples Victory,’ Ortom Lauds Appeal Court Verdict

The sum of N200,000 is also awarded as cost in favour the Governor and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Plateau State Election Tribunal had earlier in October upheld the election victory of Lalong.

Justice Halimat Saleeman, in a unanimous decision of the tribunal threw out the petitioner’s case on the grounds that the petition is weak along the line of law and therefore cannot sway justice to the side of the petitioner.

Court Set To Give Judgement On Ex-Plateau Governor, Dariye’s Trial

 

The case of the former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye has commenced as the High Court of the FCT sitting in Gudu, Abuja is set to give judgment.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko is currently delivering judgment in the over 10-year case of the former governor.

Mr. Dariye is standing trial on a 23 count charge for money laundering allegedly diverting the State’s 1.126 billion Naira ecological funds.

Mr. Dariye was arraigned by the EFCC on July 13, 2007, bordering on money laundering and other corruption charges alleged to have belonged to the Plateau State Government.

According to the EFCC, the former governor diverted the funds into the account of Ebenezer Ratnen Venture, which is alleged to be one of the companies through which he allegedly siphoned the public funds.

Mr. Dariye served the state from 1999- 2007.

Leave NGF Issues, Go To Your States And Work, Ononuju Urges Governors

A public Affairs analyst, Katch Ononuju has said the controversies which followed the chairmanship election of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) is distracting political office holders from discharging their constitutional responsibilities.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ononuju advised all parties should ‘go back to the constitution’ to resolve their differences.

He said the governors are engaged in scheming out their colleagues from other states that they neglect their constitutional duties.

“I also will advise Nigerians to insist that their governors should go back to the states and deliver because I was in Ikeja (in Lagos) last night, from Opebi down to Alade Market I counted over 84 poles and I saw on those 84 poles only eight bulbs working.

“This shows part of that distraction that the governors’ forum provides. Governor should go home and provide the dividend of democracy.”

PDP Governors’ Forum Is Illegal – Lawyer

A lawyer and member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Harvey Ideozu on Wednesday said the formation of the PDP Governors Forum chaired by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio is “clearly in breach of article 21.1j of the PDP constitution which prohibits the formation of any body under the guise of the party.”

Mr Ideozu disclosed this in a telephone interview during Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

While prescribing sanction for members found to belong to bodies under the guise of the PDP, Mr Ideozu said the PDP governors are allowed to form any association but should not label it PDP Governors forum.

“Any member of the party will be disciplined that belongs to any group under the guise of the party,” he said.

Article 21.1j of the PDP constitution holds that “subject to the provisions of this constitution, the party shall have power to discipline member who promotes factions or belongs to any group under guise of the party and by whatever name called not being one provided for in this constitution.”

Other Governors Have Forsaken Amaechi – Ononuju

A public Affairs analyst, Katch Ononuju has said that other members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have abandoned the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi and purported winner of the forum’s chairmanship election.

Mr Ononuju, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, quoted a local newspaper where the All Progressives Congress (APC) was reported to have confessed with Governor Amaechi to use the NGF election to ‘disgrace’ President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

He said when Governor Amaechi called a meeting yesterday (Tuesday), “nobody is with him. All those people you said voted or not voted when Governor Jang called his meeting, they are there.”

There has been intense scheming in the NGF, an association composed of the 36 governors in Nigeria, after its election for a new chairman. The Director General of the governors forum, who served as the returning officer at the election had announced that Governor Amaechi polled 19 of the 35 votes casted while his only opponents and Plateau state Governor, Jonah Jang polled 16 votes.

Anticipating there might be controversies from the election, the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola had secretly taped the voting and counting process – a short video clip already being circulated online.

In Mr Ononuju’s opinion, the video was doctored and may not represent what really happened in the conference room of the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, venue of the controversial election.

The analyst said the action of Mr Amaechi, who has vowed not to step aside for Mr Jang is disrespectful to the PDP.

“The PDP has found that it has within its rank members who have now turned themselves into rogue agents. These rogue agents like a virus beginning to affect the body of the party so the party moves to bring discipline. If it does not discipline these people who have now gone rogue, they might infect the body of the party,” Mr Ononuju said.

He said the PDP sees Governor Amaechi as a rogue agent who has “gone to contest; has gone to play a play with the opposition in a way other than the way mandated by the party because the party brought out Governor Jang as the consensus candidate he (Amaechi) now seems to be sponsored by the opposition.”

Not PDP Affairs

Joining the conversation on a telephone from Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, a lawyer and member of the PDP, Harvey Ideozu said whatever happens in the NGF is not a business of the PDP.

“The Nigeria Governors Forum is not an organ of the PDP neither is it a public office,” he said.

Contradicting Mr Ononuju’s earlier position of the PDP preferring Governor Jang as Chairman of the governors’ forum, Mr Ideozu said there is no provision in the party’s constitution for nominating persons interested in contesting for the chairmanship of the NGF.

He said, “There is no organ of the PDP that has said the election in the governors’ forum should be conducted in a particular manner or that any particular candidate should run or should not run.

“What we find now is that we are in a dangerous situation where it is possible that certain individual are manipulating the party and using the name of the party to force their personal position.”

According to the lawyer, the agreement to appoint a Chairman by consensus was not a general position reached by the NGF as a whole but by a faction of the body.

PDP Governors’ Forum

Mr Ideozu said the formation of the PDP Governors Forum chaired by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio is “clearly in breach of article 21.1j of the PDP constitution which prohibits the formation of any body under the guise of the party.”

While prescribing sanction for members found to belong to bodies under the guise of the PDP, Mr Ideozu said the PDP governors are allowed to form any association but should not label it PDP Governors forum.

“Any member of the party will be disciplined that belongs to any group under the guise of the party,” he said.

Article 21.1j of the PDP constitution holds that “subject to the provisions of this constitution, the party shall have power to discipline member who promotes factions or belongs to any group under guise of the party and by whatever name called not being one provided for in this constitution.”

Watch the complete interview with Messrs Ononuju and Ideozu in the video below:

FACEOFF: Rivers, Plateau PDP Chairmen Debate Controversial NGF Election

The recent election of the leadership of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is generating a lot of dust not unlike what has been. Any time the group, calling itself a peer review mechanism, ventured into a situation in the country there is almost always a level of dust rising. Now more than before, the NGF appears ruffled and divided over who is the right leader.

The Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi was last Friday re-elected as the Chairman of the NGF. Official results of the elections indicated Mr. Amaechi won the election by 19 to 16 votes to defeat his challenger, Jonah Jang of Plateau.

Shortly after the announcement of the result of the elections, the Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom addressed reporters rejecting the result, with the allegation that the election was rigged.

He claimed the ballot papers were not serialized and that Mr. Amaechi did not step down prior to the election.

Governor Jang further claimed he won the election in a press conference where he thanked his colleagues for the confidence reposed in him to serve them as the leader of NGF asking that every matter concerning the forum should henceforth be referred to him as the Chairman.

Debating the controversial election on Channels Television’s programme, Faceoff, the Rivers State PDP Chairman, Eric Appiah and his counterpart from Plateau, Haruna Dabin defended the roles their governors played in the NGF crisis.