He, however, ordered that Mr Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had challenged Ubah’s victory in the February 23 poll, be recognised as the winner of the election.
The judge also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Uzoh, the applicant, as the senator-elect in the district.
Among other claims, the PDP candidate alleged that his YPP counterpart presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) secondary school certificate to INEC, which enabled him to contest the Anambra South senatorial election.
He also insisted that Ubah’s party should be disqualified for not conducting a primary for its candidates in the poll.
In his judgement, Justice Kawu sacked Ubah and declared that the second defendant in the suit – the YPP – did not have the locus standi, and should not have participated in the election.
Reacting to the judgment, the National Chairman of YPP, Mr Bishop Amakiri, said his party would appeal the decision of the court.
According to him, the court erred in law on the ground that the party was never served with the court processes.
Amakiri added that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain and enter judgment in favour of Mr Uzoh who he said never participated in the senatorial election.
The Election Petitions Tribunal in sitting in Makurdi, Benue State has upheld the victory of Senator Gabriel Suswam in the Benue North-East senatorial district election.
The three-man panel led by Justice A. O. Odugu upheld Senator Suswam’s victory on Tuesday while ruling on the petition filed by Mimi Orubibi, challenging the election of the former governor in the February 23 polls.
It dismissed the petition of the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for noncompliance to section 138 of the electoral act, in the formulation of issue one.
The Tribunal also dismissed the petition for the failure of the petitioner to prove allegations of criminality in the electoral process – vote rigging and buying, polling unit by polling unit, in the formulation of issue two.
It, therefore, awarded the cost of N100,000 against the petitioner and upheld the victory of Senator Suswam who contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Meanwhile, counsels to Senator Suswam, Andrew Wombo, and that of Orubibi, Frank Noomor, have reacted to the ruling of the Tribunal.
They disagreed on the interpretation of Section 138 of the Electoral Act and the need to test the outcome of the judgment at the Court of Appeal.
The senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District, Senator Ishaku Abbo, has apologised to Nigerians, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and women in general, following a viral video in which he was seen physically assaulting a lady.
He made the apology at a press conference at the PDP headquarters in Abuja.
The Senator who was close to tears at the briefing asked for forgiveness, saying it is not in his character to assault women.
Abbo was spotted in a sex toy shop (in a video which was exclusively released by Premium Times on Monday), hitting a woman after she pleaded with him not to physically assault the shop owner whom he had accused of insulting him.
The viral video immediately sparked outrage with many Nigerians calling for his prosecution and urging the Senate to also discipline him.
The claimants also prayed for an order of the court directing the lawmaker to refund all salaries, allowances, and other emoluments he had received as a senator.
They filed the suit pursuant to Section 65(2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution, and the judgment of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Bwari, delivered on April 2, 2019.
Listed as respondents are Senator Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Nigerian Senate, the Senate President, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
No date has been fixed for mention.
Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court had held that Senator Adeleke did not possess the minimum qualification of being educated up to secondary level, as stipulated under Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution.
He added that the results the lawmaker attached to his form CF001, which he submitted to INEC, and used in contesting the governorship election in Osun State, were fake.
Olaniyi and Monsuru had, thereafter, asked the Federal High Court to direct INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the lawmaker as the senator representing Osun West senatorial district.
But Senator Adeleke had challenged the judgment at the Court of Appeal.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says its elected senators and members of the House of Representatives are constitutionally eligible and can seek election into any presiding office of both chambers of the National Assembly.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
Ologbondiyan further stated that the position of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as the Deputy Senate President and the Deputy Speaker are not the exclusive preserves of any political party, but a constitutional right of every elected lawmaker in both chambers.
He, therefore, described it as laughable that President Muhammadu Buhari and the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, “posture as if the presiding offices and Committee Chairmanship in the National Assembly are exclusive rights of the APC”.
“President Buhari and Oshiomhole should wake up to the fact that the National Assembly belongs to no political party but to all Nigerians, who exercise their control through their elected representatives.
“For emphasis, Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear in providing that “There shall be:- (a) a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and (b) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“Section 92 (1) makes the same provision for the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of State House of Assembly,” he said.
Speaking further, Ologbondiyan reminded President Buhari and Oshiomhole that “the APC had in the past benefited from the provisions of section 50, with the defection of the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal from the PDP to the APC, in October 2014, without relinquishing the speakership of the House to the PDP; a development that was applauded by President Buhari, as the then-opposition leader as well as the APC, through it’s then National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.
“In fact, the former Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, echoed the Constitutional provision that the constitution requires only that the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be elected by members of that House from among themselves”.
The party also gave other instances of Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange and Hon. Peter Azi, who according to them in 2015, were elected Speakers of the Benue and Plateau State Houses of Assembly respectively, though their party, the APC, was a minority in both Houses.
Ologbondiyan, therefore, stated that the PDP does not only have a constitutional say in the process of the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly but will, as a matter of constitutional right, field candidates into presiding offices of both chambers, if need be.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Joe Gadzama, filed the petition on behalf of the PDP candidate against Governor Shettima who contested the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He challenged the outcome of the poll on grounds of alleged electoral malpractice such as abuse of process, vote buying, non-use of card readers, and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act among others.
Abba Aji prayed the Tribunal to nullify the election and order a new one or in the alternative, declare him the winner of the Borno Central senatorial district seat in the National Assembly.
Another PDP candidate, Bukar Shuwa, who contested for the Jere Federal Constituency seat, also challenged the election of APC’s Ahmed Satomi on the same grounds.
Meanwhile, the PDP candidate for the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council Federal Constituency, Abdulrahman Kachalla did not align with the decision of his co-party member.
On the other hand, Kachalla defected to the ruling party, a decision which caused confusion among his supporters in the state.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, has ordered a stay of execution on the Federal High Court judgment, which ordered the delisting of Senator John Owan-Enoh as the governorship flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State.
The presiding judge, Justice Mojeed Awoade ordered that the two factions of the APC in the state should maintain status quo, pending the final judgment in the case.
Senator Owan-Enoh and the Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Usani, are both in contention for the party’s ticket for Cross River State governorship seat.
The Appeal Court had on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, refused an oral application by the Owan-Enoh faction for a stay of execution of the Federal High Court judgment.
Justice Awoade had ordered all parties to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the appeal filed by the faction of the party led by John Ochala against the judgment of the Federal High Court.
He, however, granted the Ochala faction of the party leave to appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court, which had on February 11 recognised the Etim John faction of the APC as the authentic leadership of the party in the state.
The court also directed INEC to recognise the list of candidates presented by the Etim John led leadership in the general elections.
But responding to the stay of execution order by the Appeal Court, the counsel to Senator Owan-Enoh explained that INEC had misinterpreted the Federal High Court order by delisting the names of the candidates of the APC earlier sent to the commission.
He insisted that Owan-Enoh remained the recognised governorship candidate for the March 9, 2019 election.
On his part, the counsel to Usani said his team would wait for the final judgment in the case, which is expected to be delivered before the governorship election on March 9, 2019.
The Appeal Court has adjourned the case until Monday, March 4, 2019.
“This resort to police brutality by the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a script by a losing team which seeks to introduce violence and use the police to execute their rigging plots,” the party alleged.
The PDP accused the ruling party of plots to cause pandemonium and pave the way for rigging in favour of its candidates in the state.
It noted that nobody has the monopoly of show of strength, stressing that its members in Kwara and other states are law-abiding.
The party, however, said its members would not allow themselves to be subjugated by anybody, particularly in the electoral process.
In this regard, it called on its members to activate individual and collective defence mechanisms by using every legitimate means available to resist those it described as “rigging machineries”.
The PDP claimed, “We know that the plan of the APC is to stop our members from accessing their polling centres.
“Our members should deploy all legitimate means, including lawful self-preservation strategies and tactical manoeuvres to beat the aggressions, arrive at their respective polling centres and exercise their voting rights accordingly.”
The party, therefore, asked the Inspector General of Police to call the police authorities in Kwara to order.
It also called on lovers of democracy to rise in condemnation of the harassment and arrest of its members ahead of the elections.
Once dismissed by many as a fringe candidate with wacky socialist ideas, Bernie Sanders campaigned to the brink of the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and has now set his sights on the White House once again.
Sanders, a 77-year-old US Senator from Vermont, announced on Tuesday that he will join an already crowded field of candidates seeking to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
“I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first,” Sanders said on Vermont Public Radio.
He called Trump a national embarrassment and a pathological liar.
“I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants,” Sanders said.
Like Trump, Sanders was an outsider when the 2016 presidential primaries began, little known to the public at large and initially not given much of a chance against the Hillary Clinton machine.
But he came close to pulling off the upset and ended up winning 23 primaries or caucuses against the better-funded Clinton.
Sanders galvanized a broad coalition with his anti-Wall Street rhetoric and talk of a “political revolution.”
Though the oldest candidate in the field, Sanders garnered passionate support among young liberals with his calls for universal health care, a $15 minimum wage and free public university education.
He made the fight against income inequality, which he has called the greatest moral, economic and political issue of our times, the centerpiece of his insurgent campaign.
Four years later, Sanders’ policies remain the same but much has changed on the political landscape.
Trump won the election and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young congresswoman from New York, is a rising Democratic star, embracing many of the positions held by Sanders.
“We have had more success in ideologically changing the party than I would have dreamed possible,” Sanders said in an interview with GQ magazine. “The world has changed.”
From Brooklyn to Senate
Bernard Sanders was born on September 8, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, into a family of Jewish immigrants from Poland.
He attended Brooklyn College and later the University of Chicago, where he was active in the civil rights movement, attending the 1963 “March on Washington” where Martin Luther King Jr delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
After graduating, Sanders worked on an Israeli kibbutz and moved to Vermont, where he worked as a carpenter and filmmaker.
In 1981, he was elected mayor of Burlington, the state’s largest city, by a mere 10-vote margin and went on to win another three terms.
He served as mayor until 1989, winning election as an independent to the US House of Representatives in 1990.
Sanders served in the House until 2006, when he was elected to the US Senate. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2018.
While Sanders remains popular among many Democrats, some in the party are questioning whether their champion this time around should be a septuagenarian white man.
Multiple women have already joined the race, including Kamala Harris, an African-American senator from California, seen as the early front-runner.
Some #MeToo movement activists have also come out against a Sanders candidacy after several employees on his 2016 campaign complained of sexual harassment by staffers.
Sanders has issued an apology “to the women on my 2016 campaign who were harassed or mistreated.”
“We can’t just talk about ending sexism and discrimination,” he said. “It must be a reality in our daily lives.”
Famously short-tempered and irascible, Sanders also still displays the energy of a much younger man — he campaigned tirelessly for Democratic candidates in the 2018 mid-terms.
Sanders claims that he does not have a burning desire to occupy the White House and that the priority is defeating Trump.
“If there’s somebody else who appears who can, for whatever reason, do a better job than me, I’ll work my ass off to elect him or her,” he told New York magazine.
Sanders lives in Burlington with his second wife, Jane. Together, they have four children and seven grandchildren.
The Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu, has faulted his suspension by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement he personally signed on Monday, the lawmaker described the decision of the party’s National Working Committee to suspend him as “lawless and undemocratic.”
“It is clear from the ill-advised decision that the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee is lawless and undemocratic,” he said.
Kashamu’s criticism comes seven months after the opposition party suspended the senator for one month for alleged anti-part activities.
In December 2017, PDP’s NWC also queried Senator Kashamu for his alleged involvement in some issues in the Ogun State chapter of the party.
The party had also referred Kashamu to its National Disciplinary Committee for further action.
But the senator criticised the PDP for not following due process as enshrined in its constitution.
“No due process was followed as enshrined in the constitution of the party. Since the initial 30-day suspension lapsed on the 9th of January, 2018, they do not have any right to take any disciplinary action against me,” he added.
To the lawmaker, his reported suspension goes contrary to Article 57 (6) of the PDP Constitution.
In addition to that, he said the matter was pending before a court of competent jurisdiction.