As the results of the Delta State governorship election trickled in yesterday showing the Peoples Democratic Party’s Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa cruising comfortably to another term, there were reports that his main challenger, Chief Great Ogboru had departed the state for Lagos. As at press time yesterday results from 18 Local Government Areas of the state had been collated with Okowa winning in 17 of the declared. If as projected Ogboru loses, it would be the sixth recorded defeat in six attempts for the man fondly referred to by his admirers as the people’s general.
It would follow successive defeats in 2003, 2007, 2010 (rerun), 2011, and 2015. Not many, however, believe that of repeated defeats given recent confessions by some recent PDP defectors to the All Progressives Congress, APC that they contributed in the past to rig Ogboru out. However, few would lend credence to rigging as the reason for Ogboru’s apparent defeat this time around.
With 18 Local Government Areas declared last night, Okowa had taken 17 with Ogboru having won only Ethiope East Local Government Area, that is his Local Government Area. Sources say that he is also expected to win Ughelli North Local Government Area which is the base of his main and longtime supporter, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.The disappointment for the APC came with the massive loss of Warri North Local Government Area, the base of the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who recently defected to the APC from the PDP.
Warri North Local Government Area was among those areas which had in the past produced those stunning votes that had swung elections against Ogboru in the past and most notably, the 2011 rerun. So the expectation that the defection of Uduaghan would help Ogboru, however, came to nothing.
That was despite the work of unity that lately came upon the party especially at the instance of the minister of state for petroleum, Dr.
Ibe Kachikwu who working with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had sought to put a sense of common purpose upon the state chapter of the party.However, the problems for the Ogboru campaign were multifarious and came from within and from without. He was faced with one of the most formidable political operators to have come from the state.
Dr. Okowa from his first exposure as Local Government Area secretary of Ika Local Government Area in 1987 has held every political office in his step towards governor. He was Local Government Area chairman, commissioner, secretary to the state government, senator and now governor. Besides, the PDP came into the election with almost all tendencies in the state fully backing Okowa.
Even critical stakeholders who had in the past raised issues against preceding governors including Senator (Dr.) Edwin Clark, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and the former broadcast journalist, community mobiliser and elder-stateswoman Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor were all supportive of Okowa’s second term aspiration.
The support was, however, not for nothing and has been adduced to the governor’s successful implementation of his SMART agenda. The APC candidate, on the other hand, was faced with an internal crisis that defied the interventions of the vice-president and Dr. Kachikwu.
Those who lost the primaries to Ogboru did not wish him well and held back from joining the Ogboru train until the last minute. Even more, Ogboru whose mother is from Ndokwa chose as a running mate Evangelist Ossai Abeh also from the Ndokwa axis and did so without much consultation with party stakeholders.
Party insiders say the running mate did not bring value to the ticket.There were multiple reports that those who defected from the PDP to the APC promised much and Ogboru relied much on them to the extent of damaging relationships with his long term associates. Party insiders allege that Senator Omo-Agege carried on albeit grudgingly as those who defected from the
PDP took space and structure away from Ogboru’s long term political collaborators. In the end, as the election came last Saturday, the promise of a tsunami against Okowa that APC chieftains hoped would come with the deployment of security that was promised during Osinbajo’s visit last Monday failed to materialize.
With it vanished Ogboru’s prospect and the man that is adored as the people’s general would undoubtedly have to sit it out in 2023 when it would be the time for the governorship to return to his Delta Central.
Kano is next — Fani-Kayode reacts to Supreme Court ruling
The storm is over, may God bless the Supreme Court of Nigeria — Atiku react
The Zamfara state judgement upholding the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election has raised the hope of the presidential candidate of the party for the February 23, 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar who is challenging the outcome of the poll at the tribunal.
In a statement on Friday by his Special Adviser on Media, Paul Ibe, Atiku said nothing was as pleasing to the ears of believers, as justice being served in the holy month of Ramadan.
The former vice president said when justice prevails, the people rejoice, chains are broken, freedom is multiplied while the society is enriched.
“Atiku Abubakar is hopeful that the Supreme Court and our Lords Justices will let Lady Justice have full reign in other petitions that will come before them, and that good conscience, fear of God and the rule of law will prevail.“
“In so doing, they will write their names for good on the sands of time and avoid the infamy that oppressors wish to thrust on them as their legacy.
“Once again, Atiku Abubakar commends the Supreme Court for siding with justice. He congratulates the Governor-elect Hon. Bello Matawalle and the people of Zamfara, who will finally have a government that will address the issues that have made life an ordeal in that great state.“
“The storm is over and peace and calm are coming to Zamfara. May God bless the Supreme Court of Nigeria. May God bless Zamfara state and may God bless Nigeria, now and forever,” he said.
Presidential Election Tribunal: What Buhari told court about Justice Bulkachuwa before she stepped down
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja that he was not aware that biological son of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, Aliyu Haidar Abubakar, campaigned for him during the electioneering period.
According to the President, he only got to know that Abubakar was his supporter after he read a copy of the motion the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
PDP and Atiku had filed the motion to disqualify Justice Bulkachuwa from presiding over the five-man panel tribunal that is hearing petitions challenging the declaration that he won the February 23 presidential election.
Buhari, who is the 2nd Respondent in Atiku and PDP’s petition marked CA/PEPT/02/19, claimed that his attention was further drawn to exhibits that contained newspaper cuttings, indicating that Justice Bulkachuwa son canvassed for votes in his favour.
However, in his 11-paragraphs written address he filed to support affidavit he lodged to counter Atiku’s motion, President Buhari, insisted that the petitioners failed to prove that Justice Bulkachuwa had in any way, exhibited any form of bias against them since the petition was entered before the tribunal.
Buhari’s affidavit was deposed to by one Kolawole Andrew Aro, a litigation officer in the chambers of President Buhari’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN.
Buhari, who was represented at the tribunal on Wednesday by a team of lawyers led by seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, told the Tribunal that he had since his emergence to power, refrained from dabbling into the membership of any judicial panel.
President Buhari said he never interfered with the constitution of any tribunal, “whether the panel is adjudicating on election petitions relating to the office of President, Governor, National or State Assembly, or sitting in any civil or criminal matter howsoever.”
He maintained that Atiku and the PDP, had no reason whatsoever to be apprehensive about the involvement of the Court of Appeal President in the adjudication of their dispute with regards to the outcome of the 2019 presidential election.
He said: “Having said that, and bearing in mind the sole issue distilled for determination by the respondent supra, it is the Respondent’s humble submission that whether or not the honourable President of the Court of Appeal should rescue herself from further sitting or participating in the proceedings in this petition and be replaced by another justice of this honourable court to sit in his place to hear and determine petition, as prayed by the petitioners, is within the prerogative and discretion of the honourable President of the Court of Appeal.
“What is to be taken into consideration in coming to one decision or the other in respect of the application is also within the exclusive discretion of the honourable President.
“This is not a decision that can be dictated to her by either the petitioners or respondent or any of their counsel.
“When it comes to matter of discretion, the judge or justice involved is the sole determinant.
“The honourable President of the Court of Appeal had not displayed any bias in favour of any or the parties, particularly the Respondent.
“For the respondent, it has no reason whatsoever to complain about any of the justices sitting on the panel or any Justices of Court of Appeal for that matter.
“It is not the constitutional responsibility of the Respondent to appoint or nominate Justices of the Court of Appeal sitting or adjudicating on a presidential election petition.
“We submit that the Respondent has no say, in whatsoever manner, in the appointment or Justices who are adjudicating on the present presidential election petition.
“As the Chief Executive of Nigeria, the Respondent respects the doctrine of separation of powers and does not dabble into the membership of any judicial panel, whether the panel is adjudicating on election petitions relating to the office of President, Governor, National or State Assembly, or sitting in any civil or criminal matter howsoever.
“The Respondent was not at any time privy to the said exhibits, he only became aware of them on being served with the Petitioners’ present application”.
“May we submit that from the totality of the Petitioners’ processes, we notice that the Petitioners do not deny the truism as provided by the constitution, regarding the prerogative of the President of the Court of Appeal, to constitute this panel.
“In other words, it is still within the constitutional prerogative of the same President to either decided whether to recuse herself and if he does, to nominate or appoint a replacement or to leave the panel of four, having regard to the clear provision of section 239(1) (a) of the Constitution”, President Buhari added.
On its part, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which is the 1st Respondent in the matter, through its team of lawyers comprising five SANs led by Mr. Yunuz Uztaz, urged the tribunal to dismiss Atiku and PDP’s motion, contending that it was in breach of section 42 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. INEC, argued that the motion was discriminatory in the sense that it sought to disqualify Justice Bulkachuwa on the basis that she was married to a politician.
Noting that many male judicial officers are equally married to politicians, INEC, maintained that granting the instant application would set ”a very dangerous precedent”.
“My lord we vehemently oppose the application. And we have filed a five-paragraphed affidavit to show that exhibit 2 to 4 that was attached my the petitioners, is of no moment.
“We urge your lordship not to be lured into accepting or succumbing to the argument of the petitioners. We humbly urge your lordship to dismiss the application”, INEC’s lawyer added.
Similarly, the All Progressives Congress, APC, through its team of nine SANs, led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, accused the PDP and Atiku of engaging in “cheap blackmail”.
While adopting its 15-paragraphed affidavit, the APC, said it was appalled that PDP was in the habit of engaging in “unpardonable and regrettable attacks” on Judges, saying it did so during a governorship election petition case that involved Osun State.
“This application is nothing but cheap blackmail. On facts and law, the application is most unmeritorious”, Fagbemi argued. Nevertheless, noting that Justice Bulkachuwa will retire by next year, Fagbemi, while concluding his argument, said, “My lord, we urge you to lead the matter”.
Meanwhile, replying on point of law, counsel to the petitioners, Dr. Uzuokwu, SAN, argued that none of the Respondents disputed the allegation that Justice Bulkachuwa was connected to key members of the APC which is the 3rd Respondent in the matter.
However, DAILY POST reported that the judge stepped down shortly after Buhari’s claims.
Fish out killers of 15 Fulanis or risk losing your positions — Gov Bello tells LG bosses, traditional rulers
Nigerians React As Tribunal Asked To Stop Buhari’s Inauguration
A political party, Hope Democratic Party (HDP), has filed a motion seeking an order of the presidential election tribunal restraining President Muhammadu Buhari from presenting himself to be sworn-in on May 29th, 2019 and not surprisingly, Nigerians have reacted.
Punch reports that the party is also seeking an order that will restrain the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) from swearing-in, administering the oath of office and oath of allegiance to the president.
Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:
— Channels Television (@channelstv) May 14, 2019
Some people just get money to waste sha
— Adeleke Opeyemi (@Equityoyo) May 14, 2019
What’s breaking about the news that @channelstv is making it a major accomplishment.
— stephen Clarke (@nissiboy) May 14, 2019
Hahahahahahahahaha. So all the former Presidents and Governors who had their elections in dispute and we’re still sworn in nko? This is the hand of Atiku but the voice of HDP. This one is dead on arrival. PMB will be sworn in on MAY 29 with National aplomb.
— owhonda henry (@owhonda_henry) May 14, 2019
some people in somewhere ask tribunal to stop Buhari inauguration simple .
— Waziri Olawale (@WaziriOlawale) May 14, 2019
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