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Guber Poll: PDP Wins Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, APC Takes Lagos, Ogun, Kwara
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday started the announcement of the results of governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections held in the country on Saturday.
 
The results released so far revealed some surprises and upsets across the country. For instance, the ruling All Progressives Congress in Oyo State lost the governorship poll to the Peoples Democratic Party. The APC candidate, Adebayo Adelabu, backed by the incumbent Governor Abiola Ajimobi, lost scandalously to his PDP’s counterpart, Seyi Makinde, with a margin of 157, 635 votes. While Makinde polled 515,621 votes, Adelabu came second with 357,982 votes.
 
Also, as it was during the February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections in Kwara State where the incumbent Senate President, Bukola Saraki, lost his bid to return to the Senate, his party lost all elective positions in the March 9 polls.
 
The Kwara State APC governorship candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak, swept the poll to beat his PDP counterpart, Abdulrazak Atunwa, with a margin of 216,792 votes.
 
Also, the APC governorship candidate in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, won a landslide victory over his closest rival, Jimi Agbaje of the PDP. Observers had expected Agbaje to give Sanwo-Olu a run for his money, but this was not to be as the political machinery of the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu that backed the new comer was too much for Agbaje.
 
The PDP candidate was beaten with over 500,000 votes.
 
But as the people of Rivers State were waiting for the outcome of the polls, INEC announced the suspension of the governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state till further notice.
 
It cited violence that marred the exercise as reason for its actions.
 
Protest from the national headquarters of the PDP is, however, trailing the electoral umpire’s decision.
 
However, INEC had declared winners in some of the 29 states where the governorship poll was conducted on Saturday as of the time of filing this report this morning. These states include Lagos, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu, Oyo, Abia, Kebbi, Jigawa, Katsina , Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Niger.
 
Other states where the results have not been fully released include Benue, Nasarawa, Sokoto.
 
But the results so far declared have stirred protest as opposition parties in some states rejected the outcome citing vote-buying, supporters’ harassment and alleged bias by the electoral umpire and the security agencies as reasons.
 
INEC declares Sanwo-Olu as new Lagos governor
 
INEC on Sunday declared the APC candidate, Sanwo-Olu, as the winner of the March 9 governorship election held in the state on Saturday.
 
Sanwo-Olu, who scored 739,445 out of the 977,476 total valid votes in the election, defeated 44 other candidates to emerge as the governor-elect in the state.
 
The candidate of the PDP in the election, Agbaje, polled the second highest votes in the election with 206,141 votes.
 
Declaring the result of the election at the state collation centre in Yaba at about 8.40pm on Sunday, the state Returning Officer, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, said Sanwo-Olu, scored the highest number of votes to win the election.
 
Ogunbodede, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, said, “That Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, of the All Progressives Congress, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”
He said the number of registered voters was 6,505,512; number of accredited voters was 1,006,074; total number of votes cast was 998,715, rejected votes was 21,239, while the total number of valid votes was 977,476.
 
Ogunmodede pointed out that 31 party agents signed the result sheet.
 
Sanwo-Olu thanked residents of the state for electing him in the March 9 governorship election.
 
Addressing party stakeholders in Ikeja after he was declared the winner by INEC, Sanwo-Olu said he was honoured by the overwhelming support of residents.
 
He said though “the victory carries my name,” his success in the election was actually victory for all residents.
 
Sanwo-Olu said he viewed the mandate given to him as a call to service to improve the lives of the people.
 
“I accept the mandate given to me and I understand that it bestows the most profound honour and sober responsibility on me. I thank and commend those who contributed to this campaign. You have laboured and toiled countless hours and done so much.
 
“You have exerted yourself not just for me but because you believe in the vision that we share.
 
“You are too numerous to name at this time; in the next few days, I wish to personally thank each one of you for this progressive and collective efforts.
 
“Most of all, I must commend the voters and honour them; though this victory bears my name, the victory actually belongs to you dear Lagosians,” he said.
 
Sanwo-Olu thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the party National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for believing in his vision.
 
He said he would not disappoint those who had invested their trust in him, as he was focused on development.
 
He faulted what he called unhealthy statements and actions made by some of his rivals before the election.
 
Sanwo-Olu said some of the statements and actions were capable of causing disunity in the state and affecting peaceful co-existence.
 
He said it was time for all to put the pre-election politics aside and join him in efforts to birth a better Lagos.
 
APC’s Abdulrazaq wins Kwara gov poll
 
In Kwara State, the APC governorship candidate, Abdulrazaq, has been declared winner of the governorship election.
 
Declaring the results of the poll on Sunday, the state Returning Officer and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Prof. Muhammad Liman, said Abdulrazaq polled 331,546 votes to emerge as the winner of the election.
 
His PDP counterpart, Atunwa, polled 114,754 votes to emerge as the runner-up.
 
From the official results declared in all the 16 LGAs in the state, Abdulrazaq led Atunwa with a margin of 216,792 votes.
 
Also, the APC beat the PDP in all the 16 Local Government Areas of the state and thus won all the seats in the state House of Assembly.
 
Though the PDP boycotted the venue where the result was announced, Saraki later congratulated the Kwara State Governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, on his victory at the poll.
 
Saraki also congratulated the people of the state for coming out to exercise their franchise.
 
The Senate President wrote, “I thank all Kwarans, particularly the PDP supporters, who worked for the party in the just-concluded elections. My congratulations go to Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq and all those who emerged at all levels. I wish them all the best.”
 
PDP’s Makinde floors APC’s Adelabu in Oyo
 
Also, the PDP’s candidate in Oyo State, Makinde, was declared elected by INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, having polled the highest number of votes in the election.
 
Ogundipe is the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos.
 
While Makinde secured 515,621 votes, his closest contestant, Adelabu of the APC, came second with 357,982 votes. Makinde led with 157,635 votes.
 
The results showed that out of the 33 LGAs in the state, Makinde won in 28 councils, including that of his rival’s, while Adelabu won in five LGAs.
 
While announcing the winner, Ogundipe said, “I state that Seyi Makinde of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”
 
Ogundipe put the number of registered voters at 2,934,107 out of which 940,211 voters were accredited. Total valid votes were 916,860; total rejected votes, 20,688; while total votes cast stood at 937,545.
 
Meanwhile, out of the 32 seats in the state House of Assembly, the PDP won 25 seats, the APC secured five seats while the Action Democratic Party got one.
 
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mutiu Agboke, who made the disclosure, stated that the commission was fair to all political parties.
 
He said the commission resisted intimidation from some quarters in respect of the polls, adding that “INEC will continue to do the right thing at the right time in the best interest of voters.”
 
However, there was palpable fear around Ibadan in the wake of the killing of a House of Representatives member from Lagelu/Akinyele Federal Constituency, Temitope Olatoye, aka Sugar.
 
As of 9pm on Sunday, our correspondents observed that the roads had been deserted as residents stayed indoors.
 
Earlier on Sunday, rumours were rife that the wife of a National Union of Road Transport Workers leader, Lamidi Mukaila, aka Auxiliary, was killed, but the Oyo State Police Command spokesperson, SP Fadeyi Olugbenga, dispelled the rumours.
 
He said it was an attempt to heat up the already tensed polity, urging the people to be calm.
 
APC’s Dapo Abiodun wins Ogun gov
 
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has emerged winner of the 2019 governorship.
 
The Returning Officer, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, who announced the result and declared Abiodun winner, said the APC governorship candidate polled 241,670 votes to defeat the candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement, Adekunle Akinlade, who scored 222,153, leaving a margin of 19,517 votes.
 
Olayinka, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, said the APC won in 11 of the 20 Local Government Areas, while the APM had six LGAs.
 
Ugwuanyi triumphs over Ayogu Eze, wins Enugu gov poll
 
In Enugu State, the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of the PDP also won his re-election bid as he beat his opponents to win the governorship poll. Ugwuanyi cleared all the 17 Local Government Areas results.
 
Announcing the results, the state Returning Officer, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, said the PDP candidate polled 449,935 to defeat the APC’s Ayogu Eze who polled 10,423 to come a distant second.
 
Our correspondents reported that the results of the 17 LGAs as announced by Ahaneku showed that the PDP polled over 98 per cent of the total votes in the election.
 
Ahaneku noted that though the total accredited voters was 478,241, it was less than 30 per cent of the total registered voters in the state which, he said, stood at 1,944,803.
 
“By the power vested on me, I, Prof. Joesph Ahaneku, hereby declare Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the PDP, the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election held in Enugu State having scored the highest number of votes cast he is hereby returned elected,” he said.
 
Bagudu wins Kebbi gov poll again
 
INEC has also declared Governor Atiku Bagudu of the APC winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Kebbi State.
 
The results was announced at the state Collation Centre for the 2019 governorship election by the Collation Officer for Governorship and State Assembly Elections, Prof. Hamisu Bichi, on Sunday in Birnin Kebbi.
 
He said Bagudu scored 673,717 votes, while his closest rival, Isah Galaudu of the PDP, polled 106,633 votes.
 
Bichi said, “Atiku Bagudu of the APC, having certified the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby returned elected and declared the winner of the March 9, Saturday governorship election in the state.”
 
Bichi said 1,789,975 voters were registered; 820,078 accredited, while 814,084 votes were cast; with 793,388 valid votes and 20,696 votes rejected.
 
According to the results, Bagudu won in all the LGAs of the state.
 
INEC declares Inuwa Yahaya of APC winner
 
In Gombe State, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya of the APC won the state governorship election.
 
The INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Saminu Abdulrahaman, who declared the result in Gombe on Sunday, said Yahaya scored 364,179 votes to defeat his closest rival of the PDP, Usman Nafada, who polled 222,868 votes and was returned elected.
 
He said there were 1,394,386 registered voters, 627,457 accredited voters, 608,846 valid votes, 14,384 rejected votes and 623,230 total votes cast.
 
Abdulrahman, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, added that Yahaya won in 10 of the 11 LGAs of the state.
 
Ikpeazu wins Abia gov election, APC, APGA rejects result
 
Also, the candidate of the PDP in Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has been declared the winner of the governorship election in the state.
 
INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, declared him winner after polling 261, 127 to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the APC, Uche Ogah, who garnered 99,574 votes.
 
He also announced that the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Alex Otti, polled 64, 366 votes to come third in the election.
 
Meanwhile, the candidates of the APC and APGA have called for the cancellation of the election.
 
Addressing journalists shortly after the results were declared in Umuahia, the state capital, the opposition candidates alleged that INEC breached its guidelines for the conduct of the elections in the state.
 
In a statement jointly signed by the candidates, they stated that they had expected INEC to cancel results from polling units where votes did not match what was on the smart card readers, adding that reverse was the case.
 
The statement partly read, “The results were highly tempered with to favour the PDP, even where some of us in the opposition had warned that INEC connived with security agencies to change the result in favour of the PDP.
 
“We reject in totality the results of the 2019 governorship election as announced by INEC and demand its total cancellation in the entire state.”
 
Badaru wins re-election in Jigawa
 
Meanwhile, the incumbent Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Badaru, has won the governorship election in the state.
 
The Returning Officer for the governorship election in Jigawa, Prof. Azubike Nwankwo, who is the Provost, Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna, declared the result in Dutse on Sunday.
 
Nwankwo said Badaru, of the APC, was returned elected with 810, 933 votes to beat his closest rival, Alhaji Aminu Ringim of the PDP, who scored 288, 356 votes, followed by Alhaji Bashir Adamu of the Social Democratic Party, who got 32,894 votes.
 
He explained that the total number of registered voters was 2,109,477, accredited voters, 1,169,924, total votes cast, 1, 163, 206, while valid votes stood at 1, 139, 054, and rejected votes, 24, 152.
 
The Returning Officer stated that the election was free and fair, adding that due process was followed before the declaration of the result.
 
Nwankwo had also announced that the APC won all the 30 seats for the state House of Assembly.
 
Emmanuel re-elected, wins in A’ Ibom
 
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has been re-elected for a second term in office.
 
Emmanuel secured 519,712 votes and won in the 30 LGAs in the governorship results announced by INEC, while his closest rival and candidate of the APC, Mr Nsima Ekere, garnered 171,978 and won only in Essien Udim, which is the LGA of the former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio.
 
Declaring Emmanuel winner at 12.30am on Monday, the state Returning Officer, Prof. Faraday Osasere, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, Benin, Edo State, said out of the 2,119,727 registered voters in the state, only 720,064 were accredited for the election, while the total vote cast was 712,037.
 
All other political party agents signed the result sheet with the exception of the APC state agent, Mr Sam Akpan, who walked out of the collation centre.
 
Akpan, however, rejected the results, claiming that they were not a true reflection of the exercise.
 
He called for the cancellation of the result of the governorship election in the state.
 
Bello floors Nasko to win re-election in Niger
 
Also, the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, who contested for a second tenure on the ticket of the APC, has won the bid, according to the results of the Saturday polls announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Angela Freeman-Mary.
 
Freeman-Mary, the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State, who announced the result on Sunday in Minna, said Bello won the polls in all the 25 LGAs of the state.
 
According to the VC, Bello polled 526,412 votes as against Umar Nasko’s 298,065 thereby defeating the PDP candidate with a margin of 228,347 votes.
 
The result was declared in Minna at about 11pm on Sunday.
 
Umahi floors Ogbuoji, wins Ebonyi gov poll again
 
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State of the PDP has been declared winner of the state governorship poll.
 
The Returning Officer for the state governorship poll, Prof. Frank Chukwuemeka, announced Umahi winner on Sunday in Abakaliki.
 
According to the result, Umahi polled 393,043 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sonni Ogbuoji of the APC who polled 81,703 votes to emerge the winner.
 
“I, Prof. Frank Chukwuemeka, state Returning Officer for the Ebonyi State governorship election held on Saturday, March 9, hereby declare the candidate of the PDP, Chief Dave Umahi, winner of the governorship election having won the highest number of votes cast in the election.
 
“He has fulfilled the requirements of the law and is hereby declared winner and returned elected,” Chukwuemeka said.
 
APC’s Masari wins Katsina gov election
 
The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has won the governorship poll in all the 34 LGAs of the state announced by INEC on Sunday.
 
Masari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, sought re-election for another term of four years on the platform of the APC last Saturday.
 
The PDP’s candidate is Senator Yakubu Lado-Danmarke.
 
In the results announced by the State Returning Officer, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, the APC scored 22,482 votes in Dutsi Local Government Area, while the PDP came second with 10,564 votes.
 
The re-elected governor was awaiting formal declaration of his victory by INEC as of the time of filing this report.
 
Ortom leads in Benue
 
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom, has won in nine of the 19 LGAs result declared as of the time of filing this report.
 
From the result so far announced on Sunday at the state headquarters of INEC in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Ortom scored over 300,000 votes, while his closest rival, Mr Emmanuel Jime of the APC, won in 10 LGAs with a total votes of over 270,000.
 
The results of four remaining LGs were being awaited as of the time of filing the report.
 
APC sweeps Nasarawa gov poll
 
In Nasarawa State, the APC candidate in the governorship election, Abdullahi Sule, has been declared winner by INEC.
 
The APC candidate got 327,229 votes to beat his PDP challenger, David Ombugadu, who came a distant second with 184, 281 votes.
 
The state Returning Officer, Prof Abdullahi Bala, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, declared the result some minutes to 1am on Tuesday.
 
Tambuwal leads in 12 LGAs
 
INEC has announced results of 20 out of 23 LGAs of Sokoto State in Saturday’s governorship election.
 
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that LGAs Collation Officers announced the results before the state’s Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Muktar, on Sunday in Sokoto.
 
Muktar is the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse, FUD, Jigawa State.
 
In the results declared so far, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP won in 12 out of the 20 LGAs while the APC was leading in eight LGAs.
 
NAN reports that Tambuwal polled a total of 429, 526 votes while Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu of the APC scored 416, 082 votes in the declared results from the 20 LGAs received.
 
However, the PDP is leading the APC with a margin of 13,444 votes in the results so far declared.
 
The figure of cancelled votes so far is 50,530 at different polling units across the state based on the results announced.
 
NEC declares Bauchi gov poll inconclusive
 
However, the governorship election of Bauchi State has been declared inconclusive.
 
The Returning Officer for the state, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, made the announcement at exactly 12am on Tuesday.
 
He said that the total registered voters were 2, 323, 603, while the accredited voters stood at 1, 056, 729.
 
According to him, the candidate of the PDP, Bala Mohammed, got 469, 512 votes to defeat Governor Mohammed Abubabakar of the APC, who scored 465, 453 votes.
 
He added that the total valid votes are 1, 026, 901, the number of rejected votes was 21, 419 while the number of total votes cast was 1, 048, 220.
 
Kyari of the Federal University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State, said he declared the poll inconclusive because the margin of lead between the PDP and the APC candidates was 4, 059 votes.
 
He added, “Secondly, the number of cancelled votes even without that of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area which he had earlier cancelled was 45, 312.
 
“Thirdly, the total number of registered voters in the affected areas is 139, 240.
 
“Therefore, based on Section 26 Part 53 of the Electoral Act, I hereby declare this result inconclusive.”
 
He therefore directed INEC to immediately conduct a re-run in the affected areas within 21 days.
 
APC leads in Borno, wins 24 declared LGAs results
 
The candidate of the APC, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has maintained his lead in the ongoing collation of results of Saturday’s governorship election in Borno State.
 
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the APC candidate won 24 of the 27 LGAs in the ongoing collation exercise at the Kashim Ibrahim College of Education, Maiduguri.
 
The collation exercise presided over by the INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Alhassan Gali, was conducted smoothly in the presence of party agents, election observers, security agents and journalists.
 
NAN reports that election results from 24 of the 27 LGAs of the state were submitted for collation by their respective returning officers.
 
The governorship election results so far collated indicated that Zulum garnered more votes than his closest opponent, Muhammad Imam of the PDP.
 
The results as announced by the Returning Officer in charge of Nganzai, Dr Ibrahim Mustapha, showed that the APC candidate scored 20, 196 as against the 907 votes scored by the PDP candidate.
 
INEC suspends Rivers polls, PDP fumes
 
Meanwhile, INEC has suspended the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State till further notice.
 
The commission premised its action on the widespread disruption of elections and violence.
 
INEC has, therefore, set up a fact-finding committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.
 
This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday by INEC National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
 
The statement partly read, “Initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres, our members of staff have been taken hostage and materials including result sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.
 
“In addition, safety of our workers appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the commission is concerned about the credibility of the process.
 
“Consequently, at a meeting held today, Sunday, March 10, 2019, the commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice.
 
“This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 47(e) of the regulations and guidelines of the commission.
 
“The commission has also established a fact-finding committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.”
 
However, the PDP has charged INEC to end what it described as manipulative schemes and immediately declare the result.
 
The party rejected INEC’s decision to suspend the electoral process in the state, after it claimed that results had been collated.
 
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the security agencies in the state.
 
He said, “Our party contends that elections have been concluded in Rivers State; results of the Governorship and House of Assembly polls have been declared at the various polling units, wards and local government collation centres and all returning officers and political parties in the ballot conclusively have the figures.
 
“It is therefore directly incumbent on INEC to declare the final results instead of deliberately creating openings for the subversion of the final process; a development, which exposes the commission’s complicity with the Buhari Presidency and the APC to enmesh the election into unnecessary crisis.”
 
Segun Olugbile, Olusola Fabiyi, John Ameh, John Alechenu, Friday Olokor, Mudiaga Affe, Success Nwogu, Tunde Ajaja, Afeez Hanafi, Olaleye Aluko, Ademola Babalola, Ogbonna Casmir, Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Olaide Oyelude, Tunji Bosun, Armstrong Bakam, Enyioha Opara, Patrick Odey, Edward Nnachi John Charles and Umar Muhammed
(Punch)

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POLITICS

Kano is next — Fani-Kayode reacts to Supreme Court ruling

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Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation, has reacted to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling which nullified the victory of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the last general elections in Zamfara State.
The ruling APC today lost its bid to govern Zamfara State for the next four years as the supreme court ruled that it did not conduct valid primaries in the 2019 general elections.
Also, the apex court validated the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, which gave the verdict that no valid primaries were conducted by the APC in Zamfara State.
Further, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgement by a seven-member panel, decided that a party that had no valid candidate cannot be said to have emerged winner of the recently conducted general elections.
In an appeal filed by the APC, the apex court ruled against the appellant and ordered a fine of N10 million against the APC.
Reacting, Fani-Kayode congratulated PDP on the judgment favourable to them, hoping that the Kano election will also favour PDP.
On his Twitter page, he wrote: “Congrats to the @OfficialPDPNig in Zamfara state for being declared winner of the Governorship election by the Supreme Court. By God’s grace Kano shall go the same way!”

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The storm is over, may God bless the Supreme Court of Nigeria — Atiku react

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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.

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Presidential Election Tribunal: What Buhari told court about Justice Bulkachuwa before she stepped down

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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.

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Fish out killers of 15 Fulanis or risk losing your positions — Gov Bello tells LG bosses, traditional rulers

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Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has given seven days ultimatum to four councils administrators and traditional rulers where 15 Fulanis were killed to fish out the perpetrators or risk losing their positions for ineptitude of duty.
Governor Bello, who gave the order during a security stakeholders’ meeting held in Government House Lokoja on Tuesday, lamented that the killings happened in Yagba West, Omala, Dekina and Igalamela Odolu Local Government Areas, adding that his administration will not condone killings of any citizen in the state.
While giving ultimatum to the administrators of the four local governments and their traditional rulers, Governor Bello vowed to apprehend and bring to book the perpetrators of the dastardly act, saying “government will not allow the insecurity situation that occurred in Benue, Nasarawa and Zafara states to happen in Kogi.
“These Fulanis have been staying with us in the state peacefully without any rancour. Any politician or detractor, who are behind this killing will be made to face the full wrath of the law as my administration will not spare anybody no matter how highly placed in the society.”
He commended the security agents for their effort in ensuring that there is absolute peace in the state, urging them to do more in order to keep the state safe.
Meanwhile, the Administrator of Yagba West where the killing of 11 Fulanis took place, Comrade Joseph Olutimi, stated that he received a report that a farmer was allegedly killed by Fulani herdsmen, noting that he quickly informed the security agents who swung into action.
He pointed out that the Fulanis were killed by yet-to-be-identified gunmen, stressing that the people of the local government have been living peacefully with the resident Fulanis.
In his speech, the Special Adviser to the governor on security, Commodore Jerry Omadara reported that last week a farmer in Yagba West was allegedly murdered in his farm by suspected herdsmen, stressing that, some people took the law into their hands in a reprisal attack and killed Fulanis, who resided in some communities in the local government and dumped their corpses in Omi Dam.
He further disclosed that three corpses of Fulanis were found in Oluja community in Dekina Local Government while several cows were killed by unknown gunmen, adding that Omiyowo, Ogar, Ejigba and Dekina recorded high rate of killing of innocent citizens.
The Secretary Meyetti Allah in charge of Yagba West, Mohammed Mainasara said eleven Fulanis residents in the council were killed without provocation.

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Nigerians React As Tribunal Asked To Stop Buhari’s Inauguration

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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:

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Terrorists are now the commander-in-chief of Nigeria, says Bakare

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Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, says terrorists are in charge of Nigeria.
Speaking during a service at his church, Bakare said the country had been taken over by bandits, kidnappers, killer herdsmen and looters.
He described them as the “commander-in-chief” of the nation.
“It is evident that the bandits; criminals, killing people every day; those kidnapping people over the place; and cattle rustlers and killer herdsmen terrorising the people are in charge in this country; they are the commander-in-chief,” he said.
“Nobody seems to know what to do anymore; the terrorists are in charge. They have even extended their regime to these areas. They now kidnap lecturers; doctors are no longer safe.
“The whole nation is under the control of terrorists. But in the name of the Lord, Nigeria shall be delivered. I shall witness the deliverance and greatness of Nigeria.”

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The Evil I feared in PDP is haunting me in APC, says Okorocha

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Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state, says the evil he feared in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been haunting him since he joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Okorocha had defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), where he contested and won the 2011 governorship election.
The outgoing governor had been declared winner of the 2019 senatorial election in Imo west but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) withdrew his certificate of return.
The commission based its action on the complaint of Francis Ibeawuch, the returning officer for the election who said he declared Okorocha under duress.
Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, the governor said he remains a staunch member of the APC despite efforts to “frustrate him out of the party”.
He accused Adams Oshimhole, national chairman of the APC, and some other leaders of working with INEC to ensure he does not get his certificate of return as the “duly elected senator”.
“The evil I feared in the PDP has befallen me ten times in the APC. Last week, I wrote a letter to INEC for the first time myself, informing INEC of their wrongdoings and illegal actions taken by INEC to withhold my certificate on mere allegations of duress which was never founded, neither was there any committee set up to investigate the matter,”Okorocha said.
“So, INEC on their own believe the reports of their returning officer without investigating the authenticity of the investigation. So, there was no issue of fair hearing at all.
“What is important here is that INEC does not have the power to withhold the certificate of return having declared the result. I believe the INEC chairman is up to a game with the chairman of the APC who is being used to frustrate my coming to the senate and this is politically motivated.
“I’ve given enough time that INEC might correct itself and do the needful and issue me my certificate of return but to no avail.”
Okorocha alleged that Festus Okoye, a national commissioner of INEC, is being used as the “hatchet man” against him.
“Many things have happened so far and these should be of concern to everyone. INEC that made the submission to the tribunal have gone back requesting to withdraw it because the submission was defending the declaration by INEC,” he said.
“I wonder what they want to do with the certificate, if they don’t give it to me, who will they give it to? Maybe they will give it to Festus Okoye because he is from my Senatorial zone but what they are doing is presenting INEC as a lying organisation and that is dangerous for our democracy because, as it stands right now, the image of INEC is bastardised.
“What it means is that tomorrow somebody can withhold the certificate of anybody because you don’t like his face because you feel that he wants to politically challenge you in future.”

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Presidential Election: We will deliver justice — Bulkachuwa assures Nigerians

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The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, on Wednesday assured Nigerians and the international community of its resolve to dispense justice in all the petitions challenging the outcome of the February 23 election.
Bulkachuwa, presiding over the five-man panel, gave this assurance at the inaugural sitting of the tribunal which held in a packed courtroom of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.
She leads four other members of the panel drawn from various divisions of the Court of Appeal.
They are Justices Abdul Aboki (Abuja Division), Joseph Ikyegh (Benin Division), Samuel Oseji (Lagos Division) and Justice Peter Ige (Abuja Division).
Bulkachuwa pleaded for the support of stakeholders including litigants, lawyers , the press and members of the public to ensure the smooth running of the proceedings of the tribunal.
The President of the Court of Appeal who started delivering her speech shortly after leading the four other members of the panel into the courtroom at 10.05am, barred analysis of the tribunal’s proceedings in the media.
She assured that the Court of Appeal which sits as the PEPT would work in accordance and within the dictates of the constitution, the law and international best practices to ensure justice was done to all.
She said, “The independence of the judiciary is key to any vibrant democracy, especially in the resolution of election petitions.
“Therefore, an independent judiciary is a robust and an indispensable requisite of a free society under the rule of law.
“As we gather in this honourable courtroom today, I wish to use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians and friends of Nigeria , that the Court of Appeal will work in accordance and within the dictates of the constitution, the law and international best practices, to dispense justice to all, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
“I would like to conclude with this quote by my lord, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Mr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, CFR, that ‘Politics is not anarchy, it is not disorderliness, it must be punctuated by justice, fairness and orderliness.’”

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