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The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday continued its declaration of results of the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections conducted across the country on Saturday.

But for the first time since 1999 that the nation embraced democracy, INEC declared governorship poll in six states inconclusive. The states affected are Kano, Sokoto, Benue, Bauchi, Adamawa and Plateau.

While INEC has stopped the announcement of results in Rivers State due to the violence that engulfed the state, the commission has also controversially halted the announcement of the governorship election in Kano State which shows the Peoples Democratic Party is leading.

Consequently, the PDP has accused the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, of allegedly playing the script of the ruling All Progressives Congress by declaring governorship elections in these states inconclusive.

It claimed that the commission carried out the action in states where it (the PDP) was in clear lead.

The former ruling party insisted that INEC had become overtly partisan, surrendered its independence to the APC and carried on as “a compromised umpire with obnoxious impunity, thereby sending signals of being heavily bribed by the APC to alter results for its candidates.”

INEC chair playing APC script over inconclusive elections – PDP

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, insisted that the party was in possession of intelligence reports that INEC was being remotely controlled by the Presidency.

He said this was why the commission had refused to declare the full outcome of the governorship elections in some states.

He said, “The PDP has full intelligence of how INEC is acting on instructions from the Buhari Presidency and the APC in orchestrating unwholesome situations and declaring already concluded governorship elections in Sokoto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Plateau as well as other states as inconclusive, immediately it became obvious that the PDP was set to win.

Military interference in Rivers’ election is treasonable, says CUPP

“This also informs the foisting of unexplainable stoppage and delays in the announcement of already collated results in other states where the PDP is clearly leading the race, from the results so far declared at the polling units.

“Our party has also been informed of how INEC is now seeking ways to use the situation to aid the APC to alter the results and announce the APC candidates as winners in the elections clearly led by the PDP just as it did in the 2018 Osun State governorship election.

“In some of the states like Rivers, the PDP has information of plots by the APC to leverage the declaration by INEC to unleash more violence on the state and push for isolated election where they can bring in more security forces to concentrate on forcefully taking over the state.

“Already, in Rivers State, INEC is under heavy pressure from the Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to redeploy and replace the state Resident Electoral Commissioner as well as the Administrative Secretary.

“This will be totally unacceptable, completely provocative and shall be firmly resisted by the people even if the totality of our nation’s security is deployed to Rivers State.”

Ologbondiyan said that results of all the state assembly elections in Rivers State had been declared and winners had emerged.

He cautioned Yakubu and the commission to perish the thought of altering any figures for the APC and to immediately announce the results in these states and others where he claimed the PDP candidates clearly won, going by the results already declared at the poling units, wards and local government collation centres.

He said that anything short of this would attract the “legitimate wrath of the people.”

Ologbondiyan also said that Nigerians were already aware that elections had been concluded in the affected states; results collated and declared at the polling units, wards and local government collation centres and all returning officers and “political parties conclusively have the figures.”

He said, “Prof. Yakubu must have noted how his name is becoming synonymous with electoral manipulations, among Nigerians, and the fact that our citizens and international community hold him responsible for the rigging of the presidential and other elections for the APC.

“Today, majority of Nigerians and the global democratic institutions are questioning the state of our democracy and electoral processes, which have been under siege under the supervision of President Buhari and Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

“In the light of these INEC’s manipulative tendencies, the PDP therefore charges our leaders, teeming members and lovers of democracy in the affected states to immediately commence a march to INEC offices and use all legitimate means to protect our mandate as freely given by the people at the polling units across the nation.”

Supplementary poll to hold in nine Plateau LGAs, 20 polling units

In spite of the PDP’s protest, INEC had while declaring the Plateau State governorship poll inconclusive on Monday, said a supplementary election would hold in nine LGAs and 20 polling units in the state.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State, Mr Halilu Pai, who spoke through the Head of Voter Education, Mr Osaretin Imahiyereobo, told The PUNCH in Jos on Monday that the state INEC had sent the report of the inconclusive election to the INEC headquarters in Abuja. He added that INEC headquarters would determine the date when the supplementary governorship poll would hold.

Our correspondents reported that during the governorship poll, the APC candidate, Simon Lalong, led with 583,255 votes in 11 local government areas, while the PDP candidate, Jeremiah Useni, got 538,326.

Given the 44,929 margin of lead and the total number of cancelled votes at 49,377, the Returning Officer in Plateau State, Prof. Richard Kimbir, who announced the results at the state INEC headquarters around 3am on Monday, stated that the election was inconclusive.

The total number of registered voters was put at 2,480,455, while the number of accredited voters was 1,147,025.

The total number of valid votes was 1,138,987 with 16,691 rejected votes, resulting in 1,154,678 total votes cast.

Bauchi rerun: PDP says ‘we are ready’ as APC calls for probe

In Bauchi State, the Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, declared that the election in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state was inconclusive.

According to him, the PDP candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed, got 469,512 votes against his closest rival, the incumbent Governor Mohammed Abubabakar of the APC, who got 465,453 votes.

He had said that the margin of lead between the the two candidates was 4,059 votes after cancelling the votes of Tafawa Balewa LGA which had 139,240 accredited voters.

Kyari added that the number of cancelled votes in the elections even without that of Tafawa Balewa LGA was 45,312 and therefore declared that based on Section 26 part 53 of the Electoral Act the governorship election in the state was inconclusive.

He also directed INEC to conduct a re-run election in the affected LGA within the next 21 days.

But speaking at a Press Conference at the NUJ Secretariat, Bauchi on Monday, the PDP Chairman, Hamza Akuyam, said the decision to declare the election inconclusive had confirmed the party’s earlier claims that the APC was planning to rig the election.

Akuyam, who was in company with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the DG Campaign of the party, senators Abdul Ningi, Nazif Gamawa and Isa Misau and the PDP bigwigs in Bauchi State, called for the immediate redeployment of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ibrahim Abdullahi, and the Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga.

But the APC in Bauchi State on Monday called on security agencies to probe the allegation by the Returning Officer in Tafawa Balewa LGA, Mrs Dominion Anosike, that she declared the result under duress.

The party demanded that after the investigation “whosoever is found guilty should face the wrath of the law.”

The APC also accused the PDP of “unnecessarily crying foul” over the declaration of the governorship election as inconclusive.

While blaming the PDP for the crisis in Tafawa Balewa LGA which led to the cancellation of the results, the party also said the opposition was responsible for INEC decision.

The APC chairman in the state, Alhaji Ahmed Nana, said, “The PDP is crying foul unnecessarily. The lady alleged that she was put under security threat and wrote the result under duress. I would like to call on the security agencies to probe it and whosoever is found guilty should face the wrath of the law.

“Which party was said to be winning the election? It was not the APC that forced the declaration of results under duress, but the PDP. If it was the APC that forced the Returning Officer in Tafawa Balewa to declare the result, then why would they make her give the higher votes to the PDP? Anybody doing that will do that for his party to win.

“So, you see, it is now obvious that it was the PDP that forced her to write the result that gave them victory in that area. The Collation Officer even said it there, nobody forced her to say that. In fact, we are the ones that are supposed to be saying that.”

On the rerun, the APC chairman expressed confidence that the ruling party would retain power in the state.

When contacted by one of our correspondents, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Kassim Gaidam, said a date for the rerun would be communicated as soon as a decision on the date was taken.

Tambuwal threatens legal action over Sokoto gov poll stalemate

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has threatened to approach the court and challenge the inconclusiveness of the state governorship election last Saturday.

Reacting to INEC’s decision to declare the election as inconclusive where he was leading at a press conference, Tambuwal alleged that the commission had yet to give reason for its decision.

Tambuwal, who was leading with a slim margin of 3,413 votes, also explained that, “going by Section 179, sub-section 2, of the Nigerian constitution as amended, there was no clause that gave room for inconclusiveness.

“The returning officer up till now, has not told us why the re-run in each of the polling units. The Electoral Act is very clear on reasons for re-run or inconclusive poll.

“Where there is violence or malfunctioning card reader machine, what is expected is to record zero vote in such polling unit(s).”

He said, “If INEC did not do the needful, I will approach the court to test the viability of the commission’s technicality. Votes have been cast, we are clearly ahead with the highest number of votes in more than two-thirds areas of the state, therefore, INEC needs to come back and declare the result.

“The trend from Bauchi, Sokoto, Plateau and Adamawa states is worrisome. The PDP has won the election in Sokoto and INEC should do the needful.”

Tambuwal, however, remarked that challenging INEC decision in court did not mean the party would boycott the re-run.

Supplementary poll to hold in 44 polling units in Adamawa

INEC Returning Officer in Adamawa State, Prof. Andrew Haruna, while declaring the results inconclusive around 3am on Monday, explained that a rerun was necessary because the number of votes cancelled was more than the victory margin recorded.

According to him, a total of 1,973,083 voters registered for the election while 894,481 voters were accredited for voting.

He said after the Saturday election, 40,988 votes were cancelled in 44 polling units across the state, which were more than the margin recorded between the winner and the runner-up.

The PDP candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri, led the Saturday’s election with 32,476 votes after polling 367,471 ahead of the APC candidate, Jibrilla Bindow, who scored 334,995 votes. Bindow is seeking re-election.

In an exclusive interview with one of our correspondents, the state PDP Chairman, Tahir Shehu, described INEC’s decision as unfortunate.

He added, “It is however fortunate for us because there is no magic that will make the APC score above the lead we have established. The areas where elections were cancelled are PDP strongholds and we established this during the presidential election. We are leading with 32,476 votes and the total votes we are fighting for in the rerun are 40,998 votes. We are still highly hopeful of winning.”

In Madagali, rerun will take place in three polling units while in Michika, the exercise will take place in five polling units.

At Mubi North area of the state, rerun will also take place in three polling units while Hong, Song and Demsa have four polling units each where rerun will take place.

Other areas affected are Toungo with three polling units, Numan with six units and Lamurde, Guyuk with three polling units each.

With 11,016 votes, Michika has the highest number of votes to be contested while Numan has the second highest number with 5,014 votes.

Mubi North, which is one of the strongholds of the APC candidate, has 1,978 votes to be contested. In the result earlier declared, Bindow of the APC scored 31,794 votes in Mubi North to beat the PDP candidate who scored 16,667 while in Michika, the PDP candidate scored 24,504 against Bindow’s 13,224.

APC, PDP disagree over poll cancellation in Benue

INEC on Monday declared the Benue State governorship election held on Saturday inconclusive.

The Benue State Collation/Returning Officer, Prof. Sabastine Maimaiko, during the collation and announcement of the results in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, said the candidate of the PDP, Samuel Ortom, polled 410,576 votes while his closest rival, the APC candidate, Emmanuel Jime, scored 329,022 votes.

He stated that Ortom led Jime with 81,554 votes. He, however, said that total number of registered voters/areas where elections were not held or cancelled and properly documented on Form EC40G, was 121,019.

He clarified that the margin of lead (81,554 votes) was less than 121, 019 registered voters/areas where elections were not held or cancelled.

Maimaiko said, “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, on the basis of the statistics just read out, I therefore declare this election inconclusive. INEC will conduct a supplementary election for this purpose.”

But the PDP agent, Alex Adum, opposed the declaration of the election inconclusive, saying the reason and statistics given by the Collation Officer were not appropriate by law.

He also enunciated some statistics to validate his assertion.

However, the APC state agent, Joe Abaegu, hailed the collation officer for declaring the election inconclusive, adding that his position was final.

Also the Benue State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nentawe Goshwe, countered the statistics provided by Adum, insisting that the collation officer was right in his declaration of the election inconclusive.

Inconclusive poll: Anti-democratic forces at work, says Atiku

Meanwhile, the Presidential candidate of the PDP in the last elections, Atiku Abubakar, says anti-democratic forces are at work.

He, therefore, called on INEC to act in defence of democracy.

Atiku said this amid controversies in six states of the federation.

In a Twitter post, however, Atiku said, “Anti-democratic forces are at work. My counsel to INEC is as follows: Conclude on the side of democracy. Conclude on the side of the people. Conclude on the side of the constitution. Conclude on the side of Nigeria.”

APC wins Zamfara, Kaduna, Borno, PDP sweeps Delta, Cross River

Meanwhile, in the governorship poll results declared on Monday by INEC, the APC won in Zamfara, Kaduna and Borno states while the PDP clinched the Delta and Cross River states governorship polls.

In Zamfara, Muktar Idris of the APC secured 534,541 votes to defeat Bello Matawalle of the PDP, who scored 189,452 votes out of the 810,782 votes cast across the 14 LGAs in the state.

Announcing the result, the Returning Officer, Prof. Kabir Bala, said the state had 1,717,128 registered voters, of which 823,294 were accredited during the election.

Also, the APC candidate in Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, swept aside 31 other contestants by scoring 1,175,440 votes to beat his closest opponent, Alhaji Mohammed Imam of the PDP, who garnered 66,115 votes.

Declaring Zulum the governor-elect, Prof. Alhassan Mohammed Gali, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Kasheri, Gombe State, and the returning officer of Borno Governorship Election, said 2,316, 218 were registered voters with 1,292,138 accredited to vote.

He said 1,266,967 were total valid votes, with 22,060 votes rejected out of 1,289,027 total votes cast.

Declaring Prof. Zulum the governor-elect of Borno State, Gali said the APC candidate had satisfied the requirements of scoring the highest number of votes.

Also, the Governor of Kaduna State, who is also the candidate of the APC, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has been declared the winner.

The Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Mohammed Bello, who is the returning officer, said El-Rufai polled 1,045,427 to defeat his closest rival who is the PDP candidate, Isa Ashiru, who scored 814,168.

But in Delta State the PDP candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, was declared winner by the Presiding Officer and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Prof. Seth Accra Jaja, on Monday afternoon.

The PDP candidate won in 23 out of the 25 LGAs of the state to secure a second term in office.

From the LGA results announced by Jaja, Okowa polled a total of 925,274 votes to defeat his closest rival of the APC, Chief Great Ogboru, who polled 215,938 votes.

The incumbent governor defeated his APC counterpart by a margin of 708,336 votes.

Announcing the results, Jaja described the election as keenly contested with 2,831,205 registered voters, 1,188,784 accredited voters, and 1,1783,351 votes.

But the APC state agent, Prof. Festus Arunayi, rejected the results over what he described as over-voting and violence across the polling units.

Ogboru and his party, the APC, also rejected the results, adding that the exercise was a sham that did not reflect what transpired at the polling units.

The state APC Chairman, Prophet Jones Erue, described the results released by INEC as “cooked up,” alleging that there were widespread irregularities across the state.

Erue, therefore, called for the cancellation of the exercise.

Segun Olugbile, Olusola Fabiyi, John Alechenu, Sunday Aborisade, Olufemi Atoyebi, Eniola Akinkuotu, Friday Olokor, Success Nwogu, Tobi Aworinde, Alexander Okere, Theophilus Onojeghen, Matthew Ochei, Godwin Isenyo, Kayode Idowu, Adeniyi Olugbemi, John Charles, Armstrong Bakam, James Abraham, Ted Odogwu and Hindi Livinus

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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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POLITICS

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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