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Nullification of LG polls: Osun APC heads to appeal court

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Following today’s nullification of the local government council elections conducted by the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) by the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has enjoined the political functionaries in the local governments and all the members of the party not to lose sleep over the temporary setback as the ruling party has concluded an arrangement to appeal the judgement.

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It would be recalled that His Lordship, Hon Justice Ayo-Nathaniel Emmanuel in his judgement declared the local government council elections that were conducted by the OSSIEC on October 15, 2022 as illegal, null and void, having not conducted in consonance with the Electoral Act of 2022.

The court ordered the local government chairmen and councillors of the said elections to vacate local government secretariats and offices with immediate effect.

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According to the State Deputy Chairman of the APC, Sooko Taju Lawal, in a statement issued by Kola Olabisi, the Media Adviser to the state chapter of the APC in Osogbo, the Osun State capital today, the development was just a temporary setback which would be redressed in an appellate court.

Lawal told the council political functionaries and all the members of the party to continue to embrace peace and shun any manner of provocation that may emanate from the Federal High Court judgement.

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He reminded them that under no circumstance must they lose their composure and placidity as addent believers in the rules of law.

Taju stated that the hallmark of any progressive politician is always the willingness to act in tandem with the rules of law.

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In the State Deputy Chairman’s words: “Our party is taking all necessary legal steps to ensure that the judgement that nullified the local government council elections would not stand.

“We need your continued co-operation to weather the storm with an assurance that there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel”, Lawal stated.

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In another development, the state chapter of the APC also assured the party members and stakeholders that the ongoing litigation at the tribunal over the last governorship election in the state was on course.

Lawal who enjoined the APC stakeholders to continue with their ceaseless prayers in order to reclaim the stolen mandate of Governor Gboyega Oyetola by the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate disclosed that there’s nothing that prayers cannot do.

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The State Deputy Chairman of the APC stated that the State Election Petition Tribunal has issued a fresh order, directing the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce the Certificates and other documents of the state Governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke used in the 2018 governorship election.

The order followed the failure of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the commission to produce the certificates in the previous sitting in compliance with the Subpoena issued on the commission.

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Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is challenging the declaration of Adeleke as Governor-elect by the INEC.

At its resumed sitting on Friday, the tribunal, Chaired by Justice Tertsea Kume ruled that the mere appearance of the representative of REC has not answered the Subpoena on the commission to produce the documents.

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In the ruling, the tribunal said an application for Subpoena is in Administrative Act and when it is granted, it becomes Judicial Act and the party upon which the Subpoena is issued must comply, citing Section 218 and 219 of the evidence act.

It ruled: “An order of the court is bound to be complied with by the party upon which it was made until it is set aside by the court. In the instant case the order has not been complied with.”

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The tribunal further held that the request by the respondents that the petitioners should continue with the calling of the witness whose testimony is hanged on the Adeleke’s credentials was baseless, as the petitioners has the absolute prerogative on how to conduct their case.

The panel said the application was consequent to the failures of the state REC of the commission to produce the documents requested in the Subpoena.

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According to the ruling, the Petitioners’ have shown sufficient reasons for the tribunal to compel the the National Chairman of INEC to produce the documents in question.

It then dismissed all the objections raised by the counsel for INEC, Adeleke and PDP and compelled the National Chairman of the commission to produce the documents in the next sitting of the panel on Thursday, December 1.

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Counsel for the Petitioners, Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, described the ruling as a well researched one, saying it would go a long way in serving the course of justice in the hearing of the petition.

Addressing journalists shortly after the proceedings, Chief Olujinmi, said the court has done the right thing for reordering INEC to produce the requested documents containing Adeleke’s certificates.

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He added: “The respondents, as we said during the last sitting, didn’t want to produce that document and that was why we had to argue at length to persuade the tribunal to reorder, which they eventually made today.

“The effect of this is that the INEC is now under a binding obligation to produce these documents at the next appearance in court on Thursday December 1st, 2022,” he added.

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Counsel for INEC, Professor Paul Ananaba, SAN also conceded that they were ready now to follow the order of the court by producing the requested documents.

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APC Lists Condition For Tinubu To Participate In A Debate With Peter Obi

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By Gloria Ikibah

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that its Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party, cannot engage in a debate.

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After Obi must have presented his platform and demonstrated his political prowess as a former governor of Anambra state, the APC stated that it would prefer to send one of Tinubu’s media aides to engage in a debate with him.

Spokesperson for the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, stated this even as he accused Obi of withholding his manifesto from Nigerians before the general elections of 2023.

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He said the LP presidential flagbearer must meet certain requirements before Keyamo will allow him to debate with the former governor of Lagos state. One of the requirements listed by the APC was that Obi identify his political mentor from the time he was governor until the present.

He declared that the APC would send one of its spokespersons to engage in an open discussion with Obi if the prerequisites were met.

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“They have no manifesto, so what are we debating?” Keyamo questioned. Which records are we comparing? He declared that Nigerians should rely on his own judgement rather than any document.

“So, who will Asiwaju be debating with next?” Are they making fun of this campaign?

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“Before Obi and Asiwaju can debate side by side, they should each release a manifesto for public review. Then, Obi should compare his tangible achievements as the governor of Anambra State to Asiwaju’s tangible achievements as the governor of Lagos State. Then, he should list the people he has mentored in politics while serving as governor and who are still working with him today. Lastly, he should list any political parties he has founded or worked with to found that he is still a member of today.

“Then he should list his democratic credentials, that is, what he did to help usher in democracy after the military took over, and what he has since done, better than Asiwaju, to maintain our democracy.

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“After all of this, we will send one of our spokespersons to engage him in discussion,” he said.

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2023: We’ll decide presidential candidate Rivers will follow soon- Wike

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By Francesca Iwambe

Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has told residents to wait for his decision on the presidential candidate to vote for in 2023.

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Wike said they should, however, vote massively for the candidates of the PDP in other positions such as governorship, National Assembly and House of Assembly.

Speaking on Tuesday while inaugurating the Rukpoku-Izo-Ogbodo-Igwuruta link road constructed by his administration, the Governor said they were still talking on the issue of the 2023 presidential election and whom they would support for the poll.

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Wike said: “We have started doing Eneka internal roads phases one and two, Eneka to Igbo Etche, we are doing the SAARs Road going straight to Rikpogbodu. Remember from Eledo down to Rikpogbodu and Obirikwere road, I was the one who did it. I have now done Rumuakwu to Eneka road; Rumuakwu to Igwuruta link road.

“So, you are the ones owing us now. You did first for us and we retaliated by doing for you. Now we have come to ask you again to come and do for us. If you do for us, it means we will come and do for you again.

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“You will vote for our governor, our Senatorial Candidates, House of Rep’ candidates and Assembly candidates. Then the other one I will come and tell you where you will vote. Don’t worry calm down, these ones I have mentioned now make sure you come and vote for them. Very soon, we will meet in our houses and take a decision where we are going to. We are still talking”.

Towards the end of his speech, the Governor stressed he was concerned only about Rivers PDP and its candidates saying “it is carry go” for the candidates from the State.

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He said: “I have seen the picture of how here was. If you are doing business here or live here go and put the picture in front of your house. As you wake up, you see the state of the road before and now.

“It will make you to say this is the government we believe in and this is the party at the state level, listen to what I said ‘party at the state level we believe in’. At the state level this party is doing well and you must continue with us. I am speaking on a national TV. I want anybody anywhere to hear me. They won’t do me anything and they don’t have the capacity to try me”.

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He added: “These other people know there is no way they can win Rivers State. They are only making noise to go collect money from people so that at the end of the day they will say they were rigged out.

“Who and who are following you? Which local government will you win and who are those there that will make you to win elections. There are opinion leaders that are influencers of people. You must vote for a party that has brought dividends of democracy.

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“All about governance is the happiness of the people. Some people say they were governors for eight years, they didn’t do anything. So we have done our part”.

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Peter Obi: If you truly love Igbo drop your presidential ambition-Anambra youths

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A coalition of youths in Anambra State has asked the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, to bury his ambition, if he truly loves Igbo.

They said his entry into the race would spoil the chances of Ndigbo becoming the president after 2023 without proper alliance with other ethnic groups.

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Briefing reporters yesterday in Awka, Anambra State, the National Leader of the coalition, Dr. Chinedu Ekwealor, said Obi’s entry into the presidential race was to give an advantage to one of the leading parties, All Progressives Congress (APC), to win the election.

The group said: “Our brother, Peter Obi, does not have this alliance and knows very well that an irate social media mob does not, and cannot, make him president.

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“Obi’s presidential run is sabotage to Ndigbo. What he has only succeeded in doing is increasing APC’s chances of winning the election by depleting the votes of the Southeast for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“The implication is that the South Easterners will have to stay out of power for a minimum of another 16 years.

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“This is because after Tinubu (if he wins), power will return to the North for another eight years, leaving Ndigbo out for another 16 solid years.

 

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“If Obi truly loves Ndigbo, he should step down forthwith and strategise with other well-meaning Igbo elite in charting a way forward for the Igbo nation.

“We repeat, the presidency is not won on the premise of wishful thinking and hullabaloo of an untamed mob, who probably do not even understand the need for a pathway for the Igbo nation, pushing for a new narrative for the Igbo nation.”

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