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Edo Guber: APC Crisis Deepens As Idahosa Writes INEC, Demands Recognition As Candidate

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The crisis birthed by the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State has taken a new dimension as an aspirant in the election, Hon Dennis Idahosa has written to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), requesting the election umpire not to receive any other name as the candidate of the party apart from him.

In a letter written by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), marked: WOC/ABJ/VOL.01/074/2024, dated, March 4th, 2024 and addressed to Mahmud Yakubu, Idahosa said a legal action with Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/274/2024 between himself vs Sen. Monday Okpebholo, the APC and the INEC had already been instituted.

In the letter addressed to the INEC chairman, the House of Representatives member and aspirant in the governorship primary is claiming the candidacy of the party.

Idahosa who urged INEC to take cognizance of the suit, insisted that he won the February 17 2024 exercise monitored by the INEC where he was declared winner.

He added that there was no basis for the supplementary election ordered by the leadership of the party as no reason was given for the decision.

He also argued that the 20th February was not a standalone election but a continuation of the February 17th exercise and so the results of the 17th exercise cannot be jettisoned.

READ ALSO: [JUST IN] Edo Poll: Ex-Labour Party Guber Aspirant Resigns From Party

He said: “The record of INEC/the Commission will show that, under your leadership, the Commission monitored the Edo State APC primary election for the nomination of the Governorship candidate of the APC pursuant to the prior notification that the primary election will specifically hold on 17th February, 2024.

“The primary election was indeed held, and our client garnered 40,453 votes (a copy of the result certified by INEC is attached herein as Annexure 1).

“INEC’s report of monitoring the election confirms that, at the end of the process, our client was returned as the duly elected candidate of the APC (a copy of the INEC report as certified by the Commission is attached as Annexure 2).

“The APC primary election committee that conducted the election also confirmed that our client won the election as evidenced by a report signed by all members of the committee (without a single instance of dissent).

READ ALSO: Primary: Four Edo APC Governorship Aspirants Reject Uzodimma

“Our client is aware that the APC subsequently confirmed to INEC that the primary election held as scheduled on 17th February, 2024; however, without giving any reason, indicated that the election was inconclusive and will be completed on 22nd February, 2024 and invited INEC to monitor the completion exercise.

“At the end and in respect of the completion exercise, Sen. Monday Okpebholo was said to have scored 12, 433 votes whilst our client was allocated 6,541 votes. Sen. Monday Okpebholo scored 100 votes at the primary election of 17th February, 2024 (a copy of the result sheet from the completion primary election on 22nd February, 2024 certified by INEC is attached as Annexure 3).

“Our client disagrees that the primary election of 17th February, 2024 was inconclusive or that there was any basis to schedule what was described as a completion of the process. Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/ 274/2024 has been instituted to ventilate that challenge.

“As things stand, INEC is in custody of two results for the APC primary election for the 2024 Governorship election in Edo State (one dated 17th February, 2024, and the other dated 23rd February, 2024).

READ ALSO: Edo APC Gov Candidate Gets Party’s Certificate Of Return

“The summation of the votes in both results demonstrates clearly that our client won the primary election even if his votes from the 17th February, 2024 results are the only ones reckoned with.

“Put differently, an addition of the votes of all the other aspirants from both results will neither match nor supersede our client’s votes from 17th February, 2024.At best (assuming it is valid), the completion primary election of 22nd February, 2024 was a supplementary election.

“Fortunately, the Commission under your leadership has had cause to conduct supplementary elections including the 2018 governorship election in Osun State where a winner was declared by INEC upon a summation of the votes from the main and supplementary election.

READ ALSO: [JUST IN] Edo APC Primary: Protest Rocks Party Secretariat In Benin

“The decision of the Commission to make a return incorporating both balloting exercises (since they were part of the same process) was affirmed by the Supreme Court in Adeleke v. Oyetola (2020) 6 NWLR (Pt. 1721) 440 at 555. Prior to the Osun scenario, INEC had also declared the 2016 governorship election in Kogi State inconclusive and conducted a supplementary election.

“The Commission declared a winner upon the summation of the votes from both balloting exercises and the correctness of the same was affirmed by the Supreme Court in Faleke v. INEC (2016) 18 NWLR (Pt. 1543) 61 at 121.

“The representation by APC to INEC that the process of 22nd February,2024,was a completion acknowledges that it is not a standalone and indeed has its foundation in the election of 17th February, 2024.

“In the prevailing circumstances, it has thus become compelling that the Commission maintains fidelity with its earlier referenced precedents in Kogi and Osun States and takes full cognizance of the results from the 17th February, 2024 primary election in accepting and subsequently publishing the nomination of APC’s candidate.

“The Commission will also appreciate that there are pending reliefs for injunction in Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/274/2024 and are urged not to take any step that will either pre-empt the court or prejudice the ongoing judicial process.”

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Ganduje’s Suspension: Kano APC Ward Leaders Drag High Court Judge Before NJC

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Peeved by the exparte order granted by Justice Usman Mallam Na’abba of the Kano State High Court which restrained Abdullahi Umar Ganduje from parading himself as National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Ganduje Ward chapter of the party in Dawakin Tofa local government has dragged Justice Na’abba before the National Judicial Council, ( NJC).

The exparte motion was filed by Dr Ibrahim Sa’ad Esq on behalf of two executive members of APC Ganduje ward, Dawakin-Tofa local government area; the assistant secretary, Laminu Sani; and legal adviser, Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs); who was part of the nine ward executive who had on Monday suspended the former Kano state governor as a member of the party.

Checks revealed that Justice Na’abba also held as prayed, stopped the State Working Committee of the APC Kano, from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

In a petition signed by the 27 Ward Executives, dated 17th April 2024 and addressed to the NJC chairman and Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, they accused Justice Na’abba of gross misconduct in granting the exparte order which axed Abdullahi Ganduje as APC National Chairman.

The petition reads in part: “We the Executive Committee members of Ganduje Ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State write to formally bring to your attention and seek intervention concerning the actions of Hon. Justice Usman Mallam Na’abba, presiding over Court 4 of the High Court of Kano State, in a ruling involving our Party, the All Progressives Congress APC.

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Confusion As Yahaya Bello, EFCC In Arrest, Counter-arrest Warrant’s War After Abuja’s Show Down

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Alhaji Yahaya Bello, former Kogi State Governor, has ran to a High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, to seek solace hours after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, laid siege to his Abuja residence.

The former governor on Wednesday evening obtained a court order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from infringing on his fundamental human rights.

This is coming as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday morning, laid a siege to his house, located at Wuse Zone 4, Abuja less than one week after the embattled immediate-past governor met with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The former governor had been at loggerheads with the EFCC over his multi-billion naira fraud case leveled against him by the anti-graft agency.

According to Daily Sun report EFCC had last week gotten the nod of President Tinubu and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi to prosecute Bello.

Bello, alongside his nephew and other former government officials, allegedly siphoned over N80 billion while he held sway as governor.

Over 140 properties have also been linked to the embattled former governor, both in Nigeria and abroad.

But in a two hour judgment delivered on Wednesday, at the High Court 4 and presided over by Hon. Justice I.A Jamil, in suit no HCL/68/M/2020, the court restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant except as authorised by the Court.

This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given.

The judgment followed the suit brought before the court by Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the applicant, seeking to enforce his fundamental rights against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Earlier in the judgement, the Court dismissed the issue of jurisdiction as challenged by the EFCC.

The Applicant’s Counsel SA Abbas and MS Yusuf, described the judgment as landmark while the Defendant Counsel, T.U Odima and Patrick O. Jibril also aligned themselves to the judgment, describing it as thorough.

Meanwhile, in what appear as a counter order, a Federal High Court Sitting in Abuja has granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, warrant to arrest the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the warrant on Wednesday, April 17, at the instance of the EFCC.

According to the Judge, Bello’s arrest is preparatory to his arraignment on Thursday, April 18.

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Just in: Ganduje hands over to deputy after Kano Court affirms his suspension(Photo)

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A Kano State High Court has restrained the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, from parading himself as a member of the party.

This is just as Ganduje hands over to his deputy.

Justice Usman Malam Na’abba, on Wednesday, made the order, following an exparte motion filed by Dr Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of two APC executive members of Ganduje ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area.

The plaintiffs are the party’s Assistant Secretary, Laminu Sani, and its Legal Adviser, Haladu Gwanjo.

The duo are among the nine ward executive members who suspended Ganduje from the party at the ward level, two days ago.

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