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Supreme court strikes out APC suit on exclusion from Rivers poll

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The supreme court has struck out the appeals filed by Tonye Cole and the Rivers chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the exclusion of the party from fielding candidates for the 2019 elections.

A Rivers state high court had nullified the candidacy of Cole and Magnus Abe, who emerged governorship candidates of different factions of the APC in Rivers.

The court also nullified all direct and indirect primaries conducted by both factions of the APC in the state.

Cole enjoyed the support of Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, while Abe, senator representing Rivers south-east, kicked against Amaechi’s choice of Cole.

Cole and his faction of the APC had lost all previous attempts to get judgements in their favour at the federal high court and appeal court.

But not relenting, they filled three appeals before the apex court, challenging the judgment of the appellate court.

The suits listed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Abe as respondents.

At the hearing of the appeals on Thursday, Jibrin Okutepa, counsel to the APC, argued that the court of appeal never affirmed the judgment of the state high court nullifying its primaries.

He said the court only made a pronouncement that the appeals were academic.

However, Emmanuel Ukala, counsel to PDP, told the court that the notice of appeal filed by the APC was defective.

Delivering judgment on the case, a seven-man panel led by Ibrahim Muhammad, held that three appeals were “defective, incompetent and could not be heard by the court”

The judge said rather than the heading of the appeals to read “Reliefs sought from the Supreme Court,” it was wrongly headed “Reliefs sought from the Court of Appeal.”

Muhammad said the implication of the error was that the appellant did not seek any relief from the apex court, and thereby contravened the court’s rules, and rendering the appeal incompetent.

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INEC Server Controversy: Atiku denies planning street protest

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The runner up in February’s presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has denied planning to lead a street protest over the controversy surrounding the election result.

Mr Abubakar of the PDP is challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC at the election tribunal.

One of his main grounds of contesting the result is that the officially declared result is different from that on the computer server of the electoral commission, INEC.

INEC has, however, denied that it had such server for the election.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Paul Ibe, on Sunday, Mr Abubakar said reports he was planning to lead a protest on the matter was false.

Read Mr Ibe’s full statement below.

Statement in circulation on INEC Server is handiwork of mischief makers to mar Atiku Abubakar’s spotless pro-democratic record, lay the groundwork on false charges against him

Abuja, Nigeria, 16 June 2019: Our attention has been drawn to a statement circulating in a section of the media, to the effect that Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of PDP in the 2019 presidential election and Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007 plans to lead a street protest in the event that the election petition tribunal rules against his him and his party on the issue of a server for the Independent National Electoral Commission.

I wish to emphatically state that such a statement did not emanate from Atiku Abubakar or his privies. It is the work of mischief makers who want to mar his spotless pro-democratic record and lay the ground work for their threatened actions against him on false charges of being a threat to national security.

For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar believes in the Rule of Law and in the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In his almost four decades in politics, he has never taken action or spoken words against democracy and will not start now.

Atiku Abubakar and his team have confidence in God and thus call on those bent on mischief to have the fear of God and retrace their steps. Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. The culture of fear being created now cannot rein in our democracy. Nigeria and Nigerians have a consistent history of outlasting tyranny and will continue to do so by the grace of God.

Paul Ibe

Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar

Presidential candidate of PDP & Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007.

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Kogi 2019: Stakeholders, PDP drag Victor Adoji into guber race

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Barring any last-minute changes, top banker Dr. Victor Adoji, is expected to declare his intention to contest the November 16th governorship election in the state under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, platform.

Adoji, the candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, for the senate seat of Kogi East Constituency, in the just concluded National Assembly elections, has been adjudged as the best chance of the PDP in the quest to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.

Those who hold the position say Adoji’s campaign structure during the last election was one which can partner with the formidable PDP platform in the state to win the election against the incumbent, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Adoji had returned to the PDP family on the 21st of April 2019 with his teeming supporters, few weeks after he was robbed of the senatorial victory.

Asked whether he (Adoji) can overcome other big players in the party primaries including Senator Dino Melaye and Rear Admiral Jibrin, the stakeholders insisted that his engagement style will easily win him the PDP ticket and as well see him defeat others at the election in November.

The stakeholders say that Dr. Adoji despite being in a relatively unknown party introduced innovative and pace-setting political strategies and innovation that swept the electorate off their feet across Kogi East Senatorial zone. This they say, can grab the seat for the party if properly deployed across the state.

During the just concluded senatorial election, Adoji is said to have met all stakeholders that needed to be met. These included youth groups, farmers, teachers, traders, widows, persons with disabilities, road transport workers, okada association, CAN, bishops, imams, students, traditional rulers, the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa communities, women groups and many associations.

He also attended 418 town hall meetings, 702 closed door meetings and 87 private meetings. The Adoji campaign train is also recorded to have sent the most innovative bulk SMS, done Robocalls, made personal calls and put up blimps and banner boards (first of its kind in Kogi State) as well as run the best issue-based campaign built on a social contract with the people.

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Kogi Guber 2019: Outrage As Ibrahim Idris Plans To Impose Son As PDP Guber candidate

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Former governor of Kogi State, Mr. Ibrahim Idris is said to be courting trouble with his alleged move to impose his son, Abubakar as the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the November 2019 governorship election in the state is fast approaching.

This alleged plan was said to have caused disaffection within the party with some party stalwarts vowing to resist the move and ensure that a popular candidate emerges after a credible primary election.

Sources revealed that the party has since been thrown into confusion and that Ibrahim Idris has been told not to make any move that would “allow the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have a field day during the election.”

PDP members in the state were said to have warned that the party should not allow what happened during the 2019 election repeat itself and that any attempt to impose a governorship candidate on the party would be counterproductive and vehemently resisted.

Some members of the PDP in Kogi State accused Ibrahim Idris of mismanaging the state as governor, adding that it was his carelessness that led to the defeat of the party in 2015, and that “we have had enough of Ibrahim Idris and we cannot allow him to spoil our chances through the imposition of his son, Abubakar on our party.”

Ibrahim Idris aka Ibro was accused of extorting money from those vying to succeed him then with a promise of allotting them the governorship slot, and that he had already started playing the same game now, promising the deputy governor’s slot to those who can pay.

They maintained that Ibro had turned the deputy governorship slot into a money-making machine.

According to them, this is a replica of what he did in 2015 over the governorship slot, and that politicians were currently trooping in and out of his Abuja residence to lobby for the number two post.

It was revealed that Ibro had been smiling to the bank on a daily basis as those he had approached had been sending money to him.

Sources revealed that one of the ways the the ex-governor planned to impose his son on the party was by ensuring that exorbitant nomination fee was charged by the party, which they said had driven many “good potential candidates out of the PDP into other parties.”

Aspirants have been allegedly charged N75 Million as nomination form fee without any cogent reason and according to a source “this is uncalled for and no one can justify why such a huge amount of money is being charged, when we are not the ruling party in the state.”

Sources added that the strategy was similar to the one used during the 2019 NASS/Presidential Election “when high nomination fees were used to push out potentially good candidates.”

They however, warned that this might cost the party the coveted seat and that it might affect the ambition of the party to take over power from the ruling APC in the state.

Some stalwarts of the party stated that it would be wrong to allow Ibrahim Idris to go back to reckoning as they described his tenure of office as disastrous.

Idris was accused of losing touch with reality in Kogi, and it was pointed out that his recent interview, where he said that he had no idea of the prevailing hardship in the state, was an evidence that neither he nor his son had anything good to offer.

Several members of the PDP in the state stated that if Idris was allowed to have his way then the party should forget about taking over from the APC in November 2019, adding that this would be disastrous as the people of Kogi State were said to be tired of the alleged misrule of Governor Yahaya Bello of the state, who was alleged to have destroyed the state in the last four years of being in office.

They posited that the party should be allowed to choose whoever it wanted as governorship candidate and that time had come to position Kogi State for real development.

“Ibrahim Idris should jettison his ambition. We all remember how he ran the state aground as governor. How can we now allow him to come back through his son to further destroy what is left of the state.

“Even a blind man knows that Kogi State has not been lucky with governors. “We recollect how former governor Ibrahim Idris siphoned the funds of the state to build his business empire and hotels spread across Lagos, Abuja and Dubal and built several mansions all over the country.

“As if that was not enough, we had Yahaya Bello from the APC, whose tenure is the worst in the history of the state.

“So we cannot afford another experiment in the person of Abubakar Idris, enough is enough,” said some stalwarts of the party, who called on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP to “come to our aid and save Kogi State PDP from total destruction.”

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