23-Dec-2023  INEC announces February 3 for Re-run, By-elections in 9 States

INEC announces February 3 for Re-run, By-elections in 9 States

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed February 3 for the conduct of Re-run and By-election in nine States.

Sam Olumekun, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information Voter Education Committee said this in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for Elections released in Abuja on Friday.

Olumekun said that the Commission approved the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the By-election resulting from Resignations or demise of Members of the National and State Houses of Assembly.

He said that the Vacancies were declared by the Presiding Officers i.e. the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Speakers of State Houses of Assembly.

“The Vacancies occurred across two Senatorial Districts, four Federal Constituencies, and three State Constituencies spanning nine States of the Federation.

“Furthermore, the Commission is conducting Re-run Elections stemming from the 2023 General Election, as directed by various Election Petition Appeal Tribunals.

“Currently, 35 Constituencies are affected by these Court-ordered Elections. While three cover entire Constituencies, others involve only a few Polling Units.

“Both Categories of Elections are scheduled to take place simultaneously in all affected Constituencies on Saturday, February 3,” he said.

Olumekun said that the Timetable for the Elections, along with detailed Delimitation Data (i.e. Registration Areas, PU Names, the number of Registered Voters and PVCs collected), had been uploaded to INEC Website and Social Media Platforms as a Guide to Political Parties and Candidates, and for Public Information.

He urged Political Parties and Candidates to strictly adhere to the specified Timelines for the conduct of the Elections.

23-Dec-2023 Signed Agreement: Rivers Elders take Tinubu, Fubara, INEC to Court

Signed Agreement: Rivers Elders take Tinubu, Fubara, INEC to Court

No fewer than six Elders in Rivers have dragged President Bola Tinubu and others to the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly compelling Governor Siminilaya Fubara to sign what they describe as an Unconstitutional Agreement.

The Plaintiffs, in the Process sighted are Victor Jumbo, Member, Rivers House of Assembly, Bennett Birabi, Andrew Uchendu, Rear Admiral O. P. Fingesi, Ann Kio Briggs and Emmanuel Deinma.

According to the Plaintiffs, the Agreement,  signed on December 18, is not only illegal but amounts to usurpation, nullification, and undermining of the extant/binding relevant Provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The Plaintiffs held that both the President and the Governor do not have the Statutory Powers to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), from conducting fresh Elections to replace the 27 Rivers Lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress, (APC).

The Plaintiffs asked the Court to, among other things, determine whether the President, the Governor, and the Rivers Assembly have the right to enter into any Agreement that has the effect of nullifying or undermining the Constitutional/Legal potency of the Provisions of Section 109(I)(g) and (2) of the Constitution.

Listed as Defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1718/2023 are the President and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
Others are  Governor Fubara, the Rivers Assembly, Speaker of the Rivers Assembly, and the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu.

The Court, had only a few days ago, issued an Injunction preventing INEC from conducting fresh Elections to fill the Seats of the defected Lawmakers.
The Ruling was delivered by Justice Donatus Okorowo following an Ex-Parte Motion moved by the defected Lawmakers’ Counsel, Peter Onuh.

The Court restrained INEC, PDP, and the House of Assembly from declaring the Defectors’ Seats vacant or withdrawing their Certificates of Return pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.

Additionally, the Court issued an Interim Injunction restraining the Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Service (DSS) from denying or withdrawing Security Details for the Lawmakers.
 The matter was adjourned until December 28 for the hearing of the Motion on Notice.
14-Dec-2023 Rivers House of Assembly declares Seats of 25 Members vacant

Rivers House of Assembly declares Seats of 25 Members vacant

  1. The Rivers House of Assembly has moved a Motion declaring vacant the 25 Seats of Members who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Motion was unanimously supported by the Four-Member Assembly, led by Edison Ehie (PDP-Ahoada 11), during Wednesday’s Plenary.

In his remark, Ehie said that the House had received Notices and Correspondences including Newspaper Publications from 25 Members of the House on their formal defection from PDP to the APC.

“We are aware that it is the Right of Members and for every Nigerian as regards Freedom of Association.

“While we respect that Constitutional Right, we are also mindful as a Legislative Assembly of our allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and our Oaths of Office to defend the Constitution which is our Guide.

“The actions of these Honourable Members and Colleagues who have been on suspension is a gross violation of the Constitution which provides that a Member of the State House of Assembly shall only defect to another Party other than the Party on whose Platform they were elected if there is a division or crises in the Parent Party.

‘As we all know, there is no crisis in our great Party, the PDP, therefore, the Provision of Section 109 , Sub 1, Paragraph G of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended attracts a vacation of the Seats of these affected Members,” Ehie said.

He also noted that there is no crisis or division in the Party (PDP) as it had continued to operate with an undivided National Leadership.

“Our party Structure at the State level is also intact with a Working Committee led by Chukwu Emeka as our State Party Chairman,” he added.

24-Nov-2023 Put your People first, you are their Servants, Tinubu tells Uzodinma, Ododo

Put your People first, you are their Servants, Tinubu tells Uzodinma, Ododo

President Bola Tinubu has advised Governors elected on the Platform of the governing All Progressives’ Congress (APC) to always put the interest of the People first and work for the good of their States.

He said this when he received Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi, the returning Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, and the Governor-Elect of Kogi, Ahmed Ododo, in Abuja, on Friday.

A statement by Presidential Spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said that the President expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Elections, which he described as free, fair, and peaceful.

“You worked hard for this victory. I am very proud of you, but the real challenge has only started, and it will stare you in the face.

“That is the challenge of Good Governance. Make sure that everyone is carried along. You are now the Servants of the People. To God be all the glory for the victories, and may God guide you.

“Once the People of Nigeria and their concerns are the focal point of your plans and actions, not only will Governance be easier for you, but you will enhance the Value of your States and the Masses of the People will have new opportunities to grow and enjoy a new Standard of Living.

“This must be your driving focus as Governors, especially as Governors elected on the Platform of our great Party.

“Two out of three is not a bad way to start. We will focus not on winning the Elections alone, but on delivering for the People.

“They are Sovereign, and when we achieve what we promise, Voters will respect us. We will work with you at the Sub-National Levels, and we will uphold the strength and superior excellence that is symbolised by the Eagle on our Coat of Arms,” the President said.

The National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje, who led the Governors-Elect and APC Stalwarts to meet with Tinubu, said the Party’s Candidates conducted themselves with integrity as directed by the President during the Elections, and that the Party had conceded victory to the opposition in Bayelsa State.

“We lost the Election in Bayelsa, and we have conceded in good faith. You directed that the Elections should be free, fair, and peaceful, and it was so,” Ganduje said.

Speaking on behalf of who contested Governorship Elections on the Platform of the Party, Uzodinma thanked the President for providing strong and purposeful Leadership at the Centre, saying that enabled and energised their Campaigns.

“We won because of the Leadership you demonstrated. The Country was struggling, but the Economy has been responding to the Reforms and rapid-response strategy you have put in place,” he said.

21-Nov-2023 Moro emerges Senate Minority Leader amidst controversy over Ngwu's choice as Minority Chief Whip

Moro emerges Senate Minority Leader amidst controversy over Ngwu's choice as Minority Chief Whip

The Senate on Tuesday appointed Abba Moro (PDP- Benue) as Minority Leader and Osita Ngwu (PDP-Enugu) as Minority Chief Whip. Moro replaced Simon Mwadkwon (Plateau –North) who was sacked by the Court of Appeal, while Ngwu replaced Dalington Nwokocha (LP-Abia) also sacked by the Appeal Court.

President of Senate, Godswill Akpabio who announced the new Leaders said their Appointment was based on the endorsement of the Minority Senators.

He said 41 Senators endorsed Moro’s Appointment, while 31 Senators endorsed Ngwu’s Appointment.

However, Okey Ezeh (LP-Enugu) citing a Point of Order opposed the Appointment of Ngwu as Minority Chief Whip, saying that it was unfair for the seven LP Senators that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Lawmakers were given all Minority Positions.

He said that the Minority Caucus had only resolved to adopt Morro as the Minority Leader, while the Meeting on who became the Minority Chief Whip would continue at a later time.

Tony Nwoye (LP-Anambra) alleged that the Senate Leadership was complicit in the selection of Minority Leaders.

Nwoye said the Minority Parties deserved the right to choose their Leaders without undue influence and interference.

Adamu Alero (PDP-Kebbi) said the Minority Caucus had held a Meeting nominating Morro as the new Minority Leader and mandated him to present the Signatories of Minority Senators who endorsed him as the Minority Leader.

“On the nomination of the Minority Chief Whip, two Nominees were presented; Signatories are still been collated. Another Meeting was scheduled to conclude the Process of Nomination of a Minority Chief Whip,” he said.

Alero said the Minority Caucus was yet to mandate him to present a Nomination for the position of Minority Chief Whip.

Akpabio, however, said he announced the Minority Leadership Positions based on the Information and Documents presented to him.

He said that 41 Signatories endorsed Moro as new Minority Leader, while Nomination of Ngwu had 31 Senators who signed in his support.

Akpabio said he had ruled over their Nominations and Appointment.

“Any Senator who has a contrary Motion on the Ruling should follow the Senate Rule and come up with a counter Motion,” he said. 

11-Nov-2023 Kogi Poll: INEC suspends Election in 9 Registration Areas over malpractices

Kogi Poll: INEC suspends Election in 9 Registration Areas over malpractices

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended Election in nine Registration Area (RAs) in Kogi over of incidences of Electoral Malpractices.

The Commission confirmed this in a statement issued by the National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Haruna, on Saturday.

Haruna said that INEC received Reports from its Officials in Kogi on incidences of Electoral Malpractices, particularly the incident of Result Sheets completed before Voting.

“Reports indicate that the incidents occurred in Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi and Okene Local Government Areas. The most serious incidents occurred in Ogori/Magongo, affecting nine of 10 Registration Areas.

“This is entirely unacceptable. Any result not emanating from the Commission’s Process in the Polling Units will not be accepted.

“The Commission is determined not to reward bad behaviour. Consequently, the Election in the nine Wards in Ogori/Magongo LGA (Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu) is at this moment suspended,” he said.

Haruna said that the incidences in the other Local Government Areas were being thoroughly investigated, and the outcome, including the way forward, would be announced in the next 24 hours.

“Meanwhile, as the Processes continue, we follow the audit trail of Personnel and Materials to ascertain those who may have been complicit in undermining the Process.

“We have a record of all Officials deployed at various levels as Supervisors, Monitors, Technical Staff or Polling Unit Officials and all Election Materials issued to them. Appropriate sanctions will be applied where necessary,“ he said.

Haruna assured Voters in Kogi that their Votes were protected and their wishes would be respected.

11-Nov-2023 Jonathan to Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Electorate: Eschew violence, vote peacefully

Jonathan to Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Electorate: Eschew violence, vote peacefully

Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has charged Politicians and their Followers to eschew violence and conduct themselves in a peaceful and lawful manner, in Saturday’s Governorship Elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States.

Jonathan made the call in a statement by his Media Aide, Ikechukwu Eze, in Abuja on Friday.

Jonathan also urged the Electoral Management Body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Security Agencies to be professional and patriotic in the discharge of their responsibilities during and after the Elections.

The former President said that Democracy drew its strength from the People, adding that “a man who means well for his People would not recruit thugs to maim and kill the very People he wants to govern.”

Reiterating that nobody’s Political ambition is worth the blood of any Citizen, Jonathan urged all Stakeholders to jettison actions that could jeopardise the peaceful conduct of the Elections.

“As Citizens of Voting Age in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi to go to the Polls for the Governorship Elections on Saturday, I urge all Electorate and Politicians to avoid violence and conduct themselves in a peaceful and lawful manner.

“Let us refrain from all activities that will jeopardise the collective peace and stability of our States and our Country.

“Let us resist the temptation and inducements that may be deployed as Agents of destruction.

“For Democracy to endure and be impactful, we must ensure that the Leadership recruitment process, especially Elections, are credible, transparent, fair and peaceful.

“I urge the Electoral Management Body, Security Agencies and other Stakeholders to be professional and patriotic in the discharge of their responsibilities during and after the Elections.

“Democracy draws its strength from the People; let us work to strengthen the confidence of the People by ensuring that the Electoral Process is peaceful and transparent,“ the former President said.

Jonathan added that it was the collective responsibility of all Stakeholders to allow the People to choose their Leaders peacefully.

11-Nov-2023 Police: Any Policeman employed by Politicians to disrupt Bayelsa Poll will regret the day he was born

Police: Any Policeman employed by Politicians to disrupt Bayelsa Poll will regret the day he was born

The Police have vowed to go after fake Security Personnel recruited by Politicians to compromise Saturday’s Governorship Election in Bayelsa.

Daniel Sokari-Pedro, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) for South South, told Journalists on Friday in Yenagoa that the Police would track and arrest the fake Law Enforcement Agents.

He said that the intention of such Politicians was to cause problem and disrupt the Electoral Process.

The alert by the Police may not be unconnected with Reports that some Politicians have provided Military Uniforms for thugs recruited to disrupt the Election.

Sokari-Pedro said anyone caught would be decisively dealt with and prosecuted according to the Law.

“It has come to my notice that Politicians have been using some fake Law Enforcement Agents.

“I want to assure you that whether such Law Enforcement Agents are fake or real, if they are arrested, they are in serious trouble.

“They will blame the day they were born into this World, I assure them.

“Whether they are fake or real, the issue is that they are disturbing the Electoral Process,” he said.

The DIG also warned Politicians making inflammatory statements to further charge the already tensed atmosphere in Bayelsa ahead of the Election.

The DIG advised such Politicians to refrain from their divisive utterances as the Police and other Security Agencies would not spare anyone trying to compromise the peace of the State.

“And again, Politicians are charging the already tensed atmosphere by making inflammatory statements.

“Statements ordinarily if not because of Election, would have been termed to have security implications, and when Police get a Person arrested for making such statements, they will say Police is taking side.

“So I want everybody to thread with caution, the Election is just a few hours away, we should give peace a chance and ensure we don’t make unnecessary inflammatory statements.”

Sokari-Pedro further warned that the Police would not be stampeded to abandon their Professional Duties through baseless allegations.

“About three or so days since I came here, the place has been inundated with complaints from several quarters, all of them having to do with this Election issue in Bayelsa. That is unfortunate.

“As it has to do with our preparation for the Election, let me sound this loud and clear, that there is no place under the earth where Election takes place that there is no complain.

“But this Election complain should not be used to judge Police preparedness, and that should not in any way depreciate the Election which has not taken place.

“Whenever such complains come, we will surely investigate them, but I want to appeal to Politicians from all divide, that they should stop condemning the Police when the election has not even taken place,” the DIG added. 

10-Nov-2023 Bayelsa LP Chieftain: How Exco Members collected N100m from Diri to tear us apart

Bayelsa LP Chieftain: How Exco Members collected N100m from Diri to tear us apart

Crisis has hit the Labour Party (LP) in Bayelsa barely 24 hours to the Governorship Election in the State.

Some of the Party Leaders are said to have abandoned the LP Governorship Candidate, Udengs Eradiri, and openly declared support for Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Others are said to be rooting for the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timpre Sylva.

Already, some Members of the Bayelsa Executive of LP led by its Financial Secretary, Anthony Oboghor, and the Organising Secretary, Tovie Pelesai, have announced their support for Diri.

They claimed that they were representing the State Executive Members of the Party.

The learnt that another Faction of the LP executive had also held a crucial Meeting with Sylva, the APC Candidate at his Yenagoa Residence for possible endorsement.

 In its reaction to the development, the Forum of Labour Party Local Government Chairmen in Bayelsa, accused those supporting Diri of receiving N100 million to turn their backs on the Party.

John Toby, the Forum’s Chairman, told Journalists that they were not surprised with the development, claiming that they had known some of the Executive Committee Members as Diri’s Moles in the Party.

He said: ”As we predicted, these Exco Members went to the Governor and collected N100 million to endorse him and disown our Candidate, Udengs Eradiri in a Press Conference. 

“But God has already thrown heavy confusion in their midst because as we speak they are fighting over the money.

“They came back and declared N50 million to others and claimed that they sent N50 million to the National Headquarters of our Party.”

Toby however said the LP National Chairman and  other Executive Members had denied endorsing the move or collecting such money. 

“We want to alert Members of the Public to be wary of these Characters and Masqueraders.

“They are only after their selfish interests because they view each Election as an opportunity to make money from the State Government,” he added. 

He claimed that the same Individuals diverted and shared money meant for Peter Obi’s Presidential Campaign in the State and almost sabotaged the Event.

Toby urged LP Supporters not to be distracted from their support for Eradiri, the Party’s Governorship Candidate.

He said that all Grassroots Members of LP and the Obedient Movement in Bayelsa were behind Eradiri and will emerge victorious on Saturday.

“All Grassroots Members of LP hereby disown these so-called Party Leaders. They are on their own.

“We want to make it clear that no amount of sabotage and sellout will stop the massive Grassroots support already garnered by our Candidate. 

“Our Candidate, Udengs Eradiri, has ignited the Spirit of Adaka Boro in the Minds of our People and they are ready to free themselves from the Political stranglehold of incompetent and selfish Leaders mortgaging our future and the future of our Children.

“The People are ready to speak and they will speak with their Votes against these Characters,” Toby added. 

08-Nov-2023 Mba, two other DIGs to oversee Election Security in Imo, Kogi, Bayelsa

Mba, two other DIGs to oversee Election Security in Imo, Kogi, Bayelsa

The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Kayode Egbetokun has deployed three Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) to oversee security arrangements for Saturday’s Governoship Election in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.

The Force Public Relations Officer,  Olumuyiwa Adejobi said this at a Media Briefing on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the DIGs include Frank Mba (Imo), Habu Sani (Kogi) and Daniel Sokari-Pedro (Bayelsa).

Adejobi said the deployment of the Senior Police Officers was in line with the commitment of the Force to ensure neutrality and enhance effective supervision of Personnel, deployed for the Election.

He said it was targeted to add a layer of supervision to the security arrangement to guarantee that the Election meet the highest standards of transparency and credibility.

The Spokesperson for the Police said the Force had deployed adequate Personnel and Assets ahead of the Election.

Adejobi said the I-G had ordered a restriction of Vehicular movement on Roads, Waterways and other forms of Transportation, from 12:01 a.m., to 6:00 pm on November 11 in the affected States.

“Those on Essential Services such as INEC Officials, Accredited Electoral Observers, Ambulances responding to Medical Emergencies, Firefighters and others on Election Duty are exempted from the restriction,” he said.

He said the restriction of movement on the Election Day in the affected States was part of measures emplaced to ensure a safe, secure and conducive Environment for the conduct of Election.

Adejobi said it was also aimed at ensuring Public Order Management, safety of Electorate, as well as assisting the Security Agencies in effective Policing.

“On that note, Residents and Travelers in the Neighboring States should note and plan their movements to avoid any untold hardship during the Election period,” he said.

He said the I-G had warned Security Aides and Escorts to desist from accompanying their Principals and Politicians to Polling Booths and Collation Centres during the Election.

Adejobi said anyone found flouting the directive would be severely sanctioned.

He said only Security Personnel deployed for Election Duties were permitted to be within and around the Designated Election Booths and Centres.

According to him, the ban on the unauthorised use of Sirens, Revolving Lights, Covered Number Plates and Tinted Glasses is still in force.

He said Violators would be sanctioned appropriately.

Adejobi said all State-established and owned Security Outfits/Organisations, Quasi-Security Units and Privately-Owned Guard and Security Outfits were also barred from participating in Election Security Management.

08-Nov-2023 We have no reason to remove Imo REC, says INEC, deploys nine more

We have no reason to remove Imo REC, says INEC, deploys nine more

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has deployed nine additional Residents Electoral Commissioners (REC) in Imo for Saturday’s Governorship Poll.

The Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at a Stakeholders’ Meeting in Owerri.

The Meeting was attended by Governorship Candidates, Chairmen and Secretaries of the Political Parties participating in the Election as well as Representatives of Civil Society Organisations.

Yakubu, represented by a National Commissioner in-charge of the South-East, Kenneth Ukeagu, said the RECs were drawn from Cross Rivers, Niger, Plateau, Bauchi, Oyo, Katsina, Gombe and Yobe States.

He also said that the Administrative Secretary of the Commission in Ekiti was among those deployed to provide supervisory support at the Local Government level.

Fielding questions from the Stakeholders, the INEC Boss allayed the fear that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) had been compromised.

“We have configured the BVAS and carried out Mock Accreditation in the State.

“There will be no foreign figures in the BVAS at the Polling Units.

“We are confident that BVAS will work effectively,” he assured the Participants.

Yakubu also debunked insinuations by some Stakeholders that the Collation Centers had been moved from the Designated Centers to Local Government Headquarters.

The INEC Chief further announced that Non-Sensitive Materials had been conveyed to the Commission’s Offices in the 27 Local Government Areas of the State.

“The Commission has mobilised the National Union of Road Transport Workers to ensure timely movement of Election Materials to the Polling Units,” he said.

On the agitation for the redeployment of .the State REC, Sylvia Agu, the Chairman said that such transfer or removal could only be done, if there was evidence of the allegations against her.

“We have to be convinced with evidence that she has done wrong before we can take action.

“As it stands now, we have no reason to remove the Imo REC,” Yakubu said.

He appealed to Voters to turn out en masse to exercise their franchise, assuring them that the Commission was determined to ensure that their Votes count.

Speaking on behalf of the Police, Musa Abdullahi, urged Voters and Residents of the State to disregard calls for a lockdown by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.

“We are prepared to defend and protect lives and property as much as we can with the Resources available,” Abdullahi said.

The Meeting had earlier turned rowdy, when INEC Chairman’s Representative requested Journalists to leave the Venue.

However, Members of the Peoples Democratic Party and Labour Party kicked against the request and insisted that the Media must cover the interaction or they would stage a walkout themselves.

Ukeagu later restored normalcy in the hall when he finally bowed to the pressure to allow the Media at the Meeting.

06-Nov-2023 Presidency to Obi: You've been rejected, find another vocation to engage your time

Presidency to Obi: You've been rejected, find another vocation to engage your time

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, on Monday urged the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, to “prove his belief in Nigeria.”

In a statement titled: “Peter Obi should find better vocation instead of casting aspersions on the Judiciary”, Onanuga also admonished Obi to find another worthwhile vocation to engage his time henceforth.

“If Mr Peter Obi truly believes in Nigeria, the time to prove it is now when all Men and Women of goodwill are rallying support for President Bola Tinubu in his determination to lead a new era of prosperity, Inclusive Governance and Economic Growth.

“Our admonition to Obi is to find another worthwhile Vocation to engage his time henceforth, having been rejected by majority of Nigerians who didn’t consider him qualified to lead our Country.

“Nigerians rejected Peter Obi and his demagoguery at the Poll because he posed present and future danger to the peace, progress and stability of our Country,” Onanuga said.

The Presidential Aide said Obi’s antecedents as Governor of Anambra for eight years didn’t inspire any confidence as someone capable of running a Country like Nigeria.

According to him, no tangible records of achievement in the State he governed recommended him for the Presidency of Nigeria.

“The LP Presidential Candidate in the last Election, Peter Obi, addressed a Press Conference, just like Atiku Abubakar, where he cast aspersions on the Supreme Court.

“He also attacked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for not declaring him the winner of the February 25, 2023 Election.

“We are at a loss as to how the Copy-Cat Obi and his Faction of Labour Party convinced themselves they won an Election in which they came a distant third.”

He expressed surprise at the grand delusion that made Obi believe he could have won a National Election where he ran the most hateful, divisive and polarising Campaign that pitted Christians against Muslims.

“His Campaign also tried to pit Ethnic Groups against each other in a Multi-Ethnic and Multi-Religious Society like Nigeria. Such grand delusion should be a matter for deeper examination.”

“At the Press Conference where he tried, in vain, to gaslight Nigerians with false claims and innuendos, Obi contradicted himself.

“Here was a Beneficiary of Judicial Pronouncements in the past now castigating the same Court because its Judgment did not go his way.”

Onanuga said Obi claimed the Supreme Court Justices didn’t consider Public Opinion in delivering what has been applauded as a most profound Judgment in an Election Appeal.

“Incidentally, the LP Candidate presented the most watery and unreasonable Petition before any Court in the History of Electoral Cases in Nigeria.

“He made false allegations of rigging and other electoral malpractices yet could not produce any evidence to back up his claims at both the Court of First Instance and at the Apex Court.

“In a failed effort to mobilise and retain the support of his Supporters, Obi gave them a forlorn hope that he won the Election and would prove it before the Courts.

“Throughout the Trial, his Lawyers didn’t present any alternative Results different from the Results INEC uploaded on the IReV Portal and the ones signed by all Party Agents from the 176,000 Polling Units.

“We wonder how the LP Candidate expected the Courts to do Justice on the basis of rumours, lies and false narratives by sponsored partisans and fanatical Members of his ‘Obidient Movement’

“We expected the LP Candidate to know that the Supreme Court or any other Court does not give Judgment based on Public Opinion and Mob sentiments.”

The Presidential Aide noted that Judicial Pronouncements are based on Evidence, Precedents and the Rule of Law.

“Having admitted that the Supreme Court Ruling brought an end to Litigation and any challenge to Tinubu as the validly Elected Leader of Nigeria, Obi should have congratulated Tinubu for his victory and pledged his support, in the spirit of Statesmanship.

“But instead, he brought up extraneous Matters that he thought the Apex Court should have considered to declare him the winner.

“In our view, the drowning Obi, just like Atiku, was merely attempting to hold on to a straw in raking up new allegations, which exist only in his imagination and that of his hordes of Supporters. ”

Onanuga, therefore, enjoined Obi and his Party to play the role of the Opposition and start preparing for another shot at the Presidency in 2027.

“We hope by then he would campaign on issues and not whip up Religious and Ethnic sentiments as he did in the last Campaign,” he said.

06-Nov-2023 Obi: My commitment to a new Nigeria begins where Supreme Court Ruling ends

Obi: My commitment to a new Nigeria begins where Supreme Court Ruling ends

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, says he is still committed to building a new Nigeria in spite of the Supreme Court Ruling on the 2023 Presidential Election, which is not in his favour.

Obi said this when he addressed a  News Conference on  Monday in Abuja.
He expressed disappointment over the Ruling, saying however, that he remained committed to building a Nation anchored on the Principles of prudent management of Resources.

He said that  his commitment was to also ensure transparency and accountability and equitable distribution of Opportunities, Resources, and Privileges in the Country.

“As  someone who has previously benefited from the Rulings of the Supreme Court on Electoral Matters, I have after a period of deep and sober reflection, decided to personally and formally react to the recent Judgment as most Nigerians have.

“This is because we are confronted with very weighty issues of National Interest,” he said.

Obi said that he disagreed  very strongly with the Ruling of both the Presidential Petitions Court (PEPC) and the Supreme Court on the outcome of the February 25 Presidential Election as declared by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“However, as Democrats who believe in the Rule of Law, we recognise that the Supreme Court is the end stage of the quest for Legal closure to the Matter.

“As a Party and as Candidates, Datti and I have now exhausted all Legal and Constitutional remedies available to us.

“However, this end is only another beginning in our quest for the vindication of the hope of the Common Man for a better Country.

“After all, Sovereignty belongs to the People! If only for historical purposes, it behooves us to place our disagreement with and deep reservations about this Judgment on Public Record,” he said.

Obi added:” Where the value and import of the recent Supreme Court Ruling ends is where my commitment to a new Nigeria begins.

“Our Mission and Mandate remain unchanged. From the very onset, our Mission has been more about enthroning a new Nigeria.

“It is a new Nation where things work, where the Country is led from its present waste and consumption orientation to a production-driven Economy.

“In  the new Nigeria, the  aim  is to address all unmet needs by showing compassion for all those left behind by the present System.”

“Going forward, we at the LP and the Obidient Movement are now effectively in Opposition. We are glad that the Nation has heard us loud and clear.

“We shall now expand the confines of our message of hope to the rest of the Country. We shall meet the People in the places where they feel pain and answer their needs for hope.

“At Marketplaces, Motor Parks, Town Halls, Board Rooms, and University and College Campuses, we all carry and deliver the Message of a new Nigeria”.

Obi said that as Stakeholders and Elected LP Officials, they plan to remain loyal to the Party’s Manifesto.

“Given our present national circumstances, there is a compelling need for a strong Political Opposition.

“We shall, therefore, remain in Opposition, especially because of the Policies and the Governance Modalities that we in the Labour Party campaigned for.

“These includes especially reducing the Cost of Governance, moving the Nation from consumption to production, reducing inflation, ending insecurity, promoting the Rule of Law, guaranteeing the responsibility to protect, and stabilising the Nigerian Currency.

“These are clearly not the priorities of the present Administration nor is it interested in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

Obi said that one thing that had gladdened his heart in the course of the struggle of the past 18 months, was the passionate desire of People, especially Young People from across Ethnic and Religious divides.
He said that their desire was to construct a new and restructured Nigeria that would  work for all Nigerians and that goal remained his guiding light and abiding inspiration.

06-Nov-2023 Police I-G to Troublemakers: We are ready for you in Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Polls

Police I-G to Troublemakers: We are ready for you in Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Polls

Police will not tolerate electoral violence in Bayelsa as Off-Cycle Governorship Election holds in the State on  Saturday, the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun warned in Yenagoa on Monday.

He said during a Courtesy Visit to Governor Douye Diri that the Police and other Security Agencies were fully prepared and duty-bound to ensure free and fair Polls.

Egbetokun stressed that Troublemakers would have the Law to contend with.

The I-G assured that the Police and other Security Sgencies would be neutral before, during and after the Exercise and enjoined Bayelsa People to have confidence in them.

He explained that the increased deployment of Police Personnel in the State was to forestall any form of violence during the Polls.

He thanked Governor Diri for his support for the Police in the State and assured him of adequate security before, during and after the Election.

“You are aware that the Election is just four days away. I assure you that the Police, with the assistance of other Security Agencies, will provide adequate security on November 11.

“In Bayelsa and in Kogi and Imo, Elections will take place, I want to say with confidence that the Police and other Security Agencies have taken a position to be neutral.

“However, those with criminal intention to disrupt the Election in Bayelsa will meet our men on ground. They will have the whole of us to contend with,’’ Egbetokun told the Governor.

Responding, the Governor said the pledge of the I-G to provide adequate security for the Election was an added advantage to the peace and security the State already enjoyed.

On the call by the Police Boss on Diri to appeal to his Party Supporters to be non-violent, the Governor said PDP Members and Supporters were the most peaceful in the build-up to the Election.

He said the Government and People of Bayelsa were ready to support the Police to achieve zero violence during the Poll.

Diri also noted that if a sitting President could lose and accept the outcome of an Election without shedding blood, no one should toy with the lives of Bayelsa People because of Election.

He urged People of Bayelsa not to be deterred by the large deployment of Security Personnel in the State or to allow it to lead to Voter apathy.

He said the deployment should boost their confidence to cast their Votes and be assured that their Ballot would count and be protected.

“Your remarks are heart-warming and I like to quote you when you said the Police will be neutral in this Election on Saturday.

“I quote you again. You said the Police and other Security Agencies are committed to a peaceful, free, fair and transparent Election in Bayelsa. That is what our People want to hear.

“If there is any Governor who deserves award for being peaceful and promoting peace among his People, that award should go to me,’’ he said.

The Governor also told the Police Boss that his Supporters in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are the most peaceful set of People anywhere.

“For us as a Government, we are very ready to work with you very closely and provide support where needed.

“This is to ensure that we do not lose any life or get anybody maimed because of Election,’’ Diri told Egbetokun. 

05-Nov-2023 INEC Chairman tasks Staff on integrity ahead of November 11 Polls

INEC Chairman tasks Staff on integrity ahead of November 11 Polls

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu has advised Staff Members of the Commission to remain Non-Partisan and maintain their integrity, ahead of the Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi Governorship Elections.

Yakubu said this when he visited some INEC Offices to assess preparations for the November11 Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo Governorship Elections.
This is contained in the Commission’s Bulletin in Abuja.

Yakubu said that INEC was committed to credible Elections in the States.

“INEC is not a Political Party and does not have a Candidate in the November 11 Governorship Elections.

“All we are going to do is to ensure that the People of Bayelsa and Imo States choose whoever they want to be their Governors and our responsibility is to protect the People’s choice,” Yakubu said.

The INEC Chairman also called on the Electoral Officers (Eos) in both States to ensure that all Registration Area Centres (RACs) were fully activated early enough to enable smooth conduct of the Elections.

Yakubu said that part of the Commission’s determination was to ensure that Poll Officials live up to their responsibilities on Election Day.

He said that a Refresher Training would be organised on Friday November 10 in addition to the Refresher Training conducted on Friday, Saturday and for Sunday.

According to the Bulletin, Yakubu and his entourage also met with Members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICESS) in both States.

Addressing the Heads of the Security Agencies, Yakubu stated that the principal aim of the Meeting was to appraise their readiness in preparation for the Saturday Elections.

He added that measures to guarantee the protection of Voters, Election Personnel, Materials, Collation Centres and Transport Providers were among the significant security issues discussed throughout the Meeting.

Yakubu also toured some of the Commission’s Facilities in Yenagoa to examine the available Non-Sensitive Materials ahead of the Off-Cycle Election.

The INEC Chairman was accompanied by the National Commissioners and the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in both States. 

04-Nov-2023 Fubara to Tinubu: Thank you for your fatherly intervention in Rivers crisis

Fubara to Tinubu: Thank you for your fatherly intervention in Rivers crisis

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers has expressed profound gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for his “fatherly intervention” in the Political crisis that rocked the State recently.

Fubara’s gratitude is contained in a statement he signed and issued to Journalists in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

He said that the President’s mediation “opened a series of Communication Channels to facilitate the timely resolution of the festering Political crisis”.

He also thanked Elder Statesmen, who also waded into the Matter to ensure that peace and stability returned to the State.

Fubara gave account of what led to his visit to the Assembly Complex on Monday, to assess the level of damage and initiate immediate measures to protect lives and property within the Complex.

He said that he was inundated with reports on Sunday that the Hallowed Chamber of the Assembly had been gutted by fire.

He said that the fire was successfully put out by the Fire Service, after which Security Agencies took control of the situation.

“I charged the Security Agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident and report to me.

“Shortly after, I got Reports that the Assembly had broken into two Factions: one claiming to have impeached and suspended the House Leader and three others, preparatory to initiating an Impeachment action against me.

“The other Rival Faction also claimed to have impeached the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, thus sparking off some form of Political crisis.

“Let me clearly state that my actions are aimed at restoring peace and stability in our State.

“I am a man of peace and as Governor, the advancement of our State is my primary concern.

“Consequently, no sacrifice is too much for me to make to achieve this objective.

“Furthermore, it is the collective responsibility of the immediate past Governor and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, and my humble self to leverage our Positions and Influences within and outside the State to advance the progress, security and wellbeing of our People.

“We must, therefore, not allow circumstances that could retard all efforts at achieving greatness for our People to prevail.”

The Governor gave assurance that he was always willing and ready to embrace the path to lasting peace and tranquility.

He further promised his commitment to consummating all other efforts and initiatives by the President and other well-meaning Nigerians toward the permanent resolution of the crisis.

“I assure the good People and Youths of Rivers that peace will certainly prevail and we shall continue to work together to advance the peace, security, progress and development of our State.

“As Governor, I sincerely apologise to the good People of Rivers for the regrettable anxieties of the last few days.

“I thank you all for your concern and continued support, love, and prayers,” Fubara said.

04-Nov-2023 Ezekwesili seeks new Political Culture for Nigeria, tells Youths to 'wake up'

Ezekwesili seeks new Political Culture for Nigeria, tells Youths to 'wake up'

A former Vice President of the World Bank's Africa Region, Oby Ezekwesili, has stressed the need for a change of Political Culture in Africa to achieve meaningful development for the Continent.

Ezekwesili made the recommendation at the Matriculation Ceremony of the 2023/2024 Session of the School of Politics, Policy and Governance (SPPG) in Abuja on Saturday.

She said that there was a dominant Political Culture across Africa that subordinates the common good to narrow interest.

Ezekwesili, who is the Founder of the School, said “finding solutions to the quality of Politics and Economic performance of Nigeria was her reason in establishing the School”.

She said that the School was designed to correct the abnormally on the Supply side of the Market of Politics and Democracy.

According to her, “we have Low-Cost Leadership in our Politics today and you cannot produce anything from Low-Cost Leadership.”

She said that the Young People and Technology would propel Africa forward, saying, however, that Politics and Governance process represent a major stumbling block.

“To correct these, we need to design a new pipeline that would contest against this Monopoly Political Class that has a dominant Culture.

“You can cry as loud, the next National Assembly, if filled with the same existing pipeline of Political Players, Lawmakers will still buy new sets of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV).

“The next set of Executive even at the State and Local Government Levels will carry on with the same, nothing will change.

“You are a response to this hopelessness, you are the ones that will change it; we need a critical Mass of People thinking with a mindset of Service to the Country and to the People at all levels.

“It is not about you, it cannot be about you, you represent an answer to the most significant answer to our problem as a Continent.

“We are in a place of competent anger that pushes you to design solutions; you have to be purposeful and intentional,” she said.

In his remarks, Wale Suleman, the Guest Speaker at the Event, said Democracy does not work in Africa because the People do not really participate.

Suleman, a Neurosurgeon, said that Democracy is a system of Government of all eligible Citizen represented in the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

According to him, vision, capability, ability and capacity are expected of the Executive, to Servant and selfless Leaders with higher moral values to represent the People.

The Neurosurgeon said that the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legislature was not negotiable, saying that was not the case in practice in Nigeria.

He said that Democracy had moved to a selective process rather than elective process in Nigeria as “we now have Godfathers without true Representative Democracy”.

According to him, Money Politics where Power go to the highest bidder has become the order of the day, stressing the need to move from Naira Politics to Nation-Building Ideology Politics

“A lot of things are not working in Nigeria because the processes are broken and nobody is doing anything to fix it.

“This is why I am very impressed with my School, SPPG; we need to transition from Godfathers to People-focused Democracy.

“Political apathy of the People leads to poor representation, the elites, academic, the youth and all of you here need to get involved, Democracy does not work without the participation of the Populace.

“Formal and Informal Education is fundamental to Nation Building, reorientation of our People is very critical,” he said.

Suleman said that there was a need to read the life of the Heros that voted for Nigeria’s Independence in 1959 and move away from worshiping corrupt Leaders.

The Professor urged the Students to study hard to become Drivers of the Economy and be watchful not to emulate Conquerors.

“It is up to the Youth to change our Society. It is difficult. It is going to be challenging, there will be People who will say ‘you cannot do this’, remember impossibility is just a word, success is first achieved in the head.

“Once you are committed and willing to put in the work, nothing can stop you, you have to grow and aim high and let us not be conquered by a Minority Group that see themselves as Colonial Masters.

“Democracy is a way to transition Nigeria in the right direction, we are all critical Stakeholders and I wish all the Students a successful journey,” he said.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Alero Ayida-Otobo, said SPPG is an Unconventional School that runs for 10 months, November to August.

She said that there are a total of 300 Students for the 2023/2024 Session drawn from different Works of Life with various aims and objectives.

“There are some Individuals who have intentions to run for Public Office, that includes positions such as President, Governors, Senators, House of Representatives, State Houses of Assembly, Councilors, and Local Government Area Chairpersons.

“There are those who are interested in working within the Government as Policy Makers, Ministers, Support Staff, or Special Advisers to Elected Officials.

“There are Individuals who provide Consultancy Services related to Politics and Policy to those in Government and Civil Society.

“There are Professionals who work in the Private or Non-Profit Sectors, particularly in the Media Industry, Finance, Legal, Healthcare, Education and so on who interface with the Government.

“There are Individuals who aspire to be Effective Advocates and Engaged Citizens and want to become skilled in engaging with the Government,” she said.

Ayida-Otobo urged the Students to take their Programmes very seriously, saying that it requires commitment, focus,  diligence and hard work.

She said that the SPPG Curriculum consists of seven fields and over 120 Topics that enable Students to make meaningful impact in the Society. 

01-Nov-2023 Rivers impeachment move lawful, Wike tells PDP Governors

Rivers impeachment move lawful, Wike tells PDP Governors

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has warned against any attempt to tamper with the Political Structure in Rivers.

Wike gave the warning after a Closed-Door Meeting with Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, led by its Chairman, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mohammed was accompanied by the Governors of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri, Caleb Muftwang of Plateau and Agbu Kefas of Taraba.

A crisis had erupted in Rivers on Monday, after an attempt by the Rivers Assembly to impeach the Incumbent Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

Wike told the visiting Governors that he would not be intimidated by any one for his influence in Rivers or his Appointment by President Bola Tinubu as FCT Minister.

He explained that the impeachment move was not a Military Coup, but in line with the Provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He dismissed the rumours going round that the fracas was born out of his interest in the Finances of the State, which he dismissed as “absolute rubbish.”

“Nobody can take away the Political Structure in Rivers; nobody can intimidate me. If I want to do something, I will do it.

“The Impeachment is not a Military Coup; it is provided under the Constitution. Also, I am not interested in all the rumours, money, this, and that. Rubbish. Absolute rubbish.

“I just left the Office, how many months ago? And I am FCT Minister, so which money? But nobody can take away our Political Structure. No one.

“You cannot work, and People will begin to bring Enemies; those who fought you when you were struggling for the Person to be in Office. Nobody does that.

“I am not a Political Ingrate, but don’t touch the Political Structure of the State. I will not shut my eyes,” Wike said.

The Minister thanked the Forum for the visit and further thanked President Tinubu for finding him worthy to serve in his Cabinet, stressing that he was still a Member of the PDP working for Tinubu and not APC.

“Forget about the Obidients and the Atikus who have lost and felt that I did not support them, and those that I revoked their Certificate of Occupancy.

“Oh! Wike did this; Wike did that because I didn’t support Obi, and didn’t support their own Presidential Candidate, and all of you just teamed up ‘Wike! Wike! Wike!’.

“I am not disturbed; I will do what is right; and my conscience is clear. I am not the Person you think that you will now go to Social Media and say all kinds of things.

“You must be careful, I have the capacity to fight back”, he warned.

Earlier, Mohammed thanked Wike for the willingness to resolve crises, noting that the Forum had waded into the Matter because of the importance of Rivers to the Party.

He also commended Tinubu for appointing one of their own to serve in his Government, noting that Wike’s antecedents spoke volumes about his ability to lead.

31-Oct-2023 Tinubu takes interest in Rivers crisis involving Wike, Fubara's loyalists

Tinubu takes interest in Rivers crisis involving Wike, Fubara's loyalists

President Bola Tinubu has intervened in the crisis rocking the Executive and the Legislature in Rivers.

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State stated this while briefing State House Correspondents after a Closed-Door Session with Tinubu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

“We had a Closed Session where very serious National Issues were discussed that has serious security implications. That is the problem emerging in Rivers.

“The President in his usual Leadership Position intervened and then it will appear that there will be peace in that respect.

“He has showed that he is a President for everybody.

“A President for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a President for the All Progressives Congress (APC) by intervening today and bringing succour and solace to the People of Rivers.

“On behalf of Governors in States controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) I extol the Leadership qualities of Mr President.

“I congratulated him and expressed appreciation that PDP Governors that had gone through Tribunals emerged victorious. We know that is Leadership,’’ the Governor said.

Mohammed also extolled Tinubu as a great Leader who did not use his big hammer to extricate or to emasculate opposition.

“We found this very good and going forward we pledge that we are going to work with him to bring Good Governance to the People of Nigeria,’’ he said.

The Governor also commended the professionalism in the conduct and the way and manner the Judiciary had been working under the Leadership of President Tinubu.

“There is professionalism in the conduct and the way and manner the Judiciary is working under his Leadership,’’ Mohammed stressed. 

31-Oct-2023 Sylva back in contention for Bayelsa Poll as Appeal Court reverses disqualification

Sylva back in contention for Bayelsa Poll as Appeal Court reverses disqualification

The Appeal Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, vacated the Judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja which nullified Timipre Sylva’s Candidacy for All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 11 Bayelsa Governorship Election.

The Three-Member Panel, in a unanimous Judgment read by Justice Binta Zubairu, held that Demesuoyefa Kolomo, who filed the Suit at the Trial Court lacked Locus Standi (Legal Right) to institute the case, having not been an Aspirant in the Primaries that produced Sylva as Party’s Candidate.

The Panel agreed with Counsel for Sylva, Ahmed Raji, SAN, that where a Party lacked Locus Standi, the Court had no Jurisdiction to entertain the Suit.
“The issue of Jurisdiction is fundamental and the bedrock of any Trial. And a Trial without Jurisdiction is a nullity,” Justice Zubairu said.

The Judge held that the argument by Kolomo, that the Suit was a Constitutional one and of grave importance to him as a Voter and other Voters in the Sate so that they would not vote for someone who was not qualified to contest in the Poll and had their Votes wasted at the end of the day, was of no relevance.

“I do not think the position of Kolomo makes him an Aspirant in the Election.
“All these are alien and not recognised in our Electoral Laws and Electoral Matters,” she said.
She also said that Kolomo’s argument that the Matter was a Public Interest Suit had no basis.

She further held that where a Party lacked the Legal Right to file a Suit, it would be an exercise in futility to consider other grounds of Sylva’s Appeal.
“The Appeal of the Appellant (Sylva) succeeds,” the Judge ruled.

Consequently, the Appellate Court, aside from setting aside the Verdict of the Trial Court, awarded the sum of N1 million in favour of the Appellant (Sylva) in the first Appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/1060/2023 between APC and Kolomo.

The Panel equally awarded the sum of N1 million in favour of Sylva in the Appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/1061/2023 between Sylva vs. Kolomo and two others.
Sylva’s Appeals were against the October 9 Judgment delivered by Justice Donatus Okorowo of a Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, which disqualified him as Candidate in the November 11 Election.

Kolomo had, in the Suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2023 filed on June 13, prayed the Court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete Sylva’s name from list of Candidates contesting the November 11 Governorship Poll.

Kolomo had sued Sylva, the immediate-past Minister of State for Petroleum; APC and INEC as 1st to 3rd Defendants respectively.
Kolomo asked the Court to determine whether Sylva is qualified to contest in the Election, having occupied the Office of Governor of Bayelsa May 29, 2007 to April 15, 2008 and May 27, 2008 to January 27, 2012.

In the Affidavit attached, Kolomo deposed that besides being an APC Member, he was also a Registered Voter in the State.
He said INEC recently published the names of Governorship Candidates for the State, including Sylva’s name.

The Plaintiff said he was motivated by the need to vindicate Sections 180 (2)(a) and 182(1)b) of the1999 Constitution, the Rule of Law and to know the applicability of same as it relates to Sylva based on the above facts.
Kolomo also averred that the question raised by the instant Suit was a Constitutional one and of grave importance to him as a Voter and other Voters in the Sate so that they would not vote for someone who was not qualified to contest in the Poll and had their Votes wasted at the end of the day.
But Sylva, who was the immediate-past Minister of Petroleum, in a Counter Affidavit, prayed the Court to dismiss the Suit for lacking in merit.
26-Oct-2023 Wike on Supreme Court Judgment: I owe it a duty to continue to support Tinubu

Wike on Supreme Court Judgment: I owe it a duty to continue to support Tinubu

The Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, says President Bola Tinubu is not a President of the Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), but a President of Nigeria.

Wike stated this when APC Leaders from Rivers, led by the National Vice Chairman of APC, South South, Victor Giadom, visited him in Abuja on Thursday.

He, however, said that the President had the right to take the interest of his Political Party at heart while steering the Affairs of the Country.

He said Political Parties were Vehicles that conveyed one to a desired destination, adding that the interest of Nigerians superseded all other interests in the mind of President Tinubu.

“Mr president, having emerged, is not a President of APC but a President of Nigeria.

“While he is governing Nigeria, he must also take the interest of his Political Party, and nobody can stop it; it is natural.

“In Governance, every Nigerian must benefit from it.

“We need to understand that the Party is a Vehicle that takes you to a place, and once you get to where you want to be you come out from the Vehicle,” he said.

The Minister said that President Tinubu had the capacity and the political will to take action that others were afraid to take.

Reacting to the Judgment of the Supreme Court that affirmed the election of Tinubu, Wike said: “We owe it a duty to continue to support Mr President, irrespective of the Political Party he belongs to.

“I stand for equity, fairness, and justice and I thank God today that the battle has ended to the glory of God.

“We are all Members of the Nigerian State and, therefore, it is important for all of us to also understand that the Nigerian State does not belong to a particular Person or a particular Group,” he said.

The Minister affirmed his commitment not to discriminate, saying “I am here for Nigerians; I am here for those who belong to a Political Party and those who do not belong to a Political Party”.

Giadom said that the visit was to thank the Minister for the monumental support he gave to the APC Presidential Candidate during the Presidential Election.

He urged him to continue, towards the success of the Tinubu-led Administration and Nigeria which was predicated on his deep concern for justice, equity, and fairness for the Nigerian State.

He described Wike’s appointment as the first for a person from Rivers and expressed confidence in his capacity to deliver.

Giadom added that the visit was also to thank Tinubu for appointing a Rivers’ Son to steer the Affairs of the “Exalted Office”.

“I urge you to deploy your vast experience and track record to bear in the discharge of your duties.

“For us, we have assured Mr President of the loyalty and support of Rivers APC Members for the achievement of his Renewed Hope Agenda.

“Again, it is our hope that through this visit, more Rivers Sons and Daughters will be given more positions of responsibilities at the National Level, particularly APC Members who also work hard for realisation of the Renewed Hope Agenda,” he said.

He assured Wike of Rivers APC’s support. 

26-Oct-2023 PDP: Supreme Court's Judgment a sad commentary for Nigeria's Democracy

PDP: Supreme Court's Judgment a sad commentary for Nigeria's Democracy

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is disappointed with the Judgment of the Supreme Court affirming President Bola Tinubu as winner of the February 25, 2023, Presidential Election, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The PDP expressed its position in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja on Thursday, in reaction to the Court Judgment on the Appeal Petition filed by the Party and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on the Election.

Ologunagba said that the PDP and indeed majority of Nigerians were alarmed, disappointed and gravely concerned with the reasoning of the Supreme Court.

He said that the PDP believed the Judgment was against the express Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); the Electoral Act, 2022; and the Guideline and Regulation issued by INEC under which the Election was conducted.

“The PDP asserts that it is indeed a sad commentary for our Democracy that the Supreme Court failed to uphold the provisions of the Law.

“Instead, it trashed the expectation of majority of Nigerians who looked up to it as a temple of impartiality to deliver substantial justice in the Matter having regards to the Laws and Facts of the Case.

“Nigerians earnestly expected the Supreme Court to uphold and defend the clear Provisions of the 1999 Constitution in terms of qualification and minimum requirement for a winner to be declared in a Presidential Election in Nigeria.

“This is especially with regards to the required statutory 25 per cent of Votes in the FCT as well as issues of violation of Electoral Rules and Guidelines, brazen manipulations and alterations of Election Results by the All Progressives Congress (APC),” Ologunagba said.

He said that Nigerians were still at a loss as to how the Supreme Court condoned the “serious issues of forgery, falsehood and perjury on the altar of technicalities,” he said.

Ologunagba said that the general gloom, melancholy and sense of despondency across the Country upon the delivery of the Judgment was an ominous sign of eerie situation which portend consequences because of the disappointment embedded in the Judgment.

“This Judgment by the Supreme Court has evidently shaken the confidence of Nigerians in the Judiciary, especially the Supreme Court as the last hope of the Common Man,” he stated.

Ologunagba however declared that the PDP remained undeterred.

He charged Nigerians not to be discouraged or allow the judgment to detract from their collective quest for the entrenchment of a credible Electoral System that could guarantee a Government that derive its legitimacy from the People. 

26-Oct-2023 Supreme Court has done justice without fear or favour, says Tinubu

Supreme Court has done justice without fear or favour, says Tinubu

 Nigeria’s Electoral Jurisprudence and Constitutional Democracy are further consolidated and embedded more indelibly in our National Identity.

President Bola Tinubu made this known while reacting to the Supreme Court Judgment which upheld his election on Thursday.

Tinubu stated this in a statement he personally signed, titled, ” It is time for us to build our great Nation together.”

”I welcome the verdict of the Justice John Okoro-led Panel of the Supreme Court on the Presidential Election Petitions filed by the Candidates of the PDP and the Labour Party, challenging the Ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

”The Court has done justice to all issues put up for consideration in the Petitions on the merits of the Law, without fear or favour. There is no doubt, with the profound Judgment of today.

“While the verdict of today has laid to rest the agitating discourse over who truly won the 2023 Presidential Election and met the Constitutional requirements as laid out by Law, I want to reiterate that my faith in our Nation’s Judiciary has never been shaken, not even for a moment.

”I know that our hallowed Courts of Law will not fail to administer justice to all Nigerians in all Matters and at all times.

“Inspite of the fusillade of pressure and attempts at intimidation by some Political Actors, the Judiciary demonstrated its unequivocal commitment to upholding the Rule of Law for the upliftment and defense of Humanity.

“It was affirmed once more today, that my Party, the Governing All Progressives’ Congress, had freely and fairly won the popular Mandate of Nigerians, which has since given rise to my Leadership of this great Nation at a tumultuous period of unprecedented Reforms in our History as a Nation,” he said.

He said:” with deep gratitude to God Almighty, I solemnly and humbly accept today’s Judicial victory with an intense sense of responsibility and a burning desire to meet the great challenges confronting our People.

”The victory of today has further energised and strengthened my commitment to continue to serve all Nigerians of all political persuasions, tribes, and faiths, with honour.

”And total respect for the diverse opinions and uniting values of our Citizens,” he said.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda for a greater and prosperous Nigeria had further gained momentum.

”I will continue to work from morning to night, every single day, to build a country that meets our collective yearnings and aspirations.

”We are all Members of one Household, and this moment demands that we continue to work and build our Country together.

”The strength of our diversity and the great Citizenship that binds us must now compel us forward in directing the energy of our People towards building a virile, stronger, united, and more prosperous Country. ”

He assured that in the days and months ahead, “I trust that the spirit of patriotism will be elevated into supporting our Administration to improve the living conditions of Nigerians.

”I am prepared to welcome the contributions of all Nigerians to foster and strengthen our collective progress.”

He expressed his immense gratitude to all Nigerians for given him the Mandate to serve the Country.

”I promise again to meet and exceed your expectations in Service Delivery and Good Governance, working with my Team and trusting in the grace of God.

”May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Tinubu prayed.

26-Oct-2023 Supreme Court affirms Tinubu's election as President

Supreme Court affirms Tinubu's election as President

The Supreme Court had dismissed the Appeal by former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, seeking to nullify the February 25, Presidential Election of President Bola Tinubu.

In the Notice of Appeal, Atiku had urged the Apex Court to dismiss and set aside the September 6 Judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court, which affirmed the victory of President Tinubu.

A Seven-Man Panel of Justices led by John Okoro, in determining the first issue for determination, held that failure to transmit Election Results electronically did not affect the outcome of the Election and could not warrant the nullification of Presidential Election.

The Apex Court also stated that Atiku did not produce alternative Results of the Presidential Election that showed he won majority number of Votes cast to rebuff the one declared by INEC.

The Court resolved all the 7 issues distilled for determination in favour of Tinubu, stating that the Appeal lacked merit.
The Apex Court thrashed all the grounds of Appeal of Atiku and PDP on qualification, non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the 25% votes in FCT, and electoral malpractices.

“On the whole, having resolved all the issues against the Appellant, it is my view that there is no merit in the Appeal and it is hereby dismissed,” Justice Inyang Okoro said in dismissing Atiku’s Appeal.

“The Judgment of the Court below delivered on September 6  2023 affirming the Election of the second Respondent as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is hereby affirmed.”

It listened to Obi’s Appeal for about five minutes. In dealing with the LP’s Presidential Candidate on the issue of double nomination of Vice-President Kashim Shettima, the Court held that the issue had been dealt with in its Ruling on May 26.

“As for issue Number 4 which has to do with double nomination which was not in Atiku’s Appeal, it is the view of this Court that this issue having been dealt with by this Court, this Court cannot allow the Matter to be re-litigated in this very Court.

“There must be an end to litigation,” Okoro held.

25-Oct-2023 Counsel to INEC: Your decision to remove Sylva's name from list of Candidates prejudicial

Counsel to INEC: Your decision to remove Sylva's name from list of Candidates prejudicial

Ahmed Raji, SAN, has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), demanding immediate withdrawal of the amended list of Candidates released for the November 11 Bayelsa Governorship Poll.
Raji, who is Counsel to Timipre Sylva, the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Candidate in the November 11 Bayelsa Election, described the decision of the Electoral Umpire as prejudicial.
INEC had, earlier Wednesday, released amended list of Candidates vying in the Election without including Sylva’s name.
Justice Donatus Okorowo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, had, on October 9 in a Judgment , disqualified Sylva, a former Governor of the State, from contesting the Election.
Unsatisfied with the Judgment, Sylva approached the Court of Appeal, through his lawyer, Raji, to challenge the decision of the Court.
But while the Appeal is pending, INEC released list of Candidates for the Poll excluding the APC Candidate’s names.
In a letter to the Commission dated October 25, Raji said he had the firm instruction of Sylva to respectfully demand for the immediate withdrawal of the amended list.
The Senior Lawyer said it was shocking for the INEC to release such publication when the Judgement the Commission acted upon had already been appealed against at the Court of Appeal. .
“Dear sir, you will recall that the Judgment in issue, that arose from the above Suit was delivered on the 9th October,2023 and our Client, being an ardent and firm believer in the efficacy of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law, immediately filed an Appeal within 24 hours of the Judgment, on the 10th October, 2023.
“In addition to the Notice of Appeal, our Client expeditiously compiled the Record of Appeal and transmitted same in less than 10 days.
“The Appeal was successfully entered on the 18th October, 2023, with Appeal No. CA/ABJ/CS/1060/2023.
“The above being the case, the Commission, as a respected Arbiter and Law abiding Institution, is expected to respectfully wait for the outcome of the Appeal, before taking any step that may be prejudicial to any of the Parties, particularly, our Client.
“This is in view of the fact that the Parties that went to Court are not Candidate in the forthcoming Election, unlike our Client. In other words, they do not have anything to lose, rather, they are fighting proxy battles to deny our Client and his Party the opportunity to participate in the forthcoming Election.
“We know that the Commission has always been consistent in a matter like this, to wait until the entire Appellate Process and Proceedings are completed, one way or the other,” he said.
According to him, this is not only consistent with the Administrative and Policy convenience but also with the Electoral Act and the Constitution, in all Election related Matters.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja, has scheduled hearing for Friday in the Appeal filed by Slyva. Sylva and APC are, by their Suits, praying the Court of Appeal to set aside the October 9 Judgment by Justice Okorowo, voiding Sylva’s Candidacy.

Sylva, in his three-ground Notice of Appeal, is contending among others that the Trial Court erred in Law and and  occasioned a grave miscarriage of Justice when it wrongly assumed Jurisdiction by delving into the Internal Affairs of his Party, which is a non-justiciable cause of action

He stated that the Trial  Court has a duty to understand the case presented by the Parties and apply the Law correctly.

Sylva  contended that the Trial Judge erred in Law and occasioned a grave miscarriage of Justice against him when he (the Judge) wrongly conferred, allowed and adjudicated on the Matter when the Respondent (Plaintiff at the Trial Court) has no locus standi to initiate or institute the action.

He argued that the Plaintiff had agreed that he did not participate in the Primary Election that produced him as the Governorship Candidate of the APC.

Sylva also argued that the Trial Court breached his Right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution when it failed to properly evaluate, determine and pronounce on his Notice of Preliminary Objection, with which he  challenged the competence of the Suit.

25-Oct-2023 Supreme Court to decide Atiku, Obi's Appeals against Tinubu's election

Supreme Court to decide Atiku, Obi's Appeals against Tinubu's election

The Supreme Court is set to deliver Judgement on Thursday, in the Appeals filed by the Presidential Candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Abubakar Atiku and Labour Party, Peter Obi.

Atiku and Obi are challenging the Judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC) which dismissed their Election Petitions challenging the outcome of the February 25 Presidential Election and affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu.

The Director of Information of the Supreme Court, Festus Akande confirmed the Information to Journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Apex court had on Monday, reserved Judgment after hearing the Appeals of Obi and Atiku challenging the Judgment of the PEPC that affirmed President Tinubu’s victory.
The PEPC on September 6, dismissed Atiku and Obi’s Petitions for lacking in merit and affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Miffed by the Judgment, the duo approached the Supreme Court asking it to overturn the Judgment of the Lower Court in their favour.

In Atiku’s Notice of Appeal predicated on 35 grounds, he told the Apex Court that the PEPC erred on the side of Law in the Judgment delivered by the Chairman of the Panel,  Justice Haruna Tsammani.

Atiku, through his Lead Counsel, Chris Uche, SAN told the Court that the Judgment of the PEPC was a miscarriage of Justice.
He argued that the Lower Court also erred in Law when it failed to nullify the Presidential Election held on February 25, on the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.

According to him, by the evidence before the Court, INEC conducted the Election based on grave and gross misrepresentation contrary to the Principles of the Electoral Act 2022, based on the Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation.

Specifically, Atiku asked the Supreme Court to set aside the whole findings and conclusions of the PEPC on the grounds that they did not represent the true picture of the grounds of his Petition.

Obi, on the other hand through his Lead Counsel, Levi Uzoukwu, SAN, also prayed the Apex Court to set aside the Judgment of the PEPC that dismissed his Petition.
Uzoukwu prayed the Court to allow the Appeal of his Client and grant all the prayers sought.

In their responses,  Counsels to the Respondents, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), President Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, (APC) each urged the Court to dismiss the Appeals for want of merit and for being frivolous.

Specifically, President Tinubu’s Lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, described the Appeals as lacking in merit .
Olanipekun specifically told the Court that the Appeal filed by Atiku was abusive in nature and asked the Court to dismiss the Appeal.

Mahmoud Yakubu, SAN, for INEC and Akin Olujimi similarly asked the Panel to dismiss the Appeals for want of merit.
The Seven-Man Panel of Justices led by Justice Inyang Okoro, after hearing both Appeals,  said the date for Judgment would be communicated to the Parties.
Although Atiku and Obi’s Petitions were consolidated, they were heard separately. 
24-Oct-2023 INEC raises fear over Court Orders, Judgments ahead of November Polls

INEC raises fear over Court Orders, Judgments ahead of November Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has expressed concern over spate of Judgments and Orders from Courts on the November 11 Governorship Elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Commission's Quarterly Meeting with Leaders of Political Parties, on the Governorship Elections.

Yakubu said that such Orders could affect the Cost of the Elections as well as pose challenge to the Electoral Management Process.

“On the issue of Candidature, the Commission is concerned about the spate of recent Judgments and Orders of Court in respect of the nomination, substitution or disqualification of Candidates after all the Sensitive Materials have been printed.

“The reprinting of the Materials in compliance with Court Orders within a short period of time is not only expensive but the management of the Process very challenging.

“Although the Commission has already published the final list of Candidates for the three States, four recent Court Orders have compelled us to review the list.

“These changes have been reflected in the updated list of Parties and Candidates on our Website. However, this decision is without prejudice to any pending appeal by the affected Candidates or their Political Parties,’’ he said.

The INEC Chairman also expressed concern over the spate of violence involving Parties and Candidates in the three States.

He also advised Political Parties to consider the submission of names of Agents as important as the nomination of Candidates for election.

He said that not all the Political Parties had nominated Agents for all the Polling Units and even the Collation Centres in the three States.

He added that in the next few days, INEC would publish the detailed distribution of Agents uploaded by all Political Parties for the Public view.

“I am glad to report that the printing of Agents’ Identity Cards will be completed this weekend. This will allow Political Parties ample time to distribute the Cards to their Agents.

“All the Identity Cards are QR Code-readable to ensure maximum security and to avoid impersonation by Unaccredited Persons,” he said.

Yakubu also said that INEC had delivered all Non-Sensitive Materials for the Elections to the three States, adding that the training of various categories of Ad Hoc Staff was ongoing.

“We conducted the Mock Accreditation of Voters and the upload of Results to our IReV Portal using the BVAS. Stakeholder engagements are ongoing.

“Our State Offices have concluded the readiness assessment of our Facilities as well as the movement of critical Facilities to our 56 Local Government Offices across the three States,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the IPAC Chairman, Sani Yabagi urged INEC to use the November Governorship Elections to deal with the issue of confidence deficit among the Citizenry.

Sani said that the 2023 General Elections presented Nigeria with numerous challenges and controversies, leading to enormous challenges in the Electoral Processes.

“It is essential for INEC, as the Custodian of our Democracy, to address this issue comprehensively.

“To reaffirm Citizens’ confidence, INEC must continue to demonstrate impartiality, transparency, and a commitment to conducting free, fair, and credible Elections.

“This is not only a moral imperative but a necessary step towards preserving the integrity of our Democratic System,’’ he said.

Yabagi said that the Commission was doing its best in its preparations in spite of obvious encumbrances, adding that lot more needed to be done in ensuring that Elections in country were credible and also substantially comply with the Provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.

He also called on INEC to work diligently in persuading Security Agencies to play by the Rules of Engagement and resist the temptation of being used by desperate Politicians.

“The involvement of Security Agencies in the Electoral Process, when it becomes unavoidable, must be based on professionalism, neutrality, and a commitment to the defence of our Democracy, rather than partisan interests.

“The Citizens must feel secure in their participation in the Electoral Process, knowing that their safety and security are assured.

“The present precarious state of insecurity in the Country and in particular the three States where the Off-Circle Elections will be taking place poses a real threat to full participation of the Citizens in the Exercise,’’ he said.

22-Oct-2023 INEC denies reconfiguring BVAS Machines in Kogi Government House

INEC denies reconfiguring BVAS Machines in Kogi Government House

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned Political Parties against spreading fake news, ahead of the November11 Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo Governorship Elections.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman stated this in a statement in Abuja.
Oyekanmi was reacting to a statement by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that INEC was configuring Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) Machines at the Government House, Lokoja, with the intention of manipulating the State Governorship Election.

“The attention of INEC has been drawn to a statement signed by ID Ijele, the Director of New Media of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of the Governorship Campaign Team.

“The statement alleged that three Staff of INEC are right now maliciously reconfiguring the BVAS Machines in the Government House, Lokoja, with the intention of manipulating the November11 Governorship Election in a part of the State in favour of a Candidate.

“The story is untrue. The three Persons mentioned are not associated with the configuration of the BVAS Machines and not even in Kogi at the moment.

“Nicholas Ocholi is on his Duty Post in our Ondo State Office in Akure.
“Ibrahim Egbunu is attending to a very close Family Member hospitalised in Abuja, Mohammed Adara retired last year and is no longer a Staff of the Commission,” Oyekanmi said.

He said that the configuration of BVAS was done simultaneously and exclusively in INEC Offices in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi by Teams deployed from the National Headquarters, Abuja.

“The Public is advised to disregard the story as fake news.

“At the same time, the Commission appeals to Political Parties to desist from engaging in malicious rumour mongering of this nature, “ Oyekanmi said.

18-Oct-2023 INEC laments role of Fake News in 2023 Elections

INEC laments role of Fake News in 2023 Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for stronger collaboration with the Media in the efforts to combat Fake News.

The Electoral Body said on Tuesday in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, that the collaboration would also minimise Misinformation and Disinformation about the Electoral Process.

INEC made the call through the Chief Press Secretary to its Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, at a two-day Capacity Workshop for INEC Press Corps.

The Workshop is focusing on “Ethics, Safety, Practices and Critical Issues Relating to the Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa Governorship Elections”.

Oyekanmi’s Presentation was titled “Impact of Fake News, Misinformation and Disinformation on Election Information: INEC’s Experience”.

Oyekanmi said that Misinformation and Fake News were among the major challenges INEC faced while conducting the 2023 General Elections.

He said that the trend was a threat to Democracy and was not limited to the Social Media alone.

“Some Conventional Mediums also fell for the Fake News or Misinformation that emanated from the Social Media,” he recalled.

He also recalled how some Citizens and Social Media Influencers spread Fake News regarding the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, collection of Permanent Voter Cards and recruitment of Staff for INEC.

There were also some falsehood related to Ethnicity and the Elections, he added.

He said that many Journalists also fell for such fake claims because of sentiments and individual prejudices.

“We had many situations where Fake News got published without any form of verification. No questions asked about their authenticity,” he fumed.

He said that Journalists had the responsibility to report facts without taking side on every matter, including Election Process.

“Facts are sacred. It is fundamentally important to present accurate and verifiable Information.

“Journalists have a responsibility to report facts without distorting them to fit a particular narrative. The Public relies on the Media for truthful account of events,” he said.

Oyekanmi added that a strong collaboration between INEC and the Media was critical for a proactive approach to curbing Fake News, Disinformation and Misinformation.

He urged the Media to be factual, objective, truthful and fair in their Reports on Electoral Process.

“Conducting free, fair, credible and inclusive Elections is a collective responsibility.

“INEC will continue to provide the Media with access to the relevant Information it requires,” he promised.

15-Oct-2023 Kogi is our biggest security challenge, NEC cries out

Kogi is our biggest security challenge, NEC cries out

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says one of its major concern in the conduct of the November 11 Kogi Governorship Election is the prevailing security challenge in the State.

Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, INEC, said this when he visited the Kogi Local Government (LGA) Office of the Commission, in Kotonkarfe during a visit to the State to monitor Mock Accreditation in Lokoja on Saturday.

Yakubu said that the Commission was working with the Security Agencies to provide Secured Environment for peaceful and credible Election.

“Wherever you go in Nigeria, you are sure to see two Government Offices. One is INEC. You will see an INEC Office in the LGA headed by an Electoral Officer,(EO). You will also see the Police Office headed by a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for the Local Government.

“So, we are everywhere working together. And I’m happy that we are working together as we prepare for the Elections,“ he said.

Yakubu advised the Electoral Officers (EOs) in the State to follow the standard template for Logistics deployment at Registration Area Centres (RACs), as well as work with Security Agencies, for the Election to commence in Polling Units (Pus)at 8.30a.m.

“My advice to you is that you have to use the standard template for this Election.

“I am glad to hear that all the Non-Sensitive Materials have been received in your Local Government. And I’m sure it’s the same story in other Local Governments as well.

“But it’s not only the receipt of the Materials that is important. You have to batch them so that they go into the Box per Polling Unit.

“So, on Election Day, as you move to the super RACs or the RAC Centers, you will then move to the Polling Units,” he said.
Yakubu added: “We are giving our words to Nigerians that we must open Polling Units at 8.30am on the dot. Therefore, you must activate the RACs. If you don’t activate the RACs we can’t actualise the commencement of voting at 8.30am.

“You must activate the RACs with Security Agents and I am happy that you are working in partnership with them.”
He commended all the INEC staff and Security Agencies in the State.

Hassan Musa, the Electoral Officer, Kogi Local Government Area (LGA) Office, Kotonkarfe, said that the preparations for the Election was in advance stage.

Musa said that the LG Office had already received all the Non-Sensitive Materials for the Election and was working with Security Agencies for a peaceful Election.

He said that in the next few weeks the Commission would round the RACs Centres in the LG to monitor the preparations.

“We have received virtually all the Non-Sensitive Materials for the Election and we have successful dispatched them to PUs level and we are good to go. We don’t have any shortfall for now.

“What we are waiting for is Sensitive Materials. As you know Sensitive Materials come few days close to the Election . More so we are having cordial relationship Security Agencies and they are doing their best to address places that have security challenges.

“We have received virtually all the Non-Sensitive Materials and we have successfully dispatched them to PU levels. And we are good to go, sir. We don’t have any shortfall for now.

“We have also met with Transportation Unions, waiting to sign MoU with them. ”

Yakubu used the opportunity to plant a tree in the premises of the INEC Office for peaceful Election, before proceeding to visit some PUs where Mock Accreditation was held in Lokoja. 

12-Oct-2023 Sylva: They are panicking, so they procure 'Jankara Judgment' against me

Sylva: They are panicking, so they procure 'Jankara Judgment' against me

Timipre Sylva, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate for the November 11, Bayelsa Governorship Election, says his disqualification by an Abuja High Court, won’t affect his chances of winning the Election.

Sylva spoke for the first time after the Court Ruling at a Political Rally in Agoro in Ekeremor Local Government Area (LGA) of the State on Thursday, urging his Supporters not to be distracted.

“Don’t be dismayed about the Ruling, just be prepared to come out en masse on November 11, to cast your vote for our party, the APC, ” he said.

The former Governor promised to complete the West Senatorial Road as well extend it to Agee Community, if given the Mandate in the November11 Poll.

He also promised to resolve the non recognition of the Paramount Ruler of the Oil Rich Community and make life easier and rewarding for the People.

“Some People are afraid of the Election, they are panicking, so they went and procure some Jankara Judgment.

“We want to assure you that, that Judgment will not stand because it is against Natural Justice.

“So, just carry on, no worries at all just come out and vote for us and I assure you that the Lives of the People of this Community will never be the same again, ” he said.

Sylvia said that he knew the problem associated with the non recognition of the Traditional Ruler of Agge, adding that he almost resolved the issue before he left Office the last time..

“This time I am coming back to resolve it permanently.

“I have also promised that since the Senatorial Road has gotten to Ekeremor Town l, we will continue that Road from where it has stopped and take it to Agge, ” he said.

The APC Candidate said that the combination of himself and Joshua Maciver was good for the People. “On November 11 make sure that you vote for me and the APC.”

Sylva, who also took his Campaign Train to Peretorugbene, Ndoro and other Coastal Communities in Ekeremor LGA, promised to tackle flooding and erosion faced by the State. 

12-Oct-2023 Tinubu has no Identity crisis, does not require re-introduction, APC replies Obi

Tinubu has no Identity crisis, does not require re-introduction, APC replies Obi

President Bola Tinubu does not have identity problem and does not require re-introduction, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared in Abuja. It was reacting to a statement made earlier on Wednesday by Peter Obi, Labour Party’s (LP) Presidential Candidate at the 2023 Election at a News Conference he addressed. Obi focused on Tinubu’s Academic Records from Chicago State University throughout his Press Conference. “President Tinubu does not need a reintroduction because he does not have any identity problem, except the one contrived by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi. “Obi only etched a script authored by Atiku at his News Conference,’’ APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, stated in the reaction. “At his Press Conference of Wednesday, Obi blathered on about President Tinubu’s Identity and Academic Records, like a broken voice note of Atiku Abubakar. “He cut a pitiful profile as though forced to read a prepared statement by his unimaginative handlers, and mendacious Associates in the PDP. “Unwilling to miss out in the campaign of calumny over Tinubu’s Chicago State University Certificate, Obi jumped on the tail board of Atiku’s bandwagon to satisfy his insatiable thirst for cheap Media attention,’’ Morka stated. He noted that Obi’s action came long after his Labour Party had dissociated itself from a bogus call to action by the former Vice-President. Morka emphasised that Obi demanded that Tinubu reintroduce himself to Nigerians as though the 8.9 million Nigerians who voted for him in February’s Presidential Election were not aware of the choice they made. He stated that Nigerians who voted Tinubu into Office were and remained aware of his outstanding record and accomplishments as a Defender of Democracy, Freedom, Social and Economic Justice for over three decades. “Nigerians know President Tinubu as a thoroughbred Professional and former Auditor and Treasurer of Mobil Nigeria, now ExxonMobil. “Nigerians know the President as a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he served as Chairman of the influential Finance and Appropriations Committee. “They know him as a former Governor of Lagos State who designed and paved the pathway to the growth and prosperity of present day Lagos State, the fifth largest Economy in Africa. “Nigerians know who they voted for as the 16th President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ Morka stressed. According to him, Nigerians voted for Tinubu with full faith and confidence that his track record and wide competences will help in the re-engineering of the Country’s Economy in the interest of all. He added that in marked contrast, Nigerians had flatly and serially rejected Atiku, and denied Peter Obi’s Presidential bid in the last Election. “Beyond regaling Nigerians with false and embarrassing statistics for which he had gained notoriety, Peter Obi cannot be said to be known for any outstanding performance even as Governor of Anambra for eight years. “Peter Obi has no worthy legacy standing in his name. “As for President Tinubu’s Academic Record at the Chicago State University, the facts are clear and settled except for those politically jaundiced by the trauma of electoral defeat. “The Chicago State University has unequivocally stated over and over again, and in a deposition under oath by the Registrar, Caleb Westberg that President Tinubu attended the school and graduated with Honours,’’ Morka stated. He added that Nigerians were now familiar with the stellar academic performance of President Tinubu as evidenced by his Transcript released by Chicago State University with 18As, 10Bs and three C Grades. Morka stated also that it was disturbing and contemptuous of the Courts for Atiku and Obi to pollute the Public Space with the same issues they had submitted to the Court for adjudication. He added that they had continued to perpetrate Public deception, operating simultaneously as Accusers and Judges in their own base cause. “We condemn the disgraceful attempt by Obi, Atiku and their Cheerleaders to use Mainstream and Social Media to intimidate the Judiciary, incite the Public to violence, and disparage Justices of the Appeal and Supreme Courts. “We urge all well-meaning Nigerians to condemn this Anti-Democratic and irresponsible conduct of both Political Naggers. “For the records, our Team of Lawyers stand advised to explore all available Judicial Mechanisms towards bringing Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar to Justice for their ceaseless contemptuous conduct. “In our Democracy, the Office of the President is not filled by intimidation, blackmail or reckless self-help. “It is filled by the People, by their lawful votes at the Polls just as they did on February 25, 2023 when they elected Bola Tinubu as President,’’ Morka stressed.
10-Oct-2023 Judgment against Sylva unfortunate, it's Democracy in action, says Ganduje

Judgment against Sylva unfortunate, it's Democracy in action, says Ganduje

The Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) says it will appeal the Court Judgment against its Bayelsa Governorship candidate, Timipreye Sylva.

Abdullahi Ganduje, APC National Chairman, disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents on Tuesday in Abuja.

He described the Judgment as unfortunate, noting however that it was actually Democracy in action.

‘’Well, it’s unfortunate that Judgment, but we can say that it is Democracy in action.

“But, we learned that the Person who took the issue to the Court is not even qualified, because he did not contest with Sylva.

‘’Therefore, he’s not even qualified for him to take the issue to the Court. However, we are appealing. We’re waiting for the Judgment and then we appeal for calm on that issue,’’ Ganduje said.

A Federal High Court in Abuja disqualified former Bayelsa Governor, Timipre Sylva, from contesting the Election coming up in November.

The Judge, Justice Donaltus Okorowo, ruled on Monday that Sylva would violate the 1999 Constitution by running after having taken the Oath of Office twice and ruled for five years as Governor of Bayelsa.

Sylva was Governor of Bayelsa between 2007 and 2011 on the Platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ganduje, however, said that the Judgment would not deter the Party from its arrangement for the Election coming up next month.

He said, ‘’Last two weeks, I was in Bayelsa for two good days and I think they were ready and they’re still ready to win the Election.

‘’Therefore, this is a little distraction anyway, but we will overcome it.

“We believe the Appeal Court will give us positive Judgment but that will not stop us from making arrangement for the forthcoming Election.”

10-Oct-2023 Over five million Voters to participate in Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Governorship Polls

Over five million Voters to participate in Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Governorship Polls

INEC expects 5.4 million Voters to vote in the three Off-Cycle Governorship Elections slated to hold on November 11 in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo.

Of the figure, 1.05 million Voters are in Bayelsa; 2.4 million are in Imo and two million are in Kogi.

Sam Olumekun, National Commissioner and Chairman, INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee stated in Abuja that INEC reviewed its preparations for the Elections in the three States on Tuesday.

He assured that Electronic Copies of the complete Register of Voters for each State would be given to Political Parties participating in the Elections.

“Sixteen Political Parties are sponsoring Candidates in Bayelsa; 17 Political Parties are doing same in Imo, while 18 Parties are fielding Candidates in Kogi.

“State Chairmen of Political Parties or their Representatives are invited to attend the Presentation of the Registers on October 12 at INEC’s Offices in Lokoja, Owerri and Yenagoa at 10 a.m.,’’ he stated.

He added that INEC had finalised arrangements for Mock Accreditation of Voters in the three States in furtherance of its commitment to deepen the deployment of Technology for Voter Accreditation and Result Management.

The Mock Exercise, he explained, would test-run the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the upload of Polling Units Results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV).

“The Exercise will take place simultaneously in the three States on Saturday October 14 from 8.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.

“The list of designated Polling Units for each State has already been uploaded to INEC’s Website and Social Media Platforms.

“Lessons learnt from the Mock Exercise will be taken into consideration to ensure the seamless deployment of both the BVAS and IReV on Election Day.

“This is strictly a Test-Run and not the actual Election,’’ Olumekun stated.

He appealed to Registered Voters in the selected Polling Units to turn up with their Permanent Voter Cards for the Mock Exercise. 

02-Oct-2023 Tribunal kicks out Nasarawa Governor, declares PDP Candidate Winner

Tribunal kicks out Nasarawa Governor, declares PDP Candidate Winner

The Nasarawa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia on Monday nullified the Election of Governor Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a split decision.

It instead declared David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the March 18 Governorship Election in the State.

Delivering the judgment lasting more than four hours virtually, Chairman of the Three-Member Tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, declared Ombugadu the rightful Winner of the Election.

Justice Chiemelie Onaga, a Member of the Panel agreed with the judgement read by the Panel Chairman.

The Chairman declared that Ombugadu provided the Results of the various Polling Units and Forms EC 8A and proved to the Tribunal that the Results were manipulated in favour of the APC.

He said that based on the proof from the various Polling Units before the Tribunal, Ombugadu had the majority of valid Votes at the Election.

He ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Sule and issue a new one to Ombugadu.

The only dissenting judgment was delivered by Justice Ibrahim Mashi, who dismissed the Petition filed by the PDP Candidate for lacking in merit.

He said the Petitioner failed to prove his case and upheld INEC’s declaration of Sule as Winner.

Reacting to the Tribunal’s decision, Ombugadu’s Counsel, Johnson Usman (SAN), lauded it for a detailed judgment.

The Counsel said the Tribunal had proved that the Court is the last hope of the Common Man by affirming the decision of the majority of the People of the State at the Poll.