The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has released the schedule of events for a fresh governorship primary in Abia state.

In a statement issued on Friday by Debo Ologunagba, the national publicity secretary, the party said the primary will be held on Saturday, February 4.

TheCable had reported that Uchenna Ikonne, the governorship candidate, died on Wednesday morning at the National Hospital, Abuja, after a brief illness.

The opposition party said the fresh primary is pursuant to the provisions of Section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022.


“The National Working Committee (NWC) has released the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of a fresh Governorship Election Primary in Abia State,” the statement reads.

“The Timetable and Schedule of Activities are as follows;

1. Notice to INEC – Friday, January 27, 2023


2. Sale of Forms – Friday, January 27- Tuesday, January 31, 2023

3. Last day for the Submission of already purchased Forms – Wednesday, February 01, 2023

4. Screening of Aspirants – Thursday, February 02, 2023

5. Screening Appeal- Friday, February 03, 2023


6. State Congress (Gubernatorial Candidate Nomination) – Saturday, February 04, 2023

“Fresh aspirants are permitted to participate in the current exercise alongside those who contested in the earlier primary.”

The late PDP gubernatorial candidate was the former vice-chancellor of the Abia State University (ABSU).

He polled 468 votes in the Abia governorship primary held in May 2022 to defeat five other contestants.

Lucky Igbokwe came a distant second with 45 votes, while the only female contestant, Ngozi Merenge, scored five votes.

It was always obvious to keen, disinterested observers that Bola Tinubu’s gamble in helping Buhari to ascend to power won’t pay off in the end; that his opportunistic political love affair with Buhari won’t be requited; and that the brittle, delicately thin thread that held their relational dynamic would snap sooner or later. I wrote countless columns on this.

Tinubu won the nomination of the APC not because of Buhari and the cabal of provincial power brokers that prop him but in spite of them. Tinubu was compelled to ventilate his famously impassioned “emi lo kan” outburst in Abeokuta (in the Yoruba language, no less) when it became nakedly apparent that Buhari and his cabal had perfected plans to edge him out of the APC presidential primary contest.

 People who know Tinubu from his inchoate age in Iragbiji tell me that he is a dogged, rugged, never-say-die fighter who would rather die fighting than give up a fight. His contemporaries dreaded fights with him not because he was strong but because his fights were often brutal and never-ending until he won. Even when he was bloodied and beaten to a pulp, he would get up and continue the fight if not immediately then later.

The story I heard of Tinubu’s childhood in Iragbiji reminded me of someone I grew up with in my hometown whom we nicknamed Mohammed Shaytan. Mohammed was his given name, but his bizarre emotional investment in endlessly ferocious fights with anyone until he won earned him the name Shaytan, the Arabic word for Satan. We used to allow him to “defeat” us so we would have peace. Perpetual personal strife, which he thrived in, wasn’t physically, mentally, and emotionally sustainable for a lot of us.


When the cabal was plotting to exclude Tinubu from the APC presidential contest, I had an informal chit-chat with a higher-up who had some associational affinities with the cabal. I told him that based on what I’d learned about Tinubu’s childhood and teenage years (some of which I can’t disclose publicly) and which seem to have endured into his adulthood, he would rather be dead than give up the APC nomination.

After the “emi lo kan” blow-up, which shook Buhari and his inner circle to their roots, my older acquaintance called to tell me I was right. The speech—and, of course, the support of APC’s northern governors, and his deep pockets— caused him to win the battle, but he is now in danger of losing the war, if he hasn’t already lost it. Here’s why.

Tinubu’s fervent, arrogant, and vaguely vituperative speech in Abeokuta at once unnerved, humiliated, and alienated Buhari and his inner circle in ways they had never been since 2015. Buhari never forgives, but he is also diffident, hates direct confrontation, and evades taking responsibility. That’s why he is such an ineffective but dangerous leader. 

All indications clearly point to the fact that Buhari is still nursing the hurt of his well-justified humiliation by Tinubu. His inner loop of advisers is also waiting in the wings to exact revenge against Tinubu, which is frankly inexplicably self-indulgent, even hypocritical, because they would not have supported Tinubu even if he didn’t humiliate them on national television, even if he praised them to high heaven from now till kingdom come. Well, they seem to be now out for Tinubu in full force.

This signal first emerged in the open when Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura, a former minister in Obasanjo’s administration who is very close to Buhari, Mamman Daura and members of the cabal, gave a sermon in his mosque in Kaduna where he importuned northerners to support their own. It’s entirely possible that this opinion is his alone.

Nonetheless, as many people have observed, Buhari has so far studiously refrained from asking voters to vote for Tinubu. He raises Tinubu’s hands on the campaign trail, but it’s as a mere ritual political gesture that he is required to perform. He also raises the hands of other APC candidates. But he has so far not directly solicited votes for Tinubu. 

In a November 10, 2022, interview with Premium Times on the so-called currency redesign, which has gone viral in the last few days, Buhari justified the currency redesign by gratuitously invoking the specter of unscrupulous moneybags who use thugs to win elections, which many people, including Tinubu’s people, understood as an indirect attack on Tinubu.


 “Nigerians should vote for whoever they like from whichever party. Nobody will be allowed to mobilize resources and thugs to intimidate people in any constituency,” Buhari said in what seems like a sneaky barb at Tinubu who infamously uses money and thugs to win elections, including elections that Buhari has benefited from. “This is what I want to go down into Nigerian history for.”

Of course, when Premium Times’ reporter pushed him to speak on his support for Tinubu, he uttered platitudinous, half-hearted, mealy-mouthed praises of Tinubu and Lagos and said, “the party was lucky to get [Tinubu to] accept to be its candidate.” We all know it wasn’t the party that got Tinubu to accept to be its candidate; it was Tinubu who fought tooth and nail against the machinations of Buhari and his cabal to become the party’s candidate.


In the aftermath of the renewed attention to and intra-party criticisms of Buhari’s failure to publicly urge his supporters to vote for Tinubu, Buhari’s associates organized a charade in Bauchi. During the APC presidential campaign in Bauchi, Buhari was asked to speak in support of Tinubu. Then, suddenly, the microphone mysteriously developed a malfunction—or there was a power cut—and Buhari left the venue of the campaign in a faux huff. It seemed all carefully choreographed. 

Being the aggressively wily and perceptive political fox that Tinubu is, he has sensed all the Machiavellian political mischief that’s afoot. And he has had enough. So, he threw another pugilistic rhetorical blow at Buhari and his cabal in Abeokuta—and in the Yoruba language. When he is drowning and is fighting for his political life, Tinubu cries in Yoruba. English has no capacity to carry the full weight of his fury.

Unfortunately for Tinubu, his avoidably self-inflicted reputational injury in the Muslim North by his inability to recite the first chapter of the Qur’an is eroding his support. Salafi clerics in the Hausaphone Muslim North who used to preach that a vote for the Tinubu-Shettima Muslim-Muslim ticket was a jihad in the service of Islam have gone quiet. They can’t justify calling someone who can’t recite the fatiha a Muslim. In fact, the clerics have become objects of ridicule now.

This was completely preventable political self-harm. All he needed to do was continue being seen praying in mosques and going to Mecca for hajj. No one ever asks Muslims, not least wealthy ones like Tinubu, to justify their claims to their faith by reciting verses of the Qur’an. Most northern Muslim elites, including Buhari, know next to nothing about their religion. But it’s sufficient that they are seen in public performing the rituals of the religion.

Tinubu would have benefitted from having northern Muslims in his inner circle. They would have advised him against attempting to recite the fatiha that he has obviously lost because he doesn’t use.

The only silver lining in the cloud of political troubles for Tinubu in the Muslim North, which he needs to have a fighting chance, is that almost all APC governors in the region are solidly behind him for two reasons. The first is the embarrassment of betraying him after he stood with them in the 2015 and 2019 elections. Nasir El-Rufai is the arrowhead of this sentiment. He thinks it would be a treachery for the history books should the entire Muslim North forsake Tinubu. 

The second reason is more selfish. Should Atiku Abubakar win the election, the dreams of another northern Muslim from the northern governors’ ranks becoming a president would be perpetually deferred. Even though Atiku has said he would do only one term, it would be almost impossible for another Muslim to succeed him after four years.

It remains to be seen if the support of the governors can reverse Tinubu’s lost ground in the Muslim North. But the fight is on, and it’s just getting started!

Tinubu pays, most people will tell you. I do not know whether, and to what extent, this is true; but it is a popularly held view. “We shall walk out of this electoral engagement with something substantial”, has been attributed to some of his supporters. In sum, it would seem that there is a larger population of carpet baggers and hunting dogs around the man, than convinced disciples.


An Igbo prover says that a man who has a house full of “friends” whose loyalty rests on the largeness of his purse and the venison on his dining table has no friends at all. Such a man will find out, sooner or later, that he is alone on the day of sacrifice when people are asked to make all manner of personal denials for him. No one will stake his life for him, because all his friends would like to live and enjoy their plunder.

A look at most of the campaign video clips of Asiwaju raises a fundamental question of propriety, patriotism, and dignity in adulthood for most of his backers. “How and why would anyone bring out this man, have the courage to stand behind him as a supporter in public, and then boldly assert that this is the best that the ruling APC can find for Nigeria, after eight years of unmitigated leadership incompetence? From the party’s performance on all fronts, it ought to simply apologize to Nigerians, withdraw from the elections and announce that it would go on a 24 months retreat; to learn about leadership.


But not only is the party contesting, it is fielding probably the worst in its park of elders. Possibly in response to overwhelming inducement, those who matter in the party lost the capacity for good judgment. Fielding a visibly competent person may have at least been an attempt to hoodwink inattentive observers into locating the APC’s existing proof of failure on an individual. But the party did not think in that direction, at all.

Which is, perhaps, why a video clip that is making the rounds has become the subject of more than passing attention. The clip in question is unusually clear. The image, and facial expressions, of President Buhari as he spoke was also clearer than usual. The man was, somewhat unlike him in his less coherent moments, quite articulate and forthright; as he declared that he would ensure free, fair and transparent elections. He said that that is the legacy he would like to leave, as he leaves for Daura, Katsina State in a few months’ time.

Add the foregoing to the growing suspicion, and perhaps realization, that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is being touted to have “tied its hands”, such that it cannot influence election outcomes because of the BVAS it procured, and is determined to use. Add, also, the general impression that there is a direct linkage between the drama surrounding the new Naira notes and the elections. This would lead us to the conclusion that individuals and groups planning, and hoping, to deploy unvarnished cash to influence the elections may find themselves upstaged. What then will Asiwaju Boal Tinubu, whom many believe is planning to “pay all payables” in order to emerge president.


The man’s political machinery seems to be densely supported by individuals and groups who are largely driven by the “cash value’” of their loyalty to their pockets and their inverted patriotism as Nigerians. And that brings us back to the personal, aspirational and existential crisis facing a Bola Tinubu in Nigeria today.

He was the architect of the convoluted processes that birthed the ruling party and the Buhari Presidency. So, he brought out the masquerade that has been dealing with him for eight years now. Do you recall “the article “Tinubu and His Egungun”, Which appeared on this page on August 30, 2016? Perhaps not.

Part of the article in question said: “Most of those who birthed the current Presidency are now confounded. The once most enthusiastic among them are quivering in the limited space allowed him by the very talisman they procured and celebrated. Their circumstance is proof that a politician may get into trouble more because of his own errors of judgment than from the evil machinations of his enemies and competitors. The lessons of the hour for the Lion of Bourdilon, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the APC`s hastily contrived coalition, are legion. These loyalists are all standing in public with bruises inflicted on them by their own, or their family`s Egungun or masquerade”.

The article went further, thus: “The very Opambata, or cane, with which they are being flogged was crafted by them. And this avoidable misfortune is all traceable to their inebriated and hasty grab at power, without close attention to some essential ingredients of political discretion. Look around you and you will see the truth of the saying that politicians can be likened to the spotted hyena, of which it is said: “Of all mammals, they are the most self-centred and most inconsiderate. They are also the most brutal to their kind”.

Not to run the risk of seeming well versed in the Yoruba pantheon, especially with a name like Okey Okechukwu, the article went on: “As explained to me by some Yoruba friends who are versed in some aspects of the Yoruba cultural traditions, an Egun (singular for Egungun) is always someone`s Egun. But `Egungun` in its more specific, common-sense usage, refers to masquerades connected with the ancestors as a collective force for communal unity, moral probity and economic betterment. (This makes the president our National Egungun). But even when the word is used in the broadest sense, wherein “Egungun” refers to all types of masquerades, or masked and costumed figures, (like Speaker, Chief Whip, Majority Leader, Committee Chair, Senate President, etc.), it is still dressed and `brought out` by its `owners”.


Do you see what I mean? Again, for the masquerade to come out, “An act of invocation (known as “Alapi”) must be performed by the Chief priest, ushering the Egungun, before the worshippers dance, drum and are possessed by the ancestral Egungun, or spirit. It was Tinubu who performed this ceremony, as Chief Priest of the APC. But contrary to the norm in the Egungun cult and Festival, wherein the Chief Priest and family members are not `flogged out of the way` by the Egungun, Chief Bola Tinubu and his co-travellers were soon in the line of fire. The spirit they summoned turned out not to be the one they intended, or expected”.

Consider this, for instance, as observed in the article: “Tinubu, as Chief Priest, had barely finished the “political Alapi rituals” before the Egugun came for his throat, intent on summarily asphyxiating him. He barely extricated himself and is still clearing his throat, after that unfriendly grip. Smaller masquerades, like Saraki, are still scampering for cover. The masqueraders have thus become victims of the distemper of the very masquerade they dressed up and brought to the village square. Their political calculations before the elections, including their fallback positions and their third level machinations, collapsed. The masquerade had shredded its leash”.

What has been clear since the commencement of the Buhari government is that: “No talisman can also prevent a man from carrying out harmful designs that his enemies would have loved, but which he personally inflicts on himself; out of folly, or in a temporary attack of un-wisdom. Your security man cannot prevent you from quietly killing yourself in your bedroom, behind doors you locked with your own hands. Thus, the talismanic code of service avoids presumptive interference with the free volition of its owner in matters of self-destruction; lest it be accused of exogamous talismanic insurrection”.

Seeking continuous validation in metaphors and proverbs, the article under reference here went on: “An Igbo proverb says that the person who goes to a heap of birds and brings home a vulture will be scandalized by the fact that his greed made him focus on the presumed quantity of meat, instead of the species of bird he was carrying home as booty. That is the issue for many of APC`s erstwhile promoters and supporters today. President Buhari, in all his phlegmatic, somnambulistic and incompetent wobble, shall be an essential instrument for a national winnowing and cleansing that is long overdue. Not because he designed it, or because it is a planned engagement, but because his bungling will make a conflagration inevitable”.


Look at Tinubu today. “Even the rainmakers shall fall victim to the elements; because they did not know the full implications of the incantations they were mumbling. They cannot even take full flight! They locked the gates before the incantations began. They arranged a funeral, while dressed for a banquette, such that. Baffled, besmirched, excoriated and roundly diminished by their masquerade`s aberrant and atavistic totality, they crouch; hobbled, as they huddle””.

And, finally, “Aquiver in little corners, they are now muttering “Olori buruku, ma ba temi je o! Enough said, as the dénouement of this drama is unfolding precipitously.

Kudos to Segun Adeniyi, Dave Umahi

An unlikely pair, right? I agree. One is my friend, the other is not. But both gentlemen did something commendable in two unrelated fields recently.

The back page of Thisday newspaper of January 12, under the caption, “How Far Can Peter Obi Go”, was a demonstration of courage, genuine patriotism, goodwill towards a friend and a deep sense of responsibility to tell the truth. He drew attention to possible potholes hon the road his friend was travelling. Let those who want lessons on objective commentary go take a read.

Umahi, on his part wiped the subsisting shame of Igbo cultural bigwigs, intelligentsia and political elite when, the other week, he and his people wore the correct “Isi Agu (Leopard head) outfit to a rally. Igbo leadership, including Ohaneze chieftains, received Buhari in Owerri dressed in the wrong outfit of “Isi Odum” (Lion Head), which over 90% of the Igbo population actually assume is Isi Agu. Enough said about Isi Agu – a scandal at Igbo cultural events today.

OVER the course of 400 years, 15 million men, women, and children were transported across the Atlantic as slaves, but the statistics for human trafficking, particularly the sex trade, are far worse. 


Conservatively, 800,000 people are trafficked annually, with 80 per cent being women and half of these being minors. The global sex trade itself is worth $32 billion annually. The issue of what can be done to end human trafficking, in which 25 million people are trapped, was the theme of an international meeting on January 17, 2023 in Abuja.

Argentine Ambassador Alejandro Herrero, who set the tone, said human trafficking is one of the most horrible violations of human rights and has to be combated. The United States, according to US Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, is a global scourge, a brutal and inhuman trade that violates human rights and robs people of their dignity.

 The US says it is facing serious human trafficking challenges. Its Office of Justice Programmes, OJP in 2021, budgeted almost $87 million to combat it, provide support services to victims, and conduct research into the nature and causes of labour and sex trafficking. Ambassador Leonard said victims of trafficking must be assisted. She added that awareness of the signs of trafficking can help detect and prevent the act.


She pointed out that there are laws against trafficking, but the problem is their implementation. “The United States is committed to fighting it because trafficking destabilises societies, undermines economies, harms workers, enriches those who exploit them, undercuts legitimate business and most fundamentally, because it is so profoundly wrong,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the presentation of the 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report in Washington, DC.  

Spanish Ambassador Juan Sell said fighting against human trafficking entails sending a message of hope to its victims and one of determination to bring the perpetuators to justice. He advised people to beware of offers that seem irresistible, adding that human trafficking and sex enslavement are real. His country, he said, is on the receiving end of the trafficking. 

On November 29, 2022, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved a draft “Anti-Trafficking” law against ‘sexual exploitation, forced and arranged marriages, slavery, forced labour, organ and tissue removal, and situations where vulnerable people are forced to engage in criminal activity’. Its Justice Minister, Pilar Llop, said that the law will protect “people who suffer a lot in our country and also in other countries around the world” and “break the business chain that is generated using human beings as commodities”. Under this law, customers of forced sexual workers face fines and prison sentences of six months to four years.

The French Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission, Olivier Chatelais, regretted that, annually, hundreds of Nigerian women are trafficked directly to France. He added that a way out is to organise a worldwide solidarity alliance to fight international crime. France, is a  party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography. In  November 2021, it announced a budget of $15.87 million to fight trafficking. It says it fights against human trafficking through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC.

European Union Representative, Reuben Alba Aguilera, noted that Nigeria is richly endowed with human and natural resources, so there is a need to help the authorities check migration flows. Part of the EU’s announced strategy is to disrupt the online and offline businesses of traffickers by working with tech firms to reduce access to platforms. It also engages in protecting and empowering victims.

Sweden was represented by its Ambassador, Annikka Hahn-Englund. The country will spend $1.44 million to combat human trafficking in 2021. Beneficiaries include the National Support Programme, a civil society platform representing 20 non-governmental organisations. Its 2002 anti-trafficking law prescribes two to three years of imprisonment for those involved in sexual exploitation and forced labour.

Others on the platform of the meeting included Jarai Sabally of The Sisterhood is Global Institute, Taina Bien-Aime of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Jonathan Machler of the Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution, Esohe Aghatise of Iroko and Mickey Meji of the Survivor Empowerment and Support Programme.

The survivor, originally known as  Nomonde Mihlali Meji, is a South African who campaigns for the rights of trafficked and prostituted women. Her engaging story began when she got pregnant at 16, dropped out of school, got into prostitution, crawled out, and became a fighter to get as many women as possible out of prostitution and rehabilitate them.

She had been assisted out of prostitution by an organisation called Sex Workers Education Advocacy Task Force, or SWEAT, and decided that one of the main things to do is to get the term “sex work” abolished and get the sex industry recognised as exploitative and oppressive. When the ruling African National Congress, ANC, at its 54th Congress in 2017 passed a resolution to fully decriminalise prostitution and recognise it as “work”,  Meji fired a protest letter saying prostitution was not employment: “Women in prostitution do not wake up one day and “choose” to be prostitutes.

Prostitution is chosen for them by our colonial past and apartheid, persistent inequalities, poverty, past sexual and physical abuse, the pimps who take advantage of our vulnerabilities, and the men who buy us as prostitutes. Most women are drawn into prostitution at a young age, some as young as 13 years old. Women and girls in prostitution have almost no resources to help them exit the sex trade.


Some of the panellists at the Abuja meeting argued that the basis of sexual exploitation is a culture that sees women as commodities, disposable objects that can be bought and sold. They argued that prostitution is not a female problem but mainly that of the buyer who pays for the human body. 

They pointed out that almost all the victims of prostitution and sex trafficking are from marginalised communities. The solution they posited, is to provide the victims with shelter, support and an exit programme while the perpetrators, pimps and customers are penalised. 

They argued that unless there was a focus on cutting off demand, humanity would be bogged down with the problem for another thousand years because once there is demand, there will be supply. They pointed out that sex trafficking is not necessarily from one country to another, but that it can be from one room to another. On how to meet the cost of fighting the scourge, they suggested that money can be taken from the traffickers, pimps and sex buyers.

 The highlight of the meeting was the screening of the 2019 film ‘Oloture’ which is based on sex trafficking.

Friday, 27 January 2023 14:51

Thousands leave NNPP for PDP in Adamawa

Thousands of people in Adamawa State have defected from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Some of the former NNPP members who matched through some streets of the state capital, Yola, on Friday were seen wearing Kwakwassiya caps, made popular by the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

They were, however, chanting PDP slogans and voicing their support for the PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and the Adamawa State governorship candidate, Ahmadu Fintiri.

The leader of the crowd, a former Northeast zonal secretary of NNPP, Dr Babayo Liman said they were defecting from the NNPP because the party was in crisis in many states and the national leader who also seeks to be president had proved unable to resolve them.

Babayo who is from Bauchi State, had announced his defection earlier in the week, saying he was invited by his supporters in Adamawa to lead them into the PDP.

“I have been receiving invitations from various states and when I got here (Adamawa), they told me they wished to follow my footsteps,” he said, stating that no less than 400,000 people were leaving the NNPP to PDP in Adamawa State.

He introduced those who followed him to the press briefing which took place at the NUJ Press Centre in Yola, as former officials of the NNPP across the 21 LGAs of Adamawa State.

In the course of the press briefing, the former NNPP members removed their Kwankwsssiya caps to symbolise their exit from the NNPP.

A socio-political activist, Deji Adeyanju has identified the only thing that could restore Ademola Adeleke as the governor of Osun State.

Adeyanju said only the victory of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the February election can save Adeleke.

In a series of tweets, Adeyanju said Adeleke’s victory is about to be stolen at gunpoint by the judiciary.

According to Adeyanju: “An election Adeleke won before our very eyes despite all the vote buying unleashed by APC in Osun is about to be stolen at gunpoint by the judiciary. I just wonder for Made in Court Room Democracies.

“Tinubu and his people are so determined to take Osun through the Tribunal. Whether through bending the law or any other means, they will take it. Only God or a PDP victory in February can save Adeleke at this point.

“The Osun Election Tribunal, in annulling Adeleke’s victory, says there was overvoting in some PUs. This decision if re-enforced by the apex court will rubbish BVAS and INEC result portals. The overvoting could have occurred from any side but let’s see what Appeal Court & SC will say.”

The Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has described the Friday’s judgement of the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal as “a miscarriage of justice”, vowing to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal.


Reacting to the verdict of the Tribunal from his country home, Ede, Governor Adeleke faulted the resolution of the over-voting question in favour of the All Progressives Congress candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, calling it “an unfair interpretation against the will of majority of voters”.


While urging Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) memebers and supporters to remain calm, Governor Adeleke vowed to appeal the judgement at the Appellate Court, insisting that he remains the rightful winner of the July 16 governor election.


“I call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgement and we are sure justice will be done. Let our people be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate,” Governor Adeleke declared.

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, declined to issue an order of mandamus to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to expunge the name of the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, from list of qualified candidates for the forthcoming presidential election.

The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Binta Nyako, dismissed the suit which accused the APC of failing to comply with mandatory provisions of section 90 (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022, in nominating Tinubu as its presidential candidate.

The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1960/2022, was brought before the court by a non-governmental organization under the aegis of the Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International.

Justice Nyako held that the plaintiff, not being a registered political party in the country, lacked the locus-standi (legal right) to institute the action.

The court noted that the plaintiff had earlier filed a similar suit that was dismissed for want of merit.

Though the court accused the plaintiff of engaging in an abuse of the judicial process through multiplicity of actions, it however commended its lawyer, Mr. Jideobi Johnmary for his erudition.

According to the court, since the plaintiff had no right to file the action, there was no need to consider any of the issues it raised against Tinubu.

Specifically, the plaintiff had prayed the court for; “A declaration that having regard to the clear, unambiguous and express provisions, sprit and tenor of Section 90 (3) read alongside section 84 (13) of the Electoral Act 2022, the 1st defendant, has deliberately refused to exercise the powers, mandate and statutory duty/obligation bestowed on him in section 84 (13) of the Electoral Act 2022, to immediately exclude, expunge and remove the 3rd defendant’s name Bola Ahmed Tinubu from the final list of presidential candidates contesting the 2023 presidential election for failure of the 2nd Defendant to comply with the mandatory provisions of section 90 (3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

“A declaration that by operation of law and having regard to the clear, unambiguous and express provisions, sprit and tenor of Section 90 (3) read alongside section 84 (13) of the Electoral Act 2022, the 3rd defendant Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is not a candidate for the 2023 Presidential election, and he is automatically excluded, expunged, and removed from participating in the 2023 presidential election for failure of the 2nd Defendant to comply with the mandatory provisions of section 90 (3) of the Electoral Act 2022 in nominating the 3rd defendant as its presidential candidate.

“An order of mandamus directing and compelling 1st defendant to exercise the powers, mandate and statutory duty/ obligation bestowed on him in section 84 (13) of the Electoral Act 2022, to immediately exclude, expunge and remove the 3rd Defendant’s name Bola Ahmed Tinubu from the final list of presidential candidates contesting the 2023 presidential election for failure of the 2nd Defendant to comply with the mandatory provisions of section 90 (3) of the Electoral Act 2022 in nominating the 3rd defendant as its presidential candidate”.

As well as, “An order nullifying and setting aside as illegal, null and void, the nomination of the 3rd defendant as the presidential candidate of the 2nd defendant for failure of the 2nd defendant to comply with the mandatory provisions of section 90 (3) of the Electoral Act 2022”.

On grounds upon which it instituted the action, the plaintiff argued that by the provision of section 90 (3) of the 2022 Electoral Act, no political party in Nigeria is allowed to receive any contribution, of cash or kind, exceeding N50million, without showing the source of the contribution to INEC.

However, both the APC and Tinubu, who were cited in the suit as 2nd and 3rd Defendants, filed preliminary objections to challenge the competence of the suit.

The Defendants described the suit as non-justiciable, adding that it was statute barred since it was not filed within 14 days after Tinubu’s name was submitted to the INEC.

Consequently, they prayed the court to decline jurisdiction and dismiss the suit.

Friday, 27 January 2023 14:35

Why Tribunal sacked Osun gov - Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke’s administration in Osun State came to an end on Friday when the Osun Election Petitions Tribunal sacked him. His stay in office lasted a mere 62 days!

The tribunal determined that the Independent National Electoral Commission had violated both the provisions of the Electoral Act as amended and the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution when it invalidated the results of the Osun governorship election on July 16.

WITHIN NIGERIA reports the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, the winner of the July 16 election.

Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the University of Lagos’ Vice-Chancellor and the election’s returning officer, declared that Adeleke had received a total of 403,371 votes, defeating APC’s Adegboyega Oyetola, the incumbent governor, who had received 375,027 votes in the hotly contested race.

The PDP won 17 of Osun’s 30 local government areas (LGAs) in the 3,763 polling units that made up the election, while the APC received more votes in the other 13 LGAs. The PDP won in Ede North, Ede South, Ifelodun, Boluwaduro, Egbedore, Odo Otin, Osogbo, Ila, Atakumosa West, Olorunda, Ilesa West, Obokun, Oriade, Orolu, Ife North, Irepodun, and Ejigbo LGAs.

The APC, on the other hand, won in Boripe, Ilesa East, Ayedire, Ifedayo, Ife Central, Ayedaade, Iwo, Olaoluwa, Isokan, Atakumosa East, Irewole, Ife South, and Ife East LGAs. Out of the 1,955,657 registered voters in the state, 1,479,595 Permanent Voter Cards were collected before the election.

WITHIN NIGERIA reports that Adeleke’s victory raised the PDP-governed states’ tally to 14, with the ruling APC states dropping to 21.

But the hope of Adeleke, known for his dancing skills and fondly referred to as the ‘Dancing Senator’, was dashed on Friday after the tribunal annulled the result of the July 16 governorship poll.

While delivering a majority decision vote, Justice Tetsea Kume ruled that INEC did not comply substantially with the constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He subsequently deducted the over-voting observed from the votes scored by the candidates and declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314, 921, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.

He directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issue another one to Oyetola who won a majority of the lawful votes.

A gale of resignation has hit the Kebbi State House of Assembly as the legislative chamber of the north western state witnesses a shake-up.

Among those who stepped down from their role are deputy Speaker, Muhammad Usman, and five other principal officers.

Their resignation was contained in in a letter signed by the Assembly’s spokesperson, Shehu Muhammad-Yauri.

The state lawmakers, however, did not disclose the reason behind their resignation.

The development was confirmed to journalists in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital, today.

It’s gathered that 20 of the 24 members of the house of assembly had signed the letter for the resignation of the principal officers.

Meanwhile, a letter dated January 26, 2023, and signed by the acting clerk, Suleman Shamaki, said the House of Assembly had invited the state governor, Atiku Bagudu, to appear before it on January 27 in order to explain how he expended over N18.7 billion loan approved by the house on October 18, 2021.

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