The Bayelsa state Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the election of the state governor, Douye Diri, and has ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days.
A three-man panel of the tribunal sat this morning Monday, August 17, and ordered the nullification of the election. Two of the judges ruled in favor of the nullification while one ruled against the dismissal.
In a split judgment of two to one, the three-member panel ruled that the election was unlawful due to the exclusion of Action Nigeria Democratic Party (ADP) and its candidate, King George from the November 16, 2019 governorship election.
The Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) had filed a petition challenging the victory of Governor Diri in the November 19 governorship election. The party accused INEC of unlawfully excluding it’s candidate, King George, from the election.
In its defense, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that the party’s Deputy Governorship candidate during the November 2019 governorship election in the state was 34 years old as at the time of nomination and therefore did not qualify to contest the election.
ANDP however told the tribunal that its initial Deputy Governorship Candidate, David Esinkuma was duly substituted by the Party within the allowed time frame, following the notification from INEC that he’s under-age.
Justice Yunusa Musa who delivered the lead judgment in the petition, said that INEC has no power to disqualify any candidate and insists that the petition of the ANDP stands. Justice Musa pointed out that only a court has the power to disqualify any candidate for any election and that the petition from ANDP was filed within the 21 days which is the stipulated time for petitions to be filed.
He described INEC’s action to exclude the ANDP from the Bayelsa Governorship Election as an illegality.
He thereafter nullified the election of Governor Douye Diri and ordered INEC to carry out a fresh election within 90 days.
INEC is expected to include the ANDP in the forthcoming bye-election.
Over the weekend, the tribunal affirmed Governor Duoye’s election after another political party in the state, Alliance For Democracy, claimed the deputy governor parades a forged NYSC certificate. The tribunal in dismissing the petition, stated that the petitioner failed to prove the allegations of forgery.
US 2020 Election: Trump calls mail-in voting a ‘scam”
US President, Donald Trump, has called mail-in voting a “scam” during a press conference on Friday September 17, blasting the voting system in which states send mail-in ballots directly to voters due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
More than half of all Americans are expected to vote through the mail this presidential election, though over 40 percent of Americans voted by mail in the 2016 and 2012 general elections, according to the Election Assistance Commission.
Several states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, automatically send out mail-in ballots to all state residents for the general election.
But due to the Coronavirus pandemic, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington D.C. will automatically mail out ballots to all residents for the 2020 election.
“They’re sending out tens of millions of ballots to everybody, people that didn’t expect them. People are getting inundated with ballots, they’ll be showered with ballots,” Trump said Friday.
“Everybody in this room knows it’s a scam,” the president continued, gesturing to the White House press pool. “They are never going to be able to count them.”
It’s a disaster, everyone knows it,” Trump told reporters before adding that the U.S. Postal Service was not to blame for the 2020 primary election mishaps, when hundreds of thousands of ballots went uncounted .
“Where are these ballots going? Who’s sending them? Who’s signing them?” Trump asked, attempting to show why he thinks voting through the mail is insecure.
“I think it’s going to be a terrible time for this country and we are counting on federal judges to do a great constitutional job.”
Recently, Trump cynically stated that 80 million Americans would receive mail-in ballots as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, a figure he alleges will invalidate the 2020 election results.
Kosovo gives Trump highest honor in the country for his role in historic peace deal with Serbia
Kosovo has given US President Donald Trump, its highest honor on Friday, September 18, for his role in a historic peace deal agreed with Serbia earlier this month.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci awarded Trump the country’s Order of Freedom “for his exceptional contribution for the freedom of Kosovo and the strengthening of Peace and reconciliation in the region.”
According to the president, the award is given to those who made significant contributions to defending Kosovo’s freedom.
President Thaci also said he was giving Presidential Medals of Merit to National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Richard Grenell, who served as intermediaries during the talks.
The award comes after Trump oversaw the signing of the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo earlier this month, which normalizes economic relations between both countries.
The deal also sees Kosovo recognizing Israel, and Serbia agreeing to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The deal was signed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti in front of Trump in the Oval Office with Trump describing it as a “major breakthrough.”
Trump even received a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Magnus Jacobsson, a member of the Swedish Parliament, said he was nominating Trump along with Serbia and Kosovo “for their joint work for peace and economic development, through the cooperation agreement signed in the White House.”
For those who don’t know the history between Kosovo and Serbia, Kosovo had declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after NATO conducted an airstrike campaign against Serbia in a bid to end the brutal persecution of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
After Kosovo’s declaration of independence, most Western countries recognized Kosovo’s independence but Serbia, Russia and China did not.
Without thugs, APC will be beaten silly in Edo – Governor Wike
Governor Nyesom Wike has commented on the upcoming governorship election in Edo state.
The Rivers state Governor in an interview on African Independent Television (AIT) on Thursday September 17, alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is hoping to win the election by manipulating the result.
Wike who is also the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign council on Edo governorship election, stated that the APC “will be beaten silly in the governorship election” if there are no thugs spearheading electoral malpractices.
“The IG has said they will not give room to any thugs, to any miscreants, and it is our prayer that is done. If that is done, APC will be beaten silly in this election. If what IG said is carried out, you will see that APC will not near – the only hope they have is to manipulate the security agencies.
“Remember what happened in my case and if you take the case of Rivers state, it was very clear, and the way I see APC going, the desperation is so much and the only hope APC has today is to use security agents, is to manipulate the process.
“Our own business is to let our people know, if you know the police are [compromised], we will not allow it. We want to believe in them but however, don’t slip, don’t slip, make sure you follow them bumper to bumper.
“Make sure you monitor what is happening. Let one policeman tell you that after they have declared results in this unit, that you cannot as an agent, follow that result to the collation centre. That is not correct.
“In some cases, you see security agents coming to even beat the agents of the opposition party. It is not something that anyone will come and tell me that you have assured me that nothing will happen.”
On governance in Edo state, Wike said;
“Everybody knows, go to Edo, they don’t do publicity. They do their thing quietly. It may be different from ours.
“Last time I went to Ogbemudia stadium, it was nothing to write home about, but go and see Ogbemudia stadium today. He has built all the high courts, he showed me.”