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Breaking: Tribunal nullifies election of Bayelsa state governor Duoye Diri; orders INEC to conduct fresh election within 90 days

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Politics

Family of slain Abuja newspaper vendor demands N500m compensation from Gbajabiamila

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The family of late Ifeanyi Okereke, the newspaper vendor who was killed by a stray bullet fired by a security detail attached to Speaker of the House of Assembly, Femi Gbajabiamila, are demanding N500 million compensation from the speaker.

 

DSS Officer, Abdullahi Hassan, attached to the speaker, fired a gunshot to disperse newspaper vendors who gathered around the speaker last Thursday, November 19, with one bullet hitting Ifeanyi who died instantly.

 

In a letter written by their lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and dated today November 24, the family of late Ifeanyi asked Gbajabiamila to ensure that Hassan is fully prosecuted. Ozekhome was given the mandate to write the letter by the father of the deceased, Okorie Okereke; and the younger brother to the deceased, Destiny Okereke.

ALSO READ:  Ebonyi Assembly suspends lawmaker over alleged misconduct

 

The letter read in part

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“Our clients have instructed us to make from your good self, the following modest demands: That you use your good offices to ensure the immediate prosecution of your security aide (Abdullahi Hassan), who went on a frolic of his own, clearly acted outside the purview of his duty and responsibility by shooting to death an innocent, harmless and armless citizen.

That you adequately compensate the Okereke family with a modest sum of N500m only. This monetary demand can never adequately replace or take the place of their son, husband, brother, and breadwinner’s life. But it will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them.”

 

ALSO READ:  Family of slain Abuja newspaper vendor demands N500m compensation from Gbajabiamila

The Okereke family gave the Speaker a seven-day ultimatum to meet their demands otherwise they would take legal action against him

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“Take note therefore that it is our clients’ firm instruction that in the event that you fail, refuse and/or neglect to accede to or proffer reasonable compensatory terms to our above modest demands within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall without any further correspondences from us, take appropriate legal steps to enforce our clients’ constitutional rights” the letter stated.

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Nobody can dictate and threaten us over 2023 presidential ticket – APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has stated that it will not allow anyone blackmail or threaten the party over where it should zone its 2023 presidential ticket to.

 

The ruling party which reacted to statements by some southern leaders; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Mbazulike Amaechi and Idongesit Ikanga, adviced Southern leaders to lean to lobbying as there is no need to overheat the polity with the ticket for 2023.

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APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Nabena Yekini said in the statement;

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“They don’t have any right to tell people what to do. It is not by force, threat or intimidation but by negotiation. If they feel strongly about the ticket, they should form their own political party and give their ticket to whichever zone they want to produce the president in 2023.

“It is called politics because you cannot impose anybody on any person. It is a game of numbers. The Southeast must lobby and tell other regions what they have for them. By the way, it is even too early to talk about zoning in 2023. Instead of heating up the polity,  they should resort to alliance, lobbying and consultations.”

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I have never contemplated leaving the PDP let alone joining the APC – Governor Bala Mohammed

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Governor Bala Mohammed has ruled out plan of dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressive Congress (APC).

 

A statement released by the governor’s media aide Mukhtar Gidado, debunked report of the Bala being among the three opposition governors negotiating to join the ruling party.

 

The statement read;

 

“We wish to state that the story is disingenuous speculation driven by a clear marketing urge, to feed the appetites of readers whose hunger for salacious political news has been fuelled by the movement of the Ebonyi State Governor, His Excellency, Engr. Dave Umahi, to the APC and the spate of political alignments and realignments, in the country.

“We wish to state that His Excellency, Senator Bala Mohammed, has never contemplated leaving the PDP, let alone joining the APC.

“Rather, he is presently preoccupied with fulfilling those campaign promises, on the basis of which the good people of Bauchi State supported him to defeat an incumbent administration.”

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Admitting that the Legislature and the Executive in Bauchi is controlled by different political parties, Bala averred that they have constructed a novel bipartisan arrangement whereby the government of the state was jointly run, in the war against hunger and other challenges in the state.

 

The statement added;

 

“To any patriotic politician, a huge challenge of this nature calls for full-time engagement and not political fortune-hunting.

Based on the above, Governor Bala Mohammed considers talks about decamping to another party and all the permutations about 2023, in the first place, as unwholesome distractions.”

 

Bala described the claims of planned defection as premature and the height of insensitivity to the yearnings of the electorate for transformational change that would improve their living.

 

He called on his supporters, members of the PDP, as well as residents of Bauchi to ignore the report and further reassured them of his administration’s resolve to ensure the good life for all residents irrespective of their party affiliation, gender, tribe, or creed.

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