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Tribunal Restrains INEC from Tampering with Osun Gov Poll Results

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The Election Petition Tribunal constituted to hear the petitions arising from the Osun State governorship election has granted an ex parte order to Senator Ademola Adeleke, restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission from altering election results as well as information contained in the card reader machines and other documents used for the poll.

The tribunal, headed by Justice T.A. Igoche, which also has Justice P. A. Obayi as member, granted this order in Osogbo on Thursday during its sitting before the commencement of pre-hearing session.

Adeleke, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party had, through his counsel, Mr. Nathaniel Oke (SAN), filed an ex parte application seeking leave of the tribunal to file the application before the pre-hearing session.

The applicant also sought leave of the tribunal to inspect and obtain certified true copies of electoral documents and materials in the custody of INEC; an order to conduct physical inspection and verification of electoral materials and machines, as well as used and unused ballots, among others.

Adeleke also applied for an order to compel the INEC to produce and print out list of permanent voter card distribution statistics per polling units and an order restraining INEC from altering extracted information from card readers, election results from polling unit level to state level, as well as ballot papers used for the conduct of the governorship election in Osun State.

Adeleke predicated his application on the grounds that he was the candidate that contested the election held on September 22, 2018 and the re-run election held on September 27, 2018 on the platform of PDP.

Other grounds of the application are: ” That the total votes won by the 1st applicant on the 22nd day of September, 2018 was 245,698 while the 1st respondent scored 245,345.

“That the 1st applicant was the winner of the election and ought to have been so declared by the 3rd respondent ( INEC). That the 3rd respondent declared the election inconclusive hence a rerun was conducted on the 27th day of September 2018.

” That the rerun election was marred by electoral violence, vote-buying, stuffing of ballot papers, multiple thumb-printing and voting and allocation of votes by the 3rd respondent. That by the total actual and valid votes cast on the 22nd and 27th days of September 2018 respectively, the elections were won by the applicants.

“That an examination of the electoral documents and election materials in the custody of the 3rd respondent is required to determine the actual facts and records of the elections to maintain this petition.

“That the 3rd respondent wrongfully declared and returned the 1st respondent as being duly elected and winner of the governorship election, Osun State held on 22nd day of September 2018 and the rerun election held on 27th day of September 2018 respectively.

The 1st and 2nd applicants are dissatisfied with the said result of the election as announced by the returning officer of the governorship election, Osun State. That instant allocation is required for the purpose of instituting and maintaining the petition.”

The panel, having listening to the application moved by Adeleke’s counsel held in their ruling that the allocation had merit and granted the all,I cation as prayed.

Igoche, who read the ruling said, “We are of the view that the application has merit.mwe ahead by grant the application as prayed.”

Addressing the fear raised by the applicant that INEC might not respect the tribunal’s order except they were armed with a certified true copy of the order, Igoche said there was nothing stopping the panel from issuing the order to the applicant on the same day.

There was heavy presence of armed policemen and operatives of the Department of State Service on the court presides and outside the court as security operatives were deployed to prevent destruction of the proceedings at the tribunal.

Those going into the court premises were frisked by policemen from the police anti-bomb unit while vehicles were also thoroughly searched to prevent hoodlums from smuggling weapons into the place.

The Punch

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Presidential Candidate: PDP PCC Accuses Wike of Frustration, Lack of Integrity

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The Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council in Rivers State has taken a swipe at the state governor, Nyesom Wike, over the cancellation of the approval granted for the party’s presidential campaign in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The spokesman for the PDP PCC in the state, Dr Leloonu Nwibubasa, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH, also said the governor lacked integrity for not naming his preferred presidential candidate in January as he promised.

Nwibubasa said from all indications, the governor was increasingly frustrated.

On Wednesday, the state government cancelled the approval given to the PDP for the rally of its standard bearer to hold in the state on February 11, 2023.

The cancellation was contained in a letter signed by the state Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, and addressed to the Director General, PDP PCC, Aminu Tambuwal.

The letter said credible information available to the state government showed that the PDP PCC was working in collaboration with a faction of the All Progressives Congress in the state led by Tonye Cole.

It added that information at the government’s disposal show that activities of the APC in the state have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party.

It added, “The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and priced asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tonye Patrick Cole APC faction will expose it to.

“In the circumstance, the Rivers State Government has come to the painful but inevitable decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn.”

Nwibubasa, while confirming the development, described the state government’s earlier approval as a Greek gift.

Berating Wike, Nwibubasa further said the governor was not a good fighter, because a good fighter knows when to quit.

Nwibubasa stated, “We are not surprised when certain decisions are taken because it all amounts to the fact that the level of frustration is increasing.

“We will only appeal to him that he should return to his party and return to the part of peace. And that is part of honour. No one fights a war and refuses to evaluate the same war, and knows when to call it quits. He is not a good fighter.

“For the presidential candidate of the PDP, we are very certain that Rivers people are happy with him. They are in love with him and they are going to vote for him en masse come February 25, 2023.”

Asked what he thinks about Wike’s inability to name his preferred presidential candidate as he had promised, he said it shows the governor has no integrity.

“His inability to name his preferred candidate as publicly announced in January, again is a pointer to his level of instability and incoherence.”

“It tells of his integrity that he cannot match his words with action. So, for us, it is painful that we have a governor who says one thing and does the other.

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Just In: Fifth Columnists in the Presidency Working Against Tinubu, Says El-Rufai

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By Michael Effiong

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed that there are some fifth columnists in the presidency who want the All Progressives Congress ( APC) to lose the 2023 Presidential election.

Speaking on Channels TV flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, Governor El-Rufai affirmed that there was serious division in the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

He stated that some people in the Presidency because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was not their preferred candidate are working against his interest.

He noted that the Naira redesign was not an APC problem but a Presidency problem, urging Nigerians to ignore their current situation and still vote for Tinubu as a person.

On the fuel crisis, he said fuel subsidy had been a problem for many years and that it was President Buhari and not APC that has insisted on the subsidy which is costing the nation a whopping six Trillion Naira.

He revealed that as far back as 2016, Buhari had been advised to remove subsidy but he had bluntly refused.

Governor El Rufai used the opportunity to hail his tenure in Kaduna State, noting that his government has attracted over $4billion worth of investments to the state.

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Atiku Vows to Construct Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto Road, Reiterates End to Banditry

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 25 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to reconstruct the Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto road, if elected. He also promised to float empowerment programmes that will combat poverty among the citizens.

Atiku made the pledges on Tuesday in Sokoto while addressing a crowd of supporters at his presidential campaign rally.

The PDP presidential candidate also pledged to end the security challenges bedevilling the nation, ensure stability for profitable farming, grazing as well as reopen the nation’s borders to bolster business activities.

He urged citizens to support PDP candidates at all levels at the forthcoming elections, vowing that a PDP-led administration would curb social, economic and infrastructural decay in the country.

Mr Atiku had inaugurated a remodelled presidential lodge and the Dandima flyover bridge constructed by the Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s administration.

The PDP presidential flag bearer also paid homage on the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III, after an interactive session with community and traditional rulers in the state.

Earlier, the PDP National Chairman, Dr Ayochia Ayu, presented the party’s flag to PDP governorship candidate in the State, Sa’idu Umar and received scores of defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Ayu described the Sokoto rally as home coming and enjoined party loyalists to use their PVCs to change the national government as well as sustain the achievements of Tambuwal.

Leader of the defectors, Amb. Faruku Yabo, said the PDP-led administration in the state had the people’s interests at heart, and it was capable of surmounting the national challenges.

The event witnessed presentations from various party chieftains on the ways to address the challenges being faced by the citizens.

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