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Appeal Court reserves judgment in suit challenging Buhari’s academic qualification



The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, Monday reserved judgment in the appeal filed against President Muhammadu Buhari’s academic qualification for the 2019 presidential election.

The three-member panel of the appellate court presided over by Justice Atinuke Akomolafe-Wilson, reserved judgment after listening to the argument canvassed by counsel to parties in the suit.

At the proceedings, counsel to the appellant, Ukpai Ukairo, insisted that President Buhari was not educationally qualified to have stood for the presidential poll on the grounds that the required certificates were not attached to his form CF001, submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for clearance to contest the presidential poll.

The counsel denied the claim that the suit of the appellant was statute barred, adding that the case was instituted on November 5, 2018 within the 14 days allowed by law. He said the cause of action started with the announcement and publication by INEC of successful candidates for the 2019 general election on October 25, 2018.

Ukairo, therefore, urged the Court of Appeal to allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the Federal High Court on grounds of miscarriage of justice.

He asked the court to nullify Buhari’s participation in the February 23 presidential election because he was not educationally qualified for the poll at the time he did.

However, lawyers to the 1st and 2nd respondents urged the court to dismiss the appeal for being incompetent and lacking in merit.

Buhari’s counsel, Abdullahi Abubakar, specifically told the Appeal Court that the case of the appellant was statute barred having not been filed within the mandatory period stipulated by the law.

He urged the court to uphold the decision of the Federal High Court to the effect that the suit was not filed in line with the position of the law.

Counsel to the All Progressives Congress, APC, Babatunde Ogala, argued on the line with Buhari and urged the court to dismiss the appeal, while counsel to INEC, Onyeri Anthony, said the commission is neutral and would abide by the decision of the Court.

Kalu, Ismail and El-Kuris had approached the appellate court to nullify and set aside the judgment of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court which declined to hear their suit instituted to challenge the educational qualification of President Buhari before the conduct of the 2019 general election.

The appellants in their appeal are asking the appellate court to reverse the judgment of Justice Ahmed Mohammed on the grounds that the processes filed by Buhari and used to strike out their suit were not competent.

While faulting the judgment of the lower court, which was predicated on the grounds that the suit was statute barred, the appellants claimed that the Federal High Court erred in law and in its decision because they did not challenge the primary election that produced Buhari as candidate of the APC.

They, therefore, urged the Court of Appeal to assume jurisdiction over the suit and grant all the reliefs sought at the Federal High Court but which were refused.

Among the reliefs were a declaration that Buhari submitted false information regarding his qualification and certificate to INEC for the purpose of contesting election into the office of the President of Nigeria and that he should be disqualified.

They also prayed for an order of the court directing INEC to remove Buhari’s name as a candidate of APC and another order restraining Buhari from parading himself as a candidate in the 2019 presidential election and also APC from recognizing Buhari as a candidate.

The Federal High Court had on May 2 declined to grant the request of the appellants on the grounds that the suit was not filed within the time allowed by law and therefore sustained the preliminary objection raised by Buhari at the hearing.

But not satisfied, the appellants are now asking the Court of Appeal to grant their reliefs because they are not challenging the primary election of APC as erroneously held by the lower court but the qualification of Buhari to stand for the presidential election without demonstrating his educational certificates as required by law.

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Christian Leaders Endorse Atiku for President




United Christian Leaders Eagle Eye Forum have endorsed the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, for the February 25 election.

According to the National cordinator of the group, Pastor Aminchi Habu, the Christian leaders believe in Atiku’s ability to make the right choice and decisions that will catapul and ensure a brighter, colourful and better future for nigerians.

Speaking on behalf of the Christian leaders, Pastor Habu said; “ Your Excellency our president in waiting, we as a forum and religious fathers are pleading with you as the great democracy defender of Africa, we see you as the political pilot that will fly Nigeria to its promise land.

“We see you as the political architect that will redesign and take Nigeria to a glorious future and political doctor of our nation who have the prescribed drugs that will heal Nigeria of all it security and societal hill.”

The religious leaders urged Mr Atiku and PDP at large to prove to Christian leaders and Nigerians at large that the support and trust bestowed on him is the right choice.

“We all will look back one day to February 25th 2023 smiling knowing that we made the right and best decision for this Nation by voting the PDP”, Pastor Habu added.

Responding to the endorsement of the Christian group, Dele Momodu, who is the Director of strategic communication of the PDP PCC, said the decision of the group to back Mr Atiku was the best decision they have made for Nigerians and themselves.

Mr Momodu added; “Alhaji Atiku is the most experienced, detribalized candidate. Christ is one. We are extremely grateful for this endorsement and support. We cannot shy away from enthroning good government.

“What we need the most are your prayers and I assure you that Atiku will win the 2023 elections.“

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Why I Want To Be Chairman of Kosofe LGA – Lanre Oladunjoye




Lanre Oladunjoye, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has lived in Kosofe Local Government for almost all his adult life and knows the area like the back of his hand, the University of Lagos Masters Degree who currently serves as the Supervisor for Education in the LGA want to be the Chairman. He believes he has the experience and the expertise to serve with distinction of given the opportunity at the forth-coming LG Polls.

Tell us about Kosofe?

Kosofe as you know, is one of the 20 local governments in Lagos state. Although created in 1980, Kosofe was recreated and birthed on Nov 27th 1996 as an entity in line with the federal government policy for bringing local government to the people.

Kosofe is an interconnecting hub bounded by three local governments namely; Ikeja, Ikorodu and Somolu. It shares a boundary with Ogun state, on the Isheri end with a land mass of 18 square Kilometers. Kosofe Local government is under the Lagos East Senatorial District. It’s also made up of seven wards, namely, Ogudu, Ojota, Maryland, Anthony, Gbagada, Oworo 1, and Oworo 2.

What is your impression of Kosofe?

Kosofe meaning “Ko Si Ofe” Yoruba for “Nothing is free” finds its strength from its multicultural, cosmopolitan base. It is home to all. It is the road transportation gateway of Lagos connecting the hinter lands across Nigeria. Kosofe is a bustling commercial hub that never goes to sleep, from provision of agricultural products, to offering basic services, to access to retail outlets, and hospitality establishment, name it, there is always something for everyone.

The eastern part of kosofe has an extensive reach to the Lagos Lagoon by about 2km, which makes Kosofe a key stake holding entity in the Lagos state water ways master plan. The opportunities that lies here are vast and varying.

Why do you want to become Chairman?

I have always been driven by the passion to serve humanity. From my tender age I have always wondered what it would be to take responsibility and be the change agent, that man that will change the status quo in totality.

I have often asked myself, what does it really take to impact our society and bring the dividends of democracy closer to the people.? Barack Obama once said “We are the change that we seek”. What this simply means is that, if we do not put ourselves forward to serve, we might be doing ourselves and indeed our people a disservice. I have decided to put myself forward to offer service to humanity. So help me God.

What activities have you carried out in the past?

With God’s grace I am the Founder and key initiator of the Oluwaninshola Cup series, a non- profit initiative created over a decade ago using sports as a veritable tool for youth development, growth and harmony. Our major objective continues to be to strengthen communities by creating an environment for the positive engagement of youths through sports in Kosofe Local Government Council. This platform has also been a pivot for youths to start sporting careers in foreign clubs.

Over the last couple of years, I have served as a mentor to several youths in the Kosofe Local Government Council, helping them to start businesses and also nurturing them through the challenging landscape of entrepreneurship. As an advocate for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), I have been able to mobilize the interest of notable public makers and private sector partners who see sports as a vehicle to engage youths positively.

Youth engagement and employment are critical factors that plague the state and by extension any LGA, do you have specific plans for them?

My key plans towards youth engagement and opportunities would be implementing the “ISHESI” developmental action plan geared towards community engagement, growth and development particularly in the areas of women and youth’s empowerment.

Tell us about yourself?

As you well know, my name is Olanrewaju Musbau Oladunjoye popularly known as “Omo Oloore”. I am a devoted Muslim born on the 3rd of October 1981 in Epe, Lagos state. I am a Bachelor and Masters degree holder in Philosophy from the University of Lagos, currently running a doctoral degree programme in philosophy at the same university.

I am an entrepreneur, business consultant, and politician who has a deep passion in helping others to harness their inner potentials towards impacting their respective communities and also the society at large. I have a keen interest in playing and watching football, traveling, tourism, fine arts, culinary arts and loves to meet people for networking and knowledge exchange purposes. I am married to the most beautiful woman on planet earth and blessed with three lovely children.

Have you held any political position before? What was your role and impact?

Following my selfless strides towards grassroots political growth and development, I was appointed as the Supervisor of Education for Kosofe Local Government Council , a position I currently hold under the leadership of Hon. Afolabi Babatunde Sofola, the Chairman Kosofe Local Government.

Last year was terrible for Kosofe as you lost two political leaders, Senator Bayo Oshinowo (Pepper) and Hon. Tunde Braimoh, how close were you to these men?

Senator Oshinowo was not an only a political mentor to me, but he also played the role of a father to me. Hon. Tunde Braimoh was also one of my political advisor and coach. You are right Kosofe lost two political giants but luckily, those of us they left behind have been well groomed to carry the torch with pride.

How would their passing affect the political dynamics of Kosofe?

Their legacies live on as a guide in our everyday political drive, aspirations, affiliation, and associations.

I know you are a grassroots mobilizer, is this why you want a shot at the chairmanship?

My pursuit for the Chairmanship is deepened by my desire and passion towards the growth and development of Kosofe as a whole, with utmost focus on improving welfare, safety and security of the citizen’s and visitors of Kosofe. It is based on my original commitment to serve, give back to the people and impact the society.

How ready are you for the task ahead since LASEIC has fixed dates for the LG polls?

Prior to LASEIC fixing a date for the LG poll, my team and I have been putting structures and plans in place towards this with the hope of serving the people of Kosofe by grace of the Almighty God.

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Plans to Start Electronic Voting in 2021 Underway, Says INEC




The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday said it would engage with the National Assembly and other stakeholders to explore ways of responding to the rising cost of conducting frequent bye-elections in Nigeria.

The commission premised its decision on the Supreme Court judgment which states that votes belong primarily to political parties, as well as its records, which show that only in 10 per cent of all bye-elections since 2015 did the party that won originally lose the election.

INEC also said it would “pilot the use of Electronic Voting Machines at the earliest possible time (not Edo and Ondo), but work towards the full introduction of electronic voting in major elections starting from 2021.”

The commission gave these details in its 17-paged policy document on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, signed by its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made available to journalists in Abuja.

According to the document, the commission would ensure the use of electronic and non-contact means to recruit ad hoc staff beginning with the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states scheduled for September 19 and October 10, 2020 respectively.

The commission also said it would reduce to a minimum interstate movement of staff, including ad hoc staff, for off-season and bye-elections to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

The document reads, “The commission will engage with the legislature and other stakeholders to explore ways of responding to the rising cost of conducting frequent bye-elections, especially in consideration of the Supreme Court position that votes belong primarily to political parties, as well as the Commission’s records, which show that only in 10 per cent of all bye-elections since 2015 did the party that won originally lose the election.

“The commission will engage relevant authorities, including the legislature, to designate election as an essential service to enable the commission function effectively in times of national emergency.

“The commission shall revamp its election planning and implementation-monitoring processes in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, the commission in planning elections shall respond to the growing demand for deepening the use of technology in the electoral processes, including the introduction of electronic voting.”

Apart from developing a new election budget template to reflect the likely impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic on the funding profile of electoral activities, INEC said it would constantly re-evaluate planned electoral activities in the light of COVID – 19 and the health risks it poses for voters, stakeholders and staff during elections.

For pre-election activities, the commission said it would “develop a Voter Code of Conduct document detailing how voters are expected to act and conduct themselves at the polling units in the light of the COVID – 19 pandemic.”

The document reads further, “The commission will ensure the use of electronic and non-contact means to recruit ad hoc staff by deploying its INECPres portal, as well as in notifying ad hoc staff of invitations and postings (for example, use of SMS) to prevent large gatherings at INEC offices during staff deployment.

“The Electoral Operations and Logistics Department will harvest all past ad hoc staff from its databases and send to each State preparing for elections.

“All ad hoc staff databases in the commission will be harmonised for better management. To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, the commission shall reduce, to a minimum interstate movement of staff, including ad hoc staff, for off-season and bye-elections.

“The rule shall be that only shortfalls requested by the States are filled from outside the state. As much as possible, all election staff will be sourced in-state.

“In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission shall encourage political parties to develop appropriate guidelines and regulations for conduct of party primaries that take into account the COVID-19 prevention protocols.”

The Punch

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