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Court Dismisses APC’s Suit Against Ogun PDP Gov Candidates, Party



The Federal High Court, Abeokuta, presided over by Justice Joyce Obehi Malik, on Wednesday dismissed the APC v. INEC & 3 ORS suit with No FHC/AB/CS/149/2022 filed by the APC against Hon Ladi Adebutu (the PDP Governorship candidate for Ogun State) and his running mate, Hon Adekunle Akinlade and the PDP, challenging Akinlade and Adebutu’s qualification to contest the 2023 governorship election for alleged double nomination. The court awarded a total of N6 million cost to Adebutu, Akinlade and the PDP.

In the defence for Adebutu, Akinlade and the PDP, Chief Mike Ozekhome led Prof Amuda-Kannike, SAN, Chief Emeka Okpoko, SAN, Isiaka Olagunju, SAN, Kadiri Asamah, SAN, Clement Onwuenwunor, SAN, and a team of other lawyers. Wale Habeeb Ajayi, Esq, was Counsel for the Plaintiff, APC.

Chief Ozekhome had urged the court to dismiss the suit in its entirety, notwithstanding the belated notice of discontinuance hurriedly filed by the APC only this morning when it very well knew it had lost the case on its merit. He argued that the case had come up on four different occasions for argument after issues had been properly joined by all parties and arguments had indeed commenced only yesterday, before the APC, sensing its imminent defeat, suddenly threw in the towel belatedly by filing a notice of discontinuance just this morning, the second day of hearing and argument.

Citing several appellate court decisions, including amongst others, ZOAKA V. BUBA & ANOR (2020), OGBU V. NNAMCHI & ANOR (2014), ERONINI V. IHEUKO (1989), and EZOMO V. AG, BENDEL STATE (1986), Ozekhome urged Justice Joyce Obehi Malik to dismiss the suit in its entirety and award heavy cost of N3m against the APC in favour of Adebutu so as to prevent the APC from ever coming back through the back door to file a similar frivolous suit. Bar Wale Habeeb conceded to the order of dismissal as being the proper order to make, but conceded only N1m as cost. The court wholly agreed with Chief Ozekhome and Kannike’ s submissions that the proper order to make in the circumstances of the case was one of outright dismissal and not one of merely striking out the case.

She accordingly dismissed the case and awarded N6 million cost in favour of the defendants (N2 million apiece) to Hon Ladi Adebutu (the PDP’s governorship candidate for Ogun State), his running mate, Hon Adekunle Akinlade, and the PDP.

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INEC Declares LP’s Alex Otti Winner of Abia Guber Polls




The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared Alex Otti of the Labour Party, LP, winner of the Abia state governorship election.

Otti defeated his closest rival, Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to emerge winner.

The Labour Party candidate scored 175, 467, while Ahiwe polled 88,529.

INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof Nnenna Nnannaya-Oti declared Otti the winner on Wednesday evening after the resumption of the final collation of governorship election results in Umuahia.

The electoral umpire had suspended the collation of results for 48 hours.

Reacting, Otti praised God for his victory at the poll.

Tweeting via his verified Twitter handle, Otti wrote: “See what the lord has done.”

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Tinubu Sick, Flown to Europe for ‘Proper Medical Attention’




By SaharaReporters

Former Lagos State governor, who is Nigeria’s ‘president-elect’, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Bola Tinubu, is travelling to Europe to seek medical care after falling ill, SaharaReporters has learnt.

SaharaReporters gathered that Tinubu fell ill after the “hectic” electioneering that led to his emergence as the ‘President-elect’ and the tension that built up ahead of the March 18 Lagos State governorship and House of Assembly elections where he also voted.

Authoritative sources revealed on Wednesday that Tinubu left for Europe on Tuesday night.

“Tinubu has left for Europe for medical care. He fell ill after voting on Saturday during the Lagos guber election. He was attended to by local doctors but he has left for Europe for proper medical care,” one of the sources close to him revealed.

“He initially said his doctors should be brought down to Nigeria for him, and that when things die down, he would leave. But I’ve confirmed that he left last night (Tuesday night) because he is definitely ill,” another source confirmed.

“His plane Falcon 9X with registration number VP-CBT can’t be tracked by air flight tracking websites.”

Indeed, efforts made by SaharaReporters to track the flight came back with: “VP-CBT – Unknown Owner (Cayman Islands (UK))

This aircraft (VP-CBT) is not available for public tracking per request from the owner/operator.”

SaharaReporters had reported that Tinubu cast his vote at his polling unit in Lagos on Saturday.

He had shared photos of himself voting on his Instagram page.

“I just joined other Nigerians in exercising my civic duty in the ongoing governorship and state assembly elections. I encourage you all to go out and vote peacefully,” he had written.

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It’s My Turn to Be Senate President, Says Orji Kalu




The Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, has declared his intention to contest for Senate presidency in the 10th National Assembly.

Kalu, who won re-election to represent Abia North in the Red Chamber, disclosed this Tuesday while briefing newsmen at the National Assembly.

The ruling All Progressives Congress maintained a majority in the Senate, having secured 57 seats.

APC senators eyeing the Senate presidency have been lobbying their colleagues to seek their support.

Aside from Kalu, who has publicly declared interest in the position, Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Sani Musa (Niger); Barau Jibrin (Kano); and Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) are also said to be interested in running for the coveted office.

The final candidates for the position will largely be determined by zoning.

However, the APC leadership said it has not zoned the Senate presidency.

Some pundits believe that it is likely that APC might zone the post to the South for power balance, especially after its Muslim-Muslim ticket triggered outrage from some quarters, especially the Christian community.

Kalu told reporters that it was his turn to become Senate President, being a ranking lawmaker and from the South East.

He said, “It is my turn to become the Senate President. If I’m elected Senate President, I will be team Nigeria. I’m going to work in every corner of Nigeria.

“I schooled in Maiduguri, Borno State. I started my business in Lagos and spread it across all state capitals. My first name will be team Nigeria, my last name will be team Nigeria.

“Remember, I’m the only former governor who has never changed phone line for more than 20 years ago. I’m still willing to maintain that telephone number to answer all my calls. I’m not going to switch off my phones because I’m Senate President.

“I’m hoping that Nigerians will pray for me to become Senate President because it’s my turn.”

The Punch

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