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2023 PEPT Pronouncement, a ‘Judocracy’ Against Nigerians – Ozekhome



Prof. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), a human rights activist on Thursday described the 2023 Presidential Election Petition Court pronouncements in the petition filed by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu as a ‘Judocracy’ against Nigerians.

Prof. Ozekhome stated this while delivering the 2023 and 22nd edition of the annual Bishop Mike Okonkwo lecture at the Shell Zenith Bank Hall,  MUSON Centre,  Onikan,  Lagos tagged:  “Nigerianisation Of Nigerians: A Look Inward”.

The  Bishop Mike Okonkwo annual lecture forms part of activities to mark the birthday of the Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM).

The guest speaker who said the word ‘Judocracy’ was coined from his Neologism called ‘Ozekpedia’ lamented that politicians have deformed democracy in Nigeria where ‘Selectocracy’ of leaders has become the order of the day.

He described ‘Selectocracy’ as a ploy used by politicians to arm thugs who snatch ballot boxes to select leaders.

He decried the unchanging situation in Nigerian politics where people are encouraged to vote in elections,  where their votes will not count and the votes are counted they do not count.

Ozekhome emphasised the need to cure the country of political drawbacks,  saying Nigeria has continued to regress politically affecting the economy of the country.

The guest speaker described the term Nigerianisation as a deliberate policy by which governments take over the control and ownership of private enterprise due to economic,  political,  social and strategic reasons,  saying it was designed to fight against discrimination and colonialism.

Regrettably,  he said the reverse was the case in the country “Where nothing is ever fair,  where anything is possible, and where you have to pay your way through life by offering and taking bribes to facilitate many of life’s processes.”

He lamented that the only way to survive in Nigeria,  where there is so much distance between the government and the people in the form of widespread poverty, is incompetence in high places and established disregard for the rights of citizens.

Chairman of the occasion,  Pat Utomi, a  professor of political economy described democracy as practiced in Nigeria as lacking in character.

Prof Utomi decried the inability of the country to have a rationale public communication,  saying when wealth is lost, nothing is lost,  when hell is lost,  something is lost and when a character is lost,  everything is lost.

Utomi added, “The tragedy of Nigeria is that character is lost at all levels of government. “

He frowned at the degeneration in character among Nigerians, especially the political class, saying many users of the Twitter space should have their heads examined when contributing to national issues.

Bishop Okonkwo in his remark expressed disappointment in the attitude of the government and the governed,  saying the tide of political backwardness in the country must be reversed for the good of the masses and the country.

The event featured the presentation of an award plaque of N500,000 to Miss Ike Destiny from VIK International School, Akere Alagbado, in Ogun State who emerged winner of the Essay Competition.

Alexander Chibuzor of Archbishop Heerey Technical College, Ogidi, in Anambra State emerged as second in the 2023 Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition.

The duo emerged winners from the 795 entries received for the 18th Bishop Mike Essay Competition for Secondary School students in Nigeria with the theme: “Nigerianisation of Nigerians: A Look Inward.”

Source: Opera News

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Kaduna: Tribunal Affirms Sani’s Election, Dismisses PDP’s Petition




The Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna has dismissed petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2023 election, Isah Ashiru, against the victory of Governor Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, in a dissenting judgment of two against one, delivered on Thursday, a three-member panel headed by Justice Victor Oviawie dismissed the petition on the ground that the pre-hearing notice was filed out of time, and therefore deemed to be abandoned.

The tribunal chairman and another member held that the appeal brought by PDP and Ashiru against the dismissal of their petition at the preliminary stage by the first and second defendants was not meritorious because the filing of the pre-hearing notice was abandoned and out of time, and therefore had dealt the entire petition a fatal blow.

The tribunal, however, noted that if the petition had not been dismissed for lack of merit, it would have ordered a supplementary election in 22 polling units within 90 days in the substantive judgment.

Senator Sani, during the election polled a total of 730,001 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ashiru of the PDP, who scored 719, 196 votes.

The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Jonathan Asake, came third with 58,283 votes, while Suleiman Hunkuyi of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) scored 21,405 votes.

While the Labour Party and NNPP accepted the outcome of the election, the PDP and its candidate rejected the results, alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the wrong candidate winner of the election.

Besides, the PDP and Ashiru alleged that there were massive irregularities and manipulation of results in favour of Governor Ubah in some local governments by INEC. According to them, the APC candidate did not score the highest number of valid votes cast in the election and ought not to have been returned winner of the election by INEC.

In June 2023, PDP and Ashiru, however, filed a petition at the election petition tribunal to challenge the election of Governor Uba.

At the last sitting of the court on September 3rd, all parties presented their final written addresses before the tribunal, with APC’s legal team led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bayo Ojo (SAN), arguing that the petitioners had helped in proving he won the election free and fair, pointing in particular to the admission of a star witness for the petitioner, Bonett Gwazah, a senior system analyst in the VR/ICT department of INEC in Kaduna State.

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NiMET Alerts FCT, Edo, 23 States of 48-Hour Downpour




The Nigerian Meteorological Agency has notified the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Edo, Kwara, and 22 other states of 48-hour downpour beginning on Thursday.

In its weekly heavy rainfall forecast bulletin released on Wednesday, the agency told the residents to also expect flash floods.
Other states listed are Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Delta, Bayelsa, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, and Benue.

The bulletin reads: “Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected within the forecast period (Thursday 28th and Friday 29th, September 2023) over parts of Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa.

Other States are: “Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory.”

On the likely impact of the rains, NiMet warned: “The expected moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to cause some flash flooding over their areas of occurrence.

“Strong winds should accompany the rains with the strongest winds expected over parts of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi State.”

The agency cautioned residents against driving through surface runoff waters, as they have strong undercurrents.

It identified slippery road surfaces and reduced visibility as other hazards that may be triggered by the downpour.

The Punch

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Chicago Academic Record: Atiku Plans Fresh Suit Against Tinubu




The legal team of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is planning to file a motion to challenge President Bola Tinubu’s plea for Chicago State University not to release privileged documents in his academic records.

The Special Adviser to Atiku on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, told The Punch that the legal team had up to 48 hours to respond to the motion in the US court.

Atiku had earlier secured an order for CSU to make the president’s academic records available to his legal team.

A magistrate, Jeffrey Gilbert, had last week ordered Tinubu’s alma mater to provide all relevant and non-privileged documents to the applicant within two days.

Atiku is currently challenging the victory of the former Lagos State governor at the 2023 presidential poll and his recent affirmation by an election petition court in Nigeria.

The documents sought by the PDP candidate, through his counsel, Angela Liu, include the record of admission and acceptance at the university, dates of attendance including degrees, awards, and honors attained by the former governor of Lagos State at the university, among others.

But as the deadline given by Gilbert drew nearer on Thursday, Tinubu’s lawyers approached Maldonado, arguing that the earlier decision by Gilbert needed to be reviewed by a district judge.

The request for a review and delay of the order till Monday was eventually granted by the US district judge.

Tinubu’s application, filed by his lawyers, Oluwole Afolabi and Christopher Charmichael, advanced two reasons.

First was that his academic records in issue are not useful in Nigerian courts as claimed by Atiku because the Nigerian election proceedings and the Nigerian courts have explicitly been unreceptive to the discovery.

The second reason given was that Atiku’s request is unduly intrusive because it allows Applicant (Atiku) to conduct a fishing expedition into intervenor’s private, confidential, and protected educational records.

When asked on Wednesday to confirm if Atiku has filed the suit as he earlier threatened in Monday, Shaibu reassured that the former vice president would submit the motion before midnight.

He said, “I am sure you have seen his application. We are working on our response. We have up till midnight today (Wednesday) to respond to them. And we will.”

On when they expect the court to rule over the matter, Shaibu stated that “It is after we have responded to the court, that it will fix the date and inform the parties.”

When contacted for reaction, Coordinator of Tinubu Presidential Legal Team, Babatunde Ogala, who spoke via phone from his base in the United States told The Punch he would rather not speak on the development.

“As I told you earlier, I am still on vacation,” he said.

The Punch

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