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2023: Why We Adopted Peter Obi As Our Candidate – MiddleBelt Forum

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Ahead of the 2023 elections, the Middle Belt Forum on Wednesday, adopted the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi as their candidate.

The forum equally said it was throwing its weight behind Obi’s candidature because of its belief in “fairness, equity and justice”.

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This was disclosed by chairman of the Forum and Convener of Middle Belt for OBIDATTI 2023, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, while unveiling Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti as their candidate for the 2023 presidential election at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos, Plateau State Capital.

READ ALSO: 2023: Why Nigeria Needs Peter Obi – Ayo Adebanjo

Bitrus said, “We are here to tell Nigerians that the Middle Belt is fully in support of Peter Obi for the 2023 presidency.

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“We did not just arrive at this point because of sentiment, but it was after a serious consideration of issues in Nigeria in collaboration with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Afenifere and the Niger Delta Forum, among other socio-cultural groups in the country.

“We believe in the zoning which we started in 1999 that produced the President from the South West. It is good for us because of the issue of equity, justice and fairness.”

According to him, “This time around, we have a President from the North and by 2023 Buhari would have spent 8 years, and it is the turn of the South.”

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In his remarks, the LP Presidential candidate, Obi urged Nigerians to pray for a peaceful election and pledged to provide security to protect Nigerians.

“We want to tell you that 2023 is nobody’s turn, it is your turn to take back Nigeria.

“As we start campaign today, I want you to put Nigeria into prayers, I want you to pray for a peaceful election, I want you to pray for a free and fair election because the suffering is too much.”

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According to him, “Now that the campaigns have started, they will come to share your money, that money is your own and that is why you are hungry, that is why there is no food, that is why there is no security, that is why there is no employment.

“But we are assuring you, we are coming to tackle hunger in Nigeria, we are coming to provide security.”

READ ALSO: [VIDEO]: Tinubu’s Emilokan: It’s Nobody’s Turn, Says Peter Obi At Ooni’s Palace

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He assured the crowd that they will match words with action if elected into office come 2023, saying the era of giving excuses and blame game is over.

In his address, the Convener of Initiative for Better and Brighter Nigeria (IBBN), Prophet Isa El-Buba urged the citizenry to reject those who have made huge sacrifices with their blood and resources and urged them to vote for Peter Obi to take back their inheritance.

He urged the people to collect their PVCs and vote massively for Peter Obi, saying that the Middle Belt and the North will mobilize their support to win the presidency.

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Tribunal: INEC Presents Blurry Adeleke’s Testimonial, Oyetola Kicks

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The Election Petition Tribunal hearing case emanating from the July 16 governorship election in Osun State was forced into adjournment on Thursday following presentation of blurry documents used by the Governor Ademola Adeleke for 2018 elections.

The eight-page documents presented by a Deputy Director of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Joan Arabs, included Certified True Copies of the testimonial obtained by Adeleke from Ede Muslim Grammar School, and West Africa Examination Council General Certificate of Education.

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The panel had last week Friday ruled that INEC chairman should bring Adeleke’s filings for 2018 poll on its next sitting.

READ ALSO: Adeleke Directs LG Heads To Replace Sacked Chairmen

At the day’s proceedings, after checking the documents presented by INEC, counsel to the petitioners, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who appeared with Akin Olujinmi, SAN, told the panel that two out of the pages were not clear enough.

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Fagbemi said section for scores obtained by the candidate on the GCE result was blank, adding that the address of the school that awarded the testimonial was not also clear enough.

But counsel to INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN, said the copies were clear and readable, urging the plaintiffs to allow the documents to be admitted, since they had earlier claimed that they had CTC copies of the documents which could be presented.

He assured not to object to the documents if presented by the plantiffs.

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Counsel to Adeleke and Peoples Democratic Party, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN and Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, respectively said the documents were clear enough, but admitted some sections were blurry.

They, however, said the documents were still rectifiable and urged the petitioners to call their next witness, while INEC should be made to present a clearer copies, if they have.

Ananaba later called for stand down of the matter to enable him obtain screenshots of the documents from the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

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After the panel had reconvened, Ananaba presented both colour and back and white copies made from the screenshots obtained from INEC head office, which he also admitted were not better than the copies earlier presented.

He sought adjournment to enable INEC brought before the panel, the file from which the copies earlier presented were made from.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Supreme Court Affirms Osun Gov-elect, Adeleke As PDP Candidate

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Fagbemi, however, insisted that the order of the court was that clear documents should be presented, saying the respondents must comply with the directive.

Reading the ruling of the panel, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Tertse Kume, adjourned the matter till Saturday for the INEC to bring the original file containing the documents.
PUNCH

 

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JUST IN: Labour Party Expels Peter Obi’s DG, Okupe, 10 Others

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The Labour Party in Ogun State has expelled the Director-General of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe.

Okupe was sacked alongside 10 others for alleged non-financial membership status, high-handedness and financial recklessness.

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The Chairman of the party in Ogun State, Michael Ashade, announced the party’s decision in Abeokuta Thursday, saying the offences were a breach of the Labour Party’s constitution.

Ashade said Okupe has ceased to be a LP member for his “failure to meet the mandatory constitutional requirements to fulfill membership status.”

According to him, Okupe had failed to pay his membership dues since the last six months he joined the Party, saying he has therefore forfeited his membership of the Labour Party and he is no longer fit to act as the Director General of Obi’s campaign council.

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He stated that the offenses of Okupe amd and the other 10 are against Article 9(3) sub(iii) and Article 9(3)xi of the LP constitution.

READ ALSO: Akwa Ibom YPP Guber Candidate Bags 42 Years In Prison Over Corruption

He accused Okupe of mismanaging the funds approved for the LP in Ogun to mobilize members for the rally held last week at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

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While notifying the LP National Chairman, Barr Julius Abure of their decision, they called on Obi to immediately appoint another DG for the PCC from the North.

Okupe could not be reached for his reactions as calls to his mobile phone were unanswered.

He also did not respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of this report.

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Okupe is from Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State.

 

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Court Strikes Out Fresh Suit Seeking To Sack Rivers APC Guber Candidate

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A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, stuck out a suit by a governorship aspirant in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Benard Mikko, over the party’s primary elections in Rivers State.

The Governorship candidate of the APC, Tonye Cole, the Independent National Electoral Commission and another governorship aspirant of the APC Ojukaye Flagg-Amachree were also joined in the suit.

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But the court ruled that the suit was lacking in merit.

Mikko had approached the court to direct INEC to disqualify Tonye Cole from next year’s Governorship election, claiming that the primary election held on 26th of May, 2022, that brought him in as the governorship candidate was marred with irregularities.

He also claimed that the candidate has a questionable character following his indictment in a white paper report by a commission of inquiry set up by the Rivers State government.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: Court Sacks Tonye Cole As APC Governorship Candidate In Rivers

Presiding judge, Justice Ayua Phoebe in her judgment said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit because the plaintiff failed to exhaust all the internal mechanisms of the party before instituting the legal action, adding that the party is supreme.

The judge, while describing the suit as frivolous and abuse of court process, ruled that Mikko also failed to abide by his earlier oath of allegiance sworn to the APC never to institute any legal action against the party and that he will support whoever emerged from the primaries.

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While the counsel to the APC, Chinda Chizim commended the judgement, that of the plaintiff, Eli Ojigba said he will consult his client for his next line of action.

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