The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, tendered in evidence on Wednesday the final results for the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
The national document known as Form EC8D(a) was tendered by Paul Annanaba, SAN, on behalf of the party and Obi as part of the evidence in support of the petition protesting the outcome of the February 25 elections at the Presidential Election Petition Court.
The LP and its candidate, Peter Obi, are challenging the conduct of the presidential election in which Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The 1st to 4th respondents in the suit are; INEC, Tinubu, the vice-president, Kassim Shettima, and the APC.
The respondents, through their legal representatives on Wednesday, all agreed to the presentation of the national results for all the states and the FCT.
Following no objection from the respondents, the five-man panel of the PEPC headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani admitted the national document as evidence in the petition by Obi.
In the same development, the petitioners tendered, as evidence in support of their petition against Tinubu’s return, form EC8Cs from 13 states: Bayelsa, Benue, Cross-river, Ebonyi, Edo, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Ekiti and Delta.
The form EC8C is used for collating election results at the local government level. The results recorded at ward levels are entered into this form. But the respondents, through their counsel, all objected to the admissibility of the form EC8Cs. They informed the court that they would explain the reasons behind their objections in their final written addresses.
However, the court admitted the forms in evidence and marked them as exhibits. Thereafter, it adjourned further hearings on the petition to Thursday, June 8, 2023.
Objection to PDP’s subpoenaed witness
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, called its first subpoenaed witness at the Presidential Election Petition Court on Wednesday.
In a petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, Atiku and the PDP are challenging the outcome of the presidential election that produced Tinubu as president.
At the resumed hearing, counsel for the PDP, Chris Uche, SAN, informed the court that the petitioners are set to call their first subpoenaed witness, who is an ad hoc employee of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
However, counsel for the respondents in the case, INEC, Tinubu and the APC, objected to taking the testimony of the witness.
As soon as the witness entered the witness box, and barely before he could take his oath, counsel to INEC, A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, rose in objection to the hearing of the witness.
He informed the court that he was only served this morning with the statement of the witness and, as such, would have to study the statement to enable him to carry out a thorough cross-examination.
Similarly, Tinubu’s lawyer, Akin Olujimi SAN, and APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, shared the same view and opposed the move by the petitioners.
Responding, Uche argued that there was nothing strange in the statement of the witness to warrant an adjournment.
He pleaded with the court to allow at least one of the subpoenaed witnesses to make judicious use of their allotted time.
The chairman of the five-man panel of PEPC, Justice Tsammani, proposed to stand down the trial for 30 minutes to enable respondents to look at the documents and thereby cross-examine the first subpoenaed witness.
INEC counsel, however, insisted that the witness cannot be taken on Wednesday because the witness “is said to be an Ad-hoc staff of the Commission,” and as such, he would have to go and look at INEC’s records to enable him to prepare properly.
Following the respondents’ assertions, Uche urged the court to adjourn till tomorrow, June 8, for the calling of the three subpoenaed witnesses.
Earlier, the PDP and Atiku called their 11th witness, the PDP chairman, Anambra, Ndubuisi Nwobu, to testify before the court.
The witness told the court during cross-examination by counsel for APC, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, that the results were disputed at the lower levels before they arrived at the state level.
He added that they collated the results because they didn’t have any other alternatives.
When asked if he put that in his witness statement on oath, he said it was not possible to write down everything that happened in the statement.
The court will also continue the hearing in the PDP and Atiku’s petition on Thursday, June 8, 2023.
Edo Central Stakeholders Chide Shaibu Over Attempt To Blackmail Obaseki To Abandon Zoning Arrangement
The people of Edo Central Senatorial District have called on thevstate deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu to exercise restraint and stop the “incessant blackmail of governor Godwin Obaseki, in a bid to pressure the governor to yield to pressure to disregard the senatorial zoning arrangement to produce the next governor of the Edo State.
In a press briefing in Benin city, the convener of Esan Advocate For Good Governance, Comrade Bartholomew Okoudo said the deputy governor ‘s frequent tirade is to get the Governor to endorse his candicacy for the governorship election holding next year.
“This is the singular reason he is employing different tricks to box the governor to a corner and extract a committment,” he added.
He stated that Shaibu’s attempt to curry public sympathy is aimed at armtwisting the governor.
He said: “The frustration he is expressing is only a coy way to make it seem as if he is being victimised, but everyone knows he is intoxicated by his inordinate ambition.
“Shaibu thinks everything must be by force. It is on record that the people of Edo North Senatorial District produced Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is also from Etsako West Local Government Area, as the current Edo State Deputy Governor. He served for eight years between 2008 and 2016 before handing over to the incumbent governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, a Benin man who was produced by the people of Edo South Senatorial District.”
Comrade Bartholomew Okoudo declared that, lot to produce the next governor according to the zoning arrangement is on the Edo Central Senatorial District who has never had the opportunity to produce the governor of the state except the short reign of Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor between May 2007 and November 2008.
According to him, “The shenanigans by Comrade Shaibu aimed at blackmailing the governor in pursuit of his unreasonable and desperate ambition to become the next governor at all cost will not work and must be resisted by all well-meaning Edo people.
“During the administration of Chief Lucky Igbinedion between 1999 and 2007, the Deputy Governor at the time was Chief Mike Oghiadomhe from Etsako in Edo North Senatorial District. He also served for eight years.
“This was followed by Oshiomhole also from Etsako West as Governor and now Comr. Philip Shaibu, from Etsako West who is almost completing eight years tenure as deputy governor.
“How then can he be aspiring to be next governor? Is this fair and equitable? What is the fate of the other local government areas and senatorial districts in the State? (Sic)”
The Esan Advocate For Good Governance convener who stated that the deputy governor has his right to aspire for any political position in the State and Country, urged him to stop “these charades to pressure the governor into neglecting the zoning arrangement. His agitation runs against the spirit of fairness and equity.”
He continued: “We also charge Nigerians not to be deceived by all these tantrums, blackmail and display of entitlement by the deputy governor which are failed attempts to force the governor to yield to pressure so that Comrade Shaibu can have his way and become the next governor of Edo State.
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“From Shaibu running to the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking for a restraining order to stop Governor Obaseki from impeaching him to spreading falsehoods about the Governor preventing him from performing his roles as deputy and causing various scenes at public events and public places, it has all been an engineered charade to make the Governor seem unapproachable.
“The most recent of this is his attempt to force his way into the personal office of the governor along with his security aides at the Dennis Osadebey Avenue, GRA, Benin City.
“The Deputy Governor who has worked with Governor Obaseki over the past seven years should know him better that no amount of pressure to blackmail him will force the governor to support him in his inordinate quest.
“We the people of Edo Central Senatorial District are calling on him to stop this charade and toe the path of peace in the spirit of equity and fairness.
“There is peace and security in Edo and we urge the Deputy Governor not create the scene that there is none in Edo through his actions and desperate moves.”
Okoudo who declared that it is the turn of Edo Central to produce the next governor of the state, added that anyone working contrary to such plan is anti people as it relates to the zoning arrangement.
Edo 2024: Former Edo Assembly Speaker, Ebea, Nears Conclusion of Statewide Consultations For APC Ticket
Chief Festus Odianosen Ebea, the Obarisiagbon of Ubiaja and former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, has disclosed that he is on the verge of concluding extensive consultations across the state as he contemplates vying for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket in the forthcoming 2024 Edo Governorship elections.
Ebea, a prominent figure in Edo State politics, recently embarked on this strategic move to gauge the pulse of the electorate and the sentiments of party stakeholders as he weighs his chances in the highly anticipated gubernatorial race.
Sources close to the former Speaker revealed that his consultations have covered a wide spectrum of the state’s political landscape, including meetings with party leaders and officials, grassroots leaders, opinion molders and various interest groups.
The sources further ddisclosed that Ebea has alsobdiligently engaged in conversations aimed at understanding the concerns and aspirations of Edo State residents.
Speaking at Ubiaja about his progress, Chief Ebea expressed confidence in his ability to secure the APC ticket,
He stated, “I am humbled by the positive reception I have received during my consultations. Edo State is at a crucial juncture, and I believe I have the vision and commitment to take our state from Hope to Higher Ground. This is my vision.”
According to report, Ebea’s aspirations have gained momentum in recent weeks as more APC members rally behind his potential candidacy.
Reports saybmany supporters believe that Chief Ebea’s experience in state governance, having served as the Deputy Speaker and later Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, positions him as a strong contender for the party’s nomination.
Nevertheless, the race for the APC ticket promises to be highly competitive, with several other aspirants also actively pursuing the nomination.
The party’s primary election will be closely watched as it unfolds in the coming months, setting the stage for a thrilling contest in the 2024 Edo Governorship elections.
As Chief Festus Odianosen Ebea inches closer to concluding his statewide consultations, Edo State residents and political observers eagerly await the final decision on whether he will officially throw his hat into the ring for the APC gubernatorial ticket.
The 2024 Edo Governorship elections are expected to be a defining moment in the state’s political landscape, and Ebea’s potential candidacy adds an intriguing dimension to the contest.
JUST IN: Obaseki, Shaibu’s Rift Gets Messier As Deputy Prevented From Entering Govt House
The fight between Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on Monday took another twist as the deputy governor was prevented from entry the State Government House apparently on the order of Obaseki.
It was learnt that gate to the former office of the deputy governor located in the Government House and the main entrance leading to the storey building was locked with chains and heavy padlocks.
Shaibu and his aides, whom it was gathered waited for about an hour without success to access the facility despite frantic effort made by him ( deputy governor) to reach the governor on phone failed left the premises unintended to.
Sources revealed that Shaibu had some discussions with the state commissioner of police and the Director of State Security Services, DSS alerting them of how he was locked out from his office.
Shaibu was said to have summoned the government house camp commandant, Ibrahim Babatunde, (SP) and asked him why he was locked out of his office.
SP Babatunde, was alleged to have said that the directives to lock out Shaibu from the facility was an order from above, adding that the CSO in government house, Wabba will be in a better position to explain.
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