The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) is set to deliver judgement today. Security is already beefed up ahead of the verdict.
Nigerians from all walks of life are waiting eagerly to witness the televised live proceedings from the Tribunal venue at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) are challenging President Bola Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
02: 26 pm: Obi, LP Failed To Prove Tinubu Was Convicted In US, Tribunal Rules.
02:12 pm: Tribunal dismisses LP/Obi’s Petition on 25 per cent needed to win the presidential election.
According to the court, FCT residents have no special privileges as the petitioners claimed.
1:28 pm: The court has rejected the reports of forensic analyses tendered by LP’s three witnesses. According to the court, they are either made during the pendency of the case or by an interested party.
This is as it rejected the European Union report on the polls, arguing that it was not tendered by an official of the body.
12:31 pm: Tribunal Declares APC’s Petition On Obi’s Membership Incompetent.
The Court also declared APC’s petition challenging Obi’s membership of the LP as incompetent. Justice Abba says membership in a political party is an internal affair.
The Tribunal also touched on the issue of non-joinder of Atiku Abubakar who came second and wondered how Obi & LP’s petition could be effectively determined without joining the candidate who placed second in the polls
12: 07 p.m. LP’s Widespread Irregularities Claim Generic – Court
While highlighting a claim by the respondents that Obi’s petition only alleged that there were widespread irregularities without giving the particulars and the polling units.
Justice Abba Mohammed holds that In a presidential election held in 176,866 polling units in 774 Local Government Areas, it would be improper not to specify where there were irregularities.
According to him, the petitioners only made generic allegations.
“Pleading must set out material facts and particulars. In the instant petition, there was no effort to prove specific allegations, particulars of complaints,” said the Tribunal.
The law is clear that where someone alleges irregularities in a particular polling unit, such person must prove the particular irregularities in that polling unit before that petition can succeed, the Tribunal added.
The court said the petitioners did not prove the particular polling unit where the election did not take place nor did they specify particulars of polling units where there are alleged complainants of irregularities.
“It was only in one instance that figures were given of alleged suppressed votes and we all know that elections are about figures,” it said.
“LP alleged that INEC reduced their scores and added it to APC votes but failed to supply particulars of what they actually scored before the said reductions, neither did they supply the polling units where it happened….”
Nigerian Lady Strangled To Death In UK
The family of a former ophthalmic nurse at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Taiwo Owoeye, who was found dead in her home in Suffolk, United Kingdom, has expressed sadness over her death.
The PUNCH learnt that Taiwo was allegedly strangled to death by her husband, David Abodunde on Tuesday, November 28.
It was gathered that the mother of three who was also a nurse in the UK had reported a case of an assault by her husband to the police on Monday, November 27.
READ ALSO: British Poet Benjamin Zephaniah Is Dead
The police, upon visiting their apartment the following day, found Taiwo lying on the floor of the living room motionless. Efforts to revive her, however, proved abortive as she was declared dead by the paramedics who arrived at the scene.
Taiwo’s husband who also was said to be inside the apartment with her was thereafter arrested on suspicion of her murder.
The couple got married in 2016. However, the late Taiwo relocated to the UK in 2022 and was later joined by her husband earlier this year.
The deceased’s brother, Alex Owoeye, who mourned her passing in a Facebook post claimed that David was declared the sole murderer after an investigation carried out by the police.
He wrote, “This is to officially announce the painful exit of my dear sister, Nurse Owoeye Taiwo Morenikeji, married to Abodunde David Olubunmi of Ipoti Ekiti. According to the Suffolk Police in the UK and the available documents and records sent to us via mail and direct conversations from the UK Police, after thoroughly conducted investigations, despite being caught in the act, he (the husband) was declared the sole murderer of his wife (my sister).”
Owoeye noted that the three children of the couple were currently being taken care of by the UK social services.
He also urged his family members to keep calm while assuring them that justice would be served in due course.
Another relative, Opeyemi Owoeye, also wrote on her Facebook page, “She was killed by her own very husband (Abodunde Bunmi David), no peace for the wicked. Justice for Owoeye Taiwo.”
Reacting to the news of her death, another Facebook user, Olabanji Fabiyi, described it as heart-wrenching.
He wrote, “The recent tragic news of Taiwo Owoeye Abodunde murdered by her husband in Suffolk, United Kingdom, is profoundly heart-wrenching. Although myself and Taiwo were not that so close, her late dad and my late dad were childhood friends and her mum and mine are also good friends, all from Igogo Ekiti. Considering her upbringing, it seems improbable that any provocation from Taiwo warranted such a brutal act as strangulation. Also, the audio clip of what transpired between them prior to the untimely death is a pointer to the animalistic, barbaric and untrained husband she had.”
British Poet Benjamin Zephaniah Is Dead
British poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who famously rejected an honour from over Britain’s empire and links to slavery has died.
Zephaniah died at the age of 65.
His family announced his demise on Thursday, in a statement on social media.
According to the statement, the poet was diagnosed with a brain tumour eight weeks ago.
“It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the death of our beloved Husband, Son, and Brother in the early hours of this morning the 7th of December 2023,” the statement said.
“Benjamin’s wife was by his side throughout and was with him when he passed. We shared him with the world and we know many will be shocked and saddened by this news.
“Benjamin was a true pioneer and innovator, he gave the world so much. Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music, television, and radio, Benjamin leaves us with a joyful and fantastic legacy.
“Thank you for the love you have shown Professor Benjamin Zephaniah.”
Nigeria, Ghana, Six Others Receive $1.96m To Tackle Fistula
Eight member countries of the Economic Community of West African States received $1.96 million from the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre on Wednesday to tackle fistula disorder.
Fistula disorder is an abnormal connection between organs. Fistulas are usually the result of an injury or surgery.
According to the United States Agency for International Development in 2021, Nigeria accounted for 40 per cent of fistula cases worldwide.
USAID also stated that Nigeria reports 13,000 new cases of fistula per year, and as many as 400,000 women languish on waiting lists for corrective surgery.
The countries that got $245,000 each were Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia and Liberia.
The presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries was one of the highlights at the 91st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Chairman, ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Yusuf Tuggar, stated that the Council would deliberate on the community’s budget for the 2024 fiscal year as the current economic challenges are affecting the region’s Gross Domestic Product and revenue generation.
Tuggar noted, “We must be mindful of the prevailing economic and financial challenges confronting our sub-region, such as inflation, high food prices, and currency devaluation, which have adversely affected our economies.
“These challenges have impacted our gross domestic product, revenue generation, and in particular our mobilisation of the community levy, due to the devaluation of some of our major currencies, particularly Cedi and Naira against the US Dollar.”
Urging the Council Ministers, the minister said, “Therefore, we must support the recommendations of the Administration and Finance Committee on enhancing prudence, as well as the efforts of the President of the Commission and other Heads of the Institutions on blocking leakages to ensure judicious use of our meagre resources.”
Also, the President, ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, lamented that member states under sanctions have stopped remitting levies, adding that ECOWAS needs enough financial resources to tackle the challenges bedeviling the region.
“For some time now, the levy collection has been a challenge. The amount of 0.5 per cent ECOWAS levy on imports from outside the Community has been collected by member states on behalf of ECOWAS.
“However, the deposit of these funds into the ECOWAS bank accounts at the country level and access to the funds have been a challenge. This has led to low resource mobilization.
“The situation is more critical now that our member states under sanctions have stopped remitting the levy. As the financial situation gets more difficult, the tasks for ECOWAS are growing,” Touray stated.
The president urged the councils of ministers to “mobilise the levy fully to be able to implement our community work programme and keep up with the successes of ECOWAS.”
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