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Fate Of 7 Govs Uncertain

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Niger and Taraba states in the March 9, 2019 governorship polls while seven other governors await the determination of appeals challenging their elections.

The states whose governorship elections are yet to be decided are: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Imo, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto.

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A five-member panel of justices presided by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, yesterday dismissed the appeals before the Supreme Court and affirmed the elections of governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia, PDP); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta, PDP); Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger, APC); and Darius Ishaku (Taraba, PDP).

In the first judgement on Abia delivered by Justice Adamu Galinje, the apex court held that the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Alex Otti, failed to prove the allegation of over-voting against Ikpeazu and the PDP by relying solely on the card reader.

READ ALSO: Breaking: Supreme Court Affirms Okowa, Ikpeazu, Bello Election Victory

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He ruled that the position of the apex court has been that where documents are dumped on the court, it would not attach any probative value to it.

He added that the makers of Forms EC8As, which statements of results contained names of accredited voters and number of voters, should have been called to demonstrate them.

Ruling on the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the election of Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, Justice Ejembi Eko held that a Federal High Court having disqualified its original candidate, the party had no flag bearer in the March 9 governorship election and ought not to have challenged the election.

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Photo credit: dailytrust.com

Citing the provisions of sections 141 and 285 of the Electoral Act, Justice Eko said Professor Muhammad Sani Yahaya, who was presented by the party in Taraba, did not participate in all the processes of the election and is prohibited by law to be a successor to a candidate who was disqualified by a Federal High Court.

He explained that since the party proceeded to participate in the election despite the subsisting court order disqualifying its candidate, Abubakar Danladi, the votes cast for it are not valid but “wasted votes.”

READ ALSO: APC Crisis: Oshiomhole Absent At Auchi Day

“The appeal is mere academic exercise and will serve no useful purpose,” he said.

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On the Niger appeal brought by PDP’s Umar Mohammed Nasko, Justice Uwani Abba-Aji dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the issue of non-qualification and false information against Governor Bello had become statute barred having been brought outside the 180 days allowed by law.

She said the apex court cannot interfere with the decision made by the Court of Appeal on the judgement of the Niger State Election Petitions Tribunal, adding that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction on the matter.

In the appeal by Great Ogboru of APC against Governor Okowa of Delta, Justice Cletus Nweze ruled that the appellant dumped documents on the tribunal without demonstrating their relevance to his case.

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He held that Ogboru relied too much on hearsay evidence in his allegations of over-voting and other electoral malpractices in the March 9, 2019 governorship election.

S/Court to decide petitions against 7 state govs

The Supreme Court is expected to decide within this month, the remaining seven cases including the appeal by former governor of Adamawa State, Jibrilla Bindow (APC) against Governor Ahmadu Fintiri (PDP); Bauchi appeal between former governor Mohammed Abubakar (APC) against Governor Bala Mohammed (PDP); and Benue appeal brought by Emmanuel Jime (APC) against Governor Samuel Ortom (PDP).

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Other cases are those against Imo Governor Emeka Ihedioha (PDP) by the APC candidate, Hope Uzodimma.

READ ALSO: PDP Vice Chair Slumped, Died In Kogi

There are other appeals by Action Alliance (AA) candidate, Uche Nwosu and the candidate of APGA Ifeanyi Ararume, all of them challenging the validity of the election of Ihedioha.

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In Kano, there is the appeal by Abba Kabiru Yusuf (PDP) against Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano; the appeal by Jeremiah Useni (PDP) against Simon Lalong of Plateau State; and in Sokoto, the appeal was brought by APC’s Ahmed Aliyu challenging the election of Governor Aminu Tambuwal.

Other cases dispensed by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court had earlier ruled on the appeals involving Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Katsina, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo and Rivers affirming the election of the governors.

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But the petitions filed against governors of Cross River, Enugu, Gombe, Kebbi and Kwara did not make it to the Supreme Court.

The governorship elections in Yobe and Jigawa did not attract any petition, while Kogi election, which held on November 16, 2019, is still at the tribunal.

Controversial appeals still at the S/Court

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Adamawa

Governor Umar Fintiri will know his fate when the appeal by Bindow is heard at the Supreme Court.

At the tribunal, Bindow alleged over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act as well as irregularities during the March 2019 re-run governorship election.

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Fintiri polled 376,552 votes to defeat the incumbent Bindow who got 336,386 votes. Fintiri won by 40,166 votes.

Bauchi

The appeal filed by Abubakar who sought for a second term in Bauchi but was defeated by Mohammed is expected to deepen legal understanding on election litigation in Nigeria.

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The ex-governor filed his petition after conceding defeat to his would-be successor.

INEC initially declared the election of March 9 inconclusive as Mohammed polled 469,512 votes while Abubakar, who was rounding up his first term scored, 465, 453 votes.

The re-run election held on March 23, 2019 in 36 polling units across 15 local government areas, including results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area, were stalled by a Federal High Court in Abuja on March 19, 2019 after the former governor and the APC brought an ex parte motion before it.

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READ ALSO:Court Restrains INEC From Conducting By-election Into Edo Assembly Seats

The court, however, lifted the ban on March 25 to allow the conclusion of the collation which returned the opposition Mohammed as winner.

Kano

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The appeal by Yusuf against Governor Ganduje at the Supreme Court will be dealing with the controversial issue of inconclusive and supplementary elections in Nigeria.

Yusuf polled 1,014,353 votes against 987,829 votes by Ganduje before the election was declared inconclusive.

During the rerun, Ganduje won and was declared winner but Yusuf approached the election petition tribunal insisting that he won at first ballot. The verdict of the tribunal did not favour him but the PDP candidate decided to approach the apex court.

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Sokoto

The appeal by APC’s Aliyu against Governor Tambuwal is another matter that will be of interest to Nigerians. Aliyu lost by the narrowest of margins of 512,002 votes to 511,661 votes he polled. This was after the collation was declared inconclusive on March 9, 2019, forcing a re-run on March 23, 2019 during which Tambuwal was returned as winner.

So far, the APC controls 20 states, PDP 15 and APGA 1.

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(DAILY TRUST)

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Akwa Ibom Chief Judge Threatens To Jail Rights Lawyer Over Bias Accusation

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The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, has threatened to put behind bars a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong (Esq) for accusing her of being biased or likelihood of bias in the ongoing libel suit by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and Senator Effiong Bob against his client, Leo Ekpenyong, Esq.

It could be recalled that in suits No HU/279/2019 between deacon Udom Emmanuel VS. Leo Ekpenyong Esq and No: HU/273/2019 between Senator Effiong Bob VS Leo Ekpenyong respectively delivered on 2021by Justice Obot, the defendant was found guilty of libel and was asked to pay the governor a sum of N1.5 Billion and a sum of N500Million to Senator Effiong Bob.

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Counsel to the defendant, Mr Effiong, however, filed a motion for the judgement to be set aside, insisting that his client was not given a fair hearing; the prayer was later granted by the court.

However, the defence counsel also filed another motion praying the Chief Judge to recuse from the case, alleging prejudice and likelihood of bias.

During a proceeding held at High Court 1, Chief Judge’s court, Barracks road today, the defence counsel said “My Lord, my client Mr Leo Ekpenyong (Esq) has alleged bias, or likelihood of bias of the honourable Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Honourable justice Ekaette Obot.

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“That is why we filed an application before this court on the 23 of June 2022 asking the Honourable Chief Judge to disqualify himself from hearing or presiding over this matter. Defendant has raised that the grounds of that application clearly stated but not limited to the fact that in the course of this proceedings my Lord has personally berated us as counsels. I have been described in venomous terms, we know that by law, a court should not address a counsel in that manner. The seeming hostility that characterized the proceedings to set aside the default judgement is discouraging.

READ ALSO: Ogun Police Confirm Report On Lady Allegedly Used For Ritual

“Why we are also asking that my Lord should reassign this matter is because my Lord has already delivered a judgement though in default against Mr Ekpenyong where he asked him to pay gov Udom Emmanuel a sum of N1.5 billion and I came before this court asking that, that judgement should be set aside having been delivered in error and in flagrant violation of right of my client to fair hearing because the date that judgement was given, no hearing notice was issued and the registrar gave that date off record. The court agreed with us that the right of our client was violated and set the case aside.

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“We are saying because you have already found the defendant guilty in this matter it is only just and fair that those matters should be reassigned to another Judge to be heard denovo, that is the practice my Lord, for example if the court of appeal has set aside a judgement and sends back the case to be tried before the lower court it usually goes with a consequential order that a new judge should handle that matter, so if the defendant said that he doesn’t have confidence in the honourable Chief Judge of the State to hear his case, it’s only fair that, the matter be reassigned to preserve the dignity, impartiality and honour of the court.

“All we are saying is that we do not have confidence in my Lord to interprete my matter.”

Irked by the submissions of the defence counsel and his (Mr Effiong) refusal to sit when the counsel to the Claimant, Samuel Ikpo asked him to do so, the Chief Judge said the court will not condone unruly behaviour in the courtroom, warning of her power to send him behind bars or petition him to the National body.

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According to Justice Obot, “You cannot say that before me, you can’t talk to your senior like that, I don’t know when this man learnt law. You are trying to intimidate your senior, did you see the type of counter you filed over miscellaneous matters I overlooked? I still set aside that judgement only for you to capitalize on it and you want to play on the intelligence of the court? Do not allow me to send you to prison!”

“Saying that when a matter is set aside that it must be reassigned to another Judge is not the practice, it is a lie from the pit of hell.”

The Judge, however, proceeded with the hearing of the witness of the Claimant and later adjourned the case to 27 to 29 July for conclusion of Claimant and hearing of defendants case as well as motions filed even when the defence counsel said the dates were not convenient for him insisting that the case was that of defamation and no urgency in it for accelerated hearing.

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Counsel to the Claimant, Mr Ikpo refused to talk to journalists at the end of the session insisting that the matter is sub judice.

READ ALSO: 2023: Why I Have No Regret Working For Abacha – Al-Mustapha

But, the defence counsel who spoke to journalists said, “what is worrisome is despite the tendency of the application challenging the jurisdiction of the court raising the issue of bias on the last date in this matter, my Lord allowed the claimant in the two cases to call witnesses even when the jurisdiction of the court is being challenged and those witnesses were called in my absence even when I told them that I missed my flight and we were not there to cross examine them, that was why yesterday we filed a motion to set aside the proceeding including the order for the continuation of hearing.

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“Even the proceedings of today were in error and should be set aside and I told the court that the motion should have been determined, my Lord did not determine the two motions and yet insisted that we continue with the hearing. We were basically forced to go into trial today.

“My Lord consistently has accused me of bringing a herbalist to court, how on earth will I do that? I’m not a traditional worshipper but a christian.”

DAILY POST

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Nigerian Pastor Deletes Controversial Tweet Amid Backlash From Peter Obi’s Supporters

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Pastor Poju Oyemade, the founder of The Covenant Nation (formerly the Covenant Christian Center) has taken down a tweet that stirred controversy after it was interpreted by netizens as a bias political comment.

In a now-deleted tweet, Oyemade advised Nigerian youths not to “waste their enthusiasm on poorly planned projects“.

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However, the tweet was calculated by supporters of the Labour Party‘s presidential candidate, Peter Obi as an attempt to portray their candidate (Obi) as unprepared for the 2023 general election.

Other netizens who perceived the message as a veiled strategy to sell the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate and flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were equally angry.

Oyemade words, “Faith is not just blind belief or hoping for a miracle. Faith sees. Faith has her eyes opened and possesses the evidence upon which it builds its belief. Faith prepares long, sometimes for years just as Joseph did for the years of famine. Faith counts the cost before embarking.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Speaks On Meeting Wike In Francr, PDP Crisis Deepens

“Without having real evidence upon which you are acting nor preparation for the task, recognising real obstacles that lie ahead and making concrete plans, one is just being delusional about the outcome. The enthusiasm of the youth must not be wasted on poorly planned projects.

“Noah spent months/years planning for the flood & he was operating in faith. Jesus said no man goes to battle without taking stock first nor lays the foundation of a tower without counting the cost first lest he will be mocked. Our faith is intelligent it doesn’t live in denial.”

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Reactions:

dedayo🇺🇦 (@AdeparusiA) Pastor Poju is one I hold in a very high esteem, however, I was deeply disappointed by that tweet, whether it’s directed to OBIdient fans or not. It’s really sad such is coming from him. #PeterObiTheNationalist #PeterObi4President2023 #PeterObiForPresident2023

Anyiobi #PeterObi (@Anyiobi2)
Pastor Poju is one I hold in a very high esteem, however, I was deeply disappointed by that tweet, whether it’s directed to OBIdient fans or not. It’s really sad such is coming from him. #PeterObiTheNationalist #PeterObi4President2023 #PeterObiForPresident2023

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Anyiobi #PeterObi (@Anyiobi2) J
The fact that Pastor Poju supported #Buhari in 2015 tells so much about his character! Let no one care about him! In #PeterObi we trust!

 

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How 1,130 Looted Benin Bronzes Got To Germany – FG

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The Federal Government says many of the1,130 looted Benin Bronzes to be repatriated to Nigeria from Germany got to German public institutions via trade and donations

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Friday in Berlin during the signing of a historic joint declaration between Nigeria and Germany.

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The signing of joint declaration according to the minister, will pave the way for the return of the 1,130 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria,

A statement issued on the ceremony in Berlin made available to newsmen in Abuja, said that Mohammed, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada signed for Nigeria.

READ ALSO: FG, Germany Sign Agreement On Return Of Benin Bronzes

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In the statement signed by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Ms Annalena Baerbock, and the Minister of State for Culture and Media, Ms. Claudia Roth, signed for Germany.

Adeyemi is the Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture

As contained in the statement, Mohammed said that Germany did not colonise Nigeria and was not part of the looting of the artefacts.

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The minister recalled that the artefacts were looted from the ancient Benin Kingdom during the Benin Expedition of 1897 by the British force.

Mohammed thanked the government and people of Germany for what he described as the ”single largest repatriation of artefacts anywhere in the world”.

”We also want to most sincerely thank the authorities of the various German regions, cities, museums and institutions that have been working in concert to ensure the manifestation of the history-making event that we are witnessing today.

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“By this singular action, Germany has taken the lead in correcting the wrongs of the past,” he said.

The minister said that Germany and the great people of the nation decided it was better to shape the future by correcting the ills of the past.

He said pace-setting action by the Federal Government of Germany would become a harbinger of more repatriation of cultural property to their place of origin.

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According to Mohammed, other museums and institutions are expected to take a cue from what Germany has done.

Germany has gained more friends in Nigeria and all over the world by returning to Nigeria what rightfully belongs to it,” he said.

On his part, Dada described Germany as the ‘champion of justice and fairness’.

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Also Speaking, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany said, ”It was wrong to take the (Benin) bronzes. It was wrong to keep them for (125 years). This is the beginning to right the wrong.”

READ ALSO: Benin Artefacts: Obaseki Bows, Promises Cooperation With Benin Palace

According to the statement, in a symbolic gesture signifying the impending return of the artefacts, two of the Benin Bronzes were handed over to Nigeria at the ceremony.

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The signing was witnessed by top Nigerian and German government officials, including the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Yusuf Tuggar, and the Director-General of Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Prof. Abba Tijani.

 

 

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