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Tinubu’s Campaign Council Holds Closed-door Meeting

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Members of the newly constituted All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council will on Tuesday hold an emergency closed-door meeting in Abuja.

The development is coming five days after the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, failed to kick off its nationwide electioneering campaign in line with the directive of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

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Tinubu’s camp also called off Wednesday’s proposed solidarity march that was scheduled to commence from the PCC office on Herbert Macaulay Way in Central Business District to the Unity Fountain in Maitama.

A source told The PUNCH that members of the campaign team are planning to meet with Tinubu in one of its campaign office in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Why Some Top APC Stakeholders May Not Work For Tinubu’s Candidacy

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He said, “We have been told that we will be having a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) but it is not something we are hoping to divulge to the media now.

“But I cannot confirm Tinubu will be there because I really don’t know if he is back in the country from his trip to London,”

On the essence of the meeting, the source disclosed that it has to do with a number of issues ranging from the fresh list of over 2,000 appointees for the presidential campaign council, the postponed inauguration and ‘workable’ strategies to kick start the campaign after Tinubu’s approval.

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When contacted, the PCC Director of Media and Communication was hesitant about commenting on Tuesday’s meeting but confirmed that the former Lagos State governor is expected to arrive this week.

He is arriving this week. I don’t have any update for you on the presidential campaign inauguration,” he stated.

But Spokesperson for the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, confirmed the meeting.

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He said, “Yes, but I don’t know whether it is with the candidate or not but I am aware the PCC is having a meeting”.

Keyamo did not, however, mention the venue of the meeting.

READ ALSO: Why Osinbajo, SFG, Mustapha, Others Were Omitted In Tinubu’s Campaign Council – Keyamo

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Tinubu had on Friday unveiled a 422-man committee comprising political heavyweights and other notable members to pilot the various sub-committees of the campaign council to drive its strategy for electoral victory in the 2023 presidential poll.

The list of members released by the Presidential Campaign Council Secretary, James Faleke, in Abuja, followed series of postponements and conjectures about those who would be saddled with the task of leading the ruling party’s bid to retain power at the federal level.

The campaign council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari has Tinubu and the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, as co-deputy chairmen.

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Also on the PCC are APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, ambassadors as well as serving and past public office holders.

Zonal and state coordinators, advisers, campaign patrons, directors, deputy directors and secretaries of directorates were also named.

The sub-committees include media and publicity; support group coordination; national youth mobilisation; parliamentarian; trade and economic; agriculturists/commodities; campaign planning; civil societies; Diaspora directorate; election planning and monitoring; finance; fund raising; and humanitarian/social.

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Others are ICT/data management; intelligence and security; labour; logistics and support service; medicals; policy research and strategy; protocol and events, and others.

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, retained his position as the director-general and Adams Oshiomhole as the deputy director-general (Operations), while Bayo Onanuga is the Director of Media and Publicity.

Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum was appointed the vice-chairman and state coordinator, while ex-Akwa Ibom State governor, Godwill Akpabio, is the vice-chairman, South-South.

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A former female APC presidential aspirant, Uju Kennedy, is the council’s vice-chairman, South-East.

Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State is the regional coordinator and chairman for North, while his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, was appointed the regional coordinator for the South-East and Ebonyi State.

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River was also appointed the regional director in charge of the South-South and his state.

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READ ALSO: 2023: I Don’t Know Tinubu’s Whereabouts – Oshiomhole

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, is the zonal coordinator for the South-West and his state, while his Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Bello, will coordinate the North-Central and his state.

Also on the list are Governor Muhammed Yahaya, who is the zonal coordinator for the North-East and Gombe State, and Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, who emerged as the zonal coordinator for the North-West and the state.

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No fewer than 24 actors were also enlisted in the performing arts directorate and they include notable Nollywood stars such as Zack Orji, Jide Kosoko, Saheed Balogun, Foluke Daramola, Nuhu Abdullahi, Bimbo Akintola and Fatiha Balogun, among others.

PUNCH

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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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