There are feelers that some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who are one way or the other unhappy with the presidential candidate of the ruling party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu may either sit on the fence or work against him in the 2023 election.
Some stakeholders of the party fell out with the former Lagos State Governor after he clinched the APC presidential ticket during the June 8, 2022, primary elections.
Recall that prior to the party’s national convention, which produced Asiwaju as APC flagbearer, National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu had announced Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as APC consensus presidential candidate.
The move was, however, swiftly antagonized by some governors and party members believed to be loyal to Asiwaju who insisted on a Southern presidency.
Similarly, some members of the National Working Committee, NWC, kicked against the move and insisted that other Presidential aspirants, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Engr. David Umahi and Rotimi Amaechi must be allowed to contest the primary election.
Tinubu, who was finally declared winner of the indirect primary election, told Ahmad Lawan during his victory speech at the Eagles Square, Abuja that the lawmaker can now lick his wounds.
According to him, “I’m a little agitated that you contested against me, but thank you, you can now lick your wounds.”
Tinubu scored 1,271 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Rotimi Amaechi, who polled 316.
An APC chieftain, Dr. Martins Apeh, who spoke with DAILY POST in Abuja on Saturday, claimed that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo actually rejected the offer to be included in the recently released APC Presidential Campaign Council.
According to him, the vice president and the former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi have no confidence in Tinubu’s candidacy and would distance themselves from the campaign.
He said, “You see, Osinbajo believes in the New Nigeria Project, he doesn’t believe in the old politicians who may not have anything to offer to Nigerians but only see power as property that can be acquired.
“When Osinbajo lost the primary election, he stated clearly that his dream to support a New Nigeria has not changed. That should send a message to you and other Nigerians. Don’t be surprised if the VP makes a big announcement to support a candidate of another party”.
On the former Rivers State governor, Martins opined that “Amaechi is still very angry with the party on what played out during the APC primary. It was a shock to him and other Nigerians.”
He said Amaechi, Osinbajo and Lawal “may work for the presidential candidate of another party”, stating that those who want the country to work again will not jeopardize another four years in the “hands of people they don’t believe can deliver”.
It would be recalled that there was an indication that the immediate past minister of Transport, Amaechi, may not accept his appointment as the Special Adviser on Infrastructure of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
Recall that Amaechi had in July 25 said in Port Harcourt that the delegates who voted Tinubu during the APC presidential primary were regretting their decision.
According to Amaechi: “Those who voted at the APC primaries, who are they? They are ordinary Nigerians. The small money they got solved their immediate problem, now they are saying they made a mistake, you are now hearing different things.”
Another chieftain of the party, Mr Patrick Okwori, who spoke with our correspondent, alleged that the cabals in the presidency were not happy that Tinubu clinched the party’s ticket.
“Even some of us that are trying hard to push our party even to the grassroot levels, we are doing it not because of any candidate but because it is our party and the party must work.
“We have several stakeholders who are not happy that the party is fielding Muslim-Muslim ticket. If either Amaechi of Osinbajo had won the primary, the campaign would have been very easy because they are Christians and getting a Muslim northerner would have been a simple thing”, he added.
Tribunal: INEC Presents Blurry Adeleke’s Testimonial, Oyetola Kicks
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.
The panel had last week Friday ruled that INEC chairman should bring Adeleke’s filings for 2018 poll on its next sitting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
JUST IN: Labour Party Expels Peter Obi’s DG, Okupe, 10 Others
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Okupe is from Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Court Strikes Out Fresh Suit Seeking To Sack Rivers APC Guber Candidate
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.
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.
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.
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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