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Senate spokesman sacked at tribunal

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The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Ado Ekiti has nullified the election of Dayo Adeyeye, the Ekiti South senatorial district senator.

The tribunal subsequently declared former Minority Leader and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Biodun Olujimi, winner of the senatorial poll.

The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) had declared Mr Adeyeye winner of the February 23, 2019, Senatorial election, but Mrs Olujimi challenged the result at the tribunal.

She submitted that she scored the highest number of lawful votes cast during the keenly contested poll.

Mrs Olujimi prayed the tribunal to nullify Mr Adeyeye’s victory and order a supplementary election accordingly in the district.

In her written address, the petitioner claimed that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Acts, having been allegedly fraught with all manners of irregularities.

She prayed the Tribunal to annul votes in areas that were found to be incredibly marked with irregularities.

The petitioner also accused the INEC of dereliction of duties. She also said the documents used for the conduct of the election were not duly signed by party agents.

But the respondents countered the submission, saying INEC did what was right and constitutional, by declaring the candidate of the APC the winner.

Delivering the judgement, the three-member tribunal led by D.D. Adeck, nullified elections in some polling units and declared Mrs Olujimi the authentic winner of the polls.

At the final computation, Mrs Olujimi polled 54,894 votes to emerge victorious over the Senate committee chairman on media and publicity, who polled 52,243.

Mr Adeck added that apart from the nullification in some units, the outcome of the tribunal’s verdict was predicated on the recount of the ballots by the contending parties as granted by the court.

He also said for the petitioner to be so declared, she must prove those cases of criminal allegations of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and other corrupt practices raised in her petition beyond a reasonable doubt, “which he said she did”.

The tribunal said in Ikere, Gbonyin and Emure local governments, the petitioner was able to prove cases of over-voting “and that votes in those units were expunged from the ballots”.

“It is not tenable to say that marked ballots were not properly deposited in the boxes because when this did not happen, then it will lead to over-voting and will affect counting at every level of collation,” Mr Adeck said.

“To avoid this pitfall, those elections must be expunged in order not to vitiate the electoral process. Therefore, after those votes were deducted, PDP was left with 54, 894 while the respondent polled 52, 243.

“The petitioner having polled the highest number of lawful votes should be declared the winner of the election.

“We hereby declare the petitioner the winner and he is hereby returned elected.

“We hereby direct the INEC to withdraw the certificate of return from the respondent and issue same to the petitioner.”

Despite Tuesday’s judgement, Mr Adeyeye is expected to continue in office till the Supreme Court rules if the matter is appealed.

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Politics

PDP congratulates Okowa, Ikpeazu on tribunal judgments

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Friday hailed the upholding of the elections of Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state by the governorship elections petition tribunals in the two states.

It also said the verdicts have placed a seal on the acceptance of the governors as demonstrated in their landslide victory at the March 2019 governorship elections in both states.

Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in a statement to TIMELY POST.

The opposition party also said the report of celebrations in the states at the breaking of the news of the verdict is a testimony that indeed justice was upheld in the rulings.

Parr of the statement reads, “The party notes that just like other governors elected on the platform of the PDP, Governor Okowa and Governor Ikpeazu stand out in their commitments towards developing their states, particularly the massive
infrastructural projects in key sectors including, manufacturing, agriculture, oil and gas, power, road infrastructure, education among others despite prevailing challenges.

“The PDP urges the governors not to relent but continue in their commitment in delivering on their mandates for the good of all, in line with the manifesto of the PDP”.

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Kaduna cleric Sheikh Gummi, dismisses 2019 general elections as worst ever

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A Kaduna State-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gummi, has described the last general elections as the worst ever in the history of Nigeria.

He explained that the video evidence made available show that few hundreds of people generated millions of votes.

Sheikh Ahmad Gummi made the expression when he hosted the General Overseer of the Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministry, Jos and the Convener For the Movement of Initiative of a Brighter and Better Nigeria, Prophet Isa elBuba at his residence in Kaduna, said,
“The last election was the worst ever to be conducted in the country.

“We invited INEC, APC, PDP and told them this is what we will do to stop rigging in 2015.

“When the election came, we realized we were handicapped because Nigerians were ignorant, but they failed to realise that Nigerians can create an independent polls.

“In 2015, we saw that INEC was not ready for a flawless election. Then another government came with mantra of change and anti corruption. I expected 2019 election to be neat, but I found it to be the worst I have ever witnessed.

“Many people came to me from all over the country, some came with video and told me those millions of votes you see is coming from just a few hundreds.

“When the results were announced, they said, we told you. So what is the card reader meant for? How can you say you are fighting corruption and you are riding on corruption to come back and create economic damage that will take maybe 40 years to correct.”

Speaking earlier, Prophet el-Buba commended Sheikh Gummi for being a leading light in the present generation on issues that are national importance.

He noted, “I really want to commend you for standing out to speak the truth not just to authorities but also to the followers.

“With situation of things in the country, we need to pull our minds together and salvage the country.

“We cannot afford to continue to leave the control of things in the hands of politicians, if not it will continue like this.

“I have traversed the whole country and discovered that the north is worst. Things are degenerating the more, the poverty is unbearable.”

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Reps tell Buhari how to reduce unemployment

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The House of Representatives, Thursday called on the Federal government to bail out failed companies in order to tackle the rising unemployment.

The decision followed a motion of urgent importance moved by James Faleke.

Leading the debate on the motion, Faleke said that the motion becomes important in the face of growing unemployment in the country.

“My concern Is the number of graduates we are producing yearly, over 1.3m without opportunity for job. This is why some people are being lured into criminality, not that they want to be engaging in criminality, but out of nothing to do, they resort to criminality.

“If government can identify 100 companies and approach banks and get loans. This will help to reduce Nigerians traveling to other African countries for job,” he said.

Speaking in support, Emeka Azubogu from Anambra state noted that there will be need for holistic review of the economy.

” We need a knowledge based economy, there are already existing policies that we need to rejig. There are many incentives by the CBN. There are facts we need to look at holistically. I also thank the president for the Economic Advisory council.”

Shehu Koko from Kebbi State, while supporting the motion called on the federal government to improve power.

He said,” Know that President Olusegun Obasanjo recapitalised banks, I Know that President Buhari bailed out states, if we bail out failed companies, we will generate jobs, however, if the issue of power is not addressed, we will not make any progress.”

Opposing the motion, Rotimi Agunsoye from Lagos countered the motion, calling for a review of the reasons being the failure of the sector.

I will not support the idea of bailout, before now those industries were working, why are they not working now?

“Number one, power and number two is premium, If they can improve on premium, that will be better than bailout, and power is just like blood in the body, if there is no blood, the body can not function.”

The motion was subsequently passed after it was put to vote by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and referred to committee on industry.

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