The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded its defence in the petition by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after calling one witness and tendering some documents before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
INEC’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), announced the closure of his client’s case after one Lawrence Bayode, an Information Technology (IT) Practitioner with INEC, (its sole witness), adopted his written testimony and was cross-examined by lawyers to the respondents and the petitioners.
Bayode, a Deputy Director in INEC’s IT Department, who insisted that there were glitches experienced during the transmission of the presidential election results which affected the real-time transmission of the results, added, among others, that whether or not results were electronically or manually transmitted the integrity of the scores already captured in the polling unit results sheets (Form EC8A), would not be affected.
After Mahmoud announced the closure of his client’s case, the lawyer to Tinubu, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) informed the court that the second respondent (Tinubu) will open his defence on Tuesday.
Mark set to replace Ayu as PDP National Chairman, as Atiku camp readies for Wike battle
David Alechenu Bonaventure Mark, 75-year-old former Senate President, could be the next National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), if the current push in that direction by some tendencies within the political family succeed.
TheCable reports that the camp loyal to Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is pushing for Mark, a retired military officer who was Chairman of the National Assembly for a record 12 years, to replace Iyorchia Ayu, who was ousted from the office immediately after the 2023 general elections.
The paper, quoted sources, as saying that those rooting for him believe him to have the capacity to deal with “renegade” party members who are involved in “anti-party activities,” and capable of giving it the direction it requires, especially in dealing with the Nyesom Wike factor.
The PDP has been without a substantive chairman since March 2023 with the ouster of Iyorchia Ayu, also a former senate president, following his suspension at the ward level of the party in Benue state, since the exit of Ayu who is from the same Benue state with Mark, Senate President from 2007 to 2015.
Umar Ililya Damagum became the acting national chairman but the Atiku camp is reportedly uncomfortable with him as he is seen to be close to Wike, former governor of Rivers State and now Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Bola Tinubu.
Atiku’s biggest supporters — Sule Lamido, former governor of Jigawa, Babangida Aliyu, former governor of Niger, and Adamu Maina Waziri, former minister — once tried to moved against the acting chairman but pulled back because of a possible backlash.
Wike, who lost the presidential primary to Atiku in May 2022, led a group of five governors that openly opposed Atiku in the 2023 presidential election.
The paper quoted a source as saying: “You would expect the PDP to have suspended or expelled Wike by now for his anti-party activities, worsened by his acceptance of a ministerial appointment from a rival party. But it is very clear that the national working committee is in Wike’s pocket, so we should not expect any form of discipline in the party.”
Mark, a retired brigadier, former military governor of Niger state and former ministry of communication, is a founding member of PDP and has never defected from the party.
Another source, who was quoted as saying that others being considered as next PDP chairman are Bukola Saraki, former senate president, and Gabriel Suswam, former governor of Benue state, reportedly added that the issue of chairmanship would be “on hold” for now until after the presidential election petition was finally settled by the Supreme Court.
BREAKING: Edeoga fails to unseat Mba! NYSC not a requirement for holding political office – tribunal
Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano, Chairman of the panel for the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu, the state capital, on Thursday, said that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate is not a requirement to contest for governorship or any other political office in Nigeria.
With this, Akano, leading two other members, dismissed the petition of Chijioke Edeoga, who approached the tribunal to declare that Peter Mbah, governor of the state via the March 18 election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alongside other grounds of the petition including the contentious issues of over-voting and bypass of Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in Udenu, Nkanu East and Enugu East local government areas, and finally affirmed him as the winner.
The panel, while holding that NYSC was not a requirement for contesting for the office of the governor and there was nowhere that the certificate was attached to the documents Mbah submitted to INEC by the respondent, held that the issue of forgery, discountenanced all the evidences by the Department of State Service (DSS), NYSC and other officials on the issue, insisting that they were not in compliance with paragraph 4, sub-section 5D of the evidence act.
Like Mimiko, Akeredolu moves to impeach deputy, eight years after
Eight years after the impeachment of Ali Olanusi, former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, his last but one successor, Lucky Aiyeditwa, is about to be served the same pill, this time under Rotimi Akeredolu, who returned to the country less than a fortnight ago.
Just a week after Akeredolu ordered a blanket disbandment of his media aides, members of the Ondo State House of Assembly are said to have raised three major allegations of gross misconduct against him, principal among them, that he approved the N300 million for the purchase of a bulletproof SUV vehicle for himself.
The funding for the purchase of the vehicle, which approval, was alleged to have been done behind the back of the governor, who just returned to Nigeria after a three-month medical tourism in Germany where he went for treatment of a yet to be disclosed ailment, was said to have been sourced from the palliative fund which was disbursed by President Bola Tinubu to cushion the impact of fuel subsidy removal.
Reports say that nine lawmakers had already signed the impeachment notice, as at the last count, representing a third of the 26 member assembly detailing other offences at an emergency plenary held on Wednesday, September 20, while other members are billed to sign the document to fast track the process.
It was also reported that Benjamin Jaiyeola, had been directed to write the deputy governor on the allegations against him, after which the process would start proper with the members expected to first approve the proposal through a two-third majority, to enable the Chief Judge of the state to set up a panel that would investigate the allegations, before the final votes would be taken on the impeachment.
Olanusi was impeached on Monday, April 15, 2015 by 20 out of 26 members of the assembly after he moved from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the All Progressives Congress (APC), where he sought, but failed to get nomination for the governorship election.
September 22, 2023 8:30 pm
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