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POLITICS

Sack Tambuwal From Office, APC Begs Supreme Court

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The All Progressive Congress (APC) has asked the Supreme Court to sack Governor Waziri Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on the ground of irregularities in the primary election that produced him as the party’s candidate in 2014.

The party, in a change of gear, directed its counsel Abduganiyu Arobo to concede to the appeal filed by Senator Umaru Dahiru to get judgment entered in favour of the appellant.

To pave way for the actualization of its new position, the APC de-briefed its lead counsel Mr Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), who stood for the party at the federal high court and the Court of Appeal where he got favourable judgments for the party.

At yesterday’s hearing, a new counsel, Abdulganiyu Arobo announced his appearance for APC shortly after the senior lawyer made the same appearance.

Okutepa in response admitted receiving a letter but insisted that his legal fee payment issue has to be resolved before he will step aside.

Justice Dattijo who demanded a copy of the letter drew the attention of the senior counsel to a portion of the letter that he was engaged for the party by governor Tambuwal and that he should approach Tambuwal for his legal fees paid.

At this point, Okutepa announced his withdrawal from the appeal.

He, however, told the apex court that he ran into stormy waters with the party when he declined to agree to reverse the positions canvassed by APC at the federal high court and the Court of Appeal.

He said he declined to agree because in law, parties must be consistent with their position and that APC was no longer ready to be consistent with its earlier position in two previous courts.

Okutepa further said that the new position of APC came about because of the defection of Governor Tambuwal from the party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) adding that since he is not a politician but a minister in the temple of justice, he could not join them in the new position.

However, the appeal could not be heard as the court informed parties to wait till January 25, 2019, for its decision in the preliminary objection against hearing of the suit filed by Tambuwal.

Justice Dattijo subsequently fixed March 5, 2019, for the hearing of the appeal.

Dahiru also of APC had challenged the nomination of Tambuwal on the ground that the list of delegates who ought to vote at the 2014 primary election of the party was fraudulently swapped to favour governor Tambuwal.

He urged the court to nullify the primary election or in the alternative, declare him as the rightful candidate of the party for the 2015 governorship election.

The appellant lost at the high court and court of appeal prompting him to approach the Supreme Court for a final decision.

POLITICS

INEC Releases Guidelines For Conduct Of 2019 General Elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday released the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the general elections.

The 33 pages document obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said Smart Card Readers (SCRs) and Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would be used for the forthcoming elections.

It reads, “Voting shall be in accordance with the Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) procedures as specified in these Regulations and Guidelines, the Election Manual and any other Guide issued by the Commission.

“No person shall be allowed to vote at any Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point other than the one at which his/her name appears in the Register of Voters and he/she presents his/her permanent voter’s card to be verified by the Smart Card Reader (SCR), or as otherwise determined by the Commission.”

It added that each voter shall cast his/her vote in person at the Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point where he/she registered or was assigned, in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

It also stated that separate queue shall be created between men and women, where the culture does not allow the mingling of men and women.

It added that Presiding Officers would also create a separate queue for People Living With Disabilities (PWDs).

According Section 10 (b) of the guidelines, “accreditation and voting shall commence at 8.00am and close at 2:00pm, provided that all voters already on the queue by 2:00pm shall be allowed for accreditation and voting.

“(d) The accreditation process shall comprise reading of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and authentication of the voter’s fingerprint using the SCR; checking of the Register of Voter.”

Section 11 (v) of the guidelines also requested a voter to remove his/her cell phone or any photographic device before proceeding to voting cubicle.

Also section 11(c) stated that “where a voter’s PVC is read but the name of the voter is not on the Register of Voters, APO II shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit”.

Section 11(d) also states that: “In the event that the PVC fails to be read by the Smart Card Reader, the APO I shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit.’’

Subsection (e) added that “where a voter’s PVC is read and the SCR shows the details of another person, rather than the details of the cardholder as printed on the PVC, the APO I shall:

“(i) Refer the voter to APO II to confirm that the details of the voter in the Register of Voters correspond to those on the PVC;

“(ii) APO II if satisfied that the holder of the card is on the Register of Voters, shall record the phone number of the voter in the appropriate box on the Register of Voters; and

“(iii) Proceed with the accreditation of the voter.

“(f) In all cases from 11(b) to 11(e), the Presiding Officer shall fill the appropriate forms in the PU booklet and make a report.

“Affected voters in 11(b) and 11(e) qualify to be issued ballot papers after consultation with Polling Agents.”

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POLITICS

Suspected APC Thugs Attack Saraki’s Ilorin Family Residence, Injure 11, Damage 50 Vehicles

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For the second time in four days, political thugs allegedly loyal to the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State on Sunday attacked the Agbaji Ilorin family residence of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

The rampaging APC thugs opened fire on residents of the area, wounding at least 11 persons in the process, a statement by Saraki’s media team alleged on Sunday.

They also destroyed about 50 cars parked at various locations within Agbaji Quarters.
It would be recalled that the alleged APC thugs had on Thursday unleashed violence on the people of Agbaji, Adewole and Pakata areas of Ilorin metropolis.

Four members of the Peoples Democratic Party were injured during Thursday’s mayhem.

The development eventuated a press conference that was addressed by the Senate President in Abuja, where he raised an alarm about threat to his life and those of his family and supporters.

Sunday’s incident, according to residents of the area, started at about 11:30am when fully armed thugs stormed their area and shot sporadically into the air to scare people away.

According to the President of Agbaji Development Association, Alhaji Musa Olanrewaju Yusuf, the rampaging thugs were allegedly led by Yahaya Seriki and Musbau Esinrogunjo.

Yusuf said 11 people, who sustained injuries from gunshots, were taken to General Hospital, Ilorin and a private medical facility for treatment.

He said: “The APC thugs came around 11:30am and shot sporadically into the air. In fact, they were provided cover by the DPO Adewole Division of Police.

“At least, 11 people received injuries from gunshots while about 50 cars including that of Imam Aliagan were destroyed.

“The thugs also carted away four motorbikes and stole money and jewelry from shops deserted by their owners.”

The statement said the APC thugs spread the violence to Ajikobi and Omoda areas of Ilorin metropolis.

Commenting on the development, the Director General of the PDP Campaign Council in the state, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar, said the orgy of violence was being perpetrated by the APC leaders in the state to instill fears in the minds of residence ahead of the coming general elections, having discovered that Kwarans have rejected them.

Prof. Abubakar called on security agencies in the state to within 48 hours arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of both Sunday’s and Thursday’s violence in Ilorin.

The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Tunde Ashaolu, said Sunday’s incident had validated the alarm raised by the Senate President on threat to his life and those of his family and supporters, “which the police made futile efforts to debunk”.

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POLITICS

Sanwo-Olu, Agbaje, Badamosi Slug It Out At Lagos Governorship Debate

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Lagos Gubernatorial debate put together by The Platform has ended with four governorship aspirants airing their varied opinions on how to move the state forward.

Partaking of the governorship election were Mr Bababatunde Badamosi (Action Democratic Party), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (All Progressives Congress), Mr Jimi Agbaje (Peoples Democratic Party) and Owolabi Salis (Alliance for Democracy).

The debate, on Sunday, had the aspirants speaking on issues ranging from gridlocks in the Lagos metropolis to power, down to the educational sector and to health.

While the candidates differed on the methods with which they will take Lagos to a higher echelon, they agreed that technology will play a key role in driving the process of transformation in the metropolis.

As regards gridlocks, Mr Badamosi said the traffic nightmare that Lagosians have contended with for years can be solved by focusing on three things – rail transport, use of barges and devolution of powers.

The candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) said, “There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. The most obvious one is rail. Secondly, barges to lift containers from the actual wharfs and take them to lighter terminals all around Lagos, and, thirdly, devolution of powers. It’s time we started this discussion about the devolution of power.”

On his part, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Agbaje said the key is to “get the local governments working again” adding that the grassroots play a great role in making state function optimally.

Agbaje said planning ahead is crucial if Lagos must overcome its problem with traffic jam.

He said town planning is very important in addressing the issue of gridlocks in Lagos.

“The idea is to have even development across Lagos state so that you are having less of movement from one end of Lagos to the other,” the pharmacist said.

Sanwo-Olu on his part promised to tackle the problem of traffic jams if elected into office.

The APC candidate vowed to make the gridlock in the Apapa axis of the state a thing of the past in less than four months.

“First on the list, I will tackle the traffic problem of Lagos frontally,” Sanwo-Olu said during ‘The Platform’s debate which held on Sunday in Lagos.

Also speaking on the traffic congestion in the state, Mr Owolabi Salis said he will revive the train system which has been “abandoned for 15years by the FG” adding that the government is not paying the necessary attention.

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