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Rivers APC Reacts To INEC’s Final Decision To Exclude Party From Participating In 2019 General Elections

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insistence that the party would not contest the governorship, federal and state assemblies rescheduled general elections.

The state’s APC, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary Chris Finebone, on Wednesday, in Port Harcourt, cited various decisions of higher courts to justify its demand.

The party claimed that there was no Supreme Court judgement anywhere authorising INEC to delist APC candidates in Rivers State.

The APC insisted that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s statement on the commission’s commitment to obey Supreme Court judgement “is premised on error.”

“We are advising the INEC leadership not to constitute themselves as enemies of democracy by obeying a non-existent Supreme Court judgment.’

“Hence the chairman of INEC must be well guided by credible evidence and not mere media misrepresentations and misinterpretations which are mischievously aimed at destroying an entire political future of a state,” he said.

APC said that it had in a letter addressed to Yakubu dated Feb. 19, through its lawyers, Messrs Tuduru Ede and Co, argued that it duly submitted the list of its candidates for Rivers State for the 2019 General Elections in line with the timetable and schedule of activities released by the commission.

It urged INEC to recall that the names and particulars of the state’s APC candidates were duly published by the commission as required by law.

“Hence we are aware that pursuant to the judgment in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/ 149/2018 between the Peoples Democratic Party V. All Progressives Congress (APC) & Anor, the names of APC candidates for Rivers State were removed from the final list of candidates published by the commission.

“However, the APC, aggrieved by the said decision of the Federal High Court on which the decisions of the Commission to remove the list was anchored, appealed to the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division in appeal No. CA/PH/38/2019,” it added.

It explained that the Court of Appeal in a considered ruling delivered on Feb. 6, stayed the execution of the said judgment of the Federal High Court.

It further stated that “the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, also in another appeal No. CA/PH/39/ 2019, further stayed the execution of the judgment of Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.’’

“Furthermore, appeal to the Supreme Court in appeal No. SC 118/2019, against the order of stay of execution granted by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, has been struck out by the Supreme Court.”

They noted that in spite of the ruling by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, the names of candidates of the APC in Rivers had not been published by the commission as those participating in the 2019 General Elections.

“Thus it is imperative to place on record that the judgment of the Rivers State High Court, in suit No. BHC/78/2018, which was fought to the Supreme Court in appeal No. SC 1332/2018, SC 1333/2018, SC 1334/2018 and SC 81/2018, have nothing to do with INEC as it is not a party thereto.

“You may also wish to note that in spite of the said judgment of Rivers State High Court, the commission accepted and published the names of candidates of APC in respect of Rivers State.

“And it was the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt that warranted the removal of the names from the final list published by the commission, which judgment has now been stayed.

“In view of the foregoing, we call on the commission to without delay publish the names of candidates of APC in Rivers State for the 2019 General Elections as submitted by the APC.

“We have no doubt that the commission, as a law-abiding institution, will accede to this request without delay,” APC added.

The party maintained that the two Federal High Court judgments that INEC relied on to exclude APC candidates from the ballot paper, have since been stayed by the Court of Appeal.

“It is therefore only righteous for INEC to follow the position of the Court and stop playing to the gallery in a manner that is suspicious and in flagrant disobedience to court decisions and rule of law.

“To this effect, a further appeal to the Supreme Court against the stays of execution has since been thrown out on record.

“There is, therefore, no reason to continue to leave APC Rivers off the ballot. All other appeals as they relate to other matters do not concern INEC, they are not party to them,” the statement claimed.

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BREAKING: African Action Congress Suspends Omoyele Sowore, 8 Others Over Alleged Corruption, Abuse Of Office

Peter Okunoren

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The African Action Congress, AAC, Monday, declared that it had suspended its national chairman and 2019 presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, and nine others over alleged corruption and abuse of office.

Sowore’s suspension was conveyed in a communique read by Mazi Okwy, a member of the party’s National Executive Committee.

The decision of the party, according to the communique, signed by the acting National Chairman, Leonard Nzenwa and the Deputy National Secretary, Abayomi Francis Olufemi, was the resolution of the National Executive Committee of the AAC, at its 2nd National Executive Committee meeting, held 27th March, 2019, in Abuja.

The party, according to the communique, accused Mr Sowore, the publisher of SaharaReporters of “deliberate inability to convene or hold the constitutionally mandated quarterly meetings of the National Executive Committee and other organs of the party.”

Details Later….

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How To End Godfatherism In Lagos Politics —– El-Rufai Tells Lagosians

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The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has advised Lagosians on how to end godfatherism in the State’s politics.

El-Rufai gave the advice on Saturday while responding to questions after delivering a lecture in Lagos at an event organised by the Bridge Club, tagged: “An evening with His Excellency Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.”

The Governor said he defeated and retired four political godfathers in Kaduna State, adding that the feat could be replicated anywhere, including Lagos State.

Asked by a former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress and now Chairman of the Board of the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), how to tackle godfatherism, which he described as one of the drawbacks for professionals and businessmen who might want to go into politics, El-Rufai said: “Godfatherism.

“This is Lagos.

“Let me tell you something sir: you know, Kaduna State used to be like that.

“There were three or four politicians in Kaduna that you could not become anything unless you had them on your side.

“Those were the godfathers of Kaduna politics and you had to carry them along and you know, the three words, ‘carry them along’ mean paying them regularly.

“But we chose a different path and the long and short of it now is that after this election in 2019, we have retired all of them.

“We had to.

“Here in Lagos, you have over six million registered voters, only about a million voted (in 2019 general elections).

“Five million did not vote.

“If I want to run for governor of Lagos, I will start now.

“I will commission a study to know why those five million registered voters did not vote.

“Where do they go on election day?

“Then I will start visiting them for the next four years.

“I will try and get just two million of them to come and vote for me.

“I will defeat any godfather.

“The key is to go to the people.

“The card reader and the biometric register have given us the tools to connect directly with the people.

“I assure you if you do that for the next four years, connecting with the people, the tin godfather, you will retire him or her permanently.

“But it is hard work.

“It requires three to four years of hard work.

“So, if you want to run in 2023, you should start now.”

On funding, El-Rufai said it would require about N2 billion to achieve the feat.

He said: “With about N2 billion, if you start, you see these guys with black ties, they will give you the N2 billion.

“Many of the godfathers are either on paper or in the mind of people in politics.

“They are defeatable.

“We retired four of them in Kaduna State within a four-year time and they are gone.

“One of them boasted that he put me in the government house and he would take me out.”

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Oyetola Vs Adeleke: Tribunal Reserves Judgment In Osun Governorship Election Dispute

Peter Okunoren

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The Court of appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved judgment in the election petition filed by the governor of Osun challenging the verdict of the State’s election petition tribunal which nullified his election.

After taking arguments from parties in the appeals, Justice Jummai Sankey announced that judgement has been reserved and that the parties will be informed as soon as they are ready.

In three separate appeals filed by Governor Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission, they asked the appellate court to set aside the march 22nd, 2019 judgement of the Osun State election petition tribunal which declared Senator Ademola Adeleke as winner of the Osun gubernatorial election.

Governor Oyetola’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun pleaded with the five man panel of the Appeal Court Justices to void the judgement of the tribunal because it violated the electoral act 2010 and judicial precedence of the Supreme Court.

INEC in its own appeal argued by Yusuf Ali informed the Appeal Court that the findings of the tribunal were wrong because they were based on uncertified documents dumped on the tribunal by Senator Adeleke and the PDP.

Although counsel to Governor Oyetola declined commenting on the petition, lawyer to Senator Adeleke expressed optimism that the appellate court will uphold the verdict of the tribunal.

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