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Enugu election tribunal dismisses 3 petitions against PDP

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The State and National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Enugu on Monday dismissed two petitions by the All Progressive Congress (APC) for filing the petition out of time.

The tribunal also dismissed another petition by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) against the People Democratic Party (PDP) for the same reason.

The APC candidate, Dr Ben Nwoye, was challenging the declaration of the PDP candidate, Mr Gilbert Nnaji, as the winner of the Enugu East senatorial seat by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Nwoye had requested the tribunal to nullify the March 28 Enugu East senatorial election as it was marred by irregularities and electoral offences.

The counsel to the respondent, Mr Tochukwu Odoh, had told the tribunal that the petitioner‘s application for pre-hearing was filed out of time and cannot be extended.

Odo argued that the petitioner’s notice was filed out of time and requested the tribunal to dismiss the petition since it had no jurisdiction to entertain such.

Meanwhile, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr A.O. Giwa, had argued that the tribunal should discountenance the position of the respondent as the law allowed for pleading when accompanied with affidavit.

Ruling, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Michael Edem, held that the joint replies by the petitioner were filed out of time and as such was incompetent.

Edem said that the petitioner’s argument did not hold water and failed to comply with the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.

He dismissed the petition and awarded the cost of N20,000 in favor of the respondent.

In another ruling, the tribunal struck out a petition by Mr William Ezeugwu of APGA against the candidate of the PDP, Mr Chukwuka Utazi.

Ezeugwu was challenging the emergence of Utazi as the winner of the Enugu North senatorial seat in the March 28 senatorial election by INEC.

In his petition, he alleged that there were irregularities by the PDP candidate and his party, adding that the respondent was not properly nominated by his party and was not qualified to contest the election.

The counsel to the respondent, Mrs Justina Offiah, argued that the petition itself was not signed by a legal practitioner and the person who signed it failed to state the capacity in which he signed.

She argued that the petitioner was not a member of the PDP and lacked the `locus standi’ to question the nomination and sponsorship of the respondent.

“No one can come through the back door to challenge the domestic affair of another party,” she said.

Offiah told the tribunal that the petition was wrongly headed as it was addressed to the National Assembly and Legislative House Petition Tribunal and questioned the jurisdiction of the tribunal to entertain the petition meant for another tribunal.

Justice Edem, in his ruling held that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain a petition meant for another tribunal, adding that the petitioner was not a member of the PDP and lacked the power to question the nomination.

“The petitioner failed to include the list of witnesses and documents relied on in his petition and there was no allegation of electoral offences,’’ he said.

He struck out the petition and awarded N20,000 cost in favor of the respondent.

Reacting to the judgment, Ezeugwu said he would contest the decision of the tribunal at the appeal court.

Meanwhile, a petition by the candidate of the APC, Mr Ekene Nwankwo, against the candidate of the PDP, Mr Dennis Amadi, as the winner of Udi/Ezeagu Federal Constituency in the March 28 election was also dismissed.

The tribunal held that the petitioner filed his petition out of time and that it was incompetent before it and awarded a cost of N20,000 in favor of the respondent

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POLITICS

Not even my corpse will be found in PDP – El-Rufai Replies Bwala

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Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that not even his corpse will be found in the camp of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

El-Rufai stated this while responding to a comment by Daniel Bwala, spokesperson to PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Bwala, who was an aide of the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, last month dumped the position and the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s choice of a fellow Muslim, former Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima as running mate.

El-Rufai had via his verified Twitter handle shared and laughed at one of Bwala’s TV appearances where he lambasted the PDP.

Consequently, Bwala on Monday via his verified Twitter handle stated: “Hmm @elrufai is one of the finest we have from the north, I will never join issues with him, especially because I am optimistic he will be with us before the 2023 elections.”

A few hours later, El-Rufai in his response wrote ” Thanks @BwalaDaniel but no, thanks. Never ever, not even my corpse will be found in the vicinities of your new-found political party. I still dey laugh!!! – @elrufai.”

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PDP postpones National Caucus, NEC meeting

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its National Caucus and National Executive Committee meetings.

PDP National Caucus and NEC meetings were earlier slated for Wednesday, August 10 and Thursday, August 11, 2022.

Though reasons for the postponement were not given, sources said the party wants all issues between its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike resolved.

PDP National Secretary, Samuel N. Anyanwu in a statement, Monday said a new date will be announced in due course.

The statement read in part, “This is to inform all members of the PDP National Caucus and National Executive Committee that the meetings of the two bodies earlier scheduled for Wednesday, August 10 and Thursday, August 11, 2022, respectively, have been postponed.

“The postponement is due to unforeseen circumstances. A new date will be announced in due course.

“All inconveniences are deeply regretted.”

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VIDEO: Pirates mock Bola Tinubu over ‘Emi Lokan’

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A group allegedly identified as Pirates Confraternity has been spotted in a viral video mocking the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate for the 2023 polls, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Members of the group, dressed in white and red attire, played on Tinubu’s buzz word: “Emi Lokan,” with a song.

They said despite Tinubu’s failing health, he was still shouting Emi lokan, which means it is my turn.

They sang: “Emi lokan.

“Baba wey no well, him dey shout Emi lokan.

“Hand dey shake, leg dey shake, baba wey no well, him dey shout Emi lokan.”

“Emi lokan” became a popular word associated with the APC presidential candidate after his outburst on June 3, 2022 when he vented his frustration during a presidential campaign in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, saying it was through his efforts that President Muhammadu Buhari made it to Aso Rock after failing thrice.

He also pointed at the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who he described as “Eleyi{, being one of the products of his political hard work.

“Look at this one (Eleyi) seated behind me, Dapo, he wouldn’t have become governor without my support,” Tinubu had stated.

Tinubu made the statement while addressing the APC delegates in Ogun State.

His outburst evoked mixed feelings from Nigerians, with many loyalists of the party, including the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, saying the remarks were meant to slight the President and Ogun State governor.

Twenty-four hours after the drama, the Bola Tinubu Media Campaign Team dismissed insinuations that the presidential candidate disrespected the Ogun State governor.

The Director of the BAT Campaign Team, Bayo Onanuga, said that the comment was “mischievously interpreted.”

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