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PDP accuses APC of planning to replace tribunal judges in PDP states

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday alleged that it has uncovered moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government to replace election tribunal’s judges in Rivers and other states under its control.

The party said the idea behind the move was to replace those judges with those it described as “pliable judges to overturn the party’s victory in the last general elections.

The national publicity secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, who raised the alarm said his party would resist such moves.

He specifically listed the states to include, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Abia, Taraba and Delta.

He further alerted that “part of the plot is to use the Department of State Services (DSS) and some unscrupulous officials of the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to tamper with official records of evidence and other electoral documents in INEC’s custody for presentation at the tribunal.

The statement said, “Following the insistence by some tribunal judges on delivering justice, despite the pressure being mounted by the APC government, machineries have been put in motion to influence the outcome of the judicial process by replacing them with those already briefed to do the bidding of the APC government.”

“Part of the plot is to use the Department of State Services and some unscrupulous officials of the independent National Electoral Commission to tamper with official records of evidence and other electoral documents in INEC’s custody for presentation at the tribunals, which would be manned by the compromised judicial officials.

“We have uncovered an unholy alliance between the DSS and INEC to interfere directly in the activities of election tribunals in some PDP states, by removing and altering some records in INEC and instigating the APC to insist that there were no elections in those states.”

He said that after the elections, the former INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, had said that there were governorship elections in Rivers, Abia, Taraba, Akwa-Ibom and Delta states.

However, upon prodding by the APC, Metuh alleged that the DSS and INEC were already interfering with the electoral process, by using some persons in INEC to doctor the results and change the true position of affairs regarding the elections in these states.

He said, “Secondly, we want to inform the nation that any moment from now, some tribunal judges in these states have been marked for transfer. We had earlier informed Nigerians that the DSS was already meeting with some INEC and tribunal officials, ostensibly to compromise the process.

“No, we have found out that because some tribunal members were not cooperating, they have concluded plans to replace them with pliable ones.

“The PDP is alerting the entire nation and the international community of this devious development, which is a direct assault on our democracy.

“You will recall that we have always patiently explained situations that are dangerous to the progress and sustenance of democracy in this country. This is one of them.

“This is a coup against democracy. The question is, why are they interfering with the process and why would they want to remove judges after they have started hearing the cases?”

Reacting to the allegation, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the PDP was making disparaging comments against the tribunal because it was afraid of losing the oil-rich states.

The ruling party said the PDP planned to use Rivers and Akwa Ibom resources to fund itself and that was why it was making spurious allegations in order to pre-empt the judiciary.

It said the Federal Government would never undermine the independence of the judiciary.

The statement read, “The PDP is throwing wild allegations against the tribunals in Rivers and other states because the party knows it stole the votes in those states.

“The affected states are the cash cows of the PDP; hence the party is so jittery about losing the states, which they know they did not win in the first instance.

‘’We have confidence in the ability of the tribunals to carry out their duties diligently and without fear or favour. We implore the PDP to be charitable enough to repose the same confidence.”

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POLITICS

2023 Presidency: El-Rufai opens up on why Buhari loves Amaechi

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed why President Muhammadu Buhari loves Rotimi Amaechi, the outgone Minister of Transportation.

Rufai disclosed that Buhari loves Amaechi due to his decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He disclosed this when Amaechi met with APC delegates from Kaduna ahead of the party’s national convention.

El-Rufai recalled wooing Amaechi and some other governors into the APC during the PDP administration.

“Let me tell you my history with Amaechi. When we started discussing with the G-7, the seven governors that wanted to defect to the APC, I was holding nocturnal meetings with Amaechi and Governor Nyako of Adamawa State until we got five of them to move to our party, and that was the game-changer.

“And for you to understand how difficult it is, imagine Amaechi of Rivers State from the same South-South with incumbent President Jonathan.

“He made the sacrifice to move to our party. It was a game-changer. This is part of the reason President Buhari loves Minister Amaechi till tomorrow,” El-Rufai said.

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2023: Amosun denies stepping down for Tinubu

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Amosun denies stepping down for Bola Tinubu

Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has denied stepping down from the 2023 presidential election for the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

Amosun stated that he is not in the presidential race to align with Tinubu or any other aspirant of the APC.

Amosun also denied obtaining the APC senatorial form, saying he did not attend the screening exercise organised for APC senatorial aspirants, as being peddled by some individuals.

There were rumours over the weekend that Amosun had agreed to step down for Tinubu, having been screened and cleared for the Ogun Central senatorial race.

But, in a swift reaction, Amosun debunked the rumour spreading on social media, saying the “two news stories are false.”

According to a statement signed by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, he said that the Ogun Central Senator “procured only the forms for the presidential ticket of the APC and did not attend the screening exercise for Senatorial aspirants because he is not one.”

While urging Nigerians to dismiss the “false news”, Adeyemi maintained that “Amosun is in the race for the presidential ticket of the APC and has no plans to align with any politician in the race.”

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Women affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen withdraws from senatorial race

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Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, has dropped her senatorial ambition.

Tallen made this known in a statement she issued on Monday.

The minister had purchased the All Progressives Congress (APC) form to contest the Plateau South Senatorial election.

According to her, after consultations with her constituents, she has decided to withdraw from the race.

The statement read in part: “I remain resolute as I continue to relish the opportunity to serve Nigerian Women in my capacity as Minister of Women Affairs under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Consequently, I wish to inform you all that following broad-based consultations and interventions from critical stakeholders, I have decided to withdraw from running for the senatorial seat, mindful of our accomplishments and the notable progress we have recorded under my stewardship at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.”

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