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South- East lawmakers defend Ekweremadu over alleged forgery

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The South-East Caucus of the National Assembly has expressed support for the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and absolved him of any culpability in the alleged amendments made to the Senate Rules 2015

The caucus took the stand in a communiqué issued after they rose from a meeting in Abuja on Thursday night.

The lawmakers in the statement by the chairman of their caucus, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, said they “noted with a deep sense of concern the orchestrated attempts to malign and undermine the highly esteemed person and office of the deputy president of the Senate.”

They alleged that some politicians “have gone as far as fabricating baseless allegations against the deputy president of the Senate to achieve narrow political interests over and above the larger interest of peace and equity in the Senate.”

The South-East caucus in the National Assembly said it had therefore resolved to stand resolutely behind Ekweremadu and vowed not to condone any further attempts to undermine him in that capacity.

They also said that such plots against Ekweremadu would be viewed as an attack on democracy, good governance, independence of the legislature and the political interest of the nation and the South-East, in particular.

The communiqué read in part, “The National Assembly has its own internal mechanism for settling internal disputes as prescribed by Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“We wish to state that nobody outside the National Assembly can unseat Senator Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy President of the Senate; and we in the National Assembly are satisfied that he is a round peg in a round hole in the office.

“We do hereby pass a vote of total and irrevocable confidence on His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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POLITICS

Why I won’t congratulate Oyebanji as Ekiti gov-elect – Oni, SDP candidate

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Segun Oni

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the just-concluded governorship election in Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni on Saturday said he would not congratulate the winner, Biodun Oyebanji, because the election was not free and fair but marred by many irregularities.

Oni, a former governor of the state, said he would challenge the outcome in court.

 Oyebanji of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) secured 187,057 votes to defeat Oni who polled 82,211, and Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 67, 457 votes.

Speaking in an interview with Punch, Oni described Oyebanji’s victory as daylight robbery.

He said he does not agree with the election results as declared by INEC.

“If I agreed, I would have congratulated the winner. That is why I am withholding my congratulations. If investigations show that it was won fair and square, I will not need any persuasions before I will congratulate everybody that needs to be congratulated.”

He, however, thanked the people of the state for their support during the election.

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Tinubu denies meeting with Wike

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e presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has denied media reports that he met with the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, in France.

Tinubu in a statement through his media aide, Tunde Rahman said although he is presently in France, he didn’t have any meeting with Governor Wike whether in that country or anywhere whatsoever.

The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr Joe Igbokwe, on his Facebook page on Thursday said Wike was having a meeting with Tinubu in France.

Igbokwe, a former spokesperson for the APC in Lagos State, wrote, “While they are on social media abusing everybody, Governor Wike goes to France to meet Asiwaju. Abuse, calling names, hate and bigotry are no strategy. They hated and abused PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) since 2015 and now they have transferred the aggression to Asiwaju. We wait and see.”

But in his statement on Friday, Rahman dismissed Igbokwe’s post.

He said, “We have seen a viral social media post made by one of the chieftains of All Progressives Congress in Lagos State and media reports emanating from same about a supposed meeting in France between APC presidential standard-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

“It has become imperative to set the record straight. Although Asiwaju Tinubu is presently in France, he didn’t have any meeting with Governor Wike whether in that country or anywhere whatsoever. This, however, does not detract from the fact that the APC presidential candidate holds Governor Wike in high esteem. And given the national and across-party lines appeal of Asiwaju Tinubu’s candidature, he will not hesitate to meet any important national leader when desirable.”

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INEC extends PVC registration, issues warning to APC, PDP, others

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INEC insists APGA won’t participate in Anambra guber poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has told political parties in the country that it would not extend the July 15, 2022 deadline for nomination of governorship and state assembly candidates.

Festus Okoye, National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, made this known in a statement on Thursday.

Okoye also stated that Continuous Voter Registration (VR) will continue nationwide.

According to him, the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Electoral Officers have been directed to continue with the exercise pending further directives from the Commission.

”The Commission has consistently reiterated its resolve to continue to provide electoral services to the Nigerian people and register all eligible Nigerians that are interested in registering. The Commission has yet again deployed additional machines to areas of pressure and will continue to serve the people of Nigeria.

“By the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the Commission, Political Parties that conducted valid Governorship and State Assembly primaries shall upload the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates between 1st and 15th July 2022.

“Political parties are advised not to wait until the last day before uploading the list and personal particulars of their candidates. The Candidates Nomination Portal will shut down at 6pm on 15th July 2022.”

He therefore urged political parties who have challenges with uploading documents to contact the Commission’s Help – Desk, through the dedicated telephone lines or contact the candidate nomination centre at the Commission’s headquarters.

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