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INEC to respect court ruling on Anambra PDP executives

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will comply with a high court sitting in Abuja’s judgement dismissing the sacking of the Anambra State Peoples Democratic Party’s executives.

The court, on June 9, 2021, dismissed the applications filed by the national office of the PDP and two others.

But INEC, in a letter addressed to the national chairman of the PDP dated Friday, June 25, said it had received the high court judgement dismissing the sacking of the Anambra PDP executives.

The electoral commission in the letter signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, told the PDP national chairman that it would comply with June 9 judgement.

The June 9 judgment, which they sought to stay, was on a suit marked: HC/CV/774/2021 filed by Samuel Anyakolah (for himself and all local government chairmen and ward executives that emerged from the Anambra PDP congress conducted on November 28 and December 1, 2017, under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, as Acting Chairman State Caretaker Committee).

INEC said, “The Commission has been served with the judgement of the High Court of the FCT delivered on 9th June 2021 in suit No. FCT/HC/774/2012- Between Samuel Anyakorah vs PDP & ors regarding the Anambra State PDP executives.

“Consequent upon the above, the Commission wishes to intimate you on the need to comply with same.”

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the high court sitting in Maitama Abuja, in a ruling, held that the three applicants, the PDP, Chief Ndubisi Nwobu and Barr. Uchenna Obiora, failed to make out a case to warrant the grant of their application that sought to stay the judgment pending the determination of the appeal.”

The judge voided all the activities engaged in by the party since June 9 when the judgment was delivered, including the elections it conducted on June 10 and 11 to elect a three-man ad-hoc ward delegate that would participate in the voting at the primary of the PDP scheduled for June 26, 2021.

He also said that the statement made on June 9, by the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP Anambra in which he disparaged the court and its judgment was an affront to the court, adding that they do not expect a court they have insulted to grant them an indulgence.

The judge said, “The first applicant (the PDP), which is the principal party has maintained in the face of this court that its judgment is null and void for want of jurisdiction.

“The same party cannot at the same time seek equitable reliefs from the same court.

“A party that has no regard for the judgment of a court and described it in derogatory terms to the whole world, as shown in Exhibit C, cannot quietly return to the same court to seek equitable relief to stay the same judgment that it defied and defiled.

“An assessment of the totality of the circumstances that have been presented before me by the instant applications leads to only one conclusion, which is that the applicants do not have an iota of respect for the authority of this court, they issued a release to embolden their members not to reckon with the judgment of the court and followed it up by taking of definite contemptuous steps in disregard of the court’s judgment.”

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2023: Yahaya Bello, Fani-Kayode’s campaign posters emerge

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A fresh presidential campaign poster of Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State, has emerged online.

The poster has Bello as president and Femi Fani-Kayode, former Aviation Minister as his running mate.

DAILY POST observed that the campaign poster has the All Progressives Congress logo engraved on it.

The poster carried the message: “Yahaya and Femi 2023.”

Bello is believed to be nursing a presidential ambition.

His campaign posters had flooded some states including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Amid claims, Bello is yet to declare his ambition to run for the presidency in 2023.

Meanwhile, Fani-Kayode on Thursday officially joined the APC.

Fani-Kayode’s defection became public knowledge after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala-Buni, at the State House.

DAILY POST’s effort to reach Bello’s Chief Press Secretary failed as he was not picking his calls and did not respond to the text messages sent to him.

Daily Post

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2023: No automatic ticket for new decampees – APC

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  • ‘Plot to make Jonathan president conspiracy against South’

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it has not granted an automatic ticket to former President Goodluck Jonathan who is being rumoured to be planning to defect to the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

A founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-south, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, also described alleged scheme by some northern leaders to return the former President to Aso Rock in 2023 as deceitful and a grand conspiracy against the South.

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to reclaim power at the centre come 2023, adding that the party would also win 28 of the 36 states across the federation.

The APC said the waiver granted new entrants and defectors into the party does not exclude them from undergoing nomination processes of contesting for positions in the party and as its flag bearers in general elections.

APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, made the declaration in a statement in Abuja yesterday.

He said defection into the party by any person does not confer the status of an automatic candidate of the party on such individual.

Akpanudoedehe, who was reacting to a misrepresentation of his views on the waiver granted new entrants and defectors by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at its December 8, 2020 meeting in a television programme, said all party members, irrespective of the status of the person, must go through the party’s nomination process as outlined in its constitution.

He maintained that the waiver by NEC was not restricted to anyone.

According to the Secretary, “the waiver is not specific to anyone as being misconstrued and misrepresented in some sections.

“Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election. All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution,” he said.

Akpanudoedehe recalled that the party’s NEC resolved and granted waivers to persons who have recently joined the party and those desirous of joining the party in the nearest future to contest for positions in the APC and as party flag bearers in general elections.

He explained that by the NEC resolution, “new members will enjoy all the benefits and privileges accruable by the APC” but not the status of automatic candidate of the party.

According to the Secretary: “For the records, in my recent television interview reaction to the rumoured plans by former President Goodluck Jonathan to join the APC, my statement was that NEC resolution was a blanket waiver to ALL new APC entrants, including the interviewee.

“The waiver is not specific to anyone as being misconstrued and misrepresented in some sections.

“Coming into the party gives no one special status of being an automatic party candidate in any election. All aspirants must undergo the nomination processes outlined by the APC constitution,” he said.

‘Plot to make Jonathan President deceitful, conspiracy against South’

A South-south founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, described the ongoing scheme by some northern leaders to return former President Jonathan to Aso Rock in 2023 as deceitful and a grand conspiracy against the South.

Eze, in a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the plot was a packaged trick by some northern leaders to make Jonathan President for one term and retake power in 2027 thereby denying the southern part of the country a complete term of eight years.

Eze said that the northern schemers knew that with President Muhammadu Buhari successfully completing his second term by 2023, the South, in all honesty and fairness, would produce the next President.

But to truncate a southern eight-year rule, the schemes intended to feature Jonathan for one tenure in 2023 thereby throwing the 2027 presidential election open for a fresh zoning  arrangement and contest favourable to the North.

Eze urged all Nigerians to speak up and condemn such a dastardly act that might plunge the nation into unprecedented chaos.

The APC chief, however, claimed that Jonathan had rejected the plan, describing the former President’s rejection as consolatory.

He said: “This plot is an unacceptable insult on both Jonathan and the entire southern political class as if we lack credible political leaders from the South that can turn the fortunes of this country around.

“It is imperative to commend Dr. Jonathan for reading through the deceit of these leaders, trashing their dishonest entreaty and ensuring that his political feats and present status as a great promoter of democracy is not ruined, tarnished but kept intact by keeping these undemocratic elements at bay.

“I am very glad that Dr. Jonathan has done his best to keep these undemocratic forces at bay, who are hell-bent to deny the South the chance to preside over the affairs of this country according to the terms of power rotation between the North and the South, not minding that the northerners have through the military and democratic dispensations governed this country to their heart contents.

“Funny and sad enough, same leaders who ensured that Dr. Jonathan was not reelected in 2015 are the same crop of leaders that are doing everything to lure him back to finish whatever that  is left of him politically.

“As much as I am not a supporter or sympathiser of Dr. Jonathan and his type of politics, as I was one of those who ensured he was not reelected, I will not sit and allow his haters drain the little integrity left of him.

“Luring him to contest the 2023 does not  in any way wash him off the sins and reasons behind why he was not reelected in 2023, but a careful ploy to portray the Southerners as lacking better and credible leaders to improve on the fortunes of the country.”

Eze also commended Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for insisting that he would not support Jonathan if he decided to contest the 2023 general election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Eze said if Jonathan allowed himself to be fooled by those luring him, he would face the worst political defeat in 2023.

He advised Jonathan not to allow himself to be used as an object of division and tension in the country, appealing to him to continue to enjoy his 2015 feat, which earned him an international figure.

By Jide Orintunsin, Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja; Mike Odiegwu, THE NATION

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Anambra election: IPOB sit-at-home, insecurity threaten exercise as citizens lose faith in govt’s protection

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Close to two months after the Indigenous People of Biafra announced that it has suspended the weekly sit-at-home exercise for every Monday, the entire South East zone has continued to observe the exercise, leading to what the group describes as ghost Monday on a weekly basis.

IPOB in a message through its spokesperson, Mr. Emma Powerful had said that it decided to suspend the exercise because of the plea of the people, who were complaining of the dwindling fortunes of the South East economically, because of the exercise.

The group said the suspension of the exercise would also help senior secondary students of the zone to sit for the West African School Certificate Exams (WASCE), and other artisans who survive through daily work would also be able to meet up with their activities. It said the only days the exercise would hold would be days that its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu would be taken to court.

But curiously, despite the suspension, states in the South East zone, including Anambra have continued to observe the exercise. Curiously too, people, suspected to be members of the group have always gone out to enforce compliance to the exercise every Monday to the extent of killing, maiming and destroying property, even as IPOB has dissociated itself from it.

Many believe that the compliance this time is rather out of fear than of one’s volition, because of the violence that has recently been registered in the area.

As the Anambra governorship election draws near, with the seriousness with which orders from the group are taken, analysts believe that if the group decides to go the way it went in the 2017 governorship election, by announcing a – no referendum, no election – stance, it may ultimately achieve its aim.

In the last two weeks, despite the usual sit-at-home on Mondays, the group had announced that on Thursday of the previous week, and the Tuesday of this week would also be sit-at-home days. Despite announcements by various state governments in the South East to dissuade people from observing the event, it was observed that the compliance was high, thereby scuttling the economic activities in the zone.

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State had before the exercise held a meeting with heads of banks in Anambra State and markets, urging them to ensure they open for business. Obiano said there would be sanction for banks and markets that fail to conduct activities on sit-at-home days. The governor also went out to ensure compliance, and DAILY POST observed that in some banks where the governor visited, they opened for business and after the visit, they quickly shut their gates against customers, for fear of attack.

While the governor was last Monday trying to enforce compliance with his order for businesses to open at Eke Awka and banks around the Ukwu Oji area, banks in other parts of Awka and other parts if the state were securely locked up, to avoid attacks.

On Tuesday, just a day after the governor went round to ensure compliance; banks and markets and other businesses in the state securely locked their gates, in observance of a sit-at-home order by IPOB, to commemorate the invasion of Kanu’s home on 14th September, 2017 by the military.

The near breakdown of security in the zone now seems to empower the group to incessantly declare sit-at-home exercises at will. A lawyer, Mr Ekene Obi who spoke to DAILY POST about the incessant declaration of Sit-at-home exercises and the near total compliance it registers each time said, “This is happening because people are afraid. How can government give order for the people to come out and do their business, and people will refuse to obey, instead they will obey a group that has already rescinded its own decision on sit-at+home?

“It is because there is no longer trust on the part of the government. They are telling people to come out, but they cannot secure the people. This week Monday and Tuesday, do you know the number of casualties that were registered? What has the government done to avenge the lives of those who were killed, or replace the property of those whose buses and motorcycles were burnt, since they were obeying government directive by coming out.

“Let me tell you, these days, even churches announce it to their members and they tell them to stay at home if there is any announcement for a sit- at-home, because they believe that government cannot protect. If for any reason a rumour flies around that some people, not even IPOB declare a sit-at-home on the day of the Anambra governorship election, I tell you, people will obey, because the security situation now is not the same as what we had in 2017, when people ignored the – no referendum, no election – mantra to go and vote.”

Already, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has also disclosed that their job for the Anambra governorship election is being affected by the number of days there have been sit-at-home exercises. The Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Anambra, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji stated this in a press interview, during a workshop by the EMSC Amber Zone Implementers, organized by the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).

Orji said the commission has launched a dashboard for the Anambra governorship election, billed to hold on November 6, and that the dashboard already has all activities of the commission for the election. “The dashboard will remind us ahead of time of the things we have to do in the nearest future, what we should do that we have not done, and things like that.

“Already, we have factored in the incessant sit-at-home exercises into our schedule. The exercise has been eating up into our time, and putting pressure on our work, but we have been adjusting to ensure we meet up with our schedule. For now, I can say that all arrangements are going on well, and we hope that it will continue to be so,” Orji said.

Though there have not been any indication that the election may be disrupted, there is the belief that once the INEC gears its mind to conduct the election, the security agencies should be able to also provide marching power to ensure safety of the people for the election to hold.

Speaking in an earlier interview, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof Chukwuma Soludo had stated that there is no reason why the Anambra election should not hold. He said: “Elections have held in terrorists ravaged areas of the north, so why won’t it hold here. It is even made easier by the fact that the Anambra election is a one-state election, so all attention, especially of the security forces can be focused here.”

As the November 6 date for the election draws close, there is,however, no indication that the election would not hold, as parties and their candidates continue to strategize on how they can win the election.

The special adviser to the chairman of INEC, Mr Mohammed Kuna has, however, reinforced the assurance that everything about the Anambra governorship election is on course. “So far, there is nothing the commission has set out to achieve that it has not achieved, so, despite the incessant sit-at-home protest, we are hopeful that nothing would stop the election.”

Joe Chukindi, Daily Post Online

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