The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, may dare the Independent National Electoral Commission, as it has vowed to proceed with its March 26 National Convention.
The party has dismissed a letter written to it by INEC on the need to give the commission a fresh 21-day notice for its national convention slated for March 26.
It faulted INEC’s position that the letter by the acting Chairman Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, is legally defective.
The party also clarified that Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, remained the National Chairman of the CECPC, saying the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, is only operating in an acting capacity.
The spokesman for the party’s CECPC, Mr Ismaila Ahmed, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, on Friday.
He said, “It is pretty simple. I don’t know why this is a complicated issue for a lot of people to understand. Since the inception of this CECPC on June 25 2020, whenever the chairman is not around and Governor Sani Bello is around, he acts on behalf of the chairman.
“He is our acting chairman and that has always been the case. That has never changed. And now we have a Convention on 26th March, the Chairman wrote a letter for his leave to go for medical treatment. Those are two emergencies. He has a medical emergency that cannot wait for the Convention and we have a Convention that cannot wait for him to be healthy. So, one has to leave for the other.
“The chairman transmitted a letter and Governor Bello has been acting as appropriate. He is acting with the full authority of the CECPC and with the full authority of the stakeholders and leaders of the party and with the full consent and knowledge of Governor Mai Mala Buni. If anybody has any issues with any of our decisions, you can take it to court. For now, we know we are doing it with the full backing of the law. There is no ambiguity in this.”
According to him, the APC has given appropriate notice to INEC for its March 26 national convention.
He said the party had earlier intimated the commission of its intent to conduct its national convention on February 26 and that what is now required for its new date of March 26 is simply a notice of an adjustment and not a fresh 21-day notice.
“I am not only a youth leader or an interim Spokesperson for the party, I am also a lawyer and we have served a notice to INEC for the 26th of February earlier and we served that notice on 5th February. That was the required 21 days. If you are going to make any adjustment to that date, all you need is a letter making an adjustment to the date.
“We don’t need another 21 days and that letter was written about two weeks ago. Immediately we realized that we couldn’t hold it on the 26th of February.
“The moment the CECPC agreed on the 26th March, that letter was written to INEC and they have accepted the letter. So, that is long gone. It is not an issue. The issue of the date of the Convention is not an issue, not in INEC, not certainly with us. That is settled. It is sacrosanct. We have complied with all the requirements and we have notified INEC as appropriately expected of us.”
Buni had visited President Muhammadu Buhari, in London, to tell his side of the story on happenings in the APC and to hear directly from the head of state on his status in the CECPC.
He reportedly went to London from his sick bed in Dubai.
INEC had in a letter dated March 9, 2022 and signed by its Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, drew the attention of the APC to the need to comply with extant regulations.
The letter read, “Please refer to your letter Ref. APC/NHDQ/INEC/019/022/32, dated 8th March 2022.
“The Commission draws your attention to the fact that the notice for the meeting was not signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the CECPC (Buni and Akpanudoedehe) contrary to the provision of the Article 1.1.3 of the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for Political Party Operations (2018).
“Furthermore, the APC is reminded of the provision in Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 which requires ‘at least 21 days’ notice of any convention, congress, conference, or meeting convened for the purpose of ‘merger’ and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any elective offices.’
“While hoping these issues are noted for compliance, please accept the assurance of the Commission’s warm regards.”
On the National Executive Committee meeting slated for next Thursday, the party said it would ratify the March 26 Convention date and update the house on the journey so far.
Ismaila Ahmed said the party’s Legal Adviser, Prof. Tahir Mamman, would address the public once some issues regarding the NEC meeting are clarified, adding that notices had been sent out for the NEC meeting.
The CECPC has excluded its National Secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, from the list of members saddled with fresh responsibilities.
Ahmed said, “I was tasked with the responsibility for Media and Publicity; Prof. Tahir Mamman will be overseeing the Legal Department; Hon. Stella Okotete and Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf will be overseeing the Organizing Department, and then Dr James Lalu and Chief David Lyon will oversee the Finance Department; and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and Senator Abba Ali will be overseeing the Policy, Strategy and Research Department.”
Meanwhile, immediate past Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Salihu Lukman, has asked the party to probe some governors who he accused of working with Governor Buni to frustrate the party from holding its national convention.
He said, “There are known collaborators of His Excellency Mai Mala who have colluded with him to ensure that all attempts to organise the APC National Convention are blocked.
“Three governors who are known and must also be called upon to account for their roles in undermining decisions to organise the APC National Convention are His Excellency Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, His Excellency Hope Uzodimma of Imo State and His Excellency Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State.
“There are other party leaders, including Senator Uzo Kalu who have actively supported His Excellency Mai Mala to undermine the decision to organise the National Convention of the party. March 17, 2022, APC NEC should initiate processes of a disciplinary hearing in line with provisions of the APC Constitution to sanction all these leaders, if found guilty.”
Kebbi rep rejoins APC four months after defecting to PDP
A member of the House of Representatives from Kebbi State, Bello Yakubu, has returned to the All Progressives Congress (APC) about four months after leaving the party for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmaker representing Birnin Kebbi/Kalgo/Bunza federal constituency said he rejoined the APC following calls by his supporters to do so.
He lost his bid for re-election into the lower chamber of the National Assembly under the PDP in May this year.
Speaking with journalists on Monday in Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi capital, the lawmaker said, “APC has been my party, and I came to realise that politics in our dear state is all about development.
“People have been calling me, pleading with me to rejoin the party to continue with the development we have started witnessing in the state, hence my decision to rejoin the party.”
The legislator described Governor of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, as “a humble person and a leader who deserves to be supported by all and at all times.”
He said, “In 2019, if you could recall, all the political bigwigs in the state were in APC because of his charisma and manner in dealing with people,” he added.
In May, Bello lost his bid to seek re-election into the House of Representatives after Mohammed Abba-Bello, son of Bello Mohammed-Haliru, a former PDP national chairman, won the PDP ticket.
The lawmaker, who was elected on the platform of the APC in 2019, defected to the PDP in March after a disagreement with some members of the APC in the state.
Obi won’t win half of any Nasarawa council – Adeyanju
Human rights activist Deji Adeyanju has reacted to the one-million-man march by Nasarawa residents in support of the Labour Party (LP) flag bearer, Peter Obi.
On Saturday, August 7, a coalition of 56 support groups across the 13 Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State organised a one-million-man march to support Obi.
The group carried several inscriptions which indicated their love and support for the former Anambra Governor and marched from the College of Agriculture junction along Jos Road to the U-turn linking Lafia main market along Makurdi Road.
Reacting to the march, the ‘convener of Concerned Nigerians’ noted despite the ‘mammoth’ crowd who trooped out for Obi, he would still not win half of any local government in Nasarawa in the 2023 general election.
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Adeyanju also alleged the one-million-man crowd was hired
“Sorry to break your hearts guys but Peter Obi won’t still win even half of an LGA in Nasarawa after the rally yesterday.
“You will be shocked that 90% of those who came out to protest yesterday did so because someone paid them and they won’t vote him. Vawulence dropped, bye”, he tweeted.
Responding to his tweet, one Kelechi Chukwu noted: “Funny enough, when Obi eventually wins in 2023, this guy will say he was doing all he did to push Obi-dients to do more and not to relent in their efforts! He will definitely change the narrative!”
Adeyanju, who retweeted Chukwu’s reaction, added: “Obi will only win here on social media. And I mean all the online polls.”
Court to hear ‘certificate forgery’ suit against Tinubu Sept 7
A federal high court in Abuja has fixed September 7 for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from contesting in the 2023 elections.
The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.
Tlaintiffs said the deposition was untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections that Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the alleged false information he gave INEC.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever.
“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.
Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.
“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.
Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.
The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.
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