APC wins Plateau South Senate, Bauchi Assembly – Newstrends
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APC wins Plateau South Senate, Bauchi Assembly

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Plateau south senatorial by-election, Prof. Nora Dabu’ut, winner of the election.

The party also won the Bauchi State House of Assembly bye-election held at the Dass Local Government Area on Saturday.

According to INEC returning officer for the poll in Plateau, Prof. Idris A Male, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Lafia, Nassarawa State, Dabu’ut polled a total of 83,151 votes while George Daika of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 70,838 votes.

The APC candidate won four out of the six local government areas in the senatorial district while the PDP candidate, Daika, won in LGAs.

In Bauchi, the Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Ahmed Mohammed of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, said the candidate of the APC, Bala Lukshi, scored a total of 12,299 votes while his PDP counterpart, Lawal Wandi, got 11,062 votes.

The Dass Assembly election was held following the death of Musa Mantle Baraza, who was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence in August this year.

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We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

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We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State said, on Tuesday, that it was studying Monday judgment, which declared the Martin Amaewhule-led 27 members of the state House of Assembly members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Rivers APC  Publicity Secretary, Chibuike Ikenga, said the party would take a position after receiving advise from its lawyers.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Tuesday, Ikenga stated, “Well the decision of the court is what it is. Ours is to obey or appeal.

“But as we speak our leadership is looking at it and based on the advice from the legal department of our party we will take a position on it.”

Asked how soon that will happen, he said, “I think the process is on now. We are in stakeholders engagement so we will know the next line of action afterwards.”

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, had, on Monday, declared that the 27 lawmakers loyal to ex-governor Nyesom Wike are PDP members.

The court ruled that the 27 lawmakers were still valid members of the  Rivers State House of Assembly because there was no proof that they had defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress.

The court, in a ruling by Justice Okogbule Gbasam, struck out the suit filed by Hyacinth Amadi and three others, seeking to declare the seats of the 27 lawmakers vacant on the grounds that they defected from the PDP to the APC.

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The 27 lawmakers had last year announced their defection from the PDP to the APC at the height of the crisis between Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his estranged political godfather, Nyesom Wike.

The Assembly also became factionalised following a failed attempt by the pro-Wike lawmakers to impeach Fubara in October last year.

But in his ruling on Monday, Justice Gbasam held that Amadi and others. seeking to declare the seats of the pro-Wike lawmakers vacant, failed to bring any concrete evidence to convince the court that the pro-Wike lawmakers had truly defected and deserved to lose their seats.

The judge ruled that defection cannot be established through newspaper publications, radio announcements or online publications.

According to the court, a defection can only be established through the party membership register, a membership card and such members fulfilling all requirements of their membership in the party.

But the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,  Dagogo Iboroma, (SAN), said the judgment could not be true because, according to him, the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.

Iboroma said, “As the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and the 3rd defendant in the Suit No DHC/20/CS/2024, my attention has been drawn to a recent judgment.

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“This suit did not seek to declare the seat of Martins Amaewhule and 26 others in Rivers State House of Assembly vacant.

“The suit of the claimants was struck out for want of locus standi and jurisdiction and also for being an abuse of court process, which robbed the trial court of jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.

“There is misleading news circulating in social media, print and electronic media that Martins Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“As you all know, Martins Amaewhule and 26 others defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress on the 11th day of December 2023, and stated that much in affidavit evidence deposed to by Martins Amaewhule for himself and on behalf of 26 others in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/1681/CS/2023 before Honourable Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.

“The Suit is still pending in court. By Section 272(3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, it is only the Federal High Court that can determine whether Martins Amaewhule and 26 others are still members of the Peoples Democratic Party and also members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. This much was held by the trial court.

“However, you will recall that there is a subsisting order of interlocutory injunction in Suit No. PHC/512/CS/2024 restraining Martins Amaewhule and his co-travelers from further parading or presenting themselves as lawmakers in Rivers State pending the determination of the substantive suit, which has not been appealed against to date.

We’re studying judgement declaring pro-Wike lawmakers PDP members – APC

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Reps move for rotational presidency, six-year single term for president, govs 

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Reps move for rotational presidency, six-year single term for president, govs 

Some members of the House of Representatives are seeking a constitutional review to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones.

Specifically, the lawmakers under the aegis of the Reform Minded Legislators are asking for a single tenure of six years for Nigeria’s President and state governors.

A bill to this effect is currently before the House of Representatives and has passed the first reading.

The federal lawmakers, about 30 of them sponsoring the reform bills, contended that it would lead to reduction in government spending, eliminate wastage, bring about efficiency in governance and national stability.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, Co-sponsor of the reformers bills and member representing Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State, Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere, said the electoral reform bills would be going for a second reading on the floor of the House soon.

He said the bills, if passed into law, would help reduce the cost of governance and campaigns and unite the country.

He also said it would ensure a seamless transition, continuity, uninterrupted development, justice, equity, independence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and efficient use of state resources.

Ugochinyere said, “We are a group of reform-minded lawmakers committed towards using the instrument of lawmaking to reform Nigeria and our political process, constitutional and electoral reform has been a burning topic in Nigeria since independence from Britain in 1960.”

He added that the arrangement was in line with the realisation that the current political arrangement has some identified distortions, defects and limitations that called for urgent, focused and realistic attention, hence the initiative on political and electoral reform.

Ugochinyere said, “These bills which are 50 in numbers have gone through first reading but today we are starting with public unveiling of about six of them while the remaining will come in the weeks ahead.

“It ranges from governance, economic, security, and justice sector reforms to social bills that will target unifying our nation and ensuring long-lasting peace and national cohesion.”

The lawmakers stressed that they were cognisant of the fact that Nigeria in times past had deliberated on and accepted some of the proposals in the Bills, including the Justice Uwais electoral reforms, the Senator Ken Nnamani electoral reform committee, the Udoji civil service reform reports, the Confab reports, among others.

Against this background, the lawmakers said they are proposing: “Constitutional alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones to ensure equal representation and reduce the desperation and tempo of agitation for the creation of states.

“To amend section 3 of the Constitution to provide for the recognition of the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones.

“To amend the Constitution to provide for a single tenure of six years for the President and Governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The reduction in government spending and wastage, efficiency in governance, and national stability by providing a single term of six years for the President and governors.”

The lawmakers are also proposing a constitutional amendment to create the office of two vice presidents from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria.

They lawmakers said that the first vice president should be a succession vice president, while the second vice president should be a minister in charge of the economy, and both to serve as ministers.

The lawmakers said, “Constitutional amendment to provide that the President and the 1st Vice President shall come from the same part of the country (North or South) and the 1st Vice President shall become President whenever the President becomes incapacitated, i.e., Vice President (Succession), Vice President (Administration and Economy).

“The financial autonomy and accountability of Local Government Councils by prescribing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account solely superintendent by Local Councils and prescribing long-term imprisonment for any misuse of Local Government funds.

“To amend section 162(5) of the 1999 Constitution to provide that where a State Government fails to remit to the Local Government Councils within its jurisdiction (or within the State), the amounts standing to the credit of that Local Government in the allocation from the Federation account, such State Government shall not be entitled to receive a future allocation from the federal government.’

On electoral reforms, the lawmakers are proposing bills to amend the relevant sections of the Electoral Act to ensure that all elections — presidential, governorship, National Assembly, state Houses of Assembly, and local governments are held on the same day.

The lawmakers are also proposing amendment to relevant sections of the Electoral Act to provide that no declaration of a winner of an election shall be done by the relevant INEC Officials until such officer has compared the results with the list of accredited voters and ensured that the results to be declared are in tandem with the list of accredited voters and the B-VAS machine or any other electronic device.

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LP chieftains ask party to account for 2023 campaign fund

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LP chieftains ask party to account for 2023 campaign fund

Stakeholders of the Labour Party (LP) in Kaduna State have called for transparency regarding party leaders’ spending of the 2023 campaign funds at the national and state levels.

This demand emerged from a meeting held by the stakeholders in Kaduna over the weekend. Present at the meeting were the state acting chairman of the party, Alhaji Isa Ciroma, acting secretary, Sani Musa Sahabi, and senatorial candidates for Kaduna South and North, Mike Auta and Alhaji Sidi Bamali, among others.

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Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Alhaji Sidi Bamali, alongside other stakeholders, praised the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for providing an account of the campaign fund under his supervision. They urged other party leaders at both state and national levels to emulate this example.

Bamali expressed concern over the apparent lack of leadership within the party’s state chapter despite having notable figures like the vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba Ahmed, and the organizing secretary at both national and state levels.

LP chieftains ask party to account for 2023 campaign fund

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