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Electoral Act: Your non-resignation risky, Gbajabiamila warns ministers, others

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said political appointees who refuse to resign before contesting the forthcoming 2023 elections pose a risk to themselves and their parties.

Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022, which was signed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), provided that, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

The implication of the provision is that political appointees who intend to be voting delegates or stand as aspirants for elective positions in a primary election shall, first of all, resign their appointments.

Ministers who are serving under the present regime who had declared their interest to contest in the 2023 elections without resigning included the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN);  Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

Gbajabiamila, in an interview on Channels TV monitored by The PUNCH on Thursday, noted that some political appointees were obstinate to resign before contesting in the election.

According to him, they run the risk of rendering the primary election null and void.

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He said, “There are a number of people who have been mischievous. Some appointees have resigned their appointments to seek election, while there are some who remain obstinate, for want of a better word.

“Under the amended Act, there is a court decision pending that says there is no provision on this and during our conversation, we have said that the adjudication by the court should not be executed as of yet. Then there has also been an appeal by the National Assembly to set it aside.

“So invariably, it is a personal decision they have to make. Therefore the risk they run at the end of it all, if the court does find that the National Assembly was well within its rights to make such a provision that you are contesting an election while still a political appointee, then you are on a very serious risk of losing your election bid and not only that, you as a person also put the party you belong to at risk.”

Buhari asks court to dismiss PDP’s suit

Meanwhile, the President on Thursday asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss a suit filed by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party on the contentious Section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act 2022.

Buhari stated this in a counter-affidavit filed by Oladipupo Okpeseyi (SAN) and deposed to by Abimbola Akintola, a legal practitioner.

He said he did not order the Senate to remove the contentious Section 84 (12) from the amended Electoral Act 2022.

Contrary to the claims of the PDP in a suit filed against him and 12 others on the Electoral Act, Buhari said he only expressed reservations and concerns in respect of the aspect of the Electoral Act.

 Buhari and Malami averred that the claims of PDP in its suit against them on the Electoral Act were totally false and were aimed at misleading the court to give judgment against them.

PUNCH

Politics

Peter Obi to speak at Chatham House Jan 16

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Peter Obi

The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi has been invited to speak at Chatham House about his presidential ambition ahead of the 2023 election.

Obi, former governor of Anambra State, is to attend the event slated for January 16, 2023 in London, the United Kingdom.

In a tweet on Thursday, Chatham House Africa announced the invite , saying, “Nigeria’s 2023 Elections: In conversation with @PeterObi“The second of our events examining #Nigeria’s 2023 elections and political developments will take place on January 16, 2023.

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Obi’s rival, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu had on Monday, December 5 made an appearance at Chatham House in London, where he revealed some of his plans for major sectors like defense, economy, education, and technology.

Tinubu’s performance at the event keeps generating mixed reactions with many knocking him for delegating questions to his campaign members who were with him at the event and others praising him for what they described as an exemplary leadership trait.

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I’m not merging with any candidate, party – Kwankwaso

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Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Senator Musa Kwakwanso, on Thursday, described the promoters of his rumoured merger with another party as failed politicians.

Kwankwaso said this while speaking with newsmen in Abeokuta, shortly after he addressed the NNPP members at the party secretariat in the state capital.

The NNPP presidential candidate denied that he planned merger of the party with other political parties ahead of next year’s election.

Kwakwanso said, “That’s absolute nonsense. You see we believe that we are not above the three or four parties in this country, but by 2023, next year, by the grace of God, the NNPP will win the election at national and all other levels.

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“So, these are people who are failed politicians who have nothing to tell Nigerians other than to spread unnecessary rumour of a merger.

“Merger is already gone. We have our candidates. In all the parties, everybody is campaigning. So, disregard that nonsense.”

Kwankwaso however lost his temper when he was asked if he would step down for any candidate, saying, “don’t ask me that rubbish.”

While addressing members of the NNPP, the presidential candidate pledged to strengthen the Nigeria’s armed forces with one million recruits, if elected president.

He added that his government would grant education at all levels to citizens and place priority on youth and women empowerment.

The State Chairman of the party, Olaposi Oginni, warned Nigerians against returning the All Progressives Congress into power both at the state a d federal levels.

Oginni said, “Only lunatics would vote for the APC.”

He said due to the level of sufferings and poor economy under the APC government, no Nigerian was expected to vote for the ruling party in 2023.

Punch

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Thugs allegedly loyal to Governor Wike attack Rivers PDP presidential campaign boss’ residence, destroy vehicles

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Political thugs allegedly working for the Rivers state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike have invaded the residence of former Rivers South-East Senator, Lee Maeba.

The house located at GRA, Phase 3 axis in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was invaded by thugs on Thursday morning.

Maeba is the chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the state.

A source said the hoodlums, allegedly loyal to Governor Wike, destroyed many cars, including an SUV, while occupants of the house including Senator Maeba’s relations fled the scene.

It was learnt that the hoodlums also shot indiscriminately and injured some occupants of the building during the attack.

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“About 200 hoodlums loyal to Governor Wike attacked the residence of Senator Lee Maeba this morning. They destroyed vehicles and injured some occupants,” the source said.

Since Governor Wike lost the presidential ticket of the party to the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the party has been factionalised.

This followed allegations made by the governor that the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu manipulated the process to favour Atiku, a fellow northerner.

He subsequently asked Ayu to resign from office but the national chairman has refused to do so amid the attendant crisis in the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Wike-led Rivers government earlier revoked the ownership of a landed property belonging to Maeba in Port Harcourt.

When contacted, DSP Grace Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko, spokesperson for the state police command said she wasn’t aware of the incident.

SR

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