Senate fails to confirm Buhari’s aide for INEC job – Newstrends
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Senate fails to confirm Buhari’s aide for INEC job

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The hope of President Muhammadu Buhari to have his Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, to take up a new assignment as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission has been dashed as the Senate has stepped down her confirmation.

The Senate in turning down the request asked the Presidency to replace Onochie.

Onochie’s fate is delaying the confirmation of three others on the list submitted to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The other three nominees are Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (National, from Katsina State); Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti) and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC (Jigawa).

Buhari, in the letter, had said, “Pursuant to Paragraph 14 of Part I (F) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the following four Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”

The Senate committee screening the nominees stated that Onochie is “greatly partisan based on her conviction that All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari are the best for Nigeria”.

Apart from the protest by the opposition, some APC senators also agreed that she is “positively partisan” in her devotion to work.

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Election tribunal sacks Sokoto House of Reps member 

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Election tribunal sacks Sokoto House of Reps member 

The Election Petitions Tribunal for Sokoto/Zamfara States sitting in Sokoto has sacked a member of the House of Representatives representing Yabo/Shagari federal constituency of Sokote State, Umar Yusuf Yabo Danmaje.

The tribunal also ordered Danmaje to pay N500,000 as damages to the petitioner in a verdict given on Monday.

In a unanimous judgement read by its chairman, Justice Ashu A. Ewah, the tribunal declared the election of Danmaje as member representing Yabo/Shagari Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives as null and void.

Justice Ewah said the election, which was initially conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2023 and rerun election on February 3, 2024, was marred with malpractices in some polling units, hence the exercise was inconclusive.

The tribunal ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Danmaje and conduct a fresh election in the affected polling units of the constituency within 90 days.

The election is to be conducted in four affected polling units of the two local government areas of Yabo and Shagari in the federal constituency of the state.

The four polling units where INEC was asked to conduct election are three polling units in Shagari LGA and one polling unit in Yabo local government area.

The affected polling units are Dagawa Maji Kira, Dagawa Mai Zane, Shiyar Magaji, Kesoji Shiyar Hakimi, Jaredi Maji Kira and Mazoji, all in Shagari and Yabo local government areas of Sokoto State.

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Count us out of Rivers Appeal Court case – PDP

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PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba

Count us out of Rivers Appeal Court case – PDP

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says it did not authorise an appeal purportedly filed on its behalf at Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, bordering on the ruling of Rivers High Court.

A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Debo Ologunagba, on Sunday, said only the National Legal Adviser of the Party has the exclusive responsibility of conducting the litigation, prosecution and defencd of cases on its behalf.

Newstrends reports that a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had  barred the Chief Judge of Rivers State and the Clerk of the Rivers State House of Assembly from receiving or acting on any resolutions from the embattled lawmakers loyal to Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike.

The PDP statement reads : “The attention of the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to a purported Appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division with respect to Suit No: PHC/2177/CS/2024 wherein the PDP is reportedly listed as Appellant.

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For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP National Legal Adviser, Barr. Kamaldeen Ajibade SAN has ascertained that the Party did not file the said Appeal neither did it authorize any external solicitor to file same on its behalf. As such, the PDP cannot be listed as Appellant in the Appeal.

The PDP states categorically that it did not file the said Appeal at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division challenging the Order of the Rivers State High Court restraining the Chief Judge of Rivers State and the Clerk of the Rivers State House of Assembly from receiving or acting on any resolutions from certain individuals pending the determination of a case before it.

The PDP restates that only the National Legal Adviser of the Party has the exclusive responsibility of conducting the litigation, prosecution and defense of cases on behalf of the Party including its Organs, Chapters and Officials as expressly provided for in Section 42 of the PDP’s Constitution (as amended in 2017).

Our Party had in a Public Notice published on January 17, 2023 notified the public that nobody, Authority, Office or Organ other than the National Legal Adviser has the competence to file or engage external solicitors to file or handle cases on behalf of the Party, which engagement must also be in writing under the hand of the National Legal Adviser specifying amongst other things, the nature of the case and other terms and conditions of the engagement.

The PDP therefore dissociates itself from the purported Appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division in connection with Suit No: PHC/2177/CS/2024.”

Count us out of Rivers Appeal Court case – PDP

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Why I dumped APC, Kano party chieftain, Doguwa

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Why I dumped APC, Kano party chieftain, Doguwa

A former Senator representing Kano South senatorial zone, Senator Mas’ud El-Jibril Doguwa, on Friday, said he is dumping the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC because the party’s policies were anti-people oriented.

Doguwa in a statement made available to newsmen in Kano, said he resolved to dump the party alongside his supporters because the party’s policies do not align with their political ideology.

The former Senator said the party prioritize policies that cause more harm than good to the ordinary citizens of this country.

The close ally of the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, however, announced their return to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

According to him, “we have discovered, after careful appraisal of the activities of the APC governments, that many of their policies are anti peoples oriented, which do not align with our political ideology. They prioritize policies that cause more harm than good to the ordinary citizens of this country.

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“Based on the foregoing therefore, we heed to the instruction of our elders and the advice of our political associates, to hereby announce that, we as a group have taken the bold decision to return to our political base, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to continue as full pledged members.

“We have taken this decision without any prejudice or malice to any individual or groups of persons.

“This decision is consequent upon a series of wide-range consultations with our people who believe that APC, at all levels, does not take advantage of our long-standing experience in politics and governance. As members of the APC, we feel we are being grossly underutilized, as we are rarely involved in any forum to discuss and share our experiences for the development of the Party, the State or the Nation.

“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. We believe that, in politics, as in other fields of human endeavour, activity ranks paramount. If you make players in any given field redundant, they are bound to struggle to create activities for themselves, somewhere outside the party. Experienced politicians do not want to stay idle.

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