Buhari To Tribunal: Atiku’s Petition Is A Sham

Emerging details from the final addresses by lawyers to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, indicate that the petition by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal lacked merit and is a ‘patent sham’.

According to the final addresses filed by lawyers to President Buhari and the APC at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the PDP “have failed in their attempt to stridently but erroneously prove their petitions” which was premised on six grounds, but hinged mainly on the alleged use of an electronic server to transmit results of the elections, and the educational qualification of President Buhari to contest the election.

President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was adjudged the winner of the February 23 presidential elections, by over 15 million votes as against Atiku’s 11,262,978 votes.

On the issue of the electronic server, the address noted that the argument from Atiku’s camp that the results of the Presidential election were transmitted electronically from all polling units across the country was a ‘patent sham’; describing the entire case of the PDP Presidential candidate at best as ‘infantile’.

Explaining further, the address noted that Atiku and PDP “failed woefully to establish, by credible evidence, the existence of the imaginary server belonging to the INEC and into which results were electronically transmitted from polling units.”

The final address submitted the fact that INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had clearly stated, before the general elections, that electronic transmission of results to server would not be possible for the 2019 general elections. The INEC Chairman had stated that this was due to the major constraint of lack of Internet connectivity in most parts of Nigeria, especially blind spots/grassroot areas that were not covered by digital network.

More over, the law in Nigeria does not recognise (and actually prohibits) transmission of results electronically. Sections 52 and 73 of the Electoral Act 2010 are categorical on this. The only means of transmission of election results, under the law, is the Form EC8 Series; especially Form EC8A at the Polling Units. It is only through these approved forms that election results in Nigeria can be proven. Not by any Server or Servers, imaginary or real.

The addresses also buttressed their conclusion on the Atiku petition with the failure of the PDP’s Kenyan “expert” witness to prove the claims made in the petition.

The “expert” tendered eight exhibits in support of his testimonies, he did not attach any certificate detailing his area of expertise as well as the certificates of his educational qualifications to his statement on oath as required by law.

“Similarly, his testimony, in all respects, only amounts to manipulations, conjecture and speculations,” the lawyers stated.

According to the final addresses, not only did the ‘so called expert’ admit that the IP address of the alleged website, the source of the purported electronic results has been used by many companies in many countries all over the world; he also admitted that he made use of information provided by a faceless and unidentified whistle blower in carrying out his analysis and not from INEC; since INEC did not give him the authorisation to have access to the alleged server.”

Interestingly, the purported server allocated results to only two (PDP and APC) of the 73 political parties that participated in the elections.

The ‘expert’ also conceded in open court that the so-called website was created after the date of the presidential elections.

Similarly, the lawyers noted that the petition by Atiku and the PDP “failed woefully to adduce credible and reliable evidence to establish the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari forged his certificate as alleged in their petition.”

According to the President’s address, “While it is appropriate to debunk such baseless, mendacious and spurious assertion, it suffices to bring to fore the unequivocal provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which states the requirement for a candidate to contest the presidential election and occupy the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Section 131(d) provides that; A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if – He has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

“More so, the consequence of submitting a forged document to INEC is grave. It therefore requires precise evidence and proof beyond reasonable doubt, which the Petitioners have not been able to establish,” it added.

Drawing reference from the Constitution, the address stated that Section 318 of the Constitution, defines a Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent’ to mean:

“A secondary School Certificate or its equivalent, or Grade II Teacher’s certificate, the City and Guilds Certificate; or Education up to Secondary School Certificate Level; or Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent and (a). Service in the public or private sector in the Federation in any capacity acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission for a Minimum of ten years…”

“It is apparent that from the pleadings and evidence adduced led by the Petitioners there is no scintilla or iota of evidence to prove that President Muhammadu Buhari was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the election. It is trite law that he who asserts must prove,” the address emphasised.

The address further added that, “It could be recalled that the 2nd Respondent tendered various exhibits confirming that President Muhammadu Buhari has attained the level of education required to qualify for the position he currently holds. The 2nd Respondent further tendered a statement signed by the Vice Chancellor, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom attesting to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari sat for the West African School Certificate Examination in 1961, at Provincial Secondary School, Katsina.”

Continuing, the address stated that the evidence provided under cross-examination by Buba Galadima, a witness from Atiku’s camp, had also rubbished the latter’s petition.

“He (Galadima) told the court that he believed that President Muhammadu Buhari was qualified to vie and contest for the office of the President at the four times he supported him in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015; that President Muhammadu Buhari was a Military Head of State between 1983 and 1985; that Buhari used to address the nation in English Language.”

On the non-calling of witnesses by the 1st and 3rd Respondents, the lawyers explained that although the 1st and 3rd Respondents (INEC and the APC) called no witnesses of their own, it is however important to stress that they elicited copious relevant evidence from the Petitioners’ and 2nd Respondent’s (President Buhari) witnesses under cross-examination.”

“It is trite that non-calling of witnesses by a party to a case does not mean non-calling of evidence. The evidence elicited from a party or his witnesses under cross-examination, which supports the case of the party cross-examining constitutes evidence in support of the case or defence of the party.

“Furthermore, in a case of this nature, which involves declaratory reliefs, the onus is on the Petitioner to prove its case in order to be entitled to the reliefs sought.”

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I Will No Longer Tolerate Ihedioha’s Attacks – Okorocha

The former Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha has accused the Imo state government of attacks on his personal properties in the state.

In a statement, Okorocha said that agents of the state government have since his exit from office launched several attacks on properties, individuals and anything that has to do with him.

These activities according to the Imo North Senator potrayed as recovery of the state assets have resulted in the damage, vilification and abuse of power in a bid to witch-hunt him.

“In the last couple of months, the government of Emeka Ihedioha has launched and sustained attacks on my property and that of my family members. They had raided my wife and daughter’s businesses places and I have reported to the authorities.

“Now the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Uche Onyeaguocha, went to my private guesthouse, chased away the security men and broke into the house, ransacked it and made away with documents, locked up the house and took the keys.

“I have been quiet about all these unwarranted attacks but they should not take my silence for granted.”

Okorocha posited that if the Imo State government is acting on the dictates of the law, it should obtain a court order that will legalize any of its actions and not unleash state forces to destroy his personal properties.

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Okorocha: Why Imo Gov Ihedioha Is After Me

The immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Wednesday said his successor, Emeka Ihedioha, was destroying projects executed by his administration in order to discredit his achievements and the All Progressives Congress legacy in the South-East.

He also said the Peoples Democratic Party administration in the state was fighting him because of the defeat that the party suffered through him in the 2011 and 2015 general elections,  when he won the governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Okorocha, who is now representing Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, made the claims in a statement issued in Owerri on Wednesday by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo.

He alleged that his successor wanted to destroy the APC in the South-East at all cost.

The senator said the PDP stalwarts in the state were still angry with him for making sure that former President Goodluck Jonathan’s voting strength in the South-East in the 2019 general elections was challenged.

The statement read in part, “The Governor Emeka Ihedioha-led PDP government in the state is simply fighting back because of the defeat they suffered in 2011 and 2015 in the hands of Senator Rochas Okorocha.

“They are also playing the politics of how to remain in power in the state having known that they didn’t win the 2019 governorship election because before now, nobody had become the governor of the state with bloated figures from only three out of the 27 local government areas in the state.

“For them too, having known that Imo remains the strongest hold of APC in the South-East, they now feel that once APC is destroyed in Imo, the party has been destroyed in the South-East. That is another major reason for the current hostility against Okorocha, his amazing achievements and APC members in Imo.”

The Senator also said his administration left N42.5bn in the state coffers, but alleging that Ihedioha had not fixed any bad road since he became governor.

But Ihedioha, while reacting through his Special Adviser on media, Steve Osuji, said Okorocha’s allegations against him were baseless.

He said, “The Imo State Governor is more preoccupied with the challenges of rebuilding the state.”

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Recruiting Police Officers From Their Communities To Serve There Will Improve Security In States – Osinbajo

In continuation of the series of consultations with a number of leading traditional rulers in different states to help bolster security architecture in local communities and effectively tackle security challenges around the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, met with traditional rulers in Osogbo, Osun State capital, today.

Speaking with the press after the meeting with Obas in the state, including the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran; and several leading traditional rulers in the State, Prof. Osinbajo said this part of the consultations highlighted the importance of community policing as a major aspect of improving the security architecture in States.

The Vice President further said that effective collaboration between local police officers alongside neighbourhood watch programmes in States would help combat security challenges. 

Prof. Osinbajo noted that traditional rulers constitute a very important part of this arrangement (security architecture) in states, because they act as the interface between the State governments’ and Federal Government’s security architecture.

“We try to look at how all of these would work effectively. Obviously, we need more men and women on ground, we need more security,” he said.

The Vice President added, “We spent a fair amount of time trying to understand the security architecture of the State; where the difficulties may lie and steps that need to be taken. As you know, we’ve already had consultations with the State governors, including State governors of the South West. We’ve also held consultations with the service chiefs.

“So, this stage of the consultations with the traditional rulers is very important, because they are the most important component of the security architecture of the State, in particular because of the plans that we have for community policing. And I’m sure you’ve heard the Inspector General of Police talking about this. It will involve recruiting policemen locally in their local government areas, and letting them remain in their local government areas where they’ve been recruited. Obviously, they would better understand the landscape, their neighbourhood and places. 

“And of course, we also expect that they would be working with the neighbourhood watch programmes in the various States.”

The Vice President assured Nigerians that the Buhari administration has set up measures to effectively tackle security challenges nationwide, including the recent Shi’ites protest in Abuja, emphasizing that President Buhari puts a premium on the lives and security of all Nigerians.

According to him “I’m sure you heard already what the President said about it (Shiites protest) and the instructions that was given to the Inspector General of Police. Some of these issues are dynamic and we have to keep ensuring that we are steps ahead of them. I’m very confident that given a lot of what has been done already, and what the IG himself intends to put in place, we’ll be able to contain most of the security challenges without much problems.”

The Vice President was accompanied by the Deputy Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Alabi, who hosted the meeting at the Government House, Osogbo. Other security chiefs, including from the police and the military were also in attendance.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
23rd July, 2019

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APC Young Stakeholders Salute Speaker Gbajabiala For Appointing Youths, Tasks Appointees On Dedication

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Young Stakeholders Forum has applauded the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, for appointing young people who are mostly under the age of 40 into his team.

In a statement earlier today from the office of the Speaker, Wasiu Olanrewaju Smart, 33, was announced as
Special Adviser on Political Matters; Badmus Olufunmi, 37,
Special Adviser on Special Duties; Hadiza Abubakar Talba, 30, Special Assistant on Employment and job Creation; Fatimah Kakuri, 32, Special Assistant on Gender Equality; Adaku Apugo, 33, Special Assistant on Inter-governmental Affairs; Hamza Baba Ibrahim, 39, Special Assistant on IDPs; Princewill Tabia, 30, Special Assistant on Policy and Inter-parliamentary and Adim Akpapunam, 24, Senior Legislative Aide.

Reacting to the appointments, the APC young stakeholders observe that Speaker Gbajabiamila has not only shown a commendable trust in the abilities of young people, he has also leads the way in utilizing the energy and versatility of young people to drive the vision of both the party and the government.

While reiterating its belief that age is not the only basis upon which young people clamor for leadership positions; the Forum expressed happiness that the Speaker has displayed an unmistakable understanding of the argument for a targeted and capacity-based youth inclusion.

While thanking the Speaker for his foresight and for providing learning opportunities for the next generation of leaders, the Forum tasks leaders of the party at different levels to take a cue from the Speaker and commit to a deliberate grooming of the successor generation.

The Forum, while praying God to endow all young people already appointed into government with the required wisdom to discharge their responsibilities; also tasks them to be good ambassadors of the youth constituency and to carry out their responsibilities with utmost loyalty and dedication.

Signed:

Abu Andrew
Secretary-General, APC Young Stakeholders Forum

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APC’s Statement Asking Aggrieved Members To Join PDP Is Reckless And Irresponsible – APC Chieftain

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar Sidiq Usman has described as reckless and irresponsible, the statement credited to the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu asking aggrieved members to feel free to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mallam Onilu is reported to have stated in a statement that aggrieved members who no longer feel comfortable with the style of operations and political engagements of the leadership of the party to feel free to exit and join the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP.

He was apparently responding to issues raised by Senator Lawali Shaibu, the party’s Deputy National Chairman, North and Chief John Oyegun, the party’s former National Chairman, regarding the fortunes of the party under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

Shaibu and Oyegun had among other things accused Comrade Oshiomhole of lacking the necessary composure, capabilities and requisite experience to run the party, a development one of them used in calling for his resignation.

The criticisms drew the response of the party through its spokesman, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, who described their outburst against the National Chairman as written in bad faith, saying that the leadership of the party under Comrade Oshiomhole will continue to strengthen compliance with the rule of law, build support structures for democracy and ensure discipline across board.

But in response to Mallam Onilu’s statement, Mr. Usman who contested for the position of National Publicity Secretary and emerged the first runner up behind the former National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi at the 2018 National Convention of the party said the response is the exact reason why many party members subscribes to the issues raised by Senator Shaibu and others.

He said the fact that the party can ask aggrieved members to join the PDP when it should be doing all it can to pacify them irrespective of their grievances has shown that the leadership of the party has not only failed in their responsibility, but has also shown that nothing has been learnt and nothing has changed since the coming of the present leadership.

“When they asked aggrieved members to feel free and join the PDP, I wonder if they were referring to those who contested elections alone. There are millions of members who were not contestants in the 2019 general election, but are aggrieved because the candidate they freely voted for were substituted for were denied the party’s ticket thus resulting in the depletion of what they pride as their own.”

“No serious member of a political party will be happy to watch what it fought for going down the drain because of the recklessness of a few individuals especially when there were rooms for issues that resulted to be resolved. That alone is enough for anyone to be aggrieved.

“It is evident that the party is fast loosing grounds as a result of the failure of leadership exhibited within the last one year. Within the past few weeks alone, more than 30 seats of party members elected into the National Assembly have been taken by the opposition parties or in many cases withdrawn from a particular candidate to another candidates within the APC. This is clearly as a result of the sham primaries conducted across the states where winners are substituted arbitrarily, thus resulting in many pre-election cases mostly. This is not only unprecedented but unheard of.

Mr Usman described Onilu’s comparison of what was obtainable in the party during the leadership of Chief Oyegun as a feeble attempt to cover up their failure, wondering why a leadership that met 23 governors when it came to power, but now left with just 15 is now giving itself pass mark as having improved the fortunes of the party in terms of election.

“If the current leadership is going to be using Oyegun’s leadership as the yardstick for its own success, then we have a long way to go because when we decided to rally round Oshiomhole, we knew exactly why we wanted Oyegun badly replaced.

“While I acknowledged that the party under the leadership of Chief Oyegun failed in aligning the varying interests of the legacy parties that formed the APC in 2014, thus leading to widespread indiscipline and impunity within the party, the Oshiomhole led leadership for which we had high hopes and expectations have only succeeded in consolidating the failures of Pa Oyegun.”

He said the inconsistency in the mode of primaries adopted for each state and the fact that committees selected for the conduct of these primaries were arbitrarily done without even the input of most members of the National working Committee was the beginning of the failure of the Oshiomhole leadership.

On the fortunes of the party, Mr Usman said the current leadership of the party must take full responsibility for the avoidable losses recorded in some states instead of passing the blame to the past leadership or some stakeholders at the state level.

He cited the claims by the party that “the APC has improved significantly on the result of the 2015 election under the leadership of Oshiomhole while refusing to take credit for the loss of governorship seats at the state is very disingenuous and cowardice.

“According to Mallam Onilu, what is considered achievement for the current leadership of the party is the fact that APC defeated the PDP with a margin of nearly four million votes in the 2019 election compared to the 2.5 million votes margin in the 2015 election. But what it fails to tell itself is that the presidential elections were not conducted in Abuja alone where the national headquarters of the party is domiciled., so the national leadership cannot take credit for its outcome.”

“Elections were conducted across the states where every other elections took pace. If the president won his election with a wider margin compared to 2015, it is because the people rallied round the president whose emergence as the party’s flag bearer brought no blemish to the party. But same is not the case with the states because apart from the fact that elections at that level are usually very competitive, most contestant where shortchanged with the way and manner the primaries and activities after it were conducted. Worse off is the failure of the leadership to look into the various issues that emanated and work towards resolving them. Instead, it allowed them to fester resulting in the outcome of the 2019 elections.”

Mr Usman called on the party leadership to retrace its steps, take responsibility for where it failed and embark on genuine reconciliation especially with those who are truly aggrieved.

“While I agree with the party that erring embers should be disciplined according to the rules of the party, the leadership must not be blinded to those who are truly aggrieved or have genuine issues to be address. The act of issuing blanket statement for any aggrieved member to feel free and join the opposition is uncalled for. Politics is a game of numbers.”

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BMO Blasts PDP Over Unfounded Claims On June 12

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of embarking on a fruitless ego trip with its criticism of the Federal Government’s decision to schedule some Inauguration Day ceremonies for June 12 2019. 

The group described the opposition party as mischievous for suggesting that President Muhammadu  Buhari would be inaugurated for a second term in office on the day, as opposed to May 29, which the Constitution recognises as the inauguration day for a new political dispensation. 

BMO said in a statement signed by Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that it was amused that a party that outrightly refused to recognise the sanctity of June 12 for 16 years now wants to be seen as the defender of Nigeria’s democratic culture. 

“Here is a party that is today speaking on what it described as sanctity of a day that it has the temerity to term as ‘our Democracy Day’.  Yet, it was in total control of the Executive and Legislature at the centre for all of 16 years during which it had three different Presidents but failed to do anything to accord official recognition to a day that it now agrees is important in the annals of Nigeria’s political history.  

“We are indeed shocked that the party whose members were the biggest beneficiaries of June 12 sacrifice now remembers that  Moshood Abiola  ‘stood and died for democracy’, but did everything possible to stop him from being immortalized while it rode roughshod over Nigeria and Nigerians.   

“It is therefore nothing more than an ego trip to nowhere for PDP to criticise the federal government’s decision to move some second term inauguration ceremonies to June 12 and yet seek to claim the day as ‘our democracy day’.  

“But we need to let opposition elements know that whether inauguration ceremonies are held on May 29 or June 12, the President did enough in his first term to earn the trust of the majority of Nigerians that cast their ballots on February 23,” the group said. 

BMO also accused the PDP leaders of attempting to revise recent history with their claim of a stolen mandate which it insisted only existed in the imagination of their members and a group of political elite that is used to living off government patronage. 

“We wonder how long PDP would continue to live in a fool’s paradise with its constant refrain of a stolen mandate in an election that all its key campaign spearheads lost in their polling units, just like their presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar was unable to muster enough votes in his immediate constituency in Adamawa State to defeat President Buhari. 

“Many of their allies across the country, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the factional Afenifere leadership were also roundly rejected in their polling units, wards and states by the mass of Nigerians who were clearly averse to a return of the rapacious PDP years. 

“We at BMO again want to remind the party and its leaders that the February 23 Presidential election conferred 100% legitimacy on the President for a second term with a margin that is more than the combined population of Swaziland, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius.

“We are convinced that the Presidential election Petition Tribunal would consign their claim, which is predicated on fake INEC server result, to the dustbin of history where it rigthly belongs.”

The group also expressed hope that the next set of National Assembly members would take the necessary legislative action to establish June 12 as the National Democracy Day.

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Yoruba Youth Call For Power Shift To Southwest In 2023

The youth organization operating under the umbrella of Yoruba Council Of Youths Worldwide has called for the presidency power shift to the zone by 2023. 

The warning called was made by the President of the group, Aremo Barrister Oladotun Hassan at the end of the event tagged “World Omoluabi Day program” held at Ile-Ife, Osun State yesterday, 1st Of May, 2019.

The Youth leader said, “the rotation of the Presidential seat from the North to South West in 2023 is not negotiable”

Added that “the statement credited to some self appointed youth leaders and elders from the northern Nigeria, claiming retainership of power beyond 2023, that the north can still produce the President in 2023 is not only selfish, treacherous, deceitful and capable of causing bad blood, most ungrateful statements from such elements and unpardonable insult to the people of the South”

He however said that “the strongly believe that those who released the recent statement lacks the sovereign capacity and supports of the good people and core leaders from the North, being a figment of their own imagination that does not represent the mind of the northern majority and Nigerians at large”

He said the political alignment that produced President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019 is still very much intact and alive in 2023, with greater expectations.

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Ninth Assembly: Gbajabiamila Best Candidate For House Speaker – Jibrin

A member of the House of Representatives from Kano state and Chairman, House Committee on Transport, Abdulmumin Jibrin has said Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila remains the best qualified candidate for the House Speaker in the incoming 9th Assembly.

Jibrin, who also doubles as the Director General of Femi Gbajabiamila Campaign stated this on Sunday during the formal declaration by Leader of the House, Hon. Gbajabiamila for the House Speaker at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

According to him, the candidacy of Gbajabiamila was about democracy and bringing civility and global best practices into the legislature.

Jibrin said Gbajabiamila stands out as the best candidate describing him as a bridge builder and a man with experience and legislative knowledge.

He promised to respect other contestants, run issue-based campaigns and urged all members to join the project.

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Katsina PDP Files Petition Against Gov Masari’s Election

The katsina chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its governorship candidate senator Yakubu Lado have filed a petition before the governorship election petitions tribunal sitting in the state.

A member of the legal team and senior advocate of Nigeria Gordy Uche who led others to file the petition said, his clients are challenging the victory and educational qualifications of the governor-elect, Aminu Masari of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

With Monday, April 1, 2019, as the deadline for filing petitions challenging the conduct and results of the just concluded governorship elections before the tribunal, the PDP in Katsina state has complied by beating the time.

Speaking shortly after filing the petition on Saturday night, a member of the petitioner’s legal team, Gordy Uche said, they were able to beat the deadline due to the huge evidence on the ground.

He said more lawyers will be joining the team to solidify their grounds when the hearing commences.

For the PDP governorship candidate, Senator Yakubu Lado, he is hopeful of victory at the end of the day as the party has gathered a solid legal team.

Also speaking, the deputy governorship candidate and state chairman of the party, Salisu Majigiri, while calling on their teaming supporters to be law abiding, urged them to pray for the party to emerge victoriously.

The PDP is challenging the conduct of the March 9 governorship elections with governor-elect Aminu Masari, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the independent national electoral commission, INEC, as respondents before the tribunal headed by Justice H. Kereng.

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NASS Leadership: Lagos APYF Backs Femi Gbajabiamila For Speaker

The Lagos State Chapter of the All Progressive Youth Forum (APYF), has declared its full support to the decision of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to adopt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The forum, in a press statement jointly signed by the State Coordinator, Dr. Sola Osindero, and Secretary, Lanre Oguntoyinbo, lauded the party leadership and stakeholders for zoning the speakership seat to the South-West, and adopting Hon. Gbajabiamila for the position, a decision that widely resonates across board.

According to the group, Hon. Gbajabiamila has always demonstrated his true passion for issues concerning Nigeria brilliantly through his Bills, motions and debates in the House.

 “Hon. Gbajabiamila is a true believer in qualitative representation; he has always taken an active part in debates on the floor of the House, and always on the side of truth and justice. Everyone could recall how he led a movement within the House in 2007 to end the “third term debate” agenda and machinations of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo to perpetuate his stay in office.

“As leader of the opposition in the House between 2011 and 2015, Hon. Gbajabiamila revived the role of the opposition in the House and continued to maintain a tough stance against the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was the first and only legislator to bring a motion on the floor of the House for the invocation of the doctrine of necessity, during the illness and absence of President Umar Musa Yar’adua, which led to the swearing-in of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as Acting President.

“Another landmark achievement of Hon. Gbajabiamila was when he Chaired House Adhoc Committee that investigated the claims by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) where about $1Bn was owed by Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited and Forte Oil Plc which has been paid.

“Amongst his Bills and Motions in the House, Gbajabiamila has been very passionate about the Employee Rights Bill, Local content in Construction Industry Bill, Vocational Schools Bill, The Economic Stimulus Bill, Interest-Free Students Loan and Establishment of Nigeria Education Bank Bill etc. Gbajabiamila fought tirelessly on the floor of the House through motions to compel the National Assembly to recognize the newly created local governments in Lagos State.

“Gbajabiamila is the initiator of Lagos Job Fair, the first of its kind in SouthWest Nigeria, the job fair brought employers of labor drawn from public/private sectors and job seekers under one roof. Instant employments were given to meritorious candidates who are currently excelling in NAFDAC, SMEDAN, MIKANO, Lagos Inland Revenue Service and many others. After this remarkable success some states including Oyo adopted the Gbajabiamila model.”

The group however cautioned anti-party activities from lawmakers elected under the APC, saying it would resist any attempt to repeat the incidence of 2015 where some few individuals fraudulently rigged themselves into positions and delayed the 2017 budget for eight months where irregularities were satisfactorily inserted.

 “It is also important to note that the success of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration rest on the National Assembly. We advise lawmakers who may be aggrieved to comply with the party’s decision. APC elected legislators should understand that as a progressive party that operates on the principle of change, it is not a matter of choice to keep to the rules.

“We firmly hold the belief that this is the time for Nigerians to reap the dividends of democracy, and for this to manifest, returning lawmakers and newly elected legislators should back Hon. Gbajabiamila for Speaker of the House of Representatives in the interest of the country.

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Adamawa Gov-Elect Promises To Implement Proposed N30,000 Minimum Wage

Adamawa Governor-elect, Ahmadu Fintiri, has promised to implement the new minimum wage of N30, 000 when approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Fintiri, who emerged winner on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made the promise on Friday while speaking with newsmen in Yola.

He defeated incumbent Gov. Muhammadu Bindow of All Progressives Congress (APC) and 28 other candidates in the just-concluded supplementary governorship election.

He said: “I will give civil service priority attention and make it more effective.

“As a matter of matter of priority, I will be first to implement it, so that we don’t experience any workers strike,” Fintiri said.

He also assured students that his administration would be committed to resuscitating scholarship scheme, youth empowerment and other programmes to move the state forward.

“We are also going to pay WAEC and NECO fees for students to reduce burden on parents,” Fintiri said.

He thanked the people of the state for electing him and promised not to disappoint them.

“The people have given us their mandate and God has actualised it today.

“We will ensure that we deliver on our campaign promises and manifesto to them.

“We urged them to remain calm, law-abiding as they celebrate and wait for our swearing-in ceremony,” Fintiri said.

Fintiri a former Speaker of Adamawa State House of Assembly and Acting Governor, emerged winner scoring 376,552 votes to beat his closest rival, Gov. Bindow who scored 336,386 votes.

NAN

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