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JUST IN: “APC wanted us to cause social unrest” – Labour Party opens up



JUST IN: “APC wanted us to cause social unrest” – Labour Party opens up


NaijaNews reports that Kennedy Ahanotu, the Acting National Youth Leader of the Labour Party, on Thursday said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) “expected that we jump to the streets so they can take advantage to damage our evidence and cause social unrest”.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Ahanotu who said this in a press briefing in Abuja, bragged that “we truly beat them to that game”.

This newspaper reports that the Labour Party is challenging the results of the February 25 presidential election in court.

The opposition party accused the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) of electoral irregularities and violation of the constitution to declare a winner of last month’s presidential poll.

Recall that the APC candidate, Bola Tinubu, was declared winner of the election by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu on March 1.

Tinubu polled 8.8 million votes to defeat his closest rivals, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Atiku polled 6,984,520; Obi garnered 6,101,533 votes while Kwankwaso polled 1,476,697.

Ahanotu’s statement reads in full: “Let me reiterate our profound appreciation to all Nigerians who has believed in our President in waiting Mr Peter Obi and vice Dr Datti Baba Ahmed.

“Truth be told, you voted for Labour Party and Peter Obi won that election, which is why we are challenging such rascality in court.

“Thank you for the patience and high level of maturity with which so far we have managed ourselves after the wrongful Declaration of the election results. Ordinarily they expected that we jump to the streets so they can take advantage to damage our evidence and cause social unrest, but we truly beat them to that game.

“Ours is to remain resolute, determined and focused towards reclaiming our stolen mandate which by God’s grace we must surely achieve.

“We never expected the journey to be smooth or free from challenges, but we ate ready to face the storms however lengthy and tortous to regain freedom and true democracy in Nigeria.

“On a specific note, we have an election on Saturday 18th March, 2023. The Governorship and State Houses of Assembly Election across the country. This election has given us another opportunity to identify true obidients.

“It is important to note that the Labour Party stands by all its candidates in this election. But of more significance is that our protest against the electoral fraud on 25th February 2023 begins on Saturday 18th March at all the polling units across the country. In the last election they said we are 4 persons tweeting in a room, but to their shock, we took over the space and despite all the fraud they allocated over 6 million votes to us even when they know that ‘Obidients’ are more than 15 million people having PVCs to vote.

“We must protest by coming out enmass to cast our votes for the Labour Party Governorship and Houses of Assembly candidates. This simple assignment is the first step in telling the world that Labour Party won the election.

“Let’s show opposition that we are resolute in the project of taking back our country. We must at least capture Lagos, Enugu, Edo, Plates, Benue, Taraba, Rivers, Abia, Anambra, infact all the South South/South East States.

“This we must do to prove that we are irreversibly obidients. We must stand up to challenge the status quo and I beg all the youths, security officials and some INEC officials who are opting to be ready tool in the hands of the old order politicians to think twice. Do not join in oppressing and intimidating our youths. The life and future of Nigerian Youths matter. Enough is Enough.

“In conclusion, I urge you my fellow ‘Obidients’ to desist ‘Obidient’ political statement on Saturday election.”


Breaking: PEPC Rejects Request for Live Coverage of Petitions




Breaking: PEPC Rejects Request for Live Coverage of Petitions


The Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, rejected request to allow its day-to-day proceedings on petitions seeking to nullify the outcome of the 2023 presidential election, to be televised.


NaijaNews reports that the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five member panel dismissed as lacking in merit, the application which was brought before it by the two major candidates that are challenging the outcome of the presidential election that held on February 25.


The court held that no regulatory framework or policy direction, permitted it to grant such application.


It held that allowing cameras in the court room is a major judicial policy that must be supported by the law.


“The court can only be guided and act in accordance with the practice directions and procedures approved by the President of the Court of Appeal.


“We cannot permit a situation that may lead to dramatization of our proceedings,” Justice Tsammani held.


Besides, the court held that the request was not part of any relief in the petitions before it, saying it was merely hinged on sentimental claim that it would benefit the electorates.


It maintained that the petitioners failed to establish how televising the proceedings would advance their case, adding that such live broadcast would not have any utilitarian value to add to the determination of the petitions.


Whereas it was a former Vice President and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who came second in the election, that initially made the request for a live coverage, subsequently, candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, threw his weight behind the demand for live broadcast of proceedings of the court on the petitions.


The duo, through their lead lawyers, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, and Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, maintained that petitions they lodged to query the declaration of the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as winner of the election, was “a matter of monumental national concern and public interest”.


They argued that the case involved the interest of citizens and electorates in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who he said voted and participated in the presidential poll.


Atiku and the PDP insisted that their case against Tinubu, being a unique electoral dispute with a peculiar constitutional dimension, they said it was a matter of public interest in which millions of Nigerian citizens and voters are stakeholders, with the constitutional right to be part of the proceedings.


They specifically applied for; “An order, directing the Court’s Registry and the parties on modalities for admission of Media Practitioners and their Equipments into the courtroom”.


“With the huge and tremendous technological advances and developments in Nigeria and beyond, including the current trend by this Honourable Court towards embracing electronic procedures, virtual hearing and electronic filing, a departure from the Rules to allow a regulated televising of the proceedings in this matter is in consonance with the maxim that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.

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Obi accuses INEC of non-compliance with court order on BVAS




Peter Obi calls for calm after being spotted at Asaba Airport on Tuesday after Saturday’s presidential election

Obi accuses INEC of non-compliance with court order on BVAS


LABOUR Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of failing to comply with a court order which granted the party permission to audit the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines used in the 2023 presidential election.



NaijaNews reports that the Court of Appeal had in March granted an order permitting Obi and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku, to inspect the BVAS machines and other sensitive electoral materials used for the election.


Obi and Atiku had requested access to the electoral materials preparatory to filing their petitions to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election in court.


Apart from granting them access to the materials, the court had, in its ruling delivered on March 3, also restrained INEC from tampering with the BVAS machines pending the inspection to be conducted by the candidates.


But INEC subsequently filed an ex parte application on March 4 urging the Court of Appeal to vary the ex parte order made in favour of the PDP and the LP candidates.


INEC’s request was granted after it assured the court that the data for the presidential election won’t be tempered with despite the reconfiguration.


However, Obi alleged through a member of is legal team, Awa Kalu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), during resumed hearing at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on May 20, that the order of the Appeal Court has not been fully complied with.


“My lords, we still have a few hiccups at INEC because of the order that was made by this court on March 8, directing them to allow us to carry out a forensic examination of the BVAS. They have not allowed us.


“We are also waiting for some documents we requested from them,” he said.


Obi demands 7 weeks to present 50 witnesses to prove his petition


Obi, through his lawyers, also told the court that he had prepared 50 witnesses who would testify and present evidence to support his claim that the 2023 presidential election was rigged against him.


He requested a period of seven weeks to present his case before the court, citing “a few hiccups” encountered at INEC.


Kalu informed the court that both parties had agreed to allocate 30 minutes for star witnesses to present their evidence-in-chief, with an additional 20 minutes for cross-examination and five minutes for re-examination.


However, INEC’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmood, SAN, stated that the electoral body had not reached any agreement with Obi or the LP regarding the allocated time for witnesses.


Mahmood also denied any knowledge of the hiccups mentioned by the petitioners, expressing his willingness to assist if any difficulties arose.


The lawyer said INEC, as the first respondent, would require three days to present its two witnesses.


In his response, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, through his lawyer, Roland Otaru, SAN, told the court that he would call 21 witnesses, excluding expert witnesses, over a period of nine days to defend his victory in the election.


Similarly, the APC’s counsel, Niyi Akintola, SAN, said the party would present seven witnesses, excluding those to be subpoenaed, within a nine-day timeframe.


All respondents requested a 48-hour notice before any expert witnesses would testify in the case.


Obi’s petition
Obi and the LP argued in their petition that at the time Tinubu’s running mate, Kashim Shettima, became the vice presidential candidate, he was still nominated as the APC candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial election.


They also challenged Tinubu’s eligibility, alleging that he was previously indicted and fined $460,000.00 by a United States District Court for an offense involving dishonesty and drug trafficking.


Obi, who came third according to results announced by INEC, claimed that the election was invalid due to corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.


He argued that INEC breached its own regulations and guidelines by not prescribing and deploying technological devices for voter accreditation, verification, continuation, and authentication as required.


The petitioner sought a declaration from the court that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the election and that all votes recorded for him were wasted.


He also requested the court to determine that he received a majority of lawful votes and satisfied constitutional requirements to be declared the winner.



In the alternative, he called for the cancellation of the election and the conduct of a fresh election in which Tinubu, Shettima, and the APC would not participate.

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25% Saga: Court Asked to Extend Buhari’ s Tenure, Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration




25% Saga: Court Asked to Extend Buhari’ s Tenure, Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has been asked to bar the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, from swearing in the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, on May 29 pending the determination of whether it is compulsory for the winner in a presidential election to get 25% of votes in the FCT. NaijaNews reports.

The suit was filed by Messrs. Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffery Ucheh, Osang Paul, and Chibuike Nwachukwu.

Describing themselves as registered voters of the FCT, Abuja, they alleged it was unconstitutional for Tinubu to be declared the winner of the February 25 election despite failing to score 25 percent of the votes in the FCT.

The relief sought includes:
“A declaration that no state of the country is at the same time the FCT for any proposal whatsoever, including, in particular, under Section 134 (2) (b) of the Constitution.

“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country may validly be declared elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without that candidate obtaining at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT, Abuja.

“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25 presidential election may validly be sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without such candidate having obtained 25% of the votes in the FCT, Abuja.

“A declaration that following the February 25 presidential election and until a successor is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and sworn in, the term of office of his Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subsists and endures in accordance with the provisions of Section 135 (1) (a) of the Constitution”.

“An order setting aside or suspending any declaration and/or issuance of a Certificate of Return to any candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country as having been elected, save and except it is judicially determined with finality that such candidate fulfilled the conditions stated in Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution.”

This is the second suit against Tinubu’s swearing-in.

There is a pending suit at the Court of Appeal seeking orders barring the scheduled swearing-in.

These suits were filed despite the inauguration of the Presidential Election Petitions Court to preside over the fallout of the 2023 presidential poll.

The FCT question also forms the major ground in the petitions of the Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party against Tinubu and INEC.

The Tribunal is vested with jurisdiction in post-election-related cases.

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