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The People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the re-run governorship election ongoing across the 28 local government areas of the state, alleging that thugs have taken over the process.

The Acting Chairman of the party, Rabiu Sulaiman-Bichi, made the call while addressing a news conference in Kano on Saturday.

Bichi said there was need for the commission to cancel the election as the process had completely been taken over by armed political thugs.

"Today this charade called re-run election was slated to hold in Kano and other states but unfortunately, what we have in Kano is nothing but a sham.

"Reports reaching us since yesterday indicated that thugs have allegedly been mobilised to take over all the 208 polling units,"he said.

According to him, the thugs were allegedly brought from Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and other neighbouring states and were "armed to the teeth" posing as voters in the polling units in the localities.

The chairman alleged that the thugs freely voted with the PVCs that did not belong to them, while some posed as INEC staff.

He said as a peace-loving party, the PDP had alerted security agencies in addition to writing a Letter of Caution to the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state on the situation. (NAN)





The Independent National Electoral Commission has put on hold , the supplementary elections in Brass Constituency 1 following a court order.


It was gathered that the Federal High Court in Yenagoa had on Friday, ordered the Electoral Commission to include omitted polling units in the supplementary elections in the constituency.


In a statement on Saturday, Mr Monday Udoh , the Bayelsa REC , announced that out of the three constituencies earlier scheduled for the polls , election was now holding in two, including Southern - Ijaw IV and Ogbia 11.


" INEC wishes to inform the good people of Bayelsa that the supplementary polls to conclude results in three constituencies namely: Brass 1, Ogbia 11, and Souther - Ijaw IV , is holding on March 23 with the exception of Brass 1.



"The conduct of supplementary in Brass 1 , ward 6 polling units 11 - 16 has been put on hold by an interlocutory order of the Federal High Court in Yenagoa in suit No : FHC / YNG /CS /41 / 2019 and dated March 22.


"The supplementary elections in the other two constituencies are holding as scheduled. We wish to inform that necessary arrangements are already in place for a hitch- free exercise in those two constituencies.


"As a law - abiding agency , the commission will inform the stakeholders as soon as the court order is dispensed with on Brass constituency 1, " the REC explained.



( NAN)



Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications, owners of African Independent television (AIT), has been released.

T

he media mogul, who was returning to the country, after seeking medical treatment in Dubai, was arrested by security operatives at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

But a tweet on AIT's official Twitter handle on Friday evening said the Dokpesi was released 'after over an hour of detention.


The tweet reads, "Media magnate, Raymond Dokpesi, has been released after over an hour of detention at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, on Friday afternoon."

Reasons have not been given yet for the arrest.





The Benue State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nentawe Goshew on Saturday raised alarm that suspected thugs attacked escorts, drivers and some vehicles conveying electoral materials to Azendeshi ward for the supplementary elections in the state.

Goshew, who spoke through the Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, Benue State INEC, Mr. Emmanuel Okpe to our correspondent explained that the attack took place along Zaki Biam in Ukum Local Government Area of the State,



Details later…




Prof. Kolapo Olusola, the former Ekiti Deputy Governor and the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP) candidate in July 14 governorship election in the state has said that he will soon reclaim his mandate at the tribunal.

Olusola disclosed this on Saturday in a statement in Ado Ekiti, while congratulating PDP's Sen. Ademola Adeleke who was declared winner of the governorship election on Friday by Osun Governorship Election Tribunal, in Abuja.

The former deputy described the tribunal judgement as "a red signal to Gov. Kayode Fayemi."

Having lost to Fayemi at the tribunal, Olusola is currently at the Appeal Court seeking to be declared governor.


He said "The stolen mandate of September 22 in Osun has been recovered and the victory of election riggers have turned pyhrric.

"One of the two legs supporting election rigging in Nigeria, which is contrived inconclusive and supplementary elections has been crippled

"The other obnoxious leg, which is militarisation of our elections to give the ruling APC advantage over the opposition as was witnessed in the July 14, 2018, governorship election in Ekiti, will also by God's grace be crippled in due course

"Ekiti and Osun governorship elections were dress rehearsals for the unprecedented election rigging, vote buying and violence witnessed all over the country in the ongoing general elections

" If this was not so manifest last year, it has become so with the charade of elections conducted last February and which is still ongoing this March. '"

 

 
Olusola added that PDP in Ekiti would, by the grace of God retrieve its mandate allegedly stolen by the All Progressives Congress (APC) very soon.

He then called on those occupying offices to which they were not dully elected, to get ready to quit saying their days were numbered.

" If lies travel for a thousand years, truth will catch up with it in one day.

" Today it is Osun doing poetic justice to impostors and election riggers; tomorrow it will be the turn of Ekiti people to reclaim their own stolen mandate and have the last and best laugh. Who laughs last, laughs best.

" Ekiti people should not despair but keep hope alive. They should be encouraged with our party's victory in Osun against all odds", he said





Police officers on election duty Saturday arrested Kano State Commissioner for Special Duties, Muktar Yakasai.

Mr Yakasai allegedly led some thugs to disrupt ongoing election at Yelwa Secondary School in Dala Local Government Area of the state..

Spokesperson of the Police in the state, Abdullahi Haruna could not be reached but witnesses said Mr Yakasai was arrested alongside some of the thugs he came to the venue with.

Also, some witnesses said violence has broken out again in Gama ward and the police were forced to fire tear gas to disperse youth who were becoming agitated.

Journalists were earlier chased away by thugs from the area with two being injured.






The Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has on Friday enjoined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Osun State not to waste tax payers money on what it described as "frivolous legal process" but accept the pronouncement of Friday's tribunal in good faith.

The

 Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal on Friday declared Senator Ademola Adeleke of the PDP as the winner of the state election. It also declared the September 27th 2018 rerun election in the state as illegal.

The three-man panel Tribunal gave the judgement following the petition filed by Adeleke against Mr. Gboyega Oyetola of APC.

The Tribunal also ruled that PDP and Adeleke proved that it was the state Returning Officer who cancelled the results in 7 Polling Units, adding that the petitioners also proved that the Returning Officer has no power to cancel election results of a polling unit.

However, PDP in Oyo state while reacting urged the APC and its candidate, Mr. Oyetola to accept the outcome of the tribunal in good faith, saying "nothing can be built on nothing".

PDP in a statement signed by its State Chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha, a copy which was made available by Publicity Secretary of the party, Engineer Akeem Olatunji, described the tribunal verdict as an act of God.

Mustapha while enjoining Chief Adagunodo led executives of PDP in Osun state not to relent by making sure they are united behind Adeleke, said that the need to rally round Adekele was necessary in odrer to protect the mandate given to him by Osun State electorate.

He then advised the APC and its candidate, Mr. Oyetola not to waste tax payers money on frivolous legal process at the appeal court but accept the pronouncement of the tribunal in good faith.

Mustapha said, "The Oyo State Chapter of PDP has sent a congratulatory message to Senator Ademola Adeleke and Osun State PDP over the election petition tribunal judgment which declared Senator Adeleke as the rightful winner of Osun governorship election.

"PDP Chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha described the tribunal verdict as an act of God and a clear manifestation that Engineer Seyi Makinde's victory in the recently concluded Oyo State gubernatorial poll is define and harbinger of better days ahead for PDP in Southwest and Nigeria at large.

"This is the more reason why the PDP family must continue to pray fervently for the restoration of the magnificent glory of PDP as it remains the only credible alternative party that is determined to make life meaningful to the suffering masses.

"The Chairman of Oyo State PDP, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha, therefore enjoined Chief Adagunodo led executives of Osun PDP not to relent by making sure they are united behind Sen Adeleke in his avowed commitment to protect the mandate given to him freely by Osun State electorate.

"The party, PDP, also advice Osun State APC not to waste tax payers money on frivolous legal process at the appeal court but accept the pronouncement of the tribunal in good faith as nothing can be built on nothing."




Four yet - to - be identified staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Bauchi State have been kidnapped by armed men.


As of the time of this report , the issue has caused tension among INEC staff and residents who were seen discussing the issue in hushed voices.


The incident was said to have taken place at Jamare Local Government Registration Area 02 with Polling Unit Code 010.


A staff of INEC , who escaped said the armed security operatives came in seven Toyota Hilux vans .




According to him , the abducted staff were taken away with voting materials.


He said , "Four of our staff in Jamare LGA Registration Area 02 with Polling Unit Code 010 have been abducted with voting materials . The place was invaded by heavily armed security operatives who came in seven Toyota Hilux Vans , and took the four INEC officials to Jamare LGA to perfect their plots."


Calls to the Head of Department of Voter Education and Publicity in Bauchi office of INEC , Ahmed Waziri for reaction were not replied.


Calls to the spokesperson for the Bauchi State Police Command , Kamal Datti Abubakar , were also not responded to.



The European Union (EU) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election for another four-year term and expressed willingness to work with his government.

Buhari's Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, said the EU made its feelings known in a letter addressed to President Buhari.

He said that the letter, dated March 22, was jointly signed by Donald Tusk for the European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker for the European Commission.

The letter read in parts: "On behalf of the European Union, we would like to congratulate you on your re-election as the President of Nigeria.


"We look forward to your leadership in strengthening democracy and uniting the country in line with the principles and spirit of the 2019 Abuja Peace Accord, and the EU is willing to work with your government to follow up on the recommendations of our Election Observation Mission.

"What happens in Nigeria matters to the rest of the world, including to Europe.

"Your commitment to an inclusive government offers an opportunity to take Nigeria forward in a way that meets your objectives of strengthening the economy, fighting corruption and improving security.

"The European Union has always partnered with Nigeria and its people.

"We look forward to continued and increased cooperation on bilateral and international matters".

The union wished President Buhari "more success in promoting peace and prosperity for all Nigerians as he enters the new mandate''.




The All Progressives Congress, APC, has responded to the call for the cancellation of the governorship election made by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kano State.

Chairman of the APC in Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, said there were no grounds for the cancellation of the rerun election currently going on in some parts of the State.

We reported earlier that the PDP had called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to totally cancel the election, citing invasion of the state by thugs.

However, the APC denied all the allegations raised by the PDP.


According to Abbas, "The call by the PDP for cancellation of election was uncalled-for because the election is still ongoing.

"INEC should ensure conclusion of the election.

"PDP should wait for the final result of the poll and then take legal action if not satisfied with it. That is what the law provided.

"I think PDP failed to mobilise its people that's all."





There was jubilation across Osun State on Friday after the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja declared Ademola Adeleke the winner of the elections held in September, 2018.

The three-member panel at the tribunal, in a split judgment of two-to-one, declared the Peoples Democratic Party's candidate the winner of the September 2018 election.

The tribunal, through the majority judgment, nullified the certificate of return issued to Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and ordered the commission to issue a fresh one to Mr Adeleke.

The tribunal, which had earlier dismissed the preliminary objection filed against the PDP and Mr Adeleke's petition, stated that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations of over-voting in many polling units during the September 22, 2018 election.

It also held that the petitioners' complaints of corrupt practices and violent disruption of voting and disenfranchisement of voters during the September 27, 2018 run-off were not proved.

 

 
But the tribunal, in its majority judgment, went ahead to uphold the petition on the grounds that the petitioners successfully proved that there was substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 in the conduct of the September 27, 2018 run-off in 17 polling units.

Dissenting, the Chairman, Ibrahim Sirajo, in his minority judgment dismissed the petition filed by Mr Adeleke and the PDP for lacking in merit.

But Peter Obiora, who read the lead majority judgment, and Ayinla Gbolagunte, who agreed, upheld the petition.

The judgment lasted for about six hours.

The majority judgment nullified the September 27, 2018 supplementary election after declaring it illegal and declared Mr Adeleke the winner of the poll based on the outcome of the September 22, 2018 election.

Considering the valid results of the election, the tribunal deducted the votes polled by both the APC and the PDP in the 17 polling units across many local government areas where it held that the election was conducted in "substantial non-compliance" with the Electoral Act.
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It deducted 2,029 "afflicted votes" polled by the APC in the 17 polling units from the party's total votes in the September 22, 2018 election, and deducted 1,246 from PDP's votes.

According to the tribunal, the PDP won the election with 254,698 votes, while the APC placed second with 253,452 votes.

Mr Obiora added that the PDP would still have won the poll even if the tribunal validated the supplementary election.

He held that if the "afflicted votes" of 2,029 were deducted from the 255,505 votes polled by the APC at the end of the September 27, 2018 run-off, the party and its candidate would only have polled 253,476 votes.

But according to Mr Obiora, the PDP would have won with 253,777 votes if the afflicted votes of 1,246 votes were deducted from the party's 255,023 votes at the end of the supplementary election.

Mr Obiora said, "By our earlier calculation, the votes affected by non-compliance are:

"APC: 2,029; PDP: 1,246 which we hereby nullify.

"If the above votes are deducted from the scores of the parties as of September 22, 2018 election, the standing of the parties will be as follows: APC: 254,345 votes, minus 2,029 votes equal 252,315 votes.

PDP: 254,698 votes, minus 1,246 votes, equal to 253,452 votes.

"Perchance the rerun is found to be valid, and the final scores of the parties declared after the rerun of September 27, 2018 is allowed to stand, then deducting the votes that were found to be afflicted by non-compliance shall stand the parties in the following scores:

"APC: 255,505 votes, minus 2,029 votes, equal to 253,476 votes.

"PDP: 255,023 votes, minus the afflicted votes of non-compliance which is 1,246, will give us 253,777 votes.

"In both situations, it is obvious that the petitioners won the election to the office of the Governor of Osun State."

The tribunal held that the election in 17 polling units was conducted in non-compliance with the Electoral Act by alleged "deliberate failure" of INEC to fill in eight columns on the result sheets and the number of accredited voters and give an account of usage of ballot papers.

"We are of the opinion that the non-recording was deliberate and tailored towards achieving an unwholesome result."

The tribunal added that aside from the cases of non-compliance, Forms EC8A and the result sheets of polling units were discredited during the trial by virtue of alterations noticed on them.

It said the figures on the certified true copies of the forms were different from what was on the pink duplicate copies issued to party agents at the end of the election.

Commenting on the conduct of INEC, the tribunal stated, "We note that a substantial number of the Certified True Copies of the Forms EC8A either have figures on them altered or have figures entered in them in Columns 1 – 8 thereof.

"The alterations in figures and fresh filling in the columns were not on the pink copies of the Forms EC8A distributed to the parties' polling unit agents on the day of the election, which were tendered before this honourable tribunal.

"The obvious implication of this unfortunate development is that the first respondent went to work on the documents after the election, behind the parties.

"The first respondent (INEC) should realise that it holds an office of public trust and should at all times, strive to maintain the sanctity of the electoral practice."

It added that the supplementary poll was illegal because it was a product of an unlawful cancellation of the September 22, 2018 election in seven polling units.

It held that the Returning Officer unlawfully cancelled the September 22, 2018 governorship election in the state in seven polling units.

It said the "unlawful" cancellation of the election in the seven polling units by the State Returning Officer informed the INEC's decision to declare the results inconclusive and fixed September 27, 2018 for the supplementary election.

Mr Obiora also noted that Mr Oyetola's lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, had argued that the tribunal could not nullify his client's certificate of return issued to him by INEC on the grounds that the said certificate was not tendered by the petitioners.

But the tribunal held that "an order of nullification of the said certificate of return is a mere formality" as "the foundation of the certificate of return issued to the second respondent has been eroded" by the nullification of Mr Oyetola's election.

Meanwhile, in his minority judgment, Justice Sirajo, held that the petitioners did not prove that election actually held in the seven polling units where results were cancelled.

He added that the petitioners failed to prove who, in fact, cancelled the results.

He, therefore, held that the supplementary election of September, 27, 2018 was lawful.

According to Mr Sirajo, " even if non-substantial compliance had affected the outcome of the election, the tribunal, by virtue of Section 140(2) of the Electoral Act, lacked the power to subtract the votes affected by the non-compliance from the scores of the candidates and announce a winner."





Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai on Friday evening returned to the state after his rumoured accident involvement, saying that, he is not cloned from abroad.

This was as the Governor tackled the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar over his claim that, he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23rd presidential election in Kaduna state.

El-Rufai said, President Buhari had consistently won Kaduna since he started contesting elections in 2003, therefore, anyone claiming to have defeated him (Buhari) in 2019 needs psychiatric assistance.

It would be recalled that, Atiku who is the Presidential candidate of the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) had claimed he won the 2019 presidential election with 1.6 million votes above Buhari's. He also claimed to have won he states including Kaduna.
 
The Governor who spoke at a welcome reception organised for him at Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House on Friday night dismissed his rumoured accident, saying that, "I was never involved in any accident and no driver died. I was also not in coma."

According to the Governor, "Let me start by thanking you all for coming to welcome me. One of the objectives is, as explained by my wife, I am still alive, or I have resurrected, I don't know which one.

"My wife went on to say that, as my wife for 34 years, although, we have known each other for 43 years, she can confirm that this is really me, it is not a clone. Although, that will not stop the rumour in the social media, but that is that.

"So, I want to thank you all for coming here. But, I want to confirm that, no accident took place, no one was in coma, no driver died. I have already put that out in social media, but I want to repeat it for the sake of clarity.

"The second reason I am grateful for your presence is to thank people of Kaduna State for their votes. For their votes in support of President Muhammadu Buhari and coming out in even larger numbers to vote for me and members of the state house of assembly.

"I am happy to say that, we already have two third majority in the state house of assembly. And I have already appealed to members of the assembly to keep the leadership that has served the state so diligently in the last for years to continue. This is my appeal.

"Kaduna State has consistently voted for President Muhammadu Buhari since he first contested in 2003. He has never lost Kaduna State, so it is not a shock that he won this time. Anyone that says he has defeated President Buhari in Kaduna is either dreaming or needs psychiatric assistance," he said.

The Governor also reiterated his appeal to the people of the state to live peacefully among themselves, saying that, his government saddened by the security challenges in Birnin Gwari, Kajuru, parts of Chikun and lately Sanga local government area, has appealed to the President for security reinforcement in the affected areas.

He also appealed to all the people of Kaduna state to join hands with his government to move the state forward, promising that, the government will be fair to all and work for all, irrespective of their political and other affiliations.

Governor El-Rufai also promised to continue with his government's reforms, especially in education and correct its mistakes where it had gone wrong.

All top government functionaries, including the Deputy Governor-elect, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, Speaker of the state assembly, Hon. Aminu Abdullahi Shagali, SSG, Balarabe Abbas Lawal and wife of the Governor, Architect Hadiza El-Rufai were in attendance at the reception.



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