The three-man panel of the National Assembly and House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, Friday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a rerun election in Arochukwu State Constituency seat within 90 days.
Recall that the petitioner, Prince Eric Aso Kalu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last election, had filed a suit at the Tribunal, seeking to nullify the election which returned Mike Ukoha, the flag bearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), claimed that the election was marred by irregularities and over voting.
While delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice A.A Aderibigbe, declared that the March 9 House of Assembly election won by the respondent (Mike Ukoha) for Arochukwu Constituency was characterised by over voting, with instances in Ujari 2, Amasu 1 and 3, as well as Agbagwu, all in Arochukwu State Constituency.
The Judge mentioned the units where rerun should take place to include Ujari 3, Amasu 1, 2 and 3, Agbagwu, Government Area/Mary Slessor as well as Ibom/Aggrey Primary School.
Others include Ndi Arunsi Ogbaja Unit, Obiene 1/Obiene Central School, Obiagwulu 3 and Abuma 2/Abuma Hall all in Ututu, Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State.
Meanwhile, the PDP candidate for Arochukwu State Constituency seat during the 2019 House of Assembly election in Abia State, Prince Eric Aso Kalu, has commended the tribunal members for toeing the path of justice.
Kalu made the commendation while reacting to the court ruling ordering for rerun election in some wards in Ututu and Abam, Arochukwu LGA.
Rivers LGA Gets Substantive Female Chairman
Mrs Alaso Obi has been sworn-in as the substantive Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, following the death of the former Chairman, Chief Odiari Princewill.
Obi, who was the vice chairman of the council, was sworn-in on Wednesday by Governor Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike charged the new council boss to use her new position to make a difference for the people to feel the council’s impact.
He said: “Go and put your local government together. Do not allow busybody politicians to distract you. Use this opportunity you have to make a difference.
“We never thought that Chief Odiari Princewill will die but as God will have it, he is dead and we have to abide by the Constitution.
“That is why you, as the deputy, has to step in as the substantive chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area today.
“In choosing your Deputy, you must consult widely with all the stakeholders of the Party. As election is coming up next year, you have an opportunity to sell yourself.’’
Wike also used the occasion to direct the closure of the accounts of the Joint Account Allocation Committee from banks that allegedly gave unauthorised loans to some local government chairmen in the state.
He also directed the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take legal action against the affected banks.
According to the governor, both the banks and local councils will “suffer the consequences of the illegality’’.
He noted that the banks should not seek refund of the loans because they contravened extant laws of the state.
“We have taken a decision that for all those loans taken without approval, the affected accounts must leave the defaulting banks.
“I have told the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take necessary steps.
“The banks cannot go and seek for refund from the local governments. When you default the law, you suffer for it,” Wike said.
Edo Assembly: Buhari Pushing Nigeria Towards 1983 Crisis – CUPP
The Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, to stop pushing Nigeria towards the 1983 crisis that led to collapse of democracy.
Describing Adams Oshiomhole as a disgraced former APC factional Chairman, the coalition said Buhari must call the former Governor to order before his actions instigate electoral violence that will consume democracy.
CUPP said the attempt to use former members of Edo State House of Assembly whose seats have been declared vacant to take over the House is an invitation to anarchy and an act of treason.
The Coalition urged the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to mobilise the citizens to resist political bandits using provision of Section 20 of the criminal code.
CUPP praises Obaseki for showing maturity in the face of unwarranted provocation but says the red line must be drawn.
In a statement signed by Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the spokesman for the Opposition Coalition and made available to our source, yesterday, CUPP said it was disturbed by the news of forceful takeover of the Edo State House of Assembly by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Opposition Coalition views this development taking place in a democracy as an affront to all our past and present heroes who fought hard for the enthronement of democracy in the country,” the statement added.
“The attempt to use former members of Edo House of Assembly whose seats have been declared vacant to take over the House is an invitation to anarchy and an act of treason.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari and his men to halt all actions and inactions capable of pushing the nation towards a crisis like the 1983 crisis that led to collapse of democracy.
“We also urge the President to call the disgraced former factional chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole and his desperate followers, to order before his actions in Edo State instigate electoral violence that will consume the nation and its hard-won democracy.
“The CUPP also calls upon the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to mobilise the citizens of the state to resist these political bandits.
“In doing so, the governor is urged to invoke the provisions of Section 20 of the Criminal Code and mobilise the citizens to exercise their constitutional right to stop people flouting the laws or carrying out criminal activities in their presence
“We however praise the governor for showing maturity so far in the face of unwarranted provocation. We advise him that while he is displaying maturity, the red line must be drawn,” the statement added.
INEC To Clear Materials For Previous Elections
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has directed that used and unused materials for 2019 general elections be disposed of the commission’s stores nationwide.
Yakubu spoke with our source in Nasarawa when he inspected election materials for the Nasarawa Central State Constituency, bye-election.
He told the National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna, to find a way in ensuring the materials were properly disposed of.
He said there was need to clear the materials for the previous elections since there was no longer litigations on them.
Yakubu in a sideline interview said that there was need to clear them to create space in the commission’s offices.
”It has been part of the traditions of INEC that after elections, we have a large number of election materials from the elections.
“So, after litigations, we normally clear these materials. That is a protocol.
“Not only the unused materials or some of the used materials like ballot papers, but ballot sheets are preserved for eternity.
”Unused materials lying in the INEC offices and those in the state branches of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) around the country. We have a protocol for disposing these materials.
“That is why when I saw the heaps of such materials used for the general elections in Nasarawa State, I said that they should find a way of disposing them. Not only in Nasarawa but across the nation.
“Otherwise, our stores will be filled up with used and unused materials from previous elections,” Yakubu said.
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