The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Edo Governorship Election and Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said the council would scuttle alleged plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use security agencies to rig the September 19 governorship poll in Edo State.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, Wike said the APC was confident about winning because it wanted to rig.
He stated that the PDP has gathered enough intelligence report about the alleged plan and would scuttle it at the appropriate time.
Wike added that Obaseki cannot be described as an ingrate because he has proven to be a man of character.
He said: “Governor Godwin Obaseki is not an ingrate like Adams Oshiomhole and Osagie Ize-Iyamu who can do anything, including betraying people to grab power.
“Obaseki is morally qualified and stands out as the best candidate for the September 19, 2020 election.
“Edo people cannot support and desire the handover of power to the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is a nomadic politician and ingrate who lacks character.
“It is Oshiomhole who is an ingrate because he told us that Obaseki served as the brain box of his administration that lasted eight years. How can such a person become an ingrate?
“Look at Ize-Iyamu, he is an ingrate too. He served as Secretary to the State Government in Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s administration. When he didn’t get what he wanted, he dumped the party and moved to another party.
“In 2015, people supported him for the governorship, when he failed; he did not consult them but abandoned them for another party.
“That is the life of a nomadic politician. Like his master, they are dangerously desperate, insatiable and can do anything for power.”
Wike stated that Obaseki is not a violent man like Ize-Iyamu who allegedly instructed thugs he called “lions and tigers” to cause crisis.
He challenged the police and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the Edo election to correct previous mistakes by conducting free and fair polls.
“We consider the comment by INEC to cancel or suspend the election because of violence as succumbing to the antics of the APC.
“All they want is violence because they cannot win the election. If the election is suspended, the implication is that Obaseki will serve out his tenure without an election in November,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has adjourned till August 24, hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of Ize-Iyamu and Ganiyu from the September 19 poll.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo adjourned the case after granting an application for substituted service of the court processes on the third and fourth defendants, Ganiyu and Ize-Iyamu, respectively.
Two APC chieftains, Hon. Momoh Abdul-Razak and Hon. Zibiri Muhizu, had sued the APC’s candidate and his running mate for alleged perjury.
Defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/758/2020 are APC, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Audu Ganiyu and Osagie Ize-Iyamu as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to disqualify Ganiyu from participating in the forthcoming election on account of giving false information to INEC in aid of his qualification for the governorship poll.
Ganiyu, in the suit filed on July 10, by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mr. Friday Nwosu, was also accused of certificate forgery.
They further prayed the court to annul the nomination of Ize-Iyamu as APC’s governorship candidate on account of running with an allegedly unqualified deputy.
In addition, they prayed the court for another order restraining the APC from contesting the September 19 governorship poll upon the disqualification of the third and fourth defendants.
In a 41-paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the suit, the plaintiffs averred that Ganiyu contravened provisions of the electoral laws by providing false information and lying on oath in his form CF 001 he submitted to INEC in support of his qualification for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
According to the deponent, Abdul-Razak, “There are several irrevocable different and false information given by the third defendant about himself, which cannot be true in his 2020 INEC Form EC-9.
“That I know as a fact that both the alleged name Audu Abudu Ganiyu in his 2020 form EC-9, Audu Abudu Ganiyu in the WAEC (GCE) of December 1983, Audu Gani on the APC card No: 0054243, are not the name of the third defendant as fully and definitely confirmed by the statutory declaration of age (exhibit 6A) that accompanied the third defendant’s 2019 form CF 001 personally deposed to by the third defendant at the Registry of the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Yaba Lagos State on 24/5/1996.”
Abdul-Razak averred that the deputy governorship candidate, who is a serving member of the Edo State House of Assembly representing Etsako West Constituency, submitted a different name to INEC in 2020 from what he submitted in his 2015 and 2019 CF 001 forms.
He said the third defendant had no time in the various certificates paraded by him, attached any change of name to prove the names belong to him.
The plaintiffs accused the deputy governorship candidate of superimposing the letter ‘A” on the testimonial issued by a state authority or institution to read from originally Audu Ganiyu to Audu “A” Ganiyu, which he presented same to INEC in aid of his qualification for the election.
When the matter came up yesterday, counsel to the plaintiffs informed the court that while both the first and second defendants have been served with the processes, the third and fourth have not been served and as such he has brought an application for substituted service.
Counsel to the first defendant, Dr. Ehiogie West-Idahosa, acknowledged service while there was no appearance for INEC.
In a short ruling, Justice Taiwo granted the application as prayed and ordered that the court processes, including the hearing notice, be pasted on the Benin City residences of the third and fourth defendants.
He subsequently adjourned till August 24 for hearing in the substantive suit.
Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court
The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.
Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.
The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.
It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.
They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.
According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.
The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.
However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.
Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.
The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.
Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.
He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.
More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.
Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.
The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.
Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.
The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.
“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.
“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?
“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.
“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.
“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.
The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.
“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.
Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.
It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.
“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’
“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.
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