The Igbo apex social-cultural organisation, the OHANAEZE Ndigbo, says it will not hesitate to join forces with the people of Anambra state to wage serious war against any form of imposition of unpopular candidate on the people of the state during the forthcoming February 6,2010 governorship election in the state.
The Secretary – General of the organisation, Chief Nduka Eya, who dropped the hint in a chat with newsmen in Enugu, challenged the Professor Maurice Iwu-led Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to conduct credible polls during the exercise or face the wrath of the pan Igbo organisation and that of the people of Anambra state.
His words: “l am appealing to INEC to let us have a credible, clean, transparent, free and fair election in Anambra state come February 6, this year.”
The Igbo umbrella organization, he further· said would no longer fold its arms watching some external forces to create political instability in Igbo land for their own selfish interest.
Chief Eya, therefore, admonished all those warming up for electoral malpractices during the polls to better have a change of heart as it would no longer be business as usual.
He made it clear that OHANAEZE is totally poised in ensuring that unnecessary external influence did not come to play during the election which many political analysts and observers had predicted may be characterised by controversies.
The 72-year- old erstwhile Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ekiti state, who spoke in his capacity as the Secretary -General of the Igbo umbrella organisation said that the only way to have a credible polls in Anambra state come February 6, this year, was for INEC to avoid having sympathy for any of the contesting governorship candidates, irrespective of his or her political affiliation.
He urged the electoral body to truly play the role of an umpire in the Anambra election, pointing out that any thing on the contrary may ignite serious crisis in the state, and “This cannot be tolerated any longer by OHANAEZE Ndigbo”, he warned.
He, however, explained, that it is only when a leader is truly elected by the electorate that such leader could be accountable to the people, regretting that imposition of candidate on the people has done more harm than good to the nation since the inception of the entity called Nigeria.
Chief Eya, who advocated option A4 system of voting instead of the current open secret ballot, appealed to all the major stake holders and gladiators in the Anambra polls to play the game according to the rules, reasoning that politics of bitterness and rancor “is an ill wind that does not blow the nation any good”.
Kogi Gov’ship: Tribunal Gives INEC 48hrs To Grant SDP Access To Election Materials
The governorship election petition tribunal in Kogi has given INEC 48 hours to issue certified copies of electoral materials on the November11 off-cycle election in the state to the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
It also ordered INEC to allow SDP’s forensic experts to examine some electoral materials.
The materials include the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and result sheets for Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Ogori-Magongo, Ajaokuta, Lokoja, Kogi and Bassa Local Government Areas.
The tribunal ruled on Saturday in Lokoja that the SDP requested the materials to prove its case in the petition it filed against the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, gave the order following two ex-parte motions filed on November 19 by the SDP and by its governorship candidate, Muritala Yakubu-Ajaka.
Justice Birnin-Kudu said the orders became imperative in view of the time constraints the tribunal has to discharge its mandate.
“The order is in compliance with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution (as amended) and with the Electoral Act (2022).
“INEC is hereby ordered to produce all the documents being sought by the plaintiffs within 48 hours to enable proceedings to go smoothly and without hitches,’’ he declared.
SDP and Mr Ajaka earlier filed seven ex-parte motions to support their demand but withdrew five and pursued two.
Lead counsel to the petitioners, John Adele (SAN), had earlier told the court that efforts made to obtain certified copies of materials used in the six local government areas from INEC had been fruitless.
“Time is of essence in this matter, and that is why we filed the motions to your lordship to help to salvage the situation.
“Each time we approached INEC since Nov. 13, its officials failed to avail us with even one of the electoral materials for which we requested.
“We believe that if your lordship grants our application, INEC will do the needful to enable us to prosecute this case within the time limit,’’ he prayed the tribunal.
Justice Birnin-Kudu adjourned the case to Wednesday, Nov. 29, for submission of the report of compliance by INEC and continuation of the hearing.
The SDP and Mr Ajaka are challenging the victory of APC and its candidate, Usman Ododo, at the election petition tribunal.
INEC declared Mr Ododo as the winner of the election with 446,237 votes, while his closest rival, Mr Ajaka, got 259,052 votes.
Provide Clarification On ‘Clerical Error’ In Kano Guber Judgment, Akpata Tells A’Court
Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Olumide Apkata, has called on Monica Dongban-Mensem, President of the Court of Appeal, to provide “cogent clarifications” on the “clerical error” in the Kano governorship election judgment.
The appellate court in Abuja had affirmed the verdict of the Kano state governorship election petition tribunal which sacked Abba Yusuf, candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), as the governor.
However, the certified true copy of the judgment contained contradictory resolutions, with the judge ruling in favour of, and against the governor, at the same time.
Addressing the situation on Wednesday, Umar Bangari, Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, said the purported discrepancy was a clerical error that did not affect the court’s final decision.
“What happened in the part of the judgment is just a mere clerical error that ought not to draw any issue. The court is empowered to correct such clerical error and would be done as appropriate,” he had said.
However, in a statement on Saturday, Akpata said during his time as NBA president, he had openly queried the “sub-optimal manner” in which potential justices of the Court of Appeal were being screened and had warned of the potentially negative and detrimental consequences.
The former NBA president said since the end of his tenure, he had at different times, revisited the issue of the sub-optimal recruitment process.
Ondo Crisis: ‘Akeredolu Remains Gov’
As the months-long crisis between factions loyal to the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), and his Deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, seems to have ended, the Presidency has declared that Akeredolu remains the Governor of the State.
This was according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, on Saturday.
The clarification came amidst reports that President Bola Tinubu may have ordered the state lawmakers to invoke the doctrine of necessity and declare Ayedatiwa the acting governor.
The Tide’s source reported that the deputy governor, lawmakers, and others involved embraced peace and vowed to maintain the status quo, after hours of deliberations between the President and state officials, including members of the All Progressives Congress, who converged on the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, until late last Friday night.
In the statement, the Presidency affirmed that Akeredolu remains the governor.
The statement reads, “In his bid to restore political stability in Ondo State, President Bola Tinubu, late on Friday, waded into the months-long crisis between factions loyal to the Executive Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
“This followed marathon negotiations between the President and the Deputy Governor, representatives of Governor Akeredolu, federal and state lawmakers of Ondo, officials of the state’s chapter of the All Progressives Congress, and other stakeholders in the state at the State House, Abuja.
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