Three political appointees planning to contest elections in 2023 have sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to prevent their disqualification on account of the provisions of Section 84(11) & (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
The plaintiffs, in the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja on May 11, 2022 are – Ambassador Sodique Baba Abubakar, Sodique Lawal Abubakar and Bindir Umar Buba.
Ambassador Abubakar said he serves Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Chad and intends to contest for Bauchi governorship.
Abubakar said he serves as a Special Assistant in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and wants to contest for the House of Representatives while Buba, who is also eyeing a seat at the House of Reps, claimed to be serving as the National Coordinator, Social Investment Program in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
In the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/641/2022, filed by their lawyer, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), the plaintiffs, are praying for among others, an order declaring the APC’s directive that political appointees should resign from their respective posts as a result of section 84 (11) and (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 is unconditional and therefore null and void.
The plaintiffs who said they are members of the APC, are contending that Section 84 (11) and (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 is discriminatory against them and unconstitutional and therefore should not be permitted by the court to be used to disqualify them on account of their political appointments.
They stated, in a supporting affidavit, that they have obtained expression of interest forms to contest in the primaries of the APC for nomination as candidates in the coming election.
The plaintiffs stated that pursuant to signing of the Electoral Act into law, there has been threats that political appointees will be disqualified from contesting primaries of APC because of section 84 (11) and (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
They added that sections 65, 66, 107, 131, 137,;177 and 182 of the 1999 Constitution covered qualification requirements of aspirants to political posts in Nigeria.
The plaintiffs claimed that Article 2 of APC Constitution affirmed Supremacy of Nigeria’s Constitution but the same party breached the section with its directive of May 7th that all political appointees must resign 30 days before it’s primary election.
They stated that section 84 (11) and (12) are at the moment standing on their way to achieve their political ambitions and that unless,the APC and INEC are restrained from the thread, they will be prevented from participating in the primary for nomination as candidates.
The plaintiffs want the court declare as unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful the APC’s directive that political appointees must resign from their positions before they can participate as voting delegates or be voted for in the convention or primaries of the party.
They equally want an order of injunction restraining the APC and INEC either by themselves or agents from preventing, hindering or stopping them from attending, participating in party congress, convention or primaries for the purpose of voting or being voted for as candidates in the forthcoming elections and in any congress, convention or primaries.
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.
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