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Statutory Delegates Out, Elected Delegates Now To Pick Presidential Candidates

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With clear signs that President Muhammadu Buhari has no plan whatsoever to sign the amendment to Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act 2022 sent to him by the National Assembly last week, the statutory delegates pushed out by the Act have turned out to be the biggest losers in the intense political game.
Section 84(8) recognises only democratically elected delegates, stating, “A political party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidate shall clearly outline in its constitution and rules the procedure for the democratic election of delegates to vote at the convention, congress or meeting.”
The Senate and the House of Representatives had penultimate week passed the amendment to the Act to recognise statutory delegates as voters during primaries, congresses and conventions of all the political parties.
With the President hesitant to sign the amendment, it means only national delegates elected at the local government congresses will determine presidential flagbearers of the parties.
Likewise, only the five delegates elected from each ward for the state congresses will vote to elect governors, senators, House of Representatives and states’ House of Assembly members for the APC. For PDP, it will be the three delegates elected from each ward.
So, statutory delegates, including elected councillors, local government chairmen and their deputies, party chairmen in local government areas, state and federal lawmakers (current and former), governors and their deputies, President and Vice President, National Working Committee members, state party chairmen and secretaries, are no longer voters at the primaries.
The largesse they had been enjoying from all the aspirants at various levels seeking their votes – presidential, governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and states’ House of Assembly – has come to an end.
Many are struggling to face the reality and hoping that the President will still sign the amendment by today.
But analysts countered this, saying, “With the seven-days INEC rule for parties to submit their list of delegates before primary elections, new election amendment is now out of time, even if it gets presidential endorsement.”
Our source, over the weekend, gathered  that the APC had already submitted its list of elected delegates to INEC, while the PDP had partially complied, to beat the seven-day deadline.
The PDP has scheduled its presidential primary for May 28 and 29, while the APC will elect its presidential candidate on May 29 and 30.
As things stand, the APC will elect its presidential flag bearer with 2,322 democratically elected delegates, based on three National delegates per local government area.
The PDP will elect its presidential flag bearer with 810 delegates based on one National delegate per local government area and one each per state to cover the physically challenged.
Power to determine those that will emerge as candidates for various elective positions has now returned to the state governors as they determined those on the list of elected delegates sent to INEC.

 

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Court Restrains Oyo Assembly From Impeaching Makinde’s Deputy

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The Oyo State High Court presided over by Justice Oladiran Akintola on Wednesday restrained the House of Assembly from further continuing with the impeachment process against the Deputy Governor, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan.
According to the court, the status quo must be maintained, pending the hearing of the application for interlocutory injunction before it.
The House of Assembly was billed to read Olaniyan’s reply to their allegation on Wednesday morning but the court placed hold on further process regarding the impeachment. The court adjourned the matter till Tuesday, July 5, 2022 for continuation of hearing.
The adjournment was to allow the Assembly to file its reply to that of Olaniyan at the court. Director of Legal Services, Olabanji, represented the Assembly, while Chief Afolabi Fashanu (SAN), led Olaniyan’s legal team.
Olaniyan had dragged the parties to court to seek an injunction to stop what he described as “faulty process” of his impeachment.
Twenty-three lawmakers, who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had earlier accused the deputy governor of gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness, among other allegations.
In a petition entitled, ‘Petition and Notice of Allegations against the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Engineer Rauf Olaniyan’, he was accused of gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness, abandonment of office and official duties and insubordination.
“This is in accordance with section 188 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)”, the petition read in part.
The lawmakers gave the deputy governor seven days to respond to the allegations.
The lawmakers who signed the petition included: Fadeyi Muhammed (Ona Ara), Onaolapo Sanjo (Ogbomosho South), Babalola Olasunkanmi (Egbeda), Adebisi Yussuf (Ibadan South-West I), Okedoyin Julius (Saki West), and Adebayo Babajide (Ibadan North II).
Others were: Kehinde Olatunde (Akinyele II), Olajide Akintunde (Lagelu), Mustapha Akeem (Kajola), Popoola Ademola (Ibadan South-East II), Owolabi Olusola (Ibadan North-East II), Olayanji Kazeem (Irepo/Olorunsogo) and Ojedokun Peter (Ibarapa North).
The remaining lawmakers were: Dele Adeola (Iseyin, Itesiwaju) Gbadamosi Saminu (Saki East/Atisbo), Mabaje Adekunle (Ido), Oluwafowokanmi Oluwafemi (Ibadan South-West II), Akeem Adedibu (Iwajowa), Fatokun Ayo (Akinyele I), Rasak Ademola (Ibadan South-East I), Obadara Akeem (Ibadan North-West), Oyekunle Fola (Ibadan North I) and Adetunji Francis (Oluyole).

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Lawyers Ask Court To Disqualify Atiku, Tinubu, Obi Over Running Mates

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Three lawyers have filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, as presidential candidates.
The plaintiffs want the court to issue an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Tinubu, Abubakar and Obi as presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), respectively, in the 2023 elections.
According to the motion filed on Wednesday, the plaintiffs said the presidential candidates breached laws guiding the process for election by contesting their parties’ tickets without running mates.
In the suit dated June 29, the plaintiffs — identified as Ataguba Aboje, Oghenovo Otemu and Ahmed Yusuf — said the decision of the presidential candidates to contest the primaries without running mates, goes contrary to the constitution.
INEC, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), APC, PDP and LP are listed as first to fifth defendants, respectively.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1004/2022, the plaintiffs want the court to determine whether the constitutional qualification for the office of the president is equally applicable to the office of the vice-president.

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PDP Govs Boycott Osun Campaign Council Inauguration As VP Slot Crisis Rages

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Only two out of the 13 governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were present at the inauguration of the party’s campaign council for Osun State governorship election.
Although all the governors were listed as members of the campaign council, only Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Ishaku Darius of Taraba State attended the event held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
National chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu and the party’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, were also absent, but their absence was however unavoidable, as Atiku  is currently in Dubai where he had travelled to some days earlier, while Ayu is on a two-week vacation.
The absence of the PDP governors comes amid concerns about frictions within the party over the way the choice of the presidential running mate was handled.
Atiku had settled for Delta State governor, Sen-Ifeanyi Okowa, despite Governor Nyesom Wike’s emergence as the candidate of a 17-member advisory committee.
Although efforts are being made to appease Wike over the matter, the Rivers State governor, who is in Turkey for vacation with his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu, had played host to leaders of opposition parties, fueling insinuations that he might dump PDP.
While Benue State governor Samuel Ortom was a guest on Arise TV from his state, other governors who were absent did not give any explanation for their absence.
Speaking at the inauguration, Okowa who admitted that there was so much work to be done ahead of the Osun election, said, “Osun state obviously is a PDP states. We have great leaders who have a very clear understanding of the politics in that states.
“I want to urge all our leaders and our followers in the state to please quickly bridge the gaps of divide that is amongst us, because victory stares us right in the face, God has gone ahead of us. It is for us to follow the wish of God and to deliver the state to the PDP.
“There is a lot of work to be done. It is not a fun fare, And I believe that the membership of the campaign counselors inaugurated today are capable enough to truly go out there to deliver the state to the PDP
“ I want to make an appeal to the campaign Council. It is not about being inaugurated in Abuja. The work to be done is in Osun state.

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