A civil society group, Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), demanding the arrest and prosecution of the Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Kashim Shettima over alleged double nominations for the 2023 general election.
Shettima, who is to pair with former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in next year’s Presidential election on APC platform, was alleged to have been nominated twice by APC for two different constituencies at the same time in gross breach of the Electoral Act 2022.
According to the petition, Shettima signed both the INEC form EC9 on oath as the APC candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District of Borno State for the 2023 general elections and at the same time went ahead to sign another INEC form EC9 as Vice Presidential candidate of the APC, an action believed to have contravened the law.
The signing of two nomination forms by Shetima for two different constituencies is said to have specifically breached section 115(d) and (k) of the Electoral Act 2022 and attracts two years imprisonment upon conviction by the court.
In the petition, signed by the Legal Adviser of the group and received by the office of the IGP on July 29, the group claimed to be a non-governmental organization, pursuing the enthronement of good governance, accountability, probity and transparency in public institutions.
The grouse of the group was that Shettima, on oath, willingly engaged in double nominations contrary to the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022, and ought to be arrested and put on trial by the police as required by law.
The petition obtained by The Tide source read in part: “That the All Progressives Congress, APC, in compliance with section 29 of the Electoral Act, 2022, submitted the name of Senator Kashim Shetima to the Independent National Electoral Commission as its candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District of Borno State for the 2023 general election.
“That Senator Kashim Shetima signed INEC EC9 form on oath which is his nomination form as the candidate of the APC for Borno Central Senatorial District of Borno State for the 2023 general election.
“That INEC in compliance with section 29 of the Electoral Act 2022 on June 24, 2022, published the name of Senator Kashim Shetima as the APC candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District of Borno State for the 2023 general election.
“That after the said publication of Senator Kashim Shetima, the APC on July 15, 2022 submitted the name of Senator Kashim Shetima to INEC as its Vice Presidential Candidate for the 2023 Presidential election.
“That Senator Kashim Shetima also signed INEC EC9 form on oath which is his nomination form as Vice Presidential Candidate of the APC for the 2023 presidential election.
“That Borno Central Senatorial District of Borno State and the Vice Presidential position are two different constituencies. pp
“That section 115 (1) (d) provides: a person who signs a nomination paper or result form as a candidate in more than one constituency at the same election commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum term of imprisonment for two years.
“That section 115(1) (k) provides; a person who signs a nomination paper consenting to be a candidate at an election knowing that he or she is ineligible to be a candidate at that election commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum term of imprisonment for two years.
“That Senator Kashim Shetima having signed two nomination papers of two different constituencies violates section 115 (1) (d)(k) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“On the strength of the foregoing, having established a prima facie criminal cases against Senator Kashim Shetima, we therefore most respectfully, demand arrest and criminal prosecution of Senator Kashim Shetima for contravening section 115 (1) (d) (k) of the Electoral Act 2022.”
Sokoto Guber: PDP Loses At Tribunal
The Sokoto Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has affirmed the election of Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto as the duly elected governor of the state.
The three-man panel led by Justice Haruna Msheila in its ruling dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate, Saidu Umar challenging the victory of the APC and its candidate, Ahmad Aliyu in the March governorship election.
In a unanimous judgment, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Haruna Mshelia, said the Petitioners were unable to prove the six grounds formulated in the petition.
He said the grounds bordered on alleged ineligibility for Aliyu and Gobir to contest, falsification of certificates, variation of names, election frauds and non-compliance with electoral guidelines.
Msheila said the petitioners were unable to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt as required by law, saying 70 per cent of exhibits were out of context because they relate to State Assembly elections conducted on the same dates.
According to him, to prove forgery two different documents of persons needed to be presented while the variation of names issues was a settled Supreme Court provision.
He said three subpoena witnesses were not tenable as they were not makers of the documents from the alleged primary school while the other 28 polling units agents testified could not identify themselves along with their roles.
The Tribunal Chairman said the alleged 138 polling units frauds were not adduced to indicate substantial non-compliance of the elections marred the election outcome.
Mshelia added that the tribunal dismissed all the preliminary objections on competency to institute the case by the respondents as the petitioners duly linked the grounds in the petition.
He dismissed the petition for lack of merit and failure to prove the allegations by the petitioner.
Tribunal Upholds Kefas’ Election As Taraba Governor
The Taraba State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Jalingo, yesterday, upheld the election of Agbu Kefas of the Peoples Democratic Party,(PDP) as the governor of the state.
The three-man panel headed by Justice G.A Sunmonu dismissed the petition jointly filed by the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, and its governorship candidate in the March 18, 2023 election, Professor Yahaya Sani, on the grounds of lack of sufficient evidence.
NNPP, and its gubernatorial candidate, had earlier filed a petition before the tribunal seeking the cancellation of the election which they alleged was characterised by irregularities.
Another relief sought by the NNPP and its guber candidate was for the tribunal to order a fresh election in the state.
The party also alleged non-compliance with the electoral Act 2022, as a major reason for its demand for the cancellation of the election.
The party, which also alleged that the incumbent governor of the state was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast, earlier urged the tribunal to nullify the certificate of return issued to the governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Delivering judgment, the panel unanimously ruled that the petition filed by both NNPP and its gubernatorial candidate lacked merit.
The three-man panel, collectively dismissed the petition, stating that the petitioners failed to justify the relief they sought.
Elated by the judgment, the Deputy Governor, Aminu Alkali, called on the NNPP and other opposition political parties in the state to join hands with the incumbent governor to move the state forward.
Also overwhelmed by the judgment, the counsels to the PDP, applauded the panel for the judgment.
Though the counsel of the NNPP could not be reached at the time of filing this report, a chieftain of the party who spoke with The Tide source, said he was hopeful that the party will appeal the judgment.
Nigeria@63: Lawmaker Urges Patience, Says Tinubu Won’t Disappoint Nigerians
The lawmaker representing Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Jimi Odimayo has called on Nigerians to exercise patience with the administration of President Bola Tinubu, assuring that salvation was near.
Odimayo who gave this assurance in a statement issued through his Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Kayode Fasua, noted the apparent hardship in the land, and drew a comparison in the allegory of labour-room pains and the subsequent joy in strapping a newborn baby.
Odimayo said “We all must reflect on how we got to this sorry pass as a nation, counting from the year of our independence in 1960 till date: how democracy was aborted for many years through military interventions and how we are again back on track trying to improve on our democratic skills.
“However, in spite of various hiccups ranging from maladministration to corruption and other unpatriotic practices, we should renew hope, especially now that a good leader with verifiable antecedent in the person of President Bola Tinubu is in the driver’s seat.
“Ours can be assessed in the allegory of labour room pains that must be experienced during childbearing, before the mother beams with smiles at successful delivery; and that is what obtains now in the attempt by President Tinubu to right many wrongs and put Nigeria on the path to political and socio-economic greatness,”
While urging Nigerians to exercise patience and team up with all arms of government to achieve desired results, the lawmaker also called on political officeholders to tighten their belts and bend to work as justification to the electorate’s mandate.
According to him, the ballot box is the nemesis for all political leaders who failed in their vow to deliver the dividends of democracy.
“The last general elections held up many lessons for the political class, that unlike in the past, the level of voters’ awareness has risen stunningly in geometric proportions, as the people are mostly no longer for vote-buying and rigging, but are determined to scrutinise the qualities of candidates seeking their votes,” he stressed.
Odimayo similarly assured the people of his Okitipupa/Irele constituency and the entire Ondo State citizenry that he had designed various empowerment programmes and had stepped up various social infrastructural development lobbies, all of which will start manifesting soon.
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