The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has approached the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja with a suit seeking to disqualify Governor Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State from contesting the 2023 governorship election, following an allegation that he submitted forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The PDP, which lodged the suit alongside its gubernatorial candidate in the state, Muhammad Barde, equally prayed the court to disqualify Governor Yahaya’s deputy, Jatau Daniel.
The Plaintiffs, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1301/2022, alleged that while governor Yahaya tendered false certificates in aid of his qualification, with same published by the INEC on July 22, 2022, his deputy, Daniel, bears multiple names in all his educational certificates without any valid change of name attached to the Form EC-9 he submitted to INEC.
In the Originating Summons they filed through their team of lawyers led by Arthur Okafor, SAN, and Johnson Usman, SAN, the Plaintiffs, relied on series of Supreme Court decisions to contend that the governor and his deputy, having deposed to Forms EC-9 that contained forged certificates, they ought to be disqualified in line with sections 177(d) and 182(1J) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Specifically, the Plaintiffs told the court that the name on the primary school certificate the deputy governor submitted to INEC was Manassah Jatau, while his West African examination Council School Certificate bore the name, Daniel Manassah J.
They further told the court that while Manassah Daniel Jatau was the name on the deputy governor’s University of Maiduguri Certificate, Daniel Manassah was the name on his National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, Certificate.
Likewise, Plaintiffs, told the court that governor Yahaya had in the Form EC-9 (Affidavit of personal particulars) he submitted to INEC, stated that he worked in Bauchi State Investment Company Limited in 1984 and A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1985 to 2003, as against what he deposed to in 2018 as working in Bauchi Investment Company Limited in 1985 and A.Y.U & Co. Ltd between 1980-1990.
“That Governor Yahaya, in 2018 while presenting his personal particulars in aid of his qualification to participate in the Gombe State Governorship election stated in his INEC FORM CF001 that he worked with A.Y.U & Co. Ltd from 1980 – 1990, while in 2022, the same 3rd Defendant stated in his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd from 1985 – 2003.
“That the Governor, by his INEC FORM CF001 has stated under oath that in 1980 -1990, he worked with A.Y.U. & Co Ltd, however, in 2022, the Governor stated again on oath via his INEC FORM EC-9 that he worked with the same A.Y.U. & Co. Ltd from 1985 – 2003”.
According to the Plaintiffs, the deputy governor who claimed to have worked with the Nigeria Army from August 1979 to July 1980, submitted an NYSC discharge certificate that stated that he commenced his National Youth service in August 1979 and completed same in July 1979.
The Plaintiffs drew attention of the court to paragraph D of the Deputy Governor’s INEC Form EC-9, wherein he claimed to have worked with the Nigerian Army from July 1979 till August 1980 and his reason for leaving in July 1980, was for the National Youth Service.
PDP and its candidate stressed that whereas the deputy governor’s INEC FORM EC-9 showed that he commenced his NYSC after he left the Nigeria Army in July 1980, however, the NYSC Certificate he submitted to INEC indicated that he commenced his NYSC in August 1979 and ended same in July 1979.
The Plaintiffs argued that FORM EC-9, being an affidavit on oath, both the Governor and his Deputy, are therefore not qualified to contest the election.
They are, among other things, praying the court to determine; “Whether in view of the clear and unambiguous provisions of Sections 177(d) and of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended), read together with the extant provisions of the National Youth Service COIPS (NYSC) Act and Bye Laws as well as Section 84(3) AND (13) of the Electoral Act 2022, the decision of the Ist Defendant to have published the names of the 3rd and 4th Defendants as candidates or flagbearers of the 2nd Defendant to take part or otherwise contest in any and/or all the stages of elections into the office of Governor and Deputy Governor of Gombe State in the 2023 Governorship elections in Gombe State having presented or submitted forged certificate or forged deposition on oath to the 1st Defendant; is not wrongful, illegal or unlawful”.
Aside from the governor and his deputy, INEC and the APC were also cited as Defendants in the matter.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
Consider Hardship Under Buhari, Group Tells Tinubu Promoters
Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, has advised promoters of the presidential candidature of the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, to remember the current economic hardship Nigerians are passing through under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari promoted and sold to Nigeria by Tinubu.
COSEYL in a statement jointly signed by its President General, Hon. Goodluck Ibem and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Okey Nwaoru, argued that Tinubu’s administation would not be different from Buhari’s whom he had severally boasted of bringing to power.
The group further alleged that Tinubu’s age may not enable him effectively tackle the challenges of the office of the President.
The statement made available to The Tide source read in part: “We advise groups and persons promoting the presidential ambition of Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu to retrace their steps in the interest of Nigeria.
“On June 3, 2022:Tinubu while on a visit in Ogun State, openly boasted that he made Gen Muhammadu Buhari President in 2015 after several futile attempts.
“But, driven by his own personal political ambition, Tinubu persuaded Buhari to try again and then made him President in 2015 and brought the disaster the country is grappling with at the present.
“The implication of his statement is that the hardships Nigerians are facing today were brought upon us by none other than Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
“So Tinubu owes Nigerians a sincere apology for bringing a disastrous plague upon the nation. His presidential ambition has increased the fears of Nigeria’s suffering masses, especially the youth population.”
The group lamented that under the watch of the man packaged and promoted by Tinubu, Nigeria’s economy which was among the leading economies in Africa in 2015, had nosedived almost irredeemably.
“In 2015, a dollar was exchanged for N160 naira. A litre of fuel was sold for N65, a litre of kerosene was sold for N50, diesel was sold for N50 a kilogram of cooking gas was sold for N100 a kilo but today, a litre of kerosene is sold for N900, a litre of diesel for N1000, a kilo of cooking gas for N1000.
“Everything in the market used by Nigerians has increased by over 1000 per cent to what it used to be and the same person who brought this misery on Nigerians wants to be President?”
COSEYL vowed to mobilise Nigerian youths against the ambition of any presidential candidate that would be a continuation of the “current misery”.
“We the youths will not allow affliction the second time upon us. Never! We have made our mistakes in 2015 but we are wiser now.
“Youths cannot be deceived again with the usual monetary inducement; it is the time of the youth to take back our nation.
“We call on any organization, groups or persons promoting the presidential ambition of Senator Tinubu to come back to their senses and engage in meaningful endeavours instead of marketing a very bad product.”
Falsehood, Disinformation Won’t Win Elections, Tinubu Tells Obi
The presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has asked his counterpart in the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, to call his supporters to order, warning that “falsehood and disinformation will not win elections”.
Tinubu, in a statement by his campaign organisation, on Wednesday, urged Obi to caution his supporters and to allow the election circle be about issues that will advance the growth, progress and stability of the country.
The statement by Director, Media and Communications, Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, also admonished the Labour Party presidential candidate to get his supporters to “desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.
“TCO (Tinubu Campaign Organisation) further states that Nigeria will be better for it and the electoral process will be enriched if the 2023 presidential campaign sticks to issues of good governance that will lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty rather than being dominated by the ravings of guttersnipes, who do not wish the country well,” the statement added.
Onanuga noted that the Tinubu Campaign Organisation saw the need to appeal to Obi to rein in his supporters after investigating the origin of the fake report claiming that the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo wrote a letter to Tinubu, asking him to support Obi and take care of his (Tinubu) health.
According to him, the Ghanaian President, via his official Twitter account, has debunked the news as a product of deliberate mischief with the intent to deceive the public.
“I have written no such letter to the APC leader, and it will not occur to me to do so.
“Ghana and Nigeria boast of decades of cordial, strong and brotherly relations, and I am not going to be the one to interfere in the internal affairs and politics of Nigeria,” said President of Ghana via Twitter.
Onanuga said: “We have found that the fake news about Akufo-Addo’s letter was first published on June 22 by a rogue platform, whose url reads worlsnews.space (sic) and site identity as World of News.
“A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform. The fake news was reposted on Facebook by Peter Obi Support Group, same day — a clear proof that Biafra campaigners and Peter Obi supporters are the same.
“Both the Facebook account and the website are replete with fake stories about Bola Tinubu, including a fake story credited to former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, alleging that Tinubu demanded N50 billion monthly payment from him.
“The spuriousness of the statement is in the evidence that Lagos did not begin to clock N50 billion revenue until after Ambode left office.
“Tinubu could not have demanded N50 billion monthly payment from Ambode when the state government didn’t make such in a month throughout the tenure of Mr. Ambode.
“The pirate website, which the Facebook account feeds, on also parades malicious fake news and headlines such as “I am old, but my blood is young, please vote for me – Tinubu begs youth.” .
“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: ‘When I became president, I will Build more prison (sic) for Igbo’s and IPOB members – Tinubu’.
“The big surprise in all of these is that all the headlines have no supporting stories, and clicking them may bring virus to your computer.
“We have come to a point where it becomes imperative to tell Mr. Obi to show leadership and disavow his supporters, who are employing fake news and disinformation as deliberate tools to deceive and poison the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians,” he added.
Group Okays Lalong’s Choice As APC Campaign DG
A group under the aegis of the Northern Christian Network (NCN) has described the choice of Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong as the Director General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council as a perfect soft landing for the ruling party.
Convener of the group, Mshelia Lazarus, made the position of the Northern Christian Network known in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.
The group while congratulating Lalong on his emergence as the campaign DG, expressed confidence in his capacity to deliver.
According to the group, the choice of Lalong would to a greater extent douse the raging controversies and heated debates being generated over the Muslim-Muslim ticket by the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The group therefore urged critical political stakeholders from the country, especially the North Central geopolitical zone where Lalong hails from to rally round one of their own to enable him succeed in the given task.
The group also appealed to Christians in the country to see Lalong as one of their own who would ensure their interest is well protected in the ruling party.
The group maintained that one person that will be a master stroke and game changer for Asiwaju’s victory is the Plateau State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF), Simon Bako Lalong.
“Lalong is a quintessential and grassroots politician who will be able to galvanize his influence in delivering victory for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“The choice of Lalong who is an influential Northern politician and a devoted but detrabalised Christian from the ruling party, will no doubt, kindle hope among the Christian community in the country”, the group said in the statement.
“Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum was able to galvanize and rally all his colleagues from the North to insist on power shift to the South.
“He was instrumental in seeing to it that the cabals who were bent on foisting a Northern candidate on the party as flag bearer did not succeed , thus, paving the way for the seamless emergence of Tinubu at the convention in Abuja.
“The last minute intervention of the Lalong-led NGF changed the equation in favour of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu”, the group said.
The group also alluded to the efforts of Lalong in engendering peace and harmonious living on the Plateau, saying, his emergence would be a game changer for the party.
“The emergence of Lalong as governor changed the narrative on the Plateau as the state has largely witnessed relative peace as against the recurrent clashes it had recorded in the ugly past.
“Lalong due to his sensitivity to the religious and ethnic leanings of the people on the Plateau, has been able to engender peaceful coexistence and promote harmonious living among the people.
“He has been able to scale down the spate of conflicts and tension on the Plateau. Lalong has before now served as a lawmaker in the Plateau State House of Assembly where he rose to become Speaker of the House aside handling other sensitive responsibilities in the House.
“As chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Lalong as first among equals, has been able to galvanize his 18 other fellow governors from the North and had coordinated the affairs of the Forum without hitches.
“All these were clear attestation to the competence of Lalong and there is no gainsaying the fact that choosing him as the campaign DG would ensure victory for Asiwaju”, the group said.
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