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2023 Elections Brought Nigeria’s Worst Court Judgments -Bwala 

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Daniel Bwala, The spokesperson for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Daniel Bwala, says the 2023 general elections have brought about Nigeria’s worst court judgments in recent years.
Bwala said this while speaking during a live television interview on Monday.
According to him, the electoral tribunals of the 2023 presidential and gubernatorial elections led to the most inconsistent and worst judgements that the courts have ever delivered.
He expressed disappointment over the sack of the Plateau State governor, Caleb Muftwang of the PDP by the Appeal Court in Jos.
Bwala said, “In 2023 elections, we have had the worst judgement of courts. We have not had so much of conflicting decisions by one tier of government, because if you look at the election tribunal this year;…you will notice that there were inconsistencies in one or two tribunal cases at the trial level, and probably at the Supreme Court, one or two complaints, but at the Court of Appeal is where almost all of these conflicting judgements have so far been experienced.”
Bwala further stated, “The court of Appeal is one court, so the court in Abuja can be relied on as the same court in Lagos, and as such, one will expect the court to be able to keep abreast of its judgements and keep consistent and constant judgments.
“The judgment by the court of Appeal in Plateau State that removed the governor, the appellate court dealt into the merit of a pre-election matter, and they said it also qualified as a pre-election and main election, and they delivered the judgment.
“The same court of Appeal in Ebonyi state, the case of pre-election was canvassed. The court of Appeal in Ebonyi said it’s a pre-election matter, we do not delve into pre-election.”
Bwala said the decision taken in Ebonyi state was also taken in Benue state, as the Appeal Court refused to delve into pre-election matters.
He noted that in the case of the 2023 elections, the Supreme Court had made it clear that opposition members of a political party are not allowed to bring up a case of pre-election matters of other political parties to the courts.
The lawyer said that several retired justices have always, in their judgments, classified the decisions by lower courts that did not follow the judgement of the Supreme Court as “Judicial Rascality.”
He added that they are embarking on their own frolics contrary to the constitution that says the judgement of the Supreme Court binds all other courts together.
He said, “I have no doubt in my mind that the Court of Appeal decision in Jos, when it goes to the Supreme Court, that like the way, when we say ‘All eyes are on the judiciary,’ the people seem to think that you’re blackballing the judiciary. No, when you say ‘all eyes are on the judiciary,’ you’re saying our hope now lies on how they will interpret.
“So, this case of Plateau State, when it goes to the Supreme Court, it will be a case of the Supreme Court vs the Court of Appeal. It has more to do with the sanctity and integrity of the Supreme Court itself;
“…because the Supreme Court will have to determine whether that judgment they delivered in Presidential election tribunal is to be carried out by subordinate courts in Nigeria. Because they made it clear that a decision by the final court is called a settled law.
“Once a law is not determined by the final court, it is not a settled law. But once it is determined by a final court, it is cast in stone. So, the Supreme Court will have to determine whether the appeal court is above it, or it is above the Court of Appeal.”

 

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Ahead 2027: Pro-Tinubu Group Sets Up Structures In APC

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The Mandate Movement (TMM), a pro-President Bola Tinubu group in the All Progressives Congress (APC), has set up 37 structures in a bid to enlarge its membership base across the country.
The structures consist of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The national leader of the movement, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, made this known in a statement, explaining that the move became necessary for the ease of administration.
Cardinal Odunmbaku, in the statement, noted that this move was a precursor to the preparations for the 2027 general election.
He stressed that the move aims at ensuring that the APC has strong dominance across communities and towns in every part of the country.
He advised those to be appointed as state coordinators to be more effective in mobilising new people into the ruling APC.
The APC chieftain also used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, assuring that the government was taking steps to address the harsh economic challenges.

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Benue APC Crisis: Court Sacks Acting State Chairman

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The recently suspended Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Austin Agada, has been reinstated by a Makurdi High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese.
Recall that Mr Agada was earlier in the month suspended from office by another Benue High Court in Aliade presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba following an ex parte motion filed by Mr Moses Agaba against him and the APC after his Ihaje Ward I Executive in Ogbadibo Local Government Area had passed a no-confidence vote on him and also suspended him for alleged anti-party activity.
The suspension was immediately followed by the inauguration of Mr. Benjamin Omakolo from Igoro Ward, Apa LGA as the acting State Chairman during a State Executive Committee meeting of the party presided over by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
However the crisis in the party took a dramatic turn Monday when Justice Ikpambese reinstated Mr. Agada while ruling on a motion by the embattled chairman seeking to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as  Chairman.
After listening to the arguments of counsel to Moses Agaba, Mr. Johnson Usman, and that of Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa and John Ifer who appeared  for Mr. Agada, Justice Maurice Ikpambese vacated the order restraining him from parading self, function and acting as the Chairman of the APC in the State.
Justice Ikpambese ruled that “under Order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2, 2024, it has elapsed by law.”
Justice Ikpambese nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting Chairman and any other appointment made from February 2, 2024.
He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2, 2024, as “it has been overtaken by events.”
The matter would be assigned to another Judge by the Chief Judge who would hear it on its merit.
Reacting, the APC State acting Chairman, Mr. Omakolo dismissed the reinstatement of Mr. Agada saying “whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the Chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his Ward still places a ban on him to be able to function as APC Chairman in Benue State. “And it will interest you to know that in the court ruling today, no matter concerning my person or role as the acting Chairman was mentioned.
“So, I still remain the valid acting State chairman of the APC in Benue State. I remain the one who pilots the affairs of the APC in Benue State and the APC family takes instructions and directives from my office as the acting Chairman of APC in the State.
“And even that wrong vacation that was done in the High Court has already been appealed. The person that took him to court has appealed the judgement because it is not correct in law for a High Court to restrain another High Court, a court of coordinate jurisdiction. I have long assumed office as the acting Chairman of APC in Benue State.”

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There’s No Changing Bayelsa Gov’ship Result – Diri

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Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the November 11, 2023, governorship election in the State has been won and lost and cannot be changed through subterranean moves of his main rival in the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor winner of the election and presented certificates of return to him and the deputy governor-elect, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on November 17, 2023.
Diri, who spoke on Monday during the first year memorial service of his late father, Pa Abraham Diri, at the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Sampou, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said the subpoena to the police to testify as witness at the election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, was diversionary, a waste of time and an exercise in futility.
He said the acceptable standard was the election result declared by INEC and not that of the police.
His words, “they are bringing a police report. They are bringing a police commissioner to come and testify in the election tribunal. We have crossed that bridge long ago. Just as we stopped them from rigging, we will stop them again.
“If you want to subpoena anybody, let it be INEC, which conducted the election and declared the results. The police are in charge of security.
“Let us be steadfast. Our second tenure will be better than the first.”
The governor eulogised his father for laying a solid foundation for him and his siblings.
According to him, his father was being celebrated a year after his death because he left good legacies that were speaking through him and his siblings.
He said: “His impact upon our lives, his children and relatives, is unspeakable. That is why I believe in giving the best education to children, so that whether you are alive or not, they can stand anywhere. I urge fellow Bayelsans to give their children good education.
“What we are doing today is to appreciate God and celebrate the life of our father for what he has done in our lives. Our father guided us very well. All his life was how to discipline and give what he had to society.
“Those of us in leadership as president, governors, Speakers and other positions, let us know that there is a legacy we should leave, which will speak for us when we leave this world.”
Speaking on the topic: “What will you be remembered for?” Rev. Funkuro Amgbare, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Izon of the Anglican Communion, noted that Pa Diri was being remembered a year after his death because he impacted positively on his children and the society.
He admonished all to live a life worth remembering by maintaining their integrity.

 

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