The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC lacks the legal right to Defend Ahmed Bola Tinubu in the Drug and Dual Citizenship Accusations, the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku on Friday told the Presidential Election Petition Court
Atiku who described INEC as a meddlesome interloper in its defence of Tinubu on the qualifications for the last presidential election specifically accused the electoral body of being busy body and fishing in another person’s troubled water.
INEC through its counsel at Friday’s proceedings, Mr Kemi Pinhero SAN had moved a motion on notice praying the Court to strike out some of the allegations Atiku made against Tinubu in his petition.
The electoral body pleaded with the Court to strike out 32 allegations made against Tinubu by Atiku which among others, comprised forfeiture of $460, 000 Dollars in the United States of America (USA), possession of Guinea’s Passport and Allegiance to foreign countries.
Atiku had in the petition challenged the declaration of Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the joint winner of the February 25 Presidential election.
INEC said that the allegations which formed 32 paragraphs in the Atiku’s petition should be discontenced by the Court for various reasons comprising lack of jurisdiction.
But Atiku through his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche SAN in a counter argument lambasted INEC’S request and asked the Court to dismiss the electoral body’s position.
Uche argued in the counter affidavit that it was not the duty of INEC to do the battle or argue sny case for Tinubu who is 2nd defendant in the petition.
Specifically, Atiku’s lead counsel insisted that INEC ought to be neutral and defend only the conduct of the election in dispute.
He argued that the electoral body has somersaulted by turning itself to busy body and meddlesome interloper by taking up the defense of Tinubu against the provisions of the law.
The Senior lawyer maintained that the request of INEC in its defence of Tinubu is not only spurious, strange but constituted a gross abuse of court process in addition to lacking in merit.
Uche argued that all efforts by INEC to get fundermrntal averments against Tinubu should be treated as efforts in futility, vexatious and irritating and should not be allowed to hold.
“INEC ought not be here to fight the battle of Tinubu, INEC ought to be neutral and at best, defend only the election it conducted and which is the subject of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku’s petition.
‘This application by INEC in support of Tinubu lacks merit. It is grossly incompetent and should be outrightly rejected and thrown to the dust bin”.
The Senior lawyer therefore asked the Court to dismiss INEC’S motion for being gross abuse of court process, lacking in merit and grossly incompetent.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has fixed ruling till the date of judgment in the substantive petition.
EU reports: LP says FG is feebly adopting face saving measures
***EU only hit the nail on the head
The leadership of the Labour Party has countered the Federal Government of Nigeria for discrediting the European Union’s conclusion on the 2023 General Election wherein it faulted the modalities by which the conclusion was reached.
It reiterated what it believed as the accurate testament of the European Union’s conclusion on the 2023 general elections which merely hit the nail on the head.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh said,
“Eropean Union’s Conclusion on the 2023 general elections are nit Jaundiced but accurate Testament of the outcome of the FG and INEC alliance to change the will of the electorate.”
“We see this face-saving measure by the Federal Government which is coming days after the submission of the report as feeble and medicine after death.
“It will interest the government to note that the European Union’s report is only one out of numerous submissions by other international Observers who have described the outcome of the election as a sham and an exercise that did not reflect the will of the majority of Nigerians.
“Labour Party stands by the position of the EU observation mission. We have always said that this election was massively rigged in favour of the APC and their candidate.
“What the FG is saying is just an afterthought and a shameless effort to mask the obvious. Even the blind can see, the deaf can hear and they know this election was manipulated.
“Huge pieces of evidence abound for even the deaf and the blind to hear and feel. We are only hoping that the judiciary will dispense justice without fear or favour in the interest of the nation and posterity.
“Nigerians already know the true winner of the 2023 presidential election and no amount of slandering, denial, or rebuttal can change the fact that the party in power has no mandate of the electorate.
“We must also note that whatever position the INEC has taken is with active connivance with the Federal Government to deny the electorate and it clearly shows that INEC is not in any way independent.
“The Commission’s action is at the whims and caprices of the government and we know it. But Nigerians looking to the Judiciary for justice. That’s where we stand.”
FG tackles EU over report on 2023 general elections
The Federal Government has countered the European Union’s report on the 2023 general elections, describing the conclusions therein as “jaundiced”.
The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy gave the indication in a statement on Sunday.
“We urge the EU and other foreign interests to be objective in all their assessments of the internal affairs of our country and allow Nigeria to breathe,”
According to him, the February 25, 2023 presidential election was “clearly and fairly” won by Tinubu, the then candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also advised that the EU allow Nigeria to breathe and not meddle in the affairs of the country.
“We find it preposterous and unconscionable that in this day and age, any foreign organisation of whatever hue can continue to insist on its own yardstick and assessment as the only way to determine the credibility and transparency of our elections,” he said.
He said the presidency was not unaware of the “machinations of the European Union to sustain its, largely, unfounded bias and claims on the election outcomes”.
Alake further stated that there is no substantial evidence provided by the EU or any foreign and local organisation that is viable enough to impeach the integrity of the 2023 election outcomes.
“We would like to know and even ask EU, how it reached the conclusions in the submitted final report with the very limited coverage of the elections by their observers who, without doubt, relied more on rumours, hearsay, cocktails of prejudiced and uninformed social media commentaries and opposition talking heads,” he stated.
“We have many reasons to believe the jaundiced report, based on the views of fewer than 50 observers, was to merely sustain the same premature denunciatory stance contained in EU’s preliminary report released in March.
“We strongly reject, in its entirety, any notion and idea from any organisation, group and individual remotely suggesting that the 2023 election was fraudulent.”
The media aide said Nigeria has put the elections behind, and Tinubu is facing the task of nation-building.
“As a country, we have put the elections behind us. President Tinubu is facing the arduous task of nation-building, while those who have reasons to challenge the process continue to do so through the courts.”
On June 27, 2023, the EU presented its report on the 2023 elections in Nigeria to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The EU said the election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signaled a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.
The EU also identified six areas for improvement in Nigeria’s electoral process moving forward.
Some of the key areas listed by the Mission are ambiguities in the law, the establishment of a publicly accountable process for the selection of the INEC members, ensuring real-time publication of results as well as access to election results.
It also highlighted the need for protection for media practitioners while decrying the discrimination against women in elective and appointed positions as well as impunity regarding electoral offences.
Okumagba expresses confidence in Tinubu to initiate inclusive national reconciliation
***Says, the president has capacity to confront insecurity with reforms
***Applauds his agenda poised to bringing about a dawn of a new era
Prominent leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Olorogun Bernard Okumagba has expressed the confidence in the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s newly inaugurated government to bring about lasting peace and prosperity to Nigeria through an inclusive national reconciliation process.
Okumagba who is also a member of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the president has the capacity to remarkably focus on confronting insecurity through a reform of the sector; growing the economy; and tackling multi-dimensional poverty, which would boost Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
By so doing, he said the new government will create a robust middle class that will drive our Country’s economic rebound under his watch.
In a Press Statement, Olorogun Okumagba, a former Delta State Commissioner for Finance, also reckoned that the new President who has an established reputation as a bridge builder, a true progressive, an astute believer in true federalism, and who has over the years sacrificed to ensure the sustenance of democracy in the country, will bring these remarkable skills and attributes to bear in renewing the hopes of Nigerians for a more prosperous nation.
These were contained in a statement he issued to congratulate President Bola Tinubu (GCFR) and Vice President Kashim Shettima (GCON) on their momentous inauguration as the 16th President, and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He wished them every success in guiding our country towards stability, true democratic governance and economic development.
Reacting to President Tinubu’s inaugural address, aptly captioned “THE NIGERIAN IDEAL”, shortly after being sworn-in by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Olorogun Okumagba eulogised the President for his firm and unequivocal commitment to “progressive good governance in furtherance of the Nigerian ideal” succintly captured in his five governance principles.
The principles that will guide his administration as outlined by President Tinubu include “governing according to the constitution and the rule of law; to defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country; and to remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.”
Okumagba also applauded President Tinubu’s promise to address the nation’s economic problems and his directive to the monetary authorities to make monetary policy to be more business friendly and work towards a unified exchange rate.
Okumagba stated his deep appreciation of the significant role President Tinubu has played in seeking solutions to the political and economic challenges assailing our nation. Olorogun Okumagba recalls that President Tinubu’s remarkable transformation of Lagos State as Governor between 1999 and 2007, and the sustenance of a succession pipeline has since made Lagos the state of choice to live in, work, and play.
In tune with the mood of the nation for “renewed hope” of a more prosperous and united nation, Olorogun Okumagba re-affirmed his best wishes for the success of the important work that lies ahead.
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