APC is run like a cult – Tukur

Stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party and those of the yet-to-be-registered All Progressives Congress again were at each other’s throats on Wednesday with the PDP saying the APC was “being run like a cult.”

National Chairman of the PDP, Bamangar Tukur, told journalists at an interactive session in Abuja on Wednesday, “Most of the people in APC now are original members of the PDP and I can assure you that we have commenced talks to bring them back to where they originally belonged, which is the PDP.

“They are coming back, because some of them have told me that their aspirations may not be met in the APC because of the burning ambitions of some individual members. They don’t want a party that is being run like a cult,”

A spokesman for one of the parties promoting the APC, Rotimi Fashakin, of the Congress for Progressive Change, however called the PDP “an empire of lies.”

“The PDP is an empire of lies; an organisation filled with deceit of the people. “When people leave the PDP it is difficult to go back. If a former Vice-President left the PDP and since his return it has been a struggle to win even his ward, you know which party is run like a cult. Is it APC that is yet to be a party or the PDP?” Fashakin asked.

Tukur however said that the country was gradually moving towards a two-party arrangement with the APC coming into being out of the merger of Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party, and a faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance.

He also defended the second term ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, saying he had every right to contest on the platform of the PDP.

 “It (the President’s ambition) is in order in politics. Jonathan is the President under our party and what is wrong if he decides to run? The others have the same opportunity to promote their candidate, if they have,” Tukur said.

Jonathan’s qualification to contest in 2015, in view of an alleged pact with the PDP governors to serve only one term, has generated controversy recently.

Meanwhile, the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, who raised the issue of the alleged one-term pact, on Wednesday, said there was a plot to silence him by pasting posters in Abuja with his own portrait asking for votes to become President in 2015.

He said, in a statement by his spokesman, Danladi Ndayebo, that the plot was to pit him against the leadership of the PDP which he said had placed an embargo on campaign for now.

Curiously, 2015 campaign posters of Jonathan resurfaced in the Federal Capital Territory early in the week. The Presidency had accused the President’s detractors as sponsors of similar campaign posters that flooded Abuja during the Christmas/New Year season.

 But Tukur has denied that the Presidency floated the PDP Governors’ Forum to weaken the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in order to facilitate Jonathan’s 2015 ambition.

 He said, “The Governors’ Forum isn’t the platform for electing candidates; we have our own system.

 “We may not share the same position on the formation of PDP Governors’ Forum. Our intention, as a party is that we want our governors to come together. I see the NGF as very important.”

Tukur also insisted that the President and the party were not behind the alleged move to remove the Chairman of NGF, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.

 “No, we aren’t behind it. They (the governors) have an arrangement of two- year tenure for their chairman. So, neither the party leadership, nor Mr. President is against Amaechi or whoever they elect as their leader for the NGF.”

He said those criticising the NGF, claiming that it was a threat to democracy, were free to do so, but that he did not share such opinion.

Tukur also revealed that his party had opened discussing with PDP former members, who are now in the APC.

Though he refused to name those being wooed to return, he said he was sure that they would abandon the yet-to-be registered political party and return to the PDP.

He said that recalling ex-PDP members in the APC was a strategy being employed to weaken the opposition in the 2015 poll.
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Yola Appeal Court: ‘Adamawa PDP primaries breached constitution’

The Appeal Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State capital, on Tuesday confirmed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election held last year was replete with the breach of the constitution, Electoral Act 2010 as amended and provisions of the PDP Constitution.

 

In his lead judgment, Justice Ignatius Igwe said the evidence before the court proved that the fundamental human rights of Dr. Umar Ardo, who showed interest in participating in the primaries, were trampled upon by denying his supporters nomination forms to participate as delegates.

 

He ruled that Governor Murtala Nyako was not duly nominated as stipulated by the provisions of the Electoral Act, the PDP Constitution and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Justice Igwe, who accused the second defendant (PDP) of criminal discrimination against Ardo, noted that the Adamawa PDP primary election of which Nyako was declared the winner, lacked legal ingredients and that it was an invalid exercise that had no legal taste or fragrance.

 

The judge said his court was constrained by Section 31 Sub-section (1) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, to order for a fresh primary election.

 

He further said that Ardo failed to prove before the court that he participated in the primary election, which Nyako was declared to have won. …(read more)

Jonathan can contest in 2015 – Tukur

Despite his prevarication over whether he would seek re-election in 2015 or not, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders have continued the subtle campaign for President Goodluck Jonathan to run for a second term in office.

 

Barely a week after the party launched a subtle campaign to mobilise support for the president’s re-election bid, the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Wednesday endorsed him for a second term in office.

 

In an affidavit last month, the party through its counsel at the Federal High Court, Abuja, had stated that the president was eligible to contest the 2015 presidential election.

 

The party had made its position known in a case brought against Jonathan challenging his constitutional eligibility to contest the election. 

 

Tukur, fielding questions from reporters in Abuja, said there was nothing wrong with Jonathan seeking a second term in office, if he so decides.

 

He spoke a few days after campaign posters of the president re-appeared in strategic locations within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the party’s Women Leader, Dr. Kema Chikwe, promised that the party would mobilise five million women to drum support for Jonathan’s second term.

 

He also challenged the national leader of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to prove his allegations that the PDP did not need to merge with any party to win elections because it was already in an unholy alliance with the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). …(read more)

Ondo tribunal begins hearing of Oke’s petition

The Ondo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has started hearing the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the October 20, last year, election, Chief Olusola Oke.

 

Yesterday, PDP and Oke presented some of their witnesses at the tribunal.

 

The witnesses had earlier submitted their statements on oath to the tribunal.

 

One of them, Mr. Abayomi Oguntimehin, said there was disorderliness in the polling unit where he voted.

 

Oguntimehin said there was no queue at the unit and people voted without accreditation.

 

Mr. Kunle Joseph from Igbara Oke, Ifedore Local Government, said there was no accreditation at his polling unit.

 

Speaking with reporters after the court session, Oke said he was satisfied with the testimonies of his witnesses. …(read more)

Court dismisses suit against INEC over deregistration of parties

A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Wednesday, dismissed the suit filed by an Onitsha-based human rights activist and legal practitioner, Mr. Jezie Ekejiuba, against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Attorney General of the Federation over the deregistration of some political parties in the country for lack of merit.

Ekejiuba had in suit No.FHC/CS/620/2011 challenged the action of INEC, arguing that the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended, did not empower the electoral umpire to deregister political parties.

In dismissing the matter, however, the presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, ruled that by the provisions of Section 153, sub-section (1) f (2), paragraphs 15 (b) and (i) of the Constitution and the provision of Section 78 (7) of the Electoral Act, 2010, INEC had powers to regulate the activities of political parties.

According to the judge, “paragraph 15 (b) of the constitution provides that the commission shall have power to register political parties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, while paragraph 15(i) went further to provide that the commission shall carry out such other functions as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly. ”

The plaintiff, Ekejiuba, who was in court, said he would appeal the judgment, arguing that the court conferred undue powers on INEC because carrying out such other functions did not mean the same thing as having the power to deregister political parties.

It would be recalled that Ekejiuba dragged INEC to court when it deregistered seven political parties on August 18, 2011 and as the matter was still pending in court, the Commission deregistered 28 more political parties on December 6, 2012.

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/02/court-dismisses-suit-against-inec-over-deregistration-of-parties/#sthash.dSa8262f.dpuf

A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Wednesday, dismissed the suit filed by an Onitsha-based human rights activist and legal practitioner, Mr. Jezie Ekejiuba, against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Attorney General of the Federation over the deregistration of some political parties in the country for lack of merit.

Ekejiuba had in suit No.FHC/CS/620/2011 challenged the action of INEC, arguing that the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended, did not empower the electoral umpire to deregister political parties.

In dismissing the matter, however, the presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, ruled that by the provisions of Section 153, sub-section (1) f (2), paragraphs 15 (b) and (i) of the Constitution and the provision of Section 78 (7) of the Electoral Act, 2010, INEC had powers to regulate the activities of political parties.

According to the judge, “paragraph 15 (b) of the constitution provides that the commission shall have power to register political parties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, while paragraph 15(i) went further to provide that the commission shall carry out such other functions as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly. ”

The plaintiff, Ekejiuba, who was in court, said he would appeal the judgment, arguing that the court conferred undue powers on INEC because carrying out such other functions did not mean the same thing as having the power to deregister political parties.

It would be recalled that Ekejiuba dragged INEC to court when it deregistered seven political parties on August 18, 2011 and as the matter was still pending in court, the Commission deregistered 28 more political parties on December 6, 2012.

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/02/court-dismisses-suit-against-inec-over-deregistration-of-parties/#sthash.dSa8262f.dpuf

A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Wednesday, dismissed the suit filed by an Onitsha-based human rights activist and legal practitioner, Mr. Jezie Ekejiuba, against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Attorney General of the Federation over the deregistration of some political parties in the country for lack of merit.

 

Ekejiuba had in suit No.FHC/CS/620/2011 challenged the action of INEC, arguing that the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended, did not empower the electoral umpire to deregister political parties.

In dismissing the matter, however, the presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, ruled that by the provisions of Section 153, sub-section (1) f (2), paragraphs 15 (b) and (i) of the Constitution and the provision of Section 78 (7) of the Electoral Act, 2010, INEC had powers to regulate the activities of political parties.

According to the judge, “paragraph 15 (b) of the constitution provides that the commission shall have power to register political parties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, while paragraph 15(i) went further to provide that the commission shall carry out such other functions as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly. ”

The plaintiff, Ekejiuba, who was in court, said he would appeal the judgment, arguing that the court conferred undue powers on INEC because carrying out such other functions did not mean the same thing as having the power to deregister political parties.

It would be recalled that Ekejiuba dragged INEC to court when it deregistered seven political parties on August 18, 2011 and as the matter was still pending in court, the Commission deregistered 28 more political parties on December 6, 2012.

Akeredolu alleges irregularities in Ondo guber election

A star witness and the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the Ondo State governorship election which held last year, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Tuesday was in the witness box in his quest to convince the election petition tribunal that the poll was marred with massive irregularities.

 

Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who was a member of the legal team that retrieved the mandate of his main opponent in the last exercise, incumbent governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, at the litigation over the April 14, 2007 election, is also a petitioner in the instant case as the candidate of the ACN in the election.

 

Akeredolu who appeared as one of the 41 witnesses presented by him (petitioner) and that of his party pointed out exhibit P52A, P1H12, P16G12 which included that of voters register and insisted that the election was marred which fraud.

 

Making reference in respect of Isowopo, Akoko 01, Ward 08, Unit 12, Akeredolu said that the irregularities discovered were perpetrated in all units in the state. …(read more)

Revealed: How Jonathan threatened PDP governors

Fresh facts emerged yesterday on the President’s stormy meeting with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors at the Villa.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who pointedly told the governors to ensure Rivers State Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi’s removal as the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) chairman, threatened to deploy the machinery of government against governors who did not align with him in his Amaechi-must-go quest.

 

This was a prelude to the formation of the PDP Governor’s Forum and the subsequent election of its chairman.

 

Amaechi and Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio were asked to leave the room at the Presidential Villa, according to sources close to the meeting, which took place Monday night, before the proceedings.

 

The sources, who pleaded not to be named because of what they described as the sensitivity of the matter, said besides treating the governors to video clips of Amaechi’s verbal attacks on him, President Jonathan listed three points of threat, which some of the governors saw as “blackmail”.

 

The President threatened to deprive the governors of their:

 

•security details;

 

•access to funds from the excess crude account; and

 

•refrain from appending his signature to the benchmark for the budget, which he signed yesterday.

 

His words, which some of the governors saw as dictatorial, did not elicit an open response. The governors were mute. …(read more)

Jonathan’s Posters Re-emerge in Abuja

Several posters canvassing support for the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 have once again flooded the streets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

 

The posters sponsored by a group known as Nigerians Unity Project (NUP) were yesterday seen displayed on walls, bus stops and strategic locations in Wuse, Garki and other parts of the city.

 

The posters with an inscription: “To keep Nigeria’s Unity Jonathan for Continuity in 2015 had the picture Jonathan wearing his accustomed black attire completed with bowler hat popularly known as “Niger-Delta”.

 

Also on the poster, just beneath the President’s photograph was a message: “Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (North-east) was given a second term in 1964; Alhaji Shehu Shagari (North-west), was given a second term in 1983; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (South-west) was given second term in 2003, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (South-south) deserves second term in 2015.” …(read more)

Nyako’s election at PDP primary invalid, says court

The Appeal Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State capital, Tuesday confirmed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election held in 2012 was replete with the breach of the constitution, the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, and the provisions of the PDP Constitution.

 

In his lead judgment, Justice Ignatius Igwe said the evidence before the court proved that the fundamental human rights of Dr. Umar Ardo, who showed interest to participate in the primary election, were trampled upon by denying his supporters nomination forms to participate as delegates.

 

He ruled that Governor Murtala Nyako was not duly nominated as stipulated by the provisions of the Electoral Act, the PDP Constitution and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Justice Igwe, who accused the second defendant (PDP) of criminal discrimination against Ardo, noted that the Adamawa PDP primary election of which Nyako was declared winner, lacks legal ingredients and that it was an invalid exercise that has no legal taste or fragrance.

 

The judge said his court was constrained by Section 31 sub-Section (1) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, to order for a fresh primary election.

 

He further maintained that Ardo failed to prove before the court that he participated in the primary election, which Nyako was declared to have won.

 

After citing several legal authorities, including Supreme Court judgments, the judge ruled that Ardo lacks the constitutional powers to challenge the outcome of the election since he was not a participant in the controversial primary. …(read more)

12 PDP governors to join APC, says Senator

Former Kano State Governor, Senator Kabiru Gaya, yesterday said that at least 12 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors will soon join the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

Senator Gaya who is Chairman, Senate Committee on States and Local Government, disclosed in an interview with journalists in Abuja .

 

The lawmaker said that the discussion of a select group of APC members with some PDP governors is progressing “steadily and positively.”

 

Gaya who refused to give the specific number of PDP governors APC is discussing with simply said that governors are not only 12 as being speculated.

 

He said, “We are already talking to some governors, not only 12 as being speculated.

 

“There may even be more PDP governors and by the time APC is fully composed it will simply be the winning party from day one. …(read more)

Governors’ Forum Postpones Chairmanship Election till May

Governors Monday deferred the election of chairman for the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) until May to enable the incumbent, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State, conclude his two-year tenure in office.

 

THISDAY gathered that the decision to defer the election was reached after a stormy meeting during which some governors engaged in a shouting match.
The NGF has been enmeshed in crisis since last week when a plot to unseat Amaechi, which was reportedly sponsored by loyalists of President Goodluck Jonathan in the forum, was foiled by other governors.

 

Faced with stiff opposition from pro-Amaechi forces in the forum, another twist to the plot was executed on Sunday night with the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF).

 

The forum, which was formed at a meeting of the president, Vice-President Namadi Sambo, PDP governors and the party leadership, is believed to be aimed at whittling down the influence of the NGF so that Amaechi would not use his chairmanship of the forum to undermine the rumoured second term ambition of the president. …(read more)

Gombe: PDP Sweeps Council Polls

Chairman of the Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission (GOSIEC), Mr. Caleb Maina, has announced the results of last Saturday’s local government elections where all the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) returned as winners against candidates of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

 

In a press briefing Monday, Maina said out of the 11 councils and 114 electoral wards, the PDP swept all the seats, while some of the PDP candidates returned unopposed.

 

He explained that in Akko, Balanga, Billiri, Kaltungo, Nafada and Yamaltu/Deba Local Government Areas, where all the PDP chairmanship and councillorship seats were unopposed, the voters still reaffirmed the candidates and were returned unopposed.

 

In Dukku, Funakaye and Shongom Local Government Areas, the PDP worn in all the nine out of the thirty-one councillorship seats contested by the PDP and the CPC while all the others returned unopposed.

 

In Gombe and Kwami Local Government Areas the PDP won all the positions while for the councillorship seats, the PDP won all the nineteen seats contested for in the twenty-one wards of the two councils.

 

However, reacting to the election results, the state Chairman of the CPC, Mr. Audu Baba Kwami, rejected the results in a telephone interview with journalists saying “there were no elections in Gombe State but selections.”
He, however, promised to make an official reaction after consultations with his other party members and contestants.

The elections last Saturday was marred by a lot of controversies as the few voters that turned out complained of irregularities that included late arrival of election materials, complete absence of the election materials with no voting taking place at all in most of the polling stations according to reports.

 

Another report gathered by our correspondent also has it that the election was also marred by violence, intimidation by security personnel, stealing of election boxes and outright rigging by the ruling PDP in the state.