The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, will today (Thursday) file a formal application before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal asking for the withdrawal of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.
The former ruling party and its candidate wants Justice Bulkachuwa removed from the five-man tribunal on the grounds of likelihood of bias.
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has, therefore, fixed May 22 for the hearing of an application by the PDP and Atiku Abubakar.
The PDP had earlier in a letter sent to Bulkachuwa’s office on May 9 by its National Chairman, Uche Secondus, asked her to withdraw from the panel due to the status of her husband, Adamu Bulkachuwa, as a senator-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party whose victory at the February 23 poll is being challenged by the PDP at the tribunal.
Following the petitioners’ insistence on Wednesday that Bulkachuwa must recuse herself from the panel, the tribunal directed them to file a formal application for her disqualification as a member of the tribunal.
The application is to be heard and ruled upon in the open court.
Bulkachuwa appeared to have initially overlooked the earlier letter sent by the PDP asking her to withdraw from the panel until the petitioners’ lead counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), requested a meeting between the panel members and the representatives of the legal teams of parties to the case on Wednesday.
Uzoukwu made the meeting request shortly after lawyers announced appearance at the beginning of Wednesday’s proceedings.
Applying for the meeting, he noted that he had earlier before Wednesday’s sitting started, informed the legal teams of the respondents about his intention to call for the meeting with the tribunal members.
The lawyers representing the respondents – the Independent National Electoral Commission, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC – did not oppose the request for the meeting.
Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) led Buhari’s legal team, Mr Yunus Usman (SAN) led the INEC’s team while Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), led the APC’s team of lawyers.
Orji Kalu Will Receive Full Salaries, Allowances In Prison – Senate
The Nigerian Senate has explained that former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, will continue to receive his salaries and all other entitlements while serving his prison sentence.
Godiya Akwashiki, the spokesperson of the Senate, who made this known on Sunday, December 8, said Kalu will be paid all of his entitlements in full because he remains a sitting senator despite his conviction.
It was gathered that Akwashiki said the convicted chief whip of the Senate remains a serving lawmaker until the case gets to Supreme Court and a final judgement is given.
He said: “He is still a senator. This is the first court. The matter is going to Supreme Court so, he still has the opportunity to appeal up to the Supreme Court level. Of course they will pay him. Because he is a sitting senator just like I said…if you file for appeal, you are still serving and so they will pay you. All his entitlements will be paid.
“The spokesperson of the Senate explained that even if the Court of Appeal upheld the judgement of the lower court, Kalu still has the right to go to Supreme Court. He said it is only the Supreme Court that holds the final judgement over Kalu’s conviction.”
My Party Started Hate Speech In Nigeria — APC Chieftain
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Joshua Alobo, has claimed that his party started hate speech in Nigeria.
Alobo mentioned the current Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, as one of those involved in activities that can now be termed as hate speech under the present administration.
The human rights activist slammed the APC for allegedly turning around to hound some of those it used to get to power because they are now criticizing the present administration.
Alobo, who is the president of the International Human Rights and Development Centre, said these while speaking on Channel TV’s ‘Sun Rise Daily’ on Omoyele Sowore’s re-arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) last week.
The DSS was said to have invaded the court premises to re-arrest Sowore less than 24 hours after granting him bail.
Alobo said he was “seriously embarrassed” by the situation as Sowore was “among those who canvassed for the ‘change’ mantra.”
“APC, in which I am a chieftain, originated hate speech,” Mr Alobo, who is the President of the International Human Rights and Development Centre, continued.
“Look at what happened at . . . even Lai Muhammed and the rest, nobody was arrested. Look at the fuel subsidy protest at the freedom square. If not that Jonathan was proactive to deploy soldiers . . . I was in Abuja; even though I wasn’t in the general protest, I was using my vehicle to monitor the whole situation.
“So a lot of showbiz was going on during the Jonathan administration, they don’t look at it as a threat to the government. What is Sowore? They are just making the guy to be too popular, I don’t know him as a person. But they have been reading Sahara Reporters right from Jonathan era, a lot of information has been disclosed and all those things.
“So if a media practitioner cannot express his opinion, then what will he do? And this is a man that has the pedigree of activism right from University. So the DSS for goodness sake should not bring another terrorist group. It is the suppression of Yusuf Muhammed that escalated into what we have now as Boko Haram.”
The DSS had charged Sowore with alleged treasonable felony and cyberstalking President Muhammadu Buhari, among others.
He was first picked up by the state service after announcing plans to stage what he termed the “#RevolutionNow” protest against the Buhari administration.
The DSS had explained over the weekend that it re-arrested the Sahara Reporters publisher because he resorted to “acts inimical to security” after he was granted bail.
Tinubu Should Be Next President Of Nigeria , Says Northern Group
A political group, North Eastern Youth Mobilization Congress, has backed the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Council (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu to take over as Nigeria’s leader when President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023.
The endorsement was contained in a statement issued at the weekend in Bauchi by the group’s coordinator, Aliyu Balewa, at the end of the inauguration ceremony of the executive members of the congress.
Balewa said power should shift to the South in 2023 since the North would have served two consecutive terms by then.
He added that Tinubu is a unifying political figure who has contributed immensely to the nation’s political structure and deserves to be compensated with the APC presidential ticket.
“On justice ground, power should shift to the southern part of the country in 2023 since the North has served two consecutive terms.”
“We believe that the best person to succeed Buhari is the APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, because he is instrumental to Buhari’s victory in the 2015 and 2019 elections. He also contributed tremendously to the success of the APC in all other elective offices.”
“Therefore, 2023 should be payback time. Let us respect the gentleman agreement by supporting the South to produce the next president. And Bola Tinubu is the best man for the job in view of his political experience, dexterity, exposure and national patriotism,” Balewa said.