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JUST IN: Tribunal Affirms Ekweremadu’s Victory

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Ike Ekweremadu - South East leader

The State and National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Enugu has affirmed the election of Sen. Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Feb. 23 general elections.

In a unanimous judgement delivered on Monday, the tribunal dismissed the petition brought by Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as lacking in merit.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Haruna Kereng, while reading the judgment, said that the petitioners completely failed to prove their allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kereng said that allegations of substantial non-compliance to the Electoral Act, thuggery, falsification of figures needed to be proven polling unit by polling unit.

He said that the few polling unit witnesses brought by the petitioners failed to demonstrate to the tribunal how the election figures were falsified.

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He said that out of the 824 polling units, 81 wards and five local government areas in the state, the petitioners were only able to present 16 witnesses with most of them presenting testimonies that were not convincing.

“INEC had declared Ekweremadu winner with 86,088 vote against 15,187 scored by Ibekaku-Nwagwu. It is the responsibility of the petitioners to bring their polling unit agents to demonstrate to us how over 70,000 vote will be deducted from the score of the first respondent to make them winners.

“They only presented witnesses in few polling units and wards,” he said.

Kereng said that the petitioners ought to have pleaded two sets of results, including the wrong and correct results that would have returned them as winners.

He said that certain paragraphs of their petition contained criminal allegations and that the persons whom the allegations were made against remained hidden.

“Having failed woefully to prove their allegations that the first respondent was not elected by majority of lawful vote cast, we, therefore, affirm the election of the first respondent as winner of the election,” he declared.

Kereng awarded a cost of N750,000 against the petitioners.

Reacting, counsel to the first respondent, Mrs. Justina Offiah (SAN), described the judgment as thorough, adding that all counsels in the matter had put in their best.

Offiah requested for a conservative cost against the petitioners to serve as a deterrent to election losers who would want to approach the tribunal with flimsy petitions.

However, counsel to the petitioners, Mr Patrick Luke, said that it was the constitutional right of those who are declared losers in an electoral process to seek redress in a court of law.

“It is my humble view that all the parties should bear their costs because all the parties incurred costs,” Luke added.

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Politics

PHOTO: Atiku, Tinubu Meet

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Former vice president and presidential candidate of Nigeria’s main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, Atiku Abubakar, and ex-Lagos governor and leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, met on Saturday.

The leaders, who met in Minna, Niger State, were in a cordial mood as they exchanged pleasantries and chatted.

On arrival, Tinubu and his entourage were received by Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello.

It was gathered that Tinubu was in Minna to receive an award of Honorary Doctorate Degree today in Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai.

However, Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, was on Atiku’s entourage.

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Wike Is Pillar Of PDP — Says Secondus, Okowa

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Wike

National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has described the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as the party’s foremost pillar.

Speaking during a birthday visit by the National Working Committee of the PDP to the Rivers State Governor at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday, Prince Uche Secondus said that Governor Wike had over the years provided a platform for the party to survive.

He said: “With profound humility and recognition for all your works and support that you have given the party, and being the foremost pillar of our party, on their behalf, we present this token as a symbol of love .

“Because God is with you, you have nothing to fear. We want to affirm that of a truth, God is with you. God has chosen you as a leader and by the special Grace of God, you will continue to lead.

“We pray that God will give you uncommon supernatural wisdom and on daily basis, God will protect you and your family.”

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He said that Governor Wike’s support for the party cut across all the geo-political zones of the country.

“You have helped Nigerians, not only Rivers people. You are reaching out to the north and the south. You are planting and our prayer is that one day, you will reap the good fruits.

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa said he agreed with the PDP National Working Committee that Wike is a pillar of the party.

“I am very privileged to be part of this, because what is happening now could only be ordained by God.

“I thank the PDP for declaring that Governor Wike is a pillar of the party. I want to confirm that he is truly a pillar of the party.” He said.

According to him, Governor Wike is a committed party man who works to expand the influence of PDP.

“My brother Governor is a man of many parts. Many people may not understand him, but I thank God that I know his heart”, he said.

National Organising Secretary of PDP, Austin Akobundu, also commended Governor Wike as being special to the PDP.

He prayed God to grant him his heart desires.

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VIDEO: The Hilarious Moment Wike Publicly ‘Disgraced’ Oshiomhole In Abuja

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Governor Nyesom Wike and National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole were at each other’s throat at the official presentation of “The Big Interviews,” a book authored by the immediate past Managing Director of the Sun Publishing Limited, Mr Eric Osagie.

The Drama started after Oshiomhole was called to make a few remarks before the unveiling of the compendium. In his characteristic manner, Oshiomhole drew applause from the crowd with his delivery, as he called on media practitioners to be more courageous particularly when taking on men in power.

Citing an instance when a foreign journalist once took on an unnamed Nigerian President a few years ago on the scourge of population control, Oshiomhole said the ex-President was wrong to have spoken on the subject matter when Nigerians were yet to be told the number of his children and wives.

“How could he speak on population control when Nigerians didn’t even know the number of his wives, both registered and unregistered? Nigerians didn’t know the number of his children and I think leaders should learn to practice what they preach,” Oshiomhole stated.

Although his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP counterpart, Prince Uche Secondus managed to fire a few salvos in response, it was Wike who brought the capacity-filled Atiku Abubakar Auditorium, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, venue of the book launch, down with laughter and excitement.

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“Let me begin from where the APC national chairman stopped,” he began, in his trademark voice. “Where are some of you who did Occupy Nigeria? Do you still write and speak the way you used to do? Who are those now sponsoring all manner of bills against free speech?” he asked as Oshiomhole and his predecessor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun reeled in laughter. Continuing, Wike chided the APC chair for what he called a deliberate ploy to mislead Nigerians into thinking that he still wears the khaki of old when he was a labour leader, saying “the kind of safari he wears now are different.”

Governor Wike also took the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside to the cleaners who in his earlier remark, called on journalists to portray Nigeria in a good light in their reportage.

According to the NIMASA boss, investors could easily look away from Nigeria if reports by journalists continue to paint the country in a bad light.

Responding, however, Wike said: “Without the states, there can be no Nigeria. You want people to speak well of the country but you are running down your own state. Practice what you preach.”

Although, Peterside had left when the governor stated this, having earlier excused himself to attend to “some important official issues.”

Watch the video below:

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