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Sen. Abaribe Wins At Tribunal

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Enyinnaya Abaribe

The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia on Wednesday dismissed the petition against the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, challenging his re-election as senator for Abia South.

The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and its candidate, Mr Chris Nkwonta, had approached the court to nullify the declaration of Abaribe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the Feb. 23 poll on the ground that it was marred with irregularities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nkwonta claimed to have won the majority of the lawful votes cast.

He urged the tribunal to declare him winner or order a rerun in some polling units over allegation of invalid accreditation and overvoting.

Delivering the judgement, a member of the three member panel, Justice Wasiu Animahun faulted the decision of the petitioners to rely on card reader accreditation.

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He noted that the machine could not take the place of the voters’ register as it was only complimentary.

The panel held that if the number of over-voting claimed by the petitioners was removed from the figure with which Abaribe was declared winner, he would still maintain a reasonable margin of lead over the petitioners.

Dismissing the petition for lack of merit, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove their allegation of irregularities.

It, however, awarded the cost of N500, 000 against the petitioners in favour of the second (Abaribe) and third PDP respondents.

Reacting to the judgement, counsel for Abaribe, Mr Uche Ihemamba, expressed happiness, saying that the judgement was in tandem with the current positions of the law.

Mr Liborous Oshoma, counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that they expected the decision of the tribunal after reviewing the petition, knowing that it had no merit in it.

But Mr Betrang Fawuti, counsel for Nkwonta said they would review the judgement and file an appeal.

Politics

How Jonathan Destroyed Presidential Zoning Arrangement – Arewa Youths

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Goodluck Jonathan

The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) has accused a former president, Goodluck Jonathan and all those who helped him to get to power in 2011 of breaking the zonal arrangement for a rotational presidency.

The accusation was made by AYCF’s national president, Yerima Shettima, when he visited Legit TV studios on Tuesday, December 10 in Lagos.

Speaking on Legit TV’s live programme, Political Arena, Shettima argued that Jonathan was supposed to just finish Yar’ Adua’s term after the latter’s death and move on, rather than choosing to stay on.

Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, is accused of destroying the zoning arrangement by contesting in 2011 instead of stepping aside for a northerner.

Shettima noted that by staying on in power after using up Yar’Adua’s two years, Jonathan took an additional 4 years away from the region.

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This incident, Shettima said, completely ended the gentleman’s agreement between the north and the south on rotational leadership at the centre.

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Why Ambode Was Not Given Second Term Ticket – Lagos APC

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Ambode

The Lagos State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress has given reasons why it denied a second term ticket to former governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Chairman of the party in Lagos, Tunde Balogun, in an interview with PUNCH, said that Ambode was not picked by the APC to represent it during the 2019 governorship election because he deviated from the party’s programmes.

Balogun said, “When Ambode took over, at the beginning he was adhering to the programme of the party but after some time, he deviated. That singular mistake cost him his second term.

“The people of Lagos were disenchanted with the performance of his (Ambode) government.

“In the area of environment, Lagos was taken over by dirt. In the area of roads, there were potholes and major road projects embarked upon by Fashola were abandoned.

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“These were not part of our dreams and vision for Lagos. We plan to have very good management of wastes and complete projects. We did not plan to have abandoned projects and potholes everywhere. We could not wait to look at that kind of thing that was why we took the necessary step to ensure that our programmes for the improvement of Lagos and making life better for the people are strictly followed.

“That was what cost him the second term that he wanted.

“As a party, we have to be responsive to what the people want otherwise we would become a failure.”

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No Politician Can Influence Who Succeeds Me – Ebonyi Governor, Umahi

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David Umahi - Chairman South East Governors Forum

Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State, has declared that no politician has the power to influence his successor in 2023 except God.

Umahi alleged that many politicians in the state have shun state functions but attend those organised outside the state in a bid to wield influence from outside the state and determine what happens in the area politically.

Umahi made the claim during a special thanksgiving service in Abakaliki, the state capital on Sunday where he described politicians as the most greedy and most ungrateful people created.

“Most of the politicians instead of being grateful to God for the positions they are currently occupying, they begin to scheme for another position immediately after they secure their positions,” he said.

He, however, disclosed that there would be immense prayers across the 13 local government areas of the state to enable God to choose the crop of leaders that would emerge after his regime so as to prevent the state from being plunged into back era of darkness.

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Umahi said: “I will say that politicians are the most ungrateful people to God. When God has delivered you, the next move is to start looking for another post, it’s a very terrible thing.

“A lot of our people, when there is programme here they will not come but when there is programme outside the state, they will go there believing that the leadership of this state can be influenced from outside. We have come of age and nobody can influence the elective or appointive positions in this state from outside the state, it’s not possible.

“And all those people who are going to occultists or herbalists on this, as far as I came in the name of the Lord they will all be disgraced.

“The next crop of leaders will come from God in this state and we will begin serious prayers on this in all the local government areas. It is going to be a battle because the soul of this state is at stake. The light has come in Ebonyi State and nobody can quench the light.”

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