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PDP challenges Imo tribunal judgement, heads to appeal court

The Imo State leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said the appeal court will serve them justice in the case of the legal battle surrounding the November 2023 governorship election.

The state chairman of the PDP, Chidi Dike, said this on Sunday while speaking to newsmen in Owerri.

He was reacting to the last Friday judgment of the Imo governorship tribunal that affirmed Governor Hope Uzodimma of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as the governor of the state.

According to the opposition party, the last tribunal judgment did not reflect the facts as presented by the PDP to the court for that reason they would head to the appeal court.

“From every indication, the ruling of the tribunal did not reflect the true facts presented before the tribunal by our legal luminaries. The fact of the matter is that the party and its candidate in the November 11 governorship election, Distinguish Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu won the election which facts were presented to the tribunal. While rejecting the ruling, this does not vitiate our confidence in the judiciary and its ability to correct the lopsided view of the Judges that sat in Abuja.

“We state in unmistakable terms that the population of Imo electorates rejected the candidate of the APC and placed their confidence in the PDP following the abysmal performance of the APC in Imo State. The Peace-loving people of Imo State had before the poll expressed their tiredness and loss of confidence in the Governance of APC and yearned for a change which they trooped out en masse in November to further elucidate, but their efforts were thwarted by INEC and their officials.

“However, we restate our confidence that these anomalies of the tribunal will be corrected. PDP is a constitutional party and we have unflinching confidence in the constitution of Nigeria and its interpreters in the higher echelon of the Judiciary.

“Let me at this juncture appreciate our party members across the state. What you have demonstrated in the 24 hours following the tribunal judgement is indeed a great show of solidarity and absolute loyalty. Your calls and text messages are hereby acknowledged and I pledge in my honour that I and the Caretaker Committee Members will not take it for granted.

“We will not fail you. While assuring you that your mandate and that of the Imo people will be recovered. I want to say again that we are not going to rest on our oars. We urge you to remain resolute as the Court of Appeal will definitely serve us Justice,” he said.

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Politics

Court dismisses APC’s appeal, upholds Diri’s election as Bayelsa Governor

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Thursday affirmed the decision of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal, which had upheld the November 11, 2023, re-election of Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

A 3-man panel of the appellate court in a unanimous judgment dismissed an appeal seeking to set aside and dismiss the decision of the Tribunal.

Recall that the Justice Adekunle Adeleye-led three-member tribunal had on May 27, dismissed as lacking in merit, the petition filed against Governor Diri’s re-election by the APC and its candidate.

The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to adduce any credible evidence to substantiate any of the allegations they raised against the outcome of the governorship poll.

The instant appeal was filed by the All Progressives Congress, and its governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva.

The panel held that the appeal was incompetent and constituted an abuse of the court process, lacking in merit and consequently liable for dismissal.

The panel explained that there was no cogent proof founded on law to quash the earlier judgement of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

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Many injured as gunmen attack Shaibu, Okpebholo’s convoy in Benin

Three policemen are feared dead following a clash with suspected political thugs on Thursday in Benin City.

It was gathered that the clash occurred in the afternoon, shortly after Edo State APC governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo and the reinstated Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, left Benin Airport on arrival from Abuja.

While some sources said three policemen sustained gunshot injuries, others said three policemen lost their lives during the clash.

When contacted for confirmation, the Public Relations Officer of the Edo State Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, who said they also heard it as a rumour, said it would be premature for the Command to make any statement on it without investigation.

It was learnt that no sooner had the Okpebholo and Shaibu left the airport than unknown gunmen, in a Sienna vehicle parked at the exit gate of the airport, shot at their convoy.( Daily post)

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Court stops suit seeking to void Akpata as Edo LP candidate

Nigerian govt should stop paying lip service to education strikes —NBA

Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking to void the nomination of Olumide Akpata as the candidate of the Labour Party in the September 21 governorship election in Edo State.

In a judgement, Justice Omotosho upheld the arguments by Akpata’s lawyer, Johnson Usman, (SAN) that the plaintiffs were without the legal right to institute the suit.

The suit was filed by Anderson Asemota, Monday Mawah, a deputy governorship candidate, and Lamidi Apapa, listed as acting national chairman of the Labour Party.

Listed as defendants were the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Olumide Akpata and the Labour Party.

Justice Omotosho held that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to have approached the court on the issue because they did not participate in the February 23, 2024 primary of the party from which Akpata emerged as the party’s candidate.

The judge also found that the issue was about the nomination of a candidate, which forms part of the internal affairs of a political party.

He held that it is the party that determines who its candidate is, and proceeded to hold that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit.

The judge further held that even if the court was to assume jurisdiction, the suit itself lacked merit.

Justice Omotosho noted that contrary to the plaintiffs’ arguments, the Court of Appeal nullified the orders made by a high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) including the order restraining Julius Abure-led leadership of the party.

The judge said, “This means that the third plaintiff (Apapa) and those who were in acting capacity with him immediately had all their decisions nullified and non-existent.

“Thus, any letter written by the said acting executives, or any decisions including the purported consensus primary election which produced the 1st plaintiff (Asemota) are all non-existent, void and of no effect whatsoever.

“It is a trite principle of law that you cannot put something on nothing and expect same to stand.

“The entire foundation upon which the plaintiffs claim rests has been thoroughly demolished by the decision of the Court of Appeal.

“The argument that the decision of the high court of the FCT was valid as at when the primary election was conducted may be true to some extent especially if the Court of Appeal had yet to hand down its judgment.

“The judgment, however, destroys this argument and ensures that the first plaintiff for all intents and purposes cannot be deemed to be a candidate who emerged from a valid primary election.

“Thus the 1st plaintiff cannot claim that his name should be accepted by the ist defendant as candidate of the 3rd defendant for the governorship elections in Edo state in 2024,” Justice Omotosho said.

The plaintiffs had prayed the court to among others, order INEC to publish Asemota’s name as the winner of the Edo Labour Party Governorship Primary Election, having emerged as the consensus candidate and winner of the February 22 primary conducted by the primary election committee set up by the party’s national working committee (NWC) under Apapa’s leadership.

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