The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of deliberately attempting to blackmail the Supreme Court to get favour in governorship cases in Sokoto, Bauchi and other states.
Oshiomhole said calling for the resignation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, was the height of recklessness by the PDP and an effort to cause civil unrest in the country.
The former Edo State governor, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday while replying the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
The Supreme Court had in a judgment on Tuesday sacked Emeka Ihedioha of PDP as the governor of Imo state and declared the APC candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, as the duly elected elected governor.
Secondus while reacting to the judgement on Thursday said the Supreme Court under the CJN had become compromised.
He alleged that the apex court had become a willing tool to execute the ignoble agenda of the APC-led Federal Government against the Nigerian people.
But Oshiomhole said the statement was not only designed to intimidate the judiciary but to lay foundation for civil unrest.
He said, “The PDP is not only reckless they believe it is their birth right to benefit from electoral fraud. Courts are bond to interpret laws according to the constitution. No court has power to bend the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.”
Oshiomhole said the results used to declare Ihedioha as governor showed he did not get the required one-quarter vote in two-thirds of the 27 local government areas of Imo state.
He lampooned the state Returning Officer, Prof Francis Otunta, for not recognising the fact that 12 is not 2/3 of 27.
He said, “That a returning Officer ought not only to be dismissed but should face the consequences of his action. It was the height of irresponsibility on the part of Independent National Electoral Commission to condone such action.
“A professor of mathematics curiously did not know that 12 is not two third of 27 local government areas and proceeded to unlawfully declare Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo state.
“In a society that is committed to fairness and rule of law, that returning officer ought not only to be dismissed, he ought to have reported himself to the security at how he must have arrived at the decision to declare Emeka Ihedioha as governor.
Oshiomhole said the INEC collation officers working with the PDP deliberately cancelled the results in the stronghold of Uzodinma to make him lose the election without valid reasons.
He said Uzodinma would have scored the highest votes if the results had been collated the first time.
“It has been the philosophy of PDP from 2003 after the 1999 elections to arrogantly ask their agents or activists to manipulate INEC to add vote and tell the loser who would have been the winner to go to court and challenge them if he is not ready to accept the fraud perpetrated between INEC and PDP.
“That exactly was what they did in the case of Imo and I think that was the height of irresponsibility on the part of INEC. Now that it has been established that the Professor went out of bounds and indulged in this reckless pronouncement that has led us to this situation that we are in, he can not enjoy the comfort of his zone while he has laid foundation that all kinds of political vultures are trying to feast on.
“I believe that what is important to me and my party is where the truth lies. The interest of the Nigerian nation and the need to service our democracy is far more important than the interest of any political party and the interest of any governorship aspirant or candidate whether he is of the APC or PDP or any other political party,” he said.
Oshiomhole said the APC-led Federal Government would bequeath a stable democratic culture to the country by promoting the rules of the game and adhering to the provisions of the constitution.
“I don’t know how long we are going to be in power, but it is safe to say that we will not be in power for ever. As we deepen democracy, clean the books, Nigerians will imbibe the culture of free and fair election…. only God can predict who will always win election.
“Therefore, my long term interest as a Nigerian is better served by adhering to hard facts and ensuring that at our own levels, we all play our part to ensure that elections are free and fair. As a person, having being a victim of election rigging, nothing in my life will make me go out of my way to aid and abate electoral manipulation.”
The former Edo governor cautioned Secondus and the PDP for calling for the resignation of the CJN.
He said, “When they make statement such as ‘this is a coup, this is a threat to our democracy,’ they behave as if they have another passport. But the rest of us who have only one passport, the green passport, this democracy has come to stay. We must contribute our own quota to deepen it by obeying the rules of the game.”
Oshiomhole accused the PDP of promoting the culture of do or die politics.
“It is a fact that PDP is a beneficiary of fraud year in year out and it became part of their sing song over time to rig them out and let them go to court.
“The PDP can never, whether on ground of morality or on account of their known history pronounce, in a manner in which they did as if they are not the ones who laid foundation for all the challenges we are facing in our democracy.
“The current electoral act was not crafted by the APC government. It was crafted by the PDP government because they had the instrument of rigging and they made it such a law that it is almost impossible for anyone who has been rigged out to seek redress from the law court. This is why our President has committed himself to doing everything he can to ensure that, on the basis of the lessons learnt, he will clean up the system and leave us with a legacy that will ensure better elections in the future.”
The former Edo governor recalled that the APC accepted its fate when it was barred from presenting candidates in Rivers state in the general election and when its victories were awarded to the PDP in Zamfara after winning the governorship as well as the National and House of Assemblies elections.
He added, “The PDP has Zamfara for nothing, with no efforts at all. Again, because we have to be law abiding and not withstanding our reservations, we did not go to any television to castigate the Chief Justice of Nigeria or the Supreme Court for the judgement.
‘In life, you don’t always win. You win some and lose some. A matured democrat is the one that is capable of celebrating when the rules are in his favour, but must also have the courage of living with the pains of defeat. That was why with all the pain in our heart, we accepted Rivers and Zamfara.
“At other levels, we lost two Senators to PDP in Sokoto. We believe that we won those elections, but the Court of Appear ruled against us and awarded them to the PDP, but we did not castigate the panel because we had to restrain ourselves as part of our won contribution in sustaining democracy and the rule of law.
“If we can only celebrate when we win; denounce, abuse and castigate when we lose, there will be no judiciary in Nigeria
“PDP leaders are being short sighted when they frontally attack the judiciary when they lose election and when they win, no matter how unfairly in the eyes of the ordinary people, it is democracy at work and the rule of law has prevailed.
“The Supreme Court has the responsibility to make final pronouncement if the parties involve decide to go to court. So we repose confidence in the Supreme Court and all judges as well as those of the Court of Appeal. This is what we are obliged to do in a democracy based on the principles of separation of power.”
Ghana reopens 600 Nigerian shops after six months
Over Six Hundred (600) shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana have been reopened to business by the Ghanaian government has been under lock and key for over six months.
According to a statement signed on Tuesday by Gabriel Odu of Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) the President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) Ken Ukaoha disclosed this on Solidarity visit to the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Tuesday, in Abuja.
Ukaoha stated that the visit to NIDCOM is to commend and appreciate the Chairman/CEO Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa for her untiring and unrelenting efforts in resolving the lockdown of Nigerian shops in Ghana for over six months.
Ukaoha believes that the ECOWAS Protocol of the Free Movement of Persons, Goods, and Services shouldn’t be observed in breach but rather be observed in the spirit of brotherhood and diplomatic reciprocity.
In a similar development, Abike Dabiri-Erewa lauded the NANTS led by its Ukaoha for appreciating NIDCOM’s role in the reopening of Nigerian shops in Ghana, the statement said.
She also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and stated that the intervention was multi-level especially at the highest level of diplomacy and bilateral relations between Ghana and Nigeria. Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerian traders in Ghana to always obey the laws of their host country and conduct themselves with respect and dignity.
It could be recalled that shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana have been on lockdown since December 2019.
The reopening of the shops may also have been connected with the effort being made by the Ghanaian Government to appease the Nigerian government in order to resolve the recent face-off with Nigeria over the demolition of a residential building within the premises of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
Why probing Atiku, Saraki and myself for connection with Hushpuppi is a huge joke, Timi Frank explains
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Tuesday, described the call for the investigation of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, ex-Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, ex-Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Senator Dino Melaye and himself as a huge joke.
A suspected Nigerian internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi was recently arrested in Dubai and extradited to the United States of America (USA) where he is currently facing trial.
Atiku, Saraki, and Dogara have also in separate statements denied any business connection with the suspect.
Frank in a statement in Abuja, said the photographs under reference were taken at a public function and therefore cannot be proof that any of them had business dealings with the suspect.
The Bayelsa-born Political Activist said:
“That Hushpuppi was privileged to be in a function where he took pictures with His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, former Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Senator Dino Melaye, and my humble self, does not prove that any of us had business dealings of any kind with him.
“Hushpuppi is a Nigerian that was in a function with Nigerians and like any other Nigerian, asked for a photo session with these Nigerian leaders which they obliged.
“I understand that this is beyond the comprehension of the APC’s regime, especially the Head of State, Rtd. Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, because Nigerians loathe them and run away from them whenever they come across them in foreign countries, hence they are trying to rope us into imaginary business dealings with Hushpuppi.
“Does the APC think that the USA and its security agencies, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), make arrests before the investigation?
“Does the APC government not realize that investigation was carried out before Hushpuppi was arrested?
“America is not Nigeria where the APC’s militant wing, alias the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies, go about harassing innocent citizens even before any investigation is carried out.
“We know that the APC’s government and its sycophantic town criers are very good at weaving lies, propaganda, stealing and embezzling of public funds, supporting Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and protecting APC political Hushpuppies like the cabals in the Villa who before 2015 were in debt and extreme poverty, but have within the last five years of Buhari’s regime become multibillionaires.
“They even acquired Etisalat, now known as 9Mobile, Keystone Bank, etc. Some of these APC political hushpuppies even had bullion vans in their houses during the 2019 presidential election campaigns.
“We have seen an APC governor open a bank in his ‘Babariga’ where he openly pocketed huge amounts of dollars without personal shame or repercussions from this government.
“We have seen billions of dollars frittered away at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and other government agencies under the APC regime.
“Even the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, last week, called for the sack of the head of the EFCC over corruption allegations. The EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, is presently being quizzed by a Presidential Panel constituted by this regime.
“What can be more embarrassing to a country than for the head of its anti-graft crusade to be indicted for corruption?
“APC and this regime should bury their head in shame as this is the most corrupt democratic administration in the history of our beloved country.
“If Hushpuppi had been extradited to Nigeria, this corrupt and clueless Buhari-led APC regime would have set him free.
“The FBI does not need anybody to urge them to act or investigate any individual if they have evidence against anybody they will do the needful as they are professionals in their job.
“Finally, Buhari and the APC should stop wasting time sponsoring unnecessary protests, rather they should focus on delivering the fake promises they made to Nigerians during their electioneering campaigns and to think of how to repay all the debts they have accumulated through incessant foreign and local loans.
Comrade Timi Frank
Political Activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC
NCDC issues guideline for elections
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued a guideline for safely conducting state and local government elections, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens.
It urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), parties, politicians and election monitors to place a premium on the lives of the electorate by adhering strictly to the guideline and bearing in mind that the deadly virus thrives in a mass gathering.
The government encouraged all to comply with protective measures – limiting mass gathering, ensuring physical distancing of at least two metres, promoting hand hygiene and mandatory use of face masks.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“Today we are announcing and launching a new guideline for the conducting of elections during the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
“Some states will be holding state and local government elections this year, being the first time we are holding elections of this significance during the pandemic.
“Therefore, we have developed this guideline to support everyone involved – parties, INEC, but most critically, Nigerians that will be going to vote in these difficult times.
“Voting still remains a civic responsibility and although we are in the middle of a pandemic, we have to find a way of doing this safely and we have to adapt to the new normal.
“As we know, the virus thrives in mass gathering, so there is a challenge we have in the way we have conducted our elections – pre-elections, during elections and post-elections. So, in doing this guideline, we try and offer advice on how to do this safely.”
The NCDC boss added:
“We strongly encourage the use of television, radio, mobile vans, social media and other forms of communication as our politicians solicit votes.
“We advise careful adherence to mass gathering guidelines. Unfortunately, the virus doesn’t recognise whether we are conducting elections, religious gatherings or business settings – it just thrives when people come together.
“We have provided specific guidelines for theses settings and none of them will be surprising and we’ll be explicit about it.
“We urge our political leaders to take responsibility and lead by example. Leadership will be critical in this era and we advise them to think of the lives of the electorate first. The electorate staying alive is much more important than any vote you can win.”
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