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Updated: Tribunal sacks Ondo Reps member for holding dual citizenship


The National Assembly and State House of Assembly elections petition tribunal in Ondo state has nullified the election of Ikengboju Gboluga representing Okitipupa-Irele federal constituency over ineligibility to contest the 2019 House of Representatives election.

Gboluga, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared winner of the February 23 National Assembly election for the constituency.

The three-man panel headed by Justice Nuhu Adi directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw Gboluga’s certificate of return and issue another one to the petitioner, Albert Akintoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was the first runner-up in the election.

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The petitioner had prayed the tribunal to declare him winner of the election on two grounds:

“That the first respondent, Gboluga Ikengboju was not validly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast.

“He was not eligible to stand for the election having sworn to an oath of allegiance to the United Kingdom as enunciated by Section 66 subsection one of the 1999 Constitution.”

While resolving the two issues for determination, the tribunal in the judgment read by the Chairman, Justice Nuhu Adi said the evidences of 15 witnesses called by the petitioner, including himself were not sufficient to prove that the grounds of non-compliance with the electoral laws substantially affected the conduct and outcome of the election

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On the second issue, Justice Adi said Gboluga’s counsel did not oppose the evidence tendered by the petitioner that the PDP lawmaker swore to an oath of allegiance to the United Kingdom.

He said in line with extant laws the tribunal was convinced that Gboluga was not eligible to run for the election and therefore nullified his victory.

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The judge, therefore, ordered INEC to issue the petitioner a Certificate of Return to the APC candidate as the first runner up since the votes credited to Ikengboju had been a waste.

The petitioner and the leadership of the APC in Ondo state have, however, urged INEC to do the needful on the judgement.


Enugu Speaker survives Coronavirus



The Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi, held a thanksgiving Mass at the Assembly complex to thank God for making him survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ubosi said at the event on Tuesday that the survival was by an act of God due to the fact that the Coronavirus had no definite cure.

The speaker, who expressed his joy during the Holy Mass, confessed that God in his infinite mercy restored his health and thus gave him a second chance at the time when he had lost hope of survival.

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Ubosi described his recovery as a great miracle urged the public to observe all measures stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, stating that Coronavirus is real.

He appreciated his colleagues and civil servants in the Assembly for their prayers, which led to his recovery from the pandemic.

On the death of Chijioke Ugwueze, who represented Isi-Uzo Constituency, Ubosi said he was heartbroken with the demise of the late Ugwueze because of his contribution to the Seventh Assembly and the state in general.

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In the same vein, Ubosi declared that the Assembly was back to resume its normal activities, adding that all pending matters would be addressed to ensure the smooth running of government in the state.

In a related development, four executive bills have scaled first reading at the Assembly.

The bills are Enugu State Polytechnic Amendment Bill; School of Public Health Nursing and Health Technology, Nsukka, Amendment Bill; School of Health Technology, Oji River, Amendment Bill; and Survey Amendment Bill.

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In his remark, the speaker urged his colleagues to critically study the bills to enable them to make robust contributions during the second reading.

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Days of stolen mandate over, APC tells PDP



The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has reaffirmed its commitment to the principle of free and fair electoral process, insisting that under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, the party has continued to deepen our democracy and improve the electioneering system.

The party was referring to President Buhari’s declaration during a meeting with the state governors from North East geo-political zone, that the ruling party could have used the military and other security services to overrun opposition states in the 2019 general election but chose free, fair elections.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said the Presidential declaration was a pointer that under his administration, “the days of stolen and procured electoral mandates are fast fading.”

The party urged the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to learn from the patriotic adherence to the ethics of the principle of free and fair electoral process as exhibited by President Buhari during the last general election.

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The statement also noted that under the watch of the APC led administration, critical state institutions, such the Judiciary, INEC, security services have been operating under President’s impartiality and non-interference.

The statement reads:

“President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration that the All Progressives Congress (APC) could have used the military and other security services to overrun opposition states in the 2019 general election but chose free, fair elections is a solid pointer that under the current administration, the days of stolen and procured electoral mandates are fast fading.

“Critical state institutions such as the Judiciary, INEC, security services have been the ultimate beneficiaries of the President’s impartiality and non-interference. We must all support the independence of our state institutions to deepen our democracy and improve our electioneering system.”

On the September 19 Edo State Governorship election, the governing party decried Governor Godwin Obaseki’s continual spinning of puerile conspiracies of the alleged usage of ‘federal might’ by the APC while in the contrary the PDP governorship candidate was using the state apparatus to suppress the legislative arm of government in the state, while Governor Nyesom Wike as head of the PDP campaign council threatens violence.

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According to the statement:

“Ahead of the Edo State Governorship election, the PDP candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki continually spins puerile conspiracies on the role of ‘federal might’, while using his so called “Obaseki Boys” and state apparatus under his control to harass the State House of Assembly and APC members in the state. On his part, Governor Nyesom Wike as head of the PDP campaign council threatens violence.

“While we understand the panic and distress in the camp of the PDP and Governor Obaseki following the massive and widespread support given by the Edo electorate to the APC Governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC invites the PDP to join us in issue-based campaigns and at least attempt to sell to the Edo electorate the merit of their candidate, if any.

“The APC’s people-focused development records across the country forms the basis of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s six-point ‘SIMPLE agenda’ for the good people of Edo State which stands for Security, Infrastructural development, Manpower development, Public Private Partnership, Leadership and Employment creation.

“We call on partisans, particularly the PDP to purge themselves of their age long undemocratic habits of election rigging, vote buying, violence, abuse of state institutions for political ends and address themselves to new realities that under the President Buhari-led APC administration, power now belongs to the people and during elections, votes count.”

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APC felicitates with Odigie-Oyegun at 81



The All Progressives Congress (APC) has extolled the virtues of its former National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who will celebrate his 81st birthday on Aug. 12.

APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Nabena, APC rejoices with Chief Odigie-Oyegun, his family, friends, and associates for the good health, exemplary life, and good tidings the Almighty God has granted him.

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He said that Odigie-Oyegun was undoubtedly a man of many achievements because he was the country’s youngest permanent secretary and first elected governor of Edo State.
“He was the first National Chairman of the APC, who led us as then opposition party to presidential victory in 2015 after defeating the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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“Indeed, there is much to celebrate as Odigie-Oyegun clocks another year in an illustrious life journey.”

He said that the APC Caretaker Committee, led by Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, would continue to count on the support of Odigie-Oyegun and other party leaders to achieve its goal of repositioning the party and ensure peace and unity across the party ranks.
He prayed for Odigie-Oyegun’s long, healthy, and fulfilled years in service to the party and country.

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