The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has held that there is no cogent reason given by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for a repeat election or the cancelation of its primary election of May 24 for the Ikorodu Federal Constituency.
The court therefore ordered the PDP to submit to INEC, the name of Abdul Kareem Shittu, as the candidate of the party in place of Awesu AbdulAzeez whose name was submitted.
Justice Daniel Osiagor held that Shittu won the party’s Lagos State House of Representatives primary conducted on May 24, 2022, by a simple majority.
Justice Osiagor also held that the INEC form signed by officials of the party and countersigned by the INEC official had the name of the plaintiff, Abdul Kareem Shittu, written on it as winner of the primary election.
The judge directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to recognise Shitu as the validly nominated candidate for the Ikorodu Federal Constituency.
The judge made the order while delivering judgment in Shittu’s suit challenging PDP’s purported submission of the name of the third defendant in the suit, Awesu AbdulAzeez A. to INEC as its candidate for the constituency.
The PDP and INEC are listed as the first and second defendants.
The third defendant, Awesu had challenged the suit on the grounds that it was statute-barred but in his judgment, Justice Osiagor held that the plaintiff did not run afoul of Section 285 of the Electoral Act which prescribed a 14-day window for filing of pre-election matters.
He held that what Shittu complained of was not the result of the election but the purported submission of the name of the third defendant to INEC on the 17th of June, which he became aware of on the 18th of June, adding that the plaintiff’s suit takes care of that window limitation.
On the third defendant’s objection that the plaintiff did not seek the resolution of the dispute through the internal mechanism of the party as stipulated in the party’s constitution, Justice Osiagor held that the party’s rule is subservient to the Electoral Act.
He added that the provisions in the party’s rules which provide for internal mechanism in dispute resolution cannot rob the Federal High Court of jurisdiction as freely given under the Electoral Act.
The judge noted that to make matters worse, the PDP did not come to court to deny or file any document to prove the genuineness of the May 6th result tendered by the plaintiff.
The judge warned politicians to note that gone were the days when they would gather people together in the name of elections and later go back to overrule the mandate given by the people.
In his affidavit before the court, Shittu had submitted that he participated in the primary election conducted by the PDP to elect its candidate for the House of Representatives in Ikorodu on May 24, 2022, and got the highest number of votes cast.
He stated that having won the primary election, his name was announced in the presence of all the party’s members who witnessed and participated in the election and his name was entered into the official result slip of the party.
Shittu also said that the party later cancelled the primary election due to a petition written by the third respondent, and the party rescheduled the election following which it was held on June 6.
He contended that at the rescheduled primary election in which he and Awesu AbdulAzeez participated, both of them got the same number of votes and based on that and in line with the party’s guidelines for primary election to nominate its candidate, there should have been a re-run.
He added that instead of conducting one, the party went ahead to nominate the third respondent as its candidate to INEC, a situation which compelled him to file the suit in court.
Lalong Appoints Ten New Permanent Secretaries
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has approved the appointment of 10 new Permanent Secretaries.
The governor made the announcement in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, on Monday in Jos.
According to the statement, the new officials are to fill the vacancies created following the retirement/resignations of some Permanent Secretaries in the service of the state government.
“The new Permanent Secretaries are expected to be sworn in on Tuesday 24th January 2023.
“The new Permanent Secretaries are: Keziah Dung (Barkin Ladi); Yusuf Ayuba Gimba ( Bassa); Gongden Micah Sunday (Mangu); Lamu Michael Dennis (Mangu).
“ Peter Wuyep (Kanke); Bapman Naankin Emmanuel (Mikang); Boniface Gwotbit Bankshuet (Mikang); Gotan Benjamin James (Pankshin); Salamatu Ritmwa Parlong (Pankshin); and Wuyep Zitta (Langtang South)”.
Enugu2023: My Government Will Explore The Opportunities Of Coal, Gas And Solar Energy To Meet Power Needs Of Enugu State – Frank Nweke Jr
Frank Nweke Jr, the Enugu State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), on Sunday night, said that his government would explore the opportunities of resources like coal and natural gas (CNG) which the state has, as well as solar technology to meet the power needs of the citizens.
Nweke who spoke during a virtual town hall meeting with the Enugu Association, Canada, noted that Enugu has one of the highest electricity tariffs in Nigeria, an issue he would work closely with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) as Governor to understand and resolve.
“Electric power is critical for domestic use and economic progress. While working with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to improve supply and reduce tariffs, we have some opportunities available to us as alternatives to power from the mains.
“The use of coal has been stalled due to agreements induced by Western powers on the basis of managing climate change. What we have now are illegal miners and private companies who have expanses of coal deposits concessioned to them.
“As a government, we will work to retrieve these concessions by making deals with the people concerned or by making a strong representation to the government at the centre who hold the rights to mineral resources on the exclusive list under section 39 of the constitution.”
He also noted that the developed economies that had opposed large scale mining for reasons of climate change had fallen back to the use of coal due to the effects of the Russian-Ukraine war. He declared that he had the political will to ensure that all resources and opportunities available to the State would be explored.
On the use of natural gas (CNG), Nweke referred to Lagos and Abia where communities are sequestered, and clean energy provided to them. He revealed his team have had conversations with licensed operators who are willing to do the necessary due diligence checks and explore that opportunity whenever his government is ready.
Nweke further stated that as Governor he will also explore the opportunity of solar technology. He noted that Enugu already had young companies assembling inverters and looking to extend their production to solar panels.
“We will work with these local companies and with some established international companies from Japan, Turkey and other parts of the world to establish a ‘Partnership in Technology Program” to set up plants for assembling solar panels and training our people to do the same in Enugu State.
“Our intention is to put in place a policy that will mandate developers of new estates to deploy structures for renewable energy, taking sections of the State off-grid by providing power from natural gas or solar technology.” He concluded.
Cross River Declares Work-Free Days For PVC Collection
The Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has declared Thursday, 26 and Friday, 27 January, 2023 as work-free days in the state to enable civil and public servants across the state to collect their Permanent Voters Cards.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Eric Anderson, said in a statement on Friday that the collection of PVCs was “in readiness for their full participation in the 2023 general election scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2023 for Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as Saturday, March 11, 2023 for Governorship and State Houses of Assembly Elections.
“Government wishes to make it abundantly clear, especially for the benefit of members of the general public, to note that these work-free days are not Public Holidays and should NOT be seen as one.
“Civil and public servants in the state are hereby advised to take advantage of the work-free days to get their PVCs in readiness to make their votes count in these elections. Your PVC is the pathway to achieving credible elections.”