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Why I declared Binani winner of Adamawa election – Suspended REC speaks from hiding

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Suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) for Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari has said that he declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC) wnner of the governorship election in the State to save the democratic process.

Ari said he acted in accordance with the powers conferred on him by the Electoral Act as the Chief Collation Officer in Adamawa State.

This was contained in a four-page letter he wrote to the Inspector General of Police from his hiding.

The embattled REC accused the two National Commissioners deployed to the State to supervise the April 15 supplementary election of collecting bribe from Governor Ahmadu Fintiri to declare him winner of the governorship election in Adamawa State.

In the letter, which was hand-dated April 20, the embattled REC also accused the two National Commissioners of usurping his responsibility as Resident Electoral Commissioner.

He denied any wrong doing in declaring the candidate of the APC, Aishatu Dahiru (Binani) winner of the governorship election saying he acted within the responsibility vested on him by the Electoral Act as the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state.

He said that as the Chief Collation Officer in the State, he observed that results uploaded on the IREV portal were not signed by him and therefore null and void.

The letter titled: “Report of the conduct of supplementary elections held on the 15th April, 2023 in Adamawa state”, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent was stamped received in the IGP office on the same day.

Although the letter, which was copied to the the INEC Chairman, Director General, DSS and the National Security Advisor was addressed to the Inspector General of Police, the content is suggestive of the fact that it may have been meant for the Commission.

The letter is the first communication of the suspended REC since he declared Binani winner of the election.

INEC had said that it was not aware of the where about of the Hudu Yunusa-Ari as he did not respond to summon to come to Abuja to explain his actions and did not return any of the calls placed to him.

The letter reads “You may wish to know that there is no better time than now to update the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and all concerned Nigerians on the conduct of the 15th April, 2023 supplementary elections in Adamawa State.

“It is against this background that you sent two National Commissioners, Dr. Baba Bila and Prof. Abdullahi Zuru to assist me in the conduct of the re-run elections in Adamawa State. I hope this was a confirmation that you wanted the Commission to conduct the elections to reflect the collective aspirations of the people of the State.

“At the end of the day, the actions of the two National Commissioners left much to be desired. The Commissioners held a meeting with my management staff in my absence and I did not know the outcome of the meeting and there was a sudden move to tamper with the list of Collation Officers (COs) earlier released for the rerun election.

“On the day of election, before the sensitive and non-sensitive materials were to be distributed across the affected Local Governments and polling units, I received a security report from the Commissioner of Police that Boko Haram insurgents from neighbouring states were recruited by some politicians to cart away sensitive materials and disrupt the elections.

“According to the report, the sensitive materials were not expected to leave the INEC office on the 14th April, 2023 until the day of election, which was on the 15th April, 2023 as shown in the attached photocopy of the letter from the Commissioner of Police, Adamawa State as Annex Al and A2.

“After the first letter from the Police Commissioner, another letter came from Police updating me that the security threat is still high as some Local Government Collation centers will be attacked and as such the Police advise that all collations from Registration Areas (RAs) and Local Government centers should be done at the State level, which was the INEC headquarters Annex, Adamawa State. Attached is the photocopy of the second letter from the Commissioner of Police as Annex B.

“In line with the security advice, I directed the Electoral Officers (EOs) and Local Government Collation officers to ensure that Results Collations should be done at a centralized INEC ANNEX OFFICE IN DOUGIREI, Yola

“However, at this point, the National Commissioners quickly and secretly gave out conflicting counter directives to the EOs that collation should be done in the Local Government Areas with an instruction that NEW LGA COLLATION OFFICERS which | am not aware of will be sent to them.

“This is without my knowledge or authorization as the Resident Electoral Commissioner as recognized by laws establishing INEC and the Electoral act.

“In the evening, when I was preparing for state collation, all seats for ICCES (Interagency Consultative Committee on election Security) members were set, I got to the place and discovered that my name was replaced with that of the Administrative Secretary to take charge of collation.

“I then asked the National Commissioners to explain why they would exclude me from the process of collating results. But there was no explanation. After some time, the National Commissioners declared that | was nowhere to be found.

“Immediately after the announcement, someone called me and informed me about the development. So around 1:00 am on Sunday 16th April, 2023, I came back to the collation center and saw some people sleeping including the two National Commissioners.

“I addressed them that I was still the Resident Electoral Commissioner and that all stakeholders for the re-run election should return to the collation center by 11:00 am on Sunday, 16th April, 2023.

“It is important to note that while the National Commissioners defiled the security concerns released by the Commissioner of Police, they purportedly did result collation at various locations by their self-appointed, unapproved and illegal collation officers.

“Meanwhile, I received reports that the collations at the various centers left much to be desired.

“So due to the pressure and the numerous calls I received from party agents and candidates of political parties threatening to cause mayhem for not having confidence in the collation of results at the various collation centers as directed by the National Commissioners, I looked inward and decided to call for all the results from the sixty-nine (69) polling units.

To avert the impending danger of the delay in announcing the results of the supplementary elections, I received the authentic results submitted by the Presiding Officers (POs) from all the sixty-nine polling units and compared them with results that were uploaded on the IREV (INEC portal) and I realized that the results on the portal were different because the results on the INEC portal were not signed by me”.

Speaking further, he said “On 15/04/2023 at about 10:00pm, armed Policemen from the Government House came to my house and placed me under House Arrest to prevent me from conducting my legitimate duties.

READ ALSO  APC will Win all LG election in Kogi – Governor Ododo boast

“It took the intervention of the Commissioner of Police who sent Mobile Policemen to my house to save the day and when they heard that a call was made to the CP, the Policemen trom Government House fled in a White Toyota Hilux van.

“In view of the time constraint and obvious risk to my life and to conclude the supplementary elections and forestall the breakdown of law and order, I organized a meeting comprising my co-chair, who is the Commissioner of Police, Director of Security Services, Commandant of Civil Defense Corps and others on the way forward.

“As the action of the National Commissioners and threats by political parties over the process of collating results created an atmosphere of violence that almost marred the election, most of the stakeholders were scared and refused to continue with the election process including the Returning Officer (RO).

“I also organized a meeting with the chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, in the person of Mr. Bello Babajo who assured me that he would reach out to all the political parties to calm down the tension and to allow the process to be concluded swiftly.

“It was based on this, that I compiled all the polling unit results and declared the winner of the election based on the highest number of valid votes scored by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani.

“The breakdown was the valid votes scored by the two leading candidates in the supplementary election using the results from the polling units as collated into all relevant Forms EC8B, C,D and E respectively by properly and legally appointed and recognized Collation Officers and my humble self as Adamawa state Chief Collation Officer and Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).

READ ALSO  Atiku backs nationwide protest against hardship and hunger, blasts Tinubu

“Prior to the declaration, there was an intelligence report made available to me that the two National Commissioners were at the Government House, Yola, at 8:31pm on 15/04/2023 and held a meeting with the State Governor, Mr. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

“So, immediately after the declaration, some PDP supporters attacked one of the National Commissioners, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru as well as the Returning Officer, Prof. Muhammed Mele for failing to deliver Mr. Anmadu Umaru Fintiri winner in the election after collecting money from him.

“It was also alleged that the people beaten in the purported video wanted to subvert the re-run election in Adamawa State and undermine the will of the Adamawa people as expressed through the ballot.

“A staff of Department of State Services (DSS) on intelligence gathering on the money allegedly given to the National Commissioners was also disarmed, abducted, taken to Government House Yola and assaulted by Police from Government House, Yola and thugs loyal to the PDP.

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Politics

No plan to suspend Soludo, says APGA

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The Anambra government on Thursday said the police arrested a 75-year-old barber, Nwankwo Nweke, for raping an eight-year-old girl in Awka.

Putting our house in order and maintaining peace is of the highest priority, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Edozie Njoku, has said.

He said the party has no plan to suspend Anambra State Governor Prof. Charles Soludo.

Njoku told reporters in Lagos that the suspension of the party’s lone governor would have sounded good for the opposition parties.

He said: “The current peaceful disposition in APGA made it unnecessary for the party. That would have sounded good for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and probably good for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“But, if we suspend Soludo today, who is going to be the beneficiary of that misadventure? It will be other parties,” he said.

Praising the media for being objective in their assessment of the crisis rocking the party, the APGA chair said that contrary to wrong perceptions in certain quarters, “many media professionals are upright”.

He said he was encouraged by the insistence of many reporters on getting the true picture of the party’s struggles to the public.

Admitting that a lot of things happened for as long as the battle for the soul of the party lasted, Njoku restated his commitment to reconciliation, inclusiveness and forgiveness to achieve harmony.

He identified the reawakening of members’ loyalty and confidence of party faithful and supporters as the major challenge for him and members of the National Working Committee (NWC).

He said: “There is no party that doesn’t really have a problem. But, peace is crucial. We are reconciling each other and it’s not going to be easy. Nigeria is a place whereby, because of the hardship, we find out that there are so many dissenting views. And when you have dissenting views, you acknowledge that everybody has right to have his or her own views.

READ ALSO  APC will Win all LG election in Kogi – Governor Ododo boast

“Well, in politics, as you know, people must play politics. Yes, the NWC received suggestion to suspend Governor Soludo from the party. But, that was not resolved. It was discussed and it came to a point that no agreement could be reached on that.”

He noted that the NWC met to review series of reconciliation strategies, while some estranged members have sent messages of goodwill and declared their willingness to return to APGA.

Frowned at attempts by some people to pit him against the Anambra governor, Njoku added that no efforts must be spared in working together to retain the state for APGA.

Source: The Nation

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APC will Win all LG election in Kogi – Governor Ododo boast

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APC will sweep LG election in Kogi – Governor Ododo vows

Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo has expressed optimism that the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, will win all the positions in the forthcoming Local Government election in Kogi State.

Ododo disclosed this on Monday at an expanded State Executive Committee and Critical Stakeholders Meeting held in Lokoja.

The Kogi State Governor stated that the party has performed excellently well in the state and expressed confidence that the party will win overwhelmingly in the October 19 Local Government election.

Ododo maintained that his administration will organize a free, fair and credible election at the Local Government level.

He said, “The election will be between 40 and 60. Meaning, 60 percent for Men and 40 percent for Women. His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello did 35 but we will do 40. Ours is to build and consolidate on the previous achievement. APC will win all the Local Government seats in Kogi State Insha Allah.

“Let me re-echo that the Vice Chairmen will remain women. Nobody will impose anybody on us. Irrespective of your party, I am here to serve the People of Kogi State. This mandate is for the people and my government will be all-inclusive.

According to him, his administration has invested billions of naira in agriculture to ensure food security in Kogi State.

“We must work with President Tinubu for the development of our country. He is doing well to cushion the current economic challenges. I am appealing to Nigerians to support him for the nation to move forward” he added.

READ ALSO  Labour Party Senator, Reps member defect to APC

On the issue of Local Government autonomy, Governor Ododo said since 2016, Local Government in Kogi State has been granted autonomy adding that the state has never tempered with local government funds.

He urged aggrieved individuals in the state to put aside their selfish interests and work for the progress of Kogi State.

“We must forget our differences and see how we can make use of our resources for our dear State. I am ready to go any length to make Kogi State great. This Local Government election will be a testing ground for all of us. I want to tell Mr President that we will give APC 100 percent. We don’t have any opposition in Kogi State” he stated.

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Amaechi has ceased to associate with the party — Rivers APC chairman

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The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress has lashed out at the former governor, Rotimi Amaechi, following comments

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State chapter, Tony Okocha has alleged that former Minister of Transportation and presidential aspirant, Rotimi Amaechi has ceased to associate with the party.

Okocha made the claim on Tuesday while speaking with journalists in Abuja.

The APC Chairman in the Rivers State also alleged that the former Minister once warned the party Secretary in the state to stop inviting him to party activities in the South-South state.

He said: “On the issue of Amaechi, I have no question to answer. I was Chief of Staff to Rotimi Amaechi, I recall that at one point he got into Law School, and after one year in Law School he became incommunicado. You are also aware that after the presidential primary election, he disappeared into thin air.

“So whether he is still a party member or not I wouldn’t know because all the meetings we called, I give you example of a meeting we called for all the former governors and ministers, he (Amaechi) sent a message to the Secretary of the party and warned him never ever dare send him a message about the party again. So when you meet him ask him where he belong, for me I don’t know where he belong.”

Reacting to a question that Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, ( FCT) is a financier of the APC Rivers chapter, Okocha claimed that his leadership has no working relationship with the chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party.

“When I hear this I laugh because Wike is a member of PDP, unrepentant PDP. We are APC here. Will anybody suggest that because Mr. Wike is a minister under our government of APC we should be at dagger with him?

READ ALSO  Atiku backs nationwide protest against hardship and hunger, blasts Tinubu

“Wike doesn’t attend our meeting, I have briefed you here, we have held meetings of stakeholders, Wike was never there. So at what point does he influence APC in Rivers State? His influence, as much as you know, is because he is minister under an APC government, so we can’t be in enmity with him. But to say that he influence us, how? What does he do, he pays our bills? Or he attends our meetings? The answer is no.

Source: Tribune

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Atiku backs nationwide protest against hardship and hunger, blasts Tinubu

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The 2023 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has backed the planned nationwide protests against hunger and widespread hardship in the country, scheduled to begin on August 1.

In a statement, Atiku slammed the government of President Bola Tinubu for attempting to suppress the protesters, saying it was an exercise in futility.

He noted that Nigerians, including supporters of Tinubu and the ruling APC, are affected by the hunger, anger, and hopelessness caused by the government’s incompetence and cluelessness.

He warned that any attempt to suppress these rights is not only unconstitutional but a direct affront to democracy.

Atiku’s statement reads, “For the avoidance of doubt, the rights of citizens to protest are ENSHRINED in the Nigerian Constitution and AFFIRMED by our courts. Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as altered) unequivocally guarantees the right to peaceful assembly and association.

“Chasing shadows and contriving purported persons behind the planned protests is an exercise in futility when it is obvious that Nigerians, including supporters of Tinubu and the ruling APC, are caught up in the hunger, anger, and hopelessness brought about by the incompetence and cluelessness of this government.

“It is deeply ironic that those who now seek to stifle these rights were themselves leading protests in 2012. A responsible government must ensure a SAFE and SECURE environment for citizens to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights to PEACEFUL PROTEST. Any attempt to suppress these rights is not only unconstitutional but a direct affront to our democracy.”

READ ALSO  APC will Win all LG election in Kogi – Governor Ododo boast

Source: Daily Post

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Labour Party Senator, Reps member defect to APC

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A federal lawmaker who represents Imo East Senatorial District, Ezenwa Onyewuchi, has dumped the Labour Party (LP) for the All Progressives

A federal lawmaker who represents Imo East Senatorial District, Ezenwa Onyewuchi, has dumped the Labour Party (LP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Majority Leader of the Senate, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, announced Onyewuchi’s defection during plenary on Tuesday.

Similarly, a member of the House of Representatives, Salman Idris, decamped from the African Democratic Congress (ADC) to the APC.

The lawmaker, who represents Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency in the green chamber, officially announced his political decision in a letter read on the floor of the House on Tuesday by Speaker Abbas Tajudeen.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Senate admitted Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma into the hallowed chamber in line with Senate rules.

Uzodimma, the Chairman of APC Progressive Governors’ Forum, and his team were present to witness Onyewuchi’s defection from LP to the ruling APC.

In his letter, Onyewuchi, whose defection brings to three, the number of APC Senators from Imo State, disclosed that he resigned from the Labour Party owing to the crisis in the party.

He also noted that his decision was is in line with the dictates of the constitution.

Shortly after Onyewuchi welcomed by APC lawmakers, he was ushered to take his seat at the APC wing of the Senate Chambers.

 

READ ALSO  Labour Party Senator, Reps member defect to APC
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Edo Guber: There’ll be war if APC… — Obaseki declares

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has announced a new minimum wage for Edo workers from N40,000 to N70,000 effective from May 1, 2024.

The Edo State government has condemned attempts by the oppo­sition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to negatively spin comments made by Gover­nor Godwin Obaseki, where he warned that if the APC does not allow for a free and fair election in the state, it will be a recipe for crisis in Nigeria.

In a statement, the Commis­sioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, who clarified the view expressed by the governor during a recent political meeting in the state, ac­cused the opposition party of try­ing to exploit the instrument of violence to influence the outcome of the September 21 governorship election in the state.

Nehikhare said the governor spoke at a stakeholders meeting, on Sunday, July 21, 2024, in Benin City, the Edo State capital, and warned that “if a free and fair election is not allowed to hold sway in Edo State on September 21, 2024, it will trigger a major cri­sis in Nigeria.”

The commissioner said: “The attention of the Edo State govern­ment has been drawn to the nega­tive spin that the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is fruitlessly attempting to put to the comments made by His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, at a stakeholders meet­ing, on Sunday, July 21, 2024, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

“For the records, we want to restate the comments of the gov­ernor on that occasion which is that: “If a free and fair election is not allowed to hold sway in Edo State on September 21, 2024, it will trigger a major crisis in Nigeria.

READ ALSO  Amaechi has ceased to associate with the party — Rivers APC chairman

“Recall that on Thursday, July 18, 2024, ahead of the rally to inaugurate the APC National Campaign Council, in Benin City, which was held on Saturday, July 20, 2024, the party assembled a large number of people believed to be thugs, most of them bearing firearms around the precincts of the Benin airport, on Airport Road, Benin City, to cause may­hem in the state, resulting in the unfortunate death of a police officer, Inspector Akor Onuh, at­tached to MOPOL 45 Abuja and the wanton destruction of prop­erties and injuries to several citi­zens who were going about their lawful businesses.”

He added, “The mob then moved around the city, attacking other institutions, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) secretariat, inflicting violence and terror on the lawyers in their secre­tariat, with one of the lawyers, Mr. Israel Idahosa, being severely in­jured and his property destroyed.

“They also intimidated and harassed private citizens who were putting on any material that had the insignia of the ruling Peo­ples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, within the Benin metropolis.

“As they say, the morning shows the day and the APC has clearly shown their plan for the September 21 governorship elec­tion in the state, which is to cause mayhem, make the state ungov­ernable, and take advantage of the chaos to manipulate the forth­coming governorship election.”

Nehikhare noted, “We howev­er want to advise the APC to, for once, read the mood of the nation and understand that with the cur­rent hardship, unattainable cost of living, and pervasive hunger in the country, a slightly irrespon­sible behaviour by the political class can ignite a crisis that will have a domino effect and cause a conflagration across the nation.

READ ALSO  Labour Party Senator, Reps member defect to APC

“This note of caution is even more appropriate with the omi­nous threat of a nationwide pro­test with the potential to degener­ate into a widespread breakdown of law and order.”

He urged residents in the state to go about their activities lawful­ly, noting, “While we urge all Edo people to go about their lawful businesses without fear, we call on the Nigeria police to do their job and apprehend the hoodlums, most of whom have been posi­tively identified and captured in videos, carrying firearms at the location of the crisis.

“The Edo State government, through its robust security video surveillance, is ready to supply these videos taken in real-time to help the police in their inves­tigation.”

 

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