From Abdulgafar Oladimeji, Kano.
Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Friday prayed the court of Appeal, Kaduna division, for the dismissal of the Interlocutory appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) seeking the court to upturn the decision by the Kano Governorship tribunal, which denied the appellant the leave to amend its list of witnesses.
It would be recalled that Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal presided by Justice Halima Shamaki, on July 16, dismissed a request by Abba Kabiru Yusuf to amend the list of witnesses that were enlisted to give evidence.
Counsel to the PDP governorship candidate, Adegboyega Awomolo(SAN) proceeded to the court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna requesting the court to quash the verdict passed by Justice Shamaki regarding their request to be allowed to effect an amendment on the list of witnesses.
Counsel to INEC, Adedayo Adedeji told the court that the appeal is intent at seeking to amend the list of witness, after the expiration of the stipulated 21 days, noting that the attempt violates the provisions of the electoral act.
The second respondent, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, represented by Offiong Offiong,(SAN) told the court that the appellant had failed to file the list of intended witnesses within the mandatory 21 days period.
According to him, the request to be allowed to amend the list been made by Abba Kabiru Yusuf is in contrary to the spirit of sections 4 and 5 of the first schedule of the Electoral Act, urging the court to refuse the request and to uphold the verdict passed by Justice Halima Shamaki, on 16th July 2019 in Kano.
Offiong further submitted that the Electoral Act mandated the petitioners to file their petition within the period of 21 days, adding that the petition, when filed ought to have been accompanied by the statement on oath of the deposition and the list of witnesses.
The five man jury headed by Justice Mukthar Huseini informed the petitioners and respondents that the court registry would notify the parties of the date, when the court would deliver its judgment.
Edeoga Heads to Appeal Court over Enugu Guber Tribunal Verdict
From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu.
The Edeoga/Nwokeabia campaign organization has said it would challenge the outcome of the Judgement delivered by the Enugu Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on September 21, at the Court of Appeal.
This was disclosed in a statement sent to the Journalists by the spokesperson of the Edeoga/Nwokeabia campaign organization, Engineer George Ugwu.
Ugwu said that the campaign organization was prepared to challenge the tribunal judgement that uphelds the victory of Governor Peter Mbah of the People’s Democratic party (PDP) at the court of appeal and to all extent as permitted by law.
He urged their supporters across the state and in other parts of the country to remain calm, law abiding and go about their businesses without fear or hindrance.
He further added that “we retain belief in Justice and will go the full extent legally possible in ensuring that the hopes of Enugu people, who turned out in their numbers to vote for Labour Party candidate on March 18, 2023 are realised”
Enugu Tribunal Declares Peter Mba Duly Elected
From Sylvia Udegbunam Enugu
The Enugu State Gubernatorial Election Tribunal has declared Governor Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as duly elected in the March 18, governorship election in Enugu State.
The tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano also dismissed Edeoga/Labour Party’s petitions of over-voting, bypass of BVAS in the election.
The court ruled that Mbah was duly elected as governor by majority of lawful and valid votes cast at the election.
The Tribunal had earlier dismissed the allegation of Edeoga/LP that Governor Peter Mbah’s National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) discharge certificate was forged.
It held that Mbah did not submit his NYSC certificate to INEC in aid of his qualification to contest for office of governor, since he was already qualified without NYSC certificate.
The Tribunal further rejected Edeoga’s witnesses, and ruled that the LP governorship candidate did not present any admissible evidence to prove that Mbah’s certificate was forged.
The tribunal also held that to prove the issue of forgery, the petitioner must provide the original certificate and the forged one.
The panel also resolved the issue that Mbah was not elected by majority of votes cast against the petitioner.
It averred that witnesses called by the petitioners could not specify the polling units where the elections did not hold nor the results of same.
The panel further held that the petitioner failed to prove that the Mbah did not possess the minimum requirement to stand for election, which is school certificate or its equivalent.
It, therefore, said there was no evidence to support the claim that Mbah was not qualified to stand for the election.
On the issue of plea bargain by Mbah, the tribunal averred that the exhibits presented by the petitioners did not show any plea bargain by the respondent.
The court said there was an evidence presented by Mbah to the effect that he was acquitted of the charges.
Ogun Govt. to set up special Court to try cultists
Ogun Govt. to set up special Court to try cultists
Gov. Dapo Abiodun says a special Court is to be established by the Ogun Government to try cult-related cases.
Abiodun spoke after a joint security meeting, held at the Governor’s Office, in Abeokuta on Wednesday.
He said that the state government would also set up a Joint Anti-Cultism Security Task Force comprising all major security outfits, with the mandate to rid the state of the menace of cultism.
The governor said that the state was also proposing an amnesty programme for cultists who might wish to renounce cultism and surrender their weapons.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Abiodun had on Tuesday hinted that his administration would enact a law that would pronounce the death penalty on anyone caught engaging in cult activities in the state.
NAN reports that the governor had spoken during a visit to the Palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, following days of cult-related clashes in Sagamu, which left many dead and others injured.
The governor said that the joint security meeting focused on providing adequate measures to eradicate cultism in the state.
“During the meeting that took place today (Wednesday), we engaged in fruitful discussions regarding the implementation of measures aimed at combating cultism in the state.
“Our primary focus was on establishing a special court, forming a joint operational force comprising various security agencies, and implementing a death penalty for cultism offences.
“In addition to these measures, we also deliberated on the possibility of introducing a period of amnesty.
” This would allow individuals who wish to surrender their weapons and renounce their affiliation with any cult-related groups and activities the opportunity to do so without fear of prosecution.
” We are dedicated to providing the Special Court and Joint Anti-Cultism Security Task Force with the necessary logistics and tools to support their operations effectively,” he said.
Abiodun said that the overall objective of the meeting was to address the issue of cultism through a multifaceted approach.
He added that the approach would include legal and enforcement measures, rehabilitation efforts, and community engagement through our respected traditional leaders.
“In conclusion, we are determined to tackle the menace of cultism in our state head-on.
“This is by employing a combination of legal frameworks, law enforcement strategies, rehabilitation initiatives, and community involvement, we believe we can bring about lasting change,” he said. (NAN)
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