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S/Court: Gov. Yusuf’s Reinstatement Signals Hope for Nigeria – CSO, NNPP Chieftain

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The Joint Action for Good Governance (JAGG) and a Chieftain of  New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) have applauded the  Supreme Court’s ruling  reinstating Gov. Abba Yusuf of Kano.

The Supreme Court reinstated Yusuf’s election on Friday,  after loosing at the lower courts.

In separate interviews on Friday in Lagos, the advocacy group and the NNPP stalwart said the reinstatement of the lone NNPP governor in the federation had further added to the credibility of the nation’s apex court.

The National Vice President of JAGG, Mr Abdulwaheed Odunuga said that the ruling of the Supreme Court was a relief to many stakeholders in the nation.

“I am thrilled and relieved by the recent decision of the Supreme Court to reverse the sack of  Yusuf by lower courts, and affirm his election as Kano governor.

“This judgment has not only reinstated the victory of  Yusuf but has also vindicated the integrity of the electoral process.

“It is noteworthy that the court emphasised that the lower courts were wrong in deducting votes based on technicalities related to the signing and stamping of ballot papers.

“This ruling reinforces the principle that substantial compliance with electoral laws should be prioritised over minor procedural irregularities,” Odunuga said.

According to him, as someone who has been actively involved in the NNPP and contested for the Federal House of Representatives in Kosofe, the verdict brings a sense of encouragement and optimism for the democratic process.

He added: “It reaffirms our belief in the rule of law and the capacity of the judiciary to correct perceived errors in electoral disputes.

“I commend the Supreme Court for its thorough and unbiased approach in delivering justice. It is my hope that this judgment will contribute to strengthening our electoral system and inspire confidence in the minds of the electorate.

” As we celebrate this victory, let us continue to uphold the principles of democracy and work toward a more transparent and accountable political environment.”

In his reaction,  Mr Adekunle Aderibigbe,  NNPP chieftain in Lagos state said the decision of the Supreme Court had again, boosted the morale and confidence of the people of Nigeria in the  justice system.

Aderibigbe said: It is heartening to see the Supreme Court uphold the democratic process by carefully reviewing and rectifying what appeared to be an erroneous decision by the Court of Appeal.

“The judicial system plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of elections, and the apex court’s determination to restore the deducted votes and reaffirm Yusuf’s victory reflects a commitment to fairness and justice.

“This meticulous scrutiny ensures that electoral outcomes are determined based on accurate legal principles and not arbitrary decisions.”

According to him, the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Court of Appeal’s ruling regarding Yusuf’s party membership was a significant point.

He said the apex court rightly asserted that matters related to nomination and sponsorship are pre-election issues and fall outside its jurisdiction.

“This reaffirmation underscores the importance of adhering to legal procedures and recognising the delineation between pre-election and post-election matters,” he said.

NAN reports that the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the  election of  Yusuf as duly elected governor of Kano state.

The apex court set aside the verdicts of the Court of Appeal and Kano state Election Petitions Tribunal, which nullified the victory of Yusuf in the March 18, 2023 governorship poll.

A five-member panel of the apex court in a judgment delivered by Justice John Okor, held that the tribunal and the court of appeal erred by sacking  Yusuf as governor of the state.

Yusuf and NNPP had filed an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which had affirmed his sacking as earlier pronounced by the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

The tribunal had sacked Yusuf and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw his certificate of return and instead, issue same to Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, the candidate of the APC in the March 18, 2023 governorship election.

However, not satisfied with the Tribunal judgment, Yusuf had approached the Appeal Court.

But the appellate court had while affirming his sack, further held that the governor was not a member of the party as of the time of the election and could not have been said to have been properly sponsored for the election.(NAN)

POLITICS

Senate Pushes for Nigerian Medical Graduands from Ukraine, Sudan to Sit for July, Nov MDCN Exams

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By Eze Okechukwu, Abuja

The senate has called out the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to allow Nigerian medical graduates from Ukraine and Sudan to sit for the MDCN exams in July and Nov without any discrimination, particularly those that the wars in both countries did not affect their academic activities.

The upper chamber also urged MDCN to in no distant time, work toward the conduct of the MDCN exams in each geo-political zone of the country like the Law Schools, to reduce the cost on the students and their parents.

The senate resolutions followed the adoption of a motion at plenary yesterday which was sponsored by Senator Oyewumi Olaler from Osun state titled: “Discrimination Against Medical Graduands from Ukraine by the Nigeria Medical and Dental Council.

In his lead debate, senator Olalere said that the issue of medical graduates from Ukraine universities has drawn attention of National Assembly since 2022, pointing out that in 2023, the House of Representatives and the Ministry of Health concluded with the Medical and Dental Council to allow the students that graduated from medical schools in Ukraine to participate in the qualifying exams like other students, or at best, organise a makeup programme for them before the exam.

The senator noted that MDCN has slated a referral programme for the 2022 graduates alone at Federal Medical Centre Gwagwalada at the cost of N1.5 million per student to be paid in one and half weeks.

He said the concerned parents of the affected students had visited the National Assembly complex to lodge their complaint during the vacation of the Senate for extension of the deadline for payment to one month from one and half week.

Olalere, who is the Senate Deputy Minority leader, said the war in Ukraine affected the eastern part of Ukraine and Kyiv, the capital, adding that the entire western Ukraine was not affected.

According to him, the students were on campus doing their programme unhindered as confirmed by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria.

He explained that since the war in Ukraine did not affect all the universities, especially, students in Western parts of Ukraine, students who graduated from those universities in 2023 should be allowed to sit for MDCN exams henceforth without any hindrance.

Other senators who supported the motion included Senators; Adamu Aliero, from Kebbi state Abdul Ningi from Bauchi state among others.

In a related development, the senate also urged the Committee of Nigerian Vice Chancellors to allow Nigerian students arriving from war torn countries to be admitted into Nigerian universities to complete their studies.

President of Senate Godswill Akpiabio in his remarks thanked the sponsor of the motion, saying that it was a popular motion and elicited comments from the lawmakers.

He expressed belief that the resolutions of the senate would be adhered to by MDCN and the Vice Chancellors to ameliorate the sufferings of concerned Nigerian medical graduates from the war affected nations.

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POLITICS

Edo Election: PDP Approves Delegates List

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By Johnson Eyiangho, Abuja

National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has approved the delegates list for the Edo State Governorship Election Primary to nominate a candidate for the Sept. 21 governorship election in the state.

It has also approved the conduct of the Edo State Governorship Election Primary for Thursday, Feb.

22 at the Lawn Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.

The NWC in a statement by the PDP’s Spokesman, Hon.

Debo Ologunagba yesterday charged all delegates, aspirants, leaders, critical stakeholders, members of the party and the public to note the official date and venue and be guided accordingly.

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POLITICS

Benue Diaspora Lambasts Benue National Assembly Caucus, Enumerate Alia’s Achievements

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi

A political group, under the umbrella of Divine Mandate Benue Diaspora (DMBD), on Sunday said Governor Hyacinth Alia has recorded remarkable achievements within seven months of his administration more than other governors that had ruled the State in the past.

The group further said it is regrettable that a surge of political manoeuvring had unfolded over the recent months, marked by numerous politicians vying for recognition and relevance thereby portraying the administration of Alia in bad light and unjustified criticisms.

The DMBD is an arm of governor Alia’s campaign group, who pulled human and material resources together to galvanized support for his victory during the 2023 governorship elections in the State

Speaking at a press conference in Makurdi, the State capital, the group Chairman and Lagos State coordinator, Mr.

Akpur Emmanuel, said the group have not just become a beacon for leadership recruitment in Benue State, but also presented a wonderful brand, in person of Alia and cannot fold arms to continue to watch the brand tossed about and distracted from delivering on his campaign promises and mandate.

Mr Akpur, while reacting to remarks by the Benue National Assembly Caucus who claimed that governor Alia had embezzled security votes of about N3 billion and  unlawfully dissolved the local government council chairmen, development they alleged were responsible for the insecurity in the state, said such accusations must be condemnable.

He explained that Alia’s administration had succeeded within seven months where past leaders who stayed longer years in office failed.

The group’s chairman stated that Alia has embarked on unprecedented projects including construction of 16 township roads and flyovers within Makurdi, purchased 300 metric tons of fertilizer and sold them to farmers at subsidized rate.

“Fr. Alia’s administration stands out as it is taking the bull by horns in exercising the hydra-headed demon of non-payment of salaries and uncanny reference to pensioners as dead people as it was the case in the previous administration.

“Our action governor has also wasted no time in domesticating the federal government approved new retirement age for primary and secondary school teachers, thereby retaining seasoned hands within the bedrock of our educational system.

“Knowing fully the financial challenges in the State, Governor Hyacinth Alia has taken the registration of WAEC and NECO examinations for SS3 students from government approved schools as responsibility of his administration. This is a step to enhance development in education.

“Contrary to the puerile remarks by the national assembly members concerning insecurity, Fr. Alia has continued to interface with various security agencies of the Federal Government to set the necessary security safeguards to guarantee the return of the IDPs to their ancestral homes and instituted a regime of fair and equitable distribution of both relief materials and palliatives to all.

“As they look to ingratiate their personal selfish agenda, we direct their attention to the fact that the Alia administration in collaboration with the Federal Government is currently constructing the dilapidated Otukpo-Enugu road.

“Alia cannot share money as it was done in the past. We urge this group of distractors to familiarize themselves with the nation’s constitution which clearly outlines the responsibilities of every office at each level of government.

“It is imperative that the national assembly members concentrate on their constitutionally mandated duty of representing their constituencies effectively at the national level.

“It is regrettable that, since 1999, the people of Benue have witnessed minimal impact from their representatives in the national assembly, whether in terms of employment opportunities or the execution of constituency projects contrary to what we observe in the States where we reside.

“We unequivocally implore our current representatives in the national assembly to refrain from becoming agents of mass distraction to the committed governor”, Akpur stated.

He however called on the people to emulate the governor’s focus and diligently work towards delivering the benefits of democracy to the constituents they are representing.

The group Chairman further enjoined every Benue indigene particularly those in leadership positions to come together and collaborate for the well-being of Benue populace.

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