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Why Buni Should Be Sacked As Governor, PDP Tells Court



Trouble In APC As Court Sacks Party Chairman, Others

The Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked to sack Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State for taking up another executive position as the caretaker chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) argues that combining the governor’s office with another executive position is a constitutional violation.

The Yobe State governor’s office and that of the deputy governor, Idi Gubana, have therefore become vacant after Mr Buni took up the APC appointment, the PDP said.

The opposition party asked that its governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Umar Damagum, and his running mate, Baba Aji, should be sworn in as replacements for Mr Buni and his deputy.

The court document shows the PDP, along with Messrs Damagum and Aji, as the plaintiffs who jointly instituted the suit.

Mr Buni, the Yobe State deputy governor, Mr Gubana, the APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were sued as the defendants in the suit.

The governor was appointed the chairman of the APC’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) in June 2020 following the crisis that led to the exit of the party’s former chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

READ ALSO: I’m Not Responsible For Your Political Woes, Keyamo Tells Oshiomhole

The plaintiffs, relying on section 183 of the Nigerian constitution and a recent judgement of the Supreme Court, urged the trial court to determine if Mr Buni “who is the governor of Yobe State and caretaker committee chairman” of the APC “has not ceased to hold the office of the governor of Yobe State”.

The apex court’s judgement cited by the plaintiffs was delivered on July 28, 2021 on an appeal regarding the last governorship election in Ondo State.

PDP’s governorship candidate in the Ondo State election, Eyitayo Jegede, had filed the appeal to challenge Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s victory at the October 2020 poll.

Mr Jegede rested his case on the argument that Mr Akeredolu was not a proper governorship candidate in the election because his nomination was supervised by Mr Buni said to be illegally doubling as the APC chairman and the Governor of Yobe State.

He asked that Mr Akeredolu’s nomination be nullified as it breached section 183 of the constitution and article 17(4) of the APC constitution, which according to him, prohibits such combination of executive positions.

Mr Akeredolu, who opposed the case, won the legal battle by a whisker with a 4-to-3 split decision of the Supreme Court panel ruling in his favour on technical grounds.

The majority decision favouring Mr Akeredolu dismissed Mr Jegede’s case, saying it was incompetent as a result of the failure to join Mr Buni, against whom weighty allegations were levelled, as a party to the case.

But the minority decision upheld Mr Jedgede’s argument and nullified Mr Akeredolu’s election, explaining that Mr Buni breached constitution when as a sitting governor, he acted as chairman of the APC by submitting Mr Akeredolu’s name to INEC for the governorship election.

READ ALSO: I Don’t Want To Return As APC Chair – Oshiomhole

Contrary to the majority judgment, it also ruled that the case was not rendered incompetent by the non-joinder of Mr Buni.
With the APC already joined, Mr Buni, who was merely acting as its agent, needed not be joined, the minority judgement explained further.

Some legal voices within the APC, including the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, warned that the judgment held an uncertain future for the APC if Mr Buni was not immediately removed as the leader of the party.

Latching on to the judgement, however, the PDP said Mr Buni is not fit to continue to hold the office of the Yobe State governor after accepting to be and stepping into the APC chairmanship position.

Citing section 187(2) of the Nigerian constitution, the PDP argues that the Yobe State deputy governor could not lawfully remain in office “upon the cessation of the 1st defendant’s (Mr Buni’s) occupation of the Yobe State governor’s office”.

The section 187(2) of the constitution treats the nomination of the governorship and the deputy governorship candidates as an indivisible entity on issues relating to qualification for election, tenure of office, disqualifications, among others.

Among other prayers, the plaintiffs, through their legal team led by Emeka Etiaba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, urged the court to declare that Mr Buni’s actions of taking up the appointment as the caretaker committee chairman of the APC “while he remains the governor of Yobe State are wrongful, null and void”.

They also seek an order “directing the Chief Judge of Yobe State or any other relevant judge in his absence to immediately swear in the 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs as governor and deputy governor, the offices having become vacant”.

Meanwhile, the APC reacted to the suit describing it as “misplaced and frivolous court action” on Thursday.

In a statement signed by the national secretary of its caretaker committee, John Akpanudoedehe, the party said “the PDP leadership is obviously executing a desperate and poorly-scripted propaganda plot aimed at deflecting attention from the crisis of confidence the failed opposition party faces”.

“The PDP are ignominious rabblerousers and have no locus to take any action on the internal affairs of the APC.

“The Supreme Court has already affirmed the status and legality of the CECPC and that is all there is to it,” the APC said.

It said further that the PDP lacked the locus standi (legal right) to sue concerning its internal affairs, imploring the court to take

“punitive measures” against such act of “abuse of court processes” against the PDP.

“We are confident that the Judiciary will apply these measures fully,” the party added.

The APC and the other defendants sued will still have to file their defence against the suit in court.


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Why Conducting Elections In Nigeria Is Like Holding Polls For Entire West Africa – INEC Chair



Why Conducting Elections In Nigeria Is Like Holding Polls For Entire West Africa - INEC Chair

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has said that conducting an election in Nigeria is similar to holding one in the entire West African region.

“The size of our voter population and elective institutions make elections in Nigeria a huge undertaking. This fact is better appreciated within our regional context.

“There are 15 countries in West Africa today, including Nigeria,” Mr Yakubu said at a strategic interactive meeting with online publishers organised by the electoral commission.

Held in Lagos on Wednesday, the event was in collaboration with the Institute for Media and Society and the International Press Centre.

READ ALSO: Govt Spent Over N2.3tr As COVID-19 Stimulus Package – Minister

Yakubu said with Nigeria’s current voter population of over 84 million, Africa’s largest economy has about 11 million more registered voters than the other 14 West African countries put together, “which have 73.6 million registered voters.”

“Elections are held all-year round between one general election and another with no respite,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria’s size and population make it one of the biggest democracies in the world and the largest presidential democracy after the United States of America.

Mr Yakubu, who called for stronger INEC/Media partnership to foster a strong democratic Nigeria, said that the task of deepening Nigeria’s democracy was a collective duty.

Regarding the recently held Anambra governorship election, especially the concerns surrounding the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, Mr Yakubu said all hitches noticed in the deployment of the BVAS had been addressed ahead of future elections.



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Buhari Approves February 2022 For APC Convention



Buhari Approves February 2022 For APC Convention

President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed February 2022 as new date for the National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, confirmed this development to State House correspondents at the end of a closed door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was also attended by the Chairman of APC Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni, who is also the governor of Yobe, as well as Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa.

Bagudu, who was not specific on the exact date for the convention in February, said the convention was shifted because four states were yet to complete their congresses.

He said: “Yesterday, Nov. 21, the Progressive Governors’ Forum met, where we congratulated and thanked the Caretaker Committee for working so hard in leading the party. We also thanked the President for supporting them to deliver on their mandate.

“I also explained yesterday that the Progressive Governors’ Forum discussed the issue of national convention of the party and they mandated us to come and discuss with the President as the party’s leader to give the input of the governors so that the party and the president will consider.

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“Part of the inputs we got yesterday was that we still have four states which are in the process of completing their congresses like Anambra; understandably because of the recent gubernatorial election, Zamfara and two others, because of logistic challenges and then, Christmas is around the corner and early January we will be very busy with Ekiti.

“So, the governors, based on all these, suggested the party and the president should graciously consider February and the president is favourably disposed to the suggestion.”

The National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said: “The Progressive Governors’ Forum after their meeting, has suggested February to the party and the president has concurred so we are going ahead to plan for the convention in February.

“Nigerians should expect more unity and progress as a result of the forthcoming convention.”

On insinuations in some quarters that he might be delaying the convention to extend his tenure as the Caretaker Chairman of the APC, Buni said: “Am I a jobless person who is always trying to extend his tenure; to do what? I have my primary responsibility as a governor to go back to my state and carry out my primary responsibility.

“What I am here to do is ad-hoc and of course to reposition the party and that is exactly what we have been able to achieve.”


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Peterside, Sanusi, Kukah, Others Rally Youths to Register, Vote In 2023



Peterside, Sanusi, Kukah, Others Rally Youths to Register, Vote In 2023

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the President and Founder of Anap Foundation, Mr. Atedo Peterside has announced that the foundation has teamed up with select social influencers across the country to appeal to Nigerian youths to register en-masse and collect their voters’ card so as to enable them to vote during the 2023 general elections.

Quoting from Socrates immortal statements, Peterside said in the video that announced the move to mobilise Nigerian youths to reclaim the country through the power of the ballot paper that “one of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

He, therefore, urged, “Nigerian youths of 18 years and above to register for and claim their voters’ card well before the 2023 elections. Let us act now to build the Nigeria we desire.”

READ ALSO: Adeyemi Tells Lawmakers, Governors, Others To Declare Assets If They Mean To Fight Corruption

Those teaming up with Anap Foundation are the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II; Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto; former World Bank Treasurer and Chairperson of Royal African Society, Ms. Arunma Oteh, who was also a former director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission; a former Minister and Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Dr. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman; the National Chairman of Youth Party, Mr. Tomiwa Aladekomo; an author, Ms. Ayisa Osori and former Deputy Managing Director of NLNG and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Ibrahim Dahiru.


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