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Kogi Governorship: Supreme Court explains why it dismissed Faleke, Wada’s appeals

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Kogi Governorship: Supreme Court explains why it dismissed Faleke, Wada’s appeals

The Supreme Court on Friday explained why it dismissed the appeal of James Faleke of the All Progressive Congress (APC) on Kogi governorship elections.
The apex court sighted an aberration in the reliefs sought as they were not known to law.
The court, while giving reasons for its decisions of Sept. 20 on the elections also said that the respective appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Idris Wada failed because it was “frivolous’’.
It would be recalled that the apex court panel of seven judges had in a unanimous decision dismissed the three appeals, respectively contesting the return of Gov. Yahaya Bello of the APC.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun who read the lead judgment in Faleke’s case said the court dismissed the appeal because the claims by the appellant were not supported by any extant laws.
“This is a simple law. Since the election, had not been completed and the final results issued by the electoral body, Faleke, as a running mate, cannot claim ‎victory in the election,’’ she said.
She held that Faleke was not qualified to benefit the votes the APC scored in the contest before the death of the party’s governorship candidate, Prince Audu Abubakar, because he did not meet the condition precedent.
Kekere-Ekun said that Faleke neither obtained nomination form nor substantively participated in the APC governorship primaries.
The Judge further said that INEC had already declared the election inconclusive before Audu’s sudden death.
Adducing reasons in support of Bello’s qualification, the Judge held that the Electoral Act gives room for substitutions of candidates on account of either death or withdrawal.
She said the extant law gives powers to political parties to take full charge of the process of selection of candidates for elections, adding that the court lacked the jurisdiction to stop them.
Kekere-Ekun, therefore, held that the substitution of the late governorship candidate of the party with Bello was apt.
“Nothing can be more apt as the governor had fully participated in the governorship primary election of the APC and came second after Abubakar.
“Unlike Faleke, who did not meet that condition, but was simply selected to be a deputy governor.
“By virtue of the provisions of Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution it is the political parties that actually contest elections.
“The governor having become candidate of APC, and legally sponsored by the same party can lay claim to the votes scored by the party in the Nov. 21, 2015 poll,’’ she held.
Faleke, the running mate to Abubakar had filed the appeal against Bello’s victory in the Dec.5, 2015 supplementary election.
He urged the court to return him as duly elected on the grounds that the Abubakar/Faleke ticket had already scored the majority votes of 240, 873 in the Nov.21, 2015 governorship election.
He contended that INEC acted in bad faith by declaring the election inconclusive because he (Faleke) should have been declared as governor after the death of Abubakar.
Similarly, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta in his lead judgment gave reasons why the apex court dismissed the appeals by PDP and Wada.
“The testimonies relied on by the appellants relate to qualification of the first respondent (Bello) and his alleged failure to personally nominate a running mate.
“They have also challenged his non-participation in Nov. 21, 2015 election and the combination of the votes and votes scored by late Abubakar.
“We join the tribunal and the appeal court to hold that the testimonies have no probable value,’’ he held.
Ngwuta further said that the concurrent decision of the two courts below was affirmed because the appellants had not advanced any reason for the apex court to hold otherwise.
“It is my view that the appellants did not prove a ground for this court to interfere with the concurrent findings of the trial tribunal and the court of appeal,’’ Ngwuta held.
In the same vein the appeals filed by the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Labour Party (LP) on the elections suffered similar fate.

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Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

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Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buharihas returned to Abuja after weeks on medical trip in London.
This was according to a statement from the presidency on Thursday.
The president had been heavily criticized for his perchance for medical expedition inspite huge budgetary allocation to the Presdential Villa clinic.
His critics also blamed him for embarking on such trip even when resident doctors in his country were on industrial action.
The presidential aircraft that brought Buhari and some of his aides touched down at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 4.45 p.m.
Dignitaries at the airport to welcome the president included the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, and the National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Monguno.
Others were the service chiefs, acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i, the Director General of the State Securitt Services, Yusuf Bichi and other presidential aides.
President Buhari, after a brief welcoming ceremony at the airport, boarded a presidentrtial helicopter that conveyed him to the Presidential Villa.

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

By Friday Idachaba

Participants at a one-day stakeholders strategic meeting on Open Governance Partnership have called on Kogi government to urgently key into the global concept to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.

The participants made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting organised by Conscience For Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with African Centre For Leadership Strategies And Development (Centre LSD) on Tuesday in Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the Communiqué was signed by Mr Idris Miliki, Executive Director of Kogi-based CHRCR and made available to newsmen in Lokoja.

The Communiqué said that in view of the importance of the global OGP concept with potentials to check corruption and enhance good governance, 16 states in Nigeria had presently signed up.

It however revealed that Kogi State was yet to key into the global concept and urged the state to, as a matter of urgency, sign up for the state to derive inherent benefits of the partnership.

Objective of the meeting in line with the OGP concept, according to the Communiqué, is to encourage accountability, transparency and reduce corruption in Kogi State.

It is also to build on the existing Networks on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability (NATA), to mobilize Media institutions and professionals in reporting activities on OGP in Kogi State.

The participants however, urged multi-lateral financial institutions particular the World Bank to begin to hold State Governments accountable by verifying the situations of implementations on ground before rating them on financed projects.

The Communiqué reiterated that there should be no rivalry but rather, a broad based relationship and partnerships between the state government and the Civil Society Organizations as both work for and in the interest of the citizens.

The Communiqué said there was need for the current House of Assembly members to live up to their constitutional responsibilities by performing their oversight functions on all institutions of the state, “particularly the local government councils.”

It also called on Media Professionals to take more interest in OGP issues and partner more with the Civil Society Organisations in particular and other relevant institutions to drive the OGP Concept.

“The Civil Society Organizations needs to do more in raising awareness and sensitization of the general public on the OGP and with the Government to get the OGP.

“There is need for the development partners to continue to work with the Civil Society Organizations in the state to promote the OGP process”, the Communiqué added. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has come under attack again from the Presidency for describing Nigeria as a killing field under the Buhari administration.
Kukah in his Easter homily on Sunday, said both the government and the citizens have become helpless as criminals continue to cause havoc in parts of the country.
The battle over insecurity in Nigeria has continued unabated especially in the northern parts of the country where bandits and insurgents have turned to a killing field.
Kukah said the security situation has frustrated many citizens making them to believe the government has gone AWOL (absent without official leave).

“Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart” the bishop said.
“Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession, as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air. We have no message and have no idea how long this will last.”

However in a statement issued in Abuja Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman said Kukah’s “bashing” of President Muhammadu Buhari is “ungodly.”
“All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness,” he said.
“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. 

“Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021.”
Shehu also faulted the bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced because of the security crisis, citing the creation of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development as part of the president’s efforts in that regard.
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.”

With additional reports from Cable

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