Diaspora Funding: Pro Tinubu Group Seeks Disqualification Of Peter Obi
A group under the auspices of Tinubu-Shettima Connect, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to, without delay, disqualify the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, from the 2023 presidential election.
The group has also threatened to commence legal action, intending to join Peter Obi, his running mate and INEC, to prevent Labour Party from participating in the 2023 presidential election for engaging in activities that contravene the Electoral Act 2022.
In a statement signed by its convener, Adebanjo Moyosore, the group said it was not only illegal to raise campaign funds from abroad through unknown sources or unidentified groups but there is also dire consequences and implications for such act.
This comes on the heels of the inauguration of an 11-man Diaspora Committee to organise fund-raising activities, among others, by the National Chairman of Labour Party, Bar. Julius Abure, at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja.
The Inauguration also came a day after the party’s diaspora support groups pledged to crowdfund $150m, N100bn for Obi’s campaign.
Mr Moyosore said the inauguration of a diaspora committee by the leadership of Labour Party to gather campaign funds from Nigerians in diaspora for Obi’s presidential campaign was not only illegal but also criminal.
He said it was “matter of great public concern as the country has moved from its old practice with INEC trying to put perfection to the electoral process, unfortunately a few individuals who think they can get away with delibrate act to undermine the electoral law of the land, have already started making sinister moves even when the campaigns are yet to begin in earnest.
“Section 85 of the Electoral Act has clearly explained this. Also, Section 85 (a) (b) provides that any political party that:
“(a) holds or possesses any fund outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225 (3) (a) of the Constitution, commits an offence, and shall on conviction forfeit the funds or assets purchased with such funds to the Commission and in addition may be liable to a fine of at least N5,000,000; or
“(b) retains any fund or other asset remitted to it from outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225 (3) (a) of the Constitution commits an offence and shall on conviction forfeit the funds or assets to the Commission and in addition may be liable to a fine of at least N5,000,000.”
Also, citing a provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Adebanjo said the law forbids possession of funds by the candidate or political party from overseas.
He said: “Section 225 (2) (3) (4) (a) (b) & (5) of the Constitution provides that:
“225(2) Every political party shall submit to the Independent National Electoral Commission a detailed annual statement and analysis of its sources of funds and other assets together with a similar statement of its expenditure in such form as the Commission may require.
“225(3) No political party shall –
“(a) hold or possess any funds or other assets outside Nigeria; or
“(b) be entitled to retain any funds or assets remitted or sent to it from outside Nigeria.
” 225(4) Any funds or other assets remitted or sent to a political party from outside Nigeria shall be paid over or transferred to the Commission within twenty-one days of its receipt with such information as the Commission may require.”
He noted that the development was worrisome, especially at a time like this when the country’s anti-graft agencies were battling with money laundering from criminal syndicates and traffickers.
“We therefore call on INEC to act and save our democracy from the hands of some desperate Nigerians,” he added.
Wike Applauds Ayu’s Suspension
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has declared support for The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairperson, Iyorchia Ayu, suspension at the ward level.
Fidel Info reports that Ayu was suspended on Sunday due to alleged anti-party activities by the party executive at the Igyorov ward of the Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.
At a press conference on Sunday, Vangeryina Dooyum, the ward’s party secretary, announced Ayu’s suspension in place of the ward chairman, Kashi Philip.
The decision to suspend the Ayu was made after the ward leadership assessed his actions at the conclusion of the recently concluded general elections, according to a statement issued by Dooyum and signed by 12 of the 17 members of the ward executive.
He added that Ayu was subject to a vote of no confidence by the executive, which resulted in his immediate suspension as a party member, with effect as of March 24, 2023.
In an interview with Channels TV on Monday, Wike said that the suspension of the national chairman was long overdue and the proper course to take.
He claimed that the reason Ayu was suspended was because party members were upset about how badly the party fared in the general elections of February 25 and March 18.
Ayu’s refusal to step down as the party’s chairman, according to Wike, is why the public rejected the opposition PDP.
The opposition party requires fresh leadership, the Rivers governor added as he pledged to support Ayu’s suspension financially and in other ways.
Ayu was unappreciative, according to Wike, for suspending some of his political associates and in particular for referring the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, to a disciplinary committee.
He said: “It is only in this country that someone who has lost woefully during the general elections still wants to occupy the position of Chairmanship in PDP.
“As a national chairman of the people, Ayu lost his ward, your local government; not only did he take a distant third, you(Ayu) also lost presidential and governorship elections.
“I am in support of Ayu’s suspension in Benue.
“If he left before the elections, they would have said his leaving was the reason PDP lost the election; thank God he presided over the colossal failure of the party during the general elections.”
“We cannot have the party in the hands of persons without any political contribution to the party.”
Binani Applauds Decision To Declare Adamawa Gubernatorial Election Inconclusive
The All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Adamawa State, Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru, popularly known as Binani, has applauded the Independent National Election Commission for its decision to declare the gubernatorial election in the state as inconclusive.
Fidel Info reports that The 18th of March election was declared inconclusive on the 20th of March by the state collation officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Muhammadu Mele of the University of Maiduguri, due to the irregularities in the votes margin.
The incumbent Governor Ahmadu Fintiri and the candidate of the the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 421,524, while Binani polled 390,275.
He said, “Elections were not held in 47 wards, affecting 69 polling units. So, this gives us a margin of 31,249. The total number of PVCs collected in places where elections were not held amounted to 37,016.”
Binani alleged that violence and irregularities were recorded in 16 of the 21 local government areas (LGAs) in the state, hence the decision to declare the elections inconclusive was just.
“My position is that the INEC REC did very well by declaring the result inconclusive and my reasons are simple,” she said on Friday during a monitored programme on Channels Television .
“Whoever saw or monitored the election of Adamawa State knows that the election was marred with violence, rigging, over-voting and all manner of irregularities.”
“The figures that were deposed were really, as far as I’m concerned, concocted figures.”
According to her, several of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) devices were bypassed, allowing for over-voting and intimidation of electoral staff in a number of locations.
“[For instance] if the BVAS accredited only 10 people, you’ll find out that over 30 people must have voted. That is part of irregularities,” she added.
According to her, the only way for the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) to “come out clean” was to declare that result inconclusive.
Citing the Electoral Act, she argued that INEC has the powers to review the results within seven days to determine whether any declaration was made under duress or where it failed to comply with the electoral laws and regulations.
“I’m never afraid, but all I’m asking is that let INEC please conduct a review on this said local governments so that it will bring out the real figures for all the candidates,” the APC candidate said when asked if she was worried about winning the rerun.
“That is all I am asking, and as soon as that is done, we would be home and dry, and then we would be confident to go back to the field.”
On the possibility of becoming the first elected female governor, Ahmed said she feels great and happy.
“I’m not doing this for Binani; I’m not doing this for myself. I’m doing it for every girl child in this country. It’s for all the women in Nigeria,” she added.
BREAKING: Adeleke Reinstated As Osun State Governor
Ademola Adeleke has been reinstated as governor of Osun state once again by the court of appeal in Abuja.
Fidel Info reports that A three-member panel of justices ruled in Adeleke’s appeal on Friday, concluding that the electoral tribunal erred in finding that Gboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress had proven their claim of excessive voting.
Adeleke is the legitimately elected governor of the state, according to the jury that rendered its decision on Friday.
The Osun governorship election tribunal, in January, held that Oyetola was able to prove that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.
Consequently, the majority judgment of the tribunal ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and issue a fresh one to Oyetola as the duly elected governor of Osun.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Adeleke appealed the judgment.
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