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Court Dismisses PDP’s Case,Refuses To Disqualify Tinubu

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A Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawsuit on Friday that sought to disqualify Sen. Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, and Mr. Kassim Shettima for the general elections in 2023.

Fidel Info reports that Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the lawsuit in his ruling on the grounds that the PDP lacked locus standi to bring it.

The lawsuit, according to Justice Ekwo, was a misuse of the legal system and was caught by the principle of issue estoppel.

Reports state that the PDP, in its originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1734/2022, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Tinubu and Shettima as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

In the suit filed on July 28, 2022, the party challenged the validity of Sen. Tinubu to contest for the 2023 presidential election as APC candidate on the ground that Mr Shettima’s nomination as his running mate was in breach of the provisions of Sections 29(1), 33, 35 and 84{1)}(2)} of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended).

It claimed that Shettima’s candidacy to run for the vice presidential post and the Borno Central senatorial seat was illegal.

The PDP also asked for an order to void Tinubu, Shettima, and the APC’s eligibility to run in the presidential election set for February 25.

Additionally, it asked for a court order for INEC to strike their names from the list of candidates who had been nominated or supported and were entitled to fight the election.

However, the defendants requested that the court dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction in their preliminary objection, which was argued by Thomas Ojo and filed by Lateef Fagbemi, SSN.

They maintained that the plaintiff (PDP), who was always contesting the political party’s choice and its nomination of candidates for the election, lacked locus standi, or legal standing, to bring the lawsuit.

They said that the act in question was an APC internal matter, which they claimed was not subject to the legal system.

Justice Ekwo concurred with the defendants in passing judgment that the PDP lacked locus standi to bring the case.

Where there is no locus, the court lacks jurisdiction, he claims.

He claimed that the court determined the action lacked locus standi and was therefore incompetent.

Ekwo held that that matter bordered on the internal affairs of the APC in which the PDP lacked locus to file the case.

In the argument about non-disclosure of the cause of action against the respondents, the judge said that there was a nexus between locus standi and a cause of action.

He, therefore, said that since the PDP had no locus standi, it also did not have any cause of action against the defendants.

Justice Ekwo also agreed with the defendants that the suit was an abuse of court process.

“It is expressed in the provision of Section 29 (5) of the Electoral Act, 2022 that the right of action on the matter for which the applicant/respondent (PDP) has filed this action is given to ‘any aspirant who participated in the primaries of his political party’,” he said.

The judge said that it had been established that the PDP was not an aspirant of the APC.

“Therefore, there is no iota of law which support this action. It is on this ground that I find that this case is an abuse of process and I so hold,” he said.

Justice Ekwo, consequently, dismissed the suit for constituting an abuse of the court process.

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Politics

Saraki Disgraced As Tribunal Nullifies Adeleke’s Victory In Osun

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The Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has nullified the victory of Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Fidel Info reports that the long-drawn legal battle was finally put to rest on Friday as the tribunal gave its judgement on the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.

The tribunal established cases of overvoting and rigging in the election that saw Adeleke declared as winner.

Meanwhile, leaders of the PDP have come under fire for deploying the instrument of rigging and electoral malpractice during the election.

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was particularly condemned for the roles he reportedly played in prosecuting the heavily influenced election.

It would be recalled that Saraki was in Osun State in the period of the election acting as the godfather of Adeleke. Osun shares close boundaries with Kwara State where Saraki hails from and he has been a friend of the Adeleke family.

In a comment by a socio-political group identified as Kwara Development Advancement Initiative (KADI), the Chairman Lukman AbdulKadir said Saraki has been put to shame with the landmark judgement of the tribunal, adding his rigging tactics have been exposed.

“Bukola Saraki, the grandmaster of electoral malpractice and rigging, has once again been put to shame with the nullification of the victory of Ademola Adeleke in Osun State. This is a warning for him that he would also be disgraced in Kwara State if rigging is what he depends on as our system has now advanced. There is no way the will of the people can be subverted or truncated through the back door.

“Saraki never won any election in Kwara State credibly. All the elections they won have been dogged by malpractice, violence and rigging. We recall vividly how he manipulated votes from backwater communities of Kwara State in Asa, Moro, among others, pre-2019. He couldn’t do that in 2019 because the Otoge revolution flooded his dynasty. We also recall how they heavily manipulated Local Government elections through their stooges especially Ajidagba of KWASIEC.

“If rigging is what Saraki is banking on to win the 2023 election in Kwara State, he has failed just like Osun has shown. His rigging tactics failed there and the will of the people has been restored. We are aware of how Kwara PDP members were deployed to Osun as INEC ad-hoc staff and observers to influence the election. The tribunal has vindicated us after establishing cases of overvoting. Kwarans are politically aware and conscious. They will monitor and guard their votes.

“We also call on the security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities during the election and not allow crooked politicians to impugn the credibility of the forthcoming polls. We are aware that is their plans. Our democracy must be protected at all costs in the country and Kwara State, specifically,” he told our medium.

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JUST IN: Abia PDP Gubernatorial Candidate Is dead

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The Abia State Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Prof Uche Ikonne, is dead.

Fidel Info reports that this was announced in a statement by his son, Dr Chikezie Uche-Ikonne, on Wednesday.

The statement read, “I regret to announce the death of my dear father, Prof Eleazar Uchenna Ikonne, who died at the National Hospital Abuja today January 2023
25, by 4 am after a brief illness.

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Non-Indigenes In Kwara State Declare Support For Gov AA

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Non-Indigenes in Kwara State have declared a total support for Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in his re-election bid, pledging to vote overwhelmingly for him in the forthcoming election.

Fidel Info reports that they made this known at a consolidative forum meeting where they said they would continue to cooperate and support the administration of Governor AbdulRazaq.

In a statement by the Total Coordinator of the Amalgamated Non-Indigenes Associations, Barrister Adokutu Jafaru Ibie, previous administrations were condemned for playing politics of exclusion with non-indigenes in the state.

“Past governors only remember non-indigenes when it comes to getting our votes during electioneering periods. This time around, however, only the AbdulRazaq administration in the history of Kwara State has truly accorded non-indigenes the required recognition in the governance of the state.

“This is one government every non-indigene from the six geo-political zones of the country resident in Kwara must appreciate and work and accept for fulfilling promises made to the people. We’ll ever remember Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as a promise keeper, and has truly activated the substance of his promises to the people of the six geo-political zones resident in Kwara State.”

Adokutu urged non-indigenes in the state not to be swayed by the deceit of opposition, telling them to queue behind the ruling APC in the forthcoming election.

“We accept the reorganization process of the Senior Special Assistant to the  Governor on Non-Indigenes, Hon. Caleb Ono Bobi, which has helped to better reposition all affiliate associations, clubs, unions etc of non-indigenes resident in Kwara State. He advised non-indigenes not to allow themselves to be swayed by the deceits of opposition parties in the state but to queue behind the All Progressives Congress led administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to return his government to power in  at the March elections.

“In the same vein, the President of the South-South Community in Kwara, Sir Christopher Ozonuwe appealed to all non-indigenes in the state to be very watchful of political hawks during this election year so that they do not fall to their empty promises and open deceits but to always align with the purposeful governance of the current administration of  AbdulRazaq.

“Our SSA and other government appointees on Inter-Community Relations are men of good professional and intellectual clout. So, we believe the governor has truly done us a good turn by appointing them into his cabinet. We are solidly behind them in the onerous task to re-elect our governor for another four years of untarnished governance of our Kwara State.”

Adokutu also announced that non-indigenes in the state will carry out a Non-Indigenes Solidarity Rally for the Governor’s second term re-election soon.

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