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INEC seeks court intervention on delay in transmitting full court judgments

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the President of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to help address delays in serving the commission full judgments from election tribunals.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the appeal when he led national commissioners and management staff of the commission on a courtesy visit to Bulkachuwa on Monday in Abuja.

He said the commission was aware of the pressure on judges but the delay also constituted huge challenge on the commission in obeying court orders.

He added that “we understand the enormous pressure on judges and justices of tribunals generally, both the tribunal and appeal.

“In one case, a panel of three justices of appeal tribunal nullified 37 elections and had to write separate judgments for each case.

“Three or a maximum of five justices writing 37 judgments: each case treated on its own merit and each case has its judgment written.

“So, I sometime find it difficult to complain, knowing the reality but speaking from the point of view of INEC, I wish to draw your attention to area of difficulties for us.

“That is the availability of full judgment in cases where Appeal Tribunal orders INEC to conduct rerun election in specific polling units as against the entire constituency.

“The order will say go and conduct rerun election in four polling units but what are the polling units? the details are in the full judgment and we do not have it in good time.”

Yakubu said “though INEC, according to the law, has 90 days to conduct rerun, sometime the order is that it should be conducted within 60 days, not 90 days.”

He added that the full details of the report sometime would be delayed for seven days, in which INEC needed the collaboration of other stakeholders to conduct such ordered elections.

He said these made it difficult for the commission to be well prepared for the ordered rerun elections.

Yakubu listed situation where the commission was dragged into litigation that ordinarily should not be involved, as another source of worry that needed the president’s intervention.

He appealed that the development be looked into to make the work of the commission easy.

Yakubu also expressed concern over situation where INEC was being dragged to court over matters it had no connection with.

One of such, he added, was litigation relating to local government elections, conducted by states.

“The case arising from local government elections are treated by State High Courts, but in two cases now, INEC has been dragged to Federal High Court over conduct of local government elections.’’

He said that the commission shouldn’t be joined because the implication was that INEC
would have to spend resources to engage lawyers and other costs in the litigation.

“If there is a clear court order on such cases, it would be very helpful,” Yakubu said.

He, however, disclosed that the commission had obeyed all court orders to conduct rerun elections in nullified elections in 2015, as well as order to issue certificates of return to some candidates.

“There is no single court order that we have not obeyed. In fact, sometime we obey court order before we even exercise our right to appeal.

“Even where we are confronted with judgment of the lower court contradicting the judgment of a superior court, we uphold the judgment of the superior court before we call attention out of respect for the judiciary.’’

“I want to assure you that in INEC you will find a government agency that is 100 per cent compliant to court orders.’’

In her response, Bulkachuwa said a synergy between INEC and Court of Appeal in relation to Election Petition Tribunals and Appeals was encouraged for the proper and smooth running of the 2019 general elections.

She disclosed that no fewer than 730 petitions were received by the court following the conduct of 2015 general elections, including the 21 petitions filed in the 2017 Anambra governorship poll.

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Ugwuanyi, Ekweremadu hailed for political peace, good governance in Enugu

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The Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, have been extolled for the political peace and development strides in the State.

The commendation came from various speakers at the fundraising dinner in Enugu organised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Enugu West Senatorial District, to support the party’s candidates for various offices in the 2019 general elections.

They noted that unlike previously, Enugu was heading into a major election without crisis.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RICO Groups, Sir Eric Chime described both leaders as agents of peace, political stability, and good governance in Enugu State.

He observed that the synergy between the state government and the state’s federal lawmakers had translated to massive grassroots development in Enugu State.

He said: “The synergy and sincere brotherhood shared by Governor Ugwuanyi and Senator Ekweremadu has brought peace, unity, political stability and good governance to our State. Enugu State has witnessed purposeful, responsive leadership and massive infrastructural development, which have uplifted the living conditions of our people.

“This is exemplified in all sectors- economy; road infrastructures, water projects, health, education, among others. Our choice is to support them to continue the good work because we cannot change a winning team”.

Also speaking, the Zonal Chairman of the PDP in Enugu West Senatorial District, Ozo Okey Ozoani, said both men had given governance a human and for being youth and sport-friendly.

“I will not end this speech without mentioning the Governor’s impact in sports development, which has earned the Rangers International both the league title and the AITEO Cup in the last three years”.

“In the same vein, Senator Ekweremadu has also committed himself to sponsoring of the annual youth sports competition, which has also contributed immensely in enriching the Rangers International feeder team and development of various sports talents”.

The fundraising dinner witnessed a large turnout of friends and well-wishers, who called for support for PDP candidates in Enugu West Senatorial District and beyond.

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Jubril of Sudan: Nnamdi Kanu suspends live broadcast, reveals next action

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has suspended his live broadcast earlier slated for Saturday.

The suspension of the broadcast was made known in a terse statement by his deputy, Alphonsus Okafor-Mefor, via his Facebook page.

Recall that Kanu since his reappearance in Israel penultimate month has been consistent in making weekly exposé on the alleged impersonation of ‘dead’ President Muhammadu Buhari by a Sudanese stage play actor, Jubril Aminu Al-Sudani.

However, Okafor-Mefor informed that instead of a fresh broadcast this weekend, a repeat edition would be played back after which the IPOB leader would host an interactive session on Radio Biafra.

“There won’t be a live broadcast from our leader (Nnamdi Kanu) on Saturday. In place of it, we shall do a repeat and interactive session will follow,” Okafor-Mefor said.

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu had last Wednesday alleged that the so-called Jubril Al-Sudani had confirmed his claim that he was an impostor.

Kanu made the claim in reference to a picture of the President responding to cheers from his supporters by raising his fist.

The IPOB leader had earlier said during a previous broadcast that “the president” would no longer wave his supporters because he had different palm print from the “real Muhammadu Buhari”

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Buhari talks tough, says war against Boko Haram is ‘fight to finish

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday declared that the war against Boko Haram “is a fight to the finish”.

Buhari made the declaration while addressing the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin in Abuja.

The President lamented that the Boko Haram crisis had worsened the already bad situation in the Lake Chad region.

He lamented that the “Lake Chad region has suffered decades of neglect and poor infrastructural development.”

Stressing that the neglect has been worsened by Boko Haram attacks, Buhari called for cooperation from the leaders to tackle insurgency.

He stressed that “the time has come for the evil of Boko Haram to be brought to a definitive end.”

Buhari urged the leaders to “remain resolute and committed in our collective efforts at attaining peace as well as eradicating terrorism and violent extremism from the sub-region”.

“The time has come for the evil of Boko Haram to be brought to a definitive end.

“I am sure that this summit will take the right decisions in this regard. This is a fight to the finish. We must, and we will, by the grace of God, wipe out terrorism from our sub-region,” he said.

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