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Bayelsa Guber Election: Diri In Early Lead As Jonathan, Ex-Commissioner, Deliver Polling Units



Early results from Saturday’s governorship elections in Bayelsa State have revealed that incumbent Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is leading in several local government areas in the state.

The results released so far in most of the polling units in Ogbia, Nembe, Brass, Sagbama, Ekeremor, Kolokuma-Opokuma, Yenagoa and parts of Southern Ijaw showed that the incumbent Governor has maintained an early lead in the Saturday polls.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan delivered his polling unit 039 Otuabula in the Otuoke community to the PDP, which is leading in 19 units with a total vote of 1,379 votes as against the All Progressive Congress (APC’s) 1,015.

Also in Ogbia Local Government Area, results were released in the Opume community, where a former Commissioner of Information, Strategy, and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, also delivered massively for the People’s Democratic Party, winning 15 out of the 17 polling units in the community.

Reports of released polling units in other parts of Ogbia LGA
revealed as follows:

PDP… 57
APC.. 54

Unit 028
APC 64
PDP 72

Unit 001
APC 44
LP 1

Unit 002
APC 23
PDP 51

PDP 76

Ward 7, Emeyal 2} Unit 3 PDP 141 APC 69) Unit 4 PDP 97 APC 36) Unit 5 PDP129 APC 48) Unit 6 PDP 124 APC 55) Unit 7 PDP 96 APC 40) Unit 8 PDP 108 APC 64) Unit 9 PDP 148 APC 41) Unit 10 Pdp 100 Apc 30) Unit 11 PDP 93 APC 41) Unit 12 PDP 99 APC 12

Sources said that the results were slow in coming because of the riverine terrain, making it difficult for INEC returning officers to submit the details.

However, according to results released so far by INEC, the PDP grabbed all of the three wards in Odi and also the units in Kaiama of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area.

The PDP was also ahead of other parties in Ogbia, Sagbama Ekeremor, and Yenagoa Local Government Areas of the state, it was learned.

More results will be made available in our subsequent reports.

Earlier on Saturday, armed thugs suspected to belong to the APC had invaded polling units in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, firing heavy gunshots and hijacking election materials.

At about 9 am at Agorogbene, units 6,7 and 8 in Ward 11 of the local government, suspected thugs from Southern Ijaw allegedly escorted by a chieftain of the APC identified as Pastor Reuben Wilson, chased away voters and destroyed election materials.

Attempts by the electorate to challenge the armed men were resisted with heavy gunshots.

During the Saturday poll, security agents in Bayelsa also arrested two party supervisors alleged to be members of the APC with N95 million cash in their possession.

The suspects were apprehended while allegedly attempting to induce voters with the cash.

The arrest of the suspects took place at two polling zones in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state, where vigilant security agents, acting on a tip-off, intercepted the APC supervisors in possession of the huge cash.

Preliminary reports had suggested that the suspects were discretely distributing money to potential voters, raising serious concerns about the integrity of the electoral process.


Have Patient For President, Tinubu Support Organisation Begs Nigerians



Aminu Suleiman, the Founder and Director-General of Tinubu Support Organisation (TSO), has called on Nigerians to be patient with President Bola Tinubu in the face of economic hardships and high living costs.


He urged Nigerians to pray for their leaders, describing the current economic situation as a “test from God.”

He made the plea in Abuja during the 8th anniversary of the Nigeria Most Influential Awards (NMIA) organised by VGlamour Magazine where he was conferred with an award.


Suleiman said, “The current President, we are among the first people that began the journey because we all know his capacity. He was a former Lagos State governor and you see that for just four to five months that he took over, he has gone all over the world. This is the first time that we would see an African leader go to India for the G-20, he went to Saudi Arabia and he is in Dubai. We just need Nigerians to exercise patience with him because he met a lot of challenges.


“Everyone knows that insecurity and many things are going on. Insecurity is a major problem because, without a secure environment, you won’t be able to do many things. I think he is going to tackle security first and other things will follow. As a Muslim, this kind of economic crisis happened during the time of the Prophet. We can’t blame anyone for this. It is from God. I want to acknowledge the words of former President Muhammadu Buhari who said ‘change begins with me.’ We, Nigerians also have problems. We have to start the change individually.”


The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, who was also recognized at the event called on politicians to move closer to the grassroots, adding that every humanitarian deed has a reward.


The traditional ruler, represented by the Onifegunwa of Ifegunwa in Ile-Ife, Oba Adedire Adewole Solomon, raised concern over how the powers of traditional rulers have been whittled by government and therefore demanded constitutional review to give more powers to monarchs in Nigeria.


According to him, a situation where even a local government chairman is more powerful than traditional rulers does not augur well for the country.


He also told Nigerians to be patient with President Bola Tinubu saying he is neither a magician nor a messiah to have solved every problem in the country within a short time.


“What we need as traditional rulers is that the constitution must be reviewed. We have a constitution whereby the government has total power over the traditional ruler. There is a clause in the constitution that makes the King less powerful to the extent that even a local government chairman has power over a monarch. It is not done, there should be a review”, he stated.


He described the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year presented to the National Assembly by President Tinubu as a promising one.


“The budget is a promising one and I want everyone to know that a lot of things have happened down the line that things are so bad and it is not easy for you to bring up good things. It is a gradual process. The President we have now is doing it gradually.

“The Ooni is closer to the President, advising him and with what we are seeing now, as times go on and by this time next year, we would all smile. The President is neither a magician nor a messiah. We all know that it is not easy. If you are going to be great, you will be chastised but you have to remain focused”, the Onifegunwa said.


The Onifegunwa in his capacity described the Ooni as a monarch who has the people’s progress at heart.


He said, “Position is good but personality matters. Ooni is very simple. He is down to earth. With that, he knows what the people and communities need. Your position doesn’t matter but how close are you to the grassroots? The other time, the Ooni was telling members of the National Assembly that they are living in affluence and luxury but how many of them can go to their town and villages for one week? We Kings do it.


“That is to tell you that the Ooni does these things. He is the man who gives to people and helps the less privileged. He spends nothing less than N10 million in a day. Many people come to him for help and he sponsors a lot for them. In Ife, he has a Foundation where people from all over the country come there to train and he pays from his purse. He is also ensuring that our cultures are revived despite that he is young and well educated.”


The Publisher, VGlamour magazine, Vivian Lam, said the Nigeria Most Influential Awards was designed to honour excellence, innovation, and purposeful leadership across all various sectors in Nigeria.


She said the awardees had in the last used their influence to stand in the gap between the government and the people while also impacting individuals, youths, women, and children.


Lam added that the process of picking winners was rigorous but highly transparent.


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APC Admits Ubah, Ekwunife As Members, Targets Anambra Govt House In 2025



By Chuks Eke


The Anambra State Chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APC) has stated that its current aim is to take over the state government house popularly known as Agu-Awka in the upcoming 2025 governorship election.


Chief Basil Ejidike, State Chairman of the party, disclosed this yesterday in Awka, at their stakeholder’s meeting, during which the party admitted Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Senator Uche Ekwunife, and others into its fold, said the primary goal of any political party is always to win an election, and any party that cannot win an election during an election period will be regarded as a social club.

Flanked by the APC’s Southeast Zonal Chairman, Dr. Ijeomah Arodiogbu; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Nze Chidi Duru; former Deputy Governor of Anambra State during Governor Willie Obiano’s regime, Dr. Nkem Okeke and Sir Chibuzor Okeke, APC House of Assembly candidate for Idemili North state constituency in the last state assembly election, and other stakeholders, Ejidike harped on discipline, unity, funding and reward system as integral parts of successes in election contest.

Others who joined APC alongside Senator Ubah and Ekwunife were Hon. Chugbo Enwezor, a two-term legislator who represented Onitsha North 1 state constituency in Anambra state House of Assembly and Chairman of Soludo Campaign Organization in Onitsha North Local Government Area during the 2021 governorship election in Anambra state and Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu and his group of Ikemba Front, former chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area Transition Committee and APGA House of Representatives candidate for Ogbaru federal constituency during the last national assembly elections.

Speaking on behalf of all the newly admitted members, Senator Ubah who announced a donation of N10 million to the state chapter of APC, said Anambra state should join the national ruling party to be integrated into the national curriculum.


Hon. Enwezor and Sir Chibuzor Okeke, in their separate speeches, said APC is the only party at the centre with national spread and can win the governorship election in Anambra state in 2025.

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How Appeal Court Reaffirmed Alex Otti As Abia Elected Governor



Otti swamped by jubilating children


The Appeal Court, Lagos, on Saturday, reaffirmed the victory of Dr. Alex Otti,  as the duly elected Governor of Abia State.

The court dismissed the appeal filed by both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their candidates Okey Ahiwe and Ikechi Emenike, respectively, challenging the victory of Governor Otti at the March 18, 2023 governorship election in Abia.

The Appeal Court spared no sympathy for the two opposition parties in Abia, describing the PDP’s case as “Woeful” and that of the APC as a “Comedy skit”.

Below are Highlights of the two judgments.

*Highlights of Judgement in the PDP Appeal

The court finds that the judgment of the Federal High Court, Kano, and the reasons for discountenancing it does not form part of the ratio decidendi of the case. All arguments in respect of it, are deemed otiose and suffer the fate of striking out. Issue one fails.

The filing of a separate written address by the 3rd Respondent does not form part of the Central grievance of the Appellants in the appeal. The determination of Issue 2 one way or the other, would not affect the core of the decision of the Tribunal. Issue 2 and all the arguments canvassed thereon are struck out. Issue 2 fails.

Issue 3 of the Appellants and the arguments thereon are struck out for being incompetent.

Where the challenge is membership, it is a post-election matter within the context of Section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution. But where it borders on compliance with the mode of emergence of a candidate in line with the Electoral Act, it becomes a pre-election matter.

The court finds that Alex Otti defected to LP and won its primary election consequent upon which his name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Section 77(3) of the Electoral Act is purely for regulatory purposes and there’s no sanction for non-compliance. There’s no bar for new members who joined a political party to participate in their primaries after their register had been submitted provided that they’re granted a waiver.

Membership in a political party is nonjusticiable and strictly within the province of a political party.

Section 77(2) & (3) of the Electoral Act cannot be used to expand the qualifying and disqualifying ingredients under the Constitution.

The tribunal was right in striking out the paragraphs of the Petition that sounded in pre-election complaints.

On the merit of the contents of the offensive paragraphs which the Tribunal also considered for completeness, it was found upon the evidence and pleadings that Alex Otti participated in LP primaries and his name duly submitted to INEC as per Form EC9. Finds that he was duly qualified to contest the office.

The case of the Appellants on this point, was/is woeful.

Appellants lack the locus standi to pry into matters about how the 3rd Respondent emerged as candidate of the LP since they did not contest in the primaries nor are they members of the 2nd Respondent. Issue 4 fails.

Issues 5 & 6 considered together whether the Appellants proved their case bordering on non-compliance.

Evidence of Appellants’ 4th, 16th, 17th, and 21st witnesses expunged from the record for being incompetent.

Appellants dumped their documentary evidence on the Tribunal.

Section 137 of the EA did not help the case of the Appellants.

P138 is the authentic result of Obingwa LGA and remains unchallenged.

Appellants failed to prove the portion of their case bordering on corrupt practices for not calling eye witnesses who witnessed the alleged corrupt practices.

*APC Appeal: Judgement Highlights

The court finds that the issues around qualification are pre-election matters and mirrors the reasons for dismissing the same in the PDP appeal.

All the issues in the substantive appeal are dismissed.

Court describes the appeal as a huge joke in what qualifies as a “Notable Pronouncement” having regard to the meagre votes the Appellants polled and their attempt to outstage other candidates who scored substantially higher votes.

The court finds that the same can only happen in a comedy skit. Court quotes Abraham Lincoln and traces the concept of Democracy from its place of birth, Greece, as the will of the majority and finds that the majority of the electorates voted for Alex Otti and rejected the Appellants.

The appeal fails and is dismissed with a cost of one million Naira awarded against the Appellants and in favor of the Respondents.

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