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Andy Uba Wasn’t a Candidate in Anambra Governorship Election, Court Rules

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All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Anambra, Andy Uba, who has vowed to upturn the election of Professor Chukwuma Soludo, was handed an unexpected knock out on Monday.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, nullified his participation in the 6 November election, declaring his candidacy illegal.

The ruling effectively denied Uba a locus standi to challenge Soludo.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the June 26 primary of the party which produced Uba as its standard-bearer was not validly conducted.

The ruling ended what would have been some legal distraction for Soludo, a former Central bank governor, hoping to make a difference in governance in the state.

Chief George Moghalu, an aspirant in the APC primary election had challenged the process and the outcome of the primary election that produced Uba as the party’s candidate.

Moghalu, who was the plaintiff, had sued the party, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Uba as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ekwo aligned with the plaintiff’s arguments that the June 26 primary election breached the provisions of the Electoral Act and the APC guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.

Chief George Moghalu

He held that the plaintiff had successfully demonstrated that the primary election was not conducted in accordance with the law and the party’s guidelines.

“Therefore, the case of the plaintiff succeeds on its merit,” he said.

Ekwo held that since the election was conducted illegally, the APC (1st defendant) cannot be a beneficiary of the Nov. 6 election which produced the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Charles Soludo, as the winner of the poll outcome.

The judge, therefore, declared that the APC had no candidate in the Anambra governorship election by non-inclusion of the name of Moghalu in the primary election, and the conduct of the poll in contravention of the Electoral Act and the party’s guidelines.

“The 2nd defendant (INEC) is compelled to delist the name of the 1st defendant and 3rd defendant from the Nov. 6, Anambra governorship election,” he ordered.

Prof. Charles Soludo
Anambra Governor-Elect

According to the judge, any election conducted contrary to the 1st defendant guideline is in nullity.

“The real issue was not whether accredited members of 1st defendant voted on that day but whether the election was conducted in accordance with the election guidelines of 1st defendant,” he held.

He also said that the evidence of the police report confirmed that the election was conducted outside the time frame.

Ekwo, who described the conduct of the primary by APC as “crude and primitive,” ordered that the N22.5 million paid by Moghalu as expression of interest and nomination forms be refunded since the party failed to complied with the provisions of the law and its guidelines.

Moghalu had, in July, filed the suit at the court, seeking an order removing Uba and the APC from the list of gubernatorial candidates and political parties partaking in the Anambra governorship election on the grounds that the party failed to conduct a valid primary election.

He also demanded N122.5 million as damages, which include a refund for the fee paid for expression of interest and nomination forms and N100 million “for the breach of contract to commence and conclude primary election”.

INEC had picked Uba, winner of the APC primary election, as the party’s candidate.

In the affidavit in support of the suit, the plaintiff said the APC failed to conclude the selection and nomination process for its candidate for the Nov. 6 governorship poll.

He said the APC had chosen to adopt direct primary, which is why the party published the list of designated venues for the exercise.

Moghalu said the party received N22.5 million for the expression of interest form and nomination form, including from him, “to allow him to participate in the primary election exercise”.
He further said he was informed a day before the primaries that the APC electoral committee would address all aspirants and stakeholders in Akwa.
“Shockingly, on June 26, 2021, the said election committee was not seen anywhere in Anambra; no accreditation of voters took place; no voting and collation of votes occurred in all the 326 wards of Anambra state,” he said.

He said the committee “announced election results it did not conduct, and which fakery was credited to the 3rd defendant as the winner of the primary election scheduled for emergence as APC’s candidate in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra”.

Moghalu also argued that the party did not invite the INEC in line with the law requiring the commission to monitor the exercise.

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Politics

Atiku Endorsement: Dogara, others on their own – Middle Belt Leaders

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**

A group of northern leaders under the aegis of The Southern and Middle – Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has described a purported endorsement of the Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by former Speaker of House Representative, Yakubu Dogara’s group as self serving.

In a statement released today, SAMBA said the Northern Leaders Consultative Forum (NLCF) is on a self serving and selfish mission.

The statement signed by SaMBA Spokesman, Prince Rwang Pam Jnr in response to the reported endorsement of Atiku Abubakar by “a toothless platform” said that the group was manipulated by some politicians who had benefited and still benefiting from the old order from the Presidential candidate of PDP.

The middle belt group wondered how millions of Middlebelt and northern Christian voters benefitted from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who in recent history deleted his tweet condemning the killing of Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto by alleged Islamic extremist. SAMBA noted that the former Vice President is yet to condole with the affected family, six months after.

The statement reads, “Our attention have been drawn to the purported endorsement of the Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar by a toothless Northern Leaders Consultative Forum (NLCF), coordinated by former Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who by this action has lost favour amongst his MiddleBelt family.”

“We want to state categorically that the Communique by Rt. Hon. Dogara’s group is self serving and does not remotely or substantially represent the interest of Middlebelters who occupied approximately 300,000 Sq km of the Northern region that is about 50%”

“Also, it is on record that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who declined to speak publicly against the gruesome murdered of Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto will not defend the interest of Middlebelters and Christians living in the north. Atiku who had been vice president between 1999-2007 belongs to the old order. He will not be able to restructure Nigeria to satisfy the yearning of Nigerians.

“Therefore, the endorsement of the Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by this group cannot stand and will not stand. Their lame excuse that the Presidential candidate of Labour Party , Mr Peter Obi does not have a structure is false. Progressive Nigerians are the structures and Dogara’s Middlebelters remained solidly in support of Mr Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed”

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Politics

Hundreds of APC Members Defect to PDP in Kogi

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* Vow to Ensure Victory for Atiku, other PDP Candidates

Over 130 members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party in Abejukolo Ward 11, in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The defection ceremony took place at Echa/Ogoh Nursery and Primary School, Abejukolo on Sunday.

Hon. Johnson Ataboh Ebeto, a former councilor on the platform of the PDP who had defected to the APC during 2015 election, said the ceremony was a homecoming for him and his supporters to ensure that PDP wins the forthcoming general elections.

Hon Ebeto, expressing regrets on his earlier defection from the PDP, described his experience in the All Progressives Congress(APC) as harrowing.

He said, “Now is the right time to discard such habits and choose PDP as the only option for liberation”.

Honourable Salisu Akpa, who is the Ward 11 PDP chairman and other PDP stakeholders, urged them not to see themselves as joiners but bonafide members of the party.

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Opinion

2023: I Stand With the Youths,The Old Ones Should Fade Away – Abdulsalami Abubakar

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Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has expressed reservations about the continued domination of political activities by the older people, saying it is time to create space for the younger generation.

“I think the right thing for the country is that old ones should fade away gracefully and allow young people to take over,”

“What we can do as former leaders is to mentor and tutor them in whatever way we can in order for them to lead the country.

“As a matter of fact, this is the time Nigerians should begin to support young, vibrant, and visionary leaders that would steer the country on the path of glory”

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