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Trouble For APC, As Party Chieftain Asks Court to Declare Governor Buni and Co ‘Usurpers’

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Governor Mai Mala Buni

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Barrister Kalu Agu Kalu on Friday asked a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the APC from going ahead with its planned Ward congress scheduled for Saturday July 31 as well as subsequent Local Government, State, Zonal Congresses and the party’s National Convention.

Agu in the suit marked CV/1812/2021, dated July 29 and filed July 30, 2021 is also asking the court to declare as null and void any of the APC’s Congresses and convention held under the current acting National Chairman of the APC’s Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni.

The suit filed by his lawyer, Ukpai Ukairo, has the APC and Mai Mala Buni as first and second defendants respectively.

The plaintiff by the suit is claiming that the second defendant was never elected at any congress to run the affairs of the APC and that the party’s Constitution does not allow any person who holds an executive position to occupy any position in any of its organs.

In a -38 paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the suit, the plaintiff, stated that Buni “Is being sued solely in his capacity as henchman of the usurpers of the functions of the organs and elected officers of the first defendant and as representing the other usurpers of the functions of the organs and elected officers of the first defendant”.

Agu, who disclosed that he intends to contest for the position of National Legal Adviser of the APC during the party’s next convention said his interest would “be affected by a coñduct of a congress superintended by Buni who is a sitting Governor of Yobe State and also discharging the functions of the elected National Chairman and the National Working Committee of the first defendant”.

While claiming that APC does not have an elected ward congress and that Buni is not also elected, the deponent added that” some persons not known to the ware are determined to come together and appoint themselves as ward executive committee thereby excluding him from the process of contesting for the said position.

Among the issues he wants the court to determine are; whether the APC can conduct a ward congress when there is no elected ward executive committee of the APC.

He further wants the court to determine whether the APC can lawfully conduct a ward congress, local government congress, state congress, zonal congress, national convention for the election of officers into the various levels of the structure of the APC established by the constitution of the APC for its administration when it has usurpers of the functions of the organs and elected officers of the APC who are not elected in accordance with the 1999 Constitution, the Electoral Act and the APC’s Constitution.

He argued that if the answers to the questions are in the negative whether the defendants can be restrained by the court from proceeding with the process of electing any officer of the APC or whether the court can set aside any decision, action, steps or notification taken by the APC for the actualization of the ward, Local Government, State and Zonal Congresses and National Convention for the election of officers of the APC.

While he wants the court to declare, “that the Ward Congress fixed by the Defendants to hold on Saturday, the 31st day of July, 2021, the subsequent Local Government Congress, State Congress, Zonal Congress and National Convention for the purposes of electing ward, Local Government, State, Zonal and National Executive Committee Members of the first Defendant are null and invalid arising from one or a combination of the above:
(1)By the Constitution of the 1st Defendant only a Ward Executive Committee can summon a Ward Congress and presently, the 1st Defendant has no Ward Executive Committee in any of the Wards across Nigeria,

(2) The 1st Defendant ia presently being administered by an unelected USURPERS in which the 2nd Defendant is their henchman.

(3) The 2nd Defendant is the Governor of Yobe State and by Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution cannot hold an Executive position in addition to the position of Executive Chairman of any other body.

He sought AN ORDER of mandatory injunction setting aside any decision, act, steps, notifications taken or made out for the purpose of holding any ward, Local Government, State, Zonal Congresses or National Convention of the 18 Defendant directed at the election of officers of the 1s! Defendant at any level of the political structure in Nigeria created by the Constitution of the 1st Defendant.

No date however has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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Umahi Declares for 2023 Presidential Race

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As has been widely expected, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2023 Presidential race.

According to the Governor, he has informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his ambition to contest the presidency on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC).

Governor Umahi’s action came barely 24 hours after the National Leader of the Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, took similar steps.

Umahi disclosed his latest move to State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

  1. On what his chances chances are against the background that other big political figures had indicated their intentions to run for the same office, including Asiwaju Tinubu, the Governor said God would be the decider of the outcome of the race.

Umahi, who left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC, said he stands a chance if the APC throws the ticket open.

He said if he gets the opportunity, his presidency will replicate his efforts in Ebonyi, saying that he has a lot to show in running governance as a business.

The Governor also said he spoke with the President about resolving the security crisis bugging the Southeast region through political solutions.

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We Haven’t Zoned the Presidential Slot to Any Part of the Country, says PDP

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As permutations continue ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has denied zoning the presidential slot, saying a decision is yet to be taken on where its presidential ticket would be zoned to.

It also dismissed reports indicating that PDP had resolved to zone the presidential ticket to a particular region of the country.

Recall that former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, had, last week, told a group drumming support for the presidential ambition of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar that the party had resolved to field a northerner as its presidential candidate.

But reacting to the reports, spokesman for the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said: “This is completely misleading as it does not in any way represent the position of our party. For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP emphatically and unequivocally states that it has not zoned its presidential ticket to any part of the country.

“The PDP is a political party founded on democratic principles and every action of the party, including zoning, is based on extensive consultations, discussions and consideration of all the issues as well as the various tendencies and interests across the nation, with the main objective of ensuring that the unity, peaceful co-existence and development of our nation are reinforced and promoted.

“The PDP, therefore, urges Nigerians, our teeming members and supporters to completely disregard the unfounded zoning claims as being peddled. Our party also cautions those behind the claims to desist forthwith.

“The PDP thanks Nigerians for the overwhelming interest they have in our party as their sure platform to rescue and rebuild our nation from misrule and urges them to remain united and focused as we join forces for the task ahead.”

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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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