Ondo guber: Falana, Keyamo support INEC on PDP candidate.

The decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Modu Sheriff-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the upcoming Ondo State gubernatorial election, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, is right, frontline lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has said.

INEC last Thursday endorsed Ibrahim’s candidature after an Abuja High Court declared him as the authentic PDP candidate.

The electoral umpire had earlier recognised the candidate of Markafi-led faction of the party, Eyitayo Jegede.

“INEC has merely obeyed a court order,” he Falana said. “INEC has obeyed an order of a court pursuant to a valid and subsisting judgement. You want INEC to disregard the judgement?”

He said it was wrong of the Markafi-led PDP to seek a restraining order from another court of equal status.

He said, “Once there’s an order, you can only go and set aside the existing one. You can’t go and start another one. That’s what causes conflicting court order.

“You can’t go and initiate a process that will set one court in collision with another. It’s primitive.

It’s not done in any civilised society.

“If there’s a judgement against you, you go to that same court to set it aside. You don’t go and file a fresh action in another court, and thereby set the courts on collision course, which may result to conflicting court orders.”

He said since the Markafi faction had appealed the judgement, it should have waited for the outcome of the party.

“There’s an appeal against the judgement of Abuja court. No other person can go to another court, a lower court, to set aside the judgement of a court of coordinate jurisdiction. It’s not done.

“And I don’t blame the judges, like the judge in Akure, because nothing happened to those who gave conflicting orders in the PDP leadership crisis the other day. That’s why this mess is continuing.”

He urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State to discourage his supporters from engaging in protests because he was he became a governor after a court pronouncement.

He added, “You can’t take any step that will subvert the rule of law. What do they expect INEC to do? To disregard the order of a court because of sentiment and rely on expataint order? No responsible organisation does that.”

Festus Keyamo also supported the position of Falana on INEC’s choice, insisting the election umpire followed the law.

“There are conflicting orders.” He said. “There’s no amount of emotion or protests that can change that. It’s a purely legal matter.

“It doesn’t matter the presence of a political group. There are two conflicting orders. INEC is in complete order to effect any of the orders until the Supreme Court decides.”

Ondo guber: AD suspends 3 principal officers.

The Alliance for Democracy (AD) has suspended three principal officers of the party for their alleged involvement in the governorship candidacy saga in Ondo State.

A communique signed by AD National Chairman, Mr Joseph Avazi, issued in Abuja on Friday, said the three officials were suspended by the party’s National Executive Council [NEC] at its meeting on Oct. 26.

It listed those affected as: Alhaji Shehu Musa, Deputy National Chairman North, Mr Kehinde Aworele, the National Legal Adviser, and the National Organising Secretary, Mr Abdallah Ibrahim.

The communique added that the suspension was to allow the NEC to meet again and resolve the matter.

It stated that the NEC had appointed Alhaji Magaji Kwairanga to act as Deputy National Chairman North, Mr Roland Kientey, as acting National Organising Secretary, and the Deputy Legal Adviser to oversee the legal department.

According to the communique, the NEC has recognised Mr Olusola Oke as the AD candidate in the Nov. 26 governorship election in Ondo state

INEC Bars Corrupt Staff From Edo, Ondo Guber Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission has stopped its officers, who are currently undergoing investigations for alleged corrupt practices, from taking part in the conduct of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.


The commission said the action was taken in order to give credibility to the two elections.


Governorship elections are to hold in Edo and Ondo states on September 10 and November 26 respectively.


The commission also said if the affected officers were not cleared even after the two elections must have been held, they would continue to be left out of other electoral assignments.


INEC’s Deputy Director, Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Nick Dazang, stated this in an interview in Abuja on Sunday.


Dazang was asked if the over 100 officers, being investigated for alleged bribery by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in connection with bribery allegations during the last general elections, would be deployed for the two elections.


The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had confirmed the number of the suspects, stating that at the end of the probe, those found guilty would be sacked.


Some resident electoral officers of the commission were alleged to have been bribed by the officials of the Peoples Democratic Party during the general elections.


For example, a former Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan, and other top INEC officials in the South-South geopolitical zone were alleged to have received N675.1m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.


According to impeccable sources at the EFCC, Khan, who was later deployed as REC in Cross River State, allegedly received N185.8m ahead of the March 28 and April 11, 2015 elections.

The commission also arrested one Oluchi Obi Brown, who was the INEC administrative secretary in Delta State, said to have allegedly received over N111m.


Further investigations by detectives revealed that Brown had about $75,000 in an account in the United States.


The anti-graft agency also arrested one Edem Okon Effanga, who is a retired INEC official. Effanga was arrested alongside his alleged accomplice, Immaculata Asuquo, who was the Head, Voter Education of INEC in Akwa Ibom State.


Effanga was alleged to have received over N240m, which he shared among INEC ad hoc workers during the last elections.


Dazang said those still under investigations would be excluded from the elections in order to give credibility to the polls.


He said, It is the rule that anyone undergoing investigations for any allegations will not be deployed for any electoral duty.


We will obey this simple logic. We won’t deploy any of those being investigated for the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections.


All those who have questions to answer either from the EFCC or any other security agencies, regarding the roles they played in the last general elections, are to be excused from these elections.


We need to give the elections credibility. If we don’t do that, Nigerians will query us. Until these officers are cleared, they won’t be deployed for any electoral duty.”


Though the list of invited members of staff INEC kept increasing, Yakubu had said the commission was cooperating with the EFCC, adding that ultimately, members of staff, who were culpable, would “be shown the way out.”

Sylva Wins Bayelsa APC Guber Ticket Again

Former Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, yesterday, won in the rescheduled primary of All Progressives Congress, APC, to emerge as the party flag bearer for the December 5,  governorship election in the state.

Sylva polled 981 votes  to beat his closest rival, Chief Godknows Powell, who garnered 39 votes.

Fourteen governorship aspirants participated in the primary.

The former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe, had earlier withdrawn from the race citing party interest and collateral consequences.

Also absent from the party secretariat, venue of the governorship primary, was the former Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr. Imoro Kubo and Ambassador Emmanuel Otiotio.

The governorship primary, which was conducted by a seven-man team, led by Brigadier- General Monsur Dan-Ali (retd), was peaceful and without any security hitch.

Read More: vanguardngr

APGA Guber Candidate In Abia Crashes APC Caucus Meeting

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State, Alex Otti shocked many as he attended the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus meeting in Abuja on Wednesday. He attended the meeting to solicit for the party’s support in Saturday’s re- run election in the state.

Otti held a closed- door meeting with some leaders of the APC before the caucus meeting started. Although the APC has a candidate in the re-run election, the race is between Otti and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Okezie Ikpeazu.

Read More: DailyTrust