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Presidential election: Atiku hires 19 SANs

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has put together a legal team of 19 Senior Advocates of Nigeria to challenge the outcome of the February 25 election.

Atiku briefed them on Wednesday at his campaign Headquarters in Abuja, asking them to “establish the claim of illegality in the election and reclaim the mandate of the Nigerian people.”

The team is headed by a seasoned litigation and commercial lawyer, JK Gadzama.

He further declared that it is crucial for them to go through this process not just for himself and PDP, but also to reinforce constitutional democracy and safeguard it for future generations.

The list of SANs includes Chief Chris Uche, Paul Usoro, Tayo Jegede, Ken Mozia, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Mahmood Magaji, Joe Abraham, Chukwuma Umeh, Garba Tetengi and Chief Emeka Etiaba – as well as Chief Goddy Uche, Professor Maxwell Gidado; PDP’s National Legal Adviser A.K. Ajibade; O.M. Atoyebi; Nella Rabana; Paul Ogbole; Nuremi Jimoh and Abdul Ibrahim.

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The PUNCH reports that Atiku Abubakar and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, have refused to concede defeat in the February 25 presidential election, vowing to recover their mandate in court.

The two candidates rebuffed the gesture of conciliation made by the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, who in his acceptance speech after he was declared the winner of the poll on Wednesday, asked them to support him in the task of building the nation.

The Independent National Electoral Commission declared Tinubu as the President-elect after the 70-year-old polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rivals, Atiku and Obi who scored 6,984,520 and 6,101, votes, respectively.

The PUNCH reports that both Atiku and Obi respectively approached to Presidential Election Court to seek permission for the inspection of election materials used during the presidential’s poll.

With the move, the Court of Appeal in Abuja last Friday granted leave to Atiku and Obi to have access to all the sensitive materials used for the conduct of the election.

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A panel of the appellate court led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh made the order after it heard two separate ex parte applications the two aggrieved presidential candidates filed alongside their political parties.

Listed as respondents in the matter were INEC, All Progressives Congress, and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the election and is now the President-elect.

Both applications were predicated on Section 146 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, Paragraph 47 (1, 2 &3) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act of 2022, as well as under the inherent jurisdiction of the court as referenced by Section 6 (6) A & B of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

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FG commences price enforcement in Abuja, targets Lagos, others

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The Federal Government on Thursday initiated sporadic enforcement raids at multiple supermarkets and markets within the Federal Capital Territory to ensure adherence to price display and quantity regulations, aiming to reduce the cost of food commodities nationwide.

It also said it would continue unannounced inspections at super and open markets in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Ibadan in the coming weeks to probe the abnormal price surges and take firm measures against any companies caught engaging in unfair market practices like price manipulation, excessive pricing, or cartel formation.

The Executive Secretary of The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, said this when he conducted an enforcement exercise to eliminate grocery store price gouging and illegal pricing schemes.

During the exercise that lasted several hours, the FCCPC sealed 4U Supermarket and evacuated 33 bags of fake stallion and caprice rice filled with weevils from one of the branches of the same supermarket located at 58 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II.

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Earlier on Wednesday, the commission had ordered its operatives to intensify monitoring of both formal and informal markets to identify businesses engaged in unnecessary inflation of prices for required enforcement action.

 

This move is a direct response to concerns raised by consumers about the rising costs of goods, which go against the recent strengthening of the naira.

Food inflation has been a recurring issue influencing the steady increase of Nigeria’s headline inflation of 33.2 per cent, recording an unprecedented food inflation rate of 40 per cent in March 2024.

 

It was exacerbated by the extensive fall of the naira against the dollar in January and February leading to the soaring prices of essential goods and services, raising the costs of living costs to an all-time high.

Although the presidency had vowed to continue its campaign against racketeers, urging Nigerians to expect a stronger naira, a significant drop in the prices of essential commodities was elusive.

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said that the president had directed consumer protection agencies to ensure that the local prices reflect the rising value of the naira.

“But there is still much work to be done and this is not a time for celebration. It is a time for doubling down and working harder to ensure that inflation is sustainably brought down in short order.

 

“Consumer protecting regulatory agencies must step up enforcement to ensure that our people are not short-changed by enterprises that fail to reflect the prevailing exchange rates on the pricing of goods and services across the board.

 

“As our private and publicly-owned refineries resume operations between now and the first quarter of 2025, the nation’s cash position will dramatically improve to the extent that Nigerians can rightly expect a stronger Naira and a fair reflection of its strength in the prices of commodities in the market place,” said Ngelale.

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The Presidency also assured Nigerians of the better days ahead saying the benefits of the reforms will be “more evident” as the administration progresses.

 

“Once you join the rising spending power of Africa’s largest population with the historic availability of trillions of naira for consumer credit that will bolster the real sector, you will see why Nigerians will be most pleased that they elected a financial engineer and businessman as president by the end of his first term in office, even as the signs are increasingly more evident today,” the Presidential spokesman stated.

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BREAKING: EFCC declares Yahaya Bello wanted

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state, wanted over alleged N80 billion financial crimes.

 

“Anybody with information as to his whereabout should report immediately to the Commission or the nearest Police Station,” the commission said.

Details later…

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BREAKING: Protesters besiege PDP secretariat, demand Wike’s suspension

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reform Vanguard, on Thursday, besieged the party’s secretariat in Abuja to demand the suspension of Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

 

The group also called for the resignation of Umar Damagun as acting national chair of the PDP.

 

The group arrived the headquarters ahead of the scheduled national executive council (NEC) meeting of the PDP, while demanding that Wike should be suspended for alleged anti-party activities.

 

Speaking with reporters, Usman Seidu, convener of the group, said Damagun and Wike have “undermined our collective efforts and jeopardised our very existence as a formidable opposition force”.

 

“We commend our former National Chairman Dr. Iyorchia Ayu for his demonstration of unwavering loyalty and love for our party by withdrawing all pending suits against the party in the court,” Seidu said.

 

“His actions have paved the way for our great party to move forward, to cleanse our ranks and restore integrity to our leadership.

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However, the presence of individuals like Amb. Iliya Damagun and Mr. Nyesom Wike within our midst remains a cancerous growth on the body of our party.

 

“Their actions, tantamount to betrayal, have undermined our collective efforts and jeopardised our very existence as a formidable opposition force.

 

“The time has come for the NEC to act decisively. Amb. Iliya Damagun must be removed from his position as acting national chairman, in accordance with the provisions of our party’s constitution.

 

“He must be replaced with a loyal member from the north-central, someone who embodies the spirit of our party and will work tirelessly for the advancement of its course.

 

“Furthermore, we cannot turn a blind eye to the continuous presence of Mr. Nyesom Wike within our ranks. His romance with the APC has been handsomely rewarded with his appointment as minister of the FCT and as such, his stay is a slap in the face of every loyal member of our party.

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“If the party fails to take decisive action against those who have betrayed our trust, then it risks losing the faith and support of it’s loyal members across the country.”

 

Wike attended the national caucus meeting of the PDP on Wednesday.

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