The All Progressives Congress (APC) has filed its response against a petition by Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), on the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
On Monday, the APC, through Thomas Ojo, a member of the party’s legal team, countered the petition filed by Obi.
On March 1, Tinubu, the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared the winner of the presidential election.
Tinubu secured 8,794,726 votes, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had 6,984,520, and Peter Obi of the LP polled 6,101,533.
However, the PDP and LP rejected the result. Both parties approached the tribunal with separate petitions to challenge Tinubu’s victory.
In his petition, Obi submitted that Tinubu “at the time of the (presidential) election was not qualified to contest the election” owing to the payment of “a fine of $460,000 for an offence involving dishonesty, namely narcotics trafficking imposed by the United States District Court” on him in 1993.
The petition also stated that Tinubu did not score the two-thirds of votes cast in the federal capital territory (FCT) during the presidential election.
Countering Obi’s petition, APC said the LP presidential candidate was not a valid member of the LP as at the time of the election.
The APC added that the former Anambra governor was a member of the PDP until May 24, 2022, and was screened as one of the party’s presidential hopefuls in April 2022.
“1st petitioner (referring to Peter Obi) participated and was cleared to contest the presidential election while being a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP):
“1st petitioner purportedly resigned his membership of Peoples Democratic Party on 24 May 2022 to purportedly join the 2nd Petitioner (Labour Party) on 27 May 2022.
“2nd petitioner conducted its presidential primary on 30th May 2022, which purportedly produced 1st petitioner as its candidate, which time contravened section 77(3) of the Electoral Act for him to contest the primary election as a member of the 2nd petitioner.
“The 1st petitioner was not a member of the 2nd Petitioner as at the time of his alleged sponsorship.
“Whereas, by the mandatory provisions of Section 77 (1) (2) and (3) of the Electoral Act 2022, a political party shall maintain a register and shall make such register available to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not later than 30 (thirty) days before the date fixed for the party primaries, congresses and convention.
“All the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were screened on 29th April, 2022, an exercise which the 1st petitioner herein participated and cleared to contest while being a member of the party.
“The 1st petitioner herein resigned his membership of the PDP on Thursday 26th May, 2022 and joined the Labour Party the following day being 27th May, 2022.
“The 2nd petitioner herein conducted its presidential primary on 30th May, 2022, which produced the 1st petitioner as the candidate it intended to sponsor in the general election.
“By section 77(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the 2nd petitioner is mandated to have submitted its comprehensive register of members to the 1st respondent (referring to INEC) 30 days before its presidential primary. That is to say the said register of members must have been submitted to the 1st Respondent on or before 30th April, 2022.
“The 1st petitioner as at 30th April, 2022 was still a member of the PDP and his name was not and could not have been in the register of members submitted by the 2nd petitioner to 1st respondent.”
The ruling party submitted that Obi’s petition was “improperly constituted by the non-joinder of Atiku and PDP who are necessary parties to be affected by the reliefs sought”.
The APC also argued that Obi “lacks the locus standi” to challenge the outcome of the election because LP “did not present a valid candidate for that election”.
The ruling party submitted that the tribunal does not have the powers to entertain “pre-election complaints embedded” in Obi’s petition.
Oil theft: Army uncovers 40 illegal oil wells in Rivers
The Nigerian Army has made a startling discovery of over 40 illegal crude oil wells in Rumuekpe community, in the Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The illegal oil wells were discovered on Wednesday during an operation led by the General Officer Commanding, Nigerian Army 6 Division, General Jamal Abdusallam.
Speaking to Journalists shortly after the operation, Major General Abdusallam noted that the wells which are approximately 40 feet deep, represent a new tactic employed by criminals to siphon crude oil from underground reserves.
Major General Abdusallam emphasised the significance of this discovery in the fight against oil theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta.
According to him, the perpetrators devised a method of excavating deep into the ground to access crude oil deposits directly. He expressed concern over the danger posed by these activities to both the environment and individuals involved.
Major General Abdussalam also said he will notify relevant authorities and deploy troops to prevent further exploitation of the area.
Several suspects were apprehended at the crime scene and are currently in military custody to enable further investigations.
One suspect, speaking anonymously, admitted that the wells were allegedly owned by various families in the community.
While describing the hazardous process of digging, the suspect highlighted the risks involved, including gas inhalation and suffocation.
The suspect revealed that individuals involved in the operation were paid around N40,000 to excavate a well, emphasizing the communal ownership of the resource and the perilous nature of their endeavors.
Tinubu’s visit: Akinterinwa’s Campaign Organsation accuses Aiyedatiwa of unleashing terror on citizens
The Campaign Organsation of the frontline governorship aspirant in the November gubernatorial election in Ondo State, Adewale Akinterinwa, has accused Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of using suspected political thugs to unleash terror during the visit of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the state on Wednesday.
President Tinubu was in Ondo State where he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former Governor of the State, Rotimi Akeredolu.
According to statement by the spokesperson of Akinterinwa’s Campaign Organsation, Segun Ajiboye, suspected thugs loyal to the governor unleashed violence on the citizens and destroyed billboards of political opponents of the governor.
It will be recalled that the campaign organisation had on Tuesday accused the governor of preventing All Progressives Congress APC members from accessing the venue of the president’s visit expressed sadness over the return of thuggery to the political space the State.
The campaign organisation said “On Wednesday, February 28, thugs sponsored by the governor of Ondo state, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa, descended on the peaceful people of the state who had turned out in large number to receive President Bola Tinubu, GCFR, to the sunshine State.
“The thugs, fully loaded in unmarked vehicles, did not in any way hide their devilish intentions, as they went round major streets of Akure, destroying the bill boards of the other gubernatorial aspirants of the All Progressives Congress.
“The thugs fully armed with different types of guns, shot sporadically into the air to create fears in the people. Expectedly, thousands of supporters of the APC who had prepared to receive the president ran helter-skelter for dear lives.
“The ugly incident was coming barely 24 hours after the Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Structure raised the alarm about the dastardly activities by certain element acting for and on behalf of Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa to prevent members of the APC and leaders who are not in his camp to receive Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR during his visit to Akure.
“Today’s action by the thugs acting on the directives of Mr Governor is most undemocratic, disrespectful, unreasonable and disdainful attempt by any Chief executive in the anals of democracy in Nigeria.
“This is a sad reminder of the wicked old days in the politics of our dear state. It marks an avoidable return to the dark days of hooliganism and political bandits in Ondo state.”
Good morning! Here Are Some Major News Headlines In The Newspapers Today: SIM-NIN linkage: NCC rules out extension, telcos bar 12 million lines
1. The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has ruled out an extension of the February 28, 2024, deadline for the linkage of Subscriber Identity Module cards to National Identification Numbers. As a result, telecommunication companies have been directed to bar 12 million lines which have not been linked to the owners’ NINs after the expiration of the deadline.
2. President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, appealed for patience from Nigerians over the current economic hardship in the country, giving the assurance that there was light at the end of the tunnel. The President said he was fully aware and took responsibility for the difficulties Nigerians had been subjected to on account of government policies.
3. The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, on Wednesday, said the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, into Nigeria has reduced by 50 per cent since the withdrawal of subsidy on the commodity.
4. The military Joint Task Force, North-West Operation Hadarin Daji, said on Wednesday that it neutralised scores of bandits and rescued eight kidnapped victims in Zamfara State. The Information Officer of Operation Hadarin Daji, Lt. Col. Suleiman Omale, stated this in a statement on Wednesday in Gusau.
5. The war against illegal oil bunkering and oil theft received a huge boost on Wednesday as troops of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, uncovered over 40 dugout crude oil wells in Rumuekpe community, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State. The troops uncovered the site during a sweep-and-clear operation on the Trans Niger Delta Pipeline.
6. Operatives of the Edo State Police Command have arrested five suspected cultists, Emeka Eke, Chizoba Okolie, Samson Ochonobor, Friday Agbebayo and Julius Eguasa, for engaging in a street fight in Edo State. It was gathered that the suspects, alleged to be members of the Eiye Confraternity, engaged in street fighting at the Ramat Park area over failure to pay monthly dues and attend meetings of Eiye confraternity.
7. Two Binance executives — an American and a British- Pakistani — have been detained on the orders of National Security Adviser, NSA Nuhu Ribadu over alleged involvement in foreign exchange manipulations. It was learnt last night that the Federal Government obtained a Court Warrant to detain the men for 12 days, pending further investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
8. An Executive Order to “significantly reduce the cost of drugs and pharmaceutical products” in the country will soon be signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Health and Social Welfare Minister, Muhammed Pate stated these on Wednesday during the second edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series in Abuja.
9. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) apologised yesterday to their subscribers for the service hitches they have experienced for some days. The MNOs, under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, blamed the service disruptions on “severe fibre cuts” by contractors.
10. The Federal Government has allayed the fear of job loss with the implementation of the Oronsaye Report. Speaking at the fourth edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series in Abuja on Wednesday, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the implementation of the report would not lead to retrenchment.
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