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Supreme court affirms Soludo as APGA governorship candidate

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The supreme court has affirmed Chukwuma Soludo, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 6 election in Anambra state.

The five-member panel of justices led by Mary Peter-Odili also affirmed Victor Oye as the national chairman of the party.

APGA has been plagued by internal crisis which led to two factions producing candidates for the Anambra governorship election –Soludo from Oye’s faction and Michael Umeoji from Jude Okeke’s faction.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier picked Umeoji as the party’s candidate following two different court judgments by Musa Ubale, judge of a high court in Jigawa state (who upheld the suspension of Oye as national chairman) and Bello Kawu, a judge of the federal capital territory (FCT) who ordered INEC to monitor the primary election of the Okeke faction and comply with the result.

However, a court of appeal sitting in Kano on August 10 affirmed Oye as national chairman of APGA — meaning the return of Soludo as the governorship candidate.

Aggrieved by the judgment of the Kano appeal court, Edozie Njoku and Chinedu Okoro, both chieftains of the party, filed an appeal before the Abuja division, asking that the ruling be set aside.

Ruling on the appeal marked CA/AW/256/2021, filed against Sylvester Ezeokenwa and five other party chieftains, the Abuja division of the appeal court held that the suit constituted an abuse of judicial process.

In a unanimous decision read by Jummai Sankey, the appeal court held that it was bound by the doctrine of ‘stare decisis’, a Latin phrase which means ”let the decision stand”, adding that setting aside the ruling of the Kano division will amount to questioning its own judgment.

The panel of three, led by Monica Dongban-Mensem, president of the court, also said the Abuja division lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

The sum of N10 million naira was also awarded against the appellants in favour of Ezeokenwa and APGA.

The matter was further appealed to the supreme court.

In its judgment, the apex court unanimously upheld the judgment of the Kano state appeal court division which validated the primary election that produced Soludo.

According to the supreme court, the appellate court was right when it quashed a Jigawa state high court judgment that recognised a parallel primary election that was conducted by the Okeke-led faction of APGA.

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APC Picks Ondo Gov Candidate Apr 25, Pegs Form At ₦50m

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Ahead of the November 16, 2024 governorship election in Ondo State, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has released its timetable and schedule of activities leading to the party’s selection of a candidate on April 25, 2024.

The APC timetable released late Monday was signed by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Sulaimon Argungu.

According to the party, the sale of nominations, expression of interest and delegates forms for contestants will begin on April 3 and end on April 10, 2024, while primary election is slated for April 25, 2024.

Like its governorship primary in Edo State which produced Monday Okpebholo as the flag bearer, the APC pegged the price for the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms at N10m and N40m respectively for Ondo.

The party said female aspirants and persons living with disabilities are to pay for Expression of Interest while the Nomination Form is free.

“Youths from 25 to 40 years are to purchase Expression of Interest forms with a 50% discount on Nomination Forms,” the APC stated.

Some of the top contenders for the APC ticket in Ondo include Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, former Ondo deputy governor, who succeeded the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu after the latter’s death on December 27, 2023. A former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Wale Akinterinwa; as well as Senator representing Ondo South, Jimoh Ibrahim, also want the party’s ticket.

Ondo and Edo are two of the eight states where governorship elections are held off-season due to litigations and court judgements. The others are Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi and Osun.

Already, political gladiators are squaring up in the two states where governorship polls will hold this year. 19 political parties are expected to field a candidate each but the polls, like previous ones, will turn out as two-horse races or at best three-horse races.

 

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Edo Guber Poll: Uzodinma Heads APC Primary Election Committee 

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Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Hope Uzodinma is to head the seven-man All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee.

A statement late Tuesday night in Abuja announcing the names of various committee members by the party’s National Organising Secretary (NOS), Sulaiman Muhammad Arugungu showed that the committee will be inaugurated on Thursday by the National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje by 4 pm.

His committee is to conduct the party’s shadow election on Saturday, February 17 in the 193 wards of Edo State to determine APC gubernatorial flag bearer in the September 21 governorship election.

Cross River Governor Bassey Otu will serve as Deputy Chairman of the committee while Alh. Rabiu Suleiman is appointed as Secretary.

Other members are former Osun Deputy Gov Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori; Plateau 2023 APC governorship candidate, Dr. Nentanwe Yilwatda Goshwe, Hon. Umar Hassan and Lawan Garba.

The party also announced Barr. C. C Udenwa as Chairman of the five-man Election Appeal Committee while Alhaji Yunusa Mohammed will serve as Secretary.

The APC cleared all the 12 aspirants jostling for its ticket to contest the September Edo governorship election.

The 12 aspirants are: Prince Clem Agba; Senator Monday Okpebholo; Lucky Imasuen, Hon. Anamero Sunday Dekeri; Pastor Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu; Engr. Gideon Ikhine; Col. David Imuse (Rtd.); Gen. Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd.); Prof. (Sen.) Oserheimen Osunbor; Blessing Agbomhere, Hon Dennis Idahosa and Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe.

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Fresh Crisis Hits Labour Party  Over N3.5bn

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A fresh crisis is brewing in the Labour Party (LP) over the 2023 general election finances.

The National Treasurer, Mrs. Oluchi Oparah, has demanded accountability from the National Chairman, Julius Abure, over N3.5 billion realized from sales of forms and other donations to the party.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, February 12, 2024, Opara said that LP has been plagued with financial mismanagement and corruption.

She alleged that Abure owns several houses and property.

Oparah said: “I stand before you today with a heavy heart and a sense of duty to the principles of transparency, accountability, and justice. With great reluctance and deep concern, I am compelled to publicly address the media regarding the egregious financial mismanagement and corruption that have plagued our beloved party under the leadership of Mr Julius Abure, the current National Chairman.

“As national treasurer, I am constrained to come before you and the public today because the internal mechanisms of our party have failed woefully to bring Mr. Abure to account for his brazen abuse of office and misappropriation of party funds.

“His appetite for power has grown unchecked, and he has deliberately undermined my duties and authority as stipulated in the party’s constitution.”

Meanwhile, the party has dismissed the allegations.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, said: “With the exception of the National Treasurer whose tenure is about to end in few weeks’ time, and who has served for 8 years as National Treasurer without a single record of party accounts, no other member of the national working committee has raised any issue of embezzlement against our National Chairman who made a pledge on assumption that the party has to be revamped.

Evidence is our proactive outing in the 2023 general election as the party presented for the first time a very good presidential candidate.

“Let it be said that the Labour Party has not earned N3.5 billion as claimed and that the National Chairman has not embezzled any money that belongs to the party as alleged.

 The records are there, except that Ms Oluchi Opara don’t even understand simple accounting even as a treasurer. An External Auditor is engaged by the party and our account is under constant scrutiny of INEC or other regulatory bodies.

“Abure does not own several houses and property as spuriously alleged by our estranged National Treasurer, even though no law prohibits him from owning properties.”

 

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