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p15 edited Supreme Court: Why I insist recent verdicts are disturbing – Sagay From Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos Constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay SAN, said he…

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Supreme Court: Why I insist recent verdicts are disturbing – Sagay

From Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos

Constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay SAN, said he remains firm in his opinion about recent Supreme Court judgments that upheld the governorship elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

He also lashed at those criticising his position, saying they were those who benefitted from the “perverse” verdicts delivered by the apex court.

In a chat with Daily Trust, he said the position of the Supreme Court amounted to sanctioning of electoral malpractices, which would encourage politicians to deploy maximum forces to win election.

The Supreme Court had penultimate week affirmed the victories of Governors Nyesome Wike and Udom Emmanuel of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, after the duo had earlier lost at the tribunal and the Appeal Court.

The apex court in giving reasons for its decisions said on Friday that non-compliance by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) manual and guidelines by officials of the commission were not sufficient to annul the election, even as it said card reader was not a sufficient replacement for manual accreditation.

Sagay however restated his opinion that the judgments are “perverse”, saying he is unperturbed about the criticism trailing his view.

He said, “Let me say this. The judgment is perverse. I can say that forever, it is perverse, it is shocking. It is unbelievable. And for those who are criticizing me, you know Nigerians don’t like the truth, basically, Nigerians don’t like the truth. Nigerians like what favours them, whether it is right or wrong. Nigerians have no sense of justice. So those who are criticizing me are those who have benefitted from that perversion of a judgment.”

The Supreme Court verdicts have generated divergent reactions from Nigerians especially members of the bar with some lawyers including Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, and Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa hailing the apex court’s decisions.

…Judgment averted bloodshed

From Patrick Odey, Uyo

The deputy chief whip of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Otuekong Nse Essien, says the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold some gubernatorial elections has avoided bloodshed.

At a session with journalists yesterday, the legislator, who represents Onna state constituency, said Nigerians should rejoice over the decision which laid to rest the rigours of going for another election.

“We thank God for His mercies and benevolence; because the ruling has averted bloodshed and a lot funds that would have been wasted again for a rerun election.

“Whether the Supreme Court was fair or unfair, logical or illogical, it has saved us a lot of uncomplimentary developments that would have drawn the state backward,” he said.

N/Assembly should pass 2016 budget without delay – Salau

By Saawua Terzungwe

A former national chairman and presidential candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AD)? in the 2015 general elections, Rafiu Salau, has said the National Assembly should not hesitate to pass the 2016 budget in order for the government to deliver on its campaign promises.

Salau told Daily Trust yesterday in Abuja, that the National Assembly needs to hasten the passage of the budget, adding that it is genuine and not fake.

He expressed surprised that while the masses are happy with the budget, which reflected some of their expectations, the National Assembly has continued to delay it, and perhaps, truncating the Change ?agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The budget is that of the people, it is the execution that the National Assembly should look into. They are not supposed to stop the budget. They should approve it and ensure the things the government promised the masses are done.

“They elected Buhari based on the campaign promises he made, so they should not try to stop the executive from executing their projects, or stop the proposal given to them. The ?masses are interested in the budget,” he said.

INEC to use simultaneous accreditation, voting in Kogi rerun

From Itodo Daniel Sule, Lokoja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it will use simultaneous accreditation and voting for the Kogi rerun election scheduled for February 20.

A statement from the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Malam Hussaini Halilu Pai, said voting will commence at 8:00 am and close at 2:00 pm in line with the new procedure.

Pai said the constituencies affected by the rerun election include Central and Eastern Senatorial districts, Okene/Ogori federal constituency, Idah, Ankpa, Ofu and Dekina, state constituencies.

The statement added that black ballot boxes will be used for the Senate rerun election, green collapsible ballot boxes for House of Representatives and red ballot boxes for state assembly.

Adamawa rerun: Group wants social media mongers prosecuted

From Kabiru R. Anwar, Yola

The Northern Patriotic Front?, a coalition of accredited observers’ group,? has called on security agencies to prosecute social media users who peddled rumours that the rerun election in Demsa/Numan/Lamurde Federal Consirtuency? was postponed.?

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Talatu Yohanna emerged winner in the election held on Saturday.

On the eve of the election, false news of postponement was shared on facebook and other social media platforms, causing confusion among voters.

Addressing journalists in Yola, leader of the group, Dr. Nwambu Gabriel, noted that the rumour caused tension and could have jeopardized the process.?

“The coalition extends its commendation to the management and staff of INEC for remaining unbiased in the conduct of this transparent, free, fair and credible election. Our recommendation also goes to the Police, DSS and relevant law enforcement agencies for a well proactive policing devoid of molestation of law abiding citizens of the state,” Gabriel said.

INEC extends Yobe Rep by-election

From Hamisu Kabir Matazu, Damaturu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that its February 27 date for the by-election to fill the vacant House of Representatives seat in Yobe has been extended to April 23.

The appointment of Hajia Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim as minister by President Muhammadu Buhari had left the seat vacant.

Khadija represented Damaturu, Gujba, Gulani and Tarmuwa federal constituency.

The Inter-party Advisory Council in the state had disagreed with INEC on the earlier date scheduled for the election, saying INEC should give them more time to mobilize supporter among the Internally displaced Persons (IDPs).

The Public Relations Officer INEC, Mr. Bagudu Nma, said the electoral body decided to shift the by-election after due consultations.

APC inaugurates Adamawa interim executive

By Muideen Olaniyi

The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday inaugurated an interim Working Committee (SWC) of the party in Adamawa State.

This followed the death of the erstwhile state deputy chairman who has been acting since the election of Senator Binta Masi Garba, who was the former chairman.

The newly reconstituted acting state party officials, to be led by Ibrahim Bilal, have Samaila Tadawus, acting deputy chairman, Vincent Musa, acting state secretary, Sa’idu Maira , acting deputy secretary, Muhammad Zubairu Audu, acting vice chairman, South, Monday Audu, acting financial secretary, Ibrahim Abubakar, acting publicity secretary, Gambo Bakari, acting auditor, Hauwa H. Jalo Koma , acting woman leader, and Abubakar Dan’azumi, acting youth leader.

The APC National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, who inaugurated the party officials, said the SWC was constituted in order to fill the vacuum created by the death of the acting chairman.

In his acceptance remarks, the state acting chairman, Ibrahim Bilal said the responsibility given to them was a trust which must be protected. He said the interim executive would not disappoint, calling on all party members and leaders to come together.

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