LP tenders documents challenging Tinubu’s victory in 17 states
The Labour Party (LP) has presented Forms EC8B from 17 states as exhibits before the presidential election tribunal to challenge President Bola Tinubu’s victory. Ben Anichebe, counsel to the LP and Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the party, spoke while tendering documents at the resumed hearing of the joint petition filed before the tribunal on Tuesday.
Forms EC8B are mainly election results from the ward level. The documents were admitted as exhibits by the court. The states are Adamawa (21 LGAs), Bayelsa (8 LGAs), Benue (23 LGAs), Kogi (21 LGAs), Nasarawa (11 LGAs), Niger (25 LGAs), Ondo (18 LGAs), Sokoto (23 LGAs), Delta (25 LGAs), Ekiti (11 LGAs), Imo (25 LGAs), Kaduna (21 LGAs), Oyo (27 LGAs), Cross River (18 LGAs), Edo (15 LGAs), Akwa Ibom (31 LGAs) and Lagos (20 LGAs).
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), represented by Kemi Pinheiro, objected to the admissibility of the documents. Mike Igbokwe, who represented President Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima, also towed the same path. The All Progressives Congress (APC), represented by Lawan Yusufa, also raised an objection while all respondents said they would reserve their objections until the final address.
Further hearing in the petition has been adjourned to June 7. Tinubu, the standard bearer of the APC, was declared the winner of the February 25 election with 8,794,726 votes. The outcome of the election is being challenged by Obi of the LP, and Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The LP had said it would challenge Tinubu’s victory in only 18 states.
Source: The Cable
10th NASS: Akpabio’s bid threatened, as senators-elect withdraw support
Ahead of the June 13 inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, the zoning formula of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC with regards to the office of the Senate President appeared threatened on Tuesday following concerns that some senators-elect might have withdrawn their support for the APC-backed candidate, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The development came as a Senator-elect from Kano State, Sumaila Kawu, cautioned President Bola Tinubu against interfering in the election of presiding officers of the two chambers of the 10th National Assembly. There were indications that senators-elect who were hitherto expressing support for Akpabio, are reportedly withdrawing on account of issues connected with his relationship with the National Assembly when he held sway as Minister of the Nigeria Delta.
Three years ago, at a public hearing of an investigative panel at the House of Representatives, which was set up to probe corruption allegations at the Niger Delta Development Company NDDC, Akpabio had reportedly fingered the lawmakers as major beneficiaries of contracts. Some of the senators-elect hinted that they are having a rethink on Akpabio’s bid over accusations that he was disrespectful to the institution of the legislature when he, as the Minister of Niger Delta, openly accused National Assembly members of hugely benefiting from large contracts in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) without proof.
“It is important that people who have gone to court, people who genuinely did jobs should be paid for their jobs. For me, I am not against it because, of course, who are even the greatest beneficiaries? It is you people. I just told you that we have records to show that most of the contracts in the NDDC are given out to members of the National Assembly”, the then minister had said. His utterances before the panel have now come back to haunt him.
Deputy Director-General of the Akpabio/ Barau Campaign Organisation, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), had on Monday, appealed to senators-elect to support Akpabio’s bid. A senator-elect who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the withdrawal of support for Akpabio, querying how he can preside over a National Assembly he once despised. He said; “I have withdrawn support for Senator Akpabio. It is not only me. Many of us have withdrawn our support and it will show on the floor.
“I used to have very high regards for Senator Akpabio as a person but I cannot support him to be the Senate President. “How can he (Akpabio) come and preside over an institution which he once described as a cesspit of corruption after benefitting from the same institution?,” the Senator-elect queried. On his part, Kawu said; “The constitution is explicit about how the President and Deputy President of the Senate shall be elected. For instance, Chapter 2 of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended) stipulates the procedures for selection of Presiding Officers of the Senate.
“Similarly, Section 50(1)a of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) states that, ‘there shall be a President and Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves. “Also, section 50(1)b stipulates that, ‘A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.
“It is therefore clear that, the election of these Presiding Officers is purely an internal affair that concerns only members of the National Assembly and therefore, they should be allowed to decide who among them would occupy the positions in order to avoid repetition of the past mistakes – we may all recall the incidences of the 7th and 8th National Assembly.”