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Palliatives: APC chieftain advises FG to deploy technology to curb corruption



Bola Babarinde

(Photo: Bola Babarinde, former chairman, All Progressives Congress in South Africa.)

A former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in South Africa, Mr Bola Babarinde, has advised the Federal Government to deploy technology in the disbursement of palliatives to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.

Babarinde in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Sunday, said the use of technology in the distribution of palliatives would curb corruption, and ensure transparency and accountability.

The APC chieftain said government should encourage all unbanked Nigerians to have a bank account, which would ensure easy disbursement palliatives to the recipients to discourage corruption.

Babarinde, who is the General Secretary of APC Committee of Diaspora Chairmen, said the use of Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the National Identification Number (NIN) could also be used to identify targeted beneficiaries of the palliatives and social grants.


“Driver’s licence and voter’s card are also available for data harmonisation, which can be useful to have a unified ID system.

“National ID is enough to open Bank account, however, citizen need to show interest and register in their respective wards with national ID without issuing separate voter’s card.

“All births and deaths registration with updated data must be taken seriously and captured instantly by integrating data of hospitals both public and private for a reliable data base for the citizen,” he said.

The former diaspora leader also suggested that senior citizens from age 65 and above should be placed on monthly allowance of N20,000, with free medical and transport to move within their states.

“This will improve their welfare and well-being , while reducing burden on their children struggling to survive on their own,” he said.


He also said that students’ loan should be made accessible, with less stringent requirements.

“This loan should be given to those whose parents combined income per annum is less than N1 million.

“The loan should cover books and accommodation at a prevailing rate, with incentives for high performance, like waivers and other benefits,” he said.

Babarinde also said that subsidised food programme, accessible at designated shops with Nigeria social benefits card by individuals within the benefits categories, should be introduced by the Federal Government.

“The same Nigeria social benefits card can also be preloaded with reasonable amount for transportation and medical services, which students, unemployed and senior citizens can be the target beneficiaries for welfare programmes,” he said.


The APC chieftain also suggested the establishment of a National Cooperative Banks to inject more capitals to assist Small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs).

He said this should be monitored by highly digitalised monitoring system to ensure strict compliance to best practices.

He said the National Orientation Agency ( NOA) should also be actively involved in public information dissemination of government’s activities to citizens, saying this would discourage or counter negative effects of fake news on social media.

“With these technological innovations and intervention to digitalise processes and systems, crime will be reduced.

“Higher life expectancy would be achieved, less burden on healthcare services because of improved wellness and overall better living standard”, Babarinde said.



Tribunal upholds Gov. Alia’s election



Gov Alia Hyacinth Alia

The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Gov. Hyacinth Alia of the APC in the March 18 Governorship Election.

Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.

Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.

He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.

He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.


Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.

He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.

The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.

The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.

They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.


They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.

They, therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.

The also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.

NAN reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.

However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.


The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.

They also said that the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.

The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.

They said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.

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Court stops PDP from dissolving Rivers chapter EXCOS



A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, restrained the national body of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from dissolving the Rivers’ chapter of the State Executive Committee (SEC) over alleged anti-party activities.

Delivering judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo, said he found that the case of the plaintiff, Mr Desmond Akawo, succeeded on merit.

Akawo, the Rivers’ PDP Chairman, had sued the party and Dr Iyorchia Ayu (the immediate-past National Chairman representing himself and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC)) as 1st and 2nd defendants.

The plaintiff also joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 3rd defendant in the amended originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/112/2023 and filed on March 9 by his counsel, Dr Joshua Musa, SAN.

Akawo sought the court’s determination whether having regard to the provisions of Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 47(1) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended In 2017), they were not entitled to serve our their term.


He said he and other members of the SEC, the LGA executive committees and the ward executive committee were elected and sworn-in pursuant to the state’s congress held on March 21, 2020 and were entitled to complete their four-year term which expires on or about May 22, 2024.

Akawo, in the affidavit which he personally deposed to, averred that the PDP ans its national chairman on Jan. 4, prior to the general elections, threatened to unilaterally dissolve the Rivers’ chapter of SEC and replace the same with an Interim Caretaker Committee.

He, however, said that prior to the threat, neither any member of the state committee nor himself had ever been queried by them.

He, therefore, sought an order of injunction restraining the party and the national chairman from dissolving, suspending or truncating the tenure of the Rivers’ SEC, the LGA executive committees and the ward executive committees until May 22, 2024, when their four-year term would expire, among other reliefs.

Justice Ekwo held that the PDP and its national chairman did not deny Akawo’s averments.


“Essentially, the 1st and 2nd defendants have admitted the case of the plaintiff on this issue.

“The law is that facts admitted need no further proof;” he said.

The judge, who granted all Akawo’s reliefs, declared that the party and its national chairman cannot unilaterally and without reasonable cause, dissolve the state’s EXCOs who were democratically elected for a four-year period.

He also gave an order of injunction, restraining them from appointing any person or group of persons as interim caretaker committee in the state until May 22, 2024.

Justice Ekwo further gave an injunction order restraining INEC from according recognition or accepting any name as caretaker committee of the PDP in the state except those democratically elected and represented by Akawo in the suit.

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