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Matawalle charges successor on security



Matawalle charges successor dauda on security

Immediate past Governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle has charged Gov. Dauda Lawal to involve major stakeholders in finding lasting solutions to the security situation bedeviling the state.

This is contained in a statement issued by Matawalle’s spokesman, Yusuf Idris in Abuja on Sunday.

Matawalle, a Miinister-designate from Zamfara stated this when he received members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Zamfara Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) at his Abuja residence on Saturday.

“Since he took over the administration of Zamfara from me, all that Dauda Lawal has been doing is political vendetta directed against me while the blood of citizens is being wasted by bandits on a daily basis.

“When I became governor in 2019, I was always in touch with my predecessor, Sen. Abdulaziz Yari and other critical stakeholders to address the insecurity situation in our dear state.

“As it stands now, Dauda is still yet to even appoint a Security Adviser making one to wonder if as the chief executive of the state he has the people who voted him into office at heart,” Matawalle queried.

He said the state government has many ways to confront the security crisis in the area, cautioning that it which may continue to escalate if serious action is not taken.

Matawalle then thanked members of the Chapel for the show of solidarity and for working professionally to promote Zamfara.

Earlier, the Chairman of the chapel, Sani Dutsinma said they were in Abuja to congratulate and wish the former governor well over his nomination for a ministerial position by President Bola Tinubu.

Dutsinma, who presented copy of a book written on Matawalle by the chapel to the minister-designate assured that the media will always partner with him for the benefit of the state.

Reacting, Mustapha Jafaru, spokesman to Gov. Dauda Lawal described Matawalle’s concern as a “fallacy”, saying it will carry no weight in the minds of the people of the state.

“Matawalle has nothing to contribute to the security challenges facing Zamfara at the moment because for the four years he spent as governor, he had not been able to stop the killings by bandits in the state.

“As long as governor Dauda is concerned, he will not contact Matawalle on security and as you know, in less than 100 days in office, the governor has been able to meet and discuss way forward on these challenges with relevant security experts.

“So, the issue is not about appointment of an adviser on security or such irrelevant things but about positive actions to be taken which the governor is doing and recording success,” Jafaru 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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