Johnson Podar, the National Director of Mobilisation of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, has dragged the Plateau State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, to court over alleged misconduct during the party’s state congress.
The case which was filed by Podar at the state High Court, Bukuru, Jos South LGA, is seeking that the congress which was conducted in the state which brought the current executive council into office be canceled as it is not conducted according to the party’s stipulated guidelines.
He had claimed that he showed interest in contesting for the state chairman seat, and paid the N100,000 fee for the nomination form.
Podar revealed that after submitting the nomination form, he embarked on campaigns for the election, but was not allowed to contest for the seat.
“When we convened at the congress venue on May 19, 2018, the chairman of the state congress said that two persons were contesting for the post of state chairman, but that the person contesting against the incumbent chairman, Mr Dabang Letep, had been disqualified because his name is not in the APC register.
“Summarily, he proceeded to call Letep to stand before the congress as the sole contestant.
“I repeatedly raised my hand to observe a point of order but was not given audience to be heard on the matter,’’ he claimed in the affidavit.
He further revealed that he stood up publicly to protest his disqualifiation, while showing his party’s membership card with registration number 11249, to confirm that he was a registered member of APC.
He stated that his plea fell on deaf ears, stating that there was no reason for his disqualification since his nomination form was endorsed by APC officials in his Fier Ward.
Podar revealed that he was forced to leave the congress venue as the officials had made up their minds to sideline him.
He took the opportunity to call on the court to nullify the congress in the state and declare the existence of the state working committee a nullity.
“If the court finds that the congress was not done rightly, it means that any action undertaken by the benefiting executive members since they were sworn in, including the primary elections they conducted, should be declared a nullity,’’ he averred.
When the case came up for hearing, Podar’s Counsel, Samuel Abba, restated that his client was wrongfully disenfranchised.
Abba, however, explained that he had been served with a counter affidavit and a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
He quoted the defendants as saying, in the preliminary objection, that the matter was a “domestic affair’’ and the court had no right to delve into the affairs of a political party.
In his reaction to such claims, Abba said that if the court could pronounce on issues of husband and wife, which was more domestic, there was no reason to stop it from making pronouncement on political party issues that were even more public.
He said that he had filed a response to the objections, and that the defendant had sought for more time to respond to it, and had been obliged by the court.
In his argument, Counsel to the defendants, Chindak Dakas, reaffirmed the position that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter on the basis that it was purely an internal affair of the political party.
He also pointed out that INEC, which was a necessary party on all electoral matters, was not joined in the case.
Dakas said that the party needed time to respond to the plaintiff’s reaction to the preliminary objection.
Meantime, after listening to both sides, Justice Ishaku Kunda, adjourned the matter to February 7, 2019, for further hearing.
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Kwara Bye-Election: Outcome Daylight Robbery -PDP
The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) has called to question the outcome of the House Representatives bye-election in Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin/Irepodun Fderal constituency election, describing it has a daytime robbery.
The party alleged that it supporters and members harassed and intimidated during the poll, adding that election did not reflect the will of the people.
The election, which the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Raheem Tunji Olawuyi, was also described by the state chairman of the PDP, Engr. Kola Shittu as a charade and direct assault on the nation’s democracy.
Shittu noted that some of the concerns raised by the party prior to the conduct of the election, which included alleged importation of thugs and heavy deployment of security personnel later manifested during the poll.
He alleged that the sanity of democracy in the election was destroyed as their were box snatching, widespread irregularities and illegal arrest of members of the PDP before and while the election was on going.
While calling for the cancellation of the election, Shittu stated that the people of the constituency have been cheated out of their right to choose their representative in the house of assembly.
According to him, the election represented was an indication that the APC led federal government was not ready to deliver free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
“The PDP condemns in strong terms the conduct of the bye-election also rejects its outcome, as it does not reflect the will of the people of Ekiti, Oke-Ero, Isin and Irepodun Local Government Areas.
“The announcement of the candidate of the APC, Raheem Olawuyi as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission is a daylight robbery, subversion of the will of the people and direct assault on the nation’s democracy.
“Indeed, the election was a contest between the PDP and the security agents, as they both collaborated with the enemies of democracy, APC, to manipulate the electoral process and stole the mandate of the people”, Shittu said.
2019 presidency: Atiku support group flags off campaign
The Anambra chapter of Street to Street Initiative, a support group for Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections, has kicked off its campaign in the state.
Mr Shedrack Anakwue, Director of the group, said during the event in Awka on Sunday, that the group decided to flag off its local government campaign tour to awaken the minds of its faithful.
Anakwue said that the job of the group ahead of the poll was a very serious one which should not be handled with kid gloves hence its early start to ensure optimal results.
He said that voters in the state had become well exposed to political activities and were convinced that a vote for the PDP presidential candidate was a vote to change their lives for the better.
The director described the PDP standard bearer as a visionary and detribalised leader who personified hope for the restoration of Nigeria to the path of peace, unity and greatness.
According to him, Atiku would become the “people’s army commander” in the 2019 presidential poll.
He commended the PDP flag bearer for “accepting” the challenge of running for presidency in the forthcoming general elections.
Anakwue commended him for choosing the former Anambra Governor, Mr Peter Obi, as his running mate, adding that it was a great honour to the state and the entire Igbos.
The director of the group described Obi as one of the best governors Nigeria had ever produced adding that he had formidable credentials.
He said that the group was prepared to take the good news of the PDP presidential candidate and his running mate to all the nooks and crannies of the state.
Anakwue said the group held firm belief in the choice of the party because it was capable of turning things around for the better.
NAN reports that the flag-off campaign was attended by delegates from the 21 local government areas of the state, national leaders and directors of the group from other states of the federation.
APC will make positive impact in Kwara in 2019 – Lai Mohammed
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, says the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government would bring about the desired transformation envisioned for the state when it assumes power in 2019.
Mohammed made the statement on Sunday while addressing thousands of APC supporters in his home town of Oro, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the supporters were on a solidarity visit to the minister over the party’s victory in the just concluded by-election won by its candidate, Raheem Olawuyi.
The minister said that the people of the state were yet to fully harness the positive impact of the present administration’s people oriented policies and programmes.
According to him, with the emergence of the party’s candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrasak, 2019 general elections would bring about the desired growth, progress and development in the state.
He described the just concluded Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency by-election in the state as an eye opener, saying that it was the first time the state witnessed an election devoid of molestation and harassment.
The minister, who described the election as credible, free and fair, said the adequate deployment of security personnel for the election which was being misconstrued by the PDP led state government, was basically to maintain law and order.
“This is the first time the state is witnessing an election where people would not be subjected to act of harassment and intimation due to adequate security which provided a level playing ground.
“Perpetrators of such violence of act in the years past are not always apprehended because that is the only weapon being employed to win elections by those who thought the state belongs to them.
“I want to assure that this is just the beginning of many good things to come the way of the state as we have not fully utilised the goodies of President Muhammad Buhari.
“But come 2019 when our candidate takes over the mantle of leadership, the party will surely make the difference in terms of good governance,” he said.
Alhaji Bashir Bolarinwa, the State Party Chairman, praised the party supporters for their dedication, loyalty and steadfastness, urging them to maintain the tempo as the 2019 elections drew nearer.
He charged the supporters not to relent but to remain focused, saying that the challenges ahead required more sacrifice and hard work, to achieve the desired objective.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister, together with the APC Rep-elect, Olawuyi, later joined the supporters in a rally across major streets in Oro and other adjoining communities in Kwara South Senatorial district.
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