TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, SUNDAY
BVAS: Labour Party Threatens To Unleash ‘Obidients’ On INEC In Non-violent Protest
Labour Party (LP) has threatened to direct its supporters to march and occupy offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nationwide if the electoral umpire does not allow its lawyers and agents to inspect the Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS) machines alongside other electoral materials.
In a statement on Saturday, the party’s Presidential Campaign Council chief spokesman, Tanko Yunusa, revealed that the electoral body has decided which court orders to obey and which to disregard.
While threatening to unleash LP supporters, popularly called Obidients, Yunusa noted that the non-violent protest is to curtail the flagrant disobedience to court orders by INEC.
Read the full statement; ‘The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with greatest impunity have refused, neglected and failed to obey the Order of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja made on the 03rd day of March 2023, directing it to grant the Labour Party and its presidential candidate H.E. Peter Gregory Obi leave to apply and receive from INEC, certified true copies of materials used in the presidential election held on 25th February 2023.
“It will be recalled that the aforesaid Order of the presidential election petition tribunal was duly served on INEC on the 3rd of March 2023 despite the fact that they were present and represented at the tribunal when the Order was made.”
Wike: Lamido Speaks On Forcing Peter Obi Out Of PDP
Former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido has denied being the reason behind Peter Obi’s decision to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Labour Party (LP).
This is coming after the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike claimed that Obi left PDP after he meet with Lamido.
Wike on Friday had said Obi left the main opposition after Lamido insisted that power will remain in the north in 2023.
He said, “You know what he (Lamido) told Obi? He didn’t tell him that look, you came late and I have chosen somebody. He said it is the north that will produce the next president. That was how Obi left saying why is he wasting time. Ask him, that’s how he left PDP.”
Lamido in his reaction to Wike’s claim said Doyin Okupe and Obi can testify that the statement of Wike is not true.
The former governor stated this in a post on his Facebook account on Saturday.
Naira Scarcity Worsens As Major Banks Exhaust Cash
The crisis rocking the nation over the controversial naira redesign and cashless policy introduced by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may worsen in the coming weeks.
Recall that the Supreme Court had extended the validity of the old naira notes until December 31st, but the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the judgment of the apex court had fuelled the rejection of the remaining old N1,000 and N500 as legal tender.
Some banks had on Monday commenced paying customers the old notes in partial compliance with the Supreme Court judgment, but by Wednesday, the banks stopped disbursing the old notes as the CBN insisted that it had not given any directive to that effect.
It was gathered on Friday that cash had dried up in most banks in Lagos and Ogun states due to what senior bankers described as the inability of the CBN to supply them with new naira notes.
A branch manager of a Tier-1 bank revealed that his branch last received cash last Tuesday, adding that bankers were also frustrated about the currency crisis affecting the nation.
Gov Uzodinma Fires Labour Commissioner
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has sacked his Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, Ford Ozumba.
This was made known in a statement to journalists on Saturday by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba.
However, a reason was not given for the sack of the commissioner for labour and productivity.
Ozuba’s sack, may not be unconnected with the ongoing state-wide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that has crippled the public power supply in Imo state, for the third day now.
The strike in the state caused a lot of controversies with the Imo state traders last Friday staging a protest in front of the Imo government house.
It should be recalled that the NLC, National President, Ajero, had ordered a strike alleging that the Imo state government was interfering in their NLC, state election.
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PDP, LP Accuse INEC Of Hindering Them From Inspecting Electoral Materials
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been accused by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) of hindering them from inspecting materials used for the February 25 presidential elections.
PDP and LP on Friday claimed that the electoral body is not complying with the order of the court directing INEC to give access to inspect the materials.
A letter signed by the PDP legal team, Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) claimed that the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu since the court of appeal on March 3 and 8 granted access to materials used for the election has refused to comply.
The appellate court panel led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh had issued “an order allowing the PDP to carry out a forensic examination/analysis of the ballot papers, data form, BVAS/and or card readers, including copying and photocopying of the ballot papers, information stored in the computer server/IREV/backends/clouds and card readers and thumbprint analysis and to present and/or demonstrate by visual, electronic or documentary or any other means, the result of the forensic examination/analysis at the court as part of the proceedings.”
According to Gadzama, a legal team led by Adedamola Fanokun Esq has been visiting INEC since the first order was made, and on each occasion, they were turned back because “there was no instruction yet from the commission”.
The national chairman of LP, Julius Abute in a post on Twitter also accused INEC of not granting the party’s experts and lawyers access to the election materials and to scan or make photocopies of voters registration, ballot papers used, including to conduct digital forensic inspection of BVAS machines used for the February 25 election.
Gov Oyebanji Issues Directive On New Naira Notes, Warns Ekiti Residents
Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State has urged the people of the state to continue to accept the old and new naira notes as legal tender in line with the ruling of the Supreme Court, which extended the validity of the N500 and N1000 old notes till December 31, 2023.
The governor, in a statement on Saturday, by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, titled, “Oyebanji urges Ekiti residents to accept old naira notes’, appealed to all businesses operating in Ekiti State to remain law abiding and accept the old naira notes.
He also urged banks to make the naira notes available in all their branches and pay points and to all traders, business owners, service providers, okada riders, drivers, filling stations, gas plants, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, POS operators, to start accepting the old notes forthwith.
“To do otherwise would amount to defying the ruling of the highest court in the country and thwarting government efforts at reducing the hardship of the people,” he said.
While stating that the government will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute business owners found rejecting the old naira notes, the governor warned that it is unlawful for any business owner or service provider to reject them.
He expressed concern over complaints that many business concerns in the state refused to accept the old naira notes as means of transaction.
Peter Obi Says He Does Not Have Problem With Soludo Despite Threat To LP Candidates
The Presidential candidate of the Labour, Peter Obi has insisted that he does not have a problem with Chukwuma Soludo, the governor of his state, Anambra.
Ahead of the March 18 governorship and state house of assembly elections, Soludo who is of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), reportedly told Anambrans not to vote for any other party except APGA in Saturday’s elections.
The governor reportedly threatened that he won’t work with any state house of assembly member who is not elected by his party.
On Friday in Awka, Peter Obi had a meeting with candidates of the Labour Party for the state house of assembly election. After the meeting, the 2023 presidential candidate was asked to comment on Soludo’s alleged assertion, and the former governor of Anambra noted that the incumbent governor might have been misquoted.
He, however, urged candidates from LP to aim for victory and when they win, they should work with the governor to bring more development to the state.
Naira Crisis: El-Rufai, Matawalle, Yahaya Bello, Others To File Contempt Charge Against Malami, Emefiele
The governments of Kaduna, Zamfara, Kogi and other states are planning to file a contempt charge against the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over their refusal to implement the Supreme Court judgment on the controversial naira redesign policy.
Recall that the Supreme Court had extended the validity of the old naira notes until December 31st but the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the judgment of the apex court had fuelled the rejection of the remaining old N1,000 and N500 as legal tender. Some banks had on Monday commenced paying customers the old notes in partial compliance with the Supreme Court judgment, but by Wednesday the banks stopped disbursing the old notes as the CBN insisted that it had not given any directive to that effect.
According to The PUNCH, the Federal Government was on Friday served with the enrolled order and Certified True Copy of last week’s Supreme Court judgment, which also ordered that the old N1,000, N500 and N200 should be in circulation alongside the new notes till December 31, 2023.
The non-service of the enrolled order and the CTC of the judgment was responsible for the failure of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to direct Emefiele to begin implementing the apex court ruling and out the old notes already withdrawn from circulation.
The enrolled order and the CTC of the judgment were served on the AGF on Friday afternoon.
Speaking to The PUNCH, Counsel for Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states, which dragged the Federal Government before the Supreme Court on the matter, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), said that Malami was served with the enrolled order and the CTC of the judgment on Friday afternoon.
Why Police, DSS, EFCC Must Investigate, Prosecute INEC Chairman – PDP
The Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have been urged to investigate and prosecute the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charged the security agencies to probe Yakubu over his alleged complicity in the criminal manipulation and alteration of election results.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday at the party’s National Secretariat, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, said the probe and prosecution should be a natural follow-up to the INEC chairman’s resignation from office.
He said, “Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s exit as Chairman of INEC will be the first step towards sanitizing the Electoral Commission and restoring the confidence of Nigerians, especially as the nation prepares for the rescheduled March 18, 2023, Governorship and State Assembly elections.
“Furthermore, the PDP demands that the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) immediately commence investigations into the electoral violations and manipulations by INEC with the view to prosecuting Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and other officials of the Commission for electoral offences.”
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BVAS: Peter Obi’s LP Gives INEC Three-Day Ultimatum To Obey Court Order
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been given a 3-day ultimatum by the Labour Party (LP) to allow its lawyers and agents to inspect the Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS) machines alongside other electoral materials or face the Obidient movement.
Chief spokesman, of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council (LPPCC), Tanko Yunusa told Saturday Tribune this in a telephone interview.
Yunusa noted that the electoral body has decided to choose what court order to obey and disobey.
He stated that INEC has gone ahead to start configuring the BVAS despite the court order allowing them to inspect them.
He lamented that this would tamper with the result of the Presidential Election for which the LP requested for inspection of the machines.