Akpabio Attacks PDP, INEC, Denies Involvement With Prof Ogban - IReporteronline
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Akpabio Attacks PDP, INEC, Denies Involvement With Prof Ogban

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The recent controversy over the electoral victories of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has taken a dramatic twist with Senator Akpabio lambasting his former political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for associating him with Professor Peter Ogban who was recently convicted for allegedly rigging the 23rd February 2019 election in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Akpabio on Saturday in Abuja, described as “spurious, unfounded and malicious,” the PDP’s allegation that the jailed Prof Ogba, as INEC’s Returning Officer manipulated the election results in Akpabio’s favour.

Professor Peter Ogban was sentenced to three years imprisonment after he was found guilty of fraudulent manipulation of election results of 23rd February 2019 in Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District

According to Aniete Ekong, Chief Press Secretary to Akpabio, the Minister “was rather a victim of the fraudulent manipulation of the election.”

Besides lambasting the PDP for attempting to link him to the electoral infamy, Ekong also accused the Independent National Election Commission(INEC) for desperation and for launching a campaign of calumny aimed at disparaging the person of the Minister.

“In their desperation in a continuing campaign of calumny against Senator Akpabio, the INEC in Akwa Ibom State twisted the context of the judgment and maliciously claimed that the election was rigged in favour of Senator Akpabio. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The facts of the case put a lie to this assertion. Contrarily, Senator Akpabio was a victim of the fraudulent manipulation of the election of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District held on 23rd February 2019. He is vindicated that the perpetrators of the electoral fraud are being brought to justice. At last the chickens are coming home to roost,” Ekong said.

This is as he said that Senator Akpabio had approached the National Assembly Election Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the February 23, 2019 Senatorial District elections which held in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District.

Amongst those who were sued was the Returning Officer of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, Professor Ogban and the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini.

The duo allegedly “hijacked the Election Results from the Senatorial District Collation Headquarters, Ikot Ekpene to another Senatorial District at the INEC office in Uyo, where the collated votes of Senator Godswill Akpabio were maliciously and arbitrarily cancelled by the Resident Electoral Commissioner- Mike Igini and Prof Ogban.”

Ekong added that “in that election, Sen. Godswill Akpabio’s votes totaling about 61,329 scored in his home Local Government Area – Essien Udim Local Government, having been collated, were not announced by Prof. Peter Ogban in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Rather, he said that Prof Ogban who served as the Senatorial District Returning Officer joined the Resident Electoral Commissioner to Uyo where the votes/ scores of Sen. Akpabio were cancelled in various polling units and collation centers of various Local Government Areas constituting Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District including 61,329 votes of his home local Government.

The Spokesman of the Minister further explained that an “appeal from the National Assembly Election Tribunal to the Court of Appeal invalidated the elections and a rerun election was ordered in Essien Udim Local Government Area because of the fraudulent act of Prof Ogban and Mike Igini.

The only surprise is that it is only the Returning Officer that was charged while the REC is still parading himself in freedom.”

Following the appeal, the court ordered a Rerun election, while the Certificate of Return of the PDP candidate was withdrawn and nullified.

The court subsequently found the Returning Officer guilty of electoral fraud and sentenced him to three years imprisonment with a fine of N100,000.

In the same vein, the court ruled that votes from Abak, Etim Ekpo and Ini Local Government Areas were cancelled by the Retuning Officer (Professor Ogban).

It also ruled that in Obot Akara, the Local Government Area of Senator Akpabio’s opponent there was a case of recorded over voting yet the votes validated the votes in INEC office in Uyo thereby giving an advantage to Senator Akpabio’s opponent.

Ekong described as the height of mischief, reports that the Returning Officer manipulated the results of the polls for Sen. Akpabio.

“Prof Ogban never announced Senator Akpabio as the winner of any election. Instead he cancelled his lawful votes and announced Senator Akpabio’s opponent as the winner of the manipulated election.

He said, “it is the height of mischief for anyone to say that a man who arbitrarily cancelled lawfully collated votes of the APC and announced PDP winner of the election was working for Sen. Akpabio.

It is obvious that some persons are being haunted by the ghost of the last election which they massively manipulated to reach a predetermined conclusion, a position which was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Calabar.

In due time, we believe all the conspirators will be brought to justice as Prof. Ogban, either through the judiciary or divine.”

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2023: APC Reacts To Zoning List In Circulation

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has disowned a 2023 zoning list in circulation, saying it is yet to zone its offices ahead of the forthcoming national convention.

There is a list in circulation indicating that the APC has zoned its 2023 presidential ticket to the South and chairmanship to the North, among others.

But reacting, Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Sen John James Akpanudoedehe, in a statement on Wednesday, described the list as the handiwork of speculators who are interested in running for various offices.

“People who are interested in running for one office or the other can speculate.

“As far as I am concerned, the last Caretaker Committee meeting we had, we did not discuss that [zoning].

“That is not what we are concerned with now. What we are concerned with is data collection; how to collect data without making mistake.

“We are not going to be pressurised because of sentiment and we do the wrong thing.

“Let me say that zoning is not for the Caretaker Committee alone.

“It has to do with the President, it has to do with other major stakeholders, it has to do with a lot of people.

“I want to mute the speculation. The list is not from us [Caretaker Committee].

“The President is not in town. There is no way such decision will be taken without consulting with the President, consulting with the governors and other major stakeholders,” he said.

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Moses Omo-Ikirodah Felicitates With Muslims As Ramadan Fast Begins

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Moses Omo-Ikirodah Felicitates With Muslims As Ramadan Fast Begins

Moses Omo-Ikirodah has appealed to Nigerians especially Muslims to use the Holy period of Ramadan to pray for the unity of the country and also seek God’s intervention to the end of the spread of the coronavirus.

He gave the advice in his message to felicitate with the Muslim community in Nigeria as they join other faithful across the world to commence the Holy month of  Ramadan.

According to him, the current insecurity ravaging the country has made it imperative that Muslims who are engaged in the Holy month of prayer and fasting should make it a point of duty to seek God’s forgiveness and mercy upon Nigeria.

He also urged the Muslim community to seek Gods intervention in curbing the menace the coronavirus pandemic has brought upon mankind.

Moses Omo-Ikirodah urged Muslims to live and act according to the importance of the Holy Month, reminding them not to lose the essence of Ramadan which is to get closer to God and a way to become more compassionate to others.

“As I wish my Muslim brothers and sisters a happy and blessed Ramadan I urge them to be God-fearing and also  remember the less privileged during this holy period while showing love towards one and another ”

 

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2023: 6 Nigerian Female Politicians to Look Out For

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The Nigerian political environment is not friendly to female politicians as patriarchy reigns supreme in the polity. This has affected the number of women folk in active politics in the country, but some are bracing the odds and proving that they are capable of even surpassing the unsatisfactory performances recorded by their male counterparts.

Legit.ng has compiled the names of 6 female politicians distinguishing themselves in politics and paving the way for greater responsibilities as the 2023 general elections draw near.

1. Senator Abidoun Olujimi The 62-years old former deputy governor of Ekiti is an example of an irrepressible politician who has seen it all and continues to break new grounds in her distinguished political career. Olujimi had made a name for herself as a broadcaster and journalist before venturing into the murky waters of politics. Currently representing Ekiti South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, she is expected to contest for the governorship election of the state in 2022.

2. Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Popularly called Binani, the senator representing Adamawa Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly came into the national political scene in 2015 and she is already a force to reckon with. Even before her foray into politics, Binani had made a name for herself in the highly competitive Nigerian business environment.

3. Natasha Akpoti 41-years old Akpoti ran for the post of Kogi Central Senatorial District seat under the Social Democratic Party and contested in the Kogi state governorship election under the same party all in 2019. She lost both contests in controversial circumstances, but more importantly, cemented her place in Nigeria’s politics as a fearless and solid politician with an unrivalled ability to mobilise people from the grassroots.

4. Gbemi Saraki At 55, Saraki is following the footsteps of her father Olusola and brother, Bukola who are both widely-respected political juggernauts in Nigeria. She is currently the minister of state for transportation and former senator who was elected to represent the Kwara Central Senatorial District in the year 2003. She is expected to flex her political muscles in 2023.

5. Senator Uche Ekwunife At just 50-years old, Senator Ekwunife has come of age in politics and keeps breaking new grounds in what has been a distinguished political career so far from the House of Representatives to the Nigerian Senate. Ekwunife will have the chance to prove her doubters wrong long before 2023 as she seeks the PDP ticket in the 2021 Anambra governorship poll.

6. Hadiza Bala Usman 45-years old Hadiza is a Nigerian politician currently serving as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority. She was previously the chief of staff to the governor of Kaduna state from 2015 to 2016. Despite the current position, her constant foray into politics are well-documented as she continues to serve in several committees within the ruling All Progressives Congress. Her thriving political career is expecting to take shape in 2023

Meanwhile, a lot of stakeholders in Nigeria are becoming increasingly skeptical about the possibility of achieving a free, fair, and credible election in 2023 amidst the worsening security situation in the country. With the current trend of insecurity in the different geo-political zones of the country, there is a general apprehension that things could get worse before the next election.

Some prominent leaders of thought have also expressed fear that the people’s desire for a smooth change of leadership in the 2023 general elections could be marred by violence and other forms of criminalities if left unattended to by the Buhari administration.

Source: Legit

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