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Kogi guber 2019: Fresh crisis rocks PDP as Ibrahim Idris imposes son as candidate

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A major crisis is brewing in the Kogi State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), as concerned members are mobilizing to protest the moves by ex-governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, to impose his son, Abubakar, as the party’s candidate in the state’s governorship election slated for November.

Abubakar Idris, declared his intention to run for the office once occupied by his father  last year but it is the manner in which the party leadership in the state is being forced into adopting the ex-governor’s son that is setting the stage for a major confrontation.

PDP members in the state, still smarting from the mismanagement of the nomination process in the 2019 general elections across the state are raising alarm, warning that any attempt to impose another candidate in the coming governorship election would backfire.

Party stalwarts who spoke with our reporter on condition that they are not named accused the ex-governor of killing the PDP in Kogi State, while in office, pointing out that all the poor foundation he laid contributed to the party’s poor outing in 2015.

Some of them stated that towards the end of his second tenure, Idris popularly called ‘Ibro’ was seen extorting money from those vying to succeed him with a promise of allotting them the governorship slot, adding that he has already started playing the same game now, promising the deputy governor’s slot to those who can pay.

“Ibro as usual, has turned the deputy governorship slot into a money-making machine. The same way he did in 2010 over the governorship slot. Politicians are currently trooping in and out of his Abuja residence in their bid to lobby for the number two post. Ibro on the other hand is said to be smiling to the bank on daily basis as those he has approached for the slot are responding with bank alert,” one party stalwart, said.

The stalwarts revealed that one of the ex-governor’s plan to foist his son on the party is in the exorbitant nomination fee, which they said is already driving many good potential candidates out of the PDP into other parties.

“In the last two weeks, they have asked aspirants to pay the sum of N75 million as nomination form fee without giving any genuine reasons why aspirants are being asked to pay such ridiculous amount,” one aggrieved member told us.

According to them, the strategy is similar to the one used during the NASS/presidential election when high nomination fees were used to push our potentially good candidates in favour of Senator Attai Aidoko was later fielded.

They, however, warned that if Ibro is not checked by the national leadership of the party,  the party will fail woefully in its mandate to produce the next governor of the state, and that the error will also mark the exit of the party from the state polity.

The party stalwarts lamented that fact that a man whose records during his nine years in office can only be described as disastrous, would be allowed to dicate who would be the party’s flagbearer in the upcoming election.

How could Ibro’s son, they queried, with neither the competence, experience, a genuine manifesto, or broad appeal amongst party faithful, be expected to deliver electoral victory in November.

The ex-governor was equally accused of losing touch with reality in Kogi, pointing out that his recent interview, where he said that he had no idea of the prevailing hardship in the state, as evidence that neither he nor his son had anything good to offer.

They queried how any dynasty built by a man who is oblivious of the misery that poor leadership is producing in the state can be good for Kogites, pointing out that it was better for the PDP to realise the error of allowing am like Ibro to select a governorship candidate for the party, in order to save it from obvious defeat in November.

The party men said the way out of the defeat staring PDP in in the face was to allow the party run the selection process according to laid-down rules and regulations, rather than allow an ex-governor, who failed in his time, to impose his son.

Ibro’s tenure, ut was further pointed out, enjoyed one of the economically healthiest moments of the country, with  the price of oil relatively high, internally-generated revenue in the state receiving  as much as 150 per cent boost, but that Kogi under his watch failed miserably to record any meaningful development.

He was also accused of siphoning Kogi’s funds to build businesses for himself, family and cronies, and that his hotels spread across Abuja, Lagos and Dubai are mostly the proceeds from crime committed against the state.

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POLITICS

Ogun: You are frivolous, A’Court tells Labour Party …as Gov Abiodun wins again

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Abiodun

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan yesterday (Friday) dismissed the appeal by the Labour Party against the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun as Governor of Ogun State.

The Court came described the Labour Party’s repeated challenge of the Ogun State Governor as lacking merit and outrightly frivolous.

Court upheld the submission of Abiodun and All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Barrister Wale Abeeb Ajayi that the Governor was duly elected and calling for the invalidation of the poll that returned him could not stand legal requirements for nullification of elections.

The LP went on appeal after losing at the Tribunal for the third time in its quest to use the Court to cancel the March 9 gubernatorial election in Ogun State.

On July 13 when the LP went to challenge the outcome of the polls, the Tribunal in Abeokuta led by Justice Ali Halilu dismissed the case on the ground that the tribunal had dismissed the Petition pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 46(3) of the Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.

The Appeal was filed by Mrs Modupe Sanyaolu and Labour Party against the Governor, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking the leave of the Tribunal to reverse itself by re-listing the Petition.

Wale Habeeb Ajayi, counsel to Governor Dapo Abiodun, described the verdict yesterday as “victory for democracy. The Appeal like the petition was bound to fail. It was dead on arrival”.

The labour Party, Ajayi added, “did not submit the details of the Deputy Governorship candidate to INEC; failed to raise any complaint before the election and failed to sue INEC before election. How can they now bring up a pre-election matter for adjudication when the election had been won and lost? , he stated rhetorically.

He said further, “They also failed to appear at the tribunal on the date fixed for hearing of the frivolous petition on unfounded excuses. The tribunal has done the needful by dismissing the Petition in the first instance. Consequently, the application to relist lacks merits and tribunal rightly refused same.”

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Delta South senate: Tribunal set to determine Senator Manager’s fate

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The election Petition Tribunal Panel II, presided over by Justice C. O Onyeabo has reserved judgement in the Petition filed by the Delta south senatorial candidate under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, in the 2019 National Assembly (NASS), election against Senator James Manager, of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Dr Uduaghan, the APC candidate Petitioned through his counsel Tomson Okpoko, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) had complained before the tribunal that the election was marred by irregularities and urged the tribunal to do justice to the Petition.

The contention of the Petitioner, are among other things, that the first Respondent PDP, the second Respondent, INEC and third Respondent James Manager connived with each other to allegedly perpetrate electoral malpractices and the tribunal should cancel the election.

Dr Uduaghan, called a number of witnesses to testify on his behalf to support his claims even as the set of respondents did say.

At the adoption of the written addresses, Febude Zimugehan counsel to PDP first Respondent submitted before the tribunal that the Petitioner has not been able to substantiate his claims and that it is unmeritorouse, adding that the Petitioners have not been able to discharge the burden of proof placed on them and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

The third respondent, Senator Manager, represented by Larry Selekeowei equally aligned himself with the position of the first and second Respondents and urged the tribunal to quash the Petition.

Dr Uduaghan’s counsel told the tribunal that the Petitioners have been able to prove their case and urged the tribunal to cancel the senatorial election which declared James Manager the winner.

Justice C. O Onyeabo stated that the parties would be communicated on the date of judgement.

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Lagos speaker, Obasa, sets up 16 man committee to screen Sanwo-Olu’s commissioner-nominees

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Speaker Mudashiru Obasa of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday constituted a 16-man ad-hoc committee to screen Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet nominees.

Obasa, who read the list of the ad-hoc committee members, said it would be headed by Hon Rotimi Abiru, a fourth-term lawmaker, representing Somolu Constituency II.

According to Obasa, members of the screening committee are: Hon. Jimi Mohammed (Ikeja I), Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege II), Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe I), Setonji David (Badagry II), Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo I) and Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere II).

Others are: Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay (Amuwo-Odofin I), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako-Ijaiye II), Hon. Lanre Afinni (Lagos Island II), Hon. Noheem Adams (Eti-Osa II), and Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja II)

The rest are: Hon. Suraju Tijani (Ojo II), Hon. Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I), Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh (Apapa II) and Hon. Abdulsobur Olawale (Mushin II).

The speaker directed the ad hoc committee to report back to the House in a week.

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