Atlanta—Popular Nigerian-American professor of journalism, Farooq Kperogi has said Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi may become Nigeria’s president next year by default.
This, Kperogi maintains, is due to the alleged violation of the Electoral Act 2022 by Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidates of the two major political parties respectively.
He said the newly promulgated Electoral Act mandates parties to notify the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of their intent to conduct primary elections at least 21 days before the date of their convention and also for parties to submit their membership registers to it at least 30 days before their primary election.
While the LP met both requirements, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) failed on the first requirement, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed to meet the second one, he stated.
Kperogi in an article titled “Why Peter Obi May Become President in 2023 by Default” on Saturday said the penalty for these infractions is outright disqualification of the candidates of political parties, stating that if Labour Party’s Peter Obi would sue the case, he would be victorious in court and be made president.
Kperogi’s article reads thus:
“Documents an INEC insider shared with me show that the APC didn’t notify INEC of its intent to conduct its primary election 21 days before its convention. Section 82 of the Electoral Acts says the penalty for this infraction is outright disqualification of the candidates of political parties.
“Section 82 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022 says, “Every political party shall give the Commission at least 21 days’ notice of any convention, congress, conference, or meeting which is convened for the purpose of ‘merger’ and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the positions specified under this Act.”
“Subsection (5) then says, “Failure of a political party to notify the Commission as stated in subsection (1) shall render the convention, congress, conference, or meeting invalid.” An invalid convention can’t produce a valid candidate.
“Now, let’s look at how the APC, the PDP, and the Labour Party fared in their observance of this requirement of the Electoral Act.
“Records at INEC show that the APC notified INEC of its intent to hold its convention on May 23, 2022 (before INEC granted it an unfair extension, which other parties also benefited from) and held its convention on June 8. That’s just 17 days’ notice, which falls short of the 21 days’ notice the Electoral Act 2022 requires.
“Based on its May 23 letter to INEC of its schedule of primaries, the APC’s June 8 primary election is invalid in the eye of the Electoral Act 2022, and Bola Tinubu may be disqualified if he’s sued.
“Unlike the APC, however, the PDP did give INEC more than 21 days’ notice prior to the conduct of its presidential primaries. It notified INEC of its intention to conduct its primary election on May 4 and conducted its primary election on May 28. That’s about 25 days’ notice, which puts it in the clear on this provision.
“The Labour Party, like the PDP, complied with the requirements of Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022. It notified INEC of its intent to conduct its primaries on March 9, 2022, and held its convention on May 30. That’s more than 80 days’ notice.
“Then Section 77 (2) of the Electoral Act 2022 mandates political parties to submit their membership registers to INEC at least 30 days before the conduct of their primary elections.
“It says, “Every political party shall maintain a register of its members in both hard and soft copy.” Subsection 3 also says, “Each political party shall make such register available to the Commission not later than 30 days before the date fixed for the party primaries, congresses or convention.”
“The penalty for failure to abide by this provision of the Electoral Act is exclusion from participation in elections of the candidates of the political parties that infract the provision.
“Section 84 (13) Electoral Act 2022 says, “Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of this Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for that election shall not be included in that election for the particular position in the issue.”
“Now, let’s see how the APC, the PDP, and the Labour Party fared in this provision of the Electoral Act.
“The APC submitted its membership register to INEC on April 25 and conducted its primary election on June 8. That’s clearly more than 30 days. So, it’s in the clear here.
“But the PDP fell afoul of Section (3) of the Electoral Act 2022. Although an INEC document titled “Table of Submission by 18 Political Parties” shows that the PDP submitted its membership register to INEC on April 29, which would make it exactly 30 days since it conducted its convention on May 28.
“The PDP’s series of correspondence with INEC that an insider shared with me indicates that the party submitted its register in four installments, with the earliest being May 3. May 3 to May 28 is less than 30 days.
“The last correspondence the PDP had with INEC over its membership register is dated May 18. So, technically, the PDP didn’t turn in its complete membership register to INEC until May 18. The Electoral Act makes no provision for a bit-by-bit submission of membership register.
“The Labour Party abided by this provision of the Electoral Act. It submitted its membership register to INEC on April 25, which is more than 30 days before its convention, which was held on May 30.
“Unfortunately, INEC erred in not notifying the APC and the PDP that their primary elections—and their candidates for election— were invalid because they flouted the Electoral Act. INEC erred even further by going ahead to publish the names of people who emerged from invalid primaries even when the Electoral Act mandates it to not include the names of candidates who run afoul of the Electoral Act.
“As I have shown, the candidates for both the APC and the PDP did not emerge “from valid primaries” because they contravened significant provisions of the Electoral Act that rendered their elections void. Yet INEC went ahead to publish the particulars of candidates for president and the National Assembly on June 24.
“Anyway, section 285 of the constitution (4th alteration, no. 21) empowers any “aspirant who complains that any of the provisions of the Electoral Act” has been violated to seek redress in a court of law. Subsection b specifically confers the right on aspirants to sue if INEC violates the Electoral Act, which it serially has, “in respect of the selection or nomination of candidates and participation in an election.”
“Subsection C extends that right to political parties. The Electoral Act itself gives candidates and political parties the right to sue to seek redress if the law has been violated.
“So, if either the APC’s Bola Tinubu or the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar wins the 2023 election, their victory would be invalidated by the courts, and Labour Party’s Peter Obi may be declared president by default since he is likely to be in the top three performers in the presidential contest.
“Of course, either Peter Obi or the Labour Party has to sue first for this to happen. And, although the invalidation of Tinubu’s and Atiku’s candidature by the court is a slam dunk, neither INEC, which should supply the evidence, nor the judiciary, which will give the judgement, is reliable. But the evidence is reliably strong.
“So, there’s plausible cause to invalidate the nominations of the APC’s and PDP’s candidates.”
Go ahead and release another album, I will never join your Asoebi team of State dancers, Abaribe chides Wike
Umuahia—Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senator representing Abia South senatorial district in the Senate has responded to a statement made by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike to the effect that he (Abaribe) dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after collecting money, Sun newspaper reports.
Speaking in Umuahia, the Abia State capital during the PDP flag-off campaign in the state, Wike had accused an Obingwa brother of Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu of dumping the PDP after receiving money he requested for.
Wike hinted that the said person whom he did not mention his name, was denied ticket by the PDP and is currently contesting for the 2023 election under another party.
”I am aware that because of some people didn’t get ticket, they went and collected form. Today, we commissioned a road in Obingwa Local Government and am sure that person is from Obingwa local government.
“He promised me that he will not leave PDP and I told the governor, please your brother said he is not going to leave PDP and I said what do we do?
“He said he needs some money, we gave him the money like today; three days after, he left PDP”, Wike said, alluding the said candidate lacks integrity and cannot represent the people.
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Reacting in a statement, however, Senator Abaribe stated that Wike has by what he said, confirmed he (Abaribe) is incorruptible.
Abaribe, who is contesting the Abia South senatorial seat against Gov Ikpeazu on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), further stated that he is a free-born and cannot be a slave or cannot be bought to be “your Boi Boi”.
According to the statement, “Abaribe is a free-born and cannot be a slave. He is an Igbo man; Ndigbo adighi agba boi (The Igbos are never slaves).
“Wike enjoy those you bought. They are actually doing their job very well. Igba Boi is in their blood.
“Go ahead and release another album, Abaribe will never join your Asoebi team of State dancers. Abia State can never be your vassal State”, Abaribe stated.
Mentioning Peter Obi’s name is disgrace to me, says Tinubu
Warri Southwest—The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has bragged that it is a “disgrace” to mention the name of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in his presence.
Sahara Reporters reports that Tinubu, who spoke during a campaign rally on Friday, also claimed that the statistics the Labour Party candidate dished out every time was not what Nigerians were going to eat.
Making mockery of his LP opponent, the former Lagos governor said that all the statistics Peter Obi dished out were wrong.
In a video seen by SaharaReporters, Tinubu said, “The other one, that one; he thinks that it is statistics we will chop; in line with arithmetics that no Indian can solve.
“To mention his name is a disgrace to me self. I won’t mention his name; wrong arithmetics, wrong statistics, warehouse economy; that is not what Nigeria needs.”
SaharaReporters in November reported that Tinubu said it was disrespectful to mention the name of the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, Funke Akindele, in his presence.
Akindele is also a famous Nigerian actor.
Tinubu had made this known at a political outing, where his supporters sang a campaign song, describing Funke Akindele as a political “ant” compared to the incumbent governor of Lagos and candidate of the APC in the 2023 election, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
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However, Tinubu cautioned his supporters against mentioning Akindele’s name in his presence, describing it as disrespectful and an insult.
“Don’t even bother to mention her name in my presence. It is an insult. It is disrespectful,” the former Lagos governor had said.
Akindele had said that God called her and the PDP governorship candidate, Abdul-Azeez Adediran (Jandor) and gave them the mandate to change the turn Lagos around.
Akindele said God has been with her right from birth and is interested in her aspirations to make Lagos State work for all people in the state.
“God has been with me from infancy till I went to school and till now. He chose me to be the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP, despite the crowd that struggled to be chosen.
“I give God all the glory for what he has done. God has always been doing the best for me.
“We were called by God, if not we would have backed out. People have suffered but God has called us and put us forward to come and change the story of Lagos state for the better. The success of Lagos state is ours,” she had said.
Tinubu to visit Gbaramatu kingdom, set to meet Tompolo on Friday
Warri South-West—Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressive Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming general election in the country will on Friday, November 25, 2022, storm Oporoza, the ancestral headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state, GbaramatuVoice reports.
Sources close to Tinubu told GbaramatuVoice that while at Oporoza, he will pay a homage to the Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadagba.
After the homage, Tinubu’s train will proceed to the home of High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, a former leader of the defund Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), and global ambassador of the Ijaw Nation, where he is expected to hold a private meeting with him.
Analysts believe that the latest visit to Chief Tompolo by Tinubu who holds the traditional title of Jagaban of Yoruba nation is among other objectives aimed at soliciting Tompolo’s support in his current presidential position pursuit.
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It would be recalled that on Saturday, November 19, 2022, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu led a mammoth crude to Warri Township stadium in Delta state where he flagged off the APC’s Presidential and Governorship campaigns in the state, among others.