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Judiciary

Election: Absence of witnesses stalls hearing Lagos ADP’s petition against PDP

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Absence of two witnesses on Thursday stalled hearing of a election petition filed by the Action Democratic Party (ADP) against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ADP alongside its Candidate, Mr Augustine Clement, filed the petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), PDP  Candidate for House of Representatives election in  Surulere ll Federal Constituency – Mr Olatunji Shoyinka – and PDP.

The petitioners are seeking a declaration that Clement was validly nominated by ADP during its primary election to contest for the House of Representatives election in the constituency, and that he was unlawfully excluded by INEC from the list of candidates for the election.

The ADP and Clement are also praying the tribunal to declare null, the House of Representatives election held in the constituency on Feb. 23 in which Shoyinka was declared the winner.

Thursday’s proceedings was the first trial to hold at the tribunal, following more than three weeks of pre-trial hearings.

Dr Ayodele Awoleye, PDP Leader in Lagos State, was in court for the proceedings.

Mr T. Ibeyi, counsel to the petitioners, informed the court that two witnesses – Clement and the Lagos State chairman of ADP, were absent.

“Unfortunately, the two witnesses for the petitioners are unavailable to give evidence today.

“The first witness, who is the second petitioner (Clement) is unavailable on health grounds, while the second witness (ADP chairman) is in the FCT for an event.

“We are asking for an adjournment for the second petitioner to give evidence tomorrow,” Ibeyi said.

Reacting, counsel to the respondents opposed the request, and asked that the tribunal should award costs against the petitioners.

Mr Wahab Ismail, counsel to the first respondent (INEC), said, “He (Ibeyi) has decided to use the first day of the two days set aside for trial like this.

“He should have informed us about this development because he was aware of it ahead of time.

“My lord, we would be asking for costs of N100,000 against the petitioner for not utilising the day he was given in the manner it was meant for.

“This is an election petition, not an ordinary matter; I have been running hotel bills since Monday.”

Mr A. M. Kotoye, counsel to the second respondent (Shoyinka) told the court that the absence of the witnesses was a ploy by the petitioners to truncate proceedings.

“For the second defendant, we would also be asking for a cost of N150,000 against the petitioners.

“There was an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission matter that I was supposed to take before Justice Atinuke Ipaye, but I had to abandon it because of this proceeding.

“The petitioners are not particularly keen on prosecuting this matter. In fact, they are trying to truncate it,” he said.

Aligning himself with the submission of Ismail and Kotoye, Mr B. S. Adebayo, counsel to the third respondent (PDP), requested that the tribunal should award N100,000 cost against the petitioners.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Kunaza Hamidu, however, ruled that the respondents were not entitled to any cost, saying that the days set aside for hearing of the petition had not elapsed.

The chairman adjourned hearing of the petition until May 14.

Eniola Ayoola: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Burundian ruling party’s Evariste Ndayishimiye wins presidential election: provisional results

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Provisional results show Burundian ruling party’s Evariste Ndayishimiye wins the presidential election held on May 20, the country’s electoral body said here on Monday.

Ndayishimiye from the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy won 68.72 percent of votes in the presidential election, followed by National Council for Liberty’s Agathon Rwasa who got 24.19 percent of votes, said the National Independent Electoral Commission.

Burundi voters went to the polls last Wednesday to elect a new president, members of the National Assembly, and district councillors.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

Election: We don’t want bloodshed in Edo primaries, says Chief Imam

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The Chief Imam of Benin Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdufatah Enabulele, has said that the people of Edo do not want bloodshed during the political parties primary elections in Edo.

Enabulele said that this plea would include the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election coming up in June.

He made the call while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Benin.

NAN reports that the APC governorship primaries would hold on June 22,  while that of Ondo state is to hold on July 20.

According to him, “The Edo and Ondo elections are almost coming up at the same time, hence there is political tension in both states now due to their political differences.

“We are appealing that they should understand it is God that gives power, which as Muslims, we put them in prayers during the Ramadan.

“President Muhammadu Buhari also has big role to play in this regard. He is the commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and he is the most senior leader of the (APC).

“The president must not be silent, he should use his power and authority to ensure that there is equity and fair play during the primaries of these two states.

“Buhari should be able to call all the parties involved to order so that there will be peace and tranquility in Edo and Ondo states.

”For us in Edo, we have been enjoying peace and we want to continue in this regard,” Enebulele said.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had fixed the governorship election in Edo for Sept. 19, while that of Ondo state was fixed for Oct. 10.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Republicans sue Gov. Newsom over vote-by-mail order for November election

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Three Republican groups have sued Gov. Gavin Newsom over his executive order to send mail-in ballots to California’s 20.6 million voters in November.

The suit was brought by the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the California Republican Party.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the lawsuit via Twitter late on Sunday.

“His radical plan is a recipe for disaster that would create more opportunities for fraud & destroy the confidence Californians deserve to have in their elections,” McDaniel said.

Newsom issued the order on May 8, making California the first state in the nation to temporarily shift to all-mail voting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawsuit accuses Newsom of a “brazen power grab” that would “violate eligible citizens’ right to vote.”

The complaint echoes those made by President Donald Trump, who has criticised mail-in ballots as “dangerous” and fraudulent and threatened to withhold federal funding from some states that have sought to expand mail voting.

In making the decision, California officials cited public health concerns of millions of people showing up to cast a ballot when the threat of infection is still likely to be present.

Responding to the lawsuit late on Sunday, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said via Twitter: “Expanding vote-by-mail during a pandemic is not a partisan issue – it’s a moral imperative to protect voting rights and public safety.

“Vote-by-mail has been used safely and effectively in red, blue and purple states for years.

“This lawsuit is just another part of Trump’s political smear campaign against voting by mail.

“We will not let this virus be exploited for voter suppression.”

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Foreign

Burundian human rights commission says general elections held fairly

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The Burundian National Independent Human Rights Commission on Saturday evening said the general elections on May 20 were held in a “good and fair” manner.

“I confirm that elections took place at a time when peace, security and human rights were respected,” said Sixte Vigny Nimuraba, chairman of the commission, in a press statement released in Burundi’s economic center Bujumbura.

Nimuraba urged security forces to continue being professional in protecting human rights as they did on the polling day. He also called on political competitors to respect results of the elections once they are released.

Burundi voters went to the polls on Wednesday to elect a new president, members of the National Assembly, and district councillors. According to the agenda of the National Independent Electoral Commission, provisional results for the three polls are expected to be published on May 26.

Agathon Rwasa, a major challenger to the ruling party in the elections, on Thursday rejected provisional results released earlier in the day by a dozen of district electoral commissions, a small portion of the total 119 commissions nationwide, which showed the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) gained a large victory in the three elections.

The presidential candidate and chairman of the opposition National Council for Liberty party said the results are a “fantasy,” arguing he has evidence that he and his party win in those districts.

Burundi plunged into crisis in April 2015 when the current president, Pierre Nkurunziza from CNDD-FDD, decided to run his controversial third term bid, which he won in July 2015. His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup in May 2015.

The overall security of Burundi has improved, and the current situation is generally stable.

(XINHUA)

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Judiciary

Tribunal upholds Yahaya Bello’s election

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The Kogi  Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the petition of Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Wada was challenging the election of Bello in the Nov. 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi.

Wada, in his petition, alleged that the election was marred with violence and other irregularities including corrupt practices.

Delivering the majority judgement, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, dismissed Wada’s petition on the grounds that it was lacking in merit.

The tribunal held that the evidence of some of the witnesses was contradictory and amounted to documentary hearsay.

The tribunal further awarded a cost of N500,000 to be paid by each petitioner to each of the respondents.

However, a member of the tribunal, Justice  Ohimai Ovbiagele, disagreed with the judgement.

In his dissenting judgement, Ovbiagele held that Bello was not the duly elected governor of Kogi.

“I hereby nullify the election of the Bello and make an order that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections within three months from today.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Foreign

France to hold delayed 2nd round of municipal elections on June 28

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France has decided to organize the delayed second round of mayoral elections on June 28, which Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Friday is “reversible” if the coronavirus epidemic situation turns against it.

“On May 27, we will present a decree calling voters to the polls on June 28,” Philippe said at a joint press conference with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Of France‘s 35,000 cities, towns and villages, about 30,000 already elected their mayors in the first round on March 15. But many large cities are among those remaining, including Paris, Lyon and Marseille, according to state-owned broadcaster France 24.

The second round of mayoral elections was originally planned on March 22, but the worsening coronavirus outbreaks and the anti-coronavirus lockdown had forced the French government to postpone it.

Philippe admitted that consultations with opposition representatives did not reach consensus but the government has to take responsibility and “the democratic life should resume.”

However, if the epidemic unfortunately rebounds, the polls will be postponed until next January at the latest, he added. The opinion of the government’s scientific advisory council will be heard two weeks ahead of the scheduled voting.

Castaner announced that wearing a mask and washing hands with hydroalcoholic gel would be compulsory for voting on June 28 and this material will be supplied by the communities assisted by the State.

As of Thursday, France‘s death toll from coronavirus topped 28,000 while new infections and patients in intensive care continued to decrease. Since May 11, the country has gradually eased restriction measures on business activities and people’s movement with the aim to relaunch the hard-hit economy.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Mongolia’s election commission finishes accepting applications from parliamentary candidates

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Mongolia’s General Election Commission (GEC) has finished accepting applications from parliamentary election candidates, the commission said Friday.

A total of 13 political parties, four coalitions and 137 independent candidates submitted their documents to the GEC within the legal deadline or May 21 to participate in the upcoming regular parliamentary elections, the GEC said in a statement.

A working group will screen the applications and present the results at a GEC session after five working days.

Mongolia is expected to hold general elections on June 24, though the campaign for parliamentary elections will officially start on June 2.

The Asian country’s parliament, the State Great Khural, is unicameral, consisting of 76 lawmakers serving a four-year term.

The previous parliamentary elections in Mongolia were held on June 29, 2016.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Malawi’s electoral chair resigns ahead of June’s presidential election

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Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has announced that she has resigned from her position as MEC’s chair.

The MEC leader has confirmed the resignation during an exclusive interview with the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday. She has also disclosed that she has written President Mutharika about the decision.

Ansah said the decision has stemmed from the fact that top courts in Malawi has faulted the commissioners for mismanaging the 2019 presidential election.

The resignation has come after the Malawi constitutional court in February upheld the opposition leaders’ petition and nullified the May 2019 presidential election results on grounds of irregularities including manual alterations and use of tippex on the results sheets to change the figures.

Political commentators and activists are asking President Mutharika to appoint new commissioners for the sake of credibility during the next presidential election.

Malawians are expected to go into polls on June 23 to select a new state president despite the threat of COVID-19.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

New Zealand opposition party elects new leader ahead of September general election

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Todd Muller has been elected as the leader of the New Zealand National Party, the party caucus announced on Friday.

Nikki Kaye has been elected as his deputy.

They will lead the New Zealand National Party to the election on Sept. 19.

“There is no Team Todd, there is no Team Nikki, or anyone else — there is only Team National,’’ Muller said in a statement.

“National has always been a coalition of city and country, business and community, conservatives and liberals — National is the party for all New Zealanders.’’

“New Zealanders need a National government with the experience and management skills to get our country through the worst crisis since the end of the World War II,’’ Muller said.

He added that he will focus on the country’s economic recovery and the strengthening of every community throughout New Zealand.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

New Zealand opposition party elects new leader ahead of September general election

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Todd Muller has been elected as the leader of the New Zealand National Party, the party caucus announced on Friday.

Nikki Kaye has been elected as his deputy. They will lead the New Zealand National Party to the election on Sept. 19.

“There is no Team Todd, there is no Team Nikki, or anyone else — there is only Team National,” Muller said in a statement.

“National has always been a coalition of city and country, business and community, conservatives and liberals — National is the party for all New Zealanders,” he said.

“New Zealanders need a National government with the experience and management skills to get our country through the worst crisis since the end of the World War II,” Muller said, adding he will focus on the country’s economic recovery and the strengthening of every community throughout New Zealand.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Poland’s presidential elections planned for June 28

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The Polish government plans to hold presidential elections on June 28 as a later date is precluded due to the expiry date of the current presidential term, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday.

“We want to fulfil our constitutional obligations and conduct these elections in line with the constitution and today we plan to do that on June 28,” Morawiecki was quoted by the Polish Press Agency as saying.

“A later date would not be indicated because afterwards, on August 6, the president’s term ends and later dates that result from the law would mean that announcing the final results or approval of the elections by the Supreme Court would stretch beyond the deadline,” he said.

On the matter of when the State Electoral Commission (PKW) would publish a resolution concerning the elections, the prime minister said analysis were being conducted as to the best time to publish such a resolution.

The PKW stated that in presidential elections scheduled for May 10 there was no possibility to vote and that the Sejm (lower house of the parliament) speaker would announce a new date within 14 days of the resolution being published.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Croatia to hold parliamentary elections on July 5

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Croatian President Zoran Milanovic called on Wednesday for parliamentary elections to be held on July 5, said a statement issued by his office.

The Croatian parliament, whose term is scheduled to end in autumn, was dissolved on Monday.

According to the latest polls, the biggest conservative party in the country, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which has been leading the coalition government since Oct. 2016, would receive around 30 percent of the vote if the elections were held on Wednesday and is slightly ahead of the Social Democratic Party (27.8 percent).

The third strongest option in the country is the right-wing Homeland Movement that was recently formed by popular singer Miroslav Skoro.

Skoro was a candidate in the Dec. 2019 presidential election, when he finished third, just two percentage points behind former president and HDZ candidate Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

The July election will be the tenth parliamentary vote since Croatia gained independence in 1991. There are 151 seats in parliament, 140 deputies are elected from ten constituencies in the country, eight are elected by members of the national ethnic minorities and three are elected in a special constituency by Croatians living abroad.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Balloting starts in Burundi general elections

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Burundi voters went to the polls on Wednesday to elect a new president, members of National Assembly and district councillors.

Polling stations across the country opened from 6 a.m. and are scheduled to close at 4 p.m. for the country’s about 5.1 million registered voters to cast their ballots.

Long queues were seen at polling stations as the poll opened.

All the presidential candidates are expected to cast ballots in their native villages.

Secretary General of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) Evariste Ndayishimiye, cast his ballot in Geheta commune, in Gitega Province, central Burundi.

His main rival, Agathon Rwasa of the opposition National Council for Liberty, went to the north and cast his ballot in Kiremba commune, in Ngozi province.

The central African country experienced violence related to the last general elections in 2015, and its citizens told Xinhua ahead of the elections that they expected peaceful elections, urging those who lose to accept the results and the winners to rule for everyone in the country.

“We will have newly-elected institutions and we expect that they won’t work for their parties,” Chartier Niyungeko, a Burundian expert in peaceful conflict resolutions, told Xinhua in an interview, adding that the elections should not create tension or lead people to violence and killings as in 2015.

He said elections are the opportunity given to people to show differences of their opinions about political parties and independents, and that the candidates must understand that the competition is a way of promoting political tolerance.

Burundi plunged into crisis in April 2015 when the current president, Pierre Nkurunziza from CNDD-FDD, decided to run his controversial third term bid, which he won in July 2015. His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup in May 2015.

Nkurunziza is not seeking reelection this time.

(XINHUA)

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Politics

INEC to release policy framework for Edo, Ondo, future elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would on Thursday, May 21, release the policy framework for Edo and Ondo governorship elections, outstanding by-elections and future electoral activities.

The commission announced this in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Okoye reiterated INEC’s commitment to conduct of the two state governorship elections in accordance to the timetable and schedule of activities released on Feb. 6.

He said that the commission met on Tuesday and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the conduct of the states’ governorship elections and the nine outstanding bye-elections in different parts of the country.

“The commission deliberated extensively on a policy framework that will guide its operations, activities and engagements with critical stakeholders in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the electoral process in Nigeria.

“Based on this, the commission will, on Thursday, issue a policy framework for engagement with stakeholders, the conduct of the two end of tenure governorship elections, outstanding bye-elections and future electoral activities.

“The commission reiterated its commitment to conduct the Edo and Ondo governorship elections on Sept 19 and Oct. 10 as contained in the timetable and schedule of activities released on Feb. 6.

“We reassure Nigerians of our resolve and determination to provide the requisite guidance, innovation and leadership in conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The commission is committed to fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of conducting elections, without jeopardising the health and wellbeing of citizens, stakeholders or its valued staff,’’ Okoye said.

He explained that the commission would accelerate consultations and engagements with political parties, civil society organisations, security agencies and health authorities as soon as its policy framework is finalised.

He urged everyone to remain safe and healthy by complying with all the guidelines and protocols issued by the health authorities.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Backgrounder: 2020 Burundi general election

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Central Africa’s Burundi is set to hold general elections on May 20, where about 5.1 million registered voters are expected to cast ballots to elect a new president, members of National Assembly and district councillors.

The following are some basic facts about the election:

The ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) elected its secretary general, Major General Evariste Ndayishimiye as the party’s presidential candidate.

Under the new constitution promulgated in June 2018, the presidential term is extended from five to seven years and allows the president to serve two consecutive terms.

Opposition party National Council for Liberty’s Agathon Rwasa is widely predicted to be Ndayishimiye’s main challenger.

Other five presidential candidates include current First Vice-President Gaston Sindimwo from the National Progress Union (UPRONA), former Burundian president Domitien Ndayizeye from the Kira Burundi coalition.

In a bid to finance the general elections by Burundi itself and hence getting rid of possible influence from donors, the government started mobilizing financial contributions from citizens in 2017.

The May elections will be followed by the elections of senators and village councillors that will take place on July 20 and Aug. 24, 2020 respectively.

The landlocked country will have a new president for the first time in 15 years since the current president Pierre Nkurunziza from CNDD-FDD will not run for the presidency.

Burundi plunged into a crisis in April 2015 when Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term bid, which he won in July 2015. His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup in May 2015.

Since April 2015, 300,000 Burundians had fled to neighboring countries following election-related violence, according to the UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

The overall security of Burundi has improved, and the current situation is generally stable. Many of Burundian refugees living in other countries have voluntarily returned.

However, violence among supporters of parties running in the race had occurred during a three-week electoral campaign starting April 27.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Croatian parliament dissolved ahead of summer elections

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Croatian parliament was dissolved on Monday to pave the way for the elections in June or July.

A total of 105 members of the parliament voted for the dissolution, eight voted against and four abstained.

According to Croatian constitution, the parliamentary elections should be held within a period between 30 to 60 days after the dissolution. President Zoran Milanovic will decide on the date of the elections.

The latest opinion poll shows that the ruling conservative party Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has the support of around 30 percent, while the biggest opposition party, Social Democratic Party (SDP), is behind with 27.8 percent.

(XINHUA)

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Judiciary

Kogi tribunal dismisses SDP, Akpoti’s petition against Bello’s election

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The Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, on Monday, dismissed the suit by Natasha Akpoti, Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s candidate in the Nov. 16, 2019 governorship election against Gov. Yahaya Bello.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Akpoti and her party, SDP, had filed a petition, asking the tribunal to nullify the victory of Governor Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the poll and order a rerun.

At the sitting in Abuja, the three-member tribunal, led by Justice Kashim Kaigama, in the unanimous judgment, held that the petition failed woefully.

The tribunal also awarded the cost of N100,000 to be paid by each of the two petitioners to each of the three respondents in the case; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC and Mr. Bello, totalling N600, 000.

NAN reports that Akpoti and her party had, in December 2019, filed their petition before the tribunal, praying for an order nullifying the election on the grounds that it was conducted substantially in contradiction to the Electoral Act and the electoral guidelines issued by INEC.

They alleged that the election was marred by corrupt practices, violence, and over-voting in all the polling units in the 21 local government areas of the state.

They also alleged that Bello and his running mate, Edward Onoja, should be disqualified to contest in the election on the grounds that Onoja gave false information in his Form CF001 submitted to INEC concerning the circumstances of his exit from the banking industry.

They alleged that while Onoja was sacked by the bank, he claimed that he retired from the service.

They also alleged that Onoja falsified his age and forged his educational certificate to aid his qualification to stand the election.

In the lead judgment, Justice Ohiamai Ovbiagele held that the petitioners failed to prove the alleged corrupt practices and falsification of results by any credible evidence.

He added that the petitioners merely dumped their exhibits on the tribunal without linking them to the petition.

He also noted that none of the petitioners’ 15 witnesses gave any evidence concerning over-voting, implying that the allegation was abandoned.

He held that testimonies by many of the witnesses were “patently hearsay devoid of any evidential value,” while those of some others were “ludicrous,” “unreliable” and “doubtful.”

“They are all doubtful illogical and some instances patently unreasonable,” the judge said.

He added that some of the witnesses, who claimed to have been eyewitnesses of violence at various polling units, failed to tender the video evidence they claimed to have and also failed to tender the voter cards, even though they claimed they voted in the election.

“Any voter without a voter card should not be taken seriously,” he said.

He described as “absurd,” the attempt by the petitioners to “to prove their petition without polling unit agents.”

Justice Ovbiagele also noted that “the pieces of evidence that emanated from the cross-examination of all the petitioners’ witnesses, like a dynamite, shattered the testimonies of these witnesses.”

The judge also dismissed the age falsification allegation on the grounds that the petitioners failed to prove that either Bello or his running mate was less than 35 years old as of Nov. 16, 2019, when the governorship election held.

The judge dismissed the petitioners’ claim that Onoja was dismissed from banking industry but falsely claimed in his Form CF001 submitted to INEC that he retired.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Foreign

AU, UN appeal for stable, peaceful environment for Burundi elections

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Ahead of the presidential and local elections in Burundi on Wednesday, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) on Sunday urged the authorities to provide a safe and secure environment for citizens to cast their votes.

In a joint statement, the partners said that they have been following the electoral campaign and remain concerned about reports of “intimidation and violent clashes between supporters of opposing sides.”

“The two organizations encourage all entities involved in organizing the May 20, 2020 elections, the defense and security forces and state-owned media to fully contribute to preserving a stable and peaceful environment, pre-requisite for free, inclusive, fair, transparent and credible elections in Burundi,” the statement said.

“They urge all political actors to refrain from all acts of violence and hate speech, and resort to dialogue, to enable the holding of consensual and peaceful elections. They also encourage the Burundian authorities to ensure and facilitate the full participation of women during this electoral process.”

The AU Commission and the UN Secretariat also called on political parties to abide by the Code of Conduct they signed in December.

Authorities in the East African country were also urged to implement preventive measures to protect citizens from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, a UN Commission of Inquiry expressed alarm over violence and human rights abuses in the run-up to the vote.

Members also deeply regretted the government’s decision to expel four staff members of the World Health Organization from the country.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Bauchi Govt. to conduct LGAs election soon – Gov. Mohammad

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Gov. Bala Mohammad of Bauchi State has  reiterated plans by the state to conduct Local Government Areas (LGAs) election soon.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the governor, while interacting with journalists in the wake of his victory at the Supreme Court on January 21, pledged to conduct council poll in June, 2020.

NAN also recalls that Mr Dahiru Tata, Chairman, Bauchi State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC), on April 4, suspended the  local government area election in the state.

The  chairman said the election, which was suspended indefinitely with the approval of the state government, was as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.

However, the governor disclosed plans to conduct LGA election in Bauchi during the swearing in of Four LGAs Caretaker Committee Chairmen on Sunday.

The newly sworn in Chairmen included: Alhaji Abbas Waziri (Darazo LGA), Alhaji Garba Bara (Kirfi LGA), Mr Salisu Nasaru (Ningi LGA)  and Daniel Danjuma (Tafawa Balewa LGA).

The governor said all arrangements to conduct the election had been concluded.

“I want to reiterate that we are going to hold elections very soon.

“This will be done as soon as it is feasible because we have concluded all the arrangements to do that.

“That is the only way we can show and deepen democracy in Nigeria as we know caretaker system is not democratic and is unconstitutional, but we have to fill in the vacuum,” Mohammad said.

The governor further advised the newly sworn in caretaker chairmen to be up and doing and deliver beyond expectations.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

Mongolian ex-president Enkhbayar to run for parliamentary elections

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Mongolia’s former President Nambar Enkhbayar will run for the upcoming parliamentary elections, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) said Saturday.

“The legal environment for chairman of our party to run for elections has already been created. So, he will run for the forthcoming parliamentary elections,” Buya Tulga, secretary of the MPRP, told reporters Saturday.

Enkhbayar was banned from standing for the presidential elections in 2017 because of registration irregularities and a conviction for graft in 2012.

He served as the country’s prime minister from 2000 to 2004, as speaker of the parliament from 2004 to 2005, and as the president of Mongolia from 2005 to 2009.

Mongolia is expected to hold general elections on June 24.

The MPRP and another two parties, the Civil Will Green Party and Mongolian Traditional United Party, have agreed to jointly participate in the election under the name “Your and Our Coalition.”

(XINHUA)

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