The Zamfara State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday dismissed a petition seeking to unseat Gov. Bello Mutawalle.
The petition was filed by Muhammed Takori of the Advanced People’s Democratic Alliance (APDA) against Mattawalle, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Takori and APDA in the petition prayed the tribunal to nullify the emergency of Mutawalle as governor on the ground that he did not score two-thirds of the votes cast in the local government areas of the state as required by law.
Petitioners also queries the declaration of substantial votes cast on the election day as waste.
But delivering judgment in the petition, the Tribunal headed by Hon. Justice Binta Zubair held that the petition was un-meritorious in view of the Supreme Court pronouncement of May 24, 2019.
Zubairu held that by implication, the votes cast for Mutawalle and his party, the PDP, are the lawful votes as far as the March 9, governorship election in Zamfara state is concerned.
The Tribunal disagreed with the petitioner that Mutawalle did not win votes in two-third of the local government areas of Zamfara state adding that the petitioners wrongly predicated his argument on the votes already declared as waste by the apex court.
Earlier, the tribunal had dismissed Takori’s preliminary objection that the PDP did not conduct any primaries and that Mutawalle was not duly sponsored by his party, and therefore was not qualified to contest for the governorship election in the first place.
In dismissing the petitioner’s objection, Zubairu noted that the issue of nomination and sponsorship of a candidate is the sole responsibility of the party and also a pre-election matter of which the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain.
She also imposed a cost of N500,000 against the petitioners to be paid to Mutawalle as cost of litigaton.
The apex court had in the judgment delivered by Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) held that votes cast for candidates who ought not to have participated in an election are wasted votes that cannot be used in determining outcome of an election.
It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Muktar Idris of All Progressives Congress as winner of Zamfara governorship election held on March 9, 2019.
Announcing the result, the Returning Officer, Prof. Kabir Bala, said, Muktar secured 534,541 votes out of the 810,782 votes cast across the 14 local government areas of the state while Bello Matawalle of Peoples Democratic Party PDP came second with 189,452.
The participation of the candidates of the APC in the governorship, National Assembly and the State House of Assembly was invalidated by the Supreme Court on the ground that the candidates were not properly nominated as required by law.
In doing substantial justice to the case. Supreme Court declared votes cast for APC candidates as waste and announced Mutawalle who came second as the duly elected governor of the state.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
COVID-19: FG to develop innovative interventions to improve survival chances
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says efforts are ongoing to develop innovative interventions to reduce COVID-19 case fatalities to below one per cent.
According to him, fatalities at present is at two per cent, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
Ehanire said that PTF members were aligned in non-pharmaceutical key role interventions in controlling new infections, as the measures of wearing of masks and avoiding crowds were easy, cheap and proven to be effective.
He added that “we would work with state governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at general hospitals or Primary Healthcare Centres to train and set up at least one sample collection site in every local government area in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.
“This means that we should consider adjusting to what has been described as the ‘new normal,’ a way of life that is intended to reduce risk of infection, while allowing meaningful economic life to resume and citizens to restore their livelihoods,” he said.
The minister said there was need to sustain the efforts as the increase in testing capacity recorded 40,000 in one month, while the number of positive cases dropped by over 2,000.
“The total number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154,454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3 per cent, as against that of June of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2 per cent.
“By Aug. 3, we recorded 43,841 confirmed cases out of of 286,091 samples tested, while 20,308 persons were treated and discharged with 888 persons dead,” he said.
Ehanire also announced that plans were ongoing to designate holding rooms at general hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or oxygen cylinders.
“Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit in lives saved will be significant,” he said.
Ehanire said that the task force responded to the request of São Tomé for commodities for COVID-19 response, as directed directive by the President.
He assured that there was continued increase and optimisation laboratory diagnostic capacity most recently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe and Bayelsa states.
The minister said there should be no anxiety among health workers about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the equipment had been reasonably well-stocked with materials and commodities and supplied to all sections of the country.
He said government was grateful to the United Nations and European Union for the donation of another consignment of valuable supplies, which he received on July 31.
“This additional delivery will boost our stockpile of wherewithal to fight the pandemic and it includes face masks and shields goggles, airways tubes, bio-hazard bags and safety boxes, test kites,” he said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Buhari writes Funtua’s family, says he’s pillar of support to his govt.
President Muhammadu Buhari has written a personal letter to the family of the late publisher and businessman, Isma’ila Isa Funtua, describing his demise as major national loss.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
In the letter, written in Hausa language, the president told the bereaved wife, Hajiya Hauwa, the children and the entire family members that the loss of Funtua was not theirs alone, but that of the entire country.
He said: “Malam Isma’ila was of great assistance to me and my administration. He helped in many ways to strengthen the government and the country before his ultimate demise.”
The president recalled that Funtua, in his active politics, served as a minister.
”He was also a businessman and contractor who built several government buildings in Abuja.
“He was a director of Funtua Textile Mills for 30 years and chaired the Zamfara Textile Company. He was also a life executive member of the board of the International Press Institute (IPI).
“Nigerians of all shades and backgrounds have nothing but kind words for him.
“The late Isma’ila was reputed throughout his life for his kindness, generosity and support for public causes, the big and the not-so-big,” he remarked.
Buhari urged all those left behind by the deceased not to allow division in their ranks.
He prayed Allah to forgive the departed and grant him Aljannatul-Firdaus (paradise).
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
NiMet predicts cloudy, thundery weather activities Monday to Wednesday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy and thundery weather activities from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet`s weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja predicted cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms over some parts of northern states.
The states are Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Sokoto, Taraba, Kebbi and Katsina.
According to the agency, the rest of the region will be under cloudy conditions during the time.
“Later in the day, cloudy skies with pockets of thunderstorms are anticipated over the region with the exception of Sokoto where cloudy condition is expected.
“Over the central region, cloudy skies with isolated rain showers are anticipated over Jos, Nasarawa, Makurdi, Niger and Abuja during the morning hours.
“As the day progresses, much cloudiness is expected to prevail over the region with prospects of thunderstorms over Benue, Abuja, Niger and Plateau States.’’
The agency predicted that southern coast and the inland would be cloudy with the exception of Ikom, Obudu, Calabar in Cross River and Eket in Akwa Ibom, where light rain showers were anticipated during the morning hours.
It further predicted that some southeast inland and coastal cities such as Enugu, Umuahia, Obudu, Uyo, Calabar, Eket, Port-Harcourt and Yenagoa are expected to experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers later in the day.
The agency, however, envisaged cloudy skies over the inland and coastal areas of the Southwest.
According to NiMet, morning thunderstorms are likely over Katsina, Borno, Taraba and Katsina on Tuesday, while the rest of the northern region is expected to be cloudy during the morning hours.
“Places like Southern Borno, Bauchi, and Gombe will experience cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms in the evening while the rest of the region are expected to be cloudy.
“Cloudy skies with thunderstorms are expected over Niger axis, while other parts of the central cities will experience much cloudiness during the morning hours.
“Scattered thunderstorms are anticipated over Kaduna and Niger States in the afternoon with more prospects in the evening.
“Cloudy conditions are expected over inland and coast of the south during the morning and evening period.’’
NiMet forecast cloudy skies over the northern region with chances of thunderstorms over Borno, Gombe, and Adamawa during the morning hours of Wednesday.
It also predicted pockets of thunderstorms over Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara and Kebbi States.
“Cloudy skies are expected to prevail across the central region during the morning hours, while thunderstorms are expected over the high grounds of the central states during the afternoon and evening period.
“Cloudiness is expected to prevail over the inland and the coastal belt throughout the forecast period.’’
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Silas Nwoha (NAN)
ECWA urges FG to end insecurity in Kaduna, Plateau, others
The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) has called on the Federal Government to end the killings in southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Adamawa states.
It also urged government to end banditry and other forms of insecurity in Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, and other states in the northern part of the country.
The communique was signed by Rev. Stephen Baba and Rev. Yunusa Nmadu, its President and General Secretary, respectively.
According to the communique, the council also decried the wanton destruction of farmlands and other property worth billions, urging government to rise to the occasion and end the scourge.
It advised government to intensify efforts in arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to book, insisting that such move would serve as deterrent to other criminals.
“Council views with serious concern the unabated attacks of armed men and bandits across the country, especially in the northern states.
“They have continued to destroy lives, farmlands and property of innocent citizens in southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Kogi, Adamawa, Katsina, Taraba and Niger states.
“We note with grief the several attacks on southern Kaduna communties, a stronghold of ECWA, where over 120 persons including infants and women have been killed, with scores injured and many displaced.
“Council, therefore, advocate for a stronger collaboration between the government, the security agencies and the entire populace for a more robust and rapid response for the protection of human lives and property,”it said.
The council also urged security agencies to improve on their response to distress calls, increase intelligence gathering and be proactive to nip imminent security challenges in the bud.
It frowned at the deplorable state of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the country and called on the government ensure the inhabitants are returned to their original homes.
It also urged the government to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu and other persons still in captivity, noting that such move would free their parents and loved one from serious trauma.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)