- My family conspired against me to vote for Peter Obi – Gov Umahi
- APC’s Binani requests judicial review on Adamawa Guber win
- Osinbajo believes Nigeria can overcome ethnic, religious bias
- Lagos Tribunal approves GRV’s substituted service on Sanwo-Olu petition
- NAFDAC grants provisional approval for malaria vaccine in Nigeria
My family conspired against me to vote for Peter Obi – Gov Umahi
n a surprising revelation, Governor David Umahi has accused his own family of conspiring against him to vote for Peter Obi of the Labour Party during the presidential election, without his knowledge. Speaking during an interview with Channels Television on Monday, the governor expressed shock that both President Muhammadu Buhari and the president-elect lost their states to opposition parties during the February 25 polls.
Governor Umahi attributed the LP’s votes during the election to protest votes against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), citing the seeming hardship and challenges in Nigeria. He also revealed that he did not expect any other political party to win in his state, Ebonyi, as he had put measures in place to prevent this.
“In all honesty, I didn’t give any chance to the Labour Party to win any election in my State because what we have put in place was such that no other political party should be able to win anything, not even Councilorship election in my State. I saw the Labour Party vote as a protest against my Party (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,” Governor Umahi said.
The governor further disclosed that he was unaware of his family’s actions until after the election, and was disappointed to learn that they had voted against him. However, he maintained that their vote for Peter Obi was not a vote for the candidate, but rather a protest against the current state of the nation.
While Governor Umahi won the Ebonyi South Zone Senatorial seat to represent his constituency at the 10th National Assembly, the APC’s candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, defeated the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi to win the presidential polls.
APC’s Binani requests judicial review on Adamawa Guber win
Senator Aisha Binani Dahiru, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Adamawa governorship election, has filed a motion ex parte before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking a judicial review of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) administrative decision made on April 16 regarding her declaration as the winner of the March 18 polls and the supplementary poll held on April 15. The APC party has also joined in the motion ex parte.
The controversy began when the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Hudu Yususa, declared Senator Binani as the winner of the election on Sunday, which was met with immediate nullification by INEC.
The REC was subsequently suspended on Monday.
Unsatisfied with INEC’s decision, Senator Binani has sought an order of prohibition and certiorari from the court to prevent the commission and its officers from taking any further steps toward declaring a winner until the determination of her application for judicial review.
The application was filed under Order 34 rules 1a, order 3(1) & 3(2) a, b, c, Order 6 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure Rules) 2019, Section 251 (1)q & r of the 1999 Constitution and Section 149 & 152 of the Electoral Act 2022.
The application noted that INEC’s decision to cancel the initial declaration means that it is usurping the powers of the election petition, which is the only court vested with the powers to do so from the conduct of an election.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) staged a protest on Monday, calling on INEC to continue collating results. It remains to be seen how the court will rule on Senator Binani’s application for judicial review.
Osinbajo believes Nigeria can overcome ethnic, religious bias
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has affirmed that Nigeria can overcome ethnic and religious prejudices, which are critical factors in building a united nation.
During the inaugural Policy Making and Good Governance Lecture Series of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), held in Kuru, near Jos, Osinbajo delivered a lecture titled “Creating a Homeland for All: Nation-building in a Diverse Democracy”.
He stressed that no Nigerian should be discriminated against based on their tribe or religion, and condemned the “weaponization” of ethnic or religious biases for political purposes, noting that democratic competition is defined by societal socio-cultural cleavages.
Osinbajo stated that social integration is one of the highest ideals of Nigeria’s Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to move freely across the country without any hindrance, and it affirms the right of all Nigerians to not be discriminated against on the basis of their identity. The vice-president emphasized that integration should be a priority, above all other considerations.
Lagos Tribunal approves GRV’s substituted service on Sanwo-Olu petition
The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Ikeja, has granted an ex-parte application by the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, for a substituted service of his petition on the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Rhodes-Vivour had challenged the outcome of the March 18 governorship election in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Sanwo-Olu as the winner.
During the tribunal’s sitting on Monday, Rhodes-Vivour’s counsel, Mr. Olagbade Benson, pointed out that Sanwo-Olu has been evading service of the petition by the bailiff. Governor Sanwo-Olu refused to collect the document from the bailiff when the court official got to his office to serve him. The tribunal subsequently ordered that service be done on the Governor and his Deputy through a DHL courier service company or any other recognized courier service company to the respondent’s official residence at Lagos House, Marina.
In his 271-page petition filed before the Tribunal on April 9, Rhodes-Vivour who is the sole petitioner, says that Sanwo-Olu was wrongfully returned as the election was vitiated by substantial non-compliance with the mandatory statutory requirements and irregularities that inimically substantially affected the elections in some polling wards, wards, and local government areas.
Rhodes-Vivour listed three grounds on which his petition is based. He alleged that Sanwo-Olu was not qualified to contest the election, was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast, and the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices or non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and the Constitution.
The petitioner also said that the failure of INEC to comply with the mandatory provisions of the Electoral Act 2020, the Manual of Election Officials 2023, and the Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of Elections 2022 impugns irredeemably the integrity of the Lagos Governorship elections of March 18, 2023.
Rhodes-Vivour says that at the hearing of the petition, he shall also contend that at the conclusion of elections at each polling unit, the presiding officer was mandatorily required to electronically transmit the results directly to the collation system of INEC as well as to use the BVAS to upload a scanned copy of the form EC8A to the INEC IREV’s portal in real-time.
The petitioner contends that by reason of the disqualification of both men, all votes recorded for them and the APC are wasted and he is, therefore, entitled to be declared the winner of the election, being the candidate with the second-highest number of lawful votes cast. With a long list of specific places detailing incidents of voter threats, suppression, disenfranchisement, violence & irregularities, the LP candidate says he will rely on videos, relevant INEC forms, the evidence of experts, including forensic examiners, statisticians, data analyst/researcher, information technologist, computer analysts, and several other persons and documents in proof of his petition.
Over 20 lawyers have been listed to represent Rhodes-Vivour, and they are led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olumide Ayeni.
NAFDAC grants provisional approval for malaria vaccine in Nigeria
Nigeria has granted provisional approval for the first malaria vaccine in the country, following Ghana’s approval of its second malaria vaccine last week. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) announced that it had granted provisional approval for R21 Malaria Vaccine, which is 75 per cent effective in preventing malaria in children aged five to 36 months.
During an online press conference, NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, stated that R21 is manufactured by Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. (SIIPL), with Fidson Healthcare PLC as Marketing Authorisation Holder (MAH) in Nigeria. She also mentioned that the vaccine is an adjuvanted protein vaccine presented as a sterile solution, and a dose is composed of R21 Malaria antigen 5µg and Matrix-M1 50µg as an adjuvant filled in a vial, as a ready-to-use liquid formulation for intramuscular injection. The vaccine is indicated for the prevention of clinical malaria in children from five months to 36 months of age, and the storage temperature of the vaccine is 2-8 °C.
Adeyeye explained that a provisional approval of the R21 Malaria Vaccine was recommended in line with the WHO’s Malaria Vaccine Implementation Guideline. However, NAFDAC has communicated the need for expansion of the clinical trial conducted to include a Phase Four clinical trial/Pharmacovigilance study to be carried out in Nigeria.
Data from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) showed that malaria is transmitted throughout Nigeria, with 97 per cent of the population at risk of infection. The duration of the transmission season ranges from year-round (in the south) to three months or less in the north. Nigeria accounted for an estimated 55.2 per cent of malaria cases in West Africa in 2020 and had the highest number of global malaria cases (27 per cent) and the highest number of deaths (32 per cent) in the same year, according to the 2021 World Malaria Report.
The approval of the R21 malaria vaccine in Nigeria comes after Ghana granted full national licensure for the R21/Matrix-M™ malaria vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK), and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Ghana is one of the first countries to vaccinate against malaria through the pilot Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme (MVIP), supported by the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI). The RTS,S vaccine was prequalified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2022, following recommendations for its wider use in 2021.
NAFDAC remains committed to ensuring that only products that are safe, of high quality, and efficacious are made available for Nigerians.