Tinubu Warns Election Tribunal of Potential Anarchy if FCT’s Status and 25% Votes Requirement is Misinterpreted; Tobi Amusan Sets New Record at Silesia Diamond League | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Tinubu Warns Election Tribunal of Potential Anarchy if FCT’s Status and 25% Votes Requirement Misinterpreted
  • Tobi Amusan Sets New Record at Silesia Diamond League
  • Senate Denies Financial Benefit to Members from N70 Billion Allocation, Clarifies Purpose of Funds
  • Cross River Doctors Commence Indefinite Strike Following Abduction of Colleague
  • Frank Nweke Withdraws Petition Against Mbah

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

Tinubu Warns Election Tribunal of Potential Anarchy if FCT’s Status and 25% Votes Requirement Misinterpreted

President Bola Tinubu, representing the All Progressives Congress (APC), has responded to the petition challenging his victory in the February 28 presidential election by calling for its dismissal.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had previously declared Tinubu as the winner of the election with a total of 8,794,726 votes, surpassing his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received 6,984,520 votes. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) came in third with 6,101,533 votes.

The basis of the petition submitted by Atiku and Obi includes the argument that Tinubu failed to obtain a minimum of 25% of the votes cast in the FCT.

In response, Tinubu’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun, presented a final written address to the tribunal, contending that the FCT should be considered as the 37th state for electoral purposes, and any other interpretation would result in anarchy.

Olanipekun stated, “The petition in issue in this address is very novel in the sense that it is not a petition stricto senso, familiar to our electoral jurisprudence, as the petitioners are not, this time around, complaining about election rigging, ballot box snatching, ballot box stuffing, violence, thuggery, vote buying, voters’ intimidation, disenfranchisement, interference by the military or the police, and such other electoral vices.”

He further argued that Section 3(1) of the constitution specifically identifies the states by name and includes the FCT “in the same manner and to the same extent.” Therefore, according to Olanipekun, the requirement of securing 25% of votes in the FCT is not mandated by law.

Olanipekun emphasized the absence of punctuation (comma) in Section 134(2)(b) of the constitution, particularly after the word “States” and the subsequent “and” connecting the Federal Capital Territory with the states. This, he asserted, indicates a conjunctive reading of the subsection, rather than a disjunctive one, as mandated by the Constitution.

Additionally, he invoked Section 299 of the Constitution, which treats the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, “as if” it were the 37th state.

By raising these legal arguments, President Bola Tinubu and his legal team seek to challenge the validity of the petition and maintain the legitimacy of his election victory. The election tribunal will now consider these arguments in its decision-making process.

Tobi Amusan Sets New Record at Silesia Diamond League

Nigerian athlete Tobi Amusan showcased her exceptional talent and broke records as she emerged victorious in the women’s 100 meters hurdle event at the prestigious Silesia Diamond League held in Poland.

The current world record holder demonstrated her prowess by outperforming renowned American athletes Kendra Harrison and Ali Nia, ultimately equaling the meeting record.

Amusan, who currently holds the Commonwealth Games title, completed the race in an impressive time of 12.34 seconds, surpassing the efforts of Harrison (12.35) and the 2019 world champion Ali (12.38). Her outstanding performance not only secured her the title but also matched the meeting record at the Silesia Stadium, Chorzó. Furthermore, her result served as a season’s best, highlighting her remarkable form.

Only two weeks prior, the Nigerian sprinter claimed her first Diamond League victory of the year in Stockholm, Sweden. As the season progresses, Amusan is anticipated to defend her world record in Budapest later this year, aiming to further solidify her status as a dominant force in the sport.

Amusan’s remarkable achievements in 2022 have solidified her reputation as a world-class athlete. She delivered outstanding performances at various high-profile events, including the Diamond League, Commonwealth Games, and World Athletics Championships.

Notably, she became the first Nigerian world champion, clocking an exceptional time of 12.06 seconds; however, it was deemed ineligible as a world record due to the strong wind assistance of +2.5 meters per second.

Undeterred by this technicality, Amusan continued to shine. She secured a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and successfully defended her Diamond League title, culminating in a sensational season.

Her extraordinary achievements earned her a nomination for the esteemed 2023 Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award in February. This recognition acknowledges outstanding individuals and teams in the world of sports for their remarkable accomplishments throughout the year.

Tobi Amusan’s recent triumphs in the Silesia Diamond League further solidify her position as a rising star in athletics. As she continues to push boundaries and set new records, the world eagerly awaits her future performances, eager to witness her exceptional talent on display once again.

Senate Denies Financial Benefit to Members from N70 Billion Allocation, Clarifies Purpose of Funds

Yemi Adaramodu, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Senate, has dismissed assertions that members of the National Assembly would personally receive funds from the N70 billion allocated for “supporting their working conditions.”

In a statement released on Sunday, Adaramodu clarified that the budget allocation is specifically designated for purchasing furniture and carrying out necessary repairs in lawmakers’ offices.

The N70 billion appropriation by both chambers of the National Assembly through an amendment to the 2022 supplementary budget drew criticism from many Nigerians.

This was due to the fact that President Bola Tinubu had sought and received approval to borrow $800 million, intended to provide N8,000 each to 12 million households over six months as a measure to mitigate the impact of petroleum motor spirit (PMS) subsidy removal.

Adaramodu asserted that the claims of budget “padding” to accommodate the N70 billion were false. He emphasized that the lawmakers were simply fulfilling their constitutional duty.

He stated, “Suffice to say that the passage is part of the absolute constitutional duty of the senate. We would therefore, not wish to join issues with the mischief and misrepresentation that a portion of the just passed Amendment Act that appropriated N70 billion naira was a ‘gift’ to the legislators.”

Adaramodu further explained that the funds would not be paid directly to any legislator but would be managed by the national assembly bureaucracy.

He highlighted the pressing need for repairs and improvements in the National Assembly Complex, pointing out that many senators had resorted to bringing their own furniture and conducting repairs themselves. He also emphasized that the complex accommodates not only legislators but also thousands of workers and service providers, whose working environment requires attention and necessary tools.

The Senate spokesperson emphasized that the allocation should not be considered a palliative for the legislators, as they are temporary occupants of the assembly complex.

He refuted allegations of “padding” in the palliative budget, stating that such claims only exist in the minds of those seeking to discredit the 10th assembly.

Adaramodu concluded by dismissing the notion of padding as alleged by misinformed media outlets.

Cross River Doctors Commence Indefinite Strike Following Abduction of Colleague

Doctors in Cross River State have commenced an indefinite strike in protest against the abduction of one of their colleagues.

Ekanem Ephraim, a medical doctor at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), was abducted by gunmen at her residence on Thursday.

The kidnappers disguised themselves as patients to gain access to her home, according to Felix Archibong, chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the state.

The abductors have reportedly contacted Ephraim’s family and demanded a ransom for her release. Despite concerted efforts to secure her freedom, the doctor remains in captivity, prompting the NMA to take decisive action.

During an emergency general meeting (EGM) held in Calabar, the state capital, the NMA issued a communique announcing the commencement of a total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services, effective immediately. This strike action will impact all hospitals in the state, including federal, state, private, and mission-run facilities.

The NMA has called on the state government to utilize all available resources and take prompt measures to ensure the timely and unconditional release of their abducted colleague.

While acknowledging the potential hardships that the withdrawal of medical services may impose on the citizens, the association emphasizes the urgency of the situation and appeals to relevant security agencies to expedite the safe release of the doctor.

This is not the first time medical practitioners in Cross River State have resorted to strike action due to the abduction of their members. In 2022, they embarked on a strike under similar circumstances, highlighting the recurring threat faced by healthcare professionals in the state.

Frank Nweke Withdraws Petition Against Mbah

Frank Nweke Jr., the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Enugu State, has withdrawn his petition against Governor Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Nweke, who secured the third position in the March 18 election with 17,983 votes compared to Mbah’s 160,895 votes, announced the withdrawal of his petition before the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Sunday. His counsel, R.A.C.E Achara, made an oral application for the withdrawal.

Achara explained that the decision to withdraw the petition, which was filed on April 11, was taken to alleviate the workload of the tribunal. The tribunal, acknowledging the request, granted the withdrawal and dismissed the petition accordingly.

Confirming the withdrawal, Nweke Jr., who previously served as a minister during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, stated that he decided to withdraw the petition against Governor Mbah for personal reasons.

By withdrawing the petition, Nweke has effectively halted any further legal action against Governor Mbah’s victory in the election. The withdrawal also reduces the burden on the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. While the exact details of Nweke’s personal reasons were not disclosed, his decision reflects a personal choice and brings an end to his challenge against the election results.

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