The major headlines in mainstream newspapers today, Friday, June 14 are focused on recent proceedings at the presidential election tribunal, the opposition’s response to the Senate’s dismissal of a motion to debate Buhari’s Democracy Day speech, and the security situation in Osun state.
Kicking off the review, The Guardian reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) on Thursday, June 13, that it had no server to be inspected by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over the conduct of the presidential election which held on February 23.
Atiku and PDP had filed an application seeking access to inspect the server and data of smart card readers used by INEC in the conduct of the election.
Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), who moved the motion for the inspection of INEC’s server and other electoral materials, said the request was essential to their petition challenging the declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the election.
The INEC counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN), however, vehemently opposed the application for the inspection of the server. According to Usman, the application should be dismissed because, “We do not have a server.”
Mirroring the previous publication, The Nation reports that on Thursday, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) heard that there was no server for the PDP and its presidential candidate in the February 23 election to inspect.
INEC, in response to the request of the PDP and Atiku Abubakar to compel the electoral umpire to allow them access to the server used in transmitting the results of the presidential poll, told the tribunal that no server was used for the election.
On their part, President Muhammadu Buhari , the APC and INEC urged the PEPT to reject Atiku’s and PDP’s request to be allowed access to INEC’s server and card reader machines.
Buhari argued that granting the request would amount to the tribunal overruling itself, having earlier, in a ruling delivered on March 6, rejected a similar request made by Atiku and PDP.
Still on the issue, ThisDay reports that the APC on Thursday asked the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja to strike out the petition by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the ruling party, the petition was defective, ab initio, because the PDP candidate “is not a Nigerian by birth.”
Atiku and the PDP had in the petition, urged the tribunal to declare him as the lawful winner of the February 23, 2019 presidential election.
While responding to the petitioners’ motion seeking the striking out of APC’s reply to the petition, counsel to the ruling party, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), called on the tribunal to declare Atiku ineligible to run for the presidency.
On to a different subject, Punch reports that the Senate on Thursday rejected a motion seeking its nod to debate the speech delivered by President Muhammadu Buhari on Democracy Day.
The All Progressives Congress-dominated Senate‘s action was, however, faulted by opposition parties led by the Peoples Democratic Party and the Campaign for Democracy. They said it was a bad omen for democracy, adding that the senators should show courage so as not to encourage dictatorship.
After Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the session, subjected the motion to a voice vote, it was overwhelmingly voted against by majority of the senators at plenary.
The motion was moved by Senator Istifanus Gyang (Plateau-PDP), who came under Order 52 of the Senate standing order.
Rounding off the review, Vanguard reports that the Osun state governor, Gboyega Oyetola, on Thursday, cried out over the rising spate of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery in the state, and called for the deployment of a joint patrol outfit to tackle the security challenges.
Oyetola raised the alarm at the headquarters of the Nigerian Army when he paid a courtesy visit to the chief of Army staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai.
The governor said he was at Army headquarters to commend the COAS for approving the construction of a Bridge across the Osun River to Ede, which will greatly assist the state by boosting the economic wellbeing on the people.
He said in part: “I am here to bring to your knowledge that the spate of crime is increasing in Osun and around us. It is giving me a serious cause for concern and as you know, the primary function of government is to ensure security for the people for economic progress and development.”
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