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Kaduna Guber: Ashiru, PDP move to dethrone El-Rufai, seek recount of ballot

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Isah Ashiru, on Tuesday, filed an application seeking for a recount of the votes cast during the March 9 governorship polls.

Ashiru’s counsel, Elisha Kurah (SAN), submitted the application to the Justice I. M Bako-led tribunal that commenced pre-hearing session in Kaduna.

Justice Bako, however, adjourned the session to May 25 to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the two other respondents in the petition time to respond to the PDP’s application on votes recount.

Kurah who spoke to journalists shortly after the adjournment of the session urged the tribunal to order INEC for the recount of the votes cast.

He explained, “We filed an application requesting to recount the votes cast during the election.

“It is very crucial as we are alleging which is supported by the evidence we have that most of the results declared were phantom votes.

“They were back up by votes in the ballot boxes. So we want a complete recount of the votes cast in the governorship election.

“We are expecting that the results would show that the PDP actually won the election.

“But votes were just inflicted randomly just to make the APC have the semblance of winning.”

Counsel to PDP, Ibrahim Bawa (SAN), told newsmen that he also filed an application seeking that certain paragraphs of the respondents’ responses to ”our application be struck out for lack of merit.”

Meanwhile, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, Counsel to Gov Nasiru El-Rufai in a separate interview with newsmen said, “The petitioners of the PDP and its candidate, Isa Ashiru have four highly contentious applications.

“And we intend to oppose the applications on their merit. And the tribunal has given us a new date for us to come and argue the applications. So, the matter is adjourned for hearing of all the pending applications.

“We have a preliminary objection that the petition is not competent. They (PDP and Ashiru) have an application that they want the tribunal to direct that the ballots be counted one after the other in open court, and we intend to oppose those applications.”

According to him, the Electoral Act is in our favour, the Kaduna people have spoken. They picked Mal. El-Rufai and nothing is going to change that.

“We are here to defend the mandate the people have given to the governor. We intend to convince the tribunal that the petition lacks merit and it should be dismissed,” Mustapha said.

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Boko Haram: Army opens up on attack in Jakana, says personnel died in gun battle

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Troops of 212 Battalion deployed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Jakana, on Wednesday July 7, 2019 dealt with and neutralised unconfirmed number of Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists when they woefully attempted to infiltrate their base in dire need for logistics.

A statement from Col Ado Isa, Deputy Director Public Relations Operation LAFIYA DOLE on Friday said, the terrorists came at about 1845 hours in 7 Gun Trucks and fought fiercely to infiltrate the camp, but the attack was thwarted with heavy fire and bombardment by the gallant and patriotic troops who were vigilant and battle ready.

“The terrorists couldn’t bear the fire power any longer after loosing significant number of both equipment and personnel in an exchange of fire. They lost initiative and withdrew in disarray along the Benisheikh – Damaturu axis, – abandoning a damaged utility Gun truck which was earmarked to convey looted items.

“Troops immediately followed in hot pursuit and the following items were captured: 1 x Anti Aircraft Gun, 2 x Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) Tubes, 2 x AK 47 Rifles, 15 x Machine Gun rounds, 12 x AK 47 NATO rounds.

“Sadly, a Colonel and a Captain as well as 3 soldiers on transit from Maiduguri to Damaturu run into an ambush staged by the routed/fleeing terrorists from the Jakana axis which led to their unfortunate death.

“The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai while commiserating with the families of the fallen heroes reiterated that Personnel of the Nigerian Army will never be deterred in the ongoing noble and patriotic fight against terrorism and insurgency in the North East

“He further commended the efforts of the entire troops in the theatre and charged them to remain focus, highly committed and professional in the discharge of their constitutional roles.

“He said the sacrifices of the fallen heroes in the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency is no doubt painful to all, but that will further spur us to do more to ensure that our country remain secured, peaceful and free from terrorists activities for the overall interest of the nation,” the statement added

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Ashiru vs El-Rufai: PDP losses in court over Kaduna guber

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The 2019 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Kaduna State, Isa Ashiru lost his bid to get the Appeal Court in state to order a recount of votes of the last election in the state.

The appellate court on Thursday dismissed Ashiru and PDP’s appeal against the refusal of the State Governorship Petition Tribunal to order a recount of votes.

The tribunal had struck out Ashiru’s petition seeking for a recount of votes cast during the last election in the state for lack of merit.

Ruling on the motion on May 29, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Bako had held that the tribunal has a time frame of only 180 days to complete its assignment.

Justice Bako also refused the application for amendment of the motion, seeking to narrow the votes recount to only 12 local government areas of Kaduna state.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, PDP and Ashiru appealed the ruling at the Court of Appeal.

However, Justice Hussaini Muktar, in his judgment affirmed the orders of the tribunal and consequently refused to order for a recount of votes.

Justice Muktar held that counting of votes and making it an exhibit in court was part of a trial, which is capable of disposing off the main claim in the matter.

He stated that the Supreme Court frowned at that which allows a matter to be disposed off at a pre-trial conference.

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Boko Haram Kills Aid Worker In Borno, Three Others Missing

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Boko Haram militants have killed a member of the Action Against Hunger, Grace Taku, as well as a driver while three health workers are missing.

The incident happened when a convoy of the aid agency was heading to Damasak in Borno State.

The attack is coming a day after an army commander, colonel and some soldiers were ambushed in Yobe State by Boko Haram terrorists.

A statement by Action Against Hunger reads, “One of the drivers was killed, while one Action Against Hunger staff member, two of the drivers and three health workers are missing.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident as these are colleagues dedicated to providing life-saving assistance to individuals and families affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northeast of Nigeria. We are very concerned and want to ensure that they are safe and can be reunited with their families.

“Action Against Hunger strives to ensure that millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance in northeast Nigeria receive the essential services required for their survival, especially women and children.”

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