Kogi Guber: AA national chair confirms abduction of 3 witnesses at tribunal venue

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By Lanre Oloyede

The National chairman of the Action Alliance (AA) Barrister Kenneth Udeze has confirmed the abduction of three witnesses that were meant to buttress the party’s petition at the the National Judicial Institute in Abuja, venue of the Kogi State Governorship Petition Tribunal.

Political thugs were alleged to have abducted three witnesses associated with Olayinka Braimoh, the AA governorship candidate in the November 2023 election in Kogi state on February, 26th, 2024

The witnesses were allegedly whisked away from the National Judicial Institute in Abuja, venue of the Kogi State Governorship Petition Tribunal.

The three abducted witnesses were identified as Idris Khadijat, Safiyat Muhammed and Abdulmalik Muhammed.

However, a statement signed by the State APC chairman, Abdullahi Bello debunked the rumours that said witnesses were abducted.

Bello in the statement categorically refuted the mischievous allegation that any of its supporters abducted the witnesses of the Action Alliance political Party or even had any altercation with any Witness.

The chairman described the allegation as false, coming from mischief makers bent on tarnishing the image of the party and whip up sentiments with the ulterior motive of prejudicing the mind of the tribunal and the public against the APC.

The statement went further to confirm that the Chairman of the Kogi State Chapter of the party was in Court on the said 26th February 2024 adding that he did not witness any such incidences but was only informed of a fracas which occurred between persons who were outside the tribunal complex.

Speaking on Tuesday at the party’s national Secretariat in Kubwa Abuja when the Coalition of the United Political Parties (CUPP) led by its secretary Chief Peter Ameh paid a solidarity/consultative visit to the party, Udeze said, “It is a very sad and terrible situation. I want to confirm officially that three of Action Alliance witnesses for that Election Petition Tribunal were abducted and as a matter of fact they are still missing till today.

“This is the kind of country we find ourselves. A situation where a governorship candidate sees some loopholes to prove that the election that was conducted in Kogi was not free and fair, and in order not to behave like thugs, he decided to explore the legal means in order to correct the anomaly in the election only for intimidation to be coming from left right and center from the APC government that won the election in Kogi State.

“I am using this opportunity to really condemn it in its entirety the threats and intimidation against the candidate of the action Alliance in Kogi State. I am confirming it, it is exactly what happened”

Speaking at the event, the National Secretary of CUPP Chief Peter Ameh, noted that one thing that allow for dictatorship to take root is when there is gap between citizens participation, citizen’s advocacy and action. “When there is that gap and you allow those in government to continue to work without participation because participation is key I’m making sure that our points, our ideas and believe in the democratic system is pushed to a point where we hold our leaders accountable.

“So for us in the corps and those who are the leaders of the Corps like the national chairman of AA, while their Motto is let the masses live, it is about working for the masses of Nigeria, it is about driving policies and programs that will protect the masses of Nigeria because without the masses there is no nation.

“When governance becomes self centered, and policies start biting hard to the point where trucks and warehouses are being looted, people go to warehouses to look for food, then there is need for political party leadership to speak up and that is why we are here to pay a courtesy/consultation visit to his office to speak about the issues and the ills of Nigeria, and also issues of Multi Party democratic practice in Nigeria.

“That is why we are talking about the next national Constitutional Reform that is coming up, that political parties must participate, because we need the survival of political parties like AA, ADC, SDP, NRM and all the other parties including APP.

“Our democratic system would be truly enriched and deepened to a point that would allow the son of a man born in Nyanya, the son of a man, born in Agage, shogunle, Shomolu, fadeyi and the son of a man born in Ogun to compete with those who are born in Ikoyi, Asokoro and Maitama, to have the same level of participatory platform.

“This he said will deliver a country where the right of every citizen is protected, where the rights of those who protect us are also protected to work in the armed forces. So for all these reasons and so many issues that have bedevilled our democratic practice even our economy and the social environment.

“That is why we felt it is very important that voices like these must be encouraged, must be supported given all the background that is needed to push forward because it is about solidarity in practice and defence of our country, Solidarity for ever

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Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal relocated to Abuja

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, had relocated the Kogi Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal from Lokoja to Abuja.

The relocation was not unconnected with security breaches against members of staff of the tribunal who have been attacked on several occasions in Loloja.

Speaking to issues raised by his guests, the AA chairman said.

“It is our responsibility to make sure that the issues that have to do with governance are well taken care of in this country.

“The situation in the country is terrible, people looting everywhere people looking for where to see food. We have never found it so terrible in this country.”

He called on the Federal Government of Nigeria and the body that supervises electoral process to make sure that the issue of multi political party Democracy is being encouraged.

He said, it is not the era for delisting political parties as Nigeria is a great nation that even 200 political parties are not enough.

“I don’t see reason why we keep deregistering political parties that have what it takes to rally support for the development of our nascent democracy.

“If you are calling anything that has to do with constitutional National Conference in this country, you must look for those leaders of political parties who have contributed in one way or the other to get to the level we are in the Nigeria.

He expressed appreciation to the CUPP leadership for the visit to one of its Allies.