Niger Inaugurates Advisory Legal Team on Guber Poll

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By Laleye Dipo in Minna

Following its poor outing in the last governorship and House of Assembly elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State has set up a technical legal team to advise it on whether or not to pursue its case at the governorship election tribunal.

The decision was taken at an enlarged stakeholders’ meeting held at the party’s secretariat for several hours in Minna on Thursday.

Present at the meeting, which was presided over by the state Chairman, Alhaji Tanko Beji, were a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party and former governor of the state, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu; the governorship candidate of the party in the March 9 election, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko; his running mate, Mr Muhammed Ndayako; and all the zonal vice-chairmen, among others.

According to a source at the meeting, the legal team was made up of the state chairman, Beji, the state secretary, the gubernatorial running mate, the state legal adviser and a few others with legal background.

The legal team, according to the source, would study all available documents and results from the “field” and decide if the party should seek redress at the tribunal.

It was also gathered that the legal team should recommend reputable legal outfit that would handle its brief if eventually “we are to go to court”.

All those who spoke at the meeting, it was gathered, were convinced that the March 9 election was far from being free and fair and as such “we should do something about it”.

The stakeholders’ meeting came a few days after scores of women members of the party protested at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Minna, the party secretariat and residence of the governorship candidate Nasko.

The protesters were led by the trio of Hajia Talatu Salka, Mrs Dorothy Nuhu and Hajia Sadaatu Kolo.

In all the elections held in the state, the PDP lost to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Apart from losing the state to President Muhammadu Buhari, the PDP lost the three senatorial and 10 House of Representatives seat to the APC.

The party also lost the governorship contest and 27 assembly seats to the APC.

The Zonal Vice-Chairman of the party, Alhaji Yahaya Ability, when contacted confirmed the story, saying: “Nobody is happy about what happened. We put all we had into the contest yet they say we lost. We will challenge this to any level.”