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EKIFEST’s tool for cultural re-armament, youth development – Alawe, Commission for Youths

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The Chairman Ekiti State Council for Traditional Rulers, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi has described the resuscitation of Ekiti State Festival for Arts and Culture, EKIFEST by Governor  Kayode Fayemi as an act of saving this generation from the contempt of generation next, while the State Commissioner for Youths and Sport Development, Mr Michael Awopetu said that EKIFEST would be a platform for cultural re-armament and tool for socio-behavioural re-engineering of our youths

Oba Alabi and Commissioner Awopetu made these observations in a separate forum while hosting some members of EKIFEST 2019 Steering Committee led by Professor Rasaki Ojo – Bakare, Festival Consultant, which includes Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre , Director – General , Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Banji Adelusi , Director of Culture and Prince Caleb Osasona , Chairman, Network for Ekiti State Creative Artists, NECA, and others in their respective base .

Oba Alabi, a diplomat by career who had served Nigeria in Jamaica and the Caribbean before mounting the stool promised to support the Committee for a successful festival said that the desire to host EKIFEST by the state government is a genuine desire by the government to stoke the economics of the state via cultural – tourism initiative.

He pointed out that the cultural festival celebration is a multi-dollar revenue spinner which countries like Jamaica, The Gambia, India, Brazil, have explored to boost their economies and which Ekiti – State government must tap early and enhance spiritedly

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Oba Alabi reaffirmed his commitment to the success of EKIFEST 2019 adding that obas in Ekiti would support the event with everything legally possible as “ apart from showcasing our heritage, it will also boost the economy of the state “

He applauded the efforts of the Director-General of the Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre at branding the arts and culture sector in Ekiti – State.

Oba Alabi said that “the selection of Prof Ojo Bakare as the Festival Consultant is apt, prim, fit and appropriate. I remember that this Prof from Ekiti State was the one hired by the Federal Government of Nigeria to train Nigerians in Diaspora Jamaica on cultural etiquette and values when I was still in the diplomatic service in Jamaica .”

“I have complete confidence and trust that the duo of Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre and Professor Rasaki Ojo Bakare, who I have worked within Jamaica will package the best EKIFEST for the State “

Reinforcing Oba Alabi’s view, the Ekiti State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr Awopetu disclosed that EKIFEST 2019 would be used as a platform to forge cultural altruism among the youths

He revealed “Our youths are caught in the web of cultural confusion due to globalisation, religious indoctrination and colonial infiltrations. An event such as EKIFEST is a potent platform where cultural rejuvenation and revival can be endeared to our youth. It is on this note that my Ministry will not only support this festival but will go many miles at mobilizing the youths to actively participate in all the programmes “

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King Femi Ariyo, one of the music icons in Ekiti who was surprised by the visit of the Committee members to his house in Ilawe said that “Governor Fayemi is a surprise. I am short of words but what I can tell you people is that Governor Fayemi is God sent, he is doing what nobody expects in the arts and culture sector. Imagine his Committee led by the first Professor of Dance in Africa and Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre and others counting me worthy of a visit. Look, EKIFEST is a success “

In summary, Prof Ojo Bakare craved for support for EKIFEST and revealed that EKIFEST 2019 is a cultural migration from dance, entertainment and fun to empowerment and economic development which all Ekiti must witness and participate

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WCC condemns killing of Nigerian Christian Brethren leader

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Upon hearing news that Church of the Brethren leader Lawan Andimi was executed by Boko Haram on 20 January, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned the brutal act of violence and expressed his sincere condolences to Rev. Andimi’s family, community and church.

Andimi was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, serving as district secretary for the Michika area, and was chair of the Christian Association of Nigeria for the Michika area.

“We have lost a brother who worked for peace, who worked for ecumenism, and whose life has been cut short by senseless violence,” said Tveit.

Andimi was reported missing on 3 January, a day after an attack on Michika by Boko Haram. His abduction gained international attention when, on 5 January, his captors released a video in which he professed his Christian faith.

“We denounce this violence as an act of hate toward someone who dedicated his life to God and to the service of others,” said Tveit. “We pray for justice and comfort for his family and loved ones. And I appeal urgently to the Nigerian government and authorities to ensure the protection of people targeted by violent extremists because of their religious or other identity.”

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Andimi was originally from Kwada village in the Chibok area.

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LG Dissolution: Malami’s letter not served on us – Oyo AG reacts

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The Government of Oyo State has rejected the purported intervention of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) & Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) in the raging controversy over local government dissolution in the state.

Attorney-General of the state, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, in a four-page response to a letter by the AGF, said that though the AGF did not submit the said letter to his office, he had to source the same from the social media in view of the weighty nature of the issues.

According to Prof. Oyewo, the AGF has no business dabbling into the matter of local government dissolution in Oyo State which is pending before the Court of Appeal.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa indicated on Thursday, that the statement credited to Malami was uncalled for, misguided and lacking in merit, as far as the constitution of Nigeria is concerned.

The Government of Oyo State maintained that Malami’s letter dated 14 January, 2020, was written without adequate information and knowledge of the current position of the subject matter of dissolution of local government in the State.

According to the statement, the issue of local government dissolution in Oyo state is a subject of stay/appeal that is pending before the Court of Appeal in two cases including Governor of Oyo State Vs Basorun Bosun Ajuwon, Appeal no CA/IB/300/2019 and Basorun Majeed Bosun Ajuwon Vs Governor of Oyo State CA/IB/362/2019.

“It is also instructive to note that parties have filed their respective briefs of argument and the appeals have now been fixed for the 19th of February, 2020,” the statement reads.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in Oyo State equally declared that only the court and not the AGF could pronounce an order on the matter, which was sub judice.
The Government called on Malami to rise above partisan politics and advise parties to await judgment of the court in the various appeals.

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The Government added that the Constitution of the country had empowered States to ensure the existence and functioning of local governments, noting that it was not aware of any Act of the National Assembly that empowered the AGF to write the letter in which he purportedly barked orders at the State Government.

In the rejoinder entitled “RE: ALLEGED UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF DISSOLUTION OF ELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS AND APPOINTMENT OF CARETAKER COMMITTEES: THE URGENT NEED FOR COMPLIANCE WITH EXTANT JUDICIAL DECISIONS,” Professor Oyewo said: “I wish to note that your letter Ref. No, HAGF/OYO/2020/Vol.1/1 of 14th January, 2020 dealing with the above subject matter was never served on us, but we read about it and had to secure a copy from the social media.

“I must note that under Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which you referred to in your letter, it is the Law of the State Government that is to ensure the existence of the system of Local Government by democratically elected Local Government Council by providing for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils and not a Federal Law/Act.

“It is therefore not clear under what Act of the National Assembly the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice was acting in writing the letter under reference.

“It should be borne in mind that our Constitution has established a Federal system of government whereby the state government is not under the command of the Federal Government, neither are we under Military Era when the Federal Government could give a binding order to the State Government by mere proclamation and at will. We are now in a civilian dispensation and the position of every officer whether at the Federal or State level is guided by the provisions of the Constitution and relevant law.”

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The Oyo AG referred the AGF to two cases including Attorney-General Lagos Vs Attorney-General Federation (2004) 18 N.W.LR (PT.S 904)II and Attorney General Abia Vs Attorney-General Federation(2002) 6 N.W.L.R (PT. 763)264.

The letter continued: “We are of the firm belief that your letter under reference was written without adequate information and knowledge of the current position with respect to the subject matter of Local Government Dissolution in Oyo State. A careful diligent search would have shown that the issue of Dissolution of Local Government in Oyo is presently a subject matter of stay/appeal and pending at the Court of Appeal in the following cases; a.) Governor of Oyo State vs Basorun Bosun Ajuwon Appeal NO CA/IB/300/2019 and b.) Basorun Majeed Bosun Ajuwon vs Governor of Oyo State CA/IB/362/2019.”

The Government of Oyo State, however, took exception to perceived threats by Malami, especially his directive to some federal agencies to “ensure compliance,” noting that until the constitutional right of appeal, which is guaranteed in the country’s adjudicatory system, is exhausted, Malami had no right to dabble in the matter of the local government dissolution or threaten the State.

“We, therefore, want to advise the Attorney-General of the Federation to rise above partisan politics and advise parties to await judgment of the court in the various appeals. To do otherwise is to foist a fait accompli on the court.

As a law-abiding Government, we are prepared to abide by the decision of the court when eventually delivered. We are, however, unperturbed by the subtle threat in your letter and your directives to take steps to ensure compliance of a cited judgment in which Oyo State was never a party and on a live matter in which an appeal is pending.

“For the avoidance of doubt, please note further that in Oyo State, the issue of Local Government administration is presently before the court of competent jurisdiction and by our adjudicatory system, whoever is aggrieved by the decision of a court has the constitutional right of appeal. Until such right is exhausted, the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice cannot dabble into such matter. We are aware of the provisions of Section 174 (1) to (3) of the CFRN, 1999 (as amended) but they only relate to criminal proceedings and not civil matters as in this case. The action of the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice is therefore uncalled for with respect to a matter that is sub judice. It is only a court of law that can given such an order and not the office of the Attorney-General & Minister of Justice. All the cases referred to in your letter mentioned above are not on all fours with the present cases involving Oyo State because the facts are not the same. A case is an authority for what it decides.

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“It will therefore be in interest of justice to allow the rule of law to prevail by letting the pending cases involving Oyo State on the dissolution of Local Governments in Oyo State to run their full course in the law courts.”

 

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Crime & Court

Just In: Court Acquits Ex-Oyo Lawmaker, Olafisoye Accused In Sugar’s Death

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Former Chief Whip of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Olafisoye Akinmoyede was today Thursday, 23rd January, 2020 discharged and acquitted by a High Court No. 7, Ring Road, Ibadan over two count charges of murder preferred against him and three others.

The accused, Hon. Olafisoye Akinmoyede, Alh. Rafiu Alimi, Alhaji Rasheed Oladele and Kazeem Ayinde were standing trial over an alleged involvement in the death of late Temitope Olatoye popularly known as ‘Sugar’, who was shot dead during the March 9, 2019 gubernatorial and State House of Assembly election in Nigeria.

According to Justice Mufutau Adegbola, who delivered the judgment in suit No. I/70c/2019, the prosecution counsel has not provided any of the ingredients of murder to connect the accused with the murder of the deceased, Hon. Temitope Olatoye Sugar.

Justice Mufutau Adegbola added that the PW1 who is the star witness in the case, Mr Olajide Olatoye, a younger brother to the deceased when putting on oath, submitted that none of all the four accused was involved in the murder of his elder brother, but one Jelili Okanlomo who is still at large, committed the crime.

The court thereafter dismissed the two count charges and acquitted all the four accused persons with no other as to cost.

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Counsel to the defendants in his reaction, Barr. Michael Lana who was represented by Barr. Adeboye Adetayo lauded the Judge for a well considered judgment, adding that the defendants have been found not to be guilty of the charges against them.

Reacting to the judgment, Hon. Olafisoye Akinmoyede said that God has vindicated him over the allegation levelled against him on the death of Hon. Sugar, stressing that today, truth has finally prevailed with the court’s verdict that acquitted and discharged him.

The ex-lawmaker  who used the occasion to once again commiserate with the family, friends and associates of Hon. Sugar over his death, prayed God Almighty to continue to fill the vacuum that his death has created and grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.

He expressed his profound appreciation to all the traditional institutions in Lagelu Local Government, leaders and members of the All Progresives Congress (APC) Lagelu LG, his family, friends, religious leaders and the entire Lalupon indigenes led by Hon. Oribayo Okeyode for their support and prayers throughout the period of the litigation.

While calling on the people in the State to continue to support the present administration under the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde to achieve all his lofty agenda, Hon. Akinmoyede pointed out that the Governor has demonstrated his readiness to take the State to greater heights through the modest achievements he has recorded within just eight months he has spent in office.

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