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Oyo South Senatorial District: Ajimobi May Reclaim Mandate As Irregularities Were Made Manifest

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Feelers from Oyo South Senatorial District Election Petition Tribunal showed that it is not yet over, as former Governor Abiola Ajimobi may reclaim mandate.

The former governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who was the All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s candidate for Oyo South Senatorial District, lost the senatorial bid to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Dr. Kola Balogun.

Mr Balogun, at the just concluded National Assembly election defeated his closest rival, Sen Abiola Ajimobi, of the All Progressives Congress, with a vote difference of 13,141

The PDP candidate scored a total of 105,720 votes while the candidate of the APC secured 92,579 votes as declared by the Returning Officer, Prof Kolawole Akinsola of the University of Ibadan.

Meanwhile, Ajimobi while congratulating the PDP candidate, Balogun, noted that there were a number of grievous infractions and established electoral malpractices.

However, not satisfied with the outcome of the election, the ex-Oyo state gaffer had approached the Election Petition Tribunal to sought solid legal redress in order to reclaim his mandate.

Interestingly, Chief Akin Olujimi SAN, the leading counsel to Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, during cross examinations, has not only successfully demonstrated; but established before the tribunal panel that the said election was marred with irregularities.

On Monday, 29th July, 2019, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) closed their cases. While closing its case (PDP), the PDP lawyer, Lekan Ojo SAN observed that there were typographical errors on some paragraphs in his reply to the petition, which include Paragraph II, requesting that the word ‘petitioner’ supposed to read ‘Respondent’, a prayer which was granted by by the Tribunal Panel.

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Shortly after the prayer had been granted by the lordships, it was time for cross examinations which eventually ended in mild drama.

Lekan Ojo SAN led the PDP agent, one Mr. Adebiyi through his submission that the election was properly conducted, free and fair. The party’s counsel, also asked the witness if he agreed that both the voters register and card reader were used for accreditation during the election which he answered in the affirmative, ‘Yes, my lord’

Few minutes after, it was the turn of the Petitioner Counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi SAN to cross examined the PDP witness.

Olujimi SAN : Witness, you said you were the PDP agent in the election

Witness (PDP Agent): Yes, my lord

Olujimi SAN : You also said earlier that voters register and card reader were used.

Witness: Yes, my lord

Olujimi SAN: Now, look at Exhibit P58 (2), (a document which was given to the witness).
The total number of accredited voters is what?

Witness (PDP Agent) : 136. The witness was later referred to Page 74, showing the card reader reports, but replied, “I didn’t see it”

Olujimi SAN: You didn’t see or what? Look at Page 74 properly, the total number of accreditation on the card reader reports is 132.

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Can you see that 136 is higher than 132 ?

Witness (PDP Agent): Yes, my lord

Another PDP witness, an agent named Adebayo Taofeek (NW4/Ogunpa Labaowo, South West Local Government) was led by the party’s lawyer through his submissions in his earlier reply sworn on oath.

Having prayed for the court to adopt it and granted

The witness also testified that the election was properly conducted, and that it was free and fair.

Thereafter, the Petitioner counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi SAN further cross examined him .

Olujimi SAN: Witness, check form EC8A, what is the total number of accredited voters?

Witness: 199

Olujimi SAN: Look at column six, what is the total number of rejected ballot papers?

Witness: 7

Olujimi SAN: Sum up valid votes and rejected ballot papers on Column seven. I.e Valid votes (199) + Rejected Votes (7)

Witness: 206 (Total number of accredited voters)

Olujimi SAN: Witness, look at Exhibit P146 (B) for Voters register. The total number of voters ticked is 227.

You said earlier that the card reader and voters register were used. Now, you can see that the two are not thesame

Though, the PDP lawyer, had earlier promised to present five witnesses to the court, but closed his case after two witnesses had earlier been cross examined .

Having closed their cases, the legal team has discovered and demonstrated plethora of irregularities, over-voting, cancellation, creation of illegal additional polling Units among others. If valid votes are counted as discovered in the Tribunal,  Ajimobi may coast to victory.

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However, there are only possible rulings on the matter and they are :

1. Ajimobi being declared outright Winner

2. Rerun election outrightly or in specific units/wards.

3. Dr. Balogun retaining the mandate.

Time will tell, the tribunal panel has demonstrated great professionalism and clear understanding of the rule of laws and impartiality in handling the matter.

The Panel has further directed the parties involved in the matter to write their final addresses as the adoption of addresses is billed for 19th August, 2019, after which a date would be agreed on for the ruling or judgment.

 

(C) Mega Icon Magazine

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Politics

Oyo 2019 governorship elections, a failed project for Adelabu?

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It is no news that the  horse race to Agodi Government House in Oyo State has come and gone, electorates have decided, while every political gladiators are nursing their wounds.

Today, Governor Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (GSM)  of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the landlord of the Agodi Government House for the next three (3) years, and his party members, presently control the Oyo State House Of Assembly with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Action Democratic Party, (ADP) forming the opposition.

Interestingly, the residents of the state in their numbers were busy accessing the performance of Governor Seyi Makinde in the last 12 months based on the pyramid of success ladder, while some were still in euphoria rejoicing at cooling spots to celebrate his victory.

With the help of the coalition arrangement midwived by a former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, the beneficiary of the arrangement, Engr. Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 515, 621 votes to defeat his closest rival, Oloye Adebayo Adelabu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who secured 357,982 votes.

Meanwhile, the  three governorship candidates that sacrificed their ambitions for Govrrnor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are Senator Olufemi Lanlehin of Action Democratic Congress (ADC), Barrister Sharafadeen Alli of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) . These political gladiators in the state aimed at forming a government of national unity; unfortunately, the agreement was breached and the coalition went sour.

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With this revelation, did Adebayo Adelabu feels that he had failed? The answer is NO, according to political pundits. As a new entrant into politics, his performance at the poll was commendable and it beams ray of hope of a better political future ;if some measures are put in place.

Our  investigations revealed that the progressive party in Oyo state, even when the late governor and the leader of the progressives, Alhaji Onaolapo Lamidi Adesina led the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011, the party’s guber nominee, late Sen. Abiola Ajimobi defeated the then incumbent governor, Otunba Alao Akala of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by securing 420, 852 against 387, 132.

In a related development, in 2015, late Abiola Ajimobi became the ‘Koseleri of Oyo state’ under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by breaking the second term jinx. He polled 327,310, to defeat his brother, former governor  Ladoja of the Accord Party scored 254,520 and others.

Considering these figures, it is obvious that Oloye Adebayo Adelabu performed extremely well in the last election, a feat he achieved through members of the progressives in the state who supported his ambition. This political calculation and permutation signify that the Obafemi Awolowo University trained accountant appeared to have an edge, but needs to improve on his relationship skills as a prominent political figure in the state.

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According to the pundits, Adelabu must work on the politics of the ‘Gate Keepers ‘ and that of the Critical Success Factor’ (CSF) to accomplish his political ambition.

Oyo state housed Muslims, Christians and traditional worshipers, thus the need for proper religious identity in regards of governorship election.

People believed that Oloye Bayo Adelabu was a converted Christian, until the ‘sudden’ addition of ‘Abdulwaheed’ to his name.

The Muslims in the state observed that being a Muslim transcends mere name bearing. They insisted the community would be more pleased if Adelabu can take further practical steps to prove that he is really a Muslim.

No doubt, Adelabu is stylish, intelligent, strategic and has brilliant ideas toward Oyo state development, but needs to intensify efforts on these grey areas. By 2023, it is predicted that the party’s primary would be an interesting one as political juggernauts in the state surreptitiously expressed interests.

However, only time will tell.

 

Idowu Ayodele

Political Desk,

Mega Icon Magazine 

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2023: APC to embark on fresh membership registration as Oyo Unity Forum returns

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Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has resolved to carry out a fresh registration of party members which is expected to usher in a new leadership for the party as the break-away faction of the party in Oyo State – ‘The Unity Forum’, agreed to give peace a chance by returning into the fold of the mainstream APC.

It was also resolved that the party will soon hold congresses to elect new executives in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory and; thereafter hold a convention latest by January 2021, adding that this will afford the party ample time to sufficiently resolve political issues that might arise before 2023.

The leadership of the splinter group- Unity Forum who disclosed this on Thursday at a stakeholders meeting held at Premier Hotel, Ibadan also urged their supporters and other members of the party to see themselves as one, emphasizing that the need to come together is necessary to reclaim the Agodi Government House.

The meeting had in attendance Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Professor Adeolu Akande, former Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Senators Olufemi Lanlehin, Adesoji Akanbi, Ayo Adeseun and Alhaji Abu Gbadamosi .

Others included Chief Goke Oyetunji, Barrister Niyi Akintola, Alhaji Fatal Ibikunle, Honourables Saheed Fijabi, Bosun Oladele and Sunbo Olugbemi.

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Representatives of the forum, Senators Ayo Adeseun, Olufemi Lanlehin and former Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu who were at the various reconciliation meetings in Abuja gave account of the meetings with the National Reconciliation Committee. They enjoined all members of the APC to shun any action that could derail the peace initiative in the party.

Contained in the communiqué jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Communique Drafting  Committee, Alhaji Waheed Olajide and Professor Adeolu Akande respectively, the chieftains explained that all contentious issues within the party have been examined and resolved , urging members to work for the unity of the party.

The communiqué read, “members of the APC in Oyo State were implored to resolve their differences and work for the unity of the party.

“All contentious issues that led to the crisis in the party were examined and addressed.

“The members were informed that there would soon be fresh registration of all members at a date to be announced.

“They were informed that the party will soon hold congresses to elect new executives in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

” The party will thereafter hold a convention latest by January 2021.

“The two groups that attended the meeting with the committee were directed to nominate three (3) members each that will oversee the fresh registration of all members with the executive committee of the party.

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“Another meeting of selected leaders and representatives of stakeholders in the party in Oyo State is scheduled to hold in Ibadan on Sunday September 20.2020. It will be hosted by Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State”, the report continued.

The stakeholders deliberated over the communiqué and accepted all the proposals.

They, however mandated the representatives to the Abuja meetings to select the three members that will work with others on the fresh registration of members.

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Edo Decides: Voters Choice Will Be Respected, Says INEC

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Tuesday informed that the electoral body is committed to conducting free, fair and credible election in Edo State.

Speaking during a Peace Accord organised by the National Peace Committee in Benin, the INEC chief maintained that the commission remains neutral, assuring  that the choice of Edo voters will be respected in the election.

He said, “I wish to assure you of INEC’s commitment to credible elections. The votes will count. The people of Edo State will determine who becomes their next governor.  Their choice will be upheld.

“Let me also reassure you and the voters in Edo State of the commission’s neutrality. I call on all political parties and their candidates to abide by the letter and spirit of the peace accord”.

Yakubu further asked political candidates to allow the signed Peace Accord serve as a covenant with the people of the state.

He wants them to maintain peace before, during and after the September 19 election to avoid bloodshed.

His remarks came 24 hours after he reiterated the commission’s readiness to smoothly conduct the election.

Yakubu who spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting in Benin City, stressed that INEC will not undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

“The Commission shall not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate. Our focus is on our processes and procedures, nothing more”.

Yakubu added that the commission has recruited, trained and carefully screened all categories of ad hoc staff to be deployed to the field.

He also revealed that sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the election have been delivered in the state, noting that voter education and sensitisation are ongoing.

“We have made arrangements for the movement of personnel and materials to all polling units on election day.

“The Commission has taken every step and made every arrangement for the election holding this weekend.”

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