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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

Breaking News: Ex-Governor Ajimobi’s Aide, Aboderin Joins PDP

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) nominee for the Ibadan Southeast/Northeast Federal House of Representatives in Oyo state during the 2019 general election, Deji Aboderin on Sunday dumped his party for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Aboderin was the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

He alleged that the party leadership worked against his electoral victory in the last election

Details later

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Crisis brews in Oyo APC over alleged plan to expel Shittu

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Fresh crisis is brewing in the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), following  alleged moves to expel former Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, from the party.

Leaders of the party in the state loyal to former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, were alleged of mounting pressure on executives of the party in his Ward 2 and Saki West local government area to expel him.

It was gathered that events leading to this began when four APC local government Chairmen representing Forum of APC Local Government Chairmen in Oyo State, paid a visit to the former Minister Shittu about a month ago preaching the need for reconciliation in the party which he did not object to.

A source at the meeting however disclosed that Shittu told the chairmen that to achieve genuine reconciliation there are conditions which must be met in order for the aggrieved members to have a sense of belonging.

The first condition which the former Minister said must be met according to the source was that members of the party particularly those who belonged to the Unity Forum group who purchased nomination forms during the last state congress but not allowed to be part of the party primaries must be refunded their money.

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Other condition was the dissolution of the party executives at all levels and to be reconstituted at the ratio of 50/50 between members loyal to Ajimobi called SENACO and the aggrieved members who belonged to Unity Forum which Shittu insisted were the only ones who bought forms during the last state congress.

The former Minister also said the state Chairman of the party must come from the Unity Forum, noting that the SENACO group has continued to produce the Chairman since the formation of the party in the state.

The source added that the party chairmen then assured Shittu that since they had the blessings of the leadership of the party in the state for their meeting with him and that they would deliver his message which they agreed with in totality to the right quarters.

“It was a frank discussions that the former Minister had with the party chairmen who told him that the meeting had the blessings of the leadership of the party in the state and that the conditions he gave were important and necessary for genuine reconciliation in the party.

“They then assured him that they would get back to him after reporting back to the leadership of the party with a promise that the meeting with him was a step in the right direction”, the source explained.

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He added that trouble started when the party chairmen reported back to the leadership of the party in the state who accused them of trying to hand over the party to Shittu and his group in Unity Forum with the conditions that they agreed with him at the detriment of members in SENACO group.

” To stop further agitation for genuine reconciliation by Shittu, a marching order was given to the executives of the party in his ward, Ward 2 and Saki West local government area to expel him from the party which the executives resisted, insisting that the former Minister is an important and reliable member who has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the party”.

 

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Not Yet Uhuru As Oyo Speaker  Still Under Impeachment Web 

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In spite of the intervention of former Governor Rashidi Ladoja to douse the impeachment tension in the Oyo State House of Assembly, it is difficult to conclude that plans to remove the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin have been finally laid to rest.

After close to a year that the Speaker, Ogundoyin has been in the saddle of  affairs in the state House of Assembly, there had been clandestine moves by some aggrieved members to boot the number three citizen of the state out of the power game.

Very recently, it became clear that there was something more serious to the aggrieved lawmakers than mere dousing tension. The dissatisfied camp are seriously strategizing on how to execute the impeachment process.

It was reliably gathered that the crux of the matter was their  loyalty to Governor Seyi Makinde which they claimed was not yielding any ‘fruitful benefits’ as expected.

Sources  told Mega Icon Magazine that the lawmakers are silently grumbling as they find it extremely difficult to service the loans they took from financial institutions. The sources revealed that the least loan obtained from these banks was twenty million naira (N20,000,000).

Unfortunately, before they agreed to a 30 per cent cut in their monthly allocation to assist the state government in its bid to pay salaries of workers as COVID-19 affects global economy, their monthly salaries and allowances was over two million naira.

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And; the deduction in support of COVID-19 include salaries and other monthly allowances.

“Let me shock you my brother, after deduction for the loans obtained, most of these lawmakers are left with only fifty thousand naira (N50,000) monthly and they have constituents to attend to in their various constituencies. No official car, constituency allowance to even facilitate any meaningful project.

“Now that they have agreed to a 30% cut in their monthly allocation, its really going to be hard. Thus, they feel that the Speaker, Ogundoyin who is aware of their plight has not been protecting their interests before Governor Makinde. They lamented of been sidelined by the Speaker and funny enough, the PDP controls this present House of Assembly conveniently.

“To them, Ogundoyin isn’t fit to lead the Assembly”, one of the sources disclosed.

Speaking further, he continued, “the Speaker is also perceived as an enemy by members whom were believed to be working with some people at the corridors of power. These people are loyal to the governor and are behind the alleged impeachment of the Deputy Governor, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan.

“They believed Ogundoyin is also doing the deputy governor’s bid and showing him the exit door would be the best option “.

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Interestingly, the new political twist in the Oyo State House of Assembly was to seek a revenge for the lawmaker representing Ibadan North East State Constituency I, Hon. Olagoke Akinajo, who was unceremoniously removed by the Speaker as the Chairman, House Committee on Public Works and Transport.

His colleagues, particularly, lawmakers from Ibadan land are ready to confront the Speaker on his decision which they considered as embarrassing. Olagoke is an Ibadan Mogaji.

However, other lawmakers that are also loyal to the Speaker, Hon. Ogundoyin are closely monitoring the political trend. Obviously, it is not yet Uhuru as pro and anti Ogundoyin still have an unsettled business to resolve.

But, only time will tell.

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