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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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Kogi Assembly Moves To Impeach Deputy Gov, Asks Chief Judge To Set Up Panel

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The Kogi State House of Assembly on Tuesday directed the Chief Judge in the state, Justice Nasir Ajanah, to set up a seven-man committee to proceed with the impeachment of the deputy governor, Mr Simon Achuba.

The State House of Assembly  gave the directive during its  plenary in the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Lokoja, the state capital.

This followed a motion raised by the Majority Leader of the House, Abdullahi Bello, the lawmaker representing Ajaokuta state constituency.

The lawmaker cited Section 188 (4) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended to support his motion.

Bello further explained that he raised the motion following the allegation of gross misconduct levelled against the deputy governor by the House.

He maintained that  the failure of Mr Achuba to respond to the allegation within the 14 days given by law warranted no further debates, but for the next step to be taken.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Muhammed, from Ankpa State Constituency I, also seconded the motion.

Thereafter, the Speaker called for the voting of members in support and against the motion.

Nineteen out of the 25 members of the House voted in support of the motion.

The Speaker, thereby, directed the clerk of the House to communicate the directive of the lawmakers to the judicial arm of government in the state.

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Makinde appoints Owoseni, former Lagos, Benue Commissioner of Police, Special Adviser.

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Former Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Benue States, Mr. Fatai Owoseni has been appointed by the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, as his Special Adviser on Security Matters.

The Governor, according to a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, approved the appointment, which took effect from August 1.

The statement indicated that Owoseni’s appointment falls in line with the recognition of security as one of the four pillars of the Makinde administration in Oyo State.

Governor Makinde had also promised to unveil a new security architecture for the state before his first 100 days in office.

The Governor, in the letter of appointment, wished Mr. Owoseni, who has been working as a security consultant since his retirement from the police after 35 years of meritorious service, success in his new assignment.
Governor Makinde also urged Owoseni to discharge his duties with absolute loyalty and dedication.

The retired Commissioner of Police was born on August 17, 1962. He retired from the Nigeria Police with the enviable rank of Commissioner of Police earlier this year.

Owoseni, a holder of a Bachelor of Arts Bachelor in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of Benin and a Diploma in Police Management (DPM) from the University of Jos, as well as several certificates in police and professional courses at the local and international levels, began his police career in the early 80s.

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He rose through the ranks as an Inspector of Police and became the Commissioner of Police in charge of General Investigations at the   Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID), Abuja.

He also served as the Commissioner of Police (CP) in Lagos State, the commercial capital/nerve centre of Nigeria, which has a Police strength of over 30,000 personnel, the highest in the country.

He was reputed to have served more than two years on the Lagos hot seat, ranking among the five longest-serving (out of about 35) Commissioners of Police, who had served in the State.

While on his tour of duty in Lagos, he effectively harnessed and utilised the available human and material resources to ensure the safety of lives and properties as well as providing the enabling environment for the social and economic development of the former Nigerian Federal Capital city.

He was subsequently deployed to Benue State at the height of the Herdsmen and Farmers clashes and he was reputed to have recorded remarkable achievements towards quelling the spate of violence in the food basket state.

He equally served as Commissioner of Police (Administration), at the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, where he made immense contributions especially by ensuring the success of the collaborations between the UNDP and the Police towards the successful conduct of the 2015 general elections.
It is also on record that Owoseni contributed immensely to the overall performance of the Nigeria Police Force in the 2015 general elections particularly in the areas of personnel training and writing/production of “Handbook on guidelines for Police Officers deployed on election duties,” (the first time ever in the Police).

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The retired Commissioner of Police also served as an Expert on Mission and Seconded Staff (at managerial level -P5 position) to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), while he made significant input (UN Police Component) into the United Nations Security Council Resolution on UNAMID, including the different levels of support programmes offered to the African Union by the United Nations, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UN-DPKO).

The statement indicated that the newly-appointed Special Adviser on Security Matters is expected to bring his wealth of experience garnered over the decades through many local and international assignments to bear on the security situation in the Pacesetter State.

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Sanwo-Olu to Inaugurate Cabinet Tuesday

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Lagos State Executive Council will be fully inaugurated on Tuesday, according to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Governor said he would not delay the swearing-in of Commissioner- and Special Adviser-designates already cleared by the State House of Assembly. He spoke at the weekend while receiving a body of retired top civil servants under the aegis of the Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS).

Sanwo-Olu assured  that the wheel of governance would be in full gear before the end of the coming week, in fulfillment of his campaign promise to inaugurate his cabinet within 90 days. He added that new Permanent Secretaries would also be sworn in on Monday to complement the activities of Commissioners and Special Advisers.

“Next week, by God’s grace, we are swearing in all other complements of cabinet and also Permanent Secretaries to have the engine of governance on full swing. At that point, we believe that all the campaign promises we made can come to reality and Lagosians can benefit more from the choice they made at the last election”, he added.

The cabinet members are expected to be allocated their individual ministries during the inauguration ceremony, scheduled to start at 9am.

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The Governor described the body of retired civil servants as “valuable assets” to the state, noting that their actions while in service contributed to the “enviable height” Lagos attained among states in the nation.

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