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Sen. Ademola Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Osun 2018 Governorship Election said he had instructed his counsels to challenge the appeal court judgement which upheld Gov. Gboyega Oyetola election at the Supreme court.

Adeleke, in a statement made available to newsmen in Osogbo on Thursday said he received the appeal court judgement with dissatisfaction.

According to him, the judgment of the appeal court relied on weak technical foundation, while the substantive issue which formed the basis of the lower tribunal judgement was relegated to the background.

I received with dissatisfaction the judgement of the Court of Appeal on the ruling of the election petition tribunal which had duly returned me as the validly elected governor of Osun state.

“I have subsequently instructed my counsel to prepare for an appeal against today’s judgement at the Supreme Court immediately.

“Today’s judgement relied on weak technical foundation.

“The substantive issue which formed the basis of the lower tribunal judgement was relegated to the background.

“We are reviewing the full ruling and action has already commenced to appeal the judgement and ensure the eventual retrieval of the stolen mandate,” Adeleke said.

He, however, urged the people of the state not to be downcast, saying that the struggle for good governance and retrieval of People’s mandate cannot be truncated by any flawed judgement.

“We are taking the legal battle further to the topmost court in the land. I am confident the apex court will upturn today’s unsustainable ruling.

“To all members of PDP in Osun State and my campaign organisation, the struggle is now at the most critical stage.

“We cannot waiver nor slow down. We must forge ahead in high spirit until final victory is attained.

“In this endeavour, I promise to provide the leadership as the genuine governorship mandate holder in Osun State” Adeleke said.

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal nullified the judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

The tribunal had in its verdict of Friday, March 22, 2019, declared the PDP and its candidate, Sen. Adeleke, the winner of the Sept. 22, 2018 polls.

However, Justice Jummai Sankey, read the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal on Thursday. Justices Abubakar Yahaya, Isaiah Akeju and Bitrus Sanga agreed with the lead verdict.

A fifth member of the appellate court, Justice Ita Mbaba, disagreed and upheld the election tribunal’s verdict that gave the victory to Adeleke.

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2019 election not perfect, but better than previous elections, says EU EOM



The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria has said that the 2019 general elections has showed significant improvement compared to previous elections held in the country.

Marie Arena, chief observer and leader of the mission, said this on Saturday in Abuja while presenting the mission’s final report on the general election.

Arena, while reacting to questions from journalists, said the current administration has implemented many of the recommendations the mission made in 2015.

She listed some of the “prominent items” that were recommended and have been implemented to include “the development and maintenance of a functional voter register, the merger of the accreditation and voting processes for ease for voters, improving the sanction powers of INEC, increasing the number of polling units, immediate display of results in collation centres, more involved participation of civil society and citizen observation among others.”

The EOM has since 1999, observed all general election in Nigeria. Its previous reports had highlighted “serious issues” with the electoral processes in the country.

In 2003, the mission said the elections held under former President Olusegun Obasanjo were “marred by serious irregularities and frauds.

“In a number of States the minimum standards for democratic elections were not met. EU EOM observers witnessed and obtained evidence of widespread electoral fraud,” it had said.

The mission had also said that the “highly competitive” 2015 elections “were marred by incidents of violence, abuse of incumbency at state and federal levels, and attempts at manipulation.”

In its preliminary report on the 2019 polls, the EOM said Nigerian soldiers barred them from monitoring elections in Rivers state.

Arena also decried the violence, underage voting, and vote-buying, which she claimed marred the governorship and house of assembly elections in some states.

The court of appeal, in April, said 736 petitions had been filed to challenge the outcome of the general election.

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We are ready to reform Electoral processes ahead of 2023, says INEC



The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has restated the commission’s determination to reform the country’s electoral process.

Yakubu said that the processes for the reform of electoral processes were already ongoing ahead of the 2023 elections in the country.

The INEC Chairman noted that the various recommendations, including that of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in the 2019 polls, would form major inputs in the areas of reform.

Yakubu, who spoke at a meeting with the Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission, Maria Arena in Abuja pointed out that a report will be submitted to the newly inaugurated Ninth National Assembly at the end of its review of last general elections.

According to him “we shall study your recommendations and we shall engage with the leadership of the 9th National Assembly on areas that require legislation while implementing aspects of the reform within the powers of the Commission in full consultation with stakeholders.

“There is so much work to do but little time ahead of us. The EU has been part of Nigeria’s steady progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999.

The INEC chairman noted that the EU recommendation to his Commission that it should merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, has been implemented as the electoral umpire experimented with it when it conducted governorship election in Bayelsa 2015.

He pointed out that the 30 observations and recommendations made available by the EU election observation mission in 2015 would among others, be instrumental to the improvement of Nigeria’s electoral processes, adding that this will include the consolidation of the country’s democratic system since 1999.

According to INEC chairman the recommendation by the EU that INEC would merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, a system which was tested ran during the Bayelsa governorship election of December 2015 remains invaluable till date.

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Igbos Yoruba!! must come together as One without achieving this, Nigeria won’t exist” – Ooni



The Arole Oodua & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II on Friday played host to His Royal Highness, Igwe Cyprian Mmaduabuchi Nevobasi, Ezeani III of Mmaku, Enugu State and other prominent Igbo leaders, who were at his Ile-Oodua palace, Ile Ife in the State of Osun on a royal homage.
While welcoming the visiting Igbo monarch and his entourage, Ooni Ogunwusi who is a co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) described the Yoruba people of South Western part of Nigeria and their Igbo counterpart in the South East as two inseparable African races who if well united as a family and with other tribes would form a formidable block as a catalyst towards building a unified Nigerian nation and the continent of Africa.
“We need to cement our togetherness in this country because without the coming together of the Igbo and the Yoruba natives, it will be very difficult for Nigeria and the entire continent of Africa to progress. We are the real embodiment of the black people and the continent of Africa is looking forward to us.
“Handshake across the Niger like this is very important because we belong to the same family, so we should not separate ourselves the more. Let us look into things that bind us together like our rich cultures and traditions.
“We want to tell you today that we are now directly associating from the Kingdom of Ife to the entire Mmakun Kingdom in Igboland and Your Royal Highness have cemented that good relationship with this visit.
“Once again, I appreciate your philanthropic and leadership works especially towards the poor, oppressed and the downtrodden in Enugu and beyond, since you ascended the throne of your forebears some 20 years ago. I am proud to associate with you after hearing so much about you and I am so happy that we eventually met. Ooni Ogunwusi said.
Earlier in his address, Igwe Cyprian Mmadubuchi who described the Ooni as a symbol of unity explained that he was thrilled by his navigation across Nigeria, provision of veritable road map for social integration, cultural inter-face, engagements and healing wounds.
“Your Imperial Majesty the Ooni, I commend your courage and candour for championing this strategic initiative on behalf of other traditional rulers. As I earlier said is because as custodian of tradition and culture of the people, we are expected to be in the vanguard of ensuring national unity and cohesion in the country”.
Igwe Cyprian stressed that,
“I am loyal to your Imperial Majesty and I am here to assure you that you have found your missing ribs in the South East. I have seen with my eyes that you are a moving train, you have proven to our nation that you are a great leader we can trust and we are following you.
“Infact, If we Africans were Catholic, you are the black Pope.” the Igbo monarch added
Similarly, Alaagba of Aagba in the State of Osun, Oba Rufus Ogunwole who was instrumental to the Igwe’s visit to Ile Ife, expressed his heartfelt joy over the history making day. He recalled that he secured Ooni’s permission to visit the Igwe when he was invited to visit the Enugu community in 2017, after which the relationship has been so cordial.
The event also witnessed various traditional performances from the Igbo dancers and their Yoruba counterparts as well as drummers among others. Thereafter, the Ooni offered prayers with the breaking of kola nuts and bitter colas which he said were first discovered in Ile-Ife.

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Senate Presidency: Fani-Kayode congratulates Ahmed Lawan for his victory



Femi Fani-Kayode, former Aviation minister, has congratulated Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe North on his emergence as the Senate President.
Lawan Tuesday was declared winner of the election to the office of the Senate Presidency of the 9th National Assembly after he polled the highest number of votes.
This followed a hitch-free election on Tuesday at the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly.
The election, which was presided by Mohammed Ataba-Omolori, saw the Yobe Senator scoring 79 votes after ballots sorting.
Reacting in a tweet, Fani-Kayode wrote: “Congratulations to Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan who has emerged as Nigeria’s Senate President. May God guide you.

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Buhari’s name not included In the list of African Presidents by US



The Corporate Council on Africa, in partnership with the government of Mozambique, will host the 12th United States, US-Africa Business Summit, this year, in Maputo, from June 18 to 21, with at least 12 African Presidents expected to grace the event.

President Muhammadu Buhari is not however, included in the list of the Heads of States.

The Summit will bring together more than 1,000 American and African private sector Executives, international Investors, senior government Officials, and multilateral Stakeholders.

Twelve African Heads of States are confirmed as Speakers at the Summit, taking place at the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre.

Among them are: Filipe Nyusi, President, Republic of Mozambique; King Mswati III, Kingdom of Eswatini; Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda; Hage Geingob, President, Republic of Namibia; Uhuru Kenyatta, President, Republic of Kenya; and José Mário Vaz, President, Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

Others are: Peter Mutharika, President, Republic of Malawi; Peter Mutharika, President, Republic of Malawi; Edgar Lungu, President, Republic of Zambia; Mokgweetsi Masisi, President, Republic of Botswana; Emmerson Mnangagwa, President, Republic of Zimbabwe; Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President, Republic of Equatorial Guinea; and Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister, Republic of Uganda.

Senior US Government officials from key American Agencies, including the Department of Commerce, OPIC, Department of State, MCC, USAID, USTDA, EX-IM, and others, will also be at the Summit, and will announce the latest developments in US-Africa.

Themed: “Advancing a Resilient and Sustainable Partnership”, the Corporate Council on Africa’s 2019 Summit, will engage key US and African government Officials and decision makers, to discuss their strategies, vision, and initiatives, to facilitate increased business and investment.

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God will expose those who rigged me out of Senate, says Akpabio



Godswill Akpabio, senator who represented Akwa Ibom north-west district in the 8th assembly, says God will soon expose those who “fraudulently orchestrated” his loss in the last national assembly election.
Speaking at Ukana, Essien Udim local government area of the state while empowering some of his constituents, Akpabio accused Mike Igini, resident electoral commissioner of the state, of denying him of the mandate freely given to him.
He described Igini as the “most compromised electoral officer in Nigeria and should not be allowed to hold public office”.
He insisted that he did not lose the election, and urged his people not to be dismayed by the temporary setback.
“Please nobody should have any headache, nobody should cry because there is no need. You know your senator cannot lose election because we were all there,” he said.
“But many of them thought they can go and write whatever they like and even cancel what you won. I have never in my life experienced a resident electoral commissioner like Mike Igini and my message to him is that his hypocrisy will be exposed.
“There is no way you can come into Akwa Ibom and commit that kind of electoral fraud you committed then you go back to Channels Television and sit down and talk as if you are a pope.
“Very soon the world will know… All the materials we are recovering everyday will expose you.
“Just yesterday, the police arrested people carrying materials from where they voted and were trying to sneak into INEC. The other day, they arrested someone with card readers. He was frantically calling and trying to say that they were used for training three months after election so that they will continue to manipulate.”
Akpabio said he intends to join President Muhammadu Buhari to sanitise the nation’s electoral system.
”For me, it is important as a former governor and elder statesman to join the President to sanitize the electoral process so that we will ensure that votes count in future elections,” he said.
”There is no need for Nigeria to continue taking one step forward and five steps backward.”

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NBC lacks power to suspend licences of media organisations, says Falana



Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) lacks the power to suspend licences of media organisation without an order from the court.
In a statement on Sunday, the senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the regulator cannot also ban radio houses from playing records of artists or impose fines on alleged offenders without recourse to the court.
On Thursday, the NBC had suspended the licences of DAAR Communications Plc, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower over “breach of broadcasting code”.
Falana described the closure of media houses as a dangerous trend, advising the regulatory agency to act within the confines of the law if it wants to checkmate the excesses of any station.
“No doubt, the NBC has been empowered by the NBC Act to regulate all broadcasting organisations in the country. But in exercising its wide powers NBC has to be made to appreciate that it can no longer operate outside the ambit of the Constitution as was the case under military rule,” he said.
“Since fundamental rights including freedom of expression can no longer be curtailed or abrogated except in a manner permitted by law, the NBC ought to realise that it cannot suspend licences of media houses, ban radio houses from playing records of artists or impose fines on alleged offenders without a court order.
“Alternatively, the NBC may request the Attorney-General to charge a media house for breaching the provisions of the NBC Act or penal statutes. Otherwise, the powers of the NBC may be arbitrarily exercised to the detriment of law and order in the society.”
He described the reopening of AIT and Raypower FM as victory for democracy, calling on security agencies to withdraw their men from DAAR Communications, head office in Abuja.
“The NBC has just lifted the suspension of the licences of AIT and Raypower FM Radio stations in compliance with the ex parte order granted by the federal high court. It is hoped that the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force and State Security Service will withdraw the armed goons mounting siege in the compound of the AIT/Raypower FM stations without any delay,” he said.
“As far as democratic forces in the country are concerned, the battle for press freedom has been won, once again. But it is a temporary victory which should not be celebrated without caution.
“Even under the most vicious military junta in Nigeria the courts ordered the reopening of the premises of the National Concord and Punch newspapers which were illegally closed down and occupied for months by armed troops. And the court orders were complied with by the military dictators.”

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You’re threatening the unity of Nigeria’ — Junaid attack Obasanjo, Others



Politician and physician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has attacked former President Olusegun Obasanjo, erstwhile Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, and a host of others for claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari was promoting an Islamisation and Fulanisation agenda.

Junaidu Danjuma and a handful of notable retired officers, under the aegis of Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF), had, last week, raised the alarm that the Buhari administration was backing jihadists instead of ruthlessly fighting them.

Claiming they were miffed by the indifference displayed by the current administration towards the evil agenda, the retired officers reported the alleged refusal of the administration to confront islamisation to the United Kingdom’s All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Before then, Obasanjo has taken the Buhari administration up on the purported Fulanisation/Islamisation agenda at a church programme in Delta State.

Junaid, who was a member of President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Constitutional Conference, slammed the former military officers over what he described as trying to assume the role of speaking for Nigerians when they had not been so authorized by the people.

The politician, from Kano and who has remained very vocal in the political circles, asked Obasanjo, Danjuma and the others to stop polluting the Nigerian political and religious space with venom that has the potential to destroy the country rather than unite the people.

He said, “First and foremost, I have absolute contempt for what Obasanjo and his friends have said about Nigeria. What they have said will threaten the unity of this country and it is painful that they are not really speaking for the generality of Nigerians but merely seeking self-interest.

These are statements from some elements who attempted to dismember Nigerian and failed and are now arrogating to themselves the task of speaking for Nigerians when they have not so been appointed by the people.

“What is most painful is that they connived and imposed Buhari on the rest of the people and, having failed woefully to control him and his government, they are now trying to voice their failure on the rest of the country as if they are messiahs.

“Let it be made known to these retired army officers that, in the event of war breaking out on account of their incendiary language, they are not likely to belong to the winning side because Nigerians are now more matured and are not ready to be taking instructions of sermons from soldiers who have no self respect.

“I have no business with Buhari or his administration but we cannot listen to a group of people who are selfishly working to be heard by Nigerians principally for their selfish interests. Nigerians are not ready and willing to allow them to dictate what is good and bad to them anymore.

“They should realize by now that Nigerians do not owe them anything and are not willing to be led or counseled by soldiers anymore.

“These former soldiers actively take undue advantage of Buhari’s inaccurate perception of leadership and the cabal he surrounds himself with to attempt to confuse Nigerians as if they are the voice and conscience of the Nigerian people while seeking to actualize selfish goals.

“If they have forgotten, the former generals should be reminded that they went to war as a choice and had been generously rewarded for services rendered and that Nigerians neither owe them anything nor require selfish counseling on national issues.”

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