Ondo: Akeredolu picks governorship form

The former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday vowed to fight the poverty in Ondo State  with infrastructural development such as provision of pipe-borne water, agricultural development,  good health care, education, road network and other social amenities should he win the forthcoming governorship election of the state. 

Speaking at the National Secretariat of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at Abuja where he purchased the form for indication of interest in the race, the aspirant allayed the fear that  power of incumbency would give the present governor, Olusegun Mimiko, an edge over him. 

According to him, the power of incumbency can only play a role in a state where the governor has recorded outstanding level of performance not in a state where the electorate are grappling with infrastructural challenges. 

Akeredolu pointed out that Mimiko  only plays to the gallery as the state is replete with a array of uncompleted projects. 

Akeredolu submitted that he would match his opponent with issues not violence, stressing that "we are not going to resort to thuggery." 

He said: "We are not going to engage anybody over the issue of incumbency. Where there is already abysmal failure incumbency will not matter."   

Senator  Lawal Shuaibu, the National Secretary of the party, handed over the constitution of the party and party guidelines to the aspirant who was with the acting state Chairman, Chief Adesoji Olusola; state Secetary, Hon. Adesipe Adegboyega; Treasurer, Engr Ade Adetimehin; state Youth Leader, Enas Mohammed; and state Woman Leader Evelyn Modupe, among others.



PDP thugs attack ACN chieftains in Ilorin – ACN

The Kwara State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday said suspected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs attacked its  chieftains in Oloje area of Ilorin West Constituency.

It called on the security agencies to protect the people against the PDP aggression.

Rafiu Ajakaye, media aide to Kwara ACN leader Mohammed Dele Belgore SAN, said in a statement issued in Ilorin that some ACN chieftains and supporters were allegedly attacked as they gathered to receive Belgore who was billed to address a campaign rally for Abdul Aiyelabegan Goga, the ACN candidate for the Ilorin West rerun.

The statement reads: “We condemn the PDP thugs’ attacks on the chieftains and members of our party at Oloje in Ilorin West where Kwara ACN leader Belgore was scheduled to address a crowd of supporters on Thursday afternoon ahead of a rerun election for the Ilorin West seat in the House of Assembly.

“As our members and independent voters were gathering to receive their leader, weapon-wielding PDP thugs began to throw bottles and other harmful objects at the ACN supporters and eventually cordoned off the campaign ground. Our supporters were attacked with machetes while the crowd, including the ACN’s candidate in the election, Abdul Aiyelabegan, fled.

“The attack was unprovoked. It is cowardly and exposes the PDP for who they are. We see the attack as an attempt to cow the opposition and ensure nobody turns out for the election. Is this the idea of what democracy means to PDP and their leader who reportedly told his people that the only means of winning the election slated for Saturday is to make an example of ACN supporters? 

“We call on the security agencies to stop this drift to anarchy because if they fail in their duties to protect the people, ACN may not be able to control the anger of its supporters who may be forced to defend themselves against this aggression and tyranny.

“We urge the voters not to be intimidated because the idea behind this violence is to cow and deny them the opportunity of exercising their democratic right.

Ondo Muslim youths want deputy governorship

Muslim youths in Ondo State yesterday called for the retention of the deputy governorship slot presently occupied by Alhaji Ali Olanusi, for the October 20 governorship election in the state.

In a statement by their leaders, Musibau Ekunnusi, Alhaji Ishaq Abdur Rasaq and Kehinde Oyelade, the Muslim youths said Olanusi, at his 70th birthday anniversary, declared that he wished to retire from active politics.

They said: “Considering Olanusi’s age and state of health, we humbly appeal to consider a young and vibrant Muslim politician as a replacement for the next occupant of the office of the deputy governor.”

The group acknowledged the ongoing reform on Hajj in the state and the construction of a Hajj camp for intending pilgrims in the state.

It also hailed  the government for appointing four Muslims as members of its Executive Council (Exco) and the recognition it granted Muslims in last year’s  Legal Year celebration.

The Muslim youths hailed Olanusi for his support to the government and uprightness in discharging his duties.

“We earnestly call for a young and vibrant Muslim politician as a replacement for the next occupant of the deputy governorship seat in the state,” they said.

400 Osun PDP members defect to ACN

Over 400 members and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ward 10 of Oba-Oke, in Olorunda Local Government Area of Osun State, have defected to the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state.

ACN state Chairman Elder Adelowo Adebiyi hailed the defectors.

He described it as a manifestation of the exemplary performance of the ACN government under Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

In a statement by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, the party’s chairman said the defection into the “progressive camp is a proof of Governor Aregbesola’s good government and efficient delivery”.

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180 corps members for Assembly rerun in Kwara

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will deploy 180 youth corps members for tomorrow’s rerun poll in Kwara State.

INEC said two collation officers and a presiding officer have been recruited from the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) for the exercise.

An appeal court sitting in Ilorin had ordered rerun election in two wards, Alanamu and Oloje in Ilorin North/West Constituency.

The court ruled that the 2011 House of Assembly poll in the wards was marred by irregularities.

In a statement, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Chief Timothy Ibitoye, said the corps members are undergoing a two-day intensive training.

He told the Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mrs. Ezinne Ezekwe, who was in his office, to ensure the security of the corps members.

 He said the security of the ad-hoc staff and voters is sacrosanct, as the security agencies in the state have mapped out water tight security arrangements for the election.

His words: “Sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been received and are being sorted out for the election in the 60 polling units in Balogun Alanamu and Oloje wards where election will take place.”

The commissioner warned “miscreants or over-ambitious politicians who may wish to cause any security breach to stay away from this election as security agencies will be prompt in dealing with any untoward situation.”

He urged observer groups to update their status with the state office of the commission, to avoid being embarrassed by security operatives.

The commissioner enjoined eligible voters to come out and exercise their franchise without fear of intimidation or molestation.

The REC added that accreditation and voting would start at 8am and end at 4pm.

Firm warns INEC against use of transparent ballot boxes

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has been warned against using transparent ballot boxes and electronic collapsible transparent ballot boxes for the July 14 governorship election and subsequent elections.

 Jega must first obtain the consent of the sole owner of the products’  patent and design rights.

The warning is contained in a letter to the INEC Chairman by Bedding Holdings Limited, whose sole right to the products were affirmed in a June 5 judgment by Justice Adamu Bello.

The court adjudged Bedding Holdings Limited as the bona fide and exclusive owner of the patents and designs rights in and over the transparent ballot boxes and electronic collapsible transparent ballot boxes.

In the June 19 letter, written by its lawyer, Karina Tunyan (SAN), Bedding Holdings warned that it would initiate contempt proceedings against Jega should he deploy the said ballot boxes in any election, award contract for the supply and procurement of the said boxes, without its consent.

The letter reads: “You are enjoined not to use or continue to use, producing, supplying, acquiring, importing, procuring, buying, receiving, selling, leasing, alienating, applying or otherwise using the said transparent ballot boxes and or any obvious imitation/derivative of the said patented products for the conduct of any election.

“This includes but not limited to the forthcoming Edo State election or any other election whatsoever in Nigeria without first, seeking the prior consent and approval of our client. 

“This is in utmost obedience to the rule of law and the judicial powers of the court.”

The firm, which enjoined INEC to abide by the court’s decision, said it would commence contempt proceedings against the INEC chairman in the unlikely event that he does anything whatsoever relating to the supply, procurement, use and application of the said boxes.

It has also written to the Registrar of Patent, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, notifying the occupier of the said judgment. 

It also threatened committal proceedings against the Registrar of Patents should the judgment be ignored.

Bedding Holdings, in the  letter, said by virtue of the judgment and law, the Registrar of Patent is enjoined to withdraw and strike out or cancel the patents and designs rights it wrongly issued to Tambco United Nigeria Limited, Anowat Project and Resources Limited and Emchai Limited from its register of Patents and Industrial Designs Rights.

The firm contended that it was in the interest of justice for the said Registrar  to abide by the  judgment and strike out the said patents and designs erroneously issued.

It also sought to be notified about the eventual withdrawal or striking out of the voided patents and design rights within 24 hours of the receipt of the letter.  

“Copies of both letters to the INEC Chair and Registrar of Patents were sent to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).


:P unch

ACN govs okay Akeredolu for Ondo

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Governors of have endorsed the candidature of a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo State.

Speaking at a joint interview at the City Hall, Lagos yesterday, the governors of Lagos and Ekiti states, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said Akeredolu was the best among the aspirants.

According to Fashola, “The decision by the governors is for the people of Ondo to have someone who will solve the problems. And, therefore, the ACN governors endorse Mr. Akeredolu.”

Fayemi said: “Our position as governors is that we have to endorse a candidate that has integrity and passion for the people. A candidate that is committed to social democracy and very competent for the position. Although the process for nomination is still on, he is endorsed by us as we await the position of the party.”

Also, two of the leading aspirants who were dropped for Akeredolu have signified their readiness to accept his candidacy.

While septuagenarian Jayeola Ajatta, a two-term member of the House of Representatives where he represented Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency of Lagos State, declared his support, former Minister, Dr. Olu Agunloye, said he might avail Akeredolu of the support of his Omoluabi Network, “if the situation is right.”

Ondo: Oke emerges PDP consensus candidate

Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Wednesday, adopted the immediate past National Legal Adviser of the party, Chief Olusola Oke, as its consensus candidate for Ondo governorship poll.

At a briefing, in Akure, the state chairman of the party, Mr. Ebenezer Alabi, said the party agreed on the consensus agreement to avoid the post-crisis that usually trail party primaries.

Alabi said the 90-member committee comprising  five each from all the 18 council areas of the state  put in place by the party to screen the aspirants, submitted their report and another committee representing one each from the council met and agreed on Oke.

Oke defeated other aspirants which included the former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Victor Olabimtan; former Head of Service, Mr. Alaba Isijola; a 41-year- old business mogul, Moyosola Niran-Oladunni; former Military administrator of Akwa Ibom State, Prince Joseph Adewusi; former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dare Bada; Mr. Ajibola Adeyeye; Mr. Mackson Medoye and Mr. Demola Ijabiyi, a former campaign manager of former governor, Chief  Adekunle Ajasin and business mogul, Mr.  Jimoh Ibrahim.

The committee, according to him, met with input from the 10 aspirants and agreed that Oke should be the consensus candidate of the party.

The chairman pointed out that the report of the 18 members was presented to the larger house and it was agreed that the Oke ticket would sell the party.

Alabi said the party had not agreed on the positin of deputy and where it should be zoned. He said that the party congress where Oke candidature would be adopted would come up on July 21.

On the possibility of any of the aggrieved aspirants going to court on the decision, the chairman said that all the ten aspirants and the party leadership have agreed that none of them would challenge the outcome of the committee.

Edo guber debate: Oshiomhole, Airhavbere, others clash

It was war of words, Wednesday, at the Edo State governorship debate organised in Benin City by Nigeria Elections Debate Group, NEDG, as the candidate of  Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere engaged themselves over the running of the state.

Meanwhile, some  of the candidates, commended the modest efforts of the state government in repositioning the state, but stressed the need for more to be done, which was why they were in the race, because they believed they had better plans to improve on what was on ground.

Candidate of  ACN, Governor Oshiomhole and his PDP counterpart, Gen. Aihriavbere, tackled themselves in the areas of security and employment as Airhaivbere and All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, candidate, Solomon Edebiri, argued that the industries in the state had been ran underground.

Oshiomhole was quick to note that the PDP government from 1999 till when he took over power in 2008, destroyed the industries and the agricultural sector in the state, adding that even the Edo Line, which they blamed his government for its collapse was ran down by PDP government.

On rural electrification, the candidate of National Conscience Party, NCP, Mr. Paul Orunwense, while acknowledging the state government’s effort in this area, said: “With all respect to Oshiomhole, there is still a lot to be done,”  while Mr. Roland Izebuwa of  Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, said, “despite what Oshiomhole has done, there were still communities that need to be given light.”

However, candidate of PDP, General Charles Airhiavbere blamed failures in the state on past leadership from 1999 to 2007.

On health, Prince Frank Ukonga of Social Democratic Mega Party, SDMP,  said: “We are not here to run down anybody, Adams Oshiomhole has done well in the area of healthcare. He has already started well by giving free medical services to citizens of 60 years and above.”

Only the Labour Candidate, Mr Andrew Igwemoh was absent at the debate which will end on July 5.

Meanwhile, a group of veteran politicians in the state, Otu-Ede-Oseghe has thrown its weight behind the re-election bid of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

The group led by the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, declared their support while presenting 500 campaign vests to the governor at Government House, Benin, as part of their contribution to his re-election bid, they said they believed that Oshiomhole was eminently qualified to re-contest the position, following his “outstanding performance in the past three and half  years.”

Chief Edebiri said: “contrary to what the opposition parties and some unpatriotic individuals would want the world to believe, you have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that you a visionary leader and pragmatic leader of the people. You have imparted positively on the lives of Edo people with the numerous people-oriented projects your administration had executed and still executing in all parts of the state.”…(readd more)

Anambra: Obi, 7 others sued over non-conduct of LG poll

A member of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Anambra State, Chief Emeka Onuorah, yesterday dragged Governor Peter Obi and seven others to court over the non-conduct of the controversial local government election in the state bringing to two court cases against the governor over same issue.

Others joined in the suit were the State House of Assembly, Speaker of the House, Accountant-General of the state, state Attorney General, chairman of the state/LG joint allocation committee and state Independent Electoral Commission, ANSIEC.

It will be recalled that a similar case filed by a human rights lawyer and an APGA member, Mr. Jezie Ekejiuba, is pending in an Awka High Court presided over by Justice Hope Ozor.

Onuorah, a former president of the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, said he was among those that paid to contest the election for the chairman of Njikoka local government area, but the election was still to hold after many years.

In the suit, Onuorah is praying the court presided over by Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu at Ogidi in Idemili North local government area to decide whether it was proper for the state House of Assembly to enact another law that empowered the governor to be appointing caretaker committees for the 21 local government areas of the state, when there is a provision in the Nigerian constitution for the democratization of the third-tier of government.

When the suit came up yesterday, only the ANSIEC was represented by a counsel, Mr. Christian Agali, who also filed an 11-paragraph counter affidavit.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Nelson Uzoegb, wondered why other parties in the matter failed to appear in court even after they were properly served. The matter was adjourned to October 4, 2012.



OGSIEC insists on council polls as parties’ factions bicker

The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) insisted yesterday that the Saturday, July 21 polls would hold, as all guidelines and legal procedures have been strictly followed by the electoral body.

Besides, the Commission insisted that despite speculations that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had submitted two lists of candidates for the election, it has only authenticated one list, which it would use for the election.

Chairman OGSIEC Screening Committee and a commissioners in the commission, Mr. Mutiu Agboke, who spoke with the media in Abeokuta, disclosed that out of the two lists of candidates submitted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the election, the Commission had recognised the Ireti Oniyide faction after a carefully consideration of the electoral guidelines and all legal procedures.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos before Judge Charles Archibong had ruled that the OGSIEC should put the council polls on hold pending the determination of a suit instituted against the Commission and its Principal Officers.

But Agboke said: “The judge did not give any categorical order that the Commission should not conduct the election.”

According to him, “what the judge said was that with the confusion created by the two major parties (ACN, PDP) by submitting two separate lists to the Commission for the election, he does not see OGSIEC holding election by July 21.”

He added: “That statement is refer to in law as “Obita dicta,” which is a statement that has no bearing on the substantive suit.”

However, Agboke hinted that the Commission’s counsel was preparing to file an appeal in order for Archibong to clarify his statement.

On why the Commission recognised Oniyide’s faction and not the Dayo Bayo faction within the PDP, Agboke said: “We (Commission) contacted the national leadership of the PDP, which informed us that the Oniyide faction is the one they recognise.”

Agboke stated: “Whoever is planning to truncate this election, must know that the security agents won’t allow it.

“The Commission is on course, we remain committed, focus and resolute to hold the election on that day (July 21). We hope to record unprecedented success; we are following our time-table strictly.

“The state Police Commissioner is working day and night to ensure peaceful election by putting sophisticated arrangements in place and our materials are in safe custody. Nothing, therefore, would stop us from holding the election. That is our official position.”

Agboke disclosed that candidates of 14 registered political parties have been screened and cleared to contest in the elections.

LP, NCP, PDP shun Edo guber debate

Ahead of the July 14 governorship election in Edo State, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, shunned a debate organised in Benin City by Nigeria Elections Debate Group, NEDG, for deputy governorship candidates of political parties participating in the election.

Meanwhile, the second leg of the debate will bring the governorship candidates together today, while the final leg of the debate will hold on July 5.

State chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, when contacted on the absence of the PDP deputy gubernatorial candidate at the debate, said the invitation for the debate came late. He, nevertheless, promised that the party would sustain the “debate on issues from stage to stage across the three senatorial districts.”

The debate, moderated by Nancy Iloh, was organised to afford the parties the opportunity to sell their programmes and policies to enable the voters in the state make informed choice in the governorship election next month.

Two other parties, Labour Party and National Conscience Party also stayed away from the debate.

Four parties presented their deputy governorship candidates. They were Dr Pius Odubu of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; Mr Felix Konomoore of All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP; Dr. Paul Oyarenua of  Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and Elder Isaac Ogona of Social Democratic Mega Party, SDMP.

The candidates answered questions from a three-man panel, consisting of senior journalists selected by NEDG.