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Oyetola pencils 50 lawyers, APC, Adeleke trade words

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Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola may engage no fewer than 50 lawyers, including senior advocates, to challenge the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Ademola Adeleke, in last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

A member of the governor’s legal team, Kunle Adegoke, gave this indication in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday just as the PDP and the governor-elect warned the Independent National Electoral Commission against allowing the All Progressives Congress to tamper with election materials.

The governor’s legal team has been sifting through the election results in preparation for taking serious legal action against the declaration of Adeleke as the governor-elect by the INEC.

The electoral body had on Sunday declared Adeleke the winner of the governorship election in the state. The Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes to beat the incumbent APC governor, who polled 375,027 votes and 13 other candidates in the keenly contested race.

 

Oyetola won in 13 local government areas of the state to come second in the election.

Before his electoral loss, Oyetola, had 2018 defeated Adeleke after a run-off, with the support of his predecessor, and now Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and former Lagos state governor and now, APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

After his opponent was declared the winner, the governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismaila Omipidan, told his supporters to remain calm, noting that he would respond after studying the results.

He stated, “Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has taken cognisance of the results of the governorship election in the state as announced by INEC on Sunday.

“He, however, noted that the party would be responding appropriately after studying the results and consulting with critical stakeholders of the party.”

Layonu leads team

But a member of Oyetola’s legal team, Kunle Adegoke (SAN), told The PUNCH on Tuesday that they were still reviewing the results declared by INEC.

He said, “We are still reviewing documents and the legal team is actually working. In an election of this nature, the documents will be so many; so it is important to look at them critically before we make a decision and that is exactly what we are working on right now.

“Dr Biodun Layonu (SAN), is the leader of the team. The legal team is not complete yet because there are so many others that will still come in.

“In the meantime, the two members of the legal team we can reveal are Dr Biodum Layonu and Kunle Adegoke. Others that may come in are people we may not know but as soon as we are ready to move, we will notify the press.

“The membership can’t be determined as many lawyers are interested in joining the team. You know election petition is a special case. So, we allow as many lawyers that are interested to come in. We may run into 50 or more members.”

Commenting on moves by the governor to contest the poll outcome at the election petition tribunal, the Media Adviser to the APC chairman in Osun State, Kola Olabisi, said whatever position was taken by Oyetola on the outcome of the election would also be the stand of the party. Olabisi disclosed this while speaking with The PUNCH on Tuesday.

He said, “I have not read what you said the governor had said but the posture of the party can not be different from what the governor had said.”

Asked what the governor’s legal team studying the election results had discovered, Olabisi simply said, “It is the legal team that is competent to speak on whatever has been discovered.”

But Adeleke has warned INEC against tampering with the materials used for the July 16 Osun state governorship poll in a bid to favour the APC.

Adeleke in a statement signed by the Chairman of his Media Management Team, Prince Diran Odeyemi, alleged that there were insinuations that the leadership of the APC was working on INEC to tamper with some electoral materials that would be used against Adeleke’s victory at the Election Petition Tribunal.

The statement alleged that some APC leaders had been moving around the local government offices of the commission to liaise with the INEC officials who would tamper with some election materials kept in their custody.

Adeleke called on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to direct the commission’s officials in Osun to submit all electoral materials to the state headquarters.

The statement read in part, “There is rumour milling around the state that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress are romancing the INEC to tamper with some electoral materials that could be used against the victory of the governor-elect in their alleged proposed brief at the Election Petition Tribunal.

“Some APC leaders have been moving around local government offices of the commission to liaise with the INEC officials to tamper with some of the Electoral Materials in their custody.

“Senator Adeleke called on the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to call his officials in Osun State to order so as to prevent them from perpetrating the dastardly act.”

Responding to the allegation, Olabisi challenged Adeleke and the PDP to prove their allegation against the APC.

He said, “They said they have won the election, yet they are still afraid. That means they have skeletons in their wardrobe. They are just ranting. They should prove their allegation or stop ranting. They are afraid of their shadow.”

PDP’s team

Speaking to one of our correspondents, the Secretary of Osun PDP Legal Committee, Hashim Abioye, said bringing together several lawyers by the APC to challenge Adeleke’s victory was not a threat to the party.

According to him, engaging a large number of lawyers is within the right of the APC, adding that the PDP team will be waiting to meet them.

“The APC have a right to line up as many lawyers as they can. It is their right. From all indications, they want to go to the tribunal. If you look at the Electoral Act, it has roles for INEC, political parties, the conduct of the election and after that, there are provisions for election petitions.

“It is not a threat at all. I have been involved in so many election petition matters where you line up as many lawyers as you can. That does not mean anything. There is no room for anyone to hide again in litigation. You place your card face up. We are waiting for them,” Abioye said.

The Director of Media and Publicity in Osun PDP, Oladele Oluwabamiji, said APC can hire more than 50 lawyers, it would still not change the clear victory recorded by the party in the governorship poll.

Oluwabamiji said, “If that is the way they want to go, there is no problem with it. It is not usual that when a party is defeated in an electoral contest of this nature, you are not satisfied or think you have any ground for redress, the next thing is to go to court.

“For the 50 legal practitioners APC wants to hire, I think that 50 might not be enough. They can as well double that number. Perhaps they may be able to help them. I am not a lawyer, but I know it will an excercise in futility. It was a clear contest which produced a winner.”

A legal practitioner, Matthew Burkaa, SAN, said “Any Nigerian who aspires to any office with another person, then wins election as a candidate of a political party and contest in the general election has a right to complain if he or she feels there is any infraction in that election.

“It is his constitutional right.

It is also more beneficial for people to approach the court than sort themselves out.

“As far as I am concerned, Oyetola going to court to challenge Adeleke’s victory is not in any way a wrong move.”

But a political analyst, Sunny Anyanwu described the planned litigation by the governor as a waste of time and resources, adding that the election which produced Senator Adeleke was adjudged free and fair, and it was the will of the people.

“What Oyetola is doing is wasting his time and resources of Osun people. I wish the 2023 Presidential election would be like what happened in Osun, Nigerians will be happy. It was adjudged to be free and fair, even by international observers. The people of Osun have spoken, they want Adeleke,” he submitted.

Meanwhile, the Accord Party candidate in the poll, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, has decried the influence of money in the governorship election.

Ogunbiyi, who spoke through one of his aides, Stephen Owolabi, however, said Osun people had made their choice and he had no problem with their decision.

“The election was all about money. Money was shared openly. The operatives of the EFCC and police didn’t do anything. They even brought money to Ogunbiyi’s polling unit and ward. EFCC didn’t do enough.

“Despite the outcome of the election, the Accord Party candidate is in good spirit. He even went to church to thank God that none of those who worked with him died.

“In the election, Osun people made their choice and no problem about that,” Ogunbiyi added.

PUNCH

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SCRAP METAL DEALERS IN LAGOS STATE DECLARE TOTAL SUPPORT FOR ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU AS PRESIDENT AND GOVERNOR BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU FOR 2ND TERM

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Thousands of Scrap Metal dealers in Lagos State have vowed to deliver massive votes for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the re-election of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and all APC candidates across the State.

This declaration was made on Sunday at the New Garage Busstop (Odo Iyaalaro), near Ojota by the teeming members of the association. The event was organized by Grassroots Engagement Directorate under the leadership of Hon. Abdulbaq Ladi Balogun.

The Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor who also doubles as the Director General of Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu/Shettima and Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat (ICC), Mr. Tayo Ayinde commended the leadership of the organization and the massive turnout of their members.

He reiterated government commitment to making available a conducive environment for business activities in the state. In his words; ‘ The Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu administration is performing wonders across the State and if returned to power, he will do more.’

He assured the leadership of total support from the Government, Mr. Ayinde used the opportunity to enlighten the gathering on how to vote correctly especially with the new BVAS system.

The chairman of Independent Campaign Council, Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku appreciated the members and leadership for conducting themselves very well. He charged them to go all out and vote for APC candidates in the coming elections.

Delivering his speech, the chairman of the Scrap Metal Dealers in Lagos State, Comrade Adewale Adedotun thanked the Director General, the Chairman and all that came with them. Adedotun declared that the group has no other party to support but APC .

Dignitaries at the event were Mr. Tayo Ayinde (Director General ICC), Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku (Chairman ICC), Hon. Kafilat Ogbara (House of Representatives Candidate for Kosofe Constituency), Hon. Okanlawon Sanni (House of Assembly Member Kosofe), Hon. Mayosoore Ogunlewe (Chairman of Kosofe LGA), Hon. Ladi Balogun (Director, Grassroots Engagement), Hon. Olumide Olayomi, Hon. Bode Olaniyan among others

Signed:

Tinubu/Shettima and Sanwo/Hamzat Independent Campaign Council (ICC)

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INDEPENDENT CAMPAIGN COUNCIL FOR TINUBU/ SHETTIMA AND SANWO-OLU/ HAMZAT BUYS JAMB (UTME) FORM FOR 2000 STUDENTS

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The Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu/Shettima and Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat (ICC) purchased Joint Admission Matriculation Board – Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination form for 2,000 students in Lagos State.

As the promising teenagers are looking forward to a brighter future, the Independent Campaign Council (ICC) is poised to give helping hands, particularly the indigent students.

Championing the distribution of the UTME forms among the young people today 2nd February, 2023 was the Directorate of Education of the Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu-Shetima and Sanwo-Olu-Hamzat ably led by the Director, Dr. Adeyinka Olarinmoye.

Speaking at the event, the Director General of ICC Mr. Tayo Akinmade Ayinde congratulated the vibrant young people and their parents. He admonished the students that getting a free form does not give them licence to be lazy.

Mr. Ayinde noted that great people are hard working people and for young people to excel,they must be diligent in all they do .

Some of the highlights of the event were giving gift items to students who excelled during a brief quiz competition. The Director General also gave gifts to some of the parents who accompanied their wards to the venue.

Dignitaries at the event were Mr. Tayo Ayinde, the Director General of ICC, Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku, Chairman of ICC, Director, Education Directorate of the ICC, Dr. Adeyinka Olarinmoye among others.

#BAT2023
#SanwoLekansi

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In Osogbo, Tinubu restates commitment to job creation, credit for business owners

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…carpets Governor Adeleke for poor governance

All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took his message of Renewed Hope to Osun State on Thursday where he assured the people and party supporters of his commitment to create jobs for the unemployed and make credit available for business owners.

Speaking in Yoruba to a mammoth crowd of people who thronged the venue of the campaign rally at Freedom Park Osogbo, Tinubu said his administration would empower the people with the skill that will make them employable while ensuring that the youth will no longer spend years in university due to lecturers’ strike action, stating that his pledge to the people will remain a biding covenant.

“I make a social covenant with you today that the unemployed among you will get job. Those with no skill will be provided the relevant skill that would put food on their table. When we get to government, we will make soft loans available for market women and business owners.”

Taking a swipe at the current Peoples Democratic Party government of Governor Ademola Adeleke in Osun State for poor governance of the state, the APC presidential candidate charged the people that APC administration will soon return to continue the good work.

“They were given a little opportunity to rule for some months and they started misbehaving, killing and creating unrest in Osun state.”

From his prepared speech which he didn’t get the time to read, Asiwaju Tinubu congratulated Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, who was declared winner by the governorship election petition tribunal.

He praised Oyetola’s tenacity, diligence, consistency and determination, which made him not to give up until he got his stolen mandate back.

On his plans for Osun, Tinubu noted that the state, which is highly blessed with diverse resources, should be a destination for business and tourism across the country, promising to help achieve this if he becomes the president.

He said, “Osun is a beautiful state filled with virtuous, industrious and welcoming people. We will support Osun to become a manufacturing, industrial, agricultural and tourism paradise.

“You have fertile soil, abundant mineral resources, and a rich culture and history capable of attracting tourists from across the world.

“A vote for me is a vote to develop all parts of this state and this country. Rural areas will not be forgotten but will be developed to support more economic activities and create better lives for the people.

“At the same time, our growing urban population – you city boys – will enjoy decent jobs and a living wage.”

Tinubu urged the people of the Osun State not to be deceived by the empty promises of Peoples Democratic Party Candidate Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party Candidate Peter Obi, saying both have nothing to offer.

While he said Atiku was only interested in stealing the nation’s resources and pocketing them for himself and his cronies, Tinubu likened Obi to the unprofitable servant who buried his talents, saying while Obi was Anambra State governor, he failed to use the state’s resources to develop it, rather saving them for no purpose.

“None of the other major candidates in this election have the capacity, integrity, knowledge or determination necessary to do what must be done. Only I, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, am prepared and up to the task of leading this country, our cherished homeland, back towards its best destiny.

“Do not vote for the candidate of the poverty development party, Mr. Privatise, Atiku Abubakar. When, as the Vice President of this country, he had a chance to make a positive difference, he chose the lesser path.

“He chose to use his position to enrich himself, his family and his friends. He sold Nigeria’s most prized assets for a fraction of their value. In the name of privatisation, he stole from your future to enrich himself.

“Worse, he has learned nothing. He has gone everywhere telling the Nigerian people that he is coming back to finish the job. He has promised that this time he will not steal your prosperity.

“You should not believe him or his greedy co-conspirators. The nation does not need the return of its Privatiser-in-Chief. Reject him and his band of foul jesters. They have no serious plans for this country. They resort to cheap and vile antics because they have no substance, no solutions.

“Be equally wary of the false messiah, Mr. Stingy, Peter Obi. This man’s promises are bold and his boasts are plentiful. Yet, when he was given the responsibility to lead just one state, he was overwhelmed by it.

“He could only stash away the money he was supposed to be using to develop the state. All the people of Anambra could hope for was that whoever came next would have better ideas.

“A governor is not a banker, expected to hold fast to his customer’s deposit. Obi was expected to build good roads, schools and hospitals. He was supposed to pay the salaries of Anambra doctors, teachers and civil servants. He was meant to nurture and empower new leaders.

“In eight years, he achieved none of these things. He is no visionary leader. He is the man who proudly buried his talents because he knew no better. This man who could not even understand the proper role of a governor cannot be trusted as the next president. Reject him,” he added.

He also itemized further things his administration will do in the agricultural, educational and security sectors to give a befitting life to the people.

“Our farmers will be better equipped to feed the nation. In return, they will receive decent incomes with which they can better tend to their families in addition to tending to their land.

“Our educational reforms will equip talented youth with skills needed to be globally competitive. Our policies will open access to loans and business expertise to those wanting to start their own businesses.

“The bedrock of our national security shall be strengthened. We will better equip military units with tactical communications gear and all-terrain vehicles to give them greater communications and mobility to track down criminals, bandits and terrorists.

“We will upgrade our weapons systems and exploit aerial technological superiority to further identify, monitor and subdue the criminals, terrorists and bandits who would do harm to ordinary citizens,” he added.

At the rally were Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); former governors Kayode Fayemi and Adegboyega Oyetola, as well as former APC Interim Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, APC National Women Leader, Betta Edu and other party leaders from National headquarters and South West party leaders.

Tinubu Media Office
Tunde Rahman
February 2, 2023

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