Ganduje Constitutes 9-Man Committee To Reconcile Akeredolu,Deputy

Mohammed Shosanya

Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje , National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has waded into ² the brewing family rift between recuperating Ondo State Governor, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa with a view to reconciling the two parties.

The committee headed by former governor of Katsina StateHon Aminu Bello was mandated to reconcile the warring parties in the crisis which has threatened the peace of the state and impeachment of the deputy governor.

Speaking on why he intervened in the matter Gaduje said the party may suffer grievous harm if the issues are not resolved in the interest of APC in Ondo state.

According to Edwin Olo Kon, Chief Press Secretary to the National Chairman, the national chairman urged all parties in the crisis to embrace peace and allow the committee to carry out the responsibility assigned it by the party.

The statement said :”The National Secretariat of the Party is really concerned about the unfortunate political situation in Ondo State, which if not quickly averted, may lead to further disaffection among party faithfuls.

“Therefore, in order to avert the misunderstanding, and after critical observation of the situation, the National Secretariat has decided to wade in, with a view to foster better understanding that may likely lead to amicable resolution.

“In light of the above, the National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, CON, has set up a 9-Man Committee under the able leadership of the erstwhile Governor of Katsina State, His Excellency, Rt Hon Aminu Bello Masari, CFR, to not only intervene, but also see to the peaceful reconciliation of all parties involved.

“The party therefore assures all and sundry, that through this Committee, it will interact and dialogue with all the stakeholders in the state, based on mutual respect, with a view to finding a lasting solution.

“The National Secretariat urges all parties to remain calm, and extend all the necessary cooperation and support to the Masari-led Committee”.

Court Order Can’t Stop Your Impeachment,Assembly Tells Ondo Deputy Governor

Mohammed Shosanya

Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Olamide Oladiji on Tuesday,says court can’t stop ongoing move to impeach the deputy governor of the state,Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

Oladiji,who stated that what the Assembly had done so far was in line with the dictates of the constitution wondered why the deputy governor rushed to the court to stop his investigation on allegation of gross misconduct even when he had not been served notice.

“In line with Section 188(2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Ondo State House of Assembly formally served the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Honourable Lucky Aiyedatiwa the notice of allegation of gross misconduct, on Monday, 25th September 2023 within Seven (7) days after the notice was presented to the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

“The Notice was signed by Eleven (11) members of the House which is more than one-third of the members of the House required to sign the impeachment notice under Section 188(2) of the Constitution.

“The impeachment notice contains Fourteen (14) specific allegations of gross misconduct with detailed particulars to which the Deputy Governor is expected to react to not later than Seven (7) days from the day he was served. Hitherto, the House has refrained from publishing the allegations because of the need to accord the Deputy Governor the courtesy of being served with the notice, first.

“Having served the notice, and in view of the massive public interest in the subject matter, the House of Assembly has formally directed that its acknowledgement copy be released to the public.”

He noted that the deputy governor erred by alluding to some precedents that court it law could not adjudicate on matters of Impeachment when the Assembly has not deprived the person in subject fear hearing.

He said: “For the umpteenth time, the House wishes to assure the general public that it would strictly follow due process of law as outlined in Section 188(1) – (9) of the Constitution.

“The House is not unaware of media reports that His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, has rushed to Court to stop the impeachment process. Media reports even claim he has secured an injunction from a certain Judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to halt the process.

“The House is shocked that rather than wait to be served with notice of the allegation of gross misconduct, and react to same as required by the Constitution, the Deputy Governor has been running from pillar to post and filing multiply suits in both at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court and the Ondo State High Courts in a bid to stop the legislative process.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the House is fully conscious of Section 188 (10) of the Constitution which clearly states that “No proceedings or determination of the panel or of the House of Assembly or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.”

“In the case of Abaribe V. Abia State House of Assembly (2022) 14 NWLR (Pt. 788) 466, the Court of Appeal emphatically stated that it was wrong for the Appellant to jump the gun by rushing to the Court to stop his impeachment process on the grounds of alleged breach of fair hearing when the panel to investigate and hear him had not even been constituted.

“The Court of Appeal then restated that by the provision of Section 188 (10) of the Constitution, no court has the jurisdiction at that stage to interfere in the legislative proceedings for impeachment.

Court Halts Impeachment Of Ondo Deputy Governor

Mohammed Shosanya

A Federal High Court in Abuja,Tuesday stopped the Ondo State House of Assembly from impeaching the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, over alleged gross misconduct.

It also restrained the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, from nominating a new deputy governor and forwarded the same to the lawmakers for approval pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.

In his ruling,Justice Emeka Nwite, after Aiyedatiwa’s counsel, Kayode Adewusi, moved the ex-parte motion to the effect,said that the interest of justice would be met by granting the application.

The deputy governor had, in a motion on notice marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023, sued the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police and the Department of State Services (DSS).
Others are Gov. Akeredoku, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Judge of Ondo State and the House of Assembly as 1st to 6th respondents respectively.
In the application dated and filed by Mr Adelanke Akinrata on September 21, Aiyedatiwa sought four reliefs.

The judge further gave an order of interim injunction restraining Akeredolu, his servants or privies from harassing, intimidating, embarrassing and preventing Aiyedatiwa from carrying out the functions of his office as deputy governor of Ondo State.

Justice Nwite, who granted all the reliefs adjourned the matter until Oct. 9 for hearing.

Aiyedatiwa had, also in another suit marked: AK/348/2023 prayed to the High Court in Akure to stop the state’s house of assembly from proceeding with the impeachment proceedings against him pending the hearing and determination of the suit filed in the court on Monday.

26 Governors Fail To  Account For FG’s N2bn Palliatives- PHI

Mohammed Shosanya

A non-governmental organisation,Policy House International (PHI), Monday disclosed that only ten states in Nigeria have been able to clearly account for the N2b so far released to each state by the federal government as part of palliative measures to cushion the effect of the removal of subsidy on petrol.

Taiwo Akerele, the Executive Director of PHI,told journalists in Benin City said this amounts to only 27.7of state governors accounting for the N72b so far released by the federal government.

He implored President Bola Tinubu to engage the governors on accounting for what they have received before releasing the remainder.

He said, “The federal government has released N72billion to all the 36 states of the country which accounted for 40 percent of the total pledged amount of N5bn per state but unfortunately, out of the 36 states, only ten states have come out with clear plans and ten states amount to only 27.7 percent so for us this is woeful, it is not a pass mark so we need to have the plans of the state governors on what they want to do with the N2billion that has been released so far.”

“From the ten states, food and transportation is their focus which is fine but they need to expand the windows and the basket of utilization that can reach out to more people in the states.

“Twenty six states are silent and this is not good for us and as we speak, the governors are agitating for the release of the balance N108 billion but unfortunately there is a gap because they have not accounted for what they have used the released N72billion for.

“We in Policy House International are of the view that Mr. President has to stand his ground to ensure that these resources are channeled to areas that affect the poor the most in these states and for Mr. President to release the balance funds, he has to sit down with the governors to agree on fund utilization; what do they want to use these funds for because the National Bureau of Statistics say that over 130 million Nigerians are poor and this is an opportunity for us to reach out to them.

“Based on our research, we are of the view that food production and its associated value chain is key so Mr. President has to stand his ground that most of these money should go into food production, then mass transportation support services and then basic health services; the governors need to invest in primary healthcare and its support staff, then of course school feeding and then support to MSMEs.

“There has to be an agreement on the social register that will be used to make cash transfers and aides to the poorest of the poor.The president has to stand up, hold the governors accountable and ensure that there is accountability for the resources released.”

Ondo Dep.Gov Goes To Court To Stop Impeachment

Mohammed Shosanya

Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State,has approached a court to stop the state House of Assembly from proceeding on the Impeachment process it commenced on Wednesday and not to serve him impeachment notice.

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, filed a motion on notice on behalf of the embattled deputy at Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure on Monday.

He wants the court to stop the State House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment proceedings against him pending the hearing and determination of the suit that he filed in court.

Aiyedatiwa sought “An order setting aside any purported process or notice of any allegation of Gross Misconduct against the Claimant on the ground that such process or notice is a violation of Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The Assembly at a plenary on Wednesday had alleged the Deputy Governor of gross misconduct and abuse office.

According to suit No. AK/348/2023 filed at the High Court sitting in Akure, the deputy governor is seeking a declaration that the House of Assembly is not competent to proceed on his impeachment in breach of his constitutional and fundamental rights to fair hearing and that the sacking of his media aides and subjecting him to the Ministry of Information headed by a Commissioner amounts to a breach of his rights and privileges as a Deputy Governor.

He is also seeking a declaration that his office, tenure, status, rights and privileges are protected, guaranteed and secured by the Constitution, and the declaration that in the determination of his civil rights and obligations as a Deputy Governor of Ondo State by the House of Assembly, he is entitled to a fair hearing and that given the utterances and conduct of the House of Assembly so far, there is likelihood of bias against him in the impeachment process.

Alleging the state House of Assembly of conducting media trials against him without serving him with any notice of gross misconduct, the deputy governor said the House Assembly has constituted itself into accuser, investigator, prosecutor and judge.

He sought orders of injunction to stop the House of Assembly from initiating, continuing or proceeding with the process of his removal from office as the Deputy Governor of Ondo State.

He also sought an order to stop the Chief Judge of Ondo State from accepting or acting upon any request from the House of Assembly of Ondo State to set up any panel to investigate any acts of gross misconduct against him(the Deputy Governor.)

The respondents in the suit are the Ondo State Government, the Governor of Ondo State, Ondo State House of Assembly, Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Clerk of Ondo State House of Assembly and Chief Judge of Ondo State.

According to the affidavit sworn to in support of the originating summons, it was stated that the House of Assembly embarked upon a media trial of the Deputy Governor purely to scandalize him and incite public opinion against him when indeed no notice of acts of alleged gross misconduct was served on him.

He also accused the House of Assembly of persecuting him without lawful basis in conspiracy with certain persons who are gladiators in political circles.

Adegboruwa, however, disclosed that all attempts made to serve the court processes on the House of Assembly have so far been rebuffed, as policemen at the gate denied access to the court bailiff and also counsel from the office of solicitors to the claimant.

Obi Asks Supreme Court To Nullify Tinubu’s Victory

Mohammed Shosanya

The Labour Party and its presidential candidate in the February 25, presidential election, Mr Peter Obi, have filed a 51-grounds of appeal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, seeking the nullification of declaration of President Bola Tinubu by the Independent National Electoral Commission as winner of the election.

Obi’s notice of appeal was filed by his counsel, P. I. N Ikwueto SAN.

Obi told the apex court that the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court delivered on September 6, by Chairman of the 5-man panel, Justice Haruna Tsammani, was against the weight of evidence.

Obi is praying the Supreme Court
to allow his appeal, as well as set aside the “perverse Judgment of the Court below”.

He asked the apex court to grant the reliefs sought in the petition, either in the main or in the alternative.

PEPC: Peter Obi’s Lawyers Deceived Him-Labour Party

Mohammed Shosanya

Factional leader of Labour Party,Alhaji Lamidi Apampa,says saying that the party had warned against the stand of its presidential candidate in the February 25,2023 election,Peter Obi that he was only chasing a wild goose.

His action came on the heels of Wednesday’s presidential tribunal verdict which affirmed President Bola Tinubu as the valid winner of the election

He conveyed this in a statement by the national publicity secretary of the Party, Dr Abayomi Arabambi,saying it was a shame that the legal team of Mr Peter Obi failed to advice him properly before going to the tribunal.

Accepting the Wednesday’s verdict,the party maintained that the whole process is a waste of time.

“Peter Obi has just gone on a wild goose chase, imaging the candidate that failed to fund the party in order to engage the number of required polling agents, also the filing of the witnesses outside the stipulated time has shown that the legal team is a failure.

“Some of us have been saying that Peter Obi decided to go to the tribunal to justify all the money he collected during the campaign, all that money was corruptly syphoned.

“It’s unfortunate that Obi failed to convince the Tribunal those polling units where he was rigged out. The tribunal also said that he “made generic allegations of irregularities against the respondent without specifying the polling units

“The petitioners allege irregularities and will use spreadsheets, inspection reports, and forensic analysis as evidence in the trial.The documents promised by the petitioners were not attached to the petition and served on the respondents,” he added.

The Justices ruled that Obi and the Labour Party did not adequately detail their allegations of corrupt practices, vote suppression, fictitious results, and other irregularities in their petition.

Labour party noted with all sense of purpose and in full agreement with the Presidential Tribunal that struck out report from the EU tendered by Peter Obi from Its record for not meeting the clarification guidelines.

The court said it rejected the reports on the ground that it was not tendered by official of the body which is the author and has custody of the document and also that Peter Obi lawyers were aware that the actual copy of the report was earlier in line with all extant Law that same report had earlier been tendered by Atiku Abubakar and PDP while prosecuting their petition before the tribunal

The Tribunal also affirmed that the Nigeria Police, through its IGP, had written to the US to confirm the criminal status of Bola Tinubu and the US government had replied in 2003 stating that Bola Tinubu had no criminal records in the US.

“Thus our previous position has now been confirmed that Peter Obi was just all out to defraud our party of donations made towards 2023 General Election which was in a scary Sum of $15m dollars and N12 billion Naira that Peter Obi deliberate used for cure Abure poverty lineage and help other Julius Abure IPOB irresponsible ethnic irredeemable irredentist supporters in order to have a life line

“0ur party is also in tandem with the tribunal that the claim by the Labour Party concerning the blurred 18,088 results sheets is totally unfounded as the party ought to have agents at every polling unit who will have a copy of the result sheet but here Peter Obi fraudulently converted all monies due to our agent across the country and they all refuse to represent the party at all pooling units

“On Peter Obi request that 25% FCT vote is a requirement before a president can be declared, we noted that this is a shame on the part of Peter Obi legal teams to be told in clear terms that Abuja is equal to every other states In Nigeria since according to the tribunal , residents Of Abuja don’t have special privileges, every Nigerian is equal.

“Finally ,in the hall of fame of absurdities,the prayers presented at the tribunal by Peter Obi and the restrained former National Chairman Julius Abure should be framed for entertainment of future students of Law

“How does anyone claim to have won an election based solely on pejoratives, assumption,vague rhetorics and zero evidence pointing to such being the case ,but on the expectation that the actual winner would be disqualified and by some stroke of black magic the candidate in the 3rd place will suddenly be declared winner , without any proof of having scored the Majority vote is absolute rascality on display by Peter Obi and Julius Abure”,the statement said.

PEPT:Labour Party Says Verdict Didn’t Reflect Desire Of Nigerians

Mohammed Shosanya

Labour Party has rejected the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday,which affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu,as the winner of the last presidential election in the country.

The party said that the verdict of the Justice Haruna Tsammani led panel did not reflect the law and the desire of the people.

It also stated that justice was not served, as it recalled that “Nigerians were witnesses to the electoral robbery that took place on February 25, 2023, which was globally condemned but the Tribunal in its wisdom refused to accept the obvious.”

National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, in a statement said that: “The Labour Party watched with dismay and trepidation the dismissal of petitions by the five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court led by today and we reject the outcome of the judgment in its entirety because justice was not served and it did not reflect the law and the desire of the people.

“Nigerians were witnesses to the electoral robbery that took place on February 25, 2023, which was globally condemned but the Tribunal in its wisdom refused to accept the obvious.”

Insisting that Nigeria’s democracy was at stake,the party also pledged not to relent until the will of the people prevail.

The party commended the doggedness of its team of lawyers who fearlessly exposed the rot in the nation’s system.

It added that whilst it weeps for the country’s democratic journey, it “refuse to give up on Nigeria.”

It assured Nigerians that it will publish details of its position “after consultation with our lawyers after the Certified True Copy of the judgment.

Edo:Obaseki,Shaibu Settle Rift

Rt. Philip Shaibu, Deputy Governor of Edo State, has retraced his steps over the crisis between him and his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki and others as he has written a letter withdrawing the suit he instituted against them.

In a statement he personally signed, the deputy governor said, his decision was to respect the intervention of several individuals including religious, prominent Edo people and the traditional institution and also appreciated the governor for agreeing on the peace initiatives.

The statement reads: “Re: SUIT NO. FHC/ABJ/CS/1027/2023 Between: – Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu and Inspector General of Police, State Security Service, The Governor of Edo State and The Chief Judge of Edo State.

“Arising from the series of meetings held with me and also with Mr. Governor by well-meaning Edolites and indeed Nigerians including Party Leaders, Traditional Rulers, and my Archbishop, His Grace Most Rev’d Dr. Augustine Akubeze, the Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese on the issues that led to my going to Court on the above-named suit and with due respect to these eminent personalities and leaders whose persuasions and persons | cannot ignore, |, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu have authorized and instructed my Solicitors to withdraw the Suit forthwith.

“I wish to sincerely thank and appreciate these well-meaning Nigerians, Party Leaders, Traditional Rulers, and my Archbishop, His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Augustine Akubeze for their kind words, advise and encouragement thus far in ensuring peace and unity in our dear State Edo.

“I also wish to place on record my special thanks to Mr. Governor, my boss and Senior brother for this path of peace” he declared.

Falana Seeks Release Of Detained Ogun Council Boss

Mohammed Shosanya

Human rights activist, Femi Falana, has demanded the immediate release of Wale Adedayo, the Chairman of Ijebu East Local government, from the custody of the Department of State Services.

Adedayo has been kept in custody since Friday for accessing Governor Dapo Abiodun of diverting the local government funds including allocations.

Falana demanded the release in a statement personally signed and made available to newsmen on Sunday.

The Chairman had exposed Governor Abiodun in a letter written to a former governor and leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chuef Olusegun Osoba.

The same petition was filed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Relates Offences Commission, ICPC.

Although the state government had debunked claims by Adedayo, about 7 local government lawmakers suspended Adedayo bearly 48 hours after the allegation was made public.

On Friday, ipon invitation by the DSS, Adedayo was detained on the same day.

Reacting to the development, Mr Falana asked the state governor to rather go to court if he feels the suspended Council Chairman had committed libel against him.

Mr Falana cited instances of Mr Abiodun’s predecessors who had at different times filed libel suits against media organisations.

According to Falana, Adedayo was acusses of instigating widespread hatred against the Governor in his local government, and that Adedayo was being detained because he refused to withdraw the allegation against Abiodun.

Mr Falana’s statement reads:“Last week, the Chairman of the Ijebu East Local Government, Ogun State, Mr. Wale Adedayo accused the State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun of diverting the statutory allocations of the 20 local governments in the State.

“Shortly thereafter, the Council boss was invited by the Ogun State Command of the State Security Service (SSS). However, when he turned up for the invitation on 1st September 2023, he was asked to respond to the petition submitted to the Command by the state government.

“In the said petition, it was alleged that Mr. Adedayo had instigated widespread acts of public disturbance and chaos in Ijebu East Local Government. Even though the embattled Council boss denied the allegation of instigating acts of public disturbance, the State Security Service has decided to detain him due to his refusal to withdraw the allegation levelled against Governor Abiodun

“Even though the Ogun State Government has denied the allegation of funds diversion, Governor Abiodun is advised to sue Mr. Wale Adedayo for libel in the Ogun State High Court. In similar circumstances, two of his predecessors, the late Governor Olabisi Onabanjo had sued the National Concord newspaper for libel in the Ogun State High Court in 1981 while Governor Segun Osoba sued the Punch Newspaper for defamation of character in the Ogun State High Court in 2001. Both Governors won the libel suits.

“Having regards to the facts and circumstances of this particular case, I am compelled to request the Ogun State Command of the SSS to release Mr. Adedayo from custody forthwith.”