The Court of Appeal, on Monday, reserved judgment in the appeal filed by Osun State governor, Ademola Adeleke, seeking to upturn the decision of the petition tribunal, which earlier nullified his victory in the governorship election.
Judgment in the matter will be given at a later date as a three-member panel led by Justice Mohammed Shuaibu takes the arguments and adopts the briefs of all parties in the suit.
During proceedings on Monday, counsel for Adeleke, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) noted that a member of the panel, who is also a chief magistrate, did not give her opinion during the judgment delivery. Rather, she only signed her signature, arguing that the constitution mandates her to state her views in the suit.
Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, counsel for Oyetola, however, sumitted that merely signing the judgment, and not making any comment does not invalidate the judgment.
He noted that the case of over voting exceeded 6 polling units as claimed by the Appellant, adding that the anomaly was experienced in 744 polling units across the State.
Fagbemi further stressed that the findings of over voting were obtained from the back end server of INEC.
In their defence, however, Onyechi Ikpeazu argued that results stored in the backend server, are inconsistent and unreliable as they can be affected by internet connectivity and battery life of the BVAS used to upload the result.
These two factors according to him can affect the upload.
Adeleke’s counsel also stated that he conducted a physical examination on the BVAS, and it showed that over voting occurred in just six polling units, and not 744 as claimed by counsel for Oyetola.
Senator Adeleke who is candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party had won the said election held on July 16, 2022, the result which was nullified on the grounds of over-voting.
Adeleke had in February, appealed the judgement of the Osun State Governorship Tribunal which nullified his election.
The tribunal ruled in favour of former Governor Gboyega Oyetola. While delivering the judgment, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that Oyetola proved that there was over-voting in some of the polling units.
But Adeleke rejected the ruling and described it as a “miscarriage of justice”.
Weeks later, the governor filed an appeal before the Akure division of the Court of Appeal.
In the 31 grounds of appeal filed on Wednesday, Adeleke prayed the court for “an order setting aside the whole decision of the tribunal”.
The governor equally sought “an order striking out the petition for want of competence and jurisdiction or in the alternative, an order dismissing the petition on the merit”.
“The second respondent cannot ‘go lo lo lo lo’ and ‘buga won’ as the duly elected governor of Osun State,” the governor said.
“The tribunal, in its judgment, erred in law and displayed bias against the appellant when it made reference to the appellant’s dance at his inauguration as governor of Osun State, which was never an issue before the lower tribunal,” Adeleke noted.
“By referring to the appellant’s personal eccentricity for dancing, the lower tribunal derided and mocked him in a manner suggesting that it was biased against him.
“The appearance of bias manifests in the reference to the Appellant’s proclivity for dancing and particularly the Buga song, has rendered the decision of the lower tribunal a nullity.
“The tribunal in its judgment erred in law in returning the 1st respondent as the duly elected candidate without due regard to the enormity of the voters in the units where the results were cancelled for over-voting.”
Tinubu Not First African Leader to Ring NASDAQ Closing Bell, Presidency Apologises
The Federal Government apologised on Friday for saying that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the first African President to ring the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System (NASDAQ) closing bell.
Tinubu’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, tendered an official apology on behalf of the presidency in a statement where he said the error was regretted.
President Tinubu rang the closing bell of NASDAQ on Wednesday alongside business leaders, including the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu.
“We inadvertently referred to President Bola Tinubu as the first African leader to ring the bell at NASDAQ on Wednesday in New York, based on the information provided by a third-party event organiser,” Ngelale said.
“We have since found out that this information was/is incorrect, as a former African leader has indeed had the privilege. This error is sincerely regretted.”
It has been revealed that a former African leader had previously rung the bell at NASDAQ, debunking the earlier claim of Tinubu’s bell-ringing, which was perceived to be a historic achievement.
They argued that in 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, while Femi Otedola’s daughter, DJ Cuppy, rang the NYSE bell in 2019.
Contrary to the claim, the former President of Tanzania, Kikwete, First Ladies and Health Ministers rang the closing bell of NASDAQ in 2011, as announced by NASDAQ in a notification to the public dated 2011 with the title, “President Kikwete of Tanzania, First Ladies and Health Ministers, and Global Health Leaders to Ring The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell.’
Shaibu Eats Humble Pie, Apologises to Obaseki, Says ‘I Missed My Gov’
Call it the eating of a humble pie, and you may not be wring as the embattled Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, apologised to Governor Godwin Obaseki amid a face-off between them.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday in Benin City, Mr Shaibu appealed to Governor Obaseki to forgive his “mistakes” for them to continue to work together, Channels TV reported.
“I use this medium to appeal to Mr Governor, if there is anything that I don’t know that I have done, please forgive me so that we can develop our state together,” he said.
“We have just one year to go. We have been the envy of the entire country. So, Mr Governor, if there is anything you feel that I have done, please I am sorry. I need us to work together to finish well and strong,” the deputy governor added.
When asked if he had resumed at his new office, Mr Shaibu said, “We have resumed but there is still a lot of work to be done there.
“There is no problem about it. The governor has asked us to go there. Like I have always tried to prove, I am a loyal servant and nothing has changed.
“I took a personal vow to support my governor and you can see my Catholic people are here. When I took a vow with God, nothing can change it and I wish that the relationship that we had will come back in the next few days and weeks.”
Mr Shaibu also said he has been missing the governor since their rift began, and expressed hope that God will “touch the governor’s heart” to forgive him.
“I mean well. If there is any mistake I have made as a human, it is not out of wickedness because I know I’m not wicked. I have a very clean heart.”
Wike Revokes Undeveloped Lands in Abuja; Obi, Bua, Tobi, Imoke Others Affected
The Federal Capital Territory FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has announced the revocation of 167 plots of land in some highbrow districts of the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Areas affected are Maitama, Gudu, Wuye which had the highest revocation, 41; Katampe, Katampe Extension, Wuse 2, Jabi, Utako, Idu Industrial zone, and Asokoro which had the second highest revocation, 39.
In a notice issued Thursday night in Abuja, the administration said the plots were revoked due to the refusal or failure of their allottees to develop them.
“The Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA hereby informs the general public that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory has, in the exercise of the powers conferred on him under Section 28(5)(a) & (b) of the Land Use Act 1978, revoked the underlisted plots with names and titles as reflected in our records for continued contravention of the terms of development of the Right of Occupancy to wit non-development”, the administration said in the notice signed by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola.
Some of the plots revoked in Maitama district A05 had names like Liyel Imoke, Musa Aboki Egu, Hassan Hadejia and Ishaya Baba.
In Jabi, some of the plots revoked had allottees such as Sam Nda-Isaiah, and Donubari Josephine Kogbara, while Katampe district had Peter Gregory Obi, BUA international among others.
In other areas, this revoked had names as Julius Berger Nigeria, Honeywell Construction, Uffot Joseph Ekaette, Shittu Mohammed, Udoma Udo Udoma, Kanu Agabi, Niki Niki Tobi, Ishaku Bello, and others.
Wike had on assumption of office vowed to restore the master plan of the territory and revoke plots that had not been developed or those whose ground rents have not been paid for years.
He had consequently given a two-week grace to allottees to pay their ground rents or risk revocation of their allocations.