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Certificate Forgery: Petitioner Withdraws Case against Kwara Gov-Elect

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A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member, Adekunle Abraham, challenging the veracity of the secondary school certificate of Kwara State Governor-elect, Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq  has withdrawn the case.

Abraham, in the suit in the state high court is seeking to disqualify AbdulRazaq as governor-elect.

In a notice of discontinuance, Abraham said: “I hereby wholly discontinues the case against the defendant.”

The application is dated May 21, 2019 and filed on May 22, 2019.

The petitioner did not state any reason for the sudden decision to terminate the case.

However, it was gathered that his decision was predicated on the filing of the official confirmation of AbdulRazaq’s WAEC certificate in the respondent’s proof of evidence.

The confirmation was sent by the examination body through the legal team that had earlier applied for same.

“Not only this, the governor-elect’s legal team has also filed a number of depositions that proved Abraham’s claim that WAEC doesn’t issue a certificate with initials to be false,” a source said.

“The depositions contain a number of certificates with initials and within the years the governor-elect left secondary school,” the source added.

In view of Abraham’s application, the court is likely to strike out the case at the next adjournment date in June.

The governorship petition tribunal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, has fixed June 13 and 14 for the beginning of the trial in the PDP’s petition challenging the  declaration of AbdulRazaq as governor.

The PDP claimed the governor-elect does not have the secondary school leaving certificate, which is the legal prerequisite for anyone running for the office of governor – a claim AbdulRazaq insisted is false.

Chairman of the three-person panel Justice Bassey Effing announced the date after listening to counsel to the parties in the case at the continuation of the pre-hearing session yesterday.

He said the trial will hold at 10a.m. on every hearing date.

Effing said the petitioners will have four days (June 13,14 and July 9 and 10) to call their witnesses who would then be cross-examined by the respondents.

The first respondent, the INEC, will have two days (July 11 and 12) to present its defence. AbdulRazaq, who is the second respondent, will present his defence between July 16, 17 and 18; while the third respondent, which is the APC, will present its defence between July 23, 24 and 25.

Effing also said the report of the pre-hearing conference will be available after Monday May 27.

The Nation

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Adeleke Wins As Court Strikes Out Ineligibility Suit

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Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday struck out a suit seeking nullification of submission of name of Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the recent July 16 election.

The judge struck down the suit on the ground that the plaintiff lacked locus standi to institute the case.

The plaintiff in the suit, Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, PDP and Adeleke before the court seeking order to void and set aside the submission of Adeleke’s name to INEC on ground of alleged unlawful action.

The grouse of the plaintiff was that Adeleke’s name was hurriedly submitted by PDP on March 11 as against between March 14 to 18 as contained in the INEC guidelines.

Adeleke’s name having not been submitted within the period fixed by INEC, the plaintiff asked the court to declare the submission, illegal, unlawful, null and void and be set aside.

He claimed that INEC must be bound by its official guidelines and that anything done outside the guidelines is against the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

However, in his judgment, Justice Obiora Egwuatu struck out the suit on the ground that the said Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman lacked locus standi to have instituted the case.

The Punch

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Falconets Beat Canada 3-1, Set to Meet Holland in Quarter Final

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Nigeria’s U-20 girls, Falconets, set a World Cup group stage perfect record for themselves after beating Canada 3-1 in Alajuela on Thursday morning to finish with a perfect nine points out of nine in Group C.

Head Coach, Chris Musa, said before the encounter that his girls would seek to win even as a quarter-final ticket was already in the bag, in order to sustain their winning mentality following hard-fought victories over France and Korea Republic.

That was exactly what the Falconets did.
Africa’s best team conceded their first goal of the competition in an accidental manner, following goalkeeper Omini Oyono’s poor management of a backpass from Jumoke Alani that granted Kala Novak a fortuitous goal in less than two minutes.

“It was great for us to come back from that setback, and also conceding first in the tournament. We showed character and spirit, and that would be huge for us going forward in the competition,” Musa said after the match.

Midfield impresario Esther Onyenezide, whose vicious curling shot earned all three points against Korea Republic to send the Falconets into the last eight on Monday morning, scored from the penalty spot in the 24th minute to pull the Falconets level. Defender Mia Pante had handled the ball from a Blessing Okpe shot in the box.

The Falconets looked composed and surefooted in the middle with the return of Deborah Abiodun, who sat out the encounter with the Koreans, and Chiamaka Okwuchukwu also played an inspired game after starting for the first time in the tournament. Her firm header from a Blessing Okpe cross in the 15th minute missed narrowly.

Onyenezide shot Nigeria ahead, also from the spot, in the 32nd minute minute, after Simi Awujo’s dangerous play against Mercy Idoko, as the latter went for a header from Rofiat Imuran’s inswinger, was penalised.

In the added time of first period, Idoko came close to scoring her first goal of the tournament, but her touch from another Imuran inswinger kissed the upright.

In the second half, the Falconets added pace and brilliant use of space to their game, and it was no surprise when Imuran, again with a visionary cross, set up substitute Chioma Olise for Nigeria’s third goal.

Their imperial campaign in the group stage earns the Falconets a quarter-final date with the Netherlands in Alajuela as from 1am on Monday (Nigeria time).

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Supporters Throng Obasanjo’s Residence As Tinubu Visits Former President

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Scores of supporters of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, Wednesday, stormed the residence of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in Abeokuta as the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu visited the former President.

Tinubu arrived at the Penthouse of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Oke- Mosan, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, in his chopper at about 1:09pm in company of some party leaders.

He was received by Governor Dapo Abiodun, former Governor Gbenga Daniel, his predecessor, Segun Osoba, and other Ogun State government functionaries.

They have all gone into a meeting with the president.

The meeting was believed to be in connection with ambition of Tinubu in the coming elections.

Our correspondent reports that the duo had not been seen together since 2015 when he escorted the then APC candidate, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to Obasanjo’s residence.

He was also at the 78th birthday of the former President held at Abeokuta in March, 2015.

The two of them have since kept their distances as Obasanjo withdrew his support for Buhari and the APC, which he supported to power by tearing his card as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Punch

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