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PDP Kicks as Police Arrest, Detain Adeleke

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The Peoples Democratic Party  has  protested against the detention   of its candidate  for  last year’s  Osun State governorship election, Ademola Adeleke, by the police  on Monday.

Adeleke  was  detained at  Force Headquarters in Abuja  after he was invited by the  police

“This is highly provocative, an invitation to anarchy and a recipe for a very serious crisis not only in Osun but also in the judiciary and our  nation,” the PDP National Publicity Secretary,Ologbindiyan, said at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

“The arrest and detention of Senator Adeleke is a direct act of violence against our laws, the institution of the judiciary and the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“This is part of the grand plot by the All Progressives Congress to coerce Senator Adeleke into relinquishing  the mandate that was freely given to him by the people of Osun State, which was further established by the tribunal.”

Ologbondiyan said the plot was to arraign  Adeleke before  “an ostensibly compromised magistrate’s  court” over the same issues of alleged examination malpractice and certificate forgery before the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He said, “The heinous calculation by the APC is to ensure that Senator Adeleke is not free to be sworn in as governor of Osun State as they know he will surely obtain justice and retrieve his stolen mandate at the Court of Appeal and  Supreme Court.

“The police arrested him  in  the guise of an invitation despite the direct orders of the Federal High Court restraining  them  or  their agents from arresting and detaining him on account of  the statement of result and testimonial duly issued by the Ede Muslim Grammar School, Ede, pending the determination of the originating summons pending in the court.

“Senator Adeleke, as a law-abiding citizen honoured an invitation by the police only for him to be arrested and detained in a dingy facility in Maitama, in direct affront to the order of the Federal High Court.”

The PDP  argued that  arraigning  Adeleke in a magistrate’s  court for a matter already being heard by the Federal High Court was aimed at  causing a  crisis in the judiciary.

The party said, “The PDP therefore demands  the immediate and unconditional release of Senator Adeleke by the police.”

The police  said the lawmaker  would  be arraigned on Tuesday for unstated criminal offences.

Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, confirmed to one of our correspondents that they had taken Adeleke into custody.

He stated, “Senator Adeleke is currently in police custody. He was taken into custody in the evening   (Monday) in connection with ongoing criminal investigations touching on his person.”

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Abuja had granted Adeleke  permission to travel to the United States  for a  checkup on Tuesday.

Justice Inyang Ekwo however ordered him to honour a fresh police invitation on May 6 (Monday), before travelling the next day.

In his ruling delivered on Friday, but which its enrolled order was seen  by The PUNCH on Monday, the court specifically directed the police not to prevent Adeleke  from travelling  on May 7.

The judge ordered him to return to the country on June 9.

Adeleke’s passport was  seized by the court last year as the bail condition granted him, following his arraignment.

The  judge ordered the Chief Registrar of the court to release the passport to him to enable him to embark on the foreign trip.

Justice Ekwo also ordered Adeleke to return the passport to the Chief Registrar within three days of his arrival in Nigeria on June 9.

He delivered his ruling after hearing Adeleke’s lawyer, Dr Alex Iziyon (SAN), and the prosecuting counsel, Simon Lough, on Friday.

After Adeleke applied for the release of his passport, the police opposed the application on the  ground that there was a fresh  petition  against him.

The petition was said to have been filed after the senator had filed his application before the court.

Others standing trial before the court alongside  Adeleke are  Sikiru Adeleke, the Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Alhaji Aregbesola Muftau, Registrar of the school, Gbadamosi Ojo, and a teacher in the school, Dare Olutope.

The prosecution accused the five defendants of committing the offence of examination malpractices by fraudulently, through impersonation, registering Adeleke and another Sikiru Adeleke, as pupils  of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School for the National Examination Council’s June/July 2017 Senior School Certificate Examination in February 2017.

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APC Chairman Confirms Party’s February 26 National Convention Date

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The chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni, has confirmed February 26 as the ruling party’s convention date.

Buni made the announcement on Tuesday at the National Progressive Women’s Conference in Abuja.

The chairman, who doubles as Yobe State governor said the women in the APC played a key role in the success of the party’s recent membership drive.

He said: “The party under my stewardship conducted membership registration and revalidation exercise. We found it expedient to constitute a special committee on women and youth before the commencement of the exercise. The roles you played made the membership registration and revalidation a huge success.

“Today, APC parades over 41 million registered members, asserting our position as Africa’s largest political party and of course, Nigeria’s leading political party. With these, we are confident of winning the 2023 general election with huge success.

“I want to use this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your support to the party, before during and after the exercise. I also look forward to your more support during the convention and indeed the general election.

“I’m proud to add that APC is the most women-friendly party in Nigeria. Let me also assure you that the party shall reciprocate this gesture by supporting women and youth in their political aspirations and realising their political dreams.

“We look forward to having more women contesting in the forthcoming national convention of the party from February 26, 2022, and the general election. Now as we approach the convention and move closer to the next general election, I wish to remind you of the progressive roles in supporting progressive-minded leaders, aspiring for various offices for the betterment of our country.”

Also speaking, Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti state governor, called for the support of the female members of the party ahead of the convention.

“Without our women, we have no future. We have no present or past. We have a duty and responsibility to improve on solidarity that we give the women of our country,” the governor said.

“We are not doing them a favour. If you have worked with women, they deliver. My women commissioners are the best commissioners.

“I have no doubt that this conference will give us a lot to chew on. We should make it a policy convention.”

TheCable

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I Won’t Support Tinubu’s Presidential Ambition – Ojudu

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The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, says he will not support the presidential ambition of All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu.

Ojudu further stated that contrary to reports, Tinubu did not make him successful as he was already an accomplished publisher before meeting the former Lagos State governor.

The former lawmaker said this in a statement titled, ‘Principled Political Choices are not Betrayal’.

Ojudu, who is leading the campaign for Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to be the next President, said he would continue to follow his conscience.

He said, “The idea that everyone who has related with Tinubu and disagrees with him on this Presidential bid is a traitor and a betrayer is puerile. Many of us, his associates, were not made by him as you also want the world to believe.

“We were already made before meeting him and in the course of relating we gave one another a helping hand. As far back as 1992 when I came to know him I was already one of the editors of a popular news magazine with a good standing too in the civil society.”

Ojudu, who represented Ekiti Central Senatorial District between 2011 and 2015, said he could not in good conscience support Tinubu for the Presidency.

He stated that he would not be intimidated by those describing him as a traitor.

“On this matter of 2023 I wish him well but I cannot in good conscience give him my support or cast my vote for him in the coming primary. It is my right. I am above 60 years of age for God sake. I almost died seeking these inalienable democratic rights, held up in detention and severally tortured. Your god is not my god.

“Let no one think he can browbeat or blackmail me to do what does not go with my conscience or my ideals. Enough of your phone threats and embarrassment of my family members!” said Ojudu.

The Presidential aide recalled how he resigned after disobeying an order by his then employer, Chief MKO Abiola, to apologise to then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, for writing a story critical of his regime.

Ojudu revealed how human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), also forced him to refund the money he invested in his newspaper after Ojudu decided to join Tinubu’s clique.

He said he also defied his father’s wishes by joining Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria when his father was a member of the National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic.

The veteran journalist said the story of his life has been about conviction and he would continue to follow his conscience as regards political decisions.

He added, “When I left that job, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, a man whom I was indebted to greatly (gave me a scholarship in my school days alongside King Sunny Ade) invested in my publishing platform (The News, publisher of PM news). The same one that was consequential in the battle to bring democracy back to Nigeria.

“At the conclusion of that struggle, Chief Fawehinmi insisted we sit out politics. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu disagreed with this notion, and I did as well. Against an obvious choice to blind loyalty, I went along with Senator Tinubu even serving severally in critical roles as he assumed the Governorship position. My actions angered Chief Gani so much he asked that I repay his investments. Guess what? I gladly did.”

“So if my principled stance against NPN, against IBB and against ‘siddon look’ was not betrayal of my father, Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi respectively, why would my principled stance against our leader’s present ambition be?” he asked.

The Punch

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Court Orders DSS to Allow Nnamdi Kanu Change of Cloth, Adjoins Case to Wednesday

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, adjourned further proceedings in the case against the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, till Wednesday.

The adjournment followed Kanu’s complaints that the Federal Government failed to promptly serve him the fresh 15 amended charges it brought before the court.

Kanu, through his team of lawyers led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, further accused the FG of denying him the necessary facility to defend the charge against him.

Ozekhome told the court that the amended charges were served on them barely 24 hours to the scheduled hearing.

“My Lord, the proposed amended charges were served on us yesterday (Monday) evening. As I speak to you, my lord, the defendant, who was just brought in, has not even seen the charges which he is being told to enter his plea.

“With due respect, that is not justice. It is ambushing. I know that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act allows the Federal Government to amend, but this is the sixth amendment they are making, and each time they do it, they serve us a day to the hearing, just to frustrate the trial,” Ozekhome added.

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