Alleged forgery: Why we can’t disqualify Obaseki by INEC – Newstrends
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Alleged forgery: Why we can’t disqualify Obaseki by INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it does not have the power to investigate or disqualify candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo during the September 19 election of Governor Godwin Obaseki, over alleged forgery of the University of Ibadan’s (UI) certificate.

It noted only a court order could disqualify a governorship candidate from participating in an election.

INEC stated that it could not investigate the originality, authenticity, or otherwise of the disputed UI’s first-degree certificate presented to the commission by Edo Governor because it was beyond its responsibility.

The electoral commission, as the first respondent in the petition filed by Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its governorship candidate, Iboi Emmanuel, at the Edo governorship election petitions tribunal in Benin, made the submissions in its reply, with a copy obtained on Sunday.

The reply was signed by INEC’s lead counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

The electoral commission said: “The information given by the third respondent (Obaseki) in the affidavit and documents submitted by him as a candidate at the election in INEC’s nomination form (Form C.F. 001) are presumed manifestly true or prima facie correct until and only if the contrary is proved and/or pronounced false by an order of the court.”

PDP, last week, admitted there were noticeable errors in Obaseki’s UI’s certificate, which it claimed occurred while filling the forms for the election in 2016.

It claimed the governorship candidate “mistakenly” wrote 1976 as his year of graduation, which ought to be his year of admission.

The PDP said: “At the time Obaseki was completing his Form CF001 in 2016, he deposed to an affidavit, stating that he had misplaced the originals of all of his certificates, while changing offices, with the intention to apply for a re-issuance if his certificates.

“The original certificate was issued in A5 size. In order for the photocopy of the certificate to be attached to Form CF001, the size was reduced to A4 and in the process, leaving out some information on the certificate.”

Five petitions were filed at the tribunal chaired by Justice Abdulrazak Abdulkareem against INEC; PDP; Obaseki and his deputy/running mate, Philip Shaibu; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its standard-bearer, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Besides ADP and its governorship candidate, there were four other petitions from Action Peoples Party (APP) without joining its governorship candidate, Amos Areloegbe; Action Alliance (AA) and its governorship candidate, Ukonga Onaivi; Allied Peoples Movement (APM), excluding its governorship candidate, Igbineweka Osamuede, and Tracy Agol, without joining her political party, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

The petitioners prayed the tribunal to nullify the September 19 election over forgery, perjury, and massive rigging as well as ordering a fresh election with the exclusion of PDP and Obaseki.

-The Nation

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I’ve never taken bribe since joining police in 2005 – Force PRO Adejobi

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Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi

I’ve never taken bribe since joining police in 2005 – Force PRO Adejobi

Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi, has boasted that he has never for once accepted a bribe of any kind since he started active service as a police officer.

Adejobi, who is an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), made this revelation in a post on his verified X account on Sunday.

The Force PRO, while responding to a netizen who asked if he had ever taken bribes before, said accepting bribes is a taboo for him as a royal prince.

According to him, accepting a bribe is not just ungodly but also affects someone somewhere anytime it is taken.

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He noted that the essence of life is to put smiles on the faces of others and not to be the source of their tears.

He further revealed that he has taken it upon himself to preach against accepting bribery to his fellow police officers and other people around him.

He wrote, “No. It’s a taboo for a royal prince to take a bribe. Taking bribe definitely makes someone somewhere cry for many reasons, and it’s ungodly to do so. Your main purpose in life is to put smiles on people’s faces. It’s Godly and rewarding. It’s my personal principle and a call to duty. I preach this to my colleagues and many others always. May we have the grace to remain steadfast and purposeful in life.”

Adejobi, who is a prince from Orile-Owu Community in Ayedaade Local Government Area of Osun State, was reappointed as the Force PRO by the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, in August 2023.

I’ve never taken bribe since joining police in 2005 – Force PRO Adejobi

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Oba of Benin receives 2 looted ancestral stools from Germany

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Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II

Oba of Benin receives 2 looted ancestral stools from Germany

The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, has received two looted royal stools carted away during the invasion of Benin City in 1897, from the German government.

The artefacts — bronze and wooden royal stools (Ekete), were looted during the reign of Oba Eresoyen and Oba Esigie several centuries ago.

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The returned artefacts were handed over to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, NCMM, on behalf of the Nigerian government by the German authorities in 2022.

Presenting the items to the Oba of Benin in his palace, the Director-General of National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mr Olugbile Holloway, pledged to work-hand-in hand with the Benin Royal Court in uplifting and displaying Edo heritage.

He said as the Benin bronzes and other art works are gradually making their way home (Nigeria), adding that the NCMM will join hands with the Royal Court to create a befitting destination for people around the world to come and appreciate these works.

Oba of Benin receives 2 looted ancestral stools from Germany

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Osun: Obaship tussle rages in Iree as court restrains Gov Adeleke again

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Osun: Obaship tussle rages in Iree as court restrains Gov Adeleke again

A High Court sitting in Osogbo has refused the prayer of the Osun State government to vacate the order preventing Governor Ademola Adeleke from issuing certificates, instruments and staff of office to one Prince Muritala Oyelakin as the Aree of Iree.

The state government, Oyelakin and seven others, through their counsel, Kayode Titilaoye, who is the Director of Legal Reform in the state Ministry of Justice, and Dr. D. A. Ariyoosu, had approached the court to vacate the restraining order granted Oba Raphael Oluponle, which stopped the official presentation of staff of office to Oyelakin on May 3, 2024 and to also refuse the interlocutory injunction sought by Oba Oluponle to restrain Adeleke from taking any further step on Aree stool pending the determination of the substantive matter before the court.

At the hearing last week, counsel to Oba Oluponle, Dr Muritala Abdurasheed, SAN, informed the court that the substantive matter was already before the court and parties had been served accordingly.

He urged the court to grant the interlocutory injunction, arguing that taking further steps on the matter before the court was not only contemptuous of the judiciary but also injurious to Oba Oluponle.

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Justice M.O Awe, in his ruling, refused the application of the state government and Oyelakin and granted interlocutory injunction sought by Oba Oluponle and restrained Governor Adeleke from issuing certificate, instrument and staff of office.

The order reads in part: “It is my view that the complainant’s application for interlocutory injunction ought to succeed. Accordingly, the application succeeds and it is hereby ORDERED AS PRAYED. “Specifically, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants/respondents are hereby restrained from installing the 9th defendant and respondent as Aree of Iree and/or present a staff of office to the said 9th defendant /respondent pending the hearing and the determination of the substantive suit that is the originating summon of the claimant pending before the court.

Parties are to bear their costs.”

It would be recalled that the court, on Friday, May 3, 2024, stopped Governor Adeleke from presenting staff of office to Oyelakin at an event scheduled to hold on Saturday, May 4, 2024 in Iree after preparations had been concluded for the ceremony.

The state government, through his Commissioner for Information and Civic Engagement, Kolapo Alimi, in a statement, said the governor had obeyed the court order and suspended the ceremony till further notice and directed the government legal team to approach the court to vacate the interim order.

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Oba Oluponle had been appointed by the former Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s administration and presented with the certificate and staff of office, but Governor Adeleke later issued an Executive Order that he should vacate the palace, without recourse to the fact that a case was pending in court on the matter as of the time.

The government subsequently issued a White Paper nullifying the appointment of Oba Oluponle and ordered that the case which was instituted against his appointment should be withdrawn before the commencement of a new process.

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