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We are no longer in possession of Adeleke’s certificates – INEC tells tribunal

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Osun State governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission in Osun State, Dr Mutiu Agboke has said the Form CF 001 of Senator Ademola Adeleke used in the 2018 governorship election is no longer in possession of the commission.

Recall that the tribunal had earlier granted a subpoena application to the petitioners, compelling the REC to produce Adeleke’s Form CF 001.

Form CF 001 is the nomination form and all its attachments, including the certificates used in the 2018 election.

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress had on August 5 submitted a petition before the tribunal in Osogbo.

Oyetola and APC are challenging the election results from 749 polling units across 10 local government areas of the state for various alleged electoral malpractice, especially over-voting.

INEC had declared Adeleke as the winner of the July 16 governorship election, having polled 403,271 votes against 375,027 polled by Oyetola.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday in Osogbo, Counsel to the petitioners, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), reminded the tribunal of the subpoena it granted and served on REC on November 15.

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Olujinmi told the tribunal that the subpoena on REC has yet to be obeyed and as such his second witness in the petition could not be called.

According to him, the testimony of the witness would be based on the said documents.

Counsel for the first respondent, INEC, Paul Ananaba, told the court that the REC had sent a representative to appear before the tribunal on the order of the subpoena.

The REC representative, Mr Sheu Mohammed, who is INEC Deputy Director on Election and Party Management, told the tribunal that the said Adeleke’s Form CF 001 was no longer with the commission in the state.

Mohammed said after the 2018 governorship election, the said documents were submitted to INEC headquarters in Abuja, adding that they only have the photocopies of the said documents in the state.

“The Form CF 001 documents were submitted to INEC headquarters through the party, but photocopies were given to us for the purpose of record.

“What we have here in the state is Form EC8A series, after the election litigation,” he said.

The petitioners’ counsel said the REC had the duty to go to INEC headquarters to obtain the said documents.

“Until your lordship discharges the subpoena, it is the duty of the REC to obey it and it remains.

“I am applying that your lordship directs INEC Chief Officer or any of his officers he may direct to produce the true certified copy of INEC Form CF 001, including all the attached documents,” he said.

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But, Ananaba disagreed with the petitioners’ counsel, adding that REC could not order INEC headquarters to produce the said certificate.

“The subpoena is incompetent and my position is that REC has complied with the subpoena.

“The representative of REC is here and REC is different from INEC.

“So, the subpoena has been complied with, because the representative of REC is here to tell the court he is not in the custody of the said documents,” he said.

In his objection, Adeleke’s Counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said that since the documents requested to be produced by INEC are Certified True Copies (CTC), it could be applied and paid for, without necessarily bringing to the court.

Ikpeazu said that based on the fact that the petitioners already have CTC at their disposal, they should be compelled to continue with the calling of the witnesses whose testimony hanged on the documents requested from INEC.

Also, Counsel to the third respondent (PDP), Alex Izinyon (SAN), also said that since the petitioners already have the documents in question, they should be compelled to call the witness.

After the arguments and counterarguments by the counsels, the tribunal Chairman, Justice Tertsea Kume, adjourned further hearing until November 25 to rule on the subpoena application.

Meanwhile, the second witness called by the petitioners, Rasak Adeosun, told the tribunal that there were irregularities and overvoting during the election.

Adeosun, who is the Returning Officer for the petitioner in the Olorunda Local Government area, while being cross-examined by counsel to respondents, told the tribunal that BVAS was not used for the election in 749 polling units in 10 local government areas.

Adeosun, who is also Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Oyetola, said he received reports of the happenings in the polling units on election day.

The witness said he discovered that there was no substantial compliance with the INEC’s guidelines and the Electoral Act in the contentious 749 polling units.

(NAN)/Vanguard

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Osogbo shut down for Atiku/Okowa as LP guber candidate joins PDP

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Some major roads in Osogbo, Osun State, were, yesterday, shut for hours during the presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa.

All the roads that led to Nelson Mandella Freedom Park, venue of the programme, were closed from Gbodofon to Olaiya Flyover to Old Garage.

Addressing party members and loyalists, Atiku promised that he would start the war against insecurity and unemployment on the first day he assume office as president.

He commended the people of Osun for voting PDP into power, adding, “I believe by returning PDP to power at the federal level, you will strengthen this authority because a Federal Government controlled by PDP and state government controlled by PDP in Osun is to the greater good of you all.

“Our only objective is to make sure that current challenges of insecurity, disunity, economic deprivation, lack of jobs to our youths and the future of this country through restructuring can be achieved, these I promise you. I am going to start doing them from day one in the office.

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“It means empowering Osun State with more resources in authority to do what needs to be done. What need to be done is to provide the infrastructure needed for development, invest in education, and healthcare, and bring about industrialization for the economic benefit of the people of Osun.

“I appeal to you to come out in great numbers as you did in the last state election and vote PDP in the next year’s election. That is the only way you can secure your future and that of your children. We will not fail you. We are not like APC. We have done it before, we got the experience and capacity to bring the needed changes. We are not new as far as governance is concerned in Nigeria,” Atiku added.

He assured traditional rulers of a place in the scheme.

Atiku, who paid a visit on some traditional rulers including the Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal, said his plan for the traditional institution was to ensure they have a constitutional role to play.

Governor Ademola Adeleke assured the people that Atiku would end kidnapping if elected, saying the experience he has garnered as vice president would help him to deliver good governance.

National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, welcomed the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) and former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, to the PDP.

SUN

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2023 Election: PDP admits Obi’s votes will affect its chances

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Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi
Chika Nwoba, the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State, on Wednesday predicted that Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party for the 2023 election, might “give the PDP and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) a fiery polling challenge”.

Newsbreak.ng reports that Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, is considered one of the frontline candidates in respect of the forthcoming 2023 poll.

“If the kind of crowd accosting Peter Obi in the North Central are going to vote for him on the day of election, without a doubt, he’s going to give PDP and APC a fiery polling challenge.

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“Painful enough is that it’s the ancestral statutory votes of PDP that are being dragged like this,” Nwoba wrote on his known Facebook page.

A successful banker and trader, Obi was the vice-presidential candidate of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the PDP (in the 2019 election).

He teamed up with the Labour Party in May and subsequently emerged the party’s presidential candidate.

The 61-year-old commands a large number of online army, majority of whom are people frustrated with the two major political parties, the APC and PDP.

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Court throws out suit challenging Tinubu’s candidacy

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit challenging the candidacy of Bola Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Fadima Aminu Muritala, who threw out the suit, described the plaintiff, Ngozika Ihuoma, as a “meddlesome interloper having no locus standi to institute the suit”.

Ihuoma dragged Tinubu and five others to court on June 9, 2022 after Tinubu had won the APC presidential primary election.

He sought for six reliefs, which included the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) barring Tinubu from contesting the next year’s presidential election.

Tinubu in June defeated 13 other contenders to emerge the presidential flag bearer of the APC. He won with a total vote of 1,271.

A statement on Wednesday by the Director, Media & Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, said, “In defence of the suit, the law office of Babatunde Ogala (SAN) & Co on behalf of All Progressives Congress filed a counter affidavit in opposition to the Originating Summons and a Notice of Preliminary Objection.

“The counter affidavit challenged Ihuoma’s locus standi and grounds for the action.

“It sought a court declaration that the case was speculative, pre-emptive and non-justiciable being the internal affairs of a political party.

“The counter affidavit also punctured Ihuoma’s case as academic, theoretical and an abuse of court process.

“The court on Monday upheld the defence counsel’s objections and struck out the case.”

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