Oyo South Senatorial District: Appeal Court Denies Ajimobi Victory

File photo: Governor Abiola Ajimobi said the All Progressives Congress (APC) has performed well to see re-election of a second term, during an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019.

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan has reaffirmed the victory of Senator Kola Balogun in the February 23 National Assembly election, in line with the tribunal judgement earlier delivered in September, bringing the legal battle between himself and senatorial candidate of the APC, Abiola Ajimobi, to an end.

In a 45-minute judgement delivered by Justice Haruna Issamani of the Federal Court of Appeal on Friday, the Judge upheld the Victory of Senator Kola Balogun, saying that the petition which had claimed that he was not duly elected through majority votes, was not valid.

He explained in his judgement that the election of senator Kola Balogun was valid as it was in compliance with all necessary electoral rules and regulations as was held by the tribunal in the earlier judgement.

Read Also: Ajimobi Loses Bid For Oyo South Senatorial District To PDP’s Balogun

The judge also upheld the decision of the tribunal that the issue of eligibility of a candidate should be challenged at the high court and not at the election tribunal.

The lead counsel to Senator Kola Balogun, Chief Olumuyiwa Makinde said the judgement was in line with the wish of the people.

Counsel representing the PDP, Barrister Bamidele Ogunjinmi, said all the witnesses presented by the appellant were not qualified to appear before the court.

Reacting to the ruling, Mr Balogun thanked God for giving him victory after five legal battles initiated by the APC.

The court of appeal is the final arbiter on election petition matters concerning National Assembly elections.

Ex-Oyo Gov Ajimobi Loses Bid At Tribunal To Become Senator

A file photo of former Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.

 

 

The immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has lost his bid to become a senator at the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ibadan.

The Tribunal on Tuesday dismissed the petition of the former governor challenging the victory of Senator Kola Balogun in the Ibadan South senatorial district election.

Having completed two tenures as governor of Oyo State, Ajimobi joined the tussle for the Ibadan South seat in the upper chamber of the National Assembly on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

The former governor was, however, defeated by Senator Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 elections.

READ ALSO: Tribunal Sacks Senate’s Spokesman Adeyeye, Declares Olujimi Winner

In a ruling that lasted about three hours, a three-man panel led by Justice Anthony Akpovi dismissed Ajimobi’s petition and held that he failed to prove all the allegations of corruption against the lawmaker.

Justice Akpovi noted that a margin of 13,502 votes between the votes cast for Senator Balogun and the former governor, adding that the discrepancy of 11,759 votes alleged by the APC was far lesser than the difference.

He held that even if the 11,759 was deducted from the total difference of 13,502 votes, Senator Balogun still led by 1,743 votes.

The judge also stated that the APC candidate rested his case on card reader malfunction but the Tribunal held that a card reader malfunction cannot invalidate the accreditation of voters.

He, thereafter, dismissed the petition challenging the election of the lawmaker.

In a related development, the Tribunal in another judgement delivered by Justice Sambo Daka upheld the victory of Senator Fatai Buhari in the Ibadan North senatorial district election.

It dismissed the petition filed by a former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande, challenging Buhari’s election.

Justice Daka held that Adeola and her party, PDP failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt to warrant cancellation of the election held in the senatorial district.

Easter: Do Not Relent In Prayers, Gov Ajimobi Charges Christians

We’ve Delivered Democracy Dividends To Oyo People - Ajimobi
File photo: Abiola Ajimobi

 

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has urged Christians not to relent in prayers for the sustenance of the unity, peace and security of the country and for God to bring lasting peace to the troubled Northeastern region.

In an Easter message by the Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Bolaji Tunji, the governor also urged Christians to imbibe the spirit of love, sacrifice and selflessness exhibited by Jesus Christ, the symbol of Easter, in their relationship with one another.

“Easter is not only about wining and dining. It is an occasion to show love to one another as exhibited by God who, out of his love for mankind, offered Jesus Christ to die for our sins to give us life more abundantly.

“We should, therefore, eschew any divisive tendency, violence and other things that are antithetical to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Let us sustain our prayers for peace to continue to reign in Nigeria, particularly in the Northeast,” Ajimobi said.

READ ALSO: Ambode Preaches Love, Tolerance In Easter Message To Lagosians

The Governor expressed appreciation to the Christian faithful for their fervent prayers for the state throughout his eight-year tenure, which, he said played a key role in the restoration of peace and security, as well as his unprecedented achievements.

“Permit me to use this opportunity to thank Christians and affiliate bodies in the state for their support and prayers for our dear state in the past eight years, without which we would not have been able to achieve anything tangible.”

He asked that the people should emulate Jesus Christ, who voluntarily offered himself as a living sacrifice for the redemption of mankind.

PICTURES: President Buhari Hosts APC Governors, Senators-Elect To Dinner

 

President Muhammadu Buhari hosted Governors and Senators-Elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to dinner on Monday evening.

Channels TV gathered that the main purpose of the dinner was to hold talks about the leadership of the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: PDP Congratulates Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto Governors-Elect

Those present at the event were Governors, Nasir El-Rufai, Abiola Ajimobi, Akinwunmi Ambode, National chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole and a host of other elected APC Senators.

Below are photos from the event:

Accommodate Those Who Can Add Value To Your Govt, Ajimobi Tells Makinde

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, at the Government House in Ibadan on March 14, 2019.

 

Governor Abiola Ajimobi has advised the governor-elect of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, to shun bitterness and accommodate those who can add value to the progress of the state.

The governor gave the advice on Thursday when he received Mr Makinde who led his deputy governor-elect, Mr Remi Olaniyan, and several others on a courtesy visit to the Government House in Ibadan, the state capital.

It is the first time a governor-elect would visit an incumbent in the state, since the return to democracy in the country in 1999.

“You must beware of praise-singers and avoid acrimony. It is also better to leverage relationships. I know you as a man of peace,” Governor Ajimobi told his guest.

He added, “You have started with a very good spirit. I want you to encourage inclusiveness and accommodate those you know can add value to your government and the state.”

READ ALSOAccountability For Human Rights Violations Remains Elusive, Says Amnesty

The governor commended the governor-elect, who contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for initiating the visit.

Governor Ajimobi gave the assurance that he was ready to render useful advice and support to Makinde when necessary, despite being a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC),

He said, “It is good that we have moved the state to a civil level. We thank God that the electioneering campaign was devoid of disparaging comments and accusation.

“We have achieved and may the Almighty God grant you the wisdom to also achieve the best. We want you to leverage our achievement and improve upon those we are yet to achieve.”

Earlier, the governor-elect explained that his visit was necessary to tap from the governor’s wealth of experience and seek his assistance for the serious work of governance.

He promised to give his best towards sustaining their shared vision towards a prosperous Oyo State, where justice and equity would prevail.

“Our state is dear to us all. You have done your part and done your best. We will still continue to relate very well towards building a state where fairness and equity will prevail,” Makinde said.

See the photos below:

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, at the Government House in Ibadan on March 14, 2019.

PHOTOS: Ajimobi Receives Oyo Governor-Elect Makinde, PDP Members

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, at the Government House in Ibadan on March 14, 2019.

 

In what has been described as a history-making event in Oyo State, the governor-elect in the state, Mr Seyi Makinde, on Thursday visited Governor Abiola Ajimobi, in his office in Ibadan, the state capital.

Mr Makinde put aside his political difference with the governor and led his deputy governor-elect, Mr Remi Olaniyan, and some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to the Government House.

READ ALSOAccommodate Those Who Can Add Value To Your Govt, Ajimobi Tells Makinde

The governor-elect was also accompanied on the visit by the Oyo PDP Chairman, Kunmi Mustapha; Director-General of Seyi Makinde Campaign Organisation, Bayo Lawal; and Senator Hosea Agboola among others.

The visit is captured in the pictures below:

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, at the Government House in Ibadan on March 14, 2019.

Oyo Releases N1.5bn For Payment Of Gratuity To Retired Teachers, Workers

 

The Oyo State Government says it has released the sum of One Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N1.5bn) as part payment of outstanding gratuity and pension arrears to retired primary school teachers and local government workers in the state.

Also, the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi has approved that the current salary of workers in the state is paid with their new financial benefits in line with 2012 – 2016 promotion exercise as recommended by the Technical Committee set up by the governor on February 14, 2019.

The government stated that the sum of Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (750M) will also be contributed quarterly by the Local Governments and its Local Council Development Areas (LCDAS) in the state for the same purpose in order to offset the accumulated gratuities of the retired local government workers including retired primary school teachers at all grade levels.

The State Government said this during a joint Press Conference involving the representatives of the State Government, the Local governments’ Chairmen, the Pensions Board, the Nigeria Union Pensioners and some of the affected pensioners at the Film Theatre, Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Secretariat, Ibadan.

READ ALSO: I’ll Implement N30,000 Minimum Wage, Prioritize Workers’ Welfare – Adelabu

The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola explained that the decision was taken after the out of court settlement between the state government and the NUP, saying that retired LGs workers should visit their various local governments to know the modalities involved in the collection of their gratuities.

Abimbola, who was with his counterparts from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade and Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun stated that the NUP and government recently received the enrolled order of the National Industrial Court, Ibadan Division delivered by Hon. Justice Dele Peters, ratifying the terms of out of court settlement agreed between the Government and the Pensioners’ Unions on Monday, March 4, 2019, stressing that the government has commenced the payment of the N1.5bn.

He noted that the out of court settlement proffered solution to the about 12 years of pensions arrears and gratuity, stating that steps have been taken to ensure that all due pensions will be paid as at when due without adding it to the arrears on the ground.

Abimbola said, “the resolution and the court’s pronouncement recognized that the accrued Pension and Gratuity arrears was, and remains the statutory duty and responsibility of the Local Government to pay to retirees of primary school teachers as well as the local government staff, thus the Oyo State Government never had the liability nor obligation by law and is not the one owing these arrears as being speculated in some certain quarters.

“Nevertheless, Governor Ajimobi intervened and directed we engage all stakeholders to ensure a final resolution of this age-long matter inherited by this administration.

We have also agreed with the NUP as part of the terms of resolution to immediately commence a biometric exercise in order to eradicate any hidden incident of ghost workers/pensioners in the local government service or teaching service,” the Attorney General said.

In his address, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade reiterated that the payment is for both deceased and living retirees, calling for maximum cooperation from the NUP so that the government efforts in alleviating the suffering of the retirees will be fruitful.

Speaking on behalf of the pensioners, the State Secretary of NUP, Comrade Olusegun Abatan thanked Governor Abiola Ajimobi for the kind gesture in settling the many years of imbroglio affecting the retired primary schools teachers and local government workers in the state, urging that the government should ensure that the next disbursement as agreed in the terms of settlement is ready as at when due.

The representative of local government chairmen, Chief Bosun Ajuwon, assured that local governments will live up to their expectation as all chairmen have budgeted a huge amount of money to be set aside monthly to ensure prompt payment of the outstanding, regretting that the pensioners’ arrears which predated this administration was just being resolved.

Implementation commenced immediately with the cheque presentation to some of the retirees after the Press briefing, while the process with payment to other pensioners are expected to continue tomorrow.

Music House: Ayefele Pays ‘Thank You’ Visit To Ajimobi

 

Popular music producer and owner of Fresh FM, Mr Yinka Ayefele, has expressed gratitude to the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, for assisting in rebuilding his music house.

Ayefele, who led top management of the radio station on what he called a `thank you’ visit to the governor, in his office on Wednesday, noted that the gesture brought joy back to his life.

The frontage of the building housing the radio station had been partially demolished by the state’s Physical and Urban Development Control in August 2018 for contravening physical planning and urban development laws.

The agency had justified its action on the initial refusal of the management of the building to rectify the infractions and its insistence on safeguarding lives and property of residents and commuters plying the area.

But following pleas by Ayefele, well-meaning Nigerians and the readiness of the management of the music house to comply with the restructuring model proposed by the agency, the matter was resolved with the intervention of the governor.

Read Also: Fresh FM’s Music House Contravenes Planning Laws, Oyo Govt Explains

Aiyefele, who described Ajimobi as a listening father and good leader, said he had learnt lessons from the whole saga and appreciated the need for mutual understanding and cooperation between the government and citizens.

He said: “I have come here with my management team to say a big thank you to our father (Ajimobi), a good leader and someone who I will boldly describe as a good example to this generation for his large heart.

“I also want to thank all the people working with the governor, especially the committee that worked with our own management committee on the remodelling and reconstruction of the Music House for their exemplary conduct.

“God has wiped away my sorrow through you (governor). You have helped me personally in this matter, because I have been down, emotionally since the partial demolition of the building. I have learnt lessons from the incident. Now, the building has become a better edifice.

“On behalf of my family, my staff and all the good people that expressed concern when the incident occurred, I hereby express my profound gratitude to the governor for the kind gesture.”

As a mark of appreciation, Ayefele later presented a sketched portrait of the governor to him, while Ajimobi in turn, commended the musician for the bold step.

 

Speaking further, Ajimobi, noted that institutions and citizens must not forget the lessons in the whole matter.

He said, “It is the grace and mercy of God that have made it possible for us to be where we are today; to be able to contribute to the society. I must first admit that my brother, Aiyefele, has contributed and he is still contributing immensely to the society.

“As government, it is our duty to promote and enhance the safety, security and socio-economic interests of the citizens. As a government, these we have been doing since 2011. We have been promoting peace, security and the rule of law.

“I am glad at your initiative to come here to express gratitude; even the initiative you took initially, to come and discuss with the government when our agency insisted that the rules guiding the urban and physical development must be adhered to.

“We agreed on a damage control because laws had been broken already. It is gratifying that you came and agreed that you would comply with the laws. I must say that you played a major role as a good citizen to ensure that government’s goals and objectives were protected.

“The Music House is no longer a death trap now. Those within the neighbourhood and commuters are no longer being obstructed from the traffic situation on adjoining roads. Those cursing me then, where are they now that we have corrected the contraventions?

“Citizens should know that government is for them and will always support them. But in doing this, they should also be prepared to obey the laws of the land because nobody is above the law.”

The governor prayed for the continuous success of Ayefele while also admonishing the media to guard against sensationalism and to be objective and factual by always establishing the veracity of their stories before publishing them.

Christmas: Ajimobi Urges Citizens To Be Thankful

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has appreciated the people of the state for standing by his administration and emphasised the need to be thankful.

The governor, during this year’s Christmas Carol and the thanksgiving service, held at the Agodi Gardens, Ibadan, urged citizens to always be thankful to God irrespective of their economic or social status.

He added that it is important for citizens to love and sacrifice for one another beyond the festive season. According to him, these were the virtues that the life and times of the symbol of the season, Jesus Christ, epitomised.

“My message this year is just gratitude, gratitude and gratitude. First, let me thank God for the opportunity given me to govern this state for an unprecedented two consecutive terms. Second, I thank the people of Oyo State for their support.

“I must thank God for His kindness and mercy, which made it possible for us to achieve all we were able to achieve. I must especially thank my wife publicly for her support. She has taught me more about kindness and Godliness. She took many children, especially orphans, off the streets and she is nurturing them the same way she nurtures our children,” he said.

READ ALSO: Ambode Preaches Love, Selflessness At Christmas

Ajimobi also used the opportunity to solicit the support of the people of the state for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in next year’s election, Adebayo Adelabu, whom, he said, would be a worthy successor.

The governor congratulated Christians on the Christmas celebration and urged them to spread love to their neighbours in the spirit of the season.

Ayefele, Ajimobi Meet Over Music House Demolition

 

The Oyo State Governor on Thursday met with Musician, Yinka Ayefele, over the demolition of his Music House in the state.

At the meeting which lasted nearly four hours at the governor’s office, Ajimobi maintained that the building had flouted the state government’s Land Use Act.

He, however, stated that the Rule of Law would be tempered with compassion to end the crisis.

Read Also: Court Adjourns Case On Demolition Of Ayefele’s Music House Till Sept 12

Ayefele on the other hand, regretted that he had not made a move to see the governor himself earlier, instead of sending emissaries.

He, however, assured the governor that his architect was already working on the building plan to correct all the lapses highlighted by government.

Also present at the meeting was traditional ruler, the Alaafin of Oyo (Oba) Lamidi Adeyemi, who also appealed to Ajimobi to handle the matter with compassion.

After the meeting, a committee set up by the government sat with Ayefele’s team to to find solutions to the matter.

Perpetrators Of Bodija Crisis Will Be Prosecuted, Ajimobi Vows

 

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has vowed that the perpetrators of the Bodija Market crisis will be prosecuted and made to rehabilitate the burnt police station.

The Governor affirmed this during his visit to the market, the burnt police station, and the Central Abattoir at Amosun, in company with Mr Abiodun Odude, the Commissioner of Police in the state.

He said that his administration would not tolerate hooliganism and thuggery, noting that government would not fold its hands and allow some dissidents to destroy its seven years labour of restoring peace and safety in the state.

“Let me assure you that the perpetrators of this violence will not go unpunished and they will rehabilitate the police station; people must be allowed to pay for their deeds. We did not destroy anybody’s stall or shop but government’s slaughter slabs. Or is there any crime in destroying what is not useful for the government again? Ajimobi wondered.

“We have not stopped them from selling meat at the Bodija market but no more slaughtering of cows there due to the poor hygienic condition. There was also resistance when butchers were moved from Gege to Bodija, so the resistance is not new but the crisis and violence were unnecessary,” he stated.

Perpetrators Of Bodija Crisis Will Be Prosecuted, Ajimobi Vows
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi with the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Abiodun Odude, during a visit to the burnt police station in Bodija, Ibadan on June 30, 2018.

Governor Ajimobi condoled with the traders and people at the market and assured them that the government may reopen the market soon after due consultation with the security agencies, as well as the community, market, and local government leaders.

According to him, an enemy of development and progress will condemn the action of the government to relocate the butchers to the central abattoir.

“We are talking about the general health of the people and not just the minute section in the market as every citizen of the state has one or two things to do with the Bodija Market, Ajimobi noted.

“The decision to have a central abattoir for the Ibadan butchers predated my administration and we saw the need to relocate the butchers as well. We started discussing with them since five years ago before we eventually relocated them this year.”

The governor explained that the management of the Central Abattoir comprises the 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Ibadan, the National Butchers Union of Nigeria (NUBN), and the Oyo State Government among others in line with the Public Private Partnership arrangement.

He said that the Central Abattoir at Amosun village is an ultra-modern facility equipped with the state-of-the-art facility, including pipe borne water, animal health centre, and police post among others.

Ajimobi maintained that the health condition of the people remains one of the government priorities, while proper hygiene should practice in an environment where meat is being produced for millions of people.

He recalled that the Bodija Abattoir was closed last year due to the poor hygienic situation of the facility where cow dungs were left unpacked for months.

“The market was closed in 2017 for three days because of the sanitation implications,” the governor said. “There was unhealthy treatment of cattle blood, offensive odours, unhygienic spread of meat, air pollution due to gaseous emission from the cow dung and the government was concerned about the likely epidemic disease from flies spread.”

Responding, the leader of all the traders at the market, Mr Sumaila Jimoh (Babaloja of Bodjia), appreciated the governor for the swift action in quenching the crisis.

He, however, appealed to Ajimobi to temper justice with mercy and reopen the market as soon as possible.

Jimoh admitted that while the Bodija market people are peace loving, some butchers are always fomenting trouble even with the traders at the market.

APC Has Done More Than Enough To Merit Re-Election – Ajimobi

Governor Abiola Ajimobi said the All Progressives Congress (APC) has performed well to see the re-election of a second term, during an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019 on Monday.

 

The Oyo State Governor, Mr. Abiola Ajimobi, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) has done more than enough within the last three years to deserve re-election.

Ajimobi stated this during his appearance on Roadmap 2019, a Channels Television Programme, which aired on Monday.

“Definitely, it (APC) has done more than enough (to deserve a  second term),” he said.

Since the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari swept to power in 2015, promising to tackle insecurity, fight corruption and boost the economy, the government’s performance has split opinion receiving praise and criticism.

Critics have faulted its failure to end killings, especially by suspected herdsmen, across the country and some of its economic policies.

But Governor Ajimobi believes the critics have forgotten how things were before the current administration was inaugurated.

“Nigerians just like all human beings are relatively forgetful. We forget things easily and move on.”

As far as the governor is concerned, the Buhari administration has done well in fixing the nation’s economy and addressing the security challenges.

He, however, explained that the process of making Nigeria a prosperous nation cannot be done in one day, considering the rot created by previous governments.

“What was the situation when President Muhammadu Buhari came in? Look at our economy, the revenue accruable to the government, corruption, security situation.

“When you look at the KPIs of measuring government’s performance, Nigeria was at the precipice. No doubt about it.”

The governor recalled that Nigerians voted his party in 2015 because of the yearning for a change of leadership.

Three years in government, Ajimobi is confident that President Muhammadu Buhari has done incredibly well in fighting corruption.

“Everybody wanted a change. In the words of Winston Churchill, ‘we do not know whether if we change things will improve’,” he said.

“But for things to improve, we must change. Everybody wanted improvement and we needed change. And we got the change.”

Asked if he would support the Minister of Communications Mr Adebayo Shittu, to succeed him as governor, Ajimobi replied in the negative.

“He doesn’t have what it takes to be a governor,” the governor said. “I have been a governor now for seven years. I know the qualities of someone who should be a governor; he doesn’t have it. His temperament cannot be that of a governor.”