An Ekiti State High Court has sentenced 42-year-old Stephen Omoniyi to death by hanging for killing a monarch in the state four years back.
Omoniyi was arraigned on one count charge of murder contrary to Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State of Nigeria, 2012.
The convict had on the 20th of August 2018 murdered the traditional ruler of Odo Oro Ekiti in Ikole Local Government, Gbadebo Ibitoye Olowoselu ll.
The state counsel, Adegboyega Morakinyo, called five witnesses and tendered a medical report, statements of the convict, knife, and rope among others as exhibits while the convict spoke in his own defence through his counsel, Tope Amr Salami, and called no witnesses.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Olukayode Ogundana dispelled claims that the defendant is insane as he sentenced him to death by hanging.
The death of the Onise of Odo Oro sparked protests in the community in 2018 after the convict attacked and stabbed the monarch who was walking back to his personal residence from the palace after presiding over the weekly meeting with traditional chiefs.
Youths protested by blocking major streets in the town, and the monarch’s family also faulted claims that Omoniyi, who also hails from a royal family, is mentally unstable.
The former lawmaker explained that the move was to ward off unserious contenders and raise sufficient funds ahead of the upcoming elections. It is also to discourage parties that have no chance of winning elections from sponsoring individuals to play the role of spoilers, he added.
Aside from this, the APC leader also said the party has not yet taken a decision on the zoning of its presidential candidate for the 2023 election.
According to him, the decision on which part of the country should produce the party’s flagbearer was beyond him.
What Adamu said?
“We’ve been listening with rapt attention to the hues and cries from our lovers and adversaries. We have no regrets whatsoever.
“We did some homework; we know what it takes to go through primaries, go through presidential campaign, go through election to be president; we know what it takes.
“We also do know that there are citizens who are qualified to contest, but who are not serious contenders, who will just want to take anything cheap by the roadside. Even the enormity of work that has to be done – and this work will be done with money.
“And we don’t want to continue to beg, particularly in an election year. So we want to see that we are able to mobilise sufficient funds to support our efforts to win election.
“The criticism, in some quarters, may be well-founded – I have no quarrel with that, but we wear the shoes for our party and we know where it pinches.”
More reactions have continued to trail the conduct of the governorship primary elections of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the June 18 gubernatorial poll in Ekiti State.
In the PDP, one of the aspirants and the lawmaker representing Ekiti South in the National Assembly, Senator Biodun Olujimi, hinted at the possibility of dumping the party, alongside her supporters.
While noting that tempers are high, she explained that the possibility of exiting the PDP cannot be done in a hurry.
According to her, the party did not create room for every aspirant to discuss together, adding that a former governor of the state took people for granted.
“We have been in this business for quite some time. If it is the former governor that is sitting as a serving Senator, can you do what has happened to him, no?
“My gender has been affected. Beyond that, the fact that people take everybody for granted has also affected all of us. You can’t take people for granted.
“This is a business we came into voluntarily and when you are in it, people are supposed to build consensus, not to talk down on others.”
In the ruling APC, one of the aspirants and a former lawmaker, Bamidele Opeyemi, told journalists in Ado Ekiti that no primary election took place in Ekiti State.
He described the primary election – conducted on January 27 and produced a former Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji as the party’s candidate – as a sham.
Opeyemi called on the APC leadership to withdraw the name submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“As far as we are concerned, seven of us out of eight aspirants in Ekiti, no primary election took place. There was a lot of shenanigans last (two) weeks Thursday in the name of primary election but indeed no primary election took place,” he said.
“Whatever name they submitted to INEC as the name of the governorship candidate of APC in Ekiti State is a dummy name. The Electoral Act, as well as INEC practice and procedure, make provisions for a two-week period within which a political party can substitute the name of its candidate.
“What we are calling for now is that the leadership of the party will do the right thing and ensure that the dummy name that was submitted to INEC will be substituted with the name of a popular candidate that can win the general election for us, otherwise you cannot stop people from going to court.”
Though the seven other aspirants with their supporters had in the morning thronged the party secretariat to protest irregularities in the conduct of the party primary, the primary still held at most of the designated wards.
The aggrieved aspirants claimed the process was manipulated to favour Mr. Oyebanji who is tagged Governor Kayode Fayemi’s preferred choice by distributing voting materials earlier than scheduled among other grounds.
They warned that the controversial primary will not be acceptable and may spell doom for the party.
Earlier in the day, Oyebanji described the process of the primary as flawless, disagreeing with claims that he’s the closest and most favoured by the governor among all the aspirants.
Ahead of the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti State, Governor Kayode Fayemi received his predecessor former Governor Ayodele Fayose, and other dignitaries at the Government House in Ado Ekiti on Thursday.
The Ekiti governor also received Abubakar Badaru and Udom Emmanuel, his colleagues from Jigawa and Akwa Ibom respectively.
Both serving governors are in the South-West state to conduct the primary elections of their political parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in that order.
Fayemi shared the photos of their meeting on his verified Facebook page, restating the need for politics to be played without bitterness.
“With Governors Udom Emmanuel and Badaru Abubakar and my predecessor in office, Governor Ayo Fayose in Government House this morning. Both Governors Udom and Badaru came to conduct gubernatorial primaries in Ekiti,” Fayemi said.
“This camaraderie demonstrates clearly that for us in Ekiti and indeed in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, it is politics without bitterness. After hot exchanges and political disagreements, it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable.
“Politics should be about values and vision, not violence and viciousness.”
Eight aspirants – including former Governor Ayodele Fayose’s deputy and PDP candidate in the 2018 election, Professor Olusola Eleka – participated in the delegate primary election that held in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
Others include former PDP National Treasurer Wale Aribisala, as well as Bisi Kolawole, Kayode Adaramodu, Lateef Ajijola, and Mrs Titilayo Owolabi-Akerele.
Before the commencement of the exercise, one of the key aspirants, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, withdrew from the race.
Olujimi, who represents Ekiti South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, cited gender bias and an unfair resolution of matters arising from a lingering controversial congress of the party.
According to her, the list to be used for the primary puts her at a disadvantage as her local government is left with only 12 delegates as decided by the party leadership.
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has warned civil servants against participating in political activities, saying it runs contrary to the rules governing the service.
Speaking during a meeting with senior civil servants on Tuesday in Ado Ekiti, Fayemi faulted those who abandoned their duties to play politics and vowed that they would face the consequences.
“The politicisation of civil service is something that I believe the civil service public rules actually is very explicit about,” he said. “So it’s a question of enforcement on the part of the leadership of the civil service and public service generally.
“I believe if the Head of Service chooses to deal with that, we would work with that to ensure that she achieves the objectives of maintaining a neutral civil service.”
The governor hinted that his administration would elapse on October 15 and promised to continue working for the benefit of the people till then.
Although he admitted that there cannot be complete neutrality in the civil service, he warned civil servants to desist from politics.
“Nobody is saying don’t be interested in what happens, but the problem I see is that it makes an existing government even more of lame-duck government once civil service switches off,” he said.
“If you are working with someone like me who will work till October 15, 2022, you are going to have problems because I am not a lame-duck and I refuse to be considered a lame-duck governor till I leave this office on October 15.
“Just bear with me, be ready to work. If I hear that you are doing politics behind the scene to the detriment of your work, the implication might not be palatable.”
A suspected armed robber has been arrested in Ekiti State, police authorities said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abutu Sunday, said the suspect, Alaba Akinlade, was arrested on November 22 following a report that some unknown persons had broken into an apartment in Ado-Ekiti.
The suspect was said to have stolen a television, a photocopy/printing machine, a video recording camera, a stabiliser, a generator, and a sack of rice.
Following the report, according to the command’s spokesman, the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) swung into action and arrested Akinlade in connection with the crime.
“During interrogation, Alaba Akinlade confessed to the commission of the crime and further claimed that he is a member of a gang of armed robbers that comprises two others who are currently at large,” the PPRO said.
All items looted by the suspect, as well as three pump action guns, one Beretta pistol and forty-one live cartridges were recovered from him during a raid on the gang’s hideout along Afao Road in the state.
The Secretary to the Ekiti State Government, Biodun Oyebanji has resigned his position.
This followed the recent directive by Governor Kayode Fayemi that any member of his cabinet and other appointees vying for political offices should resign before December 18.
The former SSG has also proceeded to obtain the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the 2022 Ekiti State Gubernatorial election at the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress headquarters in Abuja.