The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed for Monday, June 30, for the hearing of a suit urging the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Professor Olawale Oladipo as the National Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The plaintiffs in the suit are the state chairmen of the party in Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ondo as well as financial secretaries in Lagos and Ekiti. They are Chief Adebayo Dayo, Alhaji Olayinka Taiwo, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa, Chief Ebenezer Alabi, Dr. Tope Aluko and Chief Taiwo Kuye.
The defendants are INEC, the PDP and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Prince Oyinlola was suspended and expelled from the party sometime in November 2013 but was reinstated to office by the Court of Appeal.
Dissatisfied with this decision, the plaintiffs proceeded to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling. They also filed a motion at the Supreme Court for a Stay of Execution of the Court of Appeal judgment which reinstated Prince Oyinlola.
That application would be heard on July 6, 2014.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, counsel to INEC, Vilba Kintai asked the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction, insisting that it was an intra-party dispute.
The commission argued that it does not recognize Prof Wale Oladipo who was nominated by the South West Caretaker Committee as the national secretary of the PDP because the party’s leadership had not produced any court order to that effect.
Counsel to Prince Oyinlola, Mr Gboyega Oyewole, also filed a preliminary objection seeking the dismissal of the suit. He argued that the suit is subjudice because a sister case exists in a court in Abuja where Prince Oyinlola is challenging his expulsion by the party.
The lawyer also noted that Prof Oladipo whom the plaintiffs want the court to recognise is not a party in the present suit.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Ifeoma Esom, wants the court to dismiss the preliminary objections raised by the defendants. The plaintiffs seek an order directing INEC to recognise and deal only with Prof Oladipo until 2016 when a new National Convention of the PDP will be convened to elect his successor.
Counsel to the PDP, Mr Yamzat Yusuf has however told the court that he has only just been served with the preliminary objections and would need time to respond.
The presiding judge, then directed all parties to exchange and reconcile briefs before adjourning the matter to Monday June 30, 2014 for further hearing.
After 21 years, the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election is still being referred to as the best ever conducted in Nigeria’s history.
On that day, millions of Nigerians trooped out to perform their civic duty, looking beyond ethno-religious bias to participate in the electoral process.
The controversy here is that the election, believed to have been won by late Chief Moshood Abiola on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party, was annulled by the military regime under General Ibrahim Babangida.
After waiting for over a year with his mandate nowhere in sight, Abiola declared himself the lawful President of Nigeria on June 11, 1994.
His address, delivered in Epetedo, Lagos, included an announcement that he has formed a government of national unity which he was to head.
He died on July 7, 1998 in Abuja fighting for his mandate.
South West states have declared today a work-free day while many civil society organizations have lined up different events to mark the day.
The first Executive Governor of Osun State, Isiaka Adeleke, has officially dumped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to pitch tent with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The defection of Senator Adeleke who was also on the governorship race for the PDP ticket few months back is seen as a major boost for the re-election bid of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
Welcoming Isiaka Adeleke into the APC fold in Osogbo the state capital, the Interim National Chairman of the Party, Adebisi Akande, Governors of Ekiti and Osun States all describe the APC as a party of positive thinkers, hence the defection of prominent members of the PDP to the Party.
They expressed optimism that with the people oriented programmes of Governor Aregbesola’s administration in Osun State more PDP stalwarts will still defect to the APC.
Former Governor Adeleke, who came along to the APC with the State PDP Deputy Chairman, Bashir Salam, some local government officials and House of Representatives members in the past PDP administration, described his defection as homecoming.
He promised to work for the victory of the APC in the August 9 Governorship election.
A former Director of State Security Services, Mike Ejiofor, has predicted a decrease in the activities of the Boko Haram sect in 2014 as political activities increases and the nation gears up for state elections in Osun and Ekiti States as well as the forthcoming 2015 general elections.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Ejiofor said: “I’ll tell you outright from forecasts, the activities of Boko Haram are going to go down with the rise of political activities,” he said, insisting that the sect is politically motivated.
The appointment of new Service Chiefs, including the Chief of Defence Staff is also no guarantee that “the activities of Boko Haram will go underground,” he said, faulting the new CDS’ promise to bring an end to the insurgency in before the 2015 elections.
“I believe he should have settled down to study the situation,” he said.
Commenting on the state of the nation’s security, Ejiofor stressed that progress was being made. “In 2013 for instance, we made a lot of progress in terms of security. You can see that the issue of Boko Haram is now restricted to Borno in particular, with occasional splashes in Yobe and some parts of the North East.”
The current situation, he said, “is unlike what we had in 2011 – 2012 when it was bombing everywhere. You had in Kaduna and Kano. It was all over, even in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
“I think we made substantial progress in 2013,” he said but stressed that there were “spill overs from 2013 to 2014.”
According to him, the greatest challenge Nigeria will face in 2014 is on the political front because of preparations for general elections. “I would concentrate more on the political threats.”
“The outcome of the governorship election coming up in Osun and Ekiti states is very critical to the general elections coming up in 2015.
“We should worry as a matter of fact” he said, referring to developments in the polity part of which he said was the mass defections from the PDP to the APC.
According to him, “PDP to Nigerians is just like what the Catholic Church is to the Christendom” and it is healthy for the nations democracy when politicians move in and out of political parties.
On the forthcoming elections, he said: “We should expect some level of violence this year in terms of political activities”.
“INEC should put all they have together and make sure that Osun and Ekiti elections come out clean. At least they should be able to score at least 80 to 90 per cent because we would be deceiving ourselves if we say we expect 100 per cent.”
On INEC’s decision not to conduct elections in the three states currently under emergency rule if security threats persist, Mr Ejifor mentioned the possibility of elections in the state based on the success of local government elections in Yobe state.
He also drew attention to comments made by certain individuals concerning the forthcoming general elections. “My worry is the utterances being made by some elders that would tend to compound our already existing problems.”
“Politically, if we don’t moderate our utterances, it’s going to create a lot of problems.”
He berated elder statesmen who have been making comments that would generate conflict in the polity.
On the arrest of Mr Nasir El-Rufai by the DSS for making inciting comments, Mr Ejiofor said there were bound to be reactions from the people because other individuals had made similar comments and were not seen to be called to order.
He said: “Government should be commended for the tolerance of opposition” as previous administrations had been hostile towards critics.
He further blamed some print media for its way of reporting news which “generates a lot of friction when there is none.”
“Some of our print media are part of the problems we are facing in our security challenges,” he said, citing ambiguous headlines as examples.
He called on the media to “play down on some of the security threats.”
Ahead of the governorship election in Osun state, the state resident Electoral Commissioner, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, is soliciting the support of the council of Traditional Rulers.
At a meeting held at the palace of the Ooni of Ife in Ile-Ife, he appealed to the Royal Fathers to create awareness in their respective communities and educate their subjects to exercise their civic responsibility.
The traditional rulers raised several issues ranging from logistics, education, awareness on election process to ensure that the challenges of the past, are adequately addressed for a successful conduct.
Ambassador Akeju however assured that the commission is determined to conduct a free and fair election, devoid of malpractice.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade received the delegation of Clerics and Osun Traditional Rulers as they converged to pray for peace as the August 9 Polls draws closer.
The traditional ruler who spoke through the Oludo of Ido Osun, Oba Aderemi Adedapo emphasized the importance of prayer and peace for a sustainable democracy.
State governors, under the banner of the All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum, have met in Lagos to deliberate on strategies to strengthen the party and have also taken a look at the state of the nation.
Reading from a communique issued at the end of their meeting, the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, said that members of the National Assembly have a right to re-align themselves with parties of their choice without being sanctioned.
Other issues discussed at the meeting included, the alleged police brutality in Rivers State, preparations for the commencement of membership registration and the need for INEC to make adequate preparations for the upcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun states.
The forum maintained that there was need for adequate preparations in order “to forestall a repeat of the electoral sham experienced in Anambra and Delta States and to restore credibility in the electoral process”.
They also reviewed the preparations for the commencement of membership registration into the party, and urged all prospective members, sympathizers and party structures to fully support the process for a comprehensive documentation and registration of members.
On the political and security situation in Rivers State, the forum frowned at the conduct of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu and maintained “that the Nigeria Police Force is not a PDP police and such flagrant violations of the Constitution and laws of Nigeria should henceforth stop”.
They also deliberated on the need for strengthening the All Progressives Congress and its structures as well as discussed political developments in APC States with the aim of building a common development agenda.
Other APC Governors in attendance at the meeting include, Governors of Nassarawa, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo and Rivers states; Tanko Almakura, Rauf Aregbesola, Kayode Fayemi, Ibikunle Amosun, Abiola Ajimobi and Rotimi Amaechi, while the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umaru Ganduje represented his State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lai Mohammed, has said that the party had foreseen that the coming together of different parties would cause the APC problems.
While speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ , he said that the moment the defunct ACN, ANPP, CPC, section of DPP and APGA, came together they knew it would lead to differences at some point with everyone wanting to protect interests but that they were well prepared for it.
He noted that the defection of the five governors from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, did not make things easier but the party had set up a Harmonization Committee to ensure a seamless blending.
The APC Chieftain refused to be compared to the ruling PDP in terms of party crisis. He argued that theirs was a different situation and indeed “unique in the history of Africa”, as what they achieved in merging such number of strong parties had never been achieved in the history of democracy in the continent.
He expressed optimism that the minor issues would soon be resolved with everyone coming back together. “What is important is that we will be stronger”. He stood by his past comments about the PDP not being able to handle its problems, insisting that the APC was different.
While referring to comments made by the PDP that the APC was made up of “strange bed fellows” with their make-up of different political parties, persons of different political backgrounds and lately the aggrieved PDP governors, Mr Mohammed said that the APC was simply playing by the rules of politics.
“You cannot effect a change from the outside, except u want to rig. In politics numbers are important.”
He dismissed the fear that the new members would pollute the values of the party, maintaining that the APC was a well structured party and the many people joining or defecting to the party would not pollute its values.
He enthused: “We have a manifesto, they can’t change it” but rather they would adjust from the ways of their former parties to do things in line with the APC’s ideology.
What exactly is the philosophy of APC?
As it has been a common criticism that Nigeria’s political parties lacked ideologies, since the defection of the five PDP governors to the APC, Mr Mohammed was asked to clarify the actual ideologies of the All Progressives Congress.
The APC Publicity Secretary said that the ideology of his party had never been hidden from the public as it had always been available on the party’s website for anyone who wished to know to read up.
He however went further to state that the All Progressives Congress was a “Left of the centre party”, a welfarist party that believed that the wellbeing of the people was the basic responsibility of any government.
The APC places the provision of amenities, security, and education as its priorities.
He said that the ideologies of the APC were obvious from the differences it had made in states where the PDP once ruled. Citing examples of the APC states of Osun, Oyo, and Ogun, he stressed that a proper comparison between the APC’s three years of governance to the eight years spent by the PDP governors would enable people understand the ideologies of the party better.
He also added that the APC was already rubbing off on the PDP defectors rather than the party losing its own values.
The Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who was among the five PDP governors that joined the APC, has already declared free education in Kano State, while the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has also set up a committee to develop a plan for the employment of over 5,000 youths in the state.
The APC leader also debunked rumours that the party was confused on who to present as its candidate at the 2015 General Election.
Laughing at what he termed “creative rumour mill that emanates from Nigeria”, he stated that the issue of who flies the party’s candidacy at any level has never risen as the party was busy building its structure.
With member registration slated for the end of January 2014, congress in February, to be followed by the National Convention in March, there was no way they could have had time to discuss candidacy.
He insisted that the Party’s constitution was clear on how candidates at different levels should emerge and there was no pressure on whom to put forward at the coming elections.
Ogun APC Crisis
Mr Lai Mohammed also tried to exonerate the national leadership of the APC on allegations that it caused the crisis rocking the Ogun State APC through its imposition of an executive on the members without following laid down rules.
He explained that part of the conditions for merger as required by the National Electoral Commission, INEC, was that names of interim national officers were expected to be provided, and the Interim National Committee set guidelines for selecting the persons who should be in the interim based on their political qualifications.
While providing details of the agreement with all merging parties, the set guidelines and the concessions given, he insisted that the party followed these rules as set during the merger agreements, adding that the people complaining about imposition of candidates in Ogun State APC did not know that agreements were made and rules had been set to ensure that old or new APC members were equally treated.
The Amaechi-led Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called on the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to resign her appointment or manage the economy well.
They said the non-compliance with the revenue projections of the Federal Government 2013 Budget, was a direct breach of the provisions of the Appropriation Act, 2013.
These decisions were part of the resolutions of the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led NGF, which met on Tuesday evening.
Amaechi, who read the communique of the meeting, said “Members expressed concern in the management of the economy by the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and called for a strict adherence to the Appropriation Act, 2013.
They also pointed out that the National Economic Council (NEC) is the right body to manage the economy and not the Economic Management Team (EMT).
“Forum observed that the National Economic Council is constitutionally responsible for the management of the economy and should be used for that purpose as opposed to the Economic Management Team constituted by the Presidency.”
The governors also called on the National Assembly to separate the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation from that of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government for the purpose of accountability and better management of the economy.
States which were represented by their governors at the meeting were those of Rivers, Niger, Kwara, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Adamawa, Oyo, Lagos, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano and Zamfara while deputy governors of Edo, Borno and Nasarawa states represented their governors.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has ratified and approved three United Nations Conventions for domestication and operation in the country.
The conventions are the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons; International Convention against the Taking of Hostages and that of the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.
While briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku said that the memos for the ratification of the convention were brought to the council by the ministry of foreign affairs for approval.
Over N123 billion road contracts was also approved, while the full operation of rail transportation is said to commence fully within major city in the country by next year.
The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen said the contracts will focus on the reconstruction of section two phase two of the Oshodi –Apapa Expressway with N14.9 billion.
He also said that the Mokwa-Bida Expressway in Niger state is a collaborative effort with the World Bank and will gulp N10.9 biilion, adding that the rehabilitation of the Akure-Ilesha Expressway in Ondo and Osun states will cost N7.39 billion.
The FEC also approved the purchase of 6 mobile sub stations in the power sector totaling N1.8 billion.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said the substations will serve as substitutes when the need arises for both the existing power plants and the NIPP projects.
He also announces that seven out of the 10 NIPP projects are ready for commissioning
Ahead of the 2014 governorship Election in the state of Osun, members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun East senatorial DIstrict have thrown their weight behind the second term bid of the incumbent Governor Rauf Aregbesola .
At the party’s monthly Meeting in Ilesa, Osun state, the members said they are fully in support of Governor Aregbesola’s policies which is bringing revolution to governance like never before in the history of the state.
Reacting to criticism from the main opposition Party ,the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) that the present administration has no achievement to showcase in its two and half years in Office, the ACN members challenged the PDP to be constructive in its criticism as there are evidences attesting to the achievements of Governor Aregbesolas government.
Citing Road networks, tackling environmental issues, infrastructure, human development, education and Agriculture as very visible development that has brought succour to the people, the ACN assured that this alone will guarantee the party’s victory at the polls.
The Governor of Ogun state, Ibikunle Amosun has challenged governments of the south west states of Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti and Osun to ensure more economic integration among the states to improve the socio economic development of the region.
He made the call at the opening session of the 4th summit of Heads of Service, south west geo-political zone held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital with the theme “Re-engineering the Public Sector for Regional Integration”
While commending the foresight of the region’s founding fathers, the governor called on the summit to come up with measures that would promote unity and a new lease of life to the people of the region in particular and the country at large.
The summit brought participants and heads of service from the south west states for cross fertilization of ideas, especially integration among the states for effective service delivery and to re awaken the sense of history and achievements of the old western region.
Governor Amosun said the meeting became imperative in view of the challenges facing Nigeria as a nation. He also bemoaned the creation of states which he said stands as an artificial barrier that gives rise to the state’s citizenship
The governor also challenged governors of the south west states to create a more united front for the development of the region and its people
The summit is expected to come out with resolutions that would further strengthen the socio-economic integration of the region, especially at a time when synergy among states has proved to be a formidable avenue for development.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the south west says it is battle ready to regain south western states of Osun and Ekiti come the gubernatorial elections in 2014.
The caretaker chairman of the party in the south west; Ishola Filani who made the disclosure at the party secretariat in Ibadan said better strategy and a unified front will put PDP back in control of those states.
After a four-hour meeting among representatives of the party from all the 6 states of the south west, Filani told journalists that the party concluded that the zoning arrangement for the new NWC as proposed by the national headquarters remains adopted.
While the National Chairman and 2 other positions remain unaffected, the National Vice Chairman and zonal PRO have been zoned to Ekiti, Lagos was zoned the financial secretaries, Oyo was zoned auditor and youth leader, Ogun was zoned assistant secretary and auditor, Ondo was zoned treasurer and legal adviser while Osun was zoned National Secretary and zonal Women Leader.
Filani added that the position of the National Secretary formerly occupied by Olagunsoye Oyinlola is vacant and will be filled by another candidate as Oyinlola will not be returning to occupy that same position.