#EndSARS: Ogun Panel Treats 58 Petitions, To Submit Report

A file photo of youths gathered at one of the venues of the #EndSARS to condemn police brutality in the country in October 2020. (Photo by Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP)

 

The Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations, and Extra-Judicial Killings has concluded its sitting six months after it held its inaugural session.

A total of 58 petitions out of the over 100 complaints received were treated in the course of the panel’s sittings at the Magistrate Court 1 in the Isabo area of Abeokuta, the state capital.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Solomon Olugbemi, announced the completion of the committee’s sitting while briefing reporters in Abeokuta at the end of the six-month period.

“The panel received a total of 106 petitions, out of which 58 were treated and the remaining 48 were either withdrawn, rejected, or abandoned wholly or halfway by the petitioners,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the media officer of the panel, Femi Osipitan.

Justice Olugbemi explained that some of the petitions were rejected because they were not in line with the terms of reference that the panel was given by the state government.

He, however, assured all petitioners and respondents of justice without fear or favour, saying the panel’s report was ready for submission to the state government.

The chairman of the panel stated that after submission, it would be left for the government to implement the report or not.

“Although the panel encountered some logistics challenges, it was able to surmount them,” he said of some of the hurdles faced by the panel.

The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, inaugurated the members of the panel on October 19, 2020, and gave them six months to receive and investigate petitions from members of the public whose human rights have been violated and abused by security personnel within the state.

He also asked the panel to make appropriate recommendations to the state government.

Edo Governorship Tribunal To Deliver Judgement In Four Petitions

A file photo of lawyers at the Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Benin City.

 

The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City is set to deliver judgment in the four petitions before it, following the conclusion of hearing and adoption of addresses.

One of the petitions, marked EPT /ED/GOV/05/2020, is a case between Agol Ebun Tracy and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Governor Godwin Obaseki.

The petitioner was the candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the governorship election held in September 2020.

Another petition marked EPT /ED/GOV/04/2020 is between the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and the electoral umpire, the PDP, Governor Obaseki, as well as the Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.

The third petition with reference number EPT /ED/GOV/02/2020 was filed by the Action People’s Party (APP) against Governor Obaseki, the PDP, and INEC.

The Tribunal will also deliver judgement in another petition marked EPT /ED/GOV/01/2020 which is a case between the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and Iboi Emmanuel, and INEC, PDP, Governor Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Osagie Ize-Iyamu – the APC candidate in the poll.

Three of the petitions have their major issues bordering on the qualification of Governor Obaseki to contest the election.

In the fourth petition, counsels on both sides had argued over whether the issue was unlawful substitution or exclusion of the candidate of the sole petitioner.

The three-man tribunal is chaired by Justice Yunusa Musa and has Justice Suleiman Abubakar and Justice Olufunmilayo Stanley as first and second members respectively.

It is also scheduled to deliver ruling on some applications which it had reserved until the final judgement.

The Tribunal had its inaugural sitting on October 30, while the pre-hearing session commenced on December 7 and closed on December 16.

Hearing in the different petitions commenced on January 11, 12, and 13 respectively and the counsels have adopted written addresses in all the four petitions.

Updates: Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Continues Hearing

A file photo of proceedings at the Presidential Election Tribunal commences sitting
PHOTOS: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Presidential election petition tribunal has continued hearing today in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

09:50 am:    The hearing commenced with counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Wole Olanipekun calling the first witness of the day, Mr Oshindeinde Sunday.

Mr Sunday is a deputy registrar in charge of certificates at the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for Nigeria.

His witness statement was tendered before the tribunal.

Sunday was then handed an exhibit which he confirmed to be the one certified by him on behalf of WAEC.

The witness confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari wrote the WASSCE examination alongside 18 other students.

He also answered in the affirmative that Buhari sat for seven subjects and had five credits. He added that Buhari came out with a grade 2 certificate after the exams.

According to him, all of these happened in 1961.




10:06 am:    Mr Lateef Fagbemi is the next witness. He said he has been with WAEC for the past 30 years.

While under cross-examination by the APC counsel, the witness said that whoever has the Cambridge International Education Certificate has a WAEC result.

The witness is also cross-examined by the petitioners’ counsel, Mr Levi Uzoukwu.

He was asked to take a very close look at exhibit R19 by Mr Uzoukwu. He was asked to read out the name of the candidate and the witness said MOHAMMED BUHARI.

He was then asked to spell it which he did.

Mister Uzoukwu then asked that the witness be handed the document he brought to court the witness was then asked to spell the name. To which he spelled MOHAMMED BUHARI.

He was then asked if he can confirm that the document with him is not a certificate. The witness said he cannot say so because his signature is not on it.

He was asked if he cannot identify a WAEC result.

The witness said the document does not bear his name or the name of WAEC but bears Cambridge International Education Certificate and not West African Examination Counsel.

He had earlier said that WAEC did the assessment in conjunction with the University of Cambridge.



10:14 am    The witness Lateef Fagbemi was also asked if the document he brought from WAEC was a certificate to which he responded that it is a foundation for a certificate.

He later said that it is not President Buhari’s certificate.

Mr Uzoukwu then asked if he had ever worked with the University of Cambridge to which the witness responded that he had never.

The witness was again asked to tell the court the number of subjects listed against the name of Mohamed Buhari and he responded that eight subjects.

He was then given the Cambridge result and asked to tell the court the number of subjects listed, and he responded that six.

He is then asked if he knows the circumstance with which Cambridge will issue a result.

The witness responded no.

When asked if he knew one Dr Iyi Uwadiae the witness said yes and that he is still the registrar of WAEC.

When asked if he is aware that on November 2nd, 2018 he gave President Buhari an attestation certificate. The witness said yes.

Mr Uzoukwu said there is two conditions that an attestation would be given that one is of the certificate is missing. The witness said there are more than two.

He was then handed a document from WAEC’S Twitter handle and the witness said he cannot confirm it.




10:29 am:     The next witness is Mohammed Sarki Abba, a senior special assistant to President Buhari.

The witness was asked by the INEC counsel if the President has always addressed the nation in Queens English to which the witness said yes.

The witness was asked how long he has worked for President Buhari and the witness said 30 years.

He was then asked if he has seen President Buhari’s picture before both old and new and the witness said yes.

He was handed exhibit R22 and asked to identify President Buhari and he identified him as sitting from the left-hand side of the picture.

The witness was then asked if he knew what picture it is, the witness said it’s the graduation picture of  President Buhari in Kastina.

The witness also said that as a Muslim there is no difference between MOHAMMADU and MOHAMMED, adding that it can be used interchangeably.



10:36 am:   Mohammed Sarki Abba was also cross-examined by the petitioner’s counsel.  He told the tribunal that he has never served in the Nigerian Army.

He also said he has never been in school with President Buhari.

He was then handed exhibit R25 which is a picture to confirm that it is not a certificate and the witness responded yes.

He was asked if exhibit R26 which is President Buhari’s CV is one of the documents from where he gathered his facts and the witness responded yes.

He was asked to identify President Buhari’s biodata form which he submitted to INEC and told to read it out to which he read ‘attach all educational qualification’

He was then asked if the certificates of President Buhari were attached the witness responded no.

The witness was then discharged.



10:49 am:   The next witness is Mohammed Usman-Kwatu.

The witness was a collation agent to President Buhari during the February 23 presidential election.

The witness under cross-examination said he had forgotten the number of votes he said was attributed to the PDP after the election in his ward.




11: 32 am:   Counsel to President Buhari asked for an adjournment.

He told the chairman of the tribunal that he will close his case within the time allotted to him.

Tribunal has been adjourned till Thursday, August 1, 2019.

Thank you for staying with us.

Edo Election Tribunal Receives 14 Petitions

The Edo State Election Petition Tribunal has commenced sitting with 14 petitions from candidates, who contested Senate, House of Representatives and State of Assembly election.

The tribunal commence sitting in Benin, the Edo state capital, on Monday with the Chairman assuring litigants and defendants of the court’s commitment to fair hearing and justice.

The 14 petitions before the tribunal include two Senate candidates, five House of Representatives candidates and seven State Assembly candidates.