The Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said he has no axe to grind with one of his predecessors, Mr Segun Oni for challenging his victory at the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary held last year.
Oni had challenged the eligibility of Fayemi to contest for the governorship election at the Court.
But the Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed that Fayemi was validly nominated by his party for the governorship poll.
A Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has dismissed the suit challenging the eligibility of Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, to contest the governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Justice Agomoh Uche dismissed the suit on Monday while ruling on the case in the state capital.
Former governor of the state, Mr Segun Oni, who filed the suit queried Governor Fayemi’s eligibility to have contested the May 12 governorship primary of the party.
He had prayed the court to nullify Fayemi’s victory and nomination as the party’s candidate and declare him the validly elected candidate of the party for its primary and by extension, the July 14 governorship poll.
Oni premised his prayer on the argument that Fayemi did not resign his appointment as Minister of Mines and Steel Development, 30 days to the party’s governorship primaries in Ekiti as constitutionally stipulated.
The suit also sought to have Governor Fayemi disqualified following his indictment by a judicial panel of inquiry set up by the last administration in the state.
Justice Uche, however, ruled that Governor Fayemi was at the time a political appointee and not a public servant who was expected to have compulsorily resigned according to the set deadline.
She also held that the governor’s indictment by a judicial panel of inquiry in the state does not amount to conviction and thus, could not warrant his disqualification from contesting as an aspirant in the primaries.
The judge, thereafter, dismissed the case for lacking in merit.
Governor Fayemi had defeated his closest rival in the APC primary after polling the highest number of votes to win the exercise.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, has asked members of his party in Ondo State to mobilise for the governorship candidate of the party, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in the November 26, election in Ondo State.
Mr Oyegun told members of the party on Thursday that wrestling power out of the hands of an incumbent government was not an easy task.
“For the APC to win the poll, dedication and hard work are major requirements needed from its members,” he said.
The Chairman of the APC spoke at the flag-off campaign of Mr Akeredolu held on Thursday in Akure, the State’s Capital, which was attended by prominent chieftains of the party from across Nigeria.
Mr Oyegun explained how important the state was to the Federal Government which it is in control of, emphasising that the state must join the mainstream politics.
The APC chairman said they would not allow the state to continue to remain in the hands of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, urging the electorates to give 90 per cent votes to his party.
“Are you happy with the present government in Ondo state? Do you want change? It is not easy to change. It is very easy to change and remove the present government but it requires hard work and dedication. I am convinced that the 26th of this month November is a day for us.
“I assure you that we in Abuja will support you to ensure that the APC takes over power in Ondo. Just as we will not let you down, please, pick your PVC and let it be ready. Tell your friends, family and other relatives, you need to vote for the APC, as this is the only party that can give you the desired change you are yearning for,” he told the crowd of supporters.
On his part, Mr Akeredolu boasted that the APC in the state would not miss the opportunity of joining the mainstream politics.
“We are committed to fighting this course. We should work together to ensure victory at the polls come November 26. We have promised that we will create jobs for the youths, through agriculture, entrepreneurship and Industrialisation.
“Our workers have not received their salaries in a long while but we will ensure that that becomes a thing of the past if we are elected into power.
“We will not frustrate the people but will bring smile to their faces.
“Twice this party has called me and twice I have answered the call. It is a call to serve the people and liberate the people of Ondo State and I believe that together we will triumph, with your support.
“Look at the calibre of governors, ministers and party members here. Let us vote right and vote for the APC, the winning party,” the APC candidate appealed.
He noted that as long as the APC was ruling in Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and other states in the south-west, the party must take over Ondo State.
Some of the top party members at the rally were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, who represented the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who represented the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun Governors, Plateau, Simon Lalong, Borno, Kashim Shettima, Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun, Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal and Bauchi, Muhammed Abubakar.
Others were, Ministers of Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali, Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, Communication, Adebayo Shittu, Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru, Niger Delta (state), and Professor Cladius Daramola.
Also at the rally were Senator Joshua Dariye, Senator Olorumbe Mamora, Sola Iji, Pauline Tallen, and Chief Ayo Akinyelure, Segun Oni, Adeniyi Adebayo, Isaac Kekemeke, Ali Olanusi, Tayo Alasoadura and Ade Adetimehin, Osita Izunaso among others.
The Chairman of the E-11 Group, Mr Femi Ajiniran, said that the choice of Mr Ayo Fayose as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) surprised the group because of his antecedents.
“We remember in 2006, before he was impeached, we know what we went through under his leadership as the governor of the state.
“When the party eventually chose him as the flagbearer, it came to us as a great surprise”, he said.
He noted that the group had gone to court on May 23 to stop Mr Fayose from contesting because he was not qualified after “being impeached and indicted”, adding that the two parties agreed that the case should be given an accelerated hearing.
“It was a surprise to us because we knew this guy (Mr Fayose) will not pass the screening; not even the SSS screening or the INEC screening” he maintained.
He further explained that when the governorship aspirants took the forms and were screened, they discovered that “there were lots of nos and yes in some places that we felt was not going to be good for us” adding that “he has not told us the truth, he has not told INEC the truth and he has not told Nigerians the truth.
“If all these are there, then we have a good ground to go to court.”
However, in a swift reaction via the telephone, media aide to the Ekiti State governor-elect, Mr Lere Olayinka, denied the allegations by the E-11 leader, saying the problems of the south western state began since the creation of the E-11 Group.
He noted, “this E-11 people were the ones who wrote against (Governor) Niyi Adebayo in 1999, they were the ones who wrote against Fayose, the first time; they were the ones who wrote against (Governor) Segun Oni” alleging that the “only governor they have not fought is Governor Fayemi; who is their person.”
Mr Olayinka debunked claims by Ajiniran that E-11 was not a political group, insisting that the group have been singing political tunes to smear the image and character of the governor-elect, but “Ekiti people ignored them and voted for Ayo Fayose”.
Mr Fayose, according to the electoral body scored 203, 090 number of votes to beat the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Kayode Fayemi, who scored 120, 433 while the candidate of the Labour Party, Bamidele Michael Opeyemi scored 18,135 votes to come third.
“Ayodele Peter Fayose of PDP having certified the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected”, said the returning officer and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Professor Isaac Azuzu.
The All Progressives Congress (APC ) is however challenging the result of the election at Election Petition Tribunal.
The inaugural sitting of the tribunal in Ado Ekiti was disrupted as the meeting was invaded by some thugs, who beat up a judge, Justice John Adeyeye.
The tribunal was to begin proceedings on the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the victory of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ayodele Fayose.
The sitting was, however, adjourned to October 14, 2014 following the debacle.
The Senate President, David Mark, on Friday, had a closed door meeting with former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, at his Hilltop mansion in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, South West Nigeria.
This was part of the ongoing reconciliation moves within the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
After the closed door meeting which lasted for well over two hours, the Senate President, who was accompanied by the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, said that issues affecting the party and the country topped their discussion.
However, he was not forthcoming with the actual details of the meeting.
In another development, a leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, also had a private meeting with the former president.
Tinubu told journalists after the meeting that he conferred with former President Obasanjo on national issues and the emergence of a credible presidential candidate for the APC come 2015 general elections.
The former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, also spoke about the challenges facing the country which have slowed down its development. He challenged Nigerians to embark on “common sense revolution” to correct the abnormalities.
The APC leader was accompanied by former governors of Oyo and Ekiti states, Rasheed Ladoja and Segun Oni.
The need to re-engineer the education sector in the country in order to place the nation on a sound footing formed the core of the 2014 Founder’s Day lecture of King’s College Old Boys Association to mark the 105th anniversary of the school.
The occasion, which gave political parties the platform to share their vision for education, attracted guests from all walks of life, including former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, as well as his Ekiti State counterpart, Segun Oni, who represented the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Oyegun.
Shell Hall of the Muson Centre, venue of the occasion, was filled with the King’s College old boys who have come to express their concern on the state of education in the country which they feel has only been paid lip service by successive administration.
This, the Chairman Board of Trustees of the school, Philip Asiodu, gave as a background into the day’s discourse.
Of the two major political parties expected to deliver notes of address at the occasion, only the All Progressives Congress, APC, sent a representative.
However, the moment of truth came when former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, took to the stage sharing his experience while in office.
The annual lecture which has developed into a major platform for discussing matters of national interest has in the past hosted governors of Lagos and Cross River states as guest speakers and the old boys see this initiative as laudable.
Nigerian politics and its democracy are beginning to favour the people as recent happenings have shown that the masses’ views were beginning to matter in the scheme of things.
This was a view shared by a Political Science lecturer at the University of Lagos, Dr. Kayode Eesuola on the Sunday edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.
He made reference to the outcome of the governorship election in Ekiti and the friendly reactions that trailed the victory of Ayo Fayose over the incumbent, Governor Kayode Fayemi.
A political analyst, Chima Nnaji, who was also on the programme, referred to the move by Governor Fayemi as a good sign for the future of Nigerian politics. He noted particularly the timing of Fayemi’s concession as one that was crucial, as he was able to prevent a possible breakdown of law and order by aggrieved supporters.
With the Osun State governorship election approaching, it is expected that the opposition would be doing all possible to prevent another shocking defeat at the polls.
The APC National Vice Chairman, South, Segun Oni, had said earlier in the week that the Ekiti election was “a new dimension to rigging” and the party was not going to allow a repeat of the same outcome in Osun State.
Dr. Eesuola referred to Oni’s comments as proof that the All Progressives Congress lacked ideologies as the difference in his position with that of the defeated Governor Fayemi showed that there was no synergy of ideologies and there could be crises within the party.
On the claim that the election was rigged, he said it was a case of “the kettle calling the cooking pot black” as all the parties rely on the same strategy.
Mr Nnaji also referred to the statement as a wrong signal. He opined that at the moment “strategy should drive action”, adding that the party’s communication should have focused on moving on, and accepting what has happened in Ekiti as a way to learn lessons and prevent making same mistakes they made, as this would have been the dignified way of reacting.
“Give dignity to the electorates in Ekiti”, he said.
He cited the campaign approaches of the Ekiti State Governor-elect, Ayo Fayose, who rode very much on voter education by constantly appealing to his supporters to collect their voters’ cards and asking them to show same at his rallies. He said that he expected the APC to ask among themselves what Fayose did right that they could also do right in Osun.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) held a rally in Lagos with thousands of supporters and party leaders, including the Ekiti victor, Fayose, during the week and the party emphasized its resolve to go ahead, spurred by the Ekiti episode, to capture the entire South-West.
Another political analyst, Dr Idoko, however, noted that while the euphoria was understandable, it did not reflect the reality of things, as the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, was a different politician to Kayode Fayemi and therefore represents a different kind of opponent for the PDP.
He went down the history lane to relate the current situation to that of the South-West politics in the days of late MKO Abiola up till the emergence of former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, as a political bigwig. He maintained that the people had a good idea of what they want.
While he agreed that Ekiti was a good victory, he stated that Osun State would be very dicey for the PDP, adding that their quest to take over the South-West region might not come easy in those states except Oyo State.
He posited that Fayemi’s error in Ekiti State was that he did not play the politics of poverty but rather focused on the politics of development which according to him was not a bad thing but only did not mean much to the people. “You must meet the immediate needs of the people to be able to collect something from them”, he said.
He blamed Fayemi for losing the Ekiti State, and that the PDP should not assume that there was a major shift already as Fayose’s victory did not mean that the Ekiti people had made the right choice.
It was another day of honour for the former president as dignitaries from all walks of life joined him in celebrating his 77th birthday held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The occasion was well attended by the governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, former Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, traditional rulers from the state, family members, political friends and well-wishers among other dignitaries
While thanking God for the journey so far, the former president also thanked God for making his path glorious in the service of humanity.
“I am grateful to God and I cannot thank God enough for all He has done, for all that He is doing and all that I know He will continue to do in my life. To make me be a source of blessing to others, to make me be a participant in areas that are of relevance and importance in the life of this country, Africa and indeed in the world.
“I want to thank the president of this country because early this morning when I have finished my game of squash and I was preparing, a message came from President Goodluck Jonathan congratulating me on this day of my official birthday”.
He said “On occasions like this, one must also thank those ones that have influenced one’s life in one way or the other. Because I just didn’t get here and said I am 77 and I have achieved whatever I have been able to achieve. Some people, beginning with my parents and the communities where I grew, my teachers and those who have impacted on my life one way or the other, too many to mention. I am grateful to God for what they have been able to do in my life.
Hope For Nigeria
The former president said despite the numerous challenges facing the country, Nigeria would be a better nation in the future.
“You cannot but agree that there is hope for this country” adding that “when you listen and hear this young ones speak, listen to them and you feel proud” he said.
“Here we have two organisations that are working together not only to give hope, not only to raise expectation for the up and coming in Africa but to make sure that tomorrow will be better than today. And in those children, I am sure personally that tomorrow will be better than today.”
Former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni has asked the Supreme Court to re-instate him as the governor of Ekiti state. The former governor filed an application at the apex court seeking to set aside the judgment of the appellate court which removed him as governor.
He also asked the court to set aside a ruling by the court which refused to reverse the decision of the Appeal Court Election Petition Tribunal, even after it made a case, following findings of alleged bias on the part of the former president of the court of appeal, Justice Ayo Salami who presided over the election appeal tribunal
The Counsel to the former governor, Joe-Kyari Gadzama, leading 45 other lawyers including four Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), while adopting his brief of argument on Monday at the Supreme court, Abuja asked the apex jurists for a consequential order that Mr Oni should be reinstated as the governor f Ekiti state by virtue of the tribunal judgment delivered on 5 May 2010.
Mr Gadzama, in an alternative, asked the court to order that the Speaker of Ekiti state House of Assembly to be made acting governor.
Mr Oni challenged his removal on the grounds that the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, who constituted and presided over the panel, wrote the judgment of the Appeals Court that sacked him from office had close affinity with former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, the alter ego of the incymbent Governor Kayode Fayemi’s party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
According to Mr Gadzama, Justice Salami was biased and favoured ACN in the judgment and that such judgment should be set aside on the ground of judicial bias.
Mr Oni believes there are good reasons to subject the verdict to judicial review and therefore approached the Supreme Court alleging bias in the matter against the Chairman of the Court of Appeal panel and suspended President of the Court.
Mr Oni told the seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Tanko Mohammed that he has a fundamental right to fair hearing and there is judicial bias in Justice Salami’s judgment and if established, that judgment will be a nullity.
An Ogun State High Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta on Thursday struck out the application Exparte filed by the Sacked National Auditor of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bode Mustapha for ‘lack of diligent prosecution’. The Presiding judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi struck out the motion exparte following the failure of the claimant to appear in court to argue the motion.
In his ruling, the judge said the application exparte deemed to be struck out due to the failure of the applicant and his counsel to appear in court without reason or notification.
Justice Akinyemi however adjourned the motion on notice till 28 March where the two parties would argue on the suit regarding the propriety or otherwise of Mr Mustapha’s removal.
Mr Mustapha had on Monday approached the court with the application exparte, seeking an order of the court to stop the PDP from removing him from office.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party had last week announced the removal of its National auditor, Bode Mustapha and the former South West Vice Chairman, Segun Oni and Dipo Odunjinrin-led State Exco believed to be loyal to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and subsequently replaced them.
At Thursday’s proceeding, counsel to the erstwhile National Auditor of PDP, Gboyega Oyewole did not show up when the matter was mention nor send any representation.
Consequently, the PDP counsel, Ifeoma Esom prayed the court to dismiss Mr Mustapha application.
She said the action of the claimant and his counsel was an indication that they had no interest in the case again.
“I urge this honourable court to strike out the application exparte for lack of diligent prosecution,” she said.
In his reaction to the striking out of his application, the sacked National Auditor said there was no loss.
He said “my lawyer was held up in a traffic which made him arrive the court late and when the case was called he could not argue the motion, so, it has to be struck out.
“The motion on notice has been adjourned, there is no loss. We are still going ahead, it is a test case for judiciary, no going back,” he said.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday warned the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) against taking any steps to organise a fresh congress in Ogun State without first complying with its order made on the 27 April. The Court had on 27 April voided the South West Zonal congress of the PDP which produced former Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni, as the party’s National Vice Chairman (South-West).
The court had also ruled that the congress was in violation of a subsisting order of court and directed parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of suit instituted by the Dayo Soremi faction of the party in Ogun State
The presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang however warned parties affected to comply with the order failing which his court will not hesitate to invoke its disciplinary powers against any erring party.
The judge’s position was informed by complaints from lawyer to the applicants, Ajibola Oluyede that the national leadership of the PDP, led by Bamaga Tukur was planning a fresh congress for the party in Ogun State, despite the order of court.
He drew the court’s attention to a newspaper publication and a certain message from the party’s national leadership planning to hold the fresh congress, which he said was calculated to destroy the essence of a fresh contempt proceeding he has commenced against the new leadership of the party.
However despite denials from the defendants’ lead lawyer, Kunle Kalejaiye that he was unaware of any plan for a fresh congress, Justice Abang has elected to hear the applicants’ motion for commital proceedings along with the defendants’ application challenging the competence of the motion.
He adjourned to the 31st of May for the hearing of both applications following which the court will consider all other pending applications in the matter.
The applicants in the suit filed by members of the harmonized Executive of the PDP in Ogun State include Dayo Soremi, Bayo Dayo and Taiwo Abisekan.
Named as defendants are the PDP, former Acting National Chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Tajudeen Oladipo, Uche Secondus, Olusola Oke and Prof Rufia Alkali.