- Osun Governorship Election: Adeleke, Oyetola fates to be decided today
- Keyamo accuses Obi, Baba-Ahmed of inciting people against judiciary in DSS petition
- Arrest MC Oluomo before reconciliation call – Atiku tackles Tinubu
- PDP suspension a comedy skit by Ayu and cohorts – Fayose
- Okupe appeals alleged fraud conviction
Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:
Osun Governorship Election: Adeleke, Oyetola’s fate to be decided today
he Court of Appeal is set to deliver a judgement today in the legal battle over the Osun State governorship election between the incumbent governor, Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and his predecessor, Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Tension and anxiety are reportedly building up in the state, with supporters of both parties uncertain of which way the pendulum will swing. Governor Adeleke was declared the winner of the July 16, 2022 governorship election, but Oyetola immediately challenged his victory, alleging over-voting in some polling units.
The Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal eventually ruled in favor of Oyetola in January 2023, voiding Adeleke’s victory. However, Adeleke is now seeking to overturn the tribunal’s decision at the Court of Appeal.
The appellate court will rule on three appeals and a cross-appeal filed on the dispute over the governorship election. The appeals were filed by Governor Adeleke, his party (PDP), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all against the January 27 judgement of the Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal that nullified Adeleke’s victory. The cross-appeal, jointly filed by the APC and Oyetola, challenges a portion of the tribunal’s judgement that cleared Adeleke of certificate forgery.
Tension is reportedly high in the state as chieftains of both parties and their associates have arrived in Abuja to witness the delivery of the judgement. The court’s decision is eagerly awaited and will have significant implications for the political landscape in Osun State.
Keyamo accuses Obi, Baba-Ahmed of inciting people against judiciary in DSS petition
The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, on Thursday, accused the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi; and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, of “riling up” their supporters.
In a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Keyamo said he had petitioned the Department of State Services (DSS) to invite the LP leaders over their rejection of the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the President-elect.
Though the official figures indicate LP placed third, Obi claims he was rigged out of victory, pointing to the widespread violence, voter intimidation, and suppression before, during, and after the elections.
In the wake of Tinubu’s win, members of his camp urged the aggrieved parties to approach the courts. However, the early calls to seek legal redress have been met with suspicion from Obi’s supporters.
“If I don’t say, ‘Go to court,’ what will I say?” Keyamo retorted. “Will I say, ‘Come’ let’s fight?’ What it means – if I don’t actually use that sentence – is ‘avail yourself of the machinery for addressing your grievance as provided by law.
“I’m only saying it in specific terms: ‘Go to court.’ If I don’t say, ‘Go to court,’ the next thing I will say is ‘Come, let’s fight.’ So, why are they using such phrases or such sentences in a derogatory manner?”
He argued that legal redress was provided for by law, adding that some people had successfully retrieved their mandates by going to court.
“It is only when it does not favour you – and that is what the Labour Party is doing now, and that is why I had to petition them to the DSS,” the minister said.
“There’s a buildup to something that they’re doing. The buildup they are doing is to rile the people up, pump them up, and then turn them against the judiciary.”
Arrest MC Oluomo before reconciliation call – Atiku tackles Tinubu
Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 Nigerian general election, has dismissed the recent call for reconciliation by President-elect Bola Tinubu. According to Atiku, Tinubu’s call for reconciliation is “laced with hypocrisy and lies.”
Atiku specifically called on Tinubu to arrest and prosecute Musiliu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo, a former chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State, for making threats against Igbos during the governorship election. Atiku’s statement comes after Tinubu urged the opposition to set aside their differences in the interest of national unity, following the conduct of the elections.
However, Atiku pointed out that some of Tinubu’s aides, as well as MC Oluomo, made anti-Igbo rants during the just-concluded elections. Atiku accused Tinubu of remaining silent in the face of the threats made by his associates, and called for the prosecution of MC Oluomo and others involved in issuing threats and brutalizing people.
Tinubu’s media aide, Phrank Shaibu, released a statement responding to Atiku’s comments, accusing the former Vice President of making unfounded allegations. Shaibu insisted that Tinubu had spoken out against any form of violence or discrimination during the election and urged Atiku to desist from “political mudslinging.”
The exchange of words between Atiku and Tinubu highlights the tense political climate in Nigeria following the 2023 general election. With tensions still high, it remains to be seen whether the country’s political leaders will be able to work together to promote national unity and address the challenges facing Nigeria.
PDP suspension a comedy skit by Ayu and cohorts – Fayose
Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has reacted to his suspension from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP announced the suspension of Fayose, Pius Anyim and other members from the party on Thursday evening, citing alleged anti-party activities.
Fayose described the move by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) as “the last kick of a dead horse.” He stated that the National Chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, would end his tenure in a matter of days.
In a statement released by his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said, “Ayu and his cohorts are only entertaining themselves with the purported suspension as their latest comedy skit.”
Fayose further stated that in a matter of days, the inglorious tenure of Ayu as the party’s chairman would become history, and the PDP and its members would enjoy a new lease of life. He declared that himself and other party members who stood with the PDP when Ayu and his cohorts left it to die would rescue the party again and give it life back in due course.
Fayose has been a vocal critic of the Ayu-led NWC of the PDP, accusing them of running the party aground. He has also been vocal about his disagreement with the party’s handling of internal affairs, including the recent governorship primary election in Anambra State.
Okupe appeals alleged fraud conviction
Former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has appealed his conviction by Justice I. L. Ojukwu of the Federal High Court on charges relating to the receipt of monies above the threshold permitted by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
Okupe was sentenced to two years imprisonment (to run concurrently) or an option of a fine of N500,000 (consecutively) for each count after he was convicted for receiving cash above the permitted threshold on December 19, 2022.
However, the former aide exercised the option of a fine and has been enjoying his freedom.
The appeal was filed by his lawyer, Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, on Thursday, March 16, 2023, within the constitutional timeframe provided for by Law.
The crux of Okupe’s appeal is that he had received the said sums in cash not in his capacity but on behalf of the office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs and under the instructions of the former President and hence, should not be penalized unjustly.
While the Federal High Court had held that the Prosecution had failed to prove the charges of money laundering against Okupe and acquitted him of the charges relating to same, the court convicted him of the charges relating to the receipt of monies above the threshold permitted by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
The court held that though he was a victim of circumstances, the law is trite and ignorance of the same cannot be an excuse. However, Okupe is hoping to overturn his conviction on the basis of his appeal.
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