Agbaje, must go – LP *Says, Lagos REC has shown open bias, can’t conduct free elections
Nothing outside the immediate redeployment and blacklisting of Olusegun Agbaje, Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), would satisfy the Labour Party (LP), one of the 18 political parties, lined up to contest the 2020 general elections that would commence on February 25 with the presidential and National Assembly elections and end on March 11 with those of the states.
The party, one of the frontline parties in the election, said on Monday that it no longer had confidence in REC to deliver a credible election in the state, on the same day it also dismissed the report that its South West structure had been collapsed into the All Progressives Congress (APC), stressing that those named as the initiators of the move had ceased to represent the party in any capacity in the last six months.
Balogun Akin Osuntokun, Director General of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation (ODPCO), who raised the alarm about the activities of the Lagos REC, told reporters in Abuja on Monday that the signals from the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were also disturbing.
Citing the inability of the Commission to deny the report that it was planning to engage the services of the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee headed by Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo, a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), for the distribution of sensitive election materials for the February 25 presidential election in the state, he said, such a move was capable of jeopardising the election operation.
His words: “In addition, recent public statements by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Olusegun Agbaje, bordering on sectional bias and resentment, has shown overwhelming partisanship on his side, and therefore, he cannot be trusted with the onerous task of conducting an unbiased election in a volatile state like Lagos.
“We recall further, with apprehension, that the heavily criticised 2018 Osun State governorship rerun election, wherein Mr. Gboyega Oyetola was controversially declared the winner to the dismay of the populace, including international observers, was also conducted by this same Olusegun Agbaje.
“It is therefore, against the above backdrop, that we demand an immediate cancellation of the logistics contract between INEC and MC Oluomo. We also want an immediate redeployment and blacklisting from any election duty, anywhere, of the Lagos REC, Olusegun Agbaje, whose recent actions have raised doubts about his suitability as an election supervisor.
“There are far too many capable Nigerians of good professional and ethical standard available within INEC, to conduct an acceptable election, than to run the risk of any unpopular pre-determined outcome, which his conduct, strongly suggests.”
He dismissed INEC’s defence through its spokesman, Festus Okoye, saying the Director of Information and Voter Education Committee Chairman did not substantially refute the Commission’s association with the Park Management Committee.
BREAKING: All clear for Tinubu! S’Court dismisses PDP’s double nomination suit *Says, PDP a busy-body
For being a meddlesome interloper and a busy-body in bringing a case that was none of its business, the Supreme Court, on Friday slammed a N2million fine on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over its suit demanding that the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 presidential election be vitiated.
The main opposition party, had claimed that Kashim Shettima, being a candidate in a Senatorial election in Borno and as well as the running mate to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate in the election, amounted to double Nomination, which is forbidden by the law.
Based on that, the prayed the apex court to declare the ticket null and void and the votes recorded for it in the election, through which they were declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), wasted, a prayer, which if it had succeeded, would pave the way for Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the party in the election to take over from Tinubu as the 16th President on Monday, when he is due to be inaugurated.
But the court, while dismissing the prayers, which originated from the Federal High Court Abuja, and travelled through the Court of Appeal, before it, agreeing with the positions of the lower courts which dismissed them on the ground of lacking in locus standi to institute the case.
But, Justice Adamu Jauro who read the Judgement, not only held that the PDP acted as meddlesome Interloper and a busy body as it is an internal affair of the APC, ordered the main opposition party to pay N2milllion, for its troubles, after establishing that its arguments tended to misleading the court, which was “sad”.
The court, which said it was aware of the case of Uche Nwosu, former governorship candidate in Imo State, the court, held that it did not applay in the instant case, as it agreed that Shettima withdrew his senate nomination on 6th July 2022 and was subsequently replaced and therefore, was no longer a candidate for the Senate before he picked up the running mate ticket, thus, making the allegation of multiple nomination untenable.
On the other hand, the court, held that Nwosu in his case, got nominated by two political parties for different positions, and having not being on all fours, PDP suit, was bound to fail right from the trial court, to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.
Accusing the PDP of attempts to use the social media to set a trap for the apex court to blackmail it, which he said was “painful, unfortunate and uncalled for,” the court said a political party had no right to challenge the action of another party, or the decision of INEC, in respect of another party, adding that for a person to have locus standi to challenge the nomination process of a political party, the person must be a neutral person and an aspirant to that position, and a member of the party.
Nigerians must allow the love they share abroad resonate at home – Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is worried that the level of love Nigerians abroad share among themselves is not replicated at home, adding that a situation where they are quick to become friends outside and enemies at home, must be stop. The former President, who acknowledged how Nigerians in the diaspora were making the country proud in their different areas of endeavour, told participants at an evening reception held at New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, that Nigerians in the diaspora must conduct themselves as good citizens wherever they domiciled.
Obasanjo, whose views were captured in a statement by, Kehinde Akinyemi, his spokesman, expressed satisfaction over the unity exhibited among Nigerians in the United States of America, urging them to reciprocate such togetherness when they are back home.
The former President, said to have spoken on behalf of a delegation of eminent traditional leaders and academics that included the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Saka Matemilola, was quoted as saying: “Nigerian nationals are often very united when they are abroad, but something else when they return to the country, therefore, I want to urge all to be good citizens, not only where you are, but when also you come home to Nigeria.”
Uproar, social media exchange of fire, over Ooni’s handshake with Pete Edochie, KOK
The exchange of handshakes between veteran actors Pete Edochie and Kanayo O. Kanayo with Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyey Ogunwusi Enitan, has spurred a flurry of reactions on social media, The Nation, is reporting.
The paper, which reviewed the viral video shared on Thursday, where Edochie and Kanayo approached Ooni’s table at Elizabeth Jack Rich’s 40th birthday party on Tuesday and exchanged Igbo “cultural” handshakes with the monarch, acknowledged the different meanings being read into it.
Social media users on Twitter took to the comment section of the video with some knocking the actors for disrespecting the tradition by exchanging handshakes with the monarch, while others praised Ooni for showing respect to the Igbo culture.
Man of Letters said: “Igbakeji Oorisa?! It’s acceptable that he received the cross-culture respect handshake with Pete Edochie because the man Pete carry, but what’s his excuse for doing it with Kanayo O Kanayo??”
Kelvin Odanz said. “Is this ceremony holding in the Ooni palace? I mean, if an Igbo man (from a culture that doesn’t bow to another man) meets the Ooni in the UK for instance, is it disrespectful if he chooses to greet the respected Oba in a way he was brought up to respect dignitaries?”
Another user Onyemauchi tweeted: “This man supposed be King for him community”
Another tweep tracesorba wrote: “Igbos don’t bow down to any man, An evolved or wise man is their our own Chi.”