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Osun election tribunal orders INEC to produce Adeleke’s academic certificates

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The Osun election petition tribunal has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce the nomination form and academic certificates used by Ademola Adeleke to contest the 2018 governorship election.

The order was issued following an application by Gboyega Oyetola, Osun governor, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner of the Osun governorship election which was held on July 16.

He secured 403,371 votes to defeat Oyetola of the APC, who got 375,027 votes.

In a petition dated August 5 and seen by TheCable, Oyetola and the APC had asked the court to nullify Adeleke’s election on the claim that he was not qualified to contest and that he was not elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast.

According to the petition, Adeleke, who had also contested the 2018 governorship election but lost, “was, at the material time, not qualified to contest election to the office of the Governor of Osun State for having presented forged certificates” to INEC.

The petitioners are also challenging the election results from 749 polling units across 10 LGAs of the state over alleged electoral malpractice, especially over-voting.

At the tribunal session on Wednesday Saka Layoonu, counsel for Oyetola and the APC, informed the tribunal that he has filed a subpoena dated November 3, seeking to compel the Osun resident electoral commissioner (REC) to appear before the tribunal to present the documents.

Layoonu said since the bailiff was yet to serve the REC with the subpoena, even after being signed, he would be compelled to ask for adjournment till November 21.

However, Paul Ananaba, counsel to INEC, raised an objection to the adjournment, adding that the petitioners were not ready to diligently pursue the case.

Ananaba argued that the REC being subpoenaed to bring the said documents was never mentioned in the petition.

He insisted that the request by the petitioners to call the REC as a witness, without informing the tribunal earlier, violates paragraph three of the tribunal pre-hearing reports.

Ananaba pointed out that the said paragraph three indicated that the tribunal must be furnished with a list of witnesses to be called, 24 hours before the hearing day.

Responding, Niyi Owolade, counsel to Adeleke, and Nathaniel Oke, PDP counsel, aligned with Ananaba’s arguments and prayed the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

However, counsel to the petitioners described the respondents’ arguments as baseless and referred to the court to paragraph 69(vi) of the petition, where it is stated that the documents in question would be relied on.

Layoonu said since the tribunal had not issued the subpoena, it could not have been served on the respondents.

In his ruling, Tertsea Kume, the tribunal chairman, granted the subpoena.

Kume said the subpoena was issued on Tuesday evening and would subsequently be served on REC.

He then adjourned further hearing until November 21 for continuation.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time Adeleke’s academic credentials would be a source of controversy.

Politics

‘Common sense will prevail’ — Aisha Buhari breaks silence on Adamawa APC dispute

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Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, says she is committed to intervening in the situation in the Adamawa chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Aishatu Binani, the senator representing Adamawa central, had defeated Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Jibrilla Bindow, former governor of the state, to win the governorship primary held on May 26.

Aggrieved by the outcome of the election, Ribadu instituted a suit challenging Binani’s victory.

A federal high court in Yola, the Adamawa capital, had nullified the primary in October.

However, in a ruling delivered on Thursday, November 24, an appeal court in the state restored Binani’s candidacy.

The development elicited celebration from women shareholders, with Pauline Tallen, the minister of women affairs, describing it as “the beginning of good things” for Nigerian women.

The first lady was however reported to have pitched her tent with Ribadu during a meeting of Adamawa APC stakeholders held last week.

Breaking her silence on Tuesday, the first lady, who is a native of the state, said she will get involved in the “problem” to ensure that “common sense” prevails in Adamawa politics.

She said in an Instagram post: “In the name of Allah, I wish to thank Adamawa State APC Leaders for the courtesy visit they paid on me, on November 18, 2022.

“As an indigene of the State, a mother a Grand Mother and the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I would like to reaffirm my support for the genuine concern of our party leaders, as well as COMMIT TO STEPPING INTO THE PROBLEM so that reason and common sense will prevail in Adamawa politics.”

Aisha Buhari also called on northern leaders to emulate their south-west counterparts by “enthroning women” as deputy governors in the states in the region.

“I would again like to repeat my appeal to respected leaders in the North to learn from the exemplary practice of their Southwest counterparts in enthroning women as Deputy Governors in states as a gradual approach to obtaining gender inclusion in our polity,” she wrote.

“This is a most realistic step in our efforts at attaining gender justice instead of supporting the pursuit of the misplaced ambition of an individual do-or-die politician.”

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Osun state assembly counters Adeleke over rejection of ‘state of Osun’

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The Osun state house of assembly says the state will continue to be referred to as ‘state of Osun’ as against ‘Osun state’.

The development was announced on Monday in a statement by Kunle Akande, the house committee chairman on media and publicity.

On Sunday, while making his inauguration speech, Ademola Adeleke, the Osun governor, ordered an immediate reversal to ‘Osun state’ instead of ‘state of Osun’, which was adopted during the Rauf Aregbesola administration.

Speaking on the development, the Osun assembly said the adoption of ‘state of Osun’ is “a matter of law”.

“The usage of the state anthem, crest and flag is an enactment of law and as such, its usage is a matter of law and not choice,” the statement reads.

“The enactment ‘state of Osun anthem, crest and flag law, 2012’ assented to on the 18th of December, 2012 contained in Schedule I, II, III, IV and V, which carefully details every component of this law is not in ambiguity.

“Schedule I is the State Anthem, Schedule II has to do with the State Crest, Schedule III is the symbolic significance of the the symbolic significance of the elements in the Flag.

“Lastly, while we are aware of a court judgment in effect recognizing “Osun State”, the Assembly, pending the determination and exhaustion of all legal means would not be drawn into this matter.

“However, the State shall and will continue to be described as the state of the virtuous (Ipinle Omoluabi).”

The state government, under the administration of Rauf Aregbesola, had announced the renaming of Osun state as “state of Osun” in 2011.

But in 2017, an Osun state high court sitting in Ilesa declared that the renaming is illegal and therefore, null and void.

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Governor Adeleke makes first appointments

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has appointed Mr Kassim Akinleye as Chief of Staff.

The governor appointed Mr Teslim Igbalaye as Secretary to the State Government, SSG, while Mr Olawale Rasheed is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

The appointment, according to the governor’s statement, takes effect immediately.

It reads, “Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has approved the appointment of Alhaji Kassim Akinleye as the the chief of staff to the Governor;

“Alhaji Teslim Igbalaye as the Secretary to the State Government and Mallam Rasheed Olawale as the Spokesperson to the Governor.

“The appointment takes immediate effect.”

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