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The Independent National Electoral Commission () on Wednesday urged the Court of Appeal Abuja to return Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressive (APC) as duly elected of Osun State.

The News Agency of (NAN) reports that others who prayed the court to return Oyetola as governor include the APC, and Oyetola himself.

Counsel to the parties made the unanimous call while adopting their written addresses before a five-man panel of justices of the court led by Justice Hannatu Sankey.

The other justices are Abubakar Yahaya, Isaiah Akeju and Bitrus Sanga.

The Osun State Governorship Tribunal on March 22 declared Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the duly-elected governor of the state.

The tribunal held that the re-run election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC was unconstitutional.

It therefore directed INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued to Oyetola and issue same to Adeleke.

Mr Yusuf Ali, SAN, Counsel to INEC while adopting his address, however, argued that the decision of the lower tribunal was made in error.

Ali submitted that the respondents’ argument that the commission failed to conduct proper accreditation and deliberately voided votes to favour Oyetola was a figment of imagination.

He said the Adeleke and the PDP failed to prove over voting in the election, adding that the results from both the Sept.22 and Sept. 27, 2018 were true reflection of the exercise.

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He, however, explained that the anomalies in the recording of votes in columns of form EC8A were not substantial enough to sway the election in Adeleke’s favour.

Ali submitted that the commission fully complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution as amended in the conduct of the election.

On his part, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Counsel to Oyetola, averred that Adeleke’s return by the majority decision of the tribunal was done in error.

He explained that Justice Peter Obiora, who delivered the lead judgment was not diligent in his attendance of the proceedings.

Olanipekun submitted that the was particularly absented himself on April 6 proceeding but went ahead to make references to the proceedings of that day.

He said the validity of the decision was called to question as the Justice Obiora failed to sign it.

“My Lord, we were in court on April 6 and we can testify that Justice Peter Obiora was not part of the panel that day, but we were surprised that he made allusion to the proceedings he never experienced in the judgment.

“We can also see from the judgment heading that his name was listed as part of the panel but he clearly did not sign his portion on the document.

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“My Lords, we implore you to discountenance the decision and set it aside.

“We also pray the court to return Oyetalo as the duly elected governor of Osun’’, he said.

On whether the respondents proved over voting, Olanipekun submitted that they only dumped the Voter Register on the tribunal without linking all the variables that could prove over voting.

Also, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) Counsel to the APC aligned himself with the arguments canvassed by both Olanipekun and Ali.

Olujimi argued further that the respondents had merely drew inferences and not evidential matters that could sustain the tribunal’s decision, adding that the appeal should be upheld.

However, Dr Oyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), Counsel to both Adeleke and PDP urged that court to dismiss the submission advanced by the counsel to the appellants, adding that the cancellation of the Sept.22, 2018 governorship was unconstitutional.

Ikpeazu submitted that the Electoral Act did not empower INEC to willingly cancel election when a winner had clearly emerged.

He explained that the cancellation which was done by the collation officer rather than the presiding officer was indicative of how deep the electoral body went to thwart the process in favour of the APC candidate.

He also said that the respondents were able to prove over voting at the lower tribunal, adding that the supplementary election conducted in 70 polling units on Sept.27 was marred by violence and malpractices.

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“Our contention has always been the non-declaration of Adeleke after he was clearly in the lead and it was resounding that the tribunal eventually right the wrong’’, he said.

He further INEC was unable to defend the entire process that it handled, adding that vital sensitive forms that should guarantee transparency of the process were not entered by the electoral body.

NAN reports that a total of three appeals and one cross-appeal were treated by the court.

Justice Sankey went ahead to reserve judgment on the appeals after counsel to parties adopted all their addresses.

 

Source: Daily Post

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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COVID-19: Gov Abiodun orders full reopening of hotels, schools, churches, mosques

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Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has ordered full reopening of hotels, viewing centres, marquees, event centres, suites, guest houses and motels.

Others in that category are restaurants, eateries, lounges, bars, and cinemas.

We reports Gov Abiodun, in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus, ordered the closure of those establishments to avoid the spread of disease.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, on Wednesday, the Ogun said those in the industry should open for business fully.

Somorin informed that Abiodun has further told schools, markets, churches and mosques in Ogun to revert to their regular programme of activities as obtained before COVID-19.

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However, Somorin urged the hospitality establishments to strictly adhere to a set of guidelines in order to keep up with the protocols aimed at further flattening the curve of COVID-19.

The statement said that the government would not hesitate to do selective lockdown should there be any flagrant disobedience to the set COVID-19 protocols.

“And, if perchance we discover that any of our centres is not complying or adhering to the laid down protocols, we will not hesitate to close down the centre,” he warned.

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BREAKING: Osun State Governor, Oyetola Relaxes Curfew

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Osun State , Gboyega Oyetola, has relaxed the curfew imposed on the state , now 8pm to 6am.

This was contained in a press statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Wole Oyebamiji, on Wednesday.

The governor said the relaxation of the curfew takes effect from Thursday.

The statement read in part,

“Following the high level of compliance with the 24-hour curfew declared last Saturday to forestall further breakdown of law and order in the State, the Governor of the State of Osun, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, has approved the relaxation of the curfew period, effective from tomorrow, Thursday, October 29, 2020.

“Consequently, the curfew will now run from 8:00pm to 6:00am daily.

“Security operatives will still remain on the streets to enforce the new curfew directive with a view to further maintaining law and order.

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“Also, all motorcycle operators will now operate from 6:00am to 8:00pm daily as earlier announced.

“This will subsist even after the curfew is completely lifted.”

The governor commended #EndSARS protesters for suspending demonstrations in the state.

He urged those with looted items to ensure that they return them, stressing that defaulters would be prosecuted.

The statement said, “As we all know, the curfew was never declared in the first instance to inflict hardship on our people but to protect them and return normalcy to the State.

“We commend the residents and citizens of Osun for their show of understanding and cooperation in the last five days of the curfew.

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“We also laud our youths for displaying a high sense of maturity and understanding in calling off any form of protest in light of the prevailing circumstances.

“Government remains committed to the cause of our youths and shall take every necessary step to ensure their welfare.

“Government also commends those who took advantage of the amnesty period to return looted items in line with the Omoluabi ethos for which we are known.

“Whistle Blowers could still reach out to us on 08187187678 for information on looted items.
However, effective from tomorrow, Thursday, October 29, anyone found to be in possession of any looted item will be arrested, investigated and prosecuted as earlier announced.”

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