Less Than 48 Hours to Election, Court Disqualifies APC, Biodun Oyebanji From Ekiti Guber Election

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, today, disqualified the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, from participating in the June 18, 2022 Ekiti State governorship poll.

Justice Ekwo also held that the APC is not fielding any candidate in the election, having failed to comply with provisions of the Electoral Act as well as its guidelines in the conduct of party primary.

The court subsequently sacked the APC and Oyebanji from participating in the governorship poll and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delist APC and Oyebanji from the list of political parties and gubernatorial candidates for the election or at any subsequent postponement.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/528/22, Ekwo also ordered the APC to refund N22.5 million to Kayode Ojo, who was another APC governorship aspirant being cost of nomination and expression of interest forms for the primary election it failed to conduct.

Ojo, was among the 8 aspirants, who purchased forms to contest the election under the APC platform, had sued the party, INEC and Oyebanji over his (Ojo’s) failure to secure the governorship ticket.

He claimed that he was robbed of the APC gubernatorial ticket in favour of Oyebanji and had prayed the court to hold that his party did not conduct a valid primary for the governorship poll.

Ojo also sought an order compelling INEC to delist APC and Oyebanji’s name from the list of political parties and gubernatorial candidates for the election or any subsequent postponement.

He, therefore, demanded N122.5 million damages from the APC, being the refund of payment for the expression of interest and nomination forms.

But following the court verdict, Oyebanji has maintained that he would appeal his disqualification by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice Ekwo held inter alia: “It is my finding that the plaintiff has demonstrated upon preponderance of evidence that the gubernatorial primary election of the 1st defendant was not conducted in accordance with the provisions of Ss. 85 (2) and 87(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Articles 17 (vi) and 18(e), (9) and (0 of 1) Defendant’s Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for the Ekiti 2022 gubernatorial election,” Justice Ekwo held.

The judge explained that the real issue which both the APC and Oyebanji seemed not to understand was not whether accredited members of the APC voted on at the primaries but whether there was any primary election at all conducted in accordance with the mandatory provisions of both the Electoral Act (as amended) and the APC’s Guidelines for the Nomination of candidates for the Ekiti 2022 Gubernatorial Election-Direct Primaries (Option A4).

“When a primary election is illegal, the fact that such illegal election was monitored by the Nigeria Police (or other security agencies) as averred in paragraph 25 (i) of the 3rd defendant’s counter-affidavit is of no moment.

“The function of the Nigeria Police (or other security agencies) during primary election or even election proper is not to monitor same,” he held.

The judge explained that the court was inclined to grant the relief for refund of the sum paid by the plaintiff for the expression of interest form and nomination form since having voided the primary election APC cannot be allowed to benefit from its illegality.

“A declaration is hereby made that pursuant to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and 1st defendant’s guidelines for the nomination of candidates for the Ekiti 2022 gubernatorial election-direct primaries (Option A4), it is incumbent on the 1st defendant to conduct a primary election for emergence of its gubernatorial candidate for June 18, 2022 or any subsequent date in compliance with the provisions of the said Electoral Act and guidelines of the political party.

“A declaration is hereby made that by virtue of the non-conclusion of 1st defendant’s primary election process in Ekiti State for the emergence of its gubernatorial candidate for June 18, 2022 gubernatorial election, or the conduct of the said primary election in contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, it had no candidate at the said election.

“An order of mandatory injunction is hereby made compelling the 2nd defendant to delist the names of 1st and 3rd defendants from the list of political parties and gubernatorial candidates for the June 18, 2022 gubernatorial election or at any subsequent postponement.

“1st defendant is hereby ordered to refund the sum of N22,500,000 (Twenty-two Milion Five Hundred Thousand Naira) paid by the plaintiff to 1st defendant for the expression of interest form and nomination form upon total failure of consideration.

But following the court verdict, Oyebanji has maintained that he would appeal his disqualification by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

One of his confidants, Dauda Lawal, confirmed to The News in an interview, yesterday, that the APC candidate would appeal the Abuja Federal High Court ruling.

Lawal, who argued that Justice Ekwo’s court was a court of first instance, said Oyebanji and APC would go to a higher court to seek nullification of order, adding that the judgment was a distraction from the governorship election holding on Saturday.

Ekiti 2022: I Have No Deal With Tinubu To Step Down ― Segun Oni

The governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the June 18 election in Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni, has clarified that he did not sign any deal with former Lagos State Governor and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ahead of the Saturday’s poll.

EKITI 2022: COURT RULED IN FAVOUR OF SDP SUPPORTER WHO WAS UNLAWFULLY DETAINED IN EKITI MILITARY FACILITY


By: Gbenga Ogedengbe
June 14, 2022

At the Federal High Court, sitting in Ado Ekiti today, one of the APC plans to rig the June 18 Ekiti governorship election suffered setback.

The presiding judge, His Lordship, Hon.Justice Babs Kuewumi granted the relief sought by the SDP counsel, Barister Owoseni Ajayi and his learned friends, to release on bail, a renowned SDP supporter in Ayetoro Ekiti, Mr Seun Olarewaju, who was arrested and detained on May 20, 2022, by a group of soldiers, under the command of one Major Kalu, on the order of Governor Fayemi’s close aide, Mr Sola Durodola.

It is most pertinent to note that it was the same Durodola who was caught recently with different brands of firearms in his possession, alongside one Mr Ijakoko, another aide of the governor.

In the said ruling, the court compelled Major Kalu to produce the detained SDP supporter in court before Saturday election, precisely, on June 16, 2022, and to prove to the court, the reasons why the detained person shall continue to languish in his ‘custody”, where the detained Olarewaju had not been given access to medical care, official duties, family members and, even, counsel.

This order granted by the court has widely been welcomed by the people of the state as a very good development.

According to them, it counters the grand motive of arrest which, they perceived, is to ensure that the detained person is not in circulation on election day. So that whatever rigging package the sponsor (APC) has for that day in his local government area can go through very easily, without any challenge or resistance.

However, it can be very hard to believe that such an open display of desperation could be coming from a party under the watch of Dr Kayode Fayemi who is always very fast to cite his struggles against the highhandedness of the military as his own major contributions towards the enthronement of the ongoing nation’s democracy.

EKITI ELECTION: ALLEGED COMPROMISE OF SECURITY AGENCIES

The security situation in Ekiti State is becoming precariously worse following an alleged compromise of various agencies even, as the gubernatorial election in the state holds this Saturday.

This was contained in a press statement made available to journalists on Monday by a group concerned Ekiti Indigenes in support of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Chief Segun Oni.

The group made reference to various petitions of Oni’s legal counsel, Barrister Omoseni Ajayi that up till now, none of the petitions to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Yahaya Farouk, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Alkali Baba and other heads of the nation’s security agencies has been acted upon.

Others include DSS, Civil Defence among others.
According to the petitions, a notorious task force was specially set up by Governor Kayode Fayemi to witch-hunt, arrest, detain and torture his political enemies during electioneering campaigns throughout the length and breadth of Ekiti State especially Ayetoro Ekiti, where some SDP members were attacked by some All Progressives Congress (APC) members and got away with the crime, despite reporting the case to the Police Area Commander at Ido Ekiti.
One of the victim’s brother, Segun Olarenwaju was however, arrested and detained by men of the Nigerian Army from Ado Ekiti and has not regained his freedom till now from Army cell in Akure despite the critical condition of the attacked SDP member in a hospital in Ido Ekiti.
Cases of Fayemi’s hoodlums attacking Oni’s party members abound with the apparent connivance of the Nigerian Army, the Police , the DSS, Civil Defence in Oye, Ayegbaju, Efon Alaaye, Ayetoro, especially in Ado Ekiti where Oni’s Deputy Governorship candidate, otunba Ladi Owolabi escaped assassination by the whiskers and his campaign bus was vandalized.
According to Segun Oni’s legal counsel, Gov Fayemi’s notorious gang led by one Niyi Adedipe alias Apase and Rotimi Olanbiwonu alias Mentilo must be put in check by the relevant security agencies.
“Compromising their constitutional roles will no doubt lead to bloodbath which law abiding citizens of our great state do not wish to happen, especially as the governorship election is just days away.
Governor Fayemi and his cohorts must allow a level playing field, so that the people’s choice can emerge peacefully” Segun Oni’s counsel pleads.

Ekiti 2022: IGP orders DIG Kokumo to take over security

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba has directed the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), who is the supervisory DIG for the South-West, DIG Johnson Kokumo to coordinate security for Ekiti governorship elections slated for next Saturday.

Thugs attack Segun Oni’s campaign train in Ekiti State

At least two people were shot on Saturday in Itaji Ekiti, Oye local Government area of Ekiti state, South-West Nigeria in the second attack on the campaign convoy of former Governor Segun Oni.

Oni is the Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP in the June 18 election in Ekiti State.

Oni Condemns Owo Massacre, says Attack Senseless

Former Governor of Ekiti state and the standard flag bearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the forthcoming election, Chief Segun Oni has expressed shock and sadness over the unwarranted attack on innocent and defenseless worshippers yesterday (Sunday) at Saint Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo, the headquarters of the Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.


Describing the attack on Owo in Ondo state as an attack on Ekiti state, Oni said “We must rise to fight this evil”
In a statement issued by the Chairman, Media Advisory Council for Segun Oni Campaign Organisation, Moses Jolayemi, the former governor declared; “this is the time to pay serious attention to our security needs and invest heavily in our security infrastructure at state and federal levels”
While recommending a total overhauling of the nation’s security architecture, Chief Oni said “we must never allow terrorism and evil to thrive or define us a people”


The former governor however, expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims, the governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and the entire people of Ondo state over the unfortunate and senseless massacre.

Fayemi, APC Disillusioned on Ekiti, Says Jolayemi


… Oni Won’t Borrow to Prosecute Election
It does look, from all indications that we may not have seen an end to the ugly cycle in which one has to respond to the silliness and imbecility of the outgoing ruling party of Governor Kayode Fayemi whose dwindling popularity and acceptability within and outside the shores of Ekiti appear to have destabilise their camp.

Just when we thought they had emptied their sack, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has again manufactured a new set of lies, alleging that the flag bearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP)and leading candidate in the forthcoming Ekiti state election, Chief Segun Oni is borrowing money from a certain former head of state and a certain governor, both of who they chose to withhold their names.

While it is understandable that Oni’s popularity should, and must be confounding, it remains uncharitable that Fayemi and his drowning party would see any prospect in going down the pit of hell to exhume such wicked lies as opposed to repairing their already damaged image.

Their utter confusion lies in the fact that a man who they had painted as poor and incapable of funding the campaign stands strong at forefront of the battle. The truth is Oni personifies the conscience of Ekiti.

That explains why his popularity continues to soar far beyond expectation and comprehension, every step of the way.

First, the sinking APC could not disclose the identities of any of their alleged money lenders. Not even the author of the outright concoction had the courage to take ownership of his own writing. Too bad.

A statement by the chairman of the Media Advisory Council of the Segun Oni Campaingn Organisation, Moses Jolayemi described the latest propaganda as unfounded and irresponsible of the Fayemi-led regime just days to an election that promises to emancipate Ekiti people from mental and financial slavery of the last eight years of misrule and thievery.

Oni, according to Jolayemi, has no reason to borrow and would not contemplate that because he has what matters more than money. And that is the people. Again, that is what has slipped away from Fayemi and his boy, Biodun Oyebanji.

It is on record that the Fayemi regime, has, in the last four years, reportedly siphoned billions of naira through its phony micro-credit scheme headed by one Akin Fasae, according to Jolayemi.
We were stunned to see a recent public statement made by the Ekitit State Departmental Staff Cooperative Multipurpose Union where it alleged that this government is currently owing all the cooperative societies across all the state Ministries, Departments and Agencies over N5.7billion naira through illegal deductions.

Not less than 56 Presidents of the Cooperative societies in the state are said to have jointly signed a letter written to the Chief of Staff to Fayemi on May 26 this year seeking justice in the payment of the statutory emoluments of all categories of workers in Ekiti.

Ekiti Pensioners, have also reportedly revealed through the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) that Fayemi is owing them N38 billion, contrary to the governor’s deliberate denial that his government does not owe the pensioners.

“We are fully aware of the embarrassment this government faces; that a man who left office 12 years ago and ordinarily should have been long forgotten is the same man the entire Ekiti populace is clamouring and canvassing so vigorously for his return” Jolayemi declared.

“Unfortunately, much as we understand their pains and predicaments, there is little or nothing we can do to help them. Clearly, Fayemi and company have boxed themselves into a dark corner this time around.

Ekiti people have decided to take their destiny in their own hands and their determination would be made manifest, come June 18, God willing. No amount of lies, propaganda and smear campaign can change that, Jolayemi posited, urging the teeming supporters of Oni to troop out en-masse and vote for the man in whom they have found the true essence of ‘Omoluabi’

EFCC Moves Against Vote Buying

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has called on Nigerians to refrain from every act of vote buying and vote selling in the nation’s electoral processes.

This call was made in Abuja on Friday, May 3, 2022, by Secretary to the Commission, Dr. George Ekpungu, while receiving a delegation of the Civil Society Partners on Electoral Reform (CISPER) who paid a courtesy visit to the EFCC.

The Secretary noted that every leadership’s recruitment process in the country is very vital, and called on Nigerians to avoid selling their votes and their future to the highest bidder in the course of elections.