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.

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.

EKITI 2022: Coalition of political parties in Ekiti State adopt Segun Oni

A group of 10 notable political parties in Ekiti state has officially adopted Engr Segun, candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in June 18, 2022 governorship election, as their own preferred candidate for the election.
Rising from their emergency meeting in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, Convener and Coordinator of the coalition, Oladimeji Adegbuyiro, of the Action Alliance (AA) clarified their decision was consequent upon the fact that Ekiti people were fed up with the two major parties in the state, that is, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Adebuyiro explained all new parties involved in the coalition took the decision after thorough research and opinion poll on the most acceptable candidate to the populace across the 16 councils of the state among the present contestants.

He said: “Segun Oni is the most experienced, qualified and competent candidate among the present candidates vying for Ekiti governorship seat. From churches to mosques, schools to associations, even inside commercial buses, the only name on people’s mouth is that of Engr Segun Oni for governor.
“We then decided upon our findings that we have to go the way of the people, except we would be deceiving ourselves. We can only appeal to the two parties not to rely on any untoward practice to thwart the popular will of the people”, he said.

He further appealed to entire residents of the state to support a process and a movement which he noted would work in their immediate and long term interest, urging them to bring their family members, friends and associates to a podium upon which everyone’s interest and that of the state would be reshaped for the better.

Noting that security challenges, outstanding pensions, salary arrears, grants to higher institutions, unremitted and wrongly diverted cooperative deductions, as well as loans obtained by the present administration are problems which the current administration and the immediate past PDP government have created for the people, but which former governor Segun Oni would resolve immidiately, upon his assumption of office.
According to him, they are issues which require that someone taking over upon termination of the Fayemi administration should be prudent and sincere manager of resources, so that Ekiti would escape it’s current state of very avoidable bankruptcy and all-round backwardness
The Coalition appealed to INEC and Security agencies to allow the will of the people to prevail in the forthcoming election, stressing that those who are planning to frustrate the will of citizens of the state should remember operation wetie violence in the aftermath of1983 election in the Old Ondo state.
The coalition, at a well-attended event in Ado-Ekiti, capital of the state, constituted various committees to ensure that all the members of the coalition from the 177 wards are intergrated into the working arrangement, with a view to assuring resounding success for Engr Segun Oni