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2019 General Elections Is The ‘Most Extensively’ Covered Event In Nigeria – INEC

File Photo: INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

A total of 1,799 journalists from more than 150 domestic media organisations were accredited to cover the 2019 General Elections.

This is according to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke at a meeting with the media to review the last general elections on Thursday in Abuja.

He also said that 332 journalists from 52 foreign media organisations from different parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia came to cover the elections, describing it as the ‘most extensively’ covered event in Nigeria in 2019.

Mr Yakubu added that the meeting is aimed at addressing salient aspects of the election processes that require improvement.

“The Headquarters of the Commission alone accredited 1,799 journalists from more than 150 domestic Media organisations to cover the 2019 General Election.

“Foreign Media presence was also impressive. We had 332 journalists from 52 foreign Media organisations from different parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia to cover the elections. It was, indeed, an engaging experience. The General Election was the most extensively covered event in Nigeria in 2019.

“The purpose of this meeting, therefore, is to discuss all the salient aspects of the process which require improvement. You were accredited to cover all aspects of the processes. The Commission wants to hear from you how processes can be improved upon.”

READ ALSO: Alhassan Ado Dogowa Emerges Reps Majority Leader

He assured that all the observations will be considered during the Kogi and Bayelsa Governorship elections scheduled for Saturday 16th November 2019.

“Let me remind you that the Kogi and Bayelsa Governorship elections have been scheduled for Saturday 16th November 2019. I assure you that we will consider all the recommendations arising from this meeting that can be implemented administratively by the Commission before the conduct of the Governorship elections in the two States.”

How Obasanjo betrayed Soutwest AD governors – Osoba

Former governor of Ogun State and APC chieftain, Aremo Olusegun Osoba has revealed in his new memoir scheduled for presentation on Monday, how former president Olusegun Obasanjo betrayed him and other Alliance for Democracy (AD) governors in the 2003 election.

The former governor stated that apart from the ‘D’Rovan Presidential Electoral College fiasco of AD in Ibadan, another factor that led to the implosion of Afenifere and the AD was the pact the party and pan-Yoruba organisation, Afenifere, had with Obasanjo.

These and others are revealed in the 341-page memoir titled:‘Battlelines: Adventures in Journalism and Politics,’ published by Diamond Publications Limited. The book will be presented to the public next Monday as part of activities marking his 80th birthday in Lagos.

Aremo Osoba emphasised that, contrary to the impression in some quarters that the AD governors were solely responsible for the Southwest’s support for Obasanjo in the 2003 election, it was the collective decision of the Afenifere/AD hierarchy.

He recalled that the AD governors were not in good terms with Obasanjo, pointing out that they only decided to rally round him when the House of Representatives, led by former Speaker Ghali Umar Na’Abba wanted to impeach him in August 2002.

Osoba reflected on the defeat of the AD in the Southwest in his 341-page memoir:

He lamented that after assisting him to overcome the impeachment hurdle, he later waged a virulent political war against his Southwest benefactors.

Osoba recalled: “As it turned out, unwittingly, we gave Obasanjo a breather and tool with which he later dealt with us too. I told him to “stoop to conquer.” After doing that with the National Assembly and surviving the impeachment plot, he also later “stooped to conquer” against the AD governors and Afenifere.

“After he survived the impeachment plot, he never showed any sense of remorse. To all of us involved, we could not believe his new bellicose approach when in a national broadcast he described the impeachment plot as “joke carried too far.”

Read also: How NADECO was formed, by Osoba
The former governor said before the agreement to support Obasanjo, Southwest leaders gave his some conditions, particularly restructuring and restoration of true federalism.

Osoba stressed: “A meeting was held in Lagos where the conditions for negotiating with Obasanjo were agreed upon. After the meeting at the home of Pa Adesanya, he led a team with Afenifere charter of demand to Ota to discuss with Obasanjo.

“The delegation to Ota included Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Senator Femi Okunrounmu and Dr. Cornelius Adebayo. Senator Okunrounmu and Dr. Adebayo were mandated to speak on behalf of AD and Afenifere respectively at the meeting with Obasanjo. Chief Adesanya called me and asked me to join them at Obasanjo’s Ota Farm, from my station in Abeokuta.

“The conditions presented to Obasanjo amongst others were: the restructuring of the Nigerian federation, devolution of power, including moving some items from the exclusive to the concurrent list and ensuring fiscal federalism.

“ Obasanjo was made to agree to organize a credible and transparent national census. We also demanded that the constitution must include merit as a condition that must be followed alongside federal character and quota system in the recruitment to federal positions across the country. When all these conditions were tabled before Obasanjo, he assured us that he was satisfied with them and that he clearly identified with them.”

Osoba said apart from the AD governors and Afenifere leaders, Obasanjo also reached out to royal fathers and other prominent Yoruba leaders to support his second term bid.

He said prominent leaders he reached out to mount pressure on the AD governors and Afenifere leaders included the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Alake of Egbaland, the late Oba Oyebade Lipede, the late Oba of Lagos, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, the Ataoja of Osogbo, the late Oba Iyiola Matanmi and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona.

Besides, he said members of the “Hope Family,” led by the late Chief Debo Akande, including Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, the late Chief Folorunso Oke, Chief Jide Sawyer, and the late Prince Supo Adetona, supported Obasanjo’s bid.

However, Osoba said former Oyo State Governor Omololu Olunloyo warned him about any romance with Obasanjo, saying that it could be counter-productive.

He added: “As we were coming out of one of the meetings at Obasanjo’s lodge in his Ota farm, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, former governor of Oyo State who was waiting to see Obasanjo called me aside and whispered in my ears: “Be careful. You and Lam Adesina are being spied upon; they are monitoring your activities as governor. Be careful and before you reach any agreement with Obasanjo, think twice and think well.”

“It was the second time within a month that Olunloyo was warning me about Obasanjo. He had earlier done so at the 70th birthday celebration of Senator Biyi Durojaiye in Ijebu-Igbo. Olunloyo’s wife, Ronke, is from Ijebu-Igbo and a distant relation of Senator Durojaiye. Aside Dr. Olunloyo, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA,) Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) came to Abeokuta in the heat of the 2003 elections campaign to admonish me to be wary of any collaboration with President Obasanjo.

“Many longstanding friends like General Emmanuel Abisoye expressed serious reservations. My son, Hon. Olumide Osoba, right from the outset never believed in the alliance.”

Osoba noted that, in a desperate move to get him to support him, Obasanjo also paid his family an unsolicited Christmas visit in Abeokuta, Ogin State capital.”

He recalled that two weeks before the first election, Afenifere leader, Adesanya led a delegation of the group to Ota Farm for another meeting with Obasanjo, where Oba Adetona, Oba Adekoya Dagburewe of Idowa, Bishop Emmanuel Gbonigi of the Anglican Communio and Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu of the Methodist Church.”

Osoba added: “ To our shock, Chief Adesanya opened fire at Obasanjo, shooting straight from the hips. “Mr. President, we hear you are planning to use military tactics to ambush us during the election,” he said. “From our intelligence gathering, we have learned that you are planning to run us all aground and rig us out of power in the south-western states. By doing that you would have betrayed our trust and support for you.”

“Bishop Gbonigi also added credence to Adesanya’s information, firing more shots in the direction of Obasanjo. “Mr. President, what Chief Adesanya is saying is true,” he said. “We also hear that your people are in Ondo State training some people who are expected to wear fake police uniforms on the day of the election with a view to rig the elections for the PDP, your party.”

“A visibly angry Obasanjo had to fire back asking the bishop: “What’s your source of information?” “My source of information? I got the intelligence information from my friend, Governor Adefarati.” “Governor Adefarati is lying,” Obasanjo said. “He is not lying. We grew up together from childhood; Adefarati has not been known to be a liar,” Bishop Gbonigi replied.

“The whole meeting was running into stormy waters with the exchanges between Obasanjo and Gbonigi. “I swear to God that the allegations are untrue and unfounded,” Obasanjo said. “I can never be part of such a betrayal.” “Mr. President, I still insist you are deceiving us,” Adesanya chipped in. “And I know that no betrayer would go unpunished. As our people say, he who betrays the earth would end up being swallowed by the earth.”

“It was the intervention of the Awujale that calmed the frayed nerves. He intervened and said that what was needed was for the president to assure us about what he intended to do to allay the fears of the Afenifere/AD leaders.”

“Obasanjo jumped at that opportunity to make a solemn promise that he will do everything possible to make sure that the elections were conducted well, to the satisfaction of all the parties. It was on this note that the meeting ended.”

However, Osoba said events subsequently proved Adesanya right, recalling that the results of the National Assembly elections had been forged before the polls and the outcome of the governorship elections were also manipulated.

He added: “Fictitious figures were already available to declare the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, as the winner. My then current and former deputies, Alhaji Gbenga Kaka and Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye, who went for a pre-election meeting at Ogun Stae INEC reported that some people in INEC revealed to them confidentially that the elections were “a foregone conclusion”

“By 8 pm on the Election Day, a total of one million, three hundred and sixty thousand, one hundred and seventy (1,360,170) votes had been announced for Obasanjo. Gbenga Daniel was declared the winner of the gubernatorial election with four hundred and forty-nine thousand, three hundred and thirty-five (449,335) votes.

“The sheer shamelessness of the PDP and its candidates was revealed even by the Federal Appeal Court. In the judgment, the judges cancelled Ogun State results and noted that the presidential election received 615,873 votes over and above the votes cast for all the governorship candidates.

“The judges queried the “yawning gap” between the votes recorded for Obasanjo and those assigned to gubernatorial candidates of all the parties in the state. The court concluded that the difference was “indefensible” especially when both the presidential and gubernatorial elections were held simultaneously.

“ In the lead judgment, Justice F.F. Tabai even added that “all allegations in Ogun State were criminal in nature. They ranged from violence, fingerprinting, official intimidation, bias, and falsification of results.”


Source: PM News

Dismissal Of Miyetti Allah Suit Against Our Law Is Victory For Justice – Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom says the judgment of the Federal High Court today which dismissed the suit filed by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore against the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law is a victory for justice, democracy and the rule of law.

Governor Ortom in a statement by his special aide, Terver Akase, commended the country’s judiciary for proving once again that it is indeed the last hope of the common people.

He said the judgment affirms the fact the law was duly enacted and it is in the interest of all Nigerians who wish to go into livestock business in the state.

READ ALSO: Court Dismisses Miyetti Allah’s Suit Seeking To Restrain Open Grazing Law

The Governor, on behalf of the government and people of the state, appreciates individuals and groups, as well as all other Nigerians who supported the state while the case lasted.

Governor Ortom restates the commitment of his administration to ensuring that implementation of the ranching law guarantees peace in all parts of the state.

He urges Miyetti Allah groups and other livestock owners to embrace ranching which is the global best practice of animal husbandry.

Tribunal Delivers Ruling On Hearing Of Petition Filed By PDP, Atiku

The presidential election tribunal has delivered a ruling to the effect that the hearing in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s presidential candidate must commence today.

The ruling followed an objection to the tendering of documents by respondents in the suit on the grounds that a decision by parties to conference on the documents to be tendered was not done.

In a ruling delivered after a forty minutes recess the chairman of the tribunal Justice, Mohammed Garba said “We have considered the submission on the issue of filing and schedule of documents. The agreement of the parties as the directive of the court to regulate this hearing agreed as follows; we have agreed that documents be tendered from the bar to be filed and exchange between the party. we also agreed that trial on the petition shall commence on July the 4th and all objection can be raised but will be addressed at the final address of the hearing .”

READ ALSO: 88-Year Old Ben Nwabueze Leads Atiku, PDP’s Legal Team As Hearing Begins

He further added that “The parties agreed that hearing shall commence today and did not agree that the exchange of schedule and list of documents was a condition precedent for the hearing to commence and none of them will be allowed to go back on the agreement particular by the nature of this matter which is time-bound”

Justice Garba also said that “In addition, the respondents cannot seriously and rightly say they do not know of the documents to be tendered because these documents are listed in the petition served on all parties in March more than two months ago and there is nothing that can stop the commencement and hearing of this trial .

As such the commencement of this trial shall start and continue as agreed by parties and endorsed by the tribunal.”

Earlier, counsel to President Buhari Mike Igbokwe objected to the tendering if documents by the petitioner.

Mr. Igbokwe said that It was only this morning that they were served and they have not been given the time to go through them.

Mr. Igbokwe said that “a situation that we are given the document this morning is not fair and I want to submit that because an order was given by this court It must be followed. I urge the court to suspend the trial until they comply with an order that the schedule of the document must be filed and exchanged between parties as consented to by all parties.

Counsel to INEC Mr. Yunush Usman on his part counsel to totally associated himself with the submission of the counsel to the submission of mister Igbokwe.

According to him “Let me state that our agreement was that we will all meet look at the documents they want to tender and then agree on the ones we want to disagree with. This is a serious ambush and should not be allowed. We urged the court to further order that we study the document and reach an agreement”.

Counsel to Apc Mr. Yakubu Makiyau also aligned himself with the submission of the first and second respondents.

He said “the very basis of the understanding is that the time of the court is not wasted and We are not ready for the tendering of these documents. The whole essence of prior service is to aid the respondent in answering to the documents.

Responding counsel to the petitioners Mr. Levi Uzoukwu said “I am surprised and shocked at the submissions they have made. They should commend us and not condemn us. Pre-trial was concluded yesterday and not on Monday as claimed by the second respondents.

The same yesterday we filed all the schedule of documents to be tendered today.

The registry started the processing of the schedule which are in volumes and concluded this morning.

Paragraph 7 of the agreement of the parties is so clear and unambiguous that no party has a right to amend it

It says we have agreed that documents be tendered from the bar to be filed and exchanged between the parties. We have filed and they have been served. We are not even complaining that we have not received theirs and we don’t intend to complain at this stage .seriously our time is been compromised by the respondents. I thank God that the 3rd respondents confessed that they are not ready and that with due respect accounts for his objection.

Let me also say that the documents to be tendered are all listed and pleaded in the petition in accordance with the electoral act and they are known to all parties and I do not understand where the ambush is coming from.

Finally on the issue. The issue of schedule is to facilitate easy for the marking and tendering of these documents.

We intend to start with Niger state and they have the schedule with them and I pray that we be allowed to start tendering, bearing in mind that this petition has a timeline that is fast approaching.

87-Year old Ben Nwabueze (SAN) in wheel chair, leads Atiku’s legal team

It was a sight to behold this morning at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) in Abuja as 87-year old former Minister of Education and Youth Development, Professor Ben Nwabueze, announced himself as the leader of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s legal team.

Prof Nwabueze, who was brought in on a wheelchair, later read a prepared speech before the commencement of proceedings and took his leave about 30 minutes later.

The Nation reports that the Senior Advocate, who was allowed to address the tribunal while sitting, said his appearance was to underscore the importance of the case for the nation’s democratic development.

Meanwhile, the tribunal has suspended proceedings to rule on an issue raised by the respondents, to the effect that the petitioners have not properly complied with an earlier order of the court.

Source: PM News

Video: Another COZA ex-member accuses Pastor Fatoyinbo of rape

As the number of ladies coming out to narrate their rape experiences keeps increasing, another lady has come forward with molestation accusations against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The ex-COZA church member gave a detailed recount of her experience with the man of God to media personality Chude Jideonwo in an exclusive interview.

Source: PM News