Osun AC Chair Counsels Members At AMG’s Launch

Action Congress (AC), Osun State, NigeriaOSUN State Chairman of Action Congress (AC), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti has enjoined members and supporters of the party in the state to remain resolute and steadfast in their political operation, saying that there is light at the end of the tunnel as a God-ordained government will soon take charge of the affairs of the state.

Adeoti who said this while launching a subsidiary arm of the AC, Action Mandate Group (AMG) in Ilesa-East Local Government Council Area of the state in Ilesa, Osun State, on Wednesday noted that the ceaseless suffering brought on the people of the state by the forceful occupation of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) government about six years ago will go into the thrash can of history.

The AC chairman who was represented by the party’s chairmanship candidate in Iwo Local Government Council Area of the state, Honourable Alao Kamaru warned the members and supporters of the party to be vigilant and refuse to give bickerings, rumours and backbiting a chance to enable the new group to live up to expectation.

“The Action Mandate Group (AMG) should play a complimentary role to the AC just like all other numerous groups within the party. Formation of such a group is allowed, the only thing is that it should enhance and work in tandem with the AC to achieve and attract success to the party.

“I salute the courage of those who are behind the formation of the group and we shall always be available to give pieces of advice whenever such is sought. I charge all the members of the group to work tirelessly in order to increase the fortune of the AC because in the overall interest of the masses”, he said.

In his own address, Honourable Timothy Owoeye, member, Osun State House of Assembly, said he was convinced that the AC governorship candidate in the state, Engr. Rauf Aregbesola would receive God’s favour at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, Oyo State, adding that the governorship hopeful had done everything humanly possible to retrieve his stolen mandate.

Owoeye enjoined the people not to waiver in their expectation of the appeal court case as God is not kn own to be partial as He will stand by the righteous at all times.

His words: “It is the vote robbers that have murdered sleep, and they will sleep no more because they have sinned against humanity. Since the closure of Aregbesola-Oyinlola’s case, quite a large number of the PDP members in the state have ended up in various hospitals for fear of any eventuality. Truth will surely prevail.”

An AC chieftain who is the Chairman of Ultimate Group, Otunba J. M. K. Ogunkeyede advised the members and supporters of the AC to continue to pray for success of Aregbesola at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, Oyo State, as too much prayers are better than none.

He congratulated members of Action Mandate Group on the launching of the group, tasking them to do everything humanly possible to ensure that Aregbesola retrieves his stolen mandate.

Ogunkeyede explained that Aregbesola knows how to improve the economic base of the state. “He knows what to do, how and when to do it. And with the advent of Aregbesola, Osun will become a paradise”.
Another AC chieftain, Professor O. O. Oladipo from Iwo Local Government Council disclosed to the group that a new dawn was about to be introduced into Osun State, adding that it should now dawn on the people of the state that Aregbesola’s struggle is God’s own project”.

He enjoined politicians of AC extraction to always strive to put smiles on the faces of the less-privileged members of the society. The president of the group, Mr Femi Olayinka disclosed that the AMG has as parts of its duties enlightenment, sensitization and recruitment of new members of AC into the fold of the party.

Action Congress Women Leader in the state, Mrs. Temilade Olasegun enjoined women to cultivate an act of modesty as a virtue, saying that “Aregbesola has promised to secure a rightful place for the women. Honourable Tola Toogun briefed the occasion the state of happenings in the political arena in the state with special reference to the Court of Appeal.

Six members of All Nigeria Peoples Partyin Ilesa East Local Government led their members to decamp into the AC on the occasion.

Some of the dignitaries on the occasion are Honourable Najim Salam, member, House of Assembly representing Ejigbo State Constituency; Honourable Laide Ajibola representing Olorunda;Honourable Kamil Oyedele representing Irepodun/Orolu, Honurable Famurewa, Honourable Ibrahim Olarewaju Balogun; Chief Olasupo Obisesan; Honourable Korede; Deaconess Julianah Ashaolu of Christ Reformation Church, Ilesa.

By SOLA JACOBS

10 Million Naira Scandal Rocks Osun Farmers Association

FINANCIAL crisis has hit the Association of Cassava Farmers in Osun State as the Local Governments executives of the association recently accused the state executive of allegedly misappropriating about N10 million, belonging to the association.

The Association Local Government executive stated that since the chairman of the state executive, Chief David Ogunsakin came on board, he has not been able to account for about N10 million accruable to the association.

Chairman of the association local government executives, Mallam Sodiq Osuolale told newsmen during the week that Chief Ogunsakin’s style of leadership negates the principle of accountability.

Investigations conducted by OSUN DEFENDER however, revealed that some cassava farmers in the state are nursing grudges against the chairman over what they described as preferential treatment especially in the issue of disbursement of loans.

A farmer in Olorunda Local Government Council Area told the medium that the actions of the chairman are highly frustrating, but no one dare confront him as he is believed to be enjoying tremendous support from some powerful individuals in authority.

However, the local council’s executive last Tuesday passed a vote of no-confidence on the state chairman, citing financial recklessness, and also alleged that it had overstayed its legal term.

Though in a swift reaction, Chief David Ogunsakin debunked the claim of the local executives that he had over-stayed his tenure, saying the association had already amended its constitution to accommodate tenure elongation, even at the national level of the association.

He also dismissed the vote of no-confidence passed on him by them; saying they had no right to do so, but, such action could only be carried out by the General Meeting conveyed by the state executives.

He also announced the suspension of some members of the local executive; Sodiq Osuolale, Musafiu Ganiyu and Ganiyu Adeleke, adding that the attempt to soil his integrity is orchestrated by some members who did not want to return the association’s loans.

The source further stated that the state chairman is becoming untouchable as he has the overwhelming support of the authority in the state.

Also, the local executive maintained that their position stands, saying that the chairman should go public with the financial records of the association, since he came on board.

By SHINA ABUBAKAR

Enemies Of Opposition’ ll Fail

I want to first of all commend you for keeping us abreast of first-hand information that are not destructive to the common man on the streets of Osun State unlike a newspaper and the compromised state owned-electronic media.

Your information is not only revealing but also gearing people up that they still have hope on their efforts to retrieve their stolen mandate through the judiciary.

Let me just use this medium to express my feelings on the series of annihilations of the opposition political party leaders, supporters and sympathizers in the hands of the violence-ridden PDP leaders and spearheaded by the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and their thugs.

On daily basis, there have been plans upon plans by these people in the corridor of power in the state to withdraw the arch-rival of Oyinlola, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola from circulation but by God’s grace, they have failed and they would continue to fail.

Having failed severally, they came up with another plan on the explosion that rocked the state secretariat last year with the intention to withdraw Aregbesola and some other AC leaders, whom they consider a threat to their corrupted party from circulation.

We were all in this state when the ballistic department of the state police command under the then compromised Commissioner of Police, Mr. Suleimon Fakai conducted the investigation, which clearly showed that the explosion was from a rock blast device.

I am very sure that if Oyinlola and his people had known then, they would have doctored the result of the investigation, but with God, they could not remember and they would never remember by the grace of God, so that they would continue to fail. Amen.

With the concocted ‘bomb blast’, many AC leaders like Prince Sunday Laoye, Barrister Gbenga Akano, Honourable Timothy Owoeye, Folarin Fafowora and a senior magistrate in the state, Mr. Ayo Oyebiyi have been clamped into detention, even though some of them have been granted bail on what they knew nothing about.

This is to tell them that failure is their portion and they would continue to fail, especially on the cases at the tribunal and on their plan to intimidate and harass the opposition party members in this state by detaining them through their selected agents.

•SHERIFF AYINLA, Osogbo

Forensic Evidence And Politics Of Misinformation

Omo Osun with Kola Olabisi

IN any organization, marketers the set of people bedeviled with problems associated with products such companies are identified with. What is applicable to products is also applicable to services. If a product or service is flawless, marketers are known to have less work to do. But if a product is a bundle of difficulties, marketers who are unfortunate to be saddled with the responsibility of packaging such products are faced with arduous task of extracting water from stone. No matter what the effort of a marketer is, a bad product does not have any other name other than something associated with negativism.

In Osun State today, one needs not be a professional marketer to know that both Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, the indomitable Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate and the embattled incumbent Governor Olagunsoye Ashola Oyinlola, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate are the two prominent politicians in the state of the Living Spring. It is however known to all and sundry that Aregbesola, any time, any day, is a marketer’s delight as little or no effort is required for further packaging of the AC candidate, while it is pungently obvious that for any marketer to get Oyinlola sold, there is need for admixture of ingenuity and unorthodox means of making things happen.

The kernel of this piece is that while Oyinlola is a difficult product, Aregbesola only needs marketing to sustain his enviable political attainment not only in Osun State but in the South-West. Events in the state of the Living Spring since Aregbesola showed his intention to upstage the embattled Governor Oyinlola have shown that though the Okuku prince is a retired Army General but he is a political neophyte who needs tutelage under the younger mechanical engineer whom he once derisively referred to as a refrigerator repairer.

Oyinlola knows where the shoe pinches him because the name ‘Rauf’ haunts him like a plague. Having highlighted the above points, I sympathize with collegue gentleman whose duty it is to package Oyinlola. I will never, just like the other people, join issues with my friend, Mr Lasisi Olagunju, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS) for protecting his source of livelihood by defending his boss. My area of concern was when the contemporary developments in the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ibadan were misrepresented by my friend to satisfy the whims and caprices of the Okuku prince.

The purpose of his resorting to journalese, semantics and mere chicanery to confuse the good people of Osun State is the reason I feel obliged to straighten the record as an hyper-active member of the public whose duty is to gather, process, and disseminate news on the issue at stake. Olagunju can not tell me we were not together at the press gallery.

I am surprised that the CPS could join in spreading the falsehood that the Court of Appeal did not admit any forensic evidence on Wednesday. It was the same Olagunju who has been spreading this fallacy who said that: “The court, on Wednesday, only consolidated with the main appeal, four interlocutory appeals arising from the decision of the trial tribunal rejecting applications by Aregbesola to introduce Adrian Forty and Tunde Yadeka as additional witnesses as well as an application to re-open his case so as to tender election results. With the consolidation of the appeals on Adrian Forty and others with the main appeal, the decisions of the appeal court on the matters would come with the final judgment”.

With the above statement, it is pungent clear that the CPS is a marker of a difficult product in the person of Oyinlola. And that is why my friend is approbating and reprobating at the same time. The kernel of Olagunju’s propaganda in this regard is at variance with what transpired in the appeal court of that Wednesday. One wonders if the forensic evidence was not admitted, how then, did the CPS agree that “the decisions of the appellate court on the matters would come with the final judgment?” This goes a long way to show that the Oyinlola mouthpiece is all out to confuse unsuspecting members of the public; a development which has failed to achieve the ulterior motive it was intended for because of the awareness level of the people who have unfortunately fallen victims of deceit in the past six years of Oyinlola’s administration in the state.

If Olagunju had wanted to be an unbiased umpire, he would have told members of the public the drama witnessed over the attempt by Oyinlola’s counsel, Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN), to thwart efforts by Aregbesola’s counsel, Chief Kola Awodein (SAN), to make the court admit as exhibit the document containing the report on the forensic expert. It is on record that Ali, in an attempt to stop the document from being incorporated into Aregbesola’s four other appeals, told the five-man panel-led Justice Victor Aimupomo Omage, to discountenance the application containing the report, adding that he had no knowledge of such a document in his file.

Ali’s words: “On the face of the motion, there are four appeals listed. The one listed as 1.5 of the motion, we don’t have any knowledge of it. There are three interlocutory and one substantive appeal”. I hope Olagunju could remember that there was confusion in the court sequel to the insistence of Awodein that he filed the document on December 31, 2008 and that there was a reply from the Oyinlola counsel acknowledging the receipt of the document; a development which made the court to announce a stand-down for five minutes which later dragged to about thirty minutes to enable the counsel and the registry sort out themselves.

During the stand-down, the trial justices sent for the leading interested counsel in their chambers but Ali refused to go and it was the embattled partner of his, Kunle Kalejaiye and Nathaniel Oke (SANs) who went into the justices’ chambers.

The document containing the forensic report was later found in the court’s registry and incorporated by the court into the four briefs of argument. And it was indeed a season of apologies as Oyinlola’s counsel, Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) counsel, Mr Joe Gadzama, and the police counsel, Mr Niyi Owolade, Osun State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General apologized ceaselessly in turns for having told lies before the court, telling the same court that they were aware of the document. What an embarrassment to the court!

WITH the confusion over the document resolved, Awodein moved a motion to include the forensic report in the four appeals filed by Aregbesola. Ali, Gadzama and Owolade did not object. Awodein urged the court to declare Aregbesola winner of the April 14, 2007 governorship election, adding that the Election Petitions Tribunal that heard the case was wrong in rejecting the police security report and Forms EC8D and EC8E tendered before it. The Aregbesola counsel told the court that it was necessary to consider the police security report contained in an envelope marked Exhibit 161 to 171 – Certified True Copy – to assist the court to verify the claims of the appellant that the election was characterized by malpractices and violence.

And that it did not also comply with the Electoral Act. Awodein emphasized that the lower tribunal was wrong in rejecting the police security report and should declare the first appellant winner of the April 14, 2007 governorship election. The Aregbesola lawyer maintained that the failure of INEC to call any witness at the lower tribunal “… is fatal to their case and supports the appellants’ case that there were no counting of votes in the disputed 10 local governments as pleaded and established by evidence. On a clear basis, if your lordships are to deduct or nullify the disputed votes in the affected ten local governments, it will be clear that the appellant would be scoring majority of the votes cast on April 14, 2007 governorship election. We should be declared winner, this is the fulcrum of my submission”.

The failure to submit Form EC8A in seven local governments, particularly in Ife East Local Government by INEC, he added, had established the proof that there were no elections in the area. Awodein, therefore, urged the court to declare Aregbesola winner as contained in paragraphs 158.2 and 158.4 of the petition and as set out on page 77 of volume 1 of the record. According to him, if the valid votes were considered, his client would get the majority and win one-quarter of the votes in two-third of the 30 local government councils making up the state.

Ali prayed the court to dismiss all Aregbesola’s appeals on the grounds that they lack merit and substance, adding that all the appeals were not relevant to the case, citing the cases of Agagu Vs Mimiko and Oshiomhole Vs Osunbor. According to Ali, in the two cases, there were sufficient pleadings and witnesses called to give evidence. He said besides, particular votes were counted units by units and the tribunal made its findings before declaring the petitioners winners, adding that that was not the case in the Osun matter.

The Oyinlola counsel said the appellant had not shown in the interlocutory appeals that the tribunal did not exercise its discretion judiciously. After hearing the arguments of the counsel, Justice Omagie reserved judgement until a date to be communicated to the parties.

When it was Gadzama’s turn, he said it was the duty of the appellants/petitioners to prove their case. In his response to INEC’s failure to call witnesses, Gadzama said it was a deliberate decision because the appellants/petitioners “had wanted our witnesses to do their bidding. The report alluded to by the appellants’ counsel was not frontloaded . And there was substantial compliance with the Electoral Act. There can never be perfect elections. I adopted the submission of my learned respondents’ counsel that the appeal should be rejected”.

BEFORE it was the turn of Owolade to address the court, Justice Omagie took up the INEC counsel, accusing him of malapropism with reference to the use of the word ‘frontloaded’, cautioning that it was used inappropriately. Gadzama however, ate a humble pie for this. Owolade did not even waste the precious time of the court as he turned out to have made one of the shortest addresses in the history of litigation at the appeal court level in this country. After introducing himself, he said: “I seek your indulgence to dismiss the appeals in its entirety”.

Any spiritually gifted mortal who witnessed the proceedings would not believe less that there was more to some of the happenings on the occasion than meets the eyes, as some of the developments and their subsequent solutions were obviously beyond the comprehension of human beings. While a party, through reliance on principalities and power was trying to make things difficult at the proceedings, marathon prayers by the other party were used to counter the power of the devil. Who says there is no power in prayers? There is hardly a place or a day when prayer warriors are not making case for Aregbesola. True to type, the prayers have a place in the success story of the Aregbesola struggle to bail out the people of the State of the Living Spring from the chains of oppression and suppression which is the stock in trade of the reactionary group.

What Olagunju had intended to achieve through his fallacious publication in the media had failed woefully. Thank God, the state-owned electronic media which has largely been a channel of dishing out the falsehood does not have a monopoly of operation. The same is applicable to some of the print media being used for the ulterior motive. The problem with the CPS is that he is having a difficult product to sell. He has to resort to less than dignifying method to show his master that he is working.

The knowledge of forensic document that was initially denied by the respondents’ counsel which could not be found at the onset was not accidental; the whole thing appeared pre-arranged but which boomeranged because it pungently portrayed the respondents’ counsel as a set of professionals having something to hide. Whatever the intention of the masterminds and their accomplices might be, the plan failed to achieve the desired result and earned for their principal a monumental minus. I rest my case here.

Fayose Makes U-Turn, Campaign For Fayemi

fayosePOLITICAL bigwigs in Ekiti State have started flexing muscles over the forthcoming re-run governorship election in the state, as the erstwhile Governor of the state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose caused stir in the ancient town of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, campaigning for the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

It would be recalled that Fayose, who was a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as at the time of his action, had earlier given the PDP conditions to support it in the election.

Fayose demanded that before he could throw his weight behind Mr. Segun Oni of the PDP, all his supporters, who were detained for one reason or the other be released without any condition attached to it.

Some of the party chieftains in the state countered his request, arguing that the role of Fayose against the return of Oni could not have any effect in the forthcoming re-run poll.

Subsequent to the failure of the party to fast-track the release of his supporters, Fayose made a u-turn against the return of Oni last Friday, when he stormed the venue of the lecture organized by Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) during the centenary celebration of Chief Obafemi Awolowo at Adetiloye Hall of Trade Fair Complex in the state capital.

People of the ancient town, according to an eye witness watched with mouth agaped, seeing Fayose with retinue of his supporters at the meeting which reportedly comprised of progressive politicians in the state and beyond.

It was gathered that the erstwhile governor arrived the venue of the programme with his supporters with campaign posters and banners in support of the AC governorship candidate.

Among those at the event, which was chaired by Professor David Oke, were Fayemi, his wife, his running mate, Mrs Funmi Olayinka and other AC chieftains in the state and beyond.

It was gathered that Fayose was welcomed by the progressives to the event, as his supporters were praise-singing him and shouting “Fayemi for governor, no way for Oni”.

Addressing his teeming supporters, Fayose reiterated that Oni is a perishable product, which would be difficult to sell, saying that his support for Oni would be tantamount to working against the will of the people of the state.

According to him people of the state are tired of Oni, insisting that fayemi the AC candidate wanted by the people of the state.

It would be recalled that Fayose had rejected the inclusion of his name to the list of those that would strategize the re-run of Oni through the re-run poll.

By KAZEEM MOHAMMED

Ekiti Crisis: Police Accused Of Supporting PDP

Police Inspector General, Sir Mike OkiroPOLICE authority in Ekiti State has been accused of supporting the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the current political crisis that is rocking the state ahead of the governorship re-run election.

Specifically, residents of Oye-Ekiti in the State chided the police authority for shielding a serving senator in the area, whose armed political thugs allegedly killed a member of Action Congress (AC) in a bloody clash.
It would be recalled that few weeks ago, armed political thugs allegedly sponsored by the PDP, unleashed terror on a medical team of the AC governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who was providing free medical treatment for the people in Oye Ekiti.

In the attack, a member of the opposition party was shot dead and several people sustained gunshot wounds and machete cuts, while the medical team’s vehicle was riddled with bullets. The state has been witnessing outbreak of violence ever since the Court of Appeal in Ilorin, Kwara State, ordered for fresh election in 10 local Government Council areas in the Fountain of Knowledge State.

According to reports, the ousted governor, Engineer Segun Oni and the PDP have been allegedly using political hoodlums to cause mayhem and scared AC members and supporters in the state.

A resident of the Oye-Ekiti, who spoke to OSUN DEFENDER under anonymity, last Thursday stated,” It is regrettable that violence is becoming hallmark of Ekiti politics.

“The past two years of the PDP rule in the state had been characterized by unbridled violence. Ekiti that used to be peaceful had been turned into a killing-field.

“The whole state was thrown into mourning recently, when Mr. Kehinde Fasuba was murdered in cold-blood in what was, unmistakably, politically-motivated murder.”

“There is even no disguising again on whose side the police are. They are openly in support of the PDP as the party’s thugs unleashed mayhem on opposition and people freely.”

However, the aggrieved people of the state called on the state police command to be fair to all and uphold the law towards maintaining peace, adding that it is regrettable for the police to confer the power of impunity on any group in the society.

-ISMAIL USMAN

Appeal Court Kicks Out Osun LG Chairs, Councillors

Gov. Oyinlola Olagunsoye of Osun State

•Lambasts Osun C J

IT was a song of joy and praises to God by members of opposition political parties in Osun State at the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday, as the appellate court sacked all the 30 Local Government Chairmen and their councillors in all the council areas of the state.

The appellate court described the decision of the State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) led by the Retired Justice Adedotun Sijuwade then as illegal, having failed to comply with the Electoral Act, which stipulates 150 days notice to all the political parties and candidates in the election, as against the not less than 21 days notice as provided for in the Osun State Electoral Law before conducting the elections.

The legal tussle started before the Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Fasasi Ogunsola, when the state chapter of the Action Congress (AC), National Conscience Party (NCP) and All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) filed a suit before the court, challenging the constitutionality of local council elections, which was held on December 15, 2007.

The bone of contention in the matter before the trial court was to the effect that the political parties and their candidates were not given 150 days notice before the election as required by the Electoral Act, rather, the state electoral body gave a notice of 120 days to the parties.

The matter was argued before the state CJ, and in his ruling on the eve of the said controversial local councils elections, Fasasi ordered that the state electoral body should go-ahead to conduct the polls.

In his ruling then, the CJ conceded that the Federation Law (Electoral Act) stipulates 150 days notice, while the state law stipulates not less than 21 day notice, but argued that there was no inconsistency between the said federal and state laws.

Subsequent to the ruling of the CJ, the opposition political parties ordered their members to boycott the polls; and subsequently filed an appeal against the decision of the Number One Judge of the state.

The appeal was argued by Chief Femi Falana for the appellants and Mr Aderemi Abimbola for the respondents before Justice Thomas Istifanus, who led Justice Modupe Fasanmi and Justice Chidi Uwa to hear the appeal.
In his argument, Falana argued that the State House of Assembly is empowered to make law concerning Local Government Elections, but according to him, should not be inconsistent with the provision of Section 31 of the Electoral Act, which is the federation law.

However, the respondent counsel, Abimbola, in his reply to the argument, claimed that though the Electoral Act requires 150 days notice before the election, Section 10 of the state law says that not less than 21 day notice should be given, which he said the OSSIEC had complied with.

In her ruling, Justice Uwa, who read the judgment, agreed with the appellants that 150 day notice is stipulated by the federation law, as against the state law, which requires 120 days notice, saying that there is inconsistency in the Osun State and the Federal Law.

According to her, the required 150 days notice should not only be given to political parties and their candidates, it should be pasted at all the constituencies, where the election would be held.
She ruled that it is the National Assembly that is empowered to make laws as to the regulations of voters’ register and the procedure to be followed in conducting the elections.

The court ruled: “The learned trial judge conceded that the National Assembly is empowered to make law as to the procedure of the local government elections, but surprisingly, the judge made a turn-around by holding that the 120 day is not inconsistent to the federal law, which requires 150 days notice. “On the above analysis, it is clear that there is a contradiction in findings of the trial court and to this, the question is, is that 21 days notice given, the substantial compliance? The answer is no.” “The fact that the appellants had well-prepared for the elections, does not mean that they were properly notified.

“OSSIEC in a press release attached to the counter affidavit dated September 19, 2007 claimed to have after the meeting of the commission, taken a decision on how to conduct the elections, informed parties that the elections would be held on December 15, 2007, while the list of political parties and candidates, issued by OSSIEC and attached to the counter affidavit was dated November 30, 2007.
“If we look at September 19, 2007 and November 30, 2007, none of the dates is up to the 150 days as required by the law.

“The respondents claimed that it had given notice to the parties as far back as May 2007, but there are no documentary proofs for the claim.” “As such, the Osun State law, as to this procedure, is illegal, unconstitutional and void and it is defeated. If anything should come in, it should be 150 days notice.”

“Let us all answer this question, is it possible to give notice on the election in May 2007, when the meeting on how to hold the election was held in September 19, 2007 as stated by press release?

According to the judge, the contradictory dates given by the respondents were enough for the trial judge to doubt the claim of the respondents. The presiding judge said that she doubted where the CJ discovered the evidence that notice was given to the parties in May 2007, saying that all the decisions of the trial court in the matter were perverse and it should not be taken seriously.

The learned trial judge, according to her, was in error, when he held that “what it requires is just a notice and not the length of the notice”. The court then declared the election conducted by the OSSIEC in December 15, 2007 into all the Local Government Councils in the state, null and void and set aside the election.

It then ordered the commission to conduct fresh elections in all the council areas of the state, by complying with the required 150 days notice to all parties before the election.

Reacting to the judgment, one of the appellant counsel, Mr. Gbenga Akano said that the judgment has rekindled the hope of the common man in the state, that judiciary is their last hope. “We have said it many times that the government of Osun State is illegal and part of it has been dismantled now and soon, more of such would be dismantled.

“They have a stolen mandate, they are interlopers and we are loved by the people of the state. We are ready for the fresh election. Let them comply with the law and go to field with us and see whether they would not be defeated gallantly”, Akano confidently stated.

One of the party leaders in the state, Honourable Oguntola Toogun also said that the judgment was a victory for democracy and rule of law, saying that everybody in the state and beyond knew that the election was illegal.

While lauding judiciary for the decision, Toogun advised the state government to take the law, which is inconsistent with the federal law to the House Assembly and make necessary amendments in accordance with the recently-delivered judgment.

By KAZEEM MOHAMMED

A Dubious Senator

isiaka adelekeNot much should be expected of the former Governor of Osun state now Senator Isaka Adeleke. The flamboyant Senator, representing Osun State West Senatorial District, infamously introduced the word ‘serubawon’ into the political lexicon.

The usage of the term ‘serubawon’ initiated into the state politics of rascality, of brawn over brain. To state the obious Isaka Adeleke’s sojourn in the government house was a farcical interlude in the firmament of Osun state. Lacking the intellectual preparation and the managerial disposition, Adeleke and his crowd embarked on a roller-coaster ride encompassing the most grotesque-attitude towards public finance management. A bewildered state stood still as maladiministration ruled the roost.

Adeleke’s misgovernance saw the priotisation of projects, such as bizarrely conceived roundabouts over much needed investments in the physical and social infrastructure. It is difficult to work out which is worse, his or Oyinlola’s maladiministraiton. Which ever way, it is the long suffering people of Osun who have suffered from misrule.

Maurice Iwu - Nigeria's electoral magicianThe opportunity cost for the state to make an advance in every sector is simply horrendous. Sadly, no one thought that it would be possible to replicate Adeleke’s litany of absurdities until the disaster-prone Oyinlola came to office. The misfortune of the good people of Osun state continues.

Predictably Adeleke has made no great inputs into the deliberations of the Senate. This cannot be entirely surprising. Lacking the intellectual strength and the focus, Adeleke certainly has nothing to contribute. The fact of course is that he should not have entered the Senate in the first place. The proposition of a senate is far too serious for the light-hearted former governor. It is difficult to recall any seminal initiation of bills by Adeleke since he entered the Senate. Thanks to the machinations of the electoral magician ‘Professor’ Maurice Iwu.

Adeleke’s latest unedifying manouvre is clearly predicated on the need to say thank you to Maurice Iwu, his benefactor. The electoral magician has understandably been under fire in recent times. For a start in comparison with his world-acclaimed counterpart in Ghana, he has clearly failed Nigeria. While the head of Ghana’s Electoral Commission has received great kudos worldwide for his admirably professional non-partisan comportment, Iwu’s conduct of Nigeria’s sham ‘elections’ have been continually repudiated by the courts.

In trying to rebrand himself, Iwu has found the indolent Osun Senator, a useful tool and an ally. After all, one dubious turn deserves another. In addition, with elections coming up in 2011, Adeleke needs all the help he can get. Adeleke in doing his benefactor’s bidding has organized a ‘vote of confidence’ in Iwu’s mismanagement of the electoral process. He rallied 11 other intellectually and morally challenged senators to do this project.

In the eyes of Adeleke and his motley crew of opportunists, everyone else is wrong in their correct assessment of the maladministration of Maurice Iwu. An entire body of internal and external assessors, who have denounced Iwu’s conducts, are wrong. Adeleke and his crowd swimming against the tide of world opinion think they can redeem Iwu’s battered image, unfortunately they can’t!

Isiaka Adeleke did nothing for Osun state during his misrule as governor. True to type, his unfortunate excursion in the Senate has not edified the state either. The man cannot in any way be regarded as a serious person. It is an indictment of the perfidy of the Obasanjo school of ‘do or die’ politics that such a misfit is representing Yorubaland in the senate. Mercifully for his type, 2011 is around the corner. At that historic juncture, the Yoruba people, bruised but unbowed will emphatically eject the like of Isiaka Adeleke. Frankly it will come none too soon.

NUT, Osun Govt Draw Battle Line

Protesting TeachersFalcon and falconer appear to be operating from different wavelength as touching the relationship between the teachers in Osun State and Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration, as the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Osun State chapter has directed its members to shun the salaries offered by the government for the month of February.

OSUN DEFENDER learnt that the decision to reject the salaries packaged for the teachers was reached when the government reportedly deducted pay for five working days, as a punitive measure for their (teachers’) industrial action.

It would be recalled that the national body of the NUT had earlier directed its members nationwide to embark on a strike action in order to press home the demand for the implementation of the Teachers’ Salary Structure (TSS) agreed to by the Governors Forum and the NUT leadership.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Education in Osun State, Mr Jelili Adesiyan has maintained that Osun teachers have no basis for joining the strike action called by the national body, noting that they (Osun teachers) have already got the 27 per cent increase, ever before the national demand.

However, the leadership of the NUT has expressed its displeasure at the position of the government, upbraiding the commissioner for his position on the issue; saying that his (commissioner’s) statement offended the sensibility of the teachers.

In a related development, some members of the executive of the state NUT have been uncovered by an investigation conducted OSUN DEFENDER as saboteurs to the effort of the striking teachers, as their romance with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has made them agents of government within the labour circle.

Reacting, some of the teachers and principals, who spoke to OSUN DEFENDER under a strict anonymity maintained that a battle line has been drawn between them and the government, for according to them, the governor was insensitive to their plight.

Speaking on the development, the state chairman, Labour Party (LP), Comrade Rufus Oyatoro has castigated the governor for the way and manner he (governor) has handled the issue of the TSS, saying that the governor was playing a hide-and-seek game with the lives of the future leaders.

“We are appalled with the way the issue of teachers’ welfare package is being handled. Teachers deserve better treatment, and the lives of our pupils must not be messed up on a platter of politics,” said Oyatoro.

A parent, Mallam Ayahellah Kabir Adepoju, said that Oyinlola has displayed a gross incompetence in governance with the way he spoke about the issue, saying that if teachers could be treated with neglect, there was no hope for the governed any more.

“I am not happy about the way the Oyinlola government is treating the issue of the TSS, and the gradual killing of the public schools, and if teachers could be treated this way, we, the governed are in trouble,” said Adepoju.

By goke butika

Appeal Court Sacks Oyinlola’s Henchmen from 30 LGs In Osun State

Gov. Oyinlola Olagunsoye of Osun State

Nemesis has caught up with the lawless

Judgement of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan which dissolved the 30 Local Governments of Osun State today is another victory for democracy, rule of law and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It is not surprising that the embattled Osun State Government led by Brigadier-General Olagunsoye Oyinlola is panting and desperately went on air to countermand the Court of Appeal.

It is a blatant lie for the PDP-led regime to say that Local Government Chairmen who took office through an election that violated the laws of Nigeria are not affected by the judgement. Nemesis has finally caught up with the guilty and the law will now take its course.

The Law has taken a clear position; only the lawless will hold otherwise in this constitutional republic.

What the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice said on the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) today amounted to high treason and a call to lawlessness.

The Government ought to have told a better lie because it is impossible for the respondent to file an appeal before the Supreme Court when the Certified True Copy of the Court of Appeal Judgement has not been officially received.

The statement by Mr. Niyi Owolade that the Osun state government has gone to the Supreme court over the judgement amounted to panicky step to confuse members of the the public on the verdict.

The statement is a confirmation of the claim by observers of the Osun State Government that it has a problem with the rule of law.

We salute the people of Osun State for their loyalty and perseverance since we announced a boycott of the Local Government Poll on December 14, 2007.

The hen is now coming home to roost for those who have little or no regard for the rule of law and who thrive on illegalities and flagrant disobedience for what is right and correct.

We appeal to our people to continue to be calm and law abiding even in the face of unmerited provocation. The day of justice which we have been expecting long ago shall soon come when darkness will depart from our shores and light will shine perpetually.

We urge our people to be calm, peace full and law abiding and await further directives form the their authentic and credible leaders.
Certainly, victory is at hand

SIGNED: Gbenga Fayemiwo
Media Director To The Action Congress (AC) Gubernatorial Candidate for Osun State, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola

Osun: The Wait In Pain For Hope

Engineer Rauf AregbesolaOn Tuesday, it will be the turn of Oyo and her people; their turn to either heave sighs of relief or hisses of despair. The Court of Appeal will decide on who indeed won the elections of April 2007 between Adebayo Alao Akala and Abiola Ajimobi. The day of Osun, Oyo’s neighbour is still ahead but the facts are more compelling. In Osun, the heist was more brazen, the justification has been less than conciliatory and the result has been more of an insult than any other thing.

Let there be no misjudgements here. We are not concerned about the schools that have been re-painted in Osun and pasted with Oyin ni o slogan. We are not concerned about the dividends of democracy and or their absence in this piece. We do not want to do an assessment of the misappropriation of the ill-gotten mandate to function in executive capacity by Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and his party.

We are only concerned about the heist of April 2007 and the attempts to paper over what indeed is nothing but the criminal usurpation of the sovereign will of the people. From rigging to manipulation, falsification to conjuring and then to arson and senseless killings and murders, the airwaves over Osun is thick of allegations that the incumbent has done virtually nothing to either address or be concerned with, in any positive sense.

The Appeal Court is at the moment tackling the tonnes of documents before it on the Osun Election. It has refused to take the challenge of looking at the allegations of an unwholesome and unprofessional relationship between the legal team of the governor and members of the Petitions Tribunal, which confirmed the election of Oyinlola. No one is blaming the appellate court, but many of us have seen enough, heard enough and experienced enough to conclude that the Justice Naron-led tribunal on Osun got it all messed up.

But then, the National Judicial Commission and the Nigerian Bar Association are on to the details of the alleged communing of the ungodly that sought to put a seal of legitimacy on the illegitimate result of the polls of April.

We’ll not dwell on several killings that have been linked with the effort to paint an all-is-well picture in Osun State. So, no need to talk about the killing of Alhaji Sulaimon Hassan Alabi Olajoku. This piece will also not be concerned about the killing of Gbenga Kayode and Sogo Adekoya by an identified PDP man. It will not look at the death in the hands of thugs under the direct supervision of hitherto responsible men of Mr Samson Olanrewaju in Ife, Saheed Adebiyi in Ikirun and Ayo Oni in Igbajo.

This piece will do little more than has been done on the rape of Miss Tosin Ajakaiye, a school girl by known party apparatchik. The only question to ask is: what has happened to those found directly or remotely connected with these crimes.

The police have thus far not lived to expectations in apprehending the known suspects in the multiple murders highlighted above. If they would, then it may likely be brought to the knowledge of readers in due time. But then other issues of no less importance have almost been forgotten about the election in Osun.

One of such is the case of returned figures in respect of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. No where is the whole charade robed as election in Osun more nauseating than at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, where votes were generously, if not foolishly, allotted to the PDP. The absurdity of the vote allocation spree is made more manifest by the fact that students who ought to have voted were in their homes across other parts of Nigeria at the time they allegedly participated in the ‘election’ of Governor Oyinlola.

In Awolowo Hall, a purely residential facility for male students, 2300 votes were recorded on Form EC8A. This means that this number of people, out of a total of 2367 registered voters in the hall, voted. To expose the lie however, only 202 names were ticked as having voted in the exercise on polls day! If it could be excused that even when the school was not in session, about 200 students were in residence, what logic can any sane mind adduce to justify near 100 per cent voting?

But that was what they got in Osun of 2007; a result that the men at the Petitions Tribunal were not convinced was doctored! If the ratio of voters per minute is computed as have been done by the legal team of the Action Congress candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, it will become obvious that the figures could only have been gotten from the pit of hell.

Something more bizarre also happened. On the 14th of June 2007, there was an explosion at the government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo. Ever since then, every unimaginable effort has been made to put the blame at the doorsteps of Action Congress chieftains in the state. Not only have some of them been arrested, granted bail, rearrested, bailed and rearrested over and over again, subterranean attempts have been made to divert the attention of the public from the real culprits.

Members of the opposition are being hounded on a daily basis. Some have added that there are several other unresolved murders and threat to lives: all because a man wants to remain in an office that is all but permanent.

As said earlier, most of these developments are outside of the purview of the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan. But the most important issue of all is: the determination of the true winner of the April 2007 polls.

In Oshogbo, the question has been asked over and over again. In the whole of Ijesha land it is being asked. In Ile-Ife, Ede, Iree, Ikeji, Arakeji, Ikirun, Esa-Oke and indeed all the other major places where the peoples’ will have been imprisoned on account of the declaration of a false winner of the election, the question is being asked: who won the election? That question is the major question the Court of Appeal will have to answer sooner than later. The people are surely waiting.

They may be waiting in pain but they are also waiting with hope.

By eni Akinsola

•Culled from The Nation