Memo To Body Of Benchers

While we welcome the National Judicial Council (NJC)’s attempt to probe the disturbing subtexts of the unfolding drama of subversion of the judiciary by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its judicial allies in Osun State, we must point out that this effort must be complemented by a thorough investigation of the role of Mr. Kunle Kalejaiye SAN, Governor Oyinlola’s lead counsel, the other principal figure in the illicit liaisons saga.

We do not need to emphasise how important it is that Mr Kalejaiye, the central figure in the “midnight calls saga” be brought in for questioning. Clearly, we do not see any sense in probing Justice Naron and company without extending the same treatment to the other figure, alleged to be complicit. We consider it fair that the nation is availed of the full facts on which institutions so charged, could mete their punishment at the point this becomes necessary.

This is where the role of the Body of Benchers, the body statutorily charged with disciplining members of the bar found to have crossed ethical boundaries, comes in.

Away from the hair-splitting legalisms and puerile denials by the foot soldiers of Oyinlola and Kalejaiye, both of which have hardly touched on the substance of the weighty allegations, the eminent Body of Benchers ought to be alarmed that a senior member of the bar, a Learned Silk for that matter, has taken refuge in shibboleths in attempting to obfuscate issues.

Here, we want to remind all that the Body of Benchers is not an inquisition for which anyone should be afraid. Rather, it is an institution established to allow legal practitioners accused of sundry misdemeanours to prove their innocence.

Innocence, in the case of Kalejaiye is as simple as establishing that the phone logs attributed to him never took place, or/and, that the outgoing/incoming calls attributed to Justice Naron were not made at all.

Far from being gratuitous, we can even go as far as advising Kalejaiye to assist the Body of Benchers by voluntarily authorising the telecommunications company- MTN- to release his call logs since he has denied that those logs did not belong to him. As a minister in the temple of justice, and a privileged one, honour and responsibility, we daresay, demands no less.

Here, we believe that the Body of Benchers has its work well cut out. The investigations must preclude allowing the defendants to take shelter behind technicalities to dodge answering to weighty issues raised by The News magazine. While the justice of the matter recommends an open inquiry, the national mood would hardly tolerate any variant of ambush or judicial subterfuge.

While the traditional pre-occupations with technicalities at the expense of justice has rendered many a quest for justice unrealisable, the Body of Benchers, perhaps more than any other group in the polity, appreciate that the specie of jurisprudence which sacrifices justice on the altar of technical expediency, has never been, and can never be justice. Such can only prolong the agony of the victims and ultimately stultify the process of evolving a just society.

Clearly, only when an accuser is made to face his accusers in an open and free environment satisfies the requirement of justice. Mr. Kalejaiye SAN must be availed of the opportunity to state his defence as opposed to granting him licence to thwart the inquiry into the specific allegations of improper liaisons levelled against him and the members of the Osun State gubernatorial election petitions tribunal. This tendency has since been decried by the highest judicial authorities in the land.

We continue to insist that only access to the call logs will make or mar his case. We shudder to believe that the newsmagazine has by the revelations supplied the missing parts in the puzzle to help explain the disposition of Justice Naron and company to the petition by the Action Congress candidate Rauf Aregbesola.

When a tribunal established to render justice to parties in an electoral contest betrays an unfathomable aversion to iron-clad, scientific evidence and would go as far as showing off a lack of fidelity to truth and rigour, as was demonstrated by Justice Naron’s panel, the prospects of peace and stability appear bleak indeed.

The Body of Benchers would need to act wisely and swiftly as the Osun matter has become a reference case.

Kalejaye gate Is An Albatross On Oyinlola’s Neck

IT is surprising that in spite of the revelation of criminal manipulation of the Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal particularly the one headed by the controversial Justice Thomas Damar Naron, allegedly carried out by Otunba Kunle Kalejaye (SAN), Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola has neither shown remorse nor repentance.

The call logs of Governor Oyinlola, Kalejaye and Justice Thomas Naron published by TheNews magazine last month are too revealing and damning to the integrity of any administration. For Oyinlola to be pretending and carrying on as if nothing happened shows that his conscience is either dead or he lacks moral scruple to realise that the game is over for his inept administration.

In a twist of fate that Oyinlola is complaining that the Action Congress (AC) petitioned against the sleaze he committed. The unavoidable interpretation of Kalejayegate scandal leaves all rational thinkers with the conclusion that it was after the Justice Naron was obviously compromised by Oyinlola’s legal team towards the end of last year that it rejected our application that the world renowned forensic expert, Mr. Adrian Forty be allowed to testify and give evidence in support of the scanning of ballot papers used for the last governorship poll.

IT remained the pattern since the end of last year till the compromised Tribunal refused to disqualify itself and ruled unjustly in favour of Oyinlola against Rauf Aregbesola without considering the mountain of evidence we presented before it.

Governor Oyinlola should realise that it is no longer possible for him to execute his agenda of compromising the judiciary as he did to that of Justice Thomas Naron. As we await the Court of Appeal to decisively deliver its verdict on the electoral malfeasance, vote robbery, murder of AC polling agents by agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on April 14, 2007 elections day, we challenge Oyinlola to explain the source(s) of the following ballot papers used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rob Engineer Rauf Aregbesola of victory.
The ballot papers are in the following categories:

a. 41 per cent of the 224,695 ballot papers used to declare Governor Oyinlola as winner by INEC were product of incontestable multiple thumb-printing;

b. Ballot papers meant for Ondo State not only questionably found their ways into Osun State but were indeed part of the 426,669 votes credited for the stolen Governor of Osun State;

c. 113,311 ballot papers used to declare Oyinlola by INEC in 10 Local Governments were not supplied by INEC on the Schedule of Distribution of Ballot Papers (Form EC40c/EC25 it release officially. They were completely alien to Osun State;

d. 88,092 ballot papers used to declare Oyinlola were those obtained from split ballot papers used in clear contravention of the Electoral Law, 2006;

e. The forensic examination also revealed that 117,439 ballot papers from the 10 Local Governments that we are challenging were product of ballot box stuffing;

f. Why was Kalejaye, the lead Counsel to Governor Oyinlola calling the Chairman of the Tribunal and other panel members in clear violation of the law?

OSUN Tribunal has been the only one all over the country to reject the scientifically proven forensic evidence which it had earlier ordered to be carried out. No one needs any soothsayer to deduce that a lot of water passed under the bridge of the Tribunal when it became hostile to the course of justice and waged a decisive war on evidence and facts.

Has Governor Oyinlola forgotten that throughout the sittings of the Naron Tribunal, his legal team objected to the subpoena issued on INEC to testify on the elections it conducted? Once the subpoena was brought before the Tribunal, Kalejaye and his comrades in judicial pervertion would object and the Tribunal will rule in their favour.

Kalejayegate scandal has established for posterity that when a Tribunal hides under legal technicality to reject vital evidences as Justice Naron has done in Osun State, the wheel of jurisprudence can no longer grind towards the final point of justice.

WHAT Governor Oyinlola secured on July 15, 2007 was judgement without justice. Kalejayegate scandal has confirmed our suspicion that the Tribunal was compromised and could not have been relied upon to do justice.

Governor Oyinlola must stop laying claims to his blood-soaked mandate and tell the whole world how he won his election in clear contravention of the Nigerian laws and universally accepted democratic practices. The people of Osun State voted for Rauf Aregbesola on April 14, 2007 as their Governor. The impostor should stop complaining that the people of Osun State are demanding justice which Oyinlola’s criminal car gifts have not been able to avert.

Equally, we must let the whole world know that our witnesses have testified on how Governor Oyinlola personally snatched ballot boxes assisted by his aides in Oyan town, Odo-Otin Local Government on April 14, 2007 in clear violation of the Electoral Law, 2006 while his Commissioners including the incumbent Attorney-General, Mr. Niyi Owolade led thugs to disrupt the poll.

For Oyinlola to pretend and carry on as if all is well smacks of treason and commission of crimes against humanity. He must be checked and stopped in his track immediately. He must know that the Kalejayegate scandal; the totality of which proves that Oyinlola lost the 2007 election woefully is an albatross that cannot lead him to victory. He must prepare to face justice that cannot be procured as he did at the Osun Tribunal.

By GBENGA FAYEMIWO

This Bait Can Kill!

Power is both sweet and, toxic. Retired Gen. Babangida in his governmental hey – days was severally nicknamed ‘Maradona,’ ‘Evil genius’ in a bid to portray him ‘exacurately’; cloning mine, I fuse exactly and accurately together, as being antithetic to the basic principles of good governance in transparency and uprightness while his praise was being sung inadvertently as a smart dribbler or deceiver in the handling of sensitive national issues.

He enjoyed the celebration of his pallidness from certain quarters of his cohorts. He wasn’t repentant because his absolute display of power was giving him gains of psychic and affluent obsessions for a passing moment of his rule. Shortly after, toxin, which is a harmful system deposit of his misrule took over with its poisonous characteristics of destruction of his pos-governmental legacy.

Partakers of this odious Babangida’s style cashed-in on his bait of security assurance and superfluous acquisition and thus, entered a trap of political and social morbidity, from which the likes of INEC’s Prof. Nwosu made a desperate attempt to escape, but further plunged into the seemingly bottomless abyss of cursed memory.

The above has consistently described the experience of the helpless Nigerians in their swelling capacity of the majority. It is sad, however, that the present psycho-social political imbroglio’ befalling Osun State has at its apex, one of the surrogates of yet another tyrannical ruler, Abacha, that succeeded Babangida, who had its own share of its toxin in a beautiful and mouth-watering apple.

Like Abuja, like Lagos; Like Gen. Abacha, like Col. Oyinlola. Quite peculiar of the Yoruba trait, one would have expected the now retired Brigadier-General Oyinlola to shed the garb of ‘powerflex’ and adorn himself with the humble pursuit of sanctity in polity, by the virtues of good name and non-acidic legacy of a typical princehood redemption.

In my quietness, I watch with utmost dismay, the governmental failure of Osun State in the handling and approach to various monumental evidence of electoral – bloodshed, overt and covert multiple voting, insinuated and corroborated tribunal scam by which it latches on to power. Rather than going intellectual and convincing, the ruling party, and the present government employ intimidation and baseless propaganda against a perceived enemy in the opposition.

Governmental press in the state are paid to be sharply lopsided in their reporting. The state judiciary is now known for its impatience for the opposition and anything contrary to the standpoint of the alleged PDP and its government. Imagine the many incarcerated AC chieftains and its ever-increasing supporters. Even the human right activists were locked up as I watched the prosecuting governmental prosecutors in want of evidence, fell, by substantial reasoning, before the Adegoke Alfred – lead solicitors of vibrant and rising legal profile, just because of an undisclosed, underneath, and obviously imperial directive.

All these executive harangues are condensable into the fact that ‘the monkey has been trapped’ and I have one advice for the power-that-be as the only way out by the Latin-American jungle intelligence: They have a monkey-catching methodology by securing a transparent bottle with a narrow beck. Inside the bottle, they place an irresistible nut for the monkeys. No sooner, the victim monkey comes around. It slips its hand into the bottle, and lay hold on the nut, clenching its fingers around the nut for a firm grip.

The clenched fingers cant come out of the bottle. For the fear of impending danger, the releases the nuts and its hand can come out, regaining its freedom. The greed for the desired nut will always keep the monkey coming back, still wanting to take away the nut at all cost.
This repeated scenario continues until the catcher comes around, maims it and takes it away.

Lesson: the nut is symbolic of Osun State electoral mandate. The only wise thing to do for those contentiously clinging to it at the stunning face of bizarre irregularities is to drop it, and if only for a while, a sign of relief and go for a healing and soothing experience of penitence before their God and restitute with the families of their slain brothers and sisters, who were murdered because of the transient and fading benefit of bitter governance of no repute.

As the Islamic faith pertinence period approaches, let their monkey drop the nut, and be free, before the dangling, punitive, sledge hammer of the spiritual, legal, emotional and posterity knocks hard on the guilty and unrepentant.

We need to sanctity our dear state from the stains and curse of bloodshed as a fundamental requirement for the evolution of our utopian state where everything works for the benefit of all.

In sober reflection of the one and a half years of debauchery in Osun State, I could vividly see at play the image of the Latin American monkey at the bait. Surely, this bait can kill!

By OJO ISRAEL CHARLES, President of IFS.

The Rauf Electoral Revolution

The name RAUF Symbolizes charting a new course for democracy in Nigeria, as RAUF to me means – Rare gem Advancing the course of democracy to the ultimate height in Nigeria with the fear of God \Allah, through advanced technology.

Honestly, people like Engr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola are very rare and probably such rare gems appear on this planet once in a century. The most regrettable thing about their existence on this planet is that, the mission of such rare gems are always frustrated by the agent of darkness, and it is after departure; that they are eulogized with grammatical expressions, such as “The Best president we never had”.

The thrilling aspect of the whole thing is, that the same set of people that lamented the departure of such gems, are the agents of devil, frustrating the mission of the rare gem of our time –Engr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. Worst Still, the demonic forces are the least expected the Obas, Clerics, Judges, Law enforcement Agencies just to mention but a few.

We are sending a very serious warning Signal to all these agents of devil, who care to heed this call to reason, that the mission of the rare gem of our time – Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola is different and unique, This is because, the mission was conceived in heaven by Almighty God\Allah Himself, received on the Holly land – Mecca and is being exhibited here in Osun State in particular and Nigeria in general.

The point is, the mission conceived by God/Allah’s can never be defeated by agents of Mr devil as the devil (satan) himself is powerless of over God/Allah missions on earth. Sooner than later, All these demonic agents will go to perdition! Amen.

The genesis of Rauf Electoral Revolution started long ago, but manifestation started on the day when the Oranmiyan Organizations was to be launched in Osogbo. The desperate move by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola to frustrate this launching, making use of security outfit in Osun State, was dwarfed by the rare gem of our time, Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, who came, launched and left unhurt.

The second manifestation of the mission of the Rare gem of our time is the strategic location of the Revolution Site- The Oranmiyan Organization Office in Osogbo. You are bound to have a look, once you pass through that way and there is no way you will not pass by that office as it is the most popular road and only road leading to Abere from the town now. All these agents of devil pass through the road on daily basis, forced to have a look on the symbol on daily basis, feeling and they are happy or sad on daily basis and are tormented by the spirit of this God/Allah sent electoral in Osun State on daily basis.

At time, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola is seen covering his face, pretending to be reading newspapers when he passes through this road to Abere, his (Oyinlolas) temporary office. Many, avoid this road entirely now for the fear of call logs, they opined, is the beginning of wisdom!

The third manifestation of the mission of the rare gem of our time is the evolution of the name, the logo and the managerial organization of The Oranmiyan group in Osun State.

The logo is ancestral, the name – Oranmiyan is symbolic, as the Arole Oodua himself, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade confirmed in one of his many speeches that, Oranmiyan did not loose any battle throughout his life time.

This statement was corroborated by the speech of Chief Ebenezer Babatope, while warning his PDP stalwarts, that Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has never lost anything he sets his mind on right from school days till date. The words of Oba Okunade Sijuwade here, are words of wisdom and reason.

The fourth manifestation of this revolution in Osun State is the unprecedented grass-roots revolution brought about by the advent of Oranmiyan group in Osun State. The revolution was final, as there is no city, town, village or settlement in Osun State where that revolution has not reached. The Oranmiyan revolution was received and accepted all over the state by all and sundry, even by the opposition group. It is this Oranmiyan revolution in Osun State that propelled the image of Action Congress (AC) to great height in Osun State.

It was the good will foundation firmly laid in the grassroots by Oranmiyan group that was extended to and established in the AC which was then young before the April 2007 elections.

The fifth manifestation is the advent of technological revolution, which is, the first of its kind in the democratic history of Nigeria. The rare gem of our time, Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, has proved beyond reasonable doubt that wits is mightier than booming of gun. The following are good examples which are no longer news to all and sundry in Osun State in particular and the whole world in general, as the video clips are watched on the internets all over the world.

a. The Oroki-Day episode. The target was to cow the symbol of Oranmiyan, but were caught pant down, when technology stepped in and the barbaric action of sponsored assassins, in the glare of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola was presented to the whole world in video clips.

b. The campaign strategy: This was the first of its kind in Osun State as supporters watched the campaign train throughout the state on the screen outside the campaign office on daily basis. This was also being supported by European soccer which made the whole campaign office jampacked far into the early morning of the following day. This continued to the admiration of supporters who kept increasing daily until the Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s arsonists came to destroy, vandalized and carted the gadgets and projectors away. Up till today no single culprit was arrested by the police who were then partners in Prince Oyinlola’s destructive outfits.

c. The image/voice capturing device during voting process was another technological revolution brought about by the rare gem of our time-Engr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. This was the first of its kind in Osun State and to put it mildly in the whole country. It is on record that Engr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola is the only Advocate of one man one vote known all over the country since the advent of voting during elections in Nigeria. It was this image/voice capturing technological device that exposed the massacre in Ilesa, when the military was let loose on harmless citizens by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

The sixth manifestation of the mission of the rare gem of our time- Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola was the introduction of Forensic Analysis of fingerprints on ballot papers. Hitherto, nobody in Nigeria ever thought of why thumb printing was used in voting a candidate of choice. In fact the Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s PDP were so barbaric to the extend of using objects, such as palm kernel, cashew seed etc instead of thumb-printing. Where thumb printing was used, it was done in multiples.

A single voter thumb printed as many as two hundred (200) ballot papers and stuffed them into ballot boxes. With the Forensic analysis of ballot papers, all these atrocities were technologically exposed, and valid votes clearly identified. Honestly, this is, so far, the greatest electoral revolution in Nigeria, as it has proved beyond reasonable doubt, that this technological device can expose multiple votes and thereby scientifically sort out valid votes. For this singular electoral revolution of Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, he (Rauf) deserves the greatest honour of the land, as this device is the only thing needed to bring sanity into electoral manipulations in Nigeria, which has been the bone of mistrust in all our past and present electoral bodies in Nigeria.

The seventh electoral revolution of Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, is as significant as figure seven is significant in the Holy Bible. God created the world in seven days, which eventually becomes the number of days in a week. Israelites were asked to sing round the wall of jerico which eventually fell down flat after the seventh time.

This seventh electoral revolution of the rare gem of our time Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, If carefully, honestly and patriotically utilized in all the facets of life in Nigeria, will definitely bring sanctity into the entire polity of the nation.

The seventh electoral revolution of Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, if honestly and patriotically used by our security outfits, could easily bring fraudsters, 419ners, assassins, Armed robbers and all other evil minds to justice in the country.

The seventh electoral revolution, which is the last but the greatest, is the call log technological revolution. We strongly believe that this revolution will definitely sanitize the Judiciary; the Nigerian Bar Association; the INEC; the Police, the church/Mosque, the Houses of Assemblies (national, states and Local Governments) and the entire nation.

Going through the Rauf Electoral Revolutions (RER) as so stated, we hereby recommends as follows:

1. That RER should form major part of our new electoral reforms

2. That RER should automatically be entrenched in the new constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria and finally

3. That Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola be declared a National hero and that the mandate stolen at gun-point by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola be retrieved and given to the rightful owner of the mandate – Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola at the Appellate Court without further delay.

By OYAGBILE ISRAEL

Our Leaders’ Responsibilities

It is not only disheartening but also irks the collective psyche of the generality of the people over the unsatisfactory treatment running up against some Nigerians living abroad most especially, in some African countries.

The recent sickening incidents in Gabon, where a Nigerian had been brutalized by Gabonese police and the xenophobia in South Africa as reported, had confirmed the continued living in fear and trembling of Nigerians in some neighbouring countries.

When the news of pathetic misery of Nigerians in the hands of Gabonese police and that of xenophobia in South Africa were reported, it not only sends bad signal to us here at home about the excruciating pain the Nigerians are undergoing in those countries but also acquaints us with the fact of undisclosed same meeting with by Nigerians in some other countries of the world.

This certainly contends that the topmost hospitality Nigeria as a country, extends to aliens here has been diametrically opposed to Nigerians in other countries on this noble earth.

Despite a hostile attitude towards Nigerians’ in foreign lands, Nigerians could still be ready and willing to seek refuge in those countries. To my understanding, the appalling economic condition of our country believed to have been the major factor forcing people to seek economic refuge in other countries where hopefully, their living standards could be ameliorated.

The truth is that our leaders should take cognizance of the fact that it is their responsibilities with a view to taking dauntless step to address the critical issues at hand regarding our ghastly economic condition. At least, our leaders are going abroad and they do see things themselves. They should imitate good things by using our endowed human and material resources judiciously so as to better the lots of Nigerians.

As a mater of fact, the way and manner Nigerians are being slapped around in those countries is not fascinating taking into consideration the recent exasperating happenings in Gabon, where a Nigerian could only be exposed to brutal violation of human rights and that of xenophobia in South Africa. It has become perpetual news in our National Dailies the can of worms confronting Nigerians without necessary papers in other countries. For instance, a reported case in United Kingdom when a little girl mistook some firemen who knocked on the door for Immigration police, the ugly situation that led her father perhaps without required documents to have jumped from eighth floor apartment and died instantly.

There are avalanche of reported experiences of Nigerians in those countries in their mission to seek economic refuge in other lands.
Upon the odium, Nigerians could still be in the zeal to go to other countries in other to improve their living standards not minding inauspicious consequences of their actions in the hostile countries.

To make matters worse, a situation where some Nigerians prefer to be jailed abroad than to be a free man here at home calls for serious efforts on the parts of our leaders to urgently do something to put a stop to this trend.

And truly, when we talk of the zeal of the people to go abroad, we should realize the fact that people are able to be on easy street in those countries because their leaders have managed the resources of their respected countries judiciously.

Of course, until we are prepared to allow competent and serious minded people to manage the affairs of our dear nation and if only genuine efforts are seen to be made by the government to considerably reduce the present high level of hunger and grinding poverty in the country and most especially, the creation of job opportunities for young graduates, it is doubtful whether those who are eager to travel to other countries in a state of some trepidation for their daily breads could be effectively stopped.

FOLARIN LAWAL, [email protected] 08038095912, lIe Ife, Osun State.

“No Osun Lawyer Spoke At Onitsha NBA Meeting” – Osogbo NBA Vice-Chair

Barrister Abiodun Olaide is a practicing legal practitioner in Osogbo, Osun State Capital. In this interview with OSUN DEFENDER man KAZEEM MOHAMMED, he spoke extensively on the controversial proceedings of Justice Thomas Damar Naron–led Election Petitions Tribunal that sat in the state, general situation of judiciary, as well as some related issues affecting the judiciary among others. Excerpt:-

OSDF: Can we meet you sir?
Olaide: I am Barrister Biodun Olaide, I was a former magistrate in Osun State. I am currently a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. I am also a practicing legal practitioner having resigned from my former appointment.

Osdf: Can you tell us a little about your educational background?
Olaide: I attended St. John Primary School Oba-Ile, Aderounmu Grammar School, Oba-Ile and St. Andrews College, Oyo, I also attended Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife where I read law and I passed out in 1997. I later went to the Nigerian Law School and concluded in 1998 and I was called to bar in 1999. I have done my mastes degree in the same University (OAU) and I am currently pursuing my PhD at the same university where I am a lecturer too.

Osdf: Why did you leave the bench for the bar?
Olaide: Well, the bench is good and for those who are there, I wish them good luck. But, I read law, because of the joy of advocacy and when you go to the bench, advocacy is no more possible. Also, if you want to go to the bench and you go there at the early stage of your practice, you would not enjoy the beauty of law, because the beauty of law is in the practice.

So, I went into magistracy because of the employment then and I enjoyed it at that time, but after five years, I felt the urge to pursue further education and to be in practice for sometimes. Meanwhile, I have no quarrel with the judiciary, because it is still my workshop and I go there everyday. I left the place peacefully because I gave them 30 days notice. I left the bench to enjoy the taste of the practice and I am there now enjoying it.

Osdf: What were the challenges when you were on the bench?
Olaide: There were a lot of challenges when I was on the bench and I am still having it now. One of the challenges is that at the bench, we were being treated as a judiciary official and we are not. So to say, magistracy is like a restrictive job. You can not really do what other colleagues could do, because you are under watch of the state government. When I was a magistrate, if I have any ceremony, I don’t invite lawyers because, if they come they would give you money, while some of them have cases before you. So, I don’t take any gift from any lawyer because I know that through the gift, you may not be free to deliver your responsibility as expected.

Also, the government was there preventing you from carrying out your responsibility with fairness. In some case you may receive phone calls from different government officials showing their interest but I took some courage to do the right things at that time.

As a result of these, we were able to react and sometimes we fired petition that we would go on strike for the first time which made them to call us militant magistrates which was not really normal. This is so because, as a magistrate you can not be heard but then we made some move and we did not relent from it as we stood by our struggle. There was a time when they brought a chief registrar of the State High Court from outside, but we the magistrate kicked against it, we wrote a petition and the governor removed him about five or six month after.

So, it was not easy for us then because a lot of us who were in the forefront of the struggle were tagged rebels, but one must have courage. Just make sure that there is no skeleton in your cupboard. If you have a clean record, you have nothing to fear since you know what you are fighting and make sure that you don’t fight an unjust course.

Osdf: Justice Thomas Naron tribunal has come to Osun State and gone back, but its verdict has generated a lot of controversies. What is your appraisal of the sitting of the panel?
Olaide: I was privileged to be part of the team. Though, I was not directly involved in the governorship petition but I handled some of the house of assembly petitions. The proceedings started well and when it started, a lot of applications were presented by the petitioners and granted by the tribunal and people were happy that the tribunal was impartial because it treated each party equally then. That was what the second panel of Hamma Barka did just as he treated all parties equally, he accepted documents once it is relevant and he hardly referred to practice direction, but guided majorly by justice and relevance.

But in the Naron tribunal, suddenly we discovered that there was a change as a lot of relevant documents tendered were rejected. For instance on the issue of the overall result of the governorship that was omitted, everybody knew that it was an omission and it can happen to anybody especially when you have so many things cumbersome to attend to. So, the result can not be ordinarily omitted, because it is part of the pleading and as a result, an impartial judge will take it without problems, he may even ask for it on his own that, you have not tendered the result, go and bring it.

The tribunal also rejected the ballot papers. There is no where you can handle the election petition matter without considering the ballot papers. Even if they don’t tender it, as a judge, you can ask for them that ‘look I want to see the ballot papers’. In Ondo State for instance, elections were recounted in the open court and the same thing also happened at the second tribunal of Barka in Osogbo here, where we recounted the votes in some of the senatorial petitions. Though we did not win the case but at least we have a good trial and we had reasonable things to work on.

At the Naron tribunal, the whole thing was so bastardized and muddled up because so many evidence were rejected. For example subpoenas were filed and when a subpoena is filed it is usually done on the order of a court. Subpoena is an application by the court and not by any of the litigants. You subpoena somebody that you can not call or that cannot voluntarily answer your call as your witness.

INEC officials are respondents in our case and there is no way we can call them personally to give evidence for us but when we discovered that there were some things for them to explain on the elections materials used for the election, we subpoenaed them to come and explain some certain issues. They did the same thing in Edo, Ondo and some other states, where INEC officials were ordered to enter into the witness box, but in Osun State here the reverse was the case.

Even in the judgment, the tribunal even referred to it that the documents we tendered were just dropped and no witness was called to interpret them, whereas it was the same tribunal that disallowed the INEC official from explaining them. Can you see the contradiction?
If there should be any witness to explain those documents it should be the INEC official because it is the INEC documents. They were tendered really, but there was nothing they could do about it without explanation. Though some documents are self-explanatory but not in an election matter, because if there is any discrepancies or omission you need to ask the officer in charge of the document. These are the way you can get to the roots of the matter.

Let me tell you, the petitioners in the governorship election matter has the best legal team in Nigeria. At least I can mention Kola Awodein, Professor Osipitan, Akeredolu, Edosonwan, Akintola and they are all SAN’s and they had won many cases. They are all very good lawyers but the case was muddled up that even there is no best lawyer that can succeed before a difficult judge. However brilliant you are, as a lawyer, you would be frustrated.

Another example is on the Adrian Forty forensic evidence. The same evidence was accepted in Ondo, Ekiti and some other states but reverse was the case before the Naron tribunal in Osun State. The same tribunal gave us the order to go and inspect but when we got to the INEC office in Osogbo, they said that we would not be allowed to scan and we got back to the court for another order and they gave us another order to scan and we did the scanning.

After the scanning and the physical inspection, it was the scanned material that was taken to UK for laboratory test because they are not doing it in Nigeria here, but only for the tribunal to reject both the forensic and physical inspection. The question is why giving the order? The maxim is that, “Equity does nothing in vain.” You can’t give order in vain. Why the order to scan and inspect? Is it for fun? These are the things that made the whole thing complicated. At this we knew that we had a problem.

So, there are so many contradictions in the rulings of the tribunal. If the respondents in that matter brings and application it would scale through but if we bring a similar application, the tribunal would have to depart from the previous ruling and that show that there are a lot of problems with that tribunal.

Osdf: There are insinuations from the respondents that the petitions were not well prepared. Assuming there is a mistake, can the tribunal makes some corrections or not, Just to ensure that justice is done?
Olaide: There was no any mistake anywhere: The petitions were prepared the way they should be prepared. Anybody who want to say that there was a mistake should go and bring Edo State petition, Ondo State petition and tell where our petition affect admission of evidence. That was the rumour they are making. How can you tell me that the lawyers did not do well when the judges of the tribunal are biased?

The judges of the tribunal said that we call party supervisors as witnesses and they are not recognized by law. What tells you that Electoral Act did not recognize supervisors? There is nothing like that, there is no provision for witnesses. Anybody who witnesses the election can come and testify, it may be a voter and those that testified for us are also voters in their units but they only said that they moved round polling units. Even if you don’t want to believe the other units, what about the units where they voted.

And if you supervise, you can gather information, you can testify and you can tender documents and that does not amount to hearsay. Hearsay is when you are giving evidence on what you don’t know, but in this situation the witnesses were on the field and they witnessed what happened.

Also, oral evidence can not treat the election matter alone, but why was the tribunal now hammering on the oral evidence alone? If the tribunal had accepted all our evidence including the security report, they would not be saying that the petitions were not well prepared. They said that the police report, which is so damaging to the respondents is not a public document because it is marked ‘secret’, whereas whatever report that comes from police is a public document once it is received officially. If it is not a public document the police would not release the Certified True Copy (CTC) to us.

It is because the police report is damnable, it affects all the areas that we are contesting as if they knew where we are going, but the tribunal said that it is marked secret. There is no law that says that. The issue is that the tribunal had made up its mind. You can see that out of about 34 petitions filed in Osun State, no one scaled through.

There is no where it happened across the country where so many petitions were filed including House of Assembly, House of Representatives and no one scaled through.

Osdf: Are you saying that the tribunal was bias?
Olaide: Yes, the Osun tribunal was biased. Towards the end of the proceedings, the final outcry and the revelation of The News magazine confirmed the fear that there must be some thing gone wrong in the middle of the way.

The tribunal decided to play a dirty role by doing the whole work for the respondents. You can even see it in their faces that everything that the respondents’ lawyers say would be answer.

Osdf: What do you think could be the consequences of the verdict of the tribunal especially on governorship matter?
Olaide: I can tell you with all sense of responsibility that that case would be retried. Note that, the case would be retried. We can not fight it on merit. Although we know that the Appeal Court will cancel the judgment, but they can not do it without calling witnesses that have been disallowed by the tribunal. That is our first prayer at the court of appeal that the case should be remitted back for retrial before a fresh panel that would be set up by the President, Court of Appeal. That is the only way the matter could be handled.

Osdf: But there was this belief from the government corners in the state that the case can not be re-opened. What do you see to that?
Olaide: It is not so, in fact this is not a matter of re-opening but for the appeal court to remit it back for retrial. If it is only on documentary evidence like the report of Adrian Forty, the appeal can even admit them. Appeal Court can admit document that are illegally rejected but the witnesses like INEC officials that we want to call are vital. We want them to come in and talk, but if the appeal court sees that they can look at the documents and do justice, they may act on it. They can admit documents that are unlawfully rejected by the lower court.

Osdf: Is it true that each counsel would address the appeal court for just 30 minutes?
Olaide: Yes, that is rule. Normally in the appeal, you don’t talk too much but you file your brief and we call it brief of argument which is even better. In your chamber, you compile all the exhibits and every other thing. All you need to do before the appeal is just to summarize your brief that had already been compiled and the court would just adjourn for judgment.

Osdf: What is your comment on the allegation of telephone conversation between Justice Naron and Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), counsel to Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola?
Olaide: Well, my comment may be very scanty now, because the matter is still under investigation and there is need to verify the veracity of the report on the alleged secret conversation, because the suspects are also claiming that the allegation was not true.

Although they said that the call log was obtained illegally, but that is not the issue because the illegally obtained evidence is admissible. If you go to the police custody and steal a document, they may charge you for stealing or whatever later, but court will admit it once it is relevant to the matter at hand. If eventually it is confirmed that the judges and the lawyer involved did what they were alleged of, it is a terrible thing.

So, we are still waiting for the confirmation from the MTN and MTN would have to release the call logs of those involved officially.
Meanwhile, as young as I am in the bar, if such a thing happened and I knew that it was a lie, I would have taken the matter to the court in the following day, but for SAN who has lawyers in his chamber to have kept quiet on such a sensitive issue, it shows that the allegations may be true. So, he should have gone to court, but if eventually he goes to the court and the allegation eventually turned to be the true story of what happened, he may be in trouble. I think that is the fear of the senior lawyer.

As at now, the SAN is not sueing and the judges are not talking, but if it is eventually confirmed, it is an aberration and a damnable happening, because it will affect the law profession and the SAN himself which may even relief him of his SANship.

So, since the matter is before the National Judicial Council (NJC), after the investigation when MTN may have released all the necessary documents, we may now talk more on the issue.

Osdf: There was rumour milling the rounds and it was even sponsored on the state radio that the NBA has discountenanced the complaints from different angles on the matter at its national meeting in Onitsha recently. How true is the rumour?
Olaide: I was at Onitsha, I was even present at the meeting and nothing of such ever happened there. For such misinformation sponsored on the radio, I have written a letter to the management of OSBC to retract the said information. The mischievous information was actually sponsored on the Osun radio (OSBC) it was paid for and I learnt that the wrong information was sponsored by Gani Ola-oluwa, the chairman of Olorunda Local Government.

Neither Ola-oluwa nor OSBC is a lawyer and even if they are, they were not at the meeting in Onitsha. I was at Onitsha and I can say it anywhere that nothing like discountenance was discussed. It was true that when we were discussing corruption on the bench generally, one of the senior lawyers from Lagos raised the issue on Osun State tribunal and he said that the gathering must take some positions on it, but the National President, Olisah Agbakoba said that they should keep the matter for now, because it is already before the NJC. Since we can not try judges but we can try our lawyers and the matter is already before NJC, the result of the NJC trial will determine our own action and that was all.

In fact there was no any Osun lawyer that talks at that meeting throughout and anybody can come and confront me on that. So, I don’t see any reason why anybody could have sponsored such misinformation on the radio just to drag the NBA Osogbo into politics, as if we were fighting with Lagos NBA and whoever that sponsored it has sponsored falsehood.

On behalf of myself, I wrote to the radio station to retract the wrong information. At our last meeting of Osogbo NBA on the 5th of August, I raised the issue that we should write a rejoinder, but it is as if some people at that meeting are serving a particular interest and they did not allow the issue to reign. But as a vice-chairman of the Osogbo NBA, I wrote a letter to OSBC on my behalf and not on behalf of NBA to correct the information. I wrote them to retract the information or else, I will sue both the radio and the sponsor of the mischievous information.

Osdf: What is your comment on Osun Judiciary generally?
Olaide: I would not want to talk too much on that and in another word it is my former constituency and I have to say one or two things.

The judiciary in Osun is okay. We have some judges who are above board and you can be proud of them anywhere in the world. Some of our judges went for election petitions matters in another states and they did very well. Some of the judges in Osun are worst and in Osun judiciary there are some happenings that should not happen in a normal setting.

For instance, a chief magistrate of Ilesa district was arrested and detained and nobody uttered a single statement including the NBA which I am a member, either to condemn or to ask any question on why such a thing happened.

In a normal setting, it should be an internal issue that should be settled administratively before embarrassing the man openly. It is the first time in the history of Osun State that a chief magistrate was detained over an issue that has no stand. The most baffling thing was that he was arraigned before a junior magistrate, which is very wrong as far as that position is concerned. On that same issue up till now nothing was raised to confirm that the man did what he was detained for. These are some of the things that should not be allowed, but already we are in the system and we need to endure, meanwhile, I am not comfortable with such things.

Also, a lawyer, Gbenga Akano was arrested and detained on the same issue of bomb blast and up till now there is no further information on the matter, which is very unfair.

Osdf: There was a case involving one Prince Sunday Laoye on the same bomb blast issue of which you were a counsel. The man rejected to be tried at the magistrate court of Olapoju Akintayo but at the High Court and his case was adjourned sinedi, only for him to be bungled back to that same court from where he was sent to prison. Looking at that procedure, is it an appropriate thing to do?
Olaide: I was in the court throughout the day of his first arraignment and I appeared in the case. On the day he was re-arraigned illegally and I can say it boldly that he was arraigned illegally, I told the magistrate that the arraignment was illegal. The man had pleaded not to be tried at that court but at the High Court. Even at the high court since then up till date, there is no case against the man and despite the fact that the man pleaded not to be tried at the magistrate court, he was re-arraigned illegally.

The issue was that the magistrate adjourned ‘sinedi’ which means indefinitely and you can recall the same matter pending the arraignment of that person at a proper court. The only thing you can do is to write a letter to that effect that you want to try him again and then you can summon him, but anything outside that is illegal. What we saw was that the man was just summoned and I know that some people must have done that behind the door. In fact all the lawyers in that court on that day seriously condemned it, even those who were not involved in the case said that it is not proper and it is illegal, since the case has been adjourned ‘sinedi’.

Probably they thought that the man would be killed at the SARS office but reverse was the case which must have been the basis for the illegal summon by the magistrate. It is quite pathetic, because it is still on that same issue of bomb blast and up till today nothing has been filed in that case against the man because there is no any evidence.

What we should know is that this state is for all of us and record is there for whatever we do. When eventually you see your record and you now begin to say that I am sorry, my hands are tight, it would be embarrassing.

The issue is that there some courts in Osun State that even if the offence is just N1 fine, they would not give you bail on the same day once they know that you belong to the opposition simply because they are acting a prepared script. That is the instructions given to them. It is not because they want peace but just because there is an outstanding instruction.

Osdf: There is a rumour miling the rounds that the Osogbo NBA has been bought over by Oyinlola. What do you see to that?
Olaide: If they say that Osogbo NBA has been bought over I don’t know about that, but all I know is that if you are talking about the bus given to us by the governor recently with the inscription ‘Oyin ni o’ boldly written on it, that is one of the things that made me to write a letter on the falsehood sponsored on OSBC, because I see it as one of the things they want to use to say that we have been bought over which is not so. Though we have politicians among us and at our last meeting, one of them said that PDP is in his blood but that is personal to him and he even condemned the issue of writing ‘Oyin ni o’ on the bus.

I have even made up my mind that I will never enter into that bus again not until they remove the inscription and not because I hated anybody.
So, they can’t buy NBA, but the problem we have now is that the current chairman is a government staff and that is why they are saying that we have been bought over. That is also one of the reasons you don’t see NBA coming out with a single statement, either to condemn or commend, but no matter what the government may give us, we will still not compromise because one of our duty is to checkmate. If they give us anything we will take it because it is our money and not their money but we will still checkmate the government.

Osdf: It is observed that throughout Osun State, there is no a single SAN residing in the state. What could have caused it?
Olaide: There are conditions before you can become a SAN. Firstly you must be ten years at the bar and we have many lawyers that can fulfill that in Osun, but you must have a standard chamber of at least a duplex with about four or five junior lawyers working in that chamber. If you go round the length and breadth of Osun the highest is a rented room and parlour apartment which is not enough for a standard chamber. The cost of standard chamber is very high and there is no enough money in this state, meanwhile, if you don’t have enough money you can not be given a SANship.

There are lawyers that can do better in Osun but because people’s beliefs in outsiders is the problem. There are some of them that have cases at the appeal and Supreme Court and they have won. Some of them have tackled SANs and defeated them.

Also before you could be given a SANship, you must have a standard library with enough books. So, these are some of the criteria. Politics is also there too.

Osdf: What is your advice to the Government, other lawyers and the people of Osun State in general?
Olaide: My advice is that government should play the game in accordance with the rule of law. They should know that people have right to comment on government activities or programmes and any government that does not allow that is a psychopath. Government goes government comes, but when you leave, what will be in record is what matters most. The government should leave room for criticism, condemnations and commendations.

Also, rule of law should be allowed to prevail, don’t push people to the wall so that they would not turn back and result to self-help.
To the lawyers, our work is not just to advocate and make money alone, but we should also put the government to order. Though we need money, but if you have good name, you will have money. If you see a judge that is corrupt, we should fight him to a stand-still. Lawyers should play by the rules and make sure that government is cautioned.
To the people of Osun State, they should keep calm, better life would soon come and they will all enjoy the dividends of democracy.

Olokuku Palace Raid: Police Parade Suspects

BARELY one month after palace raid that stripped the palace of Olokuku of Okuku, Oba Oyebode Oluronke the home-town of the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola naked of its paraphernalia by some unknown gunmen, the Osun State Police Commands has on Wednesday paraded five suspects allegedly believed to have carried out the unholy act.

It would be recalled that unknown gunmen recently ransacked the palace, subjected the monarch to torture and carted away crowns, staff of office, traditional horse tail, beads and the first ancestral regalia and others including cars and valuables, a situation that had been traced to the cold war that had been raging among the royal houses allegedly orchestrated by Oyinlola’s family.

An information has it then that Oyinlola’s family had started lobbying the six powerful kingmakers (Iwefa mefa) in Okuku, the headquarters of Odo-Otin Local Government Council Area, to cooperate with their plot to ensure the carving out of a separate Oyinlola’s ruling house with a view to facilitating Governor Oyinlola’s plan to mount the throne if eventually defeated by the Action Congress (AC) Governorship candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola at the Appeal Court.

However, the paraded suspects comprising two Senegalese and three Nigerians have claimed that they were sculptors and painters making crowns for sale, arguing that they knew nothing about what they were accused of.

The three Nigerians – Solomon Adebayo, Ganiyu Adeyemi, Kola Adeola and the two Senegalese – Tanko Adrian and Musa Coulibaly claimed that they were framed-up in the act.

While insisting that no ancient beaded crown was found in their custody, the suspects maintained that they only made traditional crowns and shoes for commercial purpose, during their parade by the police.

But the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Mr. Joshua Olayemi who spoke to journalists stated that the arrest was informed by a tip-off.
Olayemi said that one of the suspects, Adeyemi is an indigene of Okuku with filial relationship with Olokuku.

He said: “Adeyemi show up after his wife was arrested in Osogbo. He led us to Ibadan where we arrested three of the suspects’’

Meanwhile it was gathered that security officers have invited the monarch to come and check if any of the materials retrieved from the suspects belongs to him.

By KAZEEM MOHAMMED

TRIBUNAL SCANDAL LATEST: Lawyer Faults Kalejaiye’s Silence

THE Vice-chairman, Osogbo chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barrister Abiodun Olaide has lambasted the counsel to the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola at the Justice Thomas Naron-led Election Petitions Tribunal that sat in the state, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), for not having sued The NEWS magazine, despite all his mouth-making to sue the media over the alleged secret telephone conversations between the tribunal chairman and the counsel.

Speaking to OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo on Tuesday, the Attorney, who left the position of magistrate in the state, said that he was disappointed to see the senior counsel still keeping mute over the matter despite the seriousness of the allegations.

According to him, for a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to have kept quiet on such a sensitive issue, it shows that the allegations may be the true story of the matter, saying that he would be more disappointed if the allegations eventually turned out to be true.

He said: “As young as I am in the bar, if such a thing happened and I knew that it was a lie, I would have taken the matter to court on the following day, but for a SAN, who has lawyers in his chamber to have kept quiet on such a sensitive issue, it shows that the allegations may be true.

“I am not saying that it is true, but if it is eventually confirmed that the allegation is true, it is an aberration and a damnable happening, because it will affect the law profession and the SAN himself, which may even relief him of his SANship.

“Though, they claimed that the allegation was not true and the call logs of both the tribunal chairman and the involved senior counsel were obtained illegally, but that is not the issue, because illegally obtained evidence is admissible.

Even if you go to police custody and steal a document, you may be charged for stealing later, but court will admit it once it is relevant to the matter at hand”, Olaide explained.

“I think the fear of the SAN not to have gone to court may be that if eventually he goes to court and the matter turns out to be true, he may be in more trouble”, predicted.

While declining the rumour milling the rounds among politicians of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extraction that the national secretariat of the NBA has discountenance the petitions on the allegation of the telephone conversation between Justice Naron and Kalejaiye, Olaide insisted that the information is total falsehood.

The Attorney then cleared the air that the NBA only stepped down its action to await the result of investigations of the National Judicial Council (NJC), calling on the NJC to speed up action on the allegations and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

By KAZEEM MOHAMMED

NBC Slams OSBC Again

OSUN State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) is no longer at ease as its partisan information dissemination has run it into trouble lately before the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

It was gathered that the State-owned broadcasting outfit may be heavily sanctioned, if it remains adamant in its style of denying members of the opposition fair hearing in its political news reporting.

OSUN DEFENDER further learnt that the controversial radio and television station had earlier been slammed with various fines of N200,000, N250,000 and N70,000 respectively lately for not conforming with the laid down ethical standard.

Our source inside the government-controlled station revealed that NBC had in recent past slammed N200,000 against OSBC, when the regulating body investigated a petition alleging bias and favoritism in its news reporting and found the station guilty.

According to our source, the management of the station was specifically warned against. Partisan stand on any sensitive issue, reiterating that the commission would not hesitate to close down any erring station.

Besides, findings revealed that another N250,000 was recently slammed on the station with a strongly worded letter to the management to ensuring professionalism, instead of being used as a political weapon.
Information has it that the station authority could not fault a detailed petition before the commission on its political broadcast, arguing that the payer of the piper is hell bent in calling the tune.

OSUN DEFENDER has it on good authority that another N70,000 fine from NBC to OSBC lapsed on Wednesday, for another bias and unethical standard.

Speaking on the development, a Chieftain of Action Congress (AC) Otunba Jumoke Ogunkeyede who had earlier petitioned NBC on the bias political coverage of OSBC, said that the station could not change, saying that they (staff and management) have tied their apron to the strong of the politicians on the corridor of power.

“Leopard cannot change its spot, the management of OSBC are politicians, not men of pen profession. They will continue to be bias in their responsibilities, no doubt about that, because they have tied their apron to the string of the oppressors in power.

By GOKE BUTIKA

PDP Sets To Influence Future Polling Units

THE Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) chairmen for Ilesa East and West Local Government Councils in Osun State have concluded plans to have the proposed polling units where registered voters are expected to cast their future votes restructured to stand in front of houses of party stalwarts in the council areas, OSUN DEFENDER can now inform.

In a memo to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state and signed by the council chairmen, Isaac Komolafe and Ibukun Fadipe, requested for the creation of Ijesa Central Federal Constituency from the existing Ijesa South Federal Constituency said to be the most populated in the state and about the largest geographically going by the last population census.

The memo which stated that the Ijesa South Federal Constituency was made up of the two councils in Ilesa and the Atakumosa East and West Local governments in the adjourning Ijesaland, however dictated which wards to be split and where the proposed polling units in the constituency to be sited.

The duo of Komolafe and Fadipe applied for the breaking up of ward 2, Imo into two , ward 9 Anaye into two and ward 10 Isare into three, to serve the party’s parochial political interest.

They demanded in the memo that the proposed polling booths should be erected in the immediate vicinity of the leaders of the party in the affected areas.

One of the proposed polling units, Olukanni House Frontage, Isona Street, faces directly beside the house of Col. Wole Olukanni (retired), a PDP chieftain and chairman of the Governing Council of Osun State College Education Ilesa.

Another polling unit, Makinwa Model Primary School, Oke-Iyanu, is said to be in the neighbourhood of the extended family house of the Ilesa East council chairman, while fingers are pointing at the Barakuda shop frontage polling unit, Okesa, said to be owned by Chief Olori Omo, a PDP tin god.

By FEMI OLUSESI

How Atitebi Sold Dummy To Commissioner

IN a bid to cover its ineptitude, the Area Administrator of Ife East Area office in Modakeke, Osun State, Alhaji Rasaq Atitebi has commissioned a fish pond project which was said to have been renovated instead of construction of a road project which was supposed to be constructed at the area office, which he claimed cost N2.5 million, OSUN DEFENDER investigation had revealed.

The investigation further revealed that the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affair, who also doubles as the chairman of committee set up by the state government to monitor road construction projects in the state, visited the Area Office so as to inspect the Alapata road construction, which is one of the roads approved by the Osun State government.

It was also learnt that the Alapata road, which the visiting commissioner had gone to inspect though had been abandoned and not much had been done before the contractor abandoned the road project.
OSUN DEFENDER, also revealed that during the visit of the commissioner, he and the Area Officer visited the abandoned road project, where he expressed his dismay at the level of the work done so far, after which the Area Administrator led him to the fish pond situated close to the area office secretariat.

It was also revealed that Atitebi told the visiting commissioner that he constructed the fish-pond, as part of his efforts to provide food for the people of Modakeke.

OSUN DEFENDER’s investigation also revealed that the fish pond was also renovated during the tenure of Mr. Ade Adegbite, former administrator of the area office which Atitebi also claimed to have constructed with N2.5 million.

It was also revealed, to OSUN DEFENDER in Modakeke that the administrator had been using projects in the local government as a conduit pipe to siphon money from the treasury of the Area Office.

It was learnt that the administrator used the opportunity of the commissioner’s visit to placate the state government over his squandering of allocations meant for developing the ancient town including repairs of the Alapata road.

Sources close to the Area Office disclosed that Atitebi is so reckless in spending public funds to the extent that he (Area Administrator) has incurred multi-million debt for incoming administration in the Area Office.

By SOLA JACOBS