Ilesa AC Leader Lambasts PDP

A 73-year-old former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ilesa West Local Government Council Area of Osun State, Alhaji Isah Agunbiade has lamented that he left the party for the Action Congress (AC), because the party has no respect for cool-headed persons but for hoodlums and hooligans.

Speaking to OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo on Monday, Agunbiade who is the Ilesa chapter chairman, Union of Nigerian Herbalists said that he was a founding member of the PDP in Ilesa, but he quit when he could no longer adapt and engage in dirty politics being operated in the party.

A member of the defunct National Council of Nigeria and Cameroun (NCNC) and National Party of Nigeria (NPN) stated that the way and manner which the PDP operates in the country has shown that the party is purely anti-people.

While recalling how PDP thugs unleashed terror on the people of Osun State especially in Ilesa before, during and after the April 2007 elections, the AC chieftain stated that the PDP-led government in the state has made up its mind to rule the people of the state by force, despite being rejected at the election.

The herbalist also condemned how the PDP leaders were engaging in series of unholy attitude like looting of public funds at both the local and state government levels, insisting that he regretted ever working with the PDP.

Speaking on the April 2007 polls, Agunbiade condemned how the election was rigged by the PDP-led government and how the Justice Thomas Damar Naron election petitions tribunal that sat in the state was manipulated by the people at the corridor of power.

While condemning how the tribunal wrongfully rejected the report of the forensic inspection and the testimonies of the forensic expert, Adrian Forty, the AC leader recommended that such technological means should be allowed completely and if possible included in the Electoral Act to prevent future rigging of polls.

Expressing confidence in the judiciary, Agunbiade hoped that the appeal court would right the wrongs of the Naron tribunal, calling on the people to remain calm and firm for a better life would soon come.


Osun AC Wants Further Probe Of Constituency Projects

OSUN State Chapter of the Action Congress (AC) has said that it is still expecting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to unravel more of the mysteries behind the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s controversial constituency project through the state lawmakers, describing it (constituency project) as a constituency fraud.

Lauding the statement credited to the former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Honourable Eziuche Ubani that lawmakers are not involved in the execution of constituency project, the party stated that the duty of the legislators was to identify where such projects should be cited and ensure that the projects were executed according to the laid down rules and standard.

Quoting Ubani: “Nobody gives any member any money to execute any project, as it is not our duty to do so. We do not participate either in the process of the award or execution of such contracts”.

However, in a statement signed by the AC Director Of Research and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere and made available to OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo on Monday, the party stated that it is not against citing and execution of constituency projects in the state, saying that its stand was that it’s against the financial rules and Appropriation Act for any state lawmaker to usurp the duty of executive by dabbling into project construction and abandon their constitutionally approved responsibilities.

Osun AC stated further that Oyinlola’s administration had made matters worse by paying the controversial project’s fund directly to the personal accounts of individual lawmakers in the state, saying that the move was an attempt to corruptly enrich them, so as to make them neglect their duties of putting the executive in check and maintain their autonomy.

The statement further commended the governor for taking a bold step of writing a petition to the EFCC requesting the anti-graft commission to ask questions from the opposition lawmakers in the state on how they got money with which they paid back amount deducted by the bank from the funds to service their individual loans, adding that the step which acted as a clue to show that the planning and initiation of the whole project was meant to corruptly influence the legislators would help in reducing the EFCC job.

The statement read: “If the bank does not know that the amount earmarked for the project has been padded for self benefit, how then did they have the effrontery to deduct the money meant for the project to serve the people for the repayment of personal loans?

“The Oyinlola-led PDP administration in Osun State would have earned itself a lot of respect if it admits its ignorance and apologize to the people, instead of continually exhibiting its naivety and dubious intent by claiming to be right when it knows it is doing a wrong thing.

“Constituency projects execution by our honourable members in Osun State since 2003 has served no purpose other than self-aggrandizement, as only gargantuan personal edifice like hotels, petrol stations offices and shopping complexes are the only things we can point to across the state, while schools, hospitals, boreholes and more meant for the people have remained desolate, non-functional, dilapidated and an outright eyesore”, AC stated.

The party then threatened that it will not keep quiet and watch the PDP-led government in the state to plant a land mine that would not allow its governorship candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola to have a peaceful reign when he eventually takes over the mantle of leadership in the state.


EFCC Moves Against Osun Election Riggers

POLITICAL office holders in Osun State are currently running helter skelter over the new dimension the controversial election petitions tribunal that sat in Osogbo has assumed, as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has moved in.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the anti – graft agency led by the retired Assistant Inspector – General of Police (AIG), (Mrs) Farida Waziri decided to unearth the content of the nocturnal conversations between the governor’s counsel, Mr. Kunle Kalejaiye and the controversial tribunal chairman, Justice Thomas Naron and one other judge, in order to uncover the monetary inducement involved.

It would be recalled that top government officials, including the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Fatai Akinbade are currently answering questions at the Abuja Office of EFCC, concerning the administration of state funds, as touching the petitions of the opposition.

Findings revealed that the EFCC had earlier received a strongly worded petition from the state Chapter of Action Congress (AC) signed by its scribe, Prince Gboyega Famodun, charging the commission to investigate the plausible financial crimes involved in the web of compromise.

According to the petition: “We know that judicial compromises have always been linked with bribery, corruption and some other forms of economic crimes and we strongly believe that a thorough investigation of the aforementioned persons is necessary in the light of the said revelations.

Investigations further revealed that the names of Kunle Kalejaiye, with MTN line 08037035105, Naron with mobile line 08073160534, Justice Ekanem, 08034105705, Niyi Owolade, the State Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice with line 08034037521 and Miss Sade Alaba Adewumi, an interpreter to the tribunal, were specifically mentioned for investigation.

OSUN DEFENDER authoritatively gathered that the EFCC operatives in charge of the matter had earlier carried out a legwork on the matter, a situation that revealed the coded conversation between Kalejaiye and the two judges in a mouth agape.

But, to formally give it official zeal, the leadership of the EFCC then asked the MTN management to show up with the script of the published conversation.

However, the telecommunication company then sent its lawyers to the commission, with the aim of sorting out the issue at stake with legal consideration, but operatives turned the lawyers back, demanding to see the top management and technical staff, noting that the issue at stake is more of technical than legal.

Meanwhile, the National Judicial Council (NJC) has started its own investigation, preparing to get to the root of the matter that involved the five-man-tribunal led by Naron and Kalejaiye, in order to save judiciary from the ridicule the Naron tribunal had brought to it.

It would be recalled that the National Executive Council, (NEC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in its recent meeting in Onitsha, Anambra State had expressed its readiness to make use of the findings of the NJC to determine the fate of Kalejaiye, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), as touching his professional misconduct in the matter.

Besides, a source within the agency said that the EFCC chairman turned back the lawyers when they appeared to hold brief for MTN at a critical stage of the investigations.

“Waziri insisted that the management of the MTN must report to the commission unfailingly next week. The allegations are about conversations transcripts, and other technical details. The MTN is not on trial but the EFCC is expecting it to clarify a few things.”

As a result of the EFCC’s dimension, OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the embattled governor and his lawyers have allegedly stepped up their lobby to kill the investigations, a situation that has sent jitters down the spines of the political office holders in the state, who are still watching helplessly their fate dangling in the balance.


Ooni Shuns Oyinlola Again

IN what many considered the unimaginable, Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola was recently shocked to his bone marrow as his political god-father, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade told him point–blank, of his (Ooni) decision to withdraw from partisan politics.

Recent investigations conducted by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that the embattled governor had earlier gone to the monarch’s palace to intimate him on efforts made so far in validating Justice Thomas Damar Naron – led tribunal’s verdict.

According to impeccable sources, Oyinlola had, earlier in the week, made several contacts across the country on ways to swing the pendulum of justice in his favour.

Sources further revealed that in the course of his consultations, the governor was informed of the monarch’s influence and capability of getting things done in Oyinlola’s favour.

On hearing this, Oyinlola was reported to have smiled, confident of having Oba Sijuwade’s ears at all times and instantly headed towards the Ooni’s palace in Ile-Ife without any previous appointment, on his arrival in the state from Australia.

The medium further gathered from sources that in his traditional way of visiting the first-class traditional ruler, Oyinlola had gone to the palace with his usual large entourage, without the slightest premonition of what awaited them.

However, the governor reportedly suffered his first jolt as he was disallowed from going beyond the palace’s first gate with his whole entourage, based on an earlier instruction from the monarch.

After much noise and phone calls, the governor eventually bowed to the wishes of the palace security and went into the palace’s expansive court-yard with only his ADC and the driver.

The embattled pro-third term governor then found his way into the monarch’s visitors’ room, where Oba Sijuwade traditionally attends to his visitors and not the inner –chamber, where he had held several closed –door meetings with Oyinlola in the past.

Oyinlola was then subjected to about three agonizing hours of waiting where efforts were being made by some palace chiefs to persuade the monarch to spare few minutes for the governor.

The medium further gathered that all efforts to get the monarch’s listening hear to attend to his political god-son proved abortive as Oba Sijuade remained adamant in his resolve to have nothing to do with Oyinlola or partisan politics in Osun State again.

The monarch, sources further revealed, had reportedly taken the decision in accordance with his subjects’ advice on his past roles in the political development of the state so far.

Other reason behind Oba Sijuade’s action is reported not to be unconnected with an earlier prophesy in a church in Osogbo, predicting that unless the monarch does away with partisan politics, fatal calamities await him and his remaining days, with a trusted high chief in attendance.

EFCC Swoop On Osun

If there ever was a link between illegitimacy and corruption, Osun State was it. The Oyinlola government is unknown to the electorate that it claimed voted it into power. A stranger in power, especially a brazen one who stole the people’s vote killing and maiming along the way, feels no compunction about willfully gobbling the people’s resources.

This is the correct but unfortunate profile of Olagunsoye Oyinlola as governor. That is why the swoop of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the state is highly welcome. But the swoop is coming too late, even if it is better late than never.

The very fact that the EFCC has invited top officials of the administration to answer to petitions against them has proved a great release in this state, held prostrate for five years now by an unconscionable band sworn wholly to greed. Almost all the opposition parties have risen in unison, asking for the EFCC to move in and save Osun State from further plunder.

The Alliance of Collaborating Political Parties (ACPP), in a joint petition dated August 11, 2008 to Mrs. Farida Waziri, the EFCC chairman, spoke of areas where Oyinlola and his aides have allegedly stolen the state blind.

These areas include the alleged scam that the school feeding programme, a UNICEF scheme with pilot in Osun, but which the government has allegedly turned into an illicit cow, constituency projects at the local government level that has allegedly become a huge racket and alleged illegal deductions from local councils under the guise of contributions to running the new Osun State University (Uniosun), among others.

The constituency projects, the ACPP alleged, were a cream-off through and through. “Between 2003 and 2005 in the local government system, constituency development projects funds were paid directly to selected councillors,” the ACPP alleged of something the Oyinlola government is fast attaining notoriety, given that a similar attempt was made to corrupt state legislators. “Cheques were issued in the names of elected chairmen and councillors to execute constituency projects as against the rule.”

Given that these so-called “elected” council officials were also rigged into office in a laughable but murderous sham that Oyinlola staged as “election”, it is easy to see why they feel no qualms feeding fat on the people and worsening the under-development problems of Osun State. Between them, the 322 council officials allegedly blew N995 million!

Aside from the constituency project scam, the ACPP also alleged illegal N360 million monthly deductions over 12 months from council funds to fund the development of a state website that has ceased to see the daylight. “We believe this is a fraud,” ACPP charged, “and we implore your commission to investigate this deduction.”

Then there is the security vote racket – and again, the fishing pond would appear the inexhaustible council funds. The 30 councils have allegedly been induced to pool 1.1 per cent of their earnings from the federation account for “general security”, aside from another N75 million as equity for “small-scale industries that do not exist anywhere.” Besides, there is the Spring Finance Limited, an alleged profit-making venture in which the councils were not shareholders, and yet were allegedly made to cough out N30 million monthly to run.

On the school feeding pilot projects, the councils are also alleged to have been forced to cough out N42 million monthly, even if in the Unicef-Federal Government project, Osun was picked as one of the pilot states, before expanding the project nationwide.

Another alleged scam rocking the state, which OSUN DEFENDER had had to write a previous editorial, is the Uniosun alleged scam, in which the councils have also been compelled to pool funds as their own counterpart funding for the running of the school. Much as no one would oppose such state-council cooperation toward a common good as the education of the citizens (as we stated in our previous editorial), it is reprehensible that such a citizen-benefit could have been mere veneer for unconscionable graft now being alleged.

Now that the EFCC has intervened to investigate these allegations, it should put all its crack investigative skills to use to save this state from the alleged greed of its rulers – those who never won elections to rule, but now allegedly plunder the public till, maybe as revenge for their massive rejection by the people.

Should anyone be found complicit in these alleged scams, we trust the anti-sleaze body will bring such characters to justice – and fast too. That is the only way to save this state, which though has little money, even that little is being willfully drained.

Alleged Rape: Justice At Last?

The well earned trial of Gani Oladiran, alleged rape mastermind and Osun Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, should be a lesson to the other criminally minded in that party, who have for too long lived with the illusion that, for being party thugs or thug managers, they are above the law.

Oladiran, a defector from the Action Congress (AC) to the PDP, was fingered as the alleged mastermind in the violent violation of a 17-year old school girl, just to settle partisan scores. Thugs, alleged to be loyal to the PDP, had in Ilesa seized the girl and gang-raped her in the house of Oladiran.

Not only that they, with a broken bottle, shaved her pubic air and forced the screaming, terrified girl to swallow the stuff! The poor victim was thereafter rushed to the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, before being transferred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, for treatment.

She lives now to bear her psychological scars, after the physical trauma of the rape. Aside from the rape victim, however, the same alleged PDP thugs literally hunted down youths they knew to be AC activists and dealt them matchet blows, causing them bodily injuries that could have resulted in death but for timely medical intervention.

This crime was again traced to the alleged PDP thugs, of which Oladiran was the alleged mastermind. But all through the period of the commission of the crime, Oladiran and his thugs acted as though they were above the law. As part of the shameful ensemble, the Police in Osun State went through the motion of arrests and quiet release; to the extent that the suspects openly bragged that no power on earth could bring them to justice for the holy crime in the name of their great party.

Even Oladiran himself clung to the sickening legalese that nobody could pin any rape offence on him since, he claimed, he was not at the scene, even if the offence took place in his house; and he was known to have close connection with the felons that carried out the deed. Not even Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as governor, expressed any outrage at the barbarity. Mum was the word from his end. Mum was the word from his spouse, who parades herself as First Lady and mother. And mum was the word from another mother, Deputy Governor, Erelu Olusola Obada!

It appeared therefore, despite the tomes of petition on this crime to the powers-that-be, that justice would be subverted – until, from a report, President Umaru Yar’adua went abroad, only to be confronted at the mockery of his rule of law policy: the un-apprehended rape of a 17-year old in 21st century Nigeria! That was when the president read the riot act to the inspector-general of Police (IGP), and the IGP read his own riot act to the Osun State Police commissioner, who in turn had no choice, but to arrest and charge the suspects.

That then was the background to the docking of Oladiran at an Osogbo magistrate’s court on Monday, August 18. Osun Defender reported how bewildered and distraught Oladiran was; and how bowed, ruffled and unkempt he was in the dock. That was the making of a fall guy and scapegoat – and, frankly, his ordeal serves him right! His would be a clear example to other rascals who nourish the illusion that because they commit illegality in the name of a sitting government, they are immune from the law.

So, let Oladiran and co stew in their own evil juice! Still, it is not yet time to celebrate. For one, a suspect is held until proven guilty. For another, the Oyinlola government is notorious for always subverting other arms of government in the conduct of their constitutionally stipulated duty. Both the Osun Magistracy and the Police have been serially compromised by this notorious government to miscarry justice, especially in political cases. That is why both the magistrate handling the case and the prosecuting police officer must be wary of the Oyinlola agents of subversion.

This is a case, we must add, that has assumed an international dimension. Let, for once, every public officer involved do his or her duty to the glory of their institutions. That is the only way civility and decency can re-enter the Osun political space. But let us part with this sword of Damocles: should there be any hanky-panky, the forces that compelled this trial in the first case are not about falling asleep. Let justice be done in this horrific rape.

A word is enough for the wise!


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Monday, 10 March 2008

God really blessed Osun State with worthy spiritual and temporal fathers. We have prominent obas and clerics that can rub shoulders with their counterparts the world over. The reactions of these our spiritual fathers to political events in the state should be of concern to all and sundry because the survival of the state would be dependent majorly on the sound and Godly spiritual guidance from these our spiritual fathers.

That Obas, clerics etc. attend government functions all the times is not a misnormal and that prayers were offered at such occasions were not out of place, but political comments that were always “erroneously’ credited to them might cast aspersions on such spiritual father vis-a-vis the spiritual positions they occupy in the nation. In fact, there are places that one would not expect such spiritual fathers to be, even through it is in such abominable places that we find many spiritual fathers often and not only being there, they make statements that belittle the spiritual positions they occupy.

We must remind ourselves of some salient facts. Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola or any other indigene of Osun State has every right to aspire to govern the state and that spiritual fathers should not turn themselves into instruments of oppression of oppositions and suppression of decent voice of oppositions. The oppositions are not enemies as erroneously proclaimed by the tune of prayers from spiritual fathers, but they (opposition) are check and balance organs of the society to forestall the excessive activities of the brigands that temporarily rule Osun State.

Why are obas and clerics against the voices of oppositions when they have every right to tilt to any side of their choice. The clerics can shed their cassocks for political garment, while the obas are free to put aside their beaded crowns for political caps, as such steps would give them more honour and respect than hiding under the cassocks and beaded crowns while swimming in dirty waters of politics. Why can’t these spiritual fathers and obas realize that they would outlive these political office holders and as such, should not allow them to rubbish the exalted spiritual sit they occupy?

The prayers offered by two prominent clerics at Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s 57th birthday ceremony, as reported by Nigerian Tribune of 8th February 2008, page 7, was pleasant and appealing to Oyinlola’s hearing but spiritually bankrupt as the prayers were politically motivated and directed by “Ghana-Must-Go” spiritual force. Since when has it become a crime for one to legally seek to reclaim the stolen mandate through an election tribunal even at the risk of one’s life? Why must a legitimate demand of stolen mandate be misconstrued as “the activities of those who see nothing good?” Must Engr. Rauf Aregbesola allow the mandate armed robbers to go unchallenged as if armed robbery is entrenched in the Holy Bible and Holy Koran?

It is a pity that one cleric even equated elections with wars and battles. Hear him: “His creator has destined him to be victorious in wars and battles”. If a “respectable” cleric can refer to elections as “wars and battles”, one can see how “Ghana-Must-Go” can change a respectable cleric to disrespectable cleric. The prayers of the “respectable” cleric have exposed their (clerics) hidden agenda of a one party state.

Listen to him: “It is time for his challengers to see the war they are fighting as one against God’s designs. It is time for them to surrender.” According to the cleric, the designs of his (cleric) ‘god’ is that there should be no challenger and as such, we must end up with one party Osun State. The cleric also claimed it was a sin against their ‘god’ for anybody to challenge Governor Oyinlola as they were not engaging in electoral process but ‘war’ against ‘god’s design. No wonder the clerics had flambuoyant thanksgiving services, for Oyinlola, to their “gods’ that maimed and killed innocent citizens of Osun State, to steal Engr. Rauf Aregbesola’s mandate at gunpoint for Governor Oyinlola. No wonder, there were showers of blessings, cars, jeeps, etc for clerics from Governor Oyinlola and plenty of “Ghana Must Go” to appease the “gods” that stole mandate at gunpoint.

No wonder, the house of God have been turned into merchandising houses where prayers are readily purchased by “Ghana-Must-Go to force the challenger to surrender. Thank God, for God! God cannot be mocked! The respectable” cleric also described Governor Oyinlola as “a man created to build, remould and reform masses”.

The cleric should explain to the whole world, what Governor Oyinlola was building, after stealing the mandate of Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola by maiming and killing innocent souls at Igbajo, Ikirun, Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Ede etc. It was indeed a fact that Governor Oyinlola remoulded and deformed the wasted citizens of Osun State from mortality to immortality. Governor Oyinlola has also remoulded the JOY of the berieved families into eternal melancholy.

The Bible says: ” I (God) am coming soon and my reward is with me to give to everybody according to his due”. Honestly, I always feel terribly sad, when I hear or see clerics, singing praises of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and I always wonder which book of authority the clerics use as reference, as the doctrine being preached by such clerics are outside the Holy Bible and the Holy Koran. How can the clerics sing praises of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a man, who stubbornly refused to accept the practice and culture of democracy, which entails equal right of all members of the society to have a free and fair elections. A man, who believes in stealing mandate of the people of maiming and killing citizens of Osun State; a man, who brought soldiers to waste lives in Ilesa; a man, who has the devil reincarnated human being, Olusegun Obasajo as his mentor; a man whose only training has been on the foundation of deceit etc.

The clerics whether honourable of dishonourable must know that, today, ordinary citizens of Osun State, look at Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the PDP government of Osun State and the sympathizers of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, be they obas and clerics, as a den of arsonists, assassins, armed robbers, blood suckers and mandate snatchers. that is exactly what they are and with the prayers of the saint to God/Allah, they would be brought to justice soonest. Amen.

OYAGBILE wrote in from Ward 5, Odo-Otin LG, Osun State


I am a fan of  OSUN DEFENDER, to the extent that it has become my tonic. I must confess to you that your tabloid has been very instrumental towards the ongoing efforts of the progressive elements to liberate the people of the South West particularly Osun State.

In the light of this, I shall crave your indulgence into the raging crisis between the teachers in Osun State higher institutions of learning and Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

I could recollect that Oyinlola in one of the interviews granted to a daily newspaper recently on the high school fees of University of Osun State said that his government wanted to give the lecturers the best motivation, so as to get the output from them.

I am compelled to ask whether the same condition does not attach to the lecturers of the existing schools. Or is he saying that the best could not be obtained from them? From the look of things, Mr Governor appears to have lost touch with real governance, because I could not figure out why a man who claims to be in charge would be begging the traditional rulers to settle his case for him.

Honestly, the salary scale structure presented by the lecturers is obviously low to what their counterparts in other states are earning. And they patronize the same market; where their counterparts’ go. So, why must their case be different?

Lo and behold, the peculiar case of Osun State lecturers has succeeded in telling us that the UNIOSUN project is a mere lip service, because the state of the existing higher institutions would have informed us about the UNIOSUN project.

With all intents and purposes, our lecturers in the state deserve honour and accolade not knocks from the governor. I mean, how can their best be obtained if we don’t motivate them.

Meanwhile, I do not blame Mr Governor, he knows that he was not voted-for in the 2007 election but only wriggled himself in, as a result he did not plan for real governance, but to quarrel with his workers. We all know that it is only a bad workman that quarrels with his tools.

Lukman Akinsola, Esa-Oke.



Since the setting up of the various Election Petition Tribunals across the country following protest over the April Elections, the Judiciary has been getting raving accolades as the tribunals delivered judgments. To the people, at least the judiciary is helping to clear the Augean stable of political confusion created by the combination of the Independent National Electoral Commission under Maurice Iwu and the Peoples Democratic Party led Federal Government under the imperial ruler, General Olusegun Obasanjo. However, this is not the case in the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal under Justice Thomas Naron.

The judgment denying us the presentation of the forensic reports conducted by Mr. Adrian Forty, a witness in our petition is in bad faith. The tribunal betrayed its prejudice when it took it upon itself to advance the position of the defense counsel rather than concern itself to the issue raised in the report which it was well aware has been pleaded.

Disconcerting in the ruling was the submission that a witness lied that he was present at the inspection. It has been argued that the Tribunal over-reached itself in this regard but in view of such posit, it is only appropriate to give an eye witness account of the whole exercise because I am involved.

I am involved because Engr. Rauf Aregbesola and the Action Congress are essential part of my functionality as a politician and a Nigerian who craves a better life for the generality of our people. I am convinced that the duo could bring these virtues to bear on the polity in Osun State. For what it is worth, like the good people of Osun State, without any doubt in my mind, I believe the Action Congress represented by Engr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola won the April 14 Governorship Election home and dry. The defendants know this and the good people of Osun State too do.

Even while the intimidations and harassments by the combination of the military drafted from the Garrison Headquarters in Ibadan in collaboration with the police hierarchy in Osun State Command were very intense, a team was set up to start work on the petition and physical inspection of materials used in the elections. Under this very tense and unfriendly state of affairs, we went about our work as diligently as we could.

In our team were, Mr. Basiru Ajibola, an activist legal practitioner who is fast acquiring repute in the profession and a member of our legal team leading other lawyers. Mr. Wale Afolabi, a former Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly and AC lawyer based in Oshogbo, leading others in his chambers. Bayo Badmus, a lawyer in our legal team at the tribunal. There is also Mr. Bayo Ojo, a renowned author, critic and activist, Mr. Abiodun Kolawole (Arole), veteran activist and intellectual, Mr. Adeola Olayiwola, political activist, Mr. Richard Tinubu, project consultant, Mr. Dele Ogunshakin an astute politician.

There was also Tunde Yadeka, representative of Mr. Adrian Forty, who led a team of software experts and the members of the Youth Solidarity (YS), a ten thousand-membership organization that includes, Mr. Akindele Omowunmi, Abeeb Lawal, Owolanwi Luqman, Olaore Fatai, Busari Rasaq, Adegbile Adiru and Wasiu Tiamiyu. They represent the foot soldiers of our campaigns in Osun State and the subsequent victories we recorded in the elections but for the conspiracy between INEC and the PDP clique who colluded to rob the people of their votes by allocating votes unmeritoriously to the sinking Oyinlola and his gang of revelers.

There was also a formidable team in Lagos that backed up the storage facilities and kept detailed records and requirements for the eventual biometrics. The Lagos office was manned by Mr. Bayo Ojo and he worked with arrays of young talented men that include, Efe Brume, Niyi, Niran, Pastor Gbenga, Jide, Fred, Lanre, Jude, Pastor Favour, Chrstianah, Joy, Tayo, Bolaji, Segun, Akin, Michael, Gold, Emmanuel, Mojeed, Kingsley and the two twins who both answer Taiwo.

Our findings at the physical inspection stage would interest Nigerians. Howbeit, it is important to let Nigerians into few of the shockers. First, considering the fact that the election were held in April, by the time we commenced work in May, ballot papers used in Ife South were so lumped that it was difficult to determine  particularly where the ballot papers were used. Your guess that it was to create confusion is as good as mine is. In Odo-Otin, where General Oyinlola came from, all Form EC8A presented were written on pieces of paper!

Like you, dear reader, we know what this means, no election in the true sense of the word took place in Odo-Otin. Generally, in all the Local Governments we are contesting, there were huge numerical differences in the number of ballot papers presented for inspection and the figures recorded for the elections. Figures were merely allotted and to the piper. The revelation that ballot papers meant for Ondo State were found in Osun State should not surprise you. While we waited for April 14 to cast our votes, some people had actually voted two weeks earlier.

To prove beyond all shades of doubts that Oyinlola and the PDP actually rigged the elections through collusion with INEC, we listed in the petition an expert witness Mr. Adrian Forty, a world acclaimed forensic expert, to clarify scientifically details of the nature of each ballot paper and if it qualifies as a valid vote. The tribunal granted our relief to scan the ballot papers for forensic analysis. That now is its cross. Could it be that the tribunal in granting the relief does not anticipate the level of rots that would be unearthed or it simply does not understand the process and procedure involved? It would be tragic! Once again, the team went back to work.

It is important to mention that to facilitate our work at the INEC office and ensure safety of the materials, which are essentially the ballot papers used in the election; INEC attached one of its senior officers, Mr. Musa Abdullahi. Precisely, Musa’s job was to lead groups of our junior staff to accompany the EO’s to the store in bringing out those sensitive election materials for inspection and scanning. In the course of this exercise, our junior staff signs attendance and this we understand is for the purpose of security. I challenge INEC to produce similar attendance list signed by any of our senior officers or even any of the respondents. It is curious Ojo Williams’s name does not appear on the register even for the few days he was there. Howbeit, I want to believe Musa was coerced one way or the other to swear to the affidavit he deposed to. In addition, the State Security Service also kept two of its men permanently on the job to keep vigil. They watch and follow events keenly. They never keep any open records but one would be naïve to think they do not send their reports to the appropriate offices.

The position of the tribunal is worrisome that the forensic analysis took place in the United Kingdom. Pray, what does it take from the facts it represents? I see it merely as a ploy to ridicule the entire country because there is no record of any functional forensic laboratory in Nigeria yet. I expect our learned judges to know this. On the other hand, could the judges be techno phobic? Forensic analysis had come to form an integral part of knowledge in the day-to-day explanation of life in such diverse areas as medicine and Computers and we cannot claim to be an exception in this regard. What we did was to scan all the ballot papers, stored them in high capacity storage facility and sent same for forensic analysis. For a clearer understanding, scanning a document simply means converting the image into digital or electronic form for further storage, retrieval, and transmission. It does not add or remove the original value from the document. In medicine, rather than undergoing the rigor of surgery, scanning comes handy.

It is also important to point out that as soon as the court granted us the relief to scan the materials, the respondent in absolute disregard to the Tribunal insisted that they would be part of it. Mr. Ojo Williams advanced this argument, an Osogbo based lawyer in the defense team and since we had nothing to hide, we accepted the extra-judicial interpretation of the Administrative Secretary of INEC. Mr. Ojo Williams apparently after consultation, sent a team of seven PDP members to start recording the serial numbers on each of the ballot papers we scanned with a view to discover if what we are scanning are genuine and to understudy us with the likely hints to know what exactly we were doing.

Nevertheless, these people failed woefully. They just could not comprehend what was going on. Mildly put, they know these things type words and figures but thoroughly lost on its current operation. The job they were given was also very overwhelming. There is no way any human being could cope with the work at the pace the machine was working. Nearly two weeks on the job, their frustration was apparent and they quit. I suspected after the first three days, their boss was no longer interested even Ojo Williams stopped coming and nobody really cared about them. In my usual nature, I made friends with them throwing banters at them. More than once, I offered them each a bottle of Coca-Cola and baked flour, which they never rejected. At a point, they expressed their frustration that they do not know why they were there. Poor people I concluded.

Further, for every copy of ballot paper we scanned, we paid INEC N10.00 to obtain the Certified True Copy. Typical of the Nigerian System, we went there with our scanning machines, which included high resolutions Notebooks totaling twelve, printers of the same number with special features to print both sides of the paper automatically, our papers and our sets of generators all to ensure that we did our work within the period set by the Tribunal. The noise of a combination of three generating sets was too much for INEC very senior officers, after almost two weeks, they volunteered the use of the INEC generating set provided we could buy 150 liters of diesel daily. A colleague on the job told me these people could not afford to buy diesel because only one man keeps the purse, Resident Electoral Commissioner. We accepted and did this for eleven days before we rounded up.

It is important to mention that the assignment was not as easy as narrated. We suffered lots of set backs with malfunctioning equipment that at critical moments we had to place order for new imports. In more than five occasions, the Sharp Nigeria Engineer had to travel to Oshogbo when the local sales shop could not offer us necessary technical advice to look over the machines with little successes. To overcome the adversity, we resorted to using large numbers of smaller devices. In fixing the machines, we had to stay overnight to strengthen the engineer.

With these graphic and minute details of what happened, it is easier to conclude who is paying the piper at the Tribunal. Our experiences at the Thomas Naron led Tribunal prepared us for this judgment. It is disheartening though, but the Tribunal has been swimming in contradictions since it resumed. At a point the Tribunal granted a subpoena that EO’s appear in court and produce election materials but refused that the EO’s be sworn-in and cross examined. In another instance, the Electoral Act 2006 conferred the power to inspect election materials for the purpose of instituting a case and maintaining a case but each time we sought to present our report on same, Justice Naron will reject it despite the fact that his tribunal granted the relief in the first place. In another instance, the tribunal insists that we attach the witness statement of EO’s to our application when the EO’s are our adversaries. Pray, have you ever heard a thief admit he stole without forcing him to tell the truth? This has been our lot in the Thomas Naron led Tribunal but this would not shake our belief in the Nigerian judiciary. We have absolute faith in the ray of light shown on Election Petition at the Appeal Court and believing our cause is just, we would get justice.


It was for this newspaper, a defining moment, a moment to relish. An opportunity to salute the vision that brought the medium into being, a great moment to validate what we stood for all these years by the very people on whose behalf we took on the mission to inform, educate, and edify- in the enterprise to wrest the state from the deadly afflictions of incompetence, mediocrity, and electoral banditry.

A newspaper conceived in the crucible of battle couldn’t have chosen a better time to do its launch as was the case on February 26, 2007 at the MUSON Centre in Lagos, when the world literally stood still for Osun Defender. It was a moment of celebrations and stock-taking.

From Osogbo to Ila-Orangun; from Ikire to Gbongan; from Ile-Ife to Okuku extending to every corner of our dear state, they came. It was humbling to see the rich and the poor alike troop out in their numbers to make our day: the ordinary folks – our fellow foot soldiers with whom we have marched shoulder-to-shoulder in battle – to confront evil currently preying in our dear state. It was touching to hear from these worthy citizens that Osun Defender has lived to its billings as the authentic voice of the people.

To you all, we owe a debt of gratitude; without your invaluable contributions and support, our message would never have amounted to anything.

It is only natural to acknowledge what became the icing on the cake of epochal event- the brilliant lecture delivered by the erudite scholar and Professor of Law, Itse Sagay SAN, chaired by an equally distinguished scholar and professor of International Law, Akin Oyebode on the subject “Election Tribunals and the Survival of Democracy”?

It was our modest contribution to the debate on our democratic future.

Coincidentally, two interrelated events would render the historic launch truly historic. The first is that the launch was coming against the background of the ruling by Justice Naron-led tribunal in the petition between the Action Congress (AC) gubernatorial candidate, Rauf Aregbesola and his Peoples Democratic Party counterpart, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, in which the tribunal hatched a classic Jud-el-ex coup (apologies to the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo) – when it decided, contrary to expectations, to shut out vital forensic evidence in the matter before it.

The other development was the ruling on the consolidated petitions of former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar challenging the election of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Both events, both for their timing could have overshadowed the launch; that this was far from being the case says a lot about the relevance of our theme and the timeliness of our gospel. The two developments would also remind that the battle is still a long way ahead.

On our honour, we pledge never to be bystanders in the unfolding events in our potentially great country. We will continue to do battle with the forces holding the people down even as we point the way forward for our people. This is the struggle that has endeared us to the people.

We appreciate that the large turnout of the people at the launch couldn’t be anything other than a testimonial to our unassailable integrity as well as the relevance and the timeliness of our message; we would continue to speak truth to power no matter what it costs. In return for standing by Osun Defender when the powers-that-be were sworn to hound us out of town, we can only restate our solemn pledge to remain their authentic voice.


Being pragmatic, I would get necessary facts to back up my claims so that I would not be guilty of feeding my people with fallacies.

This definitely will enable the little efforts I put into writing to pay off and encourage my people to still put little confidence in what they get by the helped of God. This will also motivate me not to flounder but I will naturally have the push to gather more facts that will compliment those of others in bettering the society at large and make Osun State conducive to live in.

This message ought to have come earlier but for the simple reason given above. The first day I read on the pages of the newspaper that is at, the vanguard of emancipating the people of Osun (OSUN DEFENDER) that, in conformity with the general timetable of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), there will be election in December, I yelled out in holy anger. This is not because I wanted our maturing democracy to crumble or be truncated but because I felt the atmosphere was still charged. Palpable fear was rife and it seemed to me that the another of such postulate must seek divine assistance to be free from one mild insanity. I have my reason: from the time the election tribunal swing into action in Osun people felt the political debacle would vamoose just within a month or two and the more the case lingers, the more despicable and despondent people are.

One thing that keeps soothing my people is the event of adjudications from other states of the federation. The aphorism, “THE CHIEFTAINCY THAT BECAME CONDITIONED TO IWO INDIGENS WILL SOON INFILTRATE EDE PEOPLE” becomes the commonest adage in vogue. Anytime and anywhere there is such pronouncement you see hope like dew descending. And the anxiety accompanying long period of waiting and expectation would mellow.

I did a little research, my findings are really overwhelming because an average of  80 per cent of the populace are involved. Whenever you remind this portion of the people in Osun of April 14, there are gloomy looks all round you. It is like one should become air that can neither be seen nor held escape inching. It is that bad. And this seems to be ubiquitous from Owena Ijesa to Ikire, from Ifetedo to Okuku or from Orile Owu to Ora Igbomina. The signs are really ominous.

In the midst of all these, some people somewhere feel it is high time elections to usher I functionaries to the third tier of government were help. What an insensitivity of the highest order can’t people for once be considerate. If people are not dying because of the strength of hope that God has given through His mercy and grace, must their lives be compulsorily stifled out of them through cancerous policies or moves so that a few people can continue to rule and survive?  Abba! The cadence in the actions of our people should in no way be misinterpreted. Let whoever cares to know, know that the timidity of a tiger is not due to its cowardice. What we are sitting on in Osun is more fragile and more dangerous than the keg of gun power. To say the least, the atmosphere is extraordinarily huminous but inflammable. A spark would do for the whole system to be razed to the ground. God forbid!

My duty is not to comment on the suitability or otherwise of the electoral umpire in Osun- but the desirability of his action should be a major concern to every same person who wishes that systemic continuity be ensured. I know Justice Adedotun Sijuwade as a man who knows his onions. He is not just a retired judge. He is indeed a retired Chief Justice of Osun State whom I believe must have created a landmark, albeit carved out a niche in the legal profession. Just as I am a social engineer, I doff my hat for him as a legal engineer who must have put in at least 32 years in the service of his father land. May I also remind you readers that this man for whose sake I am digressing is from the source- The cradle of the Yorubas home and abroad. I bother less about what happened in the year 2004 under his supervision because I pray premium on currency. But I am particularly curious about what is about to happen under his supervision in 2007 because the situation in which he operated in the former is quite different from that of the latter. That is actually why I am risking my neck.

There was an election in Osun, as in other states of the country in April 14.That was to have been conducted freely and fairly going by the rules of the game history by ensuring a civilian to civilian rule. Having done it before way back in 1979 through as a military head of state, people expected that eight years of civil rule should energize him enough to bring his experience to bear and keep military incursions at bay. The event of some innovations (remember GSM?) instilled confidence in people that he was really out to deliver, up to the time of bowing out. People were praying down the hands of God for deliverance and for a moment, I realized how visible the dear love that Nigerians have for their fatherland as people was, they were spontaneous in their responses at calls for God’s intervention and at the same time they showed enthusiastic epiphany toward massive participation in political activities.

Even when at a moment the seat of Power-Aso Rock- was rumbling and the number one and number two citizens were scuffing the corridor of governance due to betrayed of trusts and confidence, people were still hopeful. Even at a time that desperation heightened beyond mount Everest and the do-or-die dimension set in, the faith of the people in God was unflinching. Oh what a people! People were resolute to keep a date with destiny and defy all manipulation that is often engendered through incumbency and aimed at a renaissance that was to bring sophistication in ridding malpractices and unconventional methods which over the years, have marred out nationhood and humanhood. Osun was not an exception and people were mobilized to rise up to their civic duty which was to bring freedom that will endure for a foreseeable future civilization was exploited and inventions were made that were unprecedented in the history of Nigerian evolution.

All these in an attempt to move the country forward and liberate it forever from the debacle often employed by the conservative few to perpetrate selves in power and subject perpetually the majority to deliberating servitude. Even when they answered divine call over which they have no power and go to the greet beyond, cycling and  recycling have always been the order of the day resulting in the Osuntokuns, Fanikayodes, Ironsis and now Obasanjos, towering over others as of right of ascendancy.

God answered people’s cry and He decided to rescue the oppressed majority. He aroused in us the consciousness for total freedom and this materialized on April 14 to the chagrin and bewilderment of the bourgeoisie. Here in Osun, the governor momentarily forgot that he was no longer in Mogadishu when he carelessly said that “if it means bringing a whole battalion to Osun to silence opposition, he would do that.” This he said in Ilesa in the presence of G.O.C 2 Mechanized Division, Ibadan after he had been harshly humiliated at the polls on April14. There was covert and overt subjugation of majority will.

And people would not let go this time around. All accessible facts to substantiate claims were brought together and the genuineness of these are being proved currently at tribunal and the finality is not yet to sight. Should there then be piling up of jumbles especially in same society to dispense with the case of April 14 before another election comes up. I think the umpire should take to the path of honour by letting the dust raised on April 14 settle so that we can clearly see what is before us and fashion out ways of managing it so that we do not give room for the situation to degenerate. If it happened somewhere like in Kwara) and there was no problem, the case in Osun may be different.

Let us not call for anarchy. I think we have had enough of such as ripple effects of April 14. I am aware the opposition parties with which the ruling party will engage in a contest have spoken with one voice that they are not ready for election. The challenger of April 14 election results, Alhaji Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has also disagreed to the ripeness of another election especially as he is till faced with the need to substantiate his claims at tribunal which I agree with him into to needs total, unalloyed concentration. Let the umpire advise the actors wisely so that together we may move Osun State forward. Let justice be done and be seen to have been done. A word is enough for the wise.

I have confidence in the tribunal as to its ability to do justice. While we are expecting that, let us continue to be forward-looking. Let us also be inward-looking so that we are not caught in the web of pranks and treachery. We should open wide our eyes and our sense. If my plea is not taken, all compatriots should arise. We should defend this legacy called democracy. If my advice is defied and there is a drum of desperation rolled out for election, let us go massively out and vote out the villains from amongst us. Let us have a populist government that will impact positively on ourselves and our dear state. Ile yi o ni baje lagbara Olorun. A o segun, ao bori lagbara Edumare.

Pastor  AJANI wrote in from Osogbo.