Osun LG Election: APC Warns Against Violence

By Sodiq Lawal

The All Progressive Congress(APC) Ife Central branch, has challenged voters and youths who will be involved in the January 27 local government election to conduct the election in line with the principle put together by the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).

In an exclusive interview with the party secretary on Friday, Hon. Olufemi Francis called on all security agents including the police, soldiers, members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps to maintain guiding the conduct of elections.

He said all residents including youths should shun ballot box snatching, dumping of ballot boxes with ready filled ballot papers and intimidating people opposed to their candidates at the election.

“Police, soldiers and members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps should not allow themselves to be used by politicians. They should not be swayed by money to flout election guidelines which they know.

“They should not allow money turn their minds away. We will not fail to take them to court if they are caught working against OSIEC guidelines.
Police and other security personnel are meant to protect and not act as obstacles to the good conduct of elections.

“We advise the people to elect people who will represent them and bring democracy to them, ” he said.

He however urged everyone to vote for APC candidates, describing the party as the savior of the masses.

Osun LG Election: Observer Group Lauds OSIEC On Strategic Planning, Parliamentary System. 

As the Local Government election in Osun holds on Saturday, January 27, 2018, an observer group,  Advocacy for Advancement of Peace and Harmony in Africa Initiative (ADAPHAI) has commended the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission(OSIEC) for what it termed as ” strategic planning adopted by the commission “.

This was contained in a press statement made available to newsmen in Osogbo,  the Osun State capital  by the National Coordinator of the group,  Mr Suberu Sulaimon.

Sulaimon averred that the constant engagement of critical stakeholders by the commission in every step of the process gives credence to the transparency of the exercise and strict adherence to democratic principles. 

He eulogised the Chairman of the commission,  Mr Segun Oladitan for his stringent stance on democratic ethos and electoral norm in line with global best practice. 

In his words,  the state electoral umpire has set a pace for total departure from primordial conduct of local government election in Nigeria, with his uncompromising position on matters of electoral sanctity.

Sulaimon explained that the systematic pattern of the process, coupled with the inherent openess indicate clarity of purpose and consciousness for credible poll without blemish. 

The Peace Advocate specifically lauded the prompt and vigilant manner in which electoral materials were being distributed within the local governments since Thursday and profound synergy between the commission and  security agencies. 

“Our organisation has been painstakingly following the trend of this exercise from the day OSIEC announced it’s intention to conduct local government election in the state. 

“Our experience in advocacy for democratisation and non-violent culture in Africa gives us the requisite acumen to objectively analyse political issues,  especially within the contest of democratic ingredients like election.

“Obviously,  we are convinced about the capacity and sincerity of OSIEC to conduct credible local government election in Osun,  going by the  pragmatic and strategic way it has planned the process.

“The prompt and vigilant method of distributing electoral materials to different wards in the local governments unequivocally speak volume of the seriousness and transparency of the exercise, I think the commission has hit the ground running with so much energy,” Sulaimon said. 

Meanwhile, the group has commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his rare courage and determination to change the “obsolete and old political order” by introducing parliamentary system at the grassroots. 

“This is a rare display of courage and exceptional brilliance,  the governor has shown to many that there are still people from the political class that are clear-headed and proactive in thinking.

“It is obvious that multi-party presidential system of government is totally inimical to the survival and progress of Africa; it is wasteful as it is cumbersome and crude. 

“Parliamentary system of government remains the best for  Africa, considering the limited resources and democratic experience and exposure. Obviously, the governor has just added a feather to his political cap”.

Fed High Court Vacates Restriction Order on Osun LG Elections

By Ismaeel Uthman

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has vacated its order stopping the conduct of elections into the Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) and withholding Local Government Allocations in the state of Osun.

The court had on December 4, 2017 ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria, Accountant General of the Federation and Ministry of Finance to warehouse statutory allocations to the local government councils in the state, as prayed by three members of the Peoples Democratic Party in a Motion Exparte.

The PDP members, Chief Kolawole Osunkemitan, Chief Douglas Adeyinka Oyinlola and Prince Aderemi Adeniran Adelowo had approached the court with an application for the stoppage of monies for the local government in the state.

Contesting the court order, the state government filed an application before the court with a prayer for the vacation of the order.

In his ruling on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, Justice John Tosho of the court held that the interim order earlier granted restraining the holding of elections into the LCDAs and withholding Local Government Allocations has lapsed by effusion of time.

Justice Tosho also upheld the contention of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Dr. Ajibola Basiru that the orders were made upon the earlier ex parte application heard on November 27, 2017.

The court further held that they were caught by the provision of Order 26, Rule 12 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules which provides that an order granted upon an ex parte application will lapse where a person affected by the orders filed as application to discharge and/or vary the orders and the application is not heard within fourteen (14) days of filing.

According to the court, Osun State Government being the 7th Defendant filed an application to discharge the orders made on 4th of December 2017 and it was not in contention that the application has not been heard within 14 days.

Justice Tsoho therefore held that that the interim orders of injunction has lapsed and therefore there is no extant court order.

The court disagreed with the plaintiffs lawyer, Chief Clarke, SAN that the motion ex parte had been converted to motion on Notice.

The Court held that the term of its orders and Order 26, Rules 10 and 17 is against the argument of plaintiffs’ counsel.

In view of the pending objection to service by the Osun House of Assembly and Osun Independent Electoral Commission sued respectively as 8th and 9th Defendants, the Court ordered that the Plaintiff properly serve the 8th and 9th Respondents.

In consequence, counsel to the 8th Respondent, Rachel Ojimi and 9th Respondent, Dr. A.I. Layonu SAN withdrew the preliminary objection earlier filed to complain about improper service.

The plaintiffs’ counsel also applied to withdraw Motion on Notice for orders of Interlocutory injunction it filed and the court struck out the applications.

The court adjourned to 12th March 2018 for further hearing.

LG Polls: An Acid-Test For OSSIEC – Osun Accord Party Chairman

By Shina Abubakar

The Chairman of the Accord Party in the State of Osun, Mr. Segun Fanibe has disclosed that Saturday’s local government election in the state would make or mar the reputation of the State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC).

He disclosed this in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER on the party’s preparedness for Saturday’s local government election across the state.

He said the party does not have any confidence in the state electoral body to organise a free and fair poll because it has not hold any such election in the past and there is nothing to hold as a qualitative measure of their ability to do a good job.

Fanibe disclosed that Accord hopes that OSSIEC would prove to be independent and organise a free and fair poll so that the populace, especially stakeholders would begin to have trust in it, as well as attest to the credibility of the election.

“OSSIEC has never organised any election in the past and you cannot just put any trust in such a body to be free and fair or even independent but this Saturday would go a long way to prove whether the body has credibility or it is just organising a charade.

“As you can see most of the populace are not even aware of the local government polls for this Saturday, which is part of the responsibility of OSSIEC to enlighten the people but as a party we on our own have been going round to mobilise people and also go on mass media to alert them of their responsibilities. But we would be waiting to see the organisation and the outcome of the polls to measure the credibility of the body”, he added.

Speaking on the litigation before the Federal High Court in Abuja which was pending during this chat, he disclosed that the party believed in the rule of law and whichever way the decision of the court goes, the party would abide by the decision, but added that it would no longer be forced to stay away from any election in the state.

According to him, the party has 59 candidates for the election and is hopeful that if the election is free and fair and allow the will of the people take priority, all its candidate would return elected.

“Accord party is fielding 59 candidates across the state and we are working hard to return all of the candidates because we rely on the electorates to decide their fate and not on the power of incumbency and we are hopeful we will triumph”, he added.

Osun LG Election: 71 Councillorship Positions Up For Grab

•Closely Fought Contests Expected In Ife, Others

•318 Candidates Unopposed

By Francis Ezediuno

The Osun Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) has revealed that out of the 389 wards across the state that elections will be held, actual voting will hold in 71 wards, as 318 councillorship positions have been presented unopposed.

This was disclosed by the Commission Chairman, Otunba Segun Oladitan, during a press conference held to sensitise the public on the level of preparedness for the council polls that will be held on Saturday across the state.

Otunba Oladitan also noted that after the first press conference, the Commission registered 36 political parties for the upcoming polls and only 18 returned their forms.

“Also, 38 parties registered at the initial stage out of which only 18 signified their intention to participate”.

He also revealed that, 12 of the political parties that had earlier submitted their forms also withdrew from the race leaving the space for Labour Party, All Progressive Congress, Accord Party, Social Democratic Party and Allied Congress Party of Nigeria.

“I can reliably tell you that 12 political parties have withdrawn from participating in the election, leaving only six (6) political parties in the race”.

Stating further, Oladitan related that the issue of unopposed candidature presented a problem but the Commission resorted to the Electoral Act (2010) as amended.

“Furthermore, of all the candidates representing the participating political parties in the 389 wards across the state, 318 councillorship candidates in 318 wards have been presented unopposed representing candidates who satisfy the requirements of the law with reference to Section 41 of the Electoral Act (2010) as amended. Therefore, there shall be elections in only seventy-one (71) wards of this state”.

The Commission Chairman revealed that the spread is as follow: Osun-Central, 6; Osun-West, 13 and Osun-East; 52 wards, while the spread for the unopposed candidates was Osun-Central, 128; Osun-West, 117; and Osun-East, 73.

Going by the analysis, the election would be keenly contested in Osun East particularly in Ile-Ife and its environ where voting would be conducted in 52 wards.

Meanwhile, the Government of the state of Osun had earlier declared yesterday, Thursday, January 25 and today, Friday, January 26 as public holidays.

Local governments where the election will hold includes: Boripe, Atakunmosa East, West and West Central, Ife Central, Ife Central West, Ife East, Ife East Central, Ife North, Ife North West, Ife South-West, Ilesa East, Ilesa-West, Obokun, Obokun-East, Oriade, Oriade South, Ayedaade, Ede North, Ede North Area Council, Egbedore-South Administrative Office, Isokan Local Government, Iwo Local and Iwo-East.

Osun LG Poll: Adeoti Charges Electorate To Vote APC

Ahead of the Saturday local government council election, residents and other individuals of voting age have been charged to vote massively for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) with a view to ensuring that the current developmental strides of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration is maintained.

This was contained in a message personally signed by the Secretary to the Government of the State of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, and made available to the media.

According to him, it is in the best interest of all and sundry in the state that the current developmental strides continue unimpeded.

He therefore admonished the electorate to go out peacefully on Saturday to perform their civic duties without embarking on any violence.

“It is my candid view that our people are not known for violence, while on hands must be on deck to ensure that anything that may jeopardize the current peace being enjoyed in the state is not destabilized.

“To this end, I want to charge members of our party (APC) to go across the length and breadth of the state to mobilize electorate to vote for the party without breaking any of the electoral laws,” Alhaji Adeoti stressed.

Osun LG Poll: Election Observers Laud Govt For Declaring Public Holiday 

By Nofisat Marindoti 

Election observers for the local government election in the State of Osun have lauded the State Government for declaring today, Thursday and tomorrow, Friday as public holiday in the state to enable the people prepare adequately for the exercise.

The election observers groups including the Awareness for Democracy and Diplomacy, Better Community Life Initiative and Africa Initiative for Sustainable and Positive Development, said the decision of the state government concerning the public holiday was most appropriate.

The observers groups under the aegis of Coalition of Independent Civil Society Groups, said the pre-election activities and the preparation of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) so far was satisfactory and acceptable.

The Chairman of the coalition, Comrade Richards Adebayo in a press statement made available to our correspondent in  Osogbo, the state capital, charged the people of the state to troop out on Saturday and vote for candidates of their choice in all the wards where election would take place.

According to him, “We will like to commend State of Osun Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for being a leaders with a listening ear. We recommended the public holiday in our earlier press statement and we are happy that the governor did the needful.”

Osun LG Poll: 318 Councillorship Candidates Return Unopposed

Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, OSIEC, on Wednesday, said a total of 318 councillorship candidates would be returned unopposed at the various wards in the coming Saturday January 27 local government election in the state.

Accordingly, the LG election would hold in 71 out of 389 wards in the state.

The Chairman of the Commission, Otunba Segun Oladitan, at a press conference held in Osogbo, on Wednesday, said the election would hold in 6 wards of the Central District, 13 wards in the West and 52 wards in the East Senatorial District of the state.

He said, “Of all the candidates representing the participating political parties in the 389 wards across the state, 318 councillorship candidates in 318 wards have been presented unopposed, representing the candidates who satisfy the requirements of the law with reference to Section 41 of the Electoral Act (2011) as amended. Therefore, there shall be elections in only 71 wards of the state.

Oladitan assured that the commission has done everything necessary to ensure free and fair election, noting that there would be restriction on vehicular movement that would exclude federal ways from 7am to 2pm.

OSIEC Says Coast Is Clear For Osun LG Election

The Osun Independent Electoral Commission says having crossed all legal hurdles set against the actualization of this Saturday’s Local Government Election in the state, the coast is now clear for the conduct of the poll.

A statement by the Chairman of the Commission, Otunba Segun Oladitan, out of the 389 wards in the State of Osun, candidates in 318 wards have been declared returned unopposed by the Commission as empowered by section 41(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended 2015).

The statement notes that there will be contest in 71 Wards. In Osun Central, Boripe, Olorunda North and Osogbo LG.

In Osun East, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Atakumosa West Central, Ife Central, Ife Central West, Ife East, Ife East Central, Ife Ooye, Ife North,Ife North West and Ife South West.

Others include Ilesa East, Ilesa West, Obokun, Obokun East, Oriade, Oriade South and Ife North Area Council.

While in Osun West Senatorial District, Ayedaade, Ede North, Ede North Area Council, Egbedore South Administrative Office, Isokan, Iwo and Iwo East will equally witness contests.

The statement further reads that as it stands now, six political parties will be participating in the election.

The parties include the Accord Party, ACPN, ADP, All Progressives Congress (APC) Labour Party (LP) and SOCIAL Democratic Party (SDP).

Otunba Oladitan while calling on the people of the state to troop out enmass to vote for the party and candidates of their choice, assured them of adequate security throughout the period of the election.

Fed High Court Vacates Restriction Order On Osun LG Election

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has vacated its order 2017 restraining the holding of elections into the Local Council Development Authorities (LCDAs) and withholding Local Government Allocations in the state of Osun.

The court had on December 4, 2017 ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria, Accountant General of the Federal government and Ministry of Finance to warehouse statutory allocations to the local government councils in the state, as prayed by three members of the Peoples Democratic Party in a Motion Experte.

The PDP members, Chief Kolawole Osunkemitan, Chief Douglas Adeyinka Oyinlola and Prince Aderemi Adeniran Adelowo had approached the court with an application for the stoppage of monies for the local government in the state in an attempt to stop the conduct of the local government in the state.

Contesting the court order, the state government filed an application before the court with a prayer for the vacation of the order.

In his ruling on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, Justice John Tosho of the court held that the interim order earlier granted restraining the holding of elections into the LCDAs and withholding Local Government Allocations has lapsed by effusion of time.

Justice Tosho also upheld the contention of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Dr. Ajibola Basiru that the orders earlier for the plaintiffs were made upon the earlier ex parte application heard on November 27, 2017.

The court further held that they were caught by the provision of Order 26, Rule 12 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules which provides that an order granted upon an ex parte application will lapse where a person affected by the orders filed as application to discharge and/or vary the orders and the application is not heard within fourteen (14) days of filing.

According to the court, Osun State Government being the 7th Defendant filed an application to discharge the orders made on 4th of December 2017 and it was not in contention that the application has not been heard within 14 days.

Justice Tsoho therefore held that that the interim orders of injunction has lapsed and therefore there is no extant court order.

The court disagreed with the plaintiffs lawyer, Chief Clarke, SAN that the motion ex parte had been converted to motion on Notice.

The Court held that the term of its orders and Order 26, Rules 10 and 17 is against the argument of plaintiffs’ counsel.

On the pending objection to service by the Osun House of Assembly and Osun Independent Electoral Commission sued respectively as 8th and 9th Defendants, the court ordered that the plaintiffs should properly them.

Justice Tosho also struck out the applications for withdrawal of Motion on Notice for orders of interlocutory injunction filed the plaintiffs’ counsel.

The court adjourned the case till March 12, 2018 for further hearing.

Osun LG Polls: Aregbesola Charges Residents On Good Conduct…Declares Thursday, Friday Public Holidays

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has called on Osun eligible voters to come out this Saturday to perform their civic responsibility in the Local Government Parliamentary Election, without let or hindrances.

This was just as the state government‎ declared Thursday and Friday January 25 and 26, 2018 as public holiday to enable Osun residents prepare and participate in the election scheduled to hold on Saturday January 27, 2018.‎

‎The Governor made this disclosure in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr. Sola. Fasure, and‎ made available to journalists in Osogbo

Aregbesola stated that the election must reflect the people’s determination and hope to elect good, credible and trustworthy leaders and representatives with the mandate to steer the affairs at the grassroots.

He urged residents to conduct themselves in an orderly and lawful manner that will project the best of the Omoluabi persona at the polls.

‎According to the statement, “Against all odds, this election would be conducted into 389 wards in the State of Osun. I am therefore calling on all eligible voters in the state to enthusiastically come out to perform their civic duties without let or hindrance in electing credible and trustworthy representatives.

“The local government system is a critical level of administration that brings the government closest to the people. The election holding on Saturday this week therefore is a springboard for advancing the cause of broad-based, all-inclusive governance at the grassroots that will politically empower the people and provide the platform for accelerated development.

“So, as we go to the polls on Saturday, residents are charged to shun politicians with the penchant for violence and brigandage and they (voters) must conduct themselves in an orderly and lawful manner and project the best of the Omoluabi persona at the polls.

“We should all say ‘Never again’ to those who have corrupted the political system and plundered the treasury of the nation for their own selfish interest.

‎”Our focus should be on entrenching democracy at its best known tradition through the election of those who have well represented the people in the past and have discharged themselves creditably and honourably.

“This is the first of its kind in the federation and a landmark feat, which all of us must be proud of and be prepared to guide and preserve.

“The state government has made strident efforts since 2013 to hold this election, but the opposition has thrown all kinds of legal stumbling blocks on the way.

“That it is holding this time around is a watershed achievement and an indelible legacy the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in the state led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola will leave behind “.

The Governor also admonished eligible residents and citizens to be orderly, law abiding and conduct themselves peacefully, for the exercise to be successful, assuring the preparedness of the state electoral commission to conduct a hitch-free, credible, free, fair and transparent election that all will be proud of.

He held that law enforcement agencies are also ready and put on alert to protect lives and property and prevent breach of the peace and disruption of the election.‎

Aregbesola said, “The participating political parties and their candidates are expected to abide by the rules and guidelines instituted by the electoral umpire.

“It is hoped that the parliamentary system of government which the election will usher in will bring greater political representation and development in all areas of life to our local governments. Let the winners be magnanimous in victory and let the losers be gallant in defeat, in the true spirit of sportsmanship”, ‎

He however wished all a happy holiday and a successful and peaceful election.