Irewole AC In Prayer Galore For Aregbesola

The shout of “amen” rent the air in Ikire, Headquarters of Irewole Local Government Area of Osun State on Sunday as Action Congress (AC) members (Rufai Oyebamiji Group) in the council area held a marathon Islamic prayer session for the victory of the AC governorship candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola at the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The prayer session, which was the 16th of its kind since the beginning of the governorship tussle at the appellate court recorded the attendance of AC members across the eleven wards of the council area.

At the prayer session, a white ram was slaughtered for sacrifice, the exercise, which had been the practice of the group whenever a prayer was held.

Islamic clerics who were party supporters and non-party supporters, were invited to call for God’s intervention on the retrieval of the stolen mandate.

Verses of Holy Quran were recited at the programme.

Speaking to OSUN DEFENDER after the prayer session, the party leader in the council area, Oyebamiji lauded the courage of the AC members in the council and the state in general for remaining steadfast, despite all odds.

He said that though, the stealing of the people’s mandate by the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP)-led government in the state was painful, but it did not come as a surprise because that has always been the practice of the conservatives.

Oyebamiji who was an erstwhile lawmaker in the old Oyo State recalled that the conservatives did a similar thing, in 1965 but they spent not more than three months before they were chased out of power.

According to him, though Oyinlola has spent more than three months on the stolen mandate, the stolen mandate would be retrieved through the appellate court.

The party leader lauded the AC members in the council for spending their time and money to ensure that the stolen mandate is retrieved, just as he warned them against vengeance, if eventually their stolen mandate is retrieved.

He restated that Aregbesola is a progressive and he would do everything possible to take a new dawn to the state, saying that he would not hold back in his electioneering campaign promises.

The erstwhile lawmaker then condemned Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration for neglecting people –oriented programme for personal interest.

In his own contribution, another party leader in the council area, Alhaji Adiatu Olaoye urged the party members to remain calm, saying that “by the grace of God, your stolen mandate would be retrieved.”

He stated that the PDP leaders and thugs had, on several occasions humiliated AC members, lauding, the party members for remaining steadfast.

Olaoye reiterated that the AC members are being denied their right in the council area, assuring them the hope would be restored by the appellate court.

He prayed that whenever the court is ready to deliver the judgment, it would be done in favour of their candidate.

Also speaking, the women leader, Mrs. Kemi Oladele urged other women to endure, saying that it was only those who endure that could benefit from politics.

She then urged all the party members not to relent in prayer until the stolen mandate is retrieved and after the mandate might have been restored through the appellate court.

By kazeem mohammed

NASU Protests In OAU As Students Prepare For Exam

MEMBERS of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), Obafemi Awolowo University, branch Ile-Ife, Osun State on Tuesday embarked on a day protest to press home their demands for improved condition of service, both at the national and local levels.

The protesters carried placards, demanding better conditions of service, like other bodies of workers in the nation’s universities, and shouting, “pay our 12 months arrears of monetization” and so on.

Though, the members of the union carried with them green leaves, symbolizing peaceful protest, headed straight to Obafemi Awolowo University Senate Building, where the Vice Chancellor’s office is situated, but were prevented from entering the VC’s ground floor office by the universities security personnel.

They later moved to the motion floor of the university, where they chanted songs to press home their demands.

The protesters were later addressed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) of the university, Mrs Funmi Togun Bickersthet and the Registrar, Mr Ayo Ogunruku, who assured the workers of the university’s commitment to better services and improved welfare..

The Deputy CV (academics) urged the workers to pray for those in authority, especially the President of the nation, President Umar Musa Yar’Adua and his cabinet, as effectual prayer of the righteous, availed much.

She also urged them to align with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to realize their demands from the Federal the government.

Speaking on the issue pertaining to the welfare of the union members and the authority of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Bickersteth salary assured them that the six months arrears of its members paid into the university’s kitty by the Federal Government would be released to them, immediately the university had enough fund at its disposal.

She pledged the continuous support of the university’s management to the course of the union.
The Chairman of NASU, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mr Bayo Aderounmu said the protest was in compliance with the order of National Executive Committee (NEC) of the union nation-wide.

He Stated Further that apart from the directive of the NEC committee of the union nationwide, the NASU branch of the university had their grievances with the authority of the institution by its refusal to pay them six months arrears, part of their emolument, paid into its (university’s) kitty since last year.

He also commented on the welfare of the retired members of the union and the delay in payment of their gratuities.

Aderounmi therefore, called on the authority of the institution to address the issues raised in their warning strike, bearing in mind that the students in the institution will soon commence their harmattan semester examination and if their demands are not given prompt attention, it may affect the students’ examination.

The protesters later dispatched while their warning strike affected some of the students, especially those who made use of the library, as some members of staff of the library hurried them out of the facility on the excuse that they were embarking on a warning strike.

Some of the students’, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER expressed their displeasure on the industrial strike that is to be embarked upon by the Non-academic staff of the institution, as it may affect their harmattan semester examination.

By SOLA JACOBS

Drama As INEC Counsel Disappears In Court

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), NigeriaThere was a mild drama at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, yesterday as counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. F.E. Abbe suddenly disappeared without notifying the court.

He was scheduled to appear as counsel to the 2nd to 37th respondents (INEC) in the appeal filed by Mr. Johnson Oyebamiji Akinremi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the election of Hon Ipoola Binuyo of the Action Congress (AC) who represents the Ife North state constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly.

When the case was mentioned, Abbe was not available to enter his appearance.

When the matter came up for mentioning, Justice Dattijo Muhammad asked who was the counsel representing INEC.

Counsel to the PDP, Mr. Remi Abimbola rose and told the court that the INEC counsel was F.E. Abbe who was in court earlier.

Justice Muhhammad confirmed seeing Abbe earlier and queried his where about.

Abimbola, counsel to the PDP again told the court that Abbe was ill adding that he had been mandated to ask one of the counsel appearing with him to hold his brief.

This prompted the panel chairman to again query why the INEC counsel should leave without informing the court.

The court was to have listened to the adoption of written addresses on the notice of preliminary objection filed by the Action Congress (AC).

The two-ground preliminary objection was contending that Mr. Tewo Lamuye, Counsel for INEC from Otunba Kunle Kalejaye’s chambers who appeared for the 2nd to 37th respondents at the lower tribunal also signed and filed the appeal filed by Akinremi of the PDP.

This act by Lamuye, in the contention of Binuyo, was in clear violation of the provision of the law.

Counsel to the respondent, Mr. Tajudeen Abdulwahab, also contended that Lamuye had held brief for INEC to defend Binuyo’s election at the lower tribunal.

He observed that it was strange that the same Lamuye not only signed the appeal brought by the PDP against Binuyo, he was said to have filed it in the court registry.

Furthermore, the AC’s counsel argued that the application by his client was to challenge the competence of Akinremi’s appeal stressing that it is not the law that the counsel who appeared for INEC, one of the respondents at the lower tribunal should now appear for the appellant, the PDP.

Abdulwahab posited that when an appeal is filed, both the appellant’s counsel and the appellant are both co-appellants.

When it was clear that Abbe was not available, the court adjourned till March 23, 2009.

Speaking to journalists later, Abdulwahab stated that since the appeal was filed, INEC was yet to file any papers.

According to him, INEC as the umpire in the poll, was supposed to defend the exercise any time it is challenged adding that what Abbe and Lamuye have dome suggested alleged collusion between IN EC and the PDP.

The case has been adjourned till March 23, 2009 when INEC is expected to be represented in court.

PDP Plans To Attack Opposition In Appeal Court, Ibadan, Uncovered!

We have uncovered plans by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State to mobilise bus loads of thugs to the Court of Appeal, Iyanganku, Ibadan on Monday February 2, 2009 so as to launch attack on members of the opposition Action congress (AC) and other political parties.

Chairmen of the 30 Local Governments in Osun State have been directly instructed to provide funds for the operation just as tough necks from South West States are to be moved into the Court as early as 5.30 a.m. today to ensure that opposition politicians are not able to enter the court premises.

As they would be waiting outside, the PDP thugs have been directed to pounce on politicians from the AC and other opposition political parties and dehumanized with dangerous weapons.

We also learnt from highly impeccable sources that the thugs have been given the instruction to murder any of the top AC leaders who may attend the Court of Appeal, Ibadan sitting today.

Since the appeal processes began last year, members of the Action Congress (AC) have been attending the court sitting with ho incidence.

Now that the Court is set to deliver rule on the crucial issue of the MTN Call logs evidence that alleged that members of the Election\petitions Tribunal and Counsel to the Respondents engaged in illegal secret communing, the PDP is trying to pervert the course of justice with brazen violence and lawlessness. We call on the Oyo State police Command and the Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro to step into this matter immediately and prevent any attempt by anyone to violate the law.

The Police must not allow the impression that the Nigeria Police is working or tolerating illegalities by the ruling party (PDP) to continue to spread and fester.

Gbenga Fayemiwo

Media

Landlord, Son Arraigned For Killing Tenant’s Wife

A landlord, Raimi Ogunniran and his son, Kazeem Raimi, have been arraigned before an Osun State High Court, sitting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, for allegedly killing one of their tenants’ wife, Mrs Adija Fatunbi.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that Ogunniran and Raimi fought with Fatunbi, who was heavy with pregnancy and her husband, Tajudden on December 30th, 2003 at 2, Okumabo Street, Osogbo.
The medium further gathered that Ogunniran reportedly hit Fatunbi with a gun on the head, which led to the death of the decease nine days after the incident.

When the case came up for hearing last Monday before Justice Jide Falola of the court, state prosecution counsel, Mr Moses Faremi, moved an application to amend the one-count charge of murder levelled against the suspects to two-count charge of murder and indecent assault on Fatunbi.
The application, which was not opposed by defence counsel to the accused persons, Mr A. Lawal, was granted by Falola, on the grounds that the prosecution has the rights to amend the charge and that the case has suffered so many adjournments.

Falola adjourned the case to February 17, 2009, for hearing and ordered that the prosecutor should assemble all his witnesses on the adjournment day.

Investigation by the medium revealed that Raimi was first arraigned at an Osogbo magistrate’s court 1, on January 19, 2004, where he was ordered to be remanded in prison custody.

The case file was duplicated and sent to Director of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, Osun State, which ordered the arrest and arraignment of Ogunniran (the landlord) on November 25, 2004, before Justice Wasiu Akanbi.

It was gathered that the case suffered a set back in 2005 when justice Akanbi was transferred to a State High Court in Ile-Ife, a development that impeded the trial of the father and his son.

After the transfer of Justice Akanbi, one Justice Abdul Kabir Abdullahi, tried the case for some times before he was also transferred to another high court, after the prosecution had closed its case.
Justice David Afolabi of High Court 4, Osogbo, took over from Abdullahi and tried the case for some months before it was transferred to Justice Falola, who is handling the case presently.

Police Holds On To Slain Victim’s Body; Keeps Autopsy Report Secret

SEQUEL to the controversial death of an automobile mechanic in Ataoja Police Station’s in Osogbo, Osun State capital and the subsequent protest and petition that followed the incident, family of the deceased are still being denied the corpse of their son for proper burial.

The police had in October 2008 detained the mechanic, Mr Dauda Najimu and claimed that the deceased hanged himself before his bail could be effected the following day.

Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, mother of the deceased, Mrs. Kehinde Najimu said that the medical doctor that carried out the test on the corpse revealed to her that the Commissioner of police, Mr. John Moronike had collected the result of the test since last year November and saw no reason why the police authority has not informed her of the cause of her child’s death.

The disturbed mother disclosed that the police were playing games with her child’s body as she wondered what night be keeping them from releasing the body after the police authority had collected the result of the autopsy which she said was not shown to her uptill now.

According to the deceased’s mother, the police were playing frank with her, because “I have nobody to stand for me and one of the officers had tried to prevail on the Iresi community in Osogbo to stop any action toward filing any case in the court of law.”

The Iresi community in Osogbo had earlier, through a law firm, write the police authority wanting to know the cause of the death of the victim but later abandoned the mother because one of the affected officers happens to hails from the town.

OSUN DEFENDER investigations showed that the police authority is hiding facts from the family of the deceased as the commissioner of police who allegedly holds the result of the autopsy keeps it away from the deceased’s family.

Information also showed that police officer in charge of the case at zone 11 command has been taking advantage of the old woman, pushing her around.

The worried mother stated that her husband while inspecting the site of the incident disagreed that his son committing suicide, adding that the man is old and cannot run around, which she said was the reason behind her running around on her own.

However, rights groups in the state under the auspices of OSCARV had petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mike Okiro and the National Assembly over the extra-judicial killings in the state in which the case of Najimu Dauda was stated.

The group had defended its petition in the force headquarters in Abuja. However, Mrs Kehinde urged the Assistant Inspector-General of police, AIG zone 11, Mr Tunde Alapinni to prevail on the commissioner of police, Mr. Moronike to release the body of her deceased son, so that the body could be given proper burial.

She also stated that if the police authority thought that they could go away with the murder, God would eventually do justice.

By SHINA ABUBAKAR

Court Remands Teenage Armed Robbery Suspect

AN 18-years-old armed robbery suspect, Tope Omoloye, has been remanded in prison custody, by an Osogbo magistrate’s court.

The charge sheet made available to OSUN DEFENDER last Monday revealed that the accused person and his accomplices,Morufu Bashiru,now at large,and one Segun,now late, robbed one Olaleke Fagbewo of N360,000, jewelries and other valuable materials valued at N150,000.
According to the charge sheet, the accused persons also robbed one Bukola Adeola of the sum of N120,000.

It further stated that the suspected armed robbers, who were armed with guns, also robbed Doff Supermarket, located at Kola Balogun area of Osogbo, Osun State capital.
The charge sheet revealed that the suspects committed the purported crime on September 11, 2008 at Kolabalogun Street, Osogbo.

However, the plea of the accused person, who were not represented by a lawyer, was not taken on the grounds that magistrate courts lack jurisdiction to entertain armed robbery cases.
Police prosecutor, Corporal Emmanuel Abdullahi, prayed the court to remand the accused person in prison custody.

The magistrate, Mr Adebayo Ajala, upheld the submission of the police prosecutor and remanded the suspect in prison custody.

It was gathered that the accused persons, during their operation on the fateful day engaged in a gun duel with the police, which led to the death of one of the suspects Segun),while others escaped with gun shot wounds.

A police source disclosed to the medium that the father of the fleeing suspect, Bashiru, had been arrested by the police in order to lay ambush on their son.
But the police said Bashiru has not shown up since his father had been arrested in Ikirun, sometimes in October, 2008.

By ISMAIL USMAN

Save Us From Rapists, LAUTECH Students Beg Management

Female students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State have called on the school management to rescue them from the constant scourges of rape and armed robbery unleashed on them by students of the university.

Many of the students who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER disclosed that though they are not victims, many girls have deserted the school, abandoned the academic careers to get away from the stigma of rape..

Jimoh Ronke told our reporter that in her four to five months stay in the school, about five incidents of rapes have occurred with most of them, taking place in the hostels, closest to the school campus.

A source close to the newly commissioned Students Union Government (SUG) building disclosed to OSUN DEFENDER that most of the atrocities were committed by male students of the school, adding that they specifically target students who are new on campus.

He stated that most times, intention of the criminally minded students was to rob their victims of their money, but when they discovered that the girls are helpless, they forcefully raped them.

The source disclosed further that hostels like ‘Emirald’, ‘Adenike’ and ‘Area G’ are some of the buildings that are usually attacked by the criminal students, due to their distance from town and are mostly dominated by girls.

He revealed that the act is not perpetrated by indigenes of the town, adding that hostels that are close to areas where indigenes reside are very secured from such attacks.

According to the source, student that are returning from night classes always fall victims of being raped or robbed of their handsets and other valuables. He added that a particular male student was robbed of his handset during the day with the school security men on guard.

“The school management does not bother itself with the welfare of the students despite the huge amounts of money they collect from the students. They count whatever happen to students, especially outside the school campus as none of their businesses.

“There is a particular girl (name withheld) from Osogbo that had to abandon her academics because she was raped as could not stand the humiliation. What would be the gain of her parents, and if the university management choses to be unconcerned, how many students would have to leave the school,” he queried.

Last week, OSUN DEFENDER stumbled on a girl that ran into an hostel naked, pleading that she should given cloth to cover her body. She told her host that about three boys blocked her way and forcefully removed her cloth, adding that she hit the one trying to rape her on the lower part of his abdomen while the other two were on guard to stop passers-by from any rescue mission.

The lucky girl later left for her parents home in Ibadan, and whether she would return to the school or not is not clear as at the time of filing this report.

Efforts to get to the SUG president popularly called ‘legacy’ proved abortive as students at the SUG building disclosed that he might be at the Sabo area of the town, drinking.

Aramide Isa a 400 level student of computer science disclosed that the SUG is also guilty of the crime, adding that it is difficult for the students executive to tackle the social malaise.

He noted that only the school management is capable of taking care of the students welfare, in and out of campus, but regretted that the management does not bother about the whole problem at all.

Oyinlola Shelves China Trip For EFCC

AVALANCHE of petitions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seems to be working wonder, as the development has compelled the embattled Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola to shelve his globetrotting lately.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the governor was billed to travel to China last week, but hurriedly called it off in order to pull the strings that could possibly save necks of some top political functionaries that have been interrogated.

It would be recalled that Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, the State Accountant-General, Commissioners for Finance and his Local Government Counterpart were just released from the EFCC custody.

Eleven members of Osun State House of Assembly on the platform of Action Congress (AC) opened the floor for the opposition, when they petitioned the anti-corruption agency about the illegal lodgment of N5 million each into their personal salary accounts.

The development generated a political heat, when the House Speaker, Mr Adejare Bello rose in a stout defence of the governor, who paid the money, saying that it was a collective decision.

It was gathered that the dust had not settled, when Alliance of Collaborating Political Parties (ACPP) led by Alhaji Sule Alao fired another petition to the EFCC on the what it called illegal deduction from Local Government funds.

OSUN DEFENDER authoritatively gathered that the fear of unknown so gripped the embattled governor that he quickly cancelled his trip to China last week.

Besides, a reliable source within the Government House hinted OSUN DEFENDER that another letter of invitation has just been sent to the Chief of staff to the governor, Elder Peter Babalola. Babalola is reported to be out of the country throughout last week for an undisclosable reason, but he will return to the country to answer some questions at the EFCC.

It was learnt that the governor has been very weighed down about the development these days, as the outcome of the anti-corruption agency is still doubtful to the establishment.

By GOKE BUTIKA

AREGBESOLA ADVISES ON NAIRA POLICY

Osun State Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in the April election, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, has enjoined the Federal Government to ensure that the new naira redenomination policy made is beneficial to Nigerians.According to him, the only way by which this can be achieved is for the government to quickly arrest the disquieting specter of mass poverty, unemployment, rising crime wave, urban decay, insecurity, threat to democracy and the rule of law, that the present administration inherited.

Aregbesola, who gave the admonition in a statement issued by his Media Assistant, Mr Gbenga Fayemiwo, said though the desire of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo, was patriotic and well intentioned, various unintended consequences should have been attended to from the beginning. He said: “The policy, however attractive it may be, should have been preceded by a decisive revival of the nation’s comatose macro-economic fabrics. The Federal Government ought to have ensured that the local industries are producing at full capacity.”

Aregbesola expressed regret that till date, the commercial banks have not supported small and medium scale enterprises up to a level that could guarantee the economic security of Nigeria. “Already, the existing inter-bank rates are outrageously high; the cost of funds, sorting of currencies for commercial banks, interest rates are still too high. Worse still, the nation’s foreign exchange market is over-subscribed thereby making Nigeria an import-driven economy”, he said.

The engineer urged the government to do a careful study of various cases of the now repealed Exchange Control Anti-sabotage Decree, adding that “Nigeria should not return to a situation that led to the ignominious importation of 53 suitcases of loads of naira notes during the military era in 1984.”