The Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Wednesday squashed canards making round that he has dumped his party.
￼In a statement disclosed by Felix Oboagwina, his Director of Media and Publicity, Agbaje opined that no one can ever force him to quit PDP.
He attributed insinuations that he had dumped PDP to mischief-makers determined to soil his reputation, provoke crisis within the party and dampen the spirit of party members and his supporters.
Agbaje therefore, denied jumping his party, saying, PDP remained his party.
“I have never discussed with anyone any plan to dump PDP, neither has such a prospect crossed my mind” he maintained. “There is no reason for it. It is uncalled for.”
He vowed to remain in the party, despite the campaign of calumny being waged against him in the media by a few leaders.
The PDP flag-bearer said he only on Monday released a message encouraging members to rise above the questionable defeats suffered in the last election and maintain faith in the party, and that it would be contradictory for him to suddenly turn tail and flee the same party.
“For a party that has twice accorded me the honour of running on its platform, I should be regarded as uncharitable to say I am abandoning PDP now,” Agbaje submitted.
According to him, recent vituperations in the Press and social media against his person and his role in the last election were the machinations of political featherweights and did not warrant any response.
Agbaje said: “Suffice to say that Chief Layi Ogunbambi’s claim of being denied funds as Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council in Lagos State amounted to attempting to build something on nothing. For starters, the position he lays claim gives him no locus standi as no such formal position existed in the entire campaign structure of PDP in Lagos or any of the other 35 states.
Reacting to Ogunbanmbi’s angst, Agbaje pointed out that the man who paraded himself as the DG of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Council, had his wife, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ogunbambi, contesting as gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State against PDP on another party platform!!Serious Conflict of Interest.
“I, as the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Lagos, was Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign in Lagos. Mr. Leke Osikoya was the State Campaign Director. The national body recognised and related with us accordingly. The title of Director General was reserved for the national campaign council. If there was an Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign it would have, at best, been a Support Group.
“Dr. Ogunbanmbi also went to the extent of stating his contributions financially and policy wise to my campaign. This is news to me. May be he should tell the world his financial contributions to my campaigns. There is no time I have ever sat with Dr. Ogunbanmbi to discuss policy issues.”
Agbaje, also, shrugged off allegations he pilfered campaign funds.
“I was not given one kobo by the party or the PDP Presidential Candidate for the gubernatorial elections. We ran our campaign from beginning to end on a shoe-string budget. You cannot steal or divert what is not given,” he said.
According to him, resources sent for the Presidential and National Assembly elections were disbursed as per instructions received, and the source had shown satisfaction with the exercise.
All the fuss stems from the from the fact that, contrary to the Lagos PDP tradition of sharing money to leaders, Agbaje disbursed funds direct to candidates, as instructed.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, have “slipped into severe depression”.
The APC said this in reaction to PDP’s claim that it won the presidential poll by 1.6 million votes.
The opposition party based its claims on the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It filed the claim in its petition before the presidential election tribunal.
But reacting in a statement, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC spokesman, said the claim is ridiculous.
“While the APC is not oblivious of the PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, acknowledged by local and international observers, we sympathise with Atiku for the crushing defeat handed him by President Buhari through the votes of Nigerians,” Issa-Onilu said.
“Judging by Atiku and PDP’s recent utterances and actions, it is now clear that they have slipped into severe depression and post-defeat hallucination that have left many Nigerians questioning their current state of mind.
“After weeks of dilly-dallying, the PDP has woken up to the stark reality of its electoral defeat and decided to follow the constitutional path of filing a petition at the election tribunal.
“However, of all the prayers of Atiku before the election tribunal, which are at best hollow, the most ridiculous is his claim that the server of the INEC indicated he won the presidential election by 1.6million votes.
“A few questions would suffice – is this phantom figure of 1.6 million votes Dubai-invented? Was the result sold to Atiku by his numerous marabouts, who we understand, had assured him that the last election was a done deal for him?”
Issa-Onilu said the PDP’s “consistent reference” to INEC server should be a cause for concern.
He said it is possible that the opposition party has plans to jeopardise INEC’s database, calling on security agencies to foil the “evil plan”.
“Most importantly, we note Atiku’s consistent reference to the INEC server as if he is the custodian of that platform. Indeed, Atiku’s constant reference to the INEC server should raise concerns as it is becoming apparent that he and the PDP are up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardising the INEC database and internal storage system,” he said.
“We recall the widespread reported cases of several programmed card readers that were retrieved from some PDP agents and their failed attempt to hack the INEC database in the leadup to the then postponed presidential election.
“We remind the Atiku and PDP that Nigerians saw through the devious schemes aimed at thwarting their will. Consequently, majority of the voters handed them a harsh verdict — that verdict remains sacrosanct.” (The Cable)
Some details of the petition filed on Monday by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate in the February 23 election, Atiku Abubakar, to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress, emerged on Tuesday.
The petition, which sought to rely on 50 sets of documents, was filed at the Election Tribunal in Abuja against INEC, Buhari and the APC as the first to the third respondents, respectively.
What is the crux of the matter and why is Atiku confident to win?
INEC had on February 27, 2019 declared that Buhari won the election with 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku, whom it said polled 11,262,978 votes.
But the petitioners stated in their 139-page petition that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server… the true, actual and correct results” from “state to state computation” showed that Atiku polled 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari who scored 16,741,430 votes.
They said the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was “no report on sever” about the results from Rivers State as of February 25, 2019.
By this, Atiku defeated Buhari with 1,615,302 votes.
The five grounds of the petition read, “The 2nd respondent (Buhari) was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
“The election of the 2nd respondent is invalid by reason of corrupt practices.
“The election of the 2nd Respondent is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
“The 2nd respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election.
“The 2nd respondent submitted to the 1st Respondent an affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election.”
Arguing that Buhari was not qualified to run for the office of the President, the petitioners argued in part, “The petitioners state that the 2nd respondent (Buhari) does not possess the educational qualification to contest the election to the office of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The petitioners state that by Section 31 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), every political party shall not later than 60 days before the date appointed for a general election submit to the Commission in the prescribed form the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections.
“Further, by Section 31(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the list or information submitted by each candidate shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidate at the Federal High Court, High Court of a State or Federal Capital Territory indicating that he has fulfilled all the constitutional requirements for election into that office.
“The 2nd respondent filled and submitted Form CF001 to the 1st Respondent, which was declared before the Commissioner for Oaths at the Registry of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on the 8th day of October, 2018. The said Form CF001 is accompanied by an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT indicating that the 1st Respondent received same.
“The petitioners aver that the said Form CF001 filled by the 2nd Respondent and submitted to the 1st Respondent for the Office of President was also accompanied by the Curriculum Vitae of the 2nd Respondent as well as GENERAL FORM OF AFFIDAVIT duly sworn to by the 2nd respondent at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, along with copies of his Membership Card of the 3rd Respondent and Voter Card.
“The information submitted to the 1st respondent (INEC) by the 2nd respondent (Buhari) is false and of a fundamental nature in aid of his education qualification, notwithstanding that he had declared in the said sworn affidavit as follows: ‘I hereby declare that all the answers, facts and particulars I have given in this Form, are true and correct and I have to the best of my knowledge, fulfilled all the requirements for qualifications for the office I am seeking to be elected’.”
They stated that the educational institutions Buhari “claimed to have attended and the certificates presented by him namely, Elementary School Daura and Mai Aduaa between 1948 and 1952, Middle School Katsina between 1953 and 1956 and Katsina Provincial College (now Government College, Katsina) between 1956 to 1961 and mentioned by the 2nd respondent in his curriculum vitae attached to Form CF 001, were not in existence as of those mentioned dates.”
They added, “The 2nd respondent in Form CF 001 filled and submitted by him to the 1st Respondent at Paragraph C, Column 2, Page 3, under SECONDARY, wrote “WASC,” thereby falsely claiming that qualification whereas there was no qualification known as WASC as of 1961.
“The petitioners contend that the 2nd Respondent was, at the material time, not qualified to contest election for the exalted office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The petitioners further aver that all votes purportedly cast for the 2nd and 3rd Respondents on 23rd February, 2019 during the Presidential Election and as subsequently declared by the 1st Respondent on February 27, 2019 are wasted votes in that the 2nd Respondent was not qualified to contest the said election in the first place or at all.”
Names of 21 Senior Advocates of Nigeria and 18 other lawyers appeared on the petition. The legal team is led by Mr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), The Punch reports.
They sought among their five main prayers, that the tribunal should determine that Buhari “was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast in the said election” and therefore his declaration and return by INEC “as the President of Nigeria is unlawful, undue, null, void and of no effect”.
They also prayed that Atiku having been “duly and validly elected” ought to be “returned as President of Nigeria, having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election to the office of the President of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019 and having satisfied the constitutional requirements for the said election.
They sought “an order directing the 1st respondent (INEC) to issue a Certificate of Return to the 1st petitioner (Atiku) as the duly elected President of Nigeria”.
They also asked the tribunal to rule that Buhari “was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election”, and that he “submitted to the Commission affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election”.
However, they sought as their alternative prayer, “that the election to the office of the President of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019 be nullified and a fresh election ordered.”
The petitioners are relying on 50 sets of documents which they, in the petition, gave INEC the notice to produce the original copies of those in its custody.
Some of the documents are, “INEC Nomination Form CF001 of the 2nd respondent (Buhari); all INEC result sheets;(Form EC8 Series), EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D and EC8E – Certificate of Return; PDP Party Membership Cards; INEC Voter Cards; all witnesses’ party membership cards; and all Witnesses’ Voter Cards.”
The petitioners also sought to rely on, “the circulars/corrigenda/manuals issued by INEC for the conduct of the Presidential Election held on 23/2/2019; Polling Unit materials checklist; summary of total registered voters on units’ basis; summary of PVCs collected on units’ basis; Voter Registers and letters of complaints over irregularities and malpractices during the election addressed to the INEC/Police/other relevant agencies/institutions.”
They also sought to rely on “security reports relating to the election video/audio recordings/DVD/CD relating to the Election; Election Observers’ or Observers’ Reports; Newspaper/Television/ Radio reports and news; appointment letters and tags of PDP agents; expert reports and analysis; and photographs and GSM and other phone outputs”.
Oyo State Governor-elect Seyi Makinde has assured the people of the state that he will bring simplicity to governance. He also pledged to do everything within his power to prevent violence from commercial drivers, when he eventually takes the reins of power on May 29.
The governor-elect said the most important value that would mark out his administration is simplicity, and that he would use everything he has to make the state better.
“I will keep the business of governance very simple; without any complication.
The governor-elect, who won on the platform of the PDP, gave the assurance on Southwest Political Circuit, a live interview programme on Ibadan-based Fresh FM radio.
Lagos State government has issued an official statement on the viral reports of a possible racist Chinese restaurant in Ikeja, engaged in racial discrimination against potential Nigerian customers.
According to the statement signed by Steve Ayorinde, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, ‘our officers were sent to investigate the veracity of the claim. The two officers who went there on Monday did so incognito and found the allegations to be false’,
The statement continues to say;
The officers were served without any questions or discrimination. They also took photographs without being noticed. Our officers also observed that the restaurant had a number of Nigerians working inside there and did similarly observe that peppersoup, a Nigerian delicacy is also on the menu.
More, importantly, the restaurant has been registered with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture since 2016 as required by law.
As the regulators of eateries, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality facilities in Lagos State, the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Tourism will further investigate this claim, beyond what our findings on Monday revealed and will be vigilant about the activities of this restaurant and its subsidiary.
The N2.2bn fraud trial of former Ekit State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and one Spotless Limited continued today with further cross-examination of Musiliu Obanikoro, who is the fifth prosecution witness.
Fayose and Spotless Limited are being tried on 11 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, stealing and money laundering before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
At the instance of Spotless Limited’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had, in a ruling on Monday, admitted into evidence an extrajudicial statement made by one late Justin Erukaa, who worked as Special Assistant to Obanikor.
In admitting Erukaa’s statement as Exhibit J, the judge overruled the objection raised by the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), to the admissibility of the document.
At the resumed trial on Tuesday, Obanikoro, while being further cross-examined by Ojo, affirmed that Erukaa died after he had made an extrajudicial statement to the EFCC.
“This Justin Erukaa, who was one of your Special Assistants, can you tell the court how you got to know about his death after making Exhibit J?” Ojo further asked.
Responding, Obanikoro said, “He (Erukaa) left Lagos a day before Sallah about two years ago, and the Police called one of my SAs that the owner of the phone just had an accident and had died on the spot; and he (Obanikoro’s SA) immediately called me and informed me.”
Asked by Ojo whether he attended Erukaa’s burial, Obanikoro said, “I was there with my family.”
Gbenga Daniel, former director-general of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, says he will never abandon the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate.
Daniel, two-term governor of Ogun state, had resigned his membership of the PDP on Saturday and announced that he was quitting partisan politics.
After the announcement, Daniel said his supporters were urging him to lead them to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Commenting on this, Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, said it was sad that Daniel decided to dump the opposition party “before the conclusion of Atiku’s election petition”.
Fani-Kayode also accused Daniel of taking sides with President Muhammadu Buhari After Abubakar was “rigged out”.
“For the 1st DG of @atiku’s PCO and his closest confidante in SW to dump @OfficialPDPNig and join @OfficialAPCNg before the conclusion of Atiku’s election petition is sad.F or a man that was gunning to be SGF in an Atiku govt. to join Buhari after Atiku was rigged out is tragic!,” Fani-Kayode had written on his official Twitter handle.
But in a statement on Tuesday, Daniel said he had not abandoned the former vice-president.
He also denied joining the APC, explaining that he told his followers to “join any political party of their choice”.
“I have not, will not and will never abandon Atiku. Atiku is different from PDP. I have resigned from PDP and lost interest in partisan politics having put in about 20 years of my life in a thankless process,” Daniel said.
“I will commit my God-given resources to help less privileged through my Foundation and will contribute sharing the body of knowledge through our not for profit Political Academy. That will be a thankful process.
“I will continue to support the political process in a non partisan manner. I am clear with my position, without any ambiguity. There is no need to insinuate, speculate, extrapolate, anticipate or draw conclusions on my behalf.
“I did not expect such a simple personal decision can generate such national discourse and for that I remain grateful to God. I am however most grateful to all my friends and well wishers. The phones have not stopped ringing. All the advice are well taken. My very deep appreciation.”
The People Democratic Party Governorship Candidate of Lagos state Jimi Agbaje has dumped the People Democratic Party over an unresolved disagreement between him and the leadership of the party in the state.
This contains in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos. Agbaje revealed that it is necessary for him to leave this party after a series of allegations that arose after our party lost the Governorship election in Lagos State.
“I have tried to remain focused and ignored all the distractions coming from the leadership of the party. I am making the decision after due consultation with my supporters and loved ones for the sake of peace.
Mr Agbaje, however, did not give details whether he will join another party.
The former Chairman of the people Democratic Party in Lagos State, Chief Tunji Shelle, has accused Jimi Agbaje of responsible for party poor performance in just concluded Governorship election in Lagos State.
According to Shelle: “We have a situation where somebody said he could work and achieve victory alone. Meanwhile, he doesn’t know anything.
“Rather than show cooperation, he was arguing and fighting people who could help him. Even when things were going bad and help was to be rendered, he said he doesn’t need help.
“Well-meaning people intervened to rally everybody together in Lagos. They called us to a meeting and asked us to help him but he refused, saying he doesn’t need help. He became a lone ranger and stand-alone person.
“Even when we were trying to reinforce his campaign team, he told us point blank that he couldn’t work with people he can’t control. He wants to be a master of all and subject everybody in the party under his control which is not possible. You can’t control everybody because PDP is not your private party.
“So, we decided to leave him to go and do the job alone and at the end of the day, that is the result we got in Lagos. That is the major reason why PDP failed in Lagos.
“If not for the sympathy votes we got from people who are tired of APC and felt there is a need for leadership change in Lagos state, we could have gotten lesser votes in the governorship election. To be frank, our governorship candidate was our problem in Lagos state.
“He defeated the party and defeated himself. The most unfortunate thing is that he doesn’t feel the pain of what he has caused. Also, there was mismanagement of resources too because everybody left him to his fate to do whatever pleases him.”
Adamu Adamu, minister of education, says the federal government will soon a effect policy to prosecute parents who refused to enroll children of school age in schools across the country.
Adamu made this known in Abuja while addressing reporters during the 9th edition of the weekend ministerial briefing.
He said parents who sabotage the efforts of the government to reduce the number of out of school children would soon be criminalised and would be made to face the wrath of the law.
“Unless the issue of parents who refused their children going to school is made a crime, and we start jailing parents, the menace of out of school children will not be resolved,” he said.
“There are many who are still working behind culture, religion. So the ministry is to effect this policy so that any parent whose child of school age refuses to take them to school will be jailed.”
Speaking on matching grant and other intervention funds for basic education in Nigeria, the minister said a total of N350 billion had been expended on the sub-sector as against N360 billion spent by the previous administration.
“In the six years preceding the Buhari Administration, between 2009 and 2014, the federal government spent about N360 billion worth of intervention on Basic Education covering textbooks, teacher professional development, construction of classrooms and library resources among others,’’ the minister said.
Adamu added that in 2015, matching and non-conditional grants disbursements to 15 states of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT) amounted to N68.4 billion.
He also said in 2016, grants disbursements to 29 states and the FCT amounted to N77 billion.
Adamu added that stakeholders were awaiting the decision of the federal executive council (FEC) on reduction of matching grants for state governments.
“We have already submitted proposal on the reduction of matching grants and we believe between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the matching grant will be reduced as against the 50 per cent that states have been claiming is difficult to provide,’’ he said. (NAN)
The Ogun State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned banks and other financial institutions not to succumb to threats and pressures from the outgoing governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to obtain last-minute loans, overdrafts and other financial instruments barely two months to the end of his tenure.
In a press statement issued in Abeokuta on Monday, and signed by the APC Caretaker Committee’s Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, the party warned that any institution that grants such requests “does so at its own risk.”
The press statement reads: “It has come to our notice that the outgoing governor has been exerting pressures on banks and financial institutions to grant frivolous loans, overdrafts and other instruments immediately Dapo Abiodun was declared governor-elect.
“We are equally aware that files and other sensitive government documents are being moved out of government offices on the order of the outgoing governor, His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
“As for the banks, we want to state categorically that the incoming administration believes so much in the rule of law and due process. Therefore, the administration will not honour any obligation that does not follow due process or any loans that do not receive the prior approval of the state’s House of Assembly.
“According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, Ogun State’s Internally Generated Revenue has increased by 590 per cent in eight years totalling N74, 835, 979, 000.51.
“Why the outgoing administration still wants “injury-time” loans despite those already incurred, beats one’s imagination and leaves much to be desired. The incoming administration will not honour such shady loans.”