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Gbajabiamila not convicted of any crime, says campaign spokesman

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Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house of representatives, was never convicted of any crime in the US, his campaign organisation has said.

A court in the federal capital territory (FCT) had asked Gbajabiamila to appear before it on Monday, the eve of the speakership contest, over a suit filed by Action Peoples Party (APP).

The party had asked the court to disqualify Gbajabiamila from the race on the grounds that he was convicted in a $25,000 fraud case.

But addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the campaign organisation led by Abdulmumin Jibrin, a lawmaker from Kano, said the speakership aspirant has also not been accused of any corruption in any country.

Jibrin described as “outright lies” claims that Gbajabiamila was once convicted in Georgia, US.

According to the lawmaker, the accusations were meant to distract Gbajabiamila from the race to become speaker of the house of representatives.

“Femi Gbajabiamila has never been convicted for any crime in the US, Nigeria or anywhere,” he said.

“He has never been accused of corruption and has no corruption case. He never committed perjury in Nigeria or any country of the world.

“He has provided clarifications and set records straight. The allegations have been tested and struck out in court. It has been stated that he is a full member of the Bar of Georgia.”

Jibrin also displayed what he said was a letter confirming Gbajabiamila’s membership of the Bar of Georgia as well as the copy of the Nigerian court judgement striking out the case.

“We further wish to state that Femi has not been served any court summons or notified by the clerk of the national assembly. The judiciary must not allow itself to be mixed in this … campaign of calumny,” he said.

The lawmaker added that the campaign organisation has so far secured the support of 60 members of lawmakers who are not in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said members of other opposition parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have also pledged their support for the APC consensus candidate.

He said: “Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon. Ahmed Wase will be on the floor of the house to be elected speaker and deputy speaker respectively.

“We wish to reiterate that Hon. Femi will run an all inclusive house. So far, we have secured the endorsement of parts of the PDP caucus and other opposition parties consisting of about 60 members.

“Hon. Femi has had a distinguished career both in the parliament and beyond. He is a loyal Nigerian and party man. He is honest, hardworking, team player and humble.

“He has worked tirelessly to support his friends but some of them including me let him down in 2015. I have since repented and I am also calling on all others to repent as well.”

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POLITICS

Ogun: You are frivolous, A’Court tells Labour Party …as Gov Abiodun wins again

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Abiodun

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan yesterday (Friday) dismissed the appeal by the Labour Party against the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun as Governor of Ogun State.

The Court came described the Labour Party’s repeated challenge of the Ogun State Governor as lacking merit and outrightly frivolous.

Court upheld the submission of Abiodun and All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Barrister Wale Abeeb Ajayi that the Governor was duly elected and calling for the invalidation of the poll that returned him could not stand legal requirements for nullification of elections.

The LP went on appeal after losing at the Tribunal for the third time in its quest to use the Court to cancel the March 9 gubernatorial election in Ogun State.

On July 13 when the LP went to challenge the outcome of the polls, the Tribunal in Abeokuta led by Justice Ali Halilu dismissed the case on the ground that the tribunal had dismissed the Petition pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 46(3) of the Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.

The Appeal was filed by Mrs Modupe Sanyaolu and Labour Party against the Governor, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking the leave of the Tribunal to reverse itself by re-listing the Petition.

Wale Habeeb Ajayi, counsel to Governor Dapo Abiodun, described the verdict yesterday as “victory for democracy. The Appeal like the petition was bound to fail. It was dead on arrival”.

The labour Party, Ajayi added, “did not submit the details of the Deputy Governorship candidate to INEC; failed to raise any complaint before the election and failed to sue INEC before election. How can they now bring up a pre-election matter for adjudication when the election had been won and lost? , he stated rhetorically.

He said further, “They also failed to appear at the tribunal on the date fixed for hearing of the frivolous petition on unfounded excuses. The tribunal has done the needful by dismissing the Petition in the first instance. Consequently, the application to relist lacks merits and tribunal rightly refused same.”

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Delta South senate: Tribunal set to determine Senator Manager’s fate

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The election Petition Tribunal Panel II, presided over by Justice C. O Onyeabo has reserved judgement in the Petition filed by the Delta south senatorial candidate under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, in the 2019 National Assembly (NASS), election against Senator James Manager, of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Dr Uduaghan, the APC candidate Petitioned through his counsel Tomson Okpoko, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) had complained before the tribunal that the election was marred by irregularities and urged the tribunal to do justice to the Petition.

The contention of the Petitioner, are among other things, that the first Respondent PDP, the second Respondent, INEC and third Respondent James Manager connived with each other to allegedly perpetrate electoral malpractices and the tribunal should cancel the election.

Dr Uduaghan, called a number of witnesses to testify on his behalf to support his claims even as the set of respondents did say.

At the adoption of the written addresses, Febude Zimugehan counsel to PDP first Respondent submitted before the tribunal that the Petitioner has not been able to substantiate his claims and that it is unmeritorouse, adding that the Petitioners have not been able to discharge the burden of proof placed on them and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

The third respondent, Senator Manager, represented by Larry Selekeowei equally aligned himself with the position of the first and second Respondents and urged the tribunal to quash the Petition.

Dr Uduaghan’s counsel told the tribunal that the Petitioners have been able to prove their case and urged the tribunal to cancel the senatorial election which declared James Manager the winner.

Justice C. O Onyeabo stated that the parties would be communicated on the date of judgement.

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POLITICS

Lagos speaker, Obasa, sets up 16 man committee to screen Sanwo-Olu’s commissioner-nominees

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Speaker Mudashiru Obasa of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday constituted a 16-man ad-hoc committee to screen Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet nominees.

Obasa, who read the list of the ad-hoc committee members, said it would be headed by Hon Rotimi Abiru, a fourth-term lawmaker, representing Somolu Constituency II.

According to Obasa, members of the screening committee are: Hon. Jimi Mohammed (Ikeja I), Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege II), Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe I), Setonji David (Badagry II), Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo I) and Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere II).

Others are: Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay (Amuwo-Odofin I), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako-Ijaiye II), Hon. Lanre Afinni (Lagos Island II), Hon. Noheem Adams (Eti-Osa II), and Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja II)

The rest are: Hon. Suraju Tijani (Ojo II), Hon. Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I), Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh (Apapa II) and Hon. Abdulsobur Olawale (Mushin II).

The speaker directed the ad hoc committee to report back to the House in a week.

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