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Lagos Guber Ruling: Sanwo-Olu, Jandor, Rhodes-Vivour Sing Different Tunes



The three main combatants in the March 18, 2023 governorship election in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the first runners-up, Mr. Gbolabo Rhodes-Vivour and the second runners-up, Dr. Abdulazeez Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, have all expressed divergent opinions of the decision of the State’s Election Petitions Tribunal, which affirmed the election of Governor.

While the victorious Governor Sanwo-Olu sees both the outcome of the election and the legal pronoucements of the Tribunal as “a victory for all”, both Rhodes-Vivour and Adediran disagreed vehemently. They all vowed to push their cases to the appellate court for upturning of the judgement of the Tribunal.

Dr. Adediran, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 governorship election in Lagos State was aghast that the “position of the Tribunal does not reflect the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act, 2022”

He said while, reacting to the ruling, that it was unfortunate the position that the Tribunal took after what he described as the “credible convincing evidences” presented by his party and Labour Party against Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said: “It is quite unfortunate that the tribunal, in its wisdom, refused to accept the credible and convincing evidence presented by my legal team on the non-qualifications of the APC and the Labour Party, LP, candidates in the election.”
He said the position of the Tribunal does not reflect the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act, 2022 on issues bothering on qualification of a candidate in an election.

He added: “This is not the end of the electoral process.
“It is just another stage.
“We will study the judgment and take decisions in the best interest of Lagosians.”
Towing the line of his PDP’s counterpart, Rhodes-Vivour Reacting, said the road is not closed yet.
His senior counsel, Olagbade Benson, said the Tribunal in his wisdom had delivered the judgment to the best of their knowledge.
Benson advised all members of the party to stay calm and respect the rule of law.
He said: “The Tribunal has done their part and we cannot ask for more.
“Therefore, we encourage every member of the Labour Party and all OBIdients to stay calm and obey the rule of law.”

But in his reaction, the victorious Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu described the judgement of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal as a victory for all.
Sanwo-Olu said this while addressing newsmen at the State House in Ikeja after he was confirmed as the winner of the poll. This was after an 11-hour judgment by the three-man panel led by Justice Arum Ashom at the Roseline Omotosho Court, Ikeja, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Justice Arum Ashom-led three-man panel in its unanimous decision dismissed the two petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Abdulazeez Adediran (aka Jandor), and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party governorship candidate.
He said: “It was a long, tough process, but we are grateful that the voice of the people of Lagos was heard and upheld.
“The Deputy Governor and I are very privileged and thankful to residents for standing for and by us.
“It is a victory for all, no winner, no loser.
“It is, however, an opportunity for more work and service.
“Therefore, we will continue to work harder to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.”
The Governor called on other candidates to join hands together to build a Lagos of their dreams.
According to him: “l extend, again, an olive branch to fellow contestants to join us in building the Lagos of our dreams.

“If they have the passion to serve, we can work together because there is room for everyone to contribute meaningfully to the Lagos we all desire to see.” recalled that Justice Ashom in his lead judgment had dismissed the petition filed by Rhodes-Vivour on the grounds that it lacked merit.
On the oath of allegiance to the United States of America by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the Tribunal held that being a citizen of Nigeria by birth, his oath of allegiance to the US does not prevent him from contesting the election.

The Tribunal, therefore, affirmed the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission of the election of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat as the governor and deputy governor duly elected.
On his part, reacting to the judgment, Austin Akpomreta, defence counsel to the PDP governorship candidate, explained that the next line of action would be taken after reviewing the judgment with his client.

The election petition tribunal also declared as dead on arrival a petition of Adediran against Sanwo-Olu’s election.
The Tribunal held that the evidence before it showed that the petition lacked merit.

Adediran had contended that Sanwo-Olu was wrongfully nominated and sponsored by the All Progressives Congress and, therefore, was not qualified for the election.
Justice Mikail Abdullahi, while reading the Tribunal’s decision on the matter, held that the position did not form part of the grounds for disqualification for election into the office of a governor under Sections 177 and 182 of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended).

The Tribunal also declared that it had no powers to inquire into the primary election of the APC, which produced Sanwo-Olu, adding that the issue was a pre-election matter that did not fall under its jurisdiction.

The Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu recorded therefore recorded a double victory over the candidates of the LP, Rhodes-Vivour and his PDP’s counterpart, Dr. Adediran with the ruling of the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal Monday (September 25)
Adediran had contended that Sanwo-Olu was wrongfully nominated and sponsored by his party, the All Progressives Party (APC) and, therefore, was not qualified for the election.
However, Justice Mikail Abdullahi, while reading the Tribunal’s decision on the matter, held that the position did not form part of the grounds for disqualification for election into the office of a Governor, under Sections 177 and 182 of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended).
The Tribunal also declared that it had no powers to inquire into the primary election of the APC which produced Sanwo-Olu, adding that the issue was a pre-election matter which did not fall under its jurisdiction.

“Only an aspirant or member of a political party can complain about the outcome of the party’s primary election, not a busybody like the petitioner,” Abdullahi held.
Abdullahi said: “The second respondent has the highest number of votes, this petition is dead on arrival.
“In view of the evidence adduced before this tribunal, the grounds on which the petitioner is seeking the disqualification of the second and third respondents (Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat) lacks merit.

“Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat are eminently eligible to contest under Section 177 of the Constitution as they are members of a political party and educated up to school certificate level.
“In view of the evidence before the Tribunal, I have found Governor Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Hamzat, duly elected, and I therefore declare them winner of the March 18 governorship poll.”
The Tribunal is also expected to deliver judgement in a petition filed by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party Governorship Candidate for the State.

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A Great Nigeria is Possible, Bola Tinubu Assures Nigerians



Bola Tinubu


It is a great morning in Nigeria and I am humbled and happy to stand before you on this retreat, with forward-looking determination to embark on a very strong, bold endeavour to rebuild our country’s economy and our people’s hope renewed.
2. Thank you very much for your attendance. With strong determination, we are brought together the best brains, the best hands to navigate the future of this country.

3. We are not looking backwards; we can’t compare and give excuses. This is our country we have to build it; we have to renew the foundation. We have to give hope to the populace, to Nigerians in doubt whether democracy and economic growth will be the pathway to their prosperity.

4. I’m here to assure you and walk with you the best brains we can put together in civil service, the brain that we can put together in our democratic parliament and have been chosen for us by the public.

5. It is a good thing that the chairman of our party is here but the President is the president of all, whether affiliated with some political parties, regardless of religious, ethnic or otherwise, we are one.

6. A great Nigeria is possible, and a greater Nigeria will come under your commitment, guidance, and resolute determination to give the country a direction.

7. I’m with you. And please be assured that this great country is one family in one house, geographically located, partitioned, and living in different rooms. But we are all one family.

8. And we are here to make allegiance and give direction to that one family, making sure that relationships can only be stronger if we give hope to our people. We can only achieve our mission with boldness and strong determination with collaboration.

9. As I’ve stated before, no one succeeds alone. You the civil service, you must not see a minister as he or she will come and go and you will be there. You must make a positive team for the good of this country.

10. Yes! I admit and accept the asset and liability of my predecessor. It’s part of the definition in my professional background.

11. But you are in this ship. You will make good of it but not wreck it. You are a member of a great family; don’t see that minister as opportunistic. See, he or she as a partner that we must take the ship forward. Navigate it through turbulence and clear weather.

12. We are lucky we have a nation; the challenges are all over the world. You can see the chaos all around you. But be focused, like a man driving in the tunnel, don’t see the sky, don’t look up, face your direction. Be committed to the value and principle of results that will affect you, your neighbour, and the entire nation.

13. We’ve spent the last six months reviewing and evaluating ourselves, we’ve come a long way, but we set the agenda. Healthcare is a priority. Education of our people is a must. There is no other weapon against poverty than education. You have the opportunity to change things.

14. Recently, three days ago, we received the Chancellor of the Republic of Germany and his delegation of investors. One of their key complaints and the question is whether they can bring their capital, repatriate their dividend, or, if not satisfied, take their capital away. The Minister of Trade and Investment was called upon by me to explain further, that those obstacles are gone, never to come back again. We are open for business.

15. That is why we established the Result Delivery Unit. At the end of this retreat, you’re going to sign a bond of understanding between you, the ministers, the permanent secretaries, and myself.

16. If you are performing, nothing to fear; if you miss the objective, we’ll review; if there is no performance, you leave us. No one is an island, and the buck stops on my desk.

17. I assure you, you have a free hand. You must be intellectually inquisitive to ask how, why, when, and why it must be immediate. You have the responsibility to serve the people.

18. I’ve taken a young lady very dynamic, Hadiza Balla Usman, to head that delivery unit. If you have any complaints about her, see me. If you’re ready to work with her, stay there. Delivery, yes! we must achieve it for the sake of millions of people.

19. Yes, we are talking about the population of this country. What do you do with it? Make it an asset or a liability? Focus on its progress and come up with bold endeavours. We are great talents around the world, the biggest intellectually sound country in Horn of Africa.

20. Yes, we have challenges in the Sahel, we have challenges of climate change, south and north of Nigeria is battered, with ocean surge, we have desert encroachment in the north, but we are still blessed with arable lands. We can do it; we can build our country.

21. It’s not about theorizing. It’s about practical determination and focused evaluation. Yes, it is our country. We have no other one. Let’s be proud that we are Nigerians. We can do it, we can show leadership, we can fight to make democracy a lasting reference for the rest of Africa.

22. Don’t be afraid to make decisions, but don’t be antagonistic of your supervisor. If they are wrong, debate it. I stand before you and I’ve claimed on several occasions and I’m saying today again as the president, I can make mistakes, point it to me I would resolve that conflict, that error, perfection is only that of God Almighty. But you are there to help me succeed. Success I must achieve by all means necessary.

23. We have great minds, great intellectuals, great intellects, and all that we need.

24. When we were discussing this retreat, I said other than members of diplomatic corps to give us goodwill and inspiration, don’t invite any foreigner to give me a lecture about governance. I’ve been through it, and I believe in Nigeria.

25. It started from the day I was sworn in, and that bold endeavour is only achieved through courage, determination, and focused leadership.

26. We are going through the reform, painfully, and we still have other challenges. Don’t be a clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress.

27. Let us look forward. Let us be determined that corruption will go, progress will be achieved, better wages for our workers, and living wages.

28. We will transform the economy to work for millions of our citizens. We must take 50 million people out of poverty. We must build healthcare that works for all. Look around. Don’t be wicked. Look at the standard of education, look at the classrooms, and look at the roads. We can only spend the money, we will find it, we can not spend the people.

29. No crime in borrowing. Thank you, World Bank, for being a lending friend. But let your achievement be homegrown. The determination that Nigeria can do it is here.

30. If it had not started six months ago, we are here to switch off the light, make you included, and make all Nigerians included. Our path for tomorrow is charted for our children and grandchildren. Don’t be selfish about it.

31. Poverty is not a shameful thing. It’s only unacceptable. And we have to banish it because it’s unacceptable. Let’s work on other identifiable areas.

32. Because a memo is submitted to you doesn’t mean that is the end of that matter. Think through it. Be inquisitive. Ask how, when, why.

33. I’m ready to enjoy the retreat going forward. We are not retreating from progress. We are just to talk to one another and chart a path for progress and prosperity of this nation. I’m honoured to declare this brainstorming session open. Thank you.

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Anxiety in Ondo, As Group Launches Operation Ja Ara E Gba To Rescue Aketi



Rotimi Akeredolu

Akure, Ondo State capital will witnessed a huge movement of operation ‘Ja Ara E Gba’, by a group intent to rescued the ailing Governor of the State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Aketi from ‘a cabal holding him down, thus preventing him from seeking proper medical attention’.

The group had finalised all plans to storm Akure tomorrow, (Friday, 27 October, 2023) with the operation ‘Ja Ara E Gba’, either using the State Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press centre, or another auditorium that can contained a huge crowd expected from all the eighteen local government areas of the State.

The theme of the movement is “Ja Ara E Gba”
According to a close source to the group, ‘a group of friends have locked Aketi down. He needed to be rescued from the grips of this cabal, he stated.

The group called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Dr Umar Granduje, the national chairman of the All progressives Congress (APC) to use their good offices to help ‘us get him out of claws of these cabals, so that he can go for proper treatment’.
The group appreciated the national chairman for his reconciliatory efforts between the State House of assembly and the Deputy Governor that has put the impeachment threat in the cooler.

They also urged the Ondo State people not to give up on the ailing governor. They pleaded that they should continue praying for him.

A close source to the organisers of the movement told that ‘there is no denying the fact that Aketi is ill, sick and cannot perform his statutory duties as the Executive Governor of Ondo State’.

According to the source, who pleaded anonymity, ‘the Aketi we know cannot stay for a week without talking. They should free this man and let him go for treatment’, he said.

He explained that this is not a protest really. We shall gathered at the Press Centre, use our materials, read out our prepared press statement. We shall come with all these placards.
While insisting that the governor, Aketi is sick. And that he is helpless, he believed that some people have hijacked him. The president should intervene and get this man to go for treatment.

The source revealed that while some of his friends were saying he might need some twelve months to complete his treatment and all that, but we believe they should let him go, even if for only eight months.

Therefore, he told that as from tomorrow, it is now operation Ja ara e gba that will rule Ondo state.

‘We shall all come wearing the vest and face cap with the inscription, Ja ara e gba’, he said.

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Drambi Vandi, Killer Cop of Lagos Lawyer on Christmas Day, to Die Hanging



For Drambi Vandi, the trigger happy police officer who shot and killed a Lagos lawyer, Bolanle Raheem on Christmas day 2022, the long hand of justice ran its full circle early Monday, (09 October) as Justice Ibironke Harrison, sitting in Lagos Division of the Lagos State High Court, pronounced a death sentence on him. He is to die by hanging.

Vandi, since suspended from duty in wake of the reckless shooting and killing of the young mother if two, by the Police authorities, has been facing a one-count charge of murder at the Lagos State High Court since January 2023.

The judge, Ibironke Harrison on Monday found the disgraced police officer guilty of murder and thus sentenced him accordingly.
“The court found the defendant guilty on one count of murder. You will be hanged by the neck till you are dead,” Harrison said.
On 25 December 2022, Mrs Raheem was said to be coming from the Church with other members of her family when they encountered the police check-point under the Ajah roundabout, in Lekki axis of the Lagos State.

Vandi allegedly fired a blinded shot into the car conveying the deceased which hit her and resulted in the death of Mrs Raheem, who was said to be carrying a five months pregnancy at the time.
The police officer was attached to the Ajiwe police division in the Ajah area of the state.
The news shocked the whole nation and instantly, both the police authorities and the Lagos State government swung into action. While the Lagos State Police Command immediately suspended him from its service, the State swiftly filed a murder charge against him at the State High Court.

The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had presented a one-count charge of murder of the young lady against the defendant and subsequently arraigned him.
The court opened the trial in the case in January, with the deceased’s husband, sister, police armourer, pathologist and seven others testifying against the defendant.
The prosecution also tendered 27 exhibits to supports its case.
The defendant, Vandi did not called any witness. He was the only witness who testified in his own defence.
In his testimony before the court, Vandi told the judge that the bullet presented in court which was said to have killed Mrs Raheem did not come from the rifle he carried on the day of the incident.

He also claimed that he had never seen the bullet until it was tendered in court.

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