Senator Rashidi Ladoja, the governorship candidate of Accord Party in the April 11 poll in Oyo State, has called no fewer than 29 witnesses in supporting his petition before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ibadan, the state capital.
Friday marked the last of the 10 days allotted to him to support his petition against Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
Ladoja is challenging the victory of Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship poll.
Also joined as co-respondents in the petition are APC, Dr Rufus Akeju, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner and the commission.
During Friday’s proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Richard Ogunwole (SAN), called three more witnesses including one Kilanko Ezra, Olatayo Shafarudeen and Esuola Moyosore.
They were the party agents of Accord at Saki-East, Atisbo and Atiba local government areas respectively.
Earlier, the respondent had objected to the admissibility of 39 original documents and materials used in the election.
The documents had been tendered by Ogunwole during Thursday’s proceedings.
The documents were brought following a subpoena served on INEC by the tribunal to produce the said documents at the instance of the petitioner.
The documents brought by the Head of Legal Unit for the commission, Mr Omoniyi Fayande, included ballot papers and boxes used in all the 33 local government areas in Oyo State.
The documents also contained election result sheets, incident forms, voter registers, among others.
A senior counsel to APC, Mr Babatunde Aiku, said that the originals sought to be tendered were irrelevant to the circumstances of the petition.
“From what has transpired, it is clear that these documents are the original of the certified true copies tendered and marked as exhibits before this tribunal,” he had said.
The three-man tribunal, presided over by Justice Mohammed Mayaki, consequently granted them leave to adduce their reasons in their final addresses.
Shekarau dumps APC for NNPP
Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau, a former Kano State Governor, has officially dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
This was confirmed on Tuesday via a terse statement on the official Twitter account of the NNPP.
The statement, which reads: “Finally: Sen Ibrahim Shekarau Join Us”, was shared alongside a photo of Senator Shekarau and Senator Ibrahim Kwankwaso.
Recall that there had been some back and forth about Shekarau’s planned defection to the NNPP, with some power brokers in the APC said to be negotiating with the former governor not to leave the ‘broom party.’
However, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso has been at the helm of the vanguard, working to ensure Shekarau’s defection from the APC to the NNPP.
On Sunday, Kwankwaso stormed the residence of Shekarau in Kano to work out details of the defection.
2023 Presidency: El-Rufai opens up on why Buhari loves Amaechi
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed why President Muhammadu Buhari loves Rotimi Amaechi, the outgone Minister of Transportation.
Rufai disclosed that Buhari loves Amaechi due to his decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He disclosed this when Amaechi met with APC delegates from Kaduna ahead of the party’s national convention.
El-Rufai recalled wooing Amaechi and some other governors into the APC during the PDP administration.
“Let me tell you my history with Amaechi. When we started discussing with the G-7, the seven governors that wanted to defect to the APC, I was holding nocturnal meetings with Amaechi and Governor Nyako of Adamawa State until we got five of them to move to our party, and that was the game-changer.
“And for you to understand how difficult it is, imagine Amaechi of Rivers State from the same South-South with incumbent President Jonathan.
“He made the sacrifice to move to our party. It was a game-changer. This is part of the reason President Buhari loves Minister Amaechi till tomorrow,” El-Rufai said.
2023: Amosun denies stepping down for Tinubu
Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has denied stepping down from the 2023 presidential election for the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Amosun stated that he is not in the presidential race to align with Tinubu or any other aspirant of the APC.
Amosun also denied obtaining the APC senatorial form, saying he did not attend the screening exercise organised for APC senatorial aspirants, as being peddled by some individuals.
There were rumours over the weekend that Amosun had agreed to step down for Tinubu, having been screened and cleared for the Ogun Central senatorial race.
But, in a swift reaction, Amosun debunked the rumour spreading on social media, saying the “two news stories are false.”
According to a statement signed by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, he said that the Ogun Central Senator “procured only the forms for the presidential ticket of the APC and did not attend the screening exercise for Senatorial aspirants because he is not one.”
While urging Nigerians to dismiss the “false news”, Adeyemi maintained that “Amosun is in the race for the presidential ticket of the APC and has no plans to align with any politician in the race.”
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