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There are strong indications that there would be a mass defection from the Lagos state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to another political party ahead of the 2019 elections due the purported endorsement of Governor Akinwumi Ambode and Senator Oluremi Tinubu for another terms in office.

A report by Dailypost says the mass defection is being spearheaded by some aggrieved members of the party over the recent endorsement of Ambode for second term and Remi Tinubu for third term in the Senate.

The aggrieved members, who described the endorsement as, “a unilateral decision,” are mainly from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), which merged with the ACN to form the current APC in the state.

Our correspondent learnt that Prince Tajudeen Olusi (OON) at a meeting of the Lagos Central Senatorial District Leadership Forum held in Victoria Island, endorsed Ambode and Remi Tinubu for another term.

But a chieftain of the party and gubernatorial candidate under the platform of defunct CPC in 2011 elections, Ambassador Abayomi Mumuni, while speaking on behalf of the aggrieved members on Sunday, berated Prince Olusi’s announcement and the unilateral endorsement of Governor Ambode and Senator Tinubu.

Mumuni said, “We are still experiencing the actions of the ACN, not the merger we signed before the election. If not, why would the party take a unilateral decision by endorsing (defunct) ACN candidates alone without considering the interests of other merging parties who also have candidates?

“We may not see a complete APC in Lagos come 2019, as the defunct CPC might consider stepping aside from the merger arrangement except there is an immediate resolution on the interpretation of the merger.”

Mumuni explained that the lopsidedness and maltreatment against his members started after the merger was sealed in 2015.

He said, “Since the merger, I still perceive myself as CPC because the merger wasn’t visible in Lagos. Nothing was offered to us (in CPC) and others (ANPP and part of APGA). We were excluded from the Senate, House of Representatives and State Assembly seats. It was zero patronage by the State Government”.

Mumuni also expressed disappointment that CPC members in the state were also abandoned by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

He wondered why the former presidential flagbearer of the same party (CPC) would abandon his members.

He said, “He (Buhari) forgot his constituency, which is the CPC. He is now surrounded by those who called him and his party unprintable names. These same people are telling us that he (Buhari) has mortgaged us (the Southwest CPC). I told them there is no way I would allow the merger to mortgage my people.

“Whether we were mortgaged or not, we aren’t going to take what happened in 2015 come 2019.”

Mumuni regretted accepting the mandate to contest as the CPC candidate in the Lagos State governorship election, saying he would have defeated Senator Oluremi Tinubu in the 2011 Lagos Central Senatorial election.

He said, “I didn’t have the intention to contest against Fashola. My mandate had always been the Lagos Central Senatorial District, which is my constituency. I am a son of the soil. My first election was against Obanikoro of AD in 2003. I contested against Ade Dosumu in 2007. I would have defeated Asiwaju’s wife in 2011.

“But I changed my intention because there was no governorship candidate for the defunct CPC in the South West, except Barrister Shittu in Oyo State. With me, we were the only two CPC gubernatorial candidates that supported President Buhari’s bid to become Nigeria’s President. My withdrawal from the senatorial election gave Asiwaju’s wife an edge in the election.

“In 2019, with zero patronage, I don’t see the merger happening in Lagos. Actually, we might disengage ourselves from the merger and return to our constituency – the CPC. There are no two ways about that, except there is an immediate resolution and interpretation of the merger.”

BIG STORY

Shame On Media Trial! Nigerians React As FG Closes Asset Declaration Against Justice Onnoghen

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The prosecution counsel has closed the case against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The case against the CJN was closed after calling three witnesses to the stand, although the Federal Government had listed six witnesses, its counsel, Aliyu Umar announced that the government has closed its case.

Two witnesses a former Director at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the banker to Justice Onnoghen testified before the tribunal in favour of the Federal Government in addition to the first prosecution witness who testified on Monday, bringing the witnesses to three.

The lead prosecution counsel said though they initially listed six witnesses for the trial, however, it would not be calling on the remaining three, adding that he is offering them to the defence for cross-examination if they so wished.

However, counsel to the CJN, Mr Adegboyega Awomolo, said the defence does not need the witnesses and the prosecution can go ahead to close its case if it is done.

Awomolo also informed the tribunal of its intention to invoke section 303 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to enter a no-case submission.

He pleaded with the tribunal to allow him prepare a written address and urged the chairman to order the registry to make a record of proceedings available to him to guide him in the written address.

The prosecution did not object to the application, prompting the tribunal chairman, Mr Danladi Umar to make an order on the registry to avail parties in the matter with the record of proceedings.

He also ordered that the record must be made available to the parties on Monday and adjourned hearing in the no case submission to March 29.

Earlier on the CJN’s account officer in her evidence told the tribunal that justice Onnoghen maintains 5 different accounts with her bank in Abuja.

According to her, two of the accounts are naira accounts, one saving and the other current, while the remaining three in pounds, dollars and euro.

The witness said she met the defendant once in 2015 as a relationship manager and would not know if the accounts had been active since they were opened in 2009.

Under cross-examination by the CJN Onnoghen’s lawyer, Miss Okagbue said that Onnoghen never made any foreign transfer from the accounts.

The witness, however, admitted that Onnoghen had a facility of $500,000 as at January 2019 with the bank secured by his investment in bonds and other investment.

She further admitted that Justice Onnoghen as a disciplined account holder was encouraged by the bank to invest in profit yielding investment and that interest in the investment are regularly credited to his account, adding that the bank made an investment on his behalf from his account.

Earlier, the second prosecution witness, Awal Yakassai, under cross-examination admitted that two assets declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, by Onnoghen, three years ago have till date not been verified.

He also told the tribunal that contrary to the allegations that the CJN owned fifty-five houses, he has only five houses one of which was sold to him by the Federal Government.

Justice Onnoghen is being prosecuted by the Federal Government on a six-count charge bordering on alleged failure to disclose some of his assets in his asset declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Here are some comments gathered as seen on Twitter:

@Chxta “The Onnoghen case (FG has rested its case), lays bare the dangers, and madness, of media trials. But then, these people don’t care. Their (short term) goal has been achieved. We’ll be left to pick the pieces up of the desecration of our third arm of government eventually.”

@YoungOtutu “With Justice #Onnoghen victory over the federal government and his sure reinstatement any moment from now. I want to use this medium to congratulate the incoming president of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.We are sure to coast to victory at the tribunals.”

@SamEba_ “For all those who labelled Onnoghen a criminal, may disgrace never depart from them.”

@Kcnaija “They just wanted the man out to manipulate election tribunal. Rogues claiming integrity!

@CeoNigeria “This Onnoghen case is highly pathetic. Imagine after the public ridicule, FG suddenly found nothing and closed the case. Thank God I resigned from political Twitter. Discussing Nigerian politics is emotionally draining! What’s for dinner please?

@Musa_BM “As a Buharist, i’m saddened by the Onnoghen’s case which was closed. He was embarrassed and ridiculed on something that was not properly investigated and checked. Clarity of perspective should always be considered when dealing with delicate issues.”

@Ummita71 “Onnoghen should resign as for me, since God has vindicated him, he should protest the ill treatment melted at him. He doesn’t deserve to be treated like that, a highly respected man, I knew there was much to his suspension.”

@beulahland17 “What’s going on here, FG closes case doesn’t mean the case is over or the man is innocent, it simply means it’s time for defense to open its case, these are legal terms.”

@Ogomkpuma “Almighty God, please when you want to punish Nigeria for the humiliation of CJN Onnoghen please remember us that spoke against his media trial but were dismissed and called criminals by APC Hypocrites. Lord have mercy.”

@Jeremiah_James “The case of Onnoghen is really painful because some persons used a sitting CJN to score cheap political points. The guts it took. I just pray he’s cleared and reinstated and to think we have a SAN as VP. Real shame.”

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BIG STORY

Nigeria Worse Than During Civil War — Obasanjo Drops Bombshell

Peter Okunoren

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has lamented over the current state of disunity in Nigeria.

Obasanjo said that Nigeria was not as divided as this during the civil war in comparison to the worst situation of things as they are now.

The former president said this while Speaking at a one-day ‘2019 annual retreat/conference and general meeting’ of members of Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) held at Park Inn, Abeokuta in Ogun State yesterday

The former president urged Nigerians to partner one another at home, within communities, states, countries, sub-African region and African continent, adding that Nigeria was in danger if “we don’t take partnership seriously.”

“When we look at this country today, even during the civil war, we were not as divided as we are now. Today, we are in danger if we don’t take partnership serious. That partnership should be within our people, Africa and the rest of the world.

“As chief audit, it is defined by virtue of what you are doing as a profession. If the audit is awry, banking business will not be right.

“What I want to emphasise is that it is a must as Nigerians and Africans that we have certain elements that we have to take very seriously which I put as 5Ps.

“The first is politics which is governance. Unless we get governance right, any other thing we are trying to do will not be right.

“The second is population. Our population at independence was estimated to be 45 million, but today we are almost 200 million. By the year 2050, we will be over 400 million. Normally, population should be an asset but looking at the condition we are in now, when in the North-east of Nigeria, the percentage of adult literacy is about 53 percent, and education being the basic of all human development, you can see that we have a problem.

“How do we think of setting education to be useful? Those people who will make our education over 400 million people in many years’ time are already born, and you cannot unborn them. So the problem is here, what do we do?

“We must provide education for them, housing, healthcare and most importantly, employment for them.

“One thing that I believe will help us is to provide employment is agricultural business. And you in the banking business must pay attention to how we build the agriculture sector. I am not talking of horticulture, I am talking of the whole value chain, from land preparation to the end product. And if we are able to get that right, maybe we will be able to get the issue of employment for our teeming youths right as well as rural development right.

“The next one is prosperity. I am not being bothered about Nigeria or Africa’s poverty. We have everything to generate wealth. We have God-given resources under our soil. We also have human resources. If we bring these together, then we will definitely get prosperity

“Another one is security. People must be protected in all aspect. Protection of lives and property is most important.”

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BIG STORY

Adeleke vs Oyetola: Osun APC, PDP Members Embark On Three Days Fasting And Prayer Ahead Of Friday’s Court Judgement

Peter Okunoren

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Some members of the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party have embarked on fasting and prayer to ensure a favorable judgment by the Election Petitions Tribunal on PDP’s Ademola Adeleke’s petition against Adegboyega Oyetola’s election as Osun State governor last year.

The tribunal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday informed both parties to the case that it would give judgement on the Adeleke’s petition against Oyetola of the APC on Friday.

A statement by the Osun State chairman of the PDP, Mr Soji Adagunodo, directed members of the party to fast and pray on Thursday ahead of the ruling.

Sources told our correspondent that a PDP group on Tuesday commenced a three-day fasting and prayer for divine intervention in the judgement.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent, Adagunodo said the party believed in the power of prayer and fasting.

Also, two APC groups –Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation and Giomania – said they would hold a special prayer session on Thursday to seek the face of God for a favourable judgement on the case.

The groups in a statement jointly signed by their coordinators, Sikiru Tijani and Abdul Adegboyega, said, “This prayer became imperative because we cannot afford to take the state which has been experiencing a monumental development in the last eight years back to abject poverty and penury.

“Our prayer will surely be answered because God is not unjust. We believe in the efficacy of prayer. Since we are on the right side of justice, victory is guaranteed.

“We believe so much in our party and we are very optimistic that the judgement will favour us. “The people of Osun have spoken through their votes, they turned out massively during the election to elect Oyetola. So there is no cause for alarm.”

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