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Ajimobi Clinches Oyo South Senatorial Ticket

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The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has clinched the All Progressives Congress ticket for Oyo South Senatorial District in the primary election conducted by the Chief Ademola Seriki-led electoral panel.

Ajimobi defeated Dr. Fola Akinosun by 2,659 to 168 votes to seek a return to the Red Chamber, where he represented the state between 2003 and 2007 on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy.

Announcing the result in the early hours of Wednesday, Seriki said the exercise, which started around 6:30pm on Tuesday, was delayed due to the late arrival of voting materials from the national headquarters of the party in Abuja.

The Oyo South Senatorial District spans nine local government areas, which are Ibarapa North, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa Central, Ido, Ibadan North, Ibadan South-East, Ibadan South-West, Ibadan North-East and Ibadan North-West.

The Senator currently representing the district, Soji Akanbi, did not take part in the exercise for undisclosed reasons.

Addressing journalists after being declared the winner, the governor applauded the electoral committee for what he called the hitch-free and smooth conduct of the exercise, despite the earlier delay.

Ajimobi said: “I look forward to going back to the Red Chamber to contribute my quota to the national debate and the progress of the nation.

“I wish to bring to fore my parliamentary experience to grow a Nigeria that the next generation will be proud of.

“The process has just started today (yesterday) with my emergence as the candidate of our great party.

“The people of Oyo South Senatorial district should expect greater performance from me at the Senate, which will even surpass my unprecedented achievements as governor by the grace of God.

“As you have all witnessed, the election was free, fair and transparent.

“I was even happy that my younger brother, Dr. Fola Akinosun, could score as high as 168 votes.

“I think he tried.

“And you can see that it was transparent and I am happy about it.”

Akinosun, who was present at the beginning of the exercise, left the venue for undisclosed reasons before the final collation of the results from the nine LGs.

He had earlier promised to abide by the results of the primary on the condition that it was free and fair, adding that he decided to throw his hat into the ring as a free citizen and qualified member of the APC, irrespective of the stature of his co-contestants.

Akinosun added: “This election is not about life.

“It is about representation and should not be by force.

“I promise to accept the outcome of the polls and that is if the due diligence is done.

“We are in the same party and we shall not allow an internal election to create a crisis in our party.”

Also addressing delegates after announcing the results, Seriki described the exercise as another successful primary that the committee had conducted, having also taken charge of the governorship primary that produced Chief Adebayo Adelabu on Sunday.

He said: “You heard what happened in some states that conducted the same exercise.

“Some were not as successful as Oyo State and I give the credit to the aspirants and the entire members of this great party for making this exercise worthwhile.

“I salute the calmness and maturity of the aspirants that have so far participated in the primaries, from Sunday’s governorship primary and today’s Senate primary.

“We look forward to further cooperation of all stakeholders in the remaining primaries.”

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Ganduje Heads 49-Member APC National Campaign Council For Edo 2020 Elections

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The Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed a 49-member high-level National Campaign Council for the September 19 Edo State Governorship Election.

The council chaired by Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has four state governors, the Deputy Senate President and two former National Chairmen of the party among others as members and Hon. Abbas Braimoh to serve as Secretary.

Party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena in a statement in Abuja on Thursday said the appointment of the council followed the approval of the National Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni.

Details shortly…

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BIG STORY

Lagos East: Ambode, Ashafa, Gbadamosi, Jostle For Late Osinowo’s Senatorial Position

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No fewer than 13 members of the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State have reportedly indicated interest in contesting for the by-election to fill the Lagos East Senatorial District at the Senate.

The former occupant of the position, Bayo Osinowo, died on June 15, 2020 after a brief illness said to be connected with COVID-19.

Our correspondent learnt that among leading candidates for the position in the APC are a former Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; a former occupant of the position, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, a former House of Representatives member, Dayo Alebiosu-Bush, a former Lagos commissioner, Tola Kasali; and the Director General of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri.

For the PDP, the leading candidates include a former governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Babatunde Gbadamosi; the last PDP flag bearer for the position, Princess Abiodun Oyefusi; and a public relations expert, Adedipe Shobajo.

The spokesperson for the Lagos PDP, Taofik Ganiu, said his party would ensure it fielded the best candidate.

He said, “What is operating in the PDP Lagos now is that we are set for any election. For the Lagos senatorial district by-election, we want to field our strongest candidate who will not be rejected by Lagosians. There are seven aspirants already.

“We are also happy to note that a lot of the APC chieftains are making plans to have us as a platform. We are aware that the APC national body is endorsing somebody and other aspirants are aggrieved. So, our doors are wide open for them to take advantage of it.”

Ganiu said the greatest asset of his party was its plan to end godfatherism in Lagos, adding that the coming by-election would be an opportunity for the PDP to showcase its best hands before claiming the state come the 2023 general elections.

However, the APC spokesperson, Seye Oladejo, said the ruling party was still mourning the death of Osinowo, aka Pepper.

He said, “At the level of the party, nothing is happening now. It’s barely two weeks that we lost Pepper. Humanity should come into play here irrespective of anybody’s ambition. So, nothing is happening.

“But I can tell you that it’s going to be in the public domain when the time is right; it will not be hidden.”

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Court Strikes Out Certificate Forgery Suit Against Obaseki

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday struck out a suit seeking the disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki from contesting the forthcoming governorship election in the state for allegedly forging his university certificate.

The suit was filed on May 29, 2020, by Edobor Williams, Ugesia Godwin, and Amedu Anakhu, ahead of the governorship election scheduled to hold in Edo State on September 19.

Joined as respondents in the suit were the governors’ party, the All Progressives Congress, the Inspector-General of Police, and Obaseki himself.

But Justice Anwuli Chikere struck out the suit on Monday as neither the plaintiffs’ lawyers nor the defendants’ were present in court.

The plaintiffs alleged in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/553/2020, that the University of Ibadan certificate which he attached to his Form CF.001 which he submitted to INEC for his first term election in 2016 was forged.

They argued that the governor’s educational information contained in Part C of the Form CF 001 which he submitted to INEC on July 12, 2016, and the first-degree certificate of Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies, said to have been obtained from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, was forged.

They contended that this was “contrary to the provisions of section 182(1)(i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999”.

According to them, Obaseki was, therefore “not qualified to run or seek the office of Governor of Edo State under the platform of the 1st defendant (APC) in the governorship election scheduled to hold in the state in September 19, 2020”.

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