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Ambode Absent At Sanwo-Olu’s Mega Rally

Peter Okunoren

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Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode was absent at the mega rally of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, which took place in Ikorodu on Thursday, fuelling speculations that impeachment was imminent.

The governor, who is a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign council, broke with the state party’s tradition where incumbents usually accompany governorship candidates on major rallies across the state.

Ambode was said to have visited his Epe constituency on Wednesday, January 30, but travelled to Kano to attend the presidential rally held there.

During the 2015 governorship campaign, former Governor Babatunde Fashola accompanied the then-candidate Akinwumi Ambode to most of all the rallies held in the 20 local government areas of the state and it was expected that Ambode would continue in that tradition.

Thursday’s rally was scheduled to begin by 9 am but at 10.30am, chieftains and candidates of the party began trooping into the venue, while Sanwo-Olu and his running mate, Obafemi Hamzat came into the arena at 1.30pm.

Immediately party supporters observed that Ambode was absent, many began speculating that his absence might be connected with the recent impeachment threat from the Lagos State House of Assembly over his refusal to present the 2019 Appropriation Bill on the floor of the House.

Few minutes after Sanwo-Olu’s arrival, he was ushered onto the podium where he urged voters to support all the party’s candidates from the presidential to the House of Assembly. He also promised to ensure that Ikorodu is developed beyond its present state if he is elected.

He said: “I will continue to appeal to voters to support our party as they have always done in the past 20 years. If you vote for me, my administration will construct Sulemain Farouk road to Agboyi-Ketu road and ensure that Ikorodu will have its own stadium.

“Some people are saying that we are in bondage in Lagos, but I want to tell you that we are not in bondage. Tell those lying that they do not have anything to say. On February 16, we must all go out to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari and all our senatorial and House of Representative candidates. I urge you to come out on March 2 to vote for me and all our House of Assembly candidates.”

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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