Chief John Odigie Oyegun After Casting His Vote today
TheCable - Chief John Odigie Oyegun, , national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), jocularly told journalists on Wednesday that he was ready to get his own share of financial inducement of voters participating in the Edo state governorship election.
There have been reports of voting in exchange for money — TheCable witnessed one — although it was not immediately clear which political party was responsible.
Addressing reporters after casting his ballot at Ward 2, Unit 2, Staff Training Center, Okada Avenue, Benin, Oyegun said it would be difficult to identify those bribing voters.
“When you look at a place like this, you don’t know who has been given money or who has not,” he said.
“How do you know that somebody has been given money? The way it is, nobody will know who you voted for. Please, is there somebody sharing money, let me go there and collect my own.”
He described the turnout as very impressive, saying “it is a sign that something good is about to happen”.
“I have always voted here, and this is the best turnout that I have ever seen,” he said.
“This is even the largest number of journalists that I will address in this place. This presumes that something good is about to happen.
“People are keen to express their civic rights and this shows that democracy has become widespread. It’s a very good development. It has been peaceful so far; I have been monitoring on the television.
“The security arrangement has been absolute. As the national chairman of the party, the issue of security has been of great concern to us and all the security agencies gave us the assurance that there would be no incident, at least no major incident.”
The exercise is going on smoothly across the state. Voters started trooping to their polling units as early as 6:30am, and the electoral officials arrived in time.
By the arrangement of the Independent National Electoral Commission, voting will stop at 2pm.
The trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu for alleged forgery was stalled on Wednesday, because the prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar, said he had not prepared his response to a fresh motion by the defendants challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
Mr. Umar is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami.
Mr. Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, former Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and his deputy, Benedict Efeturi, are facing trial for alleged forgery of the Senate standing rules used to elect them as leaders of the Senate in June last year.
The matter was adjourned in July till September 28 following the annual vacation of the judiciary.
At the opening of session on Wednesday, Mr. Umar informed the court that he had just received a motion from the defendants challenging the jurisdiction of the court in respect of the charges against them and asking that the case be dismissed.
He added that since the matter has to do with the fundamental right of parties to fair hearing, he needs to properly prepare his response to the motion.
“Just now I became aware of a motion by the first defendant and served on us on September 26. The motion is fundamental because it is asking your lordship to decline jurisdiction and quash the charges. It is a short notice,” he said.
“I have not filed anything. It is fundamental to fair hearing. Under the circumstances, I will ask for an adjournment to enable me to respond to the motion.
“Honestly, I’m not ready for this motion. If it is only just two days, grant us the adjournment to respond to the motion,” he said.
Mr. Umar further said he had some internal issues he needed to attend to, before responding to the motion.
The counsel to the defendants objected the application for adjournment.
“The act of prosecution is serious business, especially in a criminal charge. The office of the Attorney-General which is the chief prosecuting counsel was served months ago. They had all the opportunities to respond to our applications,” said Mahmud Magaji, counsel to Mr. Efeturi.
“I urge your lordship not to allow us to descend to the internal working of the prosecution. In view of this, I’m objecting to the application for adjournment,”
Counsel to Mr. Saraki, Paul Erokoro, also asked the court to refuse application, describing it as lacking in merit.
“On behalf of the third defendant I submit that the application has no merit. If the Attorney-General has not deemed it fit to pass the entire case file to the counsel, then we should be allowed to move our motion. We are ready to proceed,” said Mr. Erokoro.
The trial judge, Yusuf Haliru, adjourned the matter till October 7.
Nigeria Pillar Of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike has charged athletes and officials participating in the National Youth Games on going in Ilorin, Kwara State, to put up their best performances and raise the standards at the games.
He made this charge during a telephone chat from his Ilorin base.
"I commend the organisers of the games and say this is a good step in the right direction, "he noted.
" This youth games should be seen as a platform to unearth fresh and younger talents for the country. Therefore, I want to implore the athletes and officials participating in the games to raise the ante and produce top class performances in line with Olympic Games standards, "Ejidike who also doubles as the President of the Nigeria Karate Federation urged.
Speaking further, the sports philanthropist revealed his satisfaction on the news that Karate will be one of the sports at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Adding that with the improvement of Karate in Nigeria and the growing enthusiasm of the sport, he believes the country would be well represented in Japan.
"I am optimistic that Nigeria would be well represented at the next Olympic games in Japan. Towards that, Nigeria Karate Federation have mapped out plans to organise various tournaments and refresher trainings for the athletes and officials ahead of African and global championships, particularly, the next Olympic games, "he enthused.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday at the Supreme Court demanded the removal of Cross River Governor, Benedict Ayade, for alleged falsification of age.
Ayade had in August announced his intention to appoint 300 more aides, in addition to existing 800.
PDP, through its lawyer, Mr. N. Ibegbulam, told the apex court headed by Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour that it was in support of an appeal by Mr. Joe Agi, SAN, against Ayade.
Agi, also a PDP chieftain, came second in the governorship primary election of the PDP, held in the state on December 8, 2014.
He tendered exhibits before the court showing that Governor Ayade had in three different affidavits that were deposed to on oath, supplied conflicting dates as his year of birth, Vanguard reports.
Specifically, the evidence before the court showed that the 3rd respondent (Ayade) had in the Nomination Form, Code PD 003/G, which he used to contest the Cross River State election, stated on oath that he was born on March 2, 1969.
However, the age declaration he attached to the form, which his brother Frank Ayade swore to before a Cross River State High Court sitting at Oleh on February 1, 2007, indicated that the defendant was born in 1968.
Moreover, the plaintiff tendered in evidence, a document that showed that the governor, while applying for admission into the University of Ibadan, gave an age declaration stating that he was born on March 2, 1966. The bio-data was allegedly issued by the University itself.
PDP told the apex court that it was satisfied that Ayade violated its Electoral Guidelines by furnishing it with wrong data about his age.
Ibegbulam said, “My Lords, after due consideration, we apply to concede to this appeal and consequently apply to withdraw the 1st respondent’s brief of argument dated May 17.
“We urge your lordships to find merit in the appeal and apply Article 14(b) and 15(2) of the PDP Electoral Guidelines which disqualifies any candidate that gives false age declaration.”
After listening to the parties, the apex court reserved its judgment till December 9.