Thursday, 12 February 2015

Leaked Ekiti Tape: I dare Obanikoro to go to court — Falana

Femi Falana

Popular lawyer, Femi Falana, has attributed the shift in the dates of the general elections to the leaked tape alleging the rigging of the Ekiti State gubernatorial election last year.
Speaking at the Black History Month and Dr. Beko Ransom Kuti Memorial Program in Lagos, Wednesday, Mr. Falana said some of those implicated in the plot, who were threatening legal action, should think otherwise.
An audio recording revealing how some Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, chieftains connived with security agencies to rig the Ekiti State election was released by an army officer last week.
At the meeting, as evidenced by the recording, prominent officials of the PDP were heard discussing strategies for rigging the 2014 Ekiti governorship election, a poll in which the party eventually won by a landslide.
But some of the actors, including Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Defence Minister, and Ayo Fayose, who defeated the incumbent governor, denied being a party to the plot to rig the election and questioned the authenticity of the recording.
Mr. Obanikoro had also threatened a court action against news organizations who had published the conversations in the audio tape.
Despite their denials, the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, who also attended the meeting, confirmed Sunday that the tape was authentic. He however disagreed with the context of the discussion, saying the meeting was never about plans to rig the Ekiti State election.
Speaking Wednesday, Mr. Falana said that none of the participants in the recording had successfully challenged the army officer’s account of the incident.
“I understand that Mr. Obanikoro (whom he described as a ‘thug’) says he will go to court. I can assure you here, I dare him to go to court. He can’t. It’s not possible,” said Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“One of the reasons they postponed the election last week is that disturbing revelation by that Captain. That is what they wanted to do for the entire country. That revelation has sent them back to the drawing table. They now have to re-strategize.”
Mr. Falana criticised President Goodluck Jonathan for “embarrassing” the country with his repeated trips to the Holy Land, instead of channelling such funds to job creation.
Since he became the President in 2011, Mr. Jonathan has travelled for pilgrimage twice.
“I was reading the papers yesterday, the president said in violation of the peace accord, that governors in the north have not been sending Christians to Jerusalem. In other words, they have been sponsoring Muslims to Mecca,” said Mr. Falana.
“Please tell the president that there is no provision in our law for sponsoring anybody to Jerusalem or Mecca.
“Section 10 of the Constitution provides that the Nigerian State shall not proclaim any religion as an official religion. Therefore, appropriating billions of Naira every year, wasting money to send people to Jerusalem or Mecca is illegal.
“If you must know, less than seven per cent of Israelis are Christians, so they make jest of us. When you descend on them, that you are there to worship Jesus Christ, they’ll be like ‘are these people Ok?'”
Mr. Falana also insisted that the general election must hold and whoever emerges winner should be allowed to govern the country.
“And I’m challenging Edwin Clark and others, all those old men with expired ideas. Femi Okurounmu and others,” he said.
“We never saw them when we went to the streets of Lagos and Abuja to proclaim Goodluck as acting President. You were in the streets of Lagos, where were these characters? They were nowhere to be found.
“In fact, quote me. Baba Clark called me in one of our protests, ‘Femi, my son. Please keep it up. We from the Niger Delta cannot join this struggle now.’ I said why sir? He said ‘because he’s our son.’ I said what has your son got to do with the quest for justice?
“Professor Wole Soyinka, at the age of 71 (he was actually 76 then) led us in the protest. Please tell them this country belongs to all of us.”
On the issue of deployment of soldiers during election periods, Mr. Falana noted that nowhere in the Nigerian Constitution, Electoral Act, or the Armed Forces Act was a provision made for soldiers in election.
“So when they told Jega that they are going to be busy in the north east and they will not be able to secure the election. Please there is no provision for those Service Chiefs to police our election,” said Mr. Falana.
“Under Section 76, Section 116, Section 132, and 117, it is the exclusive responsibility of the INEC to fix dates for election. Only INEC. Not the president, not the NSA, not the security chiefs.
Knowing that, they then came in fraudulently by saying that they cannot guarantee your security.
“They have not been able to crush Boko Haram in six years, what magic are you going to perform in six weeks? Please we reject their fraudulent claim.”
Mr. Falana maintained that it is the duty of the police to maintain law and order in peace time.
“Soldiers have no business in town in peace time. Their duty is to defend the territorial integrity of our country, not to police election,” he said.
“That is the business of the Police. As a matter of fact, even Boys Scouts can police elections in Nigeria. You know why? On the day of election, there is restriction of movement. It is illegal for you to leave your ward for another ward. Only journalists, observers, and election workers can move round.
“So if everybody is restricted, why do you need soldiers to come and help you? To do what? But I will tell you why they need soldiers. You know why they need soldiers? To rig the election. To manipulate the process.”

source premium-time

Senator claims GEJ ‘has been begging’ National Assembly for tenure elongation


A Senator of the federal republic, has alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan, has been urging the National Assembly for elongation of his tenure, but he has so far met a brick wall.
He uttered the comment at a social discourse organised by the ARG in Ibadan, in honour of Kayode Fayemi, a former governor of Ekiti, state.
Senator Babafemi Ojudu, speaking during the event on Wednesday, February 11, expressed apprehension that elections may not hold, in spite of the postponement.
He said: “President Jonathan has been begging us to allow him do two more years but the Yoruba must cry out and also be strategic in their call for change.
“We are resuming in the next one week and the President might likely bring the proposal for the election to be postponed for the next six months or one year. The constitution supports that once the nation is in war situation the proposal might be passed by just a simple majority,” Ojudu added.

by Kolapo Olapoju

Audio clip: Soldiers ready to testify in court – Fayemi

Kayode-Fayemi. Black

Former Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has revealed that some military officers are ready to give evidence in court over the audio clip that caught senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members and military chiefs plotting how to rig the June 21, 2014 governorship election in the state.
Speaking on a live programme, “APC Change Hour,” on an Akure, Ondo State-based ADABA 88.9 FM monitored in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, Fayemi said the postponement of the 2015 general elections was not about security but about a high-wired plot to rig the polls.
The audio clip was aired on the radio station with the alleged voices of Governor Ayo Fayose, former Minister of State (Defence), Musiliu Obanikoro, Police Affairs Minister, Jelili Adesiyan, Osun State Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate, Iyiola Omisore and Gen. Aliyu Momoh haggling about rigging plans ahead of the poll.
He said the postponement was about a “desperate government and a desperate President that is afraid of a loss and using a military that became a willing tool.”
The former governor said the PDP-led administration was trying to re-enact the rigging perpetrated in Ekiti with the alleged misuse of the military at the forthcoming general election.
Fayemi stressed that the upper echelon of the military was guilty of treason against the state with its role in the dramatic postponement of the polls, saying the first duty of the government through the armed forces is security of lives and property.
He deplored a situation in which the military institution has been desecrated with the army generals being harassed and intimidated by politicians desperate to rig elections for their party.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Council of State rejects election postponement

President Goodluck Jonathan

The Council of State on Thursday rose from a seven-hour meeting, advising the Independent National Electoral Commission to go ahead and perform its constitutional responsibility of conducting the 2015 elections.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State told State House correspondents that INEC told the council that it was ready for the conduct of the election.
He said security chiefs also expressed their readiness but raised issues about some local governments currently under the control of the Boko Haram sect.
The implication, he said, is that elections will not hold in the affected areas.
But Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State claimed that the council advised INEC to consider all the inputs made during the meeting with a view to taking a decision it will announce to Nigerians later.

Details later.


Monday, 2 February 2015

Disqualification: Court orders service of documents on Buhari, INEC


A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the service of court documents on the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, in relation to a suit seeking to among others, restrain him from participating in the February 14 election.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola ordered a substituted service of the court documents on Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission after hearing the plaintiff’s application to that effect.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/14/2015, filed by Max Ozoaka, the plaintiff raised eight questions for the court’s determination and prayed for among others, an order disqualifying Buhari from contesting or participating in the election.
The suit has Buhari and the INEC as defendants.
It is the plaintiff’s contention that INEC FORM CF 001 which the APC candidate submitted to the electoral body was incomplete because he allegedly failed to accompany the form with all relevant academic credentials.
He also faulted some information contained in other documents he possessed including Buhari’s voter’s card.
The plaintiff wants the court to restrain INEC from permitting Buhari to participate in the presidential election on February 14 or any other date the 2nd defendant (INEC) may fix.”

the nation