The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki at the September 19 polls.
The apex court upheld the ruling of the Appeal Court, dismissing the alleged certificate forgery suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the Governor, during the 2020 governorship election.
The five-man panel of justices of the apex court, in a unanimous jdgement, maintained that the Appellants failed to prove their case against Obaseki, it therefore awarded one million naira cost in favour of the Governor.
Obaseki applauded the ruling, saying that the judgement has put an end to the diabolical controversy contrived by opposition elements over his credentials.
He said the judgement has also put to shame the individuals that sought to swindle Edo people with falsehood and lies in pursuit of pecuniary gains.
The apex court, in its ruling said it found no reason to set-aside the concurrent judgements of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which earlier dismissed the allegation that Obaseki tendered false credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to aid his qualification for the guber poll.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Emmanuel Agbim, said the appellants woefully failed to substantiate their forgery allegation against Obaseki, adding that they neither went to the university nor the West African Examination Council (WAEC) for checks but relied on INEC’s Form.
Dismissing the allegation, the learned justice said the appellants did not provide any ‘scintilla of evidence’ to prove their case.
In reaction the Governor said the judiciary has once again demonstrated that it is willing and capable of defending the Nigerian democracy.
“I see this victory as a renewed call by God Almighty to rededicate myself to His service and that of the people of Edo state.
“From the statement by the Supreme Court Justices, it is clear that they align with what Edo people knew all along, which is that there was no merit in the case. The controversy was diabolical and ill-willed. It is reassuring that the Judiciary has upheld the wishes of the masses once again.”
Obaseki dedicated the victory to Edo people, noting that their resolve to stand by him despite the campaign of calumny was inspiring.
He expressed appreciation to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for supporting him and holding steadfast in his belief and vision for a better Edo.
The governor also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), for ensuring that the judiciary remained impartial.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, had on January 9 dismissed the alleged certificate forgery suit against Governor Obaseki.
The judge, Ahmed Mohammed, had described the APC’s allegation as strange, saying it was like an outsider telling a man in his house that he is not the father of a child.
Not satisfied with the decision of the lower court, the APC approached the appellate court to challenge the judgment.
But the Court of Appeal had in a judgement, on March 18, held that the case the APC brought to vacate the January 9 verdict of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which authenticated Obaseki’s University of Ibadan degree certificate, lacked merit.
The appellate court panel which was led by Justice Stephen Adah, upheld the testimony of the Deputy Registrar, Legal, University of Ibadan, Abayomi Ajayi, who had earlier confirmed before the trial court, that Obaseki attended the University and fulfilled all the requirements for admission into the department of Classical Studies.
Bello’s achievement is only in birthday jamboree, photo-ops with celebrities – CNPP
Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, Kogi State chapter, has berated Governor Yahaya Bello of the state for his perchance for celebrity parties but clueless about the economic challenges facing the State
In a statement signed by the State Chairman Comrade Mohammed Kabir and Secretary, Mouktar Atima, the CNPP said the only visible achievement of the Bello-led administration is its proven expertise in organising birthday parties and photo-ops with celebrities.
CNPP noted that the recent consumer price index report released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last week Tuesday should be of serious concern to Kogi state government.
“Last week, NBS report showed that food prices were highest in Kogi state in the month of May. Same report showed that neighbouring Edo and Ekiti states recorded lowest increase in the same month.
“The latest NBS report makes it fourth month in a row that Kogi is topping the unenviable chart as the state with the highest increase in prices of commodities.
“In the face of the this alarming trend that affects the livelihood of our people, Governor Bello is only interested in social and political jamborees,” the statement reads.
CNPP stated that it obvious that the Governor Bello-led administration is clueless on how to approach the emerging economic realities in the state.
“The NBS report said the food inflation on a year-to-year basis was highest in Kogi at 32.82 per cent while neighbouring Abuja at 16.91 per cent recorded the slowest rise in year-on-year inflation in the country.
“While neighbouring States and the FCT are fairing better, Kogi State Government remains clueless as to the cause of the biting inflation in Kogi.
“Till date, the state government has not mentioned the issue not to talk of evaluating the situation and proffering solutions. All we see and hear is birthday celebration and fruitless engagements with celebrities.
“Go to any market in Kogi and compare prices of food stuff and other essential commodities with what is obtainable in other states and you will be surprised.
“Make further enquiries on how much each commodity was sold last month and you will confirm the sad reality the people of Kogi state are faced with.
“This is a state where local government workers, teachers and pensioners are being paid in ridiculous percentages.
“This is same state where local businesses are struggling to stay afloat because of unfavourable policies of the same government. How do we expect the masses to cope?
“There is serious and growing hunger in Kogi state. This is a time bomb that must be attended to immediately.”
The coalition of political parties therefore called on Governor Bello to “outgrow childish tendencies and face the reality of real governance”.
Marwa urges parents to also stay away from drugs so as to monitor their wards against the menace
Thee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) has challenged parents to live by example by also staying away from drugs so they can be in the right frame of mind to monitor their wards against the manace of drug intake and abuse.
Marwa who spoke on Friday during a meeting with critical stakeholders in Lokoja, Kogi state capital, during his familiarization tour of the NDLEA Kogi Command advised parents to carry out drug test for intending couples as a way of checking drug intake and abuse.
He said the process for reducing drug intake and abuse starts and rest with the family unit, .
He warned parents to constantly monitor the activities of their wards and children and advised religious bodies to intensify their preaching and counseling to their followers against indulging in the illicit drugs which has become a national tragedy.
He attributed the incidence of insecurity across the country to illicit drugs consumption as he also decried the high level of damage illicit drugs has done to Nigerians,
Marwa pointed out that banditry, insurgency, kidnappings and anti-social behaviours of the citizenry which is on the rise is due to high consumption of the psychotropic drugs.
The chairman urged all stakeholders to partner with the agency to fight the scourge which is impacting negatively on the social economic lives of the country .
He said the NDLEA under his watch is determined to reduce its production, distribution and consumption of the drugs to its barest minimum.
According to him the NDLEA is working round the clock to prevent people from having access to drugs by confiscating and destroying the illicit drugs as he said he is committed to smashing drugs supply chains.
He described the drug consumption demand of the country as alarming, insisting that all stakeholders have critical roles to play in bringing down the demand.
The NDLEA Chairman advise parents on the need to regularly carry out drug test for intending couples as a way of checking drug intake and abuse.
The Kogi State Commander of NDLEA, Alfred Adewumi, commended the chairman for successfully repositioning the NDLEA which has turned the heat on the saboteurs with high quantum of seizures and arrests.
He said the state command is not resting on her oars in the fight against illicit drugs across the Kogi state.
Stakeholders at the meeting including the persons living with disabilities, NCWS, NURTW, and others at the meeting promised their resolve to work with the NDLEA to reduce drastically the incidences of drugs production, distribution and consumption.
Lawan remains evasive as he finally speaks on Twitter ban
President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan Friday was still not really forthcoming about taking a stand against the ban by the Federal Government on Twitter, an action that has generated widespread reactions.
Lawan, however, expressed optimism that the planned dialogue between the federal government and Twitter will end the ban on the microblogging site in Nigeria.
The Senate may have disappointed many Nigerians on the expectations that it will at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday touch the issue of the ban on Twitter by the Federal Government as no motion or any matter of urgent national importance was moved.
There were high expectations as the two chambers of the National Assembly held their first plenary sessions since the government the suspension was announced.
The Senate considered many national issues except, Twitter’s indefinite suspension.
When they resume plenary on Tuesday, they immediately went into a closed session an action people believed was for them to mitigate against any motion or open debate on the fragile issue.
Last Friday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, announced that the federal government suspended the operations of Twitter indefinitely.
The minister had said the government was forced to act because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
On Wednesday, the chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Ajibola Basiru, also had declined to speak on the ban on the matter when he addressed Senate correspondents as he claimed he had no mandate of the Senate to speak on the issue.
“If I express any opinion, it will be my personal opinion and there is the tendency that my opinion may be judged to be that of the Senate,” Basiru said.
“So, I don’t have the mandate of the Nigerian Senate to talk on the issue of Twitter.
“I will exercise restraint and be on the cautionary note so that I will not be quoted as speaking for the Senate on the Twitter ban.”
But on Friday, Lawan was non-committal about the matter.
“Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed had, on Wednesday, said that Twitter had reached out to the federal government for dialogue over the decision of the Nigerian government to ban the operation of Twitter within Nigerian space,” he said at a media briefing on the 2nd anniversary of the Ninth Senate on Friday in Abuja
“Our belief is that Nigerians need Twitter and Twitter needs Nigeria. We believe that this engagement will resolve issue. I’m an optimist. I believe that all of us would have learned our lesson.”
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