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Court Dismisses APC’s Suit Against Ogun PDP Gov Candidates, Party

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The Federal High Court, Abeokuta, presided over by Justice Joyce Obehi Malik, on Wednesday dismissed the APC v. INEC & 3 ORS suit with No FHC/AB/CS/149/2022 filed by the APC against Hon Ladi Adebutu (the PDP Governorship candidate for Ogun State) and his running mate, Hon Adekunle Akinlade and the PDP, challenging Akinlade and Adebutu’s qualification to contest the 2023 governorship election for alleged double nomination. The court awarded a total of N6 million cost to Adebutu, Akinlade and the PDP.

In the defence for Adebutu, Akinlade and the PDP, Chief Mike Ozekhome led Prof Amuda-Kannike, SAN, Chief Emeka Okpoko, SAN, Isiaka Olagunju, SAN, Kadiri Asamah, SAN, Clement Onwuenwunor, SAN, and a team of other lawyers. Wale Habeeb Ajayi, Esq, was Counsel for the Plaintiff, APC.

Chief Ozekhome had urged the court to dismiss the suit in its entirety, notwithstanding the belated notice of discontinuance hurriedly filed by the APC only this morning when it very well knew it had lost the case on its merit. He argued that the case had come up on four different occasions for argument after issues had been properly joined by all parties and arguments had indeed commenced only yesterday, before the APC, sensing its imminent defeat, suddenly threw in the towel belatedly by filing a notice of discontinuance just this morning, the second day of hearing and argument.

Citing several appellate court decisions, including amongst others, ZOAKA V. BUBA & ANOR (2020), OGBU V. NNAMCHI & ANOR (2014), ERONINI V. IHEUKO (1989), and EZOMO V. AG, BENDEL STATE (1986), Ozekhome urged Justice Joyce Obehi Malik to dismiss the suit in its entirety and award heavy cost of N3m against the APC in favour of Adebutu so as to prevent the APC from ever coming back through the back door to file a similar frivolous suit. Bar Wale Habeeb conceded to the order of dismissal as being the proper order to make, but conceded only N1m as cost. The court wholly agreed with Chief Ozekhome and Kannike’ s submissions that the proper order to make in the circumstances of the case was one of outright dismissal and not one of merely striking out the case.

She accordingly dismissed the case and awarded N6 million cost in favour of the defendants (N2 million apiece) to Hon Ladi Adebutu (the PDP’s governorship candidate for Ogun State), his running mate, Hon Adekunle Akinlade, and the PDP.

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Defamation: Emefiele Threatens Lawsuit Against Akpabio, Demands N1bn

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The embattled former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has demanded N1billion damages from Senate President, Godswill Akpabio for alleged defamation.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Matthew Burkaa, in a notice to the Senate President dated February 19, 2024, faulted the “we don’t know what to charge Emefiele with” statement credited to Akpabio on February 18, 2024.

Emefiele, through his lawyer, considered Akpabio’s comment “false, distorted and clearly aimed at disparaging his character and indeed made in bad faith”.

The Senate President at a thanksgiving service by Senator Barinada Mpigi in Koroma, Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday, had said Emefiele left the Nigerian economy in a mess and the Federal Government does not know the charges to levy against the ex-apex bank chief in the eye of the storm.

The President Bola Tinubu administration, through anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is currently probing the affairs of ex-CBN governor.

Burkaa said contrary to Akpabio’s claim, the Federal Government had since August 14, 2023 preferred charges against Emefiele and his client had pleaded not guilty of the said allegations.

Burkaa, in his letter to Akpabio, said: “Your statement attributing the present economic woes of the country solely on our client is most appalling and exposes the inaccuracies in Your assertions, especially, as you were a major player in the immediate Past Administration and worked closely with our client and indeed witnessed the innovations he introduced in the banking sector and its impact on the economy whilst in office, as well as the role he played despite all odds in salvaging Nigeria in the P & ID Saga and the positive result it brought for Nigeria.”

“You are also aware that no single policy was carried out by our client without the approval, directive or authorization of the President and/or the Federal Executive Council of which you were a key and powerful member.

“These baseless and false allegations clearly defames the character of our client and has also caused him great pains and embarrassment as it has lowered his esteem before the right thinking members of the society in addition to the obvious odium and opprobrium from the unsuspecting members of the society as a result of the falsity contained in that statement.

“We, therefore, have our client’s further instruction to demand from you an unreserved apology in writing, published and circulated by the same medium with which you have defamed his character and the sum of One Billion Naira (N1,000,000,000) as reasonable compensation for the willful and unjustifiable denigration of his hard earned reputation.

“In the event that you fail, refuse or neglect to comply with this legitimate demand, our client will be at liberty to seek the appropriate redress available to him under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

View a copy of the letter:

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We Will Continue to Prioritize Welfare of Our Senior Citizens – Gov Adeleke

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The Executive Governor of Osun State, Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, on Tuesday, reiterated his unwavering commitment to the well-being of the pensioners and the populace of Osun State.

This declaration, according to a statement signed by the governor’s spokesman, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, came during the official launch of the free surgery and medical care program for pensioners in the state, a collaborative effort between the Osun Health Insurance Agency and Rotary International.

Governor Adeleke underscored the significance of prioritizing the health needs of senior citizens, stating, “We are here to participate in another event designed to address the health needs of our people, especially the senior citizens, as their well-being is our priority.”

He emphasized the government’s continuous efforts to innovate and implement programs and policies aimed at alleviating the burdens of the people. “Our pro-people activities are multi-sectoral for maximum effect on the citizenry,” Governor Adeleke added.

Furthermore, Governor Adeleke announced the forthcoming commencement of the 3rd episode of the Imole surgical and medical outreach program. The previous episodes provided surgical and medical care to over 50,000 inhabitants of Osun State.

Acknowledging the pivotal role of healthcare providers, Governor Adeleke highlighted recent approvals, including allowances and upgrades, benefiting health workers in the state, thereby ensuring their welfare and motivation.

Dr. Rasaq Akindele, the Executive Secretary of Osun Health Insurance Agency, expressed gratitude to the Governor for his visionary leadership and commitment to prioritizing the health of pensioners and the people of Osun State. He noted that the 23,000 enrolled pensioners under the OHIS scheme have begun receiving comprehensive treatment free of charge since February 1st, 2024, expressing their appreciation to the Governor.

Rotarian Ilori-Olokose Yetunde and Rotarian Ojo Phillip, representing Rotary International, commended Governor Adeleke for his healthcare initiatives, aligning with Rotary International’s core values. They expressed their organization’s readiness to collaborate with Osun State Government through OHIS to further enhance healthcare delivery in the state.

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Osun Govt Inaugurates Asset Recovery Task Force

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The Osun state government has inaugurated a special task force for the recovery of government project vehicles/assets carted away by the officials of the immediate past administration.

The inauguration of the committee followed the release of the white paper of the Asset recovery committee set up by Governor Adeleke through the executive order issued on the day of his inauguration on November 27th, 2022.

The committee which is to be Chaired by the Secretary to the Osun state government, Alhaji Teslim Igbalaye, was inaugurated on Wednesday, 14th February, 2024 with the mandate to “ensure immediate recovery of government project vehicles/assets carted away by the officials of the immediate past administration.

The Head of Service, Mr Ayanleye Aina, while inaugurating the committee on behalf of the Executive Governor, charged the committee to implement the report of Asset recovery committee and retrieve all the state government assets discovered to have been carted away by officials of the past administration.

The full names of the members of the Task force are listed below:

1. Alhaji Teslim Igbalaye (Chiarman)
2. ⁠ Mr Wojuade (Secetary)
Members
3. ⁠ Hon Babatunde Gbadamosi
4. ⁠Hon Gbenga Ikupuluyi
5. ⁠Hon Lekan Alabi Esq
6. ⁠Mr Joseph Ilesanmi
7. ⁠Alhaji Rasaq Oyetunji
8. ⁠SP Kazeem ADEFIOYE
9. ⁠ASP Ahmed Bio
10. ⁠Mr Sikiru Alao
11. ⁠Mr Tajudeen Adelabu
12. Engineer Oyetola Babatunde
13. ⁠ESV AA Oseni
14. ⁠Eng Olanrewaju BO
15. ⁠Mr Gbenga Adeniran

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