- INEC Declares APC Oyetola Winner of Osun Gov Election
The Independent National Electoral Commission declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gboyega Oyetola, as the Governor-elect of Osun State.
The rerun of the Osun State governorship election was held in seven polling units across four council areas on Thursday with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gboyega Oyetola, beating the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Ademola Adeleke.
The returning officer, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, declared that the APC candidate, Oyetola, won the governorship election by scoring a total number of 255,505 votes while Adeleke of the PDP polled 255,023 votes.
This was, however, met with protests by Adeleke, the PDP, and the Coalition of United Political Parties, among others.
Adeleke had won the main election on Saturday with 353 votes after polling 254,698 against Oyetola’s 254,345. On Thursday, both candidates relied on 2,637 votes in the seven units where the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared rerun to win the final contest.
The rerun was held in one polling unit in Oyere in Ife-North, one polling unit in Olode in Ife-South, another polling unit in Osi, Ife-South, three polling units in Orolu, Kajola Local Government Area of the state and one polling unit in Osogbo.
In Oyere, APC had 126 votes while PDP had two votes. In Olode, APC scored 283 votes with the PDP scoring 15 votes. In Osi, APC had 172 votes while the PDP had 21 votes. In Ifon, Orolu, APC had 111 votes against PDP’s three votes. In Gbogbo, Orolu, APC had 41 while PDP scored 64 votes. Also in Idiya, Orolu, the APC scored 128 votes against the PDP’s 55 votes.
In Osogbo, the APC scored 299 votes while the PDP scored 165 votes. In all, APC scored 1,160 to beat the PDP which scored 325 in the rerun. When added to the result of the main election on Saturday, APC had a total of 255, 505 votes against PDP’s 255,023.
In the run-up to the rerun of the election, the PDP alleged that INEC shortchanged its candidate in some of the council areas by announcing figures that were lower than what Adeleke actually scored.
It claimed that the actual margin of the win against Oyetola in the first election was 4,740 and not 353. The party said that INEC added 2,000 votes to what the APC polled in Osogbo and 1,387 to what it scored in Olorunda. The party also alleged that 1,000 votes were deducted from what Adeleke scored in the Ayedaade council area.
The candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Iyiola Omisore, who came a distant third in the Saturday’s election, however, became an important element in the Thursday’s rerun because some of the polling units fell under the area of his strength. He was visited by a high powered Federal Government delegation which included the APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; his Oyo State counterpart, Abiola Ajimobi; Ekiti State Governor-elect, Kayode Fayemi; and Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.
Although he also met some leaders of the PDP, which included the party’s presidential aspirants, Bukola Saraki, and Atiku Abubakar, Omisore caved in under the FG pressure as he announced that he would support the APC in the rerun.
In areas where the rerun was held in Ife-South and Ife-North, PDP supporters alleged that they were barred by thugs from reaching the polling units to cast their votes for Adeleke. They also alleged that police watched as they were beaten by the thugs, adding that the result of the election did not reflect the wish of the electorate.
In Olode, the PDP agent was absent at the polling unit. One of our correspondents who were at the polling unit witnessed the beating of two people who claimed that they had come to vote. Although there was a heavy presence of armed security men at the unit, the hoodlums acted without hurdle. It was also observed that voters were hugely induced to vote at the polling unit.
It was gathered that voters were registered by an agent at a mud house behind the polling area and given what was termed agreement fee before voting and another amount after showing evidence of voting. The evidence was usually the ink on the thumbnail. It was also observed that the majority of the people at the polling unit, except journalists, observers and security men, had a common symbol of identification.
The Director of Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Akin Ojewande, who was at the unit, said the election process was peaceful. He said that it was the choice of the PDP not to be represented at the unit.
He said, “The election is peaceful according to plan. Everybody has the right to be here or not, How would I know (why the PDP agent is not here). A party is allowed to have an agent at each polling unit. Nobody was sent away from coming here. People have been following the rule. I don’t know of other polling units.”
In Osogbo, gunshots fired by unknown people caused a commotion as the voting process was disrupted. Two persons were arrested by the police for attempting to buy votes from the electorate in the queue. A man who was alleged to be in possession of cloned Permanent Voter Cards was also whisked away by security men. An undisclosed amount of money was also found on him.
PDP rejects results, says it’s black day for Nigeria
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party met in Abuja on Thursday over the conduct of the rerun governorship election in Osun State.
While rejecting it, the party also said that the Thursday election was one of the worst days in the history of Nigeria.
It described the election as a black day for the nation.
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, spoke at an emergency meeting after the meeting of members of the PDP National Working Committee.
He lamented that Osun State was put under siege and the citizens’ right trampled upon by security agents, whom he said were backed by both the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission officials.
He expressed concern that if what took place in Osun State was what would take place in 2019, then the future of Nigeria’s democracy “is bleak and the nation sliding into crisis.”
He said, “What we have witnessed in Osun shows clearly that the All Progressives Congress is not ready for an election and we are afraid that President Muhammadu Buhari will not hand over if he loses the election next year.
“Today, we are all aware of the rerun election in Osun State as we address the press conference. We, the members of the National Working Committee, have reviewed what has happened from the distribution of materials to the actual voting in some of the units and wards.
“We found that Osun is under siege. Therefore, today is a black day for Nigeria.
“We would think that it is a state or some units, but if you look at what has transpired so far from Ekiti to Osun State, Nigerians are groaning in pains especially the Osun people.
“The right of the citizens to be able to come out and vote had been trampled upon and the entire state and the wards and units have been seized by the security agencies who were acting on behalf of the APC to make sure the election is rigged by all means.
“We are sad that if this is what is going to take place in 2019, then the future of Nigeria’s democracy is bleak and we are sliding into crisis.”
Secondus challenged INEC to rise above what happened in Osun and declare the PDP candidate as the winner of the election.
He also called on the commission to immediately cancel the elections in all the units where security agencies seized the Permanent Voter Cards of PDP members and also where their members were prevented from voting.
In his reaction, the Deputy National Chairman (South-West), Dr Eddy Olafeso, noted that security agents colluded with the APC people by allowing those wearing uniform bearing the APC governorship name to vote.
He alleged that in Orolu and Garage Olode and some of the units, the PVCs of PDP members were seized and INEC members of staff were induced with cash, which he said they could not refuse.
I’ll retrieve my stolen mandate at tribunal —Adeleke
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has vowed to retrieve his ‘stolen mandate’ from Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress at the election petition tribunal.
Adeleke said this while speaking in an interview with journalists shortly before the final figure was announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, on Thursday.
The PDP candidate, who spoke through his brother, Dele Adeleke, said he would meet with the party leadership and tribunal would be the next step for the party and the candidate to take.
He said, “It will be foolish to allow this 419 result to stand. The party will meet and I believe that the tribunal is the next step to take.
“Adeleke’s mandate can’t be stolen, it will be retrieved. The wish of the people will stand at the end.”
However, the All Progressives Congress has said the PDP is crying foul over the result of the Osun State governorship rerun election because of the inability of the opposition party to rig the poll.
The APC said this in a statement issued on Thursday by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy in Osun State, Mr Kunle Oyatomi.
Speaking in the statement released after the rerun poll which was held in seven units, the APC spokesperson said that the opposition party made an elaborate arrangement to rig the poll but were prevented from carrying out the act.
He said, “Osun people have spoken. The PDP was unable to manipulate the result this time around, so they are crying foul. We have always known and have made ourselves clear before the election that the PDP had made elaborate arrangements to rig the election through the manipulation of the card readers and it was this process that made them got the votes allocated to them in the first ballot.
“Nobody expected the PDP to even come second. Most people in Osun have the belief that it would be a straight fight between the APC and SDP. But as God would have it, Osun was saved from the vultures.
“We will like the Osun people to understand that the runoff votes went the way it did because the PDP was unable to manipulate the card readers this time around and fortunately the police thwarted their plot of vote-buying and trying to use the PVCs of unsuspecting voters. That was why some of their leaders were arrested. So the PDP should look for other excuses.
“They attempted to win by fraud; they failed in the first round and eventually lost the rerun election.”
COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations
African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations
African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.
He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.
He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.
“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.”
He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.
China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations
China Calls for China-U.S. Relations
Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.
Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.
Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.
Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.
Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.
“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.
“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”
Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.
Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.
The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.
U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns
U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.
The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.
“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.
Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.
A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.
Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.
Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.
Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.
The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.
Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.
In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.
In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.
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