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SDP seeks disqualification of Oborevwori, Omo-Agege, others over alleged forgery

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Chief Kenneth Gbagi, Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate in Delta, has appealed to the election petition tribunal in Asaba to disqualify the Governor -elect, Sheriff Oborevwori over alleged forgery.

He also sought the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Ovie Omo-Agege; Labour Party Candidate (LP) Ken Pela; the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate Mr Great Ogboru, on the ground of violation of the 2022 Electoral Act.

Gbagi, a former Minister of Education, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.

The SDP candidate in the March 18 governorship election, had filed a 79-page petition against the governor-elect and the other frontline candidates, seeking for their disqualification .

Gbagi in a certified true copy petition with No.WPT/DL/GOV/2023 to the tribunal, alleged that the candidates, in their attempts to meet the constitutional requirements of eligibility for 2023 governorship election, presented forged documents while filling the INEC forms.

He said the forged documents included multiple sworn statutory declaration of age and affidavits, inconsistency of names of some of the candidates, perjurious swearing of affidavits.

Other electoral infraction alleged to be committed by the candidates also included lieying under oath, claims of possessing and non possession of various academic qualifications and alleged financial impropriety by one of the candidates, among other infractions.

He also hinged his call for their disqualification on the alleged degrees of electoral malpractice at the march 18 poll in Delta.

He listed the alleged malpractice to include over voting, vote buying induced by the candidates.

He said there were situations where the total number of votes recorded and allotted were more than the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) collected by voters that exceeded the number of registered voters in the polling unit.

Other alleged infractions, according to him , included alteration of some results sheets which did not reflect on the duplicate copies given to party agents, mutilation of form EC8As, polling units without corresponding voting points result sheets, over and under balloting, among others.

” I am a candidate, and I am saying, we are candidates of these election, but this people who are candidates ought not to be candidate and the tribunal is the appropriate place.”

The SDP candidate, consequently in the petition, urged the tribunal to declare non and void and of no effect, the Certificate of Return issued by INEC to the candidate of PDP as the winner of the governorship election in Delta State.

He further urged the tribunal to withdraw the Certificate of Return and issue a fresh certificate to him as duly qualified and elected governor.

“For those of us, who contested and particapated, I am the only one on the list  that is qualified.

“The election has been held, marks were allocated to us, my prayer is that they were not qualified, and I should be declared as the winner of the election because I am the only qualified candidate in the first instance,”he said.

He said it was the right time to bring up the matter as records and experience showed that pre election cases most times do not go far.

“Go back to the Electoral Act, I could not have raised an objection on issue of a candidate of a party that I am not a member.

” Every one who went to pre-election matter, none of them went any where, this is the appropriate time, to raise this issue,” he said

Meanwhile, effort to get reaction of the Chief Press Secretary to the Delta Governor -elect, Mr Dennis Otu, was unsuccessful as he didn’t respond to the WhatsApp message request for his reaction.

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Customs intercepts smuggled goods worth N1.8bn in Oyo/Ogun command

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By Bushrah Adeshina, Ibadan

The Oyo/Ogun Command of the Nigerian Custom Services has reported the interception of smuggled goods, bags of rice, petroleum motor spirit (PMS), used clothes, and Indian hemp, all amounting to N1,890,022,931.00 between January 19th and February 2024.

Moreover, the authorities confiscated counterfeit pharmaceuticals with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1,739,000,000.00 (one billion, seven hundred and thirty-nine million naira) this year, 2024. The interception took place in the Bakatari area of Omi-Adio, Ibadan.

The Area Controller, Ben Oramalugo said, “For the period of 19th January to February, 2024, the command has intercepted and seized the following contraband goods, foreign parboiled rice 345 (50kg) bags, worth N24,218,000.00, Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, 344 (25 litres) kegs, worth N5,728,500.00, Indian Hemp, 4 wraps (4 Kilograms), worth N126, 000.00, Used tyres, 1309 pieces, worth N70, 140,000,00, used clothing and shoes, 45 sacks/, 8 sacks/9 sacks, bales, worth N32,400,000.00/N10, 320, 000,00.

“Fake Pharmaceuticals, Augmentin Tablet, (625mg), 7 sacks, worth N819,000,000,00, Ampiclox, 22 sacks, worth N440,000,000,00, Amoxicillin Capsules, 24 sacks, worth N480,000,000,00, foreign wine, 34 cartons, 5 bottles, worth, N6,231,206,00, foreign vegetable oil, 40 bottles (5 litres), worth, N1,760,000,00, 21 bottles (1 litre), worth N99,225,00, totaling N1,890,022,931.00.”

He, however, reiterated the command’s effort towards the fight against ongoing economic difficulties by supporting the federal government to enhance food security in the country.

“Once again, we would like to reiterate that all borders within the command area of responsibility are still closed due to federal government policy on border closure, and as such, command officers remain vigilant and dedicated to preventing the snuggling of items that could compromise the health and well-being of our citizens,” Oramalugo stated.

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2023 Silverbird Man of the Year award, a call to greater service — Abiodun

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The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Sunday, said the 2023 Man of the Year Award by the Silverbird Group is a testimony to the efforts of his administration to reposition the State for more economic prosperity.

Receiving the Award held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Governor Abiodun reiterated his commitment and dedication to the socio-economic development of the Gateway State.

He said that apart from engendering good governance, his administration places a premium on a friendly environment and security for businesses to thrive, saying this has led to the influx of industries to the state.

“Our administration in the last four and a half years, has transformed our vision into making the State the investor’s destination of choice. We have also successfully implemented people’s oriented policies and carried out reforms to improve efficiency and service delivery, leading to the state being the most improved in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the country.

“We have implemented a multi-modal transportation plan and other infrastructure across the State. We have constructed well over 500 kilometers of road, built over 3,000 affordable houses, renovated well over 1,000 schools, and constructed our Gateway International Airport,” Governor Abiodun said.

While appreciating the management of the Silverbird Group for the recognition, the governor said the honour is a call for greater service to the people, pledging to build on the successes recorded during his first term in office.

He used the occasion to appeal to Nigerians to remain calm in the face of the current economic challenges, assuring that President Bola Tinubu is working round the clock to find a lasting solution to the hardship.

Governor Abiodun dedicated the Award to the people of Ogun State, the civil servants, and his party (APC), as well as to those who have supported him since the inception of his administration in 2019.

Presenting the Award to the governor at the 19th edition of the Man of the Year Award, the Chief Executive Officer, Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, commended Prince Abiodun for the accelerated development recorded in the state since his assumption of office

The Air Peace boss emphasised that the Award was a reflection of Governor Abiodun’s commitment to the development and the fundamental changes in the affairs of the state through the ‘Building our Future Together’ agenda, which has engendered more growth to the state’s economy.

Speaking in an interview, the Senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Afolabi Salisu, described Governor Abiodun as an achiever, whose policies and programmes have transformed the economic landscape of the State

Also speaking, a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, said the governor’s inclusive style of leadership has led to the improvement of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, which has turned around the socio-economic development of the state.

The Ogun State Head of Service (HoS), Mr. Kolawole Fagbohun, described Governor Abiodun as workers’ friendly whose policies have enhanced professionalism in the State’s civil service.

The event attracted dignitaries from all walks of life, including representatives of governors of Delta and River states, former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, members of the National and state assemblies, government functionaries, business moguls, among others.

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Enforcement of monthly rental policy to take effect before end of 2024— LASG

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The Lagos State Government (LASG) has said that the enforcement of the monthly rent policy earlier announced would commence before the end of 2024.

Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had in 2021 said the current one year upfront rental payment system where tenants pay in advance to property owners has become inadequate to address recent realities of an emerging city in the housing sector.

Sanwo-Olu made the recommendation at the 10th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Lagos recently.

At the event, then Minister of Works and Housing, and former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, corroborated Sanwo-Olu’s position, stressing that the yearly rental system had created inequality in the housing supply and widened the affordability gap for low-income earners.

Governor Sanwo-Olu had submitted a monthly rental system, which he said would be affordable to low-and middle-income earners discomforted by the yearly rent obligation.

He had called on policymakers to consider the suggestion and initiate a regulatory framework for the transition.

Sanwo-Olu, who remarked on the State’s rent-to-own programme of five percent down payment and six percent simple interest rate payable over 10 years, had announced that “we are working on another product, which is a purely rental system, where residents will pay monthly.”

The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Housing, Barakat Odunuga-Bakare, reflecting on the policy said like what obtains in other climes where rents are collected monthly, the same would be enforced in Lagos..

“We all see what is being done in other climes, rents are collected monthly. Hence, we are looking and hoping that before the end of the year, or by early next year, we will be able to implement the policy of monthly rental,” she said during a recent press briefing of the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority in Ikeja, Lagos.

She added that the rental would be charged according to tenants’ earnings.

“The good part about it is that we would be test-running it first within the public sector since we can ascertain how much everybody is earning, and once we see that it works in the public sector, we can now push it out to the private sector,” the Special Adviser said.

She mentioned that the N5 billion allocated for the monthly rental scheme was still set aside and untouched, she added attributing the delay in time to take off to the fact that the State Government is working to perfect the implementation of the policy.

“The last administration that initiated the monthly rental scheme was coming to an end when the scheme was to be introduced.  Now, we have a new administration and the governor wants the scheme to come into effect by the end of this year or early next year,” Odunuga-Bakare said.

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