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Tribunal Dismisses AD, LP Petition Against Sanwo-Olu

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An Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Ikeja, Lagos on Monday, dismissed a petition filed by the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the Labour Party (LP) challenging the victory of the Executive Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the March 9 polls. 

Justice T. T Asua, the Chairman of the Tribunal in a ruling dismissed the petitions due to the inability of the petitioners to file applications for pre-hearing conference after the close of pleadings within seven days as prescribed by law. 

The three-man panel noted that timely application for pre-hearing conference was a condition to the hearing of the petitions and without the application for pre-hearing conferences, the petition cannot commence or get to the stage of judgment. 

The panel noted that Section 285(4) of the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution was inapplicable because the timely application for pre-hearing conferences was a precondition in election petition matters. 

Dismissing the petitions, Justice Asua said that inability to serve any of the respondents was not an excuse and that the consequence of failure to apply timely for pre-hearing conference is dismissal of such a petition.

Following the pronouncement, Mr Bola Aidi, the counsel to AD and LP thanked the Tribunal for a well considered ruling 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sanwo-Olu,  All Progressives Congress (APC) and the INEC Residential Electoral Commissioner were listed as respondents to the petitions.  

Other respondents are -The Returning Officer for The Lagos State Governorship Election, the Commissioner of Police and the Nigerian Army. 

Mr Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) the counsel to Sanwo-Olu had via a Motion filed on May 22 raised an objection based on Paragraph 18(1)(4) of the Electoral Act. 

Owonikoko noted that the AD and LP had not filed applications hearings for pre-trial conference within seven-days after the close of pleadings. 

Aidi, however in his response dated May 26 had said Section 285(8) of the Fourth Alteration of the 1999 Constitution does not permit any electoral petition to be terminated at the interlocutory stages. 

AD, their gubernatorial candidate Chief Owolabi Salis and LP alongside Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi their gubernatorial candidate had in their petitions challenged Sanwo-Olu’s victory on the grounds that he is not competent to run as a gubernatorial candidate in the election. 

The petitioners claimed that the March 9 polls was marred by violence, voting  irregularities and that Sanwo-Olu cannot vote or be voted for as he has no valid voters card.

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POLITICS

‘We are not planning any impeachment against Obasa’ -LAWMAKERS

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Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday passed a vote of confidence on Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, emphasising that they were not plannning to impeach the speaker, as insinuated in some quarters.
The Lawmakers said the speaker had demonstrated exemplary leadership so far so good, and as such, vowed to keep supporting him.
Recall that Obasa had been in the eye of the storm following ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into his financial dealings in the house.
While some of his accounts had been frozen courtesy of the order of Federal High Court in Lagos, the speaker was interrogated last week by operatives of the anti-graft body in Lagos. He was subsequently released on administrative bail.

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“I was never detained by the EFCC” -Obasa, Lagos Assembly Speaker

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By Adesina Ogunyemi

Claims by some news media that the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, was detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), may not be true as the latter has since returned home.

Obasa, chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, appeared before the EFCC on Thursday, October 8 as the agency continued with the investigation of some allegations against his office.

Obasa was at the EFCC office in honour of an invitation sent him by the agency.

“As a good citizen of Nigeria, a public officer and lawmaker, it was just justified that I honour an invitation by an agency trying to find out some answers relating to some questions.

“It is normal for the EFCC to invite whoever it deems should be invited. Honoring the invitation simply shows patriotism,” Obasa said in a statement released by his media office.

The Speaker added that he had returned home and was never detained by the EFCC as was already being speculated.

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Onafeko appointed as Acting Clerk, Lagos State House of Assembly

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By TIMI Joshua

The Lagos State House of Assembly has appointed Barrister Olalekan Onafeko as the Acting Clerk of the House.

Prior to his appointment, Onafeko was the Head of Administration/Human Resources Directorate of Lagos House of Assembly.

His appointment was announced on Monday, September 28, 2020, by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni.

According to the Deputy Speaker, “It is the responsibility of the Selection Committee of the House to appoint a new Clerk.

“We have met many qualified staff and we considered so many qualities such as competence, desirability and others and so we appointed Mr. Olalekan Onafeko,” he said.

The immediate past Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni retired from the Service on September 10, 2020, after serving meritoriously for 35 years.

Since then, the Deputy Clerk, Mr. Taiwo Otun, had been acting as the Clerk during plenary.

Onafeko has a degree in Business Administration from Ogun State University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, and LL. B Laws from Lagos State University, Ojo, and Nigerian Law School.

He joined Lagos State Civil Service in 2000 as Administrative/ Human Resources Officer 2, on Grade level 08, and was posted to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

He was deployed to the Lagos House of Assembly in 2005 as Administrative Officer/ Human Resources Officer 1, on Grade level 9.

He has won several awards such as Annual Best Officer Award, Best Officer Award, Senior Category at the Year 2014 Public Service Week. He had been nominated twice for National Merit Award.

Mr. Olalekan Biliaminu Onafeko will be the third Head of Administrative / Human Resources Directorate that will be appointed Acting Clerk and later substantive Clerk in the history of Lagos House of Assembly.

The first was Mr. Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru in August 2011 when the then Clerk, Mr. Taiwo Olatunji retired.

The immediate past Clerk, Mr. Azeez Sanni was the Director of Finance and Administration in 2016 when he was appointed Acting Clerk after the retirement of Mr Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru.

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