The candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dino Melaye and his Social Democratic Party (SDP) counterpart, Muritala Ajaka, in the Saturday Governorship election in Kogi State have called for total cancelation of the the election due to “irregularities that marred the election”.
Senator Dino Melaye in a press conference on Sunday in Lokoja said that the irregularities that marred Saturday’s election in all the three Senatorial Districts waere unprecedented in the history of the state and should not be allowed to stand.
He described the exercise as ‘shameful and unhealthy”, regretting that INEC has not learnt any lesson to realise, ameliorate and palliate the problem they created to democratic process during the general elections in the country, noting that they are still repeating the same in the governorship election.
“Yesterday in the five local governments of Central Senatorial districts in Kogi State, there was no election in the end. Surprisingly accreditation was done manually, the BVAS was not used. Prepared sheets manifested even before accreditation and evidence is all over the media.
“INEC, as a matter of urgency, must cancel the election. Many areas where I won, my agents were told there were no available result sheets to enter the result and we have evidence to back up these claims.
“As I speak to you, it is shameful that this is what our democracy has descended from. INEC has manifested ever than before, that they can not be trusted. They are biased, they are compromised and they can not be neutral umpir,” he said.
According to him, INEC officials, youth corps members were caught on Saturday with prepared result sheets even before the commencement of the processes. “A youth corps member was arrested with prepared results and N1 million.
“There was deliberate suppression of my votes in Lokoja and Kogi local governments. This was deliberately done by Governor Yahaya Bello and APC to make sure that even their orchestrated arrangement, I don’t come second. Because they do believe that there will be a second ballot and they believe if there is a second ballot, I have influence and tremendous support in the central and I can make an inroad in the East. So they preferred any other person to become second,” Senator Melaye posited.
Also, the Kogi state chapter ofSDP has called for the cancellation of results of the November 11th governorship election in the state.
SDP made this call at the gubernatorial election collation centre where the party’s collation agent, David Edibu, submitted a petition to INEC, calling for cancellation of results in Okene, Okehi, Ogori Magongo, Adavi, Ajaokuta Local Government Areas as well as some parts of Lokoja alleging corrupt practices, vote buying and overvoting.
He added that agents of the party were not allowed to get close to the polling units in the local government areas.
The state returning officer, Prof. Johnson Urame received the petitions on behalf of the commission and assured the party that the petition will be reviewed.
The PDP has said that they are keying into the petition of the SDP. The collation agent, Abubakar Mahmood, added that the number of malpractices in the said local government areas were alarming.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), while reacting to the call for cancellation, said that the PDP cannot blame anyone for not bringing agents to the polling units.
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Akeredolu: Calls Intensified To Declare Ondo governor Incapacitated
For the past couple of weeks, the call for the resignation of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has been growing louder as the governor continues to govern Ondo State from far away Ibadan in Oyo State.
The governor has been in Ibadan since he returned from a medical trip in Germany and many in the state believe that governance in the Sunshine State has been on auto-pilot.
Akeredolu left Nigeria on June 13, 2023, for medical treatment in Germany and spent about three months before he returned to Nigeria on September 9. He had earlier notified the Ondo State House of Assembly that he would be taking a 21-day leave and transmitted power to his deputy to govern in an acting capacity.
Upon his return, the governor is yet to set foot in Akure, the state capital, instead, he is staying at his personal residence in Ibadan.
The First Lady, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has been accused of pulling the strings to allow the husband to continue the stay in power despite the reported ill health.
Ondo State has been in political turmoil since the governor returned from his medical trip as his loyalists are making frantic efforts to remove the deputy governor of the state for actions taken during the absence of Mr Akeredolu.
Move to impeach Deputy Governor
Lucky Aiyedatiwa is currently fighting to survive the ongoing political battle as loyalists of Mr Akeredolu are making moves to remove him.
The travails of the deputy governor commenced when Mr Akeredolu returned to the country, and all media aides in the office of the deputy governor were sacked.
The loyalists of the governor in the State Assembly listed 14 offences committed by Mr Aiyedatiwa, including “gross misconduct, abuse of office with actions likely to bring down Ondo State Government, financial recklessness, publication in print media by your media aides maligning the credibility of the Governor, etc”.
The impeachment move has sidelined the deputy governor, who has been fighting in the courts.
The intervention by the National Working Committee of the APC appears to have slowed down the move but the deputy governor seems to have been relegated completely.
However, in the past couple of weeks, the attention has shifted away from the deputy governor to Mr Akeredolu. Ironically, the governor, who was the President of the Nigerian Bar Association during the sickness of Umar Musa Yar’Adua, was very vocal in the call for the resignation of the then-president over his health.
“No matter how much you love your country, it should not be at the detriment of your health. It is not your party or your wife that will decide whether you are capable of handling state matters; it is only your doctors that can decide that. The bar is not asking the president not to come back and take his seat, but the right thing must be done,” Akeredolu had said in 2010.
Steps to declare Akeredolu incapacitated
Kennedy Peretei, the National Publicity Secretary of the Ondo State PDP, had called for the impeachment of the governor for violating the constitution.
“The time has come for the Ondo State House of Assembly to immediately begin the impeachment process of Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, for violation of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“It is no longer news that Ondo State has been on auto-pilot for nearly six months, grounding all activities of the government due to the ill health of the Governor,” he said in a statement.
However, the Assembly has consistently defended Mr Akeredolu and ignored any call for action.
According to legal experts, in the case of health challenges, the first move to remove the governor must start from the commissioners, who have the power to declare that the governor is incapacitated.
Rasheed Bakare, a legal practitioner in Abuja, explained to DAILY POST that Section 189 of the 1999 constitution provides the steps to be taken before a governor or deputy governor can be declared incapacitated to continue in that office.
According to section 189 of the Nigerian Constitution, only the commissioners of Ondo State can trigger the process of declaring Mr Akeredolu incapacitated.
The first step is that 2/3 of the state executive council must resolve that the Governor is incapacitated to continue in office.
“189. (1) The Governor or Deputy Governor of a State shall cease to hold office if, by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of all members of the executive council of the State, it is declared that the Governor or Deputy Governor is incapable of discharging the functions of his office,” the constitution reads in part.
After the resolution by the body of commissioners, the constitution provides that the speaker must set up a panel to examine the health status of the governor.
The medical panel must comprise five medical practitioners, including the physician of the governor. The panel must determine that the “Governor or Deputy Governor is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a notice thereof signed by the Speaker of the House of Assembly shall be published in the Official.”
Once the report has been submitted to the speaker, it must be published and the governor is officially removed.
Mr Bakare told DAILY POST that as the law stands, it is going to be difficult to remove Mr Akeredolu or any other governor in Nigeria on the basis of section 189.
According to the legal practitioner, since the Governor appointed the commissioners, it will be hard for them to recommend the removal of their boss.
“The challenge with section 189 is that it is hard to see a commissioner that will say ‘My boss, the governor is sick and unable to perform, so let us pass a vote to that effect’. It is hardly done. In fact, that provision needs amendment.
“Who appoints the commissioners? The governor. For them to pass a vote against the governor, owing to the infirmity of the mind or body— they won’t. It hardly occurs,” he said during a phone interview.
Last week, 33 out of the 35 State Executive Council members passed a vote of confidence on the ailing governor and declared their loyalty to him.
Only the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Razak Obe, and the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, and Cooperative Services, Akin Sowore did not sign the document.
There are indications that politicians in the state prefer to wait for the next election which is in November 2024. The primary election is scheduled for April next year.
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Polaris Bank deepens promotion of SMEs in Nigeria, Sponsors 2023 Year End Fashion Souk with Eventful
Polaris Bank, Nigeria’s Leading Digital Retail Bank, in partnership with Eventful Limited will host the 2023 season end edition of The Fashion Souk 9.0 scheduled to hold at the Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd.
The Fashion Souk is Nigeria’s premier marketplace where smart Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the fashion industry gather to display and market their diverse goods and services to a large audience.
With its extensive collection of fashion-related SMEs, The Fashion Souk stands as the largest congregation of such businesses in Nigeria to date. The event will primarily focus on four thriving industries: manufacturers, leather, retailers, and jewelry & accessories.
Over 140 established SMEs in Nigeria’s fashion industry, leather, and jewelry/accessories sectors, spanning across manufacturers, retailers, and dealers, will participate in The Fashion Souk 9.0. This incredible platform provides these businesses with an unparalleled opportunity to exhibit their creativity, product lines, and unique offerings to a discerning audience.
The Fashion Souk promises to be a memorable event that showcases the rich diversity, talent, and innovation within Nigeria’s fashion industry where attendees and shoppers can expect an immersive experience, with an array of unique products, inspiring fashion shows, and networking opportunities with industry experts.
In line with its SME focus and commitment, Polaris Bank has partnered and supported businesses in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy including; health, education, manufacturing, agriculture, export, and others. The Bank has advanced credits to these sectors for acquisition of medical equipment, machines, distribution, and logistics of medical products; laboratory equipment, stationaries, furniture, classrooms, school bus; working capital for businesses, expansion, etc.
BusinessDay in a November 2022 article valued Sub-Saharan fashion market at $31billion, with Nigeria accounting for 15 percent to the total regional market; while Statista put the value of the global fashion industry in 2022 at $1.53trillion, with revenue forecast to increase in 2023, to more than $1.7trillion.
Polaris Bank was adjudged Nigeria’s Digital Bank of the Year in 2023, 2022 and 2021 in Business Day’s Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. It also emerged as the Nigeria’s Best MSME Bank of the Year because of its ability to use technology to enable bottom-up support to the MSME sector.
Polaris Bank was adjudged Nigeria’s Digital Bank of the Year in 2023, 2022 and 2021 in Business Day’s Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. It also emerged as the Nigeria’s MSME Bank of the Year because of its ability to use technology to enable bottom-up support to the MSME sector.
As a digital-forward Bank, Polaris Bank is dedicated to forging a customer-focused future through innovative partnerships that reshape both businesses and communities.
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GAS EXPLOSION LEAVES SEVEN KWARAPOLY STUDENTS AND GAS ATTENDANT INJURED, IN ILORIN FIRE ACCIDENT
Seven students of the Kwara State Polytechnic (Kwarapoly), Ilorin, Kwara state reportedly sustained varying degrees of injury during a fire incident at a gas refilling shop near a student hostel.
The fire incident, which occurred at Destiny Villa, Dola Abinbola Street, Elekoyangan area in the Ilorin East local government area of the state late Saturday night, also involved a gas attendant.
The Head of Department media and publicity of the state Fire Service, Hakeem Adekunle, on behalf of the director of the service, Prince Falade John, said that the fire started when a gas attendant at a nearby gas shop was refilling a gas cylinder, positioned several meters above ground level.
“The cylinder fell and exploded, concurrently releasing gas from the charged hose used for refilling. This exacerbated the fire, resulting in injuries to seven Kwara State Polytechnic students and the gas attendant.
“The firemen promptly departed from the station and upon arrival at the scene, they encountered a building with about 17 self-contained rooms fully ablaze. Four rooms were affected, and eight individuals sustained injuries”.
The fireman said that a total estimated property lost was valued at N14.6 million, while a total estimated property saved was N72.2 million.
In response to the incident, Director of Kwara State Fire Service, Prince Falade John, dispatched his team to check on the affected students on Sunday, November 19, 2023.
The Director also urged the members of the public to prioritise safety measures to prevent fire disaster
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