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Why We Couldn’t Investigate Obaseki’s Certificate – INEC



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it could not investigate the certificates presented to it by Godwin Obaseki, winner of the Edo State governorship election held on September 19, because the information the governor gave was presumed to be true since it was backed up with affidavits.

The position of the commission was contained in its response, as 1st Respondent, to the petition filed by the Action Democratic Party (ADP) to the Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal holding in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The ADP and its governorship candidate, Emmanuel Iboi, in petition number EPT/ED/GOV/01/2020, joined INEC, the PDP, Mr Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as 1st to 5th respondents in that order. It averred that the university degree certificate submitted by the 3rd respondent, Mr Obaseki, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was defective.

The certificate was issued by the University of Ibadan, UI.

However, in a certified true copy of INEC’s response to the claims, which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the commission said it could not investigate the originality and authenticity or otherwise of the disputed certificate/document which Mr Obaseki presented to it for the governorship election because it was beyond its responsibility.

INEC said it was not in the position to disqualify the governor for alleged certificate forgery because only a competent court of jurisdiction could disqualify the governor.

In its response signed by its lead counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), INEC said, “It is also not the duty of the first respondent (INEC) to investigate the origin of the said documents duly submitted to it.

“The information given by the 3rd respondent (Mr. Godwin Obaseki) in the affidavit and documents submitted by him as a candidate at the election in INEC’s nomination form (Form C.F 001) are presumed manifestly true or prima facie correct until and only if the contrary is proved and/or pronounced false by an order of the court.”‎

Meanwhile, the 2nd Respondent, PDP, in its response to the ADP petition, explained that Mr Obaseki misplaced his certificate before filling the forms for the election in 2016, but had before the 2020 election found the certificate.

According to the PDP, “At the time Obaseki was completing his Form CF001 in 2016, he deposed to an affidavit stating that he had misplaced the originals of all of his certificates.

“Subsequently, before Obaseki submitted his Form EC9 in 2020, the original certificate issued by the University of Ibadan was eventually found which has the signatures of the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar of the University.”

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Jibrin Condemns Destruction of Political Activist’s Hotel in Kogi



Accord Party Candidate in forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State, Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd) has condemned the attack and wanton destruction of a hotel belonging to a political activist Hon. Kabir Bala aka Okwo’ located at Ejule in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.

Reports have it that the hotel, said to be one of the best in the area, was attacked and completely razed down Wednesday night by people yet to be identified.

Admiral Jibrin in a statement to the media in Abuja, said the attack on the hotel was not only condemnable, but dastardly and unwarranted.

According to the retired Chief of Naval Staff, people should imbibe the spirit of politics without bitterness and eschew the recourse to needless violence in aspiring for positions of power.

He called on the state security apparatus to ensure an urgent and independent investigation and communicate their findings to the public to douse the tension that is building up in Kogi East.

Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd)
Accord Party Governorship Candidate, Kogi State

The Governorship hopeful, while also calling on the State Governor, Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services to quickly take steps to ensure that the electioneering period leading to governorship election is devoid of all forms of criminality.

Admiral Jibrin, popularly called ‘Akpabana’ promised to bring his experience, extensive knowledge of security and universal contacts to bear on ensuring that the people of the state are safe and secure when he takes over the mantra of leadership of the state.

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has announced the appointment of Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, and Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Sen. George Akume

A statement by the State House Director of Information, Biodun Olajundoye said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu confirmed the appointment on Friday during a meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF),

Oladunjoye further stated that the President also named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).


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Ali Inaugurates Customs’ State-of-the-Art ‘Project Management Office’



Customs boss, Hameed Ali (rtd), inaugurating the NCS Project Management Office in Abuja today.
Hameed Ali Inaugurates Customs’ State-of-the-Art ‘Project Management Office’

Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) on Thursday inaugurated the ‘Project Management Office’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.

Ali, the Comptroller General of NCS, unveiled the facility, while also flagging off the ‘Modernisation Project’ of the Nigeria Customs, in Abuja.

The NCS helmsman, said that the project, though initiated by NCS, became a Presidential Initiative, noting that its deliverables will have a transformative impact on reform, restructuring, and revenue generation across NCS.

He said: “By leveraging technology effectively, NCS can adapt to changing market dynamics in trade, optimize our operations, and unlock new revenue streams, thereby contributing to economic growth and wellbeing of our citizens.

“The flag off of the Modernisation Project signifies not just the culmination of our efforts, but also a celebration of the NCS’s determination, resilience and foresight.

“…I pray that the Modernisation Project will be a milestone in our history, marking the beginning of a new era characterized by innovation, collaboration and sustainable growth.

“…Finally, I wish to urge the NCS to embrace the beauty and transformation that the coming years will bring. As we embark on this Modernisation Project,let us ensure that its impact reverberates throughout every border of our great nation”.

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