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Ajimobi, Saraki, Okorocha — politicians who suffered ‘double loss’ in 2019

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In every electoral process, there are winners and losers but some losses are more intense than others, depending on a variety of factors. All parties and candidates head into elections with the optimism of either retaining their positions or unseating the incumbents — none ever plans to lose.

But there must be losers. In fact, there are more losers than winners. Here, we take a look at some of the politicians who suffered double loss in the 2019 general election.

BUKOLA SARAKI

O to ge– the people of Kwara said enough is enough and this altered the political calculation of Senate President Bukola Saraki. Running under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he contested the Kwara central senatorial district election and lost to Ibrahim Oloriegbe, a medical doctor like himself.

Oloriegbe, who had vowed to retire Saraki from the senate, polled 123,808 votes to defeat the senate president who had 68,994 votes. While trying to recover from the shock of the legislative poll, Saraki was hit by yet another loss. Razak Atunwa, his preferred candidate for the governorship poll in Kwara, lost to Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

No senate seat nor senate leadership, no governance edge in Kwara, no presidency (having earlier lost the presidential primary of the PDP). Triple loss, you may call it.

GODSWILL AKPABIO

The “uncommon senator” representing Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district was not saved from the tsunami of losses that swept through the elections. Akpabio prides himself as a strategic politician, having played a key role in the emergence of Udom Emmanuel, incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom.

While in the opposition party, he was senate minority leader but he resigned his position upon his defection. Some of his supporters believe that his political misfortune started when he abandoned the PDP but Akpabio saw things in a different way. Five days to the governorship election, Akpabio said PDP lost the presidential election the day he joined APC. He made this comment despite not being able to deliver Akwa Ibom for President Muhammadu Buhari

Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom, defeated Akpabio in the senatorial election though the senator has insisted that he won the election and “my mandate is waiting for me”.

In Saturday’s election, Nsima Ekere, who served as deputy when Akpabio governed the state, was defeated by the incumbent governor. Akpabio had campaigned vigorously for Ekere who lost alongside Akpabio’s allies who sought seats in the state assembly. What an uncommon defeat.

 ABIOLA AJIMOBI

The loss was not only for “Mr Constituted Authority” but also for the APC. Abiola Ajimobi’s emergence as governor in 2011 paved way for the party to snatch power from the PDP which had ruled in the state since 2003. But as things stand now, the PDP is back in control. Kola Balogun of the PDP defeated Ajimobi in the Oyo south senatorial contest.

Then, Ajimobi’s anointed candidate, Adebayo Adelabu lost the governorship poll to Seyi Makinde, still of the PDP. Some have said Ajimobi’s loss robbed off on Adelabu. Ajimobi goes into history as the first governor to rule for two terms in the state but this feat did not help him when he needed it most proud.

ROCHAS OKOROCHA

Many have accused Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor, of wanting to institute a monarchy in the state — and that may have been the catalyst of his loss in the 2019 polls. In 2018, Okorocha appointed Ogechi Ololo, his sister, as commissioner of the “happiness ministry” in Imo.

The governor planned for Uche Nwosu, his son-in-law, to succeed him. When Nwosu did not clinch the part’s ticket at the primary of the APC, Okorocha nudged him to defect to the Action Alliance (AA) while he (Okorocha) contested the senate seat under the platform of the APC.

However, Nwosu lost to Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP and while his camp was strategising on how to stop Ihedioha, INEC deleted the name of Okorocha on the list of elected senators. The move followed the complaint by Innocent Ibeabuchi, returning officer for the election, that he was forced to declare the results in favour of Okorocha. INEC had said it would not issue certificates of return to any candidate declared winner of an election under duress.

IBRAHIM DANKWAMBO

Like Saraki, Ibrahim Dankwambo’s loss story began when he sought the presidential ticket of the PDP which was eventually won by Atiku Abubakar. The two-term governor of Gombe, again, lost out in his bid to represent the state’s north senatorial district in the national assembly.

The governor, who contested under the platform of the PDP was defeated by Sa’idu Alkali of the APC. The APC candidate scored 152,546 votes ahead of Dankwambo who had 88,016 votes.

Not only did Dankwambo lose his senatorial bid, the APC has taken control of the state which was a stronghold of the PDP for over a decade.

Cable NG

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Crime

Court Convicts Former NIMASA DG, Obi over N136million Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, May 23, 2019, secured the conviction of a former acting Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Callistus Obi. Also convicted was Alu Dimas, an aide to Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of NIMASA. They were convicted by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi.



The duo were arraigned alongside two companies, Grand Pact Limited and Global Sea Investment, on April 12, 2016 on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, conversion, and money laundering to the tune of N136million (One Hundred and Thirty Six Million Naira).

The prosecution proved that the convicts converted the sum of money, N136million, belonging to the Agency to their personal use on August 5, 2014.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Callistus Nwabueze Obi and Dismas Alu Adoon, on or about the 5th day of August 2014, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: Conversion of the sums of N111, 000, 000.00 (One Hundred and Eleven Million naira) property of NIMASA, knowing that the said sums were proceeds of stealing, and thereby commited an offence.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their trial.

In the cause of the trial, the prosecution called eight witnesses and tendered several documents, which were admitted in evidence by the court.

At the resumed hearing today, Justice Olatoregun discharged and acquitted the defendants of the charge of conspiracy preferred against them.

The Judge, however, convicted them of conversion and money laundering.

The Judge said:  “The prosecution has proved the charges preferred against you beyond reasonable doubt with evident conversion and money laundering of N136million”.

Justice Olatoregun, however, deferred sentencing to May 28, 2019 and ordered that the convicts be remanded in prison custody.

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Brands

Zenith Bank Emerges First Nigerian Bank To Repeatedly Audit Its Carbon Emissions

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Zenith Bank Plc was presented with a Certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing by V4 Advisors after a successful completion of the Bank’s Greenhouse Gas Audit for the 2018 Financial Year. The presentation of the certificate and the report of the Auditors was done by V4 Advisors at the Zenith Bank Head Office on May 21, 2019.

The Executive Director, Dr. Temitope Fasoranti, who received the certificate on behalf of the Bank said the Bank started this effort with the 2016 Financial Year and has carried out three greenhouse gas audits to date.  He explained that the Bank understands the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and climate change and appreciates the role it is expected to play towards combating the menace of climate change.

Also speaking on the milestone, the Country Manager, Lynsey Elston highlighted that Zenith Bank is the first Nigerian bank to consecutively report the carbon emissions of their Head Office in Lagos using a certified tool which is built on the internationally recognized “GHG Protocol”. 

She commended the bank for proving its commitment to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Goal 13, Climate Action, in addition to complying with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.”  In response to her, the Executive Director said the initiative has significantly helped the bank reduce its overall carbon footprints and drive energy efficiency.

V4 Advisors is a UAE-based provider of advisory and consulting solutions on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The firm’s calculation and reporting tool has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

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Lagos Matters

Senate okays bill seeking to upgrade Yabatech to varsity status

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The Senate, on Thursday, passed the City University of Technology (Est, etc) Yaba Bill, 2018 for second reading.

The decision followed a motion by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa (APC-Lagos) at the plenary presided over by Senate President, Bukola Saraki in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill essentially sought to transform the Yaba College Technology (YabaTech) in Lagos State, to the City University of Technology Yaba.

Leading the debate, Ashafa, who represents Lagos East Senatorial District, argued that if the bill is considered, it would enhance the capability of the institution to achieve its objectives.
”Nigeria’s steady march towards education for all in the shortest possible time has taken a giant leap with the introduction of this bill.

”I am personally excited by the prospect of transforming this polytechnic to a university of technology because it will motivate both students and academic staff.
”It will also upgrade the facilities and enhance it capability to achieve its objectives.
”Similarly, the new university of technology will encourage the advancement of learning and hold out to all persons without distinction of race, creed, sex or political conviction the opportunity of acquiring a higher and liberal education,” he said.

Citing instances, the lawmaker noted that in similar circumstances in the United Kingdom, most of the polytechnics were upgraded to universities.
”If Nigeria has plan to become one of the world’s leading economies as currently being pursued by government, we must be ready to adjust and position our educational institutions so that its products are geared for the technological challenges inherent in such projections,” he said.

According to him, the attainment of university status would definitely enhance the operations of the Yaba Polytechnic and clarify its mission and vision.
Lawmakers, who contributed to the motion, also supported it.

When the motion was put on a voice vote, it was unanimously adopted by the legislators.
Saraki, therefore, referred the bill to Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further legislative action and report back within a week.
Similarly, the Senate also passed a Bill for the Establishment of Federal Polytechnic Iwerekun, Ibeju-Lekki Lagos, sponsored by Ashafa for second reading.

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