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Forty Years After, Petrol Price Remains Irregular In Nigeria

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The Marine Transport Average (MTA) Zibima referred to is a 15kobo Nigerians pay on every litre of petroleum product they purchase. The purpose of this surcharge is to make sure people living in the creeks of the Niger Delta and other riverine communities can buy petrol at a maximum price of N145. When multiplied by the 19,785,236,180.71 liters of petrol the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied in the last year, the total funds accrued to the MTA in 2018 is N2.97 billion.

The reporter engaged Zibima to find out how cheap it is to afford legally distributed gasoline in the region where all of Nigeria’s oil and gas are drilled.

“It fluctuates, it depends on supply. For the past couple of months, it has been stable at N145. Outside the state capital you’ll get it at N180-200 and in the riverine areas it is a lot higher,” he replied.

Zibima is a resident of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital. The oil-rich state appeared twice on the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), monthly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) – same as petrol, price watch. His job of ensuring the creeks of the Delta are free of oil spills and gas flares  takes him out to these areas, where transportation of petrol by road is an impossible fit.

Within and outside the Niger Delta, the government’s short term plan of making petrol prices uniform across the country has remained a dream 44 years on.

Disparate Prices in the South-South

Views like Zibima’s is most likely what formed the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) hypothesis and spurred it to collate data on how much people buy petrol for across the country. In its PMS Price watch for 2018, December was the only month in the year the national average price was close to the N145 cost ceiling when it stood at N145.80. In that month, Bayelsa state popped up as one of the top three places where the average price of PMS was above N145-N150.

This was the state’s second appearance on that list. The first time was in July when the average price was N151.67. A neighboring state to Bayelsa-Delta also appeared once on NBS watch list of places where it is most expensive to buy petrol in Nigeria. Delta state’s appearance was in September; PMS was sold for N150.92 on an average.

“In the riverine areas it is different,” says Collins Newuwumi, a resident of Warri-Delta state’s commercial hub. He was speaking to the price differential of petrol between the riverine area and urban towns. Collins informed SaharaReporters that N145 remains the going price in urban settlements like Warri and Benin- the capital of Edo, another Niger-Delta state.

“[In Warri] it is still the same N145. It is the same in Benin. I was there on Saturday and Sunday. In the riverine areas some sell for as high as N250, some N200 and some N180. You know they would add the transport for moving it to different locations.” 

Collins’s observation gives witness to Zibima’s assertion that the MTA is not applied in the transportation of petrol via water.

Did he have to buy petrol above N145 at any point in time in 2018 in Warri?

“Around September October but in December it came to the normal price,” Collins replied. “The marketers just did it on their own. There was some money they wanted from the government and the money didn’t come at all.”

“How much were you buying petrol for during that period?” the reporter probed further.

”It is between N148-150, its only Matrix (Filling station) that was selling at N145.” Collins responded.

The Failure Of The Distribution Margin

It all started in 1975 when the Petroleum Equalization Fund Management Board (PEF-MB), was created as a stop-gap measure to fill-in the gulf left by the country’s inability to meet its fuel needs across the country. It led to a smattering of prices in different locations, as transporters sought to cash in on the vacuum left by damaged pipelines and refineries that needed maintaining.

PEF-MB was then given the task of ensuring the price of petrol is uniform across the country. It executes this function through a set of payments added to the final landing cost of a litre of petrol called Distribution Margin (DM).

Sahara Reporters reached out to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), to confirm the accuracy of this template but the official the reporter was directed to in Operations, was unwilling to provide any information on updates. The links on its website pppra.gov.ng, which relate to the reporter’s search result, were inactive. A search of pppra.gov.ng/pricing template opened a webpage with the heading ‘page not found.’ Stories in the media have however quoted the value of DM to be N14.30.

Despite the N18.37 paid on each litre of petrol brought into the country, legible hand writings on the wall and personal experiences say DM has been unable to keep the prices of petrol beneath a price ceiling- in this case, N145 per litre.

The Equalization dream

Since the DM is priced into the cost of a litre of petrol, the marketers serve as agents for PEF-MB. PEF-MB carries out its equalization attempts through three schemes- besides the MTA. Under the National Transport Average, marketers who have filling stations close to depots pay into the fund, while those with filling stations far-off from petrol storage facilities claim from the fund.

Under the Bridging fund, marketers are engaged to help supply depots whose source of purchase- pipelines, and refineries, are either broken or undergoing maintenance. If the distance between the facility where the truck gets its supplies and the receiving depot is more than 450km, it is classed as a bridging fund. If it is less than 450, it is described as inter-district scheme.

As at the time of publishing this piece, there is no provision for the equalization of petroleum products via rail or water. Still, 15K is priced for the equalization of petrol product supplied by marine transport.

 

Floating stations or Floating Mammoths

As the story goes, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo had the vision to end illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta region by seeking out ways of flooding the oil-rich territory with the needed by-products of petroleum. After a 2004 tour of the area, he tasked the NNPC to come up with a way of constructing retail outlets in the creeks.

In 2006, the NNPC Engineering team then headed by Mrs. O. A. Somolu, partnered with Julius Berger to create what Wolfgang Goetsch, then head of Oil and Gas Business in the Nigerian arm of the construction conglomerate, called a ‘technical wonder.’ The first of the 12 ‘mega floating stations,’ was deployed in Okerenkoko-Delta State.

Eleven more were distributed across the various parts of the oil-laden region. By 2010, NNPC Retail said four of the 12 floating stations were functional.

However, in 2011, indigenes close to the Okerenkoko filling station described the project as another cliché ‘White elephant.’

Sources close to the matter informed SaharaReporters that at the moment, no floating station is presently functional.

Floating stations and MTA

The reporter had no inkling of floating stations before starting the story. In a conversation with a source close to how the downstream sector and price equalization operates, he was informed that the MTA goes into the leveling of prices in not just riverine areas but mountainous terrains as well.

The official went on to elaborate on how Nigeria is not prepared for deregulation, because the country does not have the attendant legal and infrastructural capacity to open up the retail end of the petroleum industry to free spirit competition. An offshoot of the heavily regulated petrol sale is that NNPC uses contractors to supply hydrocarbon products to the floating stations.

These contractors are expected to sell on or below the N145 ceiling. A contractor in Bayelsa, who asked not to be named, said fees are paid to them by the government-owned juggernaut. These commissions are however not sufficient and the filling (floating) stations are not enough to serve the state.

Consequently, residents of communities in creeks that are far from the fuel pumps, still buy above N145 when the floating stations were functional.

The big question is that since NNPC supplies the floating stations does it claim from the MTA as it does from the NTA, inter-district scheme and bridging fund?

After many futile efforts, a source in the industry finally gave something close to an answer:

“Nobody claims from the MTA, it goes into accrual,” the source claims, but, when told of the floating stations, the source said ‘no floating station is in operation.’

Each of those 12 floating stations, cost between N700-N950 million. The industry source went on to state that there are considerations to scrap the MTA. Just like the failed attempt to equalize prices across the country, efforts at increasing the volume of petroleum products sent to the creeks have failed.

“For reasons that were not explained to the affected communities, the products floating stations have since stopped functioning, thus making the operators of marine transportation services go in search of fuel in distant places in the hinterlands which consequently result in a hike in the cost of marine transportation with its attendant ripple effects of escalation of the prices of goods and services,” the contractor in Bayelsa said.

Have the other three schemes worked?

It is not only the Niger Delta states of Bayelsa, Delta, and Akwa Ibom that appeared on NBS’ PMS Price watch, Taraba state in the Northeast of the country, featured on the list in all of the fourth quarter of 2018

The states that dominated the list were in the Northeast and Northwest region of the country. Taraba was on NBS radar as one of the most expensive places to buy PMS on six occasions. Kebbi was captured five times and Borno four times.

On a nationwide average, the closest the country came to N145 was in December, when the NNPC flooded the country with gasoline to avoid the formation of queues. The average price for December was N145.80. The month that witnessed the highest supply of petrol was March. This was the last month of the fuel scarcity and only in Abuja – the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), could petrol be bought for N145.

If the non-utilization of MTA is behind the price of PMS in communities surrounded by water being above the N145 mark, why then that areas accessible by the road do not get petrol at N145?

The downstream subsector source the reporter spoke with, said marketers are to blame for the hike. He further advised Nigerians to post pictures of filling stations that sold petrol above N145.

Data made available to SaharaReporters, suggests that another concrete reason could be indebtedness. According to the figures seen, as at 2017, retailers – NNPC, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), failed to remit N196 billion to the board. PEF-MB on its part was unable to pay N53.3 billion to marketers as at November 2017.

The downstream source explained that the debt owed between PEF-MB and the marketers is rolled over and should not affect the ability of the marketers to sell at the N145 ceiling. The source, however, declined to give an update on the current debt profile.

The Cost of the failed policy

Data obtained from NNPC’s Monthly Financial and Operations report throughout the 2018 calendar, says the corporation supplied 19,785,236,180.71 liters of petrol across the country during the year. The product was sourced from its government-owned refineries, direct sale-direct purchase agreements with traders who buy petroleum and sell the refined products to the country and offshore processing agreements with refineries across the Atlantic.

If the total litres of petrol sold are multiplied by the N18.37 priced into the cost- according to pricing templates which PPPRA were unwilling to confirm, Nigerians would have paid ₦363,454,788,639.64 in 2018 to ensure every resident of the country is able to buy gasoline at the same price.

Ahmed Bobboi, Executive-Secretary of PEF-MB, says the agency will soon develop an effective framework for transporting petroleum products via rail and water. This would most likely mean an adjustment to the template.

In the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which was rejected by the President, PEF-MB was to receive 5% of the price of every litre of refined petroleum to keep its pipe-dream alive. If the legal and infrastructural framework alluded to by the source close to the operations of price equalization are put in place, investors could have plugged-in refineries, which would have in-turn pressurized the government to build secured pipeline networks to convey refined crude to needy processors.

Goddi Nnadi, Head of Corporate Communications for PEF-MB said he was on a four-month course and he could not recommend any other official to speak on the issues raised when he was contacted.

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Prince Harry Accused Of Cheating On Meghan Markel With Model

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A new book by royal biographer, Angela Levin has claimed that Prince Harry was dating Sarah Ann Macklin when he met and started dating Meghan Markle.

In the book entitled Harry: Conversations with the Prince, Levin says Harry and Sarah Ann met at a private party, where they swapped numbers and exchanged some texts,”But it turned out to be just a fling.” 

Prince Harry is said to have gone out on multiple dates with Sarah Ann who models for Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren.

The allegations are coming at a time when Prince William is also linked to another woman while he’s married to Kate Middleton.

While at the Queen’s birthday (Trooping the Colour) Meghan reportedly put on a brave face despite already knowing about the allegations.

Levine said Prince Harry and Sarah Ann, “met a private party, he took her number and bombarded her with texts.”

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We Have Eliminated Boko Haram Terrorists In Sambisa, Nigerian Airforce Claims

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Ibikunle Daramola


The Nigerian Airforce has said that it launched an air strike which eliminated Boko Haram insurgents in Sambisa Forest, Borno state. 

NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said air strikes were conducted on specific targets in the forest.

The claim is coming less than 24 hours after Boko Haram suicide bombers detonated their Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at a viewing center in Mandarari ward, Konduga local government area of Borno state on Sunday evening.

Ibikunle said:” In continuation of its sustained air strikes against terrorists’ targets in Borno State, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has severely degraded another Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) hideout in the Sambisa Forest.

“The operation was executed yesterday, 16 June 2019, after persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions revealed heavy presence of BHTs at a new camp with several structures hidden under the thick foliage of the Forest.

“Accordingly, the ATF dispatched an Alpha Jet to attack the location.

” Its bombs hit the target area, with devastating effects on several of the camouflaged structures, neutralizing their BHT occupants.”

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Access Bank: Nigeria’s Financial Institution Embroiled In Staff Gratuities Scandal

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For several weeks, one of Nigeria’s foremost banks, Access Bank, had refused to comment on some underhanded financial dealings involving its former employees. Several phones to its media department had yielded no response. There has been no response to emails sent to the bank too. A visit to the bank’s head office in Lagos yielded little or no response.

The seeming arrogance and impudence of the financial heavyweight signpost the serious allegations many of its former staff are levelling against it. It all started in 2012.

A reliable source, who is also an ex-employee that resigned on December 31, 2012, said the bank caused the majority of them to resign their appointment against their wish by ignoring their opinions and feelings while hundreds of people were sacked and their appointments terminated by a letter through the former Head, Employee Relations, Anthonia Opara and Mrs. Bolaji Agbede, Head, Group Human Resources which the proof, a clear document is with SaharaReporters.

According to a document forwarded by the Team Member, Branch Control Team (LMN), Kikelomo Omijeh on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at exactly 3:00 PM to one Olatunbosun Otesile, Team Member, Branch Services (LMN) containing the Staff Gratuity Scheme says that Intercontinental bank has reviewed its old gratuity scheme for qualifying for the money from 10 years to 5 years with immediate effect from 1st of November, 2005.


However, the document also stated that the staff that joined the bank after 30th September 2006 will not qualify for gratuity but those that have worked before that year will be paid. In this gratuity scheme, an example of N2, 500,000 was used in demonstrating how the Gratuity fund is stipulated and verified by the bank to be paid.


In 2012 when the merger between Intercontinental bank and Access bank was about to take place, according to a reliable source, the management of the bank had a meeting with the staff asking them to resign because there will be no place to secure a job in the bank if the merger comes through.

Many of the employees agreed to resign since the bank had promised to pay their severance and gratuity packages.

When an employee is leaving, the gratuity and the severance package should be paid. 

SaharaReporters found out that the calculation of how much the former employees would receive was not clear.

With many of its staff agreeing to resign, the bank realized it would suffer a huge indebtedness and according to reliable sources, Access Bank decided to play a fast one on its once loyal workers who had chosen to resign their appointment with the bank. Rather than give the former workers all their entitlements – severance pay and gratuity, among others – the bank enforced an agreement on them that they could only collect one of the entitlements at a time.

For example, a document attached to the resignation letter by Access Bank to one Adeyemo Akeem Adewale (Staff No: 020030)and dated March 5, 2012, said: “We acknowledge receipt of your letter on the above subject and wish to convey that it has been accepted by Management. Please find below details of your terminal account with the bank as of February 3, 2012, which officially was your last day at work. You are entitled to a severance package or your gratuity whichever is higher.”


  


Some of the former employees who complained about their gratuity were the former staff of Intercontinental Bank Plc which was acquired by Access Bank. They were considered eligible to receive gratuity under the defunct Intercontinental Bank’s gratuity scheme managed by Crusader Sterling Limited.

A source told SaharaReporters that the gratuities which were originally managed by Crusader Sterling Bank, NLPC Pension Administrators Ltd and First Trustees were moved by Access Bank to fund managers (the fund managers so as to tell the staffs that they have already gained access to the money legally without which Intercontinental Bank cannot meddle with. All these are just to shield the beneficiaries from getting their gratuity.

Earlier, in a gratuity document by Intercontinental Bank sent to all its staff on 6th of October 2011 prior to the merger, in the third paragraph wrote: “The board also approved that the gratuity entitlements of qualified staff should be moved to Fund Managers for the funds. In addition, a five-man Trustees Board was appointed amongst staff with all powers of Trustees as may be contained in the Trusteeship Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so as to ensure a transparent administration”

“In this vein, the gratuity fund has been moved to the approved Fund Managers who were selected after rigorous screening by the Trustees in conjunction with Human Resources,” a source said.

In a document obtained by SaharaReporters of the deed of appointment of Trustees for the Gratuity scheme, Mrs. Vesiri Olu-Odugbemi, Mrs. Hetty Dambo, Mr. Akeem Babatunde, Mr. Mike Leramo and Mr. Dapo Tijani all signed on behalf of members of the scheme in the presence of Habila Amos who was at that time the Head of Human Resources of Intercontinental Bank PLC.

“In order to manage the scheme, the Company is desirous of appointed the staff as Trustees of the scheme” stated clearly on the second page of the ‘b’ part of the document.

This means the bank actually appointed them to be the intermediary between the fund managers where the bank had moved the gratuity fund with and the staff members so as to not allow any means of fraudulence.

It was done when the Central Bank of Nigeria was planning to sell Inter-continental bank to Access and the staff are afraid that they will be sacked without payment or see anything to benefit in. 

As a consequence, some of the staff now reasoned along with the bank’s guidelines that since they were already qualified for the gratuity, they could resign.

Knowing too well about the numbers of the staff that want to leave, which means there will not be any buyers. With that, they assured them that their money will be safe and this brought to the movement of funds from the bank to the five funds managers as explained earlier.

Since this money has been in their care (Access Bank) and no successor is allowed to tamper with the money, in a cunning way, “Operation Just Cause” OJC was introduced just to make sure that they frustrate the staff and give reasons to sack some who will not be able to meet the target;

“What they did was that they gave every staff regardless of your grade of deposit target to go and source fund for the bank, targets that were outrageous. They gave us a target of a deposit and reactivation of dormant accounts. We complained and of course, there is nothing we could do. 

Access Bank management do it in a way that if we bring in new deposit and at the end of the day, the owner should not take out from that deposit for three months, if they withdraw any amount, that shows that we going to get a negative mark and all our labour will go in vain.”

Some of the staff not sacked, knowing too well that there might be a calamity that would befall them, resigned because of the management’s earlier said all their allowance will be paid.

“If we had known that our gratuity will not be paid to us as promised earlier giving us the option of resigning, some of us wouldn’t have resigned, at least work more and gather money till we are sacked,” said a source.

“Access Bank met with the fund’s manager in which our money has been successfully kept by Intercontinental Bank to release the gratuity to them. This money is part of the money the bank used to pay our severance package.

“Without the gratuity payment, this indicates that all our years of labour and working honestly with our former employers are just in vain which Access Bank management took away with impunity” lamented by an ex-staff.

One of the top officials in Access bank told SaharaReporters that the amount of money which the bank use abnormality and fraudulence to filter away both sacked or retired staff are more than N6 billion naira.

Some of the staff took the case to court with their intact document as a piece of evidence to tender. This is after they’ve met with the Bola Akinyele and Co Chamber to seek for their opinion on the issue which the legal practitioners wrote to the Managing Director of Access Bank on May 2, 2012, soliciting for the staff who formally resigned.

In the document, the chamber noted that if the terms were not met within 14 days from the receipt of the letter that the staff had the right to set in motion the legal machinery at the appropriate court to redress, remedy and vindicate the ex-workers legal rights.

When the staff noticed that the response from Access Bank’s management was not satisfactory, they proceeded to court.

First, it was the National Industrial Court of Nigeria on February 4, 2013. The case was initially assigned to Justice Obaseki-Osaghae.

During the case, an ex-staff said: “The first three preceding, their lawyer(s) didn’t show up in the court trying to frustrate us with the case, he continued that The judge, Obaseki-Osaghae now wrote to the bank that if they fail to produce their lawyer(s) she will preside over the case. So before the next case, some people have informed the management of the bank what is going on. 

I was told that they perform their magic. Before the next case, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae was transferred to the Calabar Division of the National Court.”

SaharaReporters gathered that the regulatory bodies who contacted Access Bank to appear before them were immediately compromised before the next court proceeding and the case dropped after. This shows that the case was transferred to another judge.

“Following the transfer of Obaseki-Osaghae, the matter was assigned to Justice J.D. Peter. He came up only on five occasions before the said Honourable Justice dismissed the case. So, the court now brought another judge that is in the interest of the bank. To tell you that there was compromised about the case, one of the heads of the Industrial courts was indicted. “

“The judge granted a relief that the defendants never even apply for. But our case and stand with the bank was that they have no right to tamper with our gratuity in the first place and second, there are some of the staff members appointed by the same Access Bank Management to monitor our funds.”

“The duty of the staff is to make sure the money is not tampered with and when they did, we questioned them that how can Access Bank come from the back to gain access to our gratuity package to pay our severance package.” 

“What the judge did was striking out those staff (Board of Trustees) that they are not responsible to be with the money that they are just acting on principal as agents on behalf of Access Bank.”

Although the bank appointed some five trustees, the management actually played a trick while preparing the deed document knowing full well that the case might go to court if they eventually withheld the gratuity money of the staff members. What they did was that on page three no 6, 7 and 8 said:

“Upon transfer of the gratuity sum to the Fund Manager, the company (Bank) shall cease to operate the gratuity scheme policy and no member of staff of the company who thereafter attains five years in the service of the company shall be entitled to the scheme”. This actually means that after they had successfully transferred the fund to the fund managers, any members that joined after will not be entitled to gratuity. This is quite explanatory as this not what SaharaReporters want to reveal.

“The trustees shall have the sole exclusive powers to relate directly with the Scheme Manager in relation to the administration and management of the scheme” this is not the interesting part.

The interesting part is number (8) which states that;

“In the case above mentioned, the Trustees shall incur no liability for so acting and they shall in no way be bound to call for further evidence or be responsible for any loss that may be occasioned by acting on any such certificate and/or statement” 

This simply restricted the Trustees to some extent. This shows even if the management of the bank go ahead to meet the fund managers and get some funds without their (staff) consent, the members of the board (Trustees appointed by the same bank just to paint the bank that they are transparent) do not have the right to request for evidence or bank statement.

These are people with passion who before the merger of the banks have worked tirelessly. More so, the bank also said while leaving the employers’ service prior to exit date he or she “shall, in any event, be entitled to the sum due to him in the Scheme (Gratuity)”.

Although, the case is still in court and it has been adjourned until November 21, 2019.


  

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Gun Battle Involving Security Agents, Cultists In Rivers Claims Four Lives

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Korobe Menele, better known as ‘Mene’, a notorious cultist and oil thief, has been killed in a combined security operation in Rivers state.

The gun battle that ensued between the oil thief and security operatives left one Nigerian army personnel and two Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers dead. 

Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director Army Public Relations confirming the incident said, “In the early hours of today Sunday the 16th of June 2019, troops of 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines at Gio community in Tai Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State were attacked by suspected militants who were hitherto prevented from vandalizing 24 and 28 TNP, thereby putting them out of the illicit business. 

“Unfortunately, during the ensuing firefight one soldier and two personnel of the NSCDC lost their lives and their weapons (one AK 47 and 2 G3 rifles) were carted away by the assailants.

“An immediate reinforcement by troops at the location led to the cordon and search of the general area with the view to finding any criminal believed to be harbouring within the communities. 

“Reliable intelligence led to the tracking of the prime suspect, a notorious cultist and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele Loveday who has been on the wanted list of the security agencies for terrorizing communities in the state. 

“Consequently, at about 9:00am, troops cashing on available information sighted a white Toyota Hilux vehicle without a number plate, hastily driven with four occupants.

“Efforts to stop the vehicle by troops at a checkpoint was ignored. The gallant troops chased the speeding vehicle and caught up with the suspects around Kira Junction, along Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic.

“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at the troops in a bid to escape. Troops reacted and incapacitated the militants’ vehicle. As a result, the bandits abandoned their vehicle and fled to the bush. 

“However, one of the criminals was gunned down and was identified as the wanted notorious cultists and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele, popularly known as MENE. Other cult members escaped with gunshot wounds. 

“The following teams were recovered from the scene and in the vehicle: 1 x K2 Rifle, 2 x Magazines loaded with 52 Rounds of 5.56mm, some personal effects, one pair of vehicle plate number KRK 95DP RIVERS and some documents,” he concluded. 

At the time of filing this report, the victims’ remains have been handed to the appropriate authorities while all exhibits were presented to the NSCDC for further investigations.

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Adeleke vs Oyetola: Supreme Court Fixes July 5 To Deliver Final Judgment On Osun Governorship Election

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed July 5, 2019, to deliver its judgment on the 2018 Osun State governorship election.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Ademola Adeleke, had approached the apex court following the decision of the appeal court to pronounce Governor Gboyega Oyetola as the winner of the election.

Adeleke’s lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), prayed the court to uphold the ruling of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that pronounced Adeleke as the legal winner of the election and discard the judgment by the appeal court.

At the resumed hearing today, a seven-man-committee headed by Justice Tanko Muhammad, adjourned sitting on the matter until July 5 for judgment.

Oyetola’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) together with the counsel representing the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN), and the All Progressives Congress counsel, Olumide Olujinmi, all urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal and retain Oyetola as the governor.

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