Former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu
By Tunde Sanni
Four years after he was removed by the Court of Appeal as governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, has petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Muktar, seeking her intervention based on the State Security Service (SSS) reports presented by the Labour Party (LP), which the courts relied on to sack him.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, the Edo State capital had on October 20, 2008 nullified the election of Agagu based on electoral irregularities and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2007.
Subsequently, the country announced Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of the LP as the legally elected governor.
But in the petition dated September 28, 2012 and addressed to the CJN, Agagu said the results, which the tribunal and later the Court of Appeal relied upon in nullifying the elections in 10 local government areas won by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was fraudulently procured through the forged SSS reports.
The former governor, falling back on the report of the investigation by the police dated October 25, 2010, signed by Ali Amodu (Commissioner of Police, Special Investigation Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja), and addressed to the Inspector General of Police, entitled: “Police Investigation Report on a Case of Forgery and Uttering of State Security Service Report”, submitted that, “the security reports tendered at the tribunal were forged and did not emanate from the service”.
He further argued that, “it is against public interest for a party in a suit to produce fraudulent evidence to deceive the court into giving him a favourable judgment.”
In the two-page petition entitled: “The Travesty of Justice in My Removal As Governor of Ondo State”, Agagu complained of deliberate inflation of votes for the LP in the affected councils, as well as deliberate reduction of PDP votes, saying the Justice G.N. Nabaruma-led panel had on July 25, 2008 “inflated votes in two of the seven undisputed local government areas and these manipulations were upheld by the Court of Appeal.
“The local governments were Akoko South West (34,840 to 38,840), Owo (34,427 to34,457). By these errors, the PDP lost 4,030 votes.
“The tribunal went out of its way to reduce the votes of the PDP in Akoko North West. There are 10 wards in the local government and election from Ajowa Ward 05 was the only one disputed and its results cancelled by the tribunal. This cancellation ought to have given the PDP 9,850 votes and the LP 10,426 votes. However, the tribunal collated results on page 603 of the judgment and gave the PDP 3,063 and the LP 10,426. By this error, the PDP lost 6,707 votes,” Agagu averred.
The report of the police investigation, which Agagu relied on in his petition, had it that the Chairman of the LP, Dr. Olaiya Oni, had admitted that the nine SSS reports tendered before the court “were parts of the massive pieces of documents that were brought to the party secretariat at different times by different people and he handed over the documents to the legal team for analysis and legal use.”
Concluding that the documents were forged, the former governor had alleged that the police commissioner had said: “There is no doubt that Dr. Oni conspired with others he has refused to mention to forge the reports and handed them over to the legal team. It is therefore recommended that he be arraigned in court for forgery and uttering of forged documents”.
Sequel to the exposition from the police investigative report, Agagu has therefore sought the intervention of the CJN “in redressing this injustice”, explaining that “I have waited to file my complaint because I wish to be thorough in my assertions and supportive allegations.”
He pleaded with the CJN that “on ground of public policy and equity, he (Labour Party and indeed Governor Olusegun Mimiko) should not be permitted or allowed to profit or to continue to enjoy the fruits of such fraudulent victory or judgment, particularly where it has to do with a very sensitive political office such as the exalted office of governor of a state.”