Update:

Retired army general, Tunji Olurin was sworn in Abuja today by president Obasanjo to take over as the sole administrator of Ekiti State

The swearing-in was witnessed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Major-General Abdullahi Mohammed (rtd.), the National Security Adviser, Major-General Sarki Mouktar (rtd.), the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bayo Ojo.

About the sole Administrator...

The new helmsman announced for Ekiti State, Major General Tunji Olurin was a former governor of the old Oyo State. He was born in Ilaro, Ogun State on 3 December 1944. An amateur golfer and pilot, he was the chairman of the Governing Council of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode, a post to which he was appointed last February.

Olurin started his education in 1951 at Christ Church School, Ilaro and later attended St. Paul’s School, Odo-Ona, Ibadan. He proceeded to Egbado College, Ilaro, where he completed his secondary school education in 1964. He also attended The Ibadan Polytechnic before enrolling at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna in 1967. As a soldier, Olurin also trained in Pakistan in the Infantry School and Staff College, Jaji and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.

He was Battalion Commander 1970-71, Brigade Major, 1972-74, Instructor, Defence Academy, 1974, Military governor of Oyo State, 1085-88, Director of Logistics 1988-89 and former ECOMOG Commander in Liberia while in Liberia, General Olurin is believed to have courted Charles Taylor and made lots of money in business deals with him during the Liberian war.

State of Emergency declared...

The constitutional crisis in Ekiti State has ended with the declaration of a state of emergency by President Obasanjo earlier today in Ekiti State.

Saharareporters earlier reported that the refusal of the 24 legislators in Ekiti State to allow the deputy Governor, Mrs. Olujimi take over had led Obasanjo to chart a new course of action in the state.

Shortly after Governor Fayose fled the state, the 24  'rebelling' legislators had sworn in the speaker, Mr. Aderemi as the acting governor. Since he assumed office, the president prompted by PDP Chair, Ahmadu Alli and Chief Bode George had propped up the impeached deputy governor, Mrs. Olujimi to create a semblance of disorder in the state. She therefore resumed back to office and formed a parallel government and curiously her security detail remained intact.

Today, all of Ekiti remain peaceful, and the new state administrator Brig. General Tunji Olurin (rtd) should be taking over soon. It will be recalled that Brigadier Tunji Olurin was a former military governor of Oyo State under Babangida regime, he is an acclaimed member of the "IBB Boys Club" in the military before his retirement. He hails from Yelwa LGA , Ogun State, Obasanjo's home state and he was recently campaigning to become the governor of Ogun State under the umbrella of the PDP.

Saharareporters reported it long before now...

Our report on October 8 2006

 

Ekiti State impeachment saga: Obasanjo’s factor brings an impasse
 

Saharareporters, New York

 

 President Obasanjo’s legendary anger was at play on Friday morning at the Aso Rock Villa Abuja as he threatened Federal lawmakers from Ekiti State who met with him over the impeachment plot in Ekiti State, what seem to be a smooth sailing impeachment process against Governor Fayose and his deputy, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi has now become an impasse.

 

 The meeting which was called at the instance of Obasanjo, was convened to iron out the problem of succession upon the planned impeachment of Governor Fayose in Ekiti State. The president who told the group upfront that he was in favor of Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi, the current deputy to Fayose, wants her to be left off the hook by the impeachment panel so that she can take over as Governor of Ekiti State as the house of assembly finishes up on the impeachment of the governor.

 

 Saharareporters learnt that at the meeting, the president threatened to withdraw police protection from the speaker and 23 other state legislators of Ekiti State if the deputy governor was not allowed to take over from Fayose.

The President, Saharareporters learnt, said he did not want to listen to anything further from the group. He asked them to go out and figure out the rest and get back to him or else he will call Fayose not to bother respect the “impeachment notice’ served on him, this threat was said to have infuriated the federal lawmakers from Ekiti who told the president that they will rather have both Fayose and his deputy impeached, which allows the speaker to take over as governor for 90 days.

 

They also made a proposal to Obasanjo to counter his argument about the cost of bye-elections in Ekiti after 90 days, the federal lawmakers told the president that political parties in Ekiti State were willing to allow the speaker of the house, Friday Aderemi to continue in power after 90 days by allowing him to “win” the bye-elections unopposed. Insisting that  as a 67 years old man, he is not likely to have any ambitions to contest for office in April 2007. Obasanjo also rejected the suggestion and came up with a “gender card” requesting that Mrs. Olujimi be allowed to be the 'first female governor' in Nigeria to which the lawmakers replied that it will be better to support a female candidate with integrity to run a full tenure as governor rather than a token six months tenure, which discerning females in Nigeria will consider an insult. At this point, Obasanjo walked out on the group, and never came back. The group was also said to have hurriedly left Aso Rock to hold another meeting where they decided to confront the president on the Ekiti State issue.

 

 A source close to president Obasanjo said he might have considered imposing a "state of emergency" on Ekiti State, if the lawmakers disagree with his proposal to allow the deputy governor take over power. The source said, he has calculated that if police protection is taken away from the 24 lawmakers and the supporters of Governor Fayose attacks them or kill anyone of them, he will simply impose a six-month state of emergency that will throw out everybody and then allows the PDP to keep the state in the 2007 elections, was had always been his concern from day one.

 

 Meanwhile, Governor Fayose is also reported to have vowed to take Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi with him, if he goes down as expected next week. The deputy governor was said to have been directly accused by the governor of her involvement - Mrs. Biodun Olujimi- in the “armed robbery murder” of a federal house of representative member, Hon. Abiodun Talabi who was killed on the Abuja –Lokoja highway supposedly by armed robbers in November 2003, sources within the state house in Ekiti State said Hon. Talabi was actually killed by a “hit squad” from Ekiti State. During that period, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi was Fayose’s media aide.

 

Also, sources close to Ekiti State chief judge, Justice Bamisile said he had gone underground again due to pressure by governor fayose to submit a list of persons he wanted on the investigation panel, Governor Fayose, on three occasions since the judge made an announcement to constitute the panel, the embattled governor has tried to submit three different lists to the chief judge and three times he has rejected it. The source told Saharareporters that a dangerous persistence of governor Fayose on the chief judge led him to go into hiding from the governor. When all efforts to locate the chief judge proved futile, Gov. Fayose was said to have gone on radio to accuse the chief judge of selling out!

 

On the Lagos front, 24 legislators are still determined to carry out the impeachment of Fayose as widely expected, they are said to be putting finishing touches to their "third act", which involves storming Ekiti State to impeach Fayose as soon as the investigative panel concludes its job, sources also told Saharareporters that president Obasanjo might have invited them to Abuja for a meeting during the week in order for him to sell his “order” to the 24 lawmakers..

 

Also tomorrow (Monday) the libel lawsuit instituted by Governor Fayose against TheNEWS magazine comes up for further hearing Ado-Ekiti before Justice Daramola, sources at the magazines said they intend to call in witnesses to justify their story that governor Fayose is corrupt. The EFCC will be sending in officials to testify before the judge about their findings, it is unclear if Governor Fayose will attend the hearing since he was already quizzed by lawyers in June 2006. The case is expected to be the ‘dress rehearsal’ for the impeachment hearings on Governor Fayose in Ekiti State. Also, the lawsuit compelling the Inspector General of Police , Sunday Ehindero to investigate the murder of Mr. Omojola who was murdered by the killer squad in Ekiti State comes up for further hearing tomorrow at the Federal High Court, Abuja under Justice Binta Nyako.

 

The police authorities continue to arrest more people connected to politically motivated murders in Ekiti State, on Wednesday, police detectives succeeded in arresting a Kwara State based “herbalist” who made a ritual of a kidnapped pregnant woman in 2003 by a group allegedly led by Governor Fayose’s personal assistant, Goke Olatunji. Though police authorities had made considerable progress in identifying the role(s) played each of the 9 members of the “killer squad” currently in police custody in Abuja, the police authorities were said to be foot-dragging in arraigning them before a competent law court because a member of the PDP board of trustee, Chief Dayo Okondo was involved. The party hierarchy is said to be putting pressure on the IG not to charge them for murder since by implication that would mean that the PDP is a party of murderers.

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