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A former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, has expressed confidence that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led convention organising committee of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, will conduct a rancour free and acceptable convention.

Babangida spoke on Wednesday when Mr. Okowa, accompanied by the chairman of the caretaker committee of the PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, and top officials of the party met him at his (IBB’s) country home at Minna, Niger State.

“I have here, the chairman of the caretaker committee, former chairman of Kaduna State, the Chairman of convention planning committee, the Governor of Delta State with the officials for the convention, I am glad they are working hard and I have seen that they want to make sure that the convention of the PDP is rancour free, transparent and everybody will be given a level playing ground,” he said.

The former Head of State who was in his elements, throwing banters with the PDP leaders and journalists who witnessed the event, emphatically said, “PDP will see one of the best convention like never before.”

He also talked about the return of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar return to the PDP, saying “he is a Nigerian, he is allowed to go to any party and our constitution allows it, so, it is not new and there is nothing wrong for politician to move from one party to another.”

Mr. Makarfi disclosed that the visit was in line with the tradition of the PDP where elders and leaders of the party are consulted for the right decisions to be taken.

“In the PDP, we respect leaders, General Babangida has always been with us and it is the tradition of the party to be consulting with our leaders that is why we are here today to brief him (IBB) on the arrangement we have made and take whatever advice he gives for conducting a credible and transparent convention. The success story so far is a confirmation of series of interaction with leaders and founding members of the party,” Mr. Makarfi said.

Mr. Okowa assured the convention will be successful, stating, “A lot has been put on ground for a successful Convention to be held. We thank the Caretaker Committee of our party because they have done a lot ahead of the inauguration on Monday and since then, we have held several meetings.”

“As at today, we are confident that we are on course; in terms of trying to provide all that has to be done on Saturday, we are going to have exciting convention, there is no doubt about that, everything concerning the electoral process have been put in place, the accreditation team by today (yesterday, 06/12/17) will get the last list of the statutory delegates from Osun and Anambra States,” he said.

The governor continued, “We obviously will not allow everybody to come into the venue, it is going to be restrictive convention because, it is an elective convention and I think our party will accept that, it is in the interest of the party and in terms of fairness, we are right on course.”

BIG STORY

Leaked Audio: Ogundamisi Will Be Cremated —– Saraki

Peter Okunoren

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Following the leaked audio of the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the former governor of Kwara State has jokingly said popular blogger, Kayode Ogundamisi, will be cremated.

Ogundamisi had on Friday released to the public an audio recording of Saraki at a meeting with his supporters during which he said he spent between N200 million and N400 million in each of 30 states of the Federation for the 2015 election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In response to the audio, one of Saraki’s obvious follower on Twitter had said to the popular blogger: “Ogbeni, the way you carry this Bukola Saraki matter for head bros, no go commit suicide o because even the price of an air ambulance that will carry your corpse come to Nigeria is expensive.”

However, Saraki, who has since defected from the All Progressives Congress, where he claimed to have helped with Buhari’s election in 2015, to the Peoples Democratic Party, in response to the tweet of his follower said: “Lol. Them go cremate am.”

Ogundamisi, responding to Saraki, said: “Saraki let me make it clear, very clear, you have no power to cremate Ogundamisi you also do not have the power to bring my corpse to Nigeria. I will Inshallah be in Nigeria to campaign for the candidacy of Buhari and Osinbajo. My Death is only in the hand of God.

“Saraki the people of Kwara did not reject yourself and PDP yesterday because of Ogundamisi they rejected you because they want to be free from the shackles of the Saraki dynasty. Saraki Audio was just an icing on the cake. Kwara no longer wants SARAKI CRUMBS.”

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BIG STORY

Saraki Throws Jibes At Tinubu, Says Kwara Will Never Take Instructions From Lagos

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in a leaked audio clip has vowed that Kwara State will never take instructions from any political leader in Lagos State.

Saraki, who spoke largely in Yoruba in the audio clip, stated this while addressing young Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members in Kwara State.

The leaked audio clip yesterday drew the ire of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, which requested the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to investigate the claim that the Senate President spent between N200 million and N400 million to influence the outcome of the 2015 elections for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in states of the federation.

In the audio tape, recorded for about 33 minutes, which had since gone viral across social media platforms, Saraki, who defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the opposition PDP a few months ago, said he benefited little from his membership of the ruling party.

In the tape, the Senate president threw jabs at APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, by pledging to protect Kwara from the grip of godfathers in Lagos. Although the former Kwara governor did not specifically mention the name of the Lagos-based APC leader, his words were punctured with anti-Tinubu rhetoric from his supporters.

Saraki said if he remained the only member of the PDP, he would ensure that he resisted the ‘invasion’ of Kwara by Lagos godfathers, alleging that he was being persecuted, despite helping President Buhari win the election.

“If you don’t even want Bukola, bring someone from Kwara and empower him. I know you young people are ‘sharp’. Today, there is none in APC (‘empowered’ by government).

Instead, they want you, they want us, to be going to Lagos to get instructions. Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has requested the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to investigate claims that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, spent between N200 million and N400 million to influence the outcome of the 2015 elections for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in states of the federation.

In an open letter to INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmod Yakubu, SERAP urged him to collaborate with other necessary agencies of government to investigate the veracity of the audio linked to Saraki, where he claimed to have spent between N200million and N400million in every state, except the six South-West states, to influence the outcome of the 2015 elections for APC.

SERAP also urged INEC to “investigate the sources of other cases of apparently unexplained campaign financing and contributions for the 2015 elections by politicians and supporters of the two main political parties, the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

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BIG STORY

OAU Professor Lands In Prison For Demanding Sex For Marks From Student

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A Federal High Court in Osun has remanded an Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Lecturer, Prof. Richard Akindele, in Ilesa prison custody, for allegedly demanding sex for mark from his student.

Justice Maureen Onyetenu ordered the remand on Monday pending the filing of his formal bail application.

Mr Kehinde Adedoye, the Independent Corrupt Practise, and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Prosecutor had told the court that the defendant had on Sept. 16, 2017, unlawfully demanded sexual benefits for marks from Monica Osagie.
According to the prosecutor, the defendant is facing a four-count charge.

“The defendant corruptly asked for sexual benefits from Ms Monica Osagie on account of favour to be afterward shown to her in the discharge of his official duties as a lecturer, to wit: altering her academic grades from fail to pass in the course, MBA 632 – Research Method,” he said.

The offences, he said, contravened Sections 8 (1) (A) (2) and 18 (d) of the corrupt practices and other related offenses Act 2000 and punishable under same sections.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

The Defense Counsel, Mr Fola Omotoso, thereafter, prayed the court to grant his client bail in the most liberal terms.

The ICPC counsel, however, opposed the bail application, noting that the defendant had refused to appear before the commission since he was granted administrative bail.
Onyetenu, therefore, ordered the defense counsel to file a formal bail application before the next date of adjournment.

The trial judge adjourned the matter till Nov. 27 for definite hearing and ordered the remand of the defendant.

The defendant is a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting of the university.

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