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We’ll Reclaim Kwara From Saraki, Oshiomhole Vows

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The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has vowed that the party will reclaim Kwara State from the grip of Senate President Bukola Saraki at the forthcoming general election.

Oshiomhole said this in Abuja during a meeting with APC stakeholders from Kwara State led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He directed leaders of the party to ensure the conclusion of the election of executives from the ward to the state levels this weekend.

Oshiomhole said his earlier position that Saraki planned to destroy APC because of his inordinate ambition was vindicated by the Senate president’s recent declaration of his presidential ambition on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But Saraki, who recently defected from APC to PDP, issued a quick response through his Senior Special Adviser on Media, Mr Yusuf Olaniyonu, mocking the claims of the APC national chairman. Olaniyonu said that Kwara people were too sophisticated to be dictated to by outsiders.

Oshiomhole’s assertions were contained in a statement yesterday by his chief press secretary, Mr Simon Ebegbulem. The statement quoted the APC national chairman as saying that reclaiming Kwara from Saraki’s domination “is a task that must be accomplished.”

Addressing the Kwara delegation, Oshiomhole said, “When I was saying that all these defections is not about APC but the personal ambition of these people, they took hired writers to say I was being too hard. But Saraki’s declaration has vindicated me. Thank God, he has moved on because his inordinate ambition was almost destroying our party, but he has failed.

“These are not principled politicians but bread and butter politicians who can go extra miles to pursue their selfish ambition and never think about the well-being of Nigerians.”

He advised APC members in Kwara State to close ranks and work towards ending the reign of Saraki in Kwara politics as the country head towards 2019.

In a swift reaction, however, the Senate president described Oshiomhole’s statement as mere wishful thinking. Saraki’s senior special adviser on media stated regarding Oshiomhole’s claims, “He can continue to day-dream about Kwara. We assure him that he will have so many states to struggle to keep in 2019, including Edo State, that Kwara will be the least of his concerns. This man who talks more than he thinks will soon find out that Kwara people are too sophisticated to be dictated to by outsiders.”

Speaking on efforts to reposition the Kwara State chapter of APC, Oshiomhole said he had formed a committee made up of two deputy national chairmen to work with the National Organising Secretary and the Vice Chairman (North-central) to put in place new party executives in the state.

The statement quoted him as saying, “The last time I spoke with the minister he told me we have accomplished 80 or 85 per cent, that for me is not good enough because we don’t have more time. So this week, we must achieve hundred per cent by whatever means. If you can’t do it, we have to help you get it done.

“I am very impressed with the enthusiasm of the people of Kwara State. They are experiencing a new dawn, a new sense of freedom and a sense of ownership of the APC where we are trying to do bottom up rather than top down.

“Where we have politics of inclusion, no godfather, everybody matters. Now I superintended over the liquidation of godfathers in Edo state, now I will not be here and allow and support the emergence of a new godfather.

“When we vanquished the godfathers we created a level playing field for equal opportunity to participate and that is what I think we have achieved so far and we need to take full advantage of that to do what needs to be done for us to get on with the job of organising, mobilising. I believe all of us, the APC leadership, we are anxious to come to Kwara State to interface with the great people of Kwara State, beyond llorin, to other major cities in Kwara.

“Let them know and carry the message of change and use the broom to sweep away the past, including the thorn umbrella. The task of sweeping away the past and rebuilding a new Kwara is a task that must be done. That should give you the energy, the incentive and the appropriate spirit to work together so that victory will be ours, not for our own good but for the good of the great people of Kwara State who have been oppressed for such a long, long time. Like they say, there can be many days for the thief, one day for the owner.”

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8 Nigerian ATM Robbers Sentenced To Death In UAE

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Eight Nigerians, all men, have been sentenced to death in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates(UAE) for a string of robberies at money exchanges and cash machines(ATMs) across the emirate in December 2016.

The ninth Nigerian, found guilty for possession of stolen money was sentenced to six months imprisonment.

He will be deported after serving his prison term.

The Gulf News reported that the Nigerian denied the charge against him and said that one of the accused’s brothers asked him to transfer Dh60,000 to an account in Nigeria.

All the convicted Nigerians were not identified by both the Gulf News and Khaleej Times, all local newspapers, which reported the trial.

A total of 20 suspects were initially held for attacking security guards in four violent attacks at ATMs and money exchanges across Sharjah in late 2016. Out of 20 suspects, nine were convicted.

Some of the accused confessed to their crimes while others denied the charges levelled against them.

The verdict was handed down by Judge Majid Al Muhairi of Sharjah Criminal Court on Wednesday.

The eight-member gang attacked security trucks and entered establishments by force and threatened and assaulted staff and members of the public with bladed weapons in a spate of robberies, three of which were carried out on the same day on December 18, 2016.

The gang — who were all in the UAE on visit visas — were said to be highly organised and plotted a string of orchestrated attacks to ambush security trucks that were transporting money boxes to and from ATMs, and at least one money exchange in Sharjah.

The first robbery took place at a Dubai Commercial Bank ATM on King Abdul Aziz Street where Dh340,000 was stolen, then two days later they attacked an ATM in Al Safeer Mall in Al Nahda fleeing with Dh700,000, and an ATM in Muweilah where they stole Dh710,000. A fourth attack at a money exchange office near National Paints was foiled by police.

The gang of 20 was arrested in record time but police confirmed that only a portion of the stolen money — almost Dh1.8 million — had been recovered, as the gang members had divided the money among themselves and transferred it to their home country.

Suspects were taken into custody in cooperation with police in Dubai, Ajman and Fujairah.

The gang committed the heists at the busiest times of day when streets were crowded, which added to the confusion and enabled them to escape, said police.

In each robbery the assailants struck quickly before police could arrive, the attackers however could not evade security cameras and police were able to recognise the suspects through surveillance footage captured at the exchange house in the mall.

Video footage showed the suspects attacking security guards, making off with cash, and in one of the robberies slashing the hands of a security guard with a knife before running away with money boxes.

Police believe the suspects had monitored and tracked the security trucks used to transport money for a period of time before launching the attacks took place.

A prosecutor told Gulf News on Thursday that as per the law, a group of people who threaten the life of others while committing robbery are subject to the death sentence, however an appeal is expected to be launched and the sentences could get downgraded to life imprisonment.

The trial appeared unconnected with the arrest of five Nigerians in March this year, who robbed a Bureau de Change operator of Dh2.3 million (N225.4 million) in Sharjai, Dubai.

The suspects were identified as Chimuanya Emmanuel Ozoh, Benjamin Nwachukwu Ajah, Kingsley Ikenna Ngoka, Tochukwu Leonard Alisi and Chile Micah Ndunagu.

The five Nigerians reportedly barged into the BDC on March 20 and smashed the glass barrier between the customers and the staff, stole the money in multiple currencies and fled.

Two employees at the exchange were injured as they resisted the robbers. One of them managed to notify the police. The Sharjah Police coordinated with forces from Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman to nab the suspects from four emirates within 48 hours after the robbery was committed.

A top police official said the suspects came to the UAE on visit visas on March 18.

(NAN)

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Sanwo-Olu Unveils Inauguration Committee Ahead Of Swearing-In

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Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Thursday unveiled an inauguration committee that will usher in his administration on May 29th this year.
Mr Sanwo-Olu, who was in the company of his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, presented the committee members at his campaign office on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi.

A statement signed by media officer to the Governor-elect, Gboyega Akosile said the committee is chaired by the Director-General of Babajide Sanwo-Olu Independent Campaign Group (ICG), Mr Tayo Ayinde, while the Lagos State APC Women Leader, Honourable Mrs. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas and Mr. George Osifeko will serve as Vice Chairmen respectively and Mrs. Titi Oshodi will act as secretary.

While unveiling the inauguration team, the governor-elect said the committee is mandated with a responsibility of organizing a smooth programmes that will usher in his administration. The committee is also billed to reach out to Nigerians in corporate and political sectors, stakeholders and various interest groups locally and internationally to grace the swearing-in.

Sanwo-Olu urged members of the committee to co-operate and work diligently in achieving their mandate. He also tasked the team members to streamline their activities with the plans of the outgoing government and work with security agencies in order to have smooth transition.

Mr Ayinde assured the governor-elect and his deputy of the committee’s readiness to organize a seamless swearing-in programme.

He pledged the committee members’ readiness to work assiduously towards achieving an inauguration ceremony that will become a reference point in annals of political events in Nigeria.

”I want to assure your Excellencies that sitting before you are highly experienced men and women who have contributed tremendously to various industries. I can attest to their individual capacity to deliver on the terms of reference of a smooth inauguration ceremony.” Ayinde State.

Other members of the committee include:
Mrs. Obiageli Onu
Mrs. Funke Bucknor Obruthe
Alhaji Abdullahi Enilolobo
Mr. Kamal Salau-Bashua
Mr. Olatunji Disu
Mr. Kappo Emmanuel
Mr. Bolaji Durojaiye
Mrs. Olabopo Odiachi
Mr. Bimbo Onabanjo
Mr. Ajala Rasaq
Mrs. Taiwo Abiodun
Ayiri Oladunmoye
Mr. Gboyega Akosile
Mr. Lanre Adeyinka
Mr. Sesan Daini

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Atiku Should Produce His Academic Credentials, I’m Far More Qualified – Buhari Tells Tribunal

Gbemileke Ajayi

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President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to produce his academic credentials before the Presidential Election Tribunal.

Buhari said this in his response to allegations contained in the petition by Atiku and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, before the tribunal.

Buhari, in a response filed on April 16 by a team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said that the claim by Atiku and the PDP that he was not qualified to stand for election to the office of the President was a lie.

Buhari told the Tribunal that he was far more qualified to stand for the election than Atiku.

The President insisted that it was Atiku who was not qualified for the election.

President Buhari insisted that he never “at any time, provided any false information in Form CF00] submitted to the lst respondent, either in 2014 or 2018.

“The affidavit of compliance to the 2019 Form CF001 was correct in every material particular.

“In filling Form CF001 in 2014 and 2019, respondent was not oblivious of the constitutional qualifications stipulated in Section 131 of the Constitution and interpreted in Section 318 of the same Constitution.

“Petitioners themselves are also not oblivious of the fact that respondent possesses far more than the constitutional threshold expected for a candidate contesting for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The respondent avers that he is far more qualified, both constitutionally and educationally, to contest and occupy the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria than the 1st petitioner (Atiku); and that in terms of educational qualifications, trainings and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria, he is head and shoulder above the 1st petitioner in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals, and experience.

“Respondent states further that it is the 1st petitioner, who is not qualified to contest the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and challenges the educational credentials and certificates of the 1st petitioner.

“1st petitioner is hereby given notice to produce and tender his educational certificates, indicating the schools attended by him, with dates.”

The President gave his educational resume as: “Elementary School, Daura and Maid’adua (1948 – 1952), Middle School, Katsina (1953-1956, Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College, Katsina (1956-1961).”

Buhari condemned the entire petition filed by the PDP and Atiku, and told the Tribunal that they are more about pre-election issues, which the Court of Appeal, sitting as a tribunal lacked jurisdiction.

He also argued that the petitioners told lies against themselves in the petition and made conflicting claims which the tribunal cannot grant.

For instance, Buhari noted that while the petitioners claimed to have won the last presidential election and also won elections in many states in the south-south and south-eastern part of the country, they also urged the court to nullify the election and order a fresh presidential election.

Burari argued that by virtue of Section of 137of the Electoral Act, petitioners cannot question the results of elections in states where they claim to have won and still retain themselves as petitioners.

Buhari faulted the petitioners’ claim that the election was marred by corrupt practices and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

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