The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, was yesterday accorded a heroic reception by mammoth crowd of supporters and admirers that gathered at Ilorin International Airport to welcome him to Ilorin, his hometown, some 10 days after the Supreme Court discharged and acquitted him of allegations of false assets declaration.
The supporters of the Senate president patiently waited for the arrival of their leader for about eight hours, having assembled at the airport as early as 8am.
Motorists and other road users had a hectic time on the Ilorin-Ogbomosho Road as Saraki’s supporters lined both sides of the road with vehicles stretching for about five kilometers.
Although Saraki’s flight didn’t arrive until about 4.17pm, the supporters kept themselves alive with dance and music from various live bands.
He was accompanied on the flight by the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad; Senator Rafiu Ibrahim; former Speaker of the state Assembly and chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Razak Atunwa; as well as former presidential spokesman, Dr. Doyin Okupe.
While taking questions from newsmen, Saraki described his three-year trial as tough but expressed satisfaction that his followers never doubted his innocence as he had told them on many occasions.
On his trial and the visit he said: “It’s been a long journey for all my own people in the state, and today we thank the Almighty God for this. I want to thank all of them who did not at any time waver. They believe in my innocence and supported me throughout those three very tough years and it was a great feeling for all of us.
“It is my first homecoming to thank them for all the support they have given me and the victory and for the fact that the truth prevailed and justice was done. Today is a day for me to visit and more importantly thank the people for the support they have given for years.
“As I always say time will come for everything, a time will come I will tell people where I am, what I’m doing. For now it is just to thank the people of the state because the last three years have been tough and they are still committed and remain and I have to appreciate that. I appreciate that.”
The Senate president and his entourage drove directly from the airport to the Emir’s palace to pay a thank you visit to the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.
It was cheers all the way for Saraki by residents who lined the streets to show their love for their hero.
The Supreme Court quashed all the charges against Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, saying he had no case to answer.
However, after the judgment, Saraki led a delegation of the National Assembly on official visit to the United States of America.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had dragged Saraki before the CCT, accusing him of failure to fully disclose his assets.
Court Orders Forfeiture Of 23 Properties Linked To Former Pension Reform Boss Abdulrasheed Maina
An Abuja Federal High Court on Tuesday ordered a temporary forfeiture of 23 properties linked to Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT.
Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo gave the order while ruling on a motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wherein, it prayed the court to order the temporary forfeiture of the properties linked to Maina.
EFCC also sought an order of the court to publish an advert on the properties in a national daily, to enable anyone who has any reason why they should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government to come forward and prove the same.
The anti-graft agency supported its motion by a 30-paragraph affidavit which is brought pursuant to Section 17 of the Money Laundering Act.
Ruling on the matter, the trial judge granted the prayers of the anti-graft agency.
Justice Ogunbanjo also ordered the anti-graft agency to return to the court on November 19, for the mention of the case.
Melaye Vs Adeyemi: INEC Fixes November 16 For Fresh Kogi West Senatorial Election
The fresh Kogi West Senatorial election involving Sen. Dino Melaye of the PDP and Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC is to hold on November 16, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Melaye and Adeyemi INEC, in a statement, signed Mr. Festus Okoye, Chairman of its Information and Voter Committee, said that the senate election would hold simultaneously with the Kogi governorship election.
Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, in a statement made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja, said that another by-election for the Sabuwa State Constituency in Katsina State had been slated for November 30.
“The decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Monday,” the statement said. He said that the fresh election was a sequel to the nullification of the Kogi West Senatorial District election conducted on February 23, by the Election Petitions Tribunal and its subsequent affirmation by the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal had upheld the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Sen. Dino Melaye (PDP), following a suit filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC.
The Appeal Court, on October 11, 2019, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days from the date of judgment with all those who participated in it as eligible candidates. Okoye appealed to the candidates and political parties to conduct issue-based campaigns. “We also enjoin stakeholders to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating apprehension or a sense of fear before, during and after the elections,” he said.
Okoye also disclosed that following extensive consultations with stakeholders and a review of the security situation with the relevant security agencies, the Commission fixed Nov. 30 for the conduct of bye-election in Sabuwa State Constituency, Katsina State.
He recalled that the Katsina State House of Assembly, vide a letter with Reference Number KTSHA/PER/HON/l24/VOL.l/24, dated Sept. 26, notified INEC of the death of Mustapha Abdullahi, who represented the constituency, and subsequently declared the seat vacant.
He said that the Commission would issue the Notice of Election on October 23, while the conduct of party primaries would take place between October 24 and November 6.
According to Okoye, the last day for the submission of personal particulars of candidates (Form CF001), and the list of candidates (Form CFOO2) is November 8.
“The last day for the submission of names and addresses of polling agents is November 15, while campaigns will end on November 28,” he said.
BREAKING: Heavily Armed Thugs Attack Kwankwaso In Kano, 8 Persons Critically Injured
Former Governor of Kano State and the immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was attacked by thugs who are yet to be identified in Kano, Monday.
The attack, which followed the former governor’s visit to his hometown, Madobi where he had gone to open a midwifery school, was said to have been carried out around the state underpass.
Eight persons were said to have been critically injured while several cars were damaged beyond recognition.
However, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, Kwankwaso’s media aide, linked the attack to thugs loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
She said, “This attack was preplanned because we were told that heavy-armed thugs were waiting under the bridge to attack us when we were coming from Madobi.
“We believe Ganduje was behind this attack because we heard one of his aide names being mentioned during the attack.”
She noted that scores of their members were seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention in various clinics including the International Hospital while 10 vehicles destroyed and personal items carted away by political thugs believed to have been sponsored by the Kano State Government at Sharada Panshekara Sabon Titi bridge.
However, one of the Governor’s top aides, who pleaded not to be named, denied being behind the attack on Kwankwaso’s convoy.
He alleged that the attack was an internal wrangling between the Kwankwasiyya members who were apparently tired of their boss, Kwankwaso.
He said, “The attack was a misunderstanding between the Kwankwasiyya members, who accused Kwankwaso of betraying their trust by after them for his personal gains.”
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