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BREAKING: Atiku Asks Tribunal To Sack Buhari, Declare Him Winner; Lines Up 400 Witnesses, 20 SANs

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In a rush to beat the 21 days deadline provided by the Electoral Act, lawyers to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Monday evening, stormed the tribunal to lodge a petition against President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had on February 27, declared President Buhari who was the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the presidential election.

Under section 134 of the Electoral Act, 2010, any candidate that was dissatisfied with the outcome of the presidential contest, was mandated to approach the tribunal with a petition, not later than 21 days after the result was announced, a deadline that will expire on Tuesday.

While the tribunal must deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date the petition was filed. As at the time of filing this report, 7:50pm, Atiku’s team of lawyers led by Mr. Chukwuma Machukwu Ume, SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and Mr. Emeka Etiaba, SAN, are perfecting the filing process at the Central Registry of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT.

The tribunal will be conducting its proceedings at the Court of Appeal headquarters in Abuja.

Though Atiku had yet to arrive at the tribunal where he is expected to personally depose to an affidavit, however, some chieftains of the PDP, including its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan and Alhaji Buba Galadima, accompanied the lawyers to the tribunal. Addressing newsmen, National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem, revealed that Atiku would be seeking two principal reliefs at the tribunal.

He said the first relief was for an order declaring him as the bona-fide winner of the 2019 presidential election.

In the alternative, Atiku and the PDP, are urging the tribunal to nullify the February 23 presidential election on the premise that it was marred by irregularities.

“We asked that our candidate who won the election massively across the country be declared the winner.

“In the alternative, we also asked that the election be set aside on the ground of irregularity which was apparent across the country.

“We have a pool of 20 SANs who are tested in election petition matters and other senior lawyers who are also working with them. So we are confident.

“We have also lined up more than 400 witnesses that are going to testify in this petition.

“Nigerians are at home with what happened on February 23, the sham they called election. We are going to re-present those facts to Nigerians, we are not going to manufacture facts”, he added.

Similarly, a member of the legal team, Chief Ozekhome, SAN, told journalists that the petitioners encountered serious challenges in the hands of INEC which is said was reluctant to grant them access to the electoral materials.

“Our petition is quite solid, very strong and unassailable. We believe that by the grace of God, the original winner will regain his mandate”, Ozekhome added.

It will be recalled that the tribunal had on March 6, ordered INEC to grant Atiku and PDP access to all the electoral materials that were used for the presidential poll.

The tribunal however declined to allow Atiku and PDP to conduct forensic analysis on any of the electoral materials on the premise that such request was outside the scope of the Electoral Act, as amended.

Justice Abdul Aboki who delivered the lead ruling of the tribunal, held that Atiku’s request for experts to be permitted to conduct forensic audit on the materials, could not be regarded as “inspection” that was allowed in section 151 of the Electoral Act.
He held that a decided case-law in Hope Uzodinma Vs Osita Izunaso, which Atiku and the PDP relied upon to make the application, wherein a tribunal ordered INEC to allow the petitioner to scan and conduct forensic audit on all the election materials, had since been set-aside by the Court of Appeal.

Nevertheless, the tribunal directed INEC to allow the Applicants access to the ballot papers and voters register.

Specifically, Atiku and his party, told the tribunal that the essence of the request was to establish that the presidential election was fraught with manifest irregularities they said included multiple thumbprinting of ballot papers. They indicated their determination to engage forensic experts to scritinze all materials that INEC deployed for the election.
In a counter-move, President Buhari and the APC, on March 14, also approached the tribunal and secured an order for INEC to equally grant them access to all the electoral materials.

The Tribunal, in two separate rulings, ordered the electoral body to forthwith, make available to President Buhari and the APC, both used and unused ballot papers it deployed across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, for the purpose of the presidential poll. Among other documents the tribunal granted the Applicants leave to inspect included all the voters registers.

It held that the Applicants should also be allowed to obtain Certified True Copies of all the documents that were used at the polling units, wards, local governments and state levels.

The tribunal said it was inclined to grant the request pursuant to section 6(6) (a) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, section 137(2) and 151(1) and (2) of the Electoral Act and 47(1) of the Third Schedule to Electoral Act.

President Buhari and the APC had through their lawyers, Adelani Ajibade and Thomas Ojo, prayed the tribunal to order INEC to release the materials to enable them to prepare their defence to a petition the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar intends to lodge against the outcome of the presidential poll.

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Senate President Condemns Attack On Senator Ike Ekweremadu In Germany

Peter Okunoren

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has unreservedly condemned the shameful assault on former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Saturday in Nuremberg, Germany.

Senator Ekweremadu was to give a keynote address at the Second Igbo Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organized by Ndi-Igbo Germany in that city when a mob, which identified itself as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), invaded the venue to attack an illustrious son of Ndigbo who in his political career has consistently identified with and defended the cause of his people.

“It is incredibly absurd for anybody to blame the distinguished Senator for the violent criminal activities in his home base, the purported reason cited by the mob for the bewildering attack.

“Senator Ekweremadu, like all his distinguished colleagues in the Ninth Assembly of the Senate, is concerned about the insecurity and other challenges in that area and other parts of Nigeria. Senator Ekweremadu has also been at the forefront of the patriotic efforts to find lasting solutions to the challenges.

“The barbaric attack on Senator Ekweremadu at a forum to which he was invited to contribute to charting a course for the progress and happiness of Ndigbo debase our values as civilized people. It is most reprehensible and should be condemned by all right-thinking Nigerians,” Lawan said.

He urges the German authorities to identify those involved in the despicable act so that the law can take its course against them.

Lawan urges Nigerians to always reflect deeply and broadly before embarking on a course of action and advises the youth to ventilate whatever grievances they have along lines prescribed by the law and recommended by reason and democratic ethos.

The Senate President also urges Senator Ekweremadu not to be deterred by the incident from his path of service to his people and Nigerians in general, but to take it as part of the sacrifice of leadership.

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RRS Nabs Three Traffic Robbers [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Three robbers operating in Ogun Long Bridge, Isheri, Ojodu – Berger and Agidingbi, Ikeja were yesterday arrested by the operatives of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and two android phones which they had robbed were retrieved from them.
The suspects, Issa Jidda (15), Alli Jumah (19) and Adamu Mohammed (22) were arrested yesterday around 8:46 p.m. around Olowopopo Way, Ikeja after robbing two ladies in Agidingbi, Ikeja, and Isheri.
According to one of the suspects, Issa Jidda, the gang had been operating in Ogun Long Bridge, Isheri, Unilag Estate, Gateway Estate, Ojodu – Berger, Fela Shrine and Agidingbi since May 2019.
“We have been operating since last month. I was invited into the gang by Adamu. He is the leader of the gang. I have gone out on robberies with them seven times.  Our targets are mobile phones, wallet, and jewelry”, he stated.
“We also rob in traffic, especially Long Bridge. We avoid operating in Kara because we live there. Our colleagues might see us. We sell the phones and share the money.
The motorcycle that we use is owned by Alli. The three of us operate on it using a knife and dagger as our arms”, the primary school dropout added.
The trio were arrested by RRS patrol team after it responded to a distress call that some robbers on a bike were operating in Agidingbi.
The officers trailed the robbers to Olowopopo Way, where a motorist who got a hint that the suspects were being chased hit their Okada to prevent them from escaping into the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.
The owners of the two android phones snatched in Gateway Estate, Isheri and Agidingbi, identified the suspects.
They have been transferred to SARS today for further investigation
Commenting on the development, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Muazu Zubair urged Lagosians to continue to cooperate with the police in order to address some of the security challenges in the State.
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Why We Attacked Ike Ekweremadu In Germany — IPOB Speaks, Warns Govs Umahi, Ikpeazu, Obiano

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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB, has hailed its members in Nuremberg, Germany, for heeding its leader Nnamdi Kanu’s directive to hound all instigators of Operation Python Dance.

The group said that the attack on immediate past Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu on Saturday in Germany should serve as a warning to the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, as well as the Governors of Ebonyi, Abia, and Anambra states, among others, saying that any day they are sighted in any public event abroad, they would be humiliated.

It was learnt that Ekweremadu stirred the anger of some IPOB members when he graced the new yam festival event all the way from Nigeria adorning a cloth designed with Nigeria’s coat of arms instead of the traditional Igbo regalia as an Igbo man.

A statement made available to journalists on Sunday by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, said that the group is strategically located in over 100 countries around the world.

The statement partly reads: “Today been the 17th day of August 2019 the Nuremberg IPOB family in Germany in keeping with the long-standing directive from our leader to hound all instigators of Operation Python Dance, is glad to report that Ike Ekweremadu was confronted and duly hounded out of a so-called New Yam Festival event in Germany.

“This should serve as a warning to Nnia Nwodo, Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and co that any day we find them in a public event abroad, they will be humiliated. IPOB is strategically located in over 100 countries around the world. Anywhere we find them, they will be dealt with.”

The statement announced that Radio Biafra will by 7pm today (Sunday) air the broadcast of IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu regarding the Germany attack on Ekweremadu.

IPOB further announced that it has started its own revolution, adding that things will never be the same again.

The statement adds: “It’s up to other ethnic nationalities to deal with corrupt politicians and merchants of misery within themselves. We have started ours and Nuremberg is only the tip of the iceberg. Let the #Revolution start now.

“With Enugu and Ebonyi State on the verge of capitulation to Fulani criminality, violence and Miyetti Allah domination, conspiratorially complemented by yet another round of military invasion of the East starting tomorrow, our leader shall ventilate these issues and offer guidance on what shall become the fate of corrupt politicians, collaborators and their families whenever they set foot on foreign soil.”

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