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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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NCDC Issues New Discharge Protocol, As FG Removes Antiviral Drugs From COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, at the press conference, issued a new set of guidelines for the discharge of COVID-19 patients in treatment centres.

The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated that COVID-19 patients would no longer require a negative test result before being discharged.

The discharge criterion by the NCDC, which had included two consecutive negative tests, was reviewed last month to one negative test.

Ihekweazu, however, explained that, with new knowledge on the duration of the virus, it had become unnecessary to keep COVID-19 patients in treatment centres until they tested negative.

He said, “The two critical groups of patients are symptomatic and asymptomatic. For symptomatic patients, they may now be discharged at least 10 days after symptom onset and at least three days without symptom.

“So, if you’re symptomatic, you can be discharged if you’ve had three days without symptoms in addition to at least 10 days of symptoms. If your symptoms stay longer, we will wait for longer while managing you supportively.

“If you’re asymptomatic, you can be discharged 14 days after your first positive test, with confidence that you can go home and you’re no longer infective and you’re not putting anyone else at risk. So, we no longer have to wait for a negative test to discharge.”

The NCDC DG stated that medical professionals were ignoring the new guidelines due to their attachment to the previous protocols, adding that the science showed that 10 days without symptoms were sufficient to discharge patients.

On post-discharge management, he noted that only asymptomatic patients would be discharged.

Ihekweazu said, “We are not suggesting that people are discharged while they are still symptomatic, so we are talking about discharging people that are asymptomatic and have recovered.”

According to Ihekweazu, the reviewed guidelines are in line with the findings of the World Health Organisation, based on new research.

Another policy change brought on by the latest research on COVID-19 case management, according to Ihekweazu, is the decision to stop the administration of antiviral drugs.

He said, “In addition, we have also removed the use of antivirals from our treatment guidelines. Like the minister just said, the trials for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine will still go on.”

Speaking further on antiviral drugs removed from the COVID-19 treatment guidelines, Ihekweazu said, “We reached out to some antiviral drugs. One that was in our guidelines recently was the lopinavir/ritonavir combination, which is a combination of medicines we use for HIV. So, we look for whatever we have to try.

“As evidence emerges and science improves, then we have to start making hard choices. There have been quite a number of studies now that have shown that they don’t really improve the outcome of this illness, so we’ve withdrawn them from the guidelines of management.”

The National Coordinator, PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, raised the alarm over the lack of access to care for chronic medical conditions, including human immunodeficiency virus, as well as the absence of maternal, newborn and child health services.

According to him, persons with underlying medical conditions are unable to receive needed care.




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BREAKING: DPO, Seven Other Policemen, One Civilian Killed In Kogi Bank Robbery [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

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Nine persons, made up of eight Policemen and one civilian, were feared killed on Thursday in Isanlu, Kogi State when a gang of armed robbers launched an attack on a first generation bank in the town.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that among those killed was the Divisional Police Officer in the town, two policewomen, and five policemen.

NAN sources indicated that while the DPO, the two policewomen, and four policemen were killed at the Police Station, one policeman was killed at the bank’s premises.

The other victim, a male civilian, died when a stray bullet hit him.

The armed robbers were said to have invaded the Police Station at about 1 pm and opened fire on all officers and men on duty.

The source told NAN that the Police Station was completely destroyed by the armed robbers who also set free all detainees in the detention facility.

The robbers later proceeded to the bank where they killed one of the Policemen on duty and carted away money.

An eyewitness, Segun Thomas, told NAN that the robbery operation lasted almost one hour.

Thomas said: “The robbers came in two vehicles – a bus and a car – with which they also escaped from the town.”

NAN learnt that the car, believed to have been snatched from its owner, was later abandoned around Kizito College, Isanlu.

William Aya, spokesman of Kogi State Police Command, confirmed the robbery incident and the invasion of the Police Station, but added that the casualty figure was “still hazy”.

Aya told NAN: “The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ede Ayuba, has dispatched the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operation to Isanlu to ascertain the true situation.”

Aya promised to brief the press “as soon as details are available”.





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Nigerian Lawmakers Reject Castration As Punishment For Rapists

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The House of Representatives has voted against a prayer seeking to recommend castration for rapists.

The House, at the plenary on Thursday, considered and adopted a motion on the rising cases of sexual violence in Nigeria.

A member, Mr James Faleke, had recommended that persons found guilty of rape should be castrated.

Just before the prayer was subjected to a voice vote, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked what would happen to an older female who rapes a younger male.

The comment generated noise in the chamber, The PUNCH reports.

Putting the prayer to vote, the nays had it.

In honour of victims of sexual violence in Nigeria, the House resolved that members should be dressed in black on the next legislative day.

The House is expected to sit on Tuesday.

Debate on rape and other sexual crimes lasted over two hours during Thursday’s plenary.

Details later…




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