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Presidential Tribunal Begins Hearing of Atiku’s Petition Against Buhari, INEC

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The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has fixed today (Wednesday) to commence pre-hearing session on four petitions that are seeking to invalidate President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election. Buhari and Atiku.

The petitioners are separately challenging the declaration of President Buhari as the legitimate winner of the February 23 presidential election. Vanguard learned that the tribunal has already issued pre-hearing notice on all the parties.

Basically, the session affords the tribunal the opportunity to meet the parties with a view to setting up modalities to be adopted in the actual hearing of substantive issues in dispute. Meantime, aside the petition marked CA/PEPC/002/2019, which was entered against Buhari by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Atiku, on March 18, the second petition marked CA/ PEPC/001/2019, was by the presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Chief Ambrose Owuru who secured a total of 1,663 in the election.

While the third petition, CA/PEPC/004/2019, was lodged by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Pastor Aminchi Habu, who is seeking a fresh election on the basis that his party’s logo was not included in the ballot paper.

The last petition with suit No. CA/PEPC/003/2019, was filed by the Coalition For Change, C4C and its presidential candidate, Geff Chizee Ojinka, who are contending that Buhari’s re-election was vitiated by substantial non-compliance with mandatory statutory provisions.

The petitioners maintained that the irregularity substantially affected the election, “such that the 1st Respondent was not entitled to be returned as the Winner of the Presidential election”. Remarkably, unlike in all the other petitions where only Buhari, the APC and INEC were cited as Respondents, the C4C, which garnered a total of 2,391 votes at the presidential poll, cited the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as the 2nd Respondent in its case.

It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on February 27, declared that Buhari garnered a total of 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the opposition PDP, who it said polled a total of 11,262,978 votes.

However, Atiku had almost immediately the result was announced, vowed to upturn it in court. Specifically, in their joint petition, Atiku and his party, insisted that data they secured from INEC’s server, revealed that they clearly defeated President Buhari with over 1.6million votes. The petitioners alleged that INEC had at various stages of the presidential election, unlawful allocated votes to President Buhari, saying they would adduce oral and documentary evidence to show that result of the election as announced by the electoral body, did not represent the lawful valid votes cast Atiku alleged that in some states, INEC, deducted lawful votes that accrued to him, in its bid to ensure that Buhari was returned back to office.

The petitioners said they would call evidence of statisticians, forensic examiners and finger-print experts at the hearing of the petition to establish that the scores credited to Buhari were not the product of actual votes validly cast at the polling units.

“The Petitioners plead and shall rely on electronic video recordings, newspaper reports, photographs and photographic images of several infractions of the electoral process by the Respondents”, they added.

More so, in one of the five grounds of the petition, Atiku and the PDP maintained that Buhari was not qualified to run for the office of the President, contending that he does not possess the constitutional minimum qualification of a school certificate. The petitioners serialised results that were recorded from each state of the federation in order to prove that the alleged fraudulent allocation of votes to Buhari and the APC, took place at the polling units, the ward collating centres, local government collating centres and the State collating centres.

They argued that proper collation and summation of the presidential election results would show that contrary to what INEC declared, Atiku, garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes, ahead of Buhari who they said got a total of 16,741,430 votes.

“The Petitioners state that Smart Card Readers deployed by the 1st Respondent, in addition to accreditation, equally transmitted electronically the results of voting from polling units directly to the server of the 1st Respondent.

“The Presiding Officers of the 1st Respondent directly inputted the results from the polling units at the end of voting and transmitted directly to the server, in addition to manually taking the Form EC8As to the Wards for collation.

“The 1st Respondent is hereby given notice to produce the records of results from each polling unit uploaded and transmitted electronically by officials of the 1st Respondent through smart card readers to the 1st Respondent’s Servers.

“The Petitioners plead and rely on the 1st Respondent’s Manual Technologies 2019, and notice is hereby given to the 1st Respondent to produce same at the trial. The 1st Respondent’s agents at the polling units used the Smart Card Reader for electronic collation and transmission of results.

“The Petitioners plead and shall rely on and play at the trial, the video demonstration by the 1st Respondent of the deployment of Smart Card Reader for authentication of accreditation and for transmission of data. Wherefore, the Petitioners pray jointly and severally against the Respondents as follows: “That it may be determined that the 2nd Respondent (Buhari) was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast in the said election and therefore the declaration and return of the 2nd Respondent by the 1st Respondent as the President of Nigeria is unlawful, undue, null, void and of no effect.

“That it may be determined that the 1st Petitioner (Atiku) was duly and validly elected and ought to be returned as President of Nigeria, having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election to the office of the President of Nigeria held on 23rd February 2019 and having satisfied the constitutional requirements for the said election. “An order directing the 1st Respondent to issue Certificate of Return to the 1st Petitioner as the duly elected President of Nigeria.

“That it may be determined that the 2nd Respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election. “That it may be determined that the 2nd Respondent submitted to the Commission affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election”. In the alternative, the petitioners prayed the tribunal to nullify the February 23 presidential election and order a fresh poll.

However, in a swift reaction, both Buhari and the APC, filed preliminary objections to challenge the competence of the petitions, even as they challenged Atiku’s locus-standi to even participate in the Presidential poll. In his objection, Buhari described Atiku as a serial loser, boasting that he had always defeated him in every electoral contest that both of them took part in.

President Buhari insisted that electorates always chose him ahead of Atiku in both inter-party or intra-party contests, using the 2014 presidential primaries the All Progressives Congress, APC, as an instance.

“In particular, at the primary election conducted by the 3rd respondent (APC) in 2014, to pick its presidential candidate for the 2015 election, the 1st petitioner and respondent, amongst others, were the candidates; and while the respondent polled 3,430 votes, 1st petitioner came a distant third with 954 votes”. Besides, President Buhari, queried the powers of the tribunal to nullify his election victory at the poll, contending that the joint petition Atiku and the PDP entered against him was incompetent as it was based on conjectures.

Insisting that reliefs the petitioners are seeking from the tribunal were “vague, nebulous and lacking in specificity”, argued that most of the issues and grounds of the petition were not only “mutually exclusive”, but also outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

He contended that by virtue of section 31(5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, only the Federal High Court or High Court of a State has jurisdiction to adjudicate on some the issues, among which included the allegation that he was bereft of the requisite educational qualification. Buhari told the tribunal that contrary to Atiku’s allegation that he submitted false academic qualifications in the Form CF001 he used to secure clearance from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, he said he was at the time of the election, “eminently qualified to contest the election, having not only the minimum qualification of reading up to secondary school level, but rose to the peak of his career as a General in the Nigerian Army with cognate experience and training.

Buhari said he has more educational qualification than Atiku. Likewise, his party, the APC, in its own objection, branded Atiku an alien, alleging that he is not a Nigerian by birth and therefore was not qualified to contest the February 23 presidential poll. APC told the tribunal that the PDP candidate is a Cameroonian.

According to APC, Atiku, was born on November 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa, in Northern Cameroon and is therefore a citizen of Cameroon and not a Nigerian by birth. It told the tribunal that prior to 1919, Cameroon was being administered by Germany, adding that following the defeat of Germany in World War 1, which ended in 1918, Cameroon, became part of a League of Nations mandate territory which consisted of French Cameroon and British Cameroon in 1919. APC noted that in 1961, a plebiscite was held in British Cameroon to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroon or align with Nigeria. It stressed that while Northern Cameroon preferred a union with Nigeria, the Southern Cameroon chose alignment with the mother country, saying it was as a result of the plebiscite that Northern Cameroon, which included Adamawa, became part of Nigeria. The ruling party argued that contrary to Atiku’s claims in his petition, he had no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019.

Buhari, APC, out to cover corruption, incompetence- PDP It averred that by reason of Atiku’s ineligibility to contest the election, all votes credited to him and the PDP in the February 23 election ought to be deemed as wasted votes. APC contended that most of the claims contained in Atiku’s petition have become statute barred, arguing that the Tribunal was therefore bereft of the jurisdiction to entertain it.

However, in a further response he filed before the tribunal, Atiku, rebuked the APC, describing the allegation that he is a Cameroonian as puerile, face saving, vexatious, absolutely and completely unfounded.

Atiku maintained that he is a full blooded Nigerian, even as he urged the tribunal to ignore what he termed as “extraneous facts, contradictory, diversionary, evasive, speculative and vague assertions”, by both the APC and President Buhari. Atiku told the tribunal that contrary to APC’s allegation that he is an alien, he said he is a Nigerian by birth and a Fulani by tribe, adding that his parents were from Jigawa and Sokoto states. INEC replacing servers nationwide, PDP alleges

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BREAKING: Buhari Sacks Muiz Banire As AMCON Chairman, Appoints Adamu

Peter Okunoren

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked Muiz Banire as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, appointing Edward Lametek Adamu as the new chairman of the Corporation.

This was contained in a letter read on the floor of the Senate by the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan.

The letter, dated December 9, 2019, reads: “In accordance with Section 10(1) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act, 2010, I hereby present Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu for confirmation as Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria by the Distinguished Senate.

“While hoping that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Banire was appointed as AMCON Chairman in 2018 when during the leadership of Bukola Saraki as Senate President.

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REVEALED: How Estate Electrician, Friend Attacked Maersk MD After House Party, Killed Wife [Full Details]

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Two suspects, Ade Akanbi and Olamide Adegoke, have been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for attacking the Managing Director of Maersk Nigeria, Gildas Tohouo, and stabbing his wife, Bernadett, to death at the couple’s residence on No. 1 Luggard Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos State.

It was learnt that the suspects also stabbed the man and forced him to drink a substance suspected to be acid.

While the corpse of the wife had been evacuated and deposited in the mortuary, the man is battling for his life in hospital.

It was learnt that the deceased was a Hungarian, while her husband is a Cameroonian.

Report says the condition of the Cameroonian remains critical.

One of the perpetrators of the crime, Adegoke, was said to be an electrician working with the estate, where the couple’s apartment is located.

According to PUNCH, the couple had organised a party in their house on Sunday and many invited guests were said to have gathered in the compound to felicitate with them.

Adegoke, who was said to be a familiar face in the estate, was granted access to the party.

He reportedly used his familiarity to smuggle his accomplice, Akanbi, in.

It was gathered that the party ended around 11.30pm and the guests departed for their various homes, but Adegoke and Akanbi were said to have lurked around the couple’s apartment.

Suddenly, there was a power outage in the building and the suspects allegedly offered to assist the couple to restore power.

According to a source, the couple recognised one of them as an electrician in the estate and access the door for them to gain entrance into the main building.

The source stated, “The electrician came with his friend and they were granted access based on the fact that Adegoke was a known face. Immediately the two suspects entered the building, they attacked the couple with knives. They locked the husband and wife in separate rooms and forced the wife to transfer some money to them and also collected her ATM card.

“Afterwards, the suspects stabbed the couple. The husband survived the attack and managed to call his company’s chief security officer, who alerted the police, but his wife was not lucky as she died on the spot after being suffocated with a pillow.”

It was gathered that a team of policemen, led by the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, stormed the scene of the crime and arrested the suspects before they could escape.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, who confirmed the incident, said the suspects stabbed the man’s wife and suffocated her, adding that the husband also sustained injuries and had been taken to hospital.

Elkana stated, “The man is a Cameroonian and his wife was Hungarian. They hosted a party earlier on Sunday, and when the guests had left, there was a power outage. The electrician, who was also in attendance with an accomplice, was still in the compound during the outage.

“So, they knocked on the door and volunteered to help the couple fix their power problem. When the door was opened, the two suspects, Ade Akanbi and Olamide Adegoke, attacked the couple and stabbed the man and his wife.

“But the man survived, while his wife died due to the injuries she sustained from the attack.

“The suspects wanted to rob the couple and have been arrested. The knives used in perpetrating the crime have also been recovered.

“The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, mobilised personnel to the scene of the crime and arrested the suspects. Homicide detectives from the command have also cordoned off the area. Investigation is ongoing.”

Reacting to the incident, the Regional Managing Director, Africa, A. P. Moller-Maersk, David Williams, while commiserating with the bereaved family, said the couple’s three children of the couple were safe, adding that the company was working with relevant the authorities to investigate the incident.

He said, “We are very sorry to confirm that a colleague and his family were attacked in their residence in Lagos, Nigeria, during the evening of Sunday, December 8, 2019.

“Tragically, the wife of our colleague passed away at the scene. Our colleague is in hospital, where his condition is critical but stable. The three children are all safe and accounted for.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to the family. We will do whatever we can to support them in this tragedy.”

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How 4 Neighbours Raped Me For 7 Years — 20-Year-Old Lagos Woman Tells Court

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A 20-year-old fashion designer (name withheld), on Monday, narrated before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court how she was allegedly sexually abused and defiled by four neighbours on different occasions over a seven-year period.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two of the neighbours – a driver, Taofeeq Alabi, and dry cleaner, Igwe Andrew, aged 49 and 31, respectively – are facing trial for defilement.

The other two – Babatunde Green and Babatunde Andrew – are currently at large.

Led in evidence by Mrs. Arinola Momoh-Ayokanbi, prosecution counsel, the complainant, who is the first prosecution witness, narrated how each of the two defendants allegedly defiled her.

“The wife of Taofeeq Alabi, the first defendant, is a fashion designer and I usually go to their apartment upstairs to learn while she sews clothes for clients.

“One day, her husband asked me to come to the apartment, that he wanted to send me on an errand.

“When I got into the apartment, he gave me a powder to lick and told me that he had put something (black magic) in my body and that even though I got married, it would still be there.

“I became very scared, he removed my clothes and had sexual intercourse with me.

“I did not tell anyone about what happened because of fear and I was also afraid of how my parents might react if I told them,” she said.

Narrating how Andrew, the second defendant allegedly defiled her, she said he committed the offence in her bedroom.

“I was fast asleep in my bedroom and forgot to lock the door. Andrew came into my bedroom and lay on top of me.

“When I woke up and asked why he was in my room, he asked me to shut up.

“He told me that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with me,” she said.

The witness said that she tried unsuccessfully to push him away and he forcefully defiled her.

“After it happened, my younger brother came into the bedroom, saw him and beat him with a stick, telling him to get out of the room.

“The next day, he approached me and told me he wanted me to do something for him.

“When I asked what it was, he proceeded to show me a blue film (pornography) on his phone.

“I ignored him and since that day, I avoided him,” she said.

The complainant said both defendants defiled her when she was a 14-year-old Senior Secondary One (SS1) student.

She said the other neighbours (Green and Babatunde) started defiling her when she was in primary school.

She said she never told her parents about the defilement because she was scared of them, but it all came to light when the caretaker of their property informed her father that she was being defiled by the neighbours.

“My father reported the defilement at the Ladipo Police Station, where we made a statement and I was referred to the Mirabel Centre for medical examination,” she said.

After the evidence, defence counsel, Mr K. U. Ani, requested an adjournment of the cross-examination of the witness on the grounds of his ill-health.

Justice Abiola Soladoye adjourned the case until February 2, 2020, for cross-examination of the alleged victim.

According to the prosecution, the defendants committed the offences from 2010 to 2017 at the Papa Ajao area of Mushin, Lagos.

“The defendants, who have been remanded at a correctional facility, defiled the complainant, who is their neighbour, by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her when she was 14 years old.

“The offence contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015, which prescribes up to life sentence for anyone convicted of defilement of a child,” Momoh-Ayokanbi said.

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