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APC, PDP Go Spiritual As Supreme Court Decides Sokoto, Benue, Kano, Bauchi Polls Today

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There is anxiety in Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto and Kano states following the tension created in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment on the governorship elections in the two states billed to be delivered today (Monday).

Some elders in the Bauchi under the aegis of the Coalition of Elders for Peace and Good Governance in Bauchi State appealed to the people to remain calm.

They made the appeal in a statement on Sunday signed by Sarkin Arewan Bauchi, Alhaji Hassan Sharif, and 19 others.

They said, “As elders, we foresee the danger in crises, and we won’t like a situation where the generation of our unborn children suffer because of the inactions of some unscrupulous elements within our midst.

“It is on this basis that we call on the good citizens of Bauchi State to maintain the tempo they are known for by accepting whatever decision the Supreme Court may make as Bauchi should be our first priority.”

The Bauchi State Government had expressed confidence that Governor Bala Mohammed would emerge victorious.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr Ladan Salihu, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Saturday

He said the apex court’s judgment sacking Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State, would not have any negative effect on Bala’s election.

Salihu also said Bala, who returned to the country from a “routine medical trip” to the United Kingdom on Saturday, was not bed-ridden as being insinuated.

He said the governor would attend the Supreme Court’s hearing on Monday.

Delivering judgment on the appeal arising from the last gubernatorial election in Imo State, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, had sacked Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party and replaced him with Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress.

But Salihu said the situation that led to the Supreme Court’s verdict would not be applicable in the case of Bauchi State, and would, therefore, have no effect on Bala’s victory.

The commissioner said, “The case that played out in Imo State and the one that will play out in Bauchi State is as different as chalk is from cheese.

“In our own case, all the elections in all the polling units were conducted and votes were counted. All the issues that were in contention were sorted at the ballot box and at the end of the day, Governor Bala Mohammed emerged a comprehensive winner.”

Meanwhile, a civil society organization, Arewa Youth Mobilisation and Mass Mobilisation for Voting Wisely, has urged politicians and supporters of political parties in the state to avoid overheating the polity ahead of the Supreme Court’s verdict.

A spokesman for the group, Abdullahi Abdulkadir, stated this while addressing a press conference in Bauchi.

He also urged security agents to be on the alert with a view to forestalling any potential break down of law and order after the judgment.

In Kano, members of Kwankwasiyya group of the Peoples Democratic Party have embarked on fasting and prayers for the judgment to be in their favour.

Also, the All Progressives Congress members have embarked on fasting and prayers, according to sources who spoke with one of our correspondents.

The spokesman for Abba Yusuf, the PDP governorship candidate, Sanusi Tofa, said, “The party loyalists, including the entire members of the Kwankwasiya group, voluntarily declared today (Sunday) for fasting ahead of tomorrow’s (Monday) ruling.

When one of our correspondents visited the Government House on Sunday, it was observed that both Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, his deputy, Dr Nasiru Gawuana, top government functionaries and some party chieftains had gone to Abuja.

It was also learnt that loyalists of the ruling APC had embarked on fasting and prayers for the judgment to be in their favour.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State on Sunday expressed fears over Monday’s Supreme Court judgment on the governorship elections in Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Sokoto and Plateau states.

The party said the states could go the way of Imo State.

The PDP chairman in the state, Mr Felix Hyet, made the position of the party known at a press conference.

Hyet said the PDP felt shortchanged by the judgment of the Supreme Court on Imo State.

BIG STORY

Man Dies After Taking Sex Enhancement Drugs To Satisfy Lady In Onitsha Hotel

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Barely two weeks after a married man was found dead in Lagos, while lodging with a prostitute; another middle-aged man, Paul Okwudili, was confirmed dead Monday morning, after having sex with a lady in Onitsha, Anambra State.

According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Anambra Command, SP Haruna Mohammed, Mr. Okwudili’s cause of death may not be unconnected to an overdose of sex enhancement drugs taken to satisfy the lady.

The statement reads in part: “On the 24/2/2020, at about 0:3am, the manager of Plus View hotel in Onitsha reported at Central Police Station, Onitsha that one Paul Okwudili ‘m’ aged about 40years of Ogboliolosi, off Awka Road, Inland town, Onitsha, allegedly took a lady to the hotel and lodged.

“Minutes later, the lady came out shouting for help and the hotel management who went to the room and discovered the man gasping for breath took him to St Charles Boromeo hospital Onitsha for medical attention where the victim was later confirmed dead by a medical doctor on duty.

“Meanwhile, the scene was visited by Police detectives attached to CPS Onitsha and photograph of the victim obtained. No marks of violence on the deceased body but some drugs were discovered in the hotel room reasonably suspected to be enhancement drugs”.

The Police spokesman said, the corpse has been deposited at the hospital mortuary for autopsy, while the lady was arrested for further investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.

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North Has No Justification To Remain In Power, Presidency Should Go To The South After Buhari —- El-Rufai

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The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has insisted that the North has no justification to remain in power after the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure.

El-Rufai maintained that the Presidency should rightly return to the Southern part of Nigeria.

He said though the constitution of the All Progressives Congress, APC, does not make provision for rotation but in the interest of justice, equity, and fair play, Presidency should go to other regions of the country.

Vanguard quoted him as saying: “The general political consensus in Nigeria is that the Presidency should rotate between the North and the South. It is not written but everyone understands it.

“In some of the parties, like the PDP, it is even written down in their constitution but it was breached in 2015. I think that every politician of honour should understand and abide by that consensus except there is an extenuating circumstance compelling it to be set aside. What could this be?

“President Yar’Adua died in office and it was compulsory for Jonathan to continue but when 2011 election came, there were many people who insisted that Jonathan should step aside for a northerner to complete the tenure of Yar’Adua but I opposed it because I didn’t think it was proper for an incumbent that got there not by his own design should be stopped from contesting when the constitution has not barred him from running.

“In the APC, we deliberately omitted rotational Presidency in our constitution and the emergence of a presidential candidate does not take into account zoning and that was why in 2015, Rochas Okorocha from the East contested, Sam Nda-Isaiah contested, Buhari, Kwankwaso and others contested.”

El-Rufai a chieftain of APC, added that presidential candidates are chosen on the basis of merit and general acceptance.

“I can say that as distinct from the PDP, APC has no rotational Presidency but candidates are selected strictly on the basis of political merit and the general acceptability of the candidate.

“I want to say that those of us from Northern Nigeria honour agreements. We do not violate unwritten political agreements and I will be the last person to lead in violating that agreement. I may have a personal view but that should be the basis. I don’t care where you come from but I look for merit.

“But as a group, the Northern APC will have to sit down and endorse someone, most likely someone from the South, because after eight years of Buhari, I don’t think the Presidency should remain in the north unless there is some extenuating circumstances. But all things being equal, we will honour our agreement and we keep our words,” he said.

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Woman, 3 Others Jailed 160 Years Over Fake Naira Notes

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A woman, Hadiza Bello, and three other accomplices have been sentenced to 160 years in prison by a Federal High Court, sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, for dealing in fake naira notes.

The convicts were dragged before the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission after they were caught at a checkpoint along Girei-Yola Road.

A statement from the ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said five suspects — Hadiza, Mohammed Dauda, Bello Salisu, Ali Adamu and Hassan Bello, were involved in a deal to exchange the sum of N5m counterfeit notes for N1m real notes, adding that Hassan, a native doctor, could not be sentenced because of his death before conviction.

The statement said, “A Federal High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, has sentenced four persons, including a woman, to 160 years’ imprisonment on a multiple-count charge of conspiracy and possession of counterfeit banknotes.

“Justice Abdulazeez Anka, who handed down the sentences to the convicts in the case brought by the ICPC, ruled that they would spend 10 years in prison on each of the four counts preferred against them.

“Three of the convicts, Hadiza Bello, Mohammed Dauda and Bello Salisu, had in March 2017, left Kaduna and were joined by the fourth convict, Ali Adamu, from Kano, to meet a native doctor, Hassan Bello, who was a counterfeiter at Wamdeo Uba, Borno State, with the intention to procure about N5m counterfeit banknotes to exchange for about N1m genuine banknotes from a customs officer.

“The deal with the customs officer did not go through for undisclosed reasons. However, as they made their way back, they were caught at a checkpoint on Girei-Yola Road, with counterfeit N1000 banknotes to the value of N5, 504,000 by soldiers on duty and subsequently handed over to the ICPC.”

The anti-graft body said an investigation launched by its officers led to the residence of the native doctor at Wamdeo Uba, where he was arrested.

“A search conducted on the premises revealed more counterfeit N1000 bank notes reading the same serial number to the value of N26,000.

“At the conclusion of investigations, except for Bello Salisu, who was charged with abetment to commit an offense of possession of counterfeit banknotes, the other four suspects, including the native doctor counterfeiter, were arraigned on four counts of being in possession of counterfeit banknotes, which is an offense contrary to sections 5(1) (b) and 6(2) (b), and punishable under Section 5(1) (c) of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act, cap. C35, LFN 2004,” the statement added.

In his ruling, Justice Anka found the accused persons guilty on each of the four counts and sentenced them to cumulative 40 years’ imprisonment each, although the sentences would run concurrently.

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