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Atiku Should Produce His Academic Credentials, I’m Far More Qualified – Buhari Tells Tribunal

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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.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Ogun Labour Party Sacks Doyin Okupe, 11 Others For Violating Party’s Constitution

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The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Labour Party(LP) on Thursday took a disturbing dimension as the State Executive Council(SEC) stripped the Director-General of Peter Obi – Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Doyin Okupe and 11 others of their membership, citing violation of the party’s constitution.

Briefing newsmen in Abeokuta, the state capital at the end of their meeting, Ogun LP chairman and secretary Michael Ashade and Feyisola Michael; State respectively alleged that Okupe and others have refused to pay their membership dues in the last six months, despite repeated reminder that they should validate their membership by updating their financial status.

In attendance at the press briefing were the National Publicity Secretary Dr. Abayomi Arabambi and other members of LP.

Ashade accused Okupe of polarising the party in Ogun State with his Peoples Democraric Party (PDP) “dissidents political liabilities who are only using LP to revive their political and financial lifelines.”

He challenged Okupe to provide evidence of any payment in respect of membership dues prior to December 1, 2022 into any bank account of the LP.

To give effect to the SEC decision, he asked the national chairman Barr. Julius Abure and the party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to obey the party’s constitution by immediately relieving Okupe of his position as D-G of PCC and appoint another DG for the body, who should come from the North to reflect federal characters and political balance.

The chairman anchored the action on Article 9(3)xi of the party’s constitution providing that “only fully registered and financially up-to-date members of the Party shall have the right to vie for office in the Ward Executive, Local Government Area Executive, State Executive Councils and the National Working Committee of the Party or be a delegate to the Congresses and the National Convention.”

He said: “Article 9(3)iii of our Party’s Constitution states as follows: ‘only members who pay their monthly membership dues at rates prescribed shall be deemed to be bonafide members of the Party. Arrears of dues of up to six months shall lead to forfeiture of membership.’

“Despite repeated demands from various meetings I had with Dr. Doyin Okupe in respect of his mandatory constitutional requirements to fulfill membership status, he has failed woefully in this regard with some others to flagrantly disobey the constitution of Labour party.

“… In line with article 19(3) of the Labour Party constitutional provision, we declare that Dr. Doyin Okupe, having failed in the payment of his membership dues for the last six months of joining the Party, has forfeited his membership of the Party and no longer fit and competent to continue to act as the DG of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).

“We hereby notify our National Chairman Bar Julius Abure and Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, that it’s expedient to obey the constitution of Labour party by immediately appoint another DG for the PCC and that should come from the North to reflect Federal Characters and political balance.”

Ashade mentioned those stripped of their membership as Abayomi Collins, Hon. Abel Olaleye, Jagun Lookman, Olori Oluwabukola Soyoye, Mr. Gbadebo Fesomade, (former State Treasurer) and Mr. Abdulmalik Olaleye (former State Youth Leader).

Others are Mr Jide Amusan( former State Publicity Secretary); Mr. Adeshina Wasiu Shojobi (former Asst State Youth Leader); Miss Deborah Adewale (former Senatorial Women Leader Ogun East) and Mr. Olatunde Abolade (former Asst State Secretary).

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My Re-Election Bid Based On Achievements’, Sanwo-Olu Declares As Governor Unveils Campaign Brand

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A multi-dimensional roadshow, comprising power bikers, activation rigs, and mobile advertising vans, was spotted across cities in Lagos State on Wednesday with flashes of an appealing slogan: “A Greater Lagos Rising”. The overall activities formally flagged off the re-election campaign of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

In riverine communities, hundreds of residents rolled out branded canoes in a special sea show, traversing the Lagos waterways to kick off the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship electioneering.

The events culminated in a press briefing held in Ikeja, where Gov. Sanwo-Olu and Director General of the APC Governorship Campaign Council, Sen. Ganiyu Solomon, unveiled the campaign assets, including theme, color, and font branding.

Represented by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, the Governor declared: “I am running on records; get ready for more.”

Sanwo-Olu said the theme of his second term campaign reinforced the continuity of his achievements in the first term. He said the idea of “Greater Lagos Rising” captured the passion and resilience of young creative citizens toiling to change the story of the State in music, movies, fashion, sports, manufacturing, and technological innovations.

The Governor said renewal of his mandate would further strengthen his administration’s resolve to scale up the efficiency of his development blueprint, known as THEMES Agenda, and unlock more socio-economic opportunities for hardworking residents.

He said: “Our campaign assets capture the audacity and spirit of Lagos in the rising of the city. The campaign assets are not some forms of self-adulation but fitting credit to the contributions of hardworking Lagosians, especially the youth, to the height Lagos has attained today. This campaign is not about me and my team alone. It is a tribute to all our youths who are doing amazing works to put Lagos on the global map. Renewing our mandate will represent people’s confidence in the collective progress we have made in the last three and half years against all odds.

“There is no doubt we are running on records. Evidence of our achievements abounds to discerning minds. Lagos is on the threshold of history as the first sub-national to deliver on a mass rail system; the Blue Rail Line is being test run ahead of commissioning and operations in the coming weeks. The Red Line is also scheduled for commissioning in the first quarter of 2023. We have completed and inaugurated 16 housing schemes within this first term. Our people are confident that we can do a lot more after they witnessed the commissioning 62 fire-fighting vehicles in a day to keep our citizens safe.

“This administration, within three years, upgraded two tertiary institutions to degree-awarding schools to raise human capital and prepare our young people for future jobs. Our Government trained 18,000 teachers under the Eko Excel Initiative. People who benefited from Ilera Eko Health Insurance scheme now see the proof that something is changing in the State. Honest residents know that Imota Rice Mill and the Lekki Deep Sea Port are incontrovertible proofs that a greater Lagos is indeed rising and unfolding before their eyes. Now, imagine what we can do with additional four years.”

The Governor explained the essence of yellow as dominant colour in the campaign materials, noting that the shade symbolised the energy, youthfulness, enthusiasm, optimism and happiness which are common expressions among Lagos residents.

The brand colour also came with a mix of foggy, signifying warmth, transformation, freedom and fun said to be hallmarks of the State.

All the colours used, Sanwo-Olu said, collectively evoked the resilience of the State to remain on the path of progress, despite being hit by global COVID-19 pandemic and the violence resulting from ENDSARS protests.

He said: “Our campaign will be reinforcing the energy, remarkable audacity and unbroken resilience of our people. Rising is a proof of growth. Our actions in the last three and half years have blended into our Greater Lagos mantra, with the State rising and transforming before our very eyes.

“When we say a ‘Greater Lagos is Rising’, we are drawing attention of our citizens to the positive changes taking place all over the State, including growth of our economy, breath-taking rebuilding of Lagos and the renewal of hope in citizens. Let us write a new history.”

Solomon said the party would be rolling out campaign materials to all nooks and crannies of the State to showcase the achievements of the Sanwo-Olu administration, urging residents of Lagos to support the effort to renew the Governor’s mandate.

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, said Sanwo-Olu’s re-election bid was proper. He noted that Lagos rose in its challenging period, saying: “Mr. Governor never allowed those challenges to bring Lagos on its knees.”

Egube said the simultaneous development of two rail lines, building of a deep seaport and delivery of international standard bus stations were evidence that Greater Lagos had started to rise.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Akwa Ibom YPP Guber Candidate, Bassey Albert Bags 42 Years Imprisonment For Corruption

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Serving Senator and the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Bassey Albert Akpan, has been sentenced to 42 years in prison for corruption.

A Federal High Court in Uyo, on Thursday, convicted and sentenced Mr. Albert popularly called OBA who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

He has been taken to Ikot Ekpene prison, Akwa Ibom State to serve his prison term.

Mr. Albert, a serving senator representing Akwa Ibom North East District, was accused of receiving bribes of 12 cars worth N254 million from an oil marketer, Olajide Omokore, during his (Albert’s) tenure (2010 – 2014) as commissioner for finance in Akwa Ibom State.

The convicted senator was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, the ruling party in the state before he defected months ago to the YPP, where he secured the party’s ticket for the 2023 governorship election.

 

More to come…

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