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Presidential Election Tribunal Adjourns As Gunmen Attack, Injure Atiku’s Witnesses




Proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja came to abrupt end on Friday, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, notified the panel that witnesses scheduled to appear and testify against President Muhammadu Buhari, were attacked by armed bandits.

The petitioners who are challenging the outcome of the February 23 presidential election that was declared in favour of President Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, told the tribunal that some of the witnesses that were heading to Abuja from Zamfara State, were still hiding in the bush.

The development came on a day collation agents from Borno and Yobe States, gave evidence before the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member panel tribunal.

Among the eight witnesses that testified before the proceeding was adjourned owing to the attack by bandits, included an ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Oluwafemi Ogunrinde.

Ogunrinde who said he served as an Assistant Presiding Officer 1, insisted that he personally uploaded results to INEC’s central server, using a code he said was handed to him about two hours before the presidential election commenced.

He said he was specifically directed to ensure that he uploaded results and information that was captured by the Card Reader Machines, into the server, using a code that was provided by INEC.

Asked under cross-examination if he could remember the total number of votes both APC and PDP got at his center, the witness said: “On that day I did not have personal interest, I just wanted to do the job as I was trained so I did not check to know what any political party scored”.

Asked if he ever saw INEC’s server, the witness said: “No my lord, I couldn’t have seen it because I am not INEC official, I only worked as an ad-hoc staff for the election.

“The INEC official said the server existed and that was where we transmitted results to”.

Immediately the witness who ended his testimony, one of the lawyer in the camp of the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, informed the tribunal that the matter could not continue in view of attack on the other witnesses.

“My lords information we just got is that some of the witnesses we scheduled for this afternoon were waylaid by armed men while on their way. They were coming from Zamfara.

“This is a matter in which our witness are coming from far places”, Chief Uche, SAN, told the court.

Corroborating the report, Atiku’s lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, said: “To confirm, I was the one that was called on the phone and I had to repeatedly go outside to receive the call.

“I was told that some of them jumped inside the bush and up till now most of them have not been seen while some were greatly injured.

“In the circumstance, we will continue on Monday”.

Sequel to the development, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Garba adjourned further hearing on the petition.

“For the information you have given to this court, proceedings in this matter is hereby adjourned till July 15, Monday”.

The petitioners who have three more days to present their case, have so far called 36 witnesses that testified before the tribunal.

Earlier before the adjournment, a local government collation agent for the PDP, Peter Sabo, alleged that President Buhari’s supporters snatch ballot boxes in Borno State.

He further alleged that neither accreditation nor voting took place in four Wards that he monitored, adding that PDP agents were chased away by security agents he said stopped them from trailing the electoral materials that were diverted.

“They did not do any accreditation but merely gave APC supporters ballot papers to go and thumb print for President Buhari.

All the allocated ballot papers meant for all the wards were thumb-printed and returned. There was no invalid vote”, the witness added.

He said he tendered a petition to the INEC, the Department of State Service, the National Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Police.

“All the records are there. Those that carried out the act are known faces”.

Similarly, another witness from Borno, Alhaji Modu Ahmed, also alleged that electoral materials were diverted to the local government lodge. He said security agents did not allow PDP agents to enter inside the lodge.

Other witnesses included Usman Adamu and Hassan Masarauta who both served as a local government collation officers for the PDP in Yobe state.

Masarauta told the court that a former Chairman of Potiskum LGA in Yobe State who he identified as Ado Hamza Goje, harassed and intimidated civil servants, traditional title holders and farmers to vote for the APC or have themselves punished. He said the electorates were told to either vote Buhari or lose their jobs, traditional titles and farmlands.

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2023: Buhari’s Son Picked For Vice President



The National Coordinator of the Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, (CAGG), Barrister Olusegun Bamgbose has declared interest in contesting Nigeria’s presidential seat in 2023.

The lawyer while declaring his interest also expressed optimism that the North would support the emergence of a Southerner as Nigeria’s next president.

He said though zoning is unconstitutional, it is only fair for the North to relinquish power to another region in 2023.

Barrister Bamgbose also hinted on picking Yusuf Buhari, son of President Muhammadu Buhari as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.

The lawyer who is yet to disclose his political party, however, hinted that it is the time for youths to take over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria.

“The South West will forever remember the North for this political gesture,” he noted.

“Even though some political pundits may argue that the North only compensated the South West for the loss of MKO Abiola, who was acknowledged to have won the elections. Whichever way, the North should be appreciated for such a gesture.

“Olusegun Obasanjo handed over power to Yar’adua in 2007, when he died, Jonathan took over. In 2015, the South joined the North to install Buhari.

“It’s therefore politically justifiable for the North to equally support a Southerner to take over power come 2023.

“Obasanjo never disappointed the North and Nigerians, Olusegun Bamgbose will not disappoint Nigerians. As a matter of fact, I’m considering Yusuf Buhari as my running mate come 2023. It’s high time the youths took over power in Nigeria.

“This consideration of mine might look awkward to many Nigerians but it’s because they can’t see what I’m seeing.

“Yusuf Buhari is a material for leadership. I’m blessed with the gift of seeing beyond the physical. I remembered vividly that I once told Jonathan’s Aide that suicide bombing was coming, he doubted me but we all know what’s happening now.

“In 2015 I told Nigerians that Buhari will defeat Jonathan, many thought I was talking nonsense but it came to pass.

“Earlier this year I told Nigerians that a new Chief of Staff will emerge, that has equally happened. Yusuf Buhari is an asset.

“I see him soaring higher politically, other things being equal, he will be my running mate come 2023. He has some hidden potentials which will soon begin to manifest soon to the delight of many Nigerians.

“Whichever you look at it Buhari’s name will be difficult to erase in the political history of Nigeria.”

Bamgbose also noted that even after Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023, the President’s wife, Aisha would still remain politically relevant.

“Even after the exit of Buhari as President of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari will still be prominent and very useful. There is something I’m seeing in her that many Nigerians are ignorant of.

“She is an asset. Nigerians are yet to know the wealth stored in her… I hope to meet Yusuf Buhari soon for some serious political discussions. In all, the North should concede power to the South come 2023. They won’t regret it.”

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Tinubu Is NOT My Man — El-Rufai Declares



Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has publicly admitted to having a personal issue with Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

El-rufai admitted to this while speaking at a webinar in commemoration of the 63rd birthday of the former Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Saturday,

El-Rufai, who didn’t state the kind of differences disclosed that he’s not Tinubu’s “man.”

El-Rufai said: “I want to congratulate my brother, Ogbeni (Aregbesola), on his birthday. You know I’m your man any day.

“I’m not Asiwaju’s man and you are Asiwaju’s man, but I am your man any day. Asiwaju and I have differences but you and I have no differences.”

There are speculations in certain quarters that both El-Rufai and Tinubu are nursing the ambition to become Nigeria’s next president in 2023.

Despite the speculations which have been going on for a while now, both Tinubu and El-Rufai haven’t come out to either deny or admit to such claim.

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Buhari, APC Have Set Nigeria 60 Years Backward — PDP



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a dig at the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration describing his five years stewardship as “wasteful, a season of the locusts.”

In a strongly worded statement issued on Friday by Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, on the state of the nation, the PDP said after reviewing the five years of the Buhari administration, both the president and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have “taken Nigeria 60 years backward.”

The statement accused Buhari and the APC of turning the country into a wasteland after allegedly destroying the economy.

The statement said under Buhari, May 29, has become “synonymous with the enthronement of incompetence, insensitive leadership, endemic corruption in high places and governance by propaganda and false performance claims.”

It also accused the APC administration of reversing all the “gains achieved by the PDP for which May 29 was always celebrated and left the country dejected and despondent.”

Furthermore, it said under Buhari, Nigerians always grieve on May 29, as it has become “a day for commemoration of failed promises, reversal of gains achieved by past leaders and retrogression in our body polity as a nation.”

The statement reads in part :”This administration has failed woefully in its three major governance planks of provision of security, economic recovery and fight against corruption.

“In the last five years, the APC administration has done nothing but driving our nation along the precipices; reneged on all its campaign promises, ruined our productive sector, frustrated our farmers, manufacturers and small scale entrepreneurs, devalued our naira, wrecked employment opportunities for our youth, turned our once prosperous nation into the poverty capital of the world while accumulating huge foreign debts for this generation and the unborn.

“Under five years, President Buhari has borrowed from every corner of the world. These include external borrowing of $10.72 billion (N4.1 trillion) in 2015, $11.41 billion (N4.4 trillion) in 2016, $18.91 billion (N7.3 trillion) in 2017, $25.27 billion (N9.8 trillion) in 2018, $27.68 billion (N10.7 trillion) in 2019 as well as 2020 loans of $3.4 billion (N1.3 trillion) from IMF, $4.4 million (N1.594 billion) internal borrowing, $22.7 billion (N8.8 trillion) external loan and the recently yet to be approved $5.513 billion (N2.1 trillion) waiting before the National Assembly.

“Our party had already alerted Nigerians that with the volume of borrowing, President Buhari and the APC have placed our nation on the international auction market.

“In the last five years, corruption has also worsened in government circle as shown in Transparency International (TI)’s corruption perception index. Federal Government agencies such as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among others have been opened up for pillaging by the cabal in the Presidency and the APC.”

Continuing, the statement noted that the government only pays lip to security as bandits, insurgents and marauders were now having a field day with killings.

“It is distressing that instead of heeding wise counsel to accept failure and avoid making false performance claims, the Buhari Presidency just yesterday, released a list of recycled fictitious achievements, including very insensitive claim of having routed out bandits; even as marauders were pillaging communities and killing our compatriots in Sokoto and other states, particularly in the Northwest.

“A look at the list exposed reused figures and data without corresponding verifiable projects in any part of the country, apart from attempts to appropriate PDP projects,” the statement said.

The party called on the president to wake up to the reality by accepting “failure and seek help since it has become clear that his administration as presently constituted has devastated our nation and leading us on a journey to nowhere.”

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