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Insecurity: Northern Governors Hold Emergency Meeting

jeu, 2019-09-12 18:59

Cross section of Northern governors, at the Northern Governors Forum emergency meeting in Kaduna on Thursday

Cross section of Northern governors, at the Northern Governors Forum emergency meeting in Kaduna on Thursday Shehu K. Goro/DailyTrust


The Northern Governors Forum on Thursday met in Kaduna State to discuss the National Livestock Transformation Plan and find a lasting solution to the insecurity affecting the region.

While at the meeting, Chairman of the forum and Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, said livestock management in the country and in particular the Northern region had continued to generate discourse, controversy, misinformation and even politicisation.

Lalong said the governors had made ‎so many attempts at find lasting solutions to the incessant farmer-herder clashes, cattle rustling and associated criminalities such as banditry, kidnapping among others in the region.

He said, “We consequently set up a committee under the chairmanship of Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State to develop a comprehensive regional plan that can bring lasting solutions to the lingering crises.

“At this meeting, we shall also deliberate on the National Livestock Transformation Plan, which was inaugurated by the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, and seek to support and strengthen the development of market-driven ranches in the livestock ecosystem for improved productivity through breed improvement, pasture production, efficient land and water utilisation.”


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Nigerian Elected Into Legislative Seat In Canada

jeu, 2019-09-12 18:44

Uzoma Asagwara

Uzoma Asagwara Winnipeg Free Press


Uzoma Asagwara, a 39-year-old Nigerian-Canadian, has been elected into the country’s legislative seat for the New Democratic Party.

Asagwara was one of three black people in the 150-year history of the Manitoba legislative house, CBC News reports.

She has been working within her community as a psychiatric nurse and for long has been a community activist in Winnipeg.

Uzoma said she is grateful to everyone, who has supported them long before the election.

The Nigerian-Canadian is not only a politician and activist, she is also an athlete.

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Three-storey Building Collapses In Enugu

jeu, 2019-09-12 18:27


A three-storey building under construction has collapsed at Monarch Avenue in Independent Layout, Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, according to a report by PUNCH.

It was gathered that the building located behind Catherine Lodge, was said to have collapsed on Wednesday night.

There were no casualties reported according to sources.

Some residents of the area attributed the incident to substandard materials and the use of quack engineer’s in the execution of the project.

A resident, who gave his name as Clifford Eze, said that there was no casualty, adding that block work had already been completed and the building was about to be roofed when it suddenly collapsed on Thursday around 8:30pm.

When contacted on the telephone, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation had commenced to unravel the cause of the collapse.


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Police Arraign Hotel Employees For Stealing TV Sets

jeu, 2019-09-12 18:23


The police in Lagos has arraigned two employees of Transit Budget Hotel in court for stealing 10 television sets worth over N1m from the facility.

They were arraigned on Thursday at the Ikeja Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate O.A. Layinka.

The employees, Idris Ishagbesan and Daniel Kefas, were charged for conspiracy and theft.

According to the prosecutor, Raji Akeem, the alleged theft took place on August 30.

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 287 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Magistrate Layinka admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N200,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.

The magistrate adjourned the case until October 23 for mention.


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I Did Not Ask Barcelona To Sign Neymar, Says Messi

jeu, 2019-09-12 17:54


Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi, has denied media reports that he told the Barcelona board to resign Neymar Jr from Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi, however, acknowledged that he gave his opinion to the club about resigning the Brazilian playmaker.

In an interview with Sport, Messi said his teammates did not push for the signing but stated that he would love for him to return to the club.

Messi said, “A lot of things are said. We didn't ask for his signing. Obviously, we commented on it when we heard Neymar might come, we gave our opinions on whether it was good or not.

“We never said he had to be signed. We didn't impose anything. We gave our opinion in the same way we did with Antoine Griezmann and other players who have come or who haven't arrived in the end.

“I would have loved Neymar to come. I understand the people who were against it. It's normal after everything that happened with Neymar because of how he went and how he left us.”

Messi said though the return of Neymar would boost the chances of the club to win trophies, he noted that some of the players do not want him to return, according to UK’s Evening Standard.

“It's normal and logical that there are many people who don't want him to come back but thinking in sporting terms, for me Neymar is one of the best in the world.

“Obviously, in our team, he would have increased the chance of achieving the results we want so much.

“I don't know if the club wanted that or not. But from what I know, Ney really wanted it.

“I also understand that it's very difficult to negotiate with Paris (Saint-Germain) after all the twists and turns they have had with Barcelona.”

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Flood Destroys Dozens Of Homes In Borno

jeu, 2019-09-12 17:47


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has said that more than 3,000 people have been seriously affected by floods in Borno State.

According to the report by OCHA, more than 600 houses were damaged.

The report said, “Heavy rains have inundated two camps and a village in Northeast Nigeria, affecting around 3,450 people.

“More than 600 houses including emergency shelters, toilets and other water and hygiene facilities as well as food and households items have been destroyed.

“Humanitarian organisations are mobilising assistance and are also working to prevent further damage as heavy rains and flash floods are expected to continue in September.”


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Nigeria To Keep Borders Closed To Enforce Compliance From Neighbouring Countries

jeu, 2019-09-12 17:24

Nigeria Cameroon border

Nigeria Cameroon border


The Nigerian Government has said that its borders would remain closed until affected countries begin to respect Nigeria's policy on food importation.

Comptroller-General of Customs, Hammed Ali, disclosed this on Wednesday during a visit to Maigatari border in Jigawa State.

Maigatari border town connects Nigeria and Niger Republic.

He said, “Most of the criminals are not citizens of Nigeria. They come in at will and go out at will because our borders are so porous. They come and create havoc and disappear.

“This is why the President directed that we should go on and embark on this drill to ensure that we put into place a proper procedure for in and outflow of people.

“We must also get our neighbours to agree with us on the protocols of transit routes.”

According to Ali, Nigeria has enough food and willing to ensure its borders are no longer porous.


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Nigerian Government Approves $5.3bn For Ibadan-Kano Rail

jeu, 2019-09-12 17:19


The Nigerian Government has approved $5.3bn for the construction of the Ibadan to Kano rail line.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday during the third Maritime Stakeholders Interactive Forum.

He said, “Just yesterday, we got approval to complete the $5.3bn Ibadan to Kano rail project.

“We have also applied for funding to commence coastal rail for the Port Harcourt to Warri segment.”

He also disclosed that Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, would be in charge of all maritime agencies.

He said, “In my first term as minister, I completely abandoned the maritime sector to the heads of agencies. This time, that won’t be happening again.

“I have instructed that the Minister of State for Transportation should personally supervise the maritime agencies, while I just oversee what is happening.

“There are two things I discussed with the President that I will be focusing on in this second term as minister, and they are maritime security and the single window project.

“I have assured the government that by the end of 2020, we should have the single window at our maritime sector.”


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Osinbajo To Visit Kebbi For MSME Clinic Today

jeu, 2019-09-12 17:01


Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, is expected to visit Kebbi State today for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic.

The MSME includes access to finance, business registration, product registration and certification, Osinbajo said.

According to a report by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development of Nigeria, the MSME represents one of the important sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Osinbajo said, “I will be in Kebbi State today for the MSME Clinic.

“The MSME Clinics assemble government agencies under one roof to provide on spot solutions to the challenges faced by M

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Tribunal Judgment A Resounding Victory For Buhari, APC – Senate President

jeu, 2019-09-12 16:58


President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has described Wednesday’s judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as a resounding victory for President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress.

Lawan, who expressed his thoughts on his official Twitter handle said, “I congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress on the resounding victory at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

“The judgment of the tribunal has again put a judicial seal on the mandate freely given to the President by the Nigerian people in the February 23 presidential election.

“I urge the President to accept the affirmation of his election as a reminder of the confidence of Nigerians in his capacity to continue to lead Nigeria towards its manifest destiny of greatness.

“I also commend the petitioners for using the judicial window prescribed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in seeking redress for their grievances.

“I urge them to join hands with the government and the Nigerian people in the important task of nation-building.”

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Apostle Suleman Offers To Airlift Nigerians From South Africa

jeu, 2019-09-12 16:55

Apostle Johnson Suleman

Apostle Johnson Suleman


Senior Pastor of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has offered to airlift more Nigerians willing to come back home from South Africa.

Some Nigerians were on Wednesday evacuated from South Africa over the recent xenophobic attacks in the country.

The Air Peace flight, which evacuated them on Wednesday, arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos at exactly 9:35pm.

Reacting to the development in a tweet via his verified Twitter handle @APOSTLESULEMAN, the clergyman said; “Just heard 900 Nigerians want to return home from South Africa.

“I have asked for flight tickets to be bought for 20 Nigerians in South Africa who want to return home. I will take care of the cost.

“Please register at our church in Johannesburg, we will airlift more by God’s grace. God keep you all alive.”

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Eight Pregnant Women Among 158 Nigerians Evacuated From Libya

jeu, 2019-09-12 16:52


Few hours after almost 200 Nigerians were evacuated from South Africa, another batch of 158 of the country’s citizens were repatriated from Libya.

This was in continuation of the ongoing International Organisation for Migration exercise in conjunction with the European Union.

Among the deportees were eight pregnant women and seven minor medical cases.

The returnees from Libya arrived the country through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at 12:55am on Thursday.

The returnees were received at the airport by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency.

Head, NEMA Lagos Territorial Office, Alhaji Idris Abubakar, appealed to the returnees not to go back to the North African country again, stressing that they could travel out of the country through the right channels.

The returnees were brought back in a chartered flight, Al Buraq Air, which landed at the Cargo Wing of MMIA.


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Again, Nigeria Pledges Compliance To Oil Production Quota

jeu, 2019-09-12 16:02


The Nigerian government has for at list the third time, promised to
abide by the crude oil output, it committed to in December 2018.

Reuters reports that Timipre Sylva the country’s Minister of State for
Petroleum Resources, made the pledge in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of
the United Arab Emirates.

The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of the Organisation
of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its Russia led alliance,
issued a statement affirming the Reuters report.

“All participating countries present, particularly those who are yet
to reach full conformity with their adjustments, were unequivocal in
providing steadfast assurances of their determination to achieve at
least 100% conformity for the remainder of the year.

"Those countries who have over-conformed also reiterated their
voluntary contribution. Resultantly, overall conformity will be
brought to record levels,” the JMMC said on Thursday.

The committee went on to state that the alliance attained a compliance
rate of 136 percent in August, 20 percent less than the 116 percent
recorded by the International Energy Agency for the same period.

Nigeria’s representatives to the Charter of Cooperation signed in
Vienna Austria on July 2, 2019, vowed that the country would comply
with the production limitation.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, reaffirmed this position in a
statement issued on August 14, 2019.

Records show that the country has since this year been producing above
its 1.786 million ceiling. The Nigerian government had in December
2018, set an oil production assumption of 2.3m priced at $60 per
barrel for its 2019 budget.

It was in this same month that it agreed to the Declaration of
Cooperation (DoC), which limited its production.

OPEC and its allies, agreed in 2017, to reduce its output, in order
for the oil cartel to keep supply down and maintain prices at a
relatively high point.

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Facebook Cancels Event In South Africa Over Xenophobic Attacks

jeu, 2019-09-12 15:59


Social networking giant, Facebook, has cancelled its annual iD8 event to hold in South Africa over xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in the country.

In an email to scheduled participants seen by SaharaReporters, Facebook said it was cancelling the event “due to u foreseen circumstances”.


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Adamawa School Principals Defy Free Education Order, Charge N22,000 Fees

jeu, 2019-09-12 14:41

The free education policy declared by Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has been ignored by some school principals as new students are made to pay N22,795 as school fees.

Saharareporters sampled a dozen of metropolitan admission forms issued to new intakes, indicating varied sums of money payable both in cash at the school and into bank accounts.

At the Premier Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) Yola, prospective students are expected to pay N19,200 at the school's bursary department, while N3,595 is to be paid into a bank account, totaling N22,795.

This came on the heels of free education policy by the Adamawa government.

Fintiri, while marking his 100 days in office, reiterated that his administration had declared free education to include tuition, books, feeding, among other provisions.

The principal of the junior section of GGSS Yola, Margaret James, said, "We gave out a few admission letters, but we instructed them not to rush and pay.

"That is because we are still awaiting final directives on whether to charge fees or not. Since it is common knowledge that the governor has declared free education," she added.

The Executive Secretary of the Post-Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), Maryam Umar, said, "No principal was permitted to issue out admission letters in the first place.

"Two weeks ago, the principals met with the governor to deliberate on the modalities of a smooth take-off of the free education; and a committee was set up to work that out. As we speak, the committee is yet to report back."

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Aishatu Abubakar Umar, corroborated the PPSMB secretary, saying, "We have summoned the principals involved in the issuance of admission forms to tell us why."

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Nigeria Met 2.3 Million Oil Production Assumption In August, Says IEA

jeu, 2019-09-12 14:35

Nigeria produced more oil than its 2019 budget assumption of 2.3 million, as it registered an output of 2.386 million barrels of oil daily in August 2019, according to the International Energy Agency.

The Paris-based global energy body said Africa’s largest oil producer overstepped the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Plus commitment of 1.786 million barrels per day it agreed to in December 2018 by 600,000 barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia remains the cornerstone of the deal, as it produced 600,000 fewer barrels per day than its production quota, IEA said in its monthly 'Oil Market Report' for September.

“Major countries Russia, Nigeria and Iraq, produced 0.6 million barrels per day more than their allocations. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, produced 0.6 million barrels per day less than allowed and it is clearly the lynchpin of the whole deal,” it noted.

The agency also warned that the OPEC Plus alliance, which is a pact between OPEC member states and ten other oil producers led by Russia, will struggle with increased production from petroleum generating countries outside the coalition.

OPEC predicted it would lead to a glut in the market which will translate to downward pressure on the price of a barrel of oil.

The IEA further predicted that demand for Nigeria’s and by extension OPEC Plus’s oil will reduce to 28.3m BPD in the first half of 2020.

This figure is 1.4 million less than the 29.7 million barrels per day OPEC produced in August 2019.

The body also observed that the OPEC plus compliance rate was down to 116 percent, an indication that countries are looking for new markets to satisfy.

The USA which outstripped Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer momentarily in June, as well as Brazil and Norway, will be responsible for much of the weakened demand for petroleum from OPEC Plus in the first half of 2020, according to IEA.

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22,000 Nigerians Missing In 10 Years, Says Red Cross

jeu, 2019-09-12 14:31

About 22,000 Nigerians have been reported as missing to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) during a decade of conflict in northeast Nigeria.

According to Peter Maurer ICRC’s President, this is the highest number of missing persons registered by the organization in any country.

Maurer, at the end of his five-day visit to Nigeria, said 60 percent were minors at the time they went missing, meaning thousands of parents don't know where their children are and if they are alive or dead.

"Every parent's worst nightmare is not knowing where their child is. This is the tragic reality for thousands of Nigerian parents, leaving them with the anguish of a constant search. People have the right to know the fate of their loved ones and more needs to be done to prevent families from being separated in the first place," he said

So far, 367 cases have been solved since ICRC received its first cases in 2013, underscoring the immense challenges that come with finding missing people and reconnecting them with their families in Nigeria.

Large swathes of the northeast of the country remain completely inaccessible to humanitarian organizations. People have also been displaced by fighting many times, making them harder to find.

"What troubles me is that I haven't heard whether he is dead or alive. I just don't know. Whenever I cook food for his siblings, I think about him," Falmata Amodu, the mother of a boy who went missing in 2013 at age 10 while fleeing an attack, told ICRC. "For the three years that we stayed in Maiduguri, my husband was very distressed and would repeatedly have nightmares. He would call the name of our abducted son, 'Alkali, Alkali, Alkali' all the time."

Two million people are estimated to be displaced from their homes in northeast Nigeria. In Monguno, internally displaced Nigerians outnumber residents nearly two to one. Health care is also a major concern, as health workers and medical facilities continue to come under fire. Nearly a year ago, two ICRC health workers, Hawa Mohammed Liman, and Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, were deliberately killed after they were abducted from a clinic in Rann in Borno State. These attacks on health care are not only a violation of international humanitarian law, but also an assault on people's basic right to receive health care.

"Families are the greatest casualty of 10 years of war in northeast Nigeria. They have been torn apart. Children have been killed and maimed in bomb blasts. Their health facilities have been ruthlessly attacked and their homes and belongings destroyed. Families belong together and above all, civilians must be spared in war," Maurer said.

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Nigerian Activist Puts Up Obituary Anticipating Death In Hands Of Security Agents Ahead Of Another #RevolutionNow Protest

jeu, 2019-09-12 14:28

A human rights activist, Ayomide Oluwaremilekun Oseni, has uploaded what he described as his obituary picture on social media.

Oseni said it was necessary to do so in anticipation that he might die in the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari-sanctioned security agents who would likely want to prevent the proposed September 18 #RevolutionNow open-air symposium slated to hold in Nigeria and other places.

The Nigerian activist was arrested last August and remained in detention for almost two weeks for staging a one-man protest at the National Stadium in Surulere.

"In case Muhammadu Buhari, @MBuhari decides to kill us again on September 18, 2019, and I die...This is my obituary picture, I died a revolutionist...#RevolutionNow #FreeSowore #RevolutionIsNow #RevolutionProtest," he tweeted @Daddy_aoo.

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2 Nigerians, Onyeka Johnson, Andrew Okwuoha Convicted Of Internet Fraud

jeu, 2019-09-12 14:21

A federal high court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has sentenced two men to one-year imprisonment for committing internet fraud and related offences.

The men, Onyeka Ifeanyi Johnson and Andrew Onyebuchi Okwuoha, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on one-count charge each.

Johnson was accused of obtaining funds under false pretence.

The offence, according to the EFCC, contravenes Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act, while Onyebuchi's offence bordered on retention and possession of proceeds of crime contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition ) Act.

The one-count charge said: “That you Onyeka Ifeanyi Johnson a.k.a (Chewning Roger) on or about the 3rd of August, 2018, at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud did obtain $900 through Western Union, under false pretence from one Kathleen Street, a US national, a pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

“That you Andrew Onyebuchi Okwuoha on or about the 5 April 2019 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did acquire, retain and took possession or control of $2,100 fraudulently transferred from the Bank of America account of one Tina Sakalarkis knowingly or reasonably ought to have known that the said sum forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition ) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

The defendants pleaded guilty to the offences.

The commission then asked the court to convict the defendants following their guilty plea.

They were both convicted and sentenced to a one-year jail term.

However, Johnson got an option of N500,000 fine.

Justice J.K Omotosho, the presiding Judge, also ordered that the electronic gadget seized from them be forfeited to the federal government.

He ordered them to make restitution to victims of their unlawful activities.

Johnson was arrested by operatives of the EFCC when his apartment at No. 5, Emmanuel Avenue, off Sekibo Road, Odili Road, Port Harcourt, was raided in August.

Okwuoha's ordeal started when he retained $2,100 fraudulently transferred from the Bank of America’s account of one Tina Sakerlarkis, an American into his account, without any lawful transaction between them.

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End Of Atiku’s Ill-Fated Electoral Expedition By Peter Claver Oparah

jeu, 2019-09-12 14:06

The ruling of the Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal today, affirming the election of President Muhammadu Buhari and striking out the petition against the election by the defeated PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was largely expected by Nigerians who have been shocked by the hollowness and abject void in the petition.

In fact, the way and manner the panel of judges went about to trash Atiku’s case vindicated the widely shared opinion promoted by the cerebral lawyer, rights activist and present Minister of State for Niger Delta, Festus Keyamo that Atiku’s petition is the most useless election petition in the history of the country.

The interesting judgment would have been more damning if they had the license to express their frustration that Atiku wasted the time of the tribunal and those of Nigerians in the guise of challenging the electoral verdict Nigerians emphatically handed on February 22. Today’s judgment is a fitting end to the ill-fated fortune-hunting by Atiku and his political soulmates in the Nigerian electoral orbit.

Immediately after he was defeated in what was certainly one of Nigeria’s most transparent elections, Atiku went on a binge of allegations that he was rigged out of an election where he was beaten right in his polling unit. He went to town with loud and noisome allegations of being robbed of a mandate which he neither merits nor had.

He launched into an extensive project of resetting the very narrative Nigerians enacted in that election and claimed that he was robbed. He made extensive efforts to rubbish the conduct of the election and to paint the election black in his desperate effort to show that he won the election. He went about thumping and threatening to reclaim his so-called mandate albeit many saw it as a way Atiku was trying to mitigate the colossal loss he, the PDP and a wide array of loud principalities that claimed to hold the country’s politics by the jugular and who fell out with Buhari because of his scorched earth approach to the national treasury, suffered in that election.

Even as many taunted him to give details of his claimed mandate, Atiku and his supporters made no effort to do so. Rather, they elevated their threat of going to court and retrieving their mandate to the
substance of their effort. If they meant to provoke tension amongst Buhari and his supporters, they failed woefully as the later taunted them to do their worst. It got to a stage where even some of his party
members, scandalized by the magnitude of the defeat he suffered, advised him against indulging in such effortless tom-foolery as initiating a legal challenge to an election he lost so miserably.

But to all intents, Atiku and his cheerleaders meant going to court as an omnibus that will serve the multi-faceted role of mitigating their sense of disgrace, force Buhari to panic, force a conciliatory reach out from Buhari and ensure he firms up his grip on the structures of his PDP for future election purposes.

On almost all these counts, he failed as Buhari snubbed him, Buhari’s supporters taunted him to no end and he did little to wipe out the ensuing disgrace that followed his woeful electoral outing after his loud boasts and those of the cachet of supports he got from compromised, disgruntled political interests leading to the election.

Every stage of Atiku’s going to court was celebrated as if they were the real victories themselves. He announced and re-announced his threat of going to court. He celebrated his readiness to go to court. He made a dance of his lawyers preparing to go to court.

He called out a holiday of his lawyers instituting a petition against Buhari and in a similar fashion, choreographed every stage of the tribunal process for his famished supporters eager for a lifeline after the disgraceful shellacking of February 2019.

Then, Atiku went to court and gradually, the court process gathered steam and soon after that, Atiku was exposed to look like a crooked scammer that wanted to scam victory from excruciating defeat. His outing and those of his witnesses at the tribunal were disgraceful at best. Atiku clung to two very leaky and collapsible grounds at the tribunals.

These were: that a certain INEC server exists somewhere that proclaimed him victor over Buhari in the election and that Buhari who had ruled Nigeria both as a civilian and military ruler is not academically qualified to lead the country. It was certain that Atiku knew the silliness and hollowness of the two pillars he rested on but like a professional con man, he is alleged to be, hoped that by some stroke of negative arts, he will snatch victory from defeat.

The INEC server jeremiad is particularly silly. To go to the public with a pathetic story that a certain server known to him and his supporters only exists is not only crazy but miserable. Fact is that Atiku and his henchmen banked heavily on falsifying their ways to power through hacking supposed electronic results of the election. For this reason, then-Senate President and Atiku’s campaign director, Bukola Saraki, hurried the last Senate to pass a revised version of the Electoral Law as that election was around the corner.

The key provision on this amended electoral law was that INEC should transmit the results of the 2010 elections electronically. Knowing their wily ways, President Buhari withheld assent to the amended law and that was technically the death of that plan to hack electronic results to favour Atiku.

But because they invested heavily in this ploy in their ill-fatted Dubai Strategy, Atiku and his supporters were so devastated by President Buhari’s refusal of assent to the bill but they had no fallbacks as the elections closed in.

To invent a spurious, laughable and specious charge that INEC transmitted the results of the election through an INEC server known to Atiku and his supporters alone showed that ab initio, Atiku’s petition was hinged on bubbles and cannot survive elementary scrutiny. But then, that remained the main plank on which Atiku rested his hopeless case and there was no way the case would have progressed without Atiku and his henchmen making a fool of themselves insisting on a non-available INEC server.

Again, the issue of President Buhari’s certificate is beaten trash that cannot fly no matter how it is pushed. It is a product of acute desperation and stems from an obdurate belief that somehow, something could be eked out of nothing. President Buhari has ruled this country before as a military ruler and had headed several critical institutions and none has called his credential to question.

Most important, President Buhari had contested 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections without questions raised about his credentials. It was only when the PDP sensed defeat by the same Buhari in the run-up to the 2015 election that they cooked up the laughable charge to besmirch and arrest his potential victory in the election. He proffered redoubtable evidence to stand for the election and to vanquish the PDP but because the party is desperately in need of straws for its dwindling fortunes, it had hung unto the non-issue like a life machine even when various incontrovertible facts have been adduced to show Buhari’s educational pedigree.

That this will form another leg of Atiku’s woeful petition clearly indicated that Atiku merely went to the tribunal to engage in wild window-shopping.

But then, the showing of Atiku and his witnesses at the tribunal were shameful. All were a cocktail of fairy tales with no shred of evidence and no proof. Strange enough, Atiku went to the byways and the highways to buy very cheap and weightless witnesses that merely ridiculed themselves and his case with the outlandish banalities they advanced at the tribunal to buoy Atiku’s case.

Preliminary cross-examination showed Atiku’s witnesses to be of no value either to his wild claim of being robbed of a mandate he never had in the first instance or having any electoral chances in an election he and his henchmen were beaten down to their polling units. In fact, what Atiku and his witnesses did at the tribunal were massive parody that invoked gargantuan comedy on the national scale as it lasted.

Curiously, Atiku neither allowed himself or his ley backers to come and tell the tribunal how they were rigged out in their respective polling booths where they lost miserably and he and his witnesses did nothing to provide even the flimsiest evidence to prove their case except prurient and hugely contradictory stories that refuse to add up to anything as they closed their case.

INEC, APC, President Buhari looked at Atiku and co’s drama at the tribunal and concluded there was no need calling any witnesses on obvious nonsense as that would amount to wasting the precious time of Nigerians. In fact, they concluded that Atiku was engaged in the spurious art of testing the water with both feet. They simply made their submission that the tribunal should throw out the useless petition for what it is-a grand waste of time.

In dismissing all grounds of Atiku’s petition, the tribunal took time to meticulously tear the petition asunder and leave it for what it is; a huge expedition in fancy hunting and nothing more. The tribunal fell short of describing the petition as an anti-climax as the petitioners made no efforts to prove any of the grounds for which they were hunting for relief. In intent, purpose, and prosecution, Atiku's petition is a huge joke as it was built on nothing.

The intent was to con something from nothing and the judges took meticulous time to trash out all the details for all to see that Atiku was just filibustering by going to the tribunal. At the end of the day, Atiku’s election petition ended like a tale told by an idiot; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Ikeja, Lagos.

AddThis :  Original Author :  Peter Claver Oparah Disable advertisements :